Wednesday, 11 March 2015

X-Files Rewatch | Deep Throat



As much as I wanted to do this post this time last week, my uni work got in the way. After two essays being submitted and a blog post in the making, I'm finally able to get back into the swing of the things and get back to my rewatch. On this week's agenda, we have one of the staple X-Files episodes: 'Deep Throat'.


The second episode feels like an extension of the Pilot. Where the Pilot only briefly touched upon the UFO lore that the show became so gravitated towards, 'Deep Throat' extends this to another level. 

This episode also seems to exude confidence in terms of plot and script compared to the Pilot. Not that the pilot didn't succeed in these realms, but 'Deep Throat' seems much more fleshed out in terms of what Mulder and Scully have to deal with within the 40-minute time frame. It also includes a short excerpt of acting from none other than Seth Green, before his Buffy days.

'Deep Throat' brings Mulder and Scully to an Air Force base - eerily similar to that of Area 51 - where they investigate the possible conspiracy within the US Air Force in the form of a test pilot that has been missing; with rumors circulating that this is all down to experimental aircraft.

A focus is drawn on the basics of ufology throughout this episode, the main being the obvious connection between the mysterious Air Bases - Nellis Air Force Base and Area 51 - in the form of the fictitious Ellen's Air Base. Much like Area 51, Ellen's Air Base doesn't show up on public maps. There is also reference made to the famed Aurora Project, likening to Project Blue Book and the introduction of Deep Throat - the name being derived from the real Deep Throat who leaked information of the Watergate scandal to the press in the 70s.

Deep Throat worked as the bridge between Mulder and Scully and the newly introduced Shadow Government (briefly shown through Cigarette Smoking Man at the end of the 'Pilot').


    

Building on this ever-growing aesthetic, we also have our first unmarked helicopter make its appearance as Mulder and Scully observe the mysterious flying lights hovering over the base, along with the (what seems to be) bugging of Mulder's phone and the mysterious car parked outside. Not to mention Deep Throat's dissuasion of Mulder not to seek out this case - which isn't worth saying to Mulder at this stage because we all know telling him that it's a dangerous case is going to make him want to investigate it even more. We also have a sense of the political climate at the time; the public unease with the government, especially after the Watergate scandal. This is mostly seen through Deep Throat, but also with some of the minor character's reactions to Mulder and Scully investigating deeply into the victim's husband's previous disappearances.

'Deep Throat' also gives us some major character development of Mulder and Scully. They both seem to be at ease with each other; which is to assume since they've been working together for at least a few weeks now. The scene in which they ask the missing pilot's wife questions is a testament to this, where they are already demonstrating the magic of eye contact.

They don't even need to talk to each other to get their thoughts across. Also, we can already see that they have a balanced relationship, both professionally and personally. Whenever the camera is showcasing a shot of Mulder from Scully's point of view, he is never framed at a high vantage point. He's never in a position of power over Scully. He's not her boss, they're in it for the same and only thing - the truth.


We can see that Scully's attitude to Mulder has changed, she is definitely not part of an agenda. She's already in too deep, in it for the truth and to protect Mulder and his work ethic. She starts to fill in her role as Mulder's foil, to stop him from doing something stupid that will either get him hurt or killed. She's there to reign him in... which doesn't particularly work in this episode's case, as the headstrong Mulder leaves her behind to find what he's searching for by himself. Even if that means betraying Scully's confidence. He's been so used to doing this job on his own, he hasn't had anyone to rely on him, let alone care for him. 


It's extremely frustrating how Mulder gets so close to the truth. He witnesses the flying lights with Scully - who has to rationalize it through her nature of being Mulder's foil - and even manages to get inside the base. Before getting caught. Then our hero is put into the first peril of the series, being strapped down to a gurney and taken through what seems to be the inside of the air base, full of experimental aircraft with UFO technology. Which Mulder does witness - albeit half consciously - before he has his memory selectively wiped. He finally gets the truth that he has been seeking all these years, to have it stripped away from him.

Although, we can vouch for Mulder as we (luckily) haven't been subject to those same tests. But alas, even though we've seen what the government is supposedly hiding, the two people that can actually do something about it either haven't seen it (or deny to believe it) or have had their memory erased. Mulder and Scully have this taken away from them, but we're left with the truth. However much the government is trying to hide it. 

Which comes to the sentiment that surely the government can hide some secrets, but at what cost? Which is perfectly summed up by Mulder: "When does the human cost become too high for the building of a better machine?"
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