Significance of 'space' in the basement office

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Title: Significance of 'space' in the basement office
Creator: Zuffy
Date(s): late 1990s
Medium: online
Fandom: X-Files
Topic:
External Links: The X-Files: significance of space in the basement office, Archived version
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Contents

Significance of 'space' in the basement office is an essay by Zuffy.

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

The Essay

The office is the physical embodiment of the X-Files, and FM's exclusive ownership of the space (despite Scully's joint occupancy) represents the series' premise that the X-Files are both his obsession *and* a projection of his mind. The X-Files are, after all, more a state of mind than a collection of cases and folders. Thus the office itself is a rich psychic space that Scully enters, operates in, and belongs in, but the space is a manifestation of *his obsession and his take on reality. Desk or no desk she gets her work done so there is obviously room for her activities. She is there with him and he assumes that she should be. (Or takes for granted that she is there.) This is the partnership angle and she has generally been portrayed as a full partner with Mulder on their projects. But that does not mean that the X-Files project from her mind in the same way they do from his. I don't mean to lessen her role in saying that, btw. But it does mean that she does not occupy the space the way he does.

I don't want to push this too far, but here are a few idle thoughts. In *Never Again her complaint about the desk comes from that sense of psychic separation from the roots of the files. Despite their partnership and despite Mulder's easy assumption that the X-Files are her life, too, she knows that they do not come from her and she needs a life rooted inside herself. If I can extend the psychic space logic, Mulder even implies that it would be "crowded" if they brought in a second desk, that is, if she too had the same mental relationship to the phenomena underlying the X-Files. Definitely problem time between them. In Season 6, I agree that in Monday and in Alpha she seems to have moved out (or never moved back in after "I can't help you any more" in *One Son) and stops in to visit. That does seem to reflect her stance toward him at that moment: partnership with distance. "I'll back you, but I'll do it from way over there, not from right behind you." Then there is a shift in Milagro, where the medal comes to her in "his" office and Mulder calls her at "his" office. And from that office she undertakes to investigate the medal as a clue, taking the X-Files assumption from her own senses. And finally, in Biogenesis, Mulder's teasing comment that "I thought this was *my office" underlines that by season's end and especially following *Field Trip, her mental position in relation to the X-Files has shifted. What he had thought was his, is now obviously theirs. Perhaps he was even playing on her calling it "his" office if she does that. It marks the end of a season in which x-files seem to come from her, not just because of external forces but because of the way she has herself become more Muldery. (Or course, that Biogenesis comment could have been just totally boorish writing, but I *thought it was delivered with a gentle sense of "I was wrong in thinking I was alone." )