DSR - Opposites Attract, in Small Doses

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DSR - Opposites Attract, in Small Doses

Post by ipsofacto144 on Sat 17 Dec 2011, 17:31

Hi all! I'm new here, but a big-time shipper of DSR, and I've come here with some reasons why I love DSR that are seemingly different than what most people love about the ship. I was told I had some interesting thoughts and that it'd be cool if I share them with fellow DSR shippers, so, here I am! Please bear with me, I haven't talked at such length about 'ships like this before (I have never really been apart of a 'ship community, out of fear of the opposing fanbases), so my thoughts may be a bit jumbled and gushy and long (I wrote more and more as I tried to better explain myself) but I think I can make my point clearly enough.
I apologize in advance if this is going to be a confusing waste of time to read; if there's anything I can hope to clarify, I will! blush Oh, and if anyone read the post by Allie on Semper Fi's Addicted page posted recently, that was me. blush Maybe these thoughts here can make more sense if you see how I feel about DSR from a big picture scale. Anyhow... So, here go my seemingly-endlessthoughts!


I'm sure a lot of DSR fans like to argue this ship is remarkable; one to be shipped because Doggett and Scully are so much alike and suit each other. It's very true, and that's the beauty of their relationship with each other; they've never had to fight each other's beliefs and opinions or work several years to reach an understanding of, as well as a bond with one another. They didn't have to dig through each other's souls to understand one another. There were disagreements at first but they built up a wonderful alliance with each other rather quickly, and remained solid even through the threats MSR and DRR posed; they at least remained friends, even though they were distanced. Together they were a balanced pair of agents, complementing each other well with their admirable character traits - they're a couple of outstanding people who are deeply caring, emotional but level-headed, and work through their personal struggles with their personal relationships and their work in the FBI.

However there's another wonderful, contrasting layer, there, to their relationship that for me increases their compatibility as friends - and more - quite nicely. This layer to their relationship is their own contrasting personal traits, thoughts and actions. Think of the MSR, and its [sad, but] undeniable status as the most accepted pairing in TXF. Why do people enjoy it so much? I believe most of the wild popularity stemmed from Mulder's and Scully's vast differences in character - the old "opposites attract" notion of what makes a good relationship. An interesting one, for the most part.

I've found through a lot of 'ships that I support and the opposing 'ships I see that "opposites attract" is rather overrated and sets up relationships for plenty of turmoil and even failure much of the time. Case in point the rocky MSR, though when the two finally did start interacting on a romantic level with one another, their years of bickering, incomprehension of each other, and their goals and beliefs had just become a gigantic block in their way. And then when it came to romance, it quickly suffered because of Mulder's painfully deep involvement in uncovering the FBI alien conspiracies and Scully's lacking of as much determination to expose them, separating them because of the choices they made, what they acted on, and who they were. They do end up together with a lasting relationship, but is this really healthy for them? For Scully it certainly isn't; she compromised her beliefs and even her own lifestyle (think of those family gatherings she ditched to be with Mulder on some goose chase....), lost so much just to be on the same track and level as Mulder, which later led to love. Doesn't feel like a good foundation. And DSR in contrast is so appealing because of the similarities of Doggett and Scully and all the suffering they didn't put each other through in order to get to know and start a bond with each other.

But. Total sameness or numerable similarities between love-interest/'ship characters can dull things out or maybe lead to nothing at all. So in some cases, "opposites attract" in smaller doses can be quite nice; when it's subtler and creates more of a balance between characters as opposed to pitting them at opposite ends of a personality spectrum. Case in point, DSR. I don't believe it's discussed very much in a positive light (some of their differences have caused bickering and distanced the two at times), but those differences in character, personality and attitude between John Doggett and Dana Scully actually helped, in my personal opinion, to build their friendship [once again, also, possible romance] to a very solid, stable, and healthy level, just as much as their positive similarities did. The differences between the two posed albeit smaller roadblocks for them to overcome in their relationship, which I think helped them understand each other - and, done more easily, less painfully, and in a more natural way.

Here are some important things I've noted, which may be broad and expressed a bit confusingly due to my difficulty trying to explain all of this (like I said, lack of experience thoroughly discussing 'ships), but this is what I have come up with. Inevitably I've had to use MSR examples to show just how well the opposites in Doggett and Scully work in contrast to how it worked for Mulder and Scully. I'll try to back up what I'm saying as much as possible with episode references, but my memory's a bit poor and I have been watching this over a span of 5 months. I'm going back and rewatching season 8, and I'll update this post with any solid references I find, but if anyone has an example that supports or even questions what I'm saying, that'd be awesome to hear. I mainly just want to hear what other people think of this, because though these opposites in Doggett and Scully are profound for their relationship, in my opinion, they're subtler in comparison to their agreeable interactions with one another that makes their ship so stable and so loved by those who support it. I still love Doggett for Scully over Mulder because of Doggett's maturity and perpetual compassion for those around him, just as Scully is. Their similarities are the makings of a beautiful relationship [and possible romance], but just taking into mind these examples of disagreements or differences in character more than you would at face-value can add even more appreciation to DSR...


My first example helps illustrate how some of their differences make for a very strong and able partnership between the two, moreso than Scully and Mulder. Remember how Doggett and Scully proved to make more arrests together on the X-Files than Scully and Mulder did? I believe it's because Doggett and Scully had better teamwork and a more strengthened partnership with each other. This partnership was strong for many reasons, because of their shared level-headedness, seriousness, and delicacy with handling cases. But it's also likely because of their different reactions to taking action in a crisis or attack on them or people involved within the case - how they jump into the action when something's going down. Agent Doggett, most likely due to his extensive experience in the military as well as the NYC police force, is very quick to jump into the 'battlefield', so to speak, and take action when there's a dangerous situation at hand. He's unafraid most of the time to confront whatever's attacking or posing a threat to people, and has proven time and again that when he so quickly dives into the action, he's very capable of handling combat. Or even just the dangerous parts of a case, the field action at all. Agent Scully, on the other hand, is useful to cases in a somewhat less active way. She seems somewhat hesitant to make confrontations, and when it comes to fending off the creatures and baddies, it seems that Scully is more likely to jump in when the situation is at its most dangerous and backup is definitely required. Not to say she's a coward, in fact, she proves very useful backup, coming in with thoughtful strategy and careful attacking or entrapment to save her partner and/or finally do in whatever's causing trouble. Scully for years has been doing this, saving Mulder's hide especially, having to pull out the big guns several times. One interesting example is the episode "First Person Shooter", in which Scully finally takes serious initiative against Maitreya, plunging into the game to save Mulder's hide and do away with her once and for all. She had been working on the more scientific and investigative nature of the case, working with the creators of the game as well as The Lone Gunmen to find a program-based method of disabling the seemingly unstoppable female fighter.

With Agent Doggett this hide-saving business wasn't as much of a problem, and Scully on several accounts was able to safely provide information and data in regards to cases to help out with the fieldwork. She was obviously always apart of the fieldwork, just as she always has been, but some cases that utilized the combined efforts of Doggett's field skills, Scully's adept researching and info and data gathering, and their combined abilities behind the scenes or on the field were just incredibly successful, or at least more successful and garnering more satisfying results, than some other X-Files cases.... Because Doggett was so able in the field, he allowed for a balanced teamwork of fighting with attacks and background knowledge, which resulted in less hide-saving to have happen and more efficient work accomplished. Mulder was average in battle, but his teamwork with Scully was inbalanced and didn't allow for each individual's differing case-closing abilities to be put to use. Doggett and Scully's reactions to taking action were very different but worked very well. "Medusa" is probably one of the best episode examples of this, showcasing what truly brilliant teamwork and individual abilities can do for the X-Files cases, with Doggett and Scully participating in this amazing work. Scully made the right call in staying above to survey the situation in the subway from above, providing able Doggett with information that she quickly gathered to resolve the case even quicker. They may not have been able to stop the corrupt cover-up going on about the happenings in the subway but they made a major breakthrough and their work together was undeniably brilliant and a joy to watch. And it wouldn't have gone so well had it not been for their different preferred methods of approach to cases, and how it worked in harmony due to their capabilities in communication and melding their methods together to solve things.


This next example is one of my favorites. It shows how their differences made their relationship stronger and more stably built up. I believe, in part, that that laid within their varying degrees of trust in people, and especially in each other. Doggett seemed to easily trust Scully after seeing her potential as well as good nature. He never feared her or mistrusted her, at least not to a great extent. Scully though, fearing the conspiracies of the FBI and those who enforced them, initially immensely distrusted Doggett, especially because he was handpicked by Kersh to lead a sketchy, futile taskforce to find Mulder. Nothing about that sounded trustworthy, even I can admit that I would probably be very wary of Doggett if I were in Scully's shoes. [however as a viewer it was easier to believe in him, probably because he was a long-lasting main character, and I it should be safe to assume he was trustworthy if he lasted that long and in that status] But this distrust in Doggett, her reluctance to feel safe in his hands and that he wasn't reporting every word or act to Kersh, made her eventual acceptance, friendship, partnership and alliance with Doggett all the more satisfying and real. It was a built-up, damn-near unbreakable trust. When you work to earn and achieve someone's trust, it is often long-lasting and stronger than trust that is gained easily or immediately. People having to prove themselves, show who they are to earn trust strengthens the relationship this trust is built for, and is harder to lose than a trust that is mostly earned straight from the start, based on hunches of a person's character, can be broken easily and really hurt strong relationships founded upon them, because trust goes hand-in-hand with loyalty, and without loyalty... there's nothing. Anyhow. Scully always trusted Mulder, it seems, straight from the start, because, probably, for one thing he was a bit of a kook, harmless as a fly. She was pretty much assigned to the X-Files, to work with Mulder, to keep an eye on him and essentially babysit him, mister Spooky. She didn't have any reason to distrust him; he was just some eccentric believer in the occult searching for something she didn't believe he'd ever find. He wasn't a horrible person to deal with, either, he was a pretty nice person. And Mulder trusted Scully probably because of her innocence, compassion, and obliviousness and lack of government and FBI corruption. She was relatively new to the FBI, and didn't have the experience, the years behind her badge to show for any possible involvement in the cover-ups, the experiments, and the overall conspiracy that he was at the time slowly unraveling. She was also friendly and caring, even towards him. So they trusted each other, it seems, almost straight from the beginning, and they trusted each other a little too much. It led Scully into horrific situations, losing her sister, losing her fertility, at times losing her faith and what she chose to believe in and keep her grounded in the world. It led Mulder to constant disappointment in Scully, lone adventures out of frustration in her skepticism, adventures which resulted in much disaster. Overall they placed so much trust within each other that they seemed to set themselves up for more hurt when they inevitably let each other down or wrought pain or trouble upon one another, intentionally or not. Nothing terrible - at least, nothing life-damaging or life-altering - occurred to Doggett or Scully in the course of their partnership as a result of the trust they built and placed within each other and their capabilities. This was because the earned trust was earned and I believe Scully really gave herself the chance to see the merits Doggett had, and the benefits of granting him trust. Doggett asked for Scully's trust when it wasn't there only when it mattered and was needed and deserved. He never had hidden motives for desiring her trust, he was trying to earn it neither to backstab her in Kersh's favor or to gain help for pursuing his own personal goals or desires. He just wanted trust that this fact of being free of ulterior motives was true of him, and that whatever he said was for a reason, and was never trying to damage the FBI, Scully, or other believers and conspirators.

Doggett's easy trust in Scully led to him seeing early on how incredible a person and agent she was, and Scully's initial distrust of Doggett led to a build-up of eventual trust based on what she learned about Doggett through experiences with him and seeing his good nature firsthand and in use. A strong trust and relationship built from the varying degrees of trust these two decide to grant to people. I think the fact that Scully could seriously and safely trust Doggett with her life, more than anything, is one of the most beautiful parts of the DSR - Doggett can always be trusted with her life, to take care of her and to keep her out of danger as much as possible, and Doggett can trust Scully as a kind, intelligent, and helpful agent and person whose ethics and motivations are incredibly admirable and innocent. There was never a need to seriously fear [Scully occasionally became suspicious, just because of the years of crap she went through] that the trust they placed within each other was damning, and they got along a lot better because of this, I believe. =]


Then there's the simple differences in skepticism. Scully, by the time she meets Doggett, has pretty much become a believer, or at least extremely open-minded to the possibilities of the paranormal. Doggett is pretty much the new 'Scully' when it comes to the skeptic of the show; he refuses to believe in things which he cannot see and which cannot be proven concretely, but when there is no other explanation for the goings-on in a case he may break down his barrier a little and open his mind up to the possibilities, still questioning, however... They never come to full agreements with each other about the paranormal, but neither of them tries to cram each other's beliefs down the other's throat. Doggett keeps Scully in check, and Scully helps Doggett see what is needed to see. But neither do this forcefully, and both of them only did this when it was necessary. It helped them work better together, and changed each other a little for the better, presenting each other with the possibilities or the lack thereof. Sometimes Doggett needed to open his mind a little, sometimes Scully needed to consider the possible consequences of actions involving pursuing the paranormal, what it could do to her, and how she needed to keep level-headed and safe for not just herself but also for William. And both learned to turn down their strong opinions once in a while, for the better. And as stated, it was never forced upon each other, they were just trying to guide each other in the right direction. With Mulder, it felt like he was always patronizingly lecturing Scully or guilting her into believing in his theories and ditching her skepticism. Sure he was correct about paranormal elements existing in the world, but was Scully losing her skepticism entirely really necessary? No, and in the DSR it seems that both parties can peacefully get along, while sometimes trying to guide each other to the right frame of mind or agreeing without having to push the envelope. Neither had to compromise who they were or what they believed in to be accepted or understood by the other, and they learned to grow a little bit as individuals from each other's points of view on matters of life. It felt so healthy in their relationship.


There are a few more examples I have, but these are the best ones I've come up with. I love the DSR so much, and mainly because John and Scully are so peacefully well-matched, and both incredibly decent and kindhearted people, underneath their layers of complication and tough exteriors. They're conscientious, strong, independent, compassionate, and so many other great things, and these positive traits they share make their relationship so beautiful to watch develop, and hope to develop further. And combined with their opposing character traits, ideals and personalities, which built up their relationship as well, their ship is all the more real, natural, and "three-dimensional", in the literary sense of the term (i.e. "three-dimensional characters", which Doggett and Scully are, as well 8]). Capable of change and having so much more to them than what the eye can see, than what is initially exhibited. DSR is so well-rounded and amazing. Writing this just made me feel even more sure of their potential. =] I hope I was able to make my thoughts clear enough to other fans of the DSR, and that I'm not the only one making sense of this. >.<; Dx More than happy to clear anything up in this post. ^.^; Sorry again for the length!


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Re: DSR - Opposites Attract, in Small Doses

Post by jsabat28 on Sat 17 Dec 2011, 20:38

I have to agree about the MSR...It was okay, with the bickering and the loyalty , through Scully's cancer storyline...but it really shattered when Mulder was "Returned" and he became a self-obsessed jerk.

And I completely agree with Doggett and Scully complimenting each other.
I think "Roadrunners" is a perfect example of Doggett pulling Scully back from the 'believing in the paranormal' precipice..granted he also had to pull a worm out of her neck, but still.
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Re: DSR - Opposites Attract, in Small Doses

Post by ipsofacto144 on Sun 18 Dec 2011, 19:49

jsabat28 wrote:I have to agree about the MSR...It was okay, with the bickering and the loyalty , through Scully's cancer storyline...but it really shattered when Mulder was "Returned" and he became a self-obsessed jerk.

And I completely agree with Doggett and Scully complimenting each other.
I think "Roadrunners" is a perfect example of Doggett pulling Scully back from the 'believing in the paranormal' precipice..granted he also had to pull a worm out of her neck, but still.

Yeah, I definitely agree Mulder was a real jerk when he came back in season 8. =T He reminded me of a child, to be honest; it seemed his immaturity was just amplified since the last time we'd seen him... He was more than just reasonably suspicious of Doggett, he was pretty harsh, and he was even more independently-acting when it came to the X-Files...and especially since he wasn't an agent anymore, it was just... *sigh* He treated so many people like dirt or like they were beneath him. =[ I wonder what happened to him... He could've provided some interesting "competition" for the DSR but I couldn't take him seriously at anything at all anymore. =/

Mm, they do complement each other don't they? I feel like the satisfying, awesome way they get along is one reason they do so, they kind of show the audience all their best sides when they're together, showing their similarities with each other. And then they just complement each other with those little tiny opposites they have, just balancing things out between them more...

Yeah! And lol, those are two perfect examples from the same episode... He pulled her back to reality - but not forcefully - but also saved her life pulling out that slug/worm thing. x3 He never disappoints, IMO. I'm actually rewatching 8 right now and I'm about to start Roadrunners... I'll update this post here when I finish it so I can elaborate little, lol.
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Re: DSR - Opposites Attract, in Small Doses

Post by jsabat28 on Sun 18 Dec 2011, 20:15

Have you watched season 8 before?
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Re: DSR - Opposites Attract, in Small Doses

Post by ipsofacto144 on Sun 18 Dec 2011, 20:22

^Oh, yeah. I'm in the middle-ish of 9 actually, but I'm already rewatching 8, for a couple of reasons... 9 being a bit ugh and I want to rewatch for the DSR [for this post and just cuz x3]
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Re: DSR - Opposites Attract, in Small Doses

Post by jsabat28 on Sun 18 Dec 2011, 20:27

makes sense.
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Re: DSR - Opposites Attract, in Small Doses

Post by Cassiopeia on Thu 22 Dec 2011, 11:32

A mini-novel smile Yay! cheer I just skimmed over what you wrote because I have limited time online at the moment, I'll get back to commenting on what you said when I get back from vacation in the first week or so of January smile I just wanted to let you know that I am around and reading what you've posted.
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Re: DSR - Opposites Attract, in Small Doses

Post by ipsofacto144 on Thu 22 Dec 2011, 16:55

^Glad to hear you've found lol, the accurately-described mini-novel. Hehe... ^.^; Well, that sounds cool, have fun with the rest of your vacation, and, yeah, I'll be glad to hear your thoughts on this later!
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