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The X-Files Revisited: Episodes 2 and 3

Posted on the 08 March 2013 by House Of Geekery @houseofgeekery

“Deep Throat” S1E2

No, the title of this episode does not refer back to the now infamous porno. It refers to the informant who was blowing the whistle on the Nixon administration to journos, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. Agent Mulder gets a similar snitch in this episode.

Mulder is sitting at bar discussing a case with Scully. Near Ellens Air Force Base in Idaho, Colonel Robert Budahas’ house is raided by the military police because Budahas stole a military vehicle. They find him trembling in the bathroom covered in rashes. Budahas hasn’t been seen since. Neither has 6 other test pilots. The FBI refuse to investigate, and that is just the thing that gets Mulder’s gears moving. Mulder is over heard at the bar by a mysterious man (Jerry Hardin), who confront Mulder in the bathroom. He warns Mulder not to continue investigating as he is under surveillance. Mulder pretty much believes that the world is out to get him, so whether Deep Throat or Scully approve, they are going to investigate the disappearance of the test pilots.


Deep Throat meets Mulder

Mulder and Scully find Budahas at his house, but his wife says he has been acting strange ever since the incident. This is true of the other missing test pilots as well. Mulder gives him a quick memory test. Budahas remembers everything except what he used to know about airplanes. Mulder believes that his memory has been erased of whatever he was piloting. Curious, Mulder and Scully sit outside of the air force base waiting for something interesting. And they get it! 2 lights fly through the air making the kind of maneuvers that should be impossible. Mulder believes them to be man-made but based on alien technology that crash landed in Roswell in 1947. It didn’t take the show too long to reference that incidence, nor should it have.

In a way it builds on the concepts of the pilot. It continues to tease us with shady “men in black” trying to undermine Mulder’s investigations implying the secret nature of the government, and it digs its nails in to what the general audience already thinks they know about alien abduction stories and presents it in a thrilling and interesting way. It ends without answers yet still satisfying, and Mulder gets a new ally. Adding Deep Throat is a perfect foil. He is the opposite of Scully. Scully doesn’t have the answers but refuses to play Mulder’s game, but Deep Throat knows a whole lot he isn’t saying reinforcing Mulder’s suspicions.

Rating: 8/10


Toomes stretching out

“Squeeze” S1E3

With all the paranormal and supernatural elements getting promised, it is easy to forget that The X-Files have a lot in common with the other police procedurals on television. For instance, each episode thus far as started with a creepy opening referring to the case that Mulder and Scully are about to take. The biggest similarity is probably the “case of the week” (COWs) episode structure. Most police procedurals use COWs. This entails a crime happening at the beginning of the episode, and the super-cop protagonists cracking the case and catching the bad guy. These episodes tend to be self-contained. No muss. No fuss. I find it incredibly bland way of doing something especially with all the superior season long story arcs on TV right now. When it comes to genre shows though, like this one, COWs become MOWs (monster of the week), and they tend to be less by the book the COWs. Basically, these episodes are hour long horror movies fit in the framework of the TV series and work like Mulder and Scully’s own personal trips to The Twilight Zone.

The particular monster this week is Eugene Victor Tooms (Doug Hutchinson). He has the ability to stretch his body and move through small spaces. He also can use his bile to create nests out of scraps of newspaper so that he can hibernate for 30 years.When he wakes up, he needs to feed on human livers. Since he does this every 30 years there is an X-file on it. Hutchinson excels at playing creepy weirdos. He plays Tooms with a droopy-eyed naivety, like he is some dumbfounded juvenile. He is like a force of nature just feeding animal urges until the FBI get involved and make it personal.


Tooms is just window dressing. Creepy, frightening window dressing, but still just window dressing. The episode is especially significant for diverging from the usual alien conspiracy plot. It is also the first episode to really focus on Agent Scully. The two of them are not partners yet. Scully is still only a sidekick, one who hasn’t developed yet as a separate entity. This episode fixes that.

The missing liver case ends up on the desk of Agent Tom Colton (Donal Logue). Colton went through the academy with Scully, and he asks her for help given her experience with the X-files. It is such a small amount of history, but at least they are interested in building up Scully. An even better way of getting to know someone is how they react in certain situations. Scully is usually Dr. Watson to Mulder’s Sherlock ( he even goes as far to obsessively follow her once she has her own thing going). Now, she is on her own without his back-up. In the climax of the show, she is attacked by Toomes in her apartment alone, and it is reminiscent of Jodie Foster in The Silence of the Lambs or even Sigourney Weaver in Alien. She is young, inexperienced, and totally out of her depth, but she has to overcome right now. It helps that Mulder makes attempts a last minute rescue, but he is no shining knight swooping in to save the damsel. He is a distraction for Scully to incapacitate Toomes. They are finally real partners, and it shows when Colton gives Scully a way out of shadowing spooky Mulder and doesn’t take it.

Rating: 8/10

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