The past few days I've been re-watching the great Chris Carter series Millennium, starring Lance Henriksen. Mr. Henriksen has an autobiography coming out on May 5th, and since I have this fledging blog, I've decide to participate in the blogathon to coincide with the release.
It's been since the original airing of the show that I've seen all of the episodes (At 47, my memory ain't what it used to be, especially considering my past exploits...) and good a friend has been bugging me to re-visit it. I got the first season, and dug in. The standouts so far - The Well Worn Lock - Wild and the Innocent - The Thin White Line. The first two resonated deeply with me personally. The third, well, it gets everything right. I'll review the first, the others to follow in the coming days.
These episodes are the reason that I'm mesmerized by Frank Black. The series is intense, and he and his family are the beacon in the dark. The first episode I've mentioned is really more of a vehicle for Catherine Black (Megan Gallagher) though props to Frank, for being the supportive husband all of us in the estrogen brigade would love to be married to.
"The Well Worn Lock" is a horrific story of abuse. For anyone that doesn't understand why a victim can't walk away, they need to see this.
A dear friend, a woman who I miss deeply as she passed away in 2007, at age 48, experienced this very kind of abuse. I was talking to her on the phone one evening, and she mentioned that she was watching a documentary on Iwo Jima. Her Stepdad was there. She said "Oh, there's some guys with flamethrowers, burning up the Japanese, probably my Stepdad, he would have enjoyed that".
It hit me then. I asked her if she was abused. Her answer - "In every way you can imagine. Sometime, we'll sit and have a drink, and I'll tell you about it." We never got to.
A few things you should know about her. She was an incredible artist. She did illustrations of B&W film stills. She did them with acrylic and those tiny aught size brushes that have like two sable hairs. They're stunning. Friends think they are photographs. She also was one of the kindest people I ever knew. Giving, sharing. Amazing, given her circumstance. You can see her art here.
She accomplished this body of work despite near blindness in one eye, due to the beatings she endured. After her death my husband and I visited her Mother and we all commiserated on our feelings. Her Mother gave us some of her monster figures from her room. There was no bed in it. She slept on the floor her whole adult life, because of what happened to her in the bed she grew up in. She wore her hair short, because he liked it long. He threatened her beloved dog. He ended up hanging himself.
As I watched this episode, I was both uncomfortable, and relieved. Uncomfortable to see a realistic portrayal of what so many refuse to pay attention to, and relieved that there are people out there that GET IT. The threats - for our friend, it was the death of her pet. She didn't dare. And if she did, no one would believe her, and that's key. The authorities will probably listen to you, but if they have any doubt and send you back, well, that situation is the ultimate loss of control, and victims have too much of that already.
The Blacks get it. They get what it takes to bring these family skeletons into the light. They get why we all need both retribution and redemption.
By the end of it, I was so moved, I sat for a long time....just thinking how much Linda would have liked it.