Jan. 10, 1998
Juan Carlos Coto
Steven Long Mitchell, Craig Van Sickle & Juan Carlos Coto
IN OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA; Jarod exits a bus and waits for the next local to take him to his (undisclosed) destination. While he's waiting for the bus, he passes a confectionaries truck that's delivering snack foods to a nearby store. On the cart beside the truck are Hostess-brand cupcakes and Twinkies. Jarod buys one pack of the Twinkies (“Twin...Kies. They come two in a pack.") from the truck driver for $20, and sits down on the bench at the bus stop to eat them. Also on the bench is a man named Dan Healy. He and Jarod strike up a conversation, and show each other their family photos. Despite the congenial conversation, Dan seems somewhat disheartened, and rises slowly when another bus comes into view. Jarod tells him that the in-coming bus is an express that doesn't stop at the site, but Dan doesn't listen to him. Instead, Dan steps out in front of the bus with his arms open wide, and lets the bus run into him. Jarod isn't able to get to Dan before the bus hits him, but stays with him after the collision and keeps him alive until emergency personnel and the police arrive. Dan is severely injured, but doesn't die.
AT THE CENTRE, a jovial Sydney chats with Broots and Miss Parker in the hallway. When Miss Parker remarks on Sydney's effervescent mood, Sydney grins and says, "New underpants will do that to you." He then explains that he had been on a date (with Bernice) to a comedy club. "How many psychiatrists does it take to change one light-bulb?" he quips. While Broots and Miss Parker try to think of an answer, Sydney is distracted by the view of an elderly man exiting The Tower elevator. Sydney's mood darkens instantly, and he leaves Miss Parker and Broots standing in the hallway and rushes to his office. Inside his office, Sydney tears through files and cabinets trying to locate something. He finds it tucked inside an unlabeled hanging folder: it's a drawing done by Jarod... of the same man who stepped out of the elevator. Sydney finds his gun, loads it, and leaves The Centre.
BACK AT THE BUS STOP, after the EMT and police arrive, Jarod steps aside to peruse the site and finds Dan's briefcase, which was crushed in the collision. Jarod removes the briefcase from the site, and takes it to a warehouse where he's set up a make-shift living space for himself. Going through Dan's briefcase, Jarod finds paperwork and a video tape which links Dan to a hazardous materials facility called ECS (Environmental Containment Systems) in Oakland. The video tape shows a news report about three ECS workers who had been killed by a toxic chemical spill when the seal on a containment unit they were handling -- a "polymer, neoprene and graphite" red-seal which had been created by Dan -- apparently gave way while the unit was being loaded onto a transport truck. When the seal broke, deadly concentrated MZT pesticide escaped from the unit, killing the three handlers (by turning their insides into "jelly"). [In its concentrated transportable state, the MZT looks like thick pure-white froth.] The video tape also showed a pack of media hounds chasing Dan and his family to their home and asking repeatedly if Dan himself was responsible for the death of his colleagues: Frank Escondido, Mary Cline, and Larry Meyers. Dan kept repeating to the newshounds, "They were my friends... They were my friends..."
Among the belongings in the briefcase, Jarod also finds Dan's suicide note. Believing that the seal he had created was faulty and caused the accident, Dan blamed himself for the death of his friends. Trying to "punish" himself for their deaths, and trying to alleviate the intense media pressure on his family, Dan stepped in front of the express bus hoping it would kill him. Later, watching a DSA from the early 70's, Jarod recalls a conversation about suicide that he and Sydney had at the time. Sydney told him: "Suicide isn't just an action... it's a cry for help." Wanting to help Dan Healy and his family, Jarod insinuates himself into ECS as an employee under the pseudonym Jarod Dupont, and searches for the truth about the MZT accident that killed Escondido, line and Meyers.
First, Jarod (wearing protective gear) attempts to corrupt a sample of Dan's red-seal by immersing it directly into a container of MZT. Nothing happens. Then Jarod takes a container of MZT, wraps it in Dan's red-seal, hangs the container mid-air from the ceiling, and (unprotected) lays beneath it... for over 5 hours. He trusts that Dan's red-seal won't burst: and it doesn't. Jarod determines that it's not the seal or the MZT alone that were the culprits in the spillage accident. Something else must have introduced into the mix that caused the seal to deteriorate and the container to burst.
MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE CENTRE, Miss Parker and Broots bring Angelo in to Sydney's office hoping he can help them figure out what set Sydney off and where he's gone to. Tying into Sydney's emotional strata, Angelo tears through the office until he, too, comes across Jarod's drawing. Angelo hands the drawing to Miss Parker, and she asks Angelo who the man in the picture is. Angelo answers by going through the litter on the floor of the office until he finds one of Sydney's tarot cards: the one of Le Morte, the figure of a skeleton. Broots asks Miss Parker who Le Morte is, and Miss Parker answers: "The one who brings death."
Later, Angelo absconds with the drawing, takes it to his space in The Centre, and sees to it that a copy of the drawing is scanned and e-mailed to Jarod. When Jarod receives the e-mail transmission, he's flabbergasted, and immediately calls Miss Parker. She's furious over the fact that Jarod seems to always know what's going on in Delaware, and demands to know what he knows about the man in the drawing. Jarod tells her that he doesn't know the man's name, but he DOES know how Sydney feels about him. He tells Miss Parker he hopes she can find Sydney, and can stop him from doing to the man what Jarod fears Sydney will do to him if Sydney finds him. Miss Parker doesn't understand, and Jarod cautions her, “If you care about Sydney at all, go alone. No sweepers. No cleaners," and he hangs up.
IN THE MEANTIME, still in Oakland and determined to find out what the "something" was that corrupted Dan Healy's red-seal, Jarod starts searching through the personnel files at ECS. There are two female workers, Gibbs and Hunsacker, he talks to; a public relations man name Curt Wilkes who seems more interested in the company's image than in Dan's attempted suicide or the previous death of the three workers; and a chemist named Horace Strickland, who has enough skill and seniority to work in Research and Development but stays in Transport, at a lower rate of pay, because, he says, he wants to avoid the "migraines" R&D would give him. Through process of elimination, Jarod rules out everyone but Strickland as a suspect.
BACK IN DELAWARE, Sydney arrives -- gun in hand -- at the home of the man in Jarod's drawing. Sydney binds the man into a chair and threatens to shoot him. Miss Parker arrives before Sydney can pull the trigger, and tries to wrestle the gun from Sydney's hand but fails. She then demands to know who the man is and why Sydney has hunted him down.
Sydney reveals that the man, who is currently living under the name Martin Zeller, is actually Doctor Werner Krieg, a man who, in Europe in 1944, was working on the eugenics projects for the Nazis. Krieg was seeking a way to isolate those genes which could form a "perfect" race of people (Hitler's "Master Race") and accelerate their reproductive capacities. Sydney and his family were not Jewish, but Krieg nevertheless saw to it that everyone in Sydney's family was sent to the gas chambers: except Sydney and his brother Jacob who, as twins, were of interest to Krieg's genetic-tampering processes. [If he could isolate and control the "twin gene", Krieg could, theoretically double the rate at which his "perfect" people could reproduce.] Sydney and Jacob were kidnapped, confined to a concentration camp, and experimented on by Krieg and his associates.
Now...Sydney wants Krieg dead.
Resigned to his fate, Krieg sighs and says to Sydney: "I'm tired of hiding," and, "I know who you work for... the kind of work they do... the kind of work YOU do... If God is dead, we all killed Him..."
After listening to Sydney's story and Krieg's retort, Miss Parker again demands that Sydney give her his gun. He reluctantly turns it over to her, but rather than disposing of it, Miss Parker applies a silencer to it, and hands it back to Sydney. "He's a monster," she says of Krieg. "Do yourself, and the world, a favor." She then steps aside so Sydney has a clear shot at Krieg.
But Sydney cannot shoot him. When Miss Parker asks him why, Sydney explains: "Jarod...", and says of his own work at The Centre: "Don't you see? I became the monster."
BACK IN HIS WAREHOUSE LAIR, Jarod accesses FBI files and bank account files on Strickland and the accident victims... and discovers that Strickland was paying vast amounts of money to Larry Meyers before Meyers' untimely death by MZT. He also discovers that both Strickland and Meyers have felony convictions on file: Strickland for drug smuggling (heroine), and Meyers for extortion. After a little more searching, Jarod figures out what was really going on at ECS.
Strickland, who oversaw the transport of the HazMat (hazardous materials) from ECS to a dumping site in Nevada, would sign out large numbers of containers... but with every shipment, a few never seemed to find their way to Nevada. In one shipment of 52 containers, for example, only 49 were actually delivered to the desert. The other containers, Jarod determines, contained drugs that Strickland was shipping to buyers on the route from ECS to Nevada. Authorities at the border between the states would never open a container marked HAZARDOUS to check inside of it, so Strickland was able to transport large shipments of drugs without being discovered. Meyers, however, somehow figured out what Strickland was doing, and was blackmailing him. The large transfers of money from Strickland's bank account into Meyers' bank account, which Jarod has come across in his research, were the extortion payments Strickland was making to Meyers. In order to stop Meyers from blackmailing him, Strickland orchestrated an accident that would kill him (and anyone else who happened to be nearby).
A chemist, Strickland was able to fabricate a chemical solution that when sprayed on Dan Healy's red-seal would corrode the seal and make it useless. One day, when Meyers, Cline and Escondido were loading units of MZT onto a transport truck (without their protective gear on, because they believed the units were well-contained), Strickland saw to it that a unit with a corroded seal was placed in the load. When the unit was lifted onto the transport, the seal broke, and the container burst open. Everyone around the unit was killed within minutes. It wasn't an accident. It was murder.
Jarod collects all of the information he's discovered into a large envelope and send it to Erin Hunsacker at ECS, but before he does that, he goes after Strickland himself.
As a large shipment at ECS gets ready again for transport, Jarod shows up (in full protective gear) and confronts Strickland (who is walking around the containment units with no gear on) with what he knows about Strickland and Meyers. At first Strickland denies the allegations, and tries to leave. Jarod interferes with his exit, and forces him back toward an empty MZT container. Strickland falls backwards into the unit, and Jarod locks him inside of it.
Jarod initially threatens to leave Strickland in the container and let him be transported to the desert with the rest of the cargo, where he'll be buried in the land fill along with the rest of the containers. When that threat doesn't encourage Strickland to tell the truth, Jarod then connects a pumping unit to the container and starts pouring thick pure-white froth into it, on top of Strickland, and claims that the froth is MZT. Terrified, Strickland admits to his crimes and begs Jarod to get him out of the container before the MZT kills him. Jarod pops the container open, removes his own protective helmet, sticks a finger into the froth, and puts the froth-covered finger into his own mouth. It's not MZT, he explains to Strickland. It's Twinkie filling. (This whole incident is overseen by Jarod's co-worker, Gibbs, who was standing on a catwalk above the storage area. She hears Strickland's confession. That, along with the information Jarod sends to Hunsacker is enough to put Strickland in prison.)
Jarod goes to the hospital where Dan Healy is recuperating, and lets him and his family know that he wasn't responsible for the death of his friends. Grateful, Dan's son, Todd, gives Jarod the gift a fishing lure Dan had made, and tells him the lure is a good luck piece. Jarod thanks him, and leaves the hospital to return to his warehouse lair.
AT THE CENTRE, Miss Parker finds Sydney in his office and informs him that Krieg has been extradited to Israel where he'll face a war-crimes tribunal. She also delivers an express-mail package to him, and then asks him: "How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light-bulb?" Sydney smiles wanly and answers: "Only one. But the light-bulb has to want to change." Miss Parker leaves, and Sydney opens his express-mail package. Inside of it is another, more current, drawing done by Jarod of Sydney and Jacob as children, standing side-by-side, holding candles. Below the signature on the drawing is a pager number and access code.
Sydney calls Jarod, and Jarod asks him if he is all right. Sydney admits that all his life he'd wanted to kill Krieg, but when he finally saw him -- really SAW him -- he saw himself in the man. As the episode ends, Jarod, standing alone in the warehouse, consoles Sydney with: "You're not a monster, Sydney, and... you're still... my 'family'. Tell me something: have you ever been fishing?...Maybe we'll go... someday... just you and me.