Millennium (1997) – Maranatha, and Paper Dove

With the penultimate episode of the first season, Maranatha, Millennium continues its move towards tying in end of the world mythology (heavily influenced by Christian texts) with the rise in crime, and specifically murder. Frank Black (Lance Henriksen) finds himself brushing up against possible events from the book of Revelations in this story written by Chip Johannessen. This episode was first broadcast on 9 May, 1997.

When a series of brutal killings take place in Little Odessa in Brooklyn, Frank and Peter (Terry O’Quinn) find not only a language barrier at work, but a belief system as well, one that even has an effect on the Russian police officer, Yura (Boris Lee Krutonog) assigned to work with them.

It seems a killer going under the name of Yaponchick (Levani) may, or may not, be more than he seems to be, and may have had something to do with the horrible meltdown at Chernobyl. Is it possible, he’s a truly evil man working at an evil purpose.

His diplomatic immunity keeps him safe while he continues to commit horrific crimes, and even turns people into believers about his true villainous nature. This nature is not only confirmed by his actions, and the episode gets fairly graphic, but also hinted at by the registration number of the helicopter that helps him effect an escape from Frank and Peter at the climax of the episode.

Walking the line between apocalyptic prophecy and gritty crime drama isn’t necessarily easy, but the series has pulled it off well so far.

Let’s see how they finish up the season…

Paper Dove was written by Walon Green and Ted Mann and promised to plunge Frank into some personal darkness by story’s end when it debuted on 16 May, 1997.

While he, his wife Catherine (Megan Gallagher) and daughter Jordan (Brittany Tiplady) travel to Virginia to spend some time with Catherine’s family, Frank is asked to look into a case of a man who was jailed for murdering his wife. Evidence begins to open up the possibility not only of the man’s innocence but that the wife was the first human victim of a blossoming serial killer who is still at work in the area.

Frank begins digging in, much to his in-laws disappointment, and goes to work on the case, which will lead him to Henry (Mike Starr), but what Frank won’t discover is that his own stalker, who has popped up in letters throughout the first season, has been nudging Henry along, hoping to draw Frank out, and perhaps leave his family unprotected.

Referred to only as The Figure (Paul Raskin), one is unsure if he is real, or illusory, as serial killers generally do not work in tandem, but The Figure has been watching Frank for awhile, and is now ready to strike. Even as Henry is stopped, and the Black family return home, we are plunged into a desolate and troubling ending as Catherine is abducted!

What happens next? Hopefully I find out next week when I begin season two of Millennium (at which point the series movies from 4:3 to widescreen, yay!).

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