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Recap / The X-Files S04 E17 "Tempus Fugit"

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Season 4, Episode 17:

Tempus Fugit
"What they're telling you, what they're going to report, they're the opposite of the facts. A claim to ignorance of the facts."
Written by Chris Carter & Frank Spotnitz
Directed by Rob Bowman

"Nine minutes that became a lifetime for those passengers, and now for their families. Someone has got to figure out what happened in those nine minutes. Somehow, we've got to get them back."
Fox Mulder

Mulder and Scully investigate a plane crash that may have been caused by an encounter with a UFO.


  • The Adjectival Man: The Dark Man, a sleeper agent on Flight 549 sent to neutralize Max Fenig.
  • All There in the Script: You could be forgiven for not knowing that the unnamed Syndicate assassin that serves as this two-parter's primary villain was named Scott Garrett and not Moustache Man.
  • The Atoner: Louis Frisch who feels horrible after his part in causing an airplane crash.
  • Call-Back: Mulder and Scully get involved because one of the crash victims was Max Fenig, from the episode "Fallen Angel".
  • Chase Scene: The car chase on the airport runway.
  • Foreign Language Title: Latin for "time flies".
  • Hollywood Acid: Agent Garrett uses this on the Dark Man's corpse, destroying his fingerprints and dental records before Scully has a chance to autopsy him.
  • Lean and Mean: Agent Garrett is a wiry thin man.
  • Myth Arc: A bare-bones entry, with no sign of the Cigarette-Smoking Man or any other senior members of The Syndicate.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Millar is skeptical of Mulder like everyone else but once evidence starts piling up, he quickly comes on their side.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Pendrell, getting in the way of the bullet.
  • Wham Shot: Mulder seeing the drowned alien in the wreckage at the end.
  • Zipping Up The Body Bag: Mulder with Max.