season 2, episode 10, “red museum”
i always recalled this episode with little regard. just the one with the cute BBQ sauce scene, but now on this rewatch, i see it as so much more. almost an essential episode, actually. the first two-thirds of it seems like a run of the mill x-files case and then we are thrown into the mythology and talking abut deep throat and purity control. which when first thinking about that, i felt it was somewhat hollow, grasping at straws, trying to apply meaning to a lackluster story. but, upon closer examination, it is really well done and an interesting way to bring it in and surprise an unsuspecting audience. often unrelated things can bring other things to light. and the red museum serves as a clever red herring.
i could write an entire essay on the BBQ sauce scene. first of all, they are so comfortable eating ribs in front of each other. you know you are at a good place in your relationship if you can unselfconsciously go to town on some ribs in front of someone. then mulder, without thinking, wipes the sauce from her mouth. it is a natural thing for him, instinctual. her look is, at first, embarrassment bordering on mortification. then she realizes how he didn’t intend to make her feel embarrassed, that he did it simply as a second nature reaction. then she falls a tiny bit in love and admonishes herself for letting her mind wander there and makes herself snap out of that reverie. she finds herself fighting off these feelings and gets back down to business. and all of this is conveyed with a couple subtle looks in the span of a mere few seconds. how does gillian anderson do this?? shortly after this scene scully is referred to as mulder’s “little wife.” these moments are the stuff of which shipper’s dreams are made.
i wonder if the audience watching at the time recognized deep throat’s killer. no one was expecting anything mythology related to come up in this seemingly average x-file and then boom! he’s there killing someone else in a scene framed in much the same way as the deep throat murder scene. scully realizing where she’s seen him before is delayed which seems more true to reality. i’m glad they didn’t have her recognize him immediately. then there is the connection of purity control showing how far the conspiracy spans and how long it’s been going on. deep throat’s assassin is some sort of a clean up man for the black organization and mulder wants him alive. it is classic “x-files” that he is shot before he can give them any answers. the fact that he is killed in the end is bittersweet. they got really close to a truth only to have it taken away, but they did stop him, so it serves as a small victory, as well.
i will take any reference to nixon in any form. “according to the literature, abe lincoln was a walk-in. and mikhail gorbachev and charles colson, nixon’s advisor.” “but, not nixon?” “no, not even they want to claim nixon.”
the pervert is the guy who played the irs auditor who was crushing on mary on “the mary tyler moore show!”
that hallucination the girl has in the woods is remarkably similar to scenes from “divergent.” i wonder if someone wasn’t subconsciously influenced by this…
uh, the BBQ scene, hello?