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Title: Rain King
First screened in Australia: April 7, 1999
First screened in the USA: January 10, 1999
Director: Kim Manners
Writer: Jeffrey Bell
- Victoria Jackson as Sheila Fontaine
- Clayton Rohner as Daryl Mootz
- Davis Manis as Holman Hartz
- Dirk Blocker as Mayor Gilmore
- Francesca Ingrassia as Cindy Culpepper
- Thom McFadden as the Doctor
- Dan Gifford as the Local News Anchor
- Sharron Madden as the Motel Manager
- Brian D. Johnson as Man
- Sally Stevens as the Radio Singer
In a small town plagued by drought, Mulder and Scully come upon a man who claims to be able to control the weather -- at a hefty profit. Yet the agents discover a force of nature at work even more powerful than the weather -- and just as unpredictable.
Australian Media Review:
Fox Press Release
Corn in the Cornbelt - The X-Files: Rain King
My Rating: 9/10
Something strange is happening in Kroner - a stereotypical corn-belt town filled with hicks and dimwits. Normally, the story would end right there, as the camera pans to somewhere infinitely more superficial, but it's too late... Mulder and Scully are already on set.
"What are we doing here, Gillian?" "Beats me." "Have you seen the script?" (pause.) "Um..." "Golly..." "This story smells like that stuff that sticks to the bottom of my shoe, David." "But... but... I don't get it - where's the angst?"
And so the tale begins: heart-shaped chunks of ice and too much delicious beer cause vexed man to lose his dearly beloved leg; dumbstruck Jersey cow fails in suicidal plot to squish Mulder as he lies pondering the innards of yet another hotel room; aforementioned limb-disenfranchised bit-part actor does a goofy, pointless dance; sewage gushes up through a row of handbasins (most unsavoury); lightning strikes; thunder claps; Mulder changes into slinky charcoal t-shirt and is caught with lipstick all over his chops.
And so it goes on, piled high with why-the-hell-haven't-they-done-it-yet-we-all-know-they-want-to innuendo, until a distinctly Meadow Lea resolve makes the screen fog over and everybody's happy.
However, those still searching for some kind of meaning in The X-Files will be pleased when they discover that this episode really is underpinned by an important and everlasting truth: an obsessed man, shown the error of his ways, learns how to express his deepest emotions to the benefit of all around him, so proving that love conquers all.
Sure, it's a fluffed-up rehash of a theme that's been run into the ground a million times over, but at least it's not scary. And it keeps the corn alive.
Still, it's be a whole lot better if some alien dude jumped in and tore everyone to slithers with his razor teeth...
Jeremy Chunn, Sydney Morning Herald, The Guide, Monday 4 April, 1999
Typed by Medellia and originally posted on her Medellia's Realm website and used with her permission.
After the trials and tribulations I went through just to see this episode, which I won't bore you with, I was pleasantly surprised. I guess I'm just a romantic at heart and this touching story, described by Frank Spotnitz as being written in the Darin Morgan vein?, was very, very good. I'm not a shipper but the sexual tension between Scully and Mulder has just about been pushed to the limit, don't you think?
As the rather sarcastic media review above points out, the episode *is* underpinned by the everlasting belief that love conquers all ... which must warm the hearts of shippers everywhere. The ending was very touching without being too over-sentimental or mawkish - with Sheila & Holman and Daryl & Cindy ending up together but the telling image was Scully and Mulder standing together rocking gently while everyone else was dancing.
There were some terrific images in this episode such as the heart-shaped hail and the cow-falling-through-the-roof was brilliant, despite the "Twister" similarities. Sheila's memories were also well filmed - the mini-tornado at the prom, snow at her wedding in the middle of summer and the smiling cloud faces - while the "Wizard Of Oz" type scenery with her baby at the end was a nice closing shot.
There were also some classic lines (check the quotes below) much of it to do with the Scully/Mulder "will-they-or-won't-they" issue.
All-in-all a top episode, albeit another standalone. I wonder how it fits in with the X-Files timeline though? The opening was on Valentines Day while the rest was more than six months later - there's a September calendar on the wall - then the baby's another nine months later ...
Mayor: I believe Daryl's causing the drought... so he can charge folks for the rain.
(Scully looks at Mulder. He looks innocent.)
Scully: And this is what you told Agent Mulder when you spoke earlier?
Mayor: Yes, ma'am. He seemed real eager to help us.
Cindy: Don't y'all need a warrant or a subpoena or something like that?
Scully: We usually just say, "please."
After being mistaken for the Gundersons, an old farming couple
Mulder: (smiling at Scully) It's like looking in a mirror.
Scully: I hear a big "but" coming.
Holman: Daryl appears to be the real deal. I can't explain it, but...where he wanders, showers follow.
Man with Chainsaw: Ma'am, unless you want to get covered in hamburger, I reckon you should step outside.
Mulder: (on phone) Yeah... he wants advice. Dating advice.
Scully: (on phone) Dating advice? From whom?
Mulder: (on phone) Yours truly. (Verrry loooong pause) Hello? Hey, Scully. Scully, you there?
Scully: (on phone) I heard you. Mulder, when was the last time you went on a date?
Mulder: (on phone, one word at a time) I will talk to you later.
Scully: (to herself, after hanging) The blind leading the blind.
Holman: I've been envious of men like you my whole life. Based on your physical bearing, I'd assumed you were... More experienced. I mean... You spend every day with Agent Scully a beautiful, enchanting woman. And you two never, uh...? (no response from Mulder) I... confess I find that shocking. I... I've seen how you two gaze at one another.
Mulder: I'll build the ark, you gather the animals.
Sheila: (disbelieving) Not even a kiss? (SCULLY shakes her head) Trust me, the man knows how to kiss. I just never thought of Holman that way, you know. He's my closest friend. And to not even suspect...
Scully: Well, it seems to me that the best relationships-- the ones that last-- are frequently the ones that are rooted in friendship. You know, one day you look at the person and you see something more than you did the night before. Like a switch has been flicked somewhere. And
the person who was just a friend is... suddenly the only person you can ever imagine yourself with.
Where Have I Seen That Face Before?
Victoria Jackson (Sheila) isn't very well known in Australia but got her start as a stand-up comedian (famous for her gymnastic handstand routine) on "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson" and was later a cast member on "Saturday Night Live" for six years. In 1999 she starred in a new TV series called "Conrad Bloom". She is also a singer and recorded a children's album called Ukelele Lady and is compiling an album of her original songs to sell on the Internet. Check the Official Victoria Jackson Website for other information including some great photographs.
Clayton Rohner (Daryl) has appeared in numerous movies such as "We Met On The Vineyard", "Bat 21", "The Relic" and "April Fool's Day". There is a Clayton Rohner Fan Page although it hasn't been updated in a while.
Dirk Blocker (Mayor) is the son of Dan Blocker (Hoss on "Bonanza") and has appeared in movies such as "Bonanza: The Return", "Short Cuts", "Pink Cadillac", "Starman", "Poltergeist" and "The Border".
The Pain Factor
Mulder has to dive for cover to avoid being squished by a cow as a motel roof falls in on top of him!
Writer Jeffrey Bell was assistant editor on the Danny de Vito/Arnold Schwarzenegger movie "Twins" and was writer/director of a movie called "Radio Inside" starring Elisabeth Shue and William McNamara.
"The Wizard of Oz" X-Files connection is further enhanced in this episode. At the school reunion,
the theme is "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" and there is a sign that reads "There's No Place Like Kroner."