Scully's 'The X-Files' Reboot Plot Should Include A Happy Ending, Because She Deserves It More Than Anyone
Dana Scully has given the world so much. A champion for skeptics, feminists, and people who love cool characters, Scully will always be a hero for legions of The X-Files' fans. She has also been through hell during the course of the original series: Cancer, infertility, multiple kidnappings, alien abduction, and giving up her son are just a few of the calamities that have befallen Special Agent Scully over the years. Now that Fox is bringing The X-Files back for a six-episode limited series, Scully has one more shot at the one thing neither the series or the two movies could give her: a happy ending.
I know a happy ending is a simplistic sentiment to ask of a show that was all about bringing the pain. No one escaped the darkness in The X-Files, and no one ever found anything close to peace or answers — even Mulder, Scully's partner in all things, is the poster boy for what a relentless search for answers can do to a person. His life has been marred by loss and hopelessness. Together, he and Scully formed a union that saved them both, but as Mulder said to Scully in The X-Files: I Want to Believe, "I think the darkness finds me and you."
TV Line revealed a few tidbits fromX-Files creator Chris Carter about what we can expect in the limited series, including a change in Mulder and Scully's relationship (although they will still be together, thankfully). Whether that change is for good or ill remains to be seen, but knowing Carter he will use these six episodes to bring on the drama. I expect alien intrigue, perhaps talk of why the world didn't end in 2012, and visits from fan favorites — but, personally, my focus is on Scully.
I don't want the darkness to keep following her. She has stood with Mulder for over two decades now, and fought a fight that was never truly hers. Mulder is her family, so Scully took up arms with him. She chased after all the monsters that lurk under the bed, and she paid the ultimate price more than once. She lost her sister, her career became something of an afterthought, and the blow that hit the hardest was when she gave up her son, William.
Scully believes in Mulder, and their relationship is built on a mutual foundation of trust and respect. I don't want to see her walk away from Mulder— if Scully is ever going to be happy, then Mulder has to be by her side. In fact, there are three things necessary for Scully to get a happily ever after: Mulder, her son William, and an end to the conspiracy.
Can all of these things be achieved in six episodes? I certainly hope so.
Life will never be normal for Scully. She's been through too much. What the limited series owes her are definitive answers and wide acknowledgement of the work she and Mulder did on the X-Files. If Mulder can finally stop searching, he can focus on moving forward. Those are two points checked off the what we need for a happy Scully list. The third point is much harder than exposing an alien conspiracy that dates back to the beginning of time: Scully needs to reconnect with William, see that he is safe, and then let him go.
Out of everything The X-Files took from Scully, William was by far the biggest blow. The son she shared with Mulder was an impossible gift — the one thing she never thought she could have. Then, she had to give him away in order to keep him safe. The last time we saw Scully in The X-Files: I Want to Believe, the loss was still weighing her down: Living in hiding with a broken Mulder and without her son was not her idea of perfection.
Carter may never offer up satisfactory answers to the black oil/alien invasion/Samantha's abduction mythology he created, but he has a chance to do right by the characters. If these six episodes are the end, then we need our final shot of Scully to be one full of hope. It's not just because Scully spent nine seasons and two movies in pursuit of the truth at the cost of anything resembling a personal life — it is because Scully means so much to so many people. Even within the canon of the series, she is a legend. When she asks Clyde Bruckman how she dies, he simply says, "You don't."
No matter what happens, Scully will always be an amazing, resilient character. My wish for her is that Carter is kind enough to leave her standing, smiling, and ready to face whatever the future holds by the time the curtains are drawn on her story. Scully is a fighter right down to her core, but even fighters deserve to rest eventually.
Images: 20th Century Fox; Giphy (3)