The Lone Gunmen—The Complete Series

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7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 7/10

Some clever stories, interesting characters

Weird feel, loses X-Files crowd

 
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Gunmen in the Mist

The Lone Gunmen are standing for what they believe in!  John Fitzgerald Byers (Bruce Harwood), Melvin Frohike (Tom Braidwood), and Richard “Ringo” Langly (Dean Haglund) are writing the stories that other papers refuse to publish.  Be it government cover-ups, international espionage, or even the wrongfully accused, the Lone Gunmen are there.  Sometimes working with and sometimes against another spy named Yves Adel Harlow (Zuleikha Robinson) and with backing from Jimmy Bond (Stephen Snedden), the Lone Gunmen are out to uncover the truth that they don’t want you to know.

The Lone Gunmen aired on FOX from March 4, 2001 to May 11, 2001.  The characters spun-off the popular show The X-Files (also airing on FOX), but the show only lasted half a season.  The Lone Gunmen—The Complete Series also includes an episode from The X-Files—Season 9 which finishes up the Lone Gunmen’s story (9.15 Jump the Shark Airdate:  04/21/02).  The series also found some unwanted attention after 9-11 due to a similarity in the pilot episode (which aired in March 2001) in which terrorists take remote control of a passenger jet with intentions of ramming it into the world trade center (it has some creepy images).

I feel a bit sorry for The Lone Gunmen because I feel it was misunderstood.  The series spun-off a popular sci-fi show (for the most part taking its characters with it unfortunately) so people went into it expecting sci-fi like The X-FilesThe Lone Gunmen proved not to be The X-Files quickly.

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Jimmy’s the king dog!

The Lone Gunman became an investigation-espionage story that was more into high crime and undercover work.  Other than the last episode, there were really no mention of the supernatural or alien contact (and that turned out to be a fraud also).  There was very little cross over with The X-Files until the last few episodes and not many guest-stars until the end either.  The Lone Gunmen relied on its cast and storytelling instead of gimmicks.

Without involving The X-Files and simply telling stories, The Lone Gunmen brought in Jimmy Bond (Stephen Snedden) and Yves Adele Harlow (Zuleikha Robinson) as additional cast members and a few cameos from Kimmy the Geek (Jim Fyfe).  It also becomes obvious through the course of the series that Frohike and Langly are the more entertaining Gunmen and that there was little for Byers to do.  A romance was being set up between Jimmy and Yves which never fully developed and the whole cast was very comedic (unlike The X-Files) with a very strange balance of humor and mystery.

The result almost feels like an English television show.  The balance of comedy and humor even has some Doctor Who feel, but it doesn’t feel right in an American series.  Where is a real goofiness to the story that feels like an import and I don’t think connected with viewers who wanted a more dramatic show.

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Saying goodbye to Langly, Frohike, and Byers

The series was cancelled after thirteen episodes but was left as a cliffhanger.  Viewers were left for a year without any resolution and finally in the final season of The X-Files the stories of Eve, Jimmy, and the Lone Gunmen were resolved with the “Jump the Shark” episode.  I felt the Lone Gunmen deserved a bit better of a send-off (it was a Lone Gunmen episode complete with the series music and very little Doggett or Reyes).  The ending kind of worked (it was sad to see the characters go), but I also felt Mulder should have been there since they were really his friends…Scully talked about how much they met to her and it would have been better if it related to Mulder.

The Lone Gunmen is worth checking out if you are a fan of The X-Files and you might enjoy it if you like some of the stranger (almost low budget) shows you see on cable.  I did liked this series more than I expected to, and found it very average.  I wish it had gotten a better shot since The X-Files was also very episodic and sometimes weak during its first season.  It is too bad that the Lone Gunmen are no longer fighting for us!

The Lone Gunmen—The Complete Series Episode Guide:

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“Pilot”

1.1              Pilot Airdate:  03/04/01

John Fitzgerald Byers (Bruce Harwood), Melvin Frohike (Tom Braidwood), and Richard “Ringo” Langly (Dean Haglund) go after a computer chip but are caught after another agent named Yves Adele Harlow (Zuleikha Robinson) hijacks their attempt.  When Byer’s estranged father (George Coe) dies under mysterious circumstances, the Lone Gunmen uncover that Byers’ father was murdered for something he knew.  When Kimmy the Geek (Jim Fyfe) helps them hack into a government file, they learn the cover-up may be higher than they believed.

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“Bond, Jimmy Bond”

1.2              Bond, Jimmy Bond Airdate:  03/11/01

The Lone Gunmen find themselves out of money and try to find a way to publish The Lone Gunmen.  When Harlow comes to the Lone Gunmen with a story of a prominent dead hacker, the Lone Gunmen decide to investigate.  Their investigation leads them to a charity run by a man named Jimmy Bond (Stephen Snedden) and his blind football league.  When Langly is kidnapped by the group that hired the hacker, the Lone Gunmen uncover an arms deal that is using the blind football league as a cover.

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“Eine Kleine Frohike”

1.3       Eine Kleine Frohike Airdate:  03/16/01

The Lone Gunmen deal with having Jimmy Bond helping pay their bills and wonder how they can get rid of him.  Michael Wilhelm (Alan Dale) comes to Frohike to help him find the Nazi known as the Poisoner of Alscase when it is revealed that Frohike resembles her missing son.  Frohike goes undercover and Byres and Langly monitor.  When Harlow breaks into the Lone Gunman’s headquarters, she reveals to Jimmy Bond that Wilhelm is not all that he seems.

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“Like Water for Octane”

1.4       Like Water for Octane Airdate:  03/18/01

When Byres gets new information through the Freedom of Information Act, Jimmy finds an article on Stan Mizer who invented a water powered car.  The Lone Gunmen set out to find evidence of the water car, but new everything might not be as big of coincidence as they thought.

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“Three Men and a Smoking Diaper”

1.5       Three Men and a Smoking Diaper Airdate:  03/23/01

The Lone Gunmen try to bring down a crooked senator (Christopher Rich) and expose him for a killer before his election.  When the Lone Gunmen discover the senator had hidden a secret child, they have to find a way to get the truth out, but might be surprised by what they find.

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“Madam, I’m Adam”

1.6       Madam, I’m Adam Airdate:  03/30/01

Jimmy Bond gets a call from a man named Adam (Stephen Tobolowsky) who claims his life was stolen by aliens.  When the Lone Gunmen find a microchip feed in the man’s neck, they decide to investigate why the man thinks he’s from a parallel dimension.

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“Planet of the Frohikes”

1.7       Planet of the Frohikes Airdate:  04/06/01

A super-intelligent chimpanzee contacts the Lone Gunmen, and Jimmy is captured in the escape attempt.  When Peanuts reveals he is part of a worldwide plan to train animal assassins, the Lone Gunmen learn that a chimpanzee named Bobo is planning a hit.

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“Maximum Byers”

1.8       Maximum Byers Airdate:  04/13/01

When a reader comes to the Lone Gunmen with a request that they prove her son Douglas (Darren E. Burrows) is innocent of killing a man, Byers and Jimmy go into maximum security death row to determine why he is trying to speed up his execution.

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“Diagnosis: Jimmy”

1.9       Diagnosis:  Jimmy Airdate:  04/20/01

When Jimmy has an accident spying of a grizzly poacher, he loses his memory as to the events of the accident.  As the Lone Gunmen try to stop the poacher, Jimmy finds himself hospitalized with a doctor that could be a killer.

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“Tango de Los Pistoleros”

1.10     Tango de Los Pistoleros Airdate:  04/27/01

Eva is pitted against the Lone Gunmen in a case involving a tango master named Leonardo Santavos (Leonardo Santavos).  When Eva orders the Lone Gunmen to leave, the Lone Gunmen decide to stay.  As Eva works her way into Leonardo’s dance routine, Frohike is forced to reveal a secret about himself to give the Lone Gunmen an edge.

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“The Lying Game”

1.11     The Lying Game Airdate:  05/04/01

A man is murdered in the restroom at a stage show during a deal.  When the Lone Gunmen are called in by the man’s sister Carol (Catherine Dent), the Lone Gunmen find that agent Skinner (Mitch Pileggi) might be responsible.  When Byers reveals the man was his roommate, the Lone Gunmen must find out if Skinner is capable of murder…and why.  Jimmy finds his reason for being with the Lone Gunmen might be running dry.

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The “Cap’n Toby” Show

1.12     The “Cap’n Toby” Show Airdate:  06/01/01

Langly learns that his childhood hero Cap’n Toby (Tom Poston) could be behind the death of two FBI agents and a foreign exchange of government secrets.  When Cap’n Toby is busted with the Lone Gunmen’s help, Langly hopes to prove he’s innocent.

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“All About Yves”

1.13     All About Yves Airdate:  05/11/01

When Langly, Byers, and Frohike track down a Men in Black operative named Morris Fletcher (Michael McKean), the Lone Gunment are forced to work with him in tracking down a terrorist group that could be responsible for some of the centuries biggest crimes.  When they learn that their source Romeo61 could be Yves Adele Harlow, the Lone Gunmen realize that Yves could be a member of the organization herself.  When Jimmy meets with Fox Mulder (David Duchovny), he learns that the Lone Gunmen might be in more danger than they believed.

Bonus Episode:  The X-Files—Season 9

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“Jump the Shark”

9.15     Jump the Shark Airdate:  04/21/02

When former Men in Black agent Morris Fletcher (Michael McKean) is captured by the FBI after ripping off an investor, Fletcher reveals to Doggett and Reyes that Yves Adele Harlow (aka Lois Runce) (Yves Adele Harlow) was a member of the Super-Soldiers program.  Doggett and Reyes take Morris to the Lone Gunmen, and Byers (Bruce Harwood), Frohike (Tom Braidwood), and Langly (Dean Haglund) plus their former backer Jimmy Bond (Stephen Snedden) are forced to work with him to track down Yves who is wanted for killing a professor.  When Yves is captured, the Lone Gunmen and Yves realize they might be the only thing that stand between a genetically engineered virus.

Related Links:

The X-Files—Season 1 Review and Complete Episode Guide

The X-Files—Season 2 Review and Complete Episode Guide

The X-Files—Season 3 Review and Complete Episode Guide

The X-Files—Season 4 Review and Complete Episode Guide

The X-Files—Season 5 Review and Complete Episode Guide

The X-Files—Season 6 Review and Complete Episode Guide

The X-Files:  Fight the Future (1998)

The X-Files—Season 8 Review and Complete Episode Guide

The X-Files:  I Want to Believe (2008)

The X-Files—Season 10 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Millennium—Season 1 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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