Night Stalker

Season 1 Episode 1


Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Sep 29, 2005 on ABC

Episode Recap

As Carl Kolchak stalks the night, a man bids his wife farewell as he heads off to his jobs, unaware that a figure with a red mark on his wrist lurks nearby. In the house, the woman Emily hears a noise, draws a knife, and goes to investigate. Ste steps on a nail and is distracted, putting down the knife. The lights go out and a figure comes running at her from out of the shadows. She takes cover in the garage and tries to get out the door and into the car, but is caught hauled away, screaming.

In the desert, the police are investigating and Perri Reed, a reporter with the Beacon, shows up to investigate, along with photographer Jain McManus. She's told another reporter is already there and goes into confront the man – Carl Kolchak. He tells them they can go and reveals it's his first day with the newspaper. He hints that the husband is responsible for the woman's disappearance and the police believe it's a reporter. Carl and Perri meet with their editor, Tony Vincenzo, who isn't happy about Carl's running start, tells them to get along, and gives the story to Perri. Perri has no luck getting the information without Carl's contacts, and he doesn't give them up. But he does reveal the police believe the motive is Emily's pregnancy. In the desert, bikers find a mutilated corpse.

The husband Henry is brought in by the police while Perri determines the fetus was torn from her body and there's no sign of a murder weapon. At the hospital, Emily's brother Ed Madlock is called in to identify the body. He and his wife go in while Carl meets with their daughter and gives her a few words of comfort before the brother-in-law interrupts – he believes Henry is responsible but the wife doesn't. Carl meets with Perri and reveals what happened.

At a hotel, the brother-in-law heads out, leaving his wife and daughter behind. While the wife takes a shower, something breaks into the hotel and goes after the daughter Julie, who hides beneath the bed. She sees her mother attacked and then the creature comes back for her.

After attending the press conference, Carl meets with Perri and reveals the police think a serial killer is responsible and the charges against Henry have been dropped. Perri is interviewing Henry Gale and invites Carl along. He asks Henry about whether he heard animals or actually saw anything, but he only heard some animal. Later that night, Perri looks up Carl's background on the Internet and finds an expired link about the FBI interviewing Carl Kolchak. She calls the investigating agent, Bernie Fain, who tells her that Kolchak is a murderer.

Jain gets together with Carl and reveals that he took photos around both sites and picked up paw tracks and in the background of one shot a blurred image of a strange wolf-like creature. Meanwhile Perri meets with Agent Fain on a deserted stretch of highway where Fain claims Kolchak killed his wife. Fain reveals how Carl claimed he pulled over to avoid a head-on collision and something reached through the window and grabbed his wife and killed her. Kolchak was never charged due to insufficient evidence. Carl and Jain go out to the site of the wolf sighting and figure there's at least two of the creatures but no drag marks. They're interrupted by the arrival of Fain, the police, and Perri, and Fain has Kolchak arrested.

Vincenzo arrives at the police station and confronts Perri – he knew about Carl's background and explains that he was working in Las Vegas when Kolchak brought a story to him that made both their careers. But Carl wasn't there when the story paid off because Carl was with his wife. Kolchak is released due to lack of evidence and when Perri drops him off, she admits she isn't convinced of his innocence. The front door of his house is open and they go in to investigate – the place is ransacked, presumably by Fain. While she checks out the house, she finds a room dedicated to recording and studying bizarre deaths. Carl confronts her and reveals that on the photo of the wife, there is a red mark on her hand and it has appeared on the hands of some victims scattered across the country. One woman was incinerated, another man committed suicide after confessing to series of murders that didn't occur after his death. Another family moved into a house and killed themselves. Kolchak reveals a drifter was found dead in the same way, two weeks before Emily's death. Carl reveals his wife was pregnant just like Emily was, and he doesn't know if Emily had the mark. All he knows is there's something tying all the deaths together. Perri is still skeptical but Kolchak is determined to find the missing girl.

Jain calls them with info on reports of wild animals near a girls' school and they head out to investigate. Jain has found similar paw prints. While Carl checks out the area, Perri heads back to her car but hears strange noises. She runs and a creature leaps over her and comes back around, but Carl hits it with his car and they find a bizarre skinless wolf.

Fain and the examiner claim it's a coyote and has it cremated – Kolchak is convinced Fain would eliminate any evidence that might clear Kolchak. Perri manages to get the photos of Emily's body and it doesn't have the red wrist-mark. Carl believes the creatures carried away the girl and she's still alive, and they may not be what killed his wife. Carl gets a signal – he sprayed the place near the school with a chemical and one of the other coyotes ended up with it. Carl traces the signal to a cave near where Emily's body was found and they follow it in. They lose the signal and go in on foot, armed with cattle prods. Following the girl's cries, they locate her and Carl gets her off a ledge while the creatures close in. They make a run for the exit and Jain is grabbed and pulled back in – Carl manages to pull him out and they get into the car and head out as the creatures throw themselves at the car, shattering the windows. The girl is united with her mother while Fain and the authorities turn up nothing at the cave. Carl writes the story but without the supernatural element, much to Perri's disappointment. He's reluctant to print anything specific until he has the evidence, and Perri warns that "I'm watching you." And at the end we see that Carl has a red mark on his own wrist.