#MLM-203 Sense and Antisense
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Frank Black is assigned to track down and identify patient zero of a terrifying biological epidemic. Instead of uncovering evidence regarding the origins of the plague, however, he finds himself plunged into a conspiracy attempting to cover up the man he’s looking for. Frank and Peter find themselves wondering, could a nearby member group of the Human Genome Project have gone rogue and tampered with the DNA that controls our violence?
Written by Chip Johannessen
Directed by Thomas J. Wright
Edited by James Coblentz
Lance Henriksen as Frank Black
Megan Gallagher as Catherine Black
Ricky Harris as Gerome Knox
Allan Zinyk as Brian Roedecker
Badja Djola as Lacuna
Clarence Williams III as Zero/Kramer
Brian Jensen as Wright
Peter Bryant as Editor
Chris Nelson Norris as Patterson
Forbes Angus as Dr. Pettey
Michael Vairo as Officer Ginelli
Alan Costar as Bum
George Gordon as E.R. Doctor (III)
Darwin Haine as John Doe Bum
Adam Harrington as Uniformed Cop
Jennifer Anne Lee as Receptionist (III)
Andrew McIlroy as Coroner Clark
Colin G. Vint as Coroner Lewis
Paul Chevreau as Security Guard (III)
"Control of third world populations designated secret national policy." - National Security Memo 200 (1971)
"U.S. Military released from liability for experimenting on unwilling and unknowing human subjects." - U.S. vs. Stanley, Supreme Court (1985)
Seasonal Episode Tagline:
this is ... who we are ... the time is near
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 Sense and Antisense episode transcript which has been painstakingly checked for accuracy against the actual episode.
An African-American man, Patient Zero, attempts to hail a taxi cab on a city street, but is passed by time and again. Only an African-American cabbie, Gerome Knox, bothers to stop. Without warning, Zero has a seizure in the back of the cab, foaming at the mouth and screaming about the "trucks" that are trying to kill him. Knox rushes his passenger to a nearby hospital, where doctors attribute his symptom to illicit drug usage. After receiving a shot, Zero’s convulsions subside, but Zero again grows agitated when two mysterious men, Wright and Patterson, enter the hospital lobby. "They want to kill me," he tells Knox, terrified. Fearing for Zero’s safety, Knox helps him escape.
Meanwhile, Wright and Patterson quarantine the entire area, as the missing Zero is infected with a highly contagious virus.
Giebelhouse contacts Frank and asks for his help in finding the missing Patient Zero. The men attend a medical briefing at the Center for Infectious Diseases. There, Dr. Pettey explains that Patient Zero is infected with a pathogen normally seen only in the Congo. Eventually, police locate Zero and Knox inside the offices of the Afro-Sentinel newspaper (where Zero was attempting to convince an editor to print his story by referencing racially driven medical tests in the past such as Tuskegee). Before he is taken into custody, Zero intentionally smears the back of Frank’s shirt with blood.
Later, a lab test reveals that Zero’s blood is not, in fact, contaminated with the rare virus. And even more mysteriously, the government-run Center for Infectious Diseases vanishes without a trace. Frank and Giebelhouse realize they were tricked into locating Zero for an unknown group, but many questions remain unanswered. Frank slowly realizes that the conspirators use transients to conduct their experiments and then involves the Millennium Group.
Within a homeless escarpment, an infected transient armed only with a small stick threatens two policeman. The officers open fire, killing the man. Frank and Watts investigate the incident, though their presence is an unwanted one. Secretly, Frank slips by patrol officers and manages to obtain a blood sample from the deceased. He also makes off with a stretcher tag marked with the letters "D.O.E.," which Frank believes is an abbreviation for the Department of Energy. Frank and Watts conclude that the government is developing a new breed of unconventional weapon that would incite erratic and violent behavior in its victims. The weapon is being developed within the Human Genome Project, an effort to produce a blueprint of the "functional and evolutionary history of the human species."
Watts compares the DNA makeup of Patient Zero with that of the homeless man killed by police. The gene sites of both men match identically... meaning their state of insanity was genetically induced. Frank and Watts speculate that a rogue facility outside of the Department of Energy may have discovered the secret to behavior control, and now is conducting experiments on untraceable subjects under the guise of homeless assistance. Later, Gerome Knox’s corpse is discovered at the morgue.
Watts, Frank and a group of officers storm a nondescript office building, that owns and operates soup trucks, in hopes of finding Patient Zero. Inside, they do indeed find Zero -- in the form of Dr. William R. Kramer. Kramer feigns ignorance about his delusional episode, prompting Frank to wonder aloud if he experimented on himself, or was somehow accidentally infected. But he then notices a photograph of Kramer, in uniform, taken in Rowanda in 1994, where thousands of people were senselessly slaughtered.
The industrial unit shown towards the end of the episode is "5C03", the same as the production code for the episode.
Credit: The Old Man of TIWWA
Background Information and References:
"Sense and Antisense", written by Chip Johannessen, was a government conspiracy about bio-terrorism that seemed more appropriate to The X-Files. "That didn't quite come off the way I'd hoped," Johannessen said. "That was one of those tortured things. To my mind, the rewrites got colossally worse, and part of that had to do with the fact that the first draft concerned a much more sensitive area --race-- and Broadcast Standards had certain concerns."
Source: "TV's Best Kept Secret Improves In Its Sophomore Season" - Cinefantastique Magazine (1998).
(Comprised of 3 murders + 0 kills in self defence + 1 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.
Original Fox Episode Stills:
View the original 1996 Fox Millennium Episode Guide images for this episode of Millennium where available here.
Available Violence Markers:
- Patterson was responsible for the murder of Gerome Knox during this episode of Millennium (Sense and Antisense).
- Zero/Kramer was responsible for the murder of John Doe #1 during this episode of Millennium (Sense and Antisense).
- Zero/Kramer was responsible for the murder of John Doe #2 during this episode of Millennium (Sense and Antisense).
- Uniformed Cop killed John Doe Bum during this episode of Millennium (Sense and Antisense) in a justifiable homicide.
(View all violence, killer and victim stats)