|The X-Files episode|
|Original Airdate:||May 13, 1994|
|Date(s):||May 8, 1994|
|Written by:||Chris Carter|
|Directed by:||R.W. Goodwin|
Stakes are high during this thrilling conclusion as the agents get closer to the conspiracy and learn their dark secret.
In Ardis, Maryland, a high-speed police chase unfolds at a waterfront. The driver of the car is Dr. William Secare. Although he is shot, Secare escapes into the water, and the police find green blood on the spot where he was shot.
Soon afterwards, Deep Throat (Jerry Hardin) approaches Fox Mulder with Secare's case, saying he is of major importance to reveal the truth. When investigating the case, Mulder and Agent Scully visit Dr. Terrance Berube (Ken Kramer), a scientist working in Gaithersburg, Maryland whose car was involved in the Secare incident. That night, "Deep Throat" meets a second time with Mulder, and insists he continue on the case, despite Mulder's uncertainty on what he's supposed to be looking for.
That night, Dr. Berube is met by the "Crew Cut Man", who kills him and makes the death look like a suicide. While investigating the crime scene, Mulder finds an erlenmeyer flask labeled "Purity Control", which he gives to Scully. Scully takes the flask to Georgetown University, where she meets Dr. Anne Carpenter (Anne De Salvo), who examines the contents. Meanwhile, Mulder heads to Berube's house and finds keys for a storage facility. Dr. Secare calls Dr. Berube's office, but Mulder answers the phone feigning to be Berube. Secare tells him about the secret government project which Mulder wants to reveal to the public. In the meantime, the "Crew Cut Man" eavesdrops on the conversation. Secare collapses during the phone call. A bystander calls an ambulance. A poisonous gas emits from Secare's body when the paramedics perform a needle decompression. Secare gets up and flees from the ambulance.
Mulder arrives at the storage facility and finds five men suspended in tanks, as well as a sixth empty tank. Dr. Carpenter reveals that the "Purity Control" flask contains a sample of bacteria that doesn't exist anywhere in nature and can only be described as extraterrestrial. Meanwhile, Mulder is pursued when he leaves the storage facility but escapes. He returns the next day with Scully. By then, however, the room is completely empty. "Deep Throat" arrives, revealing that Berube was experimenting on humans with extraterrestrial viruses. Six terminally ill volunteers were experimented on, and all had begun recovering. When it was ordered that they be destroyed, Berube helped Secare escape.Scully returns to Georgetown University, only to find out that Dr. Carpenter and her entire family have been killed in an automobile accident. Mulder returns to Berube's house and finds Secare in the attic, and tries to convince him to leave, but Secare is then shot to death by the "Crew Cut Man". Mulder passes out from exposure to the gas escaping from Secare's wound, and is captured. "Deep Throat" meets Scully outside of Mulder's apartment and says that he may be able to make a deal with the people who captured Mulder. He gives Scully the credentials necessary to enter the High Containment Facility at Fort Marlene, where Scully finds an alien fetus contained within liquid nitrogen. Scully meets "Deep Throat" on a bridge. He refuses to let her be the one to make the deal, so he presents the fetus to the "Crew Cut Man", who shoots him seconds later. Mulder is released from the "Crew Cut Man's" van as he drives off. Scully tends to Deep Throat, who utters his last words before dying: "Trust no one".
Several weeks later, a despondent Mulder calls Scully to inform her that the X-Files have been shut down. Meanwhile, in a scene mirroring the conclusion to the pilot, the Smoking Man stores the alien fetus in the massive evidence room within the Pentagon.
"Trust... no... one...."
Story and ScriptEdit
- The scene where Dr. Secare poisons the paramedics while being operated on was inspired by the real-life case of Gloria Ramirez, a Los Angeles woman who reportedly emitted toxic fumes while having blood drawn in February 1994.
- According to series creator Chris Carter, the reasoning why this episode concludes with the death of Deep Throat was that Carter, having found the character's supply of information to Mulder had been done in a highly "systematic and predictable way," had become "interested in exploring new ways of Mulder getting his information." Actor Jerry Hardin, however, suspected he aided the conception of this plot point, believing it to be the writing staff's reaction to him having tried to pressure them into making Deep Throat a regular part. (X-Files Confidential, p. 34)
Cast and CharactersEdit
- Appearing herein while being pregnant was a struggle for Gillian Anderson. She later reflected, "To have a life inside you and pretend that you don't – as well as all the hormonal things that were happening at the time – was very difficult during that episode." (Sci-Fi Universe, Vol. 2, No. 10, p. 21)
Continuity and TriviaEdit
- A scene from the 1959 film Journey to the Center of the Earth can be seen and heard near the start of this episode, in the scene where Mulder awakens on his couch and answers a phone call from Deep Throat.
- This is the first episode of The X-Files in which the words "The truth is out there" do not appear at the end of the opening credits sequence. Instead, the words "Trust no one" are used, as they are Deep Throat's last words.
- There is some question as to what Scully gives to Deep Throat and subsequently to Crew Cut Man at the end of this episode, in exchange for Mulder. Is it the alien fetus (as implied by her retrieving it in the previous scene and Cigarette Smoking Man's placement of it, no longer under liquid nitrogen storage, in the Pentagon at the end of the episode) or the Erlenmeyer flask referenced in the episode title? If it was the fetus, how did she manage to smuggle it out of the high-security facility where it was held, why didn't she keep it under liquid nitrogen, and what happened to the Erlenmeyer flask? If it was the Erlenmeyer flask, how did the Cigarette Smoking Man end up with the fetus, no longer under liquid nitrogen, at the end of the episode? A possible answer is the Erlenmeyer flask was stolen from the lab, along with all of Dr. Carpenter's work.
- The end of this episode is an allusion to the end of the first episode, "Pilot", intended to bring the story of the first season full-circle.
- The fact that, outside of the US, an Erlenmeyer flask is referred to as a "conical flask" is a source of considerable confusion to non-US fans, owing to the obscurity of the word "Erlenmeyer". In Brazil, the episode was renamed "Jogo de Gato e Rato", which loosely translates as "Cat and Mouse Game", in a direct allusion to Mulder and Deep Throat. The "Erlenmeyer Flask" referenced in the episode title is often incorrectly thought to refer to the metal holder containing the alien fetus. In fact, it refers to the glass flask containing the black liquid labeled "purity control", found in Dr. William Secare's laboratory. The alien fetus is removed from a vacuum flask instead, by Scully.
- Many viewers were shocked by the death of Deep Throat in this episode. "It's almost like killing off Janet Leigh in Psycho," noted R.W. Goodwin, a co-executive producer on The X-Files and the director of this installment. "It affects people." (X-Files Confidential, p. 34)
- Lindsey Ginter as Crew Cut Man
- Anne DeSalvo as Dr. Anne Carpenter
- Simon Webb as Dr. William Secare
- Jerry Hardin as Deep Throat
- William B. Davis as Smoking Man
- Jaylene Hamilton as Reporter
- Mike Mitchell as 1st Uniformed Cop
- John Payne as Guard
|The X-Files • Season 1|
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Little Green Men