Theatre of the Mind ~ E.B.E.
Here's today's CTP TOTM - E.B.E. (That's a lot of initials!) Although this episode is probably most fondly remembered as the episode that introduced the Lone Gunmen to XF lore, IMHO E.B.E. is SO much more than that. Not only is it an important piece of the mytharc, it is also (as Amy said so eloquently earlier today) a real turning point for M&S and the XF.
1. It's conceivable that this TOTM could be written about downed UFOs and government conspiracies. Conceivable.
2. It could possibly comment on the remains of those downed UFOs being transported across the US of A in tractor trailers driven by gun-toting non-Gulf War veterans. Possibly.
3. It is feasible that it could focus on paranoia and trust and good hair and Barney. Feasible.
4. Of course, it could just be about swamp gas. Swamp gas? Please take a break while I go put some mustard on my Dodger Dog. Okay, I'm back.
5. Isn't it more plausible that this TOTM should be swept up in the hysteria of who thinks who is hot?
6. Though I'd rather write about stopwatch Mulder with good hair, I guess we should move on.
7. Mulder is just a little TOO relaxed at the interrogation of the truck driver. Is that appropriate posture for a Federal agent?
8. But Dr. Scully is on duty, positing Gulf War Syndrome from a cough and a rash. Maybe he just needs Robitussin and Calamine lotion.
9. The local law enforcement aren't exactly an exercise in subtlety: "Just go away."
10. Good old Lariat. They don't have to try harder; they've got the government contract.
11. M&S have some of their best yin and yang at the airport. And (TWC) Mulder has that little lock of hair over his forehead too.
12. Scully meets the Lone Gunmen. And so do we.
13. I always knew Barney was the most heinous and evil force of the 20th century.
14. Do you think Mulder noticed that Scully was hot until Frohike pointed it out? Perhaps we owe it all to Hickey!
15. "Settle down, Frohike." Oh yeah, the boy's got it bad now.
16. I think she's the Gullible Dr. Scully to hand over a twenty to these three.
17. Possibly the best Mulderism ever: "I think it's remotely plausible that someone might think you're hot."
18. Scully suffers from lecture interruptus as she learns in mid-sentence that those around her have good reason to be paranoid.
19. Could be wrong, but isn't this the first time Mulder has sent out the bat-signal for his contact? Guess he forgot to stop at Office Depot and get masking tape, though.
20. It IS the first time we see Mulder sleeping on his couch.
21. There's Deep Throat wanting to take Mulder to a ball game again.
22. Glad this episode isn't set in 2000. The Orioles are not doing too good this year.
23. Deep Throat offers a clue but Mulder's not listening: "Nothing is just as it seems."
24. While Mulder has been meeting with shady informants, Scully's little legs have been doing all the legwork
25. (TWC2): There's that lovely little lock of unruly hair again. Hoo-Boy.
26. The most important part of this episode, progression of the relationship: "Mulder, you're the only one I trust." (And love the hand on the shoulder as Mulder leaves.)
27. PEPCO must love Mulder. Bet they have a crew standing by at Hegal Place just to restore his power every time it's cut.
28. Mulder worships at the alter of Deep Throat.
29. Dr. Scully applies the same amazing skills she uses when diagnosing medical emergencies to photograph analysis. She knows in an instant that the evidence is a fake.
30. Mulder and Scully have the conversation that will perhaps define their relationship from this point on. He says she's determined not to believe, she says he's too determined to believe. He says I need to go prove that I'm right. She says listen to me. She says I believe in you because of your passion and your dedication, but sometimes you are so intense that you're blinded to the truth. He says uh-huh, uh-huh. She says I respect and admire your passion but there are other people who don't love you like I do. He says, okay I guess you could have a point. She says, "The truth is out there, but so are lies." He says thanks for that information, but I'm leaving anyway. I say, this is a smart woman Mulder. Listen to her!
31. Hooray! He did listen! Without saying it, of course, he says you are the only one I trust too.
32. They're alone now. There's no one they can trust but each other. That's the way it is and forever shall be.
33. Mulder wants to know why; he trusted Deep Throat and now he can't. Deep Throat admits he trusts Mulder, but Mulder was getting too close. And "some secrets should remain secret."
34. Remember, "A lie is most convincingly hidden between two truths."
35. Mulder IS swimming with the sharks now. Deep Throat advises him to keep swimming.
36. Mulder applies his passion and dedication to the search of his apartment and shows us just how far he will go to uncover the truth. (But isn't that always the way: When you're looking for something, it's always the last place you think to look!)
37. It's the Amazing Mulder Door, which seems to have the right equipment for every occasion! I am always amazed how Mulder's door seems to have a peephole when one is needed, and no peephole when there's no need to check the hallway. In this episode, Mulder's door seems to have a doorbell!
38. Scully gives a wonderful look as she seems to be thinking, this man is too passionate and dedicated for his own good. Or she could be thinking, if he thinks I'm going to help him clean up this mess, he's got another thing coming!
39. I'm thinking that this is sort of what my house looks like right now.
40. Mulder and Scully play I Spy and rendevous in Vegas. Too bad they didn't have time for a quickie wedding! I think they were ready at this point!
41. Another wonderful airport scene where M&S seem like clandestine lovers. This is their kind of pillow talk, after all.
42. "I think some Japanese businessman told me to stick a piece of sushi where the sun don't shine." And Scully still smiled at all his Mulderisms back then.
43. When Scully was driving along after the truck, I thought Mulder was sleeping with his mouth open. I was afraid he was going to drool on her.
44. After M&S are stopped dead in their tracks, I want to tell myself that Mulder went back to the car to check on Scully, but realistically, I know he just wanted the flashlight. He did a good cover job of being concerned, though.
45. And he was quite the gentlemen, helping Scully into the truck. Of course, then he proceeded to dump boxes on her!
46. I also love episodes like this when Scully suspends her disbelief for just a moment. When Mulder tells her the E.B.E. is gone, love the way she says, "Where did it go?" She can believe.
47. Another defining moment: Mulder is able to tell Scully that she was right and that they are using him against himself. Now he needs more conclusive evidence. She taught him that.
48. TWC3: Love Mulder on the hotel room bed.
49. M&S crash a UFO party and find out what they need to know. But they need to breach security. Time to call in the cavalry!
50. XF In Joke - M&S IDs are Tom Braidwood and Val Stefoff - both first assistant directors, and of course Braidwood is Frohike.
51. M&S play more I Spy, there's a MulderDitch and some MulderTorture. All XF staples, of course!
52. Deep Throat explains that he comes to Mulder seeking absolution for his sins. Was CC setting up Mulder in the Jesus role even this early?
53. I'm a sucker for reflections in glass. Love Mulder and Deep Throat reflected in red.
54. There's a lot of mytharc thrown in, but this episode is ultimately about trust and the loss of it. Deep Throat says he trusts Mulder, but really trusts no one, not even the tourists around the Jefferson Memorial. Byers, Langley, and Frohike don't trust anyone either, not even Mulder. Mulder defends his trust of Deep Throat, even goes so far as to thank him for all he has done, only to find that his unquestioning loyalty was perhaps misplaced. He learns that his crusade isn't quite as noble as he once thought, and that while the truth is out there, so are lies. Scully defends her trust in the government that she serves, only to find out that the only one she can trust is Mulder. And in the end, Mulder realizes that this woman who was sent to spy on him has become the only ally that he can trust, implicitly and passionately.
55. And we were introduced to the Lone Gunmen.
Guess you can tell that this is one of my favorites from Season 1. To me, it has the flavor of a later-season episode, and I always find it funny that it was a part of the very first year.
With apologies, as usual. Love to Amy and Paula.
(And Paula - Wish you were here!)