Profiler

Season 1 Episode 20

Into the Abyss

0
Aired Saturday 10:00 PM Apr 26, 1997 on NBC
9.3
out of 10
User Rating
27 votes
1

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Episode Summary

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Into the Abyss
AIRED:
A burned-out Sam takes somber note of a psychic-turned-author whose cooperation with police in solving serial murders has taken a heavy toll on his emotional stability -- and worst of all, he's targeted by a serial slayer intent on putting him out of his misery. Back at the command center, John chafes under Bailey's strict policy and hard-nosed code of secrecy. Bailey has more problems at home when he attempts to rein in his trouble-prone teenaged daughter.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • The final act undermines the good that comes before

    8.0
    The image of the murder victim – their mouth carved into a bloody smile at death – was one of the Profiler's most chilling and effective images. What followed was a shrewd and intelligent episode that held together until the final act. In what is becoming an unfortunate pattern Sam discovers the killer by accident rather than investigation. Sam literally walks into the room where the killer is waiting.



    As the team investigates the killings, Sam actually acts as a forensic psychologist, looking at the victims, examining their deaths and reaching the conclusion that their deaths are in fact "mercy killings" in which the killer is releasing the victims from their emotional suffering. The investigation links the deaths together – all were investigated by the same police officer (Lou Handelman) and the same psychic (Wykoff). It turns out that Wyckoff had written books about assisting the police and in fact had written but not published the final book. The scene in which they search Wyckoff's house and discover him hiding in a closet in a concealed room is particularly effective. Unfortunately the episode bogs down in its b and c stories. The b story involves Malone's struggle with his 17 year old daughter, the c story John's departure from the VCTF (pushed by Handelman, who goads him into leaving). A running thread in the story is the growing tension within the VCTF team (in a funny scene, Sam gets ready for work on a Saturday morning). The team's crankiness towards one another is a nice change. These characters deal with awful crimes on a daily basis and often seem to have little response to them. This episode shows an insight into their situations – these are people who are obviously under tremendous stress and reacting badly.



    The denouement is frustratingly truncated. Sam, literally, walks into a room with the killer, recognizes him and calls for help. She snatches the gun from him, saving Wykoff's life. End of episode.

    Trapped in the tension between the murderer of the week and the desire to explore its characters and the obligatory and rather dull Jack scene, Into the Abyss takes it eye off the ball. After the first 10 minutes, the killer suddenly stops killing, giving the team time to hunt down Wykoff. Despite a few missteps, the episode retains its creepiness – moody lighting the creepy Wykoff house, the odd shadows of the VCTF headquarters. It's an episode whose good work in the first few acts is undone by the convenience of the final act.moreless
Ally Walker

Ally Walker

Dr. Samantha "Sam" Waters

Caitlin Wachs

Caitlin Wachs

Chloe Waters

Dennis Christopher

Dennis Christopher

Jack of All Trades / Albert Newquay

Erica Gimpel

Erica Gimpel

Angel Brown

Heather McComb

Heather McComb

Frances Malone

Julian McMahon

Julian McMahon

Det. John Grant

Leland Crooke

Leland Crooke

Elliot Wykoff

Guest Star

Robert Machray

Robert Machray

Dick Solum

Guest Star

Kathryn Joosten

Kathryn Joosten

Morganna Styles

Guest Star

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