Theatre of the Mind ~ Vienen

At the beginning of Season 8, the X-Files' locations person, Ilt Jones, made note of several places where he thought it would be really cool for the X-Files to shoot during the season. One of those places was a big oil rig off of Oxnard. Late in the season, writer Steve Maeda was trying to come up with a story idea and remembered the picture of the oil rig - and thus "Vienen" was born. "Vienen" wasn't just an opportunity to use the oil rig location; it also served as a "buddy" episode for Mulder and Doggett, it gave Scully something meaningful to do (since her 18th or 19th month of pregnancy limited her participation out in the field), and it set the stage for the "passing of the X-Files torch" from the old guard to the new. It was an opportunity for the old master to pass along the meaning of The Truth to his apprentice in order to save the people and restore freedom to the galaxy. It was ...

1. A long time ago, on a Galpex-Orpheus Platform far, far away ...

2. "Vienen" means "they come" in Spanish. (I think I read an NC-17 fanfic by the same name once.)

3. It's the oil rig Death Star.

4. Hockey game announcer Rich Marotta is an Emmy-award winning L.A. sports announcer and a well-known boxing analyst (which comes in handy at a hockey game).

5. Big deal. The Fonz has been doing that for years. They need a satellite dish.

6. Isn't that always the way? You get to the front of the line and they close the carving station.


8. Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good carving knife at your side, kid.

9. This all seems familiar in a "Piper Maru/Apocrypha" sort of way.

10. TWC1: Let's make the new ID a top priority, 'kay?

11. Tsk, tsk, tsk. 8:57 a.m. Daylight's burning, Agent Doggett. The early bird catches the liver-eating mutant, you know. No time for Manly pursuits like reading the sports page.

12. TWC2: Woo-hoo! If you don't change the locks you never know who might drop in.

13. No need to get so testy, John. All he's saying is that every time he brings you a case you go through this perfunctory dance. You tell him he's not being law enforcementally rigorous and that he's off his nut, and then in the end who turns out to be right like 98.9% of the time? He just thinks he's earned the benefit of the doubt here.

14. Nobody likes a show-off. (Sounds like crap when he says it.)

15. Did somebody say light saber? Not as clumsy or as random as a handgun. The weapon of an FBIJedi - like Obi-Wan Mulder!

16. You must learn the ways of the Truth if you're to take over the X-Files, Agent YoDawgett! (I knew I'd seen those ears somewhere.)

17. Lots and lots of peeing (and it ain't all in the breakfast cereal). Must mark territory first, bond later.

18. TWC3: He files, he answers the phone. If he can make coffee could be love. Just like old times.

19. Kersh should lay off the pissy cornflakes; the man needs some Raisin Bran.

20. Sending Agent YoDawgett to investigate ... I have a bad feeling about this.

21. In addition to catching the liver eating mutants, the early bird catches the first chopper to the oil rig.

22. The pissing contest begins in earnest.

23. Speaking of pissing, what happens if you're infected with black oil? Enquiring minds want to know!

24. Hey, look everybody! We're on a real big oil rig!

25. Walking, walking, walking ... pissing, pissing, pissing ... paddling, paddling, paddling ...

26. TWC4: All this walking and pissing and paddling in those gray over gray long/short-sleeve tees ... drooling, drooling, drooling ...

27. Follow me, everything is all right; I'll be the one to tuck you in at night ... (Hey, let's have none of *that* on this trip! Remember, Dana and Walter are waiting for you back home!)

28. Calm down, Agent YoDawgett. Anger ... fear ... aggression. The dark side of the Truth are they.

29. Spooky intuition or old fashioned police work? Po-tay-toe, po-tah-toe.

30. Agent YoDawgett, I find your lack of faith disturbing.

31. Mulder surveying and disobeying .... Scully slicing and dicing. It really *is* like old times!

32. Good old Walter, protecting Scully from the black oil. He's a believer.

33. But not enough to talk to the man suffering from Pissy Cornflake Syndrome.

34. No, you can't get Howard Stern on that radio.

35. Alas, poor Yuri. Your mother warned you about swapping bodily fluids. Ewwww.

36. TWC5: Agent YoDawgett may have gone fishing, but I see the Catch of the Day! Hoo-boy!

37. Scully's thinking she should have left Mulder handcuffed to the headboard.

38. Flouting, flouting, flouting ....

39. A quarantine? And he told Agent YoDawgett it would be a nice trip to the Gulf of Mexico ...

40. Sweetest Mulderism: "When he gets old enough, you tell the kid I went down swingin'."

41. GRM: They not only give good phone, they give good radio.

42. YoDawgett is back, and I guess they weren't biting. No fish fry tonight.

43. I will follow him, follow him wherever he may go ...

44. Lucky Obi-Wan Mulder is out there, lucky Agent YoDawgett's letting him stay. In my experience, there's no such thing as luck.

45. Look on the bright side, guys! We can watch more hockey and have another all-you-can-eat buffet!

46. A Diego Garza hunt! More opportunity to prove to the audience that they're on a real, live oil rig!

47. Oh, oh. Scully better start writing that "your old man went down swinging" speech.

48. Climbing, climbing, climbing (but I can only think of the blooper: "I'M MULDER!" "What the f*** did I say?").

49. I'm the Pied Piper, follow me; I'm the Pied Piper, I'll show you where it's at ...

50. You *would* think that someone would have noticed that one of the best workers was missing and someone would have tried to find him. Organized a Search for Garza Task Force ... made Garza the Absent Center ...

51. More walking, walking, walking ... Who's more foolish? The fool, or the fool who follows him?

52. Listen to Obi-Wan Mulder, Agent YoDawgett! If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny.

53. The Mulder leap! Oh, how I've missed them.

54. Oopsie! Mulder's not the only one leaping; DD's mole is as well! It leaps from the right to the left and back again (as does the shadow on his face) while he has words with Doggett.

55. Dying not only cured Mulder of his mysterious brain disease, it apparently also cured him of his tendency to get seasick and his fear of fire.

56. Ouch! I think YoDawgett found the extinguisher.

57. Scully's got that "deer in the headlights" look when Kersh arrives. She needs more flouting practice.

58. Wow, Skinner's balls suddenly return! Guys can get hurt when that happens too fast.

59. Sorry Agent YoDawgett can't come to the radio right now. He's gone unconscious.

60. You bet he bleeds red! He's a red-blooded, NASCAR-lovin', Pop Tart toastin', Manly Ex-Marine!

61. Agent YoDawgett doesn't believe in that flying saucer mumbo jumbo, but ipso facto, dollars to donuts, through old-fashioned police work he'll figure out who the hell is vienen-ing.

62. Poor Simon won the immunity challenge but still couldn't win the *big* game of Survivor.

63. Scully and Skinner are really worried now. Suppose they never see their guys again?

64. Prerequisite for X-Files employment: Must be able to translate "Trust no one" from any language.

65. The black oil sees a clear passage through those gigantic ears.

66. "You're going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view." How's that POV, Agent YoDawgett? Not afraid? You will be.

67. This is his most desperate hour. Help him, Obi-Wan Mulder. You're his only hope.

68. TWC6: *Really* Manly Men walk softly and carry a big metal light saber.

69. Don't think, Agent YoDawgett. Just pick up that radio and make it happen!

70. Oopsie, again! Obi Wan Mulder very noisily dropped his big metal light saber when he was helping Agent YoDawgett off the floor, and it suddenly reappears in his hand. (Not really a blooper; the FBIJedi can do that sort of thing!)

71. Wow, when these people say "WIPE YOUR BOOTS OFF," they really mean it!

72. Vienen, Agent YoDawgett, vienen!

73. No! Try not! Do or do not! There is no try! Fix the damn radio!

74. Wagner? Don't you know he lives for Bach?

75. Scully, this is no time for one of those annoying "can you hear me now" conversations.

76. TWC7: Even covered in sweat and oil, can the man *be* any more sexy? "That issue is rapidly becoming moot!"

77. OT: Tell the truth; didn't you just for one second think that Mulder was going to whack Doggett over the head with that metal pipe? (Hey, I said *think* not *hope*!)

78. Noho on the radi-o - It's a big alien transmitter!

79. Agent YoDawgett, after all you've seen, why can't you believe?

80. Poor Diego ... he's done.

81. Running, running, running ... footwear, footwear, footwear ...

82. Didn't we just leave this party?

83. You guys might want to consider going to a first-name basis right now.

84. MMM: Adventure ... heh. Excitement ... heh. An FBIJedi craves not these things. But a Manly Man lives for them. And he wants to be in charge!

85. Short pause from "Star Wars" analogies as Mulder and Doggett have now become Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Two count, 20 count doesn't matter. The fall will probably kill you.

86. Jumping, jumping, jumping .... falling, falling, falling ... What happened to the "Oh, shi ...!"?

87. TWC8: Doggett footwear just doesn't cut it. But what he's got waiting in his office? Holy Flaming Cow!

88. "Your destiny lies along a different path from mine, Agent YoDawgett." He's fired. 86'd. Canned. Dismissed. Sent Packing. Sacked. Let Go. Discharged. Ousted. Terminated. Sacrificed. Do what you will, Kersh. But you can't win. If you strike him down, he shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine.

89. Agent YoDawgett doesn't *want* Kersh's ear. He's got two huge ones already!

90. Shaking, shaking, shaking ... bonding, bonding, bonding ... leaving, leaving, leaving ...

91. "You're in charge here now." You're an FBIJedi Knight, committed to finding The Truth. The Truth is what gives an FBIJedi his power. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together. Ready are you? What know you of ready?

92. Guess there's no need for the new ID now, huh? :::sniff::: But fired or not, he still went out in style, head held high, no regrets. And I liked it that way; walking out without looking back, leaving it all behind him. It said to me that Mulder was ready to leave his old life behind and finally move forward - forward to a life with Scully and their child. He left with a silent message for his "apprentice": "The truth will be with you, always." Agent Doggett had seen the truth for himself and knew what Obi-Wan Mulder had said was true.

93. "There's more where that came from."

Okay, first of all just let me say that I have seen "Star Wars" three hundred and sixty eight times. I should break four hundred by Labor Day. But I think I've seen "Small Potatoes" three hundred and seventy times, so everything is relative.

We knew that a "bonding" episode like "Vienen" was inevitable; but actually, it was one of my favorite episodes from Season 8 (and of course it became the second episode to start with a "V" during this season - after seven years with no "V's" to complete the X-Files alphabet game). I thought DD and RP worked well together, and I thought they definitely had chemistry - the very thing I thought was lacking between RP and GA. I'll grant you I'm a little prejudiced there; I mean perhaps I looked differently at those relationships because I really wasn't worried about a "DMR" developing (and John is so obviously happy with Walter now! - tee hee hee). Yes, it was designed to be a "buddy" show, a chance for the two adversaries to bond, and to pave the way for Mulder's exit from the FBI and ultimately the show. But DD and RP gave us a nice piece about two very different men who approach the same problem in very different ways, yet reach the same basic conclusion. Along the way they discover a little more about each other, and learn that they can *learn* from each other. They don't become "best buds" (which I'm sure TPTB were tempted to have happen), but they learn to tolerate and gain a certain level of respect for each other. All in all, I wouldn't have minded seeing a few more episodes like "Vienen" in Season 8; but I can see I'm not really doing much to convince you about this. Hmmm ... "Tough crowd."

Apologies as always, not just for the usual dreck that I turn out in these TOTMs, but also for taking so long to get this one finished. Every time I think I'm ready to roll and finish things up, real life makes other plans and throws a few roadblocks in my way. For those who are still interested, I am committed to the long haul and I will see these through to the end. It may just take a little longer than I had hoped. So bear with me and you'll get them all eventually; or if you decide you've had enough -

"Now it's all making sense."