The X-Files #288: Home Again

"The people on the streets, the homeless, the street people, they ain't got no voice, right? They get treated like trash."
ACTUAL DOCUMENTED ACCOUNT: Scully is called to her dying mother's side while Mulder investigates a creature killing to protect the homeless.

REVIEW: Glen Morgan's turn at the wheel features another monster of the week, a piece of street art imbued with life, who becomes a garbage golem that travels by garbage truck or turns into graffiti, and who acts as the homeless' guardian, ripping nasty single-serving coffee users (and other nasty types) to pieces. It's a bit of a jumble, frankly, and given the episode just stops when we run out of victims we've met within the episode, one without a real resolution. The awkwardly-named Band-Aid Nose Man keeps us guessing as to his nature, but that's the script cheating. There's no real internal logic at work. And perhaps because I've just watched the X-Files/Millennium/Lone Gunmen canon, but Morgan's old trick of playing an ironically happy song to herald a dark killing irritates more than amuses. Its overuse is still fresh in my mind.

I'm also bristling at the connection the episode makes between Scully giving her child up for adoption and the way the homeless are discarded and shuffled about by gentrifiers, like so much trash. The moral of Home Again is that one should take responsibility for one's actions and not avoid and ignore those problems. The episode draws a link between landfills, the homeless problem, being estranged from a parent, euthanasia, and an adopted child (sent away so he could be safe from the Conspiracy), which doesn't sit well with me. And I don't much appreciate the William/creature parallel (two sons with lives of their own), or the visual Scully/creature parallel created by giving both characters the same strapped-on camera shot (nonsense).

Little William still weighs heavily on her, and her mother's death brings the issue into sharper focus. I just don't buy the guilty conscience. The Scully-Mulder scenes, however, I completely buy. The support Mulder shows her. The way they find humor in their strange, unusual lives. Scully's panic attack and begging to be put back on the case. Quite touching, and raw. But if that was the real A-story, and the monster less important, then ITS mysteries should have been solved. There's perhaps too much here for a single episode, and resolutions escape the script's grasp.

Some stand-out performances and an intriguing monster keep this one afloat, but don't expect answers or even logic.



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