“We can tell you that they’re not living together…” are words that nearly broke every shipper’s heart upon reading the spread about The X-Files Revival in EW. However, know that this is not as bad as you may think. In fact, look for consolation in “frustrated lovers Mulder and Scully” a couple of lines before. Why? Because this does not mean they are not seeing each other.
Let’s take a step back and review why not living together, may truly be the best thing for their successful future as a couple.
The X-Files has always been a Sci-Fi Drama above all else. The Unresolved Sexual Tension (or UST) between the two star characters is one of the many driving forces. As Chris Charter has said, Mulder loves Scully and Scully loves Mulder. This is undeniable and what has held the X-Files together. I mean, would you go to Antarctica for a co-worker?
However, a few things have always been very clear. Mulder is a dark man that can easily fall into a dark place. Scully is a rock. While we can see Scully rise and rise, it is not as simple for Fox Mulder.
Mulder has a very messed up family history. His father is not his father, his parents divorced, his sister was abducted, and on and on. His past lovers and experience with women have not been the greatest either. The fact remains that Fox Mulder is damaged goods. That is one of the things we LOVE about him. He has an extremely obsessive personality and fixates on things.
Now let’s look at their relationship. It is canon that Scully invited Mulder to her bed “on one lonely night” and kicked off their relationship as lovers. Dana Scully has always loved Mulder and enough was enough. She needed to break the wall. So we can all assume the physical began around Season 7. We can also tell that this was very new. By the end of the season, what happens? Mulder gets abducted. Nice…
When he returns, he learns that not only was he buried alive but lost many months. Lo and behold, Scully, his lover, is super pregnant. Not just a little pregnant. Then what he says makes clear sense, “I’m sorry. I don’t mean to sound cold or ungrateful. I just… I have no idea where I fit in.” To add insult to injury, he is no longer in the FBI, the Lone Gunmen are dead, and he has the drive to look for the truth and protect Scully and their baby. Mulder once again leaves. When he returns the final time, he learns the date of the impending alien invasion, Scully put their son up for adoption, and he is sentenced to death… Yep, this is all really healthy on a person’s psyche. So now, Scully and him run away and go into hiding.
The X-Files: I Want to Believe showed that Scully, who didn’t need to hide, is making a career for herself. Mulder has been isolated for years from others and is now cleared to be out in the open. Great! This paves us for the Revival. But what did we learn? Mulder and Scully were never allowed to heal and develop themselves as individuals and were forced into huge decisions they were not ready to make. I do not care how much love there is between a couple; if you do not know who you are or where you fit into the world, you cannot have a successful coupling.
We know Doctor Dana Scully has her career and seems to be quite successful. How can a man that has known nothing but chasing aliens and tearing down conspiracies, has lost everything, and watched the date come and go without a massive change… how can he not go into a dark and obsessive place?
What is the point of them living in their own spaces? Growth. They now have the opportunity to fix themselves and have a normal development, to a healthy relationship, as a true couple. A relationship that wasn’t forced to make the choice of moving in together too soon. One that can hopefully heal and recover from the loss of their son. There is so much to be answered, but I have a great sense of hope.
On another note, I would expect angsty fights, and sexual tension, and that these will get resolved. These were things we loved between the characters. To believe things would be lovey-dovey and pie-in-the-sky, would be unfaithful to the characters and the writers. Also, with only six episodes in line, things should resolve and progress quickly. Mulder and Scully complete each other. That is the beauty of their partnership, friendship, and love. So, Shippers, dry your tears. This is the best thing that can happen to them right now.
M&S will always be M&S.