Times Mulder and Scully Should Have Made Out This Week, Volume 20

Welcome to the end of season eight. Stuff a bunch of pillows into your shirt. Now fall down. Fall down repeatedly.

Times Mulder and Scully should have made out in this week’s batch of episodes:

“Empedocles”

  • Scully lightly scolds Mulder for no reason but is still really happy that he’s here. Getting back to normal, getting back to normal.

xfiles empedocles scully door

  • Also normal: Mulder’s inability to express fear without jokes.

If Scully were to ever have a fling with anyone ever, it would be with someone who could bring her pizza.

  • If Scully ever were to have a fling with anyone, it would be for the pizza.
  • “I feel like I’m stuck in an episode of Mad About You.” “Well, uh, yeah, but small technicality: Mad About You was about a married couple, and we just work together.” Mulder she is literally pregnant with your miracle baby.

I don't know what he's getting at here. Is he trying to tease out whether the baby is actually his? Trying to get Scully to clarify where exactly they stand now that he's back?

  • Is he trying to tease out whether the baby is his? Trying to get Scully to clarify where exactly they stand? I think the important thing here is that he doesn’t believe a word of it and he’s giving her a present anyway. He’s putting on a show—what are you talking about I have no reason to give you a BOX—while knowingly and adorably stashing the truth, waiting for her to find it, well aware that there was nothing ‘just’ about them working together in the first place.
  • “What I’m trying to say is that, uh—” (I WANT YOUR BABY TO ALSO BE MINE) “—we have no good, reliable information on this man. I mean, what I’m saying is that the pizza man is not above suspicion.”
This is how you want to have this conversation?

Subtle.

  • Mulder can’t just come right out and ask about Scully’s pregnancy, because he’s afraid that it’s not his business. He’s also afraid that it’s entirely his business. What if the baby is his and she hasn’t told him? What if she doesn’t want to let him in? What if they’re not where they were when Scully asked him to be the father, and what did she expect from him even then? Mulder doesn’t ask because he’s afraid that the role he pictures in this is bigger than the one she pictures for him. Scully doesn’t answer, because she’s afraid that she’s carrying an alien. Welcome to The X-Files, always blame aliens.
  • But here’s the thing again: as much as it matters to both of them, there’s no answer that could stop him from giving her this gift right now. Whatever else they are and wherever they stand, he’s always going to be the one who shows up at her door with old family keepsakes. Everything else can wait.
Bedroom eyes all around.

Bedroom eyes all around.

  • She’s so excited.
  • “Nice package.” “Thank youuuuu.”
  • The best Mulder face is the one he makes when he looks right at her. The best Scully face is the one she makes when Mulder isn’t looking.
I LIKE MAKING YOU HAPPY

YEAH it’s for you I LOVE YOU

He loves me.

He loves me.

  •  Concerned puppy.

xfiles empedocles mulder concern

  • Mulder knows everything about Scully’s doctor and has probably already intimidated her multiple times.
  • Screw hospitals and their “husbands only” rules. NOT EVERYTHING IS MAD ABOUT YOU, HOSPITALS.
  • It’s like The X-Files is having Thanksgiving dinner with itself.

xfiles empedocles mulder handshake

xfiles empedocles reyes handshake

  • “You’re taller than I thought.”
  • Mulder wants to get back to Scully, but he can’t turn down people who need help.

xfiles empedocles mulder doggett's file

  • Now it’s definitely Thanksgiving.
Family drama.

Family drama.

  • Mulder stays calm when Doggett grabs him, and he doesn’t fight back—partly because he knows what it feels like to have people in his personal files, and partly because the score is even now. One shove each.
  • “I feel all druggy.” Precious.
  • “We’ve been worried about you.” “Who’s we?” “You know. Me and Agent Mulder.” You know. Of course Mulder’s worried.
xfiles empedocles scully hospital

Are you two playing nice?

  • Doggett looks at Scully and thinks about how long she doubted Mulder. He wants to know what made her believe in all of this, and she tells him that she realized she was holding herself back. She was afraid to believe. I think that’s why she was drawn to Mulder from the start: while everyone else saw him as spooky, she saw him as brave.
  • This is the first time we’ve seen Doggett think about Scully as a skeptic. He’s never considered who she was before or how she became the person he knows now. Mulder makes him consider it. Doggett is finally starting to see Scully for everything she is, the full picture, and all it took was Mulder. You can’t know one of them without the other. To quote my friend Sage, “I think what it is about this show is that the idea that you are one half of a whole is so appealing and so desperately sad at the same time.” That’s why Scully and Mulder’s relationship hurts so much even when they’re happy. They NEED each other. It’s gorgeous, but it’s fragile. They’re completely dependent, not only on one another, but on circumstances totally outside their control. His abduction only made it more real. The act of making themselves so vulnerable to each other wouldn’t be so bold if they were never at risk to lose each other.
  • And look what we have to lose.
xfiles empedocles mulder desk

When Mulder goes against orders, he doesn’t go halfway. He puts his feet on the desk. He eats pencils.

  • This is beautiful.

It's always your office, puppy.

  • “Old habits die hard.”

xfiles empedocles mulder i think i know these files

  • He could sit here and defend his life’s work all day, but he has more important places to be.
Friend. They're always friends first.

Friend. They’re always friends first.

  • Claiming coincidence is anything but an old habit for Mulder, and Reyes calls him on it. The fastest way to challenge Mulder is to accuse him of not having an open mind.
"You'll say anything, won't you."

“You’ll say anything, won’t you?”

  • Mulder and Doggett are united by the shared experience of being totally whipped by Monica Reyes.
  • Puppy sticks his nose in.
thanks that's really helpful

thanks that’s really helpful

  •  “You awake?” he says, in that whisper people use when they don’t want to wake you from a deep sleep, but they do want to maybe nudge you out of a nap if they can.
xfiles empedocles mulder you awake

He wants so much to talk to her.

  • The way Mulder’s world always shrinks to the size of Scully’s health makes me want to roll down a hill somewhere.
xfiles empedocles mulder you're gonna be fine

“But you’re gonna be fine?”

  • Hearing that she’s okay, it’s like it gives him permission to celebrate with her. It’s like he woke up and the world was one of his slide shows, images coming at him, a clean apartment, Doggett, Scully’s pregnancy, a desk without his name on it. He took in the fact that she’s pregnant as one of the many things that are different now, and he thought about it, but he didn’t get THIS: a silent moment to just be happy with her. Scully’s having a baby.
  • In his relief and in his happiness, Mulder reaches out to touch Scully’s belly. I love that as shy as he is, he’s comfortable enough to go for it, and of course she doesn’t even bat an eye. He belongs there. It’s so intimate.

xfiles empedocles mulder hand scully belly

xfiles empedocles scully mulder stomach

I almost threw my phone across the room.

  • Scully just starts carrying on a normal conversation with him. She asks about his day. His hand is on her stomach. It’s casual.
  • “Agent Reyes. I like her.” Yeah you do.
  • Mulder looks surprised that Scully equates him with Reyes and surprised that she likes people for the Mulder she sees in them.

xfiles empedocles mulder surprised

  • Doggett IS worth the effort. And he took effort in a way that Scully and Mulder did not. Mulder is still getting to the bottom of all of Scully’s mysteries. Scully shot him, drugged him, and drove him across the country to save his life once. They’ve both risked everything they believe for one another. Plenty of work has gone into this partnership, but LIKING each other was effortless. Respecting each other came easily.
  • Meanwhile Doggett’s at his desk like, “Feelings don’t solve crimes.” Which, given Scully and Mulder’s success rate, is probably fair.
  • Doggett’s afraid to believe, too, because if the world is full of infinite possibilities, then he could have missed the one to save his son. Aw, baby goat.
  • He and Reyes are on a first name basis all the time already, so I presume in times of great emotion they’ll just have to use their words to say nice things to one another? I don’t know, I’ve forgotten how it works when first names don’t carry the weight of the world.

xfiles empedocles reyes

  • Reyes defines success the way Mulder and Scully have come to define it: sometimes you don’t get the answers you want. Sometimes you just save one kid, and that’s enough.
  • Hey there bodyguard.

xfiles empedocles mulder protective

  • “But I think it’s possible that there’s an occurrence in somebody’s life, a tragedy or a loss that leaves them vulnerable, hurts their immunity to evil, and all of a sudden at that point in their lives when they’re weakened, they’re open to evil and they can become evil.” But it’s only ever made Scully and Mulder kind.
xfiles empedocles mulder believe anything

He’s being self-aware and self-deprecating to put Doggett at ease, and it’s really very sweet, but I love that he’s never had to do that with Scully. Mulder doesn’t feel the need to apologize for himself when Scully’s around.

  • “Mulder, you never fail to surprise me.” Not because of the present, but because he got her pizza. Priorities.
  • The best thing about joke!Scully is that she comes from Mulder, so she delights him but can also destroy him.

I THOUGHT WE WERE KIDDING ABOUT THE PIZZA MAN

WAIT I THOUGHT WE WERE KIDDING ABOUT THE PIZZA MAN

xfiles empedocles scully joke

Nailed it.

  • Of course she didn’t forget about Mulder’s package. “I thought about it a lot.”
  • He gave her a doll, because his inheritance is Scully’s inheritance is this child’s inheritance don’t look at me.
She's so genuinely into it. It's super weird and she LOVES it.

She’s so genuinely into it. This doll is super weird and she LOVES it.

  • Dorks.

xfiles empedocles mulder scully what you imagined

  • Scully knows herself more after losing Mulder, because when she was alone, she saw how he’d changed her. And now she gets to thank him for it. “But then that’s the other gift that you gave me, Mulder. Courage. To believe. And I hope that’s a gift I can pass on.”

We'll do it together.

Pass it on together.

“Vienen”

  • We interrupt your regularly scheduled sexual tension to bring you a puppy and a goat.
  • I feel this.

david duchovny goat

  • Doggett really knows his black oil.

xfiles  vienen mulder impressed doggett black oil

  • “And you’d love to help, but you left your lightsaber at home.” There he goes again, joking about himself to show Doggett that he gets it. It kills me that this is how Mulder has learned to show his respect for people—telling them that they’re better than the life he’s chosen. He’s even done it to Scully, and I don’t think he really stopped until she woke up from an alien virus in Antarctica, took his hand, and told him that her work was with him now.
xfiles vienen mulder doggett stuck here

The basement is where other agents get stuck, and he’d do anything to have it back.

  • Scully will always look a little bit pleased when Mulder shows up in places he shouldn’t be.

xfiles vienen mulder scully just like old times

  • “You’re talking about an oil rig that’s 150 miles out at sea. You can’t send a pregnant woman.” This man has a degree from Oxford.
  • For those keeping track, the puppy and the baby goat are now on an oil rig.
  • “Wow, you really got me pegged. Anything that doesn’t fit in my narrow field of vision might as well not exist, is that right Agent Mulder?”
You don't know me. I have layers.

You don’t know me. I have layers.

  • And Doggett doesn’t know Mulder either. ‘More than one person is covering up this murder’ probably isn’t the most insane conspiracy theory he’s had this MORNING.
No really, what church.

No really, what church.

  • Be right back, every child with a dream needs a photo of pregnant Scully conducting rogue autopsies.

xfiles vienen scully autopsy

  • “I found it by accident in the third ventricle of his brain.” I didn’t MEAN to be there. I thought it was the closet.
  • Skinner and Scully are still really protective of each other and I still lowkey ship it.
  • She’s never more sure of herself than when all of her experience with aliens backs up all of the science in her lab.

xfiles vienen scully skinner black oil

  • “I’m sorry, Agent Doggett’s gone fishing. Can I take a message please?”
Also I am borderline making out with this microphone because it sounds like you.

Also I am borderline making out with this microphone because it sounds like you.

Look at us, we're both rogue!

I’m a little turned on by all of this rule flouting.

  • “It’s not like old times.” They’re both nostalgic for working together, especially when it involves going rogue.
  • She is worried for his career, though.
  • “You need me out there, Scully. You know that better than anyone.” Always.
  • “WHO’S flouting orders.” That started not as a sentence, but as the deep exhale of a man who considers this foreplay.
  • Mulder would rather be quarantined and at risk than risk endangering the country.
  • Who okayed this?
THAT IS A FATHER TALKING ABOUT HIS UNBORN CHILD RIGHT THERE

THAT IS A FATHER TALKING ABOUT HIS UNBORN CHILD RIGHT THERE

  • He won’t let Scully talk to Doggett, because he doesn’t want anyone to talk him out of his plan, and also because everyone here is very mature.
  • Even without Scully’s input, Doggett trusts Mulder’s instincts enough to quarantine the rig.
  • Puppy and baby goat are really on a high seas adventure now.
xfiles vienen mulder doggett rig

But their greatest adventure is Getting to Know Each Other.

  • “I didn’t come out here just to bust your ass.” That was at most 75% of it.
  • I like that Doggett gets to see Mulder put all of the pieces together. He gets to see the moment when the crazy theory suddenly turns into their best shot at saving lives.

xfiles vienen mulder oil

  • Skinner takes the blame to protect his people. We don’t deserve him.
  • Doggett can place the word “rojo” in a sentence, so he already speaks twice as much Spanish as Mulder.
  • They have each other’s backs.

xfiles vienen mulder saves doggett

  • Now is not the time to fight over the radio, boys.
The aliens will dig it.

Tunes for aliens to dance to.

  • “That issue is rapidly becoming moot!”
  • Doggett can’t leave Diego behind, and when he finds his body, he and Mulder take a moment to nod at each other in shared understanding of a tragedy.

xfiles vienen doggett mulder nod compassion

  • Mulder’s last words will be an ill-timed joke, I know it. “How about a 20 count?”
  • NOOOOO

NOOOOO

  • “So you’re taking the fall. Not for me?” “For you. For the X-files. You’re all the credibility this office has left.” The credibility of the X-files has always come from the people investigating them. That was Mulder for a long time, and then it was Mulder and Scully. The work was his until Scully decided to share it; she legitimized the project to the extent that Mulder can now save his office by leaving it. It’s devastatingly self-sacrificial, but it’s nice to know that he created something that will outlast him. The Bureau locked him in the basement and waited for their chance, and they took it, but they didn’t win the war. The X-files can be carried on by people with integrity. Mulder, who always believed his work was bigger than him but still kept it so close to his chest, finally has the people to MAKE it bigger—and Scully to help him let go.
Apparently this is the last time we see Mulder in the basement office so if you need me I'll be over here crying.

Apparently this is the last time we see Mulder in the basement office. I’m a little inconsolable about it.

“Alone”

  • Scully has an X-files memory box.
And the things she can't explain are the ones she wants to hold on to.

And the things she can’t explain are the ones she wants to hold on to.

  • Poor Queequg.
  • Doggett catches her thinking about Mulder, but she doesn’t have to be defensive anymore.

xfiles alone scully startled

  • Scully only stops working when her doctor literally insists on it, and even then, no.
  • When she tells Doggett that the Apollo 11 keychain was a gift from Mulder, she gets the same look on her face that she got when Mulder GAVE her the Apollo 11 keychain.

xfiles alone scully mulder gave it to me

Mulder likes to give obscure, ordinary things as gifts because he thinks it makes his feelings less obvious.

“I’m touched.”

  • But she really is touched. She loves his funny little gifts.

xfiles alone scully keychain smile

  • The keychain is the perfect thing for her to give Doggett, because what she loves about it isn’t what she holds in her hand. It’s the meaning she applied. She took “a pretty cool keychain” and made it stand for teamwork, and the more she passes that along, the truer it becomes. “It means no one gets there alone. And after this past year and everything we’ve been through—I wouldn’t be here without you.”
xfiles alone scully no one gets there alone

It took her so long to admit that. I’m glad Scully and Mulder can expand their definition of “not alone” to include more than each other.

xfiles alone doggett scully

He REALLY cares for her, you guys.

  • Bit of a height difference.

xfiles alone scully doggett hug

  • “It’s just a leave, right? I mean, you are coming back eventually?”
Baby goats get as lost as puppies around here.

Baby goats get as lost as puppies in this office.

Is she coming back? She's got her Mulder back, and he's not here. What's holding Scully to the FBI, and what's holding her to the X-files?

Is she coming back? Mulder’s out. What’s holding Scully to the FBI, and what’s holding her to the X-files?

  • Doggett almost bounces to the door when he thinks Scully is back. She’s been his anchor in a job that he knows is worth doing but still doesn’t make any sense to him. He IS a stranger in his own office right now.
  • He tells Harrison that she’s “filling in for Agent Scully,” and it sounds a lot like what Scully said to Doggett after Mulder’s abduction.
  • What I wouldn’t give to see Scully and Mulder’s travel expenses.
  • Harrison is a Mulder/Scully fangirl, and I love it. I like the idea that in a job with so few tangible wins, they were still leaving traces of themselves all over the place, and there were still people rooting for them.
  • I hope someone stole this pillow from the set and sleeps with it every night. I hope it’s Gillian.

xfiles alone mulder pillow

  • Of course he’s coming with Scully to her class. Of course he watched Oprah to prepare himself. He’s expectant father-ing all over the place.
  • Scully feels like she’s deserting her post, because her whole life these past eight years has been about supporting Mulder in that basement (and he tells her that she’s “more than paid” her dues. He’s still in awe of what she’s done for him). Where do they take a stand now? All she has left at the FBI is her partnership with Doggett.
  • “You’re concerned about Agent Doggett?”
"You're concerned about Agent Doggett?"

Mulder’s always a little bit insecure, but if she didn’t stand by her friends, she wouldn’t be the Scully who’s always stood by him.

  • “The entire time that I was down there, I had someone to watch my back.”
  • “You gotta worry about the little boy. Or little girl. Boy? Or girl.”
Keep fishing.

how do you feel about baby aliens

  • Maternity leave or no maternity leave, you TELL Scully when her partner goes missing.
  • “Sir, are you ordering me not to go looking for Agent Doggett?”
That's so WEIRD, it's like you think you can tell me not to do things.

That’s so WEIRD, it’s like you think you can tell me not to do things.

  • These two are painfully obsessed with old times. (So am I.) (The visitor’s badge cuts deep.)

xfiles alone mulder like old times

  • Pregnant rogue autopsy Scully is at it again.
  • Mulder’s just thinking about the baby.

xfiles alone mulder let somebody else do it

  • “This is an X-file, Mulder, and you are out of the Bureau. If I go home, where is Skinner gonna find someone qualified to look into this?” As far as Scully is concerned, she’s doing this for both of them. They’re the only two people who know how to work this case. They’re cool and elite like that.
  • Puppy’s off the leash.
xfiles alone mulder rogue

And literally nothing else has changed.

  • Scully prefaces her reptile attack theory with, “I know this may be hard to believe coming from me,” because Mulder hasn’t seen her go full Mulder.
  • “You re-gifted.” Aww. You’ll get through this.
  • Sometimes it’s like Doggett is starring in an old Western in his head. “You’re doing fine, Agent Harrison. Hang tough.”
  • It wouldn’t really be old times if Mulder didn’t say something vague, hang up with no warning, and leave Scully yelling his name into the phone.

xfiles alone scully phone

  • Mulder never did those trust exercises with Scully (they never needed them), but asking a half-blind Doggett to aim at the sound of his voice? That’s a trust exercise. Doggett doesn’t want to take the chance, but he does. And it works. And Mulder puts his hand on Doggett’s shoulder. We could’ve had it all.
A+ partnership

A+ partnership

  • This hospital isn’t ready for Scully and Mulder’s domesticity.
  • “Is this it?”
xfiles alone doggett is this it

They’re a family. He’s their friend. Everyone’s happy.

xfiles alone mulder smile

SUCH expectant parents (Mulder’s excited and Scully’s just over there like ‘NO I am not pushing this child out of me yet’)

awww

There’s no question that this whole experience belongs to the pair of them.

  • Mulder wants Doggett in the Apollo 11 club.
  • Everyone’s re-gifting the keychain.
  • Only a fangirl can truly appreciate it, anyway.
  • Would you like a long-standing plot hole filled in? Too bad. Have some banter instead.

xfiles alone scully a spaceship

That is so YOU. That is so SCULLY.

That is so YOU. That is so SCULLY.

  • “You don’t have a picture of it or anything.”
  • Scully believes in all kinds of things now, but science is still number one. Playfully challenging Mulder is a close second.
  • He loves it.

xfiles alone mulder scully unconscious banter

  • “And you were frozen, and I hugged you until you were not frozen anymore.”

“Essence”

  • “How did this child come to be? What set its heart beating? Is it the product of a union? Or the work of a divine hand? An answered prayer? A true miracle? Or is it a wonder of technology—the intervention of other hands? What do I tell this child about to be born? What do I tell Scully? What do I tell myself?”
  • PREVIOUSLY ON THE X-FILES: (45 minutes of Mulder asking more questions)
  • Mulder can wait. He knows all of the possibilities, and he’ll be involved whatever the outcome. He can wait, like Scully, to find out the truth. But Margaret Scully deserves so much more than this. I don’t want to live in a world that keeps Margaret Scully waiting.
DO NOT KEEP SECRETS FROM THIS WOMAN

DO NOT KEEP SECRETS FROM THIS WOMAN

  • “This has got to be a conspiracy.” It’s a gift box with two plush dolls in it. And Doggett said Mulder could find a conspiracy at a church picnic.
  • Who are most of these people?
xfiles essence scully baby shower

Skinner’s assistant can stay. Swap out everyone else for Reyes.

  • Meanwhile, Doggett cleans his gun and watches Nascar.
  • “You can drop the ‘Agent,’ Agent Doggett. It’s just plain old Fox Mulder now.” No.
  • Doggett follows Mulder’s instincts and defends his ideas. He doesn’t have to answer to Mulder, but he’s seen enough to know that he should.
  • “Pissing people off comes with the territory, Agent Doggett. It’s part of working on the X-files.” The more people are afraid of them, the more they’re onto something.
  • “It’s Saturday anyway, right? We’re just having a look around.” I’m sorry, is that the ‘It’s not breaking and entering on weekends’ defense?

xfiles esssence mulder doggett door

  • There is no logical reason to pronounce “Parenti” as Doggett does, but Mulder gradually adopts it anyway because he thinks Doggett is pretty cool.
  • “From a friend of mine.”
  • Mulder will end Parenti if he did anything to Scully’s pregnancy, but his voice gets soft when he asks if she’s carrying a healthy baby. There’s no fire in this. He’s not looking for justifiable anger. He just wants Scully to be okay.
  • She’s his medical doctor.

It's not a life or death situation, so Scully's

They’re both enjoying this too much.

I thought maybe the aliens taught Mulder some Spanish, but I looked this up and it's a boxer's nickname.

I thought maybe the aliens taught Mulder some Spanish, but I looked this up and it’s a boxer’s nickname.

Babies.

Children.

  • “Same thing would’ve happened to me if I’d been left alone, if Scully hadn’t treated me.” He’ll never stop being amazed by all of the ways that Scully’s intellect and ability have saved him.
  • Mulder’s sleeves are really tight. Cheers.

xfiles essence mulder t shirt

  • What happens to Scully’s baby happens to Scully, and what happens to Scully happens to Mulder.
That this baby you're carrying is born without any surprises.

“That this baby you’re carrying is born without any surprises.”

  • Agh. The guys at the FBI are placing bets on the father of Scully’s baby. #YesAllWomen
  • “I’ve had my suspicions.” Skinner is the only one allowed to think about this, and only because he was thinking about it long before Scully got pregnant.

xfiles essence mulder father scully's business

  • Somewhere along the way, Mulder’s gotten comfortable—not with the fact that he knows exactly how this baby came about, but with the fact that he knows about as much as Scully knows. He’s pretty sure that he’s the only non-alien/ non-government chip option. He and Scully have both just accepted without question that he’ll be in this kid’s life. His main question now is “how a woman who was diagnosed as barren and unable to conceive is about to give birth in a couple days,” and that Scully’s question too. But even if he is the father, it’s not for him to say. This is Scully’s business and Scully’s alone.
  • If someone really does have to ask her, Mulder won’t let it be anyone but him.
  • Concerned glances all around.

xfiles essence scully mulder hospital

xfiles essence mulder scully hospital

  • Mulder’s out of the Bureau, but when a case concerns Scully, he’s not really out of the Bureau.

He's INCLUDED.

  • This woman starts talking about Scully like she’s nothing more than a carrier of some scientific marvel, and Mulder walks. He’s heard everything he needs to know.
  • Run away together, babies.

xfiles essence mulder scully pack

  • “I can’t take this! I can’t live like this, as the object of some unending X-file.”

The more her life

  • This job has broken Scully into pieces and filed her away, but the absolute worst thing it could do would be to convince her that that this is what Mulder is here for—the puzzle that her life has become. Because if it can take Scully from Mulder, then it’s taken her from herself. But Scully is bigger than everything to him, and he always only sees her.

xfiles essence mulder scully have this baby

  • As they sneak out of the apartment (and this is definitely not the first time Mulder’s taken the back way out of Scully’s apartment), he just barely reaches out to her, and she’s already putting the car keys in his hand. They can read each other’s minds.

xfiles essence scully mulder keys

  • “You realize we’re listening to someone who tried to kill me. He left you for dead.” Welcome to the job, Agent Doggett.
  • Say “barren” ONE MORE TIME.

xfiles essence scully krycek barren

  • Mulder hands Scully over to Krycek, because people will be looking for her with him. Everything good they have gets twisted: the more connected they are, the less they can be together. But Mulder’s connection to Scully is also what saves her, because he knows how to use their relationship as a threat. If he tells you to protect her, you protect her, or he literally buries you.
  • “Drive safely.”
Don't tell me what to do.

Don’t tell me what to do.

“Existence”

  • I’m still waiting on that happy, non-life-threatening road trip. This isn’t it.
xfiles existence scully reyes road trip

It is, however, a badass lady road trip, and that’s good too.

  • “I’ve never delivered a baby before.” “Well I’ve never had one. That makes us both beginners.” And that is not comforting, Scully.
I love that she genuinely thinks that it is, that if she can do it, Reyes can do it. They're both badass ladies. They've got this.

I love that she genuinely thinks that it is. If she can do it, Reyes can do it. They’re badasses. They’ve got this.

  • Mulder does not appreciate the suggestion that Scully’s pregnancy was triggered by the chip in her neck. He’s already carrying enough guilt for what she’s lost following him. He wants to be responsible for something good for once—for making something with her instead of making something out of her.
  • He trusts Doggett to be the only one who knows Scully’s location. Mulder’s got PEOPLE.
  • Sisters are doing it for themselves.

xfiles existence scully reyes clean

  • I’m so glad we get to keep her.

I've never heard anyone sound so excited about whale songs, and I lived in Alaska for a year, and they had a WHALE FESTIVAL.

I’ve never heard anyone sound so excited about whale songs, and I lived in Alaska for a year, and they had a WHALE FESTIVAL.

hipster Dory

hipster Dory

heart eyes

Scully loves people who own how weird they are.

  • Reyes IS a lot like Melissa. There’s something sad but really sweet about how cyclical this season has felt, the way people keep coming back to Scully in new ways.
  • I love it when she greets people with her badge, like the badge can actually explain half of what she finds herself doing.
xfiles existence scully badge

“I’m sure that this looks untoward.” I’ve taken up residence in these old hot springs to give birth but don’t worry, I’m with the FBI.

  • “And then what? How long can you keep this up? How long until the next Billy Miles rears his head? The next threat? The next phantom? You ever stop to ask yourself? All the sacrifice, the blood spilled. You’ve given nearly a decade of your life. Where the hell is it all going to end?” Mulder’s as quiet as he was looking up at Scully’s brother in the hospital hallway or burying his nose in Scully’s hair in that bed in Oregon. “I don’t know. Maybe it doesn’t.”
He knows it isn't worth it anymore, but he doesn't have a choice. Mulder and Scully never stop fighting. That's what they do.

He knows it isn’t worth it anymore, but he doesn’t have a choice. Mulder and Scully never stop fighting.

  • I’m not sure I trust anyone who wouldn’t respond this way to Scully.

xfiles existence reyes scully amazingly beautiful

  • We had Thanksgiving; time for Christmas.
xfiles existence star

Silent night?

  • “I’ve got to get to Scully.” FINALLY.
  • The friends who introduced me to this show pointed out that we tend to refer to the men as baby animals and the women as radiant marble pillars lit from within. Skinner is the exception. Skinner can be a marble pillar.
I did it in my Dad Sweater.

Killing Krycek in his dad sweater.

  • “How’s this?” Is that Mulder’s shirt? Does Scully wear Mulder’s shirt to give birth? Did he switch to almost exclusively heather gray shirts a few years back all so we’d get to this moment and know that Scully is wearing Mulder’s shirt to keep him with her when she brings their kid into the world?

xfiles existence reyes shirt

xfiles existence scully this is my baby

YES.

  • Reyes is a genius and a scholar, and she wields buckets of boiling water like a pro.
  • Hi.
Excuse me sir do you have a minute to talk about aliens

Excuse me sir do you have a minute to talk about replicant aliens?

  • “This is my baby! Please don’t let them take it!” SCULLY MY HEART
  • It would be all right if they stopped playing the “This Is Not Happening” theme.
  • GO, MULDER, GO.
The way he CALLS OUT HER NAME like it's a promise he made. They always echo back to each other.

The way he CALLS OUT HER NAME like it’s a promise he keeps making. He knows they always echo back to each other.

  • The X-files are in such good hands.
xfiles existence doggett reyes

Basement out.

  • It is beyond appropriate that the Lone Gunmen are the three wise men.
  • “There was a light. I followed it.”
I would be lying if I said I didn't cry while taking this screen shot. Scully is Mulder's light, and he is hers.

I would be lying if I said I didn’t cry while taking this screen shot. They’re the light in the dark places.

  • Taking it all in.

xfiles existence mulder leans against door

  • “How’s everybody doing?” SAYS DAD MULDER, LIKE A DAD.
  • “We’re doing just fine.”
She has everything she wants.

She has everything she wants. You can see it in her face.

  • “Hey now. None of that.”
ldkfjdfkjdofdjkl

ldkfjdfkjdofdjkl

  • Scully lights up to see Mulder with the baby.

xfiles existence scully smile

  • She can’t stop looking at him.

xfiles existence scully hands mulder william

  • Everyone is so content. I want to find a frozen pond in the middle of the woods and skate their names into the ice in cursive and then lie down and let the snow take me.

xfiles existence mulder smile

  • “What are you gonna call him?” “William. After your father.” Scully’s father was also named William (and brother. Lots of Willams. Are there other names?), but by aligning him with Mulder’s father, Scully makes it clear that this baby is Mulder’s legacy too. She’s tying them together.

xfiles existence mulder william your father

  • “I don’t know. He’s got your coloring and your eyes, but he looks suspiciously like Assistant Director Skinner.” Mulder’s time has come. His jokes are dad jokes now.
xfiles existence mulder baby skinner

LOOK AT THIS FAMILY

  • “I don’t understand, Mulder. They came to take him from us.” US.
  • I accept the “he isn’t what they thought he was” thesis but would also have accepted “Scully looked at them.”
  • “That doesn’t make him any less of a miracle, though, does it?” Mulder told Scully never to give up on a miracle, and then they made that miracle. Their relationship is the happy impossible thing that cancels out all of the terrible impossibilities they’ve fought together.

xfiles existence william scully mulder

  • “From the moment I became pregnant, I feared the truth—about how, and why. And I know that you feared it, too.” “I think what we feared were the possibilities. The truth we both know.” “Which is what?”
xfiles existence scully mulder kiss

US.

  • There’s something really simple about this moment, which is the point. The truth of them was simple in the end; it’s just that this relationship is so far beyond what anyone else has ever had that they didn’t know what to do about it. It’s love. It looked like it took forever, but I think that’s because the rest of us are just catching up. Scully and Mulder have always held on to each other in a world of aliens and monsters and old guys in suits, and they always will. They’re the most normal thing they have, so we leave them on a normal night they’ve earned a thousand times over.
I like that everyone involved in the making of this show basically would have walked off if they did another forehead kiss.

I like that everyone basically would have walked off the set if this ended in another forehead kiss. This moment isn’t about protecting each other. It’s about how much they love each other.

Can we just end it here? This feels right.  This is appropriate. Not that I won’t take another season of The X-Files in any form, but season nine is going to break me and this is nice and let’s just all stay here for a while, like David and Gillian did when they held each other forever after filming this scene.

THEY’RE A FAMILY. DON’T TOUCH THEM, CHRIS CARTER.

See you all for season nine.

85 comments

  1. It’s so great to see thoughts and ideas about this show, (or to put it better, about Mulder and Scully) so eloquently given and so thoroughly analyzed. And so fun! Thank you so much for this.

    P.S For your sake, don’t watch season 9. I know you will, I did too, but I couldn’t not warn you.

  2. “I want to find a frozen pond in the middle of the woods and skate their names into the ice in cursive and then lie down and let the snow take me.” Haha, OMG *this*. Best. Ship. Ever.
    This is epic!

    1. I will be dying over this line all week and into the next. Cannot contain the giggles.
      You are making me love this series even more, and I didn’t think that was possible! Great work.

  3. (Aah logged into a different account on a different device, don’t even care anymore, technology.)

    Oh man. I’ve been waiting so patiently and excitedly for you to get to this point!

    It’s really interesting how you interpret Mulder and Scully’s interaction post-abduction. Granted I haven’t seen this in over a decade (OK that’s not true, I did a re-watch before the second movie came out, but didn’t really pay attention to these things), but I remember during the original run, I was so desperate to turn things into a positive — and was also in high school — that I basically just assumed they had the “this is yours and and as far as I know it happened the old fashioned way but maaaaaybe it’s an alien oops” conversation off-screen.

    Like with the “Mad About You” conversation — I just assumed, at the time, that Mulder was teasing her about “just working together,” precisely because they were never “just” anything, especially not when the baby was supposedly made OR now. That he knew where he stood, but was just giving her the gears because that’s what they do. Like one big in-joke between them. But, again, rose-coloured glasses and all. It’d be interesting to see how I’d interpret it if I’d watch it now, because your take on it makes as much sense, if not more so. All the teasing throughout the last episodes of season 8 I took as precisely that, teasing — like, if Mulder were really so unsure about his spot in Scully’s life and the baby’s, he wouldn’t necessarily be so comfortable as to joke about it, you know? But, that’s also with a 16 year old’s perspective on it, and I’d probably see it differently now.

    (But, oh, how the teasing was just a fangirl’s dream come true. Pizza men and babies and family heirlooms and jokes about bedside manner and bickering in front of their biggest fan? LOVE.)

    Oh man, the Thanksgiving analogy is the best, and now I will forever bemoan the fact that we were deprived of so much more of those shenanigans, haha. We really could have had it all! Man, imagine Mulder and Scully and Doggett and Reyes turning into a merry band of supernatural crime solvers? With Skinner as their Professor X? Heh. (Is that the right name? I only watch X-Men movies on planes. In any case IT’S THE X-FILES so it works, I’ve decided.) They all had different chemistry with each other, and I was surprised by how much I liked Mulder and Doggett together, even if I wanted to see more of Mulder and Scully together, too. Darn all these great actors.

    I really did love seeing Mulder coming to terms with his journey towards the end of this season too — how he realized there was more than his place in the Bureau these days, that there was a bigger fight out there, and more to life than just being an agent. Mulder couldn’t ever stop searching or fighting, but he didn’t necessarily need the Bureau to do it, because all he ever needed at the Bureau was Scully, and he now had her anyway, regardless of a badge. I liked the symbolism of it, especially because like you said, turning in his badge didn’t change his actions one iota.

    Somewhere, I’d like to believe Margaret Scully became a Lady Who Lunches and just, like, knocks back the martinis and hors-d’oeuvres with other Parents of Emotionally Exhausting TV Characters and is all, “I can’t even with my kids anymore, pass the spinach dip and the wine.” She deserves it. (Even if she did accidentally hire someone evil to help her daughter out.)

    (Also, I see what you did there with “Sisters,” and I approve.)

    I totally forgot about Skinner in the season 8 finale, and now that gif you posted of him casually about to shoot Krycek is stirring things up in me.

    YES to Mulder’s dad jokes actually being dad jokes now. That is totally it. Sigh. The end of season 8 was so beautiful and perfect, and if the show had ended right there, I’d probably still be in a Feelings Coma. (It might be why season 9 feels so weird, because the 8 finale had such an air of closure to it, and 9 was a reboot of sorts… but that’s a whole other discussion.)

    Sorry for the word vomit! But your posts do things to me.

    1. Don’t apologize I looooove it.

      Okay! So. That’s so interesting that you figured they had the conversation off-screen, because that’s totally possible too (and would be very mature of them. But ARE THEY EVER?). I just felt some insecurity in Mulder’s Empedocles jokes and some general awkwardness from Scully in response. It seemed like they hadn’t talked about it, and they never talk about things anyway, so it made sense. But I totally agree that there’s this weird push-pull going on between Mulder’s insecurity about the time he was away and his confidence in their relationship overall. I think the first joke he makes at the door is pretty sure of himself, because he assumes he “should know” about Scully’s relationships, but then he points at her belly and is like “we can’t rule out the pizza mannnn” and puppy totally looks like he’s deflecting all of his fears. So I think he’s sure of what they are to each other in the long term—or at least, what they were, and what he’s determined to get back to. But he doesn’t know where he is with her at this exact minute, and that’s all kind of at war in him.

      Ahhh, what a Scooby Gang they could’ve been! (I’ve seen precisely one X-Men movie but sure, that sounds right.) So many different interactions we could’ve enjoyed.

      YES. YES. “All he ever needed at the Bureau was Scully.” YES.

      Hahahahahaha please someone give me a Parents of Emotionally Exhausting TV Characters spinoff. I need it.

      Every time Skinner does wonderful things (aka every time Skinner breathes) I am reminded of when he showed up at a Pennsylvania precinct in the middle of the night and Mulder announced his arrival with, “Look, a beacon in the night.” Because he is.

      DAD MULDER. I’m feeling it.

    2. I am now picturing a Top Girls -esque play in which the mothers of emotionally exhausting characters chat and drink. I think this must be written…

  4. Fantastic entry! I so agree with you about Existence should have been the last episode–not that season 9 didn’t have some good ones, but I thought Carter should have let Mulder and Scully ride off into the proverbial sunset and then had the neXt-Files with Doggett and Reyes and Mulder and Scully making occasional appearances. Alas, no one ever listens to me. LOL

    I really will be sad when this is finished. I’ve enjoyed the trips down memory lane and your perspective on the show.

    1. Thank you!! Yeah, I’m definitely not ready for the show to be over, but based on what I know about season 9 (though obviously there are holes in that knowledge) I feel like I’d rather let this (mostly) close out Scully and Mulder for the series. But I’m still interested to see what’s coming!

      And I’ll be so sad too! Thanks so much—I really appreciate that!

      1. Postpartum, Mulderless Scully is really tough to take though (understandable, but sad…and hard to watch). Definitely sad things await you in 9, but also interesting directions, like John Doe – one of my favorites from the season (“un zapato!” & “soy haha?” join “no-ho on the rojo!” for Spanish gold). I also always loved Improbable, because Burt Reynolds is my home boy (my grandparents were friends with his parents…and all of us grew up in the same area yo), and the whole episode was a silly delight 🙂 Scary Monsters was creepy good, Lord of the Flies was ridiculous and I loved Dr. Bronzino, Release was interesting, haters gonna hate, but I liked Sunshine Days too…episode 15 doesn’t exist, but the finale was ok (if you like cyclical scenes…which you seem to), like a serious Seinfeld. So I think you’ll be okay!

  5. Even though my relationship with Season 8 has improved considerably, there’s something about Mulder that just doesn’t seem right. Maybe it was the aliens, I don’t know. You know how back in previous seasons, when Mulder could all of a sudden be such an asshole, like in “Revelations” and, yes, “Never Again”? I feel like that Mulder came out a lot towards the end of S8 and I was surprised to find myself getting angry at asshole Mulder and rooting for Doggett sometimes instead. It wasn’t a good feeling, and it tainted the ending a little bit for me (until the final scene, which is the most incredibly beautiful thing ever).

    1. I definitely agree that he’s a little off for a while after he comes back. I think it’s totally justified, given everything he’s been through, and how different everything is now, and the general uncertainty that he and Scully share over the baby, but that they probably aren’t really talking about with each other. But I do wish that the show had actually gone into that a bit more—that it had actually really explored and addressed what he was going through with more than just hints (although I know they didn’t have much time to do that). And I totally feel bad for the baby goat sometimes! I just want him to know the Mulder that Scully knows, so he’ll understand why she loves him so much. I think he gets hints of that toward the end, at least. And then that last scene! Mulder is really, finally, securely happy again when the baby comes, which is appropriate and adorable and PERFECTLY beautiful. YES 🙂

    2. I agree about asshole Mulder! My dad and I had this discussion recently. Our father/daughter bonding was watching The X-Files except when we cursed the bee he was pissed about them taking the relationship that far (old man didn’t get it). Any-hoo, Dad’s theory was you could tell DD wasn’t into it anymore hence Mulder’s crappy attitude. To this day he will only watch up to season 7. At least he is as giddy as the reast of us for the revival!

      1. Yes, that’s probably true, too. To a certain extent, though, I try to look at the show outside of the actors. As far as the story goes, Mulder’s a bit of an asshole, and there’s a reason, I guess I just haven’t discovered it completely yet. I suppose it could be that he’s gone through alien hell, but Scully did too and she wasn’t an asshole. I wouldn’t put so much emphasis on it if it was something we haven’t seen before, but asshole Mulder has cropped up before his abduction.

  6. I like to think that David and Gillian made out for a bit while holding a baby, even after the cameras left. Which I always found weird, because I don’t ship THEM, I ship Mulder and Scully. But I still like the thought of them making out when nobody’s looking. :3

    “THEY’RE A FAMILY. DON’T TOUCH THEM, CHRIS CARTER.”

    … I’ll attend your funeral.

  7. Thank you for your posts! I watched these episodes live, rewatched them in DVDs and it’s nice to know that I’m not the only one still obsessed about Mulder and Scully! The season 8′ finale was the best of all and, like many people, I wish too that the season 9 would have never happened. So, if you have never watched season 9, be prepared to be hurt and angry! Anyway, I love your posts and continue your good work : more comments about X-Files are never enough!

    1. Thank YOU!! I’ve had so much fun with it so far—and I’m out to find the best in season 9, but I also know it’s got some issues 🙂 There can never be enough talk about this show.

  8. Ahhhhhhhhh I have that warm, happy, fuzzy feeling right now. BAYBEES and PUPPIES and PROUDMOMMY!SCULLY ❤

    Isn't that last scene of Existence just perfect? I am glad that you have made it this far! I am in agreement with you though… sometimes I wish that this was the last episode. Season 9 often makes me just want to tuck my tail between my legs and detour right back to the Pilot again. Hang in there though, there are really good parts to come – as well as lots of angst and tears. As always, we will get there together 🙂

    1. PROUDMOMMY!SCULLY makes my heart soar.

      That last scene is so perfect. I could barely write about it because I was CRYING TOO HARD. It’s precious, and they deserve it so much, and I just want to pretend that they get that happy ending. Buuuuut season 9 is calling. We’ll get through it 🙂

  9. I finished writing 120 school reports, and then this post appeared. It must be fate.

    Q. Why was the internet invented?
    A. So we can share pictures of Mulder with a baby goat.

    Scared Mulder = adorable Mulder, bringing presents and playing with pillows. Scully loves it, and so do we. In this season, we needed a little bit of happiness to survive, and recover from This is Not Happening – and here it can be found.

    There’s no joking from Mulder when he finally gets to touch Scully’s bump, though Just quiet awe. He’s not afraid of this child – he might be afraid FOR it, but he ready to do everything he can to protect it. Puppy.

    Scully is SO pregnant, but is still rocking the white coat and surgical gloves. Mulder’s just a bit in awe – along with the rest of us. When I was 8 months pregant I was lucky if I could find matching shoes. But Scully’s just poking around in the third ventricle of dead peoples brains. AS YOU DO when you’re queen of the universe.

    As I watched season 8 I had this feeling that something awful was going to happen (wonder where I got THAT from Chris Carter?). And when Mulder told Scully to “tell the kid I went down swinging” I literally had to leave the room. That hurts, puppy.

    Doggett keeps arguing with Mulder, not realising that after years of working with Scully, Mulder cant actually work WITHOUT someone constantly questioning him. The constant requirement to explain and justify his actions actually allows him to do what he does best, in the best way – which is why baby goat gets to stay.

    It’s so appropriate that Mulder gets 86’d. He’d never resign – they have to force him out, and because he’s gone, Scully’s going too. Always together. Sigh. I need my hugging pillow. Meanwhile, baby goat is having a minor panic attack. “Its just a leave, right? You’ll be back??????? DONT LEAVE ME, I’M NOT READY, I CANT DO THIS WITHOUT YOU…” Just remember Mulder’s words, baby goat, the more people you’re pissing off, the better you’re doing.

    I am still smiling like an idiot knowing that the “It wasn’t a space ship” scene was ad libbed by DD and GA. These two don’t even need scripts – honestly – just get them in a sound stage together with a few props and a hallway and the third movie will make itself.

    And to whomever was responsible for taking all Mulder t-shirts from season 1 and washing them in way too hot water so they are all now two sizes smaller THANKYOU. Is there an emmy for that?

    My theory on why the aliens left William alone: he flashed them his mini FBI badge and fixed them with an icy stare, while making an inappropriate joke.

    The end of season 8 is just so beautiful – and its so tempting to just curl up with it and stay in the corner. But we have the strength of Mulder’s beliefs – and with them we forge on. “The Truth” is worth it.

    1. Just laughing out loud! Adorable! Specially the part where you state the 3rd movie could do itself out of Mulder and Scully! Kudos for characterizating Baby William so perfectly! And definitely, should there be emmy for such things!

    2. I feel like there needs to be a way to ‘like’ each paragraph of a comment / slash Kelly’s entire post, because I have a tendency to go “YES YES YES” to pretty much… It all. You speak the truth, Kate, and I’m into it. Speaking of Truth… Dying for Kelly to see “the” Truth — aka season 9 redemption. We all shall wait with bated breath til we get her perfectly thoughtful and hillarious analysis. (Also, can we all have a IWTB viewing party!?).

      1. Ahhhh “The Truth” is getting so much positive buzz from you all! This makes me excited!

        WAIT SERIOUSLY I am down to live tweet IWTB with everyone when the time comes.

    3. Duchovs and that goat have significantly improved the quality of my life. THANK YOU.

      Aww, Mulder is SO in awe when he touches her bump, and it’s adorable. I think that touch is his vow to the baby, just as “you were my constant” was his vow to Scully. He’s going to protect that kid.

      Ohhh Scully and her casual autopsies while pregnant. She means the world to me.

      YES. YES YES YES. “Doggett keeps arguing with Mulder, not realising that after years of working with Scully, Mulder cant actually work WITHOUT someone constantly questioning him. The constant requirement to explain and justify his actions actually allows him to do what he does best, in the best way – which is why baby goat gets to stay.” Scully showed Mulder the benefits of being challenged; he needs someone to keep him honest, to make him explain himself, prove himself, and offer theories that can stand up to questioning. Plus, he just likes it now. The debate process is fun for him.

      Mulder’s all or nothing, so getting 86’d is absolutely the only way he’d ever leave. The FBI’s been gunning for him since before the pilot. This was inevitable, and it only cements the tragedy of Scully and Mulder’s situation, because there isn’t a way for them to win, and there basically never was. But I also love that, in the WAY he’s fired, he gets as close to a win as he possibly could. Mulder is FAR from willing to go, but he offers himself up to be fired in order to spare someone else/ spare the work at large. That’s HUGE for him. He’s always put the work before everything, including his life, but he’s ALSO always believed that he’s the only one who can do the work. And now he has people. Of course Scully leaves with him. They’re a team, always.

      Lonely baby goat looks so lost in that office!! Hang tough, Doggett.

      That scene in “Alone” is the most gloriously light piece of fluff ever, it pleases me beyond words to know that it comes from DD and GA, and I would DEFINITELY watch a movie that’s just the two of them improvising as Scully and Mulder. They know what we want.

      TIGHT T-SHIRT EMMY. LET’S MAKE IT A THING.

      William is a force to be reckoned with.

      Soooo excited for “The Truth” already. We’ll get there.

  10. OK. WE ARE LIVE TWEETING THE TRUTH. Tell me where and when – if I have to get up in the middle of an Aussie night I’ll do it 🙂

  11. I was re-reading (because it’s always a pleasure) and realised that I couldn’t understand exactly what you girls were talking about relating Spanish stuff. You quoted a boxer’s nickname, but I still don’t see what it has to do with Mulder’s Spanish. Can you enlight me, please?

    1. Hi! Mulder doesn’t seem to be particularly good at Spanish (“nojo on the rojo,” anyone?), so when he said “manos de piedra,” I thought maybe he’d learned some new vocab. But it turns out to be a boxer’s nickname, so I’m guessing that’s why he knows it.

      1. Hi Kelly
        I have no idea what nojo means in Spanish. In Portuguese means aversion (rojo is red, according to the little Spanish I’ve learned).
        Manos de piedra means ‘hands of stone’ so I guess it kind of makes sense for that scene.
        But – yes you can make fun of me – I actually understood that you were refering that Mulder was refering to some kind of men’s underwear…only too late I realised it was a sport’s reference…
        Sometimes it can be hard no to be a native speaker. Sorry for the mess!

      2. Hi! No problem at ALL—English is one of the most confusing languages out there, and you’re amazing at it. As far as I know, “nojo” doesn’t mean anything in Spanish, which is why I don’t think Mulder speaks it very well. He just adds a sound to the end of the word “no” and thinks he’s got it. Oh puppy.

  12. Hey Kelly,

    I know that we are all probably focused on the nice warm feels of that glorious closing scene! I actually think everyone involved with the series (Chri and Frank incl) would have liked to leave it at that but the studio pushed for a resolution that may or may not have come – we’ll await your liveblog to see about that.
    However, I would like to discuss another burning question now that you have most of the necessary info to make assumptions: how did the 8th season change or did not change your views on the timeline of sex and on how William was conceived? I am aware that this is a question nobody can ever answer to a satisfying positivity, which could work as scientific working definition. This is one of Chris’ decisions which I’ve come to respect because maybe, just maybe, it is also not for us to know given that we’re not a part fo the nuclear family. However, it is so much fun to speculate!!!!! So…? As the ever observant fan I respect so much – what is your opinion?

    1. Hey Sophie!
      Agh yes, I know the network has a lot to do with extending the show by a season, which is really too bad–although I hear the finale makes it worth it. We shall see!
      I think the 8th season as a whole definitely did change my perspective on when they started sleeping together. I’ve totally accepted this Per Manum fic (http://allthewayfrombelfast.tumblr.com/post/103239811943/alright-finally-finished-my-per-manum-fic-and-im) as my headcanon. I think they slept together after she found out that the IVF didn’t take, and that’s when they made their little miracle baby William. As for WHEN I think the events of “Per Manum” took place, I’m still sorting that out. I think it’s way too serious and heavy to have happened right after “Millennium,” because they’re so cute and happy after “Millennium.” (Which I guess means the tie straightening and such all happened before they slept together. They were that happy just to have made out. Which is adorable, really.) It was definitely before “all things,” because everything she goes through in “Per Manum” explains why she needs to take stock of her life in “all things.” Maybe it happens around “En Ami”? They’re still in a honeymoon phase in “Theef,” and things between them get a lot more real in “En Ami.” But I’m definitely going to have to watch season 7 again and think about it 🙂 And I totally get what you mean about how it’s not for us to know. They’re so private that it’s really only fitting. The fact that we’re still speculating about it puts us in the same position as everyone else in their lives, which makes it more real somehow. Anyway, thanks for asking!! I have a feeling I’m never going to stop thinking about this.

      1. oh my, I just read the fic you posted here, and I agree- that seems completely plausible as the way things finally happened between these two- just beautiful! After you’re done with the series, you should totally create a fanfic list of great stories. There are so many beautiful ones out there- I’d love to get some recommendations from fellow shippers, and I’ve got some great recs I could contribute myself!

      2. It’s gorgeous, right?? I totally should–I’ve read very few and am kind of picky about them, so I’d love some recommendations, and I would be happy to offer up the few I’ve read! That could be a fun exchange once I’m all done with the series.

      3. I’m breaking my promise not to post but I think you’ll forgive me commenting on some conception timeline stuff. I wanted to point out that the final M & S scene in Per Manum COULD have happened sometime between Millennium and Rush. There could be weeks between those two episodes. The first M & S scene in Per manum when he agrees to donate could be months earlier, even back in season six. They would have tried at least 2 or three rounds of IVF, which is suggested by her saying that was her last chance in that final scene together. My canon is that all things, while not their first time, was when William was conceived. The dripping water in that scene then later in the season 8 morning sickness scene suggests a connection. While I prefer to think their 1st time was New Years 2000, I’m also fine with it following the Per Manum scene IF that happened sometime between Millennium and Rush. I can’t buy their flirtation in Rush and GBV as platonic so for me its gotta have been before those episodes. Also, athough their first time may have have happened after the sad news of the last IVF failure, that can’t have been when William was conceived because she wouldn’t have been so stunned to find herself pregnant in Requiem or told Skinner was having trouble explaining it or believing it. As a medical Dr she would have seen the obvious explanation that her last IVF try took after all and the disappointing pregnancy test had been a false negative. Tests can be wrong and Scully is not a lay person who wouldn’t know this. So… the last try at IVF (end of per manum) has to have happened too long prior to Requiem for IVF to have caused the pregnancy or she wouldn’t be surprised to find herself pregnant but would have seen an immediate explanation.

      4. Hi! Hahaha you’re fine! I was definitely in the “they slept together before Rush” camp for a while, and I think there’s still a lot of argument to be made for it (TIE STRAIGHTENING), but since I’ve decided to stick with a first-time-after-Per Manum headcanon, I just can’t imagine that something as happy as Rush could come right after that. So that’s where I’m at. But obviously, the interesting part is that there’s no one answer! And I do see your point with the IVF.

      5. Perfect! I never thought someone could write something so “believable”, so possible regarding the circunstances, the dialog and even the lovemaking per se around Per Manun.
        None uf us know actually ‘when’ it happened, but it’s clear they were a couple for quite some time before Requiem.
        Kelly, I’m not very patient to watch anything I’ve ever already seen again, so when the X-Files ended (after consuming 9 years of my life, taking me to heaven and hell and made me read and write kilometers of fanfics probably enough to circle the Earth, the Moon, Venus, Mars…. and Alcione), I was pretty sure I would never ever again watch the entire show again.
        Here I am, longing to start all over again and watch every single episode again… And it’s all because of you! Through your words I revived all the emotions I experienced long ago. Thank you! Truly.

    2. Hey again,

      I’m sorry for only coming back to reap the fruits of my provocation now but life got in the way and now I’m speechless at how many people have had the same pressing preoccupations as me – and to think it’s been so long! Thank you for the fic (to you and the author) and I definitely second the idea for a rec thread: I was very touched by this version of events and can really see it happening that way. On the other hand, I agree with Mrs G that the last IVF and the actual time of conception must have been quite far apart in order for the miracle to be so baffling to B.S. M.D. Dana Katherine Scully. I know that the writers probably wouldn’t pay attention but we’ve already established that those are real people to us and that the writers have very little to contribute to this speculative conversation. 🙂 And I agree that the way they initially handle the situation in Per Manum is rather sterile for a couple. I’ve always wondered what Mulder meant with “I wouldn’t want this to come between us” and I think this is a key to the timeline.
      I was actually hesitant to post my theory because I’m afraid it is somewhat complex and because it is somewhat creepy to go on and on about this, plus I want to respect their privacy like you said. BUT I’ve been wondering again ever since I asked YOU the question and I actually think that for the first time I have a theory that makes sense to me, personally. I guess I will still feel some remnant of intellectual supremacy towards snoggers and Bieber/Selena shippers afterwards but not a lot.
      I totally respect your headcanon, so if you don’t want to get it all messed up again, please disregard the following but maybe some other philes still looking for alternate timelines will find it interesting: I think Per Manum is situated after Amor Fati. We don’t really know in what emotional turmoil they are around Hungry as it’s not written from their perspective, so there is no way to falsify that one, besides it always struck me as quite odd how quickly Mulder got back on the job after Sixth Extinction.
      I think that the emotional bond (the vows!the vows!) were enough to trigger this kind of wish in Scully. She almost lost Mulder and they are finally free of most of the complications that have been keeping them apart for the longest time, i.e. Syndicate and the ambivalent relationship between him and Diana. It also makes their lives slightly less dangerous and more suited for a child and their commitment easier to establish. And I think that they both know that there is nothing left to say, no way to express unconditional love that the “touchstone exchange” hasn’t yet covered, so I think for the first time Mulder dares to hope for a simpler, private happiness with that one amazing person who means the world to him. He still hasn’t acted upon it but he’s preparing himself. And she does want it as well but she wants a more classic version of a family, so when she comes to him with her request I think he is hesitant to bring in this new dynamic between them that could yet again keep them apart, have them face the challenges of an excruciatingly sterile procedure, for which maybe there are not ready yet, not as partners (they’re ready for anything as long as they’re together) but as a not-quite-yet couple that may finally try to make sense of its romantic feelings. But as the fic so fittingly described he knows there is no one else to whom he would have said “yes”. Ever. So he goes for it.
      When it doesn’t work I think they’re both devastated but some time after that they have to start to imagine some kind of happiness together – a content tranquility with the version of their lives that they have. And this leads to the kiss in Millennium. He allows himself to try and make her happy. I think there is a symbolism in the fact that just before the kiss they see Frank and his daughter go into the night and I agree with your friend that Scully’s ultimate reaction after his joke is somewhat hesitant. She IS proud of them but maybe she is afraid he’s trying to fix her, make her better, handing her a consolation prize. She needs to know this is what he would have wanted anyway and I think she gets there eventually but at some later point in the season when they have enjoyed the seduction dance for a little longer – they know it’s coming, they just have to choose when to cave in: maybe “all things”, maybe before, but that’s a whole different ballgame…. Anyway, I think the conception happens the old-fashioned way but just sometime in season 7. I don’t think that Per Manum fits in with the other problems they face in the season, be it Closure, CSM or her soul searching. I think they are past that at this point and fighting for whatever little romantic happiness and professional integrity they can get out of their lives. You, know, the usual thing. 🙂
      I am very sorry for this rant, I probably should have just written a fanfic or started my own blog but as I’ve never done any of thos things before, I just humbly thank you for the opportunity to vent out those thoughts.
      All the best and lots of courage for season 9!
      Sophie

      1. Oooooh. That’s an interesting thought! It does mess with my little Per Manum headcanon, but it messes with it interestingly 🙂 I can totally see that! It makes absolute sense.
        SO MANY THEORIES.
        It’s really delightful that Mulder and Scully are so connected that we can look at them and point to MULTIPLE times when they might have started sleeping together. They have such a strong bond that even though it MATTERS, it doesn’t necessarily change things too much on the surface, which is why we’re all still speculating about it. Which is SO cool.
        Also, I love that everyone is having this discussion here. CARRY ON, TEAM.
        (I promise I’ll have the next volume up soon!)

  13. So I’ve been watching The X-Files for the first time and your posts have been a delight. I’m so impressed with how coherent you manage to be (most of my feelings are in a massive and ridiculous word document that ranges from wailing to haikus to repeatedly freaking out about hallways (because HALLWAYS THOUGH)) and I keep coming back to these posts when I need to know that other people are having Mulder and Scully related feelings exploding everywhere. So thank you! I’m almost done season eight and I’m not sure I’ll be able to convince myself to watch season nine (my “I JUST WANT THEM TO BE HAPPY” senses are telling me to step away at the end of existence) so I’m really curious to read your thoughts on it. Keep up the excellent work.

    1. Oh, thank you SO much! Hahahah believe me, my first notes are all “HALLWAY” and “FACES” and “hannddsssss” and general flailing. These two have that effect. But I do try to find coherence eventually, so thanks!! I’m five episodes into season nine and really scared to hit play on episode six, so I hear you. We’ll get through it together.

  14. Oh my god. I started watching the X-files for the first time I don’t know, maybe….. 4 weeks ago? Yes I know, I’m eternally late to the party. But I’m already here! 8 seasons in about a month. (Yes this has involved excessive binge watching and a generally unhealthy lifestyle.) And now I’m so trepidatious about watching season 9.
    I have never shipped anything so hard in my life and just the thought of what’s going to be taken away from them (because yes I have been unable to stay off the internet) is killing me.
    I’m also reluctant to start watching it until I have your post to go with it – I’ve had this page open as I’ve watched every episode. How far off are you from posting it?

    1. Hi! Thank you so much!! And welcome to the UFO party. It’s good here. I’ve never shipped anything so hard in my life, either! Mulder and Scully are at another level. I wish I’d had the time to watch as quickly as you have! I’m working on my post as we speak. Life has been crazy, but it’s going up within the next couple of days or everyone can hunt me down.

  15. I’m with Jay; I don’t know if I can bring myself to watch season nine, and I certainly can’t do it without your blog to go with it.
    I’ve just binge-watched eight seasons in four or five weeks, having somehow bypassed this show my entire life and I have never had such strong feelings for two (fictional?) people. I have also never referred to myself as ‘shipping’ something until now. I’m a shipper and PROUD. I don’t even know how to express myself right now.
    Your blog is wonderful though; I adore how you point out little flaws and irregularities too with such love. I noticed many a plot hole or inconsistency in my watching but nothing could detract from my love of watching these two people stumbling around trying to make sense of everything. And your humour and commentary added to my experience, because no one else in my life has watched it, and it made me feel less alone in my 3am exclamations at Scully being kidnapped in the trunk of a car AGAIN.
    So thank you thank you thank you and tell me – is season nine worth it?

    1. I’m totally not convinced that they’re fictional, either. They’re real. They’re Mulder and Scully, and they’re REAL.
      I’m only five episodes into season nine so far, and obviously it’s missing something, but it’s still The X-Files, so it’s still worth it in the long run. It’s painful, though.

  16. “He could sit here and defend his life’s work all day, but he has more important places to be.”

    Character development at its finest. ❤ This would never have been him at the beginning of the show. He'd check in on her, yeah, but if it came down to Scully or his work in the first couple episodes, it'd be his work every time. Now? Screw his life's work, Scully is in the hospital and he needs to be there for her.

    "“Agent Reyes. I like her.” Yeah you do."

    I really like how quickly Scully took to Reyes. Also really like Reyes as a character in general. I hope they bring her back in the reboot, too. :3

    "“Is this it?”"

    I love Doggett's expression here. He's so excited for them. xD "Is this it? Are you gonna give birth? Oh my god, and I'm here for it? Can I wait down the hall? I don't have to be in the room with you, I promise. I just wanna see the baby after it's born. I just wanna be here for it. Please let me be a part of this."

    "“I’ve had my suspicions.” Skinner is the only one allowed to think about this, and only because he was thinking about it long before Scully got pregnant."

    Skinner probably saw how much they loved each other before they even saw it themselves, and he totally ships it. I bet he writes fanfiction when he's at home, shirtless. He's so supportive of the two of them being together and so protective of their baby. He's adorable. I love Skinner.

    "Is that Mulder’s shirt? Does Scully wear Mulder’s shirt to give birth? Did he switch to almost exclusively heather gray shirts a few years back all so we’d get to this moment and know that Scully is wearing Mulder’s shirt to keep him with her when she brings their kid into the world?"

    I NEVER EVEN NOTICED THIS BEFORE BUT IT IS NOW MY FAVORITE HEAD-CANON. THANK YOU FOR THIS. THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT SHE DID. NOBODY CAN CONVINCE ME OTHERWISE.

    1. Right?? I think a lot changed for Mulder over the course of Scully’s abduction. When he sat with her in the hospital in “One Breath” instead of waiting in his apartment for the people who did this to her, he made his decision. He realized what was important to him, and he became someone who would always choose being with Scully over his quest. I think of that every time he puts her first now, because I think that’s when it started. Now he doesn’t have to think twice.

      It is so cute the way Scully trusts Monica right away. It’s part of how I learned to like her. Scully’s instincts are good. And I love that she’s drawn to people who own how weird they are.

      Ha! “Is this it? Are you gonna give birth? Oh my god, and I’m here for it? Can I wait down the hall? I don’t have to be in the room with you, I promise. I just wanna see the baby after it’s born. I just wanna be here for it. Please let me be a part of this.” YES. He just wants to share this with them. Baby goaaat.

      I would read Skinner’s fanfic.

      SHIRT. I didn’t notice it the first time I watched, only when I went to take a screenshot, but it’s definitely my headcanon now.

  17. Oooh you still check these comments?? Anyone out there? I have an evolving theory of the relationship timeline and would love to TALK IT OUT.

    So many things hang me up, but you know what? Nothing is really going to line up in a satisfying way, because in season 7 the writers didn’t know that in season 8 they were going to write that, oh hey, for a while back there Mulder and Scully were going through IVF together… for months and months (a year?). SHRUG. (At least, it REALLY doesn’t seem possible that they were working under that directive.) Basically we shippers are trying to slot events into a timeline that the writers never even firmly established for themselves. There really are SO many ways it could have happened but I’m going with the one I LIKE best. Here, let me write you a novel!

    I think they started in vitro in season 6, before SEX. They’re close (they’re life partners and they know it but wouldn’t even know how to put it into words), but it’s still at a point in their relationship where they consider themselves friends. (OF COURSE they privately flirt with the idea of being MORE, but it’s scary because what they have is SO GOOD and so vital.) So it’s Scully asking Mulder to do something for/with her, but they’re not trying for a baby TOGETHER (though Mulder is totally in this with her). At least that’s how those flashback scenes read to me… until the last one.

    Mulder and Scully go through so much in the season 6 finale/season 7 premiere arc and realize (again) HOW MUCH they mean to each other, and then they exchange vows in Amor Fati and they are married. Mazel!

    (Alternatively, they could have started IVF after Amor Fati and before Millennium, because that could be a space of at least a few months. This may even be more likely and the logistics just don’t work out because hey IT’S TV!, but I put it earlier myself since the IVF process takes sooo long. Waiting a couple of months between tries… it’s a long process. And I just think it seems more likely that the start of IVF and the start of sex were a bit removed from one another.)

    Then SEX starts early in season 7, after Millennium and before Rush (THE TIE STRAIGHTENING). And they’re really happy. THEY’RE SO HAPPY. But… 😦

    So that final flashback scene. It really reads to me like they’re already sleeping together. He fell asleep on her couch waiting for her to get back with the news (PUPPY), the way they kiss, he tells her never to give up on a miracle… because they’re SLEEPING TOGETHER. (And then they have lots of let-me-comfort-you-sex.) Sure, she says it was MY last chance, but that’s because it’s still kind of her thing, they haven’t been sleeping together for very long and haven’t yet redefined* how they’re doing this… having a baby together (though they both know they are IN THIS together).

    In En Ami, Scully takes a foolish risk as she looks for answers after the final IVF failure, temporarily shutting Mulder out as she deals with it on her own, and he’s protective and pissed (and then they have lots of make-up sex). (I’m just ignoring the fact that CSM should know about SEX since he knows everything, as we learn in season 9. Maybe he doesn’t know yet? Maybe he’s feigning ignorance? They’re definitely going through IVF and he doesn’t bring THAT up.)

    In All Things, this visit from Scully’s past brings up the pain of what could have been, what she had imagined for her life versus what is now actually possible for her life. She’s coming to grips with her new reality, with not having children. Scully assesses WHAT exactly this life is that she has now (“I know, you have a life.” “I don’t know what I have.”), and she decides to be okay with it, that she’s where she’s meant to be. With Mulder.

    *APOLOGIES FOR FOOTNOTE: And the way Mulder acts when he returns, I don’t think they EVER really defined it… which I have an issue with, but I really have an issue with much of the writing in season 8 as it pertains to the way Mulder & Scully interact with each other – it feels off. I KNOW Mulder is going through a lot but the writers took that relationship development like ten steps back. They were so damn FORMAL with each other. Just odd.

    I just want to believe. The post-Millennium lightness, playfulness, happiness speaks volumes – there has to be more going on, and it’s not “we’re trying to have a baby through in-vitro isn’t this a fun and special time?!” That just doesn’t work for me.

    1. I’m absolutely still checking these comments; hi! I really like this timeline and could totally see it happening that way. You’re so right; it’s really important that we not lose sight of the fact that the whole IVF process would have taken a while. I never really thought about that, but it’s CRUCIAL, and it makes it possible for the whole process to have started right before/ after the whole amor fati arc, but then to have stretched maybe even BEYOND Millennium. YES. AHH. I’m still sort of attached to the idea that the night at the end of Per Manum was their first time, especially because Scully starts with neck kisses instead of actual kisses, and I feel like they would have wanted to wait until the whole IVF process was completed. But the way he makes himself at home, it wouldn’t surprise me if they were already sleeping together. Anything is possible, really.
      Thanks so so much for sharing this timeline! I love it.

      1. Yes, I do think it would make more sense that they went through IVF and then later started sleeping together (they should have written it that way!) but there are too many signs and just things I can’t let go of to work it out that way. I almost want to think they finished IVF before the season 6 finale, but in that final flashback… they are so about to go have sex, if they have’t been doing it already. RIGHT?!

        I see the neck kiss as verrry intimate, between people who have been… intimate. It’s sad and tender, they’re going to hold each other for a bit, the kissing is not about sex (YET).

        That’s the infuriating (and brilliant, and probably necessary) thing about the relationship as shown in the series, that it was kept so vague.

      2. Seriously. It’s great that we can all keep talking about it, but it’s also frustrating sometimes to have so few details. But I also love that, in the end, there are so many times we can point to as THE time it first happened between them, because it speaks to the fact that, at some level, the “when” of it all (and the fact that we didn’t see it) doesn’t really matter. What matters is the truth of their bond, and that’s what keeps us coming back.

  18. Hooooooly hell that was long. Forgot to say thanks for blogging the show! I’ve been re-watching for the last month or so since hearing the news that Fox wants to bring it back and just finished season 8 (yes, I have been watching breakfast lunch and dinner BUT I started at s2 having watched s1 a couple months ago). I found your recaps around season 6 and it felt less like I was going through this ALL ALONE… because it has been EMOTIONAL. I’ve been pestering my brother with endless text-thoughts and today I finally called my mom desperate to talk through all of the FEELINGS. (“There’s a lot of stuff that’s going on with me right now and, um, and I just really need to talk.”)

    1. Oh yay! Thank YOU. Probably my favorite thing about blogging this show has been that I haven’t felt alone in this experience, either. This fandom is so great! And I have SO MANY FEELINGS. “Overwhelmed by Mulder and Scully” is my new default state of existence. I hear you.
      We could all use a phone call with Mrs. Scully.

  19. I absolutely adore that shot at the end of Existence with Mulder and Scully kissing, their child held between them. Blissful perfection.

    Agent Harrison was apparently named after one of the fanfic writers. The show would sometimes name characters after fans that were on some of the discussion groups. It was a bit of an injoke that Agent Harrison was such a M/S fangirl.

    Don’t know why this bothers me, but Reyes haircut is poor or maybe just unflattering for her. If memory serves, it improves in S9.

    I agree, lets end it here. Scully finally has what she wants – Mulder and a healthy child. Better get a bottle of wine to keep by your side for S9.

  20. Wow! You just *get* the X files and these characters. As I’m reading, it’s like you’re writing exactly how I feel about the show, but could never have said in such an articulate manner. I’m laughing and crying (in a good way). Fabulous work! Please tell me you’ve written fan fiction somewhere…

  21. “like David and Gillian did when they held each other forever after filming this scene.”

    Can you elaborate on that statement? Was it behind the scenes stuff?

  22. There’s an awesome audio interview with Kim Manners (RIP) too, where he described this moment and the whole M&S relationship (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6J_XpRSzcQ) but this written quote slays me.

    ““The last shot in the picture was Gillian handing David the baby in her bedroom. David leaned over and gave her a kiss, and the camera then pulled back out of the doorway and just kept going down the hall. We got the shot, and we cut it and printed it; the nurse came and took the baby away. And David put his arms around Gillian, and she put her arms around him, and they stood there for about ten minutes, and never said a word to each other. The tears were just rolling down their faces, and the whole crew stood there and watched this in silence. It was truly one of the most emotional experiences I’ve ever witnessed in my life.”

    Kim Manners, director”

    God almighty. David and Gillian always say (even in interviews for the revival) they don’t know what it was or how they were doing it, and they know they’ll be asked about it for the rest of their lives.

    But they had it. They still have it. Whatever it is. The spooky magic that simultaneously eviscerates and exalts us. The perfection makes me cry every damn time. Maybe this is what it’s like to have a religious experience?

    (It’s the closest I’ve gotten, other than being at U2 concert with 20,000 people singing “One.”)

    How can a TV show, two actors, and a roomful of writers create something that speaks to us so deeply, in the place beyond words?

    I want them back for a season 11. Please…

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