Lois' Daily Planet

The Pretender

which aired on Saturday, November 6, 1999

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The episode begins with Miss Parker, Sydney and Broots being shown around the room that Jarod inhabited  at the Institute for Animal Reproductive Studies.  They are joined by Lyle, who chastises them for not letting him in on where they were going.  There, says the zoo keeper, Jarod's favorite pastime was watching the chimpanzees in their cages.   Sydney waxes on about the physiological reasons why Jarod would be interested in something like that, but the zoo keeper corrects him, saying that Jarod just enjoyed watching the monkeys "do it."

While looking around the room, Broots discovers a box full of sex toys ... massage oil, edible underwear, books.   Miss Parker proclaims that she thinks their "little monkey is in heat."

Jarod Kinsey is arriving at the Arnett Sex Center and is welcomed by a pretty young girl whose name tag on her uniform identifies her as Nurse Plenty, which she pronounces "Plen-tay."   She tells him that since she didn't know which he preferred, he has brought him both coffee and tea.  As she starts to leave, he tosses Jarod a "come hither" look and he naively asks her if there was something she needed.  She tells him yes - there is something she needs very badly - and much to Jarod's surprise, begins to undress.   Just as she has Jarod pinned to his desk, the person who should have been welcoming him arrives and apologizes for letting Monique slip past her ... Monique Brooks, it turns out, is Jarod's first appointment for the day - she has an obsession about playing sexual roles.

We see vignettes of Jarod seeing a few patients, all couples ... and then he meets one of his co-workers, Dr. Allan Covney, who begins to tell him a "how many people does it take to ..." joke, which Jarod doesn't get ... when the head of the center, Dr. Arnett arrives, and asks to see Jarod for a minute.

At The Centre, Broots and Sydney are examining the box of sex toys that Jarod left at the animal institute when Miss Parker enters, and finds the scene amusing.   Sydney remarks that Jarod has an inquisitive mind - there's no reason that he wouldn't use it to explore his sensuality - but Miss Parker thinks Jarod just needs a cold shower

Lyle joins them and chastises them again for leaving him out of the loop.   Miss Parker seems unconcerned, so Lyle tells her that because of that he has decided to take a more "supervisory" role and expects to be notified on all aspects of the search.   Miss Parker taunts him about being a tattle-tale and he admonishes her to "watch her step" as he leaves.   Broots is a little freaked about having to report to Lyle, but Miss Parker assures him that it means nothing to her because she doesn't report to anyone, least of all her brother.

Just then, Sydney finds an invoice in the box.   There is no return address on it ... just a web-site, "Lustyfun.com." (Wonder how many people went looking for that when this episode was over... tee hee)  Miss Parker gives it to Broots and tells him to track down a real address for it.   Broots hesitates, reminding her of what Mr. Lyle just said.   Miss Parker stops him cold, telling him to think of his worst nightmare, and he walks away to do as she asks.

At the Arnett Center, Jarod is in Dr. Arnett's office, having his meeting.   Jarod notices that Dr. Arnett has a lot of memorabilia around from Marrietta University, where he went to school.   Dr. Arnett says it's okay to call it what it is ... an obsession ... then asks Jarod if he doesn't have a similar attachment to his alma mater and Jarod says that he has a strong feeling about the place.   Dr. Arnett tells Jarod that he is grateful for him stepping in on such short notice to take Dr. Blass' place but is worried about whether or not her patients will be able to make the transition.   Jarod assures him that he will work very hard to gain their trust.

They talk about Melissa Blass, and why Jarod is replacing her.  Dr. Blass was attacked by one of the patients, Luke Carlo, a man that the court appointed for therapy.   Jarod is aware that Melissa is not doing well with her recovery and Dr. Arnett says she is nothing but a shell of the woman that she was before.  Her attacker has not yet been caught.

Later, Jarod looks at his red notebook about Melissa - there's a newspaper article in there telling how she is now "crippled by fear" and never leaves her house.   Jarod enters an office and meets Tony, the intern.   Jarod tells him that he understands that Tony is the one who knows everything around there.   Tony is watching a tape of a session of Dr. Arnett with another court appointed patient, named Truly.   Watching the session, Jarod learns that because of an incident that occurred during his childhood, Dr. Arnett is hydrophobic - he has an unreasonable fear of bodies of water - even bath tubs full of it.

In Broots' office at The Centre, Sydney walks quietly in and finds Broots sketching a picture of Miss Parker wearing a corset, heels and holding a whip.   Broots tries to hide the sketch, but Sydney assures him that having sexual fantasies about co-workers is natural and the worst thing that he can do about it is hold it all inside.   Miss Parker enters - Broots buries the picture and allows her to think she is correct in assuming he has a crush on some double-chinned woman who works in R & D.   As they are talking, Broots' computer pings - telling him that an address has been found for Lustyfun.com.   She tells Broots to stay there and act as though he's still working; she doesn't want Lyle to know they've found anything.   Broots reminds her that they are supposed to report anything to Lyle, but she quiets him with a quick put down.   Sydney, attempting to give Broots some time alone with Miss Parker, tells her that he has work to do that will require him to stay anyway, and frees up Broots to go along with her.   She falls for it and has Broots hurrying out after her in no time.   Sydney wishes Broots "good luck" as he leaves.

Jarod walks in on Gloria, the woman who greeted him after Monique, watching an old tape of one of her sessions with Dr. Blass, where Dr. Blass was giving her advice about her boyfriend, Eddy.   She hurries out when Jarod arrives, and he watches the rest of the tape.   That night, Jarod approaches Dr. Blass' house and observes her peering out from behind drawn drapes, looking frightened.  He knocks on her door, tells her who he is and convinces her to let him inside. 

Once inside, Jarod notices that Dr. Blass collects seashells and asks her if she likes the ocean.   She tells him that her grandmother once had a beach house and that she always felt safe there.  She offers to make Jarod some tea and he follows her into the kitchen where he notices that she is acting compulsively - cleaning a counter that isn't dirty and then scrubbing her hands clean.   He tells her that he has a patient that is suffering from acute anxiety, brought on by emotional trauma and is afraid that she is beginning to think that ending it all is the only way out.   Dr. Blass realizes that he's talking about her and Jarod presses to get her to try to talk about the night of the attack.   She tries, fails, falls back on a glass full of vodka and a hand full of pills.  At no point during the little she remembered about the attack did she mention anything other than the fact that Luke called to lure her to the place of attack ... she never mentions actually seeing him as the one who attacked her.  Jarod reminds her that mixing alcohol and medication is dangerous, but she's beyond caring and orders him out of the house.

Jarod goes back to the Arnett Center and watches one of the tapes of a session that Dr. Blass had with Luke ... in it Luke refers to his neighborhood as "the flesh district" ... Jarod uses this information to try to track him down.   He shows his picture to the hookers on the streets there, but is having no luck until he bonds with a homeless man, who tells him that Luke just walked by a minute ago.   Jarod sees Luke coming out of a liquor store, chases him, but is held at bay when Luke pulls a gun on him.   Luke screams that he didn't do it and runs away, leaving Jarod standing there.

Broots and Miss Parker pull up to a house in a suburban neighborhood ... the street address for Lustyfun.com.   As they wait for someone to answer the doorbell, Broots tries to broach the subject of his feelings for Miss Parker, but she's still thinking that he's talking about the woman from R & D.   She gives him some advice, and he tries to take it, making as though he might try to kiss her, when a man opens the door and the moment is lost.  They get inside by pretending to be husband and wife and telling the man who answers the door that Jarod sent them.   They think they have managed to trick him into giving them the address to which he shipped all of Jarod's sex toys ... but as soon as they leave, the man makes a phone call and tells the person on the other end that they have just left.

At the Arnett Center, Drs. Covney and Arnett are surprised to find that Jarod was able to get into Dr. Blass' house.   Jarod tells them that she's not doing well ... she's obviously paranoid and is exhibiting obsessive-compulsive behavior.   Jarod tells them that he's sensing there are deeper issues at work.   Dr. Arnett tells him that until this happened she was one of the most solid and stable people he has ever known.

Jarod goes back to Melissa's house and this time brings her a box of sand, with shells in it and a tape or cd with the sounds of the beach on it.   He has her put her feet in the sandbox, turns on the tape of ocean sounds and tells her to close her eyes and imagine herself at her grandmother's house at the beach.   She realizes what he is trying to do with the sensory relaxation exercises but becomes agitated when he presses her to remember more about the attack.  He wants to know if she actually saw Luke Carlo.  She remembers that he called her to lure her to the place of attack but admits that she never did actually see him attack her.  In trying to take more of her Pronil, a mild sedative, with her vodka, her hands are shaking so badly that she drops the pills and they bounce all over the place.   One of them bounces into the vodka - turning the fluid a bright pink color.   Jarod looks at the bottle and sees that they have been prescribed by Dr. Covney.

After Jarod leaves, he tests several different pills that all look alike, to see what color they turn in a glass of Vodka.   He finds that the only one that turns the bright pink color is Daronex, not Pronil.   Jarod confronts Dr. Covney with the mistake in medication and Dr. Covney tells him that one of the side effects of Daronex is heightened anxiety - exactly the opposite of what a tranquilizer would do.   He tells Jarod that Dr. Arnett personally fills all of Dr. Blass' prescriptions, even though it is his name on the label.

More vignettes of Jarod listening to  patients - including Monique, who is role playing as a cheerleader doing a "sex cheer" without her blouse.

Broots and Miss Parker arrive at the address that they got from Roy, the man from Lustyfun.com.   It looks like an abandoned warehouse and the chain link fence is securely locked so Miss Parker has Broots give her a "boost" to get over the fence.   The experience is nearly unbearable for Broots.   Once inside, it appears that they have found Jarod's lair and that Jarod may still be living there ... there is a current newspaper, the food is fresh and after feeling the keyboard, Broots declares that the computer is still warm.   Broots is nervous as a cat, thinks they've found something too important not to tell Lyle, sees a bowl of pistachios and grabs a handful.   Miss Parker shoots him a glare and he explains that he always eats when he's nervous.   Suddenly someone occurs to Miss Parker and she realizes that they didn't see the invoice that eventually led them to this spot until after Lyle visited them while they were examining the things that Jarod left behind.   She turns on her heels, tells Broots that they are out of there  and heads for the door.   Broots panics and scurries after her.

At the Arnett Center, Jarod sneaks into Dr. Paul Arnett's office and looks around.   He finds several clipped articles that Dr. Arnett has hidden ... it appears that Dr. Blass was attacked once before, as were other co-eds ... while she was attending Marrietta University with Dr. Arnett.

Jarod is at Dr. Blass' house again ... she is feeling much better now that Jarod has solved the problem of her medication.   She is still not able to talk about the attack, however, so Jarod convinces her to talk about the first time she was attacked - in college.   They never caught that attacker either. 

Back at the Arnett Center again, Jarod watches another tape of a session with Luke and Dr. Blass.   On this tape, he is describing a place that he finds very peaceful ... it's a park, where he sometimes sits to listen to a man who plays a cello there.   Once again Jarod finds Luke and this time they are able to talk.   Luke tells him that Dr. Arnett told him that if he didn't make that call that he would turn in adverse reports to his parole officer and that he would end up back in jail.   Frightened, Luke made the call that lured Dr. Blass where Dr. Arnett told him to, but he did not attack her.   When he realized what had happened, he hid ... he knew that no one would take his word over that of a respected doctor; that he'd be charged with the crime and sent back to jail.   Jarod tells him not to bet on Dr. Arnett getting away with it.

Once again at the Arnett Center, Jarod stops by Dr. Arnett's office and asks him some pointed questions about people who need help but won't seek therapy.   Dr. Arnett doesn't notice that Jarod's tone has changed and answers his questions without hesitation.

Jarod plans the sting that he will use to get Dr. Arnett to confess, which involves what he learned about Dr. Arnett's hydrophobia.   He uses Monique's love of role playing to get her to dress up to look like Melissa Blass and lure Dr. Arnett out of his office and into a position where Jarod can drug him.   When Dr. Arnett wakes up, he's secured in a tub of water, with a rubber ducky floating in it.   Jarod spits his accusations regarding what happened with Dr. Blass ... Dr. Arnett refuses to cooperate, so Jarod turns on the water and proceeds to drown him until he confesses, which Jarod tapes.

Back at The Centre, Miss Parker runs into Lyle, who reminds her that he hasn't gotten any reports on the "Jarod pursuit."   Miss Parker tells Lyle that's because there was no Jarod pursuit, since he is the one to planted the bogus shipping label which sent them to the wrong place.   Lyle denies it.   Miss Parker tells him to do his homework next time ... because Jarod is allergic to pistachios.   While telling him this, she grabs Lyle by the throat and stuffs a pistachio into his mouth.   If she meant it as a gesture of intimidation, she missed the boat ... because Lyle clearly enjoyed the experience and walked away with an "afterglow" grin on his face.

Sydney begins to talk to Broots about his feelings for Miss Parker, but Broots has had enough talk ... he declares that it's time to act and approaches Miss Parker as she stands waiting for the elevator to arrive.   She's one step ahead of him, however, turns around just as he gets close enough and stops him cold with a stiff-elbowed, arms-length, hand on his chest.   She tells him that she's flattered, even thinks it's cute, but it's never going to happen.  She wishes him good luck with the doubled chinned woman and gets into the elevator, leaving Broots standing there.   He looks bewildered for a moment, rubs his arm where she gave him a hearty slap before leaving, then turns and walks away.

Jarod is at Melissa's house, one last time ... he walks with her out onto her porch.   They talk about taking one step at a time and she thanks him with a warm hug.   Jarod walks down her steps, down her walkway and out of her life.

And the screen fades to black ...

This episode of The Pretender starred:
Michael T. Weiss as Jarod, Andrea Parker as Miss Parker, Patrick Bauchau as Sydney, Jon Gries as Broots and Jamie Denton as Mr. Lyle

Guest Stars:
Clare Carey, Randy J. Goodwin, Ted W. Henning, Sila Weir Mitchell
and Lois Nettleton as Gloria

Also starring:
Stephanie Brown as Monique;   Christopher Crabb as Mike;   Wendy J. Gigler as Nancy;   Dennis Gubbins as Rick;   Gunther Jensen as D. Truly (guess the writer of this episode didn't want to play himself);   Howard S. Miller as Roy;   Enrique Murciano as Tony;   Allen Scotti as the  zookeeper;   and Stan Vale as the homeless man

"Risque Business" was written by:
Andrew Dettman
Daniel Truly
and Directed by:
Terrance O'Hara

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