Theatre of the Mind ~ Tooms

Tooms is an episode of the XF that brings us many firsts:

1. First appearance of AD Skinner.
2. First time an XF villain reappears (though it won't be the last).
3. Mulder "sleeps" on his couch for the first time (unless you count E.B.E. where he was only napping).
4. The mysterious Smoking Man (as he's known in the credits) speaks for the first time.
5. He's called her Dana many times, but this is the one and only time she has called him "Fox."

And of course there's SOOO much more than that. Above all, I think this is the episode that truly marks a change in the personal and professional relationship between M&S. Mulder says a change is coming, but I think the change is already here. What do you think? (And sorry this is so long!)

1. It creeps me out just to know that Eugene Victor Tooms is only about 30 minutes from my house!

2. We meet AD Walter S. Skinner for the first time. Well, you knew that M&S had to answer to someone, didn't you?

3. Don't you think it's funny how Scully challenges Mulder's methods all the time, but let somebody else challenge them and MamaBear!Scully's got her claws out!

4. I think Scully realizes the fix is in when Skinner tells her their super-duper conviction/solution rate still isn't enough. "May I ask, sir, what more you require?"

5. Skinner reminds Scully who is the debunker and who is the debunkee in this relationship and that she better get back where she belongs.

6. TWC1: Mulder taking the oath and on the stand. Good golly Miss Molly.

7. Say, wasn't that Duane Barry's doctor?

8. Tooms certainly picked the right attorney. She's the same dummy who told Donnie Pfaster that she left her door unlocked! Not a good judge of character.

9. Agent Fox Mulder: Have slide show, will travel.

10. Pure pain when Scully closes her eyes during Mulder's testimony. She realizes she's gotten used to Mulder's musings, but hears how he sounds to others.

11. Mulder's assurance that Tooms is genetically predetermined to kill again falls on deaf ears.

12. Hallway scene mirrors squad room scene in "Squeeze." "You knew they wouldn't believe you, why did you push it?" And also whether Scully wants to play by the book with the bureaucrats or play with Mulder (that didn't come out quite right).

13. Mulder still thinks they caught the right guy: Scully should follow the science while he follows the mutant.

14. New recruitment slogan for Baltimore Animal Regulation: You'll Love This Job, It's Finger-Lickin' Good!

15. For better scene of Mulder searching for his Norwegian Elkhound, Heinrich, see Season 1 Blooper Reel.

16. Nice touch bringing back Captain Clancy (let's see a show of hands: who remembers Here Come the Brides?).

17. Captain Clancy should go into business using his wheelchair as a divining rod to find out where the skeletons are buried (so to speak).

18. Tooms seems to have an affinity for Cerulean Blue (oops, that's another story altogether).

19. While the Fox is asleep, the mutant will creep!

20. I can see the commercial now: "Mutants clogging your pipes again? Call Roto Rooter, that's the name, and away go troubles down the drain."

21. Bet this is the first time in television history that a criminal was thwarted by a safety latch on a toilet seat. Don't say the XF isn't cutting edge!

22. "My instinct says that burial in cement is murder." What a yukster, Scully.

23. To go by the book, or not go by the book, that is the question. (We all knew what she'd choose!)

24. Scully proudly runs off to tell Mulder what she's found; naturally it's not enough.

25. It's a bit ripe in Mulder's car, even though his deodorant is supposed to be strong enough for a man.

26. Scully gets a whiff of the pine scent and remembers her nice trip to the forest.

27. Aww, she made him a sandwich with her own little hands! Delis don't put their sandwiches in little ziploc bags! (Liverwurst - Scully has a perverse sense of humor.)

28. OKAY, HERE IT IS! ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS SCENES IN XF HISTORY! Now to really appreciate this scene, you've got to be able to speak Mulderese/Scullyese. (It's a lot like Carterese but even Chris Carter can't translate that!) You know how it goes in the script. Here's what they REALLY said:

SCULLY: Mulder, I care about you and I don't want to see you get hurt, even though a little Mulder!Torture makes for great episodes.
MULDER: Scully, I'm the key figure in an on-going government charade, the plot to conceal the truth about the existence of extraterrestrials. It's a global conspiracy, actually, with key players in the highest levels of power, that reaches down into the lives of every man, woman, and child on this planet. So, of course, no one believes me. I'm an annoyance to my superiors, a joke to my peers. They call me Spooky. Spooky Mulder, whose sister was abducted by aliens when he was just a kid and who now chases after little green men with a badge and a gun, shouting to the heavens or to anyone who will listen that the fix is in, that the sky is falling and when it hits it's gonna be a big mess. You shouldn't get involved with a guy like me. I'll only bring you trouble and heartache. And I even made my parents call me Mulder. What does that tell you about how screwed up I am?
SCULLY: Well, FOX, it seems to me that the best relationships--the ones that last--are frequently the ones that are rooted in friendship. You know, one day you look at the person and you see something more than you did the night before. Like a switch has been flicked somewhere. And the person who was just a friend is... suddenly the only person you can ever imagine yourself with. And you're the only person I'd put myself on the line for.
MULDER: Gosh, Scully, you're the first person whose ever been willing to put themselves on the line for me. You have saved me! As difficult and as frustrating as it's been sometimes, your strict rationalism and science have saved me at least 19 times this season! You've kept me honest, you've made me a whole person. I owe you everything, Scully, and you owe me nothing, except a drink to go with this sandwich. I don't know if I wanna do this alone, I don't even know if I can. But through our 20 episodes together, one thing has remained the same. You are my friend, and you tell me the truth. Even when my world is falling apart, you are my constant, my touchstone.
SCULLY: And you are mine. And I wish I had brought you an iced tea, but it's root beer.
MULDER: Darn! Okay, I'm going home, but keep this in mind while you are sitting here: hips before hands.

See? There was so much more there than you thought! Okay, back to the episode!

29. Now, I think the turning point of this episode happens when Scully gets OUT of the car. With a little grin she says, "Wouldn't miss it for the world." That line tells me Scully has made her decision about her future with the FBI and the XF.

30. Though thinking about baseball, Scully has a liverwurst epiphany.

31. Looks like Mulder likes horror movies too.

32. As Mulder sleeps, again, Eugene proves he's a sole man! :::snort:::

33. TWC2: Mulder awakens without bedhead or sofahead as the case may be, but he is looking fine. And what acting! He even sounds like he was asleep.

34. Mulder, given the usual types who frequent your doorstep, you might want to say "Who is it?" before opening the door. Just a suggestion.

35. Yup, Mulder, you're 'screwed' all right.

36. TWC3: Mulder in Skinner's office. Woo-hoo!

37. Okay, I just have to say I don't know ANYTHING about FBI protocol, but couldn't somebody at least one time say, "Excuse me, who is this guy with the cigarette? Why is he always here for our meetings?" Just wanted to get that off my chest.

38. I like Mulder's "of course" when Skinner asks if he thinks he's being framed. Like there is any other possibility?

39. Another defining XF moment: Scully lies for her man, even though Mulder doesn't want her to. You go, girl!

40. Skinner & Scully embark on their trust/distrust relationship. "Sir, I would expect you to place the same trust in me as I do in you."

41. How come Mulder didn't tell Skinner not to call him Fox? A thousand little slasher hearts go pitty-pat.

42. Skinner gets all paternal but he's really just following orders from Capitol Hill. Thus begins my trust/distrust relationship with Skinner (sorry frogdoggie).

43. Wish my computer was that snazzy! I'd still be downloading if that was me.

44. There is some justice: The psychiatrist who fought so hard for Tooms' release stops by to become Victim No. 5.

45. Mulder tells Scully she can get the next mutant. That's Mulderese for, " I won't risk losing you."

46. On the plus side, at least Mulder doesn't stick his fingers in it this time.

47. TWC4: Too bad Tooms couldn't have got Mulder nekkid before letting him get away.

48. Mulder drops his gun but manages to use his flashlight quite handily as a lethal weapon.

49. Turnabout being fair play, Scully is able to save Mulder from the mutant this time, as he helped save her in "Squeeze.'

50. Mulder also uses escalator quite handily as a lethal weapon.

51. The mummy speaks! "Of course I do."

52. In Mulderese, Mulder tells Scully that a change is coming for them. Here's what he really said: "We're nearing the end of our first season, there's only a few episodes left, we don't know if we're gonna get renewed, you've been gaining a lot of weight, what else can go wrong?"

53. So you see, this episode had a lot to offer. A lot of firsts, and a lot of impact on the complicated but never boring relationship between Fox & Dana, Mulder & Scully, Moose & Squirrel. I knew from this episode on that what these two people had was something special that would continue to grow and only get better with time. How did I know? "A hunch."