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chrisnu

Beware Of The Dog

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Have any of you had an opinion of an episode that radically changed later? That describes my opinion of "Beware Of The Dog", a misunderstood episode, in my case at least. The first time I watched the episode, I couldn't help thinking the following:

1) Where is the serial killer? :devil01:

2) Why aren't Mulder and Scully here, not Frank Black?

3) Who is that old weird guy?

4) What is up with these dogs?

After the teaser in particular, I got turned off by the show, and was somewhat lackadaisical in paying attention. Thus, I missed all the undertones. After watching the show three, four more times, I've gotten a better idea of the sybolism and ideas behind it all.

The dogs: not only did Bebe "upset the balance" as the Old Man had said, perhaps the dogs are becoming more vicious as a symbol of the increasing violence in evil in the world as the millennium approaches? Also, the idea that man may doom himself due to indifference is brought up, which is brought up again in "Jose Chung's 'Doomsday Defense'" and "Somehow, Satan Got Behind Me". Also, the ongoing season theme that evil is a force that cannot be eradicated is illustrated by the number of dogs never changing.

So, "Beware Of The Dog" won't land on my list of favorites, but it is important in laying down some of the basic concepts for the second season, when my initial opinion would have been to scrap the episode altogether.

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YES! Somebody "Gets It"! :thumbsup_big:

I was so proud of whoever had the courage to write/produce this epidsode, since it speaks to what I have been believing/preaching for more years than I care to count! Yes, you are spot-on with the symbolysum of the dogs, and I've often wondered if the idea for this epidode came from the huge rash of dog attacks that have sprung up in the years preceeding this episode. "Man's Best Friend" is not expected to turn into his worst enemy, but, when the "balance" is upset, as you can see, disastor follows. And, as The Old Man was expressing in "Beware of the Dog", most people just run and hide, asking "Why ME?" Rather than taking respondisbitlity for what they have created in the world.

As for the "Jose Chung" relivance, the whole "Don't Be Dark" thing was soooo appropriate, because that is exactly what all these supposedly "enlightened" people are preaching today. The whole "Mind over matter" thing. If you don't mind... It doesn't matter!"

"Somehow...." is another of my favorites, like "Jose Chung", for the brave statement they made about how we, as a race, are damning ourselves by our own lifestyles.

This is an excellent disscussion... And I hope it grows!

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Another episode I've found to be an "onion episode" (to coin a term) is "A Room With No View". After viewing this once, I had about the same feelings I had with "Beware Of The Dog":

1) I thought Lucy was some big bad devil woman! What is she doing this crap for?

2) Why is most of the episode in one freaking room! ZzZzZz

3) Will someone turn off that music! :angry:

It took several re-watches to really "get" this episode too. You then realize that Lucy's work here is particularly insidious. She is trying to rob the world of people who can make a difference for good; create a generation of anti-Franks, if you will. She's already done this to the guidance counselor, who she has in her back pocket. The counselor spots someone with potential, and Lucy takes them, and manipulates them. The season-long concept of the Apocalpyse coming due to mankind's indifference is brought up here. That's part of Lucy's plan. This also ties into "Beware Of The Dog" in that Lucy is creating a generation of "why mes". You may also notice that the dogs make an appearance in "A Room With No View", with Lucy at the farmhouse. "Love Is Blue" also comes into the picture. Initially, it is an annoyance an irritant. Gradually, the boy shacked up with Landon Bryce has learn to coexist with it, even appreciate it. Could this be a parallel to the evil in the world, which mankind (for the most part) just tolerates? I think so.

And it's better than "Antipas". :devil:

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Beware of the Dog is--in my opinion--one of the most brilliant episodes of Millennium. Not only does it show Frank coming to a new realization about his alignment for good, it shows him learning about true Evil and how it preys on one's fears. There are so many subtle points: the number dogs always remains the same even if one gets killed, the circle in which the old man's house is located, and the message that Good must respect Evil and Good must make Evil respect us. In addition it introduces the Old Man, who unfortunately met a way too early demise later in the season. Also, how neat was it to see the OLd Man's journal. It was written entirely in Greek excpet for Frank's name.

This has been my first post in probably a year and half. It's great to see how many people have joined since I've been away. Also, the pumpkin avatar that I posted has seemed to grown popular!

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Some quick notes on this episode (I watched it on DVD yesterday):

The waitress at the cafe/hootel seems to give that look like she wants to have Frank Black's kid.

The guy who built the house (near the old Man's shack) seems gay.

I wonder why the Old Man is left alone by the dogs. Maybe he is using dog piss as colgone.

Generally this episode gets better with each viewing.

Be Seeing You,

David Blackwell

Edited by voidprime

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I have to agree "Beware of Dog" was a very strong episode of MillenniuM. Morgan & Wong have a fantastic grasp on mythic symbols, and they deftly weave them into a strong story that conveys the same themes as the psychotic imagery from Season I. The Goup's gravestones effectively serve as the archetypal circle of power, most commonly expressed in fairy tales as witch's circles or the glens of the Fair Folk, almost always serving as a liminal space that separates the mortal realm from the spirit realm. The Old Man obviously echoes the old hermit, famous for providing a hero with a bit of well-timed advice. (Try throwing a stone in an Arthurian legend without hitting a hermit living by the dragon's cave.) The dogs in particular were a subdued but effective evocation of the Hellhound, a predominantly Christian image (though slightly modified from the Greek Cerberus). I was especially pleased to see the motiff continued in "A Room With No View" in the form of Lucy's guard dogs.

Edited by Bookmaker221

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Yes, I was just watching "A Room With No View" today. Still classic Millennium.

Be Seeing You,

David Blackwell

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Beware Of The Dog is an odd spoon to me. It has all the workings of a fantastic peice of television but something just doesn't gel. I think it has to do with the fact that the Morgan/Wong year really, really pulled away from the asthetic look established in Season 1 (dreary Seattle, lots of shadows, minimal lighting) and thusly the drama suffers.

I enjoy almost everything about the episode - aside from what I stated above and the part where Frank opens the book to see his name in it. I'm not sure what to make of that but if felt like a cheap "BOO!" to me.

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This was basically a starting point for the new season and concept for the direction the series wou ld be going in. With the introduction of the Elder, the show would now focus on the Millenium Group, it's history and mythology. The ep was a little confusing though but like you were saying, I begin to understand it a little more each time. S2 was like that in general.

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I am so glad I found this amongst the tatters and remains of things past as it was recently lamented by a member that he wished to talk about this very episode but didn't get the giddy response he had expected.

I go back to the garbage I have written before and recycle my opinion that 'Millennium' is a 'Rorschach Test', it is the psychological ink-blot that unveils our desires, interests and evocations. I am a firm supporter of those who see no measure in this particular story but it does reach out to those of us immersed in the 'wonderful' and, again, I can wholly appreciate the whole frown-and-groan response that this episode garners as it pitches it's tent in an oddly spiritual campsite. It isn't a coffee to dip your cookies in easily, it is a warm drink more desirous of communion wafers but prattle aside this episode takes a basic, supported, truth and makes it decorative and takes a Carpenters song and makes it the icing to cover the visceral marzipan.

My whole love of what 1013 did was this imaginative marriage of twee and terrible, they took your favorite last-dance, the daft song on the radio and made it the soundtrack of the grotesque and the horrific.

Back to basics, this episode takes a truth, that animals perceive and act upon sensitivities we cannot penetrate, and uses it to introduce us to one of the finest characters in the 'Millennium' roll-call. I truly believe, after much viewing, that the 'Old Man' was more than a symbolic monarch of the group but a spiritual harmoniser who balanced the yin and yang and tempered the subtle relationship between chaos and order. He affirmed that the dogs were not his own and yet had some command, some placating ability with regards to this affect and I have maintained for some time that his was his deletion form the Group that signaled the final descent into the visceral horrors, and necromancy, of Season Three and beyond. Of course all of this may be nosegays but Frank undergoes a transformation, as does Lara, simply by enjoying the resonance of the Old Man's presence, if you recall Lara asserts that their abilities have gained strength simply by their proximity to the Old Man which allows me a comforting excuse to conclude that the dogs also shared this locus of exposure.

In 'Beware Of The Dog' it is alluded to that the dogs are being influenced by a developing 'evil', a phalanx of negativity that has begun to effect the sensitive balance of animal perception. Despite the fact that this imbalance is made manifest by the animals bloodlust the Old Man appears, grossly, to achieve some degree immunity from their bestial attacks. On a more speculative level I would argue that this is about him possessing an ability to temper evil that has a specific locus of operation, namely that those in his vicinity are affected by whatever power he possesses. One of the more startling assertions made by Lara Means is that both she and Frank have developed the ability to sense 'evil' through direct exposure to the Old Man, a conclusion that Frank does not condemn, it is suggested that their abilities have become heightened, their senses honed simply by entering his presence in much the same way the dogs were effected. Whatever you conclude from such vagaries it is worth considering from observation that not only does he possess a working knowledge of rune-lore, astrology, hermeticism and occult fraternities but he frequently discusses the initiation undergone by Millennium candidates as affording them enlightenment and allowing them to perceive in a new and more expansive way. In a throw away line in 'Roosters' he confirms, despite his lamentation at the formation of the factions, that he is in fact a Rooster and subscribes to the notion of Christian Eschatology, he also confirms to Lara that he has the ability to perceive the dead and latter events confirm his ability to perceive angelic beings.

Whether it be cherry-pie, odd locals, rampaging mutts or monolithic remnants of deceased members this episode was the Olympic-torch that signified a thorough descent into the cerebral and the considered. I do not detract what came before or after and love each season, and story, as passionately as this but it was an adrenaline-injection of-spirit that made me realise that Millennium was entering something of a deeply challenging era.

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