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Agents Scully and Doggett investigate a case where the man has no no recollection of the crime (murdering his wife) Initially skeptical of his claim, Scully and Doggett discover that time may not be on his side


Episode Summary
By Jamie Ruby and Michael Marek

On Friday, December 8, Baltimore prosecutor Martin Wells is in jail. The camera comes to focus to show a spider on its web above him. His face is wounded. A guard enters and tells him it is time to go - he is being transferred. As Wells is escorted out, Scully and Doggett are there and Doggett clearly knows Wells. As Wells is taken outside through a crowd of reporters, Wells spots someone he knows - Al. As he yells at Al, he pulls a gun and shoots Wells. As Wells lies there, given emergency care by Scully, he sees Scully's wristwatch stop and begin moving backwards.

On Thursday, December 7, Wells awakes in jail. He is surprised that he is not wounded. He notices the spider on the floor. Scully and Doggett enter. Scully shows him a magnetic key card from Wells' apartment building, found in a dumpster. They think he through it away so it would look like it was stolen, and like he spent the whole night in his room, watching Pay-per-View while the murder took place. Wells doesn't understand what is going on. He doesn't remember anything and asks Scully about the murder. Before she can, Doggett holds up pictures of his wife, Vicky's dead body. He starts crying.

Wells is taken to Baltimore circuit court for a hearing. He is charged with murdering his wife. Wells' father-in-law is there - he is the man we saw shoot Wells. Wells slowly understands that it is not Saturday, but Thursday. He knows the judge on a first name basis, but the judge feels compelled by the facts of the case to deny bail. When he orders Wells moved to a more secure facility to protect him from being harmed by other prisoners he has prosecuted, Wells claims that if he is transferred, his father in law will kill him. Scully and Doggett come to talk to him.

Martin: John..?
Scully: [showing keycard] Mr. Wells, do you recognize this?
Martin: Yes. Who are you? [Scully doesn't answer]

Martin: John, what am I... what am I doing here?
Doggett: Don't even. Martin...
Martin: John, what am I doing here?! I'm in this cell and I don't know where I am or how I even got here and you're acting like, everyone's acting like --
Doggett: -- I swear to God, on top of everything else, do not play this with me. I'm not gonna be party to some half-assed, 11th hour insanity defense.
Martin: What? John --

Scully asks him the last thing he remembers - he tells her that he remembers being shot by his father-in-law. Doggett gets angry and he thinks Wells is wasting their time and he starts to move away but Scully is still listening. Wells remembers nothing of the last three days, But Doggett tells him that he doesn't have any evidence to prove that. Doggett tells him that he is his friend, and he will listen to him, but he will not be lied to. Wells tells him that he doesn't understand any of it, but all he knew was that he didn't kill his wife.

Scully: If you truly dont remember, then how can you be certain that you didn't?

Later, alone in his cell, he has brief visions of the murder, but nothing clear - a broken glass being pulled back together and a knife covered in blood coming out of his wife. Wells notices the spiderweb. In anger he pulls it away and stomps on it. Wells children, two young girls, are brought to see him by their nanny, Trina. "Grandpa says they won't let you come home," they say. He has another vision in reverse - He sees the broken glass moving again and then his wife gets up from falling onto a glass-topped table. He sees fallen pearls from her broken necklace lifting into the air, and then he sees her screaming. Wells asks Trina to bring a child's doll from his home - it has a "nanny cam" in it that is activated by motion. He and his attorney play the tape. They find his wife on the tape - and see Martin, also.

Wednesday, December 6, Wells wakes up to see the spider crawling on its web - unharmed. He is taken to an interview room to talk with his family attorney, who introduces his defense attorney - whom he seems to know, but she doesn't recognize him. After much confusion, Wells realizes that it is, again, a day earlier. His face is not wounded. The attorneys tell Wells that police have not been able to find the key card that was used to access his apartment building, and as a result, they have a weak case.

Later in the jail exercise yard, another prisoner who Wells prosecuted accosts him. A third prisoner who has a spider web tattoo on his hand beats him. Scully and Doggett come to see him - from their perspective it is the first time they have talked. Wells attempts to explain. Every morning he wakes up it is the day before. He doesn't remember the day his wife was killed because for him it hasn't happened yet. Doggett walks out in disgust. As Scully leaves, she asks him if its true, why is it happening? He says that he doesn't know, but there has to be a reason. She asks him what reason, and he tells her that maybe thereís something that he is meant to understand, although, he doesnít know what it could be.

Scully: You realize you have no way of proving it. If tommorrow really is the day before today, we wonít have had this conversation.
Doggett: Youíll have to explain it to us all over again. (under his breath) Remind me to skip that freakin meeting.
Scully: Letís say itís true, Mr. Wells. Why do you think itís happening?
Wells: We talked about this yesterday, only--like you said--you donít remember. Whatever it is thatís going on here, I think itís some kind of message.
Scully: Something you alone are meant to understand. Maybe you already have the answer within you.

Wells reviews the evidence files. He is taunted again by another prisoner. He tells Wells that he's looking for some loophole - a technicality that he can out on. He tells him that he is trying to find out the truth. The man tells him that he better stick to the technicalities. He tells Wells that the truth is going to keep him in there. Laughing, he finally walks away. It is painful for him, but he looks at the pictures of his dead wife, and has another vision of the events - He sees the glass again, then her bleeding body lying on the floor. Next he sees a bloody knife, but this time he sees the hand holding it - a hand covered with a spider web tatoo.

Wells: I know who did it.

On Tuesday, December 5, Wells wakes up at Doggett's home. The news is reporting his wife's death and the search for the key card. Wells describes the man and Doggett calls the Baltimore city jail. No prisoner is there with that description - he must not have been arrested yet. Doggett is confused. He tells Wells that if he is trying to admit something to him, or to himself, he wants him to just come out and say it.

Wells: There is a reason all this is happening. Maybe I already have the answer.

Wells and Doggett go to the Wells home and retrieve the nanny cam. There is nobody on the tape between his wife and the police. His wife was killed before sunrise, but it is obvious from the reflection of the sun in the mirror on the video that Wells came into the room after she was murdered. Wells explains that there was a remote control on the nanny cam, to stop the tape - their housekeeper, Trina, knew about it. They go to her home and the man with the spider web hand is there and Doggett arrests him after a scuffle. The man had threatened the housekeeper and Trina is so scared that she will not testify.

Wells talks with the man alone. Wells prosecuted his brother for possession of drugs and got him jailed for life. The man accuses Wells of withholding evidence that could have exonerated his brother, in order to get an easy conviction. Wells tells him that he will see about reducing his brotherís sentence if he admits on record that he committed the murder. The man tells him that his brother hung himself about a couple of weeks ago in prison. Although the man, in effect, admitted his guilt to Wells, nobody else heard it and Wells is arrested because police feel that they have a case against him.

On Monday, December 4, Wells awakes up at 2:08 am in a Washington DC hotel room. He tries to call his wife, but gets an answering machine. It is two hours to the murder. He goes to Doggett's and asks for help - they haven't seen each other for three years. Wells thinks he has been given a second chance. He tells Doggett how he suppressed evidence and sent an innocent man to jail. Doggett tells him that if he tells him anymore that he knows he could be put in jail. He tells him that at least his wife wouldnít be killed. He telephones Baltimore police but they thought he was a crackpot. He asks Doggett to call police using his FBI status and ask that they go to the Wells residence. Wells doesn't wait for Doggett to complete the call and hurries home to Baltimore.

Police are already at the apartment when he arrives, but Vickie is not there. It is a few minutes past the murder time. The officers say they will sweep the neighborhood, and leave. Wells calls his father in law - Vickie is not there. Vickie arrives home and Wells is agitated -- they have to get out of there right now. Before they can leave, the murderer enters and he and Wells fight. Knocking Wells down, the man grabs Vickie. He cuts her pearl necklace off, and the pearls fall to the ground, as in Wells visions. She is pushed backwards onto the glass-topped table. As he is about to slit her throat, he is Doggett who enters with Scully. Wells sees Scully's wristwatch -- the second hand is frozen, but then it begins moving forward again.

Three months later, at the penitentiary, Wells is in prison. Voiceover:

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

Research Information

Redrum -- spell it backwards and you get Murder. Steve Maeda previously wrote Brand X (with Greg Walker) and a few episodes of Harsh Realm, while Daniel Arkin previously wrote Arcadia, and Peter Markle previously directed Christmas Carol and Alpha. Well's court case is 8XAB03 - the same as the episode production title

Episode Cast & Information

Gillian Anderson Special Agent Dana Scully
Robert Patrick Special Agent John Doggett
Joe Morton Martin Wells
Roger Hewlett Tall Guard
Lee Duncan Al Cawdry
Bellamy Young Janet Wilson
Derick Alexander Bailiff
Jack Shearer Judge Kinberg
Cynthia Martells District Attorney
Joanna Sanchez Trina
Kayla Henry Hayley
J. Patrick McCormack Brent Tufeld
Guy Torry Shorty
Danny Trejo Spider- Man/Cesar Ocampo
Brien Blakely Reporter
Anne-Marie Johnson Vicky Wells
Shane Sinutko Lead Cop
James Howell Homicide Detective
Luis Rodriguez Gangbanger

Written by Steve Maeda & Daniel Arkin
Directed by Peter Markle

Aired on: 10th Decemberr 2000


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