Theatre of the Mind ~ Via Negativa

1. "Via negativa" means "by way of negation." It is the method, originating in Neo-Platism, of understanding God by listing predicates or attributes that are not God's. It is the opposite of "via affirmativa," which means "by way of affirmation."

2. Original air date December 17, 2000. Viewer discretion advised. Gee, I love when they put on these warm and fuzzy episodes right before the holidays.

3. Agent Leeds, I think you drooled on me.

4. I thought that Article 30, paragraph 8.7, of "the book" stated that proper surveillance requires two pairs of agents, one pair relieving the other after twelve hours? (He could have at least brought a root beer.)

5. This must be the neighborhood watch house.

6. That was *some* keg party! To-ga, splat ... to-ga, splat ... to-ga, splat ...

7. The cultists were nestled all snug in their beds while visions of big axes smashed in their heads.

8. He's looking at that guy like he had a third eye or something. Oh ... never mind.

9. TWC1: If I fell in love with you would you promise to be true ... Holy Flaming Cow, isn't it time for him to come back yet?

10. Falls Church, Virginia. Don't any FBI agents want to live in Maryland?

11. I think the Manly Man's house needs a catchy name. Let's see .... The Dog House? No .... The Dog Pound? No ... Pooch's Place? I like it. BTW, where's his truck parked?

12. A polite Scully ditch.

13. PSC1: Scully looks like she's gonna barf ... I guess Agent Doggett can have that effect on you.

14. Oh no! Something wrong with Baby Mulder? Wait! I don't want to follow Poochie to Pittsburgh, I want to know about the baby! Go back, go back!!!! Rats.

15. TWC2: Have I mentioned that I really don't like Skinner's new glasses? I liked the old rounder ones.

16. Dear Diary: Today, J.D. showed up at the crime scene without Dana. Now's my chance to work with him alone! I can't believe my luck!

17. "Spooky Poochie"? Ah, saved by the latex! We'll never confuse you with Muldah as long as you snap on a prophylactic before poking your finger into something.

18. Boo! Creepy Agent Crane!

19. I expect Doggett to have buds with manly names like Angus. But what was he doing at that condo?

20. That other guy used to *kick* the doors in (so I could get a good look at his footwear).

21. Anthony Tipet took an axe and gave Agent Angus one big whack.

22. Looks like Kersh has moved on up to the big time. Pretty swanky digs.

23. Fun Hallucinogenic Facts: Tabernathe iboga is an ordinary-looking shrub found in a small area of West Africa. Despite its common appearance, in those few nations that know of it, the plant is worshipped as the source of spiritual knowledge and as a tool for accessing the wisdom of the ancestors. The root bark, scraped off, ground into powder, and eaten, contains one of the most powerful, long-lasting and mysterious psychedelic agents. Over the last few decades, iboga has developed a following in the U.S. and Europe, where it is known as ibogaine and is being promoted as a potential cure for treating addiction to heroin and other drugs.

24. Skinnah picking up the Mulder gauntlet. You go, Skinman!

25. Dear Diary: Today, J.D. and I had a little spat. I hate it when he's cross with me!

26. Ouch! Wouldn't it be easier to take a couple of Advil?

27. Looks like we have a Search for Tippett Task Force. Hope they are more successful than the Search for Mulder Task Force.

28. PSC2: Oh Lord, it's hard to be humble, when you're perfect in every way.

29. J.D., get with the program. When she's "fine," something is terribly wrong. And BTW, when are we gonna get back to that part of the story? Do you think I'd rather see a guy with three eyes or what's happening to Scully and Baby Mulder? Rats!

30. Dear Diary: Today my heart leapt when W.S. touched me! I love it when he's forceful!

31. That's not really fair is it? Well, that's just cheating! Ouch!

32. Back at Pooch's Place ... strange hours you keep, J.D. (And I think it's okay to take off your tie!)

33. Dear Diary: W.S. came over at 4 a.m. to discuss the case. I think we're "making progress."

34. ROTFLMAO: No "concrete" evidence against him!

35. Who knew the Skeptic and Believer trying to recapture the old magic would be Doggett and Skinner.

36. Dear Diary: J.D. has the bluest eyes I've ever seen (well, except for Dana).

37. The new "off-kilter" trend this season - another 10:12 reference.

38. Andre Bormanis is named after writer Frank Spotnitz's childhood friend. Bormanis went on to become a science consultant for "Star Trek: Voyager," and "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine."

39. No, he's not always up at this hour ... he had to get up to answer the door!

40. I hope he doesn't use that saw to dissect the rats.

41. Who said 22? When? Did I doze off there for a second?

42. Manly Man returns to make the arrest. I wondered where he was.

43. TWC3: Don't be trying to win me over with the footwear close-ups. My heart pines for the footwear of only one man.

44. Bring me the head of Dana Scully! Okay, that was creepy.

45. Dear Diary: Tonight, I was having the strangest dream about Agent Scully. I'm not sure what it means ... but then I was awakened by the strong hand of W.S. on my shoulder and I knew everything would be okay. Our hands brushed, our eyes locked and ... damn, why does Scully keep interrupting!

46. Oh good, we're finally back to the *real* story about Scully and Baby Mulder. No, don't make it all about Doggett! Don't thank him for covering for you! Rats!

47. MSRM: Well, at least she remembers that Mulder has friends. That's a start.

48. How disappointing to find out that apparently Scully worries about *everyone's* sleeping habits.

49. PSC3: Why didn't they just dress Scully up in a little cheerleader outfit while they were at it? Doggett, Doggett, he's our man! If he can't do it, no one can! Two, four, six, eight, who do we appreciate? Dog-gett, Dog-gett, Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay, John!

50. PSC4: What's with these little matching badge necklaces that Skinner and Doggett have on?

51. Dear Diary: J.D. looks tired. I'm concerned. I'm going to order complete bed rest for him when this is all over.

52. Rats! Lots and lots of rats. And they look at little pissed about that dissecting remark. Ewww.

53. ACM: It's nice to hear *someone* reminisce about Mulder, even though I'd rather hear the boys discussing what they've been doing to look for him. But what *really* reminds me of Mulder is Langly doing the old Olympic Pencil Toss just like a certain G-Man I know and love. :::sigh:::

54. Visitor badges? They don't need no stinking visitor badges!

55. Langly's real name is Richard, just like Ringo Starr. Cute.

56. A Lone Gunmen Slide Show!

57. Money Matters Facts: The eye and the pyramid shown on the reverse side of the one-dollar bill are in the Great Seal of the United States. The Great Seal was first used on the reverse of the one-dollar Federal Reserve note in 1935. The Department of State is the official keeper of the Seal; and they believe that the most accurate explanation of the pyramid is that it symbolizes strength and durability. The unfinished pyramid means that the United States will always grow, improve, and build. In addition, the "All-Seeing Eye" located above the pyramid suggests the importance of divine guidance in favor of the American cause. The inscription "annuit coeptis" translates as "He (God) has favored our undertakings," and refers to the many instances of Divine Providence during our government's formation. In addition, the inscription "novus ordo seclorum" translates as "A new order of the ages," and signifies a new American era.

58. Speaking of money, the boys took Scully for a 20 bucks at their first meeting. I think they should have taken Doggett for at least a C-note.

59. I know what it's like to be afraid that your nightmares will come true. Season 9. 'Nuff said.

60. Doggett's got a nifty little desk area there. Been making himself to home, I see.

61. PSC5: Was it really necessary to have even Mulder's best friends, the Lone Gun Guys, praising the Pooch? Sure. Fine. Whatever. (But I still say he'll never get invited over for cheesesteaks.)

62. Gee, I never "saw" that one coming, did you?

63. No, I have no idea how that stalking thing got started.

64. Dear Diary: Kersh thinks that J.D. and I do good work together. Maybe I'll get a few more "special" assignments with this "special" agent!

65. Back at Pooch's Place, I think the normally calm, cool, collected, and unflappable Agent Doggett just got flapped.

66. Well, if nothing else, Doggett will have a future with the band Third Eye Blind. He sort of leads a Semi-Charmed Kind of Life, after all. (You knew that one would be in here somewhere, didn't you?)

67. Dear Diary: Today, W.S. offered to pinch me. I sure hope this isn't a dream!

68. Alas, poor Manly Man, as soon as I saw you tearing up I *knew* it was a dream!

69. Lots of looooooong walks down looooooooong hallways. If I see the Washington Monument in this dream, I'm turning this off.

70. I think Spotsy must have been eatin' some serious iboga when he wrote this one.

71. PSC6: Okay, just when has Agent Doggett been to Agent Scully's apartment so that he can dream about it so vividly, huh??? (Although, I'm beginning to wonder whether this is Scully's apartment or a K-Mart midnight madness sale.)

72. MMM: I guess you can't get much manlier than stopping from killing someone else and turning the axe on yourself.

73. At least I'm glad she didn't say she used her KEY to get in!

74. Whew! Scully and Baby Mulder are okay! She's "back at work." But no mention of the most important work of all: looking for Mulder. Rats!

75. Dear Diary: Last night I dreamed that I almost killed Agent Scully, but why? I barely know the woman. Could it be that I see her as a rival for the affections of the one I truly love? All those brief touches, those longing glances; am I just imagining these things? If I could just get those glasses off and look directly into those deep brown eyes I'd know for certain. But until then, I'm going to be more dedicated than ever to getting Muldah back. Until he's back, the one *I* love can never truly be mine!

76. Final thoughts about "Via Negativa"? "It was a bad dream, Agent Doggett, but that's all it was." Couldn't have said it better myself.

"Via Negativa" was pretty creepy; but I found it's purpose to be twofold. First, perhaps it helped Agent Doggett realize that sometimes there is more to it than just "good police work," and that maybe there is something to these "extreme possibilities" after all. And secondly, this is the first episode to start with the letter "V," thus allowing X-Philes everywhere to breathe a sigh of relief that the X-Files Alphabet Game will have its own sense of closure. And the alphabet deserves closure. Just like anyone.

That one took *way* longer than it was supposed to, but real life intrudes again. Apologies across the board. And as I dig deeper into Season 8 TOTM writing, these words are coming back to haunt me: "Mondo bizarro. No offense, man, but you're in way over your head." Rats.