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The Pretender Season Five Primer

We began the virtual fifth season where "The Inner Sense" left off. In Season of Fire our trio survived the explosion, although Jarod was left with a broken arm and broken ribs. He and Miss Parker placed Ethan in the care of Dr. Goetz, with instructions to stay on the move and out of the Centre's grasp. Zoe was hospitalized, with Lyle and Cox hatching a plan to cripple Jarod by killing the woman he loved. Mr. Parker presented Baby Parker -- named Gabriel -- to the Triumvirate on his first birthday; later, Miss Parker was stunned that her little brother seemed to know Jarod, although they'd never met.

Penumbra found Jarod healing physically, while blaming himself for Zoe's demise. He pretended to be a psychology professor in order to investigate a writer's sudden death; he also agreed to interview serial killer Lung Li, but the visit left him shaken and reaching for memories he couldn't quite touch. In the meantime, Miss Parker followed Willie and learned that Raines wasn't dead, but was being kept in Renewal Wing, supposedly a mental vegetable. She promised herself she'd keep an eye on him.

A young genius who reminded Jarod of himself took center stage in Lost and Found. Jarod helped the boy's parents, torn over what to do about their son's gifts, come together as a family. He also discovered that his school was being run by a former Centre employee, and closed it down. Miss Parker took Gabriel to meet Benjamin Bunny, desperately trying to give her little brother some sense of a normal life. And Sydney sent Jarod a present in the form of Ethan's records, which he hoped would prove helpful in Ethan's recovery.

Miss Parker became My Would-Be Savior when the Centre kidnapped a senator's daughter. Jarod was surprised to learn that Kendra Evans resembled a young Miss Parker, and became even more suspicious when he discovered she had been adopted from the NuGenesis agency. He talked Parker into working with him, and they managed to rescue the girl, but not before her father died in a shootout. Kendra went into hiding, while Jarod and Miss Parker tried to come to grips with the fact that Gemini wasn't the only clone the Centre had created.

Investigating paranormal phenomena, Jarod encountered Zoe's restless, angry spirit in Ghost Story. At the Centre, Gabriel identified Jarod's picture and urged Miss Parker to "go see" him at the "bad house." Parker and Sydney arrived just in time to save Jarod from freezing to death. During the long night which followed, they each had their own ghostly encounters -- Miss Parker with her mother, and Sydney with Jacob.

Says It All reintroduced Kendra, who decided to change her name to Merritt; her developing inner sense set Jarod on the trail of a songwriter's death. Miss Parker was reminded how much The Nutcracker meant to her; but when she took Gabriel to watch Debbie Broots dance, Mr. Parker was upset at the disruption to his son's schedule. Before finishing his pretend, Jarod sent Cox a disturbing music video, as a reminder he hadn't forgotten about Zoe.

How do you say I'll Be Home For Christmas when you don't have a home? Instead, Jarod trained to become a department store Santa, while investigating the disappearance of a former Santa. He sent medallions to Sydney and Miss Parker depicting significant events in their lives, particularly the importance of family. He also sent the Scooby Gang representations of their "characters": Broots as Shaggy, Sydney as Velma, Miss Parker as Fred/Daphne, and Lyle as the dog.

New Year's Eve proved to be a difficult time for both Jarod and Miss Parker in Two Moments, One Breath. Parker learned that Laura, one of her few real friends, had drowned; she felt guilty because she had neglected the friendship in recent years. At the same time, a new friend of Jarod's committed suicide, and he fell into a deep depression over the people he believed had died because of him. Fortunately, he managed to pull himself out of danger with the help of a compassionate therapist. As the new year arrived, the two childhood friends shared a life-affirming conversation.

Miss Parker felt as though she was being led on a wild Goose Chase when Jarod disappeared and she began following the clues he left behind. He later admitted he wanted her to start thinking like him, understand how he feels, so that Gabriel wouldn't suffer his fate. Meanwhile, Lyle tried to see Gabriel, but was turned away; he also suffered a major setback when, after finally deciding to use a computer, Angelo erased his files by reformatting his hard drive.

Another Centre project, codenamed Nemesis, came to light when they kidnapped a member of the girl's hockey team Jarod was coaching. Lyle wanted Andromeda, who had been adopted out and named Andrea, to use her psychic powers for his benefit. Her parents, who desperately wanted her back, revealed that she had a rare genetic disorder which required medication. Again with Miss Parker's help, Jarod managed to help the girl escape. However, Parker was heartbroken when her father decided she had disrupted Gabriel's schedule too many times, and forbid her to see her little brother from now on.

Jordan found himself with an Identity Crisis when he realized everyone was treating him like a copy of Jarod, rather than an individual. After running away from Major Charles, he was nearly captured by Cox before Jarod found him; eventually, they had a long talk. Meanwhile, looking for the DSA her mother left behind, Miss Parker searched Raines' office and came up with a folder for Project Fountain. As she and Broots discovered, it used pregnant women as the source of its material. At first, Daddy Parker and others on the protocol did appear younger, but the formula proved to be fatally flawed, and there may be serious consequences down the road.

Jarod's feelings of Puppy Love returned when he encountered his first girlfriend, Nia, while working at an animal shelter. Investigating a case of animal cruelty, he also spent some time with her, and she eventually talked him out of using a violent sting to make the evildoers confess. Meanwhile, Broots found a DSA involving Damon, connected to something called Project Eclipse. Miss Parker, who was mourning the loss of Benjamin Bunny, became intrigued, but received negative reactions from everyone she spoke to -- including Angelo, Sydney, and Jarod himself.

As Total Eclipse began, Jarod started to recover violent, terrifying memories. Prodded by her inner sense, Miss Parker unraveled the mystery -- and in the process discovered that Faith, her adopted sister, was very much alive. Eclipse had subjected four teenage subjects (Jarod, Lyle, Damon and Kyle) to simulations involving serial killers. Miss Parker, Sydney, and Faith hurried to reach Jarod and help him through the recovery process. They learned that not only was Jarod's dark side a remnant of Eclipse, but years ago Mr. Parker had used the DSA recording of it to convince his daughter that Jarod was a sociopath. With these revelations, the two reached a new level of understanding before they parted.

Bittersweet Rivals brought Emily and Jordan for a visit; at the same time, new "auditors" at the Centre took over the hunt for Jarod, setting a trap which nearly caught him. Lyle was intrigued by Sun-Chai, but Miss Parker discovered that she and her partner, Mason, were former Centre subjects -- a Blue and a Red File, respectively. She also learned that Lyle has what he called a "vitamin deficiency," and must inject medication regularly; the illness was given to him by the Centre... and sounded very similar to Andromeda's.

Jarod pretended to be a diving instructor to solve the mystery of a Diver Down. Faith appeared unexpectedly, offering to help him. Meanwhile, Lyle responded to a fake message, and was trapped in a place where his condition quickly deteriorated without medication; he was barely rescued in time. Choosing the moment carefully, Raines returned from the dead and attempted to seize power by capturing both Faith and Jarod. Instead, Faith used her "mirror" talent to send his mind into permanent oblivion. She promised Jarod that they would meet at least once more.

Miss Parker caught a glimpse of Naked Jarod when he began posing for a college art class as a way of exploring his feelings about his body. He also investigated a series of murders on the campus, while she was sent to locate a missing operative. After some discussion, they decided to work together, and learned that the operative had been deliberately killed in a way that would lump her in with the other campus victims. A DSA found near her body showed Brigitte with a fertility doctor. It was clear she had help giving birth to Gabriel, but neither Jarod nor Parker were yet certain how much.

Sydney and Jarod both recalled their own Chamber of Horrors in the next episode. Sydney realized that Dr. Leiden, his chief torturer when he and Jacob were children, was still performing his experiments as a member of the German side of the Triumvirate. Jarod worked with Dr. Eaton, who claimed to be close to a cure for certain types of cancer; in reality, he was a heroin addict still mourning the loss of his daughter. He had come to the Centre for help years before, but Jarod had been unable to find the cure in time. In a related development, Lyle was still recovering from his near-death experience, but he learned the name of the illness the Centre had given him: Kronos I.

In Disillusions Broots found information on a group of drugs called the Nebula Series, which were connected to Project Eclipse -- in particular, one named Aurora, which made its subjects very relaxed and compliant. Jarod went to work for a drug manufacturer who was connected with Nebula. While there, he met Shane, whose sister Mimi suffered from an extreme chemical imbalance. Mimi nearly died from the combination of drugs she was given, but was saved by a mysterious, nameless man who appeared to have a connection to the Centre. Missing Gabriel, Miss Parker was nearly shot in a failed attempt to get him out of the Centre; afraid to go back, she instead went to Jarod for advice and help.

The season reached its Perihelion as Jarod followed the trail of the Yellow Files. There were eight, including Gabriel -- they turned out to be part of a project called Seraphim which involved designer babies, created from the genetic material of various Centre subjects. At the same time, Miss Parker finally found the DSA her mother had left, detailing her plan: wait until the File children were grown, then turn their special abilities against the Centre itself, eventually returning it to the helpful institution it once was. Lyle acquired a new sweeper named Valentine with a dark, mysterious past. When Jarod and Miss Parker finally met, he revealed that Gabriel was in fact their son. They both vowed to follow Catherine's plan; in a desperate attempt to put Miss Parker back in a position of power, Jarod allowed himself to be captured, and returned to the very place he feared most.

Which leads us to the premiere episode of season six…

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