Lois' Daily Planet

The Pretender

which aired on Saturday, November 14, 1998

At some unknown spot, Jarod has his morning coffee as he studies particular newspaper articles, which he is tacking to a partition.  He is also watching one of the old DSA's ... a young Jarod is telling Sydney how to structurally reinforce a building to allow it withstand a major earthquake.  He points out to Sydney that should the reinforcements be intentionally damaged, however, the whole building would come tumbling down.  Back in the present ... Jarod's newspaper headline for the day says, "Serbian Consulate in Rome Brought Down by Terrorist's Bomb."

At Broots' house, he and Debbie are going through their morning routine.  Debbie tells Broots that what she really wants for her birthday is a trip to Paris.  Broots' tells her there's no way, not until she's at least 25. But as soon as she leaves, he puts on Walkman earphones and starts practicing his French. 

Unknown to Broots, who cannot hear anything but the French lesson, Miss Parker has entered his house.  After scaring him half to death because he didn't know she was there, she tells Broots' that she came over because she couldn't risk talking on the phone at The Centre and she wants him to go directly to the Data Annex instead of to The Centre.  She tells Broots that since he installed new security software, three transfers of classified information had been detected ... all of them sent to the Data Annex -- and after each transfer, someone broke into the Annex and took the information.  She wants Broots to find out who is taking the information. 

As Broots bicycles over to The Annex, someone whose face we can't see - in a car - watches him go by. Then the person puts a black mask on, picks up an automatic weapon, and follows Broots toward The Annex. 

The Data Annex is hidden behind a store front - and Broots is buzzed through by a man who appears to be running a sort of curio shop. Broots talks to one of the tech guys and asks him about the data intercepts. The tech guy tells him that more information was transferred last night and Broots says he'll check it out, but first he has to use the bathroom. 

As Broots walks away, the tech guy realizes that someone is accessing the information right then. Meanwhile the gunman is in the curio store, killing the guard. He goes through to The Annex and kills everyone in there as well ... except Broots ... who is in the bathroom, practicing his French again - so he cannot hear anything else that's going on. 

Broots walks back into the main room, sees everyone dead -- and the masked man dressed in black accessing data on a terminal at the far side of the room. Broots runs and the man fires at him and chases him. Broots ends up running back to the bathroom, where he manages to get out using an air-conditioning vent over the handicap stall. Broots comes off the roof and down a fire-escape, and runs across the street. He almost gets himself killed by two different cars before he gets across. 

Back at The Centre, Mr. Lyle is watching a security film on one of the monitors ... it shows the mess at The Annex. Miss Parker walks into the room and he explains to her what is going on. Miss Parker realizes that she sent Broots there - and Lyle tells her that he's escaped and that a de-contamination team has been sent after him. Miss Parker is unhappy with this decision, but Lyle won't budge. He reminds her that there's a leak and that Broots could be a mole. He says that the incident has been declared a schedule 7 - which means that Broots is on his own. Miss Parker does not look happy. 

Out on the street, Broots is frantically trying to call Sydney on his cell phone. Sydney answers, but mid-conversation, they are cut off. When Broots tries to call Sydney back, he gets a message that says that his cellular service has been deactivated! A little ways down the street, Broots finds a pay phone and calls Sydney back. 

He tells Sydney what happened and Sydney tells him that he is in danger from more people than just the gunman ... Sydney also tells him that anyone he knows may also be in danger, causing Broots to begin to worry about Debbie. "Trust no one," Sydney tells Broots, just as Mr. Lyle walks into Sydney's office and yanks the cord to his phone out of the wall, cutting him off from Broots. 

Broots goes to get Debbie from school, but he is too late. He arrives just in time to see Miss Parker take Debbie, get into the back seat of a car with her and drive away. After Sydney's warning, Broots isn't sure that Debbie is safe with Miss Parker, but there's nothing he can do -- the car has already sped away. 

Out of desperation, Broots sneaks back into his house. It doesn't take him long to realize that someone has been in there and has taken his computer. Apologizing to Debbie for breaking a promise, Broots goes to get his gun. It isn't loaded, so he also grabs the box of shells and because his hands are shaking, he spills them onto the floor. He squats down to pick up the shells and suddenly notices a pair of men's feet standing there. Looking up, he sees Jarod, who is holding a gun. Frightened now beyond belief, he tries to scrabble away from Jarod. Jarod tells him that he isn't there to hurt him, but to help him. Broots is still uncertain - he can still hear Sydney's voice in his head, saying "Trust no one." 

As Jarod tries to convince Broots to go with him, the red dot of a laser site appears on Broots -- Jarod leaps at Broots, knocking him to the ground, just as a gunshot breaks the window and smashes into the spot where Broots was standing only seconds before. Broots decides to trust Jarod and the two of them make their way to Jarod's car ... with Jarod returning fire the whole way. The gunman walks out of the shadows, unmasked, to take some final shots at the retreating car, and we see Damon for the first time. 

In an underground parking structure that is a part of Jarod's apartment building, he explains to Broots that everything that has happened to him has to do with the data intercepts Broots was sent to The Annex to investigate. He goes on to explain that Damon and his mole at The Centre were caught by Broots' new security program for The Annex - which was why Damon had to kill everyone there ... to cover their tracks. 

Back in Sydney's office, Miss Parker tells him that Debbie is safe with Sam at her house ... for now. Mr. Lyle walks in to tell Miss Parker and Sydney that The Annex has been cleaned and that Broots' home computer is being analyzed to see if he's the leak. Miss Parker tells Lyle that Broots is not the leak and that they should "bring him in" so that he could track the real mole down. Mr. Lyle tells her that things don't work that way, and refuses to bring Broots in. He tells her that Broots is expendable and that he isn't certain that a monkey couldn't do the things that Broots does. 

Miss Parker nails Lyle with one of her looks and tells him, "I can't believe you weren't spawned under some rock instead of being born from the same flesh and blood I came from. As much as I hate to admit it, Broots is more a brother to me than you'll ever be."The tirade rolls right off Lyle's back and he makes some smart remark ("Do I hear violins playing?) -- Miss Parker vows to find out what's going on and walks out on Lyle.

Back at Jarod's place Broots expresses his concern over the fact that Debbie at Miss Parker's and it was Miss Parker who sent him to The Annex. Jarod tells Broots that, "whatever else Miss Parker may be, she's not a murderer or a kidnapper. She doesn't have it in her heart ... or in her eyes." Broots asks Jarod if he knows the man who killed all the people at The Annex and Jarod says that he does ... and he remembers the first time that he met Damon, although he doesn't say anything about that to Broots. Jarod tells Broots that he's been intercepting communications between Damon and his mole at The Centre for several months, because the mole has been transferring Jarod's past sims to The Data Annex. He explains to Broots that the mole and Damon used The Annex because it was "low security" and easy to get in and out of ... until The Centre installed Broots' new security software. The new software made it possible to track Damon and the mole. Jarod tells Broots that Damon has already used the first three sims, but Jarod doesn't know anything about the fourth sim except that Damon plans to use it tomorrow at 5:00. 

Jarod shows Broots the second sim ... it had to do with a military transport aircraft and making it safer. Sydney tells the young Jarod that The Centre's client is pleased with his recommendations. The young Jarod points out that although it's unlikely to be a problem, the plane is vulnerable to a focused burst of electromagnetic energy in the ultrahigh frequency range. After the sim is finished playing, he shows Broots a newspaper headline about a pilot losing control and the crash of a Bosnian military transport. 

Broots quickly understands that Damon has used all three of the sims to cause major disasters, killing hundreds of people. Jarod asks Broots to help him get back into The Annex to find out what the fourth sim is. Broots agrees to help, but says that first he must find out about Debbie, to make certain that she's safe. Jarod calls Sydney and gives the phone to Broots. Sydney tells Broots that Debbie is safe at Miss Parker's - under constant guard. Jarod gets on the phone and tells Sydney that Damon is back and that it was him to killed all of the people at The Annex and who is trying to kill Broots. Sydney says he'll try to find out whatever he can and begs Jarod to be careful ... reminding Jarod that he knows what Damon is capable of doing. 

Sitting there in the car, Jarod flashes back to a day in the sim lab when an older Jarod was teaching Kenny, a mildly retarded janitor, how to make an origami bird ... and Damon watched from behind. 

In some motel/hotel room, somewhere, Damon is on the phone with his "leak" at The Centre -- there's a girl undressing in front of him, as he speaks ... Damon tells the leak that he knows Jarod and that Jarod will come to him. The voice on the other end of the phone tells him to be careful - that they cannot be discovered. 

Broots and Jarod get back into The Annex and the place is as clean as a whistle ... there is no sign whatsoever of the carnage that took place there the day before. Broots goes to the same computer that Damon was using after he shot everyone and immediately logs on. Jarod reminds him that they have no more than 10 minutes before they have to leave. 

Back at the Centre, Miss Parker is berating some tech guys because they haven't been able to get into Broots' system to find out who the leak at the Centre is. Mr. Lyle walks in and Miss Parker asks him where he's been. He hedges on the answer. She tells him that his "monkeys" are having no luck. He comes right back at her ... saying that no one has been able to find Debbie Broots and asking her if she knows where she might be. Just then, one of the tech guys tells Miss Parker that Broots is accessing the computer at The Data Annex. Furious, she demands to speak to the "imbecile" who's supposed to be guarding that place. 

Broots is downloading the data as fast as he can. He asks Jarod what happened between him and Damon. Jarod tells him (in so many words) to mind his own business, just as they hear the sweeper/guard's cell phone ring off in the distance. Jarod tells Broots to keep working and goes to investigate. As Jarod walks down the hall, the sweeper comes up behind him and is in the process of capturing Jarod when Broots sneaks up behind the sweeper and bashes him in the head with his gun. The Sweeper falls like a stone. Jarod takes the gun from Broots and realizes that Broots never loaded it! 

By the time Miss Parker gets to The Data Annex ... she finds that her sweeper has been swept and Broots and Jarod are long gone.

Back at Jarod's he and Broots look at the DSA that Broots downloaded at The Annex. It was a sim of the older Jarod arguing with Sydney about finishing a project. Sydney tells Jarod that "the enemy" is trying to genetically alter the small pox virus to carry ebola. He wants Jarod to finish, presumably so that a vaccine can be developed against it. Jarod is objecting because in order to develop the vaccine, he has to first develop the virus himself. He fears that his work could be used destructively. 

Broots tells Jarod that Damon is going to use the virus that Jarod developed. Jarod tells Broots that it will be used "tomorrow, at 5 o'clock" but he doesn't know who Damon is going to use the virus against. 

Back at The Centre, Miss Parker finds Lyle waiting for her in her office. He wants to know what she found out about the leak. Miss Parker tells him that if she had Broots, she might know more ... as it is, all that Lyle's team has been able to ascertain is that the mole arranged for a delivery of something. They don't know anything more. Miss Parker gives Lyle a piece of paper with some code on it and tells him that they're working on breaking the code, but so far haven't had any luck. Sydney walks in and notices that Lyle puts the paper with the code onto Miss Parker's desk. Lyle and Miss Parker squabble a bit more ... Sydney says, "I believe that the two of your take the concept of "sibling rivalry" to new levels." Lyle and Miss Parker leave the room ... and Sydney picks up the paper with the code on it. 

Back in his own office now, Sydney is talking to Jarod on the phone. He has given him the code. Jarod flashes back to another of his meetings in the sim lab with Damon. Damon tells Jarod that he used to be a Pretender, too -- but The Centre gave him his freedom. He tells Jarod that he can get The Centre to set him free, too. Jarod is doubtful. Damon tells him to finish this last project and he'll get Jarod out. 

At Jarod's, Broots is working frantically - trying to break the code. Broots tells Jarod that he needs to find the answer so that he can have his life back and so that he can get back to Debbie. Jarod tells Broots that he'll see Debbie again soon and Broots asks Jarod why he's helping him to clear his name when Broots tries to "catch" Jarod every day. Jarod tells Broots that he's doing it because he respects him. This takes Broots by surprise and he asks Jarod why. Jarod tells Broots that he hopes one day to be just half the father that Broots is. Broots begins to tell Jarod about wanting to take Debbie to France for her birthday and then gets an idea ... he realizes that the "code" is actually GPS coordinates giving a date, time and location. He plugs the numbers into the computer and finds that some kind of meeting is set for two hours from then, at a park outside of Washington D.C. 

Miss Parker confronts Sydney with a tape of his phone conversation, giving Jarod the code. She asks Sydney why she should give a copy of the tape to Lyle and Sydney shows her the complete DSA of Jarod's last project for The Centre ... 

In the DSA, Damon tells Jarod that The Centre has agreed to let him go if he'll finish the project he's working on. Jarod still doesn't want to develop the virus, but he's beginning to waiver. The DSA cuts to another time -- Jarod is in the sim lab working with Kenny, the janitor that Jarod had befriended and was trying to teach origami. Damon walks in with a sweeper, just as Kenny masters the art of making a swan and hands it to Jarod. Damon tells Jarod that The Centre wants him to finish the project. Before Jarod can say anything, Damon takes a gun and shoots Kenny in the leg. The cleaner is restraining Jarod who is screaming at Damon to stop -- Jarod tells Damon that he already finished the project and gives Damon the information. Damon takes it, then walks over and kills Kenny. Over Jarod's cries of anguish, Damon tells him, "The Centre OWNS you, and there's nothing you can do about it." Miss Parker is stunned by what she has seen and Sydney tells her that not long after that, Jarod escaped and Damon was exiled from The Centre for stealing Centre secrets. Miss Parker finally realizes that if Broots is going to survive, Damon must be killed. 

At the park outside of Washington, Jarod and Broots watch from a car as the transfer of the virus to Damon takes place. In spite of Broots' protests, Jarod leaves the car and goes after Damon. Jarod confronts Damon in the park and has Damon at gunpoint, but simply cannot bring himself to pull the trigger. Damon knows this, takes advantage of Jarod yet again and shoots him in the side. Broots rushes to Jarod and somehow manages to get him back to his apartment where he cleans and bandages the wound. Now the tables have turned and Jarod asks Broots why he's helping him when he could have taken Jarod back to the Centre and gotten himself cleared as a "schedule 7." Broots says that he's doing it because he respects Jarod. He tells Jarod that, "when others look away, you try to make a difference."

Broots tells Jarod that after all they've been through together, he thinks that he has a right to know what the history is between Jarod and Damon. Jarod agrees and lets Broots see the same DSA that Miss Parker watched earlier. Broots' reaction is the same as Miss Parker's was ... he is horrified! While Broots watches the DSA, Jarod is watching TV from the couch and he sees a story about a non-denominational service that is going to be held at a church in Georgetown for the Bosnian conflict ... at 5:00. The service will bring together representatives from the Czech Republic, Serbia and Bosnia and is referred to as "the seed of hope" -- it is a phrase that Damon used during their confrontation in the park and Jarod is certain that this is where Damon plans to release the virus. 

At The Centre, Miss Parker gets Sydney and tells him that the techs have finally figured it all out ... she knows where they need to be to stop Damon and the jet is waiting. Sydney asks her, "What about Lyle?" Miss Parker walks away, saying, "Leave him to run his circus!" Sydney follows her out. 

Jarod and Broots are already at the church and Jarod has figured out that Damon is going to put the virus into the air-conditioning system. Broots spots Damon up on a balcony ... dressed as a priest. Jarod tells Broots to get the people out of the church ... he's going after Damon. Broots walks up the center aisle and tells everyone that there is a bomb in the building and asks them to leave in an orderly fashion ... everyone heads for the door! 

Upstairs, Jarod has confronted Damon again, but Broots walks in and Damon grabs him -- holding his gun to Broots' head. Jarod spends several terrible moments remembering what happened to Kenny ... and he realizes that to save Broots from the same fate, he is going to have to kill Damon. The decision made, Jarod allows himself to lose control of his emotions for a moment and in that instant, he shoots Damon through the head! 

Miss Parker somehow gets Broots off the "schedule 7" and re-unites Broots and Debbie -- Broots hugs her and hugs her ... then gives her the tickets to France - her birthday present! Sam and Miss Parker leave the two of them alone together. 

From a pay phone in the rain, Jarod calls Sydney. He is agonizing over the fact that he took a life. Sydney tells Jarod that he needs to forgive himself. Jarod thanks Sydney, takes out an origami swan and leaves it in the phone booth. 

And the screen fades to black ...

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