Rowyn (rowyn) wrote,

The Pretender

I've never seen this TV show; I don't even know if it's still on the air. I had a vague notion that it was about a "serial impersonator" -- a man who was taking on one identity after another, pretending to a be a surgeon or police officer or whatever the current episode required, while the authorities tried (and doubtless failed) to catch him. I've seen a couple of ads for it, but I may have come to this conclusion based solely on the show's name.

In any case, my subconscious had other ideas about the show.

I was watching an advertisement, ostensibly for "The Pretender". The ad established that the protagonist never spoke. My mind balked at this -- how good a job could he do impersonating could he be if he never talked? I decided that I must not know the actual premise of the show. However, in this episode, he was presented with a whole new challenge: children. The ad's teaser showed him actually talking to try to keep a couple of kids quiet.

Then I was watching the episode. The protagonist, it turned out, was some kind of assassin and a specialist in setting explosives. I wondered how they managed to make a sympathetic character out of that. Did he only blow up bad people?

This particular episode had him running around an elementary school, attempting to evade the authorities. Like a typical sympathetic Hollywood criminal, he was careful not to harm, or even alarm, any of the children. He enlisted a couple of children to help him; somehow, this came across as heartwarming rather than chilling. Near the end of the episode, as the police were closing in on him, he ran down a series of steps. The police were sure that they had him, but he crossed a railroad track just ahead of a train, and the train cut the cops off from further pursuit. Then it blew up.

In yet another sign that my mind harbors sympathy for terrorists, no one got hurt.

The episode closed with a cutaway shot to the protagonist, riding a motorcycle with a middle-aged homeless woman sitting behind him. Her name was Hattie, and she was talking to him like he was an old friend. He said something in response to her, and I thought, Hey, what about that 'He never talks' bit? Did you just mean 'Usually more taciturn than this' or what?

This segued into another episode, where the two of them came to a campground and rented a site for the night. The campground told them to take any spot in one of two sections, and they cruised along on their motorcycle until they reached the first section, where they got off and started looking for a spot.

The campground had an unpromising look. Twisted trees dotted sandy brown slopes. Empty land surrounded a tiny lake, fed by a few winding streams. A couple of other campers were there, but it was almost deserted. There were no hookups or other signs of human habitation. They explored it for a while, and considered moving on to the other section, to see if it looked any prettier, or more secluded.

I was trying to work out if they meant to get camping supplies, and how much they could transport on that motorcycle, or if they meant to sleep on the ground in their clothes, when I woke up.

This dream seemed a lot more interesting before I wrote it down.

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