Back From the Dead Again
Nov. 1, 1997
James Whitmore Jr.
Steven Long Mitchell & Craig Van Sickle
Back From the Dead Again
AT THE COLONIAL COLLEGE MEDICAL SCHOOL IN PHILADELPHIA, PA, Jarod -- as Jarod Howard, Ph.D.* -- pretends to be an instructor of a class, working with a Dr. Fein to teach medical students about gross anatomy. Jarod becomes particularly close to three of his students, Cloe, Joel and Fernando (whose brother, Enrique disappeared a year earlier). Cloe is an eager student, anxious to learn and able to cope with almost anything put in front of her. Joel is willing to learn, but suffers from too much "bluster" and not enough "guts". (When faced with the task of removing a heart from a cadaver, he gets sick and has to leave the room.) Fernando is calm and methodical... He talks with Jarod about the disappearance of Enrique, but has come to the quiet conclusion that his brother is dead -- even though no one has found his body yet. He says his only concerns are: he hopes his brother didn't die in fear, and he hopes to someday find the body so he can give it the proper burial it deserves. During their discussion Jarod remarks that some cultures believe that the link between brothers is so strong that one can feel the other's pain. Fernando asks Jarod, "Do you have a brother?" Jarod answers, "Yes." When Fernando follows up with, "Do you feel his pain?” Jarod answers with a sad smile: "Every day."
As the episode progresses, viewers discover that during his off hours Dr. Fein is conducting a series of experiments, trying to perfect, he says, a revolutionary cardiac/ blood pressure medication. The truth is, Jarod learns, that Dr. Fein is really a sort of back-street Frankenstein experimenting on homeless people: killing them and then attempting to re-animate them with his formulas. Unfortunately, one of his subjects failed to survive. This ghoulish "death" theme is furthered in the episode by Jarod's own pursuit of the reason for the recent, recurrent nightmares he has been having.
AFTER THE DEATH OF HIS BROTHER, KYLE, Jarod had left the United States and sought refuge in Mexico, posing as a cloistered monk in the St. Octavio de Lourdes Monastery in Cuernavaca. There, his brother monks later revealed to Sydney, Broots and Miss Parker, Jarod had isolated himself in his cell, suffered night terrors, and seemed to manifest symptoms of a great "sadness in his soul". When they enter the cell where Jarod had kept himself, Sydney, Broots and Miss Parker find the place decorated not with religious icons, but with symbols of death and "The Day of the Dead" (a Mexican holiday during which the deceased are revered and remembered). Among the decorations are two small hand-made coffins. One coffin contains a blue notebook (like the ones used by Kyle), and Sydney explains that it was probably a symbol of Jarod's grief and his "search for closure in the loss of his brother". The second small coffin is empty, and Broots asks what that means. Sydney explains that he believes it means... "Someone is going to die."
BACK IN THE UNITED STATES and ensconced at the college, Jarod's nightmares continue, and are so severe that he is often afraid to go to sleep. He tells Sydney during a telephone conversation, "Every time I close my eyes, I go somewhere... Somewhere terrible." He sees himself, in his nightmares, in a laboratory in The Centre. There he is forced onto a steel examination table by several designer-suited men, strapped down, injected with drugs, and shoved into a coffin like cryo-chamber... where he.... can't remember what happens next. The dreams never conclude as they should. Sydney suggests that the nightmares are connected somehow to the death of Kyle, but Jarod tells Sydney that he'd already comes to terms with his brother's death. The nightmares, he insists, are about something else... about time Jarod lost during the last three weeks in October one year before he escaped from The Centre. There are no DSAs in his collection, Jarod tells Sydney, to account for that time. "I need to know what you did to me," Jarod demands. "I need to know." Sydney says he doesn't know how to account for the lost DSAs, but promises Jarod he will try to find him some answers.
After having Broots hack into Mr. Raines' computer archives, Sydney, Broots, and Miss Parker discover the truth about Jarod's "lost time". Sydney also recalls that he had been away during that time, forced by Raines to leave the country and go to Europe to a symposium, and that it was while he was gone, unable to protect Jarod, that horrible things were done to Jarod... But before Sydney is able to contact Jarod and tell him what he's discovered, Jarod, while in pursuit of the truth about Dr. Fein's experiment, forces his nightmarish memories to the surface and recognizes them for what they are himself.
BREAKING INTO DR. FEIN'S LAB, Jarod comes across the same type of paraphernalia that had been littering his own nightmares: a steel exam table, restraining straps, hypodermic needles, defibrillation paddles, and drugs such as adrenalcordezine... Faced with such clues and evidence, Jarod's repressed memories surface: During the "lost time", while Sydney was away in Europe, Jarod had been subjected, against his will, to "flat-lining" experiments conducted by Mr. Raines and Mr. Lyle. Jarod was kidnapped from his rooms, dragged to a sublevel laboratory and killed with an overdose of cardiac medication, only to be resuscitated later by Raines. Apparently, this wasn't a one-time occurrence, since the archival records stolen by Broots -- which contained images of a terrified, screaming and combative Jarod -- suggested that Jarod knew what was going to happen to him, and fought desperately to escape. Viewers are lead to insinuate that Raines and Lyle had done the same experiment on Jarod repeatedly during the period Sydney was absent from The Centre. When Jarod didn't immediately recover from the experiment (shown on the stolen DSA), Raines was forced to revive him with several repeated blasts from the de-fib paddles. (The reasoning behind the experimentation was not revealed, but its existence went far to explain the cause Jarod's nightmares, and his loathing for Raines.)
Later in the episode, Jarod learns that, a year earlier, Dr. Fein had been conducting his own experiments as usual, when one of his human guinea pigs, a derelict named "Broadstreet Bill", died and could not be resuscitated. Dr. Fein took the body to his brother, Sheldon Fein, a mortician who regularly supplied unclaimed cadavers to the college for dissection, and demanded that the body be cremated immediately. The Feins were both startled, however, when Enrique (Fernando's brother), then a med-student who worked part-time at the mortuary, recognized Bill and expressed his shock and distress over the death. Later, while Enrique (as the mortician's assistant) prepared a grave for one Marisa Hall, a woman who had died of natural causes, Enrique was attacked by Dr. Fein, forced into Hall's empty coffin, and buried alive. Dr. Fein then took Hall's body to the medical school, and placed it among the other cadavers there (which were used for dissection and study by the medical students).
After confronting Sheldon Fein with the murder of Enrique and the placement of Hall's body in the college's morgue, Jarod then successfully lures Sheldon's brother, Dr. Fein, to the same cemetery where Enrique was killed. There, on Halloween night, Jarod maneuvers Fein into a life-sized home-made coffin (fit with a glass window in the lid), and locks him inside of it. Jarod then proceeds to shove the coffin into a freshly dug grave, and "buries" the doctor alive in it: shoveling dirt onto the coffin until Fein hysterically confesses to his crime.
With Fein still screaming and clawing at the top of the coffin, Jarod steps away from the grave where a neighborhood kid, a boy named Bruno (whom Jarod had befriended earlier in the episode) is waiting. He hands Bruno the evidence he has gathered in regards to Fein's experiments and Enrique's murder (including a tape recording of Fein's in-coffin confession), and tells Bruno to call the authorities "in about fifteen minutes." Bruno, concerned, asks Jarod if the man has enough oxygen to survive in the coffin for fifteen minutes, and Jarod answers, "Yes. But he doesn't have to know that."
His job finished, Jarod then goes trick-or-treating, costumed as that scariest thing he can think of: an oxygen-tank toting Mr. Raines.