View Episode Profile of Dead Letters
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It was last viewed on Friday, November 24, 2023, 10:08 PM (UTC).
A man preys on seemingly random women, making his bloody mark on a world he feels has reduced him to nothing but a number. Investigating on behalf of the Millennium Group, Frank Black finds difficulty on the case in the form of Jim Horn, a partner who is ill-suited to handle the intense horrors the case represents.
Written by Glen Morgan & James Wong
Directed by Thomas J. Wright
Edited by Chris Willingham, A.C.E.
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Awards and Nominations
This episode of Millennium did not receive any Nominations or Awards.
Reviewed: Dead Letters
Contributor: Erin (Raven Wolf)
"For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me. And what I dreaded has happened to me, I am not at ease, nor am I quiet; I have no rest, for trouble comes." - Job 3:25,26
"Dead Letters" has more the flavor of an intense, gothic crime drama. In the first two episodes, we got to see into Frank's mind. Now, we get to see into the mind of a murderer. We also get more of a feeling of what people in law enforcement go through. We see the emotional and even physical strain that this kind of work does, as well as the strain it places on families. It is the epitome of the psychological thriller.
This episode is one of my favorites, because it can be viewed on so many levels. It can be seen and appreciated simply for its value as an intense psychological thriller, yet, on closer observation, there are many messages, threaded throughout the episode. The most moving of which was the talk that Frank had with "James Horn". In it, he quoted Dostoevsky. "There is nothing more sad than a life that ends, and no-one knows or cares." This quote holds personal meaning to me, as I feel that kind of sadness myself. So, it seemed a personal message to me. As Frank said...."The subject is angry that his life will go unnoticed. His hatred of himself is directed at the world. The world that held him back because it objectified him. Reduced him. Reduced us all to universal bar codes." "We are animals in a caged shelter. Controlled by dog catchers. The gray tape makes the victims look like how he feels. Faceless. A Dead Letter lost at the post office."
Because of these touches, the killer is portrayed more as a real person, with real problems. Not some mindless monster. We can almost feel sympathy for this tortured man. Almost.
In addition to the excellent storyline, "Dead Letters" also has one of the best people cast as the killer I've ever seen! The actor is perfect. He's clean-cut, nicely dressed; you'd pass him on the street without giving him a glance. But, when you look more closely...the way his lips are shaped, and the look in his eyes....The image still sends shivers though me. He, and his VW bus, and his dark, shadowy home, is the perfect setting for adding to the sense of horror. Even the fact that the killer had very few lines was a perfect tool to add to the sense of terror.
Finally, we see how even the best of men can turn towards evil and violence, if under enough stress. James Horn's violent attack on the killer is a perfect example of that. We see how Evil can take control of even the best of us, at a moment of weakness, which is a recurring theme in all of Chris Carter's 10-13 productions.