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08 December 2010 @ 12:05 am
Top 10 of Seemingly Innocuous But Actually Creepy Fucked Up Shit Jarod Has Done  
So I was originally going to do a recap of Toy Surprise, but once I realised it would pretty much just consist of me saying FUCK YEAH, MISS PARKER for forty four minutes, I regrouped and came back with this. It was almost equally fun for me, and will probably be a hundred times more interesting for you.

So-titled because for some reason, this show was insanely good at getting you to think fucked up shit was completely normal, mostly using the excuse of ‘he’s just a playful trickster of a man-child, quit being so oversensitive’ or by distracting you with Miss Parker in a mini skirt. I was really into this show as a kid and didn’t think anything of a lot of this stuff then, but rewatching it now I’m not only almost a little concerned I was allowed to watch it; I kind of have an answer as to why I am the way I am today.

10. Dressed up as Raines for Halloween.

Season two, episode one, Back From the Dead Again. It’s a Halloween episode, and one of the better ones from the whole series, imho. Jarod’s obsession of the week is Halloween, and his discoveries include putting poop on people’s doorsteps and setting it on fire, as well as trick or treating for candy. He decides to give the latter a go at the end of the episode, and gleefully lets Sydney know that he’s found the perfect costume – the scariest person he can think of. It’s Mr Raines.

Why it’s creepy: Okay, so maybe this one is mostly innocuous. This didn’t really affect anyone, except maybe those poor children that answered the door that will probably be mentally scarred for the rest of their life, but you have to admit, this was a healthy dose of ‘pretty fucked up masquerading as a cute Halloween prank’. Jarod is a pretender – he regularly places himself inside the skins of others, expressing repulsion on quite a few occasions at the kind of heads he has to get inside. I feel like dressing up as Raines should be hitting a little too close to home for him.

9. Given Miss Parker the flu.

Season one, A Virus Among Us. Jarod’s posing as a virologist and in his latest lair he’s left behind a whole bunch of clues pointing towards his new occupation, including a Petri dish for Miss Parker. Upon examining it closer, she receives the kind of delightful message we all like to see in the bottom of our Petri dishes, ‘TOTES JUST GAVE URSELF THE FLU, LOLOL’.

Why it’s creepy: I don’t care if it’s funny or playful; he deliberately infected Miss Parker with a disease. That’s fucking germ warfare, and I really don’t see how it’s any different to the Centre deliberately infecting people with diseases to test drugs on them. Not to mention thousands of people die from the flu every year. Does he really need to add that to his delicate conscience?

8. Snuck into Miss Parker’s room to remove the firing pin from her gun while she was sleeping. Naked.

Season four, ‘Til Death Do Us Part. It’s the anniversary of Thomas’ death, and Jarod thinks that’s as good a day as any to materialize in front of Miss Parker and taunt her mercilessly until she points her gun at him. It’s pretty understandable that she starts waving her 9mm around, because let’s face it, Jarod’s kind of being an arrogant dick. His being an arrogant dick probably has a lot to do with the fact he knows she can’t shoot him because he’s taken the firing pin out of her gun. Miss Parker protests that she sleeps with her gun under her pillow. Jarod agrees, and also adds that she drools out of the side of her mouth when she’s sleeping.

Why it’s creepy: He broke into her house while she was sleeping, which is kind of illegal and stalkerish anyway, but to actually have been close enough to reach under her pillow for her gun whilst she slept – naked, as we see at the start of the episode – and unaware? Complete invasion of privacy. Or kind of erotic, in a creepy voyeuristic kind of way. Depends how you look at it.

7. Set up Miss Parker with Thomas.

Season three, Assassin. Thomas Gates was the charming home renovator Miss Parker played house with for a little while until his tragic death on her front porch at the hands of everyone’s favourite wicked stepmother, Brigitte. Miss Parker was understandably more than a little devastated when he died, and all of the scenes involving her and Thomas are as a result extremely painful to watch when you know what’s coming. Their whole relationship was conducted in season three, but we don’t find out about Jarod’s involvement in it until season four, when he leaves Miss Parker one of Thomas’ business cards with a code name written on the back. The code name leads Miss Parker to a phone tap that was placed on Thomas by the Centre, which in turn reveals Miss Parker wasn’t the only person Jarod liked to have late night phone sex with. It turns out Jarod and Thomas go way back, and that it was Jarod who orchestrated their whole meeting in the first place.

Why it’s creepy: The main reason it’s creepy, aside from the whole playing God part, is that it worked. I mean, friends set each other up with people all the time, and that’s okay. Jarod, on the other hand, was entirely deceptive about his involvement which upped the creep factor, but the fact that he was able to pick someone and contrive an apparently perfect scenario in which they could meet, and to have it work, so well and so quickly… he obviously spent a fair amount of time planning (and very probably, simming) this. His huntress’ love life. Wrong for countless reasons. Also creepy is how he kept in touch with Thomas afterwards with phone calls during which they discussed Miss Parker (including how amazing her eyes are?). Not weird and kind of voyeuristic at all.

6. Written The Saddest Little Valentine.

Season two, episode eleven, Gigolo Jarod. It’s Valentine’s Day, and Jarod’s led the three musketeers on a wild goose chase to an adult book store by way of sweetheart candies on a bathroom mirror. It is here that they find the gift Jarod has left for Miss Parker – it’s a romance novel called The Saddest Little Valentine, featuring cover artwork eerily reminiscent of our favourite huntress, in somewhat of a state of undress. Miss Parker sits in bed smoking and drinking scotch and reading it with a melancholy look on her face, having flashbacks to her younger, black and white self assaulting innocent little Jarod with her mouth in the Sim Lab.

Why it’s creepy: It’s creepy in that way that reading NC17 rated RPF about yourself would be creepy.

5. Called Miss Parker ‘sis’.

Season two finale, Bloodlines. Earlier on in this finale, Miss Parker discovered (thanks to Jarod) that she actually had a twin brother who was supposed to have died in childbirth but really didn’t. Instead he was handed off to Raines for him to do whatever he damn wanted with, really. A bit later in the episode when Jarod and Miss Parker encounter each other as they are prone to do in finales, Jarod acts completely unfazed about sharing screen time with the woman that wants to drag him back to the Centre and greets her with a smug, ‘Hey, sis.’ Miss Parker gets all kinds of choked up about it, mostly because she really wants to jump Jarod’s bones, but luckily he goes on to reveal he’s actually narrowed the candidates down to Angelo and Lyle. The charade didn’t really last long enough to hurt, but it was an interesting ad break for a lot of people, I’m sure.

Why it’s creepy: Because Jarod still remembers the little girl that gave him his first kiss, and so do we.

4. Locked up his childhood sweetheart with a known psychopath.

Season four. I know, I know – Survival was a MP/L shipper’s wet dream, what am I doing picking on it? Just because it was amazing doesn’t mean it wasn’t messed up, okay? In fact, fucked up and amazing basically mean the same thing on this show. This episode pretty much sums up the MP/L manifesto, starting with the fact that Jarod obviously ships them too – why else would he lock Miss Parker up in a shipping (geddit?) container with her crazy bad ass twin that thinks she’s incredibly beautiful when she’s angry? He even thinks this is a great time to let Miss Parker in on a few more of the skeletons in Lyle’s closet/prison cell cupboard, just so she can really appreciate this romantic time they’re spending together. Some really beautiful moments came out of this episode, such as Lyle sensually feeding Miss Parker dead grasshoppers. I think we all teared up a little inside.

Why it’s creepy: We’re going to say it’s a given that Jarod actually cares about Miss Parker’s wellbeing to some degree, since he kind of got caught at the end of season three trying to help her after she was shot. Putting her in a small enclosed space with a known killer with no witnesses? And chipping her molar to boot? Hmm, maybe it’s kind of like pulling the pigtails of that fifth grader you like…

3. Painted Miss Parker a picture of herself. Crying. After her mother died.

Season one, episode two, Every Picture Tells A Story. Oh, I see what you did there.

Only two episodes in, this show was still a little (a lot?) shaky on its feet, so understandably they were reaching a little in the characterization department. Therefore unavoidably they fell into that old trap Stephanie Meyer is so fond of: telling-without-ever-actually-showing. This means that when Jarod does something pretty simple and straightforward, like leaving a note along the lines of ‘Oh hey Miss Parker, remember how mommy supposedly offed herself on this date that I’m sure is ingrained into your memory for all of time? Yeah, well, I call bullshit’, everyone scratches their heads in confusion whilst sort of cooing in simultaneous admiration because gosh golly, that playful little pretender’s done it again, he’s leaving breadcrumbs, and what on earth could he possibly mean? What he means, apparently, as he elaborates later, is that he ‘knows the truth about what makes [Miss Parker] sad’. I don’t think it was that much of a secret to anybody, but whatever. He’s the genius, okay? At the end of the ep Miss P has a little home movie night and reminisces about the day Catherine got herself perforated in an elevator and gazes sadly at the portrait Jarod has spent the episode painting – it’s of herself as a little girl, crying and kind of weirdly close-up and not flattering at all.

Why it’s creepy: It’s already pretty inappropriate for him to be spending his spare time painting pictures of the woman that’s hunting him down, but a picture of her crying? After her mother was just shot in a freaking elevator? Which he finds necessary to keep rewatching on digital archive? Why, Jarod, why? Also, what does Miss Parker do with all these fucked up pieces of art he sends her? Does she have a room in her house dedicated to them, like a disturbing little shrine to her own shattered psyche? Why does every sentence in this paragraph end in a question mark?

2. Left Miss Parker a diorama of the day she and Thomas met on the anniversary of his death, then hid and watched her find it, dressed as a clown.

Season four, ‘Til Death Do Us Part. Again. I love this episode. Love it. It’s fucking cracktastic, for various reasons that I’ve already discussed in more detail in a previous post, and this scene is definitely its crowning glory. I debated long and hard over whether this should actually be number one, because I’m pretty sure it takes the cake in terms of sick and twisted stunts a la Jarod, however I eventually shelved it to second because the next one trumps it in the JUST NOT OK department, I think.

This one’s all about the ambience. It’s the anniversary of the day Miss Parker found her carpenter boyfriend dead on her porch, and Jarod’s all for marking the occasion with creative flair. His latest hideout is a carnivalesque freakshow, complete with a ringside scale model of the day Thomas and Miss Parker met at a gas station. Miss Parker is understandably nauseated by this disgusting display of pretender pomposity and leaves, and when she does we find out Jarod was actually there the whole time. Watching. DRESSED AS A CLOWN. This is the episode we find out that Jarod was the one that set the pair up in the first place, and he spends most of it trying to convince Miss Parker that he’s not trying to screw with her and that Thomas was never a game to him. It’s a sentiment that’s reasonably well undermined by this sordid little set up that basically screams ‘your life is a circus, and I’m the fucking ringmaster, bitch’. It has an underlying sense of childish jealousy and petulance that people tend to feel when they accidentally on purpose send their childhood sweetheart on a date with someone that’s a hundred times better for them because they weren’t raised underground by an evil corporation known as the Centre.

Why it’s creepy: He was dressed as a motherfucking clown. Clowns are creepy enough all on their own without Jarod’s involvement. As for the diorama? Wow, fucked up and completely insensitive much? I like how in the commentary for this ep they don’t even mention how unbalanced Jarod is being in this scene at all.

1. Made Miss Parker dig up her mother’s grave.

Season four, Corn Man A-Coming. Honestly, for a penultimate episode, this one’s as stupid as it sounds. Proving just how ordinary it truly is, Jarod’s pretend even features that woman I shall now christen Token Guest Star that’s been in the show every season playing a different character.

Nobody ever actually dies on this show, unless you’re Kyle or Catherine Parker, in which case you die, turn out to still be alive then die again pretty much straight away. Example: Catherine Parker died in an elevator when Miss Parker was a little girl. In this episode, it turns out that’s not true because she’s not in her grave, and when people aren’t in their graves that means they’re still alive. Hooray! In the next episode, we find out that whilst Catherine Parker didn’t die in an elevator, she was shot by Mr Raines after giving birth to a whiny psychic kid. She’s still not in her grave, but whatever. We’ll call it a paradox. What’s important is: the reason we know Catherine Parker is not in her grave is because Jarod suggested Miss Parker should dig it up. He did this by way of a weird video e-card. Broots, bless his soul, thinks the whole thing is completely whacked and says as much. Miss Parker, on the other hand, doesn’t get nearly enough upset by it for a person whose entire existence is pretty much based on the belief that her mother is in that casket.

Why it’s creepy: I know this is sort of Edna’s fault as well, but there were other, far less traumatic ways to go about this. He made her dig up her mother’s grave. On a fucking hunch. As if her mother’s death hasn’t already completely messed her up, given her crazy abandonment issues and left her more than a little emotionally retarded. FYI, Jarod, DIY exhumation is never an okay game to make someone play.

Special mentions should also go to: the glass window sans heart he sent Miss Parker during Wake Up (but started making even before he knew Thomas was dead, for added creepiness), most of the revenge methods on his pretends, the fact that he watches small children in playgrounds, and cornering a boy in a wheelchair after school innocently trying to give him icecream. I’m sure that’s exactly how his parents would have seen it, too, Genius.

That’s all for now, folks. Tune in next time for 10 Reasons Miss Parker/Lyle is every bit as canon as Jarod/Miss Parker.

Amanda: Pretender - Sydney Broots hiding // lildlea724 on December 7th, 2010 04:12 pm (UTC)
I love these posts.
ofparsnip: [tp] jarod and miss parkerofparsnip on December 7th, 2010 04:53 pm (UTC)
This is awesome. I LOVE IT.
bklyn_hunny: Dianna Agron & Lea Michelebklyn_hunny on December 7th, 2010 05:19 pm (UTC)
Ms. Parker...UNF!
The Loch Ness Monsterinkytwist on December 7th, 2010 07:05 pm (UTC)


oh man, i have been so far out of the pretender fandom for so long that this was a lovely trip! And holy shit, why did my parents let me watch this show with them? I still love Jarod though, can't help it.
t.karlamartinova on December 7th, 2010 07:14 pm (UTC)
Oh yeah! :D You always make me remember my love for this show :) And looking forward to the next one.
taniapretender: Lollypop Bitchtaniapretender on December 7th, 2010 08:31 pm (UTC)
Ok so I just fell in on this and I ADORE YOU.
-(and yes, rewatching tP as a grown up makes me also realize that NO this is so not okay for a kid. But then again, there are tons of stuff I didn't understand back then about this show...like "why is Lyle saying he likes leftovers?"

I was going to say the creepiest thing for me was that episode (I forgot the name, big shocker since I've seen every episode ten times) where they get someone to "interrogate" every member of the huntparty to find out who shot Raines in S2.

And in the end we find out Jarod's been blackmailing the guy to get the results himself, and I could not be more creeped out by HOW someone WORKING for Raines would actually be that scared of Jarod. Hu.

Also, some of his "revenge" schemes are just SO WRONG and creepy.

All in all, creepiest scene of the show had nothing to do with Jarod. Read my mind: Raines WASHING Willie's feet... srsly?!

three steps left of the centre fold line.sezzie_dee on December 8th, 2010 03:18 am (UTC)
Raines washing Willie's feet was so messed up. And then the creepy sexual undertones of him going to wash Miss P's. That scene is one of my favourites. I love that on the commentary they said someone just joked about it and then they were all YES. LET'S DO IT. I should do a top ten of non-Jarod messed up shit.

Two of the revenge schemes that stood out for me were the frayed bungee cord in Extreme and the collapsing balcony in Gigolo Jarod, just because they weren't really situations in which Jarod had control over things going wrong. Creep.
taniapretendertaniapretender on December 9th, 2010 10:18 pm (UTC)
oh hey I just found the CREEPIEST of it all :
how about Jarod STEALING an organ from someone ?

That was...VERY disturbing.
three steps left of the centre fold line.sezzie_dee on December 10th, 2010 12:04 am (UTC)
Lmao, how did I miss this one? I think it's because I erased that episode from my mind because it was so ridiculous. Good call! Not ok, Jarod!
cynatnite: Jarodcynatnite on December 7th, 2010 09:41 pm (UTC)
I love Jarod's twisted side and you did a great job of explaining it. Although, I would put the scene with Jarod dressed up as a clown at number one.

The sickest thing he ever did was do the miniature meeting of Thomas and Parker. It's just twisted a kick to the gut. I'd say it was mean of him.

Love this pic spam so hard. I can't wait for the next one.
three steps left of the centre fold line.sezzie_dee on December 8th, 2010 03:21 am (UTC)
I agree, it's pretty sick and twisted and super cruel. I guess my choice of number one was less Jarod's creepy involvement and more 'this should be the ultimate no-no, and Miss Parker's barely batting an eyelid'.
Krazy Kat: wiggles (Pretender)krazykitkat on December 7th, 2010 11:57 pm (UTC)
Yes, this show is so incredibly creepy and fucked up.

10 Reasons Miss Parker/Lyle is every bit as canon as Jarod/Miss Parker

Oh, I can't wait for this one!
Taryn: Pretender Jarodhermit on December 8th, 2010 12:08 am (UTC)
This post was made of total WIN and your snark was awesome.

I love this show and I adore Jarod (and Parker, natch) but yeah.... definitely fucked up.
sister moon: catladymelanie_anne on December 8th, 2010 06:17 am (UTC)
I miss this show SO much.
dani101: math-joydani101 on December 8th, 2010 01:54 pm (UTC)
Agree with posts above- it was a lovely trip.:)
the Fuzzy Dunlop Experiencenyias on December 9th, 2010 10:51 pm (UTC)
Love it! I laughed out loud in an airport.
Blade: The Pretender | wicked!Jarodblademistress on December 10th, 2010 04:30 am (UTC)
Dude, it’s been like FOREVER since I spoke to you. How are things!?

The more I look back on The Pretender the more disturbing I find so much of it and more creepy I find Jarod. Some of this I was thinking about after your last post so I'm sorry this is going to get long.

I think that the way I view Miss Parker has changed. Before she was just this amazing sort of archetype ice cold bitch who kicked ass and rocked heels and a skirt. And now there’s things like the way she’s grown up into this amazingly powerful woman who speaks at least two languages, did international business deals and was in line for the chairmanship not just because her father was – because the Centre isn’t actually a dynasty (I think that Mr Parker managed to get there and how he claws his way back it proves that) but because she was that good. The things we don’t know about her are really glaring – like where she went to school. She’s obviously college educated and probably went to at least an ivy league school, but the show completely ignores this. We know she started at the very bottom because they referenced her being a cleaner and she climbed from that to being on the other side of the T board. So she’s this amazingly competent woman who works in an incredibly sexist institution and the show lets you see the vast majority of Jarod’s time being dedicated to actually embarrassing her and undermining her authority and her abilities. Even though he knows exactly how tenuous her entire existence is within The Centre. Even her “Ice Queen” name is actually really horrible and carries with it a lot of misogynist origins and is typically used to describe women in power. Miss Parker runs on fear, and respect driven from fear and has to use that to keep herself afloat.

But Jarod’s obsessed with getting her back to this weird idea of innocence and pre-puberty Miss Parker, and essentially spends all of his time saying to her you’re wrong how you are. He lords information over her and plays her like a puppet and just like you said made her dig up her own mother’s grave. Miss Parker spends her entire existence on the show fighting to get agency from every single character around her including Jarod. Then in the – urgh – movies he demonstrates a belief that she should be glad he’s done all this and that she should abandon the things that she’s worked for in order to save him.

In summary: I completely agree with this post.
three steps left of the centre fold line.sezzie_dee on December 10th, 2010 07:54 am (UTC)
It has been an insanely long time! Things are good. Though by good I really mean average, as in work still sucks, people still suck and Christmas in retail still really sucks, all as per usual. I've finished my degree now yet I'm still... at uni. Extending my already useless humanities degree into more uselessness. Because who needs the real world, honestly?

What's been up in Kiwi Land? Do you still prefer brains to sheep?

I think the way I see Miss Parker has shifted a lot as well, to the point that I don't think 'ice queen' really fits her at all, and you're right - it's pretty much just a completely misogynistic label that she gets for being a woman in a position of power. She's snippy and sarcastic but I wouldn't really use icy anymore, and you definitely can't call her unemotional because in reality she's tearing up all the freaking time - she's actually pretty damn compassionate. She also falls into a domestic relationship with Tommy fairly easily, suggesting it's not that she can't relate to people but rather that she probably just hasn't had the time or the inclination.

I've always acknowledged Jarod has been pretty messed up but I guess in the past I always still sided with him on all the stunts he pulled with her, just because the show makes him out to be this super awesome guy, and he's trying to be free and she's hunting him down and whatever. But this time around there's been so many episodes where I've actually stopped and said, 'Wow. He's pretty much unjustifiably being a total dick to her right now.' He spends so much of his time telling Miss Parker she should be and think and act a certain way whilst whining about how the Centre has wronged *him* and tried to control *him*. Not to mention he wants so much for her to be her mother when hello, Catherine Parker wound up *dead*. Yet in IotH in the car he's all sulky and trying to appeal to her... to do what? I share her sentiments completely when she asks him what the hell he wants from her. He can't simultaneously acknowledge her as a fellow Centre prisoner and blame her for everything shitty that's ever happened in his life. Idiot.

Your icon is totally appropriate for this post. I really need a shiny Pretender icon.
Company Tried and Testedrebelrockme on December 11th, 2010 06:23 am (UTC)
Absolutely terrific post!
I recently did a slide show presentation on a type of masculinity that undermines and subjugates women and used the Jarod/Parker relationship as my example. (which was difficult as the people in my class are too young to have ever watched it.) So I totally agree with all of your examples... Jarod is totally messed up. Fortunately, he's really hot.
Blade: Dr Who | TARDISblademistress on December 11th, 2010 01:06 pm (UTC)
My things are very similar! I dragged out my also useless humanities degree, finally got it end of last year, tried to see if could extend it with post grad and then realised I hated it. I have sort of Real Person job of the kind that you take when there’s a recession on and you’re just climbing out of the worst retail hell ever. What's your very expensive piece of paper in at the end?

I do, but now I like brains in mint sauce because there are some things which are undeniable.

Yeah. In terms of even 90s heroines she’s not that unemotional at all. I’d say that Scully is probably less emotional than she is even, though I do think some of it is partly because Andrea Parker is actually genuinely great in a lot of the scenes and manages to play them with a lot more emotional resonance than the writers are capable of envisioning. I have no idea if you’ve watched Fringe but in comparison to Olivia Miss Parker is practically weepy.

I definitely thought Jarod was a bit fucked up but also sort of would excuse his really messed up actions as more of an exception than the rule, or explain it away as within the confines of the episode i.e., the bungee episode. But that’s not really it. He coerces confessions under duress and deliberately exposes people to their worst fears as soon as he knows them. The episodes in which he buries a guy alive, nearly drowns a hydrophobic person and paralyses a person and makes them think he’s going to autopsy them are seriously messed up and the show never acknowledges that. When I watched the first season of Dexter it struck me that Dexter was basically Jarod. He also lays out all of the evidence and explains to them exactly what they did – and then he kills them where Jarod tortures them.

Jarod is a total jerk to Miss Parker and pretty much everything I saw as teasing, banter and “pulling her pigtails” sort of behaviour is just urgh now. Like, the strip search, and everywhere he leaves her tied up, and oh god so much of it. And then after he’s finished whining about how hard his life was and how they control him etc etc he just does something that further entwines her into the situation and makes sure she can’t actually get out without playing exactly into his hands. Every single revelation she makes, he basically already has and is doing nothing about. When she tries to kill him at the end of season 1? 2? I felt it was completely justified and instead of the show saying it was because his father had killed her mother it would have been acceptable to hit a point where enough was enough. Yes, I hate that scene in the car now so much. Jarod is basically completely passive about everything the Centre has done and yet somehow expects her to singlehandedly make or change or run away.

Thank you :) It's coincidentally my only one.
three steps left of the centre fold line.: stay in the car chucksezzie_dee on December 11th, 2010 02:22 pm (UTC)
Well I get a glorified piece of toilet paper that says I have a degree in English and the Creative Arts, whatever they really are, because at the end of it all I'm still not enitrely sure. Then it got to October and I started freaking the fuck out about what I was going to do after graduation, so I was throwing together a half assed application to a totally pretentious performing arts college to pretty much do what I assume is the exact same useless degree all over again, only with better bragging rights, but then one of my professors was all, 'have you considered honours, because I'd really like to supervise you' and since that involved zero effort in comparison to a ridiculously detailed portfolio project I'm now doing honours. In scenography. I still have no idea what it constitutes but apparently in second semester all I have to do is write 6000 words of bullshit, and that sounded cruisy and perfect for a lazy underachiever like myself.

I think I may actually need to get a semi Real Person job soon, just because work has gone literally batshit these past months and somehow me increasing my availability to every day resulted in me getting significantly less hours. I have a really brilliant piece of Coles logic for you - last week we all had to watch a dvd and do a stupid quiz thing on fast and friendly customer service, because someone up the ladder somewhere has worked out we waste twenty four hours a week on customers paying for their shopping. I'm not really sure how they can classify people giving them money as a waste of time. I always assumed payment was kind of an essential part of the shopping process but apparently this is a Serious Issue We Need To Focus On.

I never really thought about until recently how much of a non-effort Jarod makes to take down the Centre, yet he likes to act all haughty like Miss Parker could make a difference if she really wanted to. He doesn't exactly go to her 'so we could totally take these fuckers down if we worked together and did X'. He wants her to do... something but doesn't really clarify what exactly it is he expects or give her any realistic opportunities to achieve it. And then he spends all his time antagonising her anyway and complaining that they won't leave him alone when if he really wanted to he could have dropped off their radar years ago.

I kind of wish it had turned out Major Charles killed her mother, just because he's so fond of rubbing in her face what a dick Mr Parker is when he refuses to believe anything unsavoury about his own family. POT - KETTLE.

It was such a cop out when Miss Parker talked about him always being with her in the most difficult moments of her life considering it was more like he orchestrated her experience of the most difficult moments of her life, and his being 'there with her' was in the form of him being a psycho stalker puppet master.

They really needed an episode where he fucked up and his revenge method got someone killed and people called him on his unhingedness instead of patting him on the back.
Blade: Psych | Shawn and Gus going round cornerblademistress on December 11th, 2010 10:53 pm (UTC)
Mine is English and Politics, but yours sounds much more artsy. I would have actually have liked to do a bit of creative arts work but in Auckland there is exactly one creative writing teacher and I hate him like burning. And I actually thought my politics degree might get me a job. Hahahahaha. 6000 words is like the best honours thesis ever. You thinking of doing a PHD eventually?

Wow. That's a really fantastic idea. I bet they stole it from all those supermarkets where they have all of the staff members lurking in the shelves and no one mans the tills. If this was coupled with the most amazing auto scanning checkout in the world it would almost make sense, but no. That sounds suspiciously like former business/management student logic. The last retail job I gtfo from recently had management so incompetant they actually didn't buy stamps for their post office.

He does pretty much nothing. I think what you said about him wanting Miss Parker to be Catherine really ties in with that too. He's sort of cast himself in his father's role as a contact Catherine had outside the Centre and wants her to basically do what Catherine did. Only he hasn't actually stopped to tell her this, or fix that it was a terrible plan the first time. With the clone Jarod he was so "you should do something" to everyone but Sydney and Miss Parker were doing something. Sydney was trying to protect the boy within The Centre, Miss Parker was reaching out to him. In the first season he steals like 10 million dollars in an afternoon with dial up but Miss Parker should do something apparently.

That actually would have been amazing. The way he holds them up to this amazingly perfect standard is probably really not true at all.

Had not really thought about that, but ew yes that's completely true. Especially the part where he turns up in the bar in Wake Up. At no point is that "we were friends and I still care" it was "your life killed Thomas. You need to find revenge".

I really don't know why they didn't do this at least in the fourth season. If you're going to go darker then do it. I read a person talking about how in some ways Jarod's revenge was sort of the ultimate appeal to the corporal punishment side of us all, but I would have liked at least one objector just sort of around the victims or someone if I couldn't have had him accidentally killing.
three steps left of the centre fold line.: siblingssezzie_dee on December 13th, 2010 12:47 pm (UTC)
Honestly I'm not all that interested in doing my PhD at this stage, but that is probably exactly what I'll end up doing, mostly because I am lazy and even though I'm really not that much of a fan of uni life, I think it trumps real life by a lot.

It's some amazing business student logic for sure. The dvd compared two different scenarios, one set to 'Smooth Operator' and the second set to 'Bad to the Bone'; I'm pretty sure it would have cost them more than 24 hours to produce the damn thing and get the music rights, not to mention the time wasted through us having to watch it. I think I now kinda get why before I started there I had to do an IQ test and there was a chart and it had 'most employees should be here' and then me really far away from it, and I think the point was to tell me eventually I'd want to kill myself from the stupid.

In the first season he steals like 10 million dollars in an afternoon with dial up but Miss Parker should do something apparently.

That is... pretty much the extent of his genius, really.
cynatnite: Christmas Snoopycynatnite on December 14th, 2010 05:46 am (UTC)
Well, I don't agree with much of what's being said here by a few people.

In the first episode of the season, Sidney warns Jarod they brought Miss Parker in to hunt him down. Given Jarod's reaction to that, it's obvious she's developed a tough rep. The Centre is misogynistic by nature. This along with her childhood goes a long way in explaining her behavior over the series.

Also, Miss Parker follows Daddy every step of the way. Much of what she's done has been to please him. The Parkers are the Centre and I think this has been ingrained her since childhood. She either has no interest in taking down the Centre or believes it to be too big to take down.

Both Parker and Jarod grew up in screwed up environments by completely dysfunctional people. They came out of it with a sense of morality to a degree, but they both are as dysfunctional as is everyone around them.

Jarod uses his dysfunctional genius for a sense of justice and to prod Miss Parker along. Parker doesn't have to take it, but she does. She lets Jarod do this crap over and over. She doesn't walk away and she doesn't tell Daddy to fuck off and walk out.

She got the guts to walk out when she was with Thomas, but he was killed and there went her reason for quitting the Centre.

Jarod and Parker are where they are out of choice.

Jarod has screwed up his revenge methods. There was on episode where he didn't know the bad guy had a partner. That was when Jarod got amnesia. There was also the episode where he infiltrated a KKK type group and the General turned out to be a baddie that Jarod had sent to prison before. Jarod's got more than one instance of his pretends not going according to his genius plans. *G*
three steps left of the centre fold line.: even you wouldn't pull a gun in a banksezzie_dee on December 14th, 2010 08:40 am (UTC)
I agree that Jarod and Parker are to very large degree where they are out of choice, but Jarod seems to like to slant it that Parker could do anything she wanted and he's the one that's stuck because she won't leave him alone, when really it's more of the opposite. Miss Parker did try to leave the Centre with Thomas, and yeah, they killed him, just like her mother was killed trying to get her out of there. I think it's a pretty straightforward message that she just shouldn't leave ever, so I don't really blame her for resigning herself to staying where she is.

Jarod on the other hand could do any number of things like just disappearing and not leaving them clues anymore, or actually coming up with a decent plan to take the place down if he's so damn smart and has access to this wealth of information that he uses to manipulate Miss Parker, but he does nothing. I agree it's a good thing that he opened her eyes to the fact that she'd been lied to all her life, but like you said - she lets him do it. She's willing to listen and yet he still continues to be a douche about it and criticise everything she does instead of approaching her with a workable plan that she might actually be able to commit to and achieve and maybe even, you know, live through. He wants her to renounce the Centre - okay. Did he really believe the Centre was going to let her just casually leave? And if he didn't, what does she have to gain by going on the run? He likes to point out how crappy and evil her life is but he doesn't really offer a realistic alternative.

Also Jarod claims to be all about family and is obsessed with tracking his down and bringing it back together so they can be omgperfect, not to mention spends a whole season moping because Sydney won't admit to being his surrogate dad, yet can't understand why Miss Parker still pursues her father's love.

We're not saying we don't see the other side of it as well, it's just fun to criticize the shit out of analyse their shortcomings sometimes. We do it out of love, really :)

Jarod screwed up his revenge methods, but both times it was at his own expense and there were never any serious consequences to him getting it wrong (not to mention the bit with the truck driver was more of an excuse for him to get amnesia so they could do a clip show, than a satisfying Jarod-messed-it-up plot). What we were talking about was him seriously fucking up and inadventently killing someone whilst trying to give them a taste of their own medicine, because he seems to think he can control everything but he can't (Unforgotten and Ghosts from the Past are indeed the evidence of that). I possibly would have even settled for one of the good guys acknowledging, "Okay, so you helped us out and we're pretty grateful and all, so don't take this the wrong way, but... that was some pretty psychotic shit and you should really get yourself checked into an institution or something."
Mira -Blueberry Witch / human in Elf disguise..miravisu on December 10th, 2010 09:52 pm (UTC)
*grins and nods muchly*
Some serious issues in this series! But that makes it even more.. fascinating still.

thirdi7 on February 7th, 2011 04:41 am (UTC)
This was an awsome post. I started watching The Pretender in the mornings before school. Those reruns had an effect and recently I went to buy these dvds and half of the appeal of the show is how human and psychotic each of these characters are, saving maybe Broots, and what a crazy lil family they make. This might not be smart to admit but the psychological stuff I eat up and anything strange pops out. I can't believe how amazing this show really was/is. I was so happy to see someone who can see the same kind of twisted. :)
atatteredrose: goblinsatatteredrose on November 30th, 2011 09:56 am (UTC)
I started rewatching this show last week and have been mainlining it ever since - I mostly remembered how the plot started making no sense, and had forgotten just how unabashedly fcuk'd up everyone was, without shoving it in your face like so many shows nowadays.

this show was insanely good at getting you to think fucked up shit was completely normal


Every moment can be interpreted a dozen different ways and at least 6 of them will be true. Because they not only CAN cover the range of motivations, from altruistic to depraved, but each character DOES.

Thanks for making this, 4 years ago ;) It's the perfect warm and squishy horror show.
atatteredroseatatteredrose on November 30th, 2011 09:57 am (UTC)
1 year ago. *facepalm* Apparently I am functionally incapable of reading dates.