June 21, 2015

The X-Files 1.2, Deep Throat: Take Me to the Pilot

Posted in TV tagged , at 2:48 pm by Jenn

I know you're trying to be helpful, Deep Throat, but could you be helpful in a less creepy manner?

I know you’re trying to be helpful, Deep Throat, but could you be helpful in a less creepy manner?

Summary: Near Ellens Air Base in Idaho, a group of military police swarm on a house. The woman of the house arrives and learns that her husband has violated military procedure. The MPs burst inside and find their man, Colonel Robert Budahas, cowering in a corner, his whole body red. In D.C., Scully and Mulder meet up at a bar, which is surprisingly busy at 2 p.m. Someone appears to be watching them.

Mulder tells Scully about Budahas, who had a psychotic episode and barricaded himself in his house four months ago. He was hospitalized, but the military won’t comment on his status, even to his wife. She’s reported her husband as kidnapped. Mulder continues that in the past 30 years, six pilots from Ellens have been listed as MIA. They were all reported as accepting assignments to fly experimental aircraft.

Scully thinks the rumors about them being shot down in Russian airspace is true. Mulder says that the cases have been deprioritized despite the fact that they were never investigated. Guess who gets to investigate now? Scully isn’t sure why they’re looking into cases that might not be paranormal. Scully’s going to learn very quickly that anything weird = paranormal.

Mulder ducks into the restroom, where the man watching him earlier warns him to leave the case alone. The man says he can help Mulder, since he has an interest in the X-Files. He won’t identify himself or who he works for. He just repeats that Mulder needs to drop the case. The man (hereafter known as Deep Throat) leaves, and when Mulder tries to chase after him, he disappears.

Scully goes back to FBI headquarters and reads up on Ellens. The aircraft the missing pilots flew utilized stealth weaponry. She calls Mulder to confront him for possibly involving her in a “UFO goose chase.” Mulder hears clicks on the phone line and looks outside to see someone across the street in a van.

Time for a trip to Idaho! Mulder and Scully go to the Budahas house (say that five times fast), where Mrs. Budahas tells them that her husband developed a rash under his arms a couple years earlier. Then his personality became unpredictable. For instance, he put fish food on his plate during a dinner party. He would also become angry, then start shaking like he was having a seizing. All Mrs. Budahas knows about her husband’s job is that he’s loyal to his country.

Mulder asks if Mrs. Budahas knows of any other pilots experiencing the same thing. She points him in the direction of another officer, McLennen, who uses his own hair in fishing lures. His wife objects to Mrs. Budahas getting the FBI involved; she thinks therapy will solve everything. Scully also sees a psychiatric issue, telling Mulder that McLennen is suffering from extreme stress. She thinks the missing test pilots “washed out” of the mission to fly into Russian airspace.

Mulder and Scully next visit a man named Officer Kissell, an MP, but he won’t talk to them about Budahas. A reporter, Paul Mossinger, finds them and tries to ask about their investigation. Now Mulder’s the one who won’t talk. He asks Mossinger if he’s ever seen any UFOs, and where he might be able to talk to any of the UFO fanatics in the area.

The agents are sent to a diner (awesomely called the Flying Saucer), where a waitress tells them how egotistical pilots can be. There are photos of strange objects in the sky, one of them taken by the waitress herself. Mulder buys it and Scully calls him a sucker. She notices that Ellens isn’t on her map. Mulder tells her he got the waitress to draw him a much more helpful map. Then he calls her a sucker.

They drive to a spot just outside the base while Scully complains about having to put a UFO search in her field report. They’re there until after dark, and Scully falls asleep in the car. She wakes up when something flies overhead, breaking the rear window of the car. Mulder excitedly takes her to his waiting spot as two lights fly around each other in the sky. Suddenly there’s an explosion and the lights disappear.

The next light they see is from a helicopter, which allows the agents to see two teenagers nearby. The helicopter and the agents chase the kids, but it seems they were just there to make out. Mulder and Scully take them to a diner, where the kids, Emil and Zoe, say they go to their makeout spot all the time, but this is the first night they’ve seen the lights. Outside, Mossinger watches the four, using a walkie-talkie to confer with others.

Emily uses his burger to demonstrate the movements of UFOs he claims he’s seen. He tells Mulder they look just like the object in the waitress’ photo. After spending the night talking, the teens go home, and Scully realizes that Mulder believes everything they said. She thinks they were stoned. Mulder shows her photos from Roswell and reports that pieces from the wreckage there were sent to Ellens. He thinks the military is flying planes they built using UFO technology.

Scully, of course, thinks this is crazy. All he has to go on are two pictures of blurry triangles taken 50 years apart. Mulder reminds her that she saw the same lights he did the night before. Scully says that just because she doesn’t know what they’re dealing with doesn’t mean they’re alien in nature. Mulder points out that the “unidentified” in “unidentified flying objects” covers a lot of territory. Scully would rather focus on figuring out what happened to Budahas.

The agents head back to their motel, where Scully receives a message from Mrs. Budahas: Her husband has returned home. But when they go to the Budahas house, Mrs. Budahas says the man there isn’t her husband, even though there’s nothing strange about his behavior. Budahas just says he’s been in the hospital. Mulder asks him questions about his life, which he can answer just fine, but when faced with a question about flying, he can’t remember his job.

As they leave, Mulder tells Scully that it seems like Budahas’ brain has been rewired. Scully points out that you can’t just go into someone’s brain and erase certain files, like a computer. Maybe he has a form of amnesia. Mulder thinks that if technology exists to fly the aircraft they saw last night, there’s also technology to mess with Budahas’ brain the way it seems it’s been messed with. He thinks Budahas became a security risk after his breakdown, so the government took him out.

In their car, the agents are suddenly stopped by a bunch of men in black suits. While they’re frisked, the men search the car and take any evidence they might have of strange goings-on at Ellens. They order Mulder and Scully to pack up and leave town without talking to anyone about what they’ve been doing. Instead, Scully calls in their plates and learns that no car is registered with their numbers.

Mulder thinks the helicopter they saw the night before was chasing them away from the base. He also thinks that Budahas was returned as a decoy. He finally tells Scully about Deep Throat and the tap on his phone. Clearly there’s some kind of conspiracy they want to keep quiet. Mulder thinks there’s a UFO at Ellens, and the pilots are being hushed or hidden to keep the information from getting out.

Scully still thinks they’re just dealing with experiments. The government has a right to keep secrets. Mulder says there has to be a limit to what the government can do to its citizens to further its work. Scully points out that their job there is over – they came to investigate a kidnapping, but the abductee has returned. They should leave while Mulder still has a job. Mulder wants to find out about the UFOs that have been photographed there, but Scully isn’t going to indulge him.

Mulder pretends he’s going to take a shower before they leave, but he sneaks out to go back to Ellens. Emil and Zoe help him sneak onto the base, but the kids won’t go in themselves, since it’s still daylight. They warn him not to go too far, like Mulder’s going to listen. They forget too late to remind him that there might be landmines.

Mulder waits until nightfall to venture too far onto the base, and when he does, he sees what’s definitely an unidentifiable aircraft. It captures him in its spotlight, then flies away. Mulder’s chased by a bunch of soldiers who throw him into a vehicle and inject him with something. In the morning, Scully tries to call D.C. but can’t find a working phone at the motel. An employee tells her the phones there are unreliable, possibly because of aircraft interference.

A semi-conscious Mulder is taken to a hangar, where he can see an aircraft that looks like what the waitress photographed. Mossinger comes looking for Scully, who hears the walkie-talkie in his car. She locks herself inside and searches it, finding a gun and a badge identifying Mossinger as Ellens security. As she’s restraining him, Emil and Zoe arrive, admitting that they took Mulder to Ellens. Scully orders Mossinger to find out where Mulder is.

As someone puts some sort of liquid in Mulder’s eyes, Mossinger takes Scully to Ellens. “Intruder arriving,” she hears on his walkie-talkie. A military vehicle pulls up to the gate and Mulder is released. Scully kicks Mossinger out of the car and exchanges him for a very confused Mulder. Mossinger tells the agents that everything they’ve seen is appropriate for the level of protection required. As Scully drives Mulder away from the base, he asks how he got there.

They go to the Budahas house, where Mrs. Budahas says everything’s fine, and her husband’s getting better. She won’t let them see him, though. Mulder knows there’s a cover-up, but Scully thinks they haven’t learned anything in their time in Idaho. At least, that’s what she’ll say in her field report. Back in D.C. a week later, she says the investigation was inconclusive and declares the case closed.

Mulder goes for a run on a track, encountering Deep Throat again. Deep Throat warns that his and Scully’s lives are in danger. He’s willing to provide information, but only if it also serves Deep Throat. Mulder knows that something happened to him that was then erased from his memory. Deep Throat wonders why someone who believes in extraterrestrial life on Earth doesn’t believe all the evidence that it doesn’t exist. Mulder says that evidence isn’t conclusive. He knows for sure there are aliens on Earth. Deep Throat confirms this, saying they’ve been there for a long time.

Thoughts: Emil is played by Seth Green.

This show is harder to recap than I expected. So much dialogue!

There’s a lot of chemistry between Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny already, and this is just the second episode in. Great casting.

If teenagers can sneak onto the military base where you’re performing super-top-secret experiments, maybe look into upping your security. You know, just a suggestion.

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