Quick spoilers for "Life on Mars" episode two coming up just as soon as I explain to the show's writers that a metaphor is not the same as an analogy, and vice versa...
That one linguistic pet peeve aside (and it would have been funny if Imperioli had whipped out a dictionary later in the episode to win the argument with Sam), this was another solid episode from the remake. Not deep in any way, but fun.
In particular, my spirits were lifted by the use of Mott the Hooples' "All the Way From Memphis," which is both a great tune (particularly the piano intro they kept featuring) as well as one that hasn't been used to death in other early '70s period pieces. If they can keep doing the Cameron Crowe thing of finding unheralded but terrific music from the era, it's going to go a long way towards holding my affections.
I liked Sam listing all the possibilities he could think of, and that his fixation on "real" vs. "unreal" helped him crack the case. Imperioli's desire to punish Sam for stealing his promotion is already more interesting than anything the original Ray had to do, and a better use of Imperioli than in the pilot. And Harvey Keitel's obvious enjoyment of this role spills out and infuses itself into the whole show.
What did everybody else think?