#MLM-107 The Well-Worn Lock
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Catherine Black desperately tries to help a woman who was sexually abused by her father, Joe Bangs, when the man threatens to do the same to her little girl. The struggle for justice proves to be a difficult one, however, as the community reputation and political connections of Bangs remain intact despite Catherine’s efforts.
Written by Chris Carter
Directed by Ralph Hemecker
Edited by Stephen Mark
Lance Henriksen as Frank Black
Megan Gallagher as Catherine Black
Brittany Tiplady as Jordan Black
Bill Smitrovich as Lt. Bob Bletcher
Christine Dunford as A.D.A. Rhonda Preshutski
Sheila Moore as Clea Bangs
Michelle Joyner as Connie Bangs
Paul Dooley as Joe Bangs
Lenore Zann as Ruthie Bangs
J. Douglas Stewart as Larry Bangs
Shaina Tianne Unger as Sara Bangs
Campbell Lane as Joe Bang's Attorney
Jim Fletcher as Bailiff
Steve Oatway as Judge (I)
The cruelest lies are often told in silence. - Robert Louis Stevenson
Seasonal Episode Tagline
wait... worry... who cares?
Please note that this is the original Fox synopsis and occasionally this may differ from the events that were actually filmed. Please also view the The Well-Worn Lock episode transcript which has been painstakingly checked for accuracy against the actual episode.
In a nice middle class residence in Madison Park, Washington, the Bangs family--Connie, 32, Sara 9, mom Clea and dad Joe-- are watching TV. After Clea goes upstairs to bed, an underlying tension and terror come to the surface. Joe, who has sexually abused Connie since she was nine years old, now threatens to do the same to Sara. Connie orders Sara to lock herself in Connie’s room. Downstairs, Connie fights off her father and runs away.
Later that night, Connie is found walking down the middle of the street in a dazed stupor. Catherine is assigned to her case. With Sara in danger, Connie is finally ready to admit her father abused her. But after 23 years of silence, she is afraid no one will believe her.
The assistant D.A., Rhonda Preshutski, thinks they don’t have a case. Since Child Protective Services can’t take Sara away from her father until Connie’s psychiatric evaluation, Catherine and Bletcher go to the Bangs’ house to check on the girl.
Bangs furiously orders them off his property, as Clea watches dispassionately. Bangs has some political influences, and is able to put pressure on the D.A.’s office, angering Rhonda. Her hostility towards Catherine is evident, until Connie’s evaluation reveals Sara isn’t her sister: she’s Connie’s daughter...by Joe.
Frank awakens Catherine in her office. She has slept there overnight, trying to get a legal angle to remove Sara from the house. Connie is now staying at her sister Ruthie’s house, who tells Catherine that Joe abused her too...until she had a mental breakdown and was hospitalized. Catherine is uneasy when she finds out Connie has been with Clea. Connie, fearful and unstable after years of abuse, may be easily persuaded to stop the fight against her father.
Bangs is unable to use his influence in City Hall, and Bletcher tells Catherine her pursuit of the case against Bangs is endangering her job. Catherine, knowing she’s doing what’s right, refuses to give up. Frank agrees with her. Catherine’s fears are confirmed when Bangs kidnaps Sara.
Frank realizes Bangs’ need for control would dictate that he choose a place he knows: the cabin in the woods where the family vacationed. Frank leads a caravan of police to the area, where they chase after Joe as he speeds away in his van. Catherine blocks the road with her Jeep, and the van broadsides her. Bangs is arrested; Catherine and Sara are unhurt.
A Grand Jury is convened. Catherine is afraid Connie won’t be able to stand up to the cross examination. Once on the stand, Connie appears too afraid to testify. But with Catherine’s support, Connie is finally able to reveal the horrible story of years of emotional and sexual abuse.
Time has passed. Connie is slowly recovering. Catherine brings her the "well-worn lock" taken from her bedroom door. She takes the lock, which was used to keep people from interrupting her father when he crept into her room at night, and hurls it off a dam into a river.
(Comprised of 0 murders + 0 kills in self defence + 0 justifiable homicides + 0 suicides.)
NB. Where applicable, large groups of victims (such as multiple victims in a plane crash) are represented by a count of group count of 1 due to impracticalities with listing so many unidentified persons. For enhanced details, see the Violence Markers below.
Original Fox Episode Stills
View the original 1996 Fox Millennium Episode Guide images for this episode of Millennium where available here.
- Joe Bangs was responsible for the attempted murder of Frank Black during this episode of Millennium (The Well-Worn Lock).
- Joe Bangs was responsible for the attempted murder of police officers during this episode of Millennium (The Well-Worn Lock).
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