Mar. 21, 1998
Steven Long Mitchell
Steven Long Mitchell & Craig Van Sickle
BROOTS IS ASLEEP IN BED, wearing cowboy-print pajamas, when suddenly he's attacked and kidnapped by Centre Sweepers, taken to the Centre, and put into a holding cell where Miss Parker and Sydney are already being held. "Nice PJ's," Miss Parker remarks to Broots, and he responds by informing her that he was yanked right out of bed. Sydney says he was kidnapped out of the shower, and Miss Parker sarcastically thanks him for "painting that picture" for her. Broots wants to know what's going on, and Sydney and Miss Parker tell him he's been summoned to a "T-Board”: a Centre tribunal ordered by The Triumvirate. T-Board interrogations can last for hours, and don't end until the board members get the answers they're looking for. "T" is for "torture", Sydney says.
ELSEWHERE: In a warehouse district at night a huge black 16-wheeler big-rig truck pulls into a nearly deserted parking lot and stops. Out of the truck steps the driver, a burly man named Sharpton, dressed in cowboy boots and a wicked-looking spur. Sharpton walks over to a parked car waiting in the lot and accepts from the car driver an envelope overflowing with cash. The car then departs, and Sharpton turns back to his rig. He's surprised and a little bemused to find Jarod there, waiting for him. The two seem to know one another, and Jarod displays nothing but disdain for the trucker.
Jarod tells Sharpton that he know all about the contraband Sharpton has been transporting in his rig, and he knows about the pay-offs, and he knows that Sharpton was responsible for a hit-and-run accident that left an eight-year-old girl dead. Sharpton smiles a little and tells Jarod that he's absolutely right about everything: Sharpton is a drug runner, Sharpton does like his money, and Sharpton did kill the little girl. But Jarod left out one little thing, he says. Jarod asks what that is, and Sharpton tells him, "The part when I stop and pick up my partner."
Jarod only has a few seconds to look over his shoulder before Sharpton's partner rams Jarod in the forehead with the butt of a shotgun. Jarod is struck unconscious instantly, and collapses to the pavement. Sharpton and his partner return the rig, and the partner remarks that Jarod will freeze if they leave him out there. Unconcerned, Sharpton steps up into his truck and drives away, abandoning Jarod to bleed in the parking lot.
Jarod comes to in the basement of a warehouse. He's lying on a rollaway bed in a room littered with debris and mismatched furniture, with painted-over windows, naked rafters overhead, and exposed pipes and ductwork on the walls. There's a small lamp beside the bed, flickering like a strobe; and the pipes in the wall are leaking heat and cold. On the bed with him is a ratty-looking little mutt of a dog who's scratching at its fleas. Jarod blinks at the thing, but can't sit up. He still has an ugly bleeding gash on his forehead, and probably a concussion, and the bruising from the wound is leeching down toward his eye. When the dog realizes that Jarod is awake, it starts to bark.
Its noise alerts the only other person in the warehouse, a chatterbox of a man, in a shabby suit mended with silver duct tape, named Argyle. Argyle tells Jarod he was named after the birthmark on the back of his thigh. He offers to show the mark to Jarod, but when Jarod doesn't respond, Argyle takes that as a "pass". He tells Jarod that mutt saved his life. Jarod would have died out in the parking lot, but the little dog found him and kept barking and barking until Argyle came to see what the matter was. Argyle has put Jarod in bed and given him a "patch job" of first aid, but Jarod was out in the cold for too long and is suffering from exposure. A fever is mounting, and what's more... Jarod doesn't know who he is.
Jarod tries to get up out of the bed, but is so weak and disoriented that Argyle has no trouble putting him back down again. As he soothes Jarod and tells him to take it easy, Argyle goes through the pockets of Jarod's leather coat and pulls out his wallet. Jarod asks Argyle, in mumbling tones, what happened to him, and Argyle tells him he was mugged. Extracting all of the money out of Jarod's wallet, and stuffing it into his own pockets, Argyle also tells Jarod, "And, oh no, they got all your money. All your money's gone. I'm sorry." But, Argyle says, "I saved your stuff," and he shows Jarod his knapsack and silver Halliburton case.
As Jarod lies on the bed, looking at the ceiling and his surroundings, trying to figure out where he is and WHO he is, Argyle goes through his knapsack and extracts a laminated name badge. According to the badge, Argyle says, Jarod's name is "Jarod" and he's a thoracic surgeon. Jarod repeats the name, but it doesn't seem to register... neither does the bit about being a surgeon; although, in flashes of sporadic memory, Jarod gets mental images of himself working in an emergency room, saving a little girl's life (from the premiere episode, season one). Argyle then tells Jarod that he's thinking that a big hospital would pay big money to have one of its surgeons returned to it in one piece... Argyle is an opportunist. "You might just be my brass ring," he tells Jarod.
Noting that Jarod is shivering, Argyle goes to one of the pipes on the wall by the bed, and bangs on it to get the steam heat to rise in it. When steam appears, it starts to leak out of the pipe where a joint is bad, so Argyle patches the leak with some duct tape.
AT THE CENTRE: Miss Parker, Sydney and Broots are looking through the small slit of a window in the door of the holding cell and can see the T-Board room beyond it. There is a huge illuminated table in the shape of a "T" sitting in the middle of the darkened room. They can see Mr. Raines walking through the room, and talking to a man in the shadows who is recognizable only by the black and white wing-tip shoes he's wearing. They also see Brigitte. "That bitch is like a bad cough," Miss Parker growls. Then she tells Sydney and Broots that if she could contact her father, they'd all be out of there in a second. Sydney produces a small cell phone that he had been hiding in his clothes, and hands it to Miss Parker.
Before Miss Parker can dial a number, however, Brigitte -- now "Bridget" and minus her faux English accent -- enters the holding cell with several Sweepers. Bridget takes the phone from Miss Parker, and announces that they've been summoned to this tribunal because the Triumvirate believes that one, or all, of them is working with Jarod to keep him free from The Centre. They want to know, as Bridget puts it, "why after eighteen months is Jarod still out there. Not possible." He must be getting help from the inside. Bridget then walks up to Broots, smacks him on the side of the face with her open hand and tells him he's up first.
AT THE WAREHOUSE: Argyle continues to go through Jarod's things and finds a Mr. Potato Head (with its tongue sticking out), several PEZ dispensers and a zip-lock bag filled with sweet treats. He tells Jarod that sugar isn't good for him, and he shouldn't eat so much of it. Argyle also finds Jarod's cell phone then he comes across a manila folder with a photograph and charcoal sketch drawing of Jarod's mother. He shows the photograph to Jarod and asks who the pretty lady is, but Jarod doesn't remember.
Then Argyle finds other laminated name badges... all with Jarod's name on them. There are badges from the Coast Guard, from a roach exterminating company, from the FBI, from the Park Ranger service, from the Fire Department... Despondent -- now that he can't "cash in" Jarod to the nearest hospital for a "finder's fee" -- Argyle holds all the badges up to Jarod and asks, "Who the hell are you, Mister?" Jarod answers, "I don't know who I am."
AT THE CENTRE: Broots is sitting at the long end of the T-Board table. Around him in the darkened room he catches glimpses of a strange menagerie of characters: there is a female dwarf acting as stenographer; a granny in a rocking chair; the man-in-the-shadows wearing the wing-tip shoes; a woman in a man's suit with her head shaved so she looks like Mr. Raines; and a bearded man in a straw hat sitting in an electric wheelchair. There are also Sweepers moving back and forth in the shadows... and Mr. Raines and Bridget are sitting at the cross-t part of the table.
Raines says very little, and Bridget seems to be in control of the interrogations. "We find it hard to believe that anyone could be this inept on purpose," she says to Broots, and she demands that Broots tell her about Jarod. Broots reiterates the story (from the "Every Picture Tells a Story" episode from season one) wherein Jarod connected dozens of telephone calls all over the world in order to keep Miss Parker from finding out what YMCA he was staying at. Chuckling at the memory, Broots compliments Jarod as being smart and clever, "You can see it in his eyes." When Bridget reminds Broots that, according to his record, Broots has never laid eyes on Jarod, Broots stutters out a lie about, "I was referring to photographs I've seen." In a flashback, (from the "Past Sim" episode of season two) Broots recalls the time when Jarod showed up in his house and asked for his help. Rather than saying anything else that might incriminate him, Broots asks Bridget for a robe to cover his pajamas.
AT THE WAREHOUSE: Jarod is in the throes of a high fever and shaking with tremors. Beside his bed are a small table and a mismatched chair. On the table is his red notebook, filled with newspaper clippings about the girl killed by Sharpton, and a retractable ballpoint pen. In his delirium, Jarod sees a woman's hand appears beside the notebook. The image then completes itself, up the vision's arm, to its body, and its head... and Jarod sees his mother sitting in the chair beside the table. She smiles softly at him and says, "I love you, Jarod. Don't leave me. Please, don't leave me."
Argyle comes up beside Jarod to take a look at him, and tells Jarod he was out in the elements for too long; the fever is getting too high. Jarod closes his eyes and slips into unconsciousness and Argyle panics. Grabbing Jarod by the front of his leather coat and shaking him Argyle cries, "Don't die on me, man! Don't die on me!"
Sometime later, Jarod opens his eyes again and looks around the room. His fever has broken, and he's more lucid now. Argyle is across the room, now dressed in a hideous burnt-orange suit coat, watching some of the DSA�s from Jarod's Halliburton case. As Jarod listens to them, memories start flooding back to him. He sees images of himself as a child and as an adult, but he can't put the images together in any sensible order yet.
Argyle approaches him and asks Jarod to tell him what The Centre is; all of the DSA's have "For Centre Use Only" written on them, and he wants to know what the Centre is. Jarod pulls a blanket up over himself and rolls onto his side saying he doesn't know. Argyle goes off on a rambling dissertation about how he just wants to "make things right", and about how he wants to make everything work, and about how Jarod is a man with a "big brain" who's his ticket out of poverty... Then, in an unexpected rage, Argyle grabs at the malfunctioning lamp next to Jarod's bed and smashes it to bits.
While Argyle is raving, Jarod sees the woman's hand appear next to the red notebook again; and the vision of his mother rematerializes in the nearby chair. He asks her who she is, and she answers, "The proudest woman in the world." Jarod asks her if she knows who he is, and she says, "Trust your feelings. Always trust your feelings." And she vanishes again.
Argyle then approaches Jarod and asks him who "Sydney" is. He'd seen Sydney on some of the DSA�s, and also saw Sydney's name as one of the auto-dial numbers on Jarod's cell phone; and he wants to know if Sydney is Jarod's father. Jarod doesn't respond.
AT THE CENTRE: Sydney is on his sixth hour of interrogation by the T-Board. He tells Raines and Bridget that he is a scientist and that, as such, he doesn't get emotionally involved with his subjects. But he does admit that his relationship with Jarod is as unique as Jarod is special; and in flash backs he recalls the guilt he felt over Jarod's kidnapping and isolation that eventually led Sydney to a confessional in a Catholic church (in the "A Virus Among Us" episode, first season), and his emotional response to a Father's Day card Jarod had once made for him (in the "Scott Free" episode, second season). Sydney then warns Bridget and Raines that the tactics they're using in their attempts to apprehend Jarod are too aggressive. "We must be patient," he says. "The day you really anger Jarod is the day he'll disappear forever... You don't know who Jarod is."
Before Sydney can continue, his cell phone starts to ring. Bridget had confiscated it from Miss Parker when they were in the holding cell, and has it on the T-Board table in front of her. She looks at Sydney, then looks at the phone, then picks it up and answers it. It's Argyle on the line. "Is this The Centre?" he asks. Bridget tells him it might be, and asks him what he wants. He tells her he's found something she might be looking for.
IN THE WAREHOUSE: Jarod's mind begins to put together the bits and flashes of information his brain is feeding to him. Myriad images rush through his head as he sits up on the bed, and forces himself to think. He rummages through the laminated name badges, and finds a photograph of Kyle and his father's Flying Cross medal. He sees Kyle's face and can hear him shout, " Jarod, go! Find our parents!" (From "The Dragon House" episode, season one) In the glass of a fractured mirror on the wall of the room, Jarod sees his mother materialize again. She smiles at him, and tells him, "You're my son. You're my life. I love you, Jarod." Jarod Russell... Jarod Nobel... Jarod Puzo... Jarod remembers who he is, and says it aloud, “Jarod."
And just as Jarod recalls who he is, Argyle rushes up to him and handcuffs one of his wrists to the metal headboard of the bed. Jarod is livid and asks Argyle, "When did I go from patient to prisoner?" Argyle feigns insult, and tells Jarod he's being unkind. He then hops up onto the bed, and continues talking, but Jarod isn't listening. He can see a cell phone in Argyle's pocket and asks if the phone is his. Argyle tells him, yes. "Who did you call?" Jarod demands. Argyle says he was trying to get a hold of Jarod's doctor to see if he made house calls. "You called Sydney?" Argyle tells him that Sydney wasn't there, but a woman answered the phone. "Miss Parker?" Jarod asks, getting angrier. "No, no, no," Argyle tells him. He spoke with Bridget.
Jarod tries to warn Argyle that he's being set up by Bridget, but Argyle doesn't want to listen. "These people, this organization, they will kill you! Trust me," Jarod says. But Argyle is still unmoved. Bridget had told him that Jarod was insane, and would have an answer for everything, he says to Jarod. And now Jarod is just trying to confuse him. If his deal with Bridget goes through all right, Argyle says, Jarod will be back where he belongs, and maybe Argyle will have the opportunity to get out of his rat-hole of an existence. Jarod grabs him by the front of the shirt and warns him, "You are dealing with the devil!" But Argyle still won't listen to him.
AT THE CENTRE: Miss Parker is up before the T-Board, and no one will let her have a cigarette. She tells Bridget that that's excessively cruel, even for a T-Board. Mr. Raines and Bridget question Miss Parker on her 18-month pursuit of Jarod and ask her if she's assisting him in any way. Miss Parker insists that she isn't. Bridget tells her that The Centre wants the truth, and Miss Parker replies that the word "truth" is something that's thrown around too easily at The Centre. No one there tells the truth. Bridget asks her if she has any unresolved issues against The Centre. Remembering her mother's murder in a Centre elevator, Miss Parker lies and says, no, she has no unresolved issues with The Centre. Bridget then asks her about her personal and emotional feelings toward Jarod. Miss Parker recalls the recent romantic overture from Jarod (in the "Gigolo Jarod" episode, season two), but refuses to acknowledge that it had any effect one her. No, she's not romantically inclined toward Jarod, she says. She then rises to her feet and announces that she's finished with this review.
As Miss Parker walks away from the T-Board table, Sydney's cell phone starts ringing again. Miss Parker tries to approach it, but Sweepers intervene, and Bridget picks it up again. It's Argyle on the line again. He tells Bridget she was right about "cashew boy; he is a nut, all right," and tells her he'd like $10 thousand from The Centre for Jarod's return. Bridget says she can arrange to get him that kind of money, and asks him where he is.
AT THE WAREHOUSE: Jarod can hear Argyle's telephone conversation, and he searches for a way to get free of the handcuffs. On the little table, next to the red notebook, is a bent-out paperclip Argyle had been using to tamper with the lamp (before he broke it). While Argyle talks to Bridget, Jarod reaches over to the table and snags the paper clip. He then tries to use it to pick the lock on the handcuffs. Jarod manages to ratchet out a few of the saw-teeth on the lock, but Argyle sees him and rushes over to him before Jarod can get the cuffs off completely. Argyle re-fixes the cuff on Jarod's wrist and takes the paperclip away from him. "Don't do this, Argyle," Jarod pleads. But with Jarod watching him, Argyle gives Bridget directions to the warehouse where they are. Totally frustrated, Jarod just shakes his head.
AT THE CENTRE: Miss Parker has been returned to the holding cell with Broots and Sydney, while Bridget rushes off to get Jarod. Everyone in the cell is surprised when Mr. Parker arrives, and tells them he's furious that his daughter had been subjected a T-Board. He acts as though he's astonished by what they've been put through, promises them that they'll all be free as soon as he's finished "lopping off some heads." Mr. Parker leaves the cell, and Miss Parker and Broots are pleased with this turn of events. But Sydney cautions that Mr. Parker couldn't possibly have been "surprised" by what happened to them because he'd been at the T-Board session all along. Pointing through the tiny window in the cell door, he indicates Mr. Parker's feet to Miss Parker. Mr. Parker is wearing black and white wing-tip shoes; he was the man in the shadows at the T-Board interrogation. "I'm sorry, Parker," Sydney says to Miss Parker, and leaves her standing by the door with her mouth open.
AT THE WAREHOUSE, three hours later, Bridget arrives in a black sedan with two Sweepers (one of them is Willy, the Sweeper most often associated with Mr. Raines). Argyle, hanging onto some of Jarod's PEZ dispensers, hurries out to the large parking lot area in front of the warehouse to meet Bridget, and anxiously awaits his pay-off.
Inside the warehouse, Jarod has stretched his hand-cuffed arm out as far as he can to get to a window where he can see outside. He's had to scrape some paint off the window, but is able to see Bridget and the Sweepers in the parking lot with Argyle. He then turns away from the window and looks for something else with which he can pick the lock on the handcuffs. There's a small nail poking out from a shutter on the floor on the other side of the bed. Jarod climbs over the bed -- his wrist still cuffed to it -- and reaches for the nail, but can't get it. The shutter keeps moving so the nail is out of his reach. Jarod looks around for something else to use.
Outside in the parking lot, Bridget tosses Argyle a bag filled with cash, saying, "I bring you 'respect' in a bag." Argyle drops to his knees and palms through the money, excited and happy. "Where's Jarod?" Bridget wants to know. Argyle tells her he's in the basement by the boiler room, and as soon as she that information, Bridget tells the Sweepers to kill Argyle. They grab him from both sides, and lift him up off the ground. Bridget tells them that once she'd got Jarod she wants them to put a bullet in Argyle's brain, "If you can find it." As Bridget walks toward the warehouse, her gun drawn, the Sweepers dump Argyle in the trunk of the sedan and close him inside it.
Inside the warehouse, by the little table where the red notebook is sitting, the image of Jarod's mother returns again. This time she says nothing, but she looks down at the little table and the retractable ballpoint pen sitting on the notebook. She then looks up at Jarod, and Jarod, understanding, smiles at her just before she disappears again. Jarod stretches himself out as far as he can, and uses the tips of his fingers to pull the notebook and pen toward him. When he has a good grip on the pen he lifts it up, sits back on the bed, and pulls the pen's pocket-clip off with his teeth. He then jams the clip into the handcuff lock and starts to use it to pick the lock. Through the panes of painted glass in the windows, Jarod can see the silhouette of Bridget as she approaches. And the lock on the cuffs is more difficult to pick than he thought. He looks around for another weapon.
When Bridget enters the boiler room of the warehouse, she still has her gun poised, ready to shoot. She looks across the room, and sees Jarod lying on the bed, seemingly asleep, with one of his wrists handcuffed to the headboard. "Well, if it isn't Sleeping Beauty," she remarks. "And they said you were so-o-o-o hard to catch." Her guard down somewhat, Bridget walks to the bed.
She whistles at Jarod trying to rouse him, but he doesn't respond. She then approaches the bed and calls to him to wake up. He doesn't move. So, she climbs up on the bed with him, and straddles him, sitting on his pelvis. Leaning forward, she puts her gun against his cheek and softly tells him it's time to get up. When he still doesn't respond, she strikes him hard in the face and yells, "Wake up!" Jarod's eyes open, but Bridget doesn't pick up on the fact that he doesn't seem all that surprised to find her there. Instead, she puts her gun under his chin and tells him she's taking him back to The Centre.
Cocking his head to one side and giving her a dark-eyed smirk, Jarod says, "Sorry... but I'm never going back there." He reaches up to the steam pipe on the wall beside the bed, yanks it down (breaking the duct tape seal Argyle put on it), and lets the blast of steam that escapes from the pipe hit Bridget straight in the face. Screeching, Bridget throws herself back off the bed and curls up in pain on the floor. Jarod then finishes picking the lock on the handcuffs, and goes hunting for Argyle and the two Sweepers.
By making a huge racket in the warehouse, Jarod gets one of the Sweepers to leave the sedan and come looking for what caused the disturbance. When the Sweeper enters the warehouse, all he sees is the ratty looking little mutt sitting in the middle of the floor, scratching at its fleas... He never sees Jarod come up from the shadows and bash him in the head with a two-by-four. Jarod thanks the little dog for its help then readies himself for the second Sweeper.
Sweeper Willy waits by the sedan a while longer before he decides that Bridget and the other Sweeper have been in the warehouse for too long. He leaves the sedan, and enters the warehouse with his gun drawn. He finds the body of the first Sweeper and checks it for a pulse, then moves deeper into the warehouse looking for Bridget and Jarod. Before Willy can react, Jarod drops down from the ceiling rafters and punches Willy to the floor.
BACK AT THE CENTRE: Mr. Raines and Mr. Parker are standing by the T-Board table when Sydney's cell phone rings again. Mr. Raines answers it, expecting it to be Bridget. When he discovers it Jarod on the phone, Mr. Raines face lights up with fury. "Oh, by the way," Jarod tells him. "You can come pick up your blonde now."
AT THE WAREHOUSE Jarod looks down on Bridget. She's handcuffed to the bed with a piece of duct tape over her mouth to keep her from talking. Jarod gives her his good-byes, calls her "Luv", and then leaves the warehouse to find Argyle. Bridget fights against the handcuffs and screams behind her gag, but can't escape.
Out in the parking lot, Jarod opens the trunk of the sedan. Argyle is still inside, and holding up a PEZ dispenser as though it can defend him against an assault, Argyle screams. When he realizes it's Jarod outside the car and not the Sweepers, he immediately relaxes. Jarod offers him the bag with the $10 thousand in it, and Argyle gets a loose grip on it while he says, "I knew you were the one to trust all along." Jarod then yanks the bag out of Argyle's hands and tells him he's going to donate the money to the local pound in "Dog's" name. "Dog" was the real hero, anyway, he says. Just before he leaves, Jarod snarls at Argyle, " -- And give me back my PEZ," as he snatches the PEZ dispenser from Argyle's hands.
AT THE CENTRE upon Bridget's failure to bring Jarod back, Mr. Parker sees to it that Sydney, Broots and Miss Parker are released from their holding cell. He tries to console Miss Parker, but she won't let him. She's furious with him for lying to her and for putting her through the T-Board interrogation. Mr. Parker tries to laugh it off, saying she surely knew he was involved all along, and that it was all a charade to get the Triumvirate off his back. Mr. Parker then starts double-talking to her about who-knows-what and who-thinks-they-know-what's-what until Miss Parker shakes her head, confused. "Trust me," Mr. Parker says, and he leaves the interrogation room.
Miss Parker remembers, in flash backs, all the other times Mr. Parker told her the same thing: "Trust me." And then she recalls Jarod asking her (in the "Keys" episode, season one) "How can you still trust him?" Unable or as yet unwilling to answer the question for herself, Miss Parker steps up to Sydney and gently takes his arm in her hands, and walks him out of the T-Board room. As they exit, she asks him if he really thinks there's someone in The Centre who's helping Jarod stay free, and Sydney answers that in The Centre anything is possible.
As they leave the T-Board room, the camera shows us Angelo, sitting in one of the air conditioning ducts, smiling to himself as he munches on Cracker Jacks.
THE NEXT NIGHT in the warehouse district, a huge black 16-wheeler big-rig truck pulls into a nearly deserted parking lot and stops. Out of the truck steps Sharpton, who walks over to a parked car waiting in the lot. He accepts from the car driver an envelope overflowing with cash. The car then departs, and Sharpton turns back to his rig. He's surprised and a little bemused to find Jarod there, waiting for him. "You remember me?" Jarod asks with a grin, waving.
Sharpton shakes his head at Jarod, not believing that Jarod is back for more. "You never learn do you?" the trucker says. Jarod tells him, "But I never make the same mistake twice." He indicates to Sharpton the crumpled body of Sharpton's now unconscious partner. Jarod then informs Sharpton that they're both going for a little ride.
The episode closes with the sight of Jarod driving the black big rig at high speed down the open highway with Sharpton strapped, spread-eagle, to the outside front grill. As the truck rushes past the camera, Sharpton is screaming, and inside the cab of the rig Jarod is grinning broadly and blowing the truck's horn.