Theatre of the Mind ~ Our Town

1. Okay, I'm going to start the TOTM now and I don't want to hear a "peep" out of you.

2. Do all girls fall for that "nice trip to the forest" line?

3. Is George popping pills to medicate his seizures or is he taking a healthy dose of Viagra? Either way, he plans to be in flagrate delicto shortly.

4. George is getting pretty impatient with this little game of hunt and peck. He thinks Paula is playing a pretty "fowl" trick; she thinks he's a "cheep" date.

5. Tribal mask + big axe = coitus interruptus.

6. Why did the chicken cross the road? (Is this a quiz?) Answer to be provided later.

7. XF first: Spotsy's first solo-MOTW effort.

8. TWC1: The TWC occurs early and often in this episode. Big woo-hoo for the whole darn thing.

9. Scully seems waaaaay more annoyed than I would have thought about being sent out on this "wild chicken chase." Don't tell me she's starting to believe in the work? She seems genuinely miffed that "they" are trying to discredit Moose & Squirrel!

10. But apparently she still feels that the work is Mulder's and she's just along for the ride: "Doesn't it bother you at all that they're undermining *your* work?"

11. You say foxfire, I'll say bonfire and we'll see who's right in the end.

12. I can just picture those swinging Friday nights at the old Frat House at Oxford, watching documentaries about insane asylums.

13. S (to M): "I didn't think anything gave you nightmares." Scully obviously wasn't paying attention when he told her he used to have nightmares when he was a kid (see "Aubrey"; a million fanfics were borne from that single statement).

14. FWIW, I think Scully is talking about nightmares of the boogeyman variety; the monsters in Mulder's nightmares have always been related to him in some way.

15. TWC2: Mulder!Shades pulling the fork out of the ashes. Shade two episodes in a row? Is this continuity or is this just the first time it's been sunny in Vancouver in the first two seasons? Mulder!Shades are always the Holy Flaming Cow Moment!

16. Sheriff Good Old Boy has some pretty nice shades too; I particularly like the way M&S are reflected in them. Too cool!

17. No foxfire; just swamp gas. LOVE the looks between these two: Scully's says "I told you so." Mulder's says too many Dodger dogs (see "E.B.E.").

18. Why did the chicken cross the playground? To get to the other slide.

19. Was George just a philandering husband? Maybe he was "henpecked."

20. "Good People, Good Food." ROTFLMAO. That's almost as funny as the "Travel Time Travel Agency." (See "Duane Barry.")

21. TWC3: Questioning Jess Harold. This boy's got lots of "pluck."

22. Paula, you won't get "ahead" with that attitude.

23. Leave it to Mulder to pick out the most disgusting thing in the chicken plant to capture his fancy. It's a wonder he wasn't over there sticking his fingers in it.

24. So, even the chickens are cannibals in this neck of the woods.

25. "If the fool would persist in his folly, he would become wise, Scully." William Blake, Proverbs of Hell. (Don't say I never did nothin' fer ya!)

26. This is where I become suspicious of Sheriff Good Old Boy (if I wasn't already). He was mighty quick on the trigger when Moose & Squirrel had things under control.

27. Kudos to that actress for taking the header into the big vat of chicken innards. I'm sure Julia Roberts got her big break in almost exactly the same way.

28. TWC4: Questioning Dr. Randolph. I'd be having trouble focusing on the answers.

29. Dr. Randolph was Dr. Ridley in "Young at Heart"; I could spot him by his same bad hairpiece.

30. Apparently, you don't have to know much to be the staff physician at the chicken processing plant. Just be able to prescribe codeine by the handful.

31. Do you think Mr. Chaco picks a few lucky chickens each day to be guests in his personal pen in the backyard? Perhaps this would explain why there's no shelter. Hef probably does the same at the Playboy Mansion.

32. TWC5: But Mulder!Shades again. Holy Flaming Cow Runner-Up Moment.

33. I knew that Scully did an excellent job with her autopsies, but she is beyond belief here. She has managed to get a specimen from Paula Gray's brain without even cutting into her head! Or if she did, she did a mighty fine job. We see Paula's head from every angle, and Scully didn't even leave a scar! Perhaps she did one of those Brain Slurps through Paula's nose.

34. Was Mulder distracted on the road by his lovely partner, or was he just playing a good game of "Chicken"? (And if he did rescue the driver, he didn't even get wet doing it!)

35. TWC6: Have I mentioned that I love Scully's camel trenchcoat? I do. She is a cute "chick."

36. Does that water look red to anyone else?

37. "I just came up with a sick theory, Mulder." "Oooh, I'm listening." I think Mulder just got seriously turned on.

38. Sheriff Good Old Boy is a little hesitant to drag the river. "Why would you want to do that?" M-"To see what's in there." Mulder is *too* funny!

39. Bones . . . lots and lots of bones.

40. TWC7: Squatting Mulder! Nuff said.

41. "Well, they seem to have lost their heads." LOL-Oh, I'm getting the chicken analogy here now.

42. Speaking of which, What do chickens serve at birthday parties? Coop-cakes.

43. Scenes between Sheriff Good Old Boy/Doris and Jess Harold/Dr. Randolph establish the pecking order and confirm that there's more here than meets the eye. Birds of a feather flock together.

44. TWC8: Rolled-up shirtsleeves Mulder! Woo-hoo!

45. I'm glad Mulder repeated that bone polishing thing in case we missed it the first time. Did Spotsy think we couldn't remember that?

46. Another non-appearance by the famous Danny!

47. I've always tried to figure out what the Anasazi reference in this episode should tell us about the next episode, but I'm really not sure. The only thing I did learn is that Mr. Chaco and Chaco Chicken are named for Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, where the Anasazi tribe lived and where boiled bones such as those depicted in the episode were uncovered. Is that how the Anasazi vanished without a trace?

48. I'm not sure what Scully was thinking when she bought that bucket of chicken, but I love the look she gives it before departing for the courthouse.

49. In talking to Doris, Chaco reminds us that the title of this episode is derived from the Thornton Wilder play, "Our Town," which features some dead people but I think that's where the comparison ends.

50. Oh, oh. I'm thinking that M&S are going to wind up on the next lunch menu!

51. Remember, Scully, no lights are a bad sign. Why doesn't she ever listen?

52. TWC9: Mulder at Mr. Chaco's door.

53. It was certainly nice of Mr. Chaco to conveniently label all his mementos in the display case. (Though I wanted to see how the bone was labeled-maybe "Breakfast 1948"?)

54. Mulder must have misplaced his lock picking thing since he just used it a minute ago to break into the courthouse. Maybe smashing the lock on the cabinet was more climactic.

55. Nice of Mr. Chaco to keep all his heads in the front hallway too. Saves so much wear and tear on the investigating.

56. Lucky for Scully Mr. Chaco decides to bop her on the head mid-conversation. Otherwise she might not have had the opportunity to get saved!

57. But not so lucky-Scully's head doesn't seem to be as hard as Mulder's, as she's out cold.

58. Hey, everyone, soup's on!

59. GA does a fantastic job of conveying Scully's terror using only her eyes, first at seeing the beheading of Mr. Chaco and then at her realization that's she next on the chopping block.

60. I know it doesn't seem important now, Scully, but if it's any consolation to you, you were right about the bonfire.

61. There's certainly no urgency in this group. Maybe they're just moving slowly to allow Mulder time to get there.

62. And he never has an SUV when he needs one.

63. Whew! That was cutting it close, Mulder. Thankfully, you're here just in the nick of time to save Scully's neck, look at her all angsty, touch her forehead, and play with her hair.

64. *Now* the group is running around. Oh, I get it (slapping forehead!). Chickens with their heads cut off!

65. For a second there I thought this was a Charlie Chan mystery or an episode of "Murder, She Wrote" as M&S unmask the masked man. :::::GASP!::::: It's the Sheriff! (But for those that were worried, the sheriff wasn't really dead. He recovered, moved to North Texas, and became the fire chief.) (LOL)

66. Do you suppose that was a lock of Mr. Chaco's hair or his moustache? As always, plain old human beans prove to be the most frightening monsters featured on the X-Files.

67. After watching this episode, I'm convinced that CC & Co. are trying to make vegetarians of us all. First the tainted meat in Red Museum, now fatal diseases passed along in poultry. He likes to exsanguinate those Holsteins too. I guess the swine industry is safe for now (at least until "Home").

68. Which day of the week do chickens hate most? Fry-day.

69. And finally, the moment you've all been waiting for: the answer to #6.

From the official Chicken Joke Web Site: Why did the chicken cross the road?
Fox Mulder: "It was a government conspiracy."

I wouldn't say this episode was "finger-licking good," but it was another solid outing helping to set up the big Season 2 finale. Actually, these last few episodes before "Anasazi" did a good job of dropping us hints in subtle ways that the X-Files and Mulder/Scully were walking a fine line and that "they" were out to get them. So we're nearly through with Season 2 (I made a rhyme). BearBerg has volunteered to prepare the TOTM for Anasazi, so I'll return with The Blessing Way next week (half-nekkid Mulder! Woo hoo!).

Your friendly neighborhood insomniac, and apologizing for that too,