Lois' Daily Planet

The Pretender

which aired on Saturday, January 3, 1998


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
with 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), Kim Meyers (Jarod's Mother), Jonathan Osser (Younger Jarod), Ashley Peldon (Young Miss Parker) Harve Presnell (Mr. Parker), and Alex Wexo (Young Sydney). 

This is EPISODE #29
Written By: Harry Dunn 
 Directed By: Vern Gillum

Jarod's father's Distinguished Flying Cross draws him to Washington, D.C., and to the Vietnam Memorial Wall.  There he sees Denise Clements handing out flyers that have a picture of her father, PFC Mark Clements, on them along with the six members of the Bravo Company, 73rd Regiment, Army Rangers.  The flyer asks, "Did You Know My Father?"  One of the veterans visiting The Wall tells Jarod that Denise has been trying to get her father's name added there for 10 years, but The Wall is a place for heros.  As Jarod watches, an attendant comes and asks Denise to leave.

Video tapes of the August 16, 1972 "Battle Zone" contain a news story about PFC Clements, who was killed by a land mine.   Both Clements' platoon leader, Lieutenant Prentiss McLaren, and a 10 year old Vietnamese boy, the unit mascot, say they saw Mark meeting with the Viet Cong, selling them secrets.  Their testimony, coupled with the classified documents that were found on his body, led to Clements being declared a traitor, even though he was not alive to defend himself against the charge.

Intrigued enough by what he learned to want to know more, Lieutenant Jarod <I>Patton</I>,  joins the Army Rangers Bravo Company, stationed in Lost Hills, Virginia under the command of now Colonel Prentiss McLaren.  They are training for operation "Dust Off" - a program designed to help stop the flow of illegal drugs into the United States.  Jarod learns from McLaren that the last surviving member of McLaren's company in Vietnam, Barney Stanfield, is now Congressman Stanfield and is in charge of appropriations for the Army Rangers.  

As part of the Rangers' unit, Jarod learns that McLaren was the one who sold the classified documents to the Viet Cong and enticed the company mascot, known as Duke, into lying about what he saw in the clearing the night that McLaren shot Clements, by promising to emigrate the boy and his family to the United States.  After the war, McLaren and Stanfield began padding secret bank accounts with millions of dollars paid to them by Esteban Largo, the head of a drug cartel in Columbia, for tipping him off about upcoming raids.

Jarod sets up a land mine, filled with Jell-O, and entices McLaren to the training field.  When McLaren steps on a toe-popper, Jarod treats him the same way that he treated Clements in Vietnam - threatening to shoot him because he couldn't move off of the mine without it exploding.  Jarod gets McLaren's confession recorded by a TAC.  

Afterwards, Jarod watches Denise as a park ranger removes a strip of paper from the Wall revealing her father's name.

Mr. Raines sends Broots to Miami to inventory a computer mainframe that Jarod infiltrated.  Unable to find anyone else to watch his daughter, Debbie, a reluctant Miss Parker ends up with Debbie as her houseguest for a few days.  With Sydney's help, Miss Parker and Debbie eventually find common ground.  Together they open the gift that Catherine Parker planned to give to her daughter on the day she died.  It is an illustrated edition of Louisa May Alcott's Little Women.  Debbie starts reading the book to Miss Parker who vividly remembers reading the book to her mother.  When Broots returns, Miss Parker gives Debbie the book to finish, but she keeps the ribbon with which the package was wrapped.

Guest Stars:  Steven Anderson (Barney Stanfield), Daniel Dae Kim (???), Kathy Debuono  (Alyssa Padia), Lucas Dudley (Young McClaren), Edward Ferguson (Park Ranger #1),Viktoria  Fisch (Woman), Stefan ierasch (???), Jay Karnes (Brad Anderson), Dan Klass (Director),  Dwayne Macopson (Rob Hancock), Bryan Matsuura (Le Xuan Duc), Ben McCain (Jordan  Brock), Shayna Ryan (Honey), Adrian Sparks (???), Daniel  Von Bargen (Prentiss McLaren),  Christopher Warren (Mark Clements) and Vanessa Williams (Denise Clements)

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