The Lone Gunmen Pilot Episode


After watching The Lone Gunmen Pilot Episode, its easy to see why the UK Sci-Fi Channel refused to show it.  The episode starts with two shadowy figures crossing a roof top as hundreds of people come strolling in.  Inside, hundreds gather to learn about Ecom Con computer products including the Octium IV chip which is the fastest computer processor known to exist.  As the crowd gathers to listen to what the spokes person for Ecom Con has to say, someone begins to shout about the Octium IV invading customer privacy – Langly.  The crowd looks at him as if he’s crazy, Frohike and Byers move into position.  From behind however, a bearded man watches waiting to make his move.  When Byers is ready, Langly fakes an allergic reaction to the food he was eating and collapses, causing security to come rushing to his aid giving Frohike the time needed to steal the Octium IV.  Byers lowers Frohike down into the room with the chip Mission Impossible style, but as he’s about to grab the chip, the software controlling the hardware lowering Frohike into the room is hijacked by the man who was watching Langly.  Moments later, security spots the earpiece in Langly’s ear from which he was receiving his instructions from Byers.  The bearded man enters the room, and after kissing Frohike, makes off with the Octium IV chip.  Langly is taken away with security and Frohike and Byers are found in the Octium IV chips room.  As the three of them are taken away, the bearded man come out of the toilets revealing that he is in fact a woman.


Later, the Gunmen return home after having a full body cavity search from Ecom Con security.  Byers wonders if it was worth it considering they have no proof that the Octium does exactly what they say it does.  Frohike believes that the man who kissed him was actually Yves Adele Harlow.  After checking the place, Frohike discovers a bug which was probably how she was able to snatch the Octium from right under their noses.  Moments later, Byers receives a phone call that his father was killed in a car accident.  At the funeral, there is a small crowd surrounding the Priest as he speaks of Byers’ father and most likely his fathers coffin.  But as they step away, Byers initiates a count down as a small rocket blasts his fathers ashes into their air.  During the service, Langly spots a bearded man, believing it is Yves Adele Harlow.  Once the funeral was done, he confronts the man, discovering that it is not Yves, and just a friend of Byers’ dad.  Moments later, a friend of his fathers, Mr Helm, approaches Byers asking to talk about what happened.  He believed that the car accident wasn’t an accident and that he was murdered because of something he discovered.  The Gunmen’s first instinct was to check out Byers’ fathers house.  Inside, they checked his computer finding nothing but a text file relating to Scenario 12-D.  But as Frohike walked through the living room, he slipped on the carpet which had just be cleaned.  Using ultra-violet light, he discovered a blood stain on the carpet.  Byers came to the conclusion that his father was murdered in his home and then his car accident was set up.  Both Frohike and Byers sifted through the remains of the car and quickly discovered a device used to control the vehicle.  This scene seemed to really focus on Byers’ character showing his dream of a peaceful America, in a similar way that Mulder was on a quest to discover the truth.


Langly decided to get some help from fellow hacker Kimmy who was unwilling to help.  At the shooting club however, he spotted a familiar face – Yves Adele Harlow.  Before the situation came to blows, Kimmy agreed to help Langly.  Kimmy hacked into the Department Of Defence searching for anything relating to Scenario 12-D.  It turned out that Scenario 12-D was a war game for airline terrorism.  As they downloaded the file, someone within the DOD discovered the hack and began tracing the connection.  As the trace got closer, the one ordering the trace was revealed as Mr Helm.  Byers insisted on completing the download, but Frohike decided to pull the plug before it was too late.  While pondering on why someone went to the trouble of making his fathers death look like an accident even though his body would have a bullet hole in it, Byers realised his father was alive.  The blood was of his fathers assassin.  While coming into the house, the assassin slipped on the freshly cleaned carpet in the same way that Frohike had done.  After cleaning up the mess, his father decided to run but discovered that his car could be controlled by remote control and decided to fake his own death.  Byers went to Mr Helm telling him everything.  Helm gave them his password to help them find out what Scenario 12-D was.  Byers left upset that he may never see his father again, and heads to his fathers home where he has a look through some of his things.  As he sifts through some old newspapers, he discovers every Lone Gunmen paper ever published.  As puts the papers back on the shelf, and man approaches from behind – Bert Byers.  Bert is angry that Byers got involved, believing that he will lead his enemies to him.  Bert explains that Scenario 12-D is no longer a war game, and that a faction from within the Government known as Overlord was working to secure American arms deals.  Luckily, Bert knows which flight has been targeted and plans to stop it.


Back at the hideout, Byers told Helm and the Gunmen that Bert is at home.  Helm leaves for his fathers, but Byers had a suspicion that he was involved.  Moments after He4lm leaves Bert arrives at the door.  The next scene cuts to the airport where Byers and his father board the flight looking for the bomb.  Bert believes the best course of action would be to either call in a bomb squad so as a group of professionals could search for the explosives or to actually call in a bomb threat and stop the plane from taking off.  Byers believed otherwise, fearing that whoever is called in to deal with the crisis may be in on the conspiracy.  On board, they fail to find the bomb but soon realise there wasn’t a bomb at all – they were planning to bring down the plane the same way that they controlled Bert’s car.  Byers calls Frohike and Langly, who manage to discover a signal being sent to the plane.  After downloading the new flight plan, they discover that they’re planning to crash the plane into the World Trade Centre.  At this point it is obvious why the episode cannot be shown as it bears a resemblance to the September 11th tragedy. 


Bert heads into the cockpit to inform the pilots about the hijacking.  But when the Pilots don’t listen to what he’s saying, Bert is forced to take action and switches off the autopilot.  However, nothing changes.  The plane is continuing on its flight path.  On the ground, Langly runs into a problem – with their current technological state it’ll take about a week to break through the encryption on the remote control which is flying the plane.  Frohike has an idea and heads to the shooting range where he demands that Yves let him use the chip or she will be sacrificing the lives of hundreds of Americans including Byers.  Yves tells him that she doesn’t care what’s happening and that she is planning on making millions by selling the chip.  At that instant, Frohike realises that her name, Yves Adele Harlow is actually an anagram of Lee Harvey Oswald.  Frohike threatens to expose her if she doesn’t help him.  Back on the plane, the pilot tells the passengers to hold on to their seats as they are experiencing some turbulence.  On the ground, Langly tried one more time to break the encryption but the system fails yet again.  As they get closer to the twin towers, Langly’s computer is taken over by the Octium chip as Frohike and Yves get to work.  The manual override is unlocked and the pilots regain control of the plane.  Just in the nick of time, they pull up and the plane skims the roof of one of the towers.  The special effects sequence is spectacular and completely believable.  If this didn’t make an impact on the views then nothing will. 


Departing the plane, Byers plans to bring Overlord down, his father however doesn’t believe it was possible and that it would be their silence that keeps them alive.  His father also said that in John he saw himself – he was fighting for the American Dream.  Back at the Gunmen hideout, they trio think about their next headline considering they cant publish what happened with the hijacking.  Frohike decides that they could do the Octium IV story they were wanting to do in the first place, but Langly and Byers are sceptical considering they don’t have any proof.  From his pocket, Frohike pulls the Octium chip which he snatched from Yves when she wasn’t looking and they begin work on their next story.


The pilot episode does a spectacular job of setting up the series for exactly what it is – an action packed series riddled with comedy.  Not only does it further develop the characters of Gunmen who were already well established on The X Files, but it introduces a new face as well – Yves Adele Harlow and leaves the audience wondering what she’s up to.  Considering the rather expensive special effects that were used, its easy to forget that this is just a television series.  If the Pilot Episode is any indication, The Lone Gunmen will prove to be a truly remarkable and original series.


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