"Loin Like a Hunting Flame"


Written by Ted Mann

Directed by David Nutter

Edited by Chris Willingham, A.C.E.

Aired January 31, 1997

Summary: In Colorado, Frank Black and an associate track a killer who is driven by sexual neuroses and who uses mood-altering drugs to gain control of the couples he kills.


  Season One on DVD


  Full Transcript Available


Quote:  "Two souls, alas, are housed within my breast." —Faust


Synopsis:  Near the University of Colorado at Boulder, a group of college-age students gather at a warehouse/techno night club. Art Nesbitt, a pharmacist, approaches a couple, Mel and Leslie. He opens his palm, revealing two capsules. Under the influence of the powerful drugs, the couple accompany Nesbitt to a small room. Nesbitt captures their lovemaking on videotape, then injects them with a lethal poison. 

The naked bodies of Mel and Leslie are discovered in a lush botanical garden, their genitalia covered with leaves as if mimicking the garden of Eden. Frank and Millennium Group member Maureen Murphy are called to the scene where they meet with Boulder Homicide Detective Thomas. He admits his discomfort with working the case with a female (Murphy), telling Frank that women do not understand male sexuality. 

Meanwhile Nesbitt spies on a group of seven couples engaged in spouse-swapping in an upper middle class suburban home. Two women, Sylvie and Anne, leave the group and drive to a liquor store. When a blue light flashes behind the car, Sylvie pulls off the road. Nesbitt, impersonating a policeman, steps up to the vehicle. 

The next day two men from the swing party, Mark and Vic, tell police their wives are missing. A short time later the bodies of Sylvie and Anne are discovered on a park bench, posed as lovers. 

A couple, Laurie and Randy, enter Nesbitt's pharmacy with a prescription for an anti- diarrhetic drug for their honeymoon trip to Bali. Nesbitt hands them both a capsule and suggests they swallow it immediately for maximum effect. 

Additional toxicology results indicate the perpetrator may have inadvertently contaminated his ecstasy-like drug with difficult-to-obtain controlled substances. Frank concludes the killer may have legitimate access to the drugs. He also believes the killer uses the drugs himself, allowing him to act on intensely sexual fantasies — fantasies the killer made real. 

Further investigation leads the Millennium Group to Nesbitt's pharmacy, but Nesbitt is not on duty. Realizing Nesbitt is the killer, the group travels to his home. There they interview his wife, Karen, who tells Maureen that she and her husband haven't had sex for eighteen years. But she remarks how her husband recently told her how much he would like to try again. 

Thomas admits to Frank that Maureen is a good investigator — his real problem is that he himself is uncomfortable with the case. Thomas had investigated sex crimes in West Hollywood, and felt as though he had become "contaminated," discovering he could not make love to his wife. They have since divorced. 

Frank realizes Nesbitt is recapitulating sexual encounters he feels he should have experienced prior to marriage, capturing his victims in the happiest, most perfect moments in their lives. Thinking back on his inspection of the Nesbitt home, Frank realizes he missed something. A hidden trap door is discovered in the garage and opened, and Randy and Laurie are rescued from an old bomb shelter beneath the garage. Frank discovers Nesbitt inside his bedroom, about to inject his wife with poison. Frank knocks the syringe from Nesbitt's hand. But Nesbitt retrieves the needle and injects himself with a fatal dose.   


- The shadow covered face of Art Nesbitt

- A pair of bodies pose as Adam and Eve

- Detective Thomas and Maureen Murphy

- Boulder Homicide Detective Thomas

- The Millennium Group trio in discussion

- Nesbitt prepares an offering for his wife

- Frank discovers Nesbitt's hiding place

- Frank struggles to help two victims survive

- Nesbitt confronts his wife, Karen

- Maureen holds Karen Nesbitt back

- A stunned Detective Thomas


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Media Review:  "Even though Frank is constantly labeled as an expert in sex crimes, this is really the first time we witness a case of such a salacious nature. Beginning with this tense, tawdry offering, Millennium starts a streak of stellar episodes that prove what could have been done had the show’s focus, both literally and metaphysically, remained on crime and criminality. Handled in a subtle, somber manner, the events unfold in this episode evenly and eerily. The maniacal face of the everyman killer says it all: this is one sick deviant, getting his kicks off the torture of others." —Bill Gibron, DVD Talk


Trivia:  Guest star William Lucking has had an illustrious history in television and film. He has appeared in over fifty classic television shows, including Mission: Impossible, M*A*S*H, Knight Rider, The A-Team, Hunter, Murder, She Wrote, NYPD Blue, Profiler, and The X-Files. Lucking also had a role in the 2002 Brett Ratner film version of Thomas Harris' Red Dragon.


Likewise, guest actress Harriet Sansom Harris has had memorable roles on television in shows ranging from Law & Order to Frasier.  Ten-Thirteen Production fans are sure to recognize her as a result of her association with Millennium writer/producers Glen Morgan and James Wong. At the prompting of the duo Harris has appeared on The X-Files, Space: Above and Beyond, and in the feature film The One.


Death Toll:  5


Title:  The episode's title is taken from "The Ballad of the Long-Legged Bait" by Dylan Thomas. Among the quatrains included in the six-page poem is one that reads, "And steeples pierce the cloud on her shoulder / And the streets that the fisherman combed / When his long-legged flesh was a wind on fire / And his loin was like a hunting flame." The poem is known for its surrealistic metaphors concerning sex and sexuality and, as a result, the line chosen as the episode's title seems an apt means of depicting the fantasy-prone sexual mindset of serial killer Art Nesbitt.



"Frank Takes the Floor" by Glen Jordan

"Raveland" by Glen Jordan



Lance Henriksen as Frank Black

Terry O'Quinn as Peter Watts

Guest Starring:

William Lucking as Detective Thomas
Hrothgar Mathews as Art Nesbitt
Harriet Sansom Harris as Maureen Murphy
Barbara Howard as Karen Nesbitt

Malcolm Stewart as Vic
Doug Abrahams as Detective Kent
Barry Greene as Mark
Michael Buie as Randy
Derek Hamilton as New Mel
Natassia Malthe as New Leslie
Peg Christopherson as Sylvie
Crystal Cass as New Anne
Fawnia L. Mondey as Laura
Dawn Madsen] as Leslie

Eric Olsen as Mel Dodd
Carrie Davis as Anne
Jaclynn Grad as New Sylvie
Dorion Davis as Sherrie
Rafe McDonald as Tim
Michael Sunczyk as Red Robe Doorman
Laurel Gray as the Pathologist
Jon Ratt as the Husband
Tyler Labine as Gavin
Jenny Mitchell as Kim

Kelly Irving as Ron

Production Credits:

Production #4C11

Music by Mark Snow
Production Designer Mark Freeborn
Director of Photography Robert McLachlan
Associate Producer Jon-Michael Preece
Consulting Producer Ted Mann
Consulting Producer James Wong

Consulting Producer Glen Morgan
Co-Producer Ken Dennis
Co-Producer Chip Johannessen
Co-Producer Frank Spotnitz
Co-Executive Producer Jorge Zamacona
Co-Executive Producer Ken Horton
Co-Executive Producer John Peter Kousakis

Executive Producer Chris Carter