X-Files Review – “Redrum”

Here’s this week’s X-Files review. Read more for the details.


Redrum, the December 10 episode of The X-Files, was the best episode I have reviewed thus far.

An imprisoned man, Wells, is suspected of killing his wife. (He is played by Joe Morton, who also played Miles Dyson with Robert Patrick in Terminator 2: Judgement Day.) He has no memory of the past few days, and is unaware of his wife’s death. We soon learn that he is a district attourney, and that he is a good friend of John Doggett’s.

Every morning, Wells wakes up on the previous day. The episode begins on December 8, the day Wells is shot while being moved to a higher security facility. The next day is Thursday, December 7, and so on, until he finds himself back on December 4, the day his wife was killed.

As he moves backward in time, he begins putting together the pieces of the crime, and is able to identify the true killer as the brother of a man who received an unfair trial because Wells suppressed evidence in court.

Wells eventually returns to the night of the murder, which is prevented when Doggett shoots the killer in the back.

Scully’s Role

Scully is little more than a glorified extra yet again, as the episode is told entirely from Wells’ perspective. Doggett, as Wells’ friend, is given a decent, but still small amount of screen time. Scully is merely present in scenes where Doggett would bring his partner. Aside from one inconsequential conversation with Wells, her presence was almost completely unnecessary. (Even that one conversation seems present solely to show audiences that she is willing to believe in extreme possibilities.)

Technical Aspects

Nontheless, this was one of the better episodes. The writing was well done and fast paced, and Morton’s performance was excellent. This is one of the most compelling “MOTW” episodes yet.

The directing was capable, but it’s the acting and writing that shine this week. Morton’s reaction to the crime scene photos of his wife, as well as his odd time-reversed flashbacks of the murder really pulled this episode together.

The Continuing Development of Doggett’s Character

Doggett’s behaviour with an old friend helps drive his character forward. When Wells starts ranting about the identity of the killer on Tuesday morning, Doggett asks for mor information, but still goes along with what his friend asks, with a form of tempered loyalty. Then, again when Wells appears at his door on Monday morning, Doggett is concerned and cautious, but he still helps Wells prove his innocence and catch the real killer. He also proves his resolve by pointing out the implications of Wells’ past mistakes when he hears the killer’s motives.

In Summary

This is one of the better stand-alone episodes. (It doesn’t seem right calling this one a “monster-of-the-week” somehow…) It was a great story, but it’s guilty of relegating Scully into the background yet again, so I’m only giving it 3 stars out of 4.

2 replies on “X-Files Review – “Redrum””

  1. T2 redux
    It was a terrific episode. The acting of Joe Morton, like you said, was outstanding. If X-Files keeps making episodes on this level, I think it can last for years.

    That said, I didn’t get the ending. Maybe I just didn’t want to comprehend it because I liked Morton’s character so much. It just didn’t make sense to me.

    Why were Scully and Doggett there at all? I understand that Wells contacted his old friend Doggett. But does that automatically drag Scully into it? Not that I mind seeing her in the episode, but … why?

    Robert Patrick is filling in for Mulder very well. 99% of the time. All we’re missing is Mulder’s wisecracks and humor. To keep the series going, they might have to work harder to bring in humor. For example, the Lone Gunmen could make more appearances. (It looks like they are guest starring next week.)

    Finally, it was great to see Joe Morton and Robert Patrick together again. They were awesome in T2, and terrific here, too.

  2. The Ending, and more

    The ending made sense to me. Wells admitted to supressing evidence, so I assumed he was on trial for doing so, which was why he was back in prison.

    As the humour goes, it definitely needs something. The Lone Gunmen are always nice to see, but they can’t be depended on once their own show starts. (I’m sure we’ll see a cross-over or two when the Neilsen sweeps launch, but that’s the most we can hope for.) Hopefully, we’ll see a solid comedic episode coming up soon to hold us off until Mulder’s return, assuming there is any room for humour at that point.

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