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Season 1 Episode 4

The Judge

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Nov 15, 1996 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
69 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

The Judge
Frank is called in to find a murderer who sent his victim's wife his severed tongue. Frank thinks the murders are connected to other unexplained serial killings where body parts were also sent through the post. Soon Frank comes to realize that the serial killers are being recruited by a man calling himself 'The Judge', who has a satanic way of dealing out justice...moreless

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  • Not bad.

    This was really just an avergae episode. It was quite good for most parts but the ending was a little rushed and unplanned. This episode really is about a man who calls himelf the Judge, anyway he gets released prisoners to carry out his justice sentences. Obviously these men are killers so they have no trouble doing what the judge asks. Until one gets careless and leaves a trail. Frank soon works out that a person is responisble (the Judege) but they do not have enough evidence to convict the Judge so he is released but is killed by one of the prisoners and is put into a stable and is eaten by hungry pigs, nice.

    Anyway this was quire a good episode, it showed us a few more charactors and we learned a little mroe that people are sceptical about Franks 'gift'.moreless
  • Pretty good but something goes wrong...

    I don't really know where to begin this review because the episode leaves me feeling confused. It's mostly a good episode with an excellent beginning but it then falls apart for a while, leaving the viewer somewhat uninterested and wishing the episode was over. Then it delivers a few sporadic good scenes amongst the average ones, and then has a good (and dark) ending.

    A man called The Judge is behind the cases of several murders, involving dismemberment. He is acting through a couple of young men. When he passes judgment on someone he orders the others carry them out. The Judge is arrested and taken into custody but eventually gets out, only to be killed by Bardale, who has been working for The Judge. Bardale sees The Judge as weak and nothing more than a pig. As he's taken away at the end of the episode, we see The Judge's body half-buried in the hog pen.moreless
  • Frank Black comes up against a man calling himself Judge, who uses others to deal out his idea of justice...

    This one was definetly the most enjoyable since the pilot, though still nowhere near as good. The storyline really interested me, as did the Judge character, played by an actor I recognise from The X-Files episode "Fallen Angel". There were also some pretty neat effects, especially the cut-out tongue in the teaser.

    I wish they would use Frank Black's family more though. The scenes of him and his wife are always good, despite being so few in number and far between. The ending was an odd one too, as I was expecting more screen time between the Judge and Frank, and like previous episodes, the story seemed to come to a premature end.

    Still, I really liked this episode overall. Now please let there be more great ones!moreless
  • Tongue Jury

    With severed tongues, dismembered limbs and man-eating pigs, The Judge is easily the most violent episode so far, featuring an intriguing protagonist and some excellent work from the behind-the-scenes guys.

    The Judge, as a character, was far more world-weary and intelligent than Frank's previous nemesis’s, making him all the more sinister. Whilst the bad guys seen on the show before were just upfront psychopaths, The Judge was somebody who showed absolutely no fear about the situation he was in, believing he could withstand any type of setback with his mind, his intelligence or his killer pigs. Surprisingly, he proved to be no match for his latest protégé, who fed him to his pets at the end of the episode.

    The direction from Randy Zisk is also worth mentioning, with his use of space and light ensuring a creepy setting for most of the scenes. The most obvious example of this is in the final act, with Mike Bardale lit only by the refrigerator light, cast in shadow, echoing his own fragile mindset at that moment in time.

    Writer Ted Mann also gave Megan Gallagher a little more to do in this episode, but I still believe she's being underused. She had two excellent scenes in this episode, both showing that Catherine isn't completely useless with Frank's cases and sometimes her unique intuition could save the day. The family relationships in Millennium regularly produce some of the best scenes on the show, and usually brings out the best in Lance Henriksen's and the aforementioned Gallagher's acting.

    Director: Randy Zisk

    Writer: Ted Mann

    Rating: B+moreless
  • Kill the sinners.

    ‘The Judge’ is an interesting episode that doesn’t quite use the potential it has.

    The teaser is excellent where a guy is looking at a man eating and later we see a woman receiving a tongue, probably from the eating man.

    The problem with the episode is that it’s not quite up there, you loose your interesting somewhere in the middle of the episode. I did enjoy the ending and that the second guy killed his boss and fed him to the pigs.

    The darkness is still quite up there, it’s still disturbing but can be better.

    At the end of the episode you feel like nothing really happened, and that’s the problem of the episode. None of the characters developed and there wasn’t much depth except some guy killing others, some foot hacking and everything.

    ‘The Judge’ is a good episode but it’s not a big ‘hit’, at the end of it, it’s still like nothing happened and that makes it unmemorable.

Marshall Bell

Marshall Bell

The Judge

Guest Star

John Hawkes

John Hawkes

Mike Bardale

Guest Star

Chris Ellis

Chris Ellis

Jim Penseyres

Guest Star

Bill Smitrovich

Bill Smitrovich

Lt. Bob Bletcher

Recurring Role

Stephen J. Lang

Stephen J. Lang

Det. Bob Geibelhouse

Recurring Role

CCH Pounder

CCH Pounder

Cheryl Andrews

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • This episode is the only time that demons, or manifestations of pure evil, are called on by name, "Legion" (a direct reference to the Bible). Whenever Frank saw a vision of a demon, or was opposed by a seemingly otherworldly human, fans would identify it as Legion, although this is the only episode in which the word is used.

  • QUOTES (14)

    • Bardale: You know in prison you don't have it both ways. You're either an inmate or a convict - a man or a piece of worthless crap. Judge said the system was worthless crap, then he gets in bed with the system. He was a pig, like the rest.
      Frank: He promised to take care of you on the outside.
      Bardale: Who gives a rat's ass? Wasn't what he said, it's what he was that mattered. He was bitch enough to let the cops take him, file law suits after he let them do it. Bitch in the heart. Wasn't any kind of judge. Bitch was pure pig.

    • Frank: The man I had Bletcher pick up has filed a half a dozen law suits. City's attorney's ordered the police to stay away from him. (Offers his sandwich to Catherine.) Want this?
      Catherine: No, thanks. There's nothing to be done, to bring this man to justice?
      Frank: He flaunts the system and gets away with it, as if his private justice was a higher, purer form.
      Catherine: Then he uses conventional law to protect himself.
      Frank: When you believe in nothing, everything is acceptable. It's a game to him. He sits at home a free man. He's taunting us.

    • Frank: Sit down. What should I call you?
      Judge: 'Judge' is fine. Or the name on the report. My name is 'Legion.'
      Frank: 'Legion?'
      Judge: When Jesus of Nazareth expelled demons from a herd of enchanted hogs, story has it that the demons told him their name was 'Legion.' How would you like to work for me?
      Frank: Work? You mean killing.
      Judge: Every man finds his own path to justice. You needn't commit yourself now. The offer's open. A month, a year... Many benefits. I know you're sometimes scared for your family, your wife. There's a child now too, yes?
      Frank: When you spoke to Bardale, what did you say to him when he called you from the bar?
      Judge: Bardale... who can speak to Bardale? A slave of echoes. I can talk to you. We're after the same thing.
      Frank: How's that?
      Judge: I can show you an absolute justice, an unconstrained justice. You'd have freedom to act without fear. Bardale and his kindred... they fear me, they obey me. Your family would be safe from such threats.
      Frank: Uh-huh.
      Judge: The police are about to release me. You and your group of associates have never been as close to me as I've allowed this time. I wanted you to hear my offer, feel its truth, see my strength.
      Frank: We're going to find Bardale.
      Judge: Oh, yes. My congratulations in advance. Well, it's time to go. And remember, the offer's open. And if I'm hard to reach, well, don't make the conventional assumptions.
      Bletcher: What'd he say?
      Frank: He offered me a job.

    • Judge: My judicial privilege shelters you, Mr. Bardale.
      Bardale: Yeah, yeah, but what do I do?
      Judge: We cannot be called into account, you and I, by courts at perpetual odds with the justice that they presume to assure their continued existence.
      Bardale: Sure. There are cops riding circles around here and you're on your judicial horse. I gotta move.
      Judge: Shut up, Bardale! Don't let your fear make you insolent. You saw the cops in the bar, did you? Are they looking for you? You're an afterthought, Bardale. They want me.
      Bardale: Why? Why would they, Judge?
      Judge: Because if you saw them then they saw you. If they wanted you, they'd take you and they'd convict you. Then they'd miss me. If they left you then it's clear they have some idea that I exist. I've been wanting to meet the man who could find me. They will come to me and as I promised, I will protect you. Now, do as I say. Take my car. Drive away.
      Bardale: Okay.

    • Frank: A controller. Someone calling the shots. Out of caution or distaste, he's chosen to avoid direct action. Now he's found himself a new surrogate.
      Penseyres: Someone to carry on the killing.
      Frank: Someone predisposed to an alternative theory of justice. Disillusioned, credulous, naïve...
      Bletcher: You mean we're looking for two guys now?
      Frank: The killer's capable of a high level of violence, probably someone who's been in the justice system once or twice, done time.
      Penseyres: Ex-con, moves in similar circles outside. Limited number of places these people go. Limited ways they socialize.
      Bletcher: I think I know the kind of places you mean.

    • Frank: I think somebody's righting wrongs.
      Penseyres: What, a New Age vigilante?
      Frank: This person is directing the killer or killers and there's nothing new about that.

    • Judge: Having found sufficient evidence the accused removed, or caused to be removed, lighting from his apartment building's common stairwell. This action resulted in a female client, aged 62, sustaining fatal injuries as a result of a fall. It is now my duty to pronounce sentence. You are to apprehend the condemned as instructed and having transported him to the place designated, to amputate his right leg below the knee.
      Bardale: I got it written down from earlier, Judge. I like the foot. I mean it's like the son of a bitch, he kicked that old lady down the stairs, practically.
      Judge: The prisoner shall be conscious prior to the amputation. You shall make him aware of the court's sentence.
      Bardale: I'll rub it in good.
      Judge: The hood may seem superfluous to you, Mr. Bardale, but I pronounce formal sentence to honor what we do and to set it apart from frying bacon or passing gas.
      Bardale: Oh, I respect that, Judge. Only, the two of us here, it seems a little like law court, you know?
      Judge: Mine is not a court of law, Mr. Bardale. It is a court of justice. We cannot address every case. Our scope is not broad like the common law courts. It is narrower. Deeper. More pure. Our judgment final.
      Bardale: I'd better get going. You're doing the right thing like this. Feels good. I'm real grateful, Judge.

    • Bletcher: 500 years ago, you would have been burned as a witch.
      Frank: Nothing I do is magic, Bob.
      Bletcher: Yeah, a lot of people shouted just that from the middle of a bonfire.

    • Catherine: I just always feel like a trespasser down here.
      Frank: Neither of us should feel at home with what I do.

    • Judge: Sentence carried out contrary to just instructions of this court.
      Man: I had to be practical. It's hard to cut a guy's tongue out when he's still alive. I meant to get him unsuspecting but he bled out in the parking lot and he croaked before I got the tongue.
      Judge: You acted as agent of this court while impaired.
      Man: One beer is all...
      Judge: Remember I am who I am. How was the corpse of the condemned disposed of?
      Man: Same way as usual.
      Judge: You've forgotten. You feel you can lie as freely to me as to yourself.
      Man: Uh, they'll never find it. Um, I had to hurry.
      Judge: Carl Nearman, you've acted selfishly. You've ignored both the requirements of justice and the procedures of this court. I'm discharging you from the court's service... Mr. Bardale... Stand and receive sentence.

    • Judge: Be very careful of the tone you take with strangers. And bring Mr. Bardale another round now.
      Bardale: What are you at?
      Judge: You've been released from prison, newborn in the world, off the bus just minutes. You like it?
      Bardale: Look, if you're some queer thinks he got lucky...
      Judge: Queer? Since the age of 15, Mr. Bardale you've released six times but your total time outside prison is less than a year.
      Bardale: You a cop?
      Judge: You're out this time after having served 8 years for robbery with violence. Never been tried for most of what you've done.
      Bardale: Parole officer? I got 24 hours to report in.
      Judge: Two murders. The girl in Tacoma your last time out. And the man who picked you up hitchhiking. You were 17. He was homosexual. Others you killed in prison. I admire your capacity for action. I want to keep you in the world. Your nature can serve a higher purpose.
      Bardale: You want to keep me from going back to prison?
      Judge: Without me you'll be in custody within days. Sooner, perhaps. I will keep you in the world.
      Bardale: You're a lawyer, right?
      Judge: No, Mr. Bardale, I'm not. I'm a judge.

    • Cheryl: Wherein where previous findings indicate the other body parts were all sundered while the victims where alive, but I believe this tongue was removed after death. Also the instrument wasn't as sharp or as skillfully used as in previous excisions.
      Bletcher: Would that point to, uh, rage, loss of control?
      Cheryl: Doubtful. The cuts aren't unusually forceful, just imprecise. A few false starts, repetitive blade strokes.
      Bletcher: Frank?
      Frank: We do have a pattern change.
      Penseyres: Unlikely to be intentional deviation from the established method.
      Bletcher: So how do we account for it?
      Cheryl: The victim died prematurely or the killer was interrupted.
      Penseyres: The perpetrator may be getting lazy, becoming more casual as his activities lose their novelty.
      Bletcher: So it really doesn't tell us much then.
      Frank: Well, it tells us that he's less concerned about being discovered but no less dangerous... possibly more so. There's nothing here to indicate that this is going to stop.

    • Bletcher: Doesn't seem to be any reason why it was sent to this lady. She's a bookkeeper for a florist. No problems at work. She's, uh, widowed almost ten years ago. No romantic involvements. On good terms with the family... the ones she keeps up with.
      Frank: No one with any grievances she's aware of?
      Bletcher: Doesn't make any sense.
      Frank: This isn't the first time that you've seen one of these, is it?
      Bletcher: Over the last four years, we've had, uh, human fingers, partial hand -- sent to three individuals, locally. No discernible reason why these people were chosen and no connection between any of them we're able to find. Finger's one thing. A guy can live without a finger. But a tongue...
      Frank: The victim is dead, Bletch.
      Bletcher: We need your expertise on this, Frank. I guess that goes without saying.

    • "...the visible world
      seems formed in love,
      the invisible spheres
      were formed in fright."
      ----H. Melville 1819-1891

  • NOTES (3)

    • In this episode, we are introduced to yet another member of the Millennium Group, Cheryl Andrews, as played by CCH Pounder. Although she appeared in a mere handful of episodes, she gained something of a cult following. Her next appearance was in "Weeds."

    • Features the songs "Short End of the Stick" by Donnie Fritz, "Danger" by Steve Goodman, and "Ten Foot Pole" by Donnie Fritz.

    • This episode also marks the final appearance of Jim Penseyres, played by Chris Ellis.


    • The Judge: Rain without, rain within.

      This quotation references a line spoken by Prince Henry in 1 Henry IV: "Rain within doors, and none abroad?"

    • Bardale: You know what Gary Gilmore said right before they shot him? 'Let's do it.'

      Gary Gilmore was a petty criminal who shot two men in Utah in 1976. He was sentenced to die and chose death by firing squad. He is mainly remembered for being the first execution in ten years in the United States. His last words were in fact "Let's do it."

    • Judge: When Jesus of Nazareth expelled demons from a herd of enchanted hogs, story has it that the demons told him their name was 'Legion.'
      The episode the Judge discusses is from the Bible, Mark 5:1-20 and Luke 8:27-39.

    • Judge: Remember I am who I am.
      This may be a reference to Exodus 3:14, "God said to Moses, 'I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.'"

    • Episode Quote: ...the visible world seems formed in love, the invisible spheres were formed in fright.
      This quote comes from chapter 42 of Herman Melville's Moby Dick, "Though neither knows where lie the nameless things of which the mystic sign gives forth such hints; yet with me, as with the colt, somewhere those things must exist. Though in many of its aspects this visible world seems formed in love, the invisible spheres were formed in fright."