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INTO THE HEART OF DARKNESS (#4019)
EPISODE PREMIERE: August 20, 2006
LOGLINE:
Johnny and Walt must rescue a newly pregnant Sarah from the kidnapper known as the Collector, who has returned seeking revenge.

SYNOPSIS:
Johnny (Anthony Michael Hall) is sitting at home one night watching a scary movie when he gets a frantic call from Walt (Chris Bruno), telling him that he hasn't heard from Sarah (Nicole DeBoer) or J.J. (Spencer Achtymichuk) in several hours. At the Bannerman home, Johnny touches a note from Sarah and is hit with a vision of her bound and gagged as a man in a hood sits in a chair watching television in the next room. Snapping back to reality, Johnny tells Walt what he saw and they head to the baseball field where she and J.J. were last spotted. Walt is crazed with worry and leads the officers in a search of the area as Johnny feels around, hoping for a vision. He touches a bleacher railing, triggering a vision of Sarah cheering for J.J. as a hooded thief steals her cell phone from her purse. Back in the present, Johnny and Walt head to the highway to search for her SUV, finding it abandoned off the shoulder of the road. The two investigate and discover a pool of radiator fluid on the ground. Johnny opens the hood and as he touches the radiator, he's hit with a vision of Sarah and J.J. driving home from the game. En route, steam begins to pour from the engine. Sarah pulls over to call Walt, but can't find her phone, so she waves down a passing truck. Snapping back to reality, Johnny relays his vision to Walt, who grows more and more frustrated that Johnny can't give him more specific details.

Back at the sheriff's station, Walt calls in Special Agent David Gribbins (Fulvio Cecere), who questions Walt's relationship with his family. Suddenly, Roscoe (Bill Mondy) rushes in and tells them J.J. has been found by the highway, bound and gagged. Johnny and Walt meet up with J.J. at a roadside restaurant, where he reveals that the man who took Sarah was wearing a clear plastic mask. Walt and Johnny exchange a look, realizing Sarah's abduction could be an act of revenge by the kidnapper known as the Collector.

At the hospital, J.J. gets checked out as Gribbins asks the two about their run-in the previous year with the Collector. Walt becomes defensive about the agent's questions, who in turn orders Walt to take a break from the case. Instead, he and Johnny go to the burned-out soap factory where they last saw the kidnapper. There, Johnny touches various items, triggering a series of visions of the events from the night of the fire. He sees Linda (Dedee Pfeiffer) pull the Collector out a side exit and into an SUV as the man screams in pain, while Johnny takes note of the license plate. Back in the present, Walt tracks the vehicle to a place called Shawnee Peak. Having no luck at a hospital there, the two head to a medical supply store where a clerk informs them that his boss sold a large number of supplies to a woman almost a year earlier. He gives them an address and later that night, they sneak up to a cabin in the woods, guns drawn. As they peer in the window, they see a man watching TV, just as Johnny saw in his earlier vision. Once inside, however, they are shocked to find that the man in the chair, the Collector, is dead. Touching the body, Johnny is hit with a vision of Sarah with a hooded and masked figure, pleading for her life. The figure is revealed to be Linda, who is avenging the death of her true love, the Collector. She's about to inject Sarah with a drug when Sarah cries out for the safety of her unborn baby. Back in the present, Johnny reluctantly breaks the news about Sarah's pregnancy to a concerned Walt, intensifying their search even more.

At the morgue later that night, the coroner tells Johnny, Walt and Agent Gribbins that the Collector died from an infection about 10 months earlier. Angry that Johnny and Walt continued the investigation against his orders, Gribbins forces Walt to take a breather until his agents arrive to assist with the case. Back at home, Johnny has a message on his answering machine from Linda, instructing him to come to the place they found Sarah's car. There, he finds a recording from Linda, ordering him to sit in his car and drink a vial of liquid so he can “experience” what Sarah has gone through. After he does so, he awakens in an elevator car and touching the intercom box, is struck with a vision of Sarah trapped in the same elevator, pleading for her life, and being told by Linda to change into a blue dress and blond wig. Johnny snaps back to reality as the elevator starts to move, and when he's able to open the door, he finds that he is in an abandoned mine shaft. As he touches a beam, he's hit with a vision of Sarah, clad in the dress and wig, kneeling before Linda as the woman aims a shotgun at her. Sarah spies a pickax nearby and when Linda looks away, tries to knock the gun out of her captor's hands. She misses, and angers Linda even more. Back in the present, the elevator rumbles upwards, trapping Johnny underground. He wanders over to a wall and sees his initials carved into the wood. As he touches them, he's struck with a vision of Sarah carving the letters while talking to Johnny, knowing he may find her message. She instructs him to tell Walt and J.J. how much she loves them and confesses that she never stopped loving him, even while also loving Walt. Snapping back to reality, Johnny hears the elevator come back down. Inside, he finds another recording with a cryptic message from Linda about the pain of losing one's true love. Frustrated and exhausted, Johnny lies down in the elevator until he feels water hitting his face from the roof of the car. As he explores further, he's able to pry off the metal and climbs up the elevator shaft towards daylight. He realizes Walt is in grave danger and flags down a semi on the highway.

At the Bannerman home, Linda holds Walt hostage while mocking him about his relationships with Sarah, J.J. and Johnny. Walt grows increasingly upset and when Linda tells him she killed Sarah, he reaches for the gun from his ankle holster and aims it at her head. Johnny bursts in and finally talks Walt down from killing Linda and ruining his life. Roscoe, Gribbins and several other agents rush in and take the woman into custody, when Johnny suddenly calls to Walt. The two run outside to a camper down the street and break inside to find Sarah, bound and bruised, in the crawl space under the bed.

At the hospital later that day, Johnny and Walt are relieved to learn that Sarah and the baby will be fine. Walt expresses his deep gratitude to Johnny and as he enters Sarah's room for a joyful reunion with his wife and son, Johnny and Sarah exchange a look that speaks volumes about their history together. Johnny quietly leaves the hospital, feeling more alone than ever before.

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