In the interests of clearing out my inbox, I have a few short notes before we begin:
1. The best X-Files episode of all time is "Jose's Chung's 'From Outer Space.'"
2. Yes, I am an idiot. Freaks was released in 1932.
3. Not even Management knows when The Sopranos or Six Feet Under will be debuting their new seasons.
4. I have no interest whatsoever in purchasing Viagra, Levitra, Ativan, Vicodin, cable descramblers, penile enhancement hydraulics, labia sculpturing services, or home equity loans.
5. Eight and three quarters.
We open in a quaint little small-town diner, with a pastry case in the foreground prominently displaying several slices of pie (Note to self: Make macro for Twin Peaks link). While it's not quite possible to determine whether Edward Hopper is sitting in a corner somewhere sketching away, we can see Brother Clancy Brown entering in full cassock and grabbing a stool at the counter. He silently accepts a cup of coffee from the waitress (it's damn fine! And hot!), but before he can take more than a sip, young Ben Hawkins enters and takes a seat beside him. The hell? I thought the carnival was in Oklahoma? And didn't all those spoilers say that these two...oh. Hang on a second. Things just got even weirder. The Chasee from last week's dream sequences wanders in, and slides into a booth behind our two leads, where a tasty-looking steak dinner is already waiting for him. The waitress comes over to pour him a glass of red wine, and then our gathering of gentlemen is completed by the arrival of Chasee's World War I nemesis, who moves to join him in the booth. For the sake of clarity, and also my sanity, said nemesis will heretofore be known as Private Funboy (tm Slashgirl). I like this actor (Michael Massee), so I sort of feel bad that even after ten years, the most notable entry on his resume is still the fact that he fired the shot which killed Brandon Lee. Anyway, these two face each other across the table in a shot that's recognizable from the dreams, with Private Funboy wearing what is definitely a Russian military uniform (scroll down, and note the hat and epaulets). Both Ben and Brother Clancy are transfixed by the sight of these two, as they watch them intently via a mirror hanging behind the counter. It's notable that in "reality," The Chasee is seated directly behind Clancy and Pvt. Funboy is directly behind Ben, but in the mirror, their positions are reversed. The waitress takes all this in, and then finally breaks the extended silence by dryly commenting, "Every prophet in his house." And with that, The Chasee raises his wineglass in a toast to Pvt. Funboy, but the instant their glasses touch, the giant window which frames their booth explodes inward in a hail of badly-rendered CGI fragments. Ouch. I ran through a plate-glass window once when I was in high school, and I've still got about two dozen scars to show for it. I've heard the CGI fragments don't hurt as much, though.