"Lamentation"

#MLM-117

Written by Chris Carter

Directed by Winrich Kolbe

Edited by Chris Willingham, A.C.E.

Aired April 18, 1997

Summary: The grisly fate of an infamous serial murderer introduces Frank Black to Lucy Butler, an infernal figure who initiates terrifying events at the Black household.

 

  Season One on DVD

 

  Full Transcript Available

 

Quote:  "Every man before he dies shall see the Devil." —English Proverb, 1560

 

Synopsis:  Frank and Bob Bletcher hike across a remote snow-covered mountaintop in the spectacular North Cascades region of Washington State. Their trip is cut short when Frank receives an important page from the FBI.

 

Frank travels to the Bureau's Behavioral Sciences Unit. There, Agent Babich reviews the facts behind the disappearance of convicted serial killer Dr. Ephraim Fabricant, who escaped — or was removed — from a hospital room while recovering from the affects of anesthesia (Fabricant had donated a kidney to his dying sister). Years earlier, Fabricant had brutally murdered five nurses in Cedar Falls. Thanks to Frank's profile, he was eventually convicted of his crimes. But Frank had argued against sending Fabricant to the gas chamber, as he felt it was more important for the FBI to study the inner workings of a serial killer's mind. A judge agreed with Frank and Fabricant's life was spared.
 

Peter Watts discovers that Fabricant had exchanged wedding vows with a female pen-pal he met during his prison stay. Watts and Frank interview the brunette woman, Lucy Butler, at her house in Virginia. Butler insists that neither she nor any of her friends has been in contact with Fabricant since his escape. She does reveal, however, that she and her husband plan on having a child. The men notice incoming e-mail on Lucy's computer. Frank realizes the e-mail message (a quote from the Bible) pertains to his own street address. He immediately telephones Catherine, and is relieved to hear that both she and Jordan are safe. Frank asks his wife to search through the mail. Catherine discovers an envelope containing Polaroid photographs of an Asian judge. Frank realizes the man, Judge Park, has been murdered. Meanwhile, inside a featureless room, the mysterious Brunette Nurse who helped engineer Fabricant's escape from the hospital (whose face we cannot see) removes the metal staples that bind Fabricant's kidney incision.
 

Armed with a search warrant, Watts and Frank return to Lucy Butler's home. Their research revealed that Lucy had been accused of killing her young son with strychnine (the same poison used to murder Judge Park). Lucy counters that she was found innocent of the charges. During the hunt for clues, a detective discovers that Lucy's home was rented to a tenant named Robert Davies. He disappeared shortly after allowing Lucy to move in with him. Fabricant stumbles into an emergency room, his hospital gown drenched in blood.
 

Doctors realize that someone removed his second kidney-and did so without anesthesia. Frank realizes that someone placed his home phone number on Fabricant's hospital bracelet. As a thunderstorm rages, Catherine discovers a human kidney inside the kitchen refrigerator. She then encounters a man with long brown hair, who bears a striking resemblance to Lucy, standing at the top of the stairs. A terrified Catherine searches for Frank's gun. Suddenly, Bletcher steps out of the shadows. He tells Catherine that Giebelhouse is with Jordan outside, then phones Frank with the news that his family is unharmed. Catherine warns Bletcher that an unidentified man is still in the house. As Bletcher searches for the intruder, he discovers Lucy standing at the top of the stairs. A flash of lightning illuminates her face-but it has transformed into the visage of a beast. Shortly thereafter, Giebelhouse discovers Bletcher's dead body hanging from a wall stud, his throat cut.
 

Fabricant tells Frank that the "base sum of all evil" removed his second kidney. He warns that the same unspeakable evil knows who Frank is. Later, Lucy Butler is arrested on a traffic violation. But without evidence, police are unable to detain her. Frank takes Jordan to the remote mountain top where he and Bletcher had gone hiking.

 

Photographs:

- The demonic Lucy Butler

- Catherine and Jordan on the telephone

- The strong yet caring Catherine Black

- The hanging corpse of Bob Bletcher

- Frank and Jordan atop snowy Mt. Baker

 

Media Review: "Millennium abruptly redeemed itself with a Carter-penned episode that gave the series a welcome blast of novelty (Lucy, a Lucifer-ish female villain), clarity (the dialogue was hard-boiled to a crisp), and surprise (the killing of a major supporting player, Bill Smitrovich's Lieutenant Bletcher). More free-for-alls like this, please." —Ken Tucker, Entertainment Weekly

 

"'Lamentation' is a pivotal episode of Millennium because—after seventeen weeks of serial killers and odd crimes—the series makes its first (stunning) supernatural twist. Not only is Lucy Butler able to change form into a frightening, dark-haired man at will, but also, perhaps, a horrible demon straight from Hell. You know this episode means business not just for its terrifying set-piece in Frank Black's house, wherein Jordan disappears and Catherine finds a bloody kidney on a plate in the refrigerator, but in the death of a main series character." —John Kenneth Muir, Reflections on Film and Television

 

"Chris Carter is back to script and he produces one of the scariest, creepiest installments of the entire first season. He also introduces an incredibly successful adversary for Frank and the Groupthe heinous bitch witch Lucy Butler. Creating an archetypal villain is tough, but Carter finds the right combination of pragmatic and paranormal to turn Lucy into the stuff of nightmares... Along with the unexpected shock ending and a wonderfully suspenseful sequence in the Black home, this is one of the best episodes of Millennium ever." —Bill Gibron, DVD Talk

 

Trivia:  "Lamentation" represents a dramatic turning point in the progression of Millennium, its themes, and its mythology. While previous episodes had hinted at a building supernatural force of evil, specifically the Chris Carter penned "Gehenna," the first season dealt predominantly with violent crime and human criminals. With "Lamentation" the series began to more significantly consider the unscientific approach to examining evil that Carter had intended the series to address.

 

"Lamentation" marks the departure of actor Bill Smitrovich from the cast of Millennium and the death of his character, Lieutenant Detective Bob Bletcher. The dramatic and unexpected death of one of the show's primary support characters took viewers completely by surprise when the episode first aired.

 

This episode introduced viewers to actress Sarah-Jane Redmond as the devilish Lucy Butler. The antagonist would prove so popular with both viewers and the show's creative staff that Lucy would go on to become Frank Black's arch-nemesis in the series, returning to torment him in an episode during each of the show's three seasons.

 

"Lamentation" contains one of the more subtle and amusing Ten-Thirteen sight gags. While Frank and Peter are discussing matters on the concrete staircase at Quantico, a strikingly familiar pair walk by them. Appearing from a distance as if they were Agents Mulder and Scully, the extras in this scene were actually David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson's stand-ins from The X-Files.

 

Death Toll:  1

 

Title:  The episode is named for Lamentation, a book of the Old Testament attributed to the prophet Jeremiah. Like the biblical book, the episode takes its name from the nature of its contents. "Lamentation" and the grim events therein would prompt great grief and mourning from Frank Black and the show's other characters.

 

Starring:

Lance Henriksen as Frank Black

Megan Gallagher as Catherine Black

Brittany Tiplady as Jordan Black

Terry O'Quinn as Peter Watts
Bill Smitrovich as Lt. Bob Bletcher
Stephen James Lang as Detective Giebelhouse

 

Guest Starring:

Alex Diakun as Dr. Ephraim Fabricant
Sarah-Jane Redmond as Lucy Butler
Michael David Simms as Agent Tom Babich

Andrew Airlie as Dr. Willmore
David MacKay as Pathologist
Kurt Max Runte as Federal Marshal
Jane Perry as Agent Pierce
Nino Caratozzolo as Agent Cuevas
Lee Van Paassen as Sondra Fabricant

 

Production Credits:

Production #4C17

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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