The X-Files Season 1 Episode 2 Review: “Deep Throat”

The X-Files

I’m now finished with the second episode of The X-Files, and I have a lot of thoughts. The first episode of The X-Files dealt with a lot of setup and establishing the world surrounding our main characters. As we continue into the second episode, we get a deeper understanding of the two main characters, and just how much the government cover-ups will affect the show. Even when just exploring the world they’ve created, The X-Files displays a certain mastery that few shows carry into just their second episode.

On this episode of The X-Files: Mulder and Scully catch the scent of another case, in which a former military man has been missing for four months and his wife claims he was kidnapped by the military. In the same town, there are many people who believe they have seen UFOs, so Mulder takes them seriously. When they get too close, Mulder is sent a message by the military. Mulder meets a “Deep Throat”-like character who may have valuable information for him.

Where do I even begin? These first few episodes of this show have been so fascinating. There are obvious hints at the show’s time period (like Scully’s computer and the military vehicles, to name a few), but by and large The X-Files holds up extremely well. I’ve been amazed at the video quality, and only occasionally will begin to scoff before remembering that it aired in 1993. So far, I’ve been visually stunned. The X-Files was groundbreaking in the sense that it’s very much like modern television, but before modern television existed.

I genuinely enjoy watching the Mulder/Scully relationship blossom. I am certainly not a “shipper” of these two (at least, two episodes in I am not), but they were the perfect odd couple before it was cool. Mulder is confident, curious, and slightly belligerent, but he makes you laugh and maintains a scene’s intensity all at once. Scully (as I’ve mentioned before) is obviously a skeptic, but she does not say so. She simply reads that way. The X-Files is very much about subtlety, and it’s a show you have to pay attention to, so that’s how my impression of Scully largely comes to me. Scully is analytical, scientific, but she seems to appreciate Mulder’s brilliance, too. Her skepticism doesn’t start and stop with Mulder, but rather applies to everything, including but not limited to the US Government.

I really appreciate that, even in 1993, The X-Files was throwing shade at government secrecy. This was an age in which airport security meant something entirely different, and yet there still are clear undertones about the real government. It’s one thing when a show explores stories like this to reach a certain audience (like FOX News), but it seems to me that the creative team is expressing some serious issues with the government, and the possibility and reality of both overreach and secrecy. It’s a fascinating illustration to suggest that extra-terrestrials could be here, living among us, but our government is way too secretive for us to ever find out. Do I believe in life outside of earth? Not necessarily, but I believe that the device used in the show raises a valid point.

I am really liking the introduction of the “Deep Throat” character. I think Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny are wonderful, but the new character adds an interesting layer. This is someone who seems to know much more about what secrets are being kept and why, but doesn’t want to be the guy to expose the truth. When he first approached Mulder, I detected a hint of admiration in his voice. This may be nothing, but I wouldn’t discount it quickly because, as I’ve previously stated, The X-Files relies on subtlety. I like that they assume the audience can figure these things out. You can do so much more in a show that doesn’t have to explain things.

Well, I’m two episodes in. I’ve got quite a few remaining, but I’m enjoying the ride so far. It’s actually been quite hard to control myself and take these reviews as slow as I have. I’m really looking forward to bringing you the rest of the season, especially if they are anything like this strong episode.

What did you guys think? Do you agree with my sentiments? Did you enjoy this episode? Let us know in the comments!

[Photo via FOX]


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