Perri finally realizes that Kolchak didn't have any confidential sources -- he knew Emily Gale's murder would match all the others. Why kill her, then, and take Petunia? "And why not you?" she finishes. Kolchak confesses that his wife was keeping a secret from him, but he didn't find out what it was until her autopsy: she was pregnant. He says that some of the victims, also, didn't have the mark, but he knows they fit in somehow, like pieces in a puzzle. "But no one sees it because no one wants to." Stuart Townsend says this last bit with such intensity that I am afraid his head might explode. Perri must feel it, too, because she's all, "I could use that beer now." Kolchak asks Perri if she thinks he's crazy. Perri says, gently, so as not to upset the psychopath, that she thinks he desperately wants an explanation, so he believes the unbelievable. Kolchak reminds her that Petunia is still out there somewhere, and he might be the only one asking questions that could save her. The phone rings. Kolchak answers, listens for half a second, and practically shrieks, "Okay I'll be right THERE!!!" He informs Perri that it was Jain, who just received a call about some wild animals causing trouble near a girls' school.
Kolchak and Perri tear into the school parking lot, where Sidekick is waiting for them. He says one of the girls heard scratching, and when the headmistress looked out the window, she saw some kind of animal running off. Perri's like, "That's what you're basing this on?" Seriously. Sidekick tells Kolchak that the same tracks they found at the motel are here, too. Kolchak opens his trunk, which is bursting with all kinds of monster-hunting gear, and pulls out a tank of some kind. They walk around to the playground. Sidekick points out the tracks beneath the swings, and they talk about the monster while Perri looks more and more skeptical. Kolchak starts spraying something around from his tank, which looks a lot like the thing I used last week on my garden. Perri asks him what he's doing, and I am not making this up, he replies, "Hun-ting." Just like that, two syllables, both ridiculous. EPHRAM PLEASE CALL ME I SWEAR I'LL BE NICE ABOUT YOUR HAIR!!!! Perri commands Sidekick to give her his keys. "You can ride home with Elmer Fudd. I've had enough." You and me both, sister. Sidekick obliges, and Perri walks off while Kolchak continues to spray his magical monster-finder (now with bonus weed-killer!) all over the yard.
Oh, but Perri is not alone. She's almost to the car when she hears something behind her. Whatever it is growls a little bit. Perri takes off running, but trips and falls. The thing's shadow falls over her, and she looks up, terrified. Fortunately, Kolchak must have finished his yardwork, because his Mustang comes roaring toward her and her attacker. Perri rolls out of the way just in time, and Kolchak takes out the scary monster. He jumps out and asks Perri if she's okay. Sidekick runs over, and they all look down at the thing, which appears to be a coyote that's been dredged in flour and burnt to a delicious crisp. It's pretty gross. Sidekick starts snapping pictures, and we go to some blessed commercials.
Back at the morgue, Agent Fain and the medical examiner inform our intrepid crew that they hit a coyote. They're like, "Wha?" The M.E. tries to be all smart, and says the thing Kolchak hit was the common "Canis iatrans" found throughout North America. Except he must have totally failed Latin, because it's "Canis latrans," with an "L." And for that, I thank you, forum. Sidekick's all, "That ain't look like no coyote I ever saw." The M.E. insists that it certainly was one, and they can't see the body because Animal Control already took it away. Bummer! They walk outside, all mad at the system and stupid government conspiracies and how you should trust no one and whatnot.
Kolchak tells Perri that they're lying, because Fain's so desperate to put him away he'd suppress any evidence that connects his wife's death to Emily Gale. He says he knows Fain won't release the autopsy photos because they match his wife's. Perri has to break it to him that they actually didn't -- she got Fain to release the photos. She shows them to him, and says she's sorry. Kolchak looks crushed, but not too crushed to take Perri and Sidekick to a diner for a bite to eat. Kolchak stares at the autopsy pictures while Perri tells him some more how sorry she is. Kolchak looks up at her, and says, "She was afraid." Perri's like, "What now?" Kolchak says Petunia was afraid, and now she's missing, and they killed his wife, too, and they really really have to find out what's happening. Perri: "So, these animals. They have...purpose?" Heh.
Sidekick is just getting back with the coffees when Kolchak's actual Sidekick begins to beep. He looks at some kind of GPS thing on it, and tells him they've got to go. Once they're in the car, Kolchak explains that the weed-killer he was spraying was actually a kind of chemical vapor designed to track the animals. JESUS GAY. I only wish I were making this up. The signal leads them to a cave out in the desert. Inside the cave, they lose the signal, but Kolchak still thinks Petunia is in there somewhere. Armed with cattle prods from Kolchak's trunk o' goodies, our little group heads further into the cave. Sure enough, they hear crying. Sidekick ventures into a little cavern, and then...um, bats fly out at them. I hate myself and want to die. After the bats, they hear another noise. Perri: "That's not a little girl." Commercials.
Still in the Batcave. Perri must have misheard, because they hear more crying, and it actually is a little girl. Petunia is perched on a ledge across a real deep chasm. Kolchak tells Petunia that he's there to save her, but she has to jump to him. After a bunch of crying and screaming, Petunia takes the plunge and lands safely in Kolchak's arms. Then the actual scary noises start. Everyone runs like hell. Sidekick gets his leg caught by one of the monsters, but Kolchak cattle prods it and drags him up. They jump into the car and speed away, but not before one of the monsters can smash the windshield. There is much screaming and loudness, and it's making me nervous. Kolchak drives out of the cave, and we see that his windshield is mysteriously healed. It's a miracle!
Cut to the newsroom. Strummy music plays as Kolchak sits at his desk, getting ready to write what should be a hell of a story. Cut to the hospital, where Mom and Daddy and Petunia are reunited. Cut to the Batcave. Agent Fain walks out looking confused, and Kolchak is there leaning against his super-car to give him a knowing look. Cut back to the newsroom -- Kolchak writes his story, and it gets printed. Perri finds him and asks him why he didn't write what he saw. Kolchak says he wouldn't last long in this job if he did that. Perri says the public has a right to know. Kolchak: "The public doesn't want to know." Perri gives him a look. He says he is going to find out what's going on, and when he does, he'll print it, and the public will have to believe. Perri: "I'm watching you." Aw, they're in love again. Kolchak says she is the senior crime reporter. Perri says that reminds her: "I've been covering crime for four years. How about you?" Kolchak: "Five." Perri says that's what she thought, and walks off. ["What did that even mean? I want to like this show, but when they use the Snark-o-Matic 3000 to generate meaningless dialogue, it makes it hard for me." -- Sars]