22 July 2008

Season 9: Sunshine Days (9X18)

Written by: Vince Gilligan
Directed by: Vince Gilligan

In Van Nuys, California, young slackers Blake and Mike enjoy a beer together. Blake claims that a nearby house is the home used to shoot The Brady Bunch. Mike disagrees, and a few moments later both men sneak inside the house for a better look. Mike is stunned - the interior of the house is exactly like the home from the TV show. Suddenly, a football bounces down the staircase, reminding Blake of an episode in which the Marcia Brady broke her nose after a football hit her in the face. Freaked out, Mike runs off, and Blake walks up the staircase, where he comes face to face with two children who resemble Bobby and Cindy from the TV show. Moments later, Blake's body crashes down onto the roof of the car Mike is sitting in.

Doggett and Reyes investigate the strange death. The agents escort Mike to the front door of the house he claims is the Brady Bunch home, where they speak with the owner, Oliver Martin. Martin allows the agents to enter after Doggett threatens to get a search warrant. Inside, Mike is flabbergasted when the house looks nothing like the Brady's place.

Sensing something amiss, Doggett checks Martin's dustbin, which contains a pile of asphalt shingles. Doggett realizes that the roof of the home has been freshly patched... leading him to speculate that Blake somehow flew through the roof.

Later, Mike sneaks to the front of Martin's house and peers in. He sees three girls and three boys having dinner with their mother and father. Mike bursts through the front door... but the family has disappeared. Mike then advances on Oliver, only to find himself floating in the air. Suddenly, he rockets upward and crashes through the ceiling.

Scully arranges a meeting with Dr. John Rietz, a parapsychologist who documented the strange case of Anthony Fogelman, who later changed his name to Oliver Martin, in 1970. Fogelman, the "Mozart of psychokinesis", possessed otherworldly powers of moving objects with his mind. Described as "a lonely little boy", by Reitz, Fogelman's powers faded as he grew up.

The agents realize that "Oliver Martin" was the name of Carol Brady's nephew, in the Brady Bunch's last season. The character was something of a pest and jinx, and Scully wonders if that's how Fogelman views himself.

Doggett and Reitz make their way to Fogleman's house, but Fogelman levitates Doggett off the floor and crashes him through the ceiling. When Doggett regains consciousness, he's stuck upside down in the attic of the house. Rietz tries reasoning with Fogelman, urging him to relax, at which Doggett crashes back through the hallway ceiling.

Oliver says he simply thinks about things and places and they suddenly appear. He concentrates for a few seconds, and the Brady Bunch living room transforms into scenic grasslands. Amazed, Scully asks Oliver to come to Washington so scientists can learn more about him. The agents escort Oliver to the Bureau, where Oliver levitates Skinner.

Later, Oliver experiences a seizure and is rushed to a hospital, where it turns out that he's suffering from multiple organ failure. Doctors try everything in their power to save him, but nothing seems to work. When Doggett wonders why Fogelman chose The Brady Bunch, Reyes concludes that the Bradys are the family that everyone wishes they had. This causes Rietz to realizes that he represented a father figure to Fogelman, and he apologises to him for treating him like a lab rat. He also makes him promise to never again use his powers.

The title is a reference to a song that the Brady children sang in an episode of The Brady Bunch when they formed a band, called "It's A Sunshine Day".

The house isn't really the house the Brady Bunch was filmed in. Agent Reyes made a big point of mentioning that. The real Brady Bunch house was on a Hollywood backlot. This house was a figment of the guy's imagination.

Doggett: I'm telling you. (Staring up at the sky)
Reyes: No. I don't see how.
Doggett: Well, how else do you explain it? A guy falls from a plane or, I don't know, maybe a helicopter, out the door and then... (He whistles) bam. As simple as that.
Reyes: And how, exactly, did he wind up in a helicopter? Supposedly he was busy breaking into someone's house at the time.
Doggett: Details. (He looks over at the roof of the vehicle and spots something small and black where the body was found)
Reyes: What you got?
Doggett: Maybe nothing. (A police car approaches and stops. Michael Daley, bandage on his forehead, emerges from the car)
Michael Daley: Are you the people from the FBI?
Reyes: Michael Daley?
Michael Daley: Is someone finally going to arrest that freak?
Doggett: How about you tell us what you witnessed and then we'll go from there.
Michael Daley: What I witnessed was freaksville, man. My friend was murdered. Who would have thought this could happen at the Brady Bunch house?
Reyes: That's not the Brady Bunch house.
Michael Daley: Yeah, it is. I mean, I know it doesn't look like it, but it is. That's where they shot the show.
Reyes: No, they shot the show on a sound stage in Hollywood. The house they used for the exteriors is a split-level in Studio City. I took a picture of it once.
Michael Daley: I'm telling you. It's like some kind of creepy Brady Bunch museum in there. I told the cops to search the place but they wouldn't listen to me. But whatever the hell happened to Blake, it happened right in there.

Doggett: Oliver Martin?
Reyes: Mr Martin, I'm Agent Reyes. This is Agent Doggett. We're with the FBI.
Oliver Martin: This is regarding the death that happened across the street?
Doggett: Yes, Sir. May we come in?
Oliver Martin: I already talked to the police about this.
Reyes: Yes, Sir. We know.
Oliver Martin: As I told them, I didn't see or hear anything. I wasn't home at the time.
Michael Daley: This guy's stonewalling. Kick the door in.
Doggett: (to Michael Daley) Shut up.
Oliver Martin: I'm... really kind of busy.
Reyes: Mr Martin just five minutes and we'll be out of your hair.
Doggett: Unless you want us to get a warrant and then... we could be here for hours. (Michael Daley bursts through the door)
Michael Daley: Right in here, see? What happened? This isn't what I saw. None of it. It's all different. Where'd it all go?
Oliver Martin: I'm not following.
Michael Daley: What happened to all the Brady Bunch stuff?
Reyes: Mr Daley was under the impression that your house was used for the filming of the Brady Bunch, the television show.
Oliver Martin: Well... it wasn't.

Scully: Case number 14-308. Blake McCormick, a well-nourished Caucasian male, 24 years old. I will begin with my external examination... and here is a likely place to start. (She prepares to remove the piece of roofing from the corpse's head when a rattling sound distracts her. She notices that a scalpel is clattering on the instrument tray, reaching out a finger to touch the instrument, she receives a slight electrical shock) Ah!

Doggett: Help me out here, Agent Scully. Monica thinks I'm losing my marbles. What can you tell us about what happened to this guy?
Scully: Well, for starters, Mr McCormick was dead before he landed on the car. His skull was pulverised from a previous impact and, judging by the roofing material that I found in the wound, I'd say that Agent Doggett's theory holds water.
Reyes: Well, like I asked Agent Doggett, how exactly can that be?
Scully: Electricity.
Doggett: How's that?
Scully: Or maybe electricity is only a by-product. I'm not really sure, but... look, I had an odd experience today and it made me think to try something unusual. I borrowed an EEG machine and I wired Mr McCormick to it. And for the last few hours he's been putting off a faint reading.
Reyes: Are you saying he's alive?
Scully: No, he's dead as a hammer. What I'm reading is some sort of residual electricity like a... like a battery that's draining off its charge. It's fascinating. I mean, I've never seen anything quite like it.
Reyes: But what does it mean?
Scully: Well, if Mulder were here, I'd imagine he'd talk about research linking electromagnetic fluctuations to levitation, poltergeist activity, ghost sightings...
Doggett: Ghosts and poltergeists? That's what Mulder would say?
Scully: At the end of the day I wouldn't have any theory that was any better and I don't now.

Dr Rietz: (on video) April 4th, 1970, 10:36am. Present for this test are John Rietz, speaking, and Anthony Fogelman, age eight. Hello, Anthony. Are you ready to begin? Good. Now, relax. Relax and focus. Almost immediately the EEG is registering an increase in fast beta wave activity on all leads. Theta activity is rising as well. Oh, my goodness! (A blue block moves slightly) Oh, my goodness! (The image fizzles with interference)
Dr Rietz: Well, there you have it. My right hand to god. All four blocks rose off of the table and spiralled halfway to the ceiling before they fell.
Reyes: Too bad that wasn't on film.
Dr Rietz: The understatement of a lifetime. Whatever phenomena caused this I also believe that it radiated an electromagnetic field strong enough to fog the image. Well, don't be polite. Call me crazy. Everybody does.
Doggett: I believe you. Did you recognise that kid? That was our suspect, Oliver Martin, right?
Scully: I went through Mulder's reference books. Van Nuys, California, 1970: One of the best documented cases of what was initially thought to be poltergeist activity. It focused on a young boy, Anthony Fogelman, who has since changed his name. And Dr Rietz was the parapsychologist who investigated it.
Dr Rietz: Objects flew around the house. Rooms would grow inexplicably cold. Strange voices would be heard. Anthony's mother was at the end of her rope. I spent six months with her and her son. Six astonishing months.
Reyes: What did you learn?
Dr Rietz: That Anthony was as bewildered as everyone else, but that he was responsible for all of it.
Scully: He was psychokinetic.
Dr Rietz: He was the Mozart of psychokinesis.
Reyes: Sir, in your line of work, why would you fall out of touch with the Mozart of psychokinesis?
Dr Rietz: Over time, Anthony's abilities faded. The last few months I was with him there were no manifestations of it whatsoever.
Scully: He lost his power.
Doggett: We're looking at this guy for two murders. What can you give us that we could actually take to a judge? Was he an angry kid? Was he violent?
Dr Rietz: I can't say what he grew up to be. I haven't spoken to him in 30 years, but the Anthony I knew was a lonely little boy.

Doggett: You're speaking Greek to me here. What's this case have to do with an old TV show?
Reyes: You remember what Michael Daley claimed he saw inside that house. He said it was the Brady Bunch house. He seemed certain of it. And now this name, Oliver Martin — just connecting A to B to C.
Doggett: Does this make any sense to you? When you knew Anthony, was he nutty for the Brady Bunch?
Dr Rietz: We'd watch it together.
Doggett: Okay, say he is. What's it mean?
Reyes: Well, why name himself after cousin Oliver? None of the other Bradys particularly liked Oliver. He was a self-described pest.
Scully: A jinx. Cousin Oliver, the jinx. Oh, so maybe I watched an episode or two. So what you're saying is that his choice speaks to Anthony Fogelman's character; how he views himself — unlucky, star-crossed, a danger.
Doggett: Okay, so be it. Just tell me how this helps me bust him and... I'm happy.
Scully: Well, I'm staring to hope that it doesn't come to that. Well, the power that this man seemingly possesses is extraordinary. It needs to be studied.
Dr Rietz: It could expand the scope of human knowledge. It could change everything.
Scully: It very well could. I mean, I've been working this unit for nine years now. I've investigated nearly 200 paranormal cases. We are due for some incontrovertible proof. I want vindication, for Mulder and for all of us.

Scully: Oliver... with your help, we could learn so much. I would love to take you back with us to Washington.
Dr Rietz: It would mean so much to me, Oliver... to show the whole world. (Oliver Martin nods) Wonderful. Let's go get you packed.
Doggett: We've got a tiger by the tail.
Reyes: Do you believe he intended to kill you?
Doggett: He wanted me out of his house, and away I went. It was involuntary, like a sneeze. What the hell difference does it make? It means he's not in control of this power of his.
Scully: I think that's where we can help him. I mean, he needs to learn how to control his powers. I mean, my god... there's no end to what he could accomplish.
Doggett: And there's no end to the harm he could cause if he goes off the deep end, which isn't too long a walk for this guy in case you haven't noticed. I mean, this whole Brady Bunch thing... I'm not so sure about this.
Reyes: Well, we can't keep him here. Two people are dead. Clearly, this isn't working.
Scully: And besides, I mean... as grand as this may sound... we owe it to the world.
Doggett: Maybe. Except that I can't shake this feeling that the other shoe's going to drop... that there's something Oliver's not telling us.

Dr Rietz: It was just all the excitement. A little bed rest will do him wonders. And we'll get things right back on schedule. (Scully enters the rooms and indicates that they should talk outside)
Reyes: What do his doctors say?
Scully: Oliver's electrolytes were severely imbalanced — that's what sent him into shock. They've stabilised his fluids...
Dr Rietz: When will they release him?
Scully: Well, there's other problems. His thyroid level is elevated. His glucose is low. CPK, liver enzymes and BUN... they're all elevated.
Doggett: Which, in a nutshell means...
Scully: It points to a multi-system organ failure. Gradually his body is consuming itself. It's been going on for months and... maybe even years.
Reyes: What's causing it?
Scully: His doctors have no idea but I think I'm starting to.
Doggett: This power of his — it's eating him alive.
Scully: And if so, it follows that the more he uses it, the more his health will decline. Until finally...
Reyes: What in the hell? (They look in Oliver Martin's room and see the entire Brady Bunch family standing around the bed)
Scully: Oh, my god. (They enter the room to find that the guests have vanished)
Dr Rietz: Oliver?
Reyes: Oliver, those people just now — was that...? Were they...?
Doggett: Why were they here?
Oliver Martin: To say goodbye.
Scully: Why goodbye, Oliver?
Oliver Martin: Because I'm dying.

Doggett: So close, Dana. I'm sorry you don't get your proof.
Scully: Me, too. Well, maybe I've had it these past nine years. If not proof of the paranormal, then... of more important things.
Doggett: Here's hoping the TV stays off and he learns how to love the real world.
Reyes: I think you are getting the hang of this job.

Episode Number: 200
Season Number: 9
First Aired: Sunday, May 12, 2002
Production Code: 9X18

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