Project Description

1.12 Prison Story

Original air date: February 1, 1997
Written by: Steven Long Mitchell & Craig W. Van Sickle
Directed by: Oscar L. Costo

While Miss Parker struggles with a painful ulcer, Jarod becomes a prison guard in an attempt to save an innocent man from the gas chamber.

Jarod’s Discoveries: Slinkies, Monopoly
Jarod’s Occupations: Prison Guard, Game Inventor
Jarod’s Aliases: Jarod Bradley, Jarod Short, Jarod St. James, Jarod Ventnor, Jarod Chance , Jarod Parker


Behind the scenes insights and the Creator’s Take

Official Synopsis

Jarod goes undercover as a prison guard to save an innocent man from the gas chamber.


At a funeral home, Jarod watches Jessica Mills talk to a funeral director about a casket for her father, Carl.  Then Jarod looks at a newspaper story, which reveals Carl Wills is in prison, facing a death sentence for a crime Jessica is convinced he didn’t commit.  Later, back at his lair, Jarod watches an old tape of himself as a child, in which he sensed the innocence of executed spy Julius Rosenberg.  The next day, Jarod turns up as a guard at the Oakfield Penitentiary.  Meanwhile, at the Centre, Sydney and Miss Parker examine a cryptic note found in Jarod’s last lair, saying he’ll be meeting “The Cowboy” at the Top Hat Cafe, regarding the Parker Brothers.  Back at the prison, the Warden tells Jarod that Carl Wills is being executed for killing a fellow inmate, and that tensions are running high with the execution only days away.  Miss Parker, Sydney and Broots find the Top Hat cafe, and check into the nearby Park Place motel for a stakeout.  At the prison, Jarod meets another guard, Tommy Larsen, who assigns Jarod, as the new guy, to perform the “death watch,” guarding Carl until the execution.  A bit later, Jarod introduces himself to an elderly inmate, Henry Cochran, but then another guard, Clancy, chastises Jarod for being so friendly.

Later, in his lair, Jarod watches news stories about Jessica’s fight to clear her father…while the Warden, at the prison, tells a group of reporters Carl is definitely guilty.  A bit later, Jarod delivers a meal to Carl and says he’d like to hear his story.  But Clancy calls Jarod away before Carl says anything.  Back at the motel, Miss Parker, obviously not feeling well, gets even more impatient than usual…while Broots is thrilled to find a box containing his favorite game—Monopoly.  That evening, Jarod finds Jessica at a local cafe, rescues her from some hecklers, and says he believes her father is innocent.  Back at the motel, Broots rambles on and on about the history of Monopoly, and then Miss Parker, now sweating, collapses in pain.  Meanwhile, Jarod examines old newspaper stories and learns a number of prisoners have died at Oakfield in recent years.

The next day, Jarod finds Henry Cochran tending his garden, and asks him about Anthony Lewis, the man Carl supposedly killed.  Henry says Lewis had only been at the prison a couple of days, and hadn’t had time to make any enemies.  That night, Jarod watches his old tapes again, and pauses when his young self realizes Julius Rosenberg was executed simply because the public demanded someone be guilty.  The next day, the Warden and the Guards practice dropping cyanide tablets into the gas chamber, and Jarod notices Larsen hesitating at the switch.  That night, at the motel, a doctor examines Miss Parker, tells her she has an ulcer, and recommends she learn to control her emotions.  The next day, at the prison, the guards break up a yard fight, and Clancy tramples Henry’s flower garden.  Jarod attempts to help Henry, who drops a letter from his wife, and when Jarod picks it up, he’s surprised to see the paper is blank. Henry admits his wife died several years ago and says he planted his garden in protest after the Warden wouldn’t give him a pass to lay flowers on her grave.  That night, back in his lair, Jarod goes through prisoner records and learns all the inmates who died at Oakfield were transfers from Joliet Prison in Illinois.  The next day, Jarod finds Larsen at home, and finally gets him to admit that all the men who were transferred from Joliet, including Anthony Lewis, were members of the same Chicago crime family.  Larsen further admits that the other guard, Clancy, has made a deal with a rival crime family to get the inmates transferred to Oakfield, where Clancy arranges their deaths.  And finally, Larsen admits Clancy killed Lewis, and framed Carl for the death.

Back at the motel, Broots and Miss Parker finally see a man in a cowboy hat enter the phone booth.  But when they confront him, the Cowboy says he was just paid to make a delivery, and hands them a Monopoly “Get Out of Jail Free” card.  They run back to the motel, check the register and learn Jarod has been staying in the room next to theirs…which they find strewn with Monopoly cards spelling out Miss Parker’s name.  Broots also finds a telescope, trained on a sign pointing to the prison, and Miss Parker finally understands the “Go Directly to Jail” references.  Meanwhile, a crowd gathers outside the prison, protesting the now-imminent execution.  Inside, Jarod tells Clancy to make one last inspection of the gas chamber.  But when Clancy goes in, Jarod locks him inside, confronts him about the prisoner deaths…and broadcasts Clancy’s answers—which reveal all his misdeeds—on the prison PA system.  The next morning, as Miss Parker, Sydney and Broots arrive at the prison, the Warden holds another press conference to announce his resignation.  Later, we see Henry finally placing flowers on his wife’s grave, while both the Warden and Jarod look on, smiling.  Finally, a few days later, Jarod turns up in a new disguise, as an executive at a toy company, where he proposes a new game…called, “Get out of Jail Free.”


Sweeper Does he have a name?
Sweeper 2 They’re calling him Jarod. He misses his parents
Sweeper He’ll forget them soon enough.
Young Jarod Kri kra toad’s foot, geese walk barefoot
Sam Found these blueprints in the gutter.
Miss Parker He’s nearby. Find him! Let’s move! Go!
Sam Hey!!!! Blue sedan.
Miss Parker Get in! This is Parker. We’re in pursuit of a blue sedan.
Jarod Christine! Christine?
Christine Jarod?
Jarod I’m sorry Christine. I know it’s late.
Christine It’s 3 in the morning. God isn’t even awake.
Jarod I know. Listen, i need to move back in for a little while.
Christine Not smellin’ like that you’re not.
Jarod Please.
Christine Look, Jarod, i owe you big time for what you did for me, but my husbands comin’ back tomorrow. If Axe finds a man livin’ upstairs, he’ll have a stroke. Oh, my God. Where did you get it?
Jarod A man threw him in the dumpster.
Christine Oh, my God.
Jarod How could someone do that? How could someone throw away a baby?
Christine It’s a crazy world, babies havin’ babies… people don’t know what they want or what they have.
Jarod It’s freezing in here.
Christine You have to call the police.
Jarod I’m the only family he has right now. He’s cold, he’s scared and he’s alone. Don’t you like babies?
Christine Of course. It’s just that if Axe didn’t get that job in Houston, he’ll have a stroke if he comes back and finds a baby here.
Jarod He doesn’t like babies?
Christine No. Yes. That’s not the point.
Jarod He’s hungry.
Christine How can you tell?
Jarod Because i’m hungry. Wanna, wanna lay down? There you go, there you go.
The Centre
Broots Why would Jarod risk getting caught over a random set of blueprints?
Sydney Where Jarod’s concerned, there’s never anything random.
Broots Hmm.
Miss Parker Boy Genius is a regular I.M. Pei.
Broots Wait. What’s this? SL 27?
Miss Parker I’ll be around.
Jarod Kri kra toad’s foot, geese walk barefoot. Kri kra toad’s foot, geese walk barefoot.
Christine Who taught you that song?
Jarod I don’t know. My mother, i think.
Christine You think?
Jarod When i was little, i was taken from my family. I was raised by some people, people that had no business dealing with children.
Christine I’m sorry. Look Jarod, i appreciate everything you did for me. That phony lawsuit that lady filed against the shop would have busted me if you hadn’t stepped in, but still, i can’t let you….  Holler downstairs if you need any help, okay?
Jarod Christine? Thanks.
Sweeper Does he have a name?
Sweeper 2 They’re calling him Jarod. He misses his parents.
Sweeper He’ll forget them soon enough.
Sydney This is Sydney.
Jarod How could somebody abandon a child?
Sydney Jarod.
Jarod I mean, something so vulnerable, so defenseless. How could they do that?
Sydney Is this about your parents?
Jarod It’s about all parents.
Sydney Well, there’s no easy answer to that. Who knows what, uh, what pressures some people face. Is this what you were looking for earlier at that architectural firm? Those blueprints? Is that a lead to your parents?
Jarod You’ll figure it out.
Broots It’s, uh, for my little girl.
Sydney She’s very fortunate to have such an attentive father.
Broots I, uh, did the search you requested. Found two inactive license plates with SL 27, but both owners died in the ’70s. SL 27 is also the generic name for an antibiotic developed by an Israeli pharmaceutical company in 1983.
Sydney That’s beyond the date of significance.
Broots Well.. if you told me more, Sydney, i might be able to help.
Sydney Broots, it’s best that nobody else be involved in this.
Miss Parker Broots, anything on SL 27 yet?
Broots Uh… perhaps you both should have a talk.
Jarod Shhhh.
Christine He’s still sleepin’?
Jarod Like a baby.
Christine What are you doin’?
Jarod Setting it up. If anybody files a missing persons report with the police department, i’ll get a signal.
Christine Jarod, you can’t keep this child. Last night is one thing, but somewhere, somebody’s looking for this baby.
Jarod I’ve been monitoring every police channel, every television station, every newspaper. Nobody’s looking for him.
Christine But Jarod…
Jarod Somebody threw him in a dumpster. Do you want me to turn him over to that person? If his mother’s out there searching, i’ll find her. But i’m not gonna give him to anybody till i know he’s gonna be okay. I don’t want him to grow up alone. Are you hungry again?
Christine That’s not a bottle cry.
Jarod How do you know?
Christine Seven younger brothers and sisters. Better change him.
Broots I killed the security cameras, and i swept the room for bugs. I think we’re safe.
Miss Parker You think?
Broots One never knows in the Centre, do one?
Sydney Let’s proceed.
Miss Parker This belonged to one of the children my mother rescued from the Centre. Look at this.
Sydney SL 27. Why did you keep this information secret?
Miss Parker Why, I could ask the same question of you.
Sydney When my brother regained consciousness, he wrote this to me.
Miss Parker Hmmm.
Sydney There has to be a clue in the calculations that Jarod dropped. Broots, keep on searching for that connection.
Broots Look, I don’t know if you guys missed it, but, uh, the only people who know about this SL 27 thing are either dead or comatose.
Sydney And those people are important to us, like your daughter is to you. I’m asking for your help, Broots, as a friend.
Miss Parker Please.
Willie What is he doing?
Raines He appears to be expressing his individualism.
Willie is that good?
Raines It’s dangerous. Angelo, i want you to run a check on every aspect of Centre security. Every system, every level, every mode of access and egress. Optical, physical, electronic. Everything. Do you understand? Angelo?
Jarod Excuse me, ma’am.
Woman I’ll be right with you.
Woman 2 Yes, I’m looking at the file. We’ve placed a call to the biological grandparents but the status is still unclear. Sure. Can i help you?
Christine We’d like to talk to somebody about a missin’ child.
Woman 2 I’ll be one more minute. No it’s against the law to prematurely place a child without the signature of a biological family member. I realise you love the baby, but this is the way it has to be handled.
Christine I know this is hard Jarod, but i think it’s the best thing…. Jarod?
Christine Are you insane? You can’t just walk out with this baby.
Jarod Well, i can’t leave him with them.
Christine Jarod, he doesn’t belong to you.
Jarod I know. He belongs with his parents or with someone who loves him.
Christine Twenty four hours. Then we take the baby to the police no matter what. Deal?
Jarod Deal.
Christine One more thing. Give him a name, will ya?
Jarod He has a name. I just have to find out what it is.
Christine What is it?
Jarod They all have red decals. The man who dumped this baby had the exact same decal on the back of his car.
Christine What are you sayin’?
Jarod A cop threw this baby away.
Miss Parker Talk to me Broots.
Broots You’ll never guess what i found out. The architectural firm you chased Jarod from was…
Miss Parker The same one that built the Centre.
Broots How did you know that?
Sydney This is Sydney.
Jarod Any luck?
Miss Parker With what?
Jarod Well, hello, Miss Parker. SL 27.
Sydney Those calculations, Jarod, what do they mean?
Jarod Just digging up some more dirt on the Centre.
Sydney I don’t follow.
Jarod Do the math Sydney. It doesn’t add up. I’m surprised that Broots hasn’t figured it out yet.
Broots Dirt.
Jarod I gotta go. It’s the baby’s nap time.
Miss Parker Did he say baby?
Broots I’ll be damned. 6.32 million cubic feet of dirt was carted off for the Centre’s underground construction. But the Centre’s 26 sublevels only occupy 6.16 million cubic feet.
Miss Parker There’s enough missing dirt for another sublevel.
Sydney SL 27. Sublevel 27.
Jarod This is my mother. We’re going to find yours. I promise.
Christine Well, that’s a sight.
Jarod You and Axe ever think about having kids?
Christine Axe? No. No way. Besides, i got the shop to worry about. Any luck with that licence plate?
Jarod Not yet. I have to get inside the police department and find out who was driving that car, but i’m going to need your help.
Christine Jarod, i’ve got customers, i can’t go chasin’…
Axe Christine? Somebody took my spot.
Christine Axe!
Axe Your husband’s gone two weeks and all you can say is Axe?
Christine How’d it go?
Axe Ah, came up empty. Who are you?
Jarod Hi, i’m Jarod.
Axe Who’s this?
Jarod Um, i can explain, uh…
Axe Would you look at them eyes? Do you mind?
Jarod No, not at all.
Axe That’s a fine looking boy. It, it is a boy?
Jarod Yes.
Axe Hey, hey. Hey hey.
Jarod You like kids?
Axe Like ’em? I’d have a whole tribe if Christy would cooperate. You ever need a babysitter, I’m your man.
Jarod I’ll remember that.
Axe Better move the truck.
Christine Anything come over the scanner?
Jarod Not yet. Why did you lie about Axe?
Christine I grew up with seven brothers and sisters. I was the oldest and my mother was… well, she wasn’t what you’d call ‘hands on’.
Jarod What about your father?
Christine He was busy with his other family across town. It was up to me to make sure Ari and William were fed and Matty was dressed and Jeremy didn’t stay up late, and Ella did her homework. I got out of Little Rock and moved in with Axe. I want to be able to think about Christine for a while. Does that make me a bad person?
Jarod No, it makes you human.
Man See you later Frank.
Woman Bill, pick up line two.
Man We better put it up on the lift.
Woman Chuck, come to the parts desk.
Dt Geary Hey, sport, take a look at this unit?
Jarod No problem.
Detective Geary Accidentally clipped a junkie who decided not to cooperate. Guess he’ll cooperate next time. Get this unit fixed. I wanna get out of here fast.
Jarod Whatever you say, uh, Detective…
Detective Geary Geary, David W. Those look straight to you?
Jarod Yeah.
Detective Geary I’ll be back.
Broots Okay, it’s right around here somewhere.
Miss Parker What is?
Broots Sewer access.
Miss Parker Broots, the main sewer is on the other side of the complex.
Broots I know. Which makes me wonder why there’s a manhole cover right here. Help me, Sydney. Oh.
Sydney Can you smell that.
Miss Parker Smell it? I can taste it. After you.
Broots How, how do you know it’s not wired down there?
Miss Parker I ran Centre Security for three years, i know what i’m doing.
Broots Yeah, well, you didn’t know about SL 27.
Miss Parker Get in.
Broots You know, I’m not sure my medical insurance covers this kind of thing.
Miss Parker Sydney, put some light on me.
Broots Ow! What died down here?
Miss Parker What didn’t? Let’s go.
Broots Okay.
Axe You see that? Now sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. Me and my old man used to watch hoops on the tube. I figured someday me and my kid would do the same. Christine told me what’s going on. You really think that cop’s involved?
Jarod His name is David Geary. He’s a special investigator for DA Mitch Meyers.
Axe Ugh, bureaucrats.
Jarod Sounds like you’re not a big fan of City Hall.
Axe I spent 20 years drivin’ a garbage rig for the city. Couple of months ago, i blow out my back liftin’ an industrial bin. City cans me, cuts off my disability checks. I can’t get another job.
Jarod You’re a garbage man?
Axe Sanitation engineer.
Jarod Wow.
Axe You know, Jarod, I seen a lot of dirty things on the street. But why anyone would want to hurt something as wonderful as this is beyond me. Yeah. What’s that?
Jarod A missing persons report was just logged on to the police database. It’s the first match i’ve found. Jeanette Connelly. Reported missing by her next door neighbour along with her five month old son… Michael. Hello, Michael.
Detective Geary Of course there’s a missing persons on her. She’s missing. Don’t get your panties in a wad. Everything’s fine.
Radio Officer’s requesting backup at San Pedro and 9th.
Broots There must be a hundred rooms down here. What was this place?
Miss Parker Whatever it was, it must’ve been one hell of a fire that stopped it.
Sydney Yes, there was a rumour of a fire in the summer of ’82.
Miss Parker I spent that summer in France with my father.
Broots I wish i was there right now.
Sydney Rumour is it was the fire that left Raines chained to his oxygen tank.
Miss Parker Too bad it didn’t finish the job.
Broots Hey, look. Footprints, and they’re fresh. Whoa. Who played with toys down here?
Miss Parker A jack-in-the-box?
Sydney Fascinating.
Miss Parker Broots.
Broots Huh?
Miss Parker Check out the suit.
Broots It’s always Broots. There’s a… there’s a bullet hole in his eye.
Miss Parker Come on.
Broots Somehow i get the feeling he’s the lucky one.
Raines What is it, Angelo? Sublevel security alert?
Woman She’s not there.
Detective Geary Police officer, ma’am.
Woman It’s not like Jeanette to disappear, not with that new baby. She’s a nice girl, smart. I told everything to the other policeman.
Detective Geary Other policeman? When?
Woman Ten, fifteen minutes ago, before you got here.
Radio Dispatch, this is 36. Go, 36. Uh we found a jumper below that East River Bridge. Female Caucasian early 20s, no ID. May have been there a few days. Transporting her to St Mary’s under suicide watch. Over. Copy that, 36.
Woman What about Jeanette?
Detective Geary Don’t worry, ma’am. I’ll take care of Jeanette.
Broots Whoa. Oh, God. Syringes?
Miss Parker What is it?
Sydney This place has all the components of a sim lab.
Broots I never knew there was another sim lab in the Centre.
Sydney Neither did i.
 Broots What the hell is that?
Sydney Birthing table.
Miss Parker With shackles?
Broots Uh-oh. It’s Mr Raines.
Miss Parker What are you waiting for?
Sydney Miss Parker.
Miss Parker What is this place?
Sydney Whatever it was, it wasn’t a filing room.
Miss Parker These haven’t been burnt. These were brought here.
Sydney All these files pertain to the Pretender project.
Miss Parker This box is all about Jarod. What is that?
Sydney A hood. Must’ve been Jarod’s.
Miss Parker Sydney, there is no date of death listed for Jarod’s parents. As far as these documents are concerned, they were alive when Jarod was brought here.
Sydney Jarod was stolen.
Miss Parker I think you should look at this entrance record. There’s no names, nothing to follow.
Sydney Hmm.
Miss Parker But there is a signature by a special expediter who brought Jarod to the Centre.
Sydney Special expediter… Jacob. That signature is my brother, Jacob.
Miss Parker What?
Broots Raines has Angelo sanitising the security system.
Miss Parker Does he know where we are?
Broots No, i don’t think so.
Miss Parker You don’t think?
Broots Yes, No! I don’t know. It was weird. Raines was real suspicious and Angelo just kept giggling. And, man, you’re not gonna believe his head.
Miss Parker Just keep yours cool. It’s Raines.
Sydney He knows.
Miss Parker Just grab the files.
Sydney These files have been collected by someone. Removing them will arouse suspicion.
Miss Parker Syd, this may be our only chance.
Sydney I want to find the truth as much as you do. But at this point, caution is key.
Detective Geary Detective Dave Geary. You’ve got that Jane Doe.
Jarod Come on, come on.
Nurse Still checking Detective
Detective Geary Suicide attempt.
Nurse It’s just not coming up. Oh, here it is. Room 708.
Jarod Jeanette. Jeanette, wake up.
Jeanette Please no more. I don’t need any more sedatives. I’m not crazy.
Jarod I know.
Jeanette Oh, no no. I didn’t try to kill myself. There was a man, and he threw me off the bridge. It was a policeman. Why won’t anyone believe me?
Jarod I believe you.
Jeanette Well, who are you?
Jarod My name is Jarod. I’m here to help you.
Jeanette He took my baby.
Jarod I have your baby. He’s with me.
Jeanette Where’s Michael?
Jarod He’s safe, but we must get out of this hospital. The man who tried to kill you is here.
PA Dr Peterson, call your service. Dr Peterson, please call your service.
Jeanette I was so afraid i would never see him again. Where’d you find him?
Jarod That’s not important. What’s important is you’re together now. Jeanette, why would a police detective want you and Michael dead? Was it because of Mitch Meyers?
Jeanette Yeah.
Jarod Is Michael Mitch’s son?
Jeanette I was working as in intern in his office. I thought he was good. I thought he meant the things that he said. We had an affair. He said he didn’t love his wife anymore and he was going to leave her. I mean, i could barely pay for my rent, so, i told him he had to take responsibility for his son.
Jarod And?
Jeanette He said he would do the right thing. And i… I believed him. I mean, i didn’t ….
Jarod It’s okay.
Jeanette Detective Geary came, and he told me that Mitch wanted to see me because he wanted to help us. And i… I didn’t think. We just got in the car, and the next thing i knew I’m being dragged out on the bridge and all i could hear was my Michael crying.
Axe I oughta break the bastard’s neck.
Christine Now can we go to the police?
Jarod No. We have to play a little politics with the DA first.
Jeanette I wanna help. For Michael
Jarod Isn’t tomorrow garbage day?
Jeanette Mitch Meyers, please. It’s urgent.
Mitch Meyers Jeanette, listen to me. When he was born…
Jeanette His name is Michael
Mitch Meyers Right. When Michael was born, i thought i could finally make the break. Then i started thinking how it might look, my wife, my children, you being so young. Everything i have worked for… all the good i have done…. it would be going down the drain.
Jeanette So you tried to kill us?
Mitch Meyers No, that’s not what i wanted. That’s not who i am. I love you.
Jeanette Look, if you don’t want the truth played out in the 11 o’clock news you have Detective Geary bring $50,000 to the alley where he left Michael at 2 o’clock.
Detective Geary Police officer. You’re gonna have to take this trash another time.
Axe We collect it now.
Detective Geary You guys don’t know what you’re doin’.
Jarod You feeling naked? A little vulnerable? It’s terrifying, isn’t it? Being at someone else’s mercy… completely defenseless… like a little baby tossed in the dumpster in the middle of the night. You threw away an innocent baby. I’ve been waiting for this moment ever since i saw you standing in the alley.
Mitch Meyers As district attorney, i have worked hard for this city, to repair the faith, the belief in leadership of your elected officials.
Jeanette Excuse me. Mrs Meyers? Hi. My name is Jeanette Connelly.
Mitch Meyers ….family values, responsibilities… that’s my…
Jeanette Your husband and i have been having an affair.
Mitch Meyers I am a man who believes in commitment. Jan, my wife of 15 years, my two beautiful daughters, Jessica and Lindsey. I know what it takes to build a successful family. It takes honesty,
Jeanette on speaker You tried to kill me and our son.
Mitch Meyers on speaker Jeanette, listen to me. I was frightened of what you might do, might say. Everything i have worked for, all the good i have done, it would be going down the drain.
Jeanette So you tried to kill us?
Mitch Meyers No, that’s not what i wanted. That’s not who i am. I told Geary to frighten you. That’s all. I didn’t know he was gonna take it as far as murder. You have to believe me.
Jarod Oh, i almost forgot. Now they’re straight.
 Jarod Thanks Axe.
Christine Bye bye to Jarod.
Jarod Hey, come here.
Christine Bye Jarod.
Jarod Thanks, Christine. Hey little man, it was very nice to meet you. I want you to do me a favour. I want you to always listen to your mom. Never, ever forget her. Okay?
Jeanette There’s my boy. Hi, how’re you doin’? Thank you.
Jarod Good luck.
Jeanette Thank you. Say bye-bye, sweetie.
Jarod Bye.
Sydney Broots has circumvented the security sensors. We have 10 minutes.
Miss Parker Let’s just take a closer look at those files and get the hell out of here.
Sydney It’s all gone.
Miss Parker Raines.
Sydney No, if Raines knew we found those files we’d be dead.
Miss Parker Well, if he didn’t take them, who did?