Samantha Mulder

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Samantha Mulder
Samanthaxfiles.jpg
Ashlyn Rose as Samantha Mulder in "Dreamland II"
First appearance "Conduit"
Last appearance "The X-Files: I Want To Believe" (photo)
Portrayed by Various, see below

Samantha Ann Mulder is a fictional character in the television series The X-Files. She attended Hays High School. She is the sister of FBI Special Agent Fox Mulder and the daughter of Teena and Bill Mulder. As a child, Samantha was abducted, ostensibly by aliens, and was never recovered. It is this experience that drives her older brother Fox Mulder to join the FBI, and later take the reins of the X-Files section.

Character arc[edit]

On November 27, 1973,[1] Samantha was abducted by aliens from the Mulder family home on Martha's Vineyard, when she was 8 years old. Fox Mulder, who was 12 years old at the time, began his obsession with extraterrestrials as a result of this incident.[2] Much of the show focused on Mulder's efforts to discover what happened to his sister. When she first appeared as an adult, she claims that she lost her memory after her abduction and was adopted by a new family, but she has been regaining her memory gradually during the last year before finally meeting her own family and Mulder.[3] However, this person was later revealed to be one of several adult Samantha clones, all of whom were probably killed by the Alien Bounty Hunter.[4]

Jeremiah Smith takes Mulder to a covert bee husbandry facility in remote Alberta. There, he finds a group of Samantha clones, all no older than the day the real Samantha disappeared, working on the alien colonists' and Syndicate's joint project of spreading the Black Oil. The facility was soon after destroyed, and the clones were presumably killed by the Alien Bounty Hunter.[5]

Later in the fourth season, Mulder becomes convinced that Samantha was kidnapped and murdered by John L. Roche. Roche is a serial killer whom Mulder previously profiled, and helped lock up for the murder of thirteen young girls. His signature was the removal of a heart-shaped piece of cloth from each girl's clothing. Through a dream, Mulder finds another girl, and the discovery of the missing "paper hearts" reveals that two are still missing, for a total of sixteen. Roche gives the location of one, but since Mulder kills Roche during a standoff at the end of the episode, the other is never found. Roche manipulates Mulder into believing that Samantha is one of his victims, and Mulder takes him to a house and gets him to go over the events of the evening Samantha disappeared. Mulder catches him in the lie, revealing that they're in the wrong house.[1]

At the beginning of the fifth season, The Smoking Man introduced Mulder to a woman who he claims is, and who herself believes to be, Samantha. She tells Mulder that she has children of her own, thought that her mother had died some time ago, and believed Cigarette Smoking Man to be her father. She leaves abruptly during the meeting, and is never seen again. According to Cassandra Spender, she was another clone.[6]

Samantha's storyline is presumably resolved in the seventh season. In that episode, Dana Scully watches a 1989 tape in which Mulder undergoes hypnotic regression therapy, which another agent describes as "garden-variety compensatory abduction fantasy" which feeds Mulder's "unconscious hope that his sister is still alive". Later, with the help of a medium, Mulder discovers Samantha's diary, which states that in 1979 at age 14, while living in California with Jeffrey Spender, she was the subject of numerous tests at the hands of the Cigarette Smoking Man. Unable to bear the testing any longer, Samantha ran away and was eventually admitted to a hospital. Arbutus Ray, the admitting nurse from the hospital, tells Mulder about the young girl. Ray adds that a group of men (one of whom seems to be the Cigarette Smoking Man) came to the hospital to claim the girl, only to find that she had disappeared from her locked hospital room. Ray also describes how she had a vision that was eerily similar to others', who had also lost children in a similar fashion. It is revealed that Samantha was taken by "spiritual intervention" beings called "Walk-ins", which save souls from painful fates. While in the nearby woods later, Mulder has a dreamlike vision and is briefly reunited with Samantha's spirit. After Mulder returns, Scully asks if he is all right. Mulder replies "I'm fine. I'm free," suggesting that he, like several of the other parents whose children have disappeared, accepts that Samantha's soul is in "a better place".[7]

Samantha is mentioned once again in The X-Files: I Want to Believe, being the inspiration that drives Mulder to try to save a likely-dead agent. Mulder is seen to admit she is dead, but keeps her picture on the wall with newspaper clippings of his own exploits with the FBI and alien evidence.[8]

Conceptual history[edit]

Samantha Mulder was played as a child by Vanessa Morley, and as an adult by Megan Leitch. Several other actors played the part for individual episodes—Brianne Benitz in the first season's "Miracle Man", Ashlynn Rose in the sixth season's "Dreamland II", and Mimi Paley in the seventh season episode "Closure".

Reception[edit]

Zack Handlen of The A.V. Club praised the way Samantha was presented in "Colony", saying that "In the seasons to come, we end up with enough Samantha's [sic] to fill a clown-car, but here, the reveal is shocking, effective, and unsettling".[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Director: Rob Bowman; Writer: Vince Gilligan (15 December 1996). "Paper Hearts". The X-Files. Season 4. Episode 10. Fox.
  2. ^ Director: David Nutter; writers: Glen Morgan, James Wong. "Little Green Men". The X-Files. Season 2. Episode 1. Fox.
  3. ^ Director: Nick Marck; Writers: Chris Carter, David Duchovny. "Colony". The X-Files. Season 2. Episode 16. Fox.
  4. ^ Director: Rob Bowman; Writer: Frank Spotnitz. "End Game". The X-Files. Season 2. Episode 17. Fox.
  5. ^ Director: R. W. Goodwin; writer: Chris Carter. "Herrenvolk". The X-Files. Season 4. Episode 1. Fox.
  6. ^ Directors: R. W. Goodwin & Kim Manners; writer: Chris Carter. "Redux". The X-Files. Season 5. Episode 1 & 2. Fox.
  7. ^ Director: Kim Manners; writers: Chris Carter, Frank Spotnitz. "Closure". The X-Files. Season 7. Episode 11. Fox.
  8. ^ Director: Chris Carter; writers: Chris Carter, Frank Spotnitz (25 July 2008). "The X-Files: I Want to Believe".
  9. ^ Handlen, Zack (13 June 2010). ""Colony"/"End Game"/"Fearful Symmetry" | The X-Files/Millennium | TV Club". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 18 March 2012.