Millennium (1997) – Sense and Antisense, and Monster

Sense and Antisense, written by Chip Johannessen, sends Frank Black (Lance Henriksen) and the Millennium Group in a slightly different direction, when he gets drawn into the search for a missing man, known on the street as Zero (Clarence Williams III), who seems insane, spouting conspiracy theories, and seems to be infected with some sort of disease. He’s aided in his search by a cab driver named Gerome Knox (Ricky Harris).

First airing on 3 October, 1997, the story brushes up against larger, real world events, and the possibility of government manipulation and experimentation on its populace, citing actual events, the series suggests a throughline and ties it into the research some companies are doing on the Human Genome Project.

It’s a dark story, something the series is known for at this point, and wants to start conversations with its viewing audience while still delivering entertainment. It’s an interesting take, and the suggestion of a racial element in the experimentation is glossed over, due to notes from the studio, but it’s still there.

The series is now shifting more noticeably from the serial killer of the week to a much wider scope of the darkness in the world, and it’s approaching millennium…

As Frank and Peter (Terry O’Quinn) investigate, they find the trail leads them to the CDC, and some stunning revelations, about who is working on this project, that is targeting the homeless, and how far back, and widespread it is.

Some might scoff at the idea, but the government has a history of this sort of behaviour, making this story all the more believable.

Monster sees the introduction of a new character to aid Frank, Lara Means (Kristen Cloke) who shares Frank’s gift, or at least one a little similar. We also get a glimpse at how the separation from Catherine (Megan Gallagher) is affecting his relationship with Jordan (Brittany Tiplady).

The episode also features an appearance by Chris Owens, and Robert Wisden who have had roles on The X-Files, and also a turn by Lauren Diewold who would appear on the show this year and whose character may have and be the answer to the mystery at work this week.

First airing on 17 October, 1997, this episode was written by Glen Morgan and James Wong. Frank finds himself assigned to a case that involves a home run daycare, that finds itself accused of abuse and worse. While investigating, Frank finds himself on the receiving end of accusations directed at him for the same thing.

But as the story unfurls, and he and Lara discuss their gifts, and what they see, we discover, fairly quickly, so it’s not a real spoiler, that this episode is a riff on the Bad Seed story.

It’s a solid episode, and shows that Lara’s gift haunts her as much as Frank’s does him.

There’s more darkness next week as I continue my investigations with Frank Black, and the Millennium Group… This is who we are.

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