Lone Gunmen
The Cap'n Toby Show

Episode Report Card
Alex Richmond: D+ | 1 USERS: A+
The Cap'n Toby Show

Okay, so everyone knows The Lone Gunmen IS CANCELLED and is NEVER COMING BACK, right? Blame the time slot, blame low ratings, blame the networks for not giving the show a chance, but let's get real. Is TLG great television? Or are we all just harboring soft spots for these great characters and their dreams to live in an America that isn't run by a corrupt government, and their efforts to create a government that does right by the people? Erase all sentimentality and look at the facts as we know them: TLG is largely a "groaner" show. It makes you groan. Deeper meaning? It isn't there. Sometimes, a guy in a hot dog suit falling on a table laden with doughnuts is just a guy in a hot dog suit falling on a table laden with doughnuts. It doesn't take a genius to see that there isn't anything there. It doesn't even take a simpleton. But! Though I think it's rather cruel to give all of us fans the sensation of closure with the season finale and everything, and then spring this hidden, unaired episode on us weeks later, thus reopening the bandage we slapped on over the pain of losing the show. (I know I'm being hyperbolic -- bear with me.) So, there must be some there there, if you know what I mean. In this episode there has to be some kind of meta-information that rewards the loyal audience. Or, maybe it just sucks so bad the network didn't want to air it. Either one.

I think the producers and writers are just out to amuse themselves with TLG. But it was Hemingway who made this idea famous: "Kill your darlings." By that he meant, if something really, really amuses you in your work, it very likely might fall flat to your audience. If you love it, let it go. This episode has the most internal shout-outs and the most insider-y jokes of any episode that had ever aired, and you know what? It doesn't work, really. Sorry to say it. But this is the end -- this is the second tombstone I had to chip away at for this show, and I'm just doing my job. Okay? Let's get on with it.

Lights up on a white house with a tropical-looking sunset behind it. The camera pulls away to reveal that it's actually a photo of a house on a calendar advertising a farm and feed store, circa 1978. The blip on the screen says "Saltville, Nebraska," and Langly busts out with the voice-over. He's talking about childhood memories, and that there is one that perfectly crystallizes what the joys of childhood are. It wasn't falling face-first into a cow pie on the farm where he grew up. His greatest memory of childhood was watching television. That is kind of sad, but not when you consider the people writing this stuff are, in fact, TV writers and producers. What else are they going to mythologize? We're watching TV -- isn't it great? Yay for us! Anyway, we watch Langly grow as a tyke and as an adolescent, watching TV. Look at him go! Aw. He calls the people on his shows "good friends that would help you to grow up strong and true, and would never make fun of my hair." Oh, sweet jumping Jesus. He really likes a show called Cap'n Toby, which is in no way related to Captain Kangaroo, wink wink. Hey! Cap'n Toby is Tom Poston! Excellent! Langly says that he could "trust and count on" the Cap'n. Then, kaboom, his illusions are shattered as an adult, when he sees the Cap'n being led away in handcuffs by the fuzz. Langly says, "Growing up. It's a bitch." Uh. Doy. We have, and we know.

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Lone Gunmen




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