|A Single Blade of Grass||Credits||Gallery||Transcript|
With the help of an anthropologist, Frank investigates a murder case involving Native American apocalyptic prophecy which seems to be becoming reality.
In New York City, a young native American man is forced by several others to ingest snake venom. The venom causes him to hallucinate, and one of the men, Joe Reynard (Michael Greyeyes) asks him to describe his visions. However, the poisoned man screams in agony and dies. His body is later found when a construction site is being excavated by archaeologists. A mummified body from centuries earlier is also found; when Millennium Group member Frank Black (Lance Henriksen) arrives to investigate, he notices similarities between both corpses. The archaeologist in charge of the dig, Liz Michaels (Amy Steel) is adamant that the site should stay intact for further excavation, but foreman Richard Powell (Garry Chalk) and his mostly native American crew insist building must continue.
Black believes the killing took place in a hotel basement; finding the crime scene, he consults Michaels, who notes that symbols painted on the walls come from several different native cultures but all concern communication with the spirit world. Black visits a bar frequented by the native construction workers and their elderly mentor (Floyd Red Crow Westerman). Reynard is among their number; Black asks him about one of the symbols, and is told by the old man that the symbol is an ominous warning. After Black leaves, Reynard tells the others that he "is the one".
The dead man is autopsied; his corpse had been dismembered and reconstructed. Michaels notes that this is a Seneca ritual aimed at reviving the dead to learn of spiritual matters. Later, Black and Michaels are called the construction site, where Powell is attempting to package and remove the ancient remains. Reynard and Powell begin fighting; the latter soon dies of a heart attack. When Black returns to his car, he finds a native face mask placed inside; Michaels explains that it represents the ability to cross from the material world into the spirit world. Black believes a secret native tribe is awaiting the downfall and apocalypse of the society of the white settlers; he theorizes that they believe his abilities are key to their prophecies of the end of the world.
That night, Black is kidnapped by the group of natives. He is taken to the sewers and forced to consume snake venom; he sees visions, but insists they are from his psychic gift rather than from the venom. He predicts that the native tribes will reunite and that the buffalo will return to New York. However, he is soon rescued by Michaels and a group of police, who place Reynard and his tribe under arrest. As the tribe—now reunited in police custody—are led away, a travelling rodeo loses track of four buffalo, which run free through the city streets.
- This is the first episode in which Frank Black admits his ability has changed. Originally only able to see in the minds of criminals and psychopaths, Frank's ability, although he cannot control it or summon it, grants him prophetic visions. This change is also hinted at in "The Beginning and the End," the first episode of Season 2, when Catherine is abducted, and Frank experiences a vision of double-yellow lines or road markings; a realization for Frank that the abductor has already left the airport with his wife, Catherine.
Cast and Characters
- Floyd "Red Crow" Westerman (Old Indian) previously played Albert Hosteen in The X-Files episode "Anasazi", "The Blessing Way", "Paper Clip".
- Doug Abrahams (Sgt. Manny Walters) previously played Patrolman #1 in The X-Files episode "Pilot", Agent #2 in "Gender Bender", Paul Vitaris in "Die Hand Die Verletzt", Detective Neary in "Hell Money", Farbaugh in "The Field Where I Died" and Detective Kent in the Millennium episode "Loin Like a Hunting Flame".
- Amy Steel as Dr. Liz Michael
- Michael Greyeyes as Joe Reynard
- Floyd "Red Crow" Westerman as Old Indian
- Garry Chalk as Richard Powell
- Doug Abrahams as Sgt. Manny Walters
SEMICOLON-SEPARATED LIST OF ITEMS/LOCATIONS REFERENCED IN EPISODE (BUT NOT LINKED TO IF ALREADY LINKED IN SUMMARY OR GUEST STARS SECTIONS)
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