List of minor The X-Files characters
The American science fiction television series The X-Files featured a range of minor characters who appeared in multiple episode. The following list includes those characters who made several appearances in the series in minor roles. These characters helped to expand the series' overarching mythology, or fictional history.
- 1 Scott Blevins
- 2 Dr. Charles (Chuck) Burks
- 3 Luis Cardinal
- 4 Pendrell
- 5 Second Elder
- 6 Max Fenig
- 7 Theresa Hoese
- 8 Albert Hosteen
- 9 Michael Kritschgau
- 10 Richard Matheson
- 11 Arthur Dales
- 12 Billy Miles
- 13 Bill Mulder
- 14 Teena Mulder
- 15 Gibson Praise
- 16 Bill Scully
- 17 Margaret Scully
- 18 Melissa Scully
- 19 Jeremiah Smith
- 20 Cassandra Spender
- 21 Toothpick Man
- 22 Baby William
- 23 Footnotes
Section Chief Scott Blevins is portrayed by Charles Cioffi. Blevins was a top official in the Federal Bureau of Investigation who was bankrolled by Roush Pharmaceuticals, the same group that bankrolled Michael Kritschgau. In 1992, then Division Chief Blevins assigned Dana Scully to work with Fox Mulder on the X-files, cases that involved paranormal or unexplained phenomena. Blevins believed that Scully would help provide a more scientific analysis of the X-files cases.
The following year, Blevins recommended that Mulder be removed from the X-files due to Mulder's personal agenda regarding the cases. Later that year, Section Chief Joseph McGrath went over Blevins's head in an attempt to order a shut down of the X-files. Mulder and Scully would be later placed under the supervision of Assistant Director Walter Skinner, and Blevins would be placed in the position of Section Chief.
In 1997, Blevins led a joint FBI committee that was investigating the legitimacy of Mulder's work on the X-files and his apparent suicide. After Mulder was discovered alive, he testified before the committee naming Blevins as the FBI mole responsible for giving Special Agent Scully cancer and working with the government conspiracy. Blevins was subsequently killed by another member of the committee who made his death appear to be a suicide.
Dr. Charles (Chuck) Burks
Dr. Charles Burks is portrayed by Bill Dow, and appeared in a total of six episodes between 1995 and 2001. First appearing in "The Calusari"  as a digital photo expert and using the nickname Chuck, Dr. Burks was occasionally returned to as an open-minded expert more in line with Mulder's belief in the paranormal than Scully's skepticism. His contributions to X-Files investigations include aura photography  and sonic analysis, however he also delved into languages  and mysticism  (in the episode "Badlaa", in which he is introduced to John Doggett as an old friend of Fox Mulder's).
Luis Cardinal is portrayed by Lenno Britos who appeared in a total of four episodes. Cardinal was a Nicaraguan mercenary working for the Cigarette Smoking Man, briefly partnered with Alex Krycek, at which time he killed Dana Scully's sister, Melissa Scully, in a case of mistaken identity. He also shot Assistant Director Walter Skinner, who had survived. He was later taken into custody by the Washington, D.C. Police Department, and was then eliminated in prison to keep silent.
Special Agent Pendrell is portrayed by actor Brendan Beiser. Agent Pendrell first appeared as an employee of the FBI's Sci-Crime Lab who assisted Agent Scully in her investigations in the third season.
Pendrell shows a helpful demeanor, a self-deprecating nature and nurses an obvious crush on Agent Dana Scully. He provides analytical assistance to Mulder and Scully over the course of several episodes, showing a particular aptitude for working with computers and biological materials. His feelings for Scully, however, remain unrequited; in the fourth-season episode "Tempus Fugit", Pendrell runs into Scully in a bar. He seizes the opportunity to buy her a birthday drink. On his way back to Scully's table, Pendrell is caught in the crossfire of a shootout with a Syndicate assassin, taking a bullet. He subsequently dies of his wound, leaving Scully to mourn that she had never even learned his first name.
The Second Elder is portrayed by George Murdock. He is a member of the Syndicate. While it was never made clear what power the Second Elder held in the Syndicate, it is clear that he did not have the same power as the First Elder or Conrad Strughold. He seemed to be a skeptic and wanted to collaborate with the Colonists since he did not believe in the Alien rebels. The Second Elder made his first appearance in "The Red and the Black" in season 5. The Well-Manicured Man showed photos of the Faceless Rebel to the Syndicate Elders at the hospital. The First Elder and Second Elder discussed what appeared to be self-mutilation, but deduced it was some sort of protection against the black oil. The rebel was the lone survivor of a crashed spacecraft at a military base in West Virginia. Already possessing the Russian vaccine obtained by Alex Krycek, the Well-Manicured Man and the Elders realize that their ultimate goal of stopping the alien invasion (whilst maintaining the facade of assisting it), may be achieved by creating an alliance with the alien resistance. To test the effectiveness of the vaccine, Marita Covarrubias was injected with it.
The Second Elder's final appearance was in "Two Fathers". The Cigarette Smoking Man called the Second Elder at his home to inform of the Rebel attack. He had called an emergency meeting of the Syndicate and encouraged the Second Elder to attend. The Second Elder indicated that he would catch the next plane, then hung up the phone. Shortly afterward, he was killed by a Rebel, which then infiltrates the Syndicate's meeting disguised as the Second Elder. The rebel in disguise is later killed by Alex Krycek after a failed attempt by Jeffrey Spender.
Max Fenig was a member of NICAP who met Fox Mulder in a military detention, after being captured while investigating a possible UFO crash site. Mulder eventually discovered that Fenig was more than a UFO fanatic, despite Dana Scully's suspicion that his abduction experiences were the result of hallucinations or epilepsy – an illness that was revealed after Fenig suffered a seizure during the episode. Max Fenig lived in a trailer, which was parked at Townsend, Wisconsin, full of UFO material. Besides being an epileptic, he was constantly in fear of being abducted again and had a red scar in the shape of a triangle behind his ear. Fenig had already heard about Mulder and the X-Files. After being captured in his trailer, Fenig was seen for the last time by Mulder in a waterfront dock floating in the air encased in blue light – he vanished seconds later. He reappeared much later, in a two-part episode during the fourth season.
Theresa Hoese (née Nemman) is portrayed by Sarah Koskoff. Hoese was the daughter of Jay Nemman, her first appearance was when she travelled to a cemetery with her father in her hometown of Bellefleur, Oregon. Her father was infuriated with Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, who were preparing to exhume the body of Ray Soames, which he had autopsied earlier. Hoese tried to speak to the FBI agents at the cemetery, but her father forced her to stay in the car in which they had arrived. Eventually, she persuaded her father to leave with her in the car and accompany her home. Later in the same month, Teresa Nemman made an anonymous phone call to Mulder's motel room and informed him that Peggy O'Dell was dead. While Mulder and Scully stood outside one night, Teresa Nemman came to the agents and pleaded for their help. She was later kidnapped by Billy Miles and nearly abducted by aliens, but was saved by Mulder and Scully.
Seven years later she met Mulder and Scully again, married at the time to Ray Hoese, and living with her husband and baby. By this time she had changed her name from Nemman to Hoese. She was later kidnapped by an Alien Bounty Hunter She was returned to Earth in "This Is Not Happening", which led to an investigation by John Doggett and Scully. Theresa nearly died but was saved by Jeremiah Smith. She later appeared in a slide show in "Three Words".
Albert Hosteen is portrayed by Floyd Red Crow Westerman. Hosteen was a Navajo code talker whom Dana Scully sought out for help to translate the encrypted files on a digital disc obtained by Fox Mulder. The word "Hosteen" means "old man" in the Navaho language. He led Mulder to a buried boxcar filled with the corpses of human-alien hybrids. Hosteen saved Mulder's life after he nearly died in the boxcar after an attack by the Men in Black. Soon after, he traveled to Washington, D.C. where he prayed over Melissa Scully in the hospital.
Years later, Hosteen returned when he once again was called to translate alien writing from an artifact found in Côte d'Ivoire. Hosteen was later taken to a New Mexico hospital due to an unexplained illness, with his doctors fearing the worst. Hosteen died after spending two weeks in a coma. Before dying, Hosteen's spirit appeared to Scully several times in her apartment, imploring her to find and save her missing partner before Syndicate scientists could remove and study the immunity he had to the alien virus inside him and use it in their plans for surviving Colonization. Hosteen subtly guided her to Mulder's location encouraging a more spiritual route; Hosteen and Scully prayed for Mulder. The next morning, he vanished, having died the night before.
Michael Kritschgau is portrayed by John Finn. Kritschgau was an employee of the Department of Defense who claimed to know the entire truth behind the insidious government conspiracy. He encountered Scully in a university laboratory, where he pushed her down stairs while attempting to escape. After Scully tracked him down, he met with her and Mulder to tell them the truth as he understood it. He explained that the entire alien and UFO conspiracy was nothing more than an elaborate series of lies to draw attention away from sinister military experiments on an unsuspecting public. So-called "abductions" were actually careful military tests involving chemical and biological warfare, among other things. Kritschgau's son died as a result of Gulf War Syndrome, which he fell party to because of his work at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and connections to a pharmaceutical company called Roush. Following the incidents, Kritschgau was fired.
In 1999, the discovery of an alien spacecraft off the coast of Africa caused Mulder to begin experiencing intense mental trauma. While in the hospital, Mulder requested that Skinner bring in Kritschgau, who would know what to do. Kritschgau recognized Mulder's symptoms from his work in the CIA and was able to identify the correct drug to slow down Mulder's brain activity to a normal level. He then became involved in the investigation of the spacecraft symbols, having hacked into Scully's computer and downloading the images she took. Kritschgau's involvement was soon noticed. Alex Krycek was sent to steal his files and burn his apartment, but only after he shot Kritschgau dead.
The name for this character came from Gillian Anderson's real-life friend from growing up in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Senator Richard Matheson, portrayed by Raymond J. Barry, was a politician that took a liking to Fox Mulder and was interested in his work at the FBI. After the X-Files were shut down in 1994, Matheson prompted Mulder to visit the Arecibo observatory in Puerto Rico to continue his search for the truth. Eventually, Matheson distanced himself from Mulder because he felt his political career might be in jeopardy.
Later that year, Mulder went to Matheson's office in an attempt to contact him to gain information about Scully's abduction, but he was intercepted by X, who told him that Matheson could not give him the information he wanted without risking himself. He would later give Mulder a lead that led him to government program to import Japanese scientists to the US after World War II. Mulder ran into Matheson years later while investigating a mysterious illness contracted by Walter Skinner. Matheson was directly involved in an illicit deal concerning nanotechnology. The incident further soured relations between Mulder and Matheson.
Arthur Dales, portrayed by Darren McGavin in present day scenes and Fredric Lehne in flashbacks, is a retired FBI agent. In 1952, while Dales investigated suspected communist spies for the House Un-American Activities Committee, he dealt with Edward Skur, a suspected Communist who had an alien spider living symbiotically inside him. He later discovered two more people with the same affliction, and the case became the first X-File. Dales spent the rest of his career investigating X-Files before an early retirement. He lived in Washington, D.C. before moving in 1999 to Florida, where he recruited Mulder and Scully to investigate disappearances caused by a tentacled creature in the midst of a hurricane. His brother, also called Arthur Dales (M. Emmet Walsh, and also played by Lehne in flashbacks), was a police officer in Roswell, New Mexico, where he met in 1947 Josh Exley, a baseball player who was actually a disguised alien.
Billy Miles, portrayed by Zachary Ansley, appeared in five episodes of the series. First seen as the apparently comatose son of a detective from the town Bellefleur, Oregon, Billy was later revealed to be unwittingly assisting in the abductions and deaths of several of his former high school classmates whilst controlled by another presence. Eight years later, having recovered from these events, and now a sheriff's deputy, Miles contacted Mulder and Scully to seek their aid investigating a possible UFO crash. During the course of this investigation, Miles, and Mulder, were abducted. Miles' body was later recovered, in an advanced state of decay, from which was he not only revived, but recreated as a "super soldier", an advanced form of alien-human hybrid. In this new form, Miles set his sights on killing all of those involved in monitoring Scully's abnormal pregnancy, eventually targeting Scully herself. Despite surviving several grievous injuries in the pursuit, Miles – along with a crowd of others – leave tacitly after witnessing the birth of Scully's son William.
William "Bill" Mulder is portrayed by Peter Donat. William was the father of Fox and Samantha Mulder and husband of Teena Mulder. He was born in California in 1936. As a young man, he began working for the government and eventually the State Department. Among his colleagues were Deep Throat, Alvin Kurtzweil, and the Cigarette Smoking Man. In 1973, the group of men became organized as the Syndicate. As part of the colonization plot, the members of the Syndicate were to exchange a loved one each for an alien fetus. Possession of the fetus would allow the Syndicate to begin development of an alien-human hybrid. Mulder was against this exchange and did not appear at El Rico Air Force Base with a loved one as planned. In order to secure the exchange, an alien spacecraft was sent to retrieve his daughter, Samantha, who had been selected by Mulder instead of his son, Fox. Horrified at his own involvement, Mulder came up with the plan to create a vaccine against the alien virus that would be used during colonization. Even though he got his way and development of the vaccine began, Mulder suffered further personal trauma when he and his wife divorced. He moved from their home in Chilmark to another in West Tisbury, Massachusetts.
In 1994, William planned to divulge all his secrets to his son after encountering a clone of Samantha fleeing an alien bounty hunter. However, the Syndicate learned of his intention to reveal the truth to Mulder, and Alex Krycek was sent to prevent it. Krycek murdered William in his vacation home on Martha's Vineyard.
Elizabeth "Teena" Mulder née Kuipers was portrayed by Rebecca Toolan. She was the wife of State Department official Bill Mulder and mother to Fox and Samantha Mulder. Teena was born in Ohio in 1941. Around 1961, Teena had a brief extramarital affair with the Cigarette Smoking Man, a friend of Bill's. In 1965, she gave birth to Samantha Mulder. In November 1973, Samantha was abducted from the family home in Chilmark, Massachusetts, ultimately leading to Teena and Bill's divorce. Teena likely knew more about Samantha's abduction and the Syndicate than she ever let on, but kept this information to herself, either to protect her son, or because it was too painful for her to bring up.
In 1996, she suffered a stroke at the Mulder family's former summerhouse in Quonochontaug, Rhode Island. She survived thanks to a quick emergency call from X, paramedics were able to save her life, but she remained in a coma. The Cigarette Smoking Man later convinced a bounty hunter to heal her. Years later in 2000, Teena committed suicide after learning that she was terminally ill with a disfiguring disease called Paget's Carcinoma. Before her death, she subtly requested that Fox accept that Samantha was gone and move on with his life.
Gibson Andrew Praise is a character portrayed by Jeff Gulka. Gibson is introduced as a young chess prodigy who thwarted the assassination attempt on his life by stepping back out of the path of a sniper bullet. Jeffrey Spender was assigned to investigate the case, but Fox Mulder intruded on the briefing and immediately came to the conclusion that Gibson sensed the shot pre-cognitively. The investigation led Dana Scully to find that Gibson had an unusual level of development in one brain lobe not yet fully understood by neuroscience. Mulder thought Gibson might be the key to understanding human potential and to everything in the X-Files. He interrogated the would-be assassin in prison, who said the boy was a "missing link," and Mulder jumped to the conclusion that Gibson had alien genetic structure and was proof of ancient astronauts.
Mulder, Scully, and Diana Fowley attempted to keep Gibson safe and under guard, suspecting that the alien conspirators were the ones behind the attempted assassination, but Fowley was shot while at her post, and Gibson was subsequently kidnapped by the Syndicate. Months later, after the events of the movie, Mulder and Scully found Gibson hiding in their car. Gibson's skull had been cut open and stitched back shut, signs that the Syndicate scientists had conducted experiments or investigations on his brain. They took him to the hospital, where he was soon kidnapped again by an operative of the Cigarette Smoking Man.
In 2001, Scully found Gibson living in Arizona in a school for the deaf, where he was apparently in hiding from alien bounty hunters or a New Syndicate like organization, who wanted him because he was "part alien." At the end of the episode, John Doggett said Gibson had become a ward of the state, and had been put under special protection.
His final appearance was in the series finale, where it was revealed that Mulder had been hiding with Gibson in New Mexico for the duration of his ninth season absence. Gibson volunteered to be a witness at Mulder's trial, despite Mulder's objection that he should stay hidden. After Mulder and Scully leave to make their final escape, Agents Doggett and Monica Reyes vowed that they would try to keep him safe – a promise that Gibson took with a grain of salt, knowing the capabilities of his past captors.
William "Bill" Scully, Jr. was portrayed by Pat Skipper and Ryan DeBoer, and Joshua Murray during childhood flashbacks. He was the eldest son of William and Margaret Scully and brother to Dana, Melissa, and Charles Scully. Bill, Jr. had followed in his father's footsteps and joined the US Navy. Bill, Jr. was never impressed with Fox Mulder and got angry with Dana when she did not tell him about her cancer. He did not understand why she had not told anyone, why she was still at work. Dana told him she still had responsibility to the people in her life, even though she had not told them about it. Bill angrily asked Dana if her responsibility was to Mulder, and if so, why was he not with her after she was pushed down the stairs by Michael Kritschgau. She ignored his question.
Dana Scully ended up in the hospital after she collapsed at the hearing into Mulder's death. Mulder first met Bill Jr. when he and his mother came to visit Scully. Bill asked Mulder to leave the work out of Scully's illness, to "let her die with dignity". Later, when Mulder brought the chip to Scully as a possible cure, Bill again attacked him. He accused Mulder of being the reason why he lost one sister and now it seemed like he was losing Dana too.
Bill became increasingly worried about his sister when she stayed with him and his wife Tara one Christmas. Dana received a strange phone call that lead to the house of a woman who had apparently committed suicide. Scully believed that the voice on the phone was Melissa's. She disappeared from the house, physically and emotionally, quite a bit over the Christmas holidays, and Bill became worried when she told him she believed Melissa rang from beyond the grave to get her to help Emily Sim, and that she believed Emily was Melissa's daughter. He sympathized with Scully's desire to have a child, because he and Tara had not been able to become parents for years until the time of the episode. He tried to convince her Melissa was not Emily's mother and showed her a photograph of Melissa obviously not pregnant about four weeks before Emily was born, to which Dana replied that there may have been surrogate motherhood and that the family did not know much about Melissa's whereabouts at that time. Bill and Mrs. Scully are shocked to learn that Dana Scully is in fact Emily's mother. They all attended Emily's funeral and were distraught for Scully.
Margaret "Maggie" Scully was portrayed by actor Sheila Larken. Margaret, or "Maggie" as she was called by her husband, Bill Scully, is the mother of Dana Scully and her three siblings: William "Bill" Scully, Jr., Melissa Scully (deceased) and Charles Scully. Margaret was widowed early in the series, since her husband died of a massive heart attack. She may have a bit of psychic intuition – when Dana is kidnapped, Margaret confessed to Mulder that she had had a premonition about Dana, but was afraid to tell her skeptical daughter.
Melissa "Missy" Scully was portrayed by Melinda McGraw as an adult and Rebecca Codling and Lauren Diewold during childhood flashbacks. Melissa was the sister of Dana, Bill and Charles, and the daughter of William and Margaret. Melissa believed in new age mysticism, whereas Dana was a firm believer in hard science. Melissa came to see Dana when she had returned to the hospital after her abduction and claimed she could feel Dana's spirit was still inside her body.
After Scully discovered the implant placed in her neck, Melissa suggested her to undertake regression therapy in an attempt to uncover the truth about her abduction. Melissa was killed by mistake by Luis Cardinal and Alex Krycek, who were trying to kill her sister, Dana. She was shot in the head as she entered Scully's apartment. As Melissa lay dying in hospital, Dana asked for Albert Hosteen to go and pray for her ailing sister, as he had done for Fox Mulder shortly before. However, Melissa soon died.
Dana eventually caught Cardinal with Walter Skinner's help. Cardinal later died in his cell, his death made to look like a suicide. Some time after her death, Scully began to receive mysterious phone calls from someone sounding mysteriously like Melissa. After discovering Emily Sim, Scully is at first under the impression that the young girl is in fact Melissa's daughter, before discovering that she is in fact the child's mother.
Jeremiah Smith is portrayed by Roy Thinnes. Smith was an alien member of the resistance against the Syndicate who exhibited healing and shape shifting abilities. He gained public attention after saving the lives of several people following a shooting in a fast food restaurant. It is likely that Smith was an alias, because at least five employees around the country used the name while working at the Social Security Administration. One Smith was captured by the Syndicate and held for execution by the Alien Bounty Hunter but was able to escape and contact Fox Mulder. Mulder and Dana Scully saved Smith from the bounty hunter in hope that he would save the life of Mulder's mother, who had just suffered a stroke. However, Smith brought Mulder to Canada and revealed a Syndicate-run program involving bees. Confronted with the bounty hunter yet again, Smith fled, leaving Mulder on his own.
Smith resurfaced in 2001 after being discovered by Monica Reyes. In Montana, he was found amongst a cult based on the belief that the apocalypse was near and would be brought about by aliens. He helped the cult's leader, Absalom, heal returned abductees. Scully realized he was involved after observing the remarkable healing of the abductees and the fact that someone appeared to change their appearance on a security video. Upon the mysterious return of Mulder, Scully sought out Smith to heal him, but Smith was abducted by the UFO that appeared over the camp.
Cassandra Anne Spender is portrayed by Veronica Cartwright. Cassandra was a multiple abductee, critical to the plans of the Syndicate. She was the ex-wife of The Smoking Man and mother of Special Agent Jeffrey Spender, as well as "Patient X", the primary test subject in the project to develop an alien-human hybrid.
Cassandra first came to the attention of Special agent Fox Mulder while proclaiming her belief that the aliens were coming to promote peace. At the time, Mulder was disillusioned by the revelations of Michael Kritschgau. He did not believe Cassandra's insisting that the aliens were calling her and other abductees to "lighthouses," where colonization would begin, despite a mass incineration of abductees at Skyland Mountain, where Dana Scully had been abducted three years earlier. A rebel group of aliens who mutilated themselves to avoid infection by the black oil were attempting to destroy the work the Syndicate had done, finally summoning both Scully and Cassandra to the same site in Pennsylvania. Before the rebels could manage to destroy the group, however, an alien craft appeared overhead and abducted Cassandra.
Cassandra later reappeared in a train car in Virginia, where doctors who had been operating on her were burned alive by the same faceless rebel aliens. She had been cured of her former disabilities, but now believed the aliens had far more sinister motives than she had originally thought, having learned of their plans for colonization. Demanding to see Agent Mulder, she explained her newfound concerns, then insisted that she be killed before everyone else died. She was then taken by a decontamination team led by Diana Fowley for her presentation to the alien colonists. Before she could be presented, however, the site was overrun by alien rebels, who killed many of the key players of the syndicate, as well as Cassandra herself.
Toothpick Man is portrayed by New Zealand actor Alan Dale. His role in the series was the leader of the New Syndicate. During the ninth season he worked within the FBI. He is noted for consistently fiddling a toothpick. Although he appeared human, he was exposed to be an alien by Gibson Praise in the final episode (albeit the viewing audience was earlier shown the characteristic alien bumps on the back of his neck at the end of the season nine episode "Providence").
Toothpick Man was created to replace The Smoking Man (portrayed by William B. Davis), who had been written out at the end of season 7. He had access to the President of the United States, as can be seen in a deleted scene of the final episode.
Baby William is the son of FBI Special agent Dana Scully, and was born in the eighth season finale, "Existence". Within the show, it is heavily implied that Fox Mulder is William's biological father, though this is never stated outright. Throughout the last two seasons of the series William was encompassed by an aura of mystique, ranging from his origin to the apparent supernatural abilities he possessed. How William came into being has never been conclusively defined by any official sources but several possibilities can be drawn from events of The X-Files final two seasons.
Toward the end of the eighth season, the informant Knowle Rohrer stated that an implant related to Scully's mysterious abduction was likewise related to her pregnancy. At some point, Scully made the decision to have a child through in vitro fertilization, and asked Mulder to be the sperm donor, to which he agreed, as revealed via flashback. It was said in this same episode that the in vitro attempt failed. There were apparently no repeat attempts, and it is unclear exactly when in the series timeline this took place. It is heavily implied throughout the seventh season that Scully and Mulder's relationship was developing into the romantic sphere. In season nine, it was confirmed that at least one sexual encounter had occurred between the agents prior to Mulder's abduction. In "Essence", Mulder's inner monologue reflects: "How did this child come to be? What set its heart beating? Is it the product of a union or the work of a divine hand?" suggesting William may have been conceived naturally through intercourse (supposedly an impossibility for Scully) or by some paranormal intervention, or perhaps some measure of both. In the series finale and The X-Files: I Want to Believe, both Mulder and Scully referred to William as their son. However, it is not made clear whether or not this is an emotional term on Mulder's part or a biological fact.
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