The X-Files 1.02 “Squeeze”

Looking back now, it’s kind of hard to believe that an amazing episode like Squeeze was only the third episode of the first season. Who would have thought?

Into the episode then. From the start there is definitely something going on. Something scary and chilling and omg. You can tell from the music and then the shot of the eyes almost glowing in the dark only confirms it. This guy at the beginning has no chance at all. He’s basically wearing a red shirt from the off. Within a minute he’s dead.

Looking at the vent that the attacker’s come in though kind of makes me wonder if that’s how Santa Claus gets in and out. Maybe that’s not one to share with kids.

“Lucked into the World Trade Center bombing.” If this guy didn’t already come across as a bit of a ass, this would be a big warning flag.  I kind of get the idea that while it’s nice to catch up with an old Quantico buddy, he’s only having lunch with her because he wants her help or more specifically, Mulder’s help (but without actually having to ask “Spooky”).

Mulder talking to this other agents is ace though. He knows exactly what this other guy thinks of him and doesn’t hesitate in jerking him around a little.

I’d forgotten about the voice-over/report bits that used to be in the episodes – I’m kind of glad they went as I don’t think there was a real need to have them. Although in this case it segues nicely into the scene at the meeting where she’s sharing her report with the rest of the team. The rest of the team who are asses when it comes to referring to the work that Scully’s actually been assigned to.

Gotta say though, Scully and Mulder’s clothes are so 90s. So so so 90s.

The Tooms music every time he’s about to show up is a good touch. And that Tooms looks so ordinary really adds to the sinisterness of the entire episode.

I do wonder that the pauses before Tooms answers any question doesn’t bring up some kind of suspicion. Although admittedly, it’s probably just the way he and other people speak. The skeevy agent’s name is Tom, I remember now. He’s a huge ass. A really huge ass. That presumes to know what Scully wants. Which makes me dislike him even more. And makes Mulder seem super reasonable and nice in the scene immediately after the polygraph test. Even though we know he’s saying it to make Scully wonder what he’s up to next.

Back to Tooms, I also wonder why he doesn’t take his shoes off when climbing down the chimney. He can alter the shape of his body but he definitely can’t change the shape of his shoes. That’s got to be an inconvenience at least. I know that we never see the actual murders because it’d have been expensive to film and a mess and require a lot of logistical working out, but not seeing the livers getting torn out kind of helps. We can only imagine what he’s doing when he attacks these people.

Do Mulder and Scully get stuck doing a lot of boring old trawling through records later on? I’m sure they don’t. It’s nice to see them do it, but I guess later on everything gets computerised or the Lone Gunmen help or something. Makes it take less time or we just no longer see them doing it.

“Human monster” That really describes Tooms. He’s human. He’s like any one of us. He could be anyone, but he’s also a monster.

I know the whole “every 30 years” thing kind of suggests it, but how does Mulder get the idea that Tooms hibernates? I know he’s smart and that. But it’s kind of out of nowhere.

Scully’s got a really nice house. Is it a house or just an apartment? The windows and that suggest house – but the shot of the cut phone line and the vents and vague memories of later episodes suggest apartment. Is this a strange thing to wonder about as Scully is in the process of being attacked? Probably.

The last shot with the food hatch and Tooms just smiling at it is ace. It’s not over for him and he’s already thinking about how to get out. I suppose that sense of the episode not being over was intentional – I know he’s coming back later on in the season – but if I was watching this when it first aired? I would have thought he was coming back next week. I wouldn’t have expected it 17 episodes later.

Mostly for me, The X-Files is a lot about Mulder and Scully’s relationship and interactions and to a certain extent how their relationship (even if it’s mostly just a working one at this point) affects how other people treat them. Here Scully gets the short end of the stick from her peers because she’s  working with Mulder, but Tom consider’s getting Mulder’s take on things because, perhaps, he’s working with Scully now and therefore is more accessible. There’s a bit of sexism towards Scully too – I doubt that if she was a male agent working with Mulder that her choices would have been questioned so much or looked down upon by Tom and the other male agents working on the team. Neither would they have presumed to think they knew what’s best for her. There’s a lack of respect there which is highlighted even more by the respect that Scully and Mulder afford each other. Scully knows Mulder has some out-there ideas, but she respects that he wants to investigate his theories and helps him to do it properly. She’s willing to at least give him the opportunity to explore a more unusual route because she’s not letting prejudice about his “spooky” reputation affect their working relationship – it’s more that she takes into account the quality of the work he’s done before, his accomplishments academically and his profiling background. At the same time, Mulder respects Scully’s own achievements – she is a qualified medical doctor after all – and that she’s willing to help him, even if she doesn’t believe his out-there theories right away. Plus her skepticism makes him have to really prove his theories and get the evidence properly rather than just letting him get away with postulating wildly.

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