August 11, 2018

The X-Files 8.6, Redrum: If I Could Turn Back Time

Posted in TV tagged , at 1:13 pm by Jenn

Mellie and Papa Pope look at old home movies of Olivia

Summary: A giant spider is spinning a web above a man’s head when he wakes up in a prison cell. He notes that he’s dressed in orange and has a cut on his face. The man, Martin Wells, is led down a hallway to Scully and Doggett, the latter of whom he knows. Prison guards take him outside, where the press is eager to try to talk to him. Doggett spots a man with a gun and yells a warning, but it’s too late – Wells has been shot. He sees the time and date on Scully’s watch: 8:20 on the 8th. Then the watch’s hands start ticking backwards.

It’s 8:23 a.m. on Thursday, December 7th, when Wells wakes up in his cell again. He’s surprised to see that he has no gunshot wounds. Scully and Doggett burst into the cell and show him a key card, asking if he’s seen it before. He says he has. He asks why he’s there, but Doggett thinks he’s trying to put together an insanity defense. He demands that Wells tell him the truth.

Scully asks again if Wells recognizes the key card. He says it’s his, from his apartment building. She tells him it was found in a Dumpster behind the Strand Hotel. Doggett thinks he drove to Baltimore, killed someone, drove back to D.C., and threw out the card, planning to claim it was stolen. This is the first Wells has heard about a murder. Doggett doesn’t feel the need to soften the blow when he shows Wells a crime-scene photo revealing that his wife, Vicky, is the murder victim. “This is not happening,” Wells says tearfully.

At 10:12 a.m., Wells arrives at Baltimore Circuit Court for his arraignment. His lawyer, Janet Wilson, is pleased that he knows the judge, Kinberg, well enough to call him by his first name. Wells spots his shooter in the gallery – it’s his father-in-law, Al. Janet’s confused since Wells is fine. Then Wells is the one who’s confused, when he hears it’s Thursday, since as far as he knows, yesterday was Friday.

Janet tells Kinberg that Wells is a target in custody, since he’s a prosecutor, so he should be allowed bail. The prosecutor, Carter promises that Wells will be safe in jail. Janet continues that Wells is an upstanding citizen. Carter disagrees, since Wells is being accused of killing his wife in their home. Janet thinks Wells is harmless and should be allowed to go home and take care of his kids. Carter points out that they have no one to take care of them because Wells killed their mother.

Kinberg decides to do exactly what Wells would want him to do if he were the prosecutor: He denies bail. But he’ll allow Wells to be transferred to another facility. Wells predicts that Al will shoot him tomorrow morning, during the transfer. Kinberg ignores him and sends him back to lockup. Wells yells that it’s going to happen, demanding that someone listen to him.

He asks to meet with Scully and Doggett, who remind him that they met yesterday – Wednesday. Scully thinks Wells is having trouble with his memory. He says the last thing he remembers is being shot. He wonders if he had a premonition. Scully tries to get at what else Wells remembers, determining that he’s lost three days’ worth of memories. Doggett finds his sudden amnesia very convenient. Wells insists that he doesn’t understand anything that’s going on, but he knows for sure that he didn’t kill Vicky. Scully asks how he can be sure, if he doesn’t remember.

Back in his cell, Wells has some flashes of memory, but backwards: a knife, and a broken glass putting itself back together. He takes out his anger on the spider and its web, pulling them down. His young daughters, Haley and Courtney, are allowed to visit, and he promises he’ll be home soon. One of the girls says that their grandfather said he won’t be allowed to come home. Wells remembers the breaking glass again, this time seeing more of the memory. His wife fell on a glass coffee table, shattering it.

Wells asks the girls’ nanny, Trina, to get him something from his daughters’ room. It’s a teddy bear, which Janet brings to him. Inside is a nanny cam that may have recorded Vicky’s murder. Janet reminds him that she has to share whatever’s on the tape with Carter, even if it shows that Wells is the killer. Wells just wants everything cleared up. He rewinds the tape to Monday morning, getting a last glimpse of Vicky before her death. But the only person on the tape other than her and the police is Wells.

Wells wakes up the next morning (well, the previous morning, because, unlike Wells, the audience has figured out by now that time is moving backwards) to find his face wound and the spiderweb gone. A guard arrives, and Wells refuses to go with him for his transfer. The guard tells him his lawyers are there. Wells meets Janet, though he thinks they’ve met before. He asks about the tape, which Janet has no knowledge of. The other lawyer, Brent, is confused that Wells thinks the bail hearing has already occurred. It won’t be happening until tomorrow.

Wells finally catches on that everything is moving backwards, but his lawyers are none the wiser. They assure him that the prosecution has nothing on him. Since his key card is missing, they can’t even prove that he was in his apartment building. Wells, of course, knows that it’s going to turn up soon.

In the prison yard with his fellow inmates, Wells briefly locks eyes with a guy named Ocampo. An inmate named Shorty approaches, recognizing Wells as the prosecutor who got him locked up. Wells doesn’t remember the man’s name; all he knows is that Shorty broke the law. Shorty chuckles and dubs him Wife Killer, Esq. As Wells is leaving, someone shoves him into a table where some inmates are playing dominoes. Ocampo, who has a spiderweb tattoo on his hand, takes the opportunity to slash Wells’ face.

Scully and Doggett come visit again, Scully believing this is the first time she and Wells are meeting. He tells the agents that time is moving backwards, and all he can remember is what happened the following day, which to him was the previous day. Doggett thinks the cut on his face was accompanied by a head injury that’s making him confused. Wells says that’s another example of the weirdness – the cut was on his face yesterday, but not this morning.

Scully determines that Wells doesn’t remember the day of Vicky’s murder. Wells says he can’t remember something that hasn’t happened yet. Scully notes that he’ll never be able to prove this. Tomorrow, he’ll have to tell the agents about this conversation again, because for them, it won’t have happened yet. Doggett asks to be excluded from that conversation. Scully asks Wells why he thinks this is happening, if it’s true. Wells doesn’t know, but he thinks there’s something he’s supposed to understand. Scully wonders if the answer is already in him.

Janet brings Wells his case file so he can look at all the evidence against him. Shorty is nearby, sweeping, and he mocks Wells for looking for a technicality that will get him freed. He laughs when Wells says he’s looking for the truth. He thinks Wells is guilty, and the truth will keep him locked up rather than setting him free. Wells steels himself to look at the crime scene photos, remembering more of the murder. Though it’s still backwards, it’s enough to let him see who the killer is.

On Tuesday morning, Wells wakes up a couch. There’s a news report on TV talking about how he’s been accused of killing his wife and is staying with a friend. The police are looking for the key card used to access Wells’ home. Doggett is the friend Wells is staying with, and he hasn’t yet started to believe that Wells is the killer. Wells tells him he knows the murderer is in lockup. He doesn’t know the man’s name, but he recognized his spiderweb tattoo.

As Wells watches Al address reporters on the news, Doggett calls the jail and learns that there’s no prisoner there matching Wells’ description. Wells says he must not have been arrested yet. He remembers what Scully said about already having the answer, and decides that answer might be in his apartment.

The two men go to Wells’ place to get the teddy bear with the nanny cam inside it. I don’t think the main suspect in a murder would be let into the crime scene, but okay. The tape is the same as it was the last time Wells looked at it, but Doggett thinks it makes Wells look innocent. Due to the position of the sun, they can see that Vicky came home before the murderer entered the building at 4:17 a.m. When Wells appears on the tape, the sun is already up. Wells realizes that the killer turned off the camera while he was committing his crime.

Wells thinks that only he and Vicky knew about the nanny cam, but Doggett gets him to change his mind. They go confront the nanny herself, accusing her of taking Wells’ key card. Ocampo is in the house with Trina, and Doggett quickly overpowers him. Trina apologetically says that Ocampo threatened her family to make her get the key card.

Doggett takes Ocampo to the police station and reluctantly lets Wells talk to him, since Ocampo won’t speak to anyone else. Wells simply asks the man, “Why?” Ocampo explains that Wells put his brother, Hector, in prison. Wells has no sympathy; he was just doing his job. And it’s no excuse for Ocampo killing Vicky. Ocampo argues that Wells had three witnesses saying Hector was innocent, but he prosecuted Hector anyway because he’d committed crimes in the past. Because it was his third strike, he’s now in prison for life.

Wells tells Ocampo that if he pleads guilty to Vicky’s murder, Wells will look into Hector’s case. Maybe he can reduce his sentence to time served. Both of them want justice, and Wells seems to think this is a fair deal. Ocampo disagrees, since Hector is dead, having killed himself in his prison cell. Just then, Doggett calls Wells out of the room and apologizes for not being able to stop the police. They’re ready to arrest him for Vicky’s murder.

On Monday, Wells wakes up at 2:07 a.m. in the Strand Hotel. There are just over two hours in the morning before Ocampo will arrive at the Wells’ apartment to kill Vicky. He tries to call his wife, but she doesn’t answer the phone. He tells her to leave the apartment as soon as she gets the message. Wells then goes to Doggett and tells him that Vicky’s going to be murdered. The police wouldn’t listen when he called, but they’ll listen to Doggett.

Doggett notes that he and Wells haven’t seen each other in three years, so if he’s bursting into Doggett’s home to announce a murder that’s about to happen, Doggett will need some explanation. Wells thinks he’s getting a second chance. He admits to suppressing evidence that would have kept Hector out of prison. Wells is willing to come clean now, even if it lands him in jail, because it might be the only way he can save Vicky.

While Doggett calls the police to tell them about the future murder, Wells rushes home. The coffee table is intact, so he thinks the police have arrived in time. They tell him no one’s there, and since it’s 4:20, three minutes past Ocampo’s time of arrival, there’s been no crime. But Vicky also isn’t there, so Wells is confused. After the police leave, he calls Al, who tells him that Vicky left for home hours ago.

Wells hears someone outside the apartment door, so he grabs a knife. Fortunately, it’s Vicky. Wells hears someone outside the door again and gets Vicky to hide while he goes to confront Ocampo with the knife. Ocampo attacks and Wells drops the knife, so the two men beat up on each other. Vicky comes out and sees, screaming. Ocampo decides to go after her instead.

He grabs the knife and attacks Vicky just like he did in Wells’ memory. But Scully and Doggett arrive in time to shoot Ocampo and save both Wells and Vicky before Ocampo can stab them. Doggett asks if this was the second chance Wells was hoping for. Wells nods and looks at Scully’s watch. The hands are moving forward, like they’re supposed to.

Three months later, Wells is in prison, voicing over about time and facing the past and yourself and blah blah blah. He’s learned that you can’t escape “the prison of your own character.” But hey, at least Vicky’s alive!

Thoughts: Wells and Janet are both played by Scandal alums, Joe Morton and Bellamy Young. Morton was also in Terminator 2 with Robert Patrick. Ocampo is played by Danny Trejo.

I want to give a big round of applause to whoever named this episode “Redrum.” That’s some good naming.

No one seems surprised that Wells stayed in a hotel instead of just going home to Baltimore. It’s not exactly a long drive from D.C.

Some friend Doggett is for thinking Wells is a murderer. Maybe there’s a reason they didn’t see each other for three years.

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