|Original Airdate:||December 16, 2001|
|Written by:||Thomas Schnauz|
|Directed by:||Kim Manners|
When an amateur stunt performer is killed while performing a daring act for a local cable reality show, Scully, Doggett and Reyes discover that the culprit was apparently a swarm of killer flies hidden in the victim's brain.
SummaryEditThe episode begins with a group of teenagers filming one of their friends "Captain Dare" doing stunts for their cable TV show Dumbass when, after a stunt fails and Dare falls out of a shopping cart, is found dead after part of his head had collapsed. The local coroner calls in Doggett and Reyes due to them being "specialists" in the unexplained. As Reyes examines the boy's body, flies erupt from his eye socket; the two immediately bring Scully in to examine the body and she finds that the insects fed on the inside of his head to such a degree that it simply collapsed and it was not the result of an impact injury.
At the local high school, Dare's friends are filming a memorial for their friend much to the annoyance of Dare's girlfriend, Natalie. His friends catch Dylan Lokensgard, a misfit who is preyed upon because his mother is the principal, looking at Natalie, and harass him before being caught by his mother. Doggett and Reyes arrive at the school to talk to Dare's friend, David, who hosted the Dumbass show. During the questioning, flies attack David and bite "Dumbass" into his backside. While watching the recordings of the show, Doggett notices that Lokensgard was at each of the stunts and decides to question him. His mother becomes furious with the two agents, insisting that they have no right to interrogate him when Dylan himself becomes covered in flies. Reyes starts to believe that Dylan is behind the attack, and called those flies on himself to draw suspicion off himself. Doggett and Reyes take a tissue soaked with Dylan's sweat back for Scully to analyze, and it comes back heavy in insect pheremones.
The episode ends with Dylan and his mother driving off, with him looking visibly depressed. Natalie looks out her window to see fireflies forming the words "I Love You," while Scully overtones that sometimes the heart wants what the heart wants.
Late that night Natalie sneaks into Dylan's home; the two were once close friends but grew apart in high school. She tells him that she never forgot about him, and that with Dare's death she realizes how important he always was to her and to have someone around who understood her. They kiss, but she pulls away with something apparently cuts her mouth and she leaves in tears. David and his friends, who believe Dylan had something to do with Dare's death, pull up moments later and drive off with him. During the drive, an insect-like protrusion comes out of his mouth and sprays webbing everywhere, causing the car to flip and crash. Doggett and Reyes find the crashed car, and the kids tell them that Dylan chewed his way out the back window, while Scully and a bug specialist search Dylan's home. Scully leaves to help Reyes find the teenager while the specialist stays behind, and is attacked by Dylan's mother. Reyes tracks down Natalie, whom they saw talking to Dylan earlier in the day, but Dylan arrives and cocoons Reyes. Dylan's mother approaches him, and tells him that he is not like other kids and never will be, and that what's happening to him is what she had been trying to explain to him earlier. Doggett arrives at Natalie's home and finds both Reyes and Natalie cocooned alive, but Dylan and his mother are nowhere to be found. A search of the Lokensgard home turns up the bug specialist, who was cocooned but survived, as well as the bodies of several other people, including Dylan's father who supposedly ran off years earlier.
- The reality show in this episode is called Dumbass, a fictitious relative of MTV's Jackass. In both series, the cast perform dangerous stunts.
- Scully's dislike of an entomologist - in this case, the pompous and flirtatious "Dr. Rocky Bronzino" - seems like a reference to the earlier insect-themed episode "War of the Coprophages" by Darin Morgan. ("This is no place for an entomologist.")
- The posters on Natalie's wall reference the bands Radiohead, Garbage, and Fear Factory, among others.
- There is a song called "Nathalie and the fireflies" in the 2002 album "Neonai" by the band Lake of tears...
- This episode stars Aaron Paul, who would later go on and work with the show's producer, Vince Gilligan on Braking Bad. Though Gilligan did not write this episode Paul later said in an interview that he believe that this episode helped him get the role on Braking Bad.
The posters on Dylan's wall are from the work and life of the great Syd Barrett, a founding member of Pink Floyd as well as fine artist, who spent the final 40 years of his life in solitude. The song Dylan quotes is Barrett's Opel.
- Gillian Anderson as Special Agent Dana Scully
- Robert Patrick as Special Agent John Doggett
- Annabeth Gish as Special Agent Monica Reyes
- Mitch Pileggi as Assistant Director Walter Skinner
- Hank Harris as Dylan Lokensgard
- Samaire Armstrong as Natalie Gordon
- Michael Wiseman as Dr. Rocky Bronzino
- Jane Lynch as Principal Anne T. Lokensgard
- Aaron Paul as David Winkle
- Branden Williams as Bill Kizzler
- Erick Avari as Dr. Herb Fountain
- Aeryk Egan as Camera Dude
SEMICOLON-SEPARATED LIST OF ITEMS/LOCATIONS REFERENCED IN EPISODE (BUT NOT LINKED TO IF ALREADY LINKED IN SUMMARY OR GUEST STARS SECTIONS)