season 5, episode 10, “chinga”
having firmly established scully and mulder in the roles of skeptic and believer, episodes that show a role reversal can be quite humorous. except for the religious episodes. that role reversal comes off as somewhat annoying. “chinga,” co-written by the master of horror, stephen king, is one that gets it right. this episode is kind of scully’s “war of the coprophages.” mulder goes on a little getaway and inadvertently finds himself a possible x-file and calls scully repeatedly to discuss it. in “chinga” scully tries to take a vacation and inadvertently gets caught up in an x-file. mulder calls her repeatedly to discuss it (or, you know, just to hear her voice). scully, in an attempt to get out of her head, sort of gets into mulder’s, embracing an open mind and extreme possibilities. when mulder calls it is painfully obvious that he misses her and really doesn’t know what to do with himself without her. he sarcastically throws out scientific explanations for what she describes much how she does to him most of the time. if they were on this case together, scully would’ve balked at the idea of an evil doll causing people to kill themselves. but, she is on vacation and mulder isn’t around to gloat. she’s willing to entertain the thought.
poor scully is in dire need of a vacation. she recently survived a battle with cancer that came close to ending her life and then shortly after that discovered that as a result of her abduction her ova were taken and used to create alien children, one which scully met and had to watch die. forget a weekend getaway to maine, how about a month long sabbatical someplace tropical, geez. also, sadly, i can see her needing space from mulder. after her bout with cancer, scully tried to live her life more fully, coming on to him in “detour,” but found that mulder was treating those feelings with kid gloves, trying to be respectful and sensitive to her situation. there were some romantic moments in “the post modern prometheus” but who knows if that is even real. then the whole emily tragedy happened and scully finds that mulder held information about her stolen ova from her. in “kitsunegari” they are in opposition the whole time. some space might do these two some good.
the x-file itself is classic horror, not surprisingly coming from stephen king. a girl’s dolly seems to have demonic powers and the good townsfolk start dropping like flies. set in maine (also, not surprisingly), the mother of the daughter is rumored to come from a lineage of witches. in typical x-files fashion, we are left not really knowing what the hell happened. the doll is really fucking scary. its eyes open and it tauntingly teases its victims, “let’s have fun.” the owner of the doll, polly, is also pretty creepy. possibly autistic or affected by the doll. the death scenes are killer (uh oh, sorry, still stuck on puns from the “schizogeny” review). the hair in the soft serve machine and a hokey pokey record to the jugular were original. i also enjoyed when melissa, the mother of polly, starts hitting herself with a hammer because that character was annoying and not very well acted. “let’s play with the hammer.” i’m like, ok, yeah, i like this doll.
scully returns having successfully gotten “out of her head” to a lonely puppy. mulder went crazy from boredom while she was gone. she looks at the ‘i want to believe’ poster with new eyes and wants to send one to the town sheriff. mulder asked if she solved the case. “me? no,” she answers. she’d prefer to keep their roles intact.
it’s pretty freakin’ scary in the first minute. when the doll’s eyes open?! fuck!
it’s pusher in doll form.
scully with the maine tee. what a tourist!
she has her cell phone in the trunk in her luggage. she is really trying to detach from work (read: mulder), but, although, not completely. she still answers.
what is so great about freaking melissa turner? all these guys falling over themselves for her. maybe she is a witch.
so, she saw her husband’s death before it happened? before the doll was with polly? maybe melissa does have some special power. did polly behave strangely before she had the doll? lots of unexplained stuff here. guess that’s why it’s an x-file.
in the review i described the hair in the soft serve machine as a death scene. that girl doesn’t actually die from that. i know that. don’t nitpick me, philes. it’s just a really cool scene.
scully is reading a book called affirmations for women who do too much. LOL
mulder in boxers. HOO BOY!
did you know? behind the scenes facts:
the sheriff is played by the same actor who played bleeping detective manners in “jose chung’s from outer space.”
the original name of this episode was chinga – but it was rejected by fox as it may have been an objectionable word in some spanish speaking areas. the name ‘bunghoney’ was substituted – a rude sounding but nonsensical term. chinga was later brought back, it means fuck (or a similar, general expression of disappointment).
the boat is named ‘working girl.’ this is a possible reference to scully working on vacation and/or referring to david duchovny’s film debut, “working girl.”
mulder cannot live without scully! it is so cute! he calls her repeatedly despite their “agreement.” when she ignores the phone call while she’s in the bath, it is mulder who was calling her. he tries to hide the fact that he’s a lovesick puppy. banging his basketball around to make it sound like construction. spending his time sharpening pencils and flinging them at the ceiling. when she returns he sneaks his pencils into the drawer, but then is caught when they start falling on him from the ceiling. her sad look to him is priceless.
that “marry me” line, tho.
is scully trying to make mulder jealous? she says she wants to send an ‘i want to believe’ poster to “some guy. jack.” knowing that being vague about the information might pique mulder’s curiosity. is it a little payback for bambi from “war of the coprophages?”
m: “are you aware of the statistics of decapitation?” s: mulder, i’m hanging up. i’m turning off my cell phone. i’m back in the office on monday.” m: “you shouldn’t talk and drive at the same time. are you aware of the statistics ….? hello?” s: hangs up
moaning sounds coming from the tv. s: “what are you watching, mulder?” m: “the world’s deadliest swarms.” wait a couple beats and reveal it actually is!
s: “no… i don’t think it’s witchcraft, mulder, or sorcery. i’ve had a look around and i don’t see any evidence of anything that warrants that kind of suspicion.” m: “well, maybe you don’t know what you’re looking for.” s: “like evidence of conjury or the black arts? or shamanism, divination, wicca, or any kind of pagan or neo-pagan practice? charms, cards, familiars, blood-stones, or hex signs, or any kind of the ritual tableau associated with the occult; santeria, voudom, macumba or any high or low magic…” m: “scully?” s: “yes?” m: “marry me.” s: “i was hoping for something a little more helpful.” she knew EXACTLY what she was doing to him.
m: “you mean like chucky?”
m: “you didn’t find a talking doll, did you, scully?” s: “no, no. of course not.” m: “i would suggest that you check the back of the doll for a – a plastic ring with a string on it.” s: hangs up
m: “it’s amazing what i can accomplish without incessant meddling and questioning into everything i do.” pencils fall on his head. “there’s got to be an explanation.” s: “oh, i don’t know, i think some things are better left unexplained.”