Monday, July 25, 2016

X-Files: Pine Bluff Variant 'Shipper Survey

One of the horrifying things about reprinting these Senseless 'Shipper Surveys is coming across aged and decaying references to things you can't even conceive once existed.

Yes. I am talking about versions of Microsoft Windows that predate XP.


Also, welcome to the part of the X-Files that's all gross-out freak-out. But this is honestly one of the better ones!

Senseless 'Shipper Survey- Pine Bluff Variant

1) As the episode begins with Mulder jogging through the parks of Washington D.C., we realize we're spying on a surveillance operation conducted by Skinner with Scully sitting in the control van keeping track of the suspect. As one of the suspects suddenly goes into convulsions and dies, everything goes crazy, with Mulder chasing the prime suspect and Scully chasing Mulder. You note:

A) That Scully is once again running in high heels, and is doing a damn good job of it.

B) That the image of the Capitol Dome in the distance was computer generated because you saw it waver and a Windows95 image flashed in the corner

C) That Dana and Fox would have done a better surveillance job in the park if they were there as lovers on a picnic... sigh...

2) Scully is watching the surveillance tapes, noting how Mulder actually talked to the prime suspect before he escaped. Mulder arrives to pick up papers from his desk, evading all the questions she has about his activities. You shout:

A) "Dammit, Scully, shoot the Punk!"

B) "Dammit, Mulder, a simple `It's not what you think I can explain it later' would suffice!"

C) "Dammit, you two, clear off that desk and use it for a quickie!"

3) You watch the credits across the screen during the high-level meeting and see this: "Written by John Shiban". You:

A) See B)
B) See C)
C) Scream your damn bloody head off in sheer terror (note: Shiban is the one responsible for some of the weaker episodes in X-Files canon. To wit: killer kitties.)

4) Mulder drives off to a roadside motel for a late night... something. You determine:

A) That it's a good thing Scully followed him to make sure he doesn't go all Led Zep and trash the place

B) That he's really there to watch "Love Confessions" on Cinemax

C) That Fox planned on Dana to follow him, and he'll eventually invite her in for some red wine, sob stories about prom nights, and intense (deleted to protect younger viewers)

5) Scully confronts the motel manager about Mulder. He asks, "You the wife?" She replies (in THE perfect tone of voice) "Not even close." You:

A) Cheer for the Sainted One

B) Roll on the floor laughing your ass off

C) Burst into tears...if Dana feels that way, then... then... (sniff) (cries)

6) Mulder is dragged off by the militia group Losers-R-Us for some finger-breaking torture and pinochle. You:

A) Stoically nod to yourself: sure, Mulder's a good guy and doesn't deserve to get tortured, but the Punk's been asking for it since Season Three

B) Realize poor Mulder's free-throw shooting is going to suck from now on

C) Realize Dana's REALLY got to give him some hugging this episode

7) Mulder returns to his darkened apartment, finding Scully waiting there. She's found out he's under orders by Skinner in a deep cover operation to break the militia group and stop their bio- warfare terrorism. She sees the broken finger and earns her doctor's pay cleaning the wound and setting it. You:

A) Praise her for her saintly patience and maternal healing qualities

B) Wonder if anyone's ever going to clean off that "X" symbol on the window

C) Watch them sit in the darkness holding hands and talking about trust, finally fainting away in orgasmic bliss

8) Mulder goes back to the militia group to set them up for a future sting, while Scully goes back to investigate more dead bodies and figure out how they were killed. As the action picks up, you come to the conclusion:

A) Scully will solve this case like she always does, and it still won't get her a desk

B) Shiban's script doesn't suck this time

C) That they shouldn't have cut away from the scene where Dana fixes Fox's finger because you're damn sure they made sweet love afterwards

9) Mulder is forced to wear a Dracula mask and help the militia break into a federal reserve. Scully waits for Mulder before suddenly realizing how the militia has been killing people. You note:

A) That Scully's psychic abilities aren't just a plot device but a sign of the Enigmatic One's powers

B) That a Stormtrooper mask for Mulder would have been more kick-ass

C) That Dana seems to do her best thinking at roadside motels, so she and Fox should hang out at those places more often... (wink) (wink) (nudge) (nudge)

10) Mulder has been betrayed, caught on tape confessing his deep cover role to Scully. His betrayer, however, turns out to be working for the CIA, which had funded projects on developing the killer bacteria. He escapes to meet up with Scully so the two of them can berate the government official that had set them all up in order to contaminate evidence of a large-scale shadow ops fund. As the episode ends with the last surviving militia man dying from the bacteria, you realize:

A) That Scully had already proved the CIA was behind it all, but she just needed the Punk's hands-on observations to back her up

B) That all Shiban has to do is not write about killer kitties or guys with fungus faces and he just might be a half-decent writer

C) That, even though Skinner has heard from Fox by now, Dana should still go by to feed his fish... and check his fingers... and hold his hands and give him a nice hug and (writer is dragged away from computer terminal and forced into a nice, comfortable straitjacket)...

If you more often than not answered:

A) Then you are an OBSSEr who knew the Punk would be trouble this episode, but as the Enigmatic One is a forgiving sort you'll cut Mulder some slack (for now)...

B) Then you are an X-Philer who finally doesn't have to equate Shiban's name with "killer kitties" anymore... well, unless the FX channel shows a repeat (shudder)...

C) Then you are a 'Shipper who's convinced the CIA double agent captured a lot more, uh, talking yeah that's it talking, between Dana and Fox on that tape recorder of his (veery wicked grin)...

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