CTP Episode of the Day - 07.07.06
Today's Cherished Episode: Trust No 1 (9x08)
Original Air Date: January 6, 2002
Written By: Chris Carter & Frank Spotnitz
Directed By: Tony Wharmby
Mulder contacts Scully which sets off a chain of events involving an NSA man obsessed with speaking and giving information to Mulder.
(They forgot to edit out Gillian's tattoo.)
(Thanks to chrisnu for today's episode pics.)
"I know your blood type, your resting heart rate, your childhood fear of clowns. I know the name of your college boyfriend, your true hair color, your ATM pin number, favorite charities, pet peeves. I know you spend too much time alone. And I know ... that on one lonely night you invited Mulder to your bed."
Some "Trust No 1" Tidbits and Musings:
-- The episode title references Deep Throat's dying words as well as Mulder's computer password.
-- The decidedly shippy mages that accompany Scully's teaser voiceover are from the following episodes (in order): "Within," "Within" (thankfully, *without* the Haunting Suffering Scully Theme), "all things," "The End," "Within," "Leonard Betts," "Pusher," "Never Again," "Paper Hearts," "Kill Switch," "Milagro," "The Field Where I Died," "Memento Mori," "Millennium," "Per Manum," "Demons," "Per Manum," and "Dreamland II."
-- The music that accompanies the teaser is "The Seasons: Barcarolle" ("June"), Op. 37, No. 6, by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, arranged and performed by Richard Grayson.
-- Other than the typically heavy-handed Carterlogue, one of the best teasers ever.
-- Tagline Change: "They're watching." (Note to Chris Carter: Really, they weren't.)
-- Even the commercials are X-Files references: When this episode first aired, the commercial after the teaser was for the movie The Mothmen Prophecies.
-- Scully visits the Federal Grounds Internet Cafe for a cup of coffee -- the G-Man's Central Perk.
-- I've always assumed that "Dearest Dana" was some sort of code. It makes it more palpable that way.
-- The email addresses for Mulder (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Scully (Queequeg0925@hotmail.com) in this episode were real, working accounts set up by Ten Thirteen Productions. "TRUSTNO1" was used as Mulder's computer password in the episode "Little Green Men." Queequeg was, of course, Scully's dog that met a tragic end in Season 3, and 09/25 (1994) is the birthday of Gillian Anderson's daughter, Piper. This episode was aired out of order, which might explain why the date of Mulder's email is January 7, 2002, and this episode aired on January 6, 2002.
-- If you ever wondered what it would be like if Chris Carter wrote emails to himself, now you know. Only CC could write dialog so awkward and so out of character.
-- How dumbed down was Scully in this episode? Let us count the ways! (1) Scully is so concerned about a baby left alone in the coffeehouse that she leaves her own baby alone to go investigate. (2) She leaves William alone in the back of her unlocked car while she goes to break up an argument on her street. (3) She realizes this is the same couple she saw at the coffeehouse earlier in the day, yet doesn't get suspicious. (4) Not only is she not suspicious, she invites the woman up to her apartment. (5) She doesn't wonder why the woman doesn't really seem all that upset that her husband just forcibly absconded with her baby. (6) She doesn't raise an eyebrow - just a knowing smile - when the woman says that maybe Scully's "anybody" will come back. (7) She invites the woman to stay at her apartment before she even knows her name. (8) She lets William sleep in the same room with the complete stranger. (9) She trusts another total stranger over Doggett, the man who has been her partner for over a year and whom she says is "worth the effort." (10) Instead of jumping in her car to speed away from the Shadow Man, she runs further into the quarry (although that turned out okay). (11) She includes the information about how to kill Super Soldiers in her email to Mulder, which isn't very smart when you know people are monitoring your communications.
-- Still toying with our emotions, in true Chris Carter fashion, it's begrudgingly acknowledged that Mulder and Scully had some sort of physical relationship by making it as devoid of emotion as humanly possible. (This was of course the same man who reasoned that mouth-to-mouth resuscitation was the same as a kiss.) It might have been "one lonely night" that initially brought these two to the same mattress, but that doesn't mean there weren't lots of wild nights that followed. (You can try, Chris, but you can't crush my spirit!)
-- Mulder and Scully made plans for his return? That was one busy 48 hours they were together.
-- I knew Mulder wouldn't be on the train, but it was kind of fun pretending!
-- Mulder's running double was much more convincing than his ass double in "Nothing Important Happened Today." But I had to laugh when Mulder ran away faster *after* Doggett identified himself.
-- Mulder must die or Scully's son must die? I guess Mulder and William must be some kind of powerful combination. (Together, they could probably bring back the viewers!)
-- I did like the irony (no pun intended) that Shadow Man used Scully's weakness (Mulder) against her, but in the end, it was the Shadow Man's weakness used against him that led to his demise.
-- Lots of actors have been retreads on the X-Files, but Terry O'Quinn is the only one I can think of who has been featured in three prominent roles: as Lt. Brian Tillman in "Aubrey," as SAC Darius Michaud in "Fight the Future," and as the Shadow Man in this episode (though he was credited as Terrance Quinn in this episode -- why, I don't know). He was a Chris Carter go-to guy, also featured prominently in CC's other series Millennium and Harsh Realm. He's now best known as "Locke" on Lost.
-- Agent Boal is played by TV veteran Kathryn Joosten who can currently be seen as Mrs. McCluskey (Lynette's neighbor) on Desperate Housewives. She also had a recurring role as Old Lady God on Joan of Arcadia. But she's perhaps best known as the well loved Dolores Landingham who met an untimely end on The West Wing.
-- Allison Smith, who played Patti, also had a recurring role on The West Wing, playing Mallory O'Brien for five years. Allison's career started at the age of 9 when she was cast in the Broadway musical Evita which was quickly followed by landing the starring role as Little Orphan Annie in the Broadway musical Annie. She was the longest running and youngest actress to play the part up until that time. But her best known role as a child actress was probably the five seasons she spent playing Jennie Lowell, Jane Curtin's daughter on the sitcom Kate and Allie.
-- I think I *wanted* to like this episode more than I actually did. At the time, the anticipation was so great that the episode itself couldn't help but be a letdown. It was mostly predictable, suspenseful in spots, and had the *feel* of the X-Files of old. In typical XF fashion, it answered some questions but posed many new ones. For example, we got solid evidence that Mulder and Scully had a physical relationship, but CC & Co. still waffled on the "who's the daddy" question. The episode came closer than any up to that point in confirming William's paternity (through Scully's opening comments and the implied "connection" between Mulder and William that made them a dangerous duo), but it seemed TPTB wanted to keep their options open. So we still didn't know if Mulder could expect a card on Father's Day.
-- And speaking of Mulder (and they did -- early and often), his presence, or lack of it, permeated "Trust No 1." Normally, I'd say that was a good thing, but I was a little bitter about the Mulderfocus in this episode after all the squandered opportunities for Duchovny participation in Season 8 when Mulder could have been present in spirit *and* body. With Season 9 teetering on the brink of collapse, the ratings at their lowest since Season 1, this was "Playing the Mulder Card," plain and simple, an attempt to lure back long-time viewers by dangling the Mulder carrot in front of their noses. Some of the promos at the time even insinuated a Duchovny return, though Fox was probably to blame for that. Ultimately, it was too little too late.
-- Having said all that, the thing I enjoyed most about "Trust No 1" was the focus on what made the series great for so many years: the bond between Mulder and Scully. It was evident from the very beginning, with a segment that quite literally put the *tease* back in *teaser.* It very effectively reminded us that Scully's sense of separation and longing was as deep as our own. Eight years of emotion captured in frozen moments from what was truly "the greatest of journeys" taken not only by the "perfect opposites" featured in the montage, but by all of us as well. It was wonderful and powerful, and the addition of the special effects to change those moments to surveillance photos taken by an unseen enemy who had obviously been watching for a very, very long time also made it creepy and unsettling. Powerful, wonderful, creepy, unsettling; that's the X-Files at its best. The teaser showed us some of the moments that made the bond between these two people so strong; and in the end, through Scully's words to Mulder, we were reassured that despite their separation and the odds against them, the bond between them was stronger than ever. "Trust No 1" wasn't great, but it was a reaffirmation that allowed me "to regain the comfort and safety we shared for so brief a time." And sometimes, that's enough.
-- Just after this episode aired, Fox announced that The X-Files would not return for a 10th season.
Please share your first impressions, favorite (or cringe-worthy) moments, classic lines, favorite fanfic, nagging questions, repeating viewing observations, etc., as today we celebrate "Trust No 1"!