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The Pretender
  Season 3
Episode # 3.16
Airdate April 3, 1999
Writer(s) Juan Carlos Coto
Director(s) Krishna Rao
Guest star(s) Jason Brooks
Location (s) Chicago; Blue Cove, Delaware
Ties That Bind
All The Pretender episodes

PTB is the sixteenth episode of the third season of The Pretender which first aired in April 3, 1999 on NBC in the United States.

It features an appearance by recurring guest stars Jamie Denton as Mr. Lyle, Harve Presnell as Mr. Parker, Richard Marcus as Mr. Raines, Jon Gries as Broots and Jason Brooks as Thomas Gates.


Jarod is driving along somewhere at night, listening to a radio talk-show, that has a motto of exposing conspiracies. Jarod phones in and it appears that he's a regular caller, because the radio-show host, Neil Roberts, addresses him as MM, short for the Middle-Man. Jarod speaks cryptically of The Centre, that the talk-show host refers to as the P.T.B (the powers that be), then ends the call. The next caller, later named by Jarod as Pavlov, intimidates Neil by sending him a dead rat and a picture of a young girl (Patricia Marie Lorenz) with a note saying time is up. Than Pavlov attacks the secret underground studio from where Neil is broadcasting, and after a series of shootings Neil is off the air. Jarod does a 180 turn and drives back to Chicago.

Thomas is finishing the house that he is fixing in Delaware, says that he has bought another in Oregon and asks Parker to come with him. They get into a fight because of his request.

Parker tommy PTB-screenshot.jpg

In the Centre, when Parker confides to Sydney and Broots, Sydney asks if Parker let's the PTB-s to rule her life? Her father already knows about Oregon, and tells a story of how Parker got the name 'Angel'. It happened when Parker was three in the same house where Parker now lives. Mr. Parker was fixing a skylight and climbed on a latter when little Ms.Parker yelled: "Daddy, watch out!", and it turned out that the last step was broken, and Mr. Parker would have fell. He finishes the story by saying what would happen to me if my guardian angel should leave me now. Sam notified Parker that Thomas is waiting for her downstairs, and when Parker and Thomas were arguing about moving to Oregon, Raines listens to the fight in the staircase above.

Jarod takes over Neil's duties, becoming a radio-show host by gaining the trust of Neil's friend and editor Angela Somerset, and at the same time trying to find out where Neil is, if he is alive, and who is the mysterious blond girl whose pictures the Pavlov sends to Neil and who is Pavlov. He starts by finding out the location of Neil's underground studio, finds out that Neil is alive and saves his life once more, by recognizing that the call made by Pavlov was from the same place where Neil was, by hearing the sounds of the leaving train in the background. Jarod finds the girl in the pictures, by thinking like Neil and using the slogan of the show "Never stop questioning", which is a modified quote by Albert Einstein, Jarod finds more information about the girl. He finds out that the girl in the pictures is Neil's protege, that he has supported several years through a foundation and by sending her audio books that he has recorded himself. The girl is paralyzed, both of her parents are dead, and at first glance there is nothing to tie Neil to her. When Jarod digs deeper he finds out that among other things Neil had revealed a conspiracy that partly concerned himself, when he worked as a doctor in the military, and found out that instead of vaccines the test subject were injected with experimental drugs and Marie's parents were one of the test subjects, Neil found out about Marie being sick and of the experimental drugs, when he heard about the car crash that killed both of her parents.

Pavlov (Willard Spence) was the doctor behind the tests, his project was shut down when Neil raised issues about it and Dr. Spence was sentenced to seven years in prison. After he got out, he was determined to get revenge to the man that he saw as the one who sent him to prison, Neil. Jarod plots a way to make Dr. Spence confess and punish him and at the same time tries to avoid the Centre's sweepers, who have located him. He does so by being on the air from Neil's private station, that streams to the main radio station, where Neil and Angela are on air and where the PTBs barge in. Prior to that, Jarod catches Spence, ties him down, and as he is diabetic, offers him three needles, but only one of those contains insulin, the other two contain possibly lethal experimental drugs, or so he claims to Spence, making him to confess, afterwards he reveals that all of the syringes contain insulin. Neil and his protege Marie meets the first time and Jarod leaves.

The episode ends in Miss Parker's place, where she agrees to go with Tommy to Oregon, but says that before she goes, Tommy needs to know everything about her.


Main Cast

Guest Stars

Featuring (Stars Cast)


  • A midnight talk-show host, the Middleman, no last name is revealed.
  • A member of the military personnel.


it's not a life, Parker, it's a life sentence.


It's no coincidence.


A funny thing about traps. They don't discriminate between the hunter and the hunted.


She made her decision, doctor. I'm making mine.

–Mr. Lyle

It's not a coincidence.


Sometimes the worst prison is the kind you wake up to every morning.


Enjoy the cheese!


Related links