The X-Files #257: Madam, I'm Adam

"There's something not right when science gets in the way of love." "Ugh. I got diabetes now."
ACTUAL DOCUMENTED ACCOUNT: A man who doesn't exist except in virtual reality gets help from the Gunmen reuniting with his little lady.

REVIEW: Jimmy's first potential byline (for just taking a call, not much work involved) has plenty of red herrings to keep its mystery alive. At first you're led to believe Adam, the man who has come to them desperate, may be from an alternate reality. Then, that he may have had his brain rewired by aliens given the implant in his neck. As we meet his "wife" Lois, see the lab from which he escaped, and get to experience the violence triggered by his seeing certain people (a one-eyed huckster and a "midget wrestler - let's just say the language regarding little people has evolved since the episode aired), it becomes a story about brainwashing. A kind of Suburban Candidate, possibly the work of secret government experiments in creating sleeper assassins.

The truth, as with most Lone Gunmen episodes, is rather more ridiculous. It seems Lois' work is part of a legitimate business that offers new lives to people who have lost control of theirs. Adam, for example, is really Charlie Muckle, an alcoholic with anger management issues who can't stop himself from committing petty crimes and whose pro wrestler wife is cheating on him. Seems Lois is also plugging into the VR to have sex with her subjects/clients, which doesn't seem very ethical. And the VR itself doesn't make a whole lot of sense, with no chance of actually interacting with the neighborhood Adam seems to know so well. When he returns there, upending the climax and leaving us without a bad guy, the whole thing smacks of unreality, which makes you wonder how a subject ever really forgets who they were as completely as he did. It's silliness, with most guest characters acting like cartoons.

Absent an evil-doer, the real climax is the resolution of the love story, in which Jimmy, prodded on by Yves whose pool of talents apparently knows no bounds, seems to conflate journalism and fiction. He MUST have his happy ending, and for him, it's clear Charlie and Sadie must be together, even though she cheats on him, and he's a violent alcoholic criminal. Hm. Not sure the episode comes down on the right side of things. It's hard to really think of any of these couples as "sweet" despite the sentiment the production is pushing. We're not supposed to think about it too hard, I suppose, because it's "just a comedy" (I don't agree). As such though, it does have some amusing moments (and lines, like the one quoted above), such as the wrestling-themed wedding (poor Marvin gets jilted at the altar and everyone applauds, so he had no friends on either side of the aisle). It'd be funnier without the malaise that comes with the episode's apparent opinion that little people are amusing in and of themselves.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium - A fairly amusing fluff piece with a nicely evolving mystery that could have scored more points if it had taken its characters more seriously.

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