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The Dynamics of the Dynamic Duo


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#1

bmills

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Posted Jan 24, 2004 @ 3:37 PM

Is Mulder correct 98.9% of the time? Is Scully's only joy in life proving Mulder wrong? Why does Mulder listen to her endless droning rationalizations? Is Mulder a para-masturbatory narcisisstic self-righteous mono-maniac? Does Scully complete him and keep him honest? Discuss!

Personally, I think Scully was the voice of audience, which knows there really aren't any monsters. Mulder was the voice of 1013, saying, "But wouldn't it be cool if there were?" In real life, Scully should have won every argument because her arguments were sound and based on rationality. But on the show, Mulder had to always be right in the end or they would have been reduced to chasing counterfeiters in every episode. In other words, Scully really was right but the nature of the show required her to be proven wrong.
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#2

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Posted Jan 24, 2004 @ 5:48 PM

It's weird though-because every time Scully believed in the paranormal she was right as well-ie the religious cases of All Souls or Revelations come to mind.

I think the bottom line always had to be that Scully was a scientist. Mulder often wasn't right in his initial conjecture-the right theory generally stemmed from the info that Scully brought into the equation. Without the stop by step logical process Mulder would have rarely gotten anywhere. Not to mention his proclivity for not thinking through his actions would have gotten him killed pretty early in the series run without Scully.
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#3

ejluther

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Posted Jan 24, 2004 @ 6:16 PM

Great opening post, by the way!

Yes, let's not forget that it was Scully providing somewhat of a stamp of scientific approval on much of Mulder's alien evidence (before it disappeared, of course); if not for her, Mulder may never have known if his theories were even possibly right. If I had a dime for every time Scully looked up from a microscope, her eyes wide and a hitch in her voice, and said something along the lines of, "I've never seen anything quite like this, Mulder", well then, I'd have a lot of dimes...
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#4

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Posted Jan 24, 2004 @ 8:46 PM

I agree. Without Scully, all Mulder had was conviction and ideas, but with her, he had the means to articulate and really discover everything he 'wanted to believe' in. Really, they discovered the mytharc together, because she enabled him to be something other than a weirdo in an office chasing a faceless 'Them'.
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#5

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Posted Feb 1, 2004 @ 7:36 PM

An interesting way to look at this would be to ask what would have happened if M&S hadn't been assigned together. I bet Mulder would have gotten booted out of the FBI and ended up being a discredited crackpot like Kurtzweil. Either that or he would have been killed trying to sneak into an Air Force base. But what about Scully? Would she have become disillusioned anyway, and fight the system? Or might she have become a female version of Skinner, knowing that something was rotten but sticking to the rules for lack of a more effective option?
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#6

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Posted Feb 2, 2004 @ 6:11 PM

I think Scully would have just happily tootled along with a great teaching job at Quantico, cutting up dead people and educating the G-Men of the future. She might have made Section Chief, and through that encountered some of the 'rotten' goings-on, but with her lack of field experience I doubt it.

But who knows, really? I can see her as the female Skinner type. (Although hopefully not bald)

Edited by DD_lurve, Feb 2, 2004 @ 6:12 PM.

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#7

ejluther

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Posted Feb 3, 2004 @ 5:53 PM

Maybe it's just because I've seen them all too many times, but lately when watching the show I've been thinking about what M&S (and D&R, I suppose) don't see while they're working. When watching an episode, try and put yourself in their shoes and wonder what you would think. Lots of episodes have pivotal moments that only we, the audience, see; Mulder & Scully never do. I guess my point is that, when you look at the show from strictly what the agents themselves see, it's even harder to understand than if you see it "all" from the viewers' Point of View. In short, I imagine the mytharc must make the agents' heads hurt, too...
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#8

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Posted Feb 3, 2004 @ 9:20 PM

But aren't M&S in almost all scenes? They don't get to see the monster eat somebody in the teaser, of course, but other than that I can only remember a few scenes of Syndicate meetings and such. And I think we'll all agree, those weren't very illuminating for those of us who did see them. We could summarise them for M&S thusly: "Some guy with an accent wants to kill Scully and trick Mulder into being an unwitting tool. Skinner's stance is ambiguous." Besides, Mulder always seems able to intuit anything he didn't actually witness. What pivotal moments are you referring to? (I'm not saying there aren't any. Just that I don't recall them myself.)
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#9

ejluther

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Posted Feb 3, 2004 @ 9:51 PM

Well, maybe "pivotal" was too strong a word. But I'm thinking of things like when we saw that old lady trying to end her life, only to have the black oil ooze out. M&S never actually saw that. Or when Krycek was the vessel for the black oil to return to its ship. They didn't see that, either. Stuff like that. I guess all I meant was, from a purely spectator point of view, if you disregard the things M&S don't actually see for themselves (especially Scully), it makes the show even murkier and puts a different spin on it all. But, like I said, it's really just another way to watch the same old show. And you're absolutely right, a lot of time Mulder intuits what we've already seen, but if we hadn't seen it, it would seem insane. But try it next time you watch a show and see what you think. It doesn't have to be a mytharc episode, either Think about QUAGMIRE's ending, we all know there's really a monster in the lake, but Mulder and Scully don't. And sometimes M&S are in a scene and still don't actually see what's happened. I'm thinking of that episode where Scully chases a bounty hunter into the alley only to step in green ooze. We saw it melt away, but the agents didn't. Just some random musings on my part, I suppose...
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#10

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Posted Feb 8, 2004 @ 8:54 PM

FYI-if anyone's interested in checking out the discussion of whether the M/S UST was/is better or worse than that of Alias' Sydney and Vaughn. It's in the "Alias -> There goes the spy.. -> Vaughn" Thread. I weighed in on 'worse', as in, it was way more painful and CC mucked it up (IMO) which made all the torture worse because of the lousy payoff. Ah well, frustrated shippers unite!


...what, the show's over?!

Edited by luv2surf, Feb 8, 2004 @ 8:55 PM.

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#11

Slippin' Mickeys

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Posted Feb 10, 2004 @ 5:34 PM

Something I always found interesting were Mulder and Scully's willingness to show emotion toward the other to other people, but rarely to each other. I mean, when Scully was returned in One Breath, Mulder went ape shit at the hospital, and yet when he came into her room to see her after she woke up, he barely touched her and stayed for all of two minutes. It was the little things like that that both frusterated me and also made me appreciate that at least the show (at one point) was being emotionally honest.
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#12

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Posted Feb 10, 2004 @ 5:49 PM

Yes, there were times when each seemed to think he/she needed to be the strong one, and remain calm for the other's sake. It was as if they were in so deep, neither wanted to spook the other by admitting to how scared and discouraged he/she was. (There's some tortuous grammar for ya.)
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#13

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Posted Feb 10, 2004 @ 8:03 PM

I think they also both have an intimacy thing/ issue. Neither seems willing to let the other know how much they really mean to the, um, other? (Geez, you're right about the difficult grammar.)
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#14

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Posted Feb 18, 2004 @ 6:16 AM

There were also so many complications. They need to be able to work together, the syndicate could use their caring for each other against them, the both of them have had bad romantic histories. So much baggage. But I still, during every episode, was hoping for little snippets of loooove. I used to take every little thing I could and find a way to interpret it as sexual tension. Even though I knew Carter was working against me, I held out hope that the characters were rebelling and giving me what I wanted.
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#15

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Posted Feb 18, 2004 @ 10:07 AM

for me it was always that oh-so-familair bittersweet balancing act of caring for someone a lot (a lot, a lot), but not wanting to take it further than friendship for fear of a) it all being fab for a time then going sour and all is lost, including friendship; and b) making yourself vulnerable and being rejected.

so, neither really took the risk unless it was clear that things were headed for a critical mass. we see very touching, convincing and unsolicited expressions of affection in Momento Mori, Requiem, all things and Amor Fati, for example, when one or the other of them is in a very pressured emotional place and really in need of support or holding or listening. however, in Millennium it doesn't quite work. is this because they're neither of them in immediate danger or distress or grieving, or because the kiss is opportunistic (taking advantage of hogmanay) rather than emotionally driven?

and i, too, love all the scenes where one of them goes apeshit at a medical professional whilst the other lies unconscious. i like to think of them as the Shirley "give my daughter the drugs" Mclean moments.
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#16

ejluther

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Posted Feb 18, 2004 @ 11:28 AM

Kudos to Glasgow for using the word hogmanay! I love it when I get to look up new words!

I think the MILLENNIUM kiss works on a whole new level because it just works off basic curiosity and interest, without the intensity of some deadly emergency to push it. While I love the angst-ridden shipper moments, there was something very innocent and sweet about the MILLENNIUM kiss that worked for me. Plus I thought the lines following it were clever and pointed:

MULDER: The world didn't end.

SCULLY: No, it didn't.


Besides, after that little kiss, the flirting seems to really kick in...
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#17

Glasgow

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Posted Feb 18, 2004 @ 12:17 PM

rats! double post. apologies.

Edited by Glasgow, Feb 18, 2004 @ 12:20 PM.

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#18

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Posted Feb 18, 2004 @ 12:19 PM

and now i get to look up "kudos"!

i also LOVE Millennium Kiss. do you think they deliberately made M break his arm so it was awkward to take it any further?

_sigh_ i remember seeing it the first time and my sharp, unspoilered intake of breath...
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#19

Crow T. Robot

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Posted Feb 18, 2004 @ 1:22 PM

And the sweet smiles on both of their faces.

Watching Milennium on TNT last night got me to thinking about the number of episodes that end with a sweet M&S moment, forcing me to watch the whole episode just for that reward. The Unnatural, Post-Modern Prometheus, and Essence are a few. I would name Dead/Alive for the huge payoff at the end, but the whole episode is pretty dynamic that way.
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#20

bmills

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Posted Feb 18, 2004 @ 2:13 PM

Oh my god! The shippers have taken over my thread!
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#21

smrou

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Posted Feb 18, 2004 @ 2:46 PM

_sigh_ i remember seeing it the first time and my sharp, unspoilered intake of breath...


I happened to be watching that particular episode at my sister's school with about 20 other people (everyone had just come back from Thanksgiving break, so people were just hanging out in the lounge when it came on). At the moment they kissed, the room just exploded with cheers. It was such a happy, exciting, blissful moment. So sweet.

I think ejluther is completely right about the kiss. It was so special because it was affectionate, but without all the "the world is about the end", "one of us is going to die" angst. The angst was over, all was well, it was a nice moment, and Mulder took advantage. It was very different from the affectionate moments there had been before.

Edited by smrou, Feb 18, 2004 @ 2:48 PM.

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#22

Slippin' Mickeys

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Posted Feb 18, 2004 @ 5:27 PM

Oh my god! The shippers have taken over my thread!

One man alone cannot fight... the shippers.
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#23

Crow T. Robot

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Posted Feb 18, 2004 @ 10:51 PM

Shipper? Me? Heavens, no. Whatever gave you that idea? I just happen to like the, um, cinematography of all of the scenes I named.

Seriously, though, does one qualify as a true shipper if one's heart skipped at affectionate M&S interaction, but one nevertheless knew on a more rational level that if M&S got together and had to refer to each other by their first names (the first time I saw Trust No 1, I thought the email from Mulder was an obvious forgery), the thrill might be gone?

Edited by Crow T. Robot, Feb 19, 2004 @ 2:38 AM.

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#24

smrou

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Posted Feb 18, 2004 @ 11:25 PM

I'm not sure, Crow. I was pretty much in the same boat as you. I loved all of the affectionate gestures (enough to watch whole episodes just to see one cute little M&S moment), but was never sure that it would be a good idea for them to get together. Not because I thought the thrill would be gone, but because it really had no place in the show. XF, while clearly based around two central characters, was primarily a show about stories, not characters. Not to the extent that Law and Order is, but in some ways similar. It would have been hard to show a Mulder and Scully romance without showing more of their personal lives than we'd ever seen. We could see glimpses, sure, but their personal lives really had no place on the show. At least, that's how I felt. That's why when I read fanfic, I only read ones that are classified as X-Files (as opposed to just romance), since I liked to be able to imagine the stories as actual episodes, and when Mulder and Scully aren't investigating a case, there's just something wrong.

Edited by smrou, Feb 18, 2004 @ 11:28 PM.

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#25

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Posted Feb 19, 2004 @ 4:16 AM

Oh my god!  The shippers have taken over my thread!


you've created a monster.

but their personal lives really had no place on the show


which is why all the shippers were desperately hooked ... taste of honey and all that. but for me i go along with what CC always said (shocker!) that the drama had to be driven by the cases and their work to find The Truth - everything came back to Samantha, she was the Key, blah blah blah - and so the fact that M&S or GA & DD had this amazing chemistry was a happy accident. i happen to think it's a happy accident without which this multi-million dollar franchise empire wouldn't have become what it has.

but i'm only a shipper, so what do i know?
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#26

smrou

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Posted Feb 19, 2004 @ 8:03 AM

the drama had to be driven by the cases


Thank you. That's what I was trying to say, but just couldn't figure out how to say it.
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#27

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Posted Feb 19, 2004 @ 10:02 AM

This thread is so great, you guys are really good!

Maybe it's just because I've seen them all too many times, but lately when watching the show I've been thinking about what M&S don't see while they're working. When watching an episode, try and put yourself in their shoes and wonder what you would think. Lots of episodes have pivotal moments that only we, the audience, see; Mulder & Scully never do.

Yes! But, I have been thinking that there are scenes Mulder and Scully see that we don’t too. Like in ‘Herrenvolk’ when Mulder traveled from D.C. to Canada with Jeremiah Smith, or from New York to Tunguska with Krycek in ‘Tunguska’ – hours of traveling, surely Mulder asked them about what was going on?

And I’ve never *ever* been a shipper, and season 9 never happened (and William is the result of the Immaculate Conception / artificial insemination)! I never even saw any real signs of romantic / sexual attraction between them for the first four seasons. I think the first time I looked at them and thought about that as a possibility was in Postmodern Prometheus.

I just really fell in love with how Mulder and Scully’s relationship was portrayed: the fact that they through the seasons showed their love, loyalty and trust toward each other - without resulting in flirting/games/romance/sex/drama. It’s not often we get to see that!
They had a great friendship and a great working relationship even though they never agreed on anything. But they depended on, loved and respected each other.
I loved that there was no assumption on the show that ‘friendship is not enough – you need to have sex too for the relationship to be worth anything’.
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#28

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Posted Feb 20, 2004 @ 7:40 PM

I just really fell in love with how Mulder and Scully’s relationship was portrayed: the fact that they through the seasons showed their love, loyalty and trust toward each other - without resulting in flirting/games/romance/sex/drama.

I thought their profound but non-romantic love was really cool and almost unique, and one of the primary things that hooked me on the show. For the first four or so seasons, anyway. And then they ruined it. RUINED I say! With the same old on-the-job-romance complications that every cop show on the air trudges through. When they brought Diana Foully in and made Scully jealous of her? That's when I wanted to take a baseball bat to somebody's shins.
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#29

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Posted Feb 21, 2004 @ 5:24 AM

I loved that there was no assumption on the show that ‘friendship is not enough – you need to have sex too for the relationship to be worth anything’.


ah, so young.

When they brought Diana Foully in and made Scully jealous of her? That's when I wanted to take a baseball bat to somebody's shins.


but wasn't that as open to interpretation as anything else on the show? was she jealous or was she working off an intuitive mistrust and fear that M was being duped. similarly, i think Phoebe Green just irked her. i know that she irked me.
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#30

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Posted Feb 21, 2004 @ 6:24 AM

And then they ruined it. RUINED I say!

The bastards! *sniff*

but wasn't that as open to interpretation as anything else on the show? was she jealous or was she working off an intuitive mistrust and fear that M was being duped.

And Scully wouldn’t have to have romantic interest in Mulder to be jealous either….

But the baseball bat, bmills? Me too!
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