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Millennium 3x12

The Sound of Snow

Frank receives a mysterious cassette tape filled with white noise and a visit from beyond the grave.

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SOMEONE MAILS FRANK A CASSETTE TAPE CONTAINING SEEMINGLY HARMLESS WHITE NOISE. BUT FRANK LINKS COPIES OF THE TAPE TO THE BIZARRE DEATHS OF TWO PEOPLE.

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 eighteen-wheel truck.

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 apartment.

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 blue, 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…

Feb. 05, 1999

Millennium season 3