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We may race and we may run

We'll not undo what has been done

Or change the moment when it's gone
—The Other Side, by David Gray, played near the end of the first episode

Today Detective Brett Hopper will be accused of shooting state attorney Alberto Garza. He will offer his rock solid alibi. He will realize he's been framed. And he will run. Then he will wake up and start the day over again.

Day Break was a 2006 action thriller starring Taye Diggs as a cop framed for murder. He's on the run from the police, a local Latin gang who want to track down the key witness he's hidden away, and the shady mobsters who want him to take the fall. With each loop Hopper gets another chance to fix all his mistakes and try to escape the day.

What sets this apart from other time loops is the fact that injuries sustained carry over in the loop, so dying is not an option. Also, he can inspire individuals to fix their own problems by leading them towards their own personal epiphanies, which keeps him from having to fix everyone's problems everyday. This can cause problems when people don't do what he expects.

It's up to Hopper to find the true murderer, save his loved ones, get his witness to trial in one piece, and make it to tomorrow.

Not to be confused with the British breakfast television show.

Day Break provides examples of:

  • A Day in the Limelight: Most of the supporting cast has a problem to be solved, and they get their own episode to deal with it.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: The hotel shootout. Hopper runs to the car, Andrea is covering him. The gunman shows up, and rather than shoot him, she calls out and allows herself to be shot. Then she shoots back.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Chad.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Hopper reaches it several times.
  • Detective Drama
  • Digging Yourself Deeper: Happens several times. In one iteration of the loop, Brett accidentally reveals to Rita that their first date was actually a stakeout.
  • Driven to Suicide: Subverted with Hopper's dad. Played straight with Conrad Detweiler in the last episode.
  • Dysfunction Junction: The lives of Hopper and everyone he knew were really damned screwed up before the conspiracy made its move.
  • Evil All Along: Uncle Nick killed Hopper's father way back when, and Chad Shelton planted the murder weapon to incriminate Hopper.
  • Fan Service: Victoria Pratt and Moon Bloodgood are always lookin' good, and considering that Taye Diggs wakes up every morning with his shirt off...
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: Subverted. Injuries Hopper sustains from one day carry over to the next, ranging from a shaving cut to bruises to bullet wounds. Everybody else is fine though.
  • Groundhog Day Loop: The whole series.
  • Guns Akimbo: Brett pulls this off on his 3rd loop during the hotel shootout.
  • Heroic BSOD: After the death of Hopper's sister, he flashes back on the deaths of everyone he cares about due to his actions in the loops and starts to break down. He gets over it pretty fast, though.
  • Hostage Situation: Of all the places to have one, the police station.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Every episode title begins with the question "What If...", illustrating how Hopper uses different tactics each day to get to the bottom of the conspiracy.
  • Inspector Javert: Detectives Spivak and Choi.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Wow, that Chad isn't such a bad guy after all, right? Wrong. Chad framed Hopper for murder because he was bitter about losing his ex-wife.
  • Kinda Busy Here: Over and over again.
  • Mama Didn't Raise No Criminal: During one of the repeating days Hopper visits his mother's home to further the investigation by digging up information on his dead father. When she chastises him for not visiting her more often he explains that he's too busy at the moment since he's wanted for murder in Los Angeles, although he didn't actually do it. Her response? "Well of course -- I didn't raise no murderer!"
  • Meaningful Echo: For every decision, there is a consequence. Decision.....consequence.....
  • One Degree of Separation: Hopper's friends, family, lover, enemies, his entire life is relevant to the murder of Roberto Garza.
  • Save Scumming: It's a Groundhog Day Loop, so this is obvious. Also subverted, because it's not a true GHL when people actually can change from loop to loop. They may not remember what you did, but they're still pissed at you. And if you do something good for them, they still feel grateful. Plus, injuries are carried through the "reset", but only for Hopper. Being shot in an early iteration locks him out of several more, as he keeps losing his stitches every time he loops.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Seems to be the reason for the loop. Illustrated early on by the bus accident.
  • Shut UP, Hannibal: Hopper gets a lot of these. Though to be fair, most of the time he already knows what the bad guy is going to say.
  • Sequel Hook: For both the A plot and B plot. Though Barry Coleburn is revealed as the Big Bad behind the Garza murder, the waves of arrests and suicides following Hopper's victory passes him right by without damaging any of his assets or capabilities... but between those deaths and the prestige Hopper gained from the arrests, he'll be Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department within weeks, with all the assets he needs for a drawn-out war with Coleburn. He and Hopper share a few pointed words as to how It Has Only Just Begun before Hopper goes home for the final confrontation with Chad. As for the time loops? The final shot of the series is Jared Pryor looking at Hopper meaningfully despite having given him a clean miss on the final iteration of the day.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: The A plot is a murder mystery, complicated/enabled by the B plot -- the Groundhog Day Loop. It's implied by the description of Jared Pyror's illness that humans can become "trapped" in loops due to Unfinished Business. Once Jared was made completely aware of his confusion, his loops ended. Hopper had to face the complications of his entire screwed-up life before he could move on to the next day.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch
  • Viewers are Morons: Implied, but possibly justified given the complexity of the plot. Starting from later episodes, each new day for an episode begins with a caption to identify the day (Day 1, Day 2, etc.), but these only apply to the current episode, which is why you see multiple Day 1s and Day 2s from episode to episode.
    • Actually, the Day 1s etc. indicate how long he's been working on the current line of investigation.
  • Waking Up Elsewhere: Paired with Tap on the Head. Hopper gets knocked unconscious all the damn time.
  • Wham! Line: I'm sorry I bit you.
  • White Shirt of Death: Although he didn't die, Hopper got shot while wearing a white shirt. The blood is very noticeable.
  • X Meets Y: Described by the producers as The Fugitive meets Groundhog Day.
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