The X-Files (2000) – Hollywood A.D., and Fight Club

David Duchovny writes and directs Hollywood A.D., that sees Mulder (Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) being misinterpreted on the big screen. First airing on 30 April, 2000, the agents find themselves involved in a strange case involving an item known as the Lazarus Bowl, which may have the words Christ spoke to raise Lazarus from the dead engraved in them. There’s a Timothy Leary type that had become a forgerer (Paul Lieber), and a priest (Harris Yulin) who may be willing to commit murder to keep religious secrets.

Through it all, the agents are tailed by an old friend of Skinner’s (Mitch Pileggi), screenwriter Wayne Federman (playing himself). He’s working on a supernatural procedural for the big screen, and he thinks Mulder and Scully may be perfect to model his work on.

When the case goes sideways, the agents head out to Hollywood to take a look at the making of the film, where Garry Shandling is taking on the role of Mulder, and Tea Leoni (who was married to Duchovny at the time) is playing Scully.

There are in jokes a plenty, and it’s hilarious to watch Scully and Mulder react to Hollywood’s portrayal of them, and then there’s the running gag about Richard Gere. It’s a little goofy (actually a lot goofy), but it’s a fun exercise, and it skewers the show without openly mocking it.

My favourite sequence is when they are on set, and there are all kinds of funny things happening in the background that film crews will no doubt recognise and get a chuckle out of.

Series creator Chris Carter tries to pen a slightly goofy episode with Fight Club that definitely isn’t his best offering. First airing on 7 May, 2000, this episode features Randall ‘Tex’ Cobb, which is a definite win, as he’s just an iconic character actor, and Kathy Griffin who can be a bit hit or miss, and this time feels like a miss, although it was apparently written with her in mind.

Lulu and Betty seem to be identical, dopplegangers. And whenever they are in proximity to one another, things around them become decidely unbalanced as anger and violence erupts around them.

Mulder and Scully are first drawn to the case when they learn of an attack on a pair of FBI agents, by each other. The agents are played by Anderson’s standin, and Duchovny’s stunt double.

As the pair work to figure out what is going on, with Scully taking point on the theory front, they discover the pair had the same father, a very angery man, currently held in prison, Bob Danfous (Jack McGee). But as the story plays out, involving betting, loans, and ‘professional’ wrestling, we learn there is a lot more going on as, Bert Zupanic (Cobb) wants one more chance in the ring, and both Lulu and Betty are in love with him.

And when all of them get in proximity to one another, it’s gonna be fisticuffs for everyone!

Next time, we close out the seventh season, and Duchovny takes a step back from the series, but not to worry, the truth is (still) out there…

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