Bela Lugosi's Dead
"Bad Blood" Plot Summary:
Mulder pursues a man in the woods and drives a stake into his chest. When Scully catches up, she sees that the man has vampire teeth...fake ones, which she removes. The next day at the F.B.I., she tells him that Skinner wants their report in an hour. Mulder asks whether she believes the man could possibly NOT have been a vampire, fake teeth or no, so she tells her version of events...
Scully arrived at work and was given a plane ticket by an overenthusiastic Mulder, who had evidence of vampirism against cows and people. Scully suspected a satanic cult, but accompanied Mulder to an ostentatious funeral home, where she met a hunky local sheriff whom she impressed with her theories while Mulder babbled about vampires. (Mulder interrupts her reverie when Scully says the sheriff called her by her first name...which Scully never told the sheriff.) Mulder left Scully to do an autopsy. She found fresh pizza in the victim's stomach as well as drugs in his system. That night at the hotel, she tried out the vibrating bed and had just ordered a pizza for herself when Mulder burst in, demanded that she autopsy another victim, and settled in to enjoy her bed and pizza. When Scully did the second autopsy, she again discovered fresh pizza in the victim's stomach. She rushed back to the hotel, found Mulder drugged, then the pizza delivery guy attacked her. She pursued him into the woods but Mulder got there first, and drove a stake through the man's chest.
It took awhile for Mulder to convince whiny, apathetic Scully to take this case seriously, even though he tried to impress her with his thoroughness. She didn't even catch the mortician's joke about repeat business in caskets. Of course, she was too busy slobbering over the sheriff to pay much attention. So Mulder had the sheriff drive him to a cemetery to check out a hunch, while Scully stayed behind to do an autopsy. The sheriff was an idiot, so Mulder had to explain that vampires are obsessive-compulsive and often untie knots like a victim's shoelaces, which gave him the idea go to the cemetery. They were interrupted by a call to the sheriff, summoning them to an RV park where they found another victim. (Scully interrupts to ask if that's all that happens, and Mulder is forced to explain that he made a jackass out of himself trying to stop a runaway Winnebago.) At that point he went to the hotel, where Scully ordered him not to touch her things. Mulder nonetheless took over her bed and the pizza until he noticed that the pizza delivery guy had untied his shoes when he went to get money. Scully got there in time to save him, but her bullets passed right through the man, so Mulder pursued him with a stake when Scully ran after his car.
The two discuss what they will tell Skinner; Scully insists that Mulder should remind the director that he was drugged. Mulder shrieks those very words when Skinner arrives, but Skinner tells them they have to return to the Texas town: the pizza delivery guy's body is missing from the morgue, and he apparently tried to bite the doctor there. Mulder is forced to agree with Scully that their culprit did watch too many Dracula movies, but that doesn't mean he's not really a vampire.
Mulder leaves Scully at the cemetery with the sheriff and heads for the RV park to look for the pizza delivery guy, whom he finds in a coffin and handcuffs inside. Meanwhile, the sheriff asks Scully how she feels about vampires and explains that they aren't all stereotypical jerks like Ronnie - most of them are normal-seeming people like himself! Mulder is attacked by the entire population of the RV park and comes to inside a car, while Scully wakes up in the sheriff's coat in the cemetery. Neither remembers a thing, and all the RVs are gone. Skinner demands to know if that's the whole story; both agents agree that it is exactly what happened, other than some disagreement over whether or not the sheriff had buck teeth.
Much like third season's "Jose Chung's 'From Outer Space'" and last season's "Small Potatoes," this was a screamingly funny, self-parodic episode which was not afraid to ridicule both major characters from their own perspectives and one another's. Now we know that Scully envies her pathology patients their last meals, and sees Mulder as a possessive dweeb who's far too enthusiastic about vibrating mattresses. And now we know Mulder thinks Scully has rotten taste in men, and spends way too much time sniping that he's wrong instead of helping him investigate when he's right. I don't think we were supposed to take this episode entirely seriously, or at least not as representative of their feelings about one another and their work, but as a break it was completely effective.
The directing was fantastic - soft lighting around Scully when she remembered meeting the sheriff, slight fisheye on the sheriff when Mulder remembered the same scene. Just enough differences between Scully's and Mulder's perspectives even for minor scenes that some howlingly funny things got highlighted, like Mulder's nervous mannerisms and Scully's attention to small-town quirks which she didn't even bother to mention, like the names of the caskets in the funeral parlor. The dripping intestines during the autopsy (awful bloody for a vampire victim) and the glowing green eyes of the vampires were nicely overdone. You could see the ending coming a mile away, but that made it all the funnier when an oblivious Scully realized she was in a car with a vampire.
Things I loved: Scully claiming that Mulder recited the theme from "Shaft" while he was drugged, Mulder remembering reciting vampire history for the sheriff but not recalling one word of the scientific explanations Scully claimed to have given him. Mulder gave the pizza delivery guy a two-cent tip - no wonder he became the next victim! I got the biggest kick out of a gimmick: when Scully reported that they stayed at the Davey Crockett Motor Court and Mulder corrected the name to Sam Houston Motor Lodge, the lettering on the screen changed. Makes you wonder whose perspective we're supposed to be seeing things from most weeks.
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