1x10: Fallen Angel
"A highly classified lie" Is this parallel and shadowing that the information Mulder is being fed is also a lie? Questioning the authenticity of Deep Throat's motives begins now.
Scully is trying to protect Mulder from himself, trying to protect the work, and she's tired. She's almost fighting that fight by herself, since Mulder seems to be working against her.
Throughout the episode, but particularly in the final scene w/ Max in the warehouse, when Max is in so much pain, Mulder is fascinated and in wonderment of a lot of this in an almost inappropriate way. He misses, for a moment, that Max is a person who's suffering - he glosses past that point on over to "wow I'm getting to see actual alien interaction" (at least by the look on his face, and yes I realize that's highly subjective). He does outgrow this very quickly, I think by the end of season one, but he's just now starting to delve into the practical side of his research, and real, palpable phenomena he can experience himself is a big deal for him. That said, this is where he's going to eventually forge a path that separates him from even the two (apparent) sides of the shadow war. Mulder will ultimately decide to focus on the personal cost rather than the objective phenomena or answers, or the simple dichotomy of "tell the world" or "don't tell them".
During the inquest at the end, Scully sits at the end of the table, in single-point perspective, from a long view. Mulder, later, sits in two point perspective, offset from the center and in a less targeted line of sight with the camera. The camera is also pulled in closer, making Mulder seem more of the same size with the men at the other end of the table. It's a nice bit of direction that helps highlight their relative positions within and approaches to authority.
Is this deep throat lying to McGrath about Mulder being the enemy and his reasons for keeping him on because he's in a visible position within the conspiracy but secretly working against it, and knows McGrath is one of them?
OR is this Deep Throat telling McGrath the truth and his approaches to Mulder are designed to direct and control the information he finds and the way he interprets it, while still working for an agenda outside of "The Truth"?
I absolutely believe that Deep Throat and CSM are at opposing viewpoints with regards to the Conspiracy on some level, I do see them as opposing factions in this game of Shadow Chess that's going on. However, that doesn't mean that Deep Throat or his motives are "good", or ones that Mulder and Scully might agree with if they knew the truth about them.
WHY COULDN'T WE HAVE SEEN DEEP THROAT AND SKINNER IN A SCENE TOGETHER? WANT!
So Mulder and Scully are both good /comfortable with kids, and I get the impression from how it's handled that the idea of precluding children or making them something that's unknown or "other" wasn't a thing yet. I'd be interested to see what someone might find by writing a paper on how children are portrayed in genre fiction over the last few decades. There feels like there's a predisposition of characters to be uncomfortable around them or with the idea of them, usually with one character being the exception or the one who's "good with kids". Here, no one mentions, asks, or clarifies if either Mulder or Scully are or are not good or comfortable with watching over a child or gives that facet a second narrative look.
Mulder and Scully are both tiny, tiny babies here. SO. YOUNG. And innocent and vital. (And those cellphones are HUGE.) I'm coming back to this point partway through season two, because it's still resonating with me. Even by the time we hit the "Colony"/"End Game" two-parter, the almost childlike wonder and shine hasn't worn off these two. I don't mean "childlike" in a negative way (all other discussions about Mulder's character and occasional temperament aside), but I'm struggling for another word that fits the feeling I get from them. Naivete also isn't exactly right, nor does "vulnerability" capture the scope, but somewhere in the intersection of those three points you've got where these two characters are.
Mulder will probably never outgrow his sense of wonderment at the phenomena he explores - while a huge part of his personal drive to find "the Truth" is due to Samantha's abduction and the responsibility he feels because of it, on another level he just flatly has a deep, deep sense of wonderment at all the universe can contain. And he cares about people, even though those two drives occasionally war with one another (see again, his reaction to Max's experiences in the warehouse in "Fallen Angel". I'll dip back into this more thoroughly in mid-season two when various relevant plot points crop up (ALSO CHESS METAPHORS FOR AGES), but it seemed to beg for some attention here.
The difference in body language, modesty, and comfort levels between Mulder and Scully and Mulder and Phoebe was interesting. He makes it a point to close his robe (to even put on the robe) while Phoebe is in the hotel room with them, but as soon as she leaves, he relaxes and eventually discards it, and didn't seem to care one way or the other when it was just Scully in the room with him. Like so many of their interactions, while it can certainly be looked at with the shipper-goggles on, at the same time there's a solid center that is simply mutual respect and deepening friendship.