The X-Files Rewatch: ‘Deep Throat’

Deep Throat
Written by Chris Carter, directed by Daniel Sackheim
Season 1, Episode 2

Recap

Police surround a house in a suburban community in Idaho. Mrs. Budahas rushes forward, because it’s her house. An officer stops her and explains that her husband broke security and stole a military vehicle. The police bust into the house and investigate, finding Mr. Budahas huddled in a corner, shaking and covered head to toe in unusual rashes.

In D.C., Scully meets Mulder in a busy bar, where he presents the case of Col. Robert Budahas, who was a test pilot at Ellens Air Base in in Southwest Idaho. He notes that Budahas disappeared (after the incident mentioned above) and that his wife has reported this to the FBI as a kidnapping — and yet, the FBI de-prioritized the case shortly after receiving it.  Since the case has, as Mulder says, “a distinct smell to it, a certain paranormal bouquet,” they’ll be traveling to the “Spud State” to investigate.

Mulder heads to the bar bathroom, where he’s confronted by a man — who will later will come to be known by the moniker, “Deep Throat” (*snrk* no, I’m an adult, that’s not funny). The man insists Mulder leave the case alone and that, if he doesn’t, he could potentially jeopardize the future of the x-files. When Mulder demands to know who he is, the man only says that he’s someone who could be of help and then vanishes into the crowd.

At home, Scully does her own research into the Ellens Air Base, discovering a number of reports of UFO sightings. She calls Mulder to discuss the improbability of such reports. On the other line, Mulder hears a distinct clicking sound. Peering out his window, he notices an unmarked van parked across the street. He tells Scully that he doesn’t want to talk about it on the phone and hangs up.

In Idaho, Scully and Mulder visit Mrs. Budahas, who invites them into her home. She explains that after working at the base, her husband began to get rashes under his arms and his personality became unpredictable. She’s frustrated that after everything that’s happened, the military is treating them like strangers.

The X-Files-Deep Throat 1

Mrs. Budahas brings the two agents to meet Mrs. McLennen, who’s husband was also a test pilot and is now mentally ill. The woman looks at him with affection, noting that the military provides treatment. Besides, the men volunteer. Afterwards, McLennon whispers to Budahas, wanting to know why she brought these agents into her house.

In the car, Scully brings up a very plausible explanation. Like the Aurora Project, in which the military was rumored to be testing secret sub orbital spy craft — maybe these men were the test pilots, maybe they were the wash outs.

Mulder counters that Budahas received a a presidential accommodation. He’s never washed out of anything in his entire life.

Having difficulties in getting any personnel at the base to communicate with them, Mulder and Scully visit the home of a Col. Kissel who immediately sends them away, stating that this is an invasion of his privacy.

As they’re leaving, a journalist by the name of  Karl Mossinger confronts them, asking what they’re investigating. He specifically asks if they’re here about the UFO sightings, since he believes they’re a bunch of “huey”.

They go to a local cafe where all the local UFO enthusiasts hang out. The place has a funky style, with vibrant green aliens and UFO pictures sprinkled throughout. The waitress shows Mulder a photo of a UFO that she took herself, right in her backyard. He buys a print and asks where someone would go if they wanted to see a UFO.

At a spot near Ellens Air Base, Mulder and Scully wait until nightfall. Suddenly something flying silently overhead shatters the car windows. The agents witness flying lights over the base, making impossible looping maneuvers. All they can do is stand in awe and watch.

One of the lights starts coming toward them — a helicopter this time, chasing a pair of teens off the base. Mulder and Scully help the teens (one of whom is a young Seth Green) escape from the helicopter, by ushering them into their car and driving off.

The X-Files-Deep Throat - Seth Green

They take the teens to a diner where they eat burgers and discuss their experience crossing through the fence to see the “light show”. The teens are clearly high, as they discuss lights, bombs being dropped, and land mines at something called the Yellow Base, where the military hides all the super secret stuff. They confirm that the UFO craft in the picture Mulder purchased is the same as what they saw on the base.

Meanwhile, a man outside in a car speaks into a walkie, saying that he’s spotted them.

After sending the teens off,  Scully addresses the conversation with her usual lovable skepticism. The teens were clearly high (true) and therefore not reliable sources of information.

In response, Mulder shows Scully a photograph of a craft that reportedly crashed in Roswell, New Mexico — a craft eerily similar to the one in the photo he bought at the cafe. He believes it’s possible that Ellens Air Base may be where the wreckage from the Roswell incident was sent for research and study.

The X-Files-Deep Throat - Scully and Mulder

Scully: Mulder, are you suggesting the military is flying UFOs? 

Mulder: No. Planes built using UFO technology.

Scully:  Just because I can’t explain it, doesn’t mean I’m going to believe they’re UFOs.

Mulder: Unidentified. Flying. Objects. I think that fits the description pretty well. Tell me I’m crazy.

Scully: Mulder, You’re crazy.

While back at their hotel, Scully gets a call informing them that Col. Budahas has returned. The agents rush over to the house, where they’re met by a frantic and terrified Mrs. Budahas, who is convinced this man is not her husband. He’s explains that he’s been at a hospital on the base, receiving treatment.

Mulder asks Col. Budahas a series of questions about his life. He gets all the answers correct. However, when Mulder asks questions about flying aircraft, Col. Budahas becomes confused. He can’t remember anything of the information from his experience as a pilot. When he tries to hold his wife for comfort, she freaks out and pushes him away.

As they leave, Mulder tells Scully his belief the military rewired Col. Budahas’ brain, selectively removing information about flying military aircraft in order to control information. Scully counters that the brain doesn’t work that way and the science and medical technology for such a process doesn’t exist.

Driving down the road, several cars come racing at them, blocking both lanes, forcing them to come to a skidding stop. Men in black suits — probably government (although they don’t identify themselves) — pull Mulder and Scully from the car. Both agents are patted down and their belongings searched and files confiscated. Mulder asks what’s going on and is hit in the stomach.

The X-Files-Deep Throat 5

They’re ordered to return to the hotel, pack their bags, and leave town.

Back at the hotel, Mulder confesses about the man who warned him to stay away from this case, as well as about his phone being tapped. He believes this is all a part of a conspiracy.  This leads to an argument of whether or not they should stay or leave. Scully is adamant they should leave, because the kidnap victim is no longer missing and, therefore, they have no case.

Mulder pretends to go along with her, but slips out of the hotel and drives off in the car. He gets in touch with the two stoned teens, who show him where the location of hole in the fence of the Air Base.

Deep on the base at night, Mulder witnesses a triangular flying craft (just like the photographs), which hovers above him and shines a beam of light down, spotlighting him.

The X-Files-Deep Throat 10

As soon as the craft flies off, vehicles begin to chase him across the base. He attempts to run, but is quickly caught, strapped to a stretcher, and injected with some kind of sedative. He’s brought into a facility where he’s glimpses what might be alien crafts or secret military technology of a more mundane nature. He’s put through some sort of medical procedure.

The next morning, Scully is worriedly trying to reach out to the FBI, but the phones are not working in either the hotel room or hotel office.

The journalist approaches her, acting friendly, but she’s immediately suspicious. Instead of talking to him, she runs to his car, jumping in and locking the doors. She rifles around and finds his gun and badge in the glove department — indicating he’s someone from the government, not a journalist. He smashes the window and tries to grab her, but she gets the upper hand by pulling the gun on him.

Scully demands that he help her find Mulder and forces him to drive her out to Ellens Air Base in order to make an exchange.

After a long, quiet wait, a military vehicle pulls up and lets Mulder get out. He looks confused, but gets in the car at Scully’s insistence. They drive away from the base. Scully asks if he is okay. Mulder confirms that he is, but can’t remember how he got there.

Mulder and Scully go to check on the Budahas family, but Mrs. Budahas barely opens the door. She says her husband is fine now and thanks them for their concern, then closes the door.

Just as Mulder is about to launch into a rant about how they got to her somehow, Scully shuts him down. “That’s enough, Mulder,” she says. “We don’t know anything, anymore than when we got here — and that’s what I’m going to write in my report. Lets get out of here, Mulder. As fast as we can.”

Back in D.C., Mulder is approached by the same man (Deep Throat) during a run on the track. He tells Mulder that he and Scully have to be careful, as their lives may be in danger. He also says that he can provide Mulder with information, but only so long as it is in his best interest to do so.

The X-Files-Deep Throat

Mulder asks what the interest is, and Deep Throat answers, “The truth.”

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.

Mulder: They’re here aren’t they?

Deep Throat: Mr. Mulder, they’ve been here for a long, long time.

My Thoughts

The second episode of The X-Files is phenomenal, fully embracing the mythology of the show. As with the pilot, this is a tightly told storyline compacting a significant amount of events and information in a single hour, with specific details spattered around to provide depth. For example, this episode is punctuated with the sounds of high speed aircraft flying over head, causing the characters to look up, only to miss what just passed — emphasizing the importance of looking to the skies.

The entry of Deep Throat (based on a real life whistleblower of the same moniker) is a key event in the show. It not only further expands the potential depth of the governmental conspiracies, but also provides Mulder a resource into knowledge he might otherwise have been able to obtain.

The question of whether or not Deep Throat is a reliable source is hinted at, though not fully questioned. The dribbles of information seem to be enough at the moment for Mulder to accept the assistance, if not fully trust it.

Along with the mythology of UFOs, conspiracies, and whistleblowers, this episode embodies a common thread that will repeat again and again further on in the series. Namely, Mulder and Scully’s frustration of digging and digging at a case only to come away with no clear understanding of what actually took place or how.  This is exemplified by Scully’s declaration at the end that they have learned nothing.

Their frustration is palpable. Although, the show keeps the audience from becoming frustrated by allowing us to see further than the characters. Though Mulder’s memories are erased by the end, the audience is allowed to see and remember the craft he encountered, as well as remember the glimpses of research being performed within the base. It’s enough to provide satisfaction at knowing something, while not putting the audience so far ahead of Mulder and Scully as to make them think the agents are stupid. It’s careful balancing act well performed.

Speaking of Scully, her actions are especially interesting in this episode. Her view of Mulder seems to be a combination of amusement and annoyance. One part of her seems to find his interest in the weird somewhat charming, while the other part becomes annoyed with not only the way he ignores (as she sees it) the scientific facts, but also his tendency to plow head first into his obsession.

The fact that Mulder trespasses on a military base in order to confirm his suspicions about UFOs is not surprising. On the other hand, Scully’s decision to hold a government agent at gunpoint is quite surprising.

Although we’re only two episodes in, Scully has proven to be more focused on the rules and regulations of the work she is doing. She has not seemed to be the type of person — up until this point — to take a stance, such as holding a government agent hostage. However, when she believes Mulder may be in danger, she steps up and takes action, proving her resilience as well as her loyalty to Mulder.

Series Stats

From This Episode: No clear repeatables as far as I can tell.

From the Series as a Whole:

Dana Does an Autopsy: 1

Mulder Eats Sunflower Seeds: 1

Mulder is Called Spooky: 1

Appearance of Cigarette Smoking Man: 1

One Reply to “The X-Files Rewatch: ‘Deep Throat’”

Leave a Reply