Episode Summary

Mulder and Scully enlist criminal profiler Frank Black to help prevent members of the Millennium Group from attaining an Armageddon new year.

Episode Details


Guest Cast


Funeral Director: Are you with the FBI, too?

Scully: Yes, sir.

Funeral Director: Look. I know my job. The man was deceased.

Scully: I'm sorry?

Funeral Director: I understand, that he was one of your own — but these rumours I'm hearing that I put a living human being into the ground... You people better get your facts straight, real fast.

Scully: Mulder, you been spreading rumours?

Mulder: Why? You hear any good ones lately?

Scully: Not particularly. So what do you have here?

Mulder: Merry Christmas, by the way, Scully.

Scully: Thank you. Merry Christmas to you, too.

Mulder: Grave robbery with a twist. Check out the headliner, Scully.

Scully: Well it looks like someone on the inside was trying to get out.

Mulder: Indeed it does. To answer your question — no, I haven't been spreading any rumours, the local PD's been doing a pretty good job of that. Ever since they matched the fingerprints on the dead man to these. And to those up there on that headstone. There's a big juicy handprint on the back.

Scully: What about the person or persons who did the digging?

Mulder: Well, got one pile of dirt. I'm guessing one man with a shovel. Other than that last night's rain hasn't left us much to go on. Well, go ahead Scully, naysay me. The body of an FBI agent gets disinterred only to climb out on its own and disappear into the Yuletide night.

Scully: See, you had me up until there.

Mulder: Did I?

Scully: I think it's what you said before. I think it's a grave robbery with a twist. You've got the fingerprints and the torn casket liner. Most likely it's rigged evidence that's been faked by whoever exhumed the body.

Mulder: Faked for what effect?

Scully: Publicity... fear... rumours... I mean, I don't know what specific effect, but nonetheless it's... [Mulder is examining the ground] What?

Mulder: Looks like blood.

Scully: Special Agent Raymond Crouch, Age 56, married, no children. After a sterling 21-year career with the Bureau, he retired in 1993. And, then earlier this month, he was found in the garage of his Tallahassee home, service weapon in hand.

Skinner: Definitely self-inflicted?

Scully: I read over the report and there's no indication otherwise.

Skinner: How about a motive for the grave robberies?

First Agent: We've gone through all the cases Crouch had a hand in. He doesn't seem to have made any enemies.

Second Agent: Same thing with his personal life. No large debts, no feuds with neighbours, never a bad word against him.

Skinner: Nothing stands out?

Mulder: Should something stand out?

Skinner: Agent Mulder, what's your take on this?

Mulder: Well, only that I don't think it was grave robbery per se. It was necromancy. The summoning of the dead. It's a form of magic dating back to primitive Shamanism with a long tradition in the Christian church. Through it, the dead are brought back to life for the purposes of divulging arcane knowledge or performing ritual tasks.

First Agent: So, that's what this wacko thought he was doing? Raising the dead?

Mulder: No, that's what he was doing. This is a, uh... that's a magic circle drawn in goat's blood. The rain washed most of it away. The blood attracts the spirits of the undead while the circle focuses the necromancer's power while protecting him from the spirits that he's conjuring.

First Agent: Okay.

Mulder: He may also desire to wear the clothes of the dead man to create a bond between them. You would not want to be this man's dry cleaner.

Scully: Obviously, there are clear ritualistic elements to this crime. But the question is why were they directed at Raymond Crouch?

Mulder: That is the question.

Skinner: Well, let's come up with an answer. [The agents get up to leave] Mulder, Scully, a word, please." The other agents leave the room] Necromancy aside... this magic circle you mentioned — what if it looked something like this? [He hands them a picture of a snake eating its own tail]

Mulder: It's an Ouroboros... Possibly. Definitely a mystical symbol. The alchemists favoured it. They believe that it represented all of existence.

Skinner: I'm thinking more the Millennium Group. It was their symbol as well. Are you familiar with them?

Scully: Yes, somewhat. They were former FBI agents who offered consulting services to law enforcement. Somehow, they fell into disrepute.

Skinner: They operated in extreme secrecy. Rumours abounded that they had their own agenda which was less than altruistic if not improper or illegal.

Mulder: And that it was, in fact, a cult based upon Judeo-Christian Endtime prophecies concerning the coming millennium. Was Raymond Crouch a member?

Skinner: I can't seem to find out. Apparently the group dissolved several months ago. They left no paper trail — nothing. However... I do have three other grave desecrations all within the last six months. Long Island... Northern California... Arizona. All three graves contained the bodies of former FBI agents. All three were recent suicides.

Mulder: How long were you going to sit on this?

Skinner: Owing to the Millennium Group's former ties with the Bureau this matter is... sensitive, to say the least. Investigate them. Keep a low profile.

Mulder: I think I know where to start.

Scully: How well do you know this man?

Mulder: Only by reputation. He left, um, Vi-Cap before I got there. But he's been called the greatest criminal profiler that Quantico ever produced.

Scully: What's he doing here? [Hartwell Psychiatric Hospital]

Mulder: Good morning. [Mulder greets a patient they pass] Apparently, he checked himself in for a 30 day observation. I gather the last few years haven't been very kind to him. If there's anybody that can tell us about the Millennium Group, it's him. He used to consult for them. Later, he fought to bring them down at the expense of his own career and reputation.

Scully: Single-minded.

Mulder: Yeah.

Scully: Sounds like someone I know.

Mulder: Frank Black? Hi, my name is, uh, Fox Mulder. This is my partner, Dana Scully. It's a pleasure to meet you. Do you mind if we sit down? Who's playing?

Frank Black: Uh, it's Notre Dame and Boston College.

Mulder: Ah, the Fighting Irish and the Golden Eagles, huh?

Frank Black: What can I do for you, agents?

Mulder: Well, we're working on a case that, uh, we feel that you might have some particular insight into — the deaths of four FBI agents. Do you recognise these men? [Mulder shows him photos of the four men]

Frank Black: I do.

Scully: All four committed suicide in the last six months. All were exhumed from their graves in a ritual desecration. They were members of the Millennium Group. Is that correct? [Frank Black nods] Sir, we've been having a really difficult time gleaning any information whatsoever about the group... about its membership, its practices... I believe you can help us.

Frank Black: No, thank you. I'm retired. I think you can tell by the circumstances that I'm trying to put my life back together. I can't get involved in this.

Mulder: We're not asking you to get involved. I'm just asking you to take a look at the case file.

Frank Black: No, thank you.

Mulder: Mr Black, the day after tomorrow is January 1, 2000. That's the significant date for these people. That doesn't leave us much time. Don't you want to see them stopped? Well, Mr Black, you are not what I was expecting.

Frank Black: Agent Mulder...

Mulder: Yes.

Frank Black: It's first and 18. Just let me watch this game in peace. [Mulder looks up at the football game. The score is seven to seven, third and ten]

Mulder: It's third and ten, Notre Dame.

Frank Black: Happy New Year.

Mulder: Same to you.

Scully: Hey. I've got the men concentrating on the woods.

Mulder: Our necromancer was definitely here. [He rubs the white substance between his fingers, then tastes it] It's salt. Heavy magic.

Scully: Well, if you're going to tell me that he, uh, stopped by the side of the road to raise the dead, which I hope you're not, I've got two things to say to you. One is that his previous circles were made of blood, not salt, and two...

Mulder: And they were large enough to contain a body. This is just a protective circle. It's just big enough for one man to stand inside.

Scully: Protecting himself against what? [They look down at a patch of bloody ground]

Mulder: Whatever it was that did that.

Sheriff: Agents! Over here! I saw a lump in the ground. [It is the body of the Deputy] My god...

Mulder: Bite marks. They look human.

Scully: More salt.

[The Deputy's mouth has been sealed with staples and packed with salt. Mulder pulls a protruding piece of paper out of the Deputy's mouth and reads it]

Mulder: I am he that liveth and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

Young Officer: Book of Revelation chapter one, verse 18.

Mulder: Go Fighting Irish.

Mulder: First and 18. It's not football, it's Revelations. You wanted to tell us something, Frank. Why don't you just come out and say it?

Frank Black: I don't know what you're talking about. I told you, I cannot get involved in this.

Mulder: Right, so you'll occasionally drop the little arcane hint? The police officer was murdered, Frank. Why do you want to play around? Your denials aside, you obviously know something about that. You knew that we'd find this. What are you afraid of?

Scully: Losing your daughter. You're in a custody battle with the parents of your late wife. I just spoke with your doctor. That's why you're here.

Frank Black: They claimed I was an unfit father, that I was obsessed with conspiracy, the end of the world... that my work meant more to me than my daughter, Jordan. The thing is... they were right.

Scully: And so you retired.

Frank Black: I will sell insurance. I'll do whatever it takes. I'll get well and I'll jump through whatever hoops they want, but I will not mention the Millennium Group again.

Mulder: But you obviously want to help. You... dropped that clue on us. Look, Frank, nobody needs to know about this. We're just three people sitting around talking.

[They are looking at file #X-120898, that contains the photographs of the dead agents]

Frank Black: The Book of Revelation describes the end of the physical world in a battle between heaven and hell... good against evil. The Millennium Group believed that that time was upon us. These four represent a schism in the group. [Indicating the photographs of the four dead men] They believe that for the end time to come, as it must that man must take an active hand in bringing that about.

Scully: And to that end, they committed suicide.

Frank Black: Yeah.

Mulder: With the express purpose of being brought back to life. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. These four men bring with them war, pestilence, famine and death.

Frank Black: So that all the dead of the earth will arise — Armageddon. It must begin with the dawn of the millennium... or not at all. That's what they believe. The man you're looking for — your necromancer — he exhumed these men in accordance with their wishes.

Mulder: So is he a member of the Millennium Group as well?

Frank Black: No, they sought him out. He believes he's doing god's work... but he's mistaken.

Scully: Could you tell us a little bit more about this man?

Frank Black: Well he's a white male, 45 to 50. He's a religious man, no police record... no fulfilling relationship. You would pass him without giving him a glance.

Mulder: So this is the one event that'll give his life meaning.

Frank Black: Yeah. He needs privacy for this. He'll live alone... possibly in the house he grew up in. Most likely it's a large rural property away from prying eyes. He'll own a truck or a van, he needs it to transport the bodies. There'll be high fences, No Trespassing signs. It's a solitary existence. He's worked around death all his life in some capacity — a funeral parlour or a cemetery. Death comforts him. He took great care in burying the Deputy, in preparing the body, despite the fact that he feared being caught. He stapled the lips, sealed the mouth shut. It was to prevent the man from coming back to life. He believes, that if disturbed the deputy will rise from the dead. It's too soon for that, which is why when he realises that the Deputy has been discovered he'll feel a need to take action. He'll return to the body the first chance he gets.

Scully: Rice County morgue.

Frank Black: I think you'll catch him there.

Mulder: These four members of the Millennium Group... the ones that truly liveth who were dead. These are the ones we have to catch.

Nurse Octavia: Mr Black?

Frank Black: Yeah?

Nurse Octavia: You've got a phone call. I think it might be your daughter.

Frank Black: Thank you. [to Mukder and Scully] My daughter. Excuse me.

Scully: Mulder, you're telling me it's more important to track down four dead bodies than one live murderer.

Mulder: He's not our murderer, and those four dead bodies aren't dead and the millennium... is 14 hours away.

Scully: Mulder, these people, even when they were alive, mangled biblical prophecy to the extent that it's unrecognisable. The year 2000 is just their artificial deadline, and besides 2001 is actually the start of the new millennium.

Mulder: Nobody likes a math geek, Scully.

Scully: Anyway, I think that Frank's profile is sound.

Mulder: I do, too.

Scully: I think with it we have our best chance of finding this necromancer, as you call him. So I am going down to the county morgue.

Mulder: I absolutely think you should.

Scully: And what are you going to do?

Mulder: Follow the profile. The deputy was killed on a road that connects from the north with no major highway. I'm thinking our necromancer lives nearby. I'm going to do a rundown on all single landowners in the area see where the bodies are buried, since we all... Oh, Scully, will you do me a favour? Don't let anybody remove the staples from the deputy's mouth, okay? Please? Just humour me. Thanks.

Skinner: Where is she?

Sheriff: On the right.

Scully: Sir?

Skinner: How are you feeling? [He looks at the scratches on her neck]

Scully: All things considered...?

Skinner: What the hell happened here? Who is that man?

Scully: The Sheriff's Deputy. The man we found this morning. He was dead... and then, somehow, he wasn't. He attacked me.

Skinner: You shot him?

Scully: Three rounds centre-of-mass into his chest. No effect.

Skinner: There's a gunshot wound to his head as well.

Scully: Yeah, this man, uh, Mulder calls the necromancer, our suspect, he was here, too. He fired that shot with my gun. He saved me. I have no idea why. He got away but I was in no shape to follow. Look, sir, I can't even begin to offer an explanation for what happened, but I have to say it is exactly what Mulder feared.

Skinner: Yeah, which is why I would like to talk to him. Why isn't he answering his phone?

[Mulder tries to make a call, but his mobile phone registers no service]

Mulder: Welcome to the boondocks.

Frank Black: I haven't heard from him. He didn't go to the morgue with you?

Scully: No, he went looking for our suspect's home. No one's been able to contact him since. I've got task force agents canvassing the north-western Maryland area but it's a large territory to cover and we're running out of time. Sir, I'm just afraid that Mulder may have found what he's looking for. I need your help in finding him.

Frank Black: Now, you respected my reasons in the past, Agent Scully. Please respect them now.

Scully: I'm not sure that I really understand your reasons, sir, and I'm starting to wonder what this is all about and how much you know about it. Mulder mentioned the four Millennium members who liveth and were dead. Now, this morning in the morgue, I saw what he was talking about.

Frank Black: You did?

Scully: One of them attacked me.

Frank Black: I'm sorry.

Scully: Now as crazy as this sounds, I have to ask. Do you believe that the Millennium Group is actually capable of bringing about the Endtime? Armageddon?

Frank Black: I understand their beliefs. I've spent years trying to unravel them, make sense of them. Doesn't mean I believe them myself.

Scully: But what if it were true? Good and evil — which would prevail?

Frank Black: I'm sorry. [Scully leaves] Octavia, I'm going to check myself out.

Nurse Octavia: You'd like a day pass?

Frank Black: I won't be coming back.

Mike Johnson: Who's there?

Frank Black: It's me.

Mike Johnson: You came.

Frank Black: I almost didn't.

Mike Johnson: We'd given up on you. Thank god. Thank god. There's someone in the basement... policeman. He killed one of the members. Shot him in the head. But you're here. Now we'll have four.

Frank Black: I'm here.

Mike Johnson: I can't tell you how happy I am. You were meant to be the fourth. I always knew that. I'd so hoped you'd come around.

Frank Black: I didn't want to. The man in the basement? I told him how to find this place.

Mike Johnson: You... why?

Frank Black: I was trying to walk the straight and narrow. Leave the Millennium Group behind. But I know I can't do that any more. Now that I know you've succeeded.

Mike Johnson: You didn't believe the dead would arise?

Frank Black: No.

Mike Johnson: You see what the future holds, Frank. You know you can't run from it.

Frank Black: No, I can't run.

Mike Johnson: You've paid so dearly. They've taken your daughter from you. Murdered your wife... there's no justice in this world. [He removes a gun from a drawer and places it on the desk] But there will be in the next. The hour's near. Are you ready, Frank?

Frank Black: I'm ready.

Mike Johnson: I am the resurrection and the life. He that believeth in me, though he were dead...

Frank Black: ...yet shall he live. Whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. [He shoves the gun against the Mike Johnson's chest]

Scully: [answering mobile] Scully.

Skinner: This is Skinner. We back-checked Frank Black as you asked.

Scully: And?

Skinner: He took no calls at Hartwell Psychiatric other than from his daughter, but the staff took messages including one from a Rice County number.

Scully: Rice County? That's where I am right now.

Skinner: We ran the phone records for Agent Crouch and the other desecration victims. All four received calls from this same number in weeks before their deaths.

Scully: I'm going to need an address.

Mike Johnson: 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!

[Frank Black pulls the board away from the basement door and cautiously enters the basement]

Frank Black: Agent Mulder? Can you hear me? Agent Mulder?

Mulder: Yeah... I'm down here. They're all around. [Frank Black lights a flare and throws it down] You armed?

Frank Black: Oh, yeah.

Mulder: Shoot for the head. That seems to stop them. There's three more of them.

Frank Black: Where?

Mulder: I don't know. They're hiding.

[Frank Black is watching Dick Clark's Rocking New Year's Eve is on the television]

Dick Clark: There's another shot of that millennium crystal ball all lit up. They're getting ready to bring in the New Year. Boy, are they packed in tonight. The body heat alone is keeping them warm. And look at them — all the way up past 52nd street. That is that X-shaped thing I was talking about before. This is Times Square — the crossroads of the world...

Scully: Mr Black.

Frank Black: Hi.

Scully: Mike Johnson's been taken for psychiatric evaluation. He'll be put under suicide watch just as you asked.

Frank Black: Good.

Scully: And, um...

Frank Black: What?

Scully: There's someone here to see you.

Jordan Black: Hi, Daddy!

Frank Black: Hi, little one! Oh, I missed you, Sweetheart.

Jordan Black: I missed you, too, Daddy.

Frank Black: Let's get out of here.

Mulder: Frank, good luck with everything.

Frank Black: Agent Mulder, Agent Scully. I guess this is it, huh?

Dick Clark: ...The ball is on its way... [Clock on television reads 11:59:23]

Scully: You're not going to stay and watch?

Frank Black: No, we just want to go home. [Frank and Jordan Black leave]

Dick Clark: What a millennium...

Frank Black: Take care of yourselves.

Dick Clark: ...30 seconds now, 30. Get ready for the loudest cheering you'll ever hear in your life. Hug your friends and loved ones tight. What the heck, whoever that person is next to you. No time like the present. Are you ready? Here we go. Ten, nine... eight, seven, six... five, four, three, two, one... Happy New Year, 2000!

[Mulder and Scully exchange a kiss]

Mulder: The world didn't end.

Scully: No, it didn't.

Mulder: Happy New Year, Scully.

Scully: Happy New Year, Mulder.