Lois' Daily Planet

The Pretender

which aired on Saturday, February 6, 1999

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  asMr. Lyle
Harve Presnell  asMr. Parker
Richard Marcus as Mr. Raines
Paul Dillon  as Angelo

The Pretender also stars (although not necessarily in every episode):

     Ryan Merriman (Young Jarod), Alex Wexo (Young Sydney), 
Ashley Peldon (Young Miss Parker),  Jonathan Osser (Younger Jarod)
 Sam Ayres (Sam the Sweeper), Willie Gault (Willie the Sweeper)
Pamela Gidley (Brigitte), Kelsey Mulroony (Debbie Broots)
 Zachary Brown (Young Kyle),  Jake Lloyd (Young Angelo/Timmy),
 Kim Myers (Jarod's mother, Margaret)
Jeffrey Donovan (Jarod's brother, Kyle), Marisa Parker (Jarod's sister, Emily)

Guest stars:  Mia Korf, James Sutorius, Natalija Nogulich, Jennifer Tighe, Paul Eiding, Jesse Head,
Richard Tanner and James Hong, as Mr. Lee

This is EPISODE # 54 
Written By:  Mark M. Dodson
Directed By:  Steven Long Mitchell

Ep. #3ABP11, Script /#99-013

Miss Parker, Mr. Lyle and Willie the Sweeper approach a greenhouse at night.  Miss Parker tells Mr. Lyle that, apparently, Jarod has been working at the university, doing some type of genetic engineering of plants.  Willie goes crashing in and tackles a man who is inside.  To Miss Parker's disappointment, the man is not Jarod but Francis, the man responsible for watering the plants.  Francis tells Miss Parker and Mr. Lyle that Jarod was the scientist that worked there, but, like he told the other guy who came looking for him, Jarod is gone.  He tells Miss Parker and Mr. Lyle that the other person looking for Jarod was a blind Chinese man who called himself Mr. Lee. 

Inside the "Lucky Cricket Importers" warehouse in Chinatown, Mr. Lee is speaking with someone on the phone.  His assistant, Anna, is slowly walking down the stairs from the second level of the room.  Mr. Lee tells the person that he has gone over all of the information on Jarod that was provided (there are red notebooks on the table and chair in front of him).  Mr. Lee goes on to say that he needs to talk to seven people who were in the records.  He says that if the person will provide him access to those seven people, he will deliver Jarod.

Mr. Lee is walking slowly across the warehouse, Rachel Newton on his arm.  She makes a joke about "the blind leading the blind," and Mr. Lee laughs, but implores her not to make any more blind jokes.  Anna sits quietly at her desk, her laptop open and ready for her to begin working.

Rachel asks Mr. Lee how she can help him.  He tells her that he believes that she once knew someone named "Jarod."  Rachel smiles warmly at the mention of the name.  She says that Jarod helped her, after she lost her sight.  She goes on to say that Jarod has helped a lot of people who have been victimized.  (Anna types the word, "victim," into her laptop and a search begins, bringing up newspaper articles relating to people who have been the victims of crime or wrongdoing.)  Rachel says that Jarod taught her how to see again - so to speak.  She stops for a moment, and asks Mr. Lee why he wants to know about Jarod.  Mr. Lee tells her that he has reason to believe that Jarod is in trouble and he needs Rachel to help him.  Rachel wants to know how she can help.  Mr. Lee tells her that her loss of vision may have helped her to develop a deeper insight.  He asks her to tell him how Jarod affected her life.

Rachel flashes back to her first meeting with Jarod (in the episode "Bomb Squad"), and tells Mr. Lee about it.

Mr. Lee interrupts Rachel's recollection to ask her if she is saying that Jarod was able to connect with her, emotionally.  Rachel tells Mr. Lee that it was more than that - it was almost like Jarod became her - to know her and understand her, even better than she knew and understood herself.  She tells Mr. Lee that the way that Jarod enabled her to face her life again was magical, like an artist painting a picture, only Jarod was the painter and she was the canvas.  Once again, Rachel flashes back to the time she spent with Jarod, when he helped her to remember the scene she had blocked out of her memory, so that she could see the man who set the bomb that blinded her, changing her life forever.  Rachel tells Mr. Lee that because of what Jarod "found" in her mind, he was able to catch the bomber and help her find the courage to believe in herself again.

Mr. Lee thanks Rachel for everything and tells her that his assistant, Anna, will take her home.  As she's walking out, Rachel stops and tells Mr. Lee that he was correct about "insight."  She tells him that she knows that he doesn't want to help Jarod - he wants to catch him.  Rachel smiles and tells him that he won't succeed.  Jarod is too smart - even for him.

At The Centre, Miss Parker is walking through the lobby with Broots, Sydney and Mr. Lyle.  She wonders who "Mr. Lee" is and Broots wonders what a blind, Chinese, man would want with Jarod.   Mr. Lyle says that Mr. Lee wants the same thing with Jarod that everyone else does - an advantage.  Sydney adds that Jarod is a very valuable commodity - the question is, who wants to trade in him?  Miss Parker tells Broots to go back to Jarod's last lair and check the area, the train stations, airports, anywhere where someone might have seen Mr. Lee.  Mr. Parker walks up, a lollipop sucking Brigitte on his arm.  He says that he wants Miss Parker to keep Brigitte up to speed on what's going on regarding Mr. Lee, because she is his liaison on this.  Miss Parker asks when it became necessary for her to have a liaison to her own father, but Mr. Parker doesn't answer her - just squints, then walks away.  Brigitte answers for him, saying that it became necessary since Miss Parker's team wasn't the only one working on the "Jarod Project."  Brigitte taunts Miss Parker, saying it shouldn't be too hard for her to catch a blind man - all she has to do is open her own eyes.

Mr. Lee has Dr. Fein  (from "Back from the Dead Again") brought to a prison holding cell.  Mr. Lee is there, grasping an ornate walking stick.  Anna is sitting across the room ready to work at her laptop.  Mr. Lee tells Dr. Fein that he's searching for an acquaintance of his ... Jarod.  Dr. Fein becomes instantly agreeable to the conversation.  He tells Mr. Lee that he's been trying to tell people about Jarod for eighteen months, but there's no trace of him - it's like he never existed.  Mr. Lee remarks that Dr. Fein seems frustrated.  Dr. Fein says, "Frustrated? That psycho is the reason I'm spending the rest of my life in an 8 x 8 cell.  Sue me, if I'm frustrated."   Mr. Lee laughs out loud and reminds Dr. Fein that he is in prison because he buried an innocent man alive.  He tells Dr. Fein that Jarod only used a unique way of exposing Dr. Fein to the rest of the world and that one man's justice is another man's revenge.  A cockroach scurries across the floor by Mr. Lee's feet.  Swiftly, Mr. Lee impales it with his cane.  Then Mr. Lee asks Fein if he would like to see Jarod in an environment worse than prison.  Dr. Fein asks Mr. Lee if he can do that.  Mr. Lee says that he can, if Dr. Fein will tell him what Jarod did to him.  Dr. Fein flashes back to the night when Jarod pretended he was going  to bury Fein alive in order to get him to confess, and relates it all to Mr. Lee.  Lee suggests that perhaps it's Jarod's way of dispensing equal emotional justice.  Anna types "justice" as part of her search criteria and more articles are added to the database.  Dr. Fein questions how any of this is going to help Mr. Lee find Jarod.  Mr. Lee responds that it is helping him to find out "who" Jarod is and "what" Jarod is.  "Oh, yes," says Mr. Lee, "I'll catch him."

Back at his warehouse, Mr. Lee inserts a DSA of Jarod into a player.  He makes a phone call and tells the person on the other end that after interviewing the first few subjects, he is finding Jarod even more challenging than was originally anticipated.  He goes on to say that Jarod's desire to help other people and his determination for justice are unyielding, but they will also prove to be his downfall.  Lee nods in answer to some word or phrase we cannot hear, then hangs up the phone.

In his Chinatown warehouse, Mr. Lee pours tea from a beautiful Chinese teapot as he interviews Susan Granger, the woman (from "To Serve and Protect") who reunites families.  Susan says that, in many ways, Jarod is the most compassionate man she's ever met - it's almost as if it's his natural state of being.  Anna types the word, "compassion" into her "Assessment Search," and once again, the computer does its job.  Sipping tea from one of Mr. Lee's exquisite teacups, Susan continues that Jarod has a way of connecting to people's souls - she's never seen it in another person.  Susan says that it's ironic how Jarod can be so there for other people, while, inside, he's so alone.  She flashes back to the day she first met Jarod and recounts part of the event for Mr. Lee.   Mr. Lee is interested in the fact that Jarod came to Susan for help.  She tells him that she finds missing children and reunites families.  On the other side of the room, Anna types "missing children" into the search engine.  Susan says that she thought she'd seen it all, until she heard Jarod's story.  Remembering the rest of the first meeting with Jarod, she relates it to Mr. Lee.  She tells Mr. Lee that she was unable to give Jarod the information about his mother's identity because "some people" came and destroyed it before Jarod had a chance to see it.  Rather than break his spirit, the event seemed to inspire Jarod.  Susan tells Mr. Lee that over the past three years, Jarod has helped her to locate nine children and reunite them with their families - always refusing any credit or recognition for what he's done.

That night,  Miss Parker, Mr. Lyle, Sydney and Broots arrived at Mr. Lee's warehouse.  Broots says that it wasn't that hard to track Mr. Lee down.   He also found out that Mr. Lee is infamous in Hong Kong, for making people disappear in little pieces.  Miss Parker says that she's ready to move and Lyle speaks into a mic on his wrist, telling The Centre's team to move into position.

Mr. Lee is on the phone, telling someone that Jarod is a very complex man - dangerous, yet in control; full of great pain, but a source of healing to others.  Sipping tea, Lee says that Jarod is capable of bringing justice to the powerful, yet showing mercy to the weak.  He goes on to say that Jarod helps the lost to find themselves, but is unable to discover his own, true, nature.  Anna is adding item after item to the search criteria.   Mr. Lee pauses, delays taking a bite out of a cookie that is in his hand, and tells Anna that he thinks they have visitors.  Anna stops typing and looks toward one of the windows.

Outside the warehouse, Miss Parker is getting impatient.  She says that they need to move!  Mr. Lyle tells her that he's going to show her exactly how to go inside and bring out the blind man.  He opens the car door on his side, but since the key is in the ignition, a soft warning chime begins to sound.  Miss Parker sees Anna's face peer through one of the dirty warehouse windows.  "You idiot!" Miss Parker hisses at Lyle, "We're made!"  She tells him to get back in the car and then turns on the car.  Realizing what she's going to do, Broots says, "Miss Parker!  That's a wall."  She replies, "Yeah, and this is a rental."  Then she floors the accelerator and drives the car right into the warehouse!

Once inside they discover that Mr. Lee has somehow vanished.  Mr. Lyle picks up a piece of paper and is frustrated to find that it is in Braille.  Sydney grabs it from Lyle's hand and "reads" it.  He says it contains the names of people who have been involved with Jarod - Mr. Lee has been interviewing them.  Broots wonders how Mr. Lee would know about those people in the first place.  "The Centre," says Mr. Lyle.  Miss Parker tells Broots that she wants him to trace all calls that came in and went out of the warehouse for the last two weeks.  She wants to know who is "behind" Mr. Lee at The Centre.

Back in the sim lab, Miss Parker, Lyle and Sydney interview Bernie, the Elvis impersonator (from  "Curious Jarod").  Mr. Lyle doesn't quite know what to make of Bernie and asks him if he always wears that "get-up."  Bernie says that he can see that Lyle doesn't appreciate the incredible burden of his responsibility.  Sydney asks Bernie to excuse Mr. Lyle, saying "he's not a fan."  Miss Parker tells Bernie that she is a fan and encourages Bernie to talk to her.  She asks Bernie what Mr. Lee wanted to know about Jarod.  Bernie heaves a heavy sigh and says that Mr. Lee wanted to know how he felt about him, from the very instant that they met.  Bernie explains that it turned out that Jarod was the only person who really cared about what he was going through and helped him to face his fears and start a new life.  Bernie tells them that, thanks to Jarod, he has his own place in Branson now, where "The King's" memory is kept alive, 363 days a year - closing only on New Year's and, of course, "The King's" birthday.  Bernie says that he threw out his hip about a year ago, but thanks to Jarod, Bernie has adapted rather than giving up.  He gives them a "taste" of his new act as he hoists a wooden "Elvis" doll onto his lap, who he calls "The tiny King."  Doing a lousy job of being a ventriloquist, Bernie asks "TK" if there is anything he wants to say to the pretty lady, meaning Miss Parker.  The doll's mouth moves, as do Bernie's lips, and "TK" tells Miss Parker that she looks better than a peanut butter and fried banana sandwich.  Sydney can't suppress his smile.  Lyle looks as though he ate a bad clam.  Miss Parker is moving closer to Bernie, looking as though she'd like to kill him, but she stops at Sam the Sweeper instead.  Sam says, "Excuse me, King?"  Bernie replies, "Yeah?"  Sam continues, "It's time to leave the building."

After Bernie has left, Miss Parker asks Sydney what's going on.  Sydney tells her that Lee has been interviewing the people regarding their emotional connection to Jarod, probably so that he can anticipate Jarod's next move.  Broots comes rushing in and tells Miss Parker that he has traced the last phone call that Mr. Lee made from the warehouse.  Miss Parker tells him to "spit it out" and Broots tells her that the call went to her father's office.

Mr. Lee is fingering another braille list.  He tells Anna that the next subject may be reluctant to cooperate.  Anna suggests to Mr. Lee that he let her bring him in.  Mr. Lee says that "violence" wasn't on Anna's resume.  Anna gives a short laugh and says that she'll have to write a new one.

It's dark outside and Mr. Lyle is walking toward his car, after leaving The Centre.  He notices Anna, who is wearing a short red dress, standing next to her car.  Lyle asks Anna if there is anything that he can do to help.  She tells him that she thinks her battery must be dead.  Lyle says that he's not much of a mechanic, then smiles at her and says that he's pretty good with his hands.  Lyle turns around to look at Anna's car and she clubs him on the back of the head.

Later, Anna helps a handcuffed and hooded Mr. Lyle down the stairs to what appears to be a basement, where Mr. Lee is waiting.  Anna has removed the hood and handcuffs and has returned to her computer.  Mr. Lyle is hostile - he tells Mr. Lee that Anna kidnapped him.  Mr. Lee says that he urgently needs to know about Lyle's relationship with Jarod.  Mr. Lyle tells Mr. Lee that he'd like to know about his relationship with Jarod.  Mr. Lee tells Mr. Lyle that, in life, it is primary that one is clear about their position.  He goes on to say that Mr. Lyle is in no position to ask questions.  Thinking that he has the advantage over a blind man and a woman, Mr. Lyle picks up Mr. Lee's cane and attempts to hit him with it.  Mr. Lee deftly ducks, then takes the cane from Lyle and beats him to the ground with it.  Displaying only the slightest of smiles, Anna keeps on working at her computer. 

Mr. Lee asks Mr. Lyle what it is that motivates Jarod - why he risks himself to help others; why Jarod runs, but does not vanish.  Mr. Lyle asks Mr. Lee why he thinks that he can help him.  Mr. Lee says it is because Mr. Lyle has a very unique relationship with Jarod since he tried to kill him once.  "All in the interest of science," replies Lyle, remembering Jarod's life-signs flat-lining (from "Back from the Dead Again").  Mr. Lee laughs and tells Lyle that he believes that he has also kidnapped Jarod.  Mr. Lyle says that "Desperate times call for desperate measures."  Mr. Lee mimics Lyle to Anna, then asks if that is why Lyle wasn't content to simply kidnap Jarod, and why he had to also shoot his brother.  Flashing back to the moment when he killed Kyle, (from "Red Rock Jarod"), Lyle contends that shooting and killing Kyle was an accident.  Mr. Lee asks Lyle why, after all that Lyle has done to him, Jarod has not killed him.  Mr. Lyle replies, "Maybe he just likes me."  Interjecting a completely American use of a word into his vocabulary, Mr. Lee says, "NOT," and has a little laugh at his own joke.

At The Centre the next day, Miss Parker is wondering where Lyle is.  Sydney tells her that he doesn't know.  Miss Parker tells Sydney that they can't wait any longer and they go to talk to J.R., the young boy whose life was saved by receiving Kyle's heart (from "Red Rock Jarod").  J.R. is sitting in a chair, tossing a basketball up and down.  Miss Parker snatches it out of the air.  J.R. looks closely at Miss Parker and tells her that she looks very familiar.  She replies that she has "one of those faces."  She tells the boy that it's very important that he tell them exactly what Mr. Lee wanted to know about Jarod.  She has J.R.'s full attention, now - he sits up and asks her if Jarod is in some kind of trouble.  Sydney says that he might be.  J.R. says that he'll do anything to help Jarod - he saved J.R.'s life twice.  J.R. flashes back to Jarod recognizing that J.R. was going into diabetic shock and giving him a PEZ.  He goes on to remember how hopeless his situation was before Jarod came into his life - needing a new heart and having a rare blood type.  Miss Parker realizes that Kyle's heart went to J.R.  The boy tells her that, ever since the transplant, Jarod calls to see what's going on in J.R.'s life.  J.R. says that Jarod is like the older brother that he never had and that Mr. Lee seemed to think that was very important.  Miss Parker is holding back tears and doesn't speak.  Sydney tells J.R. that Sam will take him home.  Miss Parker hands J.R. his basketball as he leaves with Sam.

Sydney tells Miss Parker that Mr. Lee is really narrowing things down - compassion, empathy, desire for justice - all the things that make Jarod who he is.  Miss Parker wants to know if Mr. Lee can use the information to actually anticipate Jarod's next move and catch him and Sydney answers, "Unless we get there first ..."

Broots comes in, looks around to make sure that there is no one else in the room with Sydney and Miss Parker, then tells her that there are two phone lines going in to her father's office and the one that Mr. Lee used is actually Brigitte's.  Broots tells Miss Parker that he just intercepted another call between Brigitte and Mr. Lee.  Brigitte just left in one of The Centre's limos - they are going to get Jarod!

In the limo, Brigitte is snuggled up to Mr. Lee, asking him how he found Jarod.  Mr. Lee says that he interviewed people whose lives Jarod has touched in order to understand both how he thinks and how he feels.  Anna is still working on her computer.  Mr. Lee says that because of Jarod's need to defend helpless people, he is drawn to predictable situations.  Brigitte wants to know what kind of situations and Mr. Lee tells her that they are situations that reflect Jarod's the abuse Jarod suffered after being taken from his parents and the abuse of his simulations to hurt innocent people.  Anna researched current events that fit the parameters and found the one with which Jarod is currently involved.  Sucking on her lollipop, Brigitte says that it's a shame that her future step children won't be there to share the moment, then she giggles.  Mr. Lee tells her that she is "deliciously naughty." Brigitte takes it as a compliment and thanks Mr. Lee.

Miss Parker is screaming at someone on the phone, asking them how hard it can be to find a blind man and a bimbo in a limousine.  She slams the phone down and tells Sydney that they have been chasing Jarod for two and half years - she can't believe that Brigitte is going to be the one to "bring him in."

Lyle enters the room - he's a mess.  His face is both cut and bruised and his shirt is half out of his pants.  He tells Sydney and Miss Parker that he was abducted by "several" of Lee's men, but, he "put a whole lot of hurt on them" in the process.  He says that they interrogated him for hours, but getting nothing out of him, finally gave up and dropped him off in the middle of nowhere.  Miss Parker tells him that he can thank Brigitte for his "party time" with Lee.  Lyle is astounded that Mr. Lee is working for Brigitte.  Miss Parker says that Brigitte and Mr. Lee are on their way to get Jarod now.  Broots comes in the room and tells Miss Parker that he's triangulated Brigitte's cell phone and he should now be able to lead them right to her and Mr. Lee.  Miss Parker is thrilled and Broots puffs up with pleasure at having outsmarted Brigitte after all.

In a hallway of the institute where Jarod is currently working, Abner, a young Asian boy in a wheelchair, and his grandparents thank Jarod for his help.  Abner is going home, where, according to his grandparents, he should have been all along.

Brigitte is walking toward the institute with Mr. Lee and Anna.  She says that it's an ironic place to find a genius - at an institute for the mentally challenged.  Mr. Lee tells Brigitte that Jarod has discovered that many of the residents have been intentionally misdiagnosed - the director of the institute keeps them there in order to defraud their insurance companies.  Anna adds that the residents are trapped, prisoners in an institute that denies them their freedom.  Brigitte says, "And Jarod's here to liberate them.  How noble."  Mr. Lee holds up a hand and tells them to wait.  He tilts his head - listening.  Moments later, a helicopter comes into view.

Inside the institute, Jarod is changing into street clothes when he hears the helicopter land on the lawn.  He goes to the nearest window and looks outside in time to see Miss Parker and Mr. Lyle get out.

Brigitte is having a spitting hissy fit over their arrival.  "I'm supposed to bring him in!" she shrieks, jumping up and down in anger.  Mr. Lyle tells her that no one is cutting him out of this, least of all Brigitte.  Mr. Lee tells them all to stop it - they must get to Jarod, NOW.  Everyone runs toward the institute, except Anna, who stands where she is - looking directly at the window from which Jarod was observing the scene.

Miss Parker, Mr. Lyle, Brigitte, Sam and Mr. Lee all burst into the office that was Jarod's, only to find it empty.  Brigitte's original Centre memo about Mr. Lee is taped to Jarod's chair.  He knew what was going on all along.

Mr. Lee says that someone informed Jarod of their presence.  He thinks for a moment, then says one word ... "Anna."

The sound of The Centre's helicopter taking off draws Miss Parker to the window.  Jarod hovers for a moment, right in front of her.  Anna is in the passenger seat.  Jarod winks at Miss Parker, then, with a huge smile on his face - flies away in her helicopter.

In the helicopter, Jarod thanks Anna for all of her help.  She tells Jarod that after all of the people he's helped, it was about time that someone helped him.  Jarod tells her that what she did took a lot of courage.  Anna tells him that she'd do it all again.  In her hand, she has a picture of Abner and his grandparents and Anna is in it, too, kneeling beside Abner's wheelchair.  She tells Jarod that after all he did for her family and for her nephew, she's the one who should be thanking Jarod.  Jarod tells her that he hopes to meet her again someday and Anna says that she hopes so, too.

The helicopter flies off into the setting sun, as the screen fades to black ...

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