The Pretender
Our Little Red Notebooks
In-Depth Recaps and Reviews
of the second season episodes

In this notebook are:
Indy Show
Gigolo Jarod
Toy Surprise
A Stand-Up Guy

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.

Jarod as stunt coordinator Jarod LugosiEPISODE 9
: "FX" (airdate 01-17-98)

Jarod assumes the identity of Jarod Lugosi(*), a special effects coordinator on the set of the "Super Sunday" television commercials for Blaster Brewery Beer, after stuntman Dave Dugger was severely burned in an effect that blew out of control. As the episode opens, Dave is currently in Queen of Hope hospital, and his childhood friend, stunt coordinator Mickey Clausen, is blamed for his injury.

At The Centre: Miss Parker receives a wooden crate from Jarod with a sound-activated combustible device in it. After it explodes in her office, she finds inside of it a note which reads, "Ring a bell?", a glass eyeball, a stone cherub with a broken wing, and a photo of a monster. Written on the photo is a cryptic note which tells Miss Parker that Igor knows "the secret".

On the Blaster Brewery set: Jarod auditions for the Blaster Beer company and its advertising representative -- a woman named Brynne McClain -- by staging a full-fledged stunt during which he's chased by a speeding car, blown up in a trailer, and set ablaze. Impressed with the demonstration, Brynne and Blaster Beer welcome him into the group, and Jarod shows them his conception for the next Blaster Beer commercial -- in which an explosion will be ignited OVER the "Blastermobile" (a customized red Cadillac with a giant beer bottle attached to it), to minimize the danger to the drivers, "Sean and Joey", and maximize the visual brilliance of the effect. Jarod then admits that he's never actually seen any of the Blaster Beer commercials, so Brynne and the beer rep hurry him off to a trailer where they gush over the concept of the commercials and show him one of them. Jarod's not impressed and asks, instead, to hear more about the commercials with the "talking frogs" in them [Budweiser].

Meanwhile, Miss Parker comes home to find the monster (Igor) from Jarod's photograph sleeping -- and gurgling -- in her bed. Later, in The Centre, she's able to sound-activate the monster through the ringing of a cell-phone. Igor coughs up a remote control device, which, when maneuvered, causes the monster to repeat: "Igor knows the secret... You look exactly like her... Igor knows the secret..." Sydney suggests that it means that somehow Igor knows "the secret" about the death of Miss Parker's mother, Catherine (who looked just like Miss Parker).

Back at the commercial site: Jarod is talking with Ray Slater, who is acting as his assistant on the commercials, and who was also an assistant to Mickey Clausen. Ray says Mickey and Dave got him to go to AA and stop drinking, and proudly announces that he's been sober for over five years. Jarod congratulates him, then asks him about the toy car he's putting together. Ray explains that the toy is a "model", and asks Jarod if he's ever built a model before. Jarod tells him that he once created a miniature version of the Empire State Building, and, "I carved the design which later became the AMC Pacer out of a bar of soap... It wan't my best work..."

Jarod later goes to see Mickey, who's so despondent over the accident that left Dave severely burned that he can't even watch the video "dailies" taken on the day of the accident, or face Dave and his folks at the hospital where Dave is recuperating. He gives the video dailies to Jarod and lets him view them.

In his warehouse lair, Jarod puts together a perfect miniaturized model of the Blastermobile while he watches the dailies from the day of Dave's accident. Viewing the tape he realizes that what was supposed to be a controlled burn (with the Blastermobile going through an exploding billboard), went out of control because there were two fires going, instead of the single one that had been planned by Mickey Clausen. Mickey had meant for the billboard alone to start on fire, but Jarod finds proof on the tape -- and on the under carriage of the burned-out Cadillac used for that day's shooting-- that fire accellerent (namely napalm) had been applied to the car's radiator. On the day of the accident, the car started on fire before it hit the billboard, and when the billboard flames were added to the car flames, the fire raged out of control, injuring Dave Dugger.

Jarod later discovers that Ray and Mickey often made home-made batches of napalm to use in their effects... and he also learns that Ray is drinking again.

Back at The Centre: Aggravated with the lack of progress with the monster, Igor, Miss Parker attacks the thing and rips its head off. Reaching down through its exposed gullet, she pulls a security video tape out of its stomach. The video is dated 04-12-70, one day before her mother, Catherine Parker, died. On the video is footage showing Catherine Parker talking with a man named "Mr. Fenigor" (Fen-Igor) who keeps in the shadows and cannot be seen. Catherine is talking about Jarod and another boy named Timmy, and her hopes to remove them from The Centre as soon as possible. She asks Mr. Fenigor to fix the video cameras so they can't see or hear her, and asks him to tell her where Timmy is. Mr. Fenigor tells her that Timmy is being kept in SL-27, in room 155.

Following those clues, Miss Parker, Sydney and Broots return to the burned-out SL-27, and find room 155. Inside the small room is a chair with a generator behind it. Sydney explains that it's a "neuroelectric chair" (used in shock therapy) but sized down to fit a child. There were rumors, Sydney tells the others, of "brain wave manipulation" experiments being done on subjects in The Centre at one time.Broots remarks that he's "going to hurl" at the idea of such a device being used on children, and tells Miss Parker that he doesn't think they're going to find anymore answers to who Timmy was or what happened to him since the room had been burned with the rest of the sublevel. Sydney suggests that they bring Angelo down to the room and let him try to "empath" what happened there.
Jarod, Micky and the alien doll

When Angelo is brought near the room, Broots has trouble trying to get him inside of it. Angelo is terrified and fights to stay out of the room, and when he's finally forced inside, he goes berserk, howling, "Timmy! Timmy!" He destroys the electric chair and then collapses in a near catatonic state on the floor. While Sydney cradles Angelo's head in his lap, Angelo mutters,"No more Timmy... no more Timmy..."

Meanwhile, Jarod tricks Ray into going to Queen of Hope hospital to see Dave. When Ray enters the hospital room , he finds Dave -- wrapped in bandages, but with portions of burned and scarred skin showing -- in bed, conscious, but only barely able to speak. Dave whispers to Ray that he needs his friendship now that Mickey has "betrayed" him, and tells Ray that he's his only "real friend".

Ray crumples in his chair, and admits to Dave that he's started drinking again. Dave asks him why, and Ray says, "Because of the guilt." Ray then admits that it wasn't Mickey who caused the accident that left Dave so badly injured. Ray says he had been showing off some of his home-made napalm to Brynne McClain, and she'd stolen some from him to spike the burn during the car commercial to make the blast more impressive for the cameras. With his alcoholic background he didn't think anyone would believe him if he told them what Brynne had done, and he was afraid to lose his job, so he kept his mouth shut about the accident. "I sold you and Mickey out to save myself," Ray admits sadly. To his astonishment, Dave sits up in bed and pulls off his bandages. It's not Dave in the bed. It's Jarod (in disguise), and, smiling, he tells Ray that the first step to forgiveness is telling the truth.

Later, after finishing his miniature models for the commercial's effects, Jarod calls Brynne on the phone, tells her that he's come up with a super effect for her next commercial, and asks her to meet him on the set the next morning before the crew comes in so he can show it to her. Excited over the prospect, Brynne arrives the following day, on time, and waits to see what Jarod has in store for her. First he shows her a mock-up of the effect using the miniatures and some home-made napalm. Brynne likes the effect, but is somewhat disturbed by the sight of a FEMALE passenger in the miniature car whose face burns and melts once the stunt is completed.

Jarod distracts her from the sight by inviting her for a private ride in the Blastermobile with him before its trashed in the filming of the commercial. Brynne accepts his offer, and gets into the Cadillac. When she buckles her seat-belt she finds she can't get it to release (because Jarod has rigged it with Mighty Stick Glue). Jarod then tells her that he's in a fireproof suit, is coated in fire retardant Zel-jell, and has a crash helmet with him to protect him when he drives himself, the Cadillac, AND the unprotected Brynne through a billboard which, he says, has been spiked with enough napalm to make it go up like a bombed city. Brynne laughs, thinking he's joking.

Before he heads the car toward the billboard, Jarod gives Brynne a chance to admit to her tampering with the effect that injured Dave Dugger. When she refuses to admit her guilt, Jarod mocks her with: "Maybe a little third degree burn will help job your memory," and aims the Cadillac toward the billboard. Realizing that he's not joking, Brynne admits that she was responsible for the accident. If she hadn't created a spectacular display for the commercial, she says, she would have lost the Blaster Beer account, and all of her years of climbing the corporate ladder and breaking through "glass ceilings" would have been for nothing. Jarod admonishes her, telling her she would have only lost a JOB; Mickey and Dave nearly lost their lives. As retribution for her selfishness and misdeeds, Jarod puts on his crash helmet, grinds the gas pedal of the Cadillac to the floor, and races the car toward the billboard.

Believing the billboard will explode when the car hits it, and that she'll be burned in the crash, Brynne screams all the way to -- and through -- the billboard. The car strikes the billboard at full speed... and drives right through it. There's no explosion; no fire. Brynne is scared, but safe. Jarod removes his helmet and tells her that her confession has been recorded by a miniature camera attached to the car's rearview mirror. He shows it to her... as Mickey Clausen walks up and tells her that he's heard her confession, too.

Back at The Centre: Unable to get any more information out of a traumatized Angelo, Broots, Miss Parker and Sydney steal some of Mr. Raines' DSA's, looking for information on Timmy and Mr. Fenigor. Broots is able to find two DSA's with Timmy on them: one from the day before Catherine Parker died, and one from the day of her death.

On the DSA dated 04-13-70 (the day Catherine Parker died in the Centre elevator), Broots, Miss Parker and Sydney find images of a horrified Catherine who's come across Timmy after he was subjected to one of Mr. Raines' experiments. Screaming and crying, Catherine demands to know what has been done to Timmy, and threatens to tell her husband what Raines has been up to. Mr. Raines warns her that Mr. Parker isn't the sort of man Catherine thinks he is, and that she should learn to keep her mouth shut. Catherine runs into room 155, where Timmy is sitting unconscious on the floor next to the neuroelectric chair. Timmy doesn't respond when Catherine touches him, and she cradles his head against her chest and cries over him. Tearfully, she asks Mr. Raines what will become of him now. Raines tells her, "There is no Timmy anymore... From now on his name will be... Angelo."

At Queen of Hope Hospital, Jarod is on hand to see the cheerful reunion of Mickey Clausen and Dave Dugger and his family. They all embrace one another, and thank Jarod for his assistance.

At The Centre: Miss Parker goes to find Angelo and apologizes to him for upsetting him. Holding the broken-winged cherub Jarod had sent, Angelo looks up to Miss Parker and mewls, "Timmy's gone."

In his lair, holding another, unbroken, cherub in his hands, Jarod watches a DSA of Sydney and himself as a child. They are talking about Timmy. The child-Jarod asks Sydney where Timmy is, and Sydney tells him that Timmy had been discharged from The Centre because he wasn't "special" enough to keep. Grown-up-Jarod looks away from the DSA, holds the cherub, and says, "You were special, Timmy."

Later, Jarod calls Miss Parker and asks her what she's found out about "Igor" and "Mr. Fenigor". Miss Parker tells him she hasn't been able to discover who, exactly, Mr. Fenigor was, and demands to know where Jarod got the copy of the security tape. Jarod tells her he found it in one of Catherine Parker's many safe deposit boxes; that there were all sorts of interesting things in them. When Miss Parker demands to know what else he's found, Jarod tells her she'll get no more answers to her questions out of him until he gets some answers to his questions out of her. He wants to know who he is, and he wants to know who Mr. Fenigor is because he believes Fenigor is the clue to all of their pasts. Miss Parker says she doesn't have those answers, and Jarod tells her to "find out."

As the episode ends, Jarod hangs up the phone and turns to a small box nearby. He opens the box, and carefully peels away a layer of tissue paper from what's inside. Then he lifts from the box a red plush, locked, Diary... with Catherine Parker's name embroidered on the cover.

Jarod and the model caddy
: model cars, "talking frogs", and home-made napalm

BEST LINE(S): Jarod in regards to the Blaster beer commercials: "So let me get this straight: there are people out there who will buy your beer based upon two guys who are too ignorant to read a map and simple-minded enough to drive through an exploding billboard."// Miss Parker, when she finds Igor in her bed: "Twitch... and I'll be washing grey matter off the walls."// Miss Parker, after Igor is activated: "Cancel 'clever'... Jarod is just ANNOYING."

OUR REVIEW: The heart-wrenching truth about Angelo's past and the clues to the death of Catherine Parker were so interesting that we found ourselves somewhat distracted and even annoyed by the special-effects story-line. We enjoy watching Jarod, but thought his talents were wasted in this jaunt... except for the moment when he disguised himself as the disfigured Dave Dugger and eased a heart-felt confession out of Ray.

Paul Dillon has to be credited with turning his "spooky" Angelo into a character with real "character" and heart. He does a wonderful job.
(*) Lugosi: Most likely a reference to the gothic actor Bella Lugosi , who was referred to briefly in the audio portion of a film clip sent by Jarod to Miss Parker. Lugosi was a classical dramatic actor with a lilting accent who found fame portraying "Dracula" in the 1930's horror film of the same name. He had originally been offered the role of Frankestien's monster -- later played to perfection by Boris Karloff -- but turned the role down because the heavy make-up would have covered too much of his face. In later film installments, Lugosi DID play the monster, but in films that had, as Broots put it, "plenty of cheddar".

Racecar driver Jarod Jones
: "Indy Show" (01-31-98)

Jarod gets himself assigned to a speed racing team under the guise of Jarod Jones(*) in order to find out who was responsible for an accident that left his predecessor in the hospital with a broken leg and other injuries.

At home, Sydney is disturbed by a nightmare in which he is confronted by three incarnations of Jarod (as an adult, a twelve-year-old and a four-year-old) who all demand from Sydney answers to their questions about their identity. Sydney is also met by a black-and-white incarnation of his twin brother Jacob, who tells Sydney -- as bright red blood stains his black-and-white skin -- that he doesn't have much time left. Sydney leaves an e-mail message for Miss Parker which reads, "Our suffocated friend is awake. I'll be away fishing," and departs for the Ferren Hospital, Button Grove, Maryland where he has been secretly keeping Jacob.

Doctors at the hospital inform Sydney that Jacob has been affected by a brain-invading virus. The good news is: Jacob is no longer in his coma. The bad news is: Jacob isn't lucid, and mentally drifts from one time period to another... and the virus that awakened him is also killing him very swiftly.

Sydney removes Jacob from the hospital just as a sweeper team arrives to kill them both. (Mr. Raines found out that Jacob was alive through a tap on Sydney's home telephone, and sicced the sweepers on them). In the hospital, when the sweepers split up to search for Sydney and Jacob, Sydney manages to elude one of them and brains the other with a housekeeper's bucket, then escapes with Jacob in a wheelchair. He secrets his brother off to a cabin on Whitecloud Lake (where the two them used to go fishing).

At the Centre, Miss Parker receives Sydney's note, and demands that Broots figure out where Sydney is so she can meet with him and Jacob. After some searching, Broots is able to give her directions to the cabin, and she hurries off to that location.

Meanwhile, in Fontana, California, Jarod becomes part of the Roemer Racing Team when he's able to manage laps around the California Speedway at a near-record 31.48 seconds per lap. Jarod will be taking the place of the #3 car driver, Jimmy Roemer, whose father, Grant, owns the cars and the team, and whose brother, RJ, drives car #2. The #1 car is driven by Nigel Brinkman.

It was Jimmy who was injured during test laps on a track in Milwaukee. His car went into super-acceleration and he was unable to stop it no matter how hard he pushed on the brake. His car smashed into a retaining wall and left him hospitalized. Jarod goes with RJ to St. Abramitis Memorial Hospital where Jimmy is recuperating, and discovers that the brothers have been very competitive all of their lives but still have a great deal of love and respect for one another. Jarod also notices that RJ seems to be suffering from hand tremors that often make it impossible for him to hold onto anything at times.

With some more sleuthing, Jarod finds several video tapes that give him clues to Jimmy's accident. One video is of the crash itself. On the tape, Jarod can hear the race car's engine roaring even after the car crashes into the retaining wall. He also confirms that Jimmy was driving the #2 car -- RJ's car -- and not the #3 car to which he was normally assigned. The second video shows the Team's chief mechanic, Hawks, letting Nigel Brinkman into the #2 car garage the night before the accident.

Going through boxes of the debris from the crash, Jarod discovers that the throttle cable to Jimmy's car had been tampered with. There were visible scrapes on the cable that seemed to have been made by the grip of a pair of pliers. Jarod takes the cable to Hawks and asks him his opinion of the damage. Hawks insists that the damage was done during the crash, not before it.

Unconvinced, Jarod goes through the tool supply at the garage where the Roemers' cars are kept, and takes every pair of pliers he can find from there. Going through each pair of pliers, one at a time, Jarod determines that the characteristic scratching on the damaged throttle cable could only have been made by a special pair of Odekirk pliers... like the pliers RJ had, at the age of seven, won from his father in a wood-chopping competition with his brother. Jarod at first believes that RJ was somehow responsible for Jimmy's accident, but can't understand why RJ would want to injure his own brother.

Jarod later learns that RJ had lost his pliers, about a year earlier, to Nigel Brinkman on a bet. Jarod deduces that Brinkman was the one who must've tampered with the #2 car in Milwaukee. Nigel had the tools and the opportunity (when Hawks let him into the #2 garage the night before the crash)... But what could his motive be? And why would Hawks help him?

Jarod confronts Hawks with what he already knows about the damage to the throttle cable of Jimmy's car, and what he's seen on the videos... and Hawks admits that he did, indeed, help Nigel Brinkman to tamper with the #2 car at the Milwaukee speedway, but, he insists, he never thought Jimmy would be driving the car. Both he and Nigel had assumed that RJ would drive the #2 car that day, as he normally did. It was RJ they wanted out of the picture, not Jimmy. RJ was becoming a good enough driver that he could have eventually taken the #1 car spot from Nigel, and Nigel didn't want that to happen: he'd be out of a job and a career. And Hawks wanted RJ dead, because RJ kept hinting that he was going to see to it that the aging and increasingly inept Hawks was fired from his position as chief mechanic on the Roemer Racing Team.

The day of the test drive in Milwaukee, however, RJ was suffering so badly from hand tremors that he was unable to drive the race car. He didn't tell anyone but Jimmy, though, and told everyone else he was letting Jimmy drive the #2 car because he wanted his younger brother to get a taste of the power driving in that racer could give him. Both Hawks and Nigel knew Jimmy was going to crash, but didn't dare say anything for fear of revealing what they had intended to do to RJ.

After hearing Hawks' confession, both Jarod and RJ convince Hawks to help them expose Nigel, and a repentant Hawks agrees.
Jarod with the real thing

At Whitecloud Lake, Miss Parker arrives at the cabin where Sydney is keeping Jacob. At first, Sydney is furious with her because he believes it was she who sicced the sweepers on them in the hospital. Miss Parker reminds Sydney that she was the one who had helped him to fake Jacob's death the last time Rainessent sweepers after Jacob. If Raines had found out that she had willfully failed to dispose of Jacob, he would have killed her on the spot. Sydney, believing her to be innocent of the attack at the hospital, relaxes and allows her to stay.

Jacob is not in good health, however... and only has about twelve hours left to live. Sydney tries to get him to talk about Jarod and Miss Parker's mother in the hopes that Jacob can help to shed some light on the truth about Jarod's abduction and Catherine Parker's death, but Jacob isn't lucid enough to stay on-topic for more than a few seconds. Distraught, Sydney breaks down in tears, and Miss Parker embraces him, letting him cry out his anguish and frustration on her shoulder. Later, Sydney also reveals to Jacob *and to an eaves-dropping Miss Parker) that he was the one who had attempted to kill Raines in Boston when Raines and the Sweepers tried to kill Jarod and his family; but the bullet hit Raines' oxygen tank instead of the man himself.

At The Centre, enraged by the fact that his sweepers were unable to find and kill Jacob, Mr.Raines goes after Broots. Binding him into a chair, Raines threatens to torture Broots with an acetaline torch unless he tells him where Miss Parker and Sydney are. Broots stalls for as long as he can, then relents, and gives Mr. Raines the information he wants.

Back at the raceway, Jarod invites Nigel to take a test drive in the #1 car. He tells Nigel he's made some modifications to the vehicle that will make it faster and easier to handle, and he wants Nigel to try the car out before they use the modifications in actual racing situations. Excited by the prospect of a suped-up car, Nigel gets into the modified vehicle and takes it out onto the track. What he doesn't know is: Jarod has remote-control of the #1 car, has topped the tank off with gasoline, and put bad tires on it (creating a crash situation similar to that which almost cost Jimmy Roemer his life). Jarod had also modified the microphone in Nigel's crash helmet (used to talk with the pit crew during racing) so that everything he says while wearing the helmet is broadcast over the PA system at the racetrack, so everyone there can hear him.

Jarod allows Nigel to take a lap in the modified car without interfering with it, then, chasing Nigel in the #2 car himself, Jarod announces to Nigel over his headset that he knows what Nigel did to Jimmy's car in Milwaukee. At first, Nigel refuses to acknowledge his crime, so Jarod takes control of the #1 car by remote, and forces it into the same throttle-sticking super-speed mode that had forced Jimmy's car to crash. Nigel tries to brake, and tries to steer, but Jarod keeps the car speeding and nearly uncontrolable until Nigel, in fear for his life, confesses that he DID sabotage the #2 car in Milwaukee in the hopes of killing RJ. Satisfied with the confession, Jarod releases the remote control over Nigel's car, and when Nigel slows it down and drives it into the pit, the police are waiting there. They arrest him on the spot and drag him away.

In Whitecloud, Syndey persists in questioning Jacob about Jarod. In a slim moment of lucidity, Jacob says andscribbles the word "GENE" on a piece of paper, but before he can tell Syndey what the word means, Jacob dies.

The next morning, Mr. Raines arrives at Sydney's cabin with a sweeper team, and demands to know where Jacob is. Sydney tells him succinctly, "My brother is dead," and leaves the room. When Raines makes a move to follow him, Miss Parker intervenes and warns, "I wouldn't push him. A man with a temper to match his marksmanship: dangerous combo." As Miss Parker also leaves the room, brushing aside a burly sweeper, Mr. Raines pauses to take in what she said. His eyes go wide with realization.

Later in the day, Sydney goes to the make-shift grave he's made for Jacob in the woods near the cabin. There is a simple wooden marker over the grave which reads: JACOB, A BROTHER MISSED. Sydney kneels to put some flowers on the grave, and is surprised and gladdened when Jarod walks out of the woods to approach the grave himself. He tells Sydney that Broots told him where he might find him, "He said you'd be away from The Centre for several days, so I took a chance..." Jarod then asks if Jacob's passing was an easy one. Sydney tells him, "I believe it was, yes." Rising, Syndey then hands Jarod the slip of paper with the word GENE on it. Jarod asks what the note means, and Sydney suggests that "GENE" might be Jarod's real name, or his father's real name. He's not certain, but, he says, "I hope it helps you find your own peace in the

The episode ends with Sydney and Jarod standing on opposite sides of Jacob's grave. The camera pans skyward as the background is filled with the music of bagpipes playing, "Amazing Grace".

Jarod talks to the mechanic
Race-track groupees (especially in the form of "Blondie", a buxom woman who has the drivers autograph her shirt... while she's wearing it).

TRIVIA: Who were those people? In this episode the real Mario and Michael Andretti made cameo appearances; and so did the president of the NBC network, Don Ohlmeyer. In his scene, irritated while directing the camera coverage of the race track where Nigel Brinkman is about to do a test run, Ohlmeyer all but ignores Jarod when Jarod enters the control booth and asks him where the Public Address feed is. Sighing (in an "inside" joke) Ohlmeyer says, "Television... I must've been out of my mind." Jarod grins at him from over his shoulder.

[On the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Michael T. Weiss informed Leno that Ohlmeyer wanted to do the cameo on "The Pretender" because his (Ohlmeyer's) mother liked the show so much. She even passed up front row seats at a Lakers game one evening because the game was going to be playing at the same time "The Pretender" was on the air, and she didn't want to miss the show.]

What was wrong with RJ?: His hand-tremor condition could have been "tetany"; one generally caused by (among other things) a calcium deficiency due to improper diet. The condition can also be brought on by a insufficient amount of Vitamin D, and it may be congential. Treatment, as Jarod suggested, could have included an intravenous therapy of calcium glutonate (to raise the calcuim level) and hormones to control any parathyroid complications brought on by the disorder. [As explained in: "Tetany," Microsoft(R) Encarta(R) 96 Encyclopedia. (c) 1993-1995 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. (c) Funk & Wagnalls Corporation. All rights reserved.]

MORE TRIVIA: For images of Michael T. Weiss and Dan Ohlmeyer during a small interview shot before this episode was released go to MICHAEL T. WEISS: THE INTERVIEWS.

OUR REVIEW: Seeing Michael T.Weiss strut around in his speed-racer outfit was a treat, but the race track story was really very shallow. The episode was saved, however, by the side-story of Jacob's death, and the revelation that Sydney had been nearly driven to murder (of Raines) by the goings on at The Centre.

Especially effective was the final grave-side scene. It was without the maudlin underpinnings that often make such scenes unbearable to watch, and instead underscored the tragedies shared by Jarod and Sydney... and illuminated, in a metaphorical sense, the distance that was narrowing between the two men. Although not quite ready yet to completely forgive Sydney for his part in The Centre's abduction and exploitation of him, Jarod seemed willing to come closer to Sydney, andfor a longner period of time, than he had been since his escape from The Centre. Jarod and Syndey stayed conspicuously on opposite sides of Jacob's grave, and only touched ever-so-briefly when Syney handed Jarod the GENE-note(**), but viewers could see that the emotional and psychological "gulf" between them had shrunk considerably since the first season (when Jarod could hardly stand to have Syndey in the same room with him, as evidenced, in one episode, by their terse conversation in the Refuge bar. A conversation during which Jarod stated flatly that he could never forgive Sydney because, "I can never forgive myself.") The writers and directors are doing a good job this season of making Jarod's journey from rage to forgiveness a believable and acceptable one.
(*) Jones: a reference to racing great Parnelli Jones.
(**) GENE-note: Although the writers insisted on suggesting in this episode that "Gene" was a proper name, it's also obviously a noun, "gene"... as in

On the rooftop and on-call for the ladies
: "Gigolo Jarod" (airdate: 02-07-98)

The episode opens with Jarod watching a DSA of himself, from 1971, when he was child. In The Centre, young-Jarod's tray of food is taken away by an attendant, who shows the tray to Sydney before he exits the room. When the attendant leaves, Sydney confronts Jarod and tells him to give back the toothpicks Jarod had pilfered from the food tray. He asks Jarod why he's always stealing the toothpicks, and Jarod answers by showing him a 3-D tooth-pick model of a house he's creating. The house is reminiscent of the house Jarod lived in before he was brought to The Centre, but Jarod isn't sure the construction is accurate because his memories of that home are so vague. Later, in a crying rage, Jarod destroys the model by smashing it to pieces with his bare fists. As attendants take him away, he shouts to Sydney: "I don't have a home, Sydney! I can't remember anything! I don't have a home! I don't have a home!" ...In his current lair, the adult-Jarod looks sadly around the room he's in: it isn't "home" either, and he knows it.

The camera jumps to another lair Jarod had only recently, and quickly, vacated. Miss Parker breaks into the place, her gun drawn, and is followed in by Sydney and Broots. She goes through the things Jarod left behind: silk and satin shirts, over $20,000 in designer clothing, a copy of the Kama Sutra... She asks Sydney what it all signifies, and he suggests, "It's a form of expression. Individuality. Strength. To show off his colors... the way a mating animal would."

At the Winsor Crest Hotel, in Detroit, Michigan, Jarod steps up behind a attractive blonde woman who is seated in an outdoor spa. He says, "I have always depended on the kindness of strangers," and the woman turns to him and rises from the spa. She is Isabella, a European countess, and she's been expecting Jarod. She asks him if he prefers the term "escort" or "gigolo". He tells her to give him an hour, and then she can decide for herself. She allows him to escort her from the spa area to her rooms.

Back at Jarod's old lair, Broots tells Miss Parker and Sydney to meet him in the bathroom. When they come in, they see heart-shaped candies stuck to the mirror in a heart-pattern. Two larger hearts in the center of the pattern read: FOLLOW ME and 1500 HART STREET.

The next day, Jarod, driving a silver convertible, meets his Madam in a parking garage and hands her her "cut" of the money from his night with Isabella. The Madam is impressed with Jarod's "handling" of Isabella, especially in light of the fact that the countess left him the gift of a solid gold watch as a bonus. The Madam slips the watch over Jarod's wrist herself while she asks him what he did to deserve such a present. He answers that he "just listened" to Isabella. Smiling at him, the Madam tells him she doesn't know who should get him next. Jarod suggests that she give him to a building mogul and socialite named Cynthia Sloan; Sloan needs someone to help her fend off wouldbe suitors who keep "hitting" on her.
Jarod in the convertible

Although she has Sloan's address on a card, the Madam is at first slow to allow Jarod to attend to her. "Remember, Jarod," she tells him, "they're paying for a fantasy; they're not paying for a man. Can you become someone else?" Jarod pulls his sunglasses down a notch and grins at her, taking Sloan's address from her hand: "I'll do my best."

At Sloan's mansion, Jarod is introduced to Frank Lyndon, Cynthia Sloan's right-hand man, who has Jarod sign a confidentiality agreement before he lets Jarod anywhere near Sloan. Jarod is being hired as Sloan's "special consultant", Frank tells him. As the agreement is being signed, Sloan appears: an elegant-looking dark woman, walking down a lengthy staircase. Although she seems pleased by the look of Jarod, she reminds him: "You're a prop, Jarod; a piece of jewelry." And he quips in return, "Then I'd better shine." She counters his humor with the flat statement that for $5000 a week he'd better blind her. She tells him he's to be "on call" until the ribbon cutting ceremony for the ground breaking of the new Sloan Towers, a huge apartment complex to be built on the site of the existing Jefferson Heights rental units.

Later, Jarod goes to the Jefferson Heights site, and finds that although the building has been condemned, there is a large group of protesters outside of it chanting, "Save our homes! Save our homes!" All of them will be displaced if the Sloan Tower project goes through as planned.

What also brought Jarod to the site was the fact that an 8-year-old boy name Michael "Mikey" Edwards had died on the site just before it was condemned as "unsafe". Mikey had been tending to a flock of pigeons on the roof, but fell to his death when the fire escape he used to get down from the roof collapsed underneath him and ripped itself from the side of the building. County surveyors claimed that "weather" had rotted the bricks, and that the building was no longer safe. As soon as it was "condemned", Sloan bought the building and the land underneath it, intending to erect her Tower in the place of the three-story housing facility.

Looking over the rooftop area, Jarod is unconvinced that the fire escape could have collapsed under the weight of such a small child, unless it was defective... or had been tampered with. He finds that some of the bricks around the rooftop are, indeed, crumbling, but doesn't believe the "weather" had anything to do with their weakened condition. While he's perusing the rooftop, he gets a beeper call from his Madam.

He meets the Madam in a parking lot, and tells her he can't take on another client right now because he's at Cynthia Sloan's beck-and-call until the ribbon cutting ceremony, which won't happen for almost a week. The Madam tells him she's giving him a one-shot assignment: a housewife, she says, has an "itch" and Jarod is to "scratch it" for her. Upset but obedient, Jarod accepts the assignment and drives to the housewife's home.

Joyce Cullman, the housewife, lives in a suburban area... and her soon-to-be-ex-husband, Howard, is still living at home over the garage until their divorce is finalized. Jarod can see Howard staring at him from a window above the garage as he walks up to the front door of the house. When Joyce answers the door, Jarod leans in toward her and gives her his cue-line: "I have always depended on the kindness of strangers." Joyce just looks at him, not understanding what he means. He explains that "the service" sent him, and she seems surprised that he came to her so quickly. He asks if he can come in, and she lets him into the house.

Jarod is about to be fired
Sitting on a couch in the livingroom, Jarod treats himself to some Valentine's candy and looks at the photographs that adorn the room while Joyce gets a tray from the kitchen. Looking at the heart-shaped box of Valentine's candy, Jarod asks her, "Who is Valentine?" Joyce chuckles and says, "They didn't say you'd be handsome and funny." On the tray Joyce has brought from the kitchen is a pot of coffee, a small paper bag, and two delicate coffee cups. She pours coffee for Jarod, and while he's sipping at it he asks her who the man is who's living over the garage. When she tells him that it's her husband (soon to be "ex"), Jarod asks her if their pending divorce was caused by "another woman". Joyce tells him, no, that she's divorcing Howard because he doesn't care about her anymore. For their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary he bought her a toaster. And when she got them tickets to go to Paris for a second honeymoon, he couldn't take time off from work, so he cashed the tickets in to buy himself a 50" big screen television set.

Joyce fumbles in her purse trying to get out her checkbook so she can pay Jarod for his "services", and dumps credit cards and notes all over the floor. When Jarod says she seems a little nervous about his being there, she tells him, no, she's not nervous... and makes the check out to cash.

Also on the tray from the kitchen, is a small paper bag she got from the local drug store. Jarod looks inside of it and finds that it contains condoms. "The twelve pack," he says wryly. "Safety first," Joyce tells him. "I saw that on MTV." Joyce hands him the check, and tells him that she believes she'll get what she paid for... She closes her eyes, and waits for him to initiate contact. Jarod gets out of actually having to do anything, by gathering up one of the photographs of her three grown children, and suggesting to her that she must miss them very much. Joyce opens her eyes and blinks at the photograph, confused. Jarod shames her a little by asking her, "Do they know...That you've hired a lover?" Joyce's mood is ruined. (Strike one.)

Back in his lair, Jarod has a chemistry set built up on a long table, and performs experiments in an attempt to discover what could have caused the bricks of the Jefferson Heights building to deteriorate the way they did. He discovers that a mix of sulfuric chloride produces the desired effect, and goes to the demolition experts who are slated to take down the Jefferson Heights building as soon as the city counsel approves the building's destruction to talk to them about the bricks. He finds that there are large tanks of sulfuric chloride in the demolition yard, and one of the experts tells Jarod that the mixture is used routinely to weaken the bricks, stone, and mortar of condemned buildings in order to make the buildings collapse more readily when they're dynamited.

Meanwhile, Sydney, Broots and Miss Parker go to1500 Hart Street and find that it's the address of an adult bookstore. Upon entering the store, they find the place is being run by a man in a wheelchair named Bucky LaFontaine. Bucky says Jarod hung around the store a lot, but wasn't interested in the merchandise there. Jarod didn't care about the "sexual" side of things; he was interested more in people, what attracted them to one another, why they loved one another. "Between you and me," Bucky tells Sydney, "I don't think that boy got much love growing up."

Bucky also informs Broots, Miss Parker and Sydney that Jarod had penned and published a romance novel under the pseudonym Jarod Heart entitled The Saddest Little Valentine. Jarod also did the artwork for the cover which -- much to Miss Parker's chagrin -- shows a scantily clad Miss Parker, her hair undone and pouring over the silken pillows around her, lying provocatively on a bed. "That boy's definitely one of a kind," Bucky says, laughing. And Miss Parker, trying to hide the cover of the book, growls, "One is enough."

Back at Cynthia Sloan's house, Jarod is standing still -- appearing uncomfortable at the prospect of being a "kept man" -- while Cynthia looks him over and a tailor drapes a tuxedo over the front of Jarod's body. Claiming that Jarod will look magnificent in the suit, Cynthia approves it and tells the tailor to have it ready for Jarod that evening. The tailor leaves, and Cynthia retreats to a window-side couch where she pours over some building plans. Not being given anything else to do, Jarod walks around the room and remarks on the fact that Cynthia doesn't have very many pictures in her house. "Photographs. They make a house a home... don't you agree?" Cynthia doesn't answer, and when Jarod asks her about her family, she won't respond. He tells her that he's worried that she's "lonely", and rising to go to another meeting, she answers, "I don't have time to be lonely."

Later that afternoon, working again in his lair-laboratory, Jarod gets a call from his Madam who's angry with him because she got a phone call from Joyce during which Joyce complained that she was "vaguely unfulfilled" by Jarod's last visit. Jarod tries to explain that he doesn't really know what Joyce wants. Unmoved, the Madam tells him to go service Joyce properly, and warns him that she doesn't want to have this kind of conversation with him again. She hangs up, and, after a long sigh, Jarod drives back to Joyce's house.

When Jarod arrives at the Cullman home in his convertible, Howard is in the front yard doing lawncare: planting trees, fertilising the plants. Jarod smiles at Howard and tells him he's just had the convertible washed and asks him how it looks. Howard just glowers at him. Jarod leans in to Howard and says, "It's the car. It drives her crazy," then he walks up to the front door.

When he enters the house, Jarod finds that Joyce has decorated the living room with candles, covered the floor with rose petals, has champagne waiting, and is dressed in sexy lingerie. Jarod walks up to her and tells her that his Madam told him she (Joyce) was feeling "vaguely unfulfilled". Joyce waves off the complaint, beckons Jarod to the couch, and has him sit down next to her. He asks if she's aware that Howard is just outside, and she says, yes. He asks if she'll feel any regret for what they're about to do, and Joyce tells him, "To hell with regrets." She opens his shirt, slips her hand up against the nape of his neck and pulls him toward her. Before they can kiss, however, they hear the car-alarm of Jarod's convertible suddenly start to scream. (Strike two.)

Jarod and Joyce go outside to find that Howard has dumped two bags of steer manure on the hood of Jarod's car, and placed a huge chunk of sod on the driver's side front seat. Joyce is mortified and apologizes for Howard's behavior. Jarod says he's a little confused: Although Joyce told him that Howard didn't care about her anymore, he says, Howard's actions seem to indicate that he cares about her a great deal. Joyce stomps back into the house, threatening to Howard that she's going to call the police.

That evening, just before a dinner-meeting with Cynthia Sloan, Jarod visits the Jefferson Heights complex again, and is on the roof when Alice Evans, the woman who heads the local Neighborhood Watch, comes up to see who's there. She says she thought Jarod was another one of "those inspectors", and Jarod tells her that inspectors won't be coming by the complex anymore because the building has already been condemned. She says they'd been crawling all over the building for days; especially one guy who wore designer suits and seemed independently wealthy... He'd arrived even before Mikey's accident on the fire escape. Jarod frowns: why would building inspectors arrive BEFORE an accident or complaint was made? Alice tells him that that particular inspector wore a watch similar to the gold one Jarod wore (his gift from Isabella), but that the inspector's watch had diamonds on it.

Jarod leaves the complex and goes to Cynthia Sloan's place where she's hosting a dinner for her business friends, and is toasting the upcoming ground-breaking ceremony for Sloan Tower. She makes a special effort to praise her right-hand man, Frank Lyndon, for keeping her on target about the building, and for doing "whatever it took" to get the project going forward. As they raise their glasses of champagne in a toast to Frank, Jarod notices Frank's watch: brilliant gold, and encrusted with diamonds. "Whatever it takes," Jarod says to him as their glasses touch.

The next day, back at his lair, Jarod watches a video tape of the May 29, 1977 riot that had threatened to close down the Jefferson Heights complex that year. The building had been condemned then, but rioters had refused to let it be torn down... and eventually won money from the city to renovate the building and keep it open for the hundreds of people who lived there. In the video, Jarod sees the image of a small girl -- Cindy -- getting her broken arm bandaged by an emergency medical crewman.

Some time later, Jarod gets another angry call from his Madam who again meets him, and tells him he's fired for not satisfying Joyce Cullman. He tells her that firing him just then wouldn't be wise, since he was still on-call with Cynthia Sloan, one of the Madam's best customers. The Madam tells him that she'll let him keep "escorting" Sloan only if he "scratches the housewife's itch". Jarod calls Joyce, and tells her to meet him some place besides her home.

Just before he meets with Joyce, Jarod calls Sydney and asks him, "Why do people fall in love?" Sydney has no easy answers for him, but tells him that he believes, that despite all its paradoxes and set-backs, love is important. "So," Jarod says, "you believe that love is worth fighting for; that it's worth the pain and effort?" Sydney says, yes... and asks if that was what Jarod was trying to say in the romance novel he wrote. Jarod answers, "The book speaks for itself," and hangs up.

In her livingroom, the book anda drink at hand, Miss Parker is finishing the last chapter in Jarod's novel. As she reads what Jarod wrote, we can hear Jarod's voice reciting: "...She felt consumed by a great void; a dark and silent abyss as terrifying as the grand palace around her. But somewhere in the chilling blackness, she caught a glimpse of a light..." [Flashbacks show us a young-Miss Parker meeting with a smiling young-Jarod in The Centre.] "...She remembered a time: the precocious little girl with a heart full of fire and a soul enflamed by passion; the smile that could melt winter into spring..." [Flashbacks show the young-Miss Parker kissing Jarod.] "...But the light was gone; the flame had died. Her past was taken from her by the soldiers of the great palace... She would continue searching, hoping to rekindle the fire. Until then, she would always be... the saddest little Valentine..." Miss Parker closes the book, and finished off her drink.

Meanwhile, Joyce arrives at a hotel room where Jarod, in a loosely-buttoned dark-pink satin shirt and black pants, is waiting for her. The room is decorated with gold and red-flocked wall paper, paintings of cherubs and lovely children, statuettes of angels, candles, a wet-bar, and a vibrating bed covered in satin sheets and heart-shaped pillows. Joyce giggles at the production and tells Jarod it wasn't what she had expected from him at all.

Seemingly more aggressive than she's ever seen him, Jarod pulls open his shirt, and tells her that he's gladthey're finally alone, away from her annoying husband. He brings her a drink, nuzzles in against her, then starts a mocking tirade against Howard. "Afterall, how much polyester can one person wear?" ... "And that physique. What is it: Body by Chili Dog?" Joyce counters that Howard is just a little chunky. "Santa Claus is chunky," Jarod tells her. "Howard is a zoning violation." When he moves in to kiss her, Joyce ducks away from him, and starts defending Howard more vehemently, telling Jarod that Howard may not be an Adonis but he is a kind and gentle man.

Jarod tips her over onto the bed and climbs on top of her, reminding her that Howard had neglected her; that he gave her a toaster for her 25th wedding anniversary; that he squandered their tickets to Paris on a television set. "Just forget about him." Joyce pulls a pillow in between her body and Jarod's and scolds him: She can't "just forget" twenty-five years of marriage. Afterall, she explains to him, she and Howard raised a family together and made a home together. Jarod rolls off of Joyce and lays next to her on the bed. Looking into the mirrors mounted on the ceiling, he tells her that she's right: she doesn't need him, she needs Howard and the love, and family, and home they share. He sits up, and offers to drive her home. She smiles at him and agrees.

Later that evening, back at Cynthia Sloan's house, Jarod is standing by while Cynthia watches the Jefferson Heights protesters on television. Frank Lyndon comes into the room and tells her that those people are violating the law by remaining around the building; he'll call the police and have them taken away. Jarod steps in and tells Cynthia to either just go to Jefferson Heights and tell them that the building is unsafe... or, "Call the police. Start a riot. Whatever it takes."

Cynthia opts to go to the complex and talk with the protesters, but when she arrives there she realizes that this is what Jarod wanted her to do all along. He has Alice Evans waiting there for her, and they escort Cynthia to a small apartment in the building where a little girl -- a friend of Mikey Edwards -- is living. The little girl takes Cynthia by the hand and leads her into the tiny apartment. She says that Jarod told her Cynthia liked horses, and shows Cynthia a toy horse she says she found when she first moved into the building. The toy was in a secret hiding place. The little girl starts to show Cynthia where the hiding place was, but Cynthia stops her and locates it herself without any trouble. She lifts up a rug and pulls up one of the floorboards. The little girl asks how Cynthia knew where the hiding place was, and Cynthia shows her the name "Cindy" scratched into the back of the board. Cynthia WAS Cindy... and had lived in the complex as a child with her father.

In her limo parked outside of Jefferson Heights, Cynthia tells Jarod that although she'd grown up without much money, she was bright enough to have been able to get scholarships to fancy colleges. In order to fit in, Cindy changed her name, lied about her up-bringing, and told everyone that her father -- who really gave rich tourists rides around town in his horse and buggy -- was a breeder of race horses. One lie just kept building on another until she lost all sense of who she really was. She tells Jarod that although she's wealthy enough now to have seven houses... that tiny apartment in Jefferson Heights is the only place that ever really felt like "home" to her. She also tells Jarod that although she had hurt people (and herself) with her lies, she never did anything to harm Mikey Edwards. Jarod knows who DID, however.

Believing that Frank Lyndon was responsible for the fire-escape accident that killed Michael Edwards, Jarod lures Frank to the rooftop of the Jefferson Heights building the next evening with a fake Valentine from Cynthia. Believing he's meeting Cynthia for a romantic rendezvous, Frank arrives at the Heights complex and walks out onto the roof. He finds a bottle of champagne with a red bow on it on the lip of the roof, and below that he sees a shallow balcony (which is part of the fire escape on that side of the building) with a table for two, set with white linen and two champagne glasses. To get to the balcony, Frank puts the champagne bottle in his coat pocket, and climbs down a creaking metal ladder. When he reaches the balcony, he's smiling and calling Cynthia's name, trying to see where she is. There's a window right beside the balcony. It's open, and the drapes are blowing gently. Pleased with the setting, Frank pops the cork on the bottle of champagne and pours its contents into the glasses on the table. He's horrified, however, when the glasses begin smoking slightly and fold over, melted by the contents of the bottle. It's not champagne. It's sulfuric chloride.

Frank throws the bottle away from him, and tries to get off the fire escape balcony by entering through the open window, but Jarod is there, blocking his path. Jarod tells him he knows how the sulfuric chloride can melt all sorts of things, and how it can be used to weaken even solid brick... and how Frank Lyndon used it to weaken the bricks that had held up the fire escape that Mikey Edwards had stepped onto; how Frank then had his cronies in the building inspector's office lie about the cause of the damage; and how Mikey had been killed and the building unjustifiably condemned just so Frank could get the building site for Cynthia Sloan's Tower.

Before Frank can counter anything Jarod said, the fire escape he's standing on collapses underneath him... having been weakened bythe sulfuric chloride that Jarod put on it. Frank grabs onto the window ledge and begs Jarod to save him; he even offers Jarod a bribe. Jarod tells him he's not really a gigolo and can't be bought, "But I'm curious. How much? How much to throw hundreds of people out of their homes? How much to murder an innocent little boy?" He demands a confession out of Frank, and Frank gives it to him, crying for Jarod to help him before he plunges to his death like Mikey Edwards did. When Jarod has Frank's confession he waits until the very last second, when Frank can't hold onto the ledge anymore, then pulls him to safety... while complimenting him on his gold and diamond watch.

The next day, Jarod goes to Joyce Cullman's house and walks into the apartment above the garage where Howard is living. He grins at Howard and says, "Hi! I'm your wife's gigolo! Do I have a deal for you!" Jarod hands Howard two paid tickets on the Concord to Paris, France, and leaves.

Later, Jarod meets with Cynthia Sloan, Alice Evans, and the little girl on the rooftop of the Jefferson Heights building. Jarod is in his tuxedo (but without the tie), and Cynthia is dressed in a red beaded evening gown. There is a table set up for dinner, and an open box of Valentine's Day candy, but when Cynthia reaches for one of the chocolates, Jarod pushes her hand away. "Allow me," he says, and pulls a PEZ dispenser out of his jacket pocket. He cocks the head on the dispenser, and holds it out so Cynthia can take a piece candy from it with her teeth. She laughs and tells Jarod he sure knows how to show a woman a good time. She thanks him for everything he's done, and leans in to kiss him... but stops herself. "Is that allowed?", she asks him, realizing that he's no longer her "kept man" but an independent person who can say "no" if he wants to. He's about ready to oblige herwith a kiss when Alice walks up and demands Cynthia's attention. Cynthia is going to pay to renovate the Jefferson Heights complex, and Alice needs her to go over some paperwork. Jarod smiles, and lets Cynthia go, saying, "Whatever it takes."

Much later, back in the hotel room where Joyce Cullman had spurned his attentions, Jarod is lying on the bed with the telephone to his ear. While he waits for an answer,he reads a postcard he's received from Joyce. It's from Paris; and she's thanking him for giving her and Howard their second honeymoon.

In her livingroom, Miss Parker arrives to find a box wrapped in elegant red paper on the coffee table in front of the couch. She sits on the couch as the phone rings. She answers the phone; it's Jarod calling her. He wants to know if she's read his book. She lies and says she "skimmed through it", and complains that he painted a very sad picture of her with his writing. Jarod tells her that he wrote what he thought was the truth, and asks her how the two of them ended up so alone. "We both want the same thing," he tells her. "Someone to love, someone to love us..." And he asks if she thinks they'll ever find the kind of love that other people do. Irritated, Miss Parker snaps, "What the hell do you want from me, Jarod?" Shaking his head, Jarod tells her to just open the box, and he hangs up the phone.

Miss Parker hangs up her phone as well, and opens the box on the coffee table. In it is a single heart-shaped piece of candy, and on its face it reads: BE MY VALENTINE. Miss Parker lifts the candy from the box, puts it in her mouth, and crushes it with her teeth. The episode ends with a view of Miss Parker alone on her livingroom couch... and Jarod alone in bed.
Jarod says good-bye

DISCOVERIES: Valentine's Day, cupid. Jarod invented the "portable smoke eater", and wrote a romance novel. We also learn that he was once a veterinarian.

BEST LINES: Isabella says to Jarod, "I thought chivalry was dead," to which he replies, "Only slightly wounded."// In a conversation with the demolition expert, Jarod asks the man for more information about Valentine's Day, "Specifically, cupid. A corpulent infant who happens to be an archer and goes around shooting arrows into people, and suddenly they're in love? ... And to show that love, people buy each other chocolates and other sweets? Do they want to be fat? Like the infant?"// In that same conversation between Jarod and the demolition expert. The expert asks, "What was it you said you did for Miss Sloan?" Jarod answers: "'Special consultant'." Expert: "Sounds dangerous." Jarod: "You have no idea."

OUR REVIEW: We were "vaguely unfulfilled" by this episode. Its advertisements promised far more than it eventually delivered, but it had its moments: both humorous ones and poignant ones.

Again the writers remind us of just how much The Centre "wounded" Jarod. As in other episodes, Jarod sought in this episode that very sense of "home" and "attachment"of which The Centre had deprived him as a child. And like many abused children grown to adulthood, he now seeks that attachment in "unhealthy" relationships. We're not just talking about the gigolo stuff -- Hey, who else but Jarod could have gotten a job as a lover without ever having to actually make love to anyone? Hah! -- We're talking about his "unhealthy" relationships with Sydney... and with Miss Parker. In a previous episode, he tried to put Sydney in the place of his father, just so he'd have something like a father-figure in his life. In this episode, he made overtures to Miss Parker in an apparent attempt to put her into the role of caregiver, just so he'd have something of its like in his life, too. Both attempts failed.

Although Jarod and Miss Parker shared some moments of happiness together when they were children, those moments were "unnatural" and forced upon them by their unusual circumstances in The Center. They also have, we think, too much of a history of tragedy, animosity, and abuse between them to make any attachment between them work for any length of time. Little else but shared pain isn't something on which to base long-term affection and commitment.It's not unusual for abused people to make bad decisions about the attachments they try to form as adults. And we understand and empathize with Jarod's very real need... but worry that he's "looking for love in all the wrong places". And the fact that we "worry" about this character at all is a testament to the acting ability of Michael T. Weiss. He makes his "Jarod" more real with every episode.

[As an aside: We're pleased by the fact that this sort of emotional "personality disorder" is being attributed to a male character in "The Pretender", rather than a female character. Too often the media tends to suggest that emotional upset and displacement are the "scourge of womankind" and don't effect "real" men. Happily, the writers of "The Pretender" don't seem to be plagued by that rather sexist attitude.]

Jarod loses control of the jeep
: "Toy Surprise" (03-07-98)

At The Centre, there is a new Sweeper assigned to Miss Parker named "Hayes". He's waiting for Miss Parker in her office, and takes a piece of candy from the candy jar to tide himself over until lunch time. Miss Parker arrives just as Hayes gets the candy into his mouth. He's a little surprised that she's working on a Sunday... and during a time when The Centre is supposed to be locking down for a "security drill". Almost everyone else has already cleared the building (or been locked away). She warns him that if he's going to be working for her he'll have to (1) keep his necktie on straight, (2) buy a new necktie because she hates the one he's wearing, and (3) leave the candy in the jar for clients. Hayes spits out his piece of candy and deposits it in an ashtray.

Miss Parker gets a call on her cell phone. It's Mr. Parker, who's calling from the Bermuda International Airport. He's cutting his vacation there short and will be flying back to The Centre that afternoon in a helicopter. Miss Parker is surprised by his actions: It is the anniversary of her mother's death, and on every other anniversary Mr.Parker made sure he kept away from The Centre and the cemetery where his wife was buries. Yet, he's coming back home, he tells her, and wants to talk to her about his "regrets" and "things" they should have discussed a long time ago. He also wants to visit the grave site. Miss Parker tells him, "I'm here, Daddy... for you." She tells him she'll meet him at home later that evening.

As she's on her way out of The Centre, Miss Parker comes across Brigitte (who's wearing a sort of leather harlequin jacket) walking in the corridor. The two women snarl at one another, and Brigitte makes a comment about how "funereal" Miss Parker looks. "Get some color, luv,"she tells her. Miss Parker ignores her advice.

Driving herself home in a luxury sedan, Miss Parker gets another telephone call. This time it's from Jarod. He asks her where she is and she tells him she's on her way home. He tells her she has to get back to The Centre immediately. "Someone's going to kill your father."

Miss Parker angrily tells Jarod that THIS day, above all days, is not the day to be jerking her around or playing games with her. Jarod tells her he's very much aware of the significance of the day, and repeats that her father's life is in danger. His source has told him there is a file called "Arkham" in The Centre mainframe computer that details an assassination plot against Mr. Parker. She'll need to get back to The Centre and access the file if she's going to save Mr. Parker. Miss Parker reminds Jarod that Mr. Parker kept him a prisoner for over 30 years, and she wants to know why Jarod is concerned about his safety now. Jarod says The Centre already took her mother from her, he doesn't want it to take her father from her as well; and, he reminds her, if Mr. Parker dies, all the answers he has to Jarod's and Miss Parker's questions die with him. Miss Parker spins her car around and speeds back to The Centre.

Jarod Crockett
In Turners Ridge, Idaho
, Jarod -- posing as Jarod Crockett -- is talking to the father of a teenager named Chris who is a client under-going treatment through guides/counselors, like Jarod, at the Power Quest camp. The father is concerned that Chris is not responding to treatment: he's been to therapists, counselors, camps... but is still very withdrawn, angry, and depressed over an accident that happened a year ago and took the life of his friend, Nick.

Chris walks up with his back-pack and gear in hand, and Jarod asks him if he's ready for their hike. They're going up the side of a mountain, one of several teams, and will try to beat the other teams to the opposite cliff face. Surly and withdrawn, Chris says he'd rather just go home.

Back at The Centre, Miss Parker has Broots come in, taking him away from his daughter's dance recital, and has him down in the Sim Lab with her and Sydney. She has him search the mainframe for the Arkham file. While Broots searches for the file with his laptop computer, Miss Parker talks to Sydney. She tells him her father was reaching out to her that morning, and Sydney warns her not to expect too much from Mr. Parker: he's disappointed her before. She then asks Sydney about the day of her mother's death. She wonders if Sydney had ever seen her father grieve over his loss (as she herself never did). Sydney tells her that after the shooting, Mr. Parker admonished him to never speak of the incident again (either with Miss Parker or with Jarod); he then told Sydney to go home and to come back to The Centre the next day, ready to work. "Life goes on," Mr. Parker said to him, without emotion.

While Sydney and Miss Parker are talking, Angelo is listening to them through one of the large air conditioning conduits that link up to the Sim Lab. He mutters, "Daughter sad," and then scrambles through the ducts and tunnels to a secret place where he keeps a box and some toys. The box is decorated with paint and glued-on trinkets. Inside of it is a mass of DSAs. Angelo carefully picks one of the DSAs, and a box of Cracker Jacks and scrambles back to where Miss Parker is.

In Idaho, Jarod and Chris are hiking up to the cliff face together, but Chris isn't paying attention to the workings of his compass, and decides they're lost. Jarod confirms that they probably are, and Chris grumbles, "Whatever... It's not my fault." Jarod tells him they have to work as a team if they're going to make it to the cliff face before the others; they have to communicate. The word "communicate" rattles Chris and he tells Jarod to quite trying to "bug him out." "Bug you out?" Jarod asks, and Chris says angrily that all the therapists and counselors and guides are always trying to get into his head; to make him talk about Nick and the accident. Well, he doesn't feel like talking, he tells Jarod, "Let's just climb, okay?" Jarod agrees, and says the trip might be easier than they thought.

Jarod points to a gully where an abandoned jeep is sitting in a makeshift camp. He tells Chris that if they can get the jeep running, they can drive it along the fire routes on the side of the mountain and get to the cliff face before the other teams. "It'll be our secret. You're good at keeping secrets, aren't you, Chris?" Chris is only vaguely interested in the idea, and only because it might get him home earlier.

By fiddling with the engine, Jarod is able to get some life out of it, but he needs Chris to push-start the jeep for him. He'll sit inside the jeep and pop the clutch, if Chris will give the jeep a big push to get it started. Chris agrees, and pushes at the jeep when Jarod tells him to. Jarod gets the jeep started, rolling down the hillside, but he doesn't seem to be able to control it. "My brakes!" he yells to Chris as the jeep careens down the hill.

Chris chases after it, trying to help Jarod get out, but he can't catch up. The jeep speeds down the hill and eventually flips over several times, off the fire trail, down a hill. When Chris arrives, the jeep is lying on its back, and Jarod is pinned underneath it, bruised and unconscious.

Back at The Centre, Broots exclaims that he's found the Arkham file, but before he can open it, he, Miss Parker, and Sydney are startled to find Mr. Raines walking through the lab. "What are you doing here?" Miss Parker demands, pointing a gun at Mr. Raines' face. Mr. Raines responds flatly: "I live here."

Miss Parker warns Mr. Raines to stay away from Broots and the computer, so Broots can open the file, and Mr. Raines obliges, saying, "I have no knowledge of this.". Broots tells Miss Parker that there's a "door bell" on the file. If he opens it, it will trigger an alarm that will tell whomever wrote it that someone's broken into it. Believing the author of the file is Mr. Raines, Miss Parker demands that Broots open the file. Broots opens it but he only gets a glimpse of it before the whole file starts encrypting itself into useless gibberish. He was only able to read a reference to an assassination schedule for "1900 hours", before the file was corrupted. 19:00 hours (7:00 pm) is when Mr. Parker is due back at The Centre.

The opening of the Arkham file didn't just set off the encryption program, however. All of the power suddenly goes off all over The Centre: elevators are frozen, electronic doors are sealed, there is no air conditioning, there are no lights. Mr. Raines looks around and says, "We're all in the dark about this, Miss Parker." Miss Parker starts to yell at him, blaming him for a "palace coupe against her father", and telling Sydney to, "Wake up and smell the oxygen." The entire scenario is Raines' doing, she's sure. But Mr. Raines insists he's not responsible for what's happening. To prove it, he points out that's he trapped in the lab along with them... and his oxygen tank is running dry. He's in as much jeopardy as the rest of them.

Meanwhile, in the lobby of The Centre, Hayes is looking for Miss Parker. He was supposed to meet her in the Sim Lab, but can't get to her because of the power outage. He tries to raise her on one of the emergency phones, but it's dead. Before he can do anything else, he's attacked by a shadowy figure in the corridor, and riddled with bullets. He's dead before he hits the floor.

Back in the lab, Mr. Raines tries to explain to everyone that the access channel to the old boiler room in the building still exists, and spans the entire height of the Centre, all the way up to the lobby. No one is listening him. Miss Parker is trying to think of another way out of the Sim Lab.

She recalls a time, immediately after the death of her mother, when, as a child, she met Jarod and Angelo in the Sim Lab. Jarod was trying to coax Angelo out of one of the air conditioning conduits, but Angelo wasn't responding. Miss Parker tried to help by offering Angelo a box of Cracker Jacks (which neither Jarod nor Angelo had ever seen before). She explained, "...The snack with the toy surprise." Jarod asked, "Why would someone want a toy surprise in their food?" But Angelo seemed pleased with the gift. As he played with the Cracker Jacks, he rolled over and pulled a lever inside the conduit."Surprise." he said cheerily.

The adult-Miss Parkers shakes herself out of her memories and finds, in the lab, the same tunnel the child-Angelo had been hiding in. She also finds the lever still there. It's old and difficult to push, but she finally gets it to move... and the doors of the Sim Lab open. (It was a manual override switch for the doors.) She's ready to rush out, but Broots says he'll go with her. He's got his laptop, has found some tools, and has come across some walkie-talkies they can use; maybe he can find a way to get the power back on somehow. Miss Parker leaves the Lab with Broots, and Sydney stays behind with Mr. Raines, who's having a great deal of difficulty breathing.

In the corridor, it's very dark, and when Miss Parker comes across two Sweepers she doesn't know, she threatens to kill them. One in front of her and one behind her, they pull out their guns and threaten Broots, too, so Miss Parker feigns a surrender -- then shoots at a fire extinguisher on the wall beside one of the Sweepers. The Sweepers both fire at Miss Parker, but she drops to the floor quickly enough to avoid being hit, and their bullets strike one another. Miss Parker also puts a few shots into the Sweeper nearest to Broots, and then both Sweepers fall over dead.

In Idaho, Chris tries to pull Jarod out of the toppled jeep, but Jarod screams in pain when he does that. He tells Chris his leg must be broken, and that he may be bleeding internally, so Chris has to go get help for him. He'll have to climb up the side of the mountain to where a road is, just over the grade. Chris says he can't do it; he can't do anything; he's a coward. Jarod tries to comfort him by telling him that "accidents happen"; and that the accident that killed Chris's friend, Nick, wasn't Chris's fault. "I can help you if you let me. Let me help you," Jarod pleads.

Chris tells him that he lied before when he said Nick died instantly after the crash. Jarod asks him to tell him what really happened. Chris says they were out joy-riding and the car crashed. Nick was pinned behind the steering wheel but wasn't dead. There was blood everywhere... and then a fire started. Chris got himself out of the car and crawled away to safety, leaving Nick inside the burning vehicle. He heard Nick talking to him, and screaming, while he burned to death. For that, Chris cannot forgive himself. He berates himself as a coward and a liar, and says he should be dead, too. Jarod tells him his reaction was "human"; and that he couldn't have gotten Nick out from behind the steering wheel if he had wanted to. It was an accident, a tragedy, but its wasn't Chris's fault.

Jarod then tells Chris a little bit about the van-fire that killed his own brother Kyle. "I watched my brother die in a car accident... Not a day goes by when I don't blame myself; when I wish I could have done something different," Jarod says. "He forgave me. I hear his voice inside of me; just like you hear Nick's. What would he want you to do now?"

Back at The Centre, Miss Parker and Broots are in an elevator, and Broots is trying to hot-wire it to make it go again. Miss Parker looks around the inside of the elevator and is astonished to find that there is still a bullet hole near the ceiling: left there after her mother's killing years before. Broots says he surprised someone hadn't fixed it yet, and Miss Parker responds that that's just The Centre's way: always leaving a reminder, a "message" everywhere. Miss Parker then asks Broots if he'd ever thought of just packing up and leaving The Centre. Broots says the thought had crossed his mind, but... Miss Parker tells him, "Do it for Debbie. Do it now, because the next elevator you get on..." She looks up at the bullet hole.

Broots gets the elevator going again by tapping into its separate power source, and he and Miss Parker ride it up to the lobby. The elevator doors open, and Broots stays inside to secure the wiring until Miss Parker gives him the all-clear. It doesn't come. Miss Parker is attacked by Brigitte in the corridor just outside the elevator.

"I'm getting real sick of you," Miss Parker snarls at Brigitte. And Brigitte counters by asking her where Sydney and Broots are. "I thought Stooges always traveled in threes." The two woman start punching each other, and Miss Parker loses her gun in fracas. As the women beat each other up, Broots sets off an alarm inside the elevator. It distracts Brigitte long enough for Miss Parker to get away from Brigitte and fall back into the elevator. Brigitte fires several rounds into the elevator with her own machine gun, before the doors close and the elevator starts to fall.

The gun fire made Broots drop the elevator connectors, and the elevator's gone dead again. The cab is free-falling back down the shaft. Broots scrambles to get the wiring back together, so he can at least make the brakes kick in. They do... but only when he and Miss Parker are all the way down to SL-26. Once the elevator is stopped, Broots looks over to Miss Parker and realizes she's been struck by one of Brigitte's bullets.

The bullet only grazed Miss Parker's left arm, but is causing her pain and making her lose some blood. Broots ties it off with a strip of fabric, as Miss Parker kicks at the elevator panel hard enough to force the doors open again. She has no gun, so Broots hands her a screw driver as a weapon. She looks at it, and tells Broots, "I want to kill her, not screw her." Broots tells Miss Parker it's the only weapon she has at the moment, so she should get used to it. Besides, he says, he's right behind her. Miss Parker jokes that that makes her feel soooo much safer.

Broots and Miss Parker venture out of the elevator, and come across a connecting corridor -- where Angelo is waiting for them. He offers Miss Parker a crumpled box of Cracker Jacks, and tells her "Toy surprise." At first she refuses to take it, but Angelo persists, so she grabs the box away from him and looks inside of it. He's put the surprise of a DSA inside the box. Miss Parker realizes that it's one that was recorded on the day of her mother's death. Using Broots laptop computer, Miss Parker plays the DSA.

On the DSA we see a younger Sydney and a younger Mr. Parker talking to one another in a corridor of The Centre. Sydney is trying to offer his condolences over the death of Catherine Parker, but Mr. Parker refuses to express any grief. He tells Sydney not to talk to anyone about what happened to Catherine, tells him to go home, and to come back tomorrow ready for work. "Life goes on," he tells Sydney, and Sydney walks away. Only when he believes he's alone, does Mr. Parker repeat, "Life goes on," then collapses on a nearby staircase and starts to cry bitterly. This is the first time Miss Parker has ever seen her father behave like this, and it disturbs her -- and strengthens her resolve to protect him from the assassination attempt. "Daddy sad," Angelo says. "Must save daddy."

Looking over Broots' shoulder at the laptop, Angelo reaches past him and opens the Arkham file again. After fiddling with the keys, he gets the file to sort itself out so Broots and Miss Parker can read it. The file tells them that there is a bomb mounted on the bottom of the helicopter that is bringing Mr. Parker to The Centre. But it's controlled by a distance-sensitive triggering device. When the chopper gets close enough to the triggering mechanism, the bomb will explode.

In Idaho, Chris wraps Jarod in a thick jacket, and gives him a canteen of water, then goes off in search of help. He has to climb through uncomfortable terrain, and sometimes nearly falls, but he keeps going until he reaches the summit of the mountainside, and can see the road on the other side.

At The Centre, Miss Parker finds the old boiler tunnel Raines had been talking about previously, and climbs into it. It has a long ladder the reaches up 26 floors all the way to the lobby. She climbs it; sometimes slipping; sometimes having rungs of the ladder collapse under her, but she keeps going until she makes it all the way to the lobby. She then calls Sydney on the walkie-talkie and tells him to put Raines on the line to her. Sydney tells her that Raines is in severe distress; his oxygen is almost gone. He's hooked Raines up to an oxygen main in the wall of the Sim Lab, but if she can't get the power on, Mr. Raines will die. Before she goes looking for the power switches, Miss Parker demands to speak to Raines.

Miss Parker: "Are you trying to kill my father?"
Raines: "No."
Miss Parker: "Who is?"
Raines: "The same people who killed your mother."
Miss Parker: "WHO?!?!"

Mr. Raines blacks out from lack of oxygen, and Sydney demands that Miss Parker find the power mains. Miss Parker finds the main control room, and restores power to The Centre... just in time for Mr. Raines to get a few good lungsful of oxygen-rich air.

Outside The Centre on the heli-pad, it's dark outside already, and Brigitte is out there with the triggering device for the bomb on Mr. Parker's helicopter. She can see the chopper just coming into sight. She'll let it get within 100 feet before it explodes. The trigger-mechanism starts a backward count-down.

As Brigitte walks back to a door that will get her back inside The Centre, she's shocked to find the door burst out at her. Miss Parker is there, and the two start bare-fist brawling again. Both women seem evenly matched, but Miss Parker is trying to save her father, so she calls on strength that comes from deeper places than anything Brigitte has. She beats Brigitte down into the surface of the heli-pad, and then scrambles to get a hold of the triggering mechanism. She shuts it off, just before the helicopter comes within range.

When the helicopter lands, she rushes into Mr.Parker's arms, and he holds her and supports her against his chest. As he brushes Miss Parker's hair with his hand, we can see his wedding band shining brightly on his ring finger.

In Idaho, it's also starting to get dark, and Jarod is sitting in the back of an ambulance with a splint on his leg. He thanks Chris for helping him, and tells him he'll be all right. "Nick would be proud," Jarod tells Chris, and Chris answers: "I know. He told me..." Chris's father comes over to take Chris back home, and Jarod is left alone at the ambulance for a few minutes. He pulls from his jacket the red notebook with Chris's story in it, then closes it, knowing Chris will be fine from now on. Then Jarod leans over and starts pulling at the velcro strips that hold the splint onto his leg.

"But you're leg is broken," the ambulance attendant says astonished. Jarod pulls the splint off his leg and stands up, perfectly whole. He smiles at the ambulance driver and says, "I eat a lot of ice cream. Calcium: it's good for you." Jarod then walks off to where his recovered jeep is standing. He starts it right up and drives away.

The episode ends with a scene at the graveyard where Catherine Parker is buried. We can see that her tombstone is huge, and has a place on it for Mr. Parker's epitaph when he dies (so he can be buried beside her). Decorating the grave, is a huge bouquet of beautiful fresh flowers. Miss Parker and Mr. Parker are both at the grave site, and Mr. Parker admits that he hadn't been back there since the day of the funeral. He couldn't face Catherine, he tells Miss Parker, but doesn't explain himself further. He does promise Miss Parker, however, that he'll join her at the grave site every year from now on. "Are you all right?" Miss Parker asks him. And he swallows hard and tells her, "Life goes on." Mr. Parker walks away from the grave, and Miss Parker is ready to follow him, but her cell phone rings. It's Jarod on the line.

Jarod says he's thankful that her father survived the assault on his life, and Miss Parker thanks him for his help. He tells her, her mother knows what she feels. "How do you know?" Miss Parker asks him. "Read the card," Jarod answers. Miss Parker reaches into the bouquet of flowers and find a hand-written card there that reads: HER VOICE IS INSIDE YOU.

Almost in tears, Miss Parker presses the card to her heart. Then she kisses the tips of her fingers, and transfers the kiss to the headstone with a gentle touch. As she turns away from the grave and follows after her father, the camera pulls back... to show us Jarod. He's dressed in black, and standing just on the other side of the cemetery fence. He silently watches as Miss Parker walk away.
Jarod tells Chris to get him some help

DISCOVERIES: Nothing really new this time around.

BEST LINES: Jarod to Chris when Chris asks him if his injuries hurt: "Only when I blink."// When Miss Parker tells Brigitte to drop the British accent she's been affecting because no one believes it's real anyway, Brigitte snaps back (in purely American tones), "Fine with me, bitch. Too much damn work anyway."

OUR REVIEW: This was an engaging episode. It moved quickly and was entertaining; and we enjoyed the side-by-side images of Miss Parker climbing her boiler tunnel ladder and Chris climbing his mountain... understanding that both were metaphors for problems that had to be surmounted and challenges that had to be met. We're not too sure, though, that we buy into the whole "Daddy's sad" thing yet. Yes, it's possible that Mr. Parker has been a growling butthead all these years because he never faced his real feelings about his wife's death before... but we're still not entirely convinced that he wasn't, in some way, directly responsible for her death. It's hard to feel sympathy for man who may have been an accessory to murder.

Still, we were given a few more pieces of the puzzle about who is the REAL malevolent force in The Centre and who was (and was not) responsbile for Catherine Parker's death. (Mr. Raines has lied to everyone before, so we're taking his "I have no knowledge of this," comment only with a grain of salt.) We're sure Brigitte's assault on Mr. Parker was in retaliation for what happened to Mr. Lyle [in the "Past Sim" episode], but we don't know who financed her or put her up to it. Was it the Triumvirate... or is Mr. Lyle still alive (missing a few fingers, or other important digits)? Hmmm.

This was definately a "MissParker" episode, so her fans must've enjoyed it a lot. But it was something of a let down for Michael T. Weiss fans, who -- after being put by NBC for almost a month as they pre-empted "The Pretender" for garbage "blooper" shows, second rate movies, and an ice skating exhibition that was an NBC leftover from the poorly rated Winter Olympics -- barely got to see Jarod do anything in this episode.Come on, NBC. This is "The Pretender"... not the "Miss Parker Show".

Crockett: An obvious reference to Davy Crockett, the American pioneer, guide, trail blaiser and sometimes politician.

Bobby Two-Guns threatens JarodEPISODE 13
: "A Stand-Up Guy" (airdate 03-14-98)

Jarod is in his newest lair and calls Miss Parker on the telephone. He wants to know why Mr. Lyle is following him, and also wants to inform Miss Parker that Lyle is now missing a thumb. When she realizes that Jarod is telling the truth, Miss Parker seriously implores Jarod to tell her where he is, so she can protect him from Mr. Lyle. Jarod laughingly says he appreciates her offer, but is used to taking care of himself. Then, slapping a magazine full of bullets into the butt of a gun, he tells her he has to go to work, and hangs up on her.

On Staten Island, New York, Jarod -- as Jarod Puzo -- and three other men -- a mobster named Joey Molino, his second-in-command, Bobbie Two-Guns, and a tough named Nickie -- meet with a fourth man in a fish warehouse who wants money for the counterfeiting plates he's having delivered from Costa Rica. When he tries to take the satchel of cash from the mobsters, Joey tells him he can't have it. They still want the plates, but they want the fourth man eliminated so he can't "rat" on them to the police. Jarod warns Joey that a "corpse means cops", but Nickie insists that onlya live witness can talk about them, and Bobbie Two-Guns simply complains that it's getting cold in the warehouse and he wants to leave. Jarod insists to Joey, "This ain't smart," and Joey finally agrees with him. He doesn't shoot the fourth man. Instead, he presses his gun against Jarod's chest and commands that Jarod shoot the man. When Jarod is reluctant to take Joey's gun, Bobbie Two-Guns comes up behind him, with his matching .38s drawn, and tells him that he's going to "punch [Jarod's] ticket" if Jarod doesn't do what he's told.

The fourth man starts pleading for his life, and turns to run out of the warehouse. With Bobbie threatening Jarod, and Joey screaming into Jarod's face, "Kill him. Do it. Do it!", Jarod takes Joey's gun, raises it, and shoots the fourth man twice in the back. The man lurches out of the warehouse and falls onto a barge loaded with fish. Bobby, Joey and Nickie all congratulate Jarod on his fine marksmanship and leave the warehouse. Jarod walks out to the barge and looks at the man lying there, and then leaves the area himself.

Later, at a restaurant and bar called JAX, Jarod is eating spaghetti when Joey comes into to greet the proprietor, a woman named Faye. Faye had been left the restaurant when her husband died. She tried to make a go of it, but fell into financial difficulties and Joey bought her out of them. He now uses the place as a front of his illegal dealings.

Joey walks behind the counter and opens the cash register. Without even counting the money, he pulls all of the large bills out of the till and stuffs them into an envelope. Then he hands the envelope to Bobbie Two-Guns, telling him to make the cash delivery by 10 o'clock because Joey doesn't want "another phone call." Joey then invites Jarod to meet him in his "office".

Jarod goes to the back of the restaurant, and meets with Joey in the huge walk-in freezer. Joey says he has private conversations in there because the temperature and heavy frost interferes with the Feds' ability to electronically eavesdrop on his conversations. He tells Jarod that the shooting of the fourth man was a kind of test of Jarod's loyalty, and then he says that Jarod isn't using all his talents to the best of his ability. According to a mobster in Chicago named Big Tony (or "Tony T."), Jarod is the best "print man" (counterfeiter) in the business, "a real artist". When the "plates" that the fourth man ordered arrive from Costa Rica, Joey wants Jarod to print him some counterfeit money ($20s and $100s), but first he wants to see a sample of Jarod's work.

Jarod pulls two bills out of his money clip and hands them to Joey saying, "Which one's real?" Joey looks the bills over, smells them, holds them up to the light, and then hands them back to Jarod. "They're both real," he says. Jarod rips the bills into shreds to prove they're counterfeits and tosses the scraps into the air saying, "Guess I'm an artist." This amuses Joey, but only for a moment.

Joey unexpectedly grabs Jarod by the front of the shirt, drags him across the room, and throws him against a wall, shouting that he knows who Jarod really is. "What the hell are you talking about?" Jarod asks, shocked. Joey pins Jarod against the wall and threatens him with a gun, and tells him that he knows that Jarod Puzo has a criminal rap sheet on file which includes charges of arson, extortion, fraud and several other outstanding warrants. "Did you think I wouldn't find out?!" Joey shouts. Jarod apologizes for not telling Joey about his record, and admits that he did jump bail in Chicago and came to New York until it was safe to move again. "The last thing I needed was some punk makin' his bones by rattin' me out," Jarod explains. Convinced that Jarod is telling him the truth, Joey releases him and relaxes again.

Joey tells Jarod that a couple of months ago his crime syndicate was infiltrated by Federal agents, and so it was hard for him to trust anyone anymore. Jarod straightens out his clothes and tie, and tells Joey, "Well, if you remember, all that occurred before I got here." Joey pats Jarod on the face, saying, "You got an answer for everything, don't you? No more secrets, all right... 'Artist'?" Joey then leaves the freezer, and Jarod has a moment to take a deep breath and calm himself down.

He opens up his coat and pulls from an inside pocket a red notebook. In the notebook are clippings with headlines that read:

FELLOW OFFICER CHARGED IN SLAYING/ Department Shocked by Revelations
FATHER DISGRACED BY SON'S INDICTMENT/ Thirty Year Decorated Veteran Spurned.

The articles tell about a Federal Agent named Lester Knight who was found murdered with a dry cleaning bag wrapped around his head. According to the evidence, his killer was a fellow agent named Dean Clark, who had been working with Knight to infiltrate the Molino crime family. Clark's father, Eugene, was heartbroken over his son's indictment. Now the head prosecutor, a man named Sean Flanagan, is trying to shut down the Molino family, and wants Dead Clark to be convicted of Knight's murder.
Guess I'm an artist

AT THE CENTRE, Miss Parker is called into Mr. Parker's office, and he shows her a video surveillance tape of a Centre Satellite 14 office in Hartford, Connecticut. Although the primary monitoring system had been disabled, the back-up system recorded terrifying footage of a man walking into the office and killing everyone inside it. A close-up of the shooter reveals that it's Mr. Lyle. His left hand is still bandaged from when his thumb was cut off by members of the Japanese mafia {see the episode "Past Sim"}. Mr. Parker tells Miss Parker that everyone in the Satellite is dead, including its executive administrator, Mr. Strupp. Then he reinstates Miss Parker as a "Cleaner" and demands that she go to Hartford to clean up the mess there, and to find out what Lyle was looking for. Miss Parker says she's not a "Cleaner" anymore, that her job is to find Jarod. But Mr. Parker won't take "no" for an answer.

IN NEW YORK, Jarod goes to the Manhattan Detention Complex in New York City, and meets with Dean Clark, the man accused of killing Agent Knight. Clark insists he was set up by the Molino family. The night of Knight's killing, he was in JAX drinking gin with Bobbie Two-Guns. He got so plastered that he had to be carried home. There was no way he could have killed Knight because he wasn't anywhere near him when he died. Jarod reminds him that the bag presumably used to suffocate Knight was from the same dry cleaners that Clark frequented. Clark insists again that he was set up; he didn't do the killing.

A DAY LATER, IN HARTFORD, Miss Parker, Sydney, Broots, Sam the Sweeper and other Sweepers all go through the Centre's Satellite office. The bodies are still littering the office, and there's blood all over the place. Broots asks what's going to become of all the dead people, and Miss Parker tells him, "Nothing. They don't exist anymore." They all work together to search the complex for any clue as to what Mr. Lyle might have been after when he broke into the place. Among the debris, right next to a bullet ridden body, Miss Parker finds an E-prong chip from a computer. Broots says it looks like the kind of chip that belonged inside a "Blue Box". Miss Parker doesn't know what he's talking about, so he explains, "Each Centre office has a dedicated hardware system called the Blue Box", but, he says, the chips couldn't just fall out of them. The boxes were supposed to be sealed. Sydney finds the Blue Box... in pieces in the office. Lyle had broken into the box to steal one of the other chips from inside of it, and was obviously willing to murder to get that chip: whatever it was.

AT JAX, Jarod meets with Joey in the freezer again. The plates for the counterfeit bills have arrived from Costa Rica, and Jarod has a "friend of a friend" who told him that there were ten pallets of raw currency paper being delivered to a Federal warehouse in Brooklyn that evening. If he can get the paper, he tells Joey, he can use it to print his counterfeit bills, and no one would be able to tell his bills from the real ones. "Picasso... He didn't paint on toilet paper, now did he?" Jarod says. "Trust me." Joey laughs at this remark, and Jarod responds with: "Did I say something funny?"

Joey tells Jarod that the last person who said "trust me" to him was the undercover agent, Lester Knight, who, Joey reveals, was killed in the freezer unit right where Jarod is standing. He says he locked Knight in the freezer and then made a bet with Bobbie Two-Guns that Knight would freeze to death before he suffocated form the lack of oxygen in the sealed freezer. He lost the bet. Knight suffocated. "But, hey," says Joey with a shrug. "Dead is dead, right?" Jarod reminds Joey that Knight was found with a plastic dry cleaner's bag over his head; and Joey tells him he did that after Knight died to help frame Dean Clark. As Joey leaves the freezer, he authorizes Jarod to go ahead with the heist of the Federal currency paper.

That evening, at the Federal Depository in Brooklyn, Jarod, Joey, and several other members of the Molino crime syndicate successfully rob the building of two truck loads of currency paper. Just as they're leaving, however, Joey gets a telephone call on his cell phone warning him that the police are coming. Joey and most of his men escape in one of the trucks, but the police arrive before Jarod and Bobbie Two-Guns can get away.

Jarod and Bobbie try to flee, but they're surrounded by policemen and Federal agents. Bobbie is nabbed, while another officer grabs Jarod by the front of his overalls. "Get your hands off of me," Jarod growls at the officer, who then strikes Jarod in the face with the butt of his gun, and throws him over the hood of a car and handcuffs him. Bobbie is dragged off to one squad car, and Jarod is taken to a van. When the squad car carrying Bobbie is out of sight, the officer who grabbed Jarod recognizes him as an undercover Federal agent, and apologizes to him. "Did you have to get me in the nose?" Jarod asks him. The officer starts to remove Jarod's handcuffs, but Jarod tells him to leave the cuffs on. If his act is to be convincing, he'll need the bruises on his wrists to show to Joey and Bobbie Two-Guns.

Arriving at the scene is the same man whom Jarod supposedly shot at the warehouse days earlier. He, too, is an undercover agent. He says he was wearing a bullet-proof vest when Jarod shot at him, but complains that he smelled like fish for days because of what Jarod did to him. He then asks why Jarod had them set up this phony bust at the Depository. Jarod tells them that someone in the Justice Department is leaking information to Joey Molino. Joey knew the cops were coming BEFORE they got there and had had time to escape. The officers ask if Jarod knows who the informant is, and he tells them, no, but the "rat" is a "big one."

Later, Jarod and Bobbie Two-Guns are being interrogated by the police when US Prosecutor Sean Flanagan arrives to give the suspects a hard time. He claims that he's going to get the whole Molino crime syndicate, and Jarod just winks at him and says, "The game's not over yet."

Flanagan is on his way out of the interrogation room when another officer arrives to tell everyone that Jarod and Bobbie have to be set free because none of the police officers at the site of the bust read them their rights. Flanagan seems upset by this, and Jarod mocks him with, "Eh, guess this time you lose." He and Bobbie walk out scott free.

In his lair, Jarod works in his kitchen, slicing up a large beef tongue, and tainting a bottle of gin with clear, flavorless liquid laxative. He then goes to JAX to meet with Joey, Bobbie, and Nickie. He apologizes to Joey for the screwed up robbery, but says he has enough paper in the truck Joey drove away from the Depository to make all the fraudulent money Joey wants. He also tells Joey that the "friend of a friend" who told him about the paper in the warehouse wasn't going to be talking to anyone ever again. "And I'm mailing his wife a little present," Jarod says. He opens a small white box, and Nickie looks inside of it. "Is that a tongue?" Nickie asks, disgusted. Bobbie Two-Guns laughs. Joey is satisfied that the counterfeiting will go as scheduled so he doesn't press Jarod for any further explanations. As Joey and Bobbie get up to leave, Jarod stops Bobbie and gives him the bottle of laxative-tainted gin as a "congrats" present for getting out of jail free. Bobbie is surprised and elated by the gift, and starts drinking it immediately. When he's worked up a pleasant buzz from the gin, he takes the bottle home to finish it off.

Alone with Faye, Jarod offers to share a drink with her. She tells him she'll get the good vodka out of the back, and Jarod stops her saying he doesn't want to drink anything that came from the same place where the RICO cop was killed. Faye is astonished. She had no idea that the agent had been killed in her place; the body had been found elsewhere, and she hadn't been around the night Knight was killed because Joey had told her to close up earlier. As she seems terribly shaken, Jarod asks her if she's okay. She answers, "I'm just pulling my head out of the sand... One Federal agent is dead... and an innocent man is going to die. Hell, how did I get here? And how do I get out?"

BACK AT THE CENTRE, Miss Parker informs Mr. Parker that Lyle had broken into the Blue Box at the Hartford office. Mr. Parker is infuriated by this and tells her that the information on the chips inside the Blue Boxes is priceless. The Centre cannot afford to lose the chip in Lyle's possession. "Mr. Lyle's reappearance has made me look inefficient!" he snaps at Miss Parker. Then he tells her that it's time for Mr. Lyle to be "dealt with with finality." Understanding that Mr. Parker is now telling her to find and kill Mr. Lyle, Miss Parker tells her father that she's not an assassin. He insists that she has to kill Lyle in order to protect him (Mr. Parker). "If you don't protect me, I can't protect you," he says.

LATER, AT JAX Joey arrives and starts cleaning out the till again. As he puts the bills into an envelope, Faye complains that she'll need some money to make change for the customers. Joey tries to attack her, to make her shut up, and Jarod intervenes. He reminds Joey that there are customers in the place who are watching him, and tells him JAX will need their patronage if the place is to keep bringing in money for Joey to take. Joey relaxes and releases Faye. He then looks around and asks where Bobbie Two-Guns is. Jarod tells him, "He's married to the toilet; somethin' he drank." Joey is upset; who's going to make the money run that evening before ten o'clock? Jarod says he'll do it.

Before ten, Jarod is waiting in the dark at a street corner in an industrial area. A sedan drives up, and stops next to him. When the window rolls down, Jarod can see that it's Sean Flanagan in the front seat, driving the sedan. He hands Flanagan the envelope of money from JAX, and Flanagan ruffles through the bills. He then tells Jarod to warn Joey that if Joey wants "their arrangement" to continue, Flanagan is going to want more money. "There are people who have to be paid," Flanagan says, and he drives away.

Back at JAX, Joey meets Jarod in the freezer again and tells him that the counterfeiting plates are ready. He wants Jarod to set up a press there at JAX, and when they're finished printing their bogus bills, he'll have the place burned to the ground. "What about Faye?" Jarod asks. Joey says they'll have to kill her so there won't be any witnesses to the counterfeiting and arson.

AT THE CENTRE, Miss Parker gets word that Mr. Lyle was spotted at a hotel in Providence, Rhode Island. She goes to the place and finds his room, but Mr. Lyle is gone and so is all the evidence of his having been there. While she's searching the room, the telephone rings. Without hesitation, Miss Parker answers it. It's Mr. Lyle on the line. He says, "So close and yet so far. That's getting to be something of an anthem for you, isn't it?" She demands that he return the computer chip he stole, and he tells her, no. He's going to sell the chip for $20 million so he can pay the yakuza back the money he owes them. He then hangs up on her.

Miss Parker rifles through his room some more, then... She walks back to the phone, and on a hunch presses the "REDIAL" button. The last call made on Mr. Lyle's phone was to a place called Hillman Marine.

Miss Parker calls Broots at The Centre and asks him if he knows what Hillman is. He says, yes, "It's in Connecticut. It's where The Centre's backup warehouse is located." The place is located by the dock on the river there. Miss Parker asks him what the warehouse is used for, and he says, "Every Friday night at 11:59 PM all the Centre mainframes from all across the country do this mass back-up into this giant system [at Hillman] through their Blue Boxes..." Broots then realizes that tonight is Friday night, and that Lyle must be taking his stolen chip to the warehouse so he can plug it into the system at 11:59. As it goes through its normal back-up procedures, the system will then automatically decrypt (into an easily readable format) whatever information is encrypted on the chip, and Lyle will be able to sell that information to anyone he wants.

Later that evening, Miss Parker arrives at Hillman Marine just after Mr. Lyle has finished having his chip decrypted. She catches him before he can escape in a boat, and demands that he return the chip to her. He does so, but only because Miss Parker is threatening him with a gun. She asks him why he had been dogging Jarod if the computer chip was what he really wanted. Mr. Lyle explains that the chip was to pay off the yakuza... and Jarod was to get him back into The Centre. If he could capture Jarod, all would be forgiven among the Centre big-wigs.

"So, are you going to kill me?" he asks her, and she tells him that that's up to him. He tells her she's bluffing, and tries to smooth talk her into thinking she's superior to the people she works for. He then turns his back on her and starts to walk away. Then he turns suddenly, gun in hand, and attempts to shoot her. Miss Parker shoots first, and Mr. Lyle is struck. He tumbles off the dock into the river.

BACK AT JAX, Jarod is bugging the freezer room by placing cameras in the overhead light system, and in blocks of ice along the freezer walls. He also sets microphones up directly inside of the room, so he can hear and record whatever is said in there. He then creates a small aperture in the freezer door, made out of unbreakable glass, so he can look into the freezer whenever he wants to.

Jarod then has Faye make some telephone calls. One call is to Flanagan, warning him that Joey Molino is setting him up for a "big fall" that night at JAX. The second call is to Joey, warning him that Flanagan is going to set him up.

Joey gets to JAX before Flanagan does, and looks around the place, trying to find Faye or some evidence of what Flanagan might do to him. When he gets to the freezer room, he finds Bobbie Two-Guns tied and gagged in a chair in the freezer. There are phony $100 bills taped all over him. Joey rushes into the freezer to free Bobbie, and Jarod shuts the door on him, locking him inside. A few minutes later, Flanagan arrives at JAX, looking for Bobbie, ready to kill him. Jarod catches him in the bar, and forces him into the freezer, as well, along with Joey and Bobbie.

Looking through the aperture at them, Jarod tells Joey, Flanagan, and Bobbie that he's going to let them suffer the same fate as Lester Knight: they'll either freeze to death or they'll suffocate from a lack of oxygen. The men start pleading with Jarod to let them out; then start fighting among themselves when one starts to blame the other for Knight's death. They finally all admit that it was Flanagan who killed Knight (because Knight found out Flanagan was taking silence-money from the mob), and it was Joey who framed Dean Clark for Knight's murder. Jarod thanks them for giving him all the information he needs, then, as they scream and bang on the door, he closes the aperture and leaves the men in the freezer for real Federal agents to pick up later.

AT HILLMAN, the next morning, Sweepers drag the river and find a body that they presume is Mr. Lyle's. It's missing a thumb from the proper hand, but it's also missing its head and all of its other limbs. It presumably got chewed up by the prop of a very large boat as it drifted down river. Miss Parker is satisfied that it is Lyle, and leaves the docks to go back home.

AT JAX the next morning, Jarod is making his "good-byes" to Faye. He tells her to take a vacation to Hawaii after she's finished testifying in court about Joey and the Knight killing, and she tells him that Joey had sucked JAX financially dry. She doesn't have enough money to even go to New Jersey. Jarod smiles, and hands her an envelope filled with large bills. It was money Joey had stolen out of her cash register -- along with interest. Astonished, Faye takes the money and asks Jarod, "Who are you -- really?" Jarod simply smiles again, gives her a light peck on the cheek and answers, " -- An artist!"

DAYS LATER AT THE CENTRE, Broots gets Miss Parker's attention as they pass in a corridor. He tells her he got a look at the decrypted information from the chip Mr. Lyle had stolen just before Mr. Raines confiscated it. The chip contained "codes". Unimpressed, Miss Parker tells him that all computer chips have codes on them. Broots says, no, she doesn't understand. The chip Lyle had stolen contained GENETIC CODES, he says, then he adds, "I just can't help but wonder if it has something to do with Jarod."

IN NEW YORK, Jarod is ready to leave, but before he goes he stops off at a park where he watches the joyous reunion between Dean Clark, who was acquitted of the murder of Lester Knight, and his father, Eugene. Eugene gives his son a hug, and the two of them settle down to a game of chess. Jarod smiles and leaves the park.

Jarod and the DA
DISCOVERIES: Hostess Snoballs (chocolate cake shaped into a half-ball, filled with white creamy stuff, and covered in a layer of marshmallow and colored coconut), finger-thin bread sticks.

BEST LINE(S): Jarod to Joey when he first walks into the freezer: "I love what you've done with the place."// After Jarod shows the wiseguys the "tongue" of his "friend of a friend", he tells Bobbie he has a present for him, too. "What?" Bobbie asks. "The guy's brains?"// Broots to Miss Parker: "Twenty million? Man! Crime does pay."// Jarod, pulling a plastic dry cleaning bag off of his head: "So, what the hell is martinizing? And why do you have to pay extra for it, anyway?"// Jarod to Joey and Bobbie Two-Guns when they scream at him from inside the freezer: "Oooo, you need to chill out."// Jarod to Joey and Flanagan when they discover that he's not who they think he is: "The truth is, I'm not really a cop or a mobster. It's kind of complicated."

OUR REVIEW: Some of this episode was excellent, and some of it was rather contrived, but we liked it just the same. Jarod Puzo and his "pals" were all convincing as "wiseguys".

However, that Mr. Lyle would have used the (public) hotel room phone to make such an important call as the one to the Hillman Marine facility (rather than using a private cell phone), and then leaving the number on the phone to be retrieved by a simple touch of the "redial" button seemed a bit much. Aaaand we're not falling for the body chopped up in the river bit, either. If The Centre really is a eugenics facility, and if they really do want to protect their own interests, then they can run DNA tests on the corpse they found in the river to make sure it's Lyle's; not simply assume it is because it's missing a thumb.

Mr. Parker is back to his self-preservationist self again in this episode, and was as willing as ever to make Miss Parker do his dirty work for him. What is with that guy, anyway? And if Miss P has enough information to make her believe that Ben is her REAL father, then why is she still clinging to, taking insults from, and protecting Mr. Parker? We sincerely hope that the writers of this series aren't creating more questions than they can (or want to) answer as time goes on.
Puzo: A reference to author Mario Puzo who wrote the "Godfather" and other such novels.

Jarod in the warehouse
"Amnesia" (airdate 03-21-98)

Broots is asleep in bed, wearing cowboy-print pajamas, when suddenly he's attacked and kidnapped by Centre Sweepers, taken to the Centre, and put into a holding cell where Miss Parker and Sydney are already being held. "Nice PJ's," Miss Parker remarks to Broots, and he responds by informing her that he was yanked right out of bed. Sydney says he was kidnapped out of the shower, and Miss Parker sarcastically thanks him for "painting that picture" for her. Broots wants to know what's going on, and Sydney and Miss Parker tell him he's been summoned to a "T-Board": a Centre tribunal ordered by The Triumvirate. T-Board interrogations can last for hours, and don't end until the board members get the answers they're looking for. "T" is for "torture", Sydney says.

ELSEWHERE: In a warehouse district at night a huge black 16-wheeler big-rig truck pulls into a nearly deserted parking lot and stops. Out of the truck steps the driver, a burly man named Sharpton, dressed in cowboy boots and a wicked-looking spur. Sharpton walks over to a parked car waiting in the lot and accepts from the car driver an envelope overflowing with cash. The car then departs, and Sharpton turns back to his rig. He's surprised and a little bemused to find Jarod there, waiting for him. The two seem to know one another, and Jarod displays nothing but disdain for the trucker.

Jarod tells Sharpton that he know all about the contraband Sharpton has been transporting in his rig, and he knows about the pay-offs, and he knows that Sharpton was responsible for a hit-and-run accident that left an eight-year-old girl dead. Sharpton smiles a little and tells Jarod that he's absolutely right about everything: Sharpton is a drug runner, Sharpton does like his money, and Sharpton did kill the little girl. But Jarod left out one little thing, he says. Jarod asks what that is, and Sharpton tells him, "The part when I stop and pick up my partner."

Jarod only has a few seconds to look over his shoulder before Sharpton's partner rams Jarod in the forehead with the butt of a shotgun. Jarod is struck unconscious instantly, and collapses to the pavement. Sharpton and his partner return the rig, and the partner remarks that Jarod will freeze if they leave him out there. Unconcerned, Sharpton steps up into his truck and drives away, abandoning Jarod to bleed in the parking lot.

Jarod comes to in the basement of a warehouse. He's lying on a roll-away bed in a room littered with debris and mismatched furniture, with painted-over windows, naked rafters overhead, and exposed pipes and ductwork on the walls. There's a small lamp beside the bed, flickering like a strobe; and the pipes in the wall are leaking heat and cold. On the bed with him is a ratty-looking little mutt of a dog who's scratching at its fleas. Jarod blinks at the thing, but can't sit up. He still has an ugly bleeding gash on his forehead, and probably a concussion, and the bruising from the wound is leeching down toward his eye. When the dog realizes that Jarod is awake, it starts to bark.

Its noise alerts the only other person in the warehouse, a chatter-box of a man, in a shabby suit mended with silver duct tape, named Argyle. Argyle tells Jarod he was named after the birthmark on the back of his thigh. He offers to show the mark to Jarod, but when Jarod doesn't respond, Argyle takes that as a "pass". He tells Jarod that mutt saved his life. Jarod would have died out in the parking lot, but the little dog found him and kept barking and barking until Argyle came to see what was the matter. Argyle has put Jarod in bed and given him a "patch job" of first aid, but Jarod was out in the cold for too long and is suffering from exposure. A fever is mounting, and what's more... Jarod doesn't know who he is.

Jarod tries to get up out of the bed, but is so weak and disoriented that Argyle has no trouble putting him back down again. As he soothes Jarod and tells him to take it easy, Argyle goes through the pockets of Jarod's leather coat and pulls out his wallet. Jarod asks Argyle, in mumbling tones, what happened to him, and Argyle tells him he was mugged. Extracting all of the money out of Jarod's wallet, and stuffing it into his own pockets, Argyle also tells Jarod, "And, oh no, they got all you're money. All your money's gone. I'm sorry." But, Argyle says, "I saved your stuff," and he shows Jarod his knapsack and silver Haliburton case.

As Jarod lies on the bed, looking at the ceiling and his surroundings, trying to figure out where he is and WHO he is, Argyle goes through his knapsack and extracts a laminated name badge. According to the badge, Argyle says, Jarod's name is "Jarod" and he's a thoracic surgeon. Jarod repeats the name, but it doesn't seem to register... neither does the bit about being a surgeon; although, in flashes of sporadic memory, Jarod gets mental images of himself working in an emergency room, saving a little girl's life (from the premiere episode, season one). Argyle then tells Jarod that he's thinking that a big hospital would pay big money to have one of its surgeons returned to it in one piece... Argyle is an opportunist."You might just be my brass ring," he tells Jarod.

Noting that Jarod is shivering, Argyle goes to one of the pipes on the wall by the bed, and bangs on it to get the steam heat to rise in it. When steam appears, it starts to leak out of the pipe where a joint is bad, so Argyle patches the leak with some duct tape.

AT THE CENTRE: Miss Parker, Sydney and Broots are looking through the small slit of a window in the door of the holding cell and can see the T-Board room beyond it. There is a huge illuminated table in the shape of a "T" sitting in the middle of the darkened room. They can see Mr. Raines walking through the room, and talking to a man in the shadows who is recognizable only by the black and white wing-tip shoes he's wearing. They also see Brigitte. "That bitch is like a bad cough," Miss Parker growls. Then she tells Sydney and Broots that if she could contact her father, they'd all be out of there in a second. Sydney produces a small cell phone that he had been hiding in his clothes, and hands it to Miss Parker.

Before Miss Parker can dial a number, however, Brigitte -- now "Bridget" and minus her faux English accent -- enters the holding cell with several Sweepers. Bridget takes the phone from Miss Parker, and announces that they've been summoned to this tribunal because the Triumvirate believes that one, or all, of them is working with Jarod to keep him free from The Centre. They want to know, as Bridget puts it, "why after eighteen months is Jarod still out there. Not possible." He must be getting help from the inside. Bridget then walks up to Broots, smacks him on the side of the face with her open hand and tells him he's up first.
Jarod trying to remember who he is

AT THE WAREHOUSE: Argyle continues to go through Jarod's things and finds a Mr.Potato Head (with its tongue sticking out), several PEZ dispensers and a zip-lock bag filled with sweet treats. He tells Jarod that sugar isn't good for him, and he shouldn't eat so much of it. Argyle also finds Jarod's cell phone, then he comes across a manila folder with a photograph and charcoal sketch drawing of Jarod's mother. He shows the photograph to Jarod and asks who the pretty lady is, but Jarod doesn't remember.

Then Argyle finds other laminated name badges... all with Jarod's name on them. There are badges from the Coast Guard, from a roach exterminating company, from the FBI, from the Park Ranger service, from the Fire Department... Despondent -- now that he can't "cash in" Jarod to the nearest hospital for a "finder's fee" -- Argyle holds all the badges up to Jarod and asks, "Who the hell are you, Mister?" Jarod answers, "I don't know who I am."

AT THE CENTRE: Broots is sitting at the long end of the T-Board table. Around him in the darkened room he catches glimpses of a strange menagerie of characters: there is a female dwarf acting as stenographer; a granny in a rocking chair; the man-in-the-shadows wearing the wing-tip shoes; a woman in a man's suit with her head shaved so she looks like Mr. Raines; and a bearded man in a straw hat sitting in an electric wheelchair. There are also Sweepers moving back and forth in the shadows... and Mr. Raines and Bridget are sitting at the cross-t part of the table.

Raines says very little, and Bridget seems to be in control of the interrogations. "We find it hard to believe that anyone could be this inept on purpose," she says to Broots, and she demands that Broots tell her about Jarod. Broots reiterates the story (from the "Every Picture Tells a Story" episode from season one) wherein Jarod connected dozens of telephone calls all over the world in order to keep Miss Parker from finding out what YMCA he was staying at. Chuckling at the memory, Broots compliments Jarod as being smart and clever, "You can see it in his eyes." When Bridget reminds Broots that, according to his record, Broots has never laid eyes on Jarod, Broots stutters out a lie about, "I was referring to photographs I've seen." In a flashback, (from the "Past Sim" episode of season two) Broots recalls the time when Jarod showed up in his house and asked for his help. Rather than saying anything else that might incriminate him, Broots asks Bridget for a robe to cover his pajamas.

AT THE WAREHOUSE: Jarod is in the throes of a high fever and shaking with tremors. Beside his bed is a small table and a mismatched chair. On the table is his red notebook, filled with newspaper clippings about the girl killed by Sharpton, and a retractable ballpoint pen. In his delirium, Jarod sees a woman's hand appears beside the notebook. The image then completes itself, up the vision's arm, to its body, and its head... and Jarod sees his mother sitting in the chair beside the table. She smiles softly at him and says, "I love you, Jarod. Don't leave me. Please, don't leave me."

Argyle comes up beside Jarod to take a look at him, and tells Jarod he was out in the elements for too long; the fever is getting too high. Jarod closes his eyes and slips into unconsciousness, and Argyle panics. Grabbing Jarod by the front of his leather coat and shaking him, Argyle cries, "Don't die on me, man! Don't die on me!"

Some time later, Jarod opens his eyes again and looks around the room. His fever has broken, and he's more lucid now. Argyle is across the room, now dressed in a hideous burnt-orange suit coat, watching some of the DSAs from Jarod's Haliburton case. As Jarod listens to them, memories start flooding back to him. He sees images of himself as a child and as an adult, but he can't put the images together in any sensible order yet.

Argyle approaches him and asks Jarod to tell him what The Centre is; all of the DSA's have "For Centre Use Only" written on them, and he wants to know what the Centre is. Jarod pulls a blanket up over himself and rolls onto his side saying he doesn't know. Argyle goes off on a rambling dissertation about how he just wants to "make things right", and about how he wants to make everything work, and about how Jarod is a man with a "big brain" who's his ticket out of poverty... Then, in an unexpected rage, Argyle grabs at the malfunctioning lamp next to Jarod's bed and smashes it to bits.

While Argyle is raving, Jarod sees the woman's hand appear next to the red notebook again; and the vision of his mother rematerializes in the nearby chair. He asks her who she is, and she answers, "The proudest woman in the world." Jarod asks her if she knows who he is, and she says, "Trust your feelings. Always trust your feelings." And she vanishes again.

Argyle then approaches Jarod and asks him who "Sydney" is. He'd seen Sydney on some of the DSAs, and also saw Sydney's name as one of the auto-dial numbers on Jarod's cell phone; and he wants to know if Sydney is Jarod's father. Jarod doesn't respond.

AT THE CENTRE: Sydney is on his sixth hour of interrogation by the T-Board. He tells Raines and Bridget that he is a scientist and that, as such, he doesn't get emotionally involved with his subjects. But he does admit that his relationship with Jarod is as unique as Jarod is special; and in flash backs he recalls the guilt he felt over Jarod's kidnapping and isolation that eventually led Sydney to a confessional in a Catholic church (in the "A Virus Among Us" episode, first season), and his emotional response to a Father's Day card Jarod had once made for him (in the "Scott Free" episode, second season). Sydney then warns Bridget and Raines that the tactics they're using in their attempts to apprehend Jarod are too aggressive. "We must be patient," he says. "The day you really anger Jarod is the day he'll disappear forever... You don't know who Jarod is."

Before Sydney can continue, his cell phone starts to ring. Bridget had confiscated it from Miss Parker when they were in the holding cell, and has it on the T-Board table in front of her. She looks at Sydney, then looks at the phone, then picks it up and answers it. It's Argyle on the line. "Is this The Centre?" he asks. Bridget tells him it might be, and asks him what he wants. He tells her he's found something she might be looking for.

IN THE WAREHOUSE: Jarod's mind begins to put together the bits and flashes of information his brain is feeding to him. Myriad images rush through his head as he sits up on the bed, and forces himself to think. He rummages through the laminated name badges, and finds a photograph of Kyle and his father's Flying Cross medal. He sees Kyle's face and can hear him shout, "Jarod, go! Find our parents!"(from "The Dragon House" episode, season one) In the glass of a fractured mirror on the wall of the room, Jarod sees his mother materialize again. She smiles at him, and tells him, "You're my son. You're my life. I love you, Jarod." Jarod Russell... Jarod Nobel... Jarod Puzo... Jarod remembers who he is, and says it aloud, "Jarod."

And just as Jarod recalls who he is, Argyle rushes up to him and handcuffs one of his wrists to the metal headboard of the bed. Jarod is livid and asks Argyle, "When did I go from patient to prisoner?" Argyle feigns insult, and tells Jarod he's being unkind. He then hops up onto the bed, and continues talking, but Jarod isn't listening. He can see a cell phone in Argyle's pocket and asks if the phone is his. Argyle tells him, yes. "Who did you call?" Jarod demands. Argyle says he was trying to get a hold of Jarod's doctor to see if he made housecalls. "You called Sydney?" Argyle tells him that Sydney wasn't there, but a woman answered the phone. "Miss Parker?" Jarod asks, getting angrier. "No, no, no," Argyle tells him. He spoke with Bridget.

Jarod tries to warn Argyle that he's being set up by Bridget, but Argyle doesn't want to listen. "These people, this organization, they will kill you! Trust me," Jarod says. But Argyle is still unmoved. Bridget had told him that Jarod was insane, and would have an answer for everything, he says to Jarod. And now Jarod is just trying to confuse him. If his deal with Bridget goes through all right, Argyle says, Jarod will be back where he belongs, and maybe Argyle will have the opportunity to get out of his rat-hole of an existence. Jarod grabs him by the front of the shirt and warns him, "You are dealing with the devil!" But Argyle still won't listen to him.

AT THE CENTRE: Miss Parker is up before the T-Board, and no one will let her have a cigarette. She tells Bridget that that's excessively cruel, even for a T-Board. Mr. Raines and Bridget question Miss Parker on her 18-month pursuit of Jarod and ask her if she's assisting him in any way. Miss Parker insists that she isn't. Bridget tells her that The Centre wants the truth, and Miss Parker replies that the word "truth" is something that's thrown around too easily at The Centre. No one there tells the truth. Bridget asks her if she has any unresolved issues against The Centre. Remembering her mother's murder in a Centre elevator, Miss Parker lies and says, no, she has no unresolved issues with The Centre. Bridget then asks her about her personal and emotional feelings toward Jarod. Miss Parker recalls the recent romantic overture from Jarod (in the "Gigolo Jarod" episode, season two), but refuses to acknowledge that it had any effect one her. No, she's not romantically inclined toward Jarod, she says. She then rises to her feet and announces that she's finished with this review.

As Miss Parker walks away from the T-Board table, Sydney's cell phone starts ringing again. Miss Parker tries to approach it, but Sweepers intervene, and Bridget picks it up again. It's Argyle on the line again. He tells Bridget she was right about "cashew boy; he is a nut, all right," and tells her he'd like $10 thousand from The Centre for Jarod's return. Bridget says she can arrange to get him that kind of money, and asks him where he is.

AT THE WAREHOUSE: Jarod can hear Argyle's telephone conversation, and he searches for a way to get free of the handcuffs. On the little table, next to the red notebook, is a bent-out paperclip Argyle had been using to tamper with the lamp (before he broke it). While Argyle talks to Bridget, Jarod reaches over to the table and snags the paper clip. He then tries to use it to pick the lock on the handcuffs. Jarod manages to ratchet out a few of the saw-teeth on the lock, but Argyle sees him and rushes over to him before Jarod can get the cuffs off completely. Argyle re-fixes the cuff on Jarod's wrist and takes the paperclip away from him. "Don't do this, Argyle," Jarod pleads. But with Jarod watching him, Argyle gives Bridget directions to the warehouse where they are. Totally frustrated, Jarod just shakes his head.

AT THE CENTRE: Miss Parker has been returned to the holding cell with Broots and Sydney, while Bridget rushes off to get Jarod. Everyone in the cell is surprised when Mr. Parker arrives, and tells them he's furious that his daughter had been subjected a T-Board. He acts as though he's astonished by what they've been put through, promises them that they'll all be free as soon as he's finished "lopping off some heads." Mr. Parker leaves the cell, and Miss Parker and Broots are pleased with this turn of events. But Sydney cautions that Mr. Parker couldn't possibly have been "surprised" by what happened to them because he'd been at the T-Board session all along. Pointing through the tiny window in the cell door, he indicates Mr. Parker's feet to Miss Parker. Mr. Parker is wearing black and white wing-tip shoes; he was the man in the shadows at the T-Board interrogation. "I'm sorry, Parker," Sydney says to Miss Parker, and leaves her standing by the door with her mouth open.

AT THE WAREHOUSE, three hours later, Bridget arrives in a black sedan with two Sweepers (one of them is Willy, the Sweeper most often associated with Mr. Raines). Argyle, hanging onto some of Jarod's PEZ dispensers, hurries out to the large parking lot area in front of the warehouse to meet Bridget, and anxiously awaits his pay-off.

Inside the warehouse, Jarod has stretched his hand-cuffed arm out as far as he can to get to a window where he can see outside. He's had to scrape some paint off the window, but is able to see Bridget and the Sweepers in the parking lot with Argyle. He then turns away from the window and looks for something else with which he can pick the lock on the handcuffs. There's a small nail poking out from a shutter on the floor on the other side of the bed. Jarod climbs over the bed -- his wrist still cuffed to it -- and reaches for the nail, but can't get it. The shutter keeps moving so the nail is out of his reach. Jarod looks around for something else to use.

Outside in the parking lot, Bridget tosses Argyle a bag filled with cash, saying, "I bring you 'respect' in a bag." Argyle drops to his knees and palms through the money, excited and happy. "Where's Jarod?" Bridget wants to know. Argyle tells her he's in the basement by the boiler room, and as soon as she that information, Bridget siccs the Sweepers on Argyle. They grab him from both sides, and lift him up off the ground. Bridget tells them that once she'd got Jarod she wants them to put a bullet in Argyle's brain, "If you can find it." As Bridget walks toward the warehouse, her gun drawn, the Sweepers dump Argyle in the trunk of the sedan and close him inside it.

Inside the warehouse, by the little table where the red notebook is sitting, the image of Jarod's mother returns again. This time she says nothing, but she looks down at the little table and the retractable ballpoint pen sitting on the notebook. She then looks up at Jarod, and Jarod, understanding, smiles at her just before she disappears again. Jarod stretches himself out as far as he can, and uses the tips of his fingers to pull the notebook and pen toward him. When he has a good grip on the pen he lifts it up, sits back on the bed, and pulls the pen's pocket-clip off with his teeth. He then jams the clip into the handcuff lock and starts to use it to pick the lock. Through the panes of painted glass in the windows, Jarod can see the silhouette of Bridget as she approaches. And the lock on the cuffs is more difficult to pick than he thought. He looks around for another weapon.

When Bridget enters the boiler room of the warehouse, she still has her gun poised, ready to shoot. She looks across the room, and sees Jarod lying on the bed, seemingly asleep, with one of his wrists handcuffed to the headboard. "Well, if it isn't Sleeping Beauty," she remarks. "And they said you were so-o-o-o hard to catch." Her guard down somewhat, Bridget walks to the bed.

She whistles at Jarod trying to rouse him, but he doesn't respond. She then approaches the bed and calls to him to wake up. He doesn't move. So, she climbs up on the bed with him, and straddles him, sitting on his pelvis. Leaning forward, she puts her gun against his cheek and softly tells him it's time to get up. When he still doesn't respond, she strikes him hard in the face and yells, "Wake up!" Jarod's eyes open, but Bridget doesn't pick up on the fact that he doesn't seem all that surprised to find her there. Instead, she puts her gun under his chin and tells him she's taking him back to The Centre.

Cocking his head to one side and giving her a dark-eyed smirk, Jarod says, "Sorry... but I'm never going back there." He reaches up to the steam pipe on the wall beside the bed, yanks it down (breaking the duct tape seal Argyle put on it), and lets the blast of steam that escapes from the pipe hit Bridget straight in the face. Screeching, Bridget throws herself back off the bed and curls up in pain on the floor. Jarod then finishes picking the lock on the handcuffs, and goes hunting for Argyle and the two Sweepers.

By making a huge racket in the warehouse, Jarod gets one of the Sweepers to leave the sedan and come looking for what caused the disturbance. When the Sweeper enters the warehouse, all he sees is the ratty looking little mutt sitting in the middle of the floor, scratching at its fleas... He never sees Jarod come up from the shadows and bash him in the head with a two-by-four. Jarod thanks the little dog for its help, then readies himself for the second Sweeper.

Sweeper Willy waits by the sedan a while longer before he decides that Bridget and the other Sweeper have been in the warehouse for too long. He leaves the sedan, and enters the warehouse with his gun drawn. He finds the body of the first Sweeper and checks it for a pulse, then moves deeper into the warehouse looking for Bridget and Jarod. Before Willy can react, Jarod drops down from the ceiling rafters and punches Willy to the floor.

BACK AT THE CENTRE: Mr. Raines and Mr. Parker are standing by the T-Board table when Sydney's cell phone rings again. Mr. Raines answers it, expecting it to be Bridget. When he discovers it Jarod on the phone, Mr. Raines face lights up with fury. "Oh, by the way," Jarod tells him. "You can come pick up your blonde now."

AT THE WAREHOUSE Jarod looks down on Bridget. She's handcuffed to the bed with a piece of duct tape over her mouth to keep her from talking. Jarod gives her his good-byes, calls her "Luv", and then leaves the warehouse to find Argyle. Bridget fights against the handcuffs and screams behind her gag, but can't escape.

Out in the parking lot, Jarod opens the trunk of the sedan. Argyle is still inside, and holding up a PEZ dispenser as though it can defend him against an assault, Argyle screams. When he realizes it's Jarod outside the car and not the Sweepers, he immediately relaxes. Jarod offers him the bag with the $10 thousand in it, and Argyle gets a loose grip on it while he says, "I knew you were the one to trust all along." Jarod then yanks the bag out of Argyle's hands and tells him he's going to donate the money to the local pound in "Dog's" name. "Dog" was the real hero, anyway, he says. Just before he leaves, Jarod snarls at Argyle, " -- And give me back my PEZ," as he snatches the PEZ dispenser from Argyle's hands.

AT THE CENTRE upon Bridget's failure to bring Jarod back, Mr. Parker sees to it that Sydney, Broots and Miss Parker are released from their holding cell. He tries to console Miss Parker, but she won't let him. She's furious with him for lying to her and for putting her through the T-Board interrogation. Mr. Parker tries to laugh it off, saying she surely knew he was involved all along, and that it was all a charade to get the Triumvirate off his back. Mr. Parker then starts double-talking to her about who-knows-what and who-thinks-they-know-what's-what until Miss Parker shakes her head, confused. "Trust me," Mr. Parker says, and he leaves the interrogation room.

Miss Parker remembers, in flash backs, all the other times Mr. Parker told her the same thing: "Trust me." And then she recalls Jarod asking her (in the "Keys" episode, season one) "How can you still trust him?" Unable or as yet unwilling to answer the question for herself, Miss Parker steps up to Sydney and gently takes his arm in her hands, and walks him out of the T-Board room. As they exit, she asks him if he really thinks there's someone in The Centre who's helping Jarod stay free, and Sydney answers that in The Centre anything is possible.

As they leave the T-Board room, the camera shows us Angelo, sitting in one of the air conditioning ducts, smiling to himself as he munches on Cracker Jacks.

THE NEXT NIGHT in the warehouse district, a huge black 16-wheeler big-rig truck pulls into a nearly deserted parking lot and stops. Out of the truck steps Sharpton, who walks over to a parked car waiting in the lot. He accepts from the car driver an envelope overflowing with cash. The car then departs, and Sharpton turns back to his rig. He's surprised and a little bemused to find Jarod there, waiting for him. "You remember me?" Jarod asks with a grin, waving.

Sharpton shakes his head at Jarod, not believing that Jarod is back for more."You never learn, do you?" the trucker says. Jarod tells him, "But I never make the same mistake twice." He indicates to Sharpton the crumpled body of Sharpton's now unconscious partner. Jarod then informs Sharpton that they're both going for a little ride.

The episode closes with the sight of Jarod driving the black big rig at high speed down the open highway with Sharpton strapped, spread-eagle, to the outside front grill. As the truck rushes past the camera, Sharpton is screaming, and inside the cab of the rig Jarod is grinning broadly and blowing the truck's horn.
Jarod sees Bridget coming in

DISCOVERIES: Nothing new, but Jarod was able to re-discover who he was.

BEST LINE(S): Jarod to Sharpton in regards to Sharpton's punctuality when it comes to picking up his drug money: "Same Bat-time, same Bat-channel. I saw that on a re-run."// When Sydney asks Miss Parker how she thinks Broots will hold up in front of the T-Board she answers, "-- Before or after he wets his pants?"

OUR REVIEW: We usually hate television shows that regurgitate old footage in lieu of a new episode, but have to admit that this one was actually done very well. The clips from previous episodes high-lighted and exemplified certain aspects of all of the main characters' histories and personalities, and also helped those who might have missed the first season to better understand how all of the characters interconnected. At the same time, a new (and sometimes exciting) story was told and we were given more insight on the "politic-ing" and "one-upmanship" that goes on in The Centre.

The T-Board scenes were reminiscent of the stuff that went on in the old "Twin Peaks" series, but understand that the bizarre trappings of the room were all meant to disorient and confuse those who were brought before the T-Board for interrogation. It all helped to solidify our understanding of just how far The Centre will go to play mind-games with people. It's amazing that anybody connected with that place is still sane.

We worry, too, that Jarod was still seeing visions of his mother even after his fever broke. We're left to wonder, if only briefly: is Jarod turning into, as Argyle put it, a "cashew boy...a nut, all right"; or were the visions part of a new "talent" Jarod will be able to embellish upon in future episodes; or were they simply a latent affect of his severe head trauma? As they say in TV-land, we'll just have to "Stay tuned"...

SWAT man Jarod
: "Bulletproof" (03-28-98)

IN HIS MOST CURRENT LAIR, Jarod is watching himself on a DSA from 11-21-71. At the end of the DSA, a young Jarod asks Sydney, "If I ever left here, would anybody want me?"

PINE RIDGE, TEXAS: Miss Parker, Broots, Sydney and Sam the Sweeper burst into a cabin, which was one of Jarod's previous lairs. The place is filled with paramilitary paraphernalia: books and magazines on "Urban Combat Basics" and "Hand-to-Hand Combat"; American flags; a huge cache of rifles and assault weapons... "What is this?" Miss Parker asks. "Testosterone headquarters?"

Throughout the main room of the cabin, pop-up targets appear suddenly. Miss Parker takes a shot at one of them and hits the target directly in the forehead. The target is an image of Broots. Targets resembling Miss Parker and Sydney also appear, but Miss Parker withholds her gunfire from them. Broots looks at the him-shaped target and complains, "You shot me! In the head!" Miss Parker quips, "You never looked better."

On the Sydney-target is a white envelope with Sydney's name on it. While Miss Parker, Broots and Sam continue to search the premises, Sydney opens the envelope and reads the contents of a single piece of paper found inside of it. The contents seem disturbing to Sydney, and Miss Parker asks him if he's all right. Distracted, Sydney answers her with a monosyllabic, "yes".

IN OHIO, we see two brutal-looking kidnappers in the livingroom of a small apartment. On the couch, bound and gagged, are a mother and her young daughter. One of the kidnappers tells the mother that her husband had better come up with the ransom money soon, or both she and her daughter are going to die.

Suddenly, S.W.A.T. [Special Weapons and Tactics] team members burst through the apartment windows and the front door. They're all dressed in padded riot gear and carrying smoke bombs and weapons. They neutralize the kidnappers within seconds, and one of them walks over to the couch to remove the gag from the mouth of the daughter. This team member is Jarod. He tells the little girl not to be afraid; that everything will be all right.

The following afternoon, we see Jarod in a park having a Precinct Picnic with other civilian workers and officers of the Cincinnati Police Department and their families. Jarod is greeted by co-workers who a part of the same S.W.A.T. team he is: T-14, the "Turbo" Squad. Among his co-workers are Sergeant Stevens (a male), Officer Cook (a female), and Officer Moony (a male). Steven compliments Jarod on his work with the team in the apartment complex, and Jarod tells him that he was doing his best so he would make for a good replacement for Daniel Lang, another S.W.A.T. team member who was killed in the line of duty two weeks earlier.

Stevens, Cook and Moony have nothing but praise for Lang, and tell Jarod they won't stop until they find the man who killed him -- a white male, 6 feet tall, with a goatee, and wearing a baseball cap. A detective, also affiliated with the precinct, comes up and starts bad-mouthing Lang, saying he was hot-shot who got himself killed because he wasn't a team-player. Stevens tries to attack the detective to make him shut up, but Jarod intervenes. Steven then points out that the detective had been maligning Lang in front of his two surviving children: Cody and Jordan. The detective turns to see the younger of the two boys run away from the picnic area in tears over what the detective was saying. The detective then waves off his insult saying he didn't know the kids were there. Jarod looks over to where they boys have been stopped by a pretty blonde woman, Liz Brantley, who works as a dispatcher for the same precinct. Liz comforts the boys as best she can.

AT THE CENTRE, Sydney is in his office. He looks at the piece of paper from the envelope Jarod had left for him in the cabin in Texas, and also looks at a gold pocket watch which he withdraws from his suit. He opens the watch up, and on the back of the face-plate is the inscription: "Jet'aime [forever], Michelle".

When Broots walks in carrying some files of records on routine surveillance scans, Sydney hides the slip of paper in a book and shoves it into a nearby bookcase. He then approaches Broots, and asks him if he can trust him. Broots tells Sydney, of course, Sydney can trust him; and Sydney asks him to conduct a search for a woman named Michelle Lucca. Sydney gives Broots a piece of notepaper containing all the information about Michelle that he can remember, and Broots promises him he will conduct the search immediately.

Outside Sydney's office, in the corridor, Broots is intercepted by Miss Parker who had, unbeknownst to Sydney or Broots, been eaves-dropping on their conversation. She demands to see the piece of notepaper Sydney had given to Broots. Broots is reluctant to show it to her, but Miss Parker is insistent, so Broots hands the paper over to her. When she discovers the paper is in regards to a woman, Miss Parker says, "Dr. Pavlov has been drooling since he got that note from Jarod in the cabin." She then tells Broots to go ahead with his search, and to tell her if any of it impacts on their search for Jarod.

IN OHIO, Jarod is spearheading a training simulation with the rest of Turbo Squad. When a male-shaped target appears suddenly out of the darkness, Moony over-shoots the target and misses it. Jarod covers him by taking down the target himself, and Cook and Stevens take out the next two targets with single shots. As the simulation ends, Moony seems upset and distracted and tells the others he needs to get some air.

A few minutes later, Jarod finds Moony in the locker room and asks him if he's all right. Moony tells him he's been "reliving" the incident during which Daniel Lang was killed, "I can't get it out of my head." Jarod tells him he may be suffering from "survivor's guilt" or Post Traumatic Stress syndrome, and suggests that if they go to the place where Lang was killed, he might be able to help Moony work his way through his feelings.

Moony takes Jarod to a roller-skating rink and describes for him the situation during which Lang was killed. Turbo Squad had entered the roller rink looking for a shooter. Moony and Lang took "point", and Stevens and Cook were on the flank. The shooter was in the front of the rink area, behind the grandstand. A bullet had struck Moony in the leg and he went down, he said. Then Lang stepped up to try to put his body between Moony and the shooter, and Lang was struck several times directly in the chest. Although Lang had been wearing protective gear, the shooter had been using M-132 armor-piercing shells: "cop killer" bullets. Lang was dead within minutes.

AT THE CENTRE, Broots tells Miss Parker that he'd been unable to find anything on Michelle Lucca, but had been able to find someone with a similar name. The weird thing was: there was no record of this other Michelle even existing before 1974. He'd checked CIA records, FBI records and even Interpol, and could find nothing about this other Michelle prior to 1974. Then, he told Miss Parker, he started thinking: who else could have made someone disappear so effectively, and then re-appear somewhere else with a new identity? Miss Parker understands: "She worked for The Centre." Broots nods, and hands Miss Parker the file on the "new" Michelle. Michelle Lucca had worked for The Centre as a clinical psychologist, and had been assigned to help Sydney with The Pretender Project until 1974 when she suddenly vanished without a trace. She was now living in Albany, New York, under a different name, and was married.

IN OHIO, Jarod is in his lair listening to the recordings of the conversations between Turbo Squad and the dispatcher, Liz Brantley, on the night Daniel Lang was killed. He can hear the members of the squad talking. There is sporadic gun-fire, and Moony cries out that he's been shot. Lang says that an officer is down and that Turbo Squad needs back-up. There's more gun-fire, and then Lang goes down. Moony is heard shouting that Lang's been shot; he calls for an ambulance. Liz's voice is heard talking to Daniel Lang. She calls him "Dan", and tells him to hang in there; that help is on the way. Lang says he can't feel his legs... that he's getting very cold... Then he tells Liz to tell his sons that he loves them... Then Lang is silent. At the end of the recording all that can be heard is silence from Lang, and Liz's soft voice muttering, "Oh, my god."

AT THE POLICE STATION, Jarod seeks out the dispatcher, Liz Brantley. He tells her he had listened to the dispatch tapes of the night Daniel Lang was shot, and tries to comfort her by telling her that it must have made Dan feel a little better to know that someone who loved him was talking to him just before he died. Liz is shocked that Jarod seems to know that she and Lang were emotionally involved with one another, and Jarod tells her, "I could hear it in your voices."

Jarod and Liz then go on a short walk, and Liz tells him about her relationship with Lang. Daniel Lang's wife had died about a year ago, and Liz and Dan had only recently become an item. Although she's mourning the loss of Daniel, she is most worried about Lang's sons, she tells Jarod. The boy's have no other family except for a pair of grandparents who live in Seattle, but the department hadn't been able to get a hold of the grandparents yet because they were traveling abroad. The boys were currently being kept in the St. Norval Children's Home. If the grandparents rejected custody, the boys would most likely have to remain at St. Norval's... and since the boys were "older" children with "emotional scars", they would, most likely, never be adopted and may have to live their lives in the institution.

Jarod asks Liz if she remembers anything "odd" happening before the night Daniel Lang died: any incident, any names that kept coming up, anything at all... Liz says she remembers the name Petrovka being bantered around a lot; and the fact that Daniel Lang had been readying to leave Turbo Squad about two weeks before he was shot. Lang had told her he was "burnt out" by the S.W.A.T. duties, but she says she didn't really believe him.

Jarod and Liz go back to the police department office and while Liz runs a back-ground check on the name Petrovka, Jarod gets on the telephone and makes some calls. He's talking to Interpol, speaking in fluent Russian, when Liz brings him a police file print-out on a man named Vladimir Petrovka. Jarod hangs up the phone, and looks at the print out. He tells Liz that Petrovka is a local Russian who had ties to the mafia in Moscow; he is wanted for smuggling contraband -- including the "cop killer" bullets -- in to and around the U.S. Petrovka had been caught and arrested once -- by the members of Turbo Squad, before Daniel Lang was assigned to the unit -- but had gotten off on a technicality. Since that time, Petrovka had been impossible to catch. He always seemed to know the police were coming before they showed up to arrest him.

AT ST. NORVAL'S, Jarod finds Daniel Lang's sons playing basketball and stops to chat with them. The younger of the boys reveals to Jarod that Daniel Lang had, "yelled one night", a few nights before the shooting. The older boy adds that they had been asleep in their room and were awakened by the sound of their father yelling at some other men. Their father had told the other men that he "didn't want to be involved", and that the other men "should leave".

The memories seem to greatly upset the younger brother, so Jarod tries to comfort the boys by telling them that their father loved them very much, and that he had died a hero, putting his own body between a shooter and fellow officer.

Jarod listens to a discussion about cop-killer bullets
, Miss Parker and Broots comb Sydney's office looking for the piece of paper from the envelope Jarod had left in the cabin in Texas. Broots finds the paper folded inside the book in the book case and Miss Parker snatches it from him. She unfolds the paper and realizes that it is a birth certificate from 1974 for a male child named "Nicholas". Michelle is listed as the boy's mother, but no father's name is listed. Miss Parker and Broots both deduce that Sydney might be Nicholas's father...

AT HIS LAIR, Jarod goes over video tapes of Cook, Stevens and Moony being debriefed after the Lang shooting. They all describe a male shooter with a goatee, and talk about a "fire fight" that lasted about 20 minutes. Jarod is not convinced that they're telling the whole truth, however.

He later goes with Liz to the roller rink to look over the scene once more himself. The place has already been reopened to customers and is doing great business... even though repairs have not been completed since the night of the shooting. There are still a few bullet holes obvious in the grand stand area. Jarod asks Liz to tell him what sort of weapons Lang and the others were packing the night of the shooting, and Liz tells him that standard issue weapons were 9mm hand guns and M-16 assault rifles. Jarod tells her that the evidence at the scene simply doesn't match the description of the incident given by Stevens, Cook and Moony. They're stories were all the same, but... There weren't enough bullet holes to account for the "20 minute fire fight" the three of them had described; and the bullet holes were all the wrong size for the weapons they were supposedly carrying that night. And if all of the S.W.A.T. team members were firing at a shooter in the grandstand area, why weren't there more bullet holes apparent there?

Liz asks Jarod what he thinks really happened. He tells her that the evidence in the rink suggests there had been no shooter in the grandstand area... and that the "cop killer" bullets that struck Lang had come from weapons carried by the flanking S.W.A.T. team members themselves. Lang had most likely been set up and executed by his own team... But why?

THAT EVENING, Jarod breaks into Lang's old locker in the police station and finds that it hasn't been cleared out yet. Lang's S.W.A.T. gear knapsack is still there, and contains night-vision goggles, a hand-held micro cassette recorder (with no tape in it), and a key to a fire-proof lock box. There is no lock box in the locker, so Jarod goes outside to the parking lot to find the last police-issue vehicle Lang had been driving. He jimmies the lock on the trunk and goes through the contents there: blankets, a fire extinguisher, a first aid kit... and a small fire-proof lock box. Jarod uses the key from Lang's locker to open the box, and finds three micro cassettes hidden inside of it. "A voice from beyond the grave," Jarod says, looking at the cassettes.

THE NEXT NIGHT, after listening to Lang's voice on the audio cassettes, Jarod goes to 570 Franklin Avenue and parks there, and watches a nearby park area through the night-vision goggles. On the cassettes, Lang had described meetings between Vladimir Petrovka and the members of the Turbo Squad. Stevens, Cook and Moony met with Petrovka on a regular basis and took pay-off money from him in exchange for their tipping him off about police activities that might impinge on his criminal activities. Lang was trying to gather enough evidence to have his partners arrested for collusion and obstruction of justice. When they found out what he knew, they had approached him and offered him the chance to join them. In the argument that had been overheard by his sons, Lang had told them he wasn't interested and yelled at them to get out of his house. Two nights later, Lang was killed.

That evening, from his parked car, Jarod sees Stevens, Cook and Moony arrive, on schedule, to take their next payment from Petrovka. He promises the dead Lang that he will finish what Lang had started.

IN ALBANY, NEW YORK, Sydney arrives at the front door of Michelle Lucca's house. She opens the door expecting to find her son there, and is startled when she sees -- and instantly recognizes -- Sydney. The two of them take a short walk down the street, away from the house, and Sydney tells Michelle that he found Nicholas's birth certificate. He wants to know if he is Nicholas's father. Michelle tries to explain to him the circumstances of Nicholas's birth and why she left The Centre.

At The Centre, she and Sydney had fallen in love: the pocket watch Sydney carried was a memento of their affair. When she discovered that she was pregnant with Sydney's child, she rushed back from her doctor's office to The Centre to tell him, but had been intercepted by a man she had never seen before. This man somehow knew about her pregnancy already, and told her she had to leave The Centre. The Centre would see to her re-location, would let her keep her son, and even set up a trust fund for him IF she agreed never to see Sydney again. Sydney, the man told her, had to be kept focused on The Pretender Project, and a son would only distract him from his work.

When Michelle, at first, was reluctant to leave, the man then threatened that if she didn't go, he would see to it that Sydney had a "terrible accident". Fearing for Sydney's life, Michelle agreed to go. The next day, when Sydney came to work, Michelle's office was cleared out, her projects had all been re-assigned, and her apartment had been emptied. [He had never found out what happened to her or why she left... until now.] After she left The Centre and Nicholas was born, Michelle tells Sydney, she eventually met another man who fell in love with her and agreed to raise Nicholas as his own child. They had never told Nicholas about Sydney. Nicholas was now twenty-four years old; and a "splendid" young man who had become a teacher.

Michelle tells Sydney that she will love him forever... but that she has a life with her husband and Nicholas now. She can't leave them, she says, and she can't tell Nicholas the truth about his parentage. She then quietly, gently asks Sydney to leave. He does so, but only after he catches a glimpse of Nicholas -- a handsome young man with light brown hair and dark eyes -- as Nicholas arrives and greets his mother in the driveway in front of their home.

BACK IN OHIO, Jarod is readying to set up Stevens, Cook and Moony in a "sting" operation. He creates cardboard cut-out targets of himself and places them around the roller skating rink; he hot-wires one of the video game machines in the rink; and goes through Moony's, Cook's, and Stevens' vehicles, replacing the clips in their weapons with clips filled with blank cartridges. He then sets up a parked car outside the roller rink and splashes the driver's seat with fake blood.

BACK AT THE CENTRE, Broots and Miss Parker walk into Sydney's office to find him packing his things. He's going to leave, he tells them. Miss Parker says they know about Michelle and the birth certificate, and ask Sydney to stay. He is adamant, however:

"They stole my life, Parker! Just like they stole Jarod's.... and Angelo's...."
"And mine..." Miss Parker says.

She then tells Sydney that if he leaves now, he'll never find out who it was who scared Michelle away, and hid his son from him, and threatened his life. Sydney relaxes a little and decides to stay. He then asks Miss Parker why, if she knew about Michelle and the birth certificate, she didn't confront him or turn him in. She tells him: "Everyone deserves a life... even you."

IN OHIO, the Turbo Squad members including Jarod, still in their heavy protective gear, have just finished up some night time training simulations. They're all leaving the training facility, and approach their vehicles, when a call comes from dispatch over their audio head-gear that a man matching the description of Office Lang's killer was seen again at the roller skating rink. The team arrives at the rink to find a car parked out front... and blood all over the front seat. Jarod tells them that the shooter has come back, and then he rushes into the rink to get the man. The rest of the team is a few seconds behind Jarod, having to stop to get their weapons out of the trunks of their vehicles first. When they enter the rink, Jarod is nowhere to be seen.

Suddenly, from different locations around the rink, pop-up targets start to appear. Stevens, Moony and Cook fire at the targets but can't seem to hit them. One of the video machines then comes to life: lights flash on top of it and police sirens blare from it. Then spotlights and a mirrored ball in the ceiling of the rink turn on, and the roller rink is splashed with moving light and colors. Disoriented, confused, and scared, Stevens, Cook and Moony don't know what to do. The decision is made for them, however, when, from the grandstand area, a man with a goatee and wearing a baseball cap starts to shoot them. The bullets from his weapon tear through wood, brick and metal: they're "cop killers".

Stevens, Cook and Moony scramble toward some bleachers, away from the grandstand area, and return fire... but none of their shots seem to strike the shooter, who continues to threaten them with near-hits. Stevens figures out that their weapons are filled with blanks, and he screams for an explanation. "Who the hell are you -- ?!"

The shooter steps down off the grand stand. "You know me. I'm the man you created. The shooter with the goatee and baseball cap..." It is Jarod. He removes his fake goatee, and confronts them with the truth about Daniel Lang's murder, while he continues to fire cop-killer bullets in their directions. The bullets eat right through the bleachers and their metal supports.

Not intimidated by Jarod, Stevens steps up in front of him and tells him that he'd better make his next shot a good one, because if Jarod doesn't take Stevens down, Stevens and the others will kills him just like they killed Lang. Jarod taps the ear-piece of the police issue head gear he's still wearing and asks Liz Brantley if she heard that. Liz, sitting in a room filled with other policemen and detectives at the police station, says she heard every word.

This same information comes through on Stevens' audio head-set and he realizes he's been trapped by his own confession. He pulls a hand gun from out of his clothes and threatens Jarod with it. The hand-gun isn't filled with blanks. "If I go," Stevens warns, "you go." Jarod refuses to step back, however, and raises his rifle at Stevens' face. Just as Stevens is about to pull the trigger on his hand-gun, he can hear the sirens of approaching police cars. Cook and Moony tell him it's all over; they're trapped. Stevens finally breaks down, and puts his gun on the floor.

AT ST. NORVAL'S the next day, Jarod and Liz watch as Cody and Jordan Lang are met by their grandparents. When they had heard what had happened to Daniel Lang, the grandparents came home immediately from their trip to pick up the boys. Liz tells Jarod that the boys will be going back to Seattle to live on their grandparents' farm; and that she'll miss them very much when they go. Jarod tells her she could always move to Seattle if she wanted to... and then shows her paperwork that will set her up with a job as a switchboard operator in the Seattle Police Department. She can start in two weeks if she wants the job. Liz hugs him and thanks him. And Jarod thanks her for being so willing to provide the boys with love and attention even though they're not her "blood" relatives. Touched by the compliment, Liz runs off to catch up with the boy and their grandparents and tell them the news about her pending job-transfer.

IN ALBANY we see Nicholas walking through a school campus with a student. He's telling the student how to improve her dissertation for class. When Nicholas and the student separate, Nicholas hears Sydney make a remark to him about his studies from a few feet away. Nicholas turns to Sydney, looks at him for a moment, and asks, "Do I know you?" Sydney smiles and tells him, "I'm afraid you don't." Nicholas gives Sydney another long look, then walks away across the campus.

AT ST. NORVAL'S Jarod calls Sydney on his cell phone and asks him if he was able to find his son. Sydney tells him, yes, he did. Jarod then reminds Sydney of the conversation they had once had when Jarod was a youngster, and had asked Sydney if his family would still want him if he ever found them. Sydney recalls the conversation, and Jarod tells him that at that time he thought it only "took blood to bond people. But I've learned that it takes something else... It takes love." Sydney agrees.

TRIVIA: Daniel Lang's badge number was 44562; and his vehicle number was 96200

Jarod talks to Liz
: Chia Pets.

BEST LINE(S): Miss Parker in regards to Sydney's fathering of Nicholas: "I didn't think he knew what to do with that part of his anatomy."// Jarod upon seeing his first Chia Pet: "Ceramic figurines with vegetation for hair..." // Broots upon seeing the Chia Pet version of himself, "It's Chia-Me! ... But with a little less hair than I'm use to."

OUR REVIEW: We thought the whole story about Nicholas's parentage and Michelle's disappearance was a bit far-fetched. Sure, Sydney could have a son, but... We don't understand, for example, why The Centre would have allowed Michelle and her child to live, when it's already been established, in several episodes, that The Centre has a documented history of killing or maiming almost everyone outside its doors who had knowledge about or had taken part in The Pretender Project. And although we can appreciate Sydney's rage over the notion that The Centre had kept his own son a secret from him for so long, we don't understand where Sydney thought he was going when he started packing to leave. If it was that easy to leave The Centre -- just pack up and go -- why didn't he pack up and go before? Somebody wasn't paying attention to the "continuity person" when this episode was penned.

We were touched, however, by Jarod's worry that, even if he found his family, he might be rejected by them. When it was discussed that the Lang boys might be rejected by their grandparents and then be bad candidates for adoption because of their age and their emotional trauma, we could see in Jarod's face how closely he related to their situation. Even as an adult, he thinks about and fears familial rejection.

And we did like the fact that Miss Parker was able to verbalize, for the first time in the series, her understanding that The Centre had deprived her of her life. Being able to actually say that suggests that she's on the brink of starting to fight for her own freedom far away from The Centre's influence. Maybe she'll team up with Jarod....? Who knows, but by admitting to her own "slavery", she took a big step toward self-"emancipation" in this episode. It's one of the healthiest things we've ever seen her do.

Psychological reconstructionist Jarod Leary
: "Silence" (04-04-98)

IN PADUCAH, KENTUCKY, Miss Parker, Sydney and Broots arrive at Jumbo Jim's Carnival Equipment company, and find the place overseen by an adult dwarf. He shows them Jarod's last lair: a carnival side-show tent set up inside the building, that's filled with all different kinds of mirrors... including a mirror made up of fragments which, when put together properly, form a face. The proprietor tells them that Jarod made it so he could get "another look into his soul." Syndey suggests the mirrored face may also represent Jarod's "attempt to reconstruct a shattered personality".

IN EL PASO, TEXAS, in a DEA safe house, Jarod -- as Jarod Leary --walks through the home to make sure it's secure. When he enters the livingroom, he sees a woman named Carla and her young son, Nickie. Jarod says "hi" to Nickie but before the boy can respond in any way, the house is attacked by outside gunmen. Bullets come flying through the windows and rip apart the livingroom area. Carla screams and drops to the floor. Jarod grabs Nickie, drags him into the kitchen, and then covers Nickie with his body until the shooting is over and the assailants speed away in a car. Nickie is shaken, but makes no sound. Jarod tries to comfort him by telling him he's all right; it's all over....

The next morning, Nickie and his mother, Carla, are put into a DEA transport van, protected by agents with rifles and shotguns, and driven away to a secondary location, while other agents look over the safe house grounds for evidence of the shooters. By his car, Jarod is packing up his things. He opens one of his red notebooks, and inside it we see newspaper clippings with headlines that read: "FIVE-YEAR-OLD WITNESSES DEA MURDER" and "CHILD WITNESS REMAINS TRAUMATIZED. SILENCE ENTERS THIRD WEEK." There is also another headline which reads: "CORRUPT DEA AGENT KILLED IN DRUG DEAL GONE BAD" and a picture of an agent named Antonio Cruz. It was Cruz's killing that Nickie witnessed, and everyone believes the shooting was done by a drug dealer named Vasquez, but without Nickie's testimony the Feds can't arrest Vasquez on that charge. Nickie can't testify yet, however, because he was so traumatized by the events that took place on the day Cruz was killed that he's become hysterically mute.

Putting various toys into a box that he's going to take with him to the new location, Jarod is met and confronted by two other DEA agents: Andrew Stess, and Roger Bingham. They both chastise Jarod for trying to steal their glory, and for doing their jobs for them by protecting Nickie from the shooters the night before. Jarod tries to explain that he was only doing his job, but Stess confronts him with: "You wanna be a hero? Do it on somebody else's watch." Stess and Bingham then walk away, and Jarod is met by another DEA agent, Commander Davis. Davis is no more supportive than Stess and Bingham were.

Looking over the toys Jarod is gathering up, Davis picks up a Slinky and asks Jarod what all the toys are for. Jarod tells him he uses them in child therapy, and hopes they'll get Nickie to relax and to trust him. Davis mocks him with, "You think a damn slinky is gonna help him talk..." Jarod explains that the therapy isn't that simplistic, but Davis isn't interested. He tells Jarod he has two days to get Nickie to talk, or Davis will employ his own methods to get the traumatized boy to speak.

AT THE CENTRE, Angelo is suddenly removed from his space and put into a holding cell by the Triumvirate, and Mr. Raines is shocked to find himself under Tower review. He makes his way to Miss Parker and confronts her with accusations: he believes she is the cause of this upset and he demands to know what she's up to. Miss Parker simply blows him off, and refuses to respond to him.

AT AN UNDISCLOSED MOTEL, the DEA's second safe house location, Jarod is let into a sealed room where Carla and Nickie are already waiting. It's night, Nickie is ready for bed, and is playing with some toys on the mattress of one of the two full-size beds in the room. Jarod brings Nickie his box of toys and starts unpacking them: a Mr. Potato Head, a Slinky, a Magic 8-Ball, and a Wheel-O. Nickie rejects all of them, and Jarod steps away from him to give him some space.

Carla says she doesn't understand why, if Jarod is a "shrink", he's wearing a gun like the other DEA agents. Jarod explains to her that he's an agent who is also a "psychological reconstructionist". He uses various techniques -- including play therapy -- to help people who are suffering from Post Traumatic Stress syndrome to remember events that cause their trauma and then deal with their fears. In order for him to help Nickie, he explains to Carla, he needs to know what she remembers about the day Nickie witnessed the murder.

Carla tells Jarod that she had taken Nickie and his cat, Charlie (in a cat-carrier) to the Laundromat with her. Nickie was playing with Charlie, and Carla was having a conversation with another woman in the Laundromat. Carla lost track of time, ad didn't realize that Nickie was gone until she heard the "popping" sound of gunfire out in the alley behind the Laundromat. She looked around to find Nickie gone, and rushed out into the alley to find him. She saw the dead body of a man draped over some cardboard cartons and other trash in the alley, but couldn't find Nickie or his cat anywhere. The police were summoned, and it wasn't until hours later, when the body was finally going to be moved, that Nickie was found. He had been hiding in the boxes when the shooting started, and the dead man had fallen on top of him. Nickie was so terrified that he had been unable to move... and was now unable to speak. "Can you imagine that kind of fear?" Carla asks Jarod.

In a flashback, Jarod remembers a time when, as a child in The Centre, he had become so fearful and disassociated from himself that he had been unable to speak for 36 hours, and had simply sat on the floor amid a scattering of ripped-apart photographs with his arms wrapped around himself, and rocked himself back and forth. Back in the present, he relates to Nickie's fear and admits, "It must have been terrible."

AT THE CENTRE, Mr. Raines walks across the parking lot at night to his sedan, and finds his Sweeper, Willie, lying on the ground barely conscious. Suddenly, a man comes screaming out of the shadows and attacks Raines with a straight razor. The man slices through the hoses on Raines' oxygen tank so Raines can't breathe, and then continues to slice and dig at Raines' arms and body until Miss Parker arrives on the scene and scares the attacker off with a gun.

AT THE MOTEL, Stess and Bingham come into the room to check on Carla and Nickie. Bingham is busily playing the lottery, using a coin on a scratcher to see if he's won an instant jackpot. Stess, meanwhile, berates Jarod for "playing with [his] little toys" instead of doing his job and getting Nickie to speak again. Both men then leave the room. Jarod is sitting by the beds in Carla and Nickie's room, watching Nickie continue to play with his toys. One toy, especially, seems to keep Nickie's attention: a small doll shaped like a woman, with its head broken off of its body. Nickie tries and tries to put the toy back together, but can't make the pieces fit.

As a bedtime treat, Carla brings Nickie over a tray with a glass, a spoon, a carton of milk, and a container of chocolate powder. She pours some milk into the glass, and lets Nickie add the chocolate to it with a spoon. Nickie stirs the chocolate into the milk, and Jarod is intrigued. He's never had chocolate milk before, and asks Nickie if he can try some. Nickie hands the glass over to him, as Carla walks the milk carton back to the refrigerator in the kitchenette. Just as she enters that part of the room, bullets start raining through the windows.

Carla drops to the kitchenette floor, and Jarod grabs Nickie, pushes him down between the beds in the room, and lays on top of him to protect him from stray bullets and flying shrapnel. As quickly as it started, the assault stops, and everything is silent again... except for the sound of Nickie's mother lying on the kitchen floor as she says, "Jarod... I've been shot."

An ambulance comes to take Carla to the local hospital, and Jarod promises her he will watch over Nickie until she's able to re-join them. Commander Davis storms through the motel room, and tells everyone he wants to find out who's leaking their safe house locations to the assassins; he even suggests that he'll force all of his men to take polygraph (lie detector) tests if he has to. Jarod goes to Nickie and tells him they have to go to another safe house. Nickie evades him, and instead searches the room from the broken doll he was playing with before the shooting started that night.

Jarod watches Nickie as he finds the doll and tries again to repair it. Jarod looks around the room and then takes to Nickie a small Tupperware container. He tells Nickie if he puts the doll inside the container it will be safe there. Jarod then shows Nickie a photograph of his own mother in an attempt, perhaps, to help Nickie appreciate the fact that Jarod understands and empathizes with Nickie's distress over Carla's injuries. Nickie drops the head and body of the broken doll into the Tupperware container... and takes the photograph of Jarod's mother and slips it into the container, too, so they'll all be "safe." Jarod seals the lid on the container and gives it to Nickie saying, "There. Nickie, after a while it won't be so bad, and you'll feel strong enough to put 'the hurt' in a safe place."

Jarod then takes Nickie to a third safe house: a huge mansion. The estate was built on top of a maze of underground tunnels that connect all four corners of the property to the mansion. The tunnel system could be accessed by various locations around the grounds, including a large manhole-covered drainage vent in the main driveway. Through the tunnels, one could get into the house through a "cubby hole" in the wall under a staircase. Jarod shows Commander Davis the cubby hole, and Davis then assigns different men to each of the tunnels' access points so no one can get into the house via the tunnel system.

AT THE CENTRE, Raines, still bloodied and shaken from the attack in the parking lot, is getting a quick patch job from Sydney, until he demands to be seen by a "real" doctor, and has Willie take him away in a wheelchair.

With Raines gone, Sydney tells Miss Parker and Broots that while Raines was under the influence of the anesthesia he was using, Raines kept repeating an odd name: Einnad. Sydney also tells them that the attacker had been very methodical in his attack, and had carved the numbers 1-5-5 into Raines' arm with the straight razor.

Room 155, Broots reminds them, was the room in SL-27 in which Raines had carried out some of his illicit experiments before SL-27 was gutted by fire in the early '80s. Room 155 was, for example, the place where Timmy (now Angelo) had been taken and subjected to brainwave manipulation procedures (via a neuroelectric chair). [See the second season episode "FX".]
Jarod sheilds Nickie with his body

BACK AT THE MANSION, it's night, and Jarod is bringing a tray of chocolate milk to Nickie. When he arrives at the door to the bedroom where Nickie is supposed to be staying, he finds that it's not being guarded by DEA agents Jackson and Blake like it's supposed to be. Jarod puts down his tray, and pulls out his gun. He searches through the adjacent rooms calling Nickie's name, but gets no response. When he arrives in the livingroom, he finds Nickie there with Stess.

Stess is trying to get Nickie to speak, and man-handles the boy when he doesn't respond. Jarod puts his gun away, steps up to Nickie and Stess, and quietly tells Nickie he should go to bed. Nickie runs off... and Jarod punches Stess in the face, bloodying the man's nose. Shoving Stess up against a wall Jarod tells Stess he believes Stess is taking this assignment much too personally and is losing control of himself in the process. Bingham walks in and demands to know what's going on. Jarod releases Stess, hands him a handkerchief for his bloody nose, and says, "Just a free therapy session..."

The next morning, Jarod finds Nickie playing with the broken doll again, and he offers to fix it. Nickie hands the doll over to Jarod, and Jarod sticks the doll's head back on with some super-glue. Nickie grins. Just as the doll is repaired, Carla, back from the hospital, enters the room. Her arm is bandaged but otherwise she seems fine. Nickie is so glad to see her that he races across the room and jumps into his mother's arms. Carla tells him that she missed him, and he says to her, "I missed you, too." Both Carla and Jarod are astonished and gladdened that Nickie is now starting to speak again. Carla hugs her son, and Jarod smiles as he watches them interact.

Later, Jarod goes through Stess's personnel file and finds some other reports on him through the computer internet. Stess had been a decorated officer in the past, but had been deteriorating over the past few years, since the death of his younger brother, Adam. Adam had died of an overdose of heroine, and his death was related to drugs supplied by the Vasquez Cartel: the same Vasquez who Stess believed was responsible for the murder of Antonio Cruz; the murder Nickie witnessed.

Jarod searches for and find Stess in the mansion and tells him he's read his file, and knows about Adam. "In clinical terms," Jarod tells Stess, "you're losing it." Furious, Stess attacks Jarod and pins him against a door frame. Jarod tells him, "Save your anger for Vasquez. It was his operation that sold your little brother the heroine that killed him... I know that you miss your little brother, and you're so hurt and you're so angry that you can't see straight." Realizing that Jarod was trying to help, not insult, him, Stess lets Jarod go, and Jarod asks him for his aid and support. "I need your help. Help me bring down Cruz's killer. Help me save that little boy's life." Calmer -- but not by much -- Stess agrees.

AT AN UNDISCLOSED LOCATION, Miss Parker, Sydney and Broots are keeping surveillance on a small warehouse from an automobile parked nearby. They've followed Raines' Sweeper, Willie, to the place, and are surprised to see Willie light up a cigarette before he enters the warehouse. Willie doesn't smoke. Only a few seconds later, Willie exits the warehouse again, minus his cigarette, and drives away. Miss Parker, Broots and Sydney rush into the warehouse to see what's there, and find the place soaked with gasoline. There's a fire burning in one corner of the warehouse, started by Willie's cigarette. Broots manages to put the blaze out before its able to ignite the gasoline in the place.

With flashlights, Miss Parker, Sydney and Broots look over the insides of the small warehouse and find that the walls are literally covered with "excessive, methodical" graffiti: the word EINNAD written over and over again, everywhere. Broots discovers a discarded identification bracelet that reads, MINOR, D.H. 552-80-4738, from the Davidson Psychiatric Hospital. Sydney finds a medicine cabinet filled with drugs, some dating back as far as the 1970s, and dispensed by a doctor called "William". He, Miss Parker and Broots all deduce that "Dr. William" was, most likely, "Dr. William RAINES". Miss Parker says she doesn't understand the graffiti, and suggests that the spelling of the name "Einnad" is very strange; usually, the name is spelled "Enid". Sydney tells her that she might not be reading it properly. He shows her the name as reflected in the mirror of the medicine cabinet. It isn't Einnad; it's DANNIE.

BACK AT THE MANSION, Jarod is talking with Stess about the case. He notes that on the night after Antonio Cruz was murdered, $500,000.00 worth of heroine was reported missing from the DEA seizure facility... and $500,000.00 showed up in an account regularly accessed by Cruz. Cruz's name wasn't on the account, however. It was identified only with a numerical code, so it could belong to ANYONE. And since Cruz was already dead when the deposit was made, the account must have belonged to someone else. Cruz had been defamed in newspaper articles as a cop gone bad, but, Jarod is beginning to understand, Cruz might not have been the "bad cop" afterall. Maybe he was killed because he discovered who the REAL drug-dealing bad cop was.

While Jarod and Stess are talking, Nickie comes into the room. He's been unable to sleep, and is looking for some comfort from Jarod. Jarod asks him if everything is "safe" in the Tupperware container, and Nickie nods, yes. Then Nickie looks over the papers that Jarod and Stess were working with, and sees a photograph of Emilio Vasquez. He recognizes the man immediately, but doesn't seem overly stressed by the sight of the photograph. Jarod asks Nickie if Vasquez was a man he'd seen in the alley the day Cruz died, and Nickie nods again. Before Jarod can question Nickie further, Carla arrives in the room and takes Nickie back to bed. To Stess, Jarod wonders aloud, "If Vasquez is the murderer, how come his photograph didn't traumatize Nickie?" Stess shrugs and suggests, "Maybe your Slinky-stuff is working."

Later, alone, Jarod watches the DSA of himself as a child during the time he had gone silent for 36 hours. Although Jarod would not participate in any simulations during that period, he kept drawing picture after picture of a woman with no face. At the end of Jarod's self-imposed silence, Sydney approached Jarod and asked him about the woman in the drawings. Jarod kept repeating to him: "I can't see her... I can't remember... I can't remember anymore... She's gone... She's gone, Sydney." Hisdistress at that time had been caused by fear and a preoccupation with the loss of his mother -- the faceless woman in the drawings. Maybe Nickie's distress was somehow related to his own momas well...

AT THE CENTRE, Miss Parker, Sydney and Broots trace the information on the identification bracelet and discover that Dannie was Daniel Hilton Minor, a child who had been brought to The Centre in the early '60's. His file stopped in 1982: the same year the fire gutted SL-27. Miss Parker deduces that when SL-27 was burned out, Raines had been forced to move Dannie to the psychiatric clinic and then to the warehouse location in order to continue his experiments on him. Dannie had been initially diagnosed with "mild depression" (which Miss Parker calls "a crock"), and was then driven into such a distraught mental state that his condition required more medication, at higher doses. Dannie was put under such duress that his personality split -- like the fragments in Jarod's face-mirror. Two of his personalities were evident already -- Dannie the child, and the aggressive razor-wielding Einnad -- but Dannie may have other personalities as well, as yet unseen. Miss Parker looks over Dannie's files and says sadly, "My mother couldn't save him."

AT THE LAUNDROMAT where the Cruz killing took place, Jarod searches the area for more clues, and tries to re-enact the events of the day of the shooting in his mind. While he's searching the grounds, he discovers a tiny plastic nurse's cap in among the trash.

BACK AT THE MANSION, sitting at the dining room table, Jarod shows the hat to Nickie and asks him if he recognizes it. Nickie takes his repaired doll from the Tupperware container, and stands it on the table. He then puts the little hat on the doll's head. It fits perfectly. Carla and Stess stand by while Jarod then engages Nickie in play-therapy.

Jarod picks up a male-figure doll and walks it up to the nurse doll. Jarod's doll tells the nurse doll that her hat is pretty, and asks her what her name is. Joining in the play, Nickie responds, "Mommy!" Jarod's doll tells Nickie's doll that he's glad to meet her, and asks her what happened at the Laundromat where she lost her hat. Bringing other dolls and toys into the play, Nickie re-enacts the scene the day Cruz was murdered.

He was playing with his cat, Charlie, when Charlie ran outside. Nickie followed the cat, and was looking for it among the boxes by the trash bins when a car drove up. TWO MEN, not just one, got out of the car and exchanged briefcases. Jarod interrupts the play for a moment to ask what the men looked like. Nickie indicates that one of the men looked like the photograph of Vasquez. When Jarod asks what the second man looked like, Nickie withdraws into partial silence again. Rather than speaking, Nickie finds a lottery scratcher playing piece -- like the ones Bingham had been playing on the night when gunmen attacked the motel room -- and hands it to Jarod. Understanding that Bingham is somehow tied into Nickie's fear, Jarod doesn't uses his name, but instead calls him "Mr. Jackpot." Jarod then asks Nickie what Mr. Jackpot did next.

Nickie says that after Vasquez and Mr. Jackpot exchanged briefcases, the third man, Cruz, drove up in a car of his own. Cruz got out of the car and started arguing with Mr. Jackpot. Mr. Jackpot then shot Cruz over and over again until he collapsed on top of the boxes under which Nickie was hiding and died. Nickie tells Jarod he was so scared, he'd been unable to move. Then the police found him later... and Mr. Jackpot was still there along with the other DEA agents.

Jarod looks over to Stess and they both realize that Mr. Jackpot is indeed agent Bingham -- but understand that Nickie is too afraid to use Bingham's real name. Jarod then turns back to Nickie and asks what happened next. Nickie explains that after he was found, Mr. Jackpot took him aside for a little while, and told him that if Nickie told anybody that Mr. Jackpot was involved in the shooting of Cruz, Mr. Jackpot would kill Nickie's mommy. To emphasize his point, Mr. Jackpot had taken Nickie's nurse doll and snapped off its head. Jarod understands that Nickie had been silent since that time in an attempt to protect his mother from Bingham's threats.

At that moment, Bingham enters the dining room and asks Jarod if he's made any progress with Nickie. Stifling his rage, and protecting Nickie with his own silence, Jarod tells Bingham that he hasn't learned anything from Nickie yet. Bingham then walks up to Stess and tells him that Jarod's time with the boy is almost up; Nickie is going to be turned over to Commander Davis next. Keeping up the façade already established by Jarod, Stess, too, pretends that Nickie hasn't told them anything.

THE NEXT MORNING, Jarod and Stess stake out an alley where Bingham is slated to meet again with Vasquez. They both see Bingham and Vasquez arrive in different cars. And Jarod and Stess listen in as Bingham tells Vasquez the location of the safe house where Nickie is being kept. Bingham then tells Vasquez to "nail the kid" so they can get on with their drug transactions; and he informs Vasquez that he'll deliver heroine to Vasquez that evening. Vasquez warns him, "This better be primo junk, or I swear you'll end up like Cruz."

BACK AT EINNAD'S WAREHOUSE location, Miss Parker, Sydney and Broots search again for any clues of the whereabouts of Dannie Minor. Sydney says the warehouse clearly marks out Einnad's territory, but they'll need to find Dannie's territory if they're going to find Dannie. Miss Parker dwells on the problem for a moment then, on a hunch, turns off all the lights and flashlights in the warehouse. In the darkness, they see a stream of light coming through a small hole in the wall.

Miss Parker kicks in a part of the wall, and finds that there's a cramped living space behind it: Dannie's space. She's about to call Sydney and Broots to help her, when she's attacked by Dannie in his Einnad personality. Einnad flashes a straight razor at her, and slices her hand with it. Miss Parker defends herself, and kicks Einnad away from her. Einnad collapses against the bracing in the wall, and the Dannie personality emerges. Dannie starts to cry and begs Miss Parker to shoot Einnad. "Make him stop..." Dannie sobs. "Please... Please... Kill me and he'll stop..."

BACK AT THE MANSION, as Jarod and Stess work up a plan to trap Bingham, a DEA transport van is pulled up in front of the mansion and parks directly over the manhole cover that leads to the underground tunnels. Jarod then works on the van... and watches Bingham as Bingham hides a briefcase in the trunk of his car.

That evening, Jarod escorts Carla and Nickie out to the van, and Stess and Bingham watch them as they climb inside of it. Stess says something about hoping never to have to see Nickie again, and just as he says that, the transport van explodes in a huge ball of fire. Stess feigns surprise and tells Bingham he's going to call the bombing in to Davis; Bingham smiles slyly and tells Stess he's going to drive around the perimeter of the grounds to look for clues.

Inside the mansion, Stess goes to the cubby hole under the staircase, and opens it so Jarod, Carla and Nickie can climb out. Jarod had rigged the bottom of the van, so they were all able to escape from it, down the manhole and into the tunnels, before the van exploded. Jarod leaves Nickie and Carla at the mansion, and goes after Bingham.

Rather than driving around the perimeter of the mansion, Bingham has driven off to his meeting with Vasquez. Before Vasquez arrives, however, Jarod drives up, and, with a briefcase in hand, he tells Bingham that he knows all about the drug pushing, and the money transactions, and the murder of agent Cruz. Cruz wasn't the corrupt agent, Bingham was.

Bingham threatens to shoot Jarod, but Jarod tells him it might be wise first to check on his "primo junk". Curious, Bingham opens his own briefcase, and opens one of the baggies inside of it. He puts a finger into what he believes is dark, raw heroine, and tastes it only to find that it's really nothing but chocolate powder. Jarod points to another vehicle approaching their location, and tells Bingham that it's probably Vasquez, who will kill Bingham when he finds out the "heroine" is fake. Jarod shows Bingham his own briefcase, and tells him the real heroine is inside of it. Bingham can have Jarod's briefcase, Jarod tells him, if he'll confess to the murder of Cruz. Believing Vasquez will, indeed, kill him if he doesn't have the real stuff, Bingham admits to murdering Cruz and to threatening Nickie, and then demands that Jarod give him the briefcase filled with heroine.

Jarod lifts the case up in front of Bingham's face and pops the lock, showing Bingham that the briefcase is... empty. There is no heroine for Bingham to sell to Vasquez, only chocolate powder. "Got milk?" Jarod quips.

Bingham turns to see how close the approaching car is, and Jarod uses this opportunity to smack Bingham hard with the briefcase, and knock the gun from his hand. The gun goes skittering under a fence, out of reach, and then Jarod points to the approaching vehicle, which parks a few feet away. As the occupants of the newly arrived vehicle approach him, Bingham can now see that it isn't Vasquez and his men. Instead, Bingham is now faced with Stess, Commander Davis, and some other DEA officers who are brandishing guns. They've heard his confession. Jarod leaves Bingham and his fate to the discretion of his co-workers, and exits the scene.

AT THE CENTRE, Mr. Raines approaches Miss Parker, Sydney and Broots and tells them that he's not at all happy about the fact that the Tower had been given new evidence of his "extracurricular activities". He specifically threatens Miss Parker with:

Raines: "You remind me of someone I used to know... Someone who looked exactly like you."
Miss Parker: "I'm not my mother. Don't make the mistake of forgetting that."
Raines: "We should all be careful of the mistakes we make... shouldn't we."

Raines leaves, and Sydney then tells Miss Parker and Broots that Dannie Minor has been hospitalized again and is now under his (Sydney's) care. Mr. Raines won't have access to him again. Miss Parker admits that when Dannie/Einnad attacked her in the warehouse, her first instinct had been to kill him. But then she saw in him something of herself... a person who might have had a chance at life if The Centre hadn't gotten its claws into him.

LATER, AT A PARK, Jarod arrives in a car to find Nickie and Carla picnicking. Jarod opens up the back of the car and pulls out a tabby cat: it's Charlie, Nickie's lost tom cat. Nickie runs up to Jarod to say "hello", to pick up Charlie, and return to Jarod the photograph of Jarod's mother. "Thank you for keeping her safe," Jarod tells Nickie. In response, Nickie grins and hugs his cat.

AT THE CENTRE THAT NIGHT, Sydney receives a telephone call from Jarod. Jarod is in a telephone booth, and is still distressed by this last pretend. He asks Sydney, "Do you think it's possible to forget all the terrible things that happen to us when we're young?" Syndey tells him that people never forget, but that some people find ways to gain strength from upsetting or traumatic episodes in their life. Jarod says, "I try to be strong... But sometimes all I see is darkness, fragments of who I am. Will I ever feel whole?" Sydney says he doesn't know, but that he hopes that one day Jarod will be whole again. "Me, too," Jarod says sadly, and he hangs up the phone.

The episode ends with Jarod staring mournfully at a spot of shattered glass in the side of the telephone booth. Then he scowls at it, and walks away.

Jarod putting the hurt in a safe placeDISCOVERIES
: Chocolate milk.

BEST LINE(S): Jarod to Stess after Stess man-handles Nickie: "If you so much as look at that little boy the wrong way again, his mother won't be the only one in the hospital."// Miss Parker looking at Broots in a fun-house mirror: "That's twisted."

OUR REVIEW: A good episode; we enjoyed it. Tackling the world of child psychology in a teleplay is never easy because there are so many different "houses of thought" on what actually constitutes trauma, and on what processes and procedures work best to combat it. When you only have an hour... or more like 45 minutes on television these days... you have to work fast. And Jarod worked fast.

Jarod's play therapy was only one kind therapy that could have been used on Nickie, whose hysterical muteness was not an uncommon symptom of high trauma. Jarod's methods were used to establish a sense of security in Nickie, and to indicate to Nickie that regardless of what bad things he'd seen adults do, there were still adults around him that could be trusted. Jarod also showed Nickie how much trust he had in Nickie by letting the boy take the photograph of his mother and hold it in safe-keeping in the Tupperware container. (Some other therapists would have chastised Jarod for this, however, stating that Jarod should never have put Nickie into the position of feeling responsible for the well-being and safety of adults. Nickie was very fragile, and putting that kind of "pressure" on him might have resulted in his withdrawing further into his cocoon of silence. See... this stuff is never simple.)

We were glad to finally get to know of another one of the "unlucky ones". Jarod had told us in the first season that there were still a handful of children left at The Centre (including himself and Angelo) who hadn't been rescued by Catherine Parker, and in Dannie/Einnad we (and Sydney, Broots and Miss P) found another one of those children. It was especially interesting to see, in the warehouse, how Einnad's personality had so dominated Dannie's that Dannie had to withdraw into the walls to find "space" for himself. Now that we've met him (them), we hope the writers don't simply leave Dannie in the hospital never to be seen or heard from again.

And, hey... Nobody, however, told us what happened to Angelo after he'd been removed from his space and placed into the holding cell. We hope the Triumvirate doesn't just leave him there!

In this episode, we were most struck, however, by the images of the young Jarod, sitting on the floor at The Centre, holding and rocking himself in silence. Sometimes, this rocking is presented by children -- (babies who haven't been held a lot, or children who are ignored or neglected, for example) -- who haven't gotten enough tactile stimulation from others. They hold and rock themselves in order to supply their bodies with the stimulation and movement they're not otherwise getting from their environment. Most often, though, this sort of rocking is believed to be an external manifestation of some internal anxiety. Traumatized people sometimes rock themselves as a means of expressing their inner turmoil when words fail them. The fact that Jarod was reduced to this sort of behavior himself gives us another indication of just how frightening and isolating his time at The Centre really was for him.

Although Jarod, as an adult, has exhibited an unusal capacity for coping with his childhood stresses, we've never actually seen him address them directly. He "gets around" his fears and anxieties, but never seems to work through them. We fear that, inside, he's like a psychological mine field; and one of these days someone is going to accidently "step on" one of those mines (one of his unresolved childhood traumas), and Jarod is going to explode. We also fear that such an "explosion" will trigger a chain reaction (concussion) in him that will set off other traumas inside of him. All of the "yucky stuff" he endured as a child is going to have to come out of him sometime. We're waiting (but not hoping) for the moment when, like Stess, Jarod just "loses it" and starts to deteriorate.
Leary: Most likely a reference to Timothy Leary, a pop psychologist from the 60's who has been alternately referred to as "the acid-guru", "a very optimistic transactional psychologist who believes it's possible to change the human psyche for the better", and a modern day "philosopher".

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