Our Little Red Notebooks
In-Depth Recaps and Reviews
of the second season episodes
In this notebook are:
Back from the Dead Again
Over The Edge
Nip and Tuck
All written synposes and reviews contained in the LITTLE RED NOTEBOOKS sites are have been researched, compiled and written by Mare Hanson, Copyright 1997, 1998. The synposes and reviews may not be reprinted in whole or in part without the author's expressed permission. All images are the property of the original film makers, and are reproduced here, under the auspices of "fair use" to accentuate the reviews, promote "The Pretender" and entertain the fans of Michael T. Weiss. To contact Mare write to THE SHASTACLAN OBSERVATORYor THE JARODSTWIN ARCHIVE.
At the Colonial College Medical School in Philadelphia, PA, Jarod -- as
Jarod Howard, Ph.D.*
-- pretends to be an instructor of a class, working with a Dr. Fein
to teach medical students about gross anatomy. Jarod becomes particularly
close to three of his students, Cloe, Joel and Fernando (whose brother, Enrique disappeared a year earlier). Cloe is an eager student, anxious to learn and
able to cope with almost anything put in front of her. Joel is willing to
learn, but suffers from too much "bluster" and not enough "guts". (When faced
with the task of removing a heart from a cadaver, he gets sick and has to
leave the room.) Fernando is calm and methodical... He talks with Jarod about
the disappearance of Enrique, but has come to the quiet conclusion that his
brother is dead -- even though no one has found his body yet. He says his
only concerns are: he hopes his brother didn't die in fear, and he hopes
to some day find the body so he can give it the proper burial it deserves.
During their discussion Jarod remarks that some cultures believe that the
link between brothers is so strong that one can feel the other's pain. Fernando
asks Jarod, "Do you have a brother?" Jarod answers, "Yes." When Fernando
follows up with, "Do you feel his pain?", Jarod answers with a sad smile:
EPISODE ONE: "Back From the Dead Again" (airdate 11-01-97)
As the episode progresses, viewers discover that during his off hours Dr. Fein is conducting a series of experiments, trying to perfect, he says, a revolutionary cardiac/ blood pressure medication. The truth is, Jarod learns, that Dr. Fein is really a sort of back-street Frankenstein experimenting on homeless people: killing them and then attempting to re-animate them with his formulas. Unfortunately, one of his subjects failed to survive. This ghoulish "death" theme is furthered in the episode by Jarod's own pursuit of the reason for the recent, recurrent nightmares he has been having.
After the death of his brother, Kyle, Jarod had left the United States and sought refuge in Mexico, posing as a cloistered monk in the St. Octavio de Lourdes Monastery in Cuernevaca. There, his brother monks later revealed to Sydney, Broots and Miss Parker, Jarod had isolated himself in his cell, suffered night terrors, and seemed to manifest symptoms of a great "sadness in his soul". When they enter the cell where Jarod had kept himself, Sydney, Broots and Miss Parker find the place decorated not with religious icons, but with symbols of death and "The Day of the Dead" (a Mexican holiday during which the deceased are revered and remembered). Among the decorations are two small hand-made coffins. One coffin contains a blue notebook (like the ones used by Kyle), and Sydney explains that it was probably a symbol of Jarod's grief and his "search for closure in the loss of his brother". The second small coffin is empty, and Broots asks what that means. Syndey explains that he believes it means... "Someone is going to die."
Back in the United States and ensconced at the college, Jarod's nightmares continue, and are so severe that he is often afraid to go to sleep. He tells Sydney during a telephone conversation, "Every time I close my eyes, I go somewhere... Somewhere terrible." He sees himself, in his nightmares, in a laboratory in The Centre. There he is forced onto a steel examination table by several designer-suited men, strapped down, injected with drugs, and shoved into a coffinlike cryochamber... where he .... can't remember what happens next. The dreams never conclude as they should. Syndey suggests that the nightmares are connected somehow to the death of Kyle, but Jarod tells Sydney that he'd already comes to terms with his brother's death. The nightmares, he insists, are about something else... about time Jarod lost during the last three weeks in October one year before he escaped from The Centre. There are no DSAs in his collection, Jarod tells Sydney, to account for that time. "I need to know what you did to me," Jarod demands. "I need to know." Sydney says he doesn't know how to account for the lost DSAs, but promises Jarod he will try to find him some answers.
After having Broots hack into Mr. Raines' computer archives, Sydney, Broots, and Miss Parker discover the truth about Jarod's "lost time". Sydney also recalls that he had been away during that time, forced by Raines to leave the country and go to Europe to a symposium, and that it was while he was gone, unable to protect Jarod, that horrible things were done to Jarod... But before Sydney is able to contact Jarod and tell him what he's discovered, Jarod, while in pursuit of the truth about Dr. Fein's experiment, forces his nightmarish memories to the surface and recognizes them for what they are himself.
Breaking into Dr. Fein's lab, Jarod comes across the same type of paraphernalia that had been littering his own nightmares: a steel exam table, restraining straps, hypodermic needles, defibrillation paddles, drugs such as adrenalcordezine... Faced with such clues and evidence, Jarod's repressed memories surface: During the "lost time", while Sydney was away in Europe, Jarod had been subjected, against his will, to "flat-lining" experiments conducted by Mr. Raines and Mr. Lyle. Jarod was kidnapped from his rooms, dragged to a sublevel laboratory and killed with an overdose of cardiac medication, only to be resuscitated later by Raines. Apparently, this wasn't a one-time occurrence, since the archival records stolen by Broots -- which contained images of a terrified, screaming and combative Jarod -- suggested that Jarod knew what was going to happen to him, and fought desperately to escape. Viewers are lead to insinuate that Raines and Lyle had done the same experiment on Jarod repeatedly during the period Sydney was absent from The Centre. When Jarod didn't immediately recover from the experiment (shown on the stolen DSA), Raines was forced to revive him with several repeated blasts from the de-fib paddles. (The reasoning behind the experimentation was not revealed, but its existence went far to explain the cause Jarod's nightmares, and his loathing for Raines.)
Later in the episode, Jarod learns that, a year earlier, Dr. Fein had been conducting his own experiments as usual, when one of his human guinea pigs, a derelict named "Broadstreet Bill", died and could not be resuscitated. Dr. Fein took the body to his brother, Sheldon Fein, a mortician who regularly supplied unclaimed cadavers to the college for dissection, and demanded that the body be cremated immediately. The Feins were both startled, however, when Enrique (Fernando's brother), then a med-student who worked part-time at the mortuary, recognized Bill and expressed his shock and distress over the death. Later, while Enrique (as the mortician's assistant) prepared a grave for one Marisa Hall, a woman who had died of natural causes, Enrique was attacked by Dr. Fein, forced into Hall's empty coffin, and buried alive. Dr. Fein then took Hall's body to the medical school, and placed it among the other cadavers there (which were used for dissection and study by the medical students).
After confronting Sheldon Fein with the murder of Enrique and the placement of Hall's body in the college's morgue, Jarod then successfully lures Sheldon's brother, Dr. Fein, to the same cemetery where Enrique was killed. There, on Halloween night, Jarod maneuvers Fein into a life-sized home-made coffin (fit with a glass window in the lid), and locks him inside of it. Jarod then proceeds to shove the coffin into a freshly dug grave, and "buries" the doctor alive in it: shoveling dirt onto the coffin until Fein hysterically confesses to his crime.
With Fein still screaming and clawing at the top of the coffin, Jarod steps away from the grave where a neighborhood kid, a boy named Bruno (whom Jarod had befriended earlier in the episode) is waiting. He hands Bruno the evidence he has gathered in regards to Fein's experiments and Enrique's murder (including a tape recording of Fein's in-coffin confession), and tells Bruno to call the authorities "in about fifteen minutes." Bruno, concerned, asks Jarod if the man has enough oxygen to survive in the coffin for fifteen minutes, and Jarod answers, "Yes. But he doesn't have to know that."
His job finished, Jarod then goes trick-or-treating, costumed as that scariest thing he can think of: an oxygen-tank toting Mr. Raines.
DISCOVERIES: Halloween, dog poop wrapped in newspaper (which is then lit on fire in the hopes that someone will stamp it out). // Jarod is also referred to in this episode as "Brother Jarod" at the monastery in Mexico, and "Bosnia-Boy" by his child-friend Bruno. (When Jarod doesn't immediately understand the concept of Halloween, Bruno asks him, "What are you? From Bosnia?")
BEST LINE(S): Jarod to Bruno in regards to Halloween: "It's a ritual where people bring body parts to celebrations...?" (He also later refers to trick-or-treating as "extortion".) // Miss Parker to Sydney in regards to Mr. Lyle: "That freak gets around more than Ed McMahon."
OUR REVIEW: A very disturbing episode, but very well-acted. All of the major actors seem entirely comfortable with their characters now, and know just how to manipulate them to achieve the best possible reaction from the audience. We could really empathize with Jarod's terror during the "flat-lining" sequence, because Weiss's performance was so outstanding.
We're hoping that the writers give us more information about Jarod's missing "three weeks in October", in the future.
The only thing we didn't like about the episode was the "stuttering" of clips (where a short bit of film is repeated over and over again) foisted on viewers by the director (James Witmore, Jr.) . We had seen the same line -- "Didn't you?", "Didn't you?", "Didn't you?" -- repeated in a previously aired episode LAST season and really didn't need to see the same thing again. Also we didn't especially care for the montage of jerky images used during the middle of the episode when Jarod was searching for the DSA with the "lost time" on it. Both film tricks were wholly unnecessary, added NOTHING to the story, and disrupted the otherwise regular climax-building flow of the episode.
[[* Few may have recognized it but the "Dr.
Fein, Dr. Howard, Dr. Fein" reference is linked to a slapstick hospital routine
performed by the Three Stooges.]]
EPISODE TWO: "Scott Free" (airdate 11-08-97)
In Middletown, Delaware Jarod is treating himself to ice cream at a shabby street-side cafe, when he comes across a young girl with a Wheel-O toy. [A red wheel on a steel wire frame that spins around, held in place by a combination of gravity, centrifugal and centripetal force.] He asks the girl if he can buy it from her, and she settles for a price of $25. With his new toy in hand, Jarod plays for a bit while eating his ice cream. He notices a young boy, Sean, at the table across from him, who is being treated to a snack of French fries by his father, Scott, who works at the diner. Watching the two interact, Jarod's mind flashes back to a Father's Day at The Centre when he was younger.
As a child, he had seen Miss Parker give her father the gift of a brass paperweight (shaped like a rabbit). When he asked Syndey what the gift was for, Syndey explained that she was offering her father a gift for Father's Day to show him how much she cared for him. Jarod then created a Father's Day card for Sydney, drawing in it a picture of the two of them hand-in-hand. But when he gave the card to Syndey, Syndey rejected the gift telling Jarod that he wasn't Jarod's father, and didn't deserve the present. "Don't you love me, Syndey?" Jarod asked, to which Sydney replied with a distracted, "We have work to do." Sydney then threw the hand-made card into a waste paper basket.
Back in the present, sitting in the diner, musing about Sydney and the card, Jarod accidentally spills ice cream on his clothes, and has to retreat to an open-air sink behind the diner to clean himself up. While he's dabbing the ice cream from his pant leg, he overhears a conversation taking place by a large trash bin that's also behind the diner. It's between Scott (referred to as "Scooter") and two other men: Dewey and Nick. During the conversation Dewey and Nick threaten and coerce Scott to join them in a burglary. Scott says he doesn't want to be involved with the scheme. He'd just gotten out of prison and regained custody of his son, and doesn't want anything to happen to ruin his new life. "Why don't you get Martinez?" he asks. Nick replies that Martinez is dead. "He said 'no'."
Reluctantly, Scott agrees to join the group, and Nick informs him that there's going to be a fourth member of the team: a man named R.H. ("Right Hand") Cross. Scott, Dewey and Nick have never met Cross, but he was recommended to Nick by another "friend", a man named Trini. Cross is a safe-cracker, but only has one good arm. He's going to be arriving, Nick tells Scott, at 3 o'clock that afternoon at the train station.
After Nick and Dewey leave, Scott returns to his job and his son... and Jarod catches a cab to the train station.
Waiting for Cross to arrive, Jarod phones Miss Parker and tells her that he was sorry she'd "missed the party in Omaha". Miss Parker says she doesn't know what he's talking about, so Jarod explains that she must have been "cut out of loop" by Lyle and Brigitte. He'd discovered Brigitte -- "the blonde" with "killer legs" -- tracking him, and had managed to elude her, but was surprised that he hadn't seen Miss Parker in with the rest of the trackers. Jarod asks: "You're not giving up on me, are you, Miss Parker?", and Miss Parker replies with a dry, "You wish."
Hanging up on Miss Parker, Jarod then intercepts Cross before Nick can find him, and sends Cross off on another mission: to rob The Centre's office in Indianapolis. [Cross, of course, doesn't know it's The Centre.] Jarod tells Cross to meet him in four days in New York at the Hotel Argyle, and hands him a package to leave at the scene of the Indianapolis burglary. Cross leaves, and Jarod assume his identity just as Nick arrives at the train station.
Back at The Centre, Mr. Lyle is upset because, not only is Jarod still running around "scott free", he's also just stolen $15 million from The Centre, and donated most of it to charity in Mr. Lyle's name. The reception area of The Centre is littered with floral arrangements sent by grateful people and foundations to whom the moneys was sent. Mr. Lyle tells Brigitte that it's not just the stolen money that bothers him, it's the fact that Jarod seems to be "rubbing their noses in it."
When he's later confronted by Miss Parker, who demands to know why he didn't tell her about Omaha, Lyle responds with: "It's not my job to inform you of Jarod's whereabouts. It's your job to inform me." He'll give her no apologies... and accept no excuses.
Along with Nick, Dewey and Scott, Jarod practices the break-in and burglary Nick has planned. Dewey will act as a decoy to distract the police; Scott will disarm the alarms and surveillance cameras, Nick will act as lookout, and Jarod will open the safe. While working on their timing and strategy, Jarod learns that Nick was something of a father-figure to Scott when Scott -- an orphan -- was growing up. Nick had clothed and sheltered Scott, and taught him the tricks of the trade. But when a job went sour, Nick had abandoned Scott and let him go to jail, alone, for seven years.
Not all father-son relationships are "good" ones, Jarod understands.
When Jarod and Scott leave the "hide-out" at the end of the day, Jarod is
unaware that the local Police Department is keeping an eye on Scott (a parolee)
and is taking photos of everyone associated with him. When the photos arrive
at the desk of Detective Evans of the Middletown P.D., Evans sends Jarod's
photo through the police internet, trying to find out who he is. The photo
is intercepted by Broots, who relays the information to Miss Parker. Miss
Parker decides to get Evans to help her track down Jarod, but first she insists
that Broots do a thorough search of Evans' background. She demands: "If he
stole a Babyruth when he was six, I want to know how many nuts it had."
While Jarod and Scott get ready for the burglary, Scott pulls a gun from his equipment case and points it at Jarod. When he pulls the trigger, a flame comes out of the nozzle. It's not a gun; it's a lighter. Jarod is not amused by the facsimile. "Sometimes," Scott explains, "looking dangerous is enough."
Back at The Centre, Brigitte brings to Mr. Lyle (while Miss Parker, Sydney, and Broots are on hand) a large manila envelope containing a red notebook and a Wheel-O toy that had been left by Cross at the burglary of The Centre's office in Indianapolis. The red notebook indicates a rendezvous at the Hotel Argyle in New York, but Sydney and Miss Parker warn that Jarod would never leave behind such a blatant clue to his whereabouts behind. Brigitte ignores Sydney's warning and tells Mr. Lyle that Cross just screwed up, and that the notebook would definitely lead her to Jarod. Mr. Lyle gives her leave to go to New York. When he then asks Sydney what the Wheel-O toy is about, Sydney explains that it's indicative of "something". Miss Parker elaborates: "It means you're going nowhere... fast."
Subsequently, much to her chagrin, Brigitte returns from New York, empty-handed. Jarod isn't in New York, he's in Delaware... only about 100 miles from The Centre.
On a later evening, while burglarizing the DeWitt and Associates office with Nick and Scott, Jarod is startled to discover that the security guard is running fast on his rounds and returns more quickly to the office than any of the group had anticipated. Jarod breaks into the safe, and then approaches the door with a gun in his hand. He aims the gun at the door, on the other side of which is the security guard, then points the gun at the ceiling. When he pulls the trigger, a flame comes out -- his gun, too, is just a lighter -- and the flame sets off the fire alarms and sprinklers in the building. With that as a distraction, Jarod, Scott, and Nick are able to escape from the DeWitt office unnoticed. What they've stolen from the office isn't money, however. They've stolen a magnetic key-card.
The card, Nick explains, is to the Federal Diamond Depository in Wilmington, Delaware. A shipment of $20 million in raw uncut diamonds is coming through the depository, and it's the diamonds Nick wants.
When Scott balks at the notion of a second burglary, and refuses to cooperate, Nick has Dewey kidnap Sean to force Scott to go along with the big burglary. Reluctantly, Scott agrees to participate.
Meanwhile, Miss Parker goes to the Middletown Police Department and confronts Detective Evans with some very incriminating, blackmail style photographs she's found of him. She demands that he help her find Jarod or she'll do what's necessary with the photos to cause Evans the most embarrassment. At first, Evans refuses to cooperate, then he folds and tells Miss Parker that he thinks he knows where Jarod and the other burglars might show up next: the diamond depository.
Back at The Centre Miss Parker tells Broots, Sydney, Mr. Lyle and Brigitte what she's discovered. They contrive to trap Jarod at the diamond depository. Miss Parker says she wants to grab him before he gets into the building, but Brigitte insists that letting him enter the building and start on the burglary will lull him into a false sense of security, and make it easier for Centre Sweepers to get him. Mr. Lyle agrees, and again closes Miss Parker out of the chain-of-command. What no one at The Centre knows, however, is that Jarod is already aware that Miss Parker is in town. When Dewey snapped external photos of and around the diamond depository, he'd captured an image of Miss Parker exiting her car. Jarod recognized her immediately.
The night of the big burglary, Jarod, Nick and Scott enter the depository... and are watched on surveillance cameras by Broots, Syndey, Miss Parker, Mr. Lyle and Brigitte, who have all camped out in the security-operations office of the same building. Mr. Lyle has seen to it that Broots has control of the building's security systems -- so they can watch Jarod even when Scott manages to by-pass the security cameras in the vault area.
Sydney warns: "Jarod would never have walked in here without a plan to walk out." And Miss Parker demands that she be allowed to grab Jarod once he's in the vault area. But again Brigitte convinces Mr. Lyle that she has things under control. She'll let the burglary continue, then trap Jarod as he and the others try to leave the premises.
In the vault area, Jarod sets up a lap-top computer, and then gets his burglary tools out. When he tries to drill a hole into the vault's main lock, however, the drill bit breaks. Jarod has Nick remove the broken bit from the drill while he backs away to retrieve another one... demanding that Scott come to help him. As soon as Scott is beside him, Jarod closes the gates on the vault area, and locks Nick inside with all the burglary equipment. Nick threatens to shoot Jarod, and Jarod tells him to go ahead and try. Nick pulls the trigger on his gun... and a flame shoots out of the end of it. Unbeknownst to Nick, Jarod had replaced the trigger mechanism in his gun with a lighter mechanism. Jarod quips to Scott: "Sometimes looking dangerous is enough... and sometimes it's NOT."
Nick demands that Jarod release him from the vault area, but Jarod instead hands him a cell phone and demands that Nick call Dewey and have Sean released. Nick does as he's told, and throws the cell phone back at Jarod... and Jarod catches it with his LEFT hand, the one that's not supposed to work. "You should have checked with Trini," Jarod tells Nick, and then, smiling, leaves the vault area with Scott.
In the security office, Broots notices that Scott and Jarod are on the move, and tries to activate the security system in the building to cut off their escape. But instead, all of the exterior exits open up throughout the building. [[The laptop Jarod had set up in the vault area, had been connected to the building's security system and had over-ridden all of the Broots' controls.]] The only door that LOCKS in the building is the one to the security office. Brigitte runs to try to catch the door before the lock sets, but can't get there fast enough. She, Mr. Lyle, Broots, Sydney and Miss Parker are all trapped inside the office. Standing behind Brigitte, Miss Parker simply smirks with delight.
Back at Scott's house, Scott and Jarod are relieved to find that Sean has been released by Dewey and is in fine health. Jarod gives Scott an envelope filled with some of the money he had stolen earlier from The Centre -- "Don't worry. It's money that was owed to me." -- so they can leave the state and build a new life for themselves. When Scott asks why Jarod has given him such a gift, Jarod says, "Think of it as an early Father's Day present."
Much later, at a sidewalk pay phone, Jarod calls Sydney. Sydney tells him that he hopes Jarod's situation hasn't been made worse by aggravating Mr. Lyle and embarrassing Brigitte. Jarod tells Sydney that he didn't call about them. "I've been thinking," he says. "And I was wondering if you ever thought about what it would have been like to be my father."
Syndey answers, "That was never an option, Jarod, so I never allowed myself to even entertain such a notion."
Disappointed with the rejection, Jarod responds with a despondent: "Well, thank you, Syndey... for your honesty anyway." He hangs up the phone and walks away, alone, down the sidewalk. As the camera shows us images of a dejected Jarod walking slowly away, his back to us, it also shows us images of Sydney.
Syndey reaches into his desk and pulls out a silver metal box. In the box is the origami rendering of Onyssius Jarod had created...
...one of the red monkeys from his Barrel of Monkeys toy...
...and the hand-drawn Father's Day card Jarod had made for him...
BEST LINE(S): Miss Parker to Broots: "Did you eat the WHOLE onion for breakfast?" // Jarod and the cab driver had a conversation during which the cab driver asked what Jarod did for a living. Jarod answered, "I'm a one-armed safe-cracker." "Oh, yeah?" the cabby laughed. "Which arm?"
OUR REVIEW: The writers did a good job in this quick-paced story with a touching side-line: fatherhood, in all of its manifestations. Viewers are again informed of the fact that Jarod -- like all displaced and abused children -- is literally aching for some kind of "attachment"... even if it's with people who betrayed and misused him in the past. Such revelations make the character of Jarod all the more affecting... and more real.
[Okay, how many of you fans noticed that the
pen Sean had inscribed and given to Scott for Father's Day was a 14kt rose-gold
EPISODE THREE:"Over the Edge"(air date 11-15-97)
In Spokane, Washington, Jarod (as Jarod Shatner*) has become a part of the local USAR (Urban Search and Rescue) team, an elite group of rescue workers who can enter into areas were local police and emergency personnel would have trouble gaining access, such as the outside of high-rise buildings or over the side of bridges. Jarod is investigating the injury of one USAR crewman named Chris Wellman, who fell -- or jumped -- from a four-foot tower on the USAR Training grounds. Chris didn't die from his fall, but he was left comatose for a while, and then remained in the hospital after regaining consciousness, suffering from post-trauma shock and amnesia. The company's insurance won't pay for his injuries, however, since it was generally accepted that Chris had attempted suicide. He had been "depressed" for a while before his injury, and investigators found a suicide note logged into his personal computer.
Jarod, however, finds that Chris's fall wasn't attempted suicide and wasn't an accident. Jarod hypothesizes that if Chris had, indeed, jumped from the top of the four-story training tower, he should have died instantly upon impact with the ground. The fact that Chris survived the fall suggested that he hadn't fallen the full four stories. There was also trauma and bruising to Chris's lower back that couldn't be easily accounted for. Simulating Chris's fall, Jarod determines that Chris had been practicing with life-lines and repel ropes over the side of the training tower; that when he was halfway down the side of the tower, his ropes had been cut by someone, and he had then fallen to the ground back-first, landing on the large rings that had secured him to the lines. The rings accounted for the bruising on his lower back. [If Wellman had taken a suicide jump from the tower, he wouldn't have had his life-saving gear on, Jarod understands.]
Jarod also discovers that Chris's "depression" was caused by the fact that, after the death of his father, he had been unable to locate his estranged mother. Jarod finds the mother, Grace -- a recovering heroine addict -- at a free clinic in Spokane, where she's receiving methadone treatments. Jarod follows Grace to the ramshackle hotel (the Hotel La Salle) where she's staying and encourages her to visit Chris in the hospital, but Grace doesn't want Chris to see her. She's embarrassed by her addiction, and doesn't believe she's ever been a good mother to her son. She tells Jarod -- her voice filled with self-loathing -- " I've always been a great addict... but I'm worthless as a mother!" Jarod gives her the gift of some Ogden Root (an organic medicinal herb) to help soothe the latent symptoms that correspond with her recovery from her addiction, and tells reminds her that she had once found the strength inside of herself somewhere to quit heroine; perhaps she can find that same strength again, and use it to help her go to her son.
The dynamic between Chris and his mother, reminds Jarod of his own longing to see and be with his own mother again. "I would give anything to feel her arms around me..." he says. He uses a sensory deprivation tank (a.k.a. "isolation tank") to drift off, in his mind, in search of her. He succeeds in forming mental images of her, and can sometimes hear her voice, but is unable to touch or feel her.
Meanwhile, back at The Centre, Mr. Raines has hired a man named Dr. Curtis, a criminal behaviorist, to try to find out who had shot Raines' oxygen tank in Boston (and left Raines burned and dependent on skin grafts). Curtis interviews everyone who had been in Boston at the time of the shooting, including Sydney, Broots, and Miss Parker. Although Curtis is able to aggravate both Broots and Sydney into displaying anger in front of him, he's not prepared for Miss Parker's reaction to his questioning.
Before their discussion even gets off the ground, Miss Parker -- who openly refers to Mr. Raines as "Scar man" -- grabs Dr. Curtis by his necktie, strangles him with it until he drops to his knees, and then finds the mini-video camera tucked inside of his clothes. Miss Parker turns the eye of the camera to her, looks directly into the lens, and says, through her teeth, to Mr. Raines (who is watching the video taping from the ICU in The Centre): "If I'd shot you, you son of a bitch, you'd be dead. Are...we...clear?"
Back in Spokane, Jarod discovers the truth about Chris's injury: Another member of the USAR team, Bobby Cain, had been sexually harassing the only female member of the team, Joellen Gillespie, and Chris found out about it. When Bobby's harassment of Joellen had started, she'd tried to laugh it off, thinking it was just a form of intense flirting, but then Bobby's advances became so aggressive that Joellen got scared. She didn't tell her superiors, though, because she believed she'd be ostracized from the group by the other men, labeled a "black sheep" of the squad, or perhaps even lose her job. Bobby also out-ranked her, and she felt his "connections" would protect him from any sort of formal complaint. When Chris found out what Joellen was going through, he'd confronted Bobby, and even wrote up a report detailing the harassment Joellen had had to endure. When Bobby found out, he tried to kill Chris by cutting his repel lines when Chris was training on the tower... but the attempted murder didn't succeed. Chris didn't die from the fall.
Jarod goes to Joellen and tells her she has to file a complaint against Bobby so the truth is known... And, he tells her her claims are supported by the fact that Bobby had done the same thing to another woman in Portland, Oregon, but had intimidated the woman so severely that she she dropped her charges against him and quit the corps. If Bobby was going to be stopped, Joellen would have to speak up for herself. Jarod, however, aids her in her cause by setting Bobby up and forcing a confession out of him.
Answering what he believes is a 9-1-1 call, Bobby goes to a multi-story bridge in town where a workman has apparently suffered a heart-attack on his over-the-side-of-the-bridge scaffolding and is unable to move. Jarod goes with Bobby, but doesn't tell him that the call is a fake. The "victim" on the scaffolding is actually a poet-derelict named Spencer, whom Jarod has befriended. (Spencer lived in an abandoned trailer right next door to the USAR training facility, and carried around with him at all times a small hand-held tape recorder into which he'd recite poetic verses as they came to him.)
When Bobby hitches himself to repel ropes and goes over the side of the bridge to rescue the "victim", Jarod sees to it that the winch holding Bobby's lines fails. Bobby drops several dozen feet, before Jarod pulls the brakes on the winch and stops him from falling. When Bobby demands to know if Jarod's fiddling with the winch is some kind of sick joke, Jarod answers him: "This is no joke, Bobby. At least, I'm not laughing."
To demonstrate what will happen to Bobby if he's allowed to fall further, Jarod drops a watermelon off the side of the bridge. It plummets past Bobby and hits the ground, where the force of impact causes it to "explode" into pinkish shreds and pieces. Jarod then threatens to let Bobby follow the watermelon, if Bobby doesn't confess to his crime. Screaming hysterically, and begging Jarod not to kill him, Bobby confesses that he caused Chris's injuries. Spencer gets Bobby's confession on his tape recorder; nevertheless, Jarod still loosens the brake on the winch again and lets Bobby fall (still attached to his ropes) until he's only inches away from the ground. Then Jarod slams the brake on again, and leaves Bobby dangling there until the authorities can be notified.
Twenty-four hours later, in the wharf district in San Francisco, Dr. Curtis brings his finding to a warehouse where a figure is waiting for him in the shadows. He tells the figure that he did what the figure asked him to do: he told Mr. Raines that he was unable to determine, exactly, who had done the shooting in Boston. Curtis then hands the figure a black folder in which, he says, are his REAL findings. Apprehensively, Curtis tells the figure, "So... we're even." The figure steps out of the shadows. It is Jarod -- or someone who looks exactly like Jarod. He answers Curtis with a flat, "...For now..." and withdraws into the dark again. Shaking and sweating, Curtis breathes a nervous sigh before leaving the warehouse.
Back at the clinic where Chris is hospitalized, Jarod and Joellen are pleased when Chris's mother, Grace, shows up to visit her son. Jarod escorts Grace into Chris's room, and watches as mother and son interact: touching, smiling, crying, kissing one another...
Later, Jarod returns to his isolation tank and conjures up images of his mother again. She reaches out to him, tells him that she loves him, and takes his hand... Inside the tank, Jarod open his eyes, wraps him arms around himself ...
... feeling her hold him ...
...and the rolls onto his side in a fetal
DISCOVERIES: Spiderman, She-Hulk, watermelon, bungie cords.// In this story, viewers also learn that Jarod was once a psychological reconstructionist, a Congressional advisor on drug policy, was well-acquainted with Dearling's Theory on Shock Trauma, and had been a triage surgeon, but "only until I became a rodeo clown".
BEST LINE(S): When a nature-loving "hippie" type in Serenity Beach, Oregon tries to give Miss Parker a hug, she warns him: "I have a gun, and I'll use it." // Miss Parker to Broots when he worries about being interrogated by Dr. Curtis: "They're looking for a shooter, not a whiner." // When a patient in the free clinic in Spokane tries to explain Spiderman's "spider sense" to Jarod, and describes it as a tingling sensation in Spiderman's head, Jarod responds with: "I wasn't aware that arachnids had heads that tingled."// Spencer to Jarod when Jarod is yelling outside the USAR training tower: "Hey! If I wanna hear something that loud, I'll stick a gun in my mouth!"
Not one of the best episodes, it followed
the lead set by the previous two episodes of this season. The first
episode explored Jarod's feelings about his brother, Kyle; the second explored
his need for a father; and this one explored his desire to find out of his
mother loves him (even though she doesn't really know him). The story
itself seemed somewhat shallow and contrived in places, but established
a new tangent for writers to expand upon further: the meeting of Jarod
-- or Jarod's lookalike -- with Dr. Curtis in San Francisco. If the
figure WAS Jarod, then Jarod is becoming more powerful and on more of an
even keel with his pursurers at The Centre. [It IS possible, and most
likely, that the figure was Jaord. San Francisco is only
a few short hours away from Spokane by airplane; and Jarod would have had
ample time to go there if he'd so desired. It's also not uncommon for
people who were abused as children to seek their own "power" as they get
older and confront their abusers directly.] If , on the other hand, the figure
was a LOOKALIKE, then his identity and purpose will need to be revealed.
Such possibilities open up a whole array of new story lines, and opportunities
to delve into the recesses of Jarod's somewhat "dual" personality.
(*) Shatner: Undoubtedly a reference to William Shatner, once Captain Kirk on the television series "Star Trek" and later the host of "Rescue 9-1-1". In this episode, one of Jarod's co-workers also refers to Jarod as "Star-man".
EPISODE FOUR: "Exposed" (air date 11-22-97)
In Miami, Florida, Jarod -- as Jarod Adams(*) -- works as a fashion photographer, at the Darrin Faxon Modeling Agency, to find and expose a stalker who seemingly caused the death of fashion model Kimberly Green. Green had been stalked for months, and was even attacked by her ski-mask wearing assailant with acid when she rejected his control over her. Presumably, while being pursued by the stalker, Green "accidentally" drove her car into a lake. Although her body was never found, she was presumed dead. The presumption seemed supported by the fact that Kimberly's sister, Erika, acted as though her sister was no longer living: speaking about Kimberly in the past-tense, going on with her own life, and making such statements as, "Now she's at peace."
While working on a photographic portfolio for a new up-and-coming model, Cindy Thomas, Jarod discovers that Cindy is now the focus of the stalker's obsession. Like Kimberly Green before her, she's received photographs of herself with the words, "You're Mine" scrawled in red pen on them, and with the eyes burned out (with acid). The disfiguring of the photographs is the stalker's way of eliciting fear in his victim, removing a bit of her "identity", and making it impossible for the victim to "see" who he is: all attempts at threatening and manipulating the victim while displaying his "power" over her. Jarod understands exactly how the stalker's victim feels. While he was at The Centre, his privacy was constantly invaded by faceless people who watched his every action through video cameras. When he once pleaded with Sydney to remove the cameras so they could have a private moment together, Sydney disengaged the ceiling mounted unit, as a favor to Jarod. The taste of "freedom" was soured, however, when Jarod discovered that although Sydney had promised him that the room was camera-free and that they were "safe", there was a camera hidden in the center of the clock on the wall... and they were being watched. Jarod responded to the betrayal and the intrusion into his privacy with anger and frustration, and ran out of the room. Sydney, who had been unaware of the camera until Jarod pointed it out to him, looked into the camera's lens and swore, "Damn you."
In the present day: Jarod concludes that Cindy's stalker, MUST be someone in the agency... as none of Cindy's photographs have yet been released to the public, so no one but staff would even know who she is. Along with Jarod at the agency are a photographer named Brian, whose work is consistently criticized and rejected by Darrin Faxon, and a stuttering withdrawn photo-enhancer name Toby, who secretly photographs the models when no one is watching him. Either one of them, or anyone in the studio "crew", could be Cindy's nemesis.
To try to "get into the head" of the stalker, Jarod hires an actress, Zoe, to act as "victim" for him, and he stalks her for awhile, seeing how she reacts to being constantly watched and followed. Zoe eventually turns the tables on him, however, when -- after feeling that the simulation Jarod has concocted is too "real" -- she approaches a policeman on the street, and seeks his assistance. Before the policeman can act, Jarod disappears, leaving Zoe alone and confused. Later, Jarod meets with Zoe in a park, pays her for her time, and apologizes for frightening her.
Meanwhile, to distract Miss Parker, Jarod sends her to Maine in search of her missing father. First, Jarod sees to it that a knapsack is left for her at the Happy Faces Photo Phun studio in Manhattan, New York. Inside the knapsack is a pile of fashion magazines and a View Master toy -- with no reel in it. Later, when she's back at The Centre, Miss Parker receives another package from Jarod. This one is from Maine, and contains a live lobster and a reel for the View Master toy. Inside the lobster's claw is a note which reads: "Where's Daddy?". On the View Master reel are pictures of: (1) a city limits sign for Rock Cove, Maine; (2) an antique store; (3) Jarod in front of Chuck's Lobster House; and (4) Jarod, wearing wintertime Postal worker's attire, holding a sign that reads, "Have a nice trip."
Miss Parker goes to Rock Cove, and while she's ambling around the streets, Jarod calls her on her cell phone. The two of them have an abbreviated argument:
Miss Parker: "If you know where my father is, you
Jarod: "You tell me where my parents are."
Miss Parker: "I don't know."
Jarod: "Find out."
Miss Parker: "This isn't funny, Jarod."
Jarod: "Now you know how I feel... Happy hunting."
He also tells Miss Parker to say 'hello' for him to "Gladys", but before Miss Parker can ask him who Gladys is, Jarod hangs up.
In Miami, going through the police reports of Kimberly Green's death, Jarod realizes that there is the distinct possibility that Kimberly had not died in the auto accident that sent her car into the lake. He recalls that when he was younger, at The Centre, he had once pretended to be dead hoping that if everyone thought he was deceased, they'd all leave him alone.
He accesses the phone records of Kimberly's sister, Erika, and finds that Erika calls someone in another city in Florida every night at 10:30. He goes to that beachside city, and discovers Kimberly there, walking on the beach. He takes photos of her, and presents them to Erika as proof that he knows that Kimberly is still alive. At first, fearing that Jarod is stalker, Erika refuses to cooperate with him. But he convinces her that if he was the stalker, he wouldn't be revealing himself or talking to her, he'd be out terrorizing Kimberly. Then, to convince both Erika and Kimberly that he sincerely understands what they've been through, he shows them one of the DSA's of himself as a child in The Centre... trying to hide from the "eyes" that were always watching him. Convinced that Jarod can help them catch the stalker, the sisters agree to work with him.
In Maine, using the View Master reel as a guide, Miss Parker goes to the antique store pictured on the reel. Inside, is a woman named Gladys who presents to Miss Parker an antique music box... that doesn't work anymore. The only way to make the unit play music is to find the two figurines that fit and dance inside of it. Gladys tells Miss Parker that the man who's going to meet her or lunch tomorrow may be able to tell her what the music box means.
The next afternoon, Miss Parker goes to Chuck's Lobster House, which was also pictured on the View Master reel. There she meets up with "Ben"-- the same man whom viewers met last season when Miss Parker visited his bed and breakfast in Maine. Ben and Miss Parker's mother, Catherine, had known each other for many years, and eventually fell in love with each other, but as Catherine was married to Mr. Parker, they were unable to live their lives together. Ben explains that music box was once Catherine's... and that Jarod had given him one of the two figurines that went inside of it. Ben gives the figurine -- a tiny ballet dancer -- to Miss Parker. But the music box still won't play without the second figurine.
Back in Miami, Kimberly explains to Jarod that she only saw her stalker face-to-face once -- when he tried to disfigure her with acid -- and he was wearing a ski mask at the time. All she remembers are his eyes. Knowing that Toby -- the photo enhancer at the Faxon Agency -- is a closeted photographer, Jarod convinces Toby to take pictures of everyone during the next photo-shoot of Cindy Thomas. Toby obliges and turns all of his photographs over to Jarod. At first, Kimberly is unable to find the "eyes" of her stalker among the crew, but finally -- after Jarod does some picture-enhancing himself on his laptop computer -- she finds them. They belong to Brian, the other photographer at the agency who can never seem to please Mr. Faxon. Jarod, Kimberly, and Erika then concoct a plan to trap and expose Brian.
First, Jarod sends Brian a photograph of himself with the words, "You're Mine," written on it, and with the eyes of the photograph burned out with acid. Then he releases Kimberly (and a decoy) into the agency... Brian, believing she was dead, is startled to see her, and follows her through the building to a studio room. When he first catches up with the woman he believes to be Kimberly and grabs her, the woman turns around and we see that it is Zoe: the actress who had helped Jarod earlier with his stalker simulation. Zoe leaves the room, shuts and locks the door, and immediately the lights go out. Brian is trapped inside the blackened studio room, and can hear Kimberly talking to him from somewhere in the shadows.
Then, suddenly, strobe lights go off from every direction as cameras snap photograph after photograph of Brian, stumbling half-blinded in the otherwise dark room, as Kimberly, Erika, and Jarod taunt him from the shadows. In his confusion and fear, Brian admits to being Cindy's and Kimberly's stalker, and when he does, Jarod approaches him with a vial of what he says is acid. Brian falls onto his back on the floor, and Jarod throws the "acid" onto his face. Terrified, Brian screams and rubs at his skin, but Jarod explains to him that the solution is only a little C02 and water... Although it stings and tingles, it's not acid.
Later, at the Faxon Agency, Jarod encourages Toby to show Mr. Faxon his portfolio of photographs... and we then see Toby as the main cameraman at Cindy Thomas's next photo-shoot. Meanwhile, Brian is taken to jail on stalking charges, and Erika and Kimberly are free to live their lives in the open again.
Back in her office at The Centre, Miss Parker receives another telephone call from Jarod, during which he tells her that she now has all the information she needs to locate her father. She looks at the music box, and the figurine...Then picks up the View Master again to look at the last picture on the reel: that of Jarod in Postal worker's attire. She picks up the pile of mail lying on her desk, and rummages through the envelopes until she finds a padded one addressed to her. When she opens it, she finds the second figurine -- another ballerina -- inside. Miss Parker asks Jarod what the box is all about, and he tells her it's an early birthday present. She explains that her birthday isn't until January 3rd, and Jarod remarks, "That's the point."
Still confused, Miss Parker places the second figurine inside the music box and winds the key. The ballerinas start spinning slowly and music starts to play. When the song is over, a small compartment in the bottom of the box pops open. Miss Parker looks into the compartment, and pulls from it a bent black-and-white photograph. It is of Catherine, Miss Parker as an infant... and Ben. Knowing that Catherine always visited Ben in the spring, and more precisely in April of each year, the significance of the photo suddenly dawns on Miss Parker. She counts on her fingers: May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December, January... Nine months... Miss Parker was conceived in April - when her mother was with Ben... Ben is her biological father.
Just as she's attempting to digest this information, Mr. Parker arrives
unannounced in her office! He walks over to her, and jokes with her about
"poaching" the rabbit-shaped paper weight from his desk, as though nothing
had happened. When she asks him where he's been, he answers her only with
a cryptic: "If I told you, I couldn't protect you." Then, smiling, he
tells her, "Mr. Lyle and Mr. Raines want to talk with us. Come along, just
follow my lead..." Still stunned, Miss Parker follows Mr. Parker out
of her office.
DISCOVERIES: Drinking the juice from an unpealed orange through a straw; View Master. (We find out that Broots once had a complete set of "Thunderbirds" View Master reels.)
BEST LINE(S): Miss Parker when she's overrun by children at the Happy Faces Photo Phun studio: "Where's Planned Parenthood when you need them?"// Darrin Faxon in regards to a photo of a model taken by Brian: "I didn't know Earl Schibe(**) did hair."
Trivia Note: When Jarod said to Cindy: "Miami has the best doughnuts... I had my first doughnut when I was here," it was in reference to an episode in the first season, "To Serve and Protect", in which Jarod played police officer Jarod Starr. He discovered doughnuts in that episode. His favorites were Raspberry Supreme and Bavarian Cream.
OUR REVIEW: A fast hour, this
episode was lean and well-edited; and it gave us another insight into what
Jarod's life had been like at The Centre. His lack of privacy there must
have been horrendously stifling -- so it's a wonder that he turned out as
well as he did. We found it interesting, too, that although Jarod
consistently demanded privacy for himself, and sought to return the privacy
stolen from the stalker's victims to them, he seemingly had no qualms at
all about invading Miss Parker's family's private life and exposing the truth
about her paternity to her (whether she was ready or willing to know about
it or not). It was, on its surface, a "simple" story, but one that made viewers
think about what "privacy" and "normalcy" are and what they really mean on
an individual basis. A good episode. We liked it.
(*) Adams: Most likely an homage to professional artist/photographer Ansel Adams whose stark black and white photographs are world-renowned. (**) Earl Schibe: nationally known automobile-painting company.
EPISODE FIVE: "Nip and Tuck" (air date 12-06-97):
Jarod, as plastic surgeon Dr. Jarod Clay, takes up a position at the Beverly Hills branch of the Surgicare Cosmetic Surgery Clinic in order to find out who disfigured a young girl, the violet- eyed Tricia Holmes, when she was brought to the clinic after a car accident. She had suffered facial lacerations in the accident and had been sent to the clinic for pro bono (free) care to repair the injuries, but came out with massive scarring and nerve damage that left the right side of her face warped and paralyzed.
At first Jarod believes the culprit is his bombastic, womanizing co-worker, Dr. Wade Eubanks, and tricks Eubanks into going to Tricia's home to confront him with a view of the damage done to Tricia's face. Eubanks is appalled by the damage he sees, but insists that even though he's a jerk he gives his patients 100% of his talent when he works on them. When he'd left Tricia after surgery, he says, she was calm, well-taken care of and ready to heal without scarring. The lacerations on her face caused by the accident, he says, were not severe enough to have resulted in such devastating damage. "Well, if you didn't do this to her... then who did?" Jarod wonders.
After Jarod approaches another plastic surgeon, Dr. Hoffman, who had been given a hasty promotion to the head of Surgicare's Santa Barbara branch shortly after Tricia's surgery, he discovers, through Hoffman, that the damage to Tricia's face had been done by Dr. Christine Brant, the chief of staff at the Beverly Hills branch of Surgicare. Hoffman explained that the clinic made most of its money off of wealthy and well-connected movie stars and super models, and only did the pro bono work on "county cases" (like Tricia's) because the law demanded it. On the same day Tricia came in for surgery, Hoffamn tells Jarod, an actress named Monique Gibbons was being worked on by Dr. Brant. Gibbons wanted a chin implant, but when her surgery started, Dr. Brant discovered that the transplant material intended for the procedure had been damaged and was unusable. In order to keep Gibbons happy, and to get the money the clinic needed (and Dr. Brant wanted), Dr. Brant went to Tricia (after Dr. Eubanks had finished with her), re-opened her face and harvested bone material from her jaw. In her haste, Dr. Brant severed the "7th cranial nerve" in Tricia's face, and left her disfigured. Hoffman admits that he had been given his promotion by Dr. Brant to keep him quiet, but had been so overwhelmed by guilt, that he'd sent Tricia anonymous gifts through the mail whenever he could. "I've felt trapped ever since," Hoffman complains. Unsympathetic, Jarod tells Hoffman to consider how Tricia felt: trapped by her own insecurities, behind a face that didn't work anymore.
Meanwhile, at The Centre, Broots complains to Miss Parker and Sydney that he feels as though he's being followed everywhere. When he took his daughter, Debbie, to the zoo and to the ice cream parlor, he said, he felt that someone was watching them, stalking them. Coming home from The Centre one night, Broots is attacked on his front lawn. Someone shoots at him several times from surrounding bushes, but he's left uninjured, in part because Angelo -- who escaped from The Centre with a high-level access key -- is there to shove him out of the way when the bullets start flying. Miss Parker is, at first, indifferent to Broots' concerns... until she discovers that she, too, is being stalked and photographed by someone.
Angelo, we also learn in this episode, is not so much a "human sponge" as he is an "empath". Touching materials that had been handled by other people, he can "feel" who the people were, what they were feeling when they handled the materials, and even experience some of the feelings of the people for whom the materials were intended. All of this information is, of course, somewhat trapped behind Angelo's inability to verbally express himself with ease.
When he's given some sculptures created by Jarod, he feels "sadness... hurt... shame...": the same things Jarod, with his pretender skills, assumed Tricia Holmes was feeling about her disfigurement. (She'd been so traumatized by the way her face had been left after the surgery that she hadn't come out of her house or gone to school for months.) In another instance, when Angelo's later given bullets from the gun that was used to attack Broots, he is able to determine that they weren't intended to "kill" Broots (just to frighten him), and had been fired by Brigitte.
When Miss Parker finds out that Brigitte is trying to confuse and cull Broots from the Parker-Green team, she confronts Brigitte, and the two of them have a subdued, hands-off cat-fight in The Centre.
Miss Parker: "Get something straight. Broots may be an idiot, but
he's MY idiot. The only one who terrorizes him is ME. You pull a gun on me,
no big deal, because I know you don't have the ROCKS to pull the trigger.
But the next time you mess with one of my team, I'll put a bullet right in
your blonde bonnet."
Brigitte: "They told me you weren't a bitch."
Miss Parker: "They were being kind."
Back at Surgicare, Jarod contrives a scheme to "get" Dr. Brant for the damage
she did to Tricia Holmes. He fills her lipstick with anesthetic and then
treats her to some high-potency champagne. Under the influence of both
depressants, Dr. Brant gets woozy and disoriented and Jarod offers to drive
her home. With Dr. Brant on the verge of unconsciousness, Jarod fakes a
high-speed accident with the car they're in. When Dr. Brant comes to, she's
in an operating room at Surgicare, and Jarod tells her she's been injured
in a car crash. He promises, however, to "fix" her.
After restraining Dr. Brant to the operating table, Jarod confronts her with the evidence he's found in the Tricia Holmes case, and forces her to admit to her crime. Dr. Brant confesses and pleads with Jarod to let her go, but he refuses. There's a super-model in the next room, he tells her, who's had a bad reaction to a chemical peel and now needs skin grafts. He tells Dr. Brant that SHE'S going to be his donor. Holding a mechanical skin parer over her face with one hand, Jarod uses his other hand to administer to her a dose of anesthetizing gas. Dr. Brant, believing that he's going to cut her skin off, screams until the gas overcomes her.
When she awakens again, Jarod is still with her, and tells her that he's done the best he could, harvesting skin grafts from her face, "considering I'm NOT a plastic surgeon. Hah!" He shows her an image of herself in a mirror: disfigured, bloodied, and scarred. She doesn't know it, but it's all a fake. The disfigurement was "manufactured" by Jarod with the use of clay-dough and catsup. He leaves her on the operating table and walks away. Newspapers later attest to the fact that she was indicted for malpractice.
Later, with some help from Jarod and through her own personal strength, Tricia Holmes -- who's damaged face is beyond being repaired -- gathers up the courage to leave her house. She walks down to the curb outside of her home where the local school bus is waiting, and is immediately greeted by schoolmates and friends who embrace her. The sight pleases Jarod, who had told Tricia previously: "When I got out, I realized what I was missing. Fresh air... trees... sunlight... Life's a gift. Nothing is worth missing out on it... I know what it's like to be on the outside, and I know that I'm stronger because of it... I know that life is a WEIRD journey, but to live it, you have to be out THERE."
Back at The Centre, Miss Parker receives a packet of photographs of herself from the stalker. To test Angelo's skills, Sydney hands him one of the photographs, hoping that Angelo will be able to tell them who the photographer is. Angelo is so overwhelmed by feelings of rage, fear, and distress, that he can hardly speak. The only words he can get out are, "Angry... confused... angry..." In a huff, Miss Parker leaves, and eventually Sydney and Broots leave Angelo as well. When he's alone, and slightly more calm, Angelo clings to the photograph and starts to speak:
"...I decide who lives or dies... I decide who lives or dies..."
It is the same mantra repeated over and over again by Jarod's brother Kyle,
the brother everyone thought had been killed by the FBI in a burning van.
The scene switches to a make-shift dark room in a warehouse setting. We see,
from above, a man standing over a table littered with photographs of Broots
and Miss Parker. A close-up of the man's hand shows us the same acid-scarring
that had been on Kyle's hand... but we never see the man's face.
sculpting, plastic surgery.
BEST LINES: There were a lot of amusing comments in this episode, to help contrast the heavier more dramatic moments. Most of the best lines were in conversations between Jarod and Dr. Eubanks. When Jarod is asked by Eubanks why he didn't give a pretty young patient something more than a "meager" 36-inch bustline, Jarod quipped: "I had to build her to code. Any more than that, she'd topple in an earthquake."//When Eubanks later tells Jarod, "You, my friend, are in need of some serious nookie," Jarod responds with: "Nookie... Is that another Clay-dough product?"// Jarod asks Eubanks if he's able to perform facial surgery on a patient without inflicting nerve damage, and Eubanks replies, "Is the Pope Catholic?" Jarod looks at him, not getting the joke, and says, "I believe that's mandatory."
OUR REVIEW: Hmmm... A LOT of information in this one to digest. Among other things, we found out that Angelo is "empathic": that opens up all sorts of interesting story lines (IF the fans will buy into the fantasy and accept that he has such abilities). We found out that even though Mr. Parker is back in The Centre, Mr. Lyle and Brigitte are still attempting a take-over of the place (and tried to trick Broots into joining "their side".) And we also discovered that Jarod had undergone a severe a crisis of identity while he was in The Centre, and lost all track of who he was and what he looked like. (In one instance, Jarod had withdrawn under a staircase in The Center and painted his face in a bizarre fashion in a vain attempt to figure out who he really was. In another instance, he walked through The Centre writing "I am nobody" on the glass doors, and told Sydney that he felt as though "I don't exist anymore... I want to know who I am".) This whole scenario opens the door to the possibility that The Centre baddies had had the opportunity to "implant" in Jarod whatever "identity" they wanted him to have. It certainly explained why and how he'd forgotten who his family was, and why he didn't recognize Kyle when he met him in The Centre. It also explained why he stayed in The Centre for as long as he did: inside The Centre he had an identity and purpose, but OUTSIDE of The Centre he didn't know who he was or how he fit into the world. When he finally grew strong enough to find his own place in the world, he'd escaped from The Centre and gave HIMSELF an identity and purpose... Interesting stuff.
EPISODE 6: "Past SIM"(air date 12-13-97)
In Baltimore, Maryland (the same place where the first season Christmas episode "Not Even a Mouse" took place), Jarod first appears as an Arctic Craze street-side ice cream vendor. He's met on the sidewalk by a neighbor buddy, a young man name Trevor, who thanks him for getting rid of the former ice cream salesman -- who had sold drugs to the kids in the neighborhood on the side. Trevor has a "Magic 8-Ball" toy, and shows it to Jarod, telling him that if he shakes the ball and asks it a question, the ball will give him an answer. Jarod closes his eyes, shakes the ball, and asks if he'll ever find his family. The ball answers with a cryptic: BETTER NOT TELL YOU NOW.
Jarod returns to his "home" in a warehouse where the Arctic Craze ice cream trucks are also housed, and turns on the television set. There is a news bulletin airing: two federal agents have been wounded in a well-orchestrated assault on the van in which a federal witness was being transported. The witness is Emma Barrett, a woman who saw yakuza (Japanese mafia) boss Sammy Tanaka gun down a rival drug dealer in a daylight shooting. [She and her son, Max, had been exiting a pet store at the time the assault took place, and Max had been killed in the crossfire. For over a year she had been living in hiding, waiting for the opportunity to testify in court against Tanaka. While the federal agents were transporting her to a safehouse, their motorcade was attacked, and Barrett was kidnapped.]
The newscaster describes the kidnapping as something out of a movie: a fake automobile accident had been staged to distract agents, and colored smoke bombs were set off in the area from several locations. Automatic weapons fire blanketed the area in bullets which hit two of the agents. One agent, the driver of the transport van, Jeffrey Edwards, was killed; another agent, Rusell Gillson, was shot in shoulder but survived. Jarod recognizes the scenario immediately.
When he was in The Centre, shortly before he escaped, he had aided Sydney in Simulation 2578, which had been described to him as a "rescue scenario". Jarod was asked to figure out how to rescue a victim from a van in a heavily armed motorcade. He had suggested that smoke bombs be placed in strategic locations... that gunfire be used to confuse the members of the motorcade... and that an accident be staged to render the van vulnerable to attack. The driver of the van in which the victim was being held would have to be killed, Jarod had concluded sadly, in order for the plan to work.
Realizing that his simulation had been perverted from a rescue mission to an assault mission in which people were injured and killed and a woman was kidnapped, Jarod nearly breaks down in tears. He immediately calls Sydney and demands to now what's going on. Sydney and Miss Parker tell Jarod that The Centre isn't in the kidnapping business, but (having been kidnapped by The Centre himself once) Jarod is not convinced. If Sydney and Miss Parker don't know what's going on, then the assault must have staged by Mr. Lyle, Jarod concludes.
"No one is going to die any more!," Jarod warns Sydney through his teeth. "If it's a war The Centre wants, it's what you will get!"
Jarod figures out that Mr. Lyle has formed an alliance with Sammy Tanaka and his yakuza, and has promised to deliver Emma Barrett to them in exchange for $10 million. If Barrett is in Tanaka's hands (or dead) she can't testify against him in court. It was Lyle's men who subverted Jarod's simulation and kidnapped Barrett.
Under the guise of a DOJ (Department of Justice) agent, Jarod tracks Emma down to a ramshackle motel where Centre operatives are holding her until the night of the transfer, but when he tries to rescue her, he's nearly run down by the Centre's van. Emma vanishes again, and Jarod doesn't know where to look for her next. He calls Sydney and requests his help, not really expecting Sydney to be able to do much of anything.
Sydney appears in Broots home the day before the Tanaka hearing, and asks him to break into Mr. Lyle's files and find out where Emma Barrett is. He assumes she's being kept in a Centre safehouse, but he doesn't know where it is. Broots has just regained custody of his daughter, Debbie, and doesn't want to compromise her safety by crossing Mr. Lyle, whom Broots describes as a lunatic. Sydney nods in understanding, and leaves. Then almost as soon as Broots turns around, Jarod comes walking down the staircase from the home's upper floor. Startled and terrified, Broots runs into the dining room, and then into the livingroom area and picks up the phone to call The Centre... but forgets the number. Jarod takes the phone from his hand, and demands his help in finding Emma. Broots explains his custody situation to Jarod, and tells him the same thing he told Sydney: he's afraid to do anything for fear that Lyle will take revenge on Debbie.
As their conversation progresses, however, Broots realizes that he won the custody battle over Debbie because Jarod had seen to it that the judge overseeing the case was made aware of the fact that Broots' ex-wife had squandered Debbie's child-support money on a gambling binge in Las Vegas. Broots is grateful, but still reluctant to help Jarod find Emma. Jarod shows him a photo of Emma's dead son, Max, and again demands that Broots assist him.
Meanwhile, in The Centre, we learn that Mr. Parker and Mr. Raines are working together to trip up Lyle. They want him out of The Centre so they can have their prestigious positions back, but first they have to convince the Triumvirate that Lyle is a liability. They contrive to louse up Lyle's transfer of money for Barrett with Tanaka's yakuza.
First, they see to it that Miss Parker acts as the only translator for the yakuza -- headed by Tony Tanaka, Sammy's son, a man with whom Miss Parker has spent a "long, hot college summer" with in Tokyo one year. Tony remembers Parker, and seems pleased to see her. She's shocked, however, when she notices that one of his hands is bandaged and his thumb is missing. He explains only that his father is a "very exacting" man who doesn't tolerate failure. It is the yakuza's way to remove the fingers of "offending" parties. Miss Parker and Tony have a small bit of fun talking in Japanese in front of Mr. Lyle (who doesn't understand the language) and insulting him to his face without his knowing it. Throughout their conversation Miss Parker refers to Mr. Lyle as "our illustrious pin-head", and Tony notes that his father warned him never to trust a man "who's nose is as brown as Mt. Fuji in the summer." What Miss Parker and Tony Tanaka don't know is: Mr. Parker and Mr. Raines also plan to steal the $10 million Lyle is going to get for the Barrett woman, by having Miss Parker type in a wrong access code when the electronic transfer of funds takes place.
Unbeknownst to Miss Parker, Mr. Lyle or anyone else, Broots breaks into Mr. Lyle's office and telephones the information about the location of the safehouse to Jarod. The night of the transfer, Miss Parker, Mr. Lyle, Tony Tanaka and members of the yakuza and The Centre's sweeper team arrive at the safehouse where Barrett is being kept. They don't know it, but Jarod is there, too.
Before Barrett is turned over to Tony Tanaka, Lyle insists that the electronic transfer of funds takes place. A lap-top computer is set up and Miss Parker types in the transfer code given to her by Mr. Raines. Everyone watches as a computer-generated graphic shows the money drain from the Tanaka account into The Centre's account. But then, suddenly, the money sifts out of The Centre's account as well... and disappears. Lyle thinks Tony Tanaka has betrayed him and taken the funds back; Tanaka thinks Lyle has re-routed the money into a private account and is stealing it for himself, and the two (and all of their henchmen) point guns at each other. Before anyone can fire off a shot, however, one of the sweepers comes crashing down the stairs from the upstairs bedroom. Miss Parker rushes to him and asks him what happened. He says only: "Jarod."
Realizing that Jarod has used the distraction of the transaction to nab Barrett, Miss Parker rushes outside to try to catch him, but he's already speeding away with Barrett in a jeep.
Jarod takes Barrett to the Arctic Craze warehouse where he's staying, but she's not sure if she can trust him or not. He says he has to keep her there, for her own protection, until the next morning when he'll take her to the federal court house where she can testify against Sammy Tanaka in the killing of her son, Max. Exhausted, Jarod later dozes off and is awakened by the beeping alarm on his wrist watch. When he goes to retrieve Emma from her room, he finds she is gone - escaped through a small window. Shortly afterwards, Jarod finds Emma at the grave of her son, and convinces her to return to the courthouse with him to testify.
At the courthouse on the day of the hearing, Miss Parker, Sydney and The
Centre's sweeper team are all around the courthouse building, but there are
no federal agents around, and no special security. Miss Parker believes it
is because the Feds think Barrett is dead. Ten minutes before the hearing
starts, the sound of gunfire floods the outside of the courthouse and smoke
bombs go off around the perimeter. Miss Parker recognizes the whole thing
as a diversionary tactic, and runs into the courthouse, with some of the
sweepers and Sydney, guns drawn. She doesn't makes it through the metal
detectors. Security people stop her before she can pass.
Inside the courtroom, the judge is about to dismiss the case because witness has not shown up to testify, when Jarod escorts Barrett into the court room and identifies her. The judge, and Barrett's attorney, are glad to see that Barrett is safe, but Tanaka is furious. He's made even more angry when Jarod makes a point of approaching Special Agent Russell Gillson (who had been around during the initial kidnapping and was shot in the shoulder), and saying -- loud enough for Tanaka to hear -- "thank you" for all of his help in getting Mr. Tanaka put in jail. Jarod had come to the conclusion earlier that The Center couldn't have executed the kidnapping so effectively without "inside" help. He believed Gillson was the turncoat: evidenced by the fact that although Gillson said he'd tried to return fire during the gun battle (at the kidnapping), he'd actually not fired a single shot, and did nothing to interfere with the kidnapping. Telling Mr. Tanaka that Gillson was, in part, responsible for his facing a prison sentence, Jarod knew, Tanaka would not allow Gillson to live. Gillson understands this too, and looks across the courtroom at Tanaka, his eyes widening with fear.
As Jarod readies to leave the courtroom, Miss Parker and two of her sweepers enter, and threaten to grab him. He tells the bailiffs that he's DOJ, and that Miss Parker and her men are wanted fugitives. He orders the baliffs to put them under arrest. The bailiffs oblige and Jarod leaves as Miss Parker is being handcuffed.
With Sammy Tanaka in prison, Barrett safe under federal protection, and Gillson plea-bargaining for his life, the whole situation seemed to have been settled nicely... but not for Mr. Lyle. He lost Barrett, and he lost the $10 million he'd promised the Triumvirate (this is on top of the other millions he'd lost in a previous episode), and he'd put The Centre at risk. The Triumvirate isn't happy with him at all... and neither is Tony Tanaka. As Mr. Lyle leaves The Centre's parking lot one afternoon, we see his convertible being followed by a carload of yakuza assassins, who will, presumably, want more from him than just his thumb.
Inside The Centre, Mr. Raines and Mr. Parker are celebrating their triumph over Mr. Lyle, but their happiness is short-lived. When Raines checks into the account where the $10 million dollars was supposed to be, he finds the account is completely empty. The money has been stolen -- by Jarod, with help from Sydney (who told him what the access code to the account was) -- and will, Jarod promises, be used to help other people.
Along with his "thank you" for Syndey's help, Jarod sends Sydney the gift
of a "Magic 8-Ball" toy. Sydney shakes the ball and asks it if Jarod will
ever come home to him. The ball answers: BETTER NOT TELL YOU NOW.
DISCOVERIES: Magic 8-Ball
BEST LINE(S): Broots to Jarod when Jarod arrives unexpectedly in his home, "I feel like I should ask you for your autograph or something."// Mr. Raines, to more than one person: "You have my complete and total loyalty."
OUR REVIEW: This was a well-paced, interestingly convoluted story that kept viewers engaged. Our favorite part, though, was watching the somewhat "jaded" Jarod view a relatively recent DSA of himself when he, then a bit more "naive" and trusting, was still in The Centre's custody.
Even though he's got over a year of background on this character under his
belt, and even though, throughout most of the episode Jarod was angry and
even malevolent at times, Weiss was still able to make the pre-escapee
Jarod on the DSA appear wide-eyed, innocent, and eager to please Sydney.
This was a small example of the actor's extraordinary talent. We wish the
writers and producers would let him do more.
As Army Ranger Lieutenant Jarod Patton (*), Jarod seeks to find out the truth regarding a deceased Vietnam veteran , Private First Class Mark S. Clements, who was labeled as a traitor and wrongfully stripped of his honor and reputation in the early 1970's. Clements died in Vietnam when he, allegedly, accidentally stepped on a pressure-sensitive land mine called a "Toe Popper". [[When the mine is stepped on, it gives off a distinctive CLICKing sound, but doesn't detonate until the pressure (caused by the person stepping it) is released (by the person stepping OFF of it).]] Sensitive documents were found with his remains, which seemed to indicate that he was in the process of passing the documents on to the enemy when he died.
Believing he had been framed, Clements' daughter has spent her life trying to prove her father's innocence so that he can be honored as a hero and get his name on the Memorial Wall in Washington, DC, but she's thusfar been unsuccessful is proving anything. Jarod takes up her cause, and finds out what really happened to Clements, but first he has to ingratiate himself with the Army Rangers Captain Prentiss McClaren, who was Private Clements' commanding officer in Vietnam.
Posing as Lt. Patton, Jarod manufactures and demonstrates to McClaren a new kind of helmet-mounted mini-camera, the TAC (Tactical Aniscopic Camera), then promotes the TAC to Congressman Barney Stanfield (who was also a member of McClaren's Bravo Company in Vietnam at the time Clements died). McClaren and Stanfield hope to use the new TAC in Operation Dust-Off: "a joint mission with the Colombian military to infiltrate and destroy narcotics processing facilities" owned and operated by a drug lord called Esteban Largo. If they can photograph the Rangers destroying one of Largo's processing plants, they'll both get a boost in prestige and increase their "war on drugs" financing.
In a side story: at The Centre, Broots is sent by Mister Raines to The Centre's Miami, Florida office where Jarod has infiltrated The Centre's computer system. Broots is to do a complete mainframe inventory of the system there. He can't, however, find an appropriate baby sitter for his daughter Debbie. Her regular sitter is sick with the German Measles; her godmother is unavailable, and Broots won't leave her with someone he doesn't know. He convinces a very reluctant Miss Parker to look after her while he's gone.
At first Miss Parker resists all contact with Debbie, but finally bonds with her over their shared loss of their mothers -- (Miss Parker's loss through death, Debbie's loss through divorce and abandonment) -- and the joint unwrapping of a gift that had been left to Miss Parker by her mother, on the very day her mother died in The Centre elevator, which Miss Parker had never opened before. The gift was a volume of Little Women... and Debbie and Miss Parker take turns reading chapters in it.
Meanwhile, Jarod goes with Bravo Company when it destroys Largo's cocaine processing plant in Monte Guadalupe, Columbia, but -- while viewing the TAC-captured video tape of the operation -- uses his visual acuity to determine that there simply wasn't enough debris in the explosion of the plant for the plant to have been fully opperational when it was bombed. He determines that someone must have tipped off Largo just before the Rangers arrived, and that Largo had had time to remove most of his machinery and personnel before the Monte Guadalupe plant was destroyed.
Going through bank accounts and stock records he discovers that both Captain McClaren and Congressman Stanfield have been receiving regular, large deposits in their bank accounts from a South American cigar company called Santiago Caribe Cigars... which happens to be owned by... you guessed it: Esteban Largo. If McClaren and Stanfield were working together now to bilk and betray their country, Jarod decides, they must have been working together in Vietnam as well: but rather than protecting drug lords in Vietnam and taking the kickbacks, they were selling US secrets to the highest bidders. Clements wasn't the traitor; McClaren and Stanfield were. But Jarod has to prove that.
The only lead to the past that Clements' daughter had been able to find was a person called "Duke", whom her father had mentioned in the last letter he wrote before he died. Duke had information about a traitor in the company, Clements' had written, and Clements was going to try to find out who it was. Going over old newsreel footage of the Vietnam era, Jarod finds a tape from August 16, 1972 about the Toe Popper mines and the death of Private Clements. In the video is a young Vietnam boy named Le Xuan Duc... nicknamed "Duke" by his American soldier friends... who said he knew Private Clements and had watched him die.
Jarod tracks down Le Xuan Duc, who is now relatively wealthy and living under the name "Lenny Duke", and selling video tapes, via infomercials, about achieving "the American Dream". Jarod confronts Duke with questions about Clements' death, and even contrives to splice old newsreel footage of him into the rough cut of an infomercial video Duke is producing, but Duke refuses to go to the authorities with what he knows about Clements' death. He does tell Jarod what really happened, however:
In 1972, then a young child, Le Xuan Duc had discovered some "Classified" documents in then-Lieutenant McClaren's tent, and had told Clements about them. Clements couldn't brand McClaren as a traitor without proof, so he and Duc followed McClaren into the jungle one night to try to catch him in the act of transferring the Classified documents to the enemy. McClaren knew they were following, however, and lead them into a clearing where he had planted some land mines -- and where Duc stepped on a Toe Popper.
Not wanting Duc to be injured,Clements carefully transferred his own weight onto the pressure-sensitive mine and let Duc escape. Then McClaren came out of the jungle, and shot Clements in the leg, letting him bleed until the loss of blood caused him to fall off the land mine. The mine exploded, tearing Clements apart so that no evidence of the gunshot wound was visible. McClaren then planets bits of the Classified documents on Clements' remains, and branded him a traitor. In exchange for Duc's silence about the incident, McClaren saw to it that Duc and his entire family were air-lifted from war-ravaged Vietnam and settled in as naturalized citizens in the United States. Once in the US, Duc educated himself and found his fortune...
Although Lenny Duke regrets his lies, he still refuses to aid Jarod, so Jarod seeks to get a confession out of McClaren himself. He fakes a letter from Stanfield to McClaren in which the Congressman tells McClaren that their cover is blown, and that McClaren should meet him on the Rangers' testing ground in Lost Hills, Virginia. McClaren goes to the testing ground to meet Stanfield, but instead walks into a "clearing" and steps on what he believes is a Toe Popper mine. He can hear the mine's distinctive CLICK, and freezes in his tracks. Jarod appears, and at first McClaren is grateful to see him, and asks him to find someone to defuse the mine he's standing on. Then he realizes that Jarod set the mine himself... and that Jarod wants a full confession from him.
Reluctantly, angrily, McClaren admits to the truth about Clements' death, but tells Jarod that no one will take Jarod's word over his own, so the confession is worthless. Smiling, Jarod produces a camouflaged TAC, and informs McClaren that he has his confession on video tape. The public won't have to take Jarod's word about Clements' death: they'll have McClaren's own words as proof of what really happened. Jarod then tells McClaren that he's going to shoot him to get him to move off of the Toe Popper -- just as McClaren had shot Clements. Rather than shooting McClaren in the leg, however, Jarod shoots at the mine, which immediately explodes and covers a terrified McClaren with watery red, green and yellow goo. As McClaren stands trembling, dripping with bloody-looking refuse, Jarod tells him: "Don't wet your pants, sir. It's Jello."
Back at the Centre, Broots arrives to find Miss Parker and Debbie in the
Tech Room. Debbie has her hair done in a flip (like Miss Parker), is
wearing a leather skirt and fitted jacket (like Miss Parker), and is assuming
some of the same body language and stances as Miss Parker. Stupefied and
a little amused, Broots asks what happened to Debbie. Miss Parker tells
him: "We went shopping..." Then, approaching Broots, she continues
to him, privately, "She's a good kid... Always take care of her... or
I'll hunt you down and kill you. Understand?"
Miss Parker then goes to Debbie and gives her the copyof Little Women. Debbie hugs her in return.
The episode ends with a view of the Vietnam Memorial Wall... and the addition
of Private Mark S. Clements' name to it.
Best Line(s): Captain McClaren regarding the Vietnam War: "You know what I miss most about that war? -- My hair."// Miss Parker to Debbie when they first arrive at Miss Parker's home: "These are the house rules: no running, no playing, no feet on the furniture. And no noise, which includes crying and whining. Be invisible, and we'll get along just fine."
Our Review: This story
had the potential of stirring up a lot of emotions and mental images in a
wide variety of people, so it most likely effected people to different degrees
in different ways. Because of that, it's a little difficult to review this
We felt that some of the would-be heart-wrenching stuff (the conversations around the Wall, and Miss Parker's "melting" in front of Debbie at The Centre) were a trifle heavy-handed, but were -- in the long run -- effective. We knew, for example, that Miss Parker couldn't remain a total harpy around Debbie forever, so her eventual friendship with the little girl wasn't a surprise; and we knew that eventually Private Clements' name would make it on the Wall, so that wasn't a surprise either... but both scenes were handle adeptly enough by the actors to keep them from being totally maudlin and contrived.
Nevertheless, because of its sometimes disturbing content, it wasn't the most enjoyable episode to watch... But then, one assumes, it wasn't supposed to be...
(*) Patton: No doubt a reference to General George Smith Patton (1885-1945), an American army officer, known for his outspokenness and aggressive military style. He played a key role in the Allies' rush on Germany after D-Day.
EPISODE 8: "Hazards"(airdate 01-10-98)
[[ With special thanks to Kerry Hyder who sent a copy of this episode so I could view and review it, and Bobbie Yoder and Yaakova Vogel who offered to do the same. You folks are great! ]]
In Oakland, California Jarod exits a bus and waits for the next local to take him to his (undisclosed) destination. While he's waiting for the bus, he passes a confectionnaire's truck that's delivering snack foods to a nearby store. On the cart beside the truck are Hostess-brand cupcakes and Twinkies. Jarod buys one pack of the Twinkies ("Twin...Kies. They come two in a pack.") from the truck driver for $20, and sits down on the bench at the bus stop to eat them. Also on the bench is a man named Dan Healy. He and Jarod strike up a conversation, and show each other their family photos. Despite the congenial conversation, Dan seems somewhat disheartened, and rises slowly when another bus comes into view. Jarod tells him that the in-coming bus is an express that doesn't stop at the site, but Dan doesn't listen to him. Instead, Dan steps out in front of the bus with his arms open wide, and lets thebus run into him. Jarod isn't able to get to Dan before the bus hits him, but stays with him after the collision and keeps him alive until emergency personnel and the police arrive. Dan is severely injured, but doesn't die.
At The Centre, a jovial Sydney chats with Broots and Miss Parker in the hallway. When Miss Parker remarks on Sydney's effervescent mood, Sydney grins and says, "New underpants will do that to you." He then explains that he had been on a date (with Bernice) to a comedy club. "How many psychiatrists does it take to change one light-bulb?" he quips. While Broots and Miss Parker try to think of an answer, Sydney is distracted by the view of an elderly man exiting The Tower elevator. Sydney's mood darkens instantly, and he leaves Miss Parker and Broots standing in the hallway and rushes to his office. Inside his office, Sydney tears through files and cabinets trying to locate something. He finds it tucked inside an unlabeled hanging folder: it's a drawing done by Jarod... of the same man who stepped out of the elevator. Sydney finds his gun, loads it, and leaves The Centre.
Back at the bus stop, after the EMT and police arrive, Jarod steps aside to peruse the site and finds Dan's briefcase, which was crushed in the collision. Jarod removes the briefcase from the site, and takes it to a warehouse where he's set up a make-shift living space for himself. Going through Dan's briefcase, Jarod finds paperwork and a video tape which links Dan to a hazardous materials facility called ECS (Environmental Containment Systems) in Oakland. The video tape shows a news report about three ECS workers who had been killed by a toxic chemical spill when the seal on a containment unit they were handling -- a "polymer, neoprene and graphite" red-seal which had been created by Dan -- apparently gave way while the unit was being loaded onto a transport truck. When the seal broke, deadly concentrated MZT pesticide escaped from the unit, killing the three handlers (by turning their insides into "jelly"). [In its concentrated transportable state, the MZT looks like thick pure-white froth.] The video tape also showed a pack of media hounds chasing Dan and his family to their home and asking repeatedly if Dan himself was responsible for the death of his colleagues: Frank Escondido, Mary Cline, and Larry Meyers. Dan kept repeating to the newshounds, "They were my friends... They were my friends..."
Among the belongings in the briefcase, Jarod also finds Dan's suicide note. Believing that the seal he had created was faulty and caused the accident, Dan blamed himself for the death of his friends. Trying to "punish" himself for their deaths, and trying to alleviate the intense media pressure on his family, Dan stepped in front of the express bus hoping it would kill him. Later, watching a DSA from the early 70's, Jarod recalls a conversation about suicide that he and Sydney had had at the time. Sydney told him: "Suicide isn't just an action... it's a cry for help." Wanting to help Dan Healy and his family, Jarod insinuates himself into ECS as an employee under the pseudonym Jarod Dupont(*), and searches for the truth about the MZT accident that killed Escondido, Cline and Meyers.
First, Jarod (wearing protective gear) attempts to corrupt a sample of Dan's red-seal by immersing it directly into a container of MZT. Nothing happens. Then Jarod takes a container of MZT, wraps it in Dan's red-seal, hangs the container mid-air from the ceiling, and (unprotected) lays beneath it... for over 5 hours. He trusts that Dan's red-seal won't burst: and it doesn't. Jarod determines that it's not the seal or the MZT alone that were the culprits in the spillage accident. Something else must have introduced into the mix that caused the seal to deteriorate and the container to burst.
Meanwhile, back at The Centre, Miss Parker and Broots bring Angelo in to Sydney's office hoping he can help them figure out what set Sydney off and where he's gone to. Tying into Sydney's emotional strata, Angelo tears through the office until he, too, comes across Jarod's drawing. Angelo hands the drawing to Miss Parker, and she asks Angelo who the man in the picture is. Angelo answers by going through the litter on the floor of the office until he finds one of Sydney's tarot cards: the one of Le Morte, the figure of a skeleton. Broots asks Miss Parker who Le Morte is, and Miss Parker answers: "The one who brings death."
Later, Angelo absconds with the drawing, takes it to his space in The Centre, and sees to it that a copy of the drawing is scanned and e-mailed to Jarod. When Jarod receives the e-mail transmission, he's flabbergasted, and immediately calls Miss Parker. She's furious over the fact that Jarod seems to always know what's going on in Delaware, and demands to know what he knows about the man in the drawing. Jarod tells her that he doesn't know the man's name, but he DOES know how Sydney feels about him. He tells Miss Parker he hopes she can find Sydney, and can stop him from doing to the man what Jarod fears Sydney will do to him if Sydney finds him. Miss Parker doesn't understand, and Jarod cautions her,"If you care about Sydney at all, go alone. No sweepers. No cleaners," and he hangs up.
In the meantime, still in Oakland and determined to find out what the "something" was that corrupted Dan Healy's red-seal, Jarod starts searching through the personnel files at ECS. There are two female workers, Gibbs and Hunsacker, he talks to; a public relations man name Curt Wilkes who seems more interested in the company's image than in Dan's attempted suicide or the previous death of the three workers; and a chemist named Horace Strickland, who has enough skill and seniority to work in Research and Development but stays in Transport, at a lower rate of pay, because, he says, he wants to avoid the "migraines" R&D would give him. Through process of elimination, Jarod rules out everyone but Strickland as a suspect.
Back in Delaware, Sydney arrives -- gun in hand -- at the home of the man in Jarod's drawing. Sydney binds the man into a chair and threatens to shoot him. Miss Parker arrives before Sydney can pull the trigger, and tries to wrestle the gun from Sydney's hand but fails. She then demands to know who the man is and why Sydney has hunted him down.
Sydney reveals that the man, who is currently living under the name Martin Zeller, is actually Doctor Werner Krieg, a man who, in Europe in 1944, was working on the eugenics projects for the Nazis. Krieg was seeking a way to isolate those genes which could form a "perfect" race of people (Hitler's "Master Race") and accelerate their reproductive capacities. Sydney and his family were not Jewish, but Krieg nevertheless saw to it that everyone in Sydney's family was sent to the gas chambers: except Sydney and his brother Jacob who, as twins, were of interest to Krieg's genetic-tampering processes. [If he could isolate and control the "twin gene", Krieg could, theoretically double the rate at which his "perfect" people could reproduce.] Sydney and Jacob were kidnapped , confined to a concentration camp, and experimented on by Krieg and his associates.
Now...Sydney wants Krieg dead.
Resigned to his fate, Krieg sighs and says to Sydney: "I'm tired of hiding," and, "I know who you work for... the kind of work they do... the kind of work YOU do... If God is dead, we all killed Him..."
After listening to Sydney's story and Krieg's retort, Miss Parker again demands that Sydney give her his gun. He reluctantly turns it over to her, but rather than disposing of it, Miss Parker applies a silencer to it, and hands it back to Sydney. "He's a monster," she says of Krieg. "Do yourself, and the world, a favor." She then steps aside so Sydney has a clear shot at Krieg.
But Sydney cannot shoot him. When Miss Parker asks him why, Sydney explains: "Jarod...", and says of his own work at The Centre: "Don't you see? I became the monster."
Back in his warehouse lair, Jarod accesses FBI files and bank account files on Strickland and the accident victims... and discovers that Strickland was paying vast amounts of money to Larry Meyers before Meyers' untimely death by MZT. He also discovers that both Strickland and Meyers have felony convictions on file: Strickland for drug smuggling (heroine), and Meyers for extortion. After a little more searching, Jarod figures out what was really going on at ECS.
Strickland, who oversaw the transport of the HazMat (hazardous materials) from ECS to a dumping site in Nevada, would sign out large numbers of containers... but with every shipment, a few never seemed to find their way to Nevada. In one shipment of 52 containers, for example, only 49 were actually delivered to the desert. The other containers, Jarod determines, contained drugs that Strickland was shipping to buyers on the route from ECS to Nevada. Authorities at the border between the states would neveropen a container marked HAZARDOUS to check inside of it, so Strickland was able to transport large shipments of drugs without being discovered. Meyers, however, somehow figured out what Strickland was doing, and was blackmailing him. The large transfers of money from Strickland's bank account into Meyers' bank account, which Jarod has come across in his research, were the extortion payments Strickland was making to Meyers. In order to stop Meyers from blackmailing him, Strickland orchestrated an accident that would kill him (and anyone else who happened to be near by).
A chemist, Strickland was able to fabricate a chemical solution that when sprayed on Dan Healy's red-seal, would corrode the seal and make it useless. One day, when Meyers, Cline and Escondido were loading units of MZT onto a transport truck (without their protective gear on, because they believed the units were well-contained), Strickland saw to it that a unit with a corroded seal was placed in the load. When the unit was lifted onto the transport, the seal broke, and the container burst open. Everyone around the unit was killed within minutes. It wasn't an accident. It was murder.
Jarod collects all of the information he's discovered into a large envelope and send it to Erin Hunsacker at ECS, but before he does that, he goes after Strickland himself.
As a large shipment at ECS gets ready again for transport, Jarod shows up (in full protective gear) and confronts Strickland (who is walking around the containment units with no gear on) with what he knows about Strickland and Meyers. At first Strickland denies the allegations, and tries to leave. Jarod interferes with his exit, and forces him back toward an empty MZT container. Strickland falls backwards into the unit, and Jarod locks him inside of it.
Jarod initially threatens to leave Strickland in the container and let him be transported to the desert with the rest of the cargo, where he'll be buried in the land fill along with the rest of the containers. When that threat doesn't encourage Strickland to tell the truth, Jarod then connects a pumping unit to the container and starts pouring thick pure-white froth into it, on top of Strickland, and claims that the froth is MZT. Terrified, Strickland admits to his crimes and begs Jarod to get him out of the container before the MZT kills him. Jarod pops the container open, removes his own protective helmet, sticks a finger into the froth, and puts the froth-covered finger into his own mouth. It's not MZT, he explains to Strickland. It's Twinkie filling. (This whole incident is overseen by Jarod's co-worker, Gibbs, who was standing on a catwalk above the storage area. She hears Strickland's confession. That, along with the information Jarod sends to Hunsacker is enough to put Strickland in prison.)
Jarod goes to the hospital where Dan Healy is recuperating ,and lets him and his family know that he wasn't responsible for the death of his friends. Grateful, Dan's son, Todd, gives Jarod the gift a fishing lure Dan had made, and tells him the lure is a good luck piece. Jarod thanks him, and leaves the hospital to return to his warehouse lair.
At The Centre, Miss Parker finds Sydney in his office and informs him that Krieg has been extradicted to Israel where he'll face a war-crimes tribunal. She also delivers an express-mail package to him, and then asks him: "How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light-bulb?" Sydney smiles wanely and answers: "Only one. But the light-bulb has to want to change." Miss Parker leaves, and Sydney opens his express-mail package. Inside of it is another, more current, drawing done by Jarod of Sydney and Jacob as children, standing side-by-side, holding candles. Below the signature on the drawing is a pager number and access code.
Sydney calls Jarod, and Jarod asks him if he is all right. Sydney admits
that all his life he'd wanted to kill Krieg, but when he finally saw him
-- really SAW him -- he saw himself in the man. As the episode
ends, Jarod, standing alone in the warehouse, consoles Sydney with: "You're
not a monster, Sydney, and... you're still... my 'family'. Tell me
something: have you ever been fishing? ...Maybe we'll go... some day... just
you and me."
Discoveries: Twinkies, the "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall" song, and hand-made fishing lures.
Best Scene(s): The one moment of silence when the camera merges the profile of Sydney with the profile of Dr.Krieg.// The moment in the hospital when Todd gives Jarod the lure made by father, and Jarod's eyes glisten with tears.
Best Line(s): Curt Wilkes to Jarod: "...It takes a long time to build that kind of resume." To which Jarod responds with an honest: "Well, actually, I typed it in four minutes."// Miss Parker to Broots when Broots expresses concern over what Mr. Raines will do to them if he finds out they're using Angelo to help track down Sydney: "Uncle Fester will never know Lurch is missing."
Our Review: This episode again highlighted the whole "twins" issue and makes us wonder if Jarod and Kyle were fraternal twins (rather than younger-older siblings), or if they have twins lurking somewhere around The Centre... or out in open. Leanring about the Nazis' experiments on Sydney and Jacob also leads us to wonder what Mr. "Le Morte" Raines himself had been doing in SL-27 all these years... with his shackle-enhanced birthing table and myriad secret laboratories.
All in all, we liked this episode and the juxaposition of Healy (the innocent man who, believing himself guilty, was willing to subject himself to a death sentence) and Krieg (the guilty man, who was too cowardly to face his crimes, fled them, and managed to live a long life). We also liked the mirroring of Sydney's childhood experiences (in the concentration camp) with Jarod's childhood experiences (in The Centre), but still wonder why it took Sydney so long to figure out that what was being done to Jarod was just as "evil" as what was done to him. We wish there had been more conversation between Jarod and Sydney on this issue; we'd like to know what process Jarod went through to get to the point where he was able to forgive Sydney and even console him (after having been so openly angry, in other episodes, about his confinement and Sydney's participation in it).
The only things we really didn't like about this episode was the irksome
fact that both Meyers and Strickland were convicted felons who somehow managed
to get jobs handling hazardous waste. Where were the Human Resources
people who checked the employees' backgrounds at tihs facility? And,
once again, there was the annoying repitition of the "Didn't you? Didn't
you? Didn't you?" mantra from a furious fist-pounding Jarod. This is
the THIRD time we've seen this film-maker's trick in
episodes of "The Pretender" and it was already old the second time
we saw it. Come on NBC: With all of the language available and with
Michael T. Weiss's acting abilities, why can't the writers and directors
think of a NEW way for Jarod to express his moments of rage?!
(*) Dupont: No doubt a reference to the Dupont chemical company.
Trivia: The concentration camp number tattooed on Sydney's arm was: 54679
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