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For Tru Calling fans

Posted on 2005.04.30 at 17:27
Yes, there were more than three episodes, and the last one aired pretty much leaves you wondering what's going on in the storyline. That's just the danger of television; a novel ends where it's supposed to end, but TV is a collective endeavor whose product depends on a thousand different judgments about business and programming. I'm sure that's no shock to you.

Ordinarily I wouldn't talk about where the arc was going, but then, ordinarily there's another half-season where you'd get to watch that arc play out. I know some people got really involved in the second season and you feel you were left hanging. So, for you:

I'm going to be talking about "spoilers," if they can be called that when a show is over.

First, I joined TC late in the first season, when the idea of Jack had already been introduced. I thought, "Good timing. I'm joining when the fun part starts!" We dived right into my episode, "Two Pair." By the end of that, it was clear to the audience that Tru had an opponent, someone who was working against her to maintain the timeline as it was. The idea was never that he'd be a villain in the classic sense, but that he had a different view of what was "good" or "bad" in these circumstances. The rest of the season expanded the cat-and-mouse game between the two of them.

Here's where I go into some of the mythology you never got to see explained before the show disappeared. Of course, canon can be boring when it's just written out, so let's play with this for your amusement. Suppose Tru rushes to save a woman about to die, only to find Jack in her way.


JACK: You can't keep doing this just because you have the power. It's wrong.

TRU: I'm saving that woman's life! How is that wrong?

JACK: Who the hell are you to decide you can tilt the balance of the universe? Everything we do has consequences, Tru. Everything. You save one person, and what happens?

TRU (with her best sarcasm): She lives. I see what a problem that would be.

JACK: It would be, because there's a plan at work here bigger than anyone can comprehend. This woman lives, and that plan gets thrown off track. She's home when the next-door neighbor has his heart attack; she drives him to the hospital. He lives, and goes on to abuse his two children. One of them grows up to be the next Unabomber. The other marries a man who was originally destined for someone else, who would have been his partner in discovering a cure for cancer --

TRU: You can't know all this!

JACK: I know there's a plan, and I know you're destroying it, like a child who doesn't understand why Mommy won't let her paint on the walls.


One of the aims of season two was to gradually outline the overarching mythology for the audience. There was a lot of discussion of this at the beginning of the year. I'm a big proponent of the idea that on any show it pays to have the mythology straight in the writers' minds, even when they aren't going to show all their cards to the audience right away. Because the audience can always tell when you're making it up as you go along, and they feel taken advantage of. Mind you, there are going to be some refinements and additions that are indeed made up along the way; and if they work, that's all you can ask.

I'll start with the big-picture idea here: There are two great Powers in the universe concerned with humanity's fate. (This particular part of the mythology I feel I'd better admit was mine -- because while television is a group effort, and most of the mythology was on the way to being implemented, I'm not 100 percent certain it would all have been. And should you find this specific idea incredibly dumb, I don't want anyone else blamed for it.)

World mythology has a lot of ways of presenting fate -- three old women weaving, that sort of thing. For the moment, interpret "Powers" as you will -- single forces, groups; religious, non-religious. But since Jack's calling was clearly to stop Tru, there had to be two warring forces at work here. (Or one with advanced schizophrenia.)

The first Power long ago laid out the original plan the Earth has been following for millennia -- to what end, we don't know. (Jack's side would have you believe that despite pain along the way, this is our best possible future.) Over time, a rebellious second Power arose that wanted to intervene and make changes. To "improve" things, whatever the risk of throwing the great plan off track. (Again, improve by whose definition? This was something to be gone into over the show's long term.) The rebellious Power -- and here I suspect I was influenced a bit by Philip Pullman's "revolt against Heaven" -- was more accepting of individual freedom and choice. So this is what they do:

When a person dies who is on the crux of some change of Fate, someone who could influence things more than usual one way or another, this Power… opens a door, you could say. And they offer that person a choice. You can go forward, or you can return and finish your life. If you truly want it, ask for it.

Every time Tru saves someone who asks for help, she steers our race's destiny a little further from what was originally planned, and a little closer to what the -- let's say, the editors -- want. It would be interesting if somewhere along the way we discovered that one of these plans will end in a barren piece of rock and no human race. But which one?

What we have are two competing Fates, battling for control of humanity.

And now back to the group process.

We would have learned that one of Jack's advantages over Tru is that his mentor, Tru's father, is alive, and can fill him in on the long line of knowledge from his predecessors. Tru's mentor should have been her mother, but she died unexpectedly; the episode I was writing when the show was cancelled would have taken place during a bank robbery while Tru's father was consulting his wife's old diary he'd left in the safety deposit. (Nice touch: Jack doesn't tell him about the robbery when the day repeats -- because Tru's Dad has to be there to choose the hostages who'll be shot, just as he was forced to at gunpoint on Day One.) Besides dealing with the main plot, he has to make sure she doesn't read the diary and learn a lot more than she should. (And Jack has to intervene in the hostage situation to make sure exactly the same people die on Day Two.)

That's the big picture. And now we come to the specific arc that the audience was dropped out in the middle of: the consequences of what happens when Tru uses her gift for her own plan, all fates aside; when she saves a friend who didn't ask for help.

(To be continued in part two.)


spectralbovine at 2005-05-01 01:17 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, cool, "Two Pair" was definitely one of the best episodes in the first season.

I guess the notion of these two rival Powers is the only way things can make a modicum of sense, since my big issue is that the true Fate wouldn't need an intermediary like Tru to set things "right," they would have turned out right in the first place. But unlike shows like Buffy and Angel, you never had Tru and Jack actually interacting with these higher powers. I guess this may come out in the next entry, but were they ever going to? I mean, how else would they figure out what's really going on with the world and understand their roles in the thread of human existence?

The mythology does sound cool, and it really is sad that the show got cancelled, because it was much better than it had been for most of the first season (you did come in when things began to get interesting). The problem remains, though, that I don't feel like the creators had this mythology in mind for most of the first season, so it's hard to justify a lot of those events.

And what about the Christmas episode, where a long-dead body asks for help? The second season started changing the rules a lot, and the second Power wanted Tru to do way more than just save a life. It wanted justice. Was there some sort of plan to connect all the people Tru had saved, to give some rationale as to why these specific people had been caused to ask for her help?

Thanks so much for this, by the way. I was curious, and a friend of mine was so interested she had asked me to conjecture for her because she needed closure.
(Anonymous) at 2005-12-18 23:08 (UTC) (Link)
Hola, I am from Chile, here we are impressed by the term(end) of the series, ojala ustdes that live there could do something in the matter because from here we do not influence it.
msdori at 2005-05-01 01:35 (UTC) (Link)
Because the audience can always tell when you're making it up as you go along, and they feel taken advantage of.

As witness Chris Carter and XF.

I still say we should have staged that coup on 10/13 and put you in charge, dammit... <G>
claudia_yvr at 2005-05-01 03:46 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for sharing this -- it's always horribly frustrating when a show is cancelled partway through the season, and it softens the blow to know what was planned for the rest of the arc.
(Anonymous) at 2005-12-18 23:13 (UTC) (Link)
Hola, I am from Chile, here we are impressed by the term(end) of the series, ojala ustdes that live there could do something in the matter because from here we do not influence it.
dead crab for curtie
allegraslade at 2005-05-01 03:51 (UTC) (Link)
The rebellious Power -- and here I suspect I was influenced a bit by Philip Pullman's "revolt against Heaven" -- was more accepting of individual freedom and choice.

I like this explaination of the show's mythology quite a bit, and it really does make quite a bit of sense as to describing the nature of the 'battle' between Jack and Tru.

Thank you for writing this all out, I'm really looking forward to part 2.
constantreader at 2005-05-01 12:31 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you so much for this, and I can't wait for the rest of this post!
chosen4eliza at 2005-05-02 11:45 (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, thanks for posting that! Looking forward to the next installment :D
lovelips at 2005-05-02 13:41 (UTC) (Link)

off topic-

a friend connected me to your post and LJ.
My aunt has the same name as you. Cool! I thought it might be her for a moment. Do you live in NC?
Tightrope Walker
tightropegirl at 2005-05-10 22:54 (UTC) (Link)

Re: off topic-

I'm from New Jersey and live in LA, so we're probably not related. Say hello to your aunt for me just the same, okay?
(Anonymous) at 2005-05-03 04:16 (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

Good to hear there was a mythology in mind behind "Tru Calling." (While I definitely enjoyed the show, Jack got so contradictory at times. Like the end of Season 1, I remember him saying it's OK to exchange a life for a life as long as someone dies? Now I'm sure someone over there had an explanation, but before I read this, and hearing Jack repeatedly say things have to go the way they were intended, I had been figuring it was pulled out of the air. :) )

Anyway, thank you very much for sharing with us; I love to hear it!
bryansi at 2005-05-03 09:57 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you!

I think Jack's line here was to show Tru her consequences of what happens every time she saves someone, also Jack got to help out someone he does like live and get rid of a close friend of Tru's
(Anonymous) at 2005-05-04 02:38 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you!

(Me again; there's not a legion who agrees with me, Bryan. :) )

Isn't deciding that someone should live and someone else should die still messing around with fate? Fate planned it one way, and Jack decides it would be better played out another way...even if there's still someone dead at the end of the day, it's still messing with the original plan.
bryansi at 2005-05-04 04:19 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you!

But Jack's ultimate goal is to get Tru to stop and if messing around with Fate can alter Tru's willingness to help then one minor change won't kill anyone, atleast in Jack's mind. Jack seems like the type of guy that the ends justify the means.

Of course as we kind of saw this season what happens when she helps someone who was supossed to die. By saving Blondie, she will now fail her class, which who knows where that might have lead. Though I'm guessing that's what would have happened)

Still that's what made Tru Calling great, you had two main characters who, depending on the viewer, were the good and the bad guy. Jack has a legitimate arguement about his stance. So if the viewer finds his arguement more compelling, than Tru is the bad girl
amit at 2005-05-03 18:23 (UTC) (Link)
Definitely an intriuging mythology there.

Too bad the show wasn't allowed to continue might have played out beautifully as the seasons progressed.
maloki at 2005-05-03 19:09 (UTC) (Link)
These plans were exactly what Tru Calling needed to really take off during the second season. The mythology you've outlined opens up so many doors I'm afraid you'll be roped into writing "official" fan fiction for all us obsessed readers ;)

One question that's always bothered me though... The whole mother/daughter connection makes me wonder if Jack has a similar connection (father, mother, he's secretly Tru's brother, etc). Familial bonds are always fun to screw around with, but was there ever any discussion of the Powers' selection being based on this?

Any plans to have Harrison relive days as well or was he destined to remain on the sidelines forever?

Is Tru somehow "more" special than previous people in her position because she's the product of a FU and a SQ (Fixer Upper and Status Quo-er)?
(Anonymous) at 2005-05-03 20:18 (UTC) (Link)
I completely agree about the relationship question. I asked the same thing my self. And i also like the idea about Tru being special because of her lineage. if the show had continued that would have been an interesting subject to bring up.
bryansi at 2005-05-04 04:25 (UTC) (Link)

The weird problem

The weird problem would be that it seems they occasionally tease Jack having a little crush on Tru, now I don't think there's an incest thing.

What I believe is it's more about star-crossed lovers picked by fate, though they all have the same lineage. The woman passes her "gift" onto her child and then her opposite passes on his gift to the one whom fate has destined to be that child's lover.

I mean it's hinted that Tru's parents knew about each other's secret, but they still loved each other. The fatal mistake Tru's mom made was she never thought that that her husband would have her killed.
(Anonymous) at 2005-05-04 11:52 (UTC) (Link)

tru calling???

ok so do you know why jenson was acting so weird after tru saved his life because there was something really weird after, also what was s2 going to do about the tru, dad, jack triangle?
and also jack's mole?
do you think they will make a mini series to at least give the show a propers ending?
(Anonymous) at 2005-05-04 16:09 (UTC) (Link)
"Is Tru somehow "more" special than previous people in her position because she's the product of a FU and a SQ (Fixer Upper and Status Quo-er)?"

Rewinder(s) seems like a better term. :)
maloki at 2005-05-04 17:50 (UTC) (Link)
I like Rewinder more, but Tru and Jack's groups each need there own names. Rewinder by itself includes both of them. Any other name ideas?
(Anonymous) at 2005-05-05 18:41 (UTC) (Link)
Well they both have the same 'powers', because we've seen them both on the opposite side of the rewind. And since Tru is the one being asked for help, she is the one directly doing 'good'. Whether that will be 'good' or 'bad' in the long term, we'll never know. So Rewinder should suffice for both groups, with the prefix of 'good' for Tru's and 'bad' for Jack's.
wav at 2005-05-04 16:33 (UTC) (Link)
I want to thank you for taking the time to post this for all of the fans to read. It's important to alot of people around the world. I get the email questions everyday that prove that fact.

Thank you for all your hard work, and intelligent writing on Tru. It truly was a wonderful experience to see that show grow a tiny bit into it's full potential. I have no doubt that Tru was making leaps and bounds into it's own unique type of show. Thanks again. Tru will most definitely be missed.

(Anonymous) at 2005-05-04 19:05 (UTC) (Link)
Where was Carrie going to fit into this whole story???
(Anonymous) at 2005-05-04 19:08 (UTC) (Link)
I am so mad the show got cancelled. I had no clue. I was checking on to see when it was returning and the show wasn't even on the show list. I can't believe it is not coming back. It was getting so good too. I think part of it could be that fox kept putting off the return of the show. It was originally supposed to be in fall, then jan, and it finally got aired in march. Hopefully you can give us some insight as to where all the storylines were going and how they fit together.
(Anonymous) at 2005-05-05 00:02 (UTC) (Link)

Just wanted to say

I just wanted to say that I think that ru calling is the best show on since Buffy and Angel left the air!! I feel that it is a shame that shows like Tru, Buffy and Angel are not given the attention that they deserve yet teen age soaps are fawned over!! I truly admire shows that are able to bring their viewer outside the realm of normalcy and into a place of imagination and fantasy. I wish that Tru would continue I feel it had great potential and salute you for working on an original show not focused on its stars being good looking and having sex but on an actual storyline that was worth following.
(Anonymous) at 2005-05-05 17:49 (UTC) (Link)

Maybe a Movie to Resolve This?

I don't know if anyone has proposed this but one way to try and resolve this show would be to do a movie. Has this been discussed and if not then WHY NOT? I would be interested in seeing it but of course I cried for 2 days because I did not get to see the last episode thanks to GW. Anyways please respond.
(Anonymous) at 2005-05-06 04:43 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Maybe a Movie to Resolve This?

there is a petition to get a movie made with the original cast of Tru Calling.
(Anonymous) at 2005-05-05 20:07 (UTC) (Link)

The Arc That Never Was

As a sometime Tru Calling watcher I just have to say that I think this is a magnificent idea for an arc, a great concept for a villain-or-is-he-the-hero, and one that would have provided a lot of rich dramatic and moral exploration. So, yeah, Fox sucks.
(Anonymous) at 2005-05-06 02:08 (UTC) (Link)

Future of Tru

It is a shame that this show was cancelled. I was waiting for the discovery of a repeat of what obviously happened between Tru's father and mother to happen to her and Jack. A build from possible years of struggling against each other to the relization they should be working together to save a future that both sides were destroying. Many twists and turns as they would discover where they needed to go. It would have been nice. Can't wait to see how the rest of the season was going to go.
Thank you for not leaving us hanging!
sherry625 at 2005-05-27 04:10 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Future of Tru

I'm mad/upset about the show's cancellation. I was so anxious to see what was going to happen in season 2. I loved the way season 1 ended. I don't know how many times I watched the last episode, or the end of the last episode. I loved how Tru pretty much said to Jack to bring it on. I thought it was great how they surprised us that Tru's Dad was working with Jack. I totally did not expect that. I knew he was a bad person because he had Tru's Mom killed, but to find out that Tru's Mom that played Tru's original part in fate was married to a person that was like Jack, I thought it was a great direction to take the series. I knew several people that were way into the show as I was. So many stupid shows out there continue to air, why are they taking away such a good show. Whose fault is it that the return of Tru Calling took so long to air? I know that if the show lost viewers that is probably the reason why. No one knew when or if the show was ever going to return. What was the cause for this? Is it due to all of these stupid reality shows? If so then FOX has lost me as a viewer. There are too many reality shows out there, as it is, and 90 percent of them are ridiculous because they are either stupid or they are want-a-be/repeats of other reality shows with a few little changes here and there. I like shows like Fear Factor for example, but how many shows do we need to watch where people are trying to do, get, or become something and all they end up doing is embarrassing their selves. How many dating reality shows do we really need? How many people wanting to be stars do we need? Then we have the home makeover, the people makeover, the following around stars to see how they live (for example The Newlyweds, now Britney and Kevin). I know I'm complaining a lot, but the show was so good and it had a lot of potential. I wish that they could find some way to continue the show. I know that Tru Calling season 2 is going to be on sale in August. All I really know about the season 2 DVD is that there is only going to be one DVD. I really wish that they would add any extra episodes to the season 2 DVD purchase, which may have been made before the show's cancellation, but were not aired thanks to the late start of season 2 and/or due to the cancellation. I feel that the fans should not be punished because of the people that cancelled it.
(Anonymous) at 2005-05-08 01:37 (UTC) (Link)

Can the show get brought back?

Do you think that the show can get brought back by another network? Or is it possible that a movie will get made? There is a petition up on for a Tru Calling movie, Do you think it will happen?
(Anonymous) at 2005-05-08 04:40 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Can the show get brought back?

Well, I actually emailed FOX at their email address: and my hope is that they may have some decency and grant the show a deal to wrap up the story. If you can, please email FOX with a polite, convincing message for Tru Calling and who knows it may return!
(Anonymous) at 2005-05-09 04:21 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Can the show get brought back?

Thanks for the info....can't wait for part two of your post. The question I always had was how did Tru's Dad pass the gift to Jack?
magnet5 at 2005-05-09 15:32 (UTC) (Link)

Wow, thanks

Just stumbled across this--thanks, that's very informative, keep more coming.

I actually have a short story coming out later this year that has a similar idea (Atropos of the Greek fates working to undermine the Christian God's Great Design and give people a little more free will). Inspired by an Angel episode.
(Anonymous) at 2005-12-18 23:10 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Wow, thanks

Hello, I am from Chile, here we are impressed by the term(end) of the series, I hope that you who live there could do something in the matter because from here we do not influence it.
sunshineangel33 at 2005-05-09 19:10 (UTC) (Link)
i cant believe this show cant survive.. i absloutly love it. Do you know anything about the mole or the dead zone?
Progessive, piquant & sometimes poignant
cagewench at 2005-06-08 13:00 (UTC) (Link)
Wow, I'm so glad I got linked over to your LJ...

I so wish TC wouldn't have been canned. Damn Fox!
(Anonymous) at 2006-01-29 16:18 (UTC) (Link)

please let tc come back

hi ! i am from india n here ur shows r aired after at least 5 months recently i saw the last episode of the tc .....n after the show ended it said that this was the final episode of the cant believe my ears i was so shocked , i searched about the serial n got the site of ur journal{THANK GOD}n i was so angry to know that the show was canceled n just don't know how to react .i was so looking forward for the season 2 ......n i was so lucky i got to read ur journals n very happy to know that there were so many of them like me [after reading the comment]...............oh pleeeeeeeaaaaaase tell me that the season 2 will return with its rest of the shows......please u can mail me directly.......or at least tell me where could i get my answer from........bye.....n hats off to u for making such a mind blowing serial....bye......ah i forgot...FOX SUCKS.......
Paul_B =:o}
pbristow at 2006-05-14 02:58 (UTC) (Link)

"I'm a big proponent of the idea that on any show it pays to have the mythology straight in the writers' minds, even when they aren't going to show all their cards to the audience right away. Because the audience can always tell when you're making it up as you go along, and they feel taken advantage of. Mind you, there are going to be some refinements and additions that are indeed made up along the way; and if they work, that's all you can ask."

Amen! Amen, amen, amen.


Oh, OK! So Tru is like the Doctor was up until they caught up with him in Season 6 (and still is whenever he thinks he can get away with it), and Jack is like a traditionalist Time Lord of the kind the Doctor fled from in the first place...

...Or am I getting confused with the story of the-artist-formerly-known-as-Lucifer and his former colleagues? =:o}

- Paul B.
(Long-time "Doctor Who" fan - both "classic" and the new version - and long-time Christian. Which leaves me somewhat emotionally divided on the issues raised, frankly... =:o\ )

When I have some money again, I really must invest in the DVD boxset of TC. I gather it has some of the eps that never made it to air...?

I can see a future in which TV networks merely serve as publicity machines and previewing outlets for series that are then presented in "pure" form as DVD sets, the same way that newspapers currently serialise abridged versions of forthcoming novels. I think I like that future. =:o}

(Anonymous) at 2006-09-03 14:49 (UTC) (Link)

Tru Calling

I was disappointed when I learned that Tru Calling was cancelled. I think Tru and Jack are in love *_* and I like very much the season final: Tru need Jack to "help" her ... This TV show was really brilliant! But I have some questions!!
Tru's father is not dead, so why did he lose hes power?
In the second place, I don't understand why the other death don't call Tru ...

Thanks for this post!

Sorry, my english's not perfect.


(Anonymous) at 2006-10-20 03:48 (UTC) (Link)


I can't understand this story, it's very difficult.
(Anonymous) at 2011-04-14 10:53 (UTC) (Link)

thank you

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