Recap: Millennium E 01 Pilot

Veteran FBI profiler returns to his hometown in Seattle with family in tow: wife Catherine, a clinical social worker, and young daughter Jordan. Frank reconnects with his old friend Bob Bletcher, now a lieutenant of the city's homicide detectives. He offers any help he can provide with Bletcher's difficult cases.

Frank is now working with the Millennium Group, a mysterious organization that employs many other criminal experts, and which also has taken an interest in end times prophecy. As Frank tells Bletch, "They believe we can't just sit back and hope for a happy ending." In another conversation with Bletcher, he explains his recent breakdown and hospitalization. After working a particularly taxing case, Frank started receiving Polaroid photographs in the mail, pictures of Catherine and Jordan going about their day. Unsure of whether he could protect his family, Frank found himself unable to leave the house.

Together with the Seattle PD, Frank tracks a killer known as the Frenchman. This suspect targets workers in the city's sex industry, and is known by witnesses to quote from Nostrodamus. Frank ultimately confronts the Frenchman at the city morgue, where the killer is employed. During their struggle the Frenchman is shot by the police. His last words to Frank are "You think you can stop it? You can't stop it."

At the end of the episode as Frank settles in with Catherine and Jordan for the night, he opens the mail and sees that he is once again receiving the stalker's Polaroids.

Tropes

  • And I Must Scream: A male prostitute is buried alive with his eyes and mouth sewn shut. He's still alive when Frank finds him, but no doubt traumatized for life.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: The Frenchman's first victim is a peepshow stripper named Calamity. Her coworker Tuesday tells Frank that most of the patrons "would clap, but it takes two hands."
  • Foreshadowing: A mid-episode side plot involves Jordan being taken to the hospital after an unexplained collapse, a hint of developments later in the series where she starts to demonstrate psychic powers much like Frank's.
  • Insistent Terminology: Frank insists that he is not a psychic—he "imagines the world through their eyes." Also a case of Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane, though later episodes do hint at some kind of paranormal origin.note 
  • Poetic Serial Killer: The Frenchman, who quotes Nostradamus.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: In a sense. Nostradamus' prophecies had a fair amount of cachet in the lead-up to the year 2000; in fact, Millennium uses them several times throughout the series.
  • Single Mom Stripper: Calamity, the first victim