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"Redrum" is the sixth episode of the eighth season of The X-Files.


An old friend of John Doggett and formerly successful lawyer finds himself in jail for the murder of his wife, an incident he has no memory of. As he starts to live days in reverse, he realizes that he has been granted a second chance.


Friday, December 8th:

Martin Wells is shot by his father-in-law.

Martin Wells wakes up in a prison cell. Besides the strange place he finds himself, he notices a stitched up wound on his right cheek. A guard enters and takes him for his transfer. Doggett and Scully await and warn of the crowd of press outside. As he exits the building, a man Wells recognizes draws a pistol and shoots Wells, getting him in the neck after a few useless rounds to the bulletproof vest. Wells stares at Scully’s watch as he dies. The hands stop and then begin to turn backwards.

Thursday, December 7th:

Waking up and checking for bullet wounds Martin Wells sees Agents Scully and Doggett arrive with an evidence bag and demanding answers. Martin is confused and does not understand what is going on. Doggett furiously suggests Martin is starting some ‘half-assed insanity defense.’ Scully tells him the key card is Wells’ card to his apartment and that it was found in a dumpster behind the hotel he was staying at. Doggett berates Wells since he thinks it is clear Wells is a murderer with that piece of evidence. He wants explanation and Doggett shows a crime scene photo of Martin’s murdered wife, Vicky. Doggett dials it back as he notices Martin’s emotions.

He is brought into court and he sees the man who shot him, his father-in-law, Al Cawdry. As the day is announced in court as Thursday, Wells begins to understand that it is the day before instead of Saturday. The judge knows Wells on a first name basis as Wells is a prosecutor. The judge denies bail but decides to transfer Wells. Wells makes a scene in the court accusing his father-in-law of planning on killing him during the transfer.

In his second meeting of the day with Scully and Doggett, Wells explains that he can’t remember the last few days. Scully suggests that maybe he did do it. Wells begins having flashes of the murder but they are unclear. Waiting in his cell, he kills a spider.

When he sees his daughters, he asks his housekeeper & nanny, Trina Galvez, to bring something from the apartment. His lawyer, Janet Wilson, shows up with the nanny cam. Wilson points out that she has to share the

Martin Wells sees his two daughters in prison.

evidence with the prosecution, but Martin insists on watching the tape anyway. The only person between the police’s arrival and the last time his wife is on camera is Martin Wells.

Wednesday, December 6th:

Wells meets his lawyers and tells them about the nanny cam yet its Wednesday not Friday since he still hasn’t entirely grasped the “living the week backwards” thing.

While out in the yard, a man confronts him about being unfairly punished. Shorty is enjoying the downfall of Wells and complains about his conviction over possession with intent to sell and a concealed weapon charge. Concealed weapon was a pipe wrench that he was on his way to use to fix a sink at his mother’s place. This charge added six months onto his sentence but Wells doesn’t care because all that matters to him is that “you broke the law.”

Wells gets shoved into a dominoes game and while picking them up gets slashed on his right cheek from a man with the spider web tattoo on his hand.

Martin Wells meets Doggett and Scully and explains that he is moving backwards in time and can not recall the past few days. Doggett is skeptical but Scully hears him out. Wells says there must be a reason for it and Scully suggests that the answer may already be within him.

Studying the evidence of the case, he has a flash of the murder that reveals the knife in a hand with a spider web tattoo.

Tuesday, December 5th:

Martin awakes at the home of a friend, John Doggett, and thanks Doggett for helping him. Wells tells Doggett the description of the killer but the man isn’t in lock-up yet because that won’t happen until Wednesday.

Doggett and Wells arrive at the apartment and retrieve the nanny cam. After watching it, Doggett comes to a

Video capture of Wells on nanny cam. Proves his innocence.

different conclusion than Wells’ attorney. He notices that the sun is up when Wells is recorded by the nanny cam and Vicky Wells’ time of death is long before sunrise. This leads to the realization that someone disabled the nanny cam using its remote control which no one knew about except Mr. and Mrs. Wells and the nanny, Trina Galvez.

At Trina Galvez’s home, Wells confronts her about the nanny cam and suggests that she gave the killer the keycard to get in. Doggett picks up on the fact that Trina is talking through the only partially opened door with the chain still in place. He covers the peephole and slams the door open. The killer falls to the ground but starts to get right back up with a knife. Doggett pistol whips the man and restrains him. Trina Galvez, weeping, tells Martin that the man threatened to kill her family and that she is sorry.

At the station house, Doggett explains the man is named Cesar Ocampo and that he has a record with many narcotics and assault charges. He also informs him that Ocumpo only wants to talk to Martin Wells.

Cesar Ocampo talks about his brother Hector Ocumpo who received his third strike on a possession charge and was sent to jail for life by Wells. Cesar says that the drugs were found in a jacket that wasn’t even his brother’s and vouched for by three witnesses but Wells suppressed the evidence to get a conviction. Hector Ocumpo was sent to prison for “who he used to be” not who he was. Wells bargains with Cesar Ocampo, saying that if Cesar confesses to Vicky’s murder, he will take a look at his brother’s case. Cesar tells him that Hector hung himself in a jail cell a few weeks ago.

Cesar Ocampo. Avenged his brother's unfair conviction on Wells' wife.

Doggett calls Martin Wells out into the hall and the police arrest Martin because they have a case against him. Evidence against Ocumpo isn’t strong enough yet.

Monday, December 4th, 2:07AM:

Wells awakes in the hotel room and immediately calls home reaching an answering machine. He goes to John Doggett and recruits him to help save his wife. Martin admits to evidence suppression and that Hector Ocumpo’s brother is out for revenge. Wells drives home and finds the police that Doggett contacted. Vicky isn’t home yet and the police have checked everything out already. They are unwilling to stick around, believing it to be a false alarm.

Hearing someone at the door, Martin Wells gets a knife and waits by the door. He frightens his wife when she walks in but luckily doesn’t stab her.

They hear someone else at the door and Martin has his wife hide and call the police. When he returns from doing that the door is open but Cesar Ocampo is not in sight. Ocumpo appears and Wells is quickly loses their struggle. Vicky Wells comes out of hiding and is thrown through the coffee table. As Ocumpo prepares to slit her throat, he is shot dead by timely arriving Doggett. Martin embraces his wife while Scully checks to confirm Cesar Ocampo is dead.

Martin Wells embraces his wife Vicky after Doggett shoots Ocumpo just in time.

Wells goes to prison for his evidence suppression. He seems to feel he deserves it as shown by his closing narration:

“The passage of time in prisons is not in a cell of brick and mortar but in one of hopes dashed 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.”



SCULLY (to Martin): "You do realize that you're not gonna be able to prove this... right? I mean, if tomorrow is really the day before today than we won't have had this conversation."

DOGGETT: "Naah, for crying out loud..."

SCULLY: "And you'd have to tell us all over again."

DOGGETT: "Yeah well... Make sure I skip that fricking meeting..."

Background Information[]

  • The title, "Redrum", is actually "murder" spelled backwards. In this episode, Joe Morton's character travels backwards in time.
  • The episode number (8ABx03) is also the case number for the trial.
  • Joe Morton (Martin Wells) previously appeared with Robert Patrick (John Doggett) in Terminator 2, where he played Miles Dyson, the Cyberdyne Systems employee working on the items retrieved from the first Terminator.
  • Several shots of Robert Patrick as Agent Doggett mirror those of the T-1000 in Terminator 2 - when the steel elevator closes on his face, when he is looking through a chainlink fence, and when he surveys the scene then looks straight ahead. It seems like a conscious nod to Patrick's work in James Cameron's film.
  • This episode features the great character actor Danny Trejo as the bad guy.

Goofs and nitpicks[]

  • It is highly unlikely that a partial judge (one who has any kind of relationship towards one of the parties) will ever get to pronounce a judgement. In reality either the judge will declare himself to be biased towards the case or one of the parties (in this case the prosecutor) will invoke it.
  • Although it's supposed to be around 4.20 AM in the murder scene, there's quite a lot of light coming from the windows. However this might be due to public lights from outside, its seems to be a little too much.
  • Since Scully learnt about her pregnancy in May, she should at least be on her 7th month in December, however she seems to not be, and no one else, besides Skinner, knows about her pregnancy yet. This makes time placement in December a goof.



Special Guest Starring

Guest Starring



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