Skip to main content

Things Get Trippy for Sam Tyler on "Life on Mars"

Was it just me or were you on the edge of your seat during last night's installment of BBC import, Life on Mars? This series, which stars John Simm as time-traveling detective Sam Tyler just gets more and more taut as the second season continues.

I can't help but wonder what sort of clue was contained in this week's episode, in which the team tracks down a kidnapped woman and her daughter, being held captive in an effort to secure the release of a teenager who confessed to murdering a 14-year-old girl a year earlier. While the CID review their case files, they are forced to wonder if they locked up the wrong man a year earlier; meanwhile, a deeply ill Sam--pulled in from sick leave--passes out at the station.

His condition--due, we're told, from his entrance into a deeper coma in the future, due to the wrong balance of medication--is alternately creepy, scary, and just plain weird. Sam is clearly seeing hallucinations (but as Annie says, when is he NOT seeing visions) and running a high fever. Sam clearly believes the voice on the phone that tells him that he's been given the wrong drugs, but Phyllis later learns that Sam was drugged with LSD after a pub raid. So which is it?

And, even if Sam were just drugged, how exactly was he able to view events at several different remote locations--Annie and Phyllis in the station bullpen, Chris searching Lamb's house, Annie questioning the murder victim's family--through the television set? Out of body experience? Astral projection? Expanded consciousness? Hmmm...

Instead, we're left to ponder just what was going on to Sam exactly and where he was in this week's episode: what appeared to be an office at the station, cold and dark, with that television set showing him events of the elsewhere. Was it a construct of his consciousness? A holding station for his psyche? Limbo?

Meanwhile, Annie's strengths as a detective are coming to the fore as she twigs to the connection between the victim's father and Lamb's family, locating the missing girls, and talking the perp down. This all comes on the heels of last week's episode, in which Annie and Sam went undercover as a married couple to infiltrate a wife-swapping party. Is it obvious how utterly smitten I am with Annie?

It's clear that Sam is influencing not only to future but also changing the way Manchester CID conduct investigations, introducing them last week to the concept of surveillance (which Gene termed "not very manly") and getting Chris to realize that sometimes they can't go blundering into the unknown but need to play smarter than the bad guys they're hoping to trap.

So while I'm still slightly confused over just what this episode showed us in terms of Sam's actual condition, I can't wait for next week for another piece of the puzzle...

Next week on Life on Mars, the team investigate the murder of a Ugandan-Asian man and the inroads of the heroin trade in Manchester, while Sam battles the bigoted reaction of Gene and receives a shocking message from the future.

What's On Tonight

8 pm: Power of 10 (CBS); Deal or No Deal (NBC); Crowned: The Mother of All Pageants (CW); Wife Swap (ABC)

9 pm: Criminal Minds (CBS);
Law & Order (NBC; 9-11 pm); Gossip Girl (CW); Supernanny (ABC)

10 pm: CSI: New York (CBS); Supernanny (ABC)

What I'll Be Watching

9 pm: Gossip Girl.

Wow, a first-run episode of something tonight. On tonight's installment ("School Lies"), the kids break into the school swimming pool to have a party, with disastrous and near-fatal results.

10 pm: Project Runway on Bravo.

Finally, the sartorial showdown returns with a new episode ("Eye Candy") in which the remaining designers must source materials from a chocolate shop in Times Square in order to create a design.

Comments

Anonymous said…
I love this show! I thought it was really clever how Sam's "overdose" allowed him to step back while we watched Gene and Annie and the others step up and solve the case, proving that they resourceful and that Sam doesn't always have to be the one saving the day.

Popular posts from this blog

What's Done is Done: The Eternal Struggle Between Good and Evil on the Season Finale of "Lost"

Every story begins with thread. It's up to the storyteller to determine just how much they need to parcel out, what pattern they're making, and when to cut it short and tie it off. With last night's penultimate season finale of Lost ("The Incident, Parts One and Two"), written by Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, we began to see the pattern that Lindelof and Cuse have been designing towards the last five seasons of this serpentine series. And it was only fitting that the two-hour finale, which pushes us on the road to the final season of Lost , should begin with thread, a loom, and a tapestry. Would Jack follow through on his plan to detonate the island and therefore reset their lives aboard Oceanic Flight 815 ? Why did Locke want to kill Jacob? What caused The Incident? What was in the box and just what lies in the shadow of the statue? We got the answers to these in a two-hour season finale that didn't quite pack the same emotional wallop of previous seas

Katie Lee Packs Her Knives: Breaking News from Bravo's "Top Chef"

The android has left the building. Or the test kitchen, anyway. Top Chef 's robotic host Katie Lee Joel, the veritable "Uptown Girl" herself (pictured at left), will NOT be sticking around for a second course of Bravo's hit culinary competition. According to a well-placed insider, Joel will "not be returning" to the show. No reason for her departure was cited. Unfortunately, the perfect replacement for Joel, Top Chef judge and professional chef Tom Colicchio, will not be taking over as the reality series' host (damn!). Instead, the show's producers are currently scouring to find a replacement for Joel. Top Chef 's second season was announced by Bravo last month, but no return date has been set for the series' ten-episode sophomore season. Stay tuned as this story develops. UPDATE (6/27): Bravo has now confirmed the above story .

Me Want Food: Jenna Gets Famously Fat on "30 Rock"

I don't know about you, but I've already ordered my "Me Want Food" t-shirt from the NBC store. Last night's episode of 30 Rock ("Jack Gets in the Game") was, in my opinion, one of the strongest of the series and has officially pushed the zany comedy into the realm of Arrested Development : deftly plotted and intricately layered, with so many jokes piled atop of jokes that it requires several viewings in order to catch them all. While at its heart, 30 Rock is a workplace comedy, it's left that narrow pigeonhole behind to become a witty example of how intelligent and taut humor can work (and flourish) on television... and exist in harmony with hilarious throwaways like the Thriller -inspired Werewolf Bar Mitzvah music video that would have done the AD crew proud. I want Will Arnett to appear on this series whenever possible. His gay exec Devin is hilarious, manipulative, and has an inexplicable weakness for Kenneth the Page, but he claims to have