"Covenant"

#MLM-116

Written by Robert Moresca

Directed by Roderick J. Pridy

Edited by Stephen Mark

Aired March 21, 1997

Summary: In Utah, Frank Black is hired to offer expert testimony against a confessed killer in support a death sentence but soon comes to believe the accused is innocent of the crimes.

 

  Season One on DVD

 

  Full Transcript Available

 

Quote:  "Thou dost frighten me with dreams and terrify me by visions." —Job 7:14

 

Synopsis:  Frank travels to Weber County, Utah, where he meets with Prosecutor Calvin Smith, Assistant County Prosecutor Charles Horvath, and Didi Higgens, Assistant Pathologist to the County Medical Examiner. The District Attorney's office convicted Sheriff William Garry of murdering his wife and three children. Garry had confessed to the crime, and his fingerprints were found on the murder weapon, a tool used for carving wood. Now all that remains is for the jury to decide if Garry should receive the death penalty. Smith hopes Frank can develop a psychological profile that will leave no doubt in the jury's mind that Garry is a cold, calculating murderer.

Assisted by William Garry's close friend, Deputy Kevin Reilly, Frank inspects the conservative, middle-American home where the killings took place. He notices a series of numbers, "1, 28, 15," written in blood on a kitchen window. Reilly explains that those involved in the investigation were never able to decipher their meaning. As Frank continues his tour of the Garry home, he listens to a tape recording of William's confession, in which he describes the details of how he murdered his family, one by one. 

The next morning, Frank meets with Michael Slattery, William Garry's attorney. Slattery freely admits he has no intention of letting Frank interview his client. But Frank insists his recommendation to the jury will be non-biased. Slattery changes his mind and allows Frank to conduct the interview. Garry claims to have fantasized about committing the murders for some time, driven by money problems and hatred of his wife. Frank finds it difficult to believe that Garry carved a wooden cherub as a birthday present for his wife, then proceeded to murder his entire family using the same carving tool. 

Frank discovers flaws in the conclusions drawn by investigators. He tells Didi that someone other than Garry committed the killings. Garry agrees to take a lie detector test. Based on the results, the polygraph technician concludes that Garry did, in fact, murder his family. But Frank believes Garry feels so guilty (about something not yet known) that he has convinced himself he is responsible for the killings. Dismayed by Frank's conclusions, Smith decides his services are no longer necessary. 

A psychiatrist tells Frank that Mrs. Garry was faithful to her husband and was not having an affair with Deputy Reilly. But she states that the same thing could not be said of William Reilly. Frank is taken aback by this revelation. 

Didi has the Garry's bodies exhumed for re-examination. After inspecting cuts on Mrs. Garry's hands, Didi concludes the wounds were not defensive, as the Medical Examiner previously thought. The numbers written on the kitchen window, Frank realizes, corresponds to a biblical passage. He also realizes that William Garry didn't know his wife was pregnant. 

 

Frank, Didi and Calvin Smith appear before Judge Maher. Frank tells the court that Mrs. Garry did not die in the basement, as previously believed. Mrs. Garry, Frank reveals, murdered her children because she saw them as angels, and wanted them to stay that way. She then walked to the kitchen and stabbed herself in the heart. Before she died, Mrs. Garry told William that he made her murder the children; that she couldn't bear the thought of bringing another child into a world of adulterers. When Reilly arrived at the scene, he helped William move the bodies into the basement, throwing investigators off the trail. Frank urges him to come forward with the truth.

 

Photographs:

- Frank stands with Prosecutor Calvin Smith

- Frank examines the lie detector results

- Frank interviews a reluctant William Garry

- Frank, Charles Horvath, and Didi Higgens

- A determined Frank remains unconvinced

 

Media Review:  "One of the reasons Millennium worked beyond the conventions of other cop shows is because it broke clichés and trampled all over formulas. Any other show about a man accused of killing his entire family would be centered on discovering why he did it. What caused him to snap: drugs?, adultery?, financial woes?, his dead dog’s mandates? Frank avoids these typical takes to question the very nature of the crime and the prerequisites for committing such a horrible act. The fact that we never really know the entire truth several parts are left wide open for interpretation doesn’t lessen its impact." —Bill Gibron, DVD Talk

 

Trivia:  It has been said that the first cut of "Covenant" was approximately one hour and twenty minutes long, nearly twice the length of a standard one-hour network drama. As a result, nearly half of the episode was trimmed in the cutting room and is now lost to viewers.  Copies of the original shooting script for the episode reveal those scenes that were lost.

 

Guest star John Finn appeared in a significant recurring guest role, that of shadowy CIA operative Michael Kritschgau, on The X-Files. The actor has also appeared in numerous films and television shows, including producer Howard Gordon's Strange World.

 

Actor Don MacKay appears in this episode as Frank Black's neighbor, Jack Meredith, for the final time. It is often speculated that Chris Carter included the overenthusiastic Meredith among the show's recurring characters primarily to keep viewers continually suspicious of his intentions.

 

  Read Deleted Scenes

 

Death Toll:  4

 

Title:  William Garry cites Isaiah 28:15 on his kitchen window in blood: "We have made a covenant with death, we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood we have hid ourselves." The biblical verse reveals to Frank Black the covenant that Garry has made with God and with death, his intentions and his lies.

 

Starring:

Lance Henriksen as Frank Black

Megan Gallagher as Catherine Black

Brittany Tiplady as Jordan Black
 

Guest Starring:

John Finn as William Garry
Michael O'Neill as Prosecutor Calvin Smith
Sarah Koskoff as Didi Higgens
Jay Underwood as Michael Slattery
Steve Bacic as Deputy Kevin Reilly
Don MacKay as Jack Meredith
Nicole Oliver as Dr. Alice Steele
Colleen Winton as Dolores Garry
Tyler Thompson as William Garry, Jr.
George Gordon as Judge Francis Maher
Karen Elizabeth Austin as Mrs. Andersen
David Abbott as Mr. Andersen
Norman Armour as Medical Examiner Geller
Noah Heney as Charles Horvath
Nikol Tschenscher as Mary Garry
Cody Shaer as Gabriel Garry

 

Production Credits:

Production #4C16

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

 

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