X-Files

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It's a shame about Ray

"It's just senseless. A man so young as Ray. It's God's cruel trick, Nora." Pan out from a framed photograph of two total strangers. I suspect this is a soap opera that Scully is watching. Or Doggett. Or Skinner. I'm not sexist, here. Nora: "Don't go blaming God, Kurt. You and I both know what killed Ray." Nora rubs her hands together like Lady Macbeth before taking that digger off the cliff. A very poorly acted Lady Macbeth. Pia Zadora as Lady Macbeth. Shiri Appleby as Lady Macbeth. Nora looks pensive. This has GOT to be a soap opera, and let me tell you, as soaps go, it's no Passions. It's not even Sunset Beach, starring Randy "My Sister Did It and So Can I!" Spelling. Kurt and Nora stare balefully at the photograph. "Maybe it was just his time!" Kurt offers, hopefully. Kurt is thrilled to be making his television debut on The X-Files, after training for several years at the prestigious Dinner Theatre of Boca Raton. Nora flitters over to an already dying arrangement of chrysanthemums and gazes piteously off into the distance. "He was a young man when he went over, Kurt," she offers. Nothing says good television writing like having the characters repeat one another's names in every single line. I learned that during my correspondence course, Writing for Television and Film AND Becoming a Dental Hygienist at ITT Tech. "Ray got sick because he fought in the Gulf," Nora exposits painfully. Her facial expression is, I think, an attempt at "bitter and grieving," but has taken a terribly wrong turn along the lines of "that gaffer took the last corn dog from craft services! Curses!" Kurt pleads with Nora not to "go there," because "the doctors never said." Never said what? That you ought to retire from acting and become a neurosurgeon? "That's right!" Nora spits. "They never said!" Dude, she is the worst actress I have ever seen on television. Seriously. Jennifer Love Hewitt as Audrey Hepburn? Better. Charo on The Bob Hope Special? Better. Tori Spelling as Screech's girlfriend on Saved By the Bell? Way better. "My husband's dead and no one knows why. I may have to find out myself. And after that, I'm going to tell everyone in Harmony that Ethan is not a Crane! And then I'm going to kill my good twin sister, whom I am currently keeping trapped down in a well! And then, she's going to go blind! But by then I will have married her husband, who is actually my father!" Nora slides onto the sofa. "They're going to pay for Ray's death! Whoever's to blame!" I'm serious. How bad is that dialogue? Kurt tells Nora to get a good night's sleep. She doesn't want to sleep. She wants to sob fakely into her hand. Kurt pats her, and leaves the house...that we see is being watched by a mysterious figure outside the window. A figure who follows Kurt to his car and watches him drive away.

Kurt's driving. He's so relieved to have escaped Nora's House of Acting Too Bad Even for Soap Operas, And I'm Not Exaggerating that he sticks a cig in his mouth, much the way people like to light up after a good romp in the hay. He's really that relieved. He looks down to flick his Zippo, looks up, and sees someone standing in the middle of the street, staring at him as the car barrels forward. Kurt slams on the brakes, but he can't stop in time. Instead of, you know, rolling over the top of the car and to the ground like your usual hit-and-run victim, however, the Man in the Street stands stoically as his rock-hard abs actually split the car in half. The vehicle finally shudders to a halt, split down the middle. The Man in the Street is still standing. Well, that's odd. Inside the car, Kurt coughs in pain. He stares at the Man in the Street, his bloody face all full of disbelief, and what appears to be a couple of his teeth. "Ray?" he asks. Dead Ray sneers and punches through the windshield, grabbing for Kurt's face. Dude, Ray: Anger. Management. Classes. Look into it.

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