The X-Files

Season 5 Episode 4


Aired Monday 9:00 PM Nov 23, 1997 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
316 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Stopped by a roadblock on their way to an FBI convention in Florida, Mulder and Scully find themselves stranded in the woods with a deadly predator, who seems to be responsible for the disappearance of three men. While investigating the case Mulder and Scully find themselves in greater danger when they run low on bullets forcing them to fear their every move because it could be their last…moreless

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  • Gonna need a choppa

    Gotta say... meh. The creature was clearly inspired by "Predator" which is fine but I didn't find it entirely scary. The saving qualities of this episode once again come from both our characters who are always funny and compelling when serious. Wasn't expecting that bit when Scully is talking to Fox about the cancer, those kind of moments make these stand alone episodes worth while. They don't just forget about important things that happen. I liked all that, the anti climatic ending and monster a different story but hey when you've got 24 1 hour episodes to write, well I can write one off here and there.moreless
  • Detour

    Detour was a perfect and very entertaining episode of The X-Files. I really enjoyed watching because Mulder and Scully were on their way to a team building seminar for the F.B.I. when a mysterious investigation falls into their laps. The story was fun and different and a nice change of pace. I liked the scenery and the characters were all great. I liked how every thing played out and it was crazy to see more of the creature responsible. It was creepy to see that one of them is still out there and almost got Scully. I look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!!!moreless
  • Scully singing "Joy to the World" to Mulder was not only one of Gillian Anderson's favorite X-Files moments, but mine as well.

    I loved everything about this episode. I'm a sucker for a lost in the woods story, what can I say. Along with Post Modern Prometheus and Quagmire, this is one of my favorite monster of the week episodes. And those three episodes have a lot in common. Post Modern Prometheus gave us the slow dance between Mulder and Scully to the tune of Cher's walking in memphis, Quagmire gave us the fantastic conversation on the rock, and now Detour gives us Scully singing joy to the world to Mulder as they huddle for warmth in the woods.

    I loved the setting for this episode. The woods of British Columbia were wonderfully shot, and I especially loved the night time scenes where Scully's trying to light a fire.

    I wonder if the "Detour" title has more to do with Scully and Mulder taking a detour from there usual work related conversations to the off the wall conversation they have in the woods while lost at night, which concludes with Scully singing to Mulder, and less to do with the more obvious detour they encounter at the beginning of the episode. Or perhaps it has to do with the episode taking a much needed Detour from the conspiracy arc that had been dominating the show up to this point. When Mulder got out of the car and said "thank you jesus", I was saying the same thing only I was thankful that this wasn't going to be another conspiracy arc episode. I like the mytharch storyline in the X-Files, in fact those are where the majority of the best episodes stem from, but every once in a while a more light hearted detour is in order. And this episode delivered.

    Overall, it's just a very enjoyable episode that even a casual fan can appreciate.moreless
  • Mulder and Scully get lost in the woods

    For a little while, I was inclined to call this episode "Darkness Falls Part 2." Everything leading up to it was making me believe that it was going to be another episode that resembles an episode that came before it, right down to the scares, the resolution and the conversations. However, the writers seem to have grown a bit in this new season. Mulder and Scully get lost in the woods while tracking down a seemingly invisible being. They seem to be able to camouflage themselves with their surroundings and they're extremely fast.

    A simple investigation turns into a fight for their life after they get trapped in the woods with the beings circling them. There's really not too much going on in the episode, but the heart of it comes from when Mulder and Scully are alone in the woods, nothing to do but talk to each other. From the little mini-flirting that they do with each other ("The only way to cool down from shock is to crawl naked into a sleeping bag with someone else who's naked...") to Scully singing Jeremiah was a Bullfrog to help Mulder sleep, there was some touching moments between the characters that made the episode so much better than just a "Darkness Falls" rehash.

    So far, Season 5 has been great.. the myth-arc was good, the episode before this was an interesting way of showing us what happened to some of the supporting characters before Mulder joined the X-Files and this episode was just a fun-filled and creepy installment.moreless
  • good episode

    Detour continues with the strong start that season five has. Mulder & Scully hit the deep woods again, searching for "invisible" creatures. Frank Spotnitz wrote this stand-alone episode by himself. He usually sticks to mythology episodes or writes stand-alones in a threesome. He borrows the concept of the story from the movie "Predator", but the story is still exciting and engaging. Frank Spotnitz is excellent with dialogue, and Mulder and Scully deliver some classic lines. He really has the Mulder/Scully chemistry down pat. In this episode, the boy is watching "The Invisible Man". You can always bet that any TV show or movie being watched in the x-files is related to the theme of the show somehow. They're not just random shows. The special effects of the chameleon-like moth men is very good. The only flaw in the episode hearkens back to the teaser when the two surveyors each see the moth men in the ground. It's a nice special effect of their faces in the ground, but if they are evolved humans like Mulder says, then they wouldn't be part of the ground, like it shows, but just blend in with it. And, the moth man just laid there, allowing the surveyor to stick a stake in him? If the teaser had been consistent with the rest of the episode, I would give Detour full marks. But, as it is, Detour still is an excellent episode, with wonderful Mulder/Scully moments.

    I give Detour a 10 out of 10.moreless
Colleen Flynn

Colleen Flynn

Michele Fazekas

Guest Star

Anthony Rapp

Anthony Rapp

Jeff Glaser

Guest Star

Scott Burkholder

Scott Burkholder

Agent Kinsley

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • While trying to get a fire started, Scully manages to pry apart a bullet with her bare hands in an attempt to use the gunpowder inside the casing. In the real world this would be quite impossible as the brass of the casing is crimped around the bullet, forming a seal so tight that it would require the use of cutting tools to actually remove the bullet.

    • Scully's hair goes from being rather straight to curly and back between scenes. The production crew was aware of the problem when they were shooting the episode, but couldn't do anything about it as the heavy rain brought out the natural curl in Anderson's hair.

  • QUOTES (21)

    • Scully: Mulder, we're in Western Florida. The closest thing to primitive down here is living in a beachfront retirement condo.

    • (Scully walks into the motel room with wine and cheese)
      Mulder: (Grinning) Who cut the cheese?

    • Scully: Where are you going?
      Mulder: I'm gonna check something out.
      Scully: You know Mulder, sometimes I think some work on your communication skills wouldn't be such a bad idea.
      Mulder: I'll be back soon, and we can build a tower of furniture. Okay?
      (Cheeky grin, and exits)

    • Agent Kinsley: You're making this up.
      Mulder: Why do you say that?
      Agent Kinsley: 'cause you work on the X-Files.. and you just want to write off your motel. (Mulder mouths, "Oh..." and nods)

    • (Stacking bodies into a pile)
      Mulder: Too bad we don't have any office furniture.
      Scully: If they could see us now.
      Mulder: Go, team.
      (Lugging a body to the pile, they lay it down gently on top)
      Mulder: A hundred more bodies and we'll win the honeybaked ham.

    • (Mulder falls into hole, startling Scully)
      Mulder: Ow!
      Scully: Jesus! Mulder, are you okay?
      Mulder: (Singsong voice) Don't mind me.

    • (Scully sits close to Mulder and puts her arms around him, pulling his head into her lap. Mulder resists and then whines, playfully)
      Mulder: I don't wanna wrestle.
      Scully: Get over here. I'm gonna try and keep you warm.
      (Mulder settles into her)
      Mulder: One of us has got to stay awake, Scully.
      Scully: You sleep Mulder.
      Mulder: If you get tired, you wake me.
      Scully: I'm not gonna get tired.
      Mulder: Why don't you sing something?
      Scully: No, Mulder.
      Mulder: If you sing something, I'll know you're awake.
      Scully: Mulder, you don't want me to sing - I can't carry a tune.
      Mulder: It doesn't matter, just sing anything.
      Scully: "Jeremiah was a bullfrog.."

    • Scully: If I can separate the shell from the casing, maybe I can get the powder to ignite.
      Mulder: And maybe it'll start raining weenies and marshmallows.
      Scully: Do I detect a hint of negativity?
      Mulder: NO! Yes, actually. Yeah.

    • Scully: Have you ever thought seriously about dying?
      Mulder: Yeah, once when I was at the Ice Capades.

    • Mulder: Hey, Scully, who did you identify with - Betty or Wilma?
      Scully: I dunno; I certainly identified with Betty's bustline.
      Mulder: Yes. I identified with that.

    • Mulder: Kill me now, Scully.

    • Agent Kingsley: I couldn't believe how hard it was not to use the word "but."
      Mulder: I'm having the same problem right now

    • Mulder: They became known as the Mothmen. There's an X-file dating back to 1952 on them.
      Scully: What would that be filed next to, the Cockroach That ate Cincinnati?
      Mulder: No, that would be in the Cs. Mothmen is over in the Ms.

    • Agent Stonecypher: Have you ever been to one of these conferences, Agent Mulder?
      Mulder: No, unfortunately, I usually develop a severe haemorrhoidal condition around this time of year.

    • Scully: (trying to start a fire) You were an Indian guide, help me out.
      Mulder: Indian guide says maybe you should run to the store and get some matches.

    • Scully: I must point out that we are violating FBI policy regarding fraternization in hotel rooms.
      Mulder: Try any of that Tailhook crap with me Scully, and I'll kick your ass.

    • Scully: There has to be a scientific explanation for this.

    • Scully: What do you think killed those men?
      Jeff: Nature is populated by creatures either trying to kill something they need to survive, or trying to avoid being killed by something that needs them to survive. If we become blinded by the beauty of nature, we may fail to see its cruelty and violence.
      Scully: Walt Whitman?
      Jeff: No. "When Animals Attack" on the Fox Network.

    • Scully: It sure is beautiful, though.
      Jeff: That's what happens. People get to looking around. Next thing they know, something eats them.

    • Mulder: How do I say this without using any negative words, Scully?
      Scully: You want me to tell them you're not going to make it to this year's teamwork seminar.
      Mulder: You see that? We don't need that conference. We have communication like that -- unspoken. You know what I'm thinking.

    • Mulder: I was told once that the best way to regenerate body heat is to crawl naked into a sleeping bag with somebody else who was already naked.
      Scully: Maybe if it rains sleeping bags you'll get lucky.

  • NOTES (6)

    • The actor who plays Jeff Glaser is Anthony Rapp, of Rent fame. He was in the Original Broadway Cast of Rent, as well as reprising his role of Mark in the movie version.

    • Singing "Joy to the World" to Mulder was one of Gillian Anderson's favorite X-Files moments.

    • The actress that plays Michele in this episode can also be seen in the seventh season episode "All Things."

    • In the original script Scully would sing Hank Williams' "I'm so Lonesome I could Cry". Chris Carter asked for something off the wall and strange though, so the crew opted for "Joy to the World".

    • There were some serious production problems with this episode. It rained almost every day during filming bringing the shooting time up to 19 days. In comparison, a normal episode only takes 8 days to shoot.

    • Search and Rescue leader Michele Fazekas is named after writer/Executive Producer Frank Spotnitz's assistant, Michael Fazekas.


    • TV reference: The Flintstones

      Mulder: Who did you identify with as a kid, Wilma or Betty?

      Wilma Flintstone and Betty Rubble being Fred and Barney's wives in the cartoon show The Flintstones.

    • Cultural Reference: Mothman

      A being with piercing red eyes that menaced an area around Point Pleasant, West Virginia 30 years previously. Between 1966 & 1967 a strange winged creature was apparently seen in that area. The creature has come to be known as the Mothman. Its appearance is said to foretell disasters. There is even a statue of the creature in Point Pleasant.

    • Musical Reference: Joy To The World

      Scully sings the song to Mulder in the woods. This song was originally performed by Three Dog Night, and ironically, the expression 'Three Dog Night' supposedly means a night so cold that one needs to sleep while embracing three dogs. Mulder had been telling Scully how cold he was just before she started singing - was this song chosen for the band's name or was it totally coincidental?

    • Political Reference: Tailhook

      When Mulder mentions this he is referencing the 1991 "Tailhook Scandal." At the 35th Annual Tailhook Symposium (September 5 to 7, 1991) at the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel, 83 women and 7 men claimed to be sexually assaulted during the three-day aviators' convention, according to a report by the Inspector General of the Department of Defense (DOD). There was much controversy about the ensuing investigation and allegations that the Bush administration (H.W. Bush) was conducting a witchhunt.

    • Scully: The Cockroach That Ate Cincinnati

      This is the title of a song by the band Rose & The Arrangement. It has been a frequent item on the playlists of novelty disc jockey Dr. Demento.