Michael Marek and Jamie Ruby
A man runs through a graveyard and ducks
behind a tombstone as bullets fly towards him. As he changes
the clip of his gun we see that he has a ceramic bowl.
Another man, later identified as the Cigarette Smoking
Pontiff, wearing what appears to be a Catholic Cardinal's
garb, shouts, "Give it up Mulder, my sniper zombies are
everywhere." He tells Mulder to give him the Lazarus Bowl
and he will release Scully, who he is holding captive. We
see, however, that it is not Mulder but actor Gary
Shandling. Scully is not Scully but Tea Leoni. "Mulder"
stands and holds the bowl above his head.
How Ďbout this deal? You give me Scully, I donít smash
the Lazarus Bowl and shove the jagged pieces where the sun
of God donít shine, you Cigarette-Smoking mackerel snapper!
I break the Lazarus bown and all your snipper zombies go
back to being good little well-behave corpes--
CSP tells Shandling that he doesnít fool
him Ė the bowl has encrypted in it the words Jesus spoke
when he raised Lazarus from the dead, Mulderís Holy Grail.
He could no longer destroy it then he could let Leoni die. A
zombie steps forward and asks Shandling not to drop the bowl
because they donít want to go back to being dead. Thereís no
women or dancing. Mulder says that he would rather serve in
Heaven than rule in Hell. Mulder tosses the bowl up
as Scully breaks free from CSP and grabs his gun. A zombie
tries to catch the bowl but Scully shoots and shatters it.
"Mulder" grabs "Scully" and they roll down an embankment and
into an open grave hole. They find themselves in each
other's arms in a casket, and the casket lid smals shut on
them. "Mulder" confesses his love to "Scully" and they kiss.
The scene changes from the regular TV
format to show that we are at the 20th Century Fox's Darryl
Zanuck Theater in Hollywood California. The front row
includes: Chris Carter, David Allen Grier, Minnie Driver,
Gary Shandling, Tea Leoni, Federman's Date, Wayne Federman
and ofcourse the real Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. Everything
appears to be enjoying the show, but the agents display
emotions that appear to be embarassment. Mulder and Scully
just stare at the screen for a few seconds. Mulder puts his
head in his hands, embarrassed. He turns to see Skinner
smiling. He bows his head once again.
Eighteen months earlier, at a staff
meeting at the FBI, Mulder, Scully and Skinner are talking
about a case - a bomb exploded in a crypt below the church
of Cardinal O'Fallon, a man considered to be a candidate to
be the first American pope. A filmmaker is observing the
meeting and making notes into his recorder. (Federman
into his recorder: "She: Jodie Fosterís child on a
payless budget. Heís like a Jehovahís Witness meets Harrison
Wayne Federman is an old friend of
Skinner and is writing a movie about the FBI - he just wants
a taste of the procedural flavor. He describes his idea as
"Silence of the Lambs meets Greatest Story Ever Told."
Skinner tells Mulder & Scully that they will treat
Federman as they would a friend of his and the bureau's, to
which Mulder replies - Sir, have I pissed you off in a away
that's more than normal?
Federman goes along with Mulder to talk
with the Cardinal while Scully remains behind to do some
paperwork for Skinner. Before leaving Federman asks Mulder
if Scully is 'more than just a partner' to which Mulder just
O'Fallon says the bomb went off in a
crypt under the church where spiritual items, artifacts,
documents and relics are stored. Mulder thinks it's a simple
terrorist act. While the three of them are in the crypt, a
cell phone goes off, but is none of their phones. Mulder
finds it under some rocks with a body. The cell phone ID
says it is Micah Hoffman - a 1960s counter culture movement
Scully joins them and they visit
Hoffman's apartment where they find a bomb-making workshop
so it looks as if Hoffman was killed by his own creation. He
was a master potter as well as a master calligrapher.
Apparently he was writing documents and artificially aging
them using Sodium Hydroxide. They find what appears to be a
lost gospel. Scully knows some Greek so she attempts to
translate a part of it. Its an account of Christ's life on
Earth after the resurrection. Mulder and Scully put forth
their questions about what would Hoffman be doing with
religious texts and why was he forging them. Federman
corrects them asking his own question - What might O'Fallon
be doing with Hoffman's forgeries?
Mulder and Federman return to the crypt.
(Federman: "I like the way you guys work Ė no warrants, no
permission, no research Ė youíre like studio executives with
guns.") They find what appears to be another copy of the
same gospel. Maybe the one at the apartment was a draft?
Federman gets a call and wanders off. He sees bones and
skeleton parts moving on their own, almost as if in a dance.
A skeleton hand takes the flashlight that Federman dropped
and goes towards pieces of a broken pottery, where many
bones are trying to fit the pieces together.
Later, at a coffee shop, Scully tells
Federman it was dark and his eyes were playing tricks on
him. He is ready to leave, however, because he has his
procedural flavor and is ready to write his movie. He tells
them that Mulder is crazy for believing what he believes and
Scully is crazy for not believing what Mulder believes.
Scully says his story reminds her of the
Lazarus Bowl a story told by a nun she knew when she was
young. The nun was known as "Sister Spooky" because she
always told them scary stories. She used to show them an old
piece of wood with a rusty nail in it and say it was an
actual piece of the cross that Jesus Christís wrist was
nailed to, or show a vial of red liquid and tell them it was
the blood of John the Baptist. (Mulder: "She'd be in
prison today, you realise that")
Scully tells Mulder that the nun said
that when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, an old woman
nearby was making a pottery bowl and Christ's words were
recorded in the clay and that the words still have the power
to raise the dead. (Mulder: You see, itís just not
true that you canít get good science at a Catholic school.
Itís a lie.") Scully smiles.
Scully takes a clay bowl found in
Hoffman's apartment to Chuck Burks. He tells her that
everything that exists vibrates and has a tone. He has a
device that can detect vibrations in the clay and it
produces a remarkable sound. Chuck asks her who made it, to
which Scully replies that it was either Micah Hoffman or
someone in the vicinity of Jesus Christ. Chuck laughs, but
Scully's dead serious.
Mulder talks with O'Fallon who reads
some of the Greek text on the scroll about Jesus. O'Fallon
thought they were real when he bought them from Hoffman. He
bought them to hide the radical information they contained.
Mulder concludes that Hoffman was blackmailing O'Fallon, who
is his suspect in Hoffman's murder. He sends Scully to
Hoffman's autopsy because he thinks Hoffman might have
already been dead when placed in the crypt.
Mulder gets a beep on the other line and
puts "Sister Spooky" on hold. Its Federman who's calliing
Mulder from California to ask Mulder who he wants to play
him in the movie. Mulder suggests Richard Gere, but Federman
suggests Gary Shandling and Tea Leoni to play Mulder and
Scully. Skinner has been feeding information to him and he
is writing about the Lazarus Bowl.
Meanwhile,Scully is doing the autopsy
and Hoffman wakes up - but she looks away for a moment and
he is back on the autopsy table. Did it really happen?
Mulder arrives at the morgue. Scully
reports that there was wine and poison in Hoffman's stomach.
O'Fallon may have poisoned him. They go to the church and
while they wait for a service to end, Scully has a vision of
Hoffman on the cross. As they begin to arrest O'Fallon,
Hoffman walks in, completely alive and healthy.
Later, Skinner blows up at them for
misidentifying the body. Scully tells him that the body
looked like Hoffman, and he had his ID, so they assumed it
was him. To which Skinner says: "Agent Scully, if Iím
carrying Marilyn Monroeís purse, do you assume that I slept
with JFK?" O'Fallon and the church could bring a huge
lawsuit. They are put on administrative leave and are off
Chuck, however, has found something in
the pottery - an Aramaic voice, apparently of one man
commanding another to rise from the dead. They go to talk to
Hoffman. He had the choice to fight the system by going law
school or to be more subversive. He ended up fighting the
system by forging historical documents. He targeted O'Fallon
for his worldview. Hoffman studied the life of Christ in
detail but something weird came over him (to which Scully
asks - Remorse?) - he experienced conversion. He was no
longer impersonating Christ - he had become him. He blew up the crypt because the
forgeries were blasphemous. How did his cell phone get left
there? "God works in mysterious ways," he answers.
Hoffman: I am become Jesus
Mulder: I am become
Scully comes to Mulder's apartment. He
is watching a movie and thinking about the case. Scully asks if it possible that Hoffman
really is Christ. No, Mulder says, but crazy people can be
persuasive. As zombies walk on the screen, Scully wonders of
true faith is a kind if insanity. They decide to accept
Federman's offer to go to Hollywood to watch the movie being
filmed during their suspension.
They arrive at Stage 8, 20th Century
Fox. They find the graveyard set that we saw in the opening
of the episode being prepared. They are introduced to Tea
and Gary. "How do you run in these things? (refering to the
high heels)" Tea asks Scully. Shandling asks, "Do you dress
to the left or the right?" Mulder isn't sure what he means,
or at least pretends that he doesn't understand. Throughout
this scene, Scully can be seen running back and forth!
They watch takes. Later, they are each
in bathtubs in their respective rooms talking by phone about
zombies and their case. Skinner calls Mulder and apologizes
- he's in the same hotel in his own tub - Federman got him
Assistant producer credit. Scully tells Mulder that Tea has
a crush on Mulder. Shandling likes him too, she adds.
At the hotel, Scully is relaxing in a
bubble bath drinking wine when she calls Mulder. She asks
what he is doing, and he says that heís at the computer. She
tells him that sheís packing. An image of Mulder pushes in
to share a split screen with Scully. Mulder is in a bubble
bath as well. Mulder asks her why when people come back from
the dead, they always want to hurt the living. She tells him
itís because people really canít come back from the dead,
and they are only projections of peopleís repressed fears
and desires. She says that they are who we fear we are at
heart Ė mindless automatons who only kill and
calls Mulder. Mulder tells him that heís just at his
computer. Skinner tells him that he just wanted to apologize
for the harsh way he acted. (Mulder: "I appreciate that
Skinman", Skinner: "Don't call me that") Skinner tells
Mulder that Federman got him an Associate Producer Credit in
the movie. An image of Skinner comes up under Scully and
Mulder. Skinnerís in a bubble bath as well. Mulder asks what
heís doing. He tells him heís in a bubble bath. Mulder tells
him to hold on.
Mulder clicks the
phone, and tells Scully that Skinnerís calling him from a
bubble bath. Skinner informs him that itís still him on the
line. Mulder clicks the phone again and this time gets
Scully, and he tells her about Skinner. They think heís gone
Hollywood. Scully tells Mulder that she thinks Tea Leoni has
a crush on him, but he thinks sheís nuts. She then says that
she thinks Gary Shandling likes him too.
Sixteen Months Later, At the screening,
the scene in the teaser continues, but as Shandling and
Leoni continue to kiss, Leoni pull away and confesses that
she is in love with Assistant Director Skinner. In the
theatre the real Mulder stands up and waves his arms in the
air saying that he can't take it any longer. He walks out
having one last look at Skinner, who is grinning ear to ear.
Scully continues to watch the movie. On
What does he have that I don't have?
Outside in the graveyard set, Mulder is
sitting, eating the rest of his popcorn. (Apparently as a
promotion, everyone in the theater is eating popcorn from
ceramic bowls.) Scully finds him. She got a message from
Washington - Hoffman was killed by O'Fallon who then hanged
himself. Mulder tells her that he was right, it was like
Jesus and Judas. Skinner was so tickled by
the movie that he gave Scully a bureau credit card to use
for the evening. They walk off chuckling. Mulder leaves his
pottery popcorn bowl (that has a label "made in Israel")
behind and ghosts rise out of the ground, dance, and enjoy
themselves as they would have in life.