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The Pretender
Someone to Trust
  Season 3
Episode # 3.04
Airdate November 7, 1998
Writer(s) Tommy Thompson
Director(s) Fred K. Keller
Last name (s) Burns
Location (s) Clear Bay
Once in a Blue Moon
All The Pretender episodes

Someone to Trust is the fourth episode of the third season of The Pretender. It first aired on November 7, 1998 on NBC in the United States.


While pretending to be a serial arsonist, Jarod is hired by Harold Kincade, a corrupt businessman, and befriends Kristi, Kincade's seemingly goodhearted spouse. Half the way through the episode, someone uses Jarod's pretend's M.O. to take Harold's life and turns Jarod into the main suspect.


This episode opens with Jarod on his way to meet a potential client for his pretend's services at some place called Kristi's Café. Outside the establishment, Jarod witnesses one of the café's workers mistreating an impoverished man who was asking for food to provide to his starving children. The place's owner, Kristi Kincade, reprimands her employee and orders him to help the indigent's family. Having seen that, Jarod decides to talk to Kristi to congratulate her for her attitude.

After a brief dialogue with Kristi, Jarod (using the fake identity "Jarod Burns") meets Burns's client's representative. It is revealed that Burns is an arsonist for hire and that the person who currently recquires his services is a corrupt businessman called Harold Kincade, who happens to be Kristi's spouse. To prove his competence, Jarod remotely explodes the local sheriff's boat in the plain sight of Harold's employee. Albeit physically hurting no one, it frightens numerous bystanders.

At The Centre, Miss Parker overhears Mr. Lyle crying alone in his room. She soon discovers that he was watching their birth's footage and remarks such occurrence to Sydney, who states that having this kind of feelings is nothing extraordinary, although Parker insists Lyle is too cold-hearted for it. Broots cuts their conversation off to reveal that Jarod has send them a young lady's photo with a written cryptic message ("Trust can kill you or set you free"). Miss Parker asks Broots to find out who the woman from the picture is.

Parker then informs her father about her brother's odd behavior, but he also acts in a dismissive way about it, even stating that Lyle might be going throught a positive personality transformation process. Later, she talks to Jarod on the phone about the photography. He asserts that the person in the photo got involved with the "wrong people" and tells Parker she has "to see people for what they are".

At the same night, Jarod wakes up with screams and discovers that Harold's room was set on fire, subsequently killing him. Some time later, police officers arrive and Randall Carver, the sheriff, says the damage done to the house looks like what had happened to his boat earlier that day. Carver interrogates Kristi and grows suspicious of her.

At the Centre, Broots tells Parker and Sydney about the life of the woman in the picture, whose name is revealed to be Che Ling. He discovered that she was born in Xinjiang, a poor Chinese province, but received a United States visa one year before the events of the episode. She then moved to Las Vegas, where she became a mail-order bride. Miss Parker feels disgusted about the men who would "order" girls like Ling.

Meanwhile, Jarod promises to Kristi that he will find the culprit for Harold's murder. She thanks Jarod with a kiss, making him feel very uncomfortable.

At the cemetery, Parker sees Lyle standing in front of their mother's gravestone and talks to him. He mourns Catherine's death, says he is trying to change his personality and indirectly asks her sister for a second chance.

Broots discovers evidence that Che Ling is dead and might have been a victim of a terrible crime, probably perpetrated by her abusive last partner. Miss Parker, Broots and Sydney listen to the 911 call made by the girl in the night when she disappeared, in which she pleads for help, stating that someone would go to her apartment to murder her. Sadly, even the FBI was unable to find any piece of information about her husband's identity at the time she vanished.

While they are listening to the recording, Sam the Sweeper delivers to Miss Parker something sent by Jarod: It is a photo of Mr. Parker in front of the exact same place where Ling disappeared. Miss Parker anxiously leaves the room and says she will try to find "someone to trust".

Jarod is interrogated by Sheriff Carver. Having seen Burns's extensive criminal history, Carver grows more and more suspicious of Jarod. Kristi also apparently begins to distrust Jarod after she finds Burns's arson instruments, but he is able to quickly convince her of his true noble causes. However, Jarod soon discovers that the police officers are now allowed to arrest him and goes on the run.

Miss Parker attempts to talk to Mr. Lyle about everything that incriminates Mr. Parker, as she is seemingly starting to trust her brother. However, before she can do that, Sydney and Broots give her the newest information about the murder of the Chinese girl: They have found a picture of the victim and her last husband side-by-side. Surprisingly enough, the lady's spouse was in fact Mr. Lyle, not Mr. Parker.

While on the run, Jarod encounters with Kristi. She says she loves him, but suddenly betrays Jarod by leading both him and Sheriff Carver to a deadly trap.

Miss Parker exposes to her father what she has learnt about Lyle's mail-order bride's death, only to discover that Mr. Parker already knows about it and believes (or pretends to believe) that his son is innocent, both of the murder and of the domestic abuse. In Mr. Parker's view, Lyle should still be considered part of the family and deserves to be treated friendly by him and Miss Parker.

Meanwhile, Jarod (revealed to have avoided the trap) and the police visit Kristi's house. One of the officers is seen keeping Sheriff Carver (who has also survived) handcuffed. Jarod tells Kristi how he and Carver evaded her trap and how the sheriff later confessed to be her accomplice in Harold's death. A cop handcuffs Kristi. A few hours after Kristi is arrested, Jarod calls Miss Parker to talk about Mr. Lyle's crimes and Mr. Parker's permissiveness (and maybe even complicity) regarding it. She seems not to know who to trust anymore.

In the episode's final scene, Mr. Lyle is seen reading a huge amount of mail-order brides catalogues and cutting some women's photos out of them, implying that he is a grim serial killer and is still very far from actually changing his personality.


Main Cast

Guest Stars


  • Jarod Burns, arsonist for hire.


  • Miss Parker: Who's the woman in the picture?

Jarod: Someone who got caught up with the wrong people.

Miss Parker: Haven't we all?

Jarod: Some do worse things than anothers.

Miss Parker: Like murdering an innocent woman in an elevator?

  • Miss Parker: Men! Ordering women like they were snow tires.
  • Mr. Lyle: I was never allowed a first chance with her (Catherine)... But I would like a second one with you (Miss Parker).

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