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The Pretender

Season 1 Episode 2

Every Picture Tells A Story

Aired Saturday 9:00 PM Sep 28, 1996 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
78 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - Miss Parker and Sydney once again miss Jarod at the Y.M.C.A. He's now posing as a member of the Coast Guard trying to figure out the truth behind the death of a man who was lost at sea waiting for rescue. Jarod also befriends a hermit who lives out at sea and refuses to come back to land.moreless

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  • Jarod tries to get justice for a man who was wronged by men in a search-and-rescue crew.

    What I liked about this was the subplot with William Sanderson.

    It showed the humane way Jarod treated and interacted with people that were marginalized. He understood that every person impacts on others, so he tried to respect everyone, except those who showed themselves unworthy of it.

    The subplot about the lady flier seemed tacked on; either they should have left the obvious pregnancy plot out or made that a bigger subplot- like she was the fisherman's sister or something along those lines.

    Overall, a good yet typical early episode.moreless
William Sanderson

William Sanderson

Roy Abbot

Guest Star

Jacob Vargas

Jacob Vargas

Javi Padillo

Guest Star

Pat Skipper

Pat Skipper

Paul Bilson

Guest Star

Jon Gries

Jon Gries


Recurring Role

Ryan Merriman

Ryan Merriman

Young Jarod

Recurring Role

Alex Wexo

Alex Wexo

Young Sydney

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

  • QUOTES (11)

    • Miss Parker: There's nowhere to go this time.
      Jarod: Sydney raised me to believe my mind can take me anywhere.

    • Miss Parker: (to Sydney) I wonder what your science project is up to now.

    • Jarod: You mean someone actually manufactures imitation canine feces?
      Store Clerk: Yup, only they couldn't fit all that on the label so they just call it fake dog poop.
      Jarod: Oh. And why exactly would somebody want fake dog poop?
      Store Clerk: Cause it's funny.
      Jarod: Oh.
      Store Clerk: (after Jarod leaves) It is funny.

    • Kimberly: Didn't you ever eat a cookie as a kid.
      Jarod: They didn't have cookies where I grew up?
      Kimberly: Where did you grow up? Mars?
      Jarod: Sort of.

    • Parker: Well, Broots, what's happened?
      Broots: Well,I'm backtrackinghis call from the other phone. All I know right now is that they're allinternational landlines. I didn't even know that was possible.
      Parker: How long to trace it?
      Broots: Uh, that's hard to say. I mean, Jarod's method is so basic, so simple. Uh, twenty-twenty four hours.
      Miss Parker: You have twelve.
      Broots: I can do it in eight.

    • Jarod: I'm surprised you're not down making rounds down corridor fifteen.
      Sydney: Even psychiatrists need a day off.

    • Sydney: Broots' technology is not going to help us track a chameleon. Jarod changes colour. He blends in. We'll get close when he lets us. Patience, Parker. We need patience.
      Parker: Syd, patience may be a soothing catchall for the potato heads in psychogenetic services, but my father and the boys in the Tower equate patience with failure.
      Sydney: But Jarod is a Pretender. He can become anyone he wants to be. We'll never catch him with one of Broots' phone taps.
      Parker: That's what they said about the Unabomber, Syd. And how did they catch that whacked-out prodigy? A letter to mommy. It's the smart ones who always do something stupid.

    • Bilson: This isn't funny.
      Jarod: Oh, you're right. It's terrifying. You're all alone. You can't see anything but water and you start thinking about what might be down there. What just bumped you below the surface? And after a while your nerves will settle down, but unfortunately, that's when your body starts to ache and the only way to stop the pain is to stop treading. But then you start to sink. And in that instant between life and death you think about all the people and all the things you left behind. So you start fighting your way back to the surface. You fight for your life.

    • Bilson: You get me out of here.
      Jarod: Oh, don't worry. You'll be okay. Men have been known to tread water for days.

    • Jarod: They were doing the '70s which, as you know, I missed.

    • Jarod: (after a threat to have him court martialed) A court martial, it won't exactly affect me. You see, I'm not really a lieutenant. In fact, I'm not really in the Coast Guard!

  • NOTES (0)


    • Miss Parker speaking of Jarod says he is a regular Siegfried and Roy, due to him escaping their grasp, this is a reference to a very popular Vegas magic act featuring the two men. They became infamous when one of their pet tigers, who they use in their act, attacked Roy during a live performance, causing serious injuries.

    • Jarod's surnames: Spitz (referencing swimmer Mark Spitz. This could also be a reference to Henry Spitz, a Nuclear and Radiological Engineer, since Jarod saves a nuclear power plant at the beginning of the episode), Campbell.

    • Simulation: 4-13-1970
      Jarod performs a simulation dated April 13, 1970. His solution is to use the gravitational force of the moon. This was also the solution to the infamous Apollo 13 mission, which would've been occurring at the same time. Thus hinting at the fact this sim could've been sold to NASA.