Sep 1, 2014

Tooms and Toomy, Another X-Files:Fringe Crossover

Being on the lookout for any indication a science-fiction production (shows and movies) is trying to disseminate real information or events to the public under a fictional guise, makes me hyper aware when I watch Fringe and X-Files. As a vivid dreamer, I have a knack for finding connections not immediately apparent to others. It was my husband who noticed this one, though.

Episodes under review:

From Fringe (2008-2013)
"The Same Old Story" Season 1, Episode 2 
"The Abducted" Season 3, Episode 7

X-Files (1993-2002)
"Squeeze" Season 1, Episode 3,
"Tooms" Season 1, Episode 21

They share some surprising elements. And each show started with a story on this topic early on in their first season, though neither had much to do with either show's overarching story. They were cases the investigative teams were confronted with early on. Then Fringe seemed to reinforce the idea again in its third season, and wove the topic more intricately into the overarching plot of the season.

In "The Abducted", a series of kidnappings spanning many years is revisited with a new abduction case. The culprit is known as "the Candyman" because he sweats sucrose and gives his victims candy while he sucks their hormones from the pituitary gland at the base of the skull, the gland connected to aging. He synthesizes a syrum with the hormones from the children to reduce his own aging body, like an elixir of youth. The son of the Fringe Division's head was one of the Candyman's previous victims. His name is Christopher.

Candyman (aged), played by John Hainsworth, holding his trademark silver mask,
 from Fringe series (S.3, E.7)
In "The Same Old Story", also Fringe, a series of murders attracts the attention of the investigative team because the young women all had their pituitary gland removed. A new victim, a baby, ages rapidly into an old man, connecting the baby's case to the murders. The culprit in this string is a Doctor who harvested those glands to heal his son, Christopher, who suffers from rapid aging syndrome.

Now, the first story happens in a parallel universe, which the main character, Agent Olivia Dunham, is trapped in. She mentions having done a similar case before joining the Fringe Division, but she was covering for the fact that she is from a parallel universe where she had tackled the similar case for the Fringe Division on the other side. The connections between the two Fringe episodes could obviously just be a deliberate cross-over to suggest both universes encounter similar circumstances with slight variations in details and timing.

However, what's interesting is that the X-Files episode, about a mutant human who is revealed to be the same perpetrator of killings as far back as a hundred years ago. The victim's livers were removed.

 Tooms, played by Doug Hutchison, in the X-Files episodes
 "Squeeze" (S.1, E.3) and "Tooms" (S.1, E.21)

The creature hibernates every thirty years and resurfaces to kill. When he is caught, his name comes up as Eugene Victor Tooms. The ending of the first episode suggested he would escape custody because of his ability to stretch through tight spaces. His character reappeared at the end of the first season

The Candyman from Fringe is given the name Wyatt Toomy. Tooms and Toomy, that's rather coincidental. My husband suggested it was a tribute to X-Files, since Fringe runs a similar track. Writers were not shared between the episodes, nor directors, but Fringe's directors have made it clear that X-Files was a major influence on their show.

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