Why Did Scully & Mulder Break Up? 'The X-Files' Will Return With Plenty Of Its Signature Tension
The X-Files premiered in 1993 and more than 22 years later, we are still playing a game of will they or won’t they with Scully and Mulder, our favorite FBI partnership with undeniable sexual tension. But, if Scully and Mulder’s relationship was a person, it would be old enough to legally drink. Fans may have been hoping that the reboot would finally be the time for these crazy kids to work it out, once and for all. Alas, it was revealed that Scully and Mulder are broken up in The X-Files revival when a clip of the premiere was shown way back in August, as reported by Entertainment Weekly.
Before you start panicking, however, showrunner Chris Carter promised The Hollywood Reporter that the breakup is well-handled. "We do it in an interesting way," he said. "We play with that relationship [in the event series]. We put some of the tension back in that was relieved by them being together. It added to the storytelling opportunities. It’s something that I came up with; I had been thinking about it. There was always talk of [breaking them up] if we did another movie."
One question still remaining, however, is what exactly caused the breakup. Things still seem amicable between the exes, as according to a 21-minute promotional video for the upcoming season (below), The X-Files Re-Opened, the split does not mean love is lost between Scully and Mulder. In the video, Gillian Anderson explains that the breakup puts the characters back in that place of tension that we knew and loved in the classic series, saying that the dynamic again has “huge intimacy and appreciation and yet frustration.” So they're still able to be around each other and have some form of "intimacy," which wouldn't imply any sort of drama.
Plus, the video is full of teasers that show how the exes will interact, and the banter we know and love is still there. There is one concerning moment, however, as Scully tells Mulder, “It’s good for you to get out of that little house every once in a while.” To which he responds, “Certainly was good for you.” GUYS, WHAT WENT DOWN?! That is one loaded statement.
The promotional video also tackles the fact that Scully and Mulder had a child together, William. It explains that he would be 15 now and Mulder consoles Scully as she discusses her guilt and struggle of losing a child. Perhaps some of those difficult emotions came between them, or they coped differently. Hopefully, The X-Files revival will shed some more light on what pulled the couple apart... and eventually, bring them back together.
In the meantime, let’s look back at the Scully and Mulder X-Files moments that made us start rooting for these once-platonic partners to become something more in the first place.
When They Pretended To Be Married
In the Season 6 episode “Arcadia,” Scully and Mulder go deep undercover as a married couple in a suburban town where a monster is eating rule-breaking yuppies, and it's fun to see them play house.
When They Huddled For Warmth
Mulder: I was told once that the best way to regenerate body heat was to crawl naked into a sleeping bag with someone else who is already naked.
Scully: Maybe if it rains sleeping bags, you'll get lucky.
This quote from “Detour” sums up exactly what fans loved about Scully and Mulder. And while Fox did not get lucky that night, the partners did adorably huddle for warmth.
When They Spent Christmas Together
And had presents for each other!
When They Did Actually Kiss
Scully and Mulder rang in the “Millenium” with a kiss. After which Mulder so cooly says, “The world didn’t end.” It’s a comment both about the kiss and millennium doomsday predictions… but it’s mostly about the kiss.
When They Danced
Scully and Mulder bring The Great Mutato to a Cher concert (he’s a fan because of her film Mask) in “The Post-Modern Prometheus” and the two dance to “Walking in Memphis.”
When Mulder Taught Scully To Swing A Bat
I don’t care how cheesy this is, it looks good on Scully and Mulder in the aptly titled, “The Unnatural.”
“You're My 1 In 5 Billion.”
While 'shippers always loved when Scully and Mulder rushed to each other’s sides, this bedside moment was particularly sweet. Mulder tells his partner that she has to believe him because no one else on the planet understands him like she does. He says, “You're my one in 5 billion.”
OK, there are now 7 billion people on this planet and Scully and Mulder still are not happily ever after. Can she please just be his one in 7 billion already?
Images: Ed Araquel/FOX; Giphy (3)