Season 1 Episode 8

The Well-Worn Lock

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Dec 20, 1996 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
62 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The Well-Worn Lock
Catherine aids a woman who has been sexually abused by her father for twenty-three years. Catherine however finds it hard to find anyone who will take this case to court, so she turns to Frank for emotional support.

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  • Bad Dad

    Previous episodes of Millennium have seen Frank leading a case while Catherine works at home and offers strong moral support to her husband. In The Well-Worn Lock, the roles have been reversed.

    An undeniably powerful episode, I was surprised that Millennium, a show which has been so graphic in its depiction of murderous violence, handled such a dark subject matter as sexual abuse and incest so maturely, without being either exploitative or voyeuristic. I have to hand it to Chris Carter, who has written such a deeply emotional story with this episode, being both dramatic and heart-rending. The acting from the guest stars greatly helped with this, especially as Paul Dooley gave an understated performance which kept you guessing throughout the hour. Was he really a grotesque abuser, or just a father with a short fuse?

    I also loved how Frank and Catherine's roles were reversed. Frank is somebody who's so emotionless and cold when it comes to his work life, that you couldn't imagine him being able to get Connie to testify, while Catherine seems perfectly at ease in a situation like this. The courtroom scenes in the episode were extremely tense, and I was literally biting my nails hoping that Joe Bangs would be sent away. It's rare for a TV show to affect me like that, but this episode managed to.

    A dark and surprisingly non-melodramatic episode which is both as equally disturbing as it is moving, The Well-Worn Lock marks yet another episode better than the last, proving that Millennium is one of the most inventive shows I've ever seen.

    Director: Ralph Hemecker

    Writer: Chris Carter

    Rating: A+moreless
  • Evil father.

    This episode was all about a women who was sexually abused for 23 years, sick some might say. Anyway after 23 years of abuse the women speaks out because of fear that her young daughter may be next on the list to be abused. It turns out she is right. So Catherine, Bob and Frank have to race against the clock to stop the father. But the situation gets worse when they try to take the father to court. Overall i thought this was a good episode. Not as good as the last episode but still very good nonetheless, this season sure has produced some great episodes.moreless
Paul Dooley

Paul Dooley

Joe Bangs

Guest Star

Michelle Joyner

Michelle Joyner

Connie Bangs

Guest Star

Christine Dunford

Christine Dunford

A.D.A. Rhonda Preshutski

Guest Star

Bill Smitrovich

Bill Smitrovich

Lt. Bob Bletcher

Recurring Role

Brittany Tiplady

Brittany Tiplady

Jordan Black

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • In the epilogue to this episode, Catherine, Connie and Connie's sister stand on top of a dam into which Connie throws the lock Catherine gives her. It should be noted the image of the dam (particularly the aerial view of the roaring water) will be used in a subsequent episode, "Force Majeure", in the prologue of that episode, when the woman throws herself into it.

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Catherine: Connie, you're not a victim, you're a survivor.

    • Catherine: We all have secrets, Mrs. Bangs.
      Mrs. Bangs: Maybe that's what they're best kept as.

    • Catherine: Tell me honestly, Frank. Am I going too far?
      Frank: We live in a world where too many people won't go far enough, won't do what they know is right, what they believe. I don't know how or why it got this way but the world has become so complicated that to involve yourself in someone else's problems is to invite them needlessly on yourself.

    • Catherine: Just because it's hard to imagine or hard to accept, people don't want to deal with this because it's easier to believe that it couldn't really happen.

    • Bangs: Yeah, well, you just go right on believing it -- whatever it is -- but when lies pass for the truth, then the whole world will have gone crazy and there won't be a damn thing that matters. Lady, there are things you just don't know.

    • Connie: Gotta stay on the line. Gotta stay on the line. Gotta... stay on the line.

    • "The cruelest lies are
      often told in silence."
      ----Robert Louis Stevenson

  • NOTES (0)