Despite all the speculation that “Home Again” would revisit the classic episode “Home,” we instead got an episode that tried to recapture the brilliance of season one’s “Beyond the Sea.” It didn’t exactly work out.
But this scene of a monster attack set to Petula Clark’s “Downtown?” That was great.
Spoilers from here on out.
“Home Again” desperately wanted to be “Beyond the Sea,” the episode where Scully’s father dies, she questions her faith, and Mulder doesn’t believe in the supernatural powers of a death row inmate he helped put away. “Beyond the Sea” was an early indication that The X-Files had more than monsters and conspiracies to it. It delivered emotional punches and a lot of insight into Scully’s character in a natural way.
Nothing about “Home Again” felt natural. It all felt contrived. Margaret Scully’s death should have been a big deal. She’s a character that we’ve known for a long time. But so much of her death isn’t even about her but about the child Scully’s put up for adoption. And the actual X-File is badly related to the theme of the episode. Scully unconvincingly rants about how “putting things out of sight” so it “won’t be your problem” is as much a failing of the “heroes” as their opponents.
So while we should have spent the episode connecting with Scully and her pain, the only thing that actually stands out is the “Downtown” sequence. Which was a ray of light in an otherwise deeply uncreative episode.