Back to our scene. We establish that, yes, in fact, Colin does idolize Willy Kramer. "Willy isn't afraid of anything," Colin says sadly. "I'm afraid of everything." Oh, that's all right, my little serial killer-in-training: "It's good to be afraid, Colin," Sam says, surreptitiously reaching for his sidearm. "Fear keeps us honest. Fear keeps us alive." He looks at Colin, and his voice cracks a little: "It keeps us sane." And again, as a child of the '70s, I would like to interrupt here to just mention that this is the point in the conversation where the eight-year-old me would have been, "Gee, that's great mister... Moooooooooooooooooooooooooom!" And yet, there's something about this clearly fractured, babbling adult that intrigues young Colin.
And as Sam repeats the bit about how fear keeps us sane and curls his finger just a little tighter around the trigger, a voice suddenly cracks out over the car radio. It's Maya, who apparently is not dead by the grown-up Colin Raimes' hand. "Sam, if you can hear me, I'm safe," the radio says. "Everything's OK. Now come home." That's Sam's cue to start with the waterworks and he sobs for a bit about how he doesn't know how to get back home and how much he misses Maya. As for Colin? Still standing there. Survival instincts of a fruit fly, that one has. "Are you OK, mister?" Colin asks. Define "OK," kiddo. If it means "I'm not going to have to shoot you to save the future, after all," then yeah, he's fine. So run along, Colin Raimes -- you and Sam Tyler will match wits another time, perhaps when you enter your awkward teenage years. A call comes over the police radio, alerting Sam that his presence is requested at an armed robbery investigation. Mick Jagger resumes his caterwauling, and Sam drives off into the night, as the camera pans up again on the World Trade Center. You know how that was jarring earlier? Now it's just tacky.
Anyhow, not bad for a debut episode. I have no idea how the Life on Mars team is going to be able to sustain that over the course of a full season -- let alone the 100-episode run that U.S. television tends to demand. Then again, given the life expectancy for shows that I tend to both like and recap, maybe that's the least of Life of Mars' worries at this point in time.