Tuesday, June 24, 2014

how much longer...

Seven Days - “Come Again” ...again. I’ve been wanting to revisit some of the time loops of old.

“See you yesterday, Mr. Parker.” That would make a good title.

“Research show that people from small towns are much more likely to lead happy, productive lives.” Olga tells Parker this because he isn’t impressed by the old diner they go to. I note it because, hey, obvious, it’s the kind of thing Phil Connors might point out after his time in Punxsutawney. But, I also noticed—since I’m focusing on this episode right now—they weren’t in a small town, per se, but at a roadside diner.

First backstep, Parker is already manipulating time to go after the girl (Olga). By the second go round (the time loop in effect), he’s given up on that already.

In case you don’t know this series, Seven Days involves regular time travel. Parker pilots a machine that backsteps up to seven days to save some life or lives, or keep some horrible thing from happening. In this episode, a Dr. Axelrad has important news—Mentnor (one of Parker’s bosses) thinks the news has to do with Cold Fusion so after Axelrad dies en route, a backstep is authorized to save him.

Axelrad dies again, and second time through (for Parker), we learn Axelrad’s news is that he’s getting married. Guy who’s been following Axelrad and now pulls a shotgun on him is Axelrad’s fiancé Elise’s ex Jack (who happens to be a boxer, so when Parker fights him it isn’t so easy).

Third time through, Parker’s mood is bad. He pulls a gun on Axelrad to keep him from eating his shrimp salad sandwich (from which he got food poisoning the first day). Interesting coincidence, on “The Longest Day” episode of Tru Calling, Davis’ sandwich that gave him food poisoning was also shrimp salad.

Though Axelrad’s “news” is no longer worth the authorization of a backstep, Parker’s stuck in the loop so he goes ahead and helps Axelrad get to his fiancé again.

This time, Parker shoots Jack but Jack shoots Olga (who finally was won over by Parker’s behavior). Parker calls Ballard (scientist guy at the backstep facility) to get him not to fix the time loop, so these event don’t happen.

Next go round is mostly a montage—Parker’s already Phil Connoring his way through the loop. And he ends up mostly avoiding talking to Olga after the loop is over, because anything he says, according to him would be him taking advantage of his special knowledge. He’s damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t.

Fringe - “And Those We’ve Left Behind” ...again.

(And, I realize these two episodes were both covered on the same TV Time Loop Day before, but my order for the second run through was randomized online, so let’s blame the internet.)

This show had so many ongoing story threads, I gotta play catch up as the episode gets going. Seven Days is much more episodic, each to just jump in for one episode. Peter has recently come back, and they think some recent time distortions relate to his arrival. SPOILER ALERT—they don’t.

Great “strange events of deja vu”—and Peter asks if the witnesses experience of a “time loop” was “like Groundhog Day“—as a building apparently goes back in time, suddenly being a burnt out version of itself, a child temporarily becoming a much younger version of herself (according to dialogue, from being 5 to being an infant) as well.

Second “time displacement” makes for a nice (but a little cheesy) visual, also, a train flashes into and out of existence right in front of a car. Turns out to be a 4-year jump like the building.

I almost forgot about the little time jumps Peter experiences himself in this episode.

Sixteen minutes in and we meet the couple at the heart of this story—Raymond (Stephen Root) and Kate (Romy Rosemont). The time displacements are like bubble echoing out from these two. SPOILERS AHEAD. Four years ago, Kate was a professor of theoretical physics, Raymond an electrical engineer. Today, she doesn’t even recognize Raymond. And, I know this is going to end sadly. The end of this episode is one of the saddest things I’ve seen on TV, actually.

His window the second time we see it seems to be about 47 minutes. He’s jumping the house back in time to spend less than an hour with his wife when she was still mentally there.

Raymond used Kate’s work to create a “time chamber.” He shows it to her because he needs a completed equation to keep the chamber open longer than 47 minutes.

Kate has actually solved the equation, but hasn’t written it down, she tells Raymond. Meanwhile, this iteration of the time chamber is echoing in a underwater tunnel that didn’t exist four years ago. Kate understood this was a possible repercussion of her work—time displacement.

Raymond: I can’t go on without you. I don’t want this for us. Kate, when you got sick, it happened so fast. And all the things that you were for me and all the things that you did for me... I didn’t have a chance to be that for you. I thought we’d have more time.

Kate: This isn’t living, Raymond. Living is what’s beyond this room, beyond this house, out there in the world where you’re supposed to be.

Raymond: Then if not this, how? How do I repay you? I mean, what... what better thing can I do for you than this? You say that you shouldn’t change fate, but you don’t know. You don’t know what’s waiting for you, how terrible it is. Sweetheart, I’ll never give up, Kate. Never. I’ll build it again. I can do it again. We have your completed equation... you did it. Look, all you have to do is write it in that book. I’m not going to give up. I’m not going to give up, Kate.

Kate: We would have to move to... to another place.

Raymond: Yes. Far away, yes. And I’m sure you’ll find a way so that people won’t get hurt. Let ‘em have their investigation. Let ‘em take away all the equipment, ask their questions. I’ll build it again. I’ll build it again.

In the present, they take away his equipment after the machine is turned off. Raymond looks in the book and sees what Kate wrote:

Today’s reason to repeat a day forever: to never obsess about the past, to just live life in the present, going into the future.

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