Theatre of the Mind ~ Soft Light

1. Oh no, I've got the wrong channel on! It's Antonio Scarpacci from Wings!

2. Hey, this guy doesn't want to be disturbed and Antonio is making a lot of noise! Is he looking for Joe, Brian, Helen, Roy, Fay, or Lowell? Morris? Who the heck is Morris?

3. ZAP! Man, that is one major human zapper! I guess at this hotel, guests check in but they don't check out.

4. Reduced to a little puddle of nothing with a blue luminescence. Hey, I've renamed this phenomenon! I'm calling it Jade Blue Afterglow.

5. Unscrewing the light bulb *now* is sort of like closing the barn door after the horse gets fried, don't you think?

6. Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The shadow knows.

7. What is this? A new XF writer? Vince Gilligan? I thought he was a country singer! Does he know anything about the X-Files at all? How is he going to write for these characters? Does he know that there's lots of UST and affection going on between these two? Does he know how special they are to one another, how much they love to banter back and forth, how much they depend and rely on each other? I'm not sure we should be placing the fate of the XF into someone so inexperienced and out-of-touch with this show! Chris, what are you thinking?

8. Well, any friend of Agent Scully's is a friend of ours.

9. Except that I kept expecting Detective Ryan to turn into a man (since she was the female half of the Genderbending guy/gal).

10. Ryan: "Heard a lot about you." Mulder (to Scully): "We'll talk later." That was a pretty sweet moment, complete with a sheepish Scully grin. Cute. What was this writer's name again?

11. Morley Tobacco? My ears must be deceiving me. Was that *continuity* I just heard?

12. And, my goodness, was that a "Squeeze" joke? *More* continuity? Saints preserve us!

13. And pretty nifty that *Scully* is the one checking out the vent, not Mulder. Shows us how far our little Scully has been able to open herself to extreme possibilities. Vince What?

14. "Does this look like an arm to anybody?" Is this a quiz?

15. TWC1: Dear Diary-Today my heart *leapt* when Agent Mulder mentioned Spontaneous Human Combustion.

16. S: "Let's just forget for the moment that there's no scientific theory to support it." M: "Okay." Gosh, that sounds suspiciously like banter. Gilligan, was it?

17. "Hey, Scully, can you spare a prophylactic?" Sexual innuendo banter too? All this in the first 15 minutes?

18. Scully seems to be able to pull just about anything that Mulder needs out of those big trenchcoat pockets. I always wonder what else she's got tucked away in there.

19. TWC2: Mulder at the street light with his prophylactic. Who could ask for anything more?

20. Check it out, Scully. Newest weapon in the arsenal. Yup, the only difference between men and boys is the size of their toys.

21. "Neat trick. For your birthday I'll buy you a utility belt." Too cute! Was that Vince Gilligan?

22. ZAP! More Jade Blue Afterglow.

23. Mulder thinks something is just a coincidence? There's a first.

24. Well, we know Scully's got her cell phone in those deep pockets.

25. Don't mind us, officers. It's me and my shadow, strolling down the avenue. Me and my shadow, not a soul to tell our troubles to. And when it's twelve o'clock, we climb the stair, we never knock, for nobody's there. Just me and my shadow, all alone and feeling blue!

26. ZAP! ZAP! Now *you're* feeling blue. Jade blue afterglow, that is.

27. TWC3: Mulder checking out the crime scene. Woo hoo! And more woo hoo in the car!

28. Although, once again, having seen the blooper reel, I can't watch this scene without ROTFLMAO! (S: "That's assuming we're looking for a #%@&^%!*#&."

29. All that practice watching videotapes that aren't his must enable Mulder to go through three days' worth of videotape at record speed, especially since he doesn't seem to be using Fast Forward. He must have attended an Evelyn Wood Speed Watching course.

30. But it was mighty nice of him to spare us all that boring investigative work-he finds the exact snippet he needs just after we join him.

31. Do you get the feeling that Mulder was in the AV club in high school? ("Reframe and blow it up some more.") That love of slide shows had to be incubated somewhere!

32. Awww, Dr. Banton (Antonio) lost his shadow. Maybe Tinkerbell will show up later and sew it back on for him.

33. TWC4: Mulder looking at Dr. Banton's shadow. Hoo-boy!

34. Only Scully could get turned on by subatomic particles. She is the girl who rewrote Einstein, after all!

35. Just when Scully accepts the spontaneous human combustion theory, Mulder makes a left turn. He didn't even have his blinker on!

36. S: "Nonsensical repetitive behavior is a common trait of mental illness." M: "You trying to tell me something?" Cute, again. Where is this Gilligan guy from?

37. The Amazing!Mulder makes some pretty *big* leaps in this episode, none greater than figuring out the whole Dr. Banton/Shadow thing just by looking at the floor in the bus station. Suppose Dr. Banton was just looking at a bug or something?

38. TWC5: There's something about a running Mulder that just makes my heart go pitty-pat.

39. Oh no! Scully's going to walk into the shadow!

40. All that time Mulder spends on the firing range is time well spent.

41. S: "The accident in the lab . . . the quanta bombardment . . . you believe that altered you physically?" Banton: "You could say that." :::snort:::

42. Now, I know that this board is not going to let me write that s-word that Banton thinks is going to happen to his brain. So for purposes of this TOTM, I'm calling it a Brain Slurp.

43. Scully is become skeptical at the mention of the Brain Slurp.

44. Do you think Mulder had a Brain Slurp in "Deep Throat"? How about "Amor Fati"?

45. How interesting to hear Scully finally verbalize her feelings about being a woman in a man's world, trying to break into the "boy's club." IMHO, Scully is partly the way she is because of trying to fit into this world; hiding her emotions, afraid of being perceived as weak because of (1) being a woman and (2) her small build. Thus, she has overcompensated in the opposite direction. Enough psychobabble.

46. But Mulder has a nice response, acknowledging her comment but recognizing what makes her a good agent: "You never put yourself ahead of the work." Gee, this looks suspiciously like character development. Has this Gilligan guy signed on for next season?

47. TWC6: Mulder meeting Mr. X in that Soft Light.

48. Banton believes government out to get him. "It's tax season. So do most Americans." Mr. X does stand-up!

49. Continuity *again*! Mr. X mentions his fist fight with Skinner in "End Game," bloodying his hand and exposing his identity to Scully and Skinner. M: "Yes, I know, and you can trust them as you trust me. I promise." And Mulder is a man of his word!

50. Unlike Mr. X, who seems to be always dropping by just to point out that he can't help Mulder. If he can't help Mulder, what's he doing there? Looking for Johnny Depp and the rest of the cast of 21 Jump Street? He also usually tells Mulder not to contact him again, but then he's always showing up. Make up your mind, already!

51. Well, at least for a change Mr. X doesn't come along just to further the plot. Nope, this time he seems to be using *Mulder* rather than vice versa.

52. Oopsy! ZAP! ZAP! Jade Blue Afterglow again! Did you notice that every time someone gets zapped, the puddle they are reduced to looks different? Do you think it depends on what they had for lunch?

53. Don't you know that Mulder's just itching to stick his fingers in that Jade Blue Afterglow? (Okay, minds out of the gutter now.)

54. "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you, Scully." Where has this Vince Gilligan person been for the last 40+ episodes?

55. Dr. Banton has tried to save everyone else from his affliction, but now, so close to ending his torment, he purposely takes the life of an innocent woman.

56. Oh, I just knew Dr. Davey was a bad guy when he was spying on M&S!

57. Remember, this is the XF, Dr. Banton. Trust no one.

58. I gotta say that, for me, suddenly seeing Mr. X's face through that little hole in the door ranks right up there with seeing that he's the one who saved Mulder's butt in "731".

59. Scully takes a compassionate moment over the Jade Blue Afterglow that was once Detective Ryan.

60. Do you think Mulder called Mr. X and said, "Meet me in that same place you met me in 'Sleepless'."?

61. Love the shadows on the wall analogy as Mulder and Mr. X meet.

62. This is just how relationships go. Just when Mulder suggests that perhaps he and Mr. X should start seeing other people, Mr. X is looking for commitment.

63. I guess people on TV get priority in getting those burial markers and headstones made up so quickly, and that's why the rest of us have to wait so long.

64. TWC7: And officially tonight's Holy Flaming Cow Moment: Shades!Mulder. Need I say more?

65. And despite the fact that he killed that nice Detective Ryan, in the end we have sympathy for the *monster*, as his worst nightmare comes true and he gets that Brain Slurp he was dreading.

66. Well, that was quite good, a nice mixture of MOTW and mythology. Do you think this Vince Gilligan person will be writing any more episodes of the X-Files, or is he just a one-hit wonder? FWIW, I think he's probably got a lot of other ideas in his head and he's going to be around for a while yet. "Promise."

Well, try as I might, I couldn't find any "Holly" references in this episode. Maybe Holly wasn't Vince's girlfriend when he wrote "Soft Light." Or maybe he was so green that he thought only the great and powerful CC was allowed to put in-jokes in the scripts. At any rate, by his next effort, a little episode called "Pusher," the Holly reference will be another X-File legend.

I found it quite ironic that as I wrote this tonight, the episode on FX was "Paper Hearts," which I also watched last night at midnight, by the way. I saw a poll on one of the boards today that challenged everyone to name their top five episodes of the XF. I can't do it; my top five shift and change as the seasons come and go and depending on what kind of mood I'm in. But ask me to name my #1 favorite episode, no contest. "Paper Hearts." It's never even come close to wavering from the top spot. (Not even "Requiem" could do it.) I probably have "Paper Hearts" taped on at least six different videotapes (plus the Wave version) for fear of wearing it out, I have watched it so many times. And many of VG's other episodes are in my top ten as well: "Pusher," "Bad Blood," "Small Potatoes," "Folie a Deux," "Drive," "Tithonus," "Kitsunegari," "Je Souhaite," and countless others that he cowrote. I guess you can't even ask me to pick my top five VG episodes! It would be impossible!

At any rate, while "Soft Light" is a quite solid episode, its significance in the whole CTP realm is that it's the episode that introduced us to da man, Vince Gilligan. I can't wait to see what he's got in store for us in Season 8!

Sorry for this long-winded epilogue, but Vince brings out the passion in me! Sending my usual apologies along, as always.