Life on Mars

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

Time to hand over money to some kidnappers. Hunt brings in a briefcase stuffed with actual currency as opposed to monopoly money -- which seems like a real bad idea just in case this drop-off goes south. But that's not Hunt's concern; he's more bothered about Vic, whom he does not seem to trust at all. "My worry is," he says to Sam, but loud enough for Vic to hear, "is this guy for real?" Before Vic can answer, we're outside Sully's ("For your next money exchange, please stop by Sully's and enjoy our vinyl-covered dining booths while you're there!"), which is a bar in a neighborhood so disreputable, the hookers feel free to conduct their negotiations in plain sight. Catching a glimpse of some of these working girls, I think that they'd probably have a better time closing the deal somewhere without so much ambient light -- like in the Mariana Trench.

However, we are not here to critique the local flesh trade -- we're here to exchange money for babies. Vic strides purposefully into Sully's, while Sam, Hunt, Carling and Skelton crouch in a nearby alleyway. Time to check in on the wire and see how things are going. We tune in just in time to hear Vic say, "Police? Not me. Not a chance." Then we hear gunfire. I'm guessing the Pignatos did not exactly buy his denials about the police.

The cop quartet charges into Sully's with guns drawn only to find a whole gaggle of hoodlums shot up and writhing on the bar's pool tables. That is really going to impact the give on those tables. What? It's a valid concern. Hunt is less concerned about the integrity of the bar's billiard tables and more concerned about a) who's responsible for the shooting and b) where is Vic with all that money. Sam would share that concern, but he momentarily fixates on a spaceman-themed pinball machine in the corner of the room. That whooshing sound you hear means we're about to join Sam on a flashback.

And indeed, there's Vic, in happier, hat-wearing times shooting pool on the tables before they became dented and stained with blood. Li'l Sam is at the spaceman-themed pinball machine, and Vic tosses him a quarter. An older gent waddles buy and tells Li'l Sam that if he can beat the high score, there's a root beer Dum-Dum in it for him. Li'l Sam happily thanks the older gent, whom he addresses as Uncle Butchie. Sam has been in Sully's before, is what I think we're getting at here.

Hunt barking orders snaps Sam out of his flashback. As Skelton is dispatched upstairs, Sam starts searching the rest of the bar. In an inner office, he finds another shot-up body... as well as Vic, who's bloodied up but not shot in that "Tell my wife I was thinking about her" sort of way. That doesn't make Sam feel any better, though. Hunt, who's sauntered into the office by now, feels bad, too, though not about Vic's minor gunshot wound. "Where's the briefcase?" Hunt demands. Vic says the Pignatos took the money and ran off -- he didn't see in which direction because he was too busy cowering. Hunt shows his displeasure with this turn of events -- gutshot witnesses, missing ransom money -- by jabbing Vic in his open wound and suggesting maybe he was complicit in letting the Pignatos escape. Sam is more appalled at Hunt's tactics than usual: "He needs a doctor, not an interrogation!" The two cops leave the office to go see what other havoc has been unleashed, with Sam pausing to tell Vic to stay put. After all, it's not like it's in Vic Tyler's nature to suddenly wander off without warning.

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Life on Mars

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