The Squeezing is the third episode of The X-Files (2014 Series). "The Squeezing" was written by and directed by Joss Whedon. The episode featured the first of two guest appearances by Andrew Garfield as the mutant serial killer Eugene Victor Tooms, a role he would reprise in "Tooms". "The Squeeze" is the first "monster-of-the-week" episode of The X-Files, a stand-alone plot which is unconnected to the series' overarching mythology.
In Baltimore, businessman George Usher arrives at his office building. He is watched from a storm drain by someone who then sneaks into the building by climbing through the elevator shaft into the ventilation system, and kills Usher by removing his liver. The investigation into Usher's murder—the latest of three such killings—is assigned to careerist FBI agent Tom Colton (Idris Elba), who turns to academy colleague Dana Scully (Karen Gillan) for help.
The case baffles Colton, as the only common elements in the murders are the lack of entry points and the apparent removal of the victims' livers with bare hands. Fox Mulder (Robert Downey, Jr.) looks over the case and notes their similarity to earlier murder sprees that occurred in 1911 and 1987. At the crime scene, Mulder notices an elongated fingerprint on the air vent, which he also finds to be similar to some documented in the X-Files. He concludes that because five murders occurred during the earlier sprees, the investigators should expect two more.
Because Scully believes that the killer will return to the scenes of his earlier crimes, she and Mulder wait in the parking garage of Usher's office building. There, they catch a man named Eugene Victor Tooms (Andrew Garfield) climbing through the air vents. Tooms is given a polygraph test, which includes questions written by Mulder linking him to murders dating as far back as 1903. After Tooms passes the test easily, Colton dismisses Mulder's queries as being ridiculous and lets Tooms go. However, Mulder later digitally elongates and narrows Tooms' fingerprints to show Scully that they match the prints at the crime scene. Mulder believes that Tooms is able to stretch and squeeze his body through narrow spaces. That night, Tooms demonstrates this by squeezing down a chimney to claim another victim.
Mulder and Scully find no documentation on Tooms' life. They visit Frank Briggs (Ralph Brown), a former detective, who recounts his experiences of the investigation into the 1987 murders. Briggs brings out old photographs of Tooms—who has not aged in sixty years—and gives them the address of Tooms' former apartment building. There, Mulder and Scully find a "nest" constructed out of newspaper and bile in the building's crawl space, as well as several trophy items taken from past victims. Mulder suspects that Tooms is a mutant who can hibernate for thirty years at a time after consuming five human livers. As the two leave, Tooms, who is hiding in the rafters, stealthily takes the necklace Scully is wearing as a new trophy.
Mulder and Scully put the apartment under surveillance, but Colton has them taken off the job. Mulder finds Scully's necklace in Tooms' apartment and tries to call his partner, but her phone line has been cut. Tooms breaks into her apartment through a tiny air vent to kill her, but Mulder rushes there and apprehends him first. Tooms is put in an institution for the criminally insane where he begins to build another nest using newspaper. At the institution, Scully informs Mulder that medical tests on Tooms show an abnormal skeletal and muscle system, and a rapidly declining metabolism. When Tooms is given food through a slot in the door, he stares at the thin slot and grins.
- Robert Downey, Jr. as Fox Smulder
- Karen Gillan as Dana Scully
- Andrew Garfield as Eugene Victor Tooms
- Idris Elba as Thomas "Tom" Colton
- Ralph Brown as Franklin "Frank" Briggs