Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Day Break—What If He Lets Her Go

I'm even more impressed with this show after this episode than I was after the pilot. Rather than retreading old ground already covered in last week's show, this week Hopper manages to go off on a completely different tack, investigating different layers of the complex story of his Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day. A completely different plot is thus spun out of these new elements, showing us entirely new information about the characters and the case. A "previously on" segment is narrated by Hopper, orienting us to where we are in the story, and quick flashbacks help us remember where we've seen people before (or, in my case, that we're supposed to remember where we've seen them before but we can't because the short term memory is the first to go). This worked well, I thought.

Tonight we discover that Hopper can heal during his repeating days, as his gunshot wound isn't bleeding as badly when he wakes up at the beginning of this episode. However, this precludes a repetition of the shower scene from last week, which is a bummer, although he does spend some time shirtless in front of the mirror bandaging himself up. He convinces Rita to take the day off so he can keep her close, then he saves Coffee Shop Lady, but Rita insists on helping the victims of the bus accident. Hopper retrieves the package mentioned on his voice mail and finds an hourglass inside. I'm thinking Time Turner here--maybe if he turns it upside down at the right time, he can save Buckbeak.

At the hospital, Rita is seeing to the accident victims when Chad drops by to check on her. He tells her Hopper killed Garza, and that she's wanted for questioning. Hopper arrives and sticks a gun in Chad's back and tries to get Rita to come with him, but she refuses. He runs.

Hopper meets up with Andrea. They trace the call regarding the package to the home of US Attorney Nathan Baxter, who was involved in one of Hopper's previous cases involving a gangbanger turning state's evidence, then getting nabbed from the safe house. They go to Baxter's house and find a dead woman in the swimming pool. Hopper thinks this is who called him.

Chad convinces Rita to let him take her home. He offers to check her house and spend the night to protect her, but she refuses. After she leaves his car, his phone rings (an aside--who the hell has the William Tell Overture as a ringtone?). It's Ominous Bearded Guy, who's been surveilling Hopper's place. He wants to meet Chad at a bar for hot sexy boy loving unknown reasons.

Rita confronts Hopper over his weirdness and finally asks him to leave when he refuses to explain. Hopper is abducted by Damien, who's bit annoyed that he ratted for Hopper and then got abducted out of his safe house. Damien has Baxter in the trunk of his car. Damien is sure either Baxter or Hopper gave him up at the safe house. Hopper asks for more time to find out what exactly happened, and who really ratted Damien out. Damien agrees, and then shoots Baxter dead.


Rita wakes up alone at 6:25. Hopper is already dressed. And morose. This time he catches the soap dish with hot sexy vampire-like reflexes. He tries to explain his dilemma to Rita in generic terms. She tells him to solve the case rather than trying to protect the target, of course unaware the target is her. He heads out and saves Coffee Shop Lady again, then goes to get the package. This time he confronts Ominous Bearded Guy and his crony in their car Their backseat tussle ends with Hopper being tossed out of the car onto the street, but he's snagged OBG's phone.

Trying to keep the woman at Baxter's house (Eva) from dying this time around, Hopper finds out Garza told her to call him about the package. OBG's phone rings (and what is with the lame ringtones? Dixie? Wtf?) and finds Baxter on the other end calling OBG to tell him Hopper is in his house. Of course Hopper knows this, and confronts Baxter. While they're in each other's faces, Damien and his sidekick show up and shoot the woman, who flies out a window into the pool. Hopper ends up in the trunk with Baxter. Baxter admits to Hopper than he ratted out Damien.

Elsewhere, Rita has agreed to an interrogation by AD Skinner Detective Spivak. Chad prevents a line of questioning they apparently want to use against her. She is obviously appreciative, and this time when he takes her home she accepts his offer to stay the night--just to make sure she's safe, you know. Hey. He's Adam Baldwin. He has huge hands. He can sleep on my couch any time, even if he is a Republican.

There is a car accident (from the POV of the two guys in the trunk--cool!) and a lot of gunshots and Baxter and Hopper are liberated from the trunk by OBG, who slugs Hopper in the face for taking his phone. After an Angel-reminiscent blipvert to make us think we're moving on to day three, Hopper wakes up in the trunk. He finds Baxter dead in the front of the car, and he's been left with a gun. So now he's been framed for two murders instead of just one. He eludes the cops in a musical montage to "Unbound" by Robbie Robertson.

Hopper calls Rita from outside her house and assures her she's okay, and that he'll see her tomorrow. He of course hears Chad being Chaddy in the background. Hopper gets a call from Andrea, who has apparently just killed somebody and I think I was supposed to recognize the body but I couldn't make out the face even on pause with the DVR because the eyesight is second to go after the short-term memory.

The previews look like the next episode will focus on Andrea, and apparently will guest star Nestor Carbonell, aka Batmanuel from The Tick. (Shut up. The Tick was WAY better than Suddenly Susan.)