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Recap / The X-Files S03 E08 "Oubliette"

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Season 3, Episode 08:

"Why else would you come back here if not for Amy? Youíre sharing her pain."
Written by Charles Grant Craig
Directed by Kim Manners

"Youíre becoming an empath yourself, Mulder. You are so sympathetic to Lucy as a victim like your sister, that you canít see her as a person whoís capable of committing this crime."
Dana Scully

When a young teenage girl (Jewel Staite) is kidnapped from her home, a fast food worker (Tracey Ellis) miles away collapses on the job, apparently experiencing exactly what the child is feeling. When Mulder learns that the woman was kidnapped and held hostage for years as a child, he begins to believe that she may be the key to help find the missing girl.


  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Scully is particularly stubborn and difficult in this episode. She is dubious towards Mulder's claim that the weird happenings around Lucy stems from her having formed a strong emphatic link with Amy. She is, however, willing to buy the sheriff's theory that Lucy is somehow in cahoots with Wade based on Amy's blood being found in Lucy's nosebleed... despite this theory requires that one accepts that Amy's blood somehow teleported 20 miles and ended up in Lucy's nose.
  • Bittersweet Ending: On the sweet side, the child molester is killed and his victim is saved from drowning. On the bitter side, it requires Lucy sacrificing her life in exchange for the girl's, which Mulder does not take well.
  • Bunker Woman: The pedophile was abducting young girls and held them hostage in a creepy basement. The word "oubliette" from the title refers to a dungeon with an opening only at the top. We see Amy undergo this terrible fate. When she tries to escape, her captor even deprives her of water and she gets terribly thirsty. We find out that Lucy was kidnapped and held for several years.
  • CPR: Clean, Pretty, Reliable: Subverted over and over again in the climax. Mulder performs CPR on Amy, but it doesn't work. He does the typical keep-trying-even-when-it's-hopeless thing, but it still doesn't work. But then suddenly it does work... BUT only because Lucy mystically took on Amy's death, sacrificing herself to save the girl and end her own torment.
  • Creepy Basement: Where Lucy and Amy were locked up.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Lucy gives her life to save Amy's in the end, taking her death for her.
  • Invasion of the Baby Snatchers: Child kidnapping as a plot point. A child molester who kidnaps little pre-teen and teen girls and keeps them locked in a creepy basement. Amy, his latest victim, tries to escape but he catches her and drags her back, and then denies her even water as punishment. She cries and begs him to let her go home to her mother. Finally, when he realizes he can't have her, he tries to drown her in a river.
  • Manly Tears: Mulder, having bonded with Lucy over the course of the story, cries over her body at the end of the episode.
  • Paedohunt: A creepy child molester kidnapping little girls and keeping them locked up.
  • Psychic Link: Lucy feels what Amy is going through.
  • Psychic Nosebleed: Lucy gets a very big nosebleed very quickly at the beginning of her first psychic episode. A bit of an inversion in that the Psychic Link only gave Lucy a nosebleed because Amy had a regular, non-psychic nosebleed at the time. But some of the blood that came out of Lucy's nose was Amy's blood.
  • Single-Issue Psychology: Scully suggests Mulder that he takes the case personally because of Samantha. Mulder defends himself that it's way too simplifying.
  • Synchronization: Lucy suffers injuries inflicted upon her abductor's new victim.

"Finally, the only way she could outrun Carl Wade."