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In which I think about Patti Smith's "Land" and the season 2 finale of Millennium

Somewhere in the last day or two, I ran across a reference to Patti Smith’s excellent album Horses. Having not listened to it in quite a while, I put it on. Not only did it not disappoint, it is even better than I remembered.

When I got to the pretty epic seventh track “Land”, it reminded me of the second season finale of Millennium.

The song features prominently in the episode, playing over a scene in which a character loses her mind in a hotel room. It has been years since I have seen it, but I am pretty sure the scene runs the full nine minutes of the song. It is just one element of what I still think is one of the most bonkers hours ever broadcast on network television, rivaling even the series finale of the original Twin Peaks. The writers thought the show was going to get cancelled and decided to go out with a bang, essentially ending the world and the show.

Watching it when it first aired, I remember being astounded, a combination of “What am I even seeing?” and “How did they ever get this on the air?”

Then the show was unexpectedly renewed for a third season, and they had to undo it all, writing off the events of this episode as the main character’s hallucinations. It was a letdown, and the third season just was not all that great.

Unfortunately, Millennium does not seem to be available for rental or purchase on any of the streaming services in the US. I think I obtained the entire run for BitTorrent back when that was still a thing, but the files are sitting in a directory on an old NAS that will only power up when it is in the right mood, which is really only about once a year at this point.

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