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September 3, 2014

Life on Mars: Revenge of the Broken Jaw

by Brad Trechak, posted Mar 5th 2009 2:27AM
Life on Mars(S01E13) Now that it has been made public of the imminent demise of Life on Mars, it certainly makes any sort of analysis kind of moot. Hopefully, when the series ends (a mere one episode longer than the series that spawned it), it will offer some sort of satisfying closure to its fans (all three of them).

Tonight's episode was a good one with a twist I didn't see until just before it actually happened. Once again, it focused more on the cop mystery of the week rather than Sam's predicament (which was only touched upon with the strange freeze frames in the beginning). The creators will likely have a hell of a lot of exposition about Sam in the final episode.

Considering how little he was used in the first half of the episode, I should have realized that Dr. Olsen was involved with the murder. At first I thought it was going to end up being Danny, the cop's son in the wheelchair. I also should learn the difference between Kevin Kilner, who actually played the role and Roger Bart, who I thought was playing the role when I first watched it.

Given Sam's situation, I'm surprised it's taken him this long to see a psychiatrist (and I don't mean his seeking of Annie's advice). It seems like he's been getting comfortable in 1973 for the past few episodes, so you know that means the writers were going to throw a wrench in that soon whether the show was ending or not. They're even playing up the whole "Stranger in a Strange Land" motif by blasting the song "Rocket Man" at the beginning and end.

It seemed like Sam was using a few more anachronistic statements this episode (a staple of the original, Brit version). He's also making his moves on Annie. He better hurry up on that, as he only has four more episodes to hook up with her.

When it was mentioned that Rodney Slaven had two different eye colors like David Bowie, I thought it was a nice, quick homage to the artist that sang the song that the show is named after.

This show is definitely more cop show than cop reality and proves it by using old clichés. I knew once Gene started talking to the other old cop sitting in the car with the planted bomb that the other guy was not long for this world. At least Gene proved his belief in equality of the sexes tonight by roughing up Professor Pat.

I felt sorry for poor Laura Olsen. In effect, she lost her biological father, adopted father and mother in the course of a year.

Favorite Michael Imperioli line of the episode: "...a vodka chaser and a beer chaser chaser". Okay, Imperioli's lines weren't that great this time around. We all have "off" days.

It seems that the original plan for the first season (and possibly seasons beyond) was to deal more with the cop show in the first season rather than the reason behind Sam's time jump. I suspect we'll see less of the former and more of the latter as the series wraps up.

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bb

I like the show also and am disappointed to see it canceled. But it's unfair to dump on ABC for this one. They promoted the ton out of it, extended the season four episodes, and used it's top two dramas as lead-in's for it this season. Unlike how NBC treated Journeyman last year (which was pathetic), ABC went pretty far to give the show a chance. LOM had/has potential and it's finding it's niche now, but it really didn't start to gel until the last few weeks.

bb

March 12 2009 at 4:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
marc

Please go here and sign the petition to save Life On Mars. and pass it along to all your friends. Lets show them that we want our show to go on!!!!


http://tvseriesfinale.com/articles/life-on-mars-petition-to-continue-the-abc-tv-show/

March 09 2009 at 7:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
marc

Please go here and sign the petition to save Life On Mars.


http://tvseriesfinale.com/articles/life-on-mars-petition-to-continue-the-abc-tv-show/

March 09 2009 at 7:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mike

"Hopefully, when the series ends (a mere one episode longer than the series that spawned it), it will offer some sort of satisfying closure to its fans (all three of them)."

As one of those three fans, I offer this to ABC executives: Crawl back to your cave and watch the shadows dance upon the wall; Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, just gimme my Quarter Pounder cheeseburger and a low APR on an eight-ton GMC pickup with Yosemite Sam mudflaps.
That networks cater to ratings, the lowest common denominator and intellectually deprived mendicants does not surprise me. Am am pleased to count myself in the company of the two aforementioned fans, whomever they may be.
ABC must surmise that morons have more expendable income than college-educated viewers.
We now return you to WWF wrestling, American Idol and America's Funniest Home Videos... Yee-haw, Cletus; Git 'er done!
Pathetic.

March 07 2009 at 8:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
gillygirl

funny line not mentioned... when sam was talking about the terrorism tactics and he said "al quida" and someone else (was it Gene?) said "Al who?. Chuckle inducing comment.

March 05 2009 at 11:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jim

Well, we are about four episodes behind at my house, but we liked the show. Might as well cancel it though, they don't give shows a chance any more.

March 05 2009 at 9:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
frommass2003

For the final show, I would love to see Sam return to present times and seek out people from the 70's such as Annie and Michael Imperioli and see how they aged and if they remembered him.

March 05 2009 at 8:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
KMF

Great review. I'm bummed to see this show go. Now because I have no life, just thought I'd throw a little factoid at 'cha on the subject of Bowie's eyes. ;D

"When it was mentioned that Rodney Slaven had two different eye colors like David Bowie. . "

The show got it wrong unfortunately. Bowie doesn't have two different eye colours. He has a damaged pupil from a fist fight as a young teen. Fighting over a girl, his friend punched him in the eye while wearing a ring. Over the years there may have been a subtle change in the blue colour because of this but it's not two different colours. Many people think his eyes are brown and blue, and that's a really easy mistake for the show to have made (I made it early on) as it does appear that way at first glance. But look real close and you can see it's just a damaged pupil. All that aside, it still works for the episode. Back in the 70's people just assumed his eyes were different colours as well, especially those with a passing knowledge of the singer. :)

Just a dorky bit of trivia for you. I couldn't help myself! ;)

March 05 2009 at 8:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Karen

Well, I enjoy this show. I think it is because I like Sam so much. Maybe I only like him because everyone around his is so "not Sam."

I'm disappointed that they cancelled the show.

One thing about this show is that him being in 1973 was interesting and I did want to know how/why but it didn't bug me like some show mysteries did. I didn't have to get more information each episode. I just enjoyed the quirks. Usually it is the opposite for me. If they throw a mystery like that out there, I HAVE TO KNOW. In this show I could just accept it and enjoy it. When they did throw out stuff like the tv, little robots, etc. I just thought, "Oh yeah, why is he here?" but I didn't think that when he talked about laptops, who is winning a fight, etc.



March 05 2009 at 7:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
laura

I knew this show wouldnt last, I wanted to love it seeing as how i was born in 73, loved the premise, love the actors, but I only watch it because nothing else is on. The first couple of episodes were so promising, but it quickly became gimmicky, the use of music was annoying (just like in cold case) yes we get it, its 1973, the tiny CGI robot, the static on the TV showing freaking Obama (rolls eyes) its just too cheesey.

March 05 2009 at 7:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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