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"Jump the Shark" is the fifteenth episode of the ninth season of The X-Files.


When former Area 51 Man-in-Black Morris Fletcher appears, claiming that a female friend of The Lone Gunmen is actually a super-soldier, Doggett and Reyes attempt to locate her but find that the situation is graver than they first expected.


Morris Fletcher narrates the exploits and adventures of John Fitzgerald Byers, Melvin Frohike, and Richard Langly (the Lone Gunmen). Describing them correctly as geekish heroes, he recounts their journey from the beginning to the present, including the addition of their allies, Jimmy Bond the oafish but goodhearted assistant and Yves Adele Harlow the opportunistic mercenary with enough good in her to end up helping the Lone Gunmen.

The lascivious Morris Fletcher sits in a boat off the Bahamas wearing shorts and a Hawaiian shirt. Two laptops lie open with navigation maps and the radar pings away. His companion, the enticing bikini-clad Brittany, carries two large margaritas over to Morris. He impresses her with convincing lies about his life as a spy while he rubs lotion on her back. But Brittany notices an approaching boat.

Three men arrive and immediately take the woman off the boat, the gallant Fletcher staring down the barrel of a gun quickly offers Brittany in exchange for no further trouble. One man pours gasoline all over the boat, while the Jamaican man holding him at gunpoint delivers the message:
“Your employer wanted me to tell you... You’re fired.”


"You're fired." Morris Fletcher loses his job.

They get back on their boat and speed away with their hostage as one of the men throws a flare into the boat. It catches fire and soon explodes, but not before Fletcher jumps out into the water. A schematic for a UFO floats upon the waves.

At the Coast Guard base in Miami Beach, Florida, Agents Monica Reyes and John Doggett meet with a fearful but still sleazy Fletcher. He is up on charges and tells them he will reveal all he knows from his work at Area 51. They are about to leave Fletcher and his lies when he mentions super soldiers.

Doggett and Reyes go to visit the Lone Gunmen at their picked-over offices. They ask the men about Yves Adele Harlow who Fletcher claims is a super soldier. They don't believe this claim from Morris Fletcher, their old enemy who supposedly had Yves abducted and transformed into a super soldier.


Langly tells off Fletcher.

Yves Harlow murders a professor at Hartwell College and cuts something out of the man's chest. His colleague finds Professor Houghton on the floor with his chest wound faintly glowing purple. While the Gunmen try to find Harlow, Fletcher circles about them mocking their lives. Langly refuses to put up with this, especially after Joey Ramone is insulted, and tells him off. He is his hero because he was someone who never let himself be ground down, no matter what. Soon after Langly's speech, Jimmy Bond returns to their offices via the backdoor, collapsing from exhaustion at their feet.

The beleaguered Bond relates that he has been following Lois Runce (Yves Adele Harlow's real name) all around the world. He found her at Hartwell College in New Jersey but she ran. He learned she murdered a man there.
Elsewhere, Yves Harlow burns something glowing, that had been extracted from a person, in a furnace.
“One down...”

Reyes and Doggett learn from Prof. Gillnitz that Douglas Houghton, the murdered professor, did research on rays, skates, and sharks for medical purposes (Toxins that kill most vertebrates pass through them harmlessly).
The Gunmen call in the conceited hacker Kimmy to help them track Harlow down. They leave him, Fletcher, and Jimmy Bond there to contact them in the field.

Doggett and Reyes learn that it is bioluminescence that makes the dead professor glow. The medical examiner explains the man had surgery to graft something inside himself. They realize that something was taken out of the container-like cartilage within the man.

Fletcher denies knowing anything about mysterious organs to Reyes and Doggett. Kimmy, angrily yelling at the Lone Gunmen's computer, lets it slip that the Gunmen are completely broke and they hocked everything they owned just to keep paying the rent. They haven't published their newspaper in months. Fletcher smirks at all this.

“So saving the world doesn’t pay the bills.”
Jimmy Bond glares down at him and explains that when Fletcher took Yves, the guys spent everything trying to find her.
“They’re loyal to their friends. Hilarious, huh?”

Byers calls Reyes and asks them to get to the hotel they've followed Yves Harlow to immediately. Frohike spies on her in the hall and realizes that she is there to kill someone. When Harlow's quarry enters his hotel room, she slips into the room after him. He goes into the bathroom and washes his hands while she gets into position to attack him.


The Lone Gunmen (left to right): John Byers, Richard Langly, and Melvin Frohike.

Byers, Frohike, and Langly bumble into the room to stop her. As the man realizes someone is behind the door, he slams it into Yves, knocking her out. He charges past the guys.

An irritated handcuffed Yves Harlow tells them she prefers Yves over Lois as her name, that she is certainly not a super soldier, and that she knows they meant well but they messed everything up. Doggett and Reyes return without having found Leonard Southhall, the man who was in the hotel room. His name is fake but no one knows who he really is, including Yves. Doggett inspects the medical supplies in her handbag but she defends herself, claiming innocent people are at risk.

They return to Morris Fletcher and find a tracking device under his bandaid. He secretly works for a man who wanted him to track down Yves Harlow. Fletcher used Doggett and Reyes since he knew they would contact the Lone Gunmen, who would find her again. The man who hired him is Yves Harlow's father. An arms dealer, billionaire, supporter of terrorism, and utterly despised by his daughter. Jimmy Bond wonders about Yves given that she did murder a man.

She rationalizes that the man she killed and the man she was going to kill were both zealots funded by her father. Houghton's research into sharks allowed the creation of a biological container to hide a virus inside a person, allowing them to pass through metal detectors and other scanners undetected. This pouch breaks down automatically like a biological countdown clock and the other man's internal container will trigger in five hours, releasing a virus that will kill tens of thousands.

Frohike talks about how maybe it is time to quit, given the year they have had. Byers convinces him that they never give up and that is what counts. They track down Southhall at the college.

Doggett and Reyes capture him with doctors wearing haz-mat suits but all scans of Southhall show no signs of a foreign object within. They realize that Yves was after the wrong second man and that there is another elsewhere. They have one hour to find him.

Fletcher realizes that Southhall was a decoy since all information pointed to him. It was a scam, something he is an expert at. They know Southhall was involved though since he went to the college, their base of operations, so it must be someone else from the university.

Langly, Harlow, Byers, Bond, and Frohike attempt to convince the guard at the bio-ethics conference to let them through. Their expired press passes and their claims of a dangerous man being in there fall on deaf ears. Jimmy Bond screams “John Gillnitz” into the room and an anxious Gillnitz gets up and runs out of the hall. Jimmy apologizes to the security guard and head butts the man, knocking him out. The five of them storm into the conference hall and exit through the same door that Gillnitz left through.

They split up and Frohike, Byers, and Langly corner Gillnitz in a hallway with two minutes left. Frohike looks meaningfully at Langly and Byers.
They agree to what Frohike is suggesting.
Byers answers, “Whatever it takes.”
Frohike pulls the fire alarm and heavy doors seal off the hallway they are in, trapping Gillnitz.
Jimmy Bond and Yves Harlow find the men and see Gillnitz convulsing and spewing bioluminescence everywhere within the sealed portion of the hallway. Jimmy tries to lift the security door but they tell him not to. Langly, Byers, and Frohike say their goodbyes to Yves and Jimmy.
“Never give up.”


Goodbye, Byers, Langly, and Frohike.

Kimmy says goodbye to his friends, touches each of the three coffins, and walks away from the dwindling number of funeral mourners. Doggett talks to Skinner about getting Langly, Byers, and Frohike into Arlington National Cemetery. Skinner had to pull strings to do it, but it was the least he could do. Skinner, Doggett, and Reyes pass Dana Scully, Jimmy Bond, and Yves Harlow as they go.

Jimmy holds three folded US flags under his left arm as Scully remembers how much she cared for those three men. Fletcher arrives and reminds them as Langly said, ‘the ones who never give up, never die.’ Scully declares that the world is better for people like them and that they live on through everyone else.


Yves Harlow, Jimmy Bond, and Dana Scully at Lone Gunmen funeral.


Bermuda Triangle; Arlington National Cemetery

Background Information[]

Introductory Details[]

  • This episode features the final appearance of Morris Fletcher and the deaths of the Lone Gunmen. The Lone Gunmen later appear as ghosts to Mulder in the season finale "The Truth" and then as a hallucination to Mulder in the Season 10 episode "Babylon"
  • The phrase "jump the shark" comes from an episode of Happy Days, in which the character Fonzie literally jumped over a shark on water skis. The scene was considered "the end of Happy Days" and the phrase was later adopted to refer to the moment when a series is past its best and begins to go into decline.
  • This episode concludes the story arc set up in "All About Yves", the final episode of "The Lone Gunmen".
  • The teaser to this episode consists of Fletcher narrating an introduction to the characters of The Lone Gunmen. This is identical in style to "Dreamland II", in which Fletcher narrates an introduction to Fox Mulder.
  • There are several sharks seen throughout this episode, most notably immediately following the main opening credits before the camera pans up to find Morris Fletcher in a boat with a woman named Brittany.
  • The scene in which the Lone Gunmen die is an homage to a scene in the movie Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. In that movie, the character Spock talked to his commanding officer and friend, Captain Kirk, through a wall of glass while dying. In this episode, Jimmy Bond speaks to the Lone Gunmen through a pane of glass shortly before they die. However, the scene was not in this episode's script and was suggested by the actors while filming.
  • Although they are billed in the main opening credits, Gillian Anderson and Mitch Pileggi only appear briefly at the end of this episode.
  • This is one of several episodes to use the character name John Gillnitz. John Gilnitz is played by Marcus Giamatti, the older brother of Paul Giamatti.
  • This episode was included in The Lone Gunmen DVD release.
  • The scene with Morris Fletcher, Brittany, and the Caribbean thugs was filmed in a tank on the Universal Studios lot and then the background was digitally inserted to make it appear to be the open ocean somewhere near the Bahamas.  (Audio commentary on Jump the Shark episode included in The Lone Gunmen DVD
  • The blueprint floating on the water after the boat was destroyed was actually the Jupiter 2 from Lost in Space.  It took a lot of effort to gain the right to use it.  (Audio commentary on Jump the Shark episode included in The Lone Gunmen DVD


  • Fletcher's boat explodes 20 miles west of Harbor Island, Bahamas.
  • Fletcher first meets Doggett and Reyes at the US Coastguard base, Miami Beach, Florida.
  • The two men carrying out the terrorist plot, both work at Hartwell College, Keaney, New Jersey.
  • The Lone Gunmen are buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia.

Memorable Quotes[]

  • Those who fight the good fight, don't always win. - Morris Fletcher
  • People like you never managed to grind him down. They never stole his spirit. He never gave in, he never gave up, and he never sold out, right up to his last breath. And he's not dead. Guys like that live forever. - Langly, about Joey Ramone
  • We never gave up, we never will. In the end, if thats the best they can say about us, it'll do. - Byers
  • Frohike: Buddy, fight the good fight.
Langly: Both of you.
Byers: Never give up.
- The last lines spoken by The Lone Gunmen
  • Fletcher: Langly said to me 'the ones who never give up never die.' (beat) I still don't know what that means.
Scully: That means that like everyone buried here the world is a better place for them having been in it. It means that they're gone but they live on through us all.
- The last spoken words at The Lone Gunmen's funeral


  • Although it is still stated that the offices of The Lone Gunman are located in Takoma Park, the set used is visibly different from the one used previously. Instead of opening out onto an outdoor flight of stairs, the front door now opens to a hallway, obviously inside a building of some kind.
(As mentioned throughout the episode, the Gunmen have faced serious monetary problems and may have merely relocated to a cheaper location. If this is the case, it presumably occurred before Jimmy left to track down Yves, or he would not have known about their secret door.)

Other Episode Notes[]

  • Jimmy traveled to Zurich, Malta and Yemen whilst tracking Yves.


  • Jimmy's travels explain his absence from previous episodes in which the Gunmen still appear.
  • Due to archive footage in this episode's teaser, this episode is the second of only four in Season 9 in which David Duchovny (Fox Mulder) appears, the others being the earlier "Trust No 1" (in which he also appears in archive footage), "William" (in which Scully apparently sees an hallucination of Mulder) and the season finale, "The Truth".

Cast and Characters[]



Guest Starring


External Links[]

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