Life on Mars

Episode Report Card
Sobell: B | Grade It Now!
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Here's to the curliqued whimsy of fate!

Hello! Mr. Sobell's computer imploded on Sunday evening -- erasing all his work and his recently-downloaded copy of the last Life on Mars episode -- so he invoked the subclause in our marital compact that require us to assume each other's recapping duties in case of emergency. Please do not be alarmed. He will return with your RDA of Lisa Bonet jokes next week.

Speaking of whom, this episode is beginning with the same type of multicuturally-suspect hippie shindig that Denise Huxtable would have loved -- tons of people in silly stoner outfits twirling about to sitar music in the park, a few Hare Krishnas in the mix, some space cadet blowing bubbles. The detectives are walking through the park, and Ray grunts, "I thought Nixon ending the war was going to put an end to this freak show!" No, it did not. And Ray, you will want to forever avoid Berkeley, because said freak show is still going strong there, especially on weekends. Sam prophesies that, "This counterculture will one day be looked upon as a time when politicized youth rebelled against the excesses of the Vietnam war, the excesses of corporate arrogance, and the excesses of racial intolerance." And in looking at the world today, you can tell all those Be-Ins totally worked. Ray protests that politicized youths tend to do things like blow up national monuments and suchlike, but he's really irritated by the fact they "make their own jewelry out of seashells." We all have our one irrational grudge.

Sam then flashes back to playing in the park, and right after he does that, Windy calls out for him, then asks, "You come here to find yourself too?" Before Sam can answer her, Chris nudges him -- "Crime scene's over here" -- and when Sam looks back, Windy's disappeared.

Cut to Ray dripping his lunch all over the bruised body of the murder victim. Sam settles for giving him an "Are you kidding?" look and quickly notes that the man was beaten to death. As Chris goes to roll the body, Sam is a little horrified, but Chris produces the man's wallet with a "ta-daaaa!" flourish and Sam just rolls his eyes at the primitive forensics minds with which he must deal. We soon establish that the victim is Robert Reeves, Jr., and he was in the Navy, a veteran of Vietnam. Both Ray and Chris sigh dolefully, and Chris explains, "The last time a vet was killed, the lieut burned this city down 'til we found the killer. Only thing worse than killing a cop? Killing a vet." Sam looks at the military-memorabilia lighter and broods. Ray is delightfully oblivious; he's wiping his mayo drippings off the corpse and quipping, "Rest in peace, my man, 'cause you just cinched it that we ain't gonna."

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Life on Mars

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