The X-Files

Season 3 Episode 13

Syzygy

1
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Jan 26, 1996 on FOX
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (20)

8.5
out of 10
Average
319 votes
  • Syzygy

    10
    Syzygy was a perfectly entertaining episode of The X-Files. I really enjoyed watching because the story was well written, interesting and had some nice horror elements to it. I liked how the two girls had powers because of the cosmic alignment happening, playing on a very interesting subject of how celestial bodies influence us. The character and plot development for Mulder and Scully and their working relationship was amazing. I liked how every thing played out and look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!!!
  • A duo demon girls who are killing people then don't like until they turn on each other

    1.0
    what the CRAP happened to x files?!?!?!

    I am trully disappointed in this episode. What happened to the relationship between Scully and Molder that has been developing from episode 1? It seemed like the writers were all in lulzy moods when they wrote this. The whole atittude of the episode was not the drama you would think to find in an x files episode. These episodes are supposed to be filled with science fiction and suspense. This episode exhibited NONE of those qualities and is a terrible representation of what this series is about. If I never see another episode like this as long as i live, I will die happy.
  • A rare planetary alignment leads to some shenanigans.

    7.0
    Whereas I found some of Darin Morgan's episodes to be hilarious and dark at the same time, I found this episode to be strange, confusing and too heavy on the funny. I can't deny, however, that the lines between Mulder and Scully remained awesome and gave the episode some level of heart. In a way, it reminded me of the episode "3" from Season 2, easily the worst episode of the show to date. Both of these episodes had Mulder acting in a way he normally wouldn't, and it made me both times realize that the writers sometimes lose track of what makes him such a compelling character.

    But enough nitpicking from me: the episode was pretty fun. It was mostly about a planetary alignment that left everybody in the town acting differently than they normally would. People were irrational and were acting weird, especially Mulder and Scully, who seemed to be arguing about every little thing. Every time that Scully said "Sure. Fine. Whatever," I cracked up. And Mulder saying that he wanted to solve the mystery of the horny beast was just as funny as any sitcom on TV right now.

    I suppose overall, it wasn't as bad as some previous episodes, but I was just bothered by the lack of explanation of things and the way the plot seemed to have more plot holes than any other movie or TV show I've seen recently. What in the world was that movie about? The one that kept playing on every channel? Beats me.
  • Sure. Fine. Whatever.

    9.0
    At this stage in the game, Season 3 is shaping up to be a very experimental one for "The X-Files". The "Anasazi" trilogy that opened the season pushed the mythology into uncharted, more personal, yet more global waters. Darin Morgan continues to explore comedy as a tool for his episodes with his two contributions thus far. Even Chris Carter has been in fairly experimental mode, certainly as a director, with his green-hued "The List". Here though is Chris Carter the writer having a go at something a little different. Get this for high concept: Mulder and Scully hate each other's guts. Something as simple as that yields an episode that is jam-packed with quotable line after quotable line, with "Sure. Fine. Whatever." now becoming the stuff of legend. It means that "Syzygy" not only has the rare distinction of being a laugh-out-loud episode, but also it's
    undoubtedly the hardest to spell! Of course any long lasting or close relationship gets tested at some point, so in effect the events depicted here are a refreshing new angle on the relationship between the two. The fact that the two actors attack this with such vigour is testament to how much they both enjoy the change. Anderson in particular makes Scully as snippy as possible. What could be funnier than seeing her stalk off down a corridor in anger, or pacing up and down her hotel room, smoking no less, and whining on about "Detective White". (Who meanwhile is trying to do the horny thing with a surprisingly unwilling and drunk Mulder.) This proves to be very fertile ground for the character of Scully. Natural animosity and dismissal of small town beliefs is actually the perfect scenario for her innate cynicism, something that Mulder doesn't miss an opportunity in calling attention to. Of course let's not forget that this rare planetary alignment (a plot device that emerges very slowly, thereby giving us much time to enjoy the uncharacteristic behaviour of the agents) doesn't just affect the partnership of Mulder and Scully. Take a look at the teenage Carrie wannabes, Terri and Margie. Initially the syzygy homes in on these two and channels their wants and desires, most of which they don't even seem to understand themselves, in destructive directions. It was only a matter of time before such uncontrollable hormones would be unleashed against each other. The two actresses capture well that listless, always pretending to be bored quality that seems to be the hallmark of such girls. The episode also gives Carter the chance to take a few potshots at smalltown life. He would do this to even more exaggerated effect with Season 5's "Post-Modern Prometheus", and it is slowly starting to become an X Files theme in itself, as the last episode "War of the Coprophages" proved. At this juncture though, it seems little more than good-natured ribbing. So we do get a giggle out of the town's paediatrician being a closet transvestite, and the local psychic complaining about the difficulties of running a small business. Just as daring as the fractured relationship on show here is the very tone of the episode as well. This could have gone in many different ways, but the overall tone is one of slapstick. And that's despite the number of teenage deaths that occur throughout. But just take a look at the very well-executed climax where Terri and Margie cause all sorts of havoc in the police station, especially with guns going off left, right and centre. It's all set to Keystone Kops music, giving the whole thing a very goofy quality, when in reality it's a highly dangerous situation. And it's interesting to note too that the moment after the planetary alignment has occurred at midnight on the girls' birthday, everything reverts back to the way it was. Mulder and Scully go back to being (largely) in sync with each other, by shouting "Put that gun down!" in unison to the descending lynch mob. And the two teenage girls revert to being just that. Two teenage girls. Only with really bad hair. Carter can't resist one last pop at our dynamic duo as they drive off into the sunset, with Scully hilariously telling Mulder to shut up. And he, equally delightfully, repeating her mantra of "Sure. Fine. Whatever." A million T-shirt slogans instantly appear in sympathy. 9/10
  • Not a bad episode, but definitely suffered from a few obvious flaws

    6.5
    Okay, I liked the plot for this episode. Sure, it's not horribly original, but it was a fine idea for a filler episode nonetheless. I think it could have been done better. Every person in the town was being affected by the positions of the stars, their behavior becoming erratic and even aggressive--sure, fine, whatever (no pun intended); people behave bizarrely; Mulder and Scully fight constantly...a decent concept, but why were those two teenage girls the ONLY ones with powers, and why were those powers almost identical with the power often associated with witchcraft? I mean, X files could easily have pulled off any number of witch-based episodes, so couldn't they have done something a little more unique with the girls' powers, at least? Finally, my biggest pet peeve with this episode has got to be the two teenagers. I KNOW from experience no high school student talks the way they did...in fact, I think anyone who talked and behaved the way they around the other students would have been social outcasts, no matter how pretty they were. Finally, I really wish Scully and Mulder's bickering could have been resolved somehow. It would have been a little more satisfying for me if they had made up or at least confronted each other about their constant fighting.
    All this said, the episode was funny, and I certainly didn't hate it.
  • One of the best of season 3, IMO.........

    9.5
    In my personal opinion, it was episodes like this that were as important to The X-Files success as any of the myth-arc storyline episodes were. The X-Files was a show that was almost always taken pretty seriously, and with good reason - at the time, id have to guess that there wasnt much on television that was more darker themed than this, and they did it well. For me, it was delightful to see the characters behave so out-of-character - more in the way that two people like Mulder and Scully probably would have behaved, if they were real people in the first place. Yes, its a filler episode - who cares? This episode is as entertaining for me as any other episode i remember watching. I never laughed much while watching The X-Files - i laughed repeatedly while watching "Syzygy", which isnt entirely a bad thing, in my mind. It shows how versatile this show could be, and i have to believe that regardless of what most "true-believer" type fans would say about it, it was episodes like this that kept it on television for as long as it was. If nothing else, i bet that the cast and crew had a great time filming this episode, hopefully as great a time as i have watching it. Cheers!
  • must see episode.

    9.0
    mulder & scully help a detective solve a case of what seemed to be a satanic cult in a small town & the entire community definitely thinks it has something to do w/ satanists. there's numerology, cosmic thing involved revolving a twins whose celebrating their birthday. they have psychokinesis & is somewhat possessed by something. as always, i like the conversations, this time w/ mulder, scully & the detective disagreeing most of the time ending in scully's impatience, sarcastic remarks & trademark skepticism against mulder's beliefs & opinions. that scene w/ mulder drinking, & scully smoking then walked into mulder & the detective in a very compromising position (do i detect a hint of jealousy on scully's part?) maybe the result of something wicked in the air affecting them. lastly, the narration in the end closing w/ the last line 'maybe the answer lies even further from our grasp.
  • The X-Files' attempts at humor were 50% fan faves and 50% dogs. This funny / cute episode is unique in that it's merely good. Syzygy excels in its quote worthiness, but falls flat in its attempt to synthesize disparate wackiness into comic transcendence.

    7.1
    Syzygy is a good episode of the X-Files, a comedy episode that both benefits and hurts from its placement in the series. On one hand, it's buoyed by the inherent strengths of Season Three, i.e. the moody Vancouver production, and the Mulder / Scully relationship being at just the right moment for a completely divergent, pick-on-each-other, let's-satirize-their-foibles episode. On the other hand, Syzygy suffers from following an episode that better conveyed many of these same situations: Mulder / Scully / Babe triangle, Mulder and Scully drifting apart (without resolution at the end), and comic mass hysteria.

    On its own, Syzygy will probably be remembered, for better and for worse, for its 'cutesifying' of the Mulder / Scully relationship. While bits like Scully's feet touching the pedal, and Mulder sniffing Scully as she berates him do satirize their own relationship, the handful of oft repeated phrases in the episode serve to reduce the characters to catchphrases, and even worse, lamely cash in on a pop culture trend - 'sure, fine, whatever' - that over ten years later just sounds bizarre.

    Beyond the Mulder / Scully moments, the episode also has memorable supporting characters. While the sequences featuring the detective and the townspeople poorly walk in the Darin Morgan tradition of having everyone in a small community share the same verbose and stilted banter, the moments with the two girls, and with the seer are spot on. Particularly with girls, while the dialogue isn't any less groanworthy than previous X-Files teen episodes (e.g. D.P.O), by having the actresses overdo it a little, Chris Carter finds just the right tone of camp (think early Buffy) to make not only the comedy scenes funny, but the violent ones as well.
  • The one where an improbable astrological conjunction wreaks havoc on a small town - and on Mulder and Scully's relationship and personalities. Absolutely hysterical.

    9.6
    This is one of my favorite 'monster-of-the-week' episodes: the town goes nutty, and therefore so do Mulder and Scully. They start acting bizarrely -- Mulder sniffs Scully to see if she's wearing his favorite perfume, Scully becomes snappy and rude, Mulder drinks, Scully smokes, a local detective jumps Mulder, Scully is *none* too pleased, etc etc. Mulder and Scully have some of their most snippy and hysterical moments ever, including the classic "Why do you always have to drive? Because you’re the guy? Because you’re the big macho-man?" and Mulder's amazingly mean and witty reply: "No. I was just never sure your little feet could reach the pedals." Also this episode is the originator of the X-Files classic quote: "Sure. Fine. Whatever" - when Scully is at her most obnoxious -- and repeated throughout the episode.

    My favorite line: Mulder and Scully fight over who will pick up a doctor's bag with their gloves, and Mulder says, "No, no, be my guest. I know how much you like snapping on the latex."

    The plot of this episode is over the top, and the acting of the local characters is patchy, but watch it for the humor. You won't want this episode to end.
  • It's a filler, but it's still pretty good. The story's not exactly original - the witchy power of two young women - but it's not bad.

    8.0
    Two young girls born at exactly the same time find they have some very special powers, which they don't plan on using for anything good. And with the planets aligning in a very particular way, even Mulder and Scully are bickering like a long-married couple.

    Though it's concerned with some very dark forces, it's really a very funny episode in many ways too. The woman who runs the psychic shop is a hoot - waiting until Mulder's credit card clears before she'll give him any information. Det. White as a potential sex interest for Mulder, who goes into sexual overdrive as the episode progresses, only to be discovered on top of Mulder by Scully, who is not best pleased. The arguments between the two of them are hilarious - 'whatever!' - and seeing Scully smoking and Mulder drinking takes them into an area we're not used to seeing.

    The paranoia of the villagers - who only seem to lack pitchforks and lit torches - mirrors the Frankenstein films of old, and suddenly ganging up on a doctor, who for some unfathomable reason is seen being more afraid of being revealed as a transvestite than a murderer, puts another angle on things.

    The two girls are brilliant, especially in their final witchy outfits, which are so over the top somebody would surely have noticed they weren't the sweet blonde virgins they were so worried about being. The fact that the whole thing is really one whole catfight between friends who become rivals is so banal that it's wonderful - and all the deaths have no particular reason for them, which is particularly chilling.

    It's not a classic episode for me, but it does have some classic moments - it doesn't quite add up to the sum of its parts, but it doesn't fail to be interesting throughout.
  • The Witching Hour

    7.5
    After the inspired hilarity of "Coprophages," the comedy attempted by writer Chris Carter in this episode falls a bit flat but there are a few gems here, most notably the angry sparks that begin flying between Mulder and Scully as she senses that Mulder is attracted to Detective White. Mulder's crack about Scully's "short little legs" made me laugh out loud. I also laughed at Mulder drinking a makeshift screwdriver out of a vodka bottle in his motel room.

    The whole Keystone cops thing got old for me real fast, especially the scene in the police station near the end where the cops are all acting like Keystone Cops. It just seemed stupid and uninspired to me.
  • "Sure Fine Whatever"

    6.7
    What can I Say about this episode? It's great by itself specially the scenes between mulder & Scully when mulder says he's driving then Scully asks him why 'n all that! then at the end of the show has my favorite quote: Mulder: Ah, Scully, if I'm not mistaken, we're going to be taking a left up here. Uh, there's an intersection up here. You're going to want to -- (Scully shows no sign of slowing down) Scully! You're going to want to-- (Scully speeds through the stop sign) You just ran a stop sign back there, Scully.
    Scully: Shut up, Mulder.
    Mulder: .... Sure. Fine. Whatever.

    LOL What an Episode!
  • Hilarious and insightful!

    9.5
    The obvious remark to make here is that this episode was absolutely hilarious, so I thought I'd just get that out of the way right off the bat. I believe this episode is the funniest one I've seen yet. There have been others that were humorously toned, but this was full-out hilarious. Now that that's out of the way, I have to put on my "Over-thinking Cap" and dissect some plot points. First of all, if the planetary alignment was affecting the temperaments of the residents, how was it determined who would get affected the most and why? I know the astrologist (cleverly written part, by the way) explained the basics of what we, the audience, needed to know. She only provides, however, that "some will be affected more than others." Although everyone was affected slightly, the characters with the most change were clearly Scully and that hysterical principal guy. We don't know what his story is, but I think I can venture a guess when it comes to Scully. I'm not going to go for the obvious answer of, "She's jealous!" No, instead, I think the writers chose to magnify Scully's insecurity within her relationship to Mulder as explored in previous episodes and to elaborate on an already settled theme. Scully is a strong, independent woman who finds herself growing increasingly (and uncontrollably) more dependent on Mulder. This creates within her an imbalance, especially in the way she perceives herself. As she struggles to maintain her previous sense of self, she resents Mulder and his implacable calm and cool demeanor and his eagerness to always provide the arm for her to lean on, at the same time as acknowledging that she does need that arm from time to time. Dealing with this latent frustration through time, and added to the strain their relationship has been suffering from lately, and the fact that the planetary alignment is focusing so intensely on Scully's weakness is no surprise. And she handled it by asserting her independence, at the same time as rebuking Mulder for seeming to "ditch" her during the investigation. All of it was to achieve the same goal, albeit indirectly. To assert dominance within the relationship and demand respect from the man who she views as suddenly entering into her independence and encroaching on it. Haha. Aside from the overanalysis, I have to say that my favorite moment in this episode is when Scully pulls Mulder into the hallway with a crisp, "Can I talk to you outside?" And Mulder's subsequent look of chagrin. It was the most "I'm in trouble..." look I've ever seen from him, and it's so funny.
  • Great episode, one of my favorite.

    9.5
    This was a very special episode, without a doubt. Watching Scully freaking out because of Mulder's relationship with the local detective was unreal. When she was in the room alone, smoking!!! and going around one side to other been jealous was hilarius. Mulder's joke to Scully: "No. I wasnt never sure our little feet could reach the pedals..." after she was picking on him for been the "big man" was so cool.

    Yeah, they're all under the influence of the planetary alignment but some the parts of this episode were priceless!

    Kudos to Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny for the great acting and to Chris Carter for the excelent writing.
  • all in the stars

    7.5

    “Syzygy” see’s Mulder and Skully investigate a series of Murders at a small town. Two girls (who look hot sometimes, and real bad at others) are witnesses at all of them. The town folk go mad, and do the Frankenstein ending- if you know what I mean. So Mulder and Skully must find out who’s killing who. So it turns out the girls have like Witch powers due to the alignment of the stars (this has got to be the most crappy way to resolve the episode). But overall its an ok episode. The intro see’s the Guy from “Blade Trinity” and the remake of “The Amityville Horror” get killed. It’s nice to see that Hollywood actors started small. 7 out of 10
  • The one with the satanic best friends

    9.9
    This episode was just over the top great. Some hilarious lines ‘Sure, fine. whatever’ and ‘Horny beast’ which brings the show to a much better and developed place, also the episode was just plain interesting, sadly Scully did piss me off.

    It all begins with Ryan Reynolds (who is a terrible actor btw) mourning over his loss of a friend, later on he goes with two strange chicks to claim to be virgins but afraid, they seem to think that there is a cult and that the cult will sacrifice a virgin blond, the next day cops find the body of the young man hanged up.

    At the funeral of the boy, Mulder and Scully arrive, a detective (female, blond and pretty) tells them about what has been going on but Scully and her rude face starts to act like a spoiled b!tch. Then the coffin of the young man burns up.

    Anyway the two girls who claimed to have seen him die tell exactly the same and cheesy story, a cult dragged them out of the car and killed a baby but they managed to escape when they weren’t looking.

    Anyway, when Mulder and Scully and that other detective investigate the boy’s body they find some horny beast burned on it. with horny beast you know what I mean ;)

    Another cool scene was the basketball practice, the girls were looking at boys and they find one of them handsome but he already has a girlfriend ‘hate her, wouldn’t wanna date her’ and then a dork annoys them and spills their drinks, they take revenge and when he’s under the bleaches they make it squish the poor nerd.

    The downside of the episode were the people who were out of control, they were just plain annoying and when they find a bag filled with child bones it turned out to be the dog of one of the killer virgins.

    Then Scully-face gets mad at Mulder and says that he is making her look bad and that she is leaving back to Washington.

    The next day it’s the girl’s birthday, they are at a party and the girlfriend of the guy they wanted went to the bathroom after her future saying that she would marry Satan. She sees the other two girls who changed their clothes and then they call upon Bloody marry and then the other girls at the party hear her scream.

    While Scully is in her own apartment smoking, Mulder is drinking and on all the channels is the same movie. Mulder gets a visit from the detective who starts drinking as well and then they make out, when Scully enters their room she finds the detective on top of Mulder and is furious.

    Scully goes with the detective to the crime scene because the girl was impaled by the glass and Mulder goes somewhere else. He gets called by one of the two girls who is crying after having a fight with her best friend, they killed the boy they wanted and they blame each other for all the deaths while the other girl goes to the town folk and to Scully.

    When both girls see each other again in the cop station, al the guns start to fire and everything acts strange, Mulder puts both girls in a closet and when they open the door again everyone find them crying together, one of the town’s folk says that it was Satan.

    Okay so both girls were born at the same place and time. But what I didn’t get, were they evil? Or were they possessed?
    All in all, it was a great dark comedy episode with lots of memorable things.
  • A rare planetary alignment serves no courtesy to a small town that piques the interest of Mulder and Scully.

    9.0
    Astrologists? This episode is for you. And it's a good one.

    In an excellent follow-up to the previous week's masterpiece War of the Coprophages, Syzygy is a still humorous but edgier hour of television that plays on the character interactions of Mulder and Scully in wonderful fashion.

    After the somewhat disturbing episode teaser (bringing the edgier attitude to this show), we find Mulder and Scully entering Comity as we see a sign that says "Leaving Comity". A clever way of saying civility will not be present in this episode. In fact, the whole town is backwards -- evidenced a few seconds later as Mulder and Scully have to turn around in order to go in the right direction.

    Mysterious deaths have been occurring in the town at the hands of two teenagers, best friends who happened to be born the same important minute. Their behavior emphasizes the astronomically historic moment: a planetary syzygy -- which Madame Zirinka believes is responsible for the weird goings-on in Comity.

    Meanwhile, Mulder and Scully are not getting along, and it appears that the third wheel in the episode (Detective Angela White) is a leading catalyst to the conflict. It doesn't help when Scully bursts into Mulder's room at a very inopportune moment. The fact that Scully is smoking and Mulder is drinking is also evidence of the rather strange behavior.

    As the clock nears midnight, the two teenagers begin to lose control. An innocent kid is murdered, and the two turn against each other. The episode culminates in a rambunctiously exaggerated scene that features the two of them in a room by themselves. At midnight, everything quiets down. The fallout is over, symbolized by Mulder and Scully racing out of town ("Entering Comity").

    This episode is a winner for many reasons. One: Duchovny and Anderson relish their roles in this episode and often work best together with humor and conflict both in their midst. Two: The episode is devilishly dark in tone. Really, the episode is a dark comedy and somewhat of a satire. Although much of the episode is humorous, there is a sense of urgency to the show. Suspense intertwined with humor? It doesn't get much better. Three: Chris Carter is at the top of his game when he has a somewhat odd look at a particular episode (Take, for example, The Post-Modern Prometheus and Triangle). Many of his previous episodes are "what-you-see-is-what-you-get" in tone -- and, therefore, mainstream feeling. This episode is certainly not -- and it is a success because of that fact. Four: Rob Bowman's direction, which nails the tone of the episode. Bowman had very quickly shown his directorial stripes in this series. His direction here is pitch-perfect. Five: The guest performances were first-rate, from the innocent "one-dimensional" victims to the hyperbolic "air-headish" teenaged monsters to the sly and racy Detective White. Each flavor of character was warranted and appreciated.

    Syzygy is The X-Files doing what it does best. Exploring the paranormal with an abnormal view upon it.
  • My favorite episode.

    10
    I'm a sucker for astrology.

    This episode was great. I loved the tension between Scully, Mulder, and Detective Angela White.

    The teen dialogue, "hate him" "hate him wouldn't want to date him" was really cute.

    I definitely give this episode a perfect 10. Such an excellent installment of the series.
  • Scully jealous?

    9.5
    As the story line when on, I found Scully to be quit the "ice queen" I don't know if it was jealousy of the “closeness” between Detective White and Mulder or if the case was really annoying her. I personally would like to believe that Scully was jealous, or if she wasn’t it really looked as if she was. She was more sceptical than ever in this episode. I thought Gillian Anderson did a great job on this episode.
    Mulder was at the top of his game, I found the “flirtation” between him and detective White very humorous. When White pushed Mulder onto the bed and started kissing him, and Scully walked in… that moment was priceless! I could actually see the steam coming out of Scully’s ears ;)
  • two teenage bestfriends born on the same day at exactly the same time thats trouble!! :)

    8.9
    this episode is one of my favourites because being a teenager myself the 2 bestfriends go through the same things as a normal teenager but if they dont like it they have the power to do somthing about it like move things with there mind but they take things to the extreme eg. murder, and they use there power so much that eventually they turn on each other so scully and mulder must find a way to stop them before it to late. this is a real suspence packed episode :)
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