A mysterious old man is killing scientists working on the development of a cryobiologic compound. He freezes them to death with this same compound that doesn't even exist yet.


(as James Charleston)


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Episode complete credited cast:
Lisa Ianelli
Lucas Menand
Dr. Yonechi
Chuck Lukerman
Norman Armour ...
Patricia Idlette ...
Desk Clerk
Brent Chapman ...
Security Cop
Terry Arrowsmith ...
Uniformed Cop
Aurelio DiNunzio ...
Detective (as Aureleo Di Nunzio)


Mulder and Scully investigate a accident that was predicted by an old man who accosted the victim a few minutes before to warn him he would be run over by a bus, which is exactly what happens. The man, a university professor, was with one of his students, Jason Nichols when the accident happened. The old man was taken into custody by the campus police but the arresting officer is found frozen to death and mysteriously, is still getting colder. The old man escapes and a visiting Japanese scientist is also found frozen to death. The obvious suspect is Nichols but Mulder begins to suspect that something far more complex is happening. Written by garykmcd

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TV-14 | See all certifications »




Release Date:

13 April 1997 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The script took over a week of writing, with sessions of 15 daily hours and the contributions of John Shiban, Frank Spotnitz and Ken Horton. See more »


(at around 10 mins) Mulder knocks a hole in the window using a fire extinguisher just before the two men burst into flames. He makes no attempt to put them out using the extinguisher he is still holding. See more »


Mulder: If Lucas Menand never gets hit by that bus, his complaint gets heard before the grand 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: ...And if your sister is your aunt and your mother marries your uncle, you'd be your own grandpa!
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References Frosty the Snowman (1969) See more »


The X-Files
Written by Mark Snow
Performed by John Beal
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User Reviews

"It's better that we never were."
27 June 2017 | by (Florida, New York) – See all my reviews

Mixing two different scientific concepts like cryogenics and time travel was probably a bad idea for this episode because the difficulty in making a connection between the two is more than apparent. I just finished watching the episode and already the way the ideas were presented is fading from memory. And the way Mulder figured out that the older Jason (Michael Fairman) came from the future basically came out of nowhere. When I was watching these shows two decades ago I didn't question the lack of credibility in some of these episodes, so if I could go back in time about twenty years I'd save myself a lot of aggravation.

But if one is willing to cast aside all semblance of logic, an X-File like this can be quite intriguing. I did learn by looking it up, that 'synchrony' refers to a state in which things happen, move, or exist at the same time, and 'vitrification' relates to fast freezing, a process that's presently used to freeze human eggs and embryos so they can be used at a later time.

As for time travel, I think older Jason had it pretty much correct. Knowing something is going to happen in the future has all sorts of ramifications in the present, not the least of which is an inherent possibility of changing the future. For example, by torching himself and young Jason Nichols (Joseph Fuqua), he guaranteed that this episode never happened. So what did I just watch? You figure it out.

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