Life on Mars

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

Sam must have seen that same movie, too, because he's outside of Sully's, checking in with Annie over the police radio. Annie is at the park, watching Li'l Sam's birthday from a respectable distance. Sam tells her to keep her eyes peeled, but if Vic Tyler arrives, she's not to approach him. Just contact Sam immediately. "I can't let him get away," he says, adding a mournful, "Not again," after setting down the radio. This feels like the perfect moment for some Bowie -- let's crank us up some "China Girl."

...I'm kidding, of course -- it's "Life on Mars?" It's always "Life on Mars?" And while Bowie once again regales us with the unfortunate circumstances pertaining to the girl with the mousy hair, we're treated to shots of Sam's party. There's a cowboy making fun balloon animals and an imperial ton of children. By this time, Sam has pulled up in the muscle car and notices that Annie is nowhere to be seen. Vic's there, however; he sneaks up behind Rose and plants a kiss on her. This causes Sam to flash, Chuck Bartowski-style on his father chasing and kicking someone in a red dress. That bodes ill for Rose in the next few minutes. Rose and Vic kiss, then wave to Li'l Sam, who is quite engrossed by the balloon-animal-making cowboy, thanks very much. And when Sam's attention turns back to Vic and Rose, his old man is nowhere to be seen. Sam grabs the radio to tell Annie that he's lost sight of Vic; she replies by crackling back at him in the form of static. Would you mind repeating that, Ms. Norris? "Vic's making his way into the woods," she says. "I'm going in after him." Sam would very much like it if she didn't do that, but the static on the other end of the radio suggests that the message didn't go through. What this party needs is another Tyler added to the mix -- Sam bolts out of the car and heads toward the woods. Bowie, meanwhile, wonders if there's life on Mars. Apparently, there is.

Sam's scanning the woods, trying to get a bead on either Vic or Annie, when he feels a tug on his jacket. "Excuse me, sir," the tugger says to Sam. "Have you seen my dad?" Oh, God -- LI'L SAM IS INTERACTING WITH BIG SAM! DANGER! DANGER! The entire fabric of the universe will be torn asunder in short order. All that has never been soon shall be -- the Phillies winning the World Series, the Democrats controlling the government, Simon Baker finally starring in a hit TV show. Madness. MADNESS! Or Sam could just freeze, keep staring straight ahead, and calmly tell Li'l Sam to go back to his mother. "I'm going to go find your father," he says. Well. That meeting of the Two Sams cause a whole lot less shattering of the time-space continuum than I had thought.

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Life on Mars

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