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Series / Jake 2.0

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That's me, Jake Foley. I'm in tech support, security clearance: low. Very low. Then one day, it all changed. Now I can do things I'd never dreamed of; I've been upgraded. I have these powers... life just got real interesting.

Jake 2.0 was an American science fiction television series originally broadcast on UPN in 2003. The program was canceled in mid-January 2004 due to low ratings, leaving four episodes unaired in the United States. In the United Kingdom, however, all the episodes were played out on Sky One. The series is currently being aired on HDnet on Thursdays at 10:00pm EST and has aired internationally. It also began airing on The Sci Fi Channel on January 5, 2007.

The series provides examples of:

  • Above the Influence: Diane doesn't sleep with Jake even though she wants to when he has no memories nor does he know the truth of who she is.
  • Beautiful All Along: An almost painfully ridiculous invocation of this trope appears in episode 6, "Last Man Standing", wherein Diane Hughes (the NSA doctor tasked with monitoring Jake's nanite functions) accompanies an ailing Jake to a wedding to look after him. Despite the fact that Keegan Connor Tracy (the actress portraying Diane) is almost unfairly good-looking, they pull this trope with her by straightening her hair and removing her glasses. The reveal is impressively goofy.
  • Betty and Veronica: The series starts off with Jake (Archie) having a crush on Sarah, his college friend, while Diane, his doctor, starts to like him. Though he has known Sarah for years and met Diane recently, Sarah is portrayed as the unattainable beauty (Veronica) and Diane as the nerdy friend (Betty) who knows his secret. Jake then starts to have feelings for Diane as well. The triangle is resolved when Sarah starts to have feelings for Jake but gets Put on a Bus after thinking that he is lying about his secret; with Sarah gone, it reverts to regular UST.
  • Boot Camp Episode: In the episode "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot", Jake has to infiltrate a specialized black-ops army corps. His powers allow him to keep up with the soldiers' extreme training, but the real problem is adapting to their mentality.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Averted when Jake, caught in a predator/prey situation, is able to beat an armed villain. After deliberately coming out of hiding, the man raises his gun to shoot Jake, only to realize that he's out, told that he should keep track, and is promptly knocked out with a lead pipe.
  • Chekhov M.I.A.: Sarah mentions that her military father went MIA when working on a "top-secret project".
  • Coolest Club Ever: In one episode, Jake is sent to Berlin to infiltrate a hacker group as its leader DuMont, who's in NSA custody. Himself being a nerd, he fits in perfectly, especially since this is the first time the group has met (or even seen one another). After a brief hazing session (with the others pretending to be German cops and interrogating him until notices too many movie references), they take him to a club that fits this trope. Naturally, they are able to bypass the line by handing a bouncer a few large-denomination euro notes. After hanging out, they go under the club, where they have set up their temporary HQ for a major hack.
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: Jake mostly dodges this because his powers are mostly by activation; nevertheless, there's at least one occasion when his little brother Jerry pisses him off, resulting in him accidentally breaking off the handle to his car door. He also puts a ton of holes in the walls of his apartment trying to gently tap in nails.
  • Doesn't Like Guns: Jake doesn't like to use guns because he hates killing, preferring to use his super-strength to knock enemies out and capture them alive. In "Upgrade", he goes up against a Yakuza assassin, whose martial arts easily overcome Jake's enhanced strength. Jake then undergoes a risky procedure to further increase his enhancements in order to defeat the assassin. This works. Unfortunately, the assassin escapes and tries to kill Foley. He has no choice but to pull a gun and shoot her.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Sci-Fi: Subverted. After losing his memory in one episode, Jake still trusts/is drawn to Diane (who works for the people he thinks he should be running from) and almost sleeps with her in the next episode. She wants to but can't go through with it. In the next episode, she tells him that her reason is he wasn't himself and she was (implying that he wasn't capable of giving informed consent and it would have been rape by fraud, though the word is never used).
  • Dropped After the Pilot: Darin, Jake's best friend and roommate, is suddenly transferred out of Washington, DC post-pilot.
  • EMP: The second episode features a terrorist trying to set off an EMP bomb in the NSA headquarters. Jake, who figures out the bad guy's plan, manages to take him down and throws the bomb into a shielded vault that protects the facility, but the proximity nearly kills Jake, whose nanobots somehow manage to "survive".
  • Everything Is Online: Jake uses his symbiotic nanomachines to move a new Cadillac sedan, noting that the car is computer-controlled. In fact, the show is full of cases of the nanites being used to hack things that shouldn't be remotely accessible, such as the pressure system in the pilot.
  • Eye Scream: Retinal scanners do not work that way!
  • Glassy Prison: One of these is featured, a glass-walled holding cell (with no facilities) in the middle of an empty room with constant surveillance. Its use in the series emphasizes that the characters held there (various terrorists) are dangerous not because of any special Jake-style abilities but because of the threat they pose to national security. (Ironically, Jake's nemesis DuMont, who could have used special looking after, ends up in a regular prison, which he easily worms his way out of.)
  • Hauled Before A Senate Subcommittee: In one episode, Jake and his team are brought to the NSA's emergency inquiry board over the theft of a classified biological weapon. However, Jake is disgusted when it's revealed that the inquiry's real aim is to make Angela Hamilton, the actual thief who only stole the biological weapon to trick and get revenge against the man who used said weapon on her family, as a scapegoat and send her to a foreign prison to cover up the US's involvement of selling biological weapons to their allies. In the end, Jake blackmails the inquiry to free Angela on the threat of sending the board's inquiry transcription to the press using his nanites.
  • I'd Tell You, but Then I'd Have to Kill You: Jake's younger brother Jerry steals Jake's wallet and goes to a bar. A girl notices the NSA ID, so Jerry starts pretending to be a spy. He starts saying this phrase, and she finishes it off, annoyed at the cliche. He corrects her that he'd have to sleep with her, "but if that's your thing..."
  • Impersonation Gambit: Jake infiltrates a meeting of a group of hackers (who had previously only communicated online) by impersonating DuMont, who has been arrested by the NSA.
  • Improperly Placed Firearms: An in-universe example in one episode, when one of the clues that the guys holding Jake are not German Secret Service is that one of the guys has a Walther PPK. Jake, being as versed in movies as he is, instantly recognizes James Bond's favorite gun. He's also an experienced NSA agent, so he knows that nobody uses these anymore. The other clues are constantly dropped movie quotes ("Can you outsmart a bullet?") and a watch too expensive for a government agent. It turns out that they're just hackers (American hackers) playing a prank on him (or rather, on the person who they think is their leader).
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: In the episode "Arms and the Girl", Jake figures out that Theresa is really the bad guy thanks to her knowing how many times the fake version of her father was shot before the NSA does.
  • Magical Security Cam: One episode has an especially glaring example, as footage from a spy satellite shows video obviously shot from near ground level.
  • Might as Well Not Be in Prison at All: The recurring sociopathic hacker DuMont can manipulate events, hack computers, and even order hits from behind bars.
  • Military Alphabet: The Boot Camp Episode episode is titled "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot".
  • Nanomachines: Of the improbably fantastic variety. An injection of nanomachines gives Jake enhanced strength, endurance and senses as well as the ability to interface with electronics.
  • Opening Narration: In a weird reversal, the show has narration from Jake in its opening titles... which it starts losing line by line, until by the end of its only season, there is no narration in the titles. This was a good move, since, though it starts out okay, some of the lines are kind of narmy ("I have these powers...!"). Meanwhile, about a third of the way into the season, the titles are preceded with a premise-explainer that rotates through the three non-Jake regulars, talking up how Jake had become the "ultimate human upgrade". Thus, for a while, the two forms of opening narration overlap, until the remnants of the Jake version are finally completely cut out.
  • Outrun the Fireball: Averted, in that while Jake tries to outrun a fireball, he fails (despite his nanobot enhancements) and gets engulfed and badly burned. He spends most of the rest of the episode in an intensive care bed, unable to move or communicate normally.
  • Paintball Episode: Joining his old friends at a wedding, Jake takes part in the groom's paintball game. He exploits his nanobots, but only against two opposing (and obnoxious) players who thought he'd be an easy mark. Jake's enjoyment is ruined by someone trying to kill him (who turns out to be a hallucination).
  • Plug 'n' Play Technology: Over the course of the show, Jake learns how to interface with a variety of electronic devices. Most of these make some sort of sense, but in one case, Jake remarks "Cars are all computer-controlled nowadays, right?" and then proceeds to stare intensely at a car, remotely start the engine, and drive it through a parking lot as a distraction. Of course, there's also the time when he nearly gets a ticket because he can't interface with a parking meter.
  • Professional Killer: The Junshi assassins from "Upgrade".
  • Put on a Bus: Jake's roommate from the pilot is vaguely mentioned to have been moved out of the country. Sarah rejects Jake after his confession, and the actress' title card is removed.
  • Right-Wing Militia Fanatic: One episode has one such group kidnap Jake's younger brother Jerry by accident. Unfortunately, the group's leader's fanaticism causes the death of his son. Said leader is also a big fan of You Have Failed Me tactics, although he lets a loyal soldier live after the latter hands the leader his gun for punishment.
  • Room Full of Crazy: Room 214, though it's all in Jake's head.
  • Ruthless Foreign Gangsters: The episode "Upgrade" involves a Yakuza organization of assassins named the Junshi Clan.
  • Sand Necktie: In "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot", Jake has to infiltrate a black-ops military unit called the Wolfpack to investigate a missing suitcase nuke. As the newest and least trusted member, Jake is subjected to some brutal hazing; finally, he uses his abilities and a bit of knockout gas to inflict the nonlethal, no-scorpions version of this trope on the entire team so that they are discovered the next morning as a row of heads sticking up out of the ground along the road into camp. After they're dug up, the team then accept Jake as having their level of game.
  • Shoe Phone: One episode has Jake being sent to Germany to infiltrate a hacker group whose members have never seen one another's face. Being a tech geek, Jake is the perfect person to send. Besides himself being the NSA's secret weapon (or, rather, the nanites in his body), he is supplied with a tricked-out cell phone that instantly transmits the images taken with its camera to the NSA headquarters. When asked where he plans to keep the phone, Jake suggests the lining of his jacket, only for the incredulous Duarte to point out that it's a phone, so he should treat it as such. When meeting the hacker group, Jake tries to stealthily take pictures, only for the NSA to start receiving dozens of group selfies, since the hackers assume he just wants some pics.
  • Sorry, I'm Gay: The girl-is-a-lesbian variant is used, but interestingly, it's treated exactly the same way as the guy-is-gay variant. Then again, Jake's not the type to suggest a threesome.
  • Super-Senses: Jake has all of his body functions enhanced by the nanomachines that inhabit his body, including his senses.
  • Technopath: Jake can control technology with his mind. However, while he can remotely hack into a computer to display certain information, he still needs to read it normally.
  • Took a Level in Badass: The nanobots augment Jake's physical strength among other features. In "Upgrade", Jake manages to take the nanobots even further, making him strong enough to go toe-to-toe with a trained assassin.
  • Trash the Set: Not used in the show proper, but this was the plan for the three-part finale. First part is 'destroy the NSA sets'.
  • Unguided Lab Tour: In the pilot episode, Jake's status as tech support guy at the National Security Agency gets him into both the main situation room (while a major op is going down) and the super top-secret lab where nanobots are being created. In both cases, he spends several minutes gawping at the urgent, top-secret goings on before remembering that he's there to fix some Bridge Bunny's hard drive.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: While Diane and Jake come close at one point to "consummating their relationship", the show was cancelled before anything could come of it. Word of God is that had they been allowed to finish off the season, they would have ended up living Happily Ever After.
  • Unusual User Interface: Jake has nanites that allow him to control computers with his brain. Interestingly, he doesn't get any feedback from this interface, so if he hacks a computer, he still needs to look at it in order to read the information.
  • You Have Failed Me: This happens in one episode with the leader of a domestic terrorist group. At the start of the episode, a teenage operative of the group is up captured by the NSA. It turns out that he's the leader's son. The leader promptly executes the guy sent to keep an eye on his son. Subverted later on when the guys sent to kidnap Jake to trade for the kid end up kidnapping his little brother Jerry (who stole Jake's ID to get into a bar). However, when the mook offers his own gun to the leader to accept punishment for failure, the leader smiles and tells him that the guy didn't fail. As a matter of fact, capturing Jake's brother is a better plan than capturing Jake himself.