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Millennium – Via Dolorosa (Review)

This July, we’re taking a trip back in time to review the sixth season of The X-Files and the third (and final) season of Millennium.

And so, Millennium ends.

That is not entirely accurate. Via Dolorosa and Goodbye to All That are really the third ending to Millennium. Chris Carter’s oft-overlooked series famously reinvented itself in each of its three seasons. Every season finalé was a series finalé, bidding farewell to one version of the show before another arrives. In the first season, it was a serial killer procedural with ominous spiritual undertones. In its second season, it was the story of a family breakup that drew in all manner of religious conspiracy theories and eschatology. In its third season, it was…

"Did I tell you that I REALLY like The Silence of the Lambs?"

“Did I tell you that I REALLY like The Silence of the Lambs?”

Well, it is hard to tell what the third season was – or even what it wanted to be.

Nevertheless, Via Dolorosa and Goodbye to All That feel like an attempt to grant the series some sense of closure. In a way, these episodes typify the third season. They are messy and confused, awkwardly paced and drawn in broad strokes. At the same time, there are enough interesting ideas and clever concepts that one can see how they might have come together with a bit more craft. There is an outline of a great episode here, with Via Dolorosa and Goodbye to All That making a valiant effort to pull together messy strands of continuity from across the show’s run.

"Yep, it feels a little bit like that."

“Yep, it feels a little bit like that.”

The third season of Millennium was hampered by terrible decisions made out of the gate, but the final stretch of the season has no shortage of ambition and drive. It is no secret that the third season suffered from a number of serious problems at the start of the year. Maybe if those had been avoided, Via Dolorosa and Goodbye to All That would have an easier time drawing down the blinds. Still, it is impossible to know what might have been, and the truth is that Via Dolorosa and Goodbye to All That are a flawed conclusion to a flawed year.

Perhaps appropriately, Via Dolorosa and Goodbye to All That offer a rather disjointed conclusion to a rather disjointed year. Via Dolorosa and Goodbye to All That are written by two different teams of writers and directed by two different directors. Although the plot carries across both episodes, there are points where the transition seems rather inelegant or incongruous. Then again, this is about wrapping up the show’s troubled third season, so it is certainly representative.

"Take a picture. It'll last longer."

“Take a picture. It’ll last longer.”

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Millennium – The Sound of Snow (Review)

This July, we’re taking a trip back in time to review the sixth season of The X-Files and the third (and final) season of Millennium.

“Our pasts are what we are,” Alice Severin explains to Emma Hollis and Bob Giebelhouse towards the climax of The Sound of Snow. It seems as if she might be talking for Millennium itself.

The Sound of Snow is a literal homecoming for Frank Black and Millennium as a television show. It is the last time that a number of crucial elements of Millennium appear in the show. It is the last appearance of Detective Bob Giebelhouse, the Seattle police officer who has been around since The Pilot. It is the last appearance of the yellow house, although it has since been painted a less striking white. It is also the last appearance of Catherine Black, who was a regular character for the show’s first two seasons.

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The Sound of Snow features Frank Black returning to Seattle. This is not a big deal of itself. After all, Frank visited Seattle during TEOTWAWKI. However, The Sound of Snow sees Frank wading through memories. He flashes back to the events of The Fourth Horseman and The Time is Now, and visits the yellow house. He even takes a trip out to visit the cabin where he tried to wait out the end of the world with his wife and daughter. The Sound of Snow is about reconciliation, allowing Frank one last conversation with his beloved.

The Sound of Snow is also about reconciliation for the show itself. Since Omertà, the show has been trying to deal with the legacy of a second season that the first eight episodes of the year had tried minimise or ignore. The Sound of Snow is the culmination of that approach, with the third season finally picking up from where the second season let off.

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