"In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is a sign of perfection." - Curnonsky

Monday, January 19, 2009

Life On Mars: Have You Seen Your Mother

I am so glad that this series continues to push out excellent episodes, as it would be so easy by now to tumble down a hill of suckitude and cause me to hate this show.

Now, let’s get into Sam’s trip. I think I’ll try to always call his ordeal a “trip” because, whatever the explanation, Sam is definitely taking a journey of sorts … or tripping. The scene I added a picture of above really had my mind reeling. As I learned, Sam was drugged by Adrian during that scene when the tiny rovers skittered out of his mouth. They’re the same as what I saw earlier that went into Sam’s ear, while he was asleep. This seems to support the theory that drugs are involved in Sam’s trip in some way. Or is his mind completely preoccupied with these rovers he keeps seeing, since he seemed to be dreaming about the one going into his ear (remember, he said he saw it go in his ear, when that wasn’t possible unless he dreamt it).

Of course I’ve also got to mention the other two strange visions Sam saw: Nixon turning into Bush (political aficionados are going to have a field day on that one) and the kid at the club with the Nirvana t-shirt (with accompanying hospital machine noises). I’m not sure what to make of those yet, but I’m fortunate they keep adding them in to keep me wondering.

I’m getting a kick out of seeing the amount of drinking done on the job. Hunt practically has a wet bar in his office and he’s always with a handy flask in his pocket. It’s frightening how quickly and easily cops could become corrupt back in the day. On the outside, Hunt went on that he was OK with the arrangements, but he kept everything he’d “earned” in a bag. He knew all along it wasn’t the right thing.

Just as the previous episode with Sam’s dad, they get another obvious plot point out of the way very quickly by introducing Sam’s mother. Since they made a point of saying that Sam’s family traveled a lot, it’s unlikely I’ll see much of them again. The introduction and interaction between Sam with his mother was well done.

Sam using “Luke Skywalker” as an alias to his mother was awesome. And I loved Sam saw Jim Croce and Joe Namath in the nightclub and, rather than avoid them, went right up and met them.

I have two final questions:

1) Why would Sam be so adamant that naked photos of himself not be released? I guess I didn’t think that was that big of a deal. Sure, he was handcuffed to a bed, but would that really be that horrible that he reacted the way he did?

2) It’s not often that Sam isn’t in a scene, but when he’s not, I have to immediately wonder if it’s a hint to us that this is a real world we’re witnessing and not a figment of Sam’s mind. For example, Hunt burning the money in the final scene.

Sam: “What ever you do Jim, just stay away from small airplanes.”
Jim Croce: “Right. And you stay away from hallucinogens.”

Music in this episode:
Paul Simon - “Mother and Child Reunion”
The Velvet Underground - “Rock and Roll”
T. Rex - “Bang a Gong (Get It On)”
The Kinks - “20th Century Man”
The Hollies - “Long Cool Woman (In a Black Dress)”
The Beach Boys - “Long Promised Road”

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