Follow TV Tropes


Recap / The X-Files S07 E19 "Hollywood A.D."

Go To

Index | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22
Season 7, Episode 19:

Hollywood A.D.
And now, our Feature Presentation of The X-Files movie, with... Garry Shandling... and Téa Leoni. Well, we got the naming right, unlike that Morris Fletcher debacle...
Written and directed by David Duchovny

Skinner: This is Wayne Federman. He's an old buddy of mine from college. He's a writer out in Hollywood now and he's working on an FBI-based movie. He's asked me to give him access.
Scully: A screenwriter?
Wayne: It's actually... It's a writer-slash-producer.
Mulder: Well, that's actually just a hindrance-slash-pain in the neck.

A movie producer who has an in with AD Skinner decides to make a movie about the X-Files.


  • Actor Allusion: The interplay between Mulder and Garry Shandling is much, much funnier if you've watched The Larry Sanders Show, where David Duchovny is a recurring guest with something of a man crush on Larry.
  • Amateur Film-Making Plot: Mulder and Scully are roped by their boss into a (bad) film production about the X-Files.
  • Censor Suds: There's a Split-Screen Phone Call between Mulder, Scully, and Skinner with all three in their own bath tubs, and they're all taking bubble baths with suds that cover everything below the collarbone.
  • Combat Stilettos: Lampshaded, when the actress portraying Scully in the movie asks her how it's possible to run in heels that high. Scully then proceeds to teach her how.
  • Dance Party Ending: The final scene of the episode is Mulder and Scully leaving the empty set of the zombie film, only for music to start playing and a bunch of zombies to rise from the fake graves and start dancing, with a full moon and night sky displayed on the nearby green screen.
  • Dem Bones: In the catacombs of the church. Not a full skeleton, but the hands and skull dance around for the Hollywood producer to see.
  • Driven to Suicide: Augustine O'Fallon after he realized he murdered someone for no good reason.
  • Face Palm:
    • When Skinner tells Mulder that his friend from college, now a writer/producer, will shadow Mulder and Scully on their case, Mulder just rubs his forehead and asks if he pissed off Skinner more than usual.
    • Mulder and Scully are in the theater, watching a film based on one of their cases. Actors portray both Mulder and Scully. The audience chuckles, the actors look interested and pleased, Skinner finds the whole thing hysterical. Scully watches the film in horror, but her shock and surprise is smaller than Mulder's, who just drops his head into his hands and hides his face completely.
  • Funny Background Event: Scully teaching Tea Leoni how to run in high heels, while Mulder chats with Gary Shandling in the foreground.
  • He Had a Name: The episode ends with Mulder mulling over how Augustine O'Fallon was a real person but history will likely just remember him through the portrayal of the "Cigarette-Smoking Pontiff" in the film based on their case.
  • Hypocritical Humor: At the end of their Split-Screen Phone Call, Mulder and Scully joke about Skinner admitting he's calling from his bathtub and state that he's "gone Hollywood", when the truth is that all three of them are in their own bathtubs but Mulder and Scully didn't admit it.
  • Implausible Deniability: Federman brushes off having witnessed pieces of a skeleton coming to life not due to hallucination as Scully suggests, but by calling it CGI. Scully thinks he's absurd for applying movie magic to real life.
  • I'm Standing Right Here: When Skinner admits to Mulder over the phone that he's calling from a bubble bath, Mulder tries to switch phone lines to joke about it with Scully, but accidentally presses the wrong button and insults Skinner directly before correcting his mistake.
  • In Medias Res: The episode opens with Mulder, Scully, and Skinner attending the premiere of a film based on a case, then cuts back to when the case was actually investigated.
  • Killed to Uphold the Masquerade: Augustine O'Fallon does this, only to later discover there was no Masquerade as the scrolls describing Jesus as a fallible human were forgeries.
  • Morton's Fork: After his initial expedition with Mulder and Scully, Federman states that they're both crazy; Mulder for believing what he believes, and Scully for not believing what Mulder believes.
  • Murder-Suicide: The night that the film based on their case premiers, Scully learns from a news article that O'Fallon killed Hoffman and was then Driven to Suicide, which was reported as a case of this.
  • Noodle Incident: We never do find out whose corpse it was found in the catacombs, and how Hoffman's phone was found on it, besides Hoffman's comment that "God works in mysterious ways."
  • Or Are You Just Happy to See Me?: In the film version of the case, when film-Mulder lands on film-Scully, film-Scully asks "Is that your flashlight, Mulder? Or are you just happy to be alive and on top of me." Later, she turns down his advances because she's in love with film-Skinner and his "bigger flashlight".
  • Saw "Star Wars" Twenty-Seven Times: Mulder reveals that he's seen Plan 9 from Outer Space forty-two times. He claims that the sheer badness of the film numbs his brain, allowing him to make intuitive leaps and solve problems that have him stumped.
    Scully: You've seen this movie 42 times?
    Mulder: Yes.
    Scully: Doesn't that make you sad? It makes me sad.
  • The Show Goes Hollywood: The subplot in the episode centers around a Hollywood film being made that's based on Mulder and Scully's lives.
  • Split-Screen Phone Call: Mulder, Scully, and Skinner in the hotel.
  • Straw Vegetarian: During the filming of the movie, a vegetarian actor playing a zombie makes a huge fuss and storms off the set over the shoulder meat he's just bit into being made out of turkey instead of a tofu substitute.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Mulder has a great deal of sympathy for Augustine O'Fallon despite the fact he's a murderer.
  • Tag-Along Actor: A variation with a movie producer instead of actors following Mulder and Scully on an investigation.
  • Taken Off the Case: Mulder and Scully are put on a month-long sabbatical after they arrest O'Fallon for Hoffman's murder while an alive Hoffman is entering the church they're in, since Skinner doesn't want the church to sue them.
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story:
    • In-Universe, it's more or less the entire premise of the episode as it's clear Wayne Federman only cares about the basic idea, turning a story about a pontiff and a man coming back from the dead into a zombie action flick.
    • On a meta level, too, as the religious-text-forgery-bombing portion of the plot is based upon the actual case of forger Mark Hofmann.

"I think the dead are beyond caring what people think about them. Hopefully we can adopt the same attitude."


Video Example(s):


The X-Files Bubble Bath Scene

Mulder, Scully, and Skinner have a three-way phone conversation while each of them is taking a bubble bath in their hotel room.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / SplitScreenPhoneCall

Media sources: