I Want to Believe: The Return of The X-Files

A year ago the possibility of a revival of iconic 1990s drama The X-Files was a likely as finding the Loch Ness Monster.  However, unlike Nessie, there was a movement to bring the “epic global phenomenon” back to the small screen.  No one believed that the stars would align so perfectly, but amazingly enough show creator Chris Carter had been in talks with David Duchovny, who was ready to return as the wryly charismatic Fox Mulder.  Once he was on board, Gillian Anderson agreed to return to the role of Dana Scully, a role she has vocally tried to put behind her.

Tonight we get to see the return of the legendary show whose mythology rivals that of the UK’s Doctor Who.  As we wait for the show to air pending the end of the NFC Championship Game, I started thinking about how the show would be so much different now, with technology being so much more accessible (how many of us had cell phones back when the show aired?) and social media allowing for the truth to be out there so much more than it ever had been before.  Entertainment Weekly’s Darren Franich says that “As a long form saga, The X-Files was influential—and disappointing” in terms of all of the mythology that seem to go nowhere.  In an era of smart phones and Twitter, think of how many times Fox Mulder could have exposed Cancer Man’s secrets with a simple photo of a dark warehouse full of alien bodies.  It would have been so easy.

Somehow, I don’t think Chris Carter and company will make it so easy.  One thing is for sure: The X-Files is back and the truth is out there.  And…I want to believe that it’s going to be amazing!!!!

Look for my recap of episode one, “My Struggle,” later tonight (after the episode finally airs…thanks, NFC Championship Game….

AHS Asylum S2E4 Recap: I Am Anne Frank Part I

American Horror Story Asylum, S2E4: I Am Anne Frank, Part 1

Original Airdate: November 7, 2012

Recap by Sarabeth Pollock


Raise your hand if you woke up last Thursday morning and checked to make sure your legs were still attached.  Hey, you never know….


A woman with no ID enters Briarcliff in the middle of the night.  She’s on a psychiatric hold and it’s easier for the police to dump her there than deal with her.  Sister Jude, who had been awakened and is wearing her robe, wants to understand what set the woman off.  Apparently she was in a bar and an anti-Semitic joke set her off.  She has blood on her coat, but it isn’t hers.  Sister Jude is sympathetic to what happened to “her people” in the War and asks if she lost someone.  The woman starts whistling.  She looks like she has a secret, but she’s not telling just yet.  Sister Jude orders her to be locked up for the night.  Her treatment will start in the morning.

Dr. Arden is up late.  He’s preparing a syringe full of something sinister.  You can just tell that he’s up to no good.  Poor Shelley struggles on the exam table.  She wants to know if she’s going to die.  Dr. Arden laughs.  “After this, you’re probably going to live forever,” he replies, injecting her in her temple.  Shelley screams.

In the kitchen, inmates prepare the dough.  Kit asks Grace for a cigarette and she sees his face.  “Arden?” she asks.  Indeed, Dr. Arden roughed Kit up during his search for answers.  Where did the little mechanical bug go?  He took lots of x-rays.  But Kit is more interested in Grace’s story.  She tells him about waking up in the middle of the night in her family’s farmhouse.  There’s a noise.  She goes down the hall to see a man murdering her father.  She manages to run down the stairs and into a closet.  The murderer runs out of the house looking for her, and then Grace turns around to see that her stepmother had been chopped up and placed on the shelf.  Grace tells Kit that she lost her father and stepmother that night, and her stepsister the next day.  Her stepsister didn’t die, though; her stepsister and her lover conspired to kill the family and blame Grace so that they would inherit the land.  The police wouldn’t believe Grace no matter how many times she told the story.  She talks about how she misses the farm and misses riding the horses, because riding made her feel like she was flying.  “You’ll fly again,” Kit reassures her.

Dr. Thredson asks Lana where she went during the movie.  He tells her that he’s not going to tell Sister Jude anything, but he observed her to be gone and then she reappeared with Kit and Grace.  We flash back to movie night and see that he’s watching the trio as they leave the day room.  Kit tells the two women that even if Shelley made it out, no one can know that they tried again.  Returning to the present, Dr. Thredson admits that Lana is not a threat to society and she shouldn’t be locked up.  Lana smiles.  “You head shrinkers are such hypocrites,” she says.  She criticizes the use of the Bible as a diagnostic tool, one that proclaims that her homosexuality is a disease.  That’s where Dr. Thredson wants her to know that he can help her. He knows why she’d try to escape and offers an alternative.  He doesn’t have much time left at Briarcliff, but he can take her on as a patient and prove that she has been cured, at which time they’d have to release her.  He calls her a fish out of water, gasping for breath.  She won’t last there much longer.  But Lana resists, telling him that she has been “this way” for as long as she can remember.

The new girl is sitting in the day room writing.  She talks about how the people in the asylum have been locked away to die, which differs from her experience (presumably during the War) when her people held hope of getting out.  In the asylum there is no hope.  Lana watches her write and approaches her, telling her that she’ll be thrown into solitary for writing.  She might need a friend.  The newcomer isn’t afraid, though, and she doesn’t seem interested in making friends.  As Lana leaves, Dr. Arden enters.  While he observes one of the inmates, the woman rises from the chair.  She shouts that he was there, at Auschwitz.  He stands there, stunned, and then he calls the orderlies to sedate her.  They drag her away, and that’s when she introduces herself.  “I’m Anne!” she cries.  “Anne Frank!”

Anne meets with Sister Jude.  Sister Jude says it will be a relief for millions of schoolchildren that she’s alive.  Anne Frank died in the camps before they were liberated.  Not so, says Anne.  She was too sick to tell her name.  When she regained her health she lived on the streets.  She met an American soldier from New Jersey who married her and brought her to the US.  He died in Korea in 1952, the same year her journal was published.  Sister Jude wonders why she never reached out to her father, but Anne replies that her father had started a new family, and her journal had so much power.  People saw what happened to her people through the work of a fifteen year old girl.  It would only have that power, though, if it remained in the voice of a fifteen year old girl.  So she didn’t say anything.  Sister Jude believes her story to be obscene, but Anne has a bombshell—the real horror is that Briarcliff is employing a Nazi war criminal.

Dr. Thredson has a dilemma.  He tells Kit that if he declares Kit sane, he will be sentenced to the electric chair.  If he says he is insane, Kit will face a life locked away at Briarcliff.  Thredson doesn’t believe Kit is crazy or evil.  He thinks society drove him to create this fabrication about aliens to cover up the heinous acts he committed.  Thredson is willing to lie to the courts to save Kit’s life, but Kit will have to spend the rest of his time with Thredson facing the reality of what he did.  Kit insists that he told the truth, but Thredson won’t hear of it.  Thredson is going to tell him what really happened.

Anne tells Sister Jude that Dr. Arden wasn’t known by that name back then.  She has a flashback to the concentration camps.  His name was Dr. Hans Gruper, and he was there when they arrived at Auschwitz on the trains.  She recalls seeing him stop two twin boys from getting off with the rest of the children, and she thought they were lucky.  As it turns out, no one was lucky.  He’d come into the women’s barracks and bring them candy.  He said that he wanted to help all of them but he couldn’t, so he’d leave it to a coin toss.  The women who left with him came back unable to walk, so damaged that they rarely lived long afterwards.  They’d been sworn to secrecy so no one ever understood what happened.

Thredson tells Kit that he married Alma in secret, and even though it was his greatest joy, he had to keep it a secret.  He posits that it was this secret that pushed him to release the strain by attacking the librarian in January, removing her skin and her head.  Was it because those things represent the things that society was punishing Alma about?  Her race and identity?  The same thing happened to a secretary outside of her house.  The night that Alma died, Kit claims that his friends came to his house.  He hid Alma, but the stress of having to hide her made him snap.  We see him throw Alma into a table and beat her into a bloody pulp.  Kit shakes his head, haunted by the portrait of a killer that Thredson is painting.  He insists that he didn’t do it.

Sister Jude shakes her head.  Dr. Arden is not a Nazi.  She says that Anne can’t possibly know that because she wasn’t there at the camp.  Anne thrusts her arm out and displays her tattooed ID number.  She knows where she has been.  But can Sister Jude say for sure that she knows where Arden came from?

Two orderlies dispense meds in the day room.  Lana approaches and then stops, hearing a voice in her head.  Slowly, the day room fades away and she’s accepting an award for her expose on the horrors at Briarcliff.  Though the day room is still all around her, she steps up to the podium, now resplendent in a colorful dress and makeup, and gives a speech.  She thanks the other inmates at Briarcliff whose stories broke her heart.  She talks about Martha, who was beautiful when she entered the asylum after her husband’s death but now spends her time bashing her head against the wall.  Then there’s Rudy, the chronic masturbator, whose habit got worse under the beatings he received.  No matter how they tried to break her spirit, Lana pushes on, even though they keep trying to make her forget what she has seen.  “She did everything she could to survive, and then she did what she had to to get out.”  That said, she marches into Thredson’s office and asks to start his treatment.

Kit punches his ball of dough.  Grace teases him about using the dough instead of taking his aggression out on Sister Jude, who ordered them to work double shifts.  Kit’s wondering if maybe he is crazy.  What if he imagined the whole thing because he doesn’t want to face the truth?  What is he? Crazy or sane?  Grace doesn’t care.  She has made a decision to stay with him.  They share a kiss, which leads to a passionate tryst on the countertop.  (Where exactly is their supervision??)  As they finish, the door opens and a guard walks in to catch them in the act.

Sister Eunice chooses a cane for Sister Jude to use on Grace and Kit.  The cane she chose, she says, is fitting for their punishment.  Sister Jude smiles and tells her that “she doesn’t know what has gotten into her,” but it’s an improvement.  Oh, Jude, if you only knew….  Grace wants them to give out their punishments and be done with it, but Sister Jude is concerned that these two are far too familiar with each other and are trying to create a “murder baby.”  Kit defends Grace, saying she was framed.  Sister Jude orders them both to be sterilized.  Frank the guard enters just as Kit tries to argue that they can’t do that to them.  He tells Sister Jude that two detectives are there to see Dr. Arden.  Sister Jude leaves, telling Sister Eunice and Frank to take Kit and Grace away while their paperwork is processed for their procedures.  Sister Eunice wants to take Kit, and she sends Grace off with Frank.  Sister Eunice has the eerie little smile on her face.  What is she up to? Once they’re alone, Sister Eunice removes a file from the cabinet and puts it in front of Kit.  As she leaves to give him privacy, she tells him that Grace isn’t as innocent as she claims to be.  He leans forward and starts reading.

Ever the curious one, Sister Jude bursts into Dr. Arden’s office pretending to need him.  The detectives rise to their feet.  Dr. Arden looks very uncomfortable sitting at his desk while she introduces herself.  They’re there to investigate charges brought upon the doctor by the prostitute that he’d attacked.  He insists that there is no case while we flash back to their odd evening together.  Arden doesn’t believe they even have a case against him, but they go on to say that the woman saw certain things—pornographic images, Nazi memorabilia—that make them want to look closer.  He dismisses them and leaves the room, but hearing about the accusation only heightens Sister Jude’s concerns about him.  It turns out that these aren’t vice detectives.  They’re homicide detectives, and there are things about the evidence that caught their eye.  They ask her about the charges against Kit Walker.  Does he really seem like he possesses the surgical skills necessary to remove a woman’s skin, or to cut off her head with precision.  Sister Jude’s eyes widen with alarm at the implications.

Lana sits in a darkened room with Dr. Thredson, who shows her image after image of women in provocative poses.  Lana finally is so overcome she vomits into a bucket.  He rubs her shoulder.  He’s giving her a morphine drip, which helps with this therapy to teach the body to be repelled by certain triggers.  He shows her a picture of Wendy that he brought from her house.  He tells her to say “when,” and she manages to hold on several moments before getting sick.  She asks for a few moments before he shows the next picture, but Thredson decides that they can stop this part of the treatment (aversion therapy) and move on to the next phase, conversion therapy.  He’s pleased with her progress and suggests that she might enjoy the next phase.  He brings in a young man, Daniel, who is willing (“honored”) to participate in her treatment.  She says she’s willing to do whatever it takes, which means that Daniel will take off his robe and she will regard his physique.  She’s afraid of him touching her, but Thredson says that she wants her to touch herself.  She complies, slowly, and he tells her to “focus on his genitals.”  She does.  Then he asks her to keep touching herself while holding Daniel’s “member.”  She manages this, but only for a few moments before she gets sick.  Thredson ushers Daniel out of the room and tells Lana that they don’t have time to delve deeper into the causes of her fixation.  They need to move on.  How many of you Thredson fans just fell out of your chairs?

Sister Jude informs Monsignor O’Hara that detectives were at the asylum to interview Dr. Arden about the prostitute.  She has reason to believe that he was a Nazi.  The Monsignor listens to her but believes that this is all part of the personal vendetta that she has against Arden.  When she insists that it’s the truth, he forces her to admit that the evidence comes from one of the inmates.  Perhaps this job is too much for her, he suggests.  She’d rather blame Nazi war criminals than look in the mirror to see the truth.  She says she’s only trying to protect their shared dream of building Briarcliff into a premiere treatment facility, but he drops a bomb on her.  He knows she has been drinking, and she was drinking on the night of the escape.  He tells her to pray on it to find answers to this dilemma.

Dr. Arden is working on Shelley when the phone rings.  It’s the Monsignor.  “They’re onto you, Arthur,” he says as Shelley writhes on the table.  “If you have any housekeeping to take care of, I suggest you do it now.”  Dr. Arden regards Shelley on the table while the Monsignor takes a long, reflective drag on his cigarette.

Sister Jude tells Mother Superior that she “slipped.”  The good Mother seems familiar with Jude’s story and tells her that God will present challenges all along the way.  It was He who left the carafe of wine on her desk.  Mother Superior suspects that Jude came to see her for other reasons, and she doesn’t seem surprised when Sister Jude tells her all about Dr. Arden’s transgressions and how the Monsignor doesn’t want to ask the difficult questions.  Men are like that, Mother Superior sighs.  They don’t like to be caught in these situations.  She urges Jude to talk to someone who can help, but Jude is reluctant to go behind the Monsignor’s back given that he was the one who helped her to find her mission in life.  Mother Superior disagrees, citing the fact that she was a broken woman when she arrived on her doorstep, but she always had a strong moral compass.  Sister Jude just needs to get back on track.

Grace hears a door open.  An orderly brings Kit to his cell.  Sister Eunice is with him.  Kit looks pale and sad and he doesn’t look over at Grace.  Once he’s locked up, Sister Eunice leaves, casting a long look at Grace.  Grace immediately asks if Kit is all right.  They haven’t cut his balls off, he tells her.  He demands to know why she lied to him.  Grace realizes that he knows what she did, and she asks if he wants to hear that she’s sorry, which she isn’t.  Then she tells the story of how her father used to come into their room at night and do things to her.  She told her stepmother what was happening but she kept Grace quiet by giving her candy.  Grace murdered her first, and then her father.  Her stepsister saw her murdering her father.  She asks if Kit is repulsed by her.  He tells her he admires her for what she was able to do.

Dr. Thredson seeks Lana out in the day room.  He tells her that he has felt sick for doing what he did to her.  He gives her the photo of Wendy and tells her that he’s leaving at the end of the week, and he plans to bring Lana with him.

Sister Jude is in a room with Kit, who wants to confess about his crime.  He wants to know if God truly knows everything.  Does He know whether or not he killed those women?  He can’t remember, but based on what everyone tells him, he must have done it.  He begs Sister Jude to forgive him.  She says that God forgives everyone who asks for it.

Dr. Arden drags Anne into his exam room.  She has brought all kinds of trouble upon him.  He taunts her, telling her that Anne Frank is dead.  As he locks the door, she pulls a gun on him.  She took it from one of the guards.  When he comes closer, she shoots him in the leg.  He falls to the ground but still taunts her.  That’s when she hears the noises coming from the next room.  She takes his keys and opens the door to find Shelley on the ground.  Her face is covered in blistering welts.  “Kill me!” she begs.

Well, my friends, this show has definitely taken off in a different direction now what we’re a third of the way into the season.  Where do we even start?  The scenes between Lana and Thredson were downright disturbing.  Is Kit pretending to go along with Thredson’s suggestions, or is it possible that he really committed those murders?  Is this really Anne Frank?  And what is Monsignor O’Hara’s connection to Dr. Arden?  As always, I want to hear your thoughts.  Where is the show going?  What more can possibly happen?  Leave your comments below!

Looking Forward to AHS Freakshow

I can’t wait for the premiere of Season 4 of American Horror Story Freakshow. The cast looks great in the teasers, and I can only imagine what the writers have planned this year.

To celebrate, I’m going to post the recaps I wrote of Asylum and Coven.  They should whet our appetites as we wait for October 8…

What are you hoping to see this season?

Abbraccio Cosmico, the Queen, the Pope, and Bill Clinton

Abbraccio Cosmico, the Queen, the Pope, and Bill Clinton

Clyde Lewis is discussing the Tetrad tonight on Ground Zero, and this year there are 4 Blood Moons. The Grand Cardinal Crossing includes the four areas of the zodiac where the Tetrad will take place: Capricorn, Libra, Cancer, Aries. And the Queen was photographed in front of the painting “Abbraccio Cosmico” (Cosmic Embrace) with Pope Francis, a painting that depicts two humanoid beings embracing while being surrounded by 4 zodiac symbols: Capricorn, Libra, Aries, and Cancer. Is that a coincidence? Do they know something?

This leads to speculation: What will happen when the Blood Moon rises?

Clyde Lewis Weighs in on Missing Plane–Hiding in “Plane Sight”

From Ground Zero Radio:

I’ve been waiting to hear what Clyde Lewis had to say about the missing plane.  Flight 370 has been missing for days.  Terrorism has not been ruled out.  A plane crash has not been ruled out.  Aliens have not been ruled out.  It’s crazy.  For all we know, it passed through a temporal rift and is stuck on an island somewhere, just like the passengers from the Oceanic 815 from Lost.

Clyde Lewis has an interesting take on it.  So do the callers on his show this evening.

What do you think?

Oceanic 815, I mean, Malaysia Airlines Mystery Continues to Deepen

Here is an article from the UK’s Telegraph:

The use of the word “unprecedented” is very interesting.  The plane went missing a few days ago and no one knows where it is.  Passengers used stolen passports, but now the claim is that they “likely weren’t” terrorists and they might be Iranian.  The oil slicks spotted have been ruled out as belonging to Flight 370.

Is anyone else concerned about this?  A plane went missing.  Passengers were able to board with stolen passports.  No one can find the plane.  These are all huge problems in my book.

Right now it’s a bit like Schrodinger’s Cat: At the moment, the plane is neither crashed nor safe.  It’s somewhere in the middle.  And if it didn’t crash, then it has either been hijacked and hidden away somewhere (this is totally possible) or maybe aliens took it.  In all seriousness, nothing has been ruled out.  Again, this is the problem.

Is the Malaysian Airlines Missing Plane the New Oceanic 815?

I don’t mean to make light of the awful situation with the Malaysian plane.  I just happen to think that it never crashed and it somewhere else.

Like the show Lost, I truly believe that something happened to the plane and the passengers.  With all of those stolen passports, who is to say that the plane wasn’t taken somewhere else? If the pilots had been in on it (or even if they weren’t) if there were enough people and a solid plan, the communication signals could have been disarmed and the plane could have been taken elsewhere.

So far no groups have taken responsibility for it, nor has anyone found debris.  Until they find it, the possibility that it didn’t crash is still valid.

On the Nature of Aliens; Inspired by Clyde Lewis’s “Rocket


Once again I’m caught up in tonight’s Clyde Lewis’ Ground Zero show.  Here’s a transcript:

I had a dream once that Jesus was an alien.  I’ll never forget it because it came to me when I was 18 and I’d taken a class in college called “The Millennium” and it was all about millennial cults (Ironically, this was in 1998 and it was offered at a Catholic university).  At any rate, I had a dream that Jesus returned, only no one realized that he was an alien.  If you stop and think about it, aliens who wish to take over the planet would be smart to come to Earth as religious figures.  People tend to not question these things.

At any rate, tonight’s radio show made me think about the Twilight Zone episode called “To Serve Man.”  Rod Serling was ahead of his time.  This episode revolved around aliens, the Kanamits (I have a Kanamit doll that I bought at Comic Con) who come to earth under the guide of sharing their wisdom with the people of earth.  (Spoiler alert!!)  Their real intention, however, is to take humans to their planet as the main ingredient in their recipes…get it–To serve man….  What calls my attention to this episode is that the Kanamits land and go to the United Nations.  There is no panic, but there’s a media firestorm and a whirlwind of politicians trying to figure out how to use the Kanamits to their advantage. It’s remarkable how calmly the people of Earth are during this first contact experience. 

When the aliens arrive in Independence Day, things are not as calm.  People panic.  Will Smith’s neighbors in Los Angeles do not waste time getting the heck out of town.  When the aliens attack, the panic level increases.

I would love to see what people today would do if a UFO showed up in the sky for all to see.  I’d love to hear the military spin jockeys stammering that they were not caught off guard and the political slant on the massive event.  Social media would be aflutter, of course, and the media would be frothing to get an exclusive interview with anyone who knew what was going on.  Can you imagine it? 

What I’d Really Like to See from TV and Movies

I like action movies.  I like Sci-Fi movies, too.  I saw Independence Day when it first came out, and then I saw it again.  The thing that always gets me is that I want to see what happens next.  Aliens invade Earth, and Earth wins.  What next?  What did civilization do to recover?

In War of the Worlds, much of the world was destroyed by the aliens that had been dormant under the Earth’s surface.  Germs take them out.  But what happens after that?  What does humanity learn?

The Walking Dead gives us snippets of what led to the zombie apocalypse.  Personally, I’d like to see more of what happened before Rick woke up in the hospital, but I like that we’re seeing the aftermath.  I’m fervently hoping that the spinoff gives up even more insight into what is going on around the world.

Deep Impact came the closest to satisfying my need to see what comes next.  The asteroid hits the planet and a giant tidal wave takes out the Eastern Seaboard, but later on we see the crews rebuilding the White House.  It’s uplifting.

I feel the same about reality TV shows.  Have you watched ABC’s The Bachelor or The Bachelorette?  Here’s what I’d like to see…and then I’d actually watch it.  They film the men and women vying for the Bachelor/Bachelorette’s affections, and when crazy stuff happens behind the scenes the Bachelorette/Bachelor is completely unaware.  It makes for good dramatic fodder for the audience.  But what if the producers allowed the stars to secretly watch tape at the end of the day so that he/she can see what’s really going on in the house…. Can you imagine that drama??  All of a sudden those lies and cover ups are out in the open.  There can be no denying it.  He he/she said it, then there is no arguing…it’s all on tape.

I think TV and movies should switch it up a bit.  Show us the stuff we haven’t seen before.  All of a sudden, a sequel to War of the Worlds will look like a modern take on The Patriot, only we’re fighting aliens and not Red Coats.

Maybe it’s the history major in me, or maybe I’m just bored with more of the same.  I just think a little change here and there would be nice…



Preparing for…what?

Once again I’m listening to Clive Lewis’ Ground Zero radio show.  He’s talking about the hidden messages in the Super Bowl.  The multiple appearances of the number 12, the word “prepare” during Bruno Mars’ performance….  Prepare for what?  The next big world war?  The symbolism is everywhere.  It’s like the movie 21, which is a great movie.

This nerdy girl is going to return to her nerdy roots.  While the people on the radio show are talking about the Antichrist and all of the religious symbolism, I am recalling a dream I had in college whereby aliens arrive on Earth and take the form of Jesus and other major religious figures from religions all over the world.  Everyone goes nuts and thinks it’s the second coming, and the aliens take over with little to no resistance.  Think about it: It’s the best way to take over a planet.  Mimic the religious leaders (especially, in the case of Jesus, a religious figure who is forecasted to return at some point).

For all we know, we could be under attack from the Daleks or the Borg.  Or the Cybermen.  Doctor Who and Star Trek teach us great lessons about why the human race needs to be wary of getting too comfortable.  We lose sight of problems and forget to be mindful of what is going on around us.  Ground Zero is talking about something possibly happening around February 15 or the Ides of March (March 15).  For my sake, I don’t want anything to happen on those days.  They are the 6th and 5th birthdays of my cat and dog, respectively.  Of course, last year around this time, we had the huge fireball over Moscow.  And now we have the Olympics in Russia.

I know I’m rambling.  This is all a lot more esoteric than the snow that won’t melt, which has been a favorite topic of mine the past few days.  All I know is that we have to pay attention to what’s going on around us.  Don’t read too much into everything, but be mindful.

To quote Spock: “Live Long and Prosper.”