Amid the cases, the covert operations, the search for the truth, FBI agents, Mudler and Scully, often have moments of insight into humanity that carry their weight well past the episode or series. One such important moment from the X-Files vault comes at the end of season four. The episode is number eighteen, called, “Max.” In the episode Mulder and Scully are attempting to expose the truth to a downed civilian flight, 549. At the start of episode seventeen, part one, Mulder gifts Scully an Apollo 11 keychain. Her birthday celebration is cut short, and it’s not until the end of episode eighteen, that the keychain reappears.
Scully tells Mulder she never had the chance to ask why he gave her the keychain–it is seemingly random, and as the viewer, you can’t help wonder what is the true significance of it, or how it will play out in the episode. Scully is feeling the loss of a coworker, whom she didn’t even know his first name. In this moment, we realize that sometimes, no matter how hard you try to get to the bottom of something, you can’t always win, and more importantly, the people we go on the journey with are much more integral to the scheme of life. Before Mulder can say why he gave her the keychain, Scully says this:
“… there are extraordinary men and women, and extraordinary moments, when history leaps forward on the backs of these individuals, that what can be imagined can be achieved, that you must dare to dream, but that there’s no substitute for perseverance and hard work, and teamwork, because no one gets there alone. And that, while we commemorate the greatness of these events, and the individuals who achieve them, we cannot forget the sacrifice of those who make these achievements and leaps possible.”
To this Mulder’s response was, “I just thought it was a pretty cool keychain.”