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

23. Black Widow

Season: 2
First Air Date: 09 March 1997 (Showtime)
Note: New Guard and Black Widow were aired back-to-back on the same night to kick off season 2 of P:TL
Alternate Title(s): Die schwarze Witwe (German)
La veuve noire (French)
MGM/Showtime Photos: see Season Two photos page
One very ravenous succubus falls head-over-heels for Nick.
Derek de Lint

"Dr. Derek Rayne, Ph D"

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


Diane DiLascio "Karen Morgan" (the Succubus)
Jordan Bayne "Julia Walker" (died in the Pilot ep)
Shane D. Kelly "Deputy Sheldon"
Timothy Webber "Sheriff"
Russell Ferrier "Ted"
Peter Fleming "Young Man"
Russell Porter "Jack"
Ken Roberts "Priest"
Dean Wray "Miner"


Supervising Exec Prod. Mark Stern
Co-Executive Producer Garner Simmons
Co-Executive Producer Gary Sherman
Producer Fran Rosati
Writer James Cappe
Director Allen Eastman
This description by: Mary Alice (1997)


Northern California, 1893

Two men are dragging a dark-haired woman into a mine shaft. They are accompanied by a priest carrying a torch. The woman is in chains, and is moaning in pain. The men chain her to the wall of the mine shaft and run just as she awakens and snarls and screams at the "A pox upon your soul!" The men are setting up an explosion to collapse the cave. As they are finishing, a fourth man runs in and screams at them to stop, saying that he loves the woman. The men struggle and try to convince him that the woman is not "Elizabeth", but the man tells them that they don't understand. He breaks free and rushes to the woman. The priest insists that they detonate the explosives, and when the men hesitate, he pushes the plunger saying "Forgive me, Lord."

San Francisco Legacy House - Nick's bedroom

Nick is tossing and turning in his sleep -- he is having a nightmare about the night that Julia was killed. He sees her standing at the foot of his bed, telling him that he let her die. He awakens suddenly -- covered in sweat from his nightmare. He curls up into a fetal position and tries to go back to sleep.

San Francisco - Rachel's house

Nick is trying to fix Rachel's computer, which she has apparently kicked "because it deserved it." She tells Nick that he looks terrible, and guesses that he has been having nightmares about Julia again. She tells him that he looks terrible and offers to help him, but he jokingly says that he can't afford her prices.

Rachel receives a telephone call from the police department in Crestridge saying that they need her to come identify the body of one of her patients who has been found dead.

San Francisco Legacy House

Alex is trying to get Derek to sign their reports from the previous quarter so that they can be sent to the ruling house. Derek is reading the newspaper, and says that he can't sign the papers until they have been reviewed (interesting that he has time to read the paper, but not those reports). He tells Alex to tell the ruling house that "Satan hasn't risen to take over the world, so we must be doing something right." He then accuses her of turning into a workaholic and teases her about the last time she went out on a date. Rachel calls to tell them about going up to Crestridge, and to tell them that Nick is going to drive her.

Crestridge - day

Rachel and Nick are taken to confirm that the dead man is Mitchell Taylor, Rachel's patient. The body shows the 'Y' incision of an autopsy, and its eyes are black from congealed blood. The Sheriff tells them that they have no idea what would cause the eyes to look that way. Rachel tells him that Mr. Taylor was probably passing through on his way to visit his home town. The Sheriff looks uncomfortable, and asks them about Mr. Taylor's sexual preferences. He tells him that the body was found naked in his car and there was evidence of recent sexual activity. Rachel is surprised and says that behavior like that would be untypical for Mr. Taylor. There have been two other bodies same in the same condition in the past three weeks.

The Sheriff and Deputy Shelton show Rachel and Nick the evidence from the other deaths, and tell them that they appreciate any help they can get. They show Rachel and Nick pictures of the first victim who was found in the woods under similar circumstances.

After leaving the Sheriff's office, Nick stops in the local diner while Rachel goes to call Derek with an update (that little visit with the dead body ruined her appetite). In the diner, Nick takes a seat, pulls out his wallet, and out falls a picture of him and Julia. They look very happy, and a Christmas tree is in the background. When the waitress approaches, she momentarily looks like Julia, but then Nick sees that she is only similar-looking. She introduces herself as "Karen" and takes his order, gently flirting with him.

In her phone call to Derek, Rachel tells him that other than the coagulated blood on the body's eyes, there is no other physical trauma to the body. Derek tells her that he and Alex are on their way as soon as Rachel faxes him all the information she has.

Crestridge - early morning hours

Deputy Carter Shelton is awakened by a beautiful blond woman (Sally) in his room. He is surprised to see her, saying that he was sure that she left him forever. She removes her coat to reveal that she is naked. She climbs into bed with Deputy Shelton, and proceeds to have passionate sex with him. At "that" fateful moment, Deputy Shelton begins to scream in pain, and you can see a transfer of energy from his eyes to hers, and blood begins streaming down his face.

Crestridge - later that morning

Nick (sleeping in a T-shirt and boxer shorts) is awakened by a knock at the door, and Derek, Rachel, and Alex march into his room (with Alex making a "Nice P.J.'s" comment). While they are discussing the case, poor Nick is getting dressed (make sure you notice Rachel sneaking a peak at him during this part). Rachel and Alex are to meet with the Sheriff again to find out if they have anymore information while Derek and Nick go out to examine the scene of the first murder. Upon calling the Sheriff's department, Rachel is stunned to learn of Deputy Shelton's death.

While examining the body, Rachel sees injuries consistent with the other victims. Alex finds a picture among the deputy's personal effects, and the Sheriff tells them that it is a picture of his fiancee Sally who left him a few months back and is currently living Hawaii (the woman in the picture is the same one we saw murder the deputy).

At the site in the woods of the first murder, Nick tells Derek that the first victim was a loner, and that he was prospecting. Nick notices a trail of broken branches in the forest, and they follow the trail which leads to a cave. Inside the cave, they find a skeleton, chains, and claw marks on the wall. They deduce that the cave was sealed from the outside by an explosion, and that the prospector let something out.

Crestridge - that evening

Back at the diner, Nick and Karen have been talking. She tells him that she left New Orleans after she got divorced, and that she misses the waterfront. Nick tells her about his experiences as a SEAL. Nick admits that she looks like Julia, and explains that Julia is dead and that he blames himself. He tells her that Julia taught him to focus on what's important, and that, in a way, she saved his life. He is guilty because he "couldn't return the favor." Karen tells him that she can see his emptiness, and that looking at him is like looking in a mirror.

Rachel and Derek return to the hotel. Rachel, exhausted, plops on the bed (take note of the somewhat erotic wriggling about Rachel does on the bed with Derek watching). Rachel falls asleep - Derek covers her with a blanket and tells her "blessed dreams" before settling into a chair.

Nick and Karen are closing up the diner. Outside on the street, they kiss passionately, but Karen walks home alone after they decide to take things slowly.

In the hotel room, Derek has a vision of another murder. He realizes that the connection between all the victims is that they were all lonely men, and decides that the murderer is a succubus - a female demon who preys on men.

While Derek and Rachel are having this revelation, Karen has just finished with murdering the truck driver she was talking to in the diner.

Crestridge - the next day

Derek, Rachel, and Alex watch as paramedics are loading the body of the truck driver into an ambulance. Nick arrives, and he tells them about the waitress from the diner. Nick becomes angry because they consider Karen to be a suspect. He drives off, and the others leave to check out the waitress.

Later, at the diner, Karen and Nick are having coffee. They decide that they really don't have time to take their relationship slowly, and the next thing you know they're in Nick's hotel room making love. Briefly, Nick sees Karen as Julia, who whispers "I love you" to him, but then he once again sees Karen. Their encounter becomes more passionate.

In the other hotel room, Alex and Rachel tell Derek that they have found out that Karen appears to have no past, and that she arrived in town right before the first murder. They rush to Nick's room, where they see Karen leaving (and with a pretty self-satisfied smile on her face). She tosses Derek down the stairs and takes off. Rachel, Alex, and Derek find Nick unconscious - and when he awakens, he is confused at why everyone is so upset.

The next day

We see Karen, walking the streets of a big city. She picks a guy up on the street who tells her that she looks like someone he once knew (yeah, I bet).

Back in Crestridge, Derek and Nick are loading up Nick's mustang to go back to San Francisco. Derek is explaining about the succubus. Two of the best quotes of the show are from here - Derek telling Nick "Give me your're in no shape to drive!" and Nick telling Derek "Great. I finally find someone I like being with, and she ends up being a nymphomaniac from hell."

Sometime later in San Francisco at the Legacy House

Nick is once again dreaming of Julia's death. He wakes up to find her naked in bed with him. She says "I've missed you" and kisses him, and he realizes that it's really Karen. Karen tells him that she loves him and wouldn't hurt him. She tells him that she has 'chosen' him and that she can arrange for them to be together forever by feeding him her strength. She also shows him that she can be Julia for him, if he wants. He tells her to leave, and she kisses him into unconsciousness.

In Derek's bedroom, he awakens to find a beautiful woman (whom he calls Isobelle) in his room. She climbs on top of him and rips his pajama shirt open. He realizes that it's Karen, who tells him "You control your emotions well - I like that." He tells her that they are going to stop her, but she taunts him and throws him across the room. She tells him that the only reason she didn't kill him is because of Nick.

The Legacy house the next morning

They are all watching their video surveillance tapes which show Karen moving with inhuman speed across the grounds. They all leave the control room, except Nick who stays behind sadly watching a tape of him and Julia. On the tape, you can hear Alex asking them "When are the wedding bells?" Rachel returns and tried to comfort him. Nick tells Rachel that although Karen isn't human, she gave him Julia back even though none of it was real. He says that when he looks at Karen, it's hard for him to remember that it's not Julia. Rachel tells him that Julia lives in his heart, and he must separate fact from illusion or he will lose Julia forever.

The docks in San Francisco

Nick was wandering around the waterfront (pier 3), when Karen finds him. Nick asks her if he's interrupting a murder, and Karen angrily tells him that she only does what she must to survive. He calls her a murderer, and she says that she may be a murderer, but she's not a monster. She tells him that she wants them to be together, and Nick says he does too. He tells her that her that he loves her, and kisses her.

Karen realizes that something is wrong, and Nick slaps chains on to her wrists. Derek has the other end of the chain and fastens it onto a heavy weight suspended over the water, and tells Nick to get away from her. Afraid, Karen makes herself look like Julia and begs Nick not to kill her. Derek releases the weight into the water, and Karen sinks to the bottom of the harbor.


Nick is writing in his journal. "When Julia was alive, I was never sure about my feelings for her. It's strange that the loss of someone makes you realize their importance too late. Now, in a sense, death validates living. And letting go of someone finally brings you to the realization of how close you really were." - quoted directly from the episode, copyright MGM/UA.

Description last revised: 1997