- Posted by Giaco Furino
- On February 9, 2016
- 0 Comments
“You’re a dark wizard, Mulder.” With those lines spoken by Scully to Mulder, I knew this episode was on the right track. His wry answer, “What else is new?” added to the playfulness of this week’s show. This is a playfulness much needed in the series, not outright funny, not overly corny… just fun. After a very rough first, a wobbly-but-entertaining second episode, and a controversial (and trying too hard to be funny) third episode, I can finally say that I’ve fully enjoyed an episode of new X-Files with this fourth installment.
The episode takes place in Philadelphia, where a tall, impossibly strong man is ripping apart people who would upset the lives of the homeless. This man, who goes by the name “bandaid nose man” (catchy, I’m considering legally changing my name to something similar), is on a crusade to destroy those who would uproot the homeless from the streets of Philly and put them into a shelter in nearby Bucks County. When Scully and Mulder hit the scene, one of those targets has already been brutally murdered.
But the plot takes a strong diversion for Scully, as she receives word that her mother is on life support in the hospital. So as Scully runs off to tend to her ailing mother Mulder’s left to piece together clues. To do so, he has to try to piece together what’s going on with the homeless, their fabled protector, and street artists who seem to be tagging the city with his likeness.
I grew up just outside of Philadelphia, spent my college years there, and couldn’t be prouder to see the city portrayed for national television. It looks dirty, the people are extremely rude, and everyone seems a little rough and tumble. I love the little note that they’re shipping off the homeless to hoity toity Bucks County… and the rich white lady’s response to that prospect is exactly the response that plan would garner in real life: shock and awe. Philly always gets a bad rap, but Philadelphians are fine with that. Let us throw snowballs at Santa, or boo our own players at sporting events, if you got a problem with it go to Philly and take it up with the locals. Man… I miss living in city of brotherly love.
This episode has a lot to love for old-school fans of the series. Mulder and Scully refer to the present as “the good old days” just before switching on their high-beam flashlights. They joke about running around in high heels. There are even flashbacks to when Scully was in the hospital way back in the early days of the series. And we finally learn what happened to William, the lovechild of our two agents.
The acting in “Home Again” is some of the best of the new season. Duchovny and Anderson have finally re-settled into their characters, and we see that ease and compassion creep back into their performances. The extras are all great (although there’s a bit of that “crazy homeless” stereotyping going on) and the main villain is totally creepy. Even the rambling street artist delivers a clunky monologue with nuance and makes really interesting choices with his speech patterns.
All in all, this is a classic episode of The X-Files. So what if the plot kind of unravels itself toward the end… it brings us to an emotional, not plot-driven, conclusion. And that’s what some of the best episodes of the original series did for us. So check this one out, and don’t feel like you need to catch up with the last three episodes… because you really don’t.