Reviewed: Broken World
Contributor: Erin (Raven Wolf)
"Man is the cruelest animal." (Nietzsche)
The first time I tried to watch this, I didn't make it past the first scene. Still, when I re-watch it, I find it difficult not to cry my eyes out. As a horse-lover since I was old enough to say the word, and a horse owner (though I don't like to use that word) since I was 12, it was very difficult to hear the screams of the horses at the end of the opening scene. Still, as difficult as it is to watch, I applaud the effort to finally give a voice to those who have no voice. This episode seemed to finally point out how animals are minimized, and looked at simply as the tools of man. It was the first (and I think, the ONLY) television show to ever refer to Premarin, which was called P.M.U. in the show. I was overwhelmed when I saw this, knowing how many people it was informing of the brutality being imposed on horses, who have always been the subject of the most horrific treatment by humans. This, again, blended innocence and beauty with horror and violence in the effortless way that Millennium is famous for.
"A dog starved at his Master's Gate
Predicts the ruin of the Gate.
A horse misused upon the Road
Calls to Heaven for Human blood." (Blake's Auguries of Innocence)
This was one of two wonderful literary quotes, referring to the cruelty of humans, against the most loving of creatures. "Broken World" was an eloquent tribute to the legacy that man has had on the animals that it holds dominion over. The most touching and artistic portrayal of that was through the symbolism of the white horse. This recurring theme began at the beginning, with Sally's beautiful white horse, that she led into its stall, before finding her dying one, and being attacked herself. Next was the scruffy white pregnant mare, held captive by the murderer, as if a symbol of the control he was trying to have towards women. Then, there was the brave white horse, who led the herd in trampling and kicking the man to death, saving Frank's life. This preceded one of the most touching scenes of the series. After Frank climbs to his feet, he goes to the white horse who saved him, touching her gently on the neck, and looking into her eyes, as if to thank her. The horse gently nuzzles him back, and you can see a genuine exchange between them. Lastly, there is the final scene, as Dr. Claudia Vaughn rides up to meet Frank in his car on her white horse. This completes the circle on one of my favorite Millennium episodes. It is not one of my favorites for the more obvious, normal reasons. It is one of my favorites for the truth that it tells, which, hopefully, one day, will help to make a difference. The more positive, anti-animal-cruelty programming there is, the better. It will take quite a lot to counterbalance an industry that is totally out of control, in regards to the exploitation of the animal kingdom. It seems quite fitting that Millennium is the one to stand on its own, asking the questions that need asking, and making the points that need making. "Broken World" is one of the finest examples of this.