31 October 2016

Home Again: Halloween Night Bonus Round

How can I not write something Halloween-related on Halloween night? And even though I didn't initially plan on posting anything tonight, it was last night that I realised that I didn't have any other choice.

So. today, after school I dug into my secret comic book stash, and I read Home Again - the now unofficial sequel to the gory The X-files episode I reviewed last night. Not to be confused with the live-action season 10 episode about a murderous trash-sculpture. 

Here's what I think:

The artwork is amazing. Mulder, Scully, and Skinner look exactly like their real-life counterparts, which really helps to get their voices right when you read the dialogue. The visual accuracy, the attention to the details, the dark and brown-ish colour pallete - it all helps to re-create the dirty and depressing atmosphere of the original episode. 

As for the story... well, it seems like the writers tried to splice together two completely different stories, and it all came out pretty messy. Good, but certainly not great. Home Again is a sequel to Home, but it's also a part of the overarching season 11 mythology, of which I know nothing about. There is a new Big Bad in town, and a new conspiracy that the agents are trying to uncover, and if you haven't read any of the comics, it's going to be very difficult to follow the story. 

As a sequel to Home, it works. The writers go back in time and fill in the gaps of the Peacocks' family history from the original episode. And they show us where the surviving members of the inbred family are now and what they've been up to for the past twenty years. We also get to see the more human side of the Peacocks. I mean, they're still terrible people, but here we kind of understand their desire to stay together and not let the outside world in. 

Still, the Peacocks are just as disgusting on the pages of a comic book as they are on a TV screen. There isn't nearly as much violence here as it was in the original episode, but the implication of violence is there, and it works. Plus, there is a clear and present danger of actually having to see the Peacocks mate. Now that's disturbing. 

What I like about episodes like Home and Pusher is the idea that the scariest monsters are humans. Humans with super powers and weird genetic mutations, but humans nonetheless. And I think this message was lost in Home Again.  

Whether or not this episode works as part of the new mythology, I don't know. And I'm not sure if it was such a good idea to mix this classic monster-of-the-week with the new mythology. On the upside, this storyline does seem very interesting, and compelling.  

Alright, Happy Halloween. For real, this time. 


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