The X-Files: Season 4, Episode 21

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

TV Episode  -   -  Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
8.2
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 920 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 2 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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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Dana Scully (credit only)
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...
Nicolle Nattrass ...
Misty Nagata
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Special Agent Kautz (as Paul McLean)
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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 ...
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Storyline

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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27 April 1997 (USA)  »

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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 Celt (2005). 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

 
Vague Assurances
21 September 2006 | by (Washington Terrace, 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.


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