And what a Monster of the Week. This is the first re-visit of an enemy in Victor Eugene Tooms, a most memorable X-File antagonist that set the standard for what to expect from an MOTW. So. Let's begin.
Senseless 'Shipper Survey - TOOMS Oh SSSSSSSHHHHHIIIIIIIII...
1) The episode begins with Mulder taking Scully out to a dinner and a movie. You:
A) See B)
B) See C)
C) Slap the 'Shipper Survey writer. Stop inserting your own damn fanfic and stick to the plot!
2) We are re-introduced to Tooms, an... unusual human being capable of stretching his entire body like taffy in order to sneak through openings no normal human could consider. Such as that food tray door of his prison cell RIGHT AS WE'RE WATCHING OMG. You:
A) Panic and lock the doors.
B) Panic and superglue all the air vents shuts.
C) Relax because Tooms is in a secure psychiatric facility in Baltimore MD and they never have any successful escapes. Just ask Dr. Lecter over in Cell Block B... uh, doctor? Doc? Where did he AAAAAAAUUUUGGGGGGGHHHHH (gets liver eaten with fava beans and a nice Chianti).
3) After credits, we find Agent Scully called to the carpet of an Assistant Director - no more Section Chief hand-holding for you, Dana, you're moving up in the world! - by the name of Skinner. You:
A) Worry that Scully's getting re-assigned to Donal Logue's task force hunting down future outdoor locations for Fox's planned There's-No-Batman-In-This series that should be starting its second season any day now!
B) Don't wanna spoil anything for the new fans binge-watching the series, but just wait for the season where Walter shows off his abs and undies...
C) Worry about those damn Walter-Dana 'Shippers still out there! NOOOOOOooooooo...
4) After the setup foreshadowing the remainder of Season One's arc, Mulder is busy testifying at the preliminary hearings for Tooms' case. Asked to present what he knows about Tooms' possible criminal misdeeds from the episode "Squeeze", Mulder just... uh... well, let's look at this:
|From Shaenon's epic Monster of the Week site.|
B) Yup. That's pretty much how the set extras behaved during the episode broadcast...
C) Dammit, Fox, didn't you see Dana's dropping hints for you to TONE THE SPOOKY STUFF DOWN A NOTCH... sigh...
5) Scully chews Mulder out for overdoing his testimony. Mulder argues that he spoke to the truth. You:
A) Suggest Scully bring a fresh trout to the courtroom and slap the Punk with it next time he speaks out of turn. NO JURY WOULD CONVICT YOU SCULLY.
B) Suggest that more biological evidence and physical testing should have been presented in the courtroom. Why the hell was it all pinned to what Mulder had to say...?
C) Suggest Dana and Fox cool down at the nearest hotel that has beds with Magic Fingers thingee.
6) Scully decides to go hunt for more clues. While she goes and rounds up the retired cop Frank Briggs that helped out in the earlier episode, you want her to also round up:
A) An elite task force of expendable warriors! Dana's Dirty Dozen!
B) Those four teens riding around in a funky painted panel van and pot-ingesting Great Dane that keeps saying (blocked from quoting due to copyright violations).
C) A caterer, a banquet hall, a priest, witnesses, family members, Best Man, Maid of Honor, some kids to toss flowers, and just to keep Fox happy an Elvis Impersonator. ...what?
7) Tooms somehow gets his job back with Animal Control, cleaning up poor critters left as road-kill. As he spends a moment enjoying a mid-work coffee break (and light snack) you:
B) NO NOT FLUFFY!
C) Make damn sure Tooms is not the caterer for the Dana-Fox wedding.
8) Tooms begins to focus on a fresh target walking down the street. His POV shows the world turning grey while his potential victim remains in perfect highlighted color. Suddenly, Mulder pops up to harass Tooms by asking after a missing dog: "His name is Heinrick. He's a Norwegian Elkhound." Tooms scurries away in frustration. Mulder can't help but rub in: "I use him to hunt moose!" You shout back:
A) "Stop describing yourself, Moose!" (note: fan nicknames of the power duo are Moose and Squirrel, you get two guesses who is whom and any sarcastic answer gets you a fresh trout slap)
B) "A moose once bit my sister!" (note: true story. I *did* shout that when I watched this episode during broadcast)
C) "Dammit, Fox, you know perfectly well Dana doesn't support moose genocide!" (note: the moose are the only defense we have against Wendigo incursions)
9) After a busy day of digging up evidence, Scully re-teams with Mulder as he stakes out Tooms' halfway home. Scully brought food and drinks for the stakeout, and also a warning: That Skinner is
A) Scully that it's either this or being on rarely-watched episodes of Hannibal!
B) Mulder that it's either this or tacky episodes of Californication.
C) the NoRomos they better not ruin the next three minutes for the rest of us!
10) Scully tries to call her partner by his first name "Fox".
Mulder: "I made my parents call me 'Mulder'."
A) "So how quickly did you get disinherited, you ungrateful bastard?"
B) "Damn. Even after what happened to your sister, that had to make Thanksgiving dinners a bit awkward, you think?"
C) "But what's it gonna look like on the Marriage Certificate, Fox?!"
11) Scully: "Mulder, I wouldn't put myself on the line for anybody but you."
(Incredibly poignant shared glance between the two)
Mulder: "If there's an iced tea in that bag, it could be love."
Scully (digging through the dinner): "Must be fate, Mulder. Root beer."
A) See B)
B) See C)
|All you Korrasami fans got off easy. ...wait, lemme rephrase that...|
12) Mulder gets sent home without his iced tea. Unfortunately, Tooms follows him (ohcrap) and is able to sneak into Mulder's apartment (ohsssssssshhhhhiiiiiii...). When it turns out Tooms is doing it to frame Mulder with a false brutality charge, you:
A) Sigh in relief that Scully doesn't have to retrain a new Agent partner, but on the other hand she STILL doesn't have a desk! /preteractive fuming
B) Worry that Tooms could have swiped Mulder's infamous porn stash while he was there. October 1988 *was* a good month, dammit.
C) Were using a girly scream. This is Fox we're talking about, there's always a girly scream when he's involved.
13) Skinner is none too thrilled about the brutality charge, although Scully covers for Mulder by claiming she was with him on a stake-out. Given the circumstances, Mulder has been warned to stay away from Tooms. This means Tooms is free to get his fifth liver first chance he gets. And when his court-appointed psychiatrist shows up and Tooms' POV goes grey, you realize:
A) Tooms is going after the wrong psychiatrist. After all, it's LECTER who keeps eating all his livers.
B) What a tweest! ...no, actually, it's not. And this is 1994, we can't be joking about M. Night's stuff for another five years.
C) Dana's cover story would have been more believable if it had involved a hotel room where the bed used Magic Fingers.
14) The forensics stuff that's been happening in the background of the case, oddly enough, brings up proof that Tooms ate a body that had been buried in concrete since 1933 - don't forget, Tooms is effectively immortal by eating five livers and hibernating for thirty years - and now with physical proof in hand Mulder and Scully go racing off with a warrant to arrest Tooms. Only to find the remains of a dinner involving fava beans and an empty bottle of Chianti. You:
A) Are done with the Silence of the Lambs references. Okay, there. Got it out of our system, okay?
B) Realize that if they time it right, they can catch Tooms napping in a post-dinner food coma and hold him in his cell while he sleeps it off for thirty years.
C) Think this is an appropriate time for Dana and Fox to exchange a meaningful hand-hold. Then again, EVERY time is an appropriate time for Dana and Fox to exchange a meaningful hand-hold (see that, Korrasami 'Shippers! We were pining for hand-holds before most of you were even born!)
15) Mulder deduces that Tooms has to hibernate in the same area every time as part of his biology, so they hurry back to the place they knew his underground nest was. Only the building had been torn down and replaced by a brand new office building complete with fancy escalators and everything. You:
A) Gripe about the most unbelievable aspect of this whole episode: there is NO WAY a construction crew in a major city would get a new office skyscraper up THAT quickly! Not in six months! Are you kidding? With all the cost overruns, and workers' strikes, and mafia kickbacks, and local ordinances getting rewritten every other city meeting, and...
B) Wonder why Baltimore architecture looks so much like Vancouver's...
C) Are upset they didn't put up a fancy 5-star hotel with penthouse suites that Dana and Fox can crash for the night. (weeps)
16) Going down means going under the escalators (FORESHADOWING) to get into where Tooms' nest once was. Mulder goes in, gun drawn, crawling from a cramped mechanical service tunnel into a rocky, muddy pit covered in goo. He reaches this odd, human-sized cocoon at the end of the tunnel. As he checks the surface, seeing if there was any way to... TOOMS CLAWS OUT OF THE COCOON AND ATTACKS MULDER! You:
A) Shout "YOU DROPPED YOUR GUN AGAIN MULDER!" Oh, wait, this might actually be the first time he does this. My bad.
B) Shout "TOOMS USES SLIME SURPRISE! IT'S SUPER EFFECTIVE!" Whadda ya mean, Pokemon didn't exist back then...?
C) Shout "AAAA! FOX NEEDS A HUG!" ...Well, he does...
17) Aren't you stretching out this chase scene through the slime tunnel a little too much?
B) I saw what you did there.
C) You should be stretching out scenes involving Dana and Fox talking about iced tea, root beer and trust dammit.
18) Mulder gets out from underneath the escalator and Scully hits the Power ON button. Tooms gets caught in the gears and moving panels, screams as he stretches beyond even HIS limits, and his body gets yanked into the maw of an unyielding death machine. As the goo spills UPWARD by the treads of modern innovation, you think to yourself:
A) Metaphor, the man consumed by the ever-advancing march of technology. A force of nature - an eating machine that consumes other men is itself consumed by the creations of men. That the machine transforms itself by motion, by transference of others, this too transfers its victim from... from... why the hell am I writing a dissertation on this?!
B) BEST. KARMIC DEATH. EVER.
C) Whew! Now we can get a shot of Dana and Fox getting into "Glad To Be Alive Sex!" ...whadda ya mean, what show? What's this How I Met Your Mother show all about? Why are you referencing Doogie Howser, and who's this Willow...?
19) Skinner is reading the final report on Tooms - the evidence, the victims, the final fate - and closes the file with a grimace. The Smoking Man walks into camera shot, looking wistfully out Skinner's window. Skinner turns and asks, "Do you believe all this?" The Smoking Man turns and answers, speaking for the first time. "Of course I do." You realize:
A) The Smoking Man is truly dangerous: he knows Mulder speaks the truth, and he knows Scully speaks the facts. That he recognizes their potential means he can be their greatest opponent...
B) William B. Davis got a pay raise for getting speaking lines! WOOT! Good for you!
C) That report really wasn't about Tooms: it's the Smoking Man's twelve-part fanfic story about Fox and Dana that he wanted Walter to beta-read!
20) The episode ends with Mulder contemplating a moth's cocoon while Scully tries to get him to focus on the next case. You end it with:
A) A challenge to the show's creators to give Scully more opportunities to kill monsters with heavy machinery!
B) A promise to the readers of this blog that you'll get more 'Shipper Surveys done! (looks at personal schedule of getting five separate works of literary fiction completed before November's NaNoWriMo's demanding time constraints). Ummmmmm...
C) A call for more iced tea! NO MORE ROOT BEER! DAMN YOU NOROMOS.
If you more often than not answered:
A) You are a Scully fanatic with an unlimited supply of fresh trout for slapping non-believers.
B) You are a Monster of the Week taking notes about how NOT to get killed by Mulder and Scully. Step One: Avoid escalators...
C) You are a Senseless 'Shipper who fell in love with the idea of falling in love during the iced tea/root beer scene. And someone who's stopped drinking root beer for some reason.
What do you think, sirs?