EW Community TV Show Episode Guides and Recaps from EW's Community

'X-Files' Fridays: Wondering which lie to believe

Season 1 | Episode 17 | “E.B.E.” | Aired Feb 18, 1994

It’s been over two decades since The X-Files made its debut, but the series is as relevant as ever, and with a revival series on the horizon, there’s no better time to revisit it—or to discover it for the first time. Community assistant editors Andrea Towers, who watched in its original run, and Kelly Connolly, who was introduced to the show last summer, will be here each week to talk it out. Next up, Mulder destroys a perfectly good apartment.

KELLY: Welcome to the team, Lone Gunmen!

ANDREA: I thought this email was going to start with “Gillian Anderson kissed David Duchovny and I was there,” but I guess that’s old news now. Anyway, I admit I got a little nostalgic/teary when I saw the Lone Gunmen. I definitely forgot how early they showed up in the series. For some reason, I always align my thinking with the fact that they showed up in season two. Also, this was the real first mythology episode (I think), written by Morgan and Wong, who would go on to become rock stars.

KELLY: Rock stars like Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny? Who had the audacity to kiss twice, sing, and play the tambourine in my presence? I can promise you that will never, ever be old news. I just thought I’d try to talk about something else for the first time all week, just to see if it was even possible. (Mulder echoes me skeptically in the background, because it’s not possible, and also, it’s not swamp gas. It’s aliens.)

ANDREA: Swamp gas really is the low point of Dana Scully’s skepticism, isn’t it? I mean, I get that she can’t believe in aliens all the time, but come on. I have a hard time thinking that’s really the most creative thing she can come up with. I’ll give her a pass. Actually, it’s a miracle Scully even gets anything done in this episode, considering she’s so turned off by the Lone Gunmen, she probably is seeing her life flash before her eyes. (With a bugged pen.)

KELLY: I think Mulder anticipates the fact that she’s going to be a little uncomfortable with these guys for a while. Do you think his ideas are actually weirder than the Gunmen’s? I don’t think he wants to believe that they are. There’s an attitude Mulder takes with the Gunmen here that he doesn’t take in the rest of the series. It’s not that he thinks he’s better than they are, but this is the first time Scully has met them, and he wants to set himself apart a little bit. He’s almost showing off for her, leaning against the wall, acting like he’s cool. Mulder so rarely cares to impress anyone, and then he throws us these little reminders that he does actually want Scully to admire him, which of course she does. She tells him so.

ANDREA: Your assessment is so spot-on. It’s so interesting to me, in a way, because you’re right: Mulder doesn’t care. Mulder is so unapologetic about how Scully sees him, he doesn’t ever hide from his loner life or strange habits or crazy theories. Which is something I’ve always loved. But when he’s with the Gunmen, he’s almost trying to prove, “Okay, I may be strange, but I’m not this strange. I don’t bug people’s devices, and I don’t believe the world is going to end … at least not totally.” I think it’s a little fun to see Scully get introduced into this world, because that’s the thing: It’s his world. It’s like any relationship—there are things in a person’s life that you have to accept and learn about, whether you’re wary of them or not. But if you respect them and care about them, it’s not such a big deal.

KELLY: Right! Mulder is gradually letting Scully into his world, and he knows it’s a little weird, so he’s easing her into it. He’s playing it cool and taking every opportunity to put his face two inches from hers, compliment her (“I think it’s remotely plausible that someone might think you’re hot”), and generally remind her that he likes her. But he doesn’t have to be so worried, because it’s ultimately not a big deal to her. All of Mulder’s crazy friends are just another reason for her to stick around and watch out for him. (“Mulder, the truth is out there, but so are lies.”)

xfiles ebe mulder remotely plausible

ANDREA: Oh god, the “remotely plausible” line remains one of the best subtle flirtations in M/S history. I think it’s really interesting how we come to see Scully appreciate the stranger things in Mulder’s life, just as he comes to appreciate the strange things in hers. It’s a true growth. And she ends up becoming true friends with the Gunmen—that’s the best part! She warms up to them and they prove to be useful allies. I think that’s even more important than her starting to admit at some point down the line, “The truth is out there.”

KELLY: It’s interesting that this episode introduces such strong allies, but spends all of its time on the idea that Mulder and Scully are “alone in this” and can only rely on each other. (“Mulder, you’re the only one I trust.”) They do have people who help them, but they can’t always be sure of their motivations. The bond between Scully and Mulder is stronger than the one they have with anyone else. I think that’s especially obvious in mythology episodes, because they’re being handed lie after lie, and they give each other a safe space to work through that. Mulder listens to Scully even when she’s telling him what he least wants to hear, and she’s ready to believe in aliens if she’s handed the proof. She almost believes for a second here. I’d forgotten how early she was ready.

ANDREA: Yep. I tend to forget that the mythology episodes really do drive home a lot of their personal interactions. Not that the regular episodes don’t from time to time, but the mythology episodes are a horse of a different color. And, you know, maybe Mulder is better at this than she is—he’s used to government conspiracies, he knows what he’s doing—but it doesn’t make it easy on him, either. He has no one else to trust except her. And I totally forgot about her almost believing in aliens so early, also. It’s kind of funny because she’ll backpedal for a while, even when things get stranger and stranger. I mean, if we’re being honest, it probably takes until season five for her to come around. But she definitely opens up to it, which is kind of fun to see.

xfiles ebe shoulder

KELLY: When you say that Mulder knows what he’s doing, all I can think of is the fact that he tears apart his entire apartment looking for a bug (CONFIRMED: Mulder does in fact have a silverware drawer), but the bug turns out to be in the outlet. Which is like Surveillance 101, right? Maybe that was less of a cliché in 1994, but I’d check the outlet first. And then he throws a bunch of cardboard boxes directly on top of Scully when they climb into the back of the truck. They’re such messes. They’re just little baby spies in this episode, but they’re figuring it out together, so they’re fine. When some people are thrown out of their comfort zone, they hold on to what they believe even more rigidly, but Scully and Mulder just roll with it. They never close off to each other’s ideas.

ANDREA: They’re FIGURING IT OUT. That’s the best part. Some people learn about each other through dates. These missions—these cases ARE their dates. And look how much it helps them grow. Even within 17 episodes, we can see it.

KELLY: There’s no better way to learn about someone than to take them to a UFO party.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

You May Like