Sunday, February 14, 2016

The X-Files Revival: Home Again Review

The X-Files Revival premiere review
Coming off of the heartwarming monster-of-the-week episode Mulder and Scully Meet the Were Monster, the X-Files took a somber turn with its latest episode. Director and writer Glen Moran combined an unknown force known as the Trash Man, and a solid focus towards Scully with her mother and as a mother.

In Home Again, the agents are sent to Philadelphia to investigate a serial killer connected to the homeless. Stuck between the streets and the city laws, dozens of homeless men and women were being shuffled around the city like cattle - until the local officials are mysteriously killed by a mystery assailant who swoops in and out of a garbage truck.

Just as the case gets underway Scully is called back to Washington D.C. where her mother suffered a fatal heart attack. Left stricken at her beside, Scully tries to stay strong as her mother mysteriously calls out for her long-distant son Charlie - whom she hadn't had contact in many years. Trying to focus at the task of hand, Scully struggles with her own regrets as a mother.

For the revival, it's been an explored subject that Scully had to give her and Mulder's son up for adoption in the original series. Now that so much time has passed and they've returned to the X-Files, Scully's plagued with doubts if she made the right call. With her mom lying in a near-coma, she feels like there needs to be said between them. Scully struggles to understand her mother's outreach to her brother, who's been a distant relative to the family.

What I really liked about the fourth episode was the combination of the 'monster-of-the-week' as well as focusing on Scully. While last week's episode was definitely more light and heartwarming, this took a darker turn. The Trash-Man and his link of killings brought back the good ol' days of the XX-Files that took take something normal and twist it into something truly creepy. Tall, scarred and with a bandaged nose, he snuck into the night to twist his assailants into literal trash.

I wouldn't necessarily say this was a strong episode. Was it better than last week's or the first two episodes? I'm not quite sure. The revival itself hasn't really returned to the pace of the original series - which is not something the actors could be expected to repeat. The chemistry and emotional intelligence is still there as they return to their characters, but the episodes themselves feel a little slow-going - not bad, or terrible. But I wonder, if this one revival is the only revival we are going have, has the material been the absolute best? I can't give a definitive yes, yet. That's perhaps is the biggest quandary.

The nastiness of the Trash-Man's crimes were both scary and chilling, but it didn't necessarily mar Scully's side of the plot. Gillian Anderson hasn't had a lot to do with the revival so far since much of the episodes centered on Mulder. In regards with her dealing with her mothers' condition, she gave the sorrow and confusion we were reminded of throughout the original series. The biggest difference now is that she is deeply experiencing the turmoil and void of Williams' adoption. The void of his William's presence and Scully's struggles with her mother is what really created the emotional impact and made the episode memorable.


  1. I heard a lot of complaints about this ep. It definitely wasn't as strong as the 3rd one, but I still enjoyed it. I was so looking forward to the scene in the trailer...when the detective asks Mulder and Scully if they handle spooky cases. They cut that scene short for some reason. That scene would have made the ep had they left it in uncut. It was nice to see Scully's mom once more. I think the episode was more of an emotional showcase for Gillian to show her stuff. I wish it would have been better. I feel like Duchovny said it best--they're all a little rusty. Had we had 12 eps instead of 6 I think the limited series would have been better. I'm hopeful with the success of this season we will have another limited X-Files mini series.

  2. I enjoyed this episode too and totally wanted that scene in the episode too. The suspense was consistent and tied well to Scully's loss. I liked seeing Mom's return, even if it wasn't in the greatest circumstances. But the writing for the revival so far doesn't feel as smooth as it could be. If we had more episodes, I think the series would be stronger. Everyone's getting their feet wet again, but I wish the production had just been amped up a notch to make it really tight.