MLM 2

Our third Millennium recap looks back at S01xE03 - "Dead Letters". Read after the jump to check it out.

 

  • This is the first Millennium episode not written by Chris Carter. Instead the duo of Glen Morgan & James Wong take the helm; they will go on to become the showrunners for season two.
  • The episode is directed by Thomas J Wright who would later direct three episodes of X-Files during its seventh season including the crossover episode "Millennium".

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  • Fear of clowns is known as coulrophobia and is surprisingly common; Supernatural fans will know that clowns are the only thing Sam Winchester is afraid of. This opening scene is based on childhood nightmares suffered by Morgan & Wong. Filming it caused Brittany Tiplady (Jordan Black) to suffer nightmares of her own for several nights.

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  • This week's quotation is taken from the Book of Job. Job was a good man who suffered greatly, something we will see reflected across many characters in the next 40 minutes.

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  • That's some of the neatest napkin writing I've ever seen, if I try it the paper just shreds.

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  • James Morrison who plays Jim Horn was a regular on Space: Above and Beyond, another show from episode writers Morgan & Wong. He also appeared in the X-Files episode "Theef". Jim's first scenes with Frank are really interesting. They are uncomfortable and awkward but intentionally so. Everything about their partnership is off, something which makes you really appreciate just how well Mulder and Scully worked together.

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  • Jim's son T.C. was named after the character in Space Above & Beyond who was played by James Morrison. Frank's healthy relationship with Catherine and Jordan is really highlighted here by being contrasted with Jim's far more dysfunctional family dynamic.

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  • Back to the Yellow House. Despite the awkwardness of their working relationship Frank clearly wants to reach out to Jim, even inviting him and T.C. over for a barbeque with his family. He recognises someone going through what he once did.

 

  • The address of Frank's house is 1910 Ezekiel Drive. Ezekiel means "May God strengthen him" which is definitely a sentiment Frank needs in his life. In the Bible Ezekiel was a prophet who wrote a book that revealed prophecies including the Millennial Temple visions.

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  • Frank's monologue here is worth considering through the lens of recent killers like Elliott Rodger. He/they want "to remain significant" - does the modern media play into that desire more than it did in Frank's day?

 

  • Close up shots of needles moving in seem to be a minor trope in Chris's shows. We've seen similar in "Duane Barry" and "Never Again".

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  • This episode is all about about reflections. Frank, James & the Killer all have fears in common but handle them in different ways. In this shot the visual similarity between Jordan and T.C. is explicit, once again reinforcing the similarities betwen Frank and Jim in order to highlight their differences.

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  • The hospital here is St Joseph's. St Joseph was of course Jesus' father, although to what degree is up for debate. Jim is asking himself questions about his ability to be a father throughout this episode and it's something Frank often wrestles with as well.

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  • Jim loses control and attacks a suspect, who turns out to be an innocent mourner. We've seen Mulder lose control like this too when he's failing to cope. "Ascension" and "Sein Und Zeit" are both prime examples.

 

  • Garvin Cross (the mourner/patient) appeared in Herrenvolk and Fearful Symmetry. Today he's mostly known for his stunt work.

 

  • The talk Frank has with Jim reminds me of Mulder & Bill Patterson in "Grotesque". Kim Manners once said that "'Grotesque' may have been the template" for Millennium because the two covered similar storylines, that of "someone becoming the person he's hunting". Interestingly Supernatural is also currently exploring similar ideas with Dean Winchester.

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  •  Lisa Vultaggio (Janice) previously played Liz in "Beyond the Sea".

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  • Jim loses control again, only this time he at least attacks the right guy. Sadly that means that much of the evidence from the crime scene is now admissible. It's refreshing to see a police show actually pointing out that evidence can be inadmissible because of how it's been obtained or handled. On Castle how often have Castle and Beckett obtained their evidence in ways that would never hold up in court?

 

  • "How do you do this?" Jim asks Frank, it's a question he's been asked many times before but the follow up, "why do you do it?" throws him. The first one he can answer almost by rote, the second is a question to him as well.

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  • The episode ends in a repeat of its opening, with Jordan once again crawling into bed with her parents. Frank's smile toward his sleeping daughter might just be the answer to Jim's question.

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