The Pretender 2001

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The Pretender 2001
The Pretender 2001.jpg
Written by Steven Long Mitchell
Craig W. Van Sickle
Directed by Frederick King Keller
Starring Michael T. Weiss
Andrea Parker
Patrick Bauchau
Jon Gries
Richard Marcus
Jamie Denton
Harve Presnell
Running time 96 minutes
Distributor TNT
Original release January 22, 2001
Preceded by The Pretender TV series
Followed by The Pretender: Island of the Haunted

The Pretender 2001 (also called Pretender 2001) was the first of the two The Pretender telemovies to air after the series was cancelled from the NBC. It originally aired on TNT on January 22, 2001.


The story reunites the entire cast from the series, effectively picking up where the season four cliffhanger ended. Jarod (Michael T. Weiss), Ethan, and Miss Parker (Andrea Parker) are alive after the bomb explosion on the train. Jarod is now posing as an agent of the National Security Agency; he is part of a task force assembled to find the "Chameleon", a killer who displays all the adaptive traits of a Pretender.

The Centre is forced to put its hunt for Jarod on hold after its administrator, Mr. Parker (Harve Presnell) is abducted. Miss Parker discovers that William Raines (Richard Marcus) is still alive, despite allegedly being shot dead by her father. Her brother, Mr. Lyle (James Denton), attempts to finish Raines off, but Miss Parker manages to spirit him away and hide him in her house. In return, Raines agrees to shed light on who might have kidnapped her father.

Jarod begins receiving taunting clues from the Chameleon, which leads him to believe that the killer holds a grudge against him personally. This revelation takes Jarod back to the days leading up to his escape from the Centre; he did not originally plan to leave alone. Jarod hatched a plan with two fellow Pretenders, including a man named Alex (Peter Outerbridge), to escape from the facility together. Unfortunately, Alex was captured during their escape. He was swiftly sent out of the country and endured hideous torture by his captors; Alex now wants revenge on Jarod as a result. Observing that Jarod's search for his biological family has allowed the Centre to continue to dominate him, Alex took the opposite path by finding his own family and then murdering them. From his perspective, this has 'freed' him from the Centre's control; however, he is still not satisfied and kidnaps Mr. Parker with the intent of killing him too.

After incriminating evidence that points to Jarod is left behind by Alex, Jarod's partners at the NSA suspect him of being the "Chameleon." The Centre's programmer, Broots (Jon Gries), is on Jarod's trail when he is swept up in the NSA investigation and thrown into an interrogation room. Jarod immediately recognizes Broots, but decides to cover up for him rather than risk exposing them both. As Jarod is escorting Broots out of the NSA building, Jarod's partners move in to arrest them both. Jarod flees in a vehicle with Broots in tow, then later ditches him by the side of the road.

At the climax, Jarod thwarts Alex's next assassination and helps free Mr. Parker. Before he commits suicide, Alex gloats that the truth of Jarod's true identity will die with him. Mr. Parker is injured during the struggle and rendered catatonic. As Jarod and Miss Parker exchange words over the phone, both of them receive an anonymous email simultaneously; the message contains an image of two women, the mothers of Miss Parker and Jarod, standing together. The email is revealed to have been sent by Mr. Raines himself, apparently as a show of thanks for rescuing him.



The movie earned a 4.4 Nielsen rating, and 5.538 million viewers making it one of the top ten primetime shows on cable for January 2001.[1][2]


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