In The X-Files recap, Mulder investigates a string of brutal murders related to the homeless while Scully deals with tragedy close to home after her mother suffers a heart attack…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
For all the fun of last week’s episode, the latest installment of The X-Files revival pulled at all the heart strings with the loss of a loved one and memories of the son Mulder and Scully were forced to give away.
While the focus of the episode was supposed to be on the case and the monster of the week — known as the Trashman and the Band-Aid Nose Man — the real focus was on Scully’s heartbreaking relationship with her family, Mulder providing her the moral support she needed, and the memories of William Scully that still haunt both of our protagonists no matter how many years have passed since they gave him up.
Actually, William Scully has become a focal point throughout the first four episodes, which leads me to believe that we might see him again before this series comes to an end but he was definitely front and center throughout “Home Again”.
From the way Scully related this week’s case back to her own son to the connection she felt with her mother sharing one last request before dying, William Scully was front and center and this episode was one of the most emotional in X-Files history.
With that said, let’s recap the latest X-Files revival episode titled “Home Again”….
The “monster of the week” circles around a project being spearheaded this week as the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) prepares to relocate the homeless from one section of Philadelphia to another in hopes of cleaning up a location where the land owners hope to build a brand new, 10-story high state of the art apartment complex. It’s not easy to erect a gorgeous new structure catering to the yuppie crowd if there are homeless people on every street corner surrounding the building.
So the people involved — in this case a HUD representative, one of the land owners and a member of the school board — are all battling it out to get the homeless moved without giving a single, solitary damn about their well being and instead just treating them as pawns moving around a giant chess board. Things become troublesome for the project when the HUD representative is found dead the night after turning a fire hose on some of the homeless in town but he’s not just deceased — he’s been ripped apart with his head and arms literally torn away from his body.
Due to the graphic and ultimately spooky nature of the crime, Mulder and Scully are called to the scene to investigate.
Mulder immediately notices a few oddities — most notably some Banksy like graffiti that was put up on a building across the street from the murder after the HUD representative was already dead. The person responsible for the street art may have seen the murder or even been involved considering the type of imagery used.
Just when Mulder is getting his flow going on the case, Scully gets a call from her brother overseas — after first thinking her phone read just ‘William’ instead of her brother’William Scully Jr’ — and he’s got some very bad news. Scully’s mother Maggie has suffered a massive heart attack and she’s in a coma in a local hospital.
Mulder tells Scully to go but not before giving her a look and a touch that won’t soon be forgotten as they share a tender moment amidst a tragedy.
With Scully tending to her mother, Mulder is left to investigate the case and things only get stranger from here, which is really right up his alley.
A pair of artists, who were taking down the street graffiti and selling it as art, end up as the next victims ripped apart. Soon after, the school board member who opposed the homeless relocation due to the fact that she didn’t want the people dropped off in her neighborhood near her children, ends up decapitated and ripped to shreds.
Mulder’s digging begins to bare fruit when one particular homeless man mentions somebody called “The Trashman” — a guardian angel of sorts for those living on the streets. It gives Mulder a direction to look but still no closer to any real answers. Add to that, a band-aid he finds at one of the murder scenes returns no DNA evidence of any kind as well as no actual organic or non-organic matter, which basically means whatever makes up this substance essentially doesn’t exist.
It doesn’t give him many answers, but it does give Mulder one final lead — the land developer who is the last person involved in this homeless relocation project who isn’t dead yet. Mulder knows the killer — whoever or whatever it is — will be targeting him next.
Do Not Resuscitate
At the hospital, Scully sits by her mother’s bed and she’s reminded of the moments when she was fighting cancer and the people who loved her most refused to leave her side. A nurse tells Scully that just before her mother slipped into a coma she asked repeatedly for Charlie — her estranged brother that’s been mentioned and shown briefly in the past but never actually had a part in the show. Scully is a little curious why her mother only asked for Charlie and not her other children. Her curiosity only gets deeper when Scully discovers a quarter on a chain that her mother was wearing when she came into the hospital but she can’t figure out why this particular coin held so much meaning to her.
Scully is sinking but just when she’s at her lowest, Mulder arrives to help pick her up as best he can. Scully is not only suffering from her mother’s illness but the fact that a year ago — unbeknownst to her — Maggie changed her living will to say that if she ever slipped into a coma, the doctors were to remove her from life support and not give that power to anyone in her family.
So in other words, Scully has to sit here and hope that her mother recovers or she’s just going to watch her slip away.
Mulder’s comfort helps and Scully gets one more boost when her phone rings again and it’s her brother Charlie on the other end of the line. He might not be ready to reconnect with his family, but hearing that Maggie had a heart attack got him to call.
Scully puts the phone on speaker so his voice can be heard and for a moment, her mother’s eyes open and she wakes up from her slumber. She grabs Mulder’s hand and tells him ‘my son is named William, too’ and a moment later she expires. Scully is grief stricken but not without purpose. She can’t sit here and wallow in her sadness any longer and the only thing that will distract her from what just happened is to focus on work.
So Scully insists — nay demands — that she get back onto the case with Mulder and solve the mystery of the Trashman.
The Voice of the Voiceless
With Scully back on the case, she’s able to help Mulder track down the mysterious person known as the Trashman but when the find him (it’s Rancid lead singer Tim Armstrong), he’s a charismatic artist, who believes that he actually conjured up the creature known as Band-Aid Nose Man after watching the indigenous people of Philadelphia who are stuck living on the streets treated like nothing more than garbage. They’ve been discarded by society and treated like common trash — left on the ground and forgotten.
The Trashman’s passionate speech speaks volumes about the homeless, but after an emotionally stressful day it also rings deep inside of Scully as well with thoughts of her son flowing through her mind. Did she just discard William? Did she give him up so he would no longer be her problem?
When the Trashman admits that his own venomous rage about the plight of the homeless may have spurred on his monstrous creation to lash out and Scully fires back at him but really she’s screaming at herself over the perception that she abandoned William yet still feels responsible for whatever actions he may take in life.
“You put it out of sight so it wouldn’t be your problem, but you’re just as bad as the people that you hate!”
As emotional as the moment was, Mulder and Scully now know that the Band-Aid Nose Man is definitely going after the last person involved in the land deal to relocate the homeless but when they arrive, he’s already been torn apart and the creature who killed him is nowhere to be found. Another of the classic “unsolved” X-Files cases.
Need to Believe
Before the episode ended, Mulder and Scully share a heartfelt conversation while sitting with her mother’s ashes while discussing William and giving him up for adoption. She realizes that when her mother was asking for Charlie, it was her way of closure to make sure that her wayward son was OK because no matter how far he strayed, he was still her responsibility. Scully is starting to believe the same for William even if she may never seem him again but she’s concerned that she may have discarded him just like trash. It’s one of those mysteries — like that quarter necklace belonging to her mother — that she may never truly understand.
Amidst the tortured moments between the two parents, Scully calls Mulder “Fox” for one of the few times in the entire series, so that alone showed the emotional gravity this particular scene carried. And on the outskirts of town, the Trashman abandons his post and the clay creation that he believes came to life as a result of his own rage had it’s monstrous head replaced by a gigantic smiley face. It’s the Trashman’s final attempt to show responsibility for the creature he helped create.
There are only two episodes of The X-Files revival left to go so don’t miss out when the penultimate episode airs next Monday night!