So, here's the thing. Every time I think I've made my peace with the existence of A2A, I discover this isn't the case. They keep saying we're going to find out what happened to Sam, which I think bodes ominously, and the honest to God truth is that I know a) that Sam isn't real, b) that nothing that happens in A2A has to affect LoM, because they can and shall be viewed as separate canons by many people, and c) seriously --- neither Sam nor Gene are real.
But I've sort of lived with them in my head for four years now, and even though I say I view LoM and A2A as separate canons, I really don't, or I wouldn't have been as angry as I was about how the writers handled Sam in A2A in the first place. And if you thought I had issues with the ending of LoM, well I do, but they're nothing compared to the issues I have with the idea that Sam is dead in his fictional world as well as his real one.
The thing is --- the thing is, I know I'm a little bit odd about how emotional I get over this. Of all of the things to worry, be angry, or sad about in the world --- this? Is not important. Yet I can't seem to stop it meaning something to me. And that something is not anything akin to joy.
I really love Sam and Gene's partnership. It was what drew me into Life on Mars in the first place. You can tell me that the reason I connect with it is that it's archetypal --- the buddy cop, odd couple, straight man/comedian trope, that you see it all the time in fiction, this is one partnership in a long line of partnerships, and I'll nod my head along and say 'sure, that's true. It's also more.'
These days, when I imagine them, I imagine them together, happy in each other's presence, because they love each other. I went through a long, long period of not seeing that; of doom and gloom and no solid future, where small acknowledgement was enough because it had to be, but that disappeared over a year ago. Now? It's rainbows. There may be conflict along the way, but in the end, it's going to be a happy ending, because --- I don't know, I'm more of a romantic than I thought I was, maybe. Or I'm getting sentimental in my advanced years (actually, I've always been fairly sentimental.) Because A2A stormed in and said Sam and Gene didn't get their happy ending, and someone has to give it to them, it may as well be me.
The thing is, I don't want to know what happened to Sam, unless the answer is he was reunited with Gene and they drove off into the sunset together, bickering. That was always my ending, regardless of the multiple wide-ranging issues I had. Sam and Gene, influencing each other in good and bad ways, the give and take, and the frustrated affection --- forever.
I suspect that A2A S3 won't give me that, for many reasons.
So, here's the thing. I have a tinhat and it's very shiny, and as silly as I know it makes me look, I sort of love it. My rational, logical side tells me I shouldn't, because fashioning aluminium into headgear is generally a good way to get people to stare at you oddly and think you're a screw loose, but I do.
And as magnanimous as I am going to try and be, and despite the fact I wholeheartedly enjoyed series two and thought it wasn't entirely horrible television, there's every chance I shall never make peace with the existence of A2A.
But to bring something akin to joy into my life, I'll console myself with my own imagination.
Of a long day out on the street, and Sam further loosening Gene's tie in order to give him a deep massage using a technique that he learnt from an ex ---
"Admit it, Sammy-boy, you're just trying to get me to drop trou."
"No, really, Gene, this massage does not warrant nakedness of any kind. I didn't wanna tempt myself with throttling you, that's all."
"I'll try not to be too disappointed. What are you doing with that oil?"
Of a bust gone wrong and Sam feeling the weight of the world in guilt ---
"It didn't have to go like this."
"Of course it didn't. There were hundreds of other ways it could have blown up in our faces."
"I can't be held responsible."
"No. Not at all. It wasn't like you were the lead in the case, was it? Oh, right. You were."
"I couldn't've known."
"Must be the first time you've ever said that."
"Don't look at me like that, Guv, like it was my fault."
"God, Sam. It doesn't matter how I look at you, you're always gonna think it was, aren't you? Accept it, stop haranguing me, and move on."
"And if I can't?"
"I'll give you a shove in the right direction."
Of Manchester alleyways and inebriated coppers ---
"You have no idea how difficult you make my life, Tyler."
"No? Is it half as difficult as you make mine? 'cause if so, I'd say it's pretty damn hard."
"Do you use those double entendres to confuse me or make me speak French?"
"A bit of both. C'mon Gene, how hard do I make it for you?"
"I'm not dignifying that with an answer."
"Good use of the word 'dignifying' there. Sounded almost indignant."
"And if I were to mention I'm indefatigable?"
"I'd say you can't spell."