|The Beginning & the End||Credits||Gallery||Transcript|
After Catherine Black goes missing from a Seattle airport, Frank desperately struggles to find her abductor. (Part 2 of 2)
The episode begins in media res from the ending of the preceding episode, "Paper Dove", showing Millennium Group member Frank Black (Lance Henriksen) returning by plane to Seattle with his wife Catherine (Megan Gallagher) and daughter Jordan (Brittany Tiplady). As Black takes Jordan to their car, Catherine is drugged and kidnapped by a strange man (Doug Hutchison). The abductor—the Polaroid Man—hides Catherine in his car and escapes with her to the mountains overlooking the city.
Black's fellow Group members arrive to help, though he had not yet contacted any of them. They set up roadblocks throughout the city but are unsuccessful in finding Catherine. Black returns home, where his colleague Peter Watts (Terry O'Quinn) tells him about trying to conceive a son with his wife. Watts had once been assigned to a child-murder case in which the dismembered infant's body had been found in a cooler. He believed that God would reward him with his longed-for son if he could find the killer—years later, he still only has his three daughters, which has caused him to realize it is impossible to sacrifice one thing to gain another. Watts then has a Group member install software on Black's computer, allowing him access to sensitive documents—Black comments that he thought he already had full access before. Watts also explains that the Group's interest in Black is the reason for the Polaroid Man's actions. Elsewhere, the Polaroid Man ties up Catherine in a dark room.
Black struggles to find anything useful while investigating the abduction. However, he begins to experience seemingly-psychic visions which lead him to believe she is being held in their former home. The police raid the address but find it empty; Black finds a polaroid of another house inside. He is able to track down the address of this house, but goes alone this time. Reaching it, he finds Catherine in the basement, bound to a rafter. He goes to untie her but is blinded by a camera flash. He struggles with the Polaroid Man, which we see through a series of photographs taken by the man's camera. Black is able to wrest the Polaroid Man's knife away from him and stab him to death.
Returning home, Catherine packs a suitcase for Black, telling him that she cannot have him in their home for the time being, believing that he sacrificed a part of himself in killing her attacker. She hopes that time apart might help him recover what he is missing inside; he takes the case and drives off.
- As the first episode of Millennium's second season, this episode is the first in the series to feature an updated and altered opening credits sequence. Various apocalyptic images were added to the sequence and the lines "wait", "worry" and "who cares?" were replaced with the lines "this is who we are" and "the time is near". The new credits sequence would remain until Season 3, when it was changed again.
- Other cosmetic changes to the show would include the removal of the quotes that began episodes in the first season, replacing it with the title of the episode. The quotes would occasionally reappear throughout the season, but in differing locations.
- This episode marked the first appearance of Brian Roedecker, as well as the Millennium Group's computer monitor countdown to the year 2000.
- In one scene, Catherine Black's abductor mentions that the scientific name of the Millennium Comet is P1997 Vansen-West. Writers Glen Morgan and James Wong chose this name after having created and worked on an aborted television series, Space: Above and Beyond, in which the main characters were called Nathan West and Shane Vansen.
- Frank's computer display reads: "Welcome Frank. There are 833 days remaining."
Cast and Characters
- Doug Hutchison (Polaroid Man) previously played Eugene Victor Tooms in The X-Files episode "Squeeze" and "Tooms".
- Allan Zinyk (Brian Roedecker) previously played Blaine Faulkner in The X-Files episode "José Chung's From Outer Space".
- Norman Armour (Suited Man) previously played ER Doctor in The X-Files episode "Sanguinarium", Medical Examiner Geller in the Millennium episode "Covenant" and Coroner in The X-Files episode "Synchrony".
- Mitchell Kosterman (Sheriff) previously played Detective Horton in The X-Files episode "Gender Bender" and "Sleepless", Fornier in "The List" and Lieutenant in the Millennium episode "Force Majeure".
- Judith Maxie (Finley) previously played Barbara Taylor in The X-Files episode "Home", Judge Myers in the Millennium episode "Powers, Principalities, Thrones and Dominions".
- Alan Robertson (Elderly Man) previously played Charles in The X-Files episode "Fire" and Carl Roosevelt in "Teso Dos Bichos".
- Marek Wiedman (FBI Special Agent) previously played Investigator in The X-Files episode "Tempus Fugit".
- Norman Armour as Suited Man
- Mitchell Kosterman as Sheriff
- Judith Maxie as Finley
- Drew Reichelt as Dicky Bird Perkins
- Alan Robertson as Elderly Man
- Francis Boyle as Airport Security
- John Dadey as State Trooper
- Patricia Mayen-Salazar as Lady from Washroom
- Jake T. Roberts as Police Officer
- Klodyne Rodney as Airport Parking Attendant
- Alexander Ruurs as German Kid
- Marek Wiedman as FBI Special Agent
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