Life on Mars

Episode Report Card
Mr. Sobell: B | Grade It Now!
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You Better Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself

Hey, let's move on to the comparatively unattractive mug of Harvey Keitel -- Sam and Hunt are pulling up in front of Trent's apartment to relieve Skelton and Carling, only there's no Skelton and Carling to be relieved. "So is this how you do things in Hyde?" a clearly unimpressed Hunt asks Sam as they wait for the police radio to pinpoint the whereabouts of Skelton and Carling. "You sit on your ass and watch known criminals pick their noses?" "Actually, in Hyde, we sit on our noses and watch known criminals pick their asses," Sam counters. Ah, a regular Burns & Allen, these two. (Kids, ask your grandparents.) However, this witty wordplay is soon interrupted by a call on the radio about a robbery in progress at a AAA Check Cashing establishment. Say, do you think that could, in any way, be connected to the case Sam and Hunt are investigating? Judging by the skid marks they leave in front of Trent's apartment, it's a safe bet they've reached that conclusion.

They arrive at the check-cashing joint at the same time that Trent -- full clothed in this scene, thank Christ -- is walking out. Hunt hollers at him to stop. Trent must not be happy to see them, as it turns out that is a gun in his pocket... and he starts unloading in the general direction of Sam and Hunt. As the bullets fly, Sam and Hunt take refuge in the backseat of their car. But fortunately, this is a case of the Law of the Hero's Steady Gun Hand -- in which the Bad Guy can fire off bullet after bullet without so much as winging our hero, whereas all the Good Guy needs to do is squeeze off one shot and the villain is felled -- and Hunt takes down Trent with a single, well-placed shot to his chest. Sadly, that's not the only person who's been taken out -- June collapses in the front seat of the car, an apparent victim of the crossfire. So much for that recurring role I talked about earlier.

When we return from commercial -- and really, shouldn't ABC mix in ads from 1973 during some of these breaks, just to keep the mood consistent? I would totally stop fast-forwarding through these breaks, and I'm pretty sure you would, too -- the black-and-whites have arrived on the scene to fit Kim Trent with a mortal wound-concealing bedsheet. June, in the meantime, is being carted off in an ambulance. Sam proclaims that she's going to be OK, not that that's going to improve his rep among the other detectives who are now fixing him with a look of distinct contempt -- even Annie can't hide her disdain. The MIA Skelton and Carling have now appeared -- they had a radio message to call into Command, according to Carling, who, thankfully, does not use an analogy to drive home his point this time. Carling reports that they found a police radio in June's car: "She must have heard the call go out and wanted to be Batgirl or something." Well, that's one plausible explanation. The other -- which both my wife and I arrived at, and we hope you did, too -- is that June was the Inside Man... er... Woman on this operation. Anyhow, there'll be time for that later. Right now, it's more important to blame Sam for everything that's gone pear-shaped. "I want this mess cleaned up," Hunt mutters at Sam. He does not just mean a resolution to the investigation -- he is literally referring to June's blood, which is currently staining the pavement outside the check-cashing joint. Sam suggests that maybe it would be a good idea to wait for Grissom or Caine or whoever the hell Gary Sinise plays to show up and process the crime scene, but that only makes Hunt more irritable. He grabs Sam by the neck and forces him face first into the pool of blood, the way you'd discipline a dog who just crapped on your throw rug. An angry Sam pushes Hunt off him and protests that this is Trent's fault -- "He pulled the trigger." "You made sure there was a trigger to pull," Hunt counters. Some more yelling, and Sam protests that he gives up -- he is not referring to Hunt's finger-pointing. "I'm sick of this cosmic joke that everyone seems to be in on but me," he protests. Hey, buddy -- all this griping about your unfortunate state of affairs ain't making that patch of roadway any less bloody. A visibly angry Sam rips off his coat and starts using it to sop up the blood. I would have opted for a two-liter bottle of club soda personally, but to each his own.

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Life on Mars

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