Life on Mars

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

The yellow brick road apparently leads into a record store -- one where Sam's mom used to take him. It was here, he tells Annie, that he bought his first Hall & Oates album before quickly correcting himself and saying Led Zeppelin instead. Ostensibly, that's because Hall & Oates hadn't been invented by scientists yet in 1973, but really, no one should admit to buying a Hall & Oates record. And I say this as a man who has a vinyl Buckner & Garcia LP of Pacman Fever cluttering up a closet somewhere. As they walk through the record store, Sam explains to Annie how one day vinyl records give way to compact discs and MP3 players -- he leaves out the part about the piracy and the RIAA lawsuits, maybe because he just noticed the soundbooths where you can rock out to your favorite Who song without anybody on the outside hearing Roger Daltrey bellowing out about how everyone's wasted. And you know why those booths are so sound-proof? Because they're lined with acoustical padding -- coarse, synthetic acoustical padding. Suddenly, that mysterious fiber we keep finding under the victims' fingernails isn't quite that mysterious anymore. "It's the end of the yellow brick road," Sam says triumphantly.

As we return from commercials, Sam has returned to the 125th Precinct to share his discovery about the killer's use of acoustical padding to muffle the cries of his victims. He's disappointed to find that Hunt and Carling aren't exactly leaping for joy over this apparent breakthrough, but their muted response is understandable -- Dora, the manhandled witness from earlier, has gone missing in much the same manner as her pal Suzy. But not to worry -- Skelton's been doing a search for the name Raimes at Sam's behest and has turned up a noise complaint filed by a woman in her seventies who is, in fact, Colin Raimes' grandmother. The detectives are just the least bit curious as to who this Colin Raimes fellow might be -- Sam calls it a hunch, and throws himself on the mercy of Hunt. Hunt is feeling... merciful. Bring in the old lady for questioning!

In the time it takes us to dissolve to the next scene, Mrs. Raimes is drinking coffee and nibbling on what looks to be Stella D'oro breakfast treats and generally being no help to any of the eight detectives fanned out around her, waiting for her to drop some nugget of information on them. By their body language, it's been a long wait. Mrs. Raimes can't seem to remember that complaint she filed three months ago, and Sam's bug-eyed visage and nervous snapping isn't helping to jog her memory. What this case needs is a little touch of Keitel -- rough her up, Harv! No, no -- nothing so graphic. He's going to charm her with baked goods, directing Skelton to run to the nearest bakery and get a particularly expensive type of dessert item. "And don't you go worrying about this neighbor business," he tells Mrs. Raimes as he produces a hip flask and Irishes up her coffee a little. "It's not important." The promise of alcohol and pastries loosens Mrs. Raimes' lips, however, and soon she's complaining about Willy Kramer, her downstairs neighbor and his loud rock music. "So that's why you came in," Sam interrupts. "To make a complaint about the noise from his stereo." "And it did the trick," Mrs. Raimes says brightly. "He still lives there, but you can't hear a thing now." Little puffs of smoke are all that remain where Sam and Hunt were once standing.

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Life on Mars




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