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Synopsis of Millennium episode "Bardo Thodol"

Presented below is the original published synopsis of Bardo Thodol, from Chris Carter's Millennium TV series. It was originally published on the original Fox Millennium website.


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Bardo Thodol



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Written by Virginia Stock & Chip Johannessen
Directed by Thomas J. Wright
Edited by James Coblentz

Mabius and an Enforcer embark on a mission to find a man named Dr. Steven Takahashi in the Little Tokyo section of Washington, D.C. Clutching a red lacquer bowl, Takahashi flees his hotel room and takes refuge inside a Buddhist temple. He collapses on the floor, his hand disfigured and swollen. He begs a monk to help save him from his pursuers.

As Jordan observes, Frank inserts a Japanese anime CD-ROM into the drive of his computer. To his surprise, the CD displays not only Frank's name, but a message pertaining to the apocalypse. Meanwhile, Emma participates in the raid of a Japanese cargo boat carrying a shipment of bootleg designer handbags. A black metal case containing five small human hands packed in ice is discovered on board. Also discovered is a red lacquer bowl.

Frank brings the mysterious CD to an FBI technician. He discovers a virus on the CD, one "addressed" to Frank. A short time later, the FBI conducts a briefing on the discovery of the five human hands. Frank takes a special interest in two Kanji characters visible on the back of the Japanese cargo boat. A Japanese agent translates the writing, which reads, "an apocalypse of our own creation."

McClaren informs Emma that the tip about the cargo boat was originally believed to have originated with an undercover FBI agent. But it turns out that someone else within the Bureau sent the information. As a result, McClaren instructs Emma to keep Frank out of the loop about a crucial piece of information: the cells within the five small human hands are growing. Meanwhile, back at the Buddhist temple, an unbound ceremonial book containing sacred text is placed next to Takahashi's bed. Printed on the cover are the same kanji characters seen on the side of the Japanese cargo boat.

Watts stops by Emma's office, where he takes note of the red lacquer bowl. Emma give Watts a frosty reception. Meanwhile, Frank drives back to the ship, where he discovers the bodies of the captain and crew members. He also discovers a fragment broken from the rim of a red lacquer bowl. Later, he informs Emma that the killings are the work of the Millennium Group. Someone from the group boarded the vessel to search for something…something the FBI missed when it confiscated the hands.

Fingerprints taken from the severed hands are run through a computer. One of the prints matches Takahashi. Later, Emma realizes that Watts stole the red lacquered bowl.

Frank visits a Japanese bowl shop. He inquires about a plaque containing the same characters seen on the boat. The shopkeeper tells him the writing came from the Buddhist temple. Frank travels to the temple, where he encounters Takahashi, whose disfigurement has grown. Takahashi recognizes Frank, as he was once a member of the Group.

A tip from an FBI technician leads Emma to Takahashi's last known place of employment: a company called Emergen. Emma sneaks inside a restricted area, where she gains access to a black metal case, identical to the one found aboard the Japanese cargo ship. Meanwhile, Mabius approaches the owner of the Japanese bowl shop. He inquires about a specific kind of red lacquer bowl. The question prompts the shopkeeper to close his hand round a red lacquer chip. Mabius notes this… and impales the man's hand on a dagger. The shopkeeper howls in pain and slowly opens his hand, revealing the chip.

Emma opens the black case and discovers half a dozen umbilical cords within. She contacts McClaren by phone and requests a search warrant. McClaren sets off to meet Emma at the facility. But before he arrives at the scene, a van enters the research facility and disappears into a cargo bay area. Emma climbs over a fence to investigate further.

Mabius makes his way to the Buddhist temple. Finding the doors locked, he accesses the building through a heating vent. Meanwhile, as Frank listens, the monk reads from the ceremonial book, preparing Takahashi for death.

While sneaking through the research facility, Emma encounters several men. She draws her gun and identifies herself as an FBI agent. At that moment, McClaren approaches. Emma realizes the men are not assassins, but unarmed security guards.

Mabius climbs out of the heating duct and makes his way toward Takahashi's room. But Takahashi dies before Mabius can reach him. Mabius places a gun to Frank's head. He then picks up Takahashi's chipped bowl and leaves.

Emma tells McClaren that she witnessed men loading more black cases in the cargo bay. But McClaren informs her that the company performs medical testing for an HMO. A short time later, Emma encounters Watts walking through the facility. She states that she found the facility without Frank's assistance, something the Group apparently didn't think she was capable of doing. Elsewhere, the chipped red bowl is locked inside a display cabinet.

On a snowy hilltop, Frank holds a red bowl, which is filled with uncooked grain. He tosses the grain on Takahashi's shrouded head. He then watches as a monk burns a casket containing Takahashi's body. Later Emma tells Frank that, for one moment, she saw the Millennium Group for who they are. Frank tells her that so, too, did Takahashi.