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.



(created by), | 1 more credit »

Watch Now

From $0.99 (SD) on Amazon Video




Episode complete credited cast:
Dana Scully (credit only)
Nicolle Nattrass ...
Misty Nagata
Special Agent Kautz (as Paul McLean)
Detective Ray Thomas
Allan Gray ...
Addison Ridge ...
Bespectacled Boy
Don S. Williams ...
1st Elder
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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

27 April 1997 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Dedication: "In Loving Memory of Vito J. Pileggi." He was Mitch Pileggi's father. See more »


[catching Skinner off-guard]
Fox Mulder: I was just trying to reach you. I think your phone's off the hook.
Walter Skinner: I needed some sleep.
Fox Mulder: Is that why you're taking the garbage out at 4 in the morning?
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Vague Assurances
21 September 2006 | by (Roy, Utah) – See all my reviews

Zero Sum is the second Skinner-oriented episode in the x-files. Avatar was the first and the story for this episode continues on the theme from Avatar, of Skinner being blackmailed by the cigarette smoking man. The storyline, however, continues on from Memento Mori, dealing with Scully's cancer. Scully(Gillian Anderson), actually takes a break from this episode and we never see her. Mulder says that she is undergoing testing in the hospital. An episode just isn't the same without her. Even so, Zero Sum is a tight, suspenseful episode, leaving you on the edge of your seat, wondering whether Agent Mulder will discover Skinner's part in the cover-up of the x-file. The music by Mark Snow sets the mood very well. Mitch Pileggi does an excellent job when asked to take on the bulk of the acting. He's doing unethical things in order to help out Scully. The cigarette smoking man also has a larger part in this episode. It is quite interesting to see the slow deterioration in his relationship with the syndicate. You see it begin in earlier mythology episodes, and it continues in Zero Sum, which leads to certain events in a later mythology episode. I like to see continuity like that. It's not often that you see the cigarette smoking man rattled, but Skinner manages to do that to him. Overall, Zero Sum is carried well by Skinner and Mulder with absence of Scully, helping us delve even deeper into the mind of Skinner, and see what lengths he'll go to to help out his friends.

24 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Season 7 the best season? Agent_Mulder89
Duchovny doesn't have anything on Robert Patrick mlu08
Lone Gunmen Tank_Girl24
The Event Series: Loved it! preholidaypampering
So what happened to the episode discussions now?? VanillaLimeCoke
Episode 10x7 spooky_hh
Discuss Zero Sum (1997) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: