Quick spoilers for last night's "Life" coming up just as soon as I take inventory of objects around the house...
"Hit Me Baby" suffers from one problem that can't be helped and one that could have been.
In case you hadn't realized it by now from all the shots of Reese sitting at a desk, and/or wearing a bulky coat, Sarah Shahi is pregnant, and the show is trying to work around that fact with this storyline of Reese being assigned to this FBI task force. That's a better on-screen solution than some I've seen over the years, especially since it looks like the task force is investigating either Crews himself or the Jack/Mickey/Roman axis of evil, but a large part of this show's appeal is the chemistry between Shahi and Damian Lewis, and I'm disappointed that what would appear to be the show's final half-dozen or so episodes will keep the team largely separate.
Now, what fun there was to be had in "Hit Me Baby" came from the writers playing with Crews' increasing reliance on Reese, as we saw him trying and failing to make Tidwell, Stark and even the patient call center lady into his new sounding board. But that's a good gag once and then the show has to go forward for a while with Crews as a man without a real partner.(*)
(*) Was Stark always supposed to be this stupid? The way he acted in this episode can't simply be written off as him struggling to go from patrolman to detective, as he came off like Cletus the Slack-Jawed Yokel for most of the episode, even before the poisoned mushroom capsule literally made his jaw go slack.
The other problem is that the episode was far too self-consciously goofy and weird, piling on one bizarre, hyper-stylized character after another, from the identically-dressed, pigeon-loving identical twins to the hitman/woman herself, who seemed more like a character out of a comic book (or, at least, "Burn Notice") than someone who should be on "Life." I know the show operates on a frequency that's slightly off of reality, but they took it way too far last night. Instead of finding it all amusing, I started rolling my eyes.
Though, I should admit to continuing to enjoy one especially-stylized performance, as Helen McCrory (aka Mrs. Damian Lewis) returned as the rebel smoker, cleavage barer and all-around badass insurance investigator. Working in her native accent while her husband gets to show off his non-regional American diction, McCrory continues to be a blast to watch, and a nice counterpoint to Ted.
One other complaint: why bother re-introducing the season one muscle car with the new flower power paint job a few episodes back, only to have it repainted by the next time it appears? I had assumed we'd see Charlie driving the thing around as it was, answering questions about it the way he took all those queries about the car with the bullet holes. Seemed pointless.
What did everybody else think?