Indeed, 2008 is on the line, and it would like Sam to know that his little time-travel adventure is about to come to an end -- and not in a good way. The voice on the other end of the line is Sam's mom -- you all remember Rose Tyler, right? She says that the doctors have told her they've tried everything, but they can't revive Sam. So they're gonna do the next best thing -- pull the plug on the machines keeping Sam alive and let nature take its course. "I wish you could give me a sign, Sammy, that you're still in there," Ma Tyler sobs. Does shouting impotently into a phone line count as a sign? Because that's what Sam is doing right now. Bottom line: Ma Tyler has consented to this plug-pulling business, and at 2 p.m. today, the Machine That Goes Ping will ping its last. "You came into the world on a Tuesday," Rose says, "and now you're going to leave on a Tuesday." Well, not if Bill Frist has TiVo'd this episode and declares that Sam is okie-dokie after watching the videotape.
Sam reacts to the news of his impending death the same way you or I might -- by hurling the telephone across the station house, waking the other detectives. "What the hell, Tyler?" a groggy Carling shouts. Seriously, man -- you're gonna disturb all the hookers, and they're so cute when they sleep. But before Carling can further berate Sam for his party foul, Hunt strolls into the 125 and orders his troops to sober up quick. There's a hostage crisis at Memorial Hospital: "Some nutjob says he's gonna start killing people at two o'clock," Hunt announces. That two o'clock part is what catches Sam's attention -- he glances at the clock on the wall and sees that it's roughly five-and-a-quarter hours until Goodnight, Sammy. "That's what he's promising," Hunt continues. "That somebody dies at two." Hey -- Sam realizes. I'm somebody! I'd better put a stop to this hostage-taking business. "Nobody dies today," Sam declares. I dunno -- any more shots of a shirtless Carling zipping up his fly, and I might be willing to volunteer.
Opening credits. "My name is Sam Tyler. I was in an accident, and I woke up in 1973." Yeah, but if it's any consolation, it sounds like you won't be there very much longer.
When we return from commercials, the entire gang -- Sam, Hunt, Skelton, Carling, Annie, Detective Whose Name I Don't Know and Don't Care to Learn Apparently -- has re-assembled in the hospital parking lot, where they are being briefed by a white-haired, avuncular sergeant who will probably be playing the role of White-Haired, Avuncular Sergeant (Possibly Irish) in TV shows and movies until he's decided he's had enough of this acting jazz. A lone gunman went into the hospital at 8:30; half the people were evacuated, but after that the perp locked all the main entrances. And nobody knows where he's holed up or how many hostages he's got. There is, however, a witness -- a nurse who's currently spilling the tale of her harrowing ordeal to a local TV reporter. "Am I going to be on TV?" she asks the reporter after recounting her story. Lady, you were born 30 years too early. Of course, to be on TV in our time, you'd have to put on a chicken suit or pretend to be in love with an aging '80s music star or live in a house with a dozen other fame whores or some combination of all three. But isn't that a small price to pay? Anyhow, the cops stroll over and put an end to the interview -- this story is an exclusive for W-HUNT, and the lieutenant would like to know everything the witness does: a guy came into the hospital with a shotgun, grabbed the brain surgeon Dr. Schwan, whom the perp seemed to know, and told everyone to leave. We also have a list of demands: a nurse with surgical experience and an EEG machine for reading brainwaves. That's our top story -- now to Carling and Skelton for the sports and the weather.