Life on Mars

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Mr. Sobell: B- | Grade It Now!
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Mama Mia!

The day may not be getting odder for Sam, but it is about to get more awkward: Hunt tells him that he'll be joining the rest of the 125th Precinct down at Elliot Casso's club to apologize personalize for properly arresting one of Casso's goons. Sam's not in the mood to kiss and make-up: "If I see Profaci, I'm gonna beat him soft, then we're gonna have a long talk about the two women he dumped in the East River." Hunt points out that there's no evidence Profaci killed either woman; Sam responds with the international expression for "What, are you kidding me?" Hunt continues to cling to Profaci's presumed innocence, noting that the victims went home with different men on many occasions. Oh, they were promiscuous? Well, in that case, let the case molder then. But Sam now has his marching orders, direct from Gene Hunt: "I don't want a war in my precinct, Tyler. So make love--" here, Gene flashes the peace symbol, "--not war."

Well, off to the love-making, then. At Casso's club, Hunt and Sam make their way through a crowd of young people of every race and creed, dancing to the music of The Velvet Underground. Doesn't that seem a little... highbrow... for the mob-run nightclub set? I mean, it's not like we're crashing Andy Warhol's pad here. Well, no matter -- everyone seems to be enjoying themselves. Carling and Skelton are having a drink at the bar. Annie is here -- apparently at the behest of Assistant District Attorney Lee Crocker -- and she's shed her Policewomen's Bureau garb for a much more flattering blue dress. If Sam wasn't irritated about having to go upstairs to kiss some mobster's signet ring before, he sure is now.

Up we go into Casso's office, which is designed with a Neo-Classical Hoodlum touch -- ornate doors, red carpets, wallpaper that looks like it was rejected from a lounge at The Flamingo for being too "showy." Casso greets Gene warmly -- "Gene Hunt, the Jean Genie, lives on his back!" (Yet another Bowie reference for those of you playing the Ziggy Stardust Drinking Game at home.) Casso, incidentally, is played by Robert Klein, so I imagine he punctuates his crime sprees with punchy, observation stand-up routines about the New York Yankees of the 1950s and things he notices at delis. Hunt introduces Sam to Casso, who extends his hand. Sam takes just a little bit too long before shaking hands with Casso. "Mr. Casso," Sam mutters. "Please, Mr. Casso is my father who's currently serving eight consecutive life sentences at Attica," Casso jokes. Well, not exactly, but he does insist that Sam call him Elliot since they're going to be friends from now on. Enough of these pleasantries -- Hunt tells Sam it's time to apologize. Sam gives a sideways glance at Profaci, who is sitting in the corner grinning. "I saw a man," Sam says, pointing at Profaci, "physically and verbally abusing a woman. I did my job." That... is a funny way to phrase an apology. Ah, well, bygones. "The whole incident was regrettable," Casso says with an air of over-emphasized magnanimity. "C'mon, we're party people! Let's go to Paris and sleep with models!" Can... can they show that on ABC these days? Because that would be all right. Alas, no -- instead, Profaci would like to have a word with Sam... or so Casso says. For his part, Profaci seems as reluctant to spit out an apology in Sam's direction as Sam was to give his mandated mea culpa. "Good enough for me," Hunt says brightly. But Casso persists, and Profaci is eventually moved to tell Sam that he's willing to forget the whole thing if Sam is. "That woman you were hassling," Sam says. "Hands off her and her kid." That... doesn't sound like Sam is willing to forget the whole thing. "You leave them alone," Sam says, pointing his finger at Profaci before Hunt intercepts it. Casso declares the situation left alone and invites everyone downstairs to dance to the music of the Velvet Underground. Or whatever it is the kids are listening to these days.

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Life on Mars

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