The Lone Gunmen (2001) – The Lying Game, and The ‘Cap’n Toby’ Show

Director Walter Skinner (Mitch Pileggi) shows up in The Lying Game, written by Nandi Bowe. This episode first debuted on 4 May, 2001.

Frohike (Tom Braidwood), Byers (Bruce Harwood), and Langly (Dean Haglund) get pulled into a murder case, immersed in secrets, a government investigation and lies. And at the heart of it, Walter Skinner seems to be the prime suspect.

At least, that’s how it appears to the boys as they come across some hidden video files as they tackle a case for a friend of Byers’, Carol Strode (Catherine Dent). She believes her brother has been murdered and video evidence suggests that Skinner was involved.

It all ties to a Russian mobster that the FBI is attempting to bring down. So once again, despite the best of intentions, the Gunmen have gotten hold of the wrong end of the stick.

And right there, I think is why, as much as I like the characters, the show doesn’t always work for me. Yeah, they may be goofy, and they may occasionally muck up, but these guys aren’t dumb, and yet through the course of the short-lived series, they are often portrayed as very confused about what is actually going on. I mean, I get that they can’t play a conspiracy series completely straight, because then it would be a carbon copy of The X-Files, but I wish things were played a little straighter for the series.

It is fun, however, to see Pileggi play Skinner as played by Jimmy (Stephen Snedden). There’s also an off-handed mention of Mulder and Scully.

The series’ penultimate episode, The ‘Cap’n Toby’ Show, was written by Chris Carter, John Shiban, and Vince Gilligan, originally airing on 1 June, 2001. This episode was broadcast after the series had already aired it’s finale, having been cancelled.

One of Langly’s childhood heroes, Cap’n Toby (Tom Poston), who hosted his favorite show growing up, is in the midst of a reboot, but may also have ties to the Chinese, spying for them. One a couple of stagehands for the show end up murdered, the guys learn that they were actually undercover FBI agents working to break up a spy ring.

They were killed by a professional, a woman in rose-colored glasses, who is revealed to be the dangerous CIA agent, Blythe (Cyia Batten) and as the case unfurls, and the guys investigate the show, Jimmy and Yves (Zuleihka Robinson) attempt to track her down.

When Jimmy and Yves finally catch up with her, it’s hinted at that she knows who Yves really is.

Is Cap’n Toby guilty of espionage? Is Langly’s childhood shattered? Or is there something else going on here?

Next week, we finish off the series, but I’m sure they’ll be back, because the truth is out there…

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