The Cave's X-Files Commentary Archives:  Dana Scully

Title: Conflicted
Authors:  LoneThinker (bardsmaid), Michele, lucyskull, Littljoe

Post: Here's something that just walloped me from behind while I was writing a Scully monologue yesterday for *Sanctuary.  I know this has been brought up before but it hadn't hit me at such a deep level as it did yesterday, and that's the possibility that while Scully feels that solidarity with Mulder for everything they've gone through, and is grateful for his support (and he has supported her--many times), still, all those horrendous things she's gone through in the past six years have been a direct result of knowing/being with Mulder. I think--and I'd never felt this before from her, but I sure did yesterday while I was writing and had slipped way below the surface of the character, so to speak--that she may hold some resentment toward him for what's happened to her. Not at a conscious level, but subconsciously. Anyway, I put this question to a few fellow Cavedwellers and these were the very interesting responses I got:

From Michele: I agree with you in that it's not a conscious resentment; although, I think that it probably pops up in her mind every once in awhile only for her to push it back. Otherwise, I don't think that she would act the way that she does. I'm not condemning Scully (or Mulder for that matter). I think that it would be only human to harbor some resentment, whether consciously or subconsciously. I don't think that there would be any way around it. I know that consciously she blames the Consortium for all of what has happened to her, but if it weren't for Mulder in the first place none of this would have happened. She would be living a "normal" life. He's at the center of all of this.  I also think that the resentment goes hand in hand with her not being and feeling in control of her own life. The minute that she committed herself to the quest was the minute that she forfeited control. The Consortium has proven time and again that they can get to her at any time and anyplace. She has a chip in her neck that supposedly cured her cancer, but at the same time makes her a potential "slave". How would it be to live with the knowledge that with the flip of a switch, you lose all ability to react or think independently (The Red and the Black)? I sure wouldn't feel comfortable with it and Scully is more independent than I am. I would think that this would make her feel terrible and resentful. Now not only are her mother and brother telling her how to live her life, she has the potential danger of outsiders making her live her life the way that they want her to.

From lucyskull: I think that you are very right about Scully's attitude. Seems to me that logically she knows that it was her decision to join the FBI and to cope with all the responsibilities/consequences that come with the job. However, she may feel like Mulder's life and his quest have swept her along, partly because of her fascination with M and partly because of her sense of justice. It is only in season 6 that she acknowledges the fact that what was Mulder's quest is now her personal quest as well. Subconsciously, she may have been resentful for being dragged into this mess. Accepting the fact that the quest is now personal may have forced her to deal with this resentment. 

From Littljoe: I would agree with you completely that Scully feels that way about Mulder's effect on her life. I might even call it bitterness. I think there may be a lot of conflicting feelings there, in the sense that she is trying--with very little success--to separate her feelings about what has happened to her from her feelings about Mulder himself. She is as angry as she can be over what her association with him has done to her life, but she can't really home in on that anger or express it clearly because she still retains her affection for him and because she realizes that he has suffered just as much, and just as innocently. He is caught in a chain of events set in place long before she ever met him, and her association with him has not helped to free him from the effects of his father's decisions. So what can she do? Can she rant and rave, yell at him, in effect, "You totally ruined my life, but it's not your fault--and I want so much to save you, but I've failed completely?" What a mess. When you think about it, it's no wonder she has pulled away from him.  As a matter of fact, now that I've written this, it occurs to me that we may be underestimating the amount of guilt that Scully herself feels toward Mulder. Mulderguilt is is sort of an unquestioned staple of the XF diet, but it's interesting to think about Scully's feelings of guilt, too. What if, once she became emotionally attached to Mulder, she began to see her scientific POV as a possible way to rescue him his enslavement to a fictional past, as a way to open his eyes to the fact that he is in fact, a free man (as she sees it)? This might explain why she persists with her "rational" explanations, which often reach the point of absurdity (a point that was made VERY strongly in *Field Trip)--she may see the rational as his only way out of the swamp of lies and delusions that surrounds him, and that rescue is a gift she desperately wants to give him. The fact that he still continues to delude himself, and continues to be hurt because of it, in spite of all she has done, may weigh more heavily on her than we realize. Maybe she thinks that she has failed him. This might also imply that after this long while, she sees his refusal to see her point of view as a very serious rejection at the very least--to her, he may be like a drowning man who continually (and deliberately) refuses the life preserver she keeps throwing him. So there may be guilt and anger all mixed up here, too, without even taking into account the effects on her own life. It's worth a thought, anyway. And it gives the "You saved me!" from FTF, and Scully's response to it, a lot more resonance.  So there you have it, guys. Just wanted to share this stuff as somewhat of an explanation for the TenseUptightScully--and DistantScully--we've seen so much of in Seasons 5 & 6.


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