Lois' Daily Planet

The Pretender

which aired on Saturday, November 15, 1997

The Pretender was created by Steven Long Mitchell & Craig W. Van Sickle

The series stars:
Michael T. Weiss as Jarod
Andrea Parker as Miss Parker
Patrick Bauchau as Sydney
Jon Gries as Broots
Jamie Denton as Mr. Lyle

The Pretender also stars (although not necessarily in every episode):    Sam Ayres (Sam the Sweeper),  Paul Dillon (Angelo),  Willie Gault (Willie the Sweeper),  Pamela Gidley (Brigitte), Richard Marcus (Mr. Raines), Ryan Merriman (Young Jarod),  Jonathan Osser (Younger Jarod), Ashley Peldon (Young Miss Parker) Harve Presnell (Mr. Parker), and Alex Wexo (Young Sydney). 

This is EPISODE # 25  Written By:  Tony Blake & Paul Jackson and Directed By: James Whitmore, Jr.

The Pretend:  Search and Rescue Specialist

Jarod Shatner infiltrates the Spokane, Washington Urban Search and Rescue Team in order to find out the truth about the attempted suicide of Chris Welman.  Prior to the alleged suicide attempt, Chris had been placing personal ads in newspapers, searching for his mother, who abandoned him as a child.  Jarod doubts that someone who wanted so badly to find the last of his family would try to kill himself.

While simulating the event that placed Chris in a coma, Jarod meets Spencer, a self-proclaimed poet, who "lives" in a rickety structure, adjacent to the Urban Search & Rescue training area.  Spencer tells Jarod that he remembers hearing someone crying out, "No, don't, no don't!" on the day that Chris fell.  He also tells Jarod that he was given $20 - that was taken from a money clip with a spider's web design on it - by another member of the Search and Rescue Team who apologized to him for the noise.

Jarod discovers that Bobby Cain, known as "Spiderman" to his co-workers, and next in line to be promoted to captain after Captain Wright retires, has a money clip with a spider's web design on it.  By searching his personnel file, Jarod also discovers that a sexual harassment charge almost cost Bobby his wife and his job, when he was working in Portland.  The charge was dropped because Bobby intimated the woman who brought it against him.

Chris Welman had written out a sexual harassment report for his co-worker, Jo Ellen Gillespie to sign and file against Cain.  Even though the charges were true, Jo Ellen was frightened for her job and wouldn't sign the complaint, so Chris warned Bobby off himself.  Since another sexual harassment charge - dropped or not - would ruin his career and his personal life, Bobby followed Chris to the training tower and cut his line while he was rappelling.

To coerce Cain into confessing to cutting Chris' rappelling rope and then making it look like suicide, Jarod enlists the aid of Spencer to "hang" Cain out to dry, making him think that Jarod is going to release his line and let him fall from the top of a bridge.

Encouraged by Jarod, Grace Carter Welman goes to the hospital to see her son, who has just come out of his coma.

At The Centre, Mr. Lyle hires Dr. Curtis,  a criminal behavorialist, to interview Sydney, Miss Parker and Broots in order to determine which one of them was most likely to have shot Mr. Raines.  His report to Mr. Raines is inconclusive, since all of them have reason to hate Raines.  Twenty-four hours later, in the wharf district of San Francisco, Dr. Curtis turns a copy of his <I>real</I> report, the one that gives the name of the person he believes to have been responsible for shooting Mr. Raines, over to Jarod.  Dr. Curtis tells Jarod that, having done what he wanted and given Mr. Raines a false report, they are even.  Jarod takes the real report and replies, "For now."

Jarod repeatedly recalls a specific dream-like episode that he experienced while in the sensory depravation tank at The Centre, where his mother would appear to him in the clouds, then reach out to him, saying that it was time to "come home."  Each time that Jarod would experience the "dream," his reunion with his mother was thwarted by his inability to reach her outstretched hand.  After reuniting Chris Welman with his mother, Jarod is finally able to reach his own mother's hand, giving him a small bit of peace.

Jarod discovers Spiderman - the action figures, comic books, cups, and ceramics (he already had a Spiderman PEZ dispenser).  He also learns about "thumping" watermelons, to see if they are ripe.

An example of a terrific Jarodism occurs when a nurse says to him, "Where you a triage surgeon, too?" Jarod replies, "Yeah, until I was a rodeo cowboy."

Guest Stars:  Sam Anderson (Dr. Curtis), Regina Byrd Smith (Dr. Morris), Art Chudabala (Roger Wyakama), Matt Corboy (Chris Welman), Joseph D. Reitman (???), Rick Fitts (???), Brian Klugman (Timothy), Larissa Laskin (Grace Carter-Wellman), Peter Murnik (Bobby Cain), Alex Nevil (Comic Book Kid), Yuki Sagara (Therapist) and Gail Strickland (Jo Ellen Gillespie)

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