For the past 24 years on The X-Files, FBI special agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) have traveled the world investigating unsolved cases involving paranormal phenomena. Along the way, they’ve come up against deadly monsters, aliens, and a secret shadow government all in their search for the truth. They’ve also managed to make quite a few enemies, but also a number of friends and allies. And one person who has always been there for them (whether they knew it or not) is their boss, Assistant Director Walter Skinner (Mitch Pileggi).
While Mulder and Skinner have had their differences, like that time Mulder was drugged and Skinner had to take him out with a chokehold, they’ve all been friends of sorts for a very long time. Skinner has risked his life for their cause time and again, even getting shot in the stomach at one point for his troubles. So it was very shocking to see the two characters throw down in the newly released season 11 trailer with what looks like Skinner making the first move and attacking Mulder. Scully also seems to tell Skinner at one point in the teaser, “We need your help, even if we don’t trust you.”
The biggest question on everyone’s minds is what has made this old union crumble, and a possible answer could come from TVLine‘s recent interview with Pileggi himself. He’s revealed that the only thing that could make both Skinner and Mulder go crazy enough to be at each other’s throats like that is the well-being of a certain red-headed special agent: “It’s about Scully.” Pileggi then went on to reveal that Skinner “might have a little crush on Scully,” and it has lead to some “resentment toward Mulder” early in the 10-episode season, presumably because of Scully’s sickly condition in the teaser trailer.
Two guys fighting over a woman they care about is not a new storytelling device. But while we know Skinner cares about Scully, it’s a little surprising that his affection towards her goes beyond friendship and being her boss. Pileggi for his part claims he’s been trying to telegraph that crush on Scully for a while, but we’re not really buying it. In the end, it doesn’t matter cause what we have, as Pileggi states, are two “bulls” possessing “a s***load of testosterone,” anger and frustration.
The brawl doesn’t seem to last too long anyway. One, because Scully is healthy and back to herself, so she can join Mulder in the search for their son. And two, because the fight sequence was actually toned down quite a bit. Pileggi tells TVLine: “It was supposed to be a lot more violent. Originally, what the stunt people had blocked was a [real] brawl. And we were all like, ‘ These two guys are friends. Unless they are in some kind of drug-induced state, I don’t think they would behave like that.’ So we pulled it back quite a bit.” Thank goodness cause who wants to see these two friends get in a knock-down-drag-out when there are still plenty of bad guys out there to face and the fate of the world is in their hands.
The X-Files season 11 premieres on FOX in 2018.
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