Millennium Episode Review of Bardo Thodol by ZeusFaber
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It was last viewed on Saturday, December 9, 2023, 10:17 AM (UTC).
The discovery of a cooler full of living hands draws Emma Hollis' attention to mysterious research conducted by former Millennium Group member Dr. Steven Takahashi, a man now afflicted by a disfiguring and deadly disease. These secrets leave one murderous Millennium Group operative desperate to kill Takahashi as Frank Black holds watch by his bedside. Emma engages in a desperate attempt to lash out at the Group with the knowledge she's gained, hoping to prove she can do so on her own.
Written by Virginia Stock & Chip Johannessen
Directed by Thomas J. Wright
Edited by James Coblentz
Random scenes from Bardo Thodol
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Reviewed: Bardo Thodol
Somewhat perplexing on first viewing, but really quite good once you think about it. It's one of those episodes where you really have to watch it several times and discuss it in depth with a fellow devotee to properly get a grasp of it, and in an age of disposable, throwaway TV, that's surely a good thing.
There's a lot going on here. We have the growing hands found on the ship and the implications of bioscience as the new alchemy, the red lacquer bowl (which presumably must contain the scientist's research encoded in its unique rim), and the Tibetan philosophy which takes on a truly fascinating meaning when you apply it to the Millennium Group's mysticism. Is it perhaps half the point of the episode that these people want folks like Frank and Emma scrambling around to piece together the scraps of their mysteries in order to keep them enigmatic and therefore powerful? Let go of all that, stop jumping through their hoops, and you become free, as Frank is starting to become, while Emma is in a very different place, still desperately struggling to prove her worth to Peter Watts. Lots of food for intellectual thought.
Mabius makes for a great hitman, Tzi Ma puts in a believable (if all too whispery) performance, and the soundtrack from Huun-Huur-Tu is wonderfully hypnotic. One question remains though ‐ who sent Frank that damned computer virus? Still, the episode is great for putting your mind through all these windmills and raising a bamboozling array of mysteries and philosophical questions. Understand, and you are liberated.