Life on Mars

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Mr. Sobell: A- | Grade It Now!
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Tuesdays With Mopey

Okay, if radical brain surgery is off the table, Michael is going to turn to a non-surgical option. He's covered the mouths of each hostage with surgical tape and put white hoods with little eye holes over their heads. Well, he's done that with every hostage but one. For speaking truth to power, Sam gets the honor of wearing a black hood; he's also wearing Michael's jacket, and the hostage taker has thoughtfully taped the shotgun to Sam's hands. That should provide a tempting target for any snipers who may want to impede Michael's flight from justice, huh? But that's not the question on Sam's mind: what he'd like to know is how Michael knew his first name when the two of them were on the phone earlier. "I didn't know your name," Michael snorts, as he tapes over Sam's mouth. "And it doesn't matter. Because you're not Sam anymore. You're me. And I'm Sam." That 2 p.m. deadline is looking ever deadlier.

When we return from commercial, snipers have taken up their positions outside the hospital and their commander is relating to Carling how his men can "shoot a dime off your nose at 100 yards." "Then when they exit," Carling says, "you tell your best guy that that scazed muldoon is wearing two nickels for a necktie." That's... not good news for Sam. Speaking of which, the hooded, mumbling hostages begin exiting the hospital and shuffling en masse toward the bus -- it looks like the world's saddest, worst attended Klansman parade. Then Sam emerges in his faux-hostage-taker get-up, and the shots ring out. Fortunately for Sam's sake, the snipers aren't nearly as accurate as their commander boasted -- maybe they can only shoot oversized novelty dimes off your nose. Sam drops to the ground, and Hunt and Annie immediately fall on top of him. It takes Carling and the gang a few minutes, but they eventually realize that the guy they've been shooting at is actually one of their own. That's going to make for some awkward moments back at the station house.

Hunt begins to evacuate the area, what on account of all those explosives inside the building. But Sam notices that Michael and Johnny aren't among the hostages being whisked off to safety. For the second time this episode, he runs toward the danger. Perhaps the fact that it's five minutes to two is serving as extra motivation.

Deep within the bowels of the hospital, Sam eventually stumbles across Johnny and Michael. The former is draped with enough explosives to make a mere lobotomy the least of his worries and the latter is none too pleased to see Sam. Michael was hoping that the building would be entirely evacuated with the hostages driven to safety. He would then set off the explosive as a distraction, allowing him and Johnny to hop a subway to Penn Station where they would catch a train to Buffalo and then escape into Canada, known throughout the world for its healing waters for the recently lobotomized. "We'd spend the days fishing and the nights watching football," Michael says wistfully. Yes, but it'd be Canadian football -- the field would be freakishly longer, and soon the living would envy the dead. Anyhow, Sam has ruined that dream of new life filled with fish and the Toronto Argonauts, and so he must die. Both in 1973 and in 2008, apparently, because we soon hear the sounds of doctors getting ready to flip off the Machine That Goes Ping.

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Life on Mars

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