Because they SHOULD still be making out.
Times Mulder and Scully should have made out (but it’s possible that they weren’t on the same planet, so let’s talk about what happened instead) in this week’s batch of episodes:
- I appreciate the fact that the new opening credits have the same “we made this on a computer from 1993” aesthetic.
- Oh look, it hurts.
- Scully is about to put the nameplate away, like she can’t look at it if she expects to get her job done, like if she doesn’t do this now, she never will. But then Doggett strolls in with his FBI bros, who just want to tap the glass on the fish tank, and Scully remembers how long Mulder put up with the same treatment. The name plate isn’t a distraction anymore; it’s a reminder of how he got by and why she has to. “I’m not here to be a curiosity, Agent Doggett. I’m here to work.”
- Scully never got a desk. Her area was Mulder’s area, in the sense that most of the space she found for herself already had him in it. Lately, especially since the destruction of the Syndicate, she’s been in this more for Mulder than for the work itself, so when Scully takes over the X-files, she does it for him. She still wants to sign Mulder’s name to everything she does. “This is my partner’s office, Agent Doggett. You and I will just be using it for a while.” For a while. She can’t think any further.
- There’s a very dry, Mulder-esque authority to the way she dives right into that slide show. I miss the six dead cows.
- “I can assure you that there’s nothing baffling about human bite marks.”
- Doggett brings up how many homicides he’s worked, in case you weren’t clear on the fact that he was a cop. He wants to feel he’s bringing something to the table, but this is an ego-less game.
- “Agent Mulder used to refer to it as ‘Occam’s Principle of Limited Imagination.'” That sounds like Mulder. Why try to make the facts fit a known pattern when there are so many new ones?
- “You ever carry one of these?” “Never.”
- This push-pull we’ve got with Doggett right now is great. He does his research even when he’s not sure what he’s looking for, and he is not here for victim blaming, thank you. (“Nobody’s responsible for this except for whoever or whatever did it.”) He also asks the detective to join him in taking a pretty significant leap for Scully—but he asks in a whisper, by stepping in front of her, like he’s doing her a favor, which is weird and patronizing and not at all like how Mulder and Scully publicly gave each other permission to fight for themselves.
- “Maybe I’m just trying too hard.” “To do what? To be Mulder?” There we go. Scully’s in an impossible situation. She has to believe, not only because Mulder has earned it from her, but because it’s the only chance she has to get him back. But Mulder needs Scully to balance him. Doggett can’t quite be for Scully what she’s been for Mulder, because he’s a different person. But he reassures her that while she might feel like she’s doing it all wrong, she’s on the right track. In the process, he compliments Mulder’s intelligence and Scully’s work ethic, which is great, since Mulder is usually praised for his work ethic. Most agents try to overlook his intelligence. That’s Scully’s domain. She’s already Mulder-ing more than she knows.
- Not today, giant bat creature.—Doggett, basically. I can dig it.
- Scully does the neck check, so she’s definitely got Texan vampires on the brain.
- “They’ll get used to it.”
- “I never had a desk in here, Agent Doggett, but I’ll see that you get one.”
- Baby goat is pleased.
- “And I just—I just want to say, um, thank you for watching my back.”
- Scully has to struggle to get that out, because it’s an admission that someone else can do partner things with her. Doggett chalks it up to the job description, but saving each other’s lives is always a little bit personal. She’s finally accepting that this job is HERS, and not just through Mulder. She didn’t have his name plate to hide behind out there in the field. Scully has to own the X-files.
- “Hey, it’s Scully” just feels wrong.
- Taking down men who don’t expect women to be doctors, one gas station attendant at a time.
- Her moment has come.
- “Oh and it rains a lot here, does it? Seeing as how it’s basically the DESERT?”
- She might not be talking about the baby, but she’s thinking about the baby.
- Trust no one, Desert Rose.
- She’s still got someone to help, too.
- “I don’t even know what’s going on with you right now.”—Dana Scully, M.D.
- What is it with this show and things crawling around inside people’s necks?
- “Are you canvassing? Talking to neighbors?” You RUN that Scully search, Doggett.
- Scully is never too busy fighting for her life to yell in defense of someone else’s.
- There’s no last-minute rescue and no way for her to fight her way out. All Scully can do is plead for her baby, but these people don’t have enough humanity left to care. This episode is TERRIFYING.
- Still flawless with a giant worm in her back.
- “THAT THING IN MY SPINE IS A HIM?”
- She sets the place on FIRE to get attention.
- “Hurry. I can’t wait for you.” Doggett’s got a partner to save.
- His hand is on her abs and he helps her swing her arm around his shoulder and it’s okay if I’m into this in an “every guy in Scully’s life has a non-threatening Skinner-level crush on her” sort of way, right?
- “Agent Scully, TALK TO ME.” I love that Doggett has approximately no idea what’s going on, but he knows that he’s got to keep her with him. If Scully’s not communicating, something is wrong.
- When she tells Doggett to cut it out of her, he doesn’t ask any questions, and he doesn’t waste any time.
- Sorry, couldn’t hear you over how manly this is.
- Scully apologizes for leaving Doggett out of the case, and Doggett agrees that she screwed up. He’s not going to let her off easy, and she respects that. Mulder never would, either.
- He takes her bag, and now they’re really partners.
- “Maybe you think bad things happen to you because you’ve been a bad boy.” Doggett is never down for victim blaming. We know that much.
- Scully has to pause and prepare herself before she can talk about alien abductions and what the X-files say they can do to people. Part of that is just our old skeptical scientist shining through—they’re not in the desert on a life-or-death Mulder chase, so she can afford to measure her words—but abductions are also a pretty raw deal for her right now.
- “You know, these words: anomalous, supernatural, paranormal. They purport to explain something by not explaining it. It’s lazy.” I think Scully remembers when Mulder looked at her with wide eyes and said, “You think that believing is easy?” She knows better now.
- “Yeah, and you’re BREAKING the LAW.” Which I have never done for Mulder EVER how DARE YOU
- Is it time for Doggett’s backstory?
- Pause to salute Scully’s beauty.
- SCULLY: Look, I know where you are with this. I have been there. I know what you’re feeling—that you’ve failed and that you have to explain this somehow. And maybe you can.
DOGGETT: Not if that’s Billy’s body, I can’t.
SCULLY: But maybe that’s explanation enough. That that’s not Billy’s brother lying in that grave, too. That that man who did this is never going to be able to do it again. Isn’t that what you wanted, Agent Doggett?
DOGGETT: Agent Scully, don’t ask me to believe that this is some kind of justice from beyond the grave.
SCULLY: All I’m saying is that maybe you succeeded, whether you’re willing to see that or not.
- She’s come SO FAR from the little medical doctor who sat in meetings with her back straight and wanted to have all of the facts. Scully’s time with Mulder has taught her that this job, which she got into to help people, is somehow even more people-oriented than she expected. It’s not always about finding answers. Sometimes, all you have to hold on to is the knowledge that you saved someone.
- It’s the future first lady.
- “Maybe you already have the answer within you.” I’ve been thinking lately about how much earlier Scully might have bought into Mulder’s theories than she actually admitted. Someone had to pull him down to earth, and she knew that it had to be her, even after she had reason to trust his instincts. If Scully and Mulder become each other when they’re apart, then it’s also true that they’re more themselves when they’re together.
- Doggett: the friend who lets you sleep on his couch when he hasn’t seen you for three years.
- “The passage of time in prisons is not in a cell of brick and mortar but in one of hopes dashed and tragedies unaverted. How precious, then, the chance to go back, only to discover that in facing the past you must face up to yourself, that exiting the prison of time doesn’t free you from the prison of your own character—one from which there is no escape.” Okay who copied this from one of Rod Serling’s diaries?
- Scully’s going to be holding this baby in her arms before she tells Doggett anything.
- Doggett is appropriately concerned, and he covers for her without knowing any details. Well done, baby goat.
- Skinner supplies the “X-file explanation.” He’s in the club. He’s got a fever. The only cure is more aliens [CUT TO THEME SONG].
- “She’s taking some personal time.” “I’ve got 22 people dead.”
- “You want me to think like Scully and Mulder would.” To the outside perspective, Scully and Mulder think the same, when really it’s just that they each know how the other thinks. But maybe that’s the same thing in the end.
- “I know that you covered for me; you didn’t have to do that.” Scully appreciates Doggett’s respect for their partnership, and she returns it when she tells him that he can trust his instincts; he’s a good cop.
- Scully refers to the Lone Gunmen as “Mulder’s friends,” because she’s being very possessive of his territory on his behalf. Her relationship with Mulder seems uneven at times, since she made his work hers (and she never got a desk), but it was her choice, and it’s a choice that she continues to affirm. She likes asserting Mulder’s right to take up space. His name isn’t even on the basement door anymore. Scully claims Mulder’s life for him when the FBI wants to take it away, and by affirming his place, she makes a place for herself. Byers says it. “These files are theirs. They’re private.” THEIRS. Even people who were Mulder’s first can see that Scully and Mulder now have equal claim to this work.
- I think we’ve all had this moment with Doggett.
- “Not bad for a beginner.”
- This isn’t okay. I’m afraid.
- Doggett wants the truth, so he can be in the club too.
- “When you get this message, if you feel up to it, you give me a call.” He needs Scully because he respects her, but he also respects that she’s got things going on beyond his needs. Very cool.
- “What do you want me to do? Pinch you?” Skinner has so many layers.
- Doggett wants to protect Scully, and he’s afraid that she’ll die. But that’s really a fear of himself, somehow, that he’s not good enough at nurturing and too good at violence. I’m betting that this relates to the boy in the photo.
- “You just saved my life, Agent Scully.” “I just woke you up, Agent Doggett.”
- Scully’s Mulder mode is both fascinating and delightful, but it’s still comforting to see that when she isn’t on a case, she lets herself dig in those skeptical heels a little.
- And now she’s back to having a Mulder theory and being energized by the possibility of it all.
- “Call in Clark Kent.”
- “He must have seen something in her she couldn’t see in herself.” Mulder and Scully find a lesson in everything. They consider the human aspect of the most bizarre cases.
- Scully stands in the wreckage of a car that’s nearly split down the middle and tries to make a joke. Doggett doesn’t even register.
- “You know, I hate to ruin your beautiful theory with ugly facts.” That is so you. That is so SCULLY. (But it’s Doggett.)
- “That seems humanly impossible.”
- “Well maybe the question is not how, but why.” Doggett really does throw Scully and Mulder’s way of thinking into relief—not only the way Mulder changed Scully, showing her that the human will can sometimes go beyond all scientific explanation, but the way he and Scully have always been alike. They both see answers as less important than asking the right questions.
- We’re in such good hands.
- I’m afraid of people who make turtlenecks look this good.
- “The things that land in your inbox, huh Agent Scully?” Oh you mean LITERAL NIGHTMARES?
- Scully’s very hushed and deliberate and thoughtful when she shares her theory, because sometimes theorizing like Mulder is a fun game you play standing in the rain by an empty grave, and sometimes it’s a squeaky cart on the fast track to a dark and hopeless world where people crawl inside other people.
- “I appreciate your resistance” is both “I’ve been there,” and, “No really, thank you for having faith in humanity.”
- Her eyes match her shirt, her shirt matches the morgue, and I am here for all of it.
- “It’s hard to believe in something when you can’t understand it.” Oh, she knows.
- I should be packing for a flight but instead I’m inventing origin stories for this mug.
- She finally has a desk! But look how she perches at the front of the seat like it’s not really hers. Look how she keeps herself small. The work is all over the desk, because it belongs there, but Scully is small and ready to jump out of her seat. Bye.
- Chuck isn’t sure where Scully stands, since it was always Mulder who called him. Scully’s face just falls at the mention of Mulder’s name.
- “This case. I’m trying to see it the way that Mulder would.”
- These boys and their walkie talkies are gems. Mulder would be out there with them in a heartbeat.
- Is this Doggett’s first time calling her Scully?
- “I shot a young boy.” “The good news is you’re wrong.” Doggett can accept the facts, strange as they are, once they’re confirmed, but that’s different than taking a leap to confirm them. Believing isn’t easy.
- “Do you know what it’s like not to be able to trust your own eyes?” Scully still leans on science. She wants the facts, even if they don’t add up to anything she’s ever seen before. Her eyes just told her that she was shooting a young boy. Anyone would falter in that position, but Mulder made it look easy, because his mind is just beautiful like that. “And in an instant, I realized that it’s what Mulder would have seen or understood. Because that’s just how he came at things: without judgment and without prejudice and with an open mind that I am just not capable of.” Scully has so much respect for Mulder. She doesn’t believe that she can think like he does, and she puts so much pressure on herself to do him proud. It’s a daily effort; every time she asks Doggett to keep an open mind, she’s really reminding herself. I just want to wrap her in a blanket and hand her a carton of ice cream and tells her that she’s doing such a good job. It’s okay to keep herself honest.
- I didn’t even question the fact that he killed someone, which I hope is because I trust his character and not because absence makes the heart grow more tolerant of murder.
- This head rubbing, though. It is not a good sign.
- Oh STOP, you softie.
- “If Mulder did these things, he would’ve reported them.” Skinner has Monday night fish duty.
- “I’m not taking it to OPR. I’m taking it to you.”
- So we’re really going with the secret undiagnosed brain disease, then? I hope he had a solid reason for keeping this from Scully.
- I’ve missed this shirtless man who looks at the unknown with wild eyes and tries to know it: not what or how it is, but how it feels. This is what Scully meant about his open-mindedness.
- “Agent Mulder saw how it suffered. He saw it in its eyes…He couldn’t bear to add to its pain.” Even if it meant his own death. I LOVE HIM.
- “She doesn’t know anything about this, sir. Of that I’m certain.”
- I actually swooned.
- Everyone’s coming for you, Mulder.
So sorry for the delay on this post! I start a new job tomorrow, so to get the most out of my week off, I booked a ridiculously spontaneous flight to visit my family and then spent the ENTIRE trip introducing my mom to Mulder and Scully. She’s very into it and texted me today that “it’s as if one cannot be complete without the other.” Also she loves Skinner. I am so proud. You should all be proud too. Another post will be coming this week, so please think of me as I continue to share my feelings with the floor.