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04/08/2005 Archived Entry: "Through with Tru"
Posted by CKL @ 09:10 PM PST

I'm done with Tru Calling. I wanted to like the show, not just because Buffy alums are on the cast and crew, but because it was a decent premise. Sadly, it went nowhere in its first year, and is now really going downhill.

DeeAnn dropped it after we watched the second season premiere last week, but I decided to watch the first bit of the next episode tonight. And though they did address one loose end from last season-- the fact that Jack, the "evil leaper" (to use Quantum Leap parlance), caused a different person to die than was supposed to die in one episode-- it was only in a throwaway line. And the whole Jack thing is problematic, to say the least.

If you're not familiar with the show: Tru works in the city morgue, and is gifted (or cursed) with the ability to hear dead people ask her for help. When that happens, she goes back in time, and the day starts over. She now has knowledge of things that will happen during the day, and can act to prevent the person from dying.

Jack, who was introduced in the middle of last season, is Tru's opposite. He also goes back in time when she does, but his purpose is to make sure that the person in question dies as they originally did. He takes the view that he's not killing them-- since they were fated to die anyway, he's just preserving the natural order.

Since Jack was introduced, most episodes are some combination of Tru doing her best Fletch impersonation, bumbling around and trying to get close to the person she's trying to save, and Jack beating her to the punch to make sure they die. And he usually does stay one step ahead of her until the very end. I mean, they gotta fill an hour somehow.

Here's the problem: HOW DOES JACK KNOW WHO'S GOING TO DIE? Tru knows because the person was rolled into the morgue and literally asked for her help. But Jack's not in the morgue. Presumably his day is interrupted and rewound at the time Tru's is, but he can't know anything about the victim. Unless he's getting it from some other, supernatural force, and that would (in the absence of any explicit theology) imply that he's in the right and Tru's actually the bad guy. Which would be an interesting twist, but somehow I don't think the producers are willing to go that dark at 8:00 PM on Thursday.

Anyway. No more Tru Calling for me. I'm willing to accept mystical mumbo jumbo-- hey, it was a staple on Buffy-- but I need some kind of explanation. You can't use magic without establishing some rules, and the rules really should make sense.

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