Thursday, June 18, 2020

Season 1: Episode 7: "Blood Relatives"

Written by Chip Johannessen

Directed by Jim Charleston
Air Date: December 6, 1996

Opening Quote: This generation is a wicked generation; it seeks for a sign, and yet no sign shall be given to it . . ."  

Luke 11:29

"Blood Relatives" is one of the grimmest episodes of Millennium. Filmed with a pitch black noir visual style, the story involves a series of killings targeted towards those in deep grief. The cold open begins with a funeral of a young man, a stranger named James claims to have been a good friend and comforts the family. Later that night the grieving mother is murdered.

Frank Black and Peter Watts are called in to investigate what appears to be a rash or murders following funerals. The episode allows Catherine to utilize her training as a social worker to conclude the killer is a full of rage and was probably abandoned by his parents. Detective Bletch observes that if a child has no human contact in the first two weeks of its life it will go "feral," some kitchen sink psychology the episode explores. Through a forensic investigation of the victims, Frank links the murders to a halfway house for troubled young men. In a twist Frank discovers an even more devious mastermind behind the murders.

Catherine muses that millions of parents abandon their children every year, creating a repeating cycle of rage aimed at the world. The crimes themselves are a manifestation of that rage. That's a troubling theme throughout the series, many of our own social ills come down people being deprived of the essential necessities of life - food, shelter, and love. 

A potent episode, but a chore to watch due to the heavy emotional pain in every scene. 

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