July 17, 2018

ER 2.1, Welcome Back Carter!: Kerry Weaver Has Entered the Building

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 4:53 pm by Jenn

Look how normal and non-threatening she looks. Don’t be fooled

Summary: For once, no one’s asleep at the start of the episode, since it’s the middle of the day and everyone’s out and about in Chicago, going about their lives. Then a gang member opens fire. A woman is shot trying to shield her young son. Mark tries to save another shooting victim as a police officer attempts to get information on the shooter. Everyone wants to know where Susan is as they run around, tending to all the victims. Susan’s with a man who needs to have his heart monitored, and she has to leave him to help out with all the traumas.

The woman from the street comes in, worrying about her unborn baby. Her toddler seems fine, but he’s obviously upset about the whole thing. Benton asks where Carter is. Carter happens to be stuck in a big traffic jam, having just returned to Chicago from his summer vacation. He ditches the cab and makes a run for it, carrying all his luggage and souvenirs with him. He knows he’s in for some yelling for being late.

Jerry’s trying to hold down the fort at the front desk, taking calls while trying to ignore a woman with bipolar disorder who won’t stop talking to him. A woman named Harper Tracy introduces herself and her buddies as the new third-year med students, there to meet Mark. When he learns that the students know how to take medical histories, Jerry puts them to work. Meanwhile, Mark and Benton send the pregnant woman off to deliver her baby.

Carter finally makes it to the hospital, and Jerry sends him to the OR. Morgenstern is inexplicably back, telling Mark that, now that he’s an attending, he has more responsibilities. He needs to go to a staff meeting, meet with the med students, and handle more problems on his own. Mark is also in charge of the schedule, which will benefit Doug; Mark quickly offers him a graveyard attending shift and the extra money that comes with it. There currently aren’t any pediatric patients for Doug, but Jerry has reserved a Scandinavian flight attendant for him. Doug appreciates it.

Carter scrubs in to assist with Benton and Coburn’s emergency operation on the pregnant woman. Coburn quizzes Carter on anatomy and isn’t impressed with his lack of knowledge. She notes that that reflects poorly on Benton. Doug meets the flight attendant, Hulda, who hurt her ankle when she slipped on a little bottle of vodka. She also has an earache, possibly from all the “going up and coming down.” Doug thanks whatever forces are at work here that he’s single.

Mark doesn’t have much time to spend with the med students, so he sends them to an exam room to read medical texts. He asks Susan to find Harper and have her rejoin the group. The two discuss the new opening for chief resident; Susan doesn’t have time to step up. She suggests a doctor named Jane Pratt. Mark checks in on Susan’s heart patient, who has to stay in the ER for a little while longer, since there’s no bed open in cardiology. He’s not getting much rest, with all the yelling and chaos.

Benton and Coburn deliver the baby, who had the horrible luck of being shot while still in the womb, but who is otherwise fine. The nurses gather for a quick staff meeting, run by Carol. Though the nurses complain about some of the things they’re chastised for or qualifications they need to meet, they clearly respect Carol and understand that she’s just the messenger. They also can’t complain too much about having to complete hours doing ambulance ride-alongs when Carol has to participate as well.

To add to the chaos of the ER, some maintenance guys are there to fix the AC. Jane Pratt is interested in the chief position and lets Mark know. She’s heard that Kerry Weaver, a doctor at Mt. Sinai, also wants the position, but Jane thinks she’d be better at the job. Carter withstands his inevitable browbeating from Benton, who reminds him that anytime he looks bad, he makes Benton look bad. He beat out 15 others for this surgical sub-internship, so he’d better show that he earned it.

Mark meets Loretta Sweet, a patient with a rash on her thighs. It’s not serious, probably just a minor allergic reaction, and the treatment is pretty basic. (This scene is pointless and just establishes a character we’ll see a few more times.) Carol greets an ambulance and starts tending to a man who was found unconscious.) The paramedics who brought him in, Shep Shepard and Raul Melendez, stick around to help Carol and some other nurses until a doctor can be found. Carol determines that the man’s airway was obstructed and clears it.

Carter tries to study for an upcoming operation, but it’s difficult with nurses coming in and out, and a drunk patient yelling next door. Susan invites him to show Harper how to start an IV, thinking Carter will find her attractive. Harper’s still with the bipolar patient, Mrs. Constantine, finding it hard to take a history from a woman who’s manic and talks about anything and everything. Still, Harper is able to diagnosis her with cellulitis. Carter shows her how to start an IV, already a better teacher than Benton ever was (though Harper’s also a better student than Carter ever was).

Carol’s patient came in with his son, Noah, and Carol assures the boy that his father will be okay. He’ll have to stay in the hospital for a while, so Noah needs someone to look after him. Noah says his father never stays in the hospital, so it’s not a problem. Carol determines that Noah has had to call 911 for his alcoholic father a number of times in the past. She’s impressed that the kid, who’s only about nine, knows how to fix a broken VCR. (If anyone reading this asks me what a VCR is, I quit.)

Harper tracks down Mark and tags along while he and Susan check in on the heart patient. The AC still hasn’t been fixed, and now there’s dust falling from the ceiling over the front desk – hopefully not asbestos, as Susan fears. Carter hands out souvenirs from his trip to…wherever he went. He gives Jerry a voodoo doll, and when Benton comes by, cranky as usual, Jerry says that Carter should have saved a doll for himself. Carter did, and it might even work on Benton.

Jeanie is now working at County, but she and Benton are stiff around each other, barely speaking. Carter gives Doug a figure he calls the god of fertility. Carol teases him, not realizing that in three years, she’ll want it to work. Carter thinks he’s ready for his next surgery, but the procedure has been cancelled. Now he has to assist with something he hasn’t studied for. Carter takes out his frustration on his Benton doll.

Mark goes to a management staff meeting, nominating Jane as the next chief resident. Morgenstern notes that she and Mark are very similar; he should pick someone who would complement his weaknesses. Carol backs up Mark’s pick, but Morgenstern is leaning toward Weaver. Mark agrees to meet her, unaware of how much his life is about to change.

A doctor named Neil complains about Doug’s time in the ER; pediatrics shouldn’t have to pay his salary if he’s always in the ER. Morgenstern points out that the ER can’t afford to pay for Doug’s fellowship. Coburn says she likes Doug, but he’s “a bit of a cowboy.” Neil says he’s arrogant and undermines Neil’s authority. He threatens not to sign off on his fellowship renewal. Morgenstern will have to find the money to keep him on.

A man carries his unbreathing brother, Jimmy, into the ER. The only available treatment room is the one the AC guys are currently working in. Harper hasn’t joined her fellow med students, so Susan allows her to observe. Mark mentions to Carol that he didn’t realize how much management talks about the residents. Carol gleefully asks if he wants to know what they used to say about him. She adds that Morgenstern has a point about Jane.

Doug thanks Mark for his extra shifts, since he needs the money for car payments. Mark remembers that Doug knows Weaver from his residency and asks if she would make a good chief. Doug’s response isn’t promising: “You ever see Cuckoo’s Nest?” Carol’s patient wants to leave, as Noah predicted, and he’s not pleasant about it. She lets him throw a tantrum until he’s coughing so hard he can’t stand. He’s just made her point that he’s unable to leave the hospital. She suggests that he get sober so Noah will have a father he can be proud of.

Jimmy isn’t doing well, and the AC guys are causing more problems than they’re fixing. Lydia tells them to come out of the ceiling already. One of them falls on Jimmy’s gurney, apparently smacking him hard enough in the chest that his heart goes back into a stable rhythm. Carter has now embarrassed Benton in front of another surgeon, and Benton is only going to give him one more chance to show he’s not completely incompetent. Carol tells them that the gang shooter has now been shot and is being brought in.

The infamous Dr. Kerry Weaver comes to the hospital, confident that Mark is going to hire her as chief resident. The shooter arrives, and for the first time all day (well, second, if you count starting an IV with Harper), Carter proves useful. It only lasts for a minute, as he soon starts to feel sick. Once the patient is stable, Malik teases Carter about the smell in the room, causing him to pass out.

Jimmy’s stable and will be okay, though Susan decides not to give his brother details on how he was stabilize. The shooter doesn’t make it, and Benton tells Carter to sew him up. He needs to be there at 5 the next morning for surgery. Carol tells Shep and Raul that the shooter didn’t make it, then asks if she can do her ride-along with them next week. Both guys say yes, and Shep is especially looking forward to it. Doug teases Carol about that.

Susan complains to Mark that her cardiac patient still hasn’t gone to cardiology. She tells him he needs to do something about the length of time it takes to transfer patients. Benton has heard that Mark hired Weaver and thinks it’s a good idea. Susan’s surprised that Mark didn’t pick Jane, and then didn’t tell her he didn’t hire Jane. Mark snaps that it was his decision. He’s trying to leave for the night, but Jerry reminds him that the med students are still waiting for him.

Mrs. Constantine has stabilized, and she’s grateful to Harper for her kind treatment. Her son brought her cello to her, and she wants to thank Harper with a musical performance. Mrs. Constantine plays beautifully, bringing peace to the ER for the first time all day. Along with Chuny, who works in the ER now, Carter helps clean up the shooter’s body. Carol finds him later and acknowledges that he had a tough day. He tells her he did a pediatric rotation at another hospital over the summer, then spent a few weeks in St. Bart’s. MUST BE NICE.

Mark makes his train to Milwaukee with moments to spare, so that’s still going on. Chloe and Susie are still staying with Susan, but they have a good routine going – Susie goes to daycare while Chloe takes classes, and the three spend the evenings together. Chloe has gotten over her earlier hesitance with the baby and is doing well in the parenting department.

Benton and Jeanie’s awkwardness with each other at work is just a smoke screen – they’re sleeping together. She leaves just before midnight, trying to get home before her husband gets off work. Jeanie and Benton have progressed to the “I love you” stage of the relationship, or at least Jeanie has. Peter just goes back to sleep, which means the writers lulled me into a false sense of security – they fooled me by not starting the episode with someone sleeping, then ended it that way.

Thoughts: Harper is played by Christine Elise.

Laura Innes (Weaver) was originally only supposed to be in six episodes. She wound up appearing in almost 250.

Benton gets a turkey sandwich, but isn’t he a vegetarian? Oh, right, early-seasons continuity. Not important.

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July 14, 2018

The X-Files 8.2, Without: Trust No One, Indeed

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 1:01 pm by Jenn

“I gotta work on my tortured-loner look”

Summary: Scully voices over stuff about darkness and the stuff we don’t see and secrets. There’s a UFO. Okay, show, let’s get on with it. We pick up with the end of “Within,” and Doggett finding Gibson with Mulder, or at least someone who looks like Mulder. Doggett orders him to let Gibson go, and as soon as Mulder does, Gibson runs off. Doggett asks Mulder if he’s armed, but Mulder just stands and stares at him. When Doggett tells him to get on the ground, Mulder slowly backs up to the edge of the cliff they’re on and lets himself fall off. He looks dead for a minute, but he’s not. By the time Scully and Skinner reach Doggett and the other agents, Mulder’s gone.

Since Mulder just fell off a cliff, then ran away like nothing happened, Scully knows they’re really dealing with the Bounty Hunter. Doggett wonders who the Bounty Hunter wants a bounty for. Scully says it’s Gibson and explains how he’s part alien. Doggett notes that Scully’s theory sounds a lot like something Mulder would believe. She invites him to come up with a better idea. Skinner notes that, with the Bounty Hunter in play, it’ll be hard to know if the people they’re working with are really the people they appear to be. Scully thinks Mulder would find this all amusing.

Doggett heads back to Gibson’s school, but the boy hasn’t returned there. He decides they need to search again. The Bounty Hunter is also there, and he turns himself into a teacher to fool Doggett. Scully and Skinner arrive and wonder how Doggett knew to look for Gibson at the school. They figure since Gibson can read thoughts, he’s three steps ahead of them and won’t be returning to the school. They spot a girl taking a bike and leaving the school grounds. Scully follows her as Skinner talks to the teacher the Bounty Hunter is pretending to be.

Somehow Scully manages to keep up with the girl on the bike for a while, but she eventually loses her. Scully realizes the desert ground she’s standing on is actually the roof of an underground bunker. She goes inside and finds the girl and Gibson. Gibson’s worried that Scully will lead the aliens to her, but she insists that she can protect him. The girl, Thea, is worried, and Scully says she has a right to be – now they can’t be sure who to trust.

Gibson has injured his leg, so Scully tends to him the best she can, but she’ll have to go get a car to get him out of town. Gibson reminds her that she promised to take care of him in the past, but that didn’t turn out so great for him. Back at the school, Doggett gets a call from Kersh, who’d love to know how it’s possible that Doggett found Mulder, then lost him in the middle of the desert. I think Doggett would like to know that, too.

Skinner realizes that Kersh was spying on him and Scully, which is how Doggett knew where to look for Gibson. He’s just a pawn. Doggett is a good agent – he’s even been talked about as a potential future director – but he’s being set up to fail. The only way he can find Mulder is to listen to Scully and accept the truth. But even then, he’ll lose, because he can’t file a report mentioning aliens or the Bounty Hunter. Kersh doesn’t want Doggett to succeed.

Doggett realizes Scully is MIA and tells his agents to get in touch with her. The Bounty Hunter turns into her inside the school just as the real Scully returns outside. She, Skinner, and Doggett head inside to nab the Bounty Hunter, but he realizes he’s been found out. He strangles another agent and makes a break for it. Scully thinks she’s tracked down her twin, but it’s just her reflection in a mirror. The strangled agent is the only one who saw the fake Scully. The real one figures that the Bounty Hunter is now posing as someone else. Thea catches on and realizes that the Bounty Hunter has turned into a teacher again.

Apparently Scully’s dreams about Mulder undergoing alien testing are contagious, since he has one in his underground hideout. Scully starts to head back there, but Skinner spots her and stops her. She thinks he’s the Bounty Hunter and pulls her gun on him. They have a standoff for a little while, but Skinner backs down first, knowing he can prove who he is. After all, he knows Scully’s secret. When he mentions her pregnancy, she knows he’s the real Skinner.

He thinks this has gone too far, but she says it hasn’t gone far enough. She needs to leave without letting Doggett find out. Skinner reminds her that she promised Mulder wouldn’t let him ruin his career over this pursuit for the truth. But what about Scully? She has more at stake now than Skinner ever has. Scully emotionally says that she can’t take the chance that she’ll never see Mulder again. Gibson is their last chance, and if they don’t get back to him, they may lose that chance. Thea watches them drive off.

Gibson’s not in the bunker anymore, but since he was trying to make an escape on an injured leg, he hasn’t gotten very far. He tells Scully that Mulder is nearby. Scully thinks Gibson’s just delirious from a fever, but he tells her she’s close to finding her partner. She sends Skinner to the hospital with the boy while she stays behind to look for Mulder. Sometime later, Gibson wakes up in the hospital, agitated. Skinner tries to calm him as Thea appears.

In the desert, Scully calls for her partner/boyfriend/baby daddy but gets no response. She sees a light in the sky and thinks it’s from a UFO. It’s not – it’s just Doggett’s helicopter. She accuses him of following her, but he says he’s just going where the action is. Scully notes that the fact that the action is wherever she is should mean something. The two fight for a little while about the truth and their theories about what’s going on. Doggett wonders what Scully would do if she found Mulder out there. She says she’d do whatever it took. To do…what? I don’t know.

Doggett’s annoyed that Scully didn’t tell him where Gibson was. He knows that Skinner took the boy to the hospital. Scully asks how he knows that. Doggett says the only thing he knows about the case is that Mulder is going to look for Gibson. When Mulder turns up, Doggett will grab him. Scully realizes that Doggett had his agents follow Skinner, but how can he know for sure that they’re all his guys? They fly off to the hospital, not seeing a nearby UFO, which holds Mulder, positioned for testing just like he is in Scully and Gibson’s dreams.

At the hospital, the agents assigned to keep Gibson safe insist that they’ve been successful. Scully asks if Doggett believes that. They go to Gibson’s room, but it’s empty. The only way Gibson and Skinner could have left the room without agents seeing them is through the ceiling. Scully tracks them down, and Skinner confirms that they escaped through the ceiling. He didn’t know if he could trust Doggett’s agents, so they moved to another room. But just then, Doggett finds someone hiding in the ceiling – someone who looks just like Skinner.

Gibson is able to signal to Scully that her Skinner is a fake. The Bounty Hunter tosses her around, which can’t be good for the baby. She’s able to grab her gun and shoot him, which makes him bleed green, then melt into a puddle of goo. Scully collapses and cries. Doggett comforts her, but it’s just not the same as it would be if he were Mulder.

Everyone returns to D.C., where Doggett shows Kersh pictures that should prove that all this crazy stuff actually happened. But Kersh is the new Skinner, which means he doesn’t believe Doggett’s report. Doggett knows Kersh was setting him up to look crazy, but Kersh tells him to go look for more answers.

Instead, Doggett visits Scully in the hospital and does Mulder’s usual end-of-episode case wrap-up. Skinner is okay, and Gibson is safe. And if this weren’t enough of an indication that Doggett is the new Mulder, he tells her he’s now officially part of the X-Files. He promises his new partner that he’ll find Mulder. Well, he’d better hurry, because it’s time for Mulder to undergo more tests.

Thoughts: I wish we’d gotten a whole episode of Gibson at the school. What a smart idea to stash a mind-reader at a school where he doesn’t speak the language – he can still communicate with people.

Scully and Skinner need a code word so they always know they’re talking to each other, not an imposter. Of course, if Mulder were there, he’d call it a safe word.

Why is it that the Bounty Hunter needs his special alien ice pick to kill, but he could be brought down by a regular old bullet? Did I miss something? Don’t email me; I don’t care. He’s dead.

July 10, 2018

ER 1.25, Everything Old Is New Again: Goodbyes, Both Spoken and Unspoken

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 5:07 pm by Jenn

Clooney should trademark that look

Summary: Carter’s asleep – drink! Malik wakes him up for a trauma, and since no other doctors are available, Carter’s somehow in charge. The 14-year-old patient shot himself in a suicide attempt and needs a crike, a procedure in which a hole is cut in his throat. Lydia is able to outline the steps for Carter, because nurses are awesome, but Benton arrives in time to do the actually cutting. When he learns that Carter was about to do it, Benton just chuckles. He remembers that this is Carter’s last day as a med student, and instead of giving him some advice or words of wisdom, he gives administrative instructions.

It’s raining when Carol wakes up on what’s meant to be her wedding day. Amazingly, the rain doesn’t annoy her. Chloe and Susie are staying with Susan, and though Chloe was invited to the wedding, she doesn’t feel strong enough to go. Susan thinks she is. At County, Mark encourages Doug to go see Diane and tell her how he feels. Doug thinks the breakup is for the best, though he feels bad for Jake. Benton tells Carter that he needs to fill out an assessment of their time together. Carter’s thrilled to get to write down his feelings about the rotation.

Mark tries to talk to his next patient, a drunk woman named Bonnie who would rather have a cigarette than any medical treatment. Carter gives Benton a horrible assessment, with some egging on from Haleh. Out of a possible 40 points, Carter gives Benton 16. He feels a little bad, but Haleh points out that Benton had to evaluate Carter as well, so he’s probably not going to get any kind treatment there.

Swift helps Mark with Bonnie, overruling Mark’s diagnosis and recommending conservative treatments. As soon as he leaves, Mark overrules his overruling. Doug and Carter meet with a preteen named Caleb who’s feeling sick after finishing chemo. Caleb’s annoyed at their concern, so Doug tells him they can’t rule out meningitis, which can cause irritability, because the irritability might just be from Caleb’s personality. (Basically: “Stop being a brat so we can figure out what’s wrong with you.”)

Benton runs into Jeanie, who claims she hasn’t returned his calls because she’s been busy. Also, he shouldn’t call her at home. She asks to meet him later so they can talk. Mark was right about Bonnie’s diagnosis, and instead of being offended, Swift praises him for making a tough call. Then he tells Mark that the hospital has been served with a wrongful-death suit over what happened to Jodi O’Brien. Mark is upset but not surprised.

Benton examines Susan’s patient, Thomas, who has end-stage AIDS. Since Benton has no bedside manner, Susan explains things to Thomas’ partner, Jason. An oncologist sees Caleb, admitting him for antibiotics. Carter has no responsibilities, somehow, so he offers to hang out with Caleb and his sister, Sarah. Caleb continues being irritable, so Carter gives him one last chance to be nice and ask Carter to stay. Caleb declines.

Thomas is declining, and Benton tells Jason that he may need surgery. Thomas’ mother has power of attorney and is on her way, but possibly not quickly enough. As Susan heads out to get ready to be Carol’s bridesmaid, Benton tells Carter that the person who was going to take the ER sub-internship went elsewhere. The slot is open again, and it’s Carter’s if he wants it. Carter excitedly accepts, then races to take back the assessment he turned in. It’s too late – Hicks already has it.

Swift tells Mark that he’s going to take Morgenstern’s recommendation and hire him as an attending. Mark wants to discuss it with Jen, but he’s grateful for the offer. At Doc Magoo’s, Benton laments to Jeanie that he didn’t get to say goodbye to his mother. She tells him that she likes him, but this is about Mae. Benton says they’d both like to think that. (This scene is really vague. I’m pretty sure she’s trying to say they have nothing connecting them except Mae, while he’s saying there’s chemistry there.)

When Susan gets home to grab her wedding outfit, she finds Susie there alone, and Chloe nowhere to be found. She’s left a note saying she went to buy cigarettes, which is such a deadbeat-parent cliché. Carter asks Hicks if he can get his evaluation back for some edits, but instead, Hicks offers to show him Benton’s evaluation of him. Surprisingly, Benton had nothing but positive things to say about Carter. Carter pretends he just filled out a negative review because he was upset about not getting the sub-internship. Hicks graciously allows him to retract his evaluation, as long as he fills it out honestly.

Thomas’ mother, Marjorie, sings a lullaby to her unconscious son. Benton recommends a procedure, but Marjorie doesn’t want Thomas to endure any further pain. Benton agrees to keep up the current treatment in hopes that it’ll work. Outside the room, Jason tells Benton that Marjorie made the decision Thomas would have made. He wants to take Thomas home to die, but Benton thinks he should stay so they can manage his pain. Jason says that Thomas’ loved ones have already said their goodbyes, but they’re still not ready to let him go.

Doug tells Caleb’s father that he seems to have an infection unrelated to his chemo. Carter comes back to try to befriend the kid again, this time succeeding with an offer to play Mortal Kombat. Susan has to take the baby to the wedding and hand her off to the Greenes, since Chloe didn’t come back in time. The wedding party greets Carol outside the church, and everyone’s ready to proceed…but Tag isn’t there.

Benton sits with Thomas, holding his hand and inevitably thinking of his mother. Carol finds Tag sitting by himself, worrying that she doesn’t love him as much as he loves her. She assures him that she wouldn’t marry him if she didn’t love him. She admits that he’s right, but she still wants to be with him. Tag doesn’t feel the same, so we have a runaway groom.

At County, Connie teases Doug that Carol and Tag must be hitched by now. I guess Connie didn’t get invited to the wedding? That sucks – Haleh and Lydia got to be bridesmaids. Jake comes by to try to fix Doug and Diane’s relationship, but Doug knows it’s unfixable. He admits that sometimes he hurts people without knowing why.

Now that Caleb has softened a little, Carter opens up to him: His own brother had cancer as a child and sometimes took out his anger on Carter like Caleb does on his sister. Carter knows he was just trying to mask his pain. As Sarah looks on, Caleb tentatively asks if Carter’s brother made it. Carter says no, but he had a different kind of cancer than Caleb does. Plus, it was a long time ago, and medicine is better now – and the kids are tougher.

The wedding is off, but everyone gathers for the reception anyway. Malik wonders what will happen to the food. When Rachel says she’s hungry, Mark decides it’s okay to raid the buffet. The bridesmaids and Jen are ready for the open bar. Doug goes to the church, where the non-bride is crying in a pew. She asks what’s wrong with her, and why she can’t fall for a good guy. Doug says Tag is boring, which makes Carol laugh. She confides that she’s afraid she’ll never be happy. He assures her that she will be, not even realizing that when she is, it’ll be with him.

Carter thanks Benton for teaching him over the course of the year. Benton tells him he’ll be a good doctor, possibly the first kind words he’s ever said to Carter’s face. The reception is going on as if the wedding actually happened, and when Carol arrives, she expresses her gratitude for having friends who care about her. She’s had a great year because of them. Everyone dances to “Tequila,” and it looks like the actors are really enjoying themselves. Of course, Doug can’t keep his eyes off of the non-bride.

Back at the hospital, Carter turns in the contents of his locker, ready for a summer off before he begins his sub-internship in the fall. Sarah tells him that she hopes one day she can make a difference in someone’s life like he did for Caleb today. Rolando encourages Carter to come back and visit sometime, unaware that Carter will be working there in the fall. He heads off as the busy hospital continues to operate without him.

Thoughts: One season down, 14 to go! Things are about to get a lot more interesting. (Two words: Kerry Weaver.)

I was expecting Marjorie to be hateful and judgmental, which would be an easy direction for the show to go with that storyline. I’m glad they didn’t.

The plot parallels in season 1 don’t hit you over the head like they do in later seasons. It’s nice.

The Carol/Tag breakup is so anticlimactic, but she really wouldn’t have been happy with him. He’s a jerk, though. If you don’t think it’s a good idea, call it off before everyone gets to the church.

 

July 7, 2018

The X-Files 8.1, Within: Doggett Is the New Mulder, But Scully and Skinner Are Also the New Mulder

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 1:04 pm by Jenn

This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Ha ha, just kidding

Summary: Scully wakes from a dream in which Mulder is undergoing a procedure that doesn’t look very comfortable. After a clip-show recap of “Requiem,” Scully stares at herself in a mirror for a while as she finishes getting ready for the day. At work, some agents are going through the stuff in her and Mulder’s office, hoping for something that will help them find Mulder. Scully tells them they’re wasting their time looking for him. She wants to know whose idea it was to search.

Skinner has just heard about the manhunt as well, and agrees with Scully that the FBI won’t find Mulder. However, he thinks he can. Scully wonders who’s going over Skinner’s head to organize the search. Skinner tells her it’s their new deputy director: Kersh. He’s been promoted, and he hopes Scully and Skinner will cooperate with the search. He’s assigned Special Agent John Doggett to lead the taskforce to find Mulder. Kersh warns the agents not to bring aliens or anything paranormal into the hunt. If they do, they’re fired.

Scully and Skinner know that Kersh has only organized a search to make the FBI look better. Scully thinks the bureau would be happier if Mulder stayed missing. Skinner has to go make a statement, and he’s decided to tell the truth: He saw a UFO. Scully reminds him that that’s exactly what Kersh doesn’t want him to say. Skinner doesn’t care – he won’t sell Mulder out. Scully asks what good it’ll do Mulder if Skinner risks his job.

As Skinner heads in to give his statement, Scully sits in a waiting area and chats with another agent. He gets her a cup of water and tells her he’s there to help develop a character background for Mulder. He’s not sure the agents can ever really know each other, even their partners. Scully disagrees, sure she knows Mulder as well as anyone else does.

The agent says he’s heard the rumors about the two of them – not that they were involved, but that Mulder never really trusted Scully. He confided in other women instead. Scully’s hurt. The agent asks Scully what she thinks happened to Mulder. She tells him he doesn’t know Mulder at all, and never did. She turns the agent’s badge around, having realized that he’s Doggett. Then she throws her water in his face.

At home that night, Scully looks up Doggett in the FBI’s database. He was a Marine and New York police officer before joining the bureau. She has to pause her investigation to run to the bathroom and throw up (I guess her morning sickness doesn’t just come in the morning). She tries to call her mom, leaving a message that they need to talk. There’s a click on the line, like someone’s picked up the phone, but no one says anything.

Scully sees movement on the street outside her window and calls Doggett to tell him to stay out of her business. She thinks he’s tapped her phone and is having her watched. He’s confused. Scully sees someone moving around outside her apartment door and runs to the hallway with her gun, but the only person she finds is her landlord. He tells her he saw Mulder in the hall. Scully returns to her apartment, thinking Mulder will be waiting for her there, but he’s not. Her computer’s missing, though.

Scully goes to Mulder’s apartment, where his computer is also missing. She goes to bed holding one of Mulder’s shirts and has another dream about him undergoing alien testing. It involves having the roof of his mouth drilled open. Cheery! Meanwhile, Skinner meets up with the Lone Gunmen, who have hacked into some satellites to look into Mulder’s abduction. They can’t get the data they need to figure out where the UFO went after that. Skinner thinks this is the path that will lead them to Mulder.

At FBI headquarters, Doggett and Kersh talk about their experiences in the military (Kersh served in Vietnam) before Doggett confirms that he’s really in charge of the search for Mulder. Kersh hasn’t asked anyone else to head up another search, has he? You know, someone who might now be keeping tabs on Scully? Kersh says no, then tells Doggett that this is his chance to show the bureau how good he is at his job.

Scully’s asleep on Mulder’s couch when Doggett shows up at his apartment. She says she came to feed the fish and then took a nap. She doesn’t like Doggett’s attitude with her; he might have been able to get away with it when he was an NYPD officer, but he needs to change his tone when speaking to a fellow FBI agent. Doggett points out that she yelled at him on the phone, so she’s not exactly showing him the same respect she wants from him. He claims he’s not watching her; he’s also just there to feed the fish.

Scully mocks that Doggett would have no idea where to find Mulder. He tells her he knows what happened, or at least what Scully’s going to say happened. He doesn’t get how a scientist would believe that someone was abducted by aliens. Scully repeats her typical stance that she’s seen things she can’t explain, and she can’t just dismiss them because someone doesn’t believe. Doggett asks for help figuring out, from Mulder’s rental-car records, where he went on four consecutive weekends. Scully doesn’t know, so Doggett says what he said before: Maybe she doesn’t know her partner as well as she thinks she did.

Doggett, Scully, and Skinner are all summoned to the office, and Skinner is questioned about some files that were removed after hours. Whoever came in used Mulder’s pass card. Skinner said in his statement that Mulder felt threatened by the FBI. Maybe he’s gone rogue. Skinner clarifies that Mulder felt threatened by budget cuts. He thinks Mulder was only after the truth; he wouldn’t retaliate against the bureau. Kersh says they’re after the truth, too.

An agent gives Skinner some phone logs showing that he was in the office late the previous night. Maybe he used Mulder’s pass card. After all, Skinner was the last person to see Mulder. Scully tells Doggett that Skinner’s telling the truth, and he wouldn’t have used Mulder’s pass card. Doggett believes this, but he also knows that someone used Mulder’s credit card to buy flowers in Raleigh a couple days ago. Scully says that that’s where Teena’s buried; Mulder must have been going to her grave those four weekends. Doggett says that’s one reason.

Someone opens a crate containing a headstone with all four Mulder family members’ names on it. This floors Scully, who sits and stares at it for a while. Skinner comes by later, and both say they’re not sure what to think. Doggett joins them with Mulder’s medical records, which mention his brain problems the previous year. That combined with the headstone, which apparently Mulder ordered, make Doggett think that he was dying. Maybe Scully really didn’t know her partner after all.

Doggett asks how badly Mulder would want to prove his theories if he thought he was dying. He was about to lose his job and his life; why not go all out? He could have stolen files from the office, as well as Scully’s and his own computers, either in a final attempt to figure out the truth or because he wanted to cover it up. Maybe he even staged his own disappearance. Skinner won’t deny what he saw, and he tells Doggett all about it. Scully asks Doggett not to report it.

Skinner and Scully go to the Lone Gunmen to continue tracking the UFO’s path. Skinner thinks it’s in Arizona. Langly suggests figuring out who the aliens want to abduct next, and finding that person first. Scully starts putting it all together: Mulder isn’t the one removing evidence of aliens, it’s the aliens themselves. The proof of their existence isn’t in a computer or a file, but in a person. In his office, Doggett comes across info on that same person: Gibson Praise.

He tells his taskforce that Mulder thought Gibson could read minds and might have alien physiology. He thinks Mulder is looking for Gibson, so if they find the boy, they’ll find Mulder. Doggett tells another agent to send out Mulder’s picture to the press so everyone in the southwest knows what he looks like. On the way to find Gibson, Scully has another dream about Mulder undergoing testing. She and Skinner are searching on their own, but Doggett has the benefit of a helicopter and a bunch of agents, so they know Gibson’s living at a school for deaf children in Flemingtown, Arizona.

While she and Skinner are stopped at a gas station, Scully sees something appear in the distance, then disappear. They’ve also tracked Gibson to the school, and are just 20 minutes away. Gibson is called to the principal’s office, where another student gives him a weird look.

Doggett arrives just moments before Scully and Skinner, but Gibson, being psychic, knows he’s being pursued and escapes through a window. Now, instead of searching for Mulder, everyone’s on the hunt for Gibson. Whoever finds him first leads him off to the mountains, and Doggett follows their footprints. Eventually, he catches up to them as Gibson asks for release from his captor: Mulder. To be continued…

Thoughts: Giving agents access to the FBI database from their home computers seems like a good way for confidential information to get out.

No wonder the number-crunchers were upset with Mulder in “Requiem” – he was using bureau money to rent a car to go to his mother’s grave. Come on, Fox.

The cliffhanger would be a lot more…cliffhanger-y if they didn’t show Gibson trying to fight Mulder. He trusts Mulder, so his objections make it obvious that that’s not Mulder.

July 3, 2018

ER 1.24, Motherhood: Cue “The Circle of Life”

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 5:02 pm by Jenn

Welcome to the madhouse, Susie

Summary: Susan’s asleep, so drink! Chloe wakes her up to announce that she’s going into labor. Well, really, she’s been in labor for a while; her contractions are now just two minutes apart. Susan quickly gathers her things including a giant boombox, and they rush to County. Susan hands her sister off to Carter, who isn’t very helpful with the Lamaze breathing. By the time Susan has put on a gown to help out with the delivery, the baby is already crowning.

Susan and Nurse Chuny Marquez deliver while Carter tries to find the right cassette to play. He fails, so Susan and Chloe provide their own soundtrack, singing the Beatles’ “Blackbird.” Mothers everywhere curse Chloe for having such a fast, easy delivery. Everyone else watching rolls their eyes, because the baby is gigantic and at least three months old.

Susan shows the baby off to Carol, still stunned that she delivered her own niece (and on Mother’s Day). Carol hopes to start trying for a baby soon after she gets married, though right now she’s just trying to get through all the preparations. Tag’s family is in town and driving her crazy. As they run up to the roof to meet a helicopter, Mark tells Carter that he’s been picked for the ER sub-internship he applied for. Carter hasn’t heard back about the surgical sub-internship yet, and needs to accept or decline the ER one by the end of the day.

Doug arrives at work and tells Rolando that there’s a horse in his parking spot. Rolando isn’t sure if that necessitates a call to security. Susan and Carol tend to a man named Josh who fell unconscious after mixing ammonia and bleach to clean his kitchen. In the trauma room next door, Mark, Carter, and Benton tend to a teenager named James who was impaled on rebar. Hicks comes by to help, so Mark goes over to check on Susan and Carol, who have things under control.

A scout mother named Dolores brings in some sick kids she’s diagnosed with giardia from contaminated water. Doug gets puked on. Mark checks out a girl named Joanie who appears to have the flu, but he wants to do a spinal tap to make sure she doesn’t have meningitis. Benton operates on James, actually letting Carter do some stuff for once. Benton even seems to be in a good mood, at least until things start going south for James.

Diane comes by to invite Doug along while she and Jake go house hunting. She tells him that, depending on how things go, Doug may one day get an invitation to live with them. Cue Doug’s internal screaming. Benton sends Carter off to do some charts and labs, allowing him to scrub in on another operation later if he does all the work. Then Benton has to tell James’ mother that he didn’t survive surgery. Happy Mother’s Day, James’ mom!

Carol fights with Tag over the phone, disagreeing with his insistence on having dinner with his mother three nights in a row. When she hangs up, she tells Mark and Susan that their wedding caterer canceled and the bridesmaids’ dresses are late. Mark summons Carter into the lounge to ask if he’s made a decision about the ER sub-internship. Carter turns it down, thinking he’ll get the surgical one. Mark says that people look down on medical doctors while surgeons get all the praise. But he thinks Carter will excel in any specialty.

Susan and Chloe’s mother, Cookie, comes to see her new granddaughter. She is…not very maternal. Chloe and baby Susie are supposed to move in with Chloe’s parents when they get out of the hospital, but Cookie was under the impression that they’d have more time to get ready. She starts badmouthing the baby’s father, which Susan decides is her cue to leave.

A girl named Kaitlin was playing in a mother-daughter softball tournament when she was stung by bees. Her mother, Mrs. Sandburg, thinks Kaitlin’s allergic, since she herself is allergic. Doug decides not to have a lengthy discussion with her about genetics. Carter stitches up a woman who passed out after drinking too much at a Mother’s Day brunch. Joanie doesn’t have meningitis, but Mark is concerned that her heart murmur might be worsening because of an infection.

Linda invites Doug to have drinks with her and her mother, or, when he turns down that offer, meet up with her afterward. She’s impressed when he resists the temptation to cheat on Diane. Benton, Susan, and Connie receive a patient who may have had a heart attack. Carter’s allowed to intubate the man, but Susan has to lend a hand. Cookie pops in to talk to her daughter, who’s a little busy. The trauma is soon over when the doctors find out what’s obstructing the patient’s airway: his dentures.

Carter’s next patient is supposed to be a very old woman named Ada who cut her arm. Unfortunately, she’s no longer conscious, and possible not even still alive. While various people run around in the background to tend to Ada, Cookie tells Susan that Chloe and the baby can’t come home with her. Susan will have to help her make other plans. Susan’s upset that her parents have changed their minds after promising to help. Cookie finally admits that she doesn’t want to take care of another child after parenting her own.

Carol and Susan take a break together, lounging in beach chairs on the hospital roof. They decide that while Tag honeymoons in Paris, Susan and Carol will go to Hawaii. They’ll leave Chloe and the baby with Tag’s family. Susan might even stay in Hawaii forever. Their fantasies end when Susan gets paged back to the ER, where Chloe’s giving the baby a little tour. Doug finds her and tells her she should wait a while before taking the baby around lots of people.

A man bursts into the ER with a woman named Nina who overdosed on drugs. Chloe is drawn to the sight, most likely remembering her own struggles with drugs. She asks Connie to take the baby back to the nursery. Joanie needs a valve replacement, and Mark tries to reassure her mother, Mrs. Lafferty, that it’s a routine procedure and nothing to worry about.

Carol and Susan return to work, still wearing their sunglasses from the roof. Susan finds Chloe crying on a staircase, overwhelmed by all the bad things she’ll have to protect her daughter from. After all, their parents couldn’t keep Chloe from getting into trouble. Chloe thinks she’ll feel better when she finally gets home. Susan decides not to tell her that she won’t be going to their parents’ house.

As Hicks tells Benton that a decision has been made about something – a decision Benton doesn’t agree with – two female gangbangers come in, one with a gunshot wound to the head and one with stab wounds. Rosario, the stabbing victim, insists that she’s fine and demands that the doctors let the other woman, Angelina, die. She probably will, as she’s so badly injured that Mark wants to see if she’s an organ donor. Just then, a third woman storms in and screams at Rosario for cutting off her ear. Malik has to tackle her and drag her out.

Jerry comes in to tell Benton that Mae’s nursing home is on the phone with an urgent call. Carter takes a moment to worry about him. Hicks then tells him that he hasn’t received the sub-internship. Once their traumas are done, Doug teases Susan, calling her Big Susie (since the baby is now Little Susie). He also praises Malik for his tackling skills. Malik tells Mark that the woman brought Rosario’s ear with her. Fun!

Benton races to Mae’s facility and learns that her heart stopped that afternoon. Using language similar to what Benton used when he told James’ mother about James’ death, the doctor tells Benton that Mae has died. Jackie and her children are also there, and Benton finds his sister sitting in their mother’s room, where her body is still in her bed. After a hug, Jackie leaves Benton alone to have some private final moments with Mae.

Mark and Doug are both at work late (Mark’s waiting for Jen to come in from Milwaukee), so they play some basketball. Doug is uncertain about moving in with Diane, and asks if Mark knew when the time was right to make that decision with Jen. He figures that if he’s not sure, he’s not ready. Mark asks if Doug’s lack of readiness has anything to do with Carol’s upcoming wedding. He shoots a basket, saying that if he makes it, Doug’s ready, and if he doesn’t, Doug isn’t. We don’t get to see what happens.

Susan gives Susie her first astronomy lesson, pointing out some constellations. Carter comes by to meet the baby and get some feedback on his decision to turn down the ER sub-internship. Susan says it’s too late, since Mark has already offered it to someone else. Jen arrives at the hospital just as Joanie’s condition deteriorates. Poor Jen has to wait while her husband saves a little girl’s life. How sad for Jen! Her life is so hard!

Diane goes by Doug’s house and sees him with Linda. He insists that nothing happened, then says that he’s just having a bad reaction to her suggestion that they move in together. He tells her this won’t happen again, but Diane thinks it will. Joanie has stabilized enough for surgery, and the surgeon is just as reassuring as Mark was. Carol and Jen eat pizza and compare pre-wedding disasters. Jen claims that Mark wanted a big wedding but she didn’t. When Mark finally joins them, Jen pretends to be understanding about the delay, but we all know she’s mad.

Jeanie comes to the nursing home, where Benton is still finishing up making arrangements for Mae’s body. He notes that he’s used the language Mae’s doctor did many times, about how they did everything they could to save Mae, but he’s never had to hear it himself. He thought he would be better prepared. Jeanie takes his hand as he gets emotional over his inability to fix his mother. Then the hand-holding turns to kissing. Back at County, as Benton mourns a death, Susan celebrates a birth, singing “Blackbird” to her new niece.

Thoughts: This episode was directed by Quentin Tarantino. Yeah, you read that right. Dolores is played by Kathy Griffin, so I’ve officially hit my yearly limit of having to watch her in things.

Want to feel old? Little Susie would now be 23.

I wonder why they killed Mae off so quickly. Did they realize that her story was too much of a burden on Benton? It was the inevitable ending for the plot, but it came on so fast.

June 30, 2018

The X-Files 7.22, Requiem: Take Me Back to the Start

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 1:10 pm by Jenn

Like I was going to use any other picture here

Summary: There’s a fire burning in Bellefleur, Oregon, the aftermath of a plane crash. Detective Miles is on his way to the scene when his radio and clock start going crazy. His car stops on its own and he’s hit by one of his deputies, Ray Hoese. While Miles’ watch spins, he checks on Ray, who’s not in good shape. There’s alien acid on the ground. Suddenly Ray appears behind Miles, but most fans of the show know that, because of the alien acid, this is probably the Bounty Hunter.

Some number-crunchers total up all the money Mulder’s spent in expenses (rental cars, motel rooms, etc.) on his cases. He suggests that he and Scully share a motel room to save money. One of the number-cruncher thinks chasing aliens is a waste of time and resources, especially since Mulder hasn’t come to any conclusions. And since Samantha has been declared dead, there’s nothing left to investigate. Somewhere else on the planet, Marita goes to a prison to inform Krycek that he’s being released, though she wishes he weren’t.

The number-cruncher addresses Scully’s expense reports with the same criticisms he had for Mulder. Should the government really be footing the bill for the agents to investigate a conspiracy involving aliens enslaving humans? Scully won’t say for certain whether she does or doesn’t believe in aliens, but she admits that she’s seen things she can’t deny. Krycek takes a shower as Marita looks on, because…well, do you blame her? She tells him CSM sent her to get him, and that CSM is dying.

The number-cruncher tells Mulder this evaluation is about money, not the weirdness of his cases. Thanks to the Internet, the agents should be able to do their research from their offices, not on the road. It’s been seven years; the agents should be able to narrow down where the aliens are. It’s about reducing their vision.

In Bellefleur, two teen boys ask Miles about the plane crash. Miles tells them it was a Navy fighter, and definitely not anything extraterrestrial or supernatural. The fire’s out, and there’s nothing to see. The boys are skeptical. Back in D.C., Mulder tells Scully that he and the number-cruncher got into a tussle. He gets a call from Billy Miles, who tells the agents that the disappearances he experienced seven years ago are happening again – but not to him this time. Scully agrees to take a trip to Oregon – the site of her and Mulder’s first X-File together – and waste some more of the FBI’s money.

Marita takes Krycek to D.C., where CSM is holed up at the Watergate. Krycek is angry that CSM had him thrown in prison, but CSM is no less angry that Krycek tried to sell something that was CSM’s. He wants a truce, since they “have a singular opportunity now.” The crash in Oregon was between a military plane and an alien ship, just like Roswell. Now they can rebuild their project. CSM smokes through a hole in his neck, which I really didn’t need to see. Marita asks how he knows that someone hasn’t already covered what CSM wants from the wreckage.

The two teens, Gary and Richie, search the crash site (somehow they got hold of a radiation detector), and Gary has a shaking experience like he’s in the cave in “Rush”. Richie’s flashlight catches fire and he runs away. The next morning, the agents meet up with Billy, who’s now a deputy, thanks to his father’s help. He’s gotten past his abductions, but others haven’t, and Miles denies that they ever happened. He’s sticking to the story about a Navy plane crash. Ray is missing, and Miles hasn’t helped with the search. Mulder thinks Miles will have to admit the truth when they find a UFO.

Miles arrives, confused as to why the agents are in Oregon, since the FAA is now saying there was no crash in the woods. He takes the agents out to the site, and Mulder sees the X he painted on the road seven years ago. Scully finds three bullet shells that seem to be from Ray’s gun. Mulder says he must have shot at nothing, since there’s nothing to find. Scully quietly asks Billy if Ray was a good deputy. Billy says he was; he’s married and just became a father. After the agents leave the site, Miles tosses the shells in his trunk…which already holds Ray’s body.

Mulder and Scully go to Ray’s house and learn that his wife is Theresa Nemman. She tells them that Ray is also an abductee, though he hasn’t told many people. She has medical records showing that he underwent a lot of tests when he was abducted. While she goes to get them, Scully plays with the baby. Mulder enjoys the sight, even knowing that, thanks to the aliens’ tests, Scully will never get to play with a baby of her own.

That night, Scully comes to Mulder’s motel room (“it’s me”), feeling sick. He tucks her into his bed and spoons her, allegedly to warm her up. He thinks she should go home, since this case will just keep reminding her of her own abduction experiences, and the fact that they’ve left her unable to have a baby. Mulder continues that the number-cruncher might have been right about the costs of their jobs. The personal costs might not make it worth it. They should have lives that focus on something other than chasing monsters. Scully stays put, though, so I’m not sure she agrees.

Krycek is in Oregon and hasn’t turned up any evidence of a UFO. He tells CSM that Mulder and Scully are there looking for Ray, and will probably find the ship before Krycek does. CSM thinks if Krycek finds Ray, he’ll find the UFO. Theresa wakes to a knock at her door and thinks her husband has come home. She guesses that he went missing because he was abducted again. She quickly realizes that Ray isn’t really Ray, but she’s ready with an alien ice pick. Unfortunately, the alien acid burns her eyes, and the Bounty Hunter is able to overpower her.

The next morning, the agents come to the Hoeses’ house, where Billy tells them he’s sure Theresa was abducted. They see a burn mark in the carpet, something they’ve both seen before – the remnants of the alien acid. Scully gets dizzy but wants to keep working. In D.C., CSM dismisses his aide, Greta, and tells Marita that he’s sure Krycek will find the UFO. It’s rebuilding itself after the crash, so time is running out.

CSM can’t give Krycek any help, since Krycek will want to sell the information he finds. That information is “the answer to all things – every possible imaginable question.” Not God, as Marita guesses; God is just alien intelligence that humans can’t understand. Marita asks if the aliens are coming. CSM says they’re coming back.

Mulder spots Richie in the crowd gathered outside the Hoeses’ house and thinks he knows something. Richie tells the agents and Billy that Gary was taken, and he knows Miles knows what’s going on. He takes the agents to the woods, where Scully has the same shaking experience Gary did. The guys don’t see, since they’re somewhere else, finding Richie’s flashlight. When Mulder makes to to where Scully’s been knocked to the ground, he tells her they need to warn Billy that these abductions are different from the ones seven years ago. These victims aren’t coming back.

Billy goes looking for his father at home, believing he’s the Bounty Hunter (in which case your gun wouldn’t do you any good, Billy). If Miles is really Miles, he should believe Billy about his abductions. Miles says he believes him; he just wants it all to go away. He calms Billy and takes his gun…then morphs into the Bounty Hunter. Mulder and Scully arrive moments later and find the house empty.

Two days later, the agents are back in D.C., and Mulder’s ready to hear their punishment for going to Oregon. Skinner’s in the clear, but he can’t do much for Mulder. He lets Marita and Krycek into the office, holding Mulder back when he tries to attack Krycek. Marita announces that CSM is dying and wants them to revive the conspiracy. They know there’s a UFO in Oregon; it’s just cloaked. The Bounty Hunter is getting rid of anyone who underwent testing so he can cover everything up. Krycek wants to give Mulder the chance to find proof (and, in the process, damn CSM’s soul).

Scully arrives just then, so Mulder has to bring her into the fold. He calls in the Lone Gunmen to confirm that there’s a cloaked UFO in the woods. Marita and Krycek repeat CSM’s warning that it’s rebuilding itself, so time is running out. Mulder tells Scully he’s not letting her go back to Oregon with him: “It has to end sometime. That sometime is now.” Since previous abductees are being taken, Scully’s at risk, and Mulder doesn’t want to lose her. She hugs him and tells him she won’t let him go alone.

So Mulder goes back to Oregon with Skinner at his side, while Scully looks at Billy’s medical records in D.C. She tells the Lone Gunmen that all the abductees have experienced strange brain activity, just like what Mulder experienced earlier in the year. She remembers being knocked down in the woods and thinks the abducting force was rejecting her. Mulder’s the one who’s really in danger. Suddenly she collapses.

In the woods, Mulder and Skinner set up some laser beams in an attempt to unclock the cloaked UFO. Mulder sticks his hand in the space where the beams stop and experiences the shaking. Skinner goes looking for him, but the field has now cloaked Mulder as well. He sees all the abductees standing together and goes to join them. They’re under the UFO, as if they’re waiting for it to beam them on board. The Bounty Hunter arrives, and he and Mulder stare each other down.

The UFO sheds its cloaking, and Skinner is able to see it fly away. He guesses that Mulder’s on board. In D.C., Krycek and Marita go back to CSM, who guesses that they failed. He knows his time is up. Krycek is ready to send the Devil back to Hell, ignoring CSM’s warning that he’ll be dooming all of mankind. Krycek ignores him and pushes him down a flight of stairs.

Scully’s in the hospital, undergoing tests (presumably not the kind the aliens performed on her), when Skinner gets back to D.C. He’s upset that he lost Mulder. Like Scully, Skinner can’t deny what he saw. Scully’s determined to find Mulder – she has to. As Skinner’s about to leave, Scully says she needs to tell him something, and he’ll have to keep it quiet. She can’t believe it or explain it, but she’s pregnant.

Thoughts: If I were Gillian Anderson, I would have been really ticked that David Duchovny made the show move production to California, then bailed.

Even without being Gillian Anderson, I’m ticked that they didn’t bring Krycek back for any of the revival episodes. I mean, they brought back Jeffrey Spender, and no one likes him.

Speaking of Krycek…stairs? That was your big murder plan? How dumb.

Season 7 is a wrap! Get ready for John Doggett!

June 26, 2018

ER 1.23, Love Among the Ruins: Everyone Has a Big Decision to Make at the Same Time! What a Coincidence!

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 5:07 pm by Jenn

I know it’s the obvious caption here, but still: Same

Summary: Mark is…NOT asleep! He’s awake in the middle of the night, having stayed at Jen’s place even though she was resistant to let him. He talks about happy moments in their past, then tries to get romantic with Jen, who resists. Mark, let it go. You’re better off without her. At County, Jerry is in a much better mood than Mark, having been cast as Romeo in a production for the Shakespearean theater group he just joined. He recites the balcony monologue to Lydia, who isn’t impressed. Then Swift scares him with a mask and invites him to help wake up some sleeping drunks.

Susan and Malik tend to a cab driver who was mugged. Kovalev is also a matchmaker, hooking his passengers with each other. Div happens to be one of those passengers, so now Susan knows what he’s been up to since they split up. Swift chases out the drunks, offering them donuts as they leave, then tells Carter that he received his application for the ER sub-internship. This is the first Benton is hearing about it. Carter says he hasn’t made up his mind yet about whether he wants to focus on trauma or surgery.

Mark learns that Doug will be coaching Jake’s Little League team; Mark thinks this is a big step in Doug and Diane’s relationship. He hasn’t heard about the attending position he was supposed to get, and he’s not about to approach Swift about it. Benton complains about having to write a recommendation for Carter for the ER sub-internship, telling Carter to write something himself that Benton will just sign his name to. Haleh gives Benton a message from his student-loan service stating that he’s three months behind on his payments.

Susan sends Chloe off to appointments for the baby and some social services. Chloe demands lunch money, then offers to make dinner for her sister. Susan begs her not to. Carter stitches up Kovalev, who tries to find a woman for him in his matchmaking album. Carter himself can be included in the album for just $10. Carter declines, but Kovalev extends him a freebie in exchange for the medical treatment.

Carol complains to Tag that a woman getting married right after them at the same church wants to buy their flowers, since they’ll already be there. But since the flowers will be “used” by then, she’ll only pay a third of the original cost. All the wedding planning is getting to Carol, and the couple still has to write their vows. They run into Diane, whom Tag knows, and when she says she’s heard a lot about Carol, Carol wonders if she heard it from Doug rather than Tag. They chat about the wedding, and Carol invites Diane. Tag’s not happy, because now Doug will come.

As Mark and Susan treat a guy who drove his car into a tree, Diane gives Doug something he left in her bedroom while he was sneaking out to avoid being seen by Jake (which is dumb, since Jake knows he’s been sleeping there). They sneak a quick makeout session, which Carol sees. Mark and Susan’s patient, Donny, wrote a suicide note for someone named Amy, which explains why he drove into a tree. Swift joins the trauma and takes over when he disagrees with Mark’s ideas for treatment. Mark leaves, deciding he’s not needed.

Sometime later, Lily tells Susan that the Amy from Donny’s letter is on her way to the hospital. Susan thinks Lily tracked her down, but Lily says Amy called on her own. Doug chastises Mark for walking out of the trauma room, which will definitely hurt his chances for becoming an attending. Mark claims that he doesn’t care about the job anymore. Doug tells him he’s being an idiot. And when Doug thinks you’re being dumb, you’re definitely being dumb.

Benton is at the admit desk when a man comes in with a cut on his hand. Benton determines that he needs stitches and passes him on to Carter. Carter recognizes the man as Howard Davis, the father of one of his former classmates, and a member of the board of directors. Swift also recognizes Davis and makes sure he gets preferential treatment. Benton, not Carter, will be tending to Davis’ wound, though Davis asks Carter to tag along. Jerry quips that he hopes Davis didn’t hurt the hand he writes checks with.

A bunch of high school basketball players come in with their nun coaches; one of the girls is sick, and Doug suspects meningitis. All of the players and coaches will need to be isolated until the doctors can determine if they’ve also contracted meningitis. Amy arrives and hears that Donny is in a coma. Susan gives her the suicide note, and Amy tells her that Donny made his attempt in front of her house, hoping she would witness it. He took pills after their last breakup, but Amy was told that it was a cry for help. She didn’t think he would try again for real.

Davis chats with Carter about his son, who dropped out of college and now writes for Vanity Fair. Benton is bored but perks up when he learns that Carter used to do dressage. He had a white Icelandic pony! Named Marigold! Benton keeps a poker face but probably hasn’t been this happy in years. He’s probably trying to figure out how to work that into Carter’s recommendation.

The sick basketball player will be okay, but Doug and Carol want her teammates and coaches to take a preventive drug to make sure they don’t get sick as well. Because it can be harmful to pregnancies, the also have to take pregnancy tests. The head coach, Mother Lawrence, asks for exemption for herself and her assistant coach, Elizabeth, since they’re nuns, but she has no problem letting the girls take the tests.

Donny wakes up, but Amy leaves without talking to him. Carol teases that Doug must be loving the chance to examine a bunch of Catholic schoolgirls. Tag comes by to have lunch together so they can work on their vows, but Carol needs to keep working with Doug. Tag pulls a Mark and walks away, hurt.

Speaking of Mark, Swift asks if he has a problem with authority. Mark says only when that authority is undermining his judgment. He doesn’t like being treated like a med student when he’s a resident. Swift says he doesn’t act like it. Morgenstern talked him up, but Mark seems grumpy. Swift doesn’t treat Mark the way he does because he wants to, but because Mark doesn’t have his head in the game.

Amy’s still hanging around the hospital, and she’s willing to go talk to Donny, but she doesn’t want to get stuck taking care of him. She tells Susan that Donny has a lot of problems and always needs help. His sweetness has always kept Amy around, but she claims this will be the last time. She’s just afraid that Donny will try to kill himself again. It’s hard for her to walk away, but she can’t be responsible for his life. She gives Susan a note to give to Donny.

Doug’s shift is over, and he’s pleased to report that no one’s pregnancy test came back positive. Susan tries to call Chloe, admitting to Mark that she hates not knowing where her sister is. He tells her that he finally talked to Swift, who wants him to adjust his attitude. Benton gets another call about his loans, which makes Susan and Mark complain about their own. Benton remarks that Carter must be happy not to have to worry about loans. After Carter leaves, Benton tells Mark, Susan, Jerry, and Malik that Carter’s family is super-rich.

Haleh brings in two patients with pool balls stuck in their mouths. One did it on a dare; the other did it to show the paramedics what happened to his friend. Haleh names them Dumb and Dumber. Carol tells Lydia that she hasn’t been sleeping much because of all the wedding plans. By the way, the wedding is two weeks away. She asks if Lydia had any doubts leading up to her marriage. Lydia says no, but the marriage only lasted four years before her husband left. She can’t imagine Tag leaving Carol the same way.

Elizabeth asks to talk to Carol privately, revealing that she didn’t take the preventive medicine. She may be pregnant. A man runs in carrying his son, who (squeamish people, look away) fell on a hanger and got it embedded in his mouth. Doug goes to Jake’s Little League game, providing lots of good encouragement for the kid. Back at County, Mark and Swift determine that the hanger is close to some major arteries, so removing it will be tricky. It’s probably good that the boy’s father speaks little, if any, English and can’t understand when Swift tells Malik to find some bolt-cutters.

Elizabeth is praying in the hospital chapel when Carol comes to tell her that her pregnancy test was negative. Elizabeth admits that she’d kind of hoped it was positive. Her boyfriend wants to marry her, but she’s been preparing to become a nun for more than two years. She’s not sure which path God wants her to take. If she were pregnant, the decision would be made for her.

Wendy tells the boy’s father what the trauma team is doing as they do it. Mark and Swift work well together, with neither second-guessing the other or trying to take over. They successfully remove the hanger and send the boy to surgery to fix his wounds. Susan finds Carter writing his recommendation and reads what he’s written about himself. He’s conscientious and punctual, which Susan says makes him sound like a train conductor.

Malik finds an article about Carter’s family, and he, Benton, and Jerry discover that Carter’s father’s net worth is $178 million. (Also, Carter’s father’s name is Roland here, but later it’s Jack, because first-season continuity on this show is awful.) Jerry wishes he’d been nicer to Carter. Jeanie comes by and asks Benton for help with a paper she’s writing for her classes to become a physician’s assistant (formerly nursing classes, because…well, first-season continuity on this show is awful). They may see each other later when they go see Mae.

Jake hits an inside-the-park home run at his game, but he misses touching first base when he rounds the bases. A kid on the other team notices, but Doug ignores him. When the umpire asks whether or not Jake touched the base, Doug says he did, so the home run stands. The kid on the other team yells that Doug is a liar.

After the game, Doug admits to Jake that he screwed up, and he has no excuse for lying. His father would have done the same thing, and since he’s the only paternal role model Doug has to draw from, Doug hasn’t developed great parenting skills himself. The two agree not to tell Diane what happened. On the plus side, at least Jake hit a home run.

Carter gives Benton his recommendation, which Benton signs without reading. Annoyed, Carter asks what Benton wants from him. Benton turns the question around on him, and Carter replies that he wants the surgical sub-internship. Then he’ll have a better chance of becoming a surgical resident, the best way he knows to challenge himself. Carter admits that he’s not sure he can hack it as a surgeon. Benton asks why he’s applying for the ER sub-internship if he wants the surgical one. Carter responds by ripping up his application.

Doug brings Jake back to the hospital to meet up with Diane. He claims he’s pleased that he’s traded in his bachelorhood for the life of a family man. The guys see Jerry leave in his costume, bidding them good morrow. Carol finds Tag working on his vows and asks to hear them. They say that Carol’s the only woman Tag has ever truly loved, and the only one he can see spending his life with. Carol likes them and promises that she feels the same way. Tag wonders why she isn’t sleeping well, if that’s the case.

As Doug and his new little family leave for the night, Benton goes by Mae’s room, running into Walt. Walt tells him that Jeanie just left and reminds Benton that she’s married. He knows Benton has a crush on her, since he starts talking like Barry White when she’s around. Walt makes Benton laugh by singing “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe,” but Benton’s feelings for Jeanie clearly aren’t a joke.

Susan’s on her way out for the night when she goes by Donny’s room and finds Amy with him, promising to stick around. There’s obviously a parallel here to Susan and Chloe’s relationship, and when Susan gets home and learns how irresponsible Chloe’s been all day, she says she’s done being a caretaker. She’s spent her whole life bailing Chloe out, and she’s done. Chloe needs to leave, and since she’s 34, she’s only enough to figure out where to go.

A woman from radiology, Melanie, comes to Carter’s for Kovalev’s films. She saw his picture in the matchmaking album and wants to go out with him. Carter’s so surprised that, no matter what Melanie says, all he can respond is, “Uh-huh.” Jen’s already in bed when Mark gets home, and though he plans to go read in the living room and give her some space, now she wants to get it on. (Maybe Walt can serenade them.) Rachel wanders in with a stomachache, so even though Mark and Jen aren’t going to be getting any closer tonight, at least their family is all together…for now.

Thoughts: Elizabeth is played by Amy Ryan.

Hey, Davis, having a kid who writes for Vanity Fair in his mid-20s is pretty impressive, whether or not he dropped out of Brown.

I’ll admit I’m a little disappointed that we didn’t see Doug trying to convince two nuns to take pregnancy tests.

June 23, 2018

The X-Files 7.21, Je Souhaite: When You Wish Upon a Powerful Spirit from Middle Eastern Folklore

Posted in TV tagged at 1:15 pm by Jenn

This is what I wanted, and I didn’t even have to wish for it

Summary: In Creve Coeur, Missouri, a man drives a golf cart around a storage facility, looking for a man named Anson Stokes. Anson is slacking on the job, but his boss, Jay, eventually finds him and chastises him. He warns that Anson will never own a boat like the ones in the magazine he’s reading if he doesn’t do his job. He tells Anson to clean out storage cube 407, which Anson discovers is full of furniture. There’s also a rolled-up rug, which Anson soon learns has a woman’s body inside it (not, as you might suspect, a dead body). When Jay comes back to check up on his employee, Anson and the woman are both gone. Jay yells until suddenly his mouth disappears.

About a month later, Jay goes to D.C. to discuss the case with Mulder and Scully. He can only have the discussion because his mouth has been reconstructed. Jay blames Anson for his condition, though Anson won’t talk to the police. The agents quickly head to the Mark Twain Trailer Court in Missouri, discussing whether or not Jay’s condition could have a medical explanation. You can probably guess which of them says it may and which says it doesn’t. The debate ends when the agents see a huge boat parked next to Anson’s trailer.

Insider, Anson sees the agents and thinks they’re from the IRS. He tells his brother, Leslie, to get rid of them. Leslie tries to play it cool, which lasts about five seconds. When he learns the agents are with the FBI, Leslie blurts that the boat isn’t theirs; they’re just holding it for someone else. I have a feeling Leslie spent a lot of his teenage years lying that he was just holding things for someone else. Mulder sees the woman from the rug in the brothers’ kitchen, then tells Leslie they’re there to talk to Anson about Jay. Leslie blames chemicals for his missing mouth. Maybe someone has a meth lab in a storage cube.

The agents next go to cube 407, which has been untouched since Jay lost his mouth there. Mulder finds a calendar from 1978, guessing that’s when the cube was first rented. Scully notes that the furniture is pretty expensive. Anson disappeared for a few days after Jay lost his mouth; maybe Anson stole something from the cube and sold it to get money for his boat. Of course, that doesn’t explain what happened to Jay. Mulder finds a photo of a man from the ’70s with two attractive women at his sides. The woman from the rug is also in the picture, looking exactly as she did in the Stokes’ kitchen.

At the trailer park, Anson complains that he’s “two down” but has nothing to show for it. The woman from the rug tells him his boat is a white elephant that serves no purpose. Anson complains that he didn’t find her any water to put it in. She says he didn’t specify that he wanted the boat to go in the water. Anson can’t use the boat, and he can’t pay the taxes due on it, so it really is useless. Leslie suggests that he use his last wish to get rid of it. Anson reminds his brother that he wasted his first two wishes, so he’s not going to waste his third.

He wants to clarify with the woman that he’s in brainstorming mode right now, so if he accidentally says “I wish,” that doesn’t mean he’s actually using his third wish yet. The woman suggests that he use it to give Jay his mouth back. Anson argues that he didn’t officially wish for Jay to lose his mouth, so it shouldn’t have counted. Leslie thinks Anson should wish for money, but Anson takes it a step further, thinking they should wish for something that generates money. “Brains? Talent? Hard work?” the woman suggests.

Leslie wants a money machine, since that would literally generate money. Then he thinks of an infinite number of wishes. The woman tells them they only get three. She gestures to Leslie, who uses a motorized scooter to get around, trying to indicate that Anson should wish for his brother to be able to walk again. Anson doesn’t get the hint. He finally decides on his third wish: the ability to turn invisible at will. He could be a spy! The woman thinks this is unoriginal, but she doesn’t really get a say in the matter, so she grants the wish.

Anson isn’t sure his clothes will turn invisible when he does, so he strips before he tries out his new power. It works, and Anson runs outside to go see the world, or whatever. He’s so focused on crossing a busy street to bug a couple of pretty women that he doesn’t pay attention to the traffic. And since he’s invisible, the driver of a truck speeding by doesn’t see him, so Anson goes squish.

A biker riding past hits Anson’s unseen body, which is eventually brought to a local morgue for Scully to autopsy. At first it looks like there’s nothing on the table, but Scully can feel the body, which freaks her out. She uses some yellow powder to make it visible, enjoying herself a little. When Mulder joins her, Scully says that this is one of the most amazing things she’s seen in their seven years working together. This could change the face of science.

Mulder disagrees, having gathered information on the man from the ’70s picture. His name was Henry, and he became super-rich practically overnight. Then he died of…basically, a giant erection. Mulder thinks the woman from the kitchen is the key to this case. He wants to find her, but Scully thinks she should stay with Anson’s body.

Mulder returns to the Stokes’ trailer, where someone has written “you suck!” on the side of the boat. He’s surprised that Leslie isn’t shocked to hear that Anson was invisible when his body was found. Mulder thinks the woman, who’s since disappeared, is a jinniyah, a spirit or demon from Middle Eastern folklore. In common parlance, she’s a genie. The two men sing the I Dream of Jeannie theme song together before Mulder points out that the genie on that show never killed anyone. He thinks Anson found the genie’s living quarters and made some wishes.

Leslie agrees to hand over the genie’s living quarters, but instead of the rug, he gives Mulder a little box. Then he goes to cube 407, where the rug is again rolled up around a body. Mulder goes back to the morgue, where Scully reluctantly puts Anson’s body in a drawer and checks out the box. Mulder has already guessed that it’s not the genie’s home.

He’s contacted Quantico and used their facial-recognition software to find pictures of the genie (who, from here on out, we’ll call Jenn, since that’s what Mulder dubs her later, and I’m sick of not having a name for her). She’s present at one of Benito Mussolini’s speeches and at an event with Richard Nixon. Mulder thinks both men got their power through wishes Jenn granted.

Leslie takes Jenn back to his trailer, ready to make three wishes. Jenn finally says out loud that he should use one to address his disability. Leslie, like Anson, doesn’t get it; he thinks she means he should wish for a solid gold wheelchair. But there’s a wish he wants granted even more than that. Water for the boat? No, probably not.

Scully contacts some science-y people to come see Anson’s body, but when she doesn’t see him in his drawer, she figures the powder somehow came off and he’s just invisible again. She’s wrong. Zombie Anson is back in the trailer with his brother, and no one’s happy with the situation. Jenn points out that Anson was hit by a truck, so his condition wouldn’t have been great even if he hadn’t been brought back from the dead. He can’t even talk. So Leslie uses his second wish to give his brother the ability to speak. He immediately regrets it, since all Anson does is yell in horror.

Scully feels stupid about her show-and-tell failure and inability to prove that she was in contact with an invisible man. Mulder has already figured out that Anson was brought back from the dead, thanks to Leslie. At the trailer, Anson finally stops yelling and tells Leslie how awful his situation is. Leslie regrets wasting two wishes on his ungrateful brother. He at least turns up the heat in the trailer, since Anson’s cold, but it’s not enough, so Anson goes to light the stove. As Leslie considers his third wish and the agents arrive outside, Anson lights the stove, and all the gas that’s been pouring out of it. The trailer blows up.

Jenn and her rug land unharmed after the blast, so Mulder finally gets the chance to question her. Scully’s disappointed that Anson is visible again. She asks Jenn how his body got to the trailer park. Jenn tells her to ask Mulder, since she knows he’s figured everything out. Mulder says he still hasn’t decided if Jenn is a good genie or a bad genie. Could she be cursed? Jenn says all of mankind is cursed with stupidity – they always ask for the wrong thing. Over 500 years, people haven’t changed (though they do smell better now). They’re all shallow and self-destructive.

Scully can’t wrap her mind around the fact that Jenn has been around for 500+ years. Jenn explains that she was human once. She was born in France in the 15th century, and she unrolled a rug one day and discovered an ifrit, a very powerful genie. She wished for a stouthearted mule, a sack that was always full of turnips, and “great power and long life.” This turned her into a genie and made her regret not being more specific.

Since Jenn hasn’t committed any crimes and the agents can’t actually prove that she granted the Stokes’ wishes, Scully tells her she’s free to go. Jenn says she’s not – Mulder unrolled her, so he gets three wishes. He’s pleased by this turn of events. The three head home to D.C., and Mulder takes Jenn to his place while he contemplates his wishes. He asks Jenn what she would ask for. Jenn says it doesn’t matter, but she’d wish that she’d never heard of wishes before. She’d rather enjoy her life than worry about what it isn’t. She’d just sit down with some coffee and watch the world.

Mulder thinks people screw up their wishes because they just want things for themselves. (Jenn says it’s “like a chimpanzee with a revolver.”) He wants to give altruism a shot, so he wishes for peace on earth. Jenn grants this, but not in the way Mulder had expected. Instead of removing conflict, she just removes all the humans from the planet. Let it be known that the first person Mulder thinks of is Scully. He runs to the FBI building to find her, but she’s part of humankind, so she’s gone.

Mulder summons Jenn and chastises her for purposely twisting his words. She asks if he really expected her to change everyone’s hearts, even though religion has never been able to do that. She guesses that Mulder wishes he hadn’t screwed up his first wish. He says he does, then rants that not everyone is evil and selfish, and Jenn is awful. He doesn’t realize that Jenn has undone his first wish, and people have returned to the planet, including the conference room he’s in. Skinner and some other agents hear the whole rant.

In order to ensure that Jenn fulfills his third wish exactly as he requests, Mulder types up a sort of contract. Scully comes to his office to talk to him about the rant Skinner said he went on. She asks Jenn to leave, and when Jenn disappears without a trace, Mulder suggests that she used the same trick as Jeannie from I Dream of Jeannie. He still wants to make a perfect wish that benefits everyone in the world. Scully thinks the point of life is for humans to bring that about themselves, without a shortcut. Scully leaves, Jenn returns, and Mulder ditches his contract to make his third wish.

That night, he invites Scully over to watch Caddyshack and drink beer. He notes that he obviously didn’t make the world a better place with his third wish. Scully says she’s happy, at least. She asks what the wish was, but Mulder doesn’t answer. Somewhere in the world, Jenn gets a cup of coffee, ready to sit and watch the world for the first time in 500 years.

Thoughts: Leslie is played by Will Sasso. Anson is played by Kevin Weisman, who fulfilled Anson’s wish to be a spy with his role on Alias.

I’m adding Jenn to my list of my favorite one-episode characters. Paula Sorge plays her perfectly.

I love that when Scully puts Anson’s body in the morgue drawer, she whispers goodbye to it. She’d gotten attached!

June 19, 2018

ER 1.22, Men Plan, God Laughs: Unfixable

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

Hi. I’m back for no reason

Summary: Maybe we should have a drinking game where we drink every time an episode starts with someone sleeping. This one does, so drink! Mark wakes up for work at 5:45, sharing his bed with medical journals instead of his wife. Benton complains to a doctor at Mae’s new facility about how she’s not mobile enough. The doctor doesn’t think Mae is ready for the mobility Benton wants her to have. She has to remind him that Mae broke her hip and won’t heal overnight.

Susan calls her mother to help with Chloe’s health insurance, now that she’s back in Chicago. Rolando the desk clerk isn’t organized enough for Swift’s liking, and he blames a cold, so Swift tells him to go home. Paramedic Doris Pickman brings in a man who was caught in a metal press, and Doug enlists Carter to help him with the trauma. Benton joins in as well, climbing on the patient’s gurney to put his dislocated hip back in place. This saves the man’s leg, and may be the only thing Benton has control over in his life right now.

When Mark makes it in to work, he tells Susan that he wound up not going to see Jen after Susan encouraged him to. She warns him to get on Swift’s good side, but Mark plans to leave early so he can go to Milwaukee. He confides that he’s not sure things are going to work out. Carter’s studying for the boards, even though they’re four months away. He hopes to get a surgical sub-internship, though Susan thinks Mark will recommend him for one in the ER. Carol and Doug scare Carter by telling him that the boards’ failure rate has gone up.

A teenager named Katie went to work with her mother at a naval base and pulled off her earmuffs at the firing range, temporarily deafening herself. Doug checks her over, asking the mother why there’s a naval base on Lake Michigan anyway – “who’s going to invade? Canadians?” Mark checks out a baby named Henry whose lips turn blue when he eats. His father, Leonard, blames himself, since heart problems run in his family. Mark detects a murmur in the baby.

A manic patient named Mrs. Dibble tries to engage Susan in conversation until Malik takes her back to her room. Susan tells Mark that she appreciates that her brain creates the right balance of chemicals. She complains about Chloe’s poor habits as a guest and says she won’t let Chloe derail things like she’s always done before. Swift asks Mark to meet with him at the end of his shift for a joint commission survey, but Mark says he has personal business. Swift asks when residents started having personal business.

A girl named Samantha fell off a wall at school and is unconscious. Benton can’t figure out why her condition is deteriorating when she gets to the ER. Diane wants to close Doug’s file over the incident where he attacked an abusive father, but that requires Doug to go to a therapy session, and he’s resistant. She wears him down, partly because she’s doing her job and partly because she likes Doug.

Susan’s next patient is a doctor named Strong who wants pain medication for a back problem. Susan wants to finish his workup first. Benton and Carter realize that Samantha’s coma wasn’t caused by a head injury but is a result of diabetic ketoacidosis. Haleh offers to pass the case along to Doug, but Benton wants to stay in charge. As Doug gets a phone message from Linda, who’s been out of the picture for a while, Carol tells Mark that she and Tag want Rachel to be their ring bearer. Mark says he’s not sure where they’ll be in May.

Chloe arrives for an appointment, and Susan works hard not to gripe at her sister for wearing her clothes and breaking her blender. Mark, Haleh, and Wendy treat a drunk, combative patient named Reicher and give him an endoscopy. Using a camera to look into his stomach, they see that he has an ulcer. As Mark leaves the trauma room, he runs into Mrs. Dibble, who’s more stable but is feeling low now. She says she doesn’t think anything good will ever happy again. Mark can relate.

Samantha’s stabilizing but hasn’t been taking her insulin. Haleh again offers to pass the case on to another doctor, since it’s not surgical, but Benton still wants it. Rolando calls for a replacement, now thinking he has the flu. Reicher’s wife arrives and reveals that her husband lives on the street. She’s brought him some clean clothes, but she doesn’t want to see him. She just wanted to know if he was alive.

Connie shows Susan some of Strong’s test results, and Susan sees that he signs his name Dr. Lyle Strong, M.D., a redundancy a real doctor wouldn’t make. She makes up a diagnosis, then busts him for providing urine with chicken blood in it in an attempt to score pain meds. Connie suspects that Strong got his self-diagnosis from a medical textbook. Before the interrogation can continue, he runs out in just his gown and shoes, passing Jerry as he arrives to replace Rolando.

Henry may have a hole in his heart, and his father, Mr. Offenbach, still blames his genetics. Mrs. Offenbach is pretty calm about the fact that her eight-week-old needs an operation. Mark assures Mr. Offenbach that his son’s condition isn’t his fault. Jake asks Doug to help out with coaching his Little League team, and Doug easily agrees. Linda shows up, inviting Doug to celebrate a deal she just closed, and Jake pays very close attention to her flirting. Doug declines the offer and assures Jake that just because Linda flirted doesn’t mean he returns her affections.

Jeanie comes by to chat with Benton, inviting him to grab dinner with her during a break. He hesitates, possibly because she’s married, and possibly because he’s Benton and doesn’t like to socialize. He examines a teenager named Charlie who’s been having a weird feeling in his arm and leg. He still feels a little sick from a recent flu, and fell a couple days ago. Benton passes him along to Doug, and as Benton leaves, Charlie remarks that he’s nice. That’s probably the first time someone’s said that about him, and it may be the last.

Susan’s annoyed that Chloe isn’t taking her pregnancy more seriously, but she can’t help laughing at the thought of their mother becoming a grandmother. Samantha’s awake now, and Benton reveals to her mother that she hasn’t been taking her insulin. Samantha’s angry that she’s sick and could be facing unfair complications like blindness. Benton says that pretending she doesn’t have a serious illness won’t get her anywhere. She needs to accept that things are the way they are. He tells her flat out that if she doesn’t take her insulin, she’ll die. I bet Samantha doesn’t agree with Charlie that Benton’s nice.

Doug examines Charlie and determines that he needs an MRI. Charlie doesn’t get why he needs to have his head scanned when his leg is the problem. Away from Charlie, Doug tells Malik to make him a priority and bring Benton back to the case for a consult. Coburn gives Chloe an ultrasound and confirms that she’s having a girl. Chloe still wants to name the baby after Susan. She’s thrilled, but Susan is much more reserved.

Benton gets Charlie’s MRI back as Doug goes to his therapy session with a doctor named Murphy. He pegs Doug as “a reasonably normal guy with sloppy impulse control.” The next time he wants to take out his anger on someone, it needs to be in a bar, not the hospital. Doug can’t believe that Murphy is telling him it’s okay to hit someone. After asking Doug to promise never to attack someone in the ER, Murphy says he’s free to go. Doug asks to talk about his other problems, so Murphy recommends therapy.

Carter asks Mark about the ER sub-internship, even though Mark isn’t sure his recommendation will do him much good right now. Charlie has an aneurysm pressing on his spine, and he needs immediate surgery. The requisite surgeon won’t perform it, but he knows a doctor at another hospital who will. Mark treats a woman’s dog bite and seems confused when she says she’s going to tell all her friends to come see him when they have medical emergencies.

Dyer, the doctor Charlie needs, is out for a run, so Benton makes Carter hand over his car keys so Benton can go hunt him down. Carter thinks that Benton’s going above and beyond for his patients because he can fix them while he can’t fix his mother. Doug thinks Carter’s been taking too many psych classes. Mark tells Doug that his dog-bite patient may have been hitting on him. Doug agrees, saying that Mark’s been moody, and “women like to save moody men.”

A man comes in with a gunshot wound, and his mother tells the trauma team to let him die. She calls him the devil as Carol removes her from the trauma room. Doug takes over for Mark so he can make his train to Milwaukee. The patient’s mother tells Mark that her son is a killer, so saving him is a bad idea. Mark’s like, “I guess my day could be going worse.”

Diane tells Doug that she’s fine if their relationship doesn’t work out, but she’d like to know what kind of future they have so she can be prepared for the possibility of Jake getting hurt. Doug just says he hopes they’ll be together for a long time. Mark passes his patients off to Susan, then nervously goes off to see his wife. Yeah, I wouldn’t be in any rush to go see her either.

Swift’s looking for Benton, who’s still out looking for Dyer. Carter tells him Benton’s in surgery and gathers up the charts Swift needs. Jerry thinks Carter’s trying to suck up so he’ll get the sub-internship. As Benton finds Dyer, Swift grabs Carter to come help out with a woman named Leslie who was struck by lightning. He lets Carter run the trauma, which he does confidently. He credits Benton, Mark, and Susan for being good teachers. When he won’t say which is the best, Swift praises his diplomacy.

Dyer accepts Charlie as a patient, and Benton sees him off to Dyer’s hospital. Charlie has guessed that something is really wrong with him, and Benton is honest with him about the seriousness of his condition. Charlie could die, but Benton promises that he won’t. (In later seasons of the show, that would mean he definitely would, but it’s season 1, so we just never find out what happens to him.)

Benton returns to County, where Swift compliments his work with Carter. Carter has finished Benton’s charts, letting Swift believe that Benton did the work himself. Benton thanks Carter, who asks him to repeat himself, just because he wants to hear the words twice. Chloe has gone on a shopping spree and brings all her new baby things to the hospital to show Susan. Susan’s upset about all the money Chloe spent using her credit card. Chloe points out that she’s going to be someone’s mother. If their mom could do it, she can, too.

Mark spends a little time with Rachel, then tries to talk to Jen, who doesn’t want to get into it. He tells her that he needs to have more time with his daughter. He offers to move to Milwaukee, even if he and Jen are really over. He doesn’t think he’ll get the attending job anyway. Jen is noncommittal and hesitates before letting Mark spend the night.

Benton and Jeanie have dinner together, talking about their parents’ embarrassing behavior at their graduations. Benton is trying to come to terms with the fact that Mae will never get better, and that there’s nothing he can do about it. He thanks Jeanie for helping him through everything. Jeanie tells him that he seems able to get through anything. Benton says he used to think so.

Thoughts: Mrs. Dibble is played by Debra Jo Rupp.

I am, ultimately, a Carol/Doug shipper, but I like Diane a lot. Her sass with Doug is exactly what he needs in a girlfriend.

I appreciate Malik’s attempt at humor when he’s moving Charlie and jokes that they drop a lot of people, but..probably not the right audience or time.

Rachel: “3 plus 3 is 6. And 4 plus 4 is 8. And 6…Daddy, I don’t have any more fingers.” Hee.

June 16, 2018

The X-Files 7.20, Fight Club: Let’s Adapt the First Rule of Fight Club and Not Talk About This Episode

Posted in TV tagged at 1:12 pm by Jenn

Double your annoyingness, double your irritation

Summary: In Kansas City, Kansas, two religious prosthelytizers ride their bikes to a house where a woman has just moved in. Her car’s license plate identifies her as Betty, originally from Missouri. She sends them away, since she’s waiting for a call from her cable company. The men next go to another house with a car that has a similar license plate (this one is for Lulu, from Arkansas) and bumper stickers. They’re confused when the woman who opens the door looks just like Betty.

Lulu angrily tells them to leave. The two men start pushing each other, then have a full-on fist fight on Lulu’s front porch. Someone notifies the police, who try to break up the fight, but the prosthelytizers just keep pounding on each other.

The next day, a pair of FBI agents – one male and brunette, the other female and redheaded – visit Betty to investigate what they think may be a religious hate crime. Betty recognizes the two prosthelytizers and is shocked that they attacked each other. The agents ask Betty if she practices voodoo or the occult. Betty says no, then casually says that, according to many, everyone has a twin out there. The agents are suspicious. And despite their voices, which sound like Mulder and Scully’s, these agents aren’t them.

Betty wonders why the agents aren’t talking to her supposed twin. The agents tell her that they went to Lulu’s house, but it’s empty now. In fact, they can’t be sure Lulu exists. Just then, Lulu drives by. The agents start hitting each other as Betty and the prosthelytizers look on. Fake Scully wins the fight and drives off in the agents’ car, while fake Mulder tries to cling to the door. The car eventually crashes.

This is the case Mulder and Scully get in D.C., and both note the similarities between these agents and themselves. For example, fake Mulder and Scully have worked together for seven years, though they’re not romantically involved. Scully doesn’t appreciate playing Watson to Mulder’s Sherlock while he dangles clues in front of her. She’d like the whole story. Mulder won’t give it, so Scully has to make guesses. She figures out that the agents came into contact with a third party who somehow set them off. From there, she gets to Mulder’s theory: doppelgangers.

Scully elaborates on doppelgangers and the possibility that a person can conjure a lookalike to commit acts he or she wouldn’t normally commit. Mulder finally shows her a picture of his suspect, Betty. Scully’s proud of herself for successfully impersonating Mulder. He tells her this doesn’t mean he’s going to start doing the autopsies.

Back in Kansas City, Lulu goes to a copy center called Koko’s to follow-up on a sales job she applied for. She’s told that since she moves around a lot and has had 17 jobs in 17 states in three years, she’s not an ideal candidate. She promises that she’s on a career path now and will commit. The copy machines in the building all start going crazy, and the interviewer decides he needs immediate help, so Lulu gets the job.

Betty drives by the copy center, sees the chaos, and moves on to apply for a job at another Koko’s. She gets the same resistance, having also had 17 jobs in 17 states – the same 17 jobs Lulu had. Betty makes the same promise that she’s there for the long haul and will commit to her new job.

At the Porcherie Hotel, a man named Bert Zupanic puts a bunch of money in a briefcase. Mulder and Scully arrive to ask if he knows how they can get in touch with Betty. Bert denies knowing her, but the agents have a newspaper picture of her appearing in a parade with Betty. It sounds like he knows Lulu, not Betty, but Scully thinks he’s lying. Mulder, however, believes Bert and breaks into his hotel room after he leaves.

Bert goes to Froggy’s Bar with his briefcase o’ money and starts talking to Betty, thinking she’s Lulu. She’s surprised that he knows her drink. Bert thinks she’s in trouble and warns her not to go home tonight. Things become clear for Bert when Betty introduces herself. Just then, Lulu arrives. Betty whispers something to Bert, and the bar begins to shake. All the glasses and mirrors in the place break, and Betty uses the distraction to run out.

Scully meets up with Mulder at an auditorium, where Mulder has befriended a man named Argyle Saperstein and gotten some information. Bert is a wrestler who will be competing there in a few days, so Mulder thinks that’s where they’ll be able to find Betty. The agents can just relax and sight-see until the fight. But Scully has learned about Lulu and discovered that she and Betty have, for the past 12 years, followed each other around the country. Everywhere they go, destruction follows.

As the agents leave to continue investigating, Argyle calls Bert and demands his money. He tells Bert that the FBI is looking for him, and his good-luck charm isn’t so lucky after all. Bert has reconnected with Betty, who’s spent the night with him. Argyle tells him that if he doesn’t bring the money to Froggy’s, there won’t be a wrestling match.

As Betty ducks into the bathroom to get ready for work, Lulu arrives and accuses Bert of two-timing her. She finds Betty’s barrette under the bed but thinks its her own, convincing herself that she’s jealous over nothing. Bert manages to see her off before Betty discovers that anyone has come by. But other people in the hotel start fighting, and shots are fired.

Lulu goes to Froggy’s for lunch, and Argyle mistakes her for Betty. When Bert comes in, the bar starts shaking like it did the previous night. Betty has arrived, confusing Argyle, who thought she just went to the restroom a few seconds ago. Bert rushes Betty out, but when Lulu emerges from the bathroom, the bar shakes again. Betty returns, and the two women stare each other down. Everything breaks again. (How did they fix the mirrors so quickly anyway? Whatever.) Both women flee, but Bert ends up unconscious on the floor. Argyle takes his money and runs.

When Bert regains consciousness, Mulder and Scully are there to ask him about Betty and Lulu. The agents know that something like this will happen again unless they can find the women. Bert sends them to the women’s places of work, and Betty easily comes clean to Mulder, telling him that Lulu follows her around, trying to ruin her life. Betty won’t let Lulu win this time; she wants to stay in Kansas.

Mulder calls Scully, who tells her that Lulu said the same things to her that Betty said to Mulder. Scully thinks the two women have a psychic connection. Lulu approaches Betty’s Koko’s, so the two women are again in close proximity. Mulder’s right between them, and when a manhole cover pops out, he’s sucked down into a sewer.

Scully comes to Betty’s Koko’s, where there’s no sign of Mulder or either woman. Betty’s boss tells her that Mulder left but agrees to let her use the Internet. This leads Scully to the local penitentiary and an inmate named named Bob Danfous. Bob is very angry about something and doesn’t want to help Scully. She has determined that he’s Betty and Lulu’s father, thanks to sperm donations. Scully would like information about Bob’s family history so she can figure out what’s going on with Betty and Lulu. Bob has no interest in telling her anything.

Betty goes to Bert’s room to complain that he’s ignoring her. He tells her he’s lost the financing for his fight, but she’s his good luck. If she could just help him get some money, he’ll be able to fight, and possibly get his big break. She leaves, and moments later, Lulu shows up. She and Bert have the same conversation he just had with Betty.

Betty breaks into her Koko’s after-hours and uses a copier to make counterfeit money. Across town, Lulu does the same. Under town, Mulder makes his way out of the sewer. He calls Scully, who tells him the women are sisters. Mulder has figured out that Betty and Lulu are both in love with Bert, which is why they both want to stay in Kansas. They need to be kept apart at the fight. But there’s another wrinkle: Bert – or someone who looks like him – is in lockup with Bob.

The other Bert gets his money from Betty in time for his fight, so now Argyle’s willing to back him. The match begins, and Bert (or whoever he is) is clearly the superior fighter. Mulder arrives and finds Betty, trying to get her to leave. Then Lulu shows up, and the sisters fight over which of them is really Bert’s good-luck charm.

Out of ideas, Mulder picks Betty up and starts to carry her out of the auditorium. She stops them at the wrestling ring, and the sisters start to bicker. Then the audience starts fighting each other. Things suddenly stop when Scully arrives with the Bert from lockup. The two Berts see each other and try to charge, which makes the audience start fighting each other again. The referee is like, “I didn’t get paid for this.”

Scully’s episode-ending voiceover talks about sperm donations and the two sets of siblings, who met each other despite astronomical odds. Betty and Lulu met each other a dozen years ago and displayed mannerisms from their father. Argyle listens to Scully’s voiceover and asks what it all means. She thinks that nature can only produce so many originals, and when copies meet, things go bad. She and Mulder suffered some injuries in the big fight, and he has to agree that it’s best to keep everyone separated.

Thoughts: Betty and Lulu are played by Kathy Griffin. Fake Mulder and Scully are played by Steve Kiziak (David Duchovny’s stunt double) and Arlene Pileggi (Gillian Anderson’s stand-in, who also plays Skinner’s assistant, Arlene, and is married to Mitch Pileggi).

Not only did Chris Carter give us this dumb episode, he didn’t even bother to write an ending. Thanks a lot, Carter.

Bert, why use the wrestling name Titanic when you already have the word “panic” in your last name and can make a ton of plays on words with it?

The only amount of cleverness I appreciate in this episode is two women who look alike getting jobs in copy centers.

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