The X-Files: Season 4, Episode 21

Zero Sum (27 Apr. 1997)
"The X Files" Zero Sum (original title)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 1,084 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 3 critic

A swarm of bees mysteriously kill a postal worker in an enclosed restroom. Assistant Director Skinner covers up the evidence. Mulder investigates Skinner's apparent involvement with the crime.



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Title: Zero Sum (27 Apr 1997)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Dana Scully (credit only)
Nicolle Nattrass ...
Misty Nagata
Special Agent Kautz (as Paul McLean)
Detective Ray Thomas
Allan Gray ...
Dr. Peter Valedespino
Addison Ridge ...
Bespectacled Boy
Don S. Williams ...
Elder #1
Lisa Stewart ...
Jane Brody
Barry Greene ...
Dr. Emile Linzer
Christopher Newton ...
Photo Technician (as Christopher J. Newton)
Morris Panych ...


Mulder is contacted by a local police detective who thinks he has an x-files type case for him to look into. A U.S. postal worker who had sneaked into the washroom for a cigarette was killed by numerous bee stings, though there were no bees to be found. Before Mulder can even begin to look into the case, someone is going around erasing the evidence in the washroom and even some of the blood samples taken from the victim. The person doing the erasing however is Assistant Director Skinner who seems to have made a pact with the Cigarette Smoking Man. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

27 April 1997 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Gillian Anderson, who appeared in more episodes of The X-Files than all other cast members, took one week off from the series to film her role in The Mighty (1998). The writers decided to create another story centered around Skinner and his involvement in the deal made with CSM to cure Scully's cancer, as alluded to in Memento Mori. See more »

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User Reviews

Great Episode Despite No Scully
18 July 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I am not exactly a huge fan of the arc only because they can be slow moving, depressing, and they tend to add more elements than they solve. Nevertheless, we take a break from clones, bounty hunters, and black oil to return to the killer bees. Infestation is one of the staple X Files themes although not one of the more common ones and they work it quite well in this episode. Skinner who usually just shows up to look crabby and pinched gets to be in full range here (like he was in Avatar) and we also get a nice view of him in his tighty whities....who knew he had a killer bod? It's nice watching Mulder get closer and closer to the truth because you know from the get go that this is one major act of betrayal. We have a few more cold blooded deaths of innocents (pray you never find yourself an innocent bystander in an X File episode), gruesome looking cadavers, and Marita Covarrubias looking and talking as seductively as ever (was she a perfume model in the past?). Great episode for an arc without Scully in it.

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