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 The X-Files > Season 1

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Conduit
S01E04
 (9)

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 Written by
Alex Gansa
Howard Gordon

 Directed by
Daniel Sackheim




 Original Air Date
1993-10-01

 Summary
Mulder and Scully investigate the disappearance of a teenage girl near the lake Okobogee, a place where UFOs were spotted in the past.

 Story
When a teenaged girl, Ruby, is mysteriously abducted from a campsite in Iowa, Mulder has a particular emotional investment in the case -- especially in light of his belief that his own sister was abducted. Ruby's brother Kevin has been behaving strangely ever since the abduction, and has taken to continuously writing down series of 1's and 0's. Mulder sends the writing to some analysts back in Washington, and the boy and his mother are promptly taken into custody. Kevin's scribblings are actually the binary transmissions of a defense satellite.

Scully thinks Ruby may have been murdered, and she believes that Mulder is allowing his personal feelings to cloud his judgment. Yet when the agents return to Ruby's home, they find Kevin arranging countless pages of binary code on the floor. When Scully looks down from a stairway, she is shocked to see that the numbers have formed a giant portrait of Ruby.

Ruby suddenly reappears in the woods and is unconscious. In the hospital, she exhibits symptoms of having been weightless for a prolonged period of time. But instead of subjecting her daughter to scrutiny, their mother takes the children and disappears.



 Trivia
- Shelley Owens is Chris Owens' sister, the actor playing Agent Jeffrey Spender in later episodes.
- This is the first episode where Mulder says "I want to believe."
- Howard Gordon, about the episode: "Chris was really helpful. Alex and I were struggling with the story � so much so that we even began to think we didn�t belong on the show � but Chris convinced us not to get down on ourselves and he helped us figure out a way to tell the story."
- Gordon about Carrie Snodgress: "We were definitely fans of her work, and fans of her ex-husband, Neil Young. I only got to spend a few hours with her up in Vancouver, but I thought her performance in Conduit was pitch perfect."
- According to the file that FBI Section Chief Blevins provides to Scully, Samantha Mulder (Mulder's sister) is named Samantha T. Mulder. She used to live in 2790 Vine Street in the city of Chilmarc, Mass. She was also born in Chilmarc, Mass. She was born on January 22, 1964.
- This is the first episode where Mulder asks for some help to someone named Danny.

 Playlist
Johann Sebastian Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 in G Major, Mvt. I, Allegro


 Quotes
Fox Mulder: I can't move. So I don't. I just lie there in bed.
Dr. Heitz Werber: Can you see your sister?
Fox Mulder: No, but I can hear her.
Dr. Heitz Werber: What is she saying?
Fox Mulder: She's calling out my name, over and over again. She's crying out for help. But I can't help her. I can't move.
Dr. Heitz Werber: Are you scared?
Fox Mulder: I know I should be, but I'm not.
Dr. Heitz Werber: Do you know why?
Fox Mulder: Because of the voice.
Dr. Heitz Werber: The voice?
Fox Mulder: The voice in my head.
Dr. Heitz Werber: What's it telling you.
Fox Mulder: Not to be afraid. It's telling me that no harm will come to her, and that one day she'll return.
Dr. Heitz Werber: Do you believe the voice?
Fox Mulder: I want to believe.
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 Reviews

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Superb realistic episode!
Written by Jack Anderson on 2015-12-25
 (8/10)
DARLENE MORRIS
The character of Darlene Morris is excellent. Beautifully portrayed by Carrie Snodgress (who passed away on April 1st, 2004).
At first, Mrs. Morris is surprised to see the FBI being interested in her daughter's disappearance.
What then happens is very interesting. Because of Mulder's investigation, Mrs. Morris actually gets her life even more destroyed, with the appearance of the CIA.

MULTIPLE ANGLES
At first, we all think that the young woman has been abducted by aliens. But then, we start to understand that this girl wasn't so prude after all. The Sheriff is telling Mulder and Scully that she wasn't the perfect girl at all. This reminded me a bit of "Twin Peaks", when we slowly realize that Laura Palmer wasn't this innocent girl after all.

OBSESSED MULDER
For the very first time in the series, we get to see Fox Mulder obsessed about a case and having a dark side into him. When that arises, David Duchovny plays a beautiful facette from the character. This facette will be seen again in future episodes. The paroxysm will be when facing Duane Barry after he abducted Scully.

EMOTIONS
This provides an emotional connection from Mulder, which is always more interesting where characters have deep connections to the case. For instance, it is so emotional when Mulder touches the picture of the "abducted" girl as a child.
Mulder is just a man desperately trying to find out what happened to his sister. This vulnerable side of the character is what makes him a deep character and not a flat one like new characters such as Monica Reyes. Mulder is a true human being to which you can really connect as an audience.
Even though this is a series about aliens and monsters, the themes are real and the first season, with its low budget, is perfect for that.

REALISM
Once again, the episode is anchored in realism. At the beginning of the episode, FBI Chief Section Blevins explains to Scully that Mulder has filed a dedicated form (named 302). Mulder is actually filling out a request for future travel expenses. He is formally asking the Bureau to assign a case file number to a new investigation. Can you imagine that? In the later seasons, Mulder and Scully would simply jump on the next sci-fi quest without even asking. This level of realism of the first seasons is very positive.

ENDING / MUSIC
The ending of this episode is a beautifully stunning as the one from "Deep Throat", two episodes before. It is excruciatingly beautiful.
Just after Mrs. Morris refuses to have Mulder interrogating her returned daughter, he leaves frustrated. We then get to see Scully listening to Mulder's hypnosis tape, talking about his abducted sister.
Mark Snow especially composed a marvellously beautiful theme (and this is a rare thing, as he rarely composed a dedicated theme in future episodes).
This scene, with this beautiful music, beautiful writing and beautiful acting and directing, makes it one of the most emotional scenes of the series. We sense that Mulder doesn't want to openly talk about his abducted sister, as this subject is too close to him. Scully also feels that she cannot openly talk about it with him. This makes it very realistic and beautifully moving. Here are the beautiful dialogues:
Fox Mulder: I can't move. So I don't. I just lie there in bed.
Dr. Heitz Werber: Can you see your sister?
Fox Mulder: No, but I can hear her.
Dr. Heitz Werber: What is she saying?
Fox Mulder: She's calling out my name, over and over again. She's crying out for help. But I can't help her. I can't move.
Dr. Heitz Werber: Are you scared?
Fox Mulder: I know I should be, but I'm not.
Dr. Heitz Werber: Do you know why?
Fox Mulder: Because of the voice.
Dr. Heitz Werber: The voice?
Fox Mulder: The voice in my head.
Dr. Heitz Werber: What's it telling you.
Fox Mulder: Not to be afraid. It's telling me that no harm will come to her, and that one day she'll return.
Dr. Heitz Werber: Do you believe the voice?
Fox Mulder: I want to believe.

SUMMARY
Even though the episode isn't a masterpiece as were the first three episodes, this is still a superb and realistic episode. I give it 8 out of 10.



A forgotten masterpiece
Written by DuaneB on 2018-04-24
 (10/10)
I have just seen it again. In fact he is much more cult than we think.

A density, a photograph, and a construction:

I understand why it's a shock to review the first episodes. It's like when you open a family album, you see yourself and your loved ones so young, that we remember some moments, happy and unhappy. These episodes were the opposite of those of the revival for all these reasons. The slowness that is boring is also the same captive; we can not, therefore, decently complain of one who loves the other.

The photography at the level of sublime scenery as actors is absolutely beautiful. Each plan could almost be a photo. An artist could easily make a photo exhibition based on the series; but more particularly on the first 3 seasons, and more particularly on the first, and more particularly on the first episodes including this one. I could take any example from the most sublime to the most unspecified, the photo would still be interesting, strong, sensual visual. It is said that the game of GA has improved a lot since the beginning of the sia 1 until the end (it was Kim Manners who said that), but in fact, to look at it more closely, she plays already prodigiously well, using his discreet sensuality, his subtle and infinite range of looks, playing discreet calm mimicry ...

The construction is in fact very related of course to the story but also to the photo, the plans. One would have almost an arch-Kubrick narrative construction, with a beginning, a summit, and a conclusive fallout. The beginning being the emotional abduction-alibi for Fox, the top confrontation with Darlene and the return of Ruby, and the conclusive fallout to the church. The same goes for the night photo at the lake, and the photo in the meadow, at night, with the big light of the bikers we love.
This construction was not the only fact Conduit but the series in general, at least for the best episodes. It is precisely because the revival has broken this rhythm, no longer taking the time to tell a real story, that nostalgic and other fans of the early hours adhere little to the 10th and 11th season.

The MSR:
That gave the tone since the pilot. There was in this episode a withdrawal, a kind of professional distance from Scully, because of his position as a spy, caught between two fires, one institutional and the other emotional because of Mulder's story. and his sister. This gentle balancing balance on both of these aspects simultaneously offered a true respectful colleague relationship and a dose of deep but prude affection. There was in this season, and in this episode as a grain of religiosity underlying which gave all the emotional corset of our duet. The compassion of one serving as a counterpoint to the painful passion of the other. The skepticism of one clashing with the phenomena crediting the other. We can continue like this for hours.

Situations of contrasts
Whether it is the youth of Tessa very rock face the youth of Scully very serious and "grandes écoles"
Whether it is the contrast Mulder passionate face a cautious Scully.
The little boy facing the man. The young female officer faces the protective and angry mother.
The local police department and its sheriff face Mulder
The very strict outfit of Scully parachuted into this bar of bikers. His sensuality and restraint in front of the heavy but true remarks of the guys from the bar, in the background ...
Again, when x files brought together such situations, we offered contrasts on these levels, the series held us, caught us.

The music:
Like the original series, Mark Snow accompanies us this episode of real small micro-melodies that punctuate the scenes. I think for example of the first scene at Darlene where Mulder looks at the family photos on the shelves. And this music emphasizes in half hue these little notes with nostalgic harmonies so frequent in this first season. This intense moment when Scully is watching Mulder looking at these pictures. Tell me in which episode of the revival we see that? I've never found that for 2 years. The speed of the revival having as distant echo that slowness where one could spend 5 seconds on a look, without any word. No need for words and action when inaction and heavy silence do the work. And then we can already see how good Scully, a good girl of wise and catholic families, ticks the boxes with his musical culture, recognizing Bach's Brandenburg Concerto.

But what an episode. And this scene where the elements come together like a beautiful puzzle, the drawings of the small forming-such pixels of 1 and 0- the face of his sister Ruby. The scene of the lake and the forest with the wolves ...

Too much candy. I'm nauseated.



Meeting with abductees
Written by danascully09 on 2018-05-24
 (9/10)
Great episode with superb scenes of abductions or what it might be. Ruby's brother is convincing and mysterious. I love when Scully discovers the shape of Ruby in the numbers. And always the local police working against the FBI. A real investigation in woods with a lot of signs in a lot of directions. And great actors



 Pictures
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