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Fox Mulder: Persistent in trying to find out 'The Truth'.

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#4 is just made of win XD. Oh Mulder.

 

#13 You lil' stinker :p.

 

#19 Made of win, forever :).

 

#26 So cute :p.

 

#43 Definitely.

 

#44 Yep :).

 

Thanks for sharing! They're all adorable.

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I usually don't swoon over Mulder, but...

*swoon*

 

 This doesn't even compute for me.  I was soooo enamored with Mulder in high school and college when I watched the show.  To the point that I didn't even realize what a friggin' dork Mulder is.  Like truly and honestly, he's a big weirdo, a giant dork, and a pain in the ass quite often.  But I still love him for it.  I guess it's part of the charm?  lol.  Although, I appreciate Scully SO MUCH more now.  Back then I was all, "What's wrong with her?  Why won't she believe him?!?  Why is she out to contradict everything he says?"  Now it's more like, "How has she put up with his nonsense for so long?  How has she not killed him yet?"

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 This doesn't even compute for me.  I was soooo enamored with Mulder in high school and college when I watched the show.  To the point that I didn't even realize what a friggin' dork Mulder is.  Like truly and honestly, he's a big weirdo, a giant dork, and a pain in the ass quite often.  But I still love him for it.  I guess it's part of the charm?  lol.  Although, I appreciate Scully SO MUCH more now.  Back then I was all, "What's wrong with her?  Why won't she believe him?!?  Why is she out to contradict everything he says?"  Now it's more like, "How has she put up with his nonsense for so long?  How has she not killed him yet?"

Not so much now :p. He's not nearly as much of a dork anymore. He's grown up :). Scully got on my nerves at times... wondered why Mulder put up with her.

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I was always a t-shirt wearing resident of Camp Scully, but Mulder I was much more hit and miss with, especially after the first couple of seasons.  I could not stand the guy much of the time, but then at times I'd just love him.  What's interesting is that, after IWTB, I can tolerate some things better now than I did when the episodes originally aired.

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Not so much now :p. He's not nearly as much of a dork anymore. He's grown up :). Scully got on my nerves at times... wondered why Mulder put up with her.

 

Crazy beard, sitting in room clipping paper.... ;)  Does Scully still get on your nerves?  See, that's totally how I felt back in the day, and now I adore her.

 

ETA:  Truth be told, they're both dorks.  lol.

Edited by queequeg
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Crazy beard, sitting in room clipping paper.... ;)  Does Scully still get on your nerves?  See, that's totally how I felt back in the day, and now I adore her.

 

ETA:  Truth be told, they're both dorks.  lol.

Hey he can find good deals in those papers ;). Not so much.

 

Yep :p.

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 This doesn't even compute for me.  I was soooo enamored with Mulder in high school and college when I watched the show.  To the point that I didn't even realize what a friggin' dork Mulder is.  Like truly and honestly, he's a big weirdo, a giant dork, and a pain in the ass quite often.  But I still love him for it.  I guess it's part of the charm?  lol.  Although, I appreciate Scully SO MUCH more now.  Back then I was all, "What's wrong with her?  Why won't she believe him?!?  Why is she out to contradict everything he says?"  Now it's more like, "How has she put up with his nonsense for so long?  How has she not killed him yet?"

 

I cosign this post 100%,  Mulder is adorkable.  And Scully is a saint for only shooting him in the shoulder. He was a royal pain in the ass. 

 

Number 4 cracked me up.  Is it sad or admirable that I (and probably all of us know immediately what episode all the images/gifs are from?

Edited by janestclair
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#4 is just made of win XD. Oh Mulder.

#4 is funny, but...I mean, not to be overly nitpicky or anything (too late) but that's not Mulder.  That's Eddie.    (Isn't it?  Suddenly I'm questioning my memory.}

Edited by smrou
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#4 is funny, but...I mean, not to be overly nitpicky or anything (too late) but that's not Mulder.  That's Eddie.    (Isn't it?  Suddenly I'm questioning my memory.}

 

Yeah, it's Eddie.    It happens right before "Good night! This is where my tax dollars go?"   lol.

 

ETA:  I may or may not have been recently using the expression "Good Night!" more than I probably should admit to. 

I cosign this post 100%,  Mulder is adorkable.  And Scully is a saint for only shooting him in the shoulder. He was a royal pain in the ass. 

 

Adorkable is a fabulous word, and so perfect.

Edited by queequeg
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Dusting off this thread because I was watching one of those vloggers who does reviews of The X-Files (this one, in fact - her enthusiasm is infectious).  And there's of course so very much to hate about MSIV but the one line that did stand out for me is Mulder saying, "who am I if I am not a father?"  It's such an interesting line in giving us insight into Mulder's mindset for basically the last 15 years.

The writers made so much of William's story about Scully, so I appreciate Chris Carter's acknowledgement that William's story was also about Mulder and all that he has lost. But that is what makes me so mad about the whole "Mulder is not William's father" shenanigans (which was also CC's idea).  Because not only did he turn William into just an experiment, he took him entirely away from Mulder. Why do that to the character, a character who has literally had every other person he has ever loved (with the exception of Scully) taken away from him? 

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3 hours ago, eleanorofaquitaine said:

Dusting off this thread because I was watching one of those vloggers who does reviews of The X-Files (this one, in fact - her enthusiasm is infectious).  And there's of course so very much to hate about MSIV but the one line that did stand out for me is Mulder saying, "who am I if I am not a father?"  It's such an interesting line in giving us insight into Mulder's mindset for basically the last 15 years.

The writers made so much of William's story about Scully, so I appreciate Chris Carter's acknowledgement that William's story was also about Mulder and all that he has lost. But that is what makes me so mad about the whole "Mulder is not William's father" shenanigans (which was also CC's idea).  Because not only did he turn William into just an experiment, he took him entirely away from Mulder. Why do that to the character, a character who has literally had every other person he has ever loved (with the exception of Scully) taken away from him? 

I refuse to watch any episodes with My Struggle in the title, but I'm still mad about Scully giving up William in the first place. Chris Carter needs to stop adding a new dead/missing/sick kid to the show every time he wants to give the plot another turn of the screw. Samantha was the perfect backstory for Mulder; it was terribly sad and gave his character depth, but it also made us hope that one day he would find something to fill that gap in his life. But Scully finding and losing Emily, and then both Mulder and Scully losing William - that's too much. I thought for the longest time that the X-Files was going to be a story about someone losing one family and eventually finding another one. But it turns out it's just a record of loss after loss, and I'm not saying that's unrealistic, but it's very hard to watch. To me, the most heartbreaking moment of the whole damn show is Mulder's dream of watching 2001: A Space Odyssey with William in Founder's Mutation. It's partly how young he looks - the lines smoothed out of his face, the weight lifted from his shoulders. It's partly how casually he leans over and drops a kiss on William's head, like he knows how lucky he is to have this wonderful kid. That's the happiest I've ever seen Mulder, and it kills me that he never got to be that happy in real life. Taking away Mulder's last tenuous connection to William is a final pointless cruelty, but really it's all unforgivable.

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On 6/17/2018 at 10:20 PM, Sharna Pax said:

I refuse to watch any episodes with My Struggle in the title, but I'm still mad about Scully giving up William in the first place. Chris Carter needs to stop adding a new dead/missing/sick kid to the show every time he wants to give the plot another turn of the screw. Samantha was the perfect backstory for Mulder; it was terribly sad and gave his character depth, but it also made us hope that one day he would find something to fill that gap in his life. But Scully finding and losing Emily, and then both Mulder and Scully losing William - that's too much. I thought for the longest time that the X-Files was going to be a story about someone losing one family and eventually finding another one. But it turns out it's just a record of loss after loss, and I'm not saying that's unrealistic, but it's very hard to watch. To me, the most heartbreaking moment of the whole damn show is Mulder's dream of watching 2001: A Space Odyssey with William in Founder's Mutation. It's partly how young he looks - the lines smoothed out of his face, the weight lifted from his shoulders. It's partly how casually he leans over and drops a kiss on William's head, like he knows how lucky he is to have this wonderful kid. That's the happiest I've ever seen Mulder, and it kills me that he never got to be that happy in real life. Taking away Mulder's last tenuous connection to William is a final pointless cruelty, but really it's all unforgivable.

Well, I should say, I am kind of not interested in rehashing everything that Carter is perceived to have done wrong - even though I don't like everything he's done and particularly have some very real issues with the way he resolved the story line around William in season 11, I don't think it is particularly healthy for the show or the fandom to obsessively go through every place where they are angry with CC, and I have to say that I see a lot of that in various places around the Internet. 

All of that being said, I think that there has been a lot of subtle work about Mulder's view of fatherhood, and so yeah, taking William away from Mulder - who clearly got a lot of sustenance in the last 15 years in the idea that he was a father - seems pretty cruel.  In some ways, it's like CC sees Mulder as his Job, a person whose decency he, as his creator, is constantly testing. 

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5 hours ago, eleanorofaquitaine said:

Well, I should say, I am kind of not interested in rehashing everything that Carter is perceived to have done wrong - even though I don't like everything he's done and particularly have some very real issues with the way he resolved the story line around William in season 11, I don't think it is particularly healthy for the show or the fandom to obsessively go through every place where they are angry with CC, and I have to say that I see a lot of that in various places around the Internet. 

All of that being said, I think that there has been a lot of subtle work about Mulder's view of fatherhood, and so yeah, taking William away from Mulder - who clearly got a lot of sustenance in the last 15 years in the idea that he was a father - seems pretty cruel.  In some ways, it's like CC sees Mulder as his Job, a person whose decency he, as his creator, is constantly testing. 

I can see that. I guess part of the way I engage with the X-Files - because it's such a gloriously messy, imperfect, self-contradicting show, that's made so many bizarre choices over the years but also reached such astonishing heights - is by thinking about what I want to accept as part of my own personal X-Files canon and what I want to pretend didn't happen. So I don't personally feel the rage at Chris Carter that I think a lot of people do, because when he gets extra Chris Carter-y I just stop listening. But that means there are certain points at which I also stop fully engaging with the story, because it doesn't seem like a story so much as an unending series of very similar traumas. So although I do like to think about what fatherhood means to Mulder, I have a hard time centering that discussion around that line from the finale, because that line and the finale in general have completely and totally lost me. And I'm sorry if I spun off into a rant about how and why it lost me instead of really answering the question.

In reality, though, I was completely on board by the end of Ghouli. I loved seeing Mulder suppress his feelings about William but then allow himself that little bit of dawning hope at the end. It gave me hope, too, that Mulder might someday have a relationship with William - maybe not the version of fatherhood that he envisioned, but a version that would be meaningful. And if Chris Carter had brought the level of storytelling to the finale that James Wong brought to Ghouli, and if he had been as honest and thoughtful in his portrayal of the characters - regardless of what actually happened in the episode - then I would have an easier time entering into a serious discussion of that line and what it means. But it's not really a line that I can see Mulder saying, mainly because to undercut his own parental identity is also to undercut Scully's, and I don't think the Mulder who was so self-effacing and quietly supportive in Ghouli would do that.

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9 hours ago, Sharna Pax said:

I can see that. I guess part of the way I engage with the X-Files - because it's such a gloriously messy, imperfect, self-contradicting show, that's made so many bizarre choices over the years but also reached such astonishing heights - is by thinking about what I want to accept as part of my own personal X-Files canon and what I want to pretend didn't happen. So I don't personally feel the rage at Chris Carter that I think a lot of people do, because when he gets extra Chris Carter-y I just stop listening. But that means there are certain points at which I also stop fully engaging with the story, because it doesn't seem like a story so much as an unending series of very similar traumas. So although I do like to think about what fatherhood means to Mulder, I have a hard time centering that discussion around that line from the finale, because that line and the finale in general have completely and totally lost me. And I'm sorry if I spun off into a rant about how and why it lost me instead of really answering the question.

In reality, though, I was completely on board by the end of Ghouli. I loved seeing Mulder suppress his feelings about William but then allow himself that little bit of dawning hope at the end. It gave me hope, too, that Mulder might someday have a relationship with William - maybe not the version of fatherhood that he envisioned, but a version that would be meaningful. And if Chris Carter had brought the level of storytelling to the finale that James Wong brought to Ghouli, and if he had been as honest and thoughtful in his portrayal of the characters - regardless of what actually happened in the episode - then I would have an easier time entering into a serious discussion of that line and what it means. But it's not really a line that I can see Mulder saying, mainly because to undercut his own parental identity is also to undercut Scully's, and I don't think the Mulder who was so self-effacing and quietly supportive in Ghouli would do that.

Could you clarify on what you mean when you say that line undercuts Scully's parental identity? I don't really see how that is true but I am also just not sure what you mean by that, so I can't really respond to it without further clarification.

I guess I ultimately see CC's writing around William is him reminding us that he's the creators of these characters, and Mulder and Scully are only going to get a happy ending on his terms, not the fans, or any other writers or what have you. There is obviously a connection to the fact that CC "clarified" William's parentage at the same time that he has Scully becoming pregnant by Mulder in an encounter in an episode that he wrote ("Plus One").  At the time, I thought that the call back to "all things" was pretty deliberate and that it would lead to the same end.  It's odd to do it at this point in the show, when it's clearly very near the end but I suspect that CC sensed that anyway, and thought that he was rewriting that ending.  In a way, that line is indicative of CC's interest in both Scully and Mulder all along - parentage, family, relationships, fatherhood (what is CSM's story line if not an examination of monstrous fathers?), etc. - it's just that we've gotten so used to seeing the impact almost solely on Scully and forgot that Mulder has been also deeply hurt by all of it.

With regard to criticisms of CC - I don't mean to forestall all of them, it's just that I find that as soon as his name is mentioned, a litany of people's criticisms stemming from 20 years ago starts.  I think that a lot of it is legitimate, but a lot isn't. Plus, I also think that there is a hardening perspective that both seasons 10 and 11 were unremittingly bad and I just don't agree with it. There was a lot worthwhile in both seasons, but people's hatred of CC seems to spill over into both seasons (unfairly, IMO).  

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9 hours ago, Sharna Pax said:

So although I do like to think about what fatherhood means to Mulder, I have a hard time centering that discussion around that line from the finale, because that line and the finale in general have completely and totally lost me.

What is the line? I refuse to watch that finale.

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1 hour ago, festivus said:

What is the line? I refuse to watch that finale.

After finding out about William, Mulder said, "who am I if I am not a father?"  Scully then says, "you are a father" and brings his hand to her stomach, indicating that she's pregnant. 

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8 hours ago, eleanorofaquitaine said:

Could you clarify on what you mean when you say that line undercuts Scully's parental identity?

Sure! I should acknowledge, though, that I haven't actually seen the episode, just read about it. I'm avoiding watching it because I don't want it to become part of my mental canon, so bear in mind that anything I say could be wildly wrong.

It's an ambiguous line. It could be about Mulder finding out he's not William's biological father, but I think it's mostly Mulder's response to seeing his son - or the boy he's thought of as his son - apparently killed in front of him. "Who am I if I'm not a father?" "Who am I if I'm not a mother?" - this is something that parents go through who lose their only children. And that means that Scully is going through the same thing. She had a son, and now she doesn't, and so to say, "Who am I if I'm not a father?" is effectively to ask, "Who are you if you're not a mother?" (Add to that Scully's line, "I was never a mother to him," and it's clear that Scully is already questioning her own relationship to William.)

So I have a few problems with that line. One, while it's a realistic thing to think after the loss of a child, it seems like the kind of thought that would come later, after Mulder has had a chance to process William's death. Right now he should still be in shock - reflecting on his own loss of identity would come later, and slower, I think. Two, it makes the moment all about him, and I think the Mulder we've seen this season would be entirely focused on Scully. And three, I would like to think that Mulder, even at a moment of tremendous shock, would be sensitive enough to realize the effect that a question like that could have on a woman who had just lost her only child.

Edited by Sharna Pax

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24 minutes ago, Sharna Pax said:

Sure! I should acknowledge, though, that I haven't actually seen the episode, just read about it. I'm avoiding watching it because I don't want it to become part of my mental canon, so bear in mind that anything I say could be wildly wrong.

It's an ambiguous line. It could be about Mulder finding out he's not William's biological father, but I think it's mostly Mulder's response to seeing his son - or the boy he's thought of as his son - apparently killed in front of him. "Who am I if I'm not a father?" "Who am I if I'm not a mother?" - this is something that parents go through who lose their only children. And that means that Scully is going through the same thing. She had a son, and now she doesn't, and so to say, "Who am I if I'm not a father?" is effectively to ask, "Who are you if you're not a mother?" (Add to that Scully's line, "I was never a mother to him," and it's clear that Scully is already questioning her own relationship to William.)

So I have a few problems with that line. One, while it's a realistic thing to think after the loss of a child, it seems like the kind of thought that would come later, after Mulder has had a chance to process William's death. Right now he should still be in shock - reflecting on his own loss of identity would come later, and slower, I think. Two, it makes the moment all about him, and I think the Mulder we've seen this season would be entirely focused on Scully. And three, I would like to think that Mulder, even at a moment of tremendous shock, would be sensitive enough to realize the effect that a question like that could have on a woman who had just lost her only child.

Eh, I think that you actually do have to see the episode - I don't agree with the analysis based on the actual episode. It's clear that Mulder is reacting to finding out that William was an experiment. Furthermore, we know from Ghouli that regardless of William's paternity, Scully is William's mother, so Mulder's question has really very little to do with the idea that Scully isn't William's mother. 

The bolded parts is kind of what I'm talking about - why shouldn't Mulder make the moment about him?  The William storyline, from the moment that Scully found out that she was pregnant through most of season 11, has been about Scully.  (And I don't really begrudge them that). It just seems extraordinarily weird to me to say that the ONE moment where Mulder actually does acknowledge that being a father is important to him becomes him "making it all about him" and faulting him for not being "entirely focused on Scully."  Mulder has a right to feel a sense of loss about the situation and to express that sense of loss - it doesn't mean he's suddenly not attentive to Scully's own turmoil or undercutting her role as a mother.

I mean, I am not saying that this was a well thought-out plot and scene but I just don't think it's a strong argument that he's somehow undermining Scully's motherhood by asking it. 

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2 minutes ago, eleanorofaquitaine said:

The bolded parts is kind of what I'm talking about - why shouldn't Mulder make the moment about him?  The William storyline, from the moment that Scully found out that she was pregnant through most of season 11, has been about Scully.  (And I don't really begrudge them that). It just seems extraordinarily weird to me to say that the ONE moment where Mulder actually does acknowledge that being a father is important to him becomes him "making it all about him" and faulting him for not being "entirely focused on Scully."  Mulder has a right to feel a sense of loss about the situation and to express that sense of loss - it doesn't mean he's suddenly not attentive to Scully's own turmoil or undercutting her role as a mother.

Well, I think at this point we'll have to agree to disagree. As I said, I haven't seen the episode, and you have. But I did want to clarify one thing. I wasn't saying that it's an inappropriate thing for Mulder to be feeling. It's his timing I was questioning. I don't think it's a line that Mulder would say to Scully moments after her son died.

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5 hours ago, Sharna Pax said:

Well, I think at this point we'll have to agree to disagree. As I said, I haven't seen the episode, and you have. But I did want to clarify one thing. I wasn't saying that it's an inappropriate thing for Mulder to be feeling. It's his timing I was questioning. I don't think it's a line that Mulder would say to Scully moments after her son died.

It wasn't just her son though.  He was BOTH their child.  I agree with the point that Mulder has never had much of a chance, when compared to Scully, to express his loss of his son.  Why shouldn't Mulder have that one moment to express that loss?  And this conversation doesn't happen after they've watched him die.  The only person that anyone has seen get shot and killed was CSM when Mulder does it.  They don't know where William/Jackson is at this point.  They think that he's still running and hiding from them.  That is fact.  It's kind of pointless to try and debate or challenge anyone's opinion about the episode when you admit you haven't seen it.  The stuff you're asserting just isn't true.  You can't "agree to disagree" when you don't even really know what it is you are agreeing or disagreeing with.  It's Mulder and NOT Scully who's more broken about losing track of William again at this moment.  She's the one who is all "let him go," "he was an experiment that wasn't meant to be," etc.  Scully comes off more callous than anything about William at that moment.  As if she, and Mulder, don't need to hold on to him and his memory so hard anymore because they have another chance.  

Edited by KBrownie
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10 hours ago, KBrownie said:

They don't know where William/Jackson is at this point.  They think that he's still running and hiding from them

My mistake; I thought from descriptions of the episode that Mulder had killed CSM because CSM killed William, and that Scully was trying to console Mulder about William's death. So they're rejecting him while believing he's still alive, just because they now know he was an experiment and not biologically Mulder's? Good lord, that's even worse than I thought.

10 hours ago, KBrownie said:

She's the one who is all "let him go," "he was an experiment that wasn't meant to be," etc.  Scully comes off more callous than anything about William at that moment.

And that, right there, is the reason I won't be watching the episode. I probably shouldn't have joined this discussion at all, because I find the idea of Mulder executing a bunch of people and Scully rejecting William so out of character that I prefer to think none of this actually happened. But that was what I was trying to focus on in my earlier comment - the fact that this is not part of my mental canon, so I prefer to think about Mulder and fatherhood in the context of earlier episodes. I was trying to articulate some small part of why the dialogue I've seen rings false to me, and to be honest it still does, despite what I now know about the context. So I still think we'll have to agree to disagree, in the sense that you like the line and I don't, and I don't think either side is going to change the other's mind at this point. I do appreciate the additional context, though. (And I have mad respect for DD's acting skills, so I'm sure he rocked that line, regardless of whether I think that scene should have been written or not.)

Edited to add:

One thing I thought, when I read that line (and maybe I would have reacted differently if I'd heard it) is that it's the kind of idea that I find more powerful, from a storytelling point of view, when the show doesn't explicitly articulate it but instead leads the viewer to ask it. And thinking about that got me thinking about places earlier in the show where I thought something along those lines about Mulder, and I landed, as I always do, on Closure.

Mulder has had such an odd relationship with parenthood over the course of the show. There's that moment in the Season 9 finale when he says he's thinking about his son, and it's clear that the thought of William, the thought of fatherhood, is what's sustaining him. But he has to give that up so quickly. For most of the show, from the pilot on, Mulder is sort of fatherhood-adjacent - not exactly a father, not exactly not one either. The search for Samantha is what defines him for so much of the show, and I think he fundamentally stepped into the role of guardian to Samantha very early on, as the adult willing to take responsibility for trying to find her. And as he gets older, and the age gap between him and the Samantha he remembers widens, he starts to seem more and more like a parent with a missing child. And you see him talking to, and obviously identifying with, one grieving parent after another. So by the time Closure comes along, I get the sense that one reason why he's so reluctant to know the truth is that the search for Samantha has defined him for so long. It's been both wound and bow; he needs that wound to heal so he can lead something approaching a normal life, but at the same time, he will be a different person without that search to drive him. And one aspect of that difference is, I think, the loss of that sense of parenthood, guardianship, whatever you want to call it.

Edited by Sharna Pax

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20 hours ago, Sharna Pax said:

My mistake; I thought from descriptions of the episode that Mulder had killed CSM because CSM killed William, and that Scully was trying to console Mulder about William's death. So they're rejecting him while believing he's still alive, just because they now know he was an experiment and not biologically Mulder's? Good lord, that's even worse than I thought.

And that, right there, is the reason I won't be watching the episode. I probably shouldn't have joined this discussion at all, because I find the idea of Mulder executing a bunch of people and Scully rejecting William so out of character that I prefer to think none of this actually happened. But that was what I was trying to focus on in my earlier comment - the fact that this is not part of my mental canon, so I prefer to think about Mulder and fatherhood in the context of earlier episodes. I was trying to articulate some small part of why the dialogue I've seen rings false to me, and to be honest it still does, despite what I now know about the context. So I still think we'll have to agree to disagree, in the sense that you like the line and I don't, and I don't think either side is going to change the other's mind at this point. I do appreciate the additional context, though. (And I have mad respect for DD's acting skills, so I'm sure he rocked that line, regardless of whether I think that scene should have been written or not.)

Edited to add:

One thing I thought, when I read that line (and maybe I would have reacted differently if I'd heard it) is that it's the kind of idea that I find more powerful, from a storytelling point of view, when the show doesn't explicitly articulate it but instead leads the viewer to ask it. And thinking about that got me thinking about places earlier in the show where I thought something along those lines about Mulder, and I landed, as I always do, on Closure.

Mulder has had such an odd relationship with parenthood over the course of the show. There's that moment in the Season 9 finale when he says he's thinking about his son, and it's clear that the thought of William, the thought of fatherhood, is what's sustaining him. But he has to give that up so quickly. For most of the show, from the pilot on, Mulder is sort of fatherhood-adjacent - not exactly a father, not exactly not one either. The search for Samantha is what defines him for so much of the show, and I think he fundamentally stepped into the role of guardian to Samantha very early on, as the adult willing to take responsibility for trying to find her. And as he gets older, and the age gap between him and the Samantha he remembers widens, he starts to seem more and more like a parent with a missing child. And you see him talking to, and obviously identifying with, one grieving parent after another. So by the time Closure comes along, I get the sense that one reason why he's so reluctant to know the truth is that the search for Samantha has defined him for so long. It's been both wound and bow; he needs that wound to heal so he can lead something approaching a normal life, but at the same time, he will be a different person without that search to drive him. And one aspect of that difference is, I think, the loss of that sense of parenthood, guardianship, whatever you want to call it.

I really like your analysis in general but honestly, I do think that your not doing yourself any favors by not watching the episode and then rejecting it and saying it's not true to character.  Much as I don't like Carter's retcon, you're seeing this ONLY through hearing the worst of the analysis of it.  Yes, Scully saying essentially that William was only an experiment can seem as cold but it happens after she's had a moment with William-as-Mulder, where Williams tells her that he knows that Scully cared about him.  Scully doesn't really reject him, just as she didn't reject Emily. But she now knows that William is exactly like Emily in terms of being an experiment and needs to let him go to find his own way. 

Anyway, the point wasn't about Scully, it was about Mulder. Not everything is about Scully and not everything related to their parenthood needs to be seen through the prism of how this impacts Scully.  I will agree that even if everything you said was true, we'd have to agree to disagree as to whether or not it was inherently selfish of Mulder to think about his own feelings than Scully's. 

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On 6/25/2018 at 6:17 AM, eleanorofaquitaine said:

I really like your analysis in general but honestly, I do think that your not doing yourself any favors by not watching the episode and then rejecting it and saying it's not true to character.  Much as I don't like Carter's retcon, you're seeing this ONLY through hearing the worst of the analysis of it.  Yes, Scully saying essentially that William was only an experiment can seem as cold but it happens after she's had a moment with William-as-Mulder, where Williams tells her that he knows that Scully cared about him.  Scully doesn't really reject him, just as she didn't reject Emily. But she now knows that William is exactly like Emily in terms of being an experiment and needs to let him go to find his own way. 

Anyway, the point wasn't about Scully, it was about Mulder. Not everything is about Scully and not everything related to their parenthood needs to be seen through the prism of how this impacts Scully.  I will agree that even if everything you said was true, we'd have to agree to disagree as to whether or not it was inherently selfish of Mulder to think about his own feelings than Scully's.

Hey, thanks for the thoughtful response. I'm sure you're right that it's better to watch the episode; I just can't handle it. I had a hard time with the 9th-season finale, and it bummed me out about the show in general, so I don't want to let this one become real to me. But for that reason I should back off from commenting on it.

One last tiny thing, though - I really wasn't trying to say that Mulder would be selfish to think about his own feelings. Just that the Mulder I saw in Ghouli seemed to be actively resisting thinking about his own feelings - he seemed to be closing off his own emotional responses and only thinking about Scully's. So it wasn't a question of what I thought Mulder should do, just what I thought he would do.

On a totally unrelated note, here's a random Mulder thought that jumped into my head the other day:

There are some Fox Mulder qualities I don't particularly want to have, but I do aspire to give presents with even one-tenth of the joy and confidence with which Mulder gives Scully that keychain and that baseball lesson. The man knows how to give a gift. I would also like to have a tiny portion of Mulder's chill on airplanes. Me, I go through barely perceptible turbulence and my life flashes before my eyes. Mulder can be on a plane that's simultaneously crashing and being hijacked by aliens, and he'll just curl up and take a nap.

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After rewatching Existence last night, you all's points on Mulder's feelings about fatherhood (father to William but didn't raise him, he himself raised as Bill's son, and reveal that he is bio son to CSM) are really interesting now that I'm looking at My Struggle IV though that lens.  These are of particular note for me:

On ‎6‎/‎17‎/‎2018 at 3:25 PM, eleanorofaquitaine said:

And there's of course so very much to hate about MSIV but the one line that did stand out for me is Mulder saying, "who am I if I am not a father?"  It's such an interesting line in giving us insight into Mulder's mindset for basically the last 15 years.

The writers made so much of William's story about Scully, so I appreciate Chris Carter's acknowledgement that William's story was also about Mulder and all that he has lost. But that is what makes me so mad about the whole "Mulder is not William's father" shenanigans (which was also CC's idea).  Because not only did he turn William into just an experiment, he took him entirely away from Mulder. Why do that to the character, a character who has literally had every other person he has ever loved (with the exception of Scully) taken away from him? 

And:

On ‎6‎/‎24‎/‎2018 at 1:26 PM, Sharna Pax said:

Mulder has had such an odd relationship with parenthood over the course of the show. There's that moment in the Season 9 finale when he says he's thinking about his son, and it's clear that the thought of William, the thought of fatherhood, is what's sustaining him. But he has to give that up so quickly. For most of the show, from the pilot on, Mulder is sort of fatherhood-adjacent - not exactly a father, not exactly not one either.

And:

On ‎6‎/‎23‎/‎2018 at 12:59 PM, eleanorofaquitaine said:

I guess I ultimately see CC's writing around William is him reminding us that he's the creators of these characters, and Mulder and Scully are only going to get a happy ending on his terms, not the fans, or any other writers or what have you. There is obviously a connection to the fact that CC "clarified" William's parentage at the same time that he has Scully becoming pregnant by Mulder in an encounter in an episode that he wrote ("Plus One").  At the time, I thought that the call back to "all things" was pretty deliberate and that it would lead to the same end.  It's odd to do it at this point in the show, when it's clearly very near the end but I suspect that CC sensed that anyway, and thought that he was rewriting that ending.  In a way, that line is indicative of CC's interest in both Scully and Mulder all along - parentage, family, relationships, fatherhood (what is CSM's story line if not an examination of monstrous fathers?), etc. - it's just that we've gotten so used to seeing the impact almost solely on Scully and forgot that Mulder has been also deeply hurt by all of it.

In Existence, I read Mulder's expressions upon meeting his newborn son as pure joy.  In that last scene, as you all may recall, he and Scully go through all processes of elimination on what people (Frances Fisher, Rohrer, Krycek) have told them about the baby (alien? hybrid? super human? miracle? pregnancy via chip??) and why the super soldiers didn't take him away after he was born.  They determine for themselves that William is THEIR son.  With that determination, Mulder leans in for the kiss.  It's a lovely moment.  And, although he does go to Lamaze classes with her (for which she thanks him!), I thought he did downplay his role as the father during Scully's entire pregnancy, including describing the baby as "hers" and leaving it up to her to decide whether she was going to tell others who the father is - even with Skinner's direct question to him, and downplaying it throughout. 

In the seasons/movies afterward, and not surprisingly, William is an undercurrent for them in their relationship, and therefore it is just so disappointing that MSIV ended the way it did for both Mulder and Scully with regard to William - I share your feelings @eleanorofaquitaine with my dislike of the ultimate reveal, when yet another thing is taken away from him, for not plot purpose I can figure out months later.

On a lighter note:

On ‎6‎/‎27‎/‎2018 at 2:52 AM, Sharna Pax said:

would also like to have a tiny portion of Mulder's chill on airplanes. Me, I go through barely perceptible turbulence and my life flashes before my eyes. Mulder can be on a plane that's simultaneously crashing and being hijacked by aliens, and he'll just curl up and take a nap.

ME TOO!!!  My fear and behavior on planes is unfortunately legend in my family.  I would also settle for a smidge of Mulder's chill!!!!

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On 7/13/2018 at 3:31 PM, TheGreenWave said:

In Existence, I read Mulder's expressions upon meeting his newborn son as pure joy.  In that last scene, as you all may recall, he and Scully go through all processes of elimination on what people (Frances Fisher, Rohrer, Krycek) have told them about the baby (alien? hybrid? super human? miracle? pregnancy via chip??) and why the super soldiers didn't take him away after he was born.  They determine for themselves that William is THEIR son.  With that determination, Mulder leans in for the kiss.  It's a lovely moment.  And, although he does go to Lamaze classes with her (for which she thanks him!), I thought he did downplay his role as the father during Scully's entire pregnancy, including describing the baby as "hers" and leaving it up to her to decide whether she was going to tell others who the father is - even with Skinner's direct question to him, and downplaying it throughout. 

In the seasons/movies afterward, and not surprisingly, William is an undercurrent for them in their relationship, and therefore it is just so disappointing that MSIV ended the way it did for both Mulder and Scully with regard to William - I share your feelings @eleanorofaquitaine with my dislike of the ultimate reveal, when yet another thing is taken away from him, for not plot purpose I can figure out months later.

 

Is he downplaying fatherhood or is he demonstrating that Scully is the person he respects the most?  I watched season 8 with no prior feelings about it because I didn't watch that season first time around. And I was surprised at how clear I found it that Mulder knew he was the baby's father (after coming back from the dead and getting his bearings around him) and that he was excited about it.  But, you know, Mulder's "excitement" registers as "mild happiness" to the rest of us because he's generally so chill.

But in terms of saying that if people want to know who the father is, they'll have to ask Scully, IMO, that wasn't him deflecting - that was him saying, "Scully is a fully grown adult woman who makes her own decisions and doesn't need your sexist speculation, thank you very much." I love that scene because it shows how equal their partnership is. 

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2 hours ago, eleanorofaquitaine said:

Is he downplaying fatherhood or is he demonstrating that Scully is the person he respects the most?  I watched season 8 with no prior feelings about it because I didn't watch that season first time around. And I was surprised at how clear I found it that Mulder knew he was the baby's father (after coming back from the dead and getting his bearings around him) and that he was excited about it.  But, you know, Mulder's "excitement" registers as "mild happiness" to the rest of us because he's generally so chill.

But in terms of saying that if people want to know who the father is, they'll have to ask Scully, IMO, that wasn't him deflecting - that was him saying, "Scully is a fully grown adult woman who makes her own decisions and doesn't need your sexist speculation, thank you very much." I love that scene because it shows how equal their partnership is. 

Very good points.  I do agree that it is more of the latter than the former - because he clearly does respect her the most.  And, I like the thought that so much of their relationship evolved off-screen.

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