Theatre of the Mind ~ Lord of the Flies

Did you think you'd seen the last of the Theatre of the Mind series? Ha, ha - You're not that lucky! Neither real life nor work schedules nor holiday cheer nor Season 9 apathy can keep this TOTM courier from her appointed rounds. It just took awhile, that's all. Is it worth the wait? I sincerely doubt it. But here it is anyway. Enjoy.

1. Factoid: The title seems to be the only thing that this episode shares with the classic William Golding novel "Lord of the Flies" published in 1954 about a group of schoolboys who are shipwrecked on a deserted island.

2. Q: How do you know when you've hit bottom? A: You're ripping off "Jackass."

3. Q: How do you know when you've hit rock bottom? A: You're ripping off "Jackass" about six months after it's actually topical.

4. Smart idea to keep that little X-Files logo on screen throughout the teaser, just to reassure confused viewers that they have actually tuned in to see "The X-Files." (That might have been a good idea for *every* episode in Seasons 8 and 9.)

5. TWC1: Ouch! I'm glad Mulder didn't have a similar accident with the pitching machine in "The Unnatural." That would have put a serious crimp in the nicely wrapped package ... so to speak. 6. Better check that port-a-potty for Flukemen.

7. Poopy day.

8. I thought the Shopping Cart of Doom was the one with the rickety wheel that I get every time I go to the grocery store.

9. Dumb Ass Peer Pressure.

10. How deflating.

11. TWC2: The X-Files has always been able to stir great passion in me. That would explain why even two years later, I *still* hate the Season 9 opening credits.

12. New Jersey. Well, that explains a lot, a lot, a lot.

13. I find the fact that Doggett & Reyes are considered the "experts" nearly as incredulous as Doggett & Reyes do.

14. Sadly, it almost seems like I'm watching The Dumb Ass Show right now.

15. Monica, what's with the forceps? Mulder would have stuck his finger right in that eye socket!

16. Hey, guys, it's only a few flies, not a jiffy pop popper full of killer bees.

17. When a bunch of flies fly outta your eye, who you gonna call? Agent Scully.

18. D&R&S really have that "Mod Squad" walk down pat.

19. William? William who?

20. Something tells me that Agent Doggett has a stack of magazines that aren't his.

21. TWC3: I used to think Season 9 Scully Hair was Gillian's worst look ever. Then I saw Gillian as a blonde. I stand corrected.

22. Dr. Rocky Bronzino, the male Bambi Berenbaum.

23. Two Squirrels (Scully & Rocky) but not a Moose in sight. What's wrong with this picture?

24. Death by fly. Would that be insecticide?

25. Garfield High's horny beast mascot - The X-Files' favorite teenage metaphor.

26. Unrequited lunchroom lust.

27. It's tough when the principal is not just your p-a-l but also your m-o-m.

28. Best Mulderism disguised as Doggetism: "This kid had crap for brains and the flies couldn't resist."

29. Poke fun at the FOX network? Been there, done that.

30. The mark of the Dumb Ass.

31. Factoid: Roger Keith "Syd" Barrett was a guitarist, singer, songwriter, and cofounder of Pink Floyd in 1965. It was Syd who gave Pink Floyd its name, from albums by two Carolina blues artists, Pink Anderson and Floyd Council, that were in his collection. He contributed to the first two Pink Floyd albums and the early singles, but the pressures of the band's early success, coupled with increasing drug abuse, were too much for him, making him unpredictable on stage and in the studio. The band replaced him with David Gilmour in 1968. After Pink Floyd he had a short-lived solo career but is still regarded as a true musical genius. The poster on Dylan's wall featuring ants and bugs is the cover of Barrett's self-titled solo album, released November 14, 1970. The tune playing in Dylan's bedroom is "No Good Trying" from Barrett's album, "The Madcap Laughs."

32. Being Dylan is no picnic ... but it does have its share of ants.

33. TWC4: Have I mentioned the bad hair? I think it has hit a new low.

34. Spelling body lice would be mighty popular on Stupid Pet Tricks.

35. How does one direct bugs? Kim Manners knows.

36. Oh, the teen angst. (Yawn)

37. I can only see Dylan's mom as Christy Cummings, the poodle-handler in "Best in Show."

38. Dylan has bigger problems than puberty.

39. TWC5: Backside of a leather jacket, hands on hips, dark hair ... hey, no fair gettin' a girl's hopes up like that.

40. "I'm a mother"? Not that I don't agree that Scully needs to remind herself of that fact, but that's the best she can do to ward off Rocky's advances? Has anyone checked to see if flies have sucked out Scully's brain?

41. DMMM (Desperately Missing Mulder Moment): Characters on "The X-Files" have been attracted to Scully before - Sheriff Hartwell in "Bad Blood," Padgett in "Milagro," Agent Pendrell or Frohike most any time - so that's nothing new, but the difference is this time there's no one around to care. Rocky's flirtations would have been much more interesting if the man who made Scully a mother was around to witness/comment on them and to tease Scully about the entomologist who's "buggy" for her.

42. Okay, I did chuckle as Scully & Rocky looked skyward for the source of the pheromones as Dylan rides behind them on his bicycle.

43. Okay, I chuckled again when I noticed that Natalie drives a Volkswagen "bug".

44. Oh, more teen angst. (Yawn)

45. Never a no-pest strip around when you need one.

46. "A horse whisperer, only for bugs?" Agent Doggett is just a laugh riot in this one.

47. Two Mod Squad walks in one episode - trouble.

48. Oh, Scully, where have you gone? Please explain to me the scientific nature of the B.O.

49. Monica does the MulderLeaping about BugBoy Love.

50. Oh, even more teen angst. (Yawn)

51. Factoid: The song playing in the background is "Terrapin," and the song lyric that Dylan quotes to Natalie ("a dream in a mist of gray") is from "Opel," both Syd Barrett songs.

52. That's why you should never French kiss a bug.

53. The buzz around the block is bound to end badly.

54. Ew, SpideySpit.

55. Return of the Little Ass Flashlight!

56. Scully has had a partner in the Biblical sense as well.

57. Disappointed I didn't get an "oh brother" after Rocky's "you complete me."

58. Natalie: It's 10 o'clock. Does *anyone* know where your parents are?

59. I guess we've answered the question of whether being a BugBoy is genetic or environmental.

60. Now would be a good time for that "with great power comes great responsibility" speech.

61. Natalie is obviously a graduate of the Theresa Hoese School of Acting.

62. Three people encased in Spideyspit - we get it.

63. Rocky's "help me" while trapped in the webbing is an homage to the movie, "The Fly."

64. TWC6: :::sigh::: I miss those old oral flashlight skills.

65. The Dumbing Down of Dana Scully Continues: Showing Scully enthusiastically giving CPR to a guy who quite obviously doesn't need it is about as low as it goes.

66. Well, almost. Scully also gets the distinction of delivering the dumbest end voiceover since "First Person Shooter." (I'm telling you - it's the hair.)

67. Natalie gets the Fickle Female Award for being freaked out by Dylan just a few scenes ago, then mooning dreamily over his firefly declaration of everlasting love at episode's end.

68. The audience realized pretty early on that Dylan the Bug Boy, "Lord of the Flies (... and the Ants ... and the Lice ... and the Fireflys)", was responsible for the bizarre insect behavior and that his feelings for Natalie had something to do with it. Then we had to sit around and wait for somebody else to figure it out. If this sounds boring, that's because ... it was! On top of that, we'd also seen it all done before (and better) - teen angst in "D.P.O", "Rush", and "Schizogeny"; the sympathetic monster in "Post Modern Prometheus" and "Hungry"; bug attacks in "Darkness Falls", "War of the Coprophages", and "Brand X." That really bugs me!

69. "Lord of the Flies" was also trying hard to recapture the offbeat, quirky humor of episodes written by the great Darin Morgan, but it was missing one thing: Darin Morgan. Some episodes are so bad that they're funny; this episode was trying to be funny, but was mostly as flat as Captain Dare's head.

70. This episode offers us another example of WIWW (Where It Went Wrong) - Season 9, that is. I'm not the new partnership's biggest fan, but I am open-minded enough to give it a chance. So where is it? In "Lord of the Flies," Doggett and Reyes are completely incidental to the resolution of the case. In fact, their major investigative breaks are mostly accidental. That's fine from time to time after four or five years or so, but after four or five episodes? If you want them to grow on me, if you want me to get invested in them as characters and partners, let them *do* something. For example, Rocky hitting on Reyes and seeing Doggett's reactions might have given me at least a little insight into their partnership. And once again, bringing Scully into the mix is wrong, wrong, wrong. There was no point to Scully's inclusion in this episode (other than to fulfill Gillian's contract). I spend the episode wondering why Scully is more interested in bug pheromones than being with her son or doing her *actual* job (which is teaching at the FBI Academy in case she forgot), thus leaving me unable to concentrate on the story at hand. Sorry Scully fans, but her participation is a distraction. Season 9's only hope for success was to make this a *new* show, and dragging in the old characters as window dressing was never going to let that happen.

71. In it's usual display of seasonal cheer, this was Season 9's last episode to air before the Christmas holiday.

72. Finally, where does "Lord of the Flies" rank on the Season 9 MOTW Mulder/Scully Scale? (In other words, how would I feel about this episode if it had been made using the old X-Files team instead of the new one?) Other than seeing Mulder's reactions to Rocky's flirtations (cause I always love Jealous!Mulder), I can't think of a single thing that M&S could do to rescue this one. On the Mulder/Scully Scale of 1 to 10, "Lord of the Flies" gets a 1. To be interesting, it needs a complete makeover - something like Queer Eye for the Fly Guy.

73. In retrospect, this TOTM could have been summed up in five words: Shoo, fly, don't bother me.

I suppose it has been quite a while since the last TOTM, but you know time flies when you're having fun. (You *had* to see that coming.) I doubt very much that you've missed them, but perhaps now that I'm back in the groove a bit, the next TOTM will flow a little faster. Of course, after you read this one you might think that the TOTMs would be better off dead and buried. I'm thinking you'll have one of two comments: "I glance at them for amusement" or "This isn't just stupid, this is glorification of stupid."

Just another fly in the ointment. Apologies as always from Polly

"The Biggest Dumb Ass I know."