DEAD AIR

Season 1 Episode 10

Written by Alison Bingeman

Directed by Steve DiMarco

Guest stars:

Dr. Christina Noble........................... Diane Cary

Matthew....................................... David Hewlett

(no character names given)

Jonathan Wise, Reiner Schwarz, Barbara Barsky, Tannis Burnett, Justine Campbell, Dan Pawlick, Megan Smith, Steve Whistance Smith

Dr. Christina Noble is hosting her radio talk show and deals with the usual range of bizarre calls. She gets a call from Carol, who turns out to be a guy using a voice changer. He tells her he wants to talk about sexy blondes he can talk to, ones who respect his feelings. He is in a room somewhere with a squirming, whimpering woman telling Noble that when women do not respect his feelings he makes them beg for mercy, twisting a lipstick all the way up. That he cannot help what comes next, describing his actions as he strangles the woman. Noble is worried, telling him his fantasy sounds a bit sick, believing it to be a sick joke.

In Stonetree's office, he and Dr. Noble are listening to the tape of her show. She tells him doing her show taught her about voices, and she has never heard that one before. They do not use caller ID because it violates the show's total anonymity policy. She is frustrated when he tells her all they can do is analyze the background noise on the tape and do a profile. Nick enters as she leaves.

Stonetree confirms she's the radio shrink, but does not know what her show has to do with real psychiatry. He tells Nick about the tape and her claim. Nick asks if it's a hoax and Stonetree tells him there's no proof, that the whole city heard it. Nick adds that her nervousness did not make it seem like a PR stunt.

In the Caddy, Schanke tells Nick he never listens to that show because work is enough of a reminder of the world they live in. Nick tells him that she was truly scared. Schanke comments that Dr. Noble is a hardened pro who is back at work, proving it by tuning in her show. She tells her audience the police are investigating the previous show.

Dr. Noble's topic for the night is sharing one's dark side. Schanke listens and tells Nick about other show topics. Nick teases him for claiming he never listens to her show. He admits he listens once in a while for research. Nick does not buy it and teases him.

The suspected killer calls again and excitedly tells Noble that he is in the bridal suite with a woman. This captures Nick and Schanke's attention. In the background, a woman is heard squirming and whimpering as the killer calls her the blushing bride. Both detectives grow more concerned when they learn she is tied up. Nick pulls over, has Schanke take the wheel and call it in.

Nick runs down the street tracking the voices. Schanke calls in the possible homicide in progress and hears an emergency call. They tell him to respond alone.

Hearing both sides of the conversation, Nick lands on a tall building trying to locate the killer. The killer tells Dr. Noble her words are useless and she knows what he is going to do. The killer admit he's going to blow the bride's mind to bits as Nick tries to narrow it down from hundreds of windows to one.

The sound tech calls 911. A pair of hands struggle to untie themselves as the killer tells Noble he always does as told and the important thing is the woman has to die because she's nothing.

Nick flashes back to Europe between 1440-1460. He and Janette watch LaCroix torture a man, telling them the man's nothing and has to die along with the reason for his slow death.

Nick snaps back to the present as Dr. Noble pleads with the killer not to take the woman's life, to let her go. A gunshot shocks and upsets her. She knows she lost. Nick is in the air as soon as he hears the shot and inside the studio a moment later. Christina's eyes show her conflicting emotions as she looks at the two men.

As they walk down a hallway, a woman tells Schanke she knows something is very wrong because the dog's been barking and has not seen the woman for two days. They enter the room and see a dead woman's hands tied to the headboard.

At the crime scene, Nick holds the lipstick container as Schanke comments she is a freelance photographer who was last seen two nights ago. Natalie zips the body bag as Schanke peeks inside. She tells Nick and Schanke she repeatedly sees such murders and technically understands why. Nick finishes her thought that understanding it psychologically is another thing. She agrees.

Stonetree enters. He learns it could be the body from the other night, they do not have a weapon or motive. Natalie tells them the progression of rigor mortis indicates the victim's been dead for 18-24 hours. Nick adds it's the time of the call in, searches for the telephone and pushes the auto redial button. Everyone is confused until CTOK answers.

The voice analysis suggests the killer is no more than twenty-five and Caucasian. There is no sign of forced entry, and his prints are everywhere suggesting she knew her killer. Nick thinks the killer followed her home from the store, while Schanke thinks it was a date. Stonetree is not sure there is a second body thinking it could be a copycat. Nick says he will have tonight's tape analyzed and if there is a voice match, it eliminates a copycat. Schanke adds they might get some background noise. Nick suggests putting a trace on Noble's telephone lines at the station might make it easier. Stonetree tells them that nothing new leaks out and Nick goes to the station tomorrow. They need to search bridal suites.

Noble's unscheduled topic is feelings of helplessness and anger. Nick tells them they are all set and just need the killer to call. Nick learns that she is driven and smokes. Her boss thinks she can handle it because she is a pro.

The killer calls from a payphone, stopwatch in hand. Christina takes the call, asking if she knows him, trying to keep him talking. He tells her there are different kinds of knowing someone, then mockingly asks for help, begging not to be hurt. She is disturbed, asking why he likes the sound of someone helpless and afraid. He tells her she knows why, which she denies. She confirms she is a shrink when asked. He hits too close to home when he asks why she is not in an office with a couch and it shows. He complains all they do is talk. Nick animatedly gestures for her to keep him talking. She tells the killer that he called to talk about his feelings, and he asks how she knows. Nick lets her know they have six numbers. The killer looks at his stopwatch and tells her he has to go.

Every one in the studio is frustrated and it shows. Christina's knows she failed, tells Nick she screwed up by confronting him, scaring him off. Nick reassures her she did great. The killer is getting used to the attention so they will get him next time. She tells Nick she would have seen it if she were not so rusty. Nick inquires and hears that you have to use it or lose it. Schanke calls, is put on speakerphone telling them body number two was found in a bridal suite. Christina is shocked. She asks about the bodies, why she was not told. Nick tells her it is police business, wishing he had not put it on speakerphone. He tells Schanke he will be right there. She follows Nick out of the booth disturbed, asking if her show is the cause, making it her business as well. She is quite disturbed as she hears they will talk later.

Inside bridal suite, Nick seals a red lipstick in an evidence bag. Schanke comments he could have lured her in under the pretence he wanted to see it before renting it. That everything about this victim is the same as the last one. Nick tells him it's a race against time and gets a strange look on his face when Schanke comments that is how it is with serial killers.

Nick again flashes back to Europe. Janette places a Roman style Laurel Leaf crown on a tortured man's head, telling LaCroix the man looks like his father. Nick tells LaCroix that if he is going to drink the man's blood, to get on with it. LaCroix comments on how shallow Nick's life must be, and that he will learn to understand and appreciate the sheer pleasure one can get from killing creatively. LaCroix is truly savoring the experience. Nick's disgust shows as he tells LaCroix he makes him sick. LaCroix tells Nick not to watch as he approaches his victim.

Nick snaps back to the present. He learns he will have a fingerprint report by noon. They know the killer having a criminal or psychiatric record would help. Schanke is working on a warrant for the psychiatric records. If the killer does have a psychiatric record his MO will stick out, and there cannot be that many psychotics into makeup. Dr. Noble tells them they would be surprised. Noble comments that Schanke's one of her biggest fans as she and Schanke are introduced, surprising him. Christina sees the bagged lipstick and suggests the killer uses it to dress up the victim. Schanke does not want any part of it. Nick tells her she is right, asking how she knows. She comments that women do not crush their lipstick when they apply it, and she interned in forensic psychiatry for three years. Schanke reminds Nick they were ordered not to tell anyone. She tells them she understands, maybe she can tell them what they are looking for if they let her look around. Schanke tells her he and Nick are leaving. When she opens the curtain slightly Nick's concerned by the sunlight but is in no danger as long as she does not fully open them.

Schanke enters the Kings Mills Psychiatric Hospital, gives the nurse the warrant and is led to a room stuffed with file boxes, with barely enough room for the door. Schanke's horrified at the thought of searching thousands of files and asks if it is on a computer. The nurse tells him that the warrant is for the files not the database and leaves.

Inside the bridal suite, Noble learns the killer does not have sex with the victim, commenting the killer is probably impotent. Nick suggests it's about power, not sex and learns it's not what he thinks because the killer's dressing them up to conquer them, but he's really trying to conquer his fear. Nick tells her both rooms are largely undisturbed. She tells him that there was little struggle suggesting the fantasy started the moment they entered, that he was ready for them, stalked them. Nick adds he knew they would be alone, or could get them alone. Nick learns that the killer probably met the first victim that night, maybe she mentioned listening to the show. Nick confirms that a Caucasian hair was found on the victim. He learns that the killer is attractive, intelligent and charming, but lacks the crucial element of self-esteem. He does not feel a part of the human race, so the rules do not apply to him, which allow him to keep on killing and punishing. Nick comments that he is punishing women and himself, that part of him understands while another part does not. Each murder is an act of self-hatred, confirming his belief that he is worthless.

Nick learns about her 15 year old patient whose mother so severely abused him it took a year before he'd look at Noble and only opened up when Noble gained his trust. He transferred his feelings from his mother to Noble. She realized she was not getting anywhere and hospitalized him. Nick tells her she blames herself for letting him down, despite doing what she was trained for, that she is too hard on herself, that no miracles are promised. She tells Nick her patient brutalized and killed his mother when released, upset by her failure. She confirms it is when she gave up her practice and respectability for pop psychiatry, because a degree does not make you a good doctor. Nick comments that the killer could be living out his fantasy of killing his mother, hearing since it's not her he has to keep doing it.

Nick flashes back to Europe, asking LaCroix how he can be so cruel and learns it was bred into him. Nick reminds LaCroix they are killers, not torturers. LaCroix admits he is talking about a more insidious kind of breeding, holding the man's eyes open as he looks down at him. LaCroix comments on the man bearing an uncanny resemblance to his father, orders the man to say he loves LaCroix, using the name Oedipus. The gagged man refuses to do so. LaCroix's vamped out, behaving like a badly abused, severe emotionally neglected child, now grown into a tormentor of those around him. LaCroix ends each sentence with Oedipus, asking the man to admit that he is sorry, to forgive him. LaCroix admits he is torturing the guy because of his own treacherous introduction to the world. Janette's shocked and horrified. Nick is even more repulsed and it shows. Nick comments that Oedipus accidentally killed his father, and hears LaCroix comment that no one still believes it. Janette is turned on, eagerly waiting for LaCroix to bite the man. LaCroix starts to but cannot bring himself to do it, frustrated and angered by his failure. Nick seems almost proud of LaCroix for not doing it. LaCroix is not happy that he cannot kill the man.

Nick snaps out of the flashback. Christina tells Nick she enjoyed the challenge as they walk through the dark parking garage, hearing she should do it more often, and hears to hold off the praise until she's proven right. They split up. Nick quickly moves through the sunlight, gets into his car, moving to the trunk as soon as she is around the corner.

Inside the precinct, Stonetree yells at Nick for letting Noble into the crime scene because every copycat around will know the details. Nick comments that she profiled the killer. Stonetree does not think she is a real psychiatrist. Nick's anger and frustration clearly show. Schanke calls in from a pay phone wanting overtime, complaining about thirty more boxes to go through, is getting the runaround and asks if there's anything to narrow it down. Nick tells him to look for any young male from the last five years who might've been recently released, with a record of violence against women, especially female family members. Schanke grumbles, hangs up, and heads for the file room when he spots an empty office. He and ducks inside seeing the coast is clear, closing the door behind him.

Nick enters the loft, grabs a wine bottle, and sees he has a message.

Inside CTOK, the sound tech patches through a call to Noble's car. Christina learns the caller is an old patient who wants to talk to her outside of work, shaking her up.

Matthew Reade asks if she remembers him. She is spooked, but tries to hide it as she tells him that she remembers him. She learns he's not doing well, has been out of the hospital for about year, and listens to her on the radio. He is disturbed by the recent stuff. She tells him she understands and he should go back to the hospital. He tells her he does not want to and is sorry he called. She quickly tells him it is good he called.

Schanke asks Nick if he is returning to CTOK, learns he is, and they are setting up the trace again. Schanke tells him he pulled the best guess out of fifty candidates. Nick asks if any were homicides and learns about the fifteen-year-old boy who sat around with his mother's dead body for a few days before calling the police. Nick learns the mother did not have blonde curly hair, but Noble does, alarming him.

Christina tells Matthew she wants to help and they need to talk. When she learns he is afraid to go out, she offers to go to him and gets his address.

Nick's at the loft on a stormy night as he remembers many different things said to him. He thinks about what Christina said about it possibly being all her fault. He recalls her comments about the lipstick being used on the victims because the killer does not feel a part of the human race, so the rules do not apply. He relives LaCroix's rant about cruelty being bread into him. Nick remembers telling LaCroix they are killers, not torturers. LaCroix referring to a much more insidious kind of breeding. He tells Stonetree that Christina profiled the killer, asking Schanke if the mother had curly blonde hair, learning she didn't but Noble does, and about Matthew's fantasy of repeatedly killing his mother because once wasn't enough.

Christina arrives at Matthew's and peers in.

Nick enters the sound booth and learns they are playing a tape because Noble did not show up. Nick is uneasy as he learns about the call. He calls her but she does not answer.

Inside Matthew's apartment, Christina says he has grown up. Matthew tells her he has in some ways, but he is not sure they are good ways. She is scared, suspecting he was not released, but escaped. She hides her fear.

Nick tells Stonetree he needs backup because he thinks Noble is in danger and but does not know her location.

Matthew approaches commenting that Christina's purse is like his mother's purse. She instinctively backs up, asking him if he wants to talk. He tells her he has been thinking about his mother a lot these days as he walks past her.

Schanke enters the studio, and is left with the call tracer while Nick darkly and seductive tells the audience to call. All they can do now is wait and hope the killer calls.

Matthew tells Christina he feels partially responsible for her smoking. She reminds him he is not to take the blame for everything. He tells her there are things he should take the blame for. She tells him he is not responsible for how his mother treated him, that he never deserved it.

Nick darkly, seductively tells the audience tonight's topic is fantasy and wants to know if anyone has ever acted out their fantasy.

Matthew locks his door. Christina asks if he is afraid she will leave. He menacingly reminds her she left him in the hospital. She tells him he needed more help to heal than she could give, that he wasn't as well as he is now. He tells her it is because she, like his mother, did not care about him. Learning he escaped worries her. He tells her he found her show because an orderly used to listen to it. It was like talking to her, being with her and he would be lost without her. He listens to the radio, realizing it is someone else.

Inside the studio, Nick asks if anyone else wants to push the envelope.

Christina tells Matthew it is probably a guest speaker when asked. Nick darkly, seductively asks about the ultimate fantasy in life. Matthew starts his stopwatch as he is put on the air. Nick asks him about his fantasy, as Schanke starts the trace. Matthew aims his gun at a scared Christina as he tells Nick he is living out his fantasy, and it is not talking on the telephone. Nick asks Matthew for all the details, and Matthew takes the bait. Schanke signals they finished the trace and have the address.

Matthew hears a beep, looks at the stopwatch, angered he stayed on too long. He rants that he blew it as he slams the receiver down panicking that they know where he is. Nick leaves Schanke there to cover the show while he goes after Matthew. Schanke is not sure what to do or say.

While Nick is at the top of a tall building trying to locate Matthew, he's dragging Christina onto the roof and tosses her to the ground. Nick flies towards them as Matthew calls himself stupid for screwing everything up. She tells him to put down the gun, that he does not really want to kill her. He yells that she left him after telling him it was not his fault for how he was. It was his mother's fault. He is angry and quite hurt, repeating that she left him. That he killed his mother and they blamed him for it, that she blamed him too. She tells him that they did not and if they did, he would have been in prison, not a hospital.

Matthews confused, unsure what to do, tells her she hates him and lied to him. She denies it, telling him deep down he knows that she tried to help him. He very coldly calls her mother raising the gun and tells her he is going kill him for making her hate him.

Nick lands behind Christina, vamped out. Matthew is shocked, not sure what to make of it and fires on Nick, backing up as Nick advances on him. Matthew trips over a pole and falls back into the high voltage equipment behind him, electrocuting him as Nick watches helplessly. Nick's features are back to normal as he approaches Christina. He asks if she is okay, telling her she did everything possible. She tells him she badly twisted her ankle, but is otherwise okay.

The next night Schanke is listening to the new host, turning the channel when Nick returns. Nick hears the music and comments he did not think Schanke was into opera. Schanke admits it is part of his self-improvement program. Nick pushes a preset button and hears CTOK's new host talks about it being late, the mood kinky. Nick grins that he thought so. Schanke admits he just wanted to hear how the new host was working out.

The host tells the audience she wants to hear from all uniformed men if uniforms really turn women on. Nick's expression tells Schanke he's up to something and is a little worried. Christina watches from the other side of the studio glass, a part of her missing it. Nick calls the station teasing Schanke that the topic was made for him. Nick will not let Schanke hang up. Nick comments that his partner has to have a few stories, that repression is unhealthy. If he holds it in, he will be on Dr. Noble's new couch in no time. Schanke cannot believe Nick is doing that to him.

The host answers, Nick tells her to hold on as he shoves the telephone into a very nervous Schanke's hand. Nick is grinning, urging Schanke on. Schanke gives in and says hello. Nick's laughing as Schanke tells her it happened one time when he was a rookie.

Introduction
Dark Knight Part 1 | Dark Knight Part 2 | For I Have Sinned | Last Act
Dance by the Light of the Moon | Dying to Know You | False Witness | Cherry Blossoms
I Will Repay | Dead Air | Hunters | Dead Issue
Father Figure | Spin Doctor | Dying For Fame | Only the Lonely
Unreality TV | Feeding the Beast | If Looks Could Kill | Fatal Mistake
1966 | Love You to Death

SEASON 2 | SEASON 3

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