Millennium (1998) – Through a Glass Darkly, and Human Essence

Frank Black (Lance Henriksen) is letting more of the grey and silver back into his hair as he confronts more darkness in Through a Glass Darkly, an episode written by Patrick Harbinson and first aired on 13 November, 1998.

This is an episode that plays on expectations, and makes you reconsider everything that you think you know about the story. A man, Max Brunell (Tom McCleister) was arrested for kidnapping and sexual assault on a minor, he’s served twenty years, and despite Frank’s urging of the parole board not to release him, he’s been let go.

No sooner is Max out than a young girl goes missing.

But what if Max isn’t what people think he is, what if things aren’t what they appear to be at first glance.

As Frank and Hollis (Klea Scott) continue their investigation, Frank begins to suspect a truth that may indicate that he was originally wrong, and that there is something so much more horrific and frightening going on.

It’s a well-written episode that plays out in an unexpected way. There’s a sadness, and resignation to Max’s character, and while the community may never understand him, he wasn’t the monster everyone thought he was, and sometimes the real monster wears a too familiar face.

It’s a thought-provoking episode that contemplates rushes to judgement, and the need to examine and understand all the facts.

Frank is awesome in this one, and like I said a few paragraphs ago, I love that his grey is coming back in, as if he’s confronting the past and reconciling the horrors he faced over the course of season two.

Human Essence brings Emma Hollis to the foreground when she finds herself under investigation by the Bureau’s Internal Affairs department in this episode penned by Michael Duggan.

First airing on 11 December, 1998, the story is a little weaker than the episodes that have preceded it, but give Scott a chance to take centre stage as she comes under the microscope of IA when she helps her sister, Tamra (Samaria Graham) who has a drug habit and has made claims that there is a new designer drug turning people, quite literally into monsters.

She and Frank dig into the case, and find a conspiracy with troubling indications. Emma is determined to do things alone, but Frank warns her that it makes her look guilty, even as she follows strange leads. The pair come across a number of connections and their investigation leads them to some strange places, and both Frank and Emma hopes that they’ll be able to resolve it, save her sister, and stop the IA investigation by proving Hollis’ innocence.

It’s not the strongest episode of the season, but I do like that Scott gets to share the spotlight with Henriksen a little more.There’s also an interesting sound bite, it seems someone is watching the episode Killswitch of The X-Files, which is strange, because we know that both shows exist in the same universe…

More investigations next week, with Millennium.

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