I, and a lot of other fans, find season 8 to be an improvement over season 7 and 6. I recommend watching it entirely and make up your own opinion. The mythology episodes are interesting, and the stand alones (Roadrunners, Invocation, Via Negativa) are on par with some of the best in the series. Even the mediocre ones (Medusa) are entertaining. The show goes back to its darker roots, and it works.
Season 9 is a different beast. It feels at times like a different show, but I would definitely watch the beginning and finale, as well as the well rated episodes (John Doe, Release). I personally rank season 9 close to season 7, and nowhere near "hard to watch".
People find that ousitde of the mythology eps. Duchovny isn't in much of S8 and only 2 eps in S9. The new agents with a few Scully appearances diminished the soul of the show.
I mean, I guess it doesn't quite count, but Scully's usually just about as right as Mulder - at first. He comes up with an off the wall theory, she comes up with a completely rational theory, then she finds weird evidence, Mulder sees some weird shit, and then he smushes their theories into the actual solution.
Ex. Our Town - Mulder's like "WITCHES", Scully's like "Accidental consumption of body disposed of in chicken grinder," then she finds cuts on the bones, and he sees the heads in the cupboard and he's like, "People convinced of the magic gained by intentional cannibalism."
But always Mulder just gets the last word.
Some of them deal with human-level scientific crises or conspiracies where there isn't anything supernatural per se, like F. Emasculata in the second season or Wetwired in the third.
But in those cases, there aren't really supernatural explanations in play that could be proven "wrong", aside from some throwaway possibilities Mulder mentions when they first begin their investigations.
That said, there are a (very) few episodes where she is in the "believer" role and Mulder is the skeptic, and in those cases her supernatural explanation is correct and Mulder's skepticism is unwarranted.
An example that you've seen is "Beyond the Sea," where she believes a serial killer is channeling spirits, including her dead father, and Mulder thinks he's a fraud.
So really, it's not so much that Mulder is always right and Scully is always wrong; it's that the supernatural explanation is always right and the scientific one is always wrong.
But since Mulder is the believer and Scully is the scientist, it usually equates to him being right.
There are also episodes where the question of supernatural vs. mundane isn't really at issue, and the conflict of the episode comes from the characters being in a perilous or mysterious situation and trying to deal with it rather than figuring out an exact explanation for it.
Many people have pointed out that it's a little silly that she maintains her skepticism even when faced with overwhelming evidence she's seen with her own eyes; if she were really a scientist, she'd use that evidence to re-evaluate her beliefs. But it's just something you have to kind of accept about the show's premise.
Scully is a scientist, more specifically a medical doctor. As a scientist she understands first the protocol of research, theory, hypothesis or law. It is integral to her psyche. For her as an agent, and a scientist, evidence must be presented and reviewed with a critical eye. This critical thinking comes off as skepticism only due to the often extraordinary and emotional circumstances of the cases/mythology.
Once a person accepts the use of reason and logic as the only way to 'truth', then one does not, for me cannot, turn it off. Really you can't. This is not a negative trait because it keeps them honest, and it limits Mulder from becoming fanatical/disillusioned (or more so).
As far as her Christianity goes, this is her tragic flaw. She has the sharp critical mind but she too falls victim to her own visceral attraction to the supernatural. From a viewers point, this humanizes her for much of the population. Yet, I think it fouls the true strength of her as a human- she is like many who we owe so much for the selfless rationality that allowed us to progress as a species.
I think she is open to Mulder's ideas, as she does not refuse to investigate. She also does not look 'in to the void' purely because she has no evidence, merely that he does not have to vocabulary (science is the vocabulary) to describe it YET. Try and think of her as a structured and ethical person, only drawing conclusion based on verified or evidence based facts.
Her eyes are just mesmerizing. I liked the expression "ethereal beauty" that was used as her description in some recent article. Such phrasing suits perfectly for this picture. Though Scully's hair style in this picture isn't exactly my favorite.
I like the most her hairstyle from Season 3 and, ironically, Season 9 (ironically, because i actually hate everything about this season except Gillian's role in it and Scully's appearance).
And I like hers a little bit exaggerated, other-worldly looks. Like she is "too good for this world".
I always saw her more as a teacher than a healer but now that you say it I see what you mean. She often felt with the sick ones in all the cases. That's why she also chose to work as a doctor in the new series and she even tells Mulder that she doesn't want the darkness in her home anymore.
She actually opened up a bit and her being sceptical was only a way to see things from a dialectic point of view because she knew someone has to take the other side and defend it so the outcome can be close to the truth that way. Mulder was often right, but got his hints and clues often by Scully questioning him.
Unfortunately Mulder liked to look into the darkness so that he can feel connected to something in this life and he also needs her as a flashlight so he doesn't get lost aka he does get lost in the darkness without her.
My preferred way of watching it is watching all the episodes from beginning to end. But then again I'm a hardcore fan and someone who watches movies from the 30s. Anyway, whatever you do, the one thing you should not do is binge watching it. This is not that kind of show.
Take your time.
Listen to Kumail Nanjiani's X-Files podcast after the episodes because he's got some cool guests and insights.
You're making a huge mistake with not watching the myth-arc. It's hardly about going anywhere. It's about world-building and paranoia.
Some of the episodes like EBE, Duanne Barry, Nisei and 731 etc. are truly great episodes. What you're doing is like not watching LOST because its ending didn't make a lot of sense. It was still a damn good show for 6 years.
Anyway, below are my picks. The ones written in italics usually do not appear in this sort of list, but watch them anyway goddammit.
- Beyond the Sea
- Gender Bender
- Darkness Falls
- The Host
- Red Museum
- Die Hand Die Verletzt
- Fearful Symmetry
- F. Emasculata
- Soft Light
- Our Town
- Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose
- War of the Coprophages
- Jose Chung's From Outer Space
- The Field Where I Died
- Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man
- Leonard Betts
- Never Again
- Memento Mori
- Small Potatoes
- Unusual Suspects
- The Post-Modern Prometheus
- Kill Switch
- Bad Blood
- Folie à Deux
- Drive Triangle
- Dreamland II
- The Unnatural
I'm obviously biased, but I think my list is more rounded and shorter if you're sticking to the 13-a-season rule and saving the "supplemental" standalones for later.
It's easy get hooked, even with the first season, yet season 3, definitely. So many classic stand alone episodes, the introduction of the black oil, etc. D.P.O with Giovanni ribisi, and jack black. Was my favorite off of that season. Yet War of The Coprophages and Jose Chung alone put it on top.
Season 4, by comparison, is very drab and dreary, and almost devoid of fun.
I know many people like Home, but I can't stand that episode in particular. Mulder and Scully come off as complete assholes, throwing out stupid one-liners while watching people get hacked to death. The only thing that makes season 4 bearable for me is, weirdly, the mytharc episodes, of which there were plenty. The cancer allows for some excellent character moments for both main characters, and Mulder losing faith while Scully starts to turn around reverses the dynamic for a while.
Season 5 starts to get some decent monster of the week stuff again, though there are some clunkers as well. But Bad Blood is as good as anything in season 3, and justifies the entire thing.
Currently on my rewatch in preparation for the miniseries, and almost done season 5. I only remember smatterings of the original run, so it's been a fun romp.
For me it is season 5, 4 and 3. The Mythology was at it's strongest during season 2 and 3, they will never surpass that. And season 6 is full of really great episodes like Drive, Triangle, Monday, Tithonus, Field Trip and The Unnatural.
- Season 5 - This season has so many strong standalone episodes, such as Detour, Bad Blood, The Pine Bluff Variant and Folie à Deux. All three of the mythology two-parters were amazing. The only real weak episode in the season is Schizogeny.
- Season 4 - I think Scully's cancer arc is one of the strongest arcs in the mythology. I quite enjoyed the dark tone of this season. Again, there were very few weak points in this season.
- Season 3 - Some of the strongest episodes are in this season and I think that this season is when the mythology was at its peak. The Blessing Way/Paper Clip is the strongest opening to any season of the show. All three of Darin Morgan's episodes this season are a delight.
- Season 6 - The move of production from Vancouver to L.A. had a big impact on this season. I enjoy the majority of the comedy episodes in this season; however, due to the high amount of them I think that they lose their novelty, which is a shame, as they were more enjoyable when they were less frequent.
- Season 8 - The return to a darker tone after Seasons 6 and 7 was a welcome change, and I think that Robert Patrick as John Doggett was a breath of fresh air to the show. They mythology in this season was also a lot stronger than previous seasons due to it having a direction again with the search for Mulder and Scully's pregnancy.
- Season 1 - This season is a very mixed bag. It includes some of the best episodes in the series such as Ice, but then also includes very poor episodes such as Shapes. However, the nostalgia surrounding the season and the excitement from seeing Mulder and Scully together for the first time is why it ranks high than Season 2.
- Season 2 - The mythology episodes in this season are really strong due to everything being new and not contradicting previous facts. There are also many great episodes this season. I didn't like Scully having a smaller role in the first few episodes, but know this couldn't be avoided due to Gillian's pregnancy.
- Season 9 - I feel that the writers didn't know what to do with Scully this season since David Duchovny had left the show but Gillian Anderson had stayed. The MOTW episodes that focus on Doggett and Reyes are really strong, such as 4-D, John Doe, Hellbound, Audrey Pauley and Improbable, but the mythology suffers from a focus on Mulder when he is absent and the super soldier storyline, which wasn't well thought out. I feel the season could have been better if Gillian had just left the show too and the focus was solely on Doggett and Reyes. Season 8 finished with what I thought was a perfect emotional conclusion for Mulder and Scully.
- Season 7 - I like the majority of the episodes in this season, but there are very few that stand out as the best the show can produce. X-Cops, Je Souhaite and Requiem are the only top-tier episodes in this season. The rest are either good but don't stand out, or suffer from being dull, which makes them drag. It also includes First Person Shooter and Fight Club, two of the worst episodes in the show.
I put 7 at the end. But in truth I could have swapped with season 1. It's hard to rank these two.
They both contain some of the absolute worst episodes of the entire series and both feature more than a handful of forgetful, less-than-average-but-watchable MOTW episodes with stupid ideas or bad visual FX. Season 1 has a higher quota of great/classic episodes, Season 7 literally has one (and two that come close), but they both have their fair share of suck.
It's a trade off, honestly, I can't rank one higher than the other. Season 1 has more heart and soul, but lacks production values and direction, Season 7 feels almost soulless, but has way more production values (yet still lacks direction).
I'd probably give a slight edge to Season 1 just for nostalgia, but neither is better (or worse) than the other.
I'm completely obsessed with Scully's look right now, and I recently went on a shopping spree at Ulta looking for something similar (no luck really). I actually hate lipstick for the most part, so I'm also looking for a good formula that works for me, which makes it difficult.
Revlon's Rum Raisin is lovely, and Nudie Red by Pacifica is VERY close...though the latter smells like clay and is slightly drying. I still wear it often!
I just bought Wet n Wild Sandstorm today because I've been looking for a 90s brown and when it's a bit faded it looks really close to her lip color, at least on me. I can't get a picture right now but it's only $1.99 at every drugstore/supermarket I've seen.