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|The episode opens at night, at The Centre.
Angelo is curled up in the fetal position, sleeping on the floor,
in a corner of his sparsely furnished room. He wakes up with a start,
calling out Jarod's name. Becoming increasingly agitated, Angelo
says, "Jarod, danger, hate, destroy Jarod!" As he strains with the
effort of gouging a cross onto the cement wall of his room, Angelo begins
singing a hymn ... "Lay down your burden, open up your heart. Lay
down your burden, let the healing start ..."
At Westland Community Church in Georgia, two young African-American girls are lying on the floor, drawing pictures and finishing their homework, while singing the same hymn that Angelo is singing. In a corner of the church, not far from where the girls are, there is a plain white cross, hanging on the wall.
The church is to be the site of a Unity Rally over the upcoming weekend. Their father, Pastor Malcolm Jones rousts them up off the floor and tells them that it's time to go home ... they have a big weekend ahead of them. The three of them leave the church, still practicing the hymn. Once outside, they are confronted by a racist group wearing stockings on their heads. The Pastor hurries his daughters back into the church and has them hide between the pews while he goes to the phone to call the police. It does no good - the racists have cut the phone line. The group terrorizes the trapped father and daughters, vandalizing the church and burning a cross on the lawn. As the group runs back to their trucks, preparing to leave, they pull the stockings off of their heads. One of them looks with satisfaction at the havoc they have just wrought upon the church and says, "I think we made our point." Another of the group pulls the stocking from his head and says, "Yeah, I think they're gettin' the message this time," then turns to get into his truck. It's Jarod!
At The Centre, Broots, Miss Parker and Sydney are walking toward a room where Sam is keeping watch on Angelo. Broots says he's gone "postal" and Sam says, "the little freak's possessed." Sydney asks if he's said anything and Sam says that Angelo hasn't said anything that makes any sense. Angelo is going through the materials that Miss Parker, Sydney and Broots have collected from Jarod's past pretends. As he touches the items and wears the clothing from each one, Angelo relives a brief part of what Jarod experienced when he last used the items and wore the clothing. Between yelling words and phrases that have to do with the pretend that he's experiencing, Angelo keeps saying, "Must help Jarod!"
Seeing the agony which Angelo is experiencing, Sydney tries to comfort him. Angelo grabs Sydney and repeats, "Must save Jarod!" "From what?" Sydney asks Angelo. "From fire, from hate." Angelo turns to look at Miss Parker and says, "Hate kills." Looking back to Sydney, he concludes, "Hate will kill Jarod."
Miss Parker walks toward Sydney and asks him what he makes of it all. Sydney tells her that he believes that Angelo thinks that someone from Jarod's past is trying to kill him.
At the racists' compound, the men are beginning to celebrate. Jarod says, "If a picture's worth a thousand words, a flamin' cross is worth a mouthful!" He holds up a bottle of beer and everyone cheers and drinks. They want to go someplace to continue drinking, but Luke tells them that their leader, the General, will be arriving sooner than expected. They are told that the General has a new mission, a bold message, one that he claims will be heard around the world. Because of that, he wants all of the men to be there when he arrives. Since all of the men were recruited from out of state, the General is afraid they will stand out too much if they go into town. Luke tosses Jarod a box that has C-4 explosives in it. Jarod says that will pack a Hell of a punch. The messenger says that as the demolition expert, the General wants him to use the C-r to rig up a little something that will dis-unify the Unity Rally.
As he helps to clean up the mess, Pastor Jones is explaining to the local Sheriff about what happened at the church the night before. He tells him that they've been receiving threats ever since they announced the Unity Rally, and the threats turned into vandalism, but last night was the worst. The Sheriff tells the Pastor that he should think of his daughters' safety and consider postponing the Rally. Pastor Jones tells the Sheriff that when he was 13, he watched his big brother get beaten and dragged behind a truck. No one, not even him, did anything to stop it. He tells the Sheriff that his brother lived for three days after the attack ... praying to die the whole time. The Pastor says that this kind of hate destroys everything that it touches and it's because of his daughters that he has to do this now.
Back at The Centre, Sydney tells Miss Parker and Broots, that Angelo senses that someone Jarod brought to justice wants to kill him. Miss Parker states "it's a Hell of a long line, and it starts behind me." Angelo holds up a dress, then flashes back to Kristy (Someone to Trust) and the attempt that she made to kill Jarod before. Angelo eliminates Kristy and moves on to another box full of Jarod's belongings. Sydney realizes that Angelo is eliminating people from Jarod's past, one by one. Miss Parker tells Sydney and Broots that they need to keep what is going on from both Lyle and Raines. Broots says that they'd better move fast, because no one keeps a secret for long at The Centre. Sydney says that if Angelo can successfully identify the person who wants to kill Jarod, he could lead them to him ... hopefully, in time to save Jarod. As Miss Parker walks out the door, she adds, "Even better ... in time to catch him."
At the compound, Jarod is building a C-4 bomb. Luke tells him to make sure that it works. Jarod tells him that it will work. He flashes back to a time at The Centre when he was made to watch all of the Martin Luther King news clips. The young Jarod asks Sydney why some people hate other people because of the color of their skin. Sydney says that he doesn't know. The practice is called "racism" and it's important for Jarod to learn about what is wrong in the world, as well as about what's right. Sydney says that there is no simple solution to racism. The young Jarod says there is a simple solution ... stop hating. Sydney tells him that it takes time and compassion. He asks Jarod if he understands that. Jarod tells Sydney that he understands, but he can't accept it. One of the men at the compound jars Jarod from his reverie and tells him that he looks as though he's just seen a ghost. Jarod replies that he hasn't seen a ghost ... but he's just seen the light.
Jarod wants to take the C-4 into town to set it up, but Luke says that no one goes into town until the General arrives. He tells Jarod that if he wants something to do, he should finish re-loading the shotgun shells. Jarod objects, saying that the plan was that he would set any explosives that they used. Luke says, "The plan has changed, hot shot. General's orders." He goes on to say that the General wants the bomb set "special." He tosses a couple of pictures of Pastor Jones' daughters on the table and says that the General wants the preacher's girls to be the message.
At The Centre, Sydney is telling Miss Parker and Broots that he has tried every possible avenue of contacting Jarod, but he has gotten no response. Angelo is holding up the gun used by Joey Malino (A Stand Up Guy). He screams and runs across the catwalk and down the stairs, then says the hate is getting closer to Jarod. He says that Jarod doesn't want hate, doesn't want to kill. But someone wants to kill Jarod! Angelo flashes back to the interaction that took place between Jarod and Joey, but in the end, Angelo eliminates Joey and moves on.
At the compound, Jarod sneaks out of the cabin and tries to leave in a truck, but is stopped by Luke. Jarod tells him that he wants to get a little black powder to pack around the C-4 to give it more of a visual impact. Luke tells him that they play by the General's rules and the General says no one leaves until he arrives. The other men come out and tell them that they just got word from the General and one of them isn't who he appears to be ... one of them is a traitor! Luke tells everyone to get back inside and they'll sort it out when the General shows up. Jarod lags behind, but Luke doesn't let him slide - he herds Jarod in the door along with everyone else.
The night before the rally, the Jones girls are saying their prayers before bedtime. When Pastor Jones tells them that they have to rest their beautiful voices for the big Rally tomorrow, the girls look troubled. They ask their father why people hate them and want to know what they did wrong. Pastor Jones tells his daughters that they did nothing wrong and that people that some people hate because they are afraid of things they don't know. He tells them that is why the Rally is so important. He asks the girls if they understand and they say that they do, but after he has tucked them into bed, one of his girls asks him to close the window before he leaves the room. As he closes it, the other girl asks him to lock it. Clearly, the children are frightened and Pastor Jones sighs heavily before he leaves their room for the night.
Angelo is wearing night goggles and is empathing Capt Robert Saunders (Survival), reliving Jarod's experiences with him. Broots and Sydney are looking at Saunders record and comment that he could easily be the one. Miss Parker says that Jarod has a penchant for pissing people off. But Angelo says that it is not Saunders, that someone hates Jarod more.
Screaming, Angelo tells Broots to hurry, grabs him and pulls him to a trunk where he pulls heavy-duty rope netting. He holds up the netting, screams, "HATES JAROD!" then, seeing Miss Parker, Angelo lurches to the rail facing her and yells, "Hates Miss Parker, too!!" Miss Parker is stunned.
The men are cleaning up the cabin in anticipation
of the General's arrival. As he pulls up, Jarod is standing nervously
by the broom he was using to sweep the floor. Luke walks up to him
and tells him to get the beer bottles out of there and Jarod quickly takes
the beer bottles out the back door.
Back at The Centre, Angelo is chewing on the net in the same manner that Bartlett did, when he escaped and tried to kill both Jarod and Miss Parker in the Florida Everglades. Angelo identifies Bartlett as the man who wants to kill Jarod and he elaborates, saying that Bartlett hates everyone. Miss Parker tells Broots to check to see if he's still in jail. She calls Bartlett a "racist sleazebag who would kill his own mother." Miss Parker continues, "We have to find him. If Bartlett finds Jarod first, he will kill him. And ruin my chances." Sydney adds that he hopes they aren't too late.
Bartlett has Jarod tied up on the floor. He tells Jarod that he was the Lord's instrument in sending him to jail so that he could see His purpose in Bartlett's life. Then, through divine providence, Bartlett was set free so that he could unite his people and cleanse the country. Jarod tells Bartlett that he's sick ... so consumed with hate that he'll destroy himself and everyone around him. Bartlett says he's going to take Jarod out into the woods and send him to his maker. Luke tells Bartlett that he doesn't need to dirty his hands with the likes of Jarod. He says it would be his honor to take the Judas to his justice. Bartlett thinks about it for a moment, then hands Luke his shotgun. He tells him to take him to the creek and just leave his body there ... dust to dust.
Luke pushes Jarod way down the creek, then, as Jarod says, "You can't do this!" Luke screams, "GET DOWN ON YOUR KNEES!" The scene cuts to Bartlett sitting in a chair, savoring a drink. The sound of a rifle shot rings out and echos through the night. Bartlett smiles.
Under a full moon, Jarod remains kneeling in the creek. Luke is untying Jarod, telling him that he hopes he didn't scare him too badly. He tells Jarod that he's undercover with the Georgia State Police. Jarod says he's with the ATF - Federal Task Force. Luke says they've been after Bartlett ever since he was released from jail and says he guesses that Jarod was the Fed that put him there. Jarod admits that he was the one and says that he had no idea that Bartlett was out. Jarod asks Luke if he has a plan and Luke tells him that Bartlett has changed everything and Luke is completely cut off from the outside. Luke wants to stop Bartlett now, charge him with conspiracy, but Jarod says they need to catch him in the act so that they can put him away for life. Jarod cuts his arm, puts blood on his shirt and sends Luke back with it as evidence that he killed Jarod.
The General looks at the bomb Jarod made and realized it was rigged so it wouldn't go off. He fixes it and looks at it admiringly. He says that a little C-4 and Napalm ought to make quite a little statement. Luke offers to plant it, but Bartlett says that it's his vision and his calling, and he wants to do it alone. He tells everyone to be ready for tomorrow ... be ready for war. There's nothing that Luke can do but watch him leave.
Miss Parker is in her office remembering the first time she met Jarod. She also remembers asking Jarod why he saved her life when they were in the Everglades with Bartlett ... in her mind, she see's him replying, "Because I still remember the little girl who gave me my first kiss." Her memories are interrupted by Broots, who comes in and tells her Bartlett was freed from jail on a technicality, but while he was in prison he started a white supremacist group. He tells her that the rumor is that Bartlett is in Georgia to interfere with the Unity Rally. Miss Parker grabs her gun and tells Broots that they're going to go stop Bartlett and get Jarod.
Bartlett enters the church with the bomb, says a prayer and prepares to hide it when he is startled by someone making noise on the piano behind him. Jarod climbs on top of the piano and asks Bartlett if he's there to repent. Bartlett tells Jarod that he's sick to death of him ... that he's got more lives than a barn yard cat, but this is the last one because he wasn't able to take the rounds out of his clip this time. Bartlett levels his shotgun and begins firing, but the shells have no effect ... Jarod replaced them with blanks at the cabin. Jarod tells Bartlett that he "owes him this one" and beats the man with a bat until he's unconscious.
When Bartlett wakes up he's tied to a cross in front of the church. Jarod tells him that since Bartlett so enjoys terrorizing innocent families that he thought it might be nice for Bartlett to experience terror for once ... like he was going to do to the two innocent little girls. Bartlett tells Jarod he wasn't going to terrorize the girls, he was going to kill them.
Jarod begins pouring fluid from a gasoline can around the bottom of the cross. Bartlett tells him that they've been through this before, and he knows that Jarod isn't really going to do anything ... he doesn't have the heart for it. Then Bartlett adds that "the bitch you were with before, she could do it." Waving the lighted torch in front of Bartlett's face, Jarod replies, "it's not heart I need to burn you at the stake, it's another part of my anatomy. And let me tell you, I got those."
Suddenly unsure, Bartlett tells Jarod that he won't get away with it because he's got men out there in the woods. Bartlett begins to scream for Luke. Jarod just laughs and tells Bartlett that he wasn't as smart as he thought he was, because he had two infiltrators in his group ... Luke is an undercover cop for the Georgia State Police and right about now, the rest of Bartlett's men should be in custody.
As Jarod lowers the torch toward the wood stacked around Bartlett's feet, Bartlett begins to beg, pleading with Jarod not to burn him alive. Jarod continues to lower the torch, but instead of lighting the wood, it only lights a fuse at Bartlett's feet. As the fuse creeps up the cross, Bartlett screams to God, saying how sorry he is and that he doesn't want to die.
When the fuse gets to the top of the cross, it sets the word "repent" aflame. Seeing what has happened, Bartlett begins to laugh hysterically. The sounds of police sirens growing ever nearer, Jarod picks up some marshmallows, toasts them, and tells Bartlett he was right. "I don't have the heart to kill, or the hate." Chewing on a toasted marshmallow, Jarod tells Bartlett to have fun, rotting in prison ... then disappears into the woods.
Miss Parker, Sydney and Broots arrive as the Unity Rally is in full swing with people of all races singing and clapping in time to the music of "Lay Down Your Burden." Miss Parker turns around to find Broots rocking out. She tells him, "You start speaking in tongues and I'll send you onto the next life right now." Broots starts to tell her that it reminds him of going with his cousin to the Slippery Rock Church of The Great Redeemer when he was a kid, but Miss Parker kicks him to shut him up.
Pastor Jones works his way to the back of the church and welcomes Miss Parker, Sydney and Broots. They show him Jarod's picture and say that they believe he was involved in a confrontation with a man named Bartlett. They want to know if Pastor Jones has seen him. Jones says he's sorry, but he's never seen him before. He tells them that he does know about Bartlett ... he's in the State Penitentiary. Miss Parker says that she hopes they'll "fry his ass this time." But Pastor Jones says that he hopes that Bartlett will renounce his hate (and he looks pointedly at Miss Parker) and start the healing that only love and forgiveness will bring.
Thinking that they've missed Jarod again, Miss Parker, Sydney and Broots leave. They don't realize that if they had only looked UP toward the heavens, they would have seen him sitting atop the church, near the steeple, wearing a white suit and swaying to the rhythm of the music.
Here are a few vid caps from Keys (originally aired on April 5, 1997) ... to refresh everyone's memory about Efram Bartlett.
This episode of The Pretender starred:
"Ghosts From The Past" was written
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