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Alaina Rants On: The Revenant

So yes, I’m doing Oscar!Watch again this year. And The Revenant – along with The Hateful Eight — was a film I really didn’t want to go see. For many reasons. Number one, I’m not a huge fan of Leonardo DiCaprio. Second, the idea of watching a man stumble through a Canadian wilderness for two and a half hours in a pageant of violence really doesn’t appeal to me. Third, Leonardo apparently got raped by a bear – ain’t no one wants to sit through that, no matter how inaccurate that statement actually is!

When it comes down to it, the biggest problem I had with not wanting to see this movie was the Leo Factor. I don’t have anything against Leo; I’m just not a fan girl. After the hype wore off, the second time I went to see Titanic, I was the jackass in the back rooting for the iceberg. I didn’t watch Romeo + Juliet until I was well into my twenties – also, I know how that play ends, and it’s not romantic in any sense of the word. The next thing I saw him in was Catch Me If You Can, where he actually played a human being.

But over the past couple of years – mostly beginning with Inception, probably – something in Leo has forced him to only choose movies where he thinks he’s going to be nominated for something. And with The Revenant, his decision-making process has officially crossed the line from “merely tedious” to “fucking insufferable.”

The entire time I was watching The Revenant, I felt like I was being held hostage. I felt that Leo’s performance – if one can call it that, and I’ll get to that in a second – was him screaming without language, “LOOK AT ME ACT THIS IS ACTING I’M EATING A RAW BISON LIVER THAT BEAR RAPED ME THIS IS ACTING CAN I HAZ OSCAR NOW PLZ”

Fucking insufferable. Yeah, Leo, you acted cold. Guess what? It was cold where you were! Good job pretending to be cold while you were actually cold! Oh, and you were wet, too! Forgot about that river scene. Good job pretending to be wet and cold while both things were actually happening to you!

Because look, the character of Hugh Glass wasn’t really a character. Or, rather, he was a character in a movie; that doesn’t mean he had characterization. He was a role. He was a body. He grunted and occasionally said words, mostly in pain. So thank you, Leo, for impressing the audience with your ability to remember when to vocalize pain!

I actually have a lot of the same opinions as A.A. Dowd over at The AV Club – you can read the whole review here, but I do want to quote this bit:

His ageless baby face concealed behind a bushy Grizzly Adams beard, DiCaprio has been hired to endure endless Method-actor torments, to crawl screaming through the mud, to bloodily reenact the tauntaun scene from The Empire Strikes Back. What he hasn’t been hired to do is play much of a character; though The Revenant supplies Glass with plenty of wordless dreams, spiritual visions, and flashbacks to his dead loved ones, his family life remains as abstract as his psychology. He’s more macho concept than man.

Because yes, there was nothing there behind the beard. I maintain that this role wasn’t made up of acting; sure, he wore a costume and had makeup and facial hair, and he was where it was cold and he fucking crawled at one point(*), but it’s not like he brought a personality to life. He was showing us the personification of survival-in-order-to-achieve-revenge, that’s it. Unlike his performance in The Wolf of Wall Street – there, true, he was portraying another person found in history, but Jordan Belfort had a goddamned personality. For better or for worse, like him or lump him, Leo actually had to act in that movie.

*ACTUAL NOTE I WROTE IN MY NOTEBOOK DURING THE FILM:
“Is he really going to crawl the rest of the fucking way? Oh my god, he actually is. He is literally crawling on his hands and knees in hopes of winning his Oscar. F you, Leo.”

I maintain that he probably should have won for The Wolf of Wall Street; it was just Leo’s bad luck that Dallas Buyers Club came out at the same time, and the Academy decided to reward McConaughey for losing a ton of weight. Apparently, Leo didn’t take that in the same stride that a normal person would, and he decided to go all out: “I’m going to find the worst situations to emote in and FINALLY SHOW EVERYONE I’M NOT JUST A PRETTY FACE.” That’s when The Revenant came along, and the rest is history. Fucking insufferable history.

Congratulations, Leo, you succeeded. You held numerous audiences hostage with your “acting,” and look, at this point? Dear Academy, for the love of all that’s holy, please give him the Oscar. Give him his ransom. I don’t think he deserves it, mind you, but maybe if he finally wins the fucking thing, then he can go back to his models and his environment-conscious shit and leave us the fuck alone. Who knows? Maybe he’ll make a comedy next, now that he doesn’t have to try for that stupid gold statue?

ACTUAL NOTE I WROTE IN MY NOTEBOOK DURING THE FILM:
“I hope Leo finally wins his goddamned Oscar for this – he needs to stop acting in these kinds of films. What’s wrong, Leo? Can’t be funny until you bear-rape your way to an Oscar?”

I should stop using the term “bear rape.” But I can’t. I know that’s not what happened, and I know it implies that Leo is victimizing himself in order to win his Oscar. But – well, I guess I’m done talking about that scene and Leo, so I’ll move on and stop talking about it.

The other thing I needed to rant about with this movie: why I didn’t like it. Yeah, Leo was a big part of it, but there was more than that. And I need to talk to a couple of people about why it’s okay that I don’t like it, and dear Those People? It’s not because I’m a girl.

When I heard The Revenant was coming out and the whole situation around the film – Leo’s “performance,” which I maintain isn’t really a performance, just a struggle to survive against nature – it’s a metaphor, not a performance! – I gritted my teeth and groaned, because I knew I was probably going to have to sit through it for Oscar!Watch. Then I heard that the director, Alejandro G. Innaritu, and his cinematographer made the decision that they were only going to film using natural light.

That naturally brought up (heh – “natural” — sorry, everyone) one of my favorite plotlines from Arrested Development, wherein Gob wanted to write a letter and Michael was going to give him the touch lamp, but then Gob fucked Kitty and didn’t get the information Michael wanted, so

Michael: Great. Good, good, good, Gob. Well, you just lost the touch lamp.
Gob: What? No! Mike, come on!
Michael: Yeah, the deal’s off, forget it. I’m gonna use the touch lamp to set the mood in the conjugal trailer —
Gob: DON’T
Michael: — when DAD’S NAILING MOM.
Gob: NO! DON’T, MICHAEL – you are FILTHY.

And then later, Gob is able to write his letter, but because he didn’t have the touch lamp, he had to write his strongly-worded letter lit by nothing but natural light.

Ever since hearing about the cinematography decision, all I could think of was Gob and his selfishness. Innaritu wanted to do something different for his next movie – because one-shot takes are so Birdman, let’s switch things up a bit. Basically, Innaritu decided to make this movie in the most fucking difficult way possible – shooting on location, lit by nothing but natural light. Do you know what that means? It means the shoot was excruciatingly long, because they could only film for about an hour each day – that’s a lot of wasted hours at a remote location. Why would you do that to yourself, to your actors, to your crew, unless you were a severe dick? To me, that is the ultimate in “suffering for art,” but it becomes so fucking insufferable that it circles right around to “martyring for art.”

I mean, you can’t spell “martyr” without “art,” I guess?

Regardless of my selfish need to find a pun between “art” and “martyr,” I can’t think of another way that that shoot could have been more fucked up for such a stupid reason – you can’t tell me that there aren’t other ways to achieve that level of lighting. Basically, they were arting for art’s sake, and while I can appreciate art, to me, that decision just seems dickish. I can’t explain it any other way; it’s just dickish.

So between the filmmaking aspect and Leo’s hostage situation, by the time The Revenant was released, the entire film had a distinct masturbatory sheen to it. Instead of Vaseline, the lens was covered in jizz – the jizz of both Innaritu and Leonardo DiCaprio, all being able to exorcise their demons in a vanity project jack-off for the ages.

Y’know, that actually brings up a good point that I’ll digress from where my tirade’s going for a moment, because this touches upon the big “controversy” within the Academy. I put finger-quotes around controversy up there because that’s the word some outlets are using, but it’s not a controversy; it’s a goddamned systemic problem that needs to be addressed, and that problem is representation. Much was made over the fact that all of the acting nominees were white. I agree that there is a problem when Michael B. Jordan doesn’t get nominated for Creed, but Sylvester Stallone does. (NB: I have not yet seen Creed, but I’ve seen The Expendables. Sylvester Stallone doesn’t deserve an acting Oscar, you fucks.) It’s great that Innaritu was nominated for Best Director, but where are the other Latino nominees? Oh, there aren’t any, because studios don’t really fund or buy films from minorities. What about the women? Where are the women writers, the women directors?

Because here are more ACTUAL NOTES I WROTE IN MY NOTEBOOK DURING THE FILM:
“This whole thing is a vanity project. So was Angelina Jolie’s Beyond the Sea (or whatever it was called). Why is this being rewarded where Beyond the Sea was panned as vain, indulgent, and not good?

Because Angelina Jolie is a woman.”

I had read this article in Rolling Stone, and the article attempts to get to the bottom of why Angelina Jolie-Pitt, a proven filmmaker, is not finding the respect she deserves for her film. Is it because for the first time, she is directing herself? Is it because it also stars her husband, Brad Pitt? Is it because she’s going outside of the studio system and making a movie she wants to make? Is it because she was first labeled as an actress, and now she’s trying to be a director?

Here’s what the author of that article, David Ehrlich, had to say about “vanity projects”:

For example, rather than describing this personal project as “a movie for which Angelina Jolie-Pitt courted embarrassment by exercising the artistic freedom with which our ticket dollars have empowered her over a 20-year span of consciously supporting her career,” you can just say “By the Sea is a vanity project.” How convenient is that?

Using that logic, The Revenant should also be called a vanity project. But it’s not. Vanity projects, when released, are almost always now panned and vilified. But aren’t all films, in some ways, vanity projects? So why does Angelina Jolie-Pitt’s movie, which she directed and starred in, making editorial and cinematic decisions and overall succeeded in manifesting her artistic vision, automatically get put under the title of “vanity project” whereas Innaritu’s movie, which he wrote and directed, made editorial and cinematic decisions and overall succeeded in manifesting his artistic vision, get nominated for awards?

Dicks. That’s why; dicks.

And since we’re talking about gender equality, can I take a moment to talk about one of the lines in the script? So, the plot of The Revenant goes like this: group of fur traders get ambushed by Native Americans (the Ree, but the Pawnee also play a role in the trade relations; and let me tell you, every time I saw Pawnee I expected Leslie Knope to show up and I am severely disappointed); a group of like 10 men manage to get away. While this group is hiking to a fort, Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) gets mauled by a bear. The gang try to carry Glass, but it’s the 1830s, there’s no such thing as airlifting. One of the men, Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy, who, as of right now, is my personal front-runner for Best Supporting Actor), offers to stay behind with Glass to ensure he gets a proper burial, because there’s no way Glass is going to survive. Also staying behind is Bridger and Glass’s half-Pawnee son, Hawk. Bridger is off getting water and Fitzgerald is getting tired of waiting for Glass to die, so he waits for Glass to blink and then he tries to suffocate him (it’s a whole big thing, I’m not getting into it). Hawk comes upon them and tries to stop Fitzgerald, and Fitzgerald kills Hawk in front of Glass.

Fitzgerald then tells Bridger a yarn about the Ree approaching, so they leave Glass to die, burying him alive. Glass survives, and then treks (according to things I’ve read) like, 200 miles to reach the fort in order to get revenge on Fitzgerald for Hawk’s death.

When Glass and Fitzgerald are in their final battle, Glass explains why he wants revenge:

Glass: You killed my boy.
Fitzgerald: Or maybe you should’a raised a man … instead of some girly little bitch.

And Glass goes beserk and starts chopping Fitzgerald with an axe.

WHY THE FUCK IS THAT LINE IN THERE. There was no previous characterization of Hawk to indicate that he was any more feminine than the rest of the men in the camp. He was younger, and he was “other” in that he was the result of a white-Native American union, but he wasn’t feminine. What was that line trying to show – insensitivity of the 1830s man to different displays of manhood? I just – GOD, that line pissed me off! In short, that line is indicative of such a larger problem society has that I guess I hoped for better in an Oscar-nominated movie? I don’t know, I’m just angry at it.

Speaking of being angry; I don’t have a better segue-way for this, but it needs to be said.

I didn’t want to see The Revenant almost as soon as it got noticed, mostly for the reasons enumerated above. My Dear Friend Sarah saw the movie last weekend, and described it as “a protracted fucking misery.” That only served to reinforce my original opinions, because as we’ve come to see, Sarah’s usually spot-on with movie recommendations. If she thinks something’s a protracted fucking misery, chances are I’m not going to enjoy it either.

But guys, I’m a masochist and a completist. If a movie has been nominated for an Oscar, I am going to make every attempt to go see it, even if I think (or know) I’m not going to like it. I’ve sat through Boyhood, 127 Hours, The Tree of Life, and I wasn’t looking forward to any of those. But I did it. Hell, I paid actual night-time show money to see 127 Hours in the theatre, and I can’t stand James Franco’s choices almost as much as I can’t Leonardo DiCaprio’s choices.

So I was glad that Sarah’s opinion reinforced my own, but it wasn’t going to stop me from seeing it.

And then, I talked to a male friend of mine last Monday. He had also seen The Revenant, but he thought it was very good.

Dude: I thought you were going to the movies.
Me: Yeah, I was going to go see The Revenant, but then I decided not to.
Dude: Oh, it’s really good!
Me: I know, you said. I’m torn, because I trust your opinion, but my friend Sarah, she saw it this weekend, and she hated it, and I trust her opinion as well.
Dude: Well – I don’t want to say this, but –  y’know, you’re girls… and … it’s kind of violent.

And I didn’t really pay a lot of attention to that remark at the time — mainly because I was tired. But now that I’m awake, I’m woke as fuck.

How DARE you insult my — and Sarah’s — intelligence by saying that we probably didn’t like The Revenant because we’re girls. You having the magic ‘Y’ chromosome does not give you access to a higher understanding of film and experiences, and the fact that you fucking went there is now retroactively pissing me off.

Because my ovaries and uterine lining have absolutely fuck-all to do with my dislike of the film. The level of violence had no fucking effect on me. You know why? If I didn’t want to see something, I fucking looked away; while Leo was holding us hostage with his “performance,” it’s not like he was sitting behind me holding a gun to my head to force me to watch every blessed second of his screentime. And to be honest? Watching the CGI bear rip Leo to shreds, or watching Leo tear into raw bison liver, or Leo and Tom Hardy fighting to the death by the river at the end of the movie – sure, those were all violent, gory scenes. You know what they didn’t hold a candle to?

FUCKING HANNIBAL, MAN.

I HAVE WATCHED MASON FUCKING VERGER FEED HIS OWN FUCKING NOSE TO WILL GRAHAM’S DOGS. AND THAT SCENE WAS ON NETWORK TELEVISION.

THE REVENANT HAS GOT NOTHING ON DR. HANNIBAL LECTER.

And what the fuck is a “guy movie,” anyway? Die Hard? Oh look, that’s one of my favorite movies. Same with Raiders of the Lost Ark. Same with The Usual Suspects. Look, movies that star only men and deal with great gobs of violence are, at times, my jam. But you know what makes me like them? The storytelling. The arc of the hero versus the villain, whether that villain is nature or an exceptional thief who is moving up to kidnapping or the fucking Nazis – that’s what gets me to like a movie.

Get me involved in the story; make me root for someone. Give the hero some spark of life or personality or, god-fucking-dammit, anything. I got fuck-all from The Revenant in that department.

That’s why I didn’t like The Revenant. That’s why I wrote in my notebook two hours in, “Please God, make it stop. Just end this. Please get me out of here.”

I didn’t like The Revenant because it was boring. I didn’t like The Revenant because it had an aura that reeked of “trying too hard to be arty.” I didn’t like The Revenant because no one had any fun on that movie at any time; judging by the tone, I’ll bet there wasn’t even joking off-screen. There wasn’t a single spot of hope or joy or anything positive in that movie, and that WILL affect my opinion.

So FUCK YOU, DUDE. I can’t wait to see you in person so I can demand an apology from you, because seriously, the only effect my being a girl had on my experience of watching The Revenant was that I could wipe the haze of testosterone from the film and see it for what it actually is: a fucking jizzporium of awfulness.

In conclusion: please, give Leo the Oscar. Free the hostages. Let our people go. Just — make it stop.

 
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Posted by on January 24, 2016 in Alaina Rants On, Oscar!Watch!

 

Project X: episodes 1.22-1.24

If 2016 is going to have one motto, it’s going to be NO APOLOGIES FOR THINGS I’M NOT SORRY FOR. If 2016 can have two mottos, the second one will be DON’T FEEL SORRY FOR THINGS THAT DO NOT MAKE THAT BIG AN IMPACT.

The third motto for 2016 should be STOP FUCKING DYING, ACTORS I LOVE

Episode 1.22: “Born Again”

Netflix Synopsis
An 8-year old girl is the prime suspect in a series of bizarre, seemingly unrelated deaths.

Alaina’s Synopsis
A creepy young girl chock full of Thorazine turns out to be the reincarnated spirit of a dead cop. And now, she wants justice. Also, there’s origami.

MOTW/Mytharc
I feel that there should be a third category for Weird Shit That Isn’t Technically Monsters. I’m gonna make that a thing. This is Weird Shit That Isn’t Technically Monsters.

Special Guest Star
Maggie Wheeler, playing a cop! Who’s Maggie Wheeler, you ask?

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That’s right – JANICE. And look, it’s not my fault that I kept hearing “Mulder and Janice’s Day of Fun!!” playing in my head throughout this episode; really, it’s not.

Fun Fact!
David Duchovny and Maggie Wheeler were apparently dating while filming this episode.

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Yeah, Janice — I really don’t know how I feel about that.

Fashion Statements
We have reached Full “Hide Gillian Anderson’s Real-Life Pregnancy” Mode. Very rarely given a wide shot, and so many oversized trenchcoats it’s really not funny at all.

Mulder, You Precious Angel
His super slo-mo, dramatic turn to look at the Creepy Girl who’s watching the proceedings from the second story. I took a video, but apparently I can’t upload it because I’m not really paying for WordPress. And I’m sorry, but my commitment to completion falls short of paying money for an upgrade. But trust me – it was awesome.

First Meetings
I believe this is the first episode where the episode ends with Mulder voice-over-ing his report. I say I think this is the first episode because guys, it’s been actual months since I’ve watched this show, and I haven’t really been paying great attention.

Watch or Skip?
Eh … you can skip it.

Episode 1.23: “Roland”

Netflix Synopsis
When scientists at an aeronautics lab die under mysterious circumstances, the agents suspect a mentally challenged janitor may be the culprit.

Alaina’s Synopsis
A dead physicist is able to control his secret twin into killing people for him.

MOTW/Mytharc
Weird Shit That Isn’t Technically  Monsters.

Here’s The Thing
I get really uncomfortable when I see portrayals of mental illness, especially in genre shows like this, and especially when their portrayals are made to put them in the villain’s seat. I get that in the story, Roland (the mentally-challenged janitor) is not actually responsible for his murderous tendencies, but – he’s played by Zeljko Ivanek (so, not actually mentally handicapped in real life), and it’s just … no matter how well I think he may act as he should in this role, I’m still uncomfortable with the whole situation.

If I may digress for one more second: the best portrayal of a handicapped person has to be Jewel on Deadwood. Portrayed by Geri Jewell who has Cerebral Palsy in real life, her character is real, vivid, and is not written with a sheen of pity — which was slightly apparent with Roland in this episode of The X-Files. The best part about Jewel? The so-very-apparent affection Al Swearengen has for Jewel.

OH GOD HOW OLD IS IAN MCSHANE HE’S BRITISH, RIGHT? Oh, thank god, he’s 74 already.

WAIT.

Things I Yelled At the TV
When one of the Lab Coats isn’t nice to Roland: “I HOPE YOU DIE A FIERY DEATH”

Classic Quote
Lab Coat #2: If you want to go down in flames together, fine. You go ahead. I’m going to do the math.
Alaina: NERD ALERT

Special Guest Star
The aforementioned Zeljko Ivanek, who you may know from 24, and — WAIT, he was in Hannibal!? Oh, the movie, not the TV show. I was gonna say, I’m pretty sure I’d recognize him …

Chekhov’s Whatever
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(It’s a wind turbine. Remember, from up above? This is an aeronautical lab.)

Thing I Can’t Even
At one point, Mulder name-drops Beakman’s World. That is a blast from the past, my friends. I had completely forgotten that show.

First Meetings
Well, Scully mentions that she has two brothers – an older one, and a younger one. We met Bill in “Beyond the Sea,” and we know about Melissa, her sister (or we will – sorry, spoiler alert!), but – is there really a second brother?

A Final Thing I Yelled At the TV
“Oh look, someone brought a gun to a turbine fight.”

Watch or Skip?
Skip.

Episode 1.24: “The Erlenmeyer Flask”

Netflix Synopsis
Deep Throat tips Mulder to a critically important case involving a missing fugitive and the cloning of extraterrestrial viruses.

Alaina’s Synopsis
Deep Throat leads Mulder to gather as much evidence as possible before the government shuts the alien project down. In his quest for evidence, Mulder comes across people who bleed green, monkeys that are really fucking mean, and bodies suspended in solution in a shadowy warehouse. Mulder gets kidnapped by one of the shadowy government agents, and as ransom, Scully breaks into the Pentagon and removes –

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— well, that. But in the end, it’s not enough: sure, they release Mulder, but they shoot Deep Throat in front of their eyes. Two weeks later, Skinner (BABY) shuts The X-Files down.

DIFFERENT TITLE CARD
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Last Appearance
Deep Throat, we hardly knew ye.

Everything is Hannibal and Everything Hurts
Law Enforcement Guy: I don’t know if you’re aware, but there were three different law enforcement agencies out here last night.
Mulder: Hunting a man on a moving violation?
Law Enforcement Guy: Well, it’s not Silence of the Lambs, but it’s what we do.

Scully is a Badass, Haters to the Left
Scully drove the car! With Mulder in the passenger seat! I mean, it’s her car because she’s driving him to where he left his, BUT STILL

Classic Quote
Deep Throat: Trust … trust no one. [dies.]

Watch or Skip?
Watch.

Next Time on Project X: Season Two, bitches!! Just in time for Season 10 to air!
But seriously: “Little Green Men,” “The Host,” “Blood,” “Sleepless,” “Duane Barry,” “Ascension,” and “3.” 

Guys. Important things are gonna happen next time.

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2016 in Project X

 

Project X: Week 3, episodes 1.15 – 1.21

Just getting right into this and hoping to be caught up … someday.

Episode 1.15: “Lazarus”

Netflix Synopsis
The consciousness of a dangerous criminal possesses an FBI agent who is also Scully’s ex-boyfriend.

Alaina’s Synopsis
Scully’s Ex-Boyfriend Jack and a bank robber switch bodies when they’re both shot and die at the same time, only Scully doesn’t know until Scully’s Ex-Boyfriend Jack kidnaps her and handcuffs her to a radiator.

MOTW/Mytharc
MOTW, although it’s not really a monster …

Unexplainable Phenomena
The FBI is actually doing FBI-like things, like foiling a bank robbery!

Have I ever told any of you my FBI bank robber story?

All About Alaina
So, when I was a second-year freshman at the University of Southern Maine (after transferring from Franklin Pierce College), I had to take this “Introduction to Accounting” class – it only met for like, six or eight weeks, once a week. It was a one-credit class, and for the most part, it was bullshit. But one thing they’d do is bring in people from different agencies with accounting backgrounds, in an effort to show how “cool” accounting was.

Also, this was right after the Enron and WorldCom accounting scandals, so they were also trying to show us the legitimate ways to be accountants. And there were a bunch of boring people, but one night, this guy from the local branch of the FBI was there.

Now, I had actually chosen Accounting as my major because I wanted to join the FBI, and a bachelor’s degree in accounting was the easiest way to get in. You know why I wanted to be an FBI agent? DANA SCULLY, Y’ALL.

But then I learned that I can’t run, and all agents have to go through the obstacle course at Quantico. So … I worked in retail for 10 years!

BUT ANYWAY. The people at that seminar would take questions and answers, and one of the questions for the FBI guy was, “What is a typical day in the life for you?”

And I’ve never forgotten what he said:

“It never fails; you try and plan your day, and someone robs a bank.”

I keep saying I’m going to cross-stitch that into a sampler, but I haven’t yet. But seriously, that is a good line.

First Meetings
– First time Scully kills someone! After the bank robber shoots Jack, Scully drops him like he’s … hot?

I’m sorry.

– Also, Scully’s first ex-boyfriend who isn’t Donal Logue!
– Also-also, the bank robber has a tattoo that shows up on Jack’s body, so — evil tattoos!

Unbelievable Shit
That Scully dated someone who has the same birthday as her. I don’t know if I’d ever date someone who has the same birthday as me; I’d be scared that we’d be too alike. Oh no! No one would ever clean out the fridge.

Fun Fact!
Scully’s birthday is February 23.

Ships Ahoy!
Mulder, in talking with Jack/Bank Robber’s ransom demand: “Now you listen to me – you lay one hand on Scully, I swear to God –”
And when he’s leading the team who’s going to search and rescue Scully: “For those of you who don’t know already, this one’s important to me, so … let’s do it right.”

(It’s so weird to see Mulder actually working professionally with other FBI agents.)

Watch or Skip?
Feel free to skip this one.

Episode 1.16: “Young At Heart”

Netflix Synopsis
A criminal believed to have died in prison years earlier wages a vendetta against Mulder.

Alaina’s Synopsis
A prisoner with Benjamin Button disease escapes and leaves love notes for Mulder everywhere and also, he breaks into Scully’s apartment.

MOTW/Mytharc
A hybrid of the two, because it turns out that the escaped prisoner is working with the Shadow Government. Also, Cigarette Smoking Man was there!

Fashion Statements
Scully’s mint triple-breasted suit with matching Oxford stripe blouse:

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Mulder, You Precious Angel
He shouts “I’ll get you, you son of a bitch” in broad daylight.

Thing I Can’t Even
Scully Doogie-Howsering at home with a cup of tea, and a lit candelabra. And what sounds like Carmina Burana in the score, under Mark Snow’s eerie violins:

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This is so 1994, I can’t even.

First Meetings
– First time Scully is shot! SPOILER ALERT: she was wearing a bulletproof vest.

Watch or Skip
I mean, I think you’ve got the jist just from this, so — skip.

Episode 1.17: “E.B.E.”

Netflix Synopsis
Mulder and Scully become the focus of a misinformation campaign when they attempt to trace the government’s secret transport of an alien life form.

Alaina’s Synopsis
Mulder and Scully road trip across America, following a tractor trailer truck possibly carrying a dead alien.

MOTW/Mytharc
Definitely Mytharc.

First Meetings
I’m going to need you to open this in a new tab and please play it on repeat throughout this section: let’s get ready to look good!

In this episode, we meet …. THE LONE GUNMEN!

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John_Fitzgerald_ByersSO AND SO

Melvin_FrohikeTHE UGLY ONE

(you guys – when I realized I could introduce these guys a la Teen Girl Squad, I was SO FREAKING HAPPY)

The Lone Gunmen – Langley (“Cheerleader”), Frohike (“The Ugly One”), and Byers (“So-and-So”) – are Mulder’s occasional accomplices. They run a magazine called “The Lone Gunmen,” and Mulder sometimes asks them for help. In another classic quote (that didn’t make the Classic Quote section below), Byers says of Mulder, “That’s what we like about you, Mulder; your ideas are weirder than ours.”

Also, Frohike quickly develops a crush on Scully.

Other, Less Important First Meetings
– Mulder’s apartment!- The manner in which Mulder signals to Deep Throat from his apartment!
– Scully actually drives the car with Mulder in the passenger seat!

Unbelievable Shit
That Mulder and Deep Throat had enough time together to actually plan out these elaborate, secretive communication gambits.

Classic Conversation
Scully: Those were the most paranoid people I have ever met. I don’t know how you could think that what they say is even remotely plausible.
Mulder: I think it’s remotely plausible that someone might think you’re hot.

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Fashion Statements
Mulder, your tie:

20150826_230140
What even is that?!

Ships Ahoy
At one point, Mulder leaves the office, grabbing Scully’s shoulder on his way out. It’s practically a caress.

Classic Quote
Deep Throat: Mulder, the truth is out there – but so are lies.

Horrible Irony
Mulder and Deep Throat meet at the shark tank to discuss the fact that Deep Throat gave Mulder a fake photo. You guys know about sharks, right? How they never stop swimming or they’ll die?

TWO SECONDS LATER
Deep Throat: “Mulder, if a shark stops swimming, he will die. Don’t stop swimming.”

HAND TO GOD, I wrote my note before Deep Throat had his line. Also:

dory3
I am IN LOVE with the idea that Mulder is Marlin. Holy shit, Mulder, the look on your faaaaace.

Watch or Skip
WATCH.

Episode 1.18: “Miracle Man”

Netflix Synopsis
The agents investigate a ministry led by a man whose son possesses the power to heal – and to kill – with a touch of his hand.

Alaina’s Synopsis
A preacher’s adopted son seems to perform miracles. In addition, he also makes Mulder see visions of his abducted sister, Samantha.

Full Disclosure Moment
When I read the Netflix synopsis, I was reminded that there is an episode – in a much later season – about a preacher who preaches using the power of snakes. And I should tell y’all right now – there is NO WAY IN HELL that I am rewatching that episode. I would just tell you to skip it anyway, because nothing important happens there. FUCK SNAKES, MAN. FUCK ‘EM.

MOTW/Mytharc
MOTW, with a side of Samantha.

First Meetings
– Scully’s first autopsy!

Mulder, You Precious Angel
The preacher’s son who can heal by laying on hands basically John Edward’s Mulder about Samantha.

Watch or Skip
Since the above is literally all I have to say about this episode? SKIP.

Episode 1.19: “Shapes”

Netflix Synopsis
The agents track a wolf-like creature linked to Native American Legend.

Alaina’s Synopsis
… see above.

MOTW/Mytharc
MOTW.

Special Guest Stars
Michael Horse! Basically, if anyone needed a sheriff of Native American heritage, they hired this guy. He played Tommy Hill on Twin Peaks (which no, I haven’t watched yet), but fellow 90s kids will recognize his voice as belonging to Elisa Maza’s father on Gargoyles! (He also voice-acted on Liberty’s Kids, but I couldn’t find out which character. Wait, he was in “The Turtle”? THAT’S THE EPISODE WHERE SARAH SAYS “GIVE US BLACK DICK AND WE’LL FEAR NOTHING”

OH MY GOD – IT’S COLLEGE ALL UP IN HERE RIGHT NOW)

Classic Conversation
Dude: It gave me the creeps.
Scully: … the “creeps”?
Dude: Yeah, the creeps. Don’t you ever get the creeps?

Oh, and while we’re talking about Spaceballs, I’m gonna put this here so I can easily retrieve it later, for when I send some taxpayers their forgotten passwords:

Watch or Skip
Skip, guys. I totally had this on as background noise.

Episode 1.20: “Darkness Falls”

Netflix Synopsis
A group of loggers working in a remote forest unearths thousands of deadly insect-like creatures that paralyze – and then cocoon – their victims.

Alaina’s Synopsis
Commercial Wood Harvesters find scary bugs that are afraid of the light.

Special Guest Star
Titus Welliver! You may know him as the Man in Black from the last few episodes of Lost (*shakes fist about that show, still*), but others may know him as Silas Adams from Deadwood! Yay!
(Also, he has hair here – it’s kind of weird.)
(Did Timothy Olyphant ever guest-star on The X-Files? or Ian McShane? Oh man — I can’t fucking wait)

Fashion Statement
Holy shit, Scully. Where did you get that jacket. Oh my god.

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Also, later in the episode, she wears this:

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(In real life – and in her defense – Gillian Anderson was pregnant with her first child at this time, and obviously, they couldn’t have Scully get knocked up, so … tried and true methods of really bad blousy tops!)

Classic Quote
Dude: The only crime to investigate here is the death of that tree.

Fun Fact!
The Mt. St. Helens eruption that Mulder discusses in this episode? Happened on May 18, 1980, which is the day after my parents married.     You’re welcome?

Watch or Skip
Only watch if you’re a die-hard Titus Welliver fan.

Episode 1.21: “Tooms”

Netflix Synopsis
Eugene Tooms, a supernatural killer whom Mulder helped incarcerate, is released on parole.

Alaina’s Synopsis
Creepy Squeezy Guy gets out on parole, eats his therapist, and then Mulder kills him in an amazing way. But in a way, it doesn’t even matte, because Skinner is trying to get Scully to get Mulder to return to the fundamentals of investigation.

MOTW/Mytharc
Technically MOTW, I guess? I mean, it’s our first sequel of sorts. But we also see the Cigarette Smoking Man, so there are hints of Mytharc about.

First Meetings
YOU GUYS

YOU GUYS

[WK.Pilleggi X Files.0311.] Caption: WK.Pileggi XFiles. Mitch Pilleggi as Skinner credit Michael Lavine/Fox Mandatory Credit: SEE CAPTION/HANDOUT Photographer: SEE CAPTION Title: HANDOUT Country: USA Date: 19980311 Object Name: WK.Pilleggi X Files.0311. Category: WK Supplemental Category 1: OC

I promised y’all an ode, didn’t I?
(thank god odes don’t have to rhyme)

AN ODE TO WALTER SKINNER
by Alaina

O Skinner,
Protector, bureaucrat;
Assistant director to my heart.
Your honesty is a beacon through the shadowy darkness,
Much like light bouncing off your perfectly-shaven head.
Your feelings towards Mulder are the epitome of
An equal mixture of amusement and frustration.
Your spectacles shine like justice,
And your voice is dark, like tinted glass
You are fast, thorough, and sharp as a tack.
You tour the facility, and you pick up the slack.
You want the girl with the short skirt and the loooooooooong …. jacket.

… I realize that devolved into Cake’s “Short Skirt, Long Jacket.” I have no regrets.

YES, this is the first appearance of one Walter S. Skinner, Assistant Director of the FBI. Section Chief Blevins (who I don’t think we’ve seen since the pilot, to be honest) falls under his purview, and therefore, so do Mulder and Scully.

And look, if your only opinion of Skinner is formed off of this episode, PLEASE WAIT. Because I did not remember that Skinner was an absolute DICK in this episode. But he was. And also almost so far in the Cigarette Smoking Man’s pocket that he’s that loose dime that always gets stuck in the corner.

Just you wait – this man will become AWESOME.

Special Guest Star
Paul Ben-Victor, playing Tooms’s lawyer or doctor or whatever. Who’s this guy? Well, he was best-known to me as Stan from In Plain Sight, that show about U.S. Marshals that was on USA for five seasons. But if y’all had listened to me a couple of years ago and watched FDR: American Badass like I told you, y’all would realize that you’re currently looking at a much younger, less werewolfy Mussolini.

Scully’s Hair
Has become flatter and rounder.

Ships Ahoy!
This entire scene:
Mulder: They’re out to put an end to the X-Files, Scully. I don’t know why, but any excuse will do. I don’t really care about my record, but you’d be in trouble just sitting in this car. I’d hate to see you carry an official reprimand in your file because of me.
Scully: Fox …
Mulder: (sheepish) I … I even made my parents call me Mulder.
Scully: Mulder, I wouldn’t put myself on the line for anybody but you.
Mulder: If there’s an iced tea in that bag, it could be love.
Scully: Must be fate, Mulder: root beer.

Thing I Yelled At The TV
When Mulder traps Tooms under the escalator:
“Tooms had better fear and respect that escalator.”

Thing I Also Yelled At The TV
as Tooms gets caught in the escalator and dies horribly
“HIS PANTS GOT CAUGHT AND A BLOODBATH ENSUED!”

Watch or Skip
Watch this one. WATCH IT.

Next time on Project X: The end of Season 1! “Born Again,” “Roland,” and “The Erlenmeyer Flask.”

 
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Posted by on September 20, 2015 in Project X

 

Project X: Week 2, episodes 1.08 – 1.14

Shut up. Leave me and my quote-unquote “lateness” alone. I’ve been busy.

Episode 1.08: “Ice”

Netflix Synopsis
Mulder and Scully are sent to investigate when a team of geophysicists stationed at a remote Alaskan outpost is killed by a parasitic alien life form.

Alaina’s Synopsis
It’s the one where they end up in Alaska with the guy from 24 and Mrs. H. Macy and paranoia ensues! It’s the alien worm thingee in the spine — wait, no, that was when Scully was giving birth. Maybe. But still! This is a great episode!

MOTW / Mytharc?
Monster of the Week – I mean, it’s an ice tapeworm that lives in ammonia that makes people crazy-angry!

Special Guest Stars
Xander Berkeley, erstwhile of 24! Felicity Huffman, lately of that show that no one watched to my knowledge, American Crime! No slight against you, Felicity Huffman, because you’re amazing!

Also, wait — who’s the guy playing the pilot? Is that – is that Kralik, the evil vampire that had to battle Buffy in “Helpless”?
*imdb’s that shit*
HOLY SHIT IT IS OH GOD OH GOD

Mulder, You Precious Angel
as they’re all disrobing, attempting to see if anyone has been infected with the evil alien tapeworm:
Before anyone passes judgment, may I remind you — we are in the Arctic.”

Ships Ahoy
I’m sure it wasn’t supposed to be played this way, but after they’ve locked Mulder in the closet because they think he’s infected with the evil alien tapeworm, and Scully goes in to inspect him for worms, and then he turns her around angrily and does the same thing, pushing her hair off her neck and rubbing her shoulders and back looking for the evil alien tapeworm? It’s … it’s a lot sexier than it sounds right there, trust me.

Classic Quote
We are not who we are.

Scully is a Badass, Haters to the Left
Kralik attempts to escape the ice pod or wherever they are, and brains Mulder with a jar and makes a run for it. Scully just fuckin’ tackles the fucker and nails him to the ground when no one else has the wherewithal to move.

Also, she tells everyone to Shut Up. For those counting, we’re at one. (full disclosure – I may have missed some. but I’m not going back to recount.)

Watch or Skip?
Definitely watch this one. Evil alien tapeworm aside, the paranoia running rampant in what is essentially a bottle episode amps up the creep factor.

Episode 1.09: “Space”

Netflix Synopsis
When a space shuttle mission is sabotaged, Mulder suspects it may be the work of an alien spirit that inhabits the body of a former Gemini astronaut.

Alaina’s Synopsis
… … oh, brother. This is a stupid one, isn’t it? I seem to remember hearing that this one is rather stupid.

MOTW / Mytharc?
Monster of the week.

Full Disclosure Moment
So basically, this whole episode is a setup to show how much Mulder loves space. We get it. He also idolizes this astronaut, Marcus Aurelius Whatshisface. But look, guys – they say “sabotage” and “saboteur” so much, I may have created …

Drinking Game!
I poured myself a Tom Collins and took a sip every time someone said “sabotage,” “saboteur,” or some other derivative. I may have also kept this in a tab and played it every once in a while: listen all of y’all it’s a sabotage!

Mulder, You Precious Angel
Just look at this face, as he gazes upon his childhood hero, Marcus Aurelius Whatshisface:

20150731_224251So precious.

Unbelievable Shit
That some mother out there thought that naming her son “Marcus Aurelius” was a good idea. I mean, it doesn’t even matter which Marcus Aurelius it is – either way, the playground must have suuuucked for little Marky.

Unexplainable Phenomena
The alien spirit that’s possessing Marcus Aurelius? Is White Pac-Man.

20150731_231241

See?  See?!

Drinking Game Update
After Alaina’s 10th sip: OH GOD, how are there still 13 minutes left?!

Classic Quote
Mulder: Something weird is going on here, Scully.

Watch or Skip?
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, unless you like polishing off a Tom Collins in under half an hour, there is NO NEED WHATSOEVER to watch this episode. If you decide to be brave and do Sabotage Shots, there are twelve of them. TWELVE.

SKIP THIS EPISODE IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT IS HOLY.

YOU’RE WELCOME.

Episode 1.10: “Fallen Angel”

Netflix Synopsis
The future of the X-Files project is jeopardized after Mulder secretly infiltrates the government cover up of a UFO crash.

Alaina’s Synopsis
Mulder investigates a possible UFO crash on his own, makes a new BFF named Max (they exchange friendship bracelets!) (no they don’t, but I think they wanted to), Max suffers seizures because he was abducted when he was 10 (or so Mulder thinks, because Max doesn’t actually remember); Max gets abducted again and then Mulder takes Max’s hat home because he really was a friend, guys, and then the X-Files almost gets shut down but Deep Throat (REMEMBER HIM?) (he’s also the one who sent Mulder to the UFO crash site in the fucking first place) overturns the decision so the X-Files isn’t cancelled yaaaay

MOTW / Mytharc?
Definitely Mytharc. Shadowy government, code words, hiding a crash site of a UFO, Deep Throat … all of the inner workings of an early Mytharc.

Mulder, You Precious Angel
Max tells Mulder that all of his (Max’s) buddies devoured the papers Mulder’s written under the pseudonym “F.M. Luder.” Mulder is astonished that Max and his buddies knew it was him (Mulder). Seriously, Mulder? Really? You’re supposed to be intelligent, dude! That is the stupidest pseudonym!

Ships Ahoy
Mulder’s friend Max introduces himself to the “enigmatic agent Scully” and extends a hearty handshake, while Mulder pushes Max away from her. Later, Mulder is seen to whisper to himself, “the enigmatic agent Scully,” with a soft smile. Oh, you.

Watch or Skip?
Skip, unless you want to see Mulder in a slightly darker black tactileneck.

Episode 1.11: “Eve”

HOLD ON, I NEED Y’ALL TO OPEN THIS IN ANOTHER TAB AND PLAY IT UNDERNEATH AS YOU READ THIS: clicky!

Netflix Synopsis
Mulder and Scully search for two girls who disappeared after their fathers were murdered in an identical fashion.

Alaina’s Synopsis
This plot is like if Orphan Black was merged with Dark Angel, and a dash of The Omen. Also, never trust twins on this show. Ever.

MOTW / Mytharc?
Monster of the Week, although it’s really Creepy Clones Of the Week.

Special Guest Stars
Harriet Sansom Harris plays the elder Eves. She was everywhere in the early 1990s. Some of you may remember her from Frasier as Dr. Crane’s agent, Bebe; she was on a very unwatched show called The Five Mrs. Buchanans that I’m pretty sure I was the only audience member; and more recently, she was Felicia Tilman on Desperate Housewives. But my sister will know her as Maggie Cutler from that video of The Man Who Came to Dinner starring Nathan Lane.

Thing I Didn’t Know About Myself
Mulder wearing glasses is apparently very attractive to me. Huh. Did not know that.

Thing I Yelled At The TV
At Mulder’s slide of an exsanguinated cow:
“THAT IS THE SAME COW!”

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This cow will be important in approximately 98 episodes.

Classic Quote
Mulder: Agents Mulder and Scully to see Eve 6.

Fun Fact!
The band Eve 6 took their name from this episode!

Watch or Skip?
It’s our first evil twins! You should watch this one.

Episode 1.12: “Fire”

Netflix Synopsis
Mulder and Scully join forces with an inspector from Scotland Yard when a man with pyrokinetic powers stalks members of the British aristocracy.

Alaina’s Synopsis
Mulder’s ex-girlfriend Phoebe comes over from Britain and basically makes him walk through fire for her, because she’s a bitch. Also, Crowley from Supernatural is there!

MOTW / Mytharc?
Monster of the Week, in that a pyrokinetic is a “monster.”

First Meetings
– Mulder’s ex-girlfriend, Phoebe! Not that I think we see her ever again; just the fact that Mulder has a girlfriend who happens to be flesh and blood is rather new right now.

Special Guest Stars
Mark Sheppard, in his first television role! Woo hoo! Y’all may know him as the aforementioned Crowley on Supernatural, but he’s been on almost everything. He was Benedict Valda on Warehouse 13, Romo Lampkin on Battlestar Galactica … Badger on Firefly! But to me, he will always be Manservant Neville on Show of My Heart, The Middleman.

Mulder, You Precious Angel
His hair is so full of secrets! In this episode, we learn that Mulder is deathly afraid of fire, and also, he’s “cursed” with a photographic memory – his words.

Ships Ahoy
Scully nurses Mulder back to health after his smoke inhalation scare. Somehow he got down to his boxers… ?

That’s What She Said
Mulder: I was merely extending her a professional courtesy.
Scully: Oh, is that what you were extending?

Watch or Skip?
Watch it only for the moment when Mulder realizes he won the breakup. Also, though, Mark Sheppard is a delight.

Episode 1.13: “Beyond the Sea”

Netflix Synopsis
Scully believes that the psychic predictions of a death row inmate are the only hope in apprehending a vicious murderer.

Alaina’s Synopsis
Master Character Actor Brad Dourif uses “psychic” abilities to help Scully solve a a kidnapping and also resolve some daddy issues.

MOTW / Mytharc?
Neither, really. More of a character-building episode? This feels more like an episode designed to bring Scully closer to the fold of “believing.”

First Meetings
– Scully’s mom, Maggie!
– Scully’s brother, Bill!- Scully’s sister, Melissa!
– Scully’s father, Captain William Scully!

Sadly, Captain Bill Scully succumbs to a heart attack before the credits roll, leaving Scully – the Starbuck to her father’s Captain Ahab – distraught and adrift.

Also:
– Mulder gets shot for the first time! For those counting, we’re at one.

Special Guest Stars
BRAD DOURIF! Wormtongue from the Lord of the Rings movies, but also Doc Cochran from Deadwood! He masterfully plays Luther Lee Boggs, the death row inmate who Scully starts to believe is maybe actually psychic. (oh my god he’s so young here)

Scully’s Hair
Is less voluminous in this episode than we’ve seen recently. It’s probably in mourning.

Unexplainable Phenomena
Mulder calls Scully “Dana.” Repeatedly. I get that he thinks he’s being comforting, but it’s very weird.

Ships Ahoy
Mulder gently caresses Scully’s cheek as she bravely holds back her tears. He also pats her shoulder a couple of times to comfort her. you guys come on

That’s What She Said
Scully: I thought that you’d be pleased that I’d opened myself to extreme possibilities.

Classic Quote
Mulder: Dana, open yourself up to extreme possibilities, only when they’re the truth.

Everything is Hannibal and Everything Hurts
Serial killer behind bars, coded messages, kidnapped kid(s), daddy issues, Scully-as-Clarice … come on.

Scully is a Badass, Haters to the Left
She leads the team to catch the kidnapper (because Mulder’s currently residing in a hospital bed, recuperating from his flesh bullet wound), and she’s kicking down doors and letting dudes fall to their deaths left and right.

Watch or Skip?
Seeing as how this page in my notebook is the fullest, you had better watch this one. Brad Dourif, guys! COME ON

Episode 1.14: “Gender Bender”

Netflix Synopsis
A religious sect member capable of changing gender becomes the prime suspect in a murder spree.

Alaina’s Synopsis
A cult somehow has the power to switch genders and one of them – with super aphrodisiac touch powers – goes on a rumspringa of doom and murders a lot of people.

MOTW / Mytharc?
Monster of the Week.

Special Guest Stars
The town of Storybrooke, Maine!

20150815_232325
(It’s a set outside of Vancouver. But hey, I’ve seen that town before!)

Also, we have —

First Meetings
– Nicholas Lea, playing a random dude victim! (we’ll meet him for reals later)

Wrap it Up, Alaina
I didn’t have much to say about this episode. Basically, the cult ends up being aliens anyway, what the fuck.

Watch or Skip?
Skip.

Next time, on Project X: “Lazarus,” “Young at Heart,” “E.B.E.,” “Miracle Man,” “Shapes,” “Darkness Falls,” and “Tooms.” And the introduction of four of our favorite characters!

What am I saying, the other three can be lame at times.

Guys. Guys. Guyyyyys….

skinner’s comin’ for y’all.

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2015 in Project X

 

Project X: Week 1, episodes 1.01 – 1.07

All right – here we go.

20150707_224159

Episode 1.01: “Pilot”

Netflix Synopsis
Agent Dana Scully is instructed to debunk an FBI project dubbed “The X-Files,” paranormal cases that have been reopened by Agent Fox Mulder.

Alaina’s Synopsis
Scully meets Mulder for the first time, is almost immediately taken on a trip out to West Bumfuck, Oregon, at which point weird shit happens to their car and some dude may or may not have been abducted (note: not), and also Scully mistook mosquito bites for alien shit. Also, Scully and Mulder (platonically) shared a motel room, and thus, a Ship was born.

Monster of the Week (MOTW) or Mythological Episode (Mytharc)?
As it’s the Pilot, I’m going to call it “a little of both.”

First Meetings
LITERALLY ALMOST EVERYONE
– Dana Scully: who, in the Pilot, looks EXACTLY like Jodie Foster’s Clarice Starling from the back. Scully is brought to the X-Files by …
– Section Chief Blevins: who wants Scully to debunk Mulder’s cockamamie X-Files theories so Mulder can get back to solving real crimes again.
– Also there’s CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN, smoking ominously in the background in a federal building, as one does.
– Don’t forget: Fox Mulder! Oxford-educated, he works in his basement office, constantly looking through the X-Files in the hope of learning about …
– Samantha Mulder’s abduction: Mulder’s driving force.

I also want to point out that we meet the following:
– Mulder’s Slide Carousel
– Mulder’s Sunflower Seeds
– Chryons (letting us know when and where we are, in neutral Courier New font)

Fashion Statements
Hol. Lee. Shit. Scully’s blazer. That’s not a blazer, that’s a dress. It’s not double-breasted, either – it’s like, Blade Runner-replicant triple-breasted, if that’s even a thing. What the fuck.
(from Alaina’s notes: thank god it burned in that motel fire)

Scully’s Hair
Shoulder-length bob, curled under, parted to the side. In the field, up in a ponytail. We won’t see it this long again until The X-Files: I Want to Believe

scully pilot

Unexplainable Phenomena
Bright lights, time loss, screwy compasses, disappearing teenagers, weird bumps that look like mosquito bites, unknown organic proteins; Scully’s plaid blazer that literally died in a fire

Unbelievable Shit
That their flight to Oregon from DC was that empty.

Ships Ahoy
Scully runs into Mulder’s motel room wearing her underwear and her robe, and disrobes in front of him because she’s worried some mosquito bites could be alien bites or something. Seriously – Chris Carter, how did you not think people would think they were doing it? Episode One, baby!

Classic Quote
Mulder: “Nobody down here but the FBI’s Most Unwanted.”

Everything is Hannibal and Everything Hurts
No, seriously, did you know that Clarice Starling was one of the points of inspiration for Dana Scully? This episode premiered about eighteen months after The Silence of the Lambs won big at the Oscars; it only makes sense that Dana Scully resembles Clarice.

Watch or Skip?
Watch. It’s the pilot, guys! You kind of have to.

Episode 1.02: “Deep Throat”

Netflix Synopsis
Mulder and Scully investigate the mysterious case of a military test pilot who disappeared after experiencing strange psychotic behavior.

Alaina’s Synopsis
Mulder and Scully go to … Iowa? maybe? to see what happened to this pilot that disappeared and then returned but his wife didn’t think he was the same person, and there have been UFO sightings in town near this base, WHAT A COINCIDENCE MULDER, and also, Seth Green was there.

MOTW or Mytharc?
Mytharc; a case could be made that this episode introduces the shadowy military-industrial complex that The X-Files uses so often.

First Meetings
– Credits sequence! Oh god — right in the feels!
– Deep Throat! played to hangdog perfection by Jerry Hardin, this is someone who works in the Department of Defense who befriends Mulder and feeds him information about DOD stuff that relates to the X-Files.
– Microfiche!
– Cell phones the size of a brick!

Special Guest Star
Seth Green! With long hair and full Nirvana grunge flannel. It’s like he stepped out of a Pearl Jam mosh pit and landed in Iowa or whatever.

Fashion Statements
The aforementioned Nirvana flannel on Seth Green and his girlfriend. Also, SCULLY.

20150711_222138
THOSE GLASSES. And is that – is that a flower brooch? Oh honey, no.

Scully’s Hair
See the above photograph. As you can see, Season One Hair is much shorter than in the Pilot. It has a little bit of bounce, of curl, all shellacked down underneath a cloud of hairspray. It’s just long enough to pull into a short ponytail for the occasional autopsy, and we may see it in the occasional chignon for her very few and far between date nights. Basically, all the hair needs is to be jet black and it’s like Dark Helmet sans visor.

Dearest Dana Scully: I kid because I love and admire you. Don’t ever change, Season One Scully.

WAIT I FORGOT A FASHION STATEMENT
Mulder’s Running Outfit. Holy. Shit. Those short shorts. With holes. and the sweatshirt with the sleeves ripped off by bears, apparently. Oh dear god, early nineties fashion; you may very well be the death of me.

Unexplainable Phenomena
Military aircraft built out of UFO parts, so they don’t follow the laws of physics.

Ships Ahoy
In the above still, Scully’s waiting for Mulder at 2 in the afternoon in a bar in downtown Washington, DC. When he approaches her from behind (and to the left – HOLY SHIT CONSPIRACY), he leans in as if he was going to kiss her cheek, but she ~senses~ a presence and leans back just in time.

That’s What She Said
“… while they were routinely penetrating Russian airspace.”

Classic Quote
Scully: Mulder, did you see their eyes? If I were that stoned —
Mulder: Ooh! “If you were that stoned,” what?

Watch or Skip?
As this episode introduces the shadowy government and Deep Throat, it’s worth the watch.

Episode 1.03: “Squeeze”

Netflix Synopsis
Mulder and Scully search for a humanoid killer whose savage murder spree reoccurs every 30 years.

Alaina’s Synopsis
From my notes: “OH SHIT THIS IS THE ONE WITH THE GUY WHO LIVES IN THE WALLS NOOO WHY AM I WATCHING THIS ONE BEFORE BED AHH GOD”

MOTW or Mytharc?
Monster of the Week

First Meetings
– Eugene Victor Tooms! The guy who can squeeze into any space and kills people and eats their livers! He’s lived for over a hundred years between killing people and then hibernating! He’s wicked creepy and definitely should not be an episode you watch at midnight!

Special Guest Stars
Donal Logue as an Academy acquaintance of Scully’s, who has lunch with her in the beginning of the episode.

Fashion Statements
This is the episode where the shot in the credits of Mulder and Scully entering a room and waving their flashlights around comes from. So – mahogany plaid suit with fully-buttoned button-down for our girl Scully. Damn, girl – Season 5 cannot come soon enough for your wardrobe.

Scully’s Hair
Up in a chignon at some point.

Unexplained Phenomena
Why does the first dead guy have a carved wooden hippo on his desk?

Ships Ahoy
– Donal Logue calls Scully “Mrs. Spooky” at one point, referring to her partner at the X-Files. (Did I forget to mention Mulder’s nickname was “Spooky”? Fuck, I’m a terrible narrator. Mulder’s nickname at the Academy was “Spooky.” Also, the horse was blue.)
– In the police station, Mulder realigns Chekov’s Necklace – I mean, Scully’s Necklace; in doing so, he comes perilously close to second base.
(Seriously, I know I haven’t watched a lot of this show, but I don’t recall Scully wearing long necklaces ever. Maybe she stopped after the Tooms case because necklaces apparently lead serial killers directly to her apartment?)

Classic Quote
Scully: Mulder, I think it’s bile.
Mulder: Is there any way I can get it off my fingers quickly without betraying my cool exterior?

Everything is Hannibal and Everything Hurts
The location of this episode was Baltimore, Maryland.
The victims had their livers removed.HANNIBAL RUTHERFORD LECTOR WHAT ARE YOU EVEN DOING

Watch or Skip?
Watch, most definitely.

Episode 1.04: “Conduit”

Netflix Synopsis
Mulder becomes obsessed with solving a case that closely parallels an “encounter” he experienced as a child.

Alaina’s Synopsis
A kid goes missing similar to how Samantha went missing, Mulder and Scully investigate, the kid brother starts drawing in binary and it turns out it was all a teenage runaway story. Also, Scully invades Mulder’s privacy by listening to the tapes of his regression hypnosis therapy.

MOTH/Mytharc?
Mostly Mytharc, what with all the emoting about Samantha and whatnot.

Fashion Statements
Scully sports a hunter green velvet blazer over a dark purple sweater. She looks like a leprechaun.
— OH WAIT! Houndstooth suit with black collar tips! There you are, old friend!

Ships Ahoy
The NSA barge into Scully’s motel room in the middle of the night … looking for Mulder.

Classic Quote
Mulder: “I want to believe.”

Watch or Skip?
If you’re a purist? Probably watch. If  you’re okay getting to the better parts? Feel free to skip.

Episode 1.05: “The Jersey Devil”

Netflix Synopsis
Mulder and Scully track a legendary creature that has roamed the New Jersey countryside for over 40 years.

Alaina’s Synopsis
“Holy shit, Scully goes on a date.” Also, there’s a — THERE’S A CANNIBAL ON THE LOOSE HOLY SHIT BUCKLE UP KIDS THE HANNIBAL GLOVES ARE COMING OFF

MOTW/Mytharc?
ooohhhhh Monster of the Week.

First Meetings
– Mulder’s pornography!
– Scully’s biological clock!

Special Guest Star
Who the hell is the guy playing Scully’s date? **goes to IMDB** Oh, he’s —

parks-literally-3

lit’rally? been in everything.
*scrolls further*
Aw, he was the dad on Reaper! I loved that show!

Fashion Statements
Scully’s wearing a collar pin. This is not a drill.

Scully’s Hair
The hair is more windblown than in episodes past; but maybe she was just rushing to get to the basement office to keep Mulder from abusing himself in a federal building.

Mulder, You Precious Angel
The motel he chose in Atlantic City? The Galaxy Gateway.

Ships Ahoy
– Scully’s friend thinks she (Dana) should date Mulder.
– Scully’s mouth twitches in pride when Mulder praises her as a prestigious medical doctor to the detective in charge of the case.

Classic Quote
Lead Detective: I got a perpetrator out there. Whether it’s Hannibal the Cannibal [[ed.: (c) Frederick Chilton]] or Elmer Fudd, I’ve got a job: to protect people.

tom haverford

will graham chibi

Watch or Skip?
I mean … I put it high on the Watch list, only because there are some funny parts and EVERYTHING IS HANNIBAL. is it mandatory? Probably not.

Episode 1.06: “Shadows”

Netflix Synopsis
Mulder and Scully investigate the deaths of two men believed to have been killed by a powerful psychokinetic force.

Alaina’s Synopsis
Someone created a ghost that can kill people with her brain. Or something.

MOTW/Mytharc?
Monster of the Week.

Fashion Statement

20150720_222822

Please see above. Oh, Scully.  (That’s a dark green suit with a pumpkin orange blouse, and white hose. OH THE HUMANITY.)

Ships Ahoy
Mulder wants to take Scully to see the Liberty Bell. Sadly, this aired well before Barney Stinson and Ted Mosby went and licked the Liberty Bell, and maybe I’m reaching, but guys – you want to date me? A midnight trip to lick the Liberty Bell will get you to at least second base.

There’s a joke I could make right there about your dick not being a Liberty Bell, even though it’s got a crack in it, but then I remembered that my mother may read this, so I’m going to refrain.

Whoops.  (sorry Mom)

Classic Quote
Mulder: I would never lie. I willfully participated in a campaign of misinformation.

Watch or Skip?
SKIP. Holy Hell, skip this one. I totally tuned out of this one.

Episode 1.07: “Ghost in the Machine”

Netflix Synopsis
On Halloween, Mulder and Scully investigate the death of a corporate executive who may have been murdered by a thinking computer.

Alaina’s Synopsis
Mulder and Scully investigate the second coming of Hal from 2001: A Space Odyssey. It ends just about how you’d expect.

MOTW/Mytharc?
Monster of the Week. Er … technological monster of the week, that is.

Fashion Statements
Scully’s ankle-length pants and heels. Yikes, honey.

Unexplainable Phenomena
Mulder’s interacting with people outside of his office at the breakfast cart? What? Mulder knows people? There are other people in the basement? Has my entire life been a lie?

Horrible Irony
That the name of the evil computer is abbreviated C.O.S., and that its brain scan images bring to mind some iconic sweaters from a certain 80s TV show.

20150721_223223

Scully is a Badass, Haters To the Left
Basically John McClane-ing her way through the air ducts, shooting out the motors of fans to keep her from being sliced like proscuitto, and shoving her gun in a Dept. of Defense agent’s face. DANA SCULLY: FUCK YEAH

Watch or Skip?
You can skip this one. For a better “Computer Controls Everything” episode, might I recommend “Treehouse of Horror XII,” wherein Pierce Brosnan voices the evil computer house that falls in love with Marge and tries to kill Homer with the sweet, sweet scent of unexplained bacon?

Join us next week for “Ice,” “Space,” “Fallen Angel,” “Eve,” “Fire,” “Beyond the Sea,” and “Gender Bender.” I hope to be caught up to the rest of y’all in about a week, but we’ll see. I have … things to do.

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2015 in Project X

 

Project X: Inception

Y’all should know by now that I have a problem with consuming media. (My mother, upon reading this sentence, will roll her eyes and entreat me to tell her something she doesn’t already know.) Between the Breaking Bad marathon, the fact that my Netflix list is about 700 items long (an actual exaggeration), and all my Hannibal — well, “Hannibal-ing,” for lack of a better term (“Hanniballing” is something I’d like to do, all night every night HEYOOO), clearly, television is a very important part of my life.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, by the way. My outside life is very full. But I digress.

With the advent of having Netflix available on my TV – thanks, Blu-Ray Player With Streaming Capabilities That I Have Not Yet Named! – I can now consume media from My Spot On the Couch. Since Christmas, I have watched 30 Rock and Bojack Horseman all the way through, rewatched Bob’s Burgers twice, and am currently in season 5 of Parks and Recreation. I plan a big rewatch project every year (maybe Alias will be next year, you guys), but this year? I may actually achieve it.

I bring you … Project X.

The-X-Files

GUYS. The X-Files is coming back. This is awesome on so many levels.

I was *mumblemu* — you know? Fuck it. I was ten when The X-Files premiered. Being a rather sheltered kid growing up, I would not have been allowed to watch it even if I had shown an interest wanting to watch it. I was – and still am, in certain cases – a bit of a scaredy-cat, and the idea of watching a show about things that go bump in the night would have given me nightmares. But as my tastes evolved from the likes of Step by Step and Boy Meets World (and The Simpsons, because by that time Mom had given up on trying to keep me and my sister from watching them with Dad), the show’s popularity grew.

It wasn’t until I was in eighth grade – the spring of 1997 – that I started to get interested in The X-Files. My good friends Beth and Amelia were super-into the show, and I finally said “heck with it!,” and started to watch some of the reruns on UPN. (GUYS – remember UPN!?)

I am 95% sure that the first episode I ever saw was “Small Potatoes.” I seem to recall watching that and the slide into “Gesthemene” within a couple of months, before freshman year started. (I remember Beth being devastated after watching “Gethsemene” when it aired, and I had to know what happened. That may have been the true impetus for me getting involved with the show.) When season 5 began in my freshman year, I would watch them on my tiny TV in my bedroom with the lights off, because that’s what made the most sense.

And then, on February 22, 1998 – my life changed. Because on that night, “Bad Blood” aired. And I have yet to find another episode of television that touches my heart as much as “Bad Blood” continues to do.

I mean, “Mizumono” left scars on my heart that have yet to heal, so — totally different animal, there.

But I’ll talk about “Bad Blood” later. (and if i ever figure out how to make those fanvids on the youtubes, there will be a fanvid of “bad blood” set to Taylor Swift’s hit single “Bad Blood” and it will be EPIC)

So here’s what I’m going to do – The X-Files’ official internet presence is conducting a rewatch of all 201 episodes. It began last week, and if one is able to keep up, the rewatch will bring one right up to the premiere of the limited series next winter. I am going to attempt to follow along, and make a handy-dandy cheat sheet for each episode, so I can be reintroduced to the show all over again and maybe, inspire some of my readers to join in.

As you can probably imagine: I’m already behind.

Unlike my normal Movies Alaina’s Never Seen entries, Project X will be comparatively, blessedly short in scope. I plan to do a weekly post of seven eps, with the barest of depth: the episode summary from Netflix, Special Guest Stars, Mytharc or Monster of the Week, Classic Quotes, things like that. Depth will probably show up in introducing major characters (Krycek; there will be an epic ode devoted to Skinner, I’m sure), but then there will be other topics like, Ships Ahoy, wherein I point out all the places where Mulder and Scully were totally doing it (or people on the show thought they were doing it), or Fashion Statements, or Can Alaina Tie This Into Hannibal? Yes She Can!

Hopefully, by the end of Project X, you too will be able to tell what season the episode is in just by looking at Scully’s hairstyle.

I think it’s going to be fun! Also, I’m now taking bets to see how many episodes I watch before I give up. Hopefully it’ll be episode 201, but I’m not sure, my stamina’s not the greatest. But at the end of the day —

want to believe

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2015 in Project X

 

Psycho (part II)

So FUNNY STORY, as I was driving to work this morning, a state trooper came up on my ass from outta nowhere, and all I could think was that if he did pull me over (which he did NOT, booyah to me!), I would have no choice but to ask him, “Hey, so I watched Psycho last night, and if you came across a parked car on the side of the road and a woman was sleeping in it and when you went to make sure she was okay, she asked if it looked like she was doing anything wrong, what would your reaction be?”

Yes, I totally realize that I would be arrested after saying “Hey, so I watched Psycho last night.”

OKAY, so, what was going when we left off last night? (Oh no I’M GETTING DISTRACTED JAKE PERALTA’S FATHER IS BRADLEY WHITFORD ON BROOKLYN NINE-NINE I really didn’t think I could love this show more [maybe if Hugh Dancy or Mads Mikkleson guest-starred…])

(UPDATE: I have to turn off Brooklyn Nine-Nine because I can’t stop laughing at Terry Crews covered in donut hole powder. I HAVE TO GO.)

No really – what happened last night?

Okay, so Marion’s face down on the linoleum, and then the camera pans over to the newspaper filled with money, and then out to the house, where Norman shrieks, “Oh Mother, what — the blood!” Norman runs into Cabin #1 and is horrified by the sight he sees, but he steels himself to his task. He closes the window and the door, and turns all of the lights off. He comes out of the office carrying – oh, okay. It looked like he was carrying a giant poking device, and I was all TRUST ME SHE’S DEAD, but it’s actually just a really tall mop.

He drags Marion’s body outside and onto the shower curtain, then he washes his hands and starts cleaning the bathroom of all the arterial spray. Oh the 1960s, where no one knew about Luminol and basic crime scene investigative procedures. I mean, he’s not even using bleach!

Norman pulls Marion’s car directly up to the cabin door and pops the trunk. Then he gently places the corpse in the trunk, and goes back into the cabin for her belongings. He manages to grab everything except the $40,000 rolled up in the newspaper, which is still on the nightstand.

And just like in the pilot episode of Bates Motel, just as Norman’s dragging the mop and the suitcase outside, a car drives by! Only this time, the car doesn’t stop. One more trip into the cabin, and this time Norman grabs the newspaper. Thinking it’s only a newspaper, he tosses it in the trunk on top of the corpse.

He drives like, around the block, right into a swamp. And then manages to push the heavy car into it, where it sinks, like a dinosaur being covered by a tar pit. It’s only a minute before the car is swallowed whole, every trace of it gone.

The next day – possibly – Marion’s sister Lila shows up at Sam’s hardware store in Fairville or wherever the heck Sam lives, and Lila demands to see Marion. Apparently it is after the weekend, because Lila references her shopping trip in Tucson, and she just wants Marion to tell her this whole mess is none of her business. There’s a familiar-looking dude watching the scene from outside the door, and while this next bit of business proceeds, I’m gonna look the dude up on imdb.

Oh, whoever this guy is ends up playing O.J. in Breakfast at Tiffany’s!

Okay, back to the plot. Lila’s about to cause a scene, and Sam tries to get the jackass shopboy out of the background. O.J. is playing private detective Arbogast, and he’s also looking for Marion. Well, that’s not quite right – he’s actually looking for the $40,000 that Marion stole from the office. Everyone agrees that Marion’s probably in town, and Arbogast is determined to find her. The good news is that no one wants to prosecute, they just want the money back.

Finally, Arbogast drives up to the Bates Motel, to find Norman reading a magazine or something and munching on kettle corn. Arbogast, very friendly-like, manages to get Norman to crack rather quickly – Norman says that he hasn’t seen anyone for almost three weeks, but five seconds later he says something about how a couple stopped by and thought the motel was empty last week. Arbogast pushes the point and asks to see the registry, and HOW DID NORMAN FORGET TO DUMMY THE REGISTRY?! God, he’s such an amateur! You know who wouldn’t let something like the registry go forgotten? HANNIBAL.

DIRECTING GEEK-OUT MOMENT
There’s a moment where Norman’s looking at either the registry, or matching the handwriting sample Arbogast has to Marion’s fake signature on the registry, that’s shot at an interesting angle. It’s about chest-high, so Norman has to bend down to look, and his neck extends out, and he’s chewing on kettle corn the entire time, so his Adam’s apple keeps bobbing, and it’s such a bird-like expression – OH LOOK THEY HAVE A GIF OF IT NOW

bird neck psycho

THANK YOU, INTERNET!

Anyway, all of a sudden, Norman remembers that Marion showed up and stayed the night Saturday night, and she went right to bed without making any phone calls. After he made her a sandwich. And she said she was going to drive all the way back to Phoenix the next morning. NORMAN, GET YOUR STORY STRAIGHT, YOU’VE HAD A WEEK TO COME UP WITH A COVER! GOD, he’s such an amateur!

Y’know, the more I talk about Norman Bates’s amateurism, the more it sounds like I’m a professional, and I just want to say that I have never killed anyone. I just watch a hell of a lot of crime shows. Crime shows and Hannibal.

Norman insinuates that his mother met Marion, and that gets Arbogast’s knickers in a twist. He’s determined to meet Mrs. Bates. Arbogast calls Lila and gives her the skinny, then returns to the Motel. Norman’s still changing the linens in the cabins, and ducks out of sight when he sees Arbogast’s car drive up. Arbogast goes directly into the office, but can’t find Norman. He does, however, find all of Norman’s creepy assed birds. And an open safe with no money in it. IT’S NEVER THAT EASY, ARBOGAST, BELIEVE ME.

Arbogast takes this opportunity to approach the old bird (HEY I MADE A JOKE AND POSSIBLY ALSO AN INFERENCE) living in Bates Manor. And look, can I just say, What-the-Fuckery aspect aside, the production guys at Bates Motel did a stellar job in recreating that place.

Wait, I think I know what happens next, and my window decides to take this moment to make some weird noises, so I’m gonna pause momentarily to ensure that the noise I heard was the house settling after one of the first warmer days of the year, and not a gigantic bird and/or bug-type thing trying to come inside where it’s warm. Be right back.

Good news! House was just settling. Now pardon me while I turn the volume down slightly and see what happens here and if my faulty memory is correct.

Arbogast just waltzes in, hat in hand. No one makes a sound, and he doesn’t exactly announce his presence. He starts walking up the stairs, hoping to meet Mrs. Bates, when a door opens on the second floor. The EEE EEE EEE EEE EEE starts up again as Mrs. Bates storms out of the open door and stabs Arbogast in the chest. Thanks to the chocolate sauce effect, it almost looks as if Arbogast was stabbed in the face, but the Hays Code wouldn’t allow that. He falls down the stairs (in one of the worst green-screen effects I’ve ever seen – and look, I know they weren’t going to throw an actor down a set of stairs, but having the green-screen move as if Arbogast was falling down the stairs but having Arbogast tap-dance backwards to make it look as if he’s falling maybe wasn’t the brightest idea in the house, Hitch.)

Lila and Sam are waiting for Arbogast at the hardware store – because remember, Arbogast said he’d meet with Lila in an hour. It’s been three, and now Lila’s getting antsy. Jeez, how much longer is this movie? *checks imdb* another thirty minutes? uuggggghhhh… why did I watch Last Week Tonight first?

Sam now shows up at Bates Motel, yelling for Arbogast. Norman is standing in the swamp, thinking. But he’s nowhere near where he dumped Marion’s car, so at least there’s that. Sam goes back to Lila at the hardware store, and he suggests they go meet Deputy Sheriff Chambers. WHOA. That guy looks like an angry Skipper from Gilligan’s Island. He’s no Sheriff Romero, that’s for fucking sure.

Anyway, the Marion Family Players catch the Sheriff up with the situation, and they want the sheriff to investigate because something feels hinky. The sheriff doesn’t think anything’s going on besides Arbogast took off on a lead from Marion and lied to Lila. At Lila’s insistence, the sheriff calls up the Bates Motel, and Norman tells the sheriff that yeah, Arbogast was there, but then he left. Well, at least his storytelling’s getting better.

Lila insists that Arbogast was going to talk to Norman’s mother. At which point the sheriff drops a truth-bomb: Mrs. Bates has been dead for ten years. HEY, SPOILER ALERT FOR BATES MOTEL, SHEESH. Anyway, apparently Mrs. Bates poisoned some dude she was seeing and then killed herself in remorse. Mrs. Sheriff even helped to pick out the dress she was buried in.

So … if Mrs. Bates is dead … who did Marion hear? … Oh come off it, Alaina, you’re not fooling anybody. WE ALL KNOW WHAT HAPPENED.

While Sam and Lila are emphatic that Mrs. Bates is a real person, the sheriff begins to wonder who’s buried in Greenlawn Cemetery. At the same time, Norman has an argument with his mother – he wants her to hide in the fruit cellar for a few days until the heat dies down.

The next morning, Sam and Lila corner the sheriff and when he refuses to do anything, they get it into their pretty little heads to play detective theirownselves. Sam drives Lila over and asks her what the play is. She says, “We’re going to check in as man and wife.” Now, if I were writing this screenplay, I’d have that be the denoument – that Lila arranged to have her sister killed, so she could get her hands on her sister’s boyfriend. How great a twist would that be?

Sam and Lila peek into the office, and we see Norman peer out of one of the windows of Bates Manor. I – aw, man, Anthony Perkins is wearing a crisp, white shirt, with the top button unbuttoned. Dammit, my sexual kryptonite! Did anyone else realize that Anthony Perkins was kind of a babe? Ugh – so many conflicting feelings I need to discuss with some food.

Norman runs into the office and gives the couple Cabin #10. Sam makes a point of not only signing the register, but also asking for a receipt. Sam makes a snide remark about how he’s never been in a motel where they didn’t make a couple without bags pay in advance. Speaking from experience, Sammy Baby? Lila, clearly just now getting the type of relations Sam and her sister got up into, announces that she’s going to go on ahead. As Sam’s signing something, Lila checks the doorknob to Cabin #1, and sure enough, it’s unlocked. WHAT THE WHAT?! NORMAN, I AM SO DISAPPOINTED IN YOU

The happy couple books it into Cabin #10, and decide they need to search Cabin #1. Lila’s gotten it into her head that Norman killed Marion for the $40,000, and maaaaaaan, if she knew what actually happened to the $40,000, she’d shit a brick. Sam and Lila then go and search Cabin #1. Five minutes after signing the register. In broad daylight.

ACTUAL DIALOGUE TRANSCRIPTION TIME
Sam: If he sees us, we’re just taking the air.
Alaina: Jesus Christ, I’m surrounded by amateurs.

AND THEN SAM CALLS FOR BATES BUT DOESN’T GET AN ANSWER. Look, dude, if you’re gonna go snooping, don’t call for the person you’re trying to avoid! Especially creepy dudes who have a fondness for staring at swamplands!

Sam and Lila end up in the bathroom. Sam comments on the weird fact that there’s no shower curtain in the bathroom. Lila finds a scrap of the paper Marion used for her calculations, and takes it into her head as proof that Norman knew about the $40,000. Sam and Lila split up, Sam to speak to Bates, and Lila to get something out of the mother. Sam finds Norman in the office, getting Lila free to walk up the tumbleweedy hill to Bates Manor.

THE DOOR IS UNLOCKED. COME ON, NORMAN! Anyway, Lila storms in and actually remembers to close the door behind her, so thank goodness for small miracles. As Sam talks to Norman and asks him if he’s tried to get away, Lila manages to break into Mrs. Bates’s bedroom. She finds it, all things considered, rather opulent – tons of figurines and jewelry, and a wardrobe full of really ugly dresses. Then she notices the very defined body divet in the mattress.

psycho body divet

I mean – that is disgusting. For someone who changes the linens in the cabins every week, Norman, your regular house-cleaning skills have slagged off a bit, don’t ya think?

Sam asks if Norman would do anything to get away, and he is adamant that he would never think to leave. Bates Manor and the motel are his entire world, and he had a perfect childhood. PULL THE OTHER ONE. Sam pushes Norman too far, and he clonks Sam over the head with a vase or something, and sprints into the Manor. Lila sees him coming and hides in the basement staircase, and when she sees the door, she moves down into the fruit cellar.

And there, she finds Mother Bates. Who, as we should all know by now, is nothing more than a well-preserved corpse. And as Lila screams, Norman runs downstairs, wearing the wig and one of the ugly dresses from his mother’s wardrobe, brandishing the butcher knife. But he pauses in the doorway for effect just long enough for Sam to find Lila by her screaming, and Sam’s able to overpower Norman and disarm him.

Later that night at the courthouse, a psychiatrist comes out and gives us the story: Norman suffers from split personalities, and now his mother’s personality has taken over. Norman had been disturbed since his father died, and his mother was a clinging, demanding woman. The two of them lived as if they were the only two people in the world, until Mrs. Bates took a lover. Norman got jealous, and killed both his mother and her lover, and made it look like a murder-suicide. He stole her corpse, and then incorporated her personality into his own so she could stay alive.

And if Norman felt a strong attraction to any woman, “Mrs. Bates” would take over and eliminate the threat.

The final shot, after the Poirot-esque explanation on the part of the psychiatrist, is a shot of Marion’s car being pulled out of the swamp.

Well. That certainly sets up Bates Motel very nicely. I’m glad that I knew so much of the plot even after not having seen anything past the shower scene. I can’t wait to prove that I know everything about Vertigo without having seen any part of it!

(it’s about crippling dizziness in San Francisco, right?)

 
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Posted by on March 10, 2015 in The List