From the official website:
A young FBI agent is assigned watchdog duty over a fellow agent, but finds herself drawn into his investigations of paranormal and unexplained phenomena.
This episode begins with Agent Dana Scully receiving the assignment to work on the X-Files, unsolved cases usually revolving around paranormal and unexplained phenomena. Her assignment is a means for the FBI to spy on Agent Fox Mulder and uncover enough evidence to end the program entirely.
After the initial introductions, the pair dive straight into a case that Mulder had been following. This case involved a series of deaths that were related by the discovery of two strange red marks on the each victim's skin. They fly out to Oregon to investigate the latest victim, Karen Swenson. They decide to exhume the body of one of her classmates, Ray Soames, but to their surprise, find a decomposed orangutan carcass with a metal object implanted in the nasal cavity.
Later, the agents question Billy Miles and Peggy O'Dell, classmates of the two victims who had been institutionalized following an automobile accident. The interrogation yields little results, but the strange red marks are discovered on O'Dell following a violent outburst.
Mulder and Scully then return to the crime scene where Karen was killed, only to be ordered off by a detective. On the trip home, a blinding white light comes from the sky. When it subsides, Mulder observes that nine minutes had been lost.
Back at their hotel, following Scully's inquiry into Mulder's interest in the X-Files, Mulder recounts the story of his sister's abduction when he was eight years old. The scene is interrupted by a phone call telling them that Peggy O'Dell had been killed while running along the highway. While investigating the scene, the agents are informed that the autopsy bay had been vandalized, and return to their hotel, which is now engulfed in flames.
Mulder reveals his theory that Billy Miles is under the control of aliens. The agents return to the woods to collect more evidence, but run into Billy carrying another victim into the woods. They witness a bright light illuminating Billy and swirling winds encapsulating him. A few seconds later, the wind dies down and the light disappears, leaving Billy uncertain how he got there.
The episode ends with Scully giving her report to the supervisors, who are surprised to learn that she still has the metal object found in the nose of the corpse. The final scene has The Cigarette-Smoking Man filing the evidence in a giant warehouse in the basement of The Pentagon.
This is the episode that started it all, and in retrospect, it remains one of the best X-Files episodes to date. Writer Chris Carter does a remarkable job of introducing the main characters (Mulder and Scully) and their interaction as they meet for the first time in the dark basement office. So much of the background storyline is reveled in this episode while maintaining an engaging plot line on an episode level.
The story of Mulder's sister, Samantha is revealed in the Pilot, a story that will come back again and again throughout the series' lifespan. In fact, it is this story that drives Mulder to some of the greatest risks he encounters. Also, the introduction of The Cigarette-Smoking Man is done flawlessly. There is no doubt that
he is the villain in this series. The mysterious and unlikable aspects of the character are evident in the brief minutes he appears on camera.
It is interesting to note the improvement in acting ability over the years. Newer episodes of The X-Files really make the acting of Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny in the Pilot seem almost comical. The hairstyles and clothing also screams early nineties. I'm not usually a fashion critic, but it really is pretty amusing.
It's quite obvious why The X-Files became the overnight success. The interesting storyline and engaging character development came at a time when most television shows lacked both.
Original Air Date: September 19, 1993
David Duchovny . . . Special Agent Fox Mulder
Gillian Anderson . . . Special Agent Dana Scully
Also Starring (alphabetically):
Doug Abrams . . . Patrolman #1
Zachary Ansley . . . Billy Miles
Alexandra Berlin . . . the Orderly
J.B. Bivens . . . Truck Driver
Ken Camroux . . . the Third Man
Charles Cioffi . . . Section Chief Scott Blevins
William B. Davis . . . the Cigarette-Smoking Man
Cliff Deyoung . . . Dr. Jay Nemman
Lesley Ewen . . . Receptionist
Kayta Gardener . . . Peggy O'Dell
Sarah Koskoff . . . Theresa Nemman
Stephen E. Miller . . . Coroner Truitt
Leon Russom . . . Detective Miles
Malcolm Stewart . . . Dr. Glass
Official Web Site info from www.thex-files.com