Well, this was supposed to be the first of two episodes that David Duchovny wrote and directed, and I remember both of them…mostly because I didn’t like ’em that much. But then Hulu wouldn’t let me watch the baseball episode.
But the Lone Gunmen episode after it? Oh yeah, I got that one, with some guest appearances by Charles Rocket, John “Dr. Phlox” Billingsley, and a script co-written by Vince Gilligan.
The Case: Lone Gunmen Take Vegas!
The Rest: Duchovny, because he was directed his first episode, mostly sits this out. His voice does appear in one scene that involves the Gunmen using a device to impersonate Mulder to get Scully to come out to Vegas and help them out. And to that I say…there have been two or three episodes without Gillian Anderson. Would it have killed the show to have done a Duchuvny-free episode? I mean, you know, before he left the series.
OK, that aside, this is a Lone Gunmen episode, one that acts effectively as a sequel to their origin story as Byers, with Langly and Frohike, have infiltrated a defense contractors convention when he spots his lost love Susanne Modeski. He’s been smitten with her since she was dragged away in a car way back when. He even dreams about her.
Honestly, this is a good showcase for the Gunmen. Each of them has something to do as they look into what’s going on, starting with Rocket’s Grant Ellis figuring out Byers and Frohike have infiltrated his poker game just before Byers spots Susanne in the crowd.
You know, making Byers an unabashed romantic is a nice touch. He’s probably the least colorful of the Lone Gunmen. Frohike has always been given the most attention, followed by Langly, Byers was basically just the guy in the suit. Seeing he’s really been carrying a torch for Susanne this whole time fits. The character probably needed more development.
Anyway, there is something going on since Susanne was supposedly kidnapped. Maybe the Gunmen can get her back with help from a federal agent of their own. And since Mulder is too recognizable, that means tricking Scully into coming. And when a friend of theirs from a rival group ends up dead of what looks like suicide, having Scully on-hand will some in handy.
Oh, and the result is just a fun episode. Susanne was actually engaged to Ellis, while the two worked on a mind control drug, and Billingsley’s character had gone under cover for some government agency to make sure the stuff didn’t get out. Or that it did. The dead guy was forced to commit suicide. Scully was hit next and turned into an airhead while Langly was vomiting in another room in the morgue. He didn’t notice she was acting weird.
Frohike did. Frohike would. She’s getting a lot of male attention in the casino, including from Morris Fletcher in a brief cameo. Langly gets drugged when he goes to a memorial D&D game, but Susanne, after giving Scully the antidote, recognized what was up during the commercial break, and after an elaborate trick the Gunmen, Scully, and Susanne play, Ellis ends up dead (he had produced the drug to save his own life so Billingsley killed him), and some quick thinking by Byers got Billingsley injected with the stuff instead, making him pliant enough confess to the murders.
And then Susanne leaves town, having had her identity erased by the Gunmen. She says something about getting back to Byers someday, and that’s sweet.
Scully, meanwhile, finally gets Mulder on the phone and realizes she’s been tricked.
That’s not so sweet.
Up next, well, it might be the baseball episode, or it might be something about a hallucinogenic fungus. Wait and see.