Emma is an attractive girl in her 20s who has been blind for 20 years. A new type of eye operation partially restores her sight, but she is having problems: sometimes she doesn't "remember" what she's seen until later. One night she is awakened by a commotion upstairs. Peering out of her door, she sees a shadowy figure descending the stairs. Convinced that her neighbour has been murdered she approaches the police, only to find that she is unsure if it was just her new eyes playing tricks on her.
Twenty years ago, 8-year-old Emma Brody's abusive mother smashed Emma's face into a bathroom mirror just for pilfering in the mother's makeup drawer. Today, Emma is an independent, self-assured woman who plays violin in a popular Celtic folk band in Chicago. Emma lives life on her own terms, only without sight -- the result of the traumatic injuries to her eyes at the hands of her mother. Luckily for Emma, medical science has vaulted a quantum leap in the past two decades. Now, thanks to corneal implants installed by her kindly eye surgeon, Dr. Ryan Pierce, Emma can see again. Emma's sight is at first cloudy, and she suffers from "retroactive hallucinations," a clinically documented syndrome in which the newly sighted sometimes "see" things hours, or even days, after they actually happen. This becomes a big problem when Emma sees a suspicious man leaving her neighbor's apartment at 4AM, but his features appear to her only in flashback later that morning. After failing to get a response at the neighbor's door, Emma tries to convince detective John Hallstrom and his partner Tom Ridgely to check things out. At first, Hallstrom dismisses Emma as a nutcase, but when the cops finally arrive on the scene, they find the guy murdered, using the same MO as a series of killings that Hallstrom and Ridgely are already investigating. Emma herself is in danger, because she's the only person who can identify the killer. Hallstrom's colleagues remain doubtful because Emma's vision flawed. When the killer begins to stalk Emma, Hallstrom has her placed under police protection, and the two soon become lovers while Hallstrom tries to figure out who the killer is.
Emma is a blind violinist who finally gets the opportunity to see. Meanwhile, a string of bizarre rapes and murders has taken place. All of the victims have had transplants within the last month. A coincidence, or is Emma next?
- A bar in which an Irish-sounding band called The Drovers (Sean C. Cleland, Craig Winston Damon, Michael Kirkpatrick & David Callahan) are playing music. A group of executive dudes is creating a bit of a mess. One of them gets cocky and tells the rest of his beer-drinking buds that he's is going to know that girl sexually, and he points to the young woman who's playing the fiddler. The rest of the men bet him twenty dollars that he won't be able to seduce the woman. The cocky man gets up and dances duck-style in front of the female player, who looks so lost in her music, that she doesn't even realise he's there. The cocky man grows wilder and wilder and he makes a full striptease in front of everybody, trying to impress her, reaching to the point when he shows her his ass... to no avail. Another female patron (Caryn Cheever) of the bar gets excited and starts throwing money to the cocky man, as though that were a strip nightclub and he were performing for her. The camera lens approaches the fiddler player, who is called Emma Brody (Madeleine Stower) and the audience can see that there's a kind of shroud over her blue eyes: she is blind, and that's why she didn't take any notice of the cocky man at all.
The concert finishes and everybody is happy because the public had the best time of their lives. Her friend Candice (Laurie Metcalf) congratulates the band while they are packing their things into their van, especially Emma who drove everybody wild, but she says that her biggest fan is her dog Ralphie (Louie). On the underground train, we can see Ralphie on his harness, as a leading dog. A passenger (Kevin Mathews) pets Ralphie on his head saying "nice dog".
Emma arrives to his flat in a bulding called "Flat Iron Building". She knows that the clerk, Mr Cuchetto (Mario Tanzi) is in the main lobby, although he tries to hide and doesn't say anything until she has acknowledged him. She sits in front of the TV while muching something and giving some to Ralphie. Doctor Ryan Pierce (Peter Friedman) phones her to tell her that they've finally found a doctor for her although it's Saturday night. The organs of the donor can't wait anymore.
Things move fast as Emma is going to have her corneas implanted. Pierce fills up the form for her as it looks like the nurse (Renee Lockett-Lawson) is not very helpful.
A man wakes up alongside a woman (Kate Buddeke) he doesn't seem to quite recapture. He dresses and leaves, steals the newspaper and a young boy (Dallas J. Crawford) asks him whether he's the new "Mr Whitney", to which he answers he's Santa Claus. To give rid of the child, he gives him some bucks.
Emma has had surgery on only one eye. Nurse Bobby (Sam Sanders) and Emma crack a few jokes before taking her bandage off. She is nervous, and wants to be alone with the surgeon. Emma cries when she sees Pierce's face, although in a dizzy and distorted way. Light blinds her, but Emma can look at herself in the mirror, although her face feels distorted as well. Now, her left eye looks brown, but her right eye is still of that light veiled blue colour. Somebody knocks at her door, opens it but leaves without answering to her questions of who it was.
Dr Pierce says that Emma can see, but that she isn't able to recognise what she sees quite well. Emma tells come in to Candice, but who enters is Dr Pierce. When she describes her lady visitor, Dr Pierce tells her that that was Candice, but that she brought the bunch of flowers the day before. Dr Pierce thinks that she may have a perceptual delay in recognition.
Soon, Emma has her right eye performed surgery on. Soon, she is well enough to call on her family, with whom Ralphie has stayed all the time during Emma's hospital stay. There, a reporter, (Lia D. Mortensen) interviews her. Emma asks the reporter if she is pretty, and she answers that her boyfriend tells her she is. Emma seems to have low self-esteem.
Emma comes back home with Ralphie, but as soon as she arrives to the stairs she lets him go free, and she goes afterwards on her own. She falls down because of her blurry eyesight. One neighbour, Valerie Wheaton (Joy Gregory) of her appears and tells her that she has slid a letter for her which got delievered to her home. Emma does the rest of the climbing up on her own.
Back home, Ralphie stares at Emma's drunk behaviour: she throws a glass to her reflection and a slipper to the tv set. Emma goes to the door and sees a shadow which she thinks it must be the clerk. Somebody whispers "Emma, it's alright" and leaves.
The following morning, Emma wakes up in half a stupor. She sees that the door to her apartment is open and goes to close it, when she sees a dangerous staring at her. She feels surprised and turns around, seeing the man staring back at her in her apartment. She leaves out a soft cry, but immediately she only sees the blurry images of the courtains and Ralphie barking at her. Emma bangs on Valerie's door, but nor she neither Mr Cuchetto open up their doors. Emma heads for the main door of her building. Even the face of an old bump (Les Podewell) looks scary.
The police station is noisy and nobody has the time to sit and talk to her ordeal. So she decides to talk to Detective John Hallstrom (Aidan Quinn), who is munching on a doghnout. Aidan seems to be laughing at her, so she gets impatient and asks if cops do something or just sit around and drink coffee. John asks her if she drank something last night, and when she admits that she had drunk a lot of wine, he gets rid of her because she couldn't read a funny poster saying "Detectives do it under cover". She says she asked for him because of his voice. Leuetenant Mitchell (Brudce A. Young) arrives, and tells John to clean up his office space, but John leaves the task to Thomas Ridgely (James Remar), who was the cop which didn't have the time to listen to Emma first.
On her following revision, Emma complains to Pierce that she feels like an idiot and that she looks like her mother. Pierce tells her that she is pretty.
The bloody body of Valerie Wheaton appears on her bathtub. She was raped and strangled. The forensic doctor (Darryl Rocky Davis) feels disgusted at John's humour, questioning the dead boty about what happened. John knocks at Emma's door and they recognise each other immediately. Valerie used to have a lover whom she would call "baby". The man who said "Emma, it's alright", was not Mr Cachutto, as he had a different voice. The conversation ends with Emma asking him if he likes roses, because she can smell the scent. All the interrogation takes place at the light of some candles, so that Emma's eyes can't hurt her.
John talks to Mitchell now that he has started to believe her. When Emma returns to her apartment, a cop opens the door for her. At the stairs, she confuses another cop with Valerie jumping in front of her with her toungue out. She also remembers herself as a child (Heather Schwartz), applying some lipstick when her mother (Marilyn Dodds Frank) appears and knocks her face in the mirror.
Candice and Emma go see a basketball match in which Michael Jordan (Himself) is playing. They have a sexy conversation in which Emma says that, when she is having sex with a man, she can picture anyone she pleases in her mind. Meanwhile, the police focus on Valerie's necklace, a Greek-looking Catholic cross. All the cops give Hallstrom a hard time about the case and Emma.
The Dovers - with Emma - play at the Metro, a huge venue which stays sold out. Emma has trouble playing because the images she sees confuse her, but tries to concentrate. At one point, she thinks she sees the man at her doorstep among the audience. She stops playing and tells Candice to call Hallstrom. She tries to identify the attacant among a series of suspects; at first, she thinks she has identified number 4, but then her sight clears and the man (Ed Clay) is nothing like the man she saw.
Hallstrom is angry because she had said that her sight was better. He asks about her mother, but she refuses to comment on that. They have a conversation while having some coffee. Soon afterwards, Pierce can testify that Emma can now see and read. While walking down a corridor, Emma thinks she can recognise a man there, but then, there is nobody in the corridor. Emma leaves the hospital with Ralphie. Ralph acts weirdly, stopping, pulling from Emma backwards, and then running to a small pool of.. may be blood? Ralph barks, maybe at the underground train, maybe at a man who is in the parking lot. Ralph runs after him, barking, but the man runs away and another car drives over poor Ralphie. She tells the cops that Ralph could smell the man. Ralph is badly-hurt but alive.
Now it's Mitchell who thinks that Emma is a dead-end for the case. John emphasizes that she saw him, so he visits her afterwards. Even a small lamp can hurt her eyes, and she admits that she saw Valerie and her father after they were dead. Emma goes mad and breaks every lightbulb to pieces. John pushes her against the wall, and it looks like there is some attraction between them.
The parade of Saint Patrick's day. A cop, (Kevin D. Swerdlow), mentions to John that she plays the violin. He goers to listen to her at a bar, and somehow looks enraptured by her violin solo. Candice thinks that Hallstrom is good-looking, but he has to follow Emma going out with Frank. However, she kisses outside and then comes into her apartment alone. She realises that he's following her. John Hallstrom goes up to Emma's apartment, and they make love.
A cop called Officer Crowe (Matt Roth) is waiting outside Emma's reading a newspaper in order to keep her safe and there's an ackward moment with Hallstrom. Still naked, Emma smells the roses. John and Emma attend a baseball match and end up making love again.
Cut to Margaret Tattersall (Lucy Childs) talking endlessly on the phone, while her dog is barking outside. A man approaches from her back and attacks her, with a necklace similar to Valerie's held in his hands. Meanwhile, John and Emma are having breakfast and making love again, but a call interrupts them. John takes Emma to the police station, but Ridgeley asks him what she's doing there. John insists that she saw the murderer. Lt Mitchell reminds him that he can't discuss the case with anybody, and John says that he should take him out of the case.
John goes to the Tattersalls' home, and there, the angry son Mark (Blake Whealy) is playing basketball because nobody wants to state clearly to him that his mother is dead. John finds a bunch of red roses in the floor, which was going to be a present from Mr Tattersall (Tim Monsion) to his wife. The widower points to a photograph of the family, and in the back, a priest (Don Forston) walks out. John sits in his car nervously biting his nails.
Emma goes back to her apartment on her own. She opens up her wardrobe and there are two eyes painted on the full-length mirror. John shows a photograph of that to Ridgely. Emma and John argue, and she ends up punching him in the face. In the ensuing fight, a mirror gets broken to pieces so that Emma hurts one of her hands. She gets very angry and she tells him to "get the fuck away" and storms off. She goes to pick the underground train, but the station is empty.
John runs after her but it's too late. Ridgely shouts to him that he's put her into danger and has jeopardized all the case. At the platform, Emma sees the shadow of a man approaching. She moves backwards, terrified. She jumps onto her train, but the man has jumped onto it as well. She starts to run in a panic. She cries "help" to several other female passengers, but nobody moves. It looks like this time it's really the man she saw. Emma stops when she says a girl with her face bloodied. The conductor (Jackie Samuel) approaches Emma, who has fainted. The man following her was Ridgely, because John had told him that Emma might be taking the underground.
Emma goes to another check-out with Dr Pierce, who gives an ackward feeling to me washing his hands like crazy. Emma goes to the police station to talk to John, but Mitchell tells her that he's not there. Emma is about to leave, but she finally decides to talk to Lt Mitchell, stating that the murderer washes his hands as a surgeon would do. Meanwhile, John goes to the hospital and talks to the nurse who keeps the records (Mary Seibel) and gets the name of Leslie Davison, the blood donor for Emma's surgery. He got the clue from reading Emma's mail, after understanding that there was a mishap with Emma and Valerie's addresses. He tells the rest of cops that Leslie Davison's organs were to different people, and that Mrs Tattersall was one of them, Emma was another, and that Valerie was killed by mistake.
Pierce insists to Emma that the donor's family wants to see her, because her father wants to know if the organs of Leslie changed the receptor's life. Emma kinda holds her violin, not wanting to listen to him. Dr Pierce can't even enter her apartment, as the watching cop is still outside. When Pierce is about to disappear, Emma opens the door.
Mrs. Davison (Mary Ann Thebus) lets John check Leslie's belongings, kept in a cartonbox. Hallstrom sees that, among them belongings, there is a Catholic cross necklace, similar to the one found on Valerie's body. Crowe takes Emma to Mrs. Davison's and he waits outside, putting the car onto a car wash. Emma tries to visit Mrs Davison, but she is not home. She leaves, and tells Crowe, who accompanied her but waited outside, not to go away, because she wanted to go home. However, the man Emma had seen is inside the police car, having killed Crowe. Emma tries to run away, but he takes her, closing the rail door.
Hallstrom and Ridgely are talking to two nurses (Valerie Spencer and Kathryn Miller) who are able to describe the man who came looking for the child who received a donation. One of the nurses recognises the name of Neal Booker (Paul Dillon), who used to be very angry and upset.
The guy looks at Emma in her eyes and talks to her as if she were Leslie, commenting that her eyes look different, but that eyes are the windows of the soul. Emma talks to him, trying to appease him: she is trapped inside the enclosed parking space. She picks Crowe's gun from him and shoots - however, her eyes had misguided her once again, as she has shot to the place where Booker used to stand, but is not standing in anymore.
Neal Booker laughs, and talks to her while moving continuously. He tells her that he's closer than she thinks, and that she wouldn't even notice him if he were standing by her side, but Emma can guide herself by the voice and by what little she sees inside the garage, and can shoot quite close to him. She shoots the lights, so that he will be at a disadvantage, not her, and Neal Booker starts to whistle.
Emma moves out of her cover while the police siren's long weil is approaching. Neal attacks her from behind, and Emma shouts "I'm here" and hides under a car, but with all the racket of cars and police people approaching, nobody seems to listen to her cries for help.
The alarm of a car goes off when Emma pushes Neal against a car during their fight. The sound can be heard outside, but nobody listens to it. Hallstrom and Ridgely get into Neal Booker's flat, in which there are still pictures and drawings of Leslie Davison. As nobody is there, both cops leave the place. Outside, dumb Hallstrom makes a comment "somebody stop that noise", about the alarm car. The next thing they hear, Emma is shooting Neal Booker, who was approaching her menathingly, telling her that she was not good enough.
Emma has killed Neal. The cops enter, and the alarm of the car suddenly shuts itself off! Another cop takes her out of the place.
Mitchell looks at Emma with something similar to admiration. She leaves after having given her declaration out at the police station. Ridgely offers to take her home, but when she is about to get in, she notices dirty John with Ralph. Ridgely looks jealous when she leaves with them.
John and Emma kiss.
Cut to Emma playing with the Drovers. End credits.
---written by KrystelClaire