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Millennium's Entire Story Arc Broken Down


Guest NormanCroucher

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Guest NormanCroucher

Hello all,

First this is a long read, and I hope those of you dedicated Millennium followers will take the time to read my timeline of events. This is merely an attempt to make all three seasons cohere without diminishing either season, acknowledging all events as being significant. I'll start at the beginning....

The Millennium Group has been around for centuries, in different incarnations but always with the same principles and beliefs - that the dawning of the year 2000 will bring around apocalyptic change. Somewhere along the way they became segregated by the contrasting concepts of theology and science. They divided into two group but still part of the same cult entity; the Owls (who believed in a secular Millennium event that would occur sometime after the year 2000, grounded in scientific fact) and the Roosters (who stayed loyal to the original belief that 2000 was the moment Armageddon would be unleashed.) Either way all the serial killers and violent crimes were stepping stones in the build-up to this end.

Over the course of the twentieth century they found a new direction in the realm of law enforcement, eventually forming into a consulting firm spearheaded through FBI channels and given unlimited access to the investigations into the evolution in violent societal crime. Their recruitment process turned to that of ex-law enforcement (cops, agents, profilers, forensic psychologists, doctors etc) as they were men and women who had come face to face with the growing evil in the world, their multitude of skills benefiting the cause of the Millennium Group no end. Frank Black was one such candidate, unknowingly mentored by Group Sponsor Peter Watts. His ability, or gift, was of such heightened intuition and instinctive deduction that he was the most important candidate the group had ever sought after.

Since the beginning of time, long before the Millennium Group ever existed, there was a primal force, so evil that it could corrupt the hearts and minds of any man, woman or child. It was known as Legion, the right arm of perhaps the Devil himself. Legion’s mission was to corrupt the innocent, blacken the souls of the selfish and wicked, create monsters to help build an army of sinners and irredeemable murderers come the day of reckoning. The Millennium group could never put a name to the evil, or even know for sure there was an omnipotent force fighting against their will. Frank came face to face with it in many forms throughout the show. The most affecting of all was Lucy Butler, either a disciple of Legion or a personification of it entirely. She/It became enamoured by Frank’s gift, determined to draw him over to its side. It attempted this many times during the course of the Millennium stories. First it asked him directly with “The Judge,” when it declared its name through a corrupted soul who believed he was bringing about justice to the world through his actions of punishment. Then it manifested itself as a possessed lawyer named Alistair Pepper, offering Frank a bite from the apple in the form of sanctuary (his family would be safe), only Frank refused. Legion continued to toy with Frank over time, evidently seen as ghosts returning to haunt him in “The Curse of Frank Black,” “Siren,” and “Seven and One” to name but a few. But his inherent goodness personified by the Yellow House of Hope, and the honest love from his wife and child kept him grounded. Legion’s grip on mankind extended from its birth in children (see Monster), the hearts of men (most of the serial killer episodes) Religious sects (Forcing the End, Force Majeure, Odessa in Owls/Roosters), among others. It can be argued that there are angels placed throughout the show, the young man in “Powers Principalities, Thrones and Dominions,” possibly a fallen, corrupted angel in “Goodbye Charlie,” the Time Keeper in "Borrowed Time," The Siren from the episode of the same name, even Jordan herself, all with the capacity to inflict change, for the better, or if corrupted by Legion, much, much worse.

However, the Millennium group’s division opened up a new opportunity for Legion. Through the Owls and Roosters segregation, one of the members was corrupted and exiled. He became obsessed by potential candidate Frank Black, because Legion now had hold of him, just like it did with many of the other killers throughout the series. He became The Polaroid Man (The Beginning and The End), taunting Frank with photos of his family from the word go, preying upon a past fear of one of the killers he brought to justice but never forgot. The Polaroid Man became the instrument of Legion, inspiring the serial killer in “Paper Dove” to continue his killing spree, as I am sure he did with many of the others. Then when he took Catherine, it triggered something in Frank, the dark side Legion was hoping to bring out in him. It knew Frank would be overcome by hate and ultimately kill The Polaroid Man, bringing him one step closer to turning himself over to its ways. Of course, it underestimated Frank’s will, but through this violent act of vengeance it drove a wedge between him and his wife leaving him completely susceptible to the Millennium group’s influence. With no constant reassurance of family nor of hope in the house definitively tarnished by Legion’s murder of Bob Bletcher, the Group finally decided it was time to expose him to their secrets. (Beware of the Dog), the dogs arguably being animal manifestations of Legion, like the snake at the beginning of "Antipas," a more blatant symbol of evil consuming innocence, and the fact that similar dogs show up in that same episode to maul the gardener.

The serial killers and disturbed criminals were merely window dressing for what was to come. Each one of them but pawns in an overall build-up to Armageddon itself. The world would end, but piece by piece, victim by victim. When Odessa played off the Owls against the Roosters it caused a huge rift, forcing the hand of the Rooster’s to justify their beliefs once and for all. The Marbug virus had been kept after its brief outbreak years ago for study, the Roosters believing it to be one of the plagues to come. Upon realising they were losing their ground to the Owls, the Roosters released the Marbug virus in an effort to convince the others that the Millennium apocalypse was upon them (The 4th Horseman/The Time is Now). Now that The Old Man was gone, there was no elder left to teach them the error of this huge miscalculation. Through doing this the Millennium Group opened up its doors to allow Legion completely inside. It had manipulated them for years, making them kill for what they thought to be right (see Skull and Bones), Cheryl Andrews' fate determined due to her betrayal of the group. Her presence in Germany was ultimately to expose Millennium after her suspisions became hard fact during an autopsy of one of their victims. She most likely believed Frank to be just as involved as Peter in the group's activities, perhaps suspecting they were both there to stop her. She just picked the wrong people to side with. After her arrest, she was unexpectedly released and deported, but only at the Group's behest in order to ensnare her in a death trap at the airport later, silencing her forever.

After the later outbreak was contained and the Group felt they had made their point, Legion began its process of slowly corrupting and turning them into an extremist cult with no chance for redemption so by the time Frank returned to the FBI they had already been consumed entirely. Their corruption is symbolised by the Millennium Assassin, who is a direct manifestation of Legion itself (hence the Gehenna character association, he too was a disciple of Legion). Like every organisation given too much power Millennium had become a dangerous and controlling entity, incapable of seeing past their own self-absorbed ideas and propaganda. Peter Watts became a slave to not only his beliefs but also his once honourable colleagues who were now his masters. But his friendship and respect toward Frank was still strong, and as much as he feared Millennium's wrath he still was a good man at heart, misguided though he may have been. It was his choice to save Frank in the end (Goodbye to all that). The tragedy was Frank, in all his insight and wisdom, never realised that Peter was perhaps his greatest ally, regardless of their opposing sides. Proof of this relationship's integrity can be connected by two back-to-back episodes, in "Collateral Damage," Frank puts his anmosity toward Peter and the group aside in order to help him find his daughter and in the next episode, "The Sound of Snow," Frank claimed that the Millennium Group sent the tape to him with the white noise on after Alice (another possible angel) had made it and through doing so gave his wife back to him. I think it was more likely Peter's way of returning the favour and giving Frank a real chance to make peace with her unnatural end. This of course is pure speculation on my part but makes perfect narrative sense and coheres to the emotional character histories between the two men.

Frank’s knowledge of evil became so great his ability evolved into something beyond intuition, beyond a mere gift of perception. His daughter had too inherited this affliction. Legion was also interested in Jordan, and how much it could continue toying with Frank’s life (Saturn Dreaming of Mercury). Lucy Butler in a sense became Frank’s unseen nemesis throughout the series, manifested as a supernatural entity, or coursing through the soul of a serial murderer. Whichever of the two incarnations Butler/Legion/Evil came in, Frank dealt with it on a regular basis. She could influence killers (Lamentation), break the spirits of the potential great men of the future (A Room with No View), and haunt Frank's life whenever she choosed to, (Saturn Dreaming of Mercury, Seven and One). Such a strong presence of evil was she, that Frank could sense her (see again Room with No View, and arguably his intuitive feeling at the beginning of Seven and One when the clock strikes).

Millennium’s quest to avoid the apocalypse had been twisted into causing it, although Peter did reveal their exploration into the science of brain activity, and how they could quite possibly alter a person’s state of mind completely (Goodbye to all that). Could this dangerous experiment really stop a man from committing murder? Or cure an incurable brain disease? Or as Lara Means was once promised, rid her of her visions? Could it have cured Frank and Jordan‘s inherited ability? In the end it didn’t matter because the group had become so removed from their original mission that this research had already begun to churn out experimental defects for the purposes of evil (the killer in Via Dolorosa). Perhaps this was part of their continuing attempts at creating chaos to suit their own ends. If they could prove to themselves that the apocalypse was imminent then maybe they could control the chaos, and stop it by manipulating the events themselves. The tragedy was that this had been Legion’s plan from the very beginning, to take over the Group and destroy it from within, knowing that they would ironically become the cause of the apocalyptic cataclysm they had spent centuries fighting to prevent.

Frank escaped in time, with his daughter Jordan, and into an uncertain future. Did Watts really die? Did he find redemption and a second chance at the last minute? Emma Hollis took The Group’s/Legion’s offer, and her bite of the forbidden fruit. She made a deal with the Devil, and now the Group owned her. Catherine’s death from infection was determined by either fate, or completely by coincidence depending on what side you fall on (Are you an Owl or Rooster?). Lara Means was driven insane by her increasingly vivid visions coupled with the knowledge of Millennium's deepest secrets (her insanity being the plausible side effect of her having been brainwashed by the group). Bletcher was killed to taint Frank’s belief that there is hope for the future (symbolised by the house), while other assorted characters met their respective fates throughout the course of this epic struggle, Barry Baldwin, The Old Man, Cheryl Andrews, Catherine, etc.

This dissection has some holes which I would love for someone to point out to see if I can fill them in, but I like to think this untangles some of those nagging questions I have had whilst watching this quite superb, but creatively muddled show. I tried to link together the pieces without forcing an explanation and staying true to the respective visions or Chris Carter and Morgan & Wong. To me, each season was its own breed of show, but each one can be connected by Legion, the Millennium Group’s history and decline into the dark abyss, and Frank’s gift being at the centre of the hurricane. Love to hear any thoughts on this.

Edited by NormanCroucher
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What a brilliant post! Thanks, NC!

Dear Norman, My sincere and heartfelt apologies for missing this post. The old souls who have been here a while log on to a sea of posts and personal messages and bang away frantically at their key

got to agree great post seeya later

Dear Norman,

My sincere and heartfelt apologies for missing this post. The old souls who have been here a while log on to a sea of posts and personal messages and bang away frantically at their keyboards to catch up with all that is Millenniumistic and occasionally such brilliance as this goes unnoticed.

Your post is simply amazing, a truly considered, concise and reasonable appreciation of the massive arc that is our story and whilst you claim it is full of holes I see nothing but one of the most exploratory and erudite posts I have ever read. Bugger me, as we say in England, I wish this had been 'my' first post which was full of silliness and inaccuracies but my hope is that you will stay with us and contribute much more of this excellence to all things 'Millennium'.

This is a welcoming and supportive group of souls who encourage and happily welcome every single typed letter that contributes to this community and it is my pleasure to welcome you to it. Explore, delve and play with board for a while and you will find much to enjoy.

On a final note, that was a truly stellar post that needs no assignation and it is my hope that you will be with us for a long time.

After all, This Is Who We Are!

Best wishes,

Eth

Edited by ethsnafu
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I've read many excellent articles/reviews/whatnot on the board here in my time, but this has to rank amongst the very best. I admire how you've told the story by picking up elements across all three seasons, and have brought out the essence of the whole show. I'm not a fan of the Owls/Rooster aspect, but you've put that in the context of the MM story so well that I feel it makes more sense to me now than it did before.

Bravo! (And please write more articles. :notworthy: )

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Libby

"Humans need fantasy to be human. To be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape." Terry Pratchett

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Just as I said I never would, guess I love a formidable task!!

"the Roosters released the Marbug virus in an effort to convince the others that the Millennium apocalypse was upon them (The 4th Horseman/The Time is Now)"

I take issue with this statement in such an apologetic way, this whole post is majestic and I feel like something of a naysayer.

The indication in the climax of 'Season Two' is that the Millennium Group, Roosters included, are ill prepared for the possible onslaught of the Marburg Virus. Peter, a Rooster, is positively mortified by its reappearance and every indication is that Marburg is an apocalyptic occurrence the 'Group' has expected but has been unable to effectively protect themselves against. If the Roosters were the originators of this viral Armageddon it is odd that they do not have the means to protect their own family. In Peter's stark exchange with Frank he notes that the Marburg Virus was an eventuality they had anticipated, but had not engineered, an eventuality that forced him to break with Group convention and take drastic steps to protect the 'Blacks'.

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Guest NormanCroucher

Thank you for pointing out an inconsistency in my timeline, it proves there is still much to think about with this show. I have since watched it through again and can still find aspects that are great to ponder on. Like Frank Black once said, "All along I've never asked the who and the how, but why?"

In response however, I believe I can adequately plug up this hole. In reference to Peter Watts' genuine horror at what was unfolding one could see that he had become inconsistent in his behaviour as his loyalties shifted with the more questions he asked, and if I remember correctly the Group were watching him closely. Watts had proven himself a liability when he went against orders from Millennium and travelled to Germany in “The Hand of Saint Sebastian.” It is reasonable to assume he was not a knowing participant when the Roosters reached their extreme final solution as he could not be trusted.

As for the Group’s lack of conscience when it came to their families fates I believe it was Det. Gieblehouse in “The Sound of Snow,” who confirmed the disarmingly low death toll at about eighty people which suggests that the Roosters were in control the entire time, where and how the virus would be released and how they would eventually contain it. They were confident that the virus was never a real threat to them because they orchestrated its release and manipulated the course of the outbreak. They just needed enough deaths and enough panic to fulfil their own prophecy. As for the Hazmat team that enter the ‘hot zone’ at the start of “The Time is Now,” it can be argued that they were from the Owls side of the Group and were as much in the dark about the virus’ re-emergence as Peter.

The Roosters inoculated Frank and Peter in time but never really feared the Marburg outbreak because why fear what you can control? "You were right Frank, it was always about control." Millennium had men ready to pounce on Watt’s outside Lara’s cabin because their number one priority was not stopping the virus spreading but protecting their investment in Watts and to tell him the truth of the situation now that their power had been exorcised. There was no threat beyond an elaborate, and frankly insane plan to justify their beliefs, which explains Watt’s conversion back to the Millennium Group come “Exgesis,” in season 3. He finally concieded and understood that it was a mass sacrifice for the greater good. Perhaps Lara was told of this too? Could that explain why she possessed the antidote that eventually saved Jordan's life? Is that part of the huge revelations she was exposed to upon her induction? In the timeline of "The Sound of Snow," it was pretty much the next day that the virus was contained after Catherine's death. Two or three days of panic, death and fear was all that was needed for Millennium to finally unify their divided ranks once and for all. No more Owls, and no more Roosters, just the Group as a single, collective entity - just like Legion needed it to be for what was to come next.

The irony ultimately was that neither side of the Group really got it right. It was the slow deconstruction and corruption of mankind that was the real apocalypse in Millennium that not even they were immune to. Frank had seen this, and perhaps Peter, by the time we reached "Goodbye to all that," realised this too:

"We are racing to an apocalypse of our own making." I don't disagree with him either.

I hope that made sense and provides a bandage on my above post. Thanks for reading :-)

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An interesting exposition. :clapping:

Firstly, wether 'Gieblehouse' stated that the death toll was relatively low or not it does not support your assertion that the 'Roosters' were therefore in control of the pathogen, as a Medic I can assure you that a pathogen is without control, a randomly maturing spread of pathogenesis is biologically determined and without artistic jurisdiction. Pathogens dance to no one's tune and therefore you can not manipulate the, as you state, "course of the outbreak."

You also fail to give any credence to the explanation given for the Marburg pandemic in the narrative. Marburg was, as Season Three confusingly reasoned, not unleashed to support either schism's eschatological beliefs but to act as a tool of assassination with regards to remote viewers who had the possibility to penetrate Millennium's secrets. When you invoke the line "..You were right Frank, it was always about control.." you are using it out of context this was with regards to the 'Groups' efforts to defend their own secrecy rather than their attempts to support one factions Apocalyptic belief system.

My second 'issue' lies in your deduction that the assailants interrupted Lara's rapture because their intention was to 'protect their investment in Watts', this seems an incongruent statement as they attempted to assassinate him which would render this statement paradoxical. They attempted to prevents Lara's initiation as Peter, in an act of rebellion, chose to initiate her without the considered consent of the 'Group' and without the necessary post-initiatory guidance. It is also misleading to assume that Lara was exposed to any form of profundity upon her initiation as her supernal disposition was evident before her initiation. Blatantly so.

As for my assertion that the Roosters were not responsible for Marburg my conjecture lies not in theorems or personal beliefs but in the science that is actually depicted. The Roosters state that whilst they are aware of Marburg they have not the necessary genetic material to engender the sufficient amount of vaccine to protect their families and I ask you to consider that it was not simply Peter who's family was haunted by this spectre but the family of every single member of the 'Millennium Group'. In order to engineer the necessary cellular magic that would modify a prion to this degree the Group would have to be in possession of enough samples of Marburg and would therefore be able to counteract the threat and I cannot accept that the whole of the 'Group', not just Peter, would sacrifice, potentially, the populace and their loved ones to simply prove a point.

I must thank you for an enjoyable post, it is a sheer unadulterated pleasure of a read!

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Guest NormanCroucher

It is true that it would be impossible to 'control' a viral outbreak, but in terms of season three when Frank states that he believed the Group released the Marburg intentionally and that they were the brains behind a mass murder it directly contradicts season two's finale. I know there are many such inconsistencies throughout but the only way I could make sense of the events of season two's finale and making them cohere to Frank's ultimate stance at the start of season three was by conceding that the Millennium Group did indeed release the virus. Perhaps the Group was so devout in their beliefs that they were willing to risk sacrificing not just innocent civilians but their own families if needs be, such was the gravity of the events to come. In the end it always came down to the Group's survival which outweighed anything else, even the lives of the ones they loved. This is the ideology of a cult and matches up with what we learned about Millennium in season two.

I don't believe the virus was intended at all for the remote viewers, especially since Millennium's dispatching of them through bomb, car collision and bullets later on was more precise, effective and less likely to kill other innocents. A global virus would be a little excessive just to take out a small community of psychics in Washington. But I did find the implication that the Mother figure of the women seemed to have remote viewed the Millennium Group's plans for the outbreak and prepared accordingly before it happened. Their termination seems to have been because they could project themselves into Millennium's deepest, darkest secrets and that could not happen.

And what I meant when mentioning Gieblehouse's confirmation of the death toll was merely to highlight the fact that the outbreak was contained before it really got started, which leads me to believe the Millennium Group chose to release it in very specific, easily containable areas so it would not extend its reach into apocalyptic casualty figures. The quote from Watts was again to simply highlight an idea; his acknowledgement of the Millennium group's need to manipulate events, which again makes sense for my timeline. They were all about control, and if they could control the chaos by causing it, then they believed they could ultimately prevent it. Twisted logic on their part but still a form of logic one could argue.

Whether or not the Millennium men outside of Lara's cabin were there to watch over her or simply there to kill Watts is irrelevant because the writers of season three chose to discard the idea that Watts may have been either killed (the gunshots) or that he escaped (the car screeching away). But lo and behold in "Exgesis," he is there back on side with them again without explanation for as to why that is. My feelings are that upon this altercation outside the cabin the Millennium men's intentions toward Peter were to take him back to a 'safe-house' of some kind where they could talk him through what was happening and why it had to be this way. If they were simply planning to kill him why would he be back working for them in season three? Remember, although the seasons clearly contradict one another I want to make sense of these contradictions as clearly and logically as possible without diminishing the impact of either season. It's funny you mention Watts initiating Lara outside of the Group's knowledge or approval because I always assumed it was a Group decision to allow her into the inner circle. I assumed the men hunting with guns in the woods were following Frank and trying to stop him from interceding in the ceremony. Either way, whether Watts was inducting her on behalf of the Group, or off of his own prerogative, the effect is still the same - she goes bonkers because the secrets are too much to carry on her already burdened shoulders. She goes insane and that's all we really need to know. Yes, she had extraordinary visions before but it was only after her induction ceremony she went completely nuts and bolts (I've always liked the idea that Millennium, as with all cults, brainwash their candidates to some degree upon initiation with all their apocalyptic, religious, and prophetic secrets and predictions).

Sorry if I missed any of your points that you brought up but my mind is doing somersaults trying to untangle everything, and I promise to post new updates of my theories on events instead of editing the main article. :-)

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