Theatre of the Mind ~ Badlaa

1. "Badlaa" is Urdu (a language spoken in India) for "exchange/retaliation/revenge."

2. Sahar International Airport is now called Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. I guess they thought that was too long for the legend. Although it didn't stop them with Quonochautaug.

3. That is one big man.

4. Since among its many uses WD-40 "frees sticky mechanisms," Mr. Potocki might want to get a can for himself.

5. I saw this happen once those in the long line for the ladies room stormed the men's room and pulled the men out right under the stall doors.

6. That's a novel way to "bum" a ride to D.C.

7. I didn't think it was possible: someone who's a worse tipper than Mulder.

8. Oh no. One more anal-probing-reality-manipulating-enlightenment-attaining butt genie story and I'm going to take out my gun and shoot somebody.

9. TWC1: Holy Flaming Cow! I certainly hope Mulder's ass isn't any the worse for wear from breaking all these falls.

10. Surprise! It's *your* in-box too, Agent Doggett.

11. PSC1: I'm not sure I care for this partnerly traffic chit-chat. It's just wrong, I tell you.

12. "No sign of forced entry?" I think that all depends on where you look.

13. Haunted hotel room ... alien invaders ... sloppy vampires. Pretty smug talk from a guy who just a couple of weeks ago had a third eye and almost killed himself and his partner in his sleep.

14. Hey, J.D., I know a story about a ring of thieves who used kids for B&E jobs too ... it's called Oliver Twist.

15. Open Mind Reference #1.

16. The ad for this janitor job must have said: School seeking maintenance engineer who is content with being seen and not heard.

17. ACM: You might think that an autopsy with Scully's hand up some guy's ass would be an odd place for an Absent Center Moment. (Minds out of the gutter, now.) But seeing this scene play out, I immediately thought of Mulder ... cause I sure would like to have heard the Mulderisms, the teasing, and the playful banter that would have accompanied Mulder walking in on this situation. Doggett does his Manly Man best to maintain an air of comportment and decorum with only a bit of gentlemanly squeamishness thrown in for good measure (I'm sure he's thinking about his next proctology exam). Mulder would have had a field day; and that's what I miss most of all.

18. Scully needs to head back to med school ... cause those are definitely not MRIs she's looking at.

19. PSC2: Thanks, Scully, for defining for Doggett what a "mule" is. I'm sure he has no idea ... since he brought it up.

20. If Mr. Potocki was dead before he left Bombay, I guess that answers the question of whether it hurt worse going in or coming out.

21. "Well, that's just wrong." (Personal note to SLS: See? Doggett thinks so too.)

22. You need to do some good police work, Agent Doggett. This dead man *didn't* tip.

23. Open Mind Reference #2.

24. If Quinton is in the sixth grade and Trevor is in the seventh grade, then in Maryland they should be in middle school, not elementary school.

25. Scully discusses her stowaway theory; Doggett is thinking "turn your head and cough."

26. The Little Legless Man can do the malicious stare pretty darn good.

27. Quint's Dad, watching TV ... I think I see a big butt coming.

28. MMM: Not much Action!Doggett in this one so I guess reminiscing about being a Marine at 19 and seeing dead bodies will have to do. Plus using Manly words like "criminy."

29. A munchkin? Must be one of the Lollipop Guild rejects.

30. TWC2: After a couple of weeks' worth of lovely turtlenecks, Scully is back to those too-tight button up shirts. Maybe she wants to let us know that her boobs are getting bigger.

31. I Wanna Be Mulder Moment #1: Scully ditches her partner to go off and do an "unauthorized procedure."

32. PSC3: It's pretty sad that Quint's dad looks more pregnant than Scully does. And even sadder that no one rushed to find out what was in there. Perhaps unfortunately around this time of year he always develops a severe hemorrhoidal condition.

33. Eww, eww, eww. 1013 definitely seems to be upping the repulsiveness ante this season. (Although I must say that after seeing this the first time, I was a little worried that Scully's baby delivery scene might turn out very similar; and I was pleasantly surprised and relieved when we didn't see a little hand protrude from Scully's belly.)

34. I Wanna Be Mulder Moment #2: Dropping your gun in a fashion that would make Mulder proud.

35. Hiding in plain sight.

36. Typecasting? With a name like Deep Roy, I'd say the actor who plays the Little Legless Man was born to play this part.

37. The school lady better cover her butt, or she might find something stuck where the sun don't shine.

38. I Wanna Be Mulder Moment #3: Call in the ever-reliable Chuck to take us on a ride into the paranormal.

39. ROTF: Impatient!Doggett (checking his watch) gets the evil eye from Scully.

40. Chuck had great hair back in the day.

41. Shapeshifting Munchkins. Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road.

42. TWC3: University of Maryland. Terps NCAA basketball champs. Wa-hoo.

43. "It's hard to believe in something when you can't understand it." Boy, does she get that.

44. Quinton lives in the "Eight is Enough" house. God, one of these days we're liable to see the Brady Bunch house on this show. (Yeah, like *that* could happen!)

45. I Wanna Be Mulder Moment #4: Scully's pulled an all-nighter, sitting at Mulder's desk, in front of Mulder's poster, shirt sleeves rolled up, papers askew, alien head coffee cup ... the only thing missing is watching her toss a pencil into the ceiling. If it looks like a Mulder and acts like a Mulder, it must be a Mulder, right?

46. PSC4: But would it have been too much to ask for her to take the nameplate out of the desk? I know, beggars can't be choosers.

47. At least Samantha's picture is still on the desk, a part of Scully's life as much as Mulder's. :::sniff:::

48. I Wanna Be Mulder Moment #5: One victim out of 118 ... that's a leap.

49. Poor Trevor's mom.

50. See, I knew it was only a matter of time till Doggett said, "What are we doing here?" Should we be picking out china patterns, or what?

51. Note to John: I don't really think you want to be known for that "dollars to donuts" Doggettism. Pick something else.

52. Open Mind Reference #3.

53. Four hours spent interrogating a guy who won't talk? She's persistent, our Scully.

54. Chuck and his magic camera allow Doggett's open mind to finally kick in and warn Scully.

55. I like enterprising kids who take matters into their own hands when adults won't listen. Smells like Hardy Boys spirit!

56. I Wanna Be Mulder Moment #6: Or maybe she doesn't. Forced to shoot on faith and faith alone.

57. PSC5: Ewww, he called her "Scully" for the first time. It's just wrong.

58. I just noticed that the Little Legless Man looks like a mini-UPS guy. I guess he *was* in the delivery business, in a way.

59. Despite the small talk about in-boxes and traffic, the Scully/Doggett partnership doesn't yet seem to be at the "comfortable with comfort" level yet, so that's something to be grateful for.

60. Great work by GA as Scully comes to the realization that as much as she needs to be the "Mulder" on this team right now, it's something she's not capable of doing. She's spent the entire episode reminding Doggett to "have an open mind," when it's really herself she's been reminding. As much as her mind has been opened to extreme possibilities over the past eight years, she can't take that final step to be a "true" believer.

61. MSRM: And even though we haven't seen much evidence of Scully missing Mulder these last few weeks, GA comes through here in a big way, still the Master of the Single Tear Cheek Roll.

62. As is frequently the 1013 trademark, the final tacked-on scene is a mistake. Which is the more powerful image: The Little Legless Man staring at more evil Americans or Scully's emotionally charged epiphany? Guess we know how 1013 thinks; and that's just wrong.

63. I must have missed something in this episode, cause I sure have more questions than answers. Like, for example, if Scully's theory was right and the little man was exacting revenge for the death of his son caused by the big, bad American industrial machine, what possible connection did this have to Quinton and Trevor and their parents? As Chuck said, "Why is he killing the people that he's killing?" Why could the boys see the little man in his real persona when no one else could? If the little man had such extraordinary powers, why couldn't he control the squeak on his cart (or maybe he saw "Jaws" too many times and used that to scare people)? How did he get from the morgue back to the school without his cart? For that matter, how did he get back to India after being shot (and I thought killed) by Scully? Does that mean he was never here at all? Or that he's really just a spirit with a noisy cart? I don't get it; like Doggett, "I'm no Fox Muldah." Maybe that's the point; none of us are.

64. And even though Scully says that it does, in its own way, I'm with Doggett on this one: "The whole thing doesn't make any sense."

In the end (no pun intended), the only thing I can figure out is that maybe the purpose of this episode was to create yet another product tie-in to keep that old X-Files cash cow going. I can see it now:X-Lax. The Relief is Out There.

My apologies to UPS, Ex-Lax, WD-40, proctologists, Elton John, and little Siddhi mystics everywhere. I know this isn't the greatest TOTM ever written. I know I could have done better. But I'd just like to say that's it's wise for you to keep an open mind. I'm sure a wonderful episode like "Badlaa" deserved better. And if you didn't think "Badlaa" was such a great episode .... "Thanks. I'm not quite ready to lose all my faith in humanity."