Theatre of the Mind ~ Teliko

Well, did you think (or maybe hope) that I'd fallen off the face of the earth? No such luck for you, I'm sorry to say. Like everyone else, I've been bogged down with trying to get ready for the holidays; and tonight, I should be writing my Christmas cards (which I haven't done yet) or wrapping some gifts (which I haven't done yet, either). But after shopping all day in the cold and drizzle, I needed a diversion. And so here it is: the next installment of the Theatre of the Mind Series.

1. Look! It's "Airplane" in French with English subtitles! Surely you can't be serious! I am serious. And don't call me Shirley!

2. I'm thinking here of the quote from Henry Kissinger that garrull forwarded to the gutter girls: "There are only two reasons to sit in the back row of an airplane: Either you have diarrhea, or you're anxious to meet people who do." Guess that rings true since two out of three stalls are "occupe."

3. Methinks that this stall is not as "libre" as it appears. Glowing red eyes-why is that familiar?

4. If I were on this plane, now that all the stalls are "occupe," this is when I'd have to go. Badly.

5. I could insert a Michael Jackson joke here, but that would be in bad taste.

6. AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH! Same in any language; no subtitles necessary.

7. Deceive, Inveigle, and Obfuscate. That's what I like about the X-Files. They could just as easily have changed the tagline to Bamboozle, Seduce, and Perplex, but no. They want me to work for it! (But FWIW, this is the first time that a tagline change has been made for a non-mytharc episode.)

8. 5:17 a.m.? What time do these FBI people start working anyway?

9. Scully footwear! (Not as nice as Mulder footwear, mind you, but I can appreciate Scully in beige pumps rather than those 4-inch-heel black things she wore in FTF.)

10. "There's not much traffic at this hour." I'll say.

11. Scully is familiar with the kidnappings because of reading the Philadelphia Herald? Well, I guess if you're gonna get to the office at 5 a.m. you gotta have something more than the Post to read while you eat your half a bagel with lite cream cheese.

12. Seems that Owen Sanders has turned a lighter shade of pale. (Sorry, couldn't resist that one.)

13. It's nice to know that our little Scully is not only enigmatic but eminent in the study of skin pigmentation as well. How else to explain that the Philadelphia office of the Centers for Disease Control seeks out her expert medical opinion?

14. Enter the Mulder Man, obviously a little surly since he didn't get a 5 a.m. wake-up call.

15. TWC1: But woo hoo, the man looks fine. (Though he should think about eating the other half of Scully's bagel instead of those sunflower seeds-breakfast is the most important meal of the day!)

16. "There's a Michael Jackson joke in here somewhere, but I can't quite find it." Well, Mulder's not quite as tasteful as I.

17. I have never quite figured out just what is up with Mulder's attitude in this episode; he is pretty snarky, right from the get-go. Could it be a little professional jealousy-envious that Scully has some credibility with her peers so he's immediately out to pull her scientific rug out from under her? Maybe he just got up on the wrong side of the couch.

18. "Mulder, not everything is a labyrinth of dark conspiracy, and not everybody is plotting to deceive, inveigle, and obfuscate." TWC2: The Mulder look off that line is priceless; too cute!

19. Never letting a little thing like a lack of invitation stand in the way, Mr. Buttinsky joins the snipe hunt.

20. It's the creepy guy from the plane. And the guy from Cagney and Lacey.

21. The return of the sweet, lovelorn Agent Pendrell, now waiting hopefully in the hallway for Scully to make an appearance. Darn, it's only Mulder!

22. Does everyone except Scully know that Agent Pendrell has a thing for her? Mulder is enjoying that teasing just a bit too much. (But luckily he has taught Pendrell that wounded puppy dog look!)

23. True purpose of Mulder's telephone conversation: "Scully, is all this scientific mumbo jumbo that Agent Pendrell told me turning you on at all?"

24. STOP THE PRESSES! Mulder said "buh-bye" at the end of a phone conversation? I'm thinking he's up to something!

25. Sure 'nuff! I guess once you know your informant's name, it's considered rude behavior to contact her by shining a light on your window or taping an "X" there. Better to stalk her as she leaves her job at the U.N.

26. TWC3: But on the plus side, there's good Mulder stalking footwear!

27. Ugh, the return of Miss Marita Lispy Bee Husbandry. (I think Covarrubias means Lispy Bee Husbandry in Russian.)

28. "I'm not sure why, but I thought you might be in a position to help me." Believe me, Mulder, we're not sure why either. If you don't know, how do you expect us to?

29. It was probably a reaction triggered by the appearance of Miss Lispy Bee Husbandry, but for a minute there, I thought the guy at the bus stop got stung by one of those FTF bees!

30. Kemosabe Scully say victim have dementia. Indian Guide Mulder study ground, say victim have reaction to powerful cortical depressant. How ground prove that, me not know.

31. Well, Mulder's got the info. I guess that means Marita Lispy Bee Husbandry put out. (Sorry, bad choice of words.)

32. For those geographically challenged like myself, Burkina Faso is in western Africa, north of Ghana (it was formerly Upper Volta if that helps you any). It is a little larger than the state of Colorado. It has a population of nearly 12 million, and its capital is Ouagadougou (which for some strange reason reminds me of Quonochontaug).

33. Do you think Aboah swallowed that thing by accident?

34. TWC4 (and the double Holy Flaming Cow Moment): M&S both get woo-hoo points when we see them in Duff's office. Scully's blue suit is particularly fetching. And Mulder is just plain fetching.

35. Stakeout time! "He's not home. We might as well get comfortable." (I think that was a come on!)

36. Aww, but then he had to go and spoil it with that smarmy "look up from the microscope" comment.

37. "Death is a health crisis." Well, *that's* an understatement! (And BTW, Scully, Mulder has stopped listening.)

38. TWC5: He may have stopped listening, but he is looking positively scrumptious as he gives chase to Aboah.

39. I think you've been on the XF too long when you start looking for your suspects in drainpipes. Can anybody say "Tooms"?

40. TWC6: Tee-hee! Too bad Pendrell isn't here to watch the Master at work! As Mulder stands outside the hospital room door waiting for the test results from Scully, he looks just like a pound puppy!

41. I'm not exactly sure why we need a translator when Aboah has been speaking English all along.

42. It's no wonder that Mulder doesn't put much faith in science, especially since he is able to defy all laws of space and time: He was putting on his wounded puppy dog act at 5:45 p.m. in the Philadelphia Hospital, but he manages to be at the Burkina Faso Embassy in Washington at 6:45 p.m. Traffic must have been *really* light on I-95!

43. "I think you already know." Oh no! A variation on the "I think you know" thing!

44. "You'd be surprised at what I believe, sir."

45. The Teliko are spirits of the air who hide in tree hollows and holes beneath the ground? Luckily, they've adapted to urban life and are able to hide in drain pipes and utility cart drawers!

46. TWC7: As Mulder listens to the ghost story in the Minister's office-I'm all a-tingle.

47. "You'd be amazed what I've seen removed from people's throats in emergency rooms." I hear there's quite the variety removed from the other end as well.

48. Even though he dismissed them previously, I bet Duff is wishing that Mulder & Scully would show up right about now. Or even Cagney & Lacey, for that matter.

49. "I think this was his getaway vehicle." LOL

50. As Mulder explains it, Aboah is a genetic mutant who kills because he has to in order to survive, not necessarily because he wants to. Did I mention Tooms before?

51. "So you're basing this theory on a folktale?" What big eyebrows you have, Miss Scully. The better to look at you skeptically, my dear Mulder!

52. "I mean all new truths begin as heresies and end as superstitions. We . . . we fear the unknown, so we reduce it to the terms that are most familiar to us, whether that's a folktale, or a disease or a . . . conspiracy." (What a cute smile!)

53. This is at least the second time I remember Mulder extolling the virtues of free cable. Makes me think maybe someone should check this Federal agent's cable hookup.

54. Now let me get this straight. A joint FBI-Philadelphia PD task force has been working around the clock on this case and they are doing a sweep of the area where Duff was found. And Mulder can just drive around for a while, arbitrarily stop at a demolition site, and he's in the right place. Okay.

55. They enter the building and split up! Will these two never learn? (And they should know something bad is going to happen cause they've only got the Medium Ass Flashlights!)

56. TWC8: Ow! Poor baby! This is a two-fer, as he drops his gun AND his flashlight (but I guess he couldn't help it). Despite all this trauma, he remembers to call for Scully! :::sigh:::!

57. Scully gets to do "Ghost in the Machine" Redux and crawl around in the ventilation for awhile until she spots . . .

58. Drooling!Mulder! (How can you not love that?) "It's okay, Mulder. I'm here." Didn't you get a little lump in your throat and a little tear in your eye when you heard that? (It's the MSRM runner-up!)

59. Since the "Tooms" comparisons in this episode seem inevitable, I'll just remind you that at that time, Mulder told Scully she could get the next mutant. Scully, the time is now.

60. While she's protecting her partner, Scully has the strength of ten men! First she takes a few shots at Aboah, then manages to drag Mulder through and out of the ventilation system, all while he can't move a muscle! What a woman! (Though I did think I heard her say, "Mulder, I think you drooled on me.")

61. How reassuring was it to see Mulder's footwear come out of the vent first? (Maybe that was just me.) I felt things were gonna be okay at this point. I just knew. (Oh, God, now *I'm* doing it!)

62. Scully, how can you stand calmly by and recite your badge number to the operator? Your man is in trouble here! Tell that operator to get on that phone and make it happen!

63. Tonight's MSRM: Mulder sending the message that Aboah is about to strike with only his eyes and Scully gets it! You see that? They don't need those communication conferences! They have communication like that, unspoken. She knows what he's thinking! (Now maybe if it would just rain sleeping bags, they'd both get lucky!)

64. Slightly OT: In some ways, I guess it was a bad thing that Scully rescued Mulder. If Aboah had gotten a chance to stick that thing up Mulder's nose, it might have helped prepare him for later Season 8 atrocities that his proboscis might suffer.

65. As Scully is typing her report at the end (in her glasses, I might add), I can't help but wonder where the heck she is? Is this her office? With a flag? And a window? So if it is, she's got that nice office and she'd rather have a desk in the basement with you know who? That's love!

66. "But what science may never be able to explain is our ineffable fear of the alien among us; a fear which often drives us not to search for understanding, but to deceive, inveigle, and obfuscate. To obscure the truth not only from others, but from ourselves." This reminds me of Season 8 for some reason. Wherever Mulder is while Scully's writing this, he'd better damn well be smiling.

67. Okay, in case you haven't figured it out, this is one of those "guilty pleasure" episodes for me. Oh, I know, the XF is a retread, the plot has holes you could drive a Taurus through, and Miss Lispy Bee Husbandry makes an appearance for no apparent reason other than to fulfill her contractual obligations. But I love that Mulder!Drool and I love that Scully!Save. And I'm sure that as soon as Scully got finished typing her report, she went over to Mulder's place to fix his lunch and see how he was doing. "Does that tell you anything about anything?"

68. There's just one thing I want to know: do you think they went to see the Liberty Bell this time?

Okay, there you go. I apologize sincerely, cause I'm a bit out of practice, but I did the best I could. If you're watching Season 8 in the U.S., enjoy Via Negativa; if you're not, enjoy whatever it is that you are doing. But just remember that whether you watch or not, this episode will make XF history-it's the first episode that begins with "V"! At last, we can complete that alphabet game! See ya again soon!