Life on Mars

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

Instead, we get the music of Harry Nilsson and a whole bunch of flashbacks -- Richard Nixon and George W. Bush and Vietnam and Mick Jagger aging in real time. All this happens as Sam writhes on the woodland floor. But soon Sam is being wheeled through a hospital where a nurse is asking him his name ("Sam Tyler," Sam answers), whether he knows where he is ("New York City"), and what year it is ("Uh... pass!"). A doctor is examining Sam -- it looks like Dr. Schwan from the previous episode, but perhaps all doctors in 1973 had mustaches and an officious demeanor.

When Sam comes to, Anne is there waiting for him, still wearing that red dress. "So that woman you saw running through the woods," Annie begins. "The one in the red dress?" Yes, that was you, Captain Obvious. The rest of us figured that out several minutes ago. Anyhow, Annie thanks Sam for saving her. Sam, however, is feeling strangely unfulfilled. He thought he was back in 1973 to stop his dad from leaving; if anything, as it turns out, he should have been pitching in to buy his dad's plane ticket. Anyhow, now Sam's working theory, is that he came back in time to see Vic Tyler for who he really was: "I mean, what other reason could there be?" Annie suggests that maybe it's Sam's stellar police work for the 125th Precinct -- "All the cases you've worked on... they're the reason you're here." She brushes her hand against his. "You should know," Sam whispers to Annie, "I don't hate everything about this place." Sounds like love is blooming in the ICU.

It just occurred to me that Sam now finds himself receiving hospital care in both 1973 and 2008. Dude's health care costs must be off the hook.

Annie leaves Sam to rest, noting that she left him some puzzle books for his idle hours. Mulling that over later, Sam thinks back to his father's words, which are as true today as they were in his time: "When you get stuck on a puzzle you can't solve, the key is always in the bottom right-hand corner." That, coupled with Annie's words about "all the cases you've worked on" gives Sam an idea -- a wonderful, terrible, rip-the-IV-drip-out-of-your-arm-and-flee-the-hospital idea. (Sidenote: When I was four years old, I had an operation, and when I came to, so the legends say, I decided to pull all the tubes out of my arms. If the shrieks of the candy stripers are anything to go by, you should probably not do this if you ever find yourself in hospital.) Anyhow, Sam dresses himself, heads back to the 125th Precinct and pulls all the case files we've seen up until now. Hey, there's our old friends Elliot Casso and Michael H. and Angel the hapless handyman and that serial killer who wound up inspiring Colin Raimes. Sam notes that all the case files seem to have a collection of numbers and letters in the lower right-hand corner. After a little puzzling, Sam comes up with an address: 35 Stewart Drive. Guess where he's off to?

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Life on Mars

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