Life on Mars

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Mr. Sobell: B+ | Grade It Now!
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That '70s Show

But Sam is quite insistent that he can use his insider knowledge to help solve the case, and Hunt figures, well, what the hell, so we find ourselves back in the squad room with Sam standing in front of a roomful of dubious detectives, explaining that they have to anticipate the killer's next move. This is a concept that was foreign to police in 1973? No wonder the hippies had free rein. Sam wonders if he might get some assistance from the lovely Annie Norris -- she politely declines, but Sam is most insistent. Because, honestly, what woman wouldn't leap at the chance to call attention to herself in a roomful of men that regard her as, at best, an interloper and, at worst, a sex object? "Miss Norris has a psych degree from Fordham," Sam offers by way of explanation. "Yeah, well I have an ass that can fart the melody to every Peter, Paul & Mary song ever recorded," Carling retorts. "Do I get to stand up there, too?" Only if you agree to demonstrate, friend. Anyhow, Sam notes that the victim wasn't gagged and asks Annie to speculate on the reason for this odd development. Because the killer needed to see her mouth, she eventually posits. Sam invites Annie to put herself in the killer's shoes: "You're lonely. Women ignore you. But in your dreams, there's a girl. She's got these big eyes and ruby red lips. And this dream haunts you. But one day you find that girl from your dreams, and your bring her home. But something's wrong -- why don't those lips smile at you like they did in the dream?" "So you're embarrassed," Annie says, picking up Sam's line of thought. "Then angry. It's her fault. She taunted you in the dream and now she's rejecting you." "You reach a breaking point," Sam continues. "You strangle her. And the whole cycle repeats itself with another girl." Borr-rring, say the other detectives, who clearly lost interest when it became apparent that this exercise does not allow them to mercilessly beat on someone. Hunt brusquely dismisses Annie and suggests the detectives find a more productive way to spend their time. It does not involve listening to Sam. Well, I think that went about as well as could be expected.

Annie thinks so too, and she chases after Sam as he strides down the streets of New York to specifically request that he exclude her from any such future stunts. Sam can't believe she's not flattered that he asked her to "use your brain for five seconds." Annie reminds him that the NYPD of 1973 is not the open-minded collection of sensitive warrior-poets from whatever time and place he claims to originate from. Having been chewed out by someone he considers to be a figment of his imagination, Sam figures he's hit rock bottom on his journey and resolves to just keep walking "until I can't think up any more streets or faces or arguments or details. ... What I need to do, Annie, is to follow the yellow brick road." And what will he find, Annie wonders. "Hopefully," Sam says, "the end of the yellow brick road." Or, more likely, a pissed off Elton John demanding to know why you're playing "Baba O'Reilly" over this scene instead of his song.

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Life on Mars

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