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THE BLUE NOTEBOOKS

Detailed recaps of the FIRST SEASON episodes of "The Pretender"


All of the written synopses are the sole property of the author and cannot be reproduced in any fashion without the author's expressed written permission. To contact the author see the guestbook on the INDEX page. All of the images are the property of the original filmmakers and are reproduced here, under fair use, only to promote the projects of Michael T. Weiss and to entertain his fans. We cannot and will not create hard copies of images for sale, so please don't ask.


episode #19, Jarod's Honor

FIRST SEASON EPISODE 19: "Jarod's Honor"

The episode opens with Jarod in his lair putting the finishing touches on on a home-made miniature casket. Into it, he places a red notebook which details his latest triumph: the exposure of a fraudulent pet cemetery that was selling the animals' remains to labs for scientific study rather than interring them as the pets' owners were promised. As he sits back on his couch, smiling, and relaxing with a treat of PEZ, the alarm on his computer goes off announcing an in-coming e-mail message. Jarod goes to the computer to retrieve the message which reads: JAROD - TRAVEL TO NEW ORLEANS TO SEE MAN IN PICTURE. MAY HOLD KEY TO THE PAST. - SYDNEY. Attached to the e-mail note is a scanned photo of a man standing in a driveway beside a restored vintage automobile.

Following the message's instructions, Jarod travels to New Orleans and arrives at the Hotel Maison Rouge. On his way to his room, he passes by another room and can hear what sounds like a brief struggle and a male voice gasping, "Help me... help me..." Jarod enters the room to find a man lying on the floor. The man has apparently suffered a heart attack, and slips into unconsciousness almost immediately. When Jarod realizes the man has no pulse, he immediately starts CPR, but is unable to revive him.

With the now dead man still lying on the floor, Jarod steps over to a night stand beside the bed in the man's room, and picks up the telephone there. He calls the front desk to ask for assistance, but as the desk answers, Jarod looks on the man's bed. He sees a revolver lying next to the pillows and a metallic briefcase. He tells the desk clerk, "Nevermind," hangs up on her, and looks through the items on the bed. He finds several fake IDs (all with the dead man's photo on them, but registered under different names in different States), several weapons, and a small 35mm camera. He also comes across a pocket-sized photo album... filled with black-and-white photographs of dead people (each one with a bullet hole in the head). While Jarod is perusing the photographs, the telephone on the night stand rings. He pauses a second before answering it, then answers it with an abrupt and gravely-voiced, "Yeah?"

A male voice on the telephone tells Jarod to meet him downstairs and asks him if they're going to do "the hit" today. "Hit?" Jarod asks. "Don't jerk me around," the man on the telephone growls; and he asks Jarod if he's "in" or "out". Jarod looks at the dead man on the floor and the photographs of his victims, and tells the man on the phone that he's "in". The man on the phone then asks,"How will I recognize you?" Jarod again looks at the corpse on the floor and notices that the man is wearing a corrective shoe on one foot. Jarod tells the caller, "I have a limp."

Meanwhile, at The Centre, Broots is informing Sydney of a new e-mail transmission from Jarod just as Miss Parker arrives to overhear their conversation. She is trying to give up smoking, but isn't having much success. She's chewing gum, wearing a nicotine patch, and is VERY irritable. She demands that Broots and Sydney show her the e-mail transmission from Jarod. The message reads: SYDNEY - YOU'RE EXPECTED AT THE TWIN CITIES HOTEL IN MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA ON THE 22ND FOR A VERY SPECIAL GATHERING. MAY HOLD KEY TO THE PAST. - JAROD. Sydney tells Miss Parker that the 22nd is the upcoming weekend, and Miss Parker demands to travel with Sydney when he goes. Sydney agrees.

Back in Louisiana, Jarod is driven to the Cafe Club Faisdodo by the man who had called him on the telephone: a youngish, weasely man named Donnie. Before they enter the club, Donnie complains that Jarod doesn't look like "no stone killer" to him. Jarod pulls his sunglasses down a notch on his nose, looks Donnie over, and replies with sarcasm: "Well, looks aren't everything."

Once inside the cafe, Jarod -- now posing as Jarod Doe -- is introduced to Tug Bouile (Donnie's uncle). Tug tell Jarod that he's been chosen because he has the reputation of being clean and discrete, and is unknown to anyone in New Orleans. When Donnie asks Jarod why he takes photographs of the people he's "whacked", Jarod answers with an expressionless: "Your business is your business. Mine's mine." Jarod then insists that he wants to know why he's been called there. Tug tells Jarod that he wants Jarod to kill a man for $50,000 [$25,000 to be paid up front, and $25,000 to be paid when proof of the murder is provided to Tug.] Tug gives Jarod a photograph of a man named Benjamin Worth. When Worth is killed, Tug tells him, he will commission Jarod to go after a "second target". Jarod asks Tug why he wants the man killed and Tug answers: "Your business is your business. Mine's mine." Jarod agrees to the arrangement, and tells Donnie to pick him up at his hotel in three hours.

Back at The Centre, in the Tech Room, Broots -- affecting a winsome British accent -- calls the Twin Cities Hotel and tells the desk clerk to have a gift ready for Miss Parker when she arrives: a carton of cigarettes, to be placed on her pillow so she can see them when she enters the room. Laughing at his joke, he hangs up the phone, only to hear it ring again. He picks up the phone, and answers it with a jovial, "Broots here!", but immediately starts shaking and blinking when he realizes that the caller is Mr.Raines. Raines knows there was a transmission from Jarod and he wants more information about this, as Raines calls it, "security situation".

At the Twin Cities Hotel, standing in the lobby, Miss Parker gets a panicky call from Broots on her cell phone. He warns her that Mr. Raines knows something about the transmission from Jarod and is looking for Sydney and Miss Parker. Fearing that Raines has the phones "bugged", Broots hangs up quickly. Miss Parker refers to Broots as a "mutant" and complains that there is always something wrong with him... then she realizes that the lobby of the hotel around her is filled with innumerable sets of twins. "What the hell is going on?" she asks Sydney. He indicates a banner the lobby that's announcing a TWINS CONVENTION.

Back in New Orleans, using the e-mailed photo as a guide, Jarod finds the home and driveway pictured in the photograph. A neighbor woman explains to him that the house is up for sale. It used to be owned by a man named Sonny Herbert (pronounced: Ay-bare.), and she confirms for Jarod that it is Sonny who is seen in the photograph. The photograph is an old one, though. Sonny disappeared about twenty-five years ago, the woman explains. He was a private investigator who had an office in Staton City somewhere. He had specialized in finding lost children. Jarod is excited about the discovery: perhaps Sonny had been searching for him, and knew something about his parents.Before tracking down Sonny's current whereabouts, though, Jarod has to deal with Ben Worth and Tug Bouile. He goes to Ben's house and tells him that he's been sent to kill him. Jarod submersed in the bath tub

Later that evening, Jarod is lying in the bathtub in his hotel room. He's completely submersed in water and is breathing through a long glass tub that sticks up above the water's surface. Once he's satisfied that the tube works well enough, he sits up in the tub and looks across the bathroom... to where the corpse of the real assassin is sitting on Jarod's toilet.

Once he's dried and dressed, Jarod lays the corpse out on the floor and checks over the body. He finds that there is a lengthy scar just under the knee of the corpse's damaged leg (the one that needs the corrective footwear). Jarod then stands the corpse up in the shower stall of the bathroom and, after stealing buckets of ice from every room in the hotel, pours the ice over the corpse to preserve it. Just as he's finishing this, Donnie arrive at the door and tells Jarod he's ready to go to Ben Worth's killing.

Jarod and Donnie arrive at Worth's home, and Jarod warns Donnie to stay out of his way and keep watch on the front gate while he (Jarod) breaks into the house to kill Worth. At first, Donnie obeys, but he eventually follows Jarod into the house and up to the second floor. He doesn't actually see the killing, but he can hear the whispered "pipp" of a silenced gunshot, and can see the flash of the strobe on Jarod's camera as Jarod takes photos of Ben's body. When Donnie arrives in the bedroom, Jarod is wrapping Worth's body up in a blanket. Donnie demands to see the body, and threatens Jarod with a gun when Jarod seems reluctant to do so. Finally, Jarod pulls the blanket away from Ben Worth's head, and Donnie can see what looks like a bullet hole in the temple, and blood oozing from it. While Donnie is mesmerized by the corpse, Jarod punches him and takes Donnie's gun away from him, warning Donnie, "Next time you get the urge to put a gun in my face, you'd better make sure you pull the trigger." Jarod then makes Donnie help him carry the body out to their car.

Donnie drives Jarod to a forested area and parks. He tells Jarod they're going to "plant" Ben Worth's body there because, "Uncle Tug is very fond of fertilizing this field." Donnie then refuses to do any of the labor, so Jarod buries Worth himself. He and Donnie then leave in the car.

Back at the Twins Convention, Sydney is greeted by Milly and Tilly Piltcher, who mistake him for his own twin brother, Jacob, whom the women refer to as "Dr. Jacob". When Sydney explains that he's not Dr. Jacob, and that Jacob was in an automobile accident and left comatose, the Piltcher twins seem very distraught. They ask when the accident occurred, and Sydney tells them it was August 2, 1967. The Piltcher twins go pale, gulp down their drinks, and hurry away.

Jarod, meanwhile, returns to the Faisdodo Cafe and gives Tug Bouile the roll of film that has the photographs of Ben Worth's killing on it. Tug asks Donnie if he witnessed the killing, and Donnie complains that, no, he was there when Jarod "planted" Worth, but was not there when Jarod "popped" him. Although Jarod reiterates to Tug that he works alone, Tug insists that Donnie watch the killing of the second target, or Tug won't pay Jarod the money he'll owe him for that killing. The second target is a woman: Doris Worth, Ben Worth's estranged wife.

Back in his hotel room, Jarod interrogates Ben Worth. Worth, at first, complains that he doesn't understand everything that's going on. Jarod broke into his house, faked his murder, buried him in the ground with nothing but the glass tube to breathe through, and now Jarod is asking him all sorts of questions. "Why does Tug Bouile want you dead?" Jarod asks. "That's the 64-thousand dollar question," Worth responds. Jarod says flatly, "He's only paying me 50." Worth is still reluctant to answer and tells Jarod, "I don't even know who you are." Jarod answers, "My name is Jarod. Why does Tug Bouile want you dead?" Ben Worth finally tells Jarod that he owns a couple of jazz clubs in New Orleans. Tug Bouile wants them, and Worth refused to sell them. The real estate in New Orleans is in short supply and is, therefore, invaluable. Jarod shows Worth the photograph Tug gave him of the second target, and Worth is stunned to see that it's a photograph of his estranged wife Doris. Doris has the title to one of their clubs, while Ben has the other.

Satisfied with Ben's answers, Jarod readies to leave the hotel room and instructs Ben, "Don't answer the phone, and don't go in the bathroom." Ben asks what he's supposed to do if he needs to use the toilet. Jarod hands him an ice bucket. Worth says there is no way he's going to use that, so Jarod takes him over to the bathroom and opens the door. He shows Ben the corpse in the shower stall. "That's the guy who was really going to kill you," Jarod growls. And Ben hugs the ice bucket, saying it will suffice should he have the need for it.

Later, Jarod goes to Staton City, and finds the locale of Sonny Herbert's now defunct Private Investigators office. The building manager opens the place up so Jarod can look inside of it, and tells him that just before Sonny disappeared, a bunch of men-- "vending machines with heads" -- had come looking for him, claiming that Sonny owed them money. Among their group was a "spooky looking" man with deep set eyes and an oxygen tank. Jarod recognizes the description of Mr.Raines immediately. The building manager then tells Jarod that Raines and the others had left so quickly, looking for Sonny, that he never had the chance to tell them about the materials Sonny had kept in files in the basement.

Jarod hurries into the basement of Sonny's office and tears through the files there, but is frustrated by the fact that they only go back about 20 years. Jarod had been at The Centre himself for over 30. Kneeling in the middle of the floor with the disheveled files all around him, Jarod drops his head and cries, "I'm not here... I'm not here."

Back at the Twin Cities Hotel, the Piltcher twins arrive at Sydney's room and tell him that they have to talk to him. The Monday before the August 2nd car crash that left Jacob in coma, they tell Sydney, they were in The Centre as part of an international study conference. It was the eve of their tenth birthday... and the first time they had ever seen a gun. They tell Sydney that they came across "Dr. Jacob" arguing with someone. When the argument escalated, the man Dr. Jacob was talking to pulled out a gun, pushed it into Jacob's neck, and demanded that Jacob cooperate with him. "Dr. Billy scared us to death," the twins tell Sydney... and he deduces that "Dr. Billy" was actually Dr. William RAINES.

Meanwhile, on a tip from the building manager of Sonny Herbert's old office, Jarod searches for and finds a woman who was Sonny's secretary for the last fifteen years of his practice. Jarod tells her that he believes Sonny was trying to locate him (for his parents), and asks her if she knows where Sonny is. She says she does know, but warns Jarod that Sonny can't talk to him. She explains that Sonny had been the victim of a fire during which over 80% of his body was burned. Investigators claimed he had fallen asleep while smoking a cigarette and was burned as a result of the fire caused when the cigarette set the bed afire; but the secretary doesn't believe it. Sonny was an insomniac, she said, and would never have fallen asleep so deeply that he could suffered such a fate. There was no immediate proof of his insomnia - or of foul play - so the police refused to investigate further. Sonny is now ensconced at the V.A. hospital in Slidell, she says.

Jarod doesn't have time to go to Slidell immediately, so he instead goes to the house where Ben Worth's estranged wife, Doris, is living. He introduces himself, and she lets him in. Outside, Donnie Bouile is watching. Donnie later leaves Doris's house and goes to the spot where Jarod buried Ben Worth. Ben's body is gone.

Much later, Jarod is confronted in his hotel room by Tug Bouile, Donnie and one of Tug's henchmen. Donnie punches Jarod in the mouth, sending him reeling into a wall. Rather than retaliating, Jarod calmly dabs the blood from the side of his mouth. Tug demands to know where Ben Worth's body is, and Jarod explains that he removed the body from the spot where Donnie had seen him bury it because he was afraid Donnie might wimp out and tell the authorities where it was; he moved it to "protect" Tug from exposure.

Donnie then says he saw Jarod go into Doris Worth's house. Jarod explains that he'd gone there to set her up for the murder he'd planned. He shows Tug a photograph of Doris bound and gagged, and tells Tug he'll kill her in front of him tomorrow. Almost convinced, Tug tells Jarod that the word is Jarod got his limp because, during an altercation with police in Chicago, Jarod had been shot in the leg and lost about an inch of bone. Tug wants to see the scar. Jarod lifts his pant leg... and shows Tug a long scar just under his knee (just like the one the real assassin had). Now truly convinced that Jarod is the man he claims to be, Tug tells Donnie to leave "Mr. Doe" alone. Tug, Donnie and the henchman all leave. It's a good thing, too, because Ben and Doris Worth are both hiding in Jarod's bathroom.

Jarod sets up the "killing" for the next day. He rigs a car so the doors will lock (and stay locked) on his command; fixes the windows with shatter proof glass; and manufactures a system of hoses that will channel the exhaust fumes from the tail pipe into the seating compartment of the car when he activates it. He then takes the corpse of the real assassin out of his shower stall, and puts it in the trunk of the car, along with bags of ice, the briefcase with all of the assassin's paraphernalia in it (after making sure all of it is clear of his own fingerprints), and a large manila envelope addressed to the New Orleans Police Department.

The next morning, Jarod meets Tug and Donnie in the woods. There he has the rigged car parked, with Doris Worth sitting in the front seat seemingly tied to the steering wheel. Jarod tells Tug he's going to make it look like Doris gassed herself in her own car after she was "abandoned" by her estranged husband, Ben. Tug says it all looks real convincing to him, and Jarod asks for the rest of the money due to him for the killings. Rather than paying Jarod, however, Tug has Donnie pull a gun on him. They're going to kill Jarod, then kill Doris themselves. Before they can, however, Ben Worth shows up and creates enough of a distraction so that Jarod can wrestle the gun away from Donnie. "You never learn, do you?" Jarod scolds Donnie.

Jarod lets Doris out of the car, then forces Tug and Donnie to get inside of it. He locks them in, and sets up a video camera next to the car that will record the confessions he wants out of them. Donnie and Tug try to escape from the car, but can't open the doors and can't shatter the glass... They still refuse to confess, however, so Jarod has Ben hook up the hose that sends a cloud of exhaust fumes into the car through the ventilation system. Terrified that he's going to asphyxiated, Donnie confesses that Tug contracted for the murders of Ben and Doris Worth, and also says, "He killed them all! I can show you where the bodies are buried!"

Satisfied with the confession, Jarod prepares to leave. Ben Worth asks him if he's really going to leave Donnie and Tug in the car to die, and Jarod explains that there is only gas in the tank to frighten the men. The engine will shut off in about 30 seconds. He also tells Ben that the police will be there shortly. Ben shakes Jarod's hand, and Doris gives him a hug before he leaves.

Back at the Twin Cities Hotel, Sydney is "talking" to Jacob in his mind, asking him about the "accident", asking him if Raines was responsible for what happened to them. His mind-generate image of Jacob tells him he already has the answers to those questions. Syndey's musing are interrupted by Miss Parker who arrives at his door, chain-smoking. "Don't say a word," she warns him as she lights up another cigarette.

Much later, in Slidell, Jarod visits Sonny Herbert in the burn ward at the V.A. Hospital. A nurse warns Jarod that Sonny hasn't been very lucid since his "accident" and slips in and out of consciousness a lot. Jarod still insists on seeing him.

Sitting beside Sonny's bed in the burn ward, Jarod gently nudges Sonny awake and then talks to him about his PI practice. Sonny remembers vaguely, "Children." Jarod nods, excited, and shows Sonny a photograph of his mother. He asks if Sonny remembers her. Sonny says, "Nice woman...Wanted to find little boy..." Truly excited now, Jarod leans forward in his chair and asks Sonny if he can remember what the woman's name was... but Sonny falls back into unconsciousness before he can respond.Unable to get any further response from Sonny, Jarod crumples in his chair, totally disheartened.

Back at The Centre, Sydney gets a telephone call from Jarod. Jarod thanks him for sending him the photograph of Sonny Herbert, and Sydney tells him pointedly that he never sent Jarod such a photograph. As a matter of fact, Sydney tells Jarod, he was just about to thank Jarod for sending him the information on the Twins Convention. Jarod says that he doesn't know what Sydney is talking about. "Well, if you didn't send it," Sydney says, "then who did?"

The camera pans up to the ventilation duct adjacent to Sydney's office, where Angelo is sitting, smiling behind the screen.

TRIVIA: Jarod's room number at the Hotel Maison Rouge was 323.// The kind of film Jarod wanted for his "death photos" was high speed, black-and-white, SGR 3200.// The cigarettes Broots sent to Miss Parker were the "Private Stock" brand.// Jarod's "scar" was made out of a combination of mortician's wax and pancake makeup.

DISCOVERIES: Porcelain "chachies" (little procelain renditions of animals)

BEST LINE: Jarod to Donnie after Donnie punches him: "Now, I'm going to forget you just did that, as it would be disrespectful to kill you in front of family."

OUR REVIEW: Overall, we enjoyed this episode. It gave us a lot to look at and a lot to think about, and blended humor and very black humor together very well. Seeing Michael T. Weiss in the bathtub was also an unexpected but appreciated treat.

The only things we didn't like were (1) the scene during which Jarod tried to revive the assassin with CPR. (The,"Don't you die on me," "Don't die," monologue by Jarod seemed rather forced; as though Weiss felt silly saying it.), and (2) the fact that the assassin's body staved off the effects of rigor mortis far longer than it should have. A real corpse would have gotten too stiff too quickly for Jarod to prop up so neatly on the toilet, or manipulate so easily when he was searching it for clues.


EPISODE #20, Baby Love

FIRST SEASON EPISODE 20: "Baby Love"

the red decalAt night, in an unidentified city, running from Miss Parker, Sam the Sweeper and a sweeper team, Jarod ducks down an alley and jumps into a large garbage dumpster. While he's there, a sedan pulls up quickly near the dumpster and parks. Jarod can't see very much from his vantage point, but does see, after the driver exist the sedan, that the driver is wearing penny loafers with coins in the middle of the saddle of the shoes. He can also see that the car has a license plate that reads: The Windswept State, 3465, and has a red decal with the letter "L" (in white) on it. Jarod withdraws into the bottom of the dumpster as the driver of the sedan gets out of his car, approaches, and throws something into the dumpster beside Jarod.

The driver of the sedan then gets back into his vehicle and drives away quickly, just as the car carrying Miss Parker and the sweeper team approaches. Mistaking the fast-moving sedan for Jarod's getaway car, Miss Parker has her team chase after the sedan... leaving Jarod in the ally, in the dark, alone. Or is he? He can hear something moving and making noise in the dumpster beside him, and rummages through the garbage to see what it is. He finds a large produce box, and when he uncovers it he finds inside it... a five-month-old baby boy. The baby is alive and starting to cry.

Jarod takes the baby to Christine's House of Beauty and, despite the late hour, knocks on the door of the salon until Christine, the proprietress, answers him and comes to the door. He tells her he needs to stay with her for a little while again, and she answers, "Not smelling like that, you're not." She thanks him for the help he gave her recently with a phony lawsuit a customer had filed against her shop, but, she tells Jarod, her husband, Axe, is due to be back home the next day and if he finds a man living upstairs he'll go nuts. Jarod shows her the baby, and asks again to be let inside. Shocked by the sight of the infant, Christine lets him in, and lets Jarod move back into the apartment above the shop.

Jarod had been fleeing the sweeper team after they found out he was lifting blueprints from the same architectural firm that had helped to build The Centre. Sam the Sweeper found the blueprints Jarod had taken, during their chase, in a gutter and turned them over to Miss Parker. Back at The Centre, Miss Parker, Broots and Sydney go over the blueprints trying to figure out why Jarod thought they were so important. Between the sheaves of drafting paper, Broots finds some notepaper sheets covered with calculations, cryptic information and a notation about "SL-27". When they see the notation, both Sydney and Miss Parker make a grab for the notes, but Miss Parker wrests them away from Sydney and walks off with them.

Back at Christine's, Jarod watches a DSA of himself as a four-year-old, on the day he was kidnapped and brought to The Centre... with a hood over his head. The hood removed, sitting alone in an in-take room, the child-Jarod sings a mournful lullaby to himself and looks thoroughly distressed. We can hear men in the background talking about him. One says, "They're calling him 'Jarod'... He misses his parents..."

The adult-Jarod turns off the DSA, walks across the livingroom area of the apartment, and sits in front of the infant he rescued from the dumpster. Smiling at the baby, he telephones Sydney and asks him, "How could somebody abandon a child?" Sydney asks if Jarod is talking about his parents, and Jarod answers, "I'm talking about all parents." Sydney says there are many thing that could motivate a parent to give up a child, then he asks if this line of questioning has anything to do with the blueprints Jarod had taken from the architectural firm. Jarod simply tells him, "You'll figure it out," and hangs up.

Back at The Centre, Broots tells Sydney he did the search on "SL-27" that Sydney had asked him to do, but came up with little information. There were two licence plates with the numbers SL-27, but the owners died in the 70's; and SL-27 was also the generic name for an antibiotic developed in 1983... but Broots could find nothing else. Miss Parker enters the room and also asks Broots if he's learned anything about SL-27. Broots suggests that Sydney and Miss Parker compare their own notes and discuss it among themselves.

After debugging a room in The Centre, Broots, Miss Parker and Sydney meet to compare and exchange what information they have. Miss Parker shows the men the bracelet she'd gotten from Dara, one of the children rescued from The Centre by Catherine Parker. Etched into the inside of the bracelet is "SL-27". Sydney then shows Miss Parker and Broots the note his brother Jacob scribbled to him when, for a brief moment, Jacob had revived from his 30-year coma. On the note is "SL-27". The clues don't tell them much except that, whatever "SL-27" is, it was important to both Dara and Jacob. Sydney and Miss Parker beg Broots to keep searching for connection between the fragments of information, and he reluctantly agrees to do so.

At Christine's, Jarod creates a computer program that links his laptopcomputer to the missing persons database at the local police station. If anyone files a report on the baby, or on anyone who might be associated with him, the program will signal Jarod and let him know what the report is about.

At the Centre, in his "space", Angelo sits shirtless in the middle of his bank of computer monitors, and is shaving his head with an electric razor while Mr. Raines and a sweeper watch him. The sweeper asks what Angelo is doing, and Mr. Raines says, "He appears to be expressing his individualism... It's dangerous." Then Raines demands that Angelo run a full security sweep of every system, inlet, outlet and sub-level of The Centre. After receiving a box of Cracker Jacks as an incentive, Angelo starts the sweep.

Jarod and Christine, meanwhile, take the baby to the local Child Protective Services branch of the police station in the hopes that they can find some help in locating the baby's parents. The place is so bustling with activity and so haunted by displaced children, however, that no one has the time to offer any real help. Jarod leaves suddenly, refusing to abandon the baby in such a place, and determined to find out who the baby's parents are himself. He doesn't want the infant to grow up alone, like he did. Christine tells him the baby isn't his, and that he can't keep it no matter what the circumstances are. She gets Jarod to promise her that if he can't find the baby's parents in 24 hours, he'll turn the infant over to the police. As he's walking back to the apartment with Christine, carrying the baby, Jarod notices several unmarked police units parked outside the station. They all have the same red decal on their licence plates as the car he saw the night the baby was chucked into the dumpster. Christine asks him what it means, and he answers her with a stunned: "A cop threw this baby away."

Back at the apartment, lying on the bed with the baby beside him, Jarod calls The Centre and asks Sydney if he's discovered the significance of the blueprints and calculations yet. Miss Parker and Broots are eaves-dropping on the conversation. Miss Parker asks him what he means, and Jarod says he was just "digging up some more dirt" on The Centre, and that he was surprised Broots hadn't figured it all out yet. Just before he hangs up, Jarod says, "I gotta go. It's the baby's nap-time." Miss Parker looks at the phone and repeats, "Did he say 'baby'?"

The "dirt" reference triggers something in Broots' mind, and he pulls up the architectural data charts on The Centre during the time it was built. He quickly assesses the situation: When The Centre was built, 6.2 million cubic feet of dirt were carted away from the site, but The Centre itself and its twenty-six sub-levels only occupied 6.16 million cubic feet of space. There had been enough extra dirt carted away to make room for another sub-level... Sub-level 27... "SL-27".

At Christine's, Christine's husband Axe returns home after a unprofitable trip to look for a new job. He was/is a garbage man -- "sanitation engineer" -- who lost his job after he "blew out his back" lifting an industrial bin.When he finds Jarod and the baby in the apartment above Christine's shop he's at first suspicious, then seems tickled by the fact that the baby is there. Jarod asks him if he likes kids, and Axe says, "I'd have a whole tribe if Christie, here, would cooperate." He then offers to babysit for Jarod any time Jarod needs him to. The opportunity arises quickly.

Jarod poses as a mechanic at the police station maintenance garage, as he tries to find out who was driving the sedan with the red-stickered 3465 plate on it the night the baby was thrown in the dumpster. As he's searching through the garage records, the sedan pulls in for some quick maintenance. The driver, Detective David W. Geary, tells Jarod to get the car fixed as soon as possible. Recognizing both the vehicle and Geary's penny-loafer shoes, Jarod picks up a large wrench and is going to brain Geary with it. He thinks better of the idea, though, and lets Geary go... for the time being.

At the Centre, Broots escorts Miss Parker and Sydney to a sewer access port he's found in The Centre's twenty-sixth level; a port that's on the opposite side of the building from where all the other sewer mains are. He and Sydney crack the seal on the portal and find below it a metal-rung ladder leading down in SL-27. Against his will, Broots goes down into the sub-level first, while Miss Parker and Sydney follow after him.

SL-27 is a burned out hulk. Sydney says he had heard rumors of a great fire in The Centre, but never saw the fire himself. Mr. Raines, he says, had been so injured in the fire that he now needed his supplemental portable oxygen tank to help him breathe. Miss Parker expresses outrage that the fire didn't "finish the job". Throughout SL-27, Broots, Miss Parker and Sydney find over one-hundred rooms... ashes littering everything; some of them with fresh footprints in them... melted children's toys, including a jack-in-the-box... piles of used syringes... an environmental suit with a corpse in it; and a bullet hole through its eye... a room that has all the components of a SIM lab... and a birthing table with shackles on it. In a small fenced off area, clear of debris, they find six white plastic storage boxes. Broots returns to the surface, while Sydney and Miss Parker glance through the contents of the boxes. They're all pertaining to "The Pretender Project", and one of the boxes is filled with information about Jarod.

They find the hood used to cover Jarod's head when, as a child, he was brought to The Centre, and they find intake paperwork that suggested that Jarod's parents-- in direct contradiction to everything they had been told previously -- had not been dead when Jarod arrived at The Centre. Instead, Miss Parker and Sydney deduce, Jarod's parents were alive, and Jarod had been stolen from them. There are no names on the intake paperwork, except for the signature of a "Special Expeditor" who was responsible for bringing Jarod to The Centre. Sydney recognizes the signature as that belonging to his brother, Jacob.

A cell-phone call from Broots warns Miss Parker and Sydney that Mr. Raines knows security has been breached somewhere, and is having Angelo "sanitize the system". Afraid of being caught in SL-27 with evidence of the truth about Jarod, Miss Parker and Sydney flee the area, leaving the boxes of files behind them.

At Christine's, while Axe and the baby watch basketball on television, Jarod continues his computer search for the baby's parents. While he's working, there is a "beep" that announces that a missing persons report has just been filed with the local police station. Jarod accesses the report, and discovers that it concerns a woman named Jeannette Connelly.... and her five-month-old son, Michael. Jarod looks up from the report, smiles at the baby, and says, "Hello, Michael."

At Jeannette Connelly's apartment, we see Detective Geary trying to break in through the front door. A neighbor woman, the one who filed a report, asks him who he is. Geary tells her he's with the police, and is looking for Jeannette. The woman tells him she's already given all the information she knows to "the other policeman... the one who was here about 15 minutes ago, before you got here." As Geary is preparing to leave the apartment building, he hears over his walkie-talkie a report of a "jumper" who was rescued from a nearby bridge: a woman in her twenties who had probably been at the bottom of the bridge for several days, and who was being taken to St. Mary's Medical Center as a Jane Doe, and put on suicide watch.

Detective Geary arrives at St. Mary's looking for the JaneDoe, who he knows is Jeanette Connelly. He passes in front of an intern who working at a computer terminal at the nursing station. The intern is Jarod, and, having eaves-dropped on the walkie-talkie police chatter, he's trying to find Jeannette, too. He accesses the hospital's data base and changes Jeannette's room number from 727 to 708. Believing she's in Room 708, Geary goes there looking for her. Knowing she's in Room 727, Jarod goes there. He finds Jeannette heavily sedated and strapped into her bed. He rousts her out, telling her he knows she's not suicidal, telling her he knows where her baby is, and telling her that Geary is in the hospital trying to find her. Jarod and Jeannette escape through an emergency exit and down the stairwell, just as Geary realizes the room numbers were switched. Geary sees Jarod half-walking, half-carrying Jeannette down the stairwell, and chases after them.

Geary comes out of the stairwell into a parking garage. He searches all over for Jarod and Jeannette, but can't see them. When he notices that some beads, hanging from the rear-view mirror of a van parked in the garage, are moving, he believes Jarod and Jeannette are in the van, and shoots several bullets through the van's side. As he opens the van up to look inside, he hears and then sees Jarod racing off in a customized black-and-yellow Mustang with Jeannette inside.

At Christine's, still dressed in the intern's clothes he'd taken from St. Mary's, Jarod returns baby-Michael to Jeannette and asks her what is going on. Jeannette explains that she was an intern working in the offices of District Attorney Mitch Meyers, who's is currently running for re-election. She'd had an affair with Meyers, that resulted in Michael's birth, and, believing Meyers really loved her and would take care of his child, had approached him for child-support. Instead of helping her, Meyers sent Detective Geary after her. Geary had lured her into a car, claiming he was going to take her and Michael to Meyers, then kidnapped her, threw her off of the bridge in an attempt to kill her, and tossed her baby in a dumpster. Axe and Jarod are so disgusted by her story that they pledge to help Jeannette and contrive to expose both Geary and Meyers.

First, they have Jeannette call Mitch Meyers on the phone and get him to meet her in a public place where she can talk to him. Meyers doesn't know it, but Jarod has Jeannette "wired" and listens to and records everything Meyers says. Then Jeannette tells Meyers that if he doesn't want the whole sordid story to end up on the eleven o'clock news he'd better tell Geary to meet her in the alley where he'd left Michael with $50 thousand in hush-money. Meyers is shocked by her demands, but complies.

When Geary arrives in the alley with the money, he is met by Jarod and Axe, who pull up in a city sanitation truck that blocks the alley so Geary can't escape from it. Axe and Jarod attack Geary, take his gun and badge from him, and then -- with Jarod brandishing a knife -- strip Geary of everything but his underwear.

Later, at a daytime outdoor meeting with the local media, Meyers gives a speech pertaining to his re-election. He tells on-lookers and the public that he's a man of principals who understands the meaning of commitment, but as he says this, Jeannette slips through the crowd to where Meyers' wife is standing, introduces herself, and tells her about the affair, the kidnapping, and the baby-snatching. Meanwhile, Jarod and Axe drive up in the sanitation truck with Meyers' tape-recorded conversation with Jeannette blaring from loud-speakers mounted on the front of the vehicle. Jarod then flips a lever inside the truck and the back of it opens up and tips forward, dumping piles of garbage and a nearly naked, hand-cuffed, filthy Detective Geary out in front of the media. Press people line up to snap pictures while Jarod saunters up to Geary and empties a bag full of Michael's dirty diapers onto Geary's head. Last but not least, he tosses Geary his penny-loafers, then walks away with a look over his shoulder to Meyers... who is holding his head, and trying to look inconspicuous. Headlines later proclaim Meyers' and Geary's guilt in the abduction and attempted murder of Jeannette and her baby.

Back at Christine's, Jarod says his goodbyes to Christine, Axe, Jeannette and Michael and leaves them smiling. While at The Centre, Miss Parker and Sydney return briefly to SL-27 in the hopes of getting a better look at the boxes of "Pretender" files there. When they arrive at the area where the boxes were kept, however, they find the boxes... but no files in them. All the paperwork has been removed. Miss parker fears that Mr. Raines knows they found the files and took the paperwork himself, but Sydney tells her that if Raines believed they'd had access to the files he would have had them killed them by now. "Well, if he doesn't have them," Miss Parker asks, "who does?"

The episode ends with a shot of the inside of an air conditioning duct in The Centre. The camera shows us Angelo, sitting with his back against the wall of the duct... and with the "Pretender" files tied up in neat little bundles all around him...

DISCOVERIES: Jarod held the key to the discovery of SL-27 in this episode, but discovered nothing for himself having to do with "popular culture". He also didn't use an alias in this episode.

BEST LINES: Broots to Miss Parker upon entering SL-27, "What died in here?" to which Miss Parker replied: "What didn't?"// A conversation between Jarod and Christine in reference to the baby: Jarod, "He's hungry." Christine, "How can you tell?" Jarod, "Because I'm hungry."

TRIVIA: We learn in conversations between Miss Parker and Broots that Miss Parker was once head of Centre security for three (3) years... but still she knew nothing about SL-27.// Christine was the oldest of eight children and some of her younger sibling's names were: William, Amy, Ellie, and Jeremy.

OUR REVIEW: We liked seeing Michael T. Weiss with the baby-Michael, who was a doll, but felt that the "baby" aspect of "Baby Love" was... well, sort of boring. We would've liked to have seen more interaction between Jarod and the baby, and less of the chase scene, the "sting" scene, and the garbage-dumping scene. (Pouring the dirty diapers on Geary's head WAS indicative of the baby's revenge, we understand, but it felt too much like over-kill to us.)

The best part of this episode wasn't so much the discovery of SL-27 itself, as it was the discovery, at the very end, that Angelo -- once believed to be something of a brainless sponge -- does, indeed, have his own individual nature, and is fiercely protective of the "Pretender" files he gathered in SL-27. He even hides them from fairly "benevolent" forces (like Sydney and Miss Parker).

We assume he himself preserved them from the fire that gutted SL-27, and is keeping them safe until he can turn them over to the proper authorities, or perhaps to the "Pretenders" themselves. Jarod had told us in a previous episode that there were six children ("the unlucky ones") who hadn't been able to escape from The Centre. And, in this episode, there were six white boxes filled with paperwork found in SL-27. If Sydney was correct in assessing that the boxes "all" pertained to The Pretender Project, and that one of the boxes was about Jarod, we may assume the other five boxes contained information about five other Pretenders we, the viewers, haven't seen or been properly introduced to yet...Can't wait to find out more.


#21, The Dragon House, Season Finale

FIRST SEASON EPISODE 21: "The Dragon House", Part One

The episode opens with a view of state prison inmate John Doe being readied for transport to a facility with higher security standards. Guards come in and shackle Doe, and the lead guard tells them to watch him carefully because he's got the skill of a Houdini and can get out of almost anything. Doe also has a history of being vicious, the head guard warns. He once bit a man's nose off because he didn't like the way the man "looked down at him with it." While the guards are talking and exchanging paperwork, a paperclip from amongst the papers falls to the floor. John Doe sees it, and fakes a coughing fit. Doubling over, he lunges at one of the guards and is immediately beaten to the floor with batons. On the floor, John Doe snatches up the paperclip with his tongue and hides it in his mouth. The guards yank him to his feet and drag him away... but he's smiling as they leave the prison.

Later we see Jarod -- in the guise of Dr. Jarod, a children's orthodontist -- standing in the lobby of his dental office going over the chart of Peter, one of his patients, and chatting with Peter and his brother about their dental hygiene. While they talk, a television set across the room alights with a "Special Report". All eyes turn to the TV as a female reporter tells viewers that John Doe has escaped during transport from the penitentiary. Using the paperclip he'd stolen from the guard, he managed to pick the locks on his shackles. He got up into the cab of the transport van, and attacked the guards before they realized what was happening. Doe then locked the guards in the van and pushed the van into a lake, hoping to drown them. They barely escaped with their lives. A description of John Doe included the information that he was approximately 6-foot-one, and had a distinctive scar on his right hand. When a picture of the scar is shown on the television screen, Jarod immediately recognizes it, and rushes from the office.

Back at his lair, Jarod watches a DSA of himself, from 08-17-68, when as a child he was performing a SIM with another Centre subject, a boy named Kyle. Sydney and then-Dr. Raines were overseeing the SIM during which Jarod was posing as an interrogator, trying to get information out of Kyle by threatening him with a vial of acid.

On the DSA the child-Jarod complains that there is no reason to continue with the scenario since he had already proven that "the anticipation of pain is more effective than pain itself". Raines, however, demands that Jarod finish the SIM, and Jarod opens the vial he's holding and pours its contents over Kyle's right hand. Both boys are horrified to discover that the vial really contains acid; and Kyle is severely burned. He screams, jumping back out of his chair. Sydney shouts, "You bastard!" at Raines, and demands that sweepers take Kyle to the infirmary immediately. As Kyle is taken away, Jarod cries, "Kyle! I'm sorry! I would never hurt you! I would never hurt you!"

The camera then shows us an image of the adult-Jarod, barely able to look at the DSA and at the pain he caused Kyle, as he mumbles to himself, "I would never hurt you."

The next day, Jarod -- now in the guise of FBI Special Agent Jarod Ness(*)-- arrives at the prison from which John Doe had escaped and talks to one of the guards there as he searches through Doe's cell. The guard said they had never been able to find out who Doe really was, but that Doe often heard "voices" in his head, and would pretend to be someone different from day-to-day. When once Doe believed himself to be an IRS agent, the guard had Doe do his taxes for him, and Doe got the guard a sizable refund.

In the cell there are some hand-drawn pictures of a house with dragons "growing" from the rootop, a photograph of a large white farmhouse, and mail from Blue Cove, Delaware addressed to Doe from a sender named "C.J." Jarod reaches in behind the sink in the cell and retrieves a blue notebook similar to the red notebooks he himself used to record his SIMs (in The Centre) and adventures (once he escaped). The guard tells Jarod that Doe often spent hours scribbling in the notebook "like a madman" after visits from a doctor the guard euphemistically referred to as "Dr. Wheezy" (because he wheezed when he breathed... with the help of an oxygen tank). Inside the notebook are more drawings of the house with dragons on it, and the repetitive mantra:

I DECIDE WHO LIVES OR DIES
I DECIDE WHO LIVES OR DIES
I DECIDE WHO LIVES OR DIES
I DECIDE WHO LIVES OR DIES

The guard asks Jarod what the scribblings mean, and Jarod says they mean Doe is dangerous.

Back at The Centre, Sydney, Broots and Miss Parker are testing Angelo's ability to help them find Jarod. They have supplied Angelo with every one of Jarod's red notebooks they can find, in the hopes that Angelo will be able to read through them and "absorb" Jarod's personality and reasoning abilities. If he can "absorb" Jarod, perhaps he'll be able to tell them where Jarod is, what he's doing, and what he's thinking about. The test is a gamble, and Broots complains that if it doesn't work, "My butt's on the line." Miss Parker corrects him with: "Mmmm... Wrong piece of anatomy."

In an apartment in an undisclosed area, Harriet Tashman is making soup for herself. As she carries the pot of soup into the dining area to pour it into a bowl she's already set on the table, the telephone rings. Still holding the pot, she walks to the phone and answers it. When the caller speaks to her, she starts shaking all over and drops both the phone and the pot of soup on the floor.

Later, FBI agents are gathered in Harriet's livingroom when Jarod arrives and introduces himself as Jarod Ness, and tells the head of the investigation, Special Agent Corkus, that "Washington sent me". Corkus is grateful to have an extra man on his team, and he details the Bureau's history with John Doe, whom he describes as "a sick puppy".

Doe, he says, had no record before he showed up -- "like he fell out of the sky" -- about 10 years ago on a rampage of psychotic felony offenses that culminated in the kidnapping of Harriet Tashman. He stalked Tashman for several days before abducting her. Tashman herself was forced to drive the get-away car, but had the presence of mind to crash the vehicle, injuring herself but making it possible for pursuing Federal agents to capture Doe. Doe was put in prison, and had been there for the past ten years, until the morning he escaped from the transport van. Now he's out, Corkus says, and is probably after Harriet again.

As Corkus tells his story, and directs his investigators, Jarod looks around Harriet's livingroom. Among the other religious trappings and icons there, Jarod finds a Bible with a devotional holy card in it of Saint Catherine of the Hills. The bottom of the card looks as though it had been torn off.

The investigators are interrupted by a man name Jenkins, who tells them he's the building manager, and asks them when they're going to be finished. Corkus tells Jarod to get a statement from Jenkins first, and Jenkins complains that he already gave a statement "to the other agent who was here this morning." Jarod and Corkus look at one another, astonished. Neither of them had sent anyone to Tashman's apartment earlier that morning.

Somewhere outside the apartment, John Doe is seen discarding his suitcoat and fake FBI badge in a trash bin. Smiling, he walks up to a cab and slips into the passenger compartment. The cabby asks him where he wants to go, and Doe tells him to just drive. Doe then lights up a cigarette -- even though there are NO SMOKING signs and indicators all over the inside of the cab. The cabby starts arguing with Doe, and demands that he puts the cigarette out. "But I just lit it," Doe retorts, smiling softly. The cabby shouts: "I don't care if you invented it. Put it out!" Doe grins at the cabby and says, "Whatever you say..."

Back at The Centre, Angelo is still pouring over the red notebooks chronologically while Miss Parker, Broots and Sydney retreat to an adjacent glassed-in cubical. Inside the cubical, Miss Parker complains that the Angelo experiment is a useless waste of time; she suggests using a cattle prod on Angelo to jump start his brain. While Sydney tries to quiet Miss Parker's display temper, Angelo finds a blue notebook in among the red ones. In the notebook are scribbled drawing of women, knifes, and carnage, and the repeated I DECIDE WHO LIVES OR DIES mantra. Absorbing the negative imagery and verbiage, Angelo goes berserk. He races straight through one of the glass walls of the cubical, jumps on Miss Parker and tries to strangle her. It takes Sydney, Broots, and several sweepers to get Angelo off of Miss Parker and to drag him -- blinking and confused -- away from her and back to his space. When she asks Sydney what had just happened, Sydney apologizes saying Angelo's attack must have been triggered by something he absorbed from one of the notebooks. Broots shows Sydney the single blue notebook and says, a bit startled, "It's not red."

At the FBI Field Office in Albany, New York, Jarod is going over all the FBI material on John Doe. Among the items available is a video tape made immediately after Harriet Tashman escaped from John Doe (on 06-03-87) after the kidnapping. It's newsreel footage; a reporter tells viewers that Harriet is safe and is refusing to press charges against her kidnapper. The video shows Harriet being met outside her farmhouse by two people, a man and a woman, who are obviously her friends. They hug and comfort her, but when they realize their pictures are being taken by the press, they turn away from the cameras and try to shield their faces with their arms. The man in the video is somewhat thin and grey-haired; the woman looks younger and has long red hair. Jarod runs the video backwards, and looks at it again, freeze-framing an image of the red-headed woman. "Oh, my God," Jarod gasps. "Mom - !"

Later that same day at the Tashman farm --which has the same large white farmhouse on it as was in the photograph taken from John Doe's jail cell -- in Upstate New York, Jarod meets with the farm's caretaker, a young somewhat retarded man named Joe-Bill, who says he was pronounced caretaker after the former caretaker, his grandpa, died. Miss Harriet, Joe-Bill says, hasn't been to the farm since "she got took", but someone still sends money every month to keep the farm "looking pretty". Jarod shows Joe-Bill a photograph of his mother and asks if Joe-Bill had ever seen her. Joe-Bill responds to the photograph with worry and says he has to leave. Jarod convinces him that it's okay to talk to him, since the woman in the photograph is his mom and he's trying to find her.

Joe-Bill reluctantly tells Jarod that he had been instructed by Miss Harriet and his grandpa not to talk about them; that he was to tell people "They don't live here." Jarod is astonished. "They lived here?", he asks, and Joe-Bill tells him that they lived above the barn. "Almost never came out... Always alone... She had red hair... He made planes out of wood; only planes." They disappeared right after Miss Harriet was kidnapped, and he never saw them again. He said they reminded him of the family in The Diary of Ann Frank, the family who had kept themselves hidden from the Nazis. "Hiding..." Joe-Bill repeats, nodding. "Hiding..."

Jarod starts to head toward the barn to take a look at the upstairs living unit, but he gets a call on his cell phone from Corkus who says he's got a lead on John Doe and needs Jarod to help him. Jarod leaves the farm, but tells Joe-Bill he'll come back later.

The lead Special Agent Corkus was talking about was the taxi cab driver who had been unlucky enough to meet up with John Doe after his escape from the transport van. The cabby wasn't badly injured, but was suffering from severe shock. After putting his cigarette out on the cabby's tongue, John Doe had tied him up inside his cab with his mouth taped shut and his eyes taped open. Doe then left the cab on some railroad tracks, facing a tunnel. Corkus is taking Doe's psychotic behavior seriously and issues a two-one-eleven order: Shoot To Kill.

Meanwhile, back at The Centre, Sydney is telling Broots and Miss Parker what he knows about the blue notebook they found mixed in with Jarod's red notebooks. The blue notebook belonged to Kyle, another subject in the Pretender Project who was under the direction of Mr. Raines. What was unusual about the notebook Angelo found was that it had been written AFTER Kyle had supposedly been released from The Centre. Seemingly, Mr. Raines violated a Tower directive and had kept Kyle as his own pet project even after The Centre had signed a release for him. The only place where Raines could have kept Kyle without anyone seeing him was.... in SL-27.

Broots, Miss Parker and Sydney venture into SL-27 and look for a place where Raines might have kept Kyle. They find a room in which someone had obviously been forced to live; and from which that someone had tried to escape by clawing on the door until their fingernails left heavy striations in the door's surface. Broots also finds a room where an old Brain Child computer (the first generation of super computers) had been housed. The computer and its reels of magnetic tape were burned and melted in the fire that gutted SL-27, but Broots believes that if some of the information had been backed-up onto the machine's primitive hard drive memory before it was damaged, he might still be able to retrieve it. Miss Parker tells him to try.

Later, Broots calls Miss Parker and Sydney to his side, and says he's still got his computers going through the data from the Brain Child, but that he's managed to retrieve one complete SIM of Kyle from 09-12-68 and transferred it to a DSA format so they can view it. On the DSA we see Kyle spewing racist dogma and SIMming the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He says King deserves death because he's disrupted the country and caused inexcusable chaos. "Now who are you to make that judgment?" Mr. Raines asks him. Kyle responds that it's his duty to kill King, and says, "I decide who lives or dies... I decide who lives or dies." Horrified at what they're viewing, Sydney turns away and exclaims, "My god! He did it!" He tells Miss Parker and Broots that Raines had always said he wanted to take one of the pretenders and feed that pretender enough negative reinforcement to strip the pretended of his morality. Raines wanted to create a sociopath... and with Kyle, he apparently succeeded.

Later, in an elevator at The Centre, Sydney confronts Mr. Raines with what he knows about Kyle, and demands to know where Kyle is. Raines steams, "Don't commit political suicide over ancient history... If I were you, I'd stop dwelling on the past. Jarod is your only life-line in this place, and the longer he's out there, the weaker your influence on him becomes." Sydney responds to Raines with, "On my grave, Raines. If Kyle is alive, I'll find him."

Meanwhile, loitering in Sydney's office while he waits for his computers to sort out more of the Brain Child's information, Broots turns on a television and starts to watch it. At first, he's unaware that Angelo is also in the room, wearing a straight jacket. When a news announcement comes on over the TV regarding John Doe, Angelo makes his presence known to Broots. Angelo squirms his way out of the straight jacket, walks up to the television set, and on the image of John Doe on the set writes: "SL-27" Broots understands: Angelo is telling him that John Doe IS Kyle.

Back at the Tashman Farm, Jarod goes into the loft above the barn to see where his family lived. They had left in such a hurry that many of their personal belongings were left behind. The small room is decorated with hand-made quilts and wall hangings; there's a work bench and unfinished hand-carved model airplanes; there's a mobile decorated with origami swans (the kind Jarod had been taught to make, before he was taken by The Centre); and there's a baby's crib. Joe-Bill tells Jarod that he remembers hearing the baby cry, but never actually saw it because he wasn't allowed up in the loft. On a dresser beside the bed in the loft is a carved wooden box. Inside the box Jarod finds a Bible with another devotional holy card in it depicting Saint Catherine of the Hills, and there's an address along the bottom of the card that reads: Route 1, Hillshire Meadows, Mass. Also, on the page marked by the card in the Bible, a passage is highlighted which reads: "And under the hand of God Ye little children shall never be lost."

The next day, John Doe/Kyle is found "pretending" to be a gas station attendant in Massachusetts on the route that leads to the St. Catherine of the Hills Convent. When a father and son drive up in a convertible, and the father threatens to slap the boy for whining about having to go to the bathroom, John Doe/Kyle reacts with violence. He nearly breaks the father's arm and drags him out of the vehicle yelling, "Hey! You shouldn't treat children like that! You should love your children, always!" John Doe/Kyle then gently lifts the child out of the car and points him in the direction of the men's room. While he's doing this, John Doe/Kyle notices Harriet Tashman driving by on her way to the convent. He gets into the driver's seat of the car, and speeds away leaving the father and son stranded at the gas station.

Back at The Centre, Broots is ready to show Sydney another SIM that was lifted from the Brain Child's memory bank, but he tries to hide it from Miss Parker. He tells her, "I know you don't respect me, but... I just don't think you should watch this disk." Irritated, Miss Parker blows him off with a sharp retort, "Play the damn disk."

On the DSA we see Kyle as a child again working with Mr. Raines in 1970. Raines is telling the boy that "hate dictates reality", and when he has enough hate built up he can focus it to accomplish anything he wants. Kyle, with a gun in his hand, tells Raines that hate isn't just a word, it's a feeling, and, "I have it... here." Kyle puts the gun to his heart to show Raines where the hate is living. Pleased with Kyle's performance, Raines slaps him across the face... and then promises him the reward of a trip to The Dragon House. Satisfied with the reward, Kyle turns back to the target he's been shooting at. The DSA shows us that the target is a life-sized cut-out of Catherine Parker. Kyle shoots several bullets through it, all over its head and body.

Miss Parker can hardly believe what she's seen. "He was teaching him to hate my mother... to shoot my mother!" Sydney says this explains Angelo's attack on her earlier. Angelo had absorbed Kyle's "hatred" for Catherine Parker, and mistaking Miss Parker for the look-alike Catherine, had attacked her. Miss Parker says she going to inform her father of what Raines had done, but Sydney stops her saying that her father probably already knows what Raines was up to. "This is The Centre...We must be cautious." He tells her she must take care in revealing too much to her father what she knows about Kyle and SL-27. They had been hidden for all these years, afterall; news of their discovery might cause repercussions.

Miss Parker, nevertheless, goes to her father with a truncated report on what she knows about Kyle. Mr. Parker is unconvinced, especially since she offers no proof of the statements in her report. "I need tangibles," he tells her. She asks him if he knew what Raines had been up to with Kyle, and Mr. Parker snaps in return, "Would I have allowed him to continue if I did!?" Miss Parker apologizes for upsetting him, and asks that she be allowed to probe the issue further. She will bring Mr. Parker the best tangible evidence she can find to prove her assertions are accurate. "What kind of evidence?" Mr. Parker asks, and Miss Parker answers with a simple, "Kyle."

At the St. Catherine of the Hills Convent, Harriet Tashman arrives at almost the same time Jarod does. At first, he doesn't realize she's there. But her presence is made obvious when Kyle, disguised as a monk, attacks her and drags her screaming back to her car. Jarod tries to rescue her, but is almost run over by Kyle, who speeds away with Harriet as his prisoner. Backtracking Kyle's moves, Jarod finds the car Kyle stole from the gas station. In the front seat is a blue notebook, with drawings of The Dragon House in it, and more of the same mantra: I DECIDE WHO LIVES OR DIES.

Later, back at his lair, Jarod calls Sydney and asks him about The Dragon House. "What is it," he asks Sydney, "some kind of ad hoc torture chamber? A Centre asylum? A safe house?" Sydney says he doesn't know, but he's trying to locate the place. Jarod also says he knows about Kyle, and asks, "Was he sent to kill my parents?" Again, Sydney insists he just doesn't know, but will do his best to find answers for Jarod. "Quickly, Sydney," Jarod says. "Please." After Jarod hangs up, Sydney rounds up Broots and asks him to hack into Mr. Raines' computer.

Some time later, Jarod gets a phone call from Sydney who tells him that they've located The Dragon House in Delphi Shores, New Jersey. He warns Jarod that Mr. Raines and Miss Parker will probably be focusing on The Dragon House, too, so it won't be safe to go there. He also warns Jarod that Kyle won't be the same person he knew when they were in The Centre together as children. Jarod ignores the warnings, and seeks out The Dragon House anyway.

Before he goes there, though, he creates a diversion to get the FBI out of the area while he goes searching for Kyle and Harriet. With the use of chicken skin and a blow torch, he creates a phony scar on his right hand, and fakes a break-in at an ATM machine in Boston. Video cameras at the ATM record the assault, and photograph the perpetrator's hand. After being tipped off (by Peter Lifinski, one of Dr. Jarod's dental patients) about the attempted break-in, and seeing the video footage of the hand they believe belongs to John Doe, the FBI team scrambles to Boston hoping to be able to catch John Doe there. Jarod is left behind on an eighteen-eleven: desk duty.

While the FBI is off combing Boston, Jarod goes to New Jersey and finds The Dragon House. Harriet Tashman's stolen car is parked outside in plain view. Armed with a pistol, Jarod goes into the house, which is unlocked, and creeps upstairs. In an upstairs room, Kyle has Harriet tied to a chair in front of a table that holds a car battery from which live leads dangle. Kyle demands to know where "they" are, and Harriet says she can't tell him. He then threatens to electrically burn her with the leads from the car battery, but is distracted by noises elsewhere in the house and leaves the room for a moment. In that moment, Jarod enters the room through another door, introduces himself to Harriet, and tells her he's there to rescue her. He gets her untied and is almost ready to leave with her when Kyle returns to the room with a gun drawn.

Both Kyle and Jarod are startled, however, when through a third entrance to the room, Mr. Raines and a pair of sweepers appear. "I knew I should never have allowed you two to get together," he grumbles, and then tells the "boys" they're to come with him. Jarod growls back, "I'm not going anywhere with you." And Kyle responds in like with, "Neither am I." He shoots at the car battery on the table creating a sudden flurry of sparks and noise.

With that distraction as a cover, Jarod rushes Harriet out of the room, and Kyle runs out through the door from which he had entered. Mr. Raines sics the sweepers on all of them. Jarod and Harriet exit the house and are crossing a patio when Kyle appears in front of them. Jarod tries to calm Kyle down by telling him, "Kyle, you know me. I'm Jarod." Kyle responds with, "They said Jarod was dead." And with his gun drawn, he threatens to shoot Jarod, claiming, "I decide who lives or dies." But Jarod has his own gun out and levels it at Kyle saying, "Not this time."

While the two men threaten each other, Miss Parker arrives at The Dragon House with Sydney and her own team of sweepers. When she sees both Kyle and Jarod on the patio in broad daylight she shouts triumphantly, "I hit the lotto!", and races toward the two men. At the same moment, Jarod is just about to pull the trigger on his weapon, when Harriet pushes the gun down and yells, "Jarod! No!"

Before Jarod can ask Harriet what she's doing, he sees Miss Parker racing up behind him. Harriet grabs him by the arm and drags him away. Kyle, also seeing Miss Parker and the sweepers, takes off in another direction. "Which one? Which one!?" the sweepers call to Miss Parker, and she directs them to, "Get Kyle!" first. The sweepers charge after Kyle and tackle him on the lawn. It takes three of them to get him under control. Miss Parker smiles at the capture, but her expression changes drastically when realizes that Raines is watching her from a balcony of the house... and that Jarod has escaped with Harriet Tashman.

In their get-away car, Jarod is furious with Harriet. "You could have gotten us both killed! Why didn't you let me shoot me him?"

Harriet explains: "I stopped you because... Kyle is your brother."

Stunned, Jarod can say nothing in response.

At the Tashman farm, Harriet tells Jarod a little bit about her own background and how she came to be involved with his family. She had been in a nunnery along with another young novice named Catherine Jameson. Harriet went on to take her vows and join the cloister, but Catherine left the convent before her vows were taken to marry a man named Mr. Parker. Harriet tried very hard to remain dedicated to the vows she'd taken, but eventually came to realize that she didn't really have "the calling" required to be a nun, so she left the convent. In 1969, after she inherited the farm, she got a call from the Mother Superior at St. Catherine of the Hills convent telling her that Catherine Jameson. (now Catherine Parker) needed help. Catherine brought a couple -- a man named Charles and a woman named Margaret -- to Harriet and asked her to shelter them. They had had their sons abducted, and were afraid and on the run, and Margaret was 8 months pregnant with her third child -- Jarod's sister, Emily. So, Harriet took them in and hid them. Emily was born one month after they went into seclusion.

Years later, after Harriet lost all contact with Catherine, she started getting threatening mail and telephone calls from Kyle who had some how figured out that she had a connection to his parents. "He was desperate," Harriet tells Jarod. After Harriet was kidnapped (and managed to escape from Kyle), Jarod's family vanished, and Harriet went into hiding herself.

Meanwhile, at The Centre, Mr. Raines has Kyle strapped into a mechanical chair and is using electroshock aversion therapy on him, trying to burn out of his brain what memories he has of The Centre and what had happened to him there. Mr. Parker walks in on the "treatment", and is furious because Kyle hasn't forgotten as much about his time in The Centre as Parker and Raines had hoped he would have. "He remembers too much!" Mr. Parker snaps. "Jarod alone is bad enough!"

Miss Parker barges in on the session, ignores what's being done to Kyle, and demands that her father explain why Mr. Raines has Kyle when she was the one who brought Kyle in. Mr. Parker diverts her attention from Raines and what's going on in the room by telling her angrily that she missed her best chance at capturing Jarod and he got away. "Mr. Raines and I will handle Kyle," he tells her as he all but pushes her out of the room.

Standing in the corridor outside the room, Mr. Parker catches Sydney's attention and asks him if he believes Jarod will ever return to The Centre. Sydney answers that there's nothing in The Centre that Jarod wants, "And Jarod always has an objective." He also tells Mr. Parker that even though no one had ever figured out how Jarod had escaped in the first place, their new security measures were "quite beyond anyone's capabilities, even Jarod's."Seemingly satisfied with the reply, Mr. Parker goes back into the room where Raines has Kyle, and shuts the door. In the corridor, Miss Parker remarks to Sydney that this was the first time she had ever heard Sydney doubt Jarod's ability. Smiling slightly, Sydney replies, "Let's just hope they believed it as much as you did."

Back at the Tashman farm, in the sunshine, warm and relatively safe, Jarod remembers the day (when he was a child) when Raines and a pair of Sweepers came to snatch Kyle away from his space: the room right next to where Jarod was being kept. Jarod remembers looking through a slit in the door, and seeing Kyle being bodily removed from his room and carried away. Kyle kept struggling and crying for Jarod's help, but there was nothing Jarod could do to stop the men from taking him. After Kyle was gone, and the noise of his kidnapping quieted down, Jarod looked up to the screen on the ventilation shaft in his room. Angelo was inside the duct, on the other side of the screen, and slipped down to Jarod the Flying Cross medal Kyle had brought him to The Centre. Jarod took the medal and hid it in a nook behind the sink in his room [just as, in his prison cell, Kyle had hidden one of his blue notebooks.]

At The Centre Hybrid Biotract 42, Miss Parker meets with Sydney and Broots and asks them to help her get in to see Kyle again. She believes Kyle may be responsible for her mother's death and she wants the chance to confront him. Sydney tells her that he's being kept in a special room to which Sydney has no access, and is being monitored by surveillance cameras around the clock from the Tech Room. Broots, who works in the Tech Room, suggests that he might be able to divert attention from Kyle's holding-room long enough for Miss Parker to get a quick visit with Kyle. He'll over-ride the security cameras by feeding them a "loop" of film footage (showing Kyle in the room), and will be able to shut down the door locks for a short period of time.

A short time later, Miss Parker, Broots and Sydney put their plan into action. Sydney distracts one of the guards by asking him for directions to the new accounting offices in the building, and Miss Parker slips past him to the door of Kyle's cell. Broots then distracts the guards watching the surveillance monitors by "accidentally" tipping a cup of hot coffee into his lap. While he's "ooo"-ing and "ouch"-ing loudly from the burning coffee, the guards turn away from the monitors to look at him and shake their heads. While he's got them distracted, Broots feeds the video loop into the camera, so when the guards look back at the monitor they think they're seeing Kyle lying on the bed in his cell, but they're actually just looking at the same piece of video tape, looped over and over again on itself. With the guards distracted, and the security systems down for the moment, Miss Parker slips quickly into Kyle's cell and shuts the door.

Kyle is lying on a fold-up bed, in shackles, but sits up when she enters the room. He looks at her, surprised, and says, "You look just like her." Miss Parker responds with, "That's what they tell me." When Kyle makes no other verbal overtures, Miss Parker sidles up to him cautiously and sits herself on the edge of the bed next to him.

Miss Parker: "You're the one who decides who lives or dies, right?"
Kyle (smiling): "You know my work."
Miss Parker (through her teeth): "Did you kill my mother?"
Kyle's expression goes flat. He even looks a little sad.
Miss Parker (angrier): "Did.. you.. kill.. my.. mother?!"
Kyle: (very softly): "No - "
Miss Parker (almost pleading): "Then who?"

Kyle closes his eyes and tips his head down. Miss Parker rises to her feet and stands in front of him and asks him point-blank, "Was it Mr. Raines?" Kyle opens his eyes and looks up at her but doesn't answer. The two of them then hear the squeak and rattle of Mr. Raines' oxygen tank outside the room, and Miss Parker searches the small cell for a place to hide.

When the door opens and Mr. Raines and some sweepers enter the cell, Miss Parker is nowhere to be seen. Raines has the sweepers take Kyle away, then he himself exits the cell. Sydney stops by the doorway to look in, but can't see Miss Parker either. So as not to draw attention to himself, he doesn't loiter near the door for very long. As soon as everyone is gone, Miss Parker crawls out from under Kyle's bed.

Back at Harriet's farm, Harriet tells Jarod that she may know of someone who can help him find what he's looking for. Jarod: "Who?" Harriet: "Solemn vows die hard. I'll have to go see them. Alone." Jarod tells her it's too dangerous for her to go anywhere by herself, but she tells him she's willing to take the risk, and will be gone for a few days. Jarod tells her he might not be there when she gets back. He tells her that he's spent almost a year trying to find clues to his past, and now the best clue is back in Blue Cove, Delaware. "I'm going to get my brother," he tells her. "I'm going back to The Centre."

Some time later, Sydney stops in his office in the evening to find a lamp on his desk lit, and the word REFUGE spelled out in PEZ candies on the top of the desk. Smiling, Sydney looks around the office and its adjacent room and finds Jarod hiding in the shadows. "God, how did you get in?" Sydney asks, amazed. Jarod isn't sharing his enthusiasm for their reunification, and answers flatly, "The same way I got out." He then demands to know why Sydney never told him the truth about Kyle being his brother. Sydney tells him he didn't know that Jarod and Kyle were related; all he did know was what his own brother Jacob had told him. Before he can elaborate further, however, Sydney is interrupted by the sound of Mr. Raines and the oxygen tank entering his office. As Raines comes in, Jarod pulls back into the shadows and disappears.

Jarod reappears in the cell-like space he was kept in as a child (before he was moved to his larger adult quarters). There are still drawings he'd done taped on the walls, a model of a molecule, an old typewriter. He reaches into the nook behind the sink, but cannot find the Flying Cross he'd once hidden there. He walks around the room, then hears noises in the ventilation duct that connects to the room. He looks up at the screen covering the duct and can see the Flying Cross medal being fed down slowly on its chain through the grate of the screen. Jarod reaches over and takes hold of the medal then steps back as the screen opens out into the room, and Angelo climbs down out of the duct. The two men stand and look at each other, then Jarod grins and says, "Angelo!" He gives Angelo a long hardy embrace, and even laughs a little. Angel smiles crookedly at him, when Jarod pulls back for a moment and says, smiling, "Look at your hair."

Jarod takes another step backwards and his foot lands on a box of Cracker Jacks that Angelo had dropped there. He picks it up, and hands the box back to Angelo saying: "Cracker Jacks... C.J... You're 'C.J.'... You're the one who sent all those letters to Kyle when he was in prison. You've been in contact with him, just like you've been in contact with me." Angelo nods a jerky nod and looks sheepishly at Jarod.

Elsewhere in The Centre, Mr. Raines has Kyle strapped and gagged on an upright diagnostic table. He's talking to one of The Centre doctors, and demands that the doctor perform a frontal lobotomy on Kyle "to bring him peace" -- even though there is no directive from the Tower authorizing Raines to the doctor to do any such thing. Too afraid to confront Raines directly, the doctor promises to have Kyle ready for the operation in 15 minutes. Raines leaves the room, and the doctor follows after him to start up the preparations for the operation. When both of the men are gone, the screen over the ventilation shaft in the room opens up, and Jarod climbs out. He goes directly to Kyle, removes his gag and starts to undo the shackles that bind him to the diagnostic table. Kyle demands to know who Jarod is and why he's helping him.

Jarod tells him, "I'm Jarod."
Kyle: "Raines said Jarod was dead."
Jarod: "Not hardly."

Jarod then tells Kyle that they're brothers, and as proof, he hands Kyle back the Flying Cross medal Angelo had kept for them all these years. Angelo climbs out of the shaft as well, and Kyle smiles at him, recognizing him. Just as the three are getting ready to leave the room, the doctor returns, and Kyle lunges at him, throws him over a table and tries to strangle him. Shouting, "No. No!" Jarod rushes to Kyle and restrains him. "Nobody gets hurt!" Jarod then pushes Kyle toward the ventilation shaft and Kyle asks, "Where are we going?" Jarod answers him with the word, "Home."

When Kyle is safely in the shaft, Jarod stands aside to let Angelo go in next. But Angelo refuses to go with them. He says, "No. I decide who lives or dies," and pushes an alarm button. Sirens and lights go off all over The Centre, and Angelo races out the door of the room into the corridor. Jarod reluctantly leaves Angelo behind, and climbs into the shaft with Kyle. The two of them run through the maze of shafts, and Jarod shows Kyle which set of shafts will take them to a conduit that opens in a field outside of The Centre.

Meanwhile, with the alarms still screaming, Miss Parker gathers a team of sweepers and goes looking for Jarod and Kyle. Through a headset, Broots tells her they're in sub-level 19, then in sub-level 20. She races after them. Broots then tells her that motion detectors indicate that they're in the ventilation shaft directly in front of her in sub-level 20. She levels her gun at the shaft and has sweepers remove the screen there. When she sees Angelo sitting in the shaft, blinking at the noise and lights, she swears into the headset, "Damn it! It's Cousin It!"

Jarod packs Kyle into a van and drives him away from the area. Jarod drives all night, and during the night Kyle awakens beside him in the front seat, thrashing and shouting from nightmares he's having. Jarod settles him down and offers him a PEZ dispenser as a "taste of freedom". Kyle bites the head off the dispenser and yanks the candy out with his teeth. When, later, Kyle creates an origami swan (just like Jarod often made as a child), Jarod is pleased to find, "You do remember." But Kyle warns him, "That Kyle was a million years ago, Jarod. By the time I broke from The Centre, my head was mush. All I could think about was finding my... finding our parents, and if anybody got in my way I just ran over 'em. Before long, I was running from the law. By the time I figured things out and got to Harriet... I just... I never wanted to hurt her. I just thought she knew where they were..."

By morning, Jarod drives the van up to Harriet Tashman's farm -- and Kyle recognizes it immediately from the photograph "CJ" had sent him in prison. Jarod takes Kyle up to the loft above the barn and shows him where their parents lived. Kyle says he can "feel" them, but that "they don't have faces." Jarod tells him that's "because we don't remember; or The Centre wouldn't let us remember." He then shows Kyle the baby crib and tells him about their sister, Emily, "She was born after we were gone."

Back at The Centre Miss Parker is forcing Angelo to "absorb" as much information about both Kyle and Jarod as he can in the hopes that he'll be able to tell her where they went. When Angelo starts snarling and thrashing around, Broots worries that they should have put Angelo on a tether. And when Angelo doesn't respond to Miss Parker's demands for information, Sydney tells her, "Just let this 'quack' handle it, hmmm?" and he walks up to Angelo, addressing him as, "Jarod".

Sydney squats down in front of Angelo and tells Angelo/Jarod that if he's truly been able to absorb Jarod's personality then Angelo/Jarod must know that Sydney is trying to help him, and that he is the only one who can protect Angelo/Jarod and Angelo/Kyle from Mr. Raines. In response, Angelo pushes Sydney backwards... to get him off the photograph of the Tashman farm Sydney had been covering with his foot. Angelo/Jarod picks up the photograph and holds it out to Sydney saying in a small voice, "Going home... Safe here..."

Miss Parker snatches the photograph away from Sydney and walks out of the room with it, not realizing that Mr. Raines has been eaves-dropping on their experiment with Angelo, knows about the photograph, and knows where Miss Parker is going.Later, we see Mr. Raines on the phone to FBI Special Agent Corkus. "Do you want to know where John Doe is?" he asks.

At the Tashman farm, Harriet returns to find Jarod walking around the barn. She says she has some good news for him, but she's startled to find that Kyle is there, too. Afraid, she ducks in behind Jarod, but Jarod tells her that it's all right. "We all want the same thing now." Kyle looks out through the barn doors, and notices several sedans driving up the dirt road toward the farm. "Someone's coming," he tells Jarod. Jarod steps up next to him, sees the FBI vehicles, and tells Kyle and Harriet that they all have to leave.

Jarod drives the get-away van, with Harriet in the front next to him, and Kyle sitting in the cargo area in the back. Corkus and his FBI agents pursue the van through dirt roads and into a hilly area, where Corkus manages to shoot one of the van's back tires. Jarod loses control of the van, and it rolls over several times. No one inside the van was wearing seatbelts, so when the van flipped over, they were all thrown around. Jarod and Harriet are bruised, but Kyle's injuries look worse. There's blood on his arm, forehead and running from his mouth. He also tells Harriet and Jarod that his leg is broken. They are willing to carry him out of the van, but he demands, "Jarod, go! Find our parents!" He then hands Jarod his Flying Cross medal (which both brothers assume was a gift to Kyle from their father), and begs Jarod, "Don't tell them what I became." Jarod doesn't want to leave Kyle behind, but Harriet pulls at him to leave.

Jarod flees with Harriet and is running up a hill when the FBI agents arrive, approach the van and start shooting. Some of the gunfire strikes the vans' gas tank and the van explodes in a huge, thundering fireball. On the hillside, Jarod sees the explosion and screams, "No!", but Harriet doesn't let him loiter there. She pulls him out of sight and then gets him to stop running for a moment. She tells him they have to split up, and she hands him a piece of paper: it gives him directions to a coffee house in Boston, Massachusetts, where Jarod's family will come to meet him. He hardly has time to thank Harriet before she hurries away... and disappears.

At The Centre, Miss Parker overhears a discussion between Mr. Parker and Mr. Raines. Parker says he's got a lead on Jarod -- based on a phone tap they had had on St. Catherine's convent for over 30 years -- and he wants Raines to go to Boston and bring Jarod back to The Centre. Miss Parker contrives to get Sydney and Broots to Boston, too, and they arrive almost at the same time as Jarod. Miss Parker gives Broots a gun -- "It's hot, and good to go." -- and also offers one to Sydney, but Sydney shows her that he's brought his own gun.

Out on the sidewalk, beside a busy intersection, near a pizza parlor, Jarod is walking briskly. He's so intent on his purpose that he doesn't notice the black sedans and black-dressed sweepers (male and female) who are following him at a discreet distance, and moving themselves into position.

[The entire scene following was done in slow-motion, without dialog, and with nothing but a touching musical score in the background.]

Jarod watches some of the traffic go by the sidewalk, and he notices a taxi cab with three people sitting in the back seat: two women and a man. The woman seated on the driver's side of the back seat, nearest the side of the street on which Jarod is walking, is seen in profile. It's Jarod's mother, Margaret. Jarod watches as the cab pulls up to the curb in front of him. The back door of the cab opens, and Margaret steps out onto the sidewalk several meters ahead of Jarod. She looks up the street trying to see if she can find him. We also see for a brief moment, a younger woman lean out of the back of the taxi. Like Margaret, she has dark red hair. We assume this is Emily. She, too, is looking for Jarod.

From behind Margaret we see Jarod mouth the word, "Mom?", and then see Margaret turn to face him: the son she hasn't seen for over 30 years. She recognizes him immediately, and is caught between tears and joyful laughter. She covers her mouth with her hands. Jarod takes another step, then stops and mouths the word, "Mom", again and his face opens up with wonder and joy, as though he can't believe she's real. But his expression changes drastically when he realizes that, further up the sidewalk, Sydney is standing close by. From behind Margaret, Sydney mouths the word, "Jarod -", and Margaret looks back to see who's talking. Sydney then looks off to his left, and Jarod follows his line of vision with his own eyes. There's a black Centre sedan parked nearby, and Sweepers are pouring out of it, their guns drawn.

We see Jarod's joy turn to outrage over the betrayal and panic for his mother's safety. We see him shout, "NO!", and then look to his mother and scream, "RUN! GO!" Margaret looks around her, sees the danger, but waits for a moment, not wanting to leave her son again. As a female Sweeper trains a gun on Margaret, Margaret gets back into the cab. Emily draws back into the cab, too, looking very despondent. The cab pulls away from the curb even before Margaret can close the door. She leans out, and we can see her calling to Jarod, "I love you! I love you!" before the door closes, and the cab drives away.

When one of the black sedans filled with Sweepers pulls out to chase after the cab, Sydney steps off the curb into traffic and puts his own body between the sedan and the fleeing cab. The sedan lurches to stop in front of him, close enough so that he can slap his hands on the hood when it stops. Miss Parker rushes off the curb, and drags Sydney away from the sedan. We can see her shouting, "Get out of the way!" She then levels her gun in Jarod's direction, and yells his name. At the same time, we can see the guns of two other Sweepers come up behind Jarod's head, and one of the men puts a hand on his shoulder. Jarod's shock turns to rage --

[We go back to real-time, normal speed, sound and action now.]

--Eyes flashing, furious, he beats the nearest Sweepers into the sidewalk with his bare fists, confiscates one of their guns, and rushes away down an alley. He's stopped almost immediately, however, by the sight of Mr. Raines, standing in a backstreet crossroads in front of him. "Hello, Jarod," Raines says without emotion.

Gun in hand and pointing it at Raines' face, Jarod walks up Mr. Raines growling, "You stole me from my parents. You had the FBI kill my brother, and now you're trying to kill my family. What have I ever done to you!?"

"You exist - " Raines responds flatly.

Directly in front of Mr. Raines now, Jarod raises the gun closer to Raines face and threatens to shoot him point-blank. Raines shows no fear and even seems delighted at the prospect of making Jarod this angry. The gun shakes with Jarod's rage, but then Jarod lifts it up, away from Raines and tells him, "No. I'm not going to let you do to me what you did to my brother. You, leave me alone."

Jarod then turns his back on Raines and runs back up the alley the way he'd come. When Jarod's back is to him, Raines pulls out his own pistol and levels it at Jarod's head. But before he can fire, though, a gunshot is heard from somewhere else, and Raines' oxygen explodes on impact -- engulfing Raines in a flash fire of bright red and white flame. Jarod turns, shocked, to see Mr.Raines stumbling around the alley, aflame, but doesn't stop to help him. He escapes into the city.

Broots, a sweeper, Miss Parker and Sydney all run up to where Raines is now lying on the ground, still burning. The sweeper smothers the fire, while the others watch. Miss Parker quips, "I thought he gave up smoking."

Back at The Centre, Mr. Parker is on the telephone with an as yet unseen "Mr. Lyle". Nervous, Mr. Parker tries to explain to Mr. Lyle what happened in Boston, how Mr. Raines was injured, and why Jarod got away. When Lyle demands to see him, Mr. Parker complains, "Why? Let's talk now." The plea has no effect, and stuttering slightly, Mr. Parker agrees to meet with Mr. Lyle shortly. Before Mr. Parker can give a closing "goodbye", Mr. Lyle hangs up on him.

Miss Parker enters the office and says she wants to talk to her father. He seems pleased to see her, but when she starts asking questions about Raines "accident" and about her mother's death, Mr. Parker become evasive, "There are no easy answers... There are still great repercussions from your mother's death. When I can tell you more, I will. Trust me." Frustrated, Miss Parker's eyes fill with tears, but she fights back the urge to cry outright. When sweepers come to take Mr. Parker to see Mr. Lyle, Miss Parker just stares at all of them in disbelief. This is the first time she's realized that her father wasn't the overwhelming force in The Centre she believed him to be. After her father is "escorted" from the room, she gasps, catching her breath, and shakes her head, still not wanting to believe what she's just seen.

Later, when Miss Parker is in Sydney's office talking to Sydney and Broots, Broots shows them the ballistics reports on the bullet that struck Mr. Raines' oxygen tank. It doesn't match the bullets in any of the guns used by Centre personnel. They don't know who had shot at Raines.

Days later, Jarod -- dressed in a pale suit, standing outdoors -- calls Sydney on his cell phone and tells Sydney that even though he's tired, he's never going to give up looking for his family. He then asks Sydney to tell him where Kyle's body was buried. Sydney tells Jarod that the fire in the van burned so hot for so long that it incinerated Kyle's remains. There was no body left to bury. Irritated that he's again being left with "nothing", Jarod goes silent for a moment. In that silence, Sydney warns him that the forces at The Centre are more determined now than ever to find him, and he asks Jarod if Jarod knows what he's going to do next. Jarod answers, "I have a few ideas... Catch me if you can."

Jarod then shuts off the cell phone, puts his sunglasses on and smiles up into the sky. In the lenses of the glasses we can see the reflection of the launching of the space shuttle.

DISCOVERIES: Highlights magazine ("Goofus" and "Gallant"). Jarod also discovered that he had siblings; discovered his family was still alive; and discovered that Angelo was "CJ".

TRIVIA: The hotline to call the FBI with leads on John Doe was posted as 555-3434

OUR REVIEW: Of the entire first season, this was the best episode to date, containing more information, more insight and more personal drama than any of the previous episodes. The scene near the end during which Jarod and mother see each other for the first time in 30 years was a heart-wrencher.. and we felt their anguish when they (and we) realized they weren't going to be able to close enough to one another to touch. That scene also highlighted Weiss's ability to act his way through a whole scene without really having to utter a word. In his eyes and facial expressions we could easily read Jarod's thrill, his love for his mother, his joy at seeing her, and then his waves of anguish, fear, rage and resolve. What a treat.


IMAGES FROM "THE DRAGON HOUSE"

Images from The Dragon House

(1) Jarod threatens Kyle with a gun when they meet face-to-face at The Dragon House; (2) Jarod listens to Harriet tell him about his family; (3) Jarod appears from the shadows in Sydney's office at The Centre; (4) Jarod reaches for the Flying Cross medal; (5) at The Centre, Jarod talks to Angelo; (6) Jarod reassures Harriet that Kyle isn't a threat to her anymore; (7) Jarod and Kyle spot the FBI agents coming in to re-capture Kyle; (8) Jarod sees the van, with Kyle presumably inside, explode; (9) Jarod confronts Mr. Raines in Boston; (10) Jarod calls Sydney to tell him to "Catch me if you can."

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Ness: Obviously a reference to Elliot Ness, famed agent who was part of "The Untouchables".


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