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Synchrony

Synchrony (4x19), a repeat from the middle of season four, follows the adventures of a really cold old guy as he desperately searches for three young MIT scientists on the streets of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Catching up with two of the scientists, he warns that one will be hit by a bus and die at exactly 11:46 p.m. Security hauls the old guy away, the two scientists continue on and sure enough one of them is smacked into oblivion by a lumbering piece of mass transit. The bus driver blames the living student (Jason Nichols), and the bewildered young science geek is taken into custody. To complicate matters, the security guard responsible for arresting the old guy is frozen to death and somehow Jason's fingerprints are found on the body.

So here's what you've got: One dead MIT researcher, one frozen security guard with a core temperature of 8 degrees, one haggard young cryobiologist in custody and one old guy running through the streets of Bean Town freezing people. Sounds like an X-file.

After another frozen corpse is found, Mulder and Scully begin to piece things together. The cause of death in both cases is determined to be a previously uninvented, synthetic compound. So how does a non-existent compound capable of Icy Death find it's way into the bloodstream of its victims? Enter the time-travel angle. Mulder concocts a thesis (with minimal evidence, you've gotta love how he can do that) that Jason (the old guy) has come back from the future with this miracle ice compound in tow. His mission: To save the world.

Oh how right he was. The Old Jason confronts Lisa Lanelli, his girlfriend and the scientist who eventually makes the connection between time travel and flash freezing. In a "Terminator 2" soliloquy he whines about a world where there's no history and no hope for the future. He's come back to correct the mistakes of the past. Too bad correcting these mistakes means offing his friends. After embracing Lisa he pokes her with his hypodermic thingy and she turns into a 5'7" ice cube.

But! Scully has discovered a cure for this flash freezing epidemic, and she brings Lisa back from the land of icy cool breath. Meanwhile, Young Jason has met up with Old Jason and the two struggle, smack around and eventually settle into the weirdest suicide ever concocted. The world is saved...for the time being.

Synchrony is an intelligent episode that deals with this old time-travel theme effectively. Adding quotes from Scully's thesis (provided, verbatim, by Mulder) was a nice touch -- especially since it meant Scully had to eat her words on two occasions. Not too shabby at all.

Note: This review originally appeared at Ontap.com. It's reprinted here for archival purposes.



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