The Lone Gunmen on 'The X-Files'

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.

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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.

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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.

Posted by:Chris E. Hayner

Chris E. Hayner is equal parts nerd, crazy person and coffee. He watches too much TV, knows more about pro wrestling than you do and remembers every single show from the TGIF lineup. You may have seen him as a pro-shark protester in "Sharknado 3." His eventual memoir will be called "You're Wrong, Here's Why..." TV words to live by: "I'm a firm believer that sometimes it's right to do the wrong thing."