October 21, 2017

The X-Files 6.8, The Rain King: “You’re Not Just a Weatherman, You’re THE Weatherman”

Posted in TV tagged at 1:21 pm by Jenn

Look how concerned he is that Scully’s seeing this

Summary: A woman named Sheila signs a valentine, leaving a lipstick print on it. It’s Valentine’s Day, and Sheila’s in Kroner, Kansas, eating candy and watching TV. She tunes in for Holman Hardt’s weather forecast, turning it off when her fiancé, Daryl, comes home. He’s upset that she put a marriage announcement in the newspaper, since he thought they were going to keep it quiet until business picked up. Since it hasn’t rained in a while, and there’s no rain in the forecast, he’s not optimistic.

Daryl slams Sheila for eating candy, since her butt is already getting big. He goes out to his car, mocking Sheila’s assurance that it’ll rain soon. Sheila puts on the radio, which is playing “Rainy Days and Mondays.” Daryl listens to the same song in his car, drinking a beer as he drives away. As Sheila cries into her candy, it starts raining outside. Daryl’s happy at first, but the rain turns to hail and breaks his windshield. He crashes his car as heart-shaped hailstones continue to fall from the sky.

Six months later, Mulder and Scully arrive in Kroner via a prop plane. They’re greeted by the town’s mayor, Jim Gilmore, and a young baton twirler. Gilmore apologizes for not arranging better accommodations, but he didn’t realize Mulder would be bringing his wife with him. He also apologizes for the poor welcoming committee. Gilmore tells the agents that drought has devastated the town, and Daryl is profiting by charging people for rain. You can hire him to come to your farm and do his “dog and pony show,” and it’ll rain. Gilmore thinks he’s causing the drought so he can make money.

Scully’s starting to get why Mulder didn’t tell her the reason they were coming to Kroner. He denies that he “intentionally misled” her. Kroner seems to be “ground zero for extreme weather,” and if Daryl is controlling it for profit, he’s a criminal, so they’re right to investigate. Scully thinks the people of Kroner are just frustrated and looking for a scapegoat. Mulder asks how many scapegoats turn that into a business – specifically, Rain King, Inc.

They go to Daryl’s office, where Mulder asks to see “the king,” putting an Elvis-ish spin on the word. Daryl’s receptionist tells them he’s out of town, and she’s unwilling to give them any information without a warrant or subpoena. Besides, he’s a hero to Kroner, so the FBI shouldn’t be accusing him of anything nefarious. Holman’s giving a forecast on TV, and the receptionist credits Daryl with the rain Holman says is coming. Scully won’t give up, so the receptionist hands over a client list.

Mulder gets the idea to visit the TV station where Holman does his forecast. Sheila works there and greets them enthusiastically, saying she couldn’t be happier for them. It turns out she’s mistaken them for a couple named the Gundersons who won a contest. Holman takes the agents to his office and raves about how awesome it is to be a meteorologist in a place with so much interesting weather. He doubts that Daryl can control the weather, which is all Scully needs to hear.

Mulder asks about the rain, which Holman puns is “a more clouded issue.” Mulder brings out Daryl’s client list – dozens of people are claiming that he made it rain for their farms. Holman says he went to high school with Daryl, and though he’s not very accomplished, it’s true that it rains wherever he goes.

The agents head to a farm, where some people are having a picnic and waiting for Daryl. Scully feels bad for these people who are putting their trust in someone who could be scamming them. Daryl arrives on crutches and chastises his receptionist for bringing him the wrong boot for his prosthetic leg. Mulder asks him to explain his “unique ability,” but Daryl says it’s just a gift. He comes from a line of healers, and his spirituality allows him to connect with the “unseen real.”

The receptionist puts on some music, and Daryl dances around, saying he communicates with his ancestors (he’s 1/64th Cherokee) to bring rain. Scully walks away, done with this craziness. Mulder notes that plenty of Native Americans in the past performed rain dances; Daryl’s just doing the same thing. Scully doubts that the rain dancers in the past looked quite this stupid. She doesn’t think that Daryl looks like a man who can control the weather. She has to stop talking when it suddenly starts raining.

At the TV station, Sheila chats with Holman about their upcoming 20th high school reunion. She wishes the agents would leave Daryl alone. It turns out that she and Daryl have broken up; he was only with her for her money. Holman can’t believe that she still loves him after that. It looks like he wishes she would love him instead.

Scully has trouble sleeping, thanks to the noise caused by the rainstorm outside. Mulder’s still awake by choice, eating sunflower seeds and reading up on tornadoes in Kroner. He gets up to close a window and sees a cow being pulled into the air by one of those tornadoes. It comes crashing back down right through the roof over his motel room. R.I.P., Bessie or Elsie or whoever you were.

The next morning, Mulder’s things are moved into Scully’s room, since the rest of the rooms in the motel are booked for the high school reunion, and the people working there think Mulder and Scully are dating anyway. Mulder thinks Daryl tried to kill him with the cow on purpose, to try to scare off the FBI. Scully asks if he was checked for head trauma. Holman shows up and blames the cow incident on a regular old tornado. Sheila arrives next and announces that she’s to blame for Mulder’s near death by bovine.

Scully tries to ease Sheila’s guilt, but she says this isn’t the first time something like this has happened. The high school was destroyed by a tornado the night of the senior prom. On her wedding day, it snowed, even though it was July. Three years later, the day her divorce was finalized, the clouds in the sky looked like they were laughing at her. In the ten years since, nothing has happened until last night. The agents learn that Sheila and Daryl were engaged until six months ago, when he crashed during the hail storm and lost his leg.

Mulder promises Sheila that none of the weird weather is her fault. She says she wants to believe him. A medic who heard the whole conversation tells Mulder that the hail didn’t cause Daryl’s accident – he was drunk. No one said anything because he’d already been punished enough by losing his leg. Holman is shocked to hear this. Out at a farm, Daryl brags to his receptionist about his powers of concentration and his ability to make it rain. Then the rain stops.

At their motel, Mulder shows Scully an old newspaper article about a time it rained rose petals. Scully tells him there’s no case, and he himself told Sheila she wasn’t controlling the weather. Mulder continues that Holman’s mother died the day of the flower shower. Every time there’s a big meteorological event, he’s hospitalized for exhaustion. He thinks Holman is controlling the weather. If people with seasonal affective disorder can be drastically by the weather, why can’t the opposite be true? Maybe he has feelings that he’s not expressing, and they come out in the weather.

Holman wants to get those feelings out the right way, telling Sheila that he’s in love with her. He practices making his declaration, getting interrupted when Sheila calls to tell him that she’s decided she’s over Daryl. She wants someone who makes her feel safe, someone she can talk to. Then she confides that she’s decided to pursue Mulder. Holman responds with a lightning storm.

Mulder goes to see Holman the next day, asking him to get help for his problems: “You’re not just a weatherman, you’re the weatherman,” Mulder says. Holman says that if he could control the weather, he would end the drought. Mulder doesn’t think he can control his abilities, and in fact, his emotions make the weather go out of control. He needs to express his feelings for Sheila. Holman confirms Mulder’s theory, confiding that he accidentally destroyed the school when he found Sheila getting it on with her boyfriend. But how can he, a frog, telling Sheila, a swan, he wants to be with her?

Scully calls her partner (“Mulder, it’s me”) to tell him they’re not going to be able to leave Kroner as planned, thanks to thick fog. “Holman!” Mulder chastises. He tells Scully that Holman wants his dating advice. Scully’s speechless, then asks the last time Mulder went on a date. “I will talk to you later,” Mulder replies, hanging up on her. (If you can find this scene, please watch it, because I can’t do it justice here. Duchovny and Anderson’s delivery makes it gold.)

Daryl learns from his receptionist that his business isn’t doing well. She tells him he’s like Jim Morrison or Kurt Cobain, who “shined too bright for too short a time.” But she’ll still tell their future kids how awesome he was. Daryl’s distressed about his money woes, but the receptionist isn’t worried – she can always go back to Dairy Queen, where she was making almost $6 an hour. Daryl has another idea, knowing that Sheila has money. He decides it’s time to break up with the receptionist and go back to his former fiancée.

At the TV station, Holman tells Mulder that he’s always been envious of men like him who have so much experience. After all, Mulder gets to spend all day with the “beautiful, enchanting” Scully. He’s surprised that the partners have never hooked up, especially since they seem to gaze at each other. Mulder claims he’s happy enough just being friends with Scully. He takes Holman to Sheila in hopes that the drought will end if Holman tells her how he feels. As a P.S., Mulder says he doesn’t gaze at Scully.

Holman starts to bare his soul to Sheila, declaring his love, but she thinks he just means as a friend. It starts raining, and Mulder thinks Holman succeeded, but Holman tells him that Sheila said she’s in love with Mulder. She tells Daryl the same thing when he comes by to try to get her back. Daryl doesn’t get the appeal and takes a swing at Mulder. Sheila yells at him to avoid Mulder’s face, which is a good priority. Since Daryl’s drunk, Mulder doesn’t have much trouble ducking his punches and subduing him. Scully and Holman come around the corner just in time to see Sheila thanking Mulder with a kiss.

The fog has lifted, so now Mulder and Scully can go home. Mulder, who’s covered in Sheila’s lipstick, sees on Holman’s weather radar that thunderstorms are moving in, so their flight is probably canceled. The reunion is still on, with a Wizard of Oz theme, though people have to avoid the buckets placed around the high school gym to catch leaks. The agents show up looking for Holman, who says the thunderstorms aren’t his fault.

Sheila asks Mulder to dance, but the agents get her to dance with Holman instead. He finally tells Sheila that he’s been in love with her since high school. Mulder and Scully watch them from a distance, swaying back and forth, either to get a better view of them or because they like the song. When Sheila runs off, Mulder jokes that he’ll build an ark if Scully gathers the animals.

Scully follows Sheila to the bathroom and tells her Mulder’s theory about Holman and the weather. Sheila thinks Scully’s just jealous because Sheila and Mulder have a “special connection.” Daryl shows up to the reunion, looking for Sheila. Scully tells her that she and Mulder aren’t involved, and Holman really does want to be with her. Sheila’s surprised, since she and Holman have only ever been friends. Scully thinks that the best relationships are ones that start out as friendships. One day, you see something new in your friend, and the friend becomes the only person you want to be with.

The storm drains are filling up from all the rain, and the bathroom sinks back up and start to flood. The women leave the bathroom as Mulder and Daryl fight in the gym. The power goes out as Daryl passes out, claiming he could take on Mulder if he had two legs. Sheila comes back to the gym and confirms that Holman can affect the weather. She kisses him and tells him that’s the most romantic thing she’s ever heard. As they kiss again, sparks fly and the rain stops.

“Somewhere Over the Rainbow” comes over the sound system and everyone starts dancing. The receptionist comes to bring Daryl his leg back, and the two of them make up. Mulder asks Holman how it went, and Holman replies, “You should try it sometime.” A year later, Holman and Sheila have a baby, and the skies over Kroner are beautiful, with a rainbow right outside the family’s window.

Thoughts: Gilmore is played by Dirk Blocker (Hitchcock on Brooklyn Nine-Nine).

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that I love the running joke of everyone thinking Mulder and Scully are a couple. I also love that, while Scully corrects everyone, Mulder says nothing until he’s talking to Holman.

Mulder: “I do not gaze at Scully.” Everyone who’s ever seen an episode of the show: “Uh-huh.”

Having a Wizard of Oz-themed reunion right after a tornado was a rough coincidence, but it’s Kansas, so that probably happens a lot.

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