Tarzan: Secrets and Lies (2003) – Review

In the pilot episode we saw Detective Jane Porter (Sarah Wayne Callies) and Tarzan (Travis Fimmel) teaming up to fight the Inferno Killer, and in the ensuing fight and explosion the serial killer blew up, and poor Tarzan was assumed dead as well. For some reason this led Jane’s boyfriend, Detective Michael Foster (Johnny Messner), to decide that this was the perfect opportunity to propose marriage to Jane, a shell-shocked Jane asks for some time to think, but that very night things get even more complicated when a very much alive Tarzan shows up at her window.

vlcsnap-2015-12-30-21h06m45s576Episode Two: “Secrets and Lies

A love triangle in this type of show is certainly nothing new – even Tarzan from the books had to deal with rival suitors – but in the case of Detective Foster we are mostly confused as to why Jane was dating this douchebag in the first place. After her traumatic night fighting off flame throwing serial killers, Jane has to put up with Foster showing up at her door to tell her that he won’t “pressure” her about his proposal, but the minute he suspects Tarzan is alive he practically demands she say yes. When she won’t he rescinds the proposal, and then he runs off to Greystoke CEO Richard Clayton (Mitch Pileggi) to work on a plan to capture Tarzan.

vlcsnap-2015-12-30-20h50m22s953“I’ll find him for three, but I’ll catch him, and kill him, for ten.”

Just why does the billionaire head of Greystoke Industries want John Clayton/Tarzan so badly? Turns out the three Greystoke siblings; Tarzan’s father John Senior, Richard and their younger sister Kathleen (Lucy Lawless), each held a third controlling interest of Greystoke Industries, but with John Senior dead Richard and Kathleen have been fighting for the outstanding third for years. This Trust is worth just under six billion dollars, and Richard thinks that if he can control his brothers “mentally challenged” heir he will win the battle for the Trust. Thinking the enemy of my enemy is my friend Jane approaches Kathleen informing her of John Juniors alive status, and she asks for help, but Kathleen believes Jane is either working for Richard or just another dupe, and kicks her out.

vlcsnap-2015-12-30-21h00m00s079Kathleen Clayton, billionaire publisher and warrior princess.

As this show is also a police procedural we have to have a case for Jane and Tarzan to solve, and tonight’s villains are a bunch of thrill seeking prep school asshats that run around Central Park in ski masks to hunt young women. Tarzan arrives just as these bozos are going to start cutting up their victim – he easily tosses them around – but when Tarzan turns to help the poor girl up she cries out, “Don’t hurt me.” This stuns Tarzan as he doesn’t realize his wild animalistic fighting style is kind of frightening, but before he can explain that he has no intentions of hurting her, the police show up and he must flee.

vlcsnap-2015-12-30-21h07m54s982Women, go figure.

To prove Detective Foster is even a bigger dick he tries to railroad a young black man – who was in the park at the time committing a misdemeanor – for the assault. Through Tarzan Jane knows that all the assailants were white, and so she ends up meeting Tarzan in the park to track down the real attackers.

Note: She gives Tarzan shit for saving the girl because it risks exposing to the world that he is still alive, and that is a strange reaction for a cop.  I guess having a hunky jungleman as boy toy is worth the lives of a few New Yorkers.

Unfortunately Detective Douchebag followed her, and he brought along Richard Clayton’s security team. They Taser Tarzan and load him into the back of an SUV, but Jane handcuffs Foster to his car and rescues Tarzan.

vlcsnap-2015-12-30-21h16m43s092“Don’t you dare stand between me and those dreamy abs.”

This is when the episodes kind of goes off the rails. Tarzan hears another cry for help from deep in the park, and he and Jane race to see what is up. They discover an injured woman – bleeding from multiple cuts – and she tells them which way her assailants went.

Note: So these teen thrill junkies just chase after and cut up women, but no rape or murder? Clearly these are early PG villains brought to us by the WB.

Tarzan catches up to them in a parking garage, and he beats the crap out of them, but Foster overheard Jane’s call for back-up on the radio and arrives in time to catch Tarzan, and by catch I mean repeatedly shoot at him while Tarzan tries to get away. I know this guy is jealous of whatever feelings Jane has for this jungle hottie, but trying to kill the dude seems a bit too far to me, especially if for a supposed honest cop. I’m also betting his deal with Richard Clayton wasn’t to deliver a corpse, so if he had succeeded he’d not only have a pissed off Jane on his hands but also a very pissed of billionaire, one with powerful connections.

vlcsnap-2015-12-30-21h23m39s458“He was unarmed and barefoot, I had to shoot him.”

Jane catches up with the two testosterone filled men on the roof of the parking garage – and she does seem a bit miffed at Foster for shooting Tarzan – but she goes into this stupid, “Blame me, not him” schtick instead of reading Foster the riot act for his psychotic and illegal behavior. This guy has been nothing but a completely creep – betraying you and this guy you were trying to help – and yet you still profess to have feelings for this jerk? Two episodes in and Jane is really not coming off as a very strong character. On the plus side when Tarzan goes to kiss Jane an enraged Foster tackles the Ape Man, and the two men go off the edge of the roof. Tarzan manages to grab the edge – with the other hand holding onto Foster – but that arm is the bloody injured arm, and he is unable to keep hold. Foster then falls to his death.

vlcsnap-2015-12-30-21h33m06s450Not a moment too soon, if you ask me.

Jane then gives Tarzan shit, “What were you doing up here? Why did you have to fight him?” Um, he was running for his life while your asshole boyfriend tried to ventilate him, that’s why. Jane is doing her best here to make me hate her.  To make matters worse a shadowy figure in a distant window witnessed the whole thing. So now we have the cops – led by Janes partner Detective Sam Sullivan (Miguel A. Núñez Jr.) – hunting for this cop killer, and whoever this mysterious voyeur is.

vlcsnap-2015-12-30-21h39m20s320I hope this turns out to be The Cigarette Smoking Man.

Jane takes Tarzan to his aunt Kathleen – who with one look she realizes that Tarzan is her long lost nephew John – and a distraught Jane takes off to deal with the fallout of her dead fiancé. Jane is very distraught throughout this entire episode, and that is not a good thing. A Tarzan show should be fun, and a Tarzan show where Jane is a cop should be totally badass, but that is not the case here. This Jane is a weepy girl who can’t decide which man she likes – the guy who doesn’t wear shoes and follows her around like a Cocker Spaniel, or the cop who doesn’t trust her, betrays her, and tries to murder his rival.

vlcsnap-2015-12-30-21h43m33s892Detective Jerkwad being dead should make her decision a little easier.

You can read all my reviews for this show here: Tarzan: The Complete Series.

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