The X-Files (1993–2018)
6 user 5 critic

Zero Sum 

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.


Kim Manners


Chris Carter (created by), Howard Gordon | 1 more credit »




Episode complete credited cast:
David Duchovny ... Fox Mulder
Gillian Anderson ... Dana Scully (credit only)
Mitch Pileggi ... Walter Skinner
William B. Davis ... Smoking Man
Laurie Holden ... Marita Covarrubias
Nicolle Nattrass ... Misty Nagata
Paul Anthony McLean ... Special Agent Kautz (as Paul McLean)
Fred Keating ... Detective Ray Thomas
Allan Gray Allan Gray ... Dr. Peter Valedespino
Addison Ridge 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 ... Gray Haired Man


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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TV-14 | See all certifications »






Release Date:

27 April 1997 (USA) See more »

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Did You Know?


A return appearance of the killer bees which we first encountered in the Season 4 opener, The X-Files: Herrenvolk (1996). See more »


Cigarette Smoking Man: Yours isn't the first gun I've had pointed at my face, Mr. Skinner.
See more »


The X-Files
Written by Mark Snow
Performed by John Beal
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User Reviews

Great Episode Despite No Scully
18 July 2009 | by ddeboerSee 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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