The X-Files: Jump the Shark   Rewatch 
September 11, 2020 8:23 PM - Season 9, Episode 15 - Subscribe

When former Area 51 "man in black" Morris Fletcher appears, claiming that a Yves Adele Harlow, a colleague of the Lone Gunmen, is actually a super soldier, Doggett, Reyes, and the Lone Gunmen attempt to locate her and find that Yves is embroiled in a situation that is graver than they first expected.
posted by orange swan (6 comments total)
I haven’t watched this episode since it aired, but I remember it feeling like an unnecessarily cruel ending to the story of the Lone Gunmen. Like, I know the X-Files was in tying-up-loose-ends mode, but this seemed spiteful.
posted by ejs at 9:03 PM on September 11, 2020 [1 favorite]

Yup. Definitely unnecessarily cruel, and remarkably so, even for a season that was full of casual disregard for characters the show's fans had come to really care for.
posted by potrzebie at 11:58 AM on September 12, 2020 [2 favorites]

This was a big Chris Carter temper tantrum; he isn't taking responsibility for breaking his toy (through 'TLG') and when called on it (cancelled), takes the opportunity to break what remains in a dramatic fashion.

Poor damned Jimmy. Why'd they have to make Frohike take up smoking again?

The sound mixing was really bad.

The Morris Fletcher pulling a fast one on everyone plot wasn't bad.
posted by porpoise at 2:57 PM on September 12, 2020

This was a big Chris Carter temper tantrum; he isn't taking responsibility for breaking his toy (through 'TLG') and when called on it (cancelled), takes the opportunity to break what remains in a dramatic fashion.

I barely watched the last season and I only learned the fate of TLG or that they had a spin-off years later. Could you explain more about how Chris broke them by doing their show?
posted by Fukiyama at 4:49 PM on September 12, 2020

There's a Fanfare thread (servo5678 joked about it, and I went and did it) concurrent with Seaon 8 of this rewatch.

My feeling is that they played 'TLG' far too silly and failed hard. It was absolutely terrible at portraying women woman and leaned deeply into punching down hard on nerd culture, at the cusp of the nerd revolution. Completely misread the room on the appeal of TLG.

In 'TXF,' TLG were loveable nerds that Mulder took an immediate shine to and despite their flaws were earnest and had skills. Maybe not social skills, but they were decent people with a surplus of empathy and deeply held ethics (within a certain framework, but consistent).

In 'TLG' they were a bunch of annoying losers with even more annoying friends (Seriously. FUCK the Jimmy/ Kimmy character in the ear. Sideways. Especially given the Timmy character in 'TXF'), who either lucked their way about or had The Woman deus-ex-ey save the day.

They were also portrayed as being (with the exception of Byers, mostly) total and complete knobs towards their benefactor and earnest friend Jimmy.

The writing was, simply, very bad. Prejudiced. Lazy. Outdated. The producers and writers should feel bad, and any one of them who didn't speak out at the time are bad people.

I've read interviews where the producers, towards the midpoint+ of the show, were seriously thinking that they'd have a second season. And were "writing" with that in mind. Delusional.

This episode is a bit of an echo of the episode Millenium after 'Millenium' (another Chris Carter project) got cancelled, and a lot of the (unsuccessful) woo got injected into the Reyes character.

Titling this 'Jump the Shark' is a little pretentious, and a lot passive aggressive.
posted by porpoise at 5:32 PM on September 12, 2020 [3 favorites]

I never saw The Lone Gunmen and don't have any interest in doing so. I never had much interest in the characters and it doesn't have Mulder and Scully it in (yeah, yeah, Mulder is in one episode), so meh.

Michael McKean's performance was a lot of fun, as it always is. I'm glad they brought him back one more time. As for Brittany, this was the one and only time the show ever employed T&A, and of course it was Morris Fletcher's doings that they did so. He hired that young woman to be part of his ploy, didn't care how much it would have terrified her to be abducted or whether she might have gotten hurt, and didn't even remember her name afterwards.

The secret door thing was an eye roller, but also very in character and funny.

The death scene was actually rather affecting. Those gallant if quixotic guys, who played at spycraft in a way that was part intelligent and skilled, and part little boys trying to save the world with their cereal box decoder ring. That said, they deserved better. Mulder and Scully escaped situations just as dire by the skin of their teeth time and time again, but Byers, Langly, and Frohike just have to suck it up?
posted by orange swan at 10:11 AM on September 16, 2020

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