A group blog for Introduction to Media Criticism at NYU, Fall 2009.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Mulder and Scully Go Down Home
"Home" from season four of The X-Files deals with many of the issues brought up in the reading. In the episode, Mulder and Scully are called down to the rural Home, PA to investigate the death of a deformed baby fond buried under a baseball field. As it turns out, this is the work of three brothers (who are all themselves deformed), who are a part of a family that has been in-breeding since the civil war. The brothers have been sleeping with their mother, who they store under a bed, limbs removed.
This paints an extreme portrait of the "hick" or "hillbilly," as an inbred, unenlightened subset. We see these people as extremely dangerous, primitive (they live without electricity or running water), and physically disgusting, which is obviously what these people are actually like. This portrayal reinforces rural lower-class whites as violent against the upper classes (represented as the sheriff that is killed and Mulder and Skully) that is exemplified in the reading.
However, and Mulder talks about this at the beginning of the episode, there is also a hint of the "good country folk" that Price discusses. Mulder seems to respect the simplicity in which these people live, even if they seem disgusting and are committing crimes. Throughout the episode there is a sort of reverence for the rural lifestyle, which is also explored in later episodes.