The X-Files: Season 3, Episode 13

Syzygy (26 Jan. 1996)
"The X Files" Syzygy (original title)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
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Scully and Mulder investigate a series deaths all involving boys from the same high school. The town is in a uproar and rumors of a satanic cult being responsible abound. Everyone in town ... See full summary »

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Title: Syzygy (26 Jan 1996)

Syzygy (26 Jan 1996) on IMDb 7.8/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
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Dana Wheeler-Nicholson ...
Det. Angela White
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Margi Kleinjan (as Wendy Benson)
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Terri Roberts
Garry Davey ...
Bob Spitz
Denalda Williams ...
Zirinka
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Brenda
...
Jay De Boom
...
Dr. R.W. Godfrey
Ryk Brown ...
Minister
Jeremy Radick ...
Young Man
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Scott Simmons
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Storyline

Scully and Mulder investigate a series deaths all involving boys from the same high school. The town is in a uproar and rumors of a satanic cult being responsible abound. Everyone in town seems to be acting out of character, including the two FBI agents. Scully has become an exaggerated caricature of her skeptical self while Mulder is even more aloof, taking to mocking her at every turn. Mulder's visit to a local astrologer however reveals an unusual planetary alignment that results in a cosmic forces being centered on two high school girls. Written by garykmcd & New_Light

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26 January 1996 (USA)  »

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Trivia

Denalda Williams (Zirinka) previously appeared in the episode "Irresistible" (#2.13) as Marilyn. See more »

Goofs

The planets and the moon are shown, at the beginning and the end, as being in a sort of triangle formation. This would never happen as the sun, moon, and all the planets orbit on the same plane (the ecliptic plane) and are always in line with each other. In addition, one of the planets mentioned as being in alignment, Uranus, cannot be seen with the naked eye See more »

Quotes

Scully: This has gone on far enough.
Mulder: What?
Scully: I am not going to be humiliated by you, in front of you, or by having to bring a teenage girl on her birthday of all days to identify the bones of her dead dog, Mr. Tippy. I see no reason to pursue this case any further, and not only that, I find your conduct and your comportment in this case not just alarming, but highly objectionable.
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Connections

Features Keystone Hotel (1935) See more »

Soundtracks

Gayaneh: Sabre Dance
Written by Aram Khachaturyan (as Aram Khachaturian)
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Solving the mystery of the horny beast
10 April 2007 | by (Sandy, UT, United States) – See all my reviews

Syzygy the Limerick:

A lady whose surname is White

Whose town wasn't feeling quite right

The planets aligning

And teen girls maligning

Spark Mulder and Scully to fighting.

Syzygy is defined as a kind of unity, especially through coordination or alignment, most commonly used in the astronomical and/or astrological sense. This episode uses this definition both literally and loosely with double meaning. The double meaning is seen best to me with Scully's comment after the mob digs up the dead dog Mr. Tippy's bones.

SCULLY: This is called 'rumor panic'. It's when XXX that links up with a popular satanic cult myth and an increase of attention in a community. A villain or villains are singled out as the focus of the community's confusion and angst about unexplained events, like the death of the high school boys. There have been at least twenty incidents since 1983 from upstate New York to Reno, Nevada and not one of them has turned up a single shred of evidence to support the wild allegations.

So in this sense the "syzygy" is the unity of the town against the "satanists". Other types of syzygy seen throughout the show are the repetition of lines, the matching up of the girls stories both in the beginning about the cultists and then at the end when they are implicating each other. They cut scenes back and forth between them saying the exact same thing.

Another characteristic of this episode is how everyone is acting completely out of character. Examples are the obvious Scully and Mulder fighting. At first it seems like they probably are just a little sick of each other but it turns into outright hostility. It all starts with the bickering in the car about directions at the beginning. From there it just goes into Scully being completely unwilling to accept any evidence, and Mulder acts pretty much clueless about anything that is going on. Detective White is another example. I mean a detective would normally not take eyewitness accounts as enough to go on but anytime Scully asks for evidence to support the claims or if they have even looked for the evidence Detective White acts like she had never even thought to do that. Then of course we have other small examples such as the dog mating with the gas grill, the school principal becoming a mob leader, and the pediatrician wearing high heels and make up.

This leads into my favorite scene. The hotel scene. We see more uncharacteristic traits here. Mulder is drinking and Scully is smoking. Interestingly though there are still things that each does that is characteristic of them. Such as Mulder being determined to watch something on TV even though it is the same Sabre Dance movie on every channel where as Scully just turns it off. But then of course we are right back to the strange when Detective White shows up and starts making out with Mulder. The scene is quite comical to me because Mulder is so drunk and knows that something weird is going on but doesn't really seem to care.

Another great element to this show is the astrologist. I love how she milks everything she can out of Mulder money-wise instead of giving him information. She even maxes out his business credit card and then Mulder is seen writing her a check so obviously the $300 he was good for wasn't enough. She has some witty lines too which I enjoyed.

Finally I enjoyed the soundtrack to this episode. We hear "Hand of Death (Burn Baby Burn)" by Rob Zombie, "All Over You" by Live, and "Deep" by Danzig. The most notable song for the X-Files I think is "Hands of Death". This song is used in a number of The X-Files episodes as well as other Chris Carter shows.

So in conclusion this episode had a lot of things that made it wonderful for me. There are a number of other things that I enjoyed that I will not mention but I will just conclude by saying that this was a wonderfully written comical episode about people acting strangely and blaming that strangeness on Satan instead of taking responsibility for their own actions. I give the episode a 10/10.


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