X-Files – Pilot – dialogue part i

Let’s look at this scene where Scully is called to a meeting and given her task of investigating Agent Mulder.

What can we learn from the dialogue in this scene?

Let’s look at Chris Carter’s action line after the first chunk of dialogue from Blevins. He says:
  • reading through to the subtext here.

So, what’s the subtext? It isn’t directly apparent that there is subtext, but Carter says there is. He tells us, with Scully’s next line:

  • Am I to understand you want me to debunk the X-files project, sir?

Carter writes ‘A tensile silence’. Tensile is an interesting word, which I had to look up.

  1. relating to tension.
  2. capable of being drawn out or stretched.

Blevins responds: Agent Scully, we trust you’ll make the proper scientific analysis.

In his answer Blevins response sets out Scully’s role for the rest of the episode. What we’ll find is that when Mulder poses his metaphysical theories, Scully often responds with ‘scientific analysis.’ So, we could say that the dialogue of this minor character, Chief Belvins, points us to, or foreshadows, the kind of dialogue we can expect from the main character, Scully.

In fact, when Scully finally agrees with Mulder about his theories, in a fit of hysterical laughter in the cemetery at the 35 / 36 minute mark, it is arguably at the end of Act 2.

Act 2 is traditionally the ‘all is lost’ moment in screenwriting structure, what Blake Snyder calls ‘visit to death.’

So, is this line from Chief Blevins, about Scully making proper scientific analysis, foreshadowing Scully’s ‘all is lost / visit to death’ moment at the end of Act 2 regarding her belief that all unexplained phenomena can be explained by scientific analysis?

What do you think?

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