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I was in high school when that episode came out, fully involved in the online fandom, and I vividly – VIVIDLY – remember my bitterness at that promo. Great episode, though.
And now your child will grow up loving “X-Files” and never knowing why.
I discovered your strip the other day and have just caught up. These are hilarious; please keep them up! Highlight of my Friday right here.
This ep is beyond funny. Darin Morgan is all-around amazing. I can’t say anything but <3.
On another note, what is it with Vince Gilligan and mirrors? Between this and Dreamland one has to wonder.
I always get this one confused with The Post-Modern Prometheus for some reason.
Also wasn’t one of the plot points that all the babies had vestigial tails?
No, The Post-Modern Prometheus has deformed babies.
Great strip, Shaenon! Even though I’m really new to the X- Files (now I’m on season 9, ugh), this is one of the episodes I’ve watched the most.
Derek is correct, the babies in “Small Potatoes” did have tails. The babies in PMP were two-faced (but then again, the events in PMP never really happened, anyway).
I know what you mean. The two episodes are similar in that they basically allow the “villains” to get away with being rapists. That’s the only thing that really rubs me the wrong way about this one and PMP.
I’m probably going to go into this when Post-Modern Prometheus comes up, but in Small Potatoes they specifically say that what Eddie Van Blundht is doing is rape, and at the end he’s imprisoned. The end of Post-Modern Prometheus, on the other hand, freaks me out. Apparently it’s okay to be a serial rapist if you’re into Cher?
In Post-Modern Prometheus, the “monster” is imprisoned, and Mulder and Scully don’t do anything to not let that happen.
The final sequence is more to show that Mulder felt sorry for how the life of the “monster” was and his desire for the comic-book to have a more “happy” ending.
Or, at least, that’s how I understand it.
On the other hand, Eddie was more of a simple-minded jerk who was living with his father’s corpse hidden in the attic.
But, but…. the events in PMP NEVER happened! It was all a fairytale, CC’s directorial exercise in black and white. However, I do agree that the rapes were not treated as such at all.
Yes, all the babies had tails, because Eddie, their biological father, also had one. You can see the tail in panel 6.
Wait I *remember* this one!
I LOVE this strip. And that episode was hilarious.
P.S. Any chance of a Babylon 5 strip? Maybe after you go through all the X-files?
Long-time Narbonic fans are still waiting for the legendary one Shaenon drew in college.
I’m trying to figure out what NSO means on that T-shirt…
The Nonhuman Student Organization was the SF club at Shaenon’s college, if I remember my Narbonic: Director’s Cut trivia properly.
I find Darin Morgan schlubbily cute in this one. The fact that he’s Darin Morgan in real life only makes him more appealing, of course.
Re: the peephole shot—you could always do an outtakes strip of individual panel ideas that you couldn’t fit into the twelve-panel format. There’s gotta be at least a few things you reluctantly left on the discard pile by now.
I didn’t watch X-Files at all while it was airing, but I think I still remember that Fox promo.
Ha, I just noticed the “A Cappella Till You PUKE” flyer. That’s college in a nutshell all right.
That was a real thing at my college. ALL TWELVE CAMPUS A CAPELLA GROUPS, ALL NIGHT LONG. One of the groups also did a fundraiser called the Drift-Away-a-Thon, which consisted of standing in the student center singing “Drift Away” over and over until people gave them $100 to stop.
I love “Drift Away,” but after the fourth time through, I think I’d be reaching for my wallet.
…That’s genius. You can raise money AND exploit all the people who can’t stand college A Cappella groups. Brilliant!
The previous season, we had gotten an X-phile friend of mine a custom shirt made – don’t remember now what it said – and her husband liked it so much he basically stole it from her. So when this came out we made her another one that he’d never borrow, which said: “I love my husband, but he’s no Eddie Van Blundht.”
This hurt his feelings, so we got him one that said: “Scully, help! I’m trapped in this guy and I can’t get out,” with the letters on backward (which took some doing, but the girl at the t-shirt shop got into it and figured it out).
Bab 5, MST3K, Red Dwarf, Freakazoid, X-Files…
I regret to inform you that you may, in fact, be me.
Also Ranma. Looks like this may be incurable.
One of the best! Was looking forward to how you would tackle this one. While mildly disappointed that more of the ep was not there, so many things to choose from (I mean, Sweet Patootie??? Ack!), loved the insight. Keep it coming!
Oooh, I forgot that Vince Gilligan wrote this one and not Darin Morgan. But seeing Darin Morgan in the episode was awesome- and the script was still marvelous. I also agree that this might be some of David Duchovny’s best acting in season 4. The entire part where Eddie van Blundht is impersonating Mulder and acting SO OUT OF CHARACTER is hilarious. Until he and Scully get dangerously close to making out. I actually shouted “NO” at the screen.
I would also love to see that peephole shot as drawn in this comic… that was my favorite shot in the episode.
Always liked this episode…the deadpan delivery “Did he bring his light saber?” …the boring comment “Eleanor Roosevelt?” …the quick dodge when the corpse tail breaks off …the fisheye view …Skinners spell check …Scully’s expressions when Mulder comes through the door when he’s on the couch
…If you look closely (I only know this because someone pointed it out in a Giff on tumblr) in that scene when Mulder bursts in the door on Scully and Eddie, Gillian isn’t wearing pants. That just makes me think of how Joss Whedon used to joke that Tony Head was always peeved when they made Giles wear pants on Buffy for the full body shot scenes…
Better someone-else-gets-to-be-Mulder episode: this or the one with Michael McKean as the Man in Black going through a midlife crisis?
Ooh, that’s a tough one. . . I’m going to go with this one because I feel like that MIB-with-midlife-crisis one (Dreamland?) went on a bit too long. It stopped being funny and started making me identify too much with Michael McKean’s character. Also, as much as I enjoy watching Michael McKean and David Duchovny clown around, a big part of this sort of comedy for me is watching the actors do “other character acting as the main character”, which we didn’t get in Dreamland.
(Which is not to say that I don’t love me some Dreamland! I taped those episodes and watched them endlessly.)
One of my absolute fave episode. Duchovny’s performance cemented my high school crush on him.
Classic, classic episode. I couldn’t stop quoting it with my best friend after it aired. “Should we be picking out china patterns or what?”