I was eleven years old when the first episode of The X-Files premiered. I wish I remember how I found out about the show and how I knew to watch it when I was just a kid. Granted, I was already creepy and weird and loved Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark—but how did I know about Mulder and Scully?
Once I started watching, I became a rabid fan. I owned all the behind-the-scenes books, episode guides, and posters. I knew all the trivia and fell desperately in teenage love with David Duchovny. I wanted to be Scully, albeit in a better suit. With the full approval of my paranormal-infatuated father, I researched UFOs, Bigfoot, ghosts, and even serial killers. If there had been government watch lists in the mid-1990s, I would have been on all the watch lists.
I’ve now made it through all ten seasons, two movies, and am thoroughly enjoying the new revamp. Have I always loved the twisted comedy? For sure. The jumps and screams? Totally. But last week’s episode, “Plus One,” made me realize that, at its most basic, The X-Files is a love story. My very first love story.
For so many years, we watched Fox Mulder and Dana Scully dance around each other. Maybe they were a little heavy handed in the series pilot when Scully panicked about a bug bite and ran into Mulder’s hotel room in her bra and undies, but things stayed platonic. Ever since then, Chris Carter and the rest of his team made these two mismatched FBI agents not only a great duo but also madly in love.
Spoiler: When they had sex in recent episode “Plus One,” I was like YES! Mulder and Scully deserve all the sex! They belong together always and forever!
Do I have this cheerleader mentality because of the character chemistry or because I spent so much of my childhood watching these two characters adore each other?
The X-Files taught me, at a very young age, that men and women could be just friends. They could work together, and the woman could even be tougher and smarter than the man. Perhaps most importantly, though, The X-Files taught me how crucial it is to be best friends with the person you love.
Mulder and Scully were best buddies long before sex got involved. They had fun together, respected each other, and protected each other way before the nookie. What an amazing example for a lonely, young goth girl.
Sure, in my youth, I still wanted to date a dude that looked like David Duchovny, and yeah, I totally wanted to hunt monsters. But the takeaway that has stuck with me to this day? Laugh with the person you love. Take care of them. Be best friends, first and foremost.
The X-Files was my first love story, and I waited a long time for Mulder and Scully to finally get laid. It was worth the wait. Next episode airs Wednesday at 8 PM EST on Fox, and it looks like it’s gonna be a classic.