Dana Scully

Dana Scully

    The X-Files
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Grew Up... in a close-knit Catholic home in Maryland. She was attracted to science at a very early age, studying physics and eventually going to medical school. But she maintained her religious faith despite it often being challenged by science and, especially, the paranormal activity she witnesses. To demonstrate her beliefs, she always wears a gold cross necklace as part of her work “uniform.”

Living... in Washington D.C. in a little mentioned apartment, presumably used only for sleeping and other purely functional purposes.

Profession... FBI agent partnered with Fox Mulder to investigate the X-Files, cases featuring paranormal activity labeled as "unsolvable" by the rest of the bureau. Scully is brought in as a foil to the eccentric Mulder to keep in check his conspiracy theories and belief in extraterrestrial life. However, the events that they witness together, usually requiring more than just a scientific explanation, make it pretty difficult for Dana to remain a skeptic.

Interests... science and logic. Scully is driven by these values and puts them higher than anything else. She feels the need to explain everything through scientific reasoning and is frightened by the concept of not being able to, even when something seems completely unexplainable.

Relationship Status... single. Scully has various short-lived romances, always leading to not-so-subtle jealousy from partner, Mulder. Their relationship is overtly business, but does have a great deal of romantic undertones as they spend countless hours together and clearly care about each other a great deal.

Challenge... overcoming the biases of her scientific background and natural skepticism. Even when faced with completely inexplicable occurrences in the field, Scully tries to rationalize them with science, rarely able to admit that some things may not have a logical answer. In her words, "Many of the things I have seen have challenged my faith and my belief in an ordered universe, but this uncertainty has only strengthened my need to know, to understand, to apply reason to those things that seem to defy it."

Personality... doubtful and reluctant to change, but curious. While investigating the X-Files, Scully witnesses things that would likely force a great paradigm shift in one’s thinking; however, she is still hesitant. She is clearly overwhelmed with much of what she sees, stating, "In your FBI training, you are confronted with cases, the most terrible and violent cases. You think you can look into the face of pure evil. And then you find yourself paralyzed by it." But she never stops searching for answers.


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