This edition of The Lone Gunmen Total Recall features one of the episodes I remembered the most about and features a great guest star appearance by Stephen Tobolowsky.
The episode kicks of with Tobolowsky’s character coming home from work and going about his pre-bed ritual of watching TV, having a beer and going to the bathroom but unbeknownst to him, another man comes home and does the exact same routine, with the two men just barely missing seeing each other until finally they realize what’s going on when they accidentally get into bed with each other. The other man and his wife are horrified by Tobolowsky (who we’ll soon learn is named Adam Burgess) but he accuses them of being in his house.
Byers and Jimmy go to meet Adam soon afterwards and they find out that he’s come with a crazy conspiracy about being from an alternate reality that aliens abducted him from and brought him to our reality, since his entire life has seemingly been stolen from him. He offers up a tub of weird blue goo as proof and Byers quickly dismisses him as a loon but Jimmy notices a weird connector surgical implanted in Adam’s neck that makes Byers give him a second look.
Back at the Gunmen HQ, Frohike and Langly are skeptical when they find out the goo is udder cream and he’s still talking about aliens and alternate realities but Byers convinces them to perform an MRI to see what the deal with the connector is. Using “Bessie”, Frohike’s homemade MRI machine, they find out that the connector is connected to a series of wires hooked in to various parts of Adam’s brain. This definitely peaks the Gunmen’s interest so they head off with Adam to investigate his supposed house. Adam seems to have intimate knowledge of the neighborhood and it’s resident’s routine which makes Byers hypothesize that Adam may have possibly been fed a feed of the house through hidden cameras, much like how people are able to become intimately familiar with TV locations. Byers, Jimmy, Langley and Adam break into Adam’s “house” to search for hidden cameras while Frohike kills the power and stand guard outside. Inside, the guys use handheld sensors to try and find any electronics and mark suspicious locations. Adam gets impatient and uses a handheld saw to start cutting into the walls, eventually collapsing the entire wall of the kitchen, right in front of a pair of cops that have been called by nosy neighbor Rosey. The guys then have to spend the night in jail but are sprung by Yves paying their bail.
Yves joins the guys in investigating Adam’s case and they get a lead when Adam flies into a rage when seeing a commercial for Maniac Marvin’s Electronics. The guys got a hint of some sort of inner anger in jail when Adam flipped out on Langley and the guys, sans Frohike and Yves, head to Marvin’s store to question him. Marvin claims he’s never seen Adam before but he has a picture of Adam with a dwarf woman hidden on his desk. Outside, Adam flies into a rage again when he sees a standee of Marvin with a pair of midget wrestlers and slams Langley against the front window. While the others are at Marvin’s, Yves and Frohike are paid a visit by a woman named Lois who claims to be Adam’s wife but is actually the head scientist behind a drastic behavior modification therapy. Back at the HQ, Adam again goes crazy when he confuses Frohike for a midget wrestler named The Great Santini. Yves finds out that Santini has a daughter named Sadie and the gang goes to pay her a visit. It turns out that Sadie and Marvin are seeing each other and Sadie is Adam’s wife. Adam’s real name is Charlie Muckle and he was an alcoholic, rageaholic, criminal who volunteered for Dr. Lois’ crazy therapy instead of going to jail for putting one of Marvin’s eyes out. The treatment consisted of Charlie getting a virtual world fed into the connector on his neck and living the perfect life of Adam Burgess with Dr. Lois as his wife. Confronted with how messed up his old life was, Adam/Charlie agrees to get plugged back into the virtual reality.
The guys are excited by having an actual, interesting story to write about for their next addition but Jimmy is disappointed by the ending of the story so he convinces the guys to help him reunite Charlie with Sadie. The guys find that the hidden cameras at the site of Charlie’s virtual house are actually on the utility poles outside and they tap in and are able to stand in the front yard and talk to Charlie and are able to convince him that the virtual life is a sham and will never be as fulfilling as an actual life and they manage to get him to the wedding of Sadie and Marvin in time to stop it and get back together with Sadie.