Millennium (1999) – Antipas, and Matryoshka

This week, Millennium delivers what is probably one of my favourite episodes of the third season, Antipas, written by series creator, Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz, it first aired on 12 February, 1999, and boasts some familiar Canadian faces like Art Hindle and Jay Brazeau. It also sees the return of Frank’s (Lance Henriksen) nemesis, Lucy Butler (Sarah Jane Redmond) and consequently delivers a frightening tale.

When Hollis (Klea Scott) begins profiling a killer, Frank takes it over from her, seeing connections that she doesn’t that leads Frank to suspect Lucy is active again. She is working as a nanny for gubernatorial, John Saxum (Hindle). She is working to drive away his wife (Susan Hogan) and claim their daughter, Divina (Rachel Victoria) for herself.

But she has a more convoluted plan at work as well, as she works to entrap Frank.

This time around, Hollis has her first real encounter with something truly paranormal, and an angering, unnerving encounter with a lawyer (Brazeau) who knows the power of words.

Frank gets a very clear glimpse of Lucy’s true nature, and the extent she is willing to go to in order to achieve her ends, and one has to wonder what she would do if she succeeded.

And while I enjoy the episodes where Frank is profiling serial killers, the episodes with Lucy, and those that hint at a wider world just beyond the scope of our narrow human vision continue to be the ones I truly enjoy.

Matryoshka is a bit of a unique episode. Written by Erin Maher and Kay Reindl and was first broadcast on 19 February, 1999. Frank and Hollis are intrigued by the apparent suicide of a former FBI man, Lanyard (played by Wally Dalton, and Dean Winters in flashbacks) who may have ties with the Millennium Group and a decades old murder that was tied to the nuclear tests, known as Trinity in the mid 1940s.

As the pair investigate, much to Baldwin’s (Peter Outerbridge) chagrin, and Peter Watts’ (Terry O’Quinn) annoyance, they discover someone, or something, was also at work during those tests, creating and moving the power of the apocalypse out of the hands of the divine into the hands of man.

Something evil.

And now, it seems one man’s daughter, may be continuing that work into taking power from god(s) and giving it to man.

The episode features a guest appearance by Barbara Bain (!) which is very cool, but having watched it, I take a bit of an exception to this episode. Science continues to progress, sure humanity has stumbled along the way, and created some horrible things, like nuclear weapons, and yes, we’re messing with genetics and DNA right now, but in the dream of making ourselves a better species. Yes, greed and the darkness of man may corrupt it, but that’s us, that’s not us stealing something from mythological divine entities.

Still, it’s a cool story, and does make you wonder if something could occasionally be nudging us along certain paths…

Next week, Frank and I continue our journey into the darkness.

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