Lois' Daily Planet

The Pretender

SYNOPSIS FOR
AT THE HOUR OF OUR DEATH
which aired on Saturday, February 27, 1999

PRETENDER SYNOPSIS FOR AT THE HOUR OF OUR DEATH
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 #58 
Written By:  Mark Dodson
Directed By:  Steven L. Mitchell


Okay, listen up.   I missed the 3 or 4 minutes before the opening credits.   Stop screaming - it's not as though I did it on purpose!   Maybe the battery was low on my VCR Plus, maybe the clock was off on my VCR, maybe I was just having a real bad day ... but I couldn't watch the show and I wasn't there to manually start the tape ... and for some reason it didn't turn on when it should have.   Under the circumstances, I'm happy that it turned on at all!

As a result, this synopsis begins after the opening credits ... but I was able to ascertain a couple of things from the story that followed ... #1  Miss Parker experiences severe pain in her stomach and then collapses suddenly and  #2  Jarod was on his way to Butte, Montana to meet with Father Moore, who was Catherine Parker's priest.   The rest, you'll just have to figure out for yourselves.

Jarod's plane crashes in a river somewhere in the mountains of Wyoming or Montana.   He manages to get out of the plane, but he is obviously injured and has to crawl up onto the bank because he is incapable of walking.   Once he has cleared himself of the water, he leans back against a log and passes out.

Miss Parker is on a gurney, being rushed to the hospital emergency room.   She's unconscious and her pulse is thready.   Broots and Sydney are there by her side.   The doctor asks Sydney what happened and Sydney tells her that Miss Parker was experiencing abdominal pain and then just collapsed.   He tells the doctor that Miss Parker has an ulcer and has been under a lot of stress.   The doctor says that Miss Parker may have a perforated ulcer.   Broots asks if Miss Parker will be okay and the doctor says that it's too early to tell.   Broots looks stricken.

Sydney tells Broots that he has to get back to The Centre.   Broots is incredulous, but Sydney says that he is expecting Jarod to call.   He tells Broots to say on and monitor Miss Parker's condition until he can get back ... Broots gulps visibly, looks worriedly at Miss Parker lying helpless, and as the door to the emergency room closes, hiding her from his site, Broots says that he's not going anywhere.

In the emergency room, Miss Parker opens her eyes and sees the person in the bed next to her receiving the last rites from a priest.  Her eyes focus on the cross that the priest places on the breast of the dying person, then she lapses back into unconsciousness and begins dreaming of a time when she and Jarod were youngsters together at The Centre.

"Jarod?" a young Miss Parker asks, "Can you keep a secret?"   Then she tells the young Jarod that she saw a coffin being delivered to Dr. Raines and heard him say to take it to the containment area.   Angelo is watching the exchange from the ventilation duct.   Miss Parker wants to see who is in the coffin, but neither she nor Jarod know where the containment area is.    Miss Parker tells Jarod that she asked her Daddy about the incident, but since her Mommie died, he never talks to her about anything anymore.   Jarod says that he is sorry about Miss Parker's Mother, but she cuts him off, saying she is okay in a voice that clearly indicates that she is not.

Miss Parker wants to go find "the body."   Jarod tells her to follow Dr. Raines without letting him know it and he'll lead her straight to it.   Her face lighting up at the prospect, she tells Jarod to "C'mon" -- but Jarod protests, saying that he never said that he would go with her.   Thinking that he is afraid of seeing the dead person, Miss Parker tells him that she's more afraid of  Dr. Raines than the body ... she hates doctors!

In the ER, Miss Parker is dying.   The Doctors are rushing her to surgery, but they think that it may already be too late.

Back at the crash site, Jarod is re-gaining consciousness.   His left shoulder is dislocated and he's bleeding from his thigh -- he braces himself against the log and jerks his shoulder back into place, screaming from the pain.   He grabs the survival kit and manages to drag it closer to him, but the expended effort forces him back into unconsciousness.

Jarod picks up the thread of Miss Parker's dream where she left off ... Jarod and Miss Parker are following Dr. Raines, looking for the dead body.   Jarod says that death is something that everyone experiences, but that no one wants to talk about.   Miss Parker says that when "Mommie" died all of the grown-ups would talk to her about anything but wheat she wanted to talk about -- what happened to her Mother.   Dr. Raines comes back unexpectedly and Jarod and Miss Parker duck for cover into the closest room ... but once inside, they realize that there is no place to hide in there, no way to conceal themselves!   Raines thinks he sees movement in the window of the room and uses his key to unlock the door.   He turns over a desk, trying to find what he thought he saw in the room, but it is empty!   Angelo has saved the day, bringing Miss Parker and Jarod into the ventilation duct with him.   After Dr. Raines leaves the room, Angelo says, "Faith is waiting."

In the mountains, Jarod has once again regained consciousness.   He has used the supplies in the survival kit to bandage his thigh, but it is bleeding through the gauze.   He looks over his shoulder to see a large white wolf watching him.   Jarod throws a rock at the wolf and frightens it away.   Then he gets the emergency radio out of the kit and calls for help.   He manages to reach the Montana Air Control and begins to tell them of his plight - but he isn't certain exactly where he is and the radio quickly fails.   Frustrated, Jarod throws the radio away.

Back at The Centre, Sydney is still waiting for Jarod's call.   The phone finally rings, but it's Broots, not Jarod, to tell Sydney that Miss Parker is out of surgery and is in ICU.   Broots says that no one can see her yet, but he doesn't think that she should be alone.   Sydney tells Broots to stay where he is, that he is on his way back to the hospital.   Broots is getting more distressed by the minute ... he does not like the idea of Miss Parker being alone.

In the mountains, night has fallen and Jarod is shivering from the cold.   He pulls a thermal blanket out of the survival kit and wraps it around himself, then finds a box of matches and attempts to start a fire. There are only three matches in the box!   The wind immediately blows the first one out and Jarod breaks the second one while trying to strike it.   The third one ignites and Jarod uses it to start a small pile of pine needles that he has gathered burning ... but as the flame grows stronger, it begins to snow.

In the ICU, Broots quietly sneaks in the door.   He looks at Miss Parker lying there, helpless, and covers her gently with a blanket ... then sits beside her and begins talking.   He tells her that he knows she doesn't mean the things that she says to him and that she has always been there for him whenever he really needed her.   He says that, other than Debbie, he feels closer to her than to anyone.   Very tenderly, he picks up her hand and strokes it.  The gesture brings him near to tears and he tells Miss Parker that she can't leave him.   Pressing her limp hand to his face, he finally begins to weep.   He tells her not to be afraid, but she is already back in her dream ...

Jarod, Angelo and Miss Parker are in the ventilation duct and Miss Parker thinks they are lost.   Angelo says that Miss Parker needs faith, and Miss Parker says "We don't need faith, Angelo, we have to find the body!"   Angelo points past Miss Parker and Jarod, directing them which way to go.

They eventually find a darkened room, in the center of which is an illuminated, translucent dome.   All three of the children approach the dome. Angelo smiles and says, "Faith."   But now, Miss Parker is hesitant and wants to leave ... Jarod continues on, and Miss Parker, despite her protests, stays with him.   Angelo pulls back the curtain that serves as a door and Jarod begins to enter the room ...

Back in the mountains, the snow has been falling for some time now.   Jarod is huddled as close to his meager fire as he can get, and he is nursing it, keeping it alive with small twigs.   He hears the wolf whimpering nearby - and asks it if it is hungry.   He tells the wolf that he is hungry, too, so the wolf is just going to have to wait a little longer for him.   He throws another rock at the wolf and it trots off. A handful of snow falls from a branch that can no longer hold its weight and it smothers the fire below it.   The wind whistles in the trees and the snow continues to fall.

As Broots strokes Miss Parker's face back in the ICU, Sydney arrives.   Broots gets up and tells Sydney that Miss Parker lost a lot of blood, her fever is over 102 and she's developed peritonitis.   Still emotional, Broots tells Sydney that he wishes there was something that he could do.   The nurse comes in and shoos them out, but still Broots lingers -- and he hears Miss Parker calling for "Faith."

Sydney says that Angelo said "Faith" in the sim lab when he saw the rosary that Jarod sent to Miss Parker.   Sydney goes on to say that he seems to remember a project a long time ago that ws code-named "Faith."   Sydney tells Broots that they need to get back to The Centre.   Unbelieving, Broots says, "Now???"   But Sydney tells him that he believes that Jarod was in an airplane crash and that he and Broots must try to figure out where Jarod's plane went down.   Sydney tells the nurse to contact them in the event that Miss Parker's condition changes, and they leave the hospital to head back to The Centre.

Miss Parker continues to dream ... the children approach what appears to be a coffin without a lid that is sitting upon a pedestal in the middle of the dome.   They look inside and see a beautiful young girl lying there, wearing a long, filmy, white bedgown.   The girl appears to be about the same age that they are.   She startles them all by opening her eyes.   She isn't dead at all!  It isn't a coffin in which she lays, but a specialized hospital bed!   The girl sits up and introduces herself ... her name, she says, is "Faith."   She tells them that she's been "really, really sick" and that she has been brought to The Centre to get well.   Jarod reads her chart, while Miss Parker talks to her.   Faith says that she hopes they can be friends and Miss Parker says that she'd like that ... she's very lonely since her Mother died.

The children have to hurry away because Angelo can sense that someone is coming.   Faith promises not to tell anyone that they were there and Miss Parker tells Faith that they will be back as soon as they can.

Hiding from the technicians in Faith's dome, Miss Parker tells Jarod that she's never had a "girl" friend before -- she can't wait until Faith gets well so that they can play together.   Jarod tells her that Faith is never going to get better ... that he read her chart and knows this to be true.   Miss Parker says that she doesn't want her to die, she doesn't want anyone to die.

In the mountains, Jarod begins to succumb to the cold.   In the ICU, Miss Parker's vital signs are fading.   Somewhere in The Centre, surrounded by a circle of lighted candles, Angelo is kneeling, saying the "Hail Mary" over and over again.

As Jarod lies there, freezing in the snow, he hears a child laughing.   He opens his eyes and sees Faith appear before him ... she is laughing and dancing gracefully around and around in the snow.   He looks at him, smiles brightly and says, "Hi, Jarod."

In the ICU, Miss Parker has flatlined.   The hospital staff rush in with the crash cart and begin trying to resuscitate her.   Through eyes that appear to be unseeing in death, Miss Parker sees Faith at the foot of her bed.   Faith says, "Hi" to Miss Parker and Miss Parker continues her dream ...

The children have returned to Faith's bedside ... Miss Parker is trying not to cry in front of Faith.   Faith wakens and asks Miss Parker if she saw her Mommie ... Jarod tells her that there is no one there and Faith says that she must have been dreaming - but it seemed so real!   Miss Parker gives Faith the rosary that Catherine Parker gave to her, explaining how it often keeps Miss Parker from being afraid.   Faith says that she will always be with them, will always be watching over them and will always be Miss Parker's friend - and then closes her eyes and dies.   Alarm bells begin to sound and Jarod hustles a sobbing Miss Parker away before they are found out.

Back in the ICU, Faith is reminding Miss Parker that she told her she'd always be watching over her and that Miss Parker cannot give up, because it's "not her time" yet.   Faith goes on to say "Your Mommie loves you very much, and she wants you to fight, too."

Miss Parker blinks and the monitor begins to blip with the beat of her heart.   At the foot of the bed, Faith slowly fades away.

In the mountains, Faith is telling Jarod not to give up - to hang on - because "they'll be coming for you soon."   Then she dances away and Jarod makes himself sit up to continue his discourse with the wolf ... telling the wolf, "You can't have me yet!"

At The Centre, Sydney tells Broots that Mr. Parker is on his way to the hospital and also says that he found a file on Faith very deep in The Centre archives.   He says the record is incomplete, that someone went to a lot of trouble to hide the truth.

Broots thinks that he has located a small area where Jarod might be ... and Sydney tells him to contact the Montana Air Patrol immediately!

In the ICU a nurse tells a very tired looking Mr. Parker that Miss Parker's vital signs are stable now and he looks grateful to get the news.

Miss Parker continues to dream ... somewhere in The Centre, Jarod is trying to comfort Miss Parker, as Angelo watches from a vent.   Jarod says that at least Faith didn't die alone and reminds Miss Parker that Faith said she would always be watching over them.   Jarod holds Miss Parker and she sobs into his shoulder, mourning Faith's death.

In the ICU, Miss Parker wakes up and sees her Father sitting there.   He tells her that he's so glad that she's back, and when she asks him who Faith is ... he tells her that Faith was her sister!

In the mountains, dawn has broken and Jarod is dozing again ... he continues the dream ... He remembers hearing Mr. Parker and Dr. Raines arguing over what to do with Faith's body -- Mr. Parker insists that his dead wife's wishes be carried out and that Father Moore, Catherine's priest, will handle the funeral.   Then Jarod sees Mr. Parker kneel by Faith's body and utter a prayer saying that nobody should have to die alone.

Back in the present, the wolf is back ... snarling and bold now ... he won't be intimidated by Jarod's rocks this time!   But, at the last moment, the wolf flees from the sound of the search and rescue helicopter that has found Jarod!

In the hospital Miss Parker ask Mr. Parker why he didn't tell her about Faith.   He says that he knew Faith was dying and after Catherine died he couldn't tell her because they'd both "had enough."  Faith's parents were killed and she became a ward of the state.   Diagnosed with leukemia, nothing could be done for her, so the state put her in a convalescent home to die.   Catherine's priest, Father Moore, told her about the girl and Catherine told Mr. Parker that it might have been Miss Parker in that home, so she had to do something or she couldn't live with herself.   They adopted Faith and with Father Moore's help brought her to The Centre, where Catherine could be with her and doctor her with an experimental drug that The Centre was developing.   Future treatments, he said, proved successful because of what they learned from Faith.   Both Father and daughter shed a few tears ... then Broots and Sydney show up and break up the tender and touching scene.

Sydney gives Miss Parker her Mother's rosary.   Tearfully clutching it, Miss Parker thanks them both.   Broots is still loath to leave, but Sydney tugs him out of the room.   In the hallway, Sydney's phone rings and he learns that Jarod has been rescued!

In a hospital somewhere, Jarod awakens to find Father Moor introducing himself.   He has a wheelchair with him and tells Jarod that no one from The Centre has any idea where they are going (although he makes remarks that make it clear he has been in contact with Sydney).   Jarod thanks Father Moore for helping and the good Father says that Catherine Parker would have wanted it that way.

Convalescing at home, Miss Parker says she'd forgotten how beautiful her Mother's rosary is ... she is on the phone.   She asks, "How did you get it?"   And Jarod says that he got it from Father Moore, who found it clutched in Faith's hand.   He knew it belonged to Catherine Parker and wanted Jarod to return it to Miss Parker.

Miss Parker asks Jarod if he ever thinks about her (meaning Faith) and Jarod says that he thinks about her all the time.   He tells Miss Parker, "All those years ago you and I went searching for death and found someone who saved our lives."   Miss Parker says she's sure that Faith was in that room with her - and Jarod says that he's sure that Faith was with him on that mountain.   "Are we crazy?" Miss Parker asks Jarod.   Jarod says he doesn't know what happened but he's sure of one thing -- love transcends death.   He hangs up the phone and Miss Parker continues to hold the rosary.

At a cemetery, Miss Parker places the rosary on the headstone of Faith Parker.   Mr. Parker is there with her ... he kisses her on the forehead and holds her as she rests her head on his shoulder.

Faith is laughing and dancing in circles through the snow ... then she slowly disappears and

the screen fades to black ...




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