Thursday, April 09, 2009

Life, "One": Apples and oranges

Spoilers for the season -- and, I'm guessing, series -- finale of "Life" coming up just as soon as I book a flight to Spain...
"People live through a lot of things you never thought they could." -Charlie Crews
"Life" has certainly lived longer than most of us assumed that it would. Its ratings in season one were awful, and it only stuck around because NBC couldn't afford to dump any original scripted programming with the writers strike looming. The strike lasted long enough that NBC couldn't have a normal development season, so they renewed it again. And NBC's problems in other areas -- not to mention their awareness that "Life" is a good show -- led to an unexpected full season pick-up. But the ratings have never been better than awful, regardless of the timeslot, or the competition, and I've viewed most of this season as the show living on borrowed time.

I know we all like to hold out hope about the possibility that NBC might order a third season, and Rand Ravich suggested on Monday's conference call that he had some ideas for a third season, but this was an ending. It was absolutely an ending. Among other things Ravich did with "One":

• He killed off the documentary filmmaker who had been an occasional presence in the series from the opening frames of the pilot.

• He killed off Roman, the closest thing Crews has to an arch-nemesis.

• He took us back to Charlie's orange grove, last seen in the pilot.

• He had Mickey Rayborn reveal as much as is possible about the conspiracy, factoring in the time frame of the episode and my suspicions that not even Ravich understands all the details of it.

And, perhaps most importantly...

• He ended with the very strong suggestion that Crews and Reese are starting to think of each other as something more than a work partner.

I want to start with that last point, which was the only really sour note of "One" for me. One of my favorite things about "Life" is how it never, until this episode, even hinted at any kind of attraction between Crews and Reese. This was a partnership, and a friendship of sorts, between two equals who just happened to be of the opposite sex. The few times other characters suggested they might be a couple, Crews looked confused and Reese looked horrified. Damian Lewis and Sarah Shahi had great chemistry together, but chemistry doesn't always have to be romantic. If Ravich thinks he was giving some kind of gift to the fans by ending the series (or setting things in motion for an improbable season three) with all those hints -- Crews' reaction when Agent Bodner said he met his wife on the job, the look on Reese's face when she sees Crews has survived his encounter with Roman, the Zen audiobook narrator explaining that when 1+1=1, it's love -- I think his own math may have been off about how the show worked and what its fans wanted to see from it.

Beyond that one miscalculation, I thought "One" was a fine send-off (if that's what it turns out to be) for "Life." Maybe it wasn't quite as viscerally exciting as last season's similar finale, "Fill It Up" -- swapping out cell phones isn't as innately cool as swapping out cars, and we didn't get very much of Damian Lewis with a gun in his hand -- but it was close. It gave us as much closure as was possible (see above). It used the entire ensemble (plus Gabrielle Union and Helen McCrory) well. And, in the final encounter between Charlie and Roman in the Escalade, it showed us once and for all that, no matter how much Charlie likes to pretend that his life is ruled by Zen thinking, what really carried him through 12 years in prison and several very dangerous years back in the real world weren't the koans, or the fruit(*), but the fact that he is one tough, relentless SOB.

(*) And how thematically perfect was it that Crews kills Roman by whacking him in the Adam's apple?

I don't know that the finale makes any more sense than "Fill It Up" did -- whether Roman had FBI agents in his pocket or not, surely there have to be consequences for Charlie going rogue like this again, and for Tidwell's enabling of him -- but up until those final seconds, I felt very Zen about this being the series' swan song. Maybe there won't be episodes after this, but as Crews says, "There can't be nothing." We'll still have the DVDs, our memories of the partnership, and the rest, and I know this won't be the last we see of Damian Lewis on these shores.

Some other thoughts:

• Note the clever use of the bag on Reese's head to allow director Fred Keller to give us several full body shots of her even though Sarah Shahi's pregnant belly is quite noticeable. (Click on the image to the right to get a good look of how those scenes would have looked without a body double.)

• And while Shahi's pregnancy kept her mostly on the sideline these last few episodes, I liked seeing Dani applying the second-hand bits of Zen she picked up from Crews to intimidate Roman: "You're connected to me. I'm connected to Crews. He'll find you."

• Of course Tidwell's ringtone features bagpipes. And, as another "this is the last episode" moment, we had Crews finally figuring out how to use modern technology when he *69'ed Seever's number, then read Stark's text.

• Roman also gave us closure, sort of, on Jack Reese, telling Dani that he killed Jack. He could, of course, be lying, but something tells me that was an easy way to take care of a problematic character, third season or no.

• The biggest thing I still don't understand about the conspiracy: Mickey wanted to use Rachel Seybolt's dad to turn Crews dirty and recruit him as his successor in the criminal conspiracy, right? And Kyle Hollis was somehow affiliated with the conspiracy, right? So even if Hollis somehow goes nuts and slaughters the Seybolt family, minus Rachel, why would Mickey and his guys want to frame Crews for it? And why on Earth would they give Rachel to crazy Kyle to raise?

• With the muscle car wrecked again, and with Agent Bodner's testimonial about all the features of his minivan (which I'm guessing was product integration), if there were to be a third season, do you think we'd see Charlie going for a vehicle with 18 cupholders and a DVD player?

Finally, before we say goodbye to "Life" (for now, if not forever), I have to once again honor my pledge about including a William Atherton '80s movie quote at the end of any episode featuring Atherton. And since reports of Rayborn's demise proved to be greatly exaggerated, let's dip back into the bottomless well of "Real Genius" lines one more time, with Atherton as Jerry Hathaway and Gabe Jarret as young Mitch Taylor:
Jerry Hathaway: Mitch, will you miss your friends?
Mitch: Well, no. I think I intimidate other kids.
Jerry Hathaway: Good boy.
What did everybody else think? And if there were to be a miraculous renewal, what would you want to see out of a third season? (Other than the obvious, which is a return appearance by Christina Hendricks.)

50 comments:

grand-sophy said...

I was thinking for a red-headed, slender Brit, Damien Lewis makes an awesome badass. This episode on its own might be enough to recruit new viewers, if we could only get them to watch it in the first place. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

When I first watched the finale I didn't get the feeling that the zen love that Crews and Reese first experienced in the last seconds of the episode was romantic love. A strong, would do anything for the other love, not quite brother-sister love, but not husband-wife love either.

But you make a good point with how it would tie in to Bogner saying that he met his wife at the FBI while she was his partner, so I'm not sure. I hope they don't go that route if there is a third season. I like the idea of Crews and Reese being as tight as two partners can be, but I don't see it fitting in with the vibe of the show to see them feeling their way through a relationship while solving murders.

Anonymous said...

Even if it doesn't get a full third season I'd love to see it come back for a six-episode run, just to give us some more stories, maybe a tad more conspiracy, but mostly to give us more Crews and Reese working together again, more of that great banter they had, they way they see things that the other doesn't. How about a made for TV movie or mini-series? It doesn't even have to be tied to the arc of the show. Just come up with some heinous crime that needs solving, bring back Christina Hendricks and just let the characters and the great chemistry carry it for 2-4 hours.

This was a top 3 show for me starting about half way through season one. I looked forward to it every week. And I'd just hate to see it end with a month of so little Crews and Reese interaction.

Alan Sepinwall said...

When I first watched the finale I didn't get the feeling that the zen love that Crews and Reese first experienced in the last seconds of the episode was romantic love. A strong, would do anything for the other love, not quite brother-sister love, but not husband-wife love either.

I'd like to think you're correct, but the earlier Bodner scene and the look on the actors' faces (particularly Shahi) have me leaning towards the romantic love angle.

Bob Timmermann said...

I had the impression that Ted thought that Amanda Puryer was also somehow involved in the conspiracy or was working a different angle.

Anonymous said...

If there is a third season and if they do go the route of Crews and Reese becoming romantically entangled, the what becomes of Tidwell? It doesn't feel right for Reese to just dump Tidwell to be with Crews, especially after Tidwell has been so good to her. Would we the viewer be comfortable with Reese if that's what she did? Or will Tidwell just disappear like Robin Weigert did?

Nicole said...

I thought they were hinting at romantic love between them at the end... and wasn't liking it. This would be coming out of nowhere, and wasn't the basis of the chemistry between them as partners in the first place.

However, the moment when Crews goes badass and kills Roman trumped any misgivings about the "romance" angle and I decided that they were both just really happy to see that the other one survived so that my memories of this show are not soured.

Brandy said...

I really read it as a true partnership, one plus one equals one.

I didn't see it as a romantic thing, and if the show isn't coming back then I have no need to worry about it.

Lisa said...

The show was obviously leading us to think of Crews and Reese as a romantic couple, but I'm going to pretend it didn't.

Other than that, this was one of the most satisfying series finales I've ever seen. The explanation for the conspiracy was a little on the lame side, but I didn't follow it terribly closely, so it was close enough for me.

I immediately ran to the computer to see if Alan's post was up yet -- I started watching at your suggestion, and you (almost) never steer me wrong! I appreciate all the work you do on this site, it really contributes to my enjoyment of several shows.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to miss this show. It definitely felt like an end.

I also think the show hinted at a possible romance but didn't commit to it. I want to be anti-romantic hookup but in the end I'm a sucker for how this show writes relationships in general and the fact that Shahi and Lewis do work so well together.

I think the final shot with Reese was more about her finding peace & open acceptance of Charlie's importance in her life than her necessarily recognizing he's her heart's desire. From being so closed off in the pilot, it was like a last barrier broke. It was fitting and left open the door for romantic possibilities but I don't feel the show trapped itself into that end.

I was still left feeling confused on some of the conspiracy aspects but since characters always meant more to me on this show than that aspect, I can let go some of my suspension of disbelief. I know NBC won't renew it but I'd love if USA did decide to pick it up. I don't expect that either but ironically, I feel it would've done better overall had it started out there.

Sean L said...

If that's it (and if so a fine way to end, delightfully in keeping with the tone of the show) then I don't see the ambiguous hints about Crews and Reese being a problem. I picked up on them too, but I didn't mind even though the idea of a (probably hypothetical) season 3 exploring a romance between them fills me with dread.

Apart from anything else they'd both had a really intense day - they'd both had to deal with the possibility of losing each other altogether, and Reese had seen Crews risk his life for hers. If there was ever a moment where their hearts were going to nudge exploratively towards possible romantic feelings, it was then.

Having said that my envisaged post-show future is that the moment passes and they get back to being professional partners but with a deeper bond. But that it's a bit ambiguous does not bother me one bit.

M.A.Peel said...

I hope Damian Lewis returns to our tv universe. Such a presence. And I agree with Anon, it's a shame this didn't start out in USA's Character pantheon.

Jenn S. said...

I actually enjoyed the last few minutes of the episode because I didn't see it as romantic. Instead, what I saw was two people who have been disconnected from others realizing the importance of connection.

Crews often floats in his Zen bubble, detached. Reese is the connection through which he returns to Earth. She knows how to reach him: "What do you see, Crews?" Aside from Reese and Ted, Crews doesn't have many people in his life who connect with him. I'm reminded of the first season in which we saw Crews going through woman after woman. There hasn't been as much of that in this season, and I theorize that's because Crews and Reese's partnership has been grounding him more.

Reese has a bad history of choosing who to love and trust. The first season showed her hooking up with a stranger; the morning after, she didn't even want to know his name. Her relationship with Tildwell has been inexplicable--his treatment of her bordered on sexual harassment at first. Crews, however frustrating she found him, has always treated her well. I think Crews has become a rock for Reese in ways she didn't realize she needed. She taunted Roman in this episode because she knew, absolutely knew, that Crews would come for her.

What I saw in both characters' eyes, thanks to the actors, was a realization of trust and love that went beyond the physical. They've each found someone who fills that need for connection. One of the reasons I dearly hope Life gets renewed is to see how Reese and Crews' friendship grows. I can't think of any other show on TV that has the potential to portray a deep friendship between two people of the opposite sex.

mjryan said...

I think how you view the final scene depends on how you view the partnership. If you've always wanted a Crews/Reese hook-up then you can read it that way. If you haven't then you can see it as a platonic love. I'm somewhere in the middle. Very rarely do I not want to beautiful people with great chemistry to hook up, but I'm a complete and total sucker for that kind of stuff. But, I can also see that scene as the two characters realizing that the other is the most important person in their life. Call it platonic love, familial love or whatever. It was an acknowledgement of their trust and faith in the other, their knowledge that no matter what, the other would do whatever it takes, even potentially sacrificing their life, for the other's safety. Considering how their partnership started and the suspicions that they've had about each other throughout the series, I thought it was a wonderful bit of closure, if that's what it turns out to be. I sincerely hope not.

BigTed said...

I was definitely satisfied by this ending. If I had cared more about the conspiracy, I'd be annoyed by how oversimplified the solution seemed to be. But I didn't, so I'm not. (Number 6 turns out to have been Number 1 all along, sort of? Yikes.)

I also still have no idea why the smart FBI lady was going after Crews -- even if he was using police resources to track down his enemies, the fact that he already sued the city for a past frame job would make any conviction ridiculously difficult. (Especially if they used his own partner to spy on him.) Of course, killing off all the feds was an easy way of dealing with this.

As for a potential romance between Crews and Reese, I agree -- bleah. Not only would it ruin their excellent working relationship, I've actually enjoyed her unlikely mismatched thing with Tidwell. (On the other hand, I could maybe see Crews with Gabrielle Union's character, who's slightly in awe of him, complements his smarts with her own, and has shown hints of being a secret badass underneath the straight-edged exterior.)

So should NBC bring this show back? Yes, darn it. It's by far the best cop show on TV right now, and one of the best shows, period. I'm not about to start sending network executives fruit baskets to keep it on, but it absolutely deserves another season.

Emily said...

BigTed, you've inspired me, and I am *definitely* going to start sending some fruit baskets to key players at NBC. :)

Also, I really love Jenn S.'s analysis of the Crews/Reese connection, and think she hit the nail on the head. I have the feeling that Reese in particular was having some romantic feelings at the end, because she has a history of horrible relationships, and the fact that she actually loves and values Crews might well get confused with romance at first. I don't think, though, that they would go that direction. I think back to "Homicide", another fantastic TV show about partners. Your partner is more than family; your partner will find Roman Nebekov and trade himself for you; your partner will taunt Roman and never stop believing that you're coming. I think the writers were hinting at romance, but I think ultimately Crews and Reese would reject it, because it's not who they are--they're not lovers, they're partners.

Jenn S. said...

@ Emily: Exactly. Crews would be all Zen about the next stage in their friendship, but after her moment of clarity, Reese probably wouldn't know what to do next. I can just see this scene happening: Reese doesn't know what to make of her feelings, so she defaults to going in for a kiss, and it's horribly, laughably awkward.

Reese: "Was that...weird?"
Crews: *bemused look*
Reese: "Yeah. That was weird."
Crews: "It was a little weird."
Reese: "It was a lot of weird. Let's never do that again."
Crews: "Would you like an orange?"
Reese: "......Yeah."

And then they go back to solving crime. :-D

Christy said...

Alan, has Shahi killed her future career by getting pregnant at that point in the run of a show on the cusp? I don't think we can lay the poor ratings at her feet, but it sure didn't help to have to bring in a new partner and to further twist up the plot of a show with an already twisted backstory. Will future producers be willing to invest in her?

Alan Sepinwall said...

Christy, I seriously doubt that. Women get pregnant and have babies, and her absence has played no role in the show's chances for renewal. The ratings were barely there before Shahi had to take a step back, and they were just as bad without her being prominent.

The show's audience was the show's audience -- and that audience likely wasn't big enough to merit a third season, unfortunately.

Anyone who wouldn't give Shahi a job down the road because she had an inconveniently-timed pregnancy once would be a massive tool.

Elena said...

Seems the writers strike had some good effects, like the extension of Life's run. I loved the show, and thought the ending was good, as others said, not so much on the conspiracy explanation, but character wise quite satisfying. And yeah, as Alan noted, I thought it was quite telling that when Crews says (paraphasing) to Roman -want to know how I made it through twelve years in prison--and Roman says "That Zen stuff" and then Charlie throttles him.
I'm in the camp that didn't see the ending as the start of a romance. Happy to be alive, happier that both made it, yes, love no.

7s Tim said...

I have been DVR-ing the last few episodes for a friend who hasn't been able to see them (and big ol'HDTV way better than crappy work computer monitor). At the end of this episode i accidentally deleted it.

bright side: now she won't have learned Charlie's little adam's apple trick.

Ed said...

I have a question. The music is such a very big part of this show, but I read somewhere that the season 1 DVD uses doesn't use the same music as when it aired.

Does anybody know if this is true?

Thank you.

The Bgt said...

I am among the ones who didn't see any romance between Crews and Reese in the last mins of the finale.

But if we had a 3rd season, I would love to see a possible coupling. It could be a cute (if not hilarious) disaster and both could go back to friendship/partnership but it could also end up as very interesting relationship.

Its always all about writing.
I personally hate the "sexual tension" between lead characters that's been draged for years like if "mating" partners is the holy grail or something.
Like Scully and Mulder, at the end I didnt give a penny about them loving eachother or not.

Oh well, I will miss this show..
It is frustrating people still watch CSI and dont give shows like Life a chance.. I guess getting close ups from a dead person's intestines during an autopsy, is better than watching interesting characters.

doh..

Anonymous said...

Damien Lewis and Shara Shani really brought their characters to life... I will miss them...

tabernacle said...

For me, that was a very satisfying ending. When we think Charlie is going to zig and go fruit/Zen, he zags and goes fast food/violence (without necessarily retroactively undermining the Zen stuff: the blurry orange groves suggest that Zen helped with the arithmetic that led him to the solution). At the solution itself: First that look on his face when Roman punches him, and then the crushed windpipe--wow. Very badass.

I, too, liked the little technology arc; Crews is now a little tech-savvy.

It's hilarious to see someone exercise Buddhist non-attachment toward an assault rifle.

This was a great way for the show to go out. Re: Damian Lewis, the man has charisma to spare. (a la Viola Davis) Someone get this man a movie already.

WWWeaves said...

I'm okay with this. I saw the possible romance beats, read them as a gift to thems as wants it, and moved on. I would love another season. But if not, I have DVDs. and 30+ hrs of really good TV. Cheers, gang.

hazmatzak said...

Ed, yes unfortunately it is true. The music on the DVD, iTunes, and maybe even Hulu -- all secondary outlets -- is different. I dunno who is to blame for this; perhaps it's the cheapskate moron suits at NBC that are Leno-izing primetime. Or maybe the cheapskate moron suits at NBC are not to blame for this particular travesty.

sanford said...

It was a good ending. I hope NBC can find some way to bring this show back. I wonder how much promotion NBC has done for the show in two years. I looked at Damian Lewis and Sarah Shahi's IMBD pages. Only Lewis appeared on any talk shows, Craig Ferguson and Carson Daily. Lewis wasn't on any of the talk shows. It might have helped to have a little promotion.

David said...

Definitely agree with your comments. As someone who only came into the series during the second season (thanks to Hulu), I still felt it managed to wrap up everything the way a proper finale should. Thanks for commenting on the film crew--I didn't get what was up with that at all until you mentioned the documentary guys.

The love thing did smack of "trying too hard" syndrome and to me is a disconnect between what the producers think the fans want and what's best for the story. But hey, it's nowhere near as bad as the "valentine" people hated in Star Trek Enterprise's finale. :)

Ed said...

Thank you, hazmatzak.

My wife and I are really going to miss this show.

Steve said...

Alan what is the difference in the budget if they tried to go the USA L&O Criminal Intent route? Would the cast & producers take a huge paycut to do that? I was overall disappointed in the second season but no matter how lame the crime of the week or how confusing the conspiracy got, Crews was always the most interesting character on tv.

Walter said...

I just watched the 1st episode again. I completely forgot about the first crime scene with the dog. Crews found the finger, figured the dog took a bullet for its owner and took a finger of the shooter. He than asks Reese if anyone ever loved her that much. These episodes (1st and last) make wonderful bookend. While I will miss the show, at east I'm satisfied with the conclusion.

Anonymous said...

I'd like Crews and Seever to have a relationship. I want Reese to stay with Tidwell. That way the "we were partners" line still works, since Seever and Crews were temporary partners. Although Reese's look at the end seemed all lovey-dovey, it could also be an expression of platonic love for a person who just risked his life for her and she's happy he's okay.

Speaking of Tidwell, he started out as a total jackass but during the season he turned into a way cooler character than Season 1's captain ever was.

Anonymous said...

I, too,want this show back- more than I want any other show back that is presently on TV, and since 2000 only less than Deadwood and The Wire- that is how much I like this show.
However, if it won't be back, all nits aside, this was a great final episode for a series- just as "Fill it up" was a great (potentially) final episode for a series.
The chemistry of the two stars and the wit of the writing made it so. And to a paraphrase a better writer than myself, This show was a beacon of quality in a sea of s**t.
If NBC had any brains whatsoever, they would promote this show like no tomorrow (or arrange for it to be on USA), and perhaps people might then watch some of their other shows.

M.A.Peel said...

The enthusiasm for this show is so genuine here. Does Ravich read this thread? Can you send to Lewis? They should hear from the real fans.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Alan, for covering this awesome show! If/when it's cancelled, I'll definitely miss it. That being said, I thought there was supposed to be 22 episodes this season. Did they not show one or was I wrong?

amysusanne said...

I'm late to the party and I know I'm repeating some things, but I finally watched it tonight and I thought they did a really good job with it. It was kind of a nice, even ending with enough loose ends tied up and enough of the things everyone loves about the show all thrown in there together. I'm going to miss it.

I have no problem with people reading the conclusion as a romantic love and I can certainly see that, but I sort of side with the partnership/trust/non-romantic love theories. Obviously the Bodner comment and Charlie's expression both lend a lot to the idea of romance, but I prefer to read the entire ep as Charlie working that one out. And it's clearly not yet worked out and whether the show comes back or it just lives on in my imagination, I think they'll both be working that one out for awhile. The thing that sort of struck me when watching them in those final moments is that Tidwell might have been dating/sleeping with Reese, but he'd never actually been inducted into the little Crews/Reese club. It's a private club and I don't think they're accepting any new people into that one. The bond between the two was already really strong and what they've both gone through in the past weeks just made it stronger. And even though I did read it as more non-romantic, it's interesting enough and strong enough that I wouldn't reject the romantic if they threw that at me.

Granted, all of that is probably coming from a place where I'm assuming that the show is gone forever. If it were to come back and they totally shipped things up, I have no idea how I would enjoy it, but that final bit...I liked it very much no matter what the show's intentions.

Aunty Kalina said...

Awwww, why is it that I get attached to these quality shows and then they get cancelled?

I had no idea that "Life" was doing so poorly in the ratings. As last night's episode ended, I turned to my husband and said, "I must say, that was a really good season finale for a change!" Ha! No wonder it was so good...it was probably a series finale! *sniff*

Yes, Damian Lewis is wonderful, and I love how his character was so Zen (being a Buddhist myself). As for the romantic or platonic issue, I vote for platonic. It never occurred to me that it was romantic at all.

I have a lot of questions about the plot. Is there a site with detailed recaps?

Come visit my blog: http://midlifekauaisis.blogspot.com

Who knows... we all enjoyed Life, so you might enjoy my blog!

Rose said...

I really liked this show, but I have to admit the whole conspiracy totally flew over my head. I didn't understand any of it. Even after reading all these comments, I still don't get it!

That being said, I loved the Charlie Crews character. It would be wonderful to have Life back next year minus the conspiracy. This is one of the few shows where I liked the case of the week stuff much more than the overall mythology.

Whiskey said...

count me as another who felt that the final scene represented the fierce-loyal-protective-love between partners instead of romantic love. Reese finally feeling like she had someone she could trust 100%, someone who won't abandon her. Crews was always fiercely loyal -- just look at his relationship with Ted and Rachel, and why he was estranged from his dad. Aaaaaargh, I want this show to come back!!!

And yeah, Damian Lewis deserves major props because I really loathed him when he played Soames Forsyte, and yet as Charlie Crews he made my heart beat a little faster every time he put on the kevlar and grabbed some firepower. *sigh* He's got that appeal, reminds me a little of Clive Owen. I loved it when he made the comment about not being attached to the [new] assault rifle, that's the type of little details that made the characters endearing to me.

I too hope that they figure out a way to keep it, even if it's on USA... please let them put it on USA!!! I also wouldn't mind Crews winding up romantically involved with the Gabrielle Union character, which would also add some spice to the Reese/Crews dynamic.

Thank you for your weekly posts, Alan. It's so nice to have a place to indulge my love for some of the less popular shows like Life and FNL. I really wish you blogged all the shows I love, but I'm sure I'm not the only one...

neglectarino said...

I completely understood Bodner's comment about his wife having been his partner as foreshadowing or hinting that Crews should be looking in that direction. The ending sealed that.

I loved this show & will miss it & Damien Lewis. As I will Kings. As I did Pushing Daisies. "Airing on NBC" is the death knell of wonderful programs.

Joe H said...

I absolutely loved the symetry of Roman never spending time in jail for something he did do and Charlie spending 12 years in jail for something he didn't do. That really sums up the "it" that Rayborn was telling Charlie about in that alley.


I'm gonna miss this show, a lot. Great cinematography (seriously), great soundtrack, great acting, great plotting. Wonderful stuff.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the rest that the season finale was good (it was nice to see Roman get his).
One thing I must have missed from the previous episodes is why were the police after Crews during the season finale??? I was wondering that the whole time.

Anonymous said...

From Jan:

I finally had a chance to watch the season/series finale, and I have to agree with Lisa who said, "The show was obviously leading us to think of Crews and Reese as a romantic couple, but I'm going to pretend it didn't." At least it wasn't so ham-fisted that we HAD to think of them as being romantically involved, and I much prefer to think of them as having that special partner relationship instead.

And I have to say that while I usually like Donal Logue, I thought he was soooooo sleazy at the beginning, but he cleaned up quite nicely by the end--thank goodness! I could see why Dani might actually be attracted to him by the end, and that was totally unbelievable at the beginning.

I wish there would be a third season, and I’d love to see Damian Lewis in something else. As several people commented, it’s really too bad the show didn’t start out on USA—it would have fit in perfectly with Burn Notice, Psych, and Monk. But at least we’ll always have these two seasons, and maybe two good seasons is better than more substandard ones. The Brits have the right idea: they say what they have to say for the most part, and then it ends, leaving us wanting more, but not disappointed by what might have followed if they had decided to try to drag it on. Or else they get rid of characters—sometimes major ones as in the MI-5 series or Waking the Dead—so the show is constantly refreshing itself.

Anyway, I will miss this show; Crews was a great character.

Number Five said...

I liked all the callbacks, although some would have worked better if the show hadn't abandoned most of its serialized storylines this season. For example, the documentary filmmaker murder was great (although he showed pretty poor judgment there), but had we even seen him this season?

The other thing I didn't like was the "Charlie's special destiny" reveal. It's not any less powerful if Crews was just a cop who got framed when his restaurant partner was murdered (and I had spent the entire show thinking Rachel's father had been another cop...oops?). Why pretend that he was chosen by the conspiracy from his academy days? Bizarre.

The multiple meanings of 1 + 1 = 1 were great, from the way Crews killed Nemekoff to the Crews/Reese partnership. As for the Crews/Reese connection, I like that we can either interpret it as a budding romantic love or an intense partnership bond. I'd prefer the latter, and honestly, there's something about series finales that makes it easy for fans to ignore the parts we don't like and conjure up preferred altered endings for our favorite characters. So choose your own interpretation!

Terrific show in season 1, good show in season 2. In the grand scheme of TV shows, it's not a huge loss, but I enjoyed watching and I hope to see Damien Lewis again soon.

Ariadne said...

A very good season (series?) ender. Enough wrapped up to be satisfying, enough left open for more. And I was ready for Roman to finally leave.

And a good use of all the characters on the show. I was disappointed in the security lady spilling where Crewes was but it was in character for her.

I agree that the only sour note was the suggestion of a Crewes/Reese hook-up. One of the best things about CSI is that Grissom and Catherine had an awesome friendship with no romantic leanings at all. Many as show has killed a good chemistry by hooking up the male and female leads. (House, I'm looking at you.)

I hope it does come back next season. I don't love it to obsession as I do some other shows but it was always entertaining.

Mac said...

I'm from Oz and I've been doing my darndest to spread the "Life" message. If it gets taken off - as it probably will - I'll be getting the DVDs. It'll be a first for me.

Life is truly a great show that bucks the current copycat trend.

wadetsmith said...

Crews fell in love with Reese as soon as he looked at her, and the only reason she went with Tidwell (a completely mis-match) was to bury her own feelings about Crews. Yes, it was deep, emotional, romantic love they feel towards each other, and that sort of tension in a working couple is not only great, it's miles above what passes for the usual 'repartee' in such lame shows as 'Castle' and 'CSI', which jumped the shark with Sara'. Look more to relationship in 'Moonlight' (by way of Forever Knight, of course)- impossible but nevertheless ongoing.

Annemieke said...

How come all the internet ratings on this show are sky rocketing and the 'regular' ratings are so bad?

Here a vote from the Dutch jury! There definitely should be a 3rd (and a 4th) season.

I loved Tidwell, I definitely like the sassy new partner - that actually fits so well with Crews to make this a second wonderful partnership (because unlike marriages, partnerships and frienships don't have to be exclusive).

Can't we bribe a couple of people?

Anonymous said...

well....first of all there HAS to be a 3rd season and then a 4rt and a 5th at least, but anyway if there is a season three they have to develop the "love" thing between Charlie and Reese....they fit together if you really think about it, Their both confused in some aspects and they both carry a lot of unseen burdons, not that this has to change into a soppy love story, but it would be nice to see Charlie happy, really happy for a change.