Theatre of the Mind ~ Chimera
My trusty dictionary tells me that in Greek mythology, a Chimera was a fire-breathing she-monster, usually depicted as a composite of a lion, a goat, and a serpent, or an imaginary monster made up of grotesquely disparate parts. The episode "Chimera" is described as a "suburban parable about perfection" and the "monster" in this story is one that is created out of someone's anger when their perfect world begins to fall apart. They somehow manage to summon forth evil; and as Mulder says, ravens are companions to evil. (And also, at present, Super Bowl Champions. But that's another story.) So knowing that, how could this TOTM be written any other way?
By Edgar Allan Polly
Once upon an Easter Sunday, Martha C. had planned a fun day,
Everything was picture perfect no one could have asked for more.
In this quaint New England setting, Easter eggs the kids were getting,
While the women all were sweating, the presence of one they abhor.
"Not to worry," Ellen mutters, "Let's treat her like the girl next door.
She's just a neighbor ... nothing more."
Martha's daughter spots a raven, interrupting their safe haven.
Martha calls her husband to return from where he's gone before.
But Martha's life of pure perfection shatters with a beast's reflection;
What's the raven's strange connection? Evil's darkened Martha's door.
As the creature batters Martha, we are spared the blood and gore
On Martha's fancy home decor.
Moose and Squirrel are on a stakeout, Scully's gone for coffee takeout,
Mulder's watching for some sign of life that you might call hardcore.
While he waits with bubbles popping, Scully's with the coffee stopping,
And my jaw is nearly dropping, dropping to the kitchen floor.
He looks so fine with shirt unbuttoned, he's the man that I adore.
Tis worthless commentary; expect some more.
The kids engage in playful banter, Mulder is quite the enchanter,
Finding what's ennobling in their seamy but vigilant chore.
While they talk of folks perverting, these two just can't stop the flirting;
I don't find this disconcerting-it's just what I've been looking for!
From Scully's tapping java delivery to the easygoing rapport,
It's an MSRM you can't ignore.
Mulder leaves their caffeine dinner as he's called to meet with Skinner,
Leaving Scully all alone-a position that she does deplore.
Mulder feels he's right in claiming he's being sent cause Skinner's blaming.
And there's holy cows a-flaming, as Mulder recites the raven lore.
Martha is a judge's daughter and Mulder quickly sees the score,
He's Vermont-bound and that's for sure.
Moose meets local law enforcement who gives Martha a big endorsement,
But Martha's husband says she may not be so good down to the core.
He was sorry to discover that Martha might have had a lover,
And Martha they might not recover, if she's with her paramour.
Birth control and skeleton keys found in the favorite coat she wore.
It's *not* a good thing, I'd implore.
On an emotional roller coaster, Ellen makes a missing poster,
Offers some to Jenny Uphouse, who looks about to start a war.
Surprised at what a fuss she's making, Ellen's sorry for mistaking,
Then the auto's window breaking, the beast reflected in the door.
Meanwhile, Mulder's reading up on ravens and their place in lore.
(He looks fine-as I've said before.)
Phil and Ellen both request that Mulder be their special guest;
Ellen says he'll be no trouble, at their table there's room for more.
Mulder finds it quite amusing when Scully calls re her abusing,
But hold the capers-he's refusing! (He doesn't eat them any more.)
"Tough it out," he says and rolls his shirtsleeves-which I quite adore.
Have I mentioned that before?
At Martha's house, among the roses, Martha's body decomposes.
She's become a raven buffet, she'll be returning nevermore.
Though Ellen's in a state of grieving she tells of monsters she's perceiving.
And Mulder says he is believing in the beast as Ellen swore.
A denizen he says that has been summoned through the spirit door.
Who might have done it-let's explore!
As I'm sure you were expecting, Jenny's the one they are suspecting.
And she is not very happy labeled as the local whore.
Her criminal past is somewhat fleeting, accused of issuing a beating,
But she implies that *Martha's* cheating, knocking boots with three or four.
Mulder's "vibe" says Jenny's lying, but wonders who she's covering for.
With an alibi he can't ignore.
In this part there is good phoning, with Scully's little piss and moaning
How Mulder left her there to die upon the filthy stakeout floor.
As Mulder compares their worlds so seamy, the convo gets a little steamy,
And Scully gets a little dreamy as she's heading for the exit door.
But then she spots the clue that might just crack this case in the van next door.
Might move it to the "solved" file drawer.
As her baby's quietly sleeping,
Ellen's busy with carpet sweeping.
Finds a key to Number Six on her lovely living room floor.
Suddenly, a raven hearing, Ellen sees the thing she's fearing.
The beastly creature is appearing, and chases her to the closet door.
Phil thinks its just imagination, she's stressed as she's never been before.
Mulder thinks it's something more.
Late that night Phil's quietly sneaking, tiptoeing in a manner of speaking.
He goes out to a bungalow with Number Six there on the door.
He turns the key, it is unlocking, we see something not-so-shocking,
And pretty soon the bedroom's rocking, everyone's losing what they wore.
Phil says this has got to stop, but Jenny's done this stuff before.
Come on-you all know what's in store!
Unaware of Phil and his complicity, Mulder enjoyed some domesticity.
Learns the advantages of "livin' large" and of finding someone you adore.
Find a girl to be wife and mother (even if she says "Oh brother"),
And though she's not your significant other, at least not in terms that you've heard before,
She'll provide a refuge from deeds unspeakable, and you won't be lonely anymore.
Mulder's listening-of that I'm sure.
While everyone thinks that Mulder's sleeping, he's actually been doing Mulder!Leaping.
He knows that Phil's somehow involved but needs more time to reach the core.
Meanwhile, after a night of nookie, and discussing ingredients of an oatmeal cookie,
I'd better get ready to call my bookie-cause I'm betting that Jenny will soon be no more.
Sure enough the beast shows up and shatters the mirror to the bedroom floor.
But the creature's stabbed-oooh, that'll be sore.
Mulder throws Phil a nasty curve, admires his ability to "protect and serve."
Now Phil is ready to believe in things he never did before.
Says he couldn't help his yearning, marital passions no longer burning,
Mulder seems to be discerning, and takes on the thankless chore
Of telling Ellen that her husband doesn't love her anymore.
Doesn't know what lies in store.
Now, it appears that Ellen's guessing all the anger she's been expressing
And that she's the one who's summoned all this evil laying at her door.
Mulder's at the house arriving, Scully calls (she's still surviving),
And explains her keen deriving of the case she's solved next door.
And while they banter she gives Mulder the answers he's been looking for:
What's under our noses, we can't ignore.
Mulder says what he's suspecting, Ellen says she is objecting
To the thought that she could have an evil side she can't explore.
Suddenly the door is breaking, in his shoes Mulder is quaking,
A mistake he might be making as he's tossed upon the floor.
Mulder's pushed into the bathtub, the beast is bearing down full bore.
Drowning!Mulder I'm praying for.
Seeing her reflection in the water, Ellen stops the Mulder slaughter.
She ends up in a hospital, a future behind a padded door.
She wanted to have the perfect life, with perfect husband/perfect wife,
But Mulder explains the stress and strife sent her down a path she would deplore.
She tried to protect her family-a family she wanted to restore.
She'll never have that anymore.
So that's the ending of the story-what'd you expect, Memento Mori?
It wasn't an exciting ep, but nor was it a tedious bore.
Despite the many complications I liked the shippy implications.
And I think that indications bode well for the ship to soar.
Will these sweet "significant others" go back to the way they were before?
Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."
"Chimera" was always an episode I liked, but it became more special to me after I read the backstory in the Season 7 Episode Guide. It tells how the making of this episode had some challenges including the fact that both GA and DD were in pre-production on the episodes they were writing/directing and would only be available for limited times during this episode. The backstory notes that David Duchovny came up with the idea of having Mulder carry the bulk of the story and to budget one day's availability by GA into the secondary tale that starts out with the Moose & Squirrel stakeout. For me, this was just one more example of how DD (and I'm sure GA too) contributed to the success of the show in ways we will probably never know. That's another reason why I miss that guy so much. :::sigh::: Oh well. "Tough it out. Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Right?"
So with that, the TOTMs have started up again. I sincerely apologize for the long delay, but as usual real life has played havoc with my plans to finish these up. And now, with the holidays looming, I'm sure they won't be coming very quickly. But once the holidays are over ... barring catastrophe, I am gonna get these done as soon as possible! Just think of me ... slaving away over these silly synopses. And when you find me dead, my desiccated corpse propped up staring lifelessly at the monitor at NC-17 fanfic and message boards, just know that my last thoughts were of you.
Apologies to all of you, to Edgar Allan Poe, the City of Baltimore (hon), and all my boys at Pissy-Net Stadium (that was for you, Shaker). Since my life is a mess right now, I think I'll go do some housework. It might give me the illusion I'm in control. Nah. I'd rather have chaos.
"Well that has a vaguely pathetic ring to it."