March 30, 2019

The X-Files 9.18, Sunshine Days: Here’s the Story of a Man Named Doggett…

Posted in TV tagged , , at 1:06 pm by Jenn

That couch is so bad

Summary: Two guys are sitting outside in Van Nuys, California, drinking. One of them, Blake, whistles the Brady Bunch theme song and tells the other guy, Daley, that the house they’re looking at across the street is from the show. It doesn’t look like it from the outside, but Blake delivered a pizza there last night and saw the interior. Daley’s still skeptical, so Blake leads him to the house to try to get access. It’s midnight, but no one seems to be home and the door’s unlocked, so Blake thinks they should just walk right in.

He’s right about the house, which looks exactly like the inside of the Bradys’ home. There’s even a broken vase like one Peter broke on the show. A football suddenly comes falling down the stairs, reminding Blake of the episode where Marcia was hit in the face with one and broke her nose. Daley’s freaked out and leaves, so he’s not there when Blake hears children laughing upstairs. He follows it and thinks he sees Cindy and Bobby Brady. Daley’s still outside, waiting for his friend, who quickly joins him…but falling onto the roof of their car.

The next day, Doggett and Reyes come to the house to try to figure out what happened. Doggett thinks Blake must have fallen out of a plane or helicopter; it’s not important to him how Blake got into that plane or helicopter. He finds a piece of something black in the car and puts it in an evidence bag.

Daley arrives and asks if someone’s going to arrest the homeowner. He tells the agents the house is from The Brady Bunch, but Reyes knows that the show was shot on a Hollywood soundstage, and the house used for exteriors is in Studio City. (She took a picture of it once. She’s very proud of that, and Doggett is filing that information away for future teasing.) Daley’s annoyed that the police won’t search the house.

The agents and Daley meet the homeowner, Oliver Martin, who sticks to the story he already told the police: He wasn’t home when Blake died, and he didn’t hear or see anything. The agents want to enter the house, and Oliver tries to resist, but Daley busts in. He’s confused to see that the interior is now completely different. Oliver denies that the house ever looked like the Bradys’. But Daley is sure that he saw what he saw.

After Daley leaves, Doggett decides to check out Oliver’s trash. He finds a couple of roof shingles inside, then boosts himself up to the roof, discovering that it’s been recently repaired. He tells Reyes he smelled fresh plaster inside the house, and the black thing he found in the car was part of a shingle. Reyes asks if he’s suggesting that Blake somehow shot through the roof of the house and landed on Daley’s car, like a cartoon character. Doggett just says the connections he’s made here make sense, and he’s finally getting the hang of the job.

At Quantico, Scully is about to do Blake’s autopsy when she hears one of her scalpels rattling around on its tray. When she touches it, she gets an electric shock. She Skypes (or whatever the 2002 version of Skype was) Doggett and Reyes at the FBI’s L.A. field office to tell them that Blake was dead before he landed on Daley’s car. Doggett’s roof theory makes sense to Scully, and she thinks electricity is involved.

She wired Blake to something, and he’s giving off some kind of residual electricity, like he’s a dying battery. If Mulder were around, Scully know she would bring up electromagnetic fluctuations and poltergeists and such. She can’t come up with another theory, so she has to admit she doesn’t know what’s going on.

Back at Oliver’s house, Daley pours out a beer for his dead friend, then tries to sneak back inside. Through the window, he sees someone who looks like Alice serving dinner to a family in ’60s clothing. He busts through the door and discovers that, while the interior of the house looks like the Bradys’ again, Oliver’s the only one inside. Oliver tells him to leave before it’s too late. Daley wants an explanation for what he saw, but instead, he gets lifted in the air and flung through the roof.

Doggett and Reyes return the next day for their next investigation into an unexplained death. Daley’s been dropped in the backyard so hard that he’s sunk a few inches into the ground. The agents try to talk to Oliver again, but he refuses to speak to them if they don’t have a warrant. Scully calls to let Doggett know that he and Reyes are on TV, thanks to all the media swarming the house. She’s now in L.A. and thinks she’s found someone who can help them with the case.

A video from 1970 shows an eight-year-old boy named Anthony about to take part in tests with a doctor named John Rietz. Anthony does something spectacular, but the video shuts off. Now, 32 years later, Rietz tells the agents that Anthony made a bunch of blocks rise off a table using only his mind. He thinks whatever caused that let out an electromagnetic field that shorted out the video image, which is why it wasn’t captured on film. Rietz expects the agents to call him crazy, but Doggett believes him.

Doggett thinks Anthony is Oliver, and thanks to a look through some of Mulder’s books, Scully is able to confirm that. Rietz, a parapsychologist, tells the agents about how Anthony/Oliver was able to make things fly around. Rietz spent six months studying Oliver, who was as confused as everyone about his abilities, but knew he was psychokinetic.

Reyes asks how Rietz lost touch with Oliver. Rietz says Oliver’s abilities faded, so I guess he was no longer worthy of being studied. Doggett asks if there’s anything they can take to a judge to get an arrest warrant for murder. Rietz doesn’t know what kind of person Oliver’s become in the past 32 years, but the boy he knew was lonely.

Oliver patches up his ceiling again, back in the non-Brady house. Then the house becomes the Bradys’ again, and the kids say goodbye to Oliver as they leave for the day. Rietz calls and leaves a message asking Oliver to meet with him so they can catch up. The ladder Oliver was using to patch the ceiling starts shaking, and a scraper flies off and knocks the phone off the counter.

Reyes has been wondering why Oliver changed his name when he had no reason to (such as a criminal record he wanted to distance himself from). Thanks to a Brady Bunch website, Reyes has come across Cousin Oliver, Carol Brady’s nephew who moved in with the family in the show’s final season. She doesn’t think the name Oliver Martin is a coincidence in light of what Daley said about the house. Rietz recalls that he watched the show with Oliver.

Reyes can’t figure out why Oliver would name himself after a character no one liked. Scully remembers that he was called a jinx. Is that how Oliver views himself? Doggett doesn’t care; he just wants to bust him. Scully thinks Oliver should be studied instead of jailed. Rietz agrees – he could give scientists insights into paranormal activity, even proof that it exists. Scully wants that, as it would vindicate Mulder and the rest of the agents for all their work on the X-Files.

Doggett and Rietz go to Oliver’s, where Doggett spots something interesting through the window. Oliver won’t answer the door, so Doggett picks the lock and goes in, leaving Rietz outside. The House is Bradyfied again, and Oliver is upstairs, just wanting to be left alone. Doggett starts rising in the air, and though he manages to slow his ascent by grabbing a doorknob, he flies through the ceiling.

Fortunately, Doggett doesn’t go all the way through the roof, but instead finds himself in the attic. He’s upside-down, though, so that’s something. He yells through the window for Rietz, then Oliver, who just leaves him up there. Rietz comes inside the house, ignoring Doggett’s warnings that Oliver’s dangerous, and tells Oliver to let Doggett go. Oliver, now acting childlike, says he can’t – he doesn’t know how. Rietz tells Oliver to relax and focus, as he used to when Oliver was a child. He knows Oliver’s a good person and can fix this. This leads to Doggett falling through the ceiling, but least he’s alive.

Reyes and Scully come inside, amazed by the setup of the house. Oliver says he just thinks about things and they appear. Scully asks what happens if he thinks about another place. Oliver hesitates, but Rietz asks him to try, saying it’s important to him. Suddenly, the group is transported to a grassy plain overlooking the ocean. Moments later, they’re back in the house, which Oliver says is his preferred location.

Scully wants to take Oliver to Washington to help scientists study his phenomena. Rietz says again that it would be important to him, so Oliver agrees. Doggett thinks this is a huge mistake – clearly, Oliver isn’t in control of his powers. Scully thinks he can learn, and once he does, he can accomplish huge things. Doggett says it’s equally possible that he’ll cause destruction.

Reyes notes that whatever’s going on right now, it’s not working, since two people are dead. Scully thinks they owe the world the answers Oliver could provide them. Doggett believes there’s something he’s not telling them. Oliver packs his things, including the football, but it gives him an electric shock, so he leaves it behind.

The group goes to D.C. and brings Skinner up to speed. Scully and Reyes are full of smiles, while Doggett is still his skeptical self. This is despite the fact that Oliver has made Skinner float a few inches off the ground. The effort makes him sweat, and he asks for a glass of water. The agents leave him alone while they discuss the situation with a doctor named Jacocks. He thinks this is worthy of a Nobel Prize for physics. Doggett’s the only person in the group with doubts.

Skinner notes that with this kind of proof of paranormal activity, the X-Files can never be shut down. Kersh needs to be brought in immediately. But before anyone can call him, Oliver has a seizure. Once he’s in a hospital, Rietz thinks he just needs some rest to recover. Scully blames an electrolyte imbalance, which is only part of Oliver’s problems: He’s going into multi-organ system failure. His powers are destroying his body. The agents see the Bradys standing around Oliver’s bed, but when they go in his room, no one’s there. Oliver explains that the Bradys came to say goodbye, because he’s dying.

Doggett goes to his office to rewatch the 1970 video. Scully, Reyes, and Rietz arrive to tell him the doctors have come up with a treatment plan. Doggett notes that they still haven’t explained the cause of Oliver’s powers. Why is he obsessed with The Brady Bunch? Scully and Reyes think the show is still popular all these decades later because the Bradys are the ideal family. Oliver didn’t have one as a child, so he created one.

Doggett asks why he chose the Bradys, not the Partridges or another happy TV family. He reminds Rietz that he watched The Brady Bunch with Oliver, and slowly Oliver’s powers faded. Maybe he didn’t need them anymore because he was happy being with Rietz. If Oliver’s going to die because of his powers, but they go away when he’s happy, and Rietz makes him happy, there’s a simple solution. It just means no answers for science.

Rietz goes back to the hospital and tells Oliver that the vindication of his life’s work is important, and he let it blind him. He treated Oliver like a lab rat instead of a person. He regrets leaving Oliver’s life so abruptly. Rietz tells Oliver he can never use his powers again. Oliver dreads being alone, but Rietz promises he won’t be – they’ll have each other. Oliver asks to be called by his original name again.

Doggett tells Scully he’s sorry she can’t get her proof of paranormal activity. But Scully thinks she’s had it the past nine years after all. Maybe not proof of the paranormal, but at least of more important things. Doggett hopes that Anthony will learn how to love in the real world instead of the TV world. He and Reyes hold hands, and she tells him he’s getting a hang of the job.

Thoughts: Oliver is played by Michael Emerson. Rietz is played by John Aylward. Daley is played by David Faustino.

This should have been a Mulder episode. Imagine all the jokes.

Oliver can make his house look different without lifting a finger, but he can’t fix holes in his ceiling and roof using just his mind?

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