The Mulder defense mechanism

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Title: The Mulder defense mechanism
Creator: Hobrock
Date(s): 1990s
Medium: online
Fandom: X-Files
External Links: The Cave's X-Files Commentary Archives: The Mulder Defense Mechanism, Archived version
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The Mulder defense mechanism is an essay by Hobrock.

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


I believe that UST has largely been misinterpreted as purely sexual overtures between Mulder and Scully. They in fact originate in Mulder's own mind as an escapist tactic from perceived danger, both physical and emotional.
UST has also found ample source in Mulder "one-liners." These usually involve some pun or sexual innuendo. It doesn't get more sexual then, "Scully, is this demonstration of boyish agility turning you on?" Mulder's motives for these comments can be traced back to The Pilot. On Mulder and Scully's first case, we witnessed a mini-clash or jockeying for position that occurs when two strong-willed and independent people come into contact. When Scully refused to back down from her science, despite the amazing things she had seen, Mulder resorted to offhanded tactics. He left her uninformed, invaded her personal space, used his larger physical size to intimidate her and generally acted like a "jerk." (Scully's later comments, not mine.) Among these tactics were the sexual innuendoes and other one-liners. They were a rather futile attempt to break Scully's prim-and-proper demeanor. Over time, it became a part of the relationship they share as partners and friends. Mulder attempts to break Scully's cool exterior (usually during a losing argument) and Scully acts as if she had never even heard him. It is interesting to note that on the few occasions in which Scully replies in like manner, Mulder quickly changes the subject.