Agent Dana Scully, one of the two main characters in the X Files, first appears in the Pilot when she joins the X Files division in 1992. She joins, having heard of Agent Mulder's reputation as a criminal profiler and curious as to his reason for giving up his specialization to concentrate on hunting down "aliens and monsters" and trying to decipher the unexplained.
Assigned by Chief Section Officer Blevins probably on orders from the Cigarette Smoking Man, her job is supposed to be debunking Agent Fox Mulder's outlandish theories and keeping him in line. What she actually ends up doing is giving credibility to the investigations that were earlier just considered Mulder's eccentricities. This she does as she has a strong background and belief in science and has a medical degree with a specialization in forensics as well.
Scully unlike Mulder comes from a very close family. Daughter of naval Captain William Scully and Margaret Scully, she has three siblings, Melissa, William Jnr. and Charles. Scully comes from a secure family and has a good relationship with each member of her family. Her father was the biggest influence in her life and his death shatters her. Her mother is her strongest supporter in the family right from her tomboyish days to her joining the FBI. Her brothers though rarely shown, are protective of her while her sister is the exact opposite of her. The decision to leave the medical mainstream and enroll at Quantico, the FBI training facility disappointed her family, especially her father - he thought she was rebelling. She later learns from her mother that her father was extremely proud of her - a fact that is very important to her. After two years at the Academy, both as a student and an instructor, and with two very worried parents, she is shifted to the X Files division.
Following Mulder on many wild goose chases and some legitimate cases, her duties include conducting autopsies all over the country in varying circumstances, running in the highest of heels and being the sounding-board for Mulder's thoughts.
Initially skeptical (her favorite phrases being "I don't think so" and "Are you suggesting…"), and sometimes losing her patience, she soon discovers that all of what Mulder believes in is not rubbish. While their investigation often takes opposite directions - Mulder looking for the most outlandish explanation, she looking for an obvious scientific one - they complement each other often finding solutions faster because of their different approaches. While he feels that no hard evidence is needed for his theories, she works hard at gathering concrete proof to back those very theories.
Soon she is the only one he really trusts and respects, feelings that are mutual.
However, the closer and longer they work together, the more Scully finds her life at risk.
She has been kidnapped a few times, attacked by strange creatures often and faced death on more than one occasion. The worst danger has come from a different source. Those opposed to Mulder's work -- the Consortium and the Cigarette Smoking Man --have tried time and again to eliminate her, believing her to be a bigger problem than they had calculated. Also they hope by eliminating her they are actually hurting Mulder as she is one of the only things he cares about, often putting his own life on the line for her.
She has been abducted by aliens (Duane Barry) and returned in a coma with a strange metal chip implanted in her neck and a destroyed immune system. What hurts her immensely is that she may never be able to bear children as the tests that had been conducted on her had left her barren. Later when the chip is removed she finds herself suffering from cancer (Memento Mori). She is only saved after the chip is re-implanted in her neck (Redux II).
The danger extends to her family as well. In a case of mistaken identity Melissa Scully is shot dead when visiting her sister's apartment - killed at the hands of Luis Cardinale and Alex Krycek on orders from the Consortium.
Scully's personal tryst with the Consortium doesn't end there - she finds out that her DNA had been used to create a clone offspring, Emily who has a remarkable resemblance to Melissa Scully as a child. On performing tests, it is discovered that Emily Sims is actually Scully's biological daughter. Emily dies suffering from a disease whose only cure requires her to be a guinea pig for the Consortium. Scully tearfully prefers to see her die than be subjected to the Consortium's experiments. Scully doesn't even have the consolation of burying her - her body disappears just before she is to be buried.
Yet despite all she has lost because of her association with him, she continues over the years to work with him, whether within the X Files or on the numerous occasions they have been separated. His instincts, integrity and trust have eroded her skepticism.
Scully as a person is physically and mentally strong with a strong sense of ethics. Strictly dressed in her power suits, she is meticulous and efficient. Toting the ever-present three X Files Ts - Trench coats, Telephones and Torches, she is very much the G Woman that Mulder calls her. She is also spiritual in her own way. Her dedicated religious belief (she is a Catholic) is the only exception in her fervent scientific mindset. She seeks solace in her religion despite losing her faith in the church. She always wears the cross necklace her mother gave her as a child - only giving it to her daughter Emily. Her cross is all that Mulder has of her after she is abducted and he hands it over to her mother for safekeeping convinced that Scully would return.
Her relationship with Mulder is special. Dependant on each other, they often turn to each other in difficult times. Standing tall next to his diminutive partner, Mulder is protective of her but not overbearing. Stares between them communicate much more than a thousand words -- thankfully, since a lot of stares are passed around. They have saved each other's lives on numerous occasions and seem ever willing to do so again. Both have sacrificed a lot for the other. While Scully has given up a normal life and has lost her sister to Mulder's cause, he in turn has given up the person he thought to be his sister in exchange for Scully's life. They have a teasing, friendly relationship with Mulder, often ribbing Scully about her height and small feet, giving them as an excuse for not letting her drive in the beginning. She in turn finds much amusement in some of his theories and his outrageous taste in ties.
While many fans hope their closeness and what is called UST (unresolved sexual tension) should transcend to a deeper relationship, they have so far had a platonic relationship save for the almost-kiss in the movie and the New Year's Eve kiss in
Mulder is not the only person devoted to her. Scully has her own little fan following in the X Files with members ranging from A.D. Skinner, Agent Pendrell and Melvin Frohike to half the psychos around. While A.D. Skinner is protective of her, Agent Pendrell has a massive crush on her and Frohike, to put it simply lusts after her.
Scully doesn't go out on too many dates and when she does they are generally interrupted by a phone call from Mulder. It has been mentioned that she did have an affair with her instructor from Quantico, Jack Willis
(Lazarus). There is an indication of her having had a one-night stand with a man called Ed Jerse
(Never Again) however this has never been confirmed. In a moment of rebellion and frustration on the direction her life is taking, egged on by Jerse she does get a tattoo (a most un-Scullylike move)-of a snake biting its tail on her lower back. The snake is a symbol of death, rebirth and the cycles of the universe seeming to represent Scully's life.
Scully is capable of strong emotions herself - both positive and negative. Wile willing to give up anything for the people she cares about, she is also capable of hatred with a vengeance. Alex Krycek, Luis Cardinale, the Consortium, Jeffrey Spender and Diana Fowley have found themselves to be the subjects of her dislike. While Luis Cardinale and Krycek were responsible for her sister's death, the Consortium has put her through more than most people go through in three lifetimes. Agent Spender has found himself in her bad books for being the cause of their suspension and the loss of the X Files. With Diana Fowley the dislike seems to be a little more personal. Scully hates the fact that she is an ex-girlfriend of Mulder's. She seems to have some hold over him and she is the only one whom he defends to Scully. Scully has previously had this problem with other women has dated/liked - Phoebe Green
(Fire), a vampire Kristen (3) and Bambi Berenbaum (War of the
- "What I find fantastic is any notion that there are answers beyond the realm of science. The answers are there. You just have to know where to look." (Pilot)
- To a passerby after he hears Mulder screaming like a girl: "You never saw this. It didn't happen. You tell anyone, you're a dead man." (Jose Chung’s From Outer Space)
- Scully: "Why do you always have to drive? Because you’re the guy? Because you’re the big macho-man?"
Mulder: "No. I was just never sure your little feet could reach the pedals." (Syzygy)
- On Mulder’s request for "a few photographs of that thing which bears absolutely no resemblance to a horned beast."
Scully: “Sure. Fine. Whatever.” (Syzygy)
- “The truth is out there but so are the lies” (E.B.E.)
- “Apology is Policy” (731)
- "What science may never be able to explain is our ineffable fear of the alien among us; a fear which often drives us not to search for understanding, but to deceive, inveigle, and obfuscate. To obscure the truth not only from others, but from ourselves." (Teliko)
- "I'm fine, Mulder. Quit staring at me. I'm fine." (Memento Mori)