1.10 Better Part Of Valor
Original air date: January 11, 1997
Written by: Javier Grillo-Marxuach
Directed by: Anson Williams
Jarod looks into the death of a fellow firefighter who died in a warehouse fire that was deemed arson, and Miss Parker tries out a new method for tracking Jarod.
Jarod’s Discoveries: Insta-Cheese
Jarod’s Occupations: FireFighter, Accountant, Short Order Cook
Jarod’s Aliases: Jarod O’Leary, Jarod Vronski
Jarod uncovers the truth about a firefighter who died while battling a blaze inside a warehouse.
As a DSA plays, Young Jarod views footage of an uprising in Uganda. The boy tells Sydney that the protestors are angry because their trust has been violated by someone they once respected. In the presents day, Jarod, now a firefighter named Jarod O’Leary, rescues a child from a burning apartment building.
Back at the Centre, Miss Parker utilizes the special talents of Angelo in her effort to locate Jarod. Sydney describes Angelo as someone who has no personality of his own, but can absorb personality data given him. It is hoped that by studying newspapers from throughout the country, Angelo can establish a link between Jarod’s selection process and his movements, thereby predicting his next move.
At the firehouse, Jarod gathers with his coworkers, Roy and Lieutenant Gleason. When Jarod attempts to place his belongings in a locker, it raises Gleason’s ire. Gleason asks him to place his clothes anywhere else. Jarod realizes that the locker belonged to Tamara Copeland, a firefighter who died while battling a blaze. Soon after, Harrigan approaches Jarod about meeting with reporters, who are anxious to question him about his earlier act of heroism.
Miss Parker reacts with uncharacteristic enthusiasm when an old friend, Michael Patrick, approaches her table as she dines with Sydney at a restaurant. Michael, who works as a traveling sales representative for a pharmaceutical company, arranges to meet Miss Parker at the restaurant’s bar for drinks.
Jarod approaches arson investigator John Zimmerman as he searches the burned-out apartment building for signs of foul play. Jarod presents his own scenario, but Zimmerman quickly shoots it down, labeling the blaze the result of an electrical fire caused by an overloaded outlet. Later, Jarod cooks for his fellow firefighters, who react with disgust when they taste his “optimized nutritional supplement.” Using a can of Insta-Cheez, they doctor the meal, making it palatable.
After pouring over old records, Jarod notes that Harrigan has made a habit of not allowing his team to battle warehouse fires, preferring instead to let them burn. Roy tells him this is because the structures were not worth saving.
Miss Parker and Michael retire to the floor of Miss Parker’s living room, where they enjoy having sex. Later, Sydney warns Parker that Michael’s lifestyle seems of a transient nature…and warns that having recreational sex is not free of emotional repercussions.
Lieutenant Gleason drops by a restaurant called Herb’s Grinders, where she speaks with the owner, Herb (who is Tamara Copeland’s father). Herb explains that his regular cook phoned in sick…and Jarod has volunteered to take his place. After Gleason leaves, Herb tells Jarod that Gleason behaves as if she were somehow responsible for his daughter’s death. Later, Harrigan tells Jarod that Tamara was overly heroic, and ran inside the burning building when she thought she heard screams coming from within. Harrigan followed her inside, but was pushed back by the flames and smoke.
Jarod approaches Zimmerman with a photograph of the aftermath of a blaze and asks him to identify whether or not it had been intentionally set. Zimmerman looks at the photo and labels it an arson. Jarod then drops a bombshell: Zimmerman had earlier ruled it an accidental electrical fire, the one Tamara died fighting. Jarod believes Zimmerman and Harrigan were working together, setting fires for insurance payoffs. Zimmerman was accidentally burned in the warehouse fire, and upon hearing his cries, Tamara ran inside to save him. Zimmerman picks up the story, describing how Harrigan followed her inside and knocked her unconscious with a crowbar. Harrigan told Zimmerman he had no intention of going to jail for participating in the arson. The two men left Tamara to die in the blaze.
Broots contacts Miss Parker with word that Angelo pinpointed Jarod’s whereabouts at a smokehouse in Pittsburgh. Shortly thereafter, Miss Parker discovers a photograph of Michael’s family inside his wallet. She then ends their affair. Later, Parker and Sydney make their way to the smoke house, where they speak with a man named Dmitry. He tells them that an unidentified man showed up at the facility a short time earlier and took a red notebook that Jarod had left behind. Sydney believes that Broots is the only other person who knew about the smokehouse. Shortly thereafter, Broots contacts the pair with Jarod’s current location.
Jarod handcuffs Harrigan inside his recreation room, then uses the firehouse’s Dalmatian, Ember, to start an electrical fire. Jarod explains that he treated the wiring throughout the house with accelerant. As Harrigan begs for the key to the handcuffs, he admits he killed Tamara so he could collect payoff money. His confession is broadcast over the radio…and heard by his colleagues. As Jarod walks off, he encounters an armed Michael. With some help from Ember, Jarod distracts Michael and knocks him to the ground. He then makes a getaway, moments before Sydney and Miss Parker arrive. Miss Parker confronts Michael, who confirms that he is working for the Centre. Later, Jarod works as a vendor at “roach coach.”