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Synchronicity Time Travel Movie Reviewed and Explained
Synchronicity is a clever circular devolution of a movie that obscures it's real motives fairly well. If you enjoy thinking man's movies, this is for you. IMDB
Writing87%
Cinematography90%
Mind Job95%
Enjoyability84%
89%Overall Score
Reader Rating: (81 Votes)
53%

It’s a pretty rare occurrence for really good – mind blowing – sci-fi movies to come out. There is a sub-genre of movie-dom that makes the viewer think hard about what is happening in order to keep up with the movie. These movies are sort of like grifter movies for the sci-fi genre, only their tools are time travel, parallel universes, dopplegangers and the like. When you think about movies like this you might think, Time Crimes, Coherence, The Signal, Upstream ColorDark CityTime Lapse, and Primer obviously. Sure, there are a million more – but we are talking about movies that seem fairly simple at first, and then quickly devolve into mental pilates and cerebral wind sprints.

I first became aware of the movie Synchronicity a couple of months ago when a number of articles starting hitting the interwebs talking about how Synchronicity was a modern Primer… which if you haven’t seen or didn’t like, please, just pull the ripchord on this article. Because it’s just going to frustrate you I’m thinking. But whenever anyone invokes the Grand Priest of mind-blowing science fiction, Shane Carruth, I stand up and take notice. So yesterday, when the movie was released in a limited theatrical release I knew I had to see it right away.

Spoiler Free Synchronicity Overview

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The movie deals with a trio of guys working in a low-budget lab, attempting to open a wormhole five days backwards in time. At first it appears that the experiment was a failure but then we start to get subtle hints that the test may in fact have succeeded. An investor that has been providing both financial support as well as the radioactive component that fuels the reaction and makes the entire experiment possible, seems hell-bent on taking ownership of the invention. And to top it all off, there seems to be a woman that is possibly building her own machine, or more likely, steal the ideas necessary to replicate the experiment.

Everyone seems sure that this is a modern Bladerunner that we are seeing. Which is funny, because Blade Runner couldn’t be any more different than Synchronicity. The production design and cinematography definitely take their queues from Bladerunner… think dark rooms, spinning fans with light coming through, lots of dark city-scapes, and external elevator shots. But, let’s be clear, Blade Runner this is not. The movie that this is most like is a short film called Burnt Grass by Ray Wong. (You can jump over and see that film on my interview page with Ray). Basically the story of Burnt Grass, was about a burnt hole in the ground found in a couple’s backyard. And whatever life form was put into the hole was duplicated. And they proceed to duplicate a plant, and a dog… and then ultimately, the wife duplicates herself… and the rest of the movie is about the resulting chaos coming from the decisions to duplicate the things in question. I won’t delve too deep into how that movie spirals out of control – and I actually wouldn’t watch Burnt Grass until after you see Synchronicity if you don’t want the plot to be spoiled at all. The movies are so similar, that I reached out to Ray Wong to ask if he was somehow involved with Synchronicity even though I didn’t see his name in the credits.

Synchronicity is a good movie. It isn’t a Hollywood made film in the least. It was a low low budget film – I’m guessing you’d consider it a micro-budget – but it does a lot with what it has. Most people will not enjoy this film, but that’s mainly because most people do not want to think while watching a movie. They’d prefer to experience the visuals and the emotions of a film, and just avoid using their brain. But for those of us who love a challenge, Synchronicity will be a fun ride as we try and figure out the ins and outs of the plot twists and the right hook of an ending which came as an interesting (though not completely surprising) revelation. Still unsure? Check out the trailer and decide for yourself.

Synchronicity Time Travel Movie Reviewed and Explained

So here’s where everyone who hasn’t seen the movie yet, needs to exit the train. It is a worthwhile film, but not if you know the twists and turns inherent to the movie. I’m guessing it’ll come off as soulless and devoid of passion if you know the inner-workings of the film itself, and thereby rendering the whole enterprise pointless. So shoo. Watch the film (which you can do right here, right now) and then swing back through and join us in the conversation below in the comments.

Synchronicity Overview and Timeline

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When it comes to time-travel movies I find that it is extremely helpful to walk through a quick overview of the timeline and to make sure we have the basics squared away first. The movie utilized a naming convention for the overlaps that started with – prime. But as that will get extremely bulky (as you will see further down the timeline) with secunde, tertie etc. The movies naming convention of the Dahlia’s are also jacked up, with one being 014Terminus and the other just being named KMZ014. So, I’ve chosen to abandon the movie’s naming conventions of prime and terminus and am instead going to go with superscripts, Jim1, Jim2, Dahlia1, Dahlia2, etc. Make sense? Basically, at some point I’m just going to go into a fetal position, cry uncle, and start referring to the Jims as Jimx and Jimx+1. But it’ll make sense when we get there.

  1. Movie opens with Jim1, Chuck & Matty rehearsing for opening the wormhole 
  2. Klaus Meisner arrives to witness the time travel attempt
  3. The experiment fires, and Jim1 blacks out to scenes of auras
  4. Meisner leaves, thinking it a failure, but a dahlia is found
  5. Jim1 runs into Abby, smoking, they both find Meisner and are invited to dinner
  6. At dinner Abby and Helen spar over inventors vs salesmen (Tesla vs. Edison)
  7. Jim1 goes with Abby to her apartment
  8. And Jim1 finds a very similar dahlia in Abby’s apartment
  9. Jim1 gets a call from Chuck telling him to leave Abby’s right away
  10. Jim1 goes to lab, and then finds Matty and Chuck being weird
  11. Jim1 gets the auras again and blacks out – sleeps for 8 hours
  12. Jim1 goes back to Abby’s – unidentified male (Jim2) answers
  13. Abby says to Jim1 – “The man who gave me the dahlia, gave me everything I ever wanted except a minute of his time.”
  14. Abby and Jim1 go to the bar for “breakfast” and to talk.
  15. Jimgives the dahlia back to Abby and leaves it up to her about what will happen next.
  16. Klaus Meisner finds out about Jim’s and Abby’s relationship, and wants to charge him 99%.
  17. Abby comes with Klaus to the experiment
  18. Jimruns the dahlia into the machine saying “You may own the dahlia, but you don’t own me.”
  19. Enter Jiminto the story and chats with Abby before Jimarrives
  20. Jimwatches from the bathroom as Jim1 passes out
  21. Jimheads to Abby’s apartment and sees her notebook
  22. Abby wants Jimto apologize for how Jimacted (she still doesn’t know)
  23. Jimfalls asleep on the bed, Abby goes to get coffee
  24. Intercom goes off and Jim2  answers and talks to Jim1
  25. Jimfinds box of coasters with a pile of coasters with notes
  26. Jimheads to the bar to steal the coaster she wrote on while the had been talking
  27. “Time is our only currency”
  28. This is when Jim2 decides he can’t be without Abby, and he’s going to beat Jim
  29. Jim2 goes to Abby’s to get her diary, Jim2 begins throwing up violently
  30. Jim1‘s migraines stop simultaneously
  31. Chuck sees that “dahlia-terminus” is dying
  32. Chuck & Jimexplain to Abby what is happening
  33. Jimtake’s Chuck’s place in his suit during the next experiment test
  34. Chuck, Matty and Jim2 finish process to send Jimback once again
  35. But Matty screws up the directions and goes RIGHT instead of LEFT
  36. Cut to Jimx  standing outside, trying to figure out what has happened
  37. Chuck meets Jimand asks him, “You are still chasing after her?” – “I don’t realize I’m doing it until I do it.”
  38. Jimheads out of the city at random, picks a hotel, and is told he’s already staying there.
  39. Jimenters the hotel room and sees a dead Jimx+1 on the bed.
  40. Abby finds Jimx on the bed and she is with him at the end.
  41. Cut to another jump, this time he reads the notebook end to end.
  42. Abby tells of another time traveler named John who’s lab exploded in fire.
  43. “That’s a coincidence, my name is John.”

Some will say that this overview was way too verbose, and many of you desperately trying to understand the movie might say I didn’t include half of the really important stuff that mattered! But this will at least give us a single frame of reference to refer back to as we begin to start dissecting this complicated double (double nothing! triple, quadruple) helix of a movie.

Important Synchronicity Revelations & Rules

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Throughout the course of the movie there were a number of really critical revelations. But there was no bigger revelation than what it was exactly that Abby was doing. As the movie played out we see that Abby is actively taking notes, and thoroughly listening to every word that all of the Jims are saying to her. She is compiling notes and she is doing something. In the movie summary for Synchronicity, it states that Jim needs to stop a woman that is intent on stealing his plans. And as the movie progresses we see that she definitely is stealing everything he is saying to her. But the purpose becomes clear as the movie winds down. Abby is solely trying to get any assistance for future Jims possible so that he can beat the temporal sickness that is invoked every time he time travels. She has only the purist of intentions in her actions throughout the movie. And she might actually be seen as the real hero of this entire movie after viewing it from that perspective.

The second equally big revelation that occurs at the end of the movie is that the Time Machine isn’t actually a Time Machine at all – but instead is in inter-dimensional hopper of sorts. Instead of going backwards 5 days, Jim is actually leaping into another parallel dimension with similar (but decidedly not the same) appearances. This is important in that we see that the details of each loop is slightly different. I wonder, does that leave one parallel universe devoid of Jims as it is doubling up another? But we will talk more about this in the theories section I’m thinking.

The other important rule or effect, is that we learn is that whenever two duplicated lifeforms occupy the same timeline, one of them (most likely the first to travel, or the terminus identity) will become sick and die. We see this first in the movie as a result of the dahlia getting sick and browning. This sickness also manifests itself more acutely when two identical subjects become closer in proximity… remember the auras? They all happened as they got closer to one another. And these symptoms could include, “lightening between the temples”, nausea, vomiting, passing out, etc. This is an important tell for our knowing when he was near himself before his actually having time traveled yet.

Synchronicity Movie Theory Explanations

Synchoronicity-explained-3

One of the biggest outstanding questions of Synchronicity, and it’s timeline, is based around Jim2‘s jump to Jim3, that I have denoted as Jimx in the timeline. The reason I did that, is mainly because it cannot be Jim2 jumping backwards as normally occurred. There are too many differences. Jumping backwards to when the portal was first opened can’t have happened. So what are the most likely theories to explain what actually happened when Matty accidentally went to the right with the dial, instead of going left?

Synchronicity Theory – Situation Normal All F@#$ Up
The first theory is that Jim2‘s jump was just like the others… except, we know that he isn’t jumping in time, he’s jumping dimensions. So maybe the time was right, but that dimension was jacked up? It would explain why he has someone ahead of him (dying in bed at the hotel), and it would explain most everything else that the other theories have issue with. But the setup of the movie during the beginning scenes show that very clearly, Matty almost ended the world by sending the dial the wrong way. So for nothing to have happened seems a little off base. The night time is also meant as a clear indication that something different has happened. And then there is the Chuck scene, where he seems to show us that this has been going on for a very long time… “Still looking for her eh?”

Synchronicity Theory – Flash Forward

This theory is diametrically opposed to the first, SNAFU theory, in that instead of jumping backwards Jim2‘s jump sent him forward instead of backwards. The jump most likely sent him forward a couple days. But there’s more that has to happen in this theory than just that, because there are some pretty large inconsistencies here otherwise. For example, if it is Jimthat we are following through to Jimthen how the heck did he already checkin to the hotel and die there? From our perspective, Jimis the first one here. So who the heck is dead in the bed? So this theory also has to posit that not only did we jump forward a couple days, but we also jump number shifted to Jim28 or something like that. We get evidence for that later when we see Abby trying to help him and we see in flashback form that Jim’s came and went and she was still struggling to help him by giving him the notebook, etc.

Synchronicity Theory – Ongoing Sisyphean Cycles

Another theory, is that my timeline is 100% wrong, from beginning to end. Instead of starting with Jim1  the movie is actually not starting at the beginning. Here, let’s revise the time opening couple points to explain what I mean:

  1. Movie opens with Jim142, Chuck & Matty rehearsing for opening the wormhole 
  2. Klaus Meisner arrives to witness the time travel attempt
  3. The experiment fires, and Jim142 blacks out to scenes of auras
synchronicity-coaster

There is ample evidence for this theory, but there are problems here too. How is it that Abby has a box full of coasters of quotes from various Jim’s if our Jimreally is the first one? Can’t have happened. There has to be something more going on. There is tons of precedent for this within the time travel movie world. Primer is the perfect example of this, wherein the beginning is actually the middle, and there were already multiple time machines running before the movie even started. Right?

But the biggest problem with that theory is that, Jim clearly seems to be experiencing the time travel experiments for the very first time. He’s obviously clueless about the need to open another doorway backwards, he’s clueless about Abby, and is honestly shocked to see her there smoking. Right? So where is this selective Amnesia coming from? Some would say the answer here is easy, like 12 Monkeys, time is locked in, and destined to repeat our past. Many different time travel movies espouse this view. My favorite recent one that takes that view is Time lapse – which you HAVE to see if you haven’t already. Regardless, the biggest defense of this Sisyphean theory is that we see Abby trying and trying and trying to solve the sickness. But this Sisyphean theory doesn’t preclude theory one or theory two being true as well.

Synchronicty Happily-Ever-After Theory

First, thanks to Adam for pointing out the fact that I’m a dork. I completely missed the fact that when Abby said that she knew someone named John who died tragically in a lab fire accident, Jim142 responded with, “That’s a coincidence, that’s my name” to Abby. Which makes him not Jim142, but John2, or, John27, but it can’t be John1, right? He died in a fire?

So this theory basically is the Disney, Happily Ever After theory, which basically means that John27, was finally the John Abby was looking for. The one who didn’t die in a fire, oh and by the way, the one who will (did? – getting to that in a second) resolve the Temporal Sickness that has been killing all the other parallel universe versions of himself. And if that is the case, then we saw a million different failures and then finally, we see that Abby is with the man she has been looking for from the beginning. But maybe not?

Synchronicty Chaos-Ever-After Theory

This theory is a shoot off of the Happily-Ever-After theory… but instead of Abby finally finding her one true love, the one named John, the one that was able to not only solve both time travel as well as it’s sickness side effects, she finds another John, in a long line of Jims and Johns. This John read the notebook of all the various research and pontifications by all the various versions of himself. And this theory believes that he is just one more doomed attempt after all the others. I never promised you a rose garden.

Synchronicity Movie Explanation Overview

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Personally, I believe that Synchronicity is a very tightly wound time travel movie that is actually a really good love story at the end of the day. It sets itself up as a corporate espionage movie – but it turns out to be a love story, in search of a cure. The failed flip by Matty most likely is a jump forward, and we are finally seeing what has been going on all along… that this time jumping has been going on for a long time outside our blindered view of reality. That Jim352 was still in this locked cycle of time jumping and then dying, time jumping and dying. And the only ones able to see beyond this endless boulder rolling up hill over and over again is Chuck and Abby. “I don’t realize I’m doing it until after I’ve done it.” is the quote of the movie. And ultimately maybe Abby finally found her “John”, the one she had been looking for all along? Or maybe she just found yet another variation on a failed theme… ?  What are your thoughts? Is it a happy ending?

So who knows if my Synchronicity Time Travel Movie Reviewed and Explained post really did it for you. But hopefully it helped you understand it a little better? Don’t buy what I’m selling? I’d love to hear about it in the comments. We have a long history of great conversations here. All ideas and theories are welcome. Just jump in and let it rip.

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169 Responses

  1. Adam

    I liked your explainations however what I took from the ending/explanation was that her book was actually correct and he was not only jumping in time but other parallel universes as well. That explained why he was fine at the end of the movie in the bar with her. He had entered the parallel universe that the actual John Bane exsisted in which was really Jim’s parallel twin and because he had died in the experiment already there weren’t two of them exsisting simultaneously. I believe the dead man in the bed was another failed jump attempt that we never got to see. I thought the reson the switch was thrown to the right was to expel the power source so that Jim Prime as they refered to him couldn’t make the jump. My question is how many jumps did he have to make before he got to the John Bane universe and could live happily ever after with Abby? Thank you for hearing me out.

    Reply
    • Taylor

      Adam,
      Totally! You are definitely correct. Didn’t pick up on the “John” at the end. I totally was keying off the the last names, not the first names. Well played sir… I’ll update accordingly. Thanks for the helpful insight amigo.

      Taylor

      Reply
      • John Stashley

        Yes they robbed themes from Bladerunner, its obvious. And it is obvious it is not bladerunner. Its much worse. Complicated and strange movie. Not worth seeing it. They should pay you for watching this s*****

      • Rutger

        Actually you didn’t update correctly. It’s fairly obvious he didn’t found a way pas the sickness, but as the John has died in this universe and there was no other, he survived. The fire also explained there was no girl and invester outside and instead he found the notebook with all the details in it (did that notebook hop multiple times with more and more info added?). Then this Jim went to the girl and lived happily ever after. This is the most logical explanation imho and probably how the filmmakers thought about it.

      • jim gerard

        I don’t know where everyone is getting he was John at the end, he never said he was John. She talked about a physicist named John Bane and he just said he was a physicist.

      • John Lillyblad

        But he doesn’t say his name is John. He says: “What a coincidence. I’m a physicist.”

      • Billy

        to John Lillyblad – I thought the same at first when I was reading this. I thought I might have misheard something from the movie but could have sworn I heard, “I’m a physicist.” Could there be 2 versions of the movie out? The one I saw from Netflix said what you and I heard.

        to Taylor – Are you sure the line was “That’s a coincidence. My name John.”? If so, that changes a lot of things. If not, that also changes a lot things lol.

      • George

        @Billy
        There are 2 versions because the author watched the movie in an alternate universe – and this is another one where the movie protagonist said “I am a physicist..”

    • Calvin

      I see it this way. Amy is a writer and the movie is a reflection of her thought processes as she works out the kinks in her book. It explains her omnicience and the various possible endings to the story she has entertained during the writing process. If this theory is correct the movie was geneous.

      Reply
    • Carlos Alberto Moniz

      This text was more useful fo my understanding then other long explanation I read everywhere!!!!!!!

      Let get out of fiction and make a critic to the movie:

      I had to turn down the sound when there were no dialogues because of the unhappy music soundtrack ( it was ruining my concentration on he story)

      No offense but …….not the music !!!!!!!
      GREAT MOVIE. Thank you

      Carlos Alberto Moniz

      Reply
    • John titor

      I watched this movie tonight and googled around for other people’s take on it and came across this blog.

      If we accept that this film is a “traditional” (single universe) time-travel story, then it wont make sense whatsoever and is filled with paradoxes. Such stories have been done to death by people like Robert Heinlein, who was the master. Heinlein created untenable paradoxes in his novels — paradoxes such as one man being both his own father and his own mother (he had a sex change before he came “back” to marry himself). Heinlein did an excellent job pointing out the absurdities of time travel *if* you only consider one universe.

      It seems to me that the producers of the film were going for the “multiple universe” explanation of quantum theory. In physics, the “multiple universe” hypothesis is used to explain the collapse of the wave function and is actually a real hypothesis that is taken literally by some physicists. Essentially it explains some of the “anomalies” in quantum theory by saying that events happen in more universes than our own — that is, other universes are somehow “connected” to this one. Many physicists (even mainstream people) now think that our “big bang” was probably a black hole in another universe and that our black holes could be “big bangs” in another universe. If you want a good (academically sound) source for this, I suggest looking up Max Tegmark’s work. Also, look up Hugh Everett who was the first guy to propose this whole notion (in a serious scientific manner) back in the 1950’s.

      Since this film is using parallel universes as its template, then it can work without paradoxes. If we accept that there are an infinite number of universes, then this means there’s an infinite amount of possible outcomes. It also means that other universes will have events far different than ours, while some will be almost identical to outs (with slight changes).

      Also consider that they weren’t really creating a “time machine” at all — they were creating a wormhole which has a very specific definition. Wormholes are portals (actually they are the severe warping of space-time) and say nothing about time-travel in itself, though they can manipulate time. A wormhole is essentially space and time “folding” into itself to the point that it is “ripped” open. In theory these portals could be traverseable and allow one to travel vast distances in an “instant.” It’s a theoretical way of out-running light, though holding the wormhole open and not dying inside are whole other questions.

      I think the above can explain the “John” at the end of the movie (as opposed to “Jim”). John was another physicist who was working on the same project in another universe. The girl at the table was not Abby but another girl from another universe who looked like her. My theory is that Jim somehow finally got put into THAT universe (one without another Jim) and met a fake Abby who was telling him about “John.” So, this means Jim never got Abby in the end, but did manage to hook-up with her “twin.” Yeah, it kinda sucks that Jim didn’t get to share the special bond with the “real” Abby, but if I were him, I would not complain either way and would be super stoked that I got to get another roll in the sheets with her.

      I could be wrong and it could have been the “real” Abby, but if it was, it would only lead to paradoxes. For instance, where did all the other 100000 Jim’s go? Why was this Jim not getting sick? Who was John?

      But, perhaps the most important lesson of the film is that us guys will do anything for some good T&A. Fuck the universe and learning it’s secrets, I gotta hook up with that smoking hot chick.

      Reply
    • Dreamer

      Yours makes the best sense. Jim2 died and Jim 3died and so did all the jims. The only jim who didn’t die is the one when he jumps to a reality where he is already dead.

      Reply
      • Colin

        Dreamer, you got it.

        Jim(N-1) kept dying when he jumped to a universe that already had a Jim(N).

        Then Jim(N-2) jumped to a universe with a Jim(N-1) who had died in the hotel that also had a ‘regular’ Jim(N), that was the cause of Jim(N-1)’s death.

        Finally, Jim(N-1) jumped to a universe that had no other Jims. This universe had several small differences: 1) Jim(N) was named John. And Jim(N) aka John, was dead. So Jim(N-1) could finally live happily ever after with Abby(N).

  2. Trouba

    Hi Taylor,

    breat post about an awesome movie. Thanks!

    What I don’t get yet is how Abby knows, in each different universes, what she did in the other universe – so that she can keep improving her notebook. Or similarly, how Chuck – across universes – understands that yet another Jim/John^x is “still chasing after her”.
    … argh – total mindfcku 😀

    Guess I’ll watch it again, and again, and again. Or maybe I just rest assured that in at least one alternate universe I won’t have to – because I’ll already have fully understood the movie 🙂

    One note on your review, if I may: Jim’s first jump (well, the first one we get to see in the movie) takes him back 5 days, not 5 minutes. (That’s before we learn that it’s a dimension-/universe-hopper-time-machine and not only a time-machine.)

    Cheers,
    Trouba

    Reply
    • Taylor Holmes

      Right right. 5 days. Of course. Sorry about that. Changing it now. Thanks for setting me straight there Trouba.

      As for how Abby knows in each universe, you have to assume that the parallel universes they are traveling to are the same, minus the details post jump? That way, Abby was aware and cognizant of everything in the past. I don’t know! It’s not my movie! hahaha. I should hunt down the director and get him to chat with me about it. Probably would help us all immensely. I’ve been able to pull it off on the last 5 or 6 crazy sci-fi movies I’ve deconstructed. Anyone have Jacob Gentry’s home phone number? Great.

      Off to find Gentry on Twitter… toodles.
      Taylor

      Reply
      • Rob Dadario

        I see it like this,
        The movie is based on 5 and 6 dimensional space. Or a 5d phase plane and a 6d phase space. In 5d you have all the possible worldlines for a particular person. In 6d you have all the different possible variations for a unique universe. So u would jump through 6d space to jump from one 5d worldline to another.
        In the movie we start with worldline (A), this one has jim 1 or jim prime as native to this worldline. He receives the lighter from Abby while lying in bed. He then goes into the wormhole and does a 6d jump to a different 5d worldline. This will be worldline (B), as the probability amplitudes would be similar in some worldlines; when he arrives he finds very similar variables to the life equation vector path. He then gives the lighter to Abby before she gave it to him on the vector path. Whether this happened on worldline (A) is not known; she could of got it from someplace else on that vector path but considering similar probability amplitudes I think when she gave it to him on worldline (A) she knew she received it from a different jim on worldline (A) before that; a non native jim to worldlne (A). So back to worldline (B), jim 1 jumps to worldline (B) becoming jim 2 on that worldline. A non native jim to worldline (B), the confusion comes from that fact he arrives on worldline (B) before he leaves worldline (A) so he appears to be time traveling. He is really jumping worldlines to amplitude points previously experienced on the worldline he just left. When he gets there he finds Abby put a book about his travels in his pocket. He attempts to jump again to before the first experiment a week before jim 2’s arrival. But Matty turns right not left and we think nothing happened. Chuck makes a statement about your still looking for her. Now the book makes this go only one way. The jim standing there had to have been jim 2 who went no where, but in a different worldline since all probabilities exist one at least had Matty turn right not left. So a jim from one of those worldlines was sent back to a week earlier on worldline (B); and (A) probably too. This one dictated the book to Abby and was the dead guy in the hotel. He was there a whole week earlier and would not of lasted. Jim 1 of worldline (B) goes into the wormhole and jim 2 on worldline (B); the jim 1 of worldline (A) dies. He is now dead on this worldline forever and Abby will be heartbroken on worldline (B). But when jim (1) of worldline (B) arrives on worldline (C) Abby is not outside to be given the lighter. The probability amplitudes of this worldlines vector path are very different. Jim 2 of worldline (C) reads the book and understands what’s been going on. He meets Abby at the bar, but in this worldline he was not jim but john, the first jim to meet Abby a week early to dictate the book most of been a john because that is the name she used. Not only is the name different but he was killed in an accident. He is now dead to that worldline and jim 2 will not get sick since he is the only jim on that worldline. He and Abby escaped the paradox.

      • Rob Dadario

        I want to change one thing I was thinking of, the lighter. When she gave it to jim on worldline (A) it had no fuel, but when he gave it to her on worldline (B), which was before she gave it to him; it had fuel. She could not of gave it to him again with out taking the fuel out, this implies different events taking place and the worldlines branching out on different probability vectors. Events were already splitting on the vector path of both worldlines and different probabilities were unfolding. Also jim 2 on worldline (B) states he wants to go back to a week before to change things..when it appears the jump fails. But like I said on at least one probability worldline it would of been a right turn by Matty not left; because all probabilities exist. So his way of saving any chance he and Abby had was to give her information which was the knowledge in the book, or how would she know such in depth details of his situation and project. On each timeline she most have been informed by Jim 3 the week earlier. At the end since worldline (3) has so many different variables; like jim is John, we don’t know if a jim 3 was there to fill her in a week before. A jim 3 may of not been in worldline (3), each has different vectors..But Abby seems to smile and toy with him as if she does know what is going on..

      • David Mitchell

        My understanding on how Abby knew each time was at the end of the movie when she slips her notebook into Jim’s pocket. I took that to mean that she was passing notes to herself in the next iteration.

  3. Boink

    Hi Taylor,

    I was looking online for an explaination of the movie and came across your post. Thanks for your well thoughtout and concise attempts at explaining the show with different theories. However, I feel that the show is lacking in some areas of story-telling that makes it very difficult for anyone to formulate a proper explaination of the events that occured.

    My biggest gripe with any of the theories presented is the fact that for Abby to compile any of the information in her little notebook, it would require her to meet all the Jims1 to JimsX. And for that to happen, all the different Jims will have to jump to the same alternate universe. That would mean all the different Jims would run into one another sooner or later.

    Also, for step 37, I dont think thats JimX. I think its still Jim2 and Chuck telling him they screwed up and didnt send him back or to any other parallel universe.

    I feel that different parts of the movie presented and challenged us to come up with different theories of what transpired. However, put them all together, and it becomes an incoherent mess. I feel the movie splice together a bunch of scenarios to make it look “sci-fiey” to provoke an indepth discussion on what happened, however, I think the writer never did have a coherent story in the first place.

    I do applaud your attempts at explaining this movie.

    Reply
    • Ben

      Boink, I initially felt the same about Abby. But my revised take came after reading Taylor’s review and the comments here. This movie, as many many are, is driven my love. I liked the ‘are you a Shaman?’ quote. Certain love transcends multiverses. So, I’m not entirely convinced Abby’s notes were accumulative. I just think she had compiled notes in every universe. Each similar, but not the same, universe we see her she has compiled different, more thorough, notes. Injected into her life is a man who offers her little nuggets of wisdom, perfect for her book. A man she falls in love with and has always loved. The final smiles are about two people who were meant to be together it just took a physicist to manipulate time, and in one die, to make that happen : )

      Reply
  4. David Bruno

    I loved this movie. The references to modern science is very accurate. The movie itself, (with it’s obvious love for earlier sci-fi movies like Blade Runner for instance [mentioned some times in many reviews…] ) is so well done. Simply said. The characters, the plot, really great! I watch about 2 movies per day, have done so since over 40 years (I started at 6). This film isn’t for everyone, of course, it’s too brilliant! But a gem it is. And I will look forward to seeing what this director Jacob Gentry, will do in the future… or past… 🙂

    Reply
    • Darren S

      I agree its incoherent .. that last scene is probably just to show us that at least one John/Jim made it to a universe where he doesn’t exist any more so he can stay. but if he died who opened the wormhole to let him out… wait…. or did he finally take the advice and as soon as he got there. get out of town until the 5 or 10 days had passed so avoiding the sicknesses? oh i dunno it late and im going to bed.. ill watch again tomorrow lol.

      Reply
      • ParadoxPrime

        Keep in mind that just because Jim/John dies in the experiment doesn’t mean that the experiment didn’t work. So it looks like in the end, the wormhole exit was opened successfully, some version of Jim came out of the aperture, he may or may not have sabotaged “John” to kill him to leave a slot for himself to exist without “time cancer”. This more sinister version is not absolutely necessary, but it was implied at the beginning of the movie. So a fire or some other accident could have killed John, leaving this universe thinking the experiment failed since they had no evidence of success. But Jim does indeed come out of the wormhole and finds a version of Abby that didn’t know about the whole situation that he had been through, but was at least destined to be very interested in his story and would probably fall in love and live happily ever after.

  5. Ryanizzle

    Did anyone consider that maybe Jim/John
    At the end of the movie, read the little notebook end-to-end and this time took it seriously enough that during his next jump, upon arriving and finding the opening, actually sabatouaged the John of that worlds lab during the first experiment. In turn killing John and stopping the sickness while freeing up a space in that world. John dies and never meets Abby so she never gets to see him while she smoked outside the lab after leaving klauses car.
    Jim takes on johns world, free of sickness, and has a chance to get to know the Abby of this world (whom he only knows about through the notebook but is sure is his go-to gal?)
    I realize there are countless jumps and notebook passing until its completion but I think I’m onto something.

    Reply
    • Demetris Leptos

      Exactly my understanding as well. He took over “his” life to build the one he realized he wanted via accumulated information of alternate versions. Kind of creepy.. but we do see him to get jealous of “himself” having Abby..

      Reply
    • D

      While this could be the case, it doesn’t explain how Jim got to John’s world, where a machine wasn’t ON. I mean, if he jumped at the time of the accident (where a possibility of it being ON) then wouldn’t the lab be engulfed in flames on this last jump?

      Reply
      • Ryanizzle

        I know my theory needed work as it didn’t account for him arriving.. I realized almost immediately after I posted which I why i said it needed work.. I typed it all out as fast as possible before the information dissipated.. But I’m making plans to watch it again and catch everything all fight club stylie and come back with a more revised idea

      • Gandalf68

        It is possible that Jim² escaped from the lab WHILE it was in flames, and a line from Abby even suggest that : “You taste like ash” !

      • Andrew

        Right, they very clearly explained that the wormhole needed a “receiver”. Jim can’t be John, because John’s lab is gone. But Jim doesn’t get sick in this universe, implying there is no Jim either. And he doesn’t run into Abby/Klaus/anybody implying there wasn’t even a lab. So how did this all work…?

        Plus where did the original Abby (the ones who were with Klaus) get the idea to name her character John Bane if she was living in a universe without a John Bane? Was that just an absurdly unlikely coincidence?

    • Joel

      I think you are too. But most likely this Jim or John( I’m lost on the different names guess I missed it) knows Abby because he made the jump. So he fell in love and then jumped. Then your theory comes in

      Reply
    • Jessica

      Omg when chuck says its sabotage in the first 5 mins! You’re on to something for sure

      Reply
  6. daniel

    Well, at the end i thought that Abby created(somehow) the accident so that the ‘future’ Jim/John never dies.

    Through the movie , she seems to love them all the same. Just some thought here.

    Reply
    • daniel

      I know i reply to myself here. Just watched it again.
      It’s right there in the beginning…when we first watch his failure.
      His friend says something like: “maybe it was sabotage. Someone from the future. ”

      Maybe the director is trying to explain the end right from the start.

      Reply
      • Taylor

        No crime in replying to yourself… Look at some of my earlier posts here and that’s about all you saw was me replying to myself! Hahaha.

        That’s a good snag though. I want to watch it again, this time considering it was a sabotage from the beginning to flip the ultimate ending and conclusion. Dunno though. If the sabotage is too full tilt we have no beginning!! At just ends at the start. So I need to watch for both I guess.

        Nice thoughts though Daniel.

  7. MCE

    Hello Taylor,

    Thank you for posting a great review of Synchronicity.

    I had a think about events within the movie and your comments and I think it could be summarized in the following way:

    Abby has a history of encounters with different manifestations of Jim. Based on these encounters Abby had written a notebook telling the story of Jim. However, the Abby in the final scene does not have a notebook because the time/parallel universe machine blew up killing John, therefore meaning she doesn’t have to work for Meisner (and she gets the guy). A happy place indeed.

    Given these points we can surmise that:

    1. There is a set of multiverses in which Jim invents and uses a time/parallel universe machine (let’s call it the “Jim Multiverse”) and;
    2. There is a single universe in which there is no time/parallel universe travel (let’s call it the “John Universe”).

    The Jims are constantly moving through the “Jim Multiverse” until a Jim finally arrives in the “John Universe”. There Jim unique and is no longer sick. In fact, the whole movie is moving in a linear fashion, with each trip costing a 5 day delay (-5 days) as Jim moves toward the “John Universe”. Here is a figure demonstrating the linear motion of travel:

    —> Jim1 —> Jim1 -5 days in Jim2 Multiverse —> Jim1 dies …
    —> Jim2 -5 days in Jim3 Multiiverse —> Jim2 dies …
    —> Jim3 -5 days in Jim4 Multiiverse —> Jim4 dies …
    —> Jim n —> Jim n -5 days in John1 universe —> Jim n lives.

    Next problem: how does Abby write her “novel” or journey of Jim’s travels?

    Let’s go to the part in the film where Abby1 meets both Jims. In which Jim multiiverse is she in? You’d think Jim1 Multiverse. But no, we are already seeing Abby2 in the Jim2 Multiverse (we briefly see Abby1’s legs in the Jim1 Multiverse).

    In the Jim2 Multiverse Abby2 has enough information from Jim1 and Jim2 to write and complete the novel. We do not know if she had met the dying Jim in the hotel, who is clearly is Jim-1, but that doesn’t matter.

    All Abby needs in any given multiverse is to:

    1. Meet two Jims (one who has traveled and will die, and one who will travel with the diary).
    2. Know that a time/parallel universe machine exists and works.
    3. Understand that two Jims can’t exist in the same place at the same time.
    4. Realize, statistically, that there must be a universe in which the time/parallel universe machine fails (as Jim may or may have not told her about Matty’s inability to tell left from right).

    This means that there will be a time and place where Abby is totally unaware of the time/parallel universe travel machine and related illness, where she and Jim can live happily ever after without threat of Meisner or Jim dying. This explains why “Time is our only real currency”, as they need to wait until Jim makes it into John’s universe. A perfect ending if you like (or Abby 1-n setting up the “last” Abby).

    Reply
    • Xinhaidude

      I am reading comments from top to bottom. So far your comment appears to be the most correct one (of the ones I’ve read so far). What most people including the OP did not seem to get is that this movie not only is not about time travel, but can only be understood if you imagine millions of parallel universes which differ only in one or a few small aspects from adjacent universes.

      As a movie watcher we are too attached to Jim1, Jim2, and Jim3. But we need to stop thinking about particular Jims, and instead picture millions of Jims jumping from their world to another world. There will be a cluster of universes where all Jims jump from a transmitter wormhole to a receiver wormhole. Most will probably go back 5 days. Most of these Jims will die in their new world because the other Jim still live in that world.

      The movie was only a glimpse of two or a few more such universes, out of millions of similar ones, tracing journeys made by a small subset of Jims. We need to completely do away with any notion of time machines and the notation we usually adopt explaining timelines of a time travel story. We need to disabuse ourselves of any time travel paradox scenarios and consequences of people changing their own past timelines.

      Instead, we need to annotate each scene with a world number, and a character with a name plus the world number they came from. That is the only way to make sense of this movie. We need to imagine jumpers into new universes being able to wreak havoc without affecting themselves or the universe they came from, despite what the characters in the movie thought due to their preconceived notion of time travel.

      OP’s assertion that Chuck knew about Jim’s repeated attempts to get the girl is probably not right. Abby is not trying to cure Jim of the parallel universe disease.

      In the final scene, one Jim arrives at a universe where his twin is not known as Jim, but as John, and has just died in an accident – probably his equivalent of Matt turned the handle to the right. That’s the only jumper Jim to survive. This is a rare instance in these millions of universes.

      The only thing I haven’t worked out yet, is how in the universes shown in the movie, Abby has knowledge of a “John”, when this John clearly does not live in this world.

      Yet another thing we need to consider, but the script writer may have in fact ignored, is what happens to the world after a jump (out), and what the folks that remain would do. In this movie, there are two jumping outs. We do not, in fact, know anything about the universe from which Jim jumped, and what happened to the people after he jumped, for both jumps.

      After the first jump (by the order they appeared in the movie), isn’t it reasonable that people who remained would have continued to use the worm hole machine? What about Chuck and Matt? What would Abby do after Jim jumped? Would they have continued to get MRDs and continued to jump back in time, too? In the second jump, most likely the lab if not its universe was destroyed with that right-turn of the handle, even if Jim successfully jumped out. Hasn’t anyone thought of the possibility that a “John dying in a lab fire” was in fact a result of his equivalent Matt turning the handle to the right?

      I will probably write my own explanation in my blog, seeing that there is nothing in the interwebs explaining this movie, except for this blog… And I believe our Taylor didn’t get it right, at least not in our universe 😉

      Reply
  8. Vipin

    So, here is what I thought after watching many times-
    Many Jims were roaming in the Jim-Multiverse, until in the last Jump, one of the Jims(say Jim-x, landed on another Universe, the John Universe) where luckily, this universe’s John(universal twin of Jim) died in the Lab Explosion(which might have caused by melting of core of the machine or whatever) which enables Jim-x to be in this universe without sickness, and hence he meets Abby, they talk, get hooked and live happily ever after…
    But, there is one thing still, when in the end in bar Jim says-“Have a drink with me, I’ll tell you all about my time traveling experiments”, JUST THERE, ONE 1 CARD, THERE IS A FIGURE THAT ABBY MADE WHICH EXPLAINS THE “JIM-MULTIVERSES” AND “JOHN UNIVERSE” and that it was merely 1 to Million chances that when Jim travels to JOHN UNIVERSE(which explains why it took so many Jims to travel, die, repeat)…..WATCH THAT CARD AGAIN FRIENDS!!!

    Reply
  9. Simon

    Nice theories, but here is mine… What if the whole film was just a daydream fantasy for her sci-fi story idea, writing it down in a romantic dream of wishing to find true love whilst being the mistress arm candy of a rich guy who funded a failed science experiment. The ending is just her meeting a stranger in a bar who sees her and tries to chat her up with a time travel story of his own.
    Not as in-depth as the other theories, but possible. 🙂

    Reply
    • Simon

      Damn you can’t edit these things if you make an error…
      “…just a daydream fantasy *FOR* her sci-fi story idea…” 🙂

      Reply
      • Taylor Holmes

        No worries Simon… I edited it for you… I’m good like that. hahah.

        So do you think Lost should have ended as a dream? Oh wait… didn’t it? I’m lost. Or was it a time travel… oh never mind.

        You can always say that anything was a daydream… right? That’s always an option. Though a sloppy one, because it will always work. The best example of this dream thing working though was Jacob’s Ladder, wherein it was a dream of a guy dying and angels and demons were fighting for his soul. Just my 2 cents.

      • Shelby

        Wait, Taylor, are you joking about Lost? Whenever people think that they were dead the whole time MY HEAD EXPLODES FROM RAGE. The flash sideways in season 6 is purgatory. We are seeing two timelines in that season. On the island, the last person we see die is Jack. Everyone else who we didn’t see die lives their life and eventually dies at whatever age (doesn’t matter). As people die, they wait in purgatory which has no real sense of time. The Lost writers borrowed a lot of their stuff from Vonnegut, so in purgatory they are “unstuck in time.” Just waiting, basically, for everyone else to die so they can move on together. The thing is that we are seeing that time in purgatory in the same timeline (season 6) as when they are trying to get off the island. So many people understood this as everything that happened prior to purgatory wasn’t real. BUT IT WAS. Everything that happened on the island actually happened. You couldn’t change anything with time travel. But eventually everyone dies, as Jack’s father explains in the church, and because (here’s the point of the entire show) all that matters is love/friendship, the time that everyone spent together on the island was the most meaningful time in their lives, so they all wanted to “move on” together. It’s really a beautiful story.

      • Taylor Holmes

        Hey Shelbs
        (see, if you comment on every single blog post I’ve ever written, you get a nickname, free of charge. And a pretty darn good one at that.) No, I was totally joking by making reference to every single awful Lost theory I could think of at once.

        I loved Lost. Are you watching Westworld? Westworld is straight up the Lost. Literally. About the only thing missing is a button being pushed every 108 minutes. Just saying.

        But yes, I agree with your perspective on how Lost went down. Never really assumed there was any other way to interpret it. But thanks for dogpiling on me. Appreciate it! I have only written over a million words out here. I’m sure you’ll find a mistake… somewhere. hahahah.

        Taylor

  10. spale

    My preferred explanation is that Jim jumps until he reaches a parallel world where Jim (or then John) died. However, I still see a missing piece. If Jim jump to parallel worlds who sent the first dahlia?. It had to start at some point. So the first time they opened the wormhole the dahlia came it. But if the dahlia they sent in the second wormhole did travel to parallel universe it was not the one they received. Where did it come from? And if you tell me from the precedent parallel world, well sure, but the first one? Because if they don’t get a dahlia, they will never run the second wormhole and send a dahlia…

    Any comments?

    Reply
    • Steve

      Sorry for the late post, but i finally watched the movie. I had no trouble keeping up with any of it, except one thing.

      Where did the zippo come from?

      Reply
    • John

      See the symbol of Ouroboros or the symbol of infinity in the diary? That’s a indicate that there is no start or end, only possible results due to boundry conditions.

      Reply
    • Dreamcastjack

      Its the bootstrap paradox
      You go back in time and leave yourself a messsge to get your future self to go back in time to leave you a message to get yourself to go back in time.

      Reply
  11. Piotr

    Loved the film. Last time I had my mind twisted into pretzel like that was after “Avalon”.
    Why do You guys insist on Jim1,2,3,x, thing so much? We see events unfold through Jim (as u call prime or 1) till 38.14 then he enters wormhole, since we know that Abbys book was correct, Jim travels to paraller timeline, so its still same Jim, the other guy is Jim prime of second timeline, not original Jim 5 days younger.

    anyway, few things to look over for you friends:

    In first timeline, at about 28.35 into movie there is no flash of “failed” jump behind Jim (prime)
    in second timeline at 1.17.40 there is flash.
    was there no failed attempt in first timeline?
    and while here, why Jim1 is not having monster headache if Jim2 is standing 10 meters in front of him? (in Chucks suit)
    also would Jim run out the way he did if there was no wormhole created during “failed” attempt? Jim did not know its failure till he saw Chuck come out.
    so was there a wormhole or not?

    After Jim1 enters wormhole, he runs outside, then hearing buzzer of the doors, hides from Klauss behind pillar on his left side.(that’s 9 o’clock for You Matty lol)
    Then Klauss comes out and (39.24) LOOKS towards where Jim hides as if he knows Jim is there. (The look is definitely there). WTHell?

    When Jim returns Dahlia to its right full owner his chat with Abby is much longer in second timeline.

    When Jim “buzzes” Abbys place, in first timeline the voice in the intercom does not sound like Jim, in second timeline does.

    Now the ending:
    Going by definition of synchronicity, could it be that seeing dead Jim in hotel(not even gonna start lol) was the proverbial one with the universe moment when Jim finally figured out WTF? Did he tipped Abby when he saw her last time? What did Abby say to Jim(prime of second timeline) before films last jump? Its “Goodbye Jim” first time around, but before last jump we do not get to hear what she said.
    or
    The ending is not for “us”. Its for casual viewer who will not dwell on details to give em happy ending, cause if Johns lab exploded then there is no wormhole for Jim to exit from into this happy ending reality. For “us” ending sucks ass, cause it ends with crying, broken hearted Abby at dead Jims bed.
    so
    does anyone know where Gentry lives? I must know WTF.

    Reply
    • Xinhaidude

      > In first timeline, at about 28.35 into movie there is
      > no flash of “failed” jump behind Jim (prime)
      > in second timeline at 1.17.40 there is flash.
      > was there no failed attempt in first timeline?

      I watched the movie and wrote down key times, observations and discrepancies. I noticed this very same thing you mentioned.

      You are exactly right about the fact that there was not a fake practice run in the first time line (but I prefer to call it the first universe – this is not a time-travel movie). That’s what I think as well. Unlike the Jim-in-space-suit-not-causing-ther-other-Jim-headache, I think this was not a mistake in filming/editing. There could not have been a fake practice run in the first universe. This is obviously when you think about it.

      First, we’ve already established that this was a parallel universe story, not a time travel story. So 28.35 and 1.17.40 took place in two different universes, with different Matt and Chuck characters despite surface similarities.

      Second, if there were a fake practice run there, Matt and Chuck would not have continued with the the pretense, right? Immediately after 28.35, at around 28:50, Matt came to talk to the Jim that was presumably duped, to discuss Daliah1 and Daliah2. This only make sense if there was no fake practice run in the first universe.

      The movie never showed us what happened in the second universe after the fake practice run at 1.17.40. Presumably the lab blew up, and possibly that universe is destroyed as well. Recall what Jim1 said in very beginning of the movie about turning the handle to the right. But even if the lab did not blow up, Matt and Chuck could not have continued as if nothing happened.

      Many are probably thinking that we do know what happened after 1.17.40 in the second universe. Didn’t we see Abby go back to Klaus to acquire a third MRD? That was not the second world. That is a third world. Maybe turning the handle to the right still send Jim to a new parallel universe, whether the lab blows up or not. This is hinted by the difference between day and night, before and after the practice run. In scenes in both first universe and second universe, the practice run appeared to have happened during the day. But after the staged practice run, Jim runs out into the night. But this day/night different may have simply been a cinematography mistake.

      Reply
    • Xinhaidude

      > The ending is not for “us”. Its for casual viewer who will not dwell
      > on details to give em happy ending, cause if Johns lab exploded
      > then there is no wormhole for Jim to exit from into this happy ending reality.

      For a jump to happen, there needs to be two ends. In John’s world, he opened a worm hole, and Jim came running out. But John’s lab probably did burn up due to Matt’s mistake in this universe, or in the source universe.

      I take it that Jim ran out of the building, while John burnt to death. Note that Jim did not go to find Abby right away. He read the diary. He probably found out about John’s lab and what happened while he jumped. John probably died while Jim was arriving as Jim never did have a headache in the final scene.

      Jim then went to Abby, perhaps days after, and pretended to know nothing about John who just died.

      Reply
  12. Piotr

    To continue tradition of replaying to self.

    Jim builds time machine, fires it up, finds flower, meets Abby so on. No flash of “failed” jump first time around. Jim jumps through wormhole to “fix” things and becomes jumper Jim. Learns that Abby is not stealing his invention, just writing novel, and she too is into him. Decides that with what he knows NOW, he will make early jump, cause this time he will “fix” things for sure.
    Early jump is a failure.
    Jumper Jim, gives up and goes away to die. Finds another himself dead there already.
    Realizes that theory from Abbys book is what is going on cause:
    he is looking at 3rd Jim , a multijumper Jim who made the early jump in yet another timeline/dimmention/reality. (dead Jim is nicely swollen after laying there for 3days already, he was 3 days into temporal sickness when he jumped 2nd time and had 2 days left)
    It was dead multijumper Jim who sabotaged Matty, stopping OUR 1jump Jim from creating even bigger clustermess. and set up the eye opening meeting between them. Being 3rd Jim in made dead Jim understand. He made sure that our Jim gets his eyes open.
    OUR 1jump Jim puts it together, goes to Grand hotel, gets the final proof that Abby loves him(bangs Klaus to save him). Knowing that his actions are causing the mess, he tells Abby in their last meeting to tell prime Jim of this timeline to leave the flower when he jumps.
    Abby sneaks her book in his pocket while kissing prime Jim and tells him to leave the Dalhia.
    Prime Jim listens to Abby and makes jump without flower.
    No flower, no proof, no funding, no wormholes and jumping across timelines , no mess.
    Timelines/dimmentions/realities get “FIXED”(cause it was all the jumping that got them out of synch) and create “Johns timeline” where Jim and Abby can have their SYNCHRONICITY
    “you look just like him”
    “what a coincident , Im phissisist lol”

    Reply
    • Midwolf

      Best theory so far. I’ve been trying to get the movie for couples hours, and I admit that this theory of your matches all the details have been collecting so far. Like
      1- why is there a dead jim at the Grand hotel (because it’s jim 2 and abby came back at the end with a smile to tell him that she succeeded in stopping jim 3 to send another dahlia – which by the way solve the business problem between kaisner and jim-)
      2- as the multiverses look similar despite some details, it’s possible that after reading the notebook (with combined info of all the past Jim) and in order to survive, jim 3 decided to kill john, and hook up on abby (which in the universe is a journalist who just spoke with john on the phone)

      Reply
      • Xinhaidude

        > why is there a dead jim at the Grand hotel
        > (because it’s jim 2 and abby came back at the end with a smile to
        > tell him that she succeeded in stopping jim 3 to send another
        > dahlia – which by the way solve the business problem between kaisner and jim-)

        That is not my interpretation. We are talking about scene at around 1:32:36. I think Abby came back to the hotel room with a smile, because either:

        1. She believed in time travel (despite what her diary said). She thought with the diary slipped into Jim’s pocket, surely Jim would have gone back to the past and fixed the past. In that case, Jim would no longer be at the hotel room – history would have been changed/fixed. But I don’t believe in this one.

        2. She believed in parallel universes (instead of time travel). And thinking that she send that Jim at the lab to another universe armed with that diary, that Jim will hopefully fare well in a new universe. And now that that Jim is gone, the Jim in the hotel would recover.

        But it turned out, Jim in hotel died before the jump. This can be inferred from 33:09 and 1:28:03. At 33:09 Jim1 said into the recording that the migraine has finally stopped. Now, Jims only get headaches if they get too close to each other. But we can take this explicit statement as the director telling us that the Jim in the hotel died already, before the jump. See 1:28:03.

    • Rob Dadario

      As for your review I think u have the ending a little off.
           According to Abby’s coaster diagram; if you screenshot it and examine it. You will see she has it upside down and the timeline arrows are facing her, she did this so jim will see it and know everything played out already; that she knows. On the diagram there is a change in the jump sequences after 5 universal jumps..you see that there were in the first 5 jumps; two jump transmitters and one receiver. (Remember at dinner he said he needed a transmitter or caller, and a call receiver). Also it has a name on it jim beale, so if in that universe his prime was john who was dead; then how did her diagram say the name jim? Where did she get that from? John was just the fictitious name she was identifying him as so jim 2’s would not get it all at the point they read the book and think it was a story (this had to play out the same to keep the events unfolding)..Jim 2 tells her in her apartment when he comes there and Klaus shows up that she is working on a time travel experiment for klaus. She says, no for someone else. That someone else is jim 3 who gave her the book in her apt. after jim 1 leaves that first night after dinner. Before jim 2 shows up after going out the bathroom window..The book is there when jim 2 comes there, he walks in and then we see abby come from the door area like she let jim 3 out behind him when he was looking at the book. He then has a headach and hears two men talking, feed back from jim 3 nearby is making him pick up what sleeping jim 1’s ears are hearing; Chuck and Matty talking back at the office. Plus before that when jim 2 is in the bathroom at the office, before jim 1 passes out. Jim 1 has a headach and hears a muffled man and woman talking; that is feedback from jim 2 nearby making him pick up jim 3 and Abby talking at that moment in her apt. 
           So the first experiment was the receiver and the next was when Matty sent jim terminus (or jim 2, we’ll say jim prime is jim 1, jim terminus is jim 2 and jim terminus 2 is jim 3) back but turned right. We know from her diagram 5 times he turned left and sent a jim 2 to be a jim 3. But in the 2nd universe we see Matty tries to grab the rubber ball but jim 2 sees and tells him to get the real MRD. He then never really turns right. What happens is you see a light flash behind the fan as jim 1 is looking at the lighter, plus if he had turned right he would of had a thermonuclear explosion. So what he did was set the machine up as a receiver and ran the experiment. So now we have experiment 1 as a receiver and experiment two as one also; with experiment 3 as the transmitter. So jim 2 never goes back to be a jim 3 he dies after seeing the jim 3 from that universe dead in the hotel. The thing is they knew he needed more time for a jim prime or jim 1 to leave at the final experiment. But NOW with the second experiment being a receiver, when jim 1 jumps from the final experiment (the transmitter); he will go to the first receiver traveling back on the timeline (or the 2nd experiment). This gives him more time for jim 1 to leave before he dies. He will come out after jim 2 runs out the lab in the suit looking for Abby and chuck goes out to talk to him, telling him it’s not about finding the culprit in Klaus scam but about chasing the girl. Because his first action is to go out to look for Abby.
           So jim 1 becomes jim 4 not jim 2 this time..If you look at Abby’s coaster after five jumps jim does not go back to the first experiment dot; but to the second dot or the second experiment.
           So the play in the movie is about the weirdness of quantum physics. Even though jim 1 now goes back to the second experiment which is a receiver now, and not to experiment ones receiver later back in the timeline to become jim 2. He instead becomes jim 4 who come out the second time Matty was supposed to have messed up, now giving him more time. Plus a jim 3 does not show up at experiment one with jim 2 because a jim 2 does not go through; the machine is switched from transmitter to receiver. So no jim 2 or 3 Right! Well no quantum physics is to weird for that. A jim 2 and jim 3 still come out of experiment one, even though they were not sent. Because they have to show up or non of the events will take place to make any of this happen and u have a paradox.
           So at the end that is jim 1 coming out as jim 4..when he sees Abby at the bar it is when she gave jim 2 the book to read and left him in her apt to go to the bar and drink..check the clothes..Plus the are other times u think jim 3 is jim 1 but his sleeves are out and one is in, like when he come to get the Dahlia to bring back to her..
           At the end jim 123 are still around when jim 4 sits with her but she knows he will last till when jim 2 and 3 die and jim 1 leaves again..that is why it has to keep playing out the same..the story about the fire and his death is what they are planning so he can get his machine away from klaus and explain what happens to him after jumping into the machine.

      Reply
    • Jason

      Probably due to the Temporal sickness and the “beta” drug he was taking… probably raised his core temperature and made him feverish?

      Reply
  13. DontWatchWhenHigh

    Tried to read as many comments as possible but still not understanding how Abby could keep her notes while the universe/time changed around her… or… around the notes?

    Reply
    • Joel

      She doesn’t have too. Every Abby is different and has different notes. Could be that each Abby got less or more information about what happened. Right?

      Reply
    • Piotr

      Abby is writing her novel (since long before she meets Jim), does it while boozing at the bar and using coasters as her “notebook” (in all timelines), hence the box of coasters that Jim 2 finds. On those coasters are Abbys ideas for the book, not what Jim told her.

      Reply
  14. Joel

    Ok so I like what you said but I think what really happened is he had to find a timeline or alternate reality where there was only one John. So it really doesn’t matter what number John it is. At the end she said she knew a John who invented a time travel divorce but died in a fire. That means he is the only one in that timeline and should not get the sickness since there is no competing consciousness of himself. This is why he seeks her out because he knows he has finally found the correct timeline to stay and live. I guess it would follow the happily ever after you suggested but with my own suggestion of why he is able to stay. I mean he does say that he has his own story and it is just a theory of how it worked.

    Reply
  15. McKay

    I think the movie is more sinister. Abby is no saint and Kessler is evil…my guess after Jim successfully built the wormhole Kessler found a way to alter time…he knows all.. Where to place abby…and to direct her to steal any and everything..so after they find a way to kill him and take over the company they can still have the information…my guess John works for Kessler in the future and was sent back to tell young kessler what to do and who to use..

    Reply
  16. Logicman

    A simple sign to use on machines that can destroy the fabric of reality if not turned on properly – you can even put it on a sticky note:

    Reply
  17. Jason

    Ok, maybe I am somehow watching a different version, but the one I watched, and I just re-watched the end to be sure, JimX-whatever doesn’t say “That’s my name”, but that he is a physicist too. I think Adam is correct but that this is essentially Jim Prime landing in the right parallel where John Bane exists… What is confusing to me is if he is jumping to parallels and not back in time how is it that she has all of those damn cards? Abby says that she is working on a book after she read an article about him… so is she basically writing the same book in all the universes? and some of them his name just changes? Let me know if any of this is unclear…

    Reply
  18. john

    I noticed that no one has mentioned that Jim has yet a third name. When he goes far away he tries checking into the hotel under the name James Beal! The front desk guys says he is already checked in and then he(James) goes up to find the other James dead in the room. So there are three names floating around. Jim (Beal not sure if his last name was Beal), John Bain, and James Beal. Not quite sure the significance of it yet, but wanted to put that out there

    Reply
    • Henry

      Realize that Jim is just a standard nickname for James, so it doesn’t count as different.

      Reply
  19. MrX

    When Jim1’s headaches disappear, it’s evidence that the failed attempt actually worked. But it also implies it’s a one way trip outta here. No one comes back through the wormhole otherwise the headaches would return.

    The movie also doesn’t explain dead dupe in the hotel. I was thinking maybe two identical Jim’s from different universes came into this universe from the same “failed” attempt in their respective universes. One went back in time, but the other stayed in the present. They would act almost identically which explains how they ended up in the same hotel. But this doesn’t work. For one, it would imply the dead dupe had been dead for days and that’s some awful housekeeping right there. Second, Jim2 wanted to go back again to end things once and for all. No way he’d think the attempt had failed if he had successfully gone back in time. So no reason to go to the hotel.

    The only thing I can think of is that when Jim sees the dead dupe in the bed, he realizes the “failed” attempt actually worked (except he stayed in the present). So he goes to “watch” to see if anything is different. But how the dead dupe got there is a mystery.

    Reply
  20. Fernando

    Here´s my take (BTW, awesome review).

    The right turn instead of left, jumped Jim forward in time. This would have given time for all other (backward travelling) Jims to die, so this version of him won´t have to.

    Reply
  21. Sean

    Great write-up. I think the ‘happily-ever-after’ theory is the most likely / makes the most sense, however I wanted to point out an error in it; Jim doesn’t say “what a coincidence, my name is John’, he says ‘what a coincidence, I’m a physicist’.

    I think that like Matty and the notebook stated, Jim is moving dimensions, and as Chuck stated, two beings existing in one dimension kills one of the Jims. After who knows how many loops of Jim jumping through, he finds a dimension where he doesn’t exist (name may be different, but same person? Abby DOES say he looks just like him) and so him and Abby live happily-ever-after. Although Abby mentions John to Jim^1, so perhaps there is no happily-ever-after and the ending is just another Jim getting his few days in with Abby before he dies.

    Reply
  22. Jim?????

    Ermm has anyone considered that since there is say 3 Jim Beales in the parallel universe, then in some universes there are no Jim Beales because the Jim Beale of that universe had jumped to another universe. Just putting it out there.

    Reply
  23. Giorgio

    In order to send someone somewhere the machine needs to be in both “realities” right?. The last jump is towards a world without machine (burt in a fire), impossible right? Done….

    Let’s call Gentry, shake our fingers and say “ne ne ne ne ne”.

    Reply
    • Henry

      There WAS a machine there — used once but destroyed in a fire. Maybe an act of sabotage by the arriving jumper to kill off his duplicate and prevent his own sickness — or maybe just luck because the jumper’s plan is always to get out of the lab fast, while the rest of the gang hung around for the post-mortem and got caught in a delayed accidental blast.

      Reply
  24. Dave K

    My explanation… the plot design is flawed through sloppy writing or on purpose I don’t know which. I’d like to think it’s on purpose to give everyone a solutionless story to ponder ad-infinitum, but I’m inclined to believe it’s just sloppy writing. I say this because of the other glaring errors in the movie – primarily around unsupportable emotional responses from characters. First was John2 jealous of John1… that would be like getting jealous of a porn video you made with your girlfriend last week… it just doesn’t work. Second was the idea that a physicist driven to create such a technology would subvert his life’s work to chase a woman he doesn’t know… that also doesn’t work. Third was the emotional response of Abby when she finds out Jim1 and Jim2 both exist – doesn’t fit the character profile (which has been unflappable/go with the flow prior to this) and can’t be explained (that I can figure out) by some prior knowledge she might or might not have had. Also… all the seemingly illogical character choices are needed to move some plot element forward, hence the leanings towards “sloppy writing”.

    I liked the frequent homages to Bladerunner that were lovingly (if somewhat clumsily) strewn through the film… it was truly one of the greats and deserves them, but this film lacked the polish and the razor sharp plot of Bladerunner. That is, unless I’m missing some component of the story that reconciles the flaws I’ve perceived by use of the timeline flexibility inherent in a time travel film.

    On the acting side… Brianne delivered a solid performance, one that would stand up to Sean Youngs Rachael (to continue the Bladerunner contrast). But the male side couldn’t match the likes of Rutger Hauer and Harrison Ford.

    Finally… setting. Bladerunner’s setting was alive with people and life, launching us into an era where “gritty” Sci-Fi was possible. The effects, while dated by todays standards, are good enough that immersion – that fragile magical state of suspended disbelief – is still completely possible in 2016. Synchronicity’s setting was Spartan and overly industrial, cold and sterile… it already looks dated (more like something from the 90’s or early 00’s) and the movie is only a year old. It was also somewhat sloppily constructed – one example is the large fan spinning in the window between the control room and the experimental setup. What use is a huge fan blowing air from the experiment into the control room right in the face of the controller… except that someone though it would look cool in the shot. It does not… emphatically. Motion is important in a long relatively static shot… but not silly/illogical contrived motion.

    I’ll likely give it another viewing with more care – but at this point I’d give it ~ a 6 out of 10… a watchable movie but not one to challenge the greats.

    Reply
    • Alleszermalmer Jones

      Dave K for the win. My take is very similar to Dave K’s. I don’t think the writing or directing were up to the task of conveying what was supposed to have been conveyed. The movie might make more sense if each scene said what Jacob Gentry thought it said.

      Time may be malleable in a time travel romance, but relationships still grow from the first meeting until the last scene (even if we see this growth out of order). When a great director is working with great actors and a great script, a careful viewer will be able to see this progression. Is she meeting him for the first time? Or is she reacting to him like an old lover? Or is she pretending to be meeting him for the first time to mask some ulterior motive? If the artists are good, you will know (even if you have to look twice).

      I do this thing when I watch movies where I try to imagine the screenplay for what I’m seeing. In Synchronicity, it seems like some of this relationship data is written into the script. But some combination of script, directing, and acting prevented the message from getting through. I don’t know enough about writing movies, directing, or acting to apportion blame. Also, apportioning blame would be a dick move.

      And besides, none of the script, the directing, and the acting were terrible. I think the makings of a tight, coherent time travel love story underpin Synchronicity’s script, and despite its flaws I will be keeping an eye on Jacob Gentry. And acting in this sort of movie must be really really difficult. Threaten my life and give me a year to prepare, and still I couldn’t convincingly modulate between “pretending to be a person who is lying to a version of my true love who knows like 10% of what’s going on” and “pretending to be a person lying to a different timeline’s version of the same true love who is uncomfortably close to understanding my true motives but still needs to be manipulated into carrying out my plan.” Like, acting is really hard, man.

      Anyway, I think that’s why the OP and this thread are full of theories with no clear winner. You don’t need instructions to have fun with a box of LEGO bricks. But you do need instructions to be sure that what you are seeing is what the designer wanted to show you. In a “some assembly required” movie, the correct arrangement of pieces feels right because it is consistent with the movie’s emotional message. Synchronicity’s emotional message was garbled, so we’re mostly just free-building here.

      Reply
    • usun

      I totally agree with you. It looks people this thread are mostly focusing on technical side of the plot, treating it as blocks to construct something. Sci-Fi attracts some nerds (hopefully I am the one also).
      While watching I was not into this movie not because of plot complexity, but due to weak dialogue, unconvincing motivations and other movie crafting aspects, which led me to believe that script was not so good and we shouldn’t may be give too much credit to perceived hints, those may be just multiple errors covered by enough ambiguity to let audience to invent story and patch hole by themselves.
      I gave it 3 of 5, and I love such movies.

      Reply
  25. Ed

    To understand the possibilities of this movie you must understand that what happens before the movie begins, and then work backwards in analyzing the movie.

    Before the movie (for better clarity I’m relabeling the names):
    There existed a Jim(-1) who did not go back in time. He accepted his role as Tesla and Meisner’s as Edison. Thus, he did not go back in time. In this universe, there is no paradox. In some universes he still gets the girl, and in others, Abby remains Meisner’s mistress. Jim0 makes a different choice and goes back in time. When he goes back in time a paradox is created making both Jim0 and Jim1 sick.

    Final Jump
    Jim2 finds himself outside the laboratory, and he is well. There are no other live versions of him in this universe. There is no evidence that the laboratory has been destroyed. When Jim2 meets Chuck2 and he asks “Are you still chasing her?” and Abby2 is not at the scene, Jim2 knows that in this universe another version of him has already met Abby2 and he has jumped fewer than five days into the past and possibly into the near future. When Jim2 meets Abby2, Abby2 pretends not to know him. Why? Because, Jim1 in his deathbed at Abby2’s apartment told her what happened and that each version of him are different people. Thus, Abby2 is acting properly by saying that she doesn’t know him. She tells him the lab blew up probably to prevent him from going into time traveling again.

    JIm1’s Final Hours
    After the jump fails, Jim1 tells Abby1 not to ask Meisner1 for the new component to allow Jim2 make the jump. That way, Jim2 will never go back in time and Jim3 will never experience the paradox. However, Jim2 will probably die because of Jim1’s presence. Jim1 goes to the hotel and sees Jim0’s dead body. He now knows that he has only a few hours to live. Thus, he rushes to Abby1’s apartment for one last time. There he tells Abby1 what has happened, that free will exists, and that she should change history by asking Meisner for the 3rd component. But instead of jumping Jim2 to the past, Chuck will secretly jump Jim2 either sideways or into the future. Jim1 dies, and Abby knows to tell Chuck that he can send Jim2 anytime after Jim1’s death. At Jim1’s death, Jim(0) is also dead so that Jim2 will be healthy in this universe.

    Jim1 Before the Second Attempted Jump
    Jim1 is following the same path of Jim0. We don’t really know if Jim0 attempted the second jump. Probably not, since Jim1 jumped 5 days into the past. Nevertheless, since he is slightly older than Jim1 he dies first. This gives Jim1 the opportunity to meet Abby1 one last time, and change history for Jim2.

    This is the most logical version I can think of. Most likely the writer knows exactly what happened and made it into a jigsaw puzzle where the viewer has to put the pieces together.

    Reply
    • Ed

      To clarify the second to the last paragraph, Jim0 is slightly older than Jim1. Thus, Jim0 dies first, and this give Jim1 the opportunity to go to Abby1’s apartment and save Jim2.

      Reply
  26. Drey

    Just a small thing but jim says “what a coincidence… in a physicist” not my name is John.

    Reply
  27. Ryan

    I think people may have already touched on this in the comments but I believe I have connected most of the dots your theories laid out. I definitely think the overall flow of the movie was as you said, repeated failed attempts at breaking the temporal cycle. Then when he makes the final jump at the end that’s where we start to get confused.

    I believe that the crucial moment that the cycle of Jim’s is broken is when Matty accidentally flips the wrong way. So if we are calling original Jim Jim1 and when he first jumps back he is watching Jim2, then at the end of the cycle Jim2 is the one jumping back to square 1 where he then watches over Jim3 etc etc. Well in this normal scenario, what happens to Jim1? My guess is he goes on to check into the grand hotel and dies in the bed. We never get to see this because for most of the movie we are just seeing the same cycle Jim is trapped in play out over and over. I think that it’s not until Matty screws up the sequence that the next jump works.

    So what Taylor calls Jim3 at the end, to me, isn’t the same original Jim we are watching, but rather the one who walks into the wormhole and breaks out of the loop instead of going back to square 1. That would explain why the last (living) Jim we see seems to look different and not know about everything we have already seen or how many times he’s been down that road.

    Reply
  28. Joan :P

    Near six months thinking about this film. Awesome! It would be nice to time travel to the beginning to rewrite this history, as Abby did … 😉

    Reply
  29. Chris

    Jim didn’t say “what a coincidence, that’s my name” at the end. He “said what a coincidence. I’m a physicist.”

    My thinking is that the John bane universe was the prime universe, but because he died, they were unable to complete the wormhole, and john 2 obviously couldn’t come back.

    But in alternate universes, he didn’t die. And due to infinite possibilities, him dying or not dying in one screwed up the experiments. And started a chain reaction.

    Because in the universe in the bulk of the movie, she was writing a story about a John bane. But in the end, she knew him and was supposed to interview him.

    I think (not sure if one of your theories covered this), by the end was Jim making it to John bane prime universe. And because here was no John/Jim, his journey ended. No sickness to worry about because in this one he died.

    It closed the loop basically.

    But I sucked at physics, so I could be wrong.

    Reply
  30. Pako Aradillas

    Where the hell that lighter came from? “Jim2” give it to Aby, Aby gives it to “Jim1” then he gives it to Aby who will give it to Jim… This freaking loop is killing me!! I believe this is a clue from the writer…

    Reply
  31. Ed2 Bloomberg

    What can you expect from a movie that calls 90 degrees 45 degrees?

    Reply
  32. Keith

    Here is my theory, when Jim2 makes his jump he is so engulfed by the book that he doesn’t see Abby. Since Jim isn’t there to light her cigarette, she just takes a cab home (I don’t think Abby was purposefully dropped off to be a spy, I think her and Meisner just had a fight). Jim2 reads the book and realizes that he needs to stop the loop. Therefore he stays out of the way until the other Jim in his universe dies in a fire. In this universe Abby never meets Jim until the last scene in the movie. I think the Jim that died in an explosion is the result of Matty turning the lever right instead of left. The reason I disagree with the other theories, is I don’t buy that in the universe where Abby slips the notebook into his jacket, he also happens to jump into a universe where no other Jim exists. Also if he jumped into a universe where the lab blew up in a fire, how is that possible, there wouldn’t have been a lab left to jump into.

    Reply
    • Keith

      Also I think Abby just takes notes on the coasters in the bar for her books, I don’t think everything written down is a quote from Jim. In the last scene of the movie she is writing on coasters, and tells Jim she’s working.

      Reply
  33. Josh

    I think there is a very simple explanation for all of this.
    An infinite number of parallel universes where all possibilities take place is the concept of the film.
    What we see is a singular possibility with the full travel of John1(affected by the actions of a JohnX traveling through the first wormhole), then a second possibility with John2 (simply affected by the actions of John1’s travel through his first wormhole).
    The JohnX dead in the hotel is merely another possibility which perhaps came back at the same point as John1 into john2’s universe.
    The ending is the result of John2’s travel into a universe where the experiment resulted in a horrible accident and therefore there is no temporal sickness.

    And the girl? She knows nothing special, there is no grand design from her. She is a writer who happened to create a story where she was correct about how his device worked. The quote of coincidence being God’s way of not being noticed is in there to say just this. As there are infinite possibilities then it is certain that she’ll just happen to write a story very accurate to the truth in many itterations of the universe.

    So that’s it. All we saw was a couple of itterations of an infinitely occurring sequence of events, littered with coincidence and no grand design.

    Side note: as I’d put this together before the final “happy ending scenes” I saw how utterly pointless the ending was… Because the core of the film is that every ending happened… That one we saw was a certainty by the concept of infinite universes! Haha! (Gosh I’m nerdy for finding that funny)

    Reply
  34. Jason

    Just one quick correction. In the end scene the quote is not “What a coincidence, that’s my name.” Instead he says “What a coincidence, I’m a physicists.” I don’t know if this changes anything, but the man at the end never claims to be John Bane.

    Reply
  35. Tony

    Synchronicity Movie Ending Explained

    When the wormhole machine is initially activated at the beginning of the movie, it results in four major parallel timelines:

    (1) Activate the wormhole –> nothing happens/ machine doesn’t work
    (2) Activate the wormhole –> dahlia appears
    (3) Activate the wormhole –> dahlia appears; Jim Beal appears
    (4) Activate the wormhole –> machine explodes and kills John Bain; Jim Beal appears

    Parallel timeline # 1 is the one we initially see, where nothing comes through the wormhole machine and Klaus Meisner leaves, thinking the machine is a failure. This timeline results from an Abby in parallel timeline # 3 telling that timeline’s “Jim Prime” not to travel back with the dahlia. Because there is no dahlia, there is no proof of time travel. Because there is no proof of time travel, Klaus Meisner does not provide the rare element necessary for the wormhole machine to be reactivated. Because the machine is not reactivated, no time travel ever happened. Because no time travel ever happened, the machine is abandoned as a dead end.

    Parallel timeline # 2 is the one we next see, where the machine is now a success because a rare flower, a genetically-engineered dahlia, has come through. This timeline results from the physicist, Jim Beal, giving up control of his company in exchange for the rare element necessary to activate the wormhole machine, and from Klaus Meisner / Abby providing the dahlia to Jim Beal to send back in time. In this grouping of parallel timelines, Klaus Meisner ends up with control of the machine and the technology, because the physicist, Jim, never travels back in time in an effort to subvert that control.

    Parallel timeline # 3 is where all the excitement happens. This timeline results from the physicist, Jim Beal, traveling back in time with the dahlia in an attempt to change history—not understanding that he has only traveled to the past of a different, parallel timeline and cannot alter the past of his own, original timeline. Here, the traveler Jim attempts to travel back in time, yet again, to “fix” everything, but Matty screws up and sends Jim forward in time (instead of back in time). Defeated, Jim travels to a hotel, where he’s told he’s already staying, and finds a dead version of him in the room. This is a version of Jim that went back in time, instead of forward, but only went back in time in order to remove the “left right” instructions so that Matty would send Jim forward in time. Jim realizes he only has only a few hours left, doesn’t want to die alone, and returns to a room where he can watch Abby trade sex with Klaus Meisner for the rare element needed by the wormhole machine.

    Parallel timeline # 3 gives rise to timelines # 1 and # 4. Abby in parallel timeline # 3 tells that timeline’s “Jim Prime” not to travel back with the dahlia. She also slips the notebook in his pocket. Because timeline # 3’s Jim Prime does not have the dahlia, nothing came through when the machine was initially activated, and the result is parallel timeline # 1. Yet, the “Jim Prime” of timeline # 3 had to go somewhere. He went to timeline # 4.

    Parallel timeline # 4 results, in part, from the paradox created in timeline # 3, when Jim goes back in time without the dahlia. Jim cannot emerge in timeline # 1, because nothing came through when the machine in timeline # 1 was activated (because the machine was a “failure” in that parallel timeline, so nothing was ever sent back from the future). Instead, in yet another parallel reality, timeline #4, a different physicist, John Bain, is working on a wormhole machine. When timeline # 4’s physicist, John, activates the machine, it explodes, killing him. Timeline # 4’s wormhole machine explodes because something comes through the machine (from the future of a parallel timeline, # 3) even though nothing was sent back from that timeline # 4’s future: A future John Bain could not send anything into the past because past John Bain died (and his wormhole machine was destroyed) in an explosion. This is a paradox to “complete” or “close” the paradox created in timeline # 3 when Jim went back without the dahlia.

    Once in parallel timeline # 4, Jim reads the notebook from end to end, realizes that his wormhole machine jumps him between different parallel timelines, and decides to stay in the reality of timeline # 4. Jim decides to stay in John’s reality because Jim’s correlate, John Bain, is already dead, and Jim can live happily ever after with Abby without having to worry about time sickness. Thus, the Abby of timeline # 3 ended up indirectly “killing” the John of timeline # 4 when she told the Jim Prime of timeline # 3, not to travel back in time with the dahlia… but by doing so, she made it possible for a version of her to have a relationship with a version of Jim.

    Reply
    • vladimir

      yup this makes sense. without the flower they had no evidence and did not leave the building to talk to the investor, also did not meet the girl.

      but we can’t really know who died, the traveler or the one who never traveled.

      but if the guy is the traveler there’s another paradox since the 1st never achieved time travel, could the traveler exist? or he would die like the others?

      I think that when his fried says that he’s “still looking for her” he gives a clue…
      actually he should work on saving himself. One difference of last guy is that he is not anxious.

      Sacrifice himself and the work for love. Since most sci-fi stories are based on gnosis I think this makes more sense. the attached guy trying to beat himself, save his business and stay with her could never achieve all, he should save the other.

      You choose what to believe… love or a psycho loophole 😀

      Reply
    • Rob Dadario

      There is no initial experiment where nothing comes through and Klaus leaves.. the movie opens with the doing a practice run that Matty messes up..it is a practice run because 1) when they take the MRD out the boc Matty takes the one not shining, the dull practice ball..plus jim 1 says we have time for one more practice run..then Klaus comes the wormhole is opened for the first time and jim1 passes out..when he wakes to chuck Matty bangs on the glass with the Dahlia..so when was this time your speaking of that nothing came through…keep in mind that the worm hole has to be open on both ends..An when there is an explosion wouldn’t jim have seen it he has to come out of the machine and run through the plastic tunnel each time so if john’s machine exploded blowing up the lab how did the jim get out with out dying..

      Reply
  36. vladimir

    I think that no Jim could ever beat Jim1, the guy with the info should choose to die to save the 1st, giving him all the information.

    So Jim1 doesn’t start anything, he’s the only one. He meets the girl for the 1st time in a different circunstance, and tells her the story. The only solution was not doing it to be the only one. She’s writing something in the end but not related to him, it was her habit.

    it’s a great story 😀 funniest part is that most people will watch the movie at least 2 times trying to recognize the Jims. very immersive 😛

    Reply
  37. steveInFl

    Ok…this was a great film and at the end I was like..’Whaaaa?’ So now,after reading all of these reviews I’m going to screw with all of your heads. After the wormhole was first opened (halfway) in the (allegedly) very first attempt Jim1 sees a shadow on the lab video of the experiment. It looks like a person,running out of the wormhole. He then runs outside to see…but encounters Abby who happens to be standing there…assumably waiting for a cab. Investor-guy has already left her at the curb to go to dinner with his wife (but is stopped by Jim after a brief conversation with Abby and they join him). So…WHO was the shadow that exited the wormhole and ran outside? Obviously the movie started with jumps already in progress. A previous,wiser, version of Jim, call him previous Jim, one who had already met Abby, had made the jump INTO the first scene…and had brought her a flower from her apartment (in another dimension) as proof of his ability to time travel and of his love for her and as a clue for Jim1, knowing that Jim1 would run outside and meet Abby. At first, I thought it was Abby who had exited the wormhole but if you go back to the scene in the car, you can see her sitting in it with Investor guy. So, as the movie progresses, Previous Jim,all the wiser, goes out into the city, avoiding all contact with anyone, to seek out an answer to the sickness that plagues him or how to defeat Investor guy. Ultimately, he checks into the hotel and at the end, dies from his illness, being unsuccessful yet again. The decomposition of the body fits the timeline. Meanwhile, Jim1 meets Abby, suspects her, jumps again, goes back 5 days, Jim 2 appears who falls in love with Abby. The next attempt actually fails.Not sideways or forward. Jim 2 decides to run, checks into the hotel only to find himself dead (Previous Jim) on the bed. He realizes time is short, returns to the Grand Hotel to watch Abby across the street in her room, with Investor guy. Abby sees him, somehow runs across the street,persuades the Grand Hotel clerk to give her a key AND extract the room number, enters his room where Jim2 dies. Jim one can now continue on with his experiments in a healthy manner. We don’t know if he is clued in by his compadres…probably so. this is the END of this dimension. In the final scene, we see an ultimately wizened and successful Jim X to the 10th, after perhaps centuries of attempts (hey,time is relative anyway so it wouldn’t seem like it to him) FINALLY hits gold and enters the universe in which an Abby is a journalist, is writing a story about John Bane who is an actual,living scientist that’s experimenting with time travel, but is NOT an identical-DNA version of Jim which would cause the illness to appear yet again.Remember…originally Jim 2 exclaimed…’it’s just a work of fiction!’ about her notes. She was writing a ‘novella’… I don’t think she ever identified herself as a journalist until the last scene. Just because the machine and all of John Bane’s work was lost in a fire does not tell us that he could not have used Bane’s machine to enter that dimension. We don’t know to what level of capability Bane’s work had proceeded, nor how many times Bane used his machine for other subjects etc…Jim 2 jumped in the week before, found himself in the correct universe,one in which the illness would not affect him,located Abby on the sly, confirming her existence in that dimension as well, then ended time travel once and for all, at least in his time in that dimension,by destroying Bane’s machine. He then went to the bar she habituates, knowing her habits well. he introduced himself and eased himself into her life by discussing his stories about time travel. In THIS dimension, Abby had zero memories etc…of Jim 2 or any Jim because Bane was the scientist and Jim just ‘looked just like him’… And yes, the lived happily ever after.

    Reply
  38. vladimir

    Jim Prime also learns with the other Jim experience, they share a counciousness. They don’t understand, but they see the fire.

    1st time he gives the Dahlia to Abby he’s more rude. When we start to see the point of view of the other Jim, the Prime changes too.

    The 1st traveler didn’t notice the notebook in his pocket, but it was there.

    Matty finds it and gets crazy cause he is the first to know the end.
    Everything is happening at the same time.

    The fire and death of “John” maybe was not a fact, but a hint to Jim.
    How could Abby know about other universe?

    We don’t see when Abby talks to Chuck in the end.
    She just tells JimX about their conversation. But Abby and Chuck together had all the information needed to solve the problem.

    There was no John, one dies with a fake identity. Only Jim – and the movie watchers – see multiple experiences, the others have only one, or at least they would remember the last one as their reality.

    Reply
  39. Rob Dadario

    I see it like this,
    The movie is based on 5 and 6 dimensional space. Or a 5d phase plane and a 6d phase space. In 5d you have all the possible worldlines for a particular person. In 6d you have all the different possible variations for a unique universe. So u would jump through 6d space to jump from one 5d worldline to another.
    In the movie we start with worldline (A), this one has jim 1 or jim prime as native to this worldline. He receives the lighter from Abby while lying in bed. He then goes into the wormhole and does a 6d jump to a different 5d worldline. This will be worldline (B), as the probability amplitudes would be similar in some worldlines; when he arrives he finds very similar variables to the life equation vector path. He then gives the lighter to Abby before she gave it to him on the vector path.
         When she gave it to jim on worldline (A) it had no fuel, but when he gave it to her on worldline (B), which was before she gave it to him; it had fuel. She could not of gave it to him again with out taking the fuel out, this implies different events taking place and the worldlines branching out on different probability vectors. Events were already splitting on the vector path of both worldlines and different probabilities were unfolding. Also jim 2 on worldline (B) states he wants to go back to a week before to change things..when it appears the jump fails. But like I said on at least one probability worldline it would of been a left turn by Matty not right; because all probabilities exist. So his way of saving any chance he and Abby had was to give her information which was the knowledge in the book, or how would she know such in depth details of his situation and project. On each timeline she most have been informed by Jim 3 the week earlier. At the end since worldline (3) has so many different variables; like jim’s nqme is now John; a small variation in the probability feild. We don’t know if a jim 3 was there to fill her in a week before. A jim 3 may of not been in worldline (3), each has different vectors..But Abby seems to smile and toy with him as if she does know what is going on..

         So back to worldline (B), jim 1 jumps to worldline (B) becoming jim 2 on that worldline. A non native jim to worldline (B), the confusion comes from that fact he arrives on worldline (B) before he leaves worldline (A) so he appears to be time traveling. He is really jumping worldlines to amplitude points previously experienced on the worldline he just left; but now on a different worldline. When he gets there he finds Abby put a book about his travels in his pocket. He attempts to jump again to before the first experiment a week before jim 2’s arrival. But Matty turns right not left and we think nothing happened. Chuck makes a statement about your still looking for her. Now the book makes this go only one way. The jim standing there had to have been jim 2 who went no where, but in a different worldline since all probabilities exist one at least had Matty turn left not right. So a jim from one of those worldlines was sent back to a week earlier on worldline (B); and (A) probably too. This one dictated the book to Abby and was the dead guy in the hotel. He was there a whole week earlier and would not of lasted. Jim 1 of worldline (B) goes into the wormhole and jim 2 on worldline (B); the jim 1 of worldline (A) dies. He is now dead on this worldline forever and Abby will be heartbroken on worldline (B). But when jim (1) of worldline (B) arrives on worldline (C) Abby is not outside to be given the lighter. The probability amplitudes of this worldlines vector path are very different. Jim 2 of worldline (C) reads the book and understands what’s been going on. He meets Abby at the bar, but in this worldline he was not jim but john, the first jim to meet Abby a week early to dictate the book most of been a john because that is the name she used. Not only is the name different but he was killed in an accident. He is now dead to that worldline and jim 2 will not get sick since he is the only jim on that worldline. He and Abby escaped the paradox.

    I don’t think consciousness can traverse brains of different human even if they are the same person when they come from different worldlines, probability spaces, phase planes, or reality tunnels. Whatever you want to call them. The only way Abby could of had the information was the book and he had to give it to her before their first shown meeting. Remember that it was all taking place on the same time slices but just in different worldlines or phase spaces..so she would not be able to compile information time and again as to the fact she was going over the same spacetime time vector positions just in different worldlines.

    Reply
    • Rob Dadario

      The only way different Abby’s could of kept having the information in the book ahead of his first jump was if Matty turned left in some worldlines and a jim 2 did make the 2 nd jump to a week earlier there by informing Abby and giving her the information in the book. Each Abby was a different version of Abby on each worldline. In the worldlines where Matty turned right not left and no 2nd jump took place jim 2 stood behind to die and Abby found him dead then sat on the bed. So the jim 3 that arrived a week earlier was from a worldline where then 2nd jump worked. In the worldlines where the jump worked jim 2 left that world line to be a jim 3 a week earlier on a different worldline, so he would of not saw himself dead and been in the motel room for Abby to comfort or then find dead. So either many scenarios were taking place in different worldlines. The last jim and Abby finally got a worldline with all the right variables (like John 1 being dead) and could be together..

      Reply
  40. Rob Dadario

    Also in the ending scene when he tells her have a drink and the camera shows the drink. The drink coasters she is writing is shown very fast, it appears to show her drawing many dotted lines branching out from one another. Like a probability plane in a 5d space. This implies that Abby knew and had been visited by a jim 3 a week earlier. Maybe even killing of setting up the death of that worldlines jim/john 1 so when the next jim 2 got there he would not get sick.

    Reply
  41. Foo

    My assumption was that at some point Abby goes through the wormhole with the Dahlia, the notebook, the beer coasters, an extra fuel pellet, and a big bag full of condoms. She bangs everybody Jims 1 through X, the money guy, the bearded lab guy, the autistic guy, the hotel concierge, and all of the hotel maids. She kills a Jim, take your pick, leaves him in the hotel so JimX-1 doesn’t do anything stupid, then goes to the lab and sends just the book through, plus whatever condoms she has left, just for incentive. John 1 reads the notebook, never tells the money guy, fakes a lab explosion and his own death, then takes the notebook and the condoms to the bar, where he meets an unsullied version of Abby. I mean, the guy hadn’t left the lab in years. He really needed some cuddle time.

    Reply
  42. vladimir

    addendum 😛

    1st time we see the 1st version of prime. the other is there, but we don’t see.

    then we jump to a second point of view where prime “learn” from other Jim experiences.

    there are 3 jims in a timeline. prime, the traveler, and the guy who died – he’s the jim who traveled 2 times. he’s the first to die and the more experienced since he was aware of other 2 Jims.

    Matty had to sabotage the 2nd travel of the traveler to don’t bring again the 3rd Jim to the next timeline. Matty is 1st reader of the notebook, it was complete.

    Reply
    • vladimir

      it’s all about points of view and the influence of the observer who can see “the big picture”. and that’s himself, sharing a consciousness. The 1st Jim Prime doesn’t love Abby, the last Prime does.

      the 3 gifts – the lighter, the notebook and the dahlia – have a also a symbolic meaning and are important keys to understand all.

      Reply
      • Rob Dadario

        There is 3 jim’s because if u work out the time line in general, when jim2 was in the bar and gets sick we see the sceen change to show jim in Klaus office sick. Then we see another jim sick in the lab office with chuck. Also when Matty screws up the 2nd wormhole there is a problem with the timeline..let me explain it gets deep..in the beginning of the movie before jim 2 is introduced we see chuck tell jim 1 there is a problem with the machine and to go take a break. We dont know that is was jim 2 in the suit not chuck at this time. Then jim 1 is in his office with the lighter. Next Matty wakes him up with the plants saying it’s a match..he tells him meet me at the office we have another wormhole ro open. But Matty just used the last MRD when he turned right. But next we see jim 1 get a call to go to Klaus office..he then goes to get the plant and goes to Abby’s where chuck and jim 2 are inside..So from jim1 point if view chuck had ran the experiment where Matty turned right and it was jim2 in the suit not chuck; because that happened before jim 1 went to Klaus office to get fucked. An before he was at Abby’s apartment to return the plant..But after jim 2 is introduced when we see it from jim 2 point of view and know chuck and jim 2 are the ones in the apt. Jim 2 did not run the experiment yet, he has to get thrown out with Chuck by Abby. Then they chuck calls Matty and gets the shots, they talk in the office then go to run the ‘Matty right turn experiment’..AFTER jim 1 returned the plant to Abby. But wait didn’t they run it before jim 1 went to Klaus office and before he wentered to Abby’s apartment. So from jim 1 point of view it was jim 2 not chuck in the suit before he went to Klaus office and Abby’s apartment, but when he goes to Abby’s apartment the jim 2 inside had not been in the suit yet pretending to be chuck; that happens after he and chuck leave..So what about chucks point of view, we first see him run the ‘Matty right turn experiment’ and tell jim 1 to the machine is messed up before he goes to Abby’s to help sick jim2..But later he runs it after he was at abby’s..So if he would of opened the door and Abby invited jim 1 in to find chuck and jim2 there, and chuck said to jim 1 remember when I told u the machine was broken; well I lied it was not me in the suit..jim2 would not know what he was talking about because he had not did that yet..So did chuck run it before he goes to Abby’s or after..or twice..or is it to worldline and two different versions of what could unfold for a worldline..

      • Rob Dadario

        I don’t think they were sharing a consciousness..Jim 1 didn’t know about jim 2 and if there was a jim 3 jim 2 didn’t know about him..but if they ran the experiment and sent jim 2 back in the first part of the movie timeline 1..from jim 1 view, then when jim 1 goes to Klaus office and Abby’s house after that to return the plant, jim 2 would of not been inside with chuck because they sent him back before jim1 went to Abby’s in the first timeline. But in timeline 2 they run the 2nd experiment after abby’s apartment scene with jim2 and chuck…Also if on jim2 timeline they did the experiment at a different time, after abby’s aparen’t scene when jim 1 returns the plant, then Matty sabotaged it to stop jim 3 from coming again on the next timeline, and jim 3 dies, that is the jim jim2 sees dead in the hotel..Then jim2 dies when Abby gets back to grand hotel..and jim 1 of that timeline had went into the wormhole to come out and find that the lab had blown up and his name was john..He would not have to worry about jim or john1 on that timeline he died in the lab explosion, plus no jim 3 because Matty sabotaged that on timeline 2. But he would not have had jim2 memories, he would of been picking up from the first jump..Also this does not explain how Abby had the coasters already or the book and info when jim2 went to her apartment the first night after she got back from dinner with jim1 and Klaus and his wife..when jim1 got the call from chuck and left..if a jim 3 came he came that night too and could not of gave her all that because she was out at dinner with jim1 and Klaus and his wife..

      • vladimir

        yup, jim 1 is not aware of the others, but he feels something. when jim 2 gets some important information jim 1 feels and they have hallucinattions with the other’s mind content. thats why jim 1 keeps improving his actions.

      • vladimir

        first time he gives the dahlia to abby he is rude, but not in the 2nd time. the way he looks at her is different too, even when she returns to the lab with Klaus. he’s jealous but not angry like the 1st time.

        after the failed travel attempt chuck says he is “still chasing after her”. jim 2 also knows about the notebook.

        then in the end jim travel but doesnt look for her, he reads the notebook instead. she is probably there. the 1st experiment could have not failed or the travel would not be possible, that’s the receptor point.

  43. Albert

    Interesting post. When I made my jumps there was never any sickness, and I had trouble understanding where this idea came from. Other than that, the film was surprisingly accurate in its portrayal of intradimensional travel.

    Reply
  44. Rob Dadario

    I just watched a video with the cast explaining it all, didn’t seem like what I thought..Apparently there was the first universe, jim prime is the observer. Jim terminus runs the lab experiment where he pretends to be chuck in the suit before jim prime returns the Dahlia to Abby..So I was right about that (thought it might of been an editing error). That jim terminus go back to the first experiment and shows up as jim terminus 2 with the Dahlia and jim terminus in a new parallel universe. We then switch to jim terminus as the observer, apparently jim terminus 2 or jim 3 that did go back to the first day clued a Abby in on the situation. Because she was a writer and was writing a book about time travel jim terminus 2 uses her and her book as the constant in the universal structures. The only was to pass information on in the loop. He then tells Matty and chuck to not send the jim terminus back to become him in the next parallel universe. If u look at the pages of the book when he scans then at Abby’s the first nigh;. Jim terminus. You see it says wormhole works in both directions for forward jump. Then under it says 5 days forward estimated. So Matty and chuck sabotage the experiment, Matty first trys to grab the dead MFD ball but jim sees and tells him to get the active one. So this jim, jim terminus goes on in parallel universe 2 and sees jim terminus 2 dead in the hotel. Then he goes on to die and Abby finds him in bed..But the jim prime from that universe jumped but did not go back he went forward as Matty and chuck set the machine up for forward ( although do to time constraints non of this was shown in the final edited movie, the cast had issues with that saying it did not make the movie to understandable editing out those clips..) so in the end the last jim we see went forward, after jim prime goes in the machine when Abby puts the book in his pocket Matty and Chuck stage a fire and jim prime is labeled dead in the lab fire. Klaus thinks he is dead and Abby leaves him..Jim prime from parallel universe 2 shows up in parallel universe 3 to find no lab and he is five days in the future. He reads the book and gets it all. He then goes to the bar to find Abby and since no wormhole would be open in the future no one was sure if jim would show up anyway in the future; but he did..when he sits with Abby she plays with him not knowing how much he gets of it all..She uses the john name because that was the character in her book and when he tells her the same line time kills line. She knows he understands. She tells him about the lab fire so he gets that they staged his death like that. Then they both laugh at the end as they know they won..A lot of this is in the script if u read it online but left out the movie and how ur suppose to get this is beyond me..

    Reply
  45. Rob Dadario

    When chuck and jim sabotage jim terminus jump to the first experiment in parallel universe 2 so he can become jim terminus 2 in parallel universe 3 we see jim terminus run outside in the suit. Chuck tells him your still searching for her. Meaning as soon as he thought he went back to that first day his first action was to run out to look for Abby. The point being he thought he was trying to solve the riddle of his time travel but it was all about getting the girl. Abby meets at dinner and says chuck told me everything meaning that he would not go back to be jim terminus 2 and he would die to try the future move they were planning; but he does not know this.

    Reply
  46. Rob Dadario

    Also if u look at the scene where jim terminus is sick and Abby calls chuck; that is one of the only scenes we see jim prime and jim terminus 2 or jim 3 in close proximity. Chuck is in the lab office with jim terminus 2 or jim 3 and gets the call from Abby, jim terminus ran out the bathroom. We see jim terminus or jim 2 sick in the bar with Abby, then jim prime sick in Klaus office for a second; the window with the skyline at night behind him. Then we see jim terminus 2 or jim 3 run out the lab office bathroom. His shirt is out of his waistband and his shirt sleeves are out of his blazer sleeves. He looks sick. Chuck gets the call from Abby and goes out of the plastic tunnel to the lab floor on the phone with Abby. He then takes the Dahlia terminus from Matty and tells him to tell jim prime he took it for a test. Then we see jim prime come back from Klaus office with his shirt tucked in and sleeves in his blazer looking fine..he takes Dahlia prime to bring back to Abby. What throws u off is after Matty tells him chuck took Dahlia terminus to get a test he says; that most be who he was on the phone with. So u think it is the same jim from the lab office; but he just saw him on the phone and the clothes difference show this..

    Reply
  47. Caitlin H.

    Hey! Great review and explanation but I actually have a correction for you. I just finished watching this, and I even went back and rewatched the very end to make sure, and you got the quote wrong about him saying his name was john. He doesn’t say “What a conincedence, my name’s John.” he says, “What a conincedence, I’m a physicist.” Other than that this article was actually really helpful as I finished the movie and was completely confused as to what exactly had happened. 🙂

    Reply
  48. Kevin

    The way that I see it, is that Abby has been searching through many, many parallel Universes. As a time-traveler, herself, she knows that the time-machine was successfully created by John Bane. She had to believe in that theory of infinite parallel Universes. It seems as though she had entered into the room of the dying John more than once, as if she had experienced more than one parallel Universe. I believe that she was searching for the Universe in which that John would make every correct decision, with the help of her book, to end up meeting her and pairing up. With this last Universe (shown), John must have staged a destruction of his laboratory. This movie mentions Nikola Tesla, and his great character to bring free energy to mankind. Tesla’s lab caught fire and was destroyed. (Or so history indicates.) Perhaps this last John wanted it to look like his lab was destroyed. If it looked like the time travel was a failure, he would not have someone to take ownership away from him that would use it for selfish purposes. I believe that both Abby and John, (the last ones shown), knew each other pretty well, when they meet at restaurant table.

    Reply
    • Kevin

      Correction: My last comment was done quickly, so I was getting the names Jim and John mixed with each other. Perhaps there was a John in one of the other Universes that claimed inventing of Jim’s time machine, and Jim was almost lost to history, just like Nikola Tesla was almost forgotten.

      Reply
  49. Niall uptoolate

    Arnie killed Richter by holding onto his arms and says see you at the Party Richter.
    This is why Abby has the lighter and also the stash of beermats and the flower and the vangelis-esque soundtrack. Jim 2 is really a hologram.

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  50. Dusty Kolar

    I really liked the explanation. one thing though. I dont remember him saying,”thats my name.” i remember him saying, “im a physicist.” Did i miss something?

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  51. Gregger

    Well there’s not supposed to be a clear cut explination that’s the point. I want to offer my simplistic explination – I took the chick at her word that she’s writing a book – a book. When John2 reads the book he immediately knows he can trust her. So by slipping John1 the book he knows she’s not against him thus breaking the loop. Also I want to agree with what someone else said – there is no johnx this is still john2 saying the experiment failed because the switch was turned right instead of left.

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  52. Jeff

    JimX has got to be the same as Jim2. Their attempt to send Jim2 back simply failed and nothing happened. The reason they’re so worried about Matty turning the knob the wrong direction is bc it wastes the incredibly expensive power source. Not sure why the first thing out of Chuck’s mouth after that is “still looking for her?” though. Kind of an odd conversation. Might’ve just been making a comment on Jim’s demeanor or the look on his face.

    Reply
  53. Other Joel

    Very cool site and thread. Glad I found it. I want to share a few points from my brain.

    First, there are some bad physics in the movie. The biggest flaw is the idea that one can open “one end” of a wormhole. A wormhole is not a wormhole at all without two ends.

    So if we analyze the movie using the best physics we have, then the following must be. This assumes that there is NO time travel depicted in the film, but instead travel between similar universes by the main character.

    When the wormhole first opens, a plant and a person come out. This tells us that the universe depicted is NOT the first universe. We are seeing just one universe in which a person traveled there with a plant. Unfortunately we cannot know the story behind that because we never see that person again. Instead we follow a guy who is native to the depicted universe as he struggles to understand what is going on. We can assume that perhaps it is a version of himself that came through because of Abby’s reaction.

    So this guy (no Jim number needed) gets involved with Abby and it complicates his life in many ways causing extreme paranoia/persecution (due to the duplicate plant and involvement with Ironside which freaks him out) and in the end he escapes through the wormhole believing that he is going back in time.

    In fact, he jumps to another universe. This is the third of the movie and the second one shown (original being the one the mystery jumper came from in the beginning). What is misleading is that the character THINKS he is back in time and can fix things. But really he is not. This is a fresh universe similar presumably to the previous two but NOT the same. The native Jim in this universe is slightly different and acts/says different things. Traveller Jim doesn’t see this. Eventually he jumps again and finds a dead version of himself here. At this point the character has figured out that Matti is right and the universe is new.

    My theory now is that the movie fast forwards and that he has made many, many jumps getting further and further away from his native universe until he lands in one that is markedly different, he doesn’t get sick due to divergence with his native self and is in a different enough place to be able to meet Abby and potentially have a happy-ever-after.

    To sum up, we follow one man through multiple universes where everything is slightly different and becomes more so with every jump. Many here have questioned how Abby knew this or that from the different universes but “she” didn’t. Each Abby is a different individual native to her own universe and also different from her other selves. Frankly the story isn’t about her or the multiple Chucks, Mattis, or Ironsides. The details of the depicted universes are never fully explained or examined so there are many reasons why Abby would know or not know things, we cannot know without an explanation from the writer.

    Viewed this way, the movie is really a study of a strung-out physicist who, because of a traveler from another universe (probably similar to himself), leaves his own to find happiness with the girl of his dreams.

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  54. Yossi

    The focus in these comments has been on Jim/John’s transformation, but the central transformation is Abby’s. Jim first leaves it in Abby’s hands as to what to pass through the time machine (parallel universe machine), whether to place the dahlia in the machine or not. Meanwhile, Jim keeps jumping backwards through the device to get another chance to keep Abby in his life. However, when Jim jumps forwards this gives Abby the opportunity to get another chance rather than Jim. Eventually, with many iterations, she learns what it will take to keep the arriving Jim, for instance, the device must be destroyed with Meisner, and the old Jim must die before the new Jim arrives or the new Jim gets sick. Abby does not want to equate the dead Jim with the new Jim so calls him John so that Jim does not take anything personally. Abby has now gone through a complete 180 transformation of selling out Jim in the first instance to doing anything it takes to save Jim in the final instance. This is why she has such a funny look on her face when she tells Jim that basically everything has been taken care of and so they can live happily ever after. At its core this is a love story about two people that first do not know each other, and have great mistrusts and priority material interests, discovering within various time loops that they are what is most important to each other. First Jim discovers this truth going backward and then Abby discovers this truth as Jim goes forward. If it is a time machine, Abby did some terrible acts in the name of love, however, if these were parallel universes, they would only need to wait until these preconditions happened by serendipity as true love has a way of overcoming unlikely odds. That both Jim and Abby were given individual opportunities to go through emotional transitions into understanding what is most important in life and still find each other after such difficult processes, was possible due to love’s mysterious synchronicity as if the device manifested for that specific reason in the larger picture.

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  55. Joey G

    I like the theory that this has been happening for a long long time. Like how Bill Murray in Groundhog Day is like 400 thousand days old or something.

    So when Jim or John sits down at the end maybe one of the Jims is placed in a fire that we assume only happens when the whole stop being sick thing works out and thus Jim 387 changes his name to John because Jim is dead.

    But that is strange because then Abby is still only 5 days old yet seems to know all of the trials and tribulations of the 400, 84 thousand and 50 Jims.

    But if that’s the only caveat, I’m sold.

    Reply
  56. Chris

    Great review, Taylor. Very intriguing. Saw the movie for the first time 2 days ago (I missed the first 10 minutes!). Now I HAVE to watch again.
    I’ll try to be brief. My immediate conclusion after watching it coincides with your 3rd theory: that there have been 10^x time/dimension jumps. I think Abby, Jim, and Chuck are initially oblivious to the reality of the situation at the onset of each jump (save for the Matty-switch-SNAFU-jump). They need to ‘relearn’ everything every time. The notebook and coasters are the constants. Once they’ve ‘figured out’ what’s going on Abby and Jim are able to add a little more to the notebook/coasters every time. That is how he/she/they MAY have discovered the cure.

    Reply
    • Taylor Holmes

      Wait what? You missed the first 10 minutes and you are opining? no. That isn’t a possibility. You must go back. Watch the first ten. Then come back again. Who’s to say that you didn’t miss the entire key the unfolds your theory from the beginning?

      I refuse even to read the rest. I stopped at “I missed the first 10!” hahaha.

      Reply
  57. Hans Noordam

    I just saw the movie and read your explanations.

    This is what jumps to my mind:

    jim 1 is really jim one, jim 2 is really jim 2. abby’s meeting with jim 2 is her first time of experiencing 2 jims. the synchronicity lies in her writing the novel, where it synchronises with what’s happening, but isn’t finished. she is writing what is happening so she has the power to write what’s next. in fantasy almost nothing is impossible, so why not write a happy ending? so she did, good movie. and her character is getting her ass happily ever after.

    I’m not intelligent enough to consume the movie, your theories and my theory and check fully if any is correct. and i don’t want to do research to check if my theory is correct. but her writings must be the key.

    Reply
  58. Aaron

    Did anybody else notice when Matty was exiting the bathroom and heard himself tell the Native American orgy joke? Maybe it wasn’t himself, but I definitely heard the punchline of the joke he himself told as he walked through the door.

    Reply
  59. Shaun

    Turning the dail left is Jim’s multiverse, turning the dail right is John’s multiverse, neither option to me is a failure, it is only a failure in relative perspective of which multiverse the jumper is in, in the ending scene, the coaster on the table shows the diagram on the two particular Jim/John multiverses with a dotted line that connects both together, thus making the idea that the only way Jim could beat his jumping issues would be to cross to Johns multiverse where events where completely opposite to his multiverse ie Johns lab exploding rather than Jim’s experiment working, as an exploding lab doesn’t mean that John didn’t open a wormhole before the explosion.

    Reply
  60. Chris

    Well, have to say that there might be some littel things that you didn’t notice or pointed out. Personaly I find the film amasing, and it invites us to solve a puzzel with the last scene.

    Curius fact… Abby’s name. Phoneticly AB. One of the mainstreems theory’s about to past time paradox solving, is the only 2 timelines solution. Liane A and line B. it’s the AB theory.

    An other paradox playing is abby’s book. I bet that you all know abaout this paradox. I found funny that the final scene sugest that Jim, might solve the problem by the use of Abby’s story. This scene is what made me whatch the film many times.

    So, after some reviews of the film, there are some little things that I found, I’m sure that there are pleanty of them all over that I didn’t noticed.

    1. Abby’s strange behaviur. There are some moments of Abby that stays a mistery. “There is one (catch). A big one” (with a very intense effect on that).
    Also Abby, is mad angry after the conversation with Jim2 while jim1 is on her leaving room. If you have a look to the 2 dialogs the 1st and the 2nd have diferences. Whe could thing that is just because of a “jump cut” on the 1st, how ever, one sentence is wrong. Ok, ok, that’s a small thing. How ever… this could be the first noticable change that gives evidence about the multiverse theory. I mean, she is already knows about Jim time travel. Why is she mad. This wasn’t a lie acording to the dialog just before. So… Abby comes from the future tring to save past Jim, and realises that past jim is not Her jim, but a Jim of a paralel universe. How ever, she speeks about parralel univers in her book later on the move… but… how many verions of the book are.

    2. An error on the 2nd time line. Ok, this film is very well made and thinked, so… I don’t think this is a mistake. Let say time A and Time B for this time.
    Time line A:
    Experiment 1; Jim1 Meet AB; Jim1 come back to the Lab; Jim1 goes and meet AB again for breakfast; The have sex, he takes the plant and leave; They make an “aborted” replay of the experiment; Goes to se see Meisner to get fuked; take the Flower to Abby; Jumps to B
    Time Line B:
    I’ll go directly to the changing part Goes to see Meisner; Jim2 get’s the flower to Abby ; They make an “aborted” replay of the experiment.

    The other of things have change. So… what happend the 1st time did it work that time?

    3 Where does the “dead Jim” comes from. How is it that he is already dead. He still have some time idependently if he comes from any timeline.

    Personaly, I ‘d love to know Jacob Gentry’s full idea behind.

    Reply
  61. will

    Can someone please explain WHY are they talking about “john”? John is a fictional character she’s writing. The main characters is and only is Jim.

    I don’t like parallel universe movies. I prefer time-travel in a single universe. Up until the scene where Jim finds himself dead, the movie was perfectly consistent with a time-travelling single universe. I don’t know why the writer/s were compelled to screw that from that scene onward.

    Reply
  62. Reggie Whine

    The movie fails to be coherent. Nevertheless, I found it helpful to trace the story from Abby’s viewpoint.

    Abby Day 1
    Arrives at lab with Klaus
    Remains in car as Klaus leaves to observe test
    Klaus returns and kicks her out of car (His wife is waiting at restaurant)
    Meets Jimposter, gets light, he gives her lighter, he leaves
    Meets Jimprime
    Jimprime stops Klaus before he drives away to plead for money
    Teases Klaus by flirting with Jimprime
    Klaus invites Jimprime and Abby to dinner with wife
    After dinner goes home with Jimprime
    Jimprime gets phonecall and leaves suddenly
    Jimposter shows up, apologizes for (Jimprime) leaving suddenly, they have sex

    Abby Day 2
    Wakes first and goes to get coffee for both of them
    Returns and finds Jimprime downstairs trying to buzz her apartment
    Goes to “breakfast” (bar) with Jimprime
    Returns home with Jimprime and has sex

    Abby Day 3
    Jimprime sneaks out with flower
    Jimposter sneaks into bed
    Awakened by Klaus arriving downstairs and buzzing
    Rejects Klaus
    Accused by Jimposter of stealing his work
    Shows Jimposter her novel notes
    Storms off to bar
    Jimposter finds her at bar, they talk
    Jimposter collapses
    Takes Jimposter back to her apartment
    Calls Chuck
    Chuck arrives, explains wormhole
    Jimprime arrives at door while Jimposter is inside
    Jimprime leaves
    Kicks out Jimposter and Chuck

    Sometime after Jimposter’s failed jump, Chuck fills her in, invites her to dinner with Jimposter
    Meets Jimposter at restaurant
    Insists on sleeping with Klaus to save Jimposter

    Abby Day 4
    Exchanges sex with Klaus for MRD
    Sees Jimposter watching her from Grand Hotel
    Goes to see Jimposter at Grand Hotel and gets novel notes from him

    Abby Day 5
    Arrives at lab with Klaus and the flower
    Kisses Jimprime on cheek and slips novel notes into his coat pocket
    Makes a show of affection toward Klaus
    Watches Jimprime run into wormhole
    Goes back to Grand Hotel and finds Jimposter dead

    Reply
    • Taylor Holmes

      Dude,
      For real. Loved the break down of the days and the methodical walk through. Really have to engage one’s brain as you walk through it. So thanks for doing that. Nice to be able to read someone else’s work for once! hahaha.

      Taylor

      Reply
  63. Ace

    This is how I see it…has anyone seen momento? Abby has multiple pieces or artifacts from the same days that have been relived. That did not work because the Jims always died. To change the outcome of the loop she began to Journal everything and then put it in Jims pocket of the second jump. In the last jump in the movie he finds the journal in his pocket with the whole story. He reads it from cover to cover and knows he must burn the time machine down before the first jump occurs. He does this and stops the loop. Ok, the last scene- one of who knows how many Jims has finally figured out everything including the fact that Abby is the love of his life and really did love him. The last scene is the first time Abby has met Jim. This Jim is the one that jumped and knows everything from the first jump and the Journal, she on the other hand is clueless but he is about to tell her the whole story. The Journal is the only constant and contained the Whole truth because it rotated through the loop but kept the information unlike the characters. Now the ugly part. The Jumper Jim in the last scene had to have caused the first jump to blow up and kill the original Jim a long with his two friends. But hey, he got the girl.

    Reply
    • r

      Was reading comments hoping for this post. Yes, I think this is it. He read the journal, realized he needed to kill his prime. Why? Because the existence of two Johns will cause him to die… so, the only answer is to kill his prior self before the sickness strikes. So, Abby thinks he’s dead… only to discover John actually just found a cure for temporal sickness.

      So…
      1) Round 1, Abby takes notes
      2) Round N-Nx, Abby passes notes along to be taken back in time, then given back to herself. She continues to take notes.
      3) Round Final – John, getting a ‘complete’ notebook full of the notes from Nx Johns, realizes the solution is to kill his prime before the machine ever goes into action.

      Or something? I don’t know. It’s a little obtuse for me, and I generally like solving these.

      Reply
  64. VoiceOfReality

    Am I the only one who LOLd at the person using the name “John Titor”? Awesome… 🙂

    Reply
  65. Jamie

    In the final scene where Abby says that Johns lab caught fire, Jim says “that’s too bad” like he has no remorse.
    Abby does give a grin that suggests she knows but her initial attitude and reaction when she first looks at him suggests otherwise

    Is it possible that Jim 1 entered a universe where when he asked chuck for help, chuck said something like “of course John” at which point Jim knew this time was not like any of the times before.
    At which point he burns Johns lab and finds Abby? White his sinister actions fueled by the fact he’s realised that worm holes have consequences

    The part I still haven’t seen answered here is where the first dahlia came from? Who sent it?

    Reply
    • Taylor Holmes

      Hey Jamie,
      Sounds like you this movie DOWN! I have been a little asleep at the switch when it comes to this movie. just been a little while.

      With regard to your question about the dahlia, I just did a big review on Predestination Which has the same glitch to it at its heart. Where did the prime mover come from? How did it all begin. But Predestination is a perfect loop, but here, it seems to have begun somewhere. Just the question is, where? Which also reminds me of Arq as well! Hahaha.

      Happy thanksgiving Jamie.

      Reply
  66. Tim.s

    I love how this movie reminds me of Bioshock Infinite were within a multiverse theory to make things right, a version of yourself has to be completely eliminated from existence. Good job on the synopsis Taylor, my first time visiting and just because of this movie. Look forward to reading your thoughts on predestination, which is my favorite mind binder of all time. I love how that in this movie though that the mention of a multi verse, renders all of our previous time travel paradox rules,we all brought into the film pointless in the end…that’s one hell of Monkey wrench thrown into the machine.

    Reply
  67. Alex H.

    After reading everything here, watching the movie twice and re-watching certain scenes I think I can explain everything: Jim1 jumped into Jim2’s universe and while in Jim2’s universe Jim1 tries to jump again. This we know… The movie is fairly linear until we get to Jim1’s the second attempt to jump. This is where all hell breaks loose and this movie gets its name “Synchronicity.” We don’t see the outcome of Jim1’s attempt to jump a second time. Instead what we’re seeing are different universes (or endings) where the outcomes of that event APPEAR to be related but are not connected. Let me explain:

    After the second jump we see a universe where Jim runs outside only to realize he didn’t go anywhere. We think its the same universe but its not. Chuck takes him to dinner, Abby shows up and he gets into a cab to nowhere effectively ridding off into the darkness and to his inevitable death. That’s outcome number 1

    After that we’re shown a universe where Jim checks in to the hotel and discovers his own body. We know this is a different universe because he doesn’t check in to the hotel as “Jim” he checks in as “James.” In this universe, there are two James’. The one who failed to jump and is checking into the hotel and the one who succeeded to jump and is found dead in the bed. After seeing his body, James runs out of the room and stands over the balcony. It’s at this point he begins to realize that its not time travel but universe hopping. Other James’ from other universes have entered or are entering the universe he’s now in and he’s dead no matter what. This fact is driven home when he sees Abby kissing either a James from another universe or the James that belongs to that one. It’s a twilight zone ending as he realizes he’s inevitable doom. That’s Outcome number 2

    We then see a universe where Jim checks in to the Grand Hotel. Abby and Jim see each other through the window. Abby puts the Dahlia down, finds Jim in his hotel room and ditches Klaus. Presumably choosing to be with him until he dies rather than perpetuating the cycle by bringing the Dahlia to be sent through the wormhole. Abby stays with Jim until he dies but ends up with a Jim who never jumps through the wormhole. Outcome number 3

    We then see another universe where Abby goes with Klaus and delivers the Dahlia because she thinks that’s the only way to later save Jim from dying in the hotel room. Jim jumps and she rushes back to the hotel to see if the Jim she left behind is ok. But unfortunately, he’s dead. She shakes her head when she realizes it wasn’t the answer to saving him. Now she’s lost both Jim’s and is alone. Outcome number 4

    We then see the universe we all want to see. Jim ends up in a world where Matty blew up the machine and killed everyone including John. Jim finds Abby and there’s no alternate Jim, John or James to make him sick, so they both live happily ever after. Outcome number 5

    Ok… so when I first watched the movie I thought outcome 1 through 5 was one continues story where each scene was related to the last. But when I watched the movie a second time I noticed subtle differences in each scene. The biggest one being Jim checking in to the hotel as James when the scene before he was Jim. Pay attention to Abby’s clothing and Chucks comments. These little differences mean that these have to be different universes/different endings rather than the continuation of a linear story.

    Everything that happens after Jim1’s second attempt to jump is one different universe after another and not one linear story. That’s why the movie is called Synchronicity. The events after his second jump appear to be significantly related and linear but are not related at all. That is the definition of Synchronicity when something appears to be related but it’s not. Outcome’s 1 through 5 appear to be related but have no discernible connection. They’re just different endings to the same story. Different universes where things ended differently.

    When I think of it that way the entire movie makes complete sense.

    Reply
    • Joshua Fluegel

      Pretty confident you got it right with this explanation. Definitely a mindbender. Turn left you go back in time, turn right you jump to another (synchronous) universe, and like you said this is the part where the movie gets its name. Pretty sure after second jump is a completely new universe as chuck looks very different in his dress and is he wearing glasses? Also, referring to the original post, in the ending scene i don’t think he says his name is John he just says he is also a physicist. I wasn’t sure what to think about that name since it was the fictional name for Abby’s novel in the prime timeline but based on a real event in the outcome 5 universe. Why would he be a John and not Jim? Although I could let it be what it appears to be since that detail becomes a synchronicity in itself in that the fictional name from Abby’s consciousness in one universe came from her obsession with a real person in another. Also, her fictional novel in prime universe is probably the entire movie including outcome 5 ending, i.e. Jim Prime becomes the fictional hero John from her novel. The question is, how much of that is Abby aware of? Her novel plot is one big meaningful coincidence…

      Reply
  68. Alejandro

    My theory is that turning right does not return to travel through the hole. When he talks to Chuck this one tells him to try again and they have 36 hours. No?

    With everything else I agree.

    Reply
  69. Barry

    Great review and excellent comments. The one thing I don’t get is…

    If flipping the switch in the wrong direction can blow up the world, why did they let that be an option? Build a switch that can only go one way. Or put up a sign.

    Regardless, when Matty says he’s not sure which way is right/left, you’d thing Chuck wouldn’t let him do it knowing there was a 50/50 chance he’d blow up the world!

    Reply
    • Mickayla

      They can’t make the switch only go one way because he has to lock it in there. That is at least what I assumed was the reason behind switching it one way then back again. If he goes right first the latch isn’t secured and the energy escapes, causing an explosion. Go left first, fully enclosed, go right, machine initialized, or like half power.

      Yes, I also wondered why he let matty do it, but he does say to Chuck (?) that Matty doesn’t have time to learn the other thing, which is what I assume Chuck was doing in the machine scenes.

      Reply
  70. vivian

    The movie opens with jim 2. Jim 1 is passing through the wormhole and does the things jim 2 will do later. The dead jim that jim 2 finds in the hotel bed is jim 1. I know jim 2 is actually jim 2 and not jim 142 because the hotel his first choice, but jim 1 was dead there, so jim 2 was to that other room. If he was jim 142, he would find dead jims everywhere. Jim 3 survives, because his twin, john, died in the explosion, so there was only one of him.

    Reply
  71. Boondock Saint

    I just watched this movie and yes it is a mind bender. If someone already pointed this out, I apologize because I didn’t read thru all 142 responses. I think the thing to keep in mind is toward the end, when she hands him the dahlia to relive the first jump, it had happened numerous times before and Abby knew what was going on having done it all before plus knowing Jim would die over and over again (the hotel scene where she comforts him as he is dying.) Only this time we are shown her placing the journal in his pocket and whispering something in his ear. The jumping was a continuous loop that she was a part of and having not finished her book, she continued to write it and eventually figured it out, which she passed on to Jim before the last jump we see with the dahlia. Jim, utilizing her in site, reads the journal and that’s when we see him have an “a-ha” moment. He jumps to the alternate universe where he takes the place of John. Abby recognizes him as John, but doesn’t know him at all. He is still Jim, but can now safely exist as John being that John was killed. Just my two cents. All in all, I enjoyed the movie

    Reply
  72. Mickayla

    So, I didn’t read all the comments and apologize if I am repeating anything.
    If in the final scene John Bane dies before jumping, how did the story of him travel through all the universes? Assuming that because Jim finally found a place where he wasn’t a double, and therefore wouldn’t die, and so decided to stay and be with Abby. He wouldn’t have built another machine and jumped again, right? So how did the story ever leave in the first place?

    This leads me to believe that the 3rd dead “Jim” in the fancy hotel is really John who jumped, but instead of going back the 5 days in another universe, went back further, he then told Abby all the stuff about his travels. Which would mean that he would have to have been smarter than Jim to figure all this out on his own. Jim had Matty and Chuck to thank for his realization, unless Matty and Chuck are also keeping John, 3rd dead guy, a secret from jumper Jim and original Jim. They were already keeping two away from each other, what’s another one?

    Another issue is how the hell did Jumper Jim happen upon the hotel where dead guy “Jim” was? Is it like the movie explained “Coincidences are God’s way of staying anonymous.”? AKA the writer who created this whole story (World) making the whole thing explode in your head and making you second guess what you think is going on?

    Also in the final scene, maybe this Jim isn’t the one we see jumping from the scene before but a cut to another Jim in the multiverse who had a different reaction. The other Jim was very upset with Abby when he jumped so he wouldn’t have noticed the book in his pocket never mind try to find her or be pleased to see her.

    Going back to the theory that John Bane died in the explosion, how did final Jim get there without a machine? I know this was brought up before with other people, but WTF? Could it be that through out the whole multiverse there are so many machines going off that it doesn’t matter? Or maybe Jim isn’t as smart as he thinks and doesn’t fully know how the machine works. I mean he thought it was a time machine, he was wrong. If he is wrong, maybe he jumped ahead in the current universe instead of backwards like the other times and that is how Abby is able to talk about John in the past tense and Jim not die? That would kind of explain how the dead guy “Jim” got there before the Jumper Jim, he was inserted into the time stream at a different point.

    I know my points are all jumbled up, but I hope you can make sense of it all. Maybe in another universe it is more cohesive? 🙂 Anyways very difficult movie to wrap your mind around, but its better than others out there.

    Reply
  73. Ronney

    In the end there is only one of him left, the teleporter is destroyed and his attention is no longer on time travel but on the love of his life… pretty neat way to end it as if it could have happened infinite times already and we would never know! By the way Edison was a dick!

    Reply
  74. Julz

    Thanks for the explanation. Well written. I just watched the movie and was curious as to what others thought.

    For me I realized Abby was researching after she slipped the notebook in his pocket.

    I also believe he killed his counterpart and that stopped jumping/travelling him dying.

    Quite a mind bending movie indeed.

    Reply
  75. PntA

    I’m happy to have found this article on this perticular site but I’m a little disappointed that I can’t read a word on the lighter.

    That is what has bugged me, the third Jim in the hotel room ? I just thought it might be another one who jumped into this timeline, go straight into the hotel and wait there for the end (I do not know why he is bareback, it actually mess me up when Abby came to the other hotel room after), and assumed we would not know his story (except if there was a swap of Jims during one of the scene but if they have all the exact same outfit there’s no way to tell who is who). But the lighter … Where does he comes from ? Jim gives it to Abby who give him back but in his past.
    Every other detail is explained but this one. The flower, the jacket, the notebook (yes those are the three objects that travelled space, right ?) and those three have an origin but not the lighter.

    The best exaplanation I’ve found on the internet was this is one of the few small overlooked details that changed through one to another dimension, in the one of the movie, Abby doesn’t have a lighter.

    Otherwise this was an interesting reading, good job. I’m not so sure of the happy end considering this is a damn stuck-point in the timeline, at least as long as one of the Abby doesn’t take the choice to not bring back the dahlia.

    Reply
  76. GC

    Did you hear Abby saying that ‘it all starts two years ago…” when he asks about the notebook ?

    Reply
  77. Hiawatha

    Firstly, there is one key factor at play. In the movie it is discussed how small changes in decisions can occur in different universes thus resulting in alternate realities in each universe.
    When Jim2 goes in the wormhole for his second time, due to Matty’s sequence error, he jumps slightly ahead in time and into yet another universe. In this universe, there is a Jim1B who is going through it the first time, and a Jim2B who travelled back in time and is living this universes time line for a second time. Unlike our first time travelling Jim that we are introduced to, this Jim2B chose to go with Chuck’s advice and go to a hotel far away from Jim1 to avoid the sickness but ends up dying in the hotel anyway. Meanwhile, because Matty erred, our Jim2(A) whose timeline we are following through the course of the movie has travelled slightly forward in time and is therefore slightly younger than this other Jim2B whose universe he jumped into. After the meeting with Abby this Jim2A, like Jim2B before him, decides on a hotel to go away to. He of course chooses the same hotel as his slightly older doppelgänger as they have similar taste. This slightly older doppelgänger has already died because he has been dealing with the sickness for longer. Jim2A then leaves the corpse of Jim2B to go die in the Grand Hotel where he is later found by Abby of universe B after she witnesses Jim1B jump in the wormhole for his first time.
    This Jim1B of course is the last Jim we see, who reads the book in his pocket from Abby. This is another example of how small decisions can be made by the different Jims. Unlike the other Jims who traveled through the wormhole and left the book in their pockets only to be discovered by Matty, this Jim makes the decision for whatever reason, to put his hand in his pocket. He therefore discovers and reads the book himself before doing anything else. He thus understands why Abby acted the way she did before he jumped through the wormhole. He now understands that what she did was out of love. Furthermore, this Jim has jumped into yet another universe wherin the parents of Jim actually made a small deviation from the parents of the Jim’s of the other universes and actually chose to name their “Jim” , John. This John unfortunately died while performing the experiment.
    It is explained in the beginning of the movie how the experiment is incredibly dangerous and there is a chance of a meltdown-like reaction. Since this high risk experiment is happening countless times across several universes, it is only logical to assume that it would go bad in at least one of them. This universe that belongs to the Jim named John is one such universe in which the experiment has gone awry and he has perished in the flames. As a result, this Jim known as John has never met Abby, and furthermore having died, poses no threat of sickness to the time travelling Jim who is now occupying this universe. This final Jim knows he is likely to find Abby at the bar where she frequently goes to write ideas on coasters for her book that she is writing.

    Reply
  78. Cremi

    Point 43 in the analysis is wrong. He doesn’t say “That’s a coincidence, my name is John.” but “What a coincidence. I’m a physicist” (maybe only in my version of the film? :)) Just wanted to point it out, I don’t understand the end at all… 🙂

    Reply
  79. KingFlint

    Here my thing if it all was parallel and not time jumps jim had to have made several of those jumps in secret before ever including Chuck or Matty also abby she couldn’t have ever been the same abby to initially start doing the research as to say it would have been a universe where abby never did meet Jim or kesler(I think that’s how you spell it) for that matter but the ending was most perplexing I believe it was in fact jim and not john seeing that she told him the full story in writing and when he found her a clever play with words and our minds (as educated people will do) followed by that familiar and reassuring comfort chuckle if not to say I’m happy you made it to me or finally your here I don’t think he was a john at all and I think they we’re just being clever with an ending it is time or dimensional travel after all why not have some fun loved your breakdown btw really insightful

    Reply
  80. Chase

    I was wondering what was up with Matty? He screws up the sequence when it really counts towards the end which he seems genuinely worried about. But what’s worse is holding on to the journal during one run so he can awkwardly have input when the 3 are brainstorming. Thinking back he seemed like an anti-villain. Not malicious but just an insecure nit-wit.

    Reply
  81. Chritian Mosch

    Okay, what I do not get is that, if he is travelling in another parallel universe, why does she have information of the others “time” travellers since more or less the beginning? And why do you count like 100 Jims?

    Reply
  82. Vixx Water

    After reading comments… something just occurred to me about this movie.

    If most (or all) of the parallel universes put Jim(x) going into the wormhole on the same day, that means the paradox would be on a much larger scope then Jim(1) and our universe. An unlimited number of Jim(x) could have “switched” to parallel dimensions causing paradoxical chaos.

    Philosophically, on a multi-universe theory, there’s no reason to think that parallel universes are remotely close to ours. (unless they are exactly like ours). Jim(2) grandparents might have been interrupted during conception and Jim(2) doesn’t even exist. In Jim(3) world science might be against the law, or any number of people who invented the widgets that made the machine possible might have not done that. The butterfly effect over hundreds/thousands of years would be huge.

    From a viewer perspective, we tend to look at it from “our” beginning. Where we first started to observe. We also look for an end result. Where we think its all tied up. Neither of these have to be true, and likely wouldn’t be if something like this ever happens. Unless of course it already did 🙂

    Reply
  83. Cagey

    Hi guys,
    I don’t have any unified theory but here are a few considerations.
    1) Is it possible that Abby had some foreknowledge of the events before meeting Jim as her notebook was pretty advanced at this stage. As GC points out, she did say that it started two years ago. And, before handing the book to Jim, when he said “you’re working on a time travel project”, her response was “He was funding my research”. The reason that I feel that this might be significant is that we are told on a number of occasions that there has to be a receiver and a transmitter wormhole. What if Abby had been involved in research to create a receiving wormhole a year or two previous and received the notebook that way? A number of the scenarios above depend on Abby sending the notebook back to herself but how we should know to look for it in his pocket after it arrived back if she wasn’t expecting it? The implication is that she would have to know before it arrived back at the zero point so the alternative is that there was an earlier zero point.
    2) I don’t know if there is any relevance in this but at one point when we are shown flashes of the notebook, there is reference to “allowing us to go forward or backward in time”. Most of the potential scenarios discussed assume that all travel is backwards but there may be some other solutions that involve Jim or the notebook traveling further into the future and then coming back again. Also, when the wormhole was opened for the first time something or someone could have been sent forward to that point rather than it being from the future, so that in one universe John jumps forwards to Jim’s first wormhole. (I don’t know how that fixes anything.)
    3) One very small point that I thought might reinforce the concept of multiple Jims. When Jim says at one point that some of this might be a coincidence, Abby responds with “You people don’t believe in coincidences”. The immediate assumption here is that she is referring to scientists in general but she may actually be referring to multiple Jims…

    Just my tuppence worth!

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  84. Twin Thomas

    I’m going to re watch in the morning but my theory after watching it once is she and him jump through the first test together that’s the figure he sees in the beginning where he says i saw a figure he sees two figures the two of them jumping together I’ll watch it tomorrow to try and prove my theory.

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  85. Twin Thomas

    They jump together in the first experiment. The figure he sees before her blacks out is both him and her jumping together there for he never makes the second jump

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  86. Thomas

    They jump together through the first opening rendering all other possibilities endless because they then never create the second opening to receive the info there fore showing them to live in time and space

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  87. toku

    There are a couple things that I think some other commenters miss in the movie.
    And I want to update the notation system a bit.

    So for my explanation, I’m assigning Jim’s based on the world’s they come from and a number for the number of times they’ve jumped.

    We start with Jim (A0) this is the first world we’ve encountered World (A) and this Jim hasn’t jumped at all. After he jumps he becomes Jim (A1) he’s still from world (A), but he’s jumped once to World (B), where he encounters Jim (B0). Whenever we encounter a character from an unknown dimension I simply label the dimension as x. So Jim (x2) is a Jim from an unknown dimension that has jumped twice.

    Ok so now that we have that out of the way some small but crucial scenes in the movie.

    For starters with 1:11:57 left in the movie Jim (A0) lights the lighter but we don’t any lights behind him.

    So in World A, no other version of Jim (x1) tries to jump to another dimension thus we see no lights behind him. There is still a Jim (x1) in this world, but this version of him never attempts to make a 2nd jump, for whatever reason. But I think the reason is actually because of Chuck.

    When we follow Jim after he jumps from dimension A to B (This is Jim (A1)) at 22:55 left in the movie in the same scene we see a bright blue light behind Jim (B0) . This is the failed jump by Jim (A1), who not realizing he didn’t jump, runs outside looking for Abby, but he doesn’t find her, but Chuck (B) comes and tells him it didn’t work. Except I think it didn’t work on purpose. I think Chuck (B) sabotages the plan, because in World (B) Chuck (B) has already met Jim (A1) as well as Jim (x2)

    And it’s this Jim (x2) that causes Chuck to act differently.

    In the failed jump scene the Matty (B) argues with Chuck (B) about the direction of the sequence. Chuck (B) tells him left then right (which is the sequence for World (A), but it’s not for World (B) ) I think in World (B) the sequence is inverted (Right then left) which is why Matty (B) argues with Chuck (B) after looking at the sequence several times. But Chuck (B) insists the reason is that he has already met Jim (x2) and realizes that the plan won’t work. Because the more Jims there are the faster they die.

    This is why Jim (A1) finds Jim (x2) already in the hotel. Because Jim (x2) died before the failed jump attempt. This is because the life span of any Jim who jumps is dictated by their jump point and the number of Jims that exist in that world. So Jim (x2) dies faster because he is the third Jim in World (B) which is why Jim (A1) is able to find him in the hotel.

    But in this dimension Chuck (B) realizes the jumping won’t help because he’s met both Jim (A1) and Jim (x2) so he sabotages the Jump on purpose believing that the only way to save Jim is to keep him from jumping in the first place. After all, he’s now watched his friend start to die twice in World (B)

    And it’s because of this that World (B) is so crucial. Because in this world Chuck (B) tells Abby (B). NOT just about Jim (A1) but also about Jim (x2) And this is when Abby concocts her plan to include all of it in the diary that she hands to Jim (B0) so that when he arrives in World C as Jim (B1) he’ll have a fighting chance.

    But here’s where my questions start to arise. I’m not sure but I think Chuck begins to pass messages to himself through the dimensions. I’m not sure how he does it, but there are some clues. First off Matty and Chuck can be seen reading the diary in World (A) and World (B), Second Chuck (B) seems to Sabotage the 2nd jump attempt on World (B), there’s also the fact that Matty doesn’t show up at the end of World (B) when Chuck (B) is talking to Jim (A1), Chuck (B) is really cagey about this.

    If you watch the movie again Chuck (B) is a SHADY MOTHER FUCKER the whole time. So I think that either Chuck is traveling between dimensions with Jim or is passing instructions to other versions of himself.

    Lastly, the predominant theory out there seems to be that Jim ends up in a dimension where he has already died in an explosion. Except the movie seems to indicate that you need the machine to create both an extrance and an exit for each wormhole. So how can Jim travel to a dimension where the experiment failed?

    There’s also this scene at the very end with 6:23 left in the movie, where Jim (B1) appears to be on the elevator to Klaus Meisner’s office. You can see the same elevator with 1:10:08 to go in the movie. So at some point Jim (B1) goes to see Klaus Meisner.

    And this is where my final theory comes in to play. I think Jim (B1) pulls out the journal and reads something that tells him not to go talk to Abby. This may have meant that Abby (C) never meets Jim (Or John) (C). After all it’s Jim (A1) that talks to Abby (B) until Jim (B0) arrives. (As is seen w/ w 1:00:34 left in the movie)

    In either case, I think he then kills Jim (C) by faking and accident in his lab or sells his company to Klaus Meisner or does something that significantly alters the course of events. Which allows him to then go an meet Abby and start fresh, not only with her both with his own life.

    It’s also possible that Chuck finds a way to send Jim on and destroy the Lab in the process. But I’m less clear about that.

    But what I’m sure of is that Chuck and Matty know more that we think they do at first glance and Final Jim the one that get’s Abby, knows EXACTLY what he’s doing. He doesn’t just get lucky. He’s too smug and collected at the end to have just gotten lucky. And the movie itself is a whole play on the idea that all the Synchronocities in the movie are caused by some version of Jim.

    In addition, there are also these moments of foreshadowing that point to something.
    (1) 1:32:18 left in the movie Chuck suggests that the jump didn’t work because visitors from the future came back to destroy their project because it leads to some apocalypse. Which for at least for the main character is true.
    (2) With 59:36 left Abby says there is a catch a BIG one, that get’s all echoey.

    I think these both imply that Chuck and Abby are bigger players than they let on. Also reviewing the first sequence made me realize that. Jim is knocked out after the machine goes live. Later the movie implies that it’s because another version of him comes through the wormhole, but it also opens up the possibility that a version of Chuck, Abby, or anyone else could also come through and do pretty much whatever they want, knowing that Jim would pass out at that exact moment.

    Ok enough lunatic ranting from me, but I’d love to hear what others think of this theory. which I am dubbing the Chuck Did It Theory

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  88. Abe

    I have not yet read the comments so forgive me if I am repeating what others have said.
    The way I see it is as follows: each time Jim travels he is in fact traveling to another very similar dimension however the more times this happens the farther away he is from his starting point (evidence for this is that at the end of the movie things have changed to the point where he is no longer Jim buthe John. From watching the movie it would appear that his consciousness can shift between dimensions, (perhaps at will). The fact that he was able to get better is simply because there are infinite dimensions and every possible outcome happens in one of them not that he somehow figured it out. Perhaps all of them are now connected in some way. But this too has some problems, namely it does not explain the biggest problem that I see in all theories how he could make the sun set, (I don’t accept your explanation because he cannot change time, especially for her). The only explanation I can think of is they (the writer/s) are making him omnipotent with Godlike powers. (I think this scene is the key to understanding what the writers intended for is to understand what is in fact happening). [One other theory I will toss out there is the “Other Life” theory. In the movie Other Life the subjects begin to gain awareness over time, this might explain Abby’s inconsistencies)

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  89. David Viney

    I just read an interview with the director where he said pay special attention to the lighter. I am surprised no one has mentioned this. I only finished my first viewing an hour ago. And then read these comments. I am going to watch again and pay special attention to the inanimate objects; the plant(s), the lighter(s), and the notebook. I think they are probably the key to figuring out the mystery. Furthermore, each universe is slightly different because people may not always make the same choices. For example, in the last universe, Jim2 clearly feels the notebook in his pocket and reads it. In other universes, he doesn’t (and Matty finds it later instead and keeps it for ages).

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  90. Gary

    Just thinking off the top of my head here, but the only way (theoretically) to track how many jumps have been made would be to follow Abby’s book. It has presumably seen many, many parallel universes for Abby to have figured out he’s not strictly traveling through time. I doubt she wrote that whole thing (and all those coasters) based on two or three Jims.

    I doubt Jim1 was actually the original Jim. In fact, I’m willing to bet the original traveler was named James, because that’s his name in the book (and at the end of the movie).

    What I don’t understand is why the book wasn’t deteriorating like the Dahlia.

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