6X05 – DREAMLAND II
Episode 6×05 – Dreamland II
Written by Vince Gilligan, John Shiban, Frank Spotnitz
Recapped by Adrienne (aka Starbucket)
We don’t get a “previously, on The X-Files” because this is a DVD, but you can gladly read my recap of the first episode to catch up. For now, we fade in on…
Oh, God. It’s a monologue. But luckily, it’s Michael McKean, so hopefully it won’t be too wordy. Damn Scully and her enormous, 1500 SAT word vocabulary! Just kidding. I’d never damn her. Okay, so we start of with this voice over about Mulder. We look at his file (which includes a really HOT picture of him that I just bet isn’t standard FBI issue), peek at his old home movies (he’s a Spock fan? I pegged him more as a Kirk kinda guy.), talk about how normal he is – other than his name, and then we get serious. Samantha disappears; this guy buckles down, gets a good education, top of his class at the Academy, and then goes nuts. “Fox Mulder pissed away a brilliant career…and now lives his life shaking his fist at the sky and muttering about conspiracies to anyone who will listen. If you ask me, he’s one step away from pushing a baby carriage filled with tin cans down the street. But now, all that’s going to change.” Dun, dun, DUN!
Credits. I love how the show is six years in and still uses images from Squeeze. Yes, I love that, Chris Carter. Don’t change them, like ever. I don’t need no fetuses and falling Mulders in my credits. No, thank you.
And, we’re back. Mulder’s being dragged out of the gas station by men in fatigues, screaming about how he’d never do this, as Morris – in his “Mulder” suit – watches unsympathetically. Scully, I do believe, finally gets that maybe her “Mulder” isn’t really Mulder at all. Ladies and gentlemen, I believe she is now a believer. For this episode, anyway. Or at least until everything slingshots back. Okay, so, “Mulder” apologizes for “narcing” her out, but she tells him, in that “I’m so onto you but I’m not going to say anything even though I’m a terrible liar and you could probably figure it out anyway if you paid attention, which you’re not” voice, that she knows he didn’t mean it. He’s surprised, exclaiming, “It’s the new me!” Yea, entirely new.
Back at the ol’ top secret military base, Mulder’s being dragged into yet another Plexiglas prison, right next to the Hopi lady with the bad attitude. She lights up a cigarette, swathed in darkness, and tells Mulder that they’ve “had [their] asses officially disappeared.” She gets up and Mulder’s all, “who’s this crazy grandma using network-television-approved bad language all up in my griz-ille?” She tells him that she’s, “not gonna be hot-stickin’ it any time soon,” and then calls him a desk monkey. Hey, he’s a field agent! Okay, pick your battles. I know.
FBI Headquarters, Washington, D.C. Hey, I think Agent Booth works there now! Morris is playing Tiger Woods again as Scully enters the bullpen with a cardboard box. Kersh said she was, “willful, insubordinate, and not a team player. And the FBI [doesn’t] need agents who aren’t team players.” And that she’s suspended for two weeks. Morris tries to “ease the pain” by offering her her own first name and a home cooked meal at “his” place. She smiles knowingly and nods, heading out. If I didn’t know any better, I might think that she really does think he’s Mulder and that he’s just offered her a lovely roll in the hay. But, sadly, she doesn’t and he… still isn’t. But she’s not going to be Van Blundht’d again. Oh, no. She’s way smarter than Lois Lane.
Plexiglas Prison That in No Way Resembles Hannibal Lecter’s Holding Cell. Mulder’s lying on the cold metal slab that is his bed, listening to the Hopi woman/fighter pilot blabitty blab on about how when “Buzzsaw” gets on your “zero”, “he’s like a damn dog tick”. Mulder’s having none of this, finally yelling at her, “Hey, Grandma Top Gun, will you shut the hell up?” I wonder if she looks suggestively at Val Kilmer, too. Mulder’s about to ask about that when Grandma Top Gun (or GTG for short) gets up and flicks her cigarette on Mulder’s jacket, right through those conveniently placed slats that separate the cells. She informs Mulder of his new “bitch” status and he lunges back at her, trying to grab her neck. “Hey, I’m only one person’s bitch and she’s the reason I’m in here!” he exclaims. She backs off and laughs just as his door opens. The guard informs him that General Wegman, who, until now, was known simply as “sir” or the “old man”, wants to see him.
Mulder is ushered into the “old man’s” office. NotSpender (aka Howard) and NoName (aka Jeff) are also in the room, along with the old man himself (aka Wegman). Mulder’s worried that he’s about to get found out, but stays silent. Wegman then caves, telling him that he has “a set” on him. A set of what? Nipples the size of dinner plates? Oh, wait. That was Duchovny on Saturday Night Live. Apparently, they thought that Mulder’s dumbass move of taking the wrong flight data recorder and giving that to the FBI was genius, and that he was “running a scam on the FBI.” After a moment, he picks up what they’re layin’ down, and plays the “I totally knew what I was doing the entire time even though not really” card. He’s all, “I didn’t know if I could trust you,” because of the security leak. He “decided [he] should approach Agent Scully alone to find out who her contact is. Unfortunately, her partner, Agent Mulder,” he says with so much disgust and frustration that you begin to redefine the notion of ‘hating yourself’, “screwed everything up.” NotSpender asks if the real flight data recorder is safe, but Mulder thought he had the real one so he has no frickin’ clue. But, of course, he doesn’t tell them that. He chuckles, assuring them that it’s safe. Wegman admires his chutzpah and scolds the other two guys. He’s recommending censure for locking up their coworker with the GTG and forcing him to be someone’s bitch. Oh, chasquido.
Casa de Mulder. Morris enters with grocery bags in hand. He notes with some disdain that there’s no bedroom. Wouldn’t he have realized that when he was romancin’ the Bottle Blond in the first half? Or did they, gasp, do it on Mulder’s sofa de lurve, star of numerous “first time” fanfic lovemaking sessions? Cause, ew. He pulls out some candles and opens a nearby door which, if I recall correctly, wasn’t always there. Inside, he finds boxes piled high (X-Files, I assume… perhaps the ones he saved from the fire, or the really good ones that he didn’t want Spender and The Fowl One to get their mitts on), and soft core porn magazines. He comments that Mulder hasn’t been laid in ten years, but to that I say two things. 1. It’s actually more like four, and 2. In another year or so, he’s going to be making up for that long draught with a certain brainy redhead that we all know and love. So, nyah.
Back at The House of Fletcher, Mulder pulls up to find all of “his” things piled up in the middle of the driveway. A nondescript sedan follows him, but pulls over a couple blocks away. Mark Snow’s Piano Keys of Curiosity play in the background as Kris comes out of the house sportin’ a spankin’ new nose ring. Mulder, trying to play the cool dad, tells her he likes it and touches it gently. She jerks back. Oh, you baby. That didn’t hurt. She hops into the minivan to fume at the sheer unfairness of having this dorkface for a father. Even if he isn’t really her father. Not that she knows this. Terry comes out soon after, informing Mulder that his mother is taking a restraining order out on him. What’s that saying? Ain’t no woman like a woman scorned? Or something? Whatever; she’s pissed. Terry hops into the minivan and Kris pulls out erratically, in that defensive sixteen year old driver kinda way. Mulder heads inside to spy on the sedan that’s not doing a very good job of being sneaky, as Joanne comes up behind him to bitch him out some more. God, does she have a volume button? Or at least a… um, de-screetchifying one? She’s upset that he’s there and tells him to leave. He tries to explain to her the whole story, that he’s not really Morris, that he’s Mulder, and Scully’s his partner. Maybe he should partner up with Joanne, because she seems to be having more trouble with this whole thing than Scully did. She calls Scully “Special Tramp Dana Scully” which is hilarious, though totally not who she is. Except for that one time when she almost had the affair with her med school teacher. But she wouldn’t have been a special anything at that time, so never mind.
So, he’s trying to explain that he just wants to get back into his body so her husband can get back in this one, but she just thinks he’s being all metaphory and tells him that men who have a midlife crisis don’t go around calling themselves “Fox”, they get a sports car. Which is odd because my dad made us all call him Fox for six months after his 50th birthday. Just kidding. Mulder shows her the not-so-secret car outside and explains that they’re after him and if something happens to him then something happens to her husband. She still doesn’t believe him, though, and tells him that she can’t blame him for not liking who he’s become, but “this flight from reality isn’t the answer.” Whatever, Screechy McScreechinstein.
Hee. It’s the awesome scene. Okay, so Scully shows up at Mulder’s for that home cooked meal, and Morris answers the door with a stupid grin and an even stupider “something smells good”–emblazoned apron. She enters, taking in the candles, the mood lighting, the
After what would normally be commercials, we fade in on Morris and Scully sitting on the bed, laughing and getting ready to drink the champagne. She’s not really falling for this, is she? The alcohol, the amiable demeanor, the lack of desire to chase aliens… it all adds up to something not quite right. Oh, man, she’s flirting back! She asks, “Do you know what would really be fun?” and whips out a pair of handcuffs. This girl’s got a kinky side. Or she’s on to him. But given her past behavior… it could really go either way. Morris smiles, volunteering to go first. He snaps one cuff on his wrist and the other on the convenient handcuff bar. Oh, I guess it could be a head post/board thing, too. He looks at her in anticipation, which suddenly turns to terror as he finds her pointing her gun at him. Yay! She totally got it! I always believed in you, Scully! She’s all, “Where’s my touchstone, bitch?” (that touchstone thing never gets old). Then there’s this tasteless joke in which the champagne bottle pops while he’s holding it between his legs, and then he whines, “Baby…” She growls, “Baby me and you’ll be peeing through a catheter.” She surely knows. She can install them. You know, the whole medical doctor thing. So, he caves, talking about how he doesn’t know how to switch them back and that he dislikes his wife, his kids, his mortgage and his job. Oh, boo hoo, Man in Black. At least you didn’t get kidnapped by the government, made barren, given cancer, gotten cured, been thrown down numerous sets of stairs, and ultimately has the love of her life abducted and returned dead, only to be raised three months later after she’s discovered to be mysteriously pregnant. No one’s life’s a picnic, okay? That’s all I’m sayin’.
So, Morris is calling her bluff, telling her that he’s not even going to try and switch things back and no one will believe her, anyway, so she better just get used to him. Yea, no. She’s not buyin’ that, no how. She points the gun again and offers to shoot him instead. He then insists, in this totally over-the-top and unbelievable way, that he doesn’t know how to change things back. She switches tactics, asking him about Mulder’s source inside Area 51 and he, again, swears he has no idea. Just then, the phone rings. They let the machine get it (understandably) and we can hear this totally dorky message insisting that the caller “leave a message” “because I’m very busy entertaining a very special guest.” Then we hear a voice which sounds vaguely familiar but we’re not really memorizing the guest stars’ voices in this episode so it could be anyone’s (even though it’s totally Wegman’s) and he’s trying Mulder one last time and asks, “Are you or are you not interested in the classified information I have to give you?” Scully motions for Morris to pick up the phone and he does, holding it so both of them can hear. Wegman tells them to “listen very carefully”, and we fade into the next scene.
Palazzo de Fletcher. Mulder’s still hangin’ out in front of the window watching the not-so-secret surveillers in the car across the street. Joanne approaches him with his luggage, commenting on how he couldn’t wait to leave before and now she can’t get him to. He then has a lightbulb-in-a-thought-bubble idea and suggests that they go “someplace with a lot of people”. She’s like, “In Rachel, Navada?” (and, yay, she pronounces Nevada right, too!). He then gets all faux-affectionate and strokes her face, all sweet. “Whaddya say?”
So, my co-worker was telling me about how she and her boyfriend were driving up from Las Vegas and took this famed Extraterrestrial Highway past Area 51. They even stopped at a small bar called, I kid you not, “Little A’Le”Inn”. Which is the name of the bar in this episode. Even though she swears, up and down, that she’s never even seen the X-Files. So, yea. This place really exists. Which I find kind of cool. Anyway, the sign we see is lit and big and has a little grey – I’m guessing Reticulan – peeking over the edge. A car pulls into the lot and we realize that it’s Scully’s. She and Morris are inside it, and they go over the plan. Morris is supposed to go inside and hook up with their source, who’s wearing a Buffalo Bills cap, and “if I try and slip out the back door, da da da, dee, dee, dee…” and then asks if they can start over, with the handcuffs and everything. She cocks her gun. Nice. He jumps out and practically sprints toward the bar.
The inside of the Little A’Le’Inn reminds me a lot of that bar that Mulder & Scully went into in Deep Throat. Lots of kitschy alien memorabilia. It looks like a really fun place to hang out, though, although Morris is clearly not happy to be there. As he looks around, the camera refocuses to the space behind him and we see, in the behind-the-bar mirror’s reflection, “Mulder” walking around. Over in the corner, our Mulder is sharing cocktails with Joanne, who thinks he’s really there waiting for someone else and, if he is, he should tell her now so she can divorce him and take the house. He laughs and orders up another glass of wine. Morris, meanwhile, finds Mr. Buffallo Bills Cap and – surprise! – it’s Wegman. Aw, man, this is confusing to write about. Okay, so Mulder sees some other Men in Black enter the bar and fakes like he’s going to the bathroom while Morris converses with Wegman about how he sabotaged the craft to show Mulder that they really existed. Mulder sneaks outside and opens a nearby car door. That just happens to be Scully’s. What a coink-i-dink! He’s happy to see her (no, not in that “banana in your pants” kinda way, you pre-vert) and she correctly guesses that it’s Mulder. Yay! She can see past the Michael McKean suit into the real guy! He’s all, whatcha doin’? She’s all, “tryin’a figure out a way to help you,” while Morris asks Wegman if he’s disgruntled. See? It’s all cutting back and forth. Wegman points out that the real flight data recorder is by “Mulder’s” feet as Joanne heads outside looking for her husband. She finds “him”, of course, in the car with Scully. And guess what? She’s pissed! I bet you’re surprised! She stalks back inside and sits down as Morris, across the bar, picks up the flight data recorder and heads out. On his way, he notices his wife sitting there, alone, and gets this forlorn look on his face. What, ho? The man’s got sympathy face! How odd! Then he notices No Name and other MIBs looking for “Morry” and saunters into the bathroom as Joanne spots Mulder coming back inside. She walks up to him and splashes her wine on his face. Which, given her present depressive state, is kinda tame. He’d have his balls in a vice if he were my cheatin’ husband. Even though he’s not really cheating, but whatever. I’m not even married. NoName plays peacemaker as Mulder heads into the bathroom to clean up. He looks into the mirror and sees his own reflection. Like, for realz! Morris is standing right behind him!
New paragraph. Whew. Okay, so Mulder shoves Morris up against the wall and asks him if he wants the ass-kicking that are the ever-present phenomena in Mulder’s own life. And he’s about to offer him up one, himself. Morris shows Mulder the flight data recorder and tells him that they could be killed if they’re seen together. Mulder orders Morris to take it to Scully, and Morris snarks about Mulder’s “waxy buildup” (although, since he’s in your body, wouldn’t you be the one with the waxy buildup, technically?) and they argue about who’s trusted the least by the MIBs outside. Wegman, meanwhile, spots his insubordinate… subordinates and heads in the opposite direction fast. Into… the bathroom. Where he finds Morris and Mulder hiding in the bathroom stall. What the…?
Scully comes into the bar and sees NoName talking to Joanne as Wegman escorts the MIBs outside. He points to Mulder who’s carrying what looks like the FDR (flight data recorder, not the former President) but is really a bag of beer. Meanwhile, Morris and Scully make off with the real one. Sneaky!
Apparently, the Lone Gunmen have an alternate headquarters in Nevada, because it seems like Morris and Scully are at their pad mere moments later. Oh, and yay! It’s the Lone Gunmen! They’re eating dinner (I think it’s so cute, by the way, that they totally live together, as well as being best friends and co-writers of that awesome conspiracy rag). Huevos Rancheros. And practicing their Spanish. Scully rings the doorbell with Mulder – I mean, Morris – in tow. They don’t know that, though. As Morris marvels at the inside of their lair, Scully hands off the FDR and tells them she needs everything on there as soon as possible. Byers takes it apart, impressed that they got it at Area 51. While they’re telling her the latest in Area 51 conspiracy theories, Morris is hanging out reading one of their old papers and chuckling. They’re all, “What’s up with the Muld-Man?” and she has to go through this whole spiel about how he’s not really Mulder and yadda yadda yadda we’ve heard this like three times in the last hour and a half. Halfway through the explanation, she hands it off to Morris, who insists he “assumed Mulder’s identity through a warp in the space/time continuum.” They all laugh, but then, seeing Scully’s “we are not amused” reaction, are like, “Holy Shit!”
Okay, so one thing I didn’t mention was that there was this brief, seemingly throwaway sentence in the first half about how Morris’ job at Area 51 is to come up with the cover stories for all the secret stuff they do. Like, he’s basically the guy who plants false stories in rags like The Lone Gunmen in order to cover up what’s really going on. So, in this scene, he tells them all about all the shit that’s in their paper that he made up, including several he made up while on the toilet. Nice. He calmly explains that Saddam Hussein is really an Oklahoman (!) who they found doing dinner theater. Then that whole hanging thing must have been a viral video fakeout, right? No? You mean John Gilnitz isn’t really Saddam? Madness! Frohicke’s about to launch at Morris like a flying squirrel when Scully puts the kabbash on it and tells them that the only way they can get Mulder back is to figure out what’s in that FDR. She gives Morris this, “behave” look and he grins cheekily.
Back at the ol’ top secret military testing facility, Wegman is shredding papers as Mulder enters his office. He explains that Scully is on a flight back with the FDR, but that Wegman better get out of there because Morris will surely rat his ass out when he gets back. If he gets back, Wegman reminds Mulder. Either way, NoName and NotSpender will figure it out soon enough. Mulder wants to know why he sabotaged the craft in the first place, and Wegman explains that he wanted Mulder to see it. He didn’t mean for it to crash. Why did he want Mulder to see it? Because he wanted to share his dirty little alien secret before he died with someone who would appreciate it. Basically. Then he starts asking Mulder about aliens, like has he seen one, and what they’re like. Mulder’s all, don’t you know? Wegman explains that they just get the technology from another base out in Utah and just fly them. Uh… what?
Back at the Gunman Haus (these are getting harder to come up with. Gah!), they’re finally into the flight data recorder and notice all this extra stuff inside, like readings for “tachyon flux”, “gravitational displacement”, etc. Scully grabs Morris and drags him out of the building. But not before Morris gets a chance to call Frohicke “Sneezy”, which I always find amusing.
Ah, the C story finally arrives. These three hippies, or stoned – or even just really excited – people are out running around in the Nevada desert and come across the “black mailbox”, which is supposedly some kind of Area 51 marker. Only thing is, this mailbox is white. Hippie 1 claims that “they painted it white to hide it.” Right. Hippies 2 and 3 are making out and totally ignoring him (I suppose I should mention that Hippie 3 is a girl, but would it really matter? Honestly?) while Hippie 1 is talking about lights in the sky. There’s this noise approaching them and what looks like a ripply wave of energy that passes through them. Hippie 1 is all, “Cool!”, but Hippies 2 and 3 can’t say anything because they’ve been mushed together at the face. Gross. It’s like the lizard and the rock, but imagine the girl as the lizard and the dude as the rock.
Anonymous meeting place for Mulder and Scully, also known as the Barn of Sunflower Seeds and Long Goodbyes. Scully gets out of the car, leaving Morris inside, and walk toward Mulder, who is already out of his. He’s worried he’s going to have to put two kids through college (and invest in earplugs), and Scully confirms his fears by telling him that the crash data said that the “anomalous event” was random and they have no way of recreating it to reverse the situation. And, even if they could, he may end up with his head in a rock. Aw. Can I just pause for a second that they both look incredibly attractive like this, all lit with headlights? Okay, and, resume. So, Mulder asks about him, meaning Morris, (who, incidentally, is in the car picking his teeth in the rearview mirror), and Scully tells him about how he’s Kersh’s new golden boy, and how she’s been fired from the FBI and can come on full time as his permanent mistress. Maybe if he lost about 30 pounds, dyed his hair, and had extensive plastic surgery, anyway. Mulder wants her to get her job back but she’s not too concerned, basically saying-without-saying that she’s not really interested in going back without him. She then offers up, “I’d kiss you if you weren’t so damn ugly”, which I think is just a cop out – now that you can’t, really, is the time to joke about it? Regardless, at least she wants to kiss him. Too bad it takes, like a year and a half for it to actually happen. As they stare wistfully into each other’s eyes, Morris beeps the horn and shouts, “Take a picture – it’ll last longer!” Mulder seethes, “If I shoot him, is it murder or suicide?” and Scully replies, “Neither, if I do it first.” Then she sort of pats his arm and effectively says goodbye. As she starts to walk away, he calls her back and places a small handful of sunflower seeds in her palm. He then picks one out and pops it into his mouth as he walks away. Aw, again. She smiles and they part for good. Just kidding. For about 10 minutes. He watches her drive off and heads into his car to bawl his eyes out about what was, is, and never will be.
Hippie 1 jumps out in front of a car that turns out to be NotSpender’s. NotSpender gets out and follows him over to where his friends are stuck together, telling him about the wave and the… uh… sticking together. But when they get there, the couple is totally unstuck! Uh-oh. Slingshot time!
Morning. Morris and Scully are heading back to, I’m guessing, the Vegas airport. Morris is yammering on about how being an FBI agent gets him a sweet hotel deal as Scully stares listlessly out the window. Morris then asks her if she’d like him to talk to Kersh on her behalf, maybe get her job back? She’s all, “No thanks. I have a date with an overweight balding MIB with my one in five billion inside him.” She sees something outside and demands he stop the car. She gets out and notices the gas station that was destroyed in the last episode. But now it’s in perfect condition and the attendant is alive and not at all stuck to the floor. She’s all, “What the…” but then realizes that there is, indeed, a slingshot thing goin’ on.
The MIBs are back in the Plexiglas Prison, grabbing the Indian lady and the pilot. Mulder, meanwhile, is moving out of the Fletcher house when Scully and Morris pull up. Mulder’s all, “Didn’t I just say, like, goodbye forever to you?” and Joanne sees Scully outside and again, to my utter shock, starts yelling. As Mulder and Scully go off to talk, Morris heads over to Joanne, who is trying in vain to move the Laz-E-Boy onto the driveway. Morris tries to explain to her that he really is her husband, telling her about their wedding and their first apartment in Pentagon city or when she was pregnant. She’s, like, Oh Em Gee! It’s really you! And you seem like a partway decent guy! Hopefully he won’t ever tell her that he cheated on her with Kersh’s Bottle Blond Secretary. I have a feeling she won’t take it well, body switching notwithstanding. Mulder and Scully approach the now happy couple, and they talk about getting to a place where they can switch back. But before they leave, the ubiquitous white Jeeps pull up and the MIBs inside grab all three of them and head back to the base. I think NotSpender realized what was going on with Mulder and Morris. They all exposit that, if they can get in the slingshot’s path, it’ll be like the last three days never happened and that’s in the best interests of everyone. Morris is all, “In that case, Dana, it’s been real,” and dares to slap her ass again. Mulder just about lunges at his throat, but the ripple goes through before he can.
And we’re back where we started. Mulder and Morris exchange chills, but neither one seems to remember. Mulder and Scully get back in their cars and head for home.
Back at the ol’ Mulder homestead, Mulder gets a call from Scully, who’s decided to go back to work after getting off a flight from Vegas. What a diligent little worker she is. Anyway, she informs him that they slipped under Kersh’s radar and is sorry that his source didn’t pan out. Mulder thanks her for joining him, even though he knows it’s not her normal life. They hang up and Mulder heads inside his apartment. In the office, Scully notices the melded-together penny & dime and eyes it curiously while Mulder checks his apartment door to make sure it’s his place. It’s so… clean, and he has a bedroom! This can’t possibly be his apartment, even though is key worked! Crazy!
From inside the apartment, we hear him dialing his phone and then, “Scully, wanna come over and help me test out my new waterbed?”
Now, I could go into the whole spiel about how time seems to have passed in D.C. but not in Nevada because his apartment’s different. Or, if it didn’t, we could speculate that the slingshot actually reverses the entire world back three days and just hasn’t reached D.C., yet. If that were true, a)that thing’s damn slow if they could fly back to D.C. and, more importantly, get through security, before it passes over, and b)Mulder would wake up with his apartment back the way it was, which wouldn’t explain what happens in Monday. So, I don’t know how they explain it. Or if they even can explain it. But I’m not, because I know it’s been talked about to death at TWoP and no one’s any closer to making sense of it. Not even our resident mytharc-o-gist, ejluther. At any rate, that was a fun episode, even if it was about 43 minutes too long. Hope you all got as much enjoyment out of these two episodes as I did!
Recap by Starbucket