Jan 26 2016 1:12am

Still in Love: The X-Files 10x02 Mulder/Scully Romance (MSR) Heart-to-Heart

David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson as Fox Mulder and Dana Scully in The X-Files 10.02Eight years after The X-Files: I Want to Believe hit theaters and THIRTEEN years after the series finale aired on television, FBI special agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) are back for a six-episode Season 10 of The X-Files. Suffice to say, I am a WRECK. Won't you join me, fellow Mulder/Scully shippers—you, who coined the phrase “shipping” in the first place—in breaking down each new slice of canon we are gifted? Tonight we continue what last night started with episode 10x02, “Founder's Mutation,” featuring our first new monster of the week!

As we established beyond the shadow of a doubt last night, Mulder and Scully are still fools in love. And yet, just like in the original series, the agents keep us in suspense, forcing us to read too much into every. little. detail. and to imagine all the many ways they could, at any moment, once more fall into each other's arms and give us that sex scene we've been craving for DECADES. (“Desire is the devil's pitchfork” be damned.)


Anyway, so here are a few of the MSR moments from tonight's episode that inspired allllll the feels, and will surely lead to—or has already led to, even as I type this—heaps of new gifs and fan fiction and vids and art.

Two Nerds Indulge in Some “Old School” Bickering & Banter

Mulder once mused that Scully “always keeps [him] guessing,” and you could see that continued awe in him tonight as she pulled a translation of the Marathi word “gupta” out of her pre-Google brain. And while Mulder may be known for his crazy monlogues, Scully tonight cited a court case AND a medical journal in conversation, so. Nerds, the both of them. Seeing them banter and bicker their way through their first case back was pure bliss.

Mulder and Scully study x-rays in The X-Files Season 10, episode 2The Agents Flirt Inappropriately Over a Dead Body As Per Usual

Seeing Scully perform an autopsy in 2016 is everything I didn't know I always wanted. And sick as it may sound...ditto for the gazing over a dead guy's x-rays.

Dr. Scully Drives Her Partner Around

Turns out her little feet not only can touch the pedals but do so pretty regularly. Watching her drive Mulder around is super cute, though I'm concerned about the kid she bumped with the car, what was that about???

The Agents Get Chewed Out by Skinner, Bond in the Office

Forget cheesy lines about The Truth—nostalgia hit hardest when Skinner pretended to berate his agents and Mulder and Scully then removed to the X-files office (which, excuse me, where's Scully's nameplate and desk? gaaaah) to speak freely about what's really going on. In this case, it's Scully calling Mulder out for not coming clean with her about what happened with his head at the secret apartment and “hiding” what he knows about how they could all be connected. In turn, he calls HER out for hiding something from him: The fact that Sanjay heard sounds before he killed himself...exactly like Mulder.

Tall One Holds Door, Small One Ducks Right Under His Arm

Blink and you'll miss this Very Important Moment that illustrates how in sync our favorite duo still is (thanks, David and Gillian). I only caught it the second time around.

     {See Also: 18 Times MSR Ruined Us for All Other TV Romances}

Longtime Partners Casually Bare Their Souls Outside an ER

Immediately after meeting pregnant teen Agnes, Scully realizes what Mulder has been keeping from her—his fear that her conception of William was the result of experimentation in eugenics and that this case could upset her in any way. While Scully sets him straight about keeping things from her (“I'm not a fragile little girl,” she tells him, something she never had to clarify before William broke them both), she shows a lot of vulnerability when she asks: “Is this what you believe happened 15 years ago? When I got pregnant? When I had my baby? Was I just an incubator?” Mulder, bless him, knows just what to say, and his words became an instant shipper classic: “You're never JUST anything to me, Scully.” DED.

But then, BOOM, the conversation turns even more intimate when Scully asks if he ever thinks about William and Mulder replies that yes, of course he does, but he feels like he's had to put his feelings aside to function, and Scully in turn confesses that she hates herself for giving him up and missing his childood.

The ANGST is so good. I can't wait to watch this scene 500 2 more times.

Anyone else think this scene is very important to the mythology, too? Mulder's wording about William (“his adoption is secret, his location is unknown because you had to protect him”) is very peculiar, as is Scully's lingering concern that he was, in fact, an experiment, something she's seemingly wondered about on and off since the Season 8 episode “Per Manum.” Why she didn't do testing then or soon after his birth to confirm paternity/disprove genetic engineering is an x-file for another day.

Mulder loves Scully in The X-Files season 10 Scully loves Mulder in The X-Files season 10
Gifs via aaronslivesy.tumblr.com  


Scully daydreaming about something as simple as taking her son to his first day of school and then comforting him after breaking an arm is heartbreaking, as is the way the dream morphs into a nightmare in which William's “Founder's mutation” emerges. Nothing prepares you for the kick in the gut that is her pulling out his baby picture, though. Owwwww.

Protective!Scully Returns

Baby Scully was shielding puppy Mulder from harm from the second episode of the original run, if not before, so I love seeing her run to his side and scream in people's faces for him all these years later. It's my happy place.


Okay, so if Scully's William fantasy was painful, Mulder's is straight-up BRUTAL. Mulder spent only two days with his son before going on the run in the Season 9 premiere, and he'd already been adopted by the time Mulder and Scully reunited in a prison cell in “The Truth,” but that doesn't stop Mulder from picturing what their life could have been like together. In an alternate universe where Scully and Mulder had gotten to raise their son, Papa Mulder would've fostered his mini me's love of space, and they'd have built rocket ships and watched sci-fi flicks. IT'S PERFECT. AND CRUEL. I WANT TO DIE.

Mulder and his son in The X-Files 10x02 William and Mulder in The X-Files Season 10 episode 2
Gifs via dinoscully.tumblr.com  

Then, of course, William gets abducted from his bedroom exactly like Samantha, which is Mulder's greatest fear, and we're left with a sad, lonely Mulder gazing at a copy of Scully's William baby picture in the kitchen of an empty unremarkable house. It's nearly unbearable, and I love and hate this scene in equal parts. How will I survive this revival?! I just hope we get to see Mulder and Scully share some of this grief together, because they both clearly need that connection back, for good this time.


I don't know about you guys, but I am wiped. Maybe it's not such a bad thing the remaining four episodes will each be a week apart?

Did you enjoy the episode? How did it compare to last night's premiere? Are you as sure as I am that Mulder and Scully are as in love as ever, painful and risky though it may be sometimes?


Memorable Lines

“I'm old-school, Mulder. Pre-Google.” —Scully

“You're never JUST anything to me, Scully.” —Mulder

“A mother never forgets.” —Scully

“...I think one day you'll probably have your own ideas about it.” —Alternate universe (AU) Mulder passing on his thirst for knowledge on to his son

Find Heather Waters on Twitter at @hwaters_


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Saundra Peck
1. sk1336
The first two hours were delicious and precious. I was afraid they were cramming too much into the first hour to feel the feelings I wanted. Then hour two settled into a cozy place I never wanted to leave. The intimacy was effortless and I loved it. The dreams each had of William were devastating to my soul. It was 17 minutes after the end of the show before I could see through my tears to read. Enough said... The Truth is here, but four more shows will not be enough.
Pamela Cayne
2. Pamela Cayne
Yes! (And absolutely yes to what sk1336 said about the effortless intimacy and everything else!) I liked the first show and accepted its flaws for trying to ride a fine line between infodump and backstory and for taking a little time to shake off the rust of 15 years, but this show? It was so freaking good I want to have "10x02" tattooed on one arm and "I *do* believe" on the other.

The Founder was a perfect villain--a handsome 50s something doctor who wasn't some hideous old man in a wheelchair like we were led to believe by his reclusiveness, and don't get me started on the Wonder Twins there at the end. Steven King might not only be proud, he'd probably be a little bit jealous.

But Mulder and Scully and the theme of separated children and parents--DEVESTATING! I was still gasping from Scully's "flashback" when we saw Mulder's and, with every advancement/shift of his, I was actually shouting out, each new "memory" a blow to my big squishy gut of feelz. But that closing shot with Mulder pulling out the same baby picture Scully did? I was destroyed. Absolutely destroyed. In honor of the late Alan Rickman, my heart had just been cut out by a spoon.

But we also got the bantering, the talk outside the hospital (Count the nuances and layers in that few minutes of film--I dare you! We'll be here all day...), Scully's concern that Mulder was going to end up like Sanjay, even the "Let's talk" scene with Mulder and Gupta, it was all classic X-Files and as my husband said when the credits rolled, "Top 20 all time, possibly top 10." He was right. And I totally agree with you as well, Heather--one week recovery time is needed.

Though I'm probably going to torture myself by watching it at least once or twice more this week. It hurt too damn good not to.

Other favorite line: Skinner, as soon as door shuts: "I assume you made copies."
Heather Waters
3. HeatherWaters
THANK YOU guys for the comments and sorry it's taken me so long to reply--I am exhausted after the last two nights!

@sk1336 -- Like Pamela said, your note that the "intimacy was effortless" is spot-on. Many pairings have tried to imitate that chemistry over the years, but there is no other Mulder/Scully.

And yes! Watching live always makes me anxious about how they're ever going to manage to wrap everything up; I didn't realize how much I've missed that about watching episodic shows live. I wish we'd gotten to see how Mulder and Scully got out of the jam with the kids after the doc's eyes exploded, but I can't complain about how the episode ended, and wouldn't trade that for anything. Mulder sitting alone at his little kitchen table (someone pointed out he has exactly three chairs) was a killer last image.
Heather Waters
4. HeatherWaters
@Pamela Cayne -- I'd heard last night's episode was an improvement (and then 3 is wonderful), but it was a big relief nonetheless. THESE are the characters I know and love, even if they're (understandably) sadder and more subdued than I remembered. David and Gillian have done a brilliant job of reminding us that these characters are feeling the tough years we haven't seen.

The creepy doctor and his poor wife and the psychic sibs just took me back immediately to old-school X-Files, I really enjoyed every horrifying second there.

Okay, I'm clearly VERY biased, so it's great to hear your husband thought the episode was that good too. Cool! I know my roommate told me he wouldn't be able to watch b/c the Bruins were playing, but what do you know? He got pulled in and watched the second half with me, mwahahaha.

SKINNER! He knows his agents so well and can't wait for them to make his life a living hell again. That whole scene was gold.

I maaaaay have had the Mulder/William fantasy on a loop last night as I finished writing this, so yeah, it's brilliant but painful as f*ck and I'm really glad we're a fandom of masochists. Can't wait to see what the writers do to us next!
Pamela Cayne
5. snackbreak
Thank you, where is Scully's gd desk?????!!!?
I love that this reboot is happening, but they need to acknowledge how integral Scully is, or imma flip a table (mulder's desk?) ;)
Heather Waters
6. HeatherWaters
@snackbreak -- I'm with you, it's unacceptable. I hope someone at least comments on this travesty.

My headcanon in the original series was that Scully had an office/desk elsewhere in the Hoover building but never used it because the basement was where Mulder was. In the new series, though, there's just no excuse.
Pamela Cayne
7. Mulder and Scully lover
Yes, I love the way you think :-) when they talk about William I cry. Then she she gave William up I cry. I want them to be together forever and forever and a happy family :-)
Pamela Cayne
8. Crystalball25

I remember, back in the day, there was a woman who always wrote a "Romantic Moment of the Week" page once the show was over. I was always so exited to read what she had to say. Your blog, recap, whatever you choose to call it, totally reminds me of it. This is wonderful. I have missed the show so much and didn't realize how much until it came back on. I have been binge watching the episodes on Netflix. I love them just as much now as I did in the past. I remember watching the VHS tapes I had, so I know where the "good parts" are. I didn't realize how much I loved their relationship until I restarted watching it. They are the ultimate couple. I just rewatched "The Field Where I Died" and it guts me every time when, while Scully is always in his life, she is not his soulmate. It always made me so sad, looking at her face. Ugh.. However, in this life as we know, she most certainly is.

The fact that there are 6 episodes is bittersweet. I want to watch them all so badly, and yet don't want them to end. This week was so good. That "You're never JUST anything to me, Scully"- heartwrenching and so sweet. He loves her so much. As I rewatch, I always had felt that she was the one who cared more or put her heart out there more, but it's not the truth. While she loves him, so very much, he is so much more tied and bound to her. Ugh..it just tears me up to watch them together. They, David and Gillian, are so perfect together as Mulder and Scully.

Thank you for having this page and I am looking forward to what you think of this weeks episode. I will be coming back to read what you have written. :)
Heather Waters
9. HeatherWaters
@Mulder and Scully lover -- I know just what you mean. I thought I was prepared for that episode, but I was NOT ready. It was so emotional and painful, yet cathartic. I feel so much better now that I've seen Scully and Mulder talk about him and face their guilt about giving him up. I hope we see William again for real someday...
Heather Waters
10. HeatherWaters
@Crystalball25 -- Reading your comment made my whole Sunday. Thank you so much for your kind words. I'm really glad you've enjoyed the recaps so far and hope we can dicuss the next four together too. Watching The X-Files and holding my breath over each new Mulder and Scully scene helped me get through the end of college and the first few months at a new job in a new town where I didn't know anyone, so it'll always have a special place in my heart.

"The Field Where I Died" and "Never Again" both make me unaccountably sad. I do take heart that in TFWID, Mulder says that it's Scully--not the woman he calls his soulmate--who is by his side in every single life, and maybe that's the real definition of a soulmate. Not necessarily your love in one lifetime but the person who's always there with you, platonic or romantic or otherwise. Plus, that episode is all about fate vs. choice, and Mulder and Scully choose each other again and again, fate be damned. That's romance.

It's interesting, sometimes Mulder seems more in love to me, and sometimes Scully does. They show it in different ways and at different times, but I know in truth they're equally madly in love.

Thanks again for commenting! I hear tomorrow night's "Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster" is going to be AMAZING.
Pamela Cayne
11. Mulder and Scully lover
Thanks, Heather Waters. I hear they going to talk about him a lot, I'm happy and worry,hope William ok I dream about the them as a family. I hope the show comes back the rates are good. Yes, I cry to then they talk about him. I did cry the second one too I feel the pain they feel I love them both so much, I want the love they had together back they belong together heart and soul.
Pamela Cayne
12. Crystalball25

You are right. They are together no matter what and they choose each other over and over. It is romance for sure.

I saw some clips that Gillian posted for the show tomorrow night. It's definitely going to be a good episode.

I will definitely enjoy discussing the show with you over the next few weeks, or months, whatever. :)
Heather Waters
13. HeatherWaters
@Mulder and Scully lover -- There is zero doubt in my mind they will be back together and better than ever, if not by the end of these 6, then soon after. They're going through a rough patch, but they clearly still love each other and want to work through their problems.

@Crystallball25 -- Or YEARS. I have a feeling there'll be a Season 11... :DDDD
14. wsl0612
I meant to comment earlier, I think that the boy Scully almost hit with her car is William :-)
Heather Waters
15. HeatherWaters
@wslo612 -- I've seen a few people speculating about that! I meant to pause the screen and get a good look at him, because what a random moment, huh?

I was wondering if it was the boy looking for his sister, but since Mulder and Scully didn't go, "Oh, right, we hit you with a car!" I assumed they didn't recognize him?

Having it be William would be a nice easter egg, but I'm not sure how much faith I have in the writers for thinking that far ahead... Here's hoping they prove me wrong and they really do have a master plan.
16. wsl0612
@Heather - what I really wish for is that William could be an FBI agent too, but then we would need a Star Trek space/time continuum craziness for that to work ;-)
Heather Waters
17. HeatherWaters
@wsl0612 -- Oh, I 100% feel that if they ever "reboot" the X-Files with new characters, one of them should be an adult William Scully Mulder intent on carrying on his parents' quest. I would automatically be more invested, you know?
Pamela Cayne
18. Mulder and Scully lover
Yes Heather, me to. You can feel the love between them, I feel it in the hotel room when Scully called mulder crazy love its love. Now Scully has a dog, William will like that. Your right, having William will be a nice Easter egg with the dog that a perfect family smiling. I'm glad I found this site I like it a lot.
Heather Waters
19. HeatherWaters
Thank you, so glad you're liking the site. My recap for last night's episode just went up here. I'm so excited Scully got another dog! I hope we get to see him again and he doesn't go the way of poor Queequeg.
Pamela Cayne
20. Mulder and Scully lover
Your welcome, I love to see it again. Love all of it, Scully acting sexy and Mulder wakeing up at the cemetery. I know how you Crystal ball25 feel, they belong together. I can see how they get together and it will be wow that will be great. And when they make out and the dog will want to join in Mulder will tell the dog I have it and they will laugh and the dog will bark it will be funny. I agree, the writer's are great it feel that the show ever left lol.I hope their be a season 11 with the cute dog. It feels she needs a hug and Mulder we know will be their for her and caught when she falls just like when Mulder falls she be their. I hope she keeps the cute dog to.
Pamela Cayne
21. Nic_knack.
I was totally gutted when mulder is looking at the picture of william with two empty chairs at his table. I literally cannot.
Heather Waters
22. HeatherWaters
@Mulder and Scully lover -- Fingers crossed for Season 11 and more with the puppy!

@Nic_knack. -- IT'S MUCH TOO MUCH. And I think tonight's episode could put us on the floor, too.
Pamela Cayne
23. Mulder and Scully lover
I hope so to smiling, :-)
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