episode written by Chris Carter
summary written by Pellinor
Internal dating: No date given. Clothing and vegetation suggests summer. Probably summer 1993, but you could choose to put it in summer 1992 if you want to accept the March 1992 start date.
Near Ellen's Airbase, Southwest Idaho: Military Police storm the house of Colonel Robert Budahas, claiming he is armed and dangerous, only to find him nearly naked, covered with a skin irritation, and curled up in a corner.
Mulder meets Scully in a bar at lunch time, saying he has something to show her. He tells her about Colonel Budahas, who's now been missing four months, adding that he's the sixth pilot to disappear from the base since 1963. Mrs Budahas reported his absence to the FBI, but "they shelved this case without an investigation, Scully." "I don't get it, Mulder," says Scully. "Does this have anything to do with an X-File? I thought you only likes those.... er.... paranormal type cases. Am I missing something here?" "Let's just say this case has a distinct smell about it - a certain .... paranormal bouquet," replies Mulder, going to the bathroom before she can ask anything else.
And that's where we meet Deep Throat, though he's never named in the episode at all. He advises Mulder to leave the case alone, saying the military won't tolerate his investigation. "I.... can be of help to you. I've had a certain interest in your work," he says. Mulder asks him how he knows about his work, and Deep Throat replies, "Let's just say that I'm in a position to know quite a lot of things.... things about our government." He then tells Mulder he has a lot of work still to do. "Don't jeopardise the future of your efforts."
Deep Throat then does a truly magical disappearing act. "Are you okay, Mulder?" asks Scully, seeing him standing there looking confused. Does Mulder tell her about Deep Throat? Of course not.
That night, Scully reads about UFO sightings at Ellen's airbase and calls Mulder. (A rare view of Mulder's kitchen!) "You failed to tell me a few things," she says, adding that "the Bureau has it out for us already." Mulder doesn't answer, as he hears the clicking on the line and sees a very obvious unmarked white van outside. "I'll tell you on the flight out," he says, hanging up.
So, they fly out to Southwest Idaho and visit Mrs Budahas, who tells how her huband started acting strangely two years ago, shouting at the children, eating fish food at a dinner party etc. She talks vaguely of "top secret projects", and is resentful that the government "treats us as strangers." "The Government is not above the law," says Scully, still naive and trusting. "They can not with-hold information." Mrs Budahas then takes them to see Verla McLennen and her husband, who's suffered the same as Colonel Budahas. Mrs McLennen is not pleased to see the FBI.
As they prepare to drive to the Beech Grove Motel, Scully claims Mr McLennen is suffering from stereoscopy, a condition observed in zoo animals as well as people, which is a symptom of extreme stress. She thinks the pilots have been testing a new secret project called the Aurora project, and have cracked under the strain.
Several hours of phone calls later, both Mulder and Scully have failed to contact anyone at Ellen's airbase. Mulder tracks down the home address of a Colonel Kissel, but he refuses to talk. Paul Mossinger, a reporter, comes up as they're leaving and introduces himself. Mulder asks him about UFOs, but Mossinger doesn't believe in them, saying "people see what they want to see." Mulder asks where the local UFO nuts hang out, and Scully, seen in the background, rolls her eyes and puts her hands on her hips, looking exasperated.
They go to the "Flying Saucer Cafe," where Mulder buys a photograph of a triangular UFO. "Sucker" says Scully, who looks highly amused and incredulous about the whole thing. "Catch you outside," she mutters, as Mulder's eyes light up and he starts talking serious UFO talk.
Ellen's Airbase isn't on Scully's map, much to her surprise, but Mulder's obtained his own map. ("Sucker!") "What do you honestly hope to see?" asks Scully, looking as if this is beginning to go beyond a joke. "This is gonna look real good on my field report!" she shouts after him, as he climbs up a hill to get a view of the airbase. She doesn't follow.
Three hours later (at 9.13) she's dozing, but is woken first by a low plane shattering the window, then by Mulder bodily pulling her out of the car. He's wide-eyed with wonder, and shows her lights in the sky, which he calls "unbelievable". He thinks they're real objects, but Scully thinks they could be lasers, though even she seems amazed by it. Then a helicopter approaches, and they run, after apprehending two youths, Emil and Zoe, who've run out of the base.
The next we see them it's 5.02. (What on earth have they been doing for 8 hours?) and they're in a diner with Emil and Zoe, who tell them about the "airshow" they regularly watch in the base. Emil doesn't think they're UFOs but some high-tech military technology, though he looks at Mulder's photograph and says they look just like that. Outside, Mossinger, the "reporter", is watching them, talking into a walkie-talkie.
"You believe it all, don't you?" says Scully, after the youths have gone. "Why wouldn't I?" Mulder asks. Scully smiles. "Mulder, did you see their eyes? If I were that stoned...." "Oooh! If you were that stoned, what?" says Mulder.
Mulder shows Scully a picture of the UFO that supposedly crashed at Roswell in 1949, trying to get her to admit the similarity with the picture he bought at the diner. He claims Ellen's airbase was one of six places that received Roswell wreckage, and thinks they're now flying planes built with UFO technology. Scully won't accept the pictures are genuine, and won't accept the lights are UFOs. "Just because I can't explain it doesn't mean I'm going to believe they're UFOs." "Tell me I'm crazy," says Mulder, a little later. "Mulder, you're crazy," she replies. She smiles a lot in the scene, as if she still thinksMulder's UFO theories are a joke.
Then Colonel Budahas is returned and they rush round to see him. Mrs Budahas is tearful, claiming it's not really her husband. Mulder asks him question, all of which he answers perfectly, except for the question abut flying. He's forgotten everything about it.
"Mulder, could you explain to me what's going on?" Scully rushes down the steps as they leave, not looking very pleased. Mulder says he thinks the "rewired" the man's brain. Scully says this is impossible, and, even if they could do it, she doesn't see why they would want to do it. (Ah, happy naive Scully!) "To control information," says Mulder, staing the obvious.
And now it gets exiciting. Two car loads of men in with black sunglasses stop them on the road and expose the film in Mulder's camera. Scully accepts all this with a look of resignation but Mulder demands to know what's happening and gets rewarded with a kick. "National security" the leader says, telling him to go home, "or assume the consequences of intense indiscretion."
Back at the motel, Scully has been unable to find any record of the registration numbers of the cars that stopped them (So she tooktheir numbers. Clever girl.) Mulder looks a little sheepish. "There's something I didn't tell you," he mutters. "Something else?" she says. He tells her about Deep Throat, and about having his phone tapped. He thinks it's a "huge conspiracy". They have a UFO here and will do anything to keep it secret, even sacrifice those pilots. Needless to say, Scully doesn't believe it. "Doesn't the government have a right and a responsibilty to protect its secrets?"she asks. "Yes," he replies, "but at what cost?" Scully, however, considers they have no right to ask such questions. "Let's get out of here while you still have a job." "Aren't you even curious?" asks Mulder, holding up the photograph. She says nothing, but seems to outstare him, and he appears to resign himself to going. He tells her he'll just shower and pack, then they can go.
He was lying. We now get the very first Scullyditch in the X- Files. "Mulder! Where are you going?" yells Scully, rushing out of the room. Her only answer is a screech of tyres. She sighes, and raises her eyes heavenward.
So Mulder finds Emil and Zoe and they lead him to the base, where he settles down to wait for night. At night he creeps out, then proceeds to stand right in the middle of the runway, watching as a triangular plane hovers over him. He's wide-eyed with wonder, totally failing to notice the security men who're rushing up to capture him. He's strapped to a gurney and injected with things.
Six thirty the next morning and Scully's failing to make a phone call back to Washington DC. Mossinger comes up, but she overhears his walkie- talkie and realises who he is, and manages to hold him at gun point. She shouts at him, all fierce and strong, and demands to know where Mulder is. He tries to threaten her ("you're a long way from home, Dr Scully") but she isn't cowed.
Meanwhile, Mulder arrives at a hangar (where's he been all night?) where he struggles to focus, and manages to see some large triangular thing under wraps, while lots of men in white lab coats do things to it. He then has nasty things done to him by doctors, involving drops of stuff in his eyes, and injections.
Scully and Mossinger arrive at the base, and Mulder is delivered to them. He looks very vague and confused, as if he can barely remember how to walk. "Everything you've seen here is equal to the protection we give it," says Mossinger. "It's you who have acted inappropriately."
Back in the car, Scully breaths a sigh of relief. She asks Mulder if he's okay. "I think so...." Scully frowns, anxiously. "Scully, I....."Mulder begins. "What?" "How did I get here?"
They return to the Budahas house, but Mrs Budahas won't let them in. "They got to her," says Mulder, but Suclly stops him. "That's enough, Mulder. We don't know anything - any more than when we got here. And that's what I'm going to put on my field report."
Scully's report, as she says, indeed admits that she can't subtantiate anything Mulder claims, though she admits she can't explain the lights in the sky.
Mulder, out running, meets Deep Throat, who warns him he and Scully could be in danger: "You've seen things that weren't meant to be seen. Care and discretion are now imperative." He says he can provide information only if it's in his own interest. Mulder asks him what his interest is. "The truth," he answers. Mulder asks what it was he saw at the base, and Deep Throat says "a military UFO?", with a questioning tone in his voice.
Mulder: "They're here, aren't they?"
Deep Throat: "Mr Mulder. They've been there for a very long time."