June 28, 2015

The X-Files 1.3, Squeeze: Someone’s in Your Chimney, and It’s Not Santa

Posted in TV tagged at 2:53 pm by Jenn

You don't have to tell me twice to stay away from this guy

You don’t have to tell me twice to stay away from this guy

Summary: Something lurks in the sewers of Baltimore as a man enters an office building. Elevator doors open and the cable seems to shakes, as if it’s being climbed. The man leaves a message telling his wife he’ll be working late, then goes down the hall to get coffee as a hand unscrews a vent. When the man gets back to his office, he’s attacked. The attacker retreats through the vent and screws it back into place.

In D.C., Scully has breakfast with an old colleague, Agent Colton. He thinks they should be jealous of another colleague, but Scully reminds him of an investigation he did that led to a major capture. He questions her work with “Spooky Mulder” and his pursuit of the supernatural. He tells her about the death of the man in the office, which isn’t the only strange death he’s investigating. All the victims had their livers ripped out by someone’s bare hands. Colton is determined to solve the cases himself, but he’s okay consulting with Mulder. The cases might also get Scully out of the X-Files.

Scully talks to Mulder about the cases, telling him that his reputation isn’t such that Colton will trust him to solve them alone. Colton joins them and teases about little green men. Mulder corrects that aliens are actually gray. The agents investigate the office crime scene, and Mulder quickly figures out that the killer came in through the vent. Colton scoffs at the idea, since the vent is too small and the screws are in place.

But Mulder finds a fingerprint and matches it to one taken at the sites of ten other unsolved murders. The problem is that the murders were committed over the past 90 years, 30 years apart. With five murders committed each time, there are still two to go in the ’90s. Scully thinks they’re looking at a copycat, but Mulder says the fingerprints are perfect matches for each other, so they have to be from the same killer. Also, the killer’s fingers are ten inches long.

Scully reminds Mulder that the case is Colton’s. Mulder says that since the first case is an X-File and comes from 1903, it’s really his and Scully’s. He agrees to let Colton run his own investigation while he and Scully continue with theirs. Scully writes up a report about the killer, who she thinks is a male, between 25 and 35, and very smart. He know about the interiors of the buildings he’s committed the murders in, or he works in them. She thinks the livers are being taken because they cleanse the blood; the killer sees this as cleansing his own impurities.

Scully shares her theories in a meeting with Colton and his cohorts. She thinks they should focus on previous murder sites, since the killer could return to those scenes. Another agent, Fuller, invites Scully invited to come along to visit one of the previous sites, as long as she doesn’t mind working on a case that might not involve aliens. The agents stake out a parking garage that night, but Scully only finds Mulder, who’s sure the killer won’t come back to the scene of a previous crime. It doesn’t present a challenge since he’s already mastered the interior.

As Mulder leaves, he hears something moving around in ducts. He tells Scully to call for backup. Both of them see that something’s moving around in the ducts. A man emerges, and the agents take him into custody. Mulder admits that Scully was right. The suspect, Eugene Victor Tooms, undergoes a lie-detector test, testifying that he works for Animal Control. He admits to having killed a living creature, but never a human. He doesn’t admit to being super-old, though (sorry, Mulder).

Tooms passes the test, and the maintenance crew in the building confirms that they called Animal Control. Scully thinks it’s still suspicious that Tooms crawled up an air duct without alerting security. Mulder’s sure that Tooms is their guy – he lied on the two questions about his age and being somewhere in 1933. Fuller thinks that’s crazy and Tooms is innocent, so they’ll release him. Scully thanks Colton for letting her participate, but she’s sticking with Mulder. They’ll continue their own investigation.

Scully asks Mulder why he brought up Tooms’ possible lies even though he had to know that the other agents wouldn’t believe him. She thinks he was being territorial. Mulder tells her he appreciates that she respects their investigations even when she doesn’t agree with his ideas. He gives her the chance to drop out, but she wants to know where Mulder’s going with this. He shows her a comparison of Tooms’ fingerprints and the one he found at the office crime scene. When elongated, Tooms’ print is a match.

Tooms stalks a new victim, this time to the man’s house. He scales the brick siding and stretches his body to squeeze down the chimney. The victim picked a good night to light a fire in the fireplace. Too bad Tooms is already in the house. Colton investigates the next day, arriving just before Scully and Mulder. Colton thinks they’re dealing with someone who’s taking livers to sell on the black market. Wow. I don’t think black-market liver-dealers pull out the organs with their bare hands.

Mulder quickly finds Tooms’ fingerprint and sees that he took something from the victim’s fireplace mantle. Back at FBI headquarters, Scully learns that Tooms’ apartment is a cover – he’s never actually lived there. Mulder points out that his address is on Exeter Street, in the same building where the first 1903 murder was committed. Scully thinks the first killer was a member of Tooms’ family. Maybe homicidal tendencies have been passed down through genetics. “The anti-Waltons?” Mulder teases.

He notes that if they don’t catch Tooms before the fifth murder, Tooms will disappear for another 30 years. He assigns Scully to look through the census while Mulder searches birth and death certificates. Research time! Unfortunately, they find zero information about Tooms. However, Scully does get contact information for the detective who investigated the 1933 murders.

They meet with the man, Briggs, who tells them how horrible the crime scenes were. He thinks Tooms is as evil as anyone who killed people in death camps during the Holocaust. Briggs hands over a piece of one of the victims’ livers. He adds that the killer took small trophies from the crime scenes. Mulder asks if he’s ever heard of Tooms. Briggs has surveillance pictures from his investigations; they show Tooms, looking exactly the same as he does now, 60 years later.

Mulder and Scully go to the Exeter Street apartment building, where they can immediately feel evil in Tooms’ supposed home. Mulder finds a hole in the wall leading to a cellar. There, they find the trophies from the murder victims. Mulder determines that Tooms lives in the cellar, having made a nest out of newspapers and rags. Scully thinks it’s held together by bile. Mulder quickly regrets touching it. He thinks this is where Tooms hibernates during his 30-year disappearances. The livers sustain him during that period. Basically, Tooms is a mutant. Call the X-Men!

Mulder sends Scully to look for surveillance footage that proves that Tooms has been there. As she leaves, her necklace snags on something. She thinks the snag releases the chain, but it doesn’t – Tooms, who’s hanging from the ceiling, has taken it. Mulder meets with a couple of Colton’s men, leaving them to stake out Tooms’ building. Colton immediately calls off the stakeout, complaining to Scully that Mulder is misusing personnel. Scully slams him for being a jerk so he can climb the ladder in his career. She can’t wait until he falls off of it.

Scully heads home, stalked by Tooms. Mulder goes back to the now-unstaked-out Exeter Street apartment, where he finds Scully’s necklace with the other trophies. Scully sees bile dripping through a vent in her bathroom and quickly gets her gun. Mulder’s on his way over, trying to call her. Tooms tries to grab Scully’s leg through a vent, which he then crawls through. She fights him, but he overpowers her and starts to go for her liver.

Mulder bursts in, and he and Scully manage to fight Tooms off and handcuff him to the bathtub. Mulder tells Tooms that he won’t be able to get his fifth liver this year. The next morning, Briggs is pleased to read in the newspaper that Tooms was arrested. Tooms reads the same article, then tears it out and uses it to build a nest in his room at what appears to be a hospital.

Scully reports to Mulder that tests show that Tooms has abnormalities in his musculature and sleep patterns. Mulder notes that people pay tons of money for security systems, but with Tooms around, they don’t matter. As the two of them go back to work, someone brings Tooms a meal, pushing it through a mail-sized slot in the door. It gives Tooms an idea…

Thoughts: It makes Tooms even creepier to know that he’s played by Doug Hutchison, who famously married Courtney Stodden when she was still a teenager.

Conversely, while Colton is really annoying, he’s played by the lovable Donal Logue.

Mulder to Scully: “Do you think I’m spooky?” Probably, but she also thinks you’re pretty, so you’re good.

I’ve never been so happy not to have a chimney. Be right back, moving heavy stuff in front of all my vents.

“Is there any way I can get [the bile] off my fingers quickly without betraying my cool exterior?” Oh, Mulder. Please don’t think you’re cool.

Do we know which D.C. suburb Scully lives in (if she’s not in the city itself)? It’s freaking expensive here, but her bathroom is as big as my apartment.


  1. BSCAG said,

    Doug Hutchison also played the bad guy (well, one of them) in The Green Mile. He’s almost too good at playing a bad guy, you know?

    • Jenn said,

      It helps that he’s pretty creepy looking.

  2. Lonerider said,

    One of my fav early episodes. Nice job!

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