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Mar 6, 2016

Missing the X-Ship

Closing scene from "The Unnatural"
I've been reading reviews and recap analyses of The X-Files season 10 and for the most part I reflexively avoid commentaries by "shippers", fans who obsess about the relationship between Mulder and Scully. However, I found myself in shipper territory when I read this.

"two people with that kind of history"

X-Ship: mostly empty
I'm one of the people who see the X-Ship as mostly empty. Yes, there have been times (example, at the end) when Dana and Fox were cute together, but more often than not they were portrayed as bickering co-workers, not lovers.

The Big Gap
S10E5
Ya, so we did not get to see the years immediately after Mulder and Scully put their son William up for adoption. All we know is that Dana and Fox were no good together after they lost their gig with the FBI. In season 10, we were force fed a scene in which Mulder lamented wasting so much of his life on bogus rumors and lies. But Mulder and Scully were back in the FBI and the X-Ship was on a new cruise of the Love Boat, so it was time for Fox to pull out of his depresion.

"Mulder and Scully didn’t exactly behave like they were estranged."

Hanky Panky
We did not need to see the point in their relationship where Dr. Scully got tired of periodically paying the "obscenely overdue triple-X bill" for the unemployed Mulder.

And we did not need to see a paranormal-deprived and depressed Mulder tell Scully to get back to her nunnery. What else would she do except "God's work" at the hospital?

Mulder's flame
Did I Miss Something?
"unlike the tension of the original series, which was compelling and sexy, this tension feels soured and rotten"

No, I don't think so. There was always something rotten on the good ship X-Shipper. Shippers were able to imagine all kinds of Fox/Dana steam and violins off stage during the original run of The X-Files. That all had to be imagined because it was not in the scripts.

Mirror, Mirror
reminder of the past: another doomed ship?
I think Chris Carter did a great job of encapsulating the whole Fox-Dana dynamic in episode 5. Shippers were besides themselves from being forced to watch the Mulder-Einstein and Scully-Miller pairings.

Through the original series and into "My Struggle II", we saw Scully transformed into someone who is now primed and ready to recognize a conspiracy and take action to fight it. Mulder's transformation was completed in "Babylon", with Fox now having experienced enough paranormal phenomena to bring him to the point of discussing God and position him in life where he is ready to believe in some spiritual "woo".

Scully's anti-flame: Waterston
Miller and Einstein were the perfect reminder of where Fox and Dana started out so long ago, of how far apart they once were in their thinking. The youthful tension that animated the Fox-Dana team is long gone, but it has been replaced by something more weighty. That's never going to satisfy shipper dreams any more than Chris Carter's anti-science tease is ever going to satisfy me.

Previously on The X-Files:
Dec. 29: anticipating new X
Jan. 24: pre-season 10 expectations
Jan. 25: reaction to 'My Struggle I'
'Founder's Mutation'
Jan. 31: waiting for the Were-monster
reaction to 'Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster'
Feb. 10: 'Home Again'
Feb. 16: reaction to 'Babylon'
Feb. 23: the miniseries finale
Feb. 28: on to season 11

CGI agents Data Nully and Fax Modem
ReBoot
In 1995, the animated television show Reboot had an episode featuring CGI agents Nully and Fax.

Monster of the Week. Nully andFax help hunt for a Web Creature. Watch out! Residents of the Net must take care; the vampire-like Web Creatures can suck out your code!

Next: investigating socially-unacceptable behavior in Deep Time
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