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Family At Home 2 [Ep. 11]

The series centers on FBI special agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson), who work on cases linked to the paranormal, collectively called "X-Files". Mulder is a believer in the paranormal; the skeptical Scully was initially assigned to debunk his work, but the two have developed a deep friendship. In this episode, Mulder and Scully investigate the death of a baby born with severe physical defects. Traveling to the small isolated town of Home, Pennsylvania, the pair meet the Peacocks, a family of deformed farmers who have not left their house in a decade. Initially, Mulder suspects the brothers kidnapped and raped a woman to father the child, but the investigation uncovers a long history of incest involving the Peacocks' own mother.

Family at Home 2 [Ep. 11]

"Home" marks the return of writers Morgan and Wong, who left the show following its second season. They attempted to make the episode as ambitious and shocking as possible and were inspired by real-life events, including the documentary Brother's Keeper and a story from Charlie Chaplin's autobiography about an encounter with a family in rural Wales. The graphic content of the script attracted controversy from early in the production process. Commentators have identified themes within the episode that satirize the American Dream, address globalization, and explore the nature of motherhood. It has been cited as a seminal episode of The X-Files by critics and crew members.

Laboratory tests indicate that the baby's parents were members of the Peacock family. Believing that the three Peacock brothers must be holding the dead baby's mother hostage, the agents and Deputy Barney Paster (Sebastian Spence) go to arrest them. When Paster breaks down the front door of the house, he is decapitated by a booby-trap, before the brothers rip the body apart. Mulder and Scully then release the Peacocks' pigs to lure them out of the house before searching it. The agents find a quadruple amputee hidden under a bed. She is revealed to be Mrs. Peacock, the mother of the boys. She was presumed dead from a car accident several years ago; however, she survived and continued to have inbred children. She reveals that she nor anyone in the family can feel pain. The brothers realize that Mulder and Scully are inside their house and attack. The two youngest sons withstand several gunshots before dying, one of them impaled on another booby-trap. Afterwards, the agents discover that Mrs. Peacock and her eldest son have escaped in their car, planning to start a new family elsewhere.[3][4][5]

Sources consulted by the writers included Brother's Keeper (1992), a documentary film depicting the story of the Wards, four "barely literate" brothers who lived on a farm that had been passed on through their family for generations.[11][15][16] The brothers drew international attention following the alleged murder of William Ward by his brother Delbert.[16] With an estimated IQ of 68, Delbert escaped prosecution by claiming that the police had tricked him during interrogation.[17] Wong chose to base the Peacock family on the Wards, incorporating their lifestyles into the script.[11] The name "Peacock" came from the former neighbors of Morgan's parents.[3]

Further inspiration came from a story in Charlie Chaplin's autobiography; while touring with a musical theatre production, he stayed at a miner's tenement home in Wales.[18] After dinner, the host introduced Chaplin to a disfigured and legless man named Gilbert who slept in a kitchen cupboard; Glen Morgan incorrectly recalled this as a totally limbless boy who was kept under a bed.[18] Chaplin described the man as "a half man with no legs, an oversize blond flat-shaped head, a sickening white face, a sunken nose, [and] a large mouth" who could jump using his arms,[19] but this was misremembered by Morgan as though the man had no limbs and "flopp[ed] around" while the family sang and danced.[18] Morgan used his memory of this incident within the screenplay, although at Wong's suggestion they changed the character to the boy's mother.[11][18] The episode was also made as an homage to 1970s horror films such as Tobe Hooper's The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) and Wes Craven's The Hills Have Eyes (1977).[20]

Like the rest of the fourth season, "Home" was filmed in British Columbia.[3][26] Most of the scenes depicting buildings were shot in the town of Surrey, British Columbia. As the town's architecture comprised both old and new styles, careful reverse angles were employed to preserve the impression of "small-town America".[27] The building used as the Peacock house had been previously utilized in the season two episode "Aubrey". At that time, the producers noted that the house had been "untouched for years" and was "so good" they had to return to film it again.[3][28][29] The car that the Peacock family drives in the episode was found on a farm outside Vancouver. It was rented and restored for use in the episode. Cadillac later sent the producers a letter thanking them for including one of their cars in the show.[3]

Just as silence can bind family members in a net of conspiracy and oppression, so are the inarticulate and grotesque Peacock brothers of "Home" entangled in a hopeless web of silence, ignorance, and depravity.

The concept of motherhood is also explored in the episode. According to Elyce Rae Helford, in her book Fantasy Girls: Gender in the New Universe of Science Fiction and Fantasy Television, Mrs. Peacock functions as a being who has been reduced "to all female functions" by her sons. She is "the grotesquely willing mother who has lost any sense of individual purpose" other than to do anything for her children.[37] Sonia Saraiya of The A.V. Club writes that "Scully's sympathy for a mother that she imagines to be persecuted is turned violently on its head, to reveal a monster whose priorities are not quite so straightforward."[38] The episode is also one of the first to explore Scully's desire to become a mother. Grant Bain states that the episode presents the dual nature of Scully's "modern desire for motherhood", as opposed to Mrs. Peacock's "perverted notion of family".[39] Helford writes that the entry predicts "Scully's fate as the mother of 'immaculately' (technologically) conceived and monstrous progeny".[40] In the fifth season, Scully indeed learns that she is a mother, albeit accidentally, after her ova were harvested following her abduction in second season, and an alien/human hybrid named Emily is the result.[41] With the revelation that Scully is pregnant at the end of the seventh season finale, "Requiem", the concept revolving around Scully as a mother took center stage in seasons eight and nine with the birth of baby William.[42]

"Home" has continued to receive positive reviews. In a 2011 review, Emily VanDerWerff of The A.V. Club gave the episode an "A" rating and wrote that it would be difficult to write an episode like "Home" today, since small towns are no longer as isolated as they used to be, thanks to modern communications technology.[50] She praised the depiction of urban sensibilities and the frightening Peacock family, observing that it represented a "sad farewell to a weird America that was rapidly smoothing itself out."[50] Author Dean A. Kowalski, in The Philosophy of The X-Files, cited "Home", "Squeeze", and "The Host" as the most notable "monster-of-the-week" episodes.[51]

Every house is haunted. In each episode of \u201CFamily Ghosts,\u201D we'll investigate the true story behind a mysterious figure whose legend has followed a family for generations. Grandmothers who were secretly jewel smugglers, uncles who led double lives, siblings who vanished without a trace...these specters cast shadows over our lives in ways that might not be immediately obvious. But we are all formed in part by our familial collections of secrets, intrigues, and myths. By engaging with each others\u2019 legends, perhaps we can see each others\u2019 realities more clearly.

STEPHANIE FOO: It was the third time a divorce cost Kenny his family. There was the divorce between his mom and dad, his mom and stepdad, and now this. It was really triggering. And costly.

KENNY PHILLIPS: When you lose a six-figure income like I was making, it's a train wreck and there's casualties and it's horrific. And it's a false sense of security. Just like here I'm working along. I've got a good income. I'm feeling pretty high on the hog and then this family, that's really not my family, their home breaks up. And so that all goes away.

KENNY PHILLIPS: I even remember making the phone call to the leasing agent at the time and said, "I just want to check before I move my family out there, what kind of people live there?"

STEPHANIE FOO: They tried couples counseling. They went to see their church pastor. But by 2017 it was over. And it left Kenny alone in a mobile home cooking over a much smaller stove. The next year was pretty quiet. Kenny had a lot of time on his hands, so he pitched in more at his church, fixed up the mobile home, got to know some of the neighbors. Just lived life like a retiree in a small town. And then, in 2018, the mayor of Mobile City, Dana Lawson, asked Kenny to join the city council. Lawson said all he would have to do is go to a short monthly meeting so Kenny said, why not? 041b061a72


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