September 30, 2017

The X-Files 6.5, Dreamland II: A New Man

Posted in TV tagged , at 1:20 pm by Jenn

I love this shot so much

Summary: Morris Fletcher narrates a little story for us about Mulder’s life. He mentions Samantha’s disappearance, Mulder’s push to solve mysteries, and his subsequent mental instability. Until recently, he was “one step away from pushing a baby carriage of tin cans down the street,” but now Morris knows things are going to change.

We go back to Mulder being removed from the convenience store, yelling about how the other Mulder isn’t him. Morris tells “Dana” that he went to Kersh behind her back because he was worried that she would lose her job. Scully says he did the right thing, reminding him that she’s been telling him for years that he needs to follow the rules. “It’s the new me,” Morris says.

Mulder is taken to a cell next to McDonough’s. McDonough says they’re both in a lot of trouble, and is offended when Mulder (who sees him as Lana) calls him “ma’am.” Back at FBI headquarters, Morris plays his golf game some more, then checks in with Scully after she meets with Kersh. She’s been suspended for two weeks. Morris pretends to be upset on her behalf, inviting her over for dinner to “help ease the pain.”

McDonough tells Mulder about the test flight, but he’s not interested and tells “Grandma Top Gun” to shut up. Wegman summons Mulder so he, Grodin, and Jeff can confront him for replacing the data recorder and giving the FBI a fake one. They wish he’d told them he was going to trick the feds.

Realizing he’s not in trouble, Mulder says he didn’t know if he could trust them – after all, one of them could be the security leak. He tried to get Mulder’s contact through Scully, but Mulder screwed it all up. Grodin asks for the real flight data recorder, and Mulder nervously says that of course he’ll get it. Wegman praises him for making a big move, unlike some of his colleagues. In fact, Grodin’s facing the trouble Mulder just avoided.

Morris prepares for his big date night with Scully, quickly realizing that it’s not going to go as smoothly as he’d thought, and not because of her. Mulder’s bedroom is full of junk, making Morris guess that he hasn’t had sex in ten years. (I guess that vampire in that horrible episode doesn’t count.)

Mulder goes to Morris’ house for more abuse from his fake family. Two guys are parked outside, watching, but they’re not very good at subtlety, since Mulder notices them. He tries to explain everything to Joanne, who’d rather complain about Scully being a tramp than listen to her husband’s stories. She figures he’s having a weird midlife crisis.

Mulder shows her the men in the car, saying that Morris has a dangerous job, and if anything goes wrong, he and Mulder are both in trouble. Joanne says that if Mulder doesn’t like the person he’s become, that’s fine, but he can’t just make up a fictional life to replace reality. “Accept who you are, however repulsive that may be,” she tells him.

Scully goes to Mulder’s apartment, which Morris has managed to make look respectable. He even bought a waterbed and put a mirror on the ceiling. Scully seems a little charmed, so Morris breaks out a bottle of champagne, expecting to get some. Scully has a different idea: handcuffs. Morris is too dumb to catch that he’s on to her. She knows that Mulder was telling the truth, and that Morris isn’t the real Mulder.

The bad news is that Morris doesn’t know how to undo the body swap – and if he didn’t, he wouldn’t do anything about it, because he hates his life. To him, the body swap is a gift. He also knows that no one will believe Scully when she tries to get help, so he doesn’t need to do anything. Scully threatens to shoot him, but he sticks to his claim that he can’t do anything. He also says he doesn’t know anything about Mulder’s source.

The phone rings, and the answering machine (which has an outgoing message Morris changed to advertise that he’s about to get laid) takes a message from Mulder’s source. Scully makes Morris take the call. Over at the Fletchers’ house, Joanne complains that Mulder’s still there. He suggests that they find a place to go where they’ll be around a lot of people.

Scully and Morris go to the Little A’Le’Inn to meet the source; it happens to be the same place Mulder has taken Joanne. The source turns out to be Wegman, thrilling Morris. Wegman says he sabotaged the UFO, but he didn’t mean to make it crash; he just disabled its stealth mode so Mulder would be able to see it.

While they chat, Mulder goes outside to avoid some of Morris’ colleagues and meets up with Scully. He’s surprised to see her. As Morris gets what he supposedly came for from Wegman, Joanne ducks outside and sees Mulder with Scully. Morris passes his wife on his way out and seems to soften when he realizes how upset she is. Jeff arrives, looking for him, so Morris leaves. Joanne throws her drink on Mulder to let him know she saw him in the car with Scully.

Mulder goes to the bathroom to clean up, and Morris follows, so the two men are finally alone together. “So you’re the guy that wants my life,” Mulder comments. “I assume that means all the a%$-kickings.” Morris stops him from attacking by warning that Jeff’s outside and can’t see them together. He reveals whatever Wegman gave him, and Mulder orders him to take it straight to Scully. Morris repeats that Jeff can’t see them both, so Mulder needs to sneak it past him.

Wegman starts to leave the bar, but when he spots Jeff, he ducks into the bathroom. Mulder and Morris have jumped in a stall together and are peering over the top. Scully goes inside and sees Joanne and Jeff, then spots Wegman leaving. He tells Jeff to detain Mulder as he’s leaving with a bag of beer, not the flight data recorder Wegman gave him. Morris has the real one and is making his getaway with Scully.

The Lone Gunmen are enjoying a home-cooked meal together (the cook is Frohike) when Scully and Morris drop by. Morris looks around the guys’ lair while they examine the flight data recorder and tell Scully what the aircraft contained. Scully tells the guys that Morris isn’t Mulder, but she can’t really explain the body swap. Morris mentions the warp in the space-time continuum.

He’s pretty amused by everything about the Lone Gunmen, including some of the things they write about in their newsletter. Saddam Hussein isn’t testing a mandroid army in the desert – there is no Saddam Hussein! He’s an actor named John Gillnitz, and the government hired him in 1979 to play a dictator whenever they need a distraction. In fact, most of the stories the Lone Gunmen believe are things Morris thought up while on the toilet.

The next day, Mulder goes to see Wegman, who’s figured out the body swap. Wegman is shredding documents and knows that it’s too late to save himself – once Mulder and Morris have swapped back, Morris will make Wegman disappear. Mulder asks why Wegman sabotaged the aircraft in the first place. Wegman says he regrets spending his entire career hiding the truth from the public.

Mulder asks what the truth is. Wegman claims he doesn’t know; they oversee the flights, but they don’t know what kind of technology they use. Mulder wonders why Wegman contacted him to leak information. Wegman’s familiar with Mulder’s history of looking for aliens, and he’s also curious about whether they exist.

The Lone Gunmen break the encryption on the data recorder, seeing the anti-gravity technology being used. Morris laughs at another of their newsletters, headlined “Monica: Minx or Mandroid?” After he and Frohike bicker a little, Scully leaves with Morris, telling the guys to contact her when they get more out of the data recorder.

Some 20-somethings have infiltrated Area 51, which could probably use better security. One guy knows the area is called Dreamland, and that they’re in the perfect spot to see UFOs. Something flies over them, and the two 20-somethings who were making out end up fused together. So that’s awkward.

Scully meets up with Mulder again, and he worries that she hasn’t found anything that will resolve the body swap. He’s afraid he’ll have to find a way to put Morris’ two kids through college. Scully has heard from Frohike, who reported that the Lone Gunmen were able to analyze the crash data, but the body swap was a random event they probably can’t recreate. Even if they could, any slight error could lead to Mulder getting fused to, say, a rock.

Mulder asks after the new him, and Scully tells him that Morris is Kersh’s new favorite agent. She reveals that she’s been fired from the FBI, so there’s not much she can do now. Mulder encourages her to take the data recorder to Kersh and use it to get her job back. “I’d kiss you if you weren’t so damn ugly,” Scully tells him. Morris honks at them impatiently from the car, and Mulder wonders if shooting him would be considered murder or suicide. Scully’s about to leave, reluctantly, when Mulder calls her back to give her some sunflower seed husks. How…romantic?

The nonfused 20-something stops Grodin as he’s driving by and drags him to his friends. But they’re no longer fused together and don’t seem to remember it ever happening. Grodin promises that he believes their buddy when he says they were stuck together.

Scully laments the loss of her partner as Morris tells her how much he’s enjoying the perks that come with being an FBI agent. He offers to talk to Kersh about getting her job back once they’ve handed over the data recorder. He thinks they’ll have fun together once she gets to know him. Scully lets him know that she still has her gun. They drive by the gas station that was destroyed in the previous episode, but which is now back in its original condition. The attendant is even alive and well, with no memory of what happened two days before.

As Grodin puts Lana and McDonough in a cell together, Scully and Morris go to the Fletchers’ house, where Mulder is moving out. Joanne is annoyed to see Scully at her house again. While Mulder and Scully talk, Morris manages to convince Joanne that he’s really her husband by telling her things about their life together.

The agents decide that the events of the time warp are reversing, so they need to go back to the highway where the body swap took place. Before they can leave, Jeff arrives with some soldiers to arrest Morris as a traitor and get the data recorder. Everyone heads back to Area 51, but Grodin stops them on the highway and reveals that Lana and McDonough are back to their normal selves. He regrets screwing up his career record and wants to make things right again.

Mulder knows that the reversal will mean everyone will forget what happened over the past few days. Morris decides to take his last few moments as Mulder to tell “Dana” that “it’s been real” and touch her butt again. Stay classy, Morris. An aircraft flies over, the swap is reversed, and the past few days are erased. In fact, everyone’s in the same clothes they were wearing at the time of the original body swap.

As Mulder heads home that night, Scully calls (“Mulder, it’s me”) to let him know that Kersh doesn’t know about their trip to Nevada. Mulder has decided that Scully was right about his potential source just being a sci-fi-loving nut. He thanks her for going to Area 51 with him. Not everything has been reversed – Scully finds the two coins fused together, and Mulder’s apartment is still redecorated. In fact, he has to look at the number on his door to make sure he’s in the right place.

Thoughts: The way they did the body swap is kind of confusing; at a couple points, I forgot that people weren’t seeing what we were seeing. I wonder how these two episodes would have gone if David Duchovny and Michael McKean had actually switched characters.

The Lone Gunmen think Monica Lewinsky’s a mandroid? I would have guessed they would peg Hillary for that.

Even when she’s working with a fake Mulder, Scully doesn’t get to drive.

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