Following my previous posts on my favorite episodes of The X-Files and my favorite episodes of Millennium, I will now complete the trifecta with my favorite episodes of X-Files spinoff The Lone Gunmen. This won't take long.
(This post reuses some stuff I wrote on Brontoforumus, 2022-08-26.)
Episode 6: Madam, I'm Adam
The always-great Stephen Tobolowsky plays the eponymous Adam, a man who comes home one night to find there are other people in his house and there's no evidence he ever existed. He tells Jimmy and Byers that he's from another universe and in this one he doesn't exist.
That's right: it's a riff on Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said.
Or is it? In an amusingly specific third-act twist, it turns out it's actually a riff on a different Philip K Dick story.
It's got its problems, including some ableist language: several of the characters in this one are little people and they're repeatedly referred to by the M-word, and look, there was a time that word wasn't considered a slur, but 2001 was not it. There's also a moment where Langly loses his temper with Adam and calls him a "re-" before stopping himself. I guess they at least knew that one was too far, but jeez, you guys.
And there are some problems on the plot side. I'd really like to know more about Lois and why she is doing the things she is doing! Like, is she just a sex pervert? I kinda feel like she might just be a sex pervert.
But still! Flaws aside, I really liked this one.
Episode 8: Maximum Byers
You know those TV episodes where the good guys go undercover in a prison to try to exonerate an innocent man? This is one of those, with Byers and Jimmy going to prison.
It's got a couple of uncomfortable racial stereotypes, including the violent Latino and the wise Black man. And it's got some tonal shifts that maybe work to the detriment of its overall consistency but, to my mind, make it more interesting.
Episode 11: The Lying Game
Guest-starring Mitch Pileggi as Skinner, who just can't stop getting accused of murdering people. Also guest-starring Mitch Pileggi as Jimmy pretending to be Skinner.
Content warning: like the film it takes its name from, this episode treats a character being trans as a plot twist, and, while it's a sensitive portrayal for 2001, the other characters describe her using some phrases that wouldn't be considered appropriate today.