Lois' Daily Planet

The Pretender

SYNOPSIS FOR
SCHOOL DAZE
which aired on Saturday, April 22, 2000

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PRETENDER SYNOPSIS FOR SCHOOL DAZE
Note:  For those of you who missed the first exchange between Jarod and Miss Parker because of the basketball game, here it is ... broken into 3 wav files ... the last one is large, so please be patient while it loads.

Jarod/Miss Parker #1
Jarod/Miss Parker #2
Jarod/Miss Parker #3

The episode begins with Jarod calling Miss Parker from a diner, using his cell phone.  He asks her if she's noticed that Mr. Raines hasn't been around a lot lately.  Miss Parker tells him that she considers that a blessing and doesn't question it.   Jarod tells her, "If you don't question, you don't learn," and then breaks the connection.  Before the conversation ends, Broots comes in and tells Miss Parker that he brought the Triumvirate phone logs which she requested.  First Miss Parker shushes him, so that Jarod doesn't hear him enter, then she calls him "back burner Broots" and tells him she has a new crusade for him - to find out where Raines has been lately.

Back at the diner, Jarod hears a cell phone begins to answer his - then realizes that it belongs to the person in the booth next to his.  The booths are only separated by a red and white checkered curtain, so he can hear the man's conversation very clearly ... and he is telling someone to murder a child before he can testify against him in court! 

Using what he overheard during the telephone conversation, Jarod Brody ends up as a substitute teacher at Bolton Elementary School, in Bolton, Minnesota.   Jarod has found the newspaper articles relating to the situation and has put them in a red notebook ... a 5th grader on a field trip from Woodbury Elementary School witnessed a murder and is set to testify against the man who did it in his trial.   However, the identity of the student is being withheld, and all Jarod knows is that it is a male student - an only child.   He must now find out which boy in his class is intended to be the victim of the murderer.

He tells the class that he would like to get to know all of them a little better and begins asking questions that should be able to narrow the field for him ... but the class was ready to being their sex-education courses and is unruly - giving Jarod a hard time.   He finally regains some control over the class and begins eliminating students by getting them to answer his questions.

As Jarod is going through the files of the students that he deems to be possible candidates, he is interrupted by Mrs. Warner, who chides him for helping himself to the files.   She tells him that their rule regarding other people's things is that "we don't touch them," treating Jarod like a 6th grader!   He is rescued from her by the principal and the school counselor, Rachel Daly.   Jarod asks the principal about Matthew Reese, one of the students whose records only go back 11 months.   The principal tells him that Matthew's mother said that the school he went to before they moved to Bolton burned down and that's why there are no records.   Jarod circles Matthew's name on his list ... 

At The Centre, Broots is telling Miss Parker that Mr. Raines has been going to the "Pratt Institute" (which she calls an insane asylum) a couple times a day.   Broots shows Miss Parker a video tape of Mr. Raines visiting someone there and as they are watching him talking to a woman inmate, Sydney enters and is astonished to see that it is Edna Raines,  Mr. Raines wife ... who was supposed to have committed suicide 20 years earlier!   Miss Parker tells Broots to get a town car, but he says it's too late - Edna Raines escaped the night before.

Back at Bolton School, Jarod is watching Matthew read his way though lunch, while trying a corn dog  for the first time.  He likes it.  He is joined by Counselor Daly and he asks her about Matthew, but she doesn't have much insight into him.   Jarod also notices that the school janitor seems to be more attentive to the children than he should be.

In a pay phone somewhere, Esposito, the man who will be on trail, is threatening the "hit person" ... telling them that they only have 3 days to figure out which boy it is and if they can't figure it out, he'll come do it himself.   He tells the person that they should be worried that he will bury them with the kid.

Jarod is at home, after school, looking at Matthew's file, when the doorbell rings.   He answers it and finds none other than Matthew's mother there - "welcoming" Jarod with a casserole that she made for dinner.   Before he can ask her too many questions, his doorbell rings again and it is the mother of another student, with another casserole.  The process is repeated one more time ... leaving Jarod surrounded by three, beautiful, single mothers, all offering him a casserole!

Back in class the next day, a theme seems to be emerging ... a chubby, not-too-bright bully named Joel is constantly picking on a small, mild-mannered boy named Eric.   Jarod makes his way over to Matthew and strikes up a conversation with him and everything the boy says seems to fit the profile of the child for which Jarod is searching.   Jarod looks out the window and again sees the janitor, paying more attention than he should be.  During recess, Jarod intervenes and keeps Joel from taking Eric's things by repeating the rule that Mrs. Wagner used on him!

At The Centre, Sydney is talking to Miss Parker on the phone, telling her that he still can't believe that Edna is alive and that her mother trusted Edna Raines completely.   He reminds Miss Parker that Edna used to work at The Centre and Miss Parker recalls that Edna was the physician that saw her when she had the mumps.   Miss Parker tells Sydney that she has Broots out looking for Edna, and there is a knock on her door.   Thinking it's Broots, she ends the conversation with Sydney - opens the door - and finds Edna Raines standing there ... apparently confused and thinking that Miss Parker is her mother, Catherine Parker!   She says that it's so nice to see "Catherine" again.

Back at school, the principal tells Jarod that there will be a "Sadie Hawkins" dance and he would like to have Jarod help chaperone.   Jarod says that it sounds good and he can't wait to meet "Miss Hawkins."  Jarod sees Eric's mother dropping him off and speaks to her for a moment about the problem with Joel.  She says she's a little worried about the fact that Eric is into pretending he's a "secret agent" and Jarod tells her that "pretending isn't so bad."  He's impressed with her concern for her son, and tells her so.

As Jarod is watching the janitor (who is still watching the kids), Matthew's mother catches him on the pretext that Matthew forgot his lunch.   Concerned, Jarod tells her that he knows why she and Matthew had to move to Bolton and that he understands.   She is amazed, but then tells all ... saying that "he seemed like a very nice man" ... and she had no idea there was a hidden camera sending the pictures to the Internet ...  and a somewhat astonished Jarod realizes that he's picked the wrong child!

Sydney is at Miss Parker's house, asking her how Edna is.   Miss Parker, showing an apparent lack of concern for Edna's pathetic state, tells Sydney that she's as "vacant as the Bates Motel."   Sydney sits down with Edna and speaks gently to her ... Edna perks up for a moment ... long enough to acknowledge that she remembers Sydney, then falls silent again.   Sydney keeps trying to reach her, but Miss Parker tells him to forget it.    Sydney tells Miss Parker that 20 years of being sedated is bound to have taken its toll on her.   Miss Parker is convinced there is an important reason that Edna Raines came to find her mother and that the only reason that The Centre would have hidden her away all this time is because Edna knows their secrets.   Miss Parker wants to know them, too, and tells Sydney that they should get Angelo to see if he can help get inside of Edna's mind.

Meanwhile, Jarod is back to square one and now has no idea which child is the one in danger.   While walking dejectedly down the hallway, Jarod runs into Eric and has a conversation with him.   Eric admits that he likes a girl in the class, Molly, and confides in Jarod enough to show him his "secret agent book" that has pictures of Molly in it.  Jarod also sees Eric's pager, with the phone number taped to the front of it ... part of his "spy equipment."  Eric says that he hasn't told Molly how he feels and Jarod tells him that he should tell her, because you never know what might happen.   He encourages Eric to use his tape recorder to practice telling Molly how he feels, and when he's got it perfected ... then tell her for real.  Moments afterward the conversation has ended, Jarod remembers that Eric answered one of his original questions in a way that caused Jarod to eliminate him from his list of possible candidates -- but contradicted that answer in their current conversation.   Suddenly, it all falls into place -- Jarod picks the lock on Eric's locker, looks in the "secret agent book" and finds that Eric is the boy that will be testifying at the trial and whose life is in danger.

Jarod rushes off to find Eric and Mrs. Wagner tells him that she saw Eric talking to the janitor a few minutes ago, and then he started walking home.   Muttering under his breath, and getting chastised by Mrs. Wagner for what he said, Jarod rushes after Eric.   Unknown to him, Eric is being followed by someone in a car as he walks home ... he slips though a chained gate and heads through the woods.   Jarod hears a gunshot and arrives in time to see someone speeding away in a car - a bloody footprint leading to where the car was parked.   Heading into the woods, Jarod keeps calling for Eric - expecting to find him hurt or worse ... but instead finds the janitor, shot and dying.   The janitor is really a U.S. Marshall, who was keeping watch on Eric ... but tells Jarod there is a leak in the Witness Protection Program -- someone at the school knew who he was and killed him before he could pull Eric out to safety.   Jarod remembers the number on Eric's pager and sends him a message saying, "Danger - Do Not Go Home."  But as Eric slips out through the gate on the other side, the pager is knocked from his backpack and falls to the ground, getting left behind.   Eric never sees the message.   When he arrives home, however ... the front door is ajar - which causes him to pause before entering -- giving Jarod just enough time to catch up to him and spirit him away before the person waiting inside with a gun can do him any harm.

Jarod and Eric pick up his mom and go to Jarod's house.   He explains to them that there is a leak inside of the Witness Protection Agency, so they cannot call for help and has them spend the night at his house. 

At The Centre, Sydney is attempting to spirit Angelo away so that he can try to find out why Edna went to Miss Parker's house, but is caught in the elevator with him by Lyle and Mr. Raines, who tells Sydney that Angelo is needed for another project.

At Jarod's, Eric's mother is tucking him in, apologizing for the fact that they will soon be uprooted again.   Thinking that he hasn't yet told Molly how he feels, Eric says that they can't leave, but his mother says that they must.   Jarod tells Eric's mom that the Marshall said that Esposito's man is someone inside the school - and he'll find him before he finds them.

As Jarod hacks his way through the Federal Marshall database, Miss Parker is serving tea to Mrs. Raines.   She asks Edna why Mr. Raines has kept her "doped up" for the past twenty years ... she wants to know what Edna knows ... but no matter what Miss Parker says to her, Edna only replies, "So good to see you again, Catherine."   Frustrated, Miss Parker says that she is not Catherine - she tells her that her mother, Catherine, has been dead a very long time.   As she walks away, Edna suddenly says, "How are your mumps, little Miss Parker?"  Miss Parker asks her why she came to see her and Edna tells her that she came because of "Mirage."   Miss Parker wants to know what "Mirage" is ... and Edna tells her that it was her mother's work -- work she'd hoped that Miss Parker would finish.   Miss Parker asks her what kind of work it is - but Edna slips back into her non-communicative state - just staring off into space.

Jarod finds that Rachel Daly is a Federal Marshall, assigned to Witness Protection ... and her current assignment is listed as being "on leave."   He now knows that Esposito's inside "man" is a woman ... the school counselor!   In the morning, Jarod tells Eric's mother the news and they go to get Eric - to get them out of town before Jarod deals with Rachel ... but they find that Eric has left through the bedroom window and it doesn't take Jarod long to figure out where he's gone -- to tell Molly how he feels before he has to leave.

At school, Eric has found Molly but, unable to express himself, gives her the tape upon which he practiced saying how he felt.   As he is talking to Molly, Joel begins tormenting him again and Eric has to run for safety.   He evades Joel, but runs right into Rachel Daly who delivers him right into the hands of Esposito!

Jarod and Eric's mom arrive at the school and Molly tells them that Eric ran across the campus to get away from Joel.   They follow Eric's path, but find only his backpack!   Jarod finds the tape recorder from Eric's backpack - and the tape is running.   He tells Eric's mom to call the police and runs off after Eric, Rachel and Esposito.

At a construction site adjacent to the school, Esposito intends to put both Eric and Rachel into a pit that has been dug and is ready to be filled with concrete.   Jarod arrives in time, however, and throws Esposito in instead ... then tosses Rachel in with him.   Jarod begins to fill the pit with cement until both of them confess to their respective crimes ... then walks away without turning the cement mixer off

Back at The Centre, Miss Parker buttonholes Broots and asks him if he's found out anything about "Mirage" yet.   A squirming Broots admits that he hasn't.   He tells Miss Parker that maybe Edna was just making it up ... saying that Edna was a little "whacked out" -- but Miss Parker sends him to look for more information.   She's certain that Edna was lucid when she spoke of "Mirage."   Off to one side, Mr. Raines and Lyle are watching the exchange between Broots and Miss Parker.   They exchange glances, but neither says a word.

At Jarod's house, he and Eric are making up a batch of brownies, laced with prune extract.   They then fix the porta-potty restrooms on the school ground so that only one will open and the door to that one is rigged.   When Eric goes to school, Joel steals his lunch and stuffs the brownie he finds inside into his mouth.   Jarod and Eric wait - wearing dark glasses and in "secret agent" mode ... moments later, Joel needs to find a bathroom quickly and uses the only available porta-potty.   After all of the other students have gathered around, Eric pulls a string and the door falls off, exposing Joel sitting on the toilet.   Everyone laughs and mocks him.

In the hallway at school, Eric's mom shows Jarod the newspaper that says that Esposito has new charges brought against him, and that a Federal Marshall has also now been implicated.   She doesn't know how Jarod managed to keep his name out of the story, but expresses her gratitude for all he has done.   Meanwhile, Molly tells Eric that she has listened to the tape and asks Eric to the Sadie Hawkins Dance.

Miss Parker and Sydney arrive at Miss Parker's house.   Miss Parker asks Sam if Edna is okay and he says that he hasn't heard a word from her since she went to lay down.   Much to Miss Parker and Sydney's dismay, when they enter the bedroom, they find that Edna has done exactly what Eric did - slipped out the window and gotten away. 

In the middle of nowhere, Edna Raines sits on a bench, patiently waiting for a bus to arrive while looking at a picture of Catherine Parker and herself while singing the "Cree-Craw" song that Jarod sang in the past.   The bus arrives and Edna Raines gets on it.   As the bus pulls away, 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, Richard Marcus as Mr. Raines, Paul Dillon as Angelo and Sam Ayers as Sam the Sweeper

Guest Stars:
Michael Welch, Barbara Tyson, Tracey Needham, Judith Hoag, Sal Landi,
Mary Gillis, Bobby Brewer

Special Guest Star:
Barbara Babcock as Mrs. Raines

Also Starring:
Monica Ascarrunz as Molly;  Heinrich James as Larry Grasso;  Matt Lunde as Matthew Reese;  Aaron Meekds as Kevin;  Matiana Mitchell as Gemma;  Stan Sellers as Principal Bauer;  Sharon Tay as Reporter

"School Daze" was written by:
Andrew Dettman and Daniel Truly
and Directed by:
Jon Gries





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