The X-Files

Season 2 Episode 1

Little Green Men

2
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Sep 16, 1994 on FOX
8.7
out of 10
User Rating
391 votes
14

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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With the X-Files closed, Scully has been assigned as an instructor at the FBI Academy while Mulder is doing menial surveillance work. After meeting with Senator Matheson, one of his supporters in regards to The X-Files, Mulder disobeys orders and heads to an abandoned SETI site in Puerto Rico which has unexplainably reactivated itself and could provide proof of contact with extra-terrestrial life.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Contact

    9.0
    Continuing from the end of season 1 the X files is closed,Deep throat is dead and Mulder is frustrated about the work he is doing.Mulder then meets with senator Richard Matheson who wants the X files back so the truth will be known and he sends Mulder on a dangerous mission to Puerto Rico to find a telescope and also tells him to find contact.It becomes a dangerous task when Mulder gets to the telescope and finds a man there who later gets frightened to death.Then when Mulder gets his body back inside the telescope,contact finds Mulder and Mulder believes its the same aliens that kidnapped Samantha.The aliens was talking down the tape Mulder had on saying trust no one.When they left Mulder woke up and Scully was there thought he had all the proof he needed until the blue beret UFO retrieval team arrived to shoot on sight and Mulder couldn't get the body or any of the codes but he got the tape.I knew that Mulder would end up with nothing and he did after he escaped the Blue Beret and returned to Washington.Overall good start to the season and I believe its going to be another good season.moreless
  • Little Green Men

    10
    After an excellent season finale, "The X Files" back with everything in its second season, resuming the story that seemed to have ended. Starting with a gorgeous epilogue of NASA experiments in an attempt to make contact as soon as we see the suffering of the two protagonists in this are in the situation of complete separation between them and transfer each to a different area of the police academy, with Scully in part of medicine and Mulder in prison to complete cases and small talk, both the simple theft and crimes that is required to investigate, both to hear two men talking about their nights with strippers, an avalanche of irrelevance to it. Despite the closure of X files, double invests in a possible new discovery and the possibility of contact, going to Mexico in search of evidence. The temperate climate of Central America did not match much of the episode, which really needed a more cold, not as climatic as expected, but this is just amazing supplied by appearances and by the emission of sounds bizarre aliens (even if we can only see the outline of the creature). Surprises aside, the scene back in time to the day that Mulder's sister, Samantha, is abducted, it can be so mysterious, and exciting in white lights, red and blue UFO. Conspiracy theories are still here, a little quieter, as well as discrete puffs of CSM and the consequences of the release of the Voyager spacecraft sent into space in the seventies by NASA, which had large amounts of information about the habits, the arts and anatomy of the human species. With a great persecution in the forest, a lot of police surveillance and attempts to resuscitate the dead X-Files, the initial episode of the season is a big turn in a series that only has not disappeared by the love of devout fans.moreless
  • Little Green Men

    10
    Little Green Men was a perfect episode and season two opening story. I really enjoyed watching because there was a lot of character and plot development as Mulder and Scully were now transferred into other divisions and the cigarette smoking man still exists. It was interesting to see the rendition of Mulder's past with his sister and her abduction which was a little different than how it was told before. I liked seeing hints of the E.B.E.'s though it wasn't enough! I would love to read about the conclusions about the various extraterrestrials on this show to see how it could all add up. The season is off to an amazing start so far. I loved how every thing played out. I certainly look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!!!moreless
  • How Mulder Deals with the Closure of the X-Files

    8.4
    Nothing out of the ordinary happens in this episode. Mulder and Scully are reassigned to different sections, and Mulder is being punished with pointless wiretap surveillance. He's at his edge - and Duchovny plays this very well - and he's doubting everything, including his own beliefs. I think it's touching that they started the second season on this note. Mulder is at a very low point, and Scully is worried. She tries to bolster him up, remind him of the conviction of his beliefs - but as it turns out, the only thing that can remind him of his beliefs is himself. The hunt for "contact" drives him out to Arecibo, where he's confronted with loads and loads of evidence. It's an evidence party and Mulder is invited! How exciting for him. Except, true to X-Files form, he doesn't get to keep any of it. It's frustrating as a viewer to see everything that Mulder sees, everything Scully sees, and everything CSM and Skinner see -- we can put it all together and yell at the screen, "IT'S ALL RIGHT THERE!" Oh well. If they could retain evidence every time they did something, the show would be about them trying to publish on CNN instead of National Enquirer, instead of the exciting hunt for the truth that is portrayed instead.



    Mulder says that at one point, he only trusted himself and now he can only trust Scully. I think this is a very pivotal moment for his character. All his life, the strength of his own convictions and his own belief have powered him on. Even through all he's seen and witnessed, he is experiencing doubt - and he's doubting the most sacred thing of all, the abduction of his sister. That he says he can only trust Scully.. it's so important. She's finally seen an EBE, she believes. And Mulder realizes that that's the only thing he's ever really accomplished. But the end of the episode is heart-warming. He's regained faith in his own convictions, though he realizes now that they are not so iron clad as he had thought. But he's had another close encounter, and he won't give up.



    I look forward to the next episode!moreless
  • "You can't be afraid" -- Fox Mulder

    9.5
    If I had to introduce a newcomer to this show, someone who had no idea what the series was about or what its special appeal was, this is the episode I would choose. Everything is here--the search for proof of alien contact, the heartbreak over Mulder's sister Samantha, the understated sexual tension between Scully and Mulder, the quest Mulder has set himself, and the interference from the maddening Smoking Man and FBI bureaucrats. But most of all, we learn more about the enigmatic Agent Mulder himself in this episode than in any previous episode. It was high time: we'd learned the details about Samantha Mulder's abduction in "Conduit", learned of Scully's family life in "Beyond the Sea", even delved into Deep Throat's shadowy past in "E.B.E.", but heretofore we had not learned much about the man behind that badge.

    Mulder and Scully have been separated by the closing of The X-Files. Scully, attempting to maintain contact with her former partner, meets him clandestinely in the Watergate garage, where she finds a remote, depressed Mulder consumed with self-doubt. That night, Mulder wakes from a nightmare replaying the events of Samantha's abduction and is immediately hauled off to Capitol Hill to meet his mentor, Senator Richard Matheson (Raymond J. Barry). Matheson sends him on a secret mission to Puerto Rico to recover evidence of alien contact from a SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) project at Arecibo. Ditching Scully, he finds the station and discovers evidence that aliens are approaching, signalling from a location closer and closer to the earth. He discovers a terrified Puertoriqueno named Jorge Concepcion, who babbles in Spanish about colored lights in the sky and strange looking men. When Jorge runs out into a hurricane in a panic and is found dead of terror twenty minutes later, Mulder begins to wonder if he really wants to meet these aliens...and if they would really be there if he saw them. Some vision finally appears, and Mulder discovers that he is afraid, and that he could not have saved his sister anyway. Scully arrives in time to save Mulder from the retrieval team who will surely kill them both, and they flee for their lives with only one tape left to prove his story--a tape that later proves to be blank.

    Surely this is one of the most poignant "X-Files" episodes ever filmed. Fox Mulder has failed again.

    The overriding motif of this episode is Mulder's constant failure to live up to the approval of the father figures in his life. Although at this point in the series all we know about his father is that the family refused to discuss his sister's disappearance, we may read something of the distance that grew between father and son by the relationships he forms with authority figures. How confused can a man be who joins the FBI, surely the most patriarchal of hierarchies, only to rebel from within? Does this career clash mirror an inner conflict? Mulder the psychologist, well versed in Freud, must surely realize what he is challenging every time he deliberately flouts the Bureau's rules and the authority of his superiors.

    How devastating a loss Deep Throat must have been. In "The Erlenmeyer Flask", Mulder said out loud that he had been "the dutiful son" to Deep Throat's "Obi Wan Kenobi". He had gone to and fro at Deep Throat's implied command, sniffing out vague clues when even Scully, tirelessly loyal, had given up in disgust. He accepted the lies and misdirection of "E.B.E" and yet held on to the relationship with Deep Throat. Why? Just for the information he was getting? After "E.B.E", how could he trust anything the man said? Rather, what Mulder needed was the reassurance of knowing Deep Throat's fatherly figure was "watching from his lofty position" as Mulder searched for the truth.

    Or is it the truth he is searching for? As even Mulder admits, there comes a time when anyone questions his innermost motives; is Mulder looking for little green men, or a little girl he lost long ago? And while I might have trouble believing a 34 year old man would still have any connection to an eight-year-old sister he was last seen fighting with, I can well believe that the real focus of Mulder's search is not Samantha, but his unbroken family. Samantha's disappearance shattered the Mulders, and Fox Mulder will spend his life trying to heal what cannot be mended. I wonder if he realizes how futile his quest really is.

    Although the flashback sequence contains several discrepancies when compared with Mulder's earlier version of events (the spelling of his hometown, the location of the abduction, the date--which makes the children nine years and thirteen years old, the Knicks jersey with the name of a player who didn't make the roster for another 11 years), the most important image is there--at a moment of supreme crisis, when young Fox has one and only one chance to save his sister, he fails. He drops the gun. He is hypnotized, paralyzed by the Alien In the Doorway, whether by fear, wonder, or telepathy we don't know. From that one shattering moment onward, his life is a desperate attempt to put it all back together again.

    When "The X-Files" debuted, I was instantly suspicious of Samantha Mulder. I am always leery of the idea that a protagonist has involved himself in a story only out of personal involvement. The cop who solves crimes only because his father was a cop, the lawyer who takes a case only because he passionately believes the defendant, the doctor who attempts the risky but life-saving operation on his own fiancee is a cliche of television. It is an almost anti- intellectual conceit, to think that people do not solve crimes, try cases, or practice medicine out of sheer curiousity or moral conviction. So when we are told that Mulder chases aliens not because the truth is out there (a noble, dispassionate quest in the service of society) but because he wants to find his sister and expiate his own guilt (a selfish personal pursuit that does nothing for the society that pays his salary), I get really skeptical. Yet after this episode, I can find myself in better sympathy with Mulder. He is not really looking for Samantha as much as he is seeking what we all seek: wholeness. For whatever reason, wholeness has forged itself into the shape of his lost sister; for someone else, perhaps Scully, there might be some other worthy icon that would serve as the focus of a life's pursuit. But for Mulder, who has no center, no root, no anchor for his soul, his icon is Samantha, for good or ill.

    So when Senator Matheson, another father figure, gives Mulder a mission that will bring back the evidence he has been seeking, the joy and wonder on his face speak worlds. This is what Mulder needed, a King Arthur to send him on a knightly quest, a chance to redeem himself and his cause. To fail once again in this mission is heart-rending. How diligently he searches for the father figure who will free him of guilt, who will validate his search and heal his anguish. So desperate is Mulder for approval that he will give his loyalty to a stranger standing in the shadows (Deep Throat) or a politician with an agenda of his own (Matheson).

    Yet his resentment at carrying this burden of guilt shows through in his problematic relationship with the one man who stands in an obviously paternal relationship to him: Walter Skinner (Mitch Pileggi). In "Little Green Men", Skinner emerges as a true father figure, alternately scolding and protecting his errant son. Skinner's glare of defiance at the Smoking Man's taunt tells him, "Mulder may be a son of a bitch, but he's my son of a bitch." In this, Skinner combines the most destructive traits of the patriarch (infantilism, dependence, arrogance, bullying) with the most constructive (protectiveness, respect, and honor).

    I found myself almost weeping for sheer pity at the conclusion of this masterpiece. Mulder is a much more human, much more believable character after we have seen his nightmares, his failures, his shattered hopes. I began to wonder what steel was in this man to make him pick himself up time and time again to go on in the face of repeated humiliation. This is a man doing penance for a lifetime, earning a graduate degree in patience.

    No assessment of the story or subtext of this episode can be divorced from an acknowledgement of the outstanding camera work in "Little Green Men". The writing is excellent, which is the norm for Glen Morgan and Jim Wong. But this is not a novel, it is television, and the images before us tell us as much or more than mere words. David Nutter is unparalleled as an interpreter of their work. From repeated and expressive closeups that exploit the subtlety of Duchovny's work to the balls-out downhill car chase in Act Four, his hand is as sure as ever. John Bartley's exquisite cinematography, from the stunning close-ups that show us the awe and wonder on Mulder's face as he meets his nightmare, to the off-road road race Mulder engages in during his escape from the Blue Berets, shows off the depth and artistry built into every episode. One particular shot will stay with me always: at the end of the first act, as Senator Matheson is handing the printout of the alien message to Mulder, he and Mulder are caught in a close two-shot, filling the screen. Mulder asks, "What am I looking for?" and the Senator replies, "Contact" while crossing behind Mulder. The camera closes and holds on the look on Mulder's face: innocence, wonder, and a little fear. Mulder has finally been handed his second chance, a way to make it up to the Senator for letting him down earlier. Here he can start over, redeem himself, and maybe end his quest. So when he still fails, the failure is even more touching, more heartbreaking now that we know what is at stake.

    David Duchovny once more demonstrates his ability to let the camera into his soul. There is a lucidity about his gaze, an accessiblity in the closeups, far more convincing than the "actorly" portrayals we are used to on television. There seems to be no artifice, no impersonation in his portrayal; his understated reactions show not only the emotions Fox Mulder is suffering through, but his unsuccessful attempts at repressing them. Sometimes accused of wooden or obtuse acting, Duchovny here demonstrates a fine touch under the control of a first rate mind. He simultaneously reveals and conceals Mulder in an impressive and delicate exhibition of his growing skill as an actor.

    As an exploration of character, this episode is outstanding even by the elevated standards of "The X-Files". It will take another classic to come even close to the sheer pathos of Mulder's dilemma. The only improvement that could have been made would be to have featured Dana Scully more prominently, it is a little disconcerting to see her driven by lesser motives than Mulder. Mulder is searching for the truth "out there", she is searching for Mulder. His concern is for a mission with cosmic implications; hers is for him. I recognize that Gillian Anderson's pregnancy probably dictated this lessening of Dana Scully's usually solid presence in a story, but perhaps it was appropriate that we take one episode for a deeper look into the agonized soul of Fox Mulder.moreless
Marcus Turner

Marcus Turner

Young Fox Mulder

Guest Star

Fulvio Cecere

Fulvio Cecere

Aide

Guest Star

Deryl Hayes

Deryl Hayes

Agent Morris

Guest Star

William B. Davis

William B. Davis

Cigarette Smoking Man

Recurring Role

Vanessa Morley

Vanessa Morley

Young Samantha Mulder

Recurring Role

Mitch Pileggi

Mitch Pileggi

Assistant Director Walter Skinner

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (8)

    • Mulder's love of sunflower seeds is first touched on in this episode.

    • Instead of Puerto Rico, the original location was supposed to be Moscow, Russia. Carter was actually trying to get the episode filmed there, but it fell through.

    • Mulder's password is "trustno1" the final words spoken by Deep Throat in last season's closer.

    • The character of Senator Matheson would later reappear in the season 6 episode "S.R. 819" and previously in the season three episode "Nisei"

    • There is an obvious mistake in the abduction scene. The year is 1973, and Mulder is wearing #30 New York Knicks Bernard King jersey. The only problem is Bernard came to the Knicks in 1982.

    • Continuity: In "Pilot" and in Mulder's hypnotherapy in "Conduit", Mulder says that he and Samantha were in bed at the time of her abduction, but in the flashback here we see that they were playing Stratego in the living room when it happened.

    • Audio and Visual Unsynchronized: When Scully is trying to guess Mulder's password, the words she types do not match the audible number of keys she presses.

    • Revealing Mistakes: A couple of things give away the fact that Scully is most definitely not at Miami International Airport. First of all the payphone she uses takes 20 cents, of which there are none in the USA. Secondly, while most other people are dressed for summer, Scully wears a long trenchcoat (also used to hide the fact that Gillian Anderson was pregnant at the time).

  • QUOTES (12)

    • Senator Matheson: Four and a half billion years from now, when the sun exhausts its fuel and swells to engulf the Earth, this expression will still be out there, travelling. Four and half billion years. That is... if it's not intercepted first.

    • Mulder: We wanted to believe... we wanted to call out. On August 20th and September 5th 1977, two spacecraft were launched from the Kennedy Space Flight Centre, Florida. They were called Voyager. Each one carries a message. A gold-plated record depicting images, music and sounds of our planet, arranged so that it may be understood if ever intercepted by a technologically mature extraterrestrial civilisation. Thirteen years after its launch, Voyager I passed the orbital plane of Neptune and essentially left the solar system. Within that time there were no further messages sent, nor are any planned. We wanted to listen. On October 12th 1992 NASA initiated the high resolution microwave survey. A decade long search by radio telescope scanning ten million frequencies for any transmission by extraterrestrial intelligence. Less than one year later first term Senator Richard Brian successfully championed an amendment which terminated the project. I wanted to believe, but the tools had been taken away. The X-Files had been shut down. They closed our eyes... our voices have been silenced.... our ears now deaf to the realms of extreme possibilities.

    • Mulder: Four dollars for the first hour of parking is criminal. What you got better be worth at least forty-five minutes.

    • CSM: Your time is over...and you leave with nothing.

    • Mulder: Deep Throat said "trust no one." And that's hard, Scully. Suspecting everyone, everything, it wears you down. You even begin to doubt what you know is the truth. Before, I could only trust myself. Now, I can only trust you...and they've taken you away from me.

    • Student: Are you okay, Agent Scully? You kind of sounded a little spooky.

    • Mulder: It should be right here. The entire tape is blank.
      Scully: You know, an electrical surge in the outlet during the storm may have degaussed everything, erasing the entire tape. You still have nothing.
      Mulder: I may not have the X-Files, Scully, but I still have my work. And I've still got you. And I still have myself.

    • Troisky: Looks like the "wow" signal.
      Scully: The "wow" signal?
      Troisky: Ohio State has a radio telescope that conducts electronic searches for extraterrestrial intelligence. In August 1977, my buddy, Jerry Ehman, found a transmission on the print-out like this. He was so excited, he wrote "wow" in the margins.
      Scully: What was there?
      Troisky: A signal thirty times stronger than galactic background noise. It came through on the twenty-one centimeter frequency which no satellite transmitters are allowed to use. The signal was intermittent... like morse code. And more importantly, the signal seemed to turn itself on while in the telescope's beam. The "Wow" signal is the best evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence. But this...this is better.

    • Matheson: I take it you're familiar with the high-resolution microwave survey?
      Mulder: The search for extraterrestrial radio signals. They shut it down.
      Matheson: You have to get to the radio telescope at Arecibo, Puerto Rico. I'll try to delay them as long as I can but my guess is you'll have at least twenty-four hours. After that, I can no longer hold off the Blue Beret U.F.O. Retrieval Team. And they have been authorized to display terminal force.
      Mulder: What am I looking for?
      Matheson: Contact.

    • Mulder: Have you ever been to San Diego?
      Scully: Yeah.
      Mulder: Did you check out the Palomar observatory?
      Scully: No.
      Mulder: From 1948 until recently, it was the largest telescope in the world. The idea and design came from a brilliant and wealthy astronomer named George Ellery Hale. Actually, the idea was presented to Hale one night. while he was playing billiards, an elf climbed in his window and told him to get money from the Rockefeller Foundation for a telescope.
      Scully: And you're worried that all your life, you've been seeing elves?
      Mulder: In my case... little green men.
      Scully: But, Mulder... during your time with the X-Files, you've seen so much.
      Mulder: That's just the point. Seeing is not enough, I should have something to hold onto. Some solid evidence. I learned that from you.

    • Scully: It is advantageous to begin an autopsy with removal of the cranium. The cranium is opened with a horizontal division an inch above the eyebrow ridges.
      Female Student: Something wrong?
      Scully: What this man imagined... his dreams, who he loved, saw, heard, remembered... what he feared... somehow it's... all locked inside this small mass of tissue and fluid.

    • Mulder: (to Jorge) Noho on the rojo.

  • NOTES (7)

  • ALLUSIONS (7)

    • Title: Little Green Men

      An obvious allusion to the age-old view of aliens as little green men from Mars. It's also a nod to the way the aliens in X-Files are anything but, and to Mulder's playing with the FBI agent in the episode "Squeeze", when the agent talks about little green men and Mulder replies that Reticulans are actually grey.

    • Troisky: Looks like the "wow" signal.

      The "wow" signal was a mysterious radio signal that was received at an Ohio state radio telescope on August 15, 1977. Astrophysicist Jerry R. Ehman was so impressed by the transmission readout on a print-out that he wrote "wow" in the margins. The source of the signal was not been identified.

    • Mulder: Good thing it wasn't a Double Jeopardy question.

      Mulder is referring to the name of the second round in the popular TV game show Jeopardy!. The show debuted in 1964.

    • Mulder: Leave it, I'm watching The Magician at nine.

      The Magician was a NBC television series that ran during the 1973-1974 season. The series told the story of stage illusionist Anthony Blake who used his skills to solve crimes.

    • Man: Well, anyway, she's onstage dancing to that Offspring song, "Come Out and Play."

      The Offspring is an American punk/rock band from California that was founded in 1984. The song "Come Out and Play" was the first single off their third album released in 1994.

    • Senator Matheson: Are you familiar with the high-resolution microwave survey in Arecibo?

      Senator Richard Matheson calls upon Mulder to visit the Arecibo Observatory near San Juan, Puerto Rico. Although Mulder says the project was terminated by Nevada Senator Richard Bryan, the radio telescope at Arecibo - also seen in the movie Contact - still scans the skies for signs of intelligent life as part of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) project.

    • Mulder: They were called Voyager.

      This episode begins with Mulder's voiceover about the Voyager project. Voyager I and II were a pair of NASA space probes launched in 1977 to study the solar system and the galaxy beyond. Each carried a universal message intended for any alien life they might encounter. Having finished their study of the planets around our sun in 1989, the two probes have continued to travel further than ever before, eventually passing Neptune and leaving the solar system.

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