I have some odd things I saved from th old forum that I'll me pasting over the next few days. If I remeber this was one of Dole's posts
I think you perfectly summarized the entirety of their relationship with this line: They have not two truths but two sides of the same reality. This, for me, has always been the essence of what made Mulder and Scully work so well. I suppose it's also why it irks me when I see movie critics calling their relationship 'on-again, off-again' or 'volatile,' or see a small handful of non-canon fans call their relationship 'failing' simply because they did not like having the relationship take on more of a focus in IWTB. To me, these classifications are not only incorrect but downright insulting to the extensive character development that they both underwent - and continue to undergo - together. Opposites attract but compliments last, and Mulder and Scully are each of these qualities. They are complimentary opposites in that they bring out the best in each other in ways no one else ever could, challenging the other's ways of thinking and, in doing so, encouraging the other to open their mind and look at all perspectives. Yet, when you strip away their opposite viewpoints, they really aren't that different at the core. They're both flawed individuals who are extremely independent and stubborn; they're both single-minded and passionate about what they believe the truth to be (Mulder in the paranormal, Scully in faith and science); they were both workaholics who chose to sacrifice their personal lives to their quest for the truth; and, as you so eloquently pointed out, they've shared similiar experiences with past relationships because of their inability to emotionally let anyone into their world. For Scully, her main defensive mechanism was to focus on her strength, refusing to show the slightest weakness. For Mulder, his main defensive mechanism was dedicating himself so obsessively to the paranormal, thus detaching himself from having to deal with the normal.
I also think how you broke down their past relationships is quite interesting and accurate. Phoebe Green and Diana Fowley are indeed cut from the same cloth - they are 'domineering' and, noticably, seemed to hold a superior mentality in alluding they didn't think he could manage without them. Likewise, Jack Willis and Daniel Waterston are cut from the same 'father figure' cloth, men who were in a position of authority over her with whom she could seek approval from. Incidentally, if you consider how Mulder and Scully were in the Pilot, they would fit these exact prototypes to each other. Scully was an emotionally unavailable woman to Mulder, assigned to be his antagonist and shut him down. Mulder was an authorative man to Scully, the senior agent of the X-Files division.
However, their first assignment together seemed to break these standing prototypes for them. In Mulder's hotel room, they defy the very nature of their characters to this point. Scully, the strong one, turns to Mulder when she is afraid she might have contracted the same bumps as the victims of their case. She bears all to him - literally in stripping down to her bra and underwear, and figuratively in showing vulnerability to him. She is putting her emotions out there for him to see. He, in turn, responds by revealing his deepest vulerability to her, telling her about Samantha and her abduction.
This, so early on, was the turning point. Instead of becoming enemies, which the FBI intended them to be, they are becoming connected on a much more personal level. She saw the man underneath the 'Spooky' nickname, and was geniunely fascinated by him. She knew that he had been on the fast track to a highly respectable career as the best analyst in Violent Crimes, but chose to leave it behind to pursue the road less traveled. This brazenness, this defiance, in itself must have appealed to her. Because of her need for approval, and how bothered she was not having her father's approval when she made her decision to join the FBI, she probably admired this quality in him. He is someone who simply didn't care if he had approval or not. She wanted to know what made him tick. There was just enough unexplainable about him to keep her wanting more, hoping to put reason to it. For Mulder's part, I think he was fascinated by her interest in him. It had him clearly taken aback initially, then left him wondering exactly why a scientist like her would care. He was trying to figure her out. He was unlike anyone she had ever met, and she was unlike anyone he had ever met.
This broke their previous molds. Suddenly, Mulder had someone who was associating closely with his quest. She cared more about him personally than anything she could get from him. Neither Green or Fowley were capable of expressing such intense devotion to him. And, suddenly, Scully had someone who didn't treat her as a subservient. He valued her as an equal, openly acknowledging that she made him a whole person. I highly doubt Waterston or Willis would have done this.
I saw their impulse resistence to this shift that was taking place in their one-night stands. After Scully's abduction, Mulder is left with the shocking realization of how affected he is by her absence. He risks his life to try and find her, and goes into a blind rage on Duane Barry from the thought of him hurting her. He turns to the dangerous Kristen to rebel against his feelings, the sense of loss he never wanted to endure again, only to tightly clutch Scully's cross necklace in his hand when this proves to be a disaster and does little to ease his pain. Scully, beginning to feel like Mulder's quest is her own, tries to rebel against how intertwined Mulder has become with her by turning to the dangerous Ed. Mulder's near confession of "yes, but it’s m --" caught her attention and, I think, her realization that their lives are merging. What happens to her happens to him, and vice versa.
Once these hurdles were cleared, I think it was a matter of nature versus the heart. By nature, like you pointed out, they viewed emotional vulnerability as a mistake. They've both been burned by it and, given their intimate friendship, were absolutely terrified of being burned by what was gradually deepening into love. Scully is the one person that Mulder cannot lose, and Mulder is the one person that Scully cannot lose. A rejection from the other would have been the greatest kind of pain. It was easier to skirt around their feelings than surrender to them and risk a broken heart. Yet, by the desire of the heart, they were continually drawn to each other like a moth to the flame. They were willing to risk their lives for each other, confide in each other, trust in each other above all else, fiercely fight for each other, and offer strength when the other was at their lowest.
The only real hurdle they truly had was themselves. They had been each other's "constant" and "one choice" all along, but they needed to do away with their old selves. They needed to finally free themselves of the fear holding them back.
Mulder's release came with 'The Sixth Extinction II: Amor Fati' and 'Closure.' In Amor Fati, he directly confronts his internal struggle. Diana Fowley represents everything that he used to be, and his dreamed life with her is the path that he could have taken. He could slow down and have a more normal, simple life. He could have someone who believes in the paranormal just like he does. But, he is not that person anymore. His time with Scully has caused him to grow, and through Scully helping him to realize what a lie it would be to deny who he has become, he realizes it is just as much of a lie to deny who has really had his heart. His words to her - "you help me," and the touchstone profession - are admissions of love without ever saying it. He is extremely open and tender. More importantly, she actually responds this time by returning the sentiment. It has become a love requited for him. Closure, like you pointed out, provides Mulder with the resolution to what had haunted him for so long. While Samantha's death will always be his inspiration to tread in the paranormal, he is finally free of his guilt. He knows the truth of what happened to her. He got the miracle he had been searching for, seeing her one last time and seeing that she is at peace. It lifts his burden from him. It allows him to dedicate himself fully to his relationship with Scully. He just has to wait for her to be ready.
Scully's release comes from 'Milagro' and 'all things.' We knew from Rain King that Mulder is the best friend who has become the only person she can imagine herself with, but Padgett's study of her outright declares it's impossible for her to fall in love when she's already in love. Observing how she interacts with Mulder, he discovers that he had misjudged her. She's unconsciously trying to get Mulder's attention. It becomes clear at the end of this episode that she already has it. All she had to do was reach out to him, and he holds her while she clings almost desperately to him. For once, she has initiated this contact. She found the courage to drop her guard and allow herself to be a woman seeking comfort instead of resisting it, and he responded to her by providing it. all things is then to Scully what Amor Fati was to Mulder. She is faced with who she used to be, the normal life she could have had if she didn't join the FBI. Daniel Waterson represents her former beliefs in how he rigidly regards science as the only answer, dismissing the alternative thinking that may have saved him. He used to be her like mind, but through her interactions with him, Scully can see she isn't this person anymore. She, too, has grown from knowing Mulder. The woman who told her sister that she didn't believe in fate is now questioning if fate has shaped her path, and the woman who hid behind a wall is at last ready to love and be loved. Everything had lead them to that defining moment.
So I flash-forward to IWTB. For me, this movie was a character study of the beliefs which subtly spanned the course of the show. Mulder and Scully left their quest behind them to create a home together and live a fairly low-key, normal life. But, because their quest was left so abruptly, there were aspects remaining unresolved. Each needed to undergo individual journeys to reinforce their overall journey. The Truth created an uncertainty for Mulder, a question of what to believe that he could only answer by looking back into the darkness he has known. Scully - afraid of losing Mulder to the darkness that forced them painfully apart in seasons 8 and 9, and afraid of causing her young patient to suffer because of a faith in God that she questions - needed to accept that denying their past was denying a big part of herself. As Mulder pointed out to her, he wasn't the one who had changed. She needed to look inside herself just as much as he did. Their sparring, more blunt now that they're a couple in love, reminded me of their sparring from the earlier seasons. It was still rational versus paranormal, but in a different context. I saw Mulder's "that's why we can't be together" as a direct challenge to her. Throughout the whole movie, she was the one who he wanted to work with. He missed being an investigating team with her like they used to be, and was hurt by her turning away. When she seemed to backtrack from what she said in the locker room, reaching out to him, he retaliated with this line to remind her of her words. He wanted her to come around, but understood she had to do so on her own and at her own pace. As it turns out, looking into the darkness allowed her to save Mulder and be there to witness the conclusion of the case. It also solidified the message she had once told him in Little Green Men: "don't give up." Don't give up on faith and, more importantly, don't give up on each other. They are strongest when they're together, and together they can overcome the darkness. And Mulder also found his answer in giving Scully the confidence to take a leap of faith and treat Christian at the end - she, not his quest, has become the most important thing to him. He's able to walk away from it and escape with her at the end. Like you said, they found solace and emotional completion by turning inwards to one another.
This natural and realistic progression through time is what makes theirs the most beautiful and profound love story I have ever seen.