November 02, 1998 12:00 PM

FOX (Fridays, 9 p.m. ET)

Just who were those young, blonde lookalike women being bumped off in the third-season opener of Millennium (Oct. 2 and 9)? One was killed in a plane crash, another in a house explosion, and a third got ambushed on a bridge. Could they have been clones of an elderly ex-CIA psychic who had gone into hiding? Who wanted them dead, anyway? And why were all those monarch butterflies flitting around in the end? Don’t ask us. Ask Chris Carter. The executive producer of The X-Files created this maddeningly enigmatic crime series, which has grown more pretentious and less coherent with each new installment. What began in ’96 as a dank, depressing yet authentically atmospheric serial-killer-of-the-week thriller turned a lot murkier last season when ex-FBI profiler Frank Black (the great stone-faced Lance Henriksen) began battling his former allies in crime-solving (the cryptic and secretive Millennium Group). This season, consulting for the FBI and mentoring a young agent (Klea Scott), Frank now looks as blank and confused as the audience—when he’s not raving like a lunatic about the sinister Millennium Group. Quick—somebody get a butterfly net.

Bottom Line: Once-promising series now brain-dead. Do not resuscitate

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