Since Night Stalker premiered [on ABC, Thursdays at 9 pm/ET], the questions I've most often been asked are what that mark on Kolchak's wrist means — and when will we see it again? I'm not about to say what it means, of course, but the answer to the second question is "tonight."
In the pilot episode, we learned Carl Kolchak (Stuart Townsend) found a strange, snake-shaped mark on the left wrist of his wife, Irene, after she was killed on a Las Vegas highway over a year ago. Strangely, she didn't have that mark on her body before her death.
Subsequent to that, Kolchak found the same mark on dozens of other victims of strange deaths. He told his new colleague, Perri Reed (Gabrielle Union), that he was convinced there must be some connection between all these deaths, but he didn't know what it was. "They are like pieces of a puzzle," Kolchak said. "A puzzle I'm trying to put together."
The final image of the pilot revealed yet another piece of the puzzle — that, unbeknownst to anyone, Kolchak himself bears the mark, hidden under the wristwatch on his left hand.
In truth, Kolchak is looking for that mark in every episode of Night Stalker, hoping it will give him answers about what killed his wife and why — it's just that he usually doesn't find it.
This week's episode, "The Source," is the first of two parts that give us more insight into the mark as well as a number of other questions people have been asking, such as: Why would an FBI agent investigate the murder of Kolchak's wife? What motive did Kolchak have for allegedly killing her? Do other living people, like Kolchak, bear the mark? And — probably the question I'm asked almost as often as I am about the mark — how does Kolchak afford that spectacular house in the Hollywood hills?
If you're a loyal fan of Night Stalker, episodes like the ones airing this and next week are the ones you've been waiting for. These so-called "mythology" episodes push the lives of the characters forward. People who are important to them die. And their lives are changed as a result.
These are fun episodes to write and produce because they are big — not just in the scale of the production (Night Stalker pushes those limits every week, anyway), but in the storytelling and the demands on all the actors — not just Stuart and Gabrielle but Eric Jungmann (who plays Jain McManus) and Cotter Smith (who plays Tony Vincenzo) as well.
A number of new questions get raised, and new story lines are introduced. Along the way, there is a deepening of our understanding into Kolchak's character, as well as a deepening of his relationship with Reed. And, of course, there's plenty of scares, suspense and mystery, too.
I look forward to having people ask me a lot of new questions after these episodes are broadcast... and, of course, making people wait until the next set of mythology episodes to begin answering them.
Until next week…