Lois' Daily Planet

The Pretender

which aired on Saturday, October 24, 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 #46

Written by:  Juan Carlos Coto
Directed by:  David Jackson

The episode begins with Jarod taking a nap in his Jeep, by the side of the road.  He has a nightmare about the possibility that his father is the man who shot Catherine Parker in the elevator at The Centre.  He awakes abruptly, starts his Jeep and continues on his way.  The sign by the side of the road where Jarod parked says, "Entering Tribal Land."

At The Centre, Miss Parker is also being tortured by memories of her mother's death.  Based on what Mr. Fenigor told her, Jarod's father, Major Charles, is now the target for Miss Parker's hatred and desire for revenge.  She tells her father that Catherine Parker's death wasn't what they thought it was - that she didn't commit suicide.  Catherine Parker was, in fact, murdered by Major Charles.  Mr. Parker makes it clear that he is disgusted with Miss Parker's obsession over the entire matter.  He tells Miss Parker that Fenigore has been paid a lot of money to keep from telling lies about her mother.  "Are they lies?" Miss Parker asks him, but Mr. Parker doesn't answer.

As Miss Parker and her father are walking through The Centre's hallways, Mr. Lyle joins them.  Lyle shows Mr. Parker a printed copy of a web site that Jarod has uploaded to the Internet.  Miss Parker remarks that it's not possible to track Jarod via the site, it's already been tried.  Mr. Lyle agrees that it's unlikely, but sees it as a viable lead and plans to keep at it.  Mr. Lyle is no happier about Miss Parker looking for Major Charles than their father is, but Miss Parker won't be dissuaded and says that if she can find Jarod's father, she'll find Jarod.

Jarod stops at a bar on an Indian reservation to meet with Mike Bodie, a Native American who answered Jarod's website plea for information regarding his family.   Mike tells Jarod that he knew his father, Major Charles ... shows Jarod a picture that was taken with a young Mike sitting on Major Charles' knee, and gives Jarod a "dream catcher" that his father made that Mike has been wearing as a necklace.  When Mike gives Jarod the dream catcher, he tells him that a part of Major Charles is in it, and now it's a part of Jarod. 

Jarod shows Mike the picture he has of his mother, holding a baby.  There's a reflection of the person taking the picture in the window behind.  Jarod tells Mike that the reflection is all he has of his father.  Bodie tells Jarod that he can top that, and smiles as he gives Jarod a picture of Major Charles that was taken when Mike was a boy, 20 years ago.  Major Charles is sitting, with Mike on his knee.   Bodie grimaces and shifts his weight.  His jacket opens a bit and Jarod sees that his shirt is red with blood. "You've been shot," says Jarod, alarmed.  "That's what happens when someone's trying to kill you," answers Bodie.  He looks up and sees a truck pulling into the parking lot outside.  Mike looks at Jarod and tells him that he's sorry - he didn't want it to come down like this.  Jarod offers to help, but Mike tells Jarod that he's the one who owes Jarod.  As Bodie heads for the door, he turns and tells Jarod that he's going to tell him everything about his father and his dream quest.  Whoever is in the pickup truck is firing at Bodie with a rifle.  He misses him twice, and Bodie is able to speed away on his motorcycle. 

At the Centre, Miss Parker goes to the infirmary to see Mr. Fenigor, but only finds the nurse cleaning up the room and Mr. Lyle standing in the other doorway.   When Miss Parker asks where Mr. Fenigor has gone, Mr. Lyle says that he has "assumed room temperature."  Miss Parker asks him if that means that Mr. Fenigor is dead, Lyle says, "So I'm told."  Miss Parker asks Lyle what he's doing there.  Lyle tells her that he wanted to hear from Fenigor himself that Jarod's father killed their mother.  Lyle asks Miss Parker what this is all about - he wants to know if it's revenge she wants.  Miss Parker tells Lyle that her mother deserves it.  Lyle corrects her, saying, "our" mother.  He asks her if she's ever thought about what opening these old wounds might do to their father.  Miss Parker doesn't answer him.  He's standing very close to her now, and she just looks at him with eyes that are shining with emotion.  Lyle changes subjects and tells Miss Parker that the fact that she is his sister doesn't change anything - she's still beautiful when she's angry.  Miss Parker tells Lyle, "You've never seen me angry."  Then she turns and leaves.

Back at the bar, Jarod learns that Mike Bodie is being chased by bounty hunters for bail jumping.  Jarod leaves and heads for Mike's place.  He finds the front door ajar and goes inside.  The walls are a mixture of holes left from shotgun blasts and framed newspaper articles that relate Bodie's part in protesting the mining that has been taking place near his land.  As Jarod looks around, behind him he hears the sound of a round being chambered into a shotgun.  A woman levels the gun at Jarod's back and says that she hopes he's there to check the meter.  He tells her that he's  there hunting a bounty, just like she is.  She asks Jarod what his name is and he tells her that it's Jarod - then pauses for a moment, to think of a last name.  He looks above her head and sees a sign that says "Greenpeace."  He finishes the sentence with the word, "Green." 

The bounty hunter looks around, says that it looks like Bodie was hit in the kitchen and then jumped out the window.  Jarod says that she seems to know what she's doing and asks her what her name is.  She tells him that her name is Kim - then she pauses for a moment, looks that the same sign that Jarod did and finishes her sentence with the word, "Peace."  She tells Jarod that Mike Bodie blew up a mining rig and that's why he's worth "20 K."

Kim and Jarod have breakfast in a diner and Jarod notes that there are several more bounty hunters eating there.  One of them walks over to Jarod and Kim and asks "Singleton" who her new friend is.  She says that Jarod is more competition.  Jarod introduces himself and extends his hand, but the hunter ignores it - only says that his name is Dennis Biggs.  Jarod tries to talk Kim into teaming up with him to catch Bodie, but she isn't interested.

At The Centre, Sydney is having his eyes examined.  Broots comes in and whispers to Sydney that he won't believe what he snagged.  He's holding a folder in his hands.  From the other side of the room, Lyle says, "Don't let me stop you."  Broots becomes visibly more nervous and tells Mr. Lyle that Jarod has the website programmed to jump to a different server every 18 hours, so he hasn't been able to track him.  Miss Parker enters and says that dead ends are Jarod's specialty.  Lyle leans close to Broots and tells him to keep searching.  As Lyle walks away, Miss Parker unceremoniously grabs the file folder out of Broots' hands.  The contents have nothing to do with Jarod's web site.  It's Fenigor's death certificate.  Broots says that "they" kept him alive for two extra days, in order to harvest his organs - which ended up being shipped all over the United States.  Miss Parker isn't buying the death certificate or the story about the organ harvesting.  She tells Broots that she wants a picture of the corpse.  Until she sees one, she won't believe that Fenigor is dead.  As Broots helps Sydney out of the room and back toward his office, he asks him what will happen if Lyle finds Jarod before Miss Parker does.  Sydney asks, "To her?"  Broots replies, "No.  To us ..."

Jarod is at the Office of Tribal Liaison, talking toVincent, the tribal agent.  He wants Jarod to register so that he knows who is on the reservation.  Jarod asks him questions about Mike Bodie and learns that Bodie's land lies just outside of the reservation, near a mining operation.  Mike protested the mining operation and when the ACM Mining Company's rig was blown up, Bodie was arrested for it.

Jarod shows Vincent the picture of his father with Mike Bodie and asks him if he's seen the man in the picture.  Vincent calls over his assistant, who also is the tribal historian, and tells Jarod to ask him about it.  As Jarod is leaving, the historian tells Jarod that he knows Mike - he is part of his thesis on indigenous rights.  The kid gives Jarod some of his research on both Mike and ACM - to help Jarod understand about Mike Bodie.  Jarod asks him if he thinks the company would try to kill Bodie and the kid says that it would shut up their loudest protester.  Jarod thanks him and leaves.

Reading through some old newspaper articles that were included with the research given to him by the tribal historian, Jarod sees an article headlined, "Native American Remembers Dead Creek."  There is a picture of Mike included with it, by Dead Creek.  Jarod thinks that Mike may have gone there and heads out to that area.  He never sees Kim, sitting in her truck, watching him as he leaves.

Jarod finds Bodie sitting on an outcropping of rocks near Dead Creek and asks him what happened at his house.  Mike tells him that whoever shot at him must have been waiting, because as soon as he walked in, they started shooting.  Mike grabbed the picture of Major Charles, for Jarod, then ran.  Jarod notices that Mike's wound still hasn't been tended and tells him that his motel room is just down the road - he wants Mike to come with him so that he can clean and dress the wound.  Mike tells Jarod again that it's not right, that he owes Jarod.  Jarod asks Mike why he keeps saying that and Mike explains that Jarod's father saved his life.  He tells Jarod that he needs to tell him about his father and his dream quest.  He says that he has the answers to the questions that Jarod has.  As they are getting ready to leave, Kim cocks her shotgun and screams, "FREEZE!" at Bodie.  Bodie leaps up, slides between the rocks to get back down to the wash where he left his motorcycle and makes a clean getaway.

Kim chastizes Jarod for not getting his handcuffs on Bodie.  Jarod tells her that she's so focused on the money that she doesn't even care that Mike is injured.  Jarod says that he thinks a bounty hunter is trying to kill Mike Bodie.  Kim tells Jarod to "tell it to the judge."  Jarod replies, "If he lives that long" and drives away, leaving an angry Kim standing in the middle of the wash comparing the dream catcher that Bodie is wearing in the picture she has of him, with the one that she sees Jarod wearing now.

Jarod calls Sydney and tells him that, after three years of searching, he finally feels close to finding his father.  Sydney reminds Jarod about Fenigor's last words and says that his father may be a killer.  Jarod replies, "Unless it's another Centre lie ..."  Abruptly, Jarod changes subjects and asks Sydney about his eyes.  Sydney says that there is no nerve damage, but he still can't see.  Jarod thinks that maybe Sydney doesn't want to see.  He tells Sydney that "Truth isn't easy - but it's real."

Miss Parker is sitting with Angelo and Sydney when Broots dumps a pile of sheets on her desk.  He tells her that's all that's left that has anything to do with Fenigor.  Sydney suggests that perhaps Angelo's empathic abilities can give them some direction.  Miss Parker says, "The blind, leading the blind."  Angelo reaches out to touch the sheets, then stops, looks at Miss Parker and says, "Revenge bad."  Miss Parker raises an eyebrow and tells Angelo that this isn't about her.  Angelo holds the sheet and says that Fenigor is better.  Miss Parker wants to know if that means that he's alive.  Angelo just smiles, then puts the sheet over his head.  Sydney asks Broots what's going on.  Broots tells him that Angelo just put the sheet over his head.  Sydney gives a little laugh and says that Fenigor is a ghost.  Miss Parker isn't amused and says that ghosts aren't alive.  Still smiling, Sydney says that they are alive at The Centre!  He asks Miss Parker where the Centre ghosts live these days.  Suddenly, it dawns on her what Sydney means.  "Renewal wing," she says, and turns to leave.  Angelo begins repeating, "CA543," over and over.  Broots writes it down.  Sydney thanks Angelo.

On the reservation, Jarod's eating an apple when he runs into Vincent.  Vincent tells Jarod that he never starts his day without "pigs in a blanket."  "Really?" says Jarod, obviously not understanding what Vincent means.  Vincent goes on to say that a bounty hunter shot up Dunston's Bar yesterday when Mike Bodie was in there.  Jarod acts as if he knows nothing about it.  Vincent says it wouldn't surprise him but Jarod tells him that the way he hears it, it's the mining company that wants Mike dead.  Vincent tells Jarod to tell his "friends" that this isn't the "wild west" - that's why he's got paperwork on "you people."

Back at his motel, the tribal historian gives Jarod a list of all the registered bounty hunters.  He implores Jarod not to tell Vincent that he gave Jarod the information, saying that Vincent would kill him.  The historian tells Jarod that he looked through old issues of the tribal paper and found an article about Mike Bodie and Major Charles, from the mid-70's.  He gives the article to Jarod.  It says that Mike Bodie got lost in the desert and that Jarod's father found him.  Major Charles saved Mike's life.

In the renewal wing at The Centre, Miss Parker and Broots nearly scare each other to death when they bump into each other unexpectedly.  Broots tells Miss Parker about Angelo and "CA543."  Broots tells her that it's the number to a Centre archive receptacle.  She's systematically trying to open every door in the hallway.  Miss Parker turns around and tells Broots to go get whatever it is that Angelo says is in the archives.  He turns around to leave and is astounded to see Mr. Fenigor, dressed in a suit and tie and humming a little tune, walking down the hallway toward him.  Miss Parker backtracks to see why Broots hasn't moved and arrives just as Mr. Fenigor walks up to Broots and says, "So nice to have visitors." 

In his motel room, Jarod has dozed off at the desk.  He's awakened from the same nightmare that he had earlier by the sound of someone pounding on his door.  Jarod chambers a round into his gun and answers the door.  Mike Bodie literally falls through the door and onto the ground.  His wound is bleeding again.

"Don't you remember me?" Miss Parker is asking Mr. Fenigor.  He's packing a suitcase, putting his clothes neatly in it.  Miss Parker reminds him that she is Catherine Parker's daughter and that he was helping Catherine rescue children from The Centre.  Fenigor doesn't believe that.  He says that The Centre's mission statement clearly says that "our fellow man is our highest priority."  Miss Parker tells him that he said that Jarod's father killed her mother.  He looks at her and says that he doesn't know any "Jarod."  With that, he picks up his bag and leaves.

Broots says that somebody scrambled his brain.  He says that it doesn't make any sense - why wouldn't they just kill him?  Miss Parker says that maybe Lyle wants her down there in the renewal wing, running into dead ends, to give himself a jump-start on catching Jarod.  She asks Broots if anyone else knows about the archieve receptacle and Broots says that only he and Sydney were in the room with Angelo.  Miss Parker tells Broots to find the receptacle and bring it to her.  This time, he rushes off unimpeded.

An injured and weak Mike Bodie finds his way to Jarod's motel room, where Jarod offers him a PEZ, out of an Indian dispenser (very cool!) and tends his wounds.   They talk about the attempts on his life by the bounty hunters and Bodie tells Jarod that he didn't bomb the mining rig. But he has to fight for his land.  He's the last of his line, so although Bodie's land is outside of the reservation, if he dies, it reverts to the reservation and the tribe.  The mining company has been after it for a long time.  Before Mike and Jarod can further explore those possibilities, Kim shows up again, breaking down the door to Jarod's room and leveling her gun at Mike!   She said that after she saw the dream catcher that Jarod was wearing, she knew that all she had to do to catch Mike Bodie was watch Jarod and wait for Bodie to show up.

Outside, Kim tries to handcuff Jarod to his Jeep so that she can take Mike Bodie in, but Jarod turns the tables on her and she's the one who ends up wearing the cuffs.  Jarod and Mike get in Kim's truck and take off.

At The Centre, Miss Parker asks Lyle if he's gotten anything on the Jarod website.  He tells her that she was right - it was a dead end, but if anything comes up, she'll be the first to know.   Lyle asks her if she's had any luck on her "revenge front."  Miss Parker tells him that he'll be the first to know.  She walks to the other end of the room and sees Sydney, apparently looking at a DSA.  Sydney tells her that his vision is still blurry. 

Jarod and Mike are finally alone and can talk about Jarod's father.  Jarod asks Mike what his father was like.  Bodie tells him that his father would only say that his name was "Major Charles" so Bodie gave him a better name - "Soaring Eagle."  Jarod asks if his father lived around here and Mike tells him that he didn't.  Major Charles had trained at Clearview Air Force Base, years before.  Bodie tells him about the time he got lost in the desert.  After five days, the other searchers gave up, but not Major Charles.  He kept on looking.  And when he finally found Mike, he said that it was like finding his own son.  As a reward for finding Mike, his father taught Major Charles how to make his own dream catcher and how to go on a dream quest.  Jarod wants to know if the cave his father used for his dream quest is still out there and Mike says, "Just like he left it." 

Suddenly, someone starts firing at Bodie from a nearby hill.  Bodie jumps into the back of the pickup truck, Jarod slides into the driver's seat, and they speed away.  Mike is hit again, but whoever was shooting at him was only using rubber bullets - this person was not trying to kill Bodie.

Broots finds CA543 and gives it to Miss Parker.   It is a large lockbox.   The label on it says, "Catherine Parker, April 30, 1970."  Broots, knowing that Miss Parker wants to open it alone, withdraws from the room, but not before displaying compassion for what Miss Parker is
going through.   Miss Parker uses bolt cutters to open the lock on the box.   Inside, she finds thegun that was used to murder her mother.   She takes it out very carefully, using a pencil to lift it clear of the box, and notices that there is something that looks like a jagged oval emblazoned in white on the grip.

Meanwhile, Jarod has figured out that the tribal liaison, Vincent, is the person who would benefit most by Mike Bodie's death and the subsequent return of his land to the tribe.  Vincent has been in league with the mining company for quite some time, selling off Indian land and accruing $250,000 in stock.  Jarod calls Kim, and tells her about Vincent's scheme.  Jarod also gets the tribal historian to aid him in setting up a sting operation to snare Vincent.

While Vincent is at the local diner, Jarod switches the shotgun he always carries in his vehicle with one that he's fixed.  Vincent is lured back to his office by a phone call from the young historian, saying that Mike Bodie is there, going through papers.   However, when Vincent arrives, he finds that his bank accounts have been emptied and that Jarod is waiting for him with a shotgun.   Jarod plays hide and seek with Vincent ... shooting near him with the shotgun several times, until Vincent thinks that Jarod is out of shells.  Pointing what he thinks is his shotgun at Jarod, Vincent admits that it was he that blew up the rig at the ACM Mining Company and then framed Mike Bodie for it.   He knew that Mike would jump bail and that the bounty hunters would come looking for Mike, giving Vincent the perfect chance to kill Mike and place the blame on the bounty hunters.  Vincent pulls the trigger, thinking he's going to blow Jarod away, but nothing happens.  Out of the darkness, Kim arrives - holding a mini-dish with a listening device and a tape recorder attached, spelling the end for Vincent and freedom for Mike Bodie.

Miss Parker hands the gun from the lockbox to Angelo and asks him whose gun it is.  Angelo receives a series of strange images and tells Miss Parker to "follow the circle."  "But to where, Angelo?" Miss Parker wonders.

Back in her office, Miss Parker is surprised to see Sydney walk in, without a cane and wearing clear glasses.  Obviously, he can see again!  He gives Miss Parker a quick warning that Mr. Lyle and her father are headed her way and then departs.

Within moments, Mr. Lyle and Mr. Parker enter Miss Parker's office, the perfect picture of father and son.   Before her father can say anything, she tells him that she will be taking his advice and is going to put her mother's death behind her.   It's time to let the past be past," she tells him.  For once, it is Mr. Parker who is being duped, because he is so relieved to hear what he wanted to hear from his daughter, that he accepts it and leaves without ever knowing that Miss Parker has the gun that was used to murder her mother in a box on her desk  and obviously has no intention whatsoever of  letting the mystery of her mother's murder go unsolved, nor has she given up the idea of exacting revenge on the murderer.

Mike Bodie takes Jarod to the cave where his father, Major Charles, went on his dream quest.  Mike shows Jarod the images that his father left there ... a white hand print (which matches Jarod's perfectly) and some pictographs ... an eagle, a boy and a man, the sign for eternity and ... a circle of fire with someone standing within it.  On the floor of the cave, Jarod finds what appears to be a patch from his father's air force uniform, and on that patch there is a circle of fire which looks exactly like the symbol on the handle of the gun.

During a dream quest of his own, Jarod speaks to his father and asks him if he killed Catherine Parker.  His father tells Jarod to "follow the circle."

Jarod and Bodie go out to the now abandoned Clearview Air Force Base ... and have their final conversation.  Jarod has more information about his father than he has ever had, but seems to be no closer to finding him!   Bodie and Jarod shake hands and Jarod drives away in his Jeep.

Back at the Centre, Angelo has arranged a circle of paper around himself and lights it ... so that he is sitting in the center of a circle of fire.  In his head, Angelo sees the same images that Jarod has seen in the cave ... the eagle, the sign for eternity and the circle of fire with a child standing in the middle of it.  He starts repeating, "Circle.  Follow the circle," over and over again ...

And the screen fades to black ...

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