The X-Files was always really good at casting dead-eyed creepy guys. I didn’t get to include the part where he gives a man a heart attack over the phone by describing cheeseburgers.
My favorite episode! I think this one was a big step in Mulder/Scully bonding.
Mulder never does well in court. It’s kind of hilarious that he never sees it coming.
Vince Gilligan wrote this episode, so the Breaking Bad connection is there …
Those anime outfits are pretty great! I think it’s only a matter of time before Nick has to wear them in ‘Skin Horse’.
Now that Nick’s ditched the drone, that would mean fitting an entire V-22 into them. Which would be pretty funny.
I’m thinking more in wallpaper, but your idea is better.
Oh hey, a Mell cameo. Didn’t notice that the first time reading this.
Oh, sure enough — cool!
You’ve got good eyes! It took me your prompt and three scans to spot the distinctive hair….
Finally found it… I kept expecting her in the courtroom…
I watched this episode with a couple of online friends, and we spent a certain amount of time trying to figure out the extent of Modell’s powers: he can control people over the phone; could he record commands and send someone an audiotape, or leave an answering machine message? Could he do a radio broadcast and command everyone who heard it to do whatever he wanted? etc.
We were also very excited that SKINNER’S FIST made an important appearance in the episode! Modell calls Skinner ‘Mel Cooley’ in that scene, which is also fun.
It occurs to me that if they’d *really* wanted to take a dark tone with this episode, they’d have made him descend to the level of being the worlds most effective telemarketer on top of the whole murdering-people-through-mind-control thing.
Or a really good yoga instructor, but that’s not quite so reprehensible.
It seemed to me like there was a large feedback element involved. Like, he can’t just flat out command someone to do something: he has to sort of tease them up to it, feeling them out as he goes. This makes me think it has to be real-time and one-on-one. Even if you could electronically record whatever signal he’s giving out, it wouldn’t work because it’d be like recording one side of an intimate conversation and expecting random people to pick up the other side flawlessly on playback, without prompting.
it’d be like recording one side of an intimate conversation and expecting random people to pick up the other side flawlessly on playback, without prompting.
Worked for Bob Newhart…
Haven’t seen that, but I’d guess either:
A) it was faked for comedy
B) it was a simple conversation with few prior knowledge/person specific cues, making responses easy to ad lib without becoming inconsistent
C) the mark didn’t pick up the other side flawlessly: they stumbled along confused as part of the joke
D) it uses “intimate” to mean “sexual”, instead of “predicated on a deep understanding of the other party”
But more to the point it’s an analogy. All analogies are imperfect, otherwise you’d be comparing a thing to itself.
Modell doesn’t just tell people to do things. Each push is implied to be a multi-step, give-and-take process, and uses quasi-subliminal insinuations that’re either context or personality specific instead of direct language. You might be able to record it, but play it back out of context and/or to the wrong person and it would probably just be noise. Even under ideal circumstances, the recording would be unreliable because of the lack of give-and-take adjustment.
I always cringe when Mulder starts pontificating in front of a room of people. It’s almost as if he honestly believes that he can convince them. Every. Time.
Wow, Mulder has precognitive powers!
I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one who thought “Please explain to me the scientific nature of the whammy” as being the obvious stand-out line in the episode.
It may be the all-time best Scully line.
I enjoyed the Black Jack shout-out.