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My X-Files dilemma, Agent Scully


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36 replies to this topic

#1 of 37 HowardPaul

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Posted August 28 2006 - 01:49 PM

I'm new to the X-Files and working my way through Season 1. I'd heard so many good things about the show that I decided to give it a try.
Right now, having just watched Lazarus, episode 3 on Disk 4, I wonder how much longer I can tolerate Scully's dogged reluctance to accept anything that does not fall within the realm of the rational and scientific. Her stubbornness is so frustrating to behold. It seems that no matter how flagrant the evidence supporting the 'supernatural', she plays the doubting Thomas to the point of appearing just plain stupid.
Does this ever get better? Her rigidity makes we want to pull my hair out. Does she ever change? I don't think I can take more of her denying and arguing about what is ever so obvious to Mulder and to the viewers. Truly, in several of these early episodes she looks like a rigid bonehead.
Tell me she changes...that she becomes more open.....
How

#2 of 37 Louis C

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Posted August 28 2006 - 03:12 PM

The mind of Scully is sometimes a scary place... Welcome to the world of Scully-land. A place where Da-Nile runs deep.

Wait until you get to the end of Season 1! You will be certain she believes, but then prepare yourself for even more frustration.

But don't be mad. This is just a part of what makes the show interesting albeit frustrating and unreal at times.

#3 of 37 Linda Thompson

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Posted August 28 2006 - 03:24 PM

Speaking in rather broad terms here so as not to spoil any of the rest of the seasons for you...long story short, yes, Scully does eventually change. In fact, there comes a point in the series at which it could be argued that she is taking the Mulder-esque role of the "believer" vis-a-vis another agent who is more the Scully-esque "skeptic"...

#4 of 37 Bill GrandPre

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Posted August 28 2006 - 04:24 PM

You'd better get used to it, even when she takes on the "believer" role in season 8 (opposite John Doggett's "skeptic") she's still pretty hesitant and reluctant.

"Skeptic vs. Believer" is just the dynamic of the show and if it's bothering you already in season 1 you aren't gonna be able to handle the entire series.
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#5 of 37 david_hu

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Posted August 28 2006 - 07:49 PM

If she agrees with whatever Mulder says-where's the conflict & drama?
And get ready for the unspoken LURVE between the two.

#6 of 37 HowardPaul

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Posted August 28 2006 - 08:22 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda Thompson
Speaking in rather broad terms here so as not to spoil any of the rest of the seasons for you...long story short, yes, Scully does eventually change. In fact, there comes a point in the series at which it could be argued that she is taking the Mulder-esque role of the "believer" vis-a-vis another agent who is more the Scully-esque "skeptic"...

Interesting. Thanks for this info. It should keep me going a while longer.
How

#7 of 37 HowardPaul

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Posted August 28 2006 - 08:33 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by david_hu
If she agrees with whatever Mulder says-where's the conflict & drama?
And get ready for the unspoken LURVE between the two.

One CAN have fine 'drama' without perpetual 'conflict' between partners, imho. In fact, I prefer it that way. (It's bad enough that the higher-ups often doubt and disbelieve.)
But, Scully's refusal to accept what is staring her in the face and is ever so obvious goes beyond conflict and drama, imo. It is just plain stupidity stemming from the bigotry she has as an M.D. and a rational 'scientist'. These
annoyances don't even begin to get into the errors in her judgment as an FBI agent (There are several earlier episodes where she simply freezes up and fails to act.) as well as medical-scripting mistakes. (In the episode that I just watched (Lazarus) she states that another FBI agent who has diabetes would develop 'hypoglycemia' and go into a coma if he did not receive insulin----which is simply wrong. In diabetes, TOO MUCH insulin will cause hypoglycemia.)
Perhaps my days watching the show ARE, indeed, numbered.
I appreciate all the replies, btw!
How

#8 of 37 Mikah Cerucco

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Posted August 29 2006 - 03:26 AM

Scully is supposed to frustrate us because as the audience, we see what Mulder sees and we want her to believe. Scully is "the man". After all, she was put with Mulder to essentially debunk him. Anyway, as time went on, it didn't bother me in the least that we had a character that challenged mulder to explain away the alternatives before latching onto his most desired explanation. In a world where most people consider "likely" as "fact" or "proof", I welcomed it. It punched Mulder (and the audience) in the gut a few times, but in the end, it forced Mulder to step up his game.
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#9 of 37 Nicodemus

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Posted August 29 2006 - 04:40 AM

I personally think that those episodes where Scully is actually right, are among the very best of the show.

#10 of 37 Jonathan_Clarke

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Posted August 29 2006 - 07:45 AM

The only time I was frustrated with Scully was after the movie. She was through A LOT and was still skeptical in Season 6.

Give her time. She's got 9 seasons to grow.
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#11 of 37 MarkHarrison

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Posted August 29 2006 - 08:53 AM

She remains a sceptic for most of the seasons. But I think they do soften the scpetical side of her after season 1. In season 1 they really laid it on thick.

#12 of 37 Joseph J.D

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Posted August 29 2006 - 01:12 PM

Of course Scully is going to be skeptical. Her educational background is Science. She grew up on scientific facts and rational explanations....when you believe in something so strongly, it can be very difficult to be open to other possibilities that have no place in rational thinking.

Stick with the show.....part of the fun of watching the show is seeing her slowly come around as the seasons progress.
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#13 of 37 JeremyErwin

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Posted August 29 2006 - 01:41 PM

Chris Carter speaks to the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal.

Quote:
...The question is, to summarize, why is it that even if we present things from a skeptical point of view, the paranormal always seems to outweigh the skepticism? My intention, when I first set out to do the show, was to do a more balanced kind of storytelling. I wanted to expose hoaxes. I wanted Agent Scully to be right as much as Agent Mulder. Lo and behold, those stories were really boring. The suggestion that there was a rather plausible and rational and ultimately mundane answer for these things turned out to be a disappointing kind of storytelling, to be honest. And I think that's maybe where people have the most problems with my show, certainly this group, I believe. But it's just the kind of storytelling we do, and because we have to entertain and because I set out in this show when I created it - all I wanted to do, and still really all I want to do in a very smart way is to scare the pants off of people every Friday night. That's really the job they pay me for, and that's the thing I'm supposed to do....


#14 of 37 HowardPaul

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Posted August 29 2006 - 02:05 PM

"If a benighted (without wisdom or morality) medieval world has proven a durable misconception, it may be because it confirms a cherished contemporary belief----that our species always moves forward to better and more enlightened ways of life. This belief is utter fantasy, but it dies hard. It is especially difficult for modern people to conceive that our modern scientific age might not be an improvement over the prescientific period."

Michael Crichton-Timeline, Acknowledgements

#15 of 37 Chad R

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Posted August 29 2006 - 03:36 PM

I think it works well within both characters because it makes them so complicated. I don't know how far in before you get to it, but Scully is a devout Catholic, wearing a cross around her neck. Mulder, on the other hand, very seldomly expresses any interest in conventional religion or faith. It's a nice dichotomy that the scientific mind is the one with faith, and the one who is eager to jump to the fantastic doesn't have faith.

I hope I'm not spoiling anything for you, but near the end of the sixth season there's some nice work done with the possible debunking of faith when

an ancient spacecraft predating most religions is dug up with the text of all the major holy books printed on it.


I was disappointed they didn't explore this with Scully's faith more, but it's an interesting concept to think about in terms of her character.

Trust me, this show is still the best thing to grace television.

#16 of 37 HowardPaul

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Posted August 29 2006 - 10:57 PM

Hmmmm.....they deleted what you said. Can you PM or email it to me somehow? I'd like to read it. Thus far, I continue to find Scully's character annoying. Forgive me but she appears, at times, like a blind fool. I'd have preferred that she had been portrayed as just a bit more of a 'believer'. Let a higher-up be the 'doubting Thomas'.
There is a fascinating book called "Recovering the Soul" by Dr. Larry Dossey. It has a wonderful chapter that discusses how several Nobel Prize winning physicists such as Schrodinger came to believe that there is a (mystical) power far beyond what we can see and discern with 'science', with instruments etc. Not just 'believe' but be firmly convinced beyond an iota of doubt.
Even though I am a medical professional with a great deal of scientific training, I believe that scientism (Unabashed worship of science) has gotten out of hand. "Science" has gotten to the point where even some religions try to use it to validate what the bible says etc. Things like Scientific Creationism, Intelligent Design etc.
Don't get me wrong, I do believe that there are many good points to Science. But I do not believe it is the 'be all, end all' that our culture seems to think it is.
Regards
How

#17 of 37 Chris Roberts

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Posted August 30 2006 - 02:24 AM

Its Scully's job to be skeptical. Its her job to look for scientific explanations and not accept "magical" stuff at face value or put it into her reports. And rightly she shouldn't as plenty of the stuff on the show is unbelievable (crazy sounding even). The more you watch of the show the more you see that things they discover can be explained in Scully's world and the more that happens the more she starts to believe in Mulder's cause. Whereas the more she proves things the more Mulder has to question his belief's. Like if she proves a dead alien body is actually a deformed human, for example. Are all the aliens fake or is this one just a hoax? Those are the kinds of things that make their relationship interesting.

#18 of 37 James D S

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Posted August 30 2006 - 02:35 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad R
Trust me, this show is still the best thing to grace television.
+1

And Scully, as she's written in Season 1 through 7, was one of the best individual characters, in any medium. There's Mercutio then there's Scully. Posted Image

#19 of 37 Linda Thompson

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Posted August 30 2006 - 03:10 AM

Scully to Mulder: "Please, will you just hear me? I have never met anyone so passionate and dedicated to a belief as you. It's so intense that sometimes it's blinding. But there are others who are watching you, who know what I know and whereas I can respect and admire your passion, they will use it against you. Mulder, the truth is out there but so are lies."

That's the dynamic, and that's why the pair was so effective. Neither one could go too far off his or her own deep end without the other one being there to reel them back in or at least make them question where they were heading.

#20 of 37 Justin O

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Posted August 30 2006 - 05:30 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by HowardPaul
It is just plain stupidity stemming from the bigotry she has as an M.D. and a rational 'scientist'.

So, Scully is stupid and bigoted because she follows the methodology of science?

Huh? Wha?

Science is a methodology that works... plain and simple. A methodology that has proven its worth a billion, billion times over. We wouldn't live as long as we do if it were not for science and its methodologies. You and I would most probably be dead by now. We would not have the technological world we have today if it were not for the work of scientists. Hell, you wouldn't even be able to watch "The X-Files" on a cathod ray tube or play it back off an optical disc were it not for science. Both rely on Quantum Theory.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HowardPaul
There is a fascinating book called "Recovering the Soul" by Dr. Larry Dossey. It has a wonderful chapter that discusses how several Nobel Prize winning physicists such as Schrodinger came to believe that there is a (mystical) power far beyond what we can see and discern with 'science', with instruments etc. Not just 'believe' but be firmly convinced beyond an iota of doubt.

If what you are reporting about Schrodinger is true, then he was no longer speaking as a scientist when he made those assertions. Science can say nothing about a mystical power that cannot be discerned with the tools and methodologies of science. Also, scientists do not have the luxury of being "convinced beyond an iota of a doubt." There should always be room for doubt in science... or it wouldn't be science.

Also it wouldn't be the first time that Schrodinger was wrong about something. In 1946, Schrodinger thought he had discovered a complete unified field theory. He even called a press conference and when asked how certain he was he replied, "I believe I am right. I shall look like an awful fool if I am wrong."

Soon after, Albert Einstein showed that he was wrong. Schrodinger was publically humiliated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HowardPaul
Even though I am a medical professional with a great deal of scientific training, I believe that scientism (Unabashed worship of science) has gotten out of hand. "Science" has gotten to the point where even some religions try to use it to validate what the bible says etc. Things like Scientific Creationism, Intelligent Design etc.

Creationists/ID proponents are NOT doing science in any way, shape or form.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HowardPaul
Don't get me wrong, I do believe that there are many good points to Science. But I do not believe it is the 'be all, end all' that our culture seems to think it is.

I think you're going to have to demonstrate that our culture thinks that. I believe it's most likely quite the opposite. Our culture is overflowing with Mulders, not Scullys.

***

By the way, I watch and own "The X-Files" primarily because of Scully (the actress and the character). Generally, I find the mythology episodes ponderous and boring, and tend to enjoy the stand alone episodes more. I love hearing the writers speak as skeptics through the character of Scully.

In the obviously parallel world of "The X-Files", I find her efforts admirable... and quite often amusing. Like Joel on "Northern Exposure."


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