#MLM-106 Blood Relatives
A juvenile delinquent begins taking advantage of families grieving the loss of a loved one, with the support of a sadistic friend, to a murderous end. Frank Black puts himself in the troubled boy's mind to find answers as Catherine looks elsewhere, into the boy's tortured family life.
Written by Chip Johannessen
Directed by James Charleston
Edited by George R. Potter
Brittany Tiplady as Jordan Black
Lance Henriksen as Frank Black
Megan Gallagher as Catherine Black
Terry O'Quinn as Peter Watts
Bill Smitrovich as Lt. Bob Bletcher
Brian Markinson as Det. Teeple
John Fleck as Connor (I)
Lynda Boyd as Mrs. Dechant
Sean Six as James Dickerson
Stephen James Lang as Det. Bob Giebelhouse
Bob Morrisey as Mr. Charles Cort
Deanna Milligan as Tina
Diana Stevan as Mrs. Cort
Nicole Parker as Greer Cort
Ken Dresen as Funeral Director
This generation is a wicked generation; it seeks for a sign, and yet no sign shall be given to it... - Luke 11:29
Seasonal Episode Tagline
wait... worry... who cares?
Please note that this is the original Fox synopsis and occasionally this may differ from the events that were actually filmed. Please also view the Blood Relatives episode transcript which has been painstakingly checked for accuracy against the actual episode.
At a Seattle cemetery, James Dickerson, a handsome 20-year-old, lurks outside the chapel during a college football player's funeral. After the mourners leave, James approaches the deceased's mother and sister. Calling himself "Ray Bell," he gains their trust by pretending to be a friend from college. He hugs the boy's grieving mother, savoring the hug in an unsettling way. That night, the mother visits the open grave one last time, when suddenly hands reach out of the grave, and drag the terrified woman inside.
Her corpse is discovered the next day. Bletcher asks Catherine, in her capacity as a Victim Services Department counselor, to talk to the victim's husband. He is angry and refuses to cooperate with the police because they won't let him see his wife's body. Bletcher reveals the reason to Catherine: the body is shockingly mutilated.
At the crime scene, Frank is able to feel the rage of the killer. He senses the rage is not directed toward the victim but toward someone else. Perhaps her late son? Frank interviews the family at the chapel. His obvious sympathy reaches them. They realize the stranger calling himself Ray Bell is most likely the killer. Frank discovers that the dead boy's football team pin is missing from the body.
Inside his spartan, institutional bedroom, James wears the missing pin, as Connor, older and tougher, bursts in and berates him for blowing curfew. Connor tells James he won't cover for him any more, and orders him to stay inside. After Connor leaves, James circles an obituary in the paper.
After finding the name Ray Bell in the same newspaper as the football player's obituary, Frank realizes James must have attended other funerals before, befriending mourners and taking souvenirs. Last night he crossed the line into murderous violence, possibly for the first time. Next time will be easier for him.
James attends another funeral, and he convinces one of the mourners, Tina, that he was a childhood friend of the deceased. He takes her to the lake shore, where he pretends to share memories so convincing that Tina breaks down in tears. He hugs her...savoring the moment beyond all reason. Sensing something is wrong, Tina pulls away. Reacting to her alarm, James apologizes and leaves her. Soonm afterward, while grieving alone, Tina is viciously attacked.
Tina's mutilated body is discovered in the lake. When they find a message carved on her abdomen ("Stop Looking"), Frank realizes there must be a message on the first body too. He asks Peter Watts to look for it. Frank finds Tina's barrette (hair clip), and Watts is able to lift fingerprints that identify James Dickerson: a recently paroled convict with a sealed juvenile crime record, now living in a group home. When the police surround the house, Connor--the trustee--secretly helps James escape.
They search James' room and discover his secret stash: a journal and pen, newspaper obituaries, small souvenirs he's taken from funerals, and a bundle of letters all marked Return to Sender. Catherine analyzes James as a classic lost child. In and out of foster homes, abused and neglected, James raised himself. Going to funerals is his attempt to connect with the world, to find emotional contact and family. Previous foster families described James as a loving kid. What pushed him over the edge to violence?
Meanwhile, James hides out at Skorpion Salvage, a junkyard patrolled by vicious dogs. Connor brings James food and comforts him when he denies murdering anybody. Connor's feelings for James obviously go beyond mere friendship.
Frank notices that the "S" carved on the first victim's stomach is the same stylized design as the "S" on the Skorpion Salvage giveaway pen found in James' stash. He realizes James must be hiding at the junkyard. But when Frank and the police move in, the dogs viciously maul James and Connor escapes.
Catherine interviews Mrs. Dechant, James' birth mother. Now a typical suburban housewife, she gave James up for adoption as an unwed teenager. James showed up abruptly three years ago, wanting to be part of her life, but she rejected him. Catherine begs for her help, and Mrs. Dechant reluctantly agrees to see him.
When Mrs. Dechant visits James in jail, he greedily hugs her: his effort to find meaning in the world by grabbing another human being and never letting go. Mrs. Dechant bolts from the room, unable to go through with what they ask. James is a stranger to her, and is the state's problem. Connor watches the whole thing.
Though James had contended his innocence up to this point, after his mother rejects him, James confesses. But Frank is dissatisfied. As he and Catherine drive away, he realizes the truth in a flash. Connor wants James all to himself. "Stop Looking" is his warning to James. Stop looking for love from anyone else. And Mrs. Dechant will be Connor's next victim.
Unaware that Connor lurks nearby, Mrs. Dechant is attacked while she is preparing a bath. Frank enters the house and makes his way to the upstairs bathroom after seeing water dripping from the ceiling. He gets there just in time to interrupt Connor. Mrs. Dechant is wounded but alive. Connor tries to garrote Frank, but Frank manages to knock Connor backwards into the bathtub and hold him underwater until he loses his strength to fight.
Connor is arrested and charged with the crimes, as James, cleared of any crimes and recovering from his wounds, starts picking out obituaries.
Frank: It's not about her. Killer's rage is directed towards someone else.
Watts: I agree. The stab wounds were brutal but impersonal, clustered well away from her face.
Catherine: Going to funerals is his attempt at finding human contact, family.
During some underwater shots within this episode Blood Relatives, a white rim can be seen at the bottom of the screen.
Mr Cort is angry that he has not been able to see his wife's body for three days yet during the re-enactment scene with Greer Cort, Frank refers to the theft of Jeff's pin as happening yesterday.
Original Fox Promotional Episode Stills
View the 5 available original 1996 Fox Millennium Episode Guide images for this episode of Millennium here.
(Comprised of 2 murders + 0 kills in self defence + 0 justifiable homicides + 0 suicides.)
NB. Where applicable, large groups of victims (such as multiple victims in a plane crash) are represented by a count of group count of 1 due to impracticalities with listing so many unidentified persons. For enhanced details, see the Violence Markers below.
- Connor (I) was responsible for the attempted murder of Mrs. Dechant during this episode of Millennium (Blood Relatives).
- Connor (I) was responsible for the attempted murder of Frank Black during this episode of Millennium (Blood Relatives).
- Connor (I) was responsible for the murder of Mrs. Cort during this episode of Millennium (Blood Relatives).
- Connor (I) was responsible for the murder of Tina during this episode of Millennium (Blood Relatives).
(View Millennium's Violence - Deaths, Killers, Victims and Criminality Analysis)