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The Pretender
  Season 4
Episode # 4.02
Airdate October 02, 1999
Writer(s) Mark M. Dodson
Director(s) Terrence O'Hara
Guest star(s) Blake Gibbons; Michael Dorn; James Black; Lombardo Boyar; Kathy Evison
Last name (s) Stevens
Location (s) Blue Cove, DE;
Plano, Texas
The World's Changing
Angel's Flight
All The Pretender episodes

Survival is the second episode of the fourth season of The Pretender which first aired October 02, 1999 on NBC in the United States. It is one of several episodes written by screenwriter Mark M. Dodson and features an appearance by recurring guest stars Jamie Denton as Mr. Lyle, Jon Gries as Broots, Ryan Merriman as a young Jarod and Alex Wexo as a young Sydney.


Miss Parker and Mr. Lyle are searching for a shipping container in Plano, Texas. A man named Junior claims to have helped Jarod and helps them now to find the container in which Jarod kept himself locked up. Miss Parker and Mr. Lyle climbed into the container. Once inside they see manacles hanging from the ceiling, a television, a car battery, a bucket of stagnant water ... there is a large red button on the wall with the words "Do Not Push" written next to it. Lyle wants to push the button, but Miss Parker stops him, telling "there is always a method to Jarod's madness". As Miss Parker continues to look around the shipping container she sees a red lever that has the words "Do Not Pull" on the wall next to it. But Lyle still presses the button and the container seals itself, locking Lyle and Miss Parker in it. As the doors close, Junior says, "See you later, Miss Parker, Mr. Lyle." Meaning that this was all just one of Jarod’s setups.

Jarod Stevens is at Fort Blaine POW Training Center already for three days investigating the suicide of Scott Rion and meets with Colonel Dance and Captain Sanders, who is the leader of Rion's training unit.

Lyle tries to shoot his way out of the container, but the bullet ricochets and almost hits Parker. Jarod has prepared the container for the "survival of the fittest" as Miss Parker puts it. Lyle finds some army


rations that contain grilled grasshoppers. They both take a bite, but Miss Parker chips a tooth as she bites into a small key, that Jarod has planted there. The container starts to move. At the Centre, Broots worries as Miss Parker and Lyle cannot be contacted. Sydney orders Broots to send another sweeper team to Texas.

Jarod thinks that the suicide wasn’t a suicide, when he hears that Rion was about to report a breach of conduct. Jarod tracks down captain Saunders' unit, that have went on an initiation rite and speaks with Captain Saunders. Saunders tell Jarod that Rion had personal problems and that he didn't report the problems because he wanted Rion to make it through the training, but Jarod does not believe it.

At the base, Jarod is searching through the files to look at the records for all of Rion's team members. He finds something in Captain Saunders' records about being part of a project named "Abyss." As Jarod is leaving, he runs into Lieutenant Kimbro who offers him a ride home, but as she tries to start the car, Jarod notices some wires and he tells her to get out and they run away from the car right before it explodes. Jarod speaks with the team’s explosives expert, who denies responsibility for the explosion. He also mentioned that Rion cried out during his isolation training, but Saunders and Sergeant forbade them to let him out.

In the container Miss Parker finds some old newspapers, that all contain articles about Lyle being considered as the suspect in the murders of some female college students. Lyle denies killing them and says that police suspected him at first, but later found the duct tape that had been used in the trunk of the car of an ex-boyfriend of one of the girls, so he was cleared.

Miss Parker sees a little box hidden in the container - one that can be opened with the small key Jarod had put in with the grasshoppers. She opens the box and finds an old watch in it. The watch belonged to her mother and has "Catherine Parker" engraved on the back of it. Lyle asks her what the watch is about and she tells him "survival."

At The Centre, Broots tells Sydney that the sweeper team didn't find Miss Parker or Mr. Lyle in Texas, but they interviewed some bum that had taken them to a shipping container where Jarod had been living. The container is gone, and all Broots can find out is that it is headed East. For ten dollars, the bum told the sweepers that Jarod had turned the container into a kind of a POW camp and that Jarod was the prisoner! Sydney says that Jarod may have been at a POW training facility, and Broots adds that he still may be.

Lieutenant Kimbro creeps up on Jarod's quarters and quietly goes inside and begins looking around, she tries to find out what really happened, and a bit later she tells Jarod the whole story. Captain Saunders had been harassing her for a long time. Rion was a witness to one such attempt and threatened to report it, but before he could to it, he killed himself, and she blames herself for it. Jarod tells her he believes that Scott Rion did not kill himself, that he realized that he was drugged and the mutilations on his body were actually a message – he had written "Abyss" on his body. The Lieutenant asks Jarod what he intends to do about it and he tells her that he is going to give Captain Saunders a little taste of his own medicine.

Broots finds the container. It has been transported to the Centre and the directions that Jarod has left alongside the container are, that Parker and Lyle should pull the red "Do not pull" lever to get out. They do so and the container opens. Broots and Sydney have tracked down Jarod to an Army survival camp, that is located next to the container park where Lyle and Parker had started their "trip".

At that camp, Jarod watches as the Sergeant tells the team that their 3 day solo survival exercise has been moved up and will begin immediately. He tells them that they will all be assigned separate quadrants and sends them out. Jarod follows Captain Saunders and watches the first night, as he eats the contaminated food, Jarod has spiked with Abyss. Saunders pass out, and when he wakes up he is in an isolation training box and Jarod makes him confess to the murder of Scott Rion.

Later, Colonel Dance tells the Lieutenant that Sergeant Saunders will be court martialed and get 20 to life in Leavenworth, and she passes that information on to Jarod. Jarod is pleased that Scott Rion's family will get an apology, a full disclosure and that young Rion will get the military burial he was denied previously. As they are speaking, Jarod sees Mr. Lyle and Miss Parker enter at the other end of the hallway and he disappears.


Jarod is an investigator at Fort Blaine POW Training Center.


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