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

32. Finding Richter

Season: 2
First Air Date: 09 May 1997 (Showtime)
Alternate Title(s): Der Spinnengott (German)
MGM/Showtime Photos: see Season Two photos page
Nick's commanding officer is still alive and wants him back.


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


Graham Greene "Charlie"
Brent Stait "John Wesley Richter"
Co-Executive Producer Garner Simmons
Co-Executive Producer Gary Sherman
Producer Robert Petrovicz

Garner Simmons

Director Michael Robison
This description by: Kris Kroner (1997)


Legacy House- Control Room, March

Nick, unshaven and looking tired, sits at a computer terminal, and stares at a video clip playing on the large overhead screen. He watches, then keys commands on the keyboard and intently re-watches, rewinds and watches again as a clip of an assassination of a Cardinal on the steps on a San Francisco hotel plays. Many close-ups of his eyes (they're hazel), as he runs the tape in slow motion and scans the crowd carefully.

Derek , dressed in a suit and looking wide awake and alert, walks in the control room, looks at the screen and asks Nick how his eyes are holding up. Nick looks up at Derek, smiles slightly, "It's getting so I can't see the screen, let alone the keyboard."

Nick rewinds the tape and plays it again. Derek, watching, comments that the Rome house called again and has asked if they had anything yet. They want to know the who or ‘what' is behind the assassination of Cardinal Scavelo and the sooner the better.

Alex and Rachel come in and announce they're the second shift. Alex asks if Nick has had any luck. Nick explains he has downloaded the footage that was sent over by Carmack ( the San Francisco police detective that has provided information to the Legacy in other episodes).

Nick replays the tape again and they try to figure out the point of attack and decide that due to the force of the bullet, ( the Cardinal is thrown backwards) that the assassin must be in the crowd. Nick notes "there's no heat signature within 100 yards." The team discusses that they don't know if it was a bullet or "whatever" that killed him because whatever killed him either disintegrated or went right through him and the police haven't found it.

While the tape plays, Rachel tells them that there's a pattern, 3 killings in 3 months all religious leaders, different faiths, all killed by an unseen force, with a weapon they can't identify. "It seems to be personal crusade against organized religion.". Derek nods, "Kill the Shepard and lead the flock to slaughter."

Nick still looking at the screen, "Its not your usual conspiracy". Derek with his eyes riveted to the video playing, "no something much darker.

Nick decides to go have a shower and clear out the cobwebs. He takes a drink of coffee from his mug and gets up and leaves the control room. Alex rewinds the tape and Derek and Rachel start watching it as Nick leaves.

Nick's room

Nick enters his room noting the wind blowing in through the open window. There are a few lamps on, but it's dark and stormy outside. He crosses the room and pulls the windows shut. . On the bedside night stand is a framed photograph of Julia Walker. (reference the "Pilot" and "Black Widow"). A tall CD tower sits next to a large TV and a VCR, near his bed. On a chest of drawers there are framed medals.

Nick crosses the room after closing the windows and notices something on his pillowcase. He goes over to the bed and sees a photograph and a shell casing. The photo shows Nick and an older man, both in camouflage outfits. "Richter," Nick exclaims, looking around his room.

Control room- that night

Nick shows them the picture and Derek asks if he's sure it's not his picture. Nick is sure it's Richter's. Rachel asks if that's the guy he told her about, (reference the episode - "13th Generation") , the one that led Nick's SEAL team into an ambush in South America, and whose body was never found. Nick replies "Yes, this picture was taken the week I reported for duty. He took one of all the new guys when they joined. A personal record, in case he didn't come back"

.Rachel looking aghast, "that's reassuring, the men must've loved him for that."

Nick defends Richter, "We did, he was a legend" and tells them how privileged he was to be assigned to Richter's unit after jump school. Then he gets very introspective, "It was only after you got to know him for awhile that you realized that he was a little crazier than the rest of us." He gazes off in the distance then, while saying..."A lot crazier actually". Alex, Rachel and Derek watch Nick intently. Worry crosses Rachel's face.

Alex asks if Nick thinks Richter is crazy enough to slip past Legacy security just to let him know he's still around. Nick seems to come back from his thoughts and says, "Yeah".

Derek, comments that there must be more to it than that and asks about the shell casing. Nick explains, it's a 50 caliber Hastings. SEALS use it on special ops when they can't get in close. As he says that, everyone looks up as if enlightened. Alex startled, "the assassination!" Derek adds, " a sniper rifle."

Nick tells them the Hastings is accurate to ranges over a half mile and that an assassin wouldn't have had to be in the crowd as they previously had thought. They replay the tape, looking further up and out from the crowd. Nick notices a figure on a clock tower and focuses the computer to do a close-up of that figure and freezes the frame. It shows a figure in camouflage, his face covered. Nick, stares at it and says, "Its Richter, he could cap a cockroach from that range." He's adamant it's him even though the man's face is covered. Nick releases the freeze frame and the figure turns and begins to move and then vanishes into thin air. They all look amazed and Nick says aloud, to no one in particular, "what just happened?"

Nick's bedroom

Nick dreams he is jogging along a path where he hears a noise and sees a vision of Richter in the clock tower, taking aim at Nick and pulling the trigger. Just as he pulls the trigger, Nick puts up his hand and screams "NO!", and at that moment, awakens, sitting up in his bed, sweat soaked. He lies back down.

Next Morning

Nick, loads a gun, puts it in his shoulder holster. and proceeds to pack a duffel bag. Rachel comes to the open door and he tells her he's leaving to go up north. She reminds him they are a "team". He smiles, "You sound an awful lot like Derek right now". He then says what he's doing has nothing to do with the Legacy, but it's between Richter and him.. He says that the SEALS taught him the best defense is a preemptive strike and that's what he intends on doing. Rachel looks at him and asks if he can hear himself right now? "Your past is blinding you and even if you're right, then your reaction is exactly what Richter is counting on." She tells him Richter could be setting him up and can't he see that? Nick finishing packing looks at her, "maybe, but there's some things you can't just ride around with."

He turns to leave, and Rachel asks him where he's going. He tells her Richter has a sister in Spokane and he'll start there. Rachel tries to get him to promise that if he finds Richter he won't try to get him by himself. He looks at her for a moment, not responding, then just turns, and leaves.

Spokane, Washington

Nick drives up to Richter's sister's house in a jeep.

Inside, she shows him Richter's medals and asks Nick if he's heard from him. He says no and asks if she has. She stops, doesn't respond and then says no and tells him she wrote away for Richter's records under the Freedom of Information Act. She pulls out the envelope and gives it to Nick. The first paper he pulls out is a Certificate of Valor to John Wesley Richter, July 3rd 1986. Nicks looks at the sister and gently asks when he contacted her, saying, "your brother is out on a Dark Crusade and you know it don't you?"

She asks why he's doing it, Nick tells her about the dead religious leaders and she begs him to stop telling her. He stops, then says, "So, where is he?"

She says that 3 months ago she got a letter, and she pulls it out and gives it to Nick. Its a handwritten message that simply says "the cleansing has begun". She notes it isn't signed but she recognizes the handwriting. Nick looks at the postmark, "Coeur D'Alene, Idaho, Dec 19" Nick asks if he can keep the envelope and note, she agrees. Then she asks Nick if he knew Richter went to the Citadel and graduated first in his class. Nick looks directly at her "Yes, ma'am, he was a hell of a soldier." She looks at Nick and says "thank you".

Nick leaves.

Inside a cave

A fire burns.. Illuminated by the firelight is a large jar, .containing many large, hairy, live spiders. Richter, dressed in T shirt and camouflage clothing, reaches in and takes out one of the spiders saying, "oh, yes". "Give me the strength and the power to do what must be done in this, our hour of darkness, world without end," and he pops the live spider in his mouth and bites down. From across the cave, near a cache of ammunition, 6 camouflaged men complete with weapons materialize. Richter says to them. "Our friend Mr. Boyle is coming, see that he arrives alive." They turn and leave the cave.

Coeur D'Alene, Idaho
Outside Guthrie General Store

Nick and Amanda Guthrie, the store's owner, discuss the postmark as she helps him carry his purchases out to the jeep. She says she's sorry she didn't have more she could tell him but all she could verify was that it was mailed from there. As they put the bags in the back of the jeep, she comments that 2000 rounds of ammo is a lot. Nick replies "You never know when you'll need it." She asks if he's going hunting and he says maybe and asks if she knows a good tracker. She says "sure , the best!", and calls over Charlie, who's been chopping wood.

Nick asks Charlie if he's interested and he replies, it depends on what Nick is looking for. Nick shows him the picture of him and Richter and asks if he's seen the guy around there. Charlie answers, "could be. I get 200 bucks a day" He looks again at the photo, "He's Navy, isn't he?" Nick smiles, "how'd you guess?" Charlie replies, I was a SeaBee (a member of one of the US Navy's Construction Battalions), for 3 years . He looks at Nick who is wearing hiking boots and outdoor clothing and comments, "dressed kinda casual for shore patrol " to which Nick replies, "Its personal". Charlie, still skeptical, "looks like Navy business to me." Nick tells him he's been discharged from the SEALS for 5 years. Charlie sighs, "so this guys a SEAL too, huh?." Nick looking at Charlie, "used to be." Charlie, without missing a beat says, "Like I said, 300 bucks plus expenses." Nick grins, "thought you said 2." Charlie looking serious, "No offense but you guys are nuts. Lets just call it hazard pay." Nick continues grinning as Charlie adds, "in advance." Nick smiling, "deal, better not tell you more or I'll be broke before we start." Charlie, looks serious, "and if you tell me more you'll have to kill me, right? Nick still smiling, "Right", as he pays him.

Charlie, "Yeah, I saw him and some other guys north of here, they were on the run."

Nick wonders if they were SEALS and Charlie says "I don't know , why don't you have a look.?. Nick hands him the keys to the jeep and says, "OK, show me."

They turn to go to the jeep.

Legacy House - Control Room

Overhead screen displays a black and white image of a camouflaged soldier pointing a weapon at close range.. Derek tells Alex that the murder was execution style , a Village Priest outside Madrid. There was a note found above the altar that said, "Cleansing". He then comments that the free lance photojournalist that took the picture was shot through his camera lens. Alex comments, "Cleansing. That was the message that was sent to the Cardinal right before he was murdered too."

Rachel walks in and Derek asks if she's heard from Nick. She says she talked to him 3 hours earlier but he didn't tell her where he was going after meeting with Richter's sister, in fact he was evasive with her. Alex looking very alarmed, "he cant do this by himself!" Rachel replies he thinks he has to, its misplaced survivors guilt. "Nick can't come to terms with the fact he's the only one left alive." Derek looks thoughtful, but worried when he replies, "Yes, this is something Nick feels he must do all alone."

Jeep, driving mountainous country road

Its night... While Charlie is driving, Nick reviews the contents of the folder that he got from Richter's sister. Voice-over, while Nick reviews the papers, Richter is from a family of soldiers. His grandfather was wounded on Omaha beach, his father died in Vietnam. He went to the Citadel and graduated first in his class, IQ of 145. We went into Navy and applied for SEALS in 1980, where he excelled , went into Desert Storm, where he was a platoon commander, won 2 purple hearts and the medal of valor. He lost a man there, that's when Nick joined. Nick looks at the picture of the team, remembers each of their names, "Scott, Banks, Wakefield, Tetoni, and Royce". Nick felt he was the odd man out because all the rest were together 5 years before he came in.

Charlie stops at his destination, pulling off the road, saying they need to go on foot from there. He says he saw them floating like ghosts in the wind over a ridge a couple of months before. Nick decides to start in the dark. Charlie, comments, "looks like Richter is a little more than AWOL," and asks why Nick is so interested in getting him. Nick replies, "murder," and asks if Charlie is still with him. Charlie reaches for his gear and they turn to hit the trail.


There is a pool of water in the cave. Richter lies back on the ground with his lower body in the water. There's an enormous hairy spider slowly crawling up his bare chest. He appears to be in a hallucination and says as if in prayer..."listen to my prayer. Show me how. Reveal your true face to me. He laughs. As he speaks, the spider crawls up to his ear. He says "Tell me what is to come my way." The spider reaches his ear and covers it with its body. Richter smiles and talks to the spider. "I hear!" "What?" "No. Two disciples!!. It's a sacrifice!" Please the lord that it is so."

Forest, Night

Charlie and Nick make their way through the woods. They decide to stop and camp for the night and Nick tells Charlie it must be a cold camp. Charlie is dismayed that he can't light a fire and says "who did this guy murder?" Nick tells Charlie the story about when he was in Richter's squad, they were an 8 man team sent in to get a drug lord in South America. He was on point., They were ambushed and everyone was killed. He found all the bodies except Richter's. Charlie reminds him that since he wasn't there when they were attacked, maybe he's wrong. Nick looks at Charlie "Tell that to the Cardinal he killed."

Forest- dawn

Nick wakes Charlie and tells him he saw them. Charlie insists on going with Nick and they leave to follow. Nick gets suspicious after a while and mutters, "this is too easy" but they keep on going. Farther along, Nick comments, "every time we lose the track we see one of them long enough to keep us coming. It's too easy". They follow the track for a while longer then Nick stops and unloads some of his gear, including the backpack. He tells Charlie he's traveling light and suggests that since Charlie has nothing invested in this he should maybe "sit it out in the car". Charlie refuses and they continue.

After a while they spot the opening to a cave and one of the camouflaged figures goes inside it. Nick tells Charlie to go back to the backpacks and get his cell phone from his pack and "dial *1 on the auto-dial and ask for Derek Rayne. Tell him we found Richter". He continues telling Charlie to tell Derek to bring the chopper up to the footbridge, where Charlie should meet him. He tells Charlie to bring Derek up to the cave opening.

Charlie doesn't want to leave Nick alone, but Nick insists, telling Charlie, "if you really want to help you'll make the call." Charlie looks at Nick, tells him not to be a hero and leaves.

Nick continues cautiously. Suddenly, he's jumped by one of the camouflaged soldiers.. They battle doing hand to hand fighting and ground fighting. Nick eventually kills the soldier. He pulls off the mans ski mask and exclaims, "Scott! What's going on?". and he immediately gets up and keeps moving towards the cave. As he makes his way to the cave opening, the eyes of the "dead" soldier slowly open, they are all white and translucent, and stare straight ahead.

As Nick enters the cave he sees the jar full of spiders. Then another soldier attacks him and they again engage in hand to hand combat. Nick kills him too, and realizes it's "Banks!" He gets up and is jumped by 2 others. Banks also wakes up the same way Scott did, as Nick gets away from the 2 that jumped him. He turns to try to leave the cave and is stopped by Scott holding a rifle on him. The men then overcome him, smashing his head against the wall of the cave. Richter appears and says with a smile, "the prodigal son returns." Nick groggy, looks up and realizes who it is.

When Nick regains consciousness he finds himself suspended by his ankles over the water. His head is nearly at the surface. His coat is gone and he wears a T-shirt, which shows off how muscular his arms and neck are. His hands are tied together in front of him. Nick swings slowly due to the rope tied to his ankles. Richter and his soldiers stand at the waters edge.

Richter says to Nick, "You found me, came to me, I knew you would."

Nick angry, asks what "Dark Deal" Richter has going on there and asks what he's done to Scott and Banks.

Richter looks at them, their eyes while, staring and translucent and says "Nothing, They're dead!, don't you remember?, you were there."

Nick swinging slowly over the water, "You brought them back!"

Richter replies, "they help me with my work." Nick puzzled, "your work!?" Richter tells Nick that he's "Spreading the word of God." To which Nick replies, "By killing his clergy?" Richter picks up a knife and moves towards Nick "No, you must look past the killings as a necessary evil. "

ick very angry, the veins in his neck and arms bulging says "Where I come from, there's NO SUCH THING as a necessary evil!" Richter advances to Nick still holding the knife and hisses "Where you come from there is no future."

He is then gripped with pain - grabs his head and says through clenched teeth, "Let me be your eyes, Let me show you the truth," as he makes his way to where the rope holding Nick over the water is attached. Nick watches, prepared to fall in the water, head first. Richter continues as he starts to cut through the rope "Let me convince you to join me." Nick falls headfirst into the water as the rope is cut.. He turns and manages to get up in the water, still bound, and makes his way to the side of the water. Richter convulses in pain and as he grabs his head the soldiers begin to disappear, dematerializing.

Nick, standing in the water, sees them disappear and asks "What the hell happened to them, they're gone!" He looks extremely cold, his teeth are chattering and he's shivering..

(Description writer's note: The shivering and teeth chattering appear to be real. and not acting. The cave must have been very cold, made more intense by the fact that Martin was drenched.)

Richter smiles and tells Nick, "They'll be back when I need them." Nick, shivering uncontrollably from the cold manages to say "How?", to which Richter replies, "Join me and I'll show you." Nick angry, "I'm not joining you, I've come to kill you." Richter, regaining his control over the pain, "that'll never happen, that's the truth."

As Nick tries to slowly make his way to the edge of the water, he asks Richter what happened 5 years ago.

Richter remembers and tells Nick that's when it all began. It was terrifying, the jungle, the bodies. He saw them die and heard them scream but couldn't do anything.

Nick comments, "So you ran." Richter replies that he didn't' run until they lit up the jungle, at which point he ran towards the light. "It was like running through a tunnel to a different world." Nick looks disgusted and tells him "This is delusional!"

Richter looks at Nick and says "Join me Nick, it was hard for me to accept at first." Nick very angry "Accept what?. Some sort of sick pact with the dark side that allowed you to raise the dead?" Richter looking around crazily "No, I'll show you the way. I'll show you the truth!"

He gets up and runs to get a book and comes back. grabs Nick and drags him partly out of the water and throws him face down on the book, which is the Bible. and screams "Read it! And god make man in his image In his likeness made he....LIES!! LIES!!" Nick pulls his head up and screams "How come it works so well for the rest of us?" Richter replies, "Because you never thought it through, God didn't write this words a man did. God loves us but suppose it isn't true, suppose its all a lie?"

Nick looks up at Richter and angrily says "That's a real interesting theory, Psycho, now why don't you prove it?"

Angry at Nick for that comment, Richter grabs Nick and plunges his head under the water then lets him up gasping. as he says "I intend to."

In the woods

Charlie runs through the trees, gets to the backpacks , finds the cell phone and dials *1 and asks for Derek Rayne.

Outside Legacy House

Derek, Alex and Rachel lift off in the chopper.

Meanwhile - back at the cave

Nick is now sitting against the wall of the cave, still bound and still very wet. Richter sits beside him holding a canteen. He grabs Nick's neck and offers him water which he swallows. Richter then takes a cloth and wipes Nick face tenderly with it as he smiles and asks, "Do you want to see the face of God?"

Nick, trying to control his shivering, doesn't answer, but keeps his eyes on Richter, who reaches over and picks up the spider jar. Continuing to grip the back of Nick's neck so he can't move away, he holds the jar up to Nicks face, "Look closely. That is his true face." Nick, shivering, jaws clenched tight manages to say "Spiders?"

Richter, puts down the jar, opens it and takes a spider out letting it crawl on his hand "No the villagers call them Ochi Dideo, the Eyes of God. They let you see what only HE can see" He watches the spider move on his hand for a few seconds them moves the hand towards Nick's face, still keeping a tight grip on his neck so he can't move away. The spider crawls close to his face.. Nick tenses up and stares at the spider, clenching his jaws very tightly. He tries to pull back away from the spider as Richter recites, "Give me the strength and the power to do what must be done in our darkest hour." He lets go of Nick's neck and in a fast move, grabs the spider from his other hand, "World without end," and in a fast move, puts in his mouth and quickly grabs Nick's neck again as he crushes the spider to the roof of his mouth and swallows it, shivering slightly. Nick looks shocked.

Suddenly the SEAL team materializes. Richter, convulsing slightly, "Infiltrator. Find him. Eradicate him." The men turn to leave..

Sometime later, in the cave

Richter, bathed by the fires light, does tae kwon do exercises.


Soldiers, now materialized, chase Charlie through the woods. Charlie has his gun out and is aware they are behind him, stalking him.

At the same time

Legacy helicopter is speeding towards the area.


Nick still sitting against the cold cave wall, shivering, stares at the spider jar, while Richter tells him for 5 years he lived with the mud people. "These creatures aren't fantasy, I dreamed up Nick, they're real." Nick quietly replies, "They taught you this?" Richter looks at Nick "So I could teach the world." He takes his knife and holds it to Nick ‘s face "You could be my disciple, you're strong Nick, you always were, I need you with me, Help me erase the false gods, Take the point for me again, Nick"

Nick is silent, just looking at Richter, like he's assessing him. Richter jubilantly decides "You'll do it!" Nick asks what he has to do and Richter tells him to kneel as he opens the spider jar. Nick sits half way up on one knee and Richter holds up the jar saying "The spider venom. The villagers use it to poison the tips of their arrows. But a single spider has only enough to empower us. To open the window to our souls" Nick looks at the spider then at Richter and says, "First untie me, I won't run"

Richter looks at Nick for a long moment before saying, "I know." He then cuts the ropes holding Nick's wrists together, then returns his gaze to the jar. "You see them?". Nick looks at jar, "Yes." Richter explains, "Place him on your tongue. When you feel his bite, crush him on the roof of your mouth and swallow. Then you'll understand."

He then smiles and asks Nick if he's ready and tells him to be strong.

Nick takes off the lid of the jar.

At the same the forest

Charlie is still being chased. They're gaining on him and firing now. He returns fire then continues running.


Nick reaches slowly toward the jar preparing to pick it up. Richter closes his eyes in anticipation. Suddenly, Nick pushes Richter away, grabs the jar of spiders and throws it across the cave. It smashes against the wall and now Nick is up and running towards the munitions stack

At the same time:

Charlie gets to the footbridge.. The SEALS are shooting at the bridge and Charlie gets wounded in his leg. He falls over the edge but grabs onto part of the bridge so he hangs from the bottom. The soldiers keep firing at the bridge, shooting the planks to bits.

Inside the cave

Nick reaches the munitions stack and manges to grab a grenade just as Richter reaches him and attacks. They fight, rolling on the ground. Nick fights him off, hitting him so he falls back, then he pulls the grenade pin and tosses the grenade by the munitions pile as he runs towards the caves opening.

Richter has landed by the broken spider jar and now the spiders crawl all over him. Richter looks terrified and begins screaming as the spiders bite him. Nick reaches the mouth of the cave and is thrown forward as the grenade explodes behind him.

At the same time, an the footbridge

Charlie is hanging on to the bottom of the bridge with the soldiers still firing at him. He then realizes that they are dematerializing and going upwards into the sky, a couple at a time, till none are left. He looks shocked.

Later that Night

The Legacy chopper flies overhead, searching for the footbridge.. Derek looks worried.

At the footbridge- night

Charlie sits in the center of the bridge. Nick makes his way onto the bridge coming from the woods. Charlie calls out, "who's there?" and Nick replies with a smile, "Thought you were rid of me huh?" Charlie sighs "Guess I'm not that lucky." Nick realizes Charlie is hurt and asks what happened to which Charlie replies, "Same thing that happened to this bridge!"

The chopper approaches, searchlights on, scanning the ground. Charlie looks up, "Sounds like the cavalry's here." Nick looks up, smiles, "Yeah, come-on, lets get you home," and helps Charlie to his feet, supporting him as they begin to make their way over the bridge to the end. Derek's light finds Nick and Charlie and he says into his microphone, "We have a visual." From inside the chopper, Rachel looks relieved.

Derek keeps the chopper over the bridge, shining his searchlight on it and on Nick and Charlie as they make their way across the planks slowly.

As they struggle across the bridge bathed in the choppers searchlight, Nicks voice-over says:

"Most of us get only one shot at life. John Wesley Richter got two. First as a soldier who saw too much of death to die himself, and second, as the messiah for a strange and nameless god.
Although there's no way to know for certain, I'd like to believe his soul is at last to rest." - quoted from the episode. Copyright MGM/UA.

Nick and Charlie reach the end of the bridge and step off...Derek lands the chopper.

Description last revised: August 1997