Episode Recap #21: Double Exposure
Original Airdate: May 21, 1988
John D. LeMay as Ryan Dallion
Louise Robey as Micki Foster
Chris Wiggins as Jack Marshak
Gary Frank as Winston Knight
Catherine Disher as Cathy Steiner
Tony De Santis as Detective Duncan
Dennis O'Connor as Phil Benedetto
Fran Gebhad as Marlene
Deborah Tennant as Eleanor
Written by Durnford King
Directed by Neill Fearnley
We open at night in a townhouse apartment. Winston Knight, a newscaster, plays a video tape of one of his previous newscasts. He then takes an antique camera out of its hiding place and sets it up. After taking a picture, he heads to his darkroom to develop it. Instead of a photo, however, the picture develops into a humanoid creature. Knight is thrilled as the thing emerges. Later, we see Knight addressing the creature - now human and dressed - and giving it orders to call him later. He gives the man plastic gloves and a machete.
Knight really enjoys making doubles of himself.
Ryan and his date, Cathy, are taking pictures in a photo booth, having fun. Ryan grabs the photos and runs, as Cathy playfully chases him.
At the news studio, the make-up lady is asking Knight if she thinks the killer will call him again tonight. He says he has no idea.
Ryan and Cathy are walking home and we see the man who Knight sent out following a woman down a nearly deserted street. She begins to panic and hurry, but when she runs into the man, she is relieved when she recognizes him. She goes with him, willingly.
Cute couple. Like seeing Ryan smile!
Ryan is dropping his date off and tries to go up with her, but she has to get up early. Cathy tears the photo strip in half, keeping part and giving him the other, before kissing him good-night. Ryan leaves with a smile on his face.
The woman is walking with the man, feeling safe with him, when he pulls the machete and attacks her. She screams and Ryan hears and is nearly attacked by the man himself. The man gets away and Ryan finds the woman, dead.
Knight is doing is his newscast on the air live when the other man calls him from a phone booth. He tells Knight where to find the latest body. Knight tries to get more info, but the man hangs up. We then see the man watching Knight's newscast in front of a store full of televisions. When he turns around, we see he looks identical to Winston Knight himself.
After completing their task, their doubles wander around, Creepy.
At the station, Knight ends his newscast and his producer, Phil, expresses his glee over the ratings since the killer has been calling, saying that Knight was almost washed-up before this turn of events. Alone, Knight takes out the photo proof from the cursed camera and lights it on fire. As he does, the duplicate version of himself also burns to ash.
The cops are in Cathy's apartment, interviewing Ryan about the murder. Ryan says the man he saw was Winston Knight, but the cop says Knight was on air at the time of the killing. The cop thinks Ryan made a mistake, but Ryan sticks by what he saw. Ryan tells the cop to call Knight and ask him if the killer ever said he looked like him. The cop calls and tells Knight there is an eyewitness. Knight wants to know who it is. The cop tells him, off the record, that the man is Ryan Dallion. Knight then says he has no brother, twin or otherwise. The cop leaves, telling Ryan to call him if he thinks of anything else. Ryan gets Knight's number off the pad and apologizes for getting Cathy involved in all of this. She kisses him and tells him to call her later.
At Curious Goods, Ryan has woken Jack and Micki to tell them about the night's events. Micki says she watched the newscast and saw Knight get the call from the killer. Ryan says there has to be some explanation. Jack scoffs at the thought of a cursed item being involved, saying he would have noticed Knight's name in the Manifest. Micki says they should all get some sleep. Jack waits, pondering what Ryan said.
Jack and Micki are none too happy to be woken up in the middle of the night.
Ryan has a fitful sleep and gets up and turns on the television, to one of Knight's newscasts. When Knight says several witnesses have identified the killer as Ryan, he freaks out and hits the TV, but a hand breaks through the screen and grabs Ryan, trying to pull him in. Ryan then wakes up in bed, realizing it was just a nightmare.
Sheesh, Ryan isn't safe in his dreams, either.
The next day, Ryan is fixing his tie when Micki comes down. Ryan says he is going to meet Knight at his place at 5:00 to talk about the killer. Micki wishes she could go, but Ryan says Cathy is going with him.
Back in his darkroom, Knight is making yet another duplicate creature from the cursed camera. Later, he again arms the double with a machete. When Ryan and Cathy arrive, Knight hides the look-alike in the darkroom. Knight greets Ryan and Cathy and lets them inside. Cathy says she is a big fan, but Knight plays humble every-man.
Knight says him and Ryan are part of an elite club of two, the only two who have had an interaction with the killer. He thinks they should work together. Ryan has a hard time, amazed at how much Knight resembles the killer. Knight plays it off, instead telling them about the hard time he has had since the killer has been calling him, nightmares and headaches. He says that Ryan's identifying the man looking like him might mean the killer is fixated on Knight maybe even changing his appearance to look like him. Knight then says he has a deadline and ushers Ryan and Cathy out.
As they leave, Cathy is in awe that she met the famous newscaster. Ryan offers to drive Cathy home, but she decides to walk, since she has shopping to do. They kiss before Ryan drives off. Cathy starts to leave, but realizes she left her purse in Knight's apartment. Heading back up, she looks in the window and sees Knight talking to his double. Knight spots her, but she runs off. Knight spots her purse and gives his double her keys. Before she can make a call to the police, the killer startles her. She jumps into a cab, but the double follows.
Knight is anchoring another newscast, which Micki and Ryan are watching at the store. Ryan tells Micki there was something creepy about Knight and that he evaded all Ryan's questions. Jack arrives and said he was thinking all night and searched the manifest for items that might make a copy of someone. He found a camera in the listings, but it was sold to someone named Kahn. However this is not a person, but the news station KAHN. The trio head out.
The cab drops Cathy at home and she uses the key under the mat to get inside her apartment. She calls Curious Goods, but the machine picks up. She leaves Ryan a message about what she saw in the window. She says she is scared. The television then turns on and she sees the double, with her keys. He draws his machete as she throws items at him. She hides, but he uses the weapon to break the door and then he attacks as Knight's newscast plays on the screen.
Love the long shots of the inside of the store!
Later, back at the store, Jack and Ryan discuss how Knight could have stolen the camera from the studio after they purchased it. Micki hits the play button on the machine and they hear Cathy's message. Ryan realizes she is in danger and him and Jack rush out.
At Cathy's apartment, they find the cops outside and Cathy's murdered body inside. The detective says he needs a statement, but Jack tells him that will have to wait. They leave, Ryan blaming himself for her murder. Jack stops Ryan from telling the cops it was Knight, telling Ryan the man has the perfect alibi and that, yet again, they are on their own.
At Curious Goods, Jack tells Ryan they need to concentrate on getting the camera back. Micki tries to console Ryan but he snaps and rushes out, saying he is going to get Knight.
At the station, Knight is outside, about to burn the photo proof when Ryan accosts him, telling him about Cathy's message. Knight calls him crazy, but Ryan grabs the photo off the ground and takes off, eluding both Knight and a security guard.
Back at the store, Ryan tells Micki and Jack he has the negative. Jack says that he believes that the duplicate has only five hours. If Knight doesn't destroy the negative before then, he dies and the duplicate lives. Ryan says he now has Knight's life in his hands.
In the street, the double is almost run over by a car as it wanders. It has begun to realize it wants to live.
Jack says they have to hold on to the negative and use it blackmail Knight into giving the camera back. Ryan says no, he is going to let Knight die, he doesn't care about the camera. Jack says if he does, then the camera will fall into someone else's hands and the killing will continue. Ryan stops, realizing the truth in Jack's words.
Simple item with a powerful curse attached.
Jack arrives at Knight's apartment and tells him his associates will destroy the negative as soon as Jack comes back with the camera. Knight appears to be playing along, but then he knocks Jack out and takes a photo of him.
Later, we see Jack tied up as Knight gives a phony Jack duplicate a different camera. He tells him to give Micki and Ryan the fake camera, destroy the negative and then to kill them both. Knight tells the real Jack that he is about to commit two murders while tied up. He then says the Jack double will admit to being the machete killer on air. He gags Jack as he tells him how he has it all planned out for Jack's double to outlive Jack and then be killed as the murderer. Knight calls his producer and tells him to get a news crew and to meet him at Curious Goods, where they will capture the killer. The Knight double is watching, through the window. After Knight leaves, the double follows, as Jack struggles to free himself.
At the store, the Jack double arrives with the camera. Micki takes it to the vault as Jack demands the negative from Ryan. As he goes to get it, the fake Jack pulls the phone cord out.
Outside the store, Knight meets up with his producer and crew and tells him that the killer is going to come out of the store a little before 10:00 PM. Phil says they should call the cops, but Knight plays to his greed over ratings and they wait.
Inside, Ryan says they should just wait a few minutes before destroying the negative, but fake Jack insists. Ryan feigns at getting the negative as he poses a trick question to the man about not breaking the camera. The fake Jack falls for it and Ryan attacks him, realizing he isn't Jack. Micki comes in and Ryan tells her this isn't the real Jack. Just then, the Knight double arrives, as well. The two duplicates struggle.
Outside, Knight is beginning his newscast, telling the public they are minutes away from finding out who the machete killer is.
Ack. The duplicates are filled with some weird oozing goop.
Wonder who had to clean that up in the store?
As the two doubles fight, the Knight copy slices off the Jack copy's hand. Fake Jack begins to turn to goop. Fake Knight holds Micki at knife-point, demanding the negative from Ryan. He pretends to hand it over, but instead, stabs the creature in the chest. More goop oozes out and Ryan and Micki escape.
The two rush outside to where Knight is airing his newscast. He pretends that he didn't know anyone was inside. He demands to end the broadcast, but his producer keeps the cameras rolling. His double stumbles out of the store, as well, and Knight demands the negative from him, but the fake Knight crumples it up. The real Winston Knight slowly vanishes as everyone watches. The duplicate is then shocked to see the goop turn to blood as he becomes real. He is happy to be alive, right before he keels over and dies.
What did all these people make of Knight just fading away?
Hell, they had it on camera!
Later, Jack is working with the manifest as Micki comes downstairs. She tells Jack that Ryan is really depressed. Jack says Lewis must have told Knight how the cursed camera worked. He also speculates that the duplicate of Knight would probably have begun to act just like the real Knight, over time. Ryan then comes down and said he realized it isn't the objects that are cursed, they are. Everyone involved with them dies. Micki and Jack tell him that isn't so, Knight was responsible for Cathy's death and the nine others before. Jack adds that if they didn't fight evil, the consequences would be much worse. Ryan looks at his half of the photo strip of him and Cathy and gets angry again over her senseless demise.
An excellent episode! The cursed item here is a great one with a great twist. Of course, Knight doesn't use his double merely to have fun, it has to take a dark, murderous turn.
Gary Frank is great as the fame-hungry Knight and his dim-witted yet anxious to live duplicates.
Cathy is a fun love interest for Ryan, cute and spunky. Sad that Ryan loses yet another romance to one of the cursed items. You can almost track the hardening of Ryan's soul over time. Sad.
Loved how the duplicates look perfectly human but act just a little bit off. Makes them strangely creepy, in a way.
Also love how Ryan was wary of Jack when he came back. You would notice if Jack started acting weird and Ryan does and uses his brain to trick the double into revealing itself.
Have to wonder what Phil the producer, the news crew and everyone at home thought of what happened outside the store. I mean, really: the real Knight vanishes before their eyes, the fake Knight is bleeding and dies and in the store is a fake, oozing Jack! What did the cops make of all this? We never know, as it is not addressed. We have to assume Jack, Micki and Ryan came up with some sort of believable story to explain it all. Would have loved to hear that one!
Also loved how there is an nod to the executive producer of the show, Frank Mancuso, Jr. When Knight is going to his car outside the station, right before Ryan jumps him, we see the names on two parking spaces. Not sure who "J. Wartlieb" was, but "F. Mancuso, Jr." is pretty obvious. See the pic below!
I like little inside jokes like this. :)
Next week: "Pirate's Promise"