The Pretender Episode Guide
A trip down memory lane.
Episode Guide | Crazy
Teleplay by: Steven Long Mitchell and Craig Van Sickle
Directed by: Fred Keller
Original Air Date: 10-17-98
Jarod pretends to be a psychiatric patient to rescue a sane woman who is being held there under heavy medication by an unscrupulous doctor.
As mentioned in the write up of the ‘PRISON STORY’, this episode was one we’d intended for season one but we had to wait for season three to finally produce. All things considered, it was the perfect story to kick off the new season.
The idea of Jarod locked in an asylum, pretending to be crazy, while telling the psychiatrist the truth about his past (which only made him sound more crazy) served us in two ways. First, it was a great way for us to wonder if Jarod had, in fact, finally ‘lost it’, something even Sydney held out as a possibility of the pressures of Jarod’s life finally coming back to haunt him. And secondly, having Jarod tell his psychiatrist his true life story about being taken from his family as a child and raised by an organization that exploited his gift as a Pretender, also served as a great re-education for continuing fans and a crash course in Pretender history for new viewers.
The show was a classic ‘Pretender’. Jarod pulling off a convincing ruse about his shattered psyche to gain the confidence of the doctors, while his real motive is to help a patient who is very much sane, but being held by doctors who drug her to keep her mentally unstable and therefore confined. It has a classic takedown and was an all around excellent show.
On the Centre side, this episode served as a great way to redefine Miss Parker’s resolve and course of action as she pursued the killer of her mother, the trail of which now lead to Jarod’s father as the perpetrator. This revelation really allowed the focus of catching Jarod to turn more personal than it had been, and that resolve fueled Miss Parker on her quest even more – that, and the fact that she learns for sure that Mr. Lyle is her brother.
All and all, we we’re very pleased with this episode. Andrea Parker and Michael T. never looked better and the series really began to mature during the filming of this show.
The location of the psychiatric institute was a magnificent abandoned school/estate called Anoakia, in Arcadia. The school was named after the owner’s daughter, Anita, and his favorite tree, the oak. The scene in which you see Jarod finding the car with the skeleton in the lake actually took place in an old empty swimming pool on the estate (put a skeleton in an old car, place it inside an empty pool, fill the pool with water and you have movie magic). Michael T. shot those scenes at about midnight, swimming repeatedly into the bright lights, eyes wide open while reacting to the horrific sight.
Sadly, Anoakia has since been demolished.
Little Known Fact:
The scene in which you see Jarod finding the car with the skeleton in the lake actually took place in an old empty swimming pool on the estate.