At the dawn of the Millennium, Agents Mulder and Scully ask retired Agent Frank Black for help with investigating the recent deaths of various Millennium Group members.
SummaryA widow at her husband's funeral in Tallahassee, Florida is approached by a man, Mark Johnson who claims to have worked with her husband. After the other mourners have left Johnson returns to the funeral parlor and places a phone in the dead man's hand. A week later Johnson waits outside a cemetery, his phone rings and he walks towards a grave. Agents Mulder and Scully are called in to examine the empty grave, from the evidence available to them they conclude that someone broke out of the casket. Scully theorizes that someone made it look that way. At a briefing lead by Assistant Director Skinner however Mulder explains his own theory of Necromancy, the summoning of the dead. Skinner takes Mulder and Scully aside and explains to them that the dead man Crouch was part of the Millennium Group, an organization made up of former FBI agents. Mulder and Scully visit Frank Black, a criminal profiler, and a former member of the Millennium Group. He is reluctant to help them as he is involved in a custody battle for his daughter. He eventually agrees to help in their investigation, explaining that the members of the Millennium group believe they can bring about the end of the world by killing themselves before the dawn of the new Millennium. Acting on information from Frank Black, Mulder concentrates on trying to find Johnson, when Scully is attacked in the morgue by the dead deputy. The two agents put all their effort in to finding Johnson before it is too late.
A.D. Skinner checks on Scully about the morgue incident, she has no explanation for the dead deputy having risen from the dead just as Mulder believed would happen. She tells him that the “necromancer” is the one who saved her and the coroner from the dead man by shooting it in the head. Skinner, Scully, and the FBI are no longer able to contact Mulder, they believe he has gone missing.Mulder manages to find Mark Johnson’s home, he starts to call in but finds he has no cell phone coverage there. Finding an extra big bag of salt in the garbage, Mulder proceeds to enter the home. Walking among the animals that show the skilled practice of taxidermy, Mulder notices a barricaded door. He removes the bar that holds it shut as Mark Johnson arrives home. He moves into the basement and the sand starts to move as the Millennium group members rise. He tries to run back out of the basement but Johnson is there, closing the door.
Scully returns to Frank Black in the hopes that he can help her find Mulder. She asks if the Millennium Group could actually bring about the Apocalypse. Frank Black says he has studied the group’s beliefs for years but he doesn’t believe them himself. Scully leaves and Black checks himself out of the mental hospital.
While Mulder stands in a circle of salt surrounded by the undead, Mark Johnson watches him from the basement window. Frank Black appears and the man is overjoyed. He explains that Mulder killed one of the members by shooting him in the head and now Frank Black can replace him as the fourth (horseman). Black admits that he sent Mulder there but now he accepts he can’t leave the Millennium Group behind, especially now that the dead have risen. When Johnson hands a gun to Frank (so he can kill himself), he turns it on the man.
Scully learns from Skinner that phone records of all four dead men lead them to the same address in Rice County. She asks for the address as she keeps driving.
Frank Black duct tapes Mark Johnson to a chair and goes into the basement as the man rants.
“Don’t do this. I’m begging you, please. You know what the world is. Evil goes unpunished. The good suffer. There’s no future here but uncertainty and pain. Let the judgement come! You’re damning yourself, Frank!”
Black enters and speaks with the injured Mulder who tells him to aim for the head and that the zombies are hiding. Lighting flares, Black throws them onto the floor. He kills one zombie on his way to Mulder but another knocks him down, Mulder picks up the gun and shoots the creature as it struggles with Black. The final dead man charges them as the gun runs out of ammunition. Scully’s arrival saves the two men as she kills the last of the undead.At the hospital waiting room, Frank Black watches Dick Clark herald the year 2000. Scully shows up and informs him that Mark Johnson is in the psych ward on suicide watch. She sends his daughter in and Frank embraces her. Mulder comes in with his right arm in a sling and shakes his hand goodbye as Frank and Jordan Black leave.
“You’re not going to stay and watch?”
“No, we just want to go home.”
“The world didn’t end.”
“No, it didn’t.”
“Happy New Year, Scully.”
“Happy New Year, Mulder.”
- This episode is often cited as concluding the Millennium series story arc and features the last appearances of Frank and Jordan Black. However, it was not well received by either fans or critics, who felt it largely ignored the mythology of Millennium and lacked true closure. Lance Henriksen in particular voiced dissatisfaction with the episode, claiming that instead of concluding the storyline of Millennium, it was merely an X-Files episode with elements of Millennium thrown in.
- This episode is thoughtfully included in the Millennium Season 3 DVD release.
- In the Millennium episode "Midnight of the Century", a newspaper from December, 1946 gave Frank Black's age as 5 years old. His age in this episode, set in 1999, would therefore be 58.
- When Skinner hands Mulder and Scully the Millennium Group's symbol, we can see that it's an Ouroboros. This is the same symbol that Scully had tattooed on her back in "Never Again". However, she does not seem to be familiar with this symbol, indicating a possible lack of continuity.
- Vince Gilligan's tradition of including his girlfriend's name (Lucy "Holly" Hartwell Rice) in all his episodes continues here - much of the episode takes place in Rice County, Maryland, and the institution where Frank stays is the Hartwell Psychiatric Hospital (in Virginia - Vince's home state).
- Vince Gilligan has stated that the episode was not really meant to close out the Millennium mythology but act as a crossover of sorts between the two (that Millennium was it its end being largely coincidental). In fact, it was meant to incorporate a number of elements that had been kicked around as potential story ideas, including zombies and the Year 2000 Problem (the latter subject having been explored in a Season 3 episode of Millennium, "TEOTWAWKI."
- This is the only explicit "crossover" with Millennium. A previous character crossover featured Scully's favourite writer, José Chung (author of "From Outer Space"), in the Millennium episode "José Chung's Doomsday Defense", both episodes written by Darin Morgan. In the episode Somehow, Satan Got Behind Me, the television censor walks onto the set of filming a show that appears to be X-Files.
- After watching the ball drop on New Year's Eve, we see the second on-screen kiss between Mulder and Scully. This kiss is also the first one that is definitely set in the real world of the characters, since the first kiss between the pair takes place in Season 6 "Triangle", in a questionable reality in which Mulder kisses a woman who looks identical to Scully (and was played by Gillian Anderson) but is seemingly not her, even though Mulder is left with the impression that she was Scully.
- At the beginning of the episode, right before the agents meet Frank Black, they show the outside of Hartwell Psychiatric Hospital. The shot of the building shows that it is daytime. When they show Mulder and Scully walking down the hall, and speaking with Frank Black, it is very dark.
- Mulder: "Shoot them in the head, it seems to stop them." This line is a homage to the original Night of the Living Dead.
Special Guest Starring
- Holmes Osborne as Mark Johnson
- Colby French as Deputy
- William Forward as Funeral Director
- Brittany Tiplady as Jordan Black
- Dick Clark as himself
- Marilyn McIntyre as Becky Crouch
- Moné Walton as Coroner
- Octavia L. Spencer as Nurse Octavia
- Romy Walthall as Second Agent
- Stephen Ramsey as First Agent
- Eulan Middlebrooks as Young Cop
- Michael Dempsey as Sheriff