'Life on Mars' recap: Hello, Mother...
Note to self: Be kind to your mom, because you know not what sacrifices she’s made for you. Also, don’t love an episode just because it has a Doctor Who reference.
Last week, we glimpsed Sam’s deadbeat salesman dad (aka Dean Winters). Last night, we met Mom. Her name: Rose Tyler. A reference perhaps to Doctor Who’s loveliest companion of late, played by Billie Piper? Considering DW is all about space and time travel, aliens and alternative universes, it’s not too far-fetched. Could Mama Rose be Sam’s companion/helper on this long, strange trip he’s on? Can she help him get back to the future? You tell me.
Speaking of, Sam and Rose’s scenes were a little, well, Back to the Future-esque. She didn’t inspect his underwear or try to kiss him, but there was something in their chemistry that made me think he was going to pull out a disappearing snapshot of himself. Among yesterday’s other allusions: Goodfellas and The Godfather. Annie also asked Sam to go see the Woody Allen film Sleeper, which, if my memory serves me right, isn’t so much about time travel, like she says, as it is about a man who’s basically been in a coma for 200 years starting in 1973. Hmmm….
Anyway, Sam’s mother owed money to a mobbed-up loan shark. When Samtried to help her, she basically just got in more hot water with the guy’sboss (the excellent Robert Klein). And while in the end Sam did fixthings, it wasn’t until after she agreed to be one of Klein’s “girls” inorder to keep young Sam safe. Now, whether she actually hooked we don’tknow, but she did something that made her need a stiff drink and a goodcry. I’m sure Sammy appreciates her even more now.
And on the subject of appreciation, mine goes to Tanya Fischer, who plays Sam’sneighbor Windy. How is Windy not annoying already? She’s like Three’s Company‘s ChrissySnow with smaller knockers. But Tanya has somehow (through shear spark)stayed fun to watch, and I hate to say it, a little more compellingthan Gretchen Mol’s Annie. Windy even had the best line of the night:“Wires get crossed and your worlds mix and things don’t feel right.Like that time Deep Purple went on The Dating Game.”
The bad news for Tanya and Co.? LoM’s ratings. The show’sbeen declining steadily since the Oct. 9 premiere, and it’s ashame, don’t you think? Or have you already cut out? If not, what wouldyou do to fix the ratings dilemma? And what’d you think of last night’s episode? Are you stoked that Whoopi Goldberg and The Wire’s Chad Coleman are making appearances next week?
UPDATE: According to preliminary ratings data this morning, last night’s LoM attracted 8.4 million viewers, up slightly from the previous week’s 7.9 million