Wednesday, March 28, 2007

My Review of Life On Mars 2x08: "Episode 16"

Written by Matthew Graham
Directed by S.J. Clarkson

Annie: “Tell me what’s hurting you?”
Sam: “I can’t.”
Annie: “You’re gonna leave us, aren’t you?”
Sam: “I was always gonna leave you.”

And here it is the final episode in Sam’s two year (TV wise, not actual chronology) tenure in 1973. Frank Morgan set everything in motion last week and with Sam hearing voices that he could be coming outside of his coma very soon, he’s only too eager to do his part to get out of there.

There was no misunderstanding in Morgan’s need to nail Gene. Sam learns pretty quickly that Morgan wants Gene out of the police force and used as an example to usher in modern policing. Not only that but Sam is also a little too happy to help along which later adds some validity to Ray’s Judas comparison.

From the moment they clapped eyes on each other, Sam and Gene have tired of the other’s policing methods. With Sam it’s now gotten to the point where he can no longer tolerate it and Gene’s latest act of rash behaviour only has him too willing to spy on his colleagues for Morgan.

In some ways Gene did have this coming. Despite being repeatedly warned by Sam that his methods (in spite of their results) are too extreme, Gene has no qualms in using some torture along with Ray in order to get Sykes to spill a name on a planned train robbery. This is of course, after Gene’s previous act of recklessness caused the death of another informant.

Sam tries reasoning with Gene only for Gene to ignore him for the umpteenth time and with the likes of Ray always complaining about Sam, it does feel like Sam doesn’t have anyone to point out that he’s right. Chris never stands up to back Sam and even Annie doesn’t try and warn Gene off his plan to nail cop killer Leslie Johns.

Frank on the other hand seemingly represents everything Sam aspires in the police force. Sam wants to be a world where the police aren’t treated with contempt by the public and do genuinely help uphold the law instead of abusing it. It’s also not a shock that in 2006, the name Frank Morgan also means a surgeon who can operate on Sam’s tumour and bring him home.

In 1973 the Frank there is also promising to bring Sam home there as well and that’s enough to make Sam turn traitor. Watching the scenes where he’s uncovering information on Gene’s recklessness still cause a divide. By right, people like Gene shouldn’t be in the police force but at the same time, even I have to admit that Gene does want to do the right and get results regardless of the brutal approach he takes to accomplishing it.

Another thing on Sam’s mind is Annie. He’s been lusting for her for quite some time and they share enough intimate scenes to get tongues wagging. Annie’s clearly so in love with Sam that her refusal to spend one night with him must be her way of dealing with the idea that she could lose him forever.

Annie even begs Sam at different points in this episode not to leave. At first Sam is insistent that he can’t stay but the more the episode progresses, you can see that he’s wavering. He did tell her repeatedly that she was one of the few things about 1973 that he didn’t hate after all.

However the sting in the tail comes when Sam is confronted with some grim information from Morgan. With Sam’s work not being so complete, it’s then a shock to the system when Morgan tells Sam that his real name is Williams and that Ruth and Vic were never his parents.

John Simm was always gonna up his game in the last episode of the series but the series where Sam begins to realise that he really might in 1973 sees him pull in a tremendous performance. Sam’s total despair of thinking that he might have amnesia instead of being in a coma is riveting.

There’s even a wonderful scene where Nelson tells him the difference between knowing and feeling when a person is alive. Sam has acted like he’s been stuck in a dream world but it’s also one where he’s felt very alive in as well in spite of his protestations.

Of course knowing that he’s been betraying everyone all along makes for an awkward confrontation. Although it’s typical of Ray, who’s never accepted Sam anyway to lose his temper, both Chris and Annie had more powerful reactions. Both of them looked up to Sam in different ways and it’s easy to sympathise with them.

As for the train robbery itself, it’s amazing how quickly things can turn life threatening. Sam had a vision (thanks to the Test Card Girl) that Gene, Ray, Chris and Annie were going to be casualties and when it became apparent that Morgan had every intention to let them, Sam finally realised that he had been played big time.

The funny thing is that it was this moment when Sam finally woke up from his coma. Frank had just about managed to save him and Sam talked openly about what he was dreaming all that time. The scene with his mum was the most powerful. As soon as she told him that he always kept his promises, I knew exactly what Sam was going to do next.

Maybe it’s depression, post traumatic or even clarity but whatever the case may be, Sam thought that 1973 was a better time period to live in than 2006. As his colleagues droned on about improving the police force, Sam went to a roof and threw himself off and saved Chris, Annie, Gene and Ray from being murdered.

Would I have done the same thing if I had experienced what Sam did in that period of time? I don’t know if I can answer that question but I get the allure to a degree. By coming back, Sam redeemed himself in everyone eye’s (even Ray) and better still, after sixteen episodes of relentless teasing, Sam also finally got Annie.

Also in “Episode 16”

The Hyde that was alluded to so much in the series was the ward in which Sam was at while in hospital.

Frank (re Gene): “He’s out of control. He’s like a cancer. The sooner we cut him out.”
Sam: “The sooner I can go home.”

Gene’s comment about Sam wanting to read an article in Jugs reminded me of the fact that there are actually articles in straight men’s magazines.

Frank (to Ruth): “Let’s hope he’s strong enough.”
Sam: “I’m strong enough, Mr Morgan. You cut that cancer out.”

Sam: “It has to be done.”
Test Card Girl: “But it’s a very messy job, Sam. Are you strong enough?”

The actress Judi Jones who played the older Ruth Tyler has a very similar sounding voice to Joanne Froggatt who played the younger Ruth in Season One.

Ray: “Doddle, Guv. It’s not Hamlet.”
Sam: “It’s a good job because Hamlet is a tragedy.”
Ray: “Trust you to know that, poof.”

Frank: “You have amnesia, Sam.”
Sam: “I’m in a coma, Frank.”

M.A.R.S. in this episode stood for Metropolitan Accountability And Reconciliation Strategy.

Sam: “I need more time. I can’t think.”
Frank: “You can’t uphold the law by breaking it. It’s what you always said.”

Nelson: “I can see a darkness in you, Sam.”
Sam: “Oh you can see into me, Nelson? Well, go on then. Tell me, am I mad? Is this real, cause I want to know the truth?”

The Ruth and Vic that Sam saw gravestones died in 1862 and 1870 respectively whereas the “Sam Tyler” died in 1881.

Sam: “I’m trying to save your lives here. I am not your bloody enemy.”
Ray: “Cut the crap. You’ve been our enemy since day one.”

Annie (to Sam, after slapping him): “It hurts, doesn’t it? That’s because it’s real.”

There was a nice bit of continuity here with the roof. In Season One Sam threatened to jump to return home and now he actually jumped to return here.

Sam: “You can call me a traitor all you want, Guv but I’m the only one who can get us out of the shit you created. Morgan!”
Gene: “Looks like lover boy isn’t coming.”

Frank (to Sam in 2006): “It’s amazing I got you back at all. Quite an achievement.”

Okay to further prove that I watch way too much Doctor Who but I did keep thinking of John Simm as The Master when Sam was all suited up. Then again, he did take on that role not long after this episode actually aired.

Sam (to Ruth): “I went to some place, Mum and I woke up everyday in that place and I told myself I was alive and I was, in some ways more than I’ve ever been.”

Standout music: Well there was the repeated use of David Bowie’s “Life On Mars” and “Changes” but I also think “Decision/Indecision” by Atomic Rooster, “I Hope I Don’t Fall In Love With You” by Tom Waits and the score music were also noteworthy.

Sam: “Tell me.”
Annie: “Tell you what, Sam?”
Sam: “Tell me what I should do, Annie.”
Annie: “Stay. Here. Forever.”

Sam: “If you injured somebody in this car, it’s technically a criminal offence.”
Gene: “Oh shut up, you noncey arsed fairy boy.”

Chronology: It’s about August 1973/2006. Sam’s been in a coma for at least five to six months give or take.

As a series finale go, I was undecided about this episode. A lot of people voiced disappointment and I allowed that to cloud my judgement when I originally watched the episode but when I sat down reviewing this series, I found myself enjoying it more than when I originally watched the episodes. It was the same for this but as last ever episodes go, I found it satisfying. Also now that I’ve completed Life On Mars, that means I can get round to reviewing Ashes To Ashes now.

Rating: 10 out of 10.

Friday, March 23, 2007

My Review of Life On Mars 2x07: "Episode 15"

Written by Mark Greig
Directed by S.J. Clarkson

Gene: “The last thing I remember is taking a swing for you in the pub. Look, I know it looks bad.”
Sam: “Well, that’s the understatement of the century. You may remember threatening the victim’s life … in front of a dozen or so witnesses … at the courthouse.”

Instead of a case of “who done it”, this episode is more a case of “how do we prove he didn’t do it” when it comes to Gene. For a man who loves enforcing the law, it’s gotta be tough for someone like Gene to be on the other side of it for once. Still, it always did seem inevitable.

Gene’s policing methods have always been questionable at best and this week during court, he decided to do the right thing by giving evidence against boxing manager Terry Haslam. Come on, it had to have been obvious at the start that him and Gene had some sort of an arrangement that Gene decided to back out of.

Even worse is that Terry gets away with beating the living daylights out of his prized boxer Davie Mackay and Gene doesn’t react to this well. Nope, he hurls abuse at Terry in court and then decides to hurl a brick through his window while completely. Then Sam makes the error of leaving Gene to go find his gun alone.

I know Gene can be extremely annoying at times but Sam really should’ve gone with him during that point. A dream then pointed out that Sam would be called and Gene is then found next to a dead Terry. That automatically makes him a murder suspect and even worse for him is the fact that he doesn’t remember anything.

I won’t pretend that I thought Gene killed Terry. It’s less of a belief in the character and more of a realisation of a plot but it just felt like Gene didn’t kill the man. Sam believed that as well due to the trust he has in Gene but bringing in Hyde man Frank Morgan meant that some doubt could be instilled.

While Ray, Chris and Annie all seemed to believe that Gene was innocent, Frank didn’t think he was. I quite like Frank as a character but as soon as Hyde was mentioned, I immediately assumed that we’d finally get some progress on that dangling little mystery. Sam must’ve too given that he tried his hand at file snooping.

Frank did make a good impression on Sam. He wanted a thorough investigation, actually took an interest in Sam’s belief in Gene’s innocence (despite thinking the contrary) and as far as I’m concerned if Ray takes an active dislike in someone, it’s usually a good sign of that person being reasonably alright in my book.

Of course Ray’s problem was the progressive thing and the fact that Frank had no problem for reprimanding him and Chris for being reckless. Ray also came across as a major dick with the aggressive manner he took with Sam in Railway Arms. Ray can hate Sam all he wants but acting like it was his fault for Gene’s predicament was pathetic.

Annie also had some issues with Frank but thankfully she was less petty and at least her issue was valid. Given how brilliant she’s been in solving cases, you can’t blame her for being slightly annoyed that she would then have to teach Road Safety to kids. Still there’s an amusing little scene between her and Sam.

As the episode progressed it did seem like evidence was stacking up against Gene. It wasn’t too shocking that he was taking more backhanders and the fact that he had a confrontation with Pete Wilkes also made him look bad. Then again trying to evade police custody also played its part but with Ray and Chris being exceptionally dense, more power to Gene for his escape methods.

There are some really defining moments in the episode. Ray and Chris were Gene’s biggest defenders and as much as Ray irritates the crap out of me, I have to respect his loyalty. I could also easily see how that even he and Chris would then begin to doubt Gene’s innocence, although Annie conveyed the doubt a lot more effectively.

The best part of this episode however was Gene’s need for Sam to bail him out. He wanted Sam to lead the investigation and acted hurt when it was his brief that got him bail. He also then turned to Sam to help prove his innocence and the two of them went to hilarious methods to snare crime scene photos.

Sam and Gene alone retracing the latter’s steps also made for some good moments. I knew when Gene started going on about TVs while in Haslam’s house; there’d be a point to. Sam also came up trumps by realising that Terry had been killed hours before the time Morgan believed him to be dead.

Another interesting note is how quietly this got resolved. Gene figured out that Davie had the motive to kill Terry and opportunity to frame him. Better still was Gene’s sympathetic reaction when Davie admitted the truth. A man frames Gene and not a mark, whereas Sam has been repeatedly punched, insulted and locked in the boot of a car for answering Gene back.

The best bit is that with Gene officially free from jail time, he gets his own back by giving all of his colleague one hell of a lecture. Of course while they might feel guilty with themselves, Gene then goes and throws a big party. As office parties, this one looked like a lot of fun, minus Chris making a bit of a tit out of himself.

As for Sam and Annie, I really thought they might have actually kissed in this episode. It looked so painfully near and then Frank interrupts them at exactly the wrong moment. I suppose with the next episode being the last, the writers will also resolve that dangling plot as well.

The Hyde stuff meanwhile comes back to Sam when Morgan reveals himself to be a spy for them. What exactly do Hyde want Sam in the position and why did Frank want to see Gene in prison? He sounded disappointed when Gene managed to prove his innocence and even more determined to nail him.

Also in “Episode 15”

The court had a “Without Justice, Courage Is Weak” sign outside. Gene got to find his own justice but once again alluded to backhanders being weak.

Terry (re Davie): “I made him, I broke him. He’s not the first and he won’t be the last.”
Gene: “I’m gonna bloody kill you.”

At one point in this episode, Gene had to dress up as the Road Safety squirrel. Sam didn’t waste a moment comparing him to a rat.

Sam: “You need my help?”
Gene: “Just be the picky pain in the arse you normally are and I shall be fine.”

Colin: “It’s a pleasure doing business with you. You know where to find me.”
Sam: “Yeah, the nearest sewer.”
Gene: “He got me out.”

I think stinky Colin might have had a little crush on Gene. His singing however was a monstrous moment in the episode.

Ray (re Gene):“That’s his wife.”
Chris: “She’s put weight on.”
Ray: “She carries it well though.”

Annie (to Sam, re Gene): “Then he did it. He crossed a line and he killed a man. You always said that Gene didn’t know when to stop.”

I noticed that both Sam and Frank were wearing purple, a regal colour and also something that identifies them as different from the other police in this episode.

Sam: “What made you change your mind?”
Gene: “A rare attack of doing the right thing.”

Gene: “You seriously think I’m capable of murder?”
Sam: “It doesn’t matter what I think.”

Standout music: “Virginia Plain” by Roxy Music and “Done Me Wrong Alright” by The Sweet.

Sam: “Could you?”
Annie: “Well if you haven’t got trust, what do you have?”

Chronology: July 17th 1973, specified by Frank in the episode.

An absolutely brilliant penultimate episode for the series, made more interesting with the appearance of Frank Morgan from Hyde. Gene’s story was predictable but it’s build up and resolution never slacked and it was nice to see the moments between him and Sam of friendship.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

My Review of Life On Mars 2x06: "Episode 14"

Written by Guy Jenkin
Directed by Andrew Gunn

Gene: “What the bloody hell are you playing at?”
Sam: “A bit of good cop, bad cop.”
Gene: “No, no, no, no, no, you’re more like absolutely gorgeous cop.”

Oh that while that exchange might be a delightful little bit of HoYay to satisfy the slash bunnies out there, this is another episode where Sam and Gene come into conflict with each other. It’s also one that adds a bit of race issues along with the rise in heroin to boot.

With Maya suddenly preying on Sam’s mind, this is something of a topical episode. Without sounding like a horrible person but I’ve almost forgotten Maya seeing as we’ve experienced Sam’s family issues, the Hyde conspiracy and his growing closeness towards Annie.

This episode somewhat brings Maya back like a thunderbolt. Prior to being stuck in 1973 it did look like working together was having a negative effect on their relationship as a whole. Sam going after Maya was part of the parcel that has his in his current predicament.

Readdressing their relationship is an interesting touch. Sam can hear her wanting to let him go and naturally enough he doesn’t react to such news well. Instead he freaks out during the airing of a Bollywood movie and even startles one of the main characters from her sleep at one point.

Still you could argue that even if Sam hadn’t gone back in time, he and Maya would’ve drifted away. Listening to Maya abandon Sam at his bedside in 2006 makes her come across as cold and while it’s not Sam’s fault for his current predicament, I can’t entirely find fault Maya’s decision to leave him. I’m saying she’s right either but I can understand where she’s coming from to an extent.

The interesting part of this episode is that Sam spends a good part of the episode determined to keep his 2006 girlfriend only to later accept that she needs to move on. In fact he even tries to move on himself by making it explicitly clear to Annie that he’s available. By letting Maya go, it’s becoming apparent that Sam is beginning to lose his desire to go back home as well.

I suppose this was inevitable. He spent so much time protesting and trying to wake himself up to the point where it got tedious. Even though his relationships with everyone else are stormy at best, I can see why the lure of Annie might enough to make him reconsider leaving so quickly. She is after all quite brilliant and has really come into her own over the last couple of episodes as a character.

The best part of the episode is Sam getting to meet Maya’s mother. In 2006 Layla isn’t the most approving of potential mother in laws but in 1973, not only is she a person Sam needs to care for but someone he can be a little more honest. She also brings up the issue of unconditional love following her interracial relationship with suspected drug dealer Deepak.

Layla doesn’t do herself favours by helping Deepak with his books and initially trying to protect his brother Ravi but she is a sympathetically written character and for once, Gene’s intolerant attitudes even made me want to beat the living daylights out of him. Unsurprisingly enough, Gene isn’t particularly receptive to the idea of interracial relationships.

Worse than that is that Gene’s intolerance even usurps the crap we’re used to coming from Ray’s mouth. Sam was a better man than me because I think I would’ve throttled Gene if he had made cracks about anyone I was seeing that he made about Maya. Still the fact that Sam admitted to dating an Asian woman gave him and Layla something bond over.

The part that wasn’t really shocking in all of it was the reveal of Layla being Maya’s mother. It didn’t feel contrived either and I did like that one point she told Sam to lay off the touchy feely stuff. However with the likes of the NF firebombing her house, the big fear Sam had was that she would abort Maya.

Luckily for Sam, Layla chose to keep her unborn daughter and the last scene between the two of them was just lovely. I had to laugh at Sam planning Maya’s future, mainly for the surprised reaction it generated from Layla. Even Sam can get a little carried away with himself from time to time.

As for the drug plot, really wasn’t the most interesting one of the bunch. Gene’s refusal to consider that it could’ve been racially motivated was annoying but hardly a shock. Sam was in the right to push but Layla’s comments about the police not caring were too true.

Toolbox turning out to be responsible wasn’t a big shock either. Both him and his wife Big Bird looked dodgy enough and they certainly know how to brandish their own torture techniques. At one point a bound and gagged Sam nearly got roasted with an iron save for a power cut and even Ravi was about to have a world of pain inflicted.

The usually idiotic Chris was the fella who saved the day by shooting Big Bird. Gene spent a good portion of this episode reminding Sam that Chris was gloriously thick yet it was Chris’ quick shooting that saved Gene from becoming a corpse. I think it’s safe to say there’s hope for Chris yet.

Another interesting aspect of the episode was Gene revealing more about his family. Although he tested my patience with this episode, I felt for him when he was explaining about his junkie brother. Would it take much of a shrink to realise that his less than warm childhood is part of the reason why he’s so inhuman at times. Even Gene realises that the man he used to be is long gone.

Also in “Episode 14”

It’s been a few episodes since we’ve had development on both the Test Card Girl and Hyde, though it looks something on the latter is finally coming up.

Sam: “You know Starsky And Hutch have a lot to answer for.”
Gene: “Who?”

Layla told Sam at one point in the episode that Deepak cherished the brilliance of British music.

Sam: “Whichever strange place you find yourself in make that your home.”
Layla: “Are you really a copper?”

Annie: “Why are you so angry?”
Sam (re Layla): “She lied.”
Annie: “That’s what we do to people, Sam. Haven’t you noticed?”

Ravi had business in places such as Kampala, Istanbul and Turkey.

Sam (re Maya): “We got a bit of that. Worst thing was her Mum. She wanted her to marry a doctor.”
Layla: “Don’t we all want that?”

Sam (to Gene, re Ravi): “Have you got any sense of humanity left because in spite of everything, no-one deserves to have their brother’s death rubbed in their faces?”

We also found out in this episode that Gene’s father was abusive and that his grandmother had a stroke.

Skinhead: “What are you doing? You’re one of us.”
Sam: “What, a dyslexic moron like you?”

Gene (to Sam): “You throw another hammer in my hand and I swear I’ll smash someone’s face and it might be yours, Tyler.”

Who were the people that knocked out Sam and Annie and why did they leave him behind? Wouldn’t it have been easier to stash him somewhere?

Layla: “Are you talking to my baby? Anyone would think she’s yours.”
Sam: “No.”

Standout music: It has to be Elton John’s “Rocket Man” given how brilliantly used it was here.

Definitely one of the series strongest episodes to boot, this polemic tale succeeded in showing that not everything is as it seems. Sam’s time is drawing to a close both for him and for viewers but at least we’re getting memorable moments as we approach it.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

My Review of Life On Mars 2x05: "Episode 13"

Written by Matthew Graham
Directed by Andrew Gunn

Annie: “I’ll get cracking.”
Sam: “Remember God is in the details.”

For a guy as methodical as Sam, coming out with a statement such as “God is in the details” may be a bit too on the nose. He’s done nothing but try to introduce modern policing in 1973 since his arrival and this is the week where someone really takes it seriously.

The episode opens up on a rather insane note with Simon Lamb barging into the station and threatening to hang himself. The day in which Sam’s compassionate side might have been an asset is the same day he’s more into abusing Gene to notice Simon’s suicide attempt.

So what would inspire some random bloke to go into the cop shop and do himself in? For Simon, it’s the simple fact that his wife Bea and his daughter Stella have been kidnapped by a man who wants Graham Bathurst to be released. Sam of course is unfamiliar about who Graham is so it’s up to everyone else to fill in the blanks for a change.

With the previous episode we had the death of a woman and this one sees the resurrection of Charley Witham’s death. From the start Gene explains to Sam that she was only fourteen and was killed by her boyfriend Graham who was three years older than her. Gene seemed determined that Graham was his man.

In fact Gene even went as far as to promise Charley’s parents at the time to nail her killer. He chose a 48 hour period in order to achieve this aim and through various flashbacks and different points of view we see how Gene came to believing that Graham was Charley’s killer.

This episode showed an emotional side to Gene. He was clearly distressed when Charley’s parents showed them a home video of the girl and at one point he even snapped at Ray. Given that Ray is a general idiot that Gene seldom reins in; it’s brilliant to see Gene lose his temper with him.

The interviewing process with Graham was also intense. From Gene’s perspective, Graham was already guilty and the lad did very little to convince Gene that he might be innocent. In fact a few brutal moments got Gene his result but given that someone out there believed that Graham wasn’t guilty, perhaps Gene was wrong.

The only real suspects in a kidnapping had to be Graham’s family. Given that Graham’s mother came across as a mouthy pain in the arse, Gene’s little comedown about Graham did illicit many laughs from me. I suppose in another way you had to feel sorry for her too but damn, she was annoying to watch.

Equally annoying was Graham’s Cousin Mitch who Sam and Gene later arrested. It was obvious that he would be a false lead and given that he was more concerned with the navy catching him than his cousin in prison, Mitch didn’t have to suffer too much from Sam and Gene’s interrogation.

Gene’s point of view isn’t the only thing that ignited some interest. On the least focused side you did have Chris interviewing a bunch of school girls. Chris is always a bit of a div but even the younger sets are able to make an eejit of him. However on the plus we did find out that it was Stella who told Chris about Charley being involved with Graham. That little nugget certainly helped with things.

Annie however had the most pivotal of point of views. She remembered the stress of nailing a killer for Charley and the recklessness that it might have caused with filing and statements. For once Sam’s influence came across in a positive light when she was able to start jogging back.

Even better was that one point she even stood up to Gene. We know that Annie isn’t that much of a wallflower but there is some joy in seeing her challenge Gene and not lose her recent status within the station. Gene must’ve known that she had a point because her investigating lead to the real kidnapper.

I guess I should’ve seen that it was Don who took both Stella and Bea hostage. He clearly blamed the police for not taking too long to get Charley’s killer and even blamed Simon for her death. Annie was lucky that Gene and company arrived or else she would’ve been killed by Don.

With Annie being the one that saved the day, some further progress seemed to be made with her and Sam. In flashbacks we got to see her wanting to ask Sam out on a date and when he ended up trying to do it, she halted him. It’s quite nice to see less tension between them in this episode compared to others we’ve had.

As for Sam, this episode was certainly a strange one. He starts acting like he’s on the way out earlier on this episode and comes close to fainting. Midway through when he does, it’s Phyllis who discovers that he’s been drugged up. This also played into his current medical condition back in 2006 as well.

However while it was interesting to see Sam become a spectator and hope that Gene, Chris and Annie solved the case, it’s him who realises that Simon was responsible for Charley’s death. Simon did make it obvious with his outbursts at the station over the radio and it’s great that despite the lack of emphasis, he still was unable to evade justice thanks to Sam’s quick thinking.

Also in “Episode 13”

I loved the start of the episode with the puppet Sam and Gene beating a nonce. Thankfully it was only brief as it could’ve been naff if it was too long.

Sam: “Chris, what the bloody hell are you doing there?”
Chris: “I’m working boss.”

Annie is a fan of Roxy Music and luckily for her, Sam seems to be one too. I thought it was neat that she wasn’t suspicious when he later suggested the concert.

Gene (to Chris): “Right add this. Your son, Mrs Bathurst is a cold hearted killer and if there’s a hell he’s going there to be poked up the arse with fiery sticks, forever and forever amen.”

Sam: “Tell me about Charley Witham.”
Gene: “She’s what every copper dreads – a dead child. Parents looking to you for answers.”

Annie remembered that Graham was less aggressive with his grandmother and was confused by Gene’s sense of humour during interrogation.

Gene (re Annie): “You’ve got a babysitter son. Do let her know if you need burping.”
Graham: “I might even need breastfeeding.”

Mitch: “Up my arse, copper.”
Gene: “Do you want me to take a look?”

Sam and Gene were pretty much on the same page with the way they treated Mitch. Sam was quite hostile with the bloke as well.

Simon: “Why can’t I do this? If I confess they can let them go. Wouldn’t you happily go to prison to save the ones you love?”
Sam: “It doesn’t work that way.”

Ray (re Gene): “Blimey Cartwright, the next time why don’t you go the whole hog and pull a gun on him.”
Chris: “That was out of order, Annie.”

Standout music: “Just Like You” by Roxy Music and “10538” by E.L.O.

Annie: “No more visions?”
Sam: “No, they’re all gone now. I feel good.”
Annie: “Good.”

Chronology: Not much has been really specified in the longest time, except that we know it’s 1973.

Easily one of the more inventive episodes of the season, it’s great to see the series jazz up the format a little with taking Sam out of the fray and the nice use of flashbacks. Plus it’s good that the Hyde stuff resurfaced once again.

Rating: 8 out of 10.