9ABX12 Scary Monsters
Writer: Thomas Schnauz
Director: Dwight Little
Original Broadcast: AU: 13.12.2002 US: 14.04.2002
Episode Availability: DVD: AU CA UK US
Special Agent Dana Scully · Gillian Anderson
Special Agent Monica Reyes · Annabeth Gish
Special Agent John Doggett · Robert Patrick
Assistant Director Walter Skinner · Mitch Pileggi
FBI Cadet · Robert Beckwith
Tommy Conlon · Gavin Fink
Agent Leyla Harrison · Jolie Jenkins
Jeffrey Conlon · Scott Paulin
Gabe Rotter · Brian Poth
Sheriff Jack Coogan · Steve Ryan
Monsters hiding under a little boy's bed may be more than just the product of a vivid imagination.
Tommy Conlon: "Dad! Dad!"
Jeffrey Conlon: "Tommy? What is it?"
Tommy Conlon: "I'm afraid. I heard something."
Jeffrey Conlon: "It's just the wind."
Tommy Conlon: "No. I think it's under the bed. Can you check?"
Jeffrey Conlon: "Tommy, there is nothing to be scared of, I promise."
Tommy Conlon: "No. There's something under the bed. You have to check."
[From the doorway, Jeffrey Conlon crouches down to peer under the bed. Something about a foot long scurries across the floor under the bed]
Jeffrey Conlon: "All clear."
Tommy Conlon: "You sure? I thought I saw something, in the mirror."
Jeffrey Conlon: "Tommy, it is just your imagination. Now, let's try to get some sleep, okay?" [He leaves. Tommy Conlon hears the scratching resume]
Tommy Conlon: "Dad, help! It's in here!" [He grabs the door handle and tugs at it, but it won't budge] "Help! Help me! Help!" [Jeffrey Conlon is on the other side of the door holding it shut] "Help! Dad! It's in here! Help! Help me! Dad! Daddy! Dad!"
Agent Harrison: "Agent Scully..."
Scully: "Leyla Harrison. What a surprise."
Agent Harrison: "Oh, good. I was afraid I should have made a call first. How have you been?"
Scully: "Oh... busy. And yourself?"
Agent Harrison: "I'm back in accounting now. Happily, mind you. No regrets. Although I did relish my big adventure on the X-Files unit last year."
Scully: "I have about five minutes before my next class. Can we talk while I eat?"
Agent Harrison: "Not a problem." [She opens a file containing a photo of a dead woman covered in blood] "It's an X-File. I'm sure of it."
Scully: "Where'd you get this?"
Agent Harrison: "It all started when I tracked down a mileage discrepancy in the bureau's vehicle fleet. It turns out a really nice secretary from our Baltimore field office had used a Ford Taurus without authorisation."
Scully: "And what does that have to do with...?"
Agent Harrison: "Well, she was desperate to visit her grandson which is why she borrowed the car. She's the one who told me about this case. This was her daughter."
Scully: "And what makes you think this is an X-File?"
Agent Harrison: "Well, this dead woman's son — my friend's grandson — this is Tommy Conlon. Tommy is eight years old. And Tommy told her a monster killed his mother. And his father knows all about it. I know, I know. Why take the word of an eight-year-old? But... look at the autopsy report. Clearly this woman was murdered, and yet..."
Scully: "...and yet the coroner concludes that she stabbed herself to death. Agent Harrison, I see no reason to disagree with the coroner."
Agent Harrison: "But... I mean, how could someone stab themselves sixteen times?"
Scully: "Look, it is unusual but I have seen it before."
Agent Harrison: "Tommy's father took the boy to some mountaintop in Pennsylvania, in the middle of nowhere. He took him away from his friends — his family. They don't even have a phone. Tommy's own grandmother isn't allowed to see him any more."
Scully: "I'm sorry, Agent Harrison but unless you have other evidence..."
Agent Harrison: "Wait, wait. Tommy said that the same monster that killed his mother killed Spanky, his pet cat."
Scully: "Unless you bring me Spanky, there's nothing I can do." [The class bell rings, she re-wraps her uneaten lunch and hands the sandwich to Agent Harrison] "Apple and tuna salad?"
Scully: [answering phone] "Hello."
Reyes: "Dana, it's Monica Reyes. Did I catch you at a bad time?"
Scully: "I was just putting the baby down. What is it?"
Reyes: "I wanted to get your opinion on an autopsy finding. It's pretty unusual. A woman who stabbed herself sixteen times."
Scully: "Last name Conlon? I assume you've been talking to Leyla Harrison?"
Reyes: "Yeah. The three of us are headed to Pennsylvania, in fact. It sounds like you're familiar with the case... What do you mean, 'there is no case'...? Oh, right. Thanks." [She hangs up] "Why didn't you tell us you'd already gone to Agent Scully?"
Agent Harrison: "I didn't know that's who you were going to call."
Doggett: "That's not the point, Leyla. You misled us."
Agent Harrison: "Agent Doggett, we're almost there."
Doggett: "'How'd you spend your Friday night, John?' Ran around like an idiot."
Agent Harrison: "Agent Doggett... both of you got in this car believing a little boy may be in danger. What's changed since then? Even if this isn't an X-File — which it is — what will it hurt to keep going? If Agent Mulder were here, he'd keep going."
Reyes: "Jeffrey Conlon?"
Jeffrey Conlon: "Yeah. Can I help you?"
Reyes: "Hi. I'm Agent Monica Reyes. This is Agent John Doggett and Agent Harrison. We're with the FBI."
Jeffrey Conlon: "FBI. Really?"
Agent Harrison: "We're here at the request of Dorothy — your mother-in-law. She's worried about her grandson."
Jeffrey Conlon: "Tommy is fine. I told Dorothy over and over. There's really nothing more to say."
Doggett: "Is that blood on your hand, Mr Conlon?"
Jeffrey Conlon: "Yeah, I cut myself."
Doggett: "On what?"
Jeffrey Conlon: "A piece of broken glass."
Reyes: "Sir, can we speak with your son?"
Jeffrey Conlon: "He's asleep."
Doggett: "It's not even 7:00. It's kind of early for bedtime, isn't it?"
Jeffrey Conlon: "Not for Tommy. And I'd appreciate it if you'd keep your voice down."
Doggett: "Look, I'm going to be straight with you. We drove a long way."
Reyes: "Agent Doggett is very stubborn. I don't think you'll get him to leave until we see your son."
Tommy Conlon: "Dad?"
Jeffrey Conlon: "Tommy, go back inside, please."
Tommy Conlon: "I heard something. I got afraid."
Reyes: "Hi, Tommy. I'm Monica. This is John, and this is Leyla."
Agent Harrison: "I'm friends with your grandmom. She wanted us to come see how you were doing."
Jeffrey Conlon: "Tommy, it's too cold out here. Go back inside the house, please."
Reyes: "Do you remember what you said to your grandmom? Something about your mother. Do you remember?"
Agent Harrison: "Monsters. You said there were monsters, right?"
Tommy Conlon: "No such thing as monsters."
Jeffrey Conlon: "Tell Dorothy this is exactly why she's not allowed to visit any more. Now, good night." [He picks up Tommy Conlon, they enter the house closing the door behind them]
Agent Harrison: "I apologise. I let my imagination run wild and I ruined both your evenings. Thank you in advance for not yelling at me."
Doggett: "Something's going on here."
Agent Harrison: "Wait... there is?"
Reyes: "That little boy only said what his father wanted him to say."
Doggett: "Did you notice the dirt on that guy's hands and knees? He's been digging. This time of the year he sure as hell ain't gardening. I say we find a judge, get a warrant... and search the place."
Tommy Conlon: "Dad? The monsters aren't going to let those people leave are they?"
Jeffrey Conlon: "They're leaving, Tommy. They're leaving right now."
Tommy Conlon: "It's too late."
Doggett: "What the hell?" [The engine won't start. Doggett tries again, as the engine sputters, blood spurts from the vents]
Reyes: "Oh, god. A possum, maybe?" [There is blood all over the car's engine bay]
Doggett: "That doesn't make any sense. How'd it get from here into the vents?"
Scully: "Who is it?"
Gabe Rotter: "It's Gabe Rotter. I have the thing you've been waiting for."
Gabe Rotter: "Gabe... Rotter. I'm a friend of Leyla Harrison."
Scully: "Do you know what time it is?"
Gabe Rotter: "Hey, I just do as I'm told. Enjoy." [He holds out a small dirty box, Scully recoils from the stench]
Scully: "Whoa. What the hell is that?"
Gabe Rotter: "A dead cat."
Scully: "Come again? "
Gabe Rotter: "Yeah, his name's Spanky. Leyla said you're helping her out on a case and you needed it ASAP, so... hey, you're welcome."
Scully: "I am going to be exceptionally polite. Leave. Now. Leave now and take that with you." [Gabe Rotter and his box of dead cat enter the apartment]
Gabe Rotter: "Do you have any idea what I went through to get this thing? I snuck onto the property where your perp there used to live and I dug up the whole thing looking for it."
Scully: "I don't care. Leave! Now! Please!"
Gabe Rotter: "Uh-uh. Leyla said she'd go out with me only if I got you the cat, and damn it, I got it."
Scully: "Oh, god..." [Gabe Rotter opens the box, Scully covers her mouth from the stench. Something about the cat catches her attention and she starts to make a phone call]
Gabe Rotter: "You calling the cops on me?"
Scully: "If only. God help me, but Agent Harrison might be on to something after all."
Reyes: "Any luck?"
Doggett: "Our engine's completely shot. His truck won't start even though I can't find one damn thing wrong with it. Looks like we're here for the night."
Jeffrey Conlon: "I'd better get Tommy back to sleep." [He leaves the room]
Agent Harrison: "Phones that won't work, cars that won't start. It reminds me of a case Mulder and Scully investigated. A teenager who was struck by lightning — his body affected the electrical workings of everything around him."
Reyes: "I don't think that's what we're dealing with here, Leyla."
Agent Harrison: "Agent Mulder wasted no time closing that case. I just try to think like him. What would Agents Mulder and Scully do if they were in this situation?"
Doggett: "Agents Mulder and Scully aren't in this situation. Agents Doggett and Reyes are. I don't know about Agent Reyes, but Agent Doggett's going to sit his tired ass down."
Agent Harrison: "What kind of a course of action is that?"
Reyes: "I think Agent Doggett is saying that right now, we're in the best possible place."
Doggett: "Exactly. Bottom line we're all concerned for this boy's safety. As long as we're here, nothing's going to happen to him, right?"
Tommy Conlon: "Help! It's in here! Dad! Help! Help me! Dad!"
[Doggett and Reyes races upstairs, Jeffrey Conlon is holding the door to Tommy Conlon's bedroom closed]
Jeffrey Conlon: "No, don't do it!"
[Doggett pushes Jeffrey Conlon away from the door, Reyes opens the door and sees Tommy Conlon huddled on his bed, on the floor are two huge earwigs]
Reyes: "John..." [Doggett shoots one and it becomes two earwigs, they scuttle under the skirting board]
Doggett: "How's he doing?"
Reyes: "He's a hell of a lot calmer than I'd be."
Doggett: "I checked the place top to bottom. Whatever the hell those things were, they're gone. I have no idea where they went." [to Tommy Conlon] "That's really good, Tommy. Is that you?" [Tommy nods. Doggett points to a woman in black] "Who's that?"
Tommy Conlon: "That's her." [Reyes]
Reyes: "Tommy, tell John what you told me about what we saw in your room tonight."
Tommy Conlon: "Those are the monsters that hurt my mommy. But my dad says I'm not supposed to talk about it."
Jeffrey Conlon: "This is my house. Why do I have to sit here?"
Doggett: "Tell me what we're dealing with."
Jeffrey Conlon: "I don't..."
Doggett: "Don't tell me you don't know, because you're not going to like what happens next. These things were in the room with your son and you knew it. You held the door shut, you son of a bitch."
Jeffrey Conlon: "Want to see something? Look at that." [He rolls up his sleeves to reveal large scars on his forearms] "Look at that. Look what they did to me. They almost killed me one time before."
Doggett: "They? What are they? Some kind of animal? What?"
Jeffrey Conlon: "All I know is that they won't leave us alone and I'm dealing with this the best way I can. Now it's too late."
Doggett: "How's that?"
Jeffrey Conlon: "They mean to kill every one of you and there's nothing you can do to stop it. Oh, come on. You saw what happens. You think you've killed one and then it becomes two."
Agent Harrison: "I don't think Mr Conlon is telling us the whole truth."
Doggett: "No kidding."
Agent Harrison: "I mean, I think you can kill them, because I don't know what else he would have been burying when we showed up tonight."
[Spread out on paper towels is an array of kitchen utensils including; knives, tongs, a wine opener, meat tenderiser and salad tongs]
Gabe Rotter: "You got to be freaking kidding me. I can't believe you're cutting up a dead cat on your kitchen table."
Scully: "Will you keep your voice down, please? You're going to wake my baby."
Gabe Rotter: "This... this just isn't right. Can you clue me in here as to why the cat's so important?"
Scully: "Because it would seem that poor Spanky here may have chewed a hole in his own stomach... which you'll admit is unusual behaviour."
Gabe Rotter: "You mean... he killed himself."
Scully: "Just like his owner, Mrs Conlon stabbed herself with a knife. The wounds are in the same place and if we figure out why... well then, you'll have something really good to share with your good friend Leyla Harrison, won't you?"
Gabe Rotter: "True that." [The phone rings]
Scully: "Can you hold the ribs open while I grab that, please? Just... Now. Thank you." [answering phone] "Agent Scully."
Sheriff Coogan: "Yeah, ma'am, this is Sheriff Jack Coogan. I got a message to call this number."
Scully: "Hi, Sheriff. Thanks for getting back to me. I appreciate it. I'm an FBI agent and I've been trying to reach three of my colleagues that are up in your area."
Sheriff Coogan: "Were they on some kind of case?"
Scully: "Well, they're looking into some concerns expressed by the grandmother of a child. The family name is Conlon and I have an address..."
Sheriff Coogan: "No need. I was back up there a couple of weeks ago. Got into a kind of a shouting match with the father."
Scully: "Over what?"
Sheriff Coogan: "The grandmother asked me to look in on the boy. Father told me to get the hell off his property. Boy seemed fine, so I did."
Scully: "Well, as I say, sheriff, I need to contact my colleagues."
Sheriff Coogan: "I'm happy to take a drive up there but can't promise much tonight. The roads are icing up as we speak. Won't be easy getting in."
Scully: "Look, sheriff, they may be in danger. Could you please find a way?"
[Doggett is digging. The shovel hits something hard, Doggett reaches into the shallow hole and cuts his finger on a piece of glass]
Agent Harrison: "Oh, my god."
Doggett: "It's no monster, Agent Harrison. Dead or alive. You want to explain this, Mr Conlon?"
Jeffrey Conlon: "It's just a mirror from my son's room."
Doggett: "Why'd you bury it?"
Jeffrey Conlon: "'Cause he was afraid of it."
Doggett: "I want you to get Tommy bundled up in warm clothes. I want you to pack anything you think he might need."
Jeffrey Conlon: "Why?"
Doggett: "'Cause I don't believe one damn thing you've told me except that we're in danger and we're walking out of here, all five of us." [Jeffrey Conlon leaves]
Agent Harrison: "I know what you're thinking. Black magic. Mirrors are powerful symbols in conjuring in the dark arts. That's what this is. Right?"
Doggett: "Uh huh."
Doggett: "We passed a Sheriff's station maybe six miles down the mountain. It'll be a hike, but we can make it."
Tommy Conlon: "Dad, the Sheriff..."
Jeffrey Conlon: "No. Tommy... don't worry about the Sheriff.
He's going to help us."
Reyes: "What's up, Tommy? What's the matter?" [There's is a knock at the door]
Doggett: "Stay here."
Doggett: "Man, you're a sight for sore eyes. John Doggett."
Sheriff Coogan: "I'm the Sheriff."
Doggett: "Who called you?"
Agent Harrison: "Perfect timing."
Reyes: "We were just leaving, Sheriff. We need a ride."
Sheriff Coogan: "Sorry, you can't leave."
Doggett: "What do you mean?"
Sheriff Coogan: "You can't go anywhere. It's too cold."
Jeffrey Conlon: "It's not him."
Reyes: "Gun!" [Doggett knocks the gun from Sheriff Coogan's hands, the two men fight] "Let him go!" [Doggett punches Sheriff Coogan in his abdomen and his fist goes right through the man]
[Gabe Rotter is holding Mulder's badge]
Gabe Rotter: "So, this is Johnny Fabulous, huh?" [Scully takes the badge away from him] "Oh... 'Mulder's so smart. Mulder's so dreamy'. That's all Leyla ever talks about. Mulder and Scully, Scully and Mulder, blah, blah, blah."
Scully: "This Sheriff, Jack Coogan, I'm just getting his answering machine."
Gabe Rotter: "Hey, you're really worried. I thought you didn't find anything. You told me there wasn't anything inside that cat."
Scully: "No, there wasn't. But it certainly seems like there should have been."
Gabe Rotter: "What does that mean?"
Scully: "Well, the pattern of bite marks. I mean, it seems to me that the cat was trying to get at something in its stomach, to chew something out."
Gabe Rotter: "Something. What?"
Scully: "I don't know. I mean, there wasn't any sign of it, but it obviously caused a great deal of pain. And I'm thinking maybe it goes the same for the woman who tried to stab herself. I mean, what if that was a frantic attempt to... to cut something out."
Gabe Rotter: "Wait a minute. Is Leyla in danger up there?"
Scully: "All I know is we're wasting our time talking about this."
Gabe Rotter: "Who are you calling now?"
Scully: "My mom. I'm going to beg her to baby-sit."
[Reyes is probing the hole in Sheriff Jack Coogan with a salad spoon]
Doggett: "Got anything?"
Reyes: "Yeah, a salad spoon no one's ever going to use again. And the Sheriff here? Do not ask me to explain it but... he's got absolutely no internal organs. He's like, he's like a big bag."
Doggett: "You know what else? This isn't blood. Whatever it is, I bet it's the same crap that's all over the inside of our car. I've been thinking. You know, I hate to sound like Agent Harrison, but Mulder and Scully had a case like this that I remember where they were trapped underground with these mushroom spores that caused hallucinations. Never mind."
Reyes: "I don't know what to say, either. Maybe Mulder and Scully would see something that we don't."
Doggett: "How? Nothing here makes any sense. Unless that's the very thing that we need to see."
Doggett: "Agent Harrison, you want to take Tommy up to his room?"
Agent Harrison: "Sure. Come on, Tommy."
Reyes: "What's the matter? You like Leyla, don't you?"
Tommy Conlon: "Can you stay with me instead?"
Reyes: "Sure. Come on." [She leaves with Tommy Conlon]
Doggett: "I'm just a cop, Mr Conlon. Maybe I don't have the imagination to connect all the pieces of this insanity together. You said that wasn't exactly the Sheriff in there and I want to know what you meant. In fact, you tried to warn us that bag of goo wasn't the Sheriff. You were trying to help us."
Agent Harrison: "Yeah, so why not help us now? Tell us what you know, Mr Conlon for Tommy's sake."
Doggett: "Your son Tommy... you move him up here in the middle of nowhere and you lock him in the room with those things. Now, if you're just trying to get rid of him, is that all this is?"
Jeffrey Conlon: "I love my son. I love my son, you bastard."
Doggett: "Well, you locked him in the room with those things."
Jeffrey Conlon: "Because I knew they wouldn't hurt him."
Doggett: "Now why is that? They hurt you, they certainly hurt your wife. Why didn't they hurt Tommy?"
Tommy Conlon: "I made this."
Reyes: "You drew all of these?" [Among the collection is a picture is of two earwigs and picture of a dark-haired woman wearing black with an earwig in her abdomen]
Tommy Conlon: "This one's you."
Reyes: "Why would you draw this, Tommy? Why would you imagine such awful things?"
Tommy Conlon: "Because I'm afraid."
Scully: "Sheriff Coogan? Sheriff?"
Sheriff Coogan: "Are you Agent Scully?"
Scully: "Yeah. I still can't contact my partners. Were you able to get up there?"
Sheriff Coogan: "I just got back from trying. The roads at that elevation are way too dangerous right now."
Scully: "Well, Sheriff, there are three FBI agents who may be in grave danger."
Gabe Rotter: "That's my girlfriend up there, Hoss."
Sheriff Coogan: "This is the only road up to that mountain. We've got ice leading all the way up to the peak."
Scully: "Well, we have to get up there. I mean, there must be a way."
Sheriff Coogan: "I'm sorry. Helicopter, snowplough or pack mule — unfortunately, I'm fresh out of all three."
Agent Harrison: "What if Tommy were at the centre of this somehow? The monsters... the Sheriff. Agent Doggett? Where the hell is the body?" [Reyes makes her way down the stairs, she is in pain]
Doggett: "Monica, what happened?"
Reyes: "The boy! The boy, it's all him." [Doggett lifts up her shirt to reveal something moving around inside her abdomen]
Agent Harrison: "Oh, my god."
Doggett: "Is your son doing this?"
Jeffrey Conlon: "I told you. I told you to leave."
Doggett: "This is your son, make him stop!"
Jeffrey Conlon: "I can't. You don't think I've tried? I can't stop him from... from imagining things. I can't stop him from being afraid. He's just a little boy! He doesn't mean to do these things."
Reyes: "The hell he doesn't!"
Doggett: "If you won't stop him, I will."
Doggett: "Tommy? Stay right there." [Tommy Conlon runs into his bedroom and shuts the door, Doggett gives chase. He enters the room and falls down into darkness where the floor once was. In the darkness around him, there is a scratching noise. All around him, giant earwigs converge upon him, covering him completely]
Reyes: "Please! Please! You have to get it out! Get it out of me!"
Agent Harrison: "Agent Reyes, hold on. Please, hold on. Mr Conlon, help us." [Her eyes hurt and she covers them with the palms of both her hands. When she pulls them away, they are covered with blood] "Oh, my god!"
Doggett: "Listen to me, listen good. These things — these things aren't happening."
Jeffrey Conlon: "What?"
Doggett: "How the hell could they be. It's like I've been saying all along. It's not possible."
Jeffrey Conlon: "No, this is all real. My wife is dead."
Doggett: "She believed it was real and she stabbed herself. But because I couldn't believe it... not really... it couldn't hurt me. Now, come on. You're going to help me."
Tommy Conlon: "Dad? Dad! Dad, get in here!" [He looks out the window, Doggett, Reyes, Agent Harrison and Jeffrey Conlon are making their way to the car]
Jeffrey Conlon: "Wait... Where are you going?"
Doggett: "You wait here." [He grabs a petrol can and heads back to the house]
Tommy Conlon: "What are you doing?" [Doggett is pouring the contents of the petrol can over the living room] "What are you doing?"
Doggett: "You're a smart boy, Tommy. What's it look like I'm doing?"
Tommy Conlon: "No way."
Doggett: "If I don't stop you, my friends are going to die. You think I'm going to let that happen?"
Tommy Conlon: "You won't do it. You're lying. You'd get burned, too. You're just trying to scare me. "
Doggett: "Scared yet?" [He lights a match and tosses it onto the floor, the liquid ignites. Doggett watches everything burn]
Agent Harrison: "Oh, thank god." [Her eyes aren't bleeding]
Reyes: "Agent Harrison?"
Agent Harrison: "Monica, are you all right?"
Reyes: "Where's John?"
[Gabe Rotter bursts through the door, trips and falls on the floor]
Gabe Rotter: "Ow! Ow!"
[Doggett gently lifts Tommy Conlon off the floor]
Jeffrey Conlon: "Tommy." [He takes Tommy Conlon from Doggett]
Doggett: "He's breathing. Passed out."
Scully: "I'm a medical doctor."
Doggett: "You're all right?" [Reyes looks around the living room, sees the empty petrol can lying on the floor and kneels to examine the soaked carpet]
Reyes: "Water. You filled it with water."
Doggett: "That's not what Tommy believed."
Gabe Rotter: [reading] "'I want to believe.' Huh? So, this is where the magic happened?"
Agent Harrison: "It still happens. I'm happy it's in good hands."
Scully: "Speak of the devil."
Doggett: "That so?"
Gabe Rotter: "Leyla keeps going on and on about how you saved the day."
Agent Harrison: "I really do have to commend you, Agent Doggett. You solved this case. If it weren't for you... I don't even like to think what would have happened. I have to say, it's clear to me now that you were better-equipped for this challenge than even Agent Mulder would have been. I mean your lack of imagination saved our lives."
Doggett: "Gee, thanks."
Agent Harrison: "That... didn't come out right. Did it?"
Scully: "So, any news on the boy?"
Reyes: "We just got back from the psych centre. Their doctors don't quite know what to make of him. I think it goes without saying. However, they have come up with a stopgap treatment."
Scully: "What's that?"
Doggett: "A way to stifle his imagination."
[Tommy Conlon is in a psychiatric centre, sitting in a recliner chair watching a wall of television sets]