Theatre of the Mind ~ Alpha

1. T'ien Kou, the name of the Chinese freighter, translates to "Heavenly Dog," a colloquial Chinese term for "shooting star."

2. It's been my experience that when someone tells you, "Don't be scared," you probably should be.

3. Stupid Human Trick #1: Unlock the box that you know has something wild in it because you think you killed it by shining a flashlight through the hole. Sometimes you should let sleeping dogs lie.

4. If two of my men were missing and I saw blood coming out of the locked box, I might just think about opening it to see what was in it. Just a suggestion.

5. I guess we can now assume that Scully has an office elsewhere in the building. Where? Why doesn't she share an office with Mulder? Are the Big Brass afraid some fraternizing might go on between these two if they're in the same office? They obviously haven't been watching.

6. "Feathering the nest." She can't stand it. She's gotta know. And she's got a nice view of his butt.

7. A little keep-away to peak her interest!

8. When Mulder's got a good pun, he's like a dog with a bone, huh?

9. TWC1: Woo-hoo. Mulder, you dirty dog, you.

10. Bellflower, California: Hometown of the XF Grand Poo-bah, Chris Carter.

11. It's Jo-Jo, the Dog-Faced ... Dog.

12. Stupid Human Trick #2: You get your dog in the house, then while you shoo away the other dog, you leave the door wide open.

13. Sometimes it's just a dog-eat-dog ... and human world. And you're wearing Milk Bone underwear.

14. Wow! Moose & Squirrel must have caught the Redeye to get to California so quickly. It was 7:10 p.m. when they were in the XF office, and they're in San Pedro at 7:42 a.m.

15. TWC2: Mulder on the meet-and-greet. His hair is growing out nicely, FINALLY, don't you think?

16. From the learning something new every day department: Mulder had a dog at some point. Obviously the thought of scooping that dog poop brings back great memories!

17. Okay, I know that Sasquatch was the creature in "Harry and the Hendersons"; and the Abominable Snowman was the creature that chased Rudolph, Hermie and Yukon Cornelius. But what is the Ogopogo? It's Canada's most famous water monster, similar to Scotland's Loch Ness monster, found in Lake Okanagan in the south central interior of British Columbia. Guess it needs more PR.

18. "Don't mind him; he'll go on forever." The wounded puppy dog look! How appropro!

19. This must be soap opera flashback week. Anyone else remember Andrew J. Robinson as Frank Ryan on "Ryan's Hope?"

20. Everybody have fun tonight, everybody Wan Shang tonight.

21. I don't know about the Wanshang Dhole, but the dhole (Cuon alpinus) is a species of wild dog from southern Asia with red fur, and looks similar to a FOX. It's an unusual canid, living in highly social packs. The dhole has some extraordinary vocal calls it can whistle, scream, mew, and even cluck like a chicken. It can urinate while doing a handstand on its front two legs. Now that's just too much information.

22. I'm no Fox Mulder, but by this point I had pretty much figured out that Dr. Rotweiller ... er I mean Detweiller was the dog.

23. Whew, I thought this was where the s*** was gonna hit the footwear.

24. Why is Scully carrying an umbrella when it doesn't appear to be raining? Afraid the dog poo is falling from the sky?

25. More comments like that "biscuit" thing and Mulder's gonna be in the doghouse.

26. Best Scullyism: "Yeah, he doesn't listen and he chews on the furniture." Well, you can't teach an old dog new tricks.

27. Next Best Scullyism: "You sure this woman's not an authority on bats?"

28. "Oh, so you two are chummy?" Jealous!Scully sits up and takes notice.

29. Along with her wolf and canid books, Karin also has a copy of "Nice Girls Do," on the bookshelf. Published in 1980, it was once considered an important book on female sexuality. Probably with some dog-eared pages.

30. Best Mulderism: "She's not a real people person."

31. Aw, I miss that poster. The poster is to Mulder as the cross is to Scully, don't you agree?

32. Wow! All those years on "The A-Team" sure took their toll on Melinda Culea. Just kidding. Actually, I remember Melinda best as Paula Vertosick on "Knots Landing," which was probably my biggest pre-XF obsession. I'm sure Melinda was perfect for this part, and I'm sure it helped that the director of this episode was her husband, Peter Markle.

33. Karin seems to be quite dogmatic.

34. More from the learning something new every day department: Mulder likes to chat on the internet. (Would you take anyone seriously who called himself "Fox" on-line?)

35. "Two professionals exchanging information." Is that what he and Scully call it too?

36. Stupid Human Trick #3: Proceeding into the dark, spooky alley without calling for backup after you find a severed human hand.

37. Okay, I'll admit it. I thought the shadow that morphed from a man to the dog was pretty cool.

38. I've seen this movie: The Wrath of Cahn!

39. TWC3: Mulder! Stay! Good boy!

40. I guess Scully's not worried since Karin's specialty is wolves ... not foxes.

41. Karin's not too impressed by this dog and pony show.

42. Interesting tidbit: The characters of Dr. Ian Detweiller and Karin Berquist were named for friends of writer Jeffrey Bell. The real Detweiller and Berquist were married to each other.

43. Doggie-Cam!

44. Could the mouse moment BE any more obvious? This is gonna be a dogfight.

45. Mulder's thoughts as Scully leaves: Two women. One man. Trouble.

46. TWC4: Mulder comes out to the car with his tail between his legs.

47. Mulder is a brilliant profiler but can't see that this woman is "enamored" of him. Scully realizes she's going to have to protect Mate!Mulder from this female trickster.

48. Is a Saint Bernard named Duke an in-joke? "Beethoven," about that loveable Saint Bernard, was one of DD's early films, and one of his nicknames in school was "Duke."

49. Dogs are definitely the best judges of character.

50. Dr. Riley has a nice array of dogs in his care. Say, what dog loves to take bubble baths? A shampoodle. What do you call a nutty dog in Australia? A dingo-ling.

51. And good dog names. Sparky. Dino. Buck. My neighbor has a dog that is a snob. His name is Fido, but he spells it Phydeaux. Okay, that's my quota of dog jokes.

52. Recycled "Jersey Devil" music!

53. Poor Duke! I hope someone brings him some brandy in a little keg.

54. Where is Scully's umbrella now that it's raining cats and dogs? (Watch out you don't step in a poodle! Okay, I had one more dog joke.)

55. Do you think it's a good idea to have your surgery in the same area as your kennel?

56. Stupid Human Trick #4: Scully proceeds alone after hearing someone scream without letting anyone know there's a problem.

57. Doctor!Scully is in rare form. She takes Riley's pulse and says she'll call the paramedics, then she and Mulder just wander away. Wouldn't that mean that Riley is still alive and perhaps she should administer some first aid? (Though if you can still be alive after having your throat ripped out, you're a lucky dog!)

58. Another pretty cool effect. Perhaps this shape-shifting dog is a pet of the shape-shifting aliens.

59. Just one more example of how everybody gets to call him Fox except Scully.

60. I take it back. I don't think Scully is so much "jealous" as "territorial" in this episode. Out to prove that she's the Alpha Female. Oh, *now* I get it!

61. Scully recovers nicely from that earlier medical faux pas by diagnosing Karin's lupus without one piece of medical evidence.

62. Someone you could communicate with ... someone who challenged you ... pretty much the same things that Scully sees in him, I would imagine.

63. "You watch ... but you don't see." Great observation of Scully by Karin that she sees all the evidence around her, but she still won't believe.

64. Gee, I'm surprised Mulder isn't scooping that stuff up with his fingers.

65. Where, oh where, has my little dog gone; oh where, oh where, can he be? Oh! In the back seat!

66. The Dhole has killed every other victim it's come into contact with except the one that's in a confined space? Maybe Cahn was saved because he "played dead"?

67. There's a Fox and the Hound joke in here somewhere, but I can't quite seem to find it.

68. Leaping!Mulder is in rare form. He has miraculously figured out that Detwiller is the Dhole. I guess because he knows there are only 15 minutes left in the show.

69. But I am curious ... if Mulder suspected that Detwiller was the Dhole, couldn't he have come up with some reason to detain him? I guess not, cause they gotta fill those 15 minutes that are left.

70. It's a good thing Karin has all those dogs, cause people just seem to waltz into her house unannounced every chance they get. Neither Mulder nor Scully even so much as knocked when they came in.

71. So Karin *did* call him out to meet him. A case of the tail wagging the dog, no doubt.

72. OPM: It's not a good one, but it's the Only Phone Moment. At least there was a "Scully, it's me."

73. Scully is royally pissed that she got pulled off surveillance of Detweiller to cool her heels at the hospital. It's that "dogged" determination of hers.

74. Oops. Mulder tells Scully it's "not yet dark" when the exterior shot of the hospital shown just previous proved that it was pretty darn dark.

75. TWC5: Woo-hoo! Scully *knows* it's all about territoriality. She's protecting hers right now. (And love how Scully takes back her magazine. She should have rolled it up and smacked him on the nose!)

76. Once again, Scully proves she can sleep just about anywhere. (And more from the learning something new every day department: Scully snores.) I think she drooled on him. But *oh* what a way to wake up!

77. Karin's little trap seems to work. I love it when a plan comes together.

78. Every dog has his day, but this wasn't Detweiller's. (But I am glad to know that he could morph himself a pair of pants when he morphed back into his human form.)

79. Aww. Mulder's sitting in his office pasting entries in his guilt scrapbook; and here comes Scully from that phantom office again.

80. There's that handy letter opener that doubles as a nail file! I wondered where that got to!

81. MSRM: It's a sweet moment as Scully gives her standard "It's not your fault that everyone around you ends up dead" speech. But I wish she had petted his hair, a la "Paper Hearts." Oh well. At least she delivered his mail.

82. Oh my. I am quickly beginning to appreciate that butt almost as much as I appreciate those feet. With his back to the camera as he admires his new acquisition Lord have mercy.

83. TWC6: But, Holy Flaming Cow!, that final shot of Mulder slumping in his chair, shirt sleeves rolled up, looking at the "I Want to Believe" poster he has just pinned to the wall still has the same effect on me today as it did the first time I saw it-I just about drop my teeth.

84. Even though I'm sure everyone was happy about the return of an identical "IWTB" poster to the XF fold, I know many were disappointed in the manner by which it reappeared. Many viewers wanted it to be Scully who made sure that the poster was returned to its rightful place since the poster has much the same significance to the character of Mulder as the golden cross has to the character of Scully. FWIW, I think that it *was* Scully who arranged for the poster to be delivered to Mulder. I mean Karin hardly had time to tube it up and run it to the post office between the last time she looked at it (as Mulder called Scully from her house) and when she successfully carried out Detweiller's demise. I think that Scully probably called the nice post-hole digging lady and told her she was sure that Karin would want Mulder to have the poster. (And in my version, the post-hole digging lady sent the copy of "Nice Girls Do" for Scully.)

85. Well, however it got there, the poster is back where it belongs and all is right with the world. This is not the most popular episode ever, but I kind of liked it (yes, we all know I'm easy). I think any time a "threat" to the M&S relationship is presented, it only serves to make the bond stronger, and it did so again in this case. We've all known for years how protective Scully is of Mulder, and this episode just showcased that territorial streak. Bottom line: it was the story of a man and his Dhole. And it left me thinking just one thing: "Yo quiero Taco Bell."

I would apologize, but I have to go. I have a strange craving for a Chalupa.

Polly (also not a real people person)