The X-Files

Season 4 Episode 19


Aired Monday 9:00 PM Apr 13, 1997 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
277 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

A case involving a strange old man warning two scientists of events in the immediate future which come to pass; and the use of their experimental flash-freezing compound that does not exist yet, has Mulder believing that one of the scientists has come from the future to stop his own scientific breakthrough from becoming reality.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

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  • Synchrony

    Synchrony was a superb and pretty entertaining episode of The X-Files. I really enjoyed watching because there was intrigue, action and some mystery with time travel. I liked the story and it was interesting to see how it all played out. Watching Mulder and Scully investigate was awesome and it was nice to see their opposing views and for Mulder to call Scully out on a paper she wrote in the past. I look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!moreless
  • Back To The Future

    Time travel stories are inherently problematic as it hard to resolve all the logical inconsistencies that are presented. If time travel were possible, wouldn't more people than just Jason come back, and if so, wouldn't our present be utter chaos as everyone and their grandmother travels back in time to rewrite history?

    I wasn't clear as to why the elder Jason felt the need to go postal and kill everyone involved after failing to save Lucas in the opening teaser. Surely, there would have been a less drastic way to ensure that his research was discredited. Perhaps by writing an anonymous letter, or destroying data or any one of a number of things short of murdering even himself. I know, not as dramatic, but it's these type of inconsistencies that bring me out of the story since I no longer trust where the writer is taking me.moreless
  • Mulder and Scully look into someone who is somehow freezing people to death

    I was surprised with this episode; the ratings of it lead me to believe that it wouldn't be all that great, but it was actually pretty interesting. I think the show could've done a little more with the premise, but for a 43 minute episode, they did a good job.

    What I liked the most was how misleading it was. The episode starts off with an old man predicting the death of a researcher. There's some focus on this for a little while until Mulder and Scully find somebody who is completely frozen, despite the weather being nowhere near bad enough to freeze somebody. They come to the conclusion that the old man who predicted the death must be responsible. We then get some of the episode focused on the "freezing" aspect of the case. Things change yet again when a photograph is found of the people involved in the case of an event that hasn't happened. Finally, the episode opens up, and halfway through, we realize how close to their chest the writers were holding their cards.

    Time travel was the basic premise of the episode, and I think they could've focused a lot more on that. However, that's just a minor pet peeve. There were some good Mulder and Scully moments again, and the plot itself had enough twists and ridiuclous sci-fi stuff to keep me entertained from beginning to end. I was glad to see an episode with a lower rating actually end up being pretty good.moreless
  • Not a bad episode... (spoilers)

    This episode, in my opinion was just OK. I liked the idea of time travel and the cryogenics aspect of it, but I still found myself almost a tad bored with it.

    I knew from the very beginning that the old man was Jason, but the reasons as to why were kept secret until about halfway through.

    I loved the spontaneous combustion of the doctor after being in the tub. It was a good twist added, and I found myself happy when Scully found out how to keep the woman alive in the end.

    Did anyone else notice that Mulder could have kept the Jasons alive? He's staring at them while their of fire while holding a FIRE EXTINGUISHER. I just thought that was pretty funny. :)moreless
  • Back to the past

    Synchrony is all about time travel, you could compare it to Terminator in the fact that the killer is coming from the future to kill some one in the past, but thats the only likeness- no arnie, no robots. Its actually a pretty good episode were the futute killer comes back to kill himself and a couple of more people, in various ways. There are some really good special effects and make up as well as some grade A acting. Overall i would give this episode 8 out of 10 as its pretty good. Shame there was no "I'll be back".moreless
Joseph Fuqua

Joseph Fuqua

Jason Nichols

Guest Star

Susan Lee Hoffman

Susan Lee Hoffman

Lisa Ianelli

Guest Star

Michael Fairman

Michael Fairman

old Jason Nichols

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • Plot Hole: Scully stated in her thesis, that one universe can only produce one outcome. From that, Mulder believes that history cannot be changed and that, in the end, timetravel will be invented. However, the events prove, that history can indeed be changed, as the photo is never taken and yet exists. So either both Scully and Mulder are wrong or it is a mistake the writers of this episode made.

    • In the shot of the 6th Precinct police station, it has a California state flag flying out front. The episode took place in Massachusetts, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    • When Lisa gets off the bus, the number of the bus is different to the one we saw heading downtown, the one that she presumably was on.

    • Scully's statement that she was 23 when she wrote her senior thesis in college throws off her timeline of college, med school, residency, FBI Academy, Quantico teaching assignment for two years, and X-Files assignment at 28. Her undergraduate degree in Physics should have been completed when she was 20 or 21 to allow at least 4 or 5 years for her medical training.

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Mulder: I think the real question is how somebody could have had access to a compound that doesn't exist.

    • Mulder: So what's your medical opinion Scully?
      Scully: Well my best guess would be that he's been exposed to some kind of chemical refrigerant, like liquid nitrogen, possibly even ingested it.
      Mulder: Well, you see what happens when you drink and drive?

    • Scully: It's a celebration, but of what?
      Mulder: Of something that never happened.
      Scully: What? Mulder, this is a photograph. It is a documented moment in time.
      Mulder: In a future that somebody is trying like hell to prevent from happening.
      Scully: What?
      Mulder: Think about it, Scully. If Lucas Menand never gets hit by the bus, his complaint gets heard before the grant committee. Jason Nichols loses his funding and he never gets to collaborate on his research with Dr. Yonechi. Therefore, this photograph never gets taken because this celebration never happens.
      Scully: Yeah, and if your sister is your aunt and your mother marries your uncle, you'd be your own grandpa.

    • Mulder: Although common sense may rule out the possibility of time travel, the laws of quantum physics certainly do not. In case you forgot, that's from your graduate thesis. You were a lot more open-minded when you were a youngster.

    • Mulder: He gave a rather detailed description of the old man.
      Scully: What was he wearing, a long black robe and carrying a scythe?

  • NOTES (4)

    • The molecular model of the "freezing" catalyst shown in this episode contains less than 10 atoms and likely corresponds to a common organic compound rather than any fictional catalyst.

    • This episode marks the first reference to NMR spectroscopy on The X-Files.

    • Hiro Kanagawa has also appeared in a previous episode of X-Files. He played Peter Tanaka in second season's episode "Firewalker".

    • Guest Writer David Greenwalt and Howard Gordon will work together again when Gordon joins the crew of Buffy the Vampire Slayer as a Consulting Producer and as a Staff Writer on the spinoff series Angel. Interestingly, Greenwalt was originally offered a job as a Writer for The X-Files but turned it down to work on Buffy.