Dec. 13, 1997
IN BALTIMORE, MARYLAND (the same place where the first season Christmas episode "Not Even a Mouse" took place), Jarod first appears as an Arctic Craze street-side ice cream vendor. He's met on the sidewalk by a neighbor buddy, a young man name Trevor, who thanks him for getting rid of the former ice cream salesman -- who had sold drugs to the kids in the neighborhood on the side. Trevor has a "Magic 8-Ball" toy, and shows it to Jarod, telling him that if he shakes the ball and asks it a question, the ball will give him an answer. Jarod closes his eyes, shakes the ball, and asks if he'll ever find his family. The ball answers with a cryptic: BETTER NOT TELL YOU NOW.
Jarod returns to his "home" in a warehouse where the Arctic Craze ice cream trucks are also housed, and turns on the television set. There is a news bulletin airing: two federal agents have been wounded in a well-orchestrated assault on the van in which a federal witness was being transported. The witness is Emma Barrett, a woman who saw yakuza (Japanese mafia) boss Sammy Tanaka gun down a rival drug dealer in a daylight shooting. [She and her son, Max, had been exiting a pet store at the time the assault took place, and Max had been killed in the crossfire. For over a year she had been living in hiding, waiting for the opportunity to testify in court against Tanaka. While the federal agents were transporting her to a safe house, their motorcade was attacked, and Barrett was kidnapped.]
The newscaster describes the kidnapping as something out of a movie: a fake automobile accident had been staged to distract agents, and colored smoke bombs were set off in the area from several locations. Automatic weapons fire blanketed the area in bullets which hit two of the agents. One agent, the driver of the transport van, Jeffrey Edwards, was killed; another agent, Russell Gillson, was shot in shoulder but survived. Jarod recognizes the scenario immediately.
When he was in The Centre, shortly before he escaped, he had aided Sydney in Simulation 2578, which had been described to him as a "rescue scenario". Jarod was asked to figure out how to rescue a victim from a van in a heavily armed motorcade. He had suggested that smoke bombs be placed in strategic locations... that gunfire be used to confuse the members of the motorcade... and that an accident be staged to render the van vulnerable to attack. The driver of the van in which the victim was being held would have to be killed, Jarod had concluded sadly, in order for the plan to work.
Realizing that his simulation had been perverted from a rescue mission to an assault mission in which people were injured and killed and a woman was kidnapped, Jarod nearly breaks down in tears. He immediately calls Sydney and demands to know what's going on. Sydney and Miss Parker tell Jarod that The Centre isn't in the kidnapping business, but (having been kidnapped by The Centre himself once) Jarod is not convinced. If Sydney and Miss Parker don't know what's going on, then the assault must have staged by Mr. Lyle, Jarod concludes.
"No one is going to die anymore!" Jarod warns Sydney through his teeth. "If it's a war The Centre wants, it's what you will get!"
Jarod figures out that Mr. Lyle has formed an alliance with Sammy Tanaka and his yakuza, and has promised to deliver Emma Barrett to them in exchange for $10 million. If Barrett is in Tanaka's hands (or dead) she can't testify against him in court. It was Lyle's men who subverted Jarod's simulation and kidnapped Barrett.
Under the guise of a DOJ (Department of Justice) agent, Jarod tracks Emma down to a ramshackle motel where Centre operatives are holding her until the night of the transfer, but when he tries to rescue her, he's nearly run down by the Centre's van. Emma vanishes again, and Jarod doesn't know where to look for her next. He calls Sydney and requests his help, not really expecting Sydney to be able to do much of anything.
SYDNEY APPEARS IN BROOTS HOME the day before the Tanaka hearing, and asks him to break into Mr. Lyle's files and find out where Emma Barrett is. He assumes she's being kept in a Centre safe house, but he doesn't know where it is. Broots has just regained custody of his daughter, Debbie, and doesn't want to compromise her safety by crossing Mr. Lyle, whom Broots describes as a lunatic. Sydney nods in understanding, and leaves. Then almost as soon as Broots turns around, Jarod comes walking down the staircase from the home's upper floor. Startled and terrified, Broots runs into the dining room, and then into the living room area and picks up the phone to call The Centre... but forgets the number. Jarod takes the phone from his hand, and demands his help in finding Emma. Broots explains his custody situation to Jarod, and tells him the same thing he told Sydney: he's afraid to do anything for fear that Lyle will take revenge on Debbie.
As their conversation progresses, however, Broots realizes that he won the custody battle over Debbie because Jarod had seen to it that the judge overseeing the case was made aware of the fact that Broots' ex-wife had squandered Debbie's child-support money on a gambling binge in Las Vegas. Broots is grateful, but still reluctant to help Jarod find Emma. Jarod shows him a photo of Emma's dead son, Max, and again demands that Broots assist him.
MEANWHILE, AT THE CENTRE, we learn that Mr. Parker and Mr. Raines are working together to trip up Lyle. They want him out of The Centre so they can have their prestigious positions back, but first they have to convince the Triumvirate that Lyle is a liability. They contrive to louse up Lyle's transfer of money for Barrett with Tanaka's yakuza.
First, they see to it that Miss Parker acts as the only translator for the yakuza -- headed by Tony Tanaka, Sammy's son, a man with whom Miss Parker has spent a "long, hot college summer" with in Tokyo one year. Tony remembers Parker, and seems pleased to see her. She's shocked, however, when she notices that one of his hands is bandaged and his thumb is missing. He explains only that his father is a "very exacting" man who doesn't tolerate failure. It is the yakuza's way to remove the fingers of "offending" parties. Miss Parker and Tony have a small bit of fun talking in Japanese in front of Mr. Lyle (who doesn't understand the language) and insulting him to his face without his knowing it. Throughout their conversation Miss Parker refers to Mr. Lyle as "our illustrious pin-head", and Tony notes that his father warned him never to trust a man "whose nose is as brown as Mt. Fuji in the summer." What Miss Parker and Tony Tanaka don't know is: Mr. Parker and Mr. Raines also plan to steal the $10 million Lyle is going to get for the Barrett woman, by having Miss Parker type in a wrong access code when the electronic transfer of funds takes place.
Unbeknownst to Miss Parker, Mr. Lyle or anyone else, Broots breaks into Mr. Lyle's office and telephones the information about the location of the safe house to Jarod. The night of the transfer, Miss Parker, Mr. Lyle, Tony Tanaka and members of the yakuza and The Centre's sweeper team arrive at the safe house where Barrett is being kept. They don't know it, but Jarod is there, too.
Before Barrett is turned over to Tony Tanaka, Lyle insists that the electronic transfer of funds takes place. A lap-top computer is set up and Miss Parker types in the transfer code given to her by Mr. Raines. Everyone watches as computer-generated graphic shows the money drain from the Tanaka account into The Centre's account. But then, suddenly, the money sifts out of The Centre's account as well... and disappears. Lyle thinks Tony Tanaka has betrayed him and taken the funds back; Tanaka thinks Lyle has re-routed the money into a private account and is stealing it for himself, and the two (and all of their henchmen) point guns at each other. Before anyone can fire off a shot, however, one of the sweepers comes crashing down the stairs from the upstairs bedroom. Miss Parker rushes to him and asks him what happened. He says only: "Jarod."
Realizing that Jarod has used the distraction of the transaction to nab Barrett, Miss Parker rushes outside to try to catch him, but he's already speeding away with Barrett in a jeep.
JAROD TAKES BARRETT TO THE ARCTIC CRAZE WAREHOUSE where he's staying, but she's not sure if she can trust him or not. He says he has to keep her there, for her own protection, until the next morning when he'll take her to the federal court house where she can testify against Sammy Tanaka in the killing of her son, Max. Exhausted, Jarod later dozes off and is awakened by the beeping alarm on his wrist watch. When he goes to retrieve Emma from her room, he finds she is gone - escaped through a small window. Shortly afterwards, Jarod finds Emma at the grave of her son, and convinces her to return to the courthouse with him to testify.
AT THE COURTHOUSE on the day of the hearing, Miss Parker, Sydney and The Centre's sweeper team are all around the courthouse building, but there are no federal agents around, and no special security. Miss Parker believes it is because the Feds think Barrett is dead. Ten minutes before the hearing starts, the sound of gunfire floods the outside of the courthouse and smoke bombs go off around the perimeter. Miss Parker recognizes the whole thing as a diversionary tactic, and runs into the courthouse, with some of the sweepers and Sydney, guns drawn. She doesn't make it through the metal detectors. Security people stop her before she can pass.
Inside the courtroom, the judge is about to dismiss the case because witness has not shown up to testify, when Jarod escorts Barrett into the court room and identifies her. The judge, and Barrett's attorney, are glad to see that Barrett is safe, but Tanaka is furious. He's made even more angry when Jarod makes a point of approaching Special Agent Russell Gillson (who had been around during the initial kidnapping and was shot in the shoulder), and saying -- loud enough for Tanaka to hear -- "thank you" for all of his help in getting Mr. Tanaka put in jail. Jarod had come to the conclusion earlier that The Center couldn't have executed the kidnapping so effectively without "inside" help. He believed Gillson was the turncoat: evidenced by the fact that although Gillson said he'd tried to return fire during the gun battle (at the kidnapping), he'd actually not fired a single shot, and did nothing to interfere with the kidnapping. Telling Mr. Tanaka that Gillson was, in part, responsible for his facing a prison sentence, Jarod knew, Tanaka would not allow Gillson to live. Gillson understands this too, and looks across the courtroom at Tanaka, his eyes widening with fear.
As Jarod readies to leave the courtroom, Miss Parker and two of her sweepers enter, and threaten to grab him. He tells the bailiffs that he's DOJ, and that Miss Parker and her men are wanted fugitives. He orders the bailiffs to put them under arrest. The bailiffs oblige and Jarod leaves as Miss Parker is being handcuffed.
With Sammy Tanaka in prison, Barrett safe under federal protection, and Gillson plea-bargaining for his life, the whole situation seemed to have been settled nicely... but not for Mr. Lyle. He lost Barrett, and he lost the $10 million he'd promised the Triumvirate (this is on top of the other millions he'd lost in a previous episode), and he'd put The Centre at risk. The Triumvirate isn't happy with him at all... and neither is Tony Tanaka. As Mr. Lyle leaves The Centre's parking lot one afternoon, we see his convertible being followed by a carload of yakuza assassins, who will, presumably, want more from him than just his thumb.
INSIDE THE CENTRE, Mr. Raines and Mr. Parker are celebrating their triumph over Mr. Lyle, but their happiness is short-lived. When Raines checks into the account where the $10 million dollars was supposed to be, he finds the account is completely empty. The money has been stolen -- by Jarod, with help from Sydney (who told him what the access code to the account was) -- and will, Jarod promises, be used to help other people.
Along with his "thank you" for Sydney’s help, Jarod sends Sydney the gift of a "Magic 8-Ball" toy. Sydney shakes the ball and asks it if Jarod will ever come home to him. The ball answers: BETTER NOT TELL YOU NOW.