Tue
Feb 23 2016 3:29pm

Fan Fic Will Save Us: The X-Files 10x06 Mulder/Scully Heart-to-Heart

Gillian Anderson as Dana Scully in The X-Files Season 10 finale, My Struggle, Part IIEight 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? Today—following “My Struggle: Part I,” “Founder's Mutation,” “Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster,” “Home Again,” and “Babylon”—we turn our attention to the season finale, “My Struggle: Part II.”

So...that happened. Variety, HitFixThe A.V. ClubThe Atlantic, and more publications have already written eloquently about the many disappointments of “My Struggle II,” and I agree with their points completely. Like any X-Files fan, I wanted the show to be better. But I'd argue Mulder/Scully shippers have it even worse: Not only is the mythology as weak as it's ever been, but Mulder and Scully's breakup has proven to be nothing but a publicity stunt barely addressed in any of the 5 previous episodes and not at all in the finale. All that waiting to learn more about where their relationship stands and we get absolutely no payoff, none. It's hard to get excited for a potential Season 11 after this sendoff (but give me a few days; I'm sure I'll find my optimism again).

Now, I could spend an entire recap trying to find the bright spots in the episode, when only two spring to mind—Mulder threatening the inexplicably-still-alive Cigarette Smoking Man (CSM) if he harmed Scully, and Scully finding a deathly ill Mulder in the passenger seat in Miller's car and promising to save him (apparently with their son's bone marrow)—but to be completely upfront, I think our time could be better spent.

Let me explain...

Scully finds Mulder in The X-Files 10x06 Scully is here for Mulder in The X-Files Season 10, episode 6
Gifs via katecastle.co.vu  

You see, two legendary X-Files fan fics, “Machines of Freedom” and “Blinded by White Light,” have already tackled the Mulder-and-Scully-face-alien-colonization plot we saw start to unfold in “My Struggle,” and their writers have done it with infinite more reverence for our beloved duo and their epic love. Thus, in place of my normal recap, I would like to recommend that you read (or reread, as the case may be) one or both of these for your weekly dose of Mulder/Scully romance:

“Machines of Freedom” by amalnahurriyeh

Set after I Want to Believe but before the revival, “Machines of Freedom” kicks off a collection of stories known as the Caseyverse (don't try to find out why before you start reading or it will spoil a major twist in “Machines of Freedom,” but if you're anything like me, after finishing MoF, you'll want to read every Caseyverse fic you can get your hands on, including “Raise It Up” and “Four Things [spoiler] Doesn't Remember, and One She Almost Wishes She Didn't”). Without giving too much away, in this story you enter an alternate universe in which Mulder and Scully have spent their time since the events of I Want to Believe heading up a resistance to the aliens' plan to colonize the earth in 2012. And when the time comes, THEY FIND WILLIAM (!!!!). There's much, much more to it than that, but I'd hate to spoil the surprise. Read it. You can thank me later.

“Blinded by White Light” by dashakay

Written in 1999, “Blinded by White Light” transports you to an ambiguous time and place several years after aliens have invaded earth. Mulder and Scully's memories have been wiped, along with the rest of humanity's, and they have no idea that they used to be FBI agents fighting colonization together, or that they knew each other at all “Before.” And yet, when “Dana” meets “Fox” by chance, they're drawn together like magnets and begin to wonder why... I've read this story and its prequel, “Open to White” (which should nevertheless be read after “Blinded,” because it contains spoilers for that), many times, and each time it's as good as the first. I would have loved to have seen this script filmed for the revival instead—if you want Mulder/Scully tension, this story has it for daaaaays. And then, best of all, repays your patience with some very hot sex and a Happily For Now ending (this IS the X-Files; HEAs are never guaranteed).

***

Of course, I have no doubt in my mind that these will not be the last great stories. In fact, I bet fans are already writing fix-it fics for “My Struggle II” to help us make sense of it all. I can't wait.

Memorable Lines

Mulder: “I wish Scully was here.”

***

Scully: “Mulder. I'm here.”

Mulder: “He saved your life. Old Smokey. I suppose I should thank him.”

Scully: “We're going to save your life.”

***

Photo credit: Ed Araquel/FOX


Heather Waters is the editorial director of H&H and a 24/7 fangirl. She grew up surrounded by The X-Files fans and has been a card-carrying MSR shipper herself since bingeing all 9 seasons (on DVD, no less) and 2 movies in 2008. Find her on Twitter at @hwaters_

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8 comments
Sheryl Nantus
1. Sheryl Nantus
I wrote fanfic back in the day under my maiden name, Sheryl Martin.

I'm still digesting last night's ep but if it encourages people to write... then write!

*wanders off to wonder when she got so... old...*
;)
tazdevil
2. tazdevil
Yeah, that had nothing for shippers. Except for CSM referring to Mulder's "Beloved Scully." That's it. I'm not going to jump on the bandwagon of (very valid) complaints, other than to ask a few questions. When Monica invited Scully to sit with her on the WetBenchOfHighTreason so that she could tell her about her new boyfriend, why on earth didn't Scully ask Monica if she happened to know the whereabouts of William? You'd think that might have come up, no? Same question re Mulder's meeting with CSM - you'd think one of them might have mentioned William, at the very least you'd think CSM might dangle William's whereabouts or safety as bait for Mulder. Also? CSM wanted to save Mulder and Mulder wanted no part of it...why, exactly? Didn't sound like a bad deal to me. CSM wasn't asking Mulder to fork over Scully or FBI secrets or...anything, really. Just, "Hey, Foxy, the world is dying and I have the cure. Want some?" To which Mulder is all, "No, damn you! I'll have none of your evil lifesaving mojo!" Meanwhile, back in Washington, Scully is scurrying to make a fresh batch of the same damn Kool-aid Mulder should have guzzled back at CSM's house. As for Mulder not answering his phone? Come on.
Sheryl Nantus
3. dashakay
Thank you so much for the lovely mention of my fanfic, Blinded by White Light! A friend pointed it out to be on Facebook. And I totally agree with you. Machines of Freedom is an amazing fic and everyone should read it.
Sheryl Nantus
4. Mulder and Scully lover
Don't give up, Chris Carter played parting them apart but I believe they will get back together then Mulder gets well and they have William with them the world will be better I know it will in my head. I love the stories people write about them, I go to nursery files they are great. P.S I think Chris knows what he did and put them back together they do have each other backs don't they lol. DONT GIVE UP HEATHER.
Heather Waters
5. HeatherWaters
@Sheryl Nantus -- Maybe it'll inspire a new plot bunny for you too?!

@tazdevil -- Seriously, what a kick in the face to shippers. He had never previously ended a season without some intimate scene between them before whatever new catastrophe loomed. Grr.

I fully expected Monica's information to be about William, and I feel, like you, it's a wasted opportunity that it wasn't. I'm actually quite upset on Monica's behalf--she would never have given in to CSM without that. And even if she had, Doggett would have found out and helped her; they were a great team in Season 9. I just don't buy any of that.

I do understand Mulder immediately resisting any offer from the CSM purely because of their history together, but it should've been made clearer Mulder knew there were strings attached, because you're right, it came across as Mulder simply being obstinate.

Mulder not answering his phone was frustrating for sure, though my guess is he was trying to be noble and self-sacrificing, which actually is in character for him. He knew Scully would try to find him and potentially put herself in danger.

If there's one thing I enjoyed in Chris Carter's episodes this season, it's that Scully is now considered as much of a believer as Mulder, and it's now the younger agents who act as the skeptics. THAT's some character development I can get behind.
Heather Waters
6. HeatherWaters
@dashakay -- Oh, my pleasure! I'm a big fan of your work.

@Mulder and Scully lover -- I promise, I won't give up! They're headed back together, no question, and they love each other as much as ever. I only wish we got to see more of their relationship rather than being eternally teased about it, you know? But as long as they're on screen, I'll be watching, because there's no one like them.
tazdevil
7. tazdevil
As long as I'm venting about the injustices served to the ship, what was the point of having O'Malley hit on Scully? Was that just to piss us off and make us hate him from the get go?

Speaking of hate, I know I'm in the minority here, but I don't get all the internet venom directed at Einstein. I thought she was entertaining and held her own in her scenes with both M and S. She and Miller have zero chemistry, but damn, he is fine to stare at! Much as I loathe O'Malley for the aforementioned hit, I wish he'd had a scene with Einstein. There's your skeptic/believer combo. Why not throw those two crazy cats into a pillowcase together and see what happens?
Sheryl Nantus
8. Mulder and Scully lover
Good to hear Heather, we shippers need to stick together smiling. I"m glad Chris Carter didn"t have them have boy and girl friends that Will make me mad that for sure. That they are apart now I know deep in my heart as a shipper they will be together forever and ever :-)
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