Mabius

Millennium S4E01: "Genesis"

11 posts in this topic

Hi all, it sounded like a fun idea so I thought I would start a new thread for discussion of the first season 4 episode "Genesis" written by Dan Owen, Kevin Patterson, and Matt Asendorf. I'll be rereading it myself and sharing my thoughts but I am curious what anyone else thought. Maybe we could keep the thread title format to distinguish these new discussions from the older ones?

(imaginary) Airdate: July 2, 1999

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The Old Man and Simon Black like this

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Hi Mabius,

Good idea- it would be good to revive interest in the VS. I think if we approached the episodes like the B5 lurkers guide, which remains to this day one of the most incisive and comprehensive fan discussions on the internet for my money, which usually structured each review with

OVERVIEW/SYNOPSIS

BACKPLOT (Snippets of series relevant information)

UNANSWERED QUESTIONS- Plot holes, mysteries

ANALYSIS- Implications, inferences, suspicions, relationships

NOTES (Or trivia)

JMS SPEAKS- Where JMS would respond to viewers questions. I don't know if the original VS creators still frequent the board but it would be nice to hear their thoughts.

 

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I'm reading "VS4E01-Genesis", it feels like coming home and met up old friends.

Very important ... when we talk about the VS write here- what about spoilers ? for all who don´t know and never read the virtual seasons.

We should draw attention to spoilers in the topics, I'll ask Libby...

 

Edited by Simon Black

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Hi all, it sounded like a fun idea so I thought I would start a new thread for discussion of the first season 4 episode "Genesis" written by Dan Owen, Kevin Patterson, and Matt Asendorf. I'll be rereading it myself and sharing my thoughts but I am curious what anyone else thought. Maybe we could keep the thread title format to distinguish these new discussions from the older ones?

(imaginary) Airdate: July 2, 1999

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Nice that you have set the ball rolling...:thumbsup:it was a seriously idea from me and from time to time -

I'll read those episodes and hope that i can contribute some meaningful notes, speculations etc.

I´m looking forward to this topic, thank you!

 

Edited by Simon Black

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Okay, I'll have ago with Episode 1

VIRTUAL SEASON: #401 "GENESIS"- Written by Dan Owen, Kevin Patterson, and Matt Asendorf

OVERVIEW:

Coming to terms with the events of the Season 3 finale "Goodbye To All That", Frank and Jordan have taken refuge at his brothers home in Baltimore, Maryland. Frank is drawn back into the world when he is connected with a dead man found executed on the bank of a river. Meanwhile Emma Hollis' integration to the Millennium Group deepens when she is tasked by her new employers to investigate the same case, leading to a confrontation with her former partner.

SYNOPSIS (contains spoilers- highlight to read):

The episode begins with a monologue by Frank, reciting Genesis chapter one verse one, to imagery matching that of an earlier era of the planets development, before transitioning to the Old Man, holding a SHEPHERD'S CROOK. He has his fingers interlinked over the ornate crook's head (which has been carved into the shape of a double-headed creature: an OWL and a ROOSTER. We see the Old Man sitting on the edge of his shack's door. A circle of small, white obelisks loop his decrepit home. In the distance we can hear a few dogs, all howling somewhere in the forest. A loud buzzing fly lands on his face- he waves it away and returns to his contemplation.

July 2, 1999. Six weeks after the events of Goodbye To All That, we find Frank and Jordan staying with his brother Tom, wife Helen and son Charlie in their house in Baltimore. Helen is still haunted by her abduction, as is everyone by the loss of Catherine.

At the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia, Emma Hollis completes her report on Peter Watts, ruling the cause of death as murder.

Meanwhile a man's body is found half buried in mud on the bank of a river, shot in the head execution style. Local Detective Hart and PI Ryan Frost are at the scene investigating, when they find a piece of paper in the mans pocket, a page from a diary dated 25th June with the words "Contact Frank Black". Being their only initial lead, they resolve to find all Frank Blacks in the area.

Tom invites Frank to stay with them longer. Frank leaves to collect items from his house in Falls Church, Virginia. Frank keeps the folder Watts gave him last season under the seat in his Jeep.

Back at the FBI, Emma is informed by Andy McClaren that following his retirement in five months time, she will be moved up to the position of Agent in Charge, with Barry Baldwins' replacement, Ken McGreevy, in line to replace McClaren as Assistant Director. McClaren partners Hollis with McGreevy to help foster relations. Later, in the parking lot, Hollis is approached by Carol Finley, her new handler from the Group. Hollis expresses concern over the death of Watts,a nd of Franks' behaviour. Finley explains Frank away as being tormented by another nervous breakdown after the death of Catherine, and blaming the Group for the outbraek to rationalise the loss. Finley reminds Hollis of Franks earlier breakdown in 1996, and of the Groups close ties to the FBI going back to the Hoover days. Hollis appears to be reassured and accepts this.

Frank arrives at the house in Falls Church, only to find it ransacked. He finds an invitation to Peter Watt's funeral dated 27th May.

At the morgue, Hart and Frost discuss the body, a man called Harris, with the coroner, who enquires about Frost involvement as a PI. Frost indicates he usually deals with religiously motivated cases but occasionally involves himself in 'normal' cases too. The coroner responds when they mention Frank Blacks' name, the coroner remarking that he has worked with a Frank Black of the FBI for several years on other cases. Frost is intrigued with this link. Frost and Hart arrive at Franks house and take him down to the station for questioning. As they drive away, another man arrives, Blaylock, who wears a gold ring identical to that found on the body of Harris. Blaylock smashes into Franks car and retrieves the folder from under the seat.

In the interview room, Frank is interviewed by Frost (Hart is not present). Although Frank states he does not know a Harris personally, he suggests to check the victims background to link with the Group. Ryan confirms he was a member. Frank responds that the group eliminate disloyal members and due to their influence, the case won't be solvedonly that another four bodies will be found at the same location. Frank cites that a friend died giving him that information (presumably the Watts' folder). Frank is to be hold for 24 hours. That night he experiences a vision which is apparently shared simultaneously with Jordan. who awakes in her bed to the sound of a fly buzzing in the room (a recurring motif through the episode).

The same night, Hollis receives a visit from Finley at her apartment, who gives her her first case- to investigate the murder of ex-member Harris. Both Hollis and McGreevey have been reassigned from the Watts case to Harris, with apparently McClarens' blessing.

The next morning Frank is released from custody by Frost after receiving confirmation of his alibi from a motel owner. Frost reveals he was himself a candidate for the Group for 5 months before being unceremoniously fired. Frank refers to the mass burial pit from last season, and observes they may only fire those they don't count as a threat to their ideals. Those killed are higher-ranking members, who could cause them a lot of trouble if they went public. Frank himself feels unable to go public without concrete evidence of his claims. He refers to the deathlist given in the folder by Watts, which includes Harris at the top, Watts himself and Frank, among three others, who he believes are the additional victims by the river. When the arrive at the crime scene they find Hollis and McGreevey already there with Hart, and the other bodies. Frost refers to Frank as being psychic, though Frank winces at the description. Frank blames the Group for these murders, surmising that Harris might have been on his way to Frank to pass information on, much to the embarrassment of Hollis. The group leave for the morgue, while Frank returns to his house with Frost to collect his car. He finds the folder missing. We see the folder being handed to the Elder by Blaylock.

A neighbour gives Frank a package while they investigate the car- an unmarked cassette tape. The tape has a mans voice speaking a series of numbers and a warning. Frank finds a Bible and matches the number to two verses. Frost believes this is Harris inferring the Earth is corrupt and in need of another flood to cleanse it- Frank disagrees, instead stating the cause is not just and the Group is attempting to bring an apocalypse of their own making. The other number given in the tape is 5312, which Frank relates back to that he saw in his vision and from the printout in the folder- Archive 5312. Frank believes it to be an address that may yeild further clues.

Meanwhile Finley reports on Hollis to the Elder, who is revealed to be working side by side with Mabius once more. Mabius indicates he has taken care of the facility, everything and everyone.

At the morgue they find 5312 on the hand of one of the victims- Hollis relates it back to a Group stem cell research facility in the Arlington area. McGreevey and Hollis head there to find the place cleared out, just as Frank and Frost arrive. Frank chastizes Hollis for her obedience to the Group. Mabius watches as they all leave the facility empty handed.

Later, Frank visits Peter's grave for the first time, acknowledging that he knows Watt's died questioning the Group and not as a lamb to the slaughter. He promises he will expose the Group and provide justice for his family. He suddenly receives a phonecall, and an unknown voice reveals there were only five intended names were on the list, not six, and all five have been dealt with. The voice tells Frank to have no fear, before disconnecting. The caller is revealed to be the Elder, watching from afar in his limousine.

The episode ends with the Old Man once more on his porch, his shepherds' crook in hand. In the other, a crushed dead fly.

BACKPLOT (Snippets of series relevant information):

- In between the previous episode and this, Frank and Jordan have been on the move, staying at various hotels before staying at Toms. Frank has apparently told Tom all about the Group and their actions, but Tom has kept this information from Helen, including that Frank no longer works for the FBI.

- Hollis's father has moved out of her apartment, and her computer has been upgraded to Groups' network. Her voice passphrase is "We all go a little mad sometimes.", from Psycho (1960). As of July 2, there are 182 days remaining.

- Ryan Frost states he was fired from the Vancouver P.D in November '97, and almost immediately was contacted by the Millennium Group. He was offered a consultancy position, which he accepted in December '97, and was abruptly fired in May "the same (sic) year". We can presume this was a typo and was meant May the following year. Frank states this was around the same time as the Marburg outbreak. Frank refers to Brian Roedecker, also fired from the FBI that month without cause, along with the mass burial pit found in Season 3.

- It's implied by Blaylock that Watts' added Franks name to the death list to scare Frank into hiding, and that Watts himself received the folder from Harris, who was also marked for execution.

- The verses given in the cassette tape are from The Book of Genesis, Chapter 2, Verse 4: "These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens." and 6:12: "And God looked upon the earth and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted His way upon the earth."

- Peter John Watts grave at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia, gives the dates March 26, 1952 - May 21, 1999 and the eulogy "Loving husband of Barbara, caring father of Erin, Chelsea and Taylor."

- Barry Baldwin's grave at an unnamed cemetery gives the dates October 22, 1966 - May 21, 1999 and the eulogy "Son of Mary and Brian, Brother of Julie."

LOCATIONS:

Quantico, Virginia

Baltimore, Maryland

Falls Church, Virginia

Arlington, Virginia

UNANSWERED QUESTIONS- Plot holes, mysteries

- Ryan Frost was a member of the Vancouver, Washington State police department (not, presumably Vancouver, Canada). Why was he recruited by the Group? Why is he a Private Investigator? How is he allowed to be involved in active investigations by local PD and interview suspects without supervision? How is he now working in Baltimore?

- How and why does the Group have so much influence over McClaren to make him reassign cases?

- What happened to the Group civil war?

- Why would Frank risk going to his brothers house if he felt the Group were still a danger? Friends and family are the first places they would look for him.

ANALYSIS- Implications, inferences, suspicions, relationships

NOTES (Or trivia)

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Personally, I think having to hide spoilers could be counterproductive to discussion. There is a link to the virtual episodes in the preamble of the Virtual Season 4 section (it was wrong, but I've now corrected that) and there's a pinned topic within the section which has the link. So it's (now) not too difficult for people to find those episodes.

Maybe, Mabius, you could add the direct link to the episode in your opening post? That way, people could read the episode first and then comment.

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I've just read the episode. Like Simon, it took me right back into the show.

That's an excellent synopsis, EngineComics.

The "Unanswered Questions" are very good. I guess we'll learn more about Ryan Frost as we go along. I hadn't picked up on the question of Frost's status - I just assumed he was some sort of consultant. The matter of Vancouver did puzzle me, though. But, as you say, it could well be Vancouver, Washington, rather than Canada, as that would make more sense. Though I wonder if the writers chose that deliberately, perhaps a nod to where the show was filmed?

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