season 1, episode 5. “the jersey devil”
the premise is somewhat silly. it’s a little soon to be pulling out the bigfoot card in a new series. but, this episode serves as an example of both mulder’s obsession and scully’s struggle between work and a personal life since she’s been working on the x-files. mulder has tunnel vision, doing anything it takes to have a shred of evidence of the paranormal. scully tries to balance both.
mulder and scully push their way into an investigation of a cannibalized homeless man in new jersey. mulder thinks it’s the mythical jersey devil, an “east coast bigfoot.” after pissing off local law enforcement, mulder tries to convince scully that they make a weekend out of it and stick around to do their own digging. scully has her godson’s birthday party and mulder sends her home on her own. mulder questions the local vagrants and stakes out a site where the predator has been seen, holing up in a homeless camp. he does witness the creature just before getting picked up by the cops and thrown in the drunk tank. scully, meanwhile, is getting a taste of suburbia, helping her friend with a child’s birthday party. she laments about not having time to date and says mulder is obsessed with his work.
on monday, scully shows up to work to find mulder is still in atlantic city. she goes to pick him up and sees how far he goes in his search for the truth. he resembles a homeless man having been detained for most of the weekend. he is not embarrassed or concerned about how he looks or how the local law enforcement perceives him. scully needs to get back to d.c. because she has a date. mulder, obviously, continues to investigate while scully goes on a date with a divorced dad that she met at the birthday party. it seems scully is too distracted by mulder and the case to let herself enjoy a night out and when she gets a page from mulder, she looks relieved to have an out.
though the ‘suspect’ was found and killed, mulder continues to study the findings and is off to talk with some experts about it when scully’s date calls her at work. scully quickly catches up with mulder saying she’s going with him. she has made her choice and mulder sees it as such. he sees her as an asset to his work and had to have been worried at the risk of losing her to domesticity and outside romantic interests. he knows that work on the x-files requires a severe dedication, something he would never ask of her. but, for her to volunteer for it strengthens his faith in her as a committed partner.
oh my god, that kids’ party looks like a freakin’ nightmare.
her look on her face when she tells mulder she has a date. she says it slightly teasing, but then immediately regrets it and looks embarrassed. and it’s all within the space of a few seconds. anderson is really good at portraying several emotions in a subtle, believable way.
scully really dressed up for that date. sheesh. the hair and that lace top? yikes.
oh my god, that date looks like a freakin’ nightmare.
she choses to spend time with mulder over pursuing a possible romantic relationship.
s: “anti-gravity’s right.”
s: “keep that up, mulder, and i’ll hurt you like that beast woman.”