Theatre of the Mind ~ Talitha Cumi

1. "Talitha Cumi" comes from the Gospel of Mark, where Jesus raises a girl from the dead by calling out in Aramaic, "Talitha, cumi" ("Maiden, arise"). The phrase recurs in "The Grand Inquisitor" from "The Brothers Karamazov" by Dostoevsky, where Jesus returns to earth and again raises a dead child to life, thereby attracting the attention of the Grand Inquisitor. There are several references to "The Brothers Karamazov" in this episode . . .

2. . . . The first of which is the name of the fast food restaurant where the opening scene takes place: Brothers K.

3. Those fast food joints love to see you smile, and they want you to have it your way, but they don't much like it when you start mumbling to yourself and annoying the other customers. You hardly ever see that in the commercials!

4. What's wrong with this guy? Did they forget to hold the pickle, hold the lettuce? Maybe they forgot to supersize it?

5. This healing man really *is* a miracle worker. The cops are just outside, yet he manages to heal four people before any officers can come in the restaurant. That *is* amazing.

6. Do you think M&S were called to this crime scene or were just looking for a place to have lunch?

7. It's production assistant Angelo making another XF appearance (who can forget his debut in "F. Emasculata," and of course he'll show up later in "Milagro").

8. I'm ready for my belly button close-up, Mr. Carter.

9. TWC1: Love that Mulder hair wafting in the breeze as he talks with the suspect.

10. A CC/DD collaboration! Those are the finest kind!

11. The healing man vanished without a trace? *Nothing* vanishes without a trace!

12. QUONOCHONTAUG? The Mulder's couldn't have had a summer house in Portsmouth?

13. Well, we see that Mulder got his fashion sense from his mom. Nice trenchcoat.

14. Now, I'm one of those who ascribes to the theory that good old Mrs. No-First-Name Mulder was just as involved in the project as her husband-maybe more so. This meeting with CSM seems to prove that at the very least, she had some secrets of her own.

15. But Mulder's Mom and CSM . . . eww, eww, eww, eww!

16. Of course, Bill Davis is a championship water skier, but CSM water skiing? Eww, eww, eww, eww! (Though the mental picture of CSM in his swim trunks, cigarette dangling from his lips, being towed behind a boat is too funny!)

17. Quono . . . see, even Skinner can't pronounce it!

18. Once again, DD proves that no words are necessary. The brief pause and the look on his face when he enters the hospital room . . . trying to hold it together while falling apart. Just great. (And it's 11:21.)

19. TWC2: The sweet smile as his mom wakes up. Awwww.

20. You can tell that the usually quick-on-the-uptake Mulder is distraught. He can't even figure out that his mom wants to write something. Good thing Skinner wasn't this dense in "6th Extinction."

21. This episode is worthwhile if for no other reason than the sweet exchange after Mrs. M. leaves in the ambulance: M: "Thanks." S: "Are you okay?" M: "Yeah, I'm fine." These two so obviously care for each other deeply.

22. Hmm . . . your mother writing the word "palm" having a connection to the fast food restaurant shooting. Do I think that's a leap? You bet I do . . . of Evel Knievel over the Snake River Canyon type proportions!

23. TWC3: But so what if it's a "leap." Or even a "peal" for that matter. The man is looking fine!

24. Dern that Mulder! Too bad he turned down Scully's offer to drive him to the nearest motel. You know she would have gotten only one room so she could watch over him all night.

25. TWC4: "If I told you, you'd never let me go." Hoo-boy!

26. "Mulder, you haven't slept in almost 24 hours." Has she?

27. Do you think CSM brought enough backup to capture this renegade? Speaking of which, work standards at the Social Security Administration must be tough! Nobody even stops working when all the MIBs enter the office . . . nobody even bats at eyelash!

28. I guess CSM was right to bring so much backup since this guy is getting the Hannibal Lechter treatment.

29. Mulder went to QUONOCHONTAUG obviously to investigate who came by to paint the back door after his mother had her stroke. (He got paint all over his coat when he brushed against the door going through it, but the stain miraculously disappears halfway through the scene.)

30. Sure, I think Mulder knew that his mom knew CSM. Not.

31. Mulder's mom vowed never to set foot in the summer house after his parents divorced, huh. And they never sold the house? (Nor has Mulder for all we know.) These Mulders must be loaded. (I hope Scully knows where the money is so she can keep Mulder's apartment while he's gone.)

32. It just goes to show that if you stand in the FBI lobby long enough, all the most wanted will come to you!

33. But Mr. Smith invokes the Twinkie defense, although I guess he's committed no crime, and goes on his merry way. (And love Scully's "beat's the heck out of me" shrug at the end of the scene!)

34. Mulder was obviously jealous that Scully got to trash that hotel room just last week in "Wetwired," so he decides to go to town!

35. Now, we can tell a lot about the Mulder clan as Fox works his way through destroying the summer house. First of all, what's up with that mirror over the kitchen sink? Who wants to look at themselves while they do dishes. And man, that is a *lot* of coffee mugs! Guess they must have had a lot of Consortium Club meetings in QUONOCHONTAUG. A spoon collection? That is just downright frightening! What is that owl-shaped mirror thing on the wall of the bedroom? The only one short enough to look in that mirror would be the dog! And I'm beginning to think *none* of the Mulders ever set foot in that house again after the divorce. They didn't even pack up their clothes? But hey, this is the family that put the "fun" back in "dysfunctional"!

36. TWC5: And during all this destruction, we get a nice close-up of those oh-so-long Mulder fingers. You know what they say about the size of a man's feet and fingers, don't you? And you wonder why I like footwear.

37. "Palm" to "Lamp". Yeah, that's just what I was thinking too. Not.

38. I think Mulder just never liked the lamps in this place anyway, and this seemed like as good a time as any to take out his aggressions on them. (Plus, we got a nice Mulder footwear shot as he sifts through the Lamp Carnage!)

39. Pfffft! The Consortium went to all this trouble to hide a retracting icepick? Oh, I forgot. That's one of those alien neck-piercing things (from "Colony"/"End Game").

40. Aha! I told you Mrs. Mulder knew more than she ever let on. Guess she wasn't just a mousy little housewife, after all!

41. The Conversation in the Cell (not to be confused with one of M&S's Conversations in the car, on the bench, on the rock, on the couch, etc.), is another homage to "The Brothers Karamazov." The dialogue between CSM and Jeremiah Smith is based directly on "The Grand Inquisitor," in which the Inquisitor justifies keeping his flock in ignorance and slavery because they can't handle freedom.

42. So CSM needs the Pffft Icepick to "mete out justice" (i.e., do away with) Smith, because Smith has jeopardized the project by saving the people in the restaurant, thus bringing attention to himself. Gosh, it all seems so simple! Not.

43. "The date is set." That's just a little bit unsettling.

44. How did Jeremiah Smith know that morphing into Deep Throat would freak CSM out? Did he know Deep Throat? Can he read minds? (This should be an XF trivia question: how many appearances has Deep Throat made in XF episodes *after* his death?)

45. M: "Hold his calls." (LOL - I love it.) And what is Scully doing just sitting in Skinner's office?

46. TWC6 (and the HFC Moment): As Mulder tries to get CSM's name out of Skinner. BIG woo-hoo!

47. M&S take Mr. Smith in custody but lose him in a hallway pileup! (Uh, guys. You said it earlier. He's the guy WEARING THE SAME CLOTHES!!!) And doesn't CSM have Mr. Smith in custody? How can he be in two places at once?

48. Conversation in the Cell, Part Deux. All this talk of miracles and God. So does that mean that Jeremiah Smith is a part of the alien race that sent us that spaceship that Scully found in Africa? This is all beginning to become clear. Not.

49. "Karamazov" reference again: CSM paraphrases the Inquisitor when he says, "Anyone who can appease a man's conscience can take his freedom from him."

50. Smith (who now appears as Bill Mulder-this is like a Project reunion tour), tells CSM, "You can't kill their love, which is what makes them who they are, makes them better than us, better than you." This to me says that you can't keep a good human race down, no matter what. Anyway, I see hope in such a possibility.

51. CSM looks like the possibility that he has lung cancer is unthinkable. I'm sure he's right. Not. I mean, he only smokes, what,

10 or 12 packs a day?

52. Oh, so the man impersonating Smith is the Mighty Morphing Alien Bounty Hunter! And he's at the prison to kill one of his own, the real Smith, with his own Pffft weapon. This is all making such sense now! Not.

53. No Jeremiah Smith to be found. Guess the alien who would be God made a deal with the devil.

54. TWC7: Mulder gets this TWC not because he's looking particularly great, but because of his tenderness toward his ailing mother. Taking her hand and placing it on his face, crying by her beside. Gotta love a guy who loves his mom. (And it reminds me of one of the most heartbreaking Mulder moments I can ever recall: when he is listening to his mom's voice on the answering machine in "Sein Und Zeit" and lays his head down on the machine for just a moment. My heart breaks every time I see that scene!)

55. Mulder's got CSM right where he wants him again, but all he ever seems to be able to do is smack that cigarette out of his mouth. (Maybe he thinks that hurts CSM more than shooting him.) But love the line, "I should shoot you right here, but they probably would be able to save you."

56. "I've known your mother since before you were born, Fox." Ewww. Not quite the same impact as "Luke, I am your father," but nearly as unsettling.

57. 11:21 again. And Scully glasses! Woo-hoo!

58. At least the Gregors in "Colony/End Game" were smart enough to each take different names. I guess "Jeremiah Smith" thought he had a good thing going, he might as well stick with it. But I bet he had no trouble getting social security numbers!

59. Did CSM send Mr. X to retrieve the Pffft thing from Mulder? "I think you know." Oh, let's not start *that* again!

60. "It's a weapon, isn't it? Used to pierce the back of the neck. It's the only way we can kill them." Oopsy. Scully didn't seem to have much trouble using just her gun in "Without." Maybe she's just a better shot than all you other guys.

61. "What we're talking about is colonization. The date is set, isn't it?" Now I *fully* understand! Not.

62. Lllllllllllllllllet's get ready to rrrrrrrrrrrumble! Oh, Mr. X, don't pull his hair!

63. It's another standoff. One of these times, somebody is going to crack and blow the other one away. (I think Mr. X almost did here . . . he's a little P.O.'d!)

64. Scully doesn't seem at all surprised to have someone knock on her door at 1:12 a.m. But is it the real Jeremiah Smith? Seems to be. He's come to do his Deep Throat impression and Explain it All. "An elaborate plan, a project, and his sister." Could he explain "Teso Dos Bichos" while he's at it?

65. Mulder calls and they play their little game of "Let me go first!" "No, let me!" "No, me!"

66. Yeah, this looks like a good place to meet. Out in the middle of nowhere. No one around for miles. The *perfect* meeting place! Not.

67. TWC8: Mulder has never been closer. Jeremiah Smith is the key to everything in the X-Files. It's all within his grasp. And all he wants to do is to save his mommy. Awwww. (Not to mention, "Come stand behind me, Scully.")

68. So Mulder prepares to meet the enemy with only Scully and his trusty lightsaber . . . I mean his trusty retracting icepick by his side. Who is this mysterious Jeremiah Smith? And who is this mysterious Mighty Morphing Alien Bounty Hunter? Are they of the same race or two different alien races? Will Mulder's mother live or die? Does Jeremiah Smith really have all the answers about colonization and Samantha and Purity Control? Has Mulder slept at all in this episode? Okay, all the answers are forthcoming, right? Not.

69. Thus we come to the end of Season 3. Another standoff, but no guns this time, just those pffting alien icepicks. (Well, you can't do 'Mulder missing/feared dead' at the end of *every* season!) A lot, a lot, a lot of questions were raised that we may or may not get the answers to in Season 4 and beyond. I guess one could spend the whole summer mulling over this colonization thing and wondering about the "date" that is set. Not to mention this whole "Aliens as God" thing. And thinking about just how well CSM *knew* Mrs. Mulder and wondering if we will *ever* find out what her first name is? And how does what we have learned in Season 3 fit in with what we learned in Seasons 1 and 2 and what we have yet to learn in Seasons 4-8? Do all the puzzle pieces fit together? What about continuity in the mytharc and the relationship? Will we ever be able to make sense of this whole thing? How the hell should I know? "I've repressed it all."

70. To be continued . . .

I could apologize for this one, but it just seems simpler to say "Pffffft."