15 times The X-Files’ Dana Scully was the best character on TV

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4. When she gives Mulder a little credit (but only a little bit)

The typical perception of Scully is that she is a thematic and logical counterpart to her FBI partner, Fox Mulder. Where Mulder is believing to the point of gullibility, Scully is the skeptic extraordinaire. When Mulder waxes poetic about psychics and aliens, Scully is there to put the kibosh on his rambling. See, for example, her exasperated response to his rambling in season three’s “Pusher”: “Please explain to me the scientific nature of the whammy.”

Except it’s not always that simple. Sure, some writers for The X-Files fell prey to the simplistic dichotomy of the believing Mulder and the downer Scully. However, some of the best episodes show their relationship in a more complicated light. After all, Scully often admits that enough evidence could convince her of even the craziest things. During the course of the series, it eventually does just that.

But, as it turns out, Scully’s skepticism is unsettled in the very first episode of the series.

In the creatively named “Pilot,” we’re introduced to the basement-dwelling Mulder as Scully first joins up with him. She soon begins to think this new assignment was a huge mistake, given that Mulder is firmly convinced that aliens exist and are controlling the world via a shadowy, secret government conspiracy. It’s a lot to deal with on your first day at a new job.

Still, by the end of the episode, there’s enough evidence that Scully begins to think twice about her dismissive attitude. The duo experience missing time, find strange metal implants, and learn that vital government files are conveniently absent. It’s not enough to turn her into a true believer, but Scully gives Mulder the benefit of the doubt and stays on with the X-Files.