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Jessica: B- | Grade It Now!
Big Primping

Mulder, Scully and Federman amble down a rainy Washington street, as Mulder explains that Micah Hoffman was a seminal figure of the 1960s, active in the counterculture, a "better poet than Ginsberg," who mysteriously disappeared after Altamont. Federman grouses that he doesn't "get" why "the Stones get blamed for everything." Mulder ignores him and asks his partner what Skinner needed her for that morning. "Just paperwork," she shrugs. If that's what the kids are calling it these days. Paperwork with the Skinman. Mulder opens Hoffman's front door.

Inside is a hippie trippy acid lab/bomb-making laboratory/future spread in Archictectural Digest. Scully mildly reminds Mulder that they ought to have a warrant. Like that ever stopped them before. More unfunny remarks from Federman. Dude, shut up. In the corner of the pad, underneath a rather beautiful stained-glass window, is a whole slew of chemicals, ink and paper -- which, according the almost supernaturally well-informed Scully, are the requirements for your average everyday forger of ancient holy documents; a hypothesis held up by the paper on the table, which Scully, rapidly translating from Greek, tells her partner is a forged copy of "the lost gospel of Mary Magdalene" -- an ancient heretical document. Federman actually lends a hand when he tells the agents that the question they really ought to be asking is not why Hoffman is forging heretical documents, but why O'Fallon has a whole bunch of those forgeries. Scully and Mulder give one another that "hey, the man has a point!" look.

Tales from the Crypt. Mulder and Federman, flashlights in hand, creep through the bowels of the catacomb. Federman snarks that Mulder and Scully are like "studio heads with guns," in that they rush into situations without warrants or research. From what I've read, there are plenty of studio heads with guns. Anyway, Federman keeps yammering about Mulder and his name and what he ought to call him and if he has a cool nickname and can he give him a cool nickname if he doesn't, like T-Bone, or G-Bone, and yadda yadda blah blah. Mulder ignores him completely. I wish I could. I also wish I had a nice fat turkey sandwich, with plenty of mustard, and Swiss cheese, on some soft rye bread, but we can't have everything we want. ["True that, because what I wish is that people would call me T-Bone." -- Wing Chun] Federman keeps talking, and I'm all out of bread, and that's just life, folks. The duo stops in front of a skeleton tucked into a cozy catacomb bunk, stare at it, and move on. Deeper in the crypt, they find a copy of the same text which was on Hoffman's desk. There's some yammering about whether it's a "real fake" or a "fake fake" before Federman's cell phone rings, and he wanders off in search of better reception. Mulder puts his flashlight in his mouth and looks more closely at the papers. Federman, in the other room, promises to call the person on the other end of the cell phone back, explaining that he's "going through a crypt," which is such a tired play on the old "I'll call you back, I'm going through the Canyon," L.A. cell-phone thing. He turns around to see some of the previously unconnected bones reconnect themselves into a hand, which dances across the floor of the crypt in front of him. He's remarkably unperturbed as the hands pick up the shattered remains of a bowl, and put them together, and a skull looks on, smiling toothlessly. I don't know if those special effects were supposed to look cartoonish, but I feel like I sat on the remote and accidentally switched the channel to a special New Year's Eve screening of The Nightmare Before Christmas, sans Danny Elfman and any of the charm.

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