The X-Files

Season 1 Episode 3


Aired Monday 9:00 PM Sep 24, 1993 on FOX



  • Trivia

    • At the end of the episode, in the sequence where Tooms attacks Scully at her home, there is a goof / inconsistency / intentional error: When they show that the phone lines have been cut, it says "Scully 403" next to them. However, when Mulder kicks the door down, the apartment number on her door is 35.

    • Tooms' address for 60 years has been: 66 Exeter Street.

    • Principal setting: Baltimore, Maryland.

    • We see, at 41:22, that a food tray is put in Toom's cell and at 41:42 it is gone. This is not a mistake. In the scene, you will notice that there is a white out transition. Immediately after the white out, you get a view of Tooms sitting on the bed, but now he no longer has the newspaper on his lap. This appears to indicate that this second shot of the door at 41:42 actually took place much later than when the food was initially placed in his cell.

    • The break in the door to the office where the man was murdered at the beginning of the episode is much different at 7:05.

    • This is the first episode that seems to prove that whilst Gillian Anderson is a terrific actress, the one thing she can't act is typing. Despite what is coming up on screen and being narrated, her fingers don't match. Her fingers move pretty fast, but the text comes up slowly, and she's only typing on the asdf line by the looks of it!

    • Continuity: The hippo on Usher's desk moves to the other side and is replaced by a coffee mug between shots.

    • Why didn't Mulder and Scully visit the old detective and inform him of Toom's arrest? He helped them out with a major piece of evidence, and they couldn't even pay him a visit? He had to read about it in the paper!

    • Plot holes: After Colton calls off the stakeout, Scully goes straight home. While we've seen plenty of evidence that Scully sticks to the book, it's odd that she didn't go by and tell Mulder what happened. Even stranger, she calls Mulder's home number rather than his cell phone, even though she knows he's still at Exeter Street!

    • Revealing Mistake: As odd as it is that Mr. Werner chooses to light a fire in July, it's even odder that there is no trail of soot leading to Tooms' hiding spot, and Tooms himself is not covered with soot, as would be expected from a man who just squeezed down a chimney.

    • Continuity: The polygraph operator is confident that Tooms didn't kill "those two people." However, at this point in the episode, three people have been killed.

    • Revealing Mistakes: Since the human body contains almost six liters of blood and Tooms rips people apart to get at their liver, you'd think there'd be a lot of blood spattered about at the crime scene, plus a pretty obvious trail leading back into the ducts. (I guess FOX requested the gore be cut back a bit for the censors)

    • Continuity: When Tooms takes the polygraph, Mulder has added 2 questions. After the test he refers to them as question 11 and 13. However, Mulder is wrong as it were questions 12 and 14.

    • Revealing Mistakes: The newspaper article entitled "Suspect Caught in Serial Killings" that the investigating Police Officer of the 1963 killings was looking at near the end of the episode is really the same few paragraphs repeated again and again to form what appears to be a full-length article. You can see the paragraph beginning with "Yesterday, however..." in the second column as well as the third.

    • Plot Holes: If Tooms could "squeeze" through ventilation ducts, it stands to reason that he could also have slipped easily from the handcuffs.

  • Quotes

    • Scully: Mulder, they don't want you involved, they don't want to hear your theories. That's why Blevins has you hidden away down here.
      Mulder: You're down here, too.

    • Scully: Oh my God, Mulder, it's smells like, I think it's bile.
      Mulder: Is there any way I can get it off my fingers quickly without betraying my cool exterior?
      Scully: No one could live in this.
      Mulder: I don't think it's where he lives, I think it's where he hibernates.
      Scully: Hibernates?
      Mulder: Just listen, what if some genetic mutation could allow a man to awaken every thirty years.
      Scully: Mulder..
      Mulder: And what if the five livers could provide him sustenance for that period. What if Tooms is some kind of, twentieth century, genetic mutant.

    • Mulder: I think what we have to do is track Eugene Tooms, there's four down and one to go this year. If we don't get him right now, the next chance is in year.
      Scully: 2023.
      Mulder: And you're gonna be head of the bureau by then. So I think you have to go through the census, I'm gonna plough through this century's marriage, birth, death certificates, and... You have any Dramamine on you by any chance cos, these things make me seasick.

    • Colton: Look at this point, I'm willing to give any theory a shot. Any sane theory, I'm sorry, Dana, but I only want qualified members of the investigating team at the crime scene.
      Mulder: What's the matter, Colton, you worried I'm gonna solve your case?
      Scully: Tom. We have authorized access to this crime scene. A report of you obstructing another officer's investigation might stick out on your personnel file.
      Colton: Look, Dana, whose side are you on?
      Scully: The victim's.

    • Mulder: What did we learn in our first day at the academy, Scully? Each fingerprint is unique, these are a perfect match.
      Scully: Are you suggesting that I go before the Violent Crime Section and present a profile declaring that these murders were done by aliens?
      Mulder: No, of course not, I find no evidence of alien involvement.
      Scully: Well, what then? That, that this is the work of a hundred year old serial killer who is capable of overpowering a healthy six foot two businessman.
      Mulder: And he should stick out in a crowd with ten inch fingers.
      Scully: Look, bottom line, this is Colton's case.
      Mulder: Our X-file dates back to 1903, we had it first.

    • Colton: I've got this case that's, out there. Baltimore PD cops, they want our help on a serial killer profile. Three murders began six weeks ago, victims vary in age, race, gender, no known connections to each other.
      Scully: I take it there's a pattern.
      Colton: Point of entry. Actually, the lack of one.
      Scully: What do you mean? Suicides?
      Colton: Each victim was found with their liver, ripped out. No cutting tools used.
      Scully: Bare hands. This looks like an X-file.
      Colton: Let's not get carried away. I'm gonna solve these murders but, what I would like from you is, to go over the case histories. Maybe, come down to the crime scene.
      Scully: Do you want me to ask Mulder?
      Colton: Ok, if he wants to come and do you a favor, great. But make sure he knows this is my case. Dana, if I can break a case like this one, I'll be getting my bump up the ladder. And you, maybe you won't have to be Mrs. Spooky anymore.

    • Scully: You knew they wouldn't believe you, why did you push it?
      Mulder: Maybe I thought you caught the right guy. And maybe I run into so many people, who are hostile, just because they can't open their minds to the possibilities, that sometimes the need to mess with their heads, outweighs the millstone of humiliation.
      Scully: It seems like you were acting very territorial, I don't know, forget it.
      Mulder: Of course I was. In our investigations, you may not always agree with me but at least you respect the journey. And if you wanna continue working with them, I won't hold it against you.

    • Scully: Look, bottom line, this is Colton's case.
      Mulder: Our X-file dates back to 1903, we had it first.

    • Mulder: You wouldn't shoot an unarmed man, would you copper?

    • Scully: Is this what it takes to climb the ladder, Colton?
      Colton: All the way to the top.
      Scully: Then I can't wait till you fall off and land on your ass.

    • Mulder: I'm going to look through birth certificates, death certificates... Do you have any Dramamine? These things make me seasick.

    • Scully: What are you doing here?
      Mulder: He's not coming back here. His thrill is derived from the challenge of seemingly impossible entry. He's already beaten this place. If you'd read the X-Files on the case, you'd come to the same conclusion.
      Scully: Mulder, you're jeopardizing my stakeout.
      Mulder: Seed? You're wasting your time.

    • Mulder: Why didn't they ask me?
      Scully: They're friends of mine from the academy. I'm sure they just felt more comfortable talking to me.
      Mulder: Why would I make them uncomfortable?
      Scully: It probably has to do with your reputation.
      Mulder: Reputation? I have reputation?
      Scully: Mulder look, Colton plays by the book, you don't. They feel your methods, your theories, are...
      Mulder: Spooky? Do you think I'm spooky?

    • Colton: If I can break cases like this one, I'll be getting my bump up the ladder and you? Maybe you won't have to be Mrs. Spooky anymore.

    • Colton: So, Mulder, what do you think? Does this look like the work of little green men?
      Mulder: Grey.
      Colton: Excuse me.
      Mulder: Grey. You said green men. A Reticulan skin tone is actually gray. They're notorious for their extraction of terrestrial human livers due to iron depletion in the Reticulan galaxy.
      Colton: You can't be serious.
      Mulder: Do you have any idea what liver and onions go for on Reticula? `scuse me.

    • Mulder: All these people putting bars on their windows, spending good money on hi-tech security systems, trying to feel safe. I look at this guy and I think, it ain't enough.

    • Scully: Genetics might explain the patterns. It also might explain the sociopath attitudes and behaviors. It begins with one family member who raises an offspring who raises the next child...
      Mulder: So what's this, the anti-Waltons?

  • Notes

    • The shot in the opening credits of Mulder and Scully walking through a door with guns and flashlights is taken from this episode.

    • After filming this episode Doug Hutchinson, who played Eugene Victor Tooms, sent a frozen calf's liver to Chris Carter as a thank you for the opportunity to play a character on The X-Files.

    • Eugene Victor Tooms returns later in Season 1, in the episode entitled "Tooms".

    • Writer Glen Morgan once read an article about Richard Ramirez, a convicted serial killer who terrorized California in the first half of the 80's. Before his capture it was rumored that he entered the homes of his victims by the small window in the bathroom. This rumor would later be debunked after his arrest, but the story intrigued Morgan so much that it was the basis for the creation of the character Eugene Victor Tooms. To flesh out the story, the writers drew their inspiration from Jack the Ripper and a large ventilation shaft outside their office.

    • Doug Hutchinson, playing the liver-eating Eugene Victor Tooms, is a vegetarian in real life.

    • After two episodes that dealt largely with alien activity, Chris Carter asked writing team Glen Morgan and James Wong to write an episode with a different, but still paranormal, storyline. This was to establish that the show was going to be more than just about aliens every week.

  • Allusions

    • Colton: Lucked into the World Trade Center bombing.

      Colton is referring to the first attack on the World Trade Center in New York City on February 26, 1993 when a car bomb was planted in the underground garage by Islamic extremists.

    • Mulder: So what's this, the anti-Waltons?

      The Waltons was a popular series on CBS that aired from 1972 to 1981. The series followed the lives of the Walton family members: Olivia and John, their 7 children and John's parents.

    • Background: Twin Peaks

      If you look closely you can see a picture of the corpse of Laura Palmer from Twin Peaks in the scene where Mulder shows Scully the elongated fingerprints from the previous murder scenes. You can see it hanging behind Scully's head when she backs away in her chair and stands up. David Duchovny played a small part in this series as DEA Agent Dennis Bryson.

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