Wednesday, April 6, 2016

X-Files: Arcadia 'Shipper Survey

'Cause I'm in the mood to mess with your lives, I've decided to post a Season Six survey on you and watch you suffer as you've never suffered before!

Nah, I kid. This one's not that bad.

Actually, I'm posting this because there was a Season Ten episode involving a Tulpa as the Monster of the Week, and it annoyed me that they messed with something we've already met. So I'm providing the evidence.

This is also an episode that proves that Dana and Fox should never live in the suburbs. Although if they did, they could have gotten Tessa from Suburgatory to babysit William.



1) The episode begins in a peaceful, tranquil community, where the lawns are neatly trimmed, the mailboxes are freshly painted, and the neighbors are awful friendly. You know:

A) That this place is going to Hell in a handbasket!

B) That every person here is really a Stepford robot two nanoseconds away from blowing their circuits and going on a rampage like Yul Brenner in Westworld!

C) That Dana and Fox now can find this as the best place in the world where they can raise their hybrid Emily clones! <sigh>

2) After a particularly gruesome demise of a household couple that pulled the heinous act of placing a tacky weathervane on their house, the scene shifts months later to the same house where a woman waits nervously for the new arrivals. An SUV and U-Haul truck appear, and out steps the most startling sight in X-Files history: Mulder dressed as a preppie geek and Scully grinning from ear to ear wearing some sweater she must have borrowed from her sister-in-law (I don't think it's from her mother, Ma Scully seems to have better taste than that). You realize:

A) That the Prozac Scully prescribed for the Punk has driven him over the edge and has twisted him into an Izod-wearing doofus!

B) That the virulent strain of humanity once known as Preppies are still alive and roaming the hills of Los Angeles! Hide!

C) That they DID get married and settled down! YES!!!!!!!!! <blissful faint>

3) Our intrepid heroes introduce themselves as Rob and Laura Petrie. They do their best to play the part of a smiling happily-married couple, but you:

A) Notice the almost-grimace the Blessed One gives when the Punk squeezes too tight. Don't overact your part, you Punk! <trout-slap> No wonder you don't win any Emmys...

B) Wonder who it was who came up with the last name of "Petrie." What, is there something wrong with "Smith" or "Jones" or "Wartenberg"??? Those are perfectly acceptable names!!!

C) Remain in a blissful coma. So what if they changed their names, they're MARRIED!!! <deep blissful sigh>

4) 'Rob' and 'Laura' get a quick tour of their new home, with poor Laura struggling with the Welcome Wagon basket that's almost as big as she is. When they ask about the previous owners, the Welcome Lady gets nervous and runs off. When that happens, you:

A) Watch Scully wait until the coast is clear to shrug Mulder off before he squeezes her to death with all that hugging. And hey, 'Rob,' instead of just standing there like a Punk why don't you help your better half in getting a good grip on that Welcome Wagon basket! <mutter> <grumble>

B) Consider that woman to be a suspect. Just look at her shifty eyes, low brow, poor choice in pumps, etc.

C) Answer to the screen, "That's right, ma'am, please leave these two lovebirds alone right now! They need some private time to consummate the honeymoon!" <massive sigh>

5) They meet their neighbors soon enough, especially because of the "rule" that they have to be unpacked and moved in before 6 p.m. and they've only got forty-five minutes before the deadline. Everyone in the community shows up, hurriedly grabbing furniture and boxes and rushing them into the house. Mulder and Scully, uh, Mr. and Mrs. Petrie stand back and watch the hilarity ensue, until the local gentle giant Big Mike tries to carry in a box marked "china" and sadly lets it drop much to Dana's, uh Laura's dismay. You shout at the screen:

A) "No! Scully's secret stash of Hummel figurines destroyed by one man's carelessness! Mike, prepare to meet thy doom!!!" <trout-slap>

B) "Hey, Big Mike, why not try drop-kicking that box of magazines ole' Rob here marked `Psychology research!' I'm sure Laura won't mind seeing those moth-eaten Playpens fly into the nearest sewer!"

C) "NOOOOOO! That was their wedding present from Mrs. Scully! Die, Kube, Die!"

6) Everything gets moved in. The neighbors all wave good-bye. Our heroes are now left alone in their new home, and they stare at each other. SCULLY: "You ready?" MULDER: "Let's get it on, honey." SCULLY: "All right, then." For you, this means:

A) Scully's going to make him move all the heavy furniture in place while she reads her Capote novel in the corner whilst dispensing moving tips like "That'll look good over there" and "I'm sure that piano can go upstairs, hon."

B) They're repainting the walls? So soon? Ew, I HATED painting the walls at home!...

C) Dana's going to let Fox carry her over the threshold and into the bedroom! YES!!!!!! <faint>

7) We find out that Mulder and Scully were assigned undercover work by Skinner to this neighborhood to investigate the disappearance of several couples. As Scully pulls out her camcorder while Mulder digs for any trace of bloodstains, you state to yourself:

A) "That lab equipment Big Mike tossed for a touchdown was more valuable to the Blessed Skeptic than any dumb set of china! Kubiak, you're a dead man!"

B) "Hey! Where's the room for a foosball table? Damn! They should have asked for a crime scene with a game room or something!"

C) "So Skinner assigned them to be a married couple??? Yay, he's a 'Shipper!!! <celebratory noise-making>" (Note: technically this makes him a Shipper On Deck)

8) Mulder interrupts Scully's taping with a lame "You want to make that honeymoon video now?" You think Scully should answer:

A) "No. Now I want to make that women's self-defense tape! <begins pummeling the Punk> And to those of you watching today's taping, THIS is how you use an Ab-Roller to beat your jerk of a partner who won't let me get a desk in the basement again!"

B) "Not now, Mulder, I've spotted a rare repitilus muppetus, a lizard that looks remarkably like Yoda!" <zooms in for a close-up>

C) "But, lover, who gets to hold the videocam? <camera falls from her grip as Fox sweeps Dana off her feet> Ooh, never mind!"

9) Scully takes a moment to complain about the choice of names ("Rob and Laura Petrie?") and that she'd like to pick the names next time they're undercover. Mulder complains that this isn't really an X-File. SCULLY: "Sure it is. It's unexplained. What do you want, aliens? Tractor beams?" You:

A) Agree with Scully that not every case has to have aliens involved, and that it's perfectly okay to use their paranormal skills to hunt down those mutant dust bunnies hiding under the futon.

B) Did want aliens to be involved so there'd be extensive use of special effects, and you can be content that your uncle working in the sfx department can keep steady work

C) Wonder why they're so busy arguing in the kitchen when there's a perfectly good waterbed around here they can argue in!!! <faint>

10) Mulder thinks Scully just wants "to play house." You think:

A) That it's HER house? In HER name? Fine. Back to the basement for you, Spooky!

B) That Mulder should have gotten Scully that Malibu Barbie set for Christmas after all, instead of...of...what DID he give her for Christmas?...

C) That there's nothing wrong with that! Go with it, Fox! <sigh>

11) There's a ring of the doorbell. Scully goes to answer it while Mulder mockingly demands she make a sandwich for him. Her reply? A set of gloves tossed right into his face. You:

A) Cheer the Enigmatic One's moral victory and toss your own set of gloves you got autographed at the New York eXpo into the face of the Punk's voodoo doll sitting forlornly in the corner

B) Worry that Mulder really IS hungry and he'll chew the gloves

C) Feign disappointment at Fox's poor attitude about this relationship: marriage should be a compact of two equals, neither a master nor a servant to the other, but contentedly balanced in their duty and their love. Okay, so I'm a romantic at heart!...

12) You start to wonder what it would be like if Mulder and Scully really were married. You can picture one of these scenes:

A) Poor Sainted Scully scrubbing away at dirty dishes while Mulder and his geeky friends spill bean dip on HER freshly vacuumed carpets watching the Clippers lose - again - to the Wizards. Dammit, Frohike, use a coaster! <mutter> <grumble>

B) Poor Mulder stuck with yard work digging up worms for Scully's science projects while she sits inside eating cookie dough ice cream and complaining to her old high school girlfriends that he just doesn't give her any moral support

C) <explicit sexual acts of a prolonged and noticeably satisfying manner deleted to protect younger readers> <suffice to say, marital aids are really that>

13) Meanwhile, back at the ranch... The neighbors gather to chew the fat both figuratively and literally. They're figuring out who these Petries are. They gossip about what 'Rob' said about being a home worker, which to them means "she's got all the money." You:

A) Chortle (if you can't chortle, you can at least guffaw) at how the poor Punk is getting snickered at by the locals...tee hee

B) Worry that one of these neighbors is a peeping Tom and will catch our intrepid heroes acting like FBI agents

C) Worry that one of these neighbors is a peeping Tom and will catch our intrepid heroes acting out that stuff I wanted to write in Answer C) up on Question 12! Suffice to say, the peep will definitely need a cold shower afterwards! <wicked grin>

14) Big Mike asks if this time, they can warn their new neighbors 'Rob' and 'Laura' about what they're getting themselves into. The community leader Gogolak gives his assurances, which to you means:

A) see B)

B) see C)

C) Big Mike is our Red-Shirt Character of the Week! Okay, Chris, tell him what he won! Chris the Creator: "Well, Big Mike, you'll get a rather painful head wound! And that's not all!..."

15) The next day, one of the neighbors, Shroeder, is busy spraying off Big Mike's porch when Rob and Laura show up to return Mike's donated china. Shroeder asks if they slept peacefully, so 'Rob' replies they "spooned up" in bed and slept like kittens. "Isn't that right, Honey-Bunch?" 'Laura' grins a bit too much before answering "That's right, Poopy-Head." You:

A) Nod in satisfaction to the Blessed One's kick-ass response. She's been waiting YEARS to call the Punk 'Poopy-Head'! Bwha-ha-ha!

B) React in horror to what Mulder and Scully are calling each other. My GOD, do married couples say that ALL THE TIME?! <shudder> For once, the writer is glad to be a virgin!...

C) Faint in excited bliss. THEY SHARED A BED! <massive sigh>

16) 'Rob' is eager to set up his basketball set, so our intrepid heroes go to see Gogolak about the CC & R (Contracts, Covenants, and Regulations). Gogolak reads through the book like he's reading a Bible (even putting it reverently on a reading stand, nice touch!) And explains that basketball sets are prohibited in the name of order, civilization, and high property values. You realize:

A) That the poor Punk won't be able to drive Scully nuts with his incessant dribbling and will be forced to support the Blessed One in her quilting projects

B) That the CC & R is really the Necronomicon in disguise! (As a librarian, the writer can spot these things, you know...) Whatever you do, don't read page 1013!!!!!!!

C) That Dana and Fox, uh 'Laura' and 'Rob', look SOOOOO cute curled up like that on the sofa! They should do that every episode! <hopeful grin>

17) The 'Petries' go eat dinner with their new neighbors the Shroeders. The Shroeders are smily happy people, eagerly scarfing down dolphin-safe tuna. ("Dolphin-safe all the way") It's a scene of domestic bliss, the kind that makes you afraid everyone's been replaced by Pod People. It's almost a relief when 'Rob' tells the Shroeders he met 'Laura' at a UFO convention. When he mockingly notes "She's quite the New Ager," you reply:

A) "Sure, just like her sister. You see that crystal necklace, the one 'Laura' is shoving up 'Rob's' nose? Gift from her sister. And that dolphin-safe trout she's hitting him with? That's from her religious followers! <kneel> <genuflect>"

B) "You realize that while you're talking with these so-called people that Gogolak and his cronies are building Mulder and Scully duplicates! <scream> <flee>"

C) "I hope the newlyweds are playing footsies like they're in love instead of shin-kneeing like they're bickering! <whimper>"

18) The conversation turns unpleasant as our heroes ask the Shroeders about Big Mike's disappearance. The missus, Cami, excuses herself from the table so she could walk the dog. 'Laura' offers to join her, but as she stands up to leave 'Rob' reaches over for a kiss from his Snoogums. As 'Laura' kisses the air next to his face rather than on his lips, you:

A) Know she does it because Scully doesn't want his dolphin-safe tuna breath on her face!

B) Wonder if "walk the dog" is a euphemism for "taking a dump"...but then why would Scully go along? Hmm...women, to my knowledge, always go to bathrooms in groups, never alone. Is there...something in the toilet water? Something...dangerous?

C) Weep for the end of all things. Dammit, Dana, his lips were three inches over! You gotta work on your aim! <sob> <wail>

19) After a disturbing incident with the Shroeders' dog in front of Big Mike's empty house, Mulder and Scully meet back at the homestead to discuss their clues and plans of action. They discuss this while preparing for bed: Mulder stripping down to a grey t-shirt and casually (or slovenly, take your pick) tossing it aside, Scully dressed in nightgown using the bathroom, complaining about Mulder's inability to squeeze a tube of toothpaste properly and giving him a third warning about the toilet seat. Mulder flops onto the bed, intent apparently in sharing it with Scully <gasp> <pant>. But when Scully comes out wearing a mud facial, you:

A) Always wondered why the Blessed One looks so good! But why haven't we seen this facial stuff before? Oh, she's intentionally scaring a certain Spooky someone!

B) Ponder, as a virgin who grew up mostly with brothers, what the big deal is about the toilet seat

C) Scream in terror and jump out the window. Dana, don't DO that!!!

20) Mulder tries to stay in bed with a "Come on, Laura, you know... we're married now." She answers "Scully" and tells him goodnight. He retorts "The thrill is gone," while you retort:

A) "Hey, Punk, there's a reason she's not sharing the bed with you. You snore!"

B) "You're better off without her, Mulder. You don't want that facial mud in your hair!"

C) "You're damn right the thrill is gone! <weep> <wail> Dana, you didn't have to send him off to the futon! Nooooo... <cries> <gnashing of teeth>"

21) Mulder tries to disrupt the serenity of the neighborhood by planting a pink flamingo (travesty!) in the yard and, when that disappears, by trashing his mailbox. He waits and watches for hours to see what might happen. When he goes for only a minute to "walk the dog" as it were, he comes back to find the mailbox cleaned and fixed and containing a warning to "Be like the others." You:

A) Notice he didn't put the toilet seat back down when he went to walk the dog! You BASTID!

B) Scream in horror that Soylent Green is people! Oh, wait, wrong paranoid movie. Here we go: don't go to sleep! They get you in your sleep! Augh!

C) Suddenly discover there are no children in this neighborhood! Oh no! Emily hybrids are against the CC & R! Nooooo!

22) Mulder does the one thing that'll drive anyone insane: he starts shooting some hoops. You know:

A) His incessant dribbling is going to wake up the neighbors...and the sewer monster...and the seismic monitor two blocks down...and Lord Kimbote down in Inner Earth...and...

B) Mulder's ability to dribble well and yet throw bricks comes from the genetic tinkering CancerMan and his Reticulan cronies did on him before the Big Game against Gonzaga

C) That the only one-on-one you're interested in watching doesn't involve dribbling...but lots and lots of illegal contact! <wicked grin>

23) After witnessing an assault on the Shroeders, Mulder discovers there's something under the ground. Scully found something too: the entire community was built atop a landfill. Mulder wants to do some digging, and he grabs a copy of the CC & R and uses it as an excuse to put a reflective pool in the front yard. As the neighbors whisper evilly amongst themselves, you ponder:

A) What Scully has to do to get a sundeck added in the backyard. She needs a sundeck! (Sister Autumn passes on a message about redheads being a tad sensitive to tanning.) Oh. Uh. BBQ grill. She needs a BBQ grill!

B) Where Mulder got a copy of the CC & R. Who did he deal with to get that book?... Oh, THAT'S who he dealt with... Oh, dear.

C) Why 'Rob' and 'Laura' didn't add a hot tub! PLEASE!...

24) Mulder digs up evidence that Gogolak was behind the tacky knick-knack that killed the previous house owners. He confronts the community elder with an educated guess that he and the others created a "Tulpa," a kind of guardian that makes sure the neighborhood remains safe and long as the rules are obeyed. Scully, meanwhile calls for an excavation team out to 450 Autumn Terrace (Hey! When do *I* get a street named after me?...) when all of a sudden Big Mike re-appears to protect her from the sewer monster. As the action picks up with blood, violence, and mud, you:

A) Want Big Mike to ship back to "ER" where he belongs and get that head wound checked, and let Scully defend herself, dammit! She never gets to beat the mud monsters! :-(

B) Know if it was your mother's house, she'd be extremely ticked off with all those carpet stains!

C) Get upset that there hasn't been one opportunity for 'Rob' and 'Laura' to hold hands!

25) Mulder leaves Gogolak chained to the mailbox while he rushes into the home to find Scully. Gogolak struggles, wrecking the mailbox and bringing forth the wrath of the Tulpa. The monster then moves steadily toward Mulder, his arms reaching out to crush this puny mortal...until Gogolak finally croaks, at which point Mud Boy collapses into a pile of, well, mud. The scene shifts to the next day, when Mulder and Scully pack up and head back to D.C. While Scully uses her gifted voice (ahhhhh) to recite yet another Big Speech about the conspiracy of silence in the dark world of Suburbia, you conclude:

A) That Scully's monologues need a few Biblical quotes thrown in...nah, that'd be too preachy...

B) That we'd all be better off staying in apartments and RVs and avoid these deed-restricted communities! Those places can kill ya!

C) That Dana and Fox are better off finding a better place to raise their hybrid kids. Hey, there's a nice new community out near Three Mile Island!...

If you more often than not answered:

A) Then you're an OBSSEr who's decided to emulate the Blessed One's beauty secrets: Play-Doh! <writer gets killed by ensuing mob>

B) Then you're an X-Philer who knew that planting a pink flamingo in your yard will mark you for death!

C) Then you're a 'Shipper who's convinced Dana and Fox are still married! You didn't see any divorce lawyers when they left, did you? No you didn't. SO THERE! YAY! <contented cheer>

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