The X-Files Season 1, Episode 2: Deep Throat

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One of the best things about this episode? THE INTRO MUSIC. It was lacking from the pilot episode but “Deep Throat” marks the start of it and I just love it so much.

But really, this is a great episode. (I’ll probably be saying that way too frequently.) We, of course, have the introduction of the recurring character known as Deep Throat (played by Jerry Hardin), the link between Mulder and Scully and the government they (well, at least half of them) are so suspicious of. He is, naturally, based on the real life Deep Throat and I think he serves an important role in the series as a sort of confirmation of many of the things Mulder theorizes about. He’s that voice of experience, of witness, who can confirm that yes, sometimes things really are as they seem to be.

His message, also recurring — “don’t jeopardize the future of your own efforts” — goes unheeded, but it’s a valid one. He knows that Mulder is onto something huge, and knows that he has the determination and the creativity to find what he’s looking for, but wants him to pick his battles. Unfortunately — or fortunately, for us in the audience — Mulder sees every battle, big or small, in the same urgent light. After they met with the stoner couple (featuring a young Seth Green!) and Scully asks Mulder “you believed every word, didn’t you?” and he replies “Yeah, why wouldn’t I?”… it both sums up Mulder as a character and explains why I love him so much (as my brain works much the same way).

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There are a couple of fun moments between Mulder and Scully, the first happening mere moments after the intro when Mulder closely saddles up next to Scully at the restaurant (with that boyish smile on his face), and the other when they’re at the Flying Saucer Diner and she ribs him for being a “sucker” after he buys the UFO sighting photograph. But, much deeper, is Scully’s lack of hesitation to hold a stranger at gunpoint with no thought to her own wellbeing or career to get Mulder back. They haven’t known each other long at this point but her loyalty is unwavering.

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It was a classic episode where I spend a good chunk of the time being frustrated with Scully. She is, of course, the rational half of their partnership, the voice of reason, but sometimes she is so stubborn in her disbelief. She stands with him after they jump the fence at the Air Force base and sees the lights dancing in the sky and, despite insisting that technology like that doesn’t exist yet, she still can’t believe that it could have come from outside our world. Even after Mulder is dragged off the tarmac and drugged and released to her only after she threatens the security guard that’s been following them around with a freaking gun, she still feels like there must be a reasonable explanation. It can be maddening to see the evidence stacking up around her but she is insistent on there always being something more simple, more scientific, to explain what she sees.

The experience with Colonel Budahas — their entire reason for visiting Ellens Air Force Base to begin with — is also damn frightening. The initial discovery of him in his underwear, covered with a rash. His unexplained disappearance. His wife’s growing hopelessness. Their neighbor’s embarrassment at having the FBI poking around and her willing ignorance to what’s going on (expressing her gratitude at just having a husband that’s alive, despite him existing in such an odd state). Most of all his selective memory loss at the end, and his wife suddenly having no more inquiries. It’s terrifying to think of the power the government could wield, the ability they could have to make people “forget”.

Even more frightening is that Mulder sees it. “They got to her.” And he knows he had the same thing done to him, telling Deep Throat “I did see something, but it’s gone. They took it from me. They erased it.” It’s heartbreaking, in a sense, that Mulder saw some of the most definitive proof of what he suspected and yet he had no memory of it. But Deep Throat’s final line — “Mr. Mulder, they’ve been here for a long, long time” — is the most chilling of the whole episode. Perfect.

Rating: 8.5/10 | Director: Daniel Sackheim | Writer: Chris Carter | Music: Mark Snow | Cinematography: John S. Bartley | Starring: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Jerry Hardin, Seth Green, Gabrielle Rose, Lalainia Lindbjerg, Andrew Johnston

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