Lois' Daily Planet

The Pretender

SHORT SYNOPSIS and PICTURES FOR
ONCE IN A BLUE MOON
which aired on Saturday, October 31, 1998

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PRETENDER SYNOPSIS FOR ONCE IN A BLUE MOON
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), Zachary Browne (Young Kyle), Paul Dillon (Angelo),  Jeffrey Donovan (Kyle),  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 #47 
Written By: Andrew Dettman and Daniel Truly
Directed By: Chuck Bowman


Jarod is about to eat his first chimichunga at Rico's diner, when he sees a news report from Snow Hill, Maryland relating to the disappearance of 17 year old Sarah Rickman.  The abductor removed the animals from several of the stuffed animals in Sarah's room and left a message scrawled on the mirror.  The reporter doesn't say what the message on the mirror is, but Jarod already knows it and says, "Blue Moon Rising."

At his lair, Jarod finds the DSA for which he searched and inserts it into the player.  On the DSA, Sydney tells the young Jarod that they need his help.  A young girl has been kidnapped and Sydney wants Jarod to find her.

Jarod signs in as Special Agent Jarod Ressler, a criminal behaviorist from the Justice Department and walks in to Sarah Rickman's room.  It's full of police, taking pictures, looking for finger prints, examining the room.  All of the stuffed animals have had their eyes removed.

On the DSA, the young Jarod tells Sydney that he can't help - he's scared.  Sydney insists that Jarod must help, saying that he's the only one who can save Annie.  On a mirror near Jarod, the words, "Blue Moon Rising" are written.

In Sarah Rickman's room, Sydney's words, "You're the only one who can save her," are echoing in Jarod's head as he looks at the mirror and sees the phrase "Blue Moon Rising," which has been written there in lipstick.

Jarod introduces himself to the lieutenant in charge of the case.  She's not thrilled to see him, but Jarod convinces her that this is the work of a serial killer and is not a kidnapping.

Miss Parker, Broots and Sydney burst in to Jarod's abandoned lair.  It's full of diving equipment and there's a map of Florida on the table.  Miss Parker thinks it's too easy, but Sydney surmises that something unexpected must have come up, causing Jarod to leave before he planned.

Jarod and the lieutenant are going over the original "Blue Moon" killer's files.  Since Douglas Willard, the man who is the "Blue Moon" killer has been in a maximum security prison for the past twenty years, Jarod tells her that they are dealing with a copy cat.  Jarod says that Willard killed his victims at midnight during a "blue moon," which he defines as the second full moon in a calendar month.  Jarod says that a photo of the body of Willard's last victim, Annie, arrived at the home of her parents, the day after he was arrested.  They knew she was dead, but the body was never found.

Jarod says that Willard has been in complete isolation since he was sent to jail, and yet the copy cat has managed to duplicate his M.O. completely, including details that were never released to the newspapers.  He instructs one of the police officers working on the case to do a complete search on the guards, doctors, everyone who has had contact with Willard during his incarceration.  He tells the lieutenant that he needs Willard transferred from McAllister Penitentiary to a nearby facility so that he can have access to him because they only have two nights before the next blue moon.  If he can't pick Willard's brain before then, Sarah Rickman will die.

In his office at The Centre, Sydney gets an e-mail that has Annie's picture in it.  On the bottom of the picture, Jarod has written, "It's happening again!"

Jarod keeps flashing back to the original simulation.  As he looks through Sarah's photo album and sees the pictures of her with her mother in there, he remembers a moment when he saw Annie's parents, distraught and crying.

Miss Parker is complaining to Sydney that Mr. Raines has convinced her father that they should all go to Florida in search of Jarod, even though she made it clear in her report that what they found at the wharf didn't warrant the trip.  Sydney corrects her, telling Miss Parker that it was he who convinced Mr. Parker about the Florida trip.  He tells her that they may have overlooked something.  Sydney's phone rings and Sydney answers it, but pointedly waits for Miss Parker to leave the room before starting the conversation.  Miss Parker walks toward the door and Sydney turns his back on her to take the call.  Before she's completely out of the room, he says, "Jarod?" and Miss Parker hears it.  She lingers in the doorway and eavesdrops on the call.

Even as an adult, Jarod is nervous about coming in contact with Willard, but Sydney tells him that he knows what he has to do and the call is terminated.

Determined now, Jarod is on his way to speak with Willard.  The lieutenant is trying to dissuade him, saying that there have been two suicides and half a dozen psych discharges in the man's wing at prison.  She tells Jarod that there isn't much that frightens her, but she's scared of Willard.  Jarod replies, "So am I," but keeps on walking toward Willard's cell.

Jarod enters and sees Willard in person, for the first time.  Willard sits calmly in his cell.  Without looking at Jarod, he says, "And who might you be, little boy?"  Watching the encounter on a closed circuit TV, the lieutenant says that she hopes Jarod knows what he's doing.

Jarod tells Willard that he is interviewing him as a case study, to broaden his knowledge, but Willard thinks that Jarod is lying.  He tells Jarod that he thinks that there is someone else "out there" like him, they need his help, and that's why he was moved from McAllister to Maryland.  Jarod says that he does need his help.  Willard refuses and Jarod tells him that he's sorry to have disturbed him and says that he'll make sure that he's sent back to McAllister.  The response puzzles and dismays Willard, but only for a moment.  As Jarod leaves the room, Willard's face displays a small smile.

Jarod goes to the room in which the lieutenant has been watching on the closes circuit camera.  She has a fit, saying that it took a lot of work to get Willard moved there and she can't believe that Jarod is going to be satisfied with a three minute interview.  Jarod tells her to be patient and watches Willard on the camera, as the man sits quietly in his cell.  In moments, Willard calls out to Jarod, saying that it's not as though he has somewhere else to be.

Having found nothing that might lead them to Jarod, Miss Parker and Broots are back from Florida and she's wondering why Sydney wanted them out of the way.  Miss Parker tells Broots that she saw Jarod looking at a photo in his office, and she thinks the answer to the wild goose chase is there.

Jarod is showing Willard a photo of Sarah Rickman and explaining her abduction to him.  Willard wants to know what he'll get in return for helping Jarod.  Jarod tells Willard that he already got him "out of his hole" ... so Willard owes him.  He tells Willard that the copy cat is recreating Willard's last abduction, which means that Sarah Rickman is being held at the same place where Willard's last victim was held.

Willard tells Jarod that he's had the opportunity to study the law enforcement agents who supposedly were responsible for his capture and he knows that they could not have done it.  He tells Jarod that he realizes that they got a lucky break in the form of help from a "gifted" informant.  Willard tells Jarod that the informant was the worthiest adversary he ever had.  Somehow the anonymous informant managed to get inside of Willard's head, which Willard believes is the only way to catch someone as ingenious as Willard believes himself to be.

Willard asks Jarod if he knows the informant.  Jarod tells him that he does not.  Willard says he only asked because he was wondering if the informant was as lonely on this planet as he is.  Willard has hit too close to home and Jarod loses patience.  He screams at Willard to tell him where he took Annie.  Willard tells Jarod to relax and reminds him that if he cannot control his emotions, he's never going to be able to find out what he needs to know.  The remark sends Jarod back, in his mind, to the original simulation when he pleaded with Sydney to not make him continue because he was frightened.  Sydney insists that it's the only way to find Annie.  Jarod sees the grieving parents and is torn between wanting to help and his own fear.

At The Centre, Miss Parker gives Angelo the picture of Annie Raines that Jarod sent to Sydney.  Angelo tells Miss Parker that "Annie wants to go home."  Before he can say any more, Mr. Raines enters the room with Sydney close behind.  Mr. Raines tells Miss Parker and Broots to get back to Florida to follow whatever bread crumbs Jarod might have left.  Miss Parker says they are leading no where, that Florida is a boondoggle, but Raines tells her to "get back down there" and leaves the room.  Miss Parker tells Broots that they are not going back to Florida.  She holds up the picture of Annie Raines and tells Broots that this is the real bread crumb.

Seeing Sarah's parents at the police station, Jarod flashes back to the original simulation again.  He's sitting with Sydney in a recreation of Annie's room and he wants to talk to her parents.  Sydney refuses, saying that their emotions will cloud Jarod's judgement.  Jarod wonders if his parents cried for him.

Jarod goes back to Willard's cell.  He tells him that he has a lust for power, so he should display it by saving the girl.  Willard is unmoved.  He tells Jarod that emotions cloud the eyes.  Willard says that he wants to meet the informant who lead to his capture.  He also says that Jarod knows more about him than is in his file - that Jarod knows who he really is - and that makes Willard wonder who Jarod really is.  Jarod walks over to the closed circuit TV and pulls the plug.  In the other room, the lieutenant is alarmed at the turn of events.  Willard tells Jarod that he's impressed that a child was able to capture a genius.  Jarod corrects him, saying that he helped the police capture a monster.  Willard tells Jarod that it makes him wonder how things will turn out for little Sarah, since time is running out.

As Jarod goes over Willard's file again, he recalls the first simulation that he did, with Sydney.  He becomes Willard.  He's in Annie's room.  He takes all of the eyes out of her stuffed animals because he thinks that it makes him invisible.  He opens the curtains, because he wants to "feel" the moonlight shining on him.  The young Jarod told Sydney that he didn't want to continue past that point because he didn't want to get inside of the killer's mind and he didn't want the killer inside of his.  He didn't want to feel what the killer was feeling.

The lieutenant asks Jarod why he pulled the plug on the camera.  Jarod tells her that it was for privacy.  "His or yours?" she questions.  Jarod tells her that he knows what he's doing.  She comes back with, "You'd better - he's asking for you."

Miss Parker shows Sydney the picture of Annie that she took from his office and asks him what's "happening again" and why doesn't anyone want her to know about it.  Sydney gives her no answers.

Willard tells Jarod that he already has all the answers that he needs to find Sarah - he just won't do what he needs to do.  Jarod asks Willard to help him.  Willard tells Jarod that all of the information is there, he only needs to get inside the head of the man who took Sarah and to get inside of his head, Willard's.  Willard tells Jarod to take him to Sarah's bedroom.  He says he'll be able to "feel it" and will be able to understand the man who took her from there.  Willard says that he'll be able to do what Jarod won't - become the killer.  Jarod tells Willard that the police will never allow it, but Willard won't accept that.  Before they can finish their conversation, Jarod is interrupted by one of the detectives, telling him that they found the kidnapper.

The lieutenant tells Jarod that the kidnapper's name is Paul Shumann, a guard who worked solitary confinement at the prison where Willard was held for six years. During that time, he and Willard developed a continuing conversation.  Eighteen months ago, Shumann had a breakdown and vanished.

Breaking into Shumann's house, they find pictures of Sarah, her school schedule, everything about her.  They also find a substantial amount of research material about Willard.  Jarod reminds them that they have less than eight hours until the moon is full.  The only thing that is missing is Shumann.  There are letters to Shumann from Willard that appear to be gibberish, but Jarod recognizes them as code, meant to get past prison censors.  Jarod begins to wonder is Shumann is really a copy cat, or a puppet.  The lieutenant asks Jarod what their next move is and Jarod says that they must give Willard what he wants.

Back at Willard's cell, Jarod is asking Willard about Carl Shumann.  Jarod tells Willard that he knows that Shumann is just his puppet.  Willard doesn't deny it.  He tells Jarod that it's like a snake eating its own tail - he's right back where he started - knowing who the killer is, but unable to save the girl.  Willard says again that he wants to go with Jarod to Sarah's house.  He says that, together, they can still stop Shumann.  The conversation is interrupted by the lieutenant who takes Jarod outside the door leading to Willard's cell, but does not close it.  She tells him that his request to remove Willard from the premises is denied.  Jarod pleads with her, saying it's the only way, but the lieutenant won't relent.  Willard hears it all, including the lieutenant removing Jarod from the case.

Later, Jarod returns to Willard's cell and removes him.  The lieutenant's assistant, Detective Maxwell, tries to stop Jarod in the parking structure of the station, but Jarod hits him and continues his plan.  In Sarah's room, Willard tells Jarod that he can't do his best work while being handcuffed.  He tells Jarod that if he sets him free, Willard will do the same and set Jarod free.  Jarod removes the handcuffs.  Willard begins to simulate the abduction, in much the same way that Jarod simulated it for Sydney, twenty years prior.  There is a slight difference.  As a boy, Jarod said that the eyes were removed from the dolls and the stuffed animals because Willard wanted to be invisible.  Willard says that the eyes are removed because he can't leave any witnesses.

In spite of himself, Willard is drawing Jarod into the simulation.  Jarod becomes increasingly frustrated as Willard keeps telling him that he has everything he needs to figure it all out - but Jarod can't.  Jarod grabs Willard by the throat and screams at him, wanting to know why it doesn't make sense.  And, finally, Willard tells Jarod that he's found the answer.  It's all mania.  There is no blue moon, the truth is that Willard abducts the girls and kills them because he likes it.  Willard knocks Jarod unconscious and chides him for not being a more worthy adversary.  He tells him goodbye, saying that it's time for the monster to leave now.

At The Centre, Miss Parker asks Broots what he has managed to find out about the picture of the girl that Jarod sent to Sydney.  He tells her that she was kidnapped 23 years ago and the body was never found.  Miss Parker wants to know where it happened and Broots tells her that it happened about 40 miles away, in Snow Hill, Maryland.  Then he remembers what was in the Baltimore Examiner and Miss Parker realizes that Jarod must be in Snow Hill right now, trying to solve the kidnapping of Sarah Rickman.

The full moon is shining on a barn, somewhere in Maryland.  Willard approaches the barn carefully, coming up along the side.  He is stopped, just before entering, by the sound of Jarod's voice behind him, saying, "And who might you be, little boy?"  Lights go on from dozens of police vehicles and Willard is taken back into custody.  Carl Shumann is being held captive in one of the police vehicles.  Willard tells Jarod that he got inside his head.  Jarod corrects him, saying that you don't have to become a monster, to face one.  Willard is taken away, to be sent back into isolation.

Inside the barn, Jarod finds Sarah Rickman, bound and gagged, in the back seat of an old car.  She's frightened, but safe.  In another part of the barn, Jarod finds the heart shaped necklace that Annie was wearing when she was abducted, twenty-three years ago.  Jarod tells her that it's time for her to go home, too.

Miss Parker and Broots arrive on the scene, just as the ambulance is taking Sarah and her parents away.  They show the lieutenant a picture of Jarod and ask her if she's seen him.  The lieutenant turns to point Jarod out, but he saw Miss Parker arrive and slipped away.

Jarod is talking to Sydney on the phone.  He tells Sydney that he hopes that being able to finally bury Annie will give her parents some kind of peace.  Sydney tells Jarod that he gave Annie's father the locket.

In another part of The Centre, Miss Parker and Sydney are watching Raines.  He is watching a DSA of the moment in time when Sydney gave him the picture of his daughter and told her that Jarod didn't catch the man responsible in time to save her.  In the DSA, Raines is sobbing over the loss of his daughter.  Holding the locket, Annie's locket, that has just been returned to him, Raines is sobbing anew.  Miss Parker doesn't understand why Sydney allowed her to be sent all over the country instead of simply telling her that Annie was actually Annie Raines, Mr. Raine's daughter.  Sydney tells her that, sometimes, even the devil deserves a little privacy.

With the sound of Mr. Raines' sobs in the background, the screen fades to black ...

Guest Stars: Michael des Barres (Lucas Willard), Jay Harrington and Anne-Marie Johnson (she plays the Congresswoman who plagues Harm on JAG, if you're a fan of that show, too) 


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