Mulder as "other"

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Title: Mulder as "other"
Creator: LoneThinker
Date(s): late 1990s
Medium: online
Fandom: X-Files
External Links: The Cave's X-Files Commentary Archives: Mulder as 'Other', Archived version
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Mulder as "other" is an essay by LoneThinker.

It is one of many essays at The Cave's X-Files Commentary Archives.


I was retreading the Socially/EmotionallyCrippledMulder territory with Phile-in-Denial recently, and it got me to thinking, and thinking some more. I ended up giving a long e-mail reply, and here it is, since others of you who sometimes scratch your head puzzling over Mulder may find it useful.
Now, one of the things I could never figure out is why Mulder would keep on plugging away at a relationship with Teena when she has consistently been cold/unhelpful/unfeeling, etc. I mean, here is your kid, sincere, passionate, trying to do something to find his sister--your child--and all she can ever say is, "It was all so long ago" and, essentially, why are you doing this to me--tormenting me with these constant questions? As a mother, I couldn't bring myself to have a heart of ice like that.

And yet I think Mulder is way beyond dutiful. We see this clearly from the way he treats her in the hospital when she's had the stroke (*Talitha Cumi) and when he goes home to check out the vacuum cleaner later in *Paper Hearts. INFPs, so the profile says, have a desire to please parents where kids in other categories just throw in the towel and go on with their lives. I think it's part of the healer profile; I think he has hope--Mulder has an almost infinite capacity for hopefulness. I think he sticks with her because he thinks there *is* a chance that things will change between them. I think he wants to heal her, to make her happy. Anyone without this desire or hopefulness would have given up on Teena long ago, I think.

Re Mulder's relationship with his dad: it's always interested me that Bill Mulder seems to treat him like a child, and as you observed, distantly. The defining scenes, of course, are when Mulder goes to his father's house in *Colony because Samantha has turned up, and he goes to hug his dad and Bill coldly holds out his hand instead; and the scene where Bill Mulder shows up on his doorstep in *End Game and makes Mulder feel like the responsibility for 'losing Samantha' is all his, as well as the detrimental effect this will have on his mother (especially hypocritical when we later discover that it's Bill's choice that Samantha is taken and not Fox himself. What kind of father could dump on his son this way?) Even in *Anasazi, when Bill calls Mulder to come to his house and is about to tell him about his involvement in the Project, he refers to Mulder as a 'boy' ("You're a smart boy, Fox. Your politics are your own. You've never thrown in...") This 'boy' is 33 years old. Would your dad call you 'boy'?...And of course, as you point out, this is another loss for Mulder in the end, because just as Bill is ready to open up to his son, he's killed and the opportunity to finally forge a relationship is lost.