How One Horrifying ‘X-Files’ Episode Inspired ‘Bones’ Latest Serial Killer Arc

X Files, Bones
FOX; Kevin Estrada/FOX
X Files, Bones

Bones is drawing on an iconic episode of The X-Files (“Home”) for its newest serial killer storyline.

In “Home” (Season 4, Episode 2), Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) investigated the death of a deformed baby who was buried alive. They linked the child to the Peacock family, a twisted, horrifying, inbreeding family determined to keep their way of life going. (The hour was so disturbing that it was banned from being reaired on Fox after the initial 1996 broadcast.)

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“That was one of the most influential hours of TV I’d ever seen,” Bones executive producer Michael Peterson says. “I was in college at the time, and it was four guys living together. After watching it, we all hid ourselves from the Peacock family; we were just terrified…it was absolutely revolutionary to me.”

As a result of that lasting impression, Episode 13 of Bones will introduce viewers to a murderer inspired by The X-Files story. Peterson previously teased that the hour “will lead to probably one of the bigger twists we’ve ever had on Bones.”

“Part of it is, there’s a wonderful juxtaposition that happens in the ‘Home’ episode, where they’re playing this Johnny Mathis music that’s so cheerful, [but] with this horrifying stuff that’s going on,” Peterson says. “So there is an element of that. That was so inspiring to me. I was used to Hitchcock’s string music from Psycho—that’s what I thought horrors and scares were all about. I didn’t know you could do it the opposite way. So there’s a little nod to that in there, for this episode.”

Though Team Bones is keeping mum on specifics of the hour for now, “it’s something we’ve wanted to do for a while,” Peterson says. “There was a scene we shot [during production], and I thought, ‘This is something that could only work on the Bones show, this episode.’ It’s fun, it’s dark, it’s scary, and it’s quintessential Bones.” Adds Bones executive producer Jonathan Collier, “Randy Zisk did a great job directing it.”

If you’re looking for more details about Bones’ latest serial killer, Collier shares they can’t say anything right now, but he does offer this (terrifying) tease: “Our fans will be very grateful.”

Bones returns in 2016.