episode by Glen Morgan and James Wong
summary by Pellinor
Internal dating: No date given, but "Miracle Man," the next episode, is set in early March 1994.
A pilot flying above Iraq sees something coming towards him in the sky. It attacks him but he manages to hit it.
Something plunges to the earth and crashes near a NATO station on the Iraq border, although nothing was picked up on radar. The NATO people go to investigate.
In Tennessee late at night, a truck driver listens to the radio in which excited people talk about seeing lights in the sky. A police car rushes past him, then his truck grinds to a halt and the radio goes dead. He gets out to investigate, taking his gun, and sees something that looks like aUFO flying overhead. He opens the back of his truck and fires into it.
Mulder and Scully are at the scene. As Scully gives various explanations for what the trucker saw (a mountain lion, odd atmospheric conditions, lightning, swamp gas, tiredness etc.) "Feasible," "Possible," etc replies Mulder calmly at each of her points. Mulder points out that a lot of people all saw lights, and he shows her two stop-watches that he'd left at the scene. Both were started at the same time, but now read differently.
Mulder and Scully question the truck driver, Ranheim. He says he saw a "saucer" with green and orange lights, but Mulder says the previous night he reported it was cigar-shaped and black. He coughs as he talks, and has a rash on his hands. Hearing he's a Vet, Scully wonders if he has Gulf War Syndrome, but he replies that he wasn't in the Gulf. His symptoms only started the previous night. The Police chief then comes in, saying Ranheim can go, along with his truck. "Just go away," he tells Mulder, who wants to examine the truck and talk more to the driver.
As Scully signs a car rental agreement, the woman next to her asks to borrow her pen. Meanwhile, Mulder is suggesting that Gulf War Syndrome is caused by UFOs, claiming that a lot of UFOs are witnessed by soldiers in wartime. He suggests the base in Little Rock was flying something experimental, as in "Deep Throat", which caused the sightings. When they get home, he says, he wants to talk to "some people." Scully assumes he means the military, but he says he means an "extreme government watchdog group" who publish the "Lone Gunman" magazine. Some of their ideas are first rate, he tells her, but some are "downright spooky."
Byers and Langly, two of the Lone Gunmen, talk about various theories, while the third, Frohike, pronounces Scully "hot." ("Settle down, Frohike" Mulder says ) Langly answers the phone, recording the call on tape, while Byers tells Scully how the government is tracking them through a magnetic strip inside the bank notes. Mulder shuts them up and asks about Gulf War Syndrome, and whether they've come across any link between it and UFOs. They laugh. "That's why we like you, Mulder. Your ideas are weirder than ours," Byers says.
Later, in the office, Scully pronounces the Lone Gunmen "the most paranoid people I've ever met," and wonders how Mulder can think anything they say remotely plausible. "I think it's remotely plausible that somebody would think you were hot," Mulder says. Scully thinks they're deluding themselves that they're being tracked and monitored as it makes them feel important, but just as she says it she discovers a bug in her pen.
Mulder puts a blue light in his window - the signal to Deep Throat. He then gets a phone call which is only a series of clicks, from which he can work out the meeting place. When Deep Throat arrives he idly wonders if they can catch a game together this year, although of course they couldn't sit together. Mulder says he's sure Deep Throat could get great seats. "Any park in the country," Deep Throat says, then flinches as a camera flash goes off. "Just a tourist," Mulder says, but Deep Throat says "in our line nothing is just what it seems." Mulder asks him what they're onto and who's listening to them, but Deep Throat wordlessly hands over an envelope. "What am I on to?" Mulder shouts after Deep Throat. "A dangerous path," Deep Throat replies, ominously.
Mulder reads the secret file that Deep Throat gave him. As he does so, Scully comes in, telling him Ranheim and his truck are bogus. Ranheim's real name is Frank Druce and he was really in the Gulf War, having been treated for Gulf War Syndrome several times in the past year. Further, the real weight of the truck didn't correspond to the weight as declared on the manifest. "We had it!" Mulder says, frustrated. "We had it and we let it go." He tells Scully that an UFO was shot down in Iraq and thinks the truck driver was the chosen means of transport for the wreckage and possible body. Scully asks him where he got this information, and he says it's a "source of deep background." She is suspicious, asking to know all about him, but he says he's helped them before and guided them from harm. They both agree that the bug shows they are onto something big, but Scully takes this as a reason to back off, and even suggests that Deep Throat is behind the surveillance. "He's never lied to me," Mulder says. "I won't break that confidence. I trust him." "Mulder, you're the only one I trust," Scully says, but Mulder says he must trust him on this one.
Finding that the truck is heading west towards Colorado, Mulder tells Scully to get ready so they can follow it. "Okay?" he says, patting her on the shoulder. She looks none too happy.
Mulder returns home to get his things, but finds Deep Throat in his apartment. Mulder says Deep Throat risks exposure by coming here, but Deep Throat says it's too important. He gives Mulder a photograph which he says was taken by an officer in Georgia where 17 UFOs have been seen. Mulder asks if this is the place the downed UFO is being help, and if other UFOs are monitoring thearea. "Nice place you have here," says Deep Throat, in answer, and leaves. Mulder calls him back, saying he just wants to thank Deep Throat for all the help he's given without ever asking for anything in return.
Mulder looks at the photo of the UFO, raving about it and telling Scully how exciting it is. He says the truck was just a decoy to lead them away from Georgia, which is clearly where the UFO really is. Scully dashes his enthusiasm, though, and tells him the picture is a fake. Mulder dismisses her reasons, saying she's determined not to believe Deep Throat. "Maybe you're too determined to believe him," she says. Mulder says he needs to follow this lead and prepares to storm out. Scully shouts at him to calm down. "I have never met anyone so passionate and dedicated to a belief as you. It's so intense that sometimes it's blinding. But there are others who are watching you who know what I know and while I can respect and admire your passion they will use it against you. Mulder, the truth is out there, but so are lies." "Thank you," says Mulder, leaving.
Scully arrives at the office, dumping her bag on the desk as she goes to make some coffee. (dark blue mug, powdered milk). When she returns she's worried to see her bag has been moved, but it turns out to be Mulder, who's analysed the picture and also found out that it's a fake. "You were right, Scully," he says. "He tried to deceive us. We're alone on this. There's no-one we can trust."
Mulder meets Deep Throat at an aquarium. Deep Throat congratulates him for seeing through the fake, saying it was prepared by "our" very best. "I thought you were my ally," Mulder says, angrily. Deep Throat says he is, reminding him that he places in life in jeopardy every time they meet. He says he's been a witness to some insidious deeds and lies, and has spent years watching Mulder "from my lofty position" before deciding that "you were the one I could trust." He lied on this one, he says, because "there still exist secrets that should remain secret - truths that people are just not ready to know." "Who re you to decide that for me?" Mulder asks. Deep Throat says the world will react badly to knowing the truth, but Mulder reels off a catalogue of secrets that he feels the people should know. "Where will it end?" he asks angrily, adding that it won't end at all "as long as men like you decide what is truth." Mulder then asks why Deep Throat told him the true fact about the Iraqi fighter at the same time as the lie about the UFO in Georgia. "A lie,. Mr Mulder, is most convincingly hidden between two truths," Deep Throat tells him." As Mulder turns to go Deep Throat tells him not to stop his search ("if a shark stops swimming he will die. Don't stop swimming"), and hints that he's still being observed.
Mulder take his apartment to pieces looking for a bug. Scully arrives just as he's found it. Signing to her to be quiet, he tells her he's decided to drop the investigation, while writing a note saying he thinks they should go after the truck. "I think this time you're right, Mulder," Scully says.
Mulder drops Scully off somewhere in town, then drives off. A black car follows him, while another man from the car gets out and follows her. Scully shakes him off by getting a taxi, and buys a ticket to Chicago by credit card and a ticket to Los Angeles, stopping in Las Vegas, paid by cash. Mulder meanwhile shakes off his tail and heads to Baltimore airport.
Mulder and Scully meet up surreptitiously in the gift shop in Las Vegas airport. Scully says she's managed to track down the truck, which is heading towards Seattle. They manage to locate it and start following it. Hours later, they are suddenly they are bathed in a blinding light and the radio goes wild. Both their car and the truck grind to a halt. They examine the truck, but there is no sign of either the driver or anything in the back of the truck apart from an empty cage, with wires and medical instruments and things. Mulder thinks what they just saw was an extraterrestrial rescue mission. However, the neat trick with the stop-watches shows no odd time experiences. "It was another hoax," he says, suggesting it was some sort of high-tech technology that caused the light. Scully wonders why they didn't just kill them, but Mulder says maybe she's right - maybe he wants so badly to believe that they can manipulate him into believing any lie they tell him. ("Maybe I want so badly to believe that I will accept the obvious conclusion and just walk away.") In other words, why kill him when they can manipulate him and use him against himself? Scully says they now have nothing to rely on and no-one to turn to, but Mulder says there's still one body that hasn't lied to them (meaning the UFOs).
Mulder calls various UFO bodies who all report a great week for UFO activity, more or less following the track of the truck. Just recently there have been seven sightings at a place 100 miles from the scene of the hoax withthe truck. "I think they want their colleague back," he says.
Mulder and Scully cruise round the UFO hotspot and come across a large group partying in the field, with banners saying things like "welcome, space brothers." They say that the sightings are centred on the base down the road.
Mulder calls the Lone Gunmen ("turn the tape recorder off," he demands. "It's off," Langly replies, though it isn't). Mulder asks them to send some faked authorisation to the base, which they do. (Tom Braidwood and Val Stefoff) The guard tells them they can go everywhere but level 6, so Mulder of course decides to go to level 6. A guard stops them, whereupon Scully comes clean and admits who they are, but Mulder breaks through and rushes through the door into level 6, chased by armed men. Mulder ends up in a large warehouse which has a red-lit chamber in the centre. He rushes towards it just as the armed men surround him, but Deep Throat comes in and dismisses them.
"I know how badly, how very badly, you want to look through that window, but it would be pointless," Deep Throat says. "It's dead." In 1947, he says, there was a secret committee attended by the USA, the Soviet Union, China, France, Britain and both Germanys. It agreed that should any EBE survive a crash the country that found it would kill it. He says he was one of three men who have exterminated an alien, in Hanoi when he was in Vietnam withthe CIA. It looked at him utterly emotionless as he shot it, he says, which haunted him, "until I found you... I want to atone for what I've done, and maybe some day, through you, the truth will be known." Mulder looks into the chamber and sees only an empty bed.
As they leave the warehouse, Mulder says he's "wondering which lie to believe." Deep Throat chuckles and walks into the night. Scully joins Mulder and they watch in silence as Deep Throat disappears into the distance.