The X-Files (1996) – Home, and Teliko

Some Andy Griffith jokes and a great Babe reference doesn’t quite keep the darkness in bay at what was and is considered the most controversial episode of The X-Files ever. Glen Morgan and James Wong delivered ‘Home’ to the viewing public on 11 October, 1996 and it disturbed a lot of viewers.

Agents Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) are called in to investigate the death of a malformed newborn which leads them to the discovery of the Peacock family, a group of inbred brothers and their mother that have lived in the same house since the Civil War, and have kept very much to themselves.

But the FBI’s investigation draws the Peacocks out, violently, forcing a confrontation between the agents, with the local PD at their side, and the inbred family.

The subject matter was enough to scare some folk off, but honestly, it ends up being a fun but incredibly dark episode, which lays some ground work for future episodes with Mulder saying he sees Scully as a mother for the first time.

The Peacock family is truly terrifying, and they tend to be shot in shadow to add some horror to it, and the reveal of Mrs. Peacock (Karin Konoval) is actually very terrifying. The show had such an effect on viewers, and perhaps those who simply stumbled across it, that it caused quite the furor, and the episode was never aired again – which, of course, simply added to its infamy.

Darkly humour, horrifying, and smart. This showed exactly how close to the edge the show could be taken. And a few viewers balked at it.

Brilliant!

Teliko gives us the first letdown of the season, while not necessarily a clunker, per se, it does disappoint when it follows on the heels of the season opener and Home. This is a non-mythology episode that has the opening credits tag changed from ‘The Truth is Out There’ to ‘Deceive, Inveigle, Obfuscate.’

Written by Howard Gordon, this episode debuted on 18 October, 1996, and allowed the FBI agents to investigate an African legend, as a strange being seems to be feeding off the melanin in the cells of Africans, and African-Americans once it lands State-side.

I think because of similarities to Squeeze and Tooms this episode isn’t quite as engaging as it could have been because we’ve seen this story before, in this series. So it’s not exactly a misfire, so much as a retread when I’m sure there were more fascinating African myths and legends that could have served as the launching point for a narrative.

The episode delivers a couple of solid guest stars in the form of Carl Lumbly, Zakes Mokae, and Laurie Holden in her second appearance as Marita Covarrubias, and allows Mulder gets to pick on Agent Pendrell (Brendan Beiser) about his crush on Scully.

The search for the truth expands next week, when we delve into the first show series creator Chris Carter developed after launching The X-Files. And one we learn is set in the same universe…. Millennium! Remember, the truth is out there…

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