September 20, 2015

The X-Files 1.17, E.B.E.: “I’m Wondering Which Lie to Believe”

Posted in TV tagged , , at 2:29 pm by Jenn

Welcome, helpful friends

Welcome, helpful friends

Summary: A pilot flies over Iraq, surprised to see something else darting through the sky 25 miles away. It doesn’t show up on radar. Suddenly there’s a bright light, and the pilot’s crew warns that he’s being attacked. The pilot fires and hits the object. In a NATO surveillance station on the Turkey/Iraq border, soldiers are awakened by explosions. They report a downed plane that, again, isn’t appearing on radar. The object remains in the sky.

In Reagan, Tennessee, a truck driver finds his radio cycling through stations on its own. He turns it off and hears people on his CB talking about seeing lights. Suddenly the truck loses power. The driver pulls over safely, then checks out the sky for lights. The truck doors open by themselves and the driver fires his gun inside.

When the sun comes up, Mulder and Scully check out the area, trying to figure out if the truck was struck by lightning. Also, the lights everyone saw could be from swamp gas. Mulder collects a possibly radioactive sample. He wonders why whatever they’re dealing with singled out the truck driver. Scully thinks he was hallucinating because he was tired. But Mulder has two stopwatches that tell him time is acting funny in the area.

The agents interview the truck driver, Ranheim, whose story doesn’t match what he said he saw the night before. He starts coughing, leading Scully to suspect that that plus his fever and veteran status add up to Gulf War Syndrome. Ranheim denies being in the Gulf War but admits that he’s been feeling sick since his encounter the night before. A local police chief interrupts the interview to tell Ranheim that he can go – the police won’t be cooperating with the investigation.

Out of options, the agents prepare to return to D.C. via bus. A woman borrows Scully’s pen as Mulder notes that soldiers often reported seeing UFOs in the Gulf War. Maybe UFOs cause Gulf War Syndrome. Scully thinks the soldiers just mistake classified aircraft for UFOs, and they get sick from the fumes. Mulder replies that there could be weapons onboard those aircraft that make people sick. When they get back to D.C., he plans to speak to some contacts – the Lone Gunmen.

The agents meet with the Lone Gunmen, one of whom, Langly, claims to have eaten breakfast with JFK’s shooter. Byers says that a Russian man is being put into power by the most evil force of the 20th century. “Barney?” Mulder guesses. Byers means the CIA. Frohike thinks Scully’s hot. Scully doesn’t think the government could orchestrate a huge conspiracy. Byers believes that there’s a network within the government controlling all their moves. To prove his theory, he pulls a magnetic tracking strip out of a $20 bill.

Mulder asks about Gulf War Syndrome and classified aircraft. Byers and Langly laugh at Mulder’s theory that UFOs cause the illness. “That’s why we like you, Mulder,” Byers says. “Your ideas are weirder than ours.” The agents head back to FBI headquarters, where Scully laughs off Mulder’s willingness to listen to such paranoid people: “I don’t know how you could think what they say is even remotely plausible.” “You think it’s remotely plausible that someone might think you’re hot?” Mulder replies.

Scully’s pen no longer works, so she takes it apart to look at it. Inside she finds something that you definitely wouldn’t find in a regular pen. Mulder heads home and turns on a blacklight, signaling to Deep Throat that he wants to meet. The two men convene downtown, chatting about baseball while Mulder eats sunflower seeds. Deep Throat turns away from tourists taking pictures of the monuments. Mulder asks about the pen, which seemed to contain a listening device. Deep Throat gives him files and tells him he’s undertaking “a dangerous task.”

Mulder takes the files to his office, where Scully tells him that she looked into Ranheim and his trucks. His manifest lists auto parts, but the weigh stations he visited on his route show weights that don’t match his cargo’s weight. Also, Ranheim’s real name is Frank Druce, and he did serve in the Gulf War. He’s been treated at the VA hospital three times in the past year – he didn’t just start getting sick the other night.

Mulder ties the Iraqi plane to Druce, guessing that Druce is transporting the aircraft. Scully asks for more information on Deep Throat, unsure of whether they can trust him. After all, things aren’t as they appear to be. Deep Throat could have planted the bug. Mulder refuses to believe that Deep Throat would break his confidence. Scully reports that the truck is now heading toward Colorado, so the agents plan to track it down.

Deep Throat’s waiting for Mulder when he gets home. He reveals that 17 UFOs have been spotted in Georgia. Mulder thinks they’re monitoring the place where the Iraqi plane wreckage is being held. Deep Throat starts to leave, and Mulder thanks him for risking his life to give Mulder information. When he opens Deep Throat’s newest package, he finds a picture of a UFO in the sky over an Army vehicle. Scully examines the photo and reports that it’s fake. The shadows and colors of the UFO’s reflections can’t be real.

Mulder accuses her of being determined not to believe. Scully replies that he’s too determined to believe. She’s never met anyone so passionate and dedicated to a belief. But others won’t have the same respect for him that she does. “The truth is out there, but so are lies,” she warns. She returns to FBI headquarters, leaving her bag unattended while she gets coffee. Oh, Scully. Mulder tells her that he had the photo analyzed further, and she was right about it being fake. They can’t trust Deep Throat anymore – he’s gone to great lengths to mess with their investigation.

Mulder meets with Deep Throat at an aquarium to confront him over the photo and his lies. Deep Throat admits that he wanted to throw the agents off the right track. Some secrets need to stay secret because people aren’t ready to know the truth. Mulder lists a bunch of conspiracies, wondering when they’ll end. He guesses they won’t, as long as people like Deep Throat keep covering up the truth.

Deep Throat says that he knew he would have to throw Mulder off the trail once he started looking into the aircraft. A lie was the best way to do so. Deep Throat admires the fish, telling Mulder that if a shark stops swimming, it’ll die: “Don’t stop swimming.” He didn’t plant the bug, but he knows whoever did is still listening.

Mulder goes home and tears apart his apartment, looking for other listening devices. He finds one inside a lightbulb and another inside an electrical outlet. When Scully shows up, Mulder shows her the bugs, telling her that they should move on from their investigation. He writes her a note saying, “We have to find the truck.” Scully agrees.

Mulder drops Scully off downtown, where a man watches her as she hails a cab, and another man follows Mulder. Scully goes to Dulles Airport, buying tickets to Chicago and L.A. Mulder tries to lose his tail on his way to an airport in Baltimore (BWI, I guess). The two meet up on a stopover in Vegas, then drive to Washington State to catch up to the truck.

There’s lots of driving, and then suddenly the radio goes crazy and there are lights in the sky. The agents’ car stops near the truck, which Druce appears to have abandoned. Mulder and Scully check out the cargo area and find a little lab perfect for holding an alien life form. Mulder thinks it was rescued. But his stopwatches don’t show that anything strange is going on with time, so the light show must have been a hoax. He thinks the government is using his beliefs against him.

In a hotel, Mulder checks with hotlines that handle UFO reports, and marks on a map where some have been seen. They follow the route the truck has taken. The agents next head to Mattawa, Washington, coming across a group of people waiting in the woods for a UFO. A guy thinks it’ll appear there because aliens are drawn to a nearby power plant. The agents see Druce at the power plant, which Scully notes is highly secured.

Mulder calls the Lone Gunmen to tell them they could run a picture of an extraterrestrial biological entity (an E.B.E.) on the front page of their paper. All they need to do is hack some IDs so Mulder and Scully can enter the power plant. When they’re unable to access a classified area, Scully decides to come clean about their identities. Mulder makes a break for it and runs around until he’s captured right where the possible alien is possibly being held. Possibly.

Deep Throat arrives and calls off security. He tells Mulder that the alien is dead. After Roswell, a bunch of countries held a conference where they agreed that if an alien landed in one of their nations, that country would have to kill it. Deep Throat served in the CIA during the Vietnam War, and was responsible for killing an alien shot down by the military. He feels horrible for shooting an innocent creature.

When Deep Throat met Mulder, he found a way to atone for what he’d done. Maybe someday, the truth will be known thanks to Mulder. Mulder looks in the alien’s cell, which is empty. As they leave, Deep Throat notes that he’s quiet. “I’m wondering which lie to believe,” Mulder replies. Scully rejoins her partner as Deep Throat walks off into the fog.

Thoughts: The Lone Gunmen were originally only supposed to be in one episode, so instead of finding an actor to play Frohike, the show used an assistant director who’d previously done a little acting. They also used his name, Tom Braidwood, for Mulder’s ID at the power plant. Scully’s fake name, Val Stefoff, came from another assistant director (who’s actually a man).

More trivia I just learned this week: Jerry Hardin (Deep Throat) is the father of Melora Hardin.

Mulder pronounces “data” like “dada.” Don’t do that, Mulder.

Just for the record, since I know it comes up in the future, Mulder lets Scully drive in this episode.

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1 Comment »

  1. Reblogged this on thed4rkestrose.


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