09 August 2007

Sesaon 6: The Unnatural (6X20)

Written by: David Duchovny
Directed by: David Duchovny

It is Saturday afternoon and Mulder is in the X-files basement office leafing through New Mexico newspaper obituaries from the 1940's looking for anomalies, much to Scully's dismay on such a beautiful afternoon. But Mulder stumbles across a newspaper picture of agent Arthur Dales with a Negro baseball player and the alien bounty hunter.

Ripping the page from the book, Mulder leaves the office and goes to Dales' apartment, only to discover that Dales brother, also named Arthur has taken over the apartment. But when he shows the photo to Dales, it turns out that the photo is of him not his brother. In June 1947 Dales was a police office in Roswell, assigned to protect a Negro baseball star Josh Exley from member of the Klu Klux Klan, bent on keeping baseball white. Exley played for a Negro team called the Roswell Greys and had hit 60 home runs in the season matching Babe Ruth's record, and so was being scouted for the major leagues.

Only Exley does not want to play for the major leagues, he is quite content to stay were he is and play baseball for the Roswell Greys. Only Dales claims this was because Exley was actually a grey alien who had fallen in love with the game of baseball and that was the reason he did not want to play in the major leagues.

As the newspapers and reporters would dig in to his background and reveal the truth. A fear shared by Exley's fellow aliens who send the alien bounty hunter to deal with the problem in his own unique fashion.

This episode marks David Duchovny's writing and directorial debut.

The title of this episode makes reference to the title of a novel by 20th-century American writer Bernard Malamud: ''The Natural'' which is also baseball. The book was made into a film starring Robert Redford and Glen Close.

"Ex" is played by Jesse L. Martin, the original Broadway cast member of ''Rent'' in the role of Collins. Perhaps knowing this is what prompted David Duchovny to allow Martin a small scene where he sings with that "beautiful voice" of his.

Altough budget problems initially prevented Vin Scully from being hired as the baseball announcer, the famed sportscaster - who is the original inspiration for the name of Gillian Anderson's character - agreed to meet an X-Files sound crew in his Dodger Stadium broadcast booth and record the part for free.

David Duchovny's older brother, Daniel Duchovny, plays the role of bench jockey Piney.

Due to Darren McGavin's unfortunate illness he could not reprise his role as Arthur Dales, so the script was re-written with the key storyteller being his brother Arthur (played by M. Emmet Walsh). Mr McGavin did reprise his role in this episode, at least for 2 scenes. The Season 6 DVD features 2 alternate takes for scenes shot in the episode with Darren McGavin. Scene one is the scene in the kitchen where Mulder asks if the great glories of the past were aliens and the 2nd scene was one of the last in the episode, when Mulder says goodbye to Arthur Dales. Such a pitty that he was unable to complete the episode. Great actor, great performance.

Scully: Mulder, it is such a gorgeous day outside. Have you ever entertained the idea of trying to find life on this planet?
Mulder: I have seen the life on this planet, Scully, and that is exactly why I am looking elsewhere. Did you bring enough ice cream to share with the rest of the class?
Scully: It's not ice cream. It's a non-fat tofutti rice dreamsicle.
Mulder: Ugh. Bet the air in my mouth tastes better than that. You sure know how to live it up, Scully.
Scully: Oh, you're Mr. Live-it-up. Mulder, you're really Mr. Squeeze-every-last-drop-out-of-this-sweet-life, aren't you? On this precious Saturday you've got us grabbing life by the testes, stealing reference books from the FBI library in order to go through New Mexico newspaper obituaries for the years 1940 to 1949, and for what joyful purpose?
Mulder: Looking for anomalies, Scully. Do you know how many so-called 'flying disc' reports there were in New Mexico in the 1940s?
Scully: I don't care. Mulder, this is a needle in a haystack. These poor souls have been dead for 50 years. Let them rest in peace. Let sleeping dogs lie.
Mulder: No, I won't sit idly by as you hurl cliches at me. Preparation is the father of inspiration.
Scully: Necessity is the mother of invention.
Mulder: The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.
Scully: Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we may die.
Mulder: I scream, you scream, we all scream for non-fat tofutti rice dreamsicles.
(Mulder sets down his book and lunges at Scully, taking a bite out of her psuedo-ice cream)
Scully: No! Mulder! Mulder!? You cheat. I can't believe that you've been reading about baseball this whole time.
Mulder: I'm reading the box scores, Scully. You'd like it. It's like the Pythagorean Theorem for jocks. It distills all the chaos and action of any game in the history of all baseball games into one tiny, perfect, rectangular sequence of numbers. I can look at this box and I can recreate exactly what happened on some sunny summer day back in 1947. It's like the numbers talk to me, they comfort me. They tell me that even though lots of things can change some things do remain the same. It's...
Scully: Boring. Mulder, can I ask you a personal question?
Mulder: Of course not.
Scully: Did your mother ever tell you to go outside and play?
Mulder: Is that... Arthur... Dales...
Scully: Mulder?
Mulder: Ah... Choo!
Scully: You just defaced property of the US Government.
(Mulder takes the page and leaves the office) You rebel.

Officer Dales: Mr. Exley? Mr Exley, my name's Arthur Dales. I'm an employee of the Roswell police department.
Josh Exley: Have I broken a law, sir?
Buck Johnson: You stole... second base in the third inning. I'm a witness. Officer, I seen Ex steal... at least 50 bases this year.
Officer Dales: No, sir, you haven't broken any laws. Not that I'm aware of. Uh, I've been assigned by my superiors to protect you, against certain parties.
Buck Johnson: I'm the one need protection from certain parties. Ex here, he in bed by 8:00 every night.
Josh Exley: I appreciate your concern, sir but I can protect myself.
Officer Dales: Mr. Exley, I'm not a big sports hero like yourself, sir and I really don't have an opinion on Negroes... or Jews or Communists or even Canadians and vegetarians, for that matter but I cannot stomach the murder of a man of any persuasion or any colour being flaunted and solicited in my town. Not on my watch. So you can be safe with me in a cell down at the precinct or you can be safe with me here on the bus. Seeing as how this is still America, you're free to choose, sir.

Officer Dales: Ex... Why did you tank that game today?
Josh Exley: I won that game today.
Officer Dales: You tanked the game today. You want me to tell you why? Because your name's not Josh Exley. Josh Exley is a six-year-old kid who disappeared from Macon, Georgia about the same time that you showed up in Roswell.
Josh Exley: I ain't never been to Macon.
Officer Dales: When you got beaned, you said you were from Macon.
Josh Exley: Well, I also spoke tongues like I did when I was a little boy in church. (He mumbles an unrecognisable language) I was joking, Arthur. Relax.
Officer Dales: I'm relaxed. You're hiding something. That's why you don't dare get into the major leagues 'cause the sports writers and everybody would be digging around and they'd find out what it is, right? So you tanked the game in front of those scouts today. Disappointing those kids — disappointing your team mates — disappointing your race...
Josh Exley: Look here, don't go talking about my race. You don't know nothing about my race.
Officer Dales: I know that liars come in all colours. You got a secret, and famous or not, I'm going to find out what it is.
Josh Exley: While you're out chasing secrets, you make sure you're chasing the right ones.

Mulder: You've never hit a baseball, have you, Scully?
Scully: No, I guess I have, uh... found more necessary things to do with my time than... slap a piece of horsehide with a stick.
Mulder: Get over here, Scully.
(Mulder hands Scully the bat, then steps behind her and wraps his arms around her tightly, also holding the bat around her hands)
Scully: This my birthday present, Mulder? You shouldn't have.
This ain't cheap. I'm paying that kid ten bucks an hour to shag balls. That's not a bad piece of ash, huh? The bat — talking about the bat. Now, don't strangle it. You just want to shake hands with it. 'Hello, Mr. Bat. It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance.' 'Oh, no, no, Miss Scully. The pleasure's all mine.' Okay, now, we want to... we want to go hips before hands, okay? We want to stride forward and turn. That's all we're thinking about. So, we go hips... before hands, all right?
Scully: Okay.
Mulder: One more time. Hips... before hands, all right?
Scully: Yeah.
Mulder: What is it?
Scully: Hips before hands.
Mulder: Right. We're going to wait on the pitch. We're going to keep our eye on the ball. Then, we're just going to make contact. We're not going to think. We're just going to let it fly, Scully, okay?
Scully: Mm-hmm.
Mulder: Ready?
Scully: I'm in the middle.
Mulder: All right, fire away, Poorboy.
(They hit a foul)
Ooh! That's good. All right, what you may find is you concentrate on hitting that little ball...
(They hit the ball again)
The rest of the world just fades away — all your everyday, nagging concerns. The ticking of your biological clock.
(Another hit)
How you probably couldn't afford that nice, new suede coat on a G-Woman's salary. How you threw away a promising career in medicine...
(Another hit)
To hunt aliens with a crackpot, albeit brilliant, partner. Getting into the heart of a global conspiracy.
(Another hit)
Your obscenely overdue triple-X bill. Oh, I... I'm sorry, Scully.
(Another hit)
Those last two problems are mine, not yours.
(Another hit)
Scully: Shut up, Mulder. I'm playing baseball.

Scene from ''The Unnatural''

Episode Number: 136
Season Number: 6
First Aired: Sunday, April 25, 1999
Production Code: 6X20

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