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Mulder and Scully enlist the help of criminal profiler Frank Black to help prevent members of the Millennium group from attaining an Armageddon new year. 


The graves of four FBI agents who commited suicide is desecrated and a symbol is left that has Mulder suspecting that someone wants to end the world. Found in a psychiatric ward, ex-FBI agent Frank Black is enlisted to help Mulder and Scully investigate the Millennium Group's ritualistic killings and apocalyptic plans, while a Group member who has the power to summon the dead is trying to bring the world to an end as the millennium draws to a close.

Complete Episode Summary

Tallahassee, Florida, at a funeral on December 11, a man, Mr. Johnson, remains after the widow leaves. He is chanting over and over - that he will resurrect the body. The body is a man who committed suicide. Johnson opens the casket and exchanges his own shirt for the shirt the body is wearing. Then he places a cell phone in the casket. On December 29, Johnson is parked at a cemetary, waiting. The cell phone rings and he gets out of his vehicle with a shovel.

On December 30, Scully arrives at the cemetary. She is met by the mortician who tells her that he knows that the men buried was "one of their own", an FBI agent, but that he doesn't like the rumors going around that he buried someone alive. He knows that the man was dead. He tells her that they better get their facts straight really fast.

Mulder is in the grave hole, which is now open. Scully walks over to the hole and looks down at Mulder ("Merry Christmas By the way Scully", "Thank you. Merry Christmas to you too") Mulder finds that the lining of the casket is shredded and the dead man's finger prints are on the inside of the casket and on the headstone. It looks like someone was trying to get out but the rain didn't leave much evidence. He tells her that it was a "grave robbery with a twist". Scully thinks the evidence is rigged and it had been faked by whoever exhumed the body. Around the grave there is a circle of blood. Johnson is driving, reciting the passage again. He looks into his rearview mirror and sees a hand reaching up.

At a later staff meeting in Skinner's office, The agents look over the profile of the victim, Raymond Crouch. He had commited suicide. Mulder says it looks like necromancy, the attempt to summon the dead to divulge ritual knowledge and perform mystic tasks. Mulder shows in a picture of the crime scene, the circle of goats blood, but that it was partially washed away by the rain. He tells them that the blood attracts the spirits of the dead, while the magic circle focuses the necromancer's powers, and at the same time protects him from the spirits that he's conjuring. The necromancer may also desire to wear the clothes of the body to create a bond with it.

After the meeting, Skinner shows Mulder and Scully the snake eating it's own tail symbol (Ouroboros, representing never-ending or infinity) of the Millennium Group. Mulder and Scully describe the group as composed of former FBI agents who fell out of favor. They were actually an end of times cult. The group disbanded several months ago, but the blood circle around the grave looks like the symbol the group used. Skinner shows the agents information on three other similar grave robbings of dead FBI agents and desecration incidents in the last six months. He sends Mulder and Scully to investigate the Millennium Group.

They go to a mental institution where Frank Black checked himself in for a 30 day observation. Mulder knows him by reputation - Frank was in the same violent crimes unit as Mulder, before Mulder was assigned to it. When Mulder implies that the man is single minded, Scully says that it sounds like someone she knows. The agents tell Frank that they can't find any info about the group, its membership and practices. Frank admits that he knows who the four dead agents were but he declines to help - he's trying to put his life back together. Mulder points out that tomorrow, the 31st, is a significant date for the group which doesn't leave much time. Frank keeps looking at the football game that he was watching and ignores him.

In Rural Maryland 11:21 PM, Johnson has a flat tire and a deputy stops to help. The deputy smells something then notices flies in the vehicle. As he searches, Johnson takes some salt out of his pocket and sprinkles it around him in a circle, chanting. The cop opens the trunk and the corpse, now a zombie, kills the cop.

The next day, December 31 at 7:32 AM, at the scene of the deputy's death, Mulder concludes that the Necromancer was there - there is salt, which is heavy magic, on the ground in a protective circle, just large enough for one person to stand inside. However, Scully is not convinced & didn't understand what the man was protecting himself from. Mulder says that he was protecting himself from "Whatever it was that did that"

Nearby the deputy's body is found with a note inside the mouth and the mouth fastened shut with large staples. The note is a quotation from the Bible (Book Revelations, Chapter One, Verse Eighteen) "I am he that was dead and lives again."

The agents go back to Frank. Scully understands he is afraid of losing his daughter - he is in a custody battle with the parents of his dead wife, Catherine. He tells her that they claimed he was an unfit father, obsessed with conspiracies and the end of the world, and that his work meant more to him than his daughter, Jordan. He says that the thing is, they were right. He says that he will do anything but not mention the Millennium group again, but Mulder convinces him to give just a little clue.

Frank tells them that the Group believed that the time of the battle between good and evil described in Revelation was upon them. The four men died in order to be returned to life as the Four Horsemen of the apocalypse - the four men that will bring with them war, pestilence, famine and death, in order to force the end of times. Frank says it is so all the dead or the earth will arise - Armageddon. They believe that it must begin with the dawn of the Millennium, or not at all.

They sought out the Necromancer who believes he is doing God's work. Frank doesn't tell them who the Necromancer is, but profiles him for them. He exhumed all of the men according to their wishes, but he was not a member of the Millennium group. He believed that he was doing God's work, but he was mistaken. Frank says that the necromancer stapled the cop's lips together, even with the fear of being caught, because it would prevent him from coming back to life. It is too soon for that, so when he realizes that they found the deputy's body, he'll feel a need to take action, and return to the body the first chance he gets. Frank thinks that they will catch him at the morgue. Mulder says that the four members of the Millennium group, the ones who live that were dead, are who they need to be looking for. Scully points out that the end of the millennium is actually a year away and this is an artificial deadline. Mulder brushes off the argument ("Nobody likes a math geek, Scully") and says he thinks the deputy was killed near the Necromancer's home. Mulder asks Scully to make sure that the staples are left in the deputy's mouth.

At the Rice County morgue at 10:32 AM, the doctor removes the staples from the deputy's mouth and finds the mouth filled with salt. The phone rings, but she ignores it as she removes some of the salt. As the phone rings again, she picks it up. There is a message from Scully telling her not to do an autopsy, and to stop if she had already started. But it was too late, the deputy comes up behind her to kill her. Scully enters the autopsy room where she sees three bodies. She finds the doctor, who was bleeding really bad, in the other room. Suddenly, Johnson and the Deputy appear. Scully shoots three bullets into the zombie's chest, but it doesn't affect him at all. He keeps going, reaching Scully as her gun is knocked to the floor.

Later, Skinner arrives. The doctor is being taken away on a stretcher. The deputy's body is on the floor with gunshots to his chest and one to his head. Scully, who is injured, says the deputy attacked her. Johnson, whom Mulder calls the necromancer, fired the shot into the deputy's head using Scully's gun and saved her, but Johnson got away, since Scully was in no condition to chase him. Skinner and Scully are now concerned about Mulder, who is not answering his cell phone.

Mulder is checking residences near the scene of the deputy's death, one by one. He is out of cell phone service range. He pulls up at Johnson's. The gate is locked so he checks the trash and finds an empty salt sack. He grabs some salt and sticks it in his pocket. He climbs the gate. Johnson is not home. Mulder enters the basement through a door that had been locked. Three bodies under the dirt floor rise up and attack him. Johnson, who has arrived home, seals the door shut as Mulder fires his gun again and again.

9:17 PM, Frank still won't help Scully, although she is more and more concerned about Mulder. Frank has spent years trying to unravel the belief of the Group. In spite of her disbelief, Scully asks if the Group can they really bring about the end of times. Frank still won't answer her questions, but after she leaves he checks himself out of the institution. Later, Skinner contacts Scully with phone records showing that Frank has been called repeatedly from a Rice County, Maryland, phone number.

In Johnson's basement, Mulder is standing still with a ring of salt at his feet, however he is already hurt. Frank arrives at Johnson's, who says, "We'd given up on you." It becomes clear that Frank was originally intended to be one of the four horsemen. Johnson says that Mulder has killed one of the four with a shot to the head. Now that Frank is there, he can still kill himself and be brought back to life to be the fourth. Frank didn't want to be involved, but now that he knows Johnson has succeeded with the necromancy, Frank can't remain uninvolved. Johnson says they had taken his daughter away from him, had murdered his wife, and that there was no justice in this world but there will be in the next one. Johnson gives Frank a gun, but Frank surprises him by pulling the gun on him and tying him up.

Frank then goes to the basement. Mulder is wounded and says that a shot to the head stops them. The remaining three backed off when Mulder killed the first one. Frank drops flares and in the light shoots another. As he helps Mulder up from the floor, the third attacks Frank and they struggle. Mulder grabs gun and shoots, saving Frank but the last horseman attacks Frank and the gun is empty. Scully fires from the basement steps, killing the last one.

On New Year's eve, Frank, Mulder and Scully are at the hospital where Mulder's arm is now in a sling. Frank also has some bandages over his wounds. Johnson is under suicide watch. Scully brings Frank's daughter, Jordan, to see him, and Frank says goodbye. It is midnight and Dick Clark is on television as The Millennium Ball drops in Time Square. At midnight, as the crowd on television sings in the year 2000 and a couple kisses on the screen, Mulder and Scully kiss on the lips, slowly. Mulder smiles & says, "The world didn't end?" "No, it didn't," answers Scully. Mulder: "Happy New Years, Scully". Scully: "Happy New Years, Mulder". They leave the hospital, his arm around her shoulder.

Episode Information

David Duchovny Special Agent Fox Mulder
Gillian Anderson Special Agent Dana Scully
Lance Hendricksen Frank Black
Mitch Pileggi AD Walter Skinner
Brittany Tiplady Jordan Black
Colby French Deptury
Holmes Osborne N.D. Man
William Forward Funeral Director
Marilyn McIntyre Widow
Mone' Walton Female Coroner
Michael Dempsey Sheriff
Octavia L. Spencer Nurse
Romy Walthall Agent #1
Stephen Ramsey Agent #2
Eulan Middlebrooks Young Cop
Dick Clark Dick Clark

Written by Vince Gilligan and Frank Spotnitz
Directed by Thomas J. Wright

Air Date: November 28th 1999
Shooting Schedule: Started 23rd September 1999


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