#MLM-218 In Arcadia Ego
Frank Black and Peter Watts begin the hunt for two escapees from a women’s prison who used brutal force to gain their freedom. Certain evidence leads the two Millennium Group investigators to believe that one of the women has somehow gotten herself pregnant and that she is running under the belief that this is an immaculate conception. It’s up to Frank to find them before the thoughtless and blunt state police do, and to prevent what could be a disastrous child birth.
Written by Chip Johannessen
Directed by Thomas J. Wright
Edited by James Coblentz
Lance Henriksen as Frank Black
Megan Gallagher as Catherine Black
Missy Crider as Janette
Mary-Pat Green as Sonny
David Jean-Thomas as Captain Stephens
Ed Lauter as Warden Kellard
Sean Campbell as Second Guard
R. Nelson Brown as First Guard
Ronald Selmour as Ernie Shiffer
Steve Oatway as Chris Taylor
Frances Flanagan as Nurse (III)
Marina Dufort as Warden's Assistant
Dean McKenzie as John Bayton
Wanda Wilson as Jennifer Bayton
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 In Arcadia Ego episode transcript which has been painstakingly checked for accuracy against the actual episode.
Inside Garrison Women’s Prison, Juliet "Sonny" Palmer, and her cellmate/lover, Janette Viti, a pretty 24-year-old, overpower a guard, steal his uniform, and make their way to a security booth. There the couple surprise another guard and force him to remove his uniform. As the guard does so, he reaches for his ankle holster and, in a flash, shoots Janette. Sonny grabs a nightstick and subjects the guard to a brutal beating. When she stops, she realizes Janette is unharmed. The bullet, they realize, flattened itself on the shield attached to Janette’s stolen uniform. Examining the spent slug, the pair notice what looks like the silhouette of a human face. The women move on.
Frank meets with Warden Kellard at the prison. Kellard labels Sonny a serial killer, as she beat her stepfather to death with a pipe, used an andiron on her husband, and has now clubbed a guard to death. Frank examines a map of the surrounding area. He accurately predicts that the fugitives will ditch their getaway vehicle. But Frank is puzzled as to why Sonny chose to escape, as she is eligible for parole in four month’s time.
Sonny and Janette overpower a motorist, Chris Taylor, and take command of his vehicle. The pair stop at a remote house for purposes unknown. They are disappointed that no one is home and leave the scene with Taylor still tied-up in the back seat.
Frank studies Sonny’s case file. He concludes that Sonny crosses over into violence only to protect others, noting that her stepfather was abusing her younger sister, and that she miscarried the same night she murdered her husband, indicating domestic violence. Frank also concludes that Sonny escaped as a means of protecting something else as yet unknown. That night, Sonny and Janette get a room at a motel. As Janette examines herself in a mirror, we see that she is, in fact, quite pregnant. A motel maid discovers Chris Taylor bound and gagged in the women’s room. He tells Frank, Watts and Kellard about Janette’s pregnancy--a revelation that catches the men by surprise. Frank concludes that one of the prison guards is the father. He zeroes in on Ernie Shiffer, an African-American man. Shiffer admits he raped Janette in the infirmary while she was under sedation.
Janette and Sonny make their way to a clinic. A sonogram reveals trouble, but before a practitioner can voice her concern, Sonny learns that the guard she bludgeoned died from his injuries. The pair leave the clinic. Watts tells Frank that the nurse spotted a total placenta previa--meaning Janette could bleed to death if she delivers outside a hospital. Frank eventually zeroes in on the mysterious house the women visited earlier. When he arrives at the scene, a car driven by Sonny bears down on him. The car swerves at the last moment, missing Frank. Shortly thereafter, Janette experiences contractions.
Frank learns that Sonny once worked at a train yard in town. Believing the couple might attempt to flee by train, he makes his way to the yard. There he pinpoints the train the women would most likely use for their getaway. But Sonny gets the drop on Frank and takes him prisoner. Frank tells her he knows the identity of the man who raped Janette. This sends Sonny into a rage. He also informs her of Janette’s medical condition. Sonny tells Frank that the child is a "miracle baby"--God’s child.
Inside the boxcar, Janette’s contractions continue--as does her bleeding. Watts accompanies a SWAT team to the train yard, and the boxcar is surrounded by armed men. When Sonny uses Frank’s cell phone to demand a doctor, Watts patches through the nurse from the clinic. The nurse tells Janette she is aware that she was raped by the prison guard. When Janette reacts, Sonny snatches away the phone and demands immediate medical attention. Two police officers don paramedic uniforms and approach the boxcar. But Frank intervenes, warning Sonny to search their medical kits and not make an easy target for snipers. Realizing Frank is on her side, Sonny cuts through the tape that binds his hands.
Frank helps deliver Janette’s child, which turns out to have pale skin, indicating Shiffer is not, in fact, the father. As Janette bleeds to death, she tells Sonny how much she loves her. A short time later, as Sonny exits the boxcar, she deliberately draws fire by pulling her hand from her pocket, as if reaching for a gun. Sonny slumps to the ground and dies.
Frank returns to the home where Janette and Sonny had traveled. There he meets with John and Jennifer Bayton, a middle-aged African-American couple. The pair explain that they had been praying for Janette and Sonny, whom they describe as forgotten people who most want God’s hand. A nurse exits Frank’s car and steps forward with the baby. Mrs. Bayton takes the child and rocks it gently. Meanwhile, Frank examines the silhouetted face on the spent bullet. It matches a laser etching of Mary, the Mother of God, sitting on an easel in the couple’s home.
"In Arcadia Ego" roughly translates to "I am in Arcadia." The phrase references Arcadia, a region of ancient Greece in the Peloponnesus famed for the idyllic, pastoral lifestyle enjoyed by its inhabitants. The episode shares its title with many famous works of art, most notably "Et In Arcadia Ego," a painting by French artist Nicolas Poussin that emphasizes the idea that worldly happiness and contentment are fleeting for mortals.
Credit: Brian Dixon, The Millennial Abyss
The address of house of the couple that Janette and Sonny try to contact is 1225 Magdalene Road. Possibly a reference to December 25th and Mary Magdalene.
Credit: The Fourth Horseman of TIWWA
Inside the clinic: Sonny's reading the Great Falls Gazette, as it says on the front page. When she turns the page (on a later scene), the name of the newspaper seems to have changed into Grand Falls Gazette (at the top of page A2).
Credit: Vivi (TIWWA's Dontbesodark)
Original Fox Promotional Episode Stills
View the 6 available original 1996 Fox Millennium Episode Guide images for this episode of Millennium here.
(Comprised of 1 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.
- Second Guard (Frasier) was responsible for the attempted murder of Janette during this episode of Millennium (In Arcadia Ego).
- Sonny was responsible for the murder of Second Guard during this episode of Millennium (In Arcadia Ego).
- The Marksman killed Sonny during this episode of Millennium (In Arcadia Ego) in a justifiable homicide.
(View Millennium's Violence - Deaths, Killers, Victims and Criminality Analysis)