Monday, March 20, 2023

Millennium Season 2: Episode 18 "In Arcadia Ego"

Directed by Thomas J. Wright

Written by Chip Johannessen

Air Date: April 3, 1998

Guest Stars: Ed Lauter (Warden Kellard); Missy Crider (Janette); Mary-Pat Green (Sonny)

"In Arcadia Ego" is more in the style of season one of Millennium in terms of theme and tone. The story begins with an escape at a female prison, following fugitive lovers Janette and Sonny as they go on the run. There are shades of Thelma and Louise as the episode follows a similar trajectory. A supernatural element is introduced when it's revealed Missy may be pregnant without a father. 

Green and Crider both bring a humanity to the story. Both women had experienced injustice at the hands of a society rigged against them (also revealed Jeanette was assaulted by a guard), both victims of domestic abuse who acted out and were punished for it. Eventually Frank and Peter track them to a railyard where a violent confrontation takes place. Missy dies after giving birth, while Sonny is killed by the police shortly after. Frank insured the survival of the child and locates adoptive parents.

Frank stoically observes at the end, "this should've ended better." The downbeat ending did not allow Janette and Sonny to be absolved, although the suggestion of a "virgin birth" lingers. A competent episode that follows the logic of a procedural, but it does throw off the rhythm of the season which was heavily focused on the history of the Millennium Group.

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