This Is Not My Beautiful House! This Is Not My Beautiful Wife!
"Dreamland" Plot Summary:
Mulder is driving Scully to Area 51 in Nevada over her objections, since for all he knows his contact is a crackpot Star Trek fan and they could be having normal lives settling down and raising kids. Suddenly their car is surrounded by Jeeps, driven by men who pull guns and order them outside. A middle-aged man in a suit orders them to turn around, telling them that the highway borders a top-secret U.S. military test site. He is unimpressed by their F.B.I. badges and scoffs when Scully asks whether they're testing components from flying saucers. Suddenly, a bright light appears on the horizon and an unidentified ship flies overhead. When it departs, Mulder looks totally blank.
As Scully gets into her car with the man who ordered them to pull over, the military men look to Mulder, awaiting orders. He demands that everyone leave and insists that Scully's car be released. His coworker Jeff Grodin in the back seat keeps calling him Morris and demands to know why; Mulder replies that he can't just make a couple of F.B.I. agents disappear. At the headquarters to Majestic, Mulder sees on his I.D. that his name is supposed to be Morris Fletcher. When he sees his face on a screen from a surveillance camera, he looks just like Morris - the man who was supposed to arrest him. Inside Morris' office, Mulder sees pictures of Morris with Newt Gingrich and Saddam Hussein, plus a wife and kids. He tries to phone Scully, but is interrupted by Grodin, who warns him that there's evidence of a leak in the building which has been notifying someone in the F.B.I. of their activities. He is interrupted by a call from Morris' irate wife, who wants him to come home and pick up milk on the way. Mulder doesn't recognize Morris' house or wife and ends up sleeping on the couch with The Playboy Channel on the television.
Meanwhile, Scully and Morris - who thinks he's Mulder, as does Scully - have stopped for gas, where Morris asks her to pump and wants to buy cigarettes. Back at headquarters, Asst. Dir. Kirsch reprimands Morris and Scully for pursuing an X-file instead of their own cases; Morris tells Kirsch he would be happy to turn over the names of his informants and promises that they will never pursue X-files again. Outside, as Scully demands to know what he's up to, Morris flirts with Kirsch's secretary, asks Scully if she's jealous, and pats her ass. Back in Nevada, Mulder has been woken by Morris' furious wife, Joanna, who demands to know what he was doing sleeping in the living room watching porn all night. "Morris" can't manage to dress himself and doesn't recognize either of his own children and repeatedly inadvertently insults his daughter until he finally finds his car keys and flees.
The military has found the site of the crash of the experimental craft from the evening before, and it's horrible - in addition to fires raging everywhere, the co-pilot has become embedded in a rock cliff. The pilot survived, but he can only speak Hopi, a language which he did not know previously. When Mulder, as Morris, arrives at Majestic, he is briefed on the situation and introduced not only to the pilot, Robert McDonough, who now claims to be Hopi Indian Lana Chi, but to the 70-year-old Hopi woman who claims to be Robert McDonough and gives a detailed account of the crash. Back in Washington, Morris is playing golf at work when Scully gets a call from Mulder. He tells her that his personality was transposed with that of Area 51 employee Morris Fletcher, who is really the man sitting next to her whom she sees as Mulder; she thinks he's a crackpot, and when he picks up her phone, Mulder hears and hangs up.
Leaving the phone booth, Mulder enters a store and leaves some change on the counter, but a sudden earthquake causes it to fall on the floor and then all hell breaks loose. As Mulder drives towards Area 51, the white Jeeps intercept him again and tell him to turn back - there's been another incident. Inside the store, Mulder finds the attendant horribly disfigured, and one of his colleagues shoots the man so that they can torch the place before Mulder can do any investigating. As the place goes up in flames, Mulder's colleagues seem puzzled as to why he wasn't helping with the cover-up. Meanwhile, Scully comes across Mulder in the aftermath of a romantic encounter with Kirsch's secretary. Morris is smoking, half-undressed, calling her Dana, and willing to turn in the man whom Scully thinks is his source from Nevada to Kirsch. When he tells her he thought they were off the X-files, she storms out and he calls her a bitch.
Mulder listens to the theory that the anti-gravity craft being tested caused a rip in the space-time continuum which permits two objects to exist simultaneously in the same space and time, like a man and a rock. That would also explain why no one else really remembers what happened the night before. His co-workers expect Mulder to "clean it up," which in this case means covering it up - not reversing it, as they're not sure that's possible. As he frets, an irate Scully drives back to Nevada. She stops at the burned-out store and finds Mulder's change on the floor, fused into one four-sided coin. At Morris' house, Mulder sleeps in the living room again and is again woken by Joanna, who accuses him of infidelity for uttering the name "Scully" in his sleep. He explains that his job requires secrecy and is incredibly stressful, finally admitting that he is not the man she married, but she takes this as a declaration of his impotence and swears that they'll work through it. They are interrupted by the front door, where Scully introduces herself to Joanna. She calls Mulder a cheater and begins to throw his things out of the house while he tries to explain to a skeptical Scully that he's really her partner; he knows what she eats for lunch and offers scientific proof of the switch.
Morris calls Jeff Grodin at Majestic to report a security leak. Mulder steals the black box from the secret anti-gravity flight to bring to Scully, but Grodin witnesses the theft. Meanwhile, Kirsch calls Scully in Nevada and tells her that her partner already reported what she was up to; she's to follow his instructions to the letter, or she shouldn't ever bother coming back. Mulder meets Scully in a convenience mart, but before he can give her the black box, a military convoy drives up and arrests Mulder as he realizes that she turned him in - along with Morris, who is there with Scully inside Mulder's body. While they drag him off, the real Mulder screams, "He's not me! Tell her, you bastard! He's not me!"
Next week: will Scully get it on with the alien living in Mulder's body, just to rescue the real Mulder's mind?
Two hysterical episodes two weeks in a row. This one wasn't filmed as spectacularly as "Triangle," though it did have a brilliant lip-synching sequence when the soldier spoke through the old Indian woman's mouth, and a hysterical sequence where Mulder - apparently looking in a mirror at himself in Morris' body - dances with himself in his underwear. "Dreamland" had quite a bit of suspense but I suspect it will be remembered for the humor: Mulder trapped in a twisted suburban sitcom with two kids who hate him, a wife he knows nothing about, and a closetful of identical suits which inspire him to remark, "Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Johnny Cash." There were also a number of jokes about Star Trek involving the suggestion that fans are crackpots, a new example of Mulder's predilection with porn as his favorite comfort food, and a priceless Viagra joke.
And on the other end there was the real Morris, masquerading as Mulder. My one major criticism of this episode is that they didn't have Duchovny play both parts, because the idea of someone who looks like Mulder but would slap Scully's butt, have a quickie with Kirsch's secretary, and turn in Scully and his life's work is just priceless. It also would have made it easier to take Scully's inability to see through the impostor: the fact that WE could all see clearly that Mulder wasn't Mulder made it pretty hard to take her ongoing acceptance of a man who calls her Dana, smokes, and screws around at work. Morris is a nasty little weasel, and it's rather charming that he turned himself in once he started working for the other side...I can't wait for him to get back in his body and pay for that, though he clearly has so little personality, who knows if he'll know the difference? It's interesting that everyone BUT Morris, from the pliot to the Hopi woman to Mulder, knew who he or she was supposed to be, while Morris didn't have a clue.
I was not pleased with the portrayal of suburban hell...while I know that that was probably a conscious crack at relationshipper fans who think Mulder and Scully should get married, settle down, have a couple of kids, and join the P.T.A., it was fairly misogynistic in its relentless portrayal of wife Joanna as a shrike and daughter Chris as a whiny, appearance-obsessed teenager while son Terence refused to be called Terry because it's a sissy name. Yeah, it was a funny send-up of various happy-family shows, but it would have been even funnier if it weren't so dependent on cliches; there are lots of other reasons I can't see Mulder doing the suburban husband thing. It's also odd that it happened to Mulder, since Scully was the one harboring the fantasy, and thus would seem to be the one who needed to be talked out of it.
The X-Files Reviews