The X-Files

Season 3 Episode 8


Aired Monday 9:00 PM Nov 17, 1995 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (16)

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  • Deep into the depraved.

    A depressing hour for anybody watching. It may have went into overdrive with depravity but with the once again awesome score and great acting The X Files proves again with this episode that it does more with this kind of material than others. Having Mulder's personal history of abduction come into play elevated this episode to more than a filler episode. Full of sadness and not afraid to play things safely for television, this is another winner.
  • Oubliette

    Oubliette was a perfect episode of the X-Files because the story was great though disturbing. There was a lot of character development for Mulder as he found himself becoming emotionally invested in Lucy. It was interesting to see Lucy's connection with Amy. In the end Lucy helped save Amy and perhaps herself in her own way. This was truly a scary episode because being in those circumstances seems like it would be quite terrifying. I certainly look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!!!
  • A kidnapper takes a young child and Mulder takes the case very personally

    David Duchovny is a great actor, and he's awesome as Fox Mulder in this show, but I think it was here that he really shined. Mulder and Scully look into a case where a girl was kidnapped and an older woman who was once kidnapped by the same guy begins to experience the same things as the younger kidnapped girl. It's an interesting premise, and once again, Chris Carter and co. prove that they're masters of suspense, milking every scene for all it's worth.

    Duchovny brings some great subtle acting here, never going over the top in his emotions, but you can tell how important this case is to him, especially since it mirrors somewhat his own past: his sister, Samantha, who is still missing. He takes the case personally and even when people, including Scully, begin questioning him, he's resilient in his efforts to find the truth and find the girl.

    Sure, this was yet another stand-alone episode of The X-Files, but it was 100% compelling and it had incredible acting by David Duchovny, somebody who mixes the perfect amount of comedy and drama into his character without letting it tip too far to one side. But after seeing the way he acted around Lucy and his efforts to make the young girl breathe again at the end of the episode, it's clear that he's a damaged man who wants the truth is, and regardless of what the case is, it all comes back to the truth.
  • I love how much Mulder is affected by is a really amazing unfolding of his character...

    I really liked this episode much more than I expected to. It didn't seem very exciting and the summary seemed rather vague and uninteresting. But I found myself really engaged in the relationship, not of Mulder and Scully, but rather that of Mulder and Lucy Householder.

    This was a really revealing episode, especially when Mulder starts to cry after Lucy dies...I really love when he shows emotion cuz usually he has a really stiff exterior. Scully kind of pissed me off in this episode, she didn't seem to really play a big role and didn't really listen to Mulder's ideas at all, not even as much as usual.
  • Vulnerable Mulder... Again

    I still find it amazing how vulnerable Mulder becomes when something reminds him of his sister. Even when he tells Scully that this case doesn't remind him of Samantha at all, he feel sympathy for this woman who is a victim within a victim, that's the way I see it.
    I like how patient Scully is when it comes to this kind of cases that affect Mulder so deeply. She was beside him at all times, even when the theory was far out.
    I guess it was Lucy's fate to end up like this. That was the only way she was going to get rid of her kidnapper.
  • Unforgettable

    The best X Files are those that force the agents into some kind of emotional response as the case they are working on involves them on a personal level. This episode evokes such a reaction from Mulder as a kidnapped teenager and a woman's empathetic response to that makes him bring up memories of his own sister. Such a scenario requires some solid work from its actors and Duchovny brings a level of investment to this story that really brings it to life.

    He is helped immeasurably in this respect by an outstanding guest turn from Tracey Ellis as the beleaguered Lucy Householder (this is the first of Ellis's excellent supporting performances for the series, she would be equally memorable as the eponymous character in Season 9's "Audrey Pauley"). A kidnap victim herself 17 years ago, and now part of life's flotsam, Lucy finds herself reacting to the abduction in the exact same way as the real victim, Amy Jacobs, right down to nosebleeds and scratches on her face. Lucy's life subsequent to her escape from her captor has been an endless succession of not much, so to relive her worst nightmare not just mentally but now physically is an ordeal she is only too happy to check out of. Mulder valiantly struggles to coax her back from the brink, but his powers of persuasion aren't sufficient to the task. At the core of this episode is the very horrifying crime of child kidnapping and (by implication) abuse. There's one scene where Amy is cowering in the darkness of her oubliette with her captor, Carl Wade, indiscriminately snapping away at her with his camera. It's a terrifying scenario that does make us feel distinctly uncomfortable, but that's the thing with "The X Files": adult subjects and taboos are tackled in a fairly responsible way. We learn precious little about Carl Wade so he doesn't register highly in the pantheon of scary villains like Eugene Victor Tooms or Donnie Pfaster, but the horror of what he does to Amy and Lucy is one of the lingering aftertastes of the episode.

    As is Mulder's almost painful supportive reaction to Lucy's plight. Ultimately no matter how well he guards her against full police investigation, there comes a time when circumstantial evidence means that his theory is thrust aside to let the real police do their business. You can see Scully roll her eyes in dismay when Mulder is forced to reveal his theory on Lucy's empathy with Amy to the police and, not surprisingly, it is mocked. (Hey, she should be used to this by now.) Mulder however is quick to refute that dredged up memories of Samantha are making him so involved in this case. He rightly argues that not everything needs to stem from childhood memories. However, his frenzied resuscitation of Amy at the riverbank, and his tears over Lucy's corpse at the end would seem to indicate otherwise. (And what a beautifully composed shot that was, as the camera panned up from the ambulance trolley holding her draped body, with a sobbing Mulder by her side, yet another example of Rob Bowman's cinematic sense.)

    There's a very subtle touch at the start of this episode that underlines Mulder's memory of Samantha when Mrs Jacobs admonishes him before he can come out with the standard FBI platitude to grieving parents. She tells him that he can't possibly know what she's going through right now. And of course the irony is that that is one emotion that Mulder has been carrying with him for years now. Essentially this very strong episode is all about battling inner demons. Lucy has been trying to blot out hers with drugs and petty crime for the last 17 years, until the psychic reliving of her ordeal means that she can't fight it anymore. At least in doing so, she is able to do one noble act and save the life of Amy. And Mulder too finds the case scratches at the raw nerve of his soul, and the reason for his quest. In its own quiet little way, "Oubliette" is on the surface a kidnap drama. But on a deeper level, it's one of the richer X File experiences. 10/10
  • It's not non-sense it's Mulder-sense:)

    "Spooky"- Scully "That's my name"- Mulder Another classic example of the little known fact that Mulder is always right, we should know that by now however, because hes always going to be right, weather or not Scully, and Agent Eubanks want to believe it. But someday.. someday everyone will :) I have to say my favorite part of this episode was the dialogue, it was beautiful, every line was great! Mulder and Scully had some great exchanges, like the one listed above.. Side Note-- It's sorta funny because right when Amy coughed to life, I started coughing... spooky... Mulder :) Sorry couldn't resist, I set myself up for that one, anyways, I have to say I liked the wierd connection between Amy and Lucy, it was what made this episode "Mulder - Worthy" :) or even X Files Material. Without it our agents wouldn't have investigated, and Amy would be dead... [[duh]].
  • Mulder has a girl-saving complex.

    I mean of course there's his sister, but like he says that's not all of it. He just has this incredibly potent and persistent tendency to get overly involved in cases involving hurt, victimized women. And I'm sorry to add it: hurt, victimized, decent looking women. I mean there's the Jersey Devil, 3, and now this. And in the episode with the fat-sucking mutant he didn't have that involvement, perhaps because the women being prayed upon were not attractive. I don't know what to make of this. It's a bit wrong that Mulder gets so emotional over these cases in particular. He's like some freaking chivalric knight coming to the rescue of the beautiful damsel in distress. And that's irritating, old-fashioned, and painful to watch. I mean, what makes a woman--not even thinking about the atrativeness aspect of his complex right now--more worthy of emotional involvement than a man? Is it a kind of innocence? This is the vibe I get, like a woman is automatically more innocent than a man and so more worthy of saving, more the victim, more to be fought for because less deserving. Lucy is portrayed this way, as innocent and self-sacrificing (eventually), though her life story is far from innocent and saintly. I usually like the Mulder character, but this I don't like at all. I wish Scully would say something about it. But other than that it was a fascinating premise, so I'll give it a decent rating.
  • A previous victim has a connection with a current kidnapping.

    one of the worst episodes that i have watched so far. The story line was not very believable (even for X-Files!) and some of the characters were slightly out. After about halfway through i had to resist temptation to just turn it off and give up. I agree with a previous reveiw, Scully just gave up reviving the girl even though they had not been trying very long. Even someone with minimal medical training should know to keep doing CPR until an ambulance or proper help arrives. Also, why would they run blood tests on the blood of someone who had a nosebleed? A dissappointment because the rest of the series has been really good
  • Take Me To The River

    The setup for this episode is a bit farfetched. I sincerely doubt that a police report would have been filed just because a waitress has a nosebleed and it is unlikely that anyone would have documented the words spoken by the waitress or the exact time so as to tie the two incidents together. I blame sloppy, lazy writing since it seems that a more plausible connection could have established easily enough.

    That said, this is your standard "Silence of the Lambs" storyline with the victim thrown down into the basement awaiting an uncertain fate with the Feds trying to locate her before something awful happens. The writers introduce tension between Mulder and Scully, which gives some lift to the episode. I liked that they played on Mulder's sense of guilt for the loss of his sister - it lent an emotional dimension to his performance that is often missing.
  • A kidnapping and a psychic connection - not the most original episode ever, but pretty good.

    As a young girl is kidnapped, an older, fast food employee starts to bleed and collapses. What's more, the blood is a DNA match to the girl, so she becomes the prime suspect. But as the story develops we discover that she may well have been one of the kidnapper's earlier victims.

    The acting all round is good and the story is rather tragic in its denouement. Some of the story is a little predicatable but it's none the worse for that. The Oubliette title doubles for the dungeon the girl is kept in, and because of the concept of 'forgetting', the story of the young woman trying to escape what happened to her in the past, and forget, which she is ultimately unable to do.

    Sad, but compelling.
  • Character development, Superb acting by the guest star, and a psychic connection. Amazing!

    This is truly an underrated episode! Starting with the superb acting by the guest star - she was tense, nervous, angry, and so convincing as Lucy. I was really taken in by her performance and the edginess she brought to the role. It's not very often that we get to see such ferocity brought to the "Vulnerable Victim" role, and this time around it was just amazing how raw and intense the emotion coming from "Lucy" was. There has been this rift between Scully and Mulder for some time now. I keep picking up on it intermittently, but this episode brought it home the most. In the beginning, they are barely working together. Mulder hardly communicates his ideas to Scully, who - because she is not privy to his thoughts - comes to her own scientific conclusion with no attempt at trying to understand her partner's viewpoint at all. It's been stressing me out the past half a season, that our two agents don't seem to enjoy working with each other (with the exception of the Paper Clip myth arc, but those episodes always seem to operate on a different plane of existence than the usual episodes). The pseudo-fight between Mulder and Scully was PERFECT. I just felt the tension snap between them, with Scully poking at Mulder's passive anger and resentment at his every move and motivation being linked to his childhood. I was really angry at that detective for interrupting them, because they have some issues they need to work through. I just hope the show continues to explore this rift growing between the two agents and make it come to fruition, rather than just burying it as dealt with by this tiny little argument. Scully needs to respect Mulder's ideas more - she tends to brush them off as ludicrous from the moment they leave his lips. And Mulder needs to listen to Scully's skepticism as something that the rest of the world will think, and therefore what he should be prepared to deal with. The dynamic between the two agents have been suffering for quite some time now and I was wondering if it was intentional or if the actors were having some trouble. But I thought that even if the actors weren't speaking to each other, the writers and producers would surely not take that into consideration in writing the show. But recent shows have them working apart more than together, and always sniping at each other and taking the others' theories down. I hope this break in the tension is just the beginning of their gradual acceptance of each others' flaws.
  • far fetched

    “Oubliette” is another one of those far fetched (Their all far fetched but this one just takes the Mick). A summary: When a young girl is kidnapped from her home, a fast food worker miles away collapses on the job, apparently experiencing what the young girl is. Mulder than learns that the woman was kidnapped as a child and believes she ay hold the key to find the missing girl. The Review: I didn’t really like this episode as there are too many coincidences if you know what I mean; it bored me a little to. I would say this is an average episode.
  • "No-one will spoil us"

    The episode starts at a High School where a photographer and his assistent are taking pictures of the students for a yearbook or something. The photographer is a regular guy with nothing to worry about, the assistent on the other hand is a weird one. All of a sudden his eye meets a pretty girl who he falls in love with.

    At this moment the episode starts to get a bit scary. The man steals the girl's picture, puts his own next to it, takes pictures of thát in his basement etc. He's acting obsessed.

    It's 10.05PM, the girl is asleep with her sister in the same room, the window opens, the man enters and kidnaps the girl while saying "no-one will spoil us" as if they have a relationship.

    The time 10.05PM is important because at that time, 30KM away from the crimescene, a woman working at a burgerjoint feels what the kidnapped girl feels. They both have a nosebleed at the same time (she actually bleeds the other girl's blood!), and while she faints she mumbels "no-one will spoil us".

    From here on it's a cat and mouse game to find the kidnapper (and the girl of course) with the help of the woman.

    It's an exciting episode but quite disturbing at times. The way he keeps the girl in the basement in the dark, taking pictures of her...

    The original aspect of the episode is that the woman feels what the girl feels, at the end when the man tries to drown the girl, the woman actually drowns too even though she's on the backseat of a car.

    Obviously, Mulder knows what's going on, Scully doesn't. Because the woman is about to drown in the car, Mulder knows where they are and saves the girl just in time.

    A great episode. Exciting and above all very original!
  • The one where the abductees sense each other

    A very serious case about a girl who is abducted by this strange man who has some sort of illness, year ago he had abducted another woman called Lucy, he had her trapped for five years but she had managed to escape.

    Even though the episodes is slow at times, it’s storyline is fantastic and acting is superb, it’s cute to see young Jewel Staite. Too bad they didn’t exactly explain what the connection between Amy and Lucy was, Lucy’s death was definitely sad. She deserved to live and survive, this was the second time she was going through all of this and death was the only escape apparently, she gave her life for Amy’s.

    The most annoying thing about the episode were those annoying sheriffs and how they treated Lucy, the one who stayed with her could have tried to save her, I think he was an ass and should have been fired. Also Scully annoyed me a lot, going against Mulder’s believes and doubting everything again, really getting tired of that.

    The scenes where Lucy and Amy did the same thing were the strongest, specially when they were drowning and Mulder was only able to bring back Amy, well sort of cause Lucy gave her life for Amy.

    The episode was traumatic, it wasn’t a demon this time. It was a sick, sick man. Mulder proved again how amazing he is, specially next to Lucy’s death bed. A terrific episode that had even more potential.
  • Householder, M.D.

    A tense kidnapping episode which features some brilliant performances from the guest stars and an interesting main storyline, Oubliette is memorable for not having the paranormal aspect of the hour overshadow the human aspect of the hour, which makes the episode work really well.

    It has Mulder and Scully investigating the kidnapping of a young girl and discovering that a woman the young girl's never met is experiencing the same emotions and wounds that the abductee is feeling. They soon discover that Lucy, the woman, was kidnapped as a child by the same man who has abducted young Amy Jacobs.

    Guest star Tracey Ellis is brilliant at conveying Lucy Householder's plight and you feel genuinely sad when she dies at the end of the episode. Her death is very memorable, however, and the almost "resurrection" of Amy is well handled. The kidnapper is also extremely creepy and his cutting up of Amy's photographs also disturbing. The setting is also used well, with Oubliette using the surroundings, dark woods and deep lakes, very well. Jewel Staite (who will go on to play Kaylee in the short-lived Firefly) also gives a scene-stealing performance as Amy, far beyond her peers.

    The whole episode is well written and well directed and ends up being one of the best episodes of the season.
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