'Life on Mars': No more until January!

Lifeonmars_lYesterday’s hour was for all intents and purposes a remake of the best episode (and season-one finale) of the original British Life on Mars. So it’s only fitting that it was also the U.S. series’ most enjoyable, most interesting, and most exciting show so far—as well as its mid-season closer. But no more new episodes until January 28th? ABC, you’ve shot me in the gut and stranded me in the woods! Though I do commend the timeslot switch from Thursday to Wednesday. Lost is going to be a much better companion to this type of drama than Grey’s Anatomy.

So Sammy’s got a bad dad. A tongue-slicing, limb-chopping gangster, to be more accurate. Who didn’t see that coming? Few TV lawmen have kind-‘n-cuddly fathers. But Dean Winters as papa Vic was a perfect (if not original) casting choice as a father for Sam, and he cut a pretty good likeness to Jason O’Mara to boot. With Lee Tergesen also in the episode, it was also a regular Oz reunion. (First The Wire, now Oz. That’s a lot of HBO. When is Michael Imperioli going to get some Sopranos pals on the show? Or maybe the Sex and the City gals can help Gene bring sexy back.) My only misgiving: That Gene—as Sam’s surrogate pops—didn’t have a stronger presence in the goings on. It felt like he should have been there with Sam at the party, in the forest, and definitely in the hospital. And his mistrust of Vic (“this cretin’s every shade of shady”) should have played a bigger role in Sam’s own fears (or at least second thoughts) about his dad.

addCredit(“John Clifford/ABC”)

Yet, with Gene there, Vic could have never pulled his ninja catmoves on Sam and (if unknowingly), nearly murdered his own son, whichleft me with my arms too numb from the shock to keep taking notes. Evenmore exciting? When Annie’s statement that Sam’s police work was whyhe’s in 1973 led him to back to his old case files and helped himfigure out he needed to go to that freaky cabin on Stewart Drive. Theempty house with the creaky door was a little cheesy. But the voice onthe phone, saying “Hello, Sam…I need you to go to the basement”?Chilling. My hypothesis: He’s now in a coma in ’73 (from the bulletwound) and that’s a clue for a whole other mystery he’s going to solvethere once he wakes up.

Well, that’s it for this year. I’ll leave you with the tie forbest line of the night, which was between Ray’s “Yeah, and I’ve gotzero interest in jacking up Brigitte Bardot” and Gene’s “Get off yourrusty dusty.” And the best song, “Everything I Own” by Bread (who alsosing the song I’m named after). Check it out below, then tell me yourthoughts on this episode and the season so far.




Comments (117 total) Add your comment
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  • Anonymous

    Dean. Freaking. Winters. That’s all I have to say.

  • Miss Sassy

    Glad I didn’t bother starting up watching this show. Cause I probably would be totally pissed off about this announcement right now. Yay me!

  • Shamrock

    Is EW finally listening to it’s readers because I don’t see one ‘Twilight’ headline in PopWatch, or is it because it hasn’t gotten great reviews?

  • J. Baker

    Quality episode. Coma theory has some credence – Sam did seem to moving around a little too well after getting shot in the gut twice.

  • Hillary

    I want to know why Sam does not want to see himself as a child in 1973. He *very deliberately* did not look at himself last night.
    Is that foreshadowing something? Or did I miss the reason from an earlier episode?

  • housemom

    Really great episode and really great series… Fantastic acting. I agree that Gene should have played a bigger role–in fact it was a bit weird that Sam was dealing with the ‘suspect’ all alone. But I really enjoyed the epi and it’s not fun to have to wait until the end of Jan for another epi…

  • mark in nyc

    who knew that Sam’s father will one day be in Oz, almost marry Sara Conner, and also be the beeper king of NY?
    That guy gets a lot of work….love the show and congrats to ABC for once again hiring moron executives. I am sure the ratings will go down with a two month hiatus, thus insuring a great show gets killed off.

  • Ally

    I loved this ep, and am so happy so much story line was solved early on.
    Though I can’t quite wrap my head around whether he is in a coma back in present day and only in 1973 in his mind to solve his own life mysteries, if that was the case, it worked and solved the problem of him blaming himself for his dad leaving. He had to know the truth about his dad, and his blocking out the critical forest scene his whole life had to be unblocked!
    I am a little worried about the house though, the ending was frightening to me.

  • Arsenio Billingham

    I’m unbelievably embarassed to know this, but the dude that played Vic was on Sex and the City (as a booty call for the foot-faced one, I think). Maybe I redeem myself by saying that I first recognized him as the Beeper King from 30 Rock.

  • Ally

    Oh, and one more thing – the songs are so genuine and wonderful and add to this show. I was around in ’73 and I vividly remember the Bowie Life on Mars (and that whole album of great music) and the Nilsson “Spaceman” being huge at the time. Both were played last night – much better than the Bread memories! Sorry Aubrey, even if you are named after another lame Bread song. Mandi Bierly has it all over you.

  • Fred Jemal

    This may have been the best episode of the season since the amazing pilot episode. However I have enjoyed every episode so far. Glad the best new show this season will follow the best show on tv LOST.

  • Fred Jemal

    This may have been the best episode of the season since the amazing pilot episode. However I have enjoyed every episode so far. Glad the best new show this season will follow the best show on tv LOST.

  • Veronica

    Believe it or not this was my first time being able to watch a whole episode. I love this show and I pray they will keep this time slot. I do not ER and have not caught an episode of that CBS show. This show is best show on television. I kinda was following the plot and loved the ending and also enjoyed is was easy to catch on. The best show!1

  • Melissa Riche

    This is the first American cop show I’ve seen in years that actually has me transfixed, where I care what happens to the characters and how the story evolves. ALL the acting is first class, the story line is intriguing, the styling is perfect. In fact it looks like an HBO show – the greatest compliment I can give! Well done ABC. Please keep it going.

  • Emoney

    Love Dean Winters always. Life on Mars has turned out to be a very good surprise for me, and I’m happy it will be paired with Lost, my favorite show. No “come to the basement” invitation ever led to anything good, by the way. Sam needs to be wary…

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