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

60. The Internment

Season: 3
First Air Date: 17 July 1998 (Showtime)
Alternate Title(s): Die verfluchte Stadt (German)
MGM/Showtime Photos: no photos
Derek and Nick have to save Kristin and Rachel who are trapped in a ghost town which is due to evaporate at dawn.


Derek de Lint

"Dr. Derek Rayne, Ph D"

Helen Shaver "Dr. Rachel Corrigan, MD"
Martin Cummins "Nick Boyle"
Kristin Lehman "Kristin Adams "
Guest Actors  
Cary Hiroyuki Tagawa "Sam Tanaka"
Kirsten Robek "Lydia"
Gary Jones "Ed Barker"
Rheta Hutton "Julia Berman"
Betty Phillips "Older Lydia"
Co-Executive Producer Garner Simmons
Co-Executive Producer Grant Rosenberg
Producer David Tynan
Produced by Robert Petrovicz

Michael Sadowski

Director Gilbert Shilton
This description by: Kris Kroner (1998)


Late afternoon - Mental hospital

Julia Berman, an old woman, sits in a wheelchair wearing a nightgown and robe. On her dresser near the door is an old fashioned wind up alarm clock and several pill bottles. She fidgets with a tissue as she speaks. With an anxious voice and while looking off in the distance she tells Rachel and Kristin that the police thought she was crazy. She'd been driving with her best friend Lydia and stopped in a town. Julia didn't like the town and tried to convince Lydia to leave with her but she'd refused, so Julia left without her. Julia took the police to the spot but when they got there the town wasn't there. She tried to explain but no one believed her, instead believing that she must have murdered Lydia.

Julia wheels herself over to the dresser and takes out a yellowed newspaper article from 1950. There's a photo in the article that shows a much younger Julia and her friend Lydia. She proudly points out a bracelet that Lydia was wearing which was engraved, "Lydia." She questions, "See the bracelet? I gave it to her. We were like sisters. How could I kill her?"

Kristin, wearing a blue sweater and black pantsuit, gently asks Julia if she's sure the town was called Somerville. Without hesitation, Julia tells her she remembers the sign at the edge of town. Looking frightened she also recalls that the man in charge, "scared me." When Kristin asks how she got out of the town, she replies "I just ran and ran. The moon was coming down but I ran as fast and as far as I could." Rachel, wearing a black pantsuit, navy sweater and animal print neck scarf, tries to return the article to her but Julia tells her to keep it because when Lydia had disappeared she had bought lots of copies because she'd hoped she could get someone to believe her. Kristin asks for directions to Somerville. Julia only remembers that the car broke down on Route 27. Quietly she adds, "Course, you can't get there from here."

Highway - night

Kristin drives while Rachel reminds her that Julia has a history of mental illness and has tried suicide several times. In addition, she's been institutionalized most of her adult life after she was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the trial for murdering her best friend. She now has dementia. Kristin adamantly reminds Rachel that Julia had said the name Somerville and she had seen that name scribbled in the margin of one of her father's notebooks. They're so close she feels compelled to check it out. She believes the town has to be there and feels that if there is a chance her father is there, she needs to check it out.

Rachel asks if perhaps Kristin is becoming obsessive with finding her father. "It's a giant detour chasing down a delusion." Kristin denies she's being obsessive and admits that it's her problem and asks for indulgence. She comments that it's only 20 miles out of the way and it won't take that long. Rachel queries, "and if there's nothing there? Kristin replies, "Then we'll know. Smiling, she reminds Rachel she never had a car of her own before and wants to drive it. Rachel shakes her head, smiles and asks, "So I'm the one who needs my head examined?" Kristin replies that the problem is hers and Rachel is just along for the ride. She invites Rachel to bill her. Rachel gives up on trying to convince her and replies "I will. Big bills!"

Up ahead, they see a sign, "Somerville Population 229." They're surprised since it isn't on the map. Kristin just keeps driving, noting that they'll be in and out of the town before they know it. As they pass the sign and continue on, the sign begins to undulate and changes to indicate the population is now "231."

They drive on into the town, which has old weathered buildings. They drive into a gas station area past old-fashioned gas pumps. The sign on the side of each pump notes that it contains leaded gas. A car from the 60's is parked nearby and Kristin says, "I guess someone's into restorations." She also tells Rachel the town looks "pretty normal to me. " Rachel responds "that depends on your definition of normal."

They get out of the car and Rachel, worried because she had promised Kat she would help her study for her math test, dials her cell phone to call her. Kristin is preoccupied and tells Rachel that "this thing with my father is driving me crazy." Holding the phone up to her ear, Rachel sympathetically replies that she's been there and tells her that maybe she needs some therapy. "Are you offering?" Kristin wonders aloud. Rachel, still waiting for the phone to connect, tells her she'll start billing now. 50 minute hours. "Do I need a couch?" Kristin asks, smiling. Rachel tells her she was serious, that she doesn't need a couch and can tell it in the car on the way home. The phone doesn't connect and Rachel angrily notes that it's a dead area since she can't get service.

They look around and the town seems deserted. They figure everyone must go to bed early and they return to the car. When Kristin puts the key in the ignition, the battery won't turn over and the car doesn't start. She's surprised since she got it checked recently.

Kristin offers to buy them dinner while they wait for AAA but Rachel tells her they're going to call Nick instead and have him come with the chopper and fly them out. Remembering, Kristin suddenly says, "Wait a minute!" and opens the trunk. Attached to the inside is a satellite transponder. It was Nick's idea and according to him all they have to do is turn it on and he'll come to get them. She switches the box on, then they head for the diner.


Inside, Rachel heads to the old fashioned rotary pay phone on the wall. She finds out quickly that it doesn't work. Turning around, she sees a woman come up behind her who wears a plaid skirt, a cardigan with embroidered leaves on the front and a white blouse. She has bright red lipstick and nail polish and wears a strand of pearls. It's Lydia, the same as she was in the picture in the newspaper article

Kristin heads for the counter and sits down. Easy listening music plays in the background. The man serving asks if she wants coffee and pours it for her. Kristin converses with the man noting that it's a slow night in Somerville. The man wryly agrees, "Yeah that's what they call it." Kristin then asks him if he had ever heard of a man named Justin Adams. He quickly replies that he never heard the name before. Disappointed, Kristin asks him if he's sure and he simply says that in a town that size, he's positive.

Rachel complains that the phone from the "Paleozoic era" didn't work. He tells her there's another one 2 blocks away across from the market. He also adds, "We've had phone problems for awhile. Hard to get someone to come out here." He offers Rachel coffee but she declines so she can look for another phone. She asks Kristin if she wants to come along but she doesn't so Rachel promises to return in 5 minutes. Rachel leaves the diner and the woman from the picture comes from the shadows and follows her.

Legacy House - Control Room

Derek enters the Control room wearing a trenchcoat and carrying luggage, which he puts down as he enters. Nick, wearing jeans and a sweater greets him with a grin, asking, "How was mother Russia? I heard Moscow rocks." Smiling tolerantly, Derek replies, "Oh yes, like a slow polka. Remind me to ask the ruling house to move the Moscow house to Monaco." He asks Nick how things are going. Nick tells him he's not sure and goes on to tell Derek that Kristin is tracking some woman in a psychiatric ward that had something to do with her father. She had asked Rachel to come along to help her get into the hospital. Derek looks incredulous, "and Rachel agreed?" Nick grins and reminds Derek that Kristin can be very persuasive. Derek nods his head and smiles "Yes, I know." Nick looks worried and brings Derek up to date in saying that they haven't come home yet. In fact, Kat called to tell him Rachel isn't home. He had called her cell phone himself but couldn't get through so he called the hospital who told him they left around 3 o'clock. Derek walks to the phone and calls Rachel's cell phone himself. It doesn't connect and a recorded message tells him that "the number you have reached is out of service or the subscriber has moved out of the service area." He looks worried.

Somerville- near Market

Rachel has reached the other phone and tries again to dial home. That phone, identical to the first, also doesn't work. Just then the girl from the diner comes up and offers to take her to yet another telephone.


Kirsten complements the coffee, asks the man his name and where everyone is in the town. He replies, "Sam Tanaka" and tells her the town is dead. He puts down his apron and with the help of his cane walks over and sits down at one of the tables. He keeps watching Kristin intently. She seems to be falling asleep and losing muscle control. She realizes she's been drugged by the coffee and gets up and attempts to leave. As she turns her cup falls on the floor and breaks. As she stumbles past Sam, he trips her with his cane and she falls. Lying on the floor she asks weakly what he did to her. Ominously, he replies, "Nothing yet." Kristin weakly calls out Rachel's name and begins to lose consciousness. Watching this, Sam quietly says, "Welcome to Salazar."

Legacy - Control Room

Nick, sitting at one of computers has put a map of California on the monitor. At the top of the screen it says "File Array Legacy." Nick pinpoints the Carmelito State Hospital for the Criminally Insane and tells Derek he learned from the night nurse that Rachel and Kristin signed in to interview Julia Berman and logged out 6 hours ago. Derek sounds relieved as he says that at least they made it there. He figures they're on their way home until Nick tells him he ran a computer search on Kristin's credit card. He found a trail of transactions that started at an ATM in Red Rock and ended at a gas station on Route 27 at 6 pm. Alarmed, Derek says, "That road isn't the fastest way home," Nick replies that they may have taken a detour or simply got lost. Derek, however, decides that they should go looking for them and asks Nick how quickly he can get up to Carmelito. Nick figures that "By chopper probably within the hour if we push it." Derek tells him, "better push it something doesn't feel right. " They leave in the chopper shortly thereafter.


Rachel follows the woman then asks if her name is Lydia. Surprised, the woman asks how she knows. Rachel shows her the clipping saying, "Julia Berman gave me this," and asks about the photograph in the clipping. Looking shocked, Lydia tells her Julia is dead. She then realizes the article is discussing her own murder. Lydia tells her the picture is them with her dad's car and it was taken the day before they came here. Rachel tells her Julia mentioned they got lost and Lydia says they had run out of gas and gone to Somerville to get help. Julia had wanted to leave and for her to with her. Looking tired and confused she says that it seems so long ago. I thought she was dead. "What a strange night." She looks confused as she says she doesn't understand why morning never comes and why she just keeps falling asleep and waking up and she never knows what time it is. Rachel looks at her watch and sees it stopped at 7 o'clock. Lydia whispers, "They all do." Rachel then asks what date it is and when Lydia replies November 3rd, she asks the year. Lydia looks at her quizzically noting, "What a strange question. 1950."

They return to the diner and find it's locked without sign of Kristin. Rachel sees the broken cup on the floor and kicks in the window. Lydia is worried Sam will be angry and advises she talk to the police. She tells her that the police station is inside the town hall and offers to show her. When they get inside, Rachel tries the phone which is also dead. Looking around, she wonders where the police are then goes into the back to see if they're back by the cells. Once there, she sees an unconscious Kristin lying handcuffed on a cot inside an open cell and goes into the cell to check on her. Sam Tanaka appears, closes and locks the cell door. She asks him what he's doing and Sam replies ominously, "What must be done," and leaves. Rachel yells for him to come back as he exits.

Carmelito Hospital for the Criminally Insane

Derek first apologizes for bothering Julia then asks her about Rachel and Kristin, "Please try to remember. We think they may have got lost on the way home." Nick adds that anything they said would help and "Did they ask any questions?" Julia proceeds to tell them about Lydia what she told the women. She also recalls they wanted to go to Somerville and she had tried to stop them. Derek asks if she can tell them where it is and Julia replies vaguely, "It's somewhere. I know that but I don't know where. I could tell you where it was but its not there anymore." Nick quietly tells Derek he's going to patch into the mainframe to see what he can download. Derek remains behind gently asking the woman to tell him about Somerville "the same way you told my friends."

Town Hall

Sam sits at a desk and begins typing Rachel's name in an antiquated manual typewriter. Lydia comes in and with an accusatory tone says, "You said she died and the same thing would happen to me if I didn't help you." Without looking up from his typing Sam simply replies, "It would." Continuing, Lydia tells him she doesn't believe him and she thinks Julia just walked out of the town and he couldn't stop her. She tells him Rachel told her that and had showed her the picture. Looking directly at her Sam instructs, "The night is young. The moon is bright. Go open up the diner for any other travelers while I finish processing the ones we already have." Lydia reiterates she wants to leave right away and asks how to get out. He tells her quietly, "To try to escape is to die. Believe me I know." When she asks why he'd doing this he says, "Like you, I didn't want to believe. I had to learn the hard way." He dismisses her, "Now go. I am much to do." She asks why he never sleeps nor leaves. Sam tells her, "I am this place. This place is me. I could no more leave this place than I could leave my own grave." Looking terrified, she backs out of the room and departs.

Carmilito State Hospital for the Criminally Insane

Nick is in an office using his laptop. The monitor displays the word "Legacy" and shows a spinning globe. He calls up a map as Derek walks in and quietly asks what he found. Nick tells him Somerville only appears on the maps between 1946 and 1950 and was created as tract housing for returning GI's in 1946. However, it was destroyed by an earthquake and mudslide, which completely buried the town. "Boom. No more Somerville." Before 1946 it was Sierra 79- Salazar Relocation Facility which was an internment camp for Japanese Americans during WW2. The camp was razed in 46 and sold to developers. Nick also found that there has been a pattern of disappearances along that stretch of highway in the last 50 years, "sort of like the Bermuda triangle." He tells Derek that the date of November 3rd is the common denominator. Alarmed, Derek exclaims, "That's today!" Nick nods solemnly.

Town Hall - Cell

Kristin finally regains consciousness and Rachel asks, "what the hell happened to you?" Kristin wonders the same about Rachel who replies; "I guess its safe to say we're not in Kansas anymore." Kristin tells her Sam drugged the coffee and tries to apologize. Rachel tells her not to worry since "I'm still billing by the hour." She goes on to tell her about Lydia, who doesn't know how long she's been there but she hasn't changed a day. She also reminds Kristin that the town hasn't either.

A man in a suit then calls from other cell and asks if they're OK. He angry and tells them as soon as it's light he's calling his lawyer. He introduces himself as Ed Barker from Crescent City. He took a wrong turn and his car broke down. "It's brand new too. Go figure." Sam Tanaka also drugged his coffee and that's how he ended up in the cell. Ed tells them he's seen Sam process "one poor sap after another." He doesn't know how long he's been in the cell but he's particularly angry that he never got to vote. He asks if they know whether Nixon or Kennedy is winning the election, and that he wants Nixon to win.

Lydia enters abruptly and says she really needs to know if they "really saw" Julia today. They tell her yes and she prepares to leave. Rachel begs her to wait until they get out so they can help her leave. She promises she'll help her get back to Julia. Lydia says she doesn't need any help. Kristin tries and says the world has changed and her family and friends might not be there anymore. Lydia remains convinced she and Julia just left that morning. When Rachel tells her Julia is over 70 years old, Lydia accuses her of lying in order to frighten her. She decides to leave before the sun comes up. She departs despite Rachel and Kristin begging her to wait.

Sam comes in, glances at Ed and stops at the women's cell telling Rachel he's decided to take her first for processing. He promises he'll uncuff Kristin when they're done. He warns, "Cooperation processing is mandatory. Resistance will be dealt with in the harshest terms." He holds up a noose made of a strand of barbed wire adding that she doesn't want him to hurt her. As he leads Rachel out, Kristin tells her to be careful. Rachel promises to come back for her.

Outside the hospital

Derek walks up to Nick and tells him he spoke to the fire patrol and found out there's no such town as Somerville nor any ruins of it. He also found out there are several fire roads off the highway. They walk together until Nick stops at a large red pickup truck with a winch on the front and a gun rack in the cab. Derek looks quizzically at Nick saying, "Nice truck. I'm guessing you have a plan here." Nick explains that the truck was the only thing he could rent that late and he "almost had to buy it from the guy." Nick had figured the terrain was rough and he didn't want to chance not being able to find a place to put the chopper down safely.

Town limits

Lydia gets to the sign saying, "Now leaving Somerville, Thanks for coming." She puts her hand on it and it ages to an old woman's hand. She continues anyway and once outside the sign, clutches her chest, screaming "No." She then collapses and dies, her entire body now aged to a woman over 70.

Somerville Town Hall

Sam takes Rachel to the room where he was typing earlier and asks questions as he prepares to fill out a form. He tells her she must answer all the questions and all the blanks have to be filled in. Firmly he says, "You understand?" When she doesn't immediately answer he bangs his cane on the desk. She asks what he's doing and he tells her she's being processed for relocation. Quizzical, Rachel asks, "Is that what happened to you?" Just then, Rachel notices a paper clip on the desk and reaches over while Sam types and picks it up. She asks if that's what happened to him, that he was interned there during the war and "you died here. Do you do his every year?" Sam recalls that they told him it was for their own good and for protection. "Time stood still in this place."

Rachel sees the calendar on the wall - November 3rd 1943. Sam bitterly tells her that they were born American but they took away their homes, money and their lives. They said it was for their protection but "They saw us as the enemy." He bitterly relates that his father felt such shame he hung himself and his mother died in his arms. When Sam had tried to escape the guards electrified the barbed wire. They watched and made bets then on how long he would last. The guards buried him in a shallow grave so that no one would find him. Rachel figures that no one did until they dug up his grave to build the town, which released his spirit. Sam angrily tells her he only thought of vengeance. Rachel reminds him it happened so long ago and he needs to move on. Reparations were made. Sam gets very angry and reminds Rachel that no reparations were made to him. He then proceeds to ask the questions on the form, reminding her that as soon as they're done the sooner she can get back to her friend.


Ed stands in his cell and asks Kristin if she was telling the truth about the outside world not being the same. She replies, "Trust me Ed, it's not 1960 anymore." Upset at her answer he tells her she's wrong and he has to get out of there because he can't stand it anymore. Just then, the lock clicks open. Kristin asks how he did it and he replies he doesn't know. He doesn't know but he's unable to open hers. He decides to leave and promises to bring back help. Before he goes he says, "Assuming it's not 1960….Nixon won, right?" Kristin tells him Kennedy won. "Damn," he says and then leaves promising to return. Kristin pleads with him that he be really careful.


Nick drives and comments "Assuming that the old lady isn't totally crackers what do you figure is going on here?" Very seriously Derek tells him he doesn't know the specifics "but if Julia is right, whatever force is controlling Somerville will cause it to disappear at sunrise. Like going into a black hole with Kristin and Rachel with it." Just then the transponder receiver that Nick brought along comes to life and beeps. Nick wonders aloud why they couldn't pick it up before. Derek surmises it's because it's coming from someplace that doesn't exist in the physical world. As they follow the road, Derek realizes it's directly ahead and the "this road must be the portal - the only way in or out." Suddenly they see the Welcome to Somerville sign. Derek cautions Nick not to drive past the sign and they stop. Derek gets out and reaches his hand to the sign and it goes right through. Looking up and seeing that the moon is going down, he says urgently, "We better hurry we don't have much time." Nick turns and sees an old woman's body just outside the sign. He calls Derek over and they look at the engraved "Lydia" on the bracelet. He comments "Julia's friend. She must have finally tried to escape."


Sam returns with Rachel and puts her in the cell then realizes Ed is gone. "He's done it. At last," he says with a smile and leaves.

Gas pumps

Meanwhile, Ed runs to his car but the battery won't turn over. He gets out and opens the hood and looks inside. Sam appears behind him and strangles him with a garrot made of electrified barbed wire. After Ed falls dead, Sam says, "Good night, Mr. Barker."


Rachel picks the locks on Kristin's handcuffs with a hairpin. Incredulous, Kristin asks how she learned to do that. Rachel grinning, replies, "Postgraduate course in Applied Physics." Rachel picks the locks on both cuffs and Kristin takes the handcuffs and goes over to the sink and begins to pull the pipe off the trap with the help of the cuffs. Rachel asks what she's doing and Kristin tells of her plan of wanting to hit Sam with it, adding, "I want it to really hurt." She then returns to the cots and Rachel puts the cuffs back on Kristin without locking them. She fills Kristin in on what happened telling her they're dealing with an angry spirit from 50 years ago that has to be stopped. She emphasizes that 229 isn't the population, it's the number of souls he's trapped. Kristin suddenly realizes the implications of what Rachel said, and exclaims, "He's dead?" Nodding Rachel replies, "Yeah, like everyone else."

Sam then returns for Kristin telling her it's her turn to be processed. Kristin shouts, "I don't think so," jumps up and goes to strike him with the pipe but he grabs her wrist and she drops it. Rachel then grabs the pipe and strikes Sam on the back of the head and he falls, landing right on top of Kristin. Rachel checks his carotid pulse, then pulls Sam off and helps Kristin to her feet as she complains about her knee. Supporting Kristin as she hobbles, they quickly leave the cell, locking it.

As they leave they pass the record room and Kristin sees the file cabinet. She's adamant she must look in the drawers to see if her father has a file. Rachel argues, telling her they have to leave, but Kristin says, "You can go. I'll catch up." Rachel does stays while Kristin frantically searches but begs her to hurry because they're almost out of time. She finds a file with Justin Adams name on it and opens it. Inside the file she sees he was there but escaped. Very happy, she turns and puts her arm around Rachel's shoulder for support and they leave.

Meanwhile, in the cell, Sam regains consciousness, stands up and walks right straight through the bars of the locked cell.

Outskirts of Somerville

Meanwhile at the sign, Nick and Derek position the truck directly even with the sign. Derek asks Nick how much cable he has to which Nick replies about a 100 feet or so. Nick stretches the cable to a nearby tree and ties it off on the tree truck. Derek continues, "If this town is what I think it is everything beyond that sign will disappear at daybreak. It may be the only chance we have to get away from here. By anchoring ourselves to the tree we can use the winch to pull ourselves out. " Derek holds the flashlight as Nick backs up slowly until the winch cable is drawn taut. Nick stops just when the truck is inside the sign limits and gets out of the truck. Looking up at the moon, Derek urgently says, "Lets go. It's almost dawn."

Meanwhile Rachel continues to help support Kristin as she limps painfully along towards the outskirts of town. Trying to joke a bit, Rachel reminds her she's wracking up some big bills tonight. Suddenly they see flashlights in the distance and call out. Derek and Nick hear them and run towards them. When they reach the women, Kristin tells them she thinks her knee is sprained. Insistently Derek commands, "Lets move, OK? Let's get her inside the truck. Quickly we don't have much time." The men each grab one of her arms and half carry her to the truck and put her in the cab. Rachel climbs in behind her. The sound of a storm roars in from the location of the town itself as Derek gets into the driver's side and Nick jumps into the bed of the truck. Once inside the back Nick shouts, "Go Go!"

Suddenly, Sam appears on the side of the truck and jumps into the truck bed holding the electrified barbed wire garrot menacingly. With Rachel screaming "No. No," Nick stands to confront Sam, grabbing his wrists to hold him off. Derek yells "Nick" and Nick replies, "Drive!" Derek tries to start the truck but although the truck headlights are on, it won't start. He starts the winch and it begins to pull the truck forward. "Yeah, here we go," he says with relief. Rachel looking very frightened begs Sam to "Let it go. Stop. It's time. Let it go." Sam ignores her and continues to wrestle with Nick, who continues to hold him off.

The storm coming from the town seems to be consuming everything as it advances towards the truck. Kristin screams that the portal is closing. The strain from the energy force of the portal begins to pull the truck back towards the town. Now the cable begins to come apart strand by strand as the intensity increases. However, the cable does keep together enough to continue to pull the truck closer and closer to the other side of the sign away from the town. As the truck reaches past the sign, the portal reaches the sign, Sam is sucked off the truck bed and into the portal where he disappears. Exhausted and breathless, Nick falls against the truck cab and gasps for breath. Derek gets the truck started then and they move forward.

Legacy House - Library

Kristin moves around on crutches and Rachel admonishes her not to put so much weight on her knee. Sadly, Kristin tells Rachel that losing the car is what really hurts. "I finally get a car and it gets swallowed up by a town that doesn't exist." Smiling, Rachel reminds her to wait until she tries to collect on the insurance. Kristin thanks Rachel for being there for her. Grinning, Rachel tells her, "I think you better hold off until you get my bill." Softly, Rachel tells her she's sorry they didn't find her father but at least they know he didn't die there in Somerville. "He's alive in your heart. He's never going to be very far away." Kristin nods and says, "You're right." Rachel reaches up and rubs her shoulder in support. Kristin has tears in her eyes as she says quietly "I'm OK." Nodding, Rachel replies, "I know," as Kristin leaves the library.

Rachel voice-over:

"It's said we are all prisoners of our own minds. The town of Somerville was not so much a prison as a place consumed by the rage of one man. For Sam Tanaka, it was a short step from victim to predator. Now I can only hope that what happened somehow dispersed his anger and released his soul."

Description last revised: 1998