Life on Mars

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

Time to have a word with Dr. Schwan. Sam demands to know why he told Michael that he could fix Johnny when it's quite clear that there's no do-overs in lobotomies. "Because [Michael] is as strong as an ox and as dumb as one and he had a bomb," Dr. Schwan replies. You had me at ox, doc. Dr. Schwan goes on to say that he had no other choice than to remove that chunk of Johnny's brain. "Johnny was hallucinating," Dr. Schwan protests. "He was hearing voices. Do you have any idea what that's like?" Sam looks around guiltily as if to say, "Well, if it means you're going to hack out part of my brain, then no." Dr. Schwan also couldn't help noticing Sam chatting up Erica earlier. "Did she say she was an actress researching a role or a newspaper reporter?" the good doctor sneers. No, it turns out that Erica is as mentally ill as the other patients -- she thought KGB agents had infiltrated her home, so she set it on fire, killing her entire family. I would, again, like to point out that this does not necessarily preclude her from a career at the Post. "Delusional psychosis, detective," Dr. Schwan continues. "One can seem normal, then one succumbs to fantasy. Time travel. Parallel dimensions. Thinking the voice on the radio or TV is speaking to you.... For Erica and people like Erica, there is no happy ending, detective." That's cutting Sam a little close to the knuckle. Better take a commercial break so we can all sort this head trip out.

Back from the break, we've got under two hours until Sam embarks on the Big Sleep. Michael, convinced that EEG machine is on its way has rounded up some particularly sharp and pointy medical supplies that Dr. Schwan requested for his upcoming un-lobotomy on Johnny. The orderly notices just how sharp and pointy that scalpel is -- just the sort of thing to slice a would-be hostage taker all to bits -- and begins to inch toward it. Sam whispers at him "don't do anything stupid," but alas, the orderly doesn't hear the "don't" portion of that order. He makes a grab for the scalpel, lunges for Michael, and learns the folly of bringing a knife to a gun fight. Oh, for a moment there's some doubt as to whether Sam or the orderly gets the belly full of lead, but c'mon -- the hero never dies until the final act. Sam tries to revive the orderly -- "No one dies today," he says, panicked -- and gets hit in the back of the head with Michael's pistol for his trouble.

When Sam comes to, he finds himself staring up at Maya. So Johnny knocked him into 2008 then? Nah -- it's just a hallucination. A shake of the head later, and Maya's replaced by Annie, dressed up like a nurse. That's no hallucination -- Annie's disguised. And if Sam needs further proof that he's still in 1973, he gets a kick from the new orderly -- that'd be Gene Hunt, also incognito. They've been allowed in to ostensibly operate the EEG machine that Michael's so hepped up about. So everything appears to be working out, right? Well, not for the orderly, who's still gutshot. Dr. Schwan is trying to operate, but since his specialty is restricted to removing brain parts and not bullets, things do not appear to be going well. Hunt whispers to Sam that the EEG machine is stuffed full of armaments for the two of them to use on Michael. Sam warns Hunt about the bomb Michael has strapped to his chest. "He can't detonate a bomb with a bullet in his brain," Hunt counters. And the cops can't shoot him if the guns they've snuck into the hospital are locked away out of reach. Sadly, that's what happens when Michael moves the EEG machine to the other side of the Psych Ward cage. Anyone got any other bright ideas?

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Life on Mars




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