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The groundbreaking show Millennium
was about to take a new, visionary direction in its second season. Millennium
could have continued its successful formula of introducing new, apocalyptic "Se7en
-esque" serial killers for Frank Black (Lance Henriksen) to hunt down. But as any viewer can attest, it was the exploration of the mysterious "Millennium Group" and Frank Black's role that held the key to the show's potential longevity. And who better to build a mythos for the Millennium
than the minds behind The X-Files
: producer/writer team Glenn Morgan and James Wong. Stepping in when Chris Carter stepped aside, Morgan and Wong immediately began to focus season 2 not on the killers and their impact on Armageddon, but on Frank Black and his struggle for his personal stability and sanity. The Millennium Group, whose identify and function was never really explored in season 1
, now becomes a central entity in season 2 complete with its own Masonic-like mythology.
Picking up where season 1 ends, Frank Black's stalker, the "Polaroid man," has kidnapped his wife, Catherine (Megan Gallagher). While searching for his wife, Frank begins to learn that the group has not exactly been open with him and their secrets run a lot deeper than he ever imagined. Building on this tragedy, season 2 follows Frank's downward spiral: his strained relationship with his wife, the loss of his sanctuary "the yellow house," his disenchantment and eventual confrontation with the Millennium Group, and his struggle to maintain a normal relationship with his daughter, Jordan (Brittany Tiplady), in the face of Armageddon. Season 1 was definitely dark and fantastic, but somehow maintained a strong sense of realism. With Morgan and Wong at the helm, season 2 further explores the dark and fantastical, but becomes a lot more surreal, but no less fascinating. So whether you are drawn to stories about dark serial killers ("The Mikado"), the ongoing tales of conspiracies ("The Hand of St. Sebastian," "Owls," and "Roosters"), familiar comedies ("José Chung's Doomsday Defense"), or the bizarre ("Somehow, Satan Got Behind Me"), season 2 has something for you. Tragically, there would only be one more season before one of the best shows of the '90s would be cancelled. --Rob Bracco