Theatre of the Mind ~ Three of a Kind
(or Let's Run This Idea for a Series Up the Flagpole and See if Anyone Salutes)

1. A blast from the past! Scenes from "Unusual Suspects"! Susanne Modeksi! Mr. X! What, you couldn't have squeezed in nekkid, screaming Mulder (but no wedding ring close-ups)?

2. This is certainly a "dream house" in more ways than one. 3. TWC1: The boy looks my-T-fine in his Bureau ID photo (with that errant lock of hair falling over his forehead the strand that launched a thousand fanfics). I'm sure he looks good in his driver's license photo too, damn him. Hey, did I ever tell you that I finally figured out why Mulder disappeared at the end of Season 7? He got a look at his new ID photo that they were gonna use in the Season 8 credits and went running blindly into the forest!

4. Viva Las Vegas. Vegas is only the second City that has actually portrayed "itself" in the XF. (Vancouver was the first.) Actually, only a portion of this episode was filmed in Vegas. For example, GA never left LA.

5. "Def-Con" is an actual convention that has been held in Las Vegas, but it is a gathering of computer hackers, not defense contractors.

6. Frohike ... any excuse to wear a vest. No fingerless gloves?

7. Guys, you disappoint me. I thought your kung fu was the best!

8. Just a piece of advice: You gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, know when to run. (That's my advice for TPTB at 1013 too!)

9. Despite what Tina Turner says, Frohike, we don't need another hero. (But if we do, Frohike's pants are safe. Suspenders *and* a belt? Is that really necessary?)

10. Wow, the Lone Gunmen undercover. Somehow I never thought about them having to go out and dig for their stories. I thought Mulder just brought them all his files ...

11. Jimmy the Geek and Timmy the Geek ... Mulder's not the only one with geeks for friends.

12. I think the Gunmen should all chip in and buy Mulder one of those "Government Patsy" tee shirts.

13. Actually, there's plenty of "boobage" right in that hotel room.

14. Very sweet scene between Frohike and Byers that gives us a glimpse of why these guys are friends.

15. The Return of the Fingerless Gloves. I knew there was a reason to live.

16. It *is* Susanne! Any chance that the menacing "boyfriend" (a.k.a. Young G-Man Fox Mulder) who was following her in "Unusual Suspects" might still be on her tail?

17. When the "chips are down," who you gonna call? (Love the bell ringing in the casino turning into the chirping of Agent Scully's cell phone!)

18. Scully loves those silk jammies, doesn't she? These maroon ones are nice! She couldn't have brought these along on her "Arcadia" undercover assignment?

19. TWC2: His voice can be synthesized, digitized, homogenized, sanitized, or any other kind of ized: I am simply mesmerized. The man has got it goin' on! Woo-hoo!

20. GPM: And synthesized or not he gives good phone.

21. MSRM: Someone wakes you up at 2:34 a.m., provides you with no information, bandies about words like "important" and "trust," and tells you to get on the next flight to Las Vegas. What do you do? She is *so* there! (Somehow, I bet this call was very similar to one placed by Fox Mantle - wink, wink.)

22. Other than "MOACSM" in which neither Mulder nor Scully appeared in real time (Scully appeared in flashback), this is the first episode in which DD has not appeared on screen at all. The reason why, of course, was that he was preparing to film "The Unnatural," which was filmed after "Three of a Kind" but aired before it. For the record, GA has not appeared in 4 episodes (other than "MOACSM"): "3," "Zero Sum," "Unusual Suspects," and "Travelers."

23. She's gonna kick your collective asses all right. KungFu!Scully is the best.

24. Mulder is too high profile? Virtually a household name to the black ops? Well, isn't it nice to suddenly be so highly regarded! 25. Poor John is going to need some serious cheese steaks to cheer him up now.

26. Ice Bucket Cam! Freeze frame! 27. A brainwashing conspiracy? Right up their twisted little alley.

28. Hey baby, I'm your handyman.

29. Perhaps they'd better translate those "Do Not Disturb" signs into Spanish. Noho on the Puerto.

30. Jimmy and his Geek!Posse. Almost a Geek Chorus!

31. A naked chick in the desert who will teach you to shoot machine guns? And Frohike is playing Mission Impossible?

32. Best Geekism: "Go brush your hair, Michael Bolton."

33. Oh, oh. Those government spooks come in all shapes and sizes. That's probably just a flu shot.

34. Scully has arrived and she wants to see Mulder first thing. Awww.

35. I hate to nitpick here, but didn't Jimmy (who was flattened by the bus) appear on the LGM series? Oh, no. I remember now. That was *Kimmy*, Jimmy's twin brother. Or something.

36. One day Mulder will probably pay $29.95 (plus shipping) for this Susanne video too.

37. Poor Byers! He's all set to rescue the fair maiden and finds out the fair maiden doesn't want to be rescued.

38. Squeamish!Langly, and nobody to hold back that Michael Bolton hair.

39. It's a good thing this episode first aired in 1999, cause today, Scully wouldn't be able to do the autopsy. It would be an X-files/C.S.I. crossover!

40. Notice how we only see the blood and guts reflected in Scully's goggles and Langly's glasses. Very inventive! That's tasteful without being gaudy!

41. A flu shot for Scully too. That's good in case she wants to swap spit with Mulder anytime soon!

42. Scully, don't let Frohike hear you call Langly "cutie".

43. Best Scullyism: "My medical opinion? BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!" Splat! (And the slapstick attempt to push the gurney? Too funny.)

44. Usually the LGM come to the X-Files to provide comic relief; but this time, it's Scully who returns the favor. She is simply hi-larious in her few scenes as Goofy!Scully. (Maybe M&S can do a sitcom next: "Sculleee, you got some 'splainin' to do!")

45. Do you think the Gunmen remembered to check the Bible in their hotel room? It's the perfect vessel for electronic surveillance, you know. No one ever questions its presence.

46. How can you say your kung fu is the best when you leave your keycard hacking unit in the hackee's hotel room? Shame, shame, shame.

47. Kudos to Signy Coleman who does a nice job in her return to the character of Susanne Modeski. She makes us see why Byers is so infatuated.

48. A memorial game of Dungeons and Dragons. When I'm gone, feel free to play a memorial game of Twister instead.

49. Vince Gilligan and John Shiban have said that they wrote the scenes where Scully becomes an airhead in part because they wanted the XF audience to see Gillian Anderson's beautiful smile and hear her wonderful and unusual laugh two things she doesn't get to display (much) as the serious Dr. Scully. Well, Gilligan and Shiban might have made Scully laugh, but Fox Mulder/DD made her giggle, and we saw that first anyway.

50. It's a Mini Unbound Moment, with just a flash of the black pushup bra under that white shirt!

51. I like Hickey too.

52. Seductive!Scully has talented lips. (Bet Mulder found that out last week!)

53. "Well, I just can't decide who lights my fire." (Psst. It's the Indian Guide who says you'd better run to the store and get some matches.)

54. Turnabout is fair play, Fletcher ... you slap my ass, I'll slap yours. (See Dreamland I and II and Morris Fletcher turns up on the season finale of LGM. BTW, Area 51 is only 90 miles north of Las Vegas.)

55. This is a high stakes game of Dungeons and Dragons. Very high stakes.

56. Since this is only Half a Gilligan episode, perhaps there's only a half a Holly reference? Is the "Scully Golightly" comment Frohike makes a reference to Vince's girlfriend Holly? Holly Golightly was the main character in Truman Capote's "Breakfast at Tiffany's," played by Audrey Hepburn in the movie of the same name. (And the book that Scully was reading in "War of the Coprophages" which was an in-joke about Duchovny's Jeopardy appearance.) Whew!!

57. Poor Frohike! First he was trapped in a room with a woman taking off her clothes and now Scully is groping his ass and he can't do a darn thing! (Though I bet he'll never wash that cheek again!)

58. I believe these "flu shots" are sponsored by Target.

59. Now that I've seen Langly this way ... keep the Bolton hair, baby.

60. Break at 10:15. Check watch at 10:13 for shameless 1013 reference.

61. As Assassin!Langly approaches, it's sure nice of all those people to lunge out of the way.

62. Bang! Ouch! Right in the nipple. That's gotta hurt.

63. So this is all a set-up. But I think Timmy has figured that out too. Even without Lassie.

64. All that projectile bloodletting, and Susanne didn't even get any on her undershirt? Please.

65. Ellis (Charles Rocket) got what he deserved, especially since he is the fourth "Saturday Night Live" alumni to appear on the XF in Season Six. What is this show coming to? God, before you know it, they'll be casting people from "Xena: Warrior Princess."

66. Nice to know that Mulder is not the only one with a little chickadee.

67. Apparently, the result of this flu shot is that *everyone* thinks that Langly is a "cutie."

68. It's a Season 9 Preview: Scully will talk to Mulder via cell phone a lot, a lot, a lot.

69. If you do kick their asses, Scully, Frohike will glady turn the other cheek (and won't wash it either).

70. I guess Susanne and John were just not meant to be. But they'll always have Baltimore and Las Vegas. And as Susanne leaves, we see Byers all alone, holding a wedding ring, in a city in the middle of the desert. (Slapping forehead.) Alone, wedding ring, desert. Teaser dream. Oh, *NOW* I get it!

71. The LGM growing old together. Maybe you can pitch that show in a few years, CC. You can call it "Grumpy Old Lone Gunmen."

72. TWC3: Holy Flaming Cow! Did you see how he looks in the trailer? "I abducted him." Can't wait for "Field Trip"!

73. I read the other day that the gang from 1013 might take the opportunity in Season 9 of the XF to show the conclusion of "The Lone Gunmen" season finale. That's good for several reasons: (1) I would like to know if Jimmy Bond and "Kimmy" manage to save Byers, Langly, Frohike, and Yves from the evil clutches of none other than Morris Fletcher. (2) It might mean we'll get some other flashback episodes which in turn means less episodes where we're reminded that M&S aren't together. We might get answers to some of those burning questions like how did those crazy Consortium kids get together? What exactly was the relationship between Teena Mulder and C.G.B. Spender? Who is really Mulder's father? What happened to those wandering chupacabra brothers from "El Mundo Gira"? And Does Charlie Scully really exist? And (3) Keeping with the tradition of using "The X-Files" to bring closure to all his cancelled TV series, CC can also use one episode in Season 9 to give us the ending to "Harsh Realm" (if anybody cares that is).

74. In all honesty, I really enjoyed The Lone Gunmen series (which was more similar to this episode, than "Unusual Suspects"). I thought almost all of the episodes were very well written, the stories being superior to what was taking place on the X-Files at the same time; and I really liked the Jimmy Bond character his sweetness and naivete was a nice contrast to the conspiracy-theory paranoia of the LGM. But IMBO (as Amy would say my new favorite abbreviation), I think the XF suffered because Shiban and Gilligan were focusing on LGM. If I have *any* hope at all for Season 9 of the XF, it is because the writing/producing team at 1013 will be back together, and I think that's how they do their best work bringing out the best in each other. It won't be the same show for me without DD, but I'm hoping that the quality of the writing can improve in Season 9 so that those who *do* choose to watch might enjoy the NeXt-Files.

75. I wasn't really looking forward to writing this TOTM because this episode serves as an unpleasant reminder of what lies in store in Season 9 (whether you choose to watch or not). In what might be an unfortunate harbinger, this Mulderless episode was also the lowest rated episode of Season 6 by far (and during sweeps no less). Of course, the highest rated episode for Season 6 was "Rain King," so I guess that proves that ratings are an enigma.

76. Last but not least, I took a page from the book of those folks writing Alternate Season 8 (who are doing a great job BTW). So even though Mulder wasn't in this episode, did you notice how I made him the "absent center"? And it took little or no effort at all. I got three totally worthless commentaries out of an episode in which Mulder doesn't even appear, for crying out loud! I can only rate 1013's efforts at making Mulder the "absent center" of Season 8 one way: "Doo-doo, kaa-kaa, poo-poo."

77. Bottom line: This episode wasn't bad, but "Three of a Kind" does *not* beat "A Pair." And you know what I mean.

I don't really feel like apologizing for this one, so if you didn't like it: "Hey, man, you wanna thunderdome? Let's go!"