Catherine Black desperately
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.
Full Transcript Available
"The cruelest lies are often told in silence." —Robert
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Tears run down the face of Sara Bangs
- Joe Bangs holds young Sara indoors
- A concerned Catherine Black
- Child abuser Joe Bangs
- Connie Bangs, victim of years of abuse
- The panicked and confused Connie Bangs
"No supernatural entities, no serial killers and no overblown drama
here: what we get is possibly the most harrowing recreation of sexual
abuse ever committed to videotape. In a horrible way, 'The Well-Worn
Lock' perfectly shows the difference between naturalistic TV and
realistic TV: the former shows things the way they are, the latter
shows them the way they really are. Millennium is so realistic
it tears away the last vestiges of the lies we try to tell ourselves
about the way the world works." —Andy Lane, Dreamwatch
"The Well-Worn Lock" is the third
Millennium episode to be written by series creator Chris Carter,
one of only seven episodes he would pen throughout the show's history.
"The Well-Worn Lock" also holds the
distinction of being one of only two Millennium episodes that
can be said to focus on Catherine Black rather than her husband.
Fans point to this story as evidence indicative of the fact that the
character's potential on the series was otherwise unrealized.
titular well-worn lock is seen throughout the episode, installed on
the inside of a bedroom door by child abuser Joe Bangs. For Sara
and Connie Bangs, the well-worn lock serves as a symbol of the
secretive, seemingly indestructible wall that kept their molestations hidden from the outside
world and left them with no hope of escape. It is only
appropriate, then, that the two are able to cathartically dispose of
the lock at the episode's end.
Lance Henriksen as Frank Black
Megan Gallagher as Catherine Black
Brittany Tiplady as Jordan Black
Bill Smitrovich as Lt. Bob Bletcher
Paul Dooley as Joe Bangs
Michelle Joyner as Connie Bangs
Christine Dunford as A.D.A. Rhonda Preshutski
Lenore Zann as Ruthie Bangs
Sheila Moore as Clea 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 the Judge
Music by Mark Snow
Production Designer Sheila Haley
Director of Photography Robert McLachlan
Associate Producer Jon-Michael Preece
Consulting Producer Ted Mann
Consulting Producer James Wong
Consulting Producer Glen Morgan
Co-Producer Ken Dennis
Co-Producer Chip Johannessen
Co-Producer Frank Spotnitz
Co-Executive Producer Jorge Zamacona
Co-Executive Producer Ken Horton
Co-Executive Producer John Peter Kousakis
Executive Producer Chris Carter