11 January 2008

Season 8: Redrum (8X03)

Story by: Steven Maeda & Daniel Arkin
Written by: Steven Maeda
Directed by: Peter Markle

When Martin Wells, a Baltimore federal prosecutor wakes up in prison he is very confused, a radio in another cell announces that the day is Friday. A guard informs Wells that he is being transferred to another prison. In the corridor he spots an old friend agent Doggett. Outside the prison the press are gathered, as he is brought out Well's father in law steps forward and shoots him .Wells awakes again in the prison cell and is joined by Doggett and agent Scully, he is confused as to why he is in jail, Doggett informs him that he has been charged with killing his wife, Wells is shocked by the news.

Later when he is taken to court to be charged, the bailiff announces that it is Thursday, the day before he was shot. The judge refuses Wells bail and orders him to be transferred to another prison the following day. Scully and Doggett join Wells in the holding cell, he tells them he is having premonitions about the future but denies killing his wife. Wells awakes once more in his cell, an attorney visits him to introduce herself as handling his case, but he knows her from his court appearance. She informs him the court appearance is tomorrow, today is Wednesday.

Wells realises that he is experiencing time in reverse, living his days backwards. He confides in Doggett and Scully, Doggett is skeptical, but Scully is more interested in why it might be happening. Wells assumes that he is being given the chance to make amends for something that happened, a second chance to put things right.

Tuesday: He wakes up in Doggett's house and sees news of the murder on the television. He takes Doggett to his apartment and they watch a security video tape which shows his innocence. They find the killer.

Monday: He wakes up before the murder and talks Doggett into getting the police to prevent the murder. He also confesses the murderer's motive to Doggett; he concealed evidence in a trial against the murderer's brother. The murderer is late and arrives after the police have left. He attacks Wells and his wife and Doggett arrives in time to save them. Wells ends up in jail anyway - presumably for concealing evidence.

This is the first time that you get a glimpse of Agent Doggett's house.

The case number at the bail hearing in the teaser is the same as the production code of the episode (8X03).

Robert Patrick and Joe Morton (Martin Wells) worked together on Terminator 2: Judgement Day, where Patrick played the T-1000, and Morton was the creator of the future super computer, Miles Dyson.

'Redrum' is Murder spelled backwards. Besides being the key feature of this episode it is also a reference to the Stephen King novel and Stanley Kubrick film The Shining.

Martin Wells: Oh. John.
Scully: Do you recognise this Mr Wells? Have you seen it before?
Martin Wells: Yes. Who are you?
Doggett: Don't even, Martin.
Martin Wells: John, what am I doing here? I'm in this cell. I don't know where I am or how I even got here, and everyone's acting like —
Doggett: I swear to god, on top of everything else, do not play this with me. I will not be party to some half-arsed, eleventh-hour insanity defence.
Martin Wells: What? John —
Doggett: It's time to start telling me the truth.
Scully: This keycard, Mr Wells, you do recognise it? Is that correct?
Martin Wells: Yes. It's the swipe card that they use at the apartment building. For all I know it's mine.
Scully: It is yours... It was found in the dumpster behind the Strand Hotel.
Doggett: You tossed it there didn't you? You had just enough time to drive to Baltimore and commit the murder.
Martin Wells: Wait. Murder? What murder?
Doggett: Then drive back to DC, toss the keycard — that way you could claim it was stolen — make it look like you spent all night watching pay-per-view in your hotel room. Right?
Martin Wells: Please. What murder? What is he talking about?
Doggett: Well maybe this will jog your memory. buddy.
(He shows Martin Wells a crime scene photograph of Vicky Wells)
Martin Wells: Vicky. My wife. This isn't happening. This is not happening?

Judge Kinberg: Martin, I can't tell you how sorry I am to see you on that side of the aisle. I hope you'll forgive me when I do exactly what you, as a prosecutor, would demand. Bail is denied. I will, however, order Mr Wells transferred to a more secure facility, in the interest of his safety.
Martin Wells: Transferred? No, Ben. You can't do that. I can't be transferred. He'll kill me.
Judge Kinberg: Martin! Tomorrow morning —
Martin Wells: If today is really Thursday, then tomorrow is Friday and that's when he's going to do it. He's going to shoot me as I'm being transferred.
Judge Kinberg: Bailiff. Officer.
Martin Wells: You don't understand. It'll happen. It'll happen. Just listen to me. Ben. It'll happen. He's going to kill me. Ben.

Scully: Mr Wells. We understand you had an interesting morning in court. What is it that you'd like to speak with us about?
Martin Wells: You're John's partner?
Doggett: For god sakes, Martin. Agent Scully, you know that. You met her yesterday.
Martin Wells: Yesterday.
Doggett: Yeah, yesterday. Wednesday.
Martin Wells: Wednesday.
Scully: Are you saying that you don't remember? What is the last thing that you do remember?
Martin Wells: Being shot by my father-in-law.
Doggett: You're wasting our time.
Martin Wells: Listen. I don't know what I experienced, but what if it was a premonition, a glimpse of the future. I mean, you do hear about these kind of things.
Scully: Yes, you do. Mr Wells, this shooting aside, is there anything else that you remember before that?
Martin Wells: Hmm... I was in DC. For a sentencing hearing. I was staying at the Strand Hotel, like you said.
Scully: That was three days ago, Mr Wells. Are you telling us that you don't remember anything else? Not the murder of your wife?
Martin Wells: No.
Doggett: Out of the blue, charged with murder, you wake up one morning and you can't remember a damn thing. Martin, you haven't offered us one scrap of evidence to support your story. And as your friend, I'm going to listen to anything you have to say, but I will not be lied to.
Martin Wells: I'm not lying to you. You're talking to me about keycards, I'm sitting in a jail cell, I don't understand any of this. But I did not... kill Vicky.
Scully: If you truly don't remember, then how can you be certain that you didn't?

Martin Wells: I know this all sounds crazy. But I'm telling you the truth. This cut, for instance. It was on my cheek when I woke up yesterday, I woke up this morning, it wasn't there, but then this afternoon, I got cut. I killed a spider in my cell yesterday, first thing this morning I woke up, it's back again. Because it happened the day before. I haven't actually killed it yet.
Scully: Mr Wells, are you saying you don't remember the day that your wife was murdered? I'm talking about two days ago, Monday.
Martin Wells: No. I don't... remember it. Because for me it hasn't happened yet.
Scully: You do realise that you're not going to be able to prove this, right? I mean, if tomorrow is really the day before today, then we won't have had this conversation.
Doggett: Oh for crying out loud.
Scully: It means you're going to have to tell us all over again.
Doggett: Yeah, well, make sure I skip that frigging meeting.
Scully: Mr Wells, let's say that all this is true. Why do you think it's happening?
Martin Wells: I don't know. There has to be a reason.
Scully: What reason?
Martin Wells: Something... I'm meant to understand. Although I don't know what it would be.
Scully: Maybe you already have the answer within you.

Martin Wells: (voiceover) The passage of time imprisons us, not in a cell of brick and mortar, but in one of hopes dashes and tragedies unaverted. How precious then, the chance to go back. Only to discover, that in facing the past you must face up to yourself, that exiting the prison of time doesn't free you from the prison of your own character. One from which there is no escape.

Episode Number: 167
Season Number: 8
First Aired: Sunday, December 10, 2000
Production Code: 8X03

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