Re-Opening The X-Files: Deep Throat

deep throat

Mulder: They’re here aren’t they?
Deep Throat: Mr. Mulder, THEY’VE been here for a long, long time.

Deep Throat

While The X-Files would struggle at times in its first season, “Deep Throat” doesn’t struggle much.  In fact, I’d argue it’s a better entry point to the shown than The Pilot.

Mulder decides to look into a case involving test pilots in Idaho, all of whom are returning very changed men.   One of the pilots has been missing for weeks and his wife contacted the local FBI field office for help.   A cursory look into the case by the field office led to the case landing on Mulder’s desk and he’s eager to head out to Idaho.

But not before he’s warned not to look into things by a mysterious man — we’d later come to know him as Deep Throat.

Mulder keeps this fact and the fact that there could be a UFO connection from Scully as they head out to Idaho.

The question of whether or not the military (and by extension the government) is benefiting from alien technology or trying to build on it is brought up here.  There’s less a conspiracy about aliens per se and more about what are we doing with the technology.  Seems that the pilots may be going crazy due to a test piloting aircraft based on alien technology that is causing their minds to snap.

Or it could be that they’re having their memories of the aircraft and testing them selectively erased.   Certainly, Mulder has this done to him when he breaks into an air base and walks ten miles to the secret testing area.   He’s quickly caught (but not before seeing one of the possible ships) and injected with something that erases his memory.

The Mulder and Scully dynamic works a lot better here, with Scully saying at several point that Mulder’s going out on a limb is not going to read well in her report. And while Scully doesn’t disbelieve Mulder, she’s not as quick to jump on the alien bandwagon as he is.   And while Mulder is willing to believe that a locally taken photo of an alien ship is real because it matches one from fifty years ago, Scully isn’t quite ready to make that jump yet.

And yet we see that Scully has built up some loyalty to Mulder.  Even when he lies to her, takes the car and gets into trouble, Scully is willing to risk her life and career to bail him out and get him back.  It’s Scully who figures out the reporter we meet early in the episode isn’t all he says he is and that he’s really working for base security.  It’s also Scully who works to get Mulder back — and at this point in the show,  I am not sure Mulder would do the same, especially if he could get one step closer to the truth.

Once again, no cell phones on the scene.  Our heroes are stuck with messages at the motel.

Among those things first seen are the mysterious governmental agents dressed in black, wearing sunglasses.  It’s early in the show so the roadblocks between Mulder and the answers are many.   Mulder and Scully initially get cooperation from the wife of one of the test pilots (she even gets a verbal chastisement from another wife for bringing in the FBI) only to see their entry close up once the pilot is returned.

And then, there’s the final scene where Deep Throat confirms just enough information to keep Mulder in the game but not giving away too much.

It’s easy to why Jerry Hardin made such a great impression and why they kept bringing him back.   His work here is great in his two scenes.

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Filed under The X-Files, TV review

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