TV REVIEW: X-Files Season 10, Episode 4 – Home Again | FanboysInc

TV REVIEW: X-Files Season 10, Episode 4 – Home Again

By Jeff Ayers

TV REVIEW: X-Files Season 10, Episode 4 - Home Again

The fourth episode of the X-Files reboot has given viewers a glorious return to form for the series. For those of you that might have been a little on the fence about the different pace the first three episodes have taken, “Home Again” felt very much like the X-Files we all grew to love in the 90’s.

This episode had it all, including some missteps from the dialogue department, again. The snarky character of Fox Mulder is having a tough time finding his footing in this new modern era, and many of the jokes or comments he makes fall flat, rather than hitting home for the development of the character. “It wouldn’t be Philadelphia without confrontation” is one of the few lines that were uttered by David Duchovny this episode that just felt like a bad script reading, with no conviction, or real reason for doing so.

TV REVIEW: X-Files Season 10, Episode 4 - Home Again

Mulder and Scully, doing their Mully and Sculder thing.

Also, “Home Again” was very heavy-handed with the emotional beats, to the point where they almost lost their intended weight. Scully’s mother is in the hospital following a heart attack early on in the episode, which immediately distances herself from the case that she was about to start with Mulder. The show has had a lot of practice with long drawn out sequences in hospital rooms, most famously the time that Scully was there, as Mulder watched over her. (Fans of the original series got a treat to see a flashback to that episode, with a much younger Duchovny watching over the incapacitated Anderson.) Mulder eventually comes to comfort Scully as her mother passes, and there was just enough substance in those touching scenes to not make them too saccharine. Her mother mentions Scully and Mulder’s son William right before she dies, which cements the missing son as a true through line throughout these new episodes. Will we actually see William, all grown up, by the final episode? It sure seems like it is shaping up that way.

TV REVIEW: X-Files Season 10, Episode 4 - Home Again

THE X-FILES: L-R: David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson in the “Home Again” episode of THE X-FILES ©2016 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Ed Araquel/FOX

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The meat of this story was another Monster-Of-The-Week episode, with a dark and violent twist. The FBI Agents are called into to help solve a case with some downright “spooky” elements, and the word is thrown directly to Mulder as a nod to his nickname at the FBI. There is a push to clean up the streets of Philadelphia, mainly the homeless problem, and there are some shady characters trying to sweep those poor humans under the rug. A tall, garbage clad vigilante has risen in their defense though, named the Trash Man, and the viewers get to see him immediately go to work on Alessandro Juliani, ripping his arms and head clean off before returning to the warm embrace of the trash compactor. Juliani marks the second guest star from the famed SyFy show Battlestar Galactica, and thanks to the rise of shows like The Walking Dead, he meets a more gruesome end than we are used to with The X-Files. But the dim lighting and eerie soundtrack help to really paint a wonderfully violent picture, and raise the hairs on the back of your head when the Trash Man comes into frame.

TV REVIEW: X-Files Season 10, Episode 4 - Home Again

As it turns out, the Trash Man is a manifestation of a local street artists creative energy to want to help the homeless population. A very Banksy-meets-Candyman type scenario is played out throughout the episode, and is entertainingly explained by Tim Armstrong, the front man of the punk band Rancid in real life, and playing the tortured artist in “Home Again”. The sequence where Mulder and Scully slowly creep into the basement studio where the artist lives is played for jump scares and works beautifully; totally hearkening back to the original series. In fact, the most iconic shot of the reboot occurs in this episode, as Mulder and Scully descend into darkness. Mulder tells her he doesn’t, “do stairs anymore”, to which Scully comments that, “back in the day she did all kinds of stairs in three inch heels”. Mulder takes out his trusty flashlight and counters with “Back in the day, Scully? Back in the day is now.” and the pair walk into the abyss, their flashlight beams crossing in a definite “X”. It is details like that that made me love the show in the first place, and it is heartwarming to see them pop up again in this new series.

FBI Score: 9 out of 10. Truly the most “return to form” episode yet, “Home Again” brings emotion, and terror to The X-Files, as Mulder and Scully desperately try to deal with their own choices in life concerning their child, while also decrying the mystery of the violent Trash Man.

Jeff Ayers

Both my parents instilled in me at an early age the awesome power and incredible wonder of the written word. My father sat with me when I was four years old and taught me to enjoy reading with classic comic strips like SPIDERMAN, PEANUTS, B.C. and, later, CALVIN AND HOBBES. My mother exposed me to such classics of literature as Poe, Tolkien, Stoker and Doyle, and I started my own comic collection with allowance money from mowing lawns. I liked Wolverine before it was cool, I watched as Superman died and returned, and huddled under the covers as I turned the pages of SANDMAN. Reading is like oxygen to me, and all genres and formats are welcome and devoured equally. I am the co-host of The DW and Incredible Jeff Show, CEO of Permian Productions, and a reviewer at Graphic Novel Reporter. I am 34 and live in scenic Saratoga Springs New York, where I haunt coffee shops and dive bars and the best comic shop anywhere, The Comic Depot.

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