The X-Files

Season 7 Episode 19

Hollywood A.D.

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Apr 30, 2000 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (13)

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out of 10
285 votes
  • A daring episode that doesn't run on all cylinders but the ones that do fire are not to be missed.

    Duchovny spent great detail crafting this episode as an allegory to his own experience with Hollywood. Hoffman is Jesus to O'Fallon's Judas, Mulder's Duchovny to Scully's Leoni, etc. This gets very complicated and I am not going into all of that. What I would like to comment on is his lack of concern for continuity. First, the episode jumps 18 months backward to Skinner assigning them to the O'Fallon case. The glaring inconsistency here is that approximately 18 months ago, Mulder and Scully were under the supervision of A.D. Kersh and sneaking around in haunted houses, Area 51 and the Bermuda Triangle. Second, Duchovny plays up the sexual tension between Mulder and Scully for most of the episode. The problem with this is it's too obvious. Their relationship has only recently developed in ways demonstrated here, in what is supposed to be a year and a half ago. Second, for all the use of religion in season 7 episodes, this has to be the worst. It almost seems trivialized especially in comparison to the character work done. That character work was the main strength of this episode. The guest characters were each wonderfully developed. The producer guy in the first scene in Skinner's office, O'Fallon when Mulder takes to him one-on-one in the church, Hoffman when Mulder and Scully visit him at home after his "resurrection." Mulder later describes them as "complicated, flawed, beautiful people." Thanks to Duchovny's characterizations, I think this rings true. The problem is, it makes some of the plot contrivances seem even more obvious. For example, Scully signing herself before she goes to arrest O'Fallon was purely a means to a heavy handed religions metaphor. Another example, the body waking up in the morgue was a pointless gag with only minor relevant foreshadowing use.

    Then when we are finally brought forward in time, Mulder seems extremely uncomfortable in the cinema during the coffin sex scene. After "all things" it is more likely he would just shrug this off and think to himself (as he later said to Scully) "they got it so wrong." Instead, he makes a scene. Writing an episode that flashes back a year and a half is no doubt difficult. His 18 months ago characterizations are moved too far forward in time and his "present" characterizations are not forward enough. He was probably just trying to straddle the line. In the meantime, however, he put some wonderful moments on screen, the most poignant of which is the final scene. Mulder and Scully's conversation there perfectly exemplifies their relationship. Mulder, at times, takes everything very seriously and personally. Scully is willing to keep him grounded and rational and not let his arrogance get the best of him. She's also able to make him smile despite his very bitter mood at the time, and they walk off, holding hands, to enjoy the night. The zombie dance, albeit over the top, was very "x-files" and creepy and wonderful. Overall, the episode is as Duchovny described his characters: at times complicated, at times flawed and at times beautiful.
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