March 17, 2018

The X-Files 7.7, Orison: Don’t Look Any Further

Posted in TV tagged at 1:18 pm by Jenn

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the bathtub…

Summary: A chaplain named Orison is talking to a group of prisoners about God’s love and how it can change them if they want it to. One of the prisoners is Donnie Pfaster, but he doesn’t seemed moved by the sermon. The other prisoners do, stomping their feet and chanting, “Glory! Amen!” with Orison as he sprinkles holy water on them.

They take their religious awakening with them when they go to work in a prison garment shop. A guard tells Donnie that he doesn’t think God could love a murderer. Donnie keeps his eyes on a prisoner’s feet as he uses the step pedal on a sewing machine. The prisoner suddenly cries out, having cut off his fingers. The other prisoners and guards gather around him, allowing Donnie the distraction he needs to walk out of the workroom.

Scully is woken by wind blowing through her open bedroom window. She checks her alarm clock, which reads 6:66. The power goes out, and when it comes back on, the clock reads 6:06. She then goes to Marion, Illinois, with Mulder to investigate Donnie’s escape from prison. The authorities in Illinois would like the agents’ help understanding Donnie, since they were the ones who captured him. The Marshal assigned to the case, Daddo, knows that the agents have experience with supernatural cases, but Scully tells him there’s nothing supernatural about Donnie – he’s just evil.

She goes to the room where Orison met with the prisoners and hears singing through a ceiling vent. Mulder finds her there and encourages her to come home, since her last encounter with Donnie did such a number on her. Scully feels like she doesn’t have a choice – she needs to find Donnie before he hurts anyone else.

Mulder tells Scully that Donnie is the third prisoner to escape a maximum-security facility in the area in the past few months. He left at exactly 6:06 that morning. Scully reacts to the time but asks what makes this case supernatural. Mulder says it’s strange enough that no one noticed Donnie leaving.

The agents question the man who cut himself in the garment shop. His hands are intact, and he doesn’t understand how, since he and everyone else in the room saw that his fingers had been cut off. The prisoner can’t explain it; he just says that God works in mysterious ways. Mulder raises his hand, and the prisoner says, “Glory. Amen,” tapping his foot.

Mulder thinks this is indicative of post-hypnotic suggestion. Scully doubts that Donnie used a “Vegas lounge act” to hypnotize everyone in the room so he could escape without them seeing. For starters, where did he learn that technique? Mulder thinks they should look at Orison, who served as chaplain at all the prisons people have escaped from. Scully hears music through the vent again and recognizes the song, “Don’t Look Any Further,” from her childhood.

Donnie has made it to Harrisburg, Illinois, where he goes to a diner and watches a waitress’ hands as she flips through order tickets. A woman sits down with him and he offers to give her a manicure. The waitress tries to kick her out, since she’s just looking for money and/or drugs. Orison arrives and chastises Donnie for wasting his freedom like this.

Daddo and some other Marshals pull up outside, and Donnie accuses Orison of calling them. Orison says it’s “within his power” to help them escape. He swings his car keys and says, “Glory. Amen.” The waitress suddenly screams – she’s being attacked by another patron. She swings a coffee pot at him in defense. The Marshals are distracted long enough to allow Donnie and Orison to flee.

Somehow, Donnie makes it to Orison’s car with the woman from the diner, but Orison is left on his own. Donnie runs him down with the car as he drives off. When Mulder and Scully arrive sometime later, Daddo tells them that the tip about Donnie being there must have been wrong, but Orison was there. Scully hears “Don’t Look Any Further” on the diner’s radio and asks the waitress to turn it up.

The agents then go to the hospital where Orison is being treated. He tells Scully not to worry about the escaped prisoners – “God has them.” She says the case has nothing to do with her, but Orison disagrees. He knows that Scully has faith in God, and she hears Him calling to her, but she isn’t sure what to do. Scully figures he’s just making educated guesses because he noticed her cross necklace.

Orison continues that Scully is “longing but afraid, waiting for a sign.” There are signs everywhere, and there are reasons for everything. He calls her Scout, which makes her freeze. Orison says that the devil is always waiting “for but an instant.” But “the devil’s instant is our eternity.”

Mulder joins them and asks how Orison does his hypnosis trick. He says he’s just a messenger. Mulder shows him a picture of the woman from the diner, dead in a blood-filled bathtub, Donnie’s signature crime scene. He thinks Orison freed Donnie so he could kill him. He’s discovered that Orison was convicted of murder in 1959 and spent 22 years in solitary confinement. Orison says that God spoke to him and told him to “look after” the escaped prisoners. Mulder asks if God mentioned Donnie’s plans during that conversation.

Mulder wants to prove that Orison’s lying, but Scully doesn’t think he can prove that someone isn’t being directed by God. Mulder argues that God is just a spectator who “reads the box scores.” He doesn’t think God would tell someone to commit murder. Scully argues that the escaped prisoners might not be dead. She thinks Orison truly believes that God is working through him. Mulder asks if Scully thinks God has ever spoken to her. She’s offended but admits that she finds it meaningful that she keeps hearing the same song.

Scully reveals that when she was 13, she was listening to “Don’t Look Any Further” when her mother told her that her Sunday School teacher had been murdered. It was the first time she realized there’s true evil in the world. Orison called her Scout, which is what her Sunday School teacher called her. Scully mentions the time on the clock as well. Mulder thinks he can prove that God isn’t really trying to say something to her.

Donnie listens to a news report about himself on the radio, then looks through the supplies in Orison’s car. He’s left his driver’s license and house key, so Donnie now has a place to hide out. Back at the hospital, Mulder shows Scully a scan of Orison’s brain, which shows swelling – not from being hit by a car, but because Orison did some sort of procedure to himself to increase blood flow. Mulder thinks this is how Orison developed his powers of hypnosis, allowing him to alter reality.

Scully asks why he would do this. Mulder thinks that Orison believes that Donnie should have died instead of being sentenced to life in prison. Maybe he thought he was “opening the doors of perception,” but instead he accidentally opened the gates of Hell. At the hospital, Orison lies awake in bed under the watchful eye of a Marshal. “Glory. Amen,” Orison says a few times, slowing his heart rate. He makes the Marshal freeze, allowing Orison to steal his gun.

Donnie holes up in Orison’s apartment and orders up an escort. He likes her manicure and red hair. He does his typical thing with her, having her get in the bath and then offering her hair products. She thinks he’s being weird and decides to leave. As she’s getting out of the tub, he realizes her hair is a wig and accuses her and “they” of lying to him. Donnie hits her, but she hits back, knocking him out.

In the morning, the agents go to Orison’s room and find the Marshal still in his hypnotic state. Orison is long gone, and the Marshal has no idea what happened. Scully finds a note Orison left: “Don’t look any further.” Mulder guesses that he overheard them talking in the hallway the day before, but Scully’s sure that she didn’t mention the name of the song she’s been hearing.

Donnie regains consciousness to find Orison in the bathroom with him, ready to take him “home.” Orison recites scripture about the wicked being punished. He digs a grave and tells Donnie to pray for God’s love. If he believes, he’ll repent, and God will show him the way to Heaven. Donnie cries, and Orison urges him to beg forgiveness for his crimes. He asks if Donnie’s crying for his sins or for himself. Donnie says he’s crying for Orison because Orison can’t kill him. He turns into a demon.

Orison’s body is found the next day, buried in the grave he was digging for Donnie. Scully tells Mulder he was right about her looking for connections that weren’t there. Orison was just a murderer who wanted to pass judgment on other killers. Mulder thinks the case is over and the Marshals should take over. Scully shouldn’t look any further.

Of course, it’s not that simple (and there are still ten minutes left in the episode). Donnie goes to D.C. and lets himself into Scully’s apartment, finding her Bible by her bed. He puts it in a drawer. Scully comes home and gets ready to take a shower, but her clock is reading 6:66 again. The power goes out, and Scully quickly realizes that she’s not alone in the apartment.

The escort has called the proper authorities, and someone leaves a message on Mulder’s machine letting him know that she had a run-in with Donnie. He wonders if it’s significant that Donnie was upset that the escort wasn’t a natural redhead. Meanwhile, Donnie wrestles with his favorite redhead, trying to choke her. She gouges his eyes and grabs her gun, but he throws her into a mirror and she drops it. She hits him with anything she can reach, fighting relentlessly, and finally gets away.

Donnie chases her and stops her from calling for help. Scully tells him to go back to Hell as he overpowers her. He asks who does her nails. She tells him he’s only alive because they didn’t kill him when they had the chance. Donnie calls her the one who got away. She’s all he thinks about. Scully warns that, since she’s a federal agent, he’ll get the death penalty if he kills her. Donnie responds that he’s going to run her a bath.

Mulder’s getting ready for bed at his own place, setting his alarm for the morning. “Don’t Look Any Further” comes on the radio. Donnie drags a bound and gagged Scully to her hallway and leaves her tied up while he runs the bath. She can hear her phone ringing, but she can’t answer it. Donnie turns on the radio; of course, “Don’t Look Any Further” plays.

Mulder gives up on trying to call as Scully checks out her surroundings to weigh her options. She’s able to roll through her apartment while Donnie gathers supplies, including candles and a pair of scissors. Scully manages to get her bound wrists in front of her, but before she can do anything else, Mulder arrives. Scully joins them as lights pop and a bullet casing falls to the floor. Mulder was ready to arrest Donnie, but Scully has shot him.

Once the police have come to secure the crime scene, Scully finds her Bible in a drawer. Mulder tells her not to judge herself for shooting Donnie. After all, the Bible permits vengeance. Scully says the law doesn’t. Mulder thinks she made the right decision; Donnie would have kept killing if she hadn’t stopped him. Scully has no doubt that Donnie was evil, but she’s not sure about who was at work in her. What made her pull the trigger – God…or something else?

Thoughts: This episode feels like they combined “Irresistible” and “Pusher.” It also feels unnecessary.

Speaking of “Pusher” (and “Kitsunegari”), didn’t the agents learn anything about leaving someone alone with a supernatural persuader? As soon as they figured out what was going on with Orison, they should have put the Marshal outside his room instead of in it.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Scully either needs a security alarm or a building with a doorman. (At least she’s learned this by season 11.)


March 13, 2018

ER 1.8, 9 1/2 Hours: You Win Some, You Lose Some

Posted in TV tagged , , , at 5:06 pm by Jenn

Me, quietly: “Kiss…kiss…kiss”

Summary: Someone may have stolen Benton’s salad from the work fridge, which means someone’s about to get yelled at. Susan’s having a bad day herself; her car isn’t working, and it’s Chloe’s fault. She had to hotwire it to get to work. Div gets on Jerry’s case for handing off a patient without a chart (though really, that seems like a legitimate complaint). Mark is out for the day, so Doug is in charge. Benton’s shocked that Mark has taken a day off.

Haleh reminds Benton and Langworthy that the announcement for their fellowship will be coming today. Benton is nervous about it. Doug is already annoyed with the amount of work he has to do, so he wants to make Mark come in, no matter how sick he is. In reality, Mark isn’t sick at all, or at least if he is, he self-prescribed sex with Jen as a treatment method.

A police officer has brought in a woman named Jamie who hasn’t said anything about what happened to her. She tells Carol she shouldn’t have gone with the friend of a friend she was with; what happened to her was her fault. She has a hard time believing Carol when she says everything will be okay.

Susan chastises Div for snapping at Jerry for something so minor. Div doesn’t think the encounter was that big of a deal. She reminds him that he also snapped at a cashier at Starbucks that morning. He tells her she’s wasting his time and leaves to do rounds. Susan still can’t get someone to fix her car, but Carter knows someone who can help. In return, he wants her to help him get in on a surgery.

Michael, a 17-year-old high school wrestler, is brought in unconscious. Benton and Susan are unsure why he’s having heart trouble. Haleh spots Mookie coming in late and yells at him. He asks how much doctors make, and she says $30,000 a year. If he wants to become one, he’ll have to get used to being overworked and underpaid.

Carter consults a book to try to figure out what’s wrong with Michael. Benton doesn’t appreciate the effort. When shocking Michael doesn’t work, Benton decides to do a procedure with a catheter. Susan’s a little uncertain about that, but it’s successful and Michael is stabilized. Doug continues struggling with paperwork, wondering how Mark gets everything done – is he a machine?

Oh, ha ha, it’s supposed to be a sex joke. Thanks, writers. Mark and Jen are still getting it on; Jen seems energized by how great her job has been going. She never understood before why Mark enjoys his work so much. He admits to feeling guilty about staying home “sick,” but Jen thinks he’s earned it, since he didn’t take any sick days the year before. They ignore the phone when Doug calls to order Mark to come in. Since Mark has covered for Doug a bunch, Jen thinks Doug owes him this.

Carol continues talking to Jamie, who confirms that she was raped. Carol assures her that, since she said no, she did all she needed to show she was resisting. They need to do a rape kit, taking evidence for the police so they can arrest the rapist, Todd. Jamie thinks people will believe he’s innocent.

Haleh tells Benton that he’s now Mookie’s supervisor, so Mookie has to do everything Benton says. Benton’s first assignment: clean out the fridge. After someone takes pictures of Jamie, Carol and Lydia finish her rape exam. Soon, though, Jamie regrets moving forward with charges. Carol promises that she’ll get through this and move on. Carter’s guy fixes Susan’s car, thinking the two of them are dating. Doug calls Mark again and easily unravels the lie Mark told to get out of work. Instead of being mad, Doug is amused.

Carter finds Michael exercising on his gurney, as if he didn’t have to be shocked back to life just hours before. Carter mentions that he was also a wrestler in school. He’s figured out that Michael isn’t eating so he can stay in the right weight class. Michael doesn’t want to let his team down. Carter encourages him to tell Susan the truth so she can admit him. If Michael keeps starving himself between matches, he’ll die. Doug’s patient, Ben, also isn’t eating, but it’s because he has a sore throat.

Walt brings in Benton’s mother, Mae, who sprained her ankle. She has some mental issues because of a previous stroke, and when she hears Carter’s name, she tells Benton that she thinks his family used to own their family. Awkward! She doesn’t hold a grudge, though, as she invites Carter to Thanksgiving dinner. Benton quickly shuts that down. He wants Carter to tend to Mae, but Carter wants to go do whatever Benton’s going off to do. Benton shuts that down as well, telling Carter to make sure Mae eats something, since she never eats enough. Is that the theme for the episode? What’s up with that?

Haleh gets the announcement about the fellowship winner and shows it to Doug, Susan, Jerry, and Lydia. Benton sees it next and tries to hide his disappointment – Langworthy won it. He pretends that he didn’t expect to win, since he’s a year behind Langworthy. Mark and Jen take a bath together, discussing their schedules. She admits to having some insecurities about Mark’s relationship with Susan. Back at the hospital, the police bring in another patient, a man who’s yelling about wanting to be let go. Susan thinks he’s depressed and possibly suicidal, so she has Div paged.

Langworthy calls Benton out for ignoring her, so he tries to fake graciousness about losing to fellowship. She thinks he wanted her to lose if he couldn’t be the one to win. Langworthy wants to help Benton become a better surgeon, but he’s not interested. She thinks he has a problem losing to a woman, and he wants to sleep with her so he won’t feel so threatened. Langworthy leans in like she wants to kiss him, and Benton seems to lean forward as well. Then he tells her that not only has he never wanted to sleep with her, he’s also never fantasized about it…unlike her, apparently. She doesn’t believe him.

The yelling patient, Mr. Randall, has stopped yelling, but he’s definitely depressed, as Susan guessed. He lost his wife and son in a car accident. Div is less than sympathetic, saying that self-pity isn’t the way to go. Randall attacks him, so Div has him committed for 72 hours. Randall goes back to yelling. Susan can’t believe that Div had a sad drunk committed, especially when he didn’t do a full psych exam. Div continues to be unsympathetic, then changes the subject to ask Susan to dinner.

Lydia tells Carol that Jamie’s exam turned up multiple types of pubic hairs, which means she was with multiple men. Carol wonders how much of what Jamie said was the truth. Jamie said there were other guys there; she starts sobbing and says she’s just now remembering everything that happened. Carol tries to comfort her.

Ben stops breathing, so Doug has to intubate him. Benton finishes stabilizing his patient, with help from Nurse Lily Jarvik, then goes next door to assist Doug. He takes over the case, ticking Doug off. Later, Doug tracks Benton down outside and accuses him of trying to prove something because he lost the fellowship. Benton says Doug was taking too long and could have harmed the patient.

Doug argues that he had a choice in the procedure to perform. After a few moments of silence, Benton admits that he should have let Doug make the call. Doug reminds Benton that he lost a fellowship, not a patient. Benton confides that he did horribly in the fellowship interview. Doug thinks he should be happier about the fact that he saved just saved two lives in five minutes.

Carol brings in a cop to take Jamie’s statement, but Jamie has taken off. Mark and Jen’s day of sex is about to end, since Rachel’s on her way home. She takes a call from someone at work, ignoring Mark when he encourages her to get off the phone quickly so they can hop back in bed. So, to sum up: Jen thinks her job is more important than Mark’s.

Jerry introduces Doug to a new ER aide, Bogdanilivetsky. Doug will never be able to pronounce that, so he dubs her Bob. Susan secretly signs Randall out of psych; he’s much calmer now, having sobered up. He claims he sustained the cut on his head when he walked into a door. She tells him his 72-hour commitment has been canceled and he can go home.

Benton stops by Walt’s garage and admits that he’s taking the loss of the fellowship hard. Walt thinks it’s harder for Benton to lose because he’s used to winning. He has a hard shell and doesn’t let people in, just like his father. But Walt thinks he’s “basically a good guy,” so it’s nothing to worry about.

After work, Carol runs into Jamie across the street from the hospital. Jamie’s boyfriend doesn’t believe that she was raped and doesn’t want her to come home. She blasts herself for not fighting Todd harder. Carol reminds her that she said no, which was also she needed to do. She needs to see this through, or it’ll never end. Carol gives Jamie her scarf, then walks her back into the hospital so she can give her statement to the police.

Thoughts: Jamie is played by Brigid Brannagh.

I’m honestly surprised that Benton didn’t make Carter clean out the fridge.

When Carter wrestled, was he in the super-ultra-mega-lightweight class? I mean, he has zero muscles.

The difference between Carter and Benton is that, after they both hear that Susan needs a car repair, Carter actually does something to help while Benton does nothing, even though his brother-in-law is a mechanic.

March 10, 2018

The X-Files 7.6, The Goldberg Variation: Not-So-Dumb Luck

Posted in TV tagged at 1:24 pm by Jenn

Amazingly, Mulder doesn’t make any pirate jokes

Summary: Some shady-looking men are playing poker in Chicago, and one manages to get four kings. A not-nearly-as-shady-looking-as-the-others man asks for five cards, even though four is the limit. The man with four kings approves the request, since he figures it won’t make a difference. Henry, the man who drew five, sees 4 Kings’ $4,000 bet and raises him $4,000 more.

4 Kings decides to go up to $15,000, but Henry says there’s no point; the money on the table is all he needs. Henry clearly isn’t very experienced with poker, since he asks if this is when they show their cards. 4 Kings proudly puts down his cards, but Henry beats him with a straight flush. He chalks it up to beginner’s luck.

Henry starts gathering his winnings, but 4 Kings wants the chance to win back his money. Henry points out that he just won more than $100,000. He says again that that’s all he needs. Some thugs accompany him out, but take him up to the roof instead of down to the street. They throw him off the roof, and he falls through an open sidewalk grate…then climbs out, unharmed, and walks away.

Scully comes to Chicago the next day, having been instructed by Mulder to meet him on the street Henry walked away from the night before. She calls him (“Mulder, it’s me”) since he’s not there. He somehow arranged to make an entrance by rising out of the grate Henry fell through. He tells her that the building where the poker game took place leases space to a mobster named Joey Cutrona (AKA 4 Kings). Two FBI agents were parked outside, surveilling the building, when they saw Henry’s descent and departure.

Mulder takes Scully underground as he tells her that Henry hasn’t been ID’d. No one’s searched underground since Henry didn’t commit a crime. Mulder thinks he has some sort of genetic predisposition to heal rapidly. “So basically, what if we were looking for Wile E. Coyote?” Scully asks. She notes that a British parachuter fell the same distance as Henry and only broke a rib. There are completely normal reasons a man could plummet that far and walk away. Maybe he just got really lucky. “That’s your big scientific explanation?” Mulder asks.

Scully finds a laundry cart with broken wheels and guesses that Henry fell in it. Since it’s full of soft sheets, it could have easily broken his fall. The agents find a glass eye in the cart and realize they have something to go on to find their mystery man. After making some calls and learning that Henry made an appointment that morning to get a new eye, they go to his building and buzz apartment 313.

Henry doesn’t answer the buzzer, but a woman is leaving the building, so Mulder and Scully are able to get in. Mulder says he’s feeling lucky. A woman finds them in the hallway and asks them to come help her with a plumbing emergency. The agents aren’t plumbers, obviously, but the woman, Maggie, thinks that Mulder can at least turn the proper valve to shut off the water. Mulder knows Henry is the building super, so he wonders why Maggie didn’t call him. Maggie says he’s not dependable.

Maggie’s son Richie comes in and tells Mulder he’s turning the valve the wrong way. Maggie sends him back to bed, since he’s sick. Mulder keeps turning the valve, which breaks off, spraying water everywhere. Then the wooden floor gives out and Mulder falls through to the apartment building. He assures Scully that he’s okay – “my a$& broke the fall.” Also, Mulder may be lucky after all, since Henry’s in the apartment below.

The agents join him in his home and give him back his eye. He admits that he was hiding out in a vacant apartment to avoid the FBI. He thinks they’re there to compel him to testify against Cutrona, then put him in witness protection. The agents are more interested in how he survived the fall. Henry says he just got lucky. He’s mostly upset that he didn’t get to keep his winnings. He insists that he didn’t cheat.

Mulder sees a bunch of gadgets around the apartment and realizes that Henry has a Rube Goldberg device. He sets it off, watching it like a kid in a candy store. The sequence ends with a little figure being hanged, and Mulder asks what it means. Henry says it doesn’t mean anything; he just likes to build them. Mulder says it’s about cause and effect.

Henry’s ready to end the conversation, telling the agents he’d rather take his chances with Cutrona than go into protection. Scully’s fine with leaving the case in the hands of the local office and going home. Luck doesn’t constitute an X-File. Mulder disagrees – “maybe his luck is the X-File.” The elevator they’re waiting for is taking too long, so they decide to take the stairs. As they leave, one of Cutrona’s thugs comes out of the elevator.

Mulder realizes he lost his car keys when he fell, so he and Scully have to go back inside. The thug tries to kill Henry, who hides. When the agents arrive, they find the thug dead, hanging upside down from the ceiling fan, suspended by his own shoelace.

Henry has fled the building, and the agents figure that, with his lack of muscles and depth perception, he couldn’t have killed the thug. Plus, it looks like he had a heart attack. Mulder thinks this is another case of cause and effect. The thug kicked down the door but got startled by the buzzer Mulder rang to be let back into the building. His bullet went wild and hit a lamp, which in turn knocked over an ironing board. The thug tripped over the board and tumbled end over end, getting his shoelace caught in the ceiling fan.

Scully laughs, but Mulder’s serious about the possibility that seemingly unrelated events could form a chain reaction that just led to dumb luck for Henry. In fact, he thinks Henry has tapped into that luck. Richie comes in, and Scully escorts him back to his apartment so he doesn’t have to look at the thug’s dead body. She admires the sports stuff in Richie’s room, telling him she likes baseball.

Richie has his own Rube Goldberg device, made by Henry. It launches a little ball in a little basket. Richie says Henry made it while Richie was in the hospital. He told Richie that everything happens for a reason; we just can’t always see why or how. Scully has already figured out that Richie has a liver disorder, which is why his mom wants him to stay in bed. She asks if he knows where Henry might have gone. Richie says Henry hasn’t gone out much since Richie got sick.

Scully goes back to Mulder and asks why a man who’s supernaturally lucky would work as a building super. He could go play the lottery and win millions of dollars. Henry eavesdrops from a crawlspace, then goes to Richie’s room to check on him. Richie asks why the FBI is looking for him. Henry downplays the whole thing, then says he needs to go do something he’s been putting off.

Since Henry doesn’t make enough to file taxes, and he doesn’t have any insurance or bank accounts, the agents have no way to look into his past. Scully thinks he’s intentionally staying off the radar. Mulder has found a newspaper article pinpointing the last time Henry was known to the public: He was the only survivor in a plane crash (which is how he lost his eye). He was bumped from three flights before getting seat 13 on flight 7.

Mulder wonders if that incident led to a new life. Scully thinks it’s more likely that Henry changed his life because of survivor’s guilt. Why would he go off the radar because he was lucky? Mulder wants to know why he would suddenly resurface and try to use his luck to his advantage.

Henry goes to a corner store to get a lottery ticket. The pot is up to $28 million, but Henry says he doesn’t need that much. “How much do you need, Rockefeller?” the cashier asks dryly. Henry says $100,000, so the cashier gives him a dollar scratcher. As he scratches, a news report comes on the store’s TV stating that the police are looking for Henry so they can question him about the thug’s death.

Henry’s scratcher yields him $100,000, but he doesn’t want to wait and get a check for four figures every month for years. He throws away the scratcher, which another customer plucks out of the trash. Henry warns him not to take it, but the guy doesn’t listen. He runs out to the street to celebrate and is promptly hit by a truck with a four-leaf clover on its side.

As the man is taken away by paramedics, Scully confirms with the cashier that Henry was the original winner, then left once he was sure the scratcher-stealer was okay. The cashier claims that the stealer gave him the ticket while they were waiting for the ambulance. Scully remarks to Mulder that, for such a lucky guy, a lot of unlucky things happen around Henry. Mulder thinks that’s part of the deal.

Scully asks why Henry would come buy a lottery ticket. Mulder remembers that she said just an hour ago that it would make sense for him to do that. He figures out that Henry overheard them, then easily finds his hiding spot in the crawlspace. It leads all over the building, so the agents will have to search every floor. Another thug arrives just as they leave.

Henry’s in another abandoned apartment, whittling something. Mulder picks the lock and lets himself in, then finds Henry in the crawlspace. As he calls Scully, Henry spots Thug #2 outside the door. He comes in and fires a bullet at Henry, which ricochets and grazes Mulder. The bullet then pinballs off of a few things in the room before boomeranging back at the shooter. Scully arrives in time to see Henry pull out his whittling knife, the thing the bullet first ricocheted off.

Thug #2 is taken to the hospital, where Mulder gets bandaged up. He wants to test his theory about Henry with a deck of cards. No matter which card Mulder draws, Henry draws a higher one. Mulder sums it up: “He’s incapable of losing.” But Henry hates being the luckiest man in the universe. There’s some sort of balance thing going on, which means everyone else around him is unlucky. Henry’s tried to contain the damage by sticking close to home, but now he needs money – hence the poker game and the lottery. Scully guesses that the money is for Richie.

Henry confirms that Richie has hepatitis, and complications have led to him needing a liver transplant. He has a rare blood type, B negative, and other factors that make it hard to find a donor. There’s an experimental treatment program in England, and Henry can get him in with $100,000. Scully tells Henry he really needs protection from Cutrona and his thugs. Henry draws a king and says the thugs need protection from him.

As Henry leaves, Scully chastises Mulder for feeding into Henry’s delusions instead of convincing him to submit to their protection. Mulder disagrees – Henry’s doing a great job taking care of himself. Scully thinks he’s placing too much faith in luck. In fact, he’s betting Henry’s life on it. Plus, won’t his luck eventually end? That end may come now, as Cutrona arrives at the hospital to see Thug #2 and spots Henry leaving.

Scully draws an ace from Mulder’s deck of cards and scoffs that Henry’s the luckiest man in the world, since she just beat him. Mulder gets an idea and runs outside, where another of Cutrona’s thugs is approaching Henry with a knife. Henry tries to flee and ends up getting hit by a truck (possibly the same truck that hit the scratcher-stealer, which means that driver is having a REALLY bad day).

Back at their building, Maggie finds Richie playing with his Rube Goldberg device and tells him not to believe everything Henry says. She asks if Richie saw him, then stops short. Thanks to his liver problems, Richie’s skin is now yellow. Henry, however, has very minor injuries, and has realized that Scully’s right about his luck possibly running out. He’s agreed to testify against Cutrona.

Cutrona gets the news from Thug #3, who subscribes to Mulder’s theory that Henry’s impervious. They can’t get to Henry, who’s now in protective custody, but Cutrona thinks they can get to someone else. Maggie calls an ambulance for Richie, who asks her to bring his Rube Goldberg device to the hospital. She sends Richie on ahead and goes back to his room, where Thug #3 grabs her.

Mulder and Scully find Henry in Richie’s room at R.I. Childes Pediatric Care, having learned that Maggie’s missing. Henry knows that Cutrona took her to keep him from testifying. He doesn’t want to sit around and wait; he wants to go do something. Mulder reminds Henry that his luck could run out at any time. He adds that, as Henry once told Richie, they may not be able to see why something bad is happening. They need to look at the big picture. Henry ignores him and starts to leave, ripping his sleeve as he puts on his jacket.

Scully tells Mulder that Richie’s condition is poor, and he’ll die if they don’t find a donor in the next few hours. Mulder wonders if everyone who becomes a part of Henry’s life gets caught up in his web of bad luck. Scully says he sounds like they’re caught in a Rube Goldberg device. He wants to look for Maggie, but without any leads, he thinks luck is their only option. He opens a phone book to a random page, but lands on an ad for Muhaymin Daycare. “Let’s call that a dry run,” he says. The next ad is for Grayson’s Laundry Service.

Henry’s at Cutrona’s, offering to refuse to testify if Cutrona lets Maggie go. Cutrona won’t take the deal even when Henry says he doesn’t care what happens to him. Cutrona and Thug #3 take Henry to the basement of their building, where they’re keeping Maggie. There’s a Grayson’s cart nearby. Thug #3 shoves Henry under an open ladder (bad luck!), causing him to accidentally knock an iron into a mop bucket. Thug #3 attaches Henry to a cable so Cutrona can raise him in the air.

Maggie’s yelling at the men, so Cutrona tells Thug #3 to shut her up. But when Thug #3 goes to open the cage door keeping Maggie contained, the iron in the bucket short-circuits, electrifying the metal cage. When he falls backward, he knocks into Henry, who falls off the hook he’s attached to. The hook then swings down right at Cutrona’s face. The lights all over the city flicker, and some of the bulbs in the sign at R.I. Childes go out. Scully gasps when she sees that they now spell “RICHIE.”

Henry and Maggie are unharmed, and find Cutrona dead in a Grayson’s cart. Mulder and some FBI agents arrive moments later. All of them see from Cutrona’s medical alert bracelet that someone close to Henry has finally gotten some good luck: Cutrona’s blood type is B negative.

Everyone gathers at the hospital, where Scully admits that maybe things do happen for a reason, whether or not we can see it. Mulder tells Henry that maybe his luck is changing. Henry goes in to see Richie, setting off the Rube Goldberg device, which again works perfectly.

Thoughts: Weems is played by Willie Garson, who was also Roach in “The Walk.” Richie is played by Shia LaBeouf.

Mulder has a lot of fun moments in this episode, but my favorite is when he asks the crime-scene photographer, who’s taking pictures of the thug hanging from the ceiling fan, “So, you get many of these?”

Welcome back, plain-white-T-shirt Mulder. I missed you.

My only regrets about this episode: 1) We don’t find out if the cashier who wound up with the scratcher also had back luck, and 2) the daycare didn’t come into play.

March 6, 2018

ER 1.7, Another Perfect Day: Living Arrangements

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 4:56 pm by Jenn

This wouldn’t be a bad date, if it were…actually a date

Summary: For once, we don’t start the episode with someone being woken up. Instead, we open with Jerry abandoning the front desk because he’s trying to do a bunch of things at once. A patient named Patrick answers a ringing phone, talks for a few moments, then hangs up. Benton tells him to go sit somewhere else, but Patrick, who appears to have developmental delays, doesn’t listen. He spins around in Jerry’s chair, then falls off.

In the lounge, Carter makes a phone call about an apartment. Doug nabs a free bagel, then puts it back in the basket when Carter tells him Tag brought them in. Haleh tells Benton that a stabbing victim is coming in, so Benton gives Carter some instructions to help out. Benton mentions an interview he has that afternoon about the fellowship he and Langworthy both want. He thinks Carter believes Langworthy will get it, but Benton thinks he has a chance.

Benton runs the stabbing victim’s trauma, making the decision to create a surgical airway in the ER (AKA a crike), despite Haleh and Connie’s hesitance. Benton does everything confidently but calmly, and Morgenstern praises him for his success. Since Benton’s fellowship interview is just hours away, this has to be good for his chances.

Carter gets a call back about the apartment, but it’s not available anymore. He tells Jerry that he’s been living at home, but his father things he’s a freeloader. Jerry says he found a place through a patient. When an 85-year-old man died of a heart attack, Jerry grabbed his apartment. Benton learns that his fellowship meeting has been pushed back a couple hours. Haleh tries to assign him a patient, insisting that he take the case when Benton tries to hand it off to Carter. After she leaves, Benton overrules her. Jerry adds his own case – a man in his ’90s who lives in a nice neighborhood.

Mark sleeps in a little, and when he wakes up, Jen isn’t in any rush to see him off to work. Back at the hospital, Susan and Carol tend to Patrick, who has minor injuries from a fall but didn’t hurt his head because he was wearing a helmet. He’s excited that he gets to have an x-ray taken of his arm, and that he’ll get to keep the picture.

As they leave, Carol comments that the patients are sweeter than the guys she dates. Susan confirms that she’s been going out with Div; she thought it was a secret, but everyone’s seen them having lunch together all the time. Carol tells Susan that Div is taking her out for her birthday tonight and wants her to wear a black dress she owns. Susan asks if Div put it in the hospital newsletter. “The bulletin board,” Carol teases. “I will kill him!” Susan exclaims. “…After dinner.”

Doug asks Jerry if Linda’s been around, but she hasn’t. Carter goes to see the patient Benton gave him, a teenager who goes by the street name Slice. The cop who brought him in, Al Grabarsky, is less interested in Slice than he is in Lydia. He goes out to chat with her while Slice uses some sort of tool to try to pick his handcuff lock.

Malik tells Susan that a motorcycle rider hit by a truck is coming in, but when she goes to greet the ambulance, she instead gets ambushed by a bunch of nurses and doctors wanting to wish her a happy birthday. They give her flowers and blown-up gloves with faces drawn on them. While everyone’s distracted, Carol and Tag slip off to the roof to make out. He wants them to move back in together (I think she moved out after her suicide attempt), but Carol’s been hesitant to agree. She wants to move slowly and make absolutely sure that’s the right decision. He tells her that if she has a problem with their relationship, she needs to deal with it.

Doug goes back to Jerry to ask again about Linda, who still hasn’t called. Mark finally makes it in, pretending he had car trouble. Doug knows better, but he thinks it’s nice. Al is still chatting with Lydia, showing her pictures of his dogs. When Haleh learns that Slice (real name: Mookie; I’d use a nickname, too) is still in the ER, being seen by Carter instead of Benton, she gets mad. Slice is equally mad when he learns that, as an intern, Carter isn’t getting paid to stitch him up.

Susan tells Div that he shouldn’t have said anything to Doug about their date; Doug is apparently a big gossip. Malik approaches to talk to Div about a patient, but it’s the third time Malik has brought him up, and Div is fed up. He claims not to have time to see the patient, though he has time to chat with Susan, so… This is early-season Malik, so he says nothing. Later-season Malik wouldn’t put up with this crap, and Div’s just lucky he didn’t snap at Haleh, or he wouldn’t have a head anymore.

Carol summons Doug for an incoming trauma case, a 12-year-old boy pulled from the lake after a boat collision. Like Benton, Doug runs things calmly but decisively, and Carol is right in step with him. Even when the boy’s heart stops, the two keep their cool and send the boy off to surgery in just a couple of minutes. Left alone in the ER, the two compliment each other, moving closer and closer together until they kiss. Doug apologizes, but Carol says he wasn’t alone in the act.

Patrick’s ready to go home, but he wants to come back and visit sometime. Doug sees Carol and Tag talking like nothing just happened. Jerry tells him that Linda hasn’t come by, but Doug has almost forgotten who that is. Mark wishes Benton good luck on his interview, but Benton no longer seems confident about it. Haleh then confronts him in the men’s room for passing off his patient to Carter. Benton asks if he’s supposed to mentor every gangbanger who comes in. Haleh says she’s never asked him to do so before. She’s known Slice since he was a sweet little kid, and she’d like him to go back to being that boy.

Mark has a patient who’s in a coma, but Mark can’t figure out why. Carter does some brainstorming with him and figures out that the man might have had a seizure. That with the man’s fever leads Carter to guess that he has meningitis. Carter’s never done a lumbar puncture before, so Mark gives him the opportunity.

Benton runs into Langworthy before his interview, for which he’s changed into a suit. They laugh over the candidate who’s currently being interviewed, agreeing that he’s incompetent. Since Langworthy has surgery to perform soon, Morgenstern lets her do her interview before Benton. Mark talks Carter through a successful lumbar puncture, calling it a champagne tap. Connie explains that that means Carter’s resident has to buy him a bottle of champagne. Mark says the nurse is supposed to do it.

Mark then goes across the street to Doc Magoo’s to meet Jen. She has a meeting that night, so she’ll need the car to go back to Milwaukee. She’s worried that she’s not up to her job and will blow this great shot. They go through their schedules, trying to figure out when they can see each other again, now that Jen and Rachel are spending most of their time in Milwaukee. Mark tries to assure both of them that they’ll make their new living arrangements work.

It’s finally time for Benton’s interview, but his résumé isn’t as impressive as the fellowship team would hope. The interview is over faster than it took Doug and Carol to stabilize the boy after the boat collision. Jerry leaves for the day, giving Lydia a note to give to Carter about a possible apartment. She tells him there are a couple available in her building, too. Haleh tells Benton that she’s hired Slice for a program that will allow him to do community service and stay out of juvie. Benton will be his supervisor, whether he likes it or not.

Linda finally shows up, so now Doug has someone to flirt with and take his mind off of Carol. He and Susan take a couple digs at each other about their personal lives. Chloe arrives to be annoying again and try to get Susan to come to a club with her and her latest boyfriend. Mark gives Carter a bottle of champagne to celebrate his first great LP, and Lydia gives him Jerry’s note and the info that there are two other possible places for him to live in her building. Carter says it’s the perfect day.

Not for Susan, though, as Chloe and her boyfriend have passed out in the lounge. Susan asks what they’re on, but Chloe says they just drank vodka. Susan confronts her sister for stealing her TV and VCR. Chloe says Susan’s just like their parents, always criticizing her. Susan says she was treated the same as her sister; she had to prove herself just like Chloe did. Chloe starts screaming about how Susan doesn’t have to worry about getting a job and finding place to sleep like she does. She puts her hand through a window and starts screaming more.

Once Chloe’s calm (probably through the magic of drugs) and getting stitched up, Div sits down with her to talk through her problems. Susan decides not to stay for the conversation. Outside, Mark finds Doug playing basketball, and they talk about Linda, who Doug thinks might be too “perky” for him. Lately, he’s been more attracted to withdrawn, confused women. Div tries to cheer Susan up, but she’s not longer in a mood to celebrate her birthday.

Benton praises Carol for how well she and Doug took care of their trauma patient together. She finds Doug and tells him the boy will be fine, then announces that she told Tag she would move back in with him. Doug wants to know when she made this decision. Carol says their kiss was an accident, but Doug says there are no accidents. “Thanks for letting me know,” he says coolly.

Susan’s up on the roof, sneaking a cigarette, when Carter comes up looking for someone to share his champagne. He tells her she’s not the only person with a crazy family. (Oh, Carter. Your family’s not crazy. They’re just super-rich WASPs.) Carter says he comes up to the roof a lot to get a break from Benton. But thanks to Mark, he’s finally had a good day. Susan encourages Carter to call the doctors by their first names, though he notes that she calls him by his last name. Carter asks about Chloe’s boyfriend, joking that he was going to ask her out. Susan tries out calling him John, but it doesn’t sound right to her. They end their very different days with a drink.

Thoughts: Patrick: “Knock knock.” Carol: “Who’s there?” Patrick: “Patrick.” Carol: “Patrick who?” Patrick: “…Me! Patrick!” Can he stay?

Men everywhere, please take note of Al’s flirting methods. You can’t go wrong with dog pictures.

You have to feel a little sorry for Tag. I  mean, imagine having to compete with Doug.

I assume Langworthy was going to be a love interest for Benton, but something fell through, so they brought Jeanie in for him later instead.

March 3, 2018

The X-Files 7.5, Rush: No, We Don’t Need Another Reboot of “The Flash”

Posted in TV tagged at 4:03 pm by Jenn

Yep, that’ll give you a concussion, all right

Summary: A teenage boy goes to some woods in Pittsfield, Virginia, to meet up with a guy named Max. Max’s girlfriend, Chastity, doesn’t think the boy, Tony, is ready for whatever’s about to happen. Tony insists he is and promises not to tell anyone what he’s going to see, even if someone dies. A sheriff’s deputy arrives and Max and Chastity take off. Tony pretends he was just going for a walk, but he’s on private property, so he’s in trouble for trespassing. The deputy calls dispatch, then seems to disappear. He turns up in his car, his face bloody and caved in.

Scully goes to St. Jude’s Memorial Hospital the next day and meets up with Mulder. Tony has been accused of beating the deputy to death, but he claims the real killer was someone who happened to be invisible. Tony’s a good kid and doesn’t seem like the type to commit murder. Scully examines the deputy’s body, which has sustained more damage than fits with the cause of death, a single blow from his own flashlight. Not only is his face destroyed, but he was hit so hard that his glasses are now embedded in the back of his skull.

Scully allows that Tony could have caused this kind of damage if he were high on something like PCP. Mulder tells her that Tony’s blood tests came back clean, but Scully thinks an adrenaline rush could do the trick. The sheriff arrives and asks the agents to wrap things up quickly. Tony’s their guy, so they don’t need to investigate. Mulder asks to speak to Tony; at the very least, he might be able to find out why Tony killed the deputy.

The agents go to the sheriff’s station, passing Chastity as she’s leaving. Tony’s decided he’s done talking to the authorities. Mulder plays good cop, saying he knows Tony must have been born in his small town, so he was just taking a walk, like he said. Tony’s smart enough to know that the agents are just trying to get him to incriminate himself. Mulder asks for details – how long between when the deputy screamed and when Tony found him. Tony says only 10 or 15 seconds passed. He didn’t see or hear anyone else around.

After the interview is over, Mulder asks Scully why Tony wouldn’t come up with a more plausible story if he’s really innocent. Scully thinks he is innocent, but he saw what happened. Mulder suspects some sort of paranormal force, like a poltergeist. Scully suggests that they question some people who are still in their dimension – Tony’s friends.

Max is late for school, and there’s only one minute left in the class period during which he was supposed to take a midterm. Chastity looks on with interest as the teacher, Mr. Babbitt, tells Max he’d better not fail; he doesn’t care who Max’s father is. Max turns around for a few seconds, then hands in the completed test. He got every answer right.

Mulder and Scully find Chastity, who tells them Tony didn’t kill the deputy. She knows he doesn’t have it in him to murder. Scully suspects that she can provide them with information, but before Chastity can say anything further, Tony interrupts. He tells Chastity she doesn’t have to answer any questions if the agents don’t have a warrant. Mulder sees Max’s last name on his binder and realizes that he’s the sheriff’s son. As Max and Chastity leave, Max tells Scully that she “must have been a Betty back in the day.”

The sheriff calls to tell Scully that the murder weapon has disappeared. The agents return to the station, where Mulder finds some kind of gunk on the floor. Surveillance footage of the evidence room doesn’t show anyone opening the locker where the flashlight was being kept, and there’s no gap in the footage. Without evidence, Tony has to be released. Mulder slows down the footage so that they can see a flash of movement in the room.

Tony goes home, trying to avoid having to tell his mother what happened the night before. She thinks Max and his buddies are involved in the murder. She tells Tony he’s not allowed to see them anymore. Tony objects, since they’re his only friends. Mrs. Reed reminds him that they moved here for a fresh start, and up until now, he was doing great. Tony’s upset that his mother’s never around, since she has to work two jobs.

After Mrs. Reed leaves Tony’s room, Max shows up outside. He takes Tony for a drive and congratulates him for following Chastity’s directions to keep quiet and wait for things to work themselves out. Tony’s not happy with the situation, though; a cop is dead, and they’re in what’s probably a stolen car. Max said “he had to go,” since he was snooping around. Tony tells him to slow down, but Max says he hasn’t seen anything yet. He vanishes, leaving Max alone in the speeding car. But when it crashes, Tony’s outside it, perfectly fine. Max promises to make him “one of us,” but Tony has to follow his rules.

Chuck takes a look at the surveillance footage and is able to tell Mulder and Scully that the image on the screen wasn’t a glitch. It didn’t come from spirit activity, though; they’re not dealing with a ghost. Scully figured, since ghosts don’t leave behind gunk like what Mulder found on the floor. (It contains synthetic polymers.)

Chuck tried to compare the silhouette of the shape on the screen to every object the Library of Congress’ database, but the only thing that came close to matching was a submarine. He did find a shadow on the object, which indicates that it’s something solid, but if it’s solid, it would have to appear for more than a 30th of a second, the length of a frame of the footage. Chuck thinks he might have some luck with a beta-tested generator that can color the black-and-white footage. When he tries it out, Mulder recognizes the colors of the image as Tony’s school colors.

At school, Tony complains to Chastity that everyone’s looking at him like he’s a criminal. He asks what happened with Max and the car, and she tells him he’ll find out. Tony’s not so sure he wants to find out, though. Chastity says it’s too late to go back now. Max joins them and asks if Tony’s trying to move in on his girlfriend. However, when they get to class, he tells everyone staring at Tony to back off.

Mr. Babbitt returns the class’ midterms, and Max objects to the F he received. Mr. Babbitt accuses him of cheating, even though he can’t explain how that would be possible. Max walks out. Tony asks Chastity how he can tell Max he wants out of whatever’s going on. Chastity says he can’t help him – she can’t even get herself out of it.

At lunch, Mr. Babbitt trips over nothing, looking up to see Max standing in front of him. A few seconds later, Mr. Babbitt starts bleeding. With a twitch and a blur, Max makes a table fly over. Mr. Babbitt falls onto it and the table speeds into a wall. After another twitch and another blur, a chair hits Mr. Babbitt in the face.

Mulder and Scully come to check things out, and Mulder decides that Max needs to be questioned about Mr. Babbitt’s murder. Scully reminds him that a roomful of eyewitnesses all said they didn’t see Max do anything. Mulder has looked at Max’s school records, which show that his behavior has gotten worse, but his grades have gone up. Scully blames peer pressure or substance abuse. Mulder blames psychokinesis. A deputy tells them that they’ll have to wait to talk to Max – he collapsed and is on his way to the hospital.

Tony runs into Chastity, who’s upset. She won’t tell him what’s going on, since it’s better if he doesn’t know anything. He follows her to the woods and into a cave, where he finds a space on the ground where it looks like sand has been cleared away from some stone. It’s conveniently illuminated by a beam of sun. When Tony stands in the sort-of spotlight, he starts to spasm.

The agents go see Max, but his father doesn’t want them to question him while he’s supposedly sick. Mulder totes out his theory that Max tapped into some kind of superhuman powers and used them to kill Mr. Babbitt. Instead of calling Mulder crazy, Max just says he’s “whistling Dixie.” Scully looks at Max’s chart and sees that his condition is consistent with extreme exertion. Mulder guesses that Max gets a buzz – a rush, if you will – from his powers.

Max asks what’s stopping him from hurting Mulder, if that’s the case. Mulder thinks his battery’s drained. Max says he’ll just wait until he’s recharged, but Scully says his condition is getting worse. He needs their help, but he’ll have to tell them what’s going on. Mulder gets the sheriff to step outside with him and Scully before he can go off on Max for his bad behavior. They ask to search the family’s house, but the sheriff says no. He doesn’t want to believe that his son might be a murderer.

There are some test results missing from Max’s chart, so the agents head off to track them down. Chastity arrives just as they leave. The agents look at scans of Max’s head, which show that he’s sustained multiple concussions and other injuries. He has the medical history of someone who’s played pro football or crashed racecars for 15 years. Whatever he’s doing, it’s killing him.

A nurse sees on her monitor that Max has a visitor, Chastity, but when she goes to his room, Max is alone. Chastity then returns with a wheelchair to break her boyfriend out of the hospital. Max finds gunk on the soles of Max’s shoes and puts everything together: Somehow, Max has figured out how to move faster than the eye can see. He also has super-strength. Just then, the nurse lets the agents know that Max is gone.

Max and Chastity go to the woods, where Chastity begs her boyfriend to get some help. He doesn’t see why he would; this is the best thing that’s ever happened to him. “I can’t go back to things standing still, and neither can you,” he says. As he goes off alone, Chastity runs into Tony, who now has Max’s super-speed powers. He loves the rush they give him. Chastity tells him she wishes things were different. Tony suggests that they go to the police, but she tells him Max is already out of the hospital, so it’s too late.

The sheriff looks around his son’s bedroom (which, interestingly, has a picture of a UFO in it). Hidden in a drawer, under some clothes, he finds the flashlight used to kill the deputy. He hears a noise and goes downstairs, where the front door appears to close on its own. Max appears, now holding the flashlight, and the sheriff confronts his son for being a murderer. As he moves on Max, something hits him over the head. Max’s super-speed has allowed him to attack without being noticed.

Max tells his father he’s not going to let him push people around anymore, like Babbitt and the deputy did. Max isn’t afraid of him anymore. He moves to hit his father again, but Tony arrives with a gun and puts a stop to the fight. The sheriff is taken to the hospital, but no one knows what actually happened. They found the flashlight on the scene, but not Max or Tony.

Mulder thinks someone intervened in the fight – someone who knows how Max can do what he does. The agents figure it’s Tony, and that the secret lies in the woods. Tony and Chastity are on their way there, and she’s worried that Max will get to the cave. She tells Tony that he was only able to stop Max because he’s slowing down.

As they run for the cave, Tony trips and sends Chastity on ahead of him. When he gets to her, she’s unconscious. Max claims he hit her in self-defense, and that Tony has everything turned around. Max attacks Tony and takes his gun, mocking him for underestimating Max. He tosses the gun aside and starts to confront Tony for betraying him. Chastity picks up the gun, shoots Max, and stops time. She tells Tony she can’t go back, then steps in the path of the bullet. When time restarts, the bullet hits her. By the time the agents arrive, Chastity and Max are both dead.

Tony is taken to the hospital, where Mulder tells Scully that geologists didn’t find anything in the cave that can explain the boys’ supernatural abilities. Scully notes that the two of them both went to the cave but don’t have the boys’ abilities. Mulder thinks they weren’t affected because they’re adults; their chemistry is different from teenagers’.

Scully isn’t sure about that theory, but it’s no crazier than other theories Mulder has come up with. Unfortunately, the cave has been sealed, so they won’t be able to further the investigation. Scully says Tony will be able to put this all behind him and go back to being a normal kid. What she doesn’t know is that Tony can still alter time…and can now make it move backward.

Thoughts: Mrs. Reed is played by Ann Dowd, which reminds me: Everyone needs to watch The Leftovers.

No high school boy in 2000 would call a woman a “Betty” or say “whistling Dixie.” Maybe Max was also a time-traveler?

I’m surprised that Scully didn’t think Max was being abused, since his records showed so many previous injuries. I thought that’s where things were going when he confronted his father for pushing people around, but I guess we’ll never know.

Today’s X-Files recap delayed

Posted in Misc., TV tagged at 2:16 pm by Jenn

Windmageddon knocked out my Internet and TV last night. My Internet is working again, but cable is being stubborn, so I haven’t been able to recap yet. I’ll post “Rush” as soon as I can. Until then, you could fill the time by (re)watching “Rm9sbg93zxjz” from Wednesday, because it was awesome.

Update: Of course, five minutes later, cable’s back. Recap coming this afternoon.

February 27, 2018

ER 1.6, Chicago Heat: The Temperature Isn’t the Only Thing That’s High

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 5:06 pm by Jenn


Summary: Mark is, yes, sleeping, but this time he’s at home. He gets called in to work on his day off, and he has to take Rachel with him. Carol tells him that Mercy has closed to trauma, and another ER has lost power, so County’s the only one open. Also, it’s really hot, even though it’s October, and the air-conditioning isn’t working, so everyone’s a little moody. Until Rachel’s babysitter can come get her, she’ll have to hang out at the hospital, with all the dead bodies and stuff.

Lydia takes Rachel, so Mark goes in to help Doug with a five-year-old named Kanesha who’s experiencing heart problems. He tells Kanesha that he’ll bring Rachel in to meet her when she’s feeling better. Jerry tells Mark that a pizza delivery guy called to say he was stabbed and is driving himself to the ER. Unfortunately, the driver either passes out or forgets to hit the brakes, and his car crashes right into the ER. Tag steps out of an exam room, takes in the scene, and quips, “Somebody order a pizza?” Thanks, Tag.

Kanesha now has a fever on top of her congestive heart failure. The doctors are stumped and decide they need more information from the family. Benton examines the delivery guy, who only needs a Band-Aid. His “stab wound” is only a scratch. The delivery guy insists that it was a really big knife.

Jerry and the nurses make bets about a patient’s blood alcohol level. They range from .200 (Wendy) to .550 (Susan). Susan’s sister Chloe arrives to be annoying for the first of too many episodes. She couldn’t pay her rent, even with a handout from Susan, so she needs a place to stay for a few days. Susan says no, but Chloe wears her down, promising not to screw up again. It’s implied, but not confirmed until later episodes, that her screwups involve drugs. Susan orders her not to have any friends over.

Kanesha’s father, Mr. Freeman, tells Mark that she had some heart problems years ago, but they were supposedly resolved. He’s worried, while his other daughter, a teenager, is just bored. Kanesha’s hypertensive now, making Mark wonder if she ingested poison. Ivan is back yet again, having shot someone who was trying to rob him. Mark, Doug, and a woman from the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) tell Mr. Freeman that Kanesha’s okay, and doesn’t have congestive heart failure – she overdosed on cocaine.

Ivan’s caused a lot of damage to the robber, a teenage boy. Benton takes care of everything himself, telling Carter to stay out of the way. Susan and Malik tend to a patient named Monty who’s HIV-positive and has been drinking. Susan warns him not to mix alcohol with his medication. Langworthy comes to the ER to look at the robber, but Benton won’t give up his position in charge of the trauma.

Mark takes Rachel to meet Kanesha, and they have a really cute five-year-old conversation. Rachel wanders over to the next trauma room and gets an eyeful of Benton and Langworthy pulling open the robber’s chest. Mark finally pulls his daughter away, saying that someone bad must have hurt the robber. Carter stitches up a cut on Ivan’s head as Ivan defends his decision to shoot before he could be shot. He thinks anyone else would do the same in that situation.

Doug apologizes to Carol for ambushing her at home, but she’s not receptive. He winds up in an elevator with Tag, who’s a little more gracious. After all, he gets why Doug would want to still be with Carol. Benton and Langworthy do…something, then rush the robber to the OR. Ivan sees them going, seemingly realizing for the first time how serious things are.

The drunk patient’s blood alcohol level is .473; Lydia was the closest, having used her patent technique that involved smelling him. Mark complains to Jerry about a dead body that hasn’t been moved all morning. A pharmaceutical rep named Linda Farrell brings in a pizza to try to get on Jerry’s good side. She claims she’s supposed to meet Mark (who runs off to hide), and says she’ll wait when Susan tells her Mark is busy.

As Carol helps Tag fix a patient’s dislocated shoulder, he tells her that Doug is still in love with her. Carol says that he always wants what he can’t have. Tag wants them to live together again, but Carol is hesitant. Another patient in the room is enjoying the scene. She wonders if Carol’s unsure about moving in with Tag because of Doug. Carol says she’s standing in her own way. Mr. Freeman tells the woman from DCFS that the cocaine wasn’t his, and he doesn’t know how she got it. The home doesn’t seem dangerous, so Kanesha won’t be removed from it. Doug, however, isn’t going to send her home until he’s confident that she’ll be safe.

Susan finds her locker open a crack and realizes that her wallet is empty. She’s annoyed but not surprised. Div tells her to report her credit card stolen, even if it means Chloe gets arrested. Susan can’t bring herself to go that far, but she’d like Div to talk to Chloe as a psychiatrist. She’ll just introduce Div as her boyfriend to cover up what he does. Div notes that the conversation could reveal some deep, dark secret Susan doesn’t know about. He won’t go along with the scheme.

Benton breaks the news to Ivan that the robber isn’t going to be okay. Ivan says he was scared. He wants to stick around, probably in denial that things won’t turn out all right. After Benton leaves, Ivan starts to cry. Rachel goes back to see Kanesha before she leaves, and Mark asks Doug how long he’s going to keep her there when she doesn’t need to be admitted. Rachel suggests that Kanesha live with Mark. Mark tells her that some families don’t have both a mom and a dad, but things work out anyway.

Doug tells Carol that Tag accepted his apology, so maybe all three of them can be adults around each other. He tells her again that he’s sorry, offering to let her hit him if it’ll make him feel better. Linda interrupts to flirt, and Carol chooses that moment to take him up on his offer and punch him in the arm. She’s totally jealous that Linda might become the new object of his affection.

Monte tell Susan that he’d like to get into a program to deal with his alcoholism. But he needs money – just $100, or even $50. Susan refuses to give him anything. Things get heated, and Jerry has to drag Monte away as he yells that he was only asking Susan for help.

Mr. Freeman confronts Doug for keeping his daughter from him. He thinks it’s a race issue, and says Doug has no right to judge him. “Watch me,” Doug replies as he walks away. (I think Connie’s judging him, too, and that can’t be about race.) The robber doesn’t survive surgery, and when Rachel asks Benton if he made the boy better, Mark says they tried but couldn’t. Rachel confirms that Benton’s sad, and asks why he’s not crying. He says he’s crying in his heart.

Connie tells Doug that Mr. Freeman was right about Doug having a racial bias in this case. Doug thinks he’s making the right decisions to protect a little girl. Connie suggests that they ask Mr. Freeman if he’ll take a drug test. They can also find out who’s been hanging around the house, and drug-test other people. The drunk patient cleans up nicely, and is now standing upright, so I guess he’s sober again. Jerry still hasn’t moved the dead body, so Rachel gets another look at him as she leaves.

A detective questions Benton, who tells him that, according to Ivan, the robber had shot him twice. He thinks Ivan was justified in defending himself and doesn’t belong in jail. The detective reveals that the robber was unarmed this time. Ivan chased him out of the store and shot him on the street. Benton tells Ivan that the boy died, but I guess the police aren’t going to arrest him, because he just leaves.

Doug tells Mr. Freeman that his drug test was negative, but his teenage daughter’s was positive. Mr. Freeman isn’t surprised. He asks if Doug has kids. (He does – a son – but we never meet him, and Doug rarely talks about him.) Mrs. Freeman died not long ago, and she and her older daughter fought a lot in the months before her death. Mr. Freeman thinks his daughter is trying to harm herself because of her grief. He doesn’t know what to do for her. Doug promises that he can help.

As Mark puts Rachel to bed, she asks if he would fix her if she got hurt. He says he would. She wants to confirm that he wouldn’t let her die. Mark says that she’s the most important thing in the world to him; he would do anything to make her better. Susan gets home and finds that Chloe, who’s not there, has left a mess everywhere. To add insult to injury, her TV and VCR are missing. Div’s there, and he decides he’ll talk to Chloe and get her some help.

Thoughts: Andrea Parker (Linda) will always be Miss Parker to me.

It’s so weird watching Rachel as an adorable, sweet little kid when I know what a horror she is as a teenager.

A five-year-old ingested cocaine and the police don’t get involved? Huh?

February 24, 2018

The X-Files 7.4, Millennium: Isn’t It Necromantic?

Posted in TV tagged at 1:16 pm by Jenn

Just another normal workday for these platonic co-workers

Summary: A widow is receiving guests at a funeral visitation on December 21st, 1999, in Tallahassee. A man who introduces himself as Johnson chats with the widow, saying he worked with her husband. The funeral director reminds the widow that her husband, Raymond, is at peace now. She laments that he didn’t leave a note.

After the funeral director closes up for the night, Johnson sneaks back in and opens the casket. He recites Revelation 1:18, calling himself the resurrection and the life while he swaps clothes with Raymond. He puts a phone in the casket and closes it back up. Later, Johnson parks by a cemetery and waits until his own phone rings. When it does, he picks up a shovel and gets out of his car.

On December 30th, Scully comes to the cemetery and talks to the funeral director, who insists that the body he buried was dead, despite any rumors that might be circulating. Scully traces those rumors to Mulder, who’s already at the cemetery, checking out the empty grave. He wishes her a belated Merry Christmas before telling her they have a weird case of grave robbery: Instead of someone on the outside breaking in, someone on the inside was trying to get out.

Mulder insists he didn’t spread any rumors. He tells Scully that there are fingerprints and handprints on the coffin and headstone that match Raymond’s. The person who dug up the grave didn’t leave anything behind that could identify him. Scully thinks the grave robber rigged things to make it look like Raymond got out on his own. Mulder sees what looks like blood on the grass. Meanwhile, Johnson continues reciting Scripture as he transports Raymond to Georgia.

The agents go back to D.C. and read up on Raymond, a retired FBI agent who shot himself earlier in the month. There’s no motive for a grave robbery, and Raymond didn’t appear to have any enemies. Mulder declares that this is a case of necromancy. Basically, Raymond has been brought back from the dead because he has some sort of knowledge to impart. The blood on the grass was used to resurrect him. The necromancer may have swapped clothes with Raymond to create a bond between them.

Scully agrees that there are ritualistic elements at play here, but there’s no explanation for why Raymond is involved. Skinner shows the agents a picture of an ouroboros and asks if the circle of blood they saw in the grass looked like it. Mulder says it’s possible. Skinner thinks it could be tied to the Millennium Group, former FBI agents who served as consultants to law enforcement but were later cut off because they were rumored to have a shady agenda. They use the ouroboros as their symbol.

Mulder wonders if they’re dealing with cult that thinks the world is ending. Skinner can’t find out, though, since the Millennium Group has dissolved and can’t be contacted. There have been three other grave desecrations in the past few months. All three bodies belonged to FBI agents who killed themselves. Skinner wants Mulder and Scully to investigate, but they’ll have to be careful – the Millennium Group isn’t respected by the bureau, so they can’t raise any red flags.

Mulder decides that they need to start at Hartwell Psychiatric Hospital in Woodbridge, Virginia. There’s a profiler there who checked himself in for a month-long observation. That profiler is Frank Black, and he doesn’t appreciate Mulder and Scully interrupting the football game he’s watching. He admit that he recognizes the four dead agents, which makes sense, since Scully knows they were all part of the Millennium Group. But Black won’t offer any further assistance. He wants to put his life back together, not get involved in another case.

Knowing that January 1st, 2000, is fast approaching, and knowing that that date is significant to the group, Mulder tries to convince Black that they need his help to stop whatever’s happening. Black just wants to watch football, saying it’s 1st and 18 (which Mulder tells him is wrong). The agents leave, disappointed.

A sheriff’s deputy finds Johnson pulled over by the side of the road, seemingly fixing a flat tire. The deputy notices a horrible smell, which Johnson says must be coming from a dead deer. The deputy’s smart enough to know that something’s happening, so he checks out the back of Johnson’s truck. Johnson starts up with the Scripture again, then sprinkles something on the ground. He stands in protective circle while Zombie Raymond attacks the deputy.

It’s the morning of New Year’s Eve now, and Mulder and Scully are called to the scene of the attack. Mulder knows that the circle of salt Johnson used was intended for “heavy magic.” Scully notes that their necromancer previously used circles of blood. Mulder thinks this circle was for protection. A search teach finds the deputy buried nearby, with bite marks on his neck and more salt nearby. Inside his mouth is a piece of paper with Johnson’s favorite Scripture on it, plus something about holding the keys of death.

A cop who paid attention in Sunday School IDs the Scripture as Revelation 1:18, which Mulder connects to Black’s comment about the football game being at 1st and 18. (Except Mulder says Revelations instead of Revelation, because the writers didn’t pay attention in Sunday School.) Mulder and Scully return to Hartwell, but Black still doesn’t want to help. Scully guesses that Black is worried about losing custody of his daughter. Because of his obsession with conspiracies and the end of the world, he can’t care for his daughter, Jordan. Black admits that he let himself get too involved, and he’s willing to do anything to be okay again.

Mulder tries to convince Black that they can just be three people having a conversation, not working a case. Black gives in and tells the agents that the four dead agents believed that people need to be active in bringing about the end times. They killed themselves specifically to be resurrected and become the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. They believed that Armageddon must begin at the turn of the millennium.

Black doesn’t think the necromancer was part of the Millennium Group, but he must hold their beliefs. He must think he’s doing God’s work. He profiles the man, guessing that he lives somewhere with high fences and no-trespassing signs. He probably works at a funeral parlor. He sealed the deputy’s eyes and mouth so he won’t be able to rise from the dead. When the necromancer learns that the deputy’s body has been found, he’ll want to take action. They’ll be able to find him that way.

As the agents leave, Scully’s typically skeptical about the whole situation – after all, January 1st, 2001 is the real start of the new millennium – but she thinks Black’s profile of the necromancer is solid. She heads to the morgue, in hopes that that’s where he’ll turn up, while Mulder goes searching for the necromancer’s possible home. He tells Scully not to let anyone unstaple the deputy’s mouth.

It’s too late, as the coroner is already unsealing the man’s mouth at the morgue. It’s full of salt. As the coroner removes it, she misses a call from Scully. She leaves the room to check the message Scully left telling her not to do anything further with the deputy’s mouth. Unfortunately, the deputy has already risen from the dead to attack the coroner. When Scully arrives, the coroner is dying, the deputy is a zombie, and Johnson is hanging around. Scully shoots the deputy but doesn’t even slow him down. He knocks her gun out of her hands, and it lands at Johnson’s feet.

Sometime later, Skinner arrives at the morgue, thinking Scully has been killed. Instead, the deputy is dead (again) and Scully is fine other than some marks on her neck. Johnson – who Scully guesses is the necromancer – shot the deputy in the head, then took off. She can’t explain what happened, but it’s exactly what Mulder predicted. Unfortunately, she and Skinner haven’t been able to reach him to let him know.

This is because there’s no cell service on Johnson’s property, where Mulder has just arrived. He peeks through Johnson’s trash and finds empty bags of salt. As he climbs over a tall fence, Johnson approaches, singing a hymn to himself. Mulder looks around Johnson’s house for a while, finding zombies in the basement. Johnson arrives in time to lock them all in together. He winces as Mulder starts shooting.

Scully goes back to Hartwell to tell Black that they need his help finding Mulder. Black asks her to continue to respect his reasons for not getting involved in the case. But now Scully says she doesn’t understand his reasons. She knows people are really coming back from the dead, so does Black believe that the Millennium Group can actually bring about Armageddon? Black says he’s spent years trying to figure all this out, but it doesn’t mean he himself believes. Scully asks, if it’s all true, which would win: good or evil? Black doesn’t answer. But as Scully leaves, Frank tells a nurse that he’s checking himself out.

Waiting outside while Mulder faces off with the zombies, Johnson welcomes Black, who he expected to show up. Mulder killed one of the zombies, but Black can take his place, and they’ll still have Four Horsemen. Johnson’s pleased, as he’d always hoped that Black would be the fourth. He’s glad Black changed his mind. Black tells him that he sent Mulder over to put a stop to Johnson’s plans. Johnson reminds Black that he’s lost everything, so why not kill himself and usher in a new life?

Midnight’s approaching, and Black picks up a gun and says he’s ready to become a Horseman. But as Johnson recites Revelation 1:18, Black turns the gun on Johnson. Meanwhile, Skinner calls Scully to tell her that Black took a call at Hartwell from a location in Rice County. The four dead agents also got calls from the same location. Scully knows that’s where she’ll find the necromancer. Black ties Johnson up, then heads to the basement to find Mulder. The remaining zombies are hiding, but Black starts to draw them out and rekill them. Scully arrives in time to finish off the last one.

The agents send Johnson to a psychiatric hospital, at Black’s insistence. Mulder gets his minor injuries fixed up and says goodbye to Black, who leaves with Jordan. Mulder and Scully are together to watch the ball drop at midnight and ring in 2000 together. Despite denying in the past that he gazes at Scully, Mulder totally does exactly that, then kisses her. “The world didn’t end,” he notes. In fact, I’d say a new world is starting for the two of them.

Thoughts: This episode was a crossover with Black’s show, Millennium.

Johnson is played by one of my favorite character actors, Holmes Osborne. The nurse Black tells he’s checking out is played by Octavia Spencer.

I want to know Scully’s scientific explanation for zombies. I bet it’s great.

February 20, 2018

ER 1.5, Into That Good Night: If Anybody Had a Heart

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 4:49 pm by Jenn

I care more about this guy than I do about Mark

Summary: It’s 4 p.m., and Doug and Carter are continuing the show’s tradition of having doctors woken up at the beginning of the episode. Mark is on the phone with Jen, telling her he has to work and can’t meet up with her. Doug and Susan both tell him to go. They’ll probably regret that, since some accident victims are coming in. One is Sally, a woman who’s almost seven months pregnant, and another is the female gang member who hit her with her car. Sally’s injuries are minor, but she may be in early labor.

Mark meets Jen by the river and she tells him she’s been offered a federal clerkship in Milwaukee. He’s happy for her, even though it’s far away. She suggests that he transfer to a hospital there. Mark doesn’t want to give up his chief residency, so he thinks Jen should just commute. She points out that she’ll have less time with Rachel that way. Mark agrees to make some calls and look for a job in Milwaukee. Jen reminds him that she’s made a lot of compromises, so it’s his turn to do the same.

Sally’s baby is in distress, and when her water breaks, the doctors can no longer try to stop her labor. It’s time for her to go up to labor and delivery. Mark returns and tells Susan about the possible move to Milwaukee. Benton and Carter tend to the gang member, Ms. Suarez, who claims she hasn’t used any drugs.

Jerry’s amazed that the board is so light. He’s probably just jinxed it. Sally gave birth in the elevator, but the baby is premature and its lungs haven’t completely developed yet. Carter pulls Doug aside to ask about the possibility of an STD in a patient who feels a burning sensation when he urinates. Doug tells him how to do a test, then lets Carter know that he knows they’re not talking about a hypothetical patient. Yes, Carter hooked up with Liz, and he probably didn’t use a condom.

A cop wants to take Suarez in to the station; she stole the car she hit Sally with. Benton wants her to stay in the hospital, since she could have serious injuries, and he gets to overrule the cop. Susan’s on the phone with her mother when another trauma comes in. The patient, Samuel Gasner, had a heart attack, but the EMTs have already gotten him stabilized. He needs a heart transplant and has been on a waiting list for a while. He’s in town from Cleveland for a builders’ convention. Samuel passes out, but the doctors quickly revive him. For someone who needs a new heart, he’s in pretty good spirits.

Doug’s next patient is a girl named Sandy who’s having an asthma attack. Doug tells her mother they’ll need to get rid of their cat. Sally’s husband arrives and learns that the baby was born. Samuel’s EKG doesn’t say anything different than it usually does; he asks what he always asks: “Am I going to make it tonight?” His heart stops again and they shock him back into rhythm. He says he doesn’t usually have two episodes in one day.

Mark asks Benton if it’s too late for Samuel to have a heart transplant, assuming they can get him one. Samuel doesn’t think he’ll survive the night. Sandy, however, is doing better, but will need to start taking asthma medication. Susan tells Carol that Mark might move to Milwaukee, though she doesn’t think he’d be happy there. Carter sees Benton practicing tying one-handed knots and wonders if he ever goes home. Benton claims to be listening to Snoop Dogg, but he’s really listening to a cardiology book on tape.

Kayson examines Samuel as he talks about how weird it is to sit around waiting for someone to die so he can get a transplant. He jokingly asks if Mark will lend him his heart for the weekend. Samuel has a nine-year-old daughter and laments missing so much of her life so he could travel for work.

Carter asks Jerry if he’s received test results for his patient, “Car…tere.” Benton calls around for a heart for Samuel, but, as he notes to Mark, they can’t just pull one out of thin air. Ivan the liquor store owner is back with another gunshot wound, but this one was self-inflicted. He got a gun for protection and accidentally shot himself in the foot. He’s grateful that in America, you can get seen by a doctor without having to bribe one with vodka, like in Russia.

Susan asks Benton how hard it is to find a heart with type A blood. Apparently pretty hard, since Kayson and another doctor, Flint, are just happy not to be Samuel. Susan suggests putting Samuel on heart-lung bypass until they find a donor. Kayson says the stress would kill him. He has a transplant team on call, so if a heart becomes available, Samuel can be in surgery within 20 minutes.

In the lounge, Doug amuses himself by playing wheelchair basketball, using Carter as a backboard. Carter explains to Mark that he lost a bet. Lydia has to remind Doug that he’s a doctor and has patients to take care of. Carter makes small talk with Mark about Milwaukee and Samuel. Mark’s never had a patient like Samuel before. He tells Carter to get some sleep while he waits for Benton to call it a day.

Doug advises that an elderly patient get x-rays after a fall, but she resists since she thinks she’s pregnant. Doug promises they won’t hurt the baby, then hands her off to Lydia, pretending the woman really is pregnant. Susan tells Div that she’s worried about Kayson being on her review board. Div thinks she should relax – Kayson “loses so many patients, he gets endorsements from funeral homes.” Susan’s a good doctor, and she shouldn’t be so concerned with what the attendings think of her.

Mark lets Samuel know that his wife’s on her way. Samuel’s extremely pale now and knows his chances of surviving are pretty slim. Mark tells him that without a transplant, he probably won’t live through the night. It’s 2 a.m. already, so that means he has very little time left. He invites Mark to call him by his first name instead of Mr. Gasner.

The cop waiting for Suarez has been standing around for hours; Benton finally tells him that she died. The cop doesn’t really care. Benton finally leaves, which means Carter can go home, but since he only has five hours before he has to be back on call, so he doesn’t see the point in leaving. Susan brings him in to observe an intubation.

Sally’s husband thanks Doug for taking such good care of his wife and baby, who’s supposed to be okay. A friend of Susan and Carter’s patient tells Susan that they were playing a drinking game. The patient, Daniel, had 15 or 20 tequila shots, as well as some beer. His blood alcohol is .832 and he needs dialysis.

Samuel’s wife, Elaine, and daughter, Sarah, arrive at the hospital. Mark tells Elaine that they only have a couple of hours to find a donor heart before Samuel most likely dies. Mark checks on Samuel, who starts to tell him a joke, then stops. He tells him that every decision you make in life counts, but then you die anyway. Cheery! Samuel cries, saying he’s not ready to die and leave his family. He asks to see his daughter.

Mark steps out to get Sarah, but has to take a moment to collect himself. Carol asks him not to tell her that she should be grateful to be alive. He says that’s not what he was thinking, but he doesn’t say what he was really thinking about. He calls around again for a heart, simultaneously telling Susan that he thought marriage would be easier. If he moves to Milwaukee, he’d have to be a junior resident. It’s a step down, but, as Samuel said, “it all counts.”

Sandy’s back in the ER at 4 a.m., and her mother admits to Doug that she didn’t get her the medication she needs. It costs $30, she doesn’t have the money, and Medicaid won’t pay for it for another week. Doug looks for a spare inhaler and medication samples that will hold Sandy over until then. Carter asks Jerry for his lab results again, and Jerry reveals that he put them on the bulletin board. A group of staff members have gathered around to see the results. Liz is back in the ER, picking her next doctor to hook up with: Kayson.

Sarah goes to see her father, completely aware that he doesn’t have much time left. She tearfully asks Mark why he can’t fix Samuel. He admits that they can’t fix everything. Sandy’s doing better, but Doug can’t find a spare inhaler for her, so she’ll need to go to a clinic the next morning. Her mother argues that she can’t take time off of work to take her there. Doug insists that it’s her only option.

Samuel’s time is almost up, and Elaine is with him. Mark and Carol try to revive him when his heart stops again, and their attempts at CPR allow him to tell Elaine that he loves her and Sarah. Susan checks on Daniel, making him promise that he’ll never drink this much again. She thinks he can spare the few million brain cells he’s lost.

Doug finds Mark playing basketball outside the hospital and asks to borrow $40 so he can run an errand. He tells Mark to go home, but I guess Mark didn’t learn the real lesson Samuel wanted him to learn, which is that he needs to treasure his time with his family instead of spending his spare minutes at the hospital.

Doug buys Sandy’s medication and inhaler and takes it to her building, which is full of people who, like Sandy’s mother, can’t afford to take time off of work to take their children to clinics. She promises to take Sandy in for treatment. Mark finally goes home and tells Jen that he’ll move to Milwaukee if that’s what she really wants to do. But now she’s okay with commuting, since she knows Mark would hate the move. Rachel comes in, happy to see her father, and the family snuggles in bed together.

Thoughts: Sally is played by Brenda Strong.

Carter, if you were too dumb to use a condom, please don’t become a doctor.

“Div, there are a lot of subjects that interest me, and believe me, your ex-wife tops my list.” Hee!

February 17, 2018

The X-Files 7.3, Hungry: This Gives a Whole New Meaning to the Slogan “Eat Fresh”

Posted in TV tagged at 1:17 pm by Jenn

Someone in the props department had fun

Summary: In Costa Mesa, California, a man pulls up to a Lucky Boy drive-through to order fast food. A voice on the intercom tells him the restaurant is closed, but the driver insists that he be served anyway, since the light on the sign was still on when he arrived. He places his order, and the voice tells him to drive up to the window. No one’s there, but the driver can hear some chewing noises and heavy breathing. When he peeks through the window, someone attacks him.

The next day, everything is business as usual at Lucky Boy, until Mulder and Scully arrive. They announce that they’re investigating a body found in a car in a reservoir. A button from the restaurant was also found in the car. The agents are checking with all the restaurants to see which employee is missing a button. Everyone at this location has one except a guy with the unfortunate name of Derwood Spinks. He points out that he only has to wear the button on Fridays, so he didn’t bring it with him. He certainly didn’t leave it on a dead guy. Scully notes that they never said the body belonged to a man.

Another employee, who has the even more unfortunate name of Rob Roberts, asks the victim’s name, which was Donald Pankow. Rob says he’s not familiar with Pankow. The agents kick everyone out of the restaurant while they search it. Rob sneaks around to the intercom and turns it on so he can eavesdrop on Mulder and Scully outside. They notice that the restaurant’s kitchen looks pretty clean; maybe it was the crime scene and someone cleaned up to cover up evidence.

Mulder mentions that Pankow’s brain was removed, which is a fun little detail. Scully thinks they should look at the employees’ lockers, but Mulder suspects that Pankow’s brain was eaten. It’s not completely unheard of; there are tribes in other countries that consider brains a delicacy. Scully reminds him that they’re in Orange County. He doesn’t think there was anything fetishistic about this murder. Someone just poked a hole in Pankow’s head and sucked out his brain. Mulder finds blood and possible brain matter, though Scully IDs it as ground beef.

Rob goes home and tries to finish washing blood out of a shirt he’s been soaking in the bathtub. It won’t come out, so he decides to throw it away. Mulder comes by and remarks on how clean the apartment is. He knows Rob stayed late at work the night before and volunteered to close. Bloody water starts leaking out of Rob’s garbage bag, but Mulder doesn’t notice.

He asks about the tainted meat Rob threw out after a fridge died on Friday. Rob says he threw it in a Dumpster, but it’s not there, which Mulder finds strange. He spots blood on Rob’s face, and Rob says he bit his lip. He tells Mulder he hopes they catch the killer. Mulder says he already has a pretty good idea who did it.

As soon as Mulder leaves, Rob rushes to through the trash bag in a garbage truck. He notices blood on his fingers and sucks it off. Then he sees that someone parked across the street is watching him. The guy in the car thinks Rob is staring and tells him to go away. Inside, a counselor named Mindy Rinehart leaves a message on Rob’s machine asking him to meet with her at Lucky Boy and its insurance provider’s insistence. Rob ignores her, goes to his bathroom, and pulls down his top teeth.

Later that night, Rob eats something called Slim Chew and watches a video of a motivational speaker who wants his audience to know how he learned to control his appetite. The man in the car is still parked outside, keeping an eye on Rob. Rob comes out, hisses, and attacks the man.

The next morning, Spinks wakes Rob up after picking his lock. He admits that he spent a few years in prison for attempted murder. Spinks knows that Rob is the killer; he found a bottle of Rob’s diet pills with blood on the lid. He’ll stay quiet if Rob gives him his TV, VCR, and whatever’s in his bank account. It’ll at least give Rob a head start on getting out of town.

Rob’s neighbor comes by and asks if Rob saw the man who was parked outside the building the night before. He’s gone now, of course, but the neighbor wants Rob to keep an eye out for him. Spinks tells Rob he’ll be in touch about where Rob should drop off his stuff. Spinks will hold on to the diet pills until then.

As Rob leaves his building, Mulder meets him outside and mentions seeing Spinks in the neighborhood. He reveals that Spinks is the main suspect in Pankow’s murder, but not Mulder’s main suspect. He thinks the killer is compulsive – he just can’t stop himself from killing. He asks again about the meat in the Dumpster; it was padlocked, so Mulder wants the key. Rob says Lucky Boy and a trucking company have it. Mulder won’t tell him why he’s asking about the Dumpster.

Rob goes to see Rinehart, who wants to head off any problems the work investigation might bring up for him. She asks him about any recent insomnia or nightmares. Rob’s stomach is growling, but Rinehart doesn’t seem to hear it. As she continues asking questions about Rob’s mental and psychological state, he struggles to focus. Finally, he asks what kind of a monster would kill Pankow the way he was killed. Rinehart says she doesn’t believe in monsters. She thinks people act out because of fear or weakness, but deep down, everyone wants to be good.

Mulder calls during the session, asking questions that Rinehart can’t answer because of confidentiality. Rob decides it’s a good time to leave. He heads to work, imagining that burger patties look like brains. Spinks comes by for a paycheck and reminds Rob that they’re meeting up later. Spinks has either been fired or has quit, and he leaves his co-workers with the parting gift of the knowledge that he used to dip his “boys” in the coleslaw.

Knowing that Spinks is going to a bar, Rob sneaks into his house and steals back his diet pills. Spinks can tell there was a break-in when he gets back, and he grabs a baseball bat to confront the intruder. He comes across the diet pills, which Rob dropped while trying to flee, and announces that their deal is off. Hiding in a closet, Rob starts to remove his body parts, so when Spinks finally finds him, he’s a bald, eyeless, earless monster.

Rob goes back to see Rinehart so they can finish their session. He admits that he thinks he needs help. He gets hungry and has compulsions to eat. He tries to put them off, but eventually his hunger gets too bad to ignore. Rinehart thinks he has bulimia. Rob says he feels like he’s not a good person.

Rinehart has Rob look in a mirror and tell her whether he sees a bad person. She tells him to keep looking until he sees the good man she sees. As she turns away, Rob’s ear falls off, and he hurries to put it back on before Rinehart notices. She advises him to go to an Overeaters Anonymous meeting. He tells her he’s really trying to do the right thing.

Rob’s stomach growls as he heads home with his bottle of diet pills. His neighbor says that Mulder came by, so she told him about the man in the car. Mulder’s still there, along with Scully; they’re looking into Spinks’ disappearance. Rob says he must have left town. Mulder thinks whatever killed Pankow got Spinks, too. They found the tip of a shark-like tooth in the hole in Pankow’s skull, so Mulder thinks the killer is some kind of genetic freak – a monster. Rob says there’s no such thing.

Mulder continues that this monster would have a “biological imperative” to eat. It probably consumed the meat Rob threw away. It tries not to feed on humans, knowing it could get caught, but it has to satisfy its hunger any way it can. Rob laughs off the conversation as “good cop, insane cop.” He asks why Mulder’s telling him all this. Mulder says the thinks Rob knows why. As he and Scully leave, he tells Rob to watch out for the monster.

Rob goes to the Overeaters Anonymous meeting, trying to ignore his growling stomach. His neighbor is also there and encourages him to introduce himself and share with the group. Rob announces that he has an eating disorder marked by cravings. He’s had them his whole life, but over the past month, they’ve become too strong to resist. He loves the taste of meat, and goes into a description of his love that makes everyone want a burger. He looks through a man’s skull and sees his brain inside.

Rob and his neighbor, Sylvia, head home together, talking about how she bounced on the hood of her husband’s car after he said she was too heavy to ride in it. Maybe Rob should eat that guy’s brain. He tries to go to his apartment alone, but his hunger gets the better of him, and he heads to Sylvia’s door, taking out his top teeth.

The next morning, a garbage truck unknowingly takes away Sylvia’s body, and Rob heads out to get rid of the murder weapon, Spinks’ baseball bat. After a moment, he comes back in and uses it to destroy his apartment. He yells for a neighbor to call the police. When Mulder arrives, getting his fingerprints all over the bat, Rob tells him and Scully that Spinks was there. He lies that he caught Spinks cleaning up blood at the Dumpster.

Mulder shows a picture of the man from the car. He’s a PI Sylvia’s ex-husband hired to spy on her. (Wow, Rob really should eat the ex’s brain.) Rob says he didn’t see the guy, so Mulder decides to talk to Sylvia again. He assures Rob that it won’t be long before they get everything wrapped up.

Rob starts packing to flee town, but he’s interrupted when Rinehart pays a house call. He tells her he’s going to a friend’s house. He quit his job, so Rinehart doesn’t have to talk to him anymore. She asks if he went to the meeting, and he tells her it was a waste of his time. He takes a page from Mulder’s book, saying that maybe the other members have a “biological imperative” to eat. Maybe he does, too, and you can’t fight biology.

Rinehart thinks Rob is tired of feeling guilty. He confirms this – he’s tired of pretending he’s something he’s not. Rinehart has guessed that he’s the killer, and she asks him to tell her why he did it. She asks him to turn himself in to the FBI. She just want him to get the help he needs. Hearing sirens approaching, Rob reminds Rinehart that she said she doesn’t believe in monsters. He starts to take off his body parts, asking if she believes in them now. But Rinehart just feels sympathy for him.

Mulder and Scully return and save Rinehart. Mulder comments that Rob just can’t stop himself. Rinehart encourages Rob to be the good person she knows he is and let the FBI agents detain him. Instead, Rob rushes them and gets himself caught. As he dies, he tells Rinehart that he can’t be something he’s not.

Thoughts: Spinks is played by Mark Pellegrino.

What kind of burger restaurant serves coleslaw anyway? Are people like, “Hey, let’s go to Lucky Boy and get coleslaw”?

Mulder, didn’t you learn from “Humbug” why you shouldn’t say things like “genetic freak”? And didn’t you learn from FBI training (and common sense) not to touch evidence without wearing gloves? Scully, put a leash on him or something.

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