season 4, episode 19, “synchrony”
when i first got into “the x-files” it was the summer between season seven and eight. i had seven seasons to go back and watch. i was fascinated by mulder and scully and their relationship that any episodes i rewatched over and over were heavy on the shipperdom (and the scully-centric episodes because i’m a scullyist). there are many episodes i only watched one time because i was just ship, ship, ship, all the live long day. this global rewatch leading up to the revival is making me appreciate episodes i didn’t give much consideration to back then. i also never watched the show in order and some episodes benefit from seeing them at the time it was originally intended, chronologically. “synchrony” is one of those episodes. i couldn’t remember anything about this episode, so i thought it would be another dud, like “unrequited,” but it was really entertaining. time travel is always an interesting concept. and although i think “the x-files” could’ve gone much further with the idea, i still think this is a strong episode.
the back to the future vibe starts with the first scene. the camera starts on the town clock and booms down to an old man frantically running though the park. i actually wrote “major back to the future vibes” in my notes for the rewatch and then i found out why and that the opening shot was intentionally evoking that connection. aside from the main theme of time travel, the similarities with the movie end there. this is an x-files case through and through. there’s a lot of cool science, neat effects, and great moments between our agents. you don’t see a man frozen to death, then resuscitated only to heat internally to the point of bursting into flames everyday. “the x-files” was always pushing the envelope with scenes and ideas like this.
mulder and scully do their normal believer-skeptic dance, but, still, it’s delightful to watch. mulder, not surprisingly, is able to get to the time travel theory rather quickly. scully, also not surprisingly, is questioning the possibility. mulder quotes scully’s graduate thesis several times to her trying to prove his theory. he’s basically using her own words against her. the words of her younger self. kind of like the battle between the young and old dr. nichols. “puts a whole new spin on being your own worst enemy.” smart writing coupled with the cool effects and the mind-bending concept made this an enjoyable episode. now i see that it’s definitely worthy of multiple viewings. if only i could go back in time and tell my younger self.
there is a lot of closeness in this episode! they stand super close. they sit really close on a bed.
he quotes her thesis in order to use it against her. that means he’s read it enough to be able to quote it. she may act like she’s annoyed, but there’s a small smile behind it showing that she loves that he’s read it and remembered it. she tries to hide the fact that she’s flattered behind feigned irritation, but it’s not working we know it and he knows it.
s: “what was he wearing? a long, black robe and carrying a scythe?”
m: “let’s hope that he keeps until thanksgiving.”
s: “and if your sister is your aunt and your mother marries your uncle you’d be your own grandpa.”
m: “what do you mean ‘whacked?'”
s: “i know what i wrote, mulder.”
s: ” i was 23 when i wrote that.”
mulder uses scully’s thesis against her