Millennium (1998) – Somehow, Satan Got Behind Me, and The Fourth Horseman

The much beloved Darin Morgan wrote and directed this, the penultimate episode before the season two finale of Millennium. Lance Henriksen’s Frank Black only appears sporadically throughout, but Morgan delivers yet another brilliantly written episode (the second and final one he wrote for the series), which first hit the airwaves on 1 May, 1998.

The episode is set in a donut shop (The Donut Hole) where four, apparently, older men gather for their coffee and crullers (or fritters) and have a chinwag. But they aren’t men, Blurk (Bill Macy), Abum (Richard Bakaylan), Greb (Alex Diakun), and Toby (Wally Dalton) are in fact, demons, and they are all telling stories of the evils they have committed and the souls that they have sent to damnation.

Each demon tells a tale, there’s an aging stripper, a broadcast censor (which features a comedic nod to The X-Files), a working stiff, and a would-be serial killer, who, of course, wants to blame it all on the devil telling him to do it.

Each story features Frank coming across each of the demons at some point in the tale, and recognising them for who they are, but it is necessary for the narrative it’s just humourous when it happens. And as always, Morgan crafts a funny tale, that also has some deeper themes running through it once you dig past the surface laughs. There’s a mediation on what we do with our loves, where we find our happiness and fulfillment, and the need to realise that all of these things are fleeting.

A damn fine episode, and a nice breather before we dive into the season finale.

The Fourth Horseman is prepared to pull out all the stops for the series. Written by Glen Morgan, and James Wong, the season finale got under way on 8 May, 1998 and left us with a cliffhanger that certainly raised a lot of questions about the Millennium Group and their ultimate plans and motives.

When there is a strange outbreak, Frank and Peter (Terry O’Quinn) investigate, though Frank isn’t eager to work with Peter or the Group anymore. What they find is a modified strain of the ebola virus, that kills in minutes and they may have been exposed to it.

Somehow, they are cured of it, even as Frank receives news of the death of his father, his daughter Jordan (Brittany Tiplady) is having troubling nightmares, that Frank begins to share, and Lara Means (Kristen Cloke) has seemingly disappeared.

Jordan and Catherine (Megan Gallagher) are close to moving back in with Frank, especially after he reveals that he is leaving the Group, as he realises now that they are more akin to a cult, and that they are more interested in power than seeing prophecy fulfilled.

Frank is approached by an old friend, and co-worker, Gilbert (Glenn Morshower) about coming to work with his company, The Trust, and they even provide Frank with some information on the Millennium Group, and the location of Lara.

It seems no matter what their plans, Peter is a true believer, and he and Frank argue over it, even as Frank pleads for his help in finding a way to stop the release of the virus. Something he’s convinced that the Group is involved in.

Peter agrees to help him, only if, Frank agrees to become a true believer, and that the Group’s divine purpose will be confirmed the following morning, when an earthquake is predicted to hit.

We are left with the cliffhanger of Frank being woken to the tremors of a quake… is the Group divinely inspired? Or are they no more than a cult, intent in gathering power to themselves? And what of the release of the virus?

Next time, the season two finale.

Until then, this is who we are.

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