Theatre of the Mind ~ DeadAlive

Did anybody miss me? I doubt that. But I apologize anyway for the delay in returning to the TOTMs. I had to take a break to complete a very special project, and now that that's done, ready or not, like it or not, I'm back and ready to finish up *this* TOTM project which seems to be never-ending. But just like The X-Files, one of these days it *will* end (but not if I don't get my butt in gear!). The series may be over, but the Theatre of the Mind lives on ... at least for a little while.

Let's see ... when last we left this party, we had reconnected with Richie "And Then I Yelled GARY" the alien hunter, met Agent Reyes of Sunshine, learned that Agent Doggett can be quite compassionate but also a first class jerk (and has severe bullhorn deficiencies), heard Scully reminisce about starlight conversations, found out whose picture Doggett carries around in his wallet and what happened to him, discovered that all the really cool aliens wear Nikes, found Jeremiah Smith only to lose him again, and saw a big honkin' spaceship that even Scully can't deny. Am I forgetting anything? Oh yeah, we found out that Mulder is just a little bit dead. But that's really a minor detail, isn't it? I mean how many times has the man already been dead in his lifetime? But Scully did "see" him in the shadows of her room, and we all know that Scully sees dead people. Is it possible that Mulder has "circled the drain" one time too many and that the plug has finally been pulled? It's time to find out as the TOTMs continue with "DeadAlive." (Noooooooo! This is not happening!)

1. Okay ... I'll say it for all of us: Why North Carolina? If they chose that location for the family plot because of the weather, that's just one more thing that didn't work out for the Mulder clan.

2. Ma Scully! She always loved him like a son. In fanfic anyway.

3. Mulder had more folks come to his wake in "Field Trip."

4. Love the variation on the Haunting Suffering Scully Theme. Beautiful.

5. We can't believe she's standing there either. Anyone who is 14 months pregnant ought to be flat on her back.

6. "And I don't truly believe that ... Mulder's the last." Okay, Walter, spill! How much do you know?

7. Remember back in the day when Scully would never break down in front of Skinner? Now he's got a perpetually soggy shoulder.

8. They say it's a good day when you wake up on the right side of the dirt. I think Fox Mulder is about to have a very bad day ...

9. PSC1: I sure hope they buried that FBI badge with the crappy photo with him.

10. It took Kersh three months to write a commendation letter? That must be *some* letter.

11. How can he split up John and Walter now? They were just getting to know each other!

12. PSC2: A division more suited to Doggett's talents might be audio surveillance. Those ears have to be good for something.

13. Wants to think about it ... I think he secretly likes that basement office (now that he's got a desk).

14. Can it be true? Showing at last! I Want to Believe!

15. PSC3: He doesn't have to lug around J. Edgar Junior but he does have those ears and they must weigh a ton. (I'm being unusually cruel to his ears, aren't I? Maybe it's because it's been so long between TOTMs that they just look bigger somehow. I'll try to be nicer; after all, he's trying to be a good guy.)

16. You should get as far away from her as you can! She's not going to watch you ruin your career, Doggett, because of some hollow personal cause of hers. Go be an agent. Go be an agent while you still can.

17. Doggett *knows* he's part of an agenda. And he already knows if he quits now, they win.

18. "Get out while you can ... or you may never get out at all." Sure wish Scully had given us this advice a little earlier in the season.

19. We interrupt this episode for a screening of "The Perfect Storm."

20. Well, blow me down and shiver me timbers! It's a body "dead" ahead!

21. "Enviable post-mortem intumescence"? Schwing! Morgue envy at 2 a.m.

22. The body exhibited an unusual degree of postmortem galvanic response. (We watched "Leonard Betts"; we were paying attention.)

23. Sleeping single in a double bed till Walter calls for some pillow talk!

24. How come Billy was dropped in the ocean while everybody else got dropped off in Montana? He'd always wanted to take a cruise?

25. Skinner/Doggett road trip!

26. Protective!Doggett hey, that's about enough of that, bucko!

27. Three months later and the snow is still on the ground in North Carolina? This is some strange weather they're havin'.

28. Skinner knows better than to give up on Mulder - he's seen him cheat death before.

29. When Scully was moving that huge headstone to Carolina, do you suppose she moved Pa Mulder there too? Last time I checked, he was buried in Boston.

30. Same old Mulder - loves to grandstand.

31. John, this is no time to whisper sweet nothings into Walter's ear!

32. TWC1: Woo-hoo! He's looking pretty good for a dead man. Nice threads! Bet Scully picked those out. And the XF theme! :::sniff:::

33. I bet Mulder is thanking his lucky stars right now that Scully and her trigger happy scalpel didn't get anywhere near him. Lucky, too, that his fear of fire nixed cremation as an option.

34. I guess the U.S. Naval Hospital in Annapolis is where all the specialists who treat people-who-return-from-the-dead practice medicine.

35. How come Doggett can see him and she can't? Just pick up that phone and make it happen!

36. Alive on the inside, but decomposing on the outside. There's a Beethoven joke in here somewhere and I can't quite seem to find it.

37. Out of the way, J.D. Near him she always must be, nothing can stop her, you see, he is her destiny.

38. GA says it all without words, in her reaction to the rise and fall of his chest. He's alive.

39. Poor Alvin! Doesn't he know by now that Mulder always turns up like a bad penny?

40. Doggett watches the Weather Channel.

41. He might want to tie a knot in that rope and hang on.

42. Kersh is forgetting that Doggett is above reproach. He won't just "drop it."

43. Scully pays a visit to Billy "Puff Daddy" Miles.

44. "The man down the hall was my ... is my partner ..." Damn right!

45. Doctor Scully at her best: Two heartbeats? Must be a machinery malfunction!

46. Return of the nanobots! I smell a Ratboy!

47. He doesn't want to go to hell ... just to the basement.

48. Much as I dislike Ratboy, he gets brownie points for taking the nameplate out of the drawer.

49. "He's a regular Houdini." More like the Amazing Muldeeni ... or Lazarus.

50. Ratboy sure knows how to push Walter's buttons (pun intended).

51. I'm gonna wash that skin right off of my legs, I'm gonna wash that skin right off of my arms, I'm gonna wash that skin right off of my feet and send it on its way ..." This rates a whole new level of "ewwwwwwww."

52. I was gonna point out that dirty shower drain, but I guess that has become a moot point. How'd you like to get the clean-up assignment in *that* bathroom?

53. MSRM: Nothing defines it better than one hand holding Mulder's and the other resting on his offspring.

54. "Concern" as in friend, coworker, partner? Or because you want something more? I'd like to like you, Agent Doggett, but you keep sending me mixed signals about your motives. (I know. *Everybody* loves Scully. I'm more concerned with who she loves back.)

55. Any girl who says the truth is all that matters is Mulder's girl!

56. Scully must have left orders at the nurses' station that if any naked men were discovered roaming the halls, she should be notified immediately!

57. "They're here to save us."

58. Agent Doggett/Mr. Hyde has returned. Can't take rejection, huh J.D.?

59. Scully's no longer a skeptic, but she's not a full-fledged believer yet either. Still, I wish she'd said *something* to wipe that smirk off Doggett's face.

60. Don't leave Walter out of the loop. Somehow, I believe he's the only one who never stopped looking for Mulder.

61. TWC2: If the same thing happens to Mulder as happened to Billy, is there a chance we'd be seeing Mulder naked? (Sorry, lost my focus there for a minute.)

62. Skinner will get the vaccine, whatever it takes. Whatever Scully wants, Scully gets. Cause *EVERYBODY* loves Scully!

63. Including Dr. Jeckyll/Agent Doggett who is all sweet again and has set aside his skepticism to try and find a way to save Mulder for Scully.

64. I think Ratboy has been sitting there holding Mulder's hand. He always did love Mulder best.

65. Kill Scully's baby? Walter probably thought he was just going to have to scrub the bathroom again like he did the last time he sold his soul to save one of these crazy kids.

66. Doggett, this is no time to be admiring Krycek's derriere.

67. Scully has a Mulder-like leap! The abductees are just big incubators to hatch a whole flock of alien beings? Um ... didn't we learn that in the movie? I guess Scully was passed out over his shoulder during that part.

68. Doesn't it make you feel good to know that you have a friend who will kill you rather than allow you to transform into an alien? That's a real pal!

69. MMM: My God, the testosterone just oozes out of the screen! Kicking in the door, tossing Skinner up against the wall (like he hasn't dreamt of *that* a hundred times!), and going after Krycek alone.

70. Oh, but then you had to go and spoil it all by letting Krycek get the jump on you, losing your gun in a Mulder-like fashion, letting go of the car just because you were about to get flattened like a pancake, and then allowing Krycek to add insult to injury by dropping the vial. They sure don't make Manly Men like they used to.

71. Not to worry! Walter's attempt to kill Mulder has inadvertently saved his life. J.D. and Walter won't have to bear the wrath of Scully!

72. Once again, Krycek's motives and alliances are unknown. Does he really want Scully's baby dead? Why? Or did he know that Skinner would never harm Scully's baby and would choose to kill Mulder instead, thereby saving Mulder? I hope Krycek writes a book when this whole thing is over. I'd like to read it.

73. PSC4: Hey, come on into the O.R. without a mask! Bring your cell phone, why don't you?

74. Kersh is bursting the Manly Man's idealistic, true-blue balloon; and the Manly Man is learning the hard way that the truth is out there but so are lies. But Doggett would rather be in the basement with the rest of the people who still have some integrity than climb that old FBI ladder of success. Order up that third desk - they're going to be playing a lot of battleship down there!

75. Bet Scully thought she'd seen the last of the beside vigils; but she's glad to have been wrong!

76. A twitchy finger ... fluttering eyelids .... he's back! Mulder's back! Woo-hoo!!

77. With his wit intact. He had her. He had her big time.

78. He's in fine voice too. After what he's been through, shouldn't his voice at least be a little raspy? I guess I just wanted to see Scully spoon him those ice chips.

79. Yes he does gaze at Agent Scully. And she gazes at him. They *so* love each other!

80. Any idea what *he's* been through? Does he have any idea what *we've* been through?

81. The debate will rage on forever. Did he mouth "I love you" or not? Though I'd love it to be true, I think not. I think he was just trying to get some of those ice chips!

82. "Anybody miss me?" I wouldn't want to take a vote.

83. He can still make her laugh, even through her tears of joy. Awwww.

84. PSC5: Memo to Agent Doggett: Her boyfriend's back and you're gonna be in trouble, hey na, hey na, her boyfriend's back.

85. The old Scully would have pulled away from Mulder when Doggett walked in, but the new Scully doesn't and I'm glad. She's sending a message loud and clear: She loves this man. He challenges her like no other. He exasperates her beyond belief. And he makes her a whole person. Her eyes say it all: We found him, Agent Doggett. We brought him home. This is where he's meant to be. And this is where I'm meant to be. By his side

86. Poor John's had a bad day. Dragged through a parking garage. A dressing down from his superior. Career in the crapper. Learning he's now the odd man out. He needs a hug. And I know just the man to give it to him ...

87. TWC3: He doesn't look all that great, but he's still a sight for sore eyes. No need for an Absent Center Moment Holy Flaming Cow! Mulder, it's so nice to have you back where you belong!

So a plot that we deemed laughable and more than likely a red herring after reading the spoilers (it was to air on April Fool's Day, after all) was made somewhat plausible ... okay, maybe that's stretching it a bit; was made somewhat palatable ... well, maybe that's stretching it a bit too. Oh, who the heck cares? Mulder is back - and that's really all that matters. The event we've patiently waited for to validate a season spent with bat and metal men, butt genies, hidden nameplates, Jesus slugs, x-ray eyed exterminators, hurling soul eaters, 14-month pregnancies, and non-existent absent centers has finally come to pass. The two characters who give the X-Files its heart and soul have been reunited, hopefully to delight us with a little more magic. For some, this is where Season 8 picked up after a long hiatus; for others, this is where Season 8 started. Because for many, everything that came before was just ... "I'll say it again: insanity."

So that's it. After so long without a TOTM, you probably thought you were rid of me. But rest assured "I'm still going to be here to drive you crazy with questions and nagging doubt." So apologies to everyone for taking so long to write this one or for coming back at all, whichever is applicable to you. What more is there to say except, "Back to the real world."