Tropes: Being Dana Scully

[Content Note: Conservative Christian Upbringing, Rape, Sexual Violence, Death, Hate Crimes, Child Molestation]

Via PinkRayGun in a topical article.
As my newest Conservative Christian Cult Upbringing (not to be confused with Conservative Christian Non-Cult Upbringing) Bestie pointed out to me the other day in email, one of the frustrating things about having a CCCU is the lack of common cultural markers. You grow up with Carmen and Sandi Patti and Adventures in Odyssey and Veggie Tales and Lewis and L'Engle, and you miss out on all the modern, non-Christian stuff that everyone else was watching apparently by law, and when/if you leave the CCCU stuff behind as painfully triggering of a repressive environment you're happy to see the back of, you get to look forward to a lifetime of people who Do Not Understand shrieking "you mean you don't have exposure to [insert common cultural marker here]?!?" like you've just said you don't know what pizza is or something and you have to press your hand to your forehead and decide whether to explain AGAIN or not.

And sometimes, if you have Amazon Prime and have run out of Tudors to watch, you do some catching up. Which is what Husband and I have been doing lately. We've started Buffy, and there will almost certainly be Buffy posts in the future. WELCOME TO THE NINETIES. And we've been watching The X-Files.

I didn't know much about The X-Files coming into it. I knew it was sort of about aliens but mostly not. I knew there was a movie that hadn't made any sense to me when I watched it and therefore I immediately brain-blanked it. I knew it had David Duchovny (+50 Likeability Points) in it as some kind of misunderstood genius or something. And I knew there was some chick named Scully in it who was, like, always doubting David Duchovny and also she had red hair. That was all I'd gathered from cultural osmosis.

What I didn't expect was how much I would love Dana Scully. I LOVE DANA SCULLY SO MUCH. I love her because she's smart and logical and reasonable. I love her because she's an FBI agent and a doctor and a coroner and a lecturer and gods know what else, but not in that "I'm 19 years old and a nuclear physicist, tee hee" kind of way. She exudes hard work and determination and "I worked hard to get to where I am today, fuck-you-very-much". I also love Dana Scully because other women exist when she's on the screen; when she needs lab results or whatever, it's usually a Bechdel passing moment with her talking to The Only Other Woman In The Episode. They exist only when Scully is around!

I spent all of Season One completely convinced that Dana Scully was actually the stealth protagonist of the show and that Fox Mulder was a self-entitled prat who is passive-aggressively rude to everyone. (David Duchovny has +50 Likeability Points. Fox Mulder squandered those points in record time.) But now we're into Season Two and it's like the writers are all YO I HEARD YOU LIKE DANA SCULLY BEST because now Fox is perfect all the time at All The Things and Dana exists in order to be sexually victimized and sexually threatened and to say stupid shit about "woman's intuition" and to freak out because ZOMG DEAD BODIES (because CORONERS FEAR DEAD BODIES) and to collapse weeping quiet-but-grateful tears into Fox's arms at the ends of episodes, immediately after Fox saves her from her sexual victimization.

Via MemeGenerator and KnowYourMeme

I can't tell if the writers genuinely wanted to take Scully down a notch or if they thought making her vulnerable and Saved By Fox would make us somehow like Fox more (instead of liking the writers less). Either way, I'd say "oh, fuck me!" but the writers would probably take that as an invitation.

The sad thing is, much as I hate the 'latest' (said with the utmost irony) YO I HEARD YOU LIKE DANA SCULLY BEST character derail, it's unfortunately probably kind of accurate for someone like Dana to be a target of sexual violence. She's amazingly strong, which means that Patriarchy that creates writers devoted to taking women like her down a notch also creates men devoted to taking her down a notch. And as much as I hate-hate-hate the show's framing of "Dana is targeted because she's important to Mulder" (because for fuck's sake, way to minimize the contributions of one-half of the X-Files team, and could you be any more subtle about the Fridge'ing?), this is probably how some real men in the real world think: if you want to get to a man, you get to his woman! (Ugh.) After all, these writers aren't writing in a vacuum.

So the sexualized violence against Dana Scully, while utterly contemptuous to me as a reused and smelly plot device, is very possibly accurate in all its gut-wrenching awfulness. And as much as I'd really like Dana Scully, Fictional Character, to let it roll off of her like water off a duck and maybe just maybe be allowed to rescue herself for once instead of YOU WILL LIKE HIM DAMMIT THE WRITERS HAVE SPOKEN Fox Mulder always bursting in magically at the last second to save her, maybe it is realistic that a real woman in the real world isn't going to be a gun-toting super woman who is never affected by her numerous kidnappings, near-rapes, and being sexually menaced by ghosts, aliens, and serial killers.

All that would probably get to me after awhile, anyway.

And this is... a thing. It's a thing I don't know what to do with. Because there are women who manage to get past all the shit, and there are women who don't, and there are women who live in the in-between like Dana -- able to cope one episode day, and then falling apart at the seams on a different episode day.

If there's a platitude that I hate -- and to be honest, I hate most of them, but this one most of all -- it's "whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger". I hate it because it's not even remotely true. People with chronic illnesses and disabilities know just how not true that inane saying is; we live with things that make us weaker and weaker everyday, and yet are generally unlikely to be our direct cause of death. And survivors of kidnapping and rape and sexual violence -- people who have survived some of the things that Dana Scully has had to survive so far -- they frequently live with experiences that neither killed them nor made them stronger.

Sometimes it makes you weaker. And sometimes that makes you sad and lonely and vulnerable. And other times that makes you pissed off and angry and contemptuous. And sometimes it just makes you really tired of all the shit.

When you're Dana Scully, you get out of bed every morning knowing that you're not safe. You could be spirited away against your will, and you would be powerless to prevent it. You could be hurt in terrifying ways. You could be targeted not because of anything you've done, but simply who you are: because you're a woman, because you're non-traditional, because you're an acceptable target in order to hurt others. When you're Dana Scully, you're a potential hate crime victim -- someone who is targeted based on personal characteristics you cannot change in order to terrorize other members of the same group.

When you're Dana Scully, you go to work with people who do not have to worry about these things, who have never experienced them, who cannot understand what it's like to be you. Yes, Fox Mulder has been kidnapped once or twice. But Fox's kidnappings are fundamentally less depersonifying (he is kidnapped for what he knows, not because he's an attractive member of a specific gender) and less intimate (he is threatened with death; Scully is threatened with worse) than the kidnappings perpetrated on Scully. And for all his pseudo-sensitive "tell me how you're feeling, BARE YOUR SOUL TO ME RIGHT NOW DAMMIT" attempts at understanding what Scully has been through, ultimately he cannot. I don't think you can really understand what it's like to be a constant Potential Rape Victim every moment of every day unless you've experienced that for yourself.

When you're Dana Scully, you have moments when you can keep things together and moments when you can't. And those latter moments can be so fucking frustrating. Because even with the kindest, gentlest, not-Fox-Mulderiest partner or friend or spouse there to help you through and reassure you that no, you're not weak for having a rough day, that doesn't automatically stop the frustration-rage-anger-sadness that can come with the realization that being a survivor is a lifelong job that you can't get away from. You don't get a vacation from being a survivor. You don't get forewarning before you're triggered or even just before you remember something about your experience in a moment when you don't want to remember something about that experience.

(Gods, how I identified with Sookie Stackhouse in True Blood when she confesses that after the first consensual sexual encounter of her life, she's frustrated to find that her mind is on her childhood molestation. Because, yeah, sometimes in the afterglow of Good Sex, your mind goes to That One Horrible Awful Time and you cannot stop your mind when it does this. Fuck you, mind. Ugh.)

When you're Dana Scully, there are times when you don't feel safe answering the question "whatcha thinking about?" because you're thinking about things that most people won't feel comfortable discussing. You're thinking about things that maybe you don't want to be discussing. But they're things that are part of your history, part of your past, part of you. When you are Dana Scully, there are times -- sometimes very long stretches of time -- where you feel that your closest friends and family genuinely do not and cannot understand what you've been through. And then you feel guilty for being hurt and angry about that, because really, do you want your friends and family to understand? Wouldn't that traumatize them, too? Yes, it would. But no, that doesn't make you bad for wanting them to understand regardless. It makes you a person.

As much as I hate the writers for repeated reaching for Dana any time they need to up the ante with WOMAN BEING SEXUALLY THREATENED! and then using Dana's repeated trauma as an excuse to make her breakdown so that Mulder can save the day because YO I HEARD YOU LIKE DANA SCULLY BEST, it's worth pointing out that when you're Dana Scully, fragility and breakdowns may genuinely be a part of your daily routine. What doesn't kill you can sometimes make you weaker in unexpected and deeply hurtful ways. I wish it weren't so, but it happens to the best of us. When you're Dana Scully, bravery may not be "wielding a gun" so much as it is "getting out of bed that day". And sometimes you can't even do the latter. And while that's not "okay" in a "yay, happy rainbow land" way, it is "okay" in a "normal and not your fault" way.

When you're Dana Scully, you've been hurt by the Patriarchy in so many ways. When you're Dana Scully, these things are true -- whether the surrounding narrative of your life is willing to acknowledge them or not.

  • Getting up in the morning can be an act of bravery. 
  • Taking time out to collect yourself can be an act of healing. 
  • Being triggered does not make you weak; it makes you a survivor. 
  • Feeling angry with cultures that tolerate and encourage violence can be an act of rebellion. 
  • Pointing out that your experiences are not intuitively understood can be an act of assertion. 
  • Maintaining your right to name the harm done to you can be an act of defiance. 
  • Setting your boundaries and maintaining them can be an act of protection.

When you're Dana Scully, there will be people in your life who do not understand you nor do they understand what you've gone through. Sometimes these people will be drains on your spoon supply, even when they mean well. They won't understand why your memories of sexual violence follow you around at inopportune times, or why you can't "just get past it". They might inappropriately look forward to your trigger time, so that you can be weak and they can be strong or they might make your trigger times worse by forgetting about your experiences or minimizing them as "not that bad" or "such a long time ago". These people might even be well-meaning, usually-non-toxic people who simply cannot-do not-will not ever truly understand.

When you're Dana Scully, life can sometimes feel lonely like that.

But there is a community here who understands what you have been through. Possibly not in the same way -- all our experiences are in some way unique -- but we do understand the loneliness of carrying around this shit for the rest of your life. There are survivors here, people who recognize that sexual violence doesn't always end when the heroes kick down the door and cuff the bad guy or, more frequently in real life, when the survivor picks themselves up the next morning and walks out the door on their own two legs because the heroes didn't arrive at all in our narratives.

I'm a part of that community. I am a Dana Scully.


DidacticMongo said...

Naomi said...

Part of why the second season went the way it did was pragmatic. (I _think_ it was the second season, anyway, and not the third. It's been a while.) The actress who played Scully got pregnant. She was terrified she'd simply be replaced, but they decided instead to shoot around the pregnancy. They stuck her behind desks a lot and she wore lots of long coats to conceal the pregnancy, and then there's a plotline where she disappears for a few episodes to provide her with a brief maternity leave, and then an episode where she's back but didn't have to do anything other than sit in a boat and lie in a bed and that was good because it was a rough birth.

(I'm not defending their artistic choices here -- obviously there are a million ways to shoot around a pregnancy, and Lucy Lawless got pregnant while starring in Xena and they managed to shoot around THAT while not making Xena any less butt-kicking and awesome, IIRC. But it was interesting at the time to see how they were dealing with it.)

(I had two X-Files dreams back when I was watching the show regularly. In one episode, I was Dana Scully, and thus I knew whatever awful things happened to me, at least I would be alive at the end of the episode! In the other dream, I was The Person Who Dies Before Mulder and Scully Get There. So I spent the whole dream trying desperately to survive while knowing it was futile because my purpose was to be the body on the floor when the heroes arrived. I glimpsed them coming up the sidewalk as the monster/serial killer/whatever it was closed in.)

Will Wildman said...

The whole notion that a female character must be 'made vulnerable' in order to be acceptable freaks me out every time. It would be one (bad) thing if writers were simply incapable of making a female character who didn't have some kind of deep debilitating trauma, but instead it seems like they intentionally plan out character arcs in which a woman starts out strong and then gets rebuked by the universe. Various series-that-shall-not-be-named seem to make a habit of this.

And for all that it's realistic for Scully to be worn down and damaged by her experiences (X-Files seems a bit like Call of Cthulhu, in that your chances of dying outright are possibly lower than your chances of being psychoemotionally incapacitated by the gauntlet of horrors that your life has become), I doubt that this is what the writers had in mind. I think they were dudes who identified with Mulder and wanted more saving-the-girl scenes for their hero. (A scan of the X-Files episode page on wikipedia quickly shows how uncommon female writers and directors were on the show.)

The linked PinkRayGun article observes that if one were to try to remake X-Files today, Scully would probably get converted to a simpler action hero archetype - sadly true. But usually, with a remake of something like X-Files, the problem is that a lot of the original's value came from the mystery and confusion, and I wonder what it'd be like if they set aside some of that (or half of the monster-of-the-week episodes) and instead put a greater focus on the effects of the show's events on the characters. Rather than trying to get their dramatic value out of presenting the X-Files mythos, get it from observing someone encountering that mythos - almost like a fan watching a new viewer discovering the show for the first time.

It'll probably be a while before they try to reboot X-Files, but I'm sure it'll happen some day, and I think that'd be the best approach for a lot of reasons.

Ana Mardoll said...

I didn't know that, so that actually does make me feel a little better. Though I mind her disappearances less and the insistence that she's kidnapped/victimized Because Mulder more. I'd so much prefer it if she were kidnapped because she's a valuable member of the team and they had a convenient shot at her, or something equally egalitarian.

(I *really* hated the fetishist episode, though, where she suddenly becomes unaware of the existence of fetishes, and deeply uncomfortable around dead bodies.)

Naomi said...

The main thing that sticks in my head from the fetishist episode is that they leave the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport and find themselves driving down a creepy back country road. I live in Minneapolis, not far from the airport, so the total and complete wrong-ness of the geography here bugs me. The airport shoves you onto your choice of major highways that head either through brightly lit suburbs or brightly lit urban areas.

The actual episode, the only thing I remember is the guy stealing Scully's cross.

I get really nostalgic about those early seasons because I watched it in college, and several of us spent a summer watching lots of taped episodes (some of them repeatedly) so my recollections of the show are mixed in with memories of sharing a house with a friend, getting to know another lifelong friend for the first time, etc.

Naomi said...

(I mention this in part to explain why I haven't re-watched. I have these memories that are bathed in the golden light of happy youth. It's unlikely to ever live up to them, even my favorite episodes. Oh, plus the last season SUCKED. I quit watching partway through because I didn't want it to spoil my appreciation for the series any more than it already had.)

storiteller said...

Just to have full disclosure - I was a huge X-Files fangirl when I was in junior high. A lot of my memories of the show are wrapped up not only in the show, but the huge fanfic community that supported it. So as the Wall o'Text below shows, I care a little too much about it.

However, a major warning - if you are enjoying the show, it will totally break your heart later on because it gets So Bad. And now that I know about these things, So Problematic. I watched it religiously until Season 5 and then stopped watching it altogether. That's when Mulder leaves and Scully's supposed to take his character place, and instead just ends up as "dumb woman who believes everything," even though what she believes is true.

The Person Who Dies Before Mulder and Scully Get There.

So you basically had a dream about being a Redshirt but for X-Files? That's kind of awesome, at least as nightmares go. I have a lot of "being chased" nightmares that would at least be more interesting if X-Files was the backdrop.

Rather than trying to get their dramatic value out of presenting the X-Files mythos, get it from observing someone encountering that mythos

The mythos was always the biggest problem of X-Files and only got worse and worse as the show went on. The show would have been substantially better and probably more emotionally fulfilling if it focused on Monster of the Week episodes.

I spent all of Season One completely convinced that Dana Scully was actually the stealth protagonist of the show and that Fox Mulder was a self-entitled prat who is passive-aggressively rude to everyone.

I think one of the problems was that the writers were trying to work towards a vision of the show where you had two characters who were desperately broken and had only each other to rely on for support. Mulder starts out as desperately broken because of childhood trauma, except they wrote him rather poorly and he comes off as a prat. Because they apparently couldn't think of previous trauma for Scully, they instead had to have every single threat in the show aimed straight at her. Later on, they manage to give her the double-duty of handling possibly the two most stereotypical things they could think of that fit under the category "bad things that happen to the womenz."

Brin Bellway said...

you have to press your hand to your forehead and decide whether to explain AGAIN or not.

And you don't have the excuse of being six when the 90's ended and blaming infantile amnesia.

(I remember the act of watching the X-Files as a little kid, and maybe vaguely the theme song, but nothing about the episodes themselves. Much like I remember bouncing on the bed yelling "Get up, get up, it's time for Animaniacs*!" but not watching it.)

that doesn't make you bad for wanting them to understand regardless. It makes you human.

I would probably just ignore this if it were consistent, but it looks especially weird after deliberately avoiding using "dehumanising" three paragraphs earlier.

*Which must have been annoying, in hindsight.

Ana Mardoll said...

I'm sorry -- fixed it.

I struggle with words.

Marie Brennan said...

The main thing that sticks in my head from the fetishist episode is that they leave the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport and find themselves driving down a creepy back country road. I live in Minneapolis, not far from the airport, so the total and complete wrong-ness of the geography here bugs me. The airport shoves you onto your choice of major highways that head either through brightly lit suburbs or brightly lit urban areas.

Eheheh. Like the S1 episode of Supernatural that takes place in Richardson, TX. Which is where I grew up. I'm not sure where all the suburban housing divisions and strip malls went, and where all the fog and trees came from . . . .

(And yes, I know they were shooting in Vancouver. Aren't there any bits of Vancouver without forests?)

Regarding the X-Files: I remember there being one episode (no idea which one) where Scully got kidnapped Yet Again, but (to quote myself from back when I watched it), "She doesn’t just fight back; she keeps thinking, she problem-solves, she picks herself back up again when something goes wrong and continues her escape attempt." Which made me like the episode more than I would otherwise. I'm bothered less by female characters getting put into those kinds of positions, and more by the all-too-frequent failure of them to continue to be protagonists when it happens. Fringe made me really happy the first time Dunham got kidnapped and put in peril, because she kept on protagging the whole way through.

I do have to bear in mind, of course, that real-life women often have different experiences, and I would never tell one of them that she "failed" by not living up to that standard. And yes, it can be damaging if you see too many narratives that tell you such active resistance is the only acceptable way to respond to trauma. But I've seen too many female characters -- central ones! -- turned into Plot Objects for lazy narrative convenience; I cheer when one of them gets to continue to be a character instead.

Thousand said...

Interesting post, Ana.

On the topic of "things everyone but me has seen, apparently" - I just finished watching all of Buffy in basically a marathon of evening viewings. A lot of it was really, really good - some of the episodes where Whedon and co experimented a lot with the formula were my favourites (ex: episodes 'Hush' and 'Once More With Feeling'). It eventually gets a bit repetitive, but on the whole doesn't outstay its welcome too badly (and that was probably more an artifact of watching the entire seven season run in the course of roughly a month's leisure time). There are some issues with it (the comments of an earlier blog post had a poster who helpfully took apart it's treatment of Wicca*, for example) but on the whole the series is a lot of fun and very interesting. I overall really liked the earlier seasons the best, before Whedon left the central recurring metaphor of "real life teen issue with a supernatural slant" - that worked really, really well in the first few seasons, but ran itself into problems when the cast in the setting were all growing up they switched to a "real life is the greatest challenge, and Buffy never learned to live in it" theme - firstly because the issues of the earlier seasons were more often than not transparent standins for real teen issues, and secondly because a lot of growing up for most people is realizing that your teen issues were relatively trivial, which has trouble working when your teen issues included "the apocalypse is coming, fight it in hand to hand combat."

Based on this blog post I'm probably going to have to go watch all of the X Files now - I hadn't seen them either, and they sound like they are at least as interesting.

*Having now seen the whole series, I find the treatment of Wicca ended up far worse than it was earlier on in the seasons, with the awfulness peak probably the end of Season 6, for obvious reasons.

Will Wildman said...

a lot of growing up for most people is realizing that your teen issues were relatively trivial, which has trouble working when your teen issues included "the apocalypse is coming, fight it in hand to hand combat."

This is an excellent and delightful point about Buffy's overall narrative, which I am going to be thinking about for quite some time.

Dav said...

I've been doing some X-files rewatching, and it's strange experience. I love Scully, though. Love it when she dissects things, love it when she has weird esoteric medical knowledge to share, love it when she just soldiers on while Mulder comes up with increasingly unlikely theories. I still like the Monster of the Week episodes best, though. "Arcadia" is my favorite episode ever, probably because I have a thing about the burbs. I feel the same way about "Family" with George Wendt.

graylor said...

On the topic of cultural illiteracy, my parents were Baptists, but I was a menopause-special and they had already weathered four children through the sixties and seventies, so, y'know, they were tired. I could watch anything except documentaries about apes (evolution, see). Having no boundaries, I imposed my own: I was a child of the eighties, MTV was apparently ~evil~ according to newspaper columnists, so I refused to watch MTV. Instead I listened to wholesome things Mom liked, songs about drinking, adultery, fornication, prostitution, poverty, murder, and cowboys. Yeah, Madonna would have totally corrupted me.

So it's my own fault I didn't see Thriller until I was in my teens and that News Kids on the Block totally bypassed me (which may have been a good thing). Music is prety easy to catch up on: movies, for me at least, less so. Which wouldn't matter much except that I like horror, reading and writing it, and I like to hang out with other horror fans on-line, but the inevitable questions come up. "You've never seen Friday the Thirteenth/the Hallowen movies/etc". No, I haven't and no, I don't intend to because I don't like gore.

Glia said...

This is a really good post, and I hope you don't think I mean otherwise by saying that what I can't get over is that I don't think I've ever met another adult that remembers Adventures in Odyssey. So...whoa, is all I'm saying.

(BTW, I read all the time, and I love your writing, but I am a consummate lurker.)

Ana Mardoll said...

I do remember. There was one in particular that had a smary little moral about "you don't own your stuff, your stuff owns you" that I remember at least once every three months and grimace because it still pisses me off. *

(* The moral is thought-provoking, but it's dangerously simplistic and -- like most morals -- assumes a perfect state of non-disability. Many of the "silly gadgets" that get bandied about as useless and lazy are actually necessities for people who aren't 100% able-bodied in every way. I'm also deeply struck by the hypocrisy of a "less stuff!" stance coming from Dr. James-Fucking-Dobson.)

Amaryllis said...

Cultural illiteracy, is it? I guess getting old is the inverse equivalent of growing up in a subcultural bubble.

Which is to say, I've never seen either Buffy or The X-Files, yet.

In spite of the Catholic schools and the all-Catholic neighborhood, I watched-- we all watched-- the popular stuff. And when I was older and in my own home, I kept reasonably current.

Then I had a baby. And I lost track of things for a few years. And it never seemed possible to quite catch up.

I'm not saying that this in inevitable, mind you: I'm just warning all you young people that, after awhile, keeping up tends to take more effort. It helped when the baby got to be a teenager, and I picked up some stuff from her. But there's still a lot I've missed.

Anyway, Ana, a good post, if I may say so having never seen the show. But I've seen the sort of thing you describe, and it grates.

Asha said...

I... have often described my mom as the most conservative hippie imaginable. I wasn't allowed to what MTV, but that was half because we just didn't have access to it. I never watched horror movies, but that was because I just don't like horror. We watched things like Buffy and X-Files because my mom loved science fiction, yet she could not stretching her imagination to questioning her religion. She was the one who called the shots of my childhood- I was raised Southern Baptist but practiced ballet, etc. Mom used a lot of feminist rhetoric, but still couldn't understand why I would have issues with the Bible, etc, or why I would find the blood and gore of the Old Testament horrific. So... I can empathize. Things like Bevis and Butthead just went over my head, but I watched every episode of Star Trek: TNG. I straddled that world and my mom never realized she's the reason I can't go back. *shrugs*

As for Scully, I remember wishing she could be right on occasion. But I also thought Mulder was hot, so it didn't bother me too much.

Nathaniel said...

I must admit, I have no reason to watch X-Files because I am tired of the "skeptic is always wrong" trope. And it seems to me that they decided to base an entire show off that.

depizan said...

it seems like they intentionally plan out character arcs in which a woman starts out strong and then gets rebuked by the universe.

That right there is why I like so few things with female main characters. Hell, half the time they don't even bother with a character arc, just the universe smacking the uppity woman down every chance it gets. (And having female writers makes no difference at all. I can think of a number of women writers who do this.)

Ana Mardoll said...

I don't like that trope either.

FWIW, the show plays with it more cleverly than I had expected going in. One thing I liked about Season One was that Scully often *was* right: a recurring theme was that Mulder will believe just about ANYTHING if someone says the word "aliens", and he frequently goes off half-cocked and Scully has to save him. I can think of at least two major examples off the top of my head where he was all "aliens!" and she was all "skeptical!" and she ended up being right and coming off as the sensible, level-headed, and ironically MORE open-minded (because she's open to more than one possibility) one of the team.

But I'm not at all certain the show will keep that up, though. It's so much more 'interesting' for her to be wrong and then the special effects can swoop in.

Charleen Merced said...

I love The X Files..let me count the ways. I grew up watching this show. The best ver. Let me gush some more!

Anyways, you should watch NEVER AGAIN. In this episode,Scully basically says... mulder, it's not always about you. Amazing.

Lonespark said...

The show would have been substantially better and probably more emotionally fulfilling if it focused on Monster of the Week episodes.

This, this THIS. I loved the MOTW episodes so hard. And I adored Scully and her skepticism and her science and...

The only good thing to come out of the later seasons, IMO, was some really nice Scully/Reyes fanart.

Nenya said...

I remember Adventures in Odyssey! Though they were kinda on the more "worldly" end of things we were allowed to watch. :P So yes, definitely with the cultural illiteracy over here. I'm still catching up after fifteen years. My girlfriend and I have an ever-growing list of things she thinks I need to see, or that I've meant to see but never gotten around do. Finally watched Buffy a couple years back, and am doing Babylon 5 now.

And Dana Scully. Oh, Scully. :D I love this whole post. Haven't seen all of the show, but enough to know that Scully is amazing. And yeah, Scully/Reyes is pretty hot. I did love Monica Reyes. <3

Silver Adept said...

Adventures in Odyssey lives in to new generations - it checks out quite a but from or library system...

depizan said...

Ours as well.

Brenda said...

X-Files was one of those shows my parents watched after I was in bed, but I remember one episode that really stuck in my head - somebody was messing with people's minds, making them hallucinate that they were dying and then they DID die. It opened with an old man waking up to find his apartment burning - and his brain had burns on it, even though there was no real fire.

Tigerpetals said...

Yeah, I never did follow the main plot thing. Mainly enjoyed the characters, especially Scully.

I never watched past season seven except for a few episodes in syndication that put me off.

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