May 2, 1998
Juan Carlos Coto
Juan Carlos Coto & Ivan Tell
AT THE OCEANSIDE HOSPITAL in Sunnyvale, California, Jarod is just finishing up a pretend in which -- as Dr. Jarod Pearce -- he was able to expose Dr. Charles Mitchell as the murderer of a hospital administrator. At first, the death of the administrator was thought to be caused by an accidental overdose of Panalex, but Jarod was able to discover and expose the truth. He clears out his locker in the hospital, has "transfer papers" in hand, and is ready to leave, when paramedics wheel in a patient to the ER. The patient is a man who was struck by a sports utility vehicle (SUV) when he tried to run across a road to a phone booth. The man is suffering from cranial injuries and is only barely conscious. He keeps repeating the name "Patrick". Jarod retains his doctor persona and stays to oversee the man's admission into the hospital. He searches through the man's pockets trying to find some ID, and instead finds a passel of car keys, Polaroid photograph of a young boy, and a ransom note which reads: I HAVE YOUR SON. WAIT FOR CALL, MYRTLE AND LIME. 4:00 PM.
Jarod looks up at the clock; it's five minutes to 4:00. He turns the man's case over to another doctor, takes the keys, photo and note, and runs out of the hospital to the corner of Myrtle and Lime where a phone booth is. The phone rings just as he arrives there. Jarod answers the phone, and the kidnapper on the other end of the line says he's surprised to see what "Mr. Harper" looks like without his beard. Jarod realizes that the kidnapper can see him -- but he can't see the kidnapper. Jarod tells the kidnapper that he's worried about the boy, begs the kidnapper not to harm Patrick, and asks him what he wants. The kidnapper (who has mistaken Jarod for the real Mr. Harper) tells him to look for the cell phone taped to the phone book in the booth; Jarod finds it. The kidnapper then tells him he wants $2 million for Patrick, and that he'll call Jarod in 24 hours on the cell phone to give him directions for the drop-off of the money. The kidnapper warns Jarod not to notify the media or the police. If anyone comes looking for him, he'll kill the boy. Then the kidnapper abruptly hangs up.
Before Jarod leaves the phone booth, he's stopped by a barrage of flashback images from his childhood... the night when he was kidnapped from his home by Centre operatives. The images confuse and frighten Jarod, and it takes him a moment to regain his composure. When he leaves the phone booth, he uses the security beeper on Mr. Harper's key chain to locate Mr. Harper's automobile. Using the keys then to enter the car, Jarod sits behind the steering wheel and looks through the car to find more information about the man who he's now pretending to be. He finds an orange baseball cap on the front seat with an "SF" (San Francisco) logo on it, and a briefcase. In the briefcase is a wallet with a driver's license that identifies the injured man in the hospital as George Harper of Woodside, California... a reclusive billionaire who had disappeared for ten years, and who was now just re-emerging into the public light with a new break-through computer language system. Patrick is his dyslexic son, who goes to the Hayvenhurst School.
Jarod puts on the orange baseball cap, looks at himself in the rear view mirror and names himself: George Harper. He then closes his eyes, trying to feel how George Harper might feel sitting behind the wheel of the vehicle. Jarod is stunned, however, when a man walks up, aims a gun at Jarod's chest through the open driver's side window, and demands to know who Jarod is. Jarod tells the man he's George Harper, and the man says, "Tell that to someone who isn't the head of Mr. Harper's security. Who are you?"
AT THE CENTRE, Broots shows a computer-generated image of Jarod to Miss Parker and Sydney and tells them he's found out that Jarod was at Clarkston Pharmaceuticals about three weeks ago. Jarod was there researching information on the company's version of the Panalex drug. Broots also tells them that one of the major stockholders of Clarkston Pharmaceuticals is none other than Mr. Raines. "Everyone needs a nest egg," Raines wheezes as he enters the room.
Sydney tells Mr. Raines that the discovery of Jarod's research at the company means nothing unless they can figure out why he wanted the information he got. Raines complains, "Jarod's purpose is to harass The Centre. He's after my stock." Sydney counters that assertion with: "If he were after your stock, you'd be broke."
AT THE OCEANSIDE HOSPITAL, Jarod is in George Parker's hospital room talking to Mr. Alambar, the security chief who accosted Jarod outside in Harper's automobile. Alambar -- who thinks Jarod is really Dr. Jarod Pearce -- apologizes to Jarod for pointing a gun at him earlier, and thanks him for helping with the telephone call to the kidnapper. Jarod's intervention gave Patrick another 24 hours of life. Alambar wants Jarod to relinquish the kidnapper's cell phone to him, but Jarod insists on keeping it, reminding Alambar that the kidnapper thinks HE (Jarod) is Mr. Harper, and will now speak to no one else but him. Alambar reluctantly agrees.
Jarod asks him to tell him about Patrick's kidnapping. Alambar says that a limo driver took Patrick to school and picked him up every day. This day, Patrick had stayed late, taking special reading classes to help him with his dyslexia. When the limo driver arrived to pick him up, all the driver found was the boy's emptied backpack, the photo, and the ransom note. The driver took it to Mr. Harper, and Mr. Harper was scrambling across the street to get to the phone booth before 4:00 PM when he was struck by a car...and subsequently brought to the hospital.
Alambar says he thinks of Patrick as his own child, and is very worried about him. Alambar was a former FBI agent, and had worked some kidnapping cases. In those cases the children were badly abused or murdered. He's worried that the kidnapper will kill Patrick just so Patrick won't be able to ID him later. Jarod says, "He's a professional... He wants us to feel a total lack of control, so he can fulfill his fantasy of power." Alambar says Jarod is talking like someone who knows a lot about this particular type of crime, and Jarod admits to Alambar that he himself had been kidnapped as a child.
Flashback images burst in on Jarod again, and he recalls receiving the gift of a "Bonanza" lunchbox from his mother the night before his own kidnapping. She was excited about him being able to go into a special school for gifted children, and wanted to celebrate his admittance... Jarod then recalls images of himself walking into the school with his new lunchbox the next morning, and noticing two men in a dark sedan across the street from his school... They were wearing dark glasses... They were watching him... The images stop as quickly as they started, leaving Jarod slightly disoriented for a moment. He has to shake himself to focus on the here-and-now.
JAROD GOES TO THE HAYVENHURST SCHOOL -- a private, very exclusive, and very expensive-looking establishment -- and looks around the area for clues about Patrick's kidnapping. While he's there -- now posing as George Harper -- he meets a female teacher named Judith Peck who says she's surprised to see him (as Mr. Harper is such a recluse), but is grateful for the scholarship funding he provides for the special needs children in the school. She tells him that Patrick usually waited right out where they were standing now, by some stone benches, for the limousine that would take him home. He'd been kept late the day of the kidnapping because he was in special classes. Jarod nods; he knows that already. But empathizing with Patrick -- and reiterating his own feelings when he was a child -- Jarod remarks, "He doesn't want to be singled out. He hates being 'special'." Ms. Peck says that's just what Patrick often said to her; he wanted to be like the other kids, and often brought comic books to class to read just so he'd feel less "different" from the others.
Jarod also meets Martin Benton, the man who is the head of the security department at the school. Benton apologizes to Jarod for the lack of security on the day Patrick was abducted, and promises to offer whatever aid he can. Jarod asks Peck and Benton to do NOTHING. If they interfere, he says, Patrick might suffer the consequences.
After Peck and Benton depart, Jarod sits alone on the bench where Patrick was last seen. He calls Sydney on his own cell phone, and tells him that he's seeing images of his own kidnapping. Sydney tells him it's not unusual for repressed memories to resurface when one is faced with traumatic events. For Jarod, however, it's not just "memories"; he's suffering from post-traumatic shock and is physically reliving the terror of his abduction. Trembling, he tells Sydney: "It's all coming back to me, Sydney... It's like a nightmare. It keeps coming back in pieces. First the fear... Then the panic shooting through your nerves that night..." Jarod starts shaking more seriously. "I'm a child again. It's dark... I'm alone... All I can think about is seeing my family again... I want my world to be like it was!"
Sydney tries to comfort Jarod by telling him there was certainly no excuse for what happened to him as a child, but that what Jarod was doing now "in the wide world" certainly seemed to indicate that something good came out of his confinement. Jarod responds to this sophistry with rage. He tells Sydney that something "right" coming out of something that was initially "very, very wrong" could never justify what The Centre did to him. Jarod growls, "How do you live with what happened to me?!"
BACK AT THE CENTRE, later that afternoon, Sydney arrives in the Tech Room to find Broots, Miss Parker, Willie the Sweeper, and Mr. Raines all waiting for him. Raines has Broots play back an audio recording of Sydney's telephone conversation with Jarod, and then tells Sydney he's tired of Sydney mollycoddling Jarod and helping to keep him away from The Centre. Sydney tells Raines that his telephone conversations with Jarod are nothing new, and that they keep The Centre in contact with Jarod. If the phone calls stop, Jarod will be lost to The Centre completely. Raines disagrees, and says that if Sydney would remove himself from the pursuit, The Centre would have a better chance of capturing Jarod... and Miss Parker agrees. She tells Sydney he's too emotionally involved with Jarod to be objective anymore. Sydney gives her a cold look, and walks away.
AT OCEANSIDE HOSPITAL that evening, Jarod is in George Harper's hospital room along with Mr. Alambar. Alambar is dozing, and Jarod sits in one of the other chairs in the room to rest himself. When he closes his eyes, he's once more inundated with images of his own kidnapping. He's a child, lying in bed at night when men come in through his bedroom window. They grab him, tie his hands together and muffle his screams by clamping a hand over his mouth. In his struggle, his Bonanza lunchbox falls off the nightstand beside his bed. A hood is put over his head, and he's bodily hurled across the room and out the window by one of the men.
Jarod's whole body jerks and he opens his eyes. He's an adult again, back in the hospital room. Alambar is sleeping in the nearby chair, but sitting on the little table against the wall is Jarod's Bonanza lunchbox. Jarod frowns at the thing, not understanding how it could be there. Then he hears sounds of people approaching. He's frozen with fear. Men come up from behind him, grab him, stifle his cries with gloved hands, and pull a hood over his head.
Once again, Jarod's whole body jerks, he flails at the air, and opens his eyes. He's in the hospital room once more. The lunchbox is gone and so is Alambar. Jarod puts his shaking hand over his eyes realizing that he's been having nightmares, and tries to calm himself down. He's aided by the fact that Alambar returns from his break... and George Harper regains consciousness. Alambar and Jarod tell Harper what's going on.
AT THE CENTRE the next morning, Miss Parker tells Sydney she wants him to go with to California to track down the Clarkston Pharmaceuticals lead on Jarod. Sam the Sweeper will precede them there. Sydney is still angry with her for siding with Raines the day before, and doesn't really want to talk to her. Miss Parker apologizes to him for siding with "the creep", but reiterates her belief that Sydney is too close to Jarod emotionally. Sydney tells her that he wants Jarod returned to The Centre as much as she does; he just doesn't want Jarod hurt or killed in the process.
BACK IN SUNNYVALE, at The Hayvenhurst School, Jarod has several hours before his next 4:00 PM appointment at the phone booth with the kidnappers, so he tries again to find clues to Patrick's abduction. He puts himself into the persona of Patrick and tries to figure out what the boy was doing and feeling the afternoon before he was kidnapped.
He looks across the street from the school, where a magazine shop has racks of comic books standing just outside its doors. Believing the comic books would have attracted Patrick, Jarod walks across the street and looks around the racks for clues. He finds a koosh ball toy, like the ones Patrick often played with, lying on the sidewalk behind the rack. He then opens up a nearby garbage bin, and find Patrick's school books shoved down inside of it.
Alambar arrives and wants to know why Jarod isn't at the hospital with George Harper, waiting for the cell phone call from the kidnapper. Jarod tells him they still have two hours, and that he was looking for clues, and found them. Patrick wasn't taken from in front of the school, Jarod tells Alambar, he was taken from here in front of magazine store. The kidnapper then emptied Patrick's backpack into the trash, and put the photo and ransom note inside of it, and walked it back to the bench across the street so the limo driver would find it when he arrived.
Jarod looks over the front of the magazine store, and spots a video surveillance camera mounted just outside the door. He points it out to Alambar.
JAROD AND ALAMBAR GO TO JAROD'S LAIR -- a small apartment in a moderately priced building -- and watches the video tape taken by the store's security camera, in the hopes of seeing Patrick's kidnapping. The camera is at such an angle that it only covers the immediate area around the comic book racks and the curb, but Jarod and Alambar are able to spot the kidnapper when he arrives in an unmarked van. Unfortunately, the kidnapper is wearing a ski mask that covers his face, and the van has no license plate on it, so it can't be traced.
At 4:00 PM, Jarod and Alambar are leaving Jarod's lair when Alambar gets a call on his private cell phone that disturbs him. Standing behind Jarod, he tells him that he was almost fooled by his excellent performance. Jarod turns to face Alambar and finds that Alambar has a gun leveled at him. Alambar tells Jarod that the phone call he just got was from his office; they'd run a trace on "Dr. Jarod Pearce" and discovered that Dr. Pearce had died in 1979. Alambar demands to know who Jarod really is. Before Jarod can explain himself, the kidnapper's call comes through on his cell phone. Jarod tells Alambar that he's really NOT involved in the kidnapping and begs Alambar to let him answer the call. Alambar reluctantly allows Jarod to proceed.
Jarod answers the call and the kidnapper tells him he has ten minutes to get to the phone booth on Myrtle and Lime again for further instructions. Jarod and Alambar rush into Alambar's SUV and drive to the phone booth... unaware that they've been spotted by Sam the Sweeper, who follows them in his own sedan with another Centre Sweeper.
Alambar parks his car about a block away from the phone booth and tells Jarod to proceed to the booth on foot. He also warns Jarod that if Jarod does anything that looks even slightly suspicious, he'll shoot him. Jarod says he understands, picks up the briefcase with the $2 million in ransom money in it, and runs to the phone booth just as the phone there starts to ring. He answers it with, "I'm here... I'm here..."
The kidnapper tells Jarod to take the $2 million and put it in the trashcan across the street from the booth. Before Jarod can respond, however, the kidnapper starts growling, "Harper, I said no law!" Jarod says he doesn't understand what the kidnapper is talking about, and looks around the phone booth for any sign of policemen. He sees, not police officers, but Sam the Sweeper and another Sweeper closing in on the phone booth from one direction... and Miss Parker and Sydney closing in from another. The kidnapper thinks they're plain-clothes cops and is furious. He tells Jarod the deal is off and that boy will die. Still watching his on-coming pursuers, Jarod begs the kidnapper to reconsider, and tells him to ask for anything he wants. The kidnapper takes a few seconds to think, and tells Jarod he has three hours to get $4 million or Patrick will be dead. The kidnapper then hangs up... and Jarod bolts from the phone booth. Jarod is running so fast that Miss Parker and Sydney can't keep up with him, but the Sweepers are closer and chase Jarod down the middle of the street. Alambar sees them, starts up his vehicle, and races after them. He's able to intercept Jarod before the Sweepers can grab him, and drives off, leaving the Sweepers in the street. Alambar asks who the Sweepers were, and Jarod tells him, "I don't know. They must have been some of the kidnappers."
BACK AT THE HOSPITAL, George Harper is frantic that the pay-off scenario went so badly, but promises to give Jarod the $4 million he needs to get Patrick back. While they talk, Jarod remembers something the kidnapper said during their telephone conversation: the kidnapper knew that Patrick was in special classes at school... he knew Patrick would be out on the bench alone the day of kidnapping... But how would he know that unless he had an "in" with the school itself?
JAROD GOES BACK TO HIS LAIR and looks over the surveillance video from the magazine store again. He discovers that seconds after the kidnapper drove away, another man stepped out of the shadows by the comic book racks into camera range, and walked across the street back toward the school. The man was Martin Benton, the head of the school's security.
JAROD GOES BACK TO THE SCHOOL and attacks Benton in the parking lot as Benton's getting ready to go home. Wearing a ski mask, Jarod grabs Benton from behind, shoves him into a van, and binds his hands together. Then he puts a hood over Benton's head and informs him that he's being kidnapped. Benton is immediately terrified and begs to be released. Jarod terrorizes Benton with threats of torture and murder, and demands to know where Patrick is being held. Believing that Jarod is totally serious, Benton tells him where Patrick is... and Jarod leaves him, bound and gagged, in the back of the van to be picked up by the authorities later.
FROM JAROD'S LAIR, Alambar calls Jarod on his cell phone and asks him where he is. Jarod tells him that he's at the school, but that he now knows where Patrick is. He'll meet Alambar at his lair then they can both go and rescue Patrick. Alambar agrees to the plan, and Jarod hurries back to the lair.
Jarod walks down the hall in the apartment building to his apartment, and opens the door to his lair. He's stunned to find Alambar sitting handcuffed to a chair in the front room. Alambar looks up at him and shouts, "Run, Jarod! Run!" Jarod takes his cue immediately, and turns to run up the hallway out of the building, but finds his path blocked by Miss Parker and Sydney. Jarod tries running the other way down the hall, but finds that exit blocked by Sam the Sweeper. Frustrated, Jarod leans his back to the hallway wall and repeats, "No... No. No!"
Sam grabs Jarod and, man-handling him, bangs him against the wall and then holds him by the throat at gun-point as Miss Parker and Sydney walk up to him. The kidnapper's cell phone in Jarod's pocket starts to ring, and Jarod shouts to Miss Parker to let him go. He has to answer the phone or a kidnapped boy will die. Miss Parker yanks the cell phone out of Jarod's pocket and smashes it on the floor saying she's not buying his stories anymore.
Sam then starts dragging Jarod the hall, and Jarod struggles against him and starts yelling at Sydney. Jarod shouts to Sydney that taking him to The Centre against his will now is just the same as when the Centre operatives took him from his home against his will when he was a child. It's all happening again, he says, and he begs Sydney to intervene this time. Before Sydney can take any kind of action, however, Willie the Sweeper shows up. He tells Sam, Miss Parker and Sydney that HE'S going to take custody of Jarod on Mr. Raines' behalf. Miss Parker won't hear of that and tells Willie to get lost.
As Willie crosses in front of Jarod and Sam, he makes a grab for Jarod. Sam tries to stop him, and in the altercation, Jarod gets in a good kick that sends Willie across the hall and crashing into the wall. Willie pulls out his gun and attempts to shoot Jarod, but Sydney grabs Willie by the wrists and deflects the shot. The bullet hits Sam in the leg, and he goes down, pulling Jarod down with him. Miss Parker steps in to give Willie a punch in the head for interfering with her capture of Jarod and for shooting her sweeper, and with both Sweepers incapacitated; Jarod makes a run for a window at the end of the hallway. Miss Parker pulls out her gun and aims it at Jarod's back. Before she can shoot him, however, Sydney intervenes. He puts himself directly in front of Miss Parker's gun, giving Jarod time to break the window and jump out of the building.
Jarod races on foot toward the warehouse where Benton said Patrick was being held. He arrives just as the kidnapper is about to shoot Patrick. Jarod grapples with the kidnapper and is knocked onto his back. The kidnapper jumps on top of him, calls him Mr. Harper, and tells him he's going to kill Patrick in front of him. Growling like an animal, Jarod informs the kidnapper, "I'm not Mr. Harper!", and gathers up all of his fury and strength to force the kidnapper off of him.
Driven by a desire to get back at the men who had kidnapped him as a child, Jarod takes all of his rage out on Patrick's kidnapper: he kicks him, beats him, throws him across the room, and punches him in the head over and over and over again until the man is almost unconscious. Then Jarod starts to strangle him, squeezing the life out of him. The only thing that stops him is the sound of his mother's voice in the back of mind saying, "I'm so proud of you, Jarod... I'm the proudest mommy in the world." Unable to kill, Jarod releases his grip on the kidnapper's throat and stumbles off to find Patrick. He finds the boy in a back room, unties him, and embraces him. "It's over, Patrick," he says. And to himself, he repeats, "It's over... It's over..."
AT THE OCEANSIDE HOSPITAL, Jarod reunites Patrick with his father, and watches as the two of them interact: the father cradling his son's head, kissing him, laughing and crying over him. Harper looks up, tears in his eyes, and mouths the words, "thank you," to Jarod. Jarod smiles, and nods in reply.
A FEW DAYS LATER, BACK AT THE CENTRE Mr. Raines is livid over the fact that Jarod managed to escape capture again. He tells Miss Parker and Sydney that it's all their fault, but Sydney counters Raines' assertion by telling him that Miss Parker had captured Jarod at his lair. It was the interference of Raines' sweeper, Willie, which allowed Jarod the opportunity to escape. "That's how my report is going read," Sydney tells Raines, and Raines walks off with an angry glance, and a grumbled, "This isn't over yet." Miss Parker mocks Raines with a flippant, "You can bet your bald head on that."
AT THE HOSPITAL, Jarod is saying his good-byes to Patrick, Mr. Harper, and Mr. Alambar. Alambar tells Jarod that he realizes that whoever Miss Parker, Sydney and Sweepers were, they obviously thought Jarod was very valuable to them. But Jarod's secret was safe with him, Alambar promises. "As far as I'm concerned, you died in 1979." Jarod thanks him, and gives Patrick a final good-bye. As Jarod is leaving, Mr. Harper tells him, "You'll make a great father someday."