Lois' Daily Planet

The Pretender

which aired on Saturday, January 15, 2000

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The episode begins with flashbacks of  Wake Up (the episode in which Thomas was killed).

After the flashbacks, we see Miss Parker sleeping in her bed, dreaming about various moments in time with Tommy before he was killed.   She wakes up and, still thinking of Tommy, puts on his red plaid flannel shirt.  It was her favorite. 

Her shower is ready.  She wipes the steam off of the mirror in her bathroom, takes off the shirt and gently hangs it on the back of the door.   She buries her face in it, as though she can still smell Tommy ... then suddenly she hears his voice behind her!  He's standing in front of the shower - but when she goes over to caress his face, he disappears and she finds herself still looking in the foggy bathroom mirror - as though she never moved!

At Big J's Carnival Supplies, in Towson, Maryland, Broots is trying to get Miss Parker on the phone.  He only gets the answering machine.   He thinks that it is not like Miss Parker to be unavailable and hesitates to go through Jarod's latest lair without her.   Sydney reminds him of the date ... it is one year ago to the day that Thomas was killed.   Broots begins to verbally beat himself up for having left so many messages, when Miss Parker enters the room.   She looks around, sees all of the clowns, clown costumes and masks and asks, "What's up with Jarod the jester?"   Broots says that they haven't really started to look at anything yet ... Miss Parker seems to drift off into a short reverie, then tells them to have clean-up crate everything.   Broots tells her about a local celebrity ... a clown, who was a child molester, and gives her Jarod's red notebook on it.   She's not impressed.  As she turns around, she notices a small display set on a table ... it's a miniature depiction of her first meeting with Thomas ... a small Miss Parker in her car at a gas station, with Thomas standing on the porch.  It angers Miss Parker that Jarod would set that up - that he even knew about it.   She comments that he must be off somewhere,  laughing at her.

Moments after Miss Parker, Sydney and Broots leave the room, one of the clown "statues" in the corner begins to move!   It's Jarod!!   The clown face he has painted on is crying ... and to the now empty room, he says that he is not laughing at all, then tosses a photo of Miss Parker and Thomas onto the display that he made.

Miss Parker is at Thomas' grave, toasting him.  (it's a long wav - 22.7 seconds - but it's a bittersweet toast, so the choice about waiting for the audio download is yours)  She stands to leave when Jarod says, "beautiful words."  He's referring to her toast.  She grabs him and berates him for playing jokes, then pulls her gun and pushes it against Jarod's chest, saying that she's tempted to wipe the slate clean on her life and just take off, without ever looking back.   Jarod tells her to go ahead and try to shoot ... her gun won't fire, he's removed the firing pin.   She doesn't believe him ... says that she sleeps with her gun under her pillow.   Jarod tells her that she drools a little when she sleeps - and Miss Parker tries to shoot her gun into the ground.  Jarod is right ... it does not work.

Miss Parker is miserable - the gun not working, the fact that Jarod had to have sneaked into her house while she slept to accomplish that ... it's the last straw today.   She asks him what he is doing there and he tells her that it is time to take care of some unfinished business - to find out who killed the man she loved and why and to pay respects to a man like Thomas Gates, because he deserves it.   Miss Parker flies into a rage - grabs the flowers that Jarod trieS to put on Thomas' grave and tells Jarod that just because he's a genius, it doesn't mean that he knows what Thomas deserves.   Close to breaking down completely, Miss Parker asks Jarod why he is tormenting her ... why he even cares ... but when she turns around - Jarod has disappeared ... he's just gone from the cemetery ... and she's all by herself again.   She looks at Jarod's flowers and sees that it has one of Thomas' business cards in it.   On the back of the card is written "RUMOR 58259"

Back at The Centre, Broots says that it's a standard Centre code, with "RUMOR" being the name of the operative but as far as the numbers - Broots says that he'll have to talk to Manny, the mute guy down in communications - but he guesses they might have been a code for a Centre audio phone tap file.   Miss Parker shoves Broots away and tells him to find out which file, but he says that it probably won't be too easy ... Miss Parker doesn't know why, and Sydney tells her that Mutumbo has been killed.

Miss Parker discusses Mutumbo's murder with Lyle and Mr. Cox.   Mr. Cox says that whoever killed him also gouged out his eyes - Miss Parker comments, "Like he saw something he wasn't supposed to."  Mr. Cox asks Miss Parker if she's seen her father lately.   Miss Parker gives a snarky answer and Lyle explains that the gun that was used to kill Mutumbo was traced to the highest level at The Centre.  Mr. Cox points out that it would be ... like Lyle's gun, hers, or Mr. Parker's.   Mr. Cox says that Mr. Parker had the most to gain by Mutumbo's death and Miss Parker begins to dispute it, but she sees Thomas walk through the doors behind Lyle and Cox.  He says, "Talk to me Parker.  There's something on your mind ... I can tell."   Miss Parker tries to speak, but can't.   Thomas just smiles, shakes his head and tells her that it's okay - she'll be able to tell him in her own time.   Mr. Cox snaps his fingers in front of Miss Parker's face and brings her back to the moment at hand.   He tells her that her father will be found and when he is, those allied with him could find themselves an "endangered species."

After Mr. Cox storms out of the room, Lyle tells Miss Parker that considering what they were both being accused of doing she could, at least, have pretended to listen.   She ignores Lyle and follows Cox out of the room.

Miss Parker has a talk with Sydney, telling him that she's been seeing Thomas all around her.  Sydney tells her that all the stress ... her father missing, Mutumbo's assassination ... these things could be causing all kinds of manifestations.   But she tells him that sometimes Thomas is in the room with her ... standing there ... waiting.   Sydney tells her that maybe Thomas is giving her a second chance to complete unfinished business.  Their conversation is cut short because her phone rings and it's Miss Parker's father!   Miss Parker asks him if he killed Mutumbo, but Mr. Parker says that if he had, Mutumbo would have been missing more than his eyes!   She tells him that Mr. Cox is looking for him, but he's not concerned ... he tells her that he only needs one more piece and then everything will be as it was before.   When she says that he sounds different, he attributes it to his imminent fatherhood.  He tells her that the turmoil will be over soon and then the survivors will be together again.

Miss Parker is in her office, talking to Sydney and Broots.   Broots is telling her what Manny the mute said about the code.   He tells Miss Parker that the phone tap was on Thomas' phone and all of it was routed to an operative, whose code name was "RUMOR."   Broots doesn't know who "RUMOR" is yet, but he was able to retrieve part of the call.   He plays what he was able to retrieve for Miss Parker ... it is a conversation between Thomas and Jarod ... they were friends!!  Miss Parker is in shock - she had no idea!

An emotionally drained Miss Parker finally gets home.  She sets down her things, walks over and looks at her favorite picture of Thomas and herself.  She hears a noise in the other part of the house - from the bathroom.   She goes into the bathroom and realizes that someone is in the shower!   Thinking it might be another manifestation of Thomas, Miss Parker quickly throws back the shower curtain, and finds ... Brigitte!!   Mr. Parker appears from another room and tells his daughter that he and Brigitte hitched a ride, came up the back path and used the key she gave him.   He tells Miss Parker that he needs a favor, and she wants to help him very much - but all he wants from her is to borrow her car.   Brigitte says that Mr. Parker found a safe place for the birth, which is imminent, and a doctor they can trust for the delivery.   Miss Parker begs him to tell her where he will be, tells him that she needs to know right now ... but he says it isn't safe and won't tell her.   Mr. Parker takes the keys to Miss Parker's car, and he and Brigitte are leaving, through the front door, when Miss Parker remembers to ask him if he knows what "RUMOR 28529" is.   He doesn't know, but Brigitte says that it is a Centre code for an operative and a digital wire tap.

The next day at The Centre, Miss Parker hears from Jarod again.  Miss Parker immediately comments about Jarod and Tommy being friends, then rages at Jarod to stop playing games and tell her who killed Thomas.   Jarod says that he doesn't know who killed Thomas and never meant to deceive Miss Parker.   His only goal with regard to her and Thomas was to make them happy.   Miss Parker has no choice but to believe Jarod when he tells her that he knew Thomas before she did.   She begins to cry and asks Jarod to tell her about the Thomas that he knew.   Jarod tells her that he and Thomas met when he was working for one of his competitors ... a selfish man whose shady business practices cost a young man both of this legs.   Thomas helped Jarod bring that contractor to justice.  Jarod tells Miss Parker that everything he has found so far tells him that "RUMOR" killed Thomas.  He believes Miss Parker should follow that lead.   Jarod tells Miss Parker to be careful, because, "rumors can kill you."
When she hangs up, Miss Parker sees Thomas sitting on the couch in her office.   He tells her that it's time to trust now.   She starts to object, but he tells her that she must trust Jarod.   Then he disappears and Miss Parker is back on the phone again ... as though someone had just rewound her life, like a video tape, for 10 or 15 seconds.

Broots is using the men's room ... laughing at a piece of paper that was pasted on the wall above the urinal ... It says: 

Two men walk into the urinals on either side of Broots, who is reading the material out loud.  He laughs and says that it looks like it could be anyone's election ... but the men beside him don't see the humor -- and Mr. Cox, who is standing behind Broots, certainly doesn't see the humor!   He tells Broots that there are a lot of rumors going around ... but Broots pretends to not know to what Mr. Cox is referring.   In an attempt to make him talk, Mr. Cox holds Broots' hand under the hand dryer on the wall until Broots finally screams with the pain from the heat.  The scene changes.   Broots is now in Miss Parker's office, submerging his burned hand in a pitcher of iced water.   Miss Parker asks Broots what he told Mr. Cox about "RUMOR" - and Broots tells her that Mr. Cox wasn't interested in the "RUMOR" file at all ... he just kept coming back to Mr. Parker.   Sydney and Miss Parker are more certain now than ever that Mr. Cox is the hitman hired by Mutumbo to kill Mr. Parker.   Sydney thinks that he may have been hired to kill Brigitte and the baby as well.   Broots tells Miss Parker that he has finished the phone log.  He says that he has come to a text file, and it says that the identity of "RUMOR" is in a hard-copy "Z-3" file.   Broots says he's searching for it.

Broots is at Miss Parker's house.  She thanks him for loaning her his car.   He asks her if she wants him to stay for a while to keep her company.   She says that it's all right - she doesn't feel alone.  Broots begins a discussion about death.   While Broots is busy pouring his heart out to her, telling her that he's there for her, Miss Parker notices a file folder sitting atop her mantle and goes to look at it.   It's the "Z-3" file that Broots was speaking about earlier in the evening!   Miss Parker reads the file and learns who "RUMOR" is.  In spite of Broots trying to talk her out of it, Miss Parker rushes of to find and kill "RUMOR," leaving Broots alone in her house.

Miss Parker pulls up to the Astro Swap Meet, where a sole car parked ... hers.   She puts a fresh clip in her gun and says, "God help us all"... then sees Tommy in her rear view mirror, saying, "be careful, Parker."   She chambers a round, then gets out of the car and approaches her car very slowly.   The windows are foggy and she can't see inside.   She bangs on the window of the driver's side and screams for Brigitte to open up, pronouncing her name "Bridge-it."   Her father rolls down the window and reminds her that it's four in the morning, but Miss Parker doesn't care ... she wants to know where Brigitte is.   Brigitte isn't in the car and Mr. Parker doesn't know where she's gone.   He asks Miss Parker how she found them and she tells him that she used the car's tracking system.   Miss Parker tells him that Brigitte is the one who killed Thomas, but Mr. Parker claims to know nothing about it.   His only concern is that Brigitte might be having the baby and he does not know where she is.   Miss Parker wants to find her, and she presses her father to think where she might have gone.  Mr. Parker says that Brigitte used to talk about a place in the country, but he doesn't know exactly where it is.  He tells Miss Parker that Brigitte kept a spare key in her desk at the Centre.  Miss Parker rushes off to find the key and Brigitte.   Mr. Parker, suddenly and completely alert, doesn't want her to harm Brigitte - but Miss Parker isn't listening to him tonight, no matter which of his many faces he chooses to wear for her.

At The Centre, Miss Parker runs into Lyle, who asks her what she's doing there.  She tells him that she's searching for something and he tells her that it isn't a good time to be named "Parker" and be in The Centre.   He says that he's staying clear of Cox and suggests that she do the same.   After Lyle leaves, Miss Parker runs into Broots in the hallway.   She manhandles him out of view of the others and then tells him to each Brigitte's office for a key and then call her at home. 

While she is waiting for Broots to call, Jarod calls her and talks some more about Thomas.    Eventually, Miss Parker tells Jarod that Brigitte will pay for killing Thomas and Jarod says "So, it was Brigitte ...".   Miss Parker asks him if he didn't read the "Z-3" file that he left for her at home, and Jarod tells her that it was not he who left it!   Then he tells her, "whether it's love or revenge, don't let unfinished business finish you." 

Broots doesn't call Miss Parker when he finds the key ... he delivers it to her house, along with the address of Brigitte's cabin.  Miss Parker grabs her gun and takes off after Brigitte, leaving Broots alone in her house again.

At the cabin, Miss Parker doesn't need the key - the door is open and she finds Brigitte on the floor, in the throes of childbirth.   She keeps her gun trained on Brigitte and asks her why she killed Tommy.  Brigitte answers with a single word ... "orders."   Miss Parker wants to know who ordered it - but Brigitte is having a contraction and cannot answer.   In spite of herself, Miss Parker is getting drawn in ... she asks Brigitte how far apart the contractions are and Brigitte tells her she will be a "sister" very soon.   Brigitte tells Miss Parker that she doesn't need to shoot her .. the baby will "even the score" for her anyway ... she has a disorder ... and without medical attention, she will bleed to death as the baby is born.   Miss Parker tries to call for help, but her phone is "out of range" -- there is no signal out there at the cabin.   Brigitte said that the land-line went dead after she spoke with Mr. Parker, who said that he would find the doctor and bring him.  Brigitte tells Miss Parker that she ran away to keep the focus, and the hitman, away from Mr. Parker ... because in spite of what Miss Parker may think, Brigitte loves Mr. Parker very much. 

Back at The Centre again, Broots is getting ready to use the bathroom.  He has an "out of order" sign taped on the dryer on the wall and checks all of the stalls ... but when he washes his face and reaches for a towel, it is Mr. Cox who hands it to him ... and Broots is caught!

Brigitte apologizes to Miss Parker for all the pain she caused her when she killed Thomas and tells her that she doesn't know who gave them, but the orders came from somewhere inside The Centre ... someone thought that Miss Parker was losing focus.   Miss Parker is now delivering the baby ... and as she predicted, Brigitte is bleeding to death.   A helicopter is arriving as Miss Parker is living her own pretend, as a midwife.  There is a sweeping light outside from the helicopter's search light ... but Brigitte doesn't live long enough to get the help she needs.   Miss Parker is sobbing as she wraps the now motherless baby.

Outside, the helicopter door opens and Mr. Cox gets out with a can of gasoline in his hand.  As he comes through the cabin door, Miss Parker, covered in Brigitte's blood and holding her baby brother or sister, points her gun at him and threatens to kill him ... but Mr. Parker steps in behind Mr. Cox and tells her not to shoot -- Mr. Cox is on their side!!   Mr. Parker says that Doctor Cox is there for the baby ... he is an OB-GYN - Harvard, class of 1993.   Doctor Cox immediately begins examining Brigitte as an astounded Miss Parker looks on.
Mr. Parker holds out his hands for the baby and Miss Parker gives the child to him as a nurse appears in the doorway.   Mr. Parker smiles and says, "This seals it ... the last piece," gives the nurse the baby and tells Doctor Cox, who is still hovering over Brigitte, not to forget the cord and the placenta.
Miss Parker is confused and bewildered ... she has no idea what is going on.   Mr. Parker tells her that Mr. Cox has been his man on the "inside" for months, as he planned his return.   He says there is only one reason for Miss Parker to be there ... says that it was a lucky thing that the "Z-3" file showed up and asks her if Brigitte confessed to everything in the file.   Miss Parker says that Brigitte did confess, but she is even more bewildered when Mr. Parker asks her if she killed Brigitte.   Horrified, Miss Parker tells her father that his wife died in childbirth and asks him if he is even concerned about that.   Mr. Parker thinks for a moment, then says, "til death do us part."   More horrified than ever, Miss Parker says that Brigitte was nothing more than a vessel for her father's baby, his legacy.   She asks him if he left that "Z-3" file for her, but he denies it.   Meanwhile, Doctor Cox is placing the gun that killed Mutumbo in Brigitte's dead hand and is smiling at Mr. Parker while he does it.   Miss Parker accuses him of using Brigitte's dead body to clear everyone of everything, but Mr. Parker says that "RUMOR" was trying to set him up.   Then he tells Doctor Cox to make "it all go away" and starts to walk out of the room.   Miss Parker stops him by calling out to him ... and asking him if he doesn't even want to know ...  Mr. Parker asks her, "Know what?"   Putting her bloody hands and arms in front of herself and him, Miss Parker says, "If it's a boy or a girl ..." and walks out before her father can answer.  Doctor Cox begins uncapping the gasoline.

From the helicopter, Miss Parker stares at Brigitte's "hideaway cabin."  As the spotlight from the helicopter plays across it, the cabin explodes and begins to burn.

At the cemetery, Miss Parker is putting more flowers on Thomas' grave.   She is talking to Jarod on the phone, saying that she thought that getting revenge for Tommy's death would somehow bring her peace ... but she realizes now that even if she had taken revenge, there would have been no peace for her.   Jarod tells her that revenge wasn't the "unfinished" business ... he reminds her that she said there was something she never told Thomas.   Miss Parker says that she never told Thomas that she loved him, and now she would give anything for just enough time to do that.   Jarod tells her to let her heart win the war and tell Thomas whatever it is that she wants him to know! 

As she stands there, looking at Thomas' grave, the scene changes and Miss Parker is wearing a sun dress.  She is sitting on a swing somewhere woodsy - there are birds singing - it's a beautiful place.  Thomas walks toward her, out of the woods and into the glade where she is sitting.   They embrace for a long time, then Miss Parker tells Thomas that she loves him, and he replies that he loves her.  Finally, Thomas kisses her hand, they slowly part and walk away from each other.   Miss Parker is content, now that she has said the words and knows that Thomas has heard them.

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, Jamie Denton as Mr. Lyle Harve Presnell as Mr. Parker and Pamela Gidley as Brigitte

Guest Stars:
Lenny Van Dohlen as Mr. Cox
Jason Brooks as Thomas Gates

"Til Death Do Us Part" was written by:
Steven Long Mitchell and Craig W. Van Sickle
and Directed by:
Craig W. Van Sickle

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