Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The X-Files: Tooms (1.21)

Squeeze wasn't exactly crying out for a sequel, but damn if this isn't a great conclusion to that story. Doug Hutchison is overwhelmingly terrifying as Tooms, the vacant expression and eye movements conveying so much evil. And the way he licked his fingers like that? Ick.

Playing like an old B-movie, with the madman released from the asylum after duping the jury, and the lone hero's determination to put him away again before he creates more chaos, Tooms unravels really well, leading to a ridiculously squick-inducing finale involving bile, stained clothing, crawling around on the floor, and a grizzly end via escalator. Nice.

The banter between Mulder and Scully has never been better, too. Their scene together in the surveillance car was really sweet, not plainly flirting with one another, but with real chemistry with a hint of some romance. Also loved Scully calling Mulder "Fox", and unlike Scully's reaction to his use of her first name in Beyond the Sea, he pretty much laughs it off and tells her to quit it. With the FBI bosses (including AD Skinner, introduced here) closing in, the relationship between our two protagonists is almost forced to strengthen, and there's an easy casualness to both their dialogue and David and Gillian's performances here.

Great performances and a confident, relaxed script free that is pretty terrifying in places, Tooms is one of those forgotten classics, just as great as its predecessor. Rating A+

Guest stars Doug Hutchison (Eugene Tooms); Paul Ben Victor (Dr. Aaron Monte); Mitch Pileggi (A.D. Walter Skinner); Henry Beckman (Detective Frank Briggs)
Writers Glen Morgan, James Wong Director David Nutter

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