Theatre of the Mind ~ Terms of Endearment

1. Story of a thirty-year relationship between Emma (Debra Winger) and her devoted and controlling mother, Aurora Greenway (Shirley MacLaine). Emma rebels and marries Flap Horton (Jeff Daniels). They move away to Iowa. Flap is unfaithful and Emma retaliates by having an affair with a timid bank officer (John Lithgow). Aurora and her flirtatious neighbor Garrett Breedlove (Jack Nicholson), a boozy, beer-bellied former astronaut, begin a love affair. He tells her she needs a lot of drinks to kill the bug she has up her ass. They share a memorable ride along the beach in his silver Corvette. Emma gets cancer and reconciles with her mother during the stages of her terminal illness. Sadly, she has no "Agent Mulder" to break into the Pentagon to find a chip that will cure her cancer and she dies. Everybody is sad, except Shirley MacLaine and Jack Nicholson who win Oscars. Emma's three kids eventually grow up to be no-good-niks who drive their grandmother nuts in the sequel. The End.

2. What do you mean that's not the right "Terms of Endearment"? Oh. Never mind.

1. I guess what every couple wants is a normal, healthy baby. One without horns. Or halos.

2. Wouldn't it have been nice to see M&S in bed together, him caressing her tummy? But I digress.

3. "Poopydoo"? If *that's* the term of endearment, this episode is in serious trouble.

4. Waking up and finding the devil at the end of your bed--I hate when that happens.

5. It's not nice to bite the devil. There'll be hell to pay.

6. "Please don't take my baby!" I just heard that recently somewhere.

7. Are we sure this lady's name isn't Rosemary?

8. Too bad Spender didn't have a Dirt Devil; he could have sucked up all that pesky shredded paper.

9. That Mulder is a sneaky little devil, isn't he? But I think it's kind of sad picturing him in his apartment, taping all those strips of paper together. Don't you think that's sad? I think that's sad.

10. "How many people's nightmares come true?" You're talking to one, poopydoo.

11. How is it that Leaping!Mulder is already suspicious? He just met the man! Maybe he got a look at Wayne's record collection: "Devil with the Blue Dress On," "Devil or Angel," "You're the Devil in Disguise," "That Old Devil Moon," and "The Devil Went Down to Georgia."

12. TWC1: Hell's Bells and Woo-Hoo! The boy is looking fine!

13. Scully interviewing Mr. Garcia ... I mean Mr. Ginsberg is too funny. You can tell from her look that she thinks this guy has seen a joint or two in his time.

14. Scully, he had to root around in Spender's trash. Idle hands are the devil's workshop.

15. We have often explored Mulder's porno habit, but very little has been made of Scully's horror habit. We know "The Exorcist" is one of her favorite movies (she said so in "Miracle Man"), she has referenced "Carrie" and "Poltergeist" ("Shadows") and "Ben" ("Teso Dos Bichos"); and now she confesses to catching "Rosemary's Baby" on cable. Hmmmm. It's likely that Langly will get her video collection.

16. Good Phone Moment: How can you have Mulder, Scully, and a baby monitor in a scene and not be moved?

17. Although ... I *can* understand how the baby monitor could pick up *Mulder's* end of the conversation, but Scully's? That is one hellacious baby monitor.

18. Why is Laura looking for her nightgown? If she got *that* bloodstain out, I'd be more interested in finding out what kind of detergent she uses.

19. I think it should be called a Poopydoo Do Jar.

20. When there's no fires of hell handy, I guess an incinerator will do.

21. TWC2: Mulder awakens with a stiff neck. I can't tell if anything else is stiff. Did I say that out loud?

22. Scully calls to help Mulder solve the mystery of the horny best. Did I say *that* out loud?

23. And I thought Mandrake was only a magician.

24. When Scully got this "hunch" to call Laura's doctor, what time was it exactly? I'm assuming she finished her background-checking J.O.B. before she started looking at the files Mulder couriered to her. And it's only 6:57 a.m. now. I'll bet the Doc was none too happy to answer that call.

25. But Mulder did say thank you, even as he's zoning out.

26. Those sure look like autumnal decorations on the door to me. Wasn't it just Christmas last week? (Of course, that makes sense since TOE was filmed before HTGSC.)

27. Looks like this Wayne/Laura/Betsy thing is a Devil's Triangle. One of Wayne's addresses is probably 666 Lucifer Lane?

28. It's good to know his term of endearment is consistent anyway. But that forehead kissing? It's been done. To death.

29. TWC3: I would sell my soul to the devil for a piece of that.

30. Leaping!Mulder is pretty sure he's got things figured out at this point. Maybe he got a look at all those sports team pennants Wayne has in his study: New Jersey Devils, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Duke Blue Devils, Arizona State Sun Devils . . .

31. There was an irregularity joke in there somewhere but Mulder beat me to it.

32. "Zazas, zazas, nastanada zazas," probably means, "You need more fiber. You need more fiber." (Take that, Mulder, I thought of my own.)

33. "I know what you are." Well, better the devil you know, huh?

34. I can see the ads now: If you want to drive like the devil, get a Chevrolet Camaro Z28 convertible (red, of course). And make sure you have Garbage on the radio!

35. It's "an expression of our beautiful love"? Blech! Let's go back to Poopydoo.

36. TWC4: Holy Flaming Devil Cow! He is hell on wheels!!

37. Mulder is always looking for any excuse to drive like a bat out of hell.

38. More lovely autumnal decorations! Folks sure do a lot of seasonal decorating around here.

39. "Those your kids?" No, a bunch of little devils run through here every day at this time.

40. If Mr. and Mrs. Weinsider got close enough to make a baby, shouldn't she have noticed those things on his neck?

41. LOL! Mulder looks like a used car salesman.

42. TWC5: Rolled Up Shirtsleeves Mulder is just too cute with those little speed racers!

43. I think it's safe to say that Scully will be the one teaching Will how to drive. (But I'm sure that Will will make cracks about her little feet reaching the pedals.)

44. Yup, that's where Laura took a bite out of Beelzebub.

45. Well, that just sucks.

46. You know, I always knew that Brisco County, Jr., was the devil. This just confirms that. (And isn't is just a bit ironic that here's Bruce Campbell guest starring in The XF - when in 1993, FOX touted "Brisco County, Jr." as its big hit and the XF was just a little cult show that followed it. Funny how life turns out.)

47. TWC6: I think it's just that "devil may care" attitude that makes me love him so.

48. This baby has horns and a tail too? I get the feeling this child will be born when hell freezes over.

49. MSRM: Okay, I'll admit I had to look long and hard for the "terms of endearment" between Moose & Squirrel. I mean, there was nothing so obvious as Scully calling Mulder "Poopydoo," or anything. But when Mulder joins Scully at the hospital there are two things that make me choose this as the MSRM: (1) he touches her elbow ever-so-slightly when he sees her, a small but intimate gesture; and (2) she knows he's not supposed to be there, she knows he's already in trouble for being there, but she came anyway. Awwww.

50. Obviously, when we weren't looking, some anomalous event occurred, because both Mulder & Scully have a major memory lapse. First, Scully questions whether there *is* such a thing as a demon (when she was doing battle with the Prince of Darkness himself in "All Souls"), and then Mulder says, "I'm not a psychologist." He's not? I seem to recall that was established rather early on in this show like in the "Pilot"?

51. I don't think they'll be using this in the "Got Milk" campaign.

52. Okay, I forgive the earlier continuity indiscretions because we've got the return of the trenchcoats and the Big Ass Flashlights! Woo-hoo!!

53. Just let me play the advocatus diaboli (Devil's advocate) here for a moment. How did Mulder figure out that this was the antithesis of Rosemary's Baby and the Devil just wanted a normal child, not a demon seed? One of these days I'll figure out Leaping!Mulder, come hell or high water.

54. Okay, I'll admit it. When Betsy grabbed Wayne in the middle of the vision I didn't expect that one.

55. Yep, Scully will *definitely* be the driving teacher!

56. Wow, this episode has it all! It's the Little Ass Flashlights! If only we had the Medium Ass Flashlights, it would be a Flashlight Trifecta!

57. The movie that is playing in the Weinsider house when M&S arrive is "The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit," which starred Gregory Peck as a man struggling to overcome his past and realize the American Dream without sacrificing his family and his soul. His wife Betsy is played by Jennifer Jones. Please draw your own conclusions.

58. TWC7: The lighting, the trenchcoat, the man has got it goin' on.

59. I think that perhaps Wayne is between the devil and the deep blue sea. (In case you're wondering where that phrase came from, in wooden ships, the "devil" was the longest seam of the ship. It ran from the bow to the stern. When at sea and the "devil" had to be caulked, the sailor sat in a bo'sun's chair to do so. He was suspended between the "devil" and the "deep blue sea"... a very precarious position, especially when the ship was underway.

60. Trigger-happy Arky interrupts just as Wayne is prepared to tell us who (or what) Betsy is. Good thing that Dr. Dana Scully is on the scene who else would shout, "Get the paramedics!"

61. Well, that just blows.

62. I guess it's only fitting to give kudos to Bruce Campbell here. It's certainly not easy to make one feel sympathetic toward the devil and Campbell does an admirable job.

63. Poor Scully. Having to dig up all those little bodies . . .

64. Leaping!Mulder was so hell-bent on providing what Wayne was, he totally missed the Betsy connection.

65. Wayne's idea of Paradise was "what everyone wants" a happy family, a normal child. It seems that Betsy's idea of Paradise was a little different more like Adam and Eve-il with a little, scaly bundle of demonic joy and a red Camaro convertible. Scully told us once that "God never lets the Devil steal the show," but in this case, perhaps he/she/it did.

66. In a year of XF Light, "Terms of Endearment" tried to give us a "scary" episode, but somehow fell short. It was "okay," but not a helluva lot more to say. Of course, I'm left with one burning question. Both Mulder and Wayne had Flowbee hair in this episode. Who could have inflicted such a travesty? Who could be mean-spirited enough and insidious enough to have ensured that both these men would be follically challenged throughout this episode? Could it be . . . SAAATTTTAAAANN?

67. Sorry. I'm not quite sure what came over me. Maybe I'll put on my Tasmanian Devil tee-shirt, slice a piece of devil's food cake, pop in a tape of "The Jersey Devil" and remember when X-Files were scary, M&S were young and idealistic, Scully had an occasional date, and Mulder had good hair. And as for this TOTM, of course there's only one way I can explain it.

68. The devil made me do it.

Before I apologize, just bear in mind I'm only happy when it rains, I'm only happy when it's complicated. And though I know you can't appreciate it, I'm only happy when it rains. Apologies as always.

Your Poopydoo, Polly