Life on Mars: All the Young Dudes
by Brad Trechak, posted Mar 19th 2009 12:31AM
(S01E15) Well, that was quite an ending, wasn't it? I admit I wasn't expecting that one. One cannot help but wonder if at that stage of filming, the creators were aware of the cancellation of the series and decided to throw in a few curve balls to create an "anything can happen" atmosphere and keep the loyal viewers on their toes.
For those who missed it, Ray and Chris were gunned down by Irish gangster Jimmy McManus at the end of the episode. While I don't want yet another trite television "they survived a shooting at point blank range" plot, I really hope Imperioli's character is not killed off (which is unlikely, since his voice is heard in next week's coming attractions).
This must have been the St. Patrick's Day episode, given the Irish theme. I wonder if some Irish organization is going to sue the show's for its stereotypical portrayal of the nationality as drunken and bellicose. Sam's atrocious Irish accent probably didn't help matters. If the McManus family truly grew up Irish, they would have spotted the fake accent in a heartbeat.
I'm glad they went back to focusing on the mystery of Sam. It is kind of small-world how he ended up bedding his old babysitter. I think Colleen geared young Sam's taste towards bad girls, thus ensuring his eventual fling with Gene Hunt's daughter.
Does everybody from Sam's past end up betraying him? First his father and now the babysitter.
I liked the callback to the previous episodes in which Sam encountered his own mother as "Officer Skywalker." They even appealed to the nerd crowd by further the Star Wars analogy of an evil father with Sam's current situation (I was practically expecting Sam to tell his younger self not to join the Dark Side). Rose herself comes across as pretty clueless. Isn't there anything about Sam that's indicative of her own offspring? Perhaps she just has a closed mind.
Gene's role this episode was minor to the point of a cameo. It was bound to happen eventually.
Furthering their storyline, Sam and Annie had another moment. I wonder if the series ends with Sam taking a 65 year old Annie on a date in 2009? We'll find out in two episodes.
I enjoyed the Ray/Chris dialogue in the van (particularly Ray's idea of Heaven) which made the ending that much more surprising. Since both actors are listed on the credits for next week's episode, the only question is how the characters survived their bullet wounds.
Favorite Michael Imperioli lines of the episode: "That's for making me remember I had asthma as a kid." "He's magically malicious." "I bet he's up there right now getting in her cognito."
In case I didn't mention it, I enjoyed this episode.
Two shows remain with a promise by the network for a clean wrap-up of the series. I have no idea what sort of reasoning the creators will use for Sam's predicament and how it will differ from the BBC version (you know, the one with the coma), but I look forward to finding out.