The Lone Gunmen (2001) – Pilot, and Bond, Jimmy Bond

The second X-Files spinoff series launched on 4 March, 2001, and was written by Chris Carter, Frank Spotnitz, John Shiban and Vince Gilligan, all of whom share a created by credit for it. The series follows Mulder’s ‘friends’ Frohike (Tom Braidwood), Langly (Dean Haglund), and Byers (Bruce Harwood), their magazine, The Lone Gunmen, and their work to uncover conspiracies, and government plots.

The pilot works to introduce the characters in this new context, playing up a lot of humor, while the plot is a little more troubling in hindsight. As mentioned the episode debuted in March of 2001, and follows the boys as they investigate the death of Byers’ father (George Coe), who worked as a government agent.

What they find is a false flag government operation that would cause a ‘terrorist’ seized plane to fly into the World Trade Centre, allowing a section of the government to get a larger defense budget. Along the way, there are twists, turns and reveals, but the ‘terrorist’ plan goes into action…

… nine months before the September 11th attack.

It’s a little troubling, but doesn’t mean that the episode, or the series isn’t incredibly enjoyable. It introduces a couple of new characters to the expanding universe over the first couple of episodes. We meet the dangerous and beguiling Yves Adele Harlow (Zuleihka Robinson) and Jimmy Bond (Stephen Snedden) a not so bright football player.

The show, like The X-Files before it, knows how to balance its humorous moments with its more dramatic ones, and storylines, and with the first episode we see that the boys can carry a series, it works wonderfully, even if its first episode brushes against an all too real event.

Bond, Jimmy Bond was penned by Gilligan, Spotnitz and Shiban, and first debuted on 11 March, 2001.

From its goofy opening (riffing on the Matrix, Kung-Fu films and Mission: Impossible), it’s obvious that this time we’re in for a treat. When one of their hacker associates ends up murdered the boys begin an investigation to find the truth. They also have to deal with their bills, their lack of credit, their newspaper, and each other.

The investigation leads them to a football player turned coach, Jimmy, for a very special league, who the boys think his financiers may be using him as a front for an arms deal, and Langley may have just got himself trapped by one of them. With Yves’ help the boys have to rescue Langley and get the truth out to the world, if they can afford to have their paper published.

Once again it ends up being very funny, as well as an incorporating an interesting story, playing with spy and conspiracy tropes, while throwing in some very broad humor at the same time. And it works, it works incredibly well, letting these characters shine in a way that has only been hinted at by their previous appearances in The X-files.

However, despite their appearances in the most recent episodes of season eight, they don’t seem to be carrying over any of the grief and worry about Mulder, and his disappearance. Of course, the series had to be able to tell its own stories, but it’s not even mentioned, and that seems to be a bit of a continuity mistake.

Still it’s a a lot of fun.

This x-files side trip continues next time, because no matter who is looking for it, the truth is out there…

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