"The Lost Art of Forehead Sweat" is the fourth episode of this eleventh season. Mindbending and provocative, wrapped in a veil of humor, just the way that Darin Morgan likes to tell us stories.
What did you think about it? We certainly had plenty of opinions. Check out our recap and review after the jump.
“I know you think I’m crazy. But it’s not me. It’s the world. The world has gone mad.”
Well, Darin Morgan… I couldn’t agree with you more on this one. This is the way that “The Lost Art of Forehead Sweat” begins, in splendid black and white. Martin (Dan Zukovic, Psych) is sitting at the bar of a diner – that you will recognize as the Jose Chung’s bar. The man is sweaty and distraught.
Apparently, the Martians have invaded, and no one seems to care. Buddy – the always lovely Alex Diakun – tries to calm him down, gives him a coffee. “What do these Martians look like?” he asks. They have giant heads, Martin explains, with multiple appendages and have a “ray” of some kind that makes us forget. Buddy is obviously incredulous.
Martin then says: “There, I just saw one!” signaling to what he believes is a window but in reality, is a mirror. The man is losing it. Really. Martin gets up, walks to the spot while Buddy watches.
In the mirror, the man sees his reflection, only that it's not his, rather it's said Martian, mimicking all his actions, while donning a metallic cape, a bald head, and extra-bushy eyebrows. He’s stoked as the alien’s multiple hands come to his mouth to suppress a scream.
“What is this? Is this a joke?" Martin asks. But Buddy comes to him, laughing sinisterly. This is no joke, he assures, as he takes off his hat to reveal the pointy horns of the Devil.
Tagline: The Truth is Out There.
We come back to the ring of a home line. We're at Mulder’s place… who enters wearing his “squatching” suit – some get up for hunters, covered in leaves and twigs. He answers the phone. Scully is on the other end. She’s been trying him all day but hadn’t gotten a hold of him. Since he was hunting for Bigfoot, he had his cell turned off – as you do when hunting for mythical things. “Did you have any luck?” she asks. No, but it doesn’t matter. He was really just using it as an excuse to get out and stop the routine of watching the news and worrying that the world has gone insane. Same, Mulder, same.
He needed to get out to nature and find a “cryptozoological, simian-like, hairy humanoid with enormous feet.” I think he just described my brother, but I digress. Scully just thinks he likes saying “Squatchin’” and really, the girl’s only here to confirm if they’re still up for that date. Mhmm. Bless the Morgan brothers.
Mulder starts telling her about this time he found a Sasquatch footprint, but we’re sure she’s heard this story a million times, so she doesn’t play ball and pretty much hangs up on him. He doesn’t mind and lays down on the couch. That’s when he realizes the secret signal is up – an X taped to his window.
Cut to a parking garage; Mulder exits his FORD SUV… yeah, I’m back to making fun of that. He looks around and spots a sweaty man spitting sunflower seeds behind one of the pillars. We’ll come to know him as Reggie (Brian Huskey, People on Earth)
Reggie calls out to him, half apologizing, knowing that they weren’t supposed to see each other after that last case… Mulder is confused. Who is this guy? “I’ve stumbled on the conspiracy to end all conspiracies,” the man says.
“Who are you?” Mulder says. And the man laments that they may have gotten to him already. But how did he know how to contact Mulder and meet him there? It had to be a safe place, the man claims, where “they” couldn’t get to them. But who are “they” – apparently those that Mulder can’t remember. They even made Mulder forget Reggie.
Mulder wants to know what this is all about, but anything that Reggie may say will make him seem like a madman. Too late, Mulder already thinks he’s crazy. An ambulance siren goes off, and Mulder jokes that they’re here for him and walks away. But then Reggie reaches out to him, saying that the first “Twilight Zone” episode Mulder ever saw was “The Lost Martian” – but the catch is that that episode never existed.
Mulder is incredulous, and just then they hear footsteps coming from the nearby stairwell. Reggie fears that he’s been followed and Mulder quips that it would be one hell of a twist if it were Rod Serling. It isn’t, but Reggie has disappeared.
“Submitted for your approval,” Mulder says, riffing on the Twilight Zone's famous tagline.
Cut to Mulder, rummaging through his collection of VHS tapes. I swear my mom is still holding on to mine somewhere in Venezuela. He’s looking for “The Lost Martian” episode, while a very annoyed Scully observes the man going a bit cray-cray over this.
She doesn’t understand how Reggie knew about his secret rendezvous signal, but Mulder doesn’t even care. Right now the important thing is where’s this VHS with the episode, and his life is crumbling. He looked through all his DVDs, his episode guides, the internet… and nothing. So now he’s knee deep into his VHS tapes. There’s no reference to the episode anywhere!
You know, like that episode where a bunch of us say Charlie adopted William and they’re happily living somewhere on a farm in Wyoming? No? Just me? Fanfic? Annnnyways…
Meanwhile, Scully looks adorable in preppy chic and suggests that maybe he’s mistaken and it wasn’t a “Twilight Zone” episode but maybe an “Outer Limits” episode. Mulder takes offense in this. “Do you even know me?!”
To be honest, it would be like my boyfriend saying: “Maybe ‘Requiem’ wasn’t X-Files, but like… maybe LOST…” He would probably be in the doghouse for a month and have to apologize profusely with chocolate and maybe a trip. Scully just wants to get on with their night, and talk about it over dinner… I’m so conflicted, ‘cause Scully wants to go on a date and Mulder is obsessed with the episode and ugh, this is an impossible situation for an A-Type nerd.
In reality, it isn’t about how good the episode was or not; it’s about Mulder’s memory of it.
It was his first Twilight Zone. He was eight years old; his parents let him stay up to watch. And here comes an adorable vision of a kid – with Mulder’s almost 60-year-old head stapled on to his shoulders – an image that will become a GIF forever. Mulder is on the couch in his memory, popcorn in his lap, and then we see it. The teaser of this episode is “his” lost episode, “The Lost Martian” – he remembers it so vividly as if it had just happened. Meanwhile, Scully has completely lost interest in all of this and has left before this madman starts bringing out the trading cards.
Cut to Scully walking to her car in a parking garage – how we get here and where we are, who knows? She comes with a paper bag of what I will assume is her dinner. She probably said to herself: “I’ll get this amazing and healthy salad with pollen and what not…” but in reality, we all know that what’s in that bag is carbs, with sugar and probably booze. Because disappointment binges go that way. It kind of looks like a bag of Chinese.
Anyway, Reggie approaches her from the shadows, “Did he stand you up again?” Scully puts two and two together and realizes this is the man that approached Mulder; the sweat is a giveaway. He tells her that he needs her help to find someone – himself - because they’re trying to erase him. Scully doesn’t know how to react to the clearly obfuscated man.
“Skulls, I can prove it,” he says, approaching her, and she replies by reaching for her gun and warning him that she’s armed. And, oh boy… I don’t think there’s been a review that I haven’t praised the Make-Up, Hair, and the Wardrobe departments, so here's to you again. Also, Gillian Anderson – when she’s putting up that “Scully has had enough of your shiz…” attitude – yes, it’s brilliant.
Reggie reaches into his jacket and produces a little box that he hands to Scully, who’s demeanor changes right away.
“Where did you find this?” she asks.
“My fingerprints are on that box,” Reggie says. Then they hear footsteps, approaching fast. “Just prove that I’m real!” Reggie says before taking off. Scully looks at the box and follows him, but he disappears, and so do the men chasing him, leaving her at a loss in the lonely garage. In her hand is a box of Cherry flavored Goop-O-ABC jello.
The next day, Dana Scully is sitting with black leather pumps perched up – at Mulder’s desk – while he tries to figure out the concoction promised by this box. Jello that sets, giving three different textures once it's ready. He claims that has to be an x-file in itself. Scully is super nostalgic about it; it’s part of her childhood, and the memory of it is tied to experiences of summers with her family, and the mood of the 60’s and 70’s, but “just the cherry flavor. The lemon-lime tasted like leprechaun taint.” Okay then. Yeah, that seems to be the word for the season.
At any rate, while Mulder tries to digest her appreciation of the flavor, she explains that she’s been looking for this dessert for years, to no avail, and when she references it to anyone, people claim that instead of “Goop-O-ABC” she must be referring to “Jell-O-123”.
Mulder explains that’s the “Mandela Effect” – when someone has a memory of something that’s not shared by the collective. There are so many examples of this; Mulder quotes the “Shazaam” one – where people claim that Sinbad starred as a genie, but in reality, it's “Kazaam” with Shaquille O'Neal. I swear to god, I remember the Sinbad version. And I come from another country. There has to be a logic to this pop culture madness.
Scully wonders what would happen if she doesn’t remember any such movies; Mulder jokes that then she wins. She scoffs and says, well what about your lost Twilight Zone episode? Isn’t that a Mandela effect? But nope, Mulder is convinced that his memory is real. Obstinate man, I see.
Anyhow, how does this man – Reggie – whose fingerprints are not in the system, know about their secret memories that they cherish so much? Mulder suggests that she can ask him herself when they meet. He has summoned him via the secret signal tonight. She playfully says that she doesn’t want to intrude on their secret meeting, but he claims that Reggie clearly wants her to be part of this.
“Come on; it will be like a date.” Scully looks at him; Mulder wiggles his eyebrows.
I swear to god… Sigh.
Cut to them in the parking garage, in his SUV, and Scully mildly annoyed.
“Well, this is romantic…” she notes, sarcastically.
“Isn’t it?” he replies. She scoffs, and he smiles as he looks at her somewhat maudlin. They’ve definitely been waiting for Reggie for some time, and honestly, my brain has gone to: 'every single stake out that Fox Mulder and Dana Scully have had in a car is a date.'
FIGHT ME ON THIS, CHRIS CARTER.
Then, Mulder notices; Reggie is signaling him to come behind some pillars. He and Scully get out of the SHINY FORD SUV – paid for by FORD… Have we told you that FORD paid for this? And walk toward Reggie.
“So, who are you?” Scully asks.
“I think my name is Reggie, Reggie… Something” He doesn’t even know. Mulder doesn’t have the patience for this and wants to know right away what this is all about.
Reggie claims that like most things in life it came to him while he was moving his mother’s things and found a bunch of keepsakes. He distinctly remembered his mother reading him “Dr. Wussle” books when he was a child. Only he noticed that the name was different in these books she kept, the name was spelled differently than he remembered… with two Z’s instead of two S’s. This clearly perturbed Reggie’s memories.
Mulder interrupts to note that this is the Mandela Effect. Reggie doesn’t know what he means by that, and Mulder explains the concept including that it was named this way because of people that remember Nelson Mandela being killed in jail in the 80’s – while in reality he died in 2013 and Obama even went to his funeral.
‘Memba that? Michelle was all “hell to the nope” at Barack laughing with the Prime Minister of Denmark? If you don’t remember that, you should google it before it disappears to another dimension.
But Reggie fights back that the name is actually the “Mengele Effect” because people have the memory of Joseph Mengele being apprehended in Ohio in 1970. Mulder fights back; the Mandela effect has been a meme for almost a decade, and it has always been called that.
“Ah, see. You’re having a Mengele Effect about the Mandela Effect,” Reggie says. My head hurts.
Reggie assures that he knows this is the case because of how he found out about this effect at all.
In his research for the Dr. Wuzzle books, he ended up at a vintage store, where Pangborn, the store owner – played by Bill Dow, who plays Chuck in the original series – is sipping perhaps a Cuba Libre from a twisty straw.
Reggie asks for the books, but Pangborn claims that would be something people would want. Hence, he probably doesn’t have it. Instead, he offers him something else: a cartoon that Dr. Wuzzle drew in 1940. A political cartoon. A “Brothers in arms” cartoon of the US and Germany being cordial to each other. Definitely another reality! But also, the name is still wrong, and it's not spelled with two S’s. Reggie becomes aggravated as he explains to him why. But Pangborn explains then the Mengele effect to Reggie.
Reggie uses that story to support his claim, and Mulder scoffs, saying that the story doesn’t prove anything. But Reggie claims he’s done a lot of research and the shop owner was an expert on the topic.
According to Pangborn, a lot of people had come into his shop looking for something that he would actually have a supply of, but every time, according to the shoppers, something about it would be slightly off: logos, colors, etc. Then, he theorized, the government definitely had something to do with it. They always have something to do with it, like the fact that Goop-O-ABC was full of carcinogens.
Oh… so, Jello was the reason Scully got cancer? Is this the way the syndicate spread the stuff around? Lord. My eyes hurt from thinking.
“They know the truth about the Mengele Effect,” Pangborn says.
That’s when Reggie launched his own investigation; he thinks it’s being orchestrated.
Scully questions why anyone would do this and with what effect.
According to Reggie, Orson Welles had it right: “He who controls the past controls the future.” If you can manipulate memory, you have unlimited power in every sense. From cultural manipulation to commercial manipulation, so that people’s appreciation of a situation adapts to their desires.
For laughing purposes, they even edited this portion with a jump cut as if they’d deleted the name of the company trying to manipulate us.
At this point, Scully has had enough - “This is ridiculous,” she exclaims, trying to hold it together while Reggie keeps picking at pointless things, whether it is Mandela or Mengele, wanting to establish predominance. She claims that these two “effects” are just people misremembering stuff.
Mulder doesn’t stand idle; he has his own take on it. Maybe this is proof of a parallel universe.
Neither Reggie nor Scully buy that one, but he explains that perhaps the discrepancies are based on the fact that people are remembering memories from another dimension. He appeals to Scully, saying that’s an actual scientific explanation, but as she points out, it’s just theoretical science at best.
Reggie makes fun of Mulder, saying that the whole sci-fi option of this gives him a headache, which Mulder thinks is irrational because how dare he sneer at his response, and whatever scenario Reggie has is not much better. At this point, it's just a popularity contest, and Scully is not having any of it, especially when Reggie fights her even on Occam’s razor.
It’s a give and take of possible combinations of what they really mean… and we could be here for hours, honestly. But what Scully and Reggie adamantly stand for is that it’s not a case of parallel universes.
I think it is. FIGHT ME ON THAT ONE, SCULLY.
Reggie thinks that the proof that the Mengele effect exists is that once he discovered the conspiracy, they turned the Mengele effect on him. He shows them his High School yearbook, the one his mother kept, and there’s not a single mention nor a picture of him. Scully sort of looks as if she just thinks the guy wasn’t popular and Mulder thinks he went to school in another universe. Reggie almost buys it, and Scully claims that maybe he’s just misremembering his high school years.
“Skulls, I wish this was just about my own psychological issues.” Oh, don’t we all, Reggie. Because that way, according to him, the shop owner would still be alive. He’d gone back to talk to him about his findings and to get some candy that only he remembers, and found Pangborn, dead on the floor, impaled by a lawn dart… A toy that helicopter parents nowadays would sue about.
Scully's stoked that this toy ever existed and Mulder just comments that “we were made of sterner stuff back then.” I agree wholeheartedly, snowflakes. An accident, Scully claims, but Reggie thinks that’s what they want them to believe.
An ambulance siren goes off, and Scully claims this is probably Reggie’s ride. He doesn’t give up; he claims that they want him to think that he’s just a conspiracy nut so that when you dismiss it all as crazy facts, you also dismiss the ones that are true.
Mulder is getting tired of this circular conversation as well, and he claims that at some point he’s going to have to identify who “they” are, the ones that Reggie keeps referring to. This omnipresent “they” is just a crutch to explain a broad range of things. I could say the very same thing about science and such to Chris Carter… at some point, you gotta give a name to things.
“Who is ‘they’?” Mulder asks, annoyed, before turning around and trying to leave with Scully. Reggie runs to him.
“This guy. He’s ‘they,’” Reggie says, showing him a picture of some guy in a top hat.
So, a narrator tells us that this is the story of Dr. Thaddeus Q. They, a neuroscientist that discovered a way to manipulate collective memory.
He’s unknown to many, and whoever does remember might have been manipulated to believe they never have. They has even made astronauts forget they were participants in super-secret projects, or repress memories that would make their mission difficult. He had been perfecting his studies at the University of Granada, and supposedly is currently applying this method for a number of mystery clients. He’s manipulated people’s minds far and broadly, from politics to entertainment, even to the point that, apparently, he manipulated people into believing that Trump had had a small crowd at his inauguration, or a big one. But no one really knows… ;) Oh boy.
This is actually a video that Reggie is showing Mulder and Scully, and they’re like “WTF was that…” But what Reggie finds truly unbelievable is the comments on the video: “I think the editing could have been tighter,” by authorisingunique1639. “This guy must be why I forgot to set my alarm last night and missed my first period!” by “DisbelievingDanylo1902. The bombastic, “Meh,” from another dude. Reggie tried to debunk all of this stuff on the dark web, but in reality, the one part that stuck was “the University of Grenada thing.”
Scully, a skeptic as always, is wondering why it is so important. Reggie counters back; does she know why the US invaded Grenada?
According to Mulder, there was a Marxist uprising, and some American students were in danger. Really? Nope! Reggie laughs at him and says those were the official reasons, but no one really remembers the reasons why. Not even him, and he was there! He found the proof among his mom’s stuff. A packet labeled to himself, to be opened when he turned 50.
“To myself, when I’m 50, always remember…” Mulder reads from the piece of paper, only, the rest of the letter is redacted. Ironically, it was probably Reggie who redacted the thing. But it doesn’t matter, because the real clue is the envelope containing the letter. It has a Grenada stamp, with the date of arrival to the States on July 6th, 1983. It’s a UFO stamp too.
The Prime Minister of Grenada once advocated in the UN for the creation of a department to research UFOs. The stamps were a fundraiser for that effort. He claimed that a UFO had crashed in their waters and that they’d recovered an alien body… only, Reggie claims that the alien wasn’t dead.
Scully’s expression is priceless.
It turns out that Reggie was a med student at the hospital where they brought in the alien. This sequence is just downright hilarious. Dr. They was supposed to save it from its’ injuries. Apparently, its mission was to warn the Earthlings of the holes in the ozone layer. One of his people would return in 35 years to see if we had avoided environmental catastrophe. So… 2018.
Young Reggie peeked behind the curtain separating him from reality and this sci-fi version of what Dr. They was doing. Checking on the alien’s reflexes, and so on. It’s the same alien from the beginning sequence. They were supposedly talking “telepathically” – and he was going to transfer all the knowledge he needed. But before he could do it, the invasion happened, and the men from the government showed up and took the alien with them.
Reggie doesn’t know if it’s that he blocked it, or Dr. They had repressed his memories, but seeing the stamp brought everything back to him.
Scully gets annoyed at the suggestion that this is now a case of recovered memories. Nope, this is the moment where Skulls nopes out of the whole thing. I’m with ya. There’s only so much level of fudging a story one can take.
Mulder tells Reggie that what he’s saying is possibly true, but in another universe. He takes off as well, following Scully to the car, when Reggie starts describing how he didn’t forget the telepathic screams of the alien. He wanted to know where the government men had taken him, that’s why he had dropped out of med school, joined the FBI… and started the X-Files.
Reggie's proclamation effectively stops Mulder and Scully in their tracks, incredulous faces filled with something like contained anger.
“That’s right. We used to be partners!” Reggie screams.
Coming back from commercials, and the obligatory WTF -- am I still abiding by the PG rating of this website if I’m only spelling an expletive? At this point, I don’t know if I care all that much anymore… -- we are served with a version of the credits with an acapella version of the theme song. In every frame of the now well-known version of the original sequence, we can see Reggie inserted into each situation. It’s hilarious but almost feels like a violation of something sacred. And then a new tagline: “The Truth is Out There?”
In this reality, Reggie is the one to get the famous IWTB poster. When Scully comes knocking at the door, and Mulder shouts: “Sorry! Nobody here but the FBI’s most unwanted!” … Reggie is also in the office and says: “Move along, Sugar Boobs. This is the X-Files. No women allowed.”
I have to say, of the many times I’ve seen this episode now, there’s not ONE TIME I’ve found that line funny. Not once. Especially, because I don’t particularly feel that Reggie was built up to be a character that would say something like this so I could rationally justify that it goes with the character. At least, not in the same way that I justified that Frohike would have a folder in his computer named “Spank Bank” with Scully’s picture on it.
So, I’m sorry, Darin Morgan… this is the beginning of me cringing at this episode.
Other clips follow; Reggie saying that Tooms is “sooo creepy...” – Okay, we agree on this one. Especially in real life. Then Clyde Bruckman, recounting all the possibilities and Reggie getting hung up on the Grenada invasion. “Guys, if this turns out to be about killer cats, I’m going to be really disappointed,” Reggie says when we revisit “Teso Dos Bichos” – it’s as if I’m having the running commentary of my friend’s nerdy husband – that while enjoyable… I didn’t need, because, why?
Then “Home,” then “Small Potatoes,” where Reggie is actually the one to shoot Eddie Van Blundht. In a way, I’m still annoyed at whatever tendency we’re having this season of rewriting episodes left and right, but at the same time, this isn’t as bad as rewriting “En Ami,” or is it?
When we come back to the parking garage, Scully’s mortified face is my face. Reggie cannot fathom that they can’t remember any of that, or their last cases together. He’s convinced that this is the Mengele effect at play because they’re the only team that can unveil the conspiracy behind it and stop Dr. They.
“There is no Dr. They!” Scully exclaims, tired of this.
“Really? Well, tell that to his henchmen!” Reggie dares, and as if on cue, four guys come out of the shadows and start toward them. Two of them go after Reggie and the other two after Mulder and Scully - they effectively separate the trio.
Scully, seeing that they can’t give pursuit, identifies herself as FBI, taking out her badge, and it turns out that the men after them are also with the Bureau.
Mulder asks what they are doing there. The two men exchange amused albeit incredulous looks, surprised that Mulder doesn’t know why they’re there.
“You don’t know?” the FBI guy asks. “The legend that I’ve heard so much about would have already figured out who was this guy that he’s been talking to and why we were asked to find out why you are.”
Mulder and Scully are bewildered at his brazenness.
“But I guess that’s how things go,” he continues. “You start out a rebel, but then you get fat. And the next thing you know, you’re deep state. Sad.” And he kind of scoffs and walks away.
I shiz you not. How dare you, newb? And Mulder is thinking the same thing, turning to Scully and seriously, how dare? They’re just stunned.
“You know who I am? I’m Fox Mulder!” he begins, shouting at the guys that continue to walk away. “I was fighting the power and breaking conspiracies before you saw your first chemtrail, you punks!” Scully tries to hold him back. I’m speechless.
“I’m Fox -FREAKIN – Mulder, you punks!”
Yes, man. You are. You’re not fat. There, there.
I can only imagine what the conversation was on the way to his place. He’d be muttering under his breath, while Scully just sorta laughed. Because, in the world where men compete about size, the only dimension that Fox Mulder cares about, is just how he continues to be the bestest, biggest, most paranoid crackpot out there. Second to none. The daddio of all conspiracy examiners. The one that holds all the theories. Lord of the crazy-pants manor. The other “little something”s that could be measured… well, that’s just for Scully to worry about on the odd sleepless night.
Cut to the next day. Mulder is at the office, stabbing his murder board that’s filled with an assortment of conspiracy theories for our enjoyment... including the one where Ted Cruz’ father might be involved in the Kennedy assassination.
The board is just overflowing with so-called connections that he’s reviewing as he goes. Memories that happened, or did they? “To Bob Dylan, whose ’98 Grammy performance is remembered by millions because a half-naked man with the words ‘soy bomb’ written on his chest jumped onstage and started dancing like a spaz.” But the problem is that there’s no official video of this. Scully listens, almost annoyed by this rambling.
“Did it even happen?” He continues. There’s a band that even released a song about it, but is it a coded message? Is it suspicious that the lead singer of the band is the son of Hugh Everett III, “who originated the many-worlds interpretation of quantum physics—?” He gets frustrated as he walks himself back into the parallel universes corner, again.
So, here’s where I hide the story as a prize to those reading this recap.
Some of you know that I work at Big Light, and my boss is none other than the hero of all X-Philes, Mr. Frank Spotnitz. I have the incredible privilege – and I’m not saying this to flaunt or brag – to be able to run constant commentary with him about the craziest things that happen around me. We examine story, world-building, and occasionally engage in hour-long conversations that consist mainly of Star Trek GIFs.
At some point in the winter of 2017, for whatever reason, in the middle of the night, I ran into this video of a child prodigy explaining the theory behind the Mandela Effect. I was fascinated with the wealth that is quantum physics. Seriously, I’ve been obsessed about this for the most part of a year.
Then, I couldn’t wait to share this with Frank; we debated many cases, some explainable – maybe – some not. How many of you have realized that the line in the classic “Snow White” apparently isn’t, “Mirror, Mirror on the wall…” but, instead, is “Magic Mirror on the wall…”? Are we all collectively having the same mistake remembering something so classic? I was one of the people that thought Mandela had died in the 80’s, to seriously have a moment of confusion when he passed away in 2013.
I’ve had several instances of “wait, what?!” where my memories are seriously challenged. We started delving into the possibilities. What about “Back to the Future”? What about Vietnam and the people that are convinced the US won? And then people that negate the Holocaust, or just simply… what about the people that truly believe that we’re Making America Great Again? Was there a wrinkle in time?
One of the theories says that whenever CERN came to be – the gigantic particle accelerator in Switzerland – an accident happened that made our universe collapse into itself, throwing many of us into a parallel universe.
I’m just giving you the cliff notes of the riff we went into. At the end of this conversation, we both had headaches… because in both our lives, we’ve seen our share of incomprehensible situations that we cannot explain how they came to be. From dictators rising to power, to lucky accidents, to questioning if those accidents are even that… just accidents.
I constantly ask myself, thinking about this theory, is there another me that never escaped my country? One that never emailed a person out of curiosity and didn’t end up at XFN but is still producing for HBO? Another me that’s married with children and cooking dinner every night?
The concept of other realities with copies of ourselves is subversive because then you fall into the question of: "Who is the real owner of this existence? Of my existence? Is there such thing as ownership of your own life if this theory is right?"
The next conundrum for Frank and I was when we learned that Darin was writing this episode. Was it a coincidence? Is the universe so attuned? Insert here, a shrug. It gets more mysterious than this. But, I digress, and you guys are here to read the play by play of an episode that you also watched so… better get on with it.
“It’s true, Scully,” Mulder says, frustrated. He’s lost the plot. He can’t find the hidden connections; the world is too much for him right now. Honestly, it’s too large and too insane for anyone right now.
“Or maybe you just lost your taste for it,” Scully suggests. “Especially after all this ‘birther’ stuff.” I wonder if Trump was ever a fan of the show… I wonder what he’s thinking right now.
Mulder thinks it's a possibility, including the absurdity of an evil doctor named They. But then, on cue, the phone rings… It’s Dr. They, inviting him to chat.
Mulder waits for the man at the A-maze-ing Laughter exhibition. Okay, this is actually in Vancouver as part of the Biennale, but this stuff is so pretty that you’ll forgive using such an identifiable thing as a location that’s supposed to be in Washington D.C.
There, Dr. They (Stuart Margolin, The Rockford Files) hides amongst the sculptures, observing Mulder, who catches him almost chastising him for not spotting him right away, for knowing who he is. And he even riffs on this; how kids today do not know how to own up to being ashamed of something they’ve done because they can always say that the verifiable truth was taken out of context.
Mulder excuses his ignorance of his existence on the fact that he’s good at hiding, but the man claims he’s even in the phone book. As he admits, no one uses one of those anymore.
What Mulder knows about Dr. They comes from that terrible video that Reggie showed him. It turns out that it was made by Dr. They himself.
His platform is “phony fake news” – real facts presented in a way so outrageous that no one would believe them. The purpose of it? Who knows? But now that he knows that Mulder knows about him, he felt the need to personally meet him, to tell him that he’s dead… Mulder… he’s dead.
Mulder stares at him like… “excuse me?” and Dr. They laughs, explaining that what he meant is that Fox Mulder’s reign supreme over all things conspiracy, has ended. It’s no longer the time when people of power could go to great lengths to keep their secrets, secret. Now it’s past that time, a “post-conspiracy age” which he claims the kids will name “Po-Co” and make him wish he really was dead.
This is an attack on the very grain of Mulder’s mojo.
Mulder doesn’t think much of it, though. He would find solace in the truth getting out, but They claims that kids – or the public in general - doesn’t care anymore if it does. The definition of truth is very vague right now.
“There’s still an objective truth, an objective reality,” Mulder claims. But does it really matter? They admits that he indeed can change people’s collective memory and hence control the past, and in true fashion, as Orson Welles said: “He who controls the past, controls the future.” But really, it was George Orwell who said that… But did he? I find myself running for google every other phrase. And… isn’t google a perfect vehicle for this conspiracy? We’ve stopped using books altogether!
But to the Doctor’s argument, it doesn’t matter if he tells Mulder any truths out in the open because people don’t know what to believe anymore. Mulder doesn’t even know if he believes him, and it really doesn’t matter, people are selective about what to believe nowadays. He’s indeed proving Dr. They’s point. Then the doctor reveals that he really cannot control people’s minds, in reality, all he needs is some people thinking that something can be remotely possible, and then the uncertainty spreads.
Is it all about the spread of online misinformation? Who knows? Apparently, Donald Trump has said the most profound of things: “Nobody knows for sure.”
Personally, I feel like we have adopted this tendency because no one wants to take a stand and carry out with the consequences of being wrong.
What was Trump referring to? And does it matter?
Cut to the FBI parking garage. Mulder exits his SUV, minding his own business after his weird meeting. Reggie hides behind a pillar, spooking him when he jumps at him.
“Foxy, what did you find out from They?”
Foxy. Okay then.
Mulder is not sure what to think about his meeting and Reggie fears they’ve manipulated him, too. He claims this is what they want, to plant the doubt. But Mulder thinks that the first thing he needs to do is find out who Reggie really is.
Enter Scully, who clarifies this very question, with logic, as always. Reggie’s name is Reginald Murgatroid, she says from her post in the shadows, at another pillar nearby.
She holds a folder with her report. She used his yearbook to track down his high school transcripts. He didn’t graduate, but instead, he obtained a GED, enlisted in the army, and was part of the now infamous invasion of Grenada. He was then hit in the head with a shovel by a construction worker. He received medical attention there. After this stint, he occupied a number of government jobs in various agencies, from the Postal Office to the IRS, and even the DOJ. After 9/11, he joined the CIA, and then the Pentagon where, apparently, he was a sucky drone operator. Then off to the NSA, where he snooped on Mulder and Scully's private phone calls. Until a year ago, when he was committed to a mental institution because he'd had a nervous breakdown.
Reggie cannot believe this is the truth. Mulder gives him the possibility that maybe his breakdown was because working for the government was carving away at the fact that he was betraying his own ideals. He used the information he had garnered from surveilling Mulder and Scully and created his own fantasy world. In this fantasy, he joined the only team that currently is doing what he dreamed of doing, fighting for truth and justice.
But Reggie won’t give up. He now finds the parallel universe theory a plausibility, one that right away Mulder negates. Not even Reggie believes it. Scully is almost sad by this outcome.
We hear the ambulance sirens again, and this time indeed we do get to see the car come by… a service belonging to the “Spotnitz Sanitarium.” We’ve seen this reference before, in Millennium. It’s comical that this car reminds me of “Ghostbusters” – because really, who you gonna call? Who else can be the director of this madhouse? There’s so much subtext here, it kind of hurts.
Reggie accepts his fate. The car parks by them and the orderlies are nothing but nice, calm and collected. This is a practiced affair, civil, and as Reggie says: “A touch of classicism.” Mulder and Scully are stoked by this whole routine. There’s even a guy with a butterfly net… perhaps to catch the rampant fan theories.
Reggie wonders when it stopped that crazy people were portrayed as guys impersonating Napoleon. Maybe it stopped because it is another part of the Mengele effect. He’s cordial about saying goodbye and wishes them good luck as he’s taken away.
But Mulder is not done. He wants to know what happened in their last case together.
In this case, they’d found that the truth was out there.
Reggie recalls the alien at the Grenada declaration – he tells, as they literally drive down memory lane in a red convertible. Scully drives. Her feet reach the pedals.
Remember the prediction that another alien would come in 2018 to check on us? Apparently, Mulder’s intuition had led them to the landing spot of the spaceship.
They arrive just in time to see the UFO land at this clearing, where they also find the rest of Voyager and the gold record. Suddenly, the UFO opens and an alien comes out, with greetings. It's comical and it drags like crazy until the being boards his Segway only to hover over to where they stand, just feet away. Is unnecessarily comical and over the top.
He’s a representative of the Intergalactic Union of Sentient Beings from All Known Universes and Beyond. He wears a cape, sort of like Elvis’ ones. They’ve been observing our species, and don’t want to have any kind of contact with us. Honestly, I don’t blame them.
They returned our “music sampler” – referring to the golden record – and don’t want us to go anywhere outside of our planet because honestly, we’re the worst. They’re building a wall to keep us contained. Insert here all the Trump references that you can imagine. Fun fact: Hugo Chavez, the late dictator of Venezuela, and who was as crazy as Trump is these days, was named Galactic Commander. Maybe this is him in this story? At any rate, they threaten to destroy anything that goes beyond our solar system and that we’re free to explore Uranus all we want.
Can you tell a boy wrote this story?
They won’t let us explore because we’re apparently the equivalent of Mexicans to Trump. Okay then. Some, they assume are good people, he says, looking at Scully. But they have no choice than to lump everyone together. And the worst is that even though other galaxies have similar problems, the main issue is that we have the one virus that could infect them: Humans lie.
As a peace offering, he leaves them with a book with the answers to everything and hands it over to Mulder. He boards his Segway, and climbs on his ramp to the UFO, but not before making one last stab at Trump's ridiculous gaffes. Bing. Bong. The alien is gone.
“So, that’s the truth. We’re not alone in the universe, but nobody likes us?” Mulder realizes, sadly shocked.
“It’s okay, Mulder,” Scully tries to calm him down. And it’s a bit melodramatic; this is as it's being told by Reggie’s recollection, right? “There will always be more X-Files.”
But Mulder is not so sure. The aliens gave them all the answers to everything. He opens the book, where he even finds the answer to Sasquatch… and then… he breaks down in the most over exaggerated, drama queen style, worthy of a meme subtitled with “cries in Spanish.” It's that level of amazing. “No! Is not true!” he screams at the heavens, throwing the book away and collapsing, comically.
“It’s time to face the facts, guys,” Reggie begins, and so the track “Home Again” plays, and I want to punch someone. “This is the end of the X-Files.”
Scully looks at him, sadly. Mulder is still throwing a tantrum on the ground.
“But maybe the point wasn’t to find the truth, but to find each other,” Reggie states. “For no matter where we go in our lives, we will always have the memories of our time together, and no one can take those away, or alter them in such a way to make us doubt that they actually happened.”
Scully is verklempt, about to make some kind of confession to him, but he shushes her because he knows. Oh, to live in this fantasy world he lives in, where Mulder gets off the ground to hug him while weeping. Scully hugs the men too as the camera pans away to come back to reality, where Reggie is being wheeled into the ambulance, wrapped in a straight-jacket, claiming that as we all know, everyone lived happily ever after.
What did I just watch?
Mulder makes a halfhearted attempt to assure him that they’ll visit, but Reggie knows that’s a lie, laughing as the door to the ambulance closes. Off he goes to the Spotnitz Sanitarium.
I live there; it’s a grand place.
As they drive away, Skinner comes out of the building noticing the ambulance and asks “Where the hell are they taking Reggie?!”
“Wait, what?” – Yes, Martin, what!? We’re back at the footage of “The Lost Martian,” only that this time it's playing on Mulder’s TV set as he watches. He’s found the episode. It wasn’t a Twilight Zone after all, but a knockoff called “The Dusky Realm.” As he pulls the VHS out, the magnetic strip comes loose, and now even the tape is lost for good. He’s disillusioned.
Meanwhile, Scully has finally dared to prepare the Goop-O-ABC. She had to use Mulder’s Bigfoot cast to set it in. A big, cherry flavored, foot.
Mulder wants her to go first. He doesn’t want to risk it being a lemon-lime taste with a tinge of leprechaun, after all. She dives in, anticipation builds, but she can’t do it.
“I want to remember how it was,” she says, with a sad chuckle. Mulder looks at her warmly. “I want to remember how it all was.”
Mulder nods, and we leave them staring at each other, sitting on the couch.
Depending on who you ask, this episode was either a masterpiece or the one episode that made them want to turn in their X-Phile card, and maybe request a refund. And you know what? I kind of understand both sides. It took me forever to write this review for that very reason. Because I’m one of the people that didn’t know how to react to it. There was just too much to unpack once I got to the spiral of the message that it intended to deliver… or that it inadvertently did. I can’t underestimate the writer, though.
Darin Morgan, who wrote and directed this episode, is one of the most famous and celebrated X-Files writers, even though he hasn’t written all that many of them. Admired by many, his sense of humor and style are particular... and sometimes, unexpectedly cerebral.
The story, per se, is one of my favorite stories of the show. It delves into the conundrum of what the truth is and how subjective it is in this day and age. Americans - and by default, the world - have been subjected to manipulation that is simply shameless at this point in the game. So talking about the nature of how truth, memories, reality, and facts collide in one insane stew… is timely. If you add to that mix the generational change, then you have one hell of a perfect dish.
At many points in this conversation with myself, and with others, I found the need to take a break. Just like for Mulder, it’s overwhelming to be current with the day-to-day in this day and age, and it’s overwhelming to delve into such things as perception, the ownership of your memories, and fandom.
I give this episode a standing ovation for giving me what traditional X-Files set up to do: make the viewer examine their reality, to look at themselves and then have a whole week to digest every aspect of it, especially those bits that broke their brain.
Performance wise, there’s absolutely nothing that I would object to. David and Gillian’s comedic timing is excellent, even when trying to give a straight delivery. And Brian Huskey is just amazing at his craft. There was not one member of the cast that I didn’t enjoy on their own, even the henchmen. The more and more I thought about it, the more I felt that I really loved this episode.
There are sequences of complete brilliance. The concept of the Mandela effect is addictive, and in itself the idea of manipulating the truth is intense. We could be here for hours; it’s a circular conversation fed by the human inability to discard fears, our failure to accept that we can be wrong, to be hurt, to be the laughingstock… to even be able to laugh at ourselves. And so, it’s better to give room to interpretation. To live in the state of mind of “99% sure, but allowing a 1% of possibility of being wrong” and by admitting that, we cancel out the possibility of being wrong altogether since we’re already allowing for it. We’re not wrong by being wrong; it’s just part of being right. Anyways.
So I wonder, are the writers of the show “Dr. They?” Or instead, are fanfiction writers, and the audience, embodying this entity? Each of them builds worlds that have modified our reality about this show, one way or another, in a way that they could very well be the enforcers of the Mandela effect or the “Phony Fake News.”
With fans discussing the show, the rampant theories, the writers wanting to throw us a bone - whether because it fits the story or because it guarantees the survival of the show - we live in a constant Mandela effect. We’ve even witnessed this from Chris Carter, rewriting an old episode to fit his needs to tell a new story. I have no clue if Darin Morgan is fascinated by this effect, or chastising us for it!
It’s a problem in itself that I may be over-analyzing, but then again, this is what the episode provokes. A thorough questioning of our existence, our knowledge, the validity of our arguments, and even if we’re relevant anymore. In a universe that used to rely so much on the undeniable fiber of facts, as much as we tried, how does one live in the version of this story where facts are no longer black and white, but instead multiple shades of grey?
Setting that aside, because we may never find a clear answer, there are parts of this episode - from the fandom and audience standpoint - that are problematic, in different degrees.
The episode ticks many items off some wishlists: there’s a bit of flirting, there’s paranoia, there’s comedy, there’s a solid x-file, but the way this message is delivered comes at the cost of sounding pandering to some, if not almost condescending, depending on your interpretation of the roles in the narrative.
If we’ve established that “Dr. They” is the writers… Reggie Something - or Reginald Murgatroid - is at times seen as the fandom or the audience, or the collective, trying to build out their own theories about what the show is, or what reality is. So, is Reggie the fandom? If so, he’s telling the story the way that he seems to remember it, which at times seems distorted and thoroughly invasive and untrue. Never mind the fact that he ends up being a mental patient at the Spotnitz Sanitarium.
Is this Darin Morgan’s way of saying that by our theories or expectations of the show, we are indeed invading the realm that we all wished to live in? Invading the act of creation? Trespassing on what’s exclusive to them as owners of that world? Is this something that happens because we’re so invested in such fiction? Are we all crazy because of it?
To continue the questions: Is this the way that the writers fight back against what can be seen as an infringement to their creative freedom, where they stand by their right to tell the story they want to tell, and not necessarily the story that we want to hear?
When the fandom pulls no punches to criticize, has the time come that we need to give space to the writers to criticize us for our penchants as well?
At any rate, if we are all suffering from the Mandela effect, where we’re constantly debating where this show has been and where it should go... Who is forgetting what? Who is the arbiter here? The finger could point both ways to assign blame, and is Frank Spotnitz the arbiter?
There are poignant moments, like Mulder remembering his own experience discovering the “Twilight Zone,” where there’s understanding of the fandom experience. Something that is profound and thoroughly shaped who Mulder is today. It molded his ways, made him a fanboy himself, sparked curiosity. This is very much what Darin Morgan and so many of the X-Files writers feel about that very show, in fact.
Reggie knows this particular soft spot about Mulder: He knows that he can connect with him speaking that same language, where there are several common places to prove and give validity to his claims. He’s reaching inside him to find understanding of why he’s doing what he’s doing, and why the story that he’s telling should be true not only to him but Mulder and Scully as well. His life - or the life he wants to have - depends on it.
The problem is that Mulder and Scully are in a way also embodiments of the writers. They’re standing their ground to defend what reality means for them. Hence why the need for proof; the give and take that can only be resolved by having concrete facts, like the Goop-O-ABC. Don’t worry, I’ll come back to this one.
Mulder and Scully are fans in their own way. Nostalgia is, in part, the framework that maps the reference of what their lives are, the fiber of their conceptions of memories that might or might not be true, as we come to find. The situation in this episode is that Reggie is here to “correct” what that reality means for them, and that’s a threat to their lives. The fandom is here to correct the writers... and that challenges the way they built the universe of Mulder and Scully.
In Reggie’s recollection of that last case together - and by default the fandom’s recollection of the show - they would come to work as a team. Mulder would magically have an all-knowing leap that would solve the case, and Scully would be made relevant and powerful because she drove. They would find an alien - finally - that would be a mockery of the embodiment of alternate facts, and that would tell us how we’re all the worst and they don’t want anything to do with us. Well, maybe with Scully - she might be the good one. Mulder would find all the answers, and by that effectively destroy the X-Files, and he certainly cannot handle the feels or the truth. Scully would coyly declare her love for Reggie -the fandom- and they would hug in this irrational need for them to live happily forever after. Fandom is telling itself how to cope, hugging their own versions of Mulder and Scully. Fiercely.
By how we’ve built the roles in this narrative, the fandom tells themselves that maybe the show wasn’t all that important, but what the show created around us is. Reggie says, in the middle of his reflection: “Maybe the point wasn’t to find the truth but to find each other. For no matter where we go in our lives, we will always have the memories of our time together, and no one can take those away, or alter them in such a way to make us doubt that they actually happened.”
That’s a beautiful sentiment, and probably the truest truth we can find about the fandom experience, and even something that the actors and writers may feel themselves about their own experience working on this show. But my problem with this proclamation is that it's being done from the fandom to the fandom, during a deranged fantasy, one in which Mulder and Scully almost take pity on the proclaimer. It’s covered by absurdity, and it makes people feel disjointed. How would Darin Morgan feel if we told him: “You know what? Don’t be such a big fan of the Twilight Zone. Don’t analyze how it’s changed your life. Don’t write about them decades after you became a fan. Don’t base them on an experience that will change your life.” I wonder, with no animosity whatsoever, what would be his answer. We all stand on the shoulders of giants.
By having Reggie be this entity that fights to have a place in the process, to justify his existence, what is the message Darin is trying to convey by the outcome? I don’t want to make assumptions, but it’s a bit ironic that in an episode that’s all about perception, I have to question what his opinion is of the relationship between the fandom - or the audience - and the creators. It gets complicated when you put Reggie in an ambulance, tied up in a straight jacket, even if it was voluntary. We’re all happy to go to the Spotnitz Sanitarium. Even the guy with the butterfly net seems pleasant. To be honest, I’m a patient at this institution, and it is quite excellent over here.
At any rate, what’s the message that he’s trying to deliver by this? Are we just elevating an honest homage to a place of unintended significance?
For years, Frank Spotnitz has been a fierce advocate of the show and the fandom behind it. He’s cited it as the force that kept the push alive for many of the vital parts of the process of bringing it back, of fueling their own process during the original run, of bringing perspective and challenging their own talents. Frank has had direct communication with the fandom for years, through his website and social media, to one-on-one conversations with fans and in interviews. So, by pegging him as the “therapist” fixing Reggie, does that mean that he’s the one that will deal with the crazies that dare to question the story we have to come to feel we own? By all means, it's not an insane statement; it might just be one of the bigger truths stated in this episode.
Jokes aside, or not, and to extend on the issue that I find problematic with this episode - and others like “Babylon” and “Sunshine Days” - is the intention of addressing sensitive matters through comedy, and then not quite landing the punch. It is an admirable endeavor, and a challenge that I commend any writer for, but the truth of the matter is that even when art is here to offend some and create change and reflection through it… I feel that this is a very thin line to walk on, one that lands the show on the wrong side more often than not. And it is a disservice when in the process, it manages to underestimate the life conditions of many. It’s a delicate line, especially when you’re challenging the fandom experience. It doesn’t need to be addressed from the lunacy standpoint, especially when all these writers are fans themselves. It is all about passion.
Recognizing the validity of the experience and the associated results of it doesn’t take away from the grandiosity of the show as a stand-alone entity, even when you get into the fallen tree diatribe. If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is there to listen, does it make a sound? If a show is amazing and grows over time, progressively upping the ante, does it do it by itself or because of challenges imposed by an ever growing and demanding audience?
Then we come to the discussion of the bookmark of the episode: Scully finally has a piece of evidence that would validate - or not - her memories, by being able to prepare the Goop-O-ABC. She has a morsel of truth, and she refuses to take a bite. “I want to remember how it was.”
With no intention of judgment, I honestly want to know why she won’t. Why don’t the writers want to look back and find undeniable truth? Maybe it's the fact that she just saw Mulder’s recollection of one of his most precious childhood moments crumble and be lost forever? Maybe it's that she can’t handle the domino effect of this memory falling apart and then questioning everything else in her life?
Perhaps that’s the main problem, or blessing, depending on how much you’re on the side of having accuracy over subjectiveness. Many could make the argument that when it comes to remembering parts of the X-Files timeline, the X-File writers may have been hit with their own bout of the Mandela/Mengele effect. If not, ask the Tumblr/Twitter police.
The fact is that that remembering the show, or your own life, is… subjective. For many reasons.
Recently, Frank Spotnitz said something that I thought fits this episode - and the act of writing - so perfectly:
"Storytelling is not just about plotting. Once the audience engages with a character, they will construct their own narrative alongside yours - and in this internet-driven age, they will share their narrative with others. They might even prefer the plot they've imagined to yours! The only thing you as a storyteller can uniquely deliver to an audience is a satisfying emotional journey that tells them something about the world that they don't know - and makes them think."
And so, we get to talking about this journey, and even the comments from David Duchovny that this could have been a good final episode of the series. Could it have been? Maybe, but only if many other things had been addressed previously, in other episodes… if “My Struggle 3” hadn’t happened, if we hadn’t been promised small answers yet to be delivered. Maybe, yes, this could have been a great - reflexive - episode, one to act as the ultimate epilogue. With some tweaking. The information is there; the dare is there. There’s an invitation to laugh at ourselves and understand that maybe it’s a futile fight to try to get others to understand what they haven’t lived. There’s an invitation to not be politically correct, to not stray away from challenging perception, or else, look where we could end up!
Because, even when the argument was made that Reggie needed to go back to the loony bin, and Mulder and Scully smugly thought they had all the proof, Skinner came in to shatter it all when he recognizes Reggie’s existence. Maybe we’re right, guys… And so Darin Morgan puts himself in the very same place of that apparently profound thing Donald Trump said: “Nobody knows for sure…”
So… since we’re trapped in the diatribe of being able to handle the truth or not, here’s my truth: I agree, maybe this is the end of The X-Files, and it should be the end of it. With how the state of the world it is right now, we’re beyond meta-discussions of the truth, the facts, conspiracies, and how the lines have been blurred so much that they’re non-existent. Good things come to an end, even the most blessed of lives do. I believe that at this point a large sum of us wants it to end. I think though that we get caught up in a lot of noise about what our requests are, and there’s a lot of misunderstanding.
Do we want all the answers? No, we just want some. Do we think that providing all the answers would end the show? Maybe, but only if the world ceased to exist. God knows that we’re in a precipitated race against logic.
It is clear, now more than ever, that there will never be an absolute satisfaction of our desires when it comes to this story. Hell, I don’t think that the happiest person in the world could say that about their life when they hit the end of their days. Same can be said about Mulder and Scully’s story when it’s become such a vibrant entity.
And it’s true, regardless of who says it: we’re richer because of this experience. Our generation - and this fandom - has developed a sort of ecosystem, with its own culture, traditions, types, nomenclatures, studies, and even different generations within it. There’s absolutely no way to grasp the scope of it by just visiting or observing, and that’s why it seems insane that an alien invalidates someone’s lifetime.
It’s okay, guys. This may be the end of The X-Files, but the possibilities are endless. We’re standing on the shoulders of a giant, one that has been generous even if sometimes unaware of its own magnificence and impact; it created amazing lives beyond description.
Make sure to tune in next week… the mythology is back and we can busy ourselves with what we do best: nitpicking, imagining, and wondering how is this going to end.