Tru Calling
Past Tense

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Everything I need to know about screenwriting I learned in kindergarten

New personal rule: I will not ruin more than one day off writing up this festival of crappiness.

We open at what appears to be a frat party. People drink from plastic cups and flirt. You know the drill. A handful of men gather away from the loudness for some celebratory toast. I'm not going to bother learning these guys' names, because the writer didn't even bother to make any of them distinct, different characters, except for three of them. In a halfway decent attempt at creating a red herring, one of the guys is late for the toast. His name is Blake, but he's probably better known to Buffy fans as Forrest, from the late and thoroughly unlamented Initiative. They ask Forrest why he's late; he tells them he ran into an "ex-girlfriend." They're all toasting their own graduation from college, and we learn this because they tell each other so in stilted exposition.

As the fratties are celebrating their imminent entry into the work force -- no doubt in plum, assignment-free VP jobs handed to them by their CEO daddies -- the camera slowly pans up to the next floor, where we see a dead, bloody girl lying next to a shattered glass table.

Cut to Tru "Angelina" Davies and Harrison "James" Davies, hanging out in some park overlooking The Harbor of The City. Harrison has embarrassingly awful facial hair -- two patches of felt underneath each side of his chin. They look like two rather large razor burns. This scene exists for the two to awkwardly remind us what this show is about in horrid exposition. Harrison reminds us about how Tru relives days. Also, Meredith does coke. And he's always getting himself into trouble. Oh, for the love of fucking -- Harrison is still skeptical about whether or not Tru actually relives days. Oh, also: MOM DIED BEFORE HER TIME, MOM DIED BEFORE HER TIME, MOM DIED BEFORE HER TIME, MOM DIED BEFORE HER TIME, MOM DIED BEFORE HER TIME, MOM DIED BEFORE HER TIME. Harrison tells Tru she should just "leave the past alone." Tru responds, "I can't. The past won't leave me alone." Wow, that's a compelling statement to smash us into the credits.

Is it cancelled yet?

When we return from commercials, Tru is sleeping as Lindsay rudely lets herself into the apartment, waking her up. No wonder Tru secretly hates her. Lindsay blathers on about how Tru hides a spare key under the doormat. Man, the writers are really obsessed with explaining to us how Tru's friends and family get into her apartment. Maybe they should pay this much attention to the actual plot of the episode. Lindsay has brought Tru all sorts of food in a desperate attempt to actually matter in Tru's life. Maybe if Lindsay didn't wake Tru up bright and early in the morning, like an hour after she went to sleep, that would make a difference. Tru's happy anyway. It would be funny if the whole series were nothing more than hallucinations caused by Tru's lack of sleep. They blather on about how Tru's not immediately out there chasing men following her break-up with Professor Donutface. Lindsay says she read in a "legitimate magazine" that one out of every seven men is "a keeper." As opposed to those illegitimate magazines that claim one out of every seven men is a space alien in disguise. Although at this point in my life, I'm more likely to believe the illegitimate magazine. Lindsay asks Tru if there's anything she wants to say to her, clearly fishing for something. Tru thanks her for the food as a response. Lindsay looks disappointed but doesn't say anything.

We skip the rest of the day (yay!) and cut to Tru at work, unwrapping the tuna sandwich Lindsay bought for her and discovering that it smells nasty. Oh, Lindsay, you'll never truly win her friendship if you give her rotten food. Or maybe Lindsay found out about how Tru forgot she existed last episode and is getting her revenge. Suddenly, Tru hears a voice whisper her name, coming from the examining room next door. She wanders in as the sinister music kicks up. There are bodies covered with sheets. A hand reaches out from a table and grabs her arm. She shrieks, because for some reason this is a completely unexpected turn of events for somebody who has dead people talking to her. Anyway, it's just Marco 2.0, playing a prank. Davis comes running in at the sound of Tru's screaming to make sure everything's okay. Tru's pissy. Marco 2.0 laughs his ass off and tells Tru she takes everything too seriously. Then his beeper goes off to alert him to a pick-up. He rushes out as Davis asks Tru if she's okay. She is. She asks Davis if he thinks she takes everything too seriously. Asking Davis if you take things too seriously is like asking the sun if you're producing too much heat. Davis, taking everything too seriously, tells Tru that Marco 2.0 (whose last name is Gardez, if you're writing that guidebook) sees only the bodies as what they are (dead), while Tru sees them as what they were. Which means what, exactly? Is this supposed to be a hint that Davis knows what's going on? Or just bad writing to remind us about Tru's situation? He tells Tru not to let Marco 2.0 get to her.

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Tru Calling




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