Thursday, December 15, 2022

Millennium Season 2: Episode 16 "Roosters"

Directed by Thomas J. Wright

Written by Glen Morgan and James Wong

Air Date: March 13, 1998

Guest Star: R. G. Armstrong (The Old Man); Phillip Baker Hall (Group Elder)

"Roosters" picks up right after "Owls" and while remarkably plot heavy for a one-hour network TV show, it moves with confidence towards a satisfying conclusion. 

Secular vs religious worldviews are a main theme, partly causing the division from within the group. We learn the secularists are convinced an "astronomical event" in the mid-21st Century will destroy the planet. We also learn the group is privy to technological advancement long before the public becomes aware. In addition to the eschatology and secrecy, the Nazi element introduced in "Owls" is revealed to be a "third party" remnant of the Odessa Group, the alleged group of ex-Nazis who gathered after Germany's defeat, who are working to divide the group. There's a lot to process!

Where is Frank Black in all this? Alienated from the group for good reason, he discovers Catherine's new employer is front for the Odessa Group in a gambit to get to him (this felt a little thin). While Nazis always make for an easy villain, the idea that fascism remaining a malignant and dangerous force in the world sadly still resonates. 

Lending even more dramatic weight to the episode are guest stars R.G. Armstrong and Phillip Baker Hall. Both serve as stabilizing figures who suggest the goals of the group aren't necessarily nefarious. In an effective closing scene Baker receives the true cross and tucks it away in his bookcase, no dialogue, just effective non-verbal acting.

The denouement feels like an homage to The Godfather with the group exacting righteous justice on the Odessa Group. Now reunited, not unlike the Allies who came together in WWII to defeat fascism, the fissure within the group appears to be healed - for the moment.  

An intriguing story, "Roosters" steered Millennium into the apocalyptic momentum of the second season. At the same time, the story of Frank and his family gets lost in the shuffle, placing the series at a creative crossroads.

No comments:

Post a Comment