The X-Files, a Science-Fiction, Supernatural Drama debuted 30 years ago in September 1993 and was an instant hit. Airing for 11 seasons on the FOX network the show centers on FBI special agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson). Mulder is a FBI Profiler and conspiracy theorist who believes in aliens and the paranormal. Scully is a hard-lined medical doctor and skeptic.
Together they investigate the ‘X-Files’ cases involving alien abductions, paranormal activity, government conspiracies and unexplained phenomenon. As they investigate the cases, they also deal with the forces within the FBI that are trying to silence them and discredit their work.
Mulder and Scully make the perfect pair. Mulder is a loner and a maverick who appears aloof at times. He is cynical with a witty sense of humor and has a deep interest in the paranormal. Scully is the exact opposite, a devout catholic who was skeptical of anything paranormal and looked for the scientific evidence. She is the voice of reason for Mulder and tries to keep him grounded in reality.
The main story arc, which spans the entire 11 seasons, revolves around a secret government syndicate working to cover up the truth about aliens and the paranormal. As Mulder and Scully get closer to uncovering the truth the syndicate, uses a variety of tactics to silence them.
A few of the subplots throughout the series include the existence of a secret alien base in the United States, hybrid human-alien virus’ and the abduction of Mulder’s sister when he was a child. He believes she was abducted by aliens which started his path into the paranormal.
Mulder is driven by his desire to find the truth about his sister and reveal the government conspiracies hiding the truth from the public. Scully is originally assigned to work with Mulder to debunk his theories but as she investigates the X-Files she begins to believe Mulder.
While the story unfolds over the 11 seasons there were also several monster-of-the-week episodes where the duo would investigate ghost, parasites or vampires. Which brings us to Season 4, episode 2, titled “Home.” A monster-of-the-week episode featuring the Peacock Brothers.
“Home” marks the return of writers Glen Morgan and James Wong. The two met while writing on 21 Jump Street and went on to write and create some of the best TV shows of the 1990s including The Commish, The X-Files and Space: Above and Beyond. (I loved that show)
Morgan and Wong left The X-Files after season 2 and created their own show, Space: Above and Beyond. It was canceled after one season and the pair returned to The X-Files in Season 4.
“Home” was their first episode back and they didn’t disappoint. It’s an episode so vile, so disgusting, it was banned from FOX after its first airing.
The X-Files “Home” aired on time on 11 October 1996. Over 18 million people, including me, watched the episode making it the number one show in it’s time slot.
After a long day of work I was relaxing at home ready for the weekend and ready to enjoy an episode of The X-Files. What I saw that October night was disturbing, disgusting and totally awesome! An episode so gruesome even the network regrets airing it.
Let me set the stage… (there will be spoilers, and gore, so much gore, you’ve been warned)
The episode begins on a dark, stormy night. Inside a run down farm house a women is screaming as she gives birth to a baby. Three men are standing around her using everyday kitchen utensils to deliver the baby. Lightning flashes to show the deformed faces of the men. As they deliver the baby one of them reaches for a pair of rusty scissors to cut the umbilical cord.
The men take the baby and lumber outside to a barren field. One of the men starts digging a hole, then they place the crying baby in the hole and bury it…alive.
Yes, that’s how the episode starts. Burying a new born baby alive. It gets worse from there!
The baby’s body is discovered by a group of kids playing baseball in the field. As the batter digs in for the pitch his foot sinks into the ground and blood oozes out. The kid backs away in terror as the hand of a baby is sticking out of the dirt.
After the baby is discovered the town sheriff calls the FBI and Mulder and Scully are sent to investigate. There is a great joke in the episode with the sheriff, who introduces himself as Sheriff Andy Taylor and Mulder retorts “For real?” It gets better, when they are back at the sheriff’s office he introduces his deputy, Barney and Mulder asks “Fife?”
At the crime scene Mulder asks about the old farm house and the three men watching them. Sheriff Taylor tells him it’s the Peacock farm, built during the civil war. There’s no electricity and the men are feeble minded. They wouldn’t know anything.
At the sheriff’s office, Scully examines the baby and discovers it suffers from multiple genetic deformities but the cause of death was being buried alive. Or as Scully puts it, “it looks as if this child has been affected by every rare birth defect known to science.”
Mulder is convinced the Peacock boys know something about the murder and starts snooping around the old farm house. While searching the house, Mulder and Scully find the bloody scissors and the shovel used to bury the baby.
Mulder and Scully are convince there is a woman being held hostage in the house. Before they can search any further the Peacock’s arrive home and the two agents run out the back.
The Peacock brothers discover Mulder and Scully were in their house and in retaliation, they slaughter Sheriff Taylor and his wife in their home. The brutal murder set to the soothing sound of Johnny Mathis* singing Wonderful Wonderful is disturbing on several levels.
The producers asked Johnny Mathis permission to use his song Wonderful Wonderful. After he read the script and due to the graphic violence, he refused. They recorded a cover version and used it instead
Mulder, Scully and Deputy Barney
Fife Paster go to arrest the Peacocks and rescue the women. Barney breaks in the front door and is decapitated by a booby-trap. And the Peacock brothers jump on the body and begin to pull it apart. Mulder releases the hogs from their pen hoping to lure the Peacock boys out of the house.
While the feeble minded boys chase after the hogs Mulder and Scully search the house and find a lady with no arms or legs, tied to a sled and stuffed under a bed. The lady begins yelling and screaming at them. It’s soon discovered she is the Peacock’s mother, who was thought dead. She is alive and she and her sons are making more inbred Peacock children.
The boys return from chasing the hogs and attack the house. One is shot dead by Mulder, one is impaled on another booby-trap and the third escapes with his mother. The episode ends with a shot of an old white Cadillac on the side of the road, the mother saying “you can’t keep the Peacocks down, there will be more, we’ll make more.” Then the surviving son climbs out of the trunk, closes it and gets in the car to drive to a new home.
This episode has it all brutal murder, gruesome infanticide, incest, decapitations, barley a scene goes by without some gross or gruesome event taking place.
“Home” is widely considered to be one of the most disturbing episodes of The X-Files. The episode’s depiction of violence and incest is graphic and explicit, and the Peacock family is one of the most repulsive and sadistic groups of villains in the show’s history.
The episode is well-written and well-directed. It has the look and feel of a 70s horror movie. Director Kim Manners isn’t known for horror but he got it right with “Home.” Before directing The X-Files, he worked on several non-horror TV shows including Charlies Angels, 21 Jump Street and Baywatch.
After it aired, FOX banned it from the network. The episode never aired on FOX again. Even when fans begged for the episode, FOX refused to show it again. In syndication it wasn’t aired for years. When it was finally re-aired in syndication (not on FOX) it was given a TV-MA rating and a ‘Viewer Discretion Advised’ label. Two ratings that didn’t exist when it originally aired in 1996. Thankfully the episode is included on the Season 4 DVD/Blu-Ray set and available on streaming.
The X-Files “Home” is a must watch for all X-Files fans and for horror fans. One member of the cast commented on the episode saying, “This is awful, even for us.” Vulture.com named it the most terrifying television episode to watch on Halloween.
You can watch The X-Files “Home” free on Freevee. I highly recommend you sit down in a dark room and watch this episode.
Have you seen The X-Files “Home”? Did you watch it when it originally aired? Let us know in the comments below. Or you can tag us on Twitter(X). The main channel is @TRNSocial and I’m @MileHighSamurai