The X-Files (1995) – Oubliette, and Nisei

Mulder (David Duchovny) believes that a traumatised woman, Lucy Householder (Tracey Ellis) shares an empathetic connection with a young woman, Amy Jacobs (Jewel Staite) who has been kidnapped by the same man, Carl Wade (Micheal Chieffo) who abducted Lucy when she was a child.

Written by Charles Grant Craig, Oubliette first aired on 17 November, 1995. Mulder and Scully (Gillian Anderson) are called in on a kidnapping investigation to lend a hand, and Mulder makes a connection with Lucy, who has been troubled and had a rough go of it since her escape from Wade all those years ago.

Never caught, nor even fingered, Wade has continued his proclivities, and has now abducted Amy. When Lucy begins to provide information on her condition, and her sensations, the police begin to think Lucy is involved with Wade, and may be one of the kidnappers. Mulder suspects Lucy and Amy have a bit of a connection because of a shared experience.

Mulder is determined in his belief in this case, and even Scully tries to reel him back in a bit, but, surprise, surprise, Mulder is proven right, even as Lucy pays the ultimate price to ensure that Amy goes free.

This is a solid episode, and though the psychic connection gives it a paranormal bent, there is a bit of the police procedural about this one even as Mulder tries to console Lucy, and convince her to help in the investigation to save Amy.

It’s a great Mulder-heavy episode.

Nisei plunges us back into the mythology arc of the series, in this episode written by series creator Chris Carter, Howard Gordon and Frank Spotnitz. It first aired on 24 November, 1995. This episode garnered the series two Emmy wins both for sound, and plunges Mulder into a cross-country chase while it plants seeds for future arcs for Scully.

Mulder is investigating a video tape that he’s purchased that purports to show an alien autopsy, which leads him to discover a secret railroad crisscrossing the country, train cars filled with surgical bays, and Scully recognises one of the doctors on the tape. He may have been involved in her own abduction.

As Mulder follows a lead that could actually be an alien being being stowed on one of these surgical cars, Scully is recognised by a group of women, all of whom claim to be abductees, all of whom seem to recognise her from her own abduction.

There is a lot going on in this episode, and it adds more mystery to the mythology arc, including the possibility of an alien craft recovered from the ocean, to say nothing of its occupants. Or are they something else?

And how does Scully’s abduction tie in with it? And what does it mean when she learns that women from the group of abductees seem to be dying of cancer? Lots of seeds are planted, lots of questions raised as the episode comes to a To Be Continued conclusion with Mulder, despite being warned by X (Steven Williams) via Scully, not to board the train, leaping aboard.

The episode also features Skinner (Mitch Pileggi) and the Lone Gunmen making a welcome appearance as well as Stephen McHattie showing up as some kind of government assassin.

What’s going on? Who can we trust? It’s hard to say, but the truth is out there…

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