Millennium (1998) – Goodbye Charlie, and Luminary

Frank (Lance Henriksen) and Lara (Kristen Cloke) find themselves involved in an interesting case, is it murder or assisted suicide? Goodbye Charlie was written by Richard Whitley, and debuted on 9 January, 1998.

Steven Kiley (Tucker Smallwood), who works at a call centre, but may have other things going on, and abilities (?) has been helping people die, apparently even if they don’t know they are terminally ill. Smallwood is a fantastic actor, and I love when he shows up in things I watch. He has a sense of people and their illness, and is intent on sparing them the pain of what they will have to go through, and works to ease them out of the pain they are going to have to bear.

Even if they don’t want to give up just yet.

Kiley isn’t a horrible person though, he’s compassionate, and believes what he is doing is right, while also dealing with his own terminal disease.

Frank and Lara have some problems trying to get information out of him, as Kiley is incredibly relaxed, and knows how to handle the questions that the pair come at him with. And despite circumstantial evidence there’s nothing to tie him to the murder scenes (the mercy killings?).

He brings a sense of empathy and introspection to this character, and the story and its subject matter needs to be a topic of conversation.

Will Lara and Frank be able to stop Kiley before he claims more lives, or is he really doing what these people truly want? And who has the right to decide if another can take their own life, or if they need help to do it? Or is Kiley, despite his efforts to help, merely using that as an excuse to keep his own horrific agenda?

Luminary was written by Chip Johannessen and first hit the airwaves on 23 January, 1998. The episode features an appearance by character actor Brion James, and sees Peter Watts (Terry O’Quinn), Catherine (Megan Gallagher) and Jordan (Brittany Tiplady) all making appearances.

Frank undertakes a missing person case against the will of the Millennium Group, who have asked him to take an oath of loyalty to them, something he’s not keen on doing. As retribution, Frank’s access to the Group’s files and databases is cut off, leaving him under-informed as he goes out into the Alaskan wilderness to track down a missing man.

His obsession and quest opens up the world a bit more for him, as he it becomes a journey of survival and self-discovery that may signify a new beginning for Frank, and possibly a new start to his relationship with his family.

Despite his turning against the Group on this, they continue to court him, and hope to bring him aboard completely, but I’m not sure Frank is convinced of their agenda yet, and whether it will help or hinder him as he and those he loves continue their own journey.

It’s a beautiful episode, and it’s an interesting change from the darkness that usually permeates the show, while still be honest to the characters.

Where will Frank’s journey take him next week? And will Frank be ready for more darkness as the Millennium encroaches?

This is who we are.

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