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My problem with Season 3

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Guest pugmom

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Guest pugmom

Hi all, this is my first post, and I am sorry if someone has already posted on this topic!

When Season 3 first aired, I was on the edge of my seat, waiting for the follow up to what I thought was a jaw-dropping season 2 finale... and then season 2 was just swept under the rug for the most part. I understand that Chris Carter didn't like where Morgan and Wong took the show in season 2, but season 3 just had no flow with season 2. I initially didn't care for Emma either, and I really missed the conflict that Frank Black had in the first two seasons between his love for his family and his calling. That being said, I recently went back and watched season 3 again, and it wasn't as lackluster as I remembered from when it first aired. There were some great episodes, but in my opinion, it lacked much of the spirit that it had in the first two seasons.

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Guest Blueboy

A few good performances, a couple of good shows, but I stick to it, as I have since it first aired...SEASON 3 SUCKED!

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Guest RodimusBen
Hi all, this is my first post, and I am sorry if someone has already posted on this topic!

When Season 3 first aired, I was on the edge of my seat, waiting for the follow up to what I thought was a jaw-dropping season 2 finale... and then season 2 was just swept under the rug for the most part. I understand that Chris Carter didn't like where Morgan and Wong took the show in season 2, but season 3 just had no flow with season 2. I initially didn't care for Emma either, and I really missed the conflict that Frank Black had in the first two seasons between his love for his family and his calling. That being said, I recently went back and watched season 3 again, and it wasn't as lackluster as I remembered from when it first aired. There were some great episodes, but in my opinion, it lacked much of the spirit that it had in the first two seasons.

Would you say it "lacked" the spirit, or perhaps that it simply had a different spirit?

After all, S2 certainly "lacked" the spirit of S1 in the sense that the violence was toned down considerably, the shows were no longer largely stand-alone SKOTW fare, etc. But I think most S2 fans would not use the word "lacking" to describe season 2 in any way, shape or form. :wink:

I will be the first to admit that S3 should have dealt with Catherine's death and the resolution of the Marburg Virus plot sooner; "The Sound of Snow" was almost halfway through the season and all we got before that was a few bread crumbs to go on. That having been said, given that Carter was trying to fashion another season out of a show that Morgan & Wong had essentially written an ending for with "The Time Is Now," I think he did the best he possibly could to make lemonade from those lemons.

I will also agree that it was hard to get used to Emma at first. Early attempts to make people care about her fell flat (the dead sister in "Closure," the junkie sister in "Human Essence"). She felt like a party-crasher and a stand-in for Catherine sometimes. I did finally start to find her interesting toward the end when they introduced her father and created the moral dilemma of the MM Group's "cure" for his Alzheimers.

About the conflict Frank has with his job and his calling, I think that is still present in S3 but has simply evolved. The focus is more on Jordan and how Frank can no longer fight the fact that she is going to be involved in the struggle of good vs. evil simply because she is his daughter but also because of her own gift. The other struggle, of course, is fighting the MM Group in a world that thinks he is crazy for mistrusting them. In the big picture, Frank wants to take the Group down; realistically he knows he can't go at them with guns blazing because he has a daughter to protect and provide for.

S3 is my favorite season for many reasons, one of which is that it gradually became a synthesis of all the best elements of S1 and S2. It furthered the MM Group and Legion mythologies albeit at a slower pace, reintroduced more serial killers, and shook up the status quo by moving Frank back to the FBI and introducing some new characters. We've lamented in other threads how S3 seemed like it was just beginning to tie a lot of threads together when it ended, and we never got to see the fruit of that effort with a Season 4.

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Guest Laurent.
S3 is my favorite season for many reasons, one of which is that it gradually became a synthesis of all the best elements of S1 and S2. It furthered the MM Group and Legion mythologies albeit at a slower pace, reintroduced more serial killers, and shook up the status quo by moving Frank back to the FBI and introducing some new characters. We've lamented in other threads how S3 seemed like it was just beginning to tie a lot of threads together when it ended, and we never got to see the fruit of that effort with a Season 4.

Exactly! I think that the last third (or maybe even half) of season three is the best run in the entire series! It's as good as season 1 when it was at its peak, but with more diverse episodes.

I would have absolutely loved to see a season 4, because I think that Chip Johannessen had really found the tone he wanted for the series by the end of season 3.

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Guest pugmom
Would you say it "lacked" the spirit, or perhaps that it simply had a different spirit?

After all, S2 certainly "lacked" the spirit of S1 in the sense that the violence was toned down considerably, the shows were no longer largely stand-alone SKOTW fare, etc. But I think most S2 fans would not use the word "lacking" to describe season 2 in any way, shape or form. :wink:

I will be the first to admit that S3 should have dealt with Catherine's death and the resolution of the Marburg Virus plot sooner; "The Sound of Snow" was almost halfway through the season and all we got before that was a few bread crumbs to go on. That having been said, given that Carter was trying to fashion another season out of a show that Morgan & Wong had essentially written an ending for with "The Time Is Now," I think he did the best he possibly could to make lemonade from those lemons.

I will also agree that it was hard to get used to Emma at first. Early attempts to make people care about her fell flat (the dead sister in "Closure," the junkie sister in "Human Essence"). She felt like a party-crasher and a stand-in for Catherine sometimes. I did finally start to find her interesting toward the end when they introduced her father and created the moral dilemma of the MM Group's "cure" for his Alzheimers.

About the conflict Frank has with his job and his calling, I think that is still present in S3 but has simply evolved. The focus is more on Jordan and how Frank can no longer fight the fact that she is going to be involved in the struggle of good vs. evil simply because she is his daughter but also because of her own gift. The other struggle, of course, is fighting the MM Group in a world that thinks he is crazy for mistrusting them. In the big picture, Frank wants to take the Group down; realistically he knows he can't go at them with guns blazing because he has a daughter to protect and provide for.

S3 is my favorite season for many reasons, one of which is that it gradually became a synthesis of all the best elements of S1 and S2. It furthered the MM Group and Legion mythologies albeit at a slower pace, reintroduced more serial killers, and shook up the status quo by moving Frank back to the FBI and introducing some new characters. We've lamented in other threads how S3 seemed like it was just beginning to tie a lot of threads together when it ended, and we never got to see the fruit of that effort with a Season 4.

Well, some episodes in Season 3 certainly had spirit, albeit a different spirit than the first two seasons, but I think that the absence of Catherine and the addition of Emma slowed things down way too much for me. I don't think that I can ever say that Season 3 was my favorite, but certainly after I watched it again on DVD, I gained a new appreciation for it. I just think that they took too long to wrap up the story that Morgan & Wong created, and I think that Chris Carter could have made a smoother transition than he did between season 2 and season 3.

I find it so interesting that this show has such avid fans, we all love this show so much, yet we all have our different favorites! I really wish that it would have gone on for a few more seasons - the network really didn't give this show a chance, and I would have loved to have seen where season 4 would have led us.

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Guest RodimusBen
Well, some episodes in Season 3 certainly had spirit, albeit a different spirit than the first two seasons, but I think that the absence of Catherine and the addition of Emma slowed things down way too much for me.

I know I might catch hell for saying it but I actually liked the series better without Catherine. They never really seemed to know what to do with her. Not that Emma was any better, but at least she was being set up to have an interesting arc by the end of S3.

I don't think that I can ever say that Season 3 was my favorite, but certainly after I watched it again on DVD, I gained a new appreciation for it. I just think that they took too long to wrap up the story that Morgan & Wong created, and I think that Chris Carter could have made a smoother transition than he did between season 2 and season 3.

I'll certainly grant you both of those points.

I find it so interesting that this show has such avid fans, we all love this show so much, yet we all have our different favorites! I really wish that it would have gone on for a few more seasons - the network really didn't give this show a chance, and I would have loved to have seen where season 4 would have led us.

I think the show could have successfully wrapped up with one more season to tie together the mythology and witness the passing of the millennium... but if wishes were horses...

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Guest pugmom

I know I might catch hell for saying it but I actually liked the series better without Catherine. They never really seemed to know what to do with her. Not that Emma was any better, but at least she was being set up to have an interesting arc by the end of S3.

It's funny that you say that, because when I was watching Millennium as it aired, I was so annoyed with Catherine (most of the time) yet once her character was gone, I really felt that her absence affected the show. Her presence at least made sense, while Emma's character never gave much to the show. As I re-watch the series on DVD, I really have an appreciation for Catherine and what her character did for the series, but Emma still strikes me as an uninteresting character.

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Guest Watts

As I've said before, I watched season 3 when it was first airing and after the 3rd episode I quit watching the show. I was so disappointed with the fact that Frank went back to the FBI, his mother and father-in-law hated him, the introduction of the new partner, Peter Watts being evil. It was just too much for me.

It took me 9 years to finally watch season 3 again. I put off buying that season for years because of the bad taste it left in my mouth. After watching season 3 in its entirety, I still wasn't impressed. I liked most of season 1, about half of season 2 and then maybe 2 episodes of season 3. Don't get me wrong, they are all worth watching, every single episode of this fantastic series. Even the "bad" episodes are far better than most drivel that's on T.V. today but all-in-all it seemed the series slowly degraded in an aimless fashion until the plug was pulled.

Ahh, what season 4 could have been...

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Guest ZeusFaber
As I've said before, I watched season 3 when it was first airing and after the 3rd episode I quit watching the show. I was so disappointed with the fact that Frank went back to the FBI, his mother and father-in-law hated him, the introduction of the new partner, Peter Watts being evil. It was just too much for me.

I completely disagree. The change in Peter Watts' character really happened in S2, so S3 had no choice but to follow through with that unless it was going to completely reset and reboot everything, which I think people would have found far more jarring. Even so, Peter was never "evil", and it makes me bristle every time people use that word to dismiss him. In S1 he was an ally of Frank and a good and honest man. In S2 and S3 he was conflicted, but never "evil".

As for Frank's in-laws having issues with him, that's perfectly logical and fitting given what happened to Catherine and given how her family felt towards Frank back when they were first introduced in S1. This brought conflict to the table at the beginning of S3, and conflict is at the heart of drama. Far more interesting than to watch everyone getting along happily and agreeing with each other all the time. It wouldn't sell the aftermath of a great tragedy if everything was perfectly harmonious between Frank and Catherine's parents so soon after her death.

The only point above that I really agree with is that sending Frank and Jordan over to the East Coast wasn't ideal. In hindsight, I might have preferred them to stay in the Pacific Northwest, but it's not a major bone of contention in my book.

As for Emma's character, I think it's far stronger than anyone gives it credit for. As others have commented, her character's arc towards the end of the season with her Faustian pact with the Group is beautifully tragic in almost a Shakespearean sense. Even before this, she had a strength of conviction and a grounded sensibility that was eminently convincing as a trained federal agent who is nonetheless at the beginning of her career and still learning, portrayed with an effective mixture of gravitas and vulnerability by Klea Scott. I find Emma far more easy to take than the contrastive Lara Means who was the real usurper of Catherine. Emma may have succeeded Catherine as the show's second lead, but it was Lara who pushed her out of the picture back in S2, partnering up with Frank while Catherine disappeared from episodes entirely for weeks at a time. Emma was a more palatable character to me -- she wasn't about endless quips and catchphrases, cool superpowers or trippy hallucinations. She was more human and believable like the characters that populated the S1 world of Millennium, someone who fit more at Frank's side in a working relationship than Lara Means who would be more at home as a companion in camp, frothy fare such as Doctor Who.

To me, S3 and the characters that populated it felt like Millennium again, not Relic Hunter meets Holy Blood, Holy Grail or Alias.

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Guest RodimusBen
It's funny that you say that, because when I was watching Millennium as it aired, I was so annoyed with Catherine (most of the time) yet once her character was gone, I really felt that her absence affected the show. Her presence at least made sense, while Emma's character never gave much to the show. As I re-watch the series on DVD, I really have an appreciation for Catherine and what her character did for the series, but Emma still strikes me as an uninteresting character.

Catherine had her moments; ironically, I enjoyed both of her centric episodes (S1's "The Well-Worn Lock" and S2's "Anemnesis"). But my overall feeling on her was this: if you're going to bill Frank's wife as a lead role, why make her so antagonistic? I understand her reluctance with the lifestyle they had to have, but it made her very one-note.

Emma didn't impress me until the last 5 or 6 episodes of Season 3. And upon re-watching S3, I was surprised at how much screen time she took away from Frank in many episodes! It often seemed like she did all of the footwork and Frank would occasionally consult with her. Those are probably my least favorite episodes in S3 but they don't keep it from being my favorite season overall.

I completely disagree. The change in Peter Watts' character really happened in S2, so S3 had no choice but to follow through with that unless it was going to completely reset and reboot everything, which I think people would have found far more jarring. Even so, Peter was never "evil", and it makes me bristle every time people use that word to dismiss him. In S1 he was an ally of Frank and a good and honest man. In S2 and S3 he was conflicted, but never "evil".

And I think that was the whole point of his arc in S3. I think it becomes quite clear that Watts was basically a hostage of the Group in S3, and was complicit only for the sake of protecting his family, just as he worked on the inside to protect Frank and Jordan.

The only point above that I really agree with is that sending Frank and Jordan over to the East Coast wasn't ideal. In hindsight, I might have preferred them to stay in the Pacific Northwest, but it's not a major bone of contention in my book.

It was definitely a swtich-up and I think it's one of the things that people use to accuse MM of trying to be an X-Files clone in S3. However, given the story circumstances, I think it made sense. Frank has resolved to go after the Millennium Group and rejoining the FBI is the best way to do it. Still, I will admit to missing the unique setting of Seattle.

As for Emma's character, I think it's far stronger than anyone gives it credit for. As others have commented, her character's arc towards the end of the season with her Faustian pact with the Group is beautifully tragic in almost a Shakespearean sense. Even before this, she had a strength of conviction and a grounded sensibility that was eminently convincing as a trained federal agent who is nonetheless at the beginning of her career and still learning, portrayed with an effective mixture of gravitas and vulnerability by Klea Scott. I find Emma far more easy to take than the contrastive Lara Means who was the real usurper of Catherine. Emma may have succeeded Catherine as the show's second lead, but it was Lara who pushed her out of the picture back in S2, partnering up with Frank while Catherine disappeared from episodes entirely for weeks at a time. Emma was a more palatable character to me -- she wasn't about endless quips and catchphrases, cool superpowers or trippy hallucinations. She was more human and believable like the characters that populated the S1 world of Millennium, someone who fit more at Frank's side in a working relationship than Lara Means who would be more at home as a companion in camp, frothy fare such as Doctor Who.

Careful, Lara is pretty deified in these parts! :grouphug:

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