For months, fans of “The X-Files” have been patiently awaiting the glorious return of the Lone Gunmen (Bruce Harwood, Tom Braidwood and Dean Haglund) — who are technically dead in the show’s canon. Once creator Chris Carter revealed the fan-favorite trio would return, it opened up a world of possibilities.
Then came the news that they were definitely still dead, but would appear in a sort of “fantasy” sequence. There was still hope that they would at least matter, though. Then along comes “Babylon,” the Feb. 15 episode of “The X-Files.”
The Lone Gunmen appeared, albeit briefly. Instead of a fantasy or dream sequence, they appeared in a drug-fueled vision to Mulder, who had taken magic mushrooms. After sporting a cowboy hat and line dancing to “Achy Breaky Heart,” Mulder sat at a table, flanked by dancing women — who did a fully choreographed performance — and the cackling gunmen.
If this was the plan, perhaps the better idea would have been to leave it as a surprise. After all, the characters are dead. Why not just spring the moment on fans with no warning?
That would have helped digest the moment easier. Instead, it simply feels like a waste of popular characters — finding a way to shoehorn them in for no other reason than to have a cameo.
It especially feels out of place in an episode dealing with a terrorist bombing. Contrasting such a serious topic with a very comedic moment — Mulder’s drug adventure — really created an awkward story for the series.
That’s the true shame, as the rest of the episode flowed rather well. Lauren Ambrose and Robbie Amell — as young FBI agents that could easily become the next Mulder and Scully — fit the show like a glove and will hopefully become a bigger part of the series down the line. If only they weren’t lost in Mulder’s mushroom haze.