"The Hand of St. Sebastian"

#MLM-208

Written by Glen Morgan & James Wong

Directed by Thomas J. Wright

Edited by George R. Potter

Aired November 14, 1997

Summary: Frank Black and a driven Peter Watts travel to Germany in search of a religious artifact relating to the Millennium Group’s secret history, which is steeped in dark intrigue dating to the first millennium.

 

  Season Two on DVD

 

  Full Transcript Available

 

Synopsis:  In the year A.D. 998, a Fugitive who possesses a mummified hand — the Hand of Saint Sebastian — is betrayed by his ally, the Provider. Two archers step from the shadows and release their bows, striking the Fugitive as he attempt to flee. As the Provider searches the Fugitive's clothing, looking for the holy relic, he exposes the man's skin, on which is displayed a tattoo of an ouroboros —the symbol of the Millennium Group. 

In the present day, Peter Watts asks Frank to help him with a case unauthorized by the Millennium Group—but fails to provide any details. Frank agrees. The pair travel to a laboratory in Germany, where a Dr. Schlossburg had been murdered three days before. In the center of the lab sits an autopsy table containing the remains of a mummified man. Their efforts are interrupted by two German police detectives, Heim and Betzdorf, who had been staking out the lab. Frank and Watts are transported to a police station for further questioning. A Captain apologizes for the misunderstanding and pledges the department's fullest cooperation. The pair ask permission to examine Schlossburg's remains, but are informed that the coroner inadvertently cremated the body. Detective Heim drops Frank and Watts off at their rental car. As they enter the automobile, Frank notices an electrical wire on the carpet. The pair jump from the car moments before it erupts in a huge fireball. 

 

Frank concludes that someone connected to Schlossburg's murder planted the bomb, and he demands that Watts brief him about the details of the case. Watts explains that the mummified body dates back to the beginning of Christianity — when the Millennium Group first came into being. Their conversation ends when they realize they are being followed by two men. Frank and Watts return to their hotel, where they encounter fellow Group member Cheryl Andrews, who offers her assistance. It is politely declined by Watts. 

 

With some help from Roedecker, Watts guesses Schlossburg's computer password (the doctor being an adult film fan). Meanwhile, it turns out that Schlossburg is still alive. When he regains consciousness in a hospital, he tells Heim his attacker was Peter Watts. 

 

Andrews tells Frank she was sent to "reel in" Watts, who is acting without the Group's authorization. She gives Frank a phone number where she can be contacted. Later, Frank encounters Watts inside Schlossburg's lab. Watts describes how, a thousand years earlier, the Order of the Knights Chroniclers, who warned of the upcoming millennium, possessed the hand of Saint Sebastian. This holy relic extended to its possessor the "knowledge to overcome the evils of the millennium." Watts then tells Frank that Schlossburg had discovered the site of the Knights Chroniclers' burial ground. 

 

Frank and Watts discover that Schlossburg is, in fact, very much alive. Watts gains access to Schlossburg's hospital room. Schlossburg tells him that he was attacked by a man who identified himself as Peter Watts. He then tells Watts that the burial ground is located at a peat bog. Frank and Watts leave the hospital. Shortly thereafter, Schlossburg is murdered. The pair locate a preserved corpse — and the mummified hand — beneath the peat bog. Moments later, Heim and his men arrest Watts for Schlossburg's murder. 

 

Frank instructs Roedecker to find out who used Schlossburg's account to log onto an adult chat line two days before. He then rendezvous with Andrews at a storage building where the mummified corpse is stored. There the pair are pursued by two assassins. During the chase, Frank reveals the unit number where the body is hidden. Suddenly, Andrews turns on Frank, and instructs the assassins to seize him. Frank realizes Andrews set up Watts to destroy the Group's credibility. A group of German policemen suddenly spring from their hiding places, taking Andrews and the assassins into custody. Frank tells Andrews she made a crucial error by using her phone number to log onto the adult chat line. Later, Frank and Watts study the mummy. Frank believes that the answers they seek actually lie within themselves.

Photographs:

- Frank and Peter escape a car bomb

- Peter and Frank investigate Schlossburg

- Frank notes a curious piece of wiring

- Frank attempts to disarm the situation

- The duo discover the hand of St. Sebastian

 

Media Review: "Throughout the course of season two, Millennium would get very good at these kinds of episodes stories where mystical runes foretell of forbidden secrets and everyone speaks in morbid, cryptic sentences. Managing to work in a nice double agent plot to the story of the Millennium Group’s founding and purpose, about the only aspect of this excellent show that doesn’t work is the overtly odd link to online porn. In the early 90's, when this series was created, such an idea seemed cutting edge. Today, it rings rather false, and kind of foolish. With C.C.H. Pounder back as Cheryl Andrews and Phillip Baker Hall as an enigmatic Group Elder, there is a quality to the acting in this episode which far surpasses the thespianism found elsewhere. In many ways, this feels like a feature film warm-up, a stellar cast knocking about big ideas in far-off locales. This is one of the better mythology installments in the entire run of the series." —Bill Gibron, DVD Talk

 

Trivia:  This episode was reportedly scripted primarily by James Wong in an effort to continue exploring the ancient background of the Millennium Group. Wong explained, "I felt that by revealing that the Millennium Group had existed for centuries and setting the episode overseas, that would give the story greater scope and weight. I also thought it would be interesting to get Peter excited about something that wasn't sanctioned by the Group and to show that he'd be willing to do something like that. Terry is such a great actor, and we thought he deserved something to do instead of saying 'That's right, Frank.  You're right again, Frank!'"

 

Wong's research into the subject of secret societies presented him with a realistic and logical means of depicting a Millennium Group struggle. "I thought, 'What's a great way to divide the Group?' I thought about doing a spy kind of show. I was doing research on the Knights Templar and the Masons, and it seems like all those groups had other groups who were against them and betrayed them. There was so much intrigue. I realized that this is how groups act, and I thought, why shouldn't the Millennium Group have the same thing?"

 

This episode marks the return of CCH Pounder as Cheryl Andrews, the Millennium Group pathologist who appeared throughout the first season. The character would be featured one additional time on the series, in flashback sequences during the third season episode "Skull and Bones," which serves as both prequel and follow-up to the events seen here.

 

Dr. John Schlossburg, the episode's German researcher, was named for Kevin John Schlossburg, one of the more prominent and active online fans of Glen Morgan and James Wong's sci-fi drama Space: Above and Beyond.

 

Detective Heim's references to television police commissioner Tony Scali, of the offbeat police drama The Commish, surely aren't coincidental. Morgan and Wong served as staff writers on that series.

 

Director Thomas J. Wright recorded an audio commentary regarding "The Hand of St. Sebastian" for Fox Home Entertainment's DVD release of Millennium: The Complete Second Season.

 

Death Toll:  2

 

Title: The episode's title reflects the object of Frank and Peter's search, the mummified hand of St. Sebastian believed to endow its possessor with the knowledge to overcome the evils of the millennium.

 

Starring:

Lance Henriksen as Frank Black

Terry O'Quinn as Peter Watts

 

Guest Starring:

CCH Pounder as Cheryl Andrews
Allan Zinyk as Brian Roedecker

Gottfried John as Josef Heim
Philip Baker Hall as the Group Elder

Graham Andrews as Dr. Schlossburg

Stephen Dimopoulos as Det. Betzdorf

Stefano Giulianetti as the Fugitive

Noah Heney as the Provider

Damon Johnson as Hospital Security

Christine Lippa as the Police Captain
 

Production Credits:

Production #5C08

Music by Mark Snow
Production Designer Mark Freeborn
Director of Photography Robert McLachlan
Associate Producer Jon-Michael Preece
Consulting Producer Chip Johannessen
Consulting Producers Darin Morgan
Co-Producer Robert Moresco
Co-Producer Paul Rabwin
Producer Thomas J. Wright
Co-Executive Producer Ken Horton
Co-Executive Producer John Peter Kousakis

Executive Producer Glen Morgan

Executive Producer James Wong

Executive Producer Chris Carter

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