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August 31, 2015

Day Break: What if He Can Change the Day?

by Jen Creer, posted Nov 29th 2006 11:14PM
Day Break, Andrea and Hopper(S01E04) Whoa, things are starting to change. The writers aren't giving us the fun, though, of keeping track of all of the little details of Hopper's day; he does change the cell phone batteries, but the falling plate is gone now, as is the woman who routinely gets hit by a bus without Hopper's intervention.

I still think we will see her again, though. She works for a judge; maybe she will provide some kind of important alibi for Hopper one of these days.

I felt much the same way about tonight's episode that I felt about watching Being There with Peter Sellers, many years ago. I was faintly irritated by the movie and didn't really see its point, until the very end. And then I thought it was brilliant. This has been happening lately with some of the shows I have been watching. I am not sure whether I am just getting picky, or whether writers from numerous shows are saving really important tidbits for the end of the show.

It was kind of amusing this time that Rita got to say the same lines to Hopper every morning about the fact that seeing him dressed means she missed the best parts (we didn't though, because we still get to see Hopper running around without his shirt every morning, tending to his healing bullet wound). Today, we got to see more of Hopper's family, though. His sister Jennifer and her husband are involved.

It turns out that Jennifer has received a photograph of a dead woman. The same woman from Baxter's house, the one who sent Hopper the hourglass, has sent a package to Jennifer also. What is significant about this photograph is not that it has been sent to Jennifer, that it is of a dead woman, or that Eddie the drug-using ex-cop knows that the dead woman appeared on an un-solved case involving Hopper's father (let's pause for a moment to ask why on every TV show every doctor's father is also a doctor and every cop's father was also a cop, shall we? Lost did it twice, with both Jack and Ana Lucia, whose mother was her Chief of Police). The most significant fact about that photograph is that it was still in Hopper's car the next day. For the first time, something material has bridged the gap between days.

More than just Hopper's injuries are starting to seep through to new days. During the last ten minutes of the episode, things start to change (see the title of the episode). Not only does Andrea mysteriously wake up all sunny and smiley and decide that she is going to tell the truth! She just felt like it! And she is driving Eddie to rehab! And he doesn't have any say in the matter! And instead of going nuts and holding a gun on her like he did last night, he is just going to be grouchy! And sling himself into Hopper's backseat to reveal stunningly interesting things about the photograph that was sent to Jennifer by Garza!

Ahhh, thank you, because I was getting really bored with the fact that Hopper makes the idiotic choice of going to help Andrea instead of waiting in the park for the Answers to Life, The Universe, and Everything. My husband and I were yelling, "This is a no-brainer! You can go help Andrea tomorrow! What are you doing?"

But lo and behold, it turns out that every day isn't exactly the same, nor determined solely by Hopper's choices. The other people are starting to subconsciously realize that they have been living this day over and over again as well.

There is a wonderful story by Jorges Luis Borges called "The Immortal," in which the immortals, those who have the power to live forever, get so bored with all they have experienced that they finally commit suicide. I would love to see the writers of Day Break capture some of that same ennui, that these people who daily interact with Hopper, who without fail wake the same day, hoping for something different, only to have each day end the same way, finally start breaking free of these hourglass strands and change their fates.

It is so delicious that Hopper receives an hourglass in the mail; that works on so many levels with this show. There is a fingerprint on the glass, and this fingerprint is a clue to who is behind all of this. But ultimately, who is behind the fact that Hopper is trapped in time, trapped in the sameness of every day? Isn't this show in some ways an allegory for us all?

We all wake in our beds, say the same things over and over to our significant others, go to the same jobs, stop for the same coffees. What distinguishes our days one from another? Are the little choices we make about what to wear, what to eat for lunch, or which route to drive to work really going to free us from our routines?

Andrea ruminates that she, in particular, hopes each day that things will be different, and yet the changes she makes ultimately come from within. Perhaps that is what Hopper, too, needs to learn. He decides to talk to Chad in this episode. He is making up with Rita, every day little gestures to make their relationship stronger. He and Andrea have mended fences. He and Jennifer are starting to resolve some family matters.

Hopper has a chance, within the context of every day of his trumped up charges and escaping the goons who flag him, to make some real, albeit small, changes in his most important relationships. Hopper is changing daily, minutely (pun intended) as a result of these interactions, as a result of being stuck in the same set of circumstances over and over.

And perhaps he too will not wake suddenly in a brand new day, but each day will start to be more and more different, until he is living, as we all are, in the context of the sameness of every day, but he, above everyone else, will start to appreciate each tiny nuance, each tiny difference.

I am so hopeful by the little clues and innuendos we have each week from these writers that this show is more about these inter human connections, and time, and life, than ultimately whether or not Hopper is guilty or innocent.

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I have to disagree with the summary in this article. I don't think it had anything to do with Andrea subconsciously deciding to change her own life. I think the point of the show is that Hopper has to make changes, and Hopper has to put things right.

Hopper resolved something. Hopper made the right choices (his partner's problems over his, putting away his gun and trying to help Eddie, etc), and an ongoing issue was resolved. Since he resolved that issue, it's no longer ongoing, and can be put to rest.

I think we'll see that if Hopper can find ways to resolve the various issues in his life one by one, we'll see more things carry over like that.

December 03 2006 at 11:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Day Numbering

it's simple, really - each episode has a title (see tv.com):

What If They Run
What If He Lets Her Go
What If He Can Change The Day
What If They're Stuck
What If They Find Him
What If He's Not Alone

etc. so days are numbered whitin each hypothesis.

December 02 2006 at 6:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

at first i thought the numbering thing was just a joke, since every episode started with "day 2". but yesterday's numbering confused me..it went up to day 4?? whatever, maybe they'll give an answer later.

December 02 2006 at 1:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yeah, theattack is right, that picture is not from the previous day, they just skipped showing him going to get it. I think this will happen more and more as the repetition of action takes up story time (and it was starting to get old) so they are going to have to drop alot of it if they keep on with this "new day" idea. Personally I love the show and I have never liked Mr. Diggs previously. I really hope it doesn't get cancelled.

I am also curious about the day numbering. Day 1 started on episode 2, right? What about the 2-3 (I can't remember) days from the pilot/episode 1? I think they are counting days just to give us some framework. For example, the day numbering told us instantly that this episode was still the same day from the end of last episode.

December 01 2006 at 11:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

As I was watching this show last night, I realized something. This show is like playing one of those role-playing video games. Taye Diggs character has to live this day over and over (which is the game) until he wins. Whatever winning entails.

One question: Why are they numbering each day?? What's the purpose, if it's the same day over and over? If they just wanted to keep a tally of the number of times he relives that day, then they've already got the number wrong. I noticed that they started numbering the days after the first two episodes. He relived at least 3 days in the first two episodes. So, they should be up to day 7 not day 4.

November 30 2006 at 5:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

ok, so that picture was not from the day before. hopper has no reaction in those terms when eddie saw the picture. his only reaction was that eddie was on the case and that his father was. I think he stopped by Jennifers house first and picked it up. the only problem with that is we know he went to get the hourglass later. not sure, but i dont htink it remained from the day before.

and i have to agree with Murphy. I didnt even watch the first two episodes, but caught up using abc.com and at this point i couldnt care less about Lost. This show has a great balance of giving answers and satisfying the audience while adding more and more depth.

November 30 2006 at 9:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I need to add that I'm glad someone is now reviewing this show for TVSquad, Thanks!

November 30 2006 at 9:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I love this show (but then I love Taye Diggs!) My husband actually likes this show and he doesn't like much on tv.

I like how some of the changes are blending into the next day. That people don't realize they are living the same day over and over again but there is some cause and affect going on here based on Hoppers interaction with them. Soon his gunshot wound should heal right?

He has remained loyal to Andrea, even if he has acted rather business like the last six months (I'm assuming because of Eddie), but she senses it and remains loyal to him. Chad isn't really a bad guy, someone is playing on the fact he's pissed at Hopper but I don't think he's part of the cover up.

I think alot of us grow up to be in some industry similar to our parents unless we are pushed to do otherwise. My dad sold insurance and three out of four of us kids ended up in the insurance business in different capacities later on. Where my husband was the first in his family to go to college so he isn't doing what his father did but now our son has followed in his Dad's footsteps with engineering. So that's why you see children in the same profession as their parents.

November 30 2006 at 9:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I really love that noir music in the background. Makes it feel so much more dramatic and mysterious. I'm glad I've been sticking with this show, and I'm telling my friends about it. All the previous episodes are up at abc.com too...

November 30 2006 at 1:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

other great ep. i really like where this show could go. what was even better was that Jeffrey Bell of alias and angel fame is now a producer and i know the show just got a little better!!

November 30 2006 at 12:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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