season 4, episode 2, “home”
the mythology of the show can be a bit tedious at times. that’s why they only do a couple of two-parters each season and sprinkle it through as subplots in other episodes. the stand alones are the meat and potatoes of the series. it’s what sustains the audience in between the sometimes cumbersome and laborious mytharc heavy episodes.
it seems wrong to refer to “home” as a breath of fresh air given its grisly subject matter, but it is. “talitha cumi” and “herrenvolk” burned me out on the main conspiracy plot. i want to see scully and mulder investigate an x-file. there’s no time for banter during the drama of the mythology, so it’s a relief to have this episode that is chock full of their witty repartee. the case they’re investigating is the death of an infant. the baby was found buried in a field and is afflicted with practically every deformity known to man. the crime took place in home, pennsylvania, a small town of only about a couple hundred people. scully would like to keep investigating and mulder is ready to hand it over to local police. there’s nothing supernatural going on here. and nothing supernatural ends up happening, but that doesn’t lessen the quality of the episode. actually, it makes it stand out. mulder sees that it’s important to scully to stay on the case and a woman’s life might be at risk. neither of them ever walk away from people in need.
the scene on the bench is up there with the conversation on the rock from “quagmire.” scully is reflecting on her feelings about the child and what the mother must have felt. she expresses these feelings to mulder. their casual conversation turns into deep bonding that still somehow seems casual. flirting and sexual innuendos are interspersed throughout. it’s no wonder the shipper community gained such a following with scenes like these. “just find yourself a man with a spotless genetic makeup and a really high tolerance for being second guessed and start popping out those uber-scullys.” he rubs her back while saying this, by the way. “what about your family?” she asks. the way they look at each other after this comment is priceless. mulder’s look is like does that mean what i think it means and scully’s is like yeah, what if it does. it catches mulder off guard for a moment. they continue their considerations of the case and of the peacock family and scully says, “we all have the natural instinct to propagate.” mulder responds super suggestively, “do we?” now it’s scully’s turn to be caught off guard. she can barely continue her thought afterwards. at the end of the conversation, scully gets up to leave and mulder looks at her contemplatingly. “scully, i never saw you as a mother before.” why does he feel compelled to tell her that? it’s so personal for him to say it and for her to hear it. he must want her to know that he sees her that way aside from the jokes and the teasing. and now she knows that he looks at her a little differently. she thinks for a beat and then walks away.
their suspects in the case are the three brothers of the peacock family. they are all riddled with deformities as the result of generations of inbreeding. they search the house and find all the evidence they’ll need. they will have the sheriff issue warrants for their arrests. but, they didn’t know that a member of the peacock family was there when they searched the house hiding under the bed like all good monsters do. mrs. peacock long since thought dead, lives under the bed. deeply deformed and a quadruple amputee. at this point it seems like she is a helpless victim held against her will. but, really she is the mastermind of the peacock family and their mission to advance the family lineage. she sends her boys to kill the sheriff. in one of the most brutal and horrifying scenes, the peacock brothers murder the sheriff and his wife in their home while johnny mathis’ “wonderful wonderful” plays from the car radio. (it’s actually not the version of johnny mathis singing it. the mathis rendition was not cleared for use. i wonder why…) it’s heartbreaking and awful. the sheriff was such a gentle soul set in his small town ways living in his peaceful world dreading the day evil would seep in.
viewing the aftermath of their attack on the taylors, scully wants to go immediately and help the woman she thinks is in danger. mulder is the one being practical this time. usually it’s his passion that causes him to act rashly. scully has kind of been on a roll with this case. many of her hypotheses are proving to be correct or at least progressing their investigation. the deputy, out for vengeance, says that he’ll go with them, making it three against three. they raid the peacock house which is full of booby traps. the deputy is beheaded at the front door. mulder and scully use the pigs as a distraction and make their way into the house. they find mrs. peacock under the bed and finally get the whole horrible truth. the brothers come back in and a struggle ensues with mulder and scully and one brother making it out alive. the brother flees with the mother and in the final scene we see them still attempting to expand their family tree and on their search for a new place to call home.
this episode serves as a return “home” for writers james wong and glen morgan.
scully is working and mulder is playing baseball, reminiscing about growing up with his sister.
sheriff andy taylor and his deputy barney…paster. “for real?”
that is the smallest bathroom in the world. the bathroom ships it.
i love the way scully sits on the bench in the bench scene. and she looks really pretty in this scene. fresh-faced and youthful.
how sweet is sheriff taylor calling scully “miss scully.”
how scary is mrs. peacock under the bed?
i can’t decide what is more disgusting (aside from the incest) the siphoning of the gas or the regurgitating of the bread.
scully quotes babe.
when they walk up to the house, scully grabs a two-by-four and tosses it to mulder who catches it. it’s all so smooth and fluid. they are so in sync.
mulder’s pouty look when he finds the newspaper with the headline that elvis is dead.
mrs. peacock isn’t scary enough, she has to scream like that, too? jesus.
did you know? behind the scenes facts:
fox banned this episode after its first airing due to its violent content.
mulder says “you don’t know me as much as you think you do.” if it wasn’t for his job he’d want to settle down in a place like this. he’s telling her he wants to settle down eventually and he wants her to know what kind of life he would want. she just shrugs it off saying, “be like living in mayberry.” earth to scully! don’t you see what he’s trying to tell you, girl?
the bench scene!
s: “meanwhile, i’ve quit the FBI and become a spokesperson for the ab roller.”
s: “mulder, if you had to last without a cell phone for two minutes you’d lapse into catatonic schizophrenia.”
m: “aside from the need for corrective lenses and a tendency to be abducted by extraterrestrials involved in an intergovernmental conspiracy, the mulder family passes genetic muster.”
s: “still planning on making your home here?” m: “not if i can’t get the knicks game.” s: “as long as brutal infanticide doesn’t weigh in on your decision. good night, mulder.” m: “good night, mom.” she gives him the look of death.
m: “well, that was just a little too chuck bronson for me, scully.”
m: “scully, would you think less of me as a man if i told you i was kind of turned on right now?” her look is like, yes.
s: “i babysat my nephew last weekend. he watches babe 15 times a day.” m: “and people call me spooky.”
s: “edmund is the father and the brother of the other two.” m: “you mean when edmund was a kid he could ground the other two for playing with his things?”