When I first heard this episode’s title, I expected it was a sequel to the classic series’ celebration of backwoods inbreeding, “Home” and, let’s just say, I’m glad that it didn’t. What we had here instead is an episode about a maggot-dripping garbage man who tears people in two and that’s much more tasteful and refined than “Home.”
Something is killing those who threaten the homeless in Philadelphia and not only just killing them, but killing them to death by ripping them limb from limb. That’s not a metaphor or an exaggeration… the killer is quite literally ripping their limbs and head off.
Meanwhile, Scully goes through a family crisis that has her questioning if she and Mulder did the right thing by putting their child up for adoption all those years ago.
So, the X-Files stretched their legs with aliens, conspiracy, and comedy monsters, now they’re revisiting horror and they did it rather well. The Garbage Man was a very frightening force of nature even if it seemed awfully derivative of that Jewish Golem episode back in the original series. I liked the Garbage Man because he was a very serious and concrete threat… he was disgusting and dangerous and made for an effective bad guy.
The emotional family story of Scully’s mother having a heart attack probably hit me hard on a personal level because I recently went through that very same thing not too long ago, but I found it a welcome character exercise to remind us that Scully is a human being with feelings and a heart, even if she did become uncharacteristically preachy in this episode.
My biggest disappointment was the ending as everything hit a wall and fizzled out as if no one cared or even knew how to write the resolution. Mulder and Scully show up, barely miss the monster, Scully whispers the f-word under her breath, and that’s the apparent end of the investigation. It’s no wonder they kept closing The X-Files back in the 90’s with these lazy assholes running the show.
Good, not great, but it’s still wonderful to have The X-Files back again.