The Lone Gunmen Review – “Three Men And A Smoking Diaper”

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Bruce Harwood as John Fitzgerald Byers
Tom Braidwood as Melvin Frohike
Dean Haglund as Richard “Ringo” Langley
Steven Snedden as Jimmy Bond
Zuleikha Robinson as Yves Adele Harlowe


Written by Chris Carter
Directed by Bryan Spicer

Original Airdate

Three Men And A Smoking Diaper was originally aired on Friday, March


The boys started out at a political rally for Senator “I’m Not A
Clinton Parody” Jefferson. Byers was near the Senator with a silvered
balloon, which allowed Langley to override the press signal and feed
the reporter new questions. These questions revealed that the Senator
had an alleged affair with one of his staff members, who later died in
a car accident. The gunmen had the theory that her death was actually
a murder to cover up the affair.

The people in the press van spotted Byers’ on their monitors, and
figured out what was going on. Jimmy and Byers avoided being caught,
but Langley and Frohike spent the night in prison. The van was also
impounded, and they found a prescription number written on the windshield.

While Langley and Frohike looked into the prescription number, Byers
decided to send Jimmy undercover in the Senator’s campaign office to
find the informant. All he had to do was shake their hands with his
hand coated in forensic adhesive, and they could compare fingerprints
with those left on the windshield. Naturally, nobody would shake his
hand, and he had problems liking the envelopes. He eventually ran to
the bathroom to try had remove the flyers he had glued to himself.
While there, he overheard the two major membors of Jefferson’s
campaign having a very intense discussion about a babysitter who
wouldn’t answer the phone.

Langley and Frohike followed up on the address given on the
prescription to find the baby abandoned by the babysitter. It seems
the senator had an affair with the dead woman after all, and their
love child was being kept secretly in this apartment. So, naturally,
Langley and Frohike kidnapped him.

The next twenty minutes of the episode was filled with Langley and
Frohike trying desperately to care for the child (with the help of
Yves Harlowe,) and Jimmy trying to get the fingerprints of the staff,
while having his view of the Senator almost shattered after helping
him sober up for a public appearance, and refusing a bribe from his
staff to keep quiet about it.

Jimmy finally collected the fingerprints needed by distributing coffee
to all staff members. Each coffee was a different flavour, so the
fingerprints on the cups should have been easy to match up with the
informant. Unfortunately, Jimmy didn’t label who had which coffee.

Somehow, they still determined that the informant was Jock, one of the
Senator’s campaign managers. He was tired of cleaning up for the
senator, and wanted his own career to move ahead. (The good news is,
he didn’t kill the mother of the child. He just wanted to buy her
off; her death was an accident.) The Senator knew none of this, nor
did he knw about his love child. In an act of redemption, he chose to
admit his own mistakes, and tell the press himself, rather than to let
the Lone Gunmen break the story. He even came to the Lone Gunmen HQ
to pick up the child, just in time to catch a news report stating that
he was still doing well in the preliminary election results.

High Points

The two moments that, I feel, were the best in the episode were the
scene with Jimmy trying to glue the forensic adhesive back onto his
hand, and the makeshift robotic mother Frohike and Langley built for
the child.

Low Point

The sequence in the doctor’s office was not amusing at all. It looks
like I’ll have to say this every other week, but here it is again:
bodily functions are not funny.

The Review

There was a distinct lack of original ideas this week. The
sudden-but-incompetant father bit has been done before (Three Men
And A Baby
anyone?), and the Senator seemed very similar to a
certain past president. Most of the original ideas (makeshift whoopie
cushion, baby cradle) were for throw-away gags, and not a focal part
of the story. What happened to the constant side-splitting wit and
geek humour from the Gunmen centric X-Files episodes Unusual
and Three Of A Kind? I give it 3 out of 6.

There were very few effects to speak of this week, save perhaps the
glue sequence and the assembly of the baby cradle. However, both of
those were very well done. (If there were more, then they were
obviously so good that they blended perfectly, right?) I give the
effects 5 out of 6.

The story itself wasn’t spectacular. However, I must give
them credit for making Yves’ introduction seem like a natural event
for the first time since the pilot. I must admit that, in their
place, I would have called on Scully (who is actually a friend, and
not someone who screws them over on a weekly basis,) but I understand
the contract limitations on that. Hey, we didn’t see the sequence
where they called Yves. Perhaps they called Scully first and she
couldn’t make it. Either way, that was the only moment in the episode
that erally seemed to fit. (Why weren’t they prosecuted for
kidnapping after the Senator admitted to being the father of the
child?) I give the story 3 out of 6.

The acting this week was well done. For the first time, I didn’t
doubt Robinson’s performance as Yves, and the guest actors were right
on. (I don’t know about you, but that baby had me convinced!) I give
the acting 5 out of 6.

Once again, though, the acting did not bring forth an
emotional response. Well, there was a sense of
disappointment and boredom when I saw where they were going in the
doctor’s office, but no real emotion. I know this is hard for a
comedy to do, but we’ve decided to review it, so the show gets slammed
again this week. 2 out of 6.

The production value, though, was high. The lighting, directing, and
scoring were well done as always. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, this episode wasn’t that bad, but it wasn’t great.
I was going to give it 4 out of 6 overall, but I’ve had second
thoughts. They’ve decided that this is supposed to be a comedy
series. As a drama with funny parts, this works fairly well. As a
comedy, it falls somewhat flat. I give it 3 out of 6 overall.

That brings the total to 26 out of 42.

Next Week

On Sunday, March 25, there will be no episodes of X-Files or
The Lone Gunmen. I believe that’s because Fox is running a
movie to compete with the Academy Awards.

On Friday, March 30, we’ll get to see Madam, I’m Adam. The
returns to Sunday nights on April 1.

3 replies on “The Lone Gunmen Review – “Three Men And A Smoking Diaper””

  1. Gas is always funny
    Bodily functions ARE funny! That was one of the better gags in the show. But I do have a problem with the basing the show gets in the emotional responce category. Did you laugh anytime during the show? That’s an emotional responce. I know many hypocritical movie organizations (the academy) would like you to think that you have to bawl your eyes out in order for something to be emotional, but remember, HAPPINESS IS AN EMOTION TOO!!!!

  2. moral relativism?
    The ending was bad. Are we supposed to forgive Senator

    Jefferson for his responsibility in the death of his

    mistress? Maybe if we were moral relativists we would.

    Yes, Jefferson owned up to his responsibility as a

    father, but this guy was just twisted. But the voters

    somehow forgave him. The resolution of this plotline

    was out of sync with reality.

    Besides, Bill Clinton never had anyone killed like

    Senator Jefferson did.

    Bodily functions ARE funny. For the first 5 seconds.

    They soon become boring, though, as they did in this


    The best character on the show is the “dumb” football

    guy. The envelope glue scene was ingenious.

  3. Lone Gunman
    I wasn’t sure what to expect from the series, but I guess I had some preconceptions about it from years of watching other Chris Carter shows (all great shows). I wasn’t sure our trio could carry it on their shoulders. For sure The Lone Gunman was going to be one the funny side, but I was taken back a bit by the “level/degree/genre” of the humor. This show was different. I wanted to like it alot but it was not what I expected, despite my notion that I’m open to anything. But wait here…I find myself laughing. It’s good to laugh. Some of the humor was shocking (the blind football team), but I chuckled silently nontheless. The conspiracies are not as dark, in fact they are light and laughable. This is different. I’m thinking that our trio is pulling it off pretty well for the most part. So now I’m at the point where I’m truly looking forward to seeing the show. I think that “Three Men And A Smoking Diaper” was pretty funny and our trio did a great job with it. So it’s not like the “X-Files” or “Millennium.” But I’m looking forward to it now–it’s good entertainment. And I’m glad it’s not killed like “Harsh Realm.” The Lone Gunman is pretty good and I’m hoping it will be given a chance to “mature”. Show it to Mikey and see if he likes it. I do.

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