Second Sight: "The Judge"

“The Judge” (15 November 1996)

Ted Mann
Director: Randy Zisk
Editor: Stephen Mark

Quote: “Five hundred years ago, you would have been burned as a witch.” --Bob Bletcher to Frank Black

In “The Judge,” Bob Bletcher teasingly calls attention to the seemingly miraculous nature of Frank Black’s gift by associating his talents with witchcraft. Frank, of course, rejects the comparison. “Nothing I do is magic,” the profiler insists with a straight face and, for perhaps the first time since the series was launched, the casework that follows fully supports his position. This episode dutifully presents the usual stylized flashes of insight as imaginative extrapolations of the evidence at hand. Each and every one of the visions is clearly prompted by clue or cue seen, heard, or felt by Frank Black--and, by extension, the audience. Blood and tissue samples found under the fingernails of a corpse prompt our hero to reconsider the events of an early killing; the expert analysis voiced by a pathologist induces a visualization of precisely how a new victim was subdued.

Slowed down, taken frame-by-frame, the lurid visions seen here reveal details of the crimes never otherwise shown or discussed on screen and thus act as a compelling representation of the complexities of Frank Black’s investigative thought process. This is one of many Millennium installments in which the visionary sequences contain far more detail than could ever be properly absorbed by the audience during a traditional viewing--a veritable visual overload, especially for a collective total of eleven seconds of screen time. They reveal just how much artistic effort was put into crafting these fleeting displays on film.

While it may not be directly tied to the subject matter of Frank Black’s visions, mention must also be made of the portentous tête-à-tête that takes place between our hero and his unique opponent. When Frank asks for the eponymous Judge to provide his name, the livestock auctioneer turned vigilante insists that his true name is Legion. He explains that the chosen moniker is adopted from the story related in Mark 5:1-19--appropriately enough, a tale involving Jesus, a demon, and a herd of hogs. The grim meaning invested in that name was at once seized upon by Millennium’s fan base as an apt identification for the ominous force that was first seen in “Gehenna” and would come to make its presence felt more and more strongly as the series progressed. Mark my words: that evocative name, first cited in our review of the visions seen in the show’s second installment, will certainly mark future columns.

Connections: The Judge relates the parable of Mark 5:1-19, the story of Legion, and thereby provides both Frank Black and the audience with a moniker for the demonic presence previously glimpsed in “Gehenna.”

Trances in Total: 4 (0:11)

Gore Score: 10/10

Lance Henriksen Guest Stars on ABC's "Castle" Tonight!

In a must-see episode for any Lance or Ten Thirteen fan, Lance Henriksen guest stars in tonight's brand new episode of Castle on ABC.

The episode, entitled "Close Enounters of the Murderous Kind", also features Lyle Lovett as a federal agent, whilst Lance's character is a "super nerd" and expert on alien abduction! In an interview with TV Guide, creator and executive producer Andrew W. Marlowe explains how the episode is quite explicitly a nod to The X-Files. This, coupled with the inclusion of Lance Henriksen as a guest star, makes this a highly significant televisual event for Ten Thirteen fans and followers of Back to Frank Black, exemplifying the enduring appeal of both Chris Carter's creations and Lance Henriksen himself.

You can watch a sneak peek preview of the episode at ABC's website, and it airs tonight at 10/9C plus will thereafter be available to view online. Don't miss it!

Back To Frank Black goes independent! is moving! Well, for you guys it isn't, but the site is spreading its wings somewhat behind the scenes!

How does this affect you? Well, on the short term, the site may be down while the migration takes place -- maybe some teething problems -- but hopefully nothing we can't sort out in the next 48 hours from this post.

Email works as always -- send us email to if you have something to say!

Again, this is short term -- one night at most, I hope. Monday will hopefully bring a new independent era to Back to Frank Black!

What this post is really about is saying thank you to Graham Smith, who has let us use his server space for the past two years. Graham has always been generous with us, and indeed always been there to offer technical advice or very candid feedback on the campaign itself. I'm still in contact with Graham and through him and his network of This Is Who We Are, but on behalf of myself, Troy, Brian, Adam, Joselyn, Christina and, of course, Lance, thank you for looking after us. In particular, thanks for suffering many technical e-mails on the migration! You were a great help.

So, Back to Frank Black is now sitting independent. Money from the t-shirts we've sold has enabled us to run the hosting for the campaign -- an indicator that money spent on the campaign does help the campaign and not our pockets. We're here independently because of you guys, so I guess that alone requires a big thank you from us all!

Watch out for more news! The date for the charity auction is finally set! A post on that tomorrow -- plus an extension on the deadline for the Worldwide Fan Campaign! Eyes peeled my friends! Eyes peeled!