I’ve noticed that whenever Scully faced a terrible or momentous life event, she would be on assignment in Philadelphia or elsewhere in Pennsylvania.
She learned that abduction survivors all had cancer in King of Prussia, a wealthy Philadelphia suburb. She had a disastrous rendezvous with Ed Jerse in Philadelphia. In the next episode, she was treated for cancer in Bethlehem. And when she lost her mother, she was working on a case in Philadelphia.
Is Pennsylvania Scully’s Chinatown, where she is fated to suffer no matter what she does?
Ha! I've lived in Pennsylvania, and that was certainly not our intention. You'll notice a lot of locations in and around the Washington, D.C., area -- not just Pennsylvania, but Virginia and Maryland -- simply because they are easy to get to from FBI Headquarters. We also tended to prefer rural areas, suburbs and small to medium-sized cities to big ones. It somehow made it easier to believe that the strange events in Mulder and Scully's investigations could really happen.