#MLM-208 The Hand of Saint Sebastian
Why would Peter Watts risk his life, credibility, friends, family, and career searching for a religious artifact worth little past its mythical value? More importantly, who are the Millennium Group dissidents willing to kill to stop him? Frank Black finds himself troubled by these questions as he and Peter travel to the peat bogs of Germany to find the answers.
Written by Glen Morgan & James Wong
Directed by Thomas J. Wright
Edited by George R. Potter
Megan Gallagher as Catherine Black
Lance Henriksen as Frank Black
Allan Zinyk as Brian Roedecker
CCH Pounder as Cheryl Andrews
Gottfried John as Josef Heim
Philip Baker Hall as Group Elder (I)
Stephen Dimopoulos as Detective Betzdorf
Christine Lippa as German Police Captain
Noah Heney as Provider
Damon Johnson as Hospital Security
Stefano Giulianetti as Fugitive
Grahame Andrews as Dr Schlossburg
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 The Hand of Saint Sebastian episode transcript which has been painstakingly checked for accuracy against the actual episode.
In the year A.D. 998, a Fugitive who possesses a mummified hand--the Hand of Saint Sebastian--is betrayed by his ally, the Provider. Two archers step from the shadows and release their bows, striking the Fugitive as he attempt to flee. As the Provider searches the Fugitive's clothing, looking for the holy relic, he exposes the man's skin, on which is displayed a tattoo of an ouroboros--the symbol of the Millennium Group.
In the present day, Watts asks Frank to help him with a case unauthorized by the Millennium Group--but fails to provide any details. Frank agrees. The pair travel to a laboratory in Germany, where a Dr. Schlossburg had been murdered three days before. In the center of the lab sits an autopsy table containing the remains of a mummified man. Their efforts are interrupted by two German police detectives, Heim and Betzdorf, who had been staking out the lab. Frank and Watts are transported to a police station for further questioning. A Captain apologizes for the misunderstanding and pledges the department's fullest cooperation. The pair ask permission to examine Schlossburg's remains, but are informed that the coroner inadvertently cremated the body. Detective Heim drops Frank and Watts off at their rental car. As they enter the automobile, Frank notices an electrical wire on the carpet. The pair jump from the car moments before it erupts in a huge fireball.
Frank concludes that someone connected to Schlossburg's murder planted the bomb, and he demands that Watts brief him about the details of the case. Watts explains that the mummified body dates back to the beginning of Christianity--when the Millennium Group first came into being. Their conversation ends when they realize they are being followed by two men. Frank and Watts return to their hotel, where they encounter fellow Group member Cheryl Andrews, who offers her assistance. It is politely declined by Watts.
With some help from Roedecker, Watts guesses Schlossburg's computer password (the doctor being an adult film fan). Meanwhile, it turns out that Schlossburg is still alive. When he regains consciousness in a hospital, he tells Heim his attacker was Peter Watts.
Andrews tells Frank she was sent to "reel in" Watts, who is acting without the Group's authorization. She gives Frank a phone number where she can be contacted. Later, Frank encounters Watts inside Schlossburg's lab. Watts describes how, a thousand years earlier, the Order of the Knights Chroniclers, who warned of the upcoming millennium, possessed the hand of Saint Sebastian. This holy relic extended to its possessor the "knowledge to overcome the evils of the millennium." Watts then tells Frank that Schlossburg had discovered the site of the Knights Chroniclers' burial ground.
Frank and Watts discover that Schlossburg is, in fact, very much alive. Watts gains access to Schlossburg's hospital room. Schlossburg tells him that he was attacked by a man who identified himself as Peter Watts. He then tells Watts that the burial ground is located at a peat bog. Frank and Watts leave the hospital. Shortly thereafter, Schlossburg is murdered. The pair locate a preserved corpse--and the mummified hand--beneath the peat bog. Moments later, Heim and his men arrest Watts for Schlossburg's murder.
Frank instructs Roedecker to find out who used Schlossburg's account to log onto an adult chat line two days before. He then rendezvous with Andrews at a storage building where the mummified corpse is stored. There the pair are pursued by two assassins. During the chase, Frank reveals the unit number where the body is hidden. Suddenly, Andrews turns on Frank, and instructs the assassins to seize him. Frank realizes Andrews set up Watts to destroy the Group's credibility. A group of German policemen suddenly spring from their hiding places, taking Andrews and the assassins into custody. Frank tells Andrews she made a crucial error by using her phone number to log onto the adult chat line. Later, Frank and Watts study the mummy. Frank believes that the answers they seek actually lie within themselves.
Background Information and References
In "The Hand of Saint Sebastian," Peter Watts calls upon Frank to help him on an unauthorized mission that brings them to Germany to retrieve the long-lost, recently recovered, mummified hand of St. Sebastian. They soon realize that someone is working against them, and the traitor turns out to be Millennium Group pathologist Cheryl Andrews (CCH Pounder). Wong, who wrote the script, wanted to write a Watts-driven episode, which would showcase O'Quinn and develop the Millennium Group. "I felt that by revealing that the Millennium Group had existed for centuries and setting the episode overseas, that would give the story greater scope and weight," Wong said. "I also thought it would be interesting to get Peter excited about something that was not sanctioned by the Group and to show that he will do something like that. Terry is such a great actor, and we thought he deserved something to do instead of just saying, `That's right, Frank...`You're right again, Frank.' I thought, `What's a great way to divide the Group?' I thought about doing a spy kind of show. I was doing research on the Knights Templar and the Masons, and it seems like all those groups had other groups who were against them and betrayed them. There was so much intrigue. I realized that this is how groups act, and I thought, why shouldn't the Millennium Group have the same thing?"
Source: "TV's Best Kept Secret Improves In Its Sophomore Season" - Cinefantastique Magazine (1998).
Dr. John Schlossburg, the episode's German researcher, was named for Kevin John Schlossburg, one of the more prominent and active online fans of Glen Morgan and James Wong's sci-fi drama Space: Above and Beyond.
Credit: Brian Dixon, The Millennial Abyss
The FTP address that Watts gives to Roedecker is 126.96.36.199, which currently resolves to Pilot Network Services which has an address in Alameda, CA.
Credit: Libby of TIWWA
When Watts calls Roedecker back to see if he made any progress on determining Dr. Schlosshburg's password, Roedecker is asleep at this desk and wakes up. He answers the phone in a half-asleep voice, "Suicide Hotline..." Now this is funny in and of itself, but if you look closely at his face just after that, you can see a bit of drool at the side of his mouth! LOL! That just topped off the hilarity of the moment for me! And I think I just noticed it for the first time when I recently viewed the episode! Great stuff!
Credit: Scott Pugliese (TIWWA's Selfosophy Psycho)
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 + 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.
- TC1 was responsible for the attempted murder of Frank Black during this episode of Millennium (The Hand of Saint Sebastian).
- TC1 and TC2 was responsible for the attempted murder of Frank Black during this episode of Millennium (The Hand of Saint Sebastian).
- TC1 and TC2 was responsible for the attempted murder of Peter Watts during this episode of Millennium (The Hand of Saint Sebastian).
- Provider was responsible for the murder of unnamed man during this episode of Millennium (The Hand of Saint Sebastian).
- TC1 was responsible for the murder of Dr Schlossburg during this episode of Millennium (The Hand of Saint Sebastian).
- TC2 was responsible for the murder of Hospital Security during this episode of Millennium (The Hand of Saint Sebastian).
(View Millennium's Violence - Deaths, Killers, Victims and Criminality Analysis)