Detour (The X-Files)

Detour (The X-Files)
The X-Files episode
Episode no. Season 5
Episode 4
Original air date November 23, 1997
Guest stars
  • Scott Burkholder as Agent Michael Kinsley
  • Colleen Flynn as Officer Michele Fazekas
  • Merrilyn Gann as Mrs. Asekoff
  • Alf Humphreys as Michael Asekoff
  • Simon Longmore as Marty Fox
  • Anthony Rapp as Jeff Glaser
  • Tom Scholte as Michael Sloan
  • Tyler Thompson as Louis Asekoff
  • JC Wendel as Agent Carla Stonecypher
Episode chronology
← Previous
"The Unusual Suspects"
Next →
"The Post-Modern Prometheus"
List of season 5 episodes
List of The X-Files episodes

"Detour" is the fourth episode aired in the fifth season of The X-Files. While traveling to a conference with Scully and two other FBI agents, Mulder stops at a roadblock to join a nearby inspection of attacks by an unidentified predator.



Two men are surveying an area of the forest in Leon County, Florida when they are attacked by unseen assailants with glowing red eyes and killed.

Later that day, Michael Asekoff and his son, Louis, are hunting for possums with their dog (Bo) in the same stretch of woods when they come across the abandoned equipment. Upon discovering a surveyor's bloody jacket, the father orders his son to take the dog and run home. As the son and dog take off, two shots go off.

Meanwhile, Mulder and Scully are carpooling with Agents Kinsley and Stonecypher, en route to a leadership and "team building" seminar. When they are stopped at a roadblock by local police, Mulder decides to investigate. As Mulder and Scully venture into the woods, they are informed by Officer Michele Fazekas that no conclusive evidence has been found despite the boy's report of a shooting. Mulder sees this as a perfect opportunity to ditch the seminar.

That night, Scully visits Mulder in his hotel room after the reception. Mulder informs her that not one species native to North America will attack a stronger member of its prey when there is a weaker target available.

At the Asekoff residence, Bo becomes upset and begins barking. Mrs. Asekoff lets him outside but when she attempts to retrieve him, the dog refuses to budge. She turns to go back inside but discovers that it has been bolted from the inside. Louis hears his mother's screams and climbs out of bed, but a dark, shadowy figure with red eyes corners him. Louis barely escapes through the dog door where he runs into Mulder, informing him of the creature's whereabouts in the house.

The next morning, Mulder shows Scully some tracks by the front door of the house that appear to be human. Based on the weight distribution, however, the assailant evidently travels on the balls of its feet rather than from heel to toe. Additionally, that the creature lured the mother out of the house in order to get to Louis suggests to Mulder that the creatures are paranormal in nature.

Jeff Glaser, a local technician armed with a foward looking infrared (FLIR) device, joins Fazekas, Mulder, and Scully on a search for the creature. They soon spot two creatures on the FLIR, though they are unable to spot them otherwise. The two creatures travel in separate directions, causing the four to split up. Officer Fazekas is attacked and disappears. Mulder deduces from this that the creatures may be related to the Mothman of Point Pleasant, West Virginia. After a brief encounter with the creatures, Jeff takes off running and is swiftly killed by a creature. Mulder is grabbed by the other creature, though it releases him after Scully manages to wound it with her firearm. The two camp out in the woods over night, and Scully sings "Joy to the World" by Three Dog Night while Mulder rests so that he can know she is awake and on guard.

The next morning, while foraging for berries, Scully falls through a hole into an underground chamber where the bodies of their missing companions are stored. Spotting a pair of red eyes, Scully realizes she doesn't have her firearm on her. Mulder drops his down to her as the bushes behind him begin to rustle. He jumps in the hole as Scully shoots the creature and kills it. As they examine the dead creature, they notice its almost human-like features and wood-like skin. Nearby, the words "Ad Noctum" (Latin for "into darkness") are found carved into a tree trunk.

Shortly thereafter, Agents Stonecypher and Kinsley, with police in tow, locate Mulder and Scully and help them out of the hole. Michael Asekoff and Officer Fazekas are found alive, but there is no sign of Jeff or the other creature.

Meanwhile, Mulder realizes that the creatures presume others' presence in their territory as threatening and rushes to the hotel room where Scully is packing her things. After ascertaining that she is finished packing, he firmly urges her to vacate the room, which she does. The camera then pans under the bed where a pair of red eyes open.


The episode earned a Nielsen rating of 13.2, with an 19 share. A total of 22.8 million households watched this episode during its original airing.[1] IGN named it the seventh best standalone X-Files episode of the entire series.[2]


  1. ^ Meisler,Andy (1999). Resist or Serve: The Official Guide to the X-Files Volume 4. Harper Prism. p. 284. 
  2. ^ Collura, Scott, et al. "IGN's 10 Favorite X-Files Standalone Episodes". Retrieved 15 November 2011. 

External links

  • Detour article at The X-Files wiki.

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