X-Files mythology, TenThirteen Interviews Database, and more

2X01: Little Green Men

Case Profile

The X-Files are shot down, Mulder’s bored in surveillance missions and Scully teaches forensics at Quantico. Mulder’s high-placed contact, Senator Richard Matheson, sends Mulder at the Arecibo radiotelescope, Puerto Rico, where he could potentially make contact with extraterrestrials. He has an encounter. Scully follows him and is followed by Syndicate henchmen. Mulder and Scully escape the Blue Beret UFO Retrieval Team but have no evidence of the alien contact.

Field Report

So The X-Files got a second season and the show must go on. Chris Carter didn’t write this episode, Morgan & Wong did, so it’s natural that it’s not really in line with the rest of the Carter-penned mythology. Character development is perfect but LGM doesn’t up the ante in any way. As with 1X16: E.B.E., another Morgan & Wong script, the intense paranoia elements are here, but in the end we don’t learn anything new on the Syndicate or on the alien presence on Earth. It does make up a great story though, with Mulder once again finding himself with “no evidence at all” to support his quest; as he tries to listen closer to the recording at the end, he keeps hoping. What will become a trademark XF imagery is first used here: the flashlights creating a very intense cone of light! Carter has said that an inspiration for this episode was Carl Sagan’s science fiction novel “Contact” (1985, I highly recommend it!), which depicts the first contact between Man and Extraterrestrials under a better light; fittingly enough, Sagan worked on SETI as well.

“We’re going to the Hill”

After a vague mention in the Pilot (Mulder: “The only reason I’ve been allowed to continue with my work is because I’ve made connections in Congress.“) and in the Morgan & Wong episode 1X20: Tooms (Skinner: “This was close. Any closer and a thousand friends at the Capitol won’t be able to help you.“), the identity of Mulder’s contact is revealed: it’s Senator Matheson, a believer and a good ally, though he clearly doesn’t know much more than what he provides Mulder with. Richard Matheson is of course named after the mid-20th century science fiction/fantasy writer.

Matheson is a Senator, and Senators vote ministries budgets: that’s why he says “I’ll try to delay them as long as I can“, he has some leverage over the Department of Defense to which the Blue Beret UFO Retrieval Team belongs to. Of course this team is fictional, based on other Black or Green Beret secret ops teams. First and last mention of the BBUFORT. At least by name, because this teamcould very well be all the para-military teams we see in a governmental cover-up (1X09: Fallen Angel, 4X17: Tempus Fugit & 4X18: Max).

Contact at Arecibo

The bases for this episode, the Voyager missons, the SETI Project, the Arecibo observatory and the “wow” signal, are all true. However, the Arecibo observatory is far from being abandoned or threatened to be shut down by some Senator. It was never intended to use the Oservatory for the search of intelligent ET signals, and when this search was being conducted it was given a small percentage of the recording time; the Observatory is still used today for astronomical observations. The SETI Project gave birth to the biggest shared calculation program to this date : SETI@home, or how to use your computer’s CPU time to help analyse recordings in search for ETs!

The mystery of Jorge being found inside the Arecibo building which was closed behind some very solid chains is not an error from Morgan & Wong! In fact when you speak some spanish, it goes like this: Jorge: “Luces en el cielo. Rojo, azul, anaranjado. Pensé que una avioneta habia entrado de los arboles. Pero cuando llegué… ví hombres… como animales… pero no hombres. Me agarraron y me pusieron aquí. Todavía estan en el bosque!” which means “Lights in the sky. Red, blue, orange. I thought an airplane had crossed the trees. But when I got there… I saw men… like animals… but not men. They took me and put me here. They’re still out in the woods!” Like with Max Fenig (1X09:
Fallen Angel
), Jorge was abducted and ‘crossed matter’ thanks to alien technology.

The point of aliens visiting a radiotelescope, emitting back the Voyager recordings, emitting what Mulder just had said, and abducting Jorge, scaring him to death but leaving Mulder unharmed is not clear, especially if placed in the context of the (future) mythology. This is more a character-driven episode.

Character development

The Skinner character is still being established and we already have a clash between him and the CSM. Skinner clearly doesn’t like CSM being around and he likes even less having to follow his orders. But the situation is simple: Mulder is dangerous and he has to be kept harmless by sticking him to menial surveillance work. A work that is not even meant to be of any use, since Mulder had enough to solve the case but CSM has Skinner tell Mulder “I think we need more to go on.” When Mulder goes missing, CSM is worried that he is onto some trail to the truth again, and he has him followed. Without Skinner’s authorization, he has two FBI agents surveilling Scully and two other henchmen follow her to the airport, and should have followed her to Puerto Rico. In the end, Skinner is shocked to learn all this and, as he isn’t very keen on kneeling down before CSM, orders him out (“Get out. I said get the hell out.“)

With the X-Files shot down, M&S separated and with no evidence at all of any paranormal phenomenon, Mulder is bored and even starts to question his beliefs. Rough times are ahead, with Scully’s abduction (2X05: Duane Barry), it won’t be before 2X17: End Game that Mulder will find his strength again.

Deep Throat was buried in Arlington cemetery, a very famous cemetary in Virginia. That would make Deep Throat a person of great importance in the US governmental agencies.

We get to see Samantha’s abduction; this will be the version of events we see used later on, like in 4X08: Paper Hearts, though it differs from Mulder’s narration under hypnosis in 1X03: Conduit.

This was my first X-Files episode!

Surveillance Recodings

Mulder’s teaser monologue: We wanted… to believe. We wanted to call out. On August 20th and September 5th, 1977, two spacecraft were launched from the Kennedy Space Flight Center, Florida. They were called Voyager. Each one carries a message. A gold-plated record depicting images, music and sounds of our planet, arranged so that it may be understood if ever intercepted by a technologically mature extraterrestrial civilization. Thirteen years after its launch, Voyager One passed the orbital plane of Neptune and essentially leaving our solar system. Within that time, there were no further messages sent. Nor are any planned. We wanted to listen. On October 12th, 1992, NASA initiated the high-resolution microwave survey. A decade long search by radio telescope, scanning ten million frequencies for any transmission by extraterrestrial intelligence. Less than one year later, first-term Nevada Senator Richard Bryan successfully championed an amendment which terminated the project. I wanted to believe but the tools have been taken away. The X-Files have been shut down. They closed our eyes. Our voices have been silenced. Our ears now deaf to the realms of extreme possibilities.”

Scully: “When the bureau first shut us down, you said that you would go on for as long as the truth was out there.
But I no longer feel that from you.”
Mulder: “Have you ever been to San Diego?”
Scully: “Yeah.”
Mulder: “Did you check out the Palomar observatory?”
Scully: “No.”
Mulder: “From 1948 until recently, it was the largest telescope in the world. The idea and design came from a brilliant and wealthy astronomer named George Ellery Hale. Actually, the idea was presented to Hale one night. While he was playing billiards, an elf climbed in his window and told him to get money from the Rockefeller Foundation for a telescope.”
Scully: “And you’re worried that all your life, you’ve been seeing elves?”
Mulder: “In my case… little green men.”

Sen. Richard Matheson (on Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto no2): “This is the first selection of music on the Voyager spacecraft. The first. Four and a half billion years from now, when the sun exhausts its fuel and swells to engulf the earth, this expression will still be out there, traveling four and a half billion years. That is, if it’s not intercepted first. Imagine, Fox. If another civilization out there were to hear this, they would think “what a wonderful place the earth must be. I would want this to be the first contact with another lifeform.”

Woman on Mulder’s answering machine: “Mulder… you hounded me to have lunch with you today and then you don’t show. You’re a pig.”

Mulder on his tape recorder: “The print-outs received in the transmission indicate contact with another lifeform and yet I cannot see them. Even if I could see them, would they really be there? How do I know this isn’t some classified military satellite? These transmissions are from the Voyager, for God’s sake. Could extraterrestrials really have intercepted them? Or is this just some elaborate joke played on those who want to believe? I was sent here by one of those people. Deep Throat said “Trust no one.” And that’s hard, Scully… suspecting everyone, everything. It wears you down. You even begin to doubt what you know is the truth. Before, I could only trust myself. Now, I can only trust you… and they’ve taken you away from me. My life up to this point has been about the need to see her again. To see them. But what would I do if they really came?” (he looks at Jorge’s terrified expression on his dead face)

E.T.C 2004-2007

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