Thursday, February 05, 2009

Life, "Re-Entry": Gleaming the cube

Spoilers for last night's return of "Life" coming up just as soon as I make my own bullets...

After going out with both a literal and metaphorical bang in 2008 with the abundance of pleasures that was "Trapdoor," "Life" returns in 2009 with a more standard-issue hour in the aptly-titled "Re-Entry." Not a bad episode by any means -- at this point, I'd probably be willing to watch Damian Lewis and Sarah Shahi go to the dry cleaner together -- but after "Trapdoor" suggested the series might be kicking itself into a higher gear, "Re-Entry" brought us back to the previous speed.

My favorite part, in fact, didn't involve Crews and Reese at all. Ted's jailhouse economics lectures were a highlight, as he finally found a large and attentive class, and as he realized, as both a teacher himself and as a student of Charlie Crews, that he had no choice but to let the hillbilly beat on him for the stolen dinner roll.

The case itself was pretty good, though I don't think the role play exercise in the squadroom with Crews and Josh Randall imagining they were in the plane led anywhere useful. Crews needed to go to all that trouble to realize the killer must have had to train for the mission? But the visuals -- the plane in the middle of the suburban street, the mysterious orange cube, Crews forging his own ammo in the middle of his kitchen -- were cool as usual.

What did everybody else think?

18 comments:

Stephen said...

I just love this show, and really hope the ratings will pick up enough to keep it on air.

M.A.Peel said...

I liked that Crews had the rocket fuel in his car so that he could give Ted the thing he really wanted, to get away fast.

Anonymous said...

there's no posting just comments....I HAVE BEEN WAITING ALL DAY TO READ YOUR THOUGHTS....sorry too much Red Bull.

floretbroccoli said...

I'm starting to find Sarah Shahi's high-maintenance hair very distracting. Just so out of character. Can you imagine Reese spending time with curling irons?

Matthew L said...

Just wondering - is anyone else having trouble accessing the blog today? The main page just opens up the heading, the picture, and the "spoilers" paragraph for the first post, and that's it. I had to guess at the actual address for this post and manually enter it in order to use the "previous posts" links to find the Lost post.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Matthew, thanks for pointing that out. I have to hand-code the HTML to allow for only the spoiler warning to appear on the main page, and if I leave a bit of code out, it messes everything up. It should be fine now.

pgillan said...

I may have zoned a bit, but I thought the re-enactment in the squadroom didn't lead to any revelation about training, just the other guy attributing the use of the phrase "It's like going home." to the dead guy, which led them to the partner. I like it in shows like this when they show the characters trying things that don't work as planned.

I'm also enjoying the same aspect of the new episodes of CSI with Laurence Fishburne. The writers are taking the opportunity to remind the audience that there are a ton of little steps that they don't normally show. In these procedural shows especially, it's easy to forget that we're only seeing the highlights, the breakthrough moments that only occur after hours of drudgery.

Alan Sepinwall said...

I may have zoned a bit, but I thought the re-enactment in the squadroom didn't lead to any revelation about training, just the other guy attributing the use of the phrase "It's like going home." to the dead guy, which led them to the partner.

No, he said that in the interrogation. The re-enactment was them trying to figure out how the other guy did it.

Sister T said...

Was that another Band of Brothers reunion cameo between Major Winters (Lewis)and Sgt. Skip Muck (Richard Speight, Jr. playing the astronaut's son)!?

I liked it just for Speight's and Josh Randall's guest stints.

Ed said...

I missed the first season, so I may have missed something. But is there any reason why Reese would be so upset about being in the interrogation room?
Thanks in advance.

Steve said...

Yeah good point Sister T, i totally missed the band of brothers reunion there. Those band of brothers guys are all over the map with Frank John Hughes on 24 and kirk Acevedo on Fringe. Also, Life is my favorite TV show after Lost and i Agree that would watch Shahi and Lewis doing absolutely nothing for an hour and still be entertained.

HollyMartins said...

It was an enjoyable episode but I have to say, for me, having Crews melt down the bullet that shot him, forge it into a new bullet in his basement, and then shoot someone with it, sort of took his character over the line from "eccentric/damaged" into "seriously disturbed/possibly insane". But hey, if that's deliberate on their part, I'm willing to go there with them...

The Bgt said...

This is my first post here so hi from Greece.
I did enjoy this episode but I do agree with Alan here, I would expect something stronger. I still love this show though :)

Does anyone knows if Life will have a life next season?
And if Sarah Shahi will keep being a part of the show? I read she is pregnant and she will be away for some episodes.
thank you!

Two-Thirds of a Hospital Room said...

"...forge it into a new bullet in his basement, and then shoot someone with it, sort of took his character over the line from "eccentric/damaged" into "seriously disturbed/possibly insane". "

I don't think so. That seems like exactly the sort of thing Charlie would do. I'm just surprised he only shot him in the leg. He just tried to KILL you, Charlie--he shot you in (what looked like) the HEART. Maybe it was seeing the family photos that prevented Charlie from killing the guy.

Also, anyone notice Tidwell's new-n-improved blow-dried 'do?

Yeah, why WAS Reese so upset about the interrogation room?

James said...

I too liked the re-enactment since it didn't work as planned and was a waste of time. It shows that Crews isn't always right and what he does doesn't always work.

I did have two complaints though. One, isn't the bullet that was in Crews evidence in the attempted murder of Crews? No way the doctor would have just given it to him to take home.

Second, the rocket fuel that Crews kept in the back seat of his car is also evidence. And if it was no longer evidence, then it would have been returned to the company. They stated already that you had to have security clearance to have the stuff so no way that Crews could have kept some. Speaking of which, how was the victim's son not in prison? He stole restricted rocket fuel from his dad's company. Instead of flying model planes outside of the company at the end, he should have been in jail.

tabernacle said...

I should have minded when the show pushed the reset button on Crews's shooting--now healed, no real consequences--but I'm so happy the show is back that I really don't care. I'm not sure what four or five episodes with a convalescing Charlie could have accomplished, either.

As Alan has mentioned in the past, no one handles a gun better, and Crews with the sun behind him was a formidable sight. He also did a twitchy adjustment of his grip on the gun at one point that was awesome. DL rules.

I loved the asymmetry leading up to "Where they skydiving lessons?" Crews can be all mysterious and stingy with information toward Reese, but it doesn't work vice versa.

I, too, loved the scenes in prison. Go, Ted.

Anonymous said...

I was just so happy that the show came back I was (and am) willing to overlook any of its (and specifically this episode's flaws) Every episode, regretfully, can't be "trapdoor." However, this show is so much more fun to watch than anything I have seen on TV this season, it would be both a tragedy and a shame if it isn't renewed for a third season. Is it so wrong to want to watch a show where you care about the characters (in spite of yourself) that makes you laugh at the same time? I certainly hope not. While I have watched many of my favorite shows disappear over the last three decades, this disappearing would rank with "Deadwood's" disappearance as the one that would hurt the most.

Anonymous said...

Bit late, but anyone know what that poem/song was when Crews was melting down the bullet?

calm, silent and peace... Something like that??