"A Room With No View"

#MLM-220

Written by Ken Horton

Directed by Thomas J. Wright

Edited by George R. Potter

Aired April 24, 1998

Summary: Clues in the disappearance of a bright and outgoing teenage boy point to Frank Black’s nemesis: the unearthly, seductive Lucy Butler.

 

  Season Two on DVD

 

Synopsis:  In Oregon, a young man tunnels his way out of a farmhouse and escapes into the darkened countryside. He spots what appears to be an abandoned Chevy Impala parked alongside a road. As the young man attempts to jump start the car by opening the hood and hot-wiring the motor, it suddenly springs to life. The unseen driver runs over the young man's legs, halting his escape. A dark female form and a Long-Haired Man approach their victim. The Long-Haired Man tosses the screaming body into the trunk of the car. 

Meanwhile, at James K. Polk High School in Seattle, two 18-year-old friends, Landon Bryce and Howard Gordon, meet guidance counselor Teresa Roe. During the discussion, Bryce urges Gordon to apply to college — this despite Roe's assessment that Gordon's grade point average is too mediocre to worth bothering. The conversation escalates into a loud argument until Landon accuses Roe of being a failure. That night, an intruder breaks into the Bryce home. Gordon dies, and Bryce is kidnapped. 

As Frank and Giebelhouse observe, a pathologist rules that Gordon died as the result of a coronary. But further neurological evidence indicates the heart attack was triggered by fear. Frank travels to the Bryce home, where he observes Landon's bedroom. He is struck by internal visions of the Gehenna Devil and Lucy Butler, the woman who murdered Bletcher. Meanwhile, the Long-Haired Man drags a bound-and-gagged Bryce into the remote country farmhouse. The teenager is thrown into a room, where he is spoken to by the female form. The woman tells Bryce that she loves him. A short time later, Bryce realizes he has a cell mate — the Screwed-Up Guy who attempted to escape in the teaser. 

Meanwhile, a concerned Frank attempts to contact Jordan by telephone, only to discover she is not at home. Frank tells Watts his concern stems from the fact that he sensed Lucy Butler's presence in Bryce's bedroom. Watts attempts to calm Frank's concerns by noting that a Millennium Group member, Olson, has been monitoring Butler's movements ever since she won release on suspicion of Detective Bletcher's murder. A short time later, Frank and Watts travel to Lucy's last known address — a rural farmhouse. But once inside, the pair discover Olson's rotting corpse. The men realize that Butler had gained access to Olson's Group files and then submitted her own surveillance reports. 

Bryce, meanwhile, manages to rip loose a section of the door to his cell. But his escape is thwarted when the Gehenna Devil — which transforms into the Long-Haired Man — knocks him to the ground and then drags him back to the room. Lucy then cradles Bryce's head in her lap and begins the first stages of brainwashing him. 

Frank decides the best hope of locating Bryce is by interviewing Teresa Roe, as the argument between her and the two teenagers was so loud it attracted the attention of others outside her office. During the conversation, Frank takes note of Roe's use of the past tense whenever she mentions Bryce's name. Afterward, Giebelhouse, Watts and Frank research Roe's background. They realize that wherever she taught school, students disappeared. Frank concludes that all of the missing teenagers were just like Bryce — ordinary kids with average grades who exhibited signs of promise. 

Meanwhile, Bryce manages to gain the confidence of the Screwed-Up Guy, who is so confused mentally that he cannot remember his own name. Bryce discovers the existence of a tunnel that runs beneath the farm, the same tunnel the Screwed-Up Guy used for his escape earlier. He convinces his cell mate to join him for a break-out. The pair make their way through the tunnel, but when they emerge on the other side, they are confronted by Lucy and the Long-Haired Man. Back in the cell, a demonic Lucy tells Bryce that he is mediocre — an ordinary teenager — and the sooner he understands this concept, the better. 

Meanwhile, while being interviewed by Frank, Watts and Geibelhouse, Roe espouses the same philosophy when discussing Bryce. The men surprise Roe by mentioning the name Kate Lynn. Roe claims not to recognize the name, though it soon becomes clear that she is Kate Lynn, a once-promising student. Frank accuses her of surrendering, of giving up on the hope of improving the numbers by which she and all other students are judged. Instead, she made a pact with the devil. A frightened Roe reveals the location of Lucy's farm. Shortly thereafter, police raid the location, setting free the many students kidnapped by Lucy, including Bryce and the Screwed-Up Guy. As the Screwed-Up Guy is escorted away by paramedics, he notices a photograph of himself, which is labeled with the name "Marshall Lee Lambert." But he does not recognize his own name. Frank instructs police to search everywhere for Lucy. Later, he once again phones Jordan, but upon discovering she is not at home, he leaves another message describing how much he loves her.

Photographs:

- Frank discovers a decomposing corpse

- Lucy Butler tempts Landon Bryce

- Lucy struggles to control Bryce

- Bryce finds himself in a terrifying prison

- Lucy remains constantly by Bryce's side

- The demonic and determined Lucy Butler

 

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Media Review:  "Lucy Butler returned to vex Frank in what is certainly one of the best episodes of the series... This is just a brilliant show, featuring Malcolm in the Middle's Christopher Kennedy Masterson as one of the boys doomed to Lucy's tender, horrible ministrations. In horror movies, and horror TV shows, children always represent tomorrow or the future... If you kill or destroy the children, you are destroying the future, and this episode literalizes that metaphor. Since Millennium concerns the impending apocalypse, the end of the world by our own hands, this episode about leaders rendered 'ordinary' fits in just perfectly with the series tenets." —John Kenneth Muir, Reflections on Film and Television

 

"As played by Sarah-Jane Redmond, Butler is an enigma wrapped inside pure, unfettered evil and her plan this time around is so ambiguous and odd that it makes for a really compelling installment of the series... This is a great episode of the series, even if in retrospect it doesn’t appear to have very much to do with the mythology or monsters being explored." —Bill Gibron, DVD Talk

 

Trivia:  "A Room With No View" is the second Millennium story to feature Frank Black's arch nemesis, Lucy Butler. Actress Sarah-Jane Redmond would appear once per season in the memorable role.

 

Inside Lucy Butler's house her prisoners are repeatedly subjected to the sounds of "Love is Blue." The instrumental version of the song by French conductor Paul Mauriat, heard in the episode, was the number one song on the Billboard Music Chart for five weeks in 1968. For many Millennium fans, this episode's use of the song has forever altered their emotional response to the music.

 

Guest star Christopher Masterson, appearing here as Landon Bryce, would go on to become one of the stars of the Fox network's hit comedy Malcolm in the Middle. He has also been seen on television in such shows as The Pretender, Touched by an Angel, and The Dead Zone.

 

Death Toll:  2

 

Title:  This episode's title twists a familiar expression to accurately describe the prison cell that Lucy Butler confines Landon Bryce to. The play on words references the title of A Room with a View by E. M. Forster, another story that features a young protagonist struggling with questions of morality and societal expectations.

 

Soundtrack:  

"Love is Blue" by Paul Mauriat

 

Starring:

Lance Henriksen as Frank Black

Terry O'Quinn as Peter Watts

Stephen James Lang as Detective Giebelhouse

 

Guest Starring:

Sarah-Jane Redmond as Lucy Butler

Christopher Masterson as Landon Bryce

Scott Heindl as the Long-Haired Man

Chad Todhunter as Ben

Timothy Weber as Mr. Bryce

Henri Lubatti as Dr. Stuart Sheslow

Maryangela Pino as Teresa Roe
 

Production Credits:

Production #5C20

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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