The fifth episode of the ninth season of The
X-Files
ran last night. Click read more to
see my thoughts, or Post a Comment to add yours.

Cast

Gillian
Anderson
as Dana Scully
Robert
Patrick

as John Doggett
Annabeth
Gish
as
Agent Reyes
Erick
Avari
as Dr. Herb Fountain
Samaire
Armstrong
as Natlaie Gordon
Hank
Harris
as
Dylan Lokensgard
Michael
Wiseman
as Dr. Rocky Bronzino

Crew

Written by Thomas
Schnauz

Directed by Kim
Manners

Original Airdate


Lord of the Flies
originally aired on
Sunday,
December 16,
2001.

Synopsis

In an attempt to get on the Dumbass
show, a high school
students preforms various stupid stunts. At the
end of one stunt, in
which he is supposed to jump over another student
in a shopping cart,
he veers from his path, and collapses at the side
of the road. His
head had collapsed.

During the autoposy, it was found that his head
collapsed because the
interior had been eaten by flies. An expert on
entymology, Dr. Rocky
Bronzino, came to help out the X-Files team in
the experiment, packing
with him some equipment that reminded me of the
gear the Ghostbusters
would pack with them. (This detected pheremones,
instead of
psychokinetic energy. Imagine the Gigameter from
GB2 attached to the
end of the wand Venkman used to check out Dana
Barrett’s apartment in
GB1.)

Viewing the tapes of the stunts, Doggett and
Reyes realized that there
was one student present that didn’t seem as
impressed with the stunts
as the others. They began to investigate this
student (Dylan),
despite objections from his mother, the school
principal.

It quickly becomes clear that Dylan is in love
with a long time friend
who was dating the first victim. She
reciprocated some of his
feelings, and even tried to seduce him, only to
run screaming after
his french kiss caused severe oral trauma.

It seems that Dylan is part bug, as is his
mother. After hurting a
few more classmates, and evading the FBI, Dylan
and his mother escape
to parts unknown. Dylan did have time to have
some fireflies arrange
themselves into the words “I LOVE YOU” outside
Natalie’s room, though.

High Point

“I think I just solved this case. This kid had
crap for brains and
flies couldn’t resist.”

Low Point

The tone of the show seemed to vary from scene to
scene. The majority
of the first half was the standard comedic
episode of the X-Files, but
most of the second half came across as very
serious.

The Review

This episode would have seemed far more
original if it hadn’t
followed so closely behind a similar episode of
Smallville.
(Of course, Smallville had an episode
remarkably similar to
the third season X-File 2Shy a few weeks
later.) I give it 4
out of 6.

The visual effects this week were
plentiful and well done.
From the large spider webs to the contents of
Dylan’s mouth to the
original victim and autopsy to the oddities at
school, it all came
across very well and very believable. I give it
6 out of 6,
considering the volume, time, and per-episode
budget.

The story was well plotted, but
uneven in tone. The
comedic scenes were great, packed with
references to The Fly,
the entymology version of the Stupendous Yappi,
and some great
one-liners from Doggett. The serious scenes were
less fortunate, as I
kept expecting the comedy to follow, but it never
did. (It’s also
possible that they were intended as comedic
scenes, but it just didn’t
work.) (Note that this was the first episode of
The X-Files
written by Schnauz, but he wrote two episodes of
The Lone
Gunmen
.) I give the story 3 out of 6.

The acting was, perhaps, the best
part this week. We saw
the good old Scully, checking solid scientific
answers before looking
for the extreme. We saw some great guest work in
Erick Avari (whom
you may recognize from Stargate,
Independance Day,
and a recent guest spot on Enterprise,
among other things) as
Dr. Fountain, and Michael Wiseman as Dr. Ricky
Bronzino. The main
guest stars were capable, but not outstanding. I
give it 5 out of 6.

As for the emotional response this week,
I was a bit
confused. I’d go from laughing at the comedic to
sitting there bored
at the serious scenes. 3 out of 6.

The production was its typical high.
Mark Snow did some
great work early in this episode, and again in
the attic scenes. (I
really should have mentioned him more in my
reviews of the season
premiers. His was the only really outstanding,
ground breaking work
those weeks.) The direction was well paced, with
several shots that
catch reactions rather than delivery of some
lines. I give the
production 5 out of 6.

Overall, this episode was better
than either half of the
season premier, but it’s not as good as the last
two episodes were. 4
out of 6.

In total, Lord of the Flies received 30
out of 42.