The ‘90s got away with coupling a lot of interesting female leads with some run-of-the-mill, wet blanket, unextraordinary men who deserved neither their time nor affections. Elaine Benes and Jerry Seinfeld, for example. Or Angela and the illiterate burnout Jordan Catalano on My So-Called Life. But of all the pairings of these intriguing women of pop culture and their subpar fuckboys, none hold a candle to the injustice of the relationship between Fox Mulder and Dana Scully.
Mulder and Scully’s long-unsubstantiated love affair began, as we learned in “Trust No 1” of season nine of the original X-Files, after Scully “invited Mulder into [her] bed on one lonely night.” This took place after eight seasons of longing stares, unrequited professions of adoration, and a few alien abductions. But I’d argue that circumstance forced these two together mostly out of a necessity to compartmentalize all the weird supernatural shit that left them with a fair amount of post-traumatic stress disorder and, ultimately, running from the government.
That’s all fine and well—and may true love conquer all or whatever—but Dana Scully still deserves everything and Fox Mulder deserves nothing.
After nine seasons and two feature films, X-Files returns with its six-episode FOX miniseries and begins right where it left off. Mulder is still brooding and hiding from the FBI at a modest gated cabin littered with shady newspaper clippings, and Scully is off saving the world as a surgeon for children with a rare mutation that leaves them without ears. Even after years apart, it’s not difficult to see the two still have a fraught and unresolved longing for each other that’ll definitely play well with the Mulder-Scully stans. But with that in mind, now may be as good a time as any to reflect on those times that Mulder was kind of trash—before we all fall over ourselves for the fully realized forlorn love that this (hopefully) last installment of the cult classic is sure to deliver.