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A heavily armed spree killer and his tag along friends are on the loose, killing for pure amusement, and the case leads Emma Hollis into thoughts regarding the violent death of her own sister. Frank Black, who had previously been keeping a distance between himself and his new partner, takes Emma under his wing to bring some closure to both their current case and her own personal demons.
Written by Larry Andries
Directed by Daniel Sackheim
Edited by Chris Willingham, A.C.E.
Lance Henriksen as Frank Black
Klea Scott as Special Agent Emma Hollis
Shelley Owens as Joni
Michael Sunczyk as Peter
Garret Dillahunt as Rick Van Horn
Jason Gray-Stanford as Kyle
Dee Jay Jackson as Jay Cooper
Don McWilliams as Connor (II)
Howard Siegal as Transient
Carol Alexander as Woman in Bar
Bob Dawson as Captain Kevin Mann
Tim Henry as Sheriff Taylor
Christopher R. Sumpton as Tow Driver
Robert Luft as FPD Officer
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 Closure episode transcript which has been painstakingly checked for accuracy against the actual episode.
Emma drives along a highway, speaking a few tense words to her passenger, a long-haired man named Rick Van Horn. Suddenly, Emma jerks the wheel. The car swerves out of control, heading towards a large object. All goes black.
In flashback, three days earlier Rick and another man, Peter, rent a room in a hotel. The walls are so thin, however, that someone’s snoring filters into the pair’s room. Rick straps on body armor, then picks up a gun and a hunting knife. As Peter listens, Rick kicks in the door of the offending sleeper’s room and fires off a shot. Rick returns and climbs back into bed.
Emma joins Detective Jay Cooper as police search the hotel room for possible evidence. The victim turns out to be a man named Daryl Norcott, a baker who was passing through town. Emma interviews a transient staying in Rick and Peter’s old room. The transient explains that two men handed him the key, explaining that the room was paid for.
Aided by descriptions from the transient, police sketch artists are able to create composites of Rick and Peter. Frank, however, is somewhat perplexed by Emma’s interest in the case, as it seemingly does not warrant FBI involvement. Nonetheless, he and Emma travel to the crime scene. While standing in the hotel room, the pair cannot help but notice squeaking coming from bed springs in a nearby room. Frank is struck by several internal visions, including a smiling face. He finds a Smiley Face carved into the wooden bed where Rick slept. Frank comes to believe that the killer did not act with any particular motive.
Meanwhile, Rick and Peter rendezvous with an amorous barmaid named Joni. The threesome, dressed in bullet proof vests, lay siege on a grocery store, killing three people in the process. Emma and Frank review security videotape of the incident. The pair notices Rick picking up Smiley Face jawbreakers from a hard candy display. Emma retrieves a candy wrapper, hoping it will yield fingerprints. Before the pair leaves the store, Frank asks Emma why she has taken an interest in the case. She answers the question with a question: why?
Using a fingerprint found on the candy wrapper, Emma identifies Rick Van Horn as the shooter. To her surprise, Van Horn has no history of previous violence. Frank, meanwhile, studies Emma’s FBI file, probing her background for possible clues as to her interest in the case. He discovers that, twenty years earlier, Emma witnessed a man named Michael Wynter kill her sister. Wynter later committed suicide in prison. Every year on the anniversary of her sister’s death, Emma requests a murder case hoping to discover why Wynter committed such an unfathomable act.
Meanwhile, Rick, Peter and Joni trick a mountain biker, Kyle, into getting high with them. Rick then offers Kyle three thousand dollars to shoot an apple from his head. Kyle accepts the challenge and fires the gun. Rick comes through unscathed. Rick then takes the apple from this head and removes the gun from Kyle’s hand. He points the weapon at Kyle and insists that he place the apple upon his own head. When Kyle resists, Rick threatens to kill him on the spot. With little choice, Kyle places the apple on his head. Rick takes aim then lowers the gun slightly, shooting Kyle between the eyes.
Rick, Peter and Joni enter a pawn shop. They see their photographs being broadcast on a local news program. Panicking, Joni runs outside to retrieve the group’s vehicle. But she discovers it is being impounded by a tow truck driver. Joni draws her gun, but is taken into custody when police gain the upper hand. Peter and Rick, however, escape on foot. At the police station, Emma attempts to get Joni to cooperate with the investigation. Joni seemingly softens, but just when she seems on the verge of revealing information, she suddenly demands a lawyer. Emma leaves Frank at the police station and drives off in her car. Shortly thereafter, Rick and Peter commandeer a city bus. They threaten to begin killing hostages unless police release Joni.
As police stall for more time, the city bus stops in front of the precinct’s steps. Meanwhile, Emma hears of the hijacking on her radio, turns around, and drives back to the police station. The two gunmen eventually realize that their effort is futile. Clad in body armor, they exit the bus and advance on the police station. Police return fire, and during the gun battle, Peter is struck in the neck by a bullet.
Emma pulls into the police parking lot, only to see Rick advancing towards her. Rick commandeers the car, taking Emma hostage. As Emma drives, Rick orders her to pull off the road. Emma refuses to do so. Rick loads a bullet into his gun, preparing to shoot. But before he does so, Emma asks him, "why?" Rick replies, "you tell me." Emma floors the accelerator and swerves the vehicle towards an abutment on a bridge. The impact sends Rick crashing through the windshield. Emma, who was wearing her seatbelt, survives.
(Comprised of 6 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 Promotional Episode Stills
View the 7 available original 1996 Fox Millennium Episode Guide images for this episode of Millennium here.
- Peter was responsible for the attempted murder of Police Officers during this episode of Millennium (Closure).
- Rick Van Horn was responsible for the attempted murder of Police Officers during this episode of Millennium (Closure).
- Peter was responsible for the murder of shopper at supermarket during this episode of Millennium (Closure).
- Rick van Horn was responsible for the murder of Daryl Norcott during this episode of Millennium (Closure).
- Rick van Horn was responsible for the murder of Cop during this episode of Millennium (Closure).
- Rick van Horn was responsible for the murder of Cashier at supermarket during this episode of Millennium (Closure).
- Rick van Horn was responsible for the murder of Kyle during this episode of Millennium (Closure).
- Rick van Horn was responsible for the murder of Peter during this episode of Millennium (Closure).
(View Millennium's Violence - Deaths, Killers, Victims and Criminality Analysis)