Millennium

Season 2 Episode 19

Anamnesis

0
Aired Friday 9:00 PM Apr 17, 1998 on FOX
8.5
out of 10
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50 votes
2

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Episode Summary

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Anamnesis
AIRED:
Catherine a Lara team up to investigate when five girls claim they saw a vision of the Virgin Mary. Catherine also begins to gain a deeper understanding of Frank's work with the Millennium Group.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • No Frank Black + Dan Brown Theology = Worst. Episode. Ever. (Mild Spoilers)

    2.5
    I like Millennium. I really do. But this episode . . . yeesh.



    In the 90's, stuff like the Gnostic gospels, Nag Hamadi library, and Merovingians were all the rage with pretentious, quasi-educated bible-study dropouts. These subjects also provided popular fodder for contemporary fiction, usually with not-very-good results.



    This episode is Millennium's attempt to address the issue, and it just flat out sucked at it.



    Mistake #1: Don't do an episode without the star of the show. OK, yes, actors need vacations too. But there aren't many shows that can get away with filming an episode minus the main character, especially if that character commands the entire series. A show with an ensemble cast like the A-Team, Star Trek, or Desperate Housewives could do without someone once in awhile, but doing Millennium without Frank Black makes about as much sense as doing "Chuck" without Chuck, or "Magnum, P.I." without Magnum.



    Mistake #2: If you must do an episode without the star, DON'T MAKE IT A PLOT EPISODE. This should be a no-brainer, but sadly, it wasn't. Several events that were at least moderately important to the series' main plot arc happened during the episode, and Frank Black wasn't there to see them. I suppose we can all imagine Peter, Lara, or Catherine filling him in on the details later, but that's weak storytelling.



    Mistake #3: When addressing religion in a TV show, don't assume that all your viewers know as little about specific religions as you do. Most Protestant faiths don't pray the Hail Mary, use rosaries, or keep statues of saints lying about. And yet the characters in this episode clearly weren't Catholic. So . . . what were they? Santeria? Voodoo? Reformed Christian Wiccans? Throw me a line here, Mr. Director. I'm drowning in this pile of pseudo-religious mystical "spirituality" you've cooked up for us.



    Mistake #4: Gnosticism in general makes for bad storytelling. For one thing, the "Jesus made a baby" nonsense is a stupid story idea. It's at least mildly insulting to Christians (and a few other faiths), even when it's placed squarely in the realm of fiction, and besides that, it stinks of conspiracy theory. Of course many viewers, including myself, enjoy the occasional conspiratorial silliness. But this particular theory has about as much believability as the Freemasons blowing up Jupiter (yes, that was a real conspiracy theory in the late 90's).



    But worse than that, gnosticism is creepy, what with all the secrets and sacrifices and confusing texts and misanthropic goddess-worshiping proto-feminism. And this episode has those things in spades. It makes it very hard to care about characters that are so clearly disconnected from normal experience. There are very few touchstones of understanding with the teenage girl, or the mysterious drama teacher, so that when bad things happen to them, you can't feel grief or the power of human suffering -- they seem barely human as it is.



    So I'm chalking this episode up to poor planning, poor directing, and the general zeitgeist during which it was made. Missing star, missing plot, missing sense of reality.moreless
  • Good episode

    7.5
    Good episode, and the reference is funny, especially when it came out, when there WAS no Dan Brown book called Angels and Demons. So the former reference is ridiculous. Now the Danaus, are ofcourse also, butterflies, and which one, ah the Monarchbutterfly, and in conspiracy stories we know what they stand for, and if you don`t, google 'monarch project', and why are they called this? Orange, the Dutch king, william something ;o)

    Remember the blond white haired MKultra ladies? and the plane that went down, and the butterflies came to the 'motoroil'? So actually millenium was way ahead of the modern day conspiracy stories and the Dan Brown books. So ninjandy, you are way of, maybe you should have stidied all this stuff better, you dropout. )O+->moreless
Gwynyth Walsh

Gwynyth Walsh

Emma Shetterly

Guest Star

John Pyper-Ferguson

John Pyper-Ferguson

Ben Fisher

Guest Star

Genele Templeton

Genele Templeton

Clare McKenna

Guest Star

Terry O'Quinn

Terry O'Quinn

Peter Watts

Recurring Role

Kristen Cloke

Kristen Cloke

Lara Means

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Just after George Washington's sighting of Mary at the Delaware is mentioned, the next room features a painting of George Washington on the wall.

    • Lara claims that the following 'contradictions' appear in The Thunder, Perfect Mind: "I am the virgin and the whore" and "the mother and the daughter". The first strictly speaking is a misquote, but it appears to be an amalgam of "I am the whore and the holy one...I am the wife and the virgin." The second adage is not misquoted. It does appear in The Thunder, Perfect Mind, but it is not really a contradiction. Lara, however, may be referring to another passage: "I am the mother of my father and the sister of my husband and he is my offspring."

    • Clare says the following: "'I know the first ones, and those after them know me... I am... the power of the powers and my knowledge of the angels who have been sent at my word... I am peace and war has come because of me. I am the first and the last... The alpha and the omega.'" She quotes bits of The Thunder, Perfect Mind a gnostic text that is part of "The Nag Hammadi Library" (a collection of thirteen ancient codices containing over fifty texts that was discovered in upper Egypt in 1945). Lara correctly notes that she tacts on "the alpha and the omega." It should be noted, however, that in the text of The Thunder, Perfect Mind the quote "I am the first and the last" precedes the other selections she cites.

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Catherine: (reading) "She will come in a boat, like the daughters of Danaus and the Virgin of Bologne-sur-mer."
      Ben Fisher: (voiceover) "She fed the saint which inspired the warrior monks to dig up the stable of a thousand horses and take their treasure to help the angels build the churches. Their treasure returned to Bethania and at the cutting of the elm they asked themselves, 'Whom does one serve by virtue of serving the Grail?' Thus, the sorcerer kings become The Family."
      Clare: (voiceover) "She suffered every indignity from them and she could not return to the Father. In a human body, she came to be confined. And thus, from age to age, she passed from body to body, into one female body after the other. Thus, she became the lost sheep."

    • Catherine: My own husband couldn't tell me that I was being stalked by a psychopath, I don't suppose that you could tell me why a similar psychopath is stalking a little girl. The Millennium Group doesn't uncover truths, Lara. It buries them.

    • Peter: We've watched worse things happen with less reason.

    • Lara: I know who you are.
      Ben Fisher: Then we're even. Since The Family and The Millennium Group split, this is our first time knocking heads with you people. And honestly, I am not that impressed. I expected someone more formidable, instead I get a canidate fumbling in the dark, so obviously afraid... Not only of what she knows, but of what she doesn't know.

    • Catherine: Before launching into gnosticism, she parroted a speech that the preacher gave this morning. If all hell hadn't broken loose, maybe she would have added a little 'It was the best of times; It was the worst of times' just to keep things lively.

    • Lara: Through the years we've investigated many well-documented apparitions: Lourdes, Marpingen, Fatima. In each case, young girls were the recipients of messages that...
      Catherine: Young girls whose bodies are changing and who feel isolated...
      Lara: Visionaries at Medjugordje still receive messages from the Virgin and the similarities among the sightings...
      Catherine: That's like saying alien abduction exist because abductees report the same experiences.
      Lara: The Virgin appeared to George Washington at Valley Forge and showed him the future of America without any faith.
      Catherine: It's unclear to me how you can claim to be objective when you've already made up your mind that this girl is a visionary.
      Lara: You've already made up your mind that she isn't.

  • NOTES (4)

    • Features the song "Dancing Barefoot" by Patti Smith.

    • This is the only episode in which Lance Henriksen does not appear.

    • The title of this episode "Anamnesis" means in Greek "calling to memory past matters" or, more specifically, "citing a past author from memory".

    • This episode appears to be partially inspired by Holy Blood, Holy Grail and The Messianic Legacy by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln. The former book theorizes that Jesus Christ married Mary Magdalene and began a bloodline which merged with the royal bloodline of France's Merovingian dynasty. According to Baigent, et al, this bloodline survives to the present day and is protected by a secret society called the Priory of Zion. This secret society appears to be the inspiration for "The Family". The statue of the Black Virgin coming to Clare in a boat appears to be a reference to a legend cocerning a mysterious boat without oars that docked in Bologne Sur Mer, France during the reign of Dagobert I. On board was a statue of the Virgin Mary holding the Child Jesus in her left arm.

  • ALLUSIONS (3)

    • Catherine: Maybe she should have tacked on 'it was the best of times it was the worst of times' to make it more lively.
      This is a reference to the first line of Charles Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities.

    • Claire: 'I know the first ones, and those after them know me... I am... the power of the powers and my knowledge of the angels who have been sent at my word... I am peace and war has come because of me...'
      This is a quote from the gnostic text The Thunder, Perfect Mind.

    • Clare: And the savior said: 'The visionary does not see with the soul or the spirit but with the mind that exists between these two. That is what sees the vision and that is what...' I bet you'll love to know what comes next.
      This is a quote from Chapter 5 of the Gospel According to Mary.

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