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Spotnitz's Psychoanalysis of Doggett

Doggett/Reyes "Relationship" = Implausible
Dana Doggett

There is only one episode of "The X-Files" that I sincerely enjoy every on-screen moment between John Doggett and Monica Reyes, "Empedocles" (season 8). That episode defines, for me, the way the Doggett/Reyes partnership should have been written in season nine of the series. Unfortunately, the interactions and relationship created between Doggett and Reyes in season 8, was destroyed by the writers in a desperate attempt to re-create the "magic" of Mulder and Scully (and then, for some fans, the "magic" of Doggett and Scully), and I don't mean "magic" as in a romantic relationship kind of way, I also mean it in the way that "magic" made the FBI partnerships and friendships of Mulder/Scully and Doggett/Scully so special. Reyes, IMO, was brought in as a main character to disrupt a partnership (Doggett/Scully) that had been perceived as a threat to the Mulder/Scully relationship by some of the fandom's more rabid MSR 'shippers.

The working partnership between Doggett and Reyes in "Empedocles" was perfect. There were no forced "drippy" moments (read: hand holding, daydreaming of kissing, seeing each other in nightwear, etc.) between them in season 8. I believe that the idea of creating a UST relationship between Doggett and Reyes wasn't even on the minds of the writers in their approach to introducing the Monica Reyes character during season 8 (fact is that they had considered making Reyes a lesbian, but I guess that was too controversial for the FOX network). They brought Monica Reyes on in season 8 as a supporting character in the episodes that were about John Doggett's kidnapped/raped/molested/murdered son, Luke. Monica Reyes had been the lead investigator on Luke's disappearance case, and failed to solve the mystery of who kidnapped him, and who killed him. This was a pretty darn good set up for a character. I admit to struggling with liking her character back then, but finding out that there was THIS kind of history between she and Doggett, that tickled me because (FINALLY!) we were getting a female/male character interaction that couldn't possibly lead to any kind of romantic interactions. And for me, after the Mulder/Scully relationship came to fruition, I was perfectly fine with no more romantic relationships on "The X-Files," have just the one, and use new characters to build different types of character interactions. That's what I thought the introduction of Monica Reyes was going to do for the series. I never expected her to become a main character, only to show up when Doggett dealt with his son's case, and anything related to the occult/satanic rituals having to do with Mulder's disappearance.

In the few episodes of season 8 that Reyes took part in, she had a point. She wasn't a pointless character just around to give puppy dog eyes, and gaze longingly at her partner in hopes of romance. By the end of season 8, things were looking good for season 9. Granted, I wasn't thrilled about the suggestion that now Reyes was officially assigned to the X-Files by Doggett (for starters, as a Special Agent, Doggett doesn't have the power to re-assign another FBI agent), but during the hiatus between seasons 8 and 9, I kept positive. How bad could it get? Doggett was coming back, Scully was coming back, and what I loved most about "The X-Files" in season 8 was returning, or so I thought, the FBI partnership of Doggett and Scully.

I was wrong.

Monica Reyes was made a main character, to star in every episode of season 9.

Cary Elwes was cast as Brad Follmer, a former love interest (perhaps current love interest for) of Monica Reyes.

Scully left the FBI to teach at Quantico.

The Doggett/Scully FBI partnership was officially dissolved, and a character was being brought in for the sole purpose of "love."


First off, the writers chose to take away what worked best about season 8: the Doggett/Scully FBI partnership. Second, they were purposely bringing in a new character who was a former lover/love interest for Reyes, Follmer. I was not thrilled about the changes that were going on with season 9. "The X-Files" rediscovered its roots in season 8, and here we were heading into season 9, and all of that was taken away. I feared we had another "season 7" on our hands, but at the end of it all, season 9 became, for me, the worst season of the series.

The very fact that the writers purposely brought in Brad Follmer as Reyes' former lover, irritated me. I honestly thought that with Mulder/Scully being solidified as THE relationship of the series, that that would be "that" with regard to romantic relationships working their nasty little way into the series. Yes, I'm not a fan of the Mulder/Scully relationship, but I won't deny that it happened. "The X-Files" didn't start off with the intention to hook Mulder and Scully up romantically with each other, it was a natural progression that the characters did to themselves (though sometimes, starting, IMO, in season 6 the relationship "moments" became a little too contrived and I didn't buy into it, so I actually stopped 'shipping Mulder/Scully). What I'm trying to say is that a relationship between Mulder and Scully made sense, it felt right. But "The X-Files" started season 9 with the intention of creating a love interest with its new characters right from the start: Follmer and Reyes, and then later, out of nowhere switched to Doggett and Reyes. I can admit that yes, Reyes had feelings for Doggett, and an attraction to him, but to even suggest that Doggett felt the same towards her was (and still is) absurd. I became convinced that making Reyes a main character was just a ploy to try to take away from the Doggett/Scully partnership that worked so well, and garnered so many fans of the pairing (professionally, and in the DSRy/SHODDS kind of way). And I don't think that I was wrong.

The powers that be failed in their efforts to lure X-Files "purists" back to the show by trying to recreate the "magic" that took place between David and Gillian as Mulder and Scully. Robert and Annabeth are both good actors in their own right, but together they lack the same "magic" that David and Gillian had that became a magnet to fans ('shipper and noromo alike). So trying to force viewers into believing that Doggett and Reyes "could have something together" didn't work. Sure, for some fans, they love the idea of Doggett/Reyes in a romantic relationship, and I'm not here to argue their reasons why they 'ship the pairing, I get it. Doggett and Reyes are good looking people, it was obvious that Reyes crushed on Doggett, it's easy to see where Drippers come from. I am writing this essay to explain to you why I think it's absolutely completely out of character for Doggett to even consider falling in love with Reyes, and why I don't think any DR"R" would work.

Let's take a look at John Doggett of season 8. He's a no-nonsence man, by-the-books investigator, loyal, flawed, and respectful to his new FBI partner, Dana Scully. He never mocked her for her beliefs, he listened to her, and offered his opinions. This was an ideal FBI partnership, one that was hard-fought for respect between the two, and that eventually turned into friendship, complete with trust and loyalty to each other.

In season 9, with Monica Reyes as his new FBI partner, Doggett became irritable, short-tempered, and mocking of his new partner. To me, this demonstrated a lack of respect for Reyes from Doggett. He even raised his voice at her. This is a stark contrast to how he was with his former partner, Scully. I didn't like where season 9 was taking his character. I prefer the John Doggett of season 8 to the John Doggett of season 9, and I blame the presence of Reyes in his life on these drastic changes of character. But there are reasons why Doggett would behave like this towards her. So perhaps his behaviour towards Reyes really wasn't out of character. That being said, let's look at reasons why I believe a romance between Doggett and Reyes never happened, isn't happening, and will never happen.

Monica Reyes failed to solve Doggett's son's kidnap, rape/molestation, and murder case.

Doggett and Reyes first met in August of 1993 when John and Barbara's seven year old son, Luke, went missing. Since Doggett was a detective with the New York Police Department, jurisdiction on the boy's disappearance case fell into the hands of the FBI. Agent Monica Reyes was assigned the lead investigator on the case. After three days, Luke's body was found shot in the back in the middle of a secluded field. I know a lot of DRR fans cite the fact that Doggett and Reyes have a history together and that is one "good" reason why a romantic relationship between them "could work," but let me ask you this... put yourself into Doggett's shoes:

You're married, you have a happy seven year old son, your career is going very well, life is good then suddenly your life is turned upside down, and your son has been kidnapped, raped, and murdered. And the lead investigator on the case failed to find him, to save him, and to bring him back alive. The case went "cold" for years, losing your son destroyed your marriage, you can't stand to even remain in the same state where this happened so you look into becoming an FBI agent, you do just that, and you get assigned to D.C. and now live in Virginia, far enough away from New York to not be reminded of what happened to your son by seeing places he played at, or people who knew him, and cared for him, every single day. You don't see the people who were around you at the time of his disappearance, you don't see the people who failed to find him before he was murdered, and who failed to solve his case. You can start to learn how to move on, but you can't. You keep your dead son's ashes in a box in your closet, and you personally look into his "cold" case every now and then, etc., etc.

Wearing those shoes, how would you feel toward the person who was in charge of finding your son (who did not), and bringing his kidnapper/rapist and murderer to justice (and did not)? Would you see her and feel the warm fuzzies of someone falling in love with that woman? Or would you look at her and be reminded of the darkest time of your life, the time when what you loved most was torn from you in the worst possible way?

John Doggett, in seasons 8 and 9 of "The X-Files," was still a father who was grieving the loss of his son. And if one were to remain true to writing his character, one would not even consider having him fall in love with the person who failed to find his son, and then failed to bring the kidnapper/rapist, and murderer to justice. One would not write Doggett falling in love with the woman, who very likely took the brute of his anger and frustration with the injustice of it all, who failed his son, and who failed him and his wife. Because the investigators, the lead investigator, failed his son's kidnapper/rapist and murderer are free men, probably going around continuing to commit the same crimes on other little boys.

As a grieving parent, with this kind of history, would you be able to fall in love with the person who failed to save your son, and who failed to bring his kidnapper/rapist and murderer to justice?

I didn't think so.

This is my main argument about why it is implausible for John Doggett to fall in love with Monica Reyes. And he didn't, this we know as a fact. Robert Patrick, Frank Spotnitz, and Chris Carter all have made statements that Doggett fell in love with Scully, not Reyes.

The very fact that Doggett would be willing to work with Monica, professionally, also boggles my mind, but that also explains why he seems more disrespectful towards her, and treats her very differently than he treated Scully when she was his partner. Doggett hasn't forgotten what happened in 1993, and though he remains courteous towards Reyes, friendly even, there's hidden contempt for her that expresses itself when he mocks her, or raises his voice towards her while working cases.

Supporters of Doggett/Reyes often cite a quote by Barbara Doggett to Scully from "Release" (season 9):

"He and Monica could really have something together. He just won't let her in."

Barbara Doggett lives in Long Island, New York.

John Doggett lives in Falls Church, Virginia.

Monica Reyes lived in New Orleans, Louisiana.

I assume that the three of these characters very rarely get together just to hang out, go out to eat, have drinks together, etc. How in the world would Barbara even begin to come up with the assumption that John and Monica could have something together, when none of these characters even lived close to one another?

This line, IMO, was just one of those instances in which the powers that be/the writer(s) threw in something to try to bait viewers into the idea of a Doggett/Reyes relationship. Barbara's comment to Scully is in no way logical, and in no way honest to the John Doggett character. I'm sure that Barbara wants John to find happiness, but perhaps she needs to remember WHO Monica Reyes is to him (and to her), and realize the reason why John "won't let her in." Good try, Shiban and Amann, but you aren't going to bait me with a simple piece of dialog from a character who hasn't interacted with either of these characters outside of dealing with her son's kidnap/rape/murder case. That line was just a gimmick to try to entice viewers into supporting Doggett and Reyes together as partners with the "same kind of potential as Mulder and Scully."

And I won't even get into the disrespect that Monica showed John and Barbara at the end of "Release" by tagging along with them to the beach as they released Luke's ashes into the ocean. That was the most rude and disrespectful thing she could have done. That was a moment between John and Barbara, no one else should have been there. Monica being there shows the lack of respect she has for John. It disgusted me that she thought she was important enough in the personal lives of John and Barbara to be there. That was just downright rude of her. She didn't even solve his son's case in 2002! Or how even though Reyes knows Doggett doesn't like her looking into his son's case anymore (more proof that he holds the failure to solve that case on her), she still digs up the case from time to time. And how rude of her to tell him to NOT look into his son's case! Luke is his son for Christ's sake! You, Reyes, couldn't solve it, why the hell don't you want anyone else working the case to bring John closure?! Not even John himself?! Thank goodness John didn't listen to her when she told him to drop looking into Hayes and the clues about his son's case that actually led him right to his son's murderer, Regali (remember his son's kidnapper/rapist died in New Orleans in season 8's "Empedocles")! She wanted him to drop it, and he was right and solved his son's case pretty much all on his own, without much help from her at all.

There are fans out there that actually think that Doggett and Reyes actually kissed, like unimagined kissing between them in "Audrey Pauley." People, pay attention to what's going on in an episode, get your noses out of DRR fanfic! ;)

In "Audrey Pauley", Monica Reyes was on her deathbed after being hit by a car after dropping Doggett off at home after they had gone out for drinks after work. First off, I find it hysterical that Monica lives in D.C. and Doggett in Falls Church (further away from D.C.), and that after drinking, instead of calling up a cab and paying the fare, Doggett instead had a (likely) intoxicated Monica Reyes drive him home. I digress. Let's examine the scene in her car before he gets out and she gets hit by another driver. This is the scene that basically punches you in the face trying to tell you that Reyes has fallen for Doggett, and is attracted to him. She compliments him, and he sits there and offers a polite smile in appreciation (but unlike how when he and Scully play the so-called **"Compliment Tennis," Doggett does not volley back any compliments towards Reyes). You can tell that Doggett appreciates that Reyes thinks he's faithful, dependable, loyal, comfortable to be around, and incapable of disappointing anyone. But you can also tell that her saying this to him, and coming on to him while doing it (which she was, there's no denying that), makes him uncomfortable. He leans back and toward the car window behind him even!

He's not a stupid man, he knows that she's giving off the "good god, I wish he'd kiss me" vibe, but he does not. He nods his head, smiles at her in appreciation, and gets out of the car. I'll even go as far as to admit that even I think that for a second there, as he stood outside his house and watched her drive away, that he considered maybe being with her wouldn't be such a bad thing (and this is just disregarding the fact that she is the person who failed to solve his son's case), she'd be an easy catch simply because she's available and interested, but ultimately, as Reyes said, he's faithful. Faithful to his own feelings for Scully (even though she's unattainable). He's honest with himself, and he won't go against his true feelings just because someone else has feelings for him that he doesn't reciprocate.

Drippers will be quick to point out that John imagined that he should have kissed Monica in "Audrey Pauley", but that was not because he wants her romantically.

John was thinking of what he could have done to prevent Monica from being in the car accident. Before she drove away, he sensed that she wanted him to kiss her, but he did not because he does not feel that way about her. He imagined kissing her because if he had done it, she never would have been in that accident. John was blaming himself for what happened to her and was going through the "what ifs" in his mind on how things could have been different, to prevent her from being in the accident in the first place. He was already feeling guilt for having her drive him home, intoxicated, guilt for her death, which at that point, seemed inevitable. He imagined himself kissing her because it would have wasted precious moments that could have saved her life. He imagined it out of self-blame, not romantic love. Even within the same episode, he shows us his own loyalty to his heart and his feelings. He calls Scully to come be with him at the hospital, to be there for him, to comfort him. This speaks volumes about who his heart belongs to, even if she's never going to be available to him.

Years ago in a discussion about "Audrey Pauley" someone brought up this point:

If there was ever a chance that the friendship between John and Monica could have taken that next step it would have been at the end of "Audrey Pauley," when John dropped Monica off at her apartment building after she had been released from the hospital. They both had another chance to start a relationship together, but neither one of them did anything. If Doggett truly was falling in love with her (though implausible, see my points above about the Luke case), don't you think he'd be true to his feelings, faithful to how his heart felt, and would have said or done something to let Monica know? You would think a near-death experience would open a door to a relationship if both parties involved wanted it to happen, but nothing happened. Monica went inside her apartment building, and Doggett drove home.

But what about the hand hold at the end of "Sunshine Days,?" I probably don't have to even explain that one.

That was a very obvious throw-back to the Mulder/Scully hand hold in season 3's "Pusher." Another attempt, at the last minute, to try bait people into falling for the idea of a Doggett/Reyes relationship. Only difference is, with Mulder and Scully a relationship between them made sense, and fell into place naturally. With Doggett/Reyes, it was force-fed to audiences, and was never honest to the Doggett character. It failed. Doggett and Reyes were not, are not, and will never be carbon copies of Mulder/Scully, no matter how hard the powers that be attempt to try to make it happen.

The failure of "The X-Files" to get renewed for a tenth season is testament to the fact that viewers were not interested in watching Doggett and Reyes investigating cases, myself included (and I consider myself to be one of the biggest John Doggett fans in the entire fandom! I would have loved to have had more seasons with John Doggett, but not if Reyes was going to be his sidekick). I can only imagine how great season 9 would have been if the Doggett/Scully FBI partnership had remained in tact, or if David had stayed on for the entire ninth season, Scully could have taught at Quantico, and Doggett and Mulder could have investigated X-File cases (let's face it, Doggett and Mulder working together in season 8's "Vienen" was amazing and so much fun to watch, I'd give my life, back then, for more Doggett and Mulder investigations!). I imagine if either of those two scenarios had happened, we would have seen a tenth season during the 2002/03 television season.

The way I see it, Reyes was only brought in during season 9, as a main character, to please fans who were upset with watching Doggett and Scully work together (read: rabid, foaming-at-the-mouth 'shippers), and who hated the fact that there were a lot of fans of Doggett/Scully (as in potential relationship) within the fandom. In catering to those rabid (MSR) fans, the powers that be ruined their show, they cut its life short. The intentionally ruined something that actually worked (Doggett/Scully FBI partnership) and replaced it with a partnership that lacked: Doggett/Reyes. I know Carter cites 9/11 as the reason why FOX cancelled the series, but let's be honest, no one was honestly interested in watching Doggett and Reyes working X-File cases together. A mon avis, that is the reason why the series got cancelled.

In the 2016 "The X-Files" Revival, we found out that Monica Reyes left the FBI eight years ago to go work for the Cigarette-Smoking Man. This information is like the final nail on the coffin with regard to the idea of a romantic relationship between Doggett and Reyes. John Doggett proved throughout season 8 and season 9 that he is loyal to Scully, and to Mulder, and those who work against them. I'm positive that Doggett found out about Reyes' allegiance with the Smoking Man and cut off all ties he had with her. People have argued that while Reyes did join forces with the Smoking Man, she had good intentions. I don't think that would matter to Doggett. The fact remains that Reyes is now working against all that Mulder and Scully fight for. There is no way that Doggett would remain friends with her in this scenario. And aside from the fact Robert Patrick has no interest in going back to "The X-Files," with regard to his character, it makes sense that we didn't even hear from him, or have Reyes say anything about him. We can assume that Doggett and Reyes are no longer in contact with each other. Her alliance with the Smoking Man ruined any kind of relationship (professional partnership, friendship, or otherwise) that she had with Doggett.

June 2016

** Compliment (or Concern) Tennis: When Doggett and Scully are dialoging and they respond to a compliment (or statement of concern) with another compliment (or statement of concern).

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