XFRW: 1X01 “Deep Throat”

The show officially begins! We launch ourselves into the real rhythm of the show by giving Scully a haircut and starting a pattern of helping Mulder’s reliability by drugging him. It also introduces us to a Beloved Supporting/Guest Character, and provides some iconic images.

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Let me start by addressing a pretty important issue, and since this is the first time the opening credits played, it’s a good time to get it out of the way: The remastered files, for blu-ray and Netflix and such, are not only adjusted for today’s widescreen TVs, but also the fonts changed.

xfcreditsfontcompare

This is just upsetting to me.

I’m not the only one who has noticed this, and in fact this post shows a number of differences and explains the reasons. In the end, it’s not the big X-File I was hoping it’d be, but it makes for an interesting note. From a nostalgic perspective, it actually throws me out of my moment a lot, since not only did the font change, but it changed to something that wasn’t available in 1993.

All right, so into the episode itself. In theory, it’s about Colonel Budahas, an Air Force test pilot who goes a little goofy and gets whisked away by the government for a few months, which is what catches Mulder’s interest. Col. Budahas isn’t very important. His wife, however…

She's actually in a Season 2 episode as well, but she's always Mrs. Budahas to me.

She’s actually in a Season 2 episode as well, but she’s always Mrs. Budahas to me.

If you recognize her from somewhere, it’s probably because Gabrielle Rose is credited with 155 credits on IMDB and you probably know here from a few things. To me, whenever she pops up in a one-off episode in some show probably filmed in Vancouver, I say, “It’s Mrs. Budahas!” I’ll even admit, I had to find her IMDB page by first going to this episode’s page and finding her in the cast. I don’t know if I’ll remember her actual name after this. She’s just Mrs. Budahas to me, and seeing her always makes me feel warm and happy. That nostalgia, it’s strong with me.

Oh, also Seth Green’s in this episode.

Demonstrating a UFO's flight. Like you do.

Demonstrating a UFO’s flight. Like you do.

The episode builds on the foundation set in the pilot, as Scully remarks a few times on how she is going to write this up in her reports. She’s up for looking into why the USAF is holding a pilot without any word to his family for four months, but she is Not Impressed when UFOs become part of the conversation. Super cute moment when Mulder buys a photo of a UFO from a roadside diner, and Scully Doesn’t Approve.

#truthisrighthere

You really get the idea that on this trip, she’s really starting to wonder just what she’s gotten herself into.

My name's Scullyface and I think you're crazy.

My name’s Scullyface and I think you’re crazy.

One odd bit of, well, it’s not exactly nostalgia, but it’s certainly a signal of the times, is how phones are used. Specifically, the fact that right now, they aren’t using cell phones. Scully doesn’t give Mrs. Budahas her cell number, she tells her what motel they’re staying at, and Scully goes to the front desk for messages. She gets an idea about who to call, and she picks up a phone book. And really, imagine if they had a smart phone to capture video of those lights in the sky over Ellen’s AFB? I feel this a lot when watching TV shows from the 90s — but oddly, I don’t feel it while watching anything older. I don’t think cell phones were really taken for granted until the early 2000s, so I’m not sure why it feels so funny to see early- or mid-90s media to not have them. But it does! I like it, though. It feels innocent, which is probably one of the purest feelings of nostalgia.

At one point, the agents drop off Seth Green and his girlfriend, and Mulder says, in a moment of being a Hip Fed, “Later, dude!” to Green’s character. I mention this because at some point (definitely in college my freshman year and maybe before in high school) I had a sound theme on my Windows 98 PC that used XF .wavs for the system sounds, and shutting down my computer gave me a “Later, dude!” every time. Whenever I hear that, it sends me back to life with a big CRT monitor and a wired keyboard and mouse with a ball. (I found cleaning the lint from that ball very satisfying.)

I can’t end this recap without touching on the name of the episode, which is for a character who only appears briefly, but has some Important Things to say, and of course becomes so important to the rest of the show. Portrayed by Jerry Hardin, we get our meeting of Deep Throat.

It's a one-stall bathroom, sir.

Can I help you?

It’s funny how much we loved Deep Throat. He wasn’t really in that many episodes. But he cares about Mulder, in his own way. We’ll see him again, and we can watch how this relationship develops. I got to see Jerry Hardin at DragonCon in 2015 (on a panel with Nic Lea, gosh, it was so great), and he’s just such a Kindly Ol’ Grampa. I love him to bits.

“They’re here, aren’t they?”

“Mr. Mulder, they’ve been here for a long, long time.”

“Mr. Mulder, why are those like yourself, who believe in the existence of extra terrestrial life on this earth, not dissuaded by all the evidence to the contrary?”

Ultimately, “Deep Throat” isn’t, on its own, a magnificent episode. And even though it’s considered a “mytharc” episode, it’s probably a tentative link at best. Deep Throat’s presence is what really ties it to the greater mythology. But that’s all right, because it’s early days still. Next up is our first Monster of the Week (MOTW) episode, “Squeeze”, and gosh it’s a good start to the type of episode that will keep this show going for 200+ episodes.

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