I really wanted to have a productive evening. Really, I did. But as the clock ticks closer to the airing time of the new episode of The X-Files, well, there isn’t much I can do other than fangirl.
Tonight’s to-do list included writing something deeper about The X-Files, say, something about the clash of opinions bringing the spark of truth that defined Mulder and Scully’s relationship, if Mulder was avant-garde when it came to gender relations, how much of a role model Scully actually is… But none of these posts made it past the initial draft phase.
So I have to resort to some of the pieces that I wrote in the past about this favorite show of mine.
“Many of you have asked me why I like The X-Files so much. There are many reasons for this love—such as a fascination with the paranormal, an admiration for the chemistry between Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny, a deep appreciation for the work of the supporting cast, loving Chris Carter’s take on government conspiracies and alien abductions—but one stands out the most, one that will no doubt make readers of this blog nod their heads in understanding: the main reason I love this show is the respectful, loving way with which two different people with drastically different points of views are able, for so many years, to constructively work together, putting their differing opinions and world views together to solve the most impossible of cases.”
“I recently rediscovered a commentary on the show written a couple of years ago which features a point of view I have seldom (if ever) read before. In X-Files: Scully’s Tragic Journey, Scott Mendelson discusses how the show was about the journey of Dana Scully’s assimilation and her ultimate destruction as she got increasingly wrapped in the alien conspiracy (i.e. the mythology), paying a steep price (the murder of her sister, her own abduction, her ensuing infertility, etc.) While Mendelson acknowledges that Fox Mulder also paid a dear price, he argues that, as the quest was his to begin with, it cannot compare to what Scully, an innocent bystander of sorts, paid.
No doubt Scully’s life would have ended up quite differently had she never met Mulder. But to blame him for her destruction seems quite patronizing. On the one hand, it implies that Mulder’s position as a believer, the one she has joined him in, is below that of a non-believer. On the other hand, it places the onus of her current position on Mulder, making of Scully a helpless, hapless, weak female caught in the grasp of stronger male. This of course completely demeans the capacity of one of the strongest, most empowered female protagonists in recent television history.”
“…while Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully did understand the basics of consultation, they were not detached enough from their personal views to feed off each other adequately enough to find the truth quicker and more efficiently. Instead, they clung (and sometimes obstinately and at great cost) to their perspective. One example of this is when, after Mulder disappears, Scully tried to step into his shoes by becoming “the believer”. The challenge was that she had never walked in those shoes and doesn’t fit in them; she ended up leading her new partner, John Doggett, in places they should never have gone into in the first place.
Similarly, Mulder’s obstinate, narrow view of the world as a place where the paranormal abounds and belief that everyone would only think of him as “Spooky” denied him the opportunity to systematically record all the happenings he had witnessed over the course of his career in The X-Files, and thus to lose the opportunity to gain many a supporter to his cause. It’s almost like he was keeping his belief in the paranormal safe by denying it scientific treatment.”