X-Files: 1004 - "Home Again" Open Thread

Written by: Chris Carter and Glen Morgan
Directed by: Glen Morgan

Comments

  • I feel like this was a decent MOTW episode, one that fit pretty well within the original run (including the fact that Mulder and Scully are absolutely useless the entire episode), but I was kind of bored by it. Did anyone find that ending too abrupt? I had to rewind my DVR to see if I didn't miss a scene. They are in the room with the last dead guy and suddenly the street artist guy is leaving and they are talking about William. Which brings me to the elephant in the room. I think it is incredible that they keep bringing up William, but neglect to mention why he was put up for adoption. Yes, the whole original reason for that was convoluted and silly as hell. But if you are going to have extended takes of Scully wondering if she did the right thing and all of that, you'd think that at least once Mulder would be "hey, we had no choice, it was either that or he'd lead the alien colonists to victory and the destruction of the entire world."


    I think the reason why episodes like this one bore me today, while I would probably have loved it 20 years ago, is because the whole MOTW v mytharc split seems like a dated concept. It might have been very innovative back in the day to have a long running mystery to go along with what was essentially a sci-fi procedural. But nowadays, with so many tightly plotted dramas out there, the split makes the whole thing seem less consequential. I don't think it makes sense anymore to have this hard and clear split between MOTW and mytharc. By having the split, first it telegraphs that nothing consequential will really happen in the episode. So even if they bring up William, they can't deal with any of the heavy issues around it because it is just a MOTW. Second, it kind of makes the story feel small. "hey, we have the global conspiracy of far reaching implications, but let's set that aside for a second to figure out this one murder here." Finally, at this point I can't even remember what the pilot was about. The Darin Morgan was great, but everything else has been kind of "meh."
    brewseveltmanhattnik
  • I was also extremely bored by this episode. But I never watched the original series and therefore don't have the same connection to the characters. But this episode was still very strangely plotted, and there was no real resolution to the MOTW.
  • @shum Most MOTW in the original run had no resolution like John Carpenter films
  • edited February 2016
    @joepinetree

    I agree that the cracks in the format are showing.  A full season doesn't have this problem because there's clear cut MOTW and mythos episodes.  This 6 episode mini-series is mixing everything and trying to keep a consistent thread... which is working to varying degrees.

    I think the past three episodes would be much stronger without the William thread.  However, it might have been equally jarring to open with the mythos episode, have five weeks of individual monsters and nobody mention William, then jump back into the mythos for the finale.
  • I was pretty disappointed but have adjusted my expectations accordingly. That was a weird episode. As I was watching I kept thinking "This is as good as you could come up with?" Oh well. I'm just happy the show is back and fully expect them to come back next year with a much better 10-12 episode run. They keep winning the 18-49 demographic so that's a great indication this will be picked back up. 

    The myth arch stuff with William in this episode felt pretty cluncky, and it just seems that neither duchovney or anderson really care about the material. 
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    I think this episode was creepy and scary, and it had some nice emotional beats between the dynamic duo. It's a shame the show is losing everyone apparently.
    Jovial_Falcon
  • THERE IS ONLY ONE TRASHMAN!!!!!!!!!



    A_Ron_HubbardTravis
  • chriskchrisk Indianapolis
    edited February 2016
    I hate to say it but I agree about this one being boring. The William stuff didn't mesh with the monster story, and either one would have worked better being the sole focus. That line from Scully about "treating him like trash" was groan worthy, and played like the eureka moment of a young writer who finds a line they believe ties everything together. 

    I'm a little bothered by Scully acting as if she bears all the responsibility for the adoption decision. Doesn't Mulder deserve at least a little resentment from her for abdicating his role? Shouldn't he feel some guilt? He should be more than just a random shoulder to cry on. Maybe they just didn't feel Duchovny could pull it off, but in the old days I remember him doing well enough. He still doesn't seem fully engaged, outside of last week's episode where he got to do what he does best. Gillian Anderson was great and to the extent I cared it was because of her.

  • What do you all make of the comment by the nurse about how her living will was changed? Something about the change being witnessed by two Naval officers. Did the mom know something and they were trying to off her? There has to be more than just trying to tie in William to the story.
  • chriskchrisk Indianapolis

    What do you all make of the comment by the nurse about how her living will was changed? Something about the change being witnessed by two Naval officers. Did the mom know something and they were trying to off her? There has to be more than just trying to tie in William to the story.

    Thought that was strange too. In fact I wondered intermittently if the hospital part was some kind of dream/illusion. Something generally didn't feel right there. Seemed odd how focus Scully was on that other patient who died, and I thought that was going to lead to some new conspiracy plot.
  • edited February 2016
    @GredalBee

    The mini-series is trying to mix everything up in terms of lip service only. It still pretty much keeps the same theme of mytharc plots not getting resolved in MOTW episodes and vice versa. I mean, the fact that they decided to show the episodes out of order after shooting them speaks to this (2nd episode was originally planned to be the 5th).

    I mean, let's think about this in terms of "What would Lindeloff do?" or "What would Gilligan do?" In other words, what would we expect if the X-Files was as tightly plotted as the leftovers or Better Call Saul. In terms of the William plot, for example, there is only two ways that that could go. One is, after Mulder decides that all the previous conspiracy he believed in is BS, he and Scully should be freaking out about giving up William based on what they now believe is a false prophecy. The other is they go "nope, still believe in the prophecy, we did the right thing." Instead, we get weepy Scully for five episodes where they can't say anything else. Which also telegraphs that episode 6 will be all about William, and that the plot will only be solved in episode 6.


    Now, maybe I am being unreasonable in terms of expecting a tightly plotted show. But if the goal of a 6 episode run isn't to be tightly plotted show and just be a nostalgia trip, then go all out in the nostalgia trip. Because other than the Darin Morgan episode, this run has been a bit like going to a flock of seagulls concert in 2016 where they play their old B-sides but never play "I Ran." Either go all out with new stuff or play the big nostalgia piece. They should have either made a 6 episode series where the mytharc is at least advanced a little bit every episode (even if there are MOTWs), or just full nostalgia (with an actual sequel to "Home," etc). "Decent monster of the week" isn't something to aspire to a decade later.
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    image
    Jovial_FalconTravis
  • chriskchrisk Indianapolis

    @GredalBee

    The mini-series is trying to mix everything up in terms of lip service only. It still pretty much keeps the same theme of mytharc plots not getting resolved in MOTW episodes and vice versa. I mean, the fact that they decided to show the episodes out of order after shooting them speaks to this (2nd episode was originally planned to be the 5th).

    I mean, let's think about this in terms of "What would Lindeloff do?" or "What would Gilligan do?" In other words, what would we expect if the X-Files was as tightly plotted as the leftovers or Better Call Saul. In terms of the William plot, for example, there is only two ways that that could go. One is, after Mulder decides that all the previous conspiracy he believed in is BS, he and Scully should be freaking out about giving up William based on what they now believe is a false prophecy. The other is they go "nope, still believe in the prophecy, we did the right thing." Instead, we get weepy Scully for five episodes where they can't say anything else. Which also telegraphs that episode 6 will be all about William, and that the plot will only be solved in episode 6.


    Now, maybe I am being unreasonable in terms of expecting a tightly plotted show. But if the goal of a 6 episode run isn't to be tightly plotted show and just be a nostalgia trip, then go all out in the nostalgia trip. Because other than the Darin Morgan episode, this run has been a bit like going to a flock of seagulls concert in 2016 where they play their old B-sides but never play "I Ran." Either go all out with new stuff or play the big nostalgia piece. They should have either made a 6 episode series where the mytharc is at least advanced a little bit every episode (even if there are MOTWs), or just full nostalgia (with an actual sequel to "Home," etc). "Decent monster of the week" isn't something to aspire to a decade later.

    Not sure about Home (which was great), but the sequel idea is interesting. I wonder if there's a short, more self-contained arc they could have found from the old episodes, and just used that as an excuse for getting the band back together. "Look we can't get anywhere on this, you worked the case - nobody gives a damn about this stuff anymore after 9/11 and we'd like you to come back and handle it. Then maybe you have the option of slowly unfolding a bigger story if more episodes are ordered. The X Files are re-established, and so monsters are also investigated again instead of being swept under the rug or whatever it is that's happened in the intervening years.
  • edited February 2016
    @joepinetree

    I agree with most of that.  I just think they're already trying to do some of those things, but it's not working under the circumstances.  They're writing for new audiences as much as old, and this is the watered down cocktail we got.
  • I just finished the podcast and wanted to provide some insight to the school board member. I work for a school district, and board members are officially elected positions. Most are retired teachers, but some are just community members.

    I believe she said she was the president, which implied to me she was equivalent to a superintendent. That would make her the highest ranking administrator in a large city school district. Think six-figure salary importance.

    I think maybe @a_ron_hubbard was under the impression she was a member of the PTA or PTO, which would be exclusively made up of parents.

    Great podcast, guys, just thought this might make her character a little more understandable for you.
  • edited February 2016
    That's a good point JJ_Borden. 
  • manhattnikmanhattnik the big apple
    Flashlights. Heh.
  • manhattnikmanhattnik the big apple
    To elaborate, I recently read an interview with Gillian Anderson about returning to the X-Files, and she specifically mentioned that there would *not* be stuff happening with flashlights like in the original series, that Scully and Mulder would magically whip out flashlights that were too bulky to have possibly fit in their pockets without enormous, ungainly bulges. So, surprise, Mulder makes some quip about “this is back in the day” or the like, and they both click on the flashlights that have magically appeared in their hands. Well played. Well played. 
  • Holy crap, just read that Trashman was the lead singer from rancid. Never in a million years would I have recognized him.
    Jovial_Falcon
Sign In or Register to comment.