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Millennium 3x5

...Thirteen Years Later

Frank and Emma investigate murders on the set of a movie based on one of Frank’s former cases.

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AS HALLOWEEN APPROACHES A KILLER STALKS MEMBERS OF A PRODUCTION CREW AS THEY FILM A MOVIE BASED UPON ONE OF FRANK’S CASES.

Inside an F.B.I. classroom, a lecturer addresses a roomful of attentive agents. Though we do not see the speaker’s face, we hear Frank Black’s voice describing a horrific murder case, one that happened during the week just before Halloween.

In flashback, Frank and Emma are summoned to a motel in Trinity, South Carolina. The pair meets with Sheriff Fritz Neuenschwander, who walks them through a murder scene. The sheriff explains that two individuals, actress Marta Danbury and director Lew Carroll, were both viciously murdered inside their room. Both were in town filming a small B-movie on a nearby soundstage.

Shortly thereafter, Frank, Emma and the sheriff travel to the soundstage, where they observe several actors and a film crew shooting a picture which, it turns out, is based on a murder case Frank investigated thirteen years earlier. Frank is offended when he realizes that most of the factual evidence in the case is being completely ignored in favor of sensationalism. Frank and Emma interview the principles, as many had a motive for the killings. Among them is producer Kenny Neiderman, who had been sleeping with Marta Danbury; Rowdy Beeman, who suddenly rose to the rank of director upon Lew Carroll’s demise; actress Ruby Dahl, whose role was drastically expanded to compensate for Danbury; Sir Douglas Latham, an aging British stage actor; Sara Cryer, the film’s unit publicist; John and Don, the film’s screenwriters, who were displeased with Carroll’s take on their screenplay; flirtatious star Ramona Tangent; and Mark Bianco, a method actor who portrays Frank Black in the film. Also included on the suspect list is Hugo Winston, whose fiancie was murdered by the killer thirteen years earlier. Hugo declares that the production desecrates the name of the deceased.

Most of the crew members gather to watch the filming of a scene in which Ruby Dahl goes skinny-dipping in a pool. Once the scene is photographed, the crew assembles around folding tables where a caterer distributes sandwiches. As the director bites into his sandwich, he realizes that the “meat” is, in fact, a human finger. Rowdy recognizes a ring on the severed digit, and proclaims that producer Niederman has been killed.

Despite protests from an irate cast and crew, the sheriff closes down the shoot. Meanwhile, Emma speculates that the murderer may be using classic horror films as the inspiration for the manner in which he kills. The pair conclude that the suspect may strike at the motel where the crew is staying. A figure lures them upon the roof of the building, where they discover body of publicist Sara Cryer dangling upside down from a rope, a death that mirrors killings seen in the films Halloween and Friday the 13th. Meanwhile, one of the film’s extras, a man named Hector, confesses to the crimes. Frank destroys his credibility. Nonetheless, the mayor proclaims that production may resume.

Frank and Emma realize that horror films were playing on television on the nights of all the murders. The pair consult a television listing and discover that the film Motel Hell is being broadcast that evening. They race to the soundstage, where it is discovered that several members of the crew had their vocal cords severed, a la Motel Hell. Frank also discovers Hugo Winston, his body hanging by the neck, a butcher knife nearby.

Frank finds it difficult to believe that Hugo is the killer. Emma consults the television listings, but because it is Halloween, the airwaves are filled with movie marathons, making it impossible to predict how the killer will strike next. Emma stays at the hotel to watch television, hoping for some insight into how the murderer thinks. Meanwhile, Frank drives back to the soundstage, where the crew films a climactic scene set at a nightclub. He scrutinizes his surroundings as movie extras dressed in Halloween costumes…

Oct. 30, 1998

Millennium season 3