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First screened in Australia: 25 February, 1998
First screened in USA: 16 November, 1997
Title: Unusual Suspects
Director: Kim Manners
Writer: Vince Gilligan
- Bruce Harwood as John Fitzgerald Byers
- Dean Haglund as Ringo Langly
- Tom Braidwood as Melvin Frohike
- Richard Belzer as Detective Munch
- Steven Williams as X
- Signy Coleman as Susanne Modeski
- Ken Hawryliw as Himself
- Chris Nelson Norris as SWAT Lieutenant
- Stuart O'Connell as 1st SWAT Cop
- Glenn Williams as Officer
- Eric Knight as the Hacker Dude
In 1989, The Lone Gunmen meet for the very first time when they assist a woman who claims the government plans to use civilians as guinea pigs in a secret experiment.
My Rating: 8/10
See the size of Mulder's cell phone? The Lone Gunmen sceptical? Doohickey? Funny! Interesting point - in 1989 flashback Mulder is shown wearing a wedding ring. Thanks to Tracey for pointing that out to me. I didn't notice it the first time I saw this episode. How observant of me! What does it mean though? Was Mulder married? Or just a goof?
The episode borrows rather heavily from the brilliant Kevin Spacey movie "The Usual Suspects" -- The US print ad even borrowed from the movie poster with Frohike standing on a box to be the same height as the others! Other similarities included the title (obviously); the opening scene as a flashback which made no sense until you'd seen the whole episode; the gaol cell arguing; the position of the three benches and Susanne Modeski taking her "Holly" name from the sugar packet.
The episode was quite interesting in seeing how The Lone Gunmen came to be and gave an early glimpse of Mulder. Like any good X-Files episode, there are quite a few questions raised and no answers given - why does X say "No one touches this man" for example. How much has Mulder's paranoid character been shaped by being "sprayed" in this episode? Is Susanne Modeski all that she seems or was the whole thing a set up? What's the point of Mulder's wedding ring?
Detective Munch: Here's a tip: aluminum foil makes a lovely hat and blocks out the government's mind control rays.
Langly: "We're screwed. Thank you so much for getting me involved in this, doo-hickey."
Frohike: "It's Frohike, you hippie jerk."
Frohike: "You know, with that long blond hair, you'll be the first one in here that gets traded for cigarettes; I'm gonna be laughing my ass off."
Susanne: Secret forces within the government plan to test this gas on the American people right here in Baltimore! (The Lone Gunmen look at each other, thinking she's crazy) I am not making this up. Don't you get it, nobody is safe! Look what they did to JFK!
Byers: What did they do to JFK?
Susanne: Dallas? 1963? Hello?! They want to control every aspect of our lives, from the cradle to the grave. They practically do already. (She starts pulling open the drawers next to the hotel beds as The Lone Gunmen exchange looks, and finally pulls out a Bible) Hotel Bible, who do you think put this here?
Langly: (Not seriously) The government?
Susanne: One in every hotel room in America, it's the perfect vessel for electronic surveillance. No one ever questions its presence.
Frohike: Now, I'm sorry, you're telling me that the US government, the same government that gave us Amtrack ...
Langly: (Interrupts him) Not to mention the Susan B. Anthony dollar.
Frohike: ... is behind some of the darkest, most far-reaching conspiracies on the planet?! That's just crazy!
Langly: I mean, like, this guy works for the government. (Indicating Byers)
X: Sanitise it.
Susanne: No matter how paranoid you are, you're not paranoid enough.
Byers: You want the truth?
Mulder: Yeah, I want the truth.
Byers: You might want to sit down, this is gonna take a while. (They all sit down) The truth is ... none of us is safe. Secret elements within the United States government seek to surveil us and control our lives.
Mulder: (Incredulous) What?!
Langly: Tell him about the hotel room Bibles.
Byers: Yeah, I'm coming to that. Okay, it all started with Susanne Modeski...
Where Have I Seen That Face Before?
Soap-star Signy Coleman's (Susanne Modeski) latest (1999) movie is titled "20 Dates". She also appeared in "Blade Runner" (The Video Game) and "Santa Brabara" and had a six year role on "The Young And The Restless". Her latest soap role is in "Guiding Light". Check out her "Guiding Light" biography page for more information or try her "The Young And The Restless bio page.
Richard Belzer (Det Munch) plays the same cynical character on "Homicide: Life On The Street" and "Law And Order:SVU" and has appeared in movies such as "Species II", "A Very Brady Sequel", "North", "Fame", "Night Shift", "Scarface" and "Fletch Lives" and on TV in "The Invaders" mini series and "Lois And Clark". He also appeared (as himself) in the Jim Carrey movie "Man On The Moon".
The Pain Factor
Mulder is covered with the mind-altering paranoia spray that has him "jabbbering like a monkey".
The "my kung fu is best" line is a reference to one of the most famous computer hackers in history, Kevin Mitnick, who would call and tease a famous security expert with a voice mail message saying, "My Kung Fu is the best." This expert eventually tracked him down, putting him in jail for a long time and wrote a book called "Takedown" about the whole thing.
The Dig-Dug guy, Ken Hawryliw was listed in the credits as playing "himself". Ken Hawryliw is the prop master for The X-Files!
Det. Munch's line "Do I look like Geraldo to you?" was a direct sendup of a line used on his regular show, "Homicide: Life On The Streets", which was, "Do I look like Montel Williams to you?".
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