I can't help but wonder why Sam doesn't just... not have the radio on. He probably wants the contact from the outside world, but he always looks so terrified when he gets it. The conversation 'the doctors' are having sounds like the discussion we were having and still have regarding Sam's state.
Wow. Sam is being a complete and utter prick. Don't go, Ray! Now I know why Chibnall was going on about killing off characters in the episode 7 commentary. Probably a good thing he didn't write this episode.
Mmm. This isn't quite ringing true. Gene would be well more pissed off than that. Much, much more. He'd be all shouty. I hope there's a good reason he's not. Chris, too. Chris would be much more disturbed. This is Ray.
GENE. Hahaha. Irish accent for the win.
That slap was a bit... girly. For Gene.
"It's coffee." Hah.
"Alright then, sulky bollocks..." - that's going into my collection of daily quotations.
The boss is too nice. I bet he's the one behind it all.
Not quite slap now. I think Gene has gone soft. Yes, I am disregarding those two times he punched into O'Brien. Oh, now he's dragging him for some hot man on man against the wall action.
"Let me hit him. Just one." - Since when does Gene ask to hit people?
!!!!! Come ON. Sam has already seen Ray get half-exploded. Would he really do that? He doesn't want to die. And Gene's letting him? Pfeh.
This episode so far is mostly just pissing me off.
This is what they in the writing game call "upping the jeopardy". It can often be used to great results. It can occasionally be used to spectacularly hackneyed ones. And this scene, along with Sam's pretty face, is only saved by Bomb Squad.
There's brilliant sound design in this show.
I wouldn't have weakened that scene with a pun. I mean, I love puns as much as anyone (read - almost all of my LoM fiction has a pun somewhere), but not there, I don't think. It was a powerful scene and you don't really want to undercut that.
... this is where I remember I'm an amateur and the writer of this episode is not.
RAY. Oh, Ray.
That apology is lame.
Very nice acting from Dean there.
Different Test Card Girl. Awww. Do we blame Ashley for that? Stealing Rafaella away for Wild at Heart.
At least that shot from the trailer is making more sense.
Is that the first time we've had a Test Card Girl scene that Sam hasn't "woken up" from? That's interesting. Very interesting.
2pm. Good use of callback there.
Dean. He is so awesome.
This music is fucking brilliant. Ed Butt for the win.
Sam in confessional. Okay. I can handle that. He's just said he's not religious. Good. I am expecting O'Brien to pop up.
Hahaha. Poor Cliff. Good line.
Oh. Sam. Sam, Sam, Sam. Yes. I am glad we weren't the only ones who knew O'Brien was there.
That little smile rules my world. Hahahahaha. Evil boy. What if O'Brien needs to pee?
Wow. I think that's the worst we've ever seen Annie. I feel like I shouldn't blame her, because yes, Sam was a prick, and yes, he does use and abuse her terribly sometimes --- but... she's all he's got right now.
Once again, the music and the sound design is brilliant. Ticking clock.
Awww! Annie! I want her coat.
And I was right about the boss. I am psychic. As I'm sure many others were too.
SAM JUST ADMITTED HE'S WRONG - WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN WIIIIIIINNNNN! I never thought that would ever actually happen in the show.
LMFAO THIS SCENE IS ABSOLUTE GOLD.
Oh Chris. Lighting a cigarette. Hahaha.
And more upping the jeopardy. I know Ray can be an arsehole, but does he really deserve being half-exploded and shot in the head?
Family. It all comes back to family.
Can someone give Ray a fucking hug, please? It can be Chris for all I care. I'm not admitting to whatever it is you're thinking.
Kinda love how there's very subtle bigotry going on there. Low level racism. Because you can't make Gene that unlikeable, but can't have him completely ignoring it either. So it's ignorance, not hatred, and that's okay, that's fine, Gene's just a man of his time - and a relatively forward thinking one too.
YAY - ANTI-THATCHERISM! Yes. You will regret it. Not that Blair is kittens and rainbows, of course. Politicians.
HAHAHAHA CHRIS! PHYLLIS. Very nice. Phyllis dancing. Hahaha.
Whenever you have background dialogue, it's always nice to have it be excellent.
"Did you say bomb their own or bum their own?"
"Bombed, you donkey."
Gene sounded genuinely amused then. I'd like to say that was another classic Marshall ad-lib, but it might not have been.
Answer the damn phone, Sam. You know the score by now.
HAHAHA OH SAM, YOU FOOL. "A chunky one." Oh dear.
Okay, so, in summary:
It started out annoying me left, right and centre with characterisation that didn't feel right. But after a while the characters fell into step and I could see why they had been acting the way they had. I still maintain that both Gene and Chris would have been more worried about Ray, but there was policework to be done.
It's odd, but it feels like this should have been an episode from the first series. The characters sort of regressed, both in relation to each other, and in their own personal struggles. This episode didn't really propel Sam's story along at all, so in that regard, it's very similar to episode six. Which is weird. You don't expect that for episode three of a second series.
The thing which is worrying me a bit is just how different all three episodes have been. The first series seemed like a much more cohesive whole. Maybe I'm speaking too quickly, but already the jumps between the first, second and third episodes have been quite large. And that's a tad disconcerting - because it might be a series, but Life on Mars is also definitely a serial.
Lots to love in this episode, but lots to dislike too. I think it might actually be my least favourite of both series so far. Which - okay - this show is amazing, because this episode was still fantastic quality compared to any other television program out there. I'm only being hyper critical because I've come to expect so much. And that's not really fair, but that's the way it goes.