Night Stalker: Pilot

by AB Chao October 4, 2005
Night Stalker: Pilot

Oh, Night Stalker. It sure is sad for you that my last show was so damn good. I'll try not to hold it against you. Wait, scratch that: I totally will. Let's get to it, then.

Fade up on an extreme close-up of a dark and lonely road. The center lines flash past; a piano plays in the background as a voice-over says, and I only wish I were kidding, "I drive at night. The police radio is my compass." Cut to the inside of a car, presumably owned by our night driver, who drives at night. We get flashes of Night Driver's eyes, the police scanner, and a half-amputated Gumby hanging from the rearview mirror. Driver of Nightliness tells us he's looking for answers to questions he's only learning how to ask. As he says "questions," THE ACTUAL WORD swims up onto the screen. Now, really, did we need that visual aid? Oh, here's another one! "Fear." And another! "Nightmares." The driver, we see now, is Stuart "Charlize Theron's Shadow" Townsend. He voice-overs some more about -- now, this is surprising! -- fear and nightmares. We fade from this delightful Powerpoint presentation (tm spork) to the actual screen upon which Stuart is typing his voice-over. He tells us more about the scary things he's looking for: "Nightmares that intrude from another realm. Forces that spring not from the imagination, but live amongst us, unseen. These forces have taken something from me." The camera pulls back to reveal that Stuart is working from home, and home is a very modern-looking, fabulous house that overlooks Los Angeles. Now he's back in his car -- a beautiful Mustang in that hideous orange color -- driving around in search of unseen forces, or possibly an all-night Wendy's (Eat great! Open late!).

Cut to someone else's house, not nearly as beautiful as Stuart's. A woman in a pink robe runs outside after her man, who must be on his way to a night job. She hands him a metal lunchbox, and lovingly straightens his jacket collar. The husband remarks that it's cold tonight, and teasingly says he could call in sick. His wife asks him who'd make the house payments then? She receives a kiss in response, and the husband gets in his truck. Before he drives off, a noise startles him. He looks around, but sees nothing, and drives away. Could this be...foreshadowing? We will soon find out! Across the street, a figure lurks inside a house under construction. We get a shot of the stranger's wrist, which bears a big old red mark. It looks like either a suicide gone very wrong, or the remains of a Kabbalah bracelet. Ashton? Is that you?

The wind blows "eerily." Chimes tinkle on our doomed lady's porch. She takes a break from washing dishes to look around suspiciously, and call out, "Henry?" She goes back to her dishes, but not for long, because of the glass shattering in the next room. As all smart young ladies do, the wife grabs a chef's knife and rushes right over. There's nothing there except the remains of a lamp on the ground. She looks out the front door and down the street: still nothing. As she shuts the door, she steps on a piece of the broken lamp and bends down to check her foot, leaving the knife on a table to trick us all into thinking someone's going to pick it up and kill her with it. Au, contraire! The wife hears a noise behind her. She turns around and her eyes widen in fear. We hear scary panting and growling as the wife hauls ass away from whatever slavering beast it is that's about to eat her up. She makes it to the garage and nearly to her car before the thing knocks her down and drags her to God knows where. She screams and claws the ground as she's being dragged away, but whatever's got her is having none of that. We hear a last scream, then everything goes quiet. The wind picks up again. Chimes. Credits.

Well, not so much credits as more floating words, this time reading "Night Stalker." It's the next day, at the dead girl's house/construction site/crime scene. The police and news crews have arrived and are all milling around doing their thing. Gabrielle "Bring It" Union and her photographer sidekick get out of a car and walk over to an officer. Gabrielle informs him that she's "Perri Reed. With the Beacon?" The officer tells her sourly that the detective in charge has already answered her questions. Perri needs to know how that can be, since she just got there. Officer Lemonface says that may be true, but another reporter from her paper is already here. Uh-oh! Perri and Sidekick find Stuart in the dead girl's garage. Perri, looking for all the world like she's ready to beat some Buffys down, offers Stuart a chilly "Hi there." Stuart introduces himself as "Carl Kolchak." Perri introduces herself and Sidekick, whose real name is "Jain McManus," and says they're from the Beacon. Carl gives them both the once-over, and tells them dismissively that they can go. Perri puts her hand on her hip and gives Sidekick a look, like "OH NO HE DIDN'T." Kolchak says there must have been some kind of mix-up, because he's got the story. Sidekick asks Kolchak if he even works for the Beacon. Kolchak says it's his first day. Perri moves closer to Kolchak and tells him that the mix-up is his, because -- and here she smiles that "eat shit and die" smile that Gabrielle Union has perfected -- "this is my story." Kolchak heads for his car and says it's too bad he's already interviewed the police and taken photos. Perri follows him outside and asks him what the story is, then. Kolchak gives her the rundown: Emily Gale, age 32, was reported missing by her husband Henry, age 37, when he came home from his job as a night watchman. Perri's all, "That it?" Kolchak says no, that's not "it": he has confidential sources. Sidekick interjects, "First day on the job, and he has confidential sources." Sidekick is on my nerves. Perri asks Kolchak what those sources say. Kolchak takes a conspiratorial tone and tells them that, even though no body's been found, Henry is the prime suspect for Emily's murder -- there's even a nice juicy motive! Perri: "Which is?" Kolchak: "Wouldn't you like to know?" Perri gets up in his face and says she sure would, and intends to find out.

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