September 11, 2018

ER 2.9, Home: Jen Is at the Top of Santa’s Naughty List

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , at 5:08 pm by Jenn

I’m sure those pencils will keep him warm when he’s sleeping outside in Chicago in December

Summary: Doug’s asleep – drink! Susan wakes him up and asks him to examine Susie, who has a cough. Doug pronounces her happy and healthy, which must be because Susan’s so great with her. They hand the baby off to Connie and go to meet another baby, this one much sicker than Susie. As Haleh takes the frantic parents out of the trauma room, Doug decides that the baby can’t be saved. He has to tell Susan a couple times to stop trying to revive him. Doug gives the horrible news to the parents as Susan takes Susie back from Connie.

Carter and Harper have worked things out and are dating, or whatever the kids call it when they spend a lot of time together and hook up. They try to make out in an elevator but Benton interrupts. They get clumsy in their attempts to find a quiet place where they can be alone, then have to pretend they’re looking for someone’s films when they realize Susan is in their hiding spot. (Thank you, Susan and Benton. I didn’t want to watch that.)

Carol brings stuff in for the hospital’s Christmas drive, trying to get rid of some things her mother wants to off-load since she’s moving. Doug and Mark laugh at her old records and baton. Carter and Harper finally find a make-out spot, but it’s the hospital chapel, and they’re soon joined by some nuns. These two are definitely going on Santa’s naughty list.

Shep shaved! It’s a Christmas miracle! He thinks Carol should be sadder about her mom selling her childhood home. He’s brought in an unidentified patient who’s now drawing something in an exam area. Doug and Mark tend to a man named Ethan Brown who was hurt in a hit-and-run. He’s able to ask for his wife through his possibly broken jaw, but Mark wants him to leave on his oxygen mask and stop trying to talk.

Carol tells Shep’s patient, Mr. Sullivan, that he can’t smoke in the hospital. She and Jeanie tend to his minor wounds as he tells them he’s an architect. He doesn’t seem completely mentally aware, so Carol tells Jeanie to call psych. As Benton notices a hickey on Carter’s neck, the two of them check out Ethan. Jeanie tells Carol that she’s identified Mr. Sullivan, whose real name is Joshua Shem. He has schizophrenia and ran away from his residential home. Because it’s his third time running away, they won’t take him back.

Doug told Mark he can’t work that night, so some of the female employees wonder if he’s going on a date. He remains mum. Ethan’s wife arrive, frantic at first but much calmer when Mark assures her that her husband will be okay. A teenager comes in with her sister, Reba, who was treated for injuries at a skating rink but had a seizure on the way home from the hospital. Looks like she has a head injury that the doctor who treated the cuts on her legs didn’t discover. (That doctor will also be on the naughty list.)

A police officer who came in with Ethan tells Mark and Susan that a witness told him who was driving the car that hit him: his wife. Mark quickly tells Lydia to call security, but Mrs. Brown has already found her husband and is trying to finish what she started with her car (this time with her bare hands). Ho ho ho, Mrs. Brown is getting coal in her stocking.

Mark tells Susan he’s spending the holidays with Jen’s family, clearly a sacrifice he doesn’t really want to make. Susan checks on Reba, who says she doesn’t remember what happened, then promptly has another seizure. Carter runs into Vucelich in the bathroom and says that Benton wanted to have an interview with him, but Carter forgot to sign him up. Vucelich agrees to see Benton anyway.

Susan struggles to end Reba’s seizures, finally guessing that she’s having an allergic reaction to the lidocaine she was given at the previous hospital. Records faxed over from St. Anne’s show that she was given a toxic dose. Weaver thinks Susan should write a case report, then have the hospital pay for her to present it in Miami. Susan doesn’t think she can take time away from the ER to do the necessary research, then leave town when she has both work and family responsibilities. She worries that Mark is disappointed in her for turning down the opportunity.

Dr. Myers meets with Joshua, who declines the offer of medication. He just wants to work on his drawing and go home (though he doesn’t actually have a home). Myers can’t hold him, since he’s not a danger to himself or others, and Joshua says he can take care of himself. Jeanie thinks Myers is just checking this case off his to-do list, but Carol defends him. Myers gets dozens of cases like Joshua every day and does everything he can for his patients. They’ll just have to stall and hope they can find Joshua a new residential home.

Carter, now wearing a huge bandage on his neck, tries to rearrange his plans with Harper since he now has to stay for Benton’s interview. He still hasn’t told Benton about the interview, though. When he tries to bring up the subject, Benton says he doesn’t want to participate in the study Vucelich is interviewing doctors for. Good job, Carter!

Carol catches Joshua trying to leave and admires his drawing of an arch. He says he draws what “they” tell him to draw. She tells him about her new house, and he identifies the style and interior. He tells her there’s a fireplace she didn’t know about. Weaver asks why Joshua hasn’t been discharged, and Carol says she wants to put a sterile dressing on one of his cuts. She’s actually stalling by offering Joshua food, but Weaver’s fine with letting him warm up and have a meal.

Carol hears Doug on the phone, confirming his plans for the evening and promising the person he’s talking to that she’ll look beautiful no matter what she wears. He still won’t give any details on who he’s meeting. Mark then gets a call from a hospital in Milwaukee and learns that Jen and Rachel were in a car accident. Rachel’s fine but Jen’s hurt. Doug offers up his car keys as Mark rushes off to see his family.

Susan calls the hospital back and tries to get information on Jen, but she has no luck. It makes her wonder if County is this tight-lipped. Lydia mentions that she used to date an OR tech at the hospital, so Susan makes her call him. Carter recognizes the arch from Joshua’s drawing as the Sullivan Arch, which he’s seen pictures of in an installment at the Art Institute. Carol remembers that Joshua introduced himself as Mr. Sullivan.

Shep amuses himself by looking through Carol’s old yearbook and the things her friends wrote. He wants to rescue it from being given away. Weaver tells Susan that Morgenstern wants to talk to her about presenting Reba’s case – he’s excited for this great opportunity. Benton ruins Carter and Harper’s plans by giving them more work to do. Jeanie calls around, looking for a place for Joshua, with no luck.

Benton goes to his interview with Vucelich, which turns into a field trip. Joshua’s mother, Madeline, arrives but says she can’t take him home. He’s let go of everything in his past and won’t stay. He was going to be an architect, but a breakdown in college derailed his plans. Madeline gives Joshua some money and pencils, the old thing he still cares about.

Morgenstern helps Susan and Carter tend to a man who fell off a ladder while setting up a Christmas display. He laments that he crushed Rudolph, though he should be more upset about the long, sharp thing sticking out of his arm. I know I am. Morgenstern tells Susan how great Reba’s case sounds, but she again declines the opportunity. He reminds her that she’s a candidate to be chief resident next year. Susan knows she needs to start publishing, but she thinks she’s taken on enough responsibility and doesn’t need “extra credit.”

Mark makes it to the hospital in Milwaukee, and I guess the episode ran short because we have to see him running around instead of just going right to Rachel and Jen. Jen is stable but has a broken leg and possible internal injuries. Despite being a doctor at County, Mark has no standing at this place, so he’s kept away from her as she’s treated.

Susan gets a Christmas card from Chloe that’s full of money. Anyone else would be excited to get $3,000, but Susan isn’t appreciative. Doug, who knows all about deadbeat relatives, advises her to take what she can get. In Milwaukee, Mark finds Rachel and meets a guy named Craig, who was in the accident with her and Jen. In fact, he was driving their car when they were hit. Mark’s too distracted to understand the significance of this.

Jeanie can’t find a place for Joshua, but he’s already taken off. She wonders if she’s cut out for doing this kind of work, since her previous job as a physical therapist let her see her patients’ progress. Carol says they just have to do what they can for everyone. She finds Joshua’s pencils under his bed.

Vucelich takes Benton to an operation so he can see firsthand the work Vucelich does. Benton knows his stuff and is suddenly interested in joining Vucelich’s study. Vucelich tells him to scrub in. In Milwaukee, Jen’s doctor tells Mark that she doesn’t have internal injuries, and surgery to repair her leg went fine. Craig asks Mark to translate from medical jargon to English.

Doug’s dinner date is with his mother, Sarah, and though his relationship with his father is nonexistent, he and his mother get along well. He tells her his father called, and she guesses that he wants money or is up to something. Doug isn’t worried and promises that his father can’t touch them ever again.

Carol takes Joshua’s pencils to the Sullivan Arch, which Joshua has made his home. He says they’re all he needs, but she gives him a blanket, too, ensuring her spot on Santa’s nice list. Carter finally finishes his extra work and meets up with Harper, who’s chatting with Jeanie. She guesses that they’re dating, but Carter says they don’t have time in medical school. Harper mentions that she’s going into the Air Force after med school. Carter teases that she’s going to become an astronaut after that.

Susan runs into a neighbor while doing laundry, and doesn’t correct the neighbor when she thinks Susan is Susie’s mother. It looks like that sounds good to her. Carol puts on some music at home, and she and Shep take hammers to a wall to uncover the fireplace Joshua told her was there. They celebrate by dancing and making out to “Take a Letter Maria.”

The lyrics “take a letter Maria / address it to my wife / say I won’t be coming home” foreshadow the conversation Mark is about to have with Jen (well, if Jen were the husband and Mark were the wife). He’s figured out that Craig isn’t just a friend or co-worker or second cousin or whoever she was going to pretend he was. Jen’s in love with him. Merry Christmas, Mark: Your wife is cheating on you.

Thoughts: Joshua is played by Adam Goldberg.

Jen’s father is a reverend. WELL, HIS CHRISTIAN TEACHINGS SURE DIDN’T STICK.

Susie’s at that age where babies babble in almost-intelligible language. I love that age.

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August 7, 2018

ER 2.4, What Life?: Everything’s Coming Up Carter

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 5:01 pm by Jenn

Hulda seems more fun than Linda anyway

Summary: Mark’s asleep – drink! Hulda wakes him up in Doug’s apartment so he can take a call from Rachel and Jen. Susan’s having a much more hectic morning, trying to get both herself and Susie ready on her own. Benton’s having an angry morning, since his car’s out of commission and Walt is out on a test drive instead of fixing it. Jackie tells her brother not to take his bad mood out on Walt, since it’s his own fault he messed around with a married woman and got hurt.

Susan makes a stop at a store so she can buy diapers, then tries to chase off a guy who wants to clean her windshield. He recognizes her from a trip to the ER and asks for Demerol. She thinks he’s getting too close to the baby, but he just wants to make sure she doesn’t forget her diapers. At County, Carter waits for Benton while Weaver lectures Harper about wearing too many earrings.

Benton finally makes it to work in a loaner car, but someone steals the parking space he was about to pull into. Things turn physical – there are prosthetic limbs involved – and Benton hurts his finger. Susan comes in late, happy to see that things are slow. In reality, everyone’s just outside bringing in patients from a big traffic accident. Well, everyone except Carol and Shep, who have enough time to confirm their date that night.

Randi replaces Susie’s wardrobe while Harper wonders if Weaver’s seen her outfit. Lydia and Connie are proud of Carol for landing a date with Shep, but Doug just makes fun of his name. Susan tells Carol that she can claim that Chloe abandoned Susie after she’s been gone three months. Carol notes that Chloe might come back, but Susan doesn’t think she deserves a second chance.

Susan examines a ma with belly pain, thinking he just has indigestion, though it could be from heart trouble. He’s more interested in what’s for lunch than in his health. Carter and Harper went to a concert the night before and decide to get dinner together. He’s secretly taken an x-ray of Benton’s hand and determined that he dislocated a joint in his finger. Benton’s story is that he slammed it in his car door. He and Carter head in to help with one of the accident victims, and since Benton can’t do a necessary procedure, he announces that Carter will handle it.

Susan takes Susie to daycare, hoping this is just a temporary arrangement. She at least has a babysitter coming by for an interview that afternoon. Mei-Sun brings in Chia-Chia, remembering the order Doug gave her to always bring the child straight to him instead of going to the pediatric clinic. Weaver accidentally annoys Susan by asking Mark if she can deal with someone who’s threatening to sue and wanted to talk to someone in charge.

Carter’s thrilled that Benton’s injury has allowed him more responsibility. He finally fixes the dislocation, but Benton doesn’t even bother to thank him. Shep calls in on the radio for what he claims is a noon calibration check. Lydia thinks he just wanted to hear Carol’s voice. Benton spots Weaver talking to the man who wants to sue – it’s the guy he attacked in the parking lot. Benton quickly steers Hicks away from the conversation before he can be spotted.

As a cab driver brings in an elderly woman who can’t speak, Susan, Harper, and Haleh determine that a 14-year-old girl named Amy is pregnant. Her clueless mother thinks she has appendicitis. Susan kicks her out so they can have a confidential conversation. Later, she complains to Weaver that she’s only getting boring cases. Weaver thought she should have a lighter load since she’s adjusting to taking care of Susie on her own. Susan coolly says that she’ll let Weaver know if she needs special treatment.

Weaver’s annoyed to learn that Doug didn’t put Chia-Chia on the patient board. Mark steps in and tells Doug to play by the rules. Amy guesses that she’s pregnant, and though she’s adamant that Susan not tell her parents, Susan tells her she’ll need some sort of support system. The woman from the cab has her medical history with her, though not her ID. She has end-stage MS and possible dementia. Carol already has some affection for her.

Hicks invites Carter to scrub in on an operation, since Benton can only observe. Benton makes a sad face. Amy’s mother has also guessed that she’s pregnant, and she’s not pleased that Susan won’t let her participate in discussions about her daughter’s condition. Weaver thinks they should call security to keep Mrs. Thompson away from Amy, but Susan says Amy’s ready to tell her. Weaver tells Susan that sometimes seemingly boring cases present challenges. “If you’re considering violence, count me in,” Doug says.

Susan was supposed to go give Susie a bottle at noon, but she’s almost an hour late. She wants the daycare workers to go ahead with the feeding, though Doug tells her she’s allowed to have a life. They vent about Weaver, cracking up Carol and Chuny. Of course, Weaver overhears, and she doesn’t appreciate that Doug used a fake cane to imitate her use of a crutch.

Mark and Harper have no luck finding a bed for their nameless patient or figuring out where she was living before she came in. Shep makes another call, this time one that’s actually work-related, and Carol hears gunshots over the radio. Carter and Hicks get along great and work well together while Benton quietly seethes on the sidelines. Carter even gets to assist with a procedure that Benton hasn’t gotten to do yet.

Susan confides in Doug that she’s thinking about adoption for Susie. He thinks she’s looking for adoptive parents and suggests a doctor in the hospital. She clarifies that she was thinking of being the adoptive parent. Susan’s hungry patient, Tom, won’t stop eating, and she’s at the end of her rope with him. Shep and Raul arrive with their patient, a 12-year-old who was shot, and Carol sees that Shep is uninjured. Instead of being relieved, she’s short with him.

The nameless woman has started moaning, and Mark decides it’s time to find her a bed, even if no doctors have agreed to admit her to their services yet. Shep and Raul try to calm the uncle of their patient, who’s desperate to see her. But it’s not because he’s worried about her – he strapped at kilo of drugs to her leg and he wants it back. Shep chases him, accusing him of shooting his own niece. The uncle gets tackled and the drugs end up everywhere.

Mark and Harper find a room for the nameless woman and tell a nurse they’ll take it, as if they’re apartment hunting. The nurse threatens to call someone with authority who can make them take the woman back to the ER, but Mark threatens to tell her supervisor that she stopped taking admissions before the end of her shift. Susan interviews a babysitter, but the woman is unwilling to work with Susan’s unfixed schedule. She reminds Susan that babies need structure and stability.

Tom has finally eaten his way to major health problems, and with Susan away, Mark and Weaver have to tend to him. They pump his stomach after realizing that he drank an entire bottle of some solution he was only supposed to get an ounce of. Weaver blames Susan for not giving Lily clearer instructions (though her instructions were clear; Tom drank the rest on his own). Mark sends the two outside to finish their fight, then tells them to meet him in the lounge for mediation.

Carter has to cancel his plans with Harper since Hicks has asked him to monitor a patient overnight. Judging by their kiss, Harper’s okay with this. Mark sternly tells Susan and Weaver that they need to learn to work together better. He wants to make it clear that he supports Weaver in her management decisions, so Susan needs to go along with them. But if Susan runs into obstacles that keep her from doing her job, Weaver needs to step up. After Susan leaves, Mark tells Weaver that Susan is a great doctor, so if there’s a problem, Weaver needs to fix it.

Immediately after the conversation ends, Susan and Doug apologize to Weaver for the conversation she overheard earlier. She accepts, but she doesn’t want to chat. Doug tells Mark it was just a misunderstanding and asks if he’s enjoying his role as peacemaker. Doug then heads off with Linda, even though he woke up in bed with Hulda that morning. Hicks suggests that Benton do physical therapy to get his finger back in shape. She even suggests a therapist: Jeanie. AWKWARD.

Weaver and Susan team up to tend to a man who fell onto a piece of equipment in which his arm is now stuck. The nameless woman’s husband has arrived and is apologetic for sending her to the hospital. He’s now unable to take care of her on his own, and he can’t afford a care facility. He came in because he missed her after just a few hours apart. Susan guesses that her and Weaver’s patient has cyanide poisoning from his job, and though Weaver isn’t certain, she lets Susan administer treatment. She turns out to be right, and Weaver’s pleased.

Mark notes to Carol that Susan has been spending a lot of time with Susie lately. It turns out he didn’t know that Chloe left, and that Susan’s taking care of the baby on her own. Raul makes a radio check (Randi wonders if he’s single) and tells Carol to answer the pay phone. It’s Shep, who wants to apologize for anything he did to make Carol mad. He’s guessed that she was worried about him, which means she cares. She has to laugh at herself.

Mark invites Hulda to get a drink with him, since Doug is out. Moments later, Doug comes home with Linda, so Mark pretends that Hulda’s his friend. It turns out the women know about each other and are fine with not being Doug’s only girlfriends. Mark decides to pass on hanging out with them to call Susan and let her know she can turn to him if she needs anything. Susan hears him leave the message, then calls the doctor Doug said might be interested in adopting Susie.

Thoughts: I recap with closed captioning on so I don’t miss anything, and whoever has to caption all the medical terminology deserves an A+ and a gold star.

Harper, stop dating the guy who keeps talking down to you.

I think Doug’s apology to Weaver is the most mature thing he does in the whole series.

August 19, 2017

The X-Files 5.20, The End: Checkmate?

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , , at 12:53 pm by Jenn

“I’d rather be watching ‘Bob’s Burgers'”

Summary: There’s a chess tournament going on in Vancouver, and a man from Russia is playing a preteen boy from the U.S. There’s a huge audience, so apparently this is a big deal. (Maybe people in Vancouver need to find more things to do.) The boy hears voices in his head as he plays, apparently the thoughts of all the people in the audience. One voice is particularly loud, and may belong to a man who’s loading a sniper rifle. He takes aim at the boy’s opponent, then the boy. As the boy stands up and makes his last move, declaring checkmate, his opponent is shot.

A couple of men drop onto a mountain in Quebec via parachutes and try to ambush the cabin where CSM has been staying. CSM’s security system warns him and he’s able to shoot one of the men before he can be shot. The other man starts to head into the house but sees CSM’s footprints heading into some nearby woods. After a brief chase, the second gunman stops CSM. He takes off his mask to reveal that he’s Krycek. CSM tells him to go ahead and shoot, but Krycek says he was sent to bring CSM back.

A note reading “you are here” has been placed on the UFO in Mulder’s “I want to believe poster.” Skinner is in the office waiting for Mulder; he claims it’s so they can discuss Mulder’s long-term plans. What does he hope to find? Mulder says whatever he’s looking for is in the X-files, and he’ll know when he finds it. Skinner’s really there to tell Mulder about the assassination of the Russian chess player. The shooter used to work for the NSA. Jeffrey Spender is in charge of the case, having been assigned by someone outside of the bureau, and he wants Mulder to work with him.

Mulder heads to a meeting Spender’s running, with Scully already in attendance. Mulder watches footage of the shooting and announces that the boy, not the Russian, seems to be the target. Another agent in the room agrees with Mulder – she thinks the boy was able to precognitively sense that the shooter was aiming for him. Mulder and the agent exchange a look that lets us know this isn’t the first time they’ve met.

Krycek delivers CSM to WMM, the Elder, and some other Syndicate members. He’s all “rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated; your assassin sucks; I’ll let it go THIS TIME.” The Syndicate tells him about the death of the Russian, mentioning that the boy is “a problem.” CSM asks, not serious, if they want him to kill the boy. They’re horrified by the suggestion and say that CSM knows what they want him to do. They’re sure he shares their intentions.

Mulder and Scully drive somewhere with the agent from the meeting, Diana Fowley. She’s been out of the country for a while and asked to be reassigned so she could attend to some things in the U.S. Scully notes that Fowley’s been in the FBI since 1991, the same time Mulder started working on the X-files. Yeah, that sure is a coincidence, Scully!

The boy is watching The Simpsons when the agents arrive to talk to him. He’s happy to be in a country with good TV; he lives in the Philippines and all they have on TV is Baywatch. The boy, Gibson, is being kept there until his parents come get him. Mulder wants to see if Gibson can beat a chess computer he’s brought, guessing that he can’t. He’s figured out that Gibson’s so good at the game because he can read his opponents’ thoughts. That’s why he knew there was a shooter.

Gibson confirms Mulder’s suspicions by saying that Mulder’s thinking about one of the agents he brought with him. One of them is thinking about him, too. (Yeah, like they both aren’t.) Fowley asks which one, but Gibson says that Mulder doesn’t want him to answer that. Mulder tells Scully that, despite Gibson’s status as a prodigy, he’s not actually that good at chess. Scully disagrees – no one has passed all the rigorous testing required of someone who claims to be psychic. Mulder thinks Gibson’s skills are exactly why he was marked for murder.

Scully notes that people would want to use Gibson’s skills, not eliminate them. His psychic abilities would give them advantages in things like war and business. Fowley points out that he could also reveal lots of secrets that people want to stay hidden. Mulder suggests that they test him and run a brain scan. He tells Fowley that she knows what to do. Scully finally catches on that the two of them know each other.

Mulder goes to see the shooter in jail, but Spender doesn’t want to let them talk. Mulder thinks Spender’s trying to protect something and is sending the agents on a wild goose chase. He’s sure that Gibson is the key to the incident, and the shooter knows why. The shooter, however, isn’t very forthcoming, thanks to Spender’s refusal to give him food or water for the past 16 hours.

Mulder sends Spender to get them while he lists the shooter’s credentials and notes that he also failed to kill Saddam Hussein during a raid on his palace. Mulder threatens to tell Spender that the shooter knows Gibson reads minds. The shooter is still unwilling to help, since he doesn’t think Mulder can get him immunity or placement in the Witness Protection Program. Mulder tells him to think about it, then leaves.

Gibson has undergone the testing at a psychiatric hospital, and he tells Scully he knows that she’s wondering about Fowley. Fowley’s wondering about Scully as well. Gibson goes to his next test, a variation on the Zener cards. He guesses all of them correctly. Fowley tells Scully that she’s seen clairvoyants with more than 90 percent accuracy, but never anything like this. She mentions working with Mulder on cases involving criminal psych patients who may have been misdiagnosed. Scully excuses herself.

In prison, the shooter receives a note reading “you’re a dead man.” It’s written on the inside of a flattened Morley cigarette carton. Scully goes to the Lone Gunmen’s lair and asks them to look at Gibson’s brain scans. She also wants them to tell her about Fowley. They’re familiar with her because she was “Mulder’s chickadee” right after he left the academy. She was there at the inception of the X-files. Byers says he’s always wondered why they split up.

Gibson watches cartoons while Mulder and Fowley discuss his excellent scores on all the tests. Mulder thinks they’re missing something, though. Fowley praises him for figuring out what was going on from the footage from the tournament. Mulder says he’s been working on this kind of stuff for five years. Fowley says she sometimes wonders how things might have turned out if she’s stayed instead of moving to counter-terrorism. She thinks he could have benefited from having a partner who thinks like him, and not a skeptic.

Mulder defends Scully, saying she makes him work for his successes. He’s “done okay” without Fowley. She assures him that she’s on his side. Scully’s about to join them when she sees them having an intimate conversation, so instead she goes to her car to pout. She calls Mulder (“Mulder, it’s me”) and asks him to meet her at the office to go over something she’s found out about Gibson.

As she’s leaving the parking garage, Spender arrives and is quickly summoned to talk to CSM. Spender doesn’t know who CSM works for, which means he’s even more out of his league than anyone thought. CSM tells him he needs to control the board and know who to sacrifice and when. He can’t join up with someone else’s cause – he needs to always pursue his own self-interest. As CSM leaves, Mulder comes into the garage and sees them talking. He’s surprised that CSM isn’t dead after all.

Mulder takes Scully to a meeting in Skinner’s office and urges her to tell him and other agents there about Gibson’s test results. Neurological tests show that Gibson uses an area of his temporal lobe – called the “God nodule” by neuroscientists – that no one else uses. Mulder says that famous scientists like Einstein, Newton, and Stephen Hawking are also believed to use portions of the brain that no one else does. Gibson may be the key to understanding human potential, paranormal phenomenon…and everything in the X-files.

Spender scoffs at the idea that Gibson was a target for murder because of the X-files. Mulder can’t make the connection completely, but he thinks the shooter can. He wants them to offer the shooter immunity so he’ll talk. Scully says they’re trying to quantify proof of everything she and Mulder have been investigating. Fowley argues that they can’t quantify spirituality. The X-files are basically an indulgence; their higher-ups are never going to allow them to offer an immunity deal for this kind of investigation.

Skinner dismisses everyone but Mulder, then warns him that he’s taking a huge risk with his future career. Mulder thinks things will fit together, and he’ll get the answers he’s spent so long looking for. He gets Skinner to talk to the Attorney General, who agrees to offer the shooter immunity. The shooter tells Mulder and Spender that Gibson is a “missing link” – genetic proof that a person can be more human than human. Gibson appears to have genes that indicate he’s part alien.

On a street somewhere, WMM and Krycek confront CSM for failing to do what he was supposed to. CSM says that Mulder going to the Attorney General is just “part of the game.” They’re taking the other side’s pieces one by one; eventually the board will be cleared.

Scully accompanies Gibson to a safehouse, where he enjoys an episode of King of the Hill. (How interesting that everything he watches is on Fox! I wonder why?) Scully asks him how he does what he does. Gibson says it’s like listening to multiple radios. Part of the reason he likes chess is because he only has to listen to one “radio” at a time. Plus, there’s no talking, so no one’s saying one thing and thinking something else. He says that sometimes people worry about what others are thinking, while those others worry about the same thing.

Gibson continues that people make up things to believe, but it’s not real. Some people try to be good while others don’t care, like Scully. He clarifies that he means Scully doesn’t care what people think, “except for her.” Fowley comes by to stay with Gibson so Scully can go home. Gibson announces that he knows people want him dead. Scully promises to protect him. In prison, the shooter gets another cigarette box, but this one has no message. The man delivering the message shoots him.

Back at the safehouse, Fowley awakens from a nap to find Gibson at the window. He tells her there’s a man with a gun outside, but he’s there to kill her, not him. He’s right, and someone shoots Fowley through the window. She’s alive, barely, but a U.S. marshal is dead. Skinner tells Mulder and Scully that the shooter is dead, and they found the blank cigarette note. Gibson’s whereabouts are unknown.

CSM has grabbed Gibson and taken him to meet WMM. WMM tries to convince Gibson that he has nothing to be afraid of, but Gibson knows he’s a liar like CSM is. WMM tells CSM his work is done, but CSM says it’s just beginning. He hands over the boy, who gets in the car with WMM and Krycek. Krycek offers to kill CSM, but WMM says he’s useful, and Krycek might need him in the future.

As Spender organizes a search for Gibson, Mulder attacks him, demanding to know who Spender really works for. He vows to see Spender prosecuted, warning that his days are numbered. Spender says Mulder’s the one whose days are numbered.

Scully and Skinner talk on the phone about the developments in the case, and how Spender is saying things that make both agents look bad. Scully tells Mulder that Fowley isn’t doing well, and their jobs aren’t lookng much better. The Department of Justice wants the X-files to be closed down. Mulder laments that everything has been part of a strategy he couldn’t see. Scully admits that the bad guys may have finally won.

CSM lights a cigarette in Mulder’s office, then leaves with Samantha’s X-file. On his way out, he runs into Spender, who asks how he got in. CSM says he has access and can give it to Spender. Spender asks who he is. “I’m your father,” CSM replies. (Well, it’s no “Luke, I am your father”). A smoke alarm sounds – Mulder’s office is on fire. When he and Scully go in to check it out, they see that everything has been destroyed, including the “I want to believe” poster.

Thoughts: Gibson looks like a mini-Frohike. I hope that’s on purpose.

I can’t believe I have to put up with this Scully/Fowley jealousy crap. Frigging male showrunners and writers.

Gibson is present for a murder and his parents don’t immediately rush out to get him? Why weren’t they with him anyway? Does he have a guardian? No one seems worried about him. Scully, adopt him, please.

How do you like your new role as Syndicate chauffeur, Krycek? Do you feel like you’ve made good choices to get you to this place?

That’s a wrap on season 5! I’m excited for some fun episodes coming in season 6.

August 5, 2017

The X-Files 5.18, The Pine Bluff Variant: Lies Within Lies

Posted in TV tagged , at 1:30 pm by Jenn

It’s weird watching a monster have a moral crisis

Summary: Mulder’s out for a run in Folger Park in D.C., as part of some sort of surveillance operation. Scully and Skinner are among the agents keeping their eyes on a man named Jacob Haley, who’s there to meet with someone. Scully sees Haley notice Mulder and warns her partner. Haley then hands an envelope to the person he’s meeting with, who suddenly collapses. Haley calls out for help, then takes off. Mulder runs after him as other agents go to the man who collapsed. Something is eating away his flesh.

The others lose track of Mulder, who doesn’t respond when Scully warns him through an earpiece that Haley is armed. She decides to chase him herself, but when she finds Mulder, she sees him chatting with someone who then drives off. Mulder tells her he lost Haley.

Back at FBI headquarters, Scully watches footage of the surveillance, which seems to show Mulder making contact with Haley. She asks Mulder what really happened. How did 12 agents with eyes on everyone lose Haley?
If Mulder helped him, he was aiding a terrorist. Skinner addresses a joint FBI/CIA taskforce formed to capture Haley, who wants to overthrow the government. His contact from the park, an arms dealer named Cadre, received bearer bonds from Haley, who know has a bunch of weapons.

An agent named Leamus discusses Cadre’s death with Scully – he was killed by a bioweapon that originated in the former Soviet Union. Leamus wonders if this means there’s a toxin in the air at the park. Scully says it’s probably not a problem, and Mulder points out that everyone else at the park is still alive, so Scully must be right.

The agents wonder how Haley was able to escape all the agents watching him. Mulder notes that he has a lot of training. Skinner thinks their next threat is August Bremer, who’s just as dangerous as Haley. Leamus warns everyone to keep the information confidential so the media doesn’t find out about the terrorists they’re pursuing. As the meeting breaks up, Scully tries to approach Mulder, but he ignores her.

In Gables Corner, Ohio, Bremer goes to a small movie theater and buys a ticket for Die Hard With a Vengeance. He asks for fresh popcorn, sending the woman who serves him to a machine in the back. As she works, Bremer puts on gloves and pulls out an aerosol container.

Meanwhile, Scully tails Mulder to the Aaron Burr Motor Court in Angola, Delaware, where he gets a room and accepts a phone call from Haley. Haley accuses Mulder of setting him up, but Mulder claims he was trying to warn Haley about an anonymous tip. Mulder continues that he believes in Haley’s ideals; they’re not as bad as the government’s. He’s risking his job to help Haley, so Haley needs to trust him.

Back in Gables Corner, two teenagers sneak into the movie theater via the back door. They see a gross corpse sitting in one of the seats. In Delaware, Scully demands Mulder’s room number and the name he’s using. “Are you the wife?” the desk clerk asks. “Not even close,” she replies. She heads for Mulder’s room, where he’s getting another call from Haley telling him they’re moving forward as planned. Before Scully can reach him, Mulder leaves in the same car he stopped by at the park.

Scully follows Mulder and his mystery driver, keeping her headlights off so they don’t see her. Another car swerves into her path and cuts her off, making her lose the tail. The car that stopped her is full of men who take her to an office where Skinner and Leamus are waiting to speak to her. They apologize for the way they stopped her, but they think their actions may have saved Mulder’s life.

The men know that Scully’s suspicious that Mulder is betraying his country, but he’s actually on a deep-cover assignment. After he spoke at a UFO conference about his skepticism toward the U.S. government, Haley contacted him, thinking he could be used as a mole. Scully accuses Leamus and Skinner of putting Mulder’s life in danger by not telling her about the assignment. She reminds them that they don’t know anything about the bioweapon. Just then, a man tells the agents that the bioweapon has been used at the Ohio movie theater.

Mulder is taken to a storeroom to meet with Haley. Haley accuses Mulder of setting up surveillance in the park, and has a goon break Mulder’s little finger for not telling the truth. Mulder reminds Haley that he let him go. If he were setting Haley up, he wouldn’t have gotten in the car with his goons, and there would already be agents swarming the storeroom. Haley says there’s a war going on, and Mulder is either on the right side or the wrong side. He holds up an aerosol container and threatens to use it, but Mulder sticks to his claims: He didn’t set Haley up. It must have been one of his own people.

Scully and Skinner go to Ohio to check out the movie theater, which is declared safe. In total, 14 people are dead, and the two teens who snuck in the back are the only survivors. The site is pretty gruesome. Scully notes that, since there were survivors, the toxin probably isn’t airborne, which means everyone who died must have touched something that was infected. She gets an idea when she spots a ticket stub on the floor.

Mulder goes home, where Scully’s waiting for him in the dark. She tells him she knows about his assignment, then takes care of his broken finger. He wonders why the people at the movie theater were killed. Scully thinks he’s being tested. Mulder tells her that Haley let him live because he still needs him. Plus, Haley trusts Bremer even less than he trusts Mulder. The agents don’t realize that Bremer is listening in on their conversation from his car.

Even though it’s the middle of the night, Mulder goes to FBI headquarters, his finger splinted, and meets with Skinner and Leamus. He relays the information that Haley’s group seems to be targeting a bank or armored car next. Leamus is ready with redacted surveillance files to make Haley think Mulder’s telling the truth. Skinner wants to put a tail on Mulder for his next meeting, but Leamus says it’s a bad idea. This means Mulder goes to his next meeting with Haley all alone. “If you don’t hear from me by midnight, feed my fish,” Mulder tells his boss.

Scully meets with a CDC scientist who tells her they found bacteria on Cadre’s bearer bonds, but not on the ticket stub. They still haven’t figured out how the biotoxin was spread at the theater. The bacteria is a strain of especially lethal strep, genetically engineered to survive outside a body. The scientist compares it to scratch-and-sniff technology. He doesn’t think it’s from Russia, since they don’t have this kind of technology.

Mulder takes the redacted surveillance files to Haley, who mutters, “Lies within lies.” He tells Mulder he’s accompanying the group on their next mission. Mulder refuses to put on the hood Haley gives him, but Haley won’t accept that answer. (Mulder, you need to pick your battles with the terrorist, mmkay?)

Scully calls Skinner to fill him in on the bacteria, asking to speak to only him, since Leamus is in the room. She thinks the toxin was created domestically; the Army had a Pine Bluff facility in the ’60s that was working on something similar. She thinks the bioweapons program continued in secret. Mulder could be on a suicide mission. When Skinner gets off the phone, he just tells Leamus that Scully’s concerned for Mulder.

Haley and Mulder join Bremer and the rest of Haley’s group to prepare for whatever terrorist version of Ocean’s 11 they have planned. Bremer asks Mulder if he’s a believer. “I have my beliefs,” Mulder replies. Bremer asks if he’s willing to die for them, and Mulder says he hopes it doesn’t come to that. Bremer gives him a monster mask.

Scully realizes that the bacteria must have been spread through the money at the movie theater. Meanwhile, the terrorists head to a bank in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, disguising themselves with monster masks. They gain entry by hiding out in an armored car, pretending to make a delivery. They give themselves three minutes to get access to the vault. One of the tellers moves to hit a panic button, so Mulder offers to keep an eye on him. One of the terrorists shoots the teller, and Mulder is ordered to finish him off.

Mulder hesitates, but Haley keeps pushing him to act even as the others lose interest when the vault is opened. The terrorists gather a few bags of money and spray the rest with aerosol canisters. Just as Mulder has to make a decision whether or not to shoot an innocent man, a terrorist stops him, saying his weapon is traceable. He shoots the teller himself, then ushers all the terrorists out of the bank.

The terrorists burn their masks, and Bremer adds the stolen money to the fire. Mulder realizes that the heist was just a decoy so they could contaminate the rest of the money in the vault. Bremer says they’re done testing Mulder, and he’s been very helpful, but it’s time for him to die. Haley stops Bremer, saying it’s too late to try to protect his secret, since Haley already knows it: Thanks to an alias used in the surveillance files, Haley knows that Bremer’s the mole. In response, Bremer exposes Mulder as a double agent, playing a recording of his conversation with Scully.

Scully finds Skinner and Leamus to tell them they need to get Mulder out of there ASAP. She knows the money is contaminated. Unfortunately, there were a bunch of bank robberies that morning, and the agents don’t know which one Mulder was part of. Scully looks at a few surveillance screens, trying to recognize her disguised partner.

Bremer has Haley and Mulder lined up for execution, but he gives Haley his keys and allows him to leave. Mulder quips his way to the site of his potential death, because he’s certainly not going to start being serious now. He kneels and waits for a bullet to end his life, but when the shot comes, it’s a goon who’s killed. Bremer sends Mulder away, knowing that “they” will kill both of them if he doesn’t leave.

Mulder goes back to the bank, where Scully tells him they’ve already taken care of things. She was able to figure out which bank he went to from the surveillance footage – she saw the splint on his finger. Mulder tells Skinner that Bremer is on their side. But Scully tells him that the biotoxin may have been created by the U.S. government, so the whole operation could have been a setup.

Leamus joins the group to deny that the government would use its own citizens for something like this. Scully thinks he knew what was really going on the whole time. Mulder wants the money to be rechecked – it’s as dirty as Leamus is. Leamus asks what Mulder would want to see happen if he blew the whistle. Wouldn’t he do the same thing Haley’s group wants to do? Mulder says he just wants people to know the truth. Leamus replies that sometimes the government’s job is the keep people from learning the truth.

Meanwhile, Haley’s getaway car doesn’t take him very far – at some point, it pulls off a quiet, secluded road, the horn blaring. Haley’s dead, his head pressed to the horn, his skin being eaten away by the biotoxin. He probably should have made sure he was wearing gloves when he took his keys back from Bremer.

Thoughts: Leamus is played by Sam Anderson, who I’ve seen in a bunch of things but will always think of as Bernard from Lost. Haley is played by the late Daniel von Bargen. The movie theater employee is played by Kate Braidwood, daughter of Tom Braidwood, AKA Frohike.

Angry, broken-fingered, death-threat-shouting Mulder is kind of hot. Okay, I’ll see myself out.

Oh, the Russians don’t have the technology for this kind of biotoxin? Are you sure they’d tell you if they did?

August 20, 2016

The X-Files 3.16, Apocrypha: And That’s Why You Don’t Try to Make a Deal with CSM

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , at 1:14 pm by Jenn

Oh, no, Krycek's trapped inside a giant Magic 8 Ball!

Oh, no, Krycek’s trapped inside a giant Magic 8 Ball!

Summary: It’s August 19th, 1953, and a sailor is giving a statement in a Naval hospital in Pearl Harbor. He testifies that his submarine was on a suicide mission. He tells some men what Johansen did to the sick sailors, sacrificing their lives. Now we get to see what happened on the side of the door Johansen wasn’t on – one of the sailors’ eyes turned black and he knocked out another man. That man’s eyes leaked oil on the floor and into a drain.

The sailor in the hospital calls the oil “the enemy” and says it’s what killed his fellow sailors and caused everyone’s burns. He thinks they were sent to guard it. After it burned everyone, it “slithered away” into the sea. He says it’s still down there. The Navy will deny it, but he wants to make sure the truth gets out. And he thinks he can trust the men he’s speaking with to make sure that happens. Since one of them is Bill Mulder and the other is smoking a cigarette, he probably can’t.

Now, 40+ years later, Scully goes Northeast Georgetown Medical Center to find out how Skinner is. She wants to start looking for the shooter, but the two agents she speaks with don’t seem to see that as a priority. Skinner wakes up from surgery long enough to tell Scully that the shooter was someone he’s seen before. Meanwhile, Mulder and Krycek land in D.C. and continue their road trip to Krycek’s digital tape. Krycek hands over a key labeled C.I. but won’t tell Mulder what that means.

Scully demands guards outside Skinner’s hospital room, knowing Skinner’s still in danger from the shooter. Also in danger: Mulder and Krycek, who are being followed. The car following them forces them off the highway, knocking out Mulder. Krycek is pulled from the car, but he can’t give the other men the tape they’re after. Mulder wakes up to see a flash of light and hear shouts from the men.

Pendrell summons Scully to an FBI lab to let her know he’s gotten some of the shooter’s hair fibers, so he can run his DNA against other criminals in D.C. Elsewhere, CSM meets with a doctor treating two men for massive radiation burns. The doctor’s never seen anything like this before, but CSM has. He tells the doctor to have the bodies destroyed even though the men are still alive.

Mulder wakes up in a hospital with Scully by his side, because they are married. He fills her in on the developments with Krycek and the flash of light he saw. She tells him about Skinner and shares her theory that his shooter was also Melissa’s killer. The hair fibers do seem to match up. Meanwhile, the Syndicate meets to discuss the possibility that they’ve had an information leak. Their “associate” in D.C. has been asked to join them and explain himself.

Scully visits Skinner and gives him the news that he was shot by the person who killed Melissa. Skinner tells her that he was urged to stop investigating Melissa’s murder, which makes Scully think that the government doesn’t want them to find the killer. Skinner knows where he saw the shooter before – he was in the stairwell with Krycek when Krycek attacked him and stole the digital tape. Skinner warns Scully not to let her anger get out of control. In fact, it might be better if she steps away. But she knows that’s what they want.

Scully tries to go through proper channels to request a search for Krycek. She thinks he’s key to both of the cases she’s dealing with. Mulder gets his hands on Gauthier’s diving suit and a sample of the oil found on it. It’s supposedly just diesel oil, but Mulder’s figured out that it’s what’s infecting people. Of course, he describes it as some sort of alien substance that turns people into killers, so Scully finds it a little unbelievable. Mulder thinks Krycek’s been infected, so they need to find out what the oil wants.

The Lone Gunmen are having a lovely afternoon ice skating…and also keeping an eye on some men in trenchcoats. Frohike retrieves an envelope from a storage locker, and the guys take it to Mulder. Unfortunately, the digital tape that should be in there is gone. That’s because Krycek has it, and he wants to trade it to CSM for something.

Sometime later, CSM goes to New York to meet with the Syndicate; they’re upset that he moved the salvaged UFO without their knowledge. He should have just taken it to Nevada, “like the others.” WMM wants to know why CSM went after Skinner, and why the shooting was so sloppy – there were witnesses, so the shooter’s face is out there. CSM takes no responsibility for the shooter’s screw-ups, but WMM orders him to take responsibility for getting rid of him.

Frohike is able to see indentations from writing on the envelope, and from there Mulder’s able to use a pencil to shade in a New York phone number. He calls it and reaches the Syndicate. Mulder tells WMM that he got the number from Krycek, so WMM asks to meet with him. The FBI finally IDs the shooter, Luis Cardinal, but since he entered the U.S. illegally, there’s no paper trail on him. He’s probably already left the country. The FBI thinks they’ve hit a dead end, but Scully won’t give up.

Mulder heads to Central Park – alone, at night – to meet with WMM, because he’s not as smart as he seems. WMM says he’ll consider handing Krycek over to Mulder if Mulder tells him what he knows. WMM confirms that the aircraft recovered from the ocean was a UFO (a Foo Fighter) shot down by American fighter planes during WWI. No one’s sure what happened to the sub that went down to recover it back in the ’50s. Mulder says he knows what killed the sailors, but he won’t share the info until he gets Krycek.

WMM wonders why Mulder didn’t kill Krycek before, when he had the chance. Mulder says he wants the tape, since Krycek has been selling its secrets. He realizes that WMM doesn’t really know where Krycek is, and was hoping Mulder could give him information. WMM replies that “anyone can be gotten to.” Mulder hurries off to call Scully (“Scully, it’s me”) and warn her that Skinner’s in danger. She heads to his hospital room and discovers that the guards she had posted there are gone – and so is Skinner.

The guards have Skinner in an ambulance, supposedly to transport him to another hospital. Scully hitches a ride with them, which allows her to notice something strange about Skinner’s IV bag. (I don’t think it’s hooked up properly.) She ambushes Cardinal, and a chase ensues through the streets of D.C. Scully finally corners Cardinal, who begs for his life, telling her she really wants Krycek. The police arrive and arrest Cardinal, so that was anticlimactic.

Scully calls Mulder (“Mulder, it’s me”) to let him know he was right to be worried about Skinner – Cardinal was going to kill him. She relays the message that Krycek is going to an abandoned missile site in North Dakota. Mulder asks her to meet him at the airport so they can go to North Dakota together and check out the salvaged UFO.

The two head to Black Crow, North Dakota, and start checking out silos. There are only 200, so I’m sure it won’t take long! They hear someone approaching in the first one they check out, and while they’re hiding, they come across bodies covered in burns. Men in military gear chase them through tunnels, eventually surrounding them just before they can access a door marked 1013 that has a warning about radioactive materials.

The agents are taken outside just as CSM arrives. Mulder demands answers, but CSM claims he doesn’t know what happened to Krycek after his disappearance months earlier. After the agents are gone, CSM and the military go back inside to remove the bodies. CSM smirks at the door to room 1013, behind which Krycek is leaking oil onto a spiral symbol. The symbol absorbs the oil completely.

Back in D.C., Skinner’s out of the hospital and back to work. Mulder thanks him for keeping up the investigation into Melissa’s murder, but Skinner says he was mistaken about it. Mulder finds Scully at Melissa’s grave, and she repeats what Johansen said about the dead speaking to us from beyond the grave. Maybe that’s what our consciences are.

Scully thought she would feel closure once Cardinal was brought to justice, but now she knows that “no punishment is ever enough.” Mulder tells her that they might have found a different kind of justice – Cardinal is dead. The two discuss Krycek, and whether the Syndicate got to him. Scully wonders if we bury the dead alive, like Johansen said. Well, in Krycek’s case, it sure seems that way, since he’s stuck in a silo, trapped eight stories underground, behind door 1013. See you later, buddy!

Thoughts: The Syndicate’s phone number ends in 1012, not 1013. I feel cheated.

Oh, show. No one in D.C. would say “the D.C. airport.”

I’ve been watching Game of Thrones, so a town called Black Crow makes me giggle. Does Jon Snow live there?

August 13, 2016

The X-Files 3.15, Piper Maru: Drop Dead Red

Posted in TV tagged , , at 1:19 pm by Jenn

Did you miss me?

Did you miss me?

Summary: The crew on a salvage ship on the Pacific Ocean is preparing to send a diver underwater. They’ve been searching for something for three months, and the diver, Gauthier, confirms that they’ve found the aircraft they’ve been looking for. But moments later, the crew loses contact, so Gauthier can’t let anyone know when he sees a man trapped inside the aircraft, calling for help. The man’s eyes suddenly turn black. When Gauthier is pulled out of the water, his diving suit is covered in something oily. He tells the crew he doesn’t know what happened; he was disoriented. They don’t see his eyes turning black.

At FBI headquarters, Skinner tells Scully that he’s gotten a memo related to Melissa’s murder. Because no progress has been made in five months, the case is being closed. He thinks it’s just because of a lack of investigators, not because of any kind of cover-up. Scully notes that the FBI can piece together crimes when they only have tiny details, but no one can find Melissa’s killer even when they have the murder weapon. She thinks it’s just that no one’s interested in finding the murderer.

Scully keeps the news from Mulder, who wants to discuss the salvage ship, the Piper Maru. He tracked their course to the spot where the Talapus found the sub/UFO and wonders why the crew was there. He can’t ask them, since they’re all being treated for radiation exposure, and the French government is keeping them quiet. Scully laughs a little because Mulder’s so determined to continue working on cases that any other agent would find pointless. If he were dropped in the desert and told the truth was out there, he’d ask for a shovel, or maybe a backhoe.

Since the crew is now in San Diego, that’s where Mulder and Scully go next. They meet Dr. Seizer, who tells them the source of the crew’s exposure hasn’t been determined, and the government won’t release enough information for him to really treat everyone. Scully determines that the exposure was huge enough that the men are suffering close to what people in Hiroshima experienced after we dropped the atomic bomb. Seizer adds that the exposure came from a manmade source – it couldn’t exist anywhere in nature. “Not on this planet,” Mulder mumbles.

Everyone’s semi-comatose except for one who was completely asymptomatic. He left the hospital that morning, but he lives in San Francisco. It’s Gauthier, and he certainly looks completely healthy, if a bit confused by the things in his house. Back in San Diego, Scully tries to get Gauthier’s address while she and Mulder arrive at the Naval yard where the Piper Maru has been docked. They learn that the ship has been tested for radiation but none has been detected.

The agents board the ship and Mulder checks out Gauthier’s diving suit, which is still covered in oil. Mulder touches it with his bare hands, always a great move. Scully studies a dive map, on which is written “Zeus Faber.” Mulder looks for a VCR, since the dive suit has a video camera containing footage of Gauthier’s dive. Scully immediately recognizes the aircraft on the video as a P-51 Mustang. Mulder’s turned on by her knowledge of World War II planes. (Scully got her knowledge from watching her father and brothers put together model planes.) A Mustang is a fighter, so it wouldn’t have been carrying anything, but Scully knows where she can go for more info.

Gauthier searches his house for a letter, finding it just before his wife, Joan, arrives. She’s happy to see him, but he just stares at her. When she realizes he’s trashed the house looking for something, she starts to get concerned. She tries to run, but he grabs her, his eyes turning black. When Joan leaves the house again, her eyes turn black as well. Back in San Diego, Scully visits her father’s old friend, Commander Johansen, at Miramar Naval Air Station. She knows her way around the base, having lived there as a kid. She remembers playing hopscotch there with Melissa.

Meanwhile, Mulder goes to Gauthier’s house and finds the letter crumpled up. On it are the call numbers for the Mustang the crew found. Mulder finds the envelope the letter came in and sees the return address is for J. Kallenchuk Salvage Brokers. He hears someone in the house and finds an oily, barely conscious Gauthier. He doesn’t remember anything that happened after going on the dive. Gauthier’s concerned about Joan, but Mulder wants answers about J. Kallenchuk. Gauthier claims not to recognize the name. Mulder presses the issue, so Gauthier asks to speak to the French consulate.

Commander Johansen doesn’t remember Scully, but he’s happy to talk to her about the Mustang. He quickly determines that the call numbers aren’t accurate for a Mustang. Scully tells him she saw an illustration on the fuselage with the caption “Drop Dead Red.” That doesn’t ring a bell for Johansen, who blames his advanced age and flimsy memory. “Zeus Faber” doesn’t mean anything to him either. Since he’s no help, Scully decides to leave. She reminisces about living on the base and playing a game with the other kids called beckons wanted. As she leaves, she asks Johansen to say hello to his son for her, since they grew up together.

Mulder tracks down J. Kallenchuk’s office, which is being overseen by a woman who definitely has some secrets. First there’s the briefcase she closes before letting Mulder in. Then there’s the gun taped to the bottom of her desk, which she’s more than willing to use on Mulder. The woman, Geraldine, tells Mulder she has no way of contacting Mr. Kallenchuk while he’s out of the country. He leaves, but he’s not naïve enough to believe her. He stakes out the office, sees a bunch of French government officials arrive, and watches Geraldine head out the back door.

On her way off the base, Scully is detained – Johansen wants to talk to her again. He tells her his son died during the Gulf War, but “we bury our dead alive,” so they talk to us every day, begging for meaning. “It’s just the voices of the dead, trying to save us from our own damnation.” He knows all about the Mustang because he was sent to find it when he was an officer on a sub called the Zeus Faber.

Mulder follows Geraldine to the airport and keeps an eye on her while chatting with Scully on the phone (“Mulder, it’s me”). She tells him the Mustang was part of an escort for a plane carrying an atomic bomb. It appears the French military wanted to salvage the bomb, even though it’s been 50 years since it was built. Mulder doesn’t get why Gauthier shows no signs of radiation exposure despite being the one who got close to the plane. The conversation ends when Mulder heads off to get a ticket on a flight to Hong Kong. He doesn’t notice Joan Gauthier watching him.

In D.C., Skinner has a cup of coffee by himself at a restaurant. Some official-looking men enter together but sit at separate tables. One chats with Skinner, who’s justifiably suspicious even before they use his name. The men tell him to follow his orders and leave closed cases alone. After all, the people above him who made the decision to close it must have their reasons. If Skinner doesn’t listen, his career and future could be affected.

Johansen shows Scully a picture of his crew, who all died within months of their mission to find the Mustang and its squadron. They all died of radiation from the same bomb the military wanted to drop on Japan. The captain made them run silent instead of surfacing so the men could get medical treatment. Johansen tried to override the captain’s orders, even more forcefully after a sailor started waving a gun around. Johansen locked all the sick men in together, knowing he was dooming them. By the time they got to Pearl Harbor, all but seven of the 144 men were dead or dying. He never learned what happened.

Mulder corners Geraldine in Hong Kong, revealing that he knows her last name is Kallenchuk. And in fact, her first name isn’t Geraldine, it’s Jeraldine. So I guess there’s no Mr. Kallenchuk after all! Mulder knows she sold the Mustang to the French government, and that someone sold her secrets. Jeraldine won’t give up her sources, calling herself a middle man (or woman). Mulder informs her that her business transactions are killing people, so he’s going to arrest her. She knows he had to give up his gun at the airport, but she doesn’t know that he still has his handcuffs.

Mulder cuffs himself to Jeraldine and drags her to her Hong Kong office. There, he reunites with his old buddy Krycek. (Whichever airport he came through didn’t confiscate his gun.) Krycek pushes Jeraldine out of the room and closes the door on the handcuffs, trapping Jeraldine and Mulder on opposite sides of the door. Just as Mulder determines that Krycek must have sold Jeraldine information, shots ring out and Jeraldine goes down. Krycek goes out the window, leaving Mulder alone in the office to figure out how to free himself from the woman on the other side of the door.

French officials sneak down the hallway as Mulder manages to get himself out of his cuffs an escape. Before the officials can run after him, Joan appears. She starts glowing and temporarily blinds all the men. In D.C., Skinner goes back to the restaurant he was in before. A man complains to a waitress about the payphone being out of order; he’s going to miss a call, which will cost him time and money. Skinner steps in to defuse the situation, and the man shoots him. Poor Skinner.

Scully comes home to a phone call about Skinner’s shooting and quickly heads to the hospital to see him. Back in Hong Kong, Krycek (looking hotter than usual in a black jacket) is about to get a ticket to Washington when Mulder attacks him. He wants to shoot Krycek for killing Bill, but Krycek says it wasn’t him. Mulder demands the tape Krycek supposedly stole, and which Krycek claims is in a locker in D.C. If Mulder wants it, he’ll have to go with Krycek to get it. Yay, road trip! Mulder allows Krycek to get cleaned up in the restroom, which is where Joan finds him. When Krycek emerges, his eyes turn black. To be continued!

Thoughts: Piper Maru is the name of Gillian Anderson’s daughter. If you’d like to feel old, she was about one at the time of this episode and is now in her 20s.

One of the sailors in Johansen’s flashback is played by Michael Bublé.

I would watch a spin-off of Jeraldine being an awesome businesswoman.

This episode teaches us the Portuguese for “suck it,” which Skinner’s shooter says after the shooting: “chupa dura.” Who says TV isn’t educational?

June 28, 2016

SVT #56, The Wakefields Strike It Rich: Why Don’t My Relatives Ever Want to Give Me Money for No Reason?

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

This is so dorky, it almost comes all the way back around to cool

This is so dorky, it almost comes all the way back around to cool

Summary: The twins and Steven are hanging out with their friends after school, not wanting to go home because they know their parents will ask them to clean the house again. Jessica only has 50 cents on her and has to ask to borrow $2 from Lila to cover her sundae at Casey’s. Only $2.50 for a sundae? I miss the ’90s. Lila gives her a hard time because Jess never has any money and always asks her rich BFF for a loan. Well, Lila, you can stop giving her money any time. Let her learn to make sure she has enough before she tries to buy something.

Aunt Helen is in Sweet Valley for a visit, and she’s brought a big surprise: She wants to give each of the Wakefield kids $100. The kids are amazed, having never had that much money before. Jessica immediately boasts about her new riches to her friends, then buys them all ice cream at Casey’s. The girls next go to a Claire’s-type store, and Jess treats them to bracelets, posters, shirts, and other things preteen girls spend their babysitting money on. After just a couple days, she’s down to just $15. That’s pretty impressive. When her friends want to go back to the mall, Jess comes up with excuses not to go, which makes Lila realize she’s out of money.

The next time Jess goes shopping with her friends, she keeps her money to herself. Her friends are a little miffed, but really, if you can’t afford a $4 necklace, KIMBERLY, that’s your own problem. Jessica pretends that she enjoyed being so generous with her money, since Lila never is. What’s nice is that the Unicorns get her some earrings to thank her for spending her money on them, so they’re not completely selfish. Then they all go to Casey’s again, and Jessica’s back to having no money, so she has to borrow another $2 from Lila. Heh.

Elizabeth, our more responsible twin, first decides to put at least some of Aunt Helen’s money toward a new camera. Then she does exactly what I would do with $100 – she goes to the bookstore. She gets the new Amanda Howard and learns that Ms. Howard herself will be at the store the next day and can sign it.

But reading a mystery puts Elizabeth in investigator mode, and she starts to think there’s something fishy about the circumstances of Aunt Helen’s presents and the fact that she has a broken arm but won’t tell anyone what happened. Liz overhears Helen talking to Ned about a court case and possibly being sued. She gets a super-special delivery but won’t open the envelope in front of anyone. Chatting with Amanda Howard makes Liz think there’s a mystery to be solved, since there are mysteries all around us.

Liz gets more suspicious when she catches Aunt Helen crying. Helen says she’s just upset about the death of her favorite soap character. She was present when another character was killed for witnessing a crime, and the gangsters killed her to keep her quiet. What’s funny is that Elizabeth says the character might not really be dead, since presumed-dead soap characters often come back, but Aunt Helen – who’s watched the show for 20 years – says the character must be dead because they just had her funeral. Helen. Sweetie. No.

Anyway, Liz consults with Amy, who thinks Helen is a spy. Okay, Amy. Liz gets Amy to snoop through Helen’s things, but she doesn’t find any clues. The girls find a picture of a man in Helen’s purse and wonder if he’s threatening her. After watching a movie about a mob hit, Liz and Amy think Helen is being targeted by gangsters. Freaking A, girls. They rush home to protect Helen, because if mobsters are afraid of anyone, it’s 12-year-old girls. (Not that the mob exists. It doesn’t. Tony Soprano was in waste management and had no other sources of income.)

Now that Elizabeth is flinging around wild accusations, Helen decides to just explain what really happened. She broke her arm in a car accident and has been having trouble getting her insurance company to pay up. They claim that she hasn’t paid them, and she’s worried about having to go to court to prove that she did. The man in the picture is her boyfriend. There’s no real explanation of why Helen suddenly handed out $300, though. Liz is like, “Whatever, I’m still going to say I solved a mystery.”

Steven has a big crush on a new girl, Jill Hale. Jill clearly doesn’t like him like that, and seems to prefer Steven’s best friend, Joe Howell (Janet’s older brother). Awww, Joe and Jill even have the same initials. It’s like they’re meant to be. Steven’s annoyed that Jill pays more attention to Joe when they’re all together, so he decides to ask Jill out on a date for some one-on-one time. He really wants to wow her, so he buys her gold earrings (which, by the way, can’t be returned).

Jessica takes an interest in her brother’s love life, giving him advice and a magazine article with ideas on what to do on his date with Jill. Steven finally calls Jill to actually ask her on the date. Her response: “[long pause] I guess that would be okay.” Awww, true love. Steven treats the whole thing like they’re going to prom – he gets Jill a corsage, finds a fancy French restaurant for them to go to, and even puts on a tie. If he had enough money, he’d probably rent a limo, but he goes with a cab instead.

The date is…not great. Jill puts forth a good effort, acting really nice even though she clearly doesn’t want to be more than friends with Steven, but he has a miserable time. First, she makes him dance. Then he worries about money. Then he discovers that Jill has the same earrings he bought her, and is even wearing them on the date.

Is if that weren’t bad enough, the bill is $50 (which is pretty low for what’s supposed to be such an elegant place), and Steven only has $45 with him. He would have had $10 more but Jessica asked for a fee for helping him get ready for the date. Steven has to ask Jill for some money, which is pretty embarrassing, and has to get a ride home from her father, since he doesn’t have cab fare anymore, which is even more embarrassing. I don’t think Jill will be going out with him again.

Thoughts: “If the girl who had written this article had liked it enough to call it a ‘dream date,’ wouldn’t Jill?” Yes, Steven. All girls like all the same exact things.

Aunt Helen: (visits family, keeps secrets, gives the kids money). Amy: “She’s a spy!” Try again, Ames.

Elizabeth is okay with searching Helen’s room and suitcase, but not her purse. Why draw the line there?

Jill: “I love dancing. Of course, my favorite kind is square dancing.” Yes, of course. That’s a really sophisticated girl you like there, Steven.

January 12, 2016

SVT #45, Lucy Takes the Reins: Horses and Seals and Skunks, Oh, My!

Posted in books tagged , , , at 5:22 pm by Jenn

Lucy's cute. So is the horse. Heck, so is Liz

Lucy’s cute. So is the horse. Heck, so is Liz

Summary: In case you’ve forgotten that Elizabeth likes horses, this book serves as your reminder. Elizabeth’s hanging out at Carson Stables again, where Ted is struggling to keep up with payments for Thunder, the horse he bought from Lila. He manages to get an extension until after an upcoming championship competition, where he hopes to win the thousand-dollar prize. Ellen is also entering the competition.

Elizabeth and Ted meet Lucy Benson, a seventh-grader new to Sweet Valley. She loves horses, too, and has been hanging around the stables. She used to have her own horse and participated in competitions. But when Ted offers to let her ride his horse, she makes up an excuse. Later, Ellen challenges Lucy’s supposed riding expertise, but Lucy still won’t get on a horse, even after she tells Elizabeth she wants to.

Eventually, Lucy decides she’s had enough of Ellen’s taunting that she’s not actually good at riding. She takes Thunder for a spin, but when she’s done, she’s shaking. When Elizabeth calls Lucy at home, Mr. Benson thinks Liz is a friend from glee club. Sounds like he has no idea where his daughter has been spending her afternoons.

While practicing for the competition, Ted falls off of Thunder and breaks his leg. There goes his chance to win the $1,000 he needs to keep his horse. Elizabeth and Lucy go to the hospital with him, and a nurse chats with Lucy, making her uneasy. Elizabeth wonders why Lucy’s so uncomfortable with someone being friendly to her.

But there’s no time for that – Ted needs money! Elizabeth thinks Lucy’s good enough to take his place in the competition. Lucy disagrees, and Ellen taunts that she can’t handle the pressure. So Lucy decides she won’t back down after all. Ellen talks to Jessica about Lucy, so when Lucy comes over for dinner, Jess tries to dig up dirt on her. All Jessica learns is that Lucy carries something with her that she claims is aspirin.

In the nurse’s office sometime later, Jessica hears Lucy talking about forgetting her medication. She mentions having had an accident, and her parents subsequently forbidding her from riding her horse. Elizabeth then comes across a story about Lucy falling during a competition. When she asks Lucy about it, Lucy comes clean: She has epilepsy. Her parents panicked over her having a seizure while riding and decided it would be safer for her to quit. Lucy, however, wants to prove that she can still ride (and also that she can beat some girl named Alison, but that’s a much smaller motive).

Ellen wants Lucy out of the way so she can win the competition, so she tries to call the Bensons to tell them how Lucy has been riding again without their permission. They don’t get her call until the competition has already started, so Lucy is able to enter. Her parents arrive while she’s competing and are understandably furious with her. Lucy tells them that she needed to prove that she could do the things she wants despite her epilepsy. After all, her doctor said she could keep riding as long as she takes her medication.

The Bensons calm down, and Lucy’s able to finish the competition. Of course, she wins, and she gives Ted the prize money. Her parents are even willing to consider buying her old horse back. So they all live happily ever after, except Ellen, who falls off her horse when the Boosters arrive to cheer for her during the competition. And I assume Ted never has money problems again.

In the B-plot, Jessica has some close encounters with animals. First, while she’s on a picnic with her family, a skunk gets into the cooler and eats the piece of chocolate cake Jessica wanted. Then, while she’s at the beach with Lila, she finds a baby seal covered in oil from a nearby oil spill. Jessica saves him, sacrificing her outfit, and is rewarded with the attention of a cute guy named Adam.

Jessica starts hanging out with Adam and the environmentalist group he’s part of. Unfortunately, this book does not lead to Jessica joining Greenpeace or leading protests about pollution. She just helps clean up the oil spill and worries a lot about the seal, Whiskers. She does bug her family a little about being a little more ecological, but they don’t really listen. Also, Steven knows her sudden interest in saving the planet mostly stems from a new crush. Anyway, Whiskers winds up okay, and Jessica helps release him back into the wild.

Thoughts: I guess the moral of this book is that it’s okay to disobey your parents if you have a really good reason.

The image of a skunk eating cake has always stuck with me. It sounds adorable.

After Jessica hears Lucy talking to the nurse, she’s all, “I’m a detective.” I love that Jessica considers eavesdropping “detective work.”

Apparently you can enter a riding competition without your parents’ permission. Keep that in mind, kids!

December 29, 2015

SVT #44, Amy Moves In: Things We Lost in the Fire

Posted in books tagged , , , at 3:24 pm by Jenn

Jessica's not wearing purple! SHUN HER!

Jessica’s not wearing purple! SHUN HER!

Summary: Elizabeth and Amy are working on a school project about endangered species. Amy invites Liz to spend the night, but Alice wants the family to go out to dinner, so Liz has to turn down the invitation. Jessica’s happy about this, since she feels like she and her twin haven’t spent much time together recently. I’m surprised Jess wants to spend time with Elizabeth instead of her own, super-cool, classy, non-boring friends.

The next day, Amy isn’t in school. Caroline Pearce fulfills her only role in this series by telling Liz that Amy’s house burned down, and when Amy jumped out a window to escape, she broke her leg. Elizabeth soon learns that there are numerous rumors going around about exactly how badly Amy was injured; they range from a broken ankle to multiple broken limbs that will require weeks of hospitalization. Elizabeth realizes that if she’d spent the night, she would have had to escape the fire, too. That would definitely freak me out.

Elizabeth walks home with Sophia, and they see that Amy’s house is pretty much just a pile of bricks now. That would freak me out, too. Liz is terrified that something horrible happened to Amy. But when she gets home, Amy’s there, with a broken arm (just one). She clarifies that the fire wasn’t too horrible yet while she and her parents were still in the house, so she wasn’t in that much danger. Her parents are staying with a family member while they look for a new house, but the Wakefields agreed to let Amy stay with them so she can be with a friend. P.S. Amy broke her arm when she tripped over an untied shoelace coming down the stairs. Not funny, but also funny.

The Unicorns are supposedly worried about Amy, but really just want to hear the real dirt on what happened. Jessica’s honored to be the first to find out what really happened. But she doesn’t, really, because Amy adds a few artistic flourishes to her story. Then some Unicorns come over, and the story begins to take on a life of its own. The smoke in the house was so thick that Amy could barely breathe! She was taken to the hospital in an ambulance with a police escort! She has the worst broken arm the ER doctor has ever seen! The Unicorns all buy it and pour on the sympathy.

Amy hangs out with the twins for the rest of the night, and then Elizabeth hears Amy crying herself to sleep. Aww, Amy. It’s hard not to feel sorry for her in this book. Jessica, however, is annoyed that Elizabeth and Amy are so tight, which leaves her on the outside. So Jess starts getting more involved in tending to Amy, doing her hair and arranging for her to ride to school in Lila’s dad’s new car. Elizabeth is suddenly the odd girl out.

At school, Amy’s fake fire story spreads, and Liz starts to catch on. Amy would rather have attention than be honest, so she doesn’t care about facts. In addition, she feels guilty – she thinks the fire is her fault. She scooped some ashes out of the fireplace to start a new fire, and she’s afraid that there was a live ember in the old ashes.

Back at home, Elizabeth tells Alice that Amy’s acting a little weird. Alice is like, “Well, her house just burned down and she lost all her stuff. Do you think that might have something to do with it?” She thinks Liz should just be a good friend, and things will work themselves out. Instead, Elizabeth tells Amy that they should get started on redoing their science project, since they lost it in the fire. With Jessica’s urging, Amy keeps putting off the project. I would think she could get an extension due to psychological trauma, but whatever. Amy’s much more interested in letting Jessica give her a makeover.

Elizabeth becomes more and more of a fifth wheel while Jessica and Amy bond. She’s so distraught that she sleeps with an old stuffed koala for comfort. With her new look, Amy is suddenly acceptable to the Unicorns, so she starts hanging out with them. Sophia and Julie make some snarky comments about the new friendship arrangements, guessing that the Unicorns will drop Amy as soon as they lose interest in her trauma.

For now, though, Liz isn’t very happy with the way things are. Amy’s now actively a jerk to her. They get into a fight about how Elizabeth only hopes Amy’s parents find a new hours because it means she’ll move out. Well, can you blame her, Amy? To win some points with the Unicorns, Amy tells them that Liz sleeps with her stuffed koala. The Unicorns spread the news, and suddenly everyone in school is calling Elizabeth “Baby Bear.” Um, okay. I bet half of them still sleep with stuffed animals, too.

Liz easily figures out that Amy spilled her secret, and the two start screaming at each other in Mr. Bowman’s classroom. After Amy leaves, Elizabeth sees the story she wrote for the Sixers about the fire. Only it’s the fake story she’s been telling everyone, not what really happened. Liz isn’t sure what to do about it. At home, she tries to make up with Amy, but Amy’s done with her and has decided to sleep in Jessica’s room from now on. Liz should be happy about that. By the way, Jess is upset about the “Baby Bear” thing because it makes her look bad. Shut up, Jess.

Elizabeth talks to Alice about what’s been going on. Alice doesn’t really know how to help, but she at least feels bad and tries to cheer her up. Alice gets a B- in parenting in this book. Elizabeth tries to be nicer to Amy, but she still can’t get Amy to work on their science project, so she decides to do her own. I can’t blame her for that. Amy hangs out with the Unicorns, who have all sorts of opinions about the new clothes she should buy. Amy stands up to them, which kind of surprises me, and it’s clear that her new friendships aren’t very steady.

Liz turns in her science project, telling the teacher that she and Amy decided to work separately. The teacher thinks Amy’s will be ready by the deadline, the next day. Amy’s too upset to ask for an extension. Then her mother tells her that they’re awaiting a report from the insurance company, and will soon know what caused the fire. Amy’s terrified that she’ll be blamed, and the family won’t get the insurance money. Amy doesn’t seem to understand what an accident is.

Amy goes to Elizabeth to let out all of her problems. Elizabeth tells her she still has time to rewrite her article, telling the truth about the fire. Liz will also help her with her science project. Liz is the best friend Amy will ever have, and she kind of doesn’t deserve her, but considering what Amy’s been through, we’ll let it slide. Amy also confesses that she thinks she might have started the fire.

Since this is Sweet Valley, everything works out. Amy finishes her science project and gets an A on an oral quiz. Mr. Bowman likes Amy’s new Sixers story. And the fire was caused by faulty wiring, so Amy’s off the hook. Also, the Suttons find a new house just a block from the Wakefields. And presumably the Unicorns go back to barely giving Amy the time of day, but you can’t have everything.

Thoughts: Mary loans Amy her favorite teddy bear because she’s the best person in any Sweet Valley series.

Elizabeth tells Alice that kids are calling her “Baby Bear,” and Alice basically says, “There are worse things they could call you.” Not the point, but thanks.

Julie and Sophia have kind of turned into a fun Greek chorus. Too bad Julie’s always so boring.

“I figure I don’t have to apologize to the Unicorns for lying because I told them what they wanted to hear.” That may be the most High School Amy thing that Middle School Amy has ever said.

December 26, 2015

BH90210 10.19, I Will Be Your Father Figure: Rumors of Jack’s Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , at 1:22 pm by Jenn

These two should probably have a chaperone at all times

These two should probably have a chaperone at all times

Summary: Donna has taken Noah to the hospital, where she calls David to tell him that Noah was injured. David doesn’t think she should take him back to the beach apartment after he broke in to bug her. Donna ignores him, telling Kelly that she’s volunteering them to take care of Noah for the next few days. Kelly wonders how Donna and Noah are supposed to move on from their breakup if he’s staying with them. Donna promises that nothing’s going to happen.

Later, Kelly goes to the Beverly Royale, where Dylan tells her that he’s been calling people from the passenger manifest to see if anyone remembers “Eddie Waitkus.” He’s starting to think that someone wants to keep them apart. Kelly suggests going back to Christine, but Dylan doesn’t think they’ll be helpful. Her next suggestion is that Dylan call the airline and talk to some of the flight crew.

Donna plays nurse for Noah, telling him that Matt feels bad for giving him a concussion. Noah apologizes for breaking in, admitting that he doesn’t even remember why he came over. Donna tells him he needs to go back to AA. This is his last chance with her – if he screws up again, he’s on his own. Over at the Walsh house, Ryan comes home from college for a visit, meeting Janet and Maddy for the first time. Steve’s maturity level immediately drops ten years, and the brothers make plans to party.

With no job, Kelly can’t figure out what to do with herself. Matt suggests that she think about opening up her own firm, but why would anyone hire a firm run by someone with no experience? They discuss Dylan and the possible return of Jack, and Matt offers to help them investigate. Camille complains about David’s table-clearing methods, then notes that David and Donna (who keeps calling to tell David about horror movies on TV) are kind of like an old married couple. (Seriously, Camille.)

Kelly, Matt, and Dylan ask around at the airport, using various cover stories for why they need to contact “Eddie Waitkus.” A flight attendant takes pity on Dylan when he says he’ll lose his job if he can’t follow up on a business deal with “Eddie.” She tells him that she heard “Eddie” say he lives right outside Phoenix. Time for a road trip!

At the Walsh house, Steve and Ryan are sacked out after a night of partying. Janet wakes Steve up for a meeting with the Sasquatch Watch Group (say that five times past). She’s unhappy to see that Ryan accidentally broke off the tail of the carousel horse. She tells Steve to stop showing off for his brother, since he’s probably egging Ryan on to be a troublemaker. Steve has always had someone to reel him back in – first Brandon, now Janet – and Steve needs to be that person for Ryan.

Noah cleaned the beach apartment, which is nice of him. He tells Donna that when he was kidnapped and thought he might die, he thought about her. He wishes he could do a lot of things differently, especially when it comes to the end of their relationship. He kisses her, but Donna knows getting back together is a bad move. She’s spent the past few weeks getting over their breakup while Noah partied. Now that he’s sobered up, he’s just starting to feel the grief. He agrees and decides to leave.

In Tolleson, Arizona, Kelly goes to a cable company and pretends to be related to Jack to get his address. Dylan complains to Matt about Jack never turning to him for help. After all, Dylan had all of Jack’s money. Kelly’s successful in getting the address, so keep in mind if you’re ever in Tolleson that privacy may be an issue.

David and Camille go out to dinner, and she admits that she realized today that she’s stolen everything Donna had. Well, okay, just her store (which she’s temporarily running) and her ex (not that she stole David). Camille’s having trouble accepting that Donna is so much a part of David’s life. She finds it a little strange to be dating a guy whose best friend is a woman, as well as his ex. David tries to make things up to her by ignoring a call from Donna.

Back in Tolleson, Dylan and Kelly sit outside Jack’s house while Matt hangs out at their hotel by himself. Jack arrives home, and Kelly urges Dylan to go to him. While Dylan’s hesitating, a woman and a young boy come out of the house to greet their husband/father. “There’s no place for me here,” Dylan tells Kelly.

The next day, David goes to see Donna at the store, apologizing for making Camille late for work, but not for ignoring her call. Donna wants to talk about what happened with Noah, which just makes David want to say he told her so. Donna would like to learn how to set boundaries. (Why start now?) David tells her that they need to ease off on their constant phone calls now that he has a girlfriend. Donna realizes he’s right.

Matt heads back to Beverly Hills on his own, warning Dylan that Jack might get spooked and run if he finds out they’ve been in town, asking questions. Kelly still wants Dylan to see his father, but Dylan thinks Jack’s life is better now than it used to be. He urges Kelly to go back to California with Matt.

At the After Dark, Janet accompanies Steve and Ryan on a night out, though Ryan isn’t thrilled to hang out with settled-down parents. He mentions a class he took, and Janet encourages him to talk more about college. Ryan begs off, preferring to hit on someone at the club. Dylan goes back to Jack’s house and watches him through the window for, like, ten minutes.

Donna shows up at the After Dark, inspiring David to declare that the theme of the next night’s broadcast will be relationships, limits, and friendships with people you used to date, or something like that. Noah’s working at the bar, and he admits to Donna that he wants to drink but isn’t going to. Well, he’s certainly working in the right place for avoiding alcohol!

David interrupts the conversation to make sure no one’s going back to anyone’s old ways. He asks Donna if she wants to get something to eat at the Peach Pit, and she teases that she can’t because she’s supposed to be working on her boundaries. David calls Camille to tell her his plans, saying he’s just trying to keep Donna and Noah apart. Camille tells him to do whatever and she’ll see him later.

Kelly and Matt return to Beverly Hills, and she shares that she’s going to start her own PR firm after all. Dylan arrives shortly after, having finally stopped staring at Jack through the window. Kelly tells him that it’s Jack’s loss if he doesn’t want Dylan in his life. Dylan admits that he never approached his father. He knows talking to Jack won’t change anything. All of his problems stem from his father’s death; he doesn’t know who he is without that fact. Kelly points out that Jack’s not dead. Dylan replies that, as far as he’s concerned, that’s not true.

Noah’s back at David’s house, which is super-awkward. David advises him to give Donna some space so she can keep moving forward from their breakup. Noah points out that Donna came to the After Dark to see him, but she spent the evening with David. He’s the one who can’t get over Donna. At the boutique, Donna apologizes to Camille for monopolizing David’s time. She likes Camille and David together, which Camille appreciates. She wants Donna to approve of them before they continue with their relationship.

Ryan spent the night out, and Steve’s worried, since Ryan doesn’t have a history of making great decisions. Ryan finally makes it home, unhappy that Steve and Janet are acting like his parents. He points out that Steve acted out all the time and was always bailed out by Rush. Steve says Ryan doesn’t need help like he did, since he’s smart.

Ryan admits that he hated being smart in high school, so when he got to college, he acted like Steve. Now he’s on academic probation and won’t be able to get into med school. He’s dropped out of college. Steve tells Janet that they’re not having any more kids. Dylan mopes in his hotel room with a drink, trying to ignore whoever’s knocking on his door. He finally opens it to find Jack on the other side.

Thoughts: Tori Spelling directed this episode. So has every cast member directed one now?

One of the flight attendants Dylan questions is played by Eva Longoria in her first TV appearance. Fun fact #1: Vanessa Marcil was once engaged to Eva’s ex-husband. Fun fact #2: Eva’s second TV appearance was as a Vanessa lookalike on General Hospital, where she met said ex-husband.

How has Ryan never met Janet or Maddy? Also, how in the world did he get into Amherst? Since when is he smart??

Yeah, I’m sure a flight attendant would remember details about a random guy on a flight a week earlier, let alone his full name, especially without seeing a picture to jog her memory.

You’d think a guy hiding from the mob would be more wary of random cars parked outside his house. Of course, Jack also didn’t bother to keep his face off of TV, so I don’t know what I expected.

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