Second Sight: "Gehenna"

“Gehenna” (1 November 1996)

Chris Carter
Director: David Nutter
Editor: Stephen Mark

Quote: “You've seen it, haven't you? Seen the hideous face... Seen the red rain falling in the face of the beast. I’ve seen it too. I know why you’re afraid.” --Frank Black

While the visions of “Pilot” focused exclusively on victims, offering us strobe-lit portraits of immolated men and blood-soaked women, the rapid-fire visuals of “Gehenna” are clearly more concerned with examining the episode’s demonic killer. Given the storyline, nothing could be more appropriate. An admittedly confused Frank Black spends much of this episode grappling with uncertainty regarding the true nature of evil and the profiler’s dilemma is represented in his trademark flashes of insight. When Frank imagines the face of cult leader Ricardo Clement, clenched teeth and unblinking night-vision goggles are at once swapped for the gaping maw and doglike snout of a winged demon. For the first time in the series, Millennium offers the viewer a tantalizing glimpse at the snarling, bestial face of the demonic presence that would come to be known as Legion. This single, perfectly realized blink-and-you’ll-miss-it visual is so distinctive, so disturbing, so unshakably memorable that it would come to be used throughout the series to identify the presence of true evil.

While these hellish visuals could be tied to Frank’s mounting uncertainty, they also serve to heighten our own uncertainty regarding the true nature of his unique abilities. Does Frank see the face of Clement as that of a demon because his personal understanding of evil is changing, or is the cult leader truly acting as the embodiment of otherworldly forces? The riddle is furthered somewhat in “Gehenna” by Frank’s professional colleagues, the trio of Millennium Group operatives who aid him throughout his investigation into the activities of Gehenna International. Silently, in sidelong glances or quizzical stares heavy with meaning, Peter Watts and Mike Atkins tell us a great deal about Frank’s exceptional talents. Without the issue ever being raised aloud, we are left with the distinct impression that the intuitive faculty that Frank Black possesses--whatever its origin or purpose might be--is entirely unique, far beyond the talents and training of even his esteemed mentor. The Millennium Group, it is subtly implied, may understand or appreciate Frank Black’s keen perceptive talents better than he does.

Connections: Bob Bletcher recalls the detailed description Frank gave for his gift in “Pilot.” Frank discovers an apt identification for the winged, bestial figure that dominates his visions by consulting a biblical passage, Matthew 25:41: “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, ‘Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.’”

Trances in Total: 7 (0:20)

Gore Score: 8/10

BacktoFrankBlack Halloween Celebration!

Halloween is fast approaching and no one enjoys this holiday more than Millennium fans! Last year BacktoFrankBlack had a very successful Halloween when we dedicated a week to the brilliant episode "The Curse of Frank Black"! Well, we plan to continue that tradition by topping what was done last year.

We have a very exciting week planned for Halloween including special guests, events, and competitions. You won't find any other site that will have the exclusive content we are going to bring to you. No one does Halloween better than BacktoFrankBlack! Keep coming back to the blog for more information.

Happy Halloween!

Happy Birthday Chris Carter!

A very warm Happy Birthday from all of us at BacktoFrankBlack and all those who follow this blog. Today is 13th October -- 1013, if you will (a company name followers of Chris' work will be familar with).

So raise your digital glasses and toast the creator of Millennium and the wonder we celebrate here on this blog everyday. Have a great day!

Here's My Thing: TEOTWAWKI

It has been a while since we've heard from our resident episode reviewer, DiRT, but I am happy to announce that he is back and better than ever. Some say he was a victim of the Marburg virus, some say he sort of went the route of Lara Means, but nonetheless, he is back!

Today DiRT takes a look at the season three episode "TEOTWAWKI," offering his unique take on the episode. What sets this review apart from his other reviews is that this time, he has a special guest join him, so to speak.

Enjoy the video, and make sure you leave comments on the blog letting DiRT know your thoughts about the episode and his review of it! And don't forget to head over to the site where DiRT and the rest of his pop culture friends hang out and discuss toys, video games, comic books, and much, much more. They have revamped the site and it looks fantastic. Just follow this link