Theatre of the Mind ~ Never Again

Everyone thinks this is a story about Scully, but really, it's not. It's a story about Dana. And some of it is about Mulder. But not everything is about Mulder. (Although I certainly try to make it that way.) Though many don't like this episode because M&S are on the outs for the majority of it, and it appears Scully is being "unfaithful" to Mulder (in the way they don't like "3" for the same reason), I actually felt it was an important step in the MSR, just as "3" was. Sometimes you don't appreciate what you have until it's gone; and these two episodes marked important steps in the progress of the relationship between Moose & Squirrel. Since Mulder's "spiritual journey" is a big part of this episode, then to me it's only fitting that the music of the King should be used to underscore it.

1. It's always tough when you go your "Separate Ways." Even with a Pennsylvania Kiss.

2. Hard Eight-Good name for a bar, or shameless plug for production company? You be the judge.

3. The Pretenders "Tattooed Love Boys." I get it.

4. Didn't I see this bartender in Norway in Dod Kalm? He gets around.

5. Those poor kids. "Don't Cry Daddy."

6. Hey, wasn't that tattoo winking before?

7. 2:35 a.m., called out on another wild Russian chase by her partner. No wonder Scully's interest is waning. She's probably thinking, is there a bigger fool than "A Fool Such as I"?

8. It's been long debated what the significance of the wilting rose petal is in this episode. I think it represents Scully's feeling that perhaps her life is withering away-a life that was once so filled with promise is now dying on the vine, so to speak. (I don't think it's a "Good Luck Charm".)

9. But do bear in mind that this episode was actually filmed *before* Leonard Betts, so technically, Scully wouldn't have suspected she had cancer at this point. It's too bad that because of the rescheduling of the "Leonard Betts" episode, it appears that Scully's behavior occurs as a result of her illness rather than as a result of her internal dissatisfaction and her feelings about wasting her life.

10. Ed seems to be hearing voices. Must be a Freaky Friday!! Or someone trying to make Contact.

11. Does anyone else think that that's really Jodie Foster in the red jacket? Spooky.

12. Ed's being sent home. He better call a Taxi Driver.

13. Who knew back then that a little nameplate would cause such a furor four years later.

14. TWC1: Woo-hoo for Casual!Mulder. He's not in this episode much so we gotta make the most of him. Scully always looks good in that red suit too.

15. Finally, what every Scullyist wants to know: Why doesn't she have a desk?

16. Sorry, Mulder, but it will be proven later that there *is* room for two desks in that office.

17. Although I think it would be fun to play Battleship . . . or anything else you want to play (wink).

18. Is Mulder accusing Scully of ditching him? He's got a lot of room to talk. ("Don't Be Cruel.")

19. FWIW, Scully looks like she might shove that nameplate somewhere *other* than the desk drawer.

20. TWC2: A little bit of Mulder footwear is better than none I always say. Love that foot up on the desk and seeing deep into Mulder's "sole." No "Blue Suede Shoes," but Nikes will do. (All the aliens are wearing them, according to Agent Doggett!)

21. Mulder's list of people he wants Scully to check out is quite amusing. It includes Yakov Smirnoff, a Russian comedian; Russian author Vladimir Nabokov; and Vsevolod Pudovkin, a Russian filmmaker. No Dr. Zhivago?

22. The best nicknames for M&S ever: Moose & Squirrel. Somebody's been on the internet.

23. TWC3: "Eenie, meenie, chili beanie, the spirits are about to speak." I'm "All Shook Up."

24. We see a lot of sides of Fox Mulder in this scene, none of them particularly flattering. First he's chastising her for "abandoning" him, then he's snotty and defensive when she refuses to go, acrimonious when he tells her this is *his* work and she was just "assigned," then just a little hurt when she implies the work isn't everything. Scully is about to mark that airline ticket, "Return to Sender."

25. Circles and straight lines . . . who knew this episode was about geometry?

26. I thought *everything* was about Mulder!! Well, that's just me obviously.

27. Maybe it's good that they get away from each other for a while? I don't think that's something "coworkers" do, do you?

28. TWC4: Mulder has left the building!! Hoo-boy! He can "Love Me Tender" anytime!

29. Too bad Ed couldn't have gotten that cute little Jiminy Crickett to be his conscience.

30. You knew Morgan & Wong would find a way to get back at Entertainment Weekly.

31. If my neighbor played music that loud, I might be tempted to go knock her off myself.

32. Oooh, but it's The Partridge Family! I had such a crush on David Cassidy!

33. So, it's *not* all about Mulder, but it *is* all about Ed. That's interesting.

34. Thanks for the tip on how to get rid of annoying door-to-door visitors. Just act nuts!

35. The looong camera shot down to the basement is an homage to Alfred Hitckcock's "Frenzy."

36. I'm glad we didn't see Ed get the Partridge Family Neighbor out of that box. She must have been folded.

37. Just like a man . . . always gotta control the remote.

38. With a right-hand gal like that, let's hope Ed is left-handed.

39. Mulder's obviously feeling bad about his behavior so he stops to give Scully a call, or to check up on her, one or the other. Scully, I think he is "Stuck on You."

40. TWC5: We're awfully glad he did so he could do that little cell phone bad reception jig in the middle of the roadway! The boy looks awesome in that outfit! Come on and be my little "Teddy Bear!"

41. "Just let me know where you're at . . ."??? Are we sure he went to Oxford? More likely, Moose was a student at Whatsamatta U.

42. Squirrel probably won't admit it, but deep down I bet she misses Moose on this caper! "Are You Lonesome Tonight?"

43. Everyone gets the tattoo they deserve. Poor Ed.

44. Do you think Scully's really looking at Ed's tattoo?

45. :::gasp:::!!!!! Calling our Scully a cheap redhead? You're gonna eat those words, "Little Sister."

46. Maybe it's just me, but I think I would avoid tattoo ink that had urine in it.

47. "Sometimes I wish I were that impulsive." "Careful what you wish for." I'll say.

48. She *had* the chance once to see some of Philadelphia with a certain tall, dark, and handsome G-Man who wanted to see the Liberty Bell. Guess she didn't take him up on it.

49. TWC6: The back of his head gets a big woo-hoo! Love that hair! "The Wonder of You"!

50. Mulder at Graceland, eh? Guess he is Walking in Memphis.

51. Mulder calls again, proving that he is lost without her, but quickly opens mouth, inserts foot. And he might as well have dared her to go on that date. Scully is a "Hard Headed Woman."

52. TWC7: He's still got no clue, but he's so cute doing his Elvis imitation. He's a hunk, a hunk of "Burnin' Love." And oh, those sunglasses!

53. I told ya he might as well have dared her. She's not spending the night in "Heartbreak Hotel."

54. "Treat yourself." Accck!!! Even the tattoos are saying that now. She better not say, "I just knew."

55. "Glen Garry Glen Ross" came out in 1992. You do the math. (Guess that poor guy in The Jersey Devil didn't leave much of an impression.)

56. Scully doesn't want to go to the sleazy bar; Dana does. As long as you don't ask Ed to "Wear My Ring Around Your Neck." (Or your cross for that matter!)

57. She has a father complex about Mulder? This would explain some things. Like the cigarettes and her father, is this "date" a way to get Mulder's attention?

58. If Ed & Dana did have sex, it still wouldn't have been as sensual and erotic as the tattoo scene. Pretty steamy.

59. Dana chooses the tattoo she deserves, an ouroboros, which literally means "devouring its tail." The ouroboros has several meanings interwoven into it. Foremost is the symbolism of the serpent biting, devouring, eating its own tail. This symbolizes the cyclic Nature of the Universe: creation out of destruction, Life out of Death. The ouroboros eats its own tail to sustain its life, in an eternal cycle of renewal. Yup, that sounds like the tattoo she deserves. (Although I think it was just a shameless "Millennium" plug!)

60. Ed wants her to stay the night; she wants to play Doctor. The tattoo wants no part of it.

61. Did they or didn't they? For the record, I think they didn't, but *why* didn't they? The whole episode was leading up to this and then . . . nothin'. Not even a lip lock. I think it was pretty clear they "didn't." After an act of passion, who gets up and takes the couch in the other room? And what woman puts her panty hose back on to sleep in? Didn't happen. But maybe it should have. I'm not saying that Dana and Ed *should* have had sex per se, but what's good for the Moose is good for the Squirrel, if you get my drift. They seemed to have no trouble implying that Mulder had sex in "3", but they draw that line at the virginal St. Scully engaging in pre-marital one-night-stands. At this rate, Scully will always be "Crying in the Chapel."

62. TWC8: Holy Flaming Cow! Mulder in the office in casuals. But why did he cut his vacation short? Who cares. Mulder, "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You!"

63. We may be sure nothing happened, but these two police officers have "Suspicious Minds."

64. What a sweet note. Ed is obviously smitten; too bad about that talking tattoo thing.

65. Check out some of those search engines on Ed's computer: "Magella," "Excited," "Yahoots," and "Infos??k." And his web browser is "Cyberscope." Too funny.

66. Scully, I warned you that nothing good could come of tattoo ink with urine in it.

67. Squirrel doesn't remember the number of Moose's direct line? Tsk, tsk.

68. I think Scully sort of made a Mulder-type leap with the Ergotism thing, but I guess she's entitled.

69. Surely Scully has learned by now that the bathroom is nowhere to go on the XF!

70. Guess not.

71. Speaking of the bathroom, I think just as many bad things happen in the furnace room on this show. Another place to avoid.

72. I guess Mulder won't be riding to the rescue this time. You've gotta save yourself, Scully! I can just hear her saying, I'll do it "My Way."

73. Come on, Ed. You can do it! Shut that tattoo up! She's "The Devil in Disguise." Ouch! I guess she's "His Latest Flame."

74. So Scully returns to the XF, more despondent than when she left, if that's possible.

75. Unfortunately, Mr. Insensitive still doesn't get it. (And FWIW, I believe that *he* has probably now surpassed Scully's world record for appearing in the XF!)

76. TWC9: Just the thought of his ass while he's getting the tattoo . . . I'm *all* atingle! (That might be a "Blue Moon.")

77. The poor boy is obviously exasperated: "All this because I didn't get you a desk?"

78. "Not everything is about you Mulder. This is my life." (Never Again? How about, "It's Now or Never.")

79. "Yes but it's m . . ." Mmmm..... what? Why can't he just say I "Can't Help Falling in Love with You."

80. MSRM: Despite Mulder's insensitivity in their initial reunion in this scene, the last few moments really do convey, with very few words, how much Mulder has come to depend on Scully, how much he needs her, and how he has made some assumptions about her life which he now learns might not be true. Dana confided to Ed in the bar about her eventual acts of rebellion against authoritative or controlling figures which always comes full circle; and this time, through her rebellion, Mulder has discovered in a way he does not relish just how connected their lives have become. As usual, they both say so much when they say nothing at all.

81. I guess it's only appropriate that Morgan & Wong's last offering to the XF is an unfinished sentence with no music to guide the viewer's emotions or break the emotional tension between the two characters. Morgan & Wong left the XF in Season 2, and returned briefly during part of Season 4. It was said that this episode's title, "Never Again," was an inside joke regarding the likelihood of when they would return to the XF again. So far, they have been true to their word.

82. Finally, what happened to Scully's tattoo? Did she have it removed? It surely was nowhere to be seen in "Roadrunners" in Season

8. And neither Mulder nor Scully made a crack about it in the episode "Millennium" in Season 7. Until recently, I would have said that it went the way of Scully's ova or the Apollo 11 keychain never to be seen or heard from again. But just when you think the boys at 1013 have forgotten something, they might surprise you, so Scully's tattoo might just miraculously reappear one day-maybe in a promo spot for Millennium-The Movie?

83. Just remember one thing about this TOTM. "It wasn't so much 'impulsive' as it was 'hammered'."

Apologies to everyone, including the King, Jodie Foster, and Morgan & Wong.

Polly has left the building