X-Files Flashback: ‘Deep Throat’

Deep Throat

Season 1, Episode 2
Director: Daniel Sackheim
Writer: Chris Carter

Day 2. I have been taunted by friends, and my mind reels at the sheer logistics of the task ahead of me. Yet, my determination is steely. Sleep. Children. Personal life be damned. This is something I must do. I do not know why, so do not ask me. My quest continues with “Deep Throat…”

The second episode of The X-Files dives deeply into the alien/UFO/government conspiracy mythology. It begins with an Air Force pilot who has stolen a government vehicle and barricaded himself in his house. As the military police break into his residence, he is seen cowering in a corner, covered in a blistery red rash. Flash-forward four months, and his wife has reported him missing to the FBI after the Air Force took him in for questioning and treatment. All contact with her husband ceased. Enter Mulder and Scully.

After visiting the town, it’s clear that there is something going on under the covers here. Mulder pontificates about a potential connection to the Roswell Incident, which of course he believes in, and Scully can barely contain her amusement at what she perceives to be a wild imagination. My favorite moments of the episode happen when Scully lets slip a few bemused smiles in his direction. She knows he’s off-kilter, maybe a little crazy, but she genuinely likes him. It’s the seeds of the legendary Mulder/Scully romance.

The rest of the episode deals with Mulder’s basically illegal trespassing onto the military base and surrounding areas where he witnesses what appear to be actual UFOs. He is later apprehended after having a close encounter with an aircraft of seeming alien origin, but the military operatives at the base effectively wipe his brain of the memory. Mulder and Scully quickly recognize that the entire town is under the control of the base, and there is little else they can do here once the missing pilot is safely returned home.

The most significant moments of the episode involve the revelation of “Deep Throat,” an unnamed man who knows a great deal about Mulder’s actions. Played by Jerry Hardin, he advises Mulder to stay away from the military for his safety and never answers direct questions as to his identity. The actor has one of those faces I recognize but can never actually place. Maybe I once knew but IMDB removed the memory from my brain to keep forcing me back to remember who he was. I won’t even touch Wikipedia because they just like to spoil shit for me. But that’s neither here nor there.

Overall, the rhythms and tone of The X-Files have pretty much fallen into place “Deep Throat,” although I am aware that it shifts into “monster of the week” mode at some point. Added bonuses here include the first appearance of the hilarious, low-tech opening credits and the iconic theme song as well as a cameo performance by Seth Green as a red-head teenage stoner. Hardly a stretch for him.

Two down, one hundred ninety-nine to go. See how I typed all that out? It makes it all the more impressive.

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2 comments

  1. Chris 4 years ago

    Not one of my favorite episodes, but still one of the most significant of the mythology episodes. My favorite moment is when Seth Green makes Duchovny break character and laugh in the diner scene. Cracks me up every time. This episode sets the tone for the repeating theme for the characters which is that no matter how hard they fight, they never really cause any significant change. They are a constant burr in the saddle of the powers that be, but that is about the extent of it until years later.

    Next up, however, IS one of my favorite episodes…enter one of the creepiest monsters in all of the X-Files, Eugene Victor Tooms! (who, coincidentally, would turn out to be pretty damned creepy in real life too)

    1. Clarence Moye 4 years ago

      Yeah it was fine. It’s funny how many actual “experiences” Mulder has already had in just two episodes. I am ready for a monster though.

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