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Frank BlackPlayed by: Lance Henriksen
A criminal profiler and FBI veteran, he broke down after a particularly brutal case. When the series begins he’s using his unusual gift with the mysterious Millennium Group.
- Badass Baritone: Most characters played by Lance Henriksen are.
- Badass Bookworm: Part of his job involves interpreting obscure literary and textual clues.
- The Comically Serious: He often comes off as this in the show’s funnier moments, especially those written by Darin Morgan.
- Creepy Good: When he has sitdowns with serial killers and death cultists, they’re usually the ones who get spooked.
- Deadpan Snarker: He can be this when he’s not The Comically Serious. His delivery is so deadpan it can be hard to tell the difference.
- The Empath
- Expy: Much like Dana Scully was originally one for Clarice Starling, his status as a gifted profiler returning to work after a mental breakdown makes him one for Will Graham.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: Happens to him before the series begins and again at the end of season 2.
- Papa Wolf: Messing with Jordan will prompt swift retaliation.
- The Profiler
- Technical Pacifist: Only resorts to violence when negotiation fails, refers to triggerhappy cops as "assassins", NEVER kills anyone during the first season, and only rarely does so in later seasons.
Catherine BlackPlayed by: Megan Gallagher
Frank’s devoted wife, whose social work job sometimes overlaps his own job.
- Closer to Earth
- Fiery Redhead: Sometimes. Fiery auburn if you prefer.
- The Lost Lenore: She dies in a Group-engineered viral attack at the end of season 2 and her death haunts Frank for the rest of the series.
- The Shrink: Actually a clinical social worker, but the gist of scenes focusing on her work is much the same.
- Unfazed Everywoman: Has clearly learned to accept her husband's mysterious gift, as well as his often horrific cases.
Jordan BlackPlayed by: Brittany Tiplady
Frank and Catherine's adorable daughter, gifted in her own right.
The Millennium Group
Peter WattsPlayed by: Terry O'Quinn
Frank's recruiter and handler (Patron) within the Group. The two have been close friends, icy enemies, and everything in between.
- Badass Bookworm
- Bald of Awesome
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Someone strikes at him through his daughter in s3.
- Heel–Face Revolving Door: Due to his being the face of the Millennium Group over the course of a couple of retools.
- Redemption Equals Death: He's murdered in the Series Finale after helping Frank and Jordan to escape.
Lara MeansPlayed by: Kristen Cloke
A young Group candidate who works with Frank through much of season 2.
- Action Girl
- Catch-Phrase: "Okay, here's my thing..."
- Go Mad from the Revelation: Her Patti Smith scored vision of the apocalypse at the end of season 2 sends her into a catatonic state from which she's never seen to recover.
- The Lancer: To Frank and Peter. Catherine is actually her lancer the one time they work together.
- Pop-Cultured Badass: Her dialogue is rich with movie and music references.
Brian RoedeckerPlayed by: Allan Zinyk
A computer expert employed by the Group, he works closely with Frank for a while after Catherine's kidnapping.
- Genki Girl: Rare Male Example.
- Hollywood Nerd: Looks like a sound engineer for Pink Floyd, and quotes verbatim from 2001: A Space Odyssey, the original Planet of the Apes, and Soylent Green, considering the latter to be the last great American film.
- Mission Control: In "The Mikado" where he serves as a prototype for Penelope Garcia.
- No Social Skills: His interactions with Jordan in "Midnight of the Century has her come across as more mature than him.
- Non-Action Snarker
- Put on a Bus: When Allan Zinyk was not available for the season 2 finale, the writers gave Frank a throwaway line about the Millennium Group firing him, resulting in an unintentional case of Shoo Out the Clowns.
- Recruiting the Criminal: Were it not for the Millennium Group, he would have been in jail for computer hacking.
The Old ManPlayed by: Robert G. Armstrong
The wise spiritual leader of the Millennium Group. He provided Frank (and presumably Lara) with training to help understand their gift, and was eventually revealed to be the one who recruited Peter into the Group.
- Arch-Enemy: Rudolf Axmann, who killed his family in World War II. An old photo implies they may have been friends before the war.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": His real name is never revealed.
- Knight in Sour Armor
- Legacy Character: The Millennium Group's spiritual leader is always referred to as "The Old Man/Woman". When he/she dies or retires, the Group's current Elder takes their place.
- Mentor Occupational Hazard: Assassinated by Axmann's Dragon in the same room where Legion killed Bletcher the previous season.
- The Obi-Wan: To Frank (and probably every MG member active in the first two seasons).
- Orphan's Ordeal: His parents died in The Holocaust.
Lieutenant Bob BletcherPlayed by: Bill Smitrovich
A police veteran and head of Seattle's homicide division, he's also an old friend and confidant of Frank's.
- Audience Surrogate: Serves this role in early episodes, particularly in conversations regarding the Millennium Group's motivations and Frank's "gift."
- Combat Pragmatist: Contrasted with Frank's Technical Pacifist tendencies.
- Deadpan Snarker: Not as much as Giebelhouse or Roedecker, but has his moments.Frank: Nothing I do is magic, Bob.Bob: Yeah, a lot of people shouted just that from the middle of a bonfire.
- Friend on the Force: He and Frank were actually partners before Frank upgraded to the FBI.
- Good Is Not Soft: The task of killing anyone who needed lethal force to stay down usually fell upon him, as Season 1's writers had Frank operating under a fairly strict no-kill rule.
- Nice Guy
- Sacrificial Lion: He's killed by Legion in "Lamentations" while defending the Black household.
Detective Bob GiebelhousePlayed by: Stephen James Lang
A detective on the Seattle police force, "Giebs" is a loyal subordinate of Bletcher's and initially skeptical of Frank's work.
- Brutal Honesty
- Deadpan Snarker: Usually of the gallows humor variation.
- The Bus Came Back: He was mostly dropped from the supporting cast when the Blacks moved east in season 3, but reappeared in "TEOTWAKI" and "The Sound of Snow."
- Fire-Forged Friends: With Frank
- One Steve Limit: Averted in season 1 with him and Bob Bletcher.
Special Agent Emma HollisPlayed by: Klea Scott
A young FBI agent who seeks Frank out when he's consulting for the Bureau, becoming his protege and de facto partner.
- Action Girl: Being the daughter of a Colonel Badass helps.
- Adult Fear: Sees her father degenerating from an Alzheimer's like illness.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: A step above Mulder/Scully businesswear.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Her sister was murdered when she was a child.
- Deal with the Devil: Ends up taking one from the Millennium Group to save her father.
- Promotion to Parent: When her father gets sick, she has to take care of him, because her mother doesn't want anything to do with him.
- The Watson: To Frank's Holmes. Don't go there.
- Working with the Ex: Barry Baldwin.
- You Are in Command Now: Becomes the new Assistant Director when McClaren retires.
Special Agent Barry BaldwinPlayed by: Peter Outerbridge
The lead investigator for the FBI's Critical Incident Response Team, Barry was Emma's partner before she was partnered with Frank, who he routinely clashes with.
- Alliterative Name: Barry Baldwin.
- Deadpan Snarker: On occasions when Frank thinks it's inappropriate, causing some degree of tension.
- Inspector Lestrade: To Frank and Emma's Holmes and Watson.
- It Gets Easier: Frank tells him it doesn't.
- Large Ham: Loves his speeches, and approaches each case with a smarmy ex-captain of the football team bravado.
- Sacrificial Lion: Assassinated by the Millennium Group as part of their plan to turn Emma into The Mole.
- Working with the Ex: Emma. He's not quite over her.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Would've fit right in on a show like CSI or Criminal Minds.
Assistant Director Andy McClarenPlayed by: Stephen E. Miller
One of Frank's old FBI colleagues, Andy brings Frank onto the CIRT as a consultant.
- Da Chief: Assistant Director of the Critical Incident Response Team.
- Pet the Dog: Rehires Frank mainly so he can have free psychotherapy after the events of season 2.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Although his early appearances tried to paint him as an Obstructive Bureaucrat, Andy actually is right to call Frank out on his Captain Ahab-like obsession with the Millennium Group.
- Remember the New Guy: Frank and Andy go way back, but he was never seen or mentioned in either of the first two seasons.
- Retirony: A unique case, in that he's not the one who dies. The Millennium Group kill his heir apparent, so their mole can replace Andy when he retires.
Doug ScaifePlayed by: Trevor White
An FBI lab tech that specializes in electronic enhancements, Scaife ultimately fills the role Roedecker filled in season 2.
- The Mole: Becomes one to Frank after the latter is fired by McClaren.
- Replacement Goldfish: For Brian Roedecker, at least from a narrative standpoint. A distinctly different personality prevents him from coming across as a Suspiciously Similar Substitute.
- Sharp Dressed Man: As a contrast to the more alt-rockish Roedecker.
Richard GilbertPlayed by: Glenn Morshower
A retired FBI agent who offers Frank a position in a private security firm, The Trust. Things go downhill from there.
- Cloak & Dagger: Secretly does surveillance work on the Millennium Group when Lara Means goes missing. He does not like what he finds.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Richard dies in a brutal car accident that, given the writers involved, could have been a Call-Forward to Final Destination.
- He Knows Too Much: Averted. Although Frank is convinced that Richard was assassinated, we find out it really was a car accident. "Death is never convenient."
- Small Role, Big Impact: Despite his only appearing in the two-part season 2 finale, Richard's death is the final catalyst that turns Frank against the Millennium Group, and is also what prompts Andy McClaren to reestablish contact with Frank.
Legion & Other Adversaries
LegionPlayed by: Multiple, see below.
An amorphous force of Hell on Earth, described in universe as "the base sum of all evil." Legion is the closest thing the series had to a Big Bad or Arch-Enemy. It spends much of the first two seasons trying to get Frank to leave the Millennium Group.
- Amoral Attorney: As his second most famous incarnation: Alistair Pepper.
- As Long as There is Evil: Being killed means it simply returns in another form.
- The Bad Guy Wins: Succeeds in turning Frank against the Group and driving Lara insane, and by the end of season 3 it's implied that it may have corrupted the Group well before Frank left.
- Calling Card: The signature "Phaestos".
- The Cameo: Lara hallucinates Legion's One Winged Angel form during her Disney Acid Sequence in the season 2 finale.
- Hero Killer: Murdered Bletcher and Mike Atkins, the man most responsible for recruiting Frank into the Millennium Group.
- I Have Many Names: Ricardo Clennet, The Judge, Lucy Butler, Al Pepper, Danielle Barbakow, Clear Knight, Lucas Sheldon, and Del Boxer to name a few.
- One-Winged Angel: It's Gehenna Devil form. Subverted in that nobody fights this form (unless you count Lara's hallucination), it mainly serves as a Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant.
- Satan: At least that's the implication.
- Shapeshifters Do It for a Change: Can change sex when it suits it's purposes. Species, too.
Lucy ButlerPlayed by: Sarah-Jane Redmond
The primary face of Legion. Frequently plays the seductress.
- Dark Chick: Very.
- Femme Fatale
- Love Martyr: Seemed to be one in her first appearance. Then you see what happened to the lover...
- Louis Cypher: Note that her name starts with "Luc" and ends with "er".
- Really 700 Years Old: Discovered to have been causing trouble for at least 100 years.
Polaroid ManPlayed by: Doug Hutchison
A mysterious figure who stalked Catherine and sent Polaroid photographs of her to Frank, triggering his Heroic B.S.O.D..
- Ax-Crazy: A result of either Brainwashed and Crazy, Go Mad from the Revelation, or (most likely) both.
- Big Bad: For season 1, sort of. He's really more of a Greater-Scope Villain.
- Cool Shades: Part of a disguise.
- Disc-One Final Boss: For all the buildup in season 1, he is dispatched in the season 2 premiere.
- Evil Mentor: To a serial killer known as the Big Woodsman.
- Extreme Mêlée Revenge: How Frank kills him.
- The Extremist Was Right: Turns out to ultimately be right about the Millennium Group.
- Foreshadowing: When he observes the Millennial Comet, he notes that the last time it appeared in our solar system, centuries earlier, its arrival preceded a great plague. And his backstory foreshadows Lara's Sanity Slippage later in the season.
- My Death Is Only The Beginning: "You think you know me, Frank. But you don't know them."
- My Greatest Failure: The Millennium Group Elder seems to view him this way, telling Peter that Frank is "only doing what we should have done by now."
- No Name Given: When Frank finally gets his file, his real name is the only bit of information it doesn't have.
- The Reveal: Not a serial killer, not an aspect of Legion. He's a Millennium Group member gone mad.