We are who we are, or another chance

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Title: We are who we are, or another chance
Creator: Zuffy
Date(s): late 1990s
Medium: online
Fandom: X-Files
External Links: The Cave's X-Files Commentary Archives: themes: second chances, Archived version
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We are who we are, or another chance is an essay by Zuffy.

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


In "Monday," Scully takes the position that "I think that we're free to be the people that we are -- good, bad or indifferent. I think that it's our character that determines our fate." There is a great deal of support for Scully in Season 6. Along with "normal life," the theme of second chances is beginning to stand out this season, paired usually with the question of what fate is and whether we can escape it. As LT, Patterson and others have said, Pinker Rawls demands our attention -- insists on it -- even as we are repelled by his violent streak. We are captured (but not captivated) by his willingness to give himself over to violence as a way to assert his identity -- not just to get his way but to demand respect -- at the same time that he is able to turn on the charm and treat Jackie and Trevor with tenderness. His volatility adds to the realism of the character; we think we know what to expect, but aren't quite sure what will happen next. Even if we don't know how bad the next explosion will be, we know it will come. Rawls sees his "second chance" in the form of his son, in getting what is "his" as though this will correct what's wrong with his life. Rawls is a rich character because he strikes us as capable of love, but we have to wonder what form that "love" will take? Is it giving and understanding? Or is it having? Does he understand this? Although he approaches the boy with great tenderness, the rage and instability are still just beneath the surface, radiating out from him. Trevor reacts instantly to the danger, feeling that explosive core either instinctively or from experience with other men.