16 May 2007

Season 4: Synchrony (4X19)

Writers: Howard Gordon and David Greenwalt
Director: Jim Charleston

As Jason Nichols and Lucas Menand, two researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology argue in the street, an elderly man approaches them and warns Lucas that he will be knocked down by a bus at 11.46 pm. Campus security arrest the elderly man for harassing them. Moments later Lucas steps in to the road and is hit by a bus, Jason Nichols notes that the time is exactly 11.46 pm.

Mulder and Scully are called in to investigate after the Campus Security guard who arrested the elderly man is found frozen to death. They interview Jason Nichols, who tells them that he was arguing with Lucas because he was going to go public with an accusation that Jason had falsified data on his research paper. Dr Yonechi, a Japanese researcher is met by the same elderly man at the airport and is later found frozen in his hotel room. Scully finds evidence that he was injected with an unidentified chemical compound.

A compound that another MIT researcher, Lisa Ianelli recognises as a freezing agent currently being engineered by Jason Nichols but it has not been invented yet. She also admits that Jason is protecting her as she falsified the data in the research paper. They trace the elderly man to a hotel room and find a photograph of Jason, Lisa and Dr Yonechi celebrating, which Mulder believes was taken on the day that the freezing agent was invented five years in the future. It appears that the elderly man is using technology from the future to change the present and thus alter the future.

If any of you have some notes about this episode, please let me know. Thanks!

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.

Episode Number: 92
Season Number: 4
First Aired: Sunday, April 13, 1997
Production Code: 4X19

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