Even though I still don’t know if I’ll get round to reviewing all of the new “X-Files” episodes, I saw the fourth one on Channel 5 earlier and I thought that I’d share my thoughts about it. Since I’m in a slight rush at the time of writing, this review will be much shorter than usual (for once, the “mini review” thing is literal as well as metaphorical).
Even though I’m personally trying hard to avoid SPOILERS for this new series, this review will contain MAJOR SPOILERS for this episode. You have been warned.
“Home Again” begins with a group of cruel city officials in Philadelphia, who are trying to evict a group of homeless people from a street using fire hoses. When one of them gets back to his office at the end of the night, there is a mysterious intruder who quite literally tears him limb from limb. Naturally, Mulder and Scully are called in to investigate and it isn’t long before a number of strange pieces of evidence begin to emerge.
However, halfway through the investigation, Scully recieves a phone call. Her mother has had a heart attack and is in hospital. Whilst Scully visits her mother, the mysterious killer strikes again and it is up to Mulder to investigate….
All in all, this is probably the closest thing to a classic-style “X-Files” episode that I’ve seen so far. The main plot of the episode is a classic 1980s/90s-style horror movie type story that reminded me a bit of the short story by Clive Barker (called “The Forbidden“) that later got turned into an American horror movie called “Candyman“.
Many of the scenes from this storyline could have been taken from an old 1990s horror movie (they also reminded me a bit of a modern TV show called “Supernatural” too), and they all work really well.
In classic horror movie fashion, Mulder and Scully are too late to stop the mysterious killer from getting his bloody revenge on the motley crew of villainous officials. Although there is very little dark comedy in these scenes, the epiosde is a classic horror movie-style/ vintage horror comic-style morality tale in many ways.
The resolution to the main plot is, in classic X-Files fashion left slightly mysterious. It’s a little bit contrived, but a street artist has accidentally created a golem-like sculpture (which is likened to the concept of a tulpa, or thought-form) who has come to life and is fighting on behalf of the homeless.
As for the sub-plot about Scully’s mother, it’s fairly depressing. Like with previous episodes in this mini series, there’s also more of the long-running sub-plot about Mulder and Scully’s son, William.
Although I really liked the main plot, I wish that the writers of this episode had spent more time developing it. But, since there’s a fair amount of emphasis on the sub-plot invovling Scully’s mother, some parts of the main plot can feel a little bit rushed or under-developed sometimes.
All in all, this is a reasonably good episode. The main plot is classic 1990s-style “X-Files” and it works really well. However, it also has to compete for time with the rather depressing sub-plot and it loses something as a result. Personally, I’d have preferred it if the episode had focused entirely on the main plot.
If I had to give this episode a rating out of five, it would just about get a four.