Musing on Mulder.

“The X-Files” are back, you guys.

All the reviewers who saw the first episode before it aired pretty universally panned it, but I thought they did a good job wedging in a metric buttload of exposition while still remaining watchable. I liked it. The next episode, though, was classic Monster of the Week, and it was pretty darned good. So far, I’m completely satisfied.

But I want to have a little ramble about Fox Mulder. I have loved “The X-Files” since the very first episode aired (reminder, I am not a Millennial – I was in college at the time), but I have always had mixed feelings about Mulder. Scully – of course I love her. I mean, I really love her. It took me a few seasons to figure out that part of my problem with Mulder was good, old-fashioned TV crush jealousy. My Scully was too good for him, you see.

I digress. Scully does that to me.

Anyway, Mulder can be a super dick. He almost never sees the forest for the conspiratorial trees. He’s a pedantic weirdo with mediocre people skills, and an obsessive streak a mile wide. He’s unpleasant to deal with (think of poor Skinner), convinced that he is absolutely right 100% of the time, and arrogant enough to make even people who agree with him hate him a little bit.

I was rewatching the original series a few years ago, and one evening I launched into a terrible tirade on Mulder’s shortcomings, when Lennox interrupted me to say, “You hate Mulder because you basically are Mulder.”

“What??” I spluttered in reply. “That’s ridiculous!”

But even I couldn’t argue very hard once Lennox laid out his argument. I, too, am a paranormally obsessed weirdo – though my leanings tend more toward ghosts and Sasquatch than UFOs – and I am both terribly arrogant and always convinced that I’m right. I’m a little more skeptical than Mulder, true – but only because I feel that real answers are to be found in the 2% of reports that legitimately can’t be explained. I’m not the sort to corner you at a party to discuss Roswell at length, but I may give you quite an earful about the dermal ridging evidence for Bigfoot. (Seriously, it’s fascinating.)

I had to accept it. I have too much in common with Fox Mulder to really like him very much. I can admire him, but I couldn’t “hang” with him – you know what I mean?

Although I consider Meyers-Briggs typing to be the astrology of pop psychology, I can’t deny that my typing is pretty accurate. (Heck, sometimes I behave like a Pisces is supposed to, too.) I’m an INTJ: introverted, intuitive, thinking, judging. Pretty sure Mulder is exactly the same. INTJs think rules are stupid if they hinder more than help, can be insensitive, and though they are guided by their intellect, they are often overwhelmed by their emotions because they rarely understand how to control them. Also, as one source put it: “INTJs are simultaneously the most starry-eyed idealists and the bitterest of cynics.” Sounds sort of Mulder-y to me.

It never shocked me that Mulder became a reclusive super-obsessive hiding away from the world with a conspiracy “murder wall” in a country cottage. It was where he was headed all along, really.

But it’s good to see him out in the world again, with Scully at his side, looking for the truth – or whatever passes for “truth” in these cynical times. I’ve missed their flashlights in the dark. I like revisiting these weird, alien-filled spaces – and I think that six episodes will be just right. We’ll get much more content than another movie would have given, but not enough to drag out the mythology or wear out a welcome. Goldilocks would approve.

I also love that we’re getting the original cast. I’m sure there was a terrible temptation to “reboot” the show, to make it “young and sexy” again. But adventure doesn’t belong solely to the young, and as someone who is not quite young anymore myself, I am very pleased to see stories that acknowledge this.

Good job, “X-Files” revival.

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