After another commercial break, we return to our hostage standoff already in progress. Annie has shed her dynamite vest in exchange for getting handcuffed to one of the hospital beds; Sam is handcuffed next to her. Sam apologizes for getting her into this mess. There's that narcissism again. "I came in because I was asked," Annie corrects him. "I wasn't fetching coffee or filing paper. I got to be a real cop." No, no -- Sam's apologizing for being such a self-involved douche, what on account of his impending death and all. "I don't know what's real anymore," he sighs. That reminds Annie of a paranoid schizophrenic she once met during her clinical work -- hey, that's sure to cheer up Sam! -- and the guy had managed to live without his meds. Whenever he felt the walls closing in as Sam does now, Annie explains, he would think back to his happiest memory. "Because at least that was real," she concludes. So what's your happiest memory, Sam? Well, that'd be a time back in 2008 -- "Back in Hyde," Sam corrects himself for Annie's benefit -- when his partner had just gotten killed in the line of duty and he had ended a long-term relationship. Say, that is a happy memor... Oh, there's more. "I was in a bar," Sam continues, "and there was a Tom Waits song playing on the jukebox... There I was, and this girl walks right up to the bar, and she turns to me, and she says, 'Why the bum face? Summer's turning into fall. You can smell it in the air. And you're sitting in a bar with the best jukebox in Manhattan. Dalton here is a bartender whose cocktail shaker should be bronzed. It's time for living. Oh, and by the way, I'm your new partner.'" Annie correctly identifies that this enchanting free spirit is Maya. "It was the first time I saw her," Sam continues. "I guess she was right. It was time for living." See? Now that's a nice scene. One of my modest complaints about Life on Mars up until this point is that we haven't really seen much reason for Sam to want to return to 2008 -- I mean, besides the fact that he won't have to deal with annoyances like typewriters and Ray Carling anymore. What's so great about 2008 that he has to get back there? And this scene pretty much nails it. It gives us insight into the special relationship that Sam and Maya enjoy that has heretofore gone unnoticed. Well done.
Life on Mars
Episode Report CardMr. Sobell: A- | 1234 USERS: B-
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Life on Mars