Millennium: The Complete Second Season
DVD Reviews | Mar 4th, 2005
Starring Lance Henriksen
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Buy on Amazon.com link
The first season of Millennium showed us a consistently dark vision of a troubled man named Frank Black tracking down serial killers on behalf of a consulting group. This second season takes a radical shift, moving away from the demented-serial-killer angle and towards the realms of conspiracies and religion. In fact, this season goes balls-out with the religion and paranoid conspiracies. It even adds the occasional touch of humor, an unexpected twist if ever there was one.
But first, a brief recap. Millennium is the story of Frank Black (played by Lance Henriksen, who is awesome and not just because of his hypnotically craggy face), former law-enforcement officer and criminal profiler with a gift’ to see and feel things that occurred at crime scenes. He retired after having a nervous breakdown, then moved to Seattle with his wife Catherine and daughter Jordan and began work with an investigative consulting group called the Millennium Group.
The first season ended with a dilly of a cliffhanger Catherine had been kidnapped by an evil man that had been stalking her for quite some time. The cliffhanger is resolved, of course, but it opens up a whole new can of worms, not to mention some deep and unpleasant philosophical questions. Before he can recover, though, Frank is sent on another case involving demon dogs, or something, but luckily he finds a Mysterious Old Man who gives him a totally awesome +3 Wisdom upgrade and a newly-enhanced Psychic Gift Powerup. Frank can now touch long-slumbering inanimate objects and see all kinds of neato things. And soon he begins learning that there is more, oh ever so much more, to the Millennium Group than he expected.
The Group seems to have its dark and mysterious fingers dipped into everything scientific, paranormal, spiritual, and cataclysmic in nature, not to mention having roots that stretch far back into the past. But we never learn much, and the more we learn, the more shadowy they become. They are supposedly attempting to stave off some sort of year-2000 Doomsday, but they don’t like to talk about it. Frank himself leaves the group every now and then out of his frustration at their lack of sharing skills. But his frustration stretches into his personal life Catherine has leaves him out of her own frustration, and much of the season revolves around their deteriorating relationship. And while Frank desperately wants to leave the group behind and live a normal family life, he always comes crawling back, ready to kick some more evil ass.
As Frank delves deeper into the mysteries of the Millennium Group, he pretty much leaves the serial-killer-case consultation behind. And while he does still occasionally go after killers, his path crosses more frequently with bizarre religious mysteries, from hellish demonic forces to mysterious angelic visions. And speaking of angelic visions, we are introduced to a new character, Lara Means, a gal with her own gift’ and a catchphrase to boot (“”). Peter Watts, Frank’s overseer’ from the Group, is still along for the ride, doing his best to help and guide Frank even when faced with the Group’s harsh restrictions. Things tend to go downhill for Frank and everyone else, and just when you think the poor suckers have reached the bottom, they just fall down an even greater incline, leading up to a graphic and depressing two-part season finale that left me gasping and crying for more. And while a few episodes retain the dark-depressing-serial-killer feel of the first season, many episodes play like short horror movies, and a handful play like some of the more paranoid X-Files episodes.
(This season does indeed bring a vast new mythology to the series. But there is one episode, a Halloween outing called “The Curse of Frank Black”, that is a wonderful, brilliant play on hoary old Halloween cliches that, aside from some vague references to the Group and certain past events, could play excellently as its own stand-alone, almost like a miniature movie. And I’ll tell ya, Frank has some mad pumpkin-carving skills!)
“Turn of the Tide: Making of Season 2”
featurette “Academy Group: Victimology”
featurette Audio Commentary on two episodes
English Dolby surround
Spanish Dolby surround
French Dolby surround
1.78:1 Anamorphic widescreen, color
Favorite Scenes: The aforementioned “Curse of Frank Black”, the brilliantly spiritual and paranoid two-part “Owls” and “Roosters”
Running Time: 989 minutes