Millennium Episode Review of TEOTWAWKI by ZeusFaber
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It was last viewed on Saturday, February 24, 2024, 3:10 PM (UTC).
After a fatal shooting during a high school basketball game Frank Black, Emma Hollis, and Special Agent Barry Baldwin travel to Seattle to become involved in an investigation that will soon lead to a survivalist group supported by a high-brow computer corporation. It soon becomes evident that this group is so frightened of the predicted Y2K computer meltdown that they're stockpiling food and weapons in preparation for their own Armageddon and willing to kill anyone, including their own children, in order to ensure their own survival.
Written by Chris Carter & Frank Spotnitz
Directed by Thomas J. Wright
Edited by Peter B. Ellis
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This episode of Millennium did not receive any Nominations or Awards.
Back to basics. Very refreshing to finally get an episode that strips things back to what the show really set out to be, bringing in a sense of millennial anxiety in an original and grounded manner. The opening high-school shooting which kick-starts the plot is both topical and harrowing, and the aftermath is treated with an appropriate delicacy while we get to see the contrast between the delicious arrogance of Baldwin and the straight-talking of old favourite Giebelhouse. Meanwhile, Emma shows herself to be head and shoulders above both in her quiet and considered approach that is not all too dissimilar to Frank himself.
Millennium Bug concerns may seem quaint in hindsight, but the story manages to successfully create a genuine sense of dread regardless with the survivalist group and the impact of their hysteria on their children, while the addition of the Book of Hours provides an added layer of historical interest. The comment on gun culture is also nicely played, not overstated in any preachy dialogue, just something that is there as a constant image. Frank's distaste at having to be certified to use a weapon by the FBI is a great touch, as we see how he is loathe to carry a gun let alone use it, which ultimately he doesn't (much more in character than his trigger-happy moments in the likes of “Owls” and “Roosters”).
Having said that, the episode is solid rather than remarkable, but to it's credit it benefits from repeat viewings and is exactly what the series needed at this point ‐ a workmanlike but down-to-Earth episode with its feet on the ground. Just the tonic after the outlandish, psychedelic fairytales of the previous season.