Well, Darin Morgan may have left the series by this point, but his brother Glen returned with longtime writing partner James Wong for an episode that, if I remember right, was considered pretty damn violent and may have even been removed from syndication for a period.
Yeah, this is the one to maybe make you nervous if you hear a Johnny Mathis song, even though Mathis wouldn’t let his version be used because he read the script in advance. The series just used a cover version.
The Case: Inbreeding!
The Rest: So, this episode is considered something of a classic, by me at least, for a number of reasons. It deftly balances itself between scary and silly, and while the make-up effects on the Peacock family may not look that good when they’re standing around in the light, the episode is smart enough to mostly keep them in shadows and at a distance that makes them hard to see.
This is an episode where a local sheriff named Andy Taylor will give a nice speech about why Home, Pennsylvania is his home, the brutally kill him and his wife while that cover of the Johnny Mathis song is playing,
This is an episode where Sheriff Andy will have a deputy named Barney, and yes, Mulder does ask if his last name is “Fife.” It isn’t. Deputy Barney is killed later on by a booby-trapped front door.
And this is an episode that opens with the three Peacock brothers burying what looks like a live baby in the field outside their farmhouse. Mulder and Scully assume the mother of the child is a woman who had a car accident near the house at one point and was taken indoors by the Peacock brothers. They’re sort of right. It turns out the mother is in there, her husband did die in a car accident, and the brothers did take her inside.
But she’s also their mother, and Scully finds evidence that all three of the Peacock brothers were the father of the badly deformed dead baby.
That’s some high quality inbreedin’ right there.
Here’s the thing: the Peacocks are not exactly a surprise. They hang out on their front porch watching the agents when Mulder and Scully arrive. Everyone in town seems to know who they are. It’s known that they keep to themselves and have for generations, that their house has no electricity or running water, and they tend to stare at people in a way that makes others uncomfortable. Also, they don’t seem to be able to talk.
Additionally, one of the themes for this episode is that basically motherhood. Scully, perhaps because fertility issues will plague her in future episodes, is very concerned about a dead baby and protecting the parent. When the agents find Mrs. Peacock, missing her lower legs and hiding in a bedroom, she berates Scully as someone who doesn’t get it, that only a mother would understand their family. Granted, she is the one that sent her boys off to murder the Taylors, but that was only because she heard Mulder and Scully talking about bringing her boys in for kidnapping without knowing Ma Peacock was in the other room, listening from the dark.
By episode’s end, two of the three Peacock brothers are dead. The third took Mama and ran off, no doubt to keep the family line going.
Up next, something is draining the pigment out of Black men.