"Once upon a time there were three, how shall I put this, geeks. Three more unlikely heroes there never were."
For the most part, The X-Files was a pretty serious show. During some of its darkest moments a little light relief was often needed, and there to provide it were three of the unlikeliest friends you're ever going to come across: The Lone Gunmen. Loyal, patriotic, knowledgeable, and all with hearts of gold, Frohike, Langly and Byers were the friend squad we always wanted. This week we're looking at the top ten Lone Gunmen moments. Read after the jump to see what made our list.
10. Fight the Future
After being shot by a fake paramedic, Mulder awakens in a hospital to the faces of the three Gunmen peering over him. It's almost enough to make anyone want to fall back into unconsciousness! Being the good friends they are, the Gunmen not only help Skinner fill Mulder in on what has happened since he was shot but also aid his escape by switching him and Byers’ places so that he can race to Scully's rescue.
"What can we do?"
"You can strip Byers naked."
9. "Field Trip"
During her giant mushroom-induced hallucination Scully comes to believe that Mulder has died, only nothing about this story adds up in her mind. One of her biggest clues that all is not as it seems comes from the reaction of the Lone Gunmen. Instead of looking deeper into his death, they are instead entirely satisfied with Scully’s report and happy to accept the official F.B.I. line that Mulder’s death is just a murder. Scully is so baffled by their out-of-character response that her hallucination is briefly lifted.
"You three, of all people! You should be all over this, not buying the party line. Look, something else is going on here. Am I the only one who thinks that?"
8. "The Blessing Way"
Over the course of nine years, Scully would go from finding the Lone Gunmen laughably paranoid, to counting them amongst the few people she trusts with her baby’s life. One of the obvious turning points in this journey was during “The Blessing Way” when a drunk Frohike arrived at her door in the middle of the night after hearing the news of Mulder’s apparent death. Most women would be, understandably, wary of allowing a drunk man they don’t know well into their apartment, so the fact that Scully opens her kitchen to him at all is indicative of a trust already beginning to form.
"Do you recycle?"
7. "Memento Mori"
Although they were Mulder’s friends first, the Lone Gunmen have shown time and again that they are prepared to go above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to helping Scully. When Mulder calls the gang together because her life is once again at stake, the Gunmen don’t hesitate to help Mulder sneak into yet another government facility in the hopes of saving her life.
"You guys ever been to the Lombard Research Facility? Well pick out something black and sexy and prepare to do some funky poaching."
6. "Unusual Suspects"
Every good story has a beginning, and the first meeting of the Lone Gunmen had been something many Philes were curious about. How did straight-laced Byers, lecherous yet endearing Frohike, and long-haired hippy Langly ever meet - yet alone become friends, colleagues, and roommates? “Unusual Suspects” gave us all the answers we wanted (a rarity on this show) and threw in an adorable baby Mulder to boot.
"What I need from you guys is to tell me what the hell happened last night."
5. "Three of a Kind"
Over the years, we saw very little personal background for the Lone Gunmen - for that you need to watch their spin-off show. The opening of "Three of a Kind" was a rarity as it offered us insight into Byers' personal life. The only one of the Gunmen to get an opening monologue, he tells us all of his deepest wish - a normal life with a wife, dog, children, and a house with a white-picket fence. It's a tragic scene in its heartfelt simplicity.
"I have everything a person could want: home and family and love. Everything that counts for anything in life, I have it. But the dream ends the same way every time. I lose it all."
Scully’s pregnancy and the birth of William were loaded with Biblical allusions, right down to the final moments when Mulder found his way to her and his son by following the light of a guiding star. An equally meaningful, but more playful moment was Mulder’s discovery of the Gunmen standing by Scully’s bed, each one bearing a gift. Could you think of three wiser men to pay the new mother and child a visit?
"We just wanted to..."
"See it with your own eyes."
The Gunmen’s first appearance on screen was also Scully’s first meeting with them. Outside of Frohike memorably calling Scully, “hot”, the Gunmen introduce themselves to her by claiming to have had lunch with the real JFK assassin, and referring to the C.I.A. as, “the most heinous and evil force of the 20th century.” No wonder that she considered them as “paranoid” for so many years!
"I'm not talking about the bunch of idiots up on the hill trying to bone the capital pages. We’re talking about a dark network, a government within a government, controlling our every move."
Despite them appearing in all 10 seasons of The X-Files, we rarely saw the Gunmen outside of their office/lair. Even rarer was spotting any one of them actually outside. That might be why seeing all three of the guys on an ice rink, and managing to stay upright as well, was so memorable. Langly was admittedly, rather wobbly, Byers, however, had some impressively smooth moves going on! Given that we know from their spin-off that Frohike is a champion tango dancer, I'm beginning to suspect that Byers may have some interesting history too. Torville and Byers maybe??
"You should call upon our service more often."
"We show a talent for these G-man activities."
1. "Jump the Shark"
For all their jokes and comedy relief, the Lone Gunmen did vitally important work on behalf of Mulder and Scully. Without them, some of the most important truths the agents discovered would never have come to light, and our intrepid duo would almost certainly have come to even greater harm than they already did. But there is one moment that stands head and shoulders above the rest in terms of importance, and, tragically, it would be their last. Realizing that the only way to stop a deadly toxin from being released into the air and killing countless innocent people, the Gunmen don't hesitate in sealing the toxin into a corridor, even though it means trapping themselves in with it. Their actions saved untold lives and earned these unsung heroes three spaces in Arlington alongside the greatest of American heroes. An honor they unquestionably deserved. RIP.
"It means that, like everyone buried here, the world is a better place for them having been in it. It means that they're gone, but they live on through us all."