By Josh Melo
‘The X-Files’ Review – S10 Ep.4 (Home Again)
In the middle of a mysterious murder investigation, Scully gets word of her ailing mother. Unable to properly focus, she rushes to Washington, D.C to stand by her mothers side, leaving Mulder to try and close the case solo. Juggling two narratives at once, Home Again manages to be the most emotionally poignant episode, as well as the scariest.
Gillian Anderson was the emotional core of the episode and she did a marvelous job. Her guilt at giving up her son William and the sense of loss after her mothers passing felt genuine and she never passed into melodrama. With each subsequent episode the actors seem more and more comfortable returning to these roles (which is interesting considering they’re airing out of order) and this is their best overall performance yet.
Mulder takes a bit of a backseat this week but David Duchovny nails the lines he’s given. The sardonic wit is here in full effect and the old chemistry between him and Anderson is finally starting to resurface. Their short exchange while in the hospital was a wonderful showcase of their flirty nature and a good reminder of how comfortable these two characters are together. The natural flow of their back and forth has improved immensely since the revival premiere, I’ve never considered being called a dark wizard to be a compliment, but now I do.
Bringing in the Scully family was a nice touch but never seeing or hearing them, minus the few lines from Charlie, was a bit of a bummer. With such a powerful performance and central message about family and respect, you’d think that having another human to play off of would be an asset. It was also great to finally have some connective tissue between episodes. The mention of Mulder and Scully’s child two weeks ago could have been a one-off reference for fans but bringing the idea of this long lost child now grown up seems to be a sticking point for the season.
Will we see a grown up, alien William? I certainly hope so, but with only 2 episodes remaining, I doubt we’ll get around to it. Here’s hoping to another season!
While I miss the “batcrap” crazy nature of last week’s episode, the return to more serious storytelling was a good call for this type of narrative. The X-Files are the prefect platform to dive into myriad genres and film styles. Home Again invoked classic horror with its villain and cinematography that gave the proceedings a unique feel from everything else we’ve seen in the revival. The dark hallways, eerie music and intriguing lore surrounding this angel of death type figure all lend themselves to a very spooky instalment.
That being said, when we finally meet the man responsible for creating the monster, the juxtaposed origin story alongside clips of Mulder and Scully’s child felt a bit out of place. The man’s speech was a rousing one with absolute merit, but to compare giving their child up for adoption, for very legitimate reasons, to treating a fellow human like proverbial trash seemed a bit excessive. The use of clips from old episodes was a genius maneuver that will immediately hook long time fans while giving newer believers hints at history they may have missed that will give them the needed push to go and explore the archives of The X-Files. I just wasn’t a fan of how easily Scully accepted that the way she treated her son was like filth. The events surrounding putting William up for adoption were a little more complicated than, “I don’t want this stupid kid, let’s get rid of it.”
Scully’s final conclusion was a huge leap in logic that never sat right with me, but did sell the idea that she is distraught over having given him up in the first place. The conclusion of the episode also felt a bit rushed and incomplete. Band-Aid Nose Man (stupid name) was never caught; instead he is free to kill the next person to refuse to give a bum some change and Trash Man will continue to make creepy spirits out of his art. It didn’t detract from the positives of the episode, It just came off as a tad strange.
To most, this has long been known, but The X-Files have once again proven that they are the masters of the episodic television structure. Typically, shows without any overarching narrative are a big turn off for me. Yet, week after week I find myself enthralled by these paranormal adventures. Each episode has such a unique style that, even without references to larger goings on in The X-Files world, I can’t help but remain invested. Sure, I would love for them to follow up on the global government conspiracy, but as long as every episode remains as engaging as these last few have been, I honestly won’t mind.
Home Again was a great episode, it didn’t live up to the monumental expectations set by Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster, but it was a solid follow-up that showed yet another side to what The X-Files can be.
Overall, Home Again gets an 8/10.