18 May 2007

Season 4: Zero Sum (4X21)

Writers: Howard Gordon and Frank Spotnitz
Director: Kim Manners

When Jane Brody, a mail sorter with a delivery company is killed by a swarm of bees, Detective Ray Thomas e-mails details to Agent Mulder. But Assistant Director Skinner intercepts and deletes the file. He travels to Virginia to incinerate Jane Brody's body and posing as Mulder swaps a vial of Jane Brody's blood with another sample. He is met by Detective Ray Thomas, who thinks he is Mulder and tells him that there is not enough evidence to warrant an investigation.

The clean up operation completed, Skinner returns to Washington only to have Mulder pay him an unexpected visit explaining that someone is covering up the details about the bee attack and the death of Detective Ray Thomas. Skinner is shocked to hear that the Detective is dead, he meets the Cigarette Smoking Man and accuses him of killing Ray Thomas. Later it is revealed that Ray Thomas was killed with a government issue gun, Skinner realises his own gun is missing and that he is being framed.

When a photograph shows Skinner with Ray Thomas, Mulder accuses him of working with the Cigarette Smoking Man from the beginning. He denies this claiming that he did not follow his advice to Mulder about making a deal with the Cigarette Smoking Man in return for a cure for Scully. Mulder makes contact with Marita Covarrubias to find out what she knows about Skinner. She turns to the Cigarette Smoking Man who is with her, he tells her to tell Mulder what he wants to hear.

Dedication: In Loving Memory of Vito J. Pileggi.

Scully does not appear at all in this episode due to the fact that Gillian Anderson was away filming her part in the movie ''The Mighty''.

When Skinner is going through Mulder's files, you can clearly see a file labeled "Foo Fighters" near the back of the cabinet he is searching. The term refers to unexplained flying objects observed by pilots during World War II and also to the rock band, which contributed a song to ''The X-Files - Fight the Future" soundtrack.

The schoolyard scene with the bees attacking the children and their teacher is a reference to Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds," which contains a similar scene involving birds.

CSM: Now, unless you intend to kill me, I would like to answer my phone.

CSM: You're in no position to question the terms of our arrangement.
Skinner: Then we have no arrangement.
CSM: You'll find it's not that easy to walk away from, Mr. Skinner.
Skinner: No?
CSM: A man digs a hole; he risks falling into it.

Episode Number: 94
Season Number: 4
First Aired: Sunday, April 27, 1997
Production Code: 4X21

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