Today is August 9th. Also more importantly it is Queen Gillian Anderson's birthday. (Also Anna Kendrick's as well and the universe needs to get these two in a movie together as soon as possible.) There is no doubt that Gillian's most famous and well-known role in tv or movies is as Dana Scully on The X-Files. In my humble opinion, over the course of nine seasons and two movies Gillian was able to make Special Agent Dana Scully into one of the best characters in television history. The scientific yang to Fox Mulder's paranormal believer yang, Scully was always there to question all of the stuff happening each episode but also always having Mulder's back no matter the circumstance.* Also Scully is also one of the most positive role models for young ladies as she is a tough, strong character without having to sacrifice anything to be that way.
*Just one of the numerous times this is highlighted is in "Tooms". Mulder worries that Scully's career could be damaged if she helps him on the case which leads to Scully telling him "Mulder, I wouldn't put myself on the line for anybody but you."
In this post, I am going to list my 3 favorite episodes that highlight what I love about Dana Scully and Gillian's performance as Dana. The fun and tough thing about this is that I know others will pick other episodes. For that I say: GREAT!! Different opinions is a good thing because no matter what episodes you pick as her best this is a undisputable fact. DANA SCULLY IS THE BEST.
Beyond the Sea - A early season 1 episode, at the beginning of the episode we get to meet Dana's mother and father after a dinner at her house. After they leave, Scully is awaken from her sleep by a vision of her father. Just as this happens, she receives a phone call saying her father has died.
Days later, Mulder and Scully are brought into a case where a young couple has been kidnapped. The only lead is the psychic visions of Luther Lee Boggs who Mulder put away and does not trust. As they visit Boggs, Scully suddenly sees another vision of her father in the place of Luther. Then as she is about to leave, Boggs sings "Beyond the Sea", the song that played at her father's funeral and refers to Dana as "Starbuck'', her father's nickname for her. Later, Boggs tells them some things that helps Scully find one of the victims. So the big question is : IS Boggs truly on the level and does Scully really believe he has psychic ability or is Luther working with the kidnapper?
This is one of Chris Carter and Gillian Anderson's favorite episodes and you can tell why. A emotionally driven episode, this is also the first one to really focus on Dana's character. We get a glimpse of Scully's family and her relationship with her family and her beliefs. Also its a sort of role reversal episode where Scully is the one who believes and Mulder is skeptical of everything that is happening. Gillian does a wonderful job of showing vulnerability in her interactions with Boggs especially when Boggs tells her to come to his execution so she can receive her father's last message. It is shown that Scully does not go and Gillian nails the final scene when Mulder asks her why she didn't go and take the chance to hear from her father one more time. With her voice trembling she tells Mulder she knows already. When he asks how, she says simply and emotionally "He was my father."
Memento Mori- This episode and season 4 is what won Gillian her Emmy for Best Actress in a Drama series. At the beginning of the episode , Scully reads from a letter she wrote to Mulder about her cancer diagnosis. She decides to continue working after talking about it with Mulder. They head to Pennsylvania to meet with a MUFON member who has the same symptoms as Scully. Mulder and Scully find out that all but one of the members of the MUFON have died of the same cancer Scully has.
Scully goes to the hospital where the last surviving MUFON member, Penny is at. After talking with her and her doctor, Dana decides to undergo chemotherapy. Meanwhile , Mulder and the Lone Gunmen investigate a research facility in the hope of finding something to will help Scully.
Gillian delivers one of her best performances of her career. From the opening scenes where she is narrating her letter to Mulder while looking at x-rays of her cancer to her discussing it with Mulder, Scully tries to show she is not afraid of this. But little by little, her resolve cracks as she gets closer to Penny and when Penny dies, the tears and emotions all start coming out. Scully confides to Mulder in a emotional and beautiful scene in the hospital hallway. Mulder tells her that they will find a way to solve this. Scully tells him that she will continue to fight and work with this cancer to prove something to him, her family and most importantly to herself. Mulder understand and one of the best moments of the show is Scully's smile to him and their embrace in the hallway. A wonderful moment that led to a well-deserved award for Gillian.
Bad Blood- A episode that shows off Gillian's comedic side (As well As David's too). It starts off with Mulder shooting a young man who he thinks is a vampire but revealed to only be wearing dentures. So Mulder and Scully have to tell their sides of the story and as they are telling each other what happened, we see what they think of each other and themselves.
This is probably the funniest episode of the show and we get to see Gillian flex her comedic muscles. From a scene where in Mulder's version she tells Mulder how she does everything for him "I only had cream cheese bagel and it wasn't even real cream cheese, it was light cream cheese!" to in Scully's version her exacerbation at Mulder's crazy theories and her reaction to Mulder's denial of singing the Shaft theme while drugged up. Such a fun episode and one of the most quotable episodes of the series.