Tooms – Season 1, Ep 21


(Mulder laughs. Scully looks at him.)

MULDER: And I… I even made my parents call me Mulder. So… Mulder.

SCULLY: Mulder, I wouldn’t put myself on the line for anybody but you.

MULDER: If there’s an ice tea in that bag, could be love.

SCULLY: Must be fate, Mulder. Root beer.

And meanwhile, here I am:


Season 1, Episode 21: “Tooms”


This is a juicy episode. And I don’t mean that just because there’s bile in it. There’s a lot going on in this episode. It’s a landmark. Maybe the landmark episode in terms of Mulder and Scully’s relationship thus far. And really, it’s so much better than its predecessor, “Squeeze.” Like, there’s no comparison.

Oh, where to begin? Well, I guess we’d better start with Tooms, because he’s the least interesting aspect of this episode by far.

This episode is still suspenseful, don’t get me wrong, but since we already know the monster, it’s not quite as scary as “Squeeze.” Tooms is really the same old Tooms: still creepy as hell, still eating people’s livers, still living in filth, bile, and torn up newspapers (which Mulder has to belly-crawl through at the end of the episode, lucky him). No, what makes this episode SO GOOD is everything else that’s going on.

First, we have the entrance of a new major character: Assistant Director Walter Skinner, whose badassness is second only to Scully’s. Skinner may appear like a big jerk during the first few episodes he’s in, but we soon learn he’s no bad guy. He’s got a solidness and an authority that Mulder doesn’t have. Plus, Mitch Pileggi is just awesome.

Also, Cigarette Smoking Man speaks! Granted, he doesn’t say much, but he’s slowly undergoing the transition between smoking guy who stands in the background to the eventual ultimate nemesis he will become. If that isn’t a landmark, I don’t know what is.

I’ve just been putting it off, though. Here it is. Let’s do this. The stakeout scene. Shippers, get your squeals ready.

Believe it or not, this scene is actually very, very hard to analyze. It’s so subtle and so lighthearted; you don’t know what to take seriously, or, as Mulder might say, what to believe. Mulder is clearly joking when he says “If there’s an ice tea in that bag, could be love” and Scully plays right along with it. But Scully is so sincere in her affection and support of Mulder that there has to be some element of seriousness here; otherwise, it wouldn’t have so many Shippers on the floor flailing. What is it about this scene that gets so many? Well, everything here is a matter of opinion, but I’m putting my bets in one specific thing.

The looks. The looks between Mulder and Scully throughout the show are nothing short of legendary, and of all the Mulder/Scully seasons, Season 1 probably has the least. But in this scene, the looks are so rich and so wonderful that it almost makes up for it. In fact, when Mulder turns his head to look at Scully after she very solidly declares she wouldn’t put herself on the line for anybody but him, there’s an almost indescribable mixture of relief, gratefulness, amusement, and affection on his face. And Scully looks at him like he’s the best friend she has in the whole world – which, of course, he is.

It’s just perfect. And more than that, it marks a very important place for Mulder and Scully in their relationship. They’ll do anything for the other, anything. They’re partners past the point of being partners; friends past the point of being friends. They have formed a bond so strong and so sacred that breaking it will surely break them – if you can even manage to break it in the first place.

And that, my friends, is what this show is all about.

Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 5.16.21 PM

Final Score


Final score for this episode is 9/10. FLAILING.

Notable Nuggets

  • “If there’s an ice tea in that bag, could be love.”
  • “If there’s an ice tea in that bag, could be love.”
  • “If there’s an ice tea in that bag, could be love.”

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