The X-Files - S01E03 - "Squeeze"
Because sometimes, weirdos live right here on Earth.
Original air date: September 24, 1993
First "Monster of the Week" episode, and a pretty decent character study of the two X-Files agents compared to the rest of their cohort. Also expands the series and what it's going to cover.
Oh hey, Donal Logue. Love that dude. Wish he was in more things.
Didn't think he'd play the slimy FBI agent that well, but he does. I like this conversation because it kind of brings us back to how inconsequential Rat Race/status games are. We've been thrown wide open into a giant conspiracy, and now we're back to fast-tracking and inter-class jealousy.
Whatever, we have bigger fish to fry; it shows how isolated Mulder is, too.
"Spooky" Mulder gets more expansion here, and we see how much of a loser he's supposed to be.
His thinking outside the box in this episode reminds us that yeah, dude's a good agent; he just has things that hook him, pull him, and put on those blinders. Or are they blinders? We the viewer don’t know if it’s a weakness or just something he’s putting on as a front.
The fingerprint stuff in this episode is hilarious, mostly for stuff we'll get to later.
But I love the idea of us seeing how the killer gets in and out, and then having to watch the agents figure it out. Columbo did this, too ("whodunit" vs "howcatchem".)
Mulder having obsessed *so* much about the X-Files to be able to go "Weird prints? Liver gone? I know what we're up against" is pretty cool.
"What did we learn on our first day at the academy, Scully?"
I think that it's interesting because we know the killer is a freak, but not some extra details: the idea of the killer re-emerging and disappearing over time is left to our imagination.
The audience knows enough, but not the whole story.
This episode is still 1993, so there's still a larger undercurrent of workplace sexism. I imagine Scully's not only taking a reputation risk, but working against a lot of bias.
Logue's character is pretty much "don't get sidetracked with Mulder" and he gets to be proven right a little.
"Scully with a gun" is quickly becoming my favourite thing.
Lie detector tests being this scientific thing is more for the TV viewer than for scientific accuracy.
And to get some "safe" facetime with the killer, so we can kind of get the vibe of just how messed up he is.
"... sometimes the need to mess with their heads outweighs the millstone of humiliation."
"In our investigations you might not always agree with me, but you at least respect the journey."
We're painting some harsh differences and showing how Scully's changed, even after two episodes.
Is Scully in or out? Is she drawn in by Mulder and the weirdness she's seen so far? Is she letting the dam break just a little to say "Hey yeah, maybe the guy's a mutant."
I'd say so.
This sequence is just stupid. But it was 1993. Whatever. Computers are magic.
Some poor graphic designer has no time to even make the prints somewhat different.
We didn't see it before, but we see it now. No doubt, this guy's got something weird about him.
Also the behind-the-scenes facts of this are cool.
"The victim is a Thomas Werner, a single, white..."
[Fox interjects] "It's Tooms." (I laugh).
I really like this sequence, and the callback at the end.
This cop's been running his own X-Files. This is what Mulder could turn out to be. The guy gets his satisfaction at the end; will Mulder?
"Is there any way I can get it off my fingers quickly, without betraying my cool exterior?"
This HAD to have been a quote from the writer's room.
Also interesting that we don't get a look at Tooms' lair until like, less than 10 minutes left in the 40 minute episode?
This is some Stanley Kubrick shit.
We're three episodes in, and I'm unsure of how much they're trying to sexualize Scully already.
It kinda clicked that "yeah duh, Tooms goes for the liver" but at the same time it's like... “hrmmm :thinking:”.
I keep having to remind myself “1993, this show isn’t proven, Silence of the Lambs is only two years old, sure, whatever.”
Cool to see the eyes change as Tooms gives up. I also liked seeing both agents contributing to his capture: Fox gets one cuff, Scully the other.
I don't think Fox was meant to be like... bumbling? Forgetful? Overlooking? In letting Scully alone with the dude.
I also Googled "Why wouldn't Tooms just slip out of the cuffs?"
Kinda makes sense, though; Mulder's got a gun on him, and the dude it's Mr. Fantastic or Monkey D. Luffy.
Again, nice end, and I'm glad the cop got his closure. If this guy's a Mulder analogue, we can hope Fox gets his, too.
Annnnd sequel bait!
Fun episode, though! No sweeping monologues by Tooms, just "this guy is either acting on instinct or just messed up in the head."
Reminds me a little bit of Shin Godzilla, where Godzilla isn't the villain: bureaucracy is. This episode is like, 50/50 "the FBI isn't equipped to think about monsters like Tooms" and saying "Hey, you, the viewer, and our main characters are."