Friday, May 15, 2009

How Supernatural Is Like the X-Files: Part 2

A while ago I wrote about the similarities between The X-Files and Supernatural. But as I continue to watch the unfolding story of Supernatural, I keep seeing more ways they're alike. Sometimes it's just in the way an episode will feel, but most times it's because of more concrete reasons, such as:

Similarity 5: The main duo is constantly offering up their lives for each other
In the X-Files, this started as Scully's giving up her career to defend Mulder, whom she was assigned to to bring down. Throughout the many seasons it ran, however, the need for one partner to sacrifice their lives for the other was repeated again and again as Scully and Mulder were damned sure not going to let the other one get taken down by either monsters, aliens or the government/conspiracy group.

Dean in Hell

In Supernatural, the life-giving-up is much more literal. Dean makes a deal with a demon to actually trades his life for his little brother Sam's after he was stabbed in the heart. But in other ways, Dean and Sam are also like Mulder and Scully: putting their lives on the line in just about every episode to keep each other (as well as the people they protect) safe.

The Lone Gunmen

Similarity 6: The duo has access to very unique information sources.
In the X-Files, the whole action has started because Mulder's been tapped by the mysterious "Deep Throat" to put to right the wrongs of the secret government conspiracy group. This continues until "Deep Throat" is murdered, but his murderer, "X" then becomes Mulder's informant, playing both sides against each other. Additionally, Scully and Mulder often receive info from the Lone Gunmen - conspiracy theorists who are geektastic and often help the duo conduct research they aren't able to process through government labs. Without these info sources, the abilities of Mulder and Scully to get anything done would completely collapse.

In the same way, Sam and Dean are absolutely dependent upon their father's journal for direction, advice and spiritual rites throughout the entire first season. After they fall in with Ruby, the good-girl demon, she becomes their number 1 source for information about what's going on with the demons they're fighting until season 3 when Dean is contacted by angels who ask him to do the dirty work they are to pure to touch. The final source of special info is Sam's psychic abilities, which grow in strength throughout the series and often provide the vital clue needed to save a life.

Ruby in one of her incarnations & Sam

Similarity 7: As time goes on, the duo expands into a team.
It takes them a while, but Scully and Mulder eventually form a team to help them in their dirty work against the alien overlords. Although, I think it's interesting to note that the only team member they add before Mulder started to be in the show less than full time was Assistant Director Skinner, their erstwhile boss and confidant. When Mulder goes missing, Scully is teamed up with Agent Doggett (played by T-1000 himself), whose name is a joke on the word "dogged" because he is a ex-cop with rugged determination. Then as she learns to trust him and Mulder comes back on the scene, he brings in a sassy, sexy psychic. Granted, most of this happens during season 8 and who knows if anyone was still watching at the time, but it was incredible to see the dyanmics shift as the duo turned into a team.

Sam and Dean started out on their own, but were briefly teamed up with their father (until he traded his life for Dean's and was sent to Hell). Their next allies gained were fellow hunters, specifically Bobby (who often plays mediator between the two brothers) and Jo & Ellen Harville, who run a bar for and pick up gossip from hunters. Next, the demon Ruby was added after Dean was gone for a year in Hell, becoming Sam's number one source for information, sex and demon blood, which gives him his awesome mind powers. Through Bobby, they learned of and enlisted the help of a sexy, sassy psychic (hmm, sound familiar?). An angel who fell and then reclaims her grace thanks to the Winchester brothers also joins them and recently, in their episode, "Jump the Shark," a third Winchester brother was added to the team. My oh my.


Similarity 8: Lots of innocent bystanders get possessed and killed, often while attacking the duo
I'm not sure why this is the similarity I noticed last, since it is probably one of the most obvious, but there you go. In the X-Files and Supernatural alike, there are tons of ways for innocent bystanders to get possessed and forced into the action. Ghosts, demons, psychics, aliens, alien oil, angels and more all get their hands on human bodies to do their dirty work. More often than not, these people end up dead. They're the broken eggs that make the delicious entertaining omlette.

Related post:
How Supernatural Is Like the X-Files
Wonderfalls (Watch This Show)
Google Earth for Simpsons Fans

Like what you see? Subscribe here or add to Mixx

1 comment:

Fatin Husni said...

Hi May! I found this blog article of yours when I was trying to search for funny Supernatural images, under 'Supernatural X-files" and what's funny is that, we both are Supernatural fans and even funnier, I just made a blog article, comparing Supernatural with another show, Charmed. It's been a long time since I watched The X-Files and I have forgotten the storylines so I couldn't see the relation, but I loved reading this article :)

Here's my article I was talking about: http://tynnarukhi.blogspot.com/2011/06/what-if-i-tell-you-witches-and-ghost.html