And yes, I couldn’t decide on which X-Files picture I wanted. Here is another picture. I’m pathetic.
I’m an X-Files Fan. I’m a X-Phile, okay? I never missed an episode. I own the entire series, and yes, I know it’s not yet released to the public Blu Ray release date. Maybe I went to the X-Files Convention. I’m embarrassed to admit how many items I have in my nerd collection. I overanalyze every look, every touch. I occasionally use “TrustNo1” as my computer password. I read an inordinate amount of fan fiction. I know what the terms “Shipper” and “Forehead Sex” mean. I know what it means to be part of a cult fandom. I actively harass 20th Century Fox on Twitter for a 3rd movie, and I swoon whenever I see Gillian Anderson or David Duchovny together or teasing about the third movie, a fangasm, if you will.
It has been a twenty year obsession for me, and during that time, I have always looked for something to fill the deep void in my geeky heart. So, when I saw that The Killing featured an unlikely pairing with a devoted and red-headed heroine, I was admittedly quite curious. I saw fellow geeks obsessing about it on Twitter, so I stuck my toe in the water, if you will (Thanks to Netflix, I could watch the entire series at once!), and I found a fascinating character study settled neatly in a setting I found vaguely familiar. I was immediately hooked, and when I sat down to tell the Internet why an X-Phile will feel right at home watching The Killing, I totally chuckled at my list. So, for all the X-Philes out there, here’s why I think you’ll dig The Killing:
1. Like the first five seasons of The X-Files, The Killing is filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia. It is cloudy, rainy, and gray, leaving the viewer with a feeling of deep foreboding melancholy that weighs on one throughout the series. Sunshine in this series seems about as rare as a real smile from Dana Scully or Sarah Linden.
2. Strong female characters drive both The X-Files and The Killing. Dr. Dana Scully in The X-Files is an FBI Agent reluctantly partnered with Special Agent Fox Mulder to investigate unsolved cases labeled “X-Files,” to seemingly discredit Mulder’s work although she ultimately becomes his most consistent advocate. She plays the skeptic in contrast to Mulder’s consistent “believer” attitude. Her constant loyalty and drive tethers Mulder, lending credibility to his investigations and ultimately becoming his touchstone and his lover throughout the series. When she is in peril, her male counterpart, Mulder, is seemingly unable to focus on anything but securing her safety and health, even at his own peril. Similarly, Sarah Linden is a senior homicide detective for the Seattle Police Department. A former foster child, Linden managed to overcome a childhood that included her mother abandoning her at the age of five. She admitted she never stayed at a foster home for more than six months as she frequently ran away from her placement home. Accordingly, she is resistant about committed relationships. She is divorced, leaving her with a son, Jack that she supports without any financial contribution from her former spouse. After a difficult case, a friend brings her to a psychiatric ward for treatment. She ultimately ends up engaged to her psychiatrist and battle ready in the work place. When she is partnered with Stephen Holder, she is very resistant to teach him the duties of the job as she is eager to move to Sonoma and begin a new life with her fiancé. She ultimately comes to trust no but Holder after she discovers his weakness, his former addiction, and when either partner is in peril, the other will risk everything to ensure their safe return to the investigation.
3. Red Hair. Both heroines have such luscious lips and flaming red hair. The color contrasts beautifully against the gray background of Vancouver. Let’s face it: Scully and Linden totally look like avenging angels. We totally prefer our leading ladies to be gingers!
4. As an X-Phile, we are completely understanding of our leading characters spending a little time in the psych ward. Mulder accosted his boss and ended up in the psych ward, screaming for Scully. Linden had to be forcibly removed from a therapy session at the psych ward and sedated while she waited to give critical evidence to Holder. We’re pretty tolerant of total meltdowns.
5. Both partners in The X-Files and The Killing tease one another about their odd eating habits. Holder repeatedly claims he is a vegetarian while eating donuts, pork rinds, and then eventually breaking down to sausage, eggs, and bacon. Holder and Linden seemingly exist on the vending machine diet, and Holder happily feeds junk food to Linden’s son, Jack. Scully is always eating the most ridiculously healthy item she can find like non-fat tofutti rice dreamsicles, yogurt with bee pollen even though Mulder claims she is a scientist and she should know better.
6. So, Callum Keith Rennie plays Dr. Rick Felder, Linden’s fiancé in The Killing. Any X-Phile knows…this dude is shady. He was originally cast as Alex Krycrek, the most hated henchmen and antagonist on The X-Files, before he turned down the role. Then, the creep had the nerve to play Janke Danshyn in the second X-Files movie, an illegal organ transporter for his husband. He is not to be trusted. As I watched all the happy little love scenes with Linden at the beginning on The Killing, I knew. Lady, this story isn’t going to have a happy ending. Sayonara Sonoma!
7. Any respectful X-Phile knows that at any given day, your boss can be someone you accuse of treason or a person you kiss in the elevator. It just depends on the day. Mulder and Scully spend several seasons trying to determine the agenda of Assistant Director Walter Skinner. Linden and Holder seemingly have a good relationship with their superior, Oakes, before he totally flaked out, retiring and taking evidence with him. He was replaced with a generally grouchy Erik Carlson who has to be manhandled by Linden and Holder to progress any investigation.
8. Any investigation requires a significant amount of travel time, plenty of close awkward moments for weird conversations and completely unsexy sleeping on planes, trains, and automobiles. In The Killing, we just ferries to the list.
9. Both series feature strong leading men with long, gangling limbs chasing suspects through the streets, clumsily jumping fences in the pouring rain, guns drawn heading into all sorts of dark foreboding places looking for a suspect. Most of the time, the suspect completely evades them, and Holder and Mulder resort to cell phone back-up. Nice try, guys.
10. Any X-Phile knows that it is perfectly reasonable to find your partner, the person you have literally spent every waking moment with during that day, on your couch sans shoes after work, staring at a laptop, and heckling you about the food (or lack thereof) that you have in your fridge. In The Killing, Linden occasionally just moves in with Holder until he aggravates her, but she always comes back.
11. X-Philes understand that mothers occasionally have to make impossible choices when pursuing the truth. We understand that obsession, and even though we may grieve when Scully must put William up for adoption or when Sarah must send her son to live with his father so she can resolve a case, we don’t hold it against our leading ladies. In some ways, their pain seems to make both Scully and Linden stronger protagonists.
12. Both shows feature unbelievable one-liners, usually courtesy of Fox Mulder and Stephen Holder. Mulder: “Hey, Scully, is this demonstration of boyish agility turning you on at all?” Holder: “Not now. I’m celibate. It’s not the usual convo on a first date, but it’s just something about you, Linden. It just makes me want to open up. We moving on to my diet and exercise next?”
13. Both shows also feature incredibly awkward conversations about sex between two partners with a palpable sexual tension. We loved Holder’s questioning of Linden about the federal agent that offered them some information about gang activity in Seattle. In the car, he just blurts out: “Oh snap, Linden rocked the booty call.” We also appreciated Mulder’s embittered comment about Scully’s ambiguous evening with Ed Jerse: “Congrats on making a personal appearance in the X-Files for the second time!”
14. Linden and Holder have a go-to tech guy like Mulder and Scully’s Pendrell. May he rest in peace, that is, if he is actually dead, since nobody really dies on The X-Files.
15. Both series offer a very bizarre flavor of nerd love. At first, you feel like there is absolutely no way the two leads would ever be romantically compatible, and at the end of about the second season, you are “shipping” them so hard, you are at the verge of fangasm. It’s completely why we swoon when Scully tells Mulder: “This stubbornness of yours, it’s why I feel in love with you.”