#MLM-312 The Sound of Snow
Frank Black is forwarded a mysterious copy of a cassette tape filled with audio white noise. A trip back home to Seattle illustrates that people all over Washington state are being sent the tape, and its effects are killing them! Refusing to drop the investigation, Frank submits himself to the tape's power again and again, leading him to a shocking reliving of Catherine's death and a powerful meeting from beyond the grave.
Written by Patrick Harbinson
Directed by Paul Shapiro
Edited by Peter B. Ellis
Klea Scott as Special Agent Emma Hollis
Lance Henriksen as Frank Black
Jessica Tuck as Alice Severin
Megan Gallagher as Catherine Black
Stephen James Lang as Det. Bob Giebelhouse
Christina Jastrzembska as Mrs. Wheatley
Deanna Milligan as Carol Wheatley
Todd Ritchey as Jerry Origo
Mark McConchie as Home Owner
Trevor White as Doug Scaife
Ryan Robbins as Mailer
Promotional Episode Tagline
Tonight, Frank just doesn't meet his dead wife... he may join her.
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 The Sound of Snow episode transcript which has been painstakingly checked for accuracy against the actual episode.
As Carol Wheatley drives her car along a mountain road in Washington State, she inserts an unmarked audio cassette into the tape-player. At first, all that Carol hears is a gentle hiss. But the white noise gradually grows louder. As Carol looks up from the player, she sees snow flakes falling in the headlights. When the flakes strike the windshield, they make an impossibly loud sound. The car skids to a halt, and the flakes continue their descent, cracking the windshield. Carol jumps out of the car, only to find herself standing on ice. Beneath the surface is the face of a drowning boy, his eyes bulging in desperation. Carol climbs back into the car and throws the engine in reverse. The car backs out onto the roadway, where it is smashed by an eighteen-wheel truck.
At Quantico, Frank finds an internal envelope containing an audio cassette mixed in with his other mail. He slips the cassette into a boom box... and hears the same white noise. Suddenly, he experiences an internal vision: a face under the ice. Frank looks at the internal envelope, and sees that the last name written on it (above his own), is a "Victor Chyren." A check with the operator reveals no such person working at the FBI. Frank then notes the name written above Chyren: Doug Scaife. Scaife, who never heard of Chryen, tells Frank that Giebelhouse sent him the tape for analysis. Nothing could be found on the cassette, except for white noise. Frank listens to the tape... and experiences a vision of Catherine standing on the porch of the yellow house. He notices a wave pattern that Scaife identifies as pink noise. Frank concludes that someone intentionally made the tape.
Frank travels to Washington, where he and Giebelhouse review the accident scene. He then interviews the victim's mother, Mrs. Wheatley. Frank correctly deduces that, at some time, there had been an accident, one in which a boy fell through the ice and drowned. Deeply shocked, Mrs. Wheatley confirms this is so. Her daughter had always blamed herself for the accident. Afterward, Frank tells Geibelhouse that the tape is somehow responsible for Carol's death. He also believes there are more tapes in existence. Meanwhile, a designer named Jerry Origo receives a cassette tape in the mail. He places the tape in his player and listens. A hiss fills the room. Suddenly, flames rip through his penthouse apartment.
Geibelhouse and Frank learn that Origo jumped through a window and fell to his death. They travel to his penthouse, where there is no sign of fire. Geibelhouse finds the cassette tape and the envelope it arrived in, on which is a hand-written address. The envelope bears a Seattle postmark, one Geibelhouse hopes to trace. Frank believes that Origo jumped through the window because he thought he was on fire. He also suspects that someone in Origo's life died in a blaze. It turns out that Origo once worked as a building supervisor on a housing project in New Orleans. A blaze erupted, and because smoke alarm batteries were never installed, seven people died. Origo was investigated but never charged. Frank concludes that when people listen to the mysterious tapes, they hear the things they fear most and suffer massive hallucinations. With that, Frank hands the cassette to Geibelhouse and walks off. He drives to the yellow house, where he experiences another vision of Catherine. When Frank snaps out of his vision, he realizes that the house is now blue, and is occupied by a successful contractor named Jeff King. King tells Frank he still gets his mail. He hands him some letters... amongst which is an envelope containing a cassette.
As Frank drives, he listens to the cassette tape. He experiences flashbacks in which Watts tells him about the virus, the vaccine, and how only enough exists to inoculate Group members. He makes his way to the remote cabin where he had brought Catherine and Jordan in hopes of escaping the outbreak. Meanwhile, Emma and Geibelhouse pinpoint the source of the mysterious cassettes: a tape duplicating studio. There they speak with Alice Severin, who identifies the handwriting on the envelope as her own. During the ensuing interrogation, Alice mentions "St Peter's Gate". Moments later, Giebelhouse discovers a notebook containing hundreds of addresses.
Inside the cabin, Frank experiences more flashbacks, reliving the night that Catherine began hemorrhaging from the virus. Frank follows Catherine into the woods, stumbling through the mud. He loses his footing and tumbles, hitting his head on a rock. Meanwhile, Emma and Geibelhouse make their way to the cabin, where they discover the envelope inside Frank's car. Emma correctly deduces that Frank has gone off to find his wife.
Frank opens his eyes and sees Catherine kneeling above him. He laments not having joined the Group, for if he had done so, she would still be alive. Riddled with guilt, Frank believes he let his wife die by letting her walk off into the woods alone. But Catherine tells him that they were together when she died.
Emma and Geibelhouse find Frank, unconscious but alive. Frank recovers from his ordeal. Later, at Quantico, Emma performs some research. She discovers that the ferryman Alice mentioned is from classical mythology... and his name is Charon (like "Chyren"). She finds a reference in Nostradamus... which Frank links to the Millennium Group. Alice, he believes, is not part of the Group, but does possess a power. He believes the Group sent him the tape. Though he is unsure of their intention, he is certain of one thing: they gave him back Catherine.
Marking the final appearance for two of Millennium's main characters, this episode is one that also gives clarification on the somewhat confusing events at the conclusion of Season 2's The Time Is Now.
Firstly Frank (Lance Henriksen) gets to finally grieve and let out his bottled-up frustration and crippling sense of loss for the death of his beloved wife, Catherine Black (Megan Gallagher). Megan returned to Millennium for one last to time to undertaking the role of Catherine in scenes so sad and emotional that it is impossible to watch without tearful eyes.
Secondly, actor Stephen James Lang made his final appearance as the much appreciated Det. Bob Giebelhouse. Appearing in 16 episodes throughout all three Seasons of Millennium, Det. Bob Giebelhouse was vastly appreciated by Millennium's fans for his portrayal as the Seattle-based, seasoned and experienced Cop and friend to criminal profiler Frank Black.
Giebelhouse also provides in this episode, much needed and often missed on-screen clarification and explanation on the events following the apocalyptic release of Marburg Virus at the end of Season Two, when he refers to how the media exaggerated the release of the virus and the death toll.
This episode also marked the first of FBI Technical Analyst Doug Scaife's four appearances, portrayed by actor Trevor White. White had previously undertaken the role of Casper in Midnight of the Century.
This episode also marks the final in-episode appearance of the Yellow House. When Frank drives to the house, he has a vision of Catherine standing on the porch, then he realises it is the new home owner, a man listed only as Home Owner in the closing credits, yet described in the official synopsis for this episode as Jeff King, a successful contractor.
Original Fox Promotional Episode Stills
View the 4 available original 1996 Fox Millennium Episode Guide images for this episode of Millennium here.
(Comprised of 2 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.
- Alice Severin was responsible for the attempted murder of Frank Black during this episode of Millennium (The Sound of Snow).
- Alice Severin was responsible for the murder of Carol Wheatley during this episode of Millennium (The Sound of Snow).
- Alice Severin was responsible for the murder of Jerry Origo during this episode of Millennium (The Sound of Snow).
(View Millennium's Violence - Deaths, Killers, Victims and Criminality Analysis)