First of all, this has to be said - my show is back! My darling show! God, I didn't even realise I'd missed it, you know? I've spent so much time talking about it, writing about it, making icons for it. But I really did miss it, and now I don't have to - because it's here, brand new and wonderful. I can't believe there's only another 7 hours left. It doesn't seem fair. Except that it is.
There was so much to like in this episode. Some of the dialogue was just sparkling. The main plot was interesting and kept me sustained. The two subplots were fascinating. We've got all of this mystery creeping in, building up and twisting our minds. My crush on Matthew continues. He's a really good writer. I want to be a writer like Matthew one day.
There were so many awesome Annie things that I grinned at, but is Liz making her voice sound more girly, or is it just me? I don't know, when she was first talking to Sam, I didn't think she sounded like Annie. Either way, Annie made me very happy. I am so pleased that she's been promoted! And that she remembered the "stringer". And that she slapped Ray on the arse!
Which brings me to - Ray was awesome! Oh my God! The tension with Sam, and all the snarkiness, and Sam was all "good call, Sergeant" and Ray was all "WTF?" and I was all "EEEEEEEE!" - that was so satisfying. Chris was similarly awesome - what was with "I've got a tingling in my tummy"? I couldn't quite catch what Ray said in reply, because I was giggling too hard.
John was exerting his facial muscles this episode. That is the most animated I have ever seen Sam. It was frankly unsettling. The scene where he's talking to Crane was disturbing - and it wasn't Crane who was the disturbing one - and as many of us pointed out, it was an evil/pissed off Sam grin. Many, many moments had me saying "serial killer Sam" under my breath. Once or twice, I may have referred to him as a "snippy little bitch". When Sam screamed "I'm always on my own" to Gene, I screamed back "fucking wimp!" Hahahahaha! Oops. That was more whiny than it needed to be - highlighted by the fact Sam's patently not always on his own.
Sam's progression worries me a bit. The mirroring with Gene is fascinating. As Gene was being proper procedure and by the book, Sam was trying to fit up criminals and disregarding lack of evidence. It was outright scary. I'm interested into how far that's going to go. Sam is very clearly getting crazier. I don't blame him, but it's still upsetting - oh, Sam.
The classic Huntisms were back in force. Gene was absolutely wonderful. His expression as he was reading Sam during the Crane/Thirty Years in the Future scene had me holding onto my breath, waiting. I want to know what was going on in his head during that, I really do. Gene's praise of Annie had me grinning my head off.
The scenes where Sam and Gene were together were amazing. I sat the entire time as a glee timebomb. I was open-mouthed at the screen for several minutes. My boys. Matthew's boys. But my boys. I really love them. Sam and Gene have a team together! The way Gene was saying "our team" - it very much sounded like an equal ownership kind of thing, even though the "our" probably referred to everyone. And then there were those scenes in the beginning where Sam was being all dry and wonderful and Gene was hardly reacting. Oh my yes.
Marc Warren was excellent in this episode and he impressed me. I've been a Marc fan for years, but I was recently disappointed with his Teatime and his Dracula, for different reasons. I feel like he's been taking roles which are too big for him - which are too big for most actors. But this time, he was fabulous and I adored everything about his performance. It was subtle when it needed to be subtle, and wide when it needed to be wide. Yasmine Bannerman was excellent as Eve. I liked everything about her, both the character and Yasmine's performance. I thought Eve was mad for loving Crane, and she obviously also told Crane everything Sam had told her, but like Sam, I wanted her to be saved.
The production values were astounding, as usual. The sets looked fantastic, as did the costumes. The fight scenes were brilliantly orchestrated. The lighting was superb. I loved a lot of the camerawork. However, I hate the use of slow-motion. I can think of only six or so times in cinematic history where i have liked it. One is where Sam wakes up in episode one. Another is where Sam rubs blood on his face after June is sent to hospital. So I have a Life on Mars/slow-motion precedent. I really didn't think it worked in the scene where Crane tried to run over Sam. I mean, obviously it worked to a degree, because they had to build up suspense and it all would have gone by too quickly without it, but it mostly just annoyed me. It wasn't a smooth slow-motion and that detracted from the scene for me. I also thought that some of the music at the beginning was intrusive. There were some quick cuts in and out of tracks which were very noticeable. The original music was fantastic, though.
It seems that, if this is time travel in any way, Sam is irrevocably changing his future. I started to fall out of the "time travel" camp as soon as they started talking about Sam going back to 2007. For some reason, I couldn't reconcile those two thoughts in my mind. Then again, all this talk of Ashes to Ashes further complicates matters. If it is real time travel, that bodes relatively well for Maya.
The Hyde number - which I accidentally read about some time last year in an inteview with John - is strange. I don't want to form any conclusions, but so far I've gone down the "if it's time travel, and Sam has taken the place of another Sam, maybe it's to do with internal affairs type things" route. Then again, you'd have thought they'd have got in contact with him before. So, as I said, no forming conclusions - just random speculation.
On the whole, my reaction to the first episode of the second series went something like this;
OH MY GOD, I MAY DIE OF GLEE.
It was that good.