The short-lived spinoff from The X-Files, The Lone Gumen, aired its series finale, All About Yves, on 11 May, 2001 (though they aired The ‘Cap’n Toby’ Show after it – the series had already been cancelled). Written by Vince Gilligan, John Shiban, and Frank Spotnitz, the episode sees Michael McKean’s Man In Black, Morris Fletcher, from The X-Files show up.
Using a set that looks a lot like where Mulder (David Duchovny) was held during his abduction (has he spoken to the guys about it?), the Gunmen kidnap and interrogate Fletcher in the opening credits, and then when he catches up to them things go sideways for Frohike (Tom Braidwood), Byers (Bruce Harwood), Langly (Dean Haglund) and Jimmy (Stephen Snedden).
Backtracing the evidence that led them to Fletcher, they find a collection of dates of false flag operations conducted by the government, known under the code name Romeo 61. This causes them to reach out to Fletcher again for more information, it seems whoever runs Romeo 61 put them on the trail of Fletcher, but why? And how is it connected to Yves (Zuleihka Robinson)?
Mulder makes a quick appearance, and it’s a delight. And for once, as the boys dig into the case, show that they have the means, the skills and the abilities to work the system, all set to Fatboy Slim’s Weapon of Choice.
As the group, with Fletcher in tow, hunt down Romeo 61, they find an installation that may contain all the secrets they have ever been looking and more (explains why they emailed Mulder about it). The boys decide to break in, but have to hack the system, and get made up to do it.
And while that is going on, we learn that Yves learns about the trouble they are in, the secrets they are looking for, and a hint at her past history.
Who can be trusted? How will it all play out? Is Fletcher using them? What is being held in the Romeo 61 installation? And how will the boys escape? Is Romeo 61 disinformation? What information does Yves really have? What is real and what isn’t? There are lots of things happening in this episode, and it’s too bad we didn’t get to see a second season that explored more of these conspiracies, seeking answers, as it seemed with this episode, the series finally hit its stride, finding that balance between humor and thriller that eluded it for most of its run.
The episode ends on a cliffhanger, the boys trapped in the installation at gunpoint, with Fletcher lording it over them, which would have been picked up with a season two premiere, but was later resolved in the season nine episode of The X-Files, Jump the Shark, although Langly showed up with his face still blue in the season nine opener, Nothing Important Happened Today.
Too short-lived, but never truly finding its feet, The Lone Gunmen is a small side road in The X-Files that didn’t lead anywhere but back to the series, it was a little diverting, but never found its groove, but the truth is (still) out there…