Life on Mars

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

A short walk that gives Sam another chance to gawk at the '70s fashions around him later, and we're at Sam's NYPD-funded apartment. It seems pretty squalid, though Annie suggests it's not all that bad. In fairness, though, her wages are so pitiful that she's forced to live at home with mom and dad. Thank goodness things are so good for you ladyfolk in 2008 that you're now farting through silk -- am I right, gals? Annie's about to leave when Sam once again hits her with his I've Gone Back in Time 35 Years mumbo jumbo. "That either makes me a time traveler, a... lunatic," he says, pausing just enough to really sell that lunatic option, "or I'm lying in a hospital bed in 2008 and none of this is real." Annie suggests that perhaps Sam is suffering from paranoid delusion brought on by his recent head trauma. "That's pretty fancy talk for a girl who lives with her folks in Queens," Sam retorts, not the least bit condescendingly. Annie notes that her housing arrangements are the byproduct of her getting a psychology degree from Fordham. Sam does not apologize for being such a tremendous dick -- rather, he posits that maybe she's just part of his mind trying to convince him that all of this is real. Annie places Sam's hand over her heart, though the 12-year-old boy in me will insist she's letting him touch her boob: "You feel it?" she asks. "My heartbeat. If I were a figment of your imagination, I would probably let your hand linger on my chest. However," she continues, pushing his hand away, "I gotta go." The 12-year-old boy in me is disappointed. Sam asks where she's off to; "What do you care?" she says mockingly. "I'm not real, remember? As soon as I walk out the door, poof, I'm gone." And with a taunting "hocus pocus," she is, closing the door behind her. Sam walks over to the door, opens it, and finds Annie waiting on the other side. "Magic, huh?" she says with only a touch of derision in her voice before ordering Sam to get some rest. I think Annie is my favorite non-mustachioed character in this little drama.

Later that evening, Sam is watching TV. It's a professor lecturing about Pythagorean angles. Man, they would put anyone up against Carson back in the day. Anyhow, Sam is only half paying attention when suddenly the professor switches from mathematics to the science of comas and begins referring to Sam on a first name basis. "Hey, I'm here," Sam shouts at the TV, as the professor drones on about Sam's vegetative state. "I'm here!" Sadly, in 1973, TVs don't talk back to you. The professor is replaced by a Please Stand By test pattern. "Don't leave me," Sam sobs. The dictates of commercial division suggest we need to do just that.

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Life on Mars

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