01 May 2007

Season 4: Home (4X03)

Writers: Glen Morgan and James Wong
Director: Kim Manners

When the body of a malformed newborn baby is found in a shallow grave in the small town of Home in Pennsylvania. Local Sheriff Andy Taylor unused to such things requests the help of the FBI and Mulder and Scully are assigned to investigate, neither of them believe the case is an X-file, until they examine the baby and discover it is has multiple genetic deformities. They come across the Peacock clan, a local family which years of inbreeding has deformed their bodies and souls in to something sub human.

Down to just three brothers, Mulder and Scully suspect the brothers have kidnapped a woman and are forcing her to bear their children. They visit the Peacock residence and find evidence that confirms that the baby was born in the house although they can find no sign of a woman being held captive. That night the Peacock brothers leave their home and go to the Sheriff's house, where they murder Andy Taylor and his wife in a vicious attack. The deputy Sheriff discovers the bodies the next morning and joins Mulder and Scully as they storm the Peacock house.

But the Peacocks are ready to defend their home and the deputy Sheriff is killed by a bobby trap. Mulder and Scully distract the Peacock brothers by releasing their pigs from the pen, while they are rounding the pigs up Mulder and Scully enter the house. They discover that the mother of the deformed baby is not a woman being held captive but the Mrs Peacock, a multiple amputee and mother of the three Peacock brothers.

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.

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 Sherriff Taylor's supply closet/morgue.

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.

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: (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.

Highlights from ''Home''

Episode Number: 75
Season Number: 4
First Aired: Friday October 11, 1996
Production Code: 4X03

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