Millennium (1998) – TEOTWAWKI, and Closure

Remember when the Y2K bug felt like a semi-legitimate fear? That’s what the first episode of Millennium is about. Written by Frank Spotnitz and series creator, Chris Carter, this story, which also takes on school shootings, first debuted on 16 October, 1998.

Frank Black (Lance Henriksen) settling back in a little further back at the FBI, finds himself involved in a shooting at a high school back in Washington state. Hollis (Klea Scott) and Baldwin (Peter Outerbridge) are working the case as well. Baldwin is willing to chart it up to just another teen shooting, but as Frank delves deeper, he finds that the sons of those believed to be responsible were succumbing to the pressures and the fears their fathers have shown about the impending arrival of the year 2000, and the the fact that the world’s computer chips aren’t going to be able to handle it.

Amongst the fathers in this aligned group of businessmen, are a couple of familiar faces to The X-Files fans, Robert Wisden (Pusher) and Andrew Johnston (Demons, End Game, Colony and Deep Throat).

The episode makes it clear that all the guns used by the teens were bought and stored legally and safely, but that doesn’t make the events in the story any easier to deal with, no matter what the purported causes are. It’s a dark episode, dealing with dark subject matter, though the Y2K bug side of things not only makes it dated, lets us look at that fear in a different way.

Closure was written by Laurence Andries and first aired on 23 October, 1998. This one gives us a bit of background on Emma Hollis, by revealing her sister was murdered, and she may be lending some of that unresolved emotion towards tracking down a spree killer, Rick Van Horn (Garrett Dillahunt) and his accomplices that are currently on a murderous spree.

Frank isn’t sure there’s much beyond Van Horn’s motives than the simple desire to do wrong.

It’s a good episode for Hollis, giving her some background, and filling out the character a little more (always a problem when introducing a brand new character in anything after the second season. And Scott is great to watch, proving to be a welcome partner to Henriksen’s Frank.

And speaking of, even after the hair dye job of the first episode, you can see it filtering away already with grey and white beginning to assert itself in his hairline, like the truth of the character peeking out, and dealing with the anguish he’s gone through in losing his wife, becoming a single father, confronting the Millennium Group and their power-grab, the virus, and returning to the Bureau.

It’s a lot.

And there is still more to come as the darkness calls Frank on word in Millennium…

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