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The Pretender
The Paper Clock
  Season 1
Episode # 1.05
Airdate November 2, 1996
Writer(s) Javier Grillo-Marxuach
Director(s) Gabrielle Beaumont
Curious Jarod
To Serve and Protect
All The Pretender episodes

The Paper Clock is the fifth episode of the first season of The Pretender. It first aired on November 2, 1996 on NBC in the United States.


Jarod must become a lawyer to clear the name of a mentally disabled man who was unjustly imprisoned for homicide.


This episode opens with Jarod dreaming about his childhood and his mother. Right after waking up, he phones Sydney and describes how awkward feeling homesick is "if you don't know where home is". The psychiatrist states that Jarod's home is supposed to be The Centre, not the outside world. Suddenly, after expressing some sort of distrust towards Sydney, Jarod interrupts the conversation by claiming to be "running late" for "justice".

Then, it is revealed that the pretender is working as a lawyer under the false name "Jarod Holmes". The first person succesfully defended by Jarod is Isaac Dexter, a cisgender man who wears feminine clothes and used self defense to survive a murder attempt.

During the rest of the episode, Jarod, with some help from Isaac, investigates an old homicide case for which Marcus Whittaker, an innocent young man with a mental disability, was framed and imprisoned. Marcus, who used to work as a janitor at time of his arrest, was accused of beating a woman named Audrey Price to her death. His lawyer, Ben Sloane, wasn't able to free him from the charges.

Jarod pays a visit to Marcus Whittaker on the penitentiary and discovers that Marcus's hobby is to build clocks using paper cards. When asked about the night of the murder, Marcus states that he was bringing flowers to Ms. Price like he always did. That time, however, he ended up finding her dead body with an owl statue placed beside it. Marcus also tells Jarod that a man named Metzger used to visit Ms. Price, but Sloane made Marcus not say a world about it.

Jarod averiguates Metzger's phone call history and discovers that Metzger called Sloane right after the time Audrey Price was supposedly killed. The pretender then realizes that Sloane decided to send a poor innocent man to jail in order "to keep a rich guilty one out".

On a new trial, Jarod - as a lawyer - presents the recently uncovered evidence and exposes all the truth behind Sloane's and Metzger's crimes. One of the pieces of evidence that he shows is the murder weapon: an owl statue (stained in Ms. Price's blood), which was hidden inside Sloane's property. Before being arrested, an angry Sloane asks Jarod: "What kind of Law you are practicing here?" Jarod responds: "The kind of Law that applies to millionaires too."

After that, Marcus regains his liberty and receives a gift from Jarod: a paper clock with a note which reads "now you have all the time in the world to cherish your freedom".


Main Cast

Guest Stars

  • Christian Meoli as Marcus Whittaker
  • Janet Hubert as Madam Director
  • Walter Addison as Alan Edwards
  • Mariangela Pino as Annie
  • Jonathan Osser as Younger Jarod

Featuring Stars (Cast)

  • Adam Paul as Salesman #1
  • Steven Stapenhurst as Newscaster
  • G. Eric Miles as L.A. Sheriff
  • Sarah Rayne as Dara


  • Lawyer
  • Rodeo Rider


Miss Parker: Dammit! Next time I'm just going to shoot the little pain in the ass. Get in the car.

Related Links

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