Theatre of the Mind ~ Orison

1. The return of Donnie Phaster. Irresistible Redux.

2. There's one party pooper in every crowd.

3. Look for the Illinois penal system label, when you are buying a coat, dress or blouse ...

4. Ouch! Do you think you get workers' comp insurance in prison?

5. Donnie walks straight into the camera ... just like "Irresistible." Creepy.

6. Scully has an RCA clock; guess Mulder told her about his problems with Radio Shack merchandise. (Well, Radio Shack might have Howie and Teri, but they don't have the mark of the beast.)

7. Revelation 13:18 - Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast; for it is the number of a man, and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

8. 666 - I'm sure there's a Rational Explanation for that. And for all the lights coming on when the power comes back on ... when they were off before.

9. I guess that marshal left his Dallas FBI job to fight the future in Illinois.

10. GA and DD always do an awesome job of saying so much when they say nothing at all, and this first scene is so evident of that. The way Mulder watches her as she looks through the case file - you can just see his fear and his concern.

11. I still say many of Donnie's problems stem from the fact that his middle name is "Addie."

12. Just when GA's hair starts to get interesting, they cut it. And DD's is so short, he's got this cowlick thing goin' on. Why, oh why, must they mess with the hair? Instead of Mulder & Scully, I have this urge to call them Flowbie & Flattie.

13. TWC1: Need someone with a forte for the supernatural? Who you gonna call?

14. The phrase "Sheep Go to Heven (sp), Goats go to Hell," written on the walls of the prison chapel, appears in the song "Sheep Go to Heaven," by Cake, one of GA's favorite bands. (I guess there's not a high priority on spelling in prison; and I have no explanation for "rust in the Lord.")

15. "Don't Look Any Further," the song from Scully's childhood that haunts her, was originally recorded by the Temptations and covered by at least a half dozen others since then. But none of the already recorded versions were what the producers wanted. They approached Lyle Lovett to record a new version of the song, but he was unavailable; so ultimately, singer-songwriter John Hiatt was hired and recorded the version heard in the episode.

16. MSRM: Mulder's concerned about her being there, but he respects her enough not to push it when Scully says, "Let's get to work." To me, this embodies what their relationship is all about.

17. Why, oh why, does Scully *still* not tell him when she's had one of these strange experiences? She had the perfect opportunity when Mulder says Pfaster escaped at 6:06 a.m., yet she says nothing.

18. Glory, Amen, how did Mulder know that the hand gesture triggers the hypnosis? Oh, yeah, he's right 98.9 percent of the time. And he's *so* cute when he tries it out on Skeptical!Scully.

19. Mulder says that Mesmer was able to hypnotize and command entire audiences. Mesmer is Anton Mesmer, an 18th century Austrian physician who sought to treat disease through animal magnetism, an early therapeutic application of hypnosis. The term "mesmerism" means to enthrall, spellbind, or hypnotize.

20. "Someone to count on, in a world ever changin', here I am - stop where you're standin', what you need is a lover, someone to take over, Oh baby don't look any further." Mulder's worried about Scully, but I hope he's listening to those lyrics. (Perhaps he is listening since he mentions make out songs.)

21. The Mare Winningham Wannabe Is that her fingernail polish or her fingernail? Ewww.

22. I'm sure that's the dream of every man released from prison a buff and polish.

23. "Orison," the name of the preacher and the episode, means, "a prayer."

24. It's going to be pretty tough for Orison to save Donnie's soul ... he has to get one first.

25. Mulder told us earlier that Orison was the common denominator in all the prison escapes. So how come the Marshal sounds like he never heard of him, then?

26. "Strange when you think of our chances, that we've both been in a state of mind, too cool to be careless; looking for the right thing." Pump up the volume.

27. "Everything happens for a reason," an underlying theme of Season 7.

28. TWC2: I could say the same thing Mulder, how do you do it?

29. God just reads the box score. Cause it's like the Pythagorean Theorum for jocks.

30. God works in mysterious ways, Mulder. And it takes a nutbag to know one.

31. Why, oh why, does Mulder *still* not have any respect for Scully's religious beliefs, visions, signs from God, etc.? She's had enough of them over the years. Maybe he's just mad cause she doesn't tell him about them right away!

32. Scully certainly gets the nicknames from great literature. I'm assuming "Scout" is from "To Kill a Mockingbird," a story about the summer another little girl leaned there was evil in the world. And her daddy called her "Starbuck" from "Moby Dick." Poor old Mulder just gets Spooky.

33. The signs are everywhere ... the song, the clock ... don't look any further.

34. Yeah, rip the cover off the roof. That'll make it blend in with all the other green 1970 Chevrolet Impalas on the road.

35. Scully missed a golden opportunity. She might have wondered what kind of "nut bag" goes around drilling holes in his head ...

36. TWC3: I don't really know if the hole Mulder got drilled in his head upped his blood supply, but I do know that seeing him in those rolled up shirtsleeves forces three times the normal blood volume to pump through my brain.

37. Well, Phaster in his tightie whities and blue slippers is one image I could have done without. There's evil and then there's just plain scary! If you're gonna have finger sandwiches, then I think you should dress for dinner.

38. If the Lady in Red thinks that Preachers are the kinkiest, she ain't seen nothin' yet.

39. I guess kudos must be given to Nick Chinlund for creating this embodiment of evil, first in "Irresistible," and then in "Orison." (Could "Love your hair," BE any more creepy?) I guess it's a testament to his skill as an actor that whenever I see him in anything else, I still see Donnie Phaster. My worst Nick Chinlund nightmare: finding him in an episode of "Red Shoe Diaries" on the same tape as "Jake's Story." Blech!

40. Was Reverend Orison expecting a major power outage or something? That's what I call prepared.

41. He wants to wash her hair; she wants to wax his eyebrows (ouch). You go, call girl.

42. Sometimes even though the signs tell you not to, you just *have* to look further.

43. Orison's quote to Donnie, "Whosoever sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed," is from Genesis 9:6 during God's covenant with Noah.

44. Donnie has waited for his "instant" when God's back is turned, and he shows himself to be the true demon that he is.

45. How Scully covers that rocky terrain in those heels, I'll never know.

46. TWC4: He looks fine. You don't have to look any further. (But you can if you want.)

47. I'm not quite sure why Mulder & Scully decide their work is done once Orison is dead. I guess because the "X-File" aspect of the case is over (like that's stopped them before), but surely these two know better than anyone how important it is to catch Phaster. Even if all the signs are telling them not to look any further, I have trouble believing they would just go home.

48. Donnie in Scully's apartment ... and in her bedroom! Now that's just wrong.

49. I'm glad Donnie put Scully's Bible in the drawer. You should put important things in drawers when you don't want them to be able to see what you're about to do.

50. Scully must have one hell of an electric bill. She has all those lights on already, and then she turns on *more* lights. It probably stems from all the times she and Mulder walk into places and the lights don't work (which is always bad news).

51. TWC5: You learn something new every day. For some reason, I never thought Scully would wear a sleeveless shirt under her jacket.

52. Scully seems to have a Psychic!Pajama moment and picks those gray flannels instead of her usual silky ensemble. (Better for crawling around on the floor through broken glass). An interesting note: 10 pairs of pajamas were required for the final scenes.

53. Who else yells at the screen: Scully, he's in the closet! Mulder, listen to your messages!??

54. Kudos to GA, NC, director Rob Bowman, and all the stunt people. This is one very realistic fight scene.

55. But demerits to Scully for running for the phone instead of out of the apartment. What was she thinking? A call girl can get away and a trained FBI agent can't?

56. You just knew he'd say "girly girl" eventually, didn't you?

57. Figures. Only Scully would ask for leniency for a man who killed 5 women *and* tried to kill her.

58. Something tells me that no one in Scully's building pays too much attention to screaming coming out of her apartment.

59. What do you know? Mulder has a bathroom. (I'm not sure it's in the same place as it is in "all things," but that's a topic for another day.)

60. We must get him out of that habit of swallowing the toothpaste, though. Yuck!

61. "Oh baby don't look any further, tonight we're gonna taste a little paradise, rockin' all night long. Daylight, I'll still be looking in your heavenly eyes (and we'll go on and on and on)." So exactly who is God speaking to now, Mulder?

62. Bound and gagged with your own pantyhose ... clean, I hope. Blech.

63. GPM: They didn't speak, but you could just hear the love and concern in the ring.

64. TWC6: I'm sorry to be so shallow when Scully is fighting for her life and everything, but as he's laying in that bed, holding the phone, eyes heavy lidded, song in the background ... hoo boy!

65. Scully has a plethora of hair care products, so why is her hair so flat?

66. I hope Scully has all these candles because she was anticipating a romantic tete-a-tete with Mulder.

67. Getting your feet through your bound hands isn't easy ... especially with those cute little fuzzy slippers (okay, I had to mention that footwear moment).

68. Despite its ramifications, the entire slow-mo scene is just visually stunning. And powerful. Without turning into his demon persona, the lighting and his slight smile make Phaster look even more evil.

69. My lip-reading skills aren't terrific, but I believe Mulder says, "Put your hands up!", "Put 'em up!". Then when he sees Scully, he says, "Did he hurt you?" And I firmly believe that she says, "Yes."

70. I've always been a little stumped by the next part, but after watching this episode for the umpteenth time, I think that Scully only fires one shot. It passes through Phaster and shatters the overhead light. (In retrospect, it's probably good that Scully shot Donnie, because I think that Mulder would have beat the crap out of him if she hadn't.)

71. The end of the scene packs the emotional punch ... Scully's horrified look, Mulder can't believe what he saw (again, no words are needed), the screen goes black, the gunshot rings out. Awesome.

72. TWC7: Again, I apologize for my shallowness, but Holy Flaming Cow! Mulder is stunned at what has transpired, and I am stunned since I get the full effect of his black outfit.

73. Where do you think they were going after Scully got some things packed? I think you know.

74. I'm surprised Krycek didn't show up to take the Bible out of the drawer. (Okay, that was mean.)

75. Not to put too fine a point on it, but Scully basically committed murder and Mulder tells her he's covering it up, in case she's worried. Donnie Phaster was obviously evil and he most assuredly would have killed again. But did that make it right? The Good Catholic Girl has obviously considered the extreme possibility that it was God at work within her, but she's also considered the extreme possibility that it wasn't. Her faith, her morals, her values, her sense of right and wrong all converging at this one point in time. This occurrence could weigh heavily on her conscience and her spirit for a long time to come, but as is standard practice in the XF universe, M&S will go on to the next MOTW never to speak of it again. As Mulder said, "Case closed."

76. While the events that occur are still the same, you can read a couple of variations on the ending of "Orison" at I mention them here because they do include a little more discussion and speculation as to why Scully did what she did, and as to how Mulder's experience with having God speak to him affected him. And one of them includes Mulder holding Scully at the end, which I thought would have made a great correlation back to the hug in "Irresistible," when these two characters were so much younger and so much more innocent, as compared to now when they have seen so much, suffered so much, and when their relationship is so much different than it was then.

77. So was "Orison" a complete character assassination of straight-arrow Dana Scully? Are we to believe that the same woman who cares so much for the sanctity of life that she argues for a serial killer to get life in prison rather than the death penalty could then take a life so callously, *and* allow it to be covered up? At the end, Scully is obviously troubled by what she has done, directed by God or not, yet she still doesn't do the right thing. And I can't help thinking that if the situation had been reversed, Scully would have tried her utmost to get Mulder to confess what really happened, and she wouldn't have covered for him. "Orison" was an episode that left us with many questions about the characters, and the characterizations, of the characters we love so much. Questions that will never be answered. So if you're looking for me to tell you that Scully was fully justified in what she did, if you're looking for me to tell you that it's okay for her to go on as if nothing happened, if you're looking for me to tell you that this incident shouldn't haunt Scully for the rest of her days ... don't look any further.

Of course, if you're looking for me to tell you that Scully will use that plethora of hair care products and put the bounce back in her doo well, I can't do that either. I only hope that we're not stuck with Flowbie and Flattie for the rest of the season. Go ahead, call me shallow. Tell me I'm too obsessed with the worthless commentary and not focused on the greater, more important issues. Go ahead. Say what you want.

"I'm trying not to take offense."

Apologies as always,