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A Guide to the IDW X-Files Comics – Part 1 – The X-Files: Season 10

An Introduction

So, The X-Files is over, but you need more Mulder and Scully in your life?  You may be aware that there have been some X-Files comic books over the years, but what are they about, which series is which, and where can you get them? In online discussions over the past few years, there’s been a lot of confusion about what these comics are about and, for those who want to check it out for themselves, exactly where to begin. There are multiple series, each available as individual issues, many as collected volumes, and some with multiple editions of collected volumes, and it can be a bit confusing and overwhelming to know where to start. So, let’s go ahead and break it down so everyone can enjoy some new X-Files adventures!


Three Eras of Comics

There are three distinct periods of X-Files comics throughout the history of the show, each put out by different publishers. These periods included various ongoing series, shorter miniseries, and the occasional one-shots.

Topps Comics (1995 – 1998)

The Topps Comics series ran alongside the original run of the show, between seasons 2 and 5. It included an ongoing original 41-issue series written by Stefan Petrucha, John Rozum, Kevin J. Anderson, and Dwight Jon Zimmerman, as well as a series of comics based on episodes from the show’s first season adapted by Roy Thomas. Kevin J. Anderson’s novel Ground Zero was also adapted into a 4-part comic miniseries during this period.

WildStorm (2008 – 2009) 

To coincide with the the release of the second film, I Want to Believe, DC Comics imprint WildStorm released a one-shot book followed by a short 6-part series, most notable for its inclusion of Frank Spotnitz as one of the writers, along with Marv Wolfman and Doug Moench. 

As a somewhat separate entity, WildStorm also teamed up with IDW in 2010 to create a 6-part crossover series between The X-Files and the comic series 30 Days of Night, written by 30 Days of Night creator Steve Niles along with Adam Jones of Tool fame.

IDW (2013 – 2018) 

The most recent era in X-Files comics started in 2013 in honor of the show’s 20th anniversary and ran throughout the show’s television revival period. It included the ongoing series The X-Files: Season 10 and Season 11, which were intended as a semi-canon continuation of the series well before the decision was made to revive the TV series for another two seasons, as well as a post-revival series that was more in line with the creative decisions made in bringing the show back to television in 2016, all written by Joe Harris. This era also included a number of one-shots and miniseries by various authors.


The X-Files: Season 10

It’s these more recent series that I’ll primarily be focusing on in these blogs, as these are the books I had been following in real time during their initial release. First and foremost is the original and longest-running IDW offering, The X-Files: Season 10.

At this point, The X-Files: Season 10 and its follow-up, The X-Files: Season 11, are sure to draw some confusion, as they share little in common with the televised versions of Season 10 and Season 11. However, the comic version of Season 10 came about before the televised revival was even a thought, and was actually following in the footsteps of other television-to-comic continuations, such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

The series was written by Joe Harris, and the primary interior artists for the mythology issues were Michael Walsh (early issues) and Matthew Dow Smith, with colors by Jordie Bellaire. Various other artists contributed to the stand-alone/MOTW stories.  Chris Carter acted as executive producer on the series, setting some story guidelines during the planning stages and approving scripts.

The Season 10 comics began as a “semi-canon” continuation of the series after I Want to Believe, as in, it was considered canon (or at least “comic book canon,” as Chris Carter once put it) if the series wasn’t going to continue on in another format, however, Carter reserved the right to deviate from the comic continuity if the series would continue in movie form, or, as it turned out, television form, which is exactly what happened. As a result, the Season 10 comic now functions as an AU (alternate universe) continuation of the series post-IWTB, though interestingly enough, this AU status is somewhat acknowledged at the end of the series in Season 11.

Season 10:  Comics vs. Television

(Note:  Skip this section if you want to remain totally spoiler-free.)

So, how does the comic book version of Season 10 compare to the television version?   The comic begins around 2013, and as in the 2016 television revival, the scheduled 2012 invasion does not appear to have come to pass. And like in the television version, Mulder and Scully are spurred back into action and rejoin the FBI after an encounter with Skinner warns them of a potential looming threat and concerns for William’s safety. The similarities pretty much end there, however. 

The Season 10 comic perhaps has a bigger focus on nostalgia. Joe Harris seems to have a love of the classic X-Files mythology, so things like the black oil and shape-shifting aliens are back at the forefront. As with the show, the comic is split between mythology and monster of the week and features a couple of stories that serve as sequels to classic MOTW episodes in addition to completely new monsters. Harris also finds ways to play with long-dead characters in his stories, either through flashback or other story conventions.

Sometimes the character revivals may seem a bit contrived, but fans of those characters will probably accept it and move on, just for the joy of seeing some of their favorites again. For instance, the Lone Gunmen are still alive in the comics, having apparently faked their deaths and are working in secret underground (literally). It’s one of the more “comic-booky” things in the series, but worth overlooking just to have the Gunmen back in their traditional support role for Mulder and Scully. Other characters appear to be back under very different circumstances, but honestly, as strange as some of them may be, the explanation for CSM’s appearance in the comic can’t really be any more ridiculous than recovering from having his flesh melted off by a missile to the face like he did in the show, right?

Some other differences include Skinner having been promoted to Deputy Director in the comics, while retaining his Assistant Director title in the show. William is mentioned in the comics but is never seen, nor do we learn his ultimate fate. Doggett and Reyes are still with the FBI in the comics, and while they don’t play a huge role, we at least have an idea of what they’re up to. And perhaps most notably for the shippers in the room who may have been put off by Mulder and Scully’s split in the revival, that never happened in the comics, and we start out with the two living together in a suburban neighborhood under new identities. Their relationship isn’t too overt for most of the comic’s run (with perhaps one notable exception), but it kind of lives comfortably in the background.

 

Now, where to begin?

Okay, this sounds interesting enough, so where do you begin? IDW had multiple ongoing X-Files series, issues had multiple cover variants, and Season 10 ended back in 2015, so tracking down physical copies of individual issues and keeping them all straight would be a cumbersome task for all but the most dedicated collector. Fortunately, though, IDW has given us a few different ways to catch up on this series.

 

Individual Issues

The individual Season 10 comics are no longer actively in print, but as of 2018, many are still available at online comic shops, the Amazon marketplace, and of course, eBay. This probably isn’t the ideal way for newcomers to catch up, but it’s useful if someone’s trying to fill in their existing collection or track down a particular piece of cover art to display. Most issues had several cover variants including the standard cover artwork, photographs from the series, and rarer alternate cover art used as retail intensives or event exclusives (though often alternate cover art is included in the collected versions, if you’re not worried about using it as a display piece).

For certain one-shot comics, however, individual issues may be the only way to go if they were never included in any collected volumes. As far as Season 10 is concerned, I’d recommend picking up the The X-Files X-Mas Special #1 (also available digitally) from 2014, which I don’t believe is included in the Season 10 collections, however, the first of the two stories included in the special takes place within the Season 10 universe (chronologically at some point between the stories “Monica & John” and “Elders”). This particular X-Mas Special can stand on its own and isn’t essential to understanding the ongoing Season 10 plot, but it’s one of the sweeter and funnier stories in the series and is totally worth reading for drunk Skinner alone.

 

Hardcover Collections

Hardcover Collections

Season 10 was comprised of 25 issues released monthly between 2013 and 2015. Beginning in 2014, however, IDW began publishing hardcover collections, each containing five issues of the series for a total of five volumes. This worked out well, as the main mythology story arcs were each five issues long and were then separated by five issues of more stand-alone/MOTW stories (note that some single-issue stories here do also relate to the mythology). This meant that Volumes 1, 3, and 5 each contained a single mytharc story, and Volumes 2 and 4 were comprised of three or four separate stories that only spanned one to two issues each.

As of 2018, these volumes are still available to buy new, however, it’s unlikely that they will continue to stay in print, as IDW has recently re-released these comics in a more economical paperback collection. Amazon links are available below.

Hardcover Volume 1 – “Believers” (Issues 1-5)
Hardcover Volume 2 – “Hosts” (Issues 6-7), “Being for the Benefit of Mr. X” (Issue 8), “Chitter” (Issue 9), “More Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man” (Issue 10)
Hardcover Volume 3 – “Pilgrims” (Issues 11-15)
Hardcover Volume 4 – “Immaculate” (Issues 16-17), “Monica & John” (Issue 18), “G-23″ (Issues 19-20)
Hardcover Volume 5 – “Elders” (Issues 1-25)

 

Paperback Collections

Paperback Volumes

In 2016, Season 10 was re-released in a more economical paperback form with The X-Files: Complete Season 10 Volume 1 and Volume 2. The newer release includes all 25 issues from Season 10 along with the 2014 and 2015 Annual specials as a bonus (one of the annuals includes a story by Frank Spotnitz, though it may feature some very questionable artwork).

As far as physical copies go, this 2-volume collection is probably going to give you the most bang for your buck.

Paperback Volume 1 – “Believers” (Issues 1-5), “Hosts” (Issues 6-7), “Being for the Benefit of Mr. X” (Issue 8), “Chitter” (Issue 9), “More Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man” (Issue 10), “Pilgrims” (Issues 11-15)

Paperback Volume 2 – “Immaculate” (Issues 16-17), “Monica & John” (Issue 18), “G-23″ (Issues 19-20), “Elders” (Issues 1-25), 2014 Annual, 2015 Annual

 

Digital Comics

And for those who don’t want to be burdened with a lot of paper or just prefer the convenience of reading on their screen, digital versions are also available for both individual issues as well as the collected volumes. The Amazon links above for the hardcover collections also have the Kindle version as an option, and most of the X-Files comics are also available digitally on comiXology, though I’d still recommend doing your research before buying to avoid potential repeat purchases.


The X-Files Cold Cases and Stolen Lives

Audio Dramas

So, for anyone who’s listened to the two X-Files audio dramas released on Audible in 2017, this all might sound pretty familiar. That’s because the audio books were an adaptation of the Season 10 comics, with Dirk Maggs adapting Joe Harris’ original comic scripts to the audio format. The end result resembles more of a radio play than a traditional audio book, with actors voicing their individual roles and very little in the way of descriptive narration.

All 25 issues of the Season 10 comics were adapted into two volumes of the audio dramas, with the first volume being named Cold Cases, and the second Stolen Lives. The overall content is generally the same as it was in the comics, just with some slight shifting around (the story “Chitter” appears later in the audio books than in the comics) and the obvious narrative changes needed to adapt a purely visual medium into a purely aural one.

 With that said, reading the comics and listening to the audio books are both pretty unique experiences despite sharing the same source material. You get a very different sense of scope and timing when viewing images on a page versus listening to voices and sound effects. There are definitely times when the audio format can be slightly awkward, such as when characters end up describing what they’re doing instead of being able to use art to show a character’s actions visually. On the other hand, the audio books generally do an excellent job of using ambient sound and sound effects to immerse the listener in a scene.

The biggest draw to the audio versions, however, is that it’s another chance for us to hear some of our favorite actors reprise their roles. Gillian Anderson, David Duchovny, Mitch Pileggi, William B. Davis, Tom Braidwood, Bruce Harwood, and Dean Haglund are all back to voice their respective characters. The voice direction is perhaps a little hit or miss at times, and it’s jarring to have characters like Doggett, Reyes, and especially Krycek voiced by different actors, but it’s still a lot of fun to hear Scully, Mulder, Skinner, CSM, and the Lone Gunmen bringing their characters to life.

So, if you’ve only listened to the audio books or if you’ve only read the comics, I highly recommend giving the other format a try, as well, since they each engage you in a completely different way.

As the audio dramas were an Audible exclusive, they are currently only available as a digital download from Audible/Amazon. You can find them here:

The X-Files: Cold Cases

Episode 1 : “Believers” (Issues 1-5)
Episode 2:  “Hosts” (Issues 6-7)
Episode 3:  “Being for the Benefit of Mr. X” (Issue 8)
Episode 4:  “More Musings of A Cigarette Smoking Man” (Issue 10)
Episode 5:  “Pilgrims” (Issues 11-15)

The X-Files: Stolen Lives

Episode 1:  “Immaculate” (Issues 16-17)
Episode 2:  “Chitter” (Issue 9)
Episode 3:  “Monica and John” (Issue 18)
Episode 4:  “G-23” (Issues 19-20)
Episode 5:  “Elders” (Issues 21-25)

 

To Be Continued…

So, whichever format you decide to experience The X-Files: Season 10 in, one thing remains the same:  It ends on a goddamn cliffhanger. Fortunately, Season 10 isn’t the end…

(Part 2: The X-Files: Season 11… coming… eventually?)

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[Art] Happy 25th Anniversary!


Cartoon Mulder & Scully 25th Anniversary
Happy 25th anniversary to The X-Files! To celebrate, here’s a cleaned up version of the previously posted Tiny Cartoon Scully from “This” along with a corresponding Tiny Cartoon Mulder!

Due to popular demand, I’m also selling these guys as stickers via Redbubble. You can find them here:  “This” Scully Sticker   “This” Mulder Sticker

Individual character versions can also be found here:

 

Cartoon Scully from "This"  Cartoon Mulder from "This"


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[Script Watch] Beyond the Sea

Welcome to Script Watch!  After doing Fight the Future, I decided it might be fun to go back to Season 1 and check out an earlier script. First on my list? Beyond the Sea!

I’m honestly not sure whether or not this is the final version of the script, but the most recent pages seem to have been added on November 23, 1993. If anyone wants to follow along with the original Twitter thread to join in on the discussion, you can find it here.

(And don’t worry, any script is going to be easier on the eyes than the blinding red FTF script.)

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[Script Watch] Fight the Future

And that concludes our script watch of Fight the Future!

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Making an Alien Baby – The Mysterious Origin of Jackson Van De Kamp

Content warning:  Sadly, to discuss how the show addresses Jackson’s conception involves talking about medical rape and other situations where our heroes suffer a loss of bodily autonomy. 

Note:  To clarify, I’ll be referring to William/Jackson by both names:  “William” will refer to the conceptual idea of William as an entity (whether that be absent son or tool of the conspiracy), as well as the actual infant, pre-adoption, and “Jackson” will refer to the person we now know him to be.

 

The X-Files’ 11th Season properly introduced us to Jackson Van De Kamp, last who we last saw in the flesh way back in 2002 as a baby named William Scully who had been given up for adoption for his own protection after going through a kidnapping, attempted murder, and multiple strangers trying to get their hands on him for one reason or another. As a baby, William exhibited signs of psychokinesis, where he had been shown to be able to control the mobile above his crib with his mind, as well as interact with an artifact taken from what appears to have been an alien craft found in Africa. As he grew older, William, now known as Jackson, continued to develop new, unexplained powers, and as of 2018, multiple parties were attempting to locate him in an attempt to use him for their own purposes.

But while it’s known that Jackson is not a normal child, the circumstances of how he came to be are still somewhat unclear. He was born to Dana Scully (theoretically circa early 2001 or possibly very late 2000, depending on how you choose to unravel the muddled pregnancy timeline) and was given up for adoption before his first birthday (possibly at around 10 months old, though again, the timeline is murky at best). Of course, Dana Scully was diagnosed with infertility after her abduction in 1994, where seemingly all of her ova were taken from her. She had attempted IVF using some of her recovered ova along with Mulder’s sperm, but this was apparently unsuccessful. At some point shortly before discovering that she had become pregnant in mid-May of 2000, she had both suffered an unspecified violation at the hands of the Cigarette Smoking Man while traveling with him and had sexual intercourse with Fox Mulder on at least one occasion.

Once William was born, Scully and Mulder considered him their child and continued to do so throughout the series up through Season 11. In 2018, the Cigarette Smoking Man claimed responsibility for his creation. Jackson acknowledges that Scully is likely his biological mother based on their shared psychic bond but has doubts that Mulder is his father based on their lack of psychic connection. He acknowledges that CSM is likely his father (either figuratively or literally) due to the visions he’s had, though it’s never specified whether or not there’s any kind of literal connection between them like he has with Scully.

But what’s the truth of the situation? Even in the end, it remains unclear. Between truth and lies, hope and fact, the pieces of the puzzle can be arranged in multiple configurations. In the past, Season 2 – 9 mythology co-writer Frank Spotnitz has stated plainly that Mulder is William’s father. In Chris Carter’s commentary for the series final episode, My Struggle IV, he suggests that Mulder is not Jackson’s biological father due to the fact that Mulder doesn’t share his visions the way Scully does. CSM claims to be the father, but in an episode whose tagline reads “I Want to Lie.” Who and what do we believe?

It’s entirely possible that the plan for William/Jackson’s origin had changed between the original series finale in 2002 and where we stand now in 2018. And it’s possible that it could change again if the series continues on in any form, whatever Carter’s intentions may be now. The pieces have all been set up for years, but their arrangement may simply twist and turn into whatever will make the most compelling story.

So, here we are at the end of the series as we know it, with the information laid out for us in the show still as incomplete and unreliable as ever. And maybe the truth we can’t know. So, then… what are the possibilities?

 

The Players

We know Dana Scully is Jackson’s mother, but who is his father? Is it Mulder, as they’d presumed for years? CSM as he’s claimed and appears to believe? Or something far less human? Let’s take a look at our heroes and villains and consider how their unique history could have resulted in a child with such unusual abilities.

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Dana Scully

  • We know that Scully is William’s biological mother due to the DNA tests that were run in Ghouli using Scully’s cheek swab and Jackson’s hair. Mulder gets the test results and implies a positive match when he tells Scully “it’s not good news” and then also confirms it again when he’s talking to Skinner. [Note: There’s been some confusion around Scully’s line in My Struggle IV where she says, “I carried him, and I bore him, but I was never a mother to him.” Some have taken this to mean that Scully is not his biological mother, but she is most likely just reflecting on the fact that she didn’t get to raise him, as we know she is his biological mother from the DNA test. If he had been an experiment, it was likely that his creators (and others who wanted him) had always intended to take him from her (as we saw some evidence of in Season 9), preventing her from raising him to adulthood. And in her own sacrifice, hiding him to protect him, he would never know her as his mother, anyway, being raised by another couple.]
  • Scully has manufactured alien DNA resulting from her abduction, but was also exposed to the alien virus via bee sting, had god knows what done to her in Antarctica, and was given the vaccine. She also has a chip in her neck that, whatever its purpose, is capable of affecting her on a biological level.
  • Scully’s alien DNA was again confirmed when she sequenced her genome in My Struggle.
  • During her abduction, Scully’s ova were harvested and used in experiments to create alien-human hybrids. Emily was the result of one of these experiments.
  • When she attempted in vitro fertilization, the doctor performing the procedure was affiliated with the conspirators trying to create alien-human hybrids.
  • After she became pregnant, she also continued to see these doctors during the first part of her pregnancy, potentially giving them access to make alterations to her body and the fetus.
  • Scully became sexually involved with Mulder within the same general timeframe as when CSM claimed to impregnate her.

 

Fox Mulder

  • Mulder was sexually involved with Scully around the time that she became pregnant.
  • Mulder had been infected with the Black Oil while in Tunguska and was given an experimental Russian vaccine for the alien virus.
  • Mulder developed the ability to read minds and anticipate near-future events after being exposed to a rubbing from an alien craft. The rubbing would have contained traces of cosmic galactic radiation, which were present in the alien artifact. Michael Kritschgau explained that the alien virus had been reactivated in him by exposure to an alien source of energy (presumably the CGR contained in the rubbing).
  • Mulder’s abnormal brain activity in the Biogenesis trilogy is similar to what we see in Scully’s brain scans in My Struggle III after she starts having her seizures/visions.
  • One of the Project doctors describes Mulder as a “compatible alien-human hybrid,” a ready-made version of what their scientists had been trying to create for so many years.
  • CSM mentions that, in this state, Mulder would be immune to the coming viral apocalypse.
  • CSM removes genetic material from Mulder’s temporal lobe associated with his ability to read minds and anticipate the future, as once it is removed, he no longer has those abilities.
  • While it was believed that Mulder had made a full recovery from this non-consensual brain surgery, he apparently continued to experience irregular brain activity, which grew worse over time.  It’s possible that his alien DNA may have continued to affect other parts of his brain even after the genetic material in his temporal lobe that allowed him to read minds was removed.
  • It was most likely some point after his exposure to the alien artifact that Mulder agreed to be the sperm donor for Scully’s in vitro fertilization attempt, where Mulder unknowingly handed his alien-human hybrid sperm right over to the Project doctors. Oops.
  • It was after William’s conception that Mulder was abducted, tortured/experimented on, left for dead for three months with an alien virus (a different one?) brewing inside him, and then revived after Scully administered courses of transfusions and antivirals, so it’s unclear exactly how his physiology may differ now compared to when William was conceived. This may explain how he could have gone from being supposedly immune to the viral apocalypse to being a potential victim in Scully’s vision.

 

Cigarette Smoking Man

  • While CSM had no problem performing experiments related to the Project on various family members, there’s no indication that he had done any on himself until 1999, when he stole alien-activated genetic material from Mulder’s brain and inserted it to his own in an attempt to become an alien-human hybrid himself and therefore be immune to the viral apocalypse.
  • It’s unclear how successful the surgery was. In En Ami, he tells Scully that he’s dying of cerebral inflammation as a consequence of the surgery, which was similar to what Mulder was experiencing. Unlike Mulder, though, by the end of the seventh season, CSM is looking a lot worse for the wear, having since received a tracheotomy, and now also bound to a wheelchair. Though of course, it’s possible that age and other health conditions (*cough*smoking*cough*) may have hastened his decline.
  • Also in En Ami, CSM is alone with Scully after she passes out, and this is where we get into horrible medical rape territory. In My Struggle III, CSM reveals to Skinner that he had impregnated Scully (“with science,” according to Chris Carter) during their time together. It remains unclear if she was literally impregnated (had a fertilized egg/fetus implanted), or if her fertility had been restored somehow via the chip in her neck, giving her the ability to reproduce naturally, or something else entirely. Altering her chip seems most feasible for one man who is not a doctor or scientist, but who knows, maybe he keeps a team of doctors on call out in the woods.  *sigh*
  • CSM refers to William/Jackson as his “son,” but he also calls himself his “creator.” It’s unclear if William/Jackson is CSM’s “son” in a literal, biological sense, using his own DNA, or if he is simply just the product of an experiment that CSM had engineered using other human and/or alien DNA. And it’s also unclear if any of this is actually true at all, as CSM is a goddamn liar.
  • Whatever potential alien abilities CSM may have gained by taking Mulder’s alien-activated genetic material is also unclear. He doesn’t seem to have gained the ability to read minds, as if he had, he’d have known about Krycek and Marita’s plans to betray him in Requiem, Monica’s ulterior motives to warn/help Scully and Mulder in My Struggle IV (and likely before that), and especially that the person he shot on the pier was Jackson and not Mulder.
  • Does he have the ability to see visions like Jackson and Scully? Is there any connection there? This is also unclear. We’re not given any definitive evidence that he does, but we’re not given evidence that he doesn’t, either, outside of it not actually being shown or mentioned. Could these visions be why he thinks he’ll need to kill Mulder, because he sees visions of Mulder killing him? Could it be why he tells Reyes that Jackson is in danger, but he does’t quite understand from whom? But on the other hand, he’s always kept tabs on everyone important to his plans and has other channels of information, as we see how easily he’s tapped Jeffrey Spender’s phone, for example.
  • Jackson does acknowledge CSM as his father and wonder why, if Mulder claims to be his father, Mulder doesn’t see the visions like Scully does. But does this imply that CSM does see them, or does Jackson not actually know, not haven spoken to CSM directly? Is this purely a bond between mother and son, as Reyes seems to imply in My Struggle III? Jackson may acknowledge CSM as his father simply because he’s claimed it to be so, and Jackson can see that in his visions. Would Mulder even have the capacity to receive these visions after CSM took genetic material from the part of his brain that allowed him to hear thoughts and anticipate the future? If CSM does receive visions, is it only because he took that genetic material directly from Mulder?
  • Is CSM still alive because his brain surgery with Mulder actually allowed him to become an alien-human hybrid with the ability to heal himself? Could something he’d found in the Anasazi ruins where he’d been hiding out in Season 9 have activated the genetic material taken from Mulder in the same way that it was activated in Mulder by the radiation from the rubbing? The magnetite in the ruins supposedly keeps it safe from the aliens, who fear it, but it’s also supposedly responsible for downing alien crafts.
  • CSM also briefly had access to a disk supposedly containing the cure for all human disease, which was largely extraterrestrial in nature. He appears to toss the disk into a lake, supposedly not utilizing its contents, though who knows if the disk or the information on it could have at some point been recovered.

William/Jackson

  • Jackson’s psychiatrist tells Scully that he had symptoms that coincide with extreme electrical activity in the brain, similar to Scully in My Struggle III and Mulder in the Biogenesis arc.
  • Jackson is able to share his visions with Scully, and she’s the only person he mentions being able to share them with in Ghouli. It’s unclear if he has this link with anyone else.
  • Reyes says to CSM in My Struggle III, “Scully and her boy have a bond beyond you, beyond science.”  CSM says that Scully is completely unaware of it, which Reyes questions, and CSM replies “It’s a secret only you and I know.” Does this refer to their shared visions, or something else?
  • The full extent of Jackson’s power is still unknown. In addition to having potential visions of the future, Jackson can project images to others to make either himself or someone else appear to be someone or something they’re not. He seems to be able to affect electrical currents somehow, changing traffic lights or radio stations with his mind.
  • It’s unclear whether or not he can read minds in any capacity. He has suspicions about some of the people he comes across, though he may be getting flashes of possible futures. He knows that Mulder is CSM’s first born son, but how did he obtain this information? Could it have been from a vision where CSM reveals this? Does he have any control over the visions he has, and does he know whether or not they may be accurate or if they can be changed?
  • Jackson survives a gunshot to the head, implying that he has regenerative abilities. Does he also have the power to heal others, as we’ve seen with Jeremiah Smith and the Alien Bounty Hunter? In one of his childhood flashbacks, we do see him showing off a chick hatching from an egg in his hand, which could imply life-giving or life-restoring powers of some sort.

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Conception Scenarios

So, with their history in mind, what are the possible circumstances surrounding William/Jackson’s conception, and how likely are each of these scenarios in the context of the show?

 

Miracle of Nature
In this scenario, William is conceived naturally via intercourse between Scully and Mulder without any outside intervention. By some miracle, Scully still has a few surviving ova to make this possible. Any abilities that William has are a result of the combination of his parents’ uniquely altered DNA.

At this point, this seems a bit unlikely considering the focus on him being an experiment, but not out of the realm of extreme possibility, especially in light of Scully’s second pregnancy with no apparent outside tampering.

Miracle of God
Immaculate conception, or perhaps an answered prayer for Scully and Mulder after the failed IVF? (“Never give up on a miracle.”)  This also doesn’t line up so well with the focus on experimentation. however, there were a LOT of religious undertones and imagery in Seasons 7 and 8, which makes it all fair game. The implication that what humans consider to be God is of alien origin also plays into this theory.

And of course there’s all of the Saint Rachel references in relation to pregnancy #2 in Plus One… (Here’s hoping Carter doesn’t take that story too literally, though.)

Experiment – Half Alien
In this scenario, William is literally half human and half alien, without any human biological father to speak of. This would mean that all of William’s human DNA would come from Scully and any remaining DNA would be extraterrestrial in origin. In Essence, Lizzie Gill admits to such experiments taking place, “We were surprisingly successful with a clone from a human egg and alien DNA. DNA that the government had since 1947.” This seems to be, theoretically, how hybrids such as Emily were created. The challenge to this theory, however, is that unlike Emily, William is male, and Scully would have no Y chromosome to pass on to produce a male offspring.

Experiment – CSM’s Biological Child
This seems to be the general stomach-turning consensus after CSM’s revelation in My Struggle III and follow-up in My Struggle IV. CSM is a sadistic, egotistical liar, which made his claims questionable in My Struggle III, but Jackson seeing him as his father in visions then gave those claims some possible credibility in My Struggle IV. As mentioned above, it’s still unclear whether CSM was able to share visions with Jackson the way Scully was, but if he can, he would likely also be experiencing anomalyous brain activity and have some element of alien-activated DNA (and having alien DNA from both human parents would seem to make sense for a human child with strong alien abilities). Now, one would probably assume that CSM must have some degree of alien DNA in order to somehow recover from having his face blown off by a missile, but where did that come from? From what we’ve actually seen on the show, the answer would be: Mulder.

When Mulder gained the ability to read minds after being exposed to both the Black Oil and rubbings from the alien ship, the Project doctor stated to CSM, “It’s a chance none of us ever expected… let alone hoped for. After all these years trying to develop a compatible alien-human hybrid and to have one ready-made.” At this point, in addition to reading minds, Mulder exhibited the potential for limited future sight, and he was thought to be immune to to the coming viral apocalypse. In wanting to take these traits for himself, and taking advantage of his biological paternity to Mulder potentially allowing for genetic compatibility, CSM had the project doctors literally remove genetic material from Mulder’s brain and put it into CSM’s, after which Mulder loses the ability to read minds, and CSM seems to gain the ability to cheat death.  

So, in this sense, if Jackson received alien-activated DNA from CSM, it could also mean that genetic material originally came from Mulder, making both of them his fathers, in a sense. Which sounds like some creepy Peacock family shit when you think that Mulder could potentially be both Jackson’s brother and father, in a sense, but also slightly less creepy from Scully’s point of view in a way, since at least her child could be partially Mulder’s.

Experiment – Mulder’s Biological Child
But while it’s possible that CSM could have used his own sperm to create a child, it’s also not out of the question that he could have used Mulder’s. Mulder did, after all, hand his sperm right over to the Project doctors during Scully’s IVF attempts in Per Manum, and his status as a “ready-made” alien-human hybrid would likely make him a good candidate to use for these experiments.

CSM could have also used Mulder’s sperm in his own twisted take on philanthropy. He was likely aware of the failed IVF attempt and had a strange soft spot for Mulder and Scully, despite the horrors he subjected them to over the years. By impregnating Scully with Mulder’s sperm, he could have seen it as giving them something they wanted while still furthering his own goals. He could be a god, creating a possible savior for humanity, and it would also be his biological grandchild, which would still further his personal legacy.

So, if Mulder could be Jackson’s biological father, why, as Jackson asks, can’t he see the visions? While Mulder did exhibit abnormal brain activity similar to Scully and Jackson in the past, the part of his brain that was used to read minds and anticipate the future appears to be what CSM removed from him and put into himself in Amor Fati. That could be one potential reason, if Mulder actually was Jackson’s father, that Jackson might mistake it for being CSM. Though the nonconsensual brain surgery happened prior to conception, Mulder continued to experience other anomalous brain activity up until he was revived from the dead via Scully’s transfusion and antiviral cocktail, which may have diminished any remaining alien traits.

Experiment – Some Other Dude’s Biological Child
I guess some random guy’s DNA could have been used in the experiment, but that’s pretty boring and discounts a father with potential alien DNA to combine with Scully’s, unless it was someone else who had been through similar experiences (insert Krycek-as-Jackson’s-father fan theories here).

Medical Implantation
So, paternity options aside, how did Scully actually become pregnant? If Scully was, in fact, “impregnated by science,” what does that actually mean?

If an embryo had been created in a lab, it would likely need to be implanted somehow. This is one possible scenario for the unspecified violation Scully experienced in En Ami. All we know is that she passed out in the car, and woke up in a strange bed in different clothes. It’s unclear exactly how much time had passed.

Could an embryo have been implanted without her knowledge while she was passed out? Who would have done it? In the episode as it originally aired, CSM appeared to be alone with Scully in the house, telling her that he carried her inside. In My Struggle III, the dialogue was for some reason altered to imply that an unseen housekeeper was also present. Could this mysteriously appearing “houssekeeper” be a doctor? It seems highly unlikely that CSM would be implanting any embryos on his own. This seems to be the most obvious retcon in relation to this plotline.

Experimentation After Conception
In any of these scenarios, but especially going back to “Miracle of Nature,” it’s possible that conception occurred naturally, but then changes were made to the fetus in the womb that resulted in Jackson’s powers. Since Scully continued to see the same doctors she used for her IFV during the first part of her pregnancy, and we know they were affiliated with the Project (likely “Project Crossroads,” as it’s come to be known in Season 11), it’s possible that experiments could have been done on her without her knowledge during her check-ups.

This seems like one of the less likely scenarios, however, as while the Project was likely involved during this stage, it seems more likely that they would simply be doing tests and monitoring the mystery pregnancy rather than actively making changes to the fetus.

Fertility Restored by Alien Ship
This is an older theory that side-steps the experiment angle. The theory here is that when Scully came in contact with the alien ship in Biogenesis/The Sixth Extinction, her fertility was restored, similar to how the power of the ship could bring dead fish back to life. After this happens, then natural conception via intercourse once again becomes possible.

Again, this doesn’t really line up with the experiment angle if we’re to believe that one, but it’s another one that could explain Scully’s second pregnancy so many years later.

Fertility Restored by Chip, Artificial Conception
Another theory that remains popular is that Scully’s fertility was restored by a modification to the chip in the back of her neck, just as it was used to cure her cancer. This theory works thematically with the plot of En Ami, where alien-derived science is used for things like curing disease and extending life and is administered via a chip inserted in the back of the neck. Swapping or modifying Scully’s chip seems like a slightly less invasive and therefore less noticeable thing to subject Scully to as she’s passed out compared to implanting an embryo, and something that CSM could potentially administer on his own without a team of doctors swooping in.

Once fertility is restored, however that may be accomplished, the question is still then how does conception occur? In going with the half-alien theory, it’s possible that the chip could have triggered an egg to be created and modified using Scully’s own native DNA mixed with the alien DNA present in her body since her abduction. It still doesn’t quite explain where the Y chromosome came from, but hey, maybe the chip can somehow construct one with tiny nanomachines, I don’t know.

Fertility Restored by Chip, Natural Conception
And probably the fan favorite theory is that the chip restored her fertility somehow using alien science, but William was then conceived naturally via sexual intercourse a couple of weeks later.

I think this one resonates with people because it strikes a nice balance between alien and human, technology and love. It acknowledges both the godlike intervention of CSM, and the powerful love between Scully and Mulder. It’s a loss of bodily autonomy in one respect, but an expression of  consensual intimacy in another.

And if William was conceived naturally between two humans who had already been genetically modified by their exposure to the alien virus and vaccine and the other things they’d been subjected to over the years, that may be a possible implication as to why William succeeded where others had failed. Again, Lizzie Gill says to Mulder, “The child she is carrying is very special. One could only hope to create that in a lab. A perfect human child but with no human frailties.” This seems to imply that she believes that he wasn’t necessarily created in a lab, but was possibly a miracle combination of genetics that hadn’t been planned for.

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How Not to Talk About a Relationship: The Communication Styles of Mulder and Scully [Part 1]

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So, I started writing this directly after Plus One aired in defense of the awkward dialog in the bed scene, but then it kind of grew into its own thing. Now that we’re about to embark on the end of the season (series?), I’ve decided to split this into two parts examining the evolution of the characters’ relationship and the ways that they communicate. This part will cover Season 10 up through early Season 11 (ending with Plus One), and then after the finale, I’ll evaluate how it has evolved to that point.

What’s going on with Mulder and Scully in Season 10

Mulder and Scully have been in a really weird place since the beginning of Season 10. They’ve been split up for an undisclosed amount of time when we first catch up with them. It could have been six months, five years, who knows? I always imagined it as maybe a year or two, though. Their wounds still seem fairly fresh. I can imagine Mulder starting to become restless after nothing went down back at the end of 2012. Sveta points out that Mulder’s depression is what ended the relationship, though it’s unclear exactly how that manifested and to what degree in order to drive them apart. Was he listless and unmotivated? Obsessive and irritable? Unpredictable mood swings? Alternating between all of the above? Mulder is an emotional guy, prone to both angry outbursts and bouts of self-loathing, so it’s not hard to imagine him treading into self-destructive territory. Despite their reconciliation at the end of I Want to Believe, there are still some lingering unresolved issues between them as far as Mulder’s obsessive pull toward the darkness vs. Scully’s yearning for the normal life that she can never realistically have after all they’ve been through. Mulder gives a hint in his comment to Scully in My Struggle, “I thought you were done with UFOs. ‘The stranglehold they put on your very existence,’ I believe is how you put it.”

Despite their separation, however, they’ve kept in touch and remained friends, and their initial interactions are a mix of familiarity and concern, though tinged with slight animosity. The thing that ultimately draws them back together isn’t any change in Mulder’s behavior, but rather that Scully can no longer pretend that she can ever escape her role in the conspiracy that is slowly re-emerging. Her quest for justice is reignited, along with a renewed fear for her son’s safety.

But after rejoining the FBI, they begin to fall back into their old patterns. Mulder once again has a more healthy outlet for his obsessions. They’ve got each other’s backs as partners and as friends. Any bitterness they may have felt after separating seems to have melted away as soon as they begin working together again. And when Scully’s mother has a heart attack, Mulder knows that the most important place he needs to be is at Scully’s side. And it’s here that they begin to really repair their relationship emotionally, though there are still barriers. In dealing with her mother’s death and the guilt and fears she has about William, Scully begins to open up to Mulder again, and he tries his best to comfort her, though the conversation tends to be one-sided, as their most emotional confessions often are. The subject of William seems to be especially difficult for Mulder to approach as he struggles with his own repressed feelings about his son; both his fears about where he came from and the fatherhood he never got to experience. Scully tries to confront Mulder about it head-on in Founder’s Mutation, when her emotional ties to motherhood get uncomfortably tangled in the conspiracy’s use and abuse of women. She tries to gauge how Mulder thinks of her here, as well, as she asks, sadly and pointedly, “Was I just an incubator?” His response, while touching, remains nebulous, “You’re never ‘just’ anything to me, Scully.”

By the end of Babylon, Mulder and Scully seem ready to start trying to figure out where things went wrong and if there’s any way to set them right, but they can’t bring themselves to be direct about it. Instead, they speak in metaphors, pondering philosophy, the nature of love and hate and language and God.

“I saw things, though, Scully. Powerful things. I saw deep and unconditional love.”
“I saw things, too. I witnessed unqualified hate that appears to have no end.”
“Yeah. But how to reconcile the two? The extremes of our nature.”
“That’s the question. Maybe the question of our times.”

They’re speaking about the case, but their eyes and tone of voice are having a slightly different conversation. Mulder takes Scully’s hand and walks with her. He stops and looks directly into her eyes.

“But where does the hatred end, though?”
“Maybe it ends where it began, by finding a common language again. Maybe that’s God’s will.”
“How can we really know? He’s absent from the stage.”
“Well… maybe it’s beyond words. Maybe we should do like the prophets do and… open our hearts and truly listen.”

This is how they articulate–beyond words.  By getting philosophical and layering double meaning into their conversations to avoid direct confrontation when broaching more difficult subjects.
Let’s face it, Mulder and Scully really suck at having conversations like normal people about personal topics. In 25 years, they have probably never had a direct conversation with each other about their current relationship status. They go with it, and there’s an implicit understanding between them, but if they ever need to talk about it?  Well, good luck with that.

 

Communication Styles

Mulder and Scully have five major methods of communication:

1. Casual Banter – Used for basic conversations without heavy subject matter. They’re pretty good at this one!
2. Metaphorical/Philosophical – Using the subject matter of a case or other topic as a substitute for what they’re actually trying to communicate to each other.
3. Desperate Confession – A more blatant, direct confession of feelings, usually following a traumatic event, and often heavily one-sided.
4. Barriers/Deflection – Shutting down and avoiding difficult conversations and/or deflecting with humor to bring down and avoid the seriousness of a topic.
5. Silent – Actual conversation consists of only eye contact and body language. May be completely silent or may take place over top of a separate verbal conversation. (See: Eye Sex.)

Mulder and Scully are most direct with each other when they’re emotionally charged. Mulder especially.

“But you saved me! As difficult and as frustrating as it’s been sometimes, your goddamned strict rationalism and science have saved me a thousand times over! You’ve kept me honest… you’ve made me a whole person. I owe you everything, Scully, and you owe me nothing.”

Scully sometimes tries to bring up serious subjects, but Mulder often counters with humor.

“Have you ever thought seriously about dying?”
“Yeah, once, when I was at the Ice Capades.”

And then, of course, there’s the classic I’m-not-emotionally-ready-to-deal-with-all-of-the-horrible-shit-going-on-in-my-life response:

“I’m fine.”

But when “real talk” does happen in those more emotionally charged moments, it doesn’t always end well, which may encourage them to continue to avoid it.

“We’re so close now.”
“And I’m asking you let it go.”
“It’s not that simple.”
“No, it’s complicated.”
“What’s that’s supposed to mean?”
“Something that I knew would happen, that I’ve been afraid of, that I haven’t had to face until now.”
“What? Just say it.”
“I’m a doctor, Mulder. That’s not my life any more.”
“I know that.”
“You’re not understanding me. I can’t look into the darkness with you any more, Mulder. I cannot stand what it does to you or to me.”
“I’m fine with it, Scully. I’m actually okay. I’m good.”
“Yeah, that’s what scares me.”

 

By the time Season 10 wraps up, we’ve definitely made some progress in starting to repair Mulder and Scully’s relationship, but they’re still not back to where they were. Can they go back? What would prevent things from ultimately ending the way they did before?  They can fall back into each other’s lives, but they can’t make assumptions about where it progresses from there without talking about it, and god, they suck at talking about it.

Season 11 – Part 1 (My Struggle III -Plus One)

Three episodes into Season 11 have shown us three very different aspects of how Mulder and Scully communicate.

My Struggle III is nonstop desperate confrontation. It’s honest and urgent, direct and raw. Mulder is still extremely uncomfortable talking about William… especially now that everyone seems to want to talk to him about William. Mulder and Scully are affectionate toward each other, tender and concerned, but where do they draw the line? Mulder will slit a guy’s throat for Scully without hesitation, but he still doesn’t know if he can kiss her.

Skip ahead a bit (I’ll save my thoughts on the questionable timelines for Seasons 10 and 11 for later), and we come to This. It’s been at the very least a couple of weeks since the events of My Struggle III, and Mulder and Scully are possibly more in sync with each other than they have ever been. We find them asleep next to each other on the couch – extremely familiar and comfortable with each other. From their surroundings, it looks like they had eaten dinner together and were possibly going over some case files before passing out with the TV on. Could Scully be staying there after the events of My Struggle III as she recovered from her injuries, and maybe to stop her from driving alone for a while in case she has anymore seizures? Given the continued messiness of the house (compared to the more sterile living quarters we saw for Scully in Season 10), I’m not convinced that she’s moved back in permanently yet (and we’ll see that she hasn’t as of Rm9sbG93ZXJz). Maybe she just came over for the evening, or maybe she’s staying for a while. She refers to the house as “Agent Mulder’s residence,” but she also later refers to it as “our house” when talking to Skinner. It was certainly her house at one point in the past (and chances are that her name is the one on the mortgage)… could it be again?

Anyway, This is full of fun, playful banter and silent communication. Any confrontational talk is saved for Skinner. Mulder and Scully are functioning as two parts of one whole here. Seeing them here, it’s easy to imagine how they may have functioned together during their years on the run. There are so many times that they know exactly what the other is thinking just based on a quick glance. They have entire conversations using only facial expressions. When they jump (slide!) into action when the intruders first come to the door, it’s as if they’ve practiced for this very scenario before. They’re completely on the same page, and it allows them to relax and joke around with each other, despite the danger they’re currently in. There are flirty compliments, picking at each other’s muffins, and references to past, uh, “recreational” handcuff usage. They may not be “officially” back together in a romantic sense, but after this, you’d have to imagine they’d be asking themselves why the hell not.

Well, probably because that would involve talking about it.

 

Plus One

And that brings us to Plus One.

One of the biggest complaints about this episode is the somewhat awkward dialogue between Mulder and Scully in the bed scene, and I admit that on my first viewing, it kind of threw me off a bit, too. On subsequent viewings, however, it really clicked with me. The awkwardness was kind of the point. The dialogue doesn’t need to be re-written, it just needs to be translated. It’s not so much about what’s literally being said, but what they want to say but can’t quite bring themselves to be direct about.

Mulder and Scully are finally back on the job and out investigating a case. And then they’re thrown a bit of a curveball… and also one of the oldest fanfic tropes in the books. They arrive at a quaint little motel without reservations, and, oh no, there’s only one suite available. But hey, at least it has a pull-out couch.

While Scully hesitates, Mulder could not have agreed to that one room any faster. Scully seems a little suspicious of his motives. Could “just trying to get some shut-eye” be an on-the-case euphemism from the Season of Secret Sex?  We’ll probably never know. But Mulder is totally checking Scully out as she walks away.

Mulder continues to flirt and drop little hints when they’re alone together. Scully continues to brush it off. Professionalism on the case, or confusion about just what is going on here?

Meanwhile, Judy starts to tap into Scully’s existing insecurities. It seems ridiculous that Mulder would ever be interested in anyone else, but with everything that’s been going on with them, can Scully be sure? She’s already been dealing with her feelings about losing the chance to be a mother to her son, but now there’s an added layer of how Mulder perceives her. He loves her, he’d kill a dude for her, but is he still attracted to her? Scully is strangely direct, but still beating around the bush, “Mulder, do you think of me as old?”  He’s taken aback by the question, because, obviously, she’s still hot as hell. He tries to re-assure her, and it comes out in an endearingly awkward Mulderish kind of way. Scully playfully kicks him out, but then leans back against the door and sighs. Where, exactly, are they? Mulder has always been flirty around her, even before he’d developed any kind of romantic feelings toward her. They’re still physically attracted to each other. But now they have history. Somewhat messy history. Where does it go from here?

That Awkward Conversation

Mulder can flirt all he wants, but nothing is ever going to move forward until they figure out where they are and what they want. Scully wakes up a third time in her hotel bed, feeling a presence hovering over her. This time no one’s there. No Mulder bringing news of another death. As relieved as she is not to have a demonic doppelganger hovering over her, she kind of wishes Mulder was there. And it’s finally time to fix that.

She wakes him up and tells him she can’t sleep. She’s done with being in FBI mode. She needs her friend. Or more than friend. Whatever they are now.

“Something about this case is getting under my skin.”

And it has nothing to do with all those deaths.

“Well, we’ve had stranger cases, Scully.”

We’re on a case and Scully is standing pouty-faced in her adorable silk pajamas at my bedside. What is going on here?

And possibly the emotionally bravest thing Scully has ever said:

“Can you hold me?”

She’s done pretending that she’s fine.

“Yeah. I can do that.”

Mulder is caught off guard again. He has no idea where this is going, but he will give her anything she needs. He pulls back the covers for her and wraps his arms around her. It’s most likely the first time they’ve done this since splitting up.

“What’s gonna happen?”
“What’s gonna happen when?”
“When we’re old.”
“What do you mean ‘when’?”
“I mean… sooner or later we’re gonna retire and…”
“Hmm.”
“Are we gonna spend time together?”
“I’ll come push your wheelchair… with my wheelchair.” He whispers this last part into her ear.
She smiles for a second, but then grows serious again; this isn’t what she’s looking for. This is deflection.
“That’s not what I mean.”
“Oh, I’ll  always be around, Scully. Offering bulletproof theories of genius that you fail to assail with your inadequate rationality.”
“And I’ll always be around to prove you wrong.”
“Hmm.”
“Promise.”
“No, but that’s not what I mean.”
“What do you mean?”
“What if you meet someone?”
Mulder is taken aback. This is not where he thought this was going.
“What if you meet someone… younger who… wants to have kids?”

It sounds like a ridiculous question, but Scully has a history of feeling threatened by the women in Mulder’s life. She experienced slight jealousy of women Mulder seemed to be taking interest in (see: Dr. Bambi), and had extremely adverse reactions to women Mulder has had an intimate history with (see: Phoebe Green, and especially Diana Fowley), and that was before they were ever together in any kind of official capacity.  When she tracked down Mulder at home and found Sveta with him, Scully is extremely hurt and tries to shut down and leave. It’s not just his continued obsession with the conspiracies that have haunted their lives, but that he’s found a new “key to everything” in a young, beautiful woman with abduction experiences not entirely dissimilar to her own. As unlikely as that may seem to us, it’s a valid insecurity to Scully.

“Oh, that’s what you mean.  Well… you could do the same. You could meet someone and… have kids.”

She puts out a short, bitter laugh. She’d been fishing for reassurance from him, but he doesn’t take the bait and instead deflects her concerns right back onto her. But this only digs deeper into her pain and insecurities, and she responds seriously:

“Mulder, that’s not gonna happen.”
“That’s nonsense.”
“No, it’s not. I’m… I’m at the end of that journey.”
“Do you want to have more kids?”
“Well… I would have liked to have had another one.”
“Mm. At the risk of sounding insensitive, what’s stopping you?”
“Mmm… Besides the fact that the first time was a miracle? And besides the fact that I don’t have anyone to have one with even if I could?”
“You’re a woman of science.”
Another short, bitter laugh. She was baiting him again, and again he didn’t give her the answer she was hoping for.

“Mulder, sometimes I think the world is going to hell, and that we’re the only two people who can save it.”

“The world is going to hell, Scully. The president working to bring down the FBI along with it.”

“What if we lose our jobs?”
“Yeah. Then what would we do?”
“We’ll think of something.”

In the end, Scully answers her own question when Mulder poses it back to her. They’ll think of something.

Direct eye contact. Quick break to Mulder’s lips/body. Resume direct eye contact. Mulder does the same.

Eye sex. Then sex sex.

Despite everything, Mulder has always known that there will never be anyone else. This is the woman who he flew to Antarctica for after getting shot on the head. This is the woman who literally brought him back from the dead. But it was she who left him, and he can’t make her come back to him until she decides that’s what she wants.

And that is what she wants, but Scully can’t ignore their past failures. She needs to know that they’ve grown and changed before they try again so that they don’t repeat their past mistakes. He needs to have matured, and she needs to accept that their lives are complicated and will likely never be “normal” and that maybe that’s okay.

And ultimately, they need to stop taking each other for granted and finally learn to better communicate. Scully has made the first step here, but the ball is still in her court…

 

To be continued…  

 

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