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"Oubliette" is the eighth episode of the third season of The X-Files. It premiered on the Fox network on November 17, 1995. The episode was written by Charles Grant Craig and directed by Kim Manners, and is a "Monster-of-the-week" story, separate from series' Mythology arc.


A young girl is kidnapped and appears to have a psychic connection to a woman who was kidnapped many years before that manifests in mirrored actions miles away.


Carl Wade takes a photograph of 15 year-old Amy Jacobs during school picture day. He becomes obsessed with her following the event, eventually kidnapping her. Her younger sister is the only witness to the incident, which takes place in their bedroom in the middle of the night. At exactly the same time, fast food worker Lucy Householder collapses with a nosebleed. Agent Fox Mulder investigates Amy's disappearance, drawn to the case because his younger sister was kidnapped in a similar situation. The investigation leads Mulder to Lucy, who was taken from her bedroom at age eight and held in a dark basement for five years before she escaped.

Dana Scully suspects that Lucy may be connected to Amy's disappearance, based on her long criminal record and the fact that her nosebleed contained not only her blood type but Amy's as well. In her room at a halfway house, scratches appear on Lucy's face and she experiences temporary blindness—injuries identical to Amy's, who is being tortured in the basement of Wade's cabin. The two develop an unexplainable psychic connection; everything that happens to Amy physically also happens to Lucy. Mulder tries to convince Lucy that she can help them find Amy, but she is too afraid to assist. Scully informs Mulder of a new lead in the case, the school photography assistant Wade, who was recently fired.  Lucy admits to Mulder that Wade was the one who kidnapped her, although she never knew his name.  Mulder is adamant that Lucy is not working with Wade and snaps at Scully when she suggests that Samantha's disappearance is causing him to become too involved with the case.


The investigation team receives a tip concerning Wade's location, which corresponds to the area where Lucy was found years ago. They find Wade's cabin in the woods, discovering Lucy in the basement with no clear indication of why she came there. Lucy begins to feel cold and wet; Mulder deduces that because of Lucy's connection to Amy, she must be at the local river. Mulder and Scully arrive there to find Wade attempting to drown Amy. Back with the police, Lucy begins to drown despite not even being near water. Mulder shoots Wade while Scully attempts to perform CPR on Amy but because of the connection, it resuscitates Lucy instead. Suddenly, the process is reversed; Amy recovers and Lucy dies before Mulder returns. Overwhelmed by Lucy's sacrifice and his inability to save her, Mulder breaks down sobbing over her body. He later speculates that she died not only to save Amy but to forget what Wade did to her years ago.


glossolalia; Spooky; abduction; DNA

Background Information


  • An "oubliette" was a medieval dungeon in which prisoners were placed and then forgotten about. The term derives from the French oublier, "to forget."
  • Fox was concerned about this episode because of its parallels to the then-recent Polly Klaas case.  As such, the abduction and subsequent torture of Amy Jacobs was heavily downplayed, and Amy was said to be fifteen years old (though Jewel Staite was only thirteen at the time of filming).
  • Due to heavy rains, the climactic sequence had to be shot a week later than planned and in another location than originally envisioned.  Kim Manners was said to have hated directing the episode because of all the outdoor shooting, characteristically stating that it "couldn't be fucking worse."

Cast and Characters



Guest Starring


External Links

The X-Files episodes
Season 1
"Pilot" ・ "Deep Throat" ・ "Squeeze" ・ "Conduit" ・ "The Jersey Devil" ・ "Shadows" ・ "Ghost in the Machine" ・ "Ice" ・ "Space" ・ "Fallen Angel"
"Eve" ・ "Fire" ・ "Beyond the Sea" ・ "Gender Bender" ・ "Lazarus" ・ "Young at Heart" ・ "E.B.E." ・ "Miracle Man" ・ "Shapes" ・ "Darkness Falls"
"Tooms" ・ "Born Again" ・ "Roland" ・ "The Erlenmeyer Flask"
Season 2
"Little Green Men" ・ "The Host" ・ "Blood" ・ "Sleepless" ・ "Duane Barry" ・ "Ascension" ・ "3" ・ "One Breath" ・ "Firewalker" ・ "Red Museum"
"Excelsis Dei" ・ "Aubrey" ・ "Irresistible" ・ "Die Hand Die Verletzt" ・ "Fresh Bones" ・ "Colony" ・ "End Game" ・ "Fearful Symmetry" ・ "Død Kalm"
"Humbug" ・ "The Căluşari" ・ "F. Emasculata" ・ "Soft Light" ・ "Our Town" ・ "Anasazi"
Season 3
"The Blessing Way" ・ "Paper Clip" ・ "D.P.O." ・ "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose" ・ "The List" ・ "2Shy" ・ "The Walk" ・ "Oubliette" ・ "Nisei" ・ "731"
"Revelations" ・ "War of the Coprophages" ・ "Syzygy" ・ "Grotesque" ・ "Piper Maru" ・ "Apocrypha" ・ "Pusher" ・ "Teso Dos Bichos" ・ "Hell Money"
"José Chung's From Outer Space" ・ "Avatar" ・ "Quagmire" ・ "Wetwired" ・ "Talitha Cumi"
Season 4
"Herrenvolk" ・ "Home" ・ "Teliko" ・ "Unruhe" ・ "The Field Where I Died" ・ "Sanguinarium" ・ "Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man" ・ "Tunguska"
"Terma" ・ "Paper Hearts" ・ "El Mundo Gira" ・ "Leonard Betts" ・ "Never Again" ・ "Memento Mori" ・ "Kaddish" ・ "Unrequited" ・ "Tempus Fugit"
"Max" ・ "Synchrony" ・ "Small Potatoes" ・ "Zero Sum" ・ "Elegy" ・ "Demons" ・ "Gethsemane"
Season 5
"Redux" ・ "Redux II" ・ "Unusual Suspects" ・ "Detour" ・ "The Post-Modern Prometheus" ・ "Christmas Carol" ・ "Emily" ・ "Kitsunegari"
"Schizogeny" ・ "Chinga" ・ "Kill Switch" ・ "Bad Blood" ・ "Patient X" ・ "The Red and the Black" ・ "Travelers" ・ "Mind's Eye" ・ "All Souls"
"The Pine Bluff Variant" ・ "Folie à Deux" ・ "The End"
Season 6
"The Beginning" ・ "Drive" ・ "Triangle" ・ "Dreamland" ・ "Dreamland II" ・ "How the Ghosts Stole Christmas" ・ "Terms of Endearment"
"The Rain King" ・ "S.R. 819" ・ "Tithonus" ・ "Two Fathers" ・ "One Son" ・ "Agua Mala" ・ "Monday" ・ "Arcadia" ・ "Alpha" ・ "Trevor" ・ "Milagro"
"The Unnatural" ・ "Three of a Kind" ・ "Field Trip" ・ "Biogenesis"
Season 7
"The Sixth Extinction" ・ "The Sixth Extinction II: Amor Fati" ・ "Hungry" ・ "Millennium" ・ "Rush" ・ "The Goldberg Variation" ・ "Orison"
"The Amazing Maleeni" ・ "Signs and Wonders" ・ "Sein Und Zeit" ・ "Closure" ・ "X-Cops" ・ "First Person Shooter" ・ "Theef" ・ "En Ami" ・ "Chimera"
"all things" ・ "Brand X" ・ "Hollywood A.D." ・ "Fight Club" ・ "Je Souhaite" ・ "Requiem"
Season 8
"Within" ・ "Without" ・ "Patience" ・ "Roadrunners" ・ "Invocation" ・ "Redrum" ・ "Via Negativa" ・ "Surekill" ・ "Salvage" ・ "Badlaa" ・ "The Gift"
"Medusa" ・ "Per Manum" ・ "This is Not Happening" ・ "DeadAlive" ・ "Three Words" ・ "Empedocles" ・ "Vienen" ・ "Alone" ・ "Essence"
Season 9
"Nothing Important Happened Today" ・ "Nothing Important Happened Today II" ・ "Dæmonicus" ・ "4-D" ・ "Lord of the Flies" ・ "Trust No 1"
"John Doe" ・ "Hellbound" ・ "Provenance" ・ "Providence" ・ "Audrey Pauley" ・ "Underneath" ・ "Improbable" ・ "Scary Monsters" ・ "Jump the Shark"
"William" ・ "Release" ・ "Sunshine Days" ・ "The Truth"
Season 10
"My Struggle" ・ "Founder's Mutation" ・ "Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster" ・ "Home Again" ・ "Babylon" ・ "My Struggle II"
Season 11
"My Struggle III" ・ "This" ・ "Plus One" ・ "The Lost Art of Forehead Sweat" ・ "Ghouli" ・ "Kitten" ・ "Rm9sbG93ZXJz" ・ "Familiar"
"Nothing Lasts Forever" ・ "My Struggle IV"