8×06 Redrum

A spider scurries over its web, as Martin Wells awakes beneath it. He glances around and is confused to be inside a prison cell with a deep gash over his right eye. He watches the spider, and then smashes it, as a radio voice announces that the day is Friday. A prison guard takes him out of the cage and Martin spots his good friend, John Doggett, in the corridor. He calls out to the Agent, but Doggett barely glances at him. Instead, Doggett, along with Scully, falls into step beside Martin, as he is led outside the jail into the throng of waiting reporters and cameras. Martin spots a familiar face in the crowd and looks hopeful upon seeing him. He shouts over the commotion to his father-in-law who pulls out a gun and shoots Martin. Doggett leaps for the weapon. As Scully tends to him, Martin can only hear the sound of his own heartbeat, echoing the ticking of Scully’s watch. His eyes go blank and he passes out. The watch’s second hand comes to a stop, and then ticks backwards.

Martin wakes once again in the prison cell. The same spider crawls over the web, and the injury is still over his eye. Doggett and Scully bring him evidence, but Martin is confused by the whole situation. He doesn’t understand why he is in jail. Doggett is furious, and accuses Martin of murdering his own wife. In the evidence file are photos of Vicky Wells’ bloodied corpse. Martin is shocked and overwhelmed. While he is brought into court, his co-workers stare at him with scorn. As the bailiff proclaims that court for Thursday is in session, Martin seems confused. He thought it was Saturday, the day after he was shot. Martin is denied bail and ordered to transfer to another prison, but he approaches the bench to beg for a stay. He claims that his father-in-law will kill him on Friday.

Doggett and Scully talk to Martin in the holding cell, and he tells them that he may be having premonitions about the future. The last thing he remembers is visiting Washington three days ago, but he is adamant about not killing his wife. “If you truly don’t remember, how do you know you didn’t?” Scully asks him. Martin sees a vision of breaking glass, but is unsure of what his memory is telling him. Later, his two young daughters are brought into the jail, but they are cold to him. He gets another vision of broken glass, but this time it moves backwards. He sees his wife fall through a coffee table. Martin asks Trina, the children’s nanny, to bring him a stuffed animal from the apartment. Hidden inside it is a camera used to spy on the nanny. Martin reviews the video footage with his lawyer to see who was in the apartment during the time of the murder. He is the only person on the tape.

Once more, Martin wakes in the jail cell. The spider is still there, but his face is unharmed. He is brought into a room to see his lawyers. When the female attorney introduces herself, Martin is already familiar with her from the trial the day before. They inform him that it is Wednesday, and Martin figures out that his days are regressing backwards. Later in the prison yard, the other inmates pick him out as the lawyer who once put them away. A prisoner with a spider web tattooed on his hand slices Martin’s face over his right eye. Doggett and Scully come to see Martin, and Doggett is noticeably friendlier towards him. Martin tells them about his regression of time and Doggett is skeptical of the story. Scully asks Martin why he thinks this is happening to him. He assumes that it is something he is meant to understand, so he reviews his own case files to find the truth. He sees more flashbacks of the murder in reverse time. The arm of the killer has a tattoo of a spider web. “I know who did it,” he whispers to himself.

In the morning, Martin wakes. Yet on this day he is in Doggett’s apartment. He watches himself on the news, which marks the day as Tuesday. He describes the murderer for Doggett as someone already in prison, but when Doggett checks, the man hasn’t been incarcerated. Although Doggett is confused by Martin’s rationale, he goes with him to Baltimore to get the videotape from the stuffed animal in the apartment. Martin is again the only suspect on the tape, but Doggett notices that the sun is rising in the background. Since it would not match the timing of the murder, this would clear Martin of the crime. Doggett and Martin go to the nanny’s house and find the man with the tattoo there. His name is Cesar Ocampo. Trina admits that he forced her to give him the keycard to Martin’s apartment. Martin talks to Ocampo to find out why he killed his wife. Ocampo’s brother Hector had been wrongly convicted by Martin and the boy hung himself in prison. Martin is arrested because his fingerprints are on the knife that killed Vicky Wells.

Martin awakes in a hotel in Washington, DC. It is Monday – the day of the murder. Still two hours before the crime was to have been committed, he tries to warn his wife. She doesn’t answer the phone. He goes to Doggett’s house for help and Doggett is surprised to see him. Martin believes that this is happening for a reason so that he will be given a second chance. He admits to Doggett that he suppressed evidence in Hector Ocampo’s case and gets Doggett to call the police to his house in Baltimore. Martin returns home. The police are waiting, but neither his wife nor Cesar Ocampo is there so the police leave. Vicky Wells returns home, and Martin sends her into the bedroom when he hears someone coming in. Cesar attacks Martin and then tosses Vicky into a shattering coffee table. Cesar brings a knife to her throat and is about to kill her, when suddenly Doggett and Scully storm in. They shoot and kill him. Martin notices the second hand on Scully’s watch tick forward.

Martin sits once again in jail. Yet this is a new day and a different prison cell. As he pays penance for breaking the law in Hector Ocampo’s trial, he has been given a second chance to atone for his transgression.

Original Air Date: 12/08/00

Teleplay by Steven Maeda
Story by Steven Maeda & Daniel Arkin
Directed by Peter Markle

GILLIAN ANDERSON as Special Agent Dana Scully
ROBERT PATRICK as Special Agent John Doggett

Also Starring:
Joe Morton as Martin Wells
Danny Trejo as Spider-man
Bellamy Young as Janet Wilson
Guy Torry as Shorty
Joanna Sanchez as Trina
J. Patrick McCormack as Brent Tufeld
Jack Shearer as Judge Kinberg
Lee Duncan as Al Cawdry
Cynthia Martells as District Attorney
Roger Hewlett as Tall Guard
Shane Sinutko as Lead Cop
James Howell as Homicide Detective
Brien Blakely as Reporter
Derick Alexander as Baliff
Luis Rodriguez as Gangbanger
Kayla Henry as Hayley Wells