Written by Erin Maher & Kay Reindl
Directed by John Peter Kousakis
Anamnesis has the most electrifying teaser to an episode of Millennium. A dark forest, a bunch of kids dancing, Catherine rushing in vain to stop a shooting inside a school, a weeping statue of what appears to be the Virgin Mary and all of it set to Dancing Barefoot by Patti Smith, it's a promising beginning and a truly brilliant way to open a television episode.
You can sense it coming, though, can't you? The big 'but'. Well here it is. But, unfortunately, the forty minutes that follows after this, do not live up to the promise of that opening. Having the distinction of being the only episode of Millennium not to feature Lance Henriksen, Anamnesis puts front and centre Megan Gallagher in a way the series has not done so since The Well Worn Lock in the early stages of season one and even better Maher and Reindl's script partners her up with Lara Means, who we've only seen share small moments with Catherine all season, in particular in Siren.
The signs are good for this one, but unfortunately it struggles after that electrifying opening teaser. What we get here is something that takes a strand of plotting that would be used to controversial effect by Dan Brown several years later with his best seller The Da Vinci Code, mixed in with a high school drama. The Dawson's Creek Code if you will and for me it never quite comes together. The teaser promises a dark horror tale of religion and gun violence, and is seemingly going to deal with an event that would become all too real a year later when Columbine would take over our news headlines, but despite what that opening moment promises, this never becomes the dangerous episode that it really ought to be.
Oh sure, it suggests that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were partners, possibly married and have a blood line that continues to this date (I really think Dan Brown was taking notes when he possibly watched this one) and yet, it delivers these revelations in a dull way, and never quite feels as dangerous and it ought to be. It would take a novel and a critically panned film version of it to gain headlines with such ideas and whilst I believe Millennium to be vastly superior to Dan Brown's heavily expositional novels, in truth Anamnesis never quite becomes the shocking tale it wants to be. Unsurprisingly Fox's Broadcast Standards and Practices baulked at some of the ideas, but the show managed to get them in anyway, but in reality the themes are delivered in a dull, clumsy and uninteresting fashion.
It's a shame because the partnership at the heart of the episode, that of Catherine and Lara, is actually well handled and forms the best part of the show. Gallagher is wonderful, as always, and it's a refreshing change to see Catherine partner up with Lara and both actresses play very well throughout. To see Catherine actually have to play ball with the Millennium group after a season of hating them is a great touch and to see a mutual respect build between herself and Lara is pleasing and forms the most satisfying part of the episode.
Overall though, I just wish this was better. I hate going on about it, but that teaser was brilliant and there was a chance for Millennium to go all out with a potentially dangerous and controversial hour of television, but as such, for an upside that posits the idea here that it does, it all ends up surprisingly dull and lifeless.