The Well-Worn Lock   Credits   Gallery   Transcript    

"The Well-Worn Lock" is the eighth episode of the first season of Millennium.


As a Victim Services support worker, Frank Black's wife, Catherine, investigates a father who sexually abused his own daughters.


In Madison Park, Seattle, a family are gathered around the television. The mother leaves to go to bed, and the atmosphere in the room grows tense. The older of two sisters, Connie Bangs (Michelle Joyner) takes her sister Sara—who is clearly much younger than she is—to her bedroom and locks her in, warning her not to let her father inside. Connie runs out of the house, fighting off her father, and is later found wandering the streets confused. She is taken to clinical social worker Catherine Black (Megan Gallagher), and admits that her father has been sexually abusing her for years.

However, given the length of time the abuse has been going on, Connie is afraid no one will believe her. The assistant district attorney assigned to the case, Rhonda Preshutski (Christine Dunford) agrees, believing the case to be weak. Child Protective Services cannot remove Sara from the household until Connie undergoes a psychiatric evaluation, although Black and police lieutenant Bob Bletcher (Bill Smitrovich) investigate the Bangs home to check up on the girl. The father, Joe Bangs (Paul Dooley), chases them off as his wife watches detachedly. Bangs wields a degree of political clout in the community, and pressures the district attorney's office to drop the case. Preshutski is furious with Black over the matter, until it is discovered from Connie's medical exams that Sara is not her sister, but her daughter.

Black is later woken in her office by her husband Frank (Lance Henriksen). She had fallen asleep there while trying to find a legal precedent to remove Sara from the Bangs home. Catherine visits Connie, who is staying with another sister, Ruthie (Lenore Zann). Ruthie also reveals that their father had abused her, until she was sectioned following mental breakdown. Black is worried that Connie might be persuaded by her mother to drop the case.

Joe Bangs finds himself unable to have the case dropped, but Bletcher still feels that Black's pursuit of it may end up costing her her job. However, Black knows she is doing the right thing and is determined to continue. Her fears for Sara are confirmed when it is discovered she and the elder Bangs have gone missing. Frank, an offender profiler, deduces that Bangs' controlling personality would cause him to take his daughter somewhere he knows, and realizes that they will be in the family's holiday cabin in the woods. A police manhunt begins, and Bangs is arrested without Sara coming to harm.

The case against Bangs is presented before a grand jury, and Black is afraid that Connie will be too afraid to testify. However, she manages to reveal the truth of her abuse to the court. Later, she is seen with the lock from her bedroom door—which had previously been used by her father to lock them both inside—which she throws into a river.

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