Life on Mars
Revenge of the Broken Jaw
Original Air Date: Mar 4, 2009
Sara M. – TwoCents Reviewer
Sam is a torn man. He’s homesick for 2008 but 1973 is becoming more and more appealing. This episode is all about connections. Mainly the connections you make with those around you. Angry members of the Weather Underground are blowing up Gene’s retired cop buddies. And he might be next, Sam will have realize that for better or worse, he is forming bonds in ’73 and they’re going to be tested in a big way.
Therapy is still a bit of a questionable field in the early 70s. Especially for a man and a cop. But there Sam is, explaining a dream to his doctor. In his dream, Sam is making his way through the 125-homicide department; everyone is frozen in place while Rocket Man plays in the background. The doctor suggests that he needs to get past his homesickness and live in the moment. Begin to make connections with those around him, let someone break through the emotional walls that he’s been building.
At the station Sam decides to take the first step and asks Annie out for coffee. Before any plans can be made the two are interrupted by Ray and Chris fighting about not having anywhere to watch the Norton/Ali fight that night. Having inside knowledge, Sam makes a bet with Ray that Ali will surprise everyone and win the Broken Jaw match. All boxing discussions are put on hold when a call comes through from the Weather Underground, making it known that they intend to make the imperialist pigs pay for their past indiscretions. Shortly after another call comes through, a cop bar has been bombed.
At the bar there’s a lot of chaos, five people are dead, three of them retired cops that were good friends with Gene. One of the men, Krasner had been a life long friend of Gene’s. It is part of his duty to go visit his friend’s son, Danny. A war veteran confined to a wheelchair and was under the impression that his dad wasn’t proud of him after the injury. This doesn’t help our favorite Lieutenant’s mood. Neither does a second bomb attack.
This next one takes out another retired cop and friend, Rudy. This time they guys arrive at the scene before the bomb detonates. Gene stays with his friend, who is sitting on a rigged driver’s seat, until Sam has to physically pull him away only seconds before the car explodes. Mere steps away Chris recognizes a ponytailed man he saw at the first crime scene. The man is Eric Larson, a student of Pat Olsen and member of the Weather Underground. When they fail to find Eric, Ray and Sam pick up the professor, who turns out to be a woman.
While being interrogated in the Lost and Found room, Pat is far from cooperative. In fact it’s hard to feel any sympathy for her at all, as she begins to make glib remarks about Gene’s dead friends. They find information about the leader of the Underground, Rodney Slaven. However, their prime suspect is lost when it’s discovered that he’s been dead for a year… to the day. This only adds to the confusion as the detectives of the 125 come to realize that the next target is Gene.
When questioned again, Pat suggests that these attacks have something to do with “The Red Squad.” A myth among young officers, and supposedly used just to scare underground hippies in the 60s. Gene was the head of this group and the men that are now dead were members. When Pat mentions this, Sam finds himself being kicked out of the room so Gene can get a bit more hands on. Back in the office, there is new information available about Rodney’s death. Although it looked like an accidental overdose, it was actually a pharmaceutical grade medication that was used. Something only a doctor would be able to get his hands on in such a large quantity.
The only doctor in the equation? Dr. Richard Olsen, Pat’s husband. He arrives at the precinct shortly after they begin interrogating his wife. With his young daughter, Laura, in tow they wait. It’s Annie who makes the break through on this case. When she’s taking care of the little girl it becomes apparent that her father isn’t her biological father. That honor goes to the deceased Rodney Slaven, a man who had a very distinctive abnormality of the eyes, one brown and one blue. A trait passed on to his daughter. This was Richard’s motive for killing Rodney, although he never thought that the Underground would go so far to avenge their leader’s death.
Before they can arrest the doctor, he goes running out into the parking lot, climbing into Gene’s car and triggering the bomb that was waiting to kill him. With that, the case is closed, Pat gives them the location of Eric Larson, and the detectives take off to find a place to watch the fight. They end up at a place Sam knows, a strip bar near his apartment. Gene arrives with Danny and they share one of the sweetest moments you will ever see from Harvey Keitel. Sam meanwhile realizes that Annie is reason enough for him to begin living in the present. Although, he knows that as long as he is there, he has to look for a way home.
A fantastic episode that displays just how much everyone loves Gene. Also how Sam is starting to work together with Ray and Chris. And of course the ever burgeoning relationship of Annie and Sam. We’re close to the final stretch, the group is growing closer and Sam is still determined to find his way home. Thoughts on the episode? Share your TwoCents below.