Mysterious audio tapes containing white noise trigger deadly
hallucinations in the Seattle area, where Frank Black's investigation
induces visions of the deceased Catherine.
Season Three on DVD
As Carol Wheatley drives her car along a mountain road in
Washington State, she inserts an unmarked audio cassette into the
tape-player. At first, all that Carol hears is a gentle hiss. But the
white noise gradually grows louder. As Carol looks up from the player,
she sees snow flakes falling in the headlights. When the flakes strike
the windshield, they make an impossibly loud sound. The car skids to a
halt, and the flakes continue their descent, cracking the windshield.
Carol jumps out of the car, only to find herself standing on ice.
Beneath the surface is the face of a drowning boy, his eyes bulging in
desperation. Carol climbs back into the car and throws the engine in
reverse. The car backs out onto the roadway, where it is smashed by an
At Quantico, Frank finds an internal
envelope containing an audio cassette mixed in with his other mail. He
slips the cassette into a boom box and hears the same white noise. Suddenly,
he experiences an internal vision: a face under the ice. Frank looks at
the internal envelope, and sees that the last name written on it (above
his own), is a "Victor Chyren." A check with the operator reveals no such
person working at the FBI. Frank then notes the name written above Chyren:
Doug Scaife. Scaife, who never heard of Chryen, tells Frank that Giebelhouse
sent him the tape for analysis. Nothing could be found on the cassette,
except for white noise. Frank listens to the tape and experiences a vision
of Catherine standing on the porch of the yellow house. He notices a wave
pattern that Scaife identifies as pink noise. Frank concludes that someone
intentionally made the tape.
Frank travels to Washington,
where he and Giebelhouse review the accident scene. He then interviews
the victim's mother, Mrs. Wheatley. Frank correctly deduces that, at some
time, there had been an accident, one in which a boy fell through the ice
and drowned. Deeply shocked, Mrs. Wheatley confirms this is so. Her daughter
had always blamed herself for the accident. Afterward, Frank tells Geibelhouse
that the tape is somehow responsible for Carol's death. He also believes
there are more tapes in existence. Meanwhile, a designer named Jerry Origo
receives a cassette tape in the mail. He places the tape in his player
and listens. A hiss fills the room. Suddenly, flames rip through his penthouse
Geibelhouse and Frank learn that
Origo jumped through a window and fell to his death. They travel to his
penthouse, where there is no sign of fire. Geibelhouse finds the cassette
tape and the envelope it arrived in, on which is a hand-written address.
The envelope bears a Seattle postmark, one Geibelhouse hopes to trace.
Frank believes that Origo jumped through the window because he thought
he was on fire. He also suspects that someone in Origo's life died in a
blaze. It turns out that Origo once worked as a building supervisor on
a housing project in New Orleans. A blaze erupted, and because smoke alarm
batteries were never installed, seven people died. Origo was investigated
but never charged. Frank concludes that when people listen to the mysterious
tapes, they hear the things they fear most and suffer massive hallucinations.
With that, Frank hands the cassette to Geibelhouse and walks off. He drives
to the yellow house, where he experiences another vision of Catherine.
When Frank snaps out of his vision, he realizes that the house is now white,
and is occupied by a successful contractor named Jeff King. King tells
Frank he still gets his mail. He hands him some letters amongst which
is an envelope containing a cassette.
As Frank drives, he listens to
the cassette tape. He experiences flashbacks in which Watts tells him about
the virus, the vaccine, and how only enough exists to inoculate Group members.
He makes his way to the remote cabin where he had brought Catherine and
Jordan in hopes of escaping the outbreak. Meanwhile, Emma and Geibelhouse
pinpoint the source of the mysterious cassettes: a tape duplicating studio.
There they speak with Alice Severin, who identifies the handwriting on
the envelope as her own. During the ensuing interrogation, Alice speaks
of a ferryman. Moments later, Giebelhouse discovers a notebook containing
hundreds of addresses.
Inside the cabin, Frank experiences
more flashbacks, reliving the night that Catherine began hemorrhaging from
the virus. Frank follows Catherine into the woods, stumbling through the
mud. He loses his footing and tumbles, hitting his head on a rock. Meanwhile,
Emma and Geibelhouse make their way to the cabin, where they discover the
envelope inside Frank's car. Emma correctly deduces that Frank has gone
off to find his wife.
Frank opens his eyes and sees
Catherine kneeling above him. He laments not having joined the Group, for
if he had done so, she would still be alive. Riddled with guilt, Frank
believes he let his wife die by letting her walk off into the woods alone.
But Catherine reminds him that they were together when she died.
Emma and Geibelhouse find Frank,
unconscious but alive. Frank recovers from his ordeal. Later, at Quantico,
Emma performs some research. She discovers that the ferryman Alice mentioned
is from classical mythology and his name is Charon (like "Chyren"). She
finds a reference in Nostradamus which Frank links to the Millennium Group.
Alice, he believes, is not part of the Group, but does possess a power.
He believes the Group sent him the tape. Though he is unsure of their intention,
he is certain of one thing: they gave him back Catherine.
- A ghostly Catherine holds her husband
- Catherine succumbs to the Marburg virus
- Frank lies in the woods of Washington
- Frank clings to the body of his dead wife
Sound of Snow,' a midpoint episode that plays as a kind of emotional
series finale, takes Frank Black to a surrealist brink wherein he
reckons with and overcomes a variety of lingering interior demons.
From there Millennium transmogrifies again into a tragic
celebration of the individual, with each character facing crises and
challenges that send them off on separate paths and climax in death,
loneliness, or—as Henriksen suggests—intimacy." —Keith
Uhlich, Slant Magazine
"This installment is another opaque,
hard-to-interpret installment, but one that proves highly-rewarding...
This is a pivotal episode of Millennium because it represents
the point in season three wherein Frank can purge his feelings of
guilt, and finally put the past behind him. It's a haunting,
deeply-affecting hour, and my personal favorite from the third year."
—John Kenneth Muir, Reflections on Film and Television
"The Sound of Snow" is a landmark
episode in that it features final bows from many prominent
participants in the Millennium mythology and offers closure for
both viewers and the show's characters regarding many lingering plot
threads. Former Millennium star Megan Gallagher appears in "The
Sound of Snow" as
Catherine Black for the final time. The character had not been seen
since her death in "The Time is Now" and her spiritual encounter with
Frank allows him a poignant opportunity to express his grief at the
The episode also includes
Stephen James Lang's final appearance as
Detective Bob Giebelhouse. The Seattle-based character was seen
regularly throughout the show's three year run and came to become one
of the most affectionately remembered members of Millennium's
This is the last time that viewers see
Frank Black's once-yellow house at 1910 Ezekiel Drive in Seattle. The
house, which had been one of the driving symbols of the show's
mythology during the first two seasons, is seen here appropriated and
transformed by a new owner.
The actual home
used to film Millennium is located on the corner of Fourth
Street and Fourth Avenue in New Westminster, British Columbia.
The flashback sequences seen in "The
Sound of Snow" offered Millennium viewers, at last, some sense
of closure regarding the apocalyptic conclusion to the show's second
Giebelhouse's commentary regarding the
media exaggeration of the Marburg Virus and the ensuing aftermath
provides some much needed exposition concerning the events that took
place between "The Time is Now" and "The Innocents."
Giebelhouse was taking a final bow, new
supporting characters were being introduced to the show.
This episode features actor
Trevor White's first appearance as FBI technical analyst Doug Scaife,
a supporting character who would appear throughout the latter half of
the third season. White previously had a minor role in the second
season episode "Midnight of the Century."
Jessica Tuck, seen here as the mysterious Alice Severin,
has been seen frequently in television guest roles, appearing in such shows as Picket Fences, Seinfeld, Murder One,
NYPD Blue, The Visitor, and ER.
This episode's teaser
sequence presents viewers with an eerie experience of the silent sound
of falling snow, introducing a story concerned with the effects of
white noise, audio snow or static. The episode's title
also acts, undoubtedly, as a nod to Millennium musician Mark
"The Dark End of the Street" by James Carr
Lance Henriksen as Frank Black
Megan Gallagher as Catherine Black
Brittany Tiplady as Jordan Black
Stephen James Lang as Detective Giebelhouse
Klea Scott as Emma Hollis
Stephen E. Miller as Andy McClaren
Jessica Tuck as Alice Severin
Deanna Milligan as Carol Wheatley
Christina Jastrzembska as Mrs. Wheately
Mark McConchie as Home Owner
Ryan Robbins as Jed
Trevor White as Doug Scaife
Music by Mark Snow
Production Designer Mark Freeborn
Director of Photography Robert McLachlan
Associate Producer Jon-Michael Preece
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 Chip Johannessen
Executive Producer Chris Carter