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Franks Gift

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Guest zombieromero

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Guest zombieromero

After watching the documentaries for each season of Millennium on DVD, there seems to be some different ideas behind Frank's visions. It seems that it is left up to the audience to interpret it the way they want.

Personally I like to think that he actually receives these visions through some kind of power or something. For instance when we see a vision it is literally coming into Frank's head due to his gift is to receive these visions. The idea of him actually receiving these visions makes the show cooler and adds more levels to it.

However, some people like to think that as Frank is a criminal profiler, he tries to get inside the killers head and the visions are really just a visual representation for the audience to show that he is getting inside the head of the killer. So Frank doesn't see the visions they are for the audiences benefit to show what Frank is trying to do.

Hope this makes sense lol!

So how does everyone else interpret Frank's visions?


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Guest SouthernCelt

When the show first began, I thought Frank's "visions" were for the audience's benefit. This seemed to be confirmed by Frank saying, "I see what the killer sees." As the show went on and more other-worldly influences came literally into play in our world, Frank seemed to be receiving information on the origins of the evil, not just what it had done or would do. Put another way, it seemed that the more Frank used his "gift," the more it's capability expanded.

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I agree.

The original intent of the show was just for a criminal profiler, but if you look at the way it progressed, you can take it any way you want to. There are some who say the transition makes no sense, but you CAN look at the whole series as Frank's development and that, as Celt said, the more he used it, the stronger it became.

It seemed from the first episode that this was going to be a strict crime-drama. No spookiness involved, but if you remember "Sacrament" (1st season), they are already hinting that this "gift" is not just intellectual.

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The topic of Frank's Gift is a difficult question to answer but only because Chris Carter and Lance Henriksen have said that it's not a psychic ability in the first season.

From the transcripts (Thanks Libby!) here are the relevent bits...

Frank Black was not a psychic. It’s misconception on the audience’s part and a lot of the critics, because when Frank would investigate a crime, his character would, there would be flashes. And we used a technical device on film to try and manifest that, to try and somehow interpret for the audience what he was going through.

Lance Henricksen:

We never, ever, used the term, “Frank was psychic.” That came from the outside. I thought of him as anything but. I thought he was a forensic profiler, but he was also like a brilliant chess player. He saw the outcome, and when something would happen, he would see a larger picture and a larger outcome down the road.

Chip Johannessen


For me, the Frank gift thing, it was like he would get an accumulation of details, of facts about something that would allow him to glimpse something almost physically, like it was inevitable then that the place where the next murder would happen would look like this. Or the place where the guy lives would look like this, or the street the guy must have grown up on looked like this.

Frank Spotnitz:

I can see why people thought there was a psychic component to it. Because it was certainly hinted that his daughter, Jordan, had the same “gift”, if you will. Early on, there was a Morgan and Wong episode, very effective, where it was hinted that Jordan had the same ability. And then it was expanded upon in an episode that I wrote later in the first season, called “Sacrament”. At least for me, and I think for Chris, we never wanted to cross the line into the supernatural with any of that. It was more about an exquisite sensitivity to the way some people think, to the monstrous way some people think.

David Nutter:

We had gone out, actually early in the process and we even spoke with Hank Corwin, who was a famous commercial editor, who cut JFK, that was quite impressive, and did a lot of great commercials. Hank and I sat down and spoke about the work that Robert Richards had done with him, and the various techniques that were used to really create an organic mental picture as far as the characters were concerned.

These are my thoughts.

Frank indeed had a gift. It's the opposite of being prescient (prescience: Knowledge of events before they take place; foresight.) and is called being postcient (postscience: Knowledge of events after they take place; hindsight.).

Consider a child who is born with a nervous system disorder that wreaks pain upon its body constantly. The child goes through life, is habitually grumpy and unhappy and eventually has an accident and breaks an arm. The child, now a teenage goes to the hospital and as part of the healing process is given a strong painkiller. For the first time in his life he discovers a feeling that is not normal. The pain inflicted upon him by his nervous system is relieved - turned off. His world changes and for the first time really becomes aware.

Richard Alan Hance in 113 The Thin White Line experiences the opposite of this in prison. Under the continual light of flourescent light he always hears the hum...

HANCE: Make them turn off the lights. In my cell, they keep them on twenty-four hours a day, every day. Fluorescent lights. It's the hum. You hear it? (Frank nods.) 60-cycle hum. Constant. It's like you're aware of your own heart beating. Pounding. Even when my eyes are closed and I'm sleeping, I can see the light right through the eyelids.

So lets profile the profiler... What I believe is that Frank began developing his Gift at a very early age.


We all strong in one of the seven learning styles and support that with a combination of others. These seven learning styles are visual, aural, verbal, physical, logical, social and solitary learning styles.

I think Frank was probably a logical learner (see... https://www.learning-styles-online.com/styl...Dmathematical/) with strong leanings towards visual ( see... https://www.learning-styles-online.com/styl...sual%2Dspatial/ ).

Excerpts (Logical)

"You can recognize patterns easily, as well as connections between seemingly meaningless content. This also leads you to classify and group information to help you learn or understand it. ...

Your scientific approach to thinking means you often support your points with logical examples or statistics. You pick up logic flaws in other peoples words, writing or actions, and you may point these out to people (not always to everyone’s amusement)."

Excerpts (Visual) ...

"You may find that visualization comes easily to you. This also means that you may have to make your visualizations stand out more. This makes sure new material is obvious among all the other visual images you have floating around inside your head."

I'm a logical learner with leanings towards visual and verbal in that order.


I think there is evidence to support the notion that he was (and still is) likely what's called a visual thinker or a picture thinker. (https://www.answers.com/topic/picture-thinking)

Excerpts on picture thinking ...

"Visual thinking involves categorization which is parallel and holistic. Though linguistic thinkers often feel that visual-thinkers concentrate on detail, in fact this occurs because of the extreme memory of picture thinkers."

"Picture thinkers can come to conclusions in an intuitive way, without reasoning with language. Instead, they manipulate with logical/graphical symbols in a non linear fashion; they “see” the answers to problems."

I am not this way.

The combination of the logical and visual learning with picture thinking would allow his brain to absorb vast amounts of data, analyse it to an extent, and then make incredible leaps that would be revealed in his mind through pictures.

Does any of this make him psychic? No. But what it does do is set the foundation upon which his gift is predicated.


BLETCHER: Tell me how you know. Why are you so sure? [pause] You see it - or


FRANK: It's complicated, Bletch.

BLETCHER: What do you see?

FRANK: I see what the killer sees.

BLETCHER: What, like a psychic?

FRANK: No. I put myself in his head. I become the thing we fear the most.


FRANK: I become capability. I become the horror - what we know we can

become only in our heart of darkness. It's my gift. It's my curse. That's why I retired.

I would argue that Frank has been seeing pictures for so long that he can't distinguish his gift from his normal cognitive processes. Like a child who's eyes have degenerated to the point of needing glasses and doesn't recognize it, Frank's GIFT crept in slowly, developing with time so that he hasn't noticed.

"You remember a single deluge only, but there were many previous ones."


The intent of the series may have been at first that Frank wasn't psychic but with Jordan experiencing a similar thing to Frank, how could it not be? An argument is made that Frank is capable of doing what he does because of his experiences, recognizing patterns and applying them to new situations. How is it that Jordan can sense that a man is hurting Tom's wife in 114 Sacreament?

FRANK: It's okay, it's okay. It's okay, sweet thing. It's okay. Did something scare you?

JORDAN: He's hurting her, Daddy!

[Frank looks at the boy, still standing in the aisle, and then back at Jordan.]

FRANK: Who's he hurting?

JORDAN: Aunt Helen!

Jordan shares a form of her father's gift. And it grows gradually...

In 101 Gehenna

JORDAN: Mommy, when is Daddy coming home?

CATHERINE: I don't know, honey. I'm sure he'll be home soon. Maybe


JORDAN: Is he working?


JORDAN: Catching the bad man?

in 105 522666

FRANK: Catherine, I'm so sorry. You can't call me on my cell phone. It's being monitored.

CATHERINE: Monitored? Frank, what's going on? I know that you can't tell me the specifics, but are you all right? Jordan had a nightmare about you.

114 Sacrament (as above)

So assuming that she can't share her father's brain and therefore the experiences he's had, it's not possible that her gift is not psychic in nature. I would think she is either prescient or clairvoyant or perhaps gifted with a combination of both.

Frank must on some succonscious level know this...

in 115 Walkabout

FRANK: I got drawn into these trials because I wanted to find out something. A few weeks ago, when Helen was abducted, something happened that made me wonder - if Jordan has this thing that I have.

CATHERINE: I know that you don't want her to see the things that you've seen.

FRANK: We don't want her to live in a world where those things exist, but she does. And if Jordan has any part of my gift, then we'll be there, to guide her.

"this thing that I have."

Frank's ability and his experience are comingled from the very beginning when we see the first real application of it in 100 Pilot (The Frenchman).

FRANK: Any chance you could take me down to see the body?

[bletcher does take him down to the morgue. There they are joined by the pathologist, Curt Massey, who shows them the woman's body.]

MASSEY: She went down fighting, I can tell you that. Blunt trauma. Ante-mortem impact abrasions on her upper torso. She was a strong woman. Took some work to subdue her. Mind you, her killer was no weakling either.

[With a glove in his hand, he reaches over to pull the zipper back so that he can reveal the woman's body but Frank prevents him from doing so by placing his hand over the pathologist's.]

[being near the body triggers a series of brief visions for Frank. GIFT ]

[{The first: He hears her screaming and someone attacking her.}]

[{The second: Silence but he sees her lying on the floor, covered with blood.}]

FRANK: He severed her head. GIFT

PATHOLOGIST: No mean task, let me tell you.

FRANK: What was the position of the body when they found her?

[The pathologist looks to Bletcher who nods consent to release the information.]

[Frank sees this next vision as the Massey describes her position.]

MASSEY: She was on her back with her arms crossed over her chest.

[{The third: Silence. She is lying on the bed but this time he also sees the killer's

hands as he places her arms crossed over her chest. The bedroom is in disarray, blood on the bed cover and on her neck.}]

FRANK: You didn't find the murder weapon. But it was something he took from

the crime scene. EXPERIENCE

BLETCHER: A carving knife was missing from a kitchen set.

FRANK: She was clothed. EXPERIENCE

[{The fourth: Silence. The dead girl again, on the floor, her clothes undisturbed, blood on her neck.}]

FRANK: There was no evidence of sexual assault. EXPERIENCE

BLETCHER: What else?

FRANK: He cut off her fingers. GIFT

MASSEY: The man with the x-ray eyes.

FRANK: What did Hair and Fiber turn up?

BLETCHER: Maybe you should tell me.

[Frank just stares at him.]

BLETCHER: Two head hairs from a black male.

[Frank doesn't say a word but just walks away.] EXPERIENCE

The reason Frank comes right out and says it's not a psychic ability is threefold.

Number one - Frank doesn't believe what he does is abnormal or paranormal. Because it grew gradually he hasn't even noticed it. On a subconscious level he's aware of it because he calls it his Gift, and acknowledges that Jorgan may have a part of it too.

Number two - I dont think he'll admit it to himself that it is a psychic ability. Being a former FBI agent he knows that police and other law enforcement officials typically look at psychics as crackpots so even if he knew he was he wouldn't consciously acknowledge it as such.

Number three - For the same reasons as number two and for professional reasons, if he wants to be taken seriously by his colleagues, to be able to help in their investigations, he can't make them aware of his being psychic. His credibility would be shot especially in the courtroom. Look at the prevailing thought concerning Mulder by his colleagues outside of the X-Files - Spooky.

Can't you see it....

LAWYER1 (PROSECUTION): Thank you Mr. Black for your assessment.

JUDGE: Any further questions?

LAWYER1: No your Honour.

JUDGE: Lawyer2 - Your witness.

LAWYER2 (DEFENSE): Thank you your Honour. Mr. Black, you used to work for the FBI in Behavioural Studies is that correct?

BLACK: Yes, that's correct.

LAWYER2: And you left the service of the FBI because you had a breakdown of sorts. Its that correct.

LAWYER1: Objection

JUDGE: Sustained. The court will hear Mr. Black's answer.

LAWYER2: Thank you, your Honour.


LAWYER2: And now?

BLACK: I work as a consultant to a group of ex-FBI and Law Enforcement officials who consult on cases for Law Enforcement Officials and FBI.

LAWYER2: Is it true that your colleagues believe that the end of the world is coming and they're taking an active hand to ensure the outcome? (Rolls his eyes for the jury)


LAWYER2: Mr. Black, would you consider yourself a psychic?

BLACK: Yes. (Lawyer2 rolls his eyes for the jury again!)

LAWYER2: So Mr. Black would it be your professional assessment or perhaps your psychic asessment that my client is the person you say he is? Did it perhaps come to you in a vision.

BLACK: Looks at the jury and blinks, mouth half open, then to the prosecution...

Ah, yeah. I don't think so. Even if he were to acknowledge his guft as psychic in nature he wouldn't be pimping it around as such.


By the time we get to the second season there is no longer a question that this thing is a psychic ability.

I think the Millennium Group knows is and sets about cultivating it. I think the Polaroid Man while he was working for the group was tasked with this using the polariods. Psychic powers have a way of manifesting themselves when we need them.

Frank's still looking for clues but his gift is augmenting his conclusions.

And is there proof that Frank considers his gift as being special in this way? Indeed there is. Lara Means. She comes along as the only woman that trusts and understands him. Because she too has a gift. She can see Angels - OK, so maybe only one. But that makes her and Frank similar now and he embraces that relationship because of it.

So maybe there's now another reason for the Polaroid Man and the group's holding off on doing anything about it...

FRANK: That's him. His name, his alias, his history, everything. You've had this

for a while. You gave it to the Seattle Police and to the Bureau. Why not to me?

It is possible that, just as Frank accuses Peter and the Group, they knew (because they have profilers working for them) that Catherine and Frank would split apart after the Polaroid Man affair and that if they were to insert Lara at the right time (Monster) they would have a means of controlling him through her. Keep him distracted by her so he wouldn't notice the things the Group was up to they didn't want him to notice. (But that's another post.)

So with Lara having gifts of a paranormal nature it would make it easier for him to accept that he does too.

FRANK: Lara. Do you see, feel, images in your mind like I do?

So in conclusion I believe that Frank is a great investigator in his own right, but that yes, absolutely, he has a psychic gift that assists him in his work, whether knows it or not, and whether he ackowledges it or not.


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Is a Maxx a lawyer? anyway i always thought that he has a gift and the images he experiences is his perception to see the evil, what the viewers saw is what he was seeing and thats one of the elements i love about this show........i always thought that his gift was from GOD also

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Guest zombieromero

Yeah I agree that when the show first began it was going to be a more reality based crime drama and the visions where a kind of visual style of "getting inside the killers head", kind of like the character of Will Graham in Manhunter (was remade recently as Red Dragon)

However, towards the end of season 1 and certainly in season 2, the spookiness and demon and evil aspects kind of swayed me into believing that this was a physical gif or curse.

Anyone else?


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