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September 2, 2014

Life: Powerless

by Richard Keller, posted Nov 1st 2007 10:10AM

Charlie reviews his Conspiracy Wall for this week's episode of Life

(S01E06) Well, this was an interesting episode of Life. Rather than having the focus on Charlie and many of his day-to-day activities, we were treated to the life of Detective Dani Reese. I was a bit concerned about this when I saw the previews because this show is really still in its infancy and a shift in focus for just one episode can throw viewers off. However, as the episode progressed I felt more and more comfortable about the whole setup.

One of the reasons for this was that we finally got to find out how messed up Dani really was. We knew she had some issues hanging around from her time as an undercover narcotics officer. However, we just didn't realize how many until this week. She isn't fighting one or two demons...she's fighting an entire company of them. Not only is she recovering from drug addiction, but she also seems to have a problem with alcohol as well.

But, at least she isn't stuck in a never-ending cycle of self-punishment like some true addicts are. She admits she has problems -- she just isn't ready to admit them to anyone else. I think by getting to know Rick and finding out first-hand how addiction can turn someone into a totally evil bastard kind of took away some of her stubbornness. That, and her forced binge drinking of a bottle of vodka. Well, she seems to be on the right track to recovery now.

The way that Rick was discovered as being a rapist, and the way that the whole criminal investigation panned out, felt a bit weird to me because of the way it was presented. Over the past five episodes we were usually brought into a criminal investigation after the actions have occurred (just like we will in next week's episode). This week it was much more personal and I think I enjoyed it more than the usual 'find the killer' format. Granted, I wouldn't want to see that happening every single week on Life, but it would be good to see this type of format once in awhile to break up the standard murder investigation.

Just because the focus wasn't all on Charlie this week doesn't mean he wasn't integral to the story. If anything, he was the light to Dani's deep darkness. He was there at the AA meeting to support her concerns about Rick, and he came to her rescue after Rick held Reese at gunpoint in her own apartment. Thank God that he finally knows how to utilize his cell phone or else he wouldn't have known what was going on with Dani or the 'give me a moment' signal she gave to get into the apartment. By the way, I need to buy that cell phone: any device that can provide such a undistorted conversation from someone's pants' pocket is thumbs-up in my book.

While Charlie knows how to navigate his cell phone he's still a bit of a novice when it comes to the Superinfonethighway. One of the episode's lighter moments this week was his entry into one of the chat rooms where Rick's victim used to hang out. Someone responds to his request with a list of abbreviations that would make Funk and Wagnalls spin in their graves. Then he ended up referencing that 'Internet for Idiots' book like some type of English-to-foreign language dictionary.

Other fine moments that Charlie had were with his old partner Stark and his new boss Lieutenant Davis. From the statements Roman made in last week's episode I think some of us thought that Stark had this big secret about the Bank of Los Angeles robbery -- maybe he was the one who took all of the money. Turns out his biggest secret was that he wasn't in the middle of all the action, which is what he had been telling everyone for years. While this is on Charlie's Conspiracy Wall (should it be capitalized?) I don't know if this does anything to help or hurt Crews in his investigation.

While Charlie's interactions with his former partner were good the ones with him and Lt. Davis were my favorites. I don't know if it was the producers' decision to scrap Davis' initial animosity to Crews or the logical progression of the character, but it seems that the Lieutenant has come to grips with Charlie being part of her precinct. The stakeout conversations were interesting because it gave insight into where Stark actually was during the bank robbery and it also made her a bit more human in our eyes. Plus, it also enhanced my curiosity of the character: is she a part of the conspiracy or not?

Before I go I wanted to mention the sub-sub-sub-story of Ted Early. I know many of you like this character, but I don't see him adding anything to this show. Even this week's subplot, where he finds an unauthorized biography of himself at a bookstore, felt very detracted from the other stuff that was going on. It's like the producers are struggling to find things for Adam Arkin to do because, while a good idea at first, it's just not working out for them. We'll see what future episodes bring.

Next week -- Dani gets connected to something else on the Conspiracy Wall.

What did you think of this week's episode of 'Life'?
Different, but good. Nice to see an episode focusing one someone else than Charlie.201 (84.8%)
The story involving Dani was okay but I really wish Charlie had more screen time.33 (13.9%)
Didn't like it. The focus should always be on Charlie and not on any of the secondary characters.3 (1.3%)

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Cathi

Can anyone explain the reference to "I need a moment" that Dani asks for when Rick is holding her at gunpoint and Crews (who is outside with Stark) says it's meant for him. Then at the end she says "it's Zen right" as she's getting into the ambulance.
I'm so lost on that one.

Lee: Sorry I don't know the answer to your post about the name of the song they played at the end.

November 20 2007 at 12:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lee

At the end of the show, after Dani has subdued the attacker and is being lead from the house (because she is feeling the effects of the forced drinking binge) there is a song that plays.
The song that played online is different then the song that played for the show that broadcast on TV. I sent an email in to NBC requesting the name of the song and got back a mass mail return BS.
PLEASE does anyone know the artist or album or song, I love it and can not find it online.
The lyrics go something like this:
"So you're sunshines gone, but you don't seem too broken" "Cause everything wrong can be fixed"
"Everything that is lost can be found" "leaving the ground as we're carrying you"Dreammmmmm"

Anyone out there who knows or has a clue please?!

November 18 2007 at 7:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
hoaauus2003

did any one by any change tape this episode the time change thing that didn't have mess up my who taping so i miss the whole show and i can't watch it on nbc.com because it keep stoping at the begining if any one tape it can i please get a copy please e mail me back at hoaauus2003@hotmail.com

November 03 2007 at 8:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sirona7

Loved this week's show too. That they can change it up so soon in the run is a sign of confidence in the story and the characters. My family (including teenagers) were at the edge of our seats during the last scenes One thing though, I really liked the use of Ted in this episode. To me it was a little microcosm of who Ted was, is, and hopes to be, handled in a series of quiet comic moments. Ted and Charlie share this life-altering experience and we haven't yet gotten to see how their bond was forged in prison. Really hoping they do some prison flash-backs and pre-prison flashbacks very soon. This is a great show, full of promise. Please don't cancel Life.

November 02 2007 at 10:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Horse N. Buggy

The Russian simply said, "Ask your partner..." Crews (and the camera) first looked at Dani who was sitting at the desk opposite from him. Since that didn't seem to make any sense, Crews (and the camera) then looked up at his old partner who happened to be standing across the room in conversation with someone. The Russian never clarified which partner he meant. The audience was led to believe that he meant the old partner because that's where Charlie's deductive reasoning led him.

I absolutely loved the line when Charlie told his Lt. that he and Dani only talk about how lucky they are to be working for her. I laughed out loud for quite a while.

I didn't really get the purpose behind the Earley story this episode. But I like Adam Arkin and will wait for a good storyline involving his character.

I am so glad that they are not beating us over the head with the conspiracy story. I am sick to death of shows that you have to watch every episode in order and that never produce a single episode that can stand on its own. If you can't catch up a viewer in a quick "Previously On" segment, I'm no longer interested. As far as I'm concerned, 24, Lost and Heroes are soap operas because their plots are so convoluted.

November 02 2007 at 8:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Aberdeen

Great ep! I'm not sure what the point of Earley is, though...maybe something will crop up, but I hope it's soon.

Nice use of Morphine's music at the end of the teaser! Always does a fan's heart good to hear those saxophones. The song, whose title I forget, is from Cure For Pain.

November 01 2007 at 11:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Richard Keller

Bas wrote "Final shot of him putting Dani's picture up on his wall. "

That was part of the previews for next week. I think that Dani's picture was up there already but Charlie looks like he's about to make a connection to her with something else on the Conspiracy Wall.

November 01 2007 at 4:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sanna

@3
I did not see him put Dani's picture up on the wall The final scene showed Dani at a meeting telling that she was "powerless"...

November 01 2007 at 3:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Richard Keller

Chris wrote: "I believe you might be confusing her with the skeptical blonde female chief on Psych whose name is Karen Vick. The characters remind me of each other too."

Well, crap. I certainly did do that. I will go ahead and change that in the post.

November 01 2007 at 3:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
timcur2525

Wow, great episode. Does anyone else feel like Stark isn't really a bad guy. Also, this show reminds me a little of JAG.

Anyway I love the show and the characters.

November 01 2007 at 3:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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