The X-Files

Season 4 Episode 2

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1
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Oct 11, 1996 on FOX
8.7
out of 10
User Rating
388 votes
37

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
A baby is found buried alive in shallow ground and appears to have birth defects resulting from generations of inbreeding, leading Mulder and Scully to a reclusive family who have a history of inbred children.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • dudecomeon

    7.5
    The interiors of both houses were so dark I couldn't see a damn thing. Though maybe this is like shooting the messenger, because our internet connection is so poor.



    Also, don't give me that crap about taking all day. Saying "officer down" would have alerted every cop in the area.
  • Home, No Place Like It! A horrifyingly entertaining episode!

    10
    Home was a perfect and very entertaining episode of The X-Files. I really enjoyed watching because the story was very good, the characters were awesome and the backgrounds really helped set the tone. I was reminded of Texas Chainsaw Massacre mixed with other horror movies. Some truly disturbing things happened and the family involved are inbred degenerates. Mulder and Scully worked well together and it was sad to see the Sheriff, his wife, and the deputy all get murdered. The ending was spooky knowing they are still out there, and that song was perfect! I look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!!moreless
  • A "Wonderful, Wonderful" episode

    10
    Mulder and Scully are sent to Home, Pennsylvania to investigate the live burial of a deformed infant, a child entombed in a sandlot under home plate next door to a local family well known for its incestuous ways. This bucolic Mayberry is shattered when Sherriff Taylor and his wife are bludgeoned to death in one of the most horrific death scenes ever shown on The X-Files or any show for that matter. I suspect it was the stunning brutality of their murder, not the theme of incest, that finally brought forth a Parental Guidance warning from the network. Matters escalate as Scully becomes convinced that the horribly disfigured newborn was birthed by a woman held captive by the Peacock recluses, and the agents move in on a house so filled with horror it would have sent Norman Bates screaming in terror.

    Chris Carter has made it plain from the beginning that the series is out to scare us at any cost. And if he can't scare us, he will shock us. And these were the scariest and most shocking characters in The X-Files rich history of monsters of the week; thank God and Directors of Photography Ron Stannett and Jon Joffin for wisely putting Mulder and Scully in plenty of sunlight to balance the gloom and corruption of that haunted house.

    Every family archetype is trotted out and crucified: the dutiful sons are dim-witted thugs, and their loving mother is a controlling tyrant who sacrifices a family's soul to preserve its decaying flesh. I'm surprised she buried her infant; I expected her to eat it. This unremitting portrait of evil is sharply contrasted against our heroes, whose companionable relationship, intelligence, and bravery highlight this episode.

    Morgan and Wong's strong suit has always been characterization, and in this script they deliver some of the best Mulder and Scully scenes, and some of the best secondary character writing to date. Scully takes the driver's seat both literally and metaphorically in this episode. Warm, funny, and wise, Gillian Anderson's "uber-Scully" is a warrior-scientist mother figure who strides across this story like Brunnhilde in a tailored suit. Despite Mulder's insistence that this case is not an X-File, she persists in liberating the helpless woman she is convinced is being held in the Peacock house. She leads the investigation with her head but backs it up superbly with her heart, unwilling to risk leaving a defenseless victim in peril another minute even if it means risking her own life.

    The baseball-juggling scene was wonderful, as Agent Mulder tells us more about his boyhood in 8 seconds than the previous three years have revealed. Tucker Smallwood's Sheriff Taylor, is cast from the same mold as Andy Griffith himself: a gentle, peace loving man who loves his small town so passionately it blinds him to the danger at its heart. Karin Konoval gives an impressive performance as Momma Peacock, one of the most malignant characters to ever adorn The X-Files.

    A gruesome episode enhanced by some really creepy settings and "wonderful" characters.moreless
  • A strange family of inbred freaks wreak havoc

    7.9
    The second episode this season finds an episode that is filled with some truly scary images and a couple of awesome moments. However, the rest of the episode drags on and goes nowhere, and this isn't an X-File so much as it is an episode following horrific things. If you take away the couple of scenes that were great, you have a sub-par episode without much of a story.



    It's important to notice what the episode did a good job with though. That scene where the freaks broke into the Sheriff's house and beat them to death while that old song played in the background.. it was haunting and one of the darkest (if not the darkest) thing that the show has done to date. Also, that final scene where Mulder and Scully break into the house was awesome and shows the show can do great action scenes.



    I just didn't like how little mystery there was.. there was obviously moments that we questioned, but we knew right from the first scene what was happening and who was responsible and we also know right away that they inbred. There was no mystery and nothing to question, just a few great scenes with a bunch of expository scenes in the middle.. I will say this though: there was some great Mulder/Scully interactions throughout, something I hope the show does more of in the future.moreless
  • Did I find this to be one of the most creepy episodes of the X-Files ever? Yes I did, and here's why...

    9.0
    Firstly, there's no unexplainable paranormal activity going on here. The idea of a family inbreeding amongst themselves, shows something that can happen in real life (and probably does for all we know), is what brought chills down my spine as I was watching this episode.



    Secondly, it showed the extent to which the Peacock family would go to follow their own traditions, knowing that a change could destroy them, but at the same time, going to any length to make sure they still had their home to do their business. And finally, just the tone that this episode set in such a suspenseful manner made me sit at the edge of my seat, waiting to see what happened next. The parts where Mulder and Scully enter their home, knowing there are traps set, or when the Peacock brother sneak into the Sheriff's home are scenes were some of the most suspenseful moments that I have seen in a while.



    I thought everyone acted really well in this episode, and I can see why this is considered one of the more disturbing episodes of the show.moreless
Tucker Smallwood

Tucker Smallwood

Sheriff Andy Taylor

Guest Star

Sebastian Spence

Sebastian Spence

Deputy Barney Paster

Guest Star

Chris Norris

Chris Norris

Edmund Peacock

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (7)

    • Principal Setting:
      Home, Pennsylvania.

    • This episode marks the first time Samantha Mulder was mentioned in a context other than abduction - at one point, Fox talks about the games he and his sister used to play.

    • While I realize it added significantly to the plot line, in reality, Mulder and Scully would have simply called in the State Police and officers from neighboring jurisdictions to assist them in arresting the Peacock boys.

    • Though it's a brilliant and incredibly disturbing counterpoint, the playing of Wonderful Wonderful during the scenes where the sheriff is battered to death is not in any kind of musical timeline. The first line plays as the brothers are leaving the house, then there is a scene with the sheriff looking at his gun and being comforted by his wife, then a shot back to the brothers' car and the second line of the song. Then when the brothers arrive at the sheriff's house, both the sheriff and his wife have got ready for and are in bed, but the song is still only about half way through, and when the brothers get back in their car having killed them, it's still playing. I know I'm being picky, but the song is not Les Miserables. It doesn't last for three hours!

    • The actual quote in Babe is "Baaah-ram-ewe", not Naah-ram-ewe. All three elements of the magic word are related to sheep.

    • An editing nit-pick: during Mulder and Scully's first conversation with Sheriff Taylor at the infant-burial site, the exact same reaction shot of Scully is used twice: she makes a facial expression, looks down and to her right, and some strands of her hair blow across the top of her head.

    • In the teaser the Peacock mother is giving birth and is screaming in obvious pain, but we are later told that the family shares a genetic disorder caused by their inbreeding (among others) which prevents them from feeling pain.

  • QUOTES (12)

    • Scully: The way I think it goes here is that Edmund is the brother and the father of the other two.
      Mulder: Which means that when Edmund was a kid, he could ground the other two for playing with his things?

    • Scully: You still planning on making a home here?
      Mulder: Not if I can't get the Knicks game.
      Scully: Well, just as long as a brutal infanticide doesn't weigh into your decision. Good night, Mulder.

    • Sherrif: We don't have a lab or a morgue, but I do have a room down here might be a bit cleaner.. By the way, this is my deputy Barney..
      Mulder: Fife?!
      Deputy: Pastor!

    • Scully: But he also implied that they practice inbreeding. Now we all have a natural instinct to propagate...
      Mulder: Do we?

    • Scully: Mulder, if you had to do without a cell phone for two minutes, you'd lapse into catatonic schizophrenia.

    • Mulder: Oh no! (Mulder pouts holding up a newspaper for Scully to see, the headline reads: 'Elvis Presley dead at 42')

    • Scully: Oh my god. Mulder, it looks like this child has been afflicted by every rare birth defect known to science.

    • Mulder: I guess we can rule out murder as the cause of death, huh?
      Scully: I don't know about that. There is evidence of occlusion due to dirt in the nose and mouth, indicating the dirt has been inhaled.
      Mulder: There's something rotten in Mayberry.

    • Scully: It'd be like living in Mayberry.
      Sheriff Taylor: Agents Mulder and Scully... Hi, I'm Sheriff Andy Taylor.
      Mulder: For real?

    • Mulder: ...is there a history of genetic abnormalities in your family?
      Scully: No.
      Mulder: Well, just find yourself a man with a spotless genetic makeup and a really high tolerance for being second guessed and start popping out the little uber-Scullies.
      Scully: What about your family?
      Mulder: Well, aside from the need for corrective lenses and the tendency to be abducted by extraterrestrials involved in an international conspiracy, the Mulder family passes genetic muster.

    • Mulder: (while pushing the pigs) Scully, would you think any less of me as a man if I told you I'm sort of excited right now?

    • Mulder: (trying to push the pigs) There some secret farmer trick to get these things moving?
      Scully: I don't know. Naa-ram-ewe! NAA-RAAM-EEEWE!!!!
      Mulder: Yeah, that'll work.
      Scully: I baby-sat my nephew this weekend. He watches Babe 15 times a day!
      Mulder: And people call ME spooky.

  • NOTES (6)

    • The science advisor to the series, Anne Simon Ph.D., points out in her book The Real Science Behind The X-Files that the genetic deformities Scully observes in the dead infant (Neu-Laxova syndrome, Meckel-Gruber syndrome and extrophy of the cloaca) are quite rare, and that she would have had to have been well-versed in genetic abnormalities to have recognized all of these conditions without consulting outside experts. Dr. Simon mentions a standard reference book, Smith's Recognizable Patterns of Human Malformation, as something Scully may have had the opportunity to consult before this case, thus familiarizing herself with the information.

    • A scene was cut in which Mulder and Scully jostle each other suggestively in the tight confines of Sheriff Taylor's supply closet/morgue.

    • Glen Morgan named the Peacock family after some former neighbors of his parents.

    • This episode features the song "Wonderful Wonderful" by Johnny Mathis.

    • Having spent a year away from The X-Files to create their own show Space: Above and Beyond, writers Morgan and Wong return here for the first time since season 2's "Die Hand Die Verletzt." The title of their first episode back may also have a double meaning; aside from being the name of the town featured, it could be their way of saying that they are back "home".

    • Because of the sensitive and still largely taboo subject matter, this episode was banned from Fox TV after it first aired.

  • ALLUSIONS (2)

    • Mulder: Fife?

      It's hard to even call this a reference, since Mulder and Scully are aware of the many ironies in the obvious parallels. Sheriff Andy Taylor and Deputy Barney Paster are clear references to The Andy Griffith Show, where Sheriff Andy Taylor and his Deputy Barney Fife watch over a small North Carolina mountain town. Though Deputy Paster wouldn't admit it, they also both resemble their namesakes: both Andies are calm, laid-back and content with their small-town ways, and both Barneys are more nervous and fond of weapons.

    • Scully: He watches Babe 15 times a day!

      In the movie Babe, the secret phrase "Baah-ram-ewe" is a code word to sheep that they should do what the speaker says.

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