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After a fatal shooting during a high school basketball game Frank Black, Emma Hollis, and Special Agent Barry Baldwin travel to Seattle to become involved in an investigation that will soon lead to a survivalist group supported by a high-brow computer corporation. It soon becomes evident that this group is so frightened of the predicted Y2K computer meltdown that they’re stockpiling food and weapons in preparation for their own Armageddon and willing to kill anyone, including their own children, in order to ensure their own survival.
Written by Chris Carter & Frank Spotnitz
Directed by Thomas J. Wright
Edited by Peter B. Ellis
Lance Henriksen as Frank Black
Klea Scott as Special Agent Emma Hollis
Peter Outerbridge as Special Agent Barry Baldwin
Stephen E. Miller as Assistant Director Andy McClaren
Robert Wisden as Chris Carmody
Stephen James Lang as Det. Bob Giebelhouse
Eric Keenleyside as Gary King
Laurie Murdoch as Jock Hauser
Andrew Johnston as Principal Kalmer
Michelle Skalnik as Kathy McNew
John Gingell as Carlton King
Hilary Strang as Mrs. Carmody
Jeremy Guilbaut as Brant Carmody
Sasha McLean as Tammy Meador
Keith Martin Gordey as Software Engineer
Seasonal Episode Tagline:
wait... worry... 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 TEOTWAWKI episode transcript which has been painstakingly checked for accuracy against the actual episode.
Students gather inside the gymnasium of Redland High School to celebrate the school’s victory at the state academic championships. Amongst the student body are cheerleaders Tammy Meador and Kathy McNew, who encourage their classmates to join them in some rousing cheers. Watching Tammy from afar is Carlton King, an odd, gawky teenager. Carlton lays a book near Tammy’s pom-poms, then walks towards some nearby doors. Shortly thereafter, Brant Carmody, another student reluctant to join in the celebration, exits the gymnasium. As the school principal announces that ComLogic Computers has donated a system worth over two million dollars, gunfire rings out. Three students, including Tammy Meador, are killed in the melee.
Agents Baldwin and Hollis are assigned to investigate the case. They meet with Giebelhouse, who is still a detective working for the Seattle Police Department. Giebelhouse explains that the shooter, whose identity is still unknown, opened fire from underneath the bleachers. As the murder weapon was recovered, it is hoped that the registration number will provide clues. While searching the gym, Emma comes upon the book that Carlton left near Tammy’s pom poms. She decides not to tell the other investigators about the discovery. Later, Giebelhouse contacts McClaren and requests Frank’s assistance.
Emma tells Baldwin that other students described Brant Carmody as non-communicative. A record check also reveals that Brant was twice arrested for assault and battery. And it is also determined that the teenager is the son of a very wealthy computer executive. When the agents arrive at the Carmody’s front door, shots ring out. Brant’s father, Chris, announces that his son shot himself. The agents are unable to revive the boy. Back at Quantico, Baldwin concludes that Brant fired upon his classmates and then committed suicide. But Frank has his doubts. He points out several holes in Baldwin’s investigation, including his failure to test either of Brant’s parents for powder burns. After the meeting, Frank asks McClaren to send him to the high school so he can perform some detective work of his own. As Frank packs his suitcase, he receives a surprise visit from Emma. She shows him the book she discovered at the gym. The book contains prayers from the Dark Ages, and is inscribed with the name "Skylark." Frank realizes the shooter left it behind as a warning to Tammy Meador.
Meanwhile, Chris Carmody, computer technology czar Jock Hauser, Principal Kalmer and Carlton King’s father, Gary, meet in a field in the countryside, where they practice firing their guns at figures of human beings. Jock accuses Chris of telling his son about the group’s secret. Chris admits to this, stating that he did so at the insistence of his wife.
Frank and Emma question cheerleader Kathy McNew, who had been dating Brant Carmody. She explains that Brant spoke often of the end of the world, and how society will collapse come the year 2000. Later, as Frank inspects the room where Brant’s body was found, he is struck by a series of internal visions. He concludes that Brant was the shooter inside the gymnasium. But he also believes that Brant’s death was not a suicide.
Emma searches Brant’s computer files and discovers a threatening email message composed by Skylark. Emma contacts an Internet service provider to determine Skylark’s real identity. Shortly thereafter, Kalmer, Jock Hauser and Gary King meet at a rural warehouse when they learn that the FBI has identified Skylark as Carlton King.
Emma, Frank and Geibelhouse search the King family’s credit card records. They discover purchases for such items as gas generators and non-perishable food, along with assault rifles. They also determine that Gary King co-owns 14,000 acres of desert land in eastern Washington State. Frank concludes that the group to which Gary belongs is preparing for complete technology failure in the year 2000, and has erected a self-sufficient compound to protect their families from harm.
Carlton King leads Emma and Frank to the rural warehouse. Gunshots ring out, and Emma returns fire. During the confusion, Emma calls out Frank’s name but Frank does not respond. Rifle in hand, Gary King seeks out Frank. But Carlton stands between the two men. Frank convinces Gary to surrender. Later, Chris Carmody is charged with murdering his own son. Chris explains that he killed Brant because his wife and daughters would have remained behind (away from the safety of the compound) if his son had been sentenced to jail for murdering his classmates.
Later, Frank tells Emma that he did not bring his revolver with him to the warehouse, as he was relying on her experience as an agent for protection. He also states that if man is going to survive a technology failure, it is humanity-not food and ammunition-that will save the day.
Writer Frank Spotnitz comments on TEOTWAWKI:
Fears about the Y2K bug seem quaint now, but at the time this was broadcast - 14 months before 1/1/00 - it was still an exotic concept to most people. The challenge was how to turn an abstract fear of a computer glitch into something scary and dramatic for Frank and Emma to investigate.
Source: Big Light Productions
Many of the e-mail addresses that Special Agent Emma Hollis discovers whilst going through the computer's files, represented the show's Crew Members:
Credit: The Fourth Horseman and BetweenTheLines of TIWWA
TEOTWAWKI is an acronym for "The end of the world as we know it".
(Comprised of 4 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.
Original Fox Episode Stills:
View the original 1996 Fox Millennium Episode Guide images for this episode of Millennium where available here.
Available Violence Markers:
- Brant Carmody was responsible for the attempted murder of 9 high school students during this episode of Millennium (TEOTWAWKI).
- Gary King was responsible for the attempted murder of Frank Black during this episode of Millennium (TEOTWAWKI).
- Gary King was responsible for the attempted murder of Special Agent Emma Hollis during this episode of Millennium (TEOTWAWKI).
- Brant Carmody was responsible for the murder of Tammy Meador during this episode of Millennium (TEOTWAWKI).
- Brant Carmody was responsible for the murder of cheerleader #1 during this episode of Millennium (TEOTWAWKI).
- Brant Carmody was responsible for the murder of cheerleader #2 during this episode of Millennium (TEOTWAWKI).
- Chris Carmody was responsible for the murder of Brant Carmody during this episode of Millennium (TEOTWAWKI).
(View all violence, killer and victim stats)