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Frank's unaccepted Deal with the Devil

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Some things that were discussed in the Curse of Frank Black thread made we want to start a new discussion on the whole topic of the MillenniuM Manifestations of Legion or the Devil, and the MillenniuM's version of the Deal with the Devil.

I wanted to discuss the "choice" presented to Frank or presented by Legion...  I think this is a running theme/mythac/sub-plot through all of MillenniuM.  I think the first subtle threat/deal that appear was in "Gehenna".  At the very end of the episode, when they have Ricardo Clement/Beast Manifestation in custody... Frank is looking in at him through the one way glass.  Suddenly, Clemment turns and stares directly into Franks eyes.  The message in this stare is "I know who you are, and I know that you know who I am."  And the "choice/deal" implied in this stare is "And since you know who I am, and I you - Back off and leave my operations alone... or else!"

Later comes the Judge offering Frank a job in "The Judge."  Then Allister Pepper making almost the exact same offer in "Powers, Principalities, Thrones, & Dominions".  The "choice" they offered Frank was a more active purposal.  Frank would actually provide a service to Legion, using his skills as a profiler and investigator, and using his gift/facility.  In return, Legion would provide safety and security for Frank and his family - "keeping them well out of harms way".  Legion also made a couched threat threw the Jugde and Al Pepper Manifestations.

They both indicated that without their (Legion's) intervention and protection, that his situation was "infinitely more grave."  And let's not forget Al Pepper's attack and murder of Franks mentor, friend and collegue, Mike Adkins - providing him with evidence of just how "grave" and "fragile" his "situation" was.  

Legion, attempted again, to illustrate this "situation" to Frank through the abduction of his brother's wife by the son of another very subtle Manifestation of Legion in "Sacrament."  I think this is indicated by the dialogue of Frank and his brother Tom, where Tom indicates that "none of this" (the abduction, etc) would have happened if it weren't for Frank and his work.  The Legion character is revealed by the "stair well domination" symbolism at the end of that episode -  The father of Mr. Green standing there in the shadows at the top of the stairs, smoking his cigarette, almost ****y.

With the Lucy Manifestation, it was much more of a seductive-gravity, anti-chemistry temptation thing goin' on!     :laugh_big:   I am not refering to anyone particular episode here - just all of the one's in which Lucy is featured.  She wanted to try to drive Frank insane or to terrorize him into loving "her" (that is, having his join the darkside)... something like that.  Her approach in offering Frank "a choice" was more subtlely expressed through her manipulations, dark schemes, and horrific crimes.  The "choice" she presented him was one of tempting him into absolute rage and/or terror (including little threats to his family) by her actions and words, and attacks upon those close to him (Bletch, etc).  So, the "choice" the Lucy Manifestation provide him was: "Be with me, and be tormented, but those close to you will be safe... OR, don't be with me, and you will continue to loose your loved ones and go insane from rage and terror."

Then there is the less active "choices" that Frank is offered through by Legion through Mr. Crocell in the "Curse of Frank Black," and through The Mysterious Chinese woman in "Siren."  The choice offered in these cases is that all Frank needs to do is just "sit back and do nothing.  Just sit it out".  Meaning, all Frank needs to do is leave the Millennium Group, go back to his family, and stop fighting Legion and the inevitable Millennium to come.  In return, Frank will have his family restored to him, he will want for nothing financially and professionally, and his family will be projected and out of harms way.  But, if he doesn't accept the deal, there are indications that Frank will become like Crocell - lonely, despised, self-hating, twisted, bitter, and nothing to show for it.  The Siren's alternative to Frank accepting the deal is visions of Jordan being taken up in the arms of Legion.

And since all of these purposals/deals were turned down by Frank, they finally just sent in the organized crime enforcer/assasin Manifestion of Legion, Mabius, during Season 3.  The message or purpose of this Manifestation was simply to try to control Frank by fear or threat of death for himself and Jordan.  The "choice" offered by this Manifestation was:  "Do not oppose us or try to expose us, or you & your daughter will get a bullet in the brain from a silencer barrel placed just behind the ear."  In addition, the other way that this Manifestation tried to manipulate Frank, or remove Frank as an obstacle was through the Agent Boxer/Mabius Manifestation in "Seven and One."  Basically, this Manifestation just tried to drive Frank insane, and again, harm or kill those close to him (Ema, and the Franks psychologist).  So, the threat/deal offered here again, was "get the hell out of Legion's way, OR go insane and watch your loved ones tormented and/or killed."  Or worse yet... have to face yourself... as Frank and Ema each had to do at the end of "Seven and One."

It would have been interesting to see some Legion-esque episodes woven through a 4th season, heading toward the final show down with Legion ... perhaps through the sub-plot of Yaponchik/Anti-Christ.  I wonder what "choice/deal" Yaponchik would have offered Frank.


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:thinking_big: Great minds think alike!  Yours is just better at expresing it! :wink_big:   I have long thought that this was the back bone of MillenniuM.... The age-old struggle between good and evil! :angel:  :devil01:   Even in some other episdodes, like my personal favorite, "Luminary", this stuggle goes on.  In this one, the thread between right and wrong becomes thin and gray.  Usualy, he has a very clear image of what evil is.  A murder, for example.  But, in this one, he is asked to go against "the groups" wishes, in order to do what he felt is right, and save Alex.  This "test" seems, to me, to be ment to strengthen his caracter.... strengthen his resolve.... strengthen his ability to stand on his own, and to trust his instincts.

 In my opintion, the backbone of the entire series was based on the age-old struggle of good-vs-evil...  Right from the very first episode, in which the killer said... "But you think you're the one stop it!  You think it can be stopped!  ....... You can't.... stop it!"

 Very astute oberservations, Scott! :thumbsup_big:

~Raven Wolf :frank_black:

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Guest Wellington


I think it is a very good point you bring here. And I like the links you make between plots not explicitely related to Legion. I think you have expressed the right second-degree point of view to the show!

There is a point which makes me wonder, however... Frank was never really talkative about Legion. He describes Evil, points out its impact on the world and the times close to the millennium, but sometimes I wonder if he connects the dots himself. He knows for sure that there is an Evil greater than men, greater than life. His experience showed him many manifestations and he solved cases with no common sense other than "more than what a brain could produce". But then his gift brings to him images lacking this common sense too. So is the Legion and its facets the interpretation Frank makes of his visions or is it an explicit way to show the spectator what Frank is up to, perhaps without even Frank's noticing it? Sometimes I think that Legion is only this: a name Frank gave to all the nonsense in the Evil he encounters. Or a way to help denying that men can be so evil. Sometimes I think it is only how he refers to all the symbols he comes by, be it in his visions or in investigations. The demons in "somehow Satan got behind me" find odd that he can see clearly their true nature when others cannot. I would really not bother, being them! How cannot he try and rally people to his fight? Why just have some stoicist monologues, warnings for vigilence? He is clearly not the only victim and even then he relies on a system that is slow and non-understanding. One could as well throw gravel to stop a tank.

Frank also has a great deal to cope with. Not only is he fighting Evil continuously, trying to balance the world a bit more, but also does he have to make do with Good's implacable sense of justice. His fight against the Angel Samiel who wanted to bring back Jordan shows that he is facing a dead end. I see several points in that. Either it is another Legion covert intervention, showing him that he cannot trust anything, that he is alone, or it is truly an angel, unable to bring him any peace of mind at all, thus letting him with nowhere to go. Frank is in an unbelievable situation! Dedicated to fight Evil, he will have to suffer from Good, he will have to fight Good as well as Evil in order to achieve his own conception of normality and happiness. Frank is on a privileged spot: he could watch and see the world and history unfold before him, without any blur in his sight, knowing Evil from Good. He chose to act and problems began to flow in. Frank recognises Evil when he sees it, Lara's angels were forebearers of troubles. What is the point in continuing to fight? Jordan, of course, who is on the verge of seeing what her father sees, without the ability to understand, to decipher, with all her childish fears to overcome, with an horrible reality behind the visions she cannot even put into words. No wonder this fight is unbalanced. the reason for it is Frank's and the reward will be Frank's, and his alone.

So, all in all, this fight of Good against Evil is unbalanced. We know Evil in the show, but there is no sign of Good apart from the actions of Frank. And when symbols of Good appear, they bring tears and sorrow. Frank is a kind of Prometheus of the dark side. He does not bring light to the world, he exposes darkness. He owns this knowledge of the nature of Evil, and all his actions about it have nasty side effects upon him. Each time he brings his visions to the world, a greater peril comes, and the more he does, the more rejected he gets. He would have made a tremendous character for English romantic litterature!


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WOW!  WELLINGTON!  Thou must have been pondering this for quite a spell! :thinking_big:

I think you've "profiled" Frank to a "T"!  And, to me, this was one of the main things that inspired me.  Frank has the courage to stand on his own, be it against Evil, or not.  This shows that there is always a GREY aria.  Everything is not always black and white, good or bad.  One must have the courage to stand up for what they beleave in, even if it is not always the popular thing to do.  This is also what made Frank so appealing to me.  He was not made out to be the classic "Knight in shining armor".  He's no Brad Pitt, as far as looks are concerned, and yet is even more attractive than Brad Pitt could ever be.  And, more importantly is his caracter.  He's not personified as being "perfect".  He has his dark side, just like everyone.  He openly admits that he has trouble with having faith, but that does not bother or sway him.  "I think my time can be better spent trying to find out who killed your friend."  And, when his family was in danger, he did what he had to do, in order to save them.  Frank was never supposed to be some "Holyer than thou" caracter.  Rather, he is an ideal that is much more obtainable, and an example for all of us to follow.  "To thine own self be true!"

:angel:  :devil01: ~Raven Wolf

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Insightful comments and elaborations all around!  This thread keeps getting better and better!

Frank was on his own, in many ways.  There was no "force of Good" to support and strengthen him.  The only source of "good", or - perhaps better stated - integrity, compassion, protectiveness, justice, helpfulness, and guidence comes from the human beings in this saga.  God certainly is not present, nor any such influence.  Yes, possible angelic beings show up very rarely, but they are basically useless!  

For our Season One token "visitation/ministery of Good," Sam shows up in PPTD - and what a prize he is!  A depressed stalker, for all intents and purposes, who sits back and lets Evil have it's way with victum after victum - and he just watches and waits for this little time of vengence, basically!  Then, in the end the twerp basically says, "Well, I am not here to help you or your family or anything else.  I am here to settle the score with the Al Pepper manifestation of Evil (perhaps Legion, perhaps a fallen angel, etc).  You just happened to almost get in the way."   And when Frank reaches out to Sam for possible guidence or help, the little sh*t basically says, "Well.  It really sucks to exist in the physical body, and suffer like your poor pathetic humans do.  So, sucks to be you, but I am outta here."  Oh, thanks a lot, Sammy... and go take some cosmic Smooth Time on your way back to wherever you came from!  Might raise your spirits a little and let you feel a little freakin' compassion!  So, basically this little BLANK face provides no comfort to Frank, nor any direct assistance.

The next manifestation of so called "Good" that shows up in Season Two is another piece of work!  Mr. Artsy Fartsy Mysterious Boy, showing up in shadows at the back of the auditorium, just when Frank finally gets to the church and wants to watch his kid perform for FREAK'S SAKE!  Yeah! Great timing, Simon!  That was REAL helpful to Frank's already very rocky family situation - let's make him leave the play in hopes of finding out some small piece of the truth!   And then this so called Angelic sh*t  lurks around the church yard, waiting to appear out of nowhere - like we are supposed to be impressed or something!    Then he cryptically tells Frank about ghost, fetches, their seasonal spritual migratory behavior, and other, basically useless information!  Ooooo, he gave Frank a hint about his fathers impending death!  Wow!  Now that was really helpful to Franks situation!  Go haunt some old grave yard, that no one visits, Gothic-Wanna-Be Mystery Boy!  That would be just about as useful as your little flighty hint-dropping to Frank!

Oh, then, in Season Three, we have the ****y Bi-Polar Manifestation of Samiel - this time in his manic cycle, rather than depressive.  But, let me tell you... he is still lurking and stalking people... and still standing by, biding his time, while others suffer, waiting for his time to act.  Oh... and his big claim to "divine intervention" or the ministering of Good?...  big freakin' woop!  So you claim to have spared Jordan's life back in Season One!  But, I guess it is okay to let her be traumatized by her mother being abducted, her father killing a man, and her parents separating because of it all.  Where the hell were you Samiel... Oh, that's right, may be you were lurking in Jordan's room like some kind of Invisible Friend while all this was going on - Wow!  What comfort!  What loving ministry!  So, then, after killing people in the worst imaginable way - by drowing them - and, after trying to slowly kill Jordan, and letting her father look on helplessly... THEN on top of all this, you step in and say, "Oh well, barrow times up.  Too bad so sad.  That's just the way it is."  Oh, yeah right, Angry Young Angel, tell me another one!  Tell me you have any credibility to tell someone "how it is!"  You stalking, murdering, tormenting FREAK!  And then you completely contradict your own words and actions by letting Jordan live in the end anyway - trying to make yourself look like some saintly martyr, sacrificing yourself to your own twisted game of life and death!  Pleeeeeeeease!  Give me a freakin' break!  We'd have prefered that you'd have checked yourself into the nearest cosmic treatment facility, and taken some angelic ProLoft - for all the help you were to Frank and the millennial situation!

I have to wonder about the message that the 1013 writers were trying to convey.  I mean, looking at both the Manifestations of Evil, and the Manifestations of Good - I think we have some really excellent metaphors for the real world.

For me, Legion, in all it's manifestations, represents the unnecassary sickness, violence, tyrranny, control, manipulation, deception, delusion, and so forth that humans inflict upon each other and our planet.  And the Sam/Simon/Samiel manifestations represent the convoluted, contradictory, unhelpful, useless, conveniently "mysterious" ideas of God or "spiritual good" - which supposedly lurk at the edge of our awareness, carrying out helpful little tasks and answers to prayer... while back in the real world people get no real help at all from these things! Yet, they go right on believing that they do! Kind of like the Sam/Simon/Sameal characters trying to come off like they are some kind of helpful force of good in the world, when in fact, they are of little help to human beings at all!  And are really just carrying out their own little agendas.... hmmmmm... sounds a lot like religion and the behavior of clerics, ministers, gurus, and so called "spiritual leaders" to me!

This thread is has soooo much potential, I almost don't know what to tackle next!


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Guest Wellington

Well, Scott, it looks like you have someone else in the show to punch in the face! Maybe some copy/paste from this thread to the other?  :laugh_big:

I too am very curious to know the message conveyed by 1013 through MM. And I definitely want to believe that in the case of MM they perfectly knew where they wanted to transport the audience, contrary to the X-Files case. After all, the clock was ticking and 31/12/99 was quickly approaching. They had a finite number of episodes to play with, and I cannot imagine anything else than them having developped all the main arc until then, managing some spare eps for sub-plot. But as you mentioned, they never clearly tackled any religious theme, so maybe all that follows is rubish. You spot it directly when you write metaphors for the real world. Every one knows Evil when he sees it. Whatever the religion (which should not be chaotic), every one can give the same definition for Evil, and in the same time fight one another about their definition of Good. It is quite laughable, in a way. Same situation in MM. Frank can identify Evil, whatever its manifestation, but this lucky man does not seem to need to balance this with identifications of Good. Perhaps because he does not feel desperate enough to do so... Evil is obvious and Good is cryptic. Samiel blurs the picture always a bit more. He makes me think of a Memnoch (cf Anne Rice) who would use to get drunk to help himself forget his sh*t of a job. All the Good we identify revolves around Frank's family, which is in no way universal. It is nothing more than Frank's Good, not mine nor my neighbour's. No wonder no one can define it!

Your reminding of Samiel settling scores makes me think that less subtle manifestations of Good were in the box, waiting for the last season (the idea of which leaves me more and more frustrated, definitely) to unfold. Frank cannot win on his own. Frank never scores by himself, he just slows what is unavoidable. And like waters, it flows around him, without even a need to appear bothered. The more the show went on, and the more Frank self-centered his actions. From fighting Evil, his mission has a goal: protecting Jordan. The way I see it, as Jordan is the only Good Frank knows, she would be the key to avoid the Millennium crisis. She would rise to balance the scale, and do not ask me how!

But then perhaps the balance is not possible any more. Just like the universe has an always growing entropy, chaos may not be stopped from out growing everything else. There were, however, great opportunities for the scenario. Frank said about the first millennium that Maybe the End was there and did not happen. Bis repetita placent, but how dull would it seem if it were to end the show like this! Then he added Maybe someone saw another future. All right, so bis repetita definitely placent, and there is room for a great Jordan-esque ending for the show, with Frank as a tool. What genius could it be if there was no need to have Good massively intervene! People who defend the existance of God say, when confronted to the injustice, wars and misery of this world, that for Him, one and only one righteous man is sufficient to redeem the others. A lone man turning to Him could have spared the destruction of the ill-fated foul cities of the Scriptures (see note below). That is good food for Carter's brains, who, by the way, re-invented the virgin, the birth in a stable, and the savior of mankind in just one half of a X-Files season!


PS: I have read something written on 30/11/98 that made sense for many after 11/09/01. It was an open letter to the American state administration, by Peggy Noonan,  former speech writer for psdts Reagan and Bush Snr. Despite an unbearable call for prayers (that this kind of people can do best), it had some sense, and sounded very MMistic. She felt that some kind of menace was lurking above our heads, unidentified but strongly rooted in our minds. Comfort of our modern life made us forget of how fragile we are and takes away from us what we really are, what we could be or could do if we were not so dependant on what the society dictates to us, if we just took the time to do so. She wrote that the presence of this menace was there, translated into some of our entertainment media, like, let's say, ID4, Armageddon, etc... She wrote that we could feel that something horrible would happen (full scale terrorism, in that case), and that this thing would make us know ourselves for what we are: passengers in first class rooms aboard the Titanic, to pick her words. From the frenesy of this life, from the end one could come to, we could wonder why God does not simply decide to wrap us up and make another try elsewhere. Then she takes the example of what the love of a parent to his child can achieve and concludes that this kind of behaviour, so devoid of interest and so full of self-givingness, is the reason why life can be saved. Now take away the terrorism context and the religious background and parts of MM seem explained!

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WOW!  This thread just gets better and better!  I hardly know what to say after those last 2 essays!

They did stir some memories, however...

I remember thinking, when I first saw Sam shoot Al.... "What the BLACK?"  I mean, no religion in the world has ever spoken of a God who would condone an Angel to just shoot a man in cold blood!  That one still has me scatching my head! :thinking_big:   He even said "There's not that kind of action."  So, WHAT IN THE WORLD WOULD EXCUSE AN "ANGEL" FOR GUNNING A MAN....ANY MAN DOWN IN A PARKING LOT?????

Then there was "Sirons".  The woman in there seems to have a duality to her.  I was never sure if she was Evil or Good.  Jorden seemed to sense that it she would save Frank's life, and yet.... look at all the havok she caused!

This all seems to tie in with the whole "X-Files" TRUST NO ONE theme.  There were many times there in which you weren't quite sure who the enomy was.

"I don't know what to beleave anymore.... I don't know who to listen to.... I don't know who to trust."

(Amor Fatti)

.... I just love a show that actualy makes you think... rather than doing all the thinking for you! :thumbsup_big:

:angel:  :devil01:  

~Raven Wolf

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.........uh,scott i think you drank some of the tainted smooth time tea.    ...unwind with the real deal! :wink_big:

                                              ~se7en :ouro:

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  • 1 month later...
Guest Sixth Seal

I mean, no religion in the world has ever spoken of a God who would condone an Angel to just shoot a man in cold blood!  That one still has me scatching my head! :thinking_big:   He even said "There's not that kind of action."  So, WHAT IN THE WORLD WOULD EXCUSE AN "ANGEL" FOR GUNNING A MAN....ANY MAN DOWN IN A PARKING LOT?????

Not quite true, RW.  In the Bible, two angels nuked Sodom and Gomorrah (in Gen. 19:13, they say, "For we will destroy this place").  And in 2 Ki. 19:35, "the angel of the LORD went out, and killed in the camp of the Assyrians one hundred and eighty-five thousand."  And then there's that most famous incident, when the angel of the Lord killed the firstborn of Egypt.

I don't see Sammael's strike to be so much a cold-blooded murder as it was an execution.  They hint in the episode that Pepper died and his soul was replaced with that of a demon . . . and we saw the evil that that demon would and could do, including killing Atkins.  Would executing/exorcising it (and we saw the lightning strike from Frank's perspective) be wrong?

It's also not entirely true that "Good" or "God" didn't manifest in Millennium.  It did, but just like most of Legion's manifestations, the God of Millennium seems to act primarily through people.  The kidnapper in 19:19, for example, or the girl who saw the manifestations of Mary Magdaline, or Frank Black himself.  Too, we do see "good" angels like Sammael or Jordan's "imaginary" friends, as well as other manifestations of a transcendant good.  

Millennium was beyond dark most of the time, but it was not without its rays of light.

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.....ahh,very nicely put!  thanks for your views on this.     and welcome to "TIWWA"! we hope you will visit often and contribute more in the future. :plain_big:

                                    ~TAKE CARE,

                                                 se7en  :ouro:

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