Fair warning: some spoilers ahead for a handful of shows, including major spoilers for last night”s Game of Thrones.
Big things (albeit not-all-that-surprising things) happened on Game of Thrones yesterday. Jon Snow is alive!
“Home” is the title given to last night”s hour of the HBO show – Jon Snow returned home to the land of the living, Bran went home in a vision, Theon began a journey home, where his uncle had already arrived, and other characters had their own homecomings of sorts too.
Writers of several shows have turned to the word “home” for crucial episodes of television, episodes for building mythology, revealing backstories, returns of long-gone characters, major changes in family dynamics, and forcing characters to face their pasts.
Let”s take a look at how other shows have delivered pivotal, fan-favorite hours of TV titled “Home”:
Supernatural – season 1, episode 9: Sam and Dean return to their Lawrence, KS childhood home, the fateful place of their mother”s murder 22 years prior – the tragedy that started the Winchester family business of hunting ghosts, demons, and all manner of beasties. This episode also starred Loretta Devine as the psychic Missouri Moseley, a character whose return to the show is long overdue.
The X-Files – season 2, episode 4: While Supernatural“s “Home” was an early key mythology-building episode, The X-Files was a stand-alone “monster of the week” installment. It remains a fan-favorite and one of the most disturbing episodes ever made of the series. The tale of a murderous inbred family, “Home” was creepy and twisted enough to be banned from repeat broadcasts on Fox after it first aired in October 1996.
ER – season 2, episode 9: This was a big episode for Anthony Edwards” Dr. Mark Greene, whose wife and daughter get injured in a car accident just before he learns his wife”s devastating secret. Adam Goldberg also guest starred in this episode as a schizophrenic architect.
Everwood – season 1, episode 23: The first season of this WB family drama revolved around the uncertain fate of Colin, best friend of Bright (Chris Pratt) and boyfriend of Amy (Emily VanCamp). After the series began with Colin in a coma, then waking up partway through the first season, the show”s first finale, “Home,” had Colin going into surgery.
Angel – season 4, episode 22: Another “Home” finale, in this episode of the Joss Whedon show, Angel”s chief foe, evil lawyer Lilah, has made a surprise return from Hell. She makes an offer to Angel that he”s forced to take to save the life of Connor, his son. The episode was a needed game-changer for the series awaiting official renewal, putting Angel in charge of the L.A. branch of Wolfram and Hart. Also in this episode, Angel receives an amulet that”s crucial in the final battle in the last two episodes of Buffy.
Among many other TV shows to feature episodes titled “Home” are The Walking Dead, The Following, Sons of Anarchy, 7th Heaven, Mad About You, Star Trek: Enterprise, Boy Meets World, and newer series Casual and The Girlfriend Experience. Somehow though, the always-one-word-titled Smallville never had a “Home” episode in 10 seasons. Though its 200th episode was titled “Homecoming.”