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 H O M  E :: p:tl episode guide :: season one :: episode description

07. Ghost in the Road

Season: 1
First Air Date: 31 May 1996 (Showtime)
Alternate Title(s): Strassen des Todes (German)
Le fantôme de la route (French)
MGM/Showtime Photos: see Season One photos page
Nick almost runs into a young woman on a back road while driving his Mustang. He offers to give her a lift to wherever she wants to go.
Derek de Lint

"Dr. Derek Rayne, Ph D"

Helen Shaver "Rachel Corrigan, MD"
Martin Cummins "Nick Boyle"
Robbi Chong "Alexandra (Alex) Moreau"
Guest Actors


Michelle Beaudoin "Wendy Barton"
Frank J. Grillo "Jerry Tate"
Alex Diakun "Hank"
Ken Kramer "Cyrus Barton"
Alexa Gilmour "Janet"
Nuno Antunes "Brian Cass"
Co-Executive Producer -
Producer -
Writer James "Jay" Cappe
Director Neil Fernley
This description by: Mary W. (1997)


Nick walks into Sam's Bar for a drink and meets Wendy, who is there with her boyfriend Jerry. Jerry has made a large bet on a football game, which he loses, and goes to talk to his bookie about extending him some credit. When he returns he finds Nick has talked to Wendy, which enrages him. Jerry takes a swing at Nick and is knocked down. He then hustles Wendy out of the bar as Nick watches, amused.

In the car, Wendy and Jerry argue and Wendy tells Jerry she wants to break off their relationship. Jerry hits her and she jumps from the car and tries to run down the road away from him. He puts the car in reverse and goes after her, accidentally hitting her in the process. He panics, thinking he has killed her, and loads her into the trunk of the car. He then sends the car over a cliff, which causes it to burst into flames. Wendy's screams can be heard over the sound of the flames.

Five weeks later, Nick is driving with his lights off down a closed off road, timing himself as he drives. When he turns on his lights he realizes he is about to run down a young woman, who is standing in the road. He stops in time and jumps out to see if she is all right. He recognizes her as the same young woman he met at the bar and offers her a ride anywhere she wants to go. She asks him to take her to her parents home. They drive in silence. When they reach Wendy's parents home, Nick gets out to open the door and discovers she has disappeared. When he goes to the door of the parents home, he discovers that Wendy is dead.

Back on Angel Island, Derek is working on a paper and Rachel offers to get a book for him from the shelf. As she reaches for the book, she looses her earring. In searching for it, she accidentally trips a switch which opens a secret panel behind the bookshelf. Behind the shelves they find a plaster statue of Christ holding a manuscript. In the manuscript is a notation in Latin calling the statue an abomination. Rachel protests that the stature can not be an abomination, since it is a religious figure. Derek admits his Latin is not as good as it should be and says he will work on the translation of the notation and the manuscript to discover what the statue is and why it is here.

Nick and Alex, in the computer room, talk about his meeting with the ghost on the road. By searching the database he identifies the young woman as Wendy Barton, who had died in a car accident on the road he was driving on. Derek enters and makes the suggestion that perhaps Wendy has unfinished business with people and Nick has helped her to move on. Nick disagrees. Derek agrees to allow Alex and Nick to investigate further.

In another part of town, the ghost of Wendy is again brought to a destination by a stranger who has offered her a ride. But this time, the man attempts to touch her, hoping to convince her to go out with him. He is lifted off the ground by an invisible force and killed in front of the building Wendy had wanted to visit.

Nick and Alex go to talk to Wendy's ex-roommate, who gives them a box of Wendy's belongings. She also tells them about her friend's abusive boyfriend.

Back on the Island, Nick and Alex go through the box and find a VHS tape, filmed by Wendy's boyfriend. It contains a personal message to Wendy and scenes of them in bed together. Alex thinks she may be able to get the man's name from a tag on his jacket but questions why Nick thinks he must investigate her death. Nick has a hunch that the boyfriend may have been responsible for her death and that her ghost is in search of justice.

Nick goes back to the road he first encountered her on and drives around until she appears again. They talk outside of the car. He offers her a ride again and questions her, asking again if he can help her. She doesn't want to talk but he pushes for her to tell him what happened. She says it was all her fault. Nick offers her support and touches her. She tells him he shouldn't have done that. An unseen force hits him and throws him into a ditch. When he looks back at Wendy, he sees her face shows signs of being beaten. She begs him not to come back, and says she does not want anyone else hurt. Then she screams, bursts into flames and disappears.

Back on the Island, Alex locates several deaths which may be linked to Wendy. All the men were killed in places she had friends or family she might have wanted to visit. Nick thinks she killed the men because they touched her, using them as a surrogate for her abusive boyfriend. Alex comes up with a name for the boyfriend - Jerry Tate. Nick thinks that they may find Tate's address at the bar where he first saw the couple. Derek comes in and comments on Nick being beaten by this ghost. He asks Nick if why he want's to risk his life to help this ghost. Nick replies that the Legacy was built on passion, on the defense of the innocent. That is all he is doing. Derek has Alex go with Nick to locate Jerry Tate.

Nick and Alex go back to the bar and talk to Jerry's bookies. Nick makes a bet with him to get information from him. Nick wins and they leave with the address to Jerry's cabin. When they arrive at the cabin, they find that Jerry has committed suicide, probably shortly after he killed Wendy. He has left a suicide VHS tape.

Back on the Island, Derek tells Rachel he has discovered that the statue she found was sent to the San Francisco House in 1835 from the Belgium House, shortly after that house turned to the dark side. The House's precept. Salvador Reneau, a psychic, had gone from being obsessed with fighting evil to believing himself the messiah of evil. His house had become his disciples and had written an unholy bible, which was the manuscript that Rachel found with the statue. Derek tells Rachel that Reneau was crucified by his followers, on his orders. When he did not rise from the dead as Christ had done, his followers had burned the house down and the statue was all that had survived. Derek didn't know why the statue was the only thing that was saved.

Nick and Alex show the rest of the House members Jerry's suicide tape. In it he talks about not being able to stop playing the game, that the game makes him feel alive. He is playing Russian roulette with his handgun while he talks. He also admits to killing Wendy and says he loved her and would never let her go. Then he kills himself. Derek comments that it is not Wendy killing the men who touch her but Jerry, who has taken his own life in order to continue to possess her. His possessiveness and jealousy have followed them both behind the grave.

Nick and Alex go back out to the road to look for Wendy but she never appears. After driving around for hours, they return to the house. Unknown to them, Jerry had been watching them and decides to teach Nick and Wendy a lesson. He follows them to the house and attacks Nick in his room, knocking him unconscious. When Nick awakens, he sees that both Jerry and Wendy are there in the room. He challenges Jerry to a game of Russian roulette. If he (Nick) wins, Jerry will let Wendy go free. If Nick loses, he will die. Nick taunts Jerry, saying he is afraid to play the game, afraid to lose. Jerry takes him up on his challenge and they play, taking turns pulling the trigger. Nick tells Wendy that only she can stop this, only she can help herself by standing up for herself. In the end, it is Nick who loses, and Jerry prepares to pull the trigger and kill Nick when Wendy suddenly throws herself in front of him and demands and end to it all. Jerry tries to use force to stop her as he had always done before. This time, Wendy stands up for herself and holds him off, sending him to hell for his crimes. Then she is free to move on to Heaven while Nick watches.

The next morning Nick explains his strategy to Alex and Rachel. He tells them he wanted Wendy to stand up for herself so that she could break free of Jerry. He had rigged the challenge, palming the one bullet before he had given the gun to Jerry, so he was never in any danger of being killed. It had all been a trick to make Wendy take action.

Derek comes into the room, angry, talking about the statue being an abomination. He tips the statue out of the secret closet and it hits the ground, breaking into pieces. A skeleton is uncovered in the broken statue, the mortal remains of Salvador Reneau. Derek admits he had mistranslated the notation, which should have read this man is an abomination, not this creation of man. He tells his fellow Legacy members that Reneau's followers had encased his body in plaster after his death and worshipped it. He doesn't know how the statue got to the San Francisco House but believes that it was a warning to beware the sins of the past, lest they occur again.

Description last revised: 26 February 1997