Theatre of the Mind ~ Quagmire

1. Call me Ishmael. Some years ago-never mind how long precisely (but it was like eight years)-having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me in real life, I thought I would sail about the TV channels and see an alternative version of the world known as the X-Files. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen, and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet . . . then I account it high time to get to the X-Files as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the M&S relation-ship. There is nothing surprising in this. If they but knew it, almost all men in their degree, some time or other, cherish very nearly the same feelings toward the X-Files with me.

2. I had a Season 3 epiphany: It's all about frogs and dogs, cats and rats, thugs and bugs.

3. A "frog holocaust," huh? It ain't easy bein' green.

4. Survival of the fittest, nature has no respect for you, mysterious disappearances, and Moby Dick. Does it get any better than this?

5. Now you know what the Budweiser frogs did before they became famous.

6. It's Psychic!Polly! I pretty much knew that Queequeg was a goner when I saw him whimpering on the back seat. And when Mulder said, "Did you really have to bring that thing?", that pretty much sealed the deal.

7. TWC1: A man who admits he's lost *AND* stops and asks for directions? Girls, is this man a catch or what? (Guess that's why he's never been wrong-not driving anyway.)

8. Last time we saw Dr. Farraday (well, the actor who played him anyway), he was about to dine on Agent Scully al fresco in "Our Town."

9. "Has anyone ever told you two you have a great problem coming to the point?" LOL.

10. TWC2: Dr. Farraday's comments about people turning to UFO's, sea serpents, and Sasquatch inspires eye-rolling Scully and lip-pursing Mulder. Woo hoo!

11. Let's play the Name Game, shall we? Dr. Farraday is named for chemist and physicist Dr. Michael Faraday, who discovered the principle of electromatic induction, which is the basis for generating electrical power. Heuvelman's Lake is named for Dr. Bernard Heuvelmans, a Dutch cryptozoologist who wrote, "In the Wake of the Sea-Serpents," in 1965. The photographer is named Ansel after famous photographer Ansel Adams. "Quagmire" takes place in Millikan County, named for casting director Rick Millikan. And the boat that took Mulder & Scully on their less-than-three-hour-tour was not the S.S. Minnow but the Patricia Rae, named for writer Kim Newton's mother. "Big Blue" might have been a jab at IBM (since there was a character named "Gates" in Kim Newton's other Season 3 episode, "Revelations") or it might have been named for Double D's dog, Blue for all I know. Speaking of dogs, Queequeg was of course named for a character in Scully's beloved "Moby Dick" (more on that later!). And Moby, the singer who provided that wonderful make-out music in "all things," was born Richard Melville Hall in New York City in 1965 to quasi-hippie parents James, a chemistry professor, and Elizabeth, a doctor's aide. Moby was a childhood nickname derived from his great great granduncle Herman Melville, author of "Moby Dick".

12. "Then I grew up and became a scientist." Even Scully is dissing Mulder's lake creature idea.

13. TWC3: Mulder in the bait and tackle shop. Hope he got a receipt for his $2.50 plus Uncle Sam.

14. When Ted and Ansel mentioned "unsolved mysteries," I couldn't help having a Simpsons flashforward: "There are alien forces acting in ways we can't perceive. Are we alone in the universe? Impossible. When you consider the wonders that exist all around us, Voodoo priests of Haiti, Tibetan Numerologists of Appalachia. The unsolved mysteries of . . . unsolved mysteries. The truth . . . is out there!"

15. Ansel doesn't catch Big Blue, but he does catch a Big Butt.

16. S: "Well, his fly's undone." M: "Are you insinuating something?" Fish eating half and saving half for later? LOL again!

17. Note to Ted: It's not nice to fool Mother Nature.

18. Like Frohike, Ansel thinks that Scully is tasty. Hey, Scully, show us your bobbers!

19. Eight or nine deaths in a season? Remind me not to vacation there.

20. TWC4: Mulder's good looks are a little outside the bell curve too!

21. Scully can face down flesh-sucking mutants, killer kitty-cats, and the devil himself, but she has trouble holding on to a little Pomeranian. You gotta look out for those spunky little redheads, Scully.

22. We're almost done with Season 3 and he's still sticking his fingers where they don't belong! Will Mulder never learn?

23. I think Mulder must have been the one to lick the toad since he didn't recognize Dude & Chick from "War of the Coprophages."

24. TWC5: M&S in their serpent-hunting casual wear. Nuff said.

25. "Oh is that the psychological approach to crime solving? He's too embarrassed?" LOL 3rd time!

26. Is Ansel singing the Cyndi Lauper or Phil Collins version of "True Colors"?

27. TWC6: The Timberlands return! Nice Mulder footwear shot!

28. Sheriff, that'll teach you to diss Mulder and his "aquatic menace" theories.

29. Scully, what is wrong with you? The man offers to go for a walk with you in the moonlight and you turn him down? No wonder it took us seven years to get one little kiss.

30. (But while Scully was gone, I think Mulder seized the opportunity to pocket all the photos that Ansel took of Scully's bobbers!)

31. Note to Scully: Next time, pack the Big Ass Flashlights.

32. Alas, poor Queequeg. We hardly knew ye.

33. (Please pause here as long as necessary to adequately mourn the passing of Scully's pooch.) Okay, I'm done. TWC7: Mulder in mock black turtleneck . . . what dog?

34. Okay, okay. I know that the major criticism of this episode is Mulder's apparent lack of sympathy for the tragic demise of another member of Scully's family (albeit, a four-legged one). (He does say he's sorry before forging onward, but I guess that is a little hard-hearted for our normally very sensitive Agent Mulder. Perhaps it's hard for him to muster up much compassion for the loss of a little cannibalistic dog! Maybe he's still miffed that Scully turned him down for a date in the moonlight.) I'll bet in reality in this scene, they had just come back from searching for Queequeg to no avail. (You believe what you want to believe, and I'll believe what I want to believe.)

35. No wonder Mulder has to stop and ask for directions. He is really bad with maps. But did you notice that Mulder doesn't get seasick when Scully is driving the boat?

36. TWC8: "I know the difference between expectation and hope. Seek and ye shall find, Scully." Yum.

37. And deep down, I don't think Scully was really all that choked up about losing Queequeg anyway. She sure manages to get a chuckle out of Mulder's joke about his New York City map.

38. Batten down the hatches, mateys. Here be monsters.

39. Note to Mulder: Next time, pack the Big Ass Flashlights.

40. She kept him guessing back then, too: "Mulder, what are we doing here?"

41. Aw, he looks genuinely hurt when she questions the legitimacy of his reasons.

42. M. R. DUCKS. Maybe it's Moby Duck? (I quack myself up!) (And the cute little shove as Mulder still wants to off the mallard. :::sigh:::)

43. ALERT! ALERT! IT'S THE COTR! (That's the "Conversation on the Rock"!)

44. Only Scully could have such a scientific explanation of cannibalism.

45. TWC9: The COTR is the HFC, of course! From the way he shakes his legs to try and keep warm, to his evil little chuckle after teasing Scully, to his peg leg speech, the slightly damp Mulder is looking absolutely fabulous throughout this entire scene. And Scully don't look so bad herself.

46. Though Mulder thinks that Queequeg is a "bizarre name for a dog," it's actually quite appropriate. In the "Moby Dick" novel, Queequeg was a cannibal, and of course the canine Queequeg disposed of his previous owner in much the same way!

47. Scully finally recognizes how much Mulder is like Ahab, but I don't even want to consider the ramifications of that-since she called her father Ahab. (Oooh, I just had a "Never Again" flashforward.) Mulder was quick to point out he was the antithesis of Ahab, though.

48. "Scully, are you coming on to me?" Tee-hee.

49. Before you do too much psychoanalyzing there, Starbuck, you might want to stop and take a look around. He ain't out there on that rock alone! Who was it who got up on a Saturday morning and was ready in five minutes just because he *asked* you? To paraphrase Obi-Wan: Who is more foolish? The fool, or the fool who follows him?

50. I know it doesn't satisfy our more "prurient" urges, but conversations like the one on the rock are just as intimate as anything these two might do on screen (well, almost as intimate). Sharing treasured childhood memories, acknowledging fears and vulnerability, self-analysis about obsessive behavior, thoughts about hopes and dreams. Would sharing spit and other body fluids make these two any more intimate? (Okay. It's official. I have been inhabited by the spirit of Chris Carter.)

51. I once knew a man with a wooden leg named Mulder. What was the name of his other leg? (Sorry, I couldn't resist!)

52. "Hell is an idea first born on an undigested apple dumpling." Maybe that's how these TOTMs got started too.

53. M. R. NOT DUCKS. But M. R. Not Big Blue, Either.

54. Dr. F: "Hope I'm not interrupting anything." Once again, everyone thinks they're having sex except CC.

55. One little nitpick: It they were so close to shore that they could wade out, how did the boat sink?

56. DD and GA can say more with their facial expressions than they can with pages of dialogue; the look on their faces when they realize the humiliation of being just a "stone's throw" from shore is priceless.

57. TWC10: Mulder on a roll with his prehistoric lake creature theory. And he let Scully have the blanket too. Awww.

58. The ever-faithful Starbuck, always the voice of reason, stands by her Captain and gets the Sheriff to send in a few reinforcements. (And Ahab said thanks.) Awww.

59. Mulder is always ready to search for the unexplained and unusual . . . but he's always ready to shoot it, too.

60. TWC11: Mulder running through the woods-woo hoo! But tripped up by his footwear! Oh no!

61. Mulder's "great white whale" turns out to be an alligator-not a prehistoric aquatic dinosaur but a prehistoric reptile.

62. TWC12: Reflective Mulder with hands shoved in pockets, smudgy face, and no peg leg.

63. "I guess I just wanted Big Blue to be real. I guess I see hope in such a possibility." So "Quagmire" is really the whole XF boiled down to one weekend in Georgia: The search for the truth; and when you find it, it isn't always what you hoped. But Starbuck points out that there is still hope. Because people want to believe.

64. While this episode was a MOTW, it was also an episode that gave us some new insights into our heroes, their motivations, their thoughts about themselves and their thoughts about each other. I also liked the fact that, despite the loss of the little red furball, they spent much of the episode smiling and laughing, something they don't get to do very often. "Quagmire" is one of my favorites because it blended together in a wonderful mix all the things I like best about the X-Files.

65. I read once that in "Moby Dick," Captain Ahab was driven to *prove,* not to discover. If that's true, then I agree with Scully. Mulder *is* Ahab. And she is his Starbuck. But in the end of "Moby Dick," Ahab and Starbuck were destroyed because of their quest, because Starbuck could only follow and could not take the steps needed to reign in his Captain and save all those he brought with him; they went down with the ship. I don't expect the same thing to happen to Mulder and Scully. This "Starbuck" has proven that she will not blindly follow, that she will "reign in" her "Ahab" when the need arises; in fact, she is the only one who can do so. She will keep him from making the same mistakes and not allow him to be destroyed by their quest. (Don't mind me. Everything takes on a warped significance to fit my megalomaniacal cosmology.)

66. I *do* expect the M&S ship to survive-the relation-ship, that is. It has survived much through the past seven years, and it will survive whatever obstacles Season 8 throws its way. In Season 8, "all things" are possible. And "I guess I see hope in such a possibility."

"Here be monsters" spoiler-mateys. I expect I must apologize for this TOTM, but I hope you enjoy it anyway. And I *also* know the difference between expectation and hope.