Reviewed: The Curse of Frank Black
Contributor: Erin (Raven Wolf)
"Do you ever find yourself talking with the dead? Since Willie's death, I catch myself every day, involuntarily talking with him as if he were with me."
Abraham Lincoln -- upon the death of his son
This is one of the best of season 2, and in my opinion, of the entire series! As Millennium viewers, we've learned to expect the very best, and this episode has it all. We've come so far with Frank that now he feels like an old friend, and this episode provides us with the opportunity to get to know him even better, as he continues on his spiritual journey, his "test".
The lighting, tone, and feel of this episode is somehow unlike any Millennium episode ever, and at the same time, so perfectly fitting with the series. There are no serial killers here, and very few characters other than Frank. Frank has a sort of spooky spotlight on him here, shedding some light on his shadowy past.
The oft-repeated theme of innocence, mixed with horror was never more perfectly done than in this Halloween episode. This holiday, which is centered around death, has become a children's holiday, making it the perfect setting for Millennium. Also, there was the image of the once colorful, life-filled Yellow house, which now appears as cold and foreboding as any haunted house from any of a dozen horror movies.
As a firm believer in the importance of signs as divine intervention, this episode spoke to me on a very personal level. The first thing that struck me was the repeated use of 26-8. In numerology, 26-8 is my life number, so their repetition caught my attention very strongly. It made ME "pay attention", just as Frank needed to do. When it was finally revealed that the numbers referred to ACTS chapter 26, verse 8, I was brought to tears. "Why should it be thought incredible by you that God raises the dead?" As Millennium was taking me on my OWN personal journey, dealing with the death of my best friend, this message held great significance to me.
In this part of Frank's journey, he is forced to make peace with his past, being brought back to his "yellow house", and facing the demons of his past. His own personal demons, found in the memory of what he had there with his family, and with the death of his friend, Bob Bletcher. And finally, as a ghost from his past warns him that he is on the wrong path, but at the same time, brings the message, once again...that he "can't stop it." This is the one thing that finally gets his attention, and is a turning point in his character.
This episode seems to sum up the entire series. Though flashbacks and moving dialogue, we are reminded of what Millennium is, and WAS all about. It is a turning point, both for Frank, and for the whole series. As Frank is forced to face his past...the demons of his childhood, as well as his adulthood, we get a chance to re-affirm why we're here, and where we are going. Frank has been through so much, and is weary of the journey, but when the ghost reminds him that the time is near, and warns him that he can't stop it, rather than turning away, Frank's immediate reaction is to ask..."When will it happen?" And then he is lead back to the message on his computer, where the Millennium Group screen saver flashes the answer to his question.
The final scene is, to me, the most powerful of the show, and, perhaps the entire series. With no words, Frank shows that he has "gotten the message", and it was his wake up call. To re-affirm the new path he's on, and that he's no longer going to sink into the dark place he was falling into, he makes the simple gesture of washing the egg off his windows that he had thrown the night before. By this, he says, "I got the message. I am not going down the same path he did." (the ghost...can't remember his name) This simple, very humble and human scene is still quite moving to me, and is the perfect ending to this memorable episode.