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Life: Shelf Life


I hereby convene this week's meeting of the Sisterhood of the Flattering Pants.

I loved a bunch of things about this one.  First, considering that Reese and Crews are apart, they had a lot of great Reese and Crews!

 

Tidwell: “It’s just…Reese told me to…”

Charlie:  “Reese told you to what, Captain?”

Tidwell:  “Reese told me to make sure I always ask you what you see.”

Charlie smiles:  “Ah, she said that, did she?”
Tidwell:  “So?  What do you see?”

Charlie:  “Actually, it’s what I don’t see…”

Tidwell, to Bobby:  “She said he might say that.”

 

I LOVE Charlie on the on the phone to Reese to solve the murder.  That fact, alone, makes my partnershippy heart happy. 

 

I also love that Bobby (and Tidwell?)  think that he might be imagining he’s talking to Reese.  On reflection, that might be my favorite part of this episode.  First, because it tells us something about Bobby’s image of Charlie.  He no longer has a frame of reference for what Charlie is now.  The zen, the big fancy detective, the laser focus on the conspiracy.  Charlie is completely reinvented, while Bobby is pretty much the same guy he was 12 years ago.  So, in that context, there are a lot of possibilities in Bobby’s head, and one of the most plausible ones (ha!) is that Charlie might be having a conversation with an imaginary Reese. 
 


Second because everyone (Charlie, Bobby, Tidwell, Reese) gets the premise of all this, which is that Charlie sort of can’t live without Reese.  He can’t just work without her, he has to keep either reaching out to her or replacing her with others (Tidwell, Deepa, Bobby).  I mean, I know detectives work with partners, but it’s more than that.  That’s why Tidwell and Bobby are not really surprised that he’s talking to Reese, in whatever fashion.  Charlie keeps trying to fill that space, and what he’s come down to is that he just has to keep calling her on the phone.  And, for what it’s worth, Reese has left Tidwell with instructions on how to solve crimes with Charlie!  The whole thing is just awesome and adorable.

 

While we’re on Crews and Reese, one more thing.  I love this show for many reasons, but one of them is the nature of the partner-ship.  They are not…I dunno…Josh and Donna.  Bones and Booth (is that his name?).  There isn’t the strong UST, the will-they-or-won’t-they thing.  For example, when they do get in each others’ space, the show doesn’t do that thing where they linger on it because they’re so strongly attracted to each other.  To make us think that they might kiss or that they're thinking about it.  Reese and Crews have a very strong bond, and it’s magic, but it’s not conventional for shows like this.  Or maybe it’s conventional in a different way (like in a Due South way --- the needing each other without so much of a boy/girl thing*).

 

I would not say, however, that there’s nothing there.  There’s something there.  I see it in scenes like the one in this episode where Charlie is on the phone to Reese. 

Charlie:  “Reese?  You said something nice about me to Tidwell, huh?”

Reese:  “No I didn’t!”
Charlie:  “With distance, you appreciate me more.”

 

It’s not sexual, exactly, but there’s this thing where Charlie’s always embracing their partnership and their dependence on each other, and Dani’s all school-girl defensive about it.  So, on top of the yin and yang, they have a push and pull where she doesn’t want to admit how much he means to her.  She’s a little bit kicking gravel around him.

 

Ok, so given how awesome they are, what do we make of the big revelation at the end?  I almost expected it, having been a little spoiled reading by interviews that talked about Dani’s time with the FBI driving a wedge between them.  So, the wedge emerges.  And the show runners promised to bring them back together even stronger, so that’s what I’ll be clinging to as my partner-shipper heart breaks over the next few episodes.

 

I’m going to call foul on continuity if that photo of Dani and Rayborn is supposed to be from a while ago, cause that’s New Hair Dani.

 

And it looks like Gabrielle Union debuts next week. *props mind open*

 

Ok, other than Crews/Reese, stuff I loved:

 

  1. Crews seeing Sims and Andy reflected in Erin’s glasses in the scene at the motel.

 

  1. Charlie’s Tidwell impression!  That was fantastic! J

 

  1. Charlie and Bobby’s exchange in the car, at the airport.  “No, Charlie.  You don’t need a ticket because you look like you have a ticket.  I need a ticket.”  Ha.  Plus, just after that…PANTS!  Oh Pants, how I missed you last week.

 

  1. More Amanda!  Sorry, A-haters, I like her.  It hit me this week that she reminds me of the movie The Natural.  (Really, think about it.)  After this week,  I’ll bet you a hundred dollars that she is the latest enemy-turned-friend of Charlie’s.

 

  1. Bobby and Charlie are sad that this is their last day together as partners (again).  So am I!

 

  1. The very nice song playing as they enter Norse’s apartment is cut off after the line “…I’m just sitting on the shelf.” 

 

  1. Pete:  “How’d you get in my perimeter?”
  2. Charlie:  “Your mom.  Real friendly.  Let us right into your perimeter.” 

 

  1. Also, Pete unleashes a nerdy little rant on Bobby, calling him “Fraggety-ass”. The look of amusement on Bobby’s face is priceless.

 

  1. BoB/Life giggle:  Damian Lewis sits at a keyboard, looking at an after-action report! J

 

  1. Grapes help with the solving of crimes!!

 

  1. Bobby gets to be funny!  He approaches Andy with a vest in his hand. “I’m looking for Returns.” 

 

  1. And then the look on Charlie’s face as he pulls his weapon on Andy.  Guh.  I love Charlie’s gun-face.

 

  1. Ted, with Charlie and Amanda, and the inside joke:  “Don’t you just love that accent?  Everything sounds so smart.”  Hee.

 

  1. Oh, and speaking of pants and their cousins, how about the jeans at the end of this episode.  Nice shot from behind, at Amanda’s place.

 

Things I didn’t like or got confused about:

 

  1. The foot-stomping thing was just odd and made no sense to me.  Well-acted, though.  I love Charlie’s stomping technique. J

 

  1. Why is Ted having lunch with Amanda?  I thought he made her last week.  I might buy it if he suspected her last week, but didn’t say anything…but he DID say something to her.  How are they, then, at lunch together?  Maybe she talked her way out of the house thing and he pretended to go along with it and called Charlie to ambush her at lunch? 

 

  1. Where’s the resolution to Dani’s question to the FBI interviewer last time?  I thought she made them last week.  She asked the interviewer what kind of interview it was, given all the questions about Rayborn.  Because I still don’t get (maybe because they haven’t revealed it yet) why Dani would think that these questions were plausibly leading to “her secrets.”  What secrets?  I believed her suspicious reaction last week.  Now that she seems to be going along with it more…does that mean that she knows what she did or what she’s hiding and she knows that these questions are leading there?

 

Ok, one other thought I had.  Critics and promo monkeys often call this show “stylish.”  I agree completely, but what does that mean?  The first thing that pops is the visual style, which is very stylish indeed.  And the music is great.  But then there are these other things – maybe you can call them heightened reality or something.  Like the song whose lyrics include the episode title.  Or the way they repeat things.  Like, in this ep, how both the head shop guy and Gus the Chem-X-Tech guy say that the first rule of sales is “put the merchandise in their hands.”  And how Charlie and Erin both know that the way to beat a lie detector is to “tell the truth.”  The guy who invents forever fake-grapes.  “It’s just a fruit body.”  I love that they make up terms like “fruit body.”  It’s all just a click above what might happen in real life.

 

I like a “stylish” show because it’s fun but also because they just go with it.  Many other shows just choose to ignore their heightened realities ---- the freakish convergence of the most attractive cops/lawyers/doctors in the city in this one precinct/office/hospital; the fact that the character couldn’t possibly afford those clothes or that condo doing that job  --- and seem to insist that they’re realistic.  A show like Life embraces the style, which lets them live on that level and do things that are a lot more fun.

 

 

 

* We are, for the purposes of this discussion, ignoring Due South slash. J

Comments

( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
omphale23
Mar. 12th, 2009 06:54 pm (UTC)
*waves*

I'm in the middle of the Charlie/Matt epic thing, but I had to stop by to flail about the new ep, because, just, CHARLIE. He needs a partner! He's totally not as crazy as everyone thinks he is, he really IS talking to Reese!

\charlie/

Damian Lewis sits at a keyboard, looking at an after-action report!

Not going to lie, that's the point where I laughed so hard I overbalanced and fell off the bed. I love those little moments SO MUCH.

We are, for the purposes of this discussion, ignoring Due South slash.

I...I'm not sure that's actually possible. I mean, how does one go about ignoring the slash in dS? Is there a pill for it or something? *g*
mary_the_fan
Mar. 12th, 2009 07:56 pm (UTC)
I...I'm not sure that's actually possible. I mean, how does one go about ignoring the slash in dS? Is there a pill for it or something? *g*

heh. I can ignore it in short bursts, if I concentrate really hard. In the interest of makin my point. :-)

Not going to lie, that's the point where I laughed so hard I overbalanced and fell off the bed.

I know, right? Nice to know I'm not the only one giggling. Our BoB filter is powerful.

He needs a partner! He's totally not as crazy as everyone thinks he is, he really IS talking to Reese!

One thing I loved about that was that he didn't refute the idea of the imaginary Reese until the third time someone (Tidwell) noticed. Unlike Bobby, Charlie knows exactly in which ways he is "different" -- he makes total sense to himself, but not to Bobby -- so of course he thinks the idea that he's talking to Reese and imagining she's there is nuts! Not even worth responding to...he just makes a face and moves on. But by the third time, he's like, "(Fine, I'll tell you.) She was on the phone."


damn tags

Edited at 2009-03-12 07:58 pm (UTC)
gatsbyfan
Mar. 12th, 2009 07:01 pm (UTC)
The opening with Tidwell was fantastic! I loved the look on his face. It was "oh god".

I loved both Bobby and Tidwell thinking that Charlie isn't really talking to Reece for all the reasons you said. Plus, he just looked adorable when he looked back at them.

I liked the partnership with Bobby and am sad to see him go. I loved that scene in the car. He looked like he lost his best friend when he had to say he was back in uniform again. That being said, Bobby doesn't strike me as being the sharpest to serve as Charlie's partner so maybe there is a reason why they are bringing in a new character. (Still not happy with G. Union being cast.)

Crews seeing Sims and Andy reflected in Erin’s glasses in the scene at the motel.
That was awesome. Almost more so because of Bobby's reaction. It just cracked me up. Charlie's all calm and Bobby spins around faster than you can say sunglasses.

Charlie’s Tidwell impression! That was fantastic!
Yes! So perfect because that couldn't have been easy for Lewis. A Brit playing an American from California impersonating a New Yorker.

“No, Charlie. You don’t need a ticket because you look like you have a ticket. I need a ticket.”
Exactly! No one probably would have batted an eye at Charlie being there... Bobby would be completely obvious.

The very nice song playing as they enter Norse’s apartment is cut off after the line
She/Him! I loved that they used them. It was the perfect choice. (I love when I actually recognize the song they use.)
marymary
Mar. 12th, 2009 09:06 pm (UTC)
I liked the partnership with Bobby and am sad to see him go. I loved that scene in the car.

Yeah. This was a nice little arc for them. Bobby's a great character. I appreciate Brent Sexton more each week.

Almost more so because of Bobby's reaction. It just cracked me up. Charlie's all calm and Bobby spins around faster than you can say sunglasses.

Right, and I can't help but compare Charlie/Bobby with Charlie/Reese. Bobby takes a beat after Charlie says what he says, and he's full of adrenaline as he spins around. It's slightly less smooth a partnership than Charlie/Reese, but it's getting there. *g*

So perfect because that couldn't have been easy for Lewis. A Brit playing an American from California impersonating a New Yorker.

I agree, AND I don't know that Logue/Tidwell is such an easy impression to do! He's not exactly Christopher Walken.

No one probably would have batted an eye at Charlie being there... Bobby would be completely obvious.

Yeah, and the beauty part is that Bobby gets that. <3

Which reminds me of one thing I forgot to include, above. In order to blend in, Charlie talks real loud and obnoxious on his cell phone! Brilliant. "Jerry, that number's a joke. Jerry, that number's so small I can't even see it!"
gatsbyfan
Mar. 12th, 2009 07:10 pm (UTC)
“I’m looking for Returns.”
That was one of my favorite lines. Because Bobby doesn't strike me as being a very funny guy so when he said it it popped out.

Ted, with Charlie and Amanda, and the inside joke: “Don’t you just love that accent? Everything sounds so smart.”
I LOVED this! Because its totally true.

Nice shot from behind, at Amanda’s place.
That was very nice. I think I said it before.... Charlie should wear jeans more often. They really work for him. Course what doesn't work for him...

Why is Ted having lunch with Amanda?
That really bothered me too. Sepinwall didn't seem to get the connection either but more from the standpoint of how it related to the other storyline. Though, I have to disagree with him saying it wasn't that great an episode. As good as last week, no. But certainly not terrible.

I am sad however that he makes is sound like the best hope we have for it at this point is 13 episodes. :(
marymary
Mar. 12th, 2009 09:17 pm (UTC)
I do not understand why anyone would dislike this episode! I thought it was great, except for those two scenes (Amanda and Reese)...and even then, my issue was not with the scenes themselves, just that they were not properly set up. I felt like I had missed a scene before it, in each case.

What the episode lacked in direct Crews/Reese interaction, it made up for by bolstering their pairing from different angles! In fact, I really liked the fresh perspective on their relationship -- testing Charlie through Reese's absence tells us more about Charlie and about their partnership. And her absence forces Bobby and Tidwell to deal with Charlie dealing with it, which is cool.

And there was plenty of funny! I'm very happy with this episode.

I am sad however that he makes is sound like the best hope we have for it at this point is 13 episodes. :(

Every party needs a pooper that's why we invited...well, everyone in the entertainment media. I wish they'd just shut up and let me have my Life Forever fantasy.

Though I love Sepinwall for bringing a Real Genius quote! Love that movie. Atherton was hilarious in the scene he quoted.

wow, do I need a pants icon like that. 8-) we have our friend upthread to thank for that one? :-D
caz963
Mar. 12th, 2009 09:40 pm (UTC)
I've only just finished S1, and am downloading S2 now - but I agree totally about the awesomeness of the relationship between Crews and Reece. It reminds me in a weird way of Mulder and Scully - not the romantic part, but the part where you got the idea that here were two people who cared deeply for each other - and that's the vibe I'm getting from these two as well.

marymary
Mar. 12th, 2009 09:48 pm (UTC)
I agree! Much as I love some really intense UST, I love what they have too. It's sexy without being about sex, if that makes any sense. They're very much in sync and attached to each other, which is a beautiful thing. You'll see it even more in S2 (yay you!) because IMO they really hit their stride as partners in S2.
lipcleavage
Mar. 12th, 2009 11:55 pm (UTC)
Oh please can i join the Sisterhood of the Flattering Pants - what a hoot!!! I haven't seen this ep yet as i'm not in the US & can't seem to b able to watch online, but i'll be hanging out for 3 weeks time when i can see it if pants make an appearance!!! (& lips, i see from grimorie's blog!!!). & i totally ship creese too - as you say, not in an outwardly romantic or sexual way, but i think charlie now relies on dani so much - she's his rock in a world which has been so totally unreliable for him for so long. So i'm not looking forward to the this ep or the next few if that relationship is going to be questioned. I've noticed 2 that charlie seems to be spending less time with random women, & i like to think that's bcoz dani really has his heart (even if neither he nor she knows it - or are willing to admit it - yet) & tidwell is only a charlie substitute 4 her in my mind!!!
marymary
Mar. 13th, 2009 12:07 am (UTC)
You may! You just need one great DL icon to qualify, so clearly you're in. :-) Come back when you watch!

The Pants in Shelf Life are not on a level with, say, Black Friday or I Heart Mom (two of my favorite performances by The Pants) but they're good in a few scenes.

Nice to meet you! (love the username)
lipcleavage
Mar. 13th, 2009 01:42 am (UTC)
Thanks!!! On a very shallow note, i think we need someone in the Sisterhood (who is able to do these things) to make us a youtube vid for The Pants. I know there are some great picspams around but i think The Pants now need to star in their own clip!!! & what a joy that would be for someone to make - all that studying of The Pants in the name of art!!! I think i will get to see I Heart Mom next Wednesday so will be looking forward to the performance - I also think The Pants did well in Ziggy!!!

And I luv your cowboy hat icon - i know the cowboy hat shots are sometimes ridiculed but i just can't help loving them!!!
grimorie
Mar. 13th, 2009 04:27 am (UTC)
Hey! Hope you won't mind me dropping by!

You're right about showing how Charlie seems to find it harder without Reese around, he needs someone to bounce his ideas with and that someone to catch his way of thinking instantly. For all of Dani's reluctance and exasperation she does show a remarkable way of picking up what Charlie's thinking. But I love how Stark and Tidwell kind of expected that Charlie would be acting a lot more crazier without Reese around.

...And it also kind of shows despite how she's always exasperated by him that she's actually a hell of a lot more patient than people give her credit for.

And the partnershippery in this was just off the scale.

But the twist at the end! The twist! And Charlie's expression at the end, like of all things, out of every scenario he's thought off, I don't think this was one he ever expected. And much as I love the partners I love the prospect of the conflict to come (which will bring them back stronger. Because it should! If they break up the team permanently I will cry!)

Y'know, in a way, Dani did beat the lie detector, or enough that her true relationship with Rayborn was never uncovered by the FBI. And this was before Charlie told her about beating a lie detector with the truth. I think as an undercover cop Dani knows a little something about beating a lie detector even though this was her first time with it.

But the photo kind of implicates Dani in the murder now, doesn't it? I'm sure she's being framed here but it will make us question Dani's motives a lot.
marymary
Mar. 13th, 2009 04:40 am (UTC)
Of course I don't mind! Happy to see you here. (I need to get over to your discussion thread too...tomorrow)

...And it also kind of shows despite how she's always exasperated by him that she's actually a hell of a lot more patient than people give her credit for.

That's a good point. She's always with the sighs and the eye-rolling, but that's more around the edges. When it counts, there's never any of that --- she backs him up 100% and vice versa.

And much as I love the partners I love the prospect of the conflict to come (which will bring them back stronger. Because it should!

Yeah, it will be hard to watch, but I agree with you. Things getting bad generally means better things to come. That's why they call it an arc, because it goes up and down. *g*

Y'know, in a way, Dani did beat the lie detector, or enough that her true relationship with Rayborn was never uncovered by the FBI.

The way I remember it, the scene sort of cut off there. The interviewer asked her if there was any OTHER way in which she knew Rayborn and she said "Yes..." and then that was it. So I assumed she went on to say more that we didn't hear. (??)

But the photo kind of implicates Dani in the murder now, doesn't it? I'm sure she's being framed here but it will make us question Dani's motives a lot.

Yeah, I guess so! But I honestly have no clue where they're going with that. I can't really imagine the scenario where she kills Rayborn or is working contrary to Charlie's interests. I'm baffled. And just the possibility of Charlie doubting her loyalty is making me sad.
aunt_deen
Mar. 13th, 2009 06:25 pm (UTC)
It's been sort of a hell week, and Life was one of the only bright spots so yay.

First of all, the phrase "fruit body" pleases me in ways I am unable to articulate.

Secondly, the foot-stomping was ridiculous, even if the actors played it well. Instead of waiting two minutes for the blood flow to return, Tidwill is going to have a couple of broken bones in his foot?

Thirdly, I reallyreally miss Crews & Reese and I'm glad they're not minimizing the extent to which Charlie really misses his partner. Plus the Tidwell stuff (what do you see?) and the phone call stuff was really good. But I'm hating Gabrielle Union already, which is totally (okay, mostly) not fair because I want Sarah Shahi to have her damn baby already and get back to the show.
marymary
Mar. 14th, 2009 05:05 am (UTC)
...the phrase "fruit body" pleases me in ways I am unable to articulate.

I know, right? It's exactly the kind of thing I want, and do not get, from most other shows.

I'm glad they're not minimizing the extent to which Charlie really misses his partner.

Exactly.
misreall
Mar. 13th, 2009 08:13 pm (UTC)
(Hey Deen, nice icon!)

I thought this was a very good episode in general. To address a few points:

1. It never occured to me for a second that Ted and Charlie hadn't set up the lunch thing with Amanda from jump.(oh, did no one else love the bit with the fries?) They basically wanted her to know that with them it was a level playing field, not the walk over she was expecting. I also loved Ted's, "The answer is yes!" I have the impression that Ted might have been a bit of a tool before prison, and that, beatings aside, getting caught and going away made a better man of him.

2. I still don't believe Micky is dead, lots of blood or no. The man is a genius, and he knows that Roman is after him. I could see myself donating blood to the "Faking my death so I am not tortured by a Russian mobster" fund over time. And if he is dead I will weep. In some ways I think he and Roman might be the only people who really get Charlie in most ways.

3. In a better world Pete would have been roughed up a little.

4. I thought that when DL sat down next to his wife the tv was going to catch on fire. The two of them have more chemistry than DuPont.
marymary
Mar. 14th, 2009 05:13 am (UTC)
It never occured to me for a second that Ted and Charlie hadn't set up the lunch thing with Amanda from jump.

By which you mean from the time that Ted figured out that Amanda was snooping. That scenario would make sense to me. Amanda comes to Ted's class, he's duped into taking her to Charlie's house, he realizes (out loud!) that she's up to something. She makes up an explanation, he pretends to buy it, he calls Charlie, they set up the lunch. Yes, that works. My brain wasn't filling all of that in while I was watching them have lunch, so I felt confused...

I still don't believe Micky is dead, lots of blood or no. The man is a genius, and he knows that Roman is after him. I could see myself donating blood to the "Faking my death so I am not tortured by a Russian mobster" fund over time. And if he is dead I will weep. In some ways I think he and Roman might be the only people who really get Charlie in most ways.

Oh, from your lips. I have come to really love Rayborn, and I truly hope he's alive. I would love to see Rayborn and Charlie and Bodner form some kind of hilariously unsettled triad to bring Roman down.

I thought that when DL sat down next to his wife the tv was going to catch on fire.

It is a boatload of fun to see them together, isn't it? They're very hot.
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )