Theatre of the Mind ~ Avatar

1. March 7, 1996. Happy anniversary! (No, not to the Skinners. The anniversary of Moose & Squirrel's first case together! How romantic!)

2. And another anniversary, of sorts: this is the first Skinnercentric episode.

3. Hmmm. Skinner's attorney was the mother of one of the little girls in "Eve" as well as the daughter of a nursing home patient in "Excelsius Dei." I just knew.

4. Well, I have always thought that the best way to try and save your marriage is to go to a bar, toss back a few, pick up a sweet young thing, get a hotel room, and have wild, passionate sex. But that's just me.

5. I can see that we need to be more specific in those memos to CC asking that the characters on the XF be allowed to have sex.

6. Just to clarify, an "avatar" is technically the incarnation of a Hindu deity, especially Vishnu, in human or animal form. It can also mean a temporary manifestation or aspect of a continuing entity.

7. It's good to know that. At first I thought it was some kind of kinky menage-a-trois.

8. Skinner didn't have to say, "Was it good for you?" The earth obviously moved so much that her head rotated 180 degrees.

9. TWC1: Okay, you have a wild night with a woman that you picked up in a bar and you wake up to find that she's dead in your bed with her head on backwards. Who you gonna call? (As Mulder's entering the scene don't you think he's thinking: "Oooh, this is just like one of my videos come to life!")

10. Gee, from the intensity of the rain throughout this episode, I'd say it rains almost as much in D.C. as it rains in Vancouver (where of course, if rains 400 inches a day!).

11. Story by DD and Howard Gordon! (Of course, it's a well-known fact that DD suggested a Skinner-centric episode in order to get himself some time off, but it didn't work out that way. You can't blame a guy for trying!)

12. Mulder & Scully must have Big Ass Cell Phones too if Scully got most of that conversation while Mulder held the phone at his side while she listened in as she sat in traffic in a torrential rain storm.

13. "At least they were having safe sex." At least they were having sex *period*. Why don't you two kids try it? You might like it!

14. The deceased was apparently not just *a* prostitute, she was a prostitute who could glow in the dark. I thought only the condoms had that feature!

15. TWC2: Woo-hoo! While Mulder & Scully visit the "madam," I think Mulder is hoping he won't be recognized by someone he's "escorted".

16. S: "Business must be booming." M: "I think you mean 'banging'." Followed by Scully lookl That was a good one.

17. Nice of Mulder to be concerned about Skinner's ass, given the fact that Skinner has reamed his often enough. Scully is busy tsk tsking and being disappointed.

18. It appears that M&S are driving a good old Lariat rental in this episode . . . in their own backyard? No fleet sedans available? Or Maybe Skinner was a little too busy to sign their vehicle requisition.

19. TWC3: Mulder chasing Skinner on the Police Station steps. Hoo-boy! And love the way he says, "Of course it concerns us!" (Translation: We love you, Walter!)

20. Just another indication of Skinner's unrequited love for Agent Scully. Yes, he was surprised to hear the woman was a prostitute, but was also quick to check out Scully's face to see what she was thinking of him.

21. Very smart of the apparition to wear a raincoat just in case that monsoon starts up again!

22. So the Skin-Man is married, huh? I'm glad his wife is so concerned. Where was she when he got shot a few weeks back?

23. Yeah, Skinner probably *mentioned* Mulder at home, but he was *thinking* about Scully!

24. TWC4: Big woo-hoo to Mulder for looking fine while reassuring Sharon about Skinner's innocence.

25. M&S both look disgusted at having to attend an OPC hearing (especially lip-biting Mulder!). Maybe they're afraid CC will make another cameo appearance!

26. When Scully asks, "If an otherwise stable man is compelled to go out and hire a prostitute, what else is he capable of?" and Mulder tells her to give him the benefit of the doubt, do you think he was talking about Skinner? (Of course, I'm not sure Mulder could be considered "stable.")

27. Mulder also seems pretty reluctant to discuss all the research Scully has done on sleep disorders. Perhaps this case is hitting a little too close to home?

28. TWC5: But Mulder chewing on that pen during this whole scene? Be still my heart!

29. Sorry, whenever I hear "succubus" I think of "South Park." Again, just me.

30. A succubus is a female demon supposed to descend upon and have sexual intercourse with a man while he sleeps. And although Mulder says a succubus usually appears as an old woman, I thought in medieval lore the succubus was generally babe-a-licious. Perhaps Mulder is toning down this story for Scully's virginal ears. I personally am awaiting visitation by an incubus (which is the succubus' male counterpart). I'll keep you posted.

31. Ah, the glowing in the dark part is important! And I thought that was just her lipstick (I just thought all the lip-locking got her lipstick up her nose.) Of course, she's not glowing *now*.

32. I guess Skinner moved to the high-rise sometime between now and "Tunguska."

33. Wow! We get a *BIG* spoiler! Skinner had hair once!

34. TWC6: Mulder looks awesome in his big scene with Skinner at the police station. Hands on hips Mulder is always worthy of a woo-hoo!

35. Again, Skinner wants to know what Scully thinks. (Maybe we'd better stop worrying about Doggett while Mulder's away and start worrying about Walter!)

36. Despite his answer, Mulder's delayed response and clearing his throat lets Skinner know what Scully is *really* thinking: She thinks you're a pig, but luckily it's giving me time to clean up my own act.

37. *GASP!!* Good Lord, not continuity? Mulder & Skinner talk about a scene from "One Breath." And Skinner inhaled. What is the world coming to?

38. CSM is involved-guess I shoulda seen that one coming.

39. That must be an Indian Guide knife; not like any Boy Scout knife I ever saw.

40. Personally, I hope I never find out if you can see my face in the airbag after it deploys.

41. Do you think Pendrell is so eager to help Mulder because he's just naturally helpful or because he thinks it'll score him points with the lovely Agent Scully? Or maybe Agent Pendrell has a thing for Agent Mulder as well . . . hmmm.

42. Is there a law against having too much light at these OPC hearings? Maybe the people being interviewed aren't allowed to see who the interviewers are.

43. But I am starting to wonder just a bit about this woman who attends all the OPC hearings but never says anything. Just what is her role in the whole scheme of things?

44. Also, did you notice that when Scully goes to the OPC hearings she always shows her distaste for them by pretending not to understand the questions? Scully, you rebel!

45. How weird that here Scully says, "Whatever extreme cases I have encountered I have always viewed through the lens of science." And of course, in "Within," she is wearing her "extreme" experiences as a badge of honor. You go, girl!

46. Skinner "affected by" or "enchanted by" Mulder's notions? Not yet, anyway! Check back in about five years.

47. TWC7: No Mulder footwear in this episode, but a little Mulder "hullo" just for Polly. And when they are talking to each other on their cell phones about 10 feet apart-how cute is that?

48. Yes, Mulder, people are suspected of killing other people and are losing their jobs, but, as usual, it's all about you and the X-Files.

49. Oh my gosh, more continuity! Trying to kill Skinner didn't work, so now they're trying to frame him! (They even used the same Gray-Haired Man!)

50. And a mention of the elusive Danny! Did you think for just a second that "Danny" was "Pendrell?" Naw, Pendrell is a lab guy . . . he wouldn't be running down identities.

51. Living in the D.C. area, I do know that two straight days of rain leads to major traffic tie-ups and road rage, but people leaping to their deaths? I gotta pay more attention.

52. Besides which, all of a sudden, it's not raining now. Guess Lorraine decided to do herself in during the "calm before the (rest of the) storm". (Another 400 inches?)

53. TWC8 (and tonight's Holy Flaming Cow moment): Mulder in the diner with Scully and the escort service lady. Major woo-hoo and good golly miss molly! (And boy that rain came back fast!)

54. But the first time I saw this, I did get the chills when the camera pulled back and revealed that the Gray-Haired Man and his cronies were sitting in their car outside the diner. That was a surprise.

55. Despite his speech, Skinner still doesn't break down the wall in his hospital scene soliloquy to Sharon. Compare with his hospital scene with Scully four years later.

56. Tough-gal Scully knows something is amiss, summons Mulder and kicks in the bathroom door-only to get the door back in the face. Ouch! And she drops her gun! The ultimate humiliation!

57. Luckily Skinner saves the day . . . but who directed him to the hotel? Sharon or Succubus?

58. TWC9: Mulder in the final scene with Skinner, illuminated by the lovely light from the window (did it finally stop raining?), using his hands to say, "Then why don't you tell me? Off the record." Yummy. I think Mulder really wants to say, "Gee, I thought we finally had an understanding here, and now you shut me out again!"

59. Once again the amusing correlation to Season 8: Here, Skinner is unwilling to put what he believes happened in an official report. In "Within," he wanted to report what he saw, didn't want to sell Mulder out at any cost, despite Scully's objections. You go, Skin-Man!

60. So at the end did Sharon die or did Skinner put his wedding ring back on as an affirmation that he was going to try and save his marriage? (If that's true, guess he was unsuccessful.)

61. Another interesting tidbit: In the credits for this episode, the name of Skinner's lawyer is listed as Jay Cassal. The character was originally supposed to be played by a man, but then an actress was hired instead. Somehow, the credits were never changed. Again, I just knew.

62. As fans, we're always clamoring to know more about the personal lives of the beloved characters of our favorite show. Finally, we get an episode devoted to just that, but it's not the character most of us would choose (except for frogdoggie). Oh, well, at least Skinner got some nookie out of it.

63. You know, something just occurred to me. It seems that when one of the regulars on this show *does* get laid, somebody dies afterward (Kristin in "3", Carina in "Avatar," Jodie Foster in "Never Again"-which I guess proves that Scully came close but didn't really have sex in that ep since the character that died was a tattoo). So perhaps it is better if M&S never have sex-not only could it be hazardous to their health, it could be fatal! Maybe CC is doing us all a favor and we just don't know it!

64. This has been a tough year for Walter Skinner. He begins the season by having his two favorite agents pull guns on him, gets beaten up in a hospital stairwell, takes a bullet for the team when he refuses to give up on the Melissa Scully murder investigation, gets battered by some size seven pumps, his wife leaves him, and now all this happens. Well, at least on the plus side, he got to tell CSM to pucker up and kiss his ass. Yeah, that about evens it out.

65. Gee, I've come a long way, baby. When I first saw this episode, I didn't like it at all. And I've only seen it a few times since then. Watching it again now, I really liked it. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's due to my renewed respect for the character of Walter Skinner and for Mitch Pileggi after his wonderful performance in "Within." In "Avatar," Skinner is a man who refuses to let his guard down for anyone-even his wife. Starting with his tears for the loss of a comrade in "Requiem" to his staunch determination not to sell Mulder out and his conviction that Mulder can and will be found, Skinner is obviously a changed man. I'm looking forward to his increased participation this season!

66. So was this an episode about the mytharc, about the paranormal, or just about getting Duchovny some time off? I really can't say here, as like CC, I can't reveal too much. I have plans for these TOTMs, you know. And "I guess that would hurt future book sales, huh?"

Apologies to everyone, as always!