A man lives the most recent 5 days of his life backwards and finds out that he is the main suspect in the murder of his wife.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Martin Wells
Attorney Janet Wilson
Trina Galvez
J. Patrick McCormack ...
Brent Tufeld
Judge Kinberg
Lee Duncan ...
Al Cawdry
District Attorney Carter
Tall Guard
Lead Cop
Homicide Detective


A man lives the most recent 5 days of his life backwards and finds out that he is the main suspect in the murder of his wife.

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Release Date:

10 December 2000 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Joe Morton and Bellamy Young would go on to later star together in Scandal. See more »


While in the prison yard talking to the other inmate, the mole on the cheek of Martin Wells switches from the right side (18:39) to the left side (18:46) and then back to the right side (18:54). See more »


Martin Wells: The passage of time in prison is not in a cell of brick and mortar but in one of hopes dashed and tragedies unaverted. How precious, then, the chance to go back, only to discover that in facing the past you must face up to yourself; and exiting the prison of time doesn't free you from the prison of your own character, one from which there is no escape.
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The X-Files
Written by Mark Snow
Performed by John Beal
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User Reviews

A quality anomaly in a show dying slowly
19 December 2009 | by (Finland) – See all my reviews

I caught a rerun of this episode by chance and decided to evaluate it, especially since it had three existing reviews already. Reviews that lack objectivity. Two of the reviewers admit they have a soft spot for time-anomaly stories. Well, unfortunately that throws their objectivity right out of the window. As an aside, I see that two reviewers make a spelling mistake when typing "The X Files" - but I can't blame them; they must have been conditioned as the error is so commonly forced upon us that most of the world doesn't seem to even realize that there is *no* hyphen in "The X Files".

With that out of the way, I can say that this one has withstood time better than most of the episodes. It takes a really non-objective fan to claim that at this point the show was more than a shadow of its past glories. Unlike most episodes that lack Mulder, this turns that handicap to its strength by starting with the idea of the writer deciding to make a Format Breaker. Since the classic format of "The X Files" is "Mulder and Scully investigate strange goings-on", most of the "Scully and Doggett (who came up with that silly name?) investigate strange goings-on" era episodes were never able to rise to the same level. Breaking the format by making Scully and Doggett minor characters is a stroke of genius. This is not to say that there is anything wrong with Robert Patrick - over the years he's proved that he is not just a T-1000 but an actor with wide range. It's just that anything else than Mulder & Scully *feels* wrong. Of course, had Fox not been so eager to flog a dead horse, The X Files could have ended with dignity instead of becoming an unintentional parody of itself.

Just doing a Format Breaker doesn't make anything automatically 10/10 or even 9/10. I give this one a more realistic 8/10 because it really doesn't break any new ground - time anomaly stories being a staple of practically most of fantasy and science fiction. Sure, the episode is well made and Joe Morton is excellent, proving he also is more than just a character from Terminator 2, but that isn't enough to make this episode pitch perfect. Achieving a 9/10, or even 10/10 requires something *exceptional*, like "Jose Chung's 'From Outer Space'", the best X Files episode ever made. Sure, it was a Weird One episode, which allowed it freedom that Stand-Alone or even Format Breakers can only dream of, but it was the way that freedom was used to its fullest potential that makes it the crown jewel of "The X Files" episodes. The more times you watch "Redrum" the more it loses its shine because its main power is in not knowing the outcome whereas "Jose Chung..." is practically impossible to fully absorb on the first viewing and only improves the more you watch it - even the director famously had to read the script multiple times before he understood it.

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