Stephen Trager is the father in the Trager family, and becomes father to Kyle. He is a software designer who built a private group into a valuable team. At the beginning of Season 1, he is vice president of LWK, a large company.
Family & Relationships
- William Trager - father, not seen until season 2
- Married to Nicole Trager
Stephen stands by Nicole when she wants to bring Kyle back from the detention center for his safety, but agrees to only a few days. Stephen meets Kyle while working in his shop and tries to get past Kyle's lack of speech by showing him what "hot" means. When Kyle retrieves computer data, and starts playing basketball with Josh, Stephen has a change of heart.
When they discover that Kyle is not sleeping, Stephen is in favor of sedation, but takes Kyle jogging instead to tire him, while Kyle discusses time, saying "So you can never just be." Stephen misses a meeting oversleeping after watching over Kyle at night. He tells Nicole "It's like having a new baby in the house. But this one is huge, and he's not our kid. He doesn't belong here, Nicole." When Kyle goes back to the woods to wait so his family can find him, Stephen says "I think we just did." He tells Kyle that he looks exhausted, that tonight he will sleep. "You just have to find the right spot for yourself. Now just relax, get comfortable." Kyle does, in the bathtub. When Nicole wants to hurry to catch up on her work, Stephen asks her to stay, "and just, be, for a while."
Stephen takes Kyle to work with him, so Nicole can go to work too. In the elevator, Kyle asks him about a lie, and Stephen tells him that he should always tell the truth. Stephen is told by his boss about cutting the staff, which is very upsetting but he must not tell. When he finds that Kyle fixed the company mainframe computer, he praises him. Kyle sees a lot of lying, and tries to fit in, but blurts out the truth at dinner and gets Lori and Josh in trouble. Stephen joins him on the roof to talk about it. Kyle says "But allowing people to get hurt, is that alright?" The next day, Stephen warns his employees about the layoffs, so they can make plans.
When Mr. Hooper does not want Kyle at his school, Stephen rises to sternly say "I assume you'll pass our request up the administrative ladder." After the problem at the pool, Stephen has to explain to Kyle about sexual arousal and public decorum.
Leaving for the party, Lori says "Bye, guys." Josh and Kyle follow, saying that too. Nicole questions Kyle going, but Stephen interrupts with "Lori, see you at midnight, Kyle and Josh ten o'clock, or you won't live to see ten-O-one." As Nicole says "But..." and Lori hurries out before there is any change, Stephen says "Go ahead, have a good time." To patch things up, Stephen explains later that they can "ease up on the reins a little" with Kyle. When Nicole says "I hope you're right," Stephen says "Had to happen sometime."
While the family is supposed to all be gone, Tom Foss sneaks into the house, not knowing that Stephen and Nicole had planned a tryst. She tells Stephen on the phone about hearing someone breaking in. Stephen enters Kyle's room ready with a bat, only to meet the new security guard. When Tom asks a nosey question, Stephen asks what if the robber comes back. After Tom is gone, Stephen and Nicole are making romantic plans for the weekend.
They are interrupted by a call from the school about Kyle. They arrive in time to see Kyle and Toby Neuwirth struggling. Mr. Hooper says there is no place for Kyle at the school. But Stephen still urges Mr. Hooper to let Kyle take the placement tests. While waiting, he hears briefly from Josh and Lori about their horrible day too. He is proud of Kyle for completing the tests so fast, and asks Hooper when Kyle can start.
The power goes out in a rainstorm, and Stephen is startled by Tom while checking the fusebox. He has seen footprints at Kyle's window, and tells Tom about Kyle's picture of a man in a rain hood. When Declan is caught leaving and pretends to be arriving, Stephen gets to meet him. When Nicole tells Stephen that Lori is not a virgin, he threatens to kill Declan, until she reminds him about his first affair. Stephen says "You are not allowed to use something I said after ten tequila shots on our honeymoon, against me. It's different for girls. Isn't it?"
Stephen and Nicole are watching tv when a news program announces that the skeleton found in the woods where Kyle first remembers is that of missing Professor Kern. Nicole says to wait until after the game to tell Kyle. Josh blurts out his jealousy of Kyle's importance because of basketball, and Stephen has to try to apologize.
Stephen asks Det. Breen to run a background check on Foss. Lori calls from UW to ask to stay overnight, and Stephen agrees, thinking they are at Whitman Un. He writes down the code Nicole has on tape from Kyle under hypnosis. He tells her that it is location coordinates, for a site blocked on the Internet. He calls Lori when Hillary says they were going to UW, to tell her to come home immediately.
Stephen and Nicole take a brief vacation to San Francisco. Josh and Lori throw a party in their absence. They returned and were delighted to see Kyle back in their home. Stephen and Nicole spoke with Brian Taylor who was masquerading as the Peterson's lawyer. He told them that they dies in a car accident earlier that week. Stephen tried to help Kyle through the ordeal.
Stephen was dismayed when he got a call from his company. LWK Software was bought out by a big conglomerate and he was now out of a job. He tried to keep it hidden from his family, but it was too hard. He felt bad that he couldn't buy Josh a new car, but managed to get him a junker, as he had for a first car.
Stephen continued to look for a job and suddenly was offered one at Madacorp. He shook hands with Julian Ballantine and promised to be a great employee. He later met Emily Hollander, and told Nicole that her patient Jessi's sister worked at Madacorp.
The family received a call from Dr. Kheel. Stephen's father William had a stroke and was going to die. Through Kyle, William managed to pass messages, and Stephen figured out that his father was apologizing for not being part of his family. Stephen thanked Kyle.
Ballantine, along with Stephen, gave Kyle a tour of Madacorp, unknowingly giving him the floor plan so he could later steal Ballantine's ring. Meanwhile, Lori suspected Stephen of having an affair with Emily, but Stephen assured her that nothing was going on.
Stephen was called in to work to test the CIR. He called Nicole to ask her how long it took to get a test group, suspecting that something was wrong with the hurried timing. Stephen was being kept away from the machine by Emily so he would not see Tom Foss strapped to it. He promised to go home and forget about it, but he snuck inside. He overheard Brian Taylor taunting Tom Foss, and sees Foss break free an arm to strangle Brian. Stephen went home immediately and told Nicole he knew something important about Kyle, just as she said the same thing.
After learning everything about Kyle from him and Tom Foss, they all concocted a plan to destroy Madacorp's computer system. Stephen would connect the CIR to the rest of the building manually. Emily Hollander spotted him and had him moved to a room where Kyle was being held too. When the combined power of Kyle and Jessi broke the glass in the room, Stephen was able to finish connecting the cable, causing a city-wide blackout that led back to Madacorp and exposed Ballantine's illegal activity.
Stephen cleared out his desk at Madacorp despite an offer from Emily Hollander for a pay raise. He was offered a job at another company, but Nicole urged him to take a teaching job at the University of Washington, since Stephen had always dreamed of being a teacher.