The vehemence of Mulder's reaction to Alex Krycek

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Title: The vehemence of Mulder's reaction to Alex Krycek
Creator: LoneThinker
Date(s): late 1990s
Medium: online
Fandom: X-Files
External Links: The vehemence of Mulder's reaction to Alex Krycek, Archived version
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The vehemence of Mulder's reaction to Alex Krycek is an essay by LoneThinker.

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


Mulder may find himself indignant in the face of injustice, angry at those who would hurt others, frustrated by the lack of ability of those around him to believe in extreme possibilities. But nothing elicits such a strong reaction from Mulder as Alex Krycek. Why?

I've had a theory bubbling away for a while now, and the one-sentence version is that Krycek, and Krycek's actions, hit Mulder in the most sensitive and raw of all possible places. Let me explain.

Two important, recurring thematic areas of the X-Files (as they relates to Mulder) are those of trust and family. Think, for a moment, about the centrality of family within the X-Files universe. It's really quite remarkable for a TV show. The main character's quest has evolved because of the loss/abduction of his sister. We discover that his father was at one time embroiled in the larger conspiracy that provides structure to the show. His mother was at least somewhat aware of what was going on--certainly enough to painfully protest 'Why are you doing this to me?" whenever Mulder tries to get her to remember details about the past. We also find out that that key conspiracy kingpin CSM is also family in a sense because he had an affair with Mulder's mother, an affair that produced Samantha and, if you choose to believe it, Mulder himself.

The upbringing that shapes Fox Mulder has as its boundaries two parents whose relationship is finally severed because of the abduction of Samantha--two cold, self-serving individuals who refuse to talk about the absent sister Mulder had been so close to, and who maintain their own shaky stability at the cost of their son's emotional well-being.
So when the X-files are closed, Scully is reassigned to Quantico and Alex Krycek shows up to work a case with Mulder, he's already got the advantage of the small crack Scully has opened in Mulder's armor. Granted, Mulder gives Krycek the initial perfunctory brush-off, much as he did with Scully. But when Krycek holds firm and even shows himself eager to work the case and interested in the phenomena at play, Mulder's objections melt away fairly quickly. He and Krycek seem to fall into a rhythm, and by episode's end Mulder shows himself to be concerned/empathetic toward Krycek after he's been fooled into shooting Augustus Cole. The fact that Mulder will later react with such vehemence whenever Krycek appears on the scene comes, I believe, from the fact that he did indeed let Krycek past his inner mental defenses. Mulder offers Krycek the trust he finds it so hard to come by, and Krycek betrays that trust. For Mulder it's a devastating blow, both in and of itself and because later he sees reason to believe that Krycek may have aided in the abduction of the one person Mulder has found who he knows he can truly trust. So Krycek becomes, for Mulder, the emblem of all betrayal.