Revisiting The X-Files season 1: Deep Throat

Review Jennifer Cates 6 Feb 2013 - 11:00

Jennifer's weekly look-back at the story arc episodes of The X-Files' first season continues with Deep Throat...

This look-back contains spoilers.

1.2 Deep Throat

The X-Files brings out the big guns for its second ever episode. After a pilot that gave us the aliens and the Smoking Man, we have an episode that serves up The Aircraft, and Deep Throat. So after only two episodes, we are left in no doubt that aliens exist and that they have visited earth, putting us always on the side of Mulder and in constant wonder over Scully’s ability to remain skeptical. It was a bold move on the part of the show; who could know if, after getting the money shot, viewers would continue to tune in? It’s a testament to the writers and our beloved actors that the audience is more than willing to see how far the rabbit hole goes, following the two FBI agents through to Wonderland and back again.

As for the episode itself, it is a doozy. We're given a number of excellent story elements here. First is the idea that the US military is flying UFOs and that hard core pilots are reduced to quivering piles of blistered jelly after test-driving them. Then we are introduced to Deep Throat and his supposed concern over Mulder’s career and well-being; watching him disappear Batman-like behind a fat man was at once totally cool and completely hysterical. We move on to military cover-ups in a small, base town with G-men stopping our team to harass, assault and send them home, and the base seeming to have the ability to selectively remove memories from people. Finally, we meet a couple of super stoner kids, headed by Seth Green himself, who regularly go onto the base to watch the “air show” and who confirm the UFO pictures obtained by Mulder. Interestingly, Seth Green in a green haze is the character who connects the dots for us. The lights aren’t actually aliens, but military craft created from alien technology.

And that is the big reveal in this episode. Mulder and Scully first see the incredible aircraft at night after getting directions from “The Flying Saucer”, a diner in town. The lights of the aircraft move in impossible ways, and Scully theorizes they are lasers playing on the clouds until the lights shoot off past the clouds and break the sound barrier, amazing them both. Later, Mulder goes all the way to the base and sees the craft close up, and what an incredible sight it is. This aircraft hovers silently and moves faster than anything within the laws of physics as we know it. It is a fantastic and irresistible premise: incredible aircraft that defy the physiological nature of humans but hold fantastic possibilities and terrible purpose.

The ending of this episode is superb, Mulder is arrested by the base and put through some kind of medical procedure, while Scully discovers the military identity of a man who was posing as a reporter and uses him as a hostage to exchange for Mulder. Scully is in super-agent mode here, and it’s an excellent foil to the vulnerable and slightly prim character we’ve seen so far. It gives her depth, but it also gives her badass credentials. She successfully retrieves her partner in a tense standoff with the base, only to discover that Mulder has no recollection of how he got there, which is approximately the last twenty four hours of his life.

The final scene with Mulder and Deep Throat is a good one. Deep Throat warns Mulder that their lives might be in danger and confirms what Mulder already knows about the aircraft. He leaves with the assurance that “they’ve” been here for a long, long time. Aliens, of course.

A well thought-out and executed episode, one that holds the promise (one we know will be kept) of excellent television to come. Next week we get our first “monster of the week” episode and it’s one of my favorites. See you then!

Mulder’s cheesiest line: Let’s just say this case has a distinct smell to it, a certain paranormal bouquet.

Best scene of the episode: The best scene award again goes to Scully as she takes the base security head hostage in order to recover her partner from the military’s clutches.

Best exchange:

Deep Throat: Mr. Mulder, why are those like yourself who believe in the existence of extraterrestrial life on this earth, not dissuaded by all the evidence to the contrary?

Mulder:  Because all the evidence to the contrary is not entirely dissuasive.

Deep Throat:  Precisely.

Read Jenni's look-back at the previous episode, Pilot, here.

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Wait, are we going to do ALL the episodes now? I thought it was only the Mythology ones? Not that I'm complaining.

Jerry HArdin is amazing as Deep Throat. His delivery is always impeccable.

He's brilliant as Deep Throat. The casting in this season is superb.

Is it Tombs next week? is it? is it? :)

I LOVED THAT EPISODE , Classic 90s Paranoia. musiic was great, and DEEP THROATH WAS THE BEST best line is "They've been here for a long time"

Pity, I can't wait to see him review Conduit and my fave Fallen angel,one review a week .....will take him 8 years to do the whole show lol (yes I know he's only doing one season)

Yeah it's Tooms.

Umm, she. Jenni's a she.

I just assume that anybody writing about sci fi has to be a man, (I didn't read the name sorry) Because woman NEVER watch sci fi unless it has a Hot Guy. I watch sci fi for the story and geekiness of it all, and if there happens to be a hot chick in it that's just a bonus. Woman dint watch sci fi FACT

Wow... you mean I'm really... a GUY? I never realised! How lucky I am there's a dude to clue me in. I must go tell all those SF loving friends of mine who think they're women that they can't be! But... but how do I break it to my partner? And, oh my god, WHERE DID MY CHILDREN COME FROM?

Must be an X File...

Oh sorry

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