The X-Files: Is Mulder “The Worst FBI Agent Ever?”

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For awhile now I’ve been seeing articles posted around the internet with the headline “Fox Mulder: The Worst FBI Agent Ever,” all due to something David Duchovny joked about a long time ago because of the show’s notorious unsolved cases where almost no episodes seem to get resolved. As much as I love David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, it always surprises me how little they know about the plot of their own show and how little they seem to get it sometimes (though yes, I know, it’s mostly in jest and makes for great interviews).

But as much as I’ve seen the above article, I’ve seen philes taking issue with it, commenting things like “I know he was only joking but this really bothers me.” And I have to say, it bothers me a bit too. Because in my estimation, Mulder is not only the hero of the show, but the best FBI agent ever.

Scully says something really great in the season 7 finale episode “Requiem.” She and Mulder are being audited and asked to justify what they spend on their cases when so little of them actually get solved. She says, “So much of what we do can’t be measured in standard terms.” “How would you measure it,” The auditor asks.  She replies, “We open doors with the x-files that lead to other doors.” Aside from Scully’s assessment being spot on–they learn more and more about paranormal activity, more and more about the conspiracy, and tally up more and more small victories as the seasons go on and they open more doors–but aside from that…

Like, how do you arrest a ghost? Many of their cases aren’t “solved” because they simply can’t be. Not in the way the FBI and the real world want them to be. Not in any way that can be categorized or easily referenced.

That’s not what the show is about. Its not about taking down a bad guy every week, but about the larger unseen and unsubstantiated phenomena in the world. The X-Files is a story of small victories. It’s about the journey. About venturing into the darkest of places not knowing what supernatural monsters you might find there with nothing more than a flashlight. It’s about Mulder and Scully taking us on a journey with them to find out what really happened to victims no one else believes, and they often do, whether or not they can prove it. They often catch or stop a killer, whether or not they can arrest him or prove he exists. They usually learn what is really going on, when at first they knew nothing. It doesn’t have to be an arrest record, or a number of officially solved cases. Investigation, experience, growth, adventure, knowledge, the hug of a crying victim so grateful just for someone who will really listen to them, are all victories of their own.

Mulder cares for people. People are his main focus. Not just proving that aliens exist, but seeking out victims of horrible alien experiments and torture, and trying to help them. That’s why I chose the photo above for this article. It’s a picture of a man who cares. It’s a picture of the best FBI agent ever because he genuinely cares about every person on every case he investigates.

Mulder is often the only one out there that really cares for the victims in the x-files. Scully too of course, but she doesn’t always believe them. Mulder commiserates. He truly cares for the victims, for the fact that no one believes them, and he wants to help. And he does help. Regardless of whether his case record reflects that.

Hell’s Laughter Artwork

Check out this beautiful artwork Linda Gavin of Inkitt.com designed for my winning story, Hell’s Laughter.

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The Crystal Skull Eternity

Ramse is a genie trapped in a $200 bottle of Whiskey, until 18-year-old, Jenna, inadvertently sets him free. http://www.inkitt.com/stories/11988

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I’ve added a new chapter to my story in Inkitt’s Echo of Another World SciFi/Fantasy writing contest in honor of Terry Pratchett. It’s a short, fun read. Please vote if you like it 🙂

The X-Files Revival: 5 Wants, Needs, and Hopes From the Fans

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I’m part of a pretty kick-ass X-Files fan group on Facebook, Hooked on X-Files: Die Hard Fans Only. If you love reading about and talking about the show come join us. But be warned, you will have to pass a brief test identifying some characters to prove your fandom before your membership is accepted. Anyway, a while back we all had a discussion about what we most want to see in the revival. I’ve organized it all into the 5 major points that seemed to keep coming up. Don’t agree? Please add your thoughts below.

  1. The alien invasion

My biggest question, and other philes agree: what is really going on with the alien invasion? Did they really start a quiet invasion in 2012 (here among us without us knowing) and are now just getting everything in place for the fiery destruction we saw in Mulder’s vision? Did the alien invasion take place off screen in 2012? Did Mulder and Scully stop it? Is there a new syndicate operation? Sometimes I wish they would just SET the revival in 2012 instead of 2015 so we could see them address and stop the invasion. Maybe something Mulder and Scully did postponed the invasion until now. We just don’t know, but we all want to find out more than anything.

The consensus: Finding out what happened with Colonization is extremely important. It was always a major talking point throughout the series and first movie, and then the second movie didn’t address it at all. Rather, it played as a longer Monster of the Week episode. Most fans agree, it would be a mistake for the writers to avoid the subject of aliens and colonization again.

What I want to see above all else in this revival is vindication for Mulder and Scully–undeniable proof that Mulder has been right all along. I want people who made fun of Mulder to beg him for help, and I want to see him and Scully save the world from invasion.

2. William

Everyone’s second biggest question remains about the show’s smallest character.

Where is he?

S.C.–Exactly, that’s my number one as well A.W. And that’s also my second most wanted answer. Where is baby William? And who really is William. The last I heard was he was adopted by a family in Wyoming. Is he a teenager now, what are the extent of his powers? Can he be a savior to humanity?

A.W.–More so than where William is, I want to know what his deal really is. He’s very important, or at least he was as a baby. Can the Magnetite Jeffrey Spender injected baby William with suppress his alien powers forever? Will they resurface in this revival? I can see a 15 year old William now, frightened to find he can read thoughts or move things with his mind. If his powers were to resurface, that would certainly put his adoptive family in danger, and draw attention from Mulder and Scully.

From season 6 when the piece of the craft that Scully was “meant to find” spins and goes flying into the bible, to Genesis, to season 9 when the piece goes flying over Williams head and he’s looking up at it, spinning above his eyes, I’ve had major questions about Mulder and Scully’s child.

When William is born and Mulder doesn’t know how to get to Scully, he follows a bright light in the sky. And it leads him to this rundown shack, the only place Scully could go. And everyone is there just to witness this miraculous birth–that of a barren mother. Then the 3 gunmen come bearing gifts. It’s a story I hear in church every Christmas. William is alien Jesus. He’s definitely going be a big part of this new mythology. And if not, he should be. My theory is he’s the chosen one–maybe the only one that can stop the aliens. He or his possibly immortal mother…

 

3. How has Mulder and Scully’s relationship progressed?

S.C.–would love to see Mulder and Scully’s relationship and romance deepened.

A.W.–I think Mulder and Scully are as in love as they’re going to get. Even before they were officially together on the show, it was obvious they loved each other through care, concern, jealousy, and support. In the latest movie we’ve got them lying in bed snuggling and kissing. I know most fans like to see the relationship bits and how it’s evolved into a real romantic relationship, and I get it, but at the same time I don’t know how they can go any further with it because there’s certainly no place for a wedding in The X-Files. It’d just be corny and wouldn’t fit at all with the tone of the show. Hell, I don’t even like when they call each other by their first names. “Dearest Dana” and “I can’t help but think of him Fox” make me cringe. And I think if they wanted to be married they would be by now, but that’s not something they’ve ever needed. They just need each other. Likewise, I don’t think Scully can have any more children nor do I feel they’d want to adopt since they are back at the FBI in consuming and dangerous work. Besides, the pain from losing William has always haunted them. So I think that’s it for relationships and family stuff: just Mulder and Scully  hopefully finding their son. I’ll agree that I would like to see a family reunion there. Poor Scully.

I’ve spoken to a lot of people who still want that sex scene, and for awhile I was one of them. But I honestly didn’t really need it in the last movie, nor do I want it now. The cuddling in the movie was already pushing it. They had a really romantic cuddling scene in “Requiem,” and overdoing it will only cheapen that rare and beautiful moment. Furthermore, I think their first time having sex was in “All Things” and that’s where I really wanted to see it. Like, did you see the deleted kiss from Fight The Future? That first-time passion is what I really wanted to see…that finally, finally, they can have each other moment. But by I Want To Believe I just assume they’ve been sleeping together for years so there’s no real reason for us to see it. Though that doesn’t stop some fans from wanting to, others agree with me:

C.D.–Nahh… No sex scenes for me. I think the most intimate moments are those where they are barely talking at a whisper. Soft utterances, the camera honed into their conversations and their tenderness toward one another.

E.S.–I love that their physical relationship is private….I hope it stays that way! That’s what makes the hand holding, the occasional kiss, spooning, the care, the rescues….all so so so special!

We now know that Mulder and Scully will be broken up in the revival. I know this has some fans enraged to the point of boycotting, but to me this is interesting writing that remains true to the characters. In the last movie, Scully was already ready to leave the life that cost her her health, family, and happiness behind. She’d thought of quitting before, but always stayed in the end. I think that changed after she lost William. She wants nothing to do with the darkness anymore. Mulder on the other hand, lives for the x-files. They want different things. That said, I think Chris Carter wants to rekindle in us the desire for them to be together. I trust him; he’s never given me a reason not to.

4. Where are Doggett and Reyes, and who, if anyone, is running the X-Files?

Of all the characters the show introduces, especially new ones in the later seasons, there really weren’t any bad or uninteresting ones. I remain the final seasons’ biggest defender and attest that David Duchovny leaving was the only reason the show failed. It was not for bad writing, lack of story material or uninteresting characters. To prove that fact, we all still care what’s become of them. We now know that Reyes will be returning, but Robert Patrick who is busy with his new show, “Scorpion,” will not.

S.C.–Doggett & Reyes (what have they been up to and did they get together or move on?)… And whatever happened to Assistant Director Brad Follmer?
A.W.–Good question. And for that matter, what happened to Kersh? I too am interested in what Doggett and Reyes are up to. Still fighting for the truth I hope. I love what C.D. is saying about The X-Files being a mystery. A lot of people complain that too little is ever wrapped up or satisfactorily explained, but I’m always saying, “that’s not the kind of show it is.” It’s about small victories, not big ones. It’s about personal growth and dealing with the fact that sometimes you don’t get the answers you want. The story and the journey still matter, and this one is always beautifully told.

 

5. A satisfying ending

S.C.–Really, I think there is still so much material they could use for an exciting return I really hope that season 10 is just a prelude for more and more. Its hard to believe everything can be answered in 6 eps.

C.D.–They have hinted that if these 6 EPs do well they may do more limited run seasons and or a movie. I have read that being hinted from CC and DD.

A.W.–We can only hope. Although, if they could truly conclude the story in a perfect and satisfying way in 6 episodes, I’d be happy. I don’t want infinite episodes as much as I’d like a great conclusion. But I do agree that we need more than 6 to wrap it all up. There’s still so much to see.

M.R.–I know there is a lot of talk about fans wanting more after these six episodes, however, I honestly feel like they should take this time to wrap up the series. Do not get me wrong, I would LOVE to have Mulder and Scully on my screen forever but I feel like that’s where Chris and Fox went wrong to begin with. They’re always pushing for more, more, more and I feel like it really hurt the story in the long run. Almost like they were afraid to tie up loose ends solely because the mythology might have continued. Now, if they could wrap up the existing mythology and tie those loose ends and then start another chapter, I might be OK with something after these six episodes.

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What do you all think? If you missed the conversation the first time around, add your thoughts now. The Revival happens in mere hours so lets make some predictions and see if they pan out!

 

Kick-Ass Women of SciFi & Fantasy: Olivia Moore

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“You can skulk around, lamenting all that you’ve lost, try to keep yourself numb and isolated. Or you can embrace who you are.”

Liv of the new hit show iZombie spends her time kicking ass and taking brains, acquiring a new job in a morgue to get her fix.

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She also helps solve crimes, even if she has to get physical to do it. Check out her Kung Fu moves!

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But what I’m far more interested in is Liv’s emotional strength. Like vampires, zombies are highly metaphorical creatures. Liv’s whole life is destroyed in one night. She is turned into a zombie against her will and consequently loses her job, her friends, her family, and much of who she was. This is symbolic of any number of derailing disasters that can affect humans in their lives. Think about losing a fiance to a breakup, a family member to illness, or yourself due to a mugging or a rape, or even something less traumatic like a mid-life crisis. I mention rape because afterwords, Liv feels half dead. She doesn’t know who she is anymore, but she is different and not whole. A strange man has infected her with a zombie virus against her will and it has changed her, made her darker. Her mood has plummeted to more depressed territory and it takes its toll on everyone she loves. Her romantic relationship falls apart and her family and friends believe she has PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) which of course she does, though not for the reasons they think.

So keeping in mind that zombieism is metaphoric for any number of emotional stressors that can affect a person, Liv shows tremendous strength in picking herself back up and getting back out into the world. Losing her fiance isn’t the worst thing that could happen, nor is having your family and friends become mad at you. Nothing is ever the end of the world, as long as you’re still alive. And Liv is still alive. Despite the horror that has befallen her, she is still Liv. She’s still the hardworking, helpful, caring person she always was, so she has two choices:

She can wallow, and become a true emotionless, flesh-eating zombie, or she keep acting on her lively personality by pursuing a career. So she can’t be a doctor anymore, and she won’t make as much money. Big deal. It isn’t her relationships that define her, but who she is as a person. And she’s a person who wants a career where she can make a difference.

Every week, Liv makes the conscious choice to keep living, and that even though she makes a friend at the morgue who knows her secret, she herself is enough to live for. In fact, some of the most interesting aspects of the show are the ways in which Liv chooses life. She can’t taste foods anymore, she can’t have the career of her choice, and she isn’t getting married. But there are other journeys to be had. Liv eats brains in order to remain somewhat human (if you go too long without eating, you become The Walking Dead). But brains are like a drug, and one of the side effects is gaining flashes of that person’s life (which is how Liv helps solve crimes) and their personality traits. So one week, Liv is a painter, drawing masterpieces, and feeling passion for everyone and everything, gaining an appreciation for all the beauty in the world. The next week she may be cold and logical but gain an extensive knowledge of facts. In the latest episode, she got to experience life through an old friend’s eyes who Liv described as a “death is a consequence of life kind of girl.” Now that she’s a zombie, Liv can speak languages other than English, perform martial arts, and essentially live an infinite number of lives.

Hence Olivia’s nickname, Liv. “Liv Moore.” Get it? The underlying meaning, of course, is that we have the power and ability to experience this variety of new things whenever we wish. We can learn a new language, or skill, broaden our horizons and choose to live no matter what injustices we suffer. We can choose to enjoy life to the fullest. We can “live more.”

The final message: Always choose life. You are enough.

I hope iZombie stays on the air and Liv keeps kicking ass for years to come.

The X-Files: Mulder and Scully’s Incomparable Chemistry

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Let me be clear about one thing right off the bat. As a lover of the English language I’m always searching for the exact right word to describe something, and I don’t use the word “incomparable” lightly. I use it because no relationship I’ve ever seen on television compares to how realistic and effortless the chemistry between David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson is on The X-Files. When they perform a scene together, there’s absolutely no sense of actors repeating lines from a script. It’s genuine. Viewers believe a real conversation is happening between two actual people who know each other as well as Mulder and Scully would.

Remember my post from a few weeks back about how Gillian Anderson was, superficially speaking,  the antithesis of what the show was looking for in a female lead? –> (Dana Scully) The reason she got the part anyway was because no one in the room could deny the lightning they’d trapped in a bottle when they saw the unprecedented chemistry between the two. Chemistry on T.V. is like Voice in fiction. It can’t be taught or forcefully applied, but when a writer taps into it, and it’s right, they’d be a fool not to run with it because it’s not something easily harnessed.

Don’t take my word for it; listen to what The X-Files team has to say on the subject:

That’s not to say that the hard part is over. Chemistry is one thing, but then it’s up to the writers to give the characters excellent dialogue, and not let that potential go to waste. Luckily, the show is as well-written as it is well-cast. Let these Mulder and Scullyisms courtesy of Snakey973 be your proof:

When Mulder and Scully interact it’s easy to believe the two have known each other well and for a long time. Viewers believe that they know each other personally as well as professionally, and not only spend much time together at work, but outside of it as well. They have the kind of back-and-forth that happy long-term couples have, where they can joke with each other and understand and appreciate the other’s sense of humor. Their use of sarcasm, the faces they make at one another, and the way they good-naturedly give each other a hard time are all characteristics of real relationships. You can always tell when two people aren’t comfortable around each other because they are being too polite. Mulder and Scully share an intimate comfort and speak to each other as I would to my closest friends.

I’ve seen shows like Stargate-SG-1 (Jack and Carter) and 12 Monkeys (Cole and Cassie) come close, but I still have yet to see a real competitor for The X-Files in the chemistry department. The stars seem to have aligned perfectly over this one creative endeavor, and fans are eternally grateful.

The Crystal Skull Infinity

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This month, Inkitt.com is paying tribute to the late, great Science Fiction and Fantasy author, Terry Pratchett. I wasn’t planning on entering another contest right away, but Inkitt reached out to me asking if I’d like to participate. For Terry Pratchett, I’ll write.

The contest is free and open to all ages. I encourage anyone to enter who has been influenced by the great fantastical worlds of Terry Pratchett. Create your own worlds in his memory.

In honor of the great Terry Pratchett, I wanted to write a story that explored a fantastical world. Then I decided to write from the PoV of a genie, because they get to experience all sorts of worlds.

Here’s a link to my story, “The Crystal Skull Infinity.” If you like it, please vote for it. And post your own stories in the comments section so I can return the favor 🙂 LLAP.
http://www.inkitt.com/stories/11988