Theatre of the Mind ~ This Is Not Happening

Well, I guess you know by now that I didn't meet my self-imposed deadline of finishing the Season 8 TOTMs before The X-Files ended on May 19, 2002, with the conclusion of Season 9. I apologize, but there were just too many real life interruptions. I do plan to finish up Season 8, and then wrap up the Theatre of the Mind series with "The Truth." So if you were hoping that I had decided to pack it in or that I had dropped off the face of the earth entirely, I'm sorry to disappoint you. I can just imagine what you said when you saw this little tidbit turn up in your in box: "THIS IS NOT HAPPENING!!"1. And then I yelled, "RICHIE!!"

2. They call me Spooky. Spooky Szalay, whose friend GARY! was abducted by aliens when he was in Oregon and who now chases after little green men with a disposable camera and a tape recorder ...

3. Okay, that was just one "this is not happening" over the line.

4. TWC1: Woo-hoo! It's the return of the badge of Johnny Fabulous (bad photo and all) so you know what that means. Where Mulder's badge goes, so goes Mulder. And wherever he's been falling, hopefully he's going to land soon.

5. Commercial TWC: This episode was brought to us by Toyota SUV's. Sorry, but I have a thing for Ford SUV's now (wink, wink, wink).

6. Unhand that nameplate you ... you ... you ... Doggett you!

7. Deduction of Manly Man points for being too chicken to tell Scully the news.

8. Arlene!

9. Just tell her already! You *both* lose Manly Man points.

10. Explaining the Richie/Teresa connection - just in case you haven't been paying attention.

11. Teresa's back! I hope she's been away taking acting lessons.

12. Dr. Desai obviously doesn't know how many people have been "circling the drain" on this show and lived to tell about it.

13. Wow! Teresa's acting *has* improved. The way she just * lays* there ...

14. GA's great in this scene, as she imagines these same horrors inflicted on her constant/touchstone.

15. TWC2: *Who* is the "Uniformed Cop" who brings the police report to Doggett? Holy flaming heifer. Think there might be any openings in the X-Files office anytime soon? Hoo-boy!

16. PSC1: What happened to the kindly Agent Doggett who was comforting expectant mom Scully at the end of "Per Manum"? Could he *be* any more insensitive with his "foreign objects" commentary?

17. "Foo Fighters" ... Walking After You ... I cannot live without you matter of fact ... :::sigh:::

18. Best Richieism: "Dude, you're already in."

19. PSC2: Scully confirms that she and Richie met "last spring" which means Scully is now at least 10 months pregnant and still not showing.

20. So Richie gave up his life in Oregon to try and find his abducted friend ... following every clue, tracking down every possible lead ... basically doing whatever it took. I bet even if he encountered a human bat or a metal man or an ass genie he never stopped once. I bet he never put Gary's flashlight in a drawer either.

21. MMM: Dude, I think it's a pretty sad state of affairs when your manliest moment in the whole episode is putting on your tough guy act to scare a kid.

22. I believe that aliens wear Nike's. How else to explain Michael Jordan?

23. TWC3: Size 9? Well, at least I know it ain't Mulder.

24. "The point here is to find Mulder." Gee, it only took them 14 episodes to figure that out.

25. PSC3: I'd say "looking" for a break is a slight exaggeration.

26. Now she *is* afraid to find him. She hates it when the Manly Man is right.

27. TWC4: Since Scully still hasn't had to break out the maternity wear, she is looking fetching in those turtlenecks and long coats again.

28. TWC5: Well, boys at 1013, I'd like to congratulate you: You finally managed to make Mulder look worse than he does in that new ID badge photo.

29. For the first time, I'm thinking maybe Doggett wasn't so far off by calling him "Mould-er". (Let's hope SilkyPJs!Scully is just dreaming.

30. You know, I always wondered why Skinner didn't have Scully come into his motel room rather than having to "get some clothes on" and join her in the chilly parking lot. It's all suddenly become clear to me. Dear diary: tonight J.D. and I were about to discuss our future together when there was a knock at the door ... (Note: That one was for you, SLS! )

31. I like the HSST (Haunting Suffering Scully Theme) without the vocal.

32. ACM: Scully's heartfelt starlight speech reminds us of all the Absent Center Moments that never were in Season 8. A moment or two like this in each episode, a comment or two about following a lead or even going on an Internet chat room (as Richie said), was all it would have taken to make everything that lead up to this point at least palpable.

33. No matter how she treats him, Skinner is still wrapped around Scully's little finger. I love how he tries to be strong for her and to offer her hope in her moment of despair.

34. 'Member the days when Scully would never break down in front of Skinner? Now he's the one person left with whom she can show her vulnerability and express her fears. :::hanky, please:::

35. Jeremiah was an alien, was a good friend of mine, I never understood a single thing he did, but his healing powers were so fine. Yeah, he always made sick people fine. Joy to the world ...

36. Wouldn't it have been way cool if the Nike's had shape-shifted into Skechers?

37. Once Scully does get to sleep she doesn't mess around.

38. It's Monica Reyes-of-Sunshine, the ritualistic crime girl from Doggett's past.

39. PSC4: I'm sure the folks of Big Sky country will be glad to know that you think their state is so beautiful, Agent Reyes-of-Sunshine. Perhaps you could refrain from tossing your butts onto it.

40. At least she finally stomped it out. I'm sure the folks of Montana would be just a little miffed if you set their state on fire as well.

41. ROTFLMAO: I think all of us are looking at the "new girl" just like Skinner and Scully.

42. "Can we stick to the facts, please?" You should know by now, Johnny, that Scully don't like you talkin' about her bizness behind her back.

43. PSC5: Should I be worried about someone who smiles when talking about "ritualistic abuse"? I don't think Scully has smiled this much in eight years.

44. Something tells me Mulder would be more likely to join a porn cult ... I mean call it a group ... than one following UFOs.

45. If only Doggett had offered to part company when she mentioned Alien Bounty Hunters way back in "Without."

46. "Enjoy your new company." You go, girl.

47. Stick around, Jeremiah. I'm having a bad feeling about this.

48. Oh, oh. She had her at the "implants."

49. I hope we don't have to get a new poster for the office: "Let's Just Say I Don't Not Want to Believe."

50. She was the black sheep of the New Orleans field office, perhaps an annoyance to her superiors and a joke to her peers; and she has "spiritual notions" and believes in all that harmonic convergence crap. She's part Mulder, part Melissa. With that winning combination, you know Scully has found a friend.

51. Scully's even asking about Reyes-of-Sunshine's "feelings." Before you know it she'll be quite the New-Ager, into those magnetic bracelets and crystals and mood rings. God bless her.

52. Morley Lights: The cigarette for those who are feeling just a little bit evil.

53. Maybe that's why Doggett is such a skeptic: he didn't get to have a close encounter on his first day.

54. It's like an alien abductee Easter egg hunt!

55. Oooh, I hope those are some familiar feet in that truck!

56. MSRM: The autopsy may be on Gary, but you know who she's thinking about.

57. Awww, Richie has lost his best friend ... and Scully thinks she might have too.

58. TWC6: Skinner's "Dana" just breaks my heart ... you big, bald, beautiful man, you.

59. As always, when faced with adversity, Scully needs something to put her back up against ... she needs to work.

60. PSC6: Sorry, 1013, but I don't want to stand here and listen to all this feeling sorry for Mr. Sensitivity "mumbo jumbo" right at the moment. You should have told us about Doggett's murdered son way back in "Invocation."

61. "You can't let them find him." Him, who? Mulder? If that was Mulder's feet in that truck, why in the heck haven't you already healed him? What're you waiting for? It only takes a few minutes, after all. Time to adopt that Nike philosophy: Just do it.

62. Very tacky of the FBI to schedule their raid on the UFO cult compound on laundry day. Lots and lots of sheets. (And what's with all those plastic ones hanging in the house? Maybe they protect you, like those tin foil hats.)

63. PSC7: Based on his performance with that megaphone, I'd say Agent Doggett has a likely future at the Lucky Boy drive-up window.

64. More stunning acting by Teresa. That "deer in the headlights" look is tough. Bravo!

65. Did the aliens start invading in 2000 or at the start of the *real* Millennium? Guess it depends on whether the aliens are math geeks or not.

66. TWC7: It makes me sad that Scully doesn't have a nicer photo of Mulder to flash around, like one in his Speedo for instance.

67. "I asked you to give me the truth." Very powerful.

68. No lights ... that's never good.

69. TWC8: Holy Flaming Cow! Even as a ghost, he's still got it.

70. Scully fears she's seeing dead people again, but covers quickly cause she doesn't want to be as big a nut as Monica.

71. A Reyes-of-Sunshine video presentation!

72. Walter ... Hell-o! You participated in the questioning of Jeremiah Smith in "Talitha Cumi." Don't you people remember anything?

73. Dumbest Doggettism: "That's me, and I never even went in that building."

74. Wow, does Scully have a shape-shifting alien sixth sense, or what?

75. PSC8: Jeremiah says he's the "only one," but what happened to all the other Jeremiahs we learned about in "Talitha Cumi"? Wasn't Jeremiah "circling the drain" the last time we saw him in "Herrenvolk"? This is making my head hurt. I can't wait for him to heal me, I'll just take an aspirin.

76. GA proves once again that words are unnecessary. About 20 different emotions play across her face in five seconds when Skinner says, "It's Mulder."

77. But I also like watching the Scully who has kept her fears and her feelings pretty much in check during the whole episode finally lose it. I love hearing her scream "how bad is he" over and over and I love the fact that she breaks free from Doggett not once but twice. (Manly Man, indeed.) And I love her desperate run back to the compound to save Mulder the only way she knows how - not with science but with faith in something not of this world.

78. Those aliens have a habit of showing up at the most inopportune times, don't they? Well, I guess Scully can't deny seeing this one.

79. This is a perfect example of why you should never put off until tomorrow what you can do today. Jeremiah's gone, and the opportunity to heal Mulder gone with him. But I'm not worried. Mulder has "circled the drain" before, you know. Two or three times, as I recall.

80. I know how Chris and Frank love these little "themes," but I just think "This is not happening" was so un-Scully. Gillian tried to sell it, but I wasn't buying. The big long "Noooooooooo" was more Scully's style.

81. Those who were excited about Mulder's return could probably relate to Scully's sentiments as we were told that FOX was leaving us hanging with the image of a Dead Mulder and a Distraught Scully for a whole month while they premiered a new show in the X-Files time slot featuring those paranoid techno-geeks The Lone Gunmen. Sadly, this little experiment failed on two counts: The Gunmen's show didn't make it, despite the Sunday night exposure; and many XF viewers, unaware of Fox Mulder's propensity for avoiding that final slurp down the drain (and the fact that David Duchovny was contracted for the rest of the Season 8 episodes), didn't return when the show did. Or maybe they just found it hard to get all worked up about the "yeah, Mulder's dead again so what else is new" plot. Perhaps 1013 finally went to the "Mulder's dead" well one too many times. So when the "To be continued" flashed on screen, unfortunately a lot of folks just didn't care ...

82. But you know me. I've stuck with this entire season, through metal men and ass genies and people with third eyes and Jesus slugs and time going backward and vomiting soul eaters waiting patiently for the return of Fox Mulder. And for what? To be told the X-Files will return in five weeks? You know what I had to say to that ...

83. "No frickin' way."

Again, I apologize for taking so long to get these finished (I promise you won't have to wait five weeks for the next one). But in a way, the TOTMs are sort of like Fox Mulder. They keep circling the drain but they just won't die. Every time I think I should just quit, something spurs me onward. I guess it's because I get a chance to talk about what I like, and what I don't like. I get a chance to get stuff off my chest. I get a chance to explore my feelings and to share those feelings with others. I'll let you in on a little secret. Lately, I've even considered writing TOTMs for Season 9. Not that I'd subject you all to them, mind you, they'd be strictly for my own sense of closure. After all, I have taken the time to watch this whole bloody season (pun intended) and what better way for me to rant about Doggett's ears, Monica's outfits, and Scully's hair (it's just wrong!). It would be an opportunity for me to cleanse my soul, allowing me to deal with these issues that I have ...

"I'm sorry, this feels like therapy." I have to go lie down on the couch now. Apologies, as always. This is not happening.