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The Well-Worn Lock...One of the BEST of the 1st season


Guest Black's Babe

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Guest I Made This

I think this is one of Chris Carter's best ever scripts for any of his television shows. As much as I love his work, he does have the ability to 'overwrite' sometimes, but here he never goes over the top, and also never sensationalises the story. He tells it heartbreakingly and provocatively and allows his characters and actors to do a lot of good work. A brilliant episode and I think I fell in love with Catherine Black in this one. It does for her what Beyond the Sea did for Scully in The X Files and takes the character and moves her beyond being a prototypical character.

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It's so refreshing to hear positive things about Catherine. I loved her and was so upset when they killed her off. She shined in this episode, inside and out.

Considering all the subjects that are addressed in MLM, this episode dealt with something in life that isn't supernatural, etc., but human. It truly is one of the best ones.

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"Time is too slow for those who wait; too swift for those who fear;

too long for  those who grieve; too short for those who rejoice.

But for those who love, time is eternity."

(Jane Fellowes)

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  • 5 months later...

I usually skip this episode, not because it isn't quality, but because it is, like so many before have said, deeply personal, human, and real. In short, it's almost too dark to encourage me to want to watch it, but most of the comments above are making me think about revisiting sometime soon.

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  • 10 months later...

I watched this episode for only the second time today, after skipping it the past few times I've watched the whole show marathon style. I just remember it being too hard to swallow. However, I told myself

I needed to revisit it. Wow! What an amazing episode. So much of what has been said before me is spot on...it's "grounded in reality." I think it was such an important story for television. Chris Carter

really did his homework ("you are not a victim, you are a survivor"). The ending was so touching: Catherine giving Connie the lock; the lock being a metaphor for Connie's secret and silence, finally

ending as she told her story and tossed it down the dam waterfall. Beautiful! Thank you Chris Carter for such a real story.

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  • Elders (Admins)

I had mixed feelings about this episode when I first watched it. I recall, at the time, reading the comments of a X-File fan who wrote amateur reviews, which over time became increasingly hostile towards CC. One of her comments was that CC's choice of "Bangs" for the family name was so obviously a reference to sexual behaviour that it was a ludicrous choice.

But, for the last few years, I've been a member of another forum, where I've sadly learned a lot about inter-family abuse – parent on child, and spouse on spouse. And sometimes it really is that obvious. But when it's a "pillar of the community" and there are business/money connections, it's often difficult for other people to come forward in support of the victim. That's even if the victim has the courage to make a report to the authorities, and those authorities would act impartially.

Here in the UK, there has been a transformation over the last several years. There are now police officers specially trained in investigating allegations of sexual abuse, and dealing sympathetically with victims. And partly because of the Jimmy Savile case: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Yewtree, many victims of other historic cases of child/sexual abuse are coming forward, including cases of abuse of children in care homes or charity boarding schools. There's growing evidence that some police officers and hospital officials were complicit in the Savile case.

The very dark underbelly of English society is getting a lot of light shone on it - at last.

In cases of domestic abuse (spouse on spouse), there have also been great improvements. It used to be the case that the police would not get involved in those cases – probably on the basis that "an Englishman's home is his castle". When I first watched the episode, I was so angry at Connie's mother, who must have known what was going on. But, from that other forum, I've learned more about the effect of years of domestic bullying: the "treading on eggshells" syndrome, the loss of identity. Connie's mother was so cold, but sometimes the only survival tactic is to shut down all emotions. As for the alleged revelation in court that Bangs had only just learned that he was not Connie's father, that was BS - his abuse of Connie was the ultimate punishment of his wife. But I still can't bring myself to absolve Connie's mother completely from blame – a parent has a duty to protect their child from harm, and she didn't do that. But maybe that's because I've never had to walk in her shoes. And maybe it's because I had a fleeting realisation, years ago when my children were very young, that I wouldn't "die for my children", I'd bloody well KILL to protect them. But my personal story is, thankfully, very different.

The story of The Well-Worn Lock needed to be said. It was uncomfortable viewing back then, and it still is. And will continue to be, until society accepts that what happens behind front doors is only private if it doesn't involve abuse; but if abuse happens, everyone needs the support of the judicial system, whether they're victims or siblings or neighbours or investigating officers.

[The official definition of abuse in the UK has been revised. It's not only physical or sexual abuse, it's also emotional abuse (verbal insults/threats, the "silent treatment" as a method of control, "gaslighting" ), and financial abuse (withholding money for food and clothing). Not all of those abuses result in criminal cases; some form part of divorce proceedings and the important subsequent child custody decisions. But just for the record: abuse isn't always gender-specific, women can also be abusers.]

  • Like 1

Libby

"Humans need fantasy to be human. To be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape." Terry Pratchett

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  • 5 years later...

This episode probably more than any other is why I listed Carter as a favorite writer on Millennium. I don't have any experience in the subject matter but it all feels realistic to me: the victim, the social worker, the perpetrator. And that is great writing to me, to be able to make the viewer feel right at home in an alien environment, like David Simon did on The Wire.

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It was very  uncomfortable viewing,   but  that's one of the things that made this show worth watching.  It covered some subjects people don't like to think about, but subjects people need to think about, need  to be aware of.  I remember a prime time movie,  "Something About Amelia"    where Ted Danson plays a father who sexually abuses his own daughter.  It shows some of the things the daughter has to deal with, such as the mother blaming her, the sister blaming her,  having to talk about what happened to her, things like that.   This episode reminded me of that movie.  It's compelling,  heart wrenching, and  so very disturbing, but it's  real life.

 

"I smell blood and an era of prominent madmen"

W. H. Auden
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I so highly recommend Dave Pelzer's 1995 memoir of childhood abuse, A Child Called "It." 

Quote

The book was listed on The New York Times Bestseller List for several years, and in 5 years had sold at least 1.6 million copies.

Pelzer was born in San Francisco, California the second of five boys. He grew up in Daly City, California. At age 18 he joined the U.S. Air Force in 1979 and served in the Gulf War. In the 1980s Pelzer married his first wife Patsy (a pseudonym), with whom he had a son. In 1996 he carried a torch in the 1996 Summer Olympics torch relay. Pelzer and Patsy divorced and many years later he married his second wife, Marsha, who was his editor.

Dave describes from his viewpoint the severe physical and emotional abuse he suffered as a child from his alcoholic mother from ages 4 to 12.  She did things like forcing him to eat his own vomit.  That's the only example I will give, and sadly, it's not the worst.  At 12, in 1973, Dave's teachers stepped in and he was placed in a foster care family.

I personally cried while reading this book and have the rest of his books that follow.

Per Wikipedia ~ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dave_Pelzer

Quote

His second book, The Lost Boy: A Foster Child's Search for the Love of a Family was published shortly after in 1997. The book covered Pelzer's teen years. The third book in his series, A Man Named Dave: A Story of Triumph and Forgiveness was about Pelzer's experiences as an adult and how he forgave his father. In 2001 he wrote Help Yourself: Finding Hope, Courage, And Happiness which was a self-help book. When discussing his seventh book Moving Forward he said, "My message has always been about resilience."

One of Dave's brothers, Richard B. Pelzer, published his own autobiography, A Brother's Journey, that detailed his experiences. Paraphrased, Pelzer said in the afterword of his book that his objectives for his story was to show how a parent can become abusive and how the human spirit can triumph and survive.

 

DarleneSignaturePic1.jpg

"Time is too slow for those who wait; too swift for those who fear;

too long for  those who grieve; too short for those who rejoice.

But for those who love, time is eternity."

(Jane Fellowes)

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