Feb. 7, 1998
The episode opens with Jarod watching a DSA from 1971 when he was child. In The Centre, young-Jarod's tray of food is taken away by an attendant, who shows the tray to Sydney before he exits the room. When the attendant leaves, Sydney confronts Jarod and tells him to give back the toothpicks Jarod had pilfered from the food tray. He asks Jarod why he's always stealing the toothpicks, and Jarod answers by showing him a 3-D tooth-pick model of a house he's creating. The house is reminiscent of the house Jarod lived in before he was brought to The Centre, but Jarod isn't sure the construction is accurate because his memories of that home are so vague. Later, in a crying rage, Jarod destroys the model by smashing it to pieces with his bare fists. As attendants take him away, he shouts to Sydney: "I don't have a home, Sydney! I can't remember anything! I don't have a home! I don't have a home!"...In his current lair, the adult-Jarod looks sadly around the room he's in: it isn't "home" either, and he knows it.
The camera jumps to another lair Jarod had only recently, and quickly, vacated. Miss Parker breaks into the place, her gun drawn, and is followed in by Sydney and Broots. She goes through the things Jarod left behind: silk and satin shirts, over $20,000 in designer clothing, a copy of the Kama Sutra... She asks Sydney what it all signifies, and he suggests, "It's a form of expression. Individuality. Strength. To show off his colors... the way a mating animal would."
AT THE WINSOR CREST HOTEL, IN DETROIT, MICHIGAN, Jarod steps up behind an attractive blonde woman who is seated in an outdoor spa. He says, "I have always depended on the kindness of strangers," and the woman turns to him and rises from the spa. She is Isabella, a European countess, and she's been expecting Jarod. She asks him if he prefers the term "escort" or "gigolo". He tells her to give him an hour, and then she can decide for herself. She allows him to escort her from the spa area to her rooms.
BACK AT JAROD'S OLD LAIR, Broots tells Miss Parker and Sydney to meet him in the bathroom. When they come in, they see heart-shaped candies stuck to the mirror in a heart-pattern. Two larger hearts in the center of the pattern read: FOLLOW ME and 1500 HART STREET.
THE NEXT DAY, Jarod, driving a silver convertible, meets his Madam in a parking garage and hands her a "cut" of the money from his night with Isabella. The Madam is impressed with Jarod's "handling" of Isabella, especially in light of the fact that the countess left him the gift of a solid gold watch as a bonus. The Madam slips the watch over Jarod's wrist herself while she asks him what he did to deserve such a present. He answers that he "just listened" to Isabella. Smiling at him, the Madam tells him she doesn't know who should get him next. Jarod suggests that she give him to a building mogul and socialite named Cynthia Sloan; Sloan needs someone to help her fend off would be suitors who keep "hitting" on her.
Although she has Sloan's address on a card, the Madam is at first slow to allow Jarod to attend to her. "Remember, Jarod," she tells him, "they're paying for a fantasy; they're not paying for a man. Can you become someone else?" Jarod pulls his sunglasses down a notch and grins at her, taking Sloan's address from her hand: "I'll do my best."
AT SLOAN'S MANSION, Jarod is introduced to Frank Lyndon, Cynthia Sloan's right-hand man, who has Jarod sign a confidentiality agreement before he lets Jarod anywhere near Sloan. Jarod is being hired as Sloan's "special consultant", Frank tells him. As the agreement is being signed, Sloan appears: an elegant-looking dark woman, walking down a lengthy staircase. Although she seems pleased by the look of Jarod, she reminds him: "You're a prop, Jarod; a piece of jewelry." And he quips in return, "Then I'd better shine." She counters his humor with the flat statement that for $5000 a week he'd better blind her. She tells him he's to be "on call" until the ribbon cutting ceremony for the ground breaking of the new Sloan Towers, a huge apartment complex to be built on the site of the existing Jefferson Heights rental units.
Later, Jarod goes to the Jefferson Heights site, and finds that although the building has been condemned, there is a large group of protesters outside of it chanting, "Save our homes! Save our homes!" All of them will be displaced if the Sloan Tower project goes through as planned.
What also brought Jarod to the site was the fact that an 8-year-old boy name Michael "Mikey" Edwards had died on the site just before it was condemned as "unsafe". Mikey had been tending to a flock of pigeons on the roof, but fell to his death when the fire escape he used to get down from the roof collapsed underneath him and ripped itself from the side of the building. County surveyors claimed that "weather" had rotted the bricks, and that the building was no longer safe. As soon as it was "condemned", Sloan bought the building and the land underneath it, intending to erect her Tower in the place of the three-story housing facility.
Looking over the rooftop area, Jarod is unconvinced that the fire escape could have collapsed under the weight of such a small child, unless it was defective... or had been tampered with. He finds that some of the bricks around the rooftop are, indeed, crumbling, but doesn't believe the "weather" had anything to do with their weakened condition. While he's perusing the rooftop, he gets a beeper call from his Madam.
HE MEETS THE MADAM IN A PARKING LOT, and tells her he can't take on another client right now because he's at Cynthia Sloan's beck-and-call until the ribbon cutting ceremony, which won't happen for almost a week. The Madam tells him she's giving him a one-shot assignment: a housewife, she says, has an "itch" and Jarod is to "scratch it" for her. Upset but obedient, Jarod accepts the assignment and drives to the housewife's home.
Joyce Cullman, the housewife, lives in a suburban area... and her soon-to-be-ex-husband, Howard, is still living at home over the garage until their divorce is finalized. Jarod can see Howard staring at him from a window above the garage as he walks up to the front door of the house. When Joyce answers the door, Jarod leans in toward her and gives her his cue-line: "I have always depended on the kindness of strangers." Joyce just looks at him, not understanding what he means. He explains that "the service" sent him, and she seems surprised that he came to her so quickly. He asks if he can come in, and she lets him into the house.
Sitting on a couch in the living room, Jarod treats himself to some Valentine's candy and looks at the photographs that adorn the room while Joyce gets a tray from the kitchen. Looking at the heart-shaped box of Valentine's candy, Jarod asks her, "Who is Valentine?" Joyce chuckles and says, "They didn't say you'd be handsome and funny." On the tray Joyce has brought from the kitchen is a pot of coffee, a small paper bag, and two delicate coffee cups. She pours coffee for Jarod, and while he's sipping at it he asks her who the man is who's living over the garage. When she tells him that it's her husband (soon to be "ex"), Jarod asks her if their pending divorce was caused by "another woman". Joyce tells him, no, that she's divorcing Howard because he doesn't care about her anymore. For their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary he bought her a toaster. And when she got them tickets to go to Paris for a second honeymoon, he couldn't take time off from work, so he cashed the tickets in to buy himself a 50" big screen television set.
Joyce fumbles in her purse trying to get out her checkbook so she can pay Jarod for his "services", and dumps credit cards and notes all over the floor. When Jarod says she seems a little nervous about his being there, she tells him, no, she's not nervous... and makes the check out to cash.
Also on the tray from the kitchen, is a small paper bag she got from the local drug store. Jarod looks inside of it and finds that it contains condoms. "The twelve pack," he says wryly. “Safety first," Joyce tells him. "I saw that on MTV." Joyce hands him the check, and tells him that she believes she'll get what she paid for... She closes her eyes, and waits for him to initiate contact. Jarod gets out of actually having to do anything, by gathering up one of the photographs of her three grown children, and suggesting to her that she must miss them very much. Joyce opens her eyes and blinks at the photograph, confused. Jarod shames her a little by asking her, "Do they know...That you've hired a lover?" Joyce's mood is ruined. (Strike one.)
BACK IN HIS LAIR, Jarod has a chemistry set built up on a long table, and performs experiments in an attempt to discover what could have caused the bricks of the Jefferson Heights building to deteriorate the way they did. He discovers that a mix of sulfuric chloride produces the desired effect, and goes to the demolition experts who are slated to take down the Jefferson Heights building as soon as the city council approves the building's destruction to talk to them about the bricks. He finds that there are large tanks of sulfuric chloride in the demolition yard, and one of the experts tells Jarod that the mixture is used routinely to weaken the bricks, stone, and mortar of condemned buildings in order to make the buildings collapse more readily when they're dynamited.
MEANWHILE, Sydney, Broots and Miss Parker go to1500 Hart Street and find that it's the address of an adult bookstore. Upon entering the store, they find the place is being run by a man in a wheelchair named Bucky LaFontaine. Bucky says Jarod hung around the store a lot, but wasn't interested in the merchandise there. Jarod didn't care about the "sexual" side of things; he was interested more in people, what attracted them to one another, why they loved one another. "Between you and me," Bucky tells Sydney, "I don't think that boy got much love growing up."
Bucky also informs Broots, Miss Parker and Sydney that Jarod had penned and published a romance novel under the pseudonym Jarod Heart entitled The Saddest Little Valentine. Jarod also did the artwork for the cover which -- much to Miss Parker's chagrin -- shows a scantily clad Miss Parker, her hair undone and pouring over the silken pillows around her, lying provocatively on a bed. "That boy's definitely one of a kind," Bucky says, laughing. And Miss Parker, trying to hide the cover of the book, growls, "One is enough."
BACK AT CYNTHIA SLOAN'S HOUSE, Jarod is standing still -- appearing uncomfortable at the prospect of being a "kept man" -- while Cynthia looks him over and a tailor drapes a tuxedo over the front of Jarod's body. Claiming that Jarod will look magnificent in the suit, Cynthia approves it and tells the tailor to have it ready for Jarod that evening. The tailor leaves, and Cynthia retreats to a window-side couch where she pours over some building plans. Not being given anything else to do, Jarod walks around the room and remarks on the fact that Cynthia doesn't have very many pictures in her house. "Photographs. They make a house a home... don't you agree?" Cynthia doesn't answer, and when Jarod asks her about her family, she won't respond. He tells her that he's worried that she's "lonely", and rising to go to another meeting, she answers, "I don't have time to be lonely."
LATER THAT AFTERNOON, working again in his lair-laboratory, Jarod gets a call from his Madam who's angry with him because she got a phone call from Joyce during which Joyce complained that she was "vaguely unfulfilled" by Jarod's last visit. Jarod tries to explain that he doesn't really know what Joyce wants. Unmoved, the Madam tells him to go service Joyce properly, and warns him that she doesn't want to have this kind of conversation with him again. She hangs up, and, after a long sigh, Jarod drives back to Joyce's house.
When Jarod arrives at the Cullman home in his convertible, Howard is in the front yard doing lawn care: planting trees, fertilizing the plants. Jarod smiles at Howard and tells him he's just had the convertible washed and asks him how it looks. Howard just glowers at him. Jarod leans in to Howard and says, "It's the car. It drives her crazy," then he walks up to the front door.
When he enters the house, Jarod finds that Joyce has decorated the living room with candles, covered the floor with rose petals, has champagne waiting, and is dressed in sexy lingerie. Jarod walks up to her and tells her that his Madam told him she (Joyce) was feeling "vaguely unfulfilled". Joyce waves off the complaint, beckons Jarod to the couch, and has him sit down next to her. He asks if she's aware that Howard is just outside, and she says, yes. He asks if she'll feel any regret for what they're about to do and Joyce tells him, "To hell with regrets." She opens his shirt, slips her hand up against the nape of his neck and pulls him toward her. Before they can kiss, however, they hear the car-alarm of Jarod's convertible suddenly start to scream. (Strike two.)
Jarod and Joyce go outside to find that Howard has dumped two bags of steer manure on the hood of Jarod's car, and placed a huge chunk of sod on the driver's side front seat. Joyce is mortified and apologizes for Howard's behavior. Jarod says he's a little confused: Although Joyce told him that Howard didn't care about her anymore, he says, Howard's actions seem to indicate that he cares about her a great deal. Joyce stomps back into the house, threatening to Howard that she's going to call the police.
That evening, just before a dinner-meeting with Cynthia Sloan, Jarod visits the Jefferson Heights complex again, and is on the roof when Alice Evans, the woman who heads the local Neighborhood Watch, comes up to see who's there. She says she thought Jarod was another one of "those inspectors", and Jarod tells her that inspectors won't be coming by the complex anymore because the building has already been condemned. She says they'd been crawling all over the building for days; especially one guy who wore designer suits and seemed independently wealthy... He'd arrived even before Mikey's accident on the fire escape. Jarod frowns: why would building inspectors arrive BEFORE an accident or complaint was made? Alice tells him that that particular inspector wore a watch similar to the gold one Jarod wore (his gift from Isabella), but that the inspector's watch had diamonds on it.
Jarod leaves the complex and goes to Cynthia Sloan's place where she's hosting a dinner for her business friends, and is toasting the upcoming ground-breaking ceremony for Sloan Tower. She makes a special effort to praise her right-hand man, Frank Lyndon, for keeping her on target about the building, and for doing "whatever it took" to get the project going forward. As they raise their glasses of champagne in a toast to Frank, Jarod notices Frank's watch: brilliant gold, and encrusted with diamonds. "Whatever it takes," Jarod says to him as their glasses touch.
THE NEXT DAY, BACK AT HIS LAIR, Jarod watches a video tape of the May 29, 1977 riot that had threatened to close down the Jefferson Heights complex that year. The building had been condemned then, but rioters had refused to let it be torn down... and eventually won money from the city to renovate the building and keep it open for the hundreds of people who lived there. In the video, Jarod sees the image of a small girl -- Cindy -- getting her broken arm bandaged by an emergency medical crewman.
Sometime later, Jarod gets another angry call from his Madam who again meets him, and tells him he's fired for not satisfying Joyce Cullman. He tells her that firing him just then wouldn't be wise, since he was still on-call with Cynthia Sloan, one of the Madam's best customers. The Madam tells him that she'll let him keep "escorting" Sloan only if he "scratches the housewife's itch". Jarod calls Joyce, and tells her to meet him some place besides her home.
Just before he meets with Joyce, Jarod calls Sydney and asks him, "Why do people fall in love?" Sydney has no easy answers for him, but tells him that he believes that despite all its paradoxes and set-backs, love is important. "So," Jarod says, "you believe that love is worth fighting for; that it's worth the pain and effort?" Sydney says, yes... and asks if that was what Jarod was trying to say in the romance novel he wrote. Jarod answers, "The book speaks for itself," and hangs up.
IN HER LIVINGROOM, the book and a drink at hand, Miss Parker is finishing the last chapter in Jarod's novel. As she reads what Jarod wrote, we can hear Jarod's voice reciting: "...She felt consumed by a great void; a dark and silent abyss as terrifying as the grand palace around her. But somewhere in the chilling blackness, she caught a glimpse of a light..." [Flashbacks show us a young-Miss Parker meeting with a smiling young-Jarod in The Centre.] "...She remembered a time: the precocious little girl with a heart full of fire and a soul enflamed by passion; the smile that could melt winter into spring..." [Flashbacks show the young-Miss Parker kissing Jarod.] "...But the light was gone; the flame had died. Her past was taken from her by the soldiers of the great palace... She would continue searching, hoping to rekindle the fire. Until then, she would always be... the saddest little Valentine..." Miss Parker closes the book, and finished off her drink.
MEANWHILE, Joyce arrives at a hotel room where Jarod, in a loosely-buttoned dark-pink satin shirt and black pants, is waiting for her. The room is decorated with gold and red-flocked wall paper, paintings of cherubs and lovely children, statuettes of angels, candles, a wet-bar, and a vibrating bed covered in satin sheets and heart-shaped pillows. Joyce giggles at the production and tells Jarod it wasn't what she had expected from him at all.
Seemingly more aggressive than she's ever seen him, Jarod pulls open his shirt, and tells her that he's glad they're finally alone, away from her annoying husband. He brings her a drink, nuzzles in against her, and then starts a mocking tirade against Howard. "After all, how much polyester can one person wear?"... "And that physique. What is it: Body by Chili Dog?" Joyce counters that Howard is just a little chunky. "Santa Claus is chunky," Jarod tells her. "Howard is a zoning violation." When he moves in to kiss her, Joyce ducks away from him, and starts defending Howard more vehemently, telling Jarod that Howard may not be an Adonis but he is a kind and gentle man.
Jarod tips her over onto the bed and climbs on top of her, reminding her that Howard had neglected her; that he gave her a toaster for her 25th wedding anniversary; that he squandered their tickets to Paris on a television set. "Just forget about him." Joyce pulls a pillow in between her body and Jarod's and scolds him: She can't "just forget" twenty-five years of marriage. After all, she explains to him, she and Howard raised a family together and made a home together. Jarod rolls off of Joyce and lies next to her on the bed. Looking into the mirrors mounted on the ceiling, he tells her that she's right: she doesn't need him; she needs Howard and the love, and family, and home they share. He sits up, and offers to drive her home. She smiles at him and agrees.
LATER THAT EVENING, back at Cynthia Sloan's house, Jarod is standing by while Cynthia watches the Jefferson Heights protesters on television. Frank Lyndon comes into the room and tells her that those people are violating the law by remaining around the building; he'll call the police and have them taken away. Jarod steps in and tells Cynthia to either just go to Jefferson Heights and tell them that the building is unsafe... or, "Call the police. Start a riot. Whatever it takes."
Cynthia opts to go to the complex and talk with the protesters, but when she arrives there she realizes that this is what Jarod wanted her to do all along. He has Alice Evans waiting there for her, and they escort Cynthia to a small apartment in the building where a little girl -- a friend of Mikey Edwards -- is living. The little girl takes Cynthia by the hand and leads her into the tiny apartment. She says that Jarod told her Cynthia liked horses, and shows Cynthia a toy horse she says she found when she first moved into the building. The toy was in a secret hiding place. The little girl starts to show Cynthia where the hiding place was, but Cynthia stops her and locates it herself without any trouble. She lifts up a rug and pulls up one of the floorboards. The little girl asks how Cynthia knew where the hiding place was, and Cynthia shows her the name "Cindy" scratched into the back of the board. Cynthia WAS Cindy... and had lived in the complex as a child with her father.
In her limo parked outside of Jefferson Heights, Cynthia tells Jarod that although she'd grown up without much money, she was bright enough to have been able to get scholarships to fancy colleges. In order to fit in, Cindy changed her name, lied about her up-bringing, and told everyone that her father -- who really gave rich tourists rides around town in his horse and buggy -- was a breeder of race horses. One lie just kept building on another until she lost all sense of who she really was. She tells Jarod that although she's wealthy enough now to have seven houses... that tiny apartment in Jefferson Heights is the only place that ever really felt like "home" to her. She also tells Jarod that although she had hurt people (and herself) with her lies, she never did anything to harm Mikey Edwards. Jarod knows who DID, however.
Believing that Frank Lyndon was responsible for the fire-escape accident that killed Michael Edwards; Jarod lures Frank to the rooftop of the Jefferson Heights building the next evening with a fake Valentine from Cynthia. Believing he's meeting Cynthia for a romantic rendezvous, Frank arrives at the Heights complex and walks out onto the roof. He finds a bottle of champagne with a red bow on it on the lip of the roof, and below that he sees a shallow balcony (which is part of the fire escape on that side of the building) with a table for two, set with white linen and two champagne glasses. To get to the balcony, Frank puts the champagne bottle in his coat pocket, and climbs down a creaking metal ladder. When he reaches the balcony, he's smiling and calling Cynthia's name, trying to see where she is. There's a window right beside the balcony. It's open, and the drapes are blowing gently. Pleased with the setting, Frank pops the cork on the bottle of champagne and pours its contents into the glasses on the table. He's horrified, however, when the glasses begin smoking slightly and folds over, melted by the contents of the bottle. It's not champagne. It's sulfuric chloride.
Frank throws the bottle away from him, and tries to get off the fire escape balcony by entering through the open window, but Jarod is there, blocking his path. Jarod tells him he knows how the sulfuric chloride can melt all sorts of things, and how it can be used to weaken even solid brick... and how Frank Lyndon used it to weaken the bricks that had held up the fire escape that Mikey Edwards had stepped onto; how Frank then had his cronies in the building inspector's office lie about the cause of the damage; and how Mikey had been killed and the building unjustifiably condemned just so Frank could get the building site for Cynthia Sloan's Tower.
Before Frank can counter anything Jarod said, the fire escape he's standing on collapses underneath him... having been weakened by the sulfuric chloride that Jarod put on it. Frank grabs onto the window ledge and begs Jarod to save him; he even offers Jarod a bribe. Jarod tells him he's not really a gigolo and can't be bought, "But I'm curious. How much? How much to throw hundreds of people out of their homes? How much to murder an innocent little boy?" He demands a confession out of Frank, and Frank gives it to him, crying for Jarod to help him before he plunges to his death like Mikey Edwards did. When Jarod has Frank's confession he waits until the very last second, when Frank can't hold onto the ledge anymore, then pulls him to safety... while complimenting him on his gold and diamond watch.
THE NEXT DAY, Jarod goes to Joyce Cullman's house and walks into the apartment above the garage where Howard is living. He grins at Howard and says, "Hi! I'm your wife's gigolo! Do I have a deal for you!" Jarod hands Howard two paid tickets on the Concord to Paris, France, and leaves.
Later, Jarod meets with Cynthia Sloan, Alice Evans, and the little girl on the rooftop of the Jefferson Heights building. Jarod is in his tuxedo (but without the tie), and Cynthia is dressed in a red beaded evening gown. There is a table set up for dinner, and an open box of Valentine's Day candy, but when Cynthia reaches for one of the chocolates, Jarod pushes her hand away. "Allow me," he says, and pulls a PEZ dispenser out of his jacket pocket. He cocks the head on the dispenser, and holds it out so Cynthia can take a piece candy from it with her teeth. She laughs and tells Jarod he sure knows how to show a woman a good time. She thanks him for everything he's done, and leans in to kiss him... but stops herself. "Is that allowed?” she asks him, realizing that he's no longer her "kept man" but an independent person who can say "no" if he wants to. He's about ready to oblige her with a kiss when Alice walks up and demands Cynthia's attention. Cynthia is going to pay to renovate the Jefferson Heights complex, and Alice needs her to go over some paperwork. Jarod smiles, and lets Cynthia go, saying, "Whatever it takes."
MUCH LATER, BACK IN THE HOTEL ROOM where Joyce Cullman had spurned his attentions, Jarod is lying on the bed with the telephone to his ear. While he waits for an answer, he reads a postcard he's received from Joyce. It's from Paris; and she's thanking him for giving her and Howard their second honeymoon.
IN HER LIVINGROOM, Miss Parker arrives to find a box wrapped in elegant red paper on the coffee table in front of the couch. She sits on the couch as the phone rings. She answers the phone; it's Jarod calling her. He wants to know if she's read his book. She lies and says she "skimmed through it", and complains that he painted a very sad picture of her with his writing. Jarod tells her that he wrote what he thought was the truth, and asks her how the two of them ended up so alone. "We both want the same thing," he tells her. "Someone to love, someone to love us..." And he asks if she thinks they'll ever find the kind of love that other people do. Irritated, Miss Parker snaps, "What the hell do you want from me, Jarod?" Shaking his head, Jarod tells her to just open the box, and he hangs up the phone.
Miss Parker hangs up her phone as well, and opens the box on the coffee table. In it is a single heart-shaped piece of candy, and on its face it reads: BE MY VALENTINE. Miss Parker lifts the candy from the box, puts it in her mouth, and crushes it with her teeth. The episode ends with a view of Miss Parker alone on her living room couch... and Jarod alone in bed.