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The Pretender Episode Guide

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Episode Guide | Unforgotten

Season 2

Unforgotten

Unforgotten-02816-1Written by: Steven Long Mitchell and Craig Van Sickle

Directed by: Steven Long Mitchell

Original Air Date: 3-21-98

#03214

Logline:

Jarod forgets

 

Unforgotten

Unforgotten-00513-1There are two classically cheesy types of episodes we promised ourselves we’d never do. The Clip Show, an episode in which footage from previous shows is re-used for reasons (mainly financial) we won’t go into now, would definitely fall into the category of ‘classic cheese’. The other type is known as The Amnesia Show, the episode where your main character hits his head and doesn’t know who the hell he is. The Amnesia Show, like The Clip Show, is sharp cheddar at its best and if and when the suggestion of doing either was ever made we told ourselves we’d absolutely remain dairy free.

Unfortunately, at this point in the second season of Pretender, we’d arrived at the episode that we’d foolishly promised the studio we’d save some money on and they we’re hell bent on making sure we kept that promise. Suddenly, we found ourselves facing the lactose intolerant reality of doing our first Clip Show. The whole idea of it was making us crazy, we knew we couldn’t stomach the ‘let’s sit around the campfire and tell our favorite stories about Jarod’ kind of Clip Show, the “remember the time when Jarod was a Rodeo clown and his chaps came loose and bla bla bla bla bla”, taking us into a stupid clip of him riding a bull. Hell, if we opened up that can of cheese, the next thing the studio would demand, would be we knock old Jarod over the head and have him wake up not knowing who he was. Then it dawned on us, that if we combined the concepts that maybe, just maybe, we could come up with a way to de-cheese them. So the working title for this episode was the ‘Amnesia Clip Show’ and when we got done with it, it became ‘Unforgotten’.

Unforgotten-01753aAlthough we’ve all seen the episode where the main character has amnesia and doesn’t know who he is, the more we thought about it, the more we realized this Amnesia Show was going to be totally different. Once it dawned on us how cool it was to have a character forget who he is, who, when he doesn’t have amnesia, really doesn’t know who he is, we were off and running. We also realized it would be pretty terrifying if, as a character’s memory started to return and he started having flashes to the self, he remembered, that the self he remembered was a different person every time. We further thought that it would be cool to juxtapose Jarod trying to remember who the Jarod that flashes in his mind is and what that Jarod meant to him, to the Centre characters brought before a Centre inquisition, remembering the Jarod that flashes in their minds and what that Jarod meant to them. That’s how we came up with ‘Unforgotten’ and not only did it end up not having a cheesy aftertaste, it became a damn good episode.

‘Unforgotten’ was also an episode that had several ‘firsts’. It was the first time we saw the infamous Centre T-Board, it was the first time we started a show with Jarod in the midst of a takedown, it was the first time that the character of Argyle (and his dog, “Dog”) appeared in the series and it was the first time one of the Executive Producers (Steve) directed an episode. (It was also the first time we handcuffed our star to a bed for more than half a show, but that first had more to do with the novice director than the discipline of the star).

Unforgotten-01420-1We’d never planned on bringing the hopelessly pathetic character of Argyle back, but Leland Orser’s performance blew us away. After the first few takes were filmed, we started thinking of a way to bring him back. We’re thrilled we did.

In the last beat of the show, Jarod has strapped the bad guy to the grill of his 18-wheeler and took him on a joy ride. The shot was not only perfect on its first take, but it was damn funny to see something that ridiculous in real life. So being a first time director, we shot it over and over – just cause it was funny.

 

 

 

Little Known Fact:

In the last beat of the show, Jarod has strapped the bad guy to the grill of his 18-wheeler and took him on a joy ride. The shot was not only perfect on its first take, but it was damn funny to see something that ridiculous in real life. So being a first time director, we shot it over and over – just cause it was funny.

Steve and Craig

Creators of The Pretender

All images from the TV show belong to FOX. No copyright infringement intended. 

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