Oh, my, god. I’ve been gutted. Flayed. Torn open. It will be a while before this episode gets out of my head.
Spoilers beneath the cut.
Home Again hit hard for me, having recently lost a parent, having been at my father’s bedside when he passed, and knowing what a tumultuous experience that can be. I was lucky not to have many unanswered questions, lucky to have another parent alive to answer them for me; Scully can’t say that, given her mother was her last connection (it appears both her brothers are total dicks).
Gillian Anderson’s performance damn near killed me, no pun intended. Please give this woman all the awards.
Mulder’s support in this episode was equally powerful. These two characters have never been big on talking things out, but you see them connecting in a way they never could, something that comes from years of intimacy and wisdom. It’s refreshing to see them being vulnerable with each other. They were more human, more believable in this episode than I think they ever were in seasons 8 or 9.
“You’re a dark wizard, Mulder.”
This episode proves that, no matter the status of their relationship, the show can be successful in the right hands, and it’s because these characters (and the actors) care about each other so damn much.
Also: SO MUCH TOUCHING. HUGGING. GAZING. KISS, DAMN YOU! That old Mulder-Scully chemistry was all over the place.
The parallels drawn between the monster of the week and Mulder and Scully’s situation with William and Maggie Scully were surprisingly successful for me. I’m impressed the writers were able to combine this vicious and violent “band-aid nose man” (think Arcadia meets Banksy) story with the powerful topics of death and the loss of their son; even if the connection was tenuous, it was believable.
I could have done without the flashbacks to previous episodes; I get that, again, the writers wanted to familiarize a new audience, but I’d rather they spent that precious minute or two polishing up the case file or smoothing the transitions. I understand Scully’s need to immediately go back to work after her mother’s death, and can imagine that actually happening, but it felt abrupt.
I wish we’d been able to see the episodes in the original intended order; they might have felt more cohesive and made Founder’s Mutation that much more powerful, although I can see why they didn’t want to jump into a brand new season with the death of a major character.
I love that William’s story has become the ongoing thread between all the episodes in one way or another, but I hope they manage to tie it up; if not completely, then with more episodes (Season 11, please, please, please?)
“I believe you will find the answers to the biggest mysteries, and I’ll be there when you do. But my mysteries, I’ll never have answered.“
The only disappointment I have is that I’m pretty sure it’s all downhill from here. The next two episodes are in Chris Carter’s hands, and despite having created the show, his writing doesn’t do these characters and their stories justice. The buzz around the next episode, Babylon, isn’t great, so I hope the season finale ends on a strong note.
If not, at least I have three new favorites to re-watch, which is more than I ever expected.