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

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Life On Mars: My Maharishi is Bigger Than Your Maharishi

Life on Mars is showing that it’s not going to pull many punches (no pun intended) when it comes to how the ’70s are portrayed, and this episode was a prime example of that. And Sam is finding, more often, that he’s going to have to adjust his own way of thinking to accommodate for those not ready for 2008.

I have wondered since the first episode when Sam would eventually happen upon his younger self. I could see it was going to happen as soon as Sam mentioned going to a Knicks game with his dad during the finals. I like that this is out of the way so early in the series, though I’m sure it’s not the last I’ll be seeing of young Sam.

The scene with the Maharishi was one I had to go through a few times to make any sense of it. I think I even pulled on my face with my palms like Sam did at one point. There was a point when Sam had to wonder if 1973 was the reality and 2008 was made up in his mind. I’m not sure how he or anyone watching this could think this is a possibility, when he’s rattling off facts about the future. Though I do have a theory on that I’ll mention later.

What is curious, however, is his memories about what he’d find in the loose baseboard in his old home. Instead of G.I. Joes, he finds a girl’s photo and toys in a box. At first I thought this might be Maya’s stuff he found, but I have no idea how old she’s supposed to be. I don’t believe Maya’s supposed to be older than Sam, and that girl seemed older than four.

Here’s something I hadn’t considered before with what’s going on with Sam. If 1973 is the reality, and 2008 is an illusion, it’s certainly possible that the writers could be telling us: “What makes you think the show’s 2008 is our 2008?” What I mean is, what if Rock Hudson really isn’t gay in Sam’s 2008?
As the episode ended, I heard the sound of a heartbeat when Sam saw his child self walk by and look back at him. In past episodes, I heard clear hospital machine noises, so a heartbeat could mean just about anything really. To me, it means he’s very much alive and not visiting this world in any sort of purgatory or hell.

Last crazy tidbit from this episode: It appears Sam invented the word “gaydar.”
Songs from this episode:

Tommy James & The Shondells - “Sweet Cherry Wine”
Dusty Springfield - “Just a Little Lovin’”
Marmalade - “Reflections of My Life”

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