The X-Recordsdata typically didn’t give a lot shine to holidays—apart from a couple of notable exceptions, just like the season-six basic “How the Ghosts Stole Christmas.” However the looming arrival of the yr 2000 was too juicy for a present that reveled in conspiracy theories to disregard, and thus the aptly titled “Millennium” popped up in late 1999, early within the present’s seventh season.
As devotees of late-’90s tv will recall, Millennium was additionally the identify of one other Chris Carter-created Fox sequence; regardless of mining a few of the similar turf as The X-Recordsdata, it failed to realize related pop-culture heights and was canceled in mid-1999. “Millennium” the episode contains a guest-starring look by Millennium the sequence’ lead character—Lance Henriksen’s former FBI profiler Frank Black—who will get some closure for his storyline in consequence, although it feels a bit shoehorned into what’s in any other case a reasonably customary “monster of the week” episode.
Because the calendar marches towards December 31, 1999, a former FBI agent dies because of suicide, which seems to be the fourth such incident in a brief period of time. The bureau flags the circumstances after every man’s grave is vandalized in what seems to be some sort of ritual. “Grave robbing with a twist,” as Agent Mulder (David Duchovny) calls it. And although there are the standard eye-rolls and paper-shuffling when he additional elaborates on this cemetery humorous enterprise, everybody—together with the usually-very-skeptical Agent Scully (Gillian Anderson) and FBI boss Skinner (Mitch Pileggi)—lets him roll with it: “It was necromancy, the summoning of the useless. It’s a type of magic courting again to primitive shamanism with a protracted custom within the Christian church. Via it, the useless are introduced again to life for the needs of divulging arcane information and performing ritual duties.”
Skinner suggests the Millennium Group—former FBI brokers turned top-secret law-enforcement consultants who, as Scully stated, “fell into disrepute” after it turned clear they had been a doomsday cult—is concerned. However what precisely are they as much as? Seeking solutions, Scully and Mulder head to the psychiatric hospital the place Frank Black has checked in to recalibrate after his bumpy trip by Millennium. His Millennium Group entanglements led to the demise of his spouse in the course of the sequence, and when Mulder and Scully discover him, he’s embroiled in a custody battle together with his former in-laws over his younger daughter. He’s so burned out, he received’t even have a look at the case file they dangle earlier than him.
With New 12 months’s Eve inching nearer, Scully and Mulder—doing that “working individually whereas coming to the identical conclusions” factor they did so effectively—understand there’s certainly a doomsday plot afoot… and it includes zombies, beginning with the reanimated corpses of the 4 just lately deceased FBI agents-turned-Millennium Group operatives, who volunteered for this responsibility as a part of a plan they believed would hasten the top of the world. Holmes Osborne (Donnie Darko) performs the loner who serves as their necromancer, performing the ceremonies, digging up the our bodies, and muttering E book of Revelation verses underneath his breath. All appears on schedule till he’s pressured to show certainly one of his zombies on a cop who has the misfortune to detect the human biohazard he’s hauling at the back of his truck.
Naturally, both Mulder and Scully have their own close encounters. “He was dead, and then somehow he wasn’t!” Scully groggily recounts to Skinner; the “rules” of these creatures are a little murky, but fortunately it seems this particular strain of shambling corpse won’t transform attack victims unless they die as a result. (They do, however, succumb to headshots, as George A. Romero decreed.) As for Frank Black, he steps up when it counts, providing the agents with a profile of the necromancer so incredibly accurate it’s not really a surprise when we realize he knows exactly who Scully and Mulder are looking for. In fact, he knows exactly what’s at stake—that Millennium Group, man!—and ultimately decides he’ll stand for the forces of good and help prevent, you know, a Y2K zombie apocalypse.
Fans of Millennium might have longed for another season of the show to really wrap things up, but at least they got to see Frank reunite with his daughter in a moment that’s sweet even without the context of three seasons of a completely different TV series. (“Millennium” was directed by Thomas J. Wright, who also helmed nearly a third of Millennium’s episodes; it was co-written by Vince Gilligan, who famously went on to create Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul.) Even sweeter, though, are the final seconds of the episode, when Scully and Mulder watch Dick Clark on TV and share a spontaneous kiss to ring in the new year. “The world didn’t end,” they realize, and whether they meant 2000 continued without an undead uprising, or planet Earth kept revolving even after Scully and Mulder had a romantic lip-lock… well, the answer’s a little of both, perhaps.
The X-Files is available for streaming on Hulu.
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