Season 1 Episode 2


Aired Friday 9:00 PM Nov 01, 1996 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
80 votes

By Users

Episode Summary


When human ashes are found in a local park, Frank Black joins an investigation that leads to a cult that kills its unwilling members. When Frank gets closer to the cult leader he sees the force that may be influencing the killers he seeks.

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  • I think I know

    I'm halfway through the first season, and I keep coming back to this episode as the best (so far). Of course, there's the background information about the Millennium Group and the whole Pictures/Stalker mystery, but the ending of this episode, is chilling. Frank Black looks at the killer as someone asks "who is this guy?" and replies with, "I think I know" as if referring to the non-human evil influence / beast he had wondered about earlier.moreless
  • A lot of scattered ashes attracts attention in a park. Frank and the Millennium Group are called in. A cult of demon worshipers is discovered and the Group must stop them from killing again. Frank is worried about Catherine and their daughters safety.moreless

    An uneven episode with some problems that seem to be inherent in the show. Frank is driven to stop the serial killers and it seems to haunt him if he doesn't pursue them. On the other hand he is haunted by the constant concern for his wife and child. We also learn that this was what caused Frank to have a "breakdown" when he had to leave the FBI. The fear of something happening to his family made it impossible for him to do his job and leave the house. We get to meet a number of the other people in the Millennium Group. Chief among them is Mike Atkins played by Robin Gammell who seems to lead the group. We also see Peter Watts played by Terry O'Quinn who we met in passing in the first episode who seems a little like Jack's partner in this Group. Finally we meet Jim Penseyres played by Chris Ellis.

    Initially they discover that at least seven bodies were hidden in the park in San Fransisco and when they find a human ear they are able to match it to a person and discover a cult that is driving its members to leave normal society to prepare for the coming of the Devil. Among other things they figure out a commercial microwave is being used to burn the bodies while they are still alive at over 1400 degrees Fahrenheit. Not a pretty way to go.

    In the end with Frank's insights Mike goes to the site where the murders are occurring without backup. I really wondered about that piece of the story. Why was he motivated to do that? Does he have a death wish? Frank calls for some help as he is at home in Seattle. The rest of the authorities arrive in time and capture the cult and his leader.

    Some rather cryptic things are said and not said in the end. Mike survives barely and Catherine meets Frank in San Fransisco telling him that he can't fear the unknown. Great idea for a story but poorly executed. There is way too much left over that the characters in the story don't understand let alone the viewers. As I said, it is rather cryptic in nature. The acting is excellent and Lance Henriksen and Megan Gallagher are great as Frank and Catherine. I think they just left too many loose ends in this episode. Unfortunately I have the feeling this may be the norm at times. We'll see. Thanks for reading...moreless
  • Good but not great.

    While I didn't dislike this episode at all, it just wasn't as captivating to me as the pilot. The production values are still excellent, the writing is still solid, the perfomances are just as good as they were in the pilot, but something about this episode just doesn't grab me, although the teaser certainly did.

    Frank is called in to investigate when the remains of human ashes are found being dumped in a local park. This eventually leads him to a cult called Gehenna International, which is currently using telemarketing to raise money to fund their efforts, which is to bring on Armageddon. The cult kills those members who are resistant, taking them into a back alley and feeding them LSD, and then scaring them when they are then killed by a Beast...which is the cult's leader, but it's never really addressed if it's just a man, or if he's really some sort of demon.

    Meanwhile, Catherine doesn't know that their stalker has followed them to Seattle. After seeing a strange shadow outside the window, she later tells Frank's friend, Bob, that she must never let Frank think she and Jordan are in any sort of danger, because the last time he thought that he would not leave the house, and she knows he must use his gifts to fight the evil men in the world.

    All in all, a good episode that I didn't hate, but it was missing something that made me like it.moreless
  • Not as good as the Pilot episode but still very good.

    This was a good episode which built up some more back ground about Frank Black and his past. I was alarmed when i saw the phot's of Fransk family, why would someone want to do that? I fear it will be a long time until that question is answered. Overall this epsiode proved to me that Millenium is fast becoming great. The main story of the epsidoe is this human ashes are turning up in a park Fr ank and the Millennium group must pair together to finds out who is killing these innocent people. The comclusion was great where Frank told them that Evil is in the questioning room not a man. I wonder how dark this show will really get.moreless
  • Scattered ashes lead the Millennium group to a cult apparently burning people alive...

    This was a good episode for a few reasons. One, we got more of a taste of what the Millennium group is actually like, meaning more Terry O'Quinn (certainly a well-known face now after Lost) and the introduction of who seemed to me to be the group leader. I liked his character very much and am glad he survived his little ordeal towards the end there. And two, like the previous episode, there was plenty of haunting imagery, though nothing as frightening as in the pilot.

    My problem really was that it seemed like there was still more to come, when it suddenly just ended. Like the episode before, the conclusion to the case lacked any real oomph, and there was some confusion in how everything was actually pieced together.

    Still, a good episode overall, and I think there's something up with Frank's neighbour. He seems too nice and asks too many questions about his work. For all of you who saw this years ago and know the answers to all my pondering, laugh away. I'll see what happens...moreless
Robin Gammell

Robin Gammell

Mike Atkins

Guest Star

Chris Ellis

Chris Ellis

Jim Penseyres

Guest Star

Don MacKay

Don MacKay

Jack Meredith

Guest Star

Terry O'Quinn

Terry O'Quinn

Peter Watts

Recurring Role

Bill Smitrovich

Bill Smitrovich

Lt. Bob Bletcher

Recurring Role

Bob Wilde

Bob Wilde

Ricardo Clement (uncredited)

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • The cult's projector offers four messages: "CREATE DESIRE"; "EVERYBODY WANTS BEAUTIFUL HAIR"; "FACILITATE ENVY"; "WORK WILL SET YOU FREE."

  • QUOTES (9)

    • Frank: It seems that the old biblical concept of the devil's influence has lost any currency.
      Catherine: I just think the language has changed. I think science and psychology have given us a clearer idea of why people commit evil acts. I see it everyday, abused kids become abusive adults.
      Frank: So the true source of evil is us.
      Catherine: You mean, are we all capable of it?
      Frank: Or is there something out there - a force or a presence - waiting until it can create another murder, another rape, another holocaust.
      Catherine: I think it's something that everyone who looks deeply at life wonders.
      Frank: What would you tell a child? What would I tell Jordan?
      Catherine: Maybe you should just tell her good-night.

    • Catherine: You did what was important. You did what you set out to do, Frank. You caught the bad man.
      Frank: I'm not so sure.
      Catherine: Not sure of what?
      Frank: Not sure... not sure if the bad man can be caught.

    • Catherine: [referring to the Bible which Frank is reading] I hear it's a real pot-boiler... full of treachery, death, violence.
      Frank: Yeah.

    • Mike: What you described in there last night... the face of the beast...
      Frank: I saw it, the day I arrived.
      Mike: I've seen the face of evil, Frank. I've looked into its eyes, seen it staring back at me. The face has always been a man's face... a human face. I've always believed that evil is born in a cold heart and a weak mind.
      Frank: I have too.

    • Frank: You've seen it, haven't you? Seen the hideous face... just like Eedo did. Seen the red rain falling in the face of the beast... I've seen it too. I know why you're afraid... But you're safe from it now.

    • Catherine: Frank went back to work because he had to. It's who he is. Sometimes I think of Frank as the catcher in the rye... standing at the edge of the cliff trying to save the world... but he can't change anything. All he can do is catch these horrible men before they kill again. And that's why I can never let him think that Jordan and I aren't perfectly safe in this perfect house and perfect world that he's tried to give us... Because I know, if he ever thought differently... next time he'd never be able to leave.

    • Mike: There is a deliberate error in the Great Pyramid in Giza... an architectural anomaly that some prophets have cited as an error in our calculation of the true calendar year. Some believe it sets the date of the apocalypse in 1998.
      Penseyres: Plan your investment strategy accordingly.

    • Mike: He sends the photos to you, Frank. The envelope has your name on it. What's the object of terrorism?
      Frank: Terror.
      Mike: That's all he wants at this point.
      Frank: Then he's a success...

    • "I smell blood and
      an era of prominent madmen"
      ----W.H. Auden

  • NOTES (3)

    • The yellow house has changed between the "Pilot and the second episode. The yellow house in the second Millennium episode appears to be the same house used to open the second episode of Chris Carter's other series, The X-Files.

    • Lewis Gannett wrote a novelization of this episode which appeared in late 1997. It was published under the title Gehenna.

    • Features the songs "Hits From the Bong" by Cypress Hill, "Insane in the Brain" by Cypress Hill, and "I Wanna Get High" by Cypress Hill.


    • Screen Projection: WORK WILL MAKE YOU FREE
      The phrase "WORK WILL MAKE YOU FREE" translates into German as "Arbeit Macht Frei" This was the legend above the gates of German concentrations camps.

    • Episode Title: Gehenna
      The word "Gehenna" is usually taken to mean hell. It refers to a place or state of torment or suffering. It also refers to a deep and narrow ravine southwest of Jerusalem called the valley of Hinnom. In ancient times, that valley was used in rituals of child sacrifice. Later, it was used as a dump. Garbage was taken from Jerusalem and dropped into the valley where it was burned.

    • Peter: Frank, this is Jim Penseyres. He worked at VICAP just after you left...
      VICAP stands for "Violent Criminal Apprehension Program". It is a program run by the FBI whose mission is to facilitate cooperation, communication, and coordination between law enforcement agencies and provide support in their efforts to investigate, identify, track, apprehend, and prosecute violent serial offenders.

    • Mike: There is a deliberate error in the Great Pyramid in Giza... an architectural anomaly that some prophets have cited as an error in our calculation of the true calendar year. Some believe it sets the date of the apocalypse in 1998.
      Predictions of end the world based on the measurements Great Pyramid have been made a number of times in the past. Most notably, David Davidson in his book The Great Pyramid, Its Divine Message (1925) predicted that the world would end in August of 1953 and Piazzi Smyth in his book Our Inheritance in the Great Pyramid (1874) predicted that the millennium would start before the end of 1960.

    • Mike: 286.1... There is a deliberate error in the Great Pyramid in Giza.
      When the Great Pyramid of Giza was built there was a displacement error 286.1 made in the laying of the base. It was because of this error that the capstone did not fit at the top of the Pyramid. This displacement error has some significance in prophetic understandings of the Great Pyramid. Some hold 286 to be as a measure of human error seeing it as symbolic of "man's displacement from God's plan of perfection."

    • Mike: He'd amassed over a billion dollars. Been trying to buy weapons from the Russians. They think he may have even been trying to get the Ebola virus.
      Mike is apparently referring to Shoko Asahara (born Chizuo Matsumoto on March 2, 1955), leader of Japan's Aum Supreme Truth (Aum Shinrikyo) doomsday cult. In March of 1995, the cult is believed to have released Sarin gas in Tokyo subways during morning rush hour, killing 12 people and injuring thousands of others.

    • Catherine: I hear it's a real pot-boiler... full of treachery, death, violence.
      Catherine is referring to the Bible which Frank is reads in the course of his investigation. He reads two biblical passages. The first is Ephesians 6:16: "In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. The second is Matthew, Chapter 25:41: "Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels."

    • Episode Quote: I smell blood and an era of prominent madmen.
      This quote comes from a poem by W.H. Auden entitled "Blessed event" (1939), "...Four voices just audible in the hush of any Christmas:/ Accept my friendship or die./ I shall order and not very much will happen./ Bring me luck and of course I'll support you./ I smell blood and an era of prominent madmen."

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