season 2, episode 1, “little green men”
we learned in the first season finale that the x-files were being shut down and our agents reassigned. this second season opener shows they’ve been split up, too. mulder is on surveillance duty and scully is teaching at quantico. they both can’t focus on their new tasks. one of scully’s students even says she’s acting spooky. she would wear that title like a badge of honor if she wasn’t so far from mulder and the x-files. and they are so far apart even as they pass each other in the FBI hallway. mulder is distancing himself either as a coping mechanism or he truly feels it’s unsafe. they have set up a secret message system to contact each other. scully uses it just to see if he’s ok. they meet in the watergate parking lot, of course, and discuss deep throat. you can see how much the experience from the past season and what happened with deep throat has affected scully and changed her. mulder says it’s dangerous to meet, but she had to see him. mulder has been beaten down professionally. he’s doubting himself and his obsession. he’s been at it for so long and had to fight so many people along the way and he has nothing to show for it. “i should have something to hold on to. some solid evidence. i learned that from you.” scully doesn’t want him to give up, but she has no way of helping him besides letting him know she’s there for him.
some plot points hinted at in season one are explored here. we get a flashback to samantha’s abduction. is it really what happened? is it a repressed memory resurfacing? can it be trusted as authentic? we also get to meet mulder’s congress connection and that’s where the story gets propelled forward. senator matheson, who is as paranoid as mulder (rightly so, it turns out), tips him off to a development in alien contact attempts. this leads mulder to abandon his surveillance duty and travel to puerto rico to find evidence of this contact. the cigarette smoking man, skinner, and the FBI try to locate him. scully truthfully tells them she doesn’t know where he is, but then does her own detective work. she wants to get to him before the FBI or whatever shadowy government that wants to keep tabs on him. scully learned quite a few tricks during her time on the x-files and was able to figure out mulder’s whereabouts and dodge the spies that were tracking her to get to mulder. it’s a good thing his paranoia rubbed off on her because she’s able to mislead them knowing that they are tapping his phone.
meanwhile in arecibo, mulder has been recording his findings on a tape recorder. it’s revealed after awhile that he is talking to scully. these two have been bonded together through their experiences on the x-files that they are not able to be split up. he says to her in the recorder, “before i could only trust myself. now i can only trust you. and they’ve taken you away from me.”
mulder experiences a close encounter similar to the flashback about his sister’s abduction. the blinding light. the disabled gun. it really is scary. the kind of thing i would have had nightmares about if i had watched it when it was on. i was 13 and it’s probably a good thing that i didn’t watch “the x-files” back then because i was a first rate scaredy cat. mulder’s puerto rican friend mysteriously dies. mulder saying it looks like he was “frightened to death.” i never found “the x-files” too scary, maybe because i came across it so late in the game. but, i can really see how it scared audiences at the time and how it could scare new audiences today.
scully finally finds mulder just in the knick of time before a blue beret retrieval team chases after them. mulder is able to take one of the tapes, but that’s it. there is an exciting jungle car chase. the show upped its action in the finale and it looks like they are continuing that in this next season. mulder comes back to a reprimand by skinner and a gloating csm. “your time is over and you leave with nothing,” he hisses. mulder mentions that his phone was bugged and we see skinner is surprised by this news. things are being done covertly aside from his official FBI efforts. skinner doesn’t like this and kicks csm out of his office. that was a great twist because it’s the very first indication that skinner might not be with the bad guys. and it adds another layer to these “black organizations” and how they work through and with official government channels.
turns out csm was partially right. mulder leaves with nothing by the way of evidence. the tape is blank. but he does have something. “i still have my work. i still have you. i still have myself.” he’s getting his belief back. shutting down the x-files and forcing him and scully apart made his faith waver a bit. but, scully has shown she’s still there with him and he’s found there are still truths to uncover.
mulder monotone voiceover. yay!
scully’s able to evade those spies like a boss.
good point, scully. how would you get that body through customs?
concerned head rub in the parking lot.
she has access to his apartment.
she listens to his message machine and hears that he stood up some women. she’s not too bothered by it. what weird escort service was he using? that did not sounds like an actual date or anything. well, i’m skeptical, anyway.
she can crack his password.
mulder talks to scully on the recorder. he trusts her more than himself!
m: “good thing it wasn’t a double jeopardy question.”
m: “i live for bach.”
s: “that would be bad for the fish.”
m: “nojo on the rojo.”