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Millennium 3×04 – ‘Closure’ – TV Rewind

After last week’s episode involving gun culture, it’s somewhat of a surprise to see Millennium return to that well for the second week running. While ‘Closure’ isn’t as much focused on the Second Amendment here as it was in ‘TEOTWAWKI‘, it’s still there on the periphery of the episode. As such it cannot help but remind one of that time during the first season of The X-Files, as it headed to its season finale and gave audiences two episodes involving revenge from beyond the grave (‘Born Again’ and ‘Roland’).

‘Closure’ is not a terrible episode of television by any stretch, but it once again feels like Millennium going through the motions. It’s very much a crime procedural with very little of the thematic heft and style that even the lesser instalments of the first season had, and while last week’s Carter and Spotnitz-scripted episode may not have been the greatest either, at least it felt as if there was a little fire in that episode’s belly.

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From its opening moments, Laurence Andries’ teleplay plays all the cards that one expects it to, and hits the beats that one expects a gun-obsessed spree killing duo, like the one that this is focusing on, entails. There are some well filmed set pieces courtesy of director Daniel Sackheim, an X-Files veteran of sorts, having produced the ‘Pilot’ episode, and directed ‘Deep Throat’ and ‘Conduit on Millennium’s sibling series. But the writing here is obvious at the best of times and hits story beats that you pretty much expect it to.

It’s a shame in some respects, because there are good things going on in front of the camera here that are hard to ignore and dismiss out of turn. Klea Scott once again shows how great an addition to the series she is, and while this week’s serial killers are not the most fascinating of characters, credit must go to a pre-Deadwood Garret Dillahunt, Michael Sunczyk, and Shelley-Lynn Owens, who take their characters and make them more interesting than they actually have any right to be.

Klea Scott deserves a lot of the credit here. This is the first episode of the season to really put her front and centre and to explore Emma Hollis in great detail, although this being a series from the Ten Thirteen Productions stable, it involves a tragic past and a dead relative. For further reference, see Fox Mulder, John Doggett, and even this series’ very own Frank Black, who had a missing sibling, child, and spouse, accordingly. Now Emma Hollis joins their ranks as having a deceased sister, which it is easy to guess is a loss that happened under tragic circumstances as soon as we see her at that graveside. It may be a somewhat superficial complaint, as a lot of crime procedurals utilise this aspect, but it makes one wonder if the FBI in the Ten Thirteen Universe asks for a tragic past when recruiting future agents.

Admittedly, seeing the drive and determination of the character here gives her grit and complexity that has only been hinted at until now, and the scenes between Scott and Henriksen sparkle in a wonderful way that we seldom see in a Chris Carter created series. Many of the partnerships on The X-Files had a semblance of romance in them right from the off (Mulder and Scully, Doggett and Reyes), and whilst one can maybe see the Fox Network hoping for something similar here, to see a protege/mentor relationship like the one between Frank and Emma play out as it has been throughout the season so far has been the one shining thing that has you coming back to the series at this stage. In fact, it’s the beating heart of the series to the extent that it’s almost worth recommending just for Scott and Henriksen alone.

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