The X-Files

Season 9 Episode 5

Lord of the Flies

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Dec 16, 2001 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
217 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

When a stunt on a local cable reality show goes horribly wrong resulting in a man's death, Doggett and Reyes investigate. But when flies pour out of the victims eye sockets, they find themselves relying on Scully's expertise and they ask her to join the investigation.

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  • Lord of the Flies

    Lord of the Flies was a great episode of The X-Files because it had an interesting story, great acting and a little intrigue. The episode was very entertaining and full of surprise, suspense, and lots of bugs. I liked the story which had a lot of depth and thought put into it. The story played out in a very interesting way. The ending was awesome. I look forward to the next episode!!!!!!!moreless
  • Classic MOTW, deserves a much better rating than it has now.

    This episode made me laugh. It has many characteristics of a classic monster of the week episode: A social outcast, an overbearing mother, a school bully, some weirdo hitting on agent Scully...I loved it. It really feels like an X-file, which is saying a lot about any episode without Mulder. The guest stars have depth and emotion, are well cast, act well, and make us believe it. The main characters are all at the top of their game (except at the end when Scully gives CPR to someone who clearly does not need it), and there was a good mix of humor, mystery, adventure, and grossness.moreless
  • This one reminds me of the good old scary ones!

    This episode has a really good plot in terms of a romantic, tragic tale about a teenage boy. Many things I did not see comming and liked the way all three agents worked together to solve the mystery. The whole story about the boy and his hope to date the most popular girl in school is an oldie but a goodie. You can probably say this episode has some of the fantastic scare elements of season one. It reminds me of the Ice, Darkness falls episodes which have a horror feel to them. I recommend people to see this one as it is one of the best standalone eps in the series.moreless
  • Effects

    I think this episode is pretty good. The effects are great, especially the face of the first victim that's collapsed and the following insect swarm coming from his mouth. The storyline of human-insect -hybrids is pretty unoriginal but is handled in an average X-files style. One thing that was missing from this episode was an autopsy of a human-insect -hybrid by Scully, that would have been really interesting to watch, but clearly wouldn't have been appropriate concerning other parts of the storyline. The Dumbass -clips look pretty corny, but so does Jackass at times. I don't get why season nine is said to be so bad. This episode reminds me of the early seasons, though these are a bit more serious than them.moreless
  • Dude, Where's My Dad?

    This is yet another teen-angst/"no one understands me" themed episode, of which there have been more than a few.

    There are echoes of Season Three's "War of the Coprophages" in this episode, what with the insect subject matter and the use of a wacky scientist who makes romantic overtures to Scully. It is not nearly as good as "Coprophages," which is an X-Files classic, but I detect a fair bit of "borrowing" from it.

    The "X-COPS" styled opening teaser is terribly misplaced and nearly made me skip this episode. It goes on for too long and only served to remind me how much I hated "X-COPS" and Season Eight in general. The death of Captain Dare is unconvincing. How did all those flies get under his helmet without anyone noticing the swarm? Since when do body lice know how to spell, as they do later on Winky's back?

    As in most episodes in Seasons Eight and Nine, the writers can't answer these types of questions because they don't care to think through their story premises in the first place.moreless
Robert Patrick

Robert Patrick

Special Agent John Doggett

Gillian Anderson

Gillian Anderson

Special Agent Dana Scully

Annabeth Gish

Annabeth Gish

Special Agent Monica Reyes

Hank Harris

Hank Harris

Dylan Lokensgard

Guest Star

Samaire Armstrong

Samaire Armstrong

Natalie Gordon

Guest Star

Michael Wiseman

Michael Wiseman

Dr. Rocky Bronzino

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • While it is clear that Rocky held his breath in hopes that Scully would perform mouth-to-mouth on him, why is she also performing CPR? A medical doctor would know that performing CPR on a patient with a normal heartbeat is dangerous.

    • Winky tries to sell the tape to FOX Network. This is a slight at FOX who ran the X-Files show and at the time were showing programs entitled "Worlds Wildest/Dumbest/Dangerous/etc. Videos".

    • Although 'Rocky' thinks of himself as Scully's partner, he is actually just a scientist with specialist knowledge. When Scully and Rocky enter Dylan's house, having found the door open, in what appear to be all sorts of suspicious circumstances, it seems very odd that Scully would allow him to be responsible for looking around the ground floor whilst she takes the upstairs, especially when he's only armed with a pheromone tester! As an FBI agent, wouldn't she want to clear the house first before allowing civilians in? Or even call for backup since she's the only armed officer. Given that they know there is a definite possible danger. I know it's a funny scene, but procedurally it's more than a little suspect.

      It is also quite odd that they would not turn on any lights in the house!

    • How did Scully know that Dylan took Natalie to his house? She couldn't see them and it doesn't sound like something he would just pronounce....

    • It is a bit strange that Natalie's parents will let Reyes go up and talk to her by herself.

  • QUOTES (10)

    • Rocky: Dr. Scully? This is so exciting. I've never had a partner before.
      Scully: I have.
      Rocky: I'd like to think of it as a hymenopteran relationship. Two scientists using their special knowledge reaching higher than either of them could ever reach alone. And if I may say so, Doctor, you complete me.
      Scully: I got upstairs, you take down.

    • Rocky: A boy ... is secreting bug pheromones? That's impossible. Preposterous.
      Doggett: You're the expert Dr. Bronzino. How else do you explain it, then?
      Scully: Rocky?
      Rocky: A boy is a boy, a bug is a bug. You can't have it both ways.

    • Rocky: You know, when a male and female calliphorid fly mate they stay joined for up to one and a half hours. One and a half, doctor.
      Scully: You know, Rocky ... I'm a mother.
      Rocky: Mothers are women, too.

    • Rocky: It may be the bugs are being somehow driven crazy with desire. You know, they say we humans respond to pheromones, too.
      Scully: Yeah, I tend to agree with that, yeah.
      Rocky: "Women's dormitory syndrome." It's believed that pheromones are the reason that women who live together share the same menstrual cycle.
      Scully: Fascinating.

    • Doggett: The paramedics arrived and treated him for an aggressive attack of body lice.
      Scully: Hmm. Lice are not altogether uncommon in a school environment.
      Doggett: Except that these are better spellers than most of the kids.

    • Doggett: What if somebody put something in his helmet? Insect pheromone. You know, "Spanish Fly"--that stuff you see advertised in the back of magazines that guys use to attract girls. I glance at them for amusement.
      Scully: I may have to brush up on my "Spanish Fly" but I don't think the science works that way. Anyway, before we start looking for M.O., I want to find out what kind of fly would act that aggressively.

    • Doggett: Thanks for coming so quickly.
      Scully: Well, your message said urgent. What is it you want me to look at here?
      Doggett: We were hoping you could tell us.
      Dr. Fountain: Is she the expert?

    • Scully: How does one direct bugs?

    • John Doggett: That's very entertaining, Sky Pilot.
      David Winkle: Sky Commander, if you don't mind.
      John Doggett: And you can call me Sheriff John when I haul your dumb ass off to jail, Winky.

    • (Captain Dare is sitting in a port-a-potty, with the door open)
      Captain Dare: Hey, if you won't give me a kiss how about throwing me a magazine?

  • NOTES (1)

    • The reality show is called 'Dumbass', a spin-off of MTV's 'Jackass' which is also a reality show where the cast performs dangerous and weird stunts.


    • TV show: Rocky & Bullwinkle

      The entomologist is Rocky Bronzino
      The head dumb-asses are Bill (Cap'n Dare) & David Winkle (alias Sky Commander Winky)

    • Dylan is seen wearing a Syd Barrett T-shirt, talks about Barrett to Natalie, and listens to Syd's "No Good Trying" and "Terrapin" during the course of the episode. Barrett was the founder of Pink Floyd (and the subject of their "Shine On You Crazy Diamond") who left the band when mental illness (possibly caused by drug use) rendered him unreliable. Barrett's solo albums are famous for musical unpredictability and the seeming detachment from reality of their creator. It's easy to see how outsider Dylan would relate to Barrett. Also, the cover of Syd's second album (seen among many other posters on Dylan's wall) features an array of flies and other insects.

    • Rocky Bronzino: Help me! Help meeee!

      Dr. Rocky Bronzino, an entomologist, and Scully's "partner" for the episode, says this famous quote from The Fly when he is trapped in a cocoon in the attic.

    • Episode Title: Lord of the Flies

      Lord of the Flies is also the title of a classic novel by William Golding published in 1954. It is the story of a group of schoolboys who are shipwrecked on a deserted island and must fend for themselves until they are rescued. The novel has no bearing on this episode, which is about a teenager who can control insects. It should be noted that in some Christian mythologies, the devil is also referred to as Lord of the Flies because both are associated with death. This may have been the source for Golding's use of the phrase.

      Addition: It is widely believed to have been the source. It is a not quite literal translation of Beelzebub or Ba'alzebub. Baal means Lord in the Canaanite language. Beelzebub was the prince of demons, and usually shown covered in flies, and could control the insects, making it particularly fitting for this episode. And though the stories don't match, it's also about people trying to discover where they fit in in the world, with the outsider not turning out to be so good and exacting his revenge.