Skip to main content

TrustNo1 - Little Green Men

That scene where Skinner tells Cigarette Smoking Man to get the hell out...Damn, that's satisfying. Blue Beret Crash Retrieval Team, what a title.

The first and second seasons will always be near and dear to this X•Files fan's heart. When you go through the struggles and life altering effects of the search for proof of extraterrestrial life, and just what Mulder and Scully endure, they become so important and there's a love that many of us share for them. And what they go through!

Arecibo, Puerto Rico has this observatory with equipment specifically designed to monitor possible signs of alien life and receive possible “communication” from whatever might want to make contact from outer space. When the abandoned station “comes to life” you just know Mulder will wind up there. It is only a matter of how ultimately.

Despite being told the X Files was shut down, with Mulder and Scully re-assigned to different divisions in the FBI (Mulder doing grunt work like listening to surveillance; Scully teaching future agents forensics), the search for the truth isn’t going to just die. I think we as fans knew that. I remember feeling at the time (I was a teenager during its run) that the pursuit for alien life and Mulder’s own passion to learn of his abducted sister’s whereabouts (the episode showing us that abduction in Mulder’s memory/nightmare) would undergo plenty of ups and downs (far more downs than ups) as the show continue. Just as Mulder gets so close (the aforementioned retrieval team arrives just after his chance meeting with a brightly glowing alien lifeform the next morning, awakened by Scully who learned of his presence at the observatory through snooping on his computer, learning of his flight out to Puerto Rico), he is denied the opportunity to provide his findings to others. Scully, as typical of the show, arrives after Mulder’s experience with something extraordinary, just missing the proof to rebuff her skepticism.

Readouts and reels of tape recordings could have given Mulder the evidence so desperately important to proving that the truth is out there. Agonizingly repetitive is the defiance of the government/FBI/shadowy military to allow Mulder to retrieve his proof. But there’s so much more than just “little green men”.

Mulder could have quit. He could have just given up. Duchovny really shows Mulder as tired but still determined. Anderson shows Scully as deeply devoted to him, wanting Mulder to find his proof, seemingly herself wanting to believe but just needing evidence to convince her. When she looks at a corpse while training others at Quantico, she thinks of Mulder and talks of what had lived in the brain of the man lying on the cold table, as a student mentioned how “spooky” she seemed! Funny. Mulder bypassing her at Quantico as if he didn’t hear her, meeting her in a parking garage, the two talking of “being followed and listened to”, it really identifies their current dire straits. She is convinced that considering the X files was closed, they didn’t have to pretend that their lives were under surveillance, although Mulder knew…he’s a good agent, of course he’s aware he’s being monitored!\\\

I personally love this episode. I used to have it on VHS. Remember having a few of these episodes on VHS. Now having complete seasons on dvd sets, I still can’t help but hearken back to those days in the late 90s fondly. “Little Green Men” set us off with some intriguing developments like Skinner seemingly not opposing Mulder and Scully; if anything, he appears to be a staunch defender and supporter of them! Contrasting Skinner is the ever-sneaky and maleficent Smoking Man, pointedly mocking Mulder towards the end. I like the digs Skinner has towards Smoking Man regarding his distaste for cigarettes and lighting up in his office. I always enjoyed seeing Skinner at odds with CSM, assertively challenging him. Mulder and Scully needed somebody to be there for them when few were there.

Although I figured he was a temporary figure soon to be removed when the corrupt powers would soon realize he was a nuisance—in the same way they did Deep Throat—Senator Matheson (Raymond Barry) arising as the next powerful ally inside the government assured us (or at least until he might prove to be a hindrance not assistant) Mulder would not be put out to pasture and left with no friends.

Mulder telling Scully he still had her even as he felt he had no one else was a lovely gesture that the duo would sometimes only have each other when imposing forces were at work against them. As we soon realize as the season continued…separation from each other only tightened their bond and love for one another.

Don't want to forget to mention that I found the episode effectively atmospheric, with the inclusion of Puerto Rican local found by Mulder inside the observatory, having seen an alien, later to run away, eventually scared to death with arms/hands outstretched, locked in a death clinch, quite an addition to the episode, creating quite a compelling sequence of events as a storm picked up outside. And for Mulder to actually have an encounter--and to see his childhood memory with Sam before and during her abduction--really offers quite memorable bits to take away from it.

But this growing closeness of Mulder and Scully is what I truly appreciate more than anything...