Truly an influential show, without The Pretender I highly doubt there'd be a fan base for action/adventure show like Alias, 24 or even Prison Break. Yes they would have eventually gained fans but The Pretender opened up our mind to the subject of someone running against the law/finding themselves.
Series arc, is something that I find many series can't do well, X-Files and Alias, both shows I will say had great ones but I felt were extended a little to long. Take X-Files, Mulder's search for his supposed abducted sister and when it came time to resolve it (Season 7) it was a complete letdown. Alias, Rambaldi device I thought was something that could destroy the world or cause something huge but instead it turned out to only be immortality for one single person, wow! The Pretender on the other hand gave answers first, to who was he? Then, who/what happened to his parents? and finally, the search for his family. Early closure on the main arc isn't always bad cause in the end you'd automatically find away to create a new and fresh one while the series is still young, but of course still in the line of the original plot.
Characters, were greatly written. The "bad guys" in the end had a good reason for being on that side, instead of "Oh wow, the bad guys get to inflict pain. I should join." The fact that the series showed emotion in their characters (good or bad) shows that they knew the characters/plot in and out. Then just randomly coming up with it on the day of script time.
If your into The X-Files, Alias, La Femme Nikita and or Prison Break then The Pretender is one you should check out indeed. You also get closure for the series with the two later produced movies (The Pretender 2001 and The Island of the Haunted) that greatly wrap up the series, but leaving room for a third one if one ever chooses to surface. Sure, the series may not have lasted long or high but understand when people say "I'll take quality over quantity." they mean it. Just watch this show and you'll defiantly understand that saying. You have nothing to lose but a great show to add to your favorites.
Rating I give, 9 out of 10.