1 – Since the thought of killer clowns in the storm drains wasn’t scary enough, let’s have a dude with yellow eyes watching people from one…
2 – Then the shot goes all black and white but only the person of interest is in color and I’m having serious “Pleasantville” nostalgia
3 – Seriously the effect is done really well, especially for a TV show that was just starting out and likely didn’t have much of a budget yet. I’m pretty impressed at how well this holds up 23 years later
4 – That security camera monitor TV is ginormous
5 – First rule of thumb – NEVER work late at night in an office BY YOURSELF – you’re asking to be murdered
6 – 8:30pm…dude, I don’t care if the presentation didn’t go well. Go home, get a drink, get some sleep and come back to hit it fresh in the morning.
7 – Awesome shot of the heating vent and one of the bottom screws being loosened – from the inside of the vent – and then there’s a hand coming out of it!!!!
8 – Man seriously just put DOWN the coffee and GO HOME!
9 – I bet he wishes he’d listened to me now…
10 – He is dead, dead, dead. Blood everywhere
11 – And the vent closes up nice and tight like the hand (and presumably the person attached to it) was never there
12 – And it’s Donal Logue playing an old academy friend of Scully’s – it’s nice to see Scully with friends (not getting used to it)
13 – “Supervisory?” “That’s right” “Two years out of the academy. How did he land that?” “Lucked into the world trade center bombing” [the first one] – really, Donal Logue, ‘lucked into’ a bombing? Be a little more sensitive, maybe?
14 – What I really enjoy is Scully actually being happy for this old classmate. She may be flabbergasted that he got a supervisory agent position only two years out of the academy but she still says “good for Marty” – Dana Scully is a gem
15 – And Donal Logue is a bit of a douche
16 – And Donal Logue writes profiles. Haha her new partner is a profiling wunderkind – step back!
17 – Even when Donal Logue’s being a douche she finds a way to praise his accomplishments – seriously, a GEM!
18 – “Close encounters of the third kind” – and then he gets more douche-y by being wholly unoriginal [though I guess it’s better than mentioning ET] and then smiling at his own joke cause he’s just so funny…stop smiling, no one thinks you’re funny, especially not Scully. Check the face:
19 – Then Donal Logue calls Mulder “Spooky” and here comes Protective!Scully cause only SHE gets to call him that
20 – So did Donal Logue bring up Mulder just so he could segue into his own ‘out there’ case? Douche
21 – PLOT: Baltimore PD contacts FBI for help with serial killer profile: there have been 3 murders, spanning 6 weeks so far, no discernable MO in victim typing, but there is a pattern in the lack of point of entry to the crime scenes. Scully asks about suicides but no, each victim was found with his/her liver ripped out. No tool used, only bare hands
22 – TIMELINE: Teaser was two days prior to Scully and Donal Logue’s lunch
23 – “Looks like an X-File” – YES SCULLY!!!!!
24 – Who cares if HE wants you to ask Mulder, it’s obvious YOU want to ask Mulder, Scully, just do it
25 – “Make sure he knows this is my case” ugh cause Mulder really wants to steal your lunch money
26 – So, no concern for the victims, their families or the potential victims still out there – no let’s be concerned about you climbing the FBI ladder…*cough*douche*cough*
27 – Maybe she WANTS to be Mrs. Spooky, did you ever think of that?
28 – “Why didn’t they ask me?” … cause Donal Logue doesn’t want you playing in his corner of the sandbox, that’s why
29 – “Reputation. I have a reputation?” Mulder we went over this last time, the whole fracking world is obsessed with you, keep up
30 – “Do you think I’m Spooky?” SHE HESITATES!
31 – Donal Logue has a name – Tom Colton – hurray
32 – Mulder’s handshake with Colton cracks me up every time:
33 – Colton tries to bait Mulder with ‘little green men’ and Mulder…oh, sweet Mulder: “Grey. You said green men. A Reticulum skin tone is actually grey. They’re notorious for their extraction of terrestrial human livers. Due to iron depletion in the Reticulum galaxy” “You can’t be serious?” “Do you have any idea what liver and onions go for on Reticulum?” BLESS!
34 – Scully can’t decide whether to be annoyed or laugh:
35 – Mulder discovers some shavings from the paint around the air vent in the George Usher’s office (the man from the teaser) and figures – hell yeah a murderer could get in through there even though it’s a 6-inch by 18-inch vent
36 – So he starts dusting it with fingerprint powder cause, why not
37 – “Even if a Reticulum could crawl through, it’s screwed in place” well well well Colton he found a print, so…
38 – Of COURSE there’s an X-File, cause Scully was right and it IS an X-File! This episode could pretty much be subtitled: Scully was right
39 – PLOT: Mulder has fingerprints from an old X-File, 10 other murders in the Baltimore area with each victim having their liver removed. The prints are from the 1960s and 1930s. There was even a murder with an extracted liver in 1903. This means 5 murders every 30 years with 2 more to go this time around.
40 – Scully tries to be all ‘scientific’ because, that’s what she is here for after all, and suggests copycats. Mulder wants none of this logic ruining his story so he brings it home – all these fingerprints are the same: perfect matches
41 – Episode three and Mulder doesn’t think it’s aliens…nice change of pace we’re going with here.
42 – “Well what then? That this is the work of a hundred year old serial killer who’s capable of over-powering a healthy, six-foot-two business man?” “And he should stick out in a crowd with ten inch fingers” wouldn’t that actually jive with the way most people think alien’s look? The long fingers and all…not that I want Mulder to be wandering down the alien path but…it could fit
43 – Then he says “Our” X-File and “We” had it first and he so likes having a friend
44 – “That’s why Blevins has you hidden away down here” “You’re down here, too”…I want to say BURN but it’s not a mean thing for Mulder to say, he’s just stating the obvious. Come on, Scully, man speaks the truth
45 – Then Mulder’s all “let’s just play in THIS little corner of the sandbox and if our sand castle wanders toward theirs, so be it…” and Scully just melts and goes along with it cause she likes having him as her friend, too
46 – PLOT: Scully puts together a profile of the killer – male, 25 to 35 years of age, with above average intelligence [hey, it could be Mulder], may have knowledge of the inner structure of buildings and duct work that helps in making point of entry hard to find, may pose as delivery or maintenance worker [ok, so not Mulder, but dang could initial profiles be any more vague?]
47 – The ending of her profile is WAY psychological…especially for a medical doctor. Maybe that’s just me.
48 – PLOT: Scully suggests they stakeout the past murder sites just in case the killer wasn’t able to find a victim and returns to a prior site to ‘recapture’ the emotional high
49 – “That is if you don’t mind working in an area that’s a bit more down to earth” – everyone giggles and seriously, y’all, Scully is over your mockery:
50 – That walkie-talkie static noise is loud! It really echoes in that empty parking garage. I think if you were trying to sneak up on someone they would hear you first thanks to that thing
51 – “You’re wasting your time. I’m going home” why were you there in the first place, Mulder?
52 – Guy coming down the air vent – no subtlety whatsoever! He’s being REALLY loud in that thing
53 – Woah wait, someone on a ‘procedural’ called for backup? That basically never happens
54 – It’s creepy dude from the storm drain in the teaser that was climbing down the air vent at 9 o’clock at night…I’m betting he’s the killer [I’m a really good TV cop, guys]
55 – “You were right” – see, Mulder, she wasn’t wasting her time
56 – Time for a lie detector test
57 – This guy is seriously creepy…dead eyes, vacant expression, monotone…textbook bad guy, I mean look at him:
58 – PLUS he has three names: Eugene Victor Tooms. The really bad guys always have three names. Case closed, lock him up and throw away the key.
59 – Why did Mulder and Scully get the chairs behind the mirror? The others – the ones who are actually assigned to this case – are standing, yet Mulder and Scully are just chilling, looking all cozy.
60 – “Are you over 100 years old?” “That must be a control question.” “I had her ask it.” Cause…Mulder…
61 – “Have you ever been to Powhatan Mill?” “Yes.” “In 1933?”:
62 – Colton looks like he’s afraid he’s going to be shipped off to the institution just for being in the same room as Mulder…chill the frack down, dude…his particular crazy is not contagious.
63 – Obviously that lie detector is NOT accurate cause OF COURSE he’s the bad guy! Look. At. Him.:
64 – PLOT: Tooms works for animal control, he was in the ducts because of a bad smell (a dead cat was then found in the ducts), but Scully’s right WHY was he there so late at night? You can spout initiative all you want, it’s still weird
65 – “He lied on questions 11 and 13” cause he’s the killer and those are the questions he was never expecting anyone to ask…
66 – Wow man, let the woman who is trained to interpret the Polygraph give her explanation without talking over her…dang
67 – “I am officially assigned to The X-Files” ahhhhhh I just screamed and punched my fist in the air – YEAH SCULLY!
68 – “You said Mulder was out there; that guy’s insane…” yeah maybe he is, but insanity can be a whole lot of fun – plus season one Mulder is ridiculously adorable
69 – Then Mulder and Scully do their walk and talk and Mulder’s all who cares if they don’t believe me and call me crazy, it’s too fun messing with their heads to NOT do it…you should try it sometime, Scully. Keeps you young
70 – Of course he was territorial – he wants you all to himself. I mean, the case…he wants the case all to himself
71 – That’s awfully close there tiger:
72 – “You may not always agree with me, but at least you respect the journey” – there is the real crux of this show and Mulder and Scully’s relationship. Two people, who come at investigations from completely different perspectives, but are able to put aside those biases and enjoy the journey as they search for answers…it’s a mark of their compassion and integrity as characters that makes them able to do it. Most people are so caught up in their own beliefs they cannot even enjoy the path they are on if it seems like they were led there or are going towards something they don’t necessarily believe in. Even if Scully calls Mulder crazy and gripes about her field reports reading like an episode of Star Trek, she really does believe in HIM
73 – “Oh, I don’t know, you must have something more than your polygraph interpretation to back up this bizarre theory and I have to see what it is” – just admit working with Mulder is more fun than working with douchebag Colton, we can all see it on your face, Scully.
74 – Back to the PLOT: Mulder shows Scully the scans of Tooms’ fingerprints taken when he was arrested and compares his left middle finger to the fingerprint he pulled in George Usher’s office (the elongated one which he reminds us matches the others in the X-file): obviously no match. UNTIL he manipulates Tooms’ regular fingerprint – elongating and squishing it – until voila! It’s a perfect match:
75 – And they let him back out on the street…stupid. These cops need to learn to listen to Mulder and Scully, I mean, this is their show after all
76 – Now Tooms is back out on the prowl for his next liver entrée: let’s see who the new winner of ‘so you’re going to be attacked by a serial killer” is…yet another older, white guy in a suit
77 – I know Colton said earlier in the episode that Tooms goes after men and women but we’ve only seen him go after men so far, shake up the casting a bit guys.
78 – Tooms is in FULL view of that window right now. Does this guy not pay any attention to what’s going on outside his house?
79 – So wait, is Tooms Spider-Man now? How is he crawling up the side of this house?
80 – I never want to have a wood-burning fireplace ever again now
81 – That is an ugly ass glass door in the inside of your house, man
82 – Light the fire quick, burn the creepy yellow-eyed killer before he kills you and takes your liver!
83 – Of course it doesn’t light…
84 – The first shot of Tooms in the house coming out of the dark into the light is CREEPY and then it goes laughably 90s ‘fight scene’ and what was so cool is instantly really funny and now I’m laughing (honestly, it’s about 23 mins 15 seconds into the episode and it’s hilarious, go watch it)
85 – The music doesn’t help it either
86 – This guy measuring the crime scene looks SO bored
87 – And Colton’s flipping out cause he’s a moron who can’t solve this case
88 – In comes MULDER and SCULLY to save the day!
89 – “What’s the matter Colton? You worried I’m gonna solve your case?” yes, yes he is
90 – Get your grubby, FBI line toting, douchebag hands OFF Mulder, Colton! I will come over there and smack the living hell out of you
91 – Scully knows RIGHT where to hit her old ‘friend’ to make it hurt – his personnel file!
92 – Wow Colton let’s go of Mulder right quick after that threat…geez, dude, get a backbone
93 – “Look, Dana, whose side are you on?” “The victims.” – She doesn’t hesitate, she doesn’t balk at him, it’s not a question of Mulder vs Colton, or even if she believes Mulder’s theory of the case, she just wants justice for these victims and we should all now thank the Lord above for the wondrous character that is Dana Scully. That is all.
94 – Police officers and FBI must REALLY not want to try and think outside the box on these cases cause Tooms left YET ANOTHER fingerprint at the crime scene! He is a really horrible bad guy
95 – PLOT: so if you’re keeping track, Tooms only needs one more victim this year…though we don’t know why or for what just yet…also: Baltimore PD discovers Tooms’ apartment is a cover and he has not shown up for work since he was arrested. Mulder, ever the investigator, went looking into Tooms’ past and found his old address at 66 Exeter Street, #103 – and it turns out Tooms’ first victim was the person in #203 at the same address.
96 – “This must be Tooms’ great-grandfather”…Scully, you are so smart and so darn cute, but really? How would the fingerprints be exactly the same? Once again, I am Mulder:
97 – “Well, what do you think?” If you’re just going to call him nuts and try and debunk his theories, Scully, why do you keep asking what he thinks?
98 – That moment where Mulder cannot do basic addition
99 – “2023” “And you’re going to be head of the Bureau by then” – it’s sweet the way he thinks so highly of her
100 – I’m with Mulder, I only had to use a Microfiche a couple times in Middle/High School but oh man did they make me nauseated.
101 – Just watching it on the screen is messing with my stomach
102 – PLOT: there is NOTHING on Eugene Victor Tooms – never was born, never married, never died (at least in Baltimore County). Though Scully did find the current address of the investigating officer of the murders in 1933 – off we go!
103 – This officer –Mulder calls him Frank – says he retired in 1968 after 45 years as a cop [so he started in 1923]. He says he was a Sheriff during the Powhatan Mill murders in 1933 [10 years after he started]. How old did you need to be and what qualifications were needed before one was able to be a sheriff in the 1930s? I’m not sure if I buy this or not…I need someone with more knowledge than I to help me believe it.
104 – I get what Frank is laying down here – sometimes you can just FEEL evil. You don’t need to try and justify it in any way, it just is. There is no reasoning, at times events/people are just plain evil
105 – HOLD UP: Frank keeps all the evidence he’s collected (officially and unofficially) from the murders in 1933 and 1963 in a box in his room – including a piece of one of the extracted livers, marked with an evidence tag – isn’t that ILLEGAL? Shouldn’t all that be in an evidence locker somewhere so as not to taint the chain of evidence? What if you caught the killer and then you couldn’t convict because all the evidence of the murders was outside of police custody for 60 fracking years?
106 – PLOT: Tooms likes to take trophies from his victims and keep them in his pad
107 – This is Tooms in 1963:
108 – Off to the creepy apartment…weeee…
109 – The color of Scully’s pantsuit is hurting my eyes
110 – Mulder, what would make you think to look behind the mattress leaning up against the wall? I mean, it’s a good move and all because GIANT HOLE but still
111 – I never understood why people in shows/movies put guns in the front waistband of their pants. I mean, I get that it affords easier access because you’re not having to unhook a holster or reach around your body to your back – but it doesn’t seem like a very good idea, even with the safety on…especially for guys
112 – Score one for the Ya-Ya Sisterhood: Scully is the first one down the creepy hole in the wall
113 – They found Tooms’ yard sale table
114 – Then pan over to … what is arguably one of the nastiest things ever to be included in the X-Files…
115 – “It looks like the wall is deteriorating” “No, somebody made it” – Mulder you are still too far away from that thing to make that kind of snap judgment. At least get closer to it and see what it’s actually made of before you jump to conclusions [no matter how right they end up being]
116 – “Oh my god, Mulder. It smells like…[sniffs] I think it’s bile.” See # 114 above and add in EEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
117 – If I was Mulder I would run away and burn that crap off my hand…there is not enough antibacterial in the WORLD
118 – PLOT: “I think it’s where he hibernates”/ “What if some genetic mutation could allow a man to awaken every 30 years?”/ “And what if the five livers could provide him sustenance for that period? What if Tooms is some kind of 20th century genetic mutant?” – can you imagine him as part of the X-Men?
119 – Scully just moves on past the X-Man part and is all “well he’s not here but he’ll be back” so: stakeout!
120 – It’s cute that he sends her downtown to finagle a stakeout team because he knows he’ll get nowhere
121 – TOOMS JUST TOOK SCULLY’S NECKLACE! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
122 – That may solve the mystery of why she was wearing that heinous thing and why I don’t think she ever wears another necklace (aside from the cross) for the rest of the series – it was only there for plot reasons
123 – These other agents have got to be at least in their late-30s and they’re calling Mulder “Spooky” and then giggling about it afterwards? Maybe try acting like grown ass, adult men, please? Dang
124 – “Is this what it takes to climb the ladder, Colton?” “All the way to the top.” “Then I can’t wait till you fall off and land on your ass.” – Dana Scully sass for the win!
125 – Colton doesn’t look up Mulder’s number before he calls it…does he have Mulder’s number memorized?
126 – Scully drives home for her evening off – stupid Colton – and there’s Tooms watching her get out of her car and the picture goes all black and white except for her!
127 – It’s so weird seeing what I would now consider old cars looking brand spanking new…because a 1992 model of a car was brand spanking new
128 – In a scene that only works in the 90s – Mulder doesn’t get Colton’s message because it was left on Mulder’s answering machine back in his apartment – Mulder shows up at Tooms’ address and no one is there
129 – And then he doesn’t get Scully’s message either…answering machines and landlines were really inconvenient
130 – Mulder sees Scully’s necklace on Tooms’ yard sale table and I’m kind of upset we don’t get to see him run like a mad man to get out of the apartment and back to his car so he can race to Scully’s
131 – Even though Scully doesn’t believe that Tooms is some liver-eating genetic mutant that has lived more than 100 years, when that yellow goop falls on her hand from the air vent in the ceiling she moves FAST
132 – Scully, we had this discussion last episode – I know you’re at home – but STOP leaving your gun in random places
133 – Wait, Mulder was just using a cell phone! It’s a gargantuan one but it’s a cell phone nonetheless
134 – Scully’s wandering around in the dark – why don’t you turn a couple lights on? That might help in, I don’t know, actually being able to SEE the intruder you’re trying to shoot?
135 – Scully get up off the floor and RUN OUT THE DOOR!
136 – Mulder knows where she lives; in fact he’s likely been to her place before. How do I know, you ask? Because he is in NO way driving slowly to the front of her building, he stops on a dime and he doesn’t have to look up her apartment number, he just busts in the main door and RUNS to kick in her door with his gun drawn
137 – I know I may be in a minority here but I LOVE that Scully really can’t fight Tooms. She drops her gun, doesn’t pick it back up, he gets on top of her, she tries and wholly fails to punch him in the face the first time [though she does get in a nice hit the second time and even tries to go for the eyes] and then Tooms grabs her arms and pins them above her head – I think it’s much more realistic that a scientist and medical doctor, who has taught at the academy for the past two years, and has only been a field agent for all of four months. She wouldn’t know how to throw down with a man who has been killing for nearly 100 years
138 – This is a really horrible fight scene…it’s so slow and tame and a little lackluster [aside from Scully getting in that punch, that was cool]
139 – Tooms tries to get away [out the window] but Scully grabs him RIGHT when Mulder comes around the corner with his gun trained on Tooms…so he puts his gun away as Tooms grabs Scully by the neck so Mulder walks at a normal freaking pace to put handcuffs on Tooms…WHY? Why not just shoot the mutant, Mulder? He’s attacking your partner, he’s killed at least five people – more like 20 if you are correct, which you think you are – so instead of shooting the man who is trying to strangle your partner [and rip out her liver before that] you holster your gun and try to handcuff him?
140 – Then Tooms’ knocks Mulder down because Mulder is an idiot and a veteran field agent and should KNOW BETTER! Shoot first, ask questions later, Mulder!
141 – Leave it to Scully to grab Tooms’ hand that has the handcuffs and cuff him to her bathtub [I ADORE her bathtub, just a ‘for your information’]
142 – NOW you have your gun out? Really, Mulder? Go home, you’re done.
143 – Leave it to the media to put the capture of a serial killer in the second section of the newspaper, on the second page below the fold
144 – Ewwwww Tooms is building a new nest…that’s nasty. Stop giving him newspapers!
145 – PLOT: Scully tells Mulder she’s ordered some genetic testing for Tooms. Prelim medical exam revealed abnormal development in the musculature and skeletal systems, and a continually declining metabolic rate that dips well below the levels registered in deep sleep
146 – Mulder is barely listening to her because he wants to wax philosophic over the fact that no one is safe and we are all doomed…thanks Mulder
147 – Mulder and Scully walk away and Tooms is brought some food, it’s placed through a little tray hole in his door and we see this:
148 – This is why you shoot the genetic mutant, Mulder!
149 – In 17 episodes you’re going to wish you had listened to me…
Devil in the Details
- She actually had friends once
- Addicted to sunflower seeds
July 23, 1993 – Date of Tooms’ arrest
We’re not in 1993 anymore
- SLIDES – so many slides!
- Using a Polygraph
- Walkie-talkie’s as a form of instant communication
- Look at the graphics on the computer with the fingerprints
- Another Microfiche sighting
- Leaving messages on answering machines
This episode really sets the bar for the Monster-of-the-Week (MOTW) style episodes that will populate the majority of the coming 9 seasons and it definitely sets the bar high.
I’ve seen in a couple review pages that I read where people have commented on how strange it is that we jump from Scully being, shall we say less than exuberant, in her investigations with Mulder in the “Pilot and “Deep Throat” to her defending Mulder to Colton and then of course Mulder’s comment about her respecting the journey in the very next episode (this one). We as the audience have only seen Mulder and Scully on two cases prior to this so it seems a bit jarring in regards to their character development. However, if we go by the timeline established in the episodes – the Pilot occurs in early March 1993 and this is the end of July 1993. Ergo, Mulder and Scully have actually been working together for over 4 months at this point.
I am intrigued that Colton comments to Scully that Tooms’ previous victims were male and female but the victims we, as the audience, see are male (save Scully). This makes me think the only reason they decided to have victims of both genders was so that Scully could eventually become Tooms’ target.
I also wish they had allowed for some explanation of the Polygraph – if Tooms is really the killer WHY did he only have reactions to two of the questions that would indict him? Now I don’t know much about Polygraph tests but I think part of the reason they have become largely obsolete now a days is because they actually can be fooled. Some people can regulate their bodies responses so it fakes the test into thinking they are telling the truth when they actually aren’t. Just a small nitpick.