Written by Chip Johannessen
Directed by Ralph Hemecker
After the surprisingly engaging opening to the season, it's disappointing that for the conclusion of this two parter that writer Chip Johannessen, Millennium's most reliable writer and promoted to showrunner for this season, has crafted a script that for all intents and purposes is basically The X Files in all but name. At the very least The Innocents managed to stay the right side of conspiratorial and feel like a Frank Black escapade at the same time, but this is a Millennium episode that for the most part ever really feels like this show.
That's not to say it's a bad episode, with the emergence of Peter Watts, still alive and still working for the group and now Frank's least favourite person and a new paradigm for the show set up (the series has now morphed to Frank determined to bring the group down) as well as a beautifully played conclusion, it still has merit, but the main storyline of the two parter has now morphed from being about a complex tale of dead siblings, albeit on a grand scale, to become even grander by Johannessen incorporating the CIA and remote viewing into proceedings. That it ends with an underground chase and lots of gunfire only adds to the X Files feel.
I don't know if the story had nowhere else to go, but we go from watching an extended version of Force Majeure to an X Files-esque story all too quickly. References to the CIA, a murderous group of villains and an action packed conclusion incorporating an action sequence in an underground base, like the opening episodes of season two past the premiere it gives the sense that when Millennium doesn't know what to do next, it backtracks itself to being more like its sister series.
If this were an X File, the Millennium group would be The Syndicate, the sisters would be clones and the murderous group member played by Barry Levy would be Krycek. It gives Exegesis the distinction of being disappointingly unoriginal in itself and strangely enjoyable at the same time. The truth is the story twisting into the realm of CIA regulated psychic phenomena is a genuinely surprising plot twist. The underground climax is thrilling and features a plethora of very loud gun shots. It's just hard not to imagine that is should be Mulder and Scully running around and not Frank and Emma.
On the plus side, the return of Terry O'Quinn is a genuinely great little shock, and to see Frank's angry reaction to him is a satisfying moment. It is a little bit of a jolt to see the usually reliant Watts now as a villain of the show, but it does promise great drama for later episodes, which the show will thankfully jump on. It's a bright spark in an episode that ends this two parter on muddled note. Overall this two parter has gotten Millennium of to a mixed start, but the show is up and running again, and that's really something given that we're returning to a world that had practically ended.