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The Innocents/Exegesis

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Guest Jim McLean

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Many thanks Zeus for responding in a staggeringly considered manner to my point and I ask your forgiveness in not addressing the points you raise just yet as I wish, first, to respond to Loredo. I would hate you to think I had in anyway overlooked your response but simply would like to return to it when I have more time to give it the reply it merits.

Laredo.

My apologies for discussing this story in the wider context of the entire series, I was unaware you have not completed it, and hope I have not spoiled anything upcoming for you but the main point I wished to raise does not rely on a completed viewing of the season as everything I am about to assert is contained in totality in the openening two parter of the season. My grievance does not lie in this season's desire to add realism to its narrative nor do I have any contention with the depiction of the pandemic my disquietude lies with the denouement of the episode, the reason we are given for the Margurb outbreak. This two parter asserts that Marburg was a bioweapon unleashed by the group in order to execute a handful of remote viewers who's psychic ability was so profound that they threatened the taciturn operations of the Millennium Group. When it seems apparent that this was an unmitigated disaster and these women have escaped decimation the group resort to much simpler, more effective methods of culling such as guns and bombs. I have never accepted that the Millennium Group would utilise such a profoundly inept plan, unleashing a world wide pandemic they could neither control, predict or effectively protect themselves against in order to kill a dozen clairvoyants. It would be much more reasoned to simply shoot them as they do with virtually anyone else who threatens them throughout the remainder of the season. Whether you accept that the group was responsible for Marburg or not the events at the conclusion of season two depict them as ill prepared to counter its effects, leaving members of their own families vulnerable to the contagion and whilst the Group may suffer from numerous delusions and peculiarities it is not composed of the obtuse and the doltish. It would simply never have unleashed an uncontrollable plague upon the populace in frenzied hope that it would happen to infect a few soothsayers whilst it could potentially decimate half the planet and kill members of the group in the process, simply absurd.

Edited by ethsnafu
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Guest Laurent.

Of course Season Two transformed the group and added a dark, nebulous side to it. But I also think that Season Three made it clearer that the Group was evil, at least from Frank point of view.

Zeus is right that the most dramatic changes to the basic idea of the Millennium group was altered when M&W took the wheel... yet the fog surrounding the actions of the group in season 2 made it impossible to tell what their motivations were at the time. Maybe the end would have justified the means. Season three on the other hand gave them a pretty clear agenda. It's all a question of how Frank perceives the group. When being a part of it, he was open to justifications, excuses and apologies... Frank himself tried to explain their actions to Catherine. Once he got out, blaming them for his wife's death, he began to judge the group for what they were doing with less regard to their intents.

The main difference in Season Two is that Frank, as far as I remember, is not aware of the Group's crimes. So that's why there is more discussion about the reasons behind the group's actions, because Frank is willing to listen. At the same time it helps Millennium's cult propaganda get in the minds of the viewers.

I'm sorry for the lack of structure :doh: , coherence :fool: and intelligence :death: in my post... I should go back to sleep. The final point is: from the beginning of season two, the group has lied and murdered on numerous repetitions. So, were they already "evil" in season two? Depends on whether you trust Mr. Lott or not.....

MR LOTT: Our responsibility, and remember that word it will come up again, our responsibility is to the life of the whole of mankind. And so we must proceed in a manner that increases the odds of that survival. Sounds like a paradox; but it is the very nature of our responsibility. If one life appears to interfere with our protection of billions of lives... it really becomes a no-brainer.
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Guest ZeusFaber
the fog surrounding the actions of the group in season 2 made it impossible to tell what their motivations were at the time. Maybe the end would have justified the means. Season three on the other hand gave them a pretty clear agenda.

I think Season 3 has its own levels of ambiguity surrounding the Millennium Group. It's not as if it suddenly became black and white. Look at "The Sound of Snow", where the tape they send Frank actually turns out to be a gift, restoring his memory and faith in Catherine, rather than something harmful. Look at "Bardo Thodol", where even Frank comments that he needs to "set aside [his] prejudice" and that "no one's beyond redemption".

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Guest Laurent.

But you must admit that Season 3 showed the conspicuous evil within the Millennium Group more directly than the show ever did. Look at episodes like Skulls and Bones and Collateral Dommage... Of course some questions remain concerning their motives but in my mind testing biological warfare on American soldiers is far more questionable than the execution of Odessa's members.

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Guest ZeusFaber

Yes, Season 3 escalated things, but it was built on a foundation that was already very much present. Like I said, a baton was thrust into its hand and they thus had to run with it.

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Guest Laurent.

I can see your point and I must agree with you. But I'm not sure that there was no way at all to take make a u-turn. Season 2 was just so vague about the group's intentions; Peter Watts and the Group could have been right. Maybe their actions, as despicable as they were, could have been justified if, in the end, it saved us all.

I guess it just wasn't a decision the writers wanted to take. I'm pretty sure that, in Chris Carter mind, the show was not about apocalypse, but more about the madness and evil that fear and extreme religious beliefs could bring. So if they wanted to get out of the religious "angels vs demons" apocalyptic feel of season two, well there really was no choice. Because their is no way to justify their season two actions without giving some credibility to their beliefs.

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Guest Jim McLean

Ethsnafu: No, nothing has been ruined as my eyes are pretty skilled at spotted spoilers and avoiding them. And if you lurk in a season forum you've not fully seen, you take that risk on yourself. Nothing was spoiled, and I wouldn't have blamed you for writing with foreknowledge in season forum. Though naturally, I do appreciate any attempts to avoid throwing any spoilers my way! ;)

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Guest MillenniumIsBliss
I can see your point and I must agree with you. But I'm not sure that there was no way at all to take make a u-turn. Season 2 was just so vague about the group's intentions; Peter Watts and the Group could have been right. Maybe their actions, as despicable as they were, could have been justified if, in the end, it saved us all.

I guess it just wasn't a decision the writers wanted to take. I'm pretty sure that, in Chris Carter mind, the show was not about apocalypse, but more about the madness and evil that fear and extreme religious beliefs could bring. So if they wanted to get out of the religious "angels vs demons" apocalyptic feel of season two, well there really was no choice. Because their is no way to justify their season two actions without giving some credibility to their beliefs.

I agree, I think season 3 really expanded on this more sinister depiction of the group, but I don't consider that a fault of season 3. I had no problem with where they went when CC got back in the drivers seat. However, I don't think season two made it impossible to make a "U-turn" as you say. I agree that everything was still very vague in season two. I think we see a lot of division in the group, and a lot of inner turmoil. Within the group we see the Old Man, who, to put it simply, is more or less a "good guy" with good intentions. We see Peter, who seems to be caught in the middle, and just starting to figure out what the group is about. Then, we see the candidates, Frank and Lara, trying to figure out how they fit into the equation. However, when we hear about these members of the group who are actually trying to bring about the end, we only see shady and ambiguous characters and we aren't really made aware of their numbers within the group. I still think that they could have made Peter Watts more of a good guy in season 3 and gone in a different direction with the group in general..... if they wanted to. At no point are we led to believe that there is a single agenda or way of thinking within the group. Instead, it is made clear that there are a great many different points of view and beliefs. This is most obvious in the division of the group into Owls and Roosters. I still think they could have turned it into a Millennium group "good guys" vs. Millennium group "bad guys" scenario and had the good guys win.... again, if they wanted to. Having said all that, I was very happy with S3 overall and glad they squeezed at least one more season out of the show.

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I suppose this topic could come dangerously close to becomming a somewhat torturous exposition on the virtues of season vs season but this is my last intention. In charting the metamorphosis of the group my interest lies purely in the fictitious vignette of the Group's history and not in the less engaging politics of editorial direction.

Whilst Marburg is erroneously sited as the moment the cthonic element of the Group became apparent there are clear assertions in 'The Time Is Now' that the original denouement for the Marburg mythos was of a naturally occurring pandemic, with the theatre lying not in who unleashed the pandemic but in the Group's unavoidable need to ration their antiviral serum. It was the third season that reinvisaged the virus as a bioweapon, a foolhardy plot to eradicate a small number of clairvoyants but I concur that this change was necessary to give ilustration to the now sanguinary incarnation of the Group, one which would casually risk it's own and much of the populace in a pointless murder attempt devoid of logic.

To be true, my antagonism has never fallen upon the notion of a sinister Millennium Group and I admit that Season Two did much to infer that the Group had a sinister element but much of this was only espoused in 'Owls' And 'Roosters' and clarification was given that this sinister element was composed of Odessa operatives who had infiltrated the Owls. I agree that Season Two presented the group as arcane, unfathomable and somewhat deluded but it did not depict it as overtly malign and much is given that flatly contradicts this assertion. Watt's personal pursuit of those who slaughtered the Old Man is far from evidence that Group applauded a mandate of execution: the truth is that Millennium pursued Odessa lawfully, it is a vast leap in logic to suggest that one man's actions illustrate, even give confirmation to, a ritualised praxis of execution. The Group in Season Two is essentially pacifist displaying nothing more than a propensity to an unorthodox philosophy, a depiction that makes it more mysterious than evil and where it does display a dubiousness it does so only in its philosophy not by any display of murderous acitivity. Consider that Season Two imbued the group with a high concept and concentrated far less on the flesh and sinew depicted in the first season and yet we find ourselves in a situation where the outright visceral nature of the group in Season Three is alleged to have found its conception in the mysticism of Season Two?

Season Three depicts a group awash with execution, biological warfare, charnel houses, violence, child abduction et. al. and cannot claim it's origin in the sectarians of Season Two. When Hollis vomits before a human abbatoir, one which finds echoes in the set pieces of 'A Texas Chainsaw Massacre' I denounce that that vision is anything like a natural evolution from the group Morgan and Wong depicted.

I also disagree that the 'Sound Of Snow' is evidence of the Group's fleeting benevolence, to assume this one must be certain that the Group could be sure that the tape would have a positive effect upon Frank. Since the tape inspired a subjective and unpredictable response in its listeners the Group could not have known that Frank would find any solace in it's actions and since everyone they had sent the tape to previously died you can be sure this wasn't their intention.

Season Two depicted a sinister group only in it's theological aspects, a sect that pursued an unconventional obsession with eschatology. It was inconceivable during Season Two that Group would be filling pits with corpses, reminiscent of the horror of Belsin, or debriding flesh from bone in filth strewn horror houses.

Edited by ethsnafu
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Guest ZeusFaber
Watt's personal pursuit of those who slaughtered the Old Man is far from evidence that Group applauded a mandate of execution: the truth is that Millennium pursued Odessa lawfully, it is a vast leap in logic to suggest that one man's actions illustrate, even give confirmation to, a ritualised praxis of execution.

But Watts did not act alone in this. We saw several others from the Group involved in the operation. How their execution and immolation of both Gunsche and Rudolph Axmann -- in the dead of night disguised with balaclavas -- can be considered lawful, is unfathomable to me.

The Group in Season Two is essentially pacifist displaying nothing more than a propensity to an unorthodox philosophy

While I agree with what you say about how what we see of the Group in such episodes as "Skull and Bones" is on another level and extended to much greater excess, there is no way I could ever see the Group as "pacifists" in Season 2. How then do you reconcile the murder of Richard Gilbert?

I also disagree that the 'Sound Of Snow' is evidence of the Group's fleeting benevolence, to assume this one must be certain that the Group could be sure that the tape would have a positive effect upon Frank. Since the tape inspired a subjective and unpredictable response in its listeners the Group could not have known that Frank would find any solace in it's actions and since everyone they had sent the tape to previously died you can be sure this wasn't their intention.

But that wasn't the case. Only two out of everyone on the long lists ended up dead.

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