THE JARODSTWIN RED FILES
Detailed Synopses and Reviews of the Third Season Episodes of The Pretender
THIRD SEASON, EPISODE #1: "CRAZY" [airdate 10-17-98]
The episode opens with images of Angelo suffering from nightmares about the explosion in SL-27. He awakens with a start, and looks around him.
In SL-27search and rescue personnel, with corpse-sniffing dogs, search through the burned-out rubble of what remains in the sublevel. One remarks that it was a good thing that the "tortion barriers took the brunt" of the explosion; another remarks that it's a miracle that anyone survived the blast. They come across a body... or pieces of one anyway.
In Mr. Parker's office at The Centre, Mr. Parker is attempting to put a minicassette into an audio tape recorder, but his hands are bandaged, so he asks Miss Parker for assistance. She takes the recorder fromhim, and inserts the cassette. The telephone rings: it's the search crews telling Mr. Parker that they've found a body. Miss Parker asks if the remains are Sydney's, but Mr. Parker says they'll need to find more pieces before they can verify who the victim is.Mr. Parker also tells Miss Parker that the Triumvirate is applying pressure on him to initiate some changes in strategdy as regards the pursuit of Jarod. The Triumvirate will be, he says, installing another agent in his office to assist in the pursuit.
Mr. Parker then starts up a portable DSA player and lets Miss Parker watch it while he tells her that Jarod was recently spotted in a Centre satellite. "His body survived the blast. I'm not so sure about his mind." The DSA shows a black-and-white surveillance video of Jarod entering the Centre satellite office #3B413, and tearing the place to pieces. When Jarod sees the video camera taping him, he attacks it and dismantles it.
At the Pleasant Wood Psychiatric Hospital, we see Jarod -- bound in a straight jacket -- being dragged down a corridor by two orderlies. Jarod is saying the words to a children's song, but not actually singing it. When the orderlies get him into a holding cell, and lock him inside, Jarod throws himself, bodily, at the door of the cell, and shouts, "Where are my mom and dad? WHERE ARE MY MOM AND DAD?!"
At The Centre, Miss Parker is met in the hallway by Broots, whose head is still bruised from the explosion in SL-27, and whose arm is in a sling. He tells her that the body found in SL-27 was that of Gar the Cleaner. As they're talking, Mr. Raines appears in the hallway while a pair of Sweepers. Raines is confined to a wheelchair, but otherwise looks unscatched. Broots tells Miss Parker that Mr. Raines had been spending a lot of time in the Renewal Wing of The Centre during his recovery.
At Pleasant Wood, Jarod, calmer now but still in the straight jacket, is taken to the office of a female psychiatrist, Dr. Goetz, by a pair of orderlies. (One of the orderlies, he learns, is named Jimbo.) Jimbo tells Dr. Geotz that Jarod was brought in as a "John Doe" by State Troopers who found him trying to lasoo Harley motorcycles at a Dairy Queen. When the troopers moved in to capture Jarod, it took six of them to take him down and restrain him. Jarod was, presumably, suffering from schizophrenia -- and the belief, at the Dairy Queen, that he was a rodeo clown. Dr. Geotz is accompanied, in her observations of Jarod, by another psychiatrist, Dr. Randall Blythe. Jarod looks at the doctors and asks them, "Where are my mom and dad?"
Dr. Blythe asks him what his name, and Jarod responds sullenly, "Jarod." Dr. Goetz asks what he last name is and, looking very sad, Jarod says he doesn't know what his last name is. Then his expression changes drastically, takes on a michevious, almost malevolent cast, and he says, "It changes every week."
In the Renewal Wing, Miss Parker goes in search of what Raines might have been doing in there during his recuperation. She finds instead, a corridor lined with silver-blue doors. The doors open onto small cells. In one cell, Miss Parker can see a bald person trying to drink jello through a straw. When she hears someone approaching, Miss Parker ducks into a cell with an unlocked door, and hides inside of it. Through the circular porthole in the door, she can see Mr. Raines be wheelchaired around by some Sweepers. When they leave the corridor, Miss Parker looks around the cell and discovers that it's occupied -- by Sydney.
Sydney looks drawn, but seems otherwise intact. She asks what he's doing there, and he tells her that he's being put through "re-education" procedures by The Centre. He believes they'll never let him out of there. Miss Parker tells him she's glad he survived the blast, but doesn't believe Jarod was so lucky. She retrieves Sydney's laptop computer from the floor, and activates the DSA player on it. Then she pops in the DSA of Jarod trashing the Centre's satellite office. Although Sydney can hear the aggitation in Jarod's cry on the DSA, he cannot see the images. He is blind.
At Pleasant Wood, Jarod is seated in Dr. Goetz office, still confined to the straight jacket, and talks to her about being abducted as a child by a place called The Centre. He spots an art pad on the doctor's desk, and his attitude changes. Smiling, he asks if he can draw something. "I like to draw," he says. The doctor tells him he might be able to do that later, but she wants to hear more about this place called The Centre. Jarod tells Dr. Goetz that he was held there against his will while other people dictated everything he did, every day of his life. They watched him through "eyes" in the walls and ceilings "that never blinked". He tells her that they kept him there so they could control him. Then he announces to her, "I'm a Pretender. I can become anyone I want to be." Then, very sadly, he says, "Except I don't know who I am." Jarod looks up at Dr. Goetz and gives her a sly, dismissive smile. "I've been a shrink before. It's really very over-rated... I've been a lawyer, too."
At The Centre Satellite #3B413 (a Centre Records Office in York, Pennsylvania) a supervisor tells Miss Parker that Jarod was employed there for a short while as a janitor. As it was just a small records office, no one there knew who Jarod really was or how valuable he was to The Centre. Using the office's computers, Broots discovers that Jarod had hacked into The Centre's "2 BAN 6" files, and was seemingly trying to discover a connection between Catherine Parker (Miss Parker's mother) and Major Charles (Jarod's--perhaps adoptive-- father). No archives were missing, however, and whatever information Jarod may have gleaned from his search was unknown.
The supervisor brings Miss Parker a box of the belongings that were left in Jarod's locker at the facility. There is a bag of psychotropic medications; books on schizphrenia, dementia, and psychiatric disorders, and a small flip-book filled with sequential pencil drawings dones by Jarod. When Miss Parker flips the pages of the small book, she "animates" the drawings, and sees that they depict the murder of her mother, Catherine, at The Centre by a man in a dark suit who has no face.
At Pleasant Wood, Jarod tells Dr. Goetz that Miss Parker's mother was murdered by The Centre... That Mr. Parker runs the place... That Mr. Raines lives there: "An emphazema-ridden corpse who drags around his breath of life in a tank." He says the place is also inhabited by "the thumbless man, Mr. Lyle... He killed my brother... He killed me once, too..." And that a man named Sydney also lives there. Of Sydney Jarod remarks, "He created me."
Orderlies take Jarod away to a padded cell, while Dr. Goetz and Dr. Blythe talk about his case. Dr. Blythe says he worries that Jarod seems to believe all the fantastic stories he's telling, and Dr. Goetz says she anxious to work with Jarod.
In the Renewal Wing: Miss Parker and Broots bring Sydney the items they'd gotten from Jarod's locker at the records office in York. Syndey tells them what all the medications are, and admits that he'd often worried that the pressure of living in the outside world and of not knowing who he was would some day send Jarod over the edge. Broots tells Sydney the titles of the books in the box of Jarod's belongings, and says that the only thing that doesn't seem to match is a book on the magician/ escape artist Harry Houdini.
At Pleasant Wood: Jarod has gotten himself free of the straight jacket, and is literally climbing the walls of his padded cell like a spider. He pulls his body up the wall to the ceiling, using the small spaces between the pads for hand- and toe-holds, until he can reach the air condition vent. Jarod enters the vent and follows it to another part of the hospital, where he finds the room of a patient named Mary. He drops quietly down into her room as she sleeps, and awakens her. She is startled by his appearance, but he reassures her that he isn't a threat. "My name is Jarod. I'm sorry it took so long for me to get here."
At The Centre, Miss Parker leaves her office in search of Angelo, but is intercepted by Broots who tells her that he's discovered that Mr. Lyle has returned to The Centre. Before Broots can get the words out, however, Mr. Lyle himself appears: nattily dressed, spick-and-span, with a thin clean bandage on one hand. Lyle grins at Miss Parker and tells her that he's been reinstated a The Centre -- as her partner in the pursuit of Jarod.
At Pleasant Wood: The next day, Jimbo takes Jarod to Dr. Goetz's office and is removing Jarod's straight jacket as Jarod gazes out the window at Mary. Mary is sitting in a drugged state in a wheelchair, outside to get some sun. Jimbo tells Jarod that Mary has been deteriorating ever since she tried to kill herself about two years ago. Jimbo then leaves, locking Jarod in the office to wait for Dr. Goetz.
As soon as Jimbo is gone, Jarod starts rifling through Dr. Goetz's desk, credenza and file cabinets. He finds a file on Mary, and reads through it quickly. He discovers some newspaper clippings inside of it, which tell about Mary's supposed suicide attempt... which took place on the same night another patient, Erica Michaels, disappeared. Dr. Blythe, the clippings say, found Mary and saved her life. But Erica was still missing. Jarod makes a photocopy of the article that has a picture of Erica in it, and returns the office to its normal state only seconds before Dr. Goetz unlocks the door and enters.
Dr. Goetz hands Jarod an art pad, and tells him he can use it to do some drawing if he likes. Then she says that he's told her a lot about The Centre and the people in it, but he hasn't told her anything about "Jarod" yet. Jarod tells her sadly that he doesn't know who "Jarod" is.
Later that evening, Jarod makes his way back to Mary's room, and shows her the newspaper picture of Erica. He asks her if she remembers what happened the night Erica disappeared. Mary's memory is fogged by medications, and she can only remember disconnected fragments of what happened. She and Erica were friends... Erica had a "pretty bracelet" that she always wore... One night Erica and Mary were running through the woods... Then Erica was gone... And the water was so cold... And she couldn't find Erica... Mary starts sobbing, and Jarod comforts her. He tells her she has to stop taking the medicines the doctors are giving her because they're making her feel crazy when really she isn't. Mary promises to stop taking the pills, but is still distraught, so Jarod hugs her and rocks her until she's calm again.
At The Centre, Miss Parker asks Mr. Lyle how he managed to get back into The Centre after everything that's happened. He gives her some evasive answer, suggesting that he so valuable, and so willing to whatever the Triumvirate tells him to do that he's an unequalled asset to them. He unwraps his bandaged hand, to show her how well his thumb has healed, and brags about how much he's sacrificed in the service of The Centre. Miss Parker informs him that she's willing to sacrifice every bit as much as her mother, Catherine, had to get to the truth about what was going on.
As she talks about her mother, she hands Lyle a photograph of Catherine in a metal frame. The frame cuts his (remaining) thumb, causing it to bleed. Miss Parker had Lyle a tissue to blot up the blood. When he's done with it, he hands it back to her. Rather than disposing of it, Miss Parker keeps it... She takes the sample of Lyle's blood, draws a sample of her own with a syringe, and draws a sample of Angelo's blood, then turns them all over to Broots, telling him to run a DNA analysis of all of them. She wants to find out if Angelo or Mr. Lyle is her brother.
At Pleasant Wood: That evening, Jarod escapes from the hospital and runs through the nearby woods with a flashlight, looking for the body of water Mary had told him about. He come across a small lake --Wilson Lake-- wraps the flashlight in a plastic bag, and then dives into the lake to see what he can find. At the bottom of the lake is a rusting Mercedes Benz automobile with a Maryland licence plate: ZYP 959. Jarod swims up to the car, and wipes a layer of grime off of one of the windows. He is startled to find a skeleton in the front seat of the car... wearing a "pretty bracelet."
In the Renewal Wing, Sydney is being antagonized by Mr. Raines, who suggests that Sydney had better eat the meal he's been given because me might not have many more chances to do so. In retaliation, Sydney hurls the food tray across the room. Raines exits... and Mr. Lyle enters the room.
Elsewhere in The Centre, Broots finds Miss Parker and tells her that the reason why Mr. Lyle was reinstated at The Centre was because her father had pulled strings "from Europe to Asia" to get him back there.
At Pleasant Wood: The next day, Jimbo puts Jarod into Dr. Goetz's office again, and Jarod suddenly turns to him and gives him a big hug. "Thank you for caring," Jarod says, then he steps away from Jimbo. Jimbo says sternly, "