According to his sleek nemesis Miss Parker (Andrea Parker), Jarod (Michael T. Weiss) is "a genius who can become anyone that he wants to be." As the second season begins, he's still on the run and her father, Mr. Parker (Harve Presnell, Fargo
), is still missing. In his place, the Centre has installed the smooth Mr. Lyle (Jamie Denton, Desperate Housewives
) and his associate Brigitte (Pamela Gidley, whose British accent will soon disappear). In the premiere episode ("Back From the Dead Again"), it will also be revealed that Mr. Raines (Richard Marcus, 24
) survived last season's assassination attempt. A few episodes later ("Exposed"), Mr. Parker will return, but by then Miss Parker won't be so sure he's really her father. Then again, nothing on The Pretender
is ever what it seems...
Throughout the 22-episode season, Jarods "pretends" will range from firefighter ("Over the Edge") to FBI Agent ("A Stand Up Guy")--even male escort ("Gigolo Jarod"). Along the way, he'll catch up on some of the childhood staples he missed, like Jell-O and Twinkies (both of which he'll use against the bad guys). Meanwhile, Sydney (Patrick Bauchau) will reunite with his twin brother, only to lose him again ("Indy Show," featuring a cameo from Mario Andretti). Other pivotal episodes include "Bulletproof," in which Sydney meets up with another figure from his past, "Crash," in which Mr. Lyle's true identity is revealed, and double-length season finale "Bloodlines" (featuring Haley Joel Osment as a potential pretender), in which Miss Parker finds out she has a brother. Alas, it's either the psychotic Mr. Lyle or Angelo (Paul Dillon), the Centre's idiot savant or, as she calls him, "Cousin It." The second season ends with a cliffhanger as a bomb goes off in the Centre--just as Jarod is trying to make his escape. --Kathleen C. Fennessy