Frank Black is asked by a persistent prosecuting attorney to come to a Utah court and testify against a man on trial for confessing to the murder of his own family. Determined to weigh the evidence of the crime for himself, Frank soon finds that he doesn’t believe the man he is to speak against truly committed the crime to which he’s confessed.
Written by Robert Moresco
Directed by Roderick J. Pridy
Edited by Stephen Mark
Lance Henriksen as Frank Black
Megan Gallagher as Catherine Black
Brittany Tiplady as Jordan Black
John Finn as William Garry
Michael O'Neill as County Prosecutor Calvin Smith
Sarah Koskoff as Didi Higgens
Jay Underwood as Michael Slattery
Steve Bacic as Deputy Kevin Reilly
Don MacKay as Jack Meredith
Nicole Oliver as Dr. Alice Steele
Colleen Winton as Mrs. Dolores Garry
Tyler Thompson as William Garry, Jr.
George Gordon as Judge Francis Maher
Karen Elizabeth Austin as Mrs. Anderson - Mrs. Garry's mother
David Abbott as Mr. Anderson - Mrs. Garry's father
Norman Armour as Medical Examiner Geller
Noah Heney as Charles Horvath
Nikol Tschenscher as Mary Garry
Cody Shaer as Gabriel Garry
Thou dost frighten me with dreams and terrify me by visions. - Job 7:14
Seasonal Episode Tagline
wait... worry... who cares?
Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:
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 Covenant episode transcript which has been painstakingly checked for accuracy against the actual episode.
Frank travels to Weber County, Utah, where he meets with Prosecutor Calvin Smith, Assistant County Prosecutor, Charles Horvath, and Didi Higgens, Assistant Pathologist to the County Medical Examiner. The District Attorney’s office convicted Sheriff William Garry of murdering his wife and three children. Garry had confessed to the crime, and his fingerprints were found on the murder weapon, a tool used for carving wood. Now all that remains is for the jury to decide if Garry should receive the death penalty. Smith hopes Frank can develop a psychological profile that will leave no doubt in the jury’s mind that Garry is a cold, calculating murderer.
Assisted by William Garry’s close friend, Deputy Kevin Reilly, Frank inspects the conservative, middle-American home where the killings took place. He notices a series of numbers, "1, 28, 15," written in blood on a kitchen window. Reilly explains that those involved in the investigation were never able to decipher their meaning. As Frank continues his tour of the Garry home, he listens to a tape recording of William’s confession, in which he describes the details of how he murdered his family, one by one.
The next morning, Frank meets with Michael Slattery, William Garry’s attorney. Slattery freely admits he has no intention of letting Frank interview his client. But Frank insists his recommendation to the jury will be non-biased. Slattery changes his mind and allows Frank to conduct the interview. Garry claims to have fantasized about committing the murders for some time, driven by money problems and hatred of his wife. Frank finds it difficult to believe that Garry carved a wooden cherub as a birthday present for his wife, then proceeded to murder his entire family using the same carving tool.
Frank discovers flaws in the conclusions drawn by investigators. He tells Didi that someone other than Garry committed the killings. Garry agrees to take a lie detector test. Based on the results, the polygraph technician concludes that Garry did, in fact, murder his family. But Frank believes Garry feels so guilty (about something not yet known) that he has convinced himself he is responsible for the killings. Dismayed by Frank’s conclusions, Smith decides his services are no longer necessary.
A psychiatrist tells Frank that Mrs. Garry was faithful to her husband and was not having an affair with Deputy Reilly. But she states that the same thing could not be said of William Garry. Frank is taken aback by this revelation.
Didi has the Garry’s bodies exhumed for re-examination. After inspecting cuts on Mrs. Garry’s hands, Didi concludes the wounds were not defensive, as the Medical Examiner previously thought. The numbers written on the kitchen window, Frank realizes, corresponds to a biblical passage. He also realizes that William Garry didn’t know his wife was pregnant.
Frank, Didi and Calvin Smith appear before Judge Maher. Frank tells the court that Mrs. Garry did not die in the basement, as previously believed. Mrs. Garry, Frank reveals, murdered her children because she saw them as angels, and wanted them to stay that way. She then walked to the kitchen and stabbed herself in the heart. Before she died, Mrs. Garry told William that he made her murder the children; that she couldn’t bear the thought of bringing another child into a world of adulterers. When Reilly arrived at the scene, he helped William move the bodies into the basement, throwing investigators off the trail. Frank urges him to come forward with the truth.
It has been said that the first cut of "Covenant" was approximately one hour and twenty minutes long, nearly twice the length of a standard one-hour network drama. As a result, nearly half of the episode was trimmed in the cutting room and is now lost to viewers. Copies of the original shooting script for the episode reveal those scenes that were lost.
Credit: Brian Dixon, The Millennial Abyss
This episode marked the final appearance of nosy neighbour Jack Meredith.
Original Fox Promotional Episode Stills
View the 5 available original 1996 Fox Millennium Episode Guide images for this episode of Millennium here.
(Comprised of 3 murders + 0 kills in self defence + 0 justifiable homicides + 1 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.
- Mrs. Dolores Garry commited suicide during this episode of Millennium (Covenant).
- Mrs. Dolores Garry was responsible for the murder of Mary Garry during this episode of Millennium (Covenant).
- Mrs. Dolores Garry was responsible for the murder of Gabriel Garry during this episode of Millennium (Covenant).
- Mrs. Dolores Garry was responsible for the murder of William Garry, Jr. during this episode of Millennium (Covenant).
(View Millennium's Violence - Deaths, Killers, Victims and Criminality Analysis)