17 April 2007

Season 3: Oubliette (3X08)

Writer: Charles Grant Craig
Director: Kim Manners

When a teenage girl Amy Jacobs is kidnapped from the bedroom she shares with her younger sister, at the exact same time across town a waitress Lucy Householder, collapses in a crowded fast food restaurant muttering the same words as the kidnapper. Mulder and Scully are called in to assist the other investigators on the case. Mulder however is more interested in Lucy Householder's connection to the case, especially when a background check reveals that she was herself kidnapped at the age of eight and held captive in a basement for five years until she managed to escape, her kidnapper was never caught.

But when test results on blood found on Lucy's uniform turn out to match Amy Jacobs, the other investigators including Scully suspect that Lucy has more to do with the kidnapping than previously thought. Mulder however believes that Lucy has some sort of psychic link with Amy, brought on by her own kidnap experience. He asks for Lucy's help to save Amy from a similar fate but Lucy fearful of reliving her own nightmare, is reluctant. When Lucy suffers an attack of temporary blindness, the result of Amy being held in a pitch black basement, Mulder again approaches her for help. Mulder tells her that he knows she is experiencing everything that Amy does. When a missing school photograph of Amy leads the investigators to a suspect Carl Wade, Lucy recognises him as the man who kidnapped her and realises the only way to escape her past is to save Amy.

''Fox'' standards were a bit concerned about this episode as the abduction of the girl had some parrallels to the Polly Klaas case. The ordeal of the abduction had to be played down.

Severe weather played havoc with production. Due to heavy rains the climatic sequence had to be shot a week later than planned at another location than originally envisioned.

An Oubliette is a medieval dungeon having a trap door in the ceiling as its only means of entry or exit. It is derived from the French word 'oublier' meaning "to forget".

Scully: That's spooky.
Mulder: That's my name, isn't it?

Scully: Mulder, you can't...
Mulder: That's how I account for what Lucy's going through. That's how I account for the identical words that corresponded to Amy... and the spontaneous wounds and blood as well.
Scully: Then why did she run? If she's innocent, what was she running from?
Mulder: Because she's afraid.
Scully: You don't see what you're doing, do you Mulder? You are so close to this that you just don't see it.
Mulder: (Mulder is angry) What don't I see?
Scully: The extreme rationalization that is going on around here. Your personal identification with the victim - or in this case, the suspect. You're becoming some kind of an empath yourself, Mulder. You are so sympathetic to Lucy as a victim - like your sister - that you can't see her as a person who's capable of committing this crime!
Mulder: You don't think I've thought of that? I have. And not everything I do and say and think or feel goes back to my sister. You, of all people, should realize th-that sometimes motivations for behavior can be more complex and mysterious than tracing them back to one single childhood experience.

Episode Number: 57
Season Number: 3
First Aired: Friday November 17, 1995
Production Code: 3X08

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