The Best Episodes of The Pretender

Last Updated: Jan 28, 2019

The Pretender is an American television series that aired on NBC from 1996 to 2000. The series starred Michael T. Weiss as Jarod, a genius and former child prodigy with the ability to become anyone he wants to be, i.e., to flawlessly impersonate anyone in virtually any line of work. Patrick Bauchau and Andrea Parker co-starred as Sydney, Jarod's childhood teacher and mentor, and Miss Parker, a childhood friend. They are both operatives for a mysterious organization called "The Centre", which took Jarod from his parents as a child and developed his special talents with the intention of making him one of their agents, while also using his brilliant intellect for their own evil purposes. After escaping from their custody, Jarod begins traveling the country, searching for clues to his true identity while posing as a doctor, police officer, attorney, or some other character who helps those in trouble. The Centre's directors are determined to return Jarod to The Centre to further their mysterious plan. A team of operatives, led by Miss Parker, attempts to find and capture The Pretender. Jarod's extreme intelligence combined with his childlike innocence create a memorable and endearing character that was popular with viewers.

The Inner Sense (2)

#1 - The Inner Sense (2)

Season 4 - Episode 20

Jarod finally locates his sister Emily, just in time to see her nearly assassinated by The Centre. Meanwhile, Miss Parker's search of the secrets behind her mother's death lead her and Jarod to the same place -- and a mysterious young man named Ethan.

star 7.86
28 votes
Directors: Fred Keller
Writers: Steven Long Mitchell, Craig Van Sickle
The Dragon House (2)

#2 - The Dragon House (2)

Season 1 - Episode 22

UPSTATE NEW YORK - Jarod discovers more about his family through Harriet, and decides that he must return to The Centre to free his brother Kyle. Meanwhile, Miss Parker convinces Broots and Sydney in helping her find the answers to her mother's death and believes Kyle may be the key. Finally, Jarod gets the opportunity to reunite with his family, including his sister. But The Centre becomes aware of the rendezvous and intends to stop it.

star 7.85
19 votes
Directors: Fred Keller
Writers: Steven Long Mitchell, Craig Van Sickle
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Toy Surprise

#3 - Toy Surprise

Season 2 - Episode 12

TURNERS RIDGE, IDAHO - Jarod helps a troubled teenager by becoming an outdoor counselor. But back at The Centre, Miss Parker is grieving the anniversary of her mother's death. The day just gets worst when she's tipped off by Jarod that there's going to be an assassination attempt on her father. With only 2 hours to stop it and trapped in the Sub-levels, Miss Parker has to get to the tower before her father arrives by helicopter.

star 7.84
56 votes
Directors: Fred Keller
Writers: Juan Carlos Coto
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Donoterase (2)

#4 - Donoterase (2)

Season 3 - Episode 22

Conclusion from part 1. Jarod and his father plan a rescue the clone created by the Centre's, while Miss Parker must face new truths from inside the Centre and more about her mother's murder.

star 7.80
20 votes
Directors: Fred Keller
Writers: Craig Van Sickle, Steven Long Mitchell
P.T.B.

#5 - P.T.B.

Season 3 - Episode 16

Jarod fills in for a radio talk show host who disappeared after a violent confrontation with a threatening caller; Thomas asks Miss Parker to relocate.

star 7.79
29 votes
Directors: Krishna Rao
Writers: Juan Carlos Coto
Bank

#6 - Bank

Season 2 - Episode 20

DOVER, DELAWARE - Jarod tricks Miss Parker to meet him at a bank, where they come face to face with the mysterious Mr. Fenigor. But this arrangement gets complicated when there's a robbery the same day. When The Centre gets news that Jarod is trapped in this hostage situation, they close in and make sure he'll not slip through their fingers this time.

star 7.79
43 votes
Directors: Michael Lange
Writers: Harry Dunn
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Countdown

#7 - Countdown

Season 3 - Episode 15

Jarod races against time to locate the father of an injured boy with a rare blood disorder.

star 7.79
38 votes
Directors: Chuck Bowman
Writers: Daniel Truly, Andrew Dettman
Back From The Dead Again

#8 - Back From The Dead Again

Season 2 - Episode 1

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - Jarod morns the death of his brother. He then takes on the identity of an anatomy professor trying to find a boy who has been missing since Halloween of the previous year. Meanwhile, Miss Parker is startled to find that her father has disappeared and has been replaced by a Mr. Lyle. With him comes Brigitte, a mysterious girl who is more thorough in finding Jarod than Miss Parker. And Sydney, at Jarod's request, researches why there's no DSA for the last three weeks of October prior to his escape.

star 7.75
64 votes
Writers: Steven Long Mitchell, Craig Van Sickle
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Bloodlines (1)

#9 - Bloodlines (1)

Season 2 - Episode 21

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - Jarod recieves a letter from an anonymous source and believes The Centre is going to kidnap another boy-genius. Sydney creates a serum that allows Angelo to become a normal person again, provided he takes all the doses at the right time.

star 7.73
48 votes
Directors: Fred K. Keller
Writers: Steven Long Mitchell, Craig W. Van Sickle
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Crazy

#10 - Crazy

Season 3 - Episode 1

PLEASENT WOOD INSTITUTE, MARYLAND - Jarod becomes a mental patient to uncover the truth behind the mysterious murder of another patient. Miss Parker researches the identity of her twin.

star 7.71
42 votes
Writers: Steven Long Mitchell, Craig Van Sickle
The Dragon House (1)

#11 - The Dragon House (1)

Season 1 - Episode 21

FORT REXFORD, NEW YORK - Jarod becomes aware that Kyle, another pretender from The Centre, is on the run from the law. Eager to find him, he becomes an F.B.I. agent to aid the investigation. But he discovers that Kyle may have something to do with his mother. Meanwhile, Miss Parker and Sydney recruit Angelo to go through all of Jarod's red notebooks. They figure he can become Jarod and thus aiding in his capture.

star 7.71
56 votes
Directors: Fred Keller
Writers: Steven Long Mitchell, Craig Van Sickle
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The Inner Sense (1)

#12 - The Inner Sense (1)

Season 4 - Episode 19

Jarod finally locates his sister Emily, just in time to see her nearly assassinated by The Centre. Meanwhile, Miss Parker's search of the secrets behind her mother's death lead her and Jarod to the same place -- and a mysterious young man named Ethan.

star 7.71
38 votes
Directors: Fred Keller
Writers: Steven Long Mitchell, Craig Van Sickle
Better Part Of Valor

#13 - Better Part Of Valor

Season 1 - Episode 10

PITTSBURGH, PA - Jarod works as a firefighter while investigating the murder of another smoke-eater; Miss Parker tries to seduce a married man.

star 7.71
70 votes
Directors: Anson Williams
Writers: Javier Grillo-Marxuach
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Collateral Damage

#14 - Collateral Damage

Season 2 - Episode 7

LOST HILLS, VIRGINIA - Jarod becomes a Special Forces soldier to help the daughter of a Vietnam veteran get her father's name added to the War Memorial. Back at The Centre, Miss Parker reluctantly babysits Debbie while Broots is in Florida on an assignment.

star 7.70
51 votes
Directors: Vern Gillum
Writers: Harry Dunn
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To Protect and Serve

#15 - To Protect and Serve

Season 1 - Episode 6

MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA - Jarod, suspecting corruption in a police department, becomes an officer himself to solve the death of a boy who had recently been reunited with his father. He also befriends an aging lady who's young at heart, but is afraid of losing her wildside due to her fading eyesight. Meanwhile, Miss Parker is spending time in jail for violating criminal code 369.7 - Unlawful Carrying and Possession of Concealed Weapon, thanks to a tip from Jarod. With her in jail, Jarod uses that window of opportunity to hire a private investigator to aid in finding information about his mother.

star 7.70
100 votes
Writers: Tommy Thompson
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Pilot

#16 - Pilot

Season 1 - Episode 1

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - Miss Parker and Sydney find they had just missed Jarod helping a tanker ship in Alaska. Jarod is now posing as a doctor to uncover the truth behind an operation that resulted in a boy becoming paraplegic. Jarod also befriends a sicilian woman who has trouble with (ahem) bowel movements.

star 7.70
178 votes
Directors: Rick Wallace
Writers: Steven Long Mitchell, Craig Van Sickle
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Stolen

#17 - Stolen

Season 2 - Episode 19

SUNNYVALE, CALIFORNIA - After taking down a corrupt doctor, Jarod unexpectedly gets involved in a kidnapping when the father of the kidnapped ends up in the hospital. Back at The Centre, Miss Parker sides with Mr. Raines on the fact that Sydney is becoming too attached to Jarod. To the point, even, that it's complicating the search for him.

star 7.69
32 votes
Directors: Fred Keller
Writers: Tommy Thompson
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Not Even A Mouse

#18 - Not Even A Mouse

Season 1 - Episode 8

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - Jarod investigates the mystery behind a hit-and-run death of a homeless man known as 'Christmas George' while simultaneously trying to identify a Jane Doe before Christmas. Meanwhile, Sydney anxiously awaits word from Jarod and Miss Parker gets her hopes up spending Christmas with her father.

star 7.68
93 votes
Writers: Juan Carlos Coto
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The Paper Clock

#19 - The Paper Clock

Season 1 - Episode 5

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - Aiming to help a man wrongly sentenced for murder, Jarod becomes a lawyer and goes after the arrogant attorney protecting the real killer. Meanwhile, Sydney is trying to reach an agreement with The Centre to make a trade with Jarod: A piece of Jarod's past for some of the simulations.

star 7.68
99 votes
Writers: Javier Grillo-Marxuach
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Crash

#20 - Crash

Season 2 - Episode 17

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - While waiting for his plane, Jarod meets a young man who is bumped to a later flight. Jarod offers an exchange of tickets to the boy, who thanks him for helping. But Jarod is horrified when he hears later that day that the plane has crashed. Guilt ridden, Jarod sets out to find the cause of the accident. Meanwhile, Miss Parker is put in charge of find out everything on Mr. Lyle. And with aid from Jarod; Sydney, Broots, and Miss Parker are going to get all the information they need.

star 7.67
46 votes
Directors: Scott Lautanen
Writers: Tony Blake, Paul Jackson
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Every Picture Tells A Story

#21 - Every Picture Tells A Story

Season 1 - Episode 2

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - Miss Parker and Sydney once again miss Jarod at the Y.M.C.A., who is now posing as a member of the Coast Guard trying to figure out the truth behind the death of a man who died at sea waiting for rescue. Jarod also befriends a hermit who lives out at sea and refuses to come back to land.

star 7.67
126 votes
Writers: Steven Long Mitchell, Craig Van Sickle
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Scott Free

#22 - Scott Free

Season 2 - Episode 2

MIDDLETOWN, DELAWARE - Jarod intercepts the role of a real safecracker to help a man who's being forced to participate in one more heist. Jarod also starts to feel the need of a father figure and turns to Sydney. Meanwhile, Brigitte tries to take control over Miss Parker's role in the capture of Jarod.

star 7.66
50 votes
Writers: Tommy Thompson
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Baby Love

#23 - Baby Love

Season 1 - Episode 20

WYOMING(?) - After a close call with getting caught by Miss Parker, Jarod stumbles upon a baby who was thrown into a dumpster. Jarod takes the child and nurses it until he can find his parents while avoiding sinister authorities. At the same time, Miss Parker, Sydney and Broots all follow clues that Jarod has dug up in reference to the meaning of SL-27.

star 7.65
53 votes
Directors: Joe Napolitano
Writers: Debra Pratt
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Pool

#24 - Pool

Season 3 - Episode 13

Jarod challenges a pool hustler to get evidence linking the man to the murder of a young woman's father; Miss Parker tries to prevent Brigitte's marriage.

star 7.63
30 votes
Directors: Fred Keller
Writers: Harry Dunn
Road Trip

#25 - Road Trip

Season 4 - Episode 5

Jarod finds himself on a road trip to help a mysterious young woman, whom he falls for. Meanwhile, he tells Miss Parker, Sydney and Broots to 'follow the yellow brick road'.

star 7.62
40 votes
Directors: Fred Keller
Writers: Daniel Truly, Andrew Dettman