The Pretender
Rules of Engagement
  Season 4
Episode # 4.08
Airdate January 8, 2000
Writer(s) Ethan Lawrence
Director(s) Rodney Charters
Last name (s) Harper, Jackson
Location (s) Blue Cove, DE; Chicago
Wild Child
'Til Death Do Us Part
All The Pretender episodes

Rules of Engagement is the eighth episode of the fourth season of The Pretender which first aired January 8, 2000 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; also features Jon Gries as Broots.



Broots locates Jarod's pretend as a UPS delivery guy Jarod Harper, that he hasn't even started yet. Parker, Broots and Sydney are leaving the Centre until Ms Parker gets a phone call from her father who asks her to meet him. Parker cancels the flight to Fletcher Ridge, Illinois and goes to meet her father. In the way out she meets the newly religious Mr Raines, who gives her a prayer card.

Jarod, oblivious of the fact that he has been located, switches a pretend when witnessing how two men grab rifles and are headed to the hospital, a women trying to stop them. He gives the woman, Sarah Larsen his cell phone so she could call 911. In the call she says that her brothers are headed to the hospital. When she wants to return the phone, Jarod is gone. Jarod reappears in the hospital, in the midst of a hostage situation as a special agent from FBI Chicago branch. He meets a local trigger-happy sheriff Bowen, his deputy Carmichael, hospital administrator Rebecca Simons and Dr. Stephen Franklin.

The hostage-takers Billy Larsen and Cam Larsen ask for a certain amount of money - 41,342.17 dollars. In the midst of the hostage situation Jarod has to create a portable camera to observe the hostage situation using a remote controlled toy car, flash light and a regular camera, a little after that he has to act as a doctor. This makes the sheriff suspicious and he finds out that Jarod is not from FBI, he confronts Jarod and lets him to do everything to save the situation. Jarod finds out that the amount of money asked is the exact sum for a heart bypass surgery that the hospital refused, to save the HMO the money. He also finds out that the Larsen's mother had died in similar circumstances.

Eventually he finds out that the man behind the plan was Dr. Stephen Franklin who with the help of Rebecca Simmons declined several of the patients their needed operations and sent them home to die. Jarod gets the confession out of Dr. Franklin by inducing to him the symptoms of a stroke, he gets arrested, and everything ends well.

Parker in SL-22

In the mean time Parker meets her father in a homeless trailer park, where he hides from the assassin. He gives her a key and asks Parker to bring him a strongbox, hidden behind a panel in front of the fire hose, from SL-22, that contains the cash that Mr. Parker and Brigitte need to flee. She goes back to the Centre, delayes the hunt for Jarod some more and finds the strongbox, tries to open it, but fails. She brings the box back to her father's hideaway where he opens it with the correct key. It is shown that beneath the money there is an envelope with the words 'baby parker' scrawled on it. She asks if that is her or Lyle's data, but gets no answer.

Mr. Parker reveals that Brigitte is

Parker barely misses Jarod

pregnant with a baby boy by showing Parker the ultrasound picture. He asks Parker to say nothing of their meeting to anybody and to bring in Jarod, so the status quo could be reinstated. Parker, Lyle, Sydney and Broots rush to Illinois, but as usual, barely miss Jarod. Lyle says that Parker gets the rap for this failure. She nods and keeps the promise given to Mr. Parker.


  • Jarod's initial pretend of being a UPS delivery guy named Jarod Harper was interrupted and the pretend shown was as FBI Chicago special agent Jarod Jackson.


Sheriff Bowen: I guess we can't let the mistakes of our past ruin our future

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