Life on Mars

Episode Report Card
Mr. Sobell: B+ | Grade It Now!
Oedipus Wrecked

Time to pay a visit to stately Tyler manor, where Sam is demanding to know the whereabouts of Vic. Rose -- clad in a sporty red dress, natch -- says that Vic left in the morning, and she doesn't know where he is. "Who knows where he goes when he goes," she says, noticeably exasperated, though it's hard to say if the source of her exasperation is Vic or Sam. Rose demands to know what Vic is involved in; now it's Sam's turn to not know the answers to questions. Well, ever since Sam showed up the other day, Rose reports, Vic has been acting more agitated than usual. Yeah, Sam has that effect on people. Sam has some advice for Rose: "Be careful. There are some very bad men out there..." "Who barge into stranger's homes whenever they damn well please," Rose interrupts. Sounds like the bloom is off the Detective Skywalker rose. Rose informs Sam quite snippily that she's perfectly capable of looking after her and her son, and Sam is about to agree when he stops short. "You're wearing a red dress," he says. Rose compliments him on his keen powers of observation; I suspect she is being sarcastic. "Are you going to wear that today," Sam asks, "at Sammy's birthday party in the park?" Sam is apparently not just a detective with the New York police -- he's also a member of the fashion police. Rose does not appreciate the sartorial advice: "What business is it of yours what I wear to my son's birthday party?" Sam gets a door slammed in his face for his troubles. I imagine he expected that entire exchange would turn out better than it did.

The phone rings at Annie's place, and it's Sam with a request -- he would like her to keep an eye on Rose and Li'l Sam at the birthday party today, as he suspects Vic Tyler is up to no good. Annie would love to -- well, she probably wouldn't, actually -- but she's in the midst of getting ready for a social outing. Remember? The wedding of Lee Crocker's cousin? Sam tells her it'll just be for a few hours, and she folds like a card table. Annie tells Sam to be careful: "I'm worried about you." "I'm not the one you should be worried about," Sam mutters. Well, who should she worry about then? Hunt? President Nixon? Lee Crocker after she inevitably stands him up? We crave specificity around here, Sam.

Sam heads back into Sully's ("Two-for-one Happy Hours! Please excuse our blood stains!") to see if its bullethole-riddled walls hold any secrets about what Vic may or may not be up to. Uncle Butchie -- the root beer Dum-Dum dispensing fella from our earlier flashback -- is busy swabbing the blood off the billiard table felt. Try some club soda. Anyhow, Uncle Butchie is surprised when Sam calls him by name since only his friends call him that. Sam identifies himself as a friend of Vic Tyler's. Oh yeah -- he and his son come in all the time, Butchie observes. "But I doubt I'll be seeing him much now," Butchie quickly adds. "Not after what happened last night. First rule of the world: Don't make the wrong men mad." And the second rule? "Liquor before beer, never fear." Or, "Never go with a hippie to a second location." I always get those mixed up. Anyhow, I know that "Honor thy father and mother" is the fourth rule of the world. I saw it in a Chuck Heston picture once.

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Life on Mars




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