The Lone Gunmen Review – “Madam, I’m Adam”

The Gunmen were back this week with one of their better installments. As always, click “read more” to read more.


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
guest stars as Adam/Charlie.


Written by Thomas Schnauz.
Directed by Bryan Spicer

Original Airdate

Madam, I’m Adam originally aired on Friday March 30, 2001.


Before the credits roll, we see two men in the same house, going
through the same routine when they get home a few minutes apart.
Neither one realizes the other is in the house, until both men climb
into bed with the second man’s wife. At this point, all three people
scream, and Adam (the first man) demands to know what they are doing
in his house.

After the opening credits, Adam, Byers, and Jimmy meet in a cafe.
Adam explains that his life is gone; his neighbours do not remember
him, he can’t find his wife, and he has no job. He believes he is
from a parallel reality, and was transported to this one by aliens
while submerged in a goo he found in every crevice of his body. Byers
smells the goo, and decides that the man is insane. (Byers felt that
alien goo wouldn’t smell like lavendar hand lotion.) They were about
to leave the man to professional care when Jimmy spotted a slot in the
back of his neck.

The Gunmen examined the thing in his neck using a home-made MRI unit.
The implant was wired throughout his entire brain. They decided to
take Adam back to his “home neighbourhood” to see what he knows. He
seems intimately familiar with the area, despite the fact that all
official records say he doesn’t exist, and his house has always
belonged to others. Byers realized that he could know this
information if he had been fed the images of the area through his
implant, so they decided to search the house for hidden cameras.

The search was carried out with various metal detectors, while Frohike
stood guard. When Jimmy’s metal detector found several things in the
same wall (which were misleading readings caused by Frohike wandering
around outside the house with bolt cutters,) Adam tired of waiting and
started cutting through the wall with a jigsaw. Frohike, outside, was
having a hard time bribing a young witness how thought he was a
burglar. The nosy neighbour called the police, who showed up just in
time to find Frohike attacking the child, and to see one wall of the
house come crashing down after being cut out by Adam.

Yves was introduced this week when she bailed the team out of prison.
While discussing what to do next, Adam saw a commercial for Maniac
Marvin’s on television, and instantly went beserk, attacking Langley.
This was the only lead, so they took Adam to Maniac Marvin’s to jog
his memory.

While Byers and Jimmy were questioning Marvin (who claimed not to know
Adam while hiding a picture of the man,) Adam was outside attacking
Langley again, after seeing a cardboard cutout of Marvin being placed
in the window. Meanwhile, back at headquarters, Frohike and Yves met
a woman who claimed to be Adam’s wife. The viewers had seen this
woman earlier, as a scientist trying to track down a missing
specimen. (The specimens were people suspended in tanks of utter
lubricant used for milking, the same goo Adam had found in his crevices.)

When the team regrouped at headquarters, Frohike and Yves revealed
that Lois had been there, and that she wasn’t Adam’s wife. (They had
pretended that they didn’t know him.) While the gunmen were deciding
what to do next, Adam suffered another dilusion. This time, he
attacked Frohike, thinking that he was a diminutive wrestler.

The wrestler had a daughter. (The viewer knew that the daughter was
dating Maniac Marvin.) The gunmen brought Adam to meet her, since she
was their last remaining lead. When he saw the car in the driveway
with the license plate “Maniac M,” he went beserk once more,
charging into the house weilding a gardening tool.

Once he saw Maniac Marvin and Mrs. Muckle, his memories started coming
back. “Lois” also showed up, and helped to fill in the gaps. Adam was
really Charlie Muckle, and he had poked out Maniac Marvin’s eye when
he found Marvin with his wife over a year before. Charlie didn’t like
the person he was, because of his anger management troubles,
alcoholism, and other issues. (He’d steal social security cheques from
the disoriented elderly.) Marvin had agreed to drop the assault
charges if he underwent a new kind of therapy, conducted by “Lois,”
which replaced the memory of your life with a virtual reality. He
volunteered to go to the therapy the first time, and volunteered to go
back this time.

While writing up the story, Jimmy asked to have his name taken off of
it, since he didn’t like the way it ended. (He’d found the story, so
he was to have his name on it.) They decided to invade the artificial
world and try and talk Charlie into returning to his wife.

In combination with the typical uber-hack to get into the network, they went
back to the neighbourhood where “Adam” lived and stood in the camera
view. (The cameras were actually mounted on the street lights. The
interiors of the homes were stock footage.) With Yves in the car
telling them what Charlie was doing, the boys tried to talk him into
going back to his wife. They suceeded, and he showed up just in time
to stop her from marrying Maniac Marvin and win her back.

High Points

The first meeting between Adam, Jimmy and Byers was very amusing.
Byers’ growing revultion was readily apparent as he sniffed the alien
goo, and was shown an issue of his paper which had the distinct odor
of cat urine. Byers’ reaction was a nice contrast to Jimmy’s growing
interest and enthusiasm.

Low Point

This episode had little in the way of a low point (or a high point for
that matter.) It was actually very consistent throughout. If I had
to choose a low point, it would probably be the humour-free lull
before and after the final commercial break. This is a comedy series,
after all.

The Review

This episode had one of the most original premises of
the series so far. Virtual reality is a bit overdone, but it was used
in a different way this week, and it was only a secondary aspect of
the series. I will admit, the virtual world is a bit Matrix-y, but
the goals of the world and the selection of people for it was nothing
like that in the Matrix. Yves’ introduction this week was fairly
natural as well. I give the originality this week 5 out of 6.

The effects are harder to judge. To be honest, the
only effect I can think of would have been the pixelation of the
virtual reality world. That wasn’t all that well pixelated, either.
(The pixels weren’t square in most cases.) I’ll give it 3 out of 6.

The story was well-written this week, especially for a
writer new enough to the game that the Internet movie Database has no record
of him. I found the nature of the implant predictable, but Charlie’s
motivation for using it was a new spin on the idea. I give the story
5 out of 6.

The acting was well done. Stephen Tobolowsky is
talented, and carried the episode well. (The stars were really
secondary characters this week.) Marvin and Lois weren’t entirely
convincing, but they weren’t terrible either. Zuleikha Robinson still
needs to spend a day or so sitting down with the writers and producers
and decide where her character is going to be going. It may be too
late for this season (as the season finale finished shooting on the
22nd,) but it needs to be done. I give the acting 4 out of 6.

This episode did provoke a stronger emotional response
than the other episodes have. I found myself rooting for
Adam/Charlie, and wanting him to pound the snot out of Marvin. This
is hard to do with a comedy, so I give this episode a 5 out of 6.

The production quality of this week’s episode was farily
high, as well. The directing was very well done, especially in the
sequence with Frohike meeting the annoying child, and Adam cutting
down the wall. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, this was a quality episode, and may turn into
one of the better episodes of the season. It was well-paced, and
funny without going for the junior-high level bodily function laughs.
This episode shows a lot of promise for the future. Season one was
rushed, but if Fox signs for a second season, I think we’ll see
something great all year. I give this one a 5 out of 6 overall.

Adding this up, I see the total score for Madam, I’m Adam is 32
out of 42.

Next Week

On Sunday, April 1, The X-Files returns with DeadAlive.
The next episode of The Lone Gunmen, titled Planet of the
Frohikes (or, a Short History of My Demeaning Captivity)
, airs on
Friday, April 6.

One reply

  1. like the Matrix
    It reminded me of the Matrix. The best part concerned

    the scientists holding this guy in a big, chemical vat,

    manipulating his brain into believing in a false life,

    but instead of having a sinister purpose, they were

    trying to reprogram him in a positive way. The Gunmen

    thought they could rescue him, but that wasn’t

    required. Why did they have to put him in a vat full of

    chemicals? Why not put him on a bed and hook up the

    wire? The vat effect makes it more Matrix-like.

    Good episode.

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