“86’d” is episode three of season one of Perception and it starts with Daniel asking his class which comes first, yesterday or tomorrow. He asks for a show of hands for people who think yesterday does, then for tomorrow. Everyone raises their hand for yesterday; nobody for tomorrow. You’d think that one person might – pointing out that tomorrow comes before yesterday in a dictionary. Daniel asks one of the students, calling her Morticia, to explain how she came to such a predictable and unprovable conclusion. ‘Morticia’ replies that it is not something that anyone has to prove; it’s something they know. Daniel tells he class that past, present, future are a story stitched together by the basal ganglia. The concept of time is an artificial construct. The student says to this that she doesn’t need to hand in her lab paper then – for all Daniel knows, she already did. The class laughs at this and Daniel tells the girl she is absolutely correct. But by that thinking, Daniel may have already flunked her.
After class Lewicki is telling Daniel that, artificial construct or not, Daniel still has a timetable to keep. Because when Daniel hired Lewicki, he told him that schedule equals sanity. Daniel thinks that if Lewicki really cared about his sanity, he’d keep the provost out of his schedule. Lewicki sees Kate arrive but Daniel doesn’t. He tells Daniel he’s right, a break will do him good, and hands him a book. Daniel leaves and sits down and Lewicki intercepts Kate. He tells her that Professor Pierce is a little busy right now – even though he doesn’t look busy, as he’s sitting reading his new book – and Lewicki can get another member of the faculty to consult. Kate replies that she really needs to talk to Daniel. She doesn’t want to be dramatic, but it really could be a matter of life and death. Daniel pops his head in at this point and asks whose.
Kate asks Daniel if he remembers the Date Night Killer from the summer of ’86. Vaguely. It was apparently the crime of the decade and Kate asks how Daniel doesn’t remember this. It’s apparently hard to keep up with the news when cramming for MCATS. Back in ’86, for five weeks in a row a girl went missing every Friday afternoon. She would turn up dead in a landfill every Sunday morning, raped and beaten. Then the killing stopped. They never caught the killer either. The reason Kate is working on a cold case is because it’s no longer cold.
Kate shows Daniel some clippings from the original killings. The week before last, a body turned up with the same MO as ’86. CPD didn’t make the connection. Then a second body turned up the previous Sunday, and this time there was a print that was a 100% match to one of the original crime scenes. Victim number 6, Lacey Penderhalt, was taken on a Friday. The next day, a propane store blew up at a house and Lacey was found in the cellar of the house, alive but traumatised. She never recovered and has spent the last 26 years in a psychiatric nursing home. Kate wants Daniel to see Lacey, as she could have the answer to who the killer is. Daniel needs more and Kate agrees. But not second hand; from someone who was there. A retired police detective by the name of Joe Moretti. Aka her father.
Joe Moretti is now running a bar. He says that it was a terrible summer and he never let Katie out of his sight. Kate doesn’t think that, at 6, she was really a target – her father’s response is to talk to him when she is a parent. Every detective was working a different angle and Joe’s squad was working on the killer’s journal. Kate hadn’t mentioned this, but she has a copy. The original was found in the wrecked house. Every Monday and Tuesday the killer would meet a new girl and think she’s the one. By Sunday, every girl had disappointed him and broken his heart.
To be continued…