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Life: Fill it Up (Part 2)

by Richard Keller, posted Dec 6th 2007 8:01AM

Charlie Crews hunts for the man who murdered the Seybolt family

(S01E11) Where to begin.

If Life was not picked up for a full season this episode would have probably been a fairly decent series finale. So much information was given to us, so many evidence holes were filled, that there was a feeling of closure. Not satisfaction, mind you, but closure. The information given out was so powerful this episode that I am only going to reveal it after the jump. So, if you have yet to watch Wednesday's installment of Life DO NOT GO BEYOND THIS POINT. If you do, don't be pissed off at me.

I think we can begin with the fact that the actual murderer of the Seybolt family (minus one) was caught. This, of course, is huge. Not only because it takes one big weight off of Charlie, but it puts him in a different light for all of his current and former colleagues who thought he was the killer. Well, all except Lt. Davis, perhaps. From her stance when Charlie and Reese brought Hollis in I'm not too sure if she is convinced or not about Crews' innocence.

Not only was Hollis caught, but he was also a connection to so much else. One of the primary items was that Charlie's former friend and business partner was laundering money at the bar they both owned (I would love to see a few flashback episodes showing this bar and Charlie pre-prison). It also looks like Jack Reese and Seybolt were in this together and things whet very sour. This means that Jack was a bad cop and not just mean like her daughter said he was. Well, he's mean, too, but that's beside the point.

What it all really means is that Jack is in deep poop. However, he has an ace up his sleeve -- Rachel Seybolt. It seems that, after Rachel's parents and sibling were killed, Jack ended up connecting the last surviving member of the family with the person who actually murdered her family. This was definitely an 'Oh Crap!' revelation, but it was also confusing. Rachel was fairly old when her parents were murdered. So, why would she all of a sudden consider Hollis as her father. Unless, Jack forced it upon her. Well, maybe this is something that will be looked at again when the show returns.

In addition to all of the revelations coming from Hollis we got a bit of additional information about Bobby's role in this whole Conspiracy. Its been no secret that Dani has been a bit miffed at Stark for some reason, and tonight we found out why. She was angry that Bobby didn't back up his former partner. Turns out, Stark really had no other choice: if he protected Crews he would have gone to jail himself. This makes me wonder how strong of a case IAD had when Charlie was convicted and if they were part of the Conspiracy.

At least it cleared the air a bit between Reese and Stark. That was needed because, together, they know quite a bit about their former and present partner. When Stark mentioned that Charlie had that 'I'm doing something neither of you should know about' look Reese certainly didn't disagree. Plus, Dani needs some additional support once she finds out that her father is just a ruthless bastard.

Now, about Charlie. Frankly, he scared me this episode. Once he threw that Zen tape out of the car I had no idea what he was going to do. And, I don't think Charlie knew what he was going to do, either. The Crews we saw in this episode was not the level-headed, sort of airy detective we've watched in the last 10 episodes. This was a man hardened by prison and out for his pound of flesh.

You could see it in his face. There was a scene while he was driving to Hollis' house that showed Crews in profile. It wasn't the soft features that we normally see in Charlie. His face was hard. His thinned lips were grim. He was concentrated on one, and only one goal: find Hollis.

I got extremely concerned when he was digging that hole up in of Los Angeles mountains. It was big enough for a body to fit and, the way he was going, it looked very much like Hollis was going to be buried dead or alive. Relief flooded through me when I saw Crews' cell phone behind Hollis and Constance on the other end. This meant that Charlie wasn't going to kill Hollis after all.

Boy oh boy. Well, this is the last new episode of Life for 2007. It will be returning in 2008, but I just don't know when. And, as Law & Order is taking up the Wednesday, 10 pm slot again I don't know what day it will be on (although, there's probably a good chance it will be on Monday). So, just remain calm and patient and pray to the television gods that this Writers' Strike gets resolved soon. Until then, thanks for being here with me. I'll see you in the new year.

The season is now half over for 'Life'. What do you think so far?
One of the best programs on network television so far!650 (86.2%)
Good, but could use some improvement88 (11.7%)
Really needs some work to be on the air.7 (0.9%)
When is 'Law & Order' returning?9 (1.2%)

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The count of former Deadwood regulars on "Life"
is now up to 4.

December 20 2007 at 1:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

WOWWW what a ride!!! such a fitting clif hanger!! does anyone though for a momento that Jack was going to jump from the building?? that really cross my mind, and imagine the repercution to crews (that coud be implicated in the jumping!! LOL), but that didn't happend.

About the phone confesion... i'm not from USA and in my country we have a diferent legal sistem, but, isn't constance a DA now??? isn't a confession heard by a DA worth for someting???

About the shot girl, she was in witness protection and is posible like someone said earlier that she only knows him as her new family, and that's why she concider him as her dad, plus even if the was 9 year old at the time, is possible that because of the shock she doesn't remember very well was happened back then, or the life she had before (so, she didn't have to recognaize crews).

I think that the fact that Jack tells crews that he have the girl is important, maybe she has some sentimental value to crews, and maybe he woud like to take care of her in the future, plus, she can help with important info (even when she doesn't know at the moment that she actrually knows things).

Well i gues that's it, great show, cant wait!!!!

December 08 2007 at 1:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to nattyff's comment

I'm not from the US either (I'm Canadian), but in the English tradition from which the US system derives, Constance's report of the confession would be hearsay as well as a report of a statement given under duress: between rules of evidence and procedural fairness (called "due process" in the US), it's pretty much a "no dice" thing, DA or no.

(And, yeah, I'm in my last year of law school: don't hate me).

And US witness protection is for people who actually act as trial witnesses, isn't it? The program exists to encourage people to testify, after all, and not (unfortunately) to protect everyone who might be in danger as the result of crime. She could only be in witness protection if Charlie (officially the sole "do-er") or someone with whom he was associated was a threat to her somehow and she had testified against him. We already know that everybody ditched Charlie when he was convicted, that she didn't testify and that, in the official version, she wasn't even a witness in any sense of the word. (They said she wasn't there).

Anyway, I don't think that witness protection would be available under these circumstances.

But it is TV, after all, so maybe that's what happened, real world aside; also, maybe the Conspiracy goes really really high and someone finagled it.

Can someone correct me if I'm wrong in my impression of the WP program?

December 10 2007 at 11:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Horse N. Buggy

I'm so glad you mentioned those tapes. Both times I've heard them, I said to myself, "That's Christopher Guest's voice!" Seriously. The guy on that tape sounds exactly like Count Rugen, the six-fingered man from "The Princess Bride."

December 07 2007 at 9:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Great episode, I couldn't have asked for more. Charlie kicking ass, we finally get more than a tease in the conspiracy theory, the past and present partners settle their beef and we have more episodes to look forward to.

I am interested in the Zen audiobooks Charlie listens to. I did a freeze frame on the cassette and tried to google it but it appears to be a fake. Anyone have any ideas?

December 07 2007 at 5:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David Woods

If anyone is interested, the song that is playing at the end of the show, starting with Jack Reece on the roof, is ...

The Frames

Did you fall on your way
its a long way down
welcome back to your place
i hope you know it now
cause its true what you say
were the wrong way round

and the lie that cut the worse
has been resolved, then reversed


ah come on.. show the way
where are you running now.
is it lack of restraint
has you turning round.

and in the end, were both the same
you played your part, so your part to blame

when you want something that much,
it's drawing trouble on your life
and when you found something that good
its hard to focus on whats right

and in the end what hurt the worst
has been resolved and the reversed
and I know its not what you said
its like the letter I just sat and read


you found something so good
its drawing trouble on your life
and when you lost something so good
its hard to focus on whats right

i love it so far..

December 07 2007 at 12:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Vanessa W.

I can't say enough good things about this show. I'm a huge fan of actor Damian Lewis (Charlie Crews), so it was a thrill to find out that he would be the lead character in a primetime series. I was nervous, at first, because he seemed to be uncomfortable in the character - but, man, once he hit his stride he just took off with it & never looked back! These final two episodes (before the writer's strike is ended) were the best television I've seen in quite a long time! Incredible writing - even better acting! I can't wait for the show to resume! Does it have to be next darned year, though? :(

December 07 2007 at 12:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What about if they lied to Rachel that she was in some kind of witness protection with Kyle Hollis, and she has to pretend he's her dad, so after 12 yrs, she is used to it and loves him like her real dad (maybe has even forgotten much about her real family)? After all, all the men involved are basically cops, and they can pull that kind of thing off.

December 06 2007 at 9:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This was once again a great episode, a very special/different one but really good still.

While I missed the usual tone and things we get from a "normal" episode, like Reese & Crews interactions, I absolutely loved the journey Charlie went through as he had to decide whether or not to kill the guy.

What a great thing that was, and for sure it felt that Charlie could easilly have gone the wrong way, he could have killed him.

I too found it odd that the girl was indeed Rachel, because when we first saw her I wondered about that, but thought it couldn't be as it didn't really made sense...

I'm still hoping she not, but Jack lied to Charlie only to have some leverage he Charlie would buy it!

There was a few things that bugged me though, like :

- the car crash. why did it not get back to Charlie ? A car crash, gunshots, dead bodies, and I'm sure he bought the car legally and it'd be easy to get back to him...

- same is true for the whole Rachel incident : he ran away from the police and escaped after a girl accused him. He was seen, his car was too, she knows he was a cop... again not hard to get back at him

Anyways, still a great episode, the show is so freaking good, I love it!

December 06 2007 at 5:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How creepy is Perky Charlie? My mom said, "has he gone insane?"

heh heh.

It's going to be a long few months until it comes back on the air, and even if it ends horribly? I'm still breaking out my wallet for the dvd.

Does anyone know if that music was by X?

December 06 2007 at 5:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

In terms of the future arc, there're still lots of avenues to explore: Charlie did spend 12 years in prison and there will be lots of grist for the mill just from that, even after the issue of the Conspiracy is finally resolved.

BTW, I think that Lt Davis is up the creek: she used to be Jack Reese's partner and had to dress him down (carefully) about the fact that Crews was no longer a suspect in the Ames' murder. She was aware that she needed to tread carefully when she mentioned to Jack that there were two men seen coming from the scene of Ames' murder and commented that she would "go after" whoever was connected to those two men. We now know those were Jack's men. Uh-oh!!

I agree that the whole thing with Rachel seems pretty odd: she was nine years old when her parents and brother were killed and you would think that, Stockholm Syndrome or no, she would recognize "Uncle Charlie." She kind of seems to want to know him when she asks, "I don't know you, do I?" But the fact is that she doesn't recognize him--Charlie not recognizing her is more understandable, objectively speaking, given how much children change as they mature. Also, his failure to recognize her serves a useful thematic purpose while it advances the plot: as the story goes on we learn that part of what Charlie has to work through is that he didn't always see things as they were twelve years ago. For example, he didn't know that his best friend was laundering money for Jack Reese; like everyone else, he didn't even really know that there was money to be laundered.

What really caught my interest in terms of future developments in the show is that, when Charlie calls the hospital looking for Rachel, he asks after a patient named "Hollis," but we know from Crews' conversation with Mark Rawls that Hollis has been living as "Reverend Orson Parker" for at least five years. Given that it's just a few seconds of the show, I thought perhaps this was just an error, but now I'm not so sure.

At this point in the time-line, Rachel's twenty-one, after all, so she would have been sixteen when Hollis became Parker. Presumably he had other aliases before then. Has Rachel been a Hollis all this time? How much does Rachel know about her "father" and his run from the law? She knows Charlie is a cop, but she doesn't ask him if he's come to take her father to jail; she asks him, "Do you want to kill my dad, too?" and then, trying to keep him from leaving, accuses him of having shot her.

It's possible she's got a bizarre and slightly scary need to be with her dad at all times but, given that we meet her after she's been gut-shot, I think that her protest at the tape being turned off and her request that Charlie turn it back on are understandable; it doesn't matter how old people get: there are still going to be times when most people just want their moms or dads.

In terms of the tape itself, though, I think it's very likely that she knew that he would one day have to go away. When Charlie turns the television back on for her, she says "I made this tape. I made it so that I could still watch him when he went away." She knew he would eventually have to go away.

She's not a child. She knows something, even though she may not know the specifics. She was there the day her family died, but Charlie's question on the wall was, "Did she see?" We know she saw the killer from her drawings, but those drawings emphasize the hair and mustache: the eyes are wrong. Without the eyes, I don't know that I would be able to connect Kyle Hollis' mugshot with "Reverend Orson Parker." So, she may remember the killer, but I don't know that she remembers Kyle Hollis as the killer.

The point is there're still lots of questions.

Did anyone else notice the "Hollis" patient reference? The nurse recognized the name, so that's how Rachel was checked in--because she's an adult, Rachel's information would be entered in records either from what she said or from her ID (or both). This is important, I believe. I also agree with Justin that Jack's not going to be the big fish: if he's all alone in this, having Rachel is not nearly enough.

What do you think?

December 06 2007 at 5:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Courtney's comment

You are my new hero...

December 10 2007 at 1:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Thanks, Boomstick! But what about the "Hollis" thing?

December 10 2007 at 10:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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