Saturday, November 14, 2009

Season 7, Episode 19: Hollywood A.D.


Garry Shandling and Tea Leoni star in a terrible movie based on Mulder and Scully's work, in which they try to protect a "Lazarus Bowl" from sniper zombies and a cigarette-puffing pontiff before making out in a coffin. Attending the film's opening, Mulder and Scully are mortified. Eighteen months earlier, Skinner allows a Hollywood writer and old college buddy named Wayne Federman to accompany Mulder on an investigation of a pipe bomb explosion at a DC church crypt. Mulder finds the body of a former Weatherman in the rubble, and also discover that he was forging religious documents.

Federman sees several human bones do a dance trying to reconstruct a bowl in the crypt, then leaves to start writing his movie. Scully says it reminds her of the story of the Lazarus Bowl, which has Christ's words inscribed in clay like a record with the ability to raise the dead. The cardinal admits that he bought the forged heretical documents from the Weatherman, thinking they were real, and wanted to hide them. Mulder wonders if the cardinal may have retaliated for the blackmail.

The agents arrest the cardinal for the Weatherman's murder, but the Weatherman shows up alive. Skinner is furious and puts Mulder and Scully on a four-week leave. A lab tech lets them know that the bowl grooves contain Aramaic language containing both Beatles lyrics and a command to raise someone from the dead. The agents visit the Weatherman, who says he had a religious conversion (going from impersonating Jesus Christ to becoming him) and planted the bomb to destroy the blasphemous documents.

With four weeks to kill, Mulder and Scully decide to go to Hollywood to take in Federman's work on the movie. They each enjoy bubble baths and chat by phone about zombies; Skinner also calls from a bubble bath in the same hotel, having gotten an associate producer's credit on the movie, to apologize for chewing them out. Sixteen months later at the premiere, Mulder storms out of the theater after Leoni's Scully delivers a line about being in love with Skinner. Scully tells Mulder that she's gotten word that the cardinal has murdered the Weatherman and hanged himself. They go out to hit the town, and the episode closes with the prop Lazarus bowl appearing to raise some zombies for a dance session.

Written and directed by David Duchovny. Several people appear as themselves, including Garry Shandling, Tea Leoni (Duchovny's wife), Minnie Driver, Chris Carter, David Alan Grier, and Wayne Federman. Bill Millar, who plays the director, usually does visual effects work on TV shows, including several episodes of The X-Files.

Episode Body Count

Not Micah Hoffman: dies of poisoning, found in the rubble of Christ's Church after a pipe bombing. Though Hoffman later shows up alive, it's mentioned that the body is still around somewhere.

At least two crypt bodies: one is curiously animated, but it's still a skeleton.

Micah Hoffman: Scully says she's gotten a page from DC saying that he was murdered in his home by Cardinal O'Fallon.

Cardinal O'Fallon: hangs himself after killing Hoffman.

Humans: 5
Creatures: 0
Aliens: 0

Cumulative Body Count (158/202 episodes, 1/2 movies)

Humans: 1,722
Creatures: 114
Aliens: 62

Grand Total: 1,898

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