season 1, episode 3, “squeeze”
we have our first monster of the week episode. and what an introduction it is. “the x-files” filled a hole in primetime programming when it came on. there was no scary television since shows like the twilight zone and alfred hitchcock presents. “the x-files” harkened back to those shows and provided some genuine small screen scares that tv networks were lacking. some of the best episodes are these monster stories and the mutant in “squeeze” kicks them off admirably. it is often recalled when fans talk about their favorite MOTW from the series. it also proved early on that “the x-files” could be more than just aliens and government conspiracies.
the case comes across our agents’ path by way of scully’s academy friend. agent colton is an ambitious ladder climber. he feels sorry for scully being stuck with mulder and the x-files. scully assures him it’s not so bad and deflects his insults about mulder. colton asks for scully’s help and begrudgingly accepts mulder along with her. unlike scully, colton and the other agents ridicule mulder for his theories. there is a territorial butting of heads and scully is caught in the middle. she chooses sides rather quickly, seeing colton for the career hungry asshole he is. she respects mulder enough to listen to his theories and further the investigation. it is a mutual respect. mulder sees that she’s putting her reputation on the line by going along with him. when scully tells him that he was “acting very territorial” he agrees. he tells her she may not always agree with him, but at least she “respects the journey.” ugh, i hate when people use “journey” in that context, but i’ll forgive mulder for it, this time.
the monster is a mutant in the form of mild mannered, eugene victor tooms who kills to feed off the human liver. we come to learn he needs five livers to sustain a hibernation period for the duration of thirty years. that is crazy. it sounds like a bad, ed wood, b-movie plot. but, because it’s the x-files you want to believe in the unbelievable. and, as the audience, you are witnessing the gruesome murders and the unexplainable ways he gets to his victims. this mutant can elongate and squeeze his body into small spaces. getting into the seemingly safe person’s home or office undetected. his glowing yellow eyes see you only as a liver to fill his quota. that makes him a pretty scary monster no matter how fantastical the plot is. scully becomes his next and last target before hiding away until 2023. mulder notices scully’s necklace among tooms’ other trophies, remembering it from the “territorial” scene and knows that tooms is after scully. scully puts up a pretty good fight, but mulder does come to the rescue in the nick of time. tooms ends up locked up, but for how long. escape is inevitable. and no one and nowhere is safe.
rating: 4.5 stars
the look and handshake mulder gives colton when they meet is hilarious. it’s super subtle, but you can tell he’s making fun of colton and his attitude.
the decor in the house where tooms breaks in through the chimney is just god awful.
ok, as i’m typing this at night while everyone is asleep, one of grant’s toys started making noise in his closet. tooms?? eek!
did you know? behind the scenes facts:
doug hutchinson, who played tooms, sent creator chris carter a frozen calf’s liver to thank him for the role.
mulder is territorial of scully, awww.
m: “do you think i’m spooky?”