Re: The X-Files
I don't mind the Mulder/Scully romance. It's not the dealbreaker for me that it is for fans (or for Chris Carter). I think Informant's opinion that Mulder and Scully had no business getting romantic, full-stop, is a very strange opinion for a writer. Writers, by their nature, should see the possibilities in any avenue; whether or not they care to explore them is a different question.
Chris Carter is not really a writer who thinks in terms of characterization. Instead, characters are mouthpieces for a certain point of view. Mulder was the believer. Scully was the skeptic. That was the end of it as far as he was concerned. He felt that it was up to the actors to make these icons feel like people; he stuck to writing the believer and the skeptic. And that was fine and well and good. The show certainly could have carried on for 11 seasons and two films with Mulder and Scully as professional colleagues who, due to their hangups and traumas and repressions and demons, would never be a couple.
Seasons 1 - 5 present a near infinite number of reasons as to why Mulder and Scully shouldn't be a couple. They are complete loners for the most part with no life outside their work. Scully's daddy issues have made it difficult for her to bond with others; the death of her sister traumatized her from forming new relationships with others. Mulder is tormented by his sister's disappearance, his parents' complicity and his penchant for pornography made it quite clear: despite having sexual desires, he simply doesn't allow himself anything except for the X-Files.
"War of the Copraphages" have Mulder bringing a town to disaster with his paranoia; "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose" present Mulder and Scully as detached from human experience; "Never Again" indicates that Mulder and Scully's relationship is profoundly toxic and dysfunctional -- they are horrible for each other because Mulder is a selfish, myopic misfit and Scully is a self-isolating workaholic.
But FIGHT THE FUTURE had Mulder and Scully almost kiss, interrupted only by a bee. Once that happened, there was no going back. And it could have been fine except due to Carter's discomfort with romance (and characterization in general), the romantic arc was badly mishandled despite being strangely well-written. Season 6 has Mulder and Scully kicked off the X-Files Division. They are no longer partners. They are no longer assigned X-Files cases. For 12 episodes, almost half of Season 6, Mulder and Scully were cut off from the central concept of the series.
It had almost no effect on the show's storytelling engine whatsoever. "Drive" has Mulder and Scully blundering into an X-File, "Triangle" shows that Mulder will pursue them outside of work hours. However, the removal of the X-Files from THE X-FILES led to a focus on Mulder and Scully as the show rather than their work.
In "Triangle," when Mulder fears he might die, he kisses a Scully lookalike and later tells the real Scully that he loves her (to which she replies, "Oh, brother," thinking it's the pain medication talking). "Dreamland I - II" have Mulder and Scully travelling to Area 51 with the two arguing along the way, Scully wondering why they are chasing aliens when it's not their job, when these are their off-hours, when she and Mulder could be living normal lives. "This is a normal life," Mulder says dismissively.
The "Dreamland" two-parter, simply from the teaser, makes it clear that even when Mulder and Scully aren't working on the X-Files, they will spend their spare time together. Following paranormal events. Seeking strangeness to explore. The significance of the teaser is easily missed, but given the context of the episodes leading up to it, it's impossible to see Mulder and Scully as anything but a couple (romantic or not) who like to get together to look into weird events in the peculiar universe that they inhabit.
At this point, with Mulder trying to kiss Scully and Scully being receptive in FIGHT THE FUTURE followed by Mulder telling Scully he loves her in "Triangle" and "Dreamland" establishing that they don't need the X-Files to be partners, the stage was set for Mulder and Scully to truly become a couple. "How the Ghosts Stole Christmas" show that Scully, despite her stated complaints, would actually be happy to stake out a haunted house with Mulder on Christmas Eve rather than spend it with her family.
And then we go to "The Rain King" where Scully tells a woman whose best friend has fallen for her that sometimes, we get close to someone as a friend but then one day, we may come to find that someone we saw as a colleague and associate has become the only life partner we could ever dream of. Later, on the dance floor, we see Mulder and Scully standing separately but dancing in perfect sync to the music, neither one noticing that the other is in step.
If Mulder and Scully were being written as characters permitted to drive their own story (as Informant has always advised), this is where the romance would have started. But it didn't; Mulder and Scully never notice and then Diana Fowley, Mulder's ex(-wife?) returned to the show to make Scully jealous and put her at odds with Mulder.
It didn't make any sense. David Duchovny was deeply frustrated by Season 6 teasing a Mulder and Scully romance but not delivering. He said that it was clear to him: the writers were holding off on a romance until the series finale and without any finale in sight, they wouldn't complete the arc. To him, this made the show creatively corrupt and he wanted out. Season 7 attempted to have the romance in a very non-committal fashion where Mulder and Scully may or may not be an offscreen couple, allowing Chris Carter to ignore it (although he was seized by the idea of Scully ending the season pregnant).
The truth is that if Carter wanted Mulder and Scully kept separate, it would have been very appropriate to have them couple up in "Rain King" only to discover that their respective neuroses, idiosyncrasies and peculiarities (as established in Seasons 1 - 5) would make it impossible for them to work together and be a couple. They could have played out the romance and moved on to where Mulder and Scully ended up anyway by Season 10: the amicable exes. Or they could have kept them a couple and gone the Season 7 route a little earlier with a focus on their professional lives but an episode here or there that dealt with their off-duty lives.
One of the best and worst episodes of Season 6 is "Arcadia" where Mulder and Scully go undercover as husband and wife. It's very cute. But it's surprisingly simplistic where Mulder and Scully grumble about chores and attention when Season 1 - 5 had introduced plenty of more individual and specific reasons for why they would chafe: Mulder is a slob with no room in his life for intimacy; Scully is a neatfreak and has no tolerance for an overgrown college student. Mulder has no interest in socializing with the neighbours; Scully wants to contribute to the community. And so forth.
But what we got from the series as a whole wasn't Mulder and Scully getting together because it made sense at that point or staying apart for good and valid reasons. They were kept apart from Season 6 to the last few episodes of Season 7 because the showrunner rejected the proposal; they finally got together in "all things" because the actress rejected his rejection.
To me, "Plus One" represented the best of Carter's suspense and horror writing and the worst of his character-oriented writing. The horror story is pretty good, but the conversations between Mulder and Scully are incomprehensible.
Why is Scully lying in Mulder's arms worrying that Mulder might find a younger woman to bear his children? Is she unaware that they're in bed together? Has she met this dysfunctional mess of a man with no interest in sex outside Scully who satiates any desires with porn? Why is Mulder flirting with Scully like they haven't had a child and spent a good portion of 2000 and then 2002 to 2008 living together in a common-law marriage? Why is Scully acting like sex with Mulder is a desire she wouldn't ever voice when they've been spending their off-hours going on vacations to Nevada since 1998?
I don't think Chris Carter knows who these people are outside one being the believer and the other being the skeptic.