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Episode 7ABX12

Title: X-Cops

First screened in Australia: 7 June, 2000
First screened in the USA: 20 February, 2000

Credits: Director: Michael Watkins
Writer: Vince Gilligan
Starring: Guest Stars: Plot:
It's a case of lights, camera, action, when a camera crew from the television series COPS follow Mulder and Scully on their latest case. The detectives are investigating the mysterious case of the claw monster, a strange creature terrorising the citizens of the Los Angeles area. Can the team at COPS handle the pace and action in store?
My Rating: 9/10

A great episode - "Cops" is a rather tacky show but when it first came out I used to watch it (hilarious stuff I thought) and Mulder and Scully in an eopisode is amazingly effective, with Scully trying to avoid the camera and Mulder going all out to capture evidence of a creature on video.

Where Have I Seen That Face Before?
Soap star Judson Mills (Keith Wetzel) has starred in "As The World Turns" and "Walker, Texas Ranger" and appeared in movies such as "Major League: Back To The Minors" and "Mighty Joe Young". His latest movies include "See Jane Run" and "Chill Factor".

Dee Freeman (Paula Guthrie) has appeared in movies such as "Jackie's Back" (arguably the movie with the most star cameos ever), the slasher movie "The Landlady" and "Red Meat".

Trivia and Research:
Researchers have long known that every 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and three seconds the planet Earth and its inhabitants experience the strange effects of the full moon. While most are familiar with the rising and falling of the ocean tides, the power of moonlight has also been shown to affect people on a much more personal level. Scientists have long attempted to prove that people are likelier to commit homicide, make love, or take their own lives under the influence of a full moon. Cultures throughout history have long upheld these beliefs about the full moon and it's harmful powers -- even going so far to blame the moon for lycanthropes, otherwise known as werewolves. Historical examples of strange occurrences that have coincided with the full moon's appearance have been the assassination of Julius Caesar and the My Lai massacre of the Vietnam War.

Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome in the United States is caused by any of several hantaviruses carried by wild rodents. In the 1993 outbreak, deer mice passed a virus dubbed the "Sin nombre" virus to humans. These mice commonly infested homes and outbuildings. Humans contracted the virus when they came in contact with the saliva, feces or urine of these mice. Some people breathed infected droplets in areas inhabited by the mice. Others unknowingly came into contact with dust or dirt containing mouse droppings or urine and later rubbed their eyes or touched their nose or mouth, infecting themselves. Other types of rodents (including white-footed mice, cotton rats and rice rats) have caused outbreaks of HPS in Nevada, Texas, Louisiana, California and North Dakota. HPS is now known to occur widely in the United States, Canada and South America. A newer type of HPS seen in Chile and Argentina not only is acquired from rodents but may also be spread from infected people directly to healthy people. This type of HPS is caused by the Andes virus, related to the Sin nombre virus. If you have HPS, you will first notice a fever, achy muscles, fatigue, dizziness and, perhaps, stomach pain, nausea and vomiting. After about one day to one week of these symptoms, you will begin to notice shortness of breath and quickened breathing. At this point, if you do not seek medical attention, you may become severely ill. Fluid will begin to leak out of blood vessels into the lungs, causing a dangerous drop in the level of oxygen circulating in the blood. Within hours, oxygen deprivation may become extreme, and you may suffer respiratory failure and shock (the medical term for very low blood pressure). Even with careful treatment and monitoring, the death rate from HPS is nearly 50 percent. For more information, go the (US) National Center for Disease Control website.

Chantara Gomez is named after Vince Gilligan's literary agent, Ronda Gomez.

Steve and Edy are named after the performers Steve Lawrence and Edie Gorme.

Sgt. Paula Duthie was originally supposed to be Sgt. Guthrie, after Gilligan's sixth grade teacher. The name, however, did not legally clear for broadcast.

Gilligan inserted his girlfriend Holly's name into the script when the police find Mulder and Scully on Holly Street.

Media Article # 1:

Everything looks and sounds familiar--the Bad Boys theme song, the police and suspects racing around on tape, the car chases, the digitized faces, Mulder and Scully...

What? Mulder and Scully, our favorite paranormal investigating FBI snoops? Wait a second, which Fox show is this, Cops or X Files?

To its everlasting credit, if it weren't for the opening credits and the commercial lead outs you'd never know. (Well, that and the stars.) The 150th episode of the Xfiles isn't just a paraody or homage to Cops. It is Cops. Except that it is really the X files.

Hmm. Whatever the case, it's fantastic.

"I got voted down for union rules and whatnot, but I wanted to not even have the X Files logo on it anywhere," says Vince Gilligan, the co-executive producer who wrote the episode. "I wanted it to be a one hour episode of Cops with nothing but the Cops identifiers on it."

He got pretty close. You want realism? With three exceptions, every officer shown in the episode is a real Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy. Full disclosure: Although I love X Files, I hate Cops. I've always thought that the only people who watch are those that hope to one day appear on it (and I don't mean in police uniform.)

"I've always been a big fan of the show Cops," says Gilligan.


"I've watched it ever since it was first on," he continued, "It struck me about three years ago, 'Wouldn't it be cool to have Mulder and Scully on an episode of Cops?' It sort of went from there."

The plot is basic X Files: Someone--or something--is killing people. The authorities suspect gang activity. Mulder, of course, has other ideas. Although Scully resents the Cops crew for following them around, Mulder welcomes the opportunity to prove to the world that the paranormal really exists.

"When i sat down to write it, I was like, 'Man, I've got myself into a corner, because Mulder can't win in this one.'" Gilligan said. "We can't even see the monster in this one, because if we saw the monster, it's like a national audience is seeing the monster.

"Suddenly Mulder (would be) a world hero. He's the most famous guy in the world for showing America a honest to god werewolf, or whatever the monster may be."

No such luck for the sad sack Mulder. The opposite is true. On a normal X Files episode, shot on film with creepy lighting and ominous music, Mulder's crackpot theories and Scully's skepticism play as high drama. Shown in the cold glaring Cops style-- shot on tape, with no background music-- they come off a little differently.

"He seems even nuttier," Gilligan said. "She just doesn't want to be on tape. I guess that makes her seem a little unfriendly."

Gilligan is being diplomatic. Mulder seems like a real whack job; when she addresses the camera Scully is scarier than any monster that the duo might turn up.

Although he's a fan, Gilligan's script pokes fun at Cops as well. Guest star Judson Mills does a great job capturing the barely concealed machismo and wanna be star attitude the officers on the real Cops excude (as does David Duchovny, as Mulder).

Unless Duchovny changes his mind, this will be the last season of the X Files. Good timing for Gilligan.

"Honestly," he said, "if the show does end this season, I was lucky to get to do this one."

We're lucky too.
Bill Goody Koontz, The Arizona Republic

Media Article # 2:
"X-Cops" Is Arresting But Slightly Corrupt

"The X-Files" has finally owned up to its trashy roots. For all its Ally McEmmys, FOX is also the network that brought us "When Good Pets Go Bad II" and the titillating blend of adrenaline, voyeurism and shoddy camera work that is "COPS"--programs that are sometimes entertaining, often offensive.

This Sunday's "X-Files" copies "COPS" right down to the opening reggae refrains of "Bad boys, bad boys…" , shedding its usual stylishness in an homage that is often entertaining, sometimes offensive.

The episode opens with the reality show's trademark shot of an officer behind the wheel as the 'hood (the fictional Willow Park section of Los Angeles) rolls by in the background. He's chatting about how the full moon makes people weird when the radio interrupts, reporting a "monster" attack nearby.

Well, now you know it's "The X-Files." Sightings and assaults fill the moonlit night, but the catch is that each witness describes a wildly different predator--one woman sees Freddy Krueger, one sees her ex-boyfriend and the sheriff himself sees "Wasp Man," a boogie man invented by his brother when they were kids. This is no ordinary werewolf.

In the tradition of "X-Files" classics like "Humbug," "How the Ghosts Stole Christmas" and "Bad Blood," "X-Cops" pokes fun at itself and revolves around the quirky more than the bizarre. As if there were ever any debate over which of the duo would be the media whore, Mulder dismisses Scully's annoyance at the "COPS" cams by saying, "The possibility of capturing concrete proof of the paranormal, of a werewolf, in front of a national audience?...What's not to love?"

But there are several things not to love about the episode. While the hand-held camera captures the schizophrenia of "COPS" and avoids going overboard into "Blair Witch" nausea-induction, the accompanying scratchy sound quality is often hard to understand. And when Mulder and Scully first appear on screen (of course they've beat the beat cops to the scene), it feels more like an "Access Hollywood" set visit than a crime documentary. It's not David Duchovny or Gillian Anderson's fault that they're so darn recognizable, but on videotape (as opposed to film), they tend to look like movie stars.

Even more disconcerting is the fact that "X-Cops" derives much of its humor from minority caricatures. You don't realize how L.L. Bean the series is until it ventures beyond small town America and actually has a character speaking Spanish. But she's not so much speaking as screaming hysterically, and the equally hysterical gay black couple occupying a nearby house seems placed strictly for cheap laughs ("I'm ready for my close up!" one of them shouts into the camera). "COPS" can be accused of the same, but at least it has reality as an alibi.

Add to this an ending that is not so much a cliffhanger as an abrupt concession that the hour is up and you've got an episode that is not so much a creative departure as a frustrating novelty.

by Cheryl Klein, UltimateTV News
Media Article # 3:
TV Guide Online

This episode, which first aired in February, plays from start to finish like an episode of Cops, using the same theme, graphics and hand-held cameras, as a crew from that reality show stumbles onto a case steeped in unreality.

It begins with a Cops ride-along with an L.A. County Sheriff's deputy (Judson Mills), who is investigating a report of a "monster" in a drug-activity neighborhood during a full moon. Suddenly, the patrol car is attacked and overturned.

Responding units find two "suspects": Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson), who say they're on the same case — looking for a werewolf. The intrepid camera follows, and the agents encounter 911 callers Steve and Edy (J.W. Smith, Curtis C.).

Sgt. Guthrie: Dee Freeman. Chantara: Maria Celedonio. Ricky: Solomon Eversol. Coroner's Assistant: Tara Karsian.

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