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Life: Three Women

Come on in and talk about Life!

You know, I really recommend watching these twice.  Not just for the plot-impaired, like me, but for everyone.  It’s better after it’s settled in your brain once.  You see all kinds of stuff and the real beauty of the episode comes through. 


Having said that, this wasn’t one of my favorite episodes.  But, like any episode of Life, it’s better than almost anything else on TV.  So I did like it just fine.


Ted!  I like Ted as a sounding board for Charlie.  They look at the photo of Reese and Rayborn.

Ted:  “What are you gonna do?  You gotta do something!  You want me to do something. I can do something.  You gotta do something!  Don’t you?”  Ok, he’s not so much helpful all the time.  As, you know, crazy-making.  But I like that he’s involved. 


Hey, that’s Jason Beghe, who is a HITG of massive proportions.  Seriously, you’ve seen him before, right?  I think he’s fantastic in this!  Especially in the scenes in the interrogation room.


I like the fight in the elevator, both because the cut to it is startling and because of the prison conversation. So right away, I know this is going to be a good Prison Charlie episode.  It’s one of the brilliant aspects of this character, and used to great effect.  I love it when he pulls that out, either to get the drop on a suspect (like the knife at the guy’s groin in that one episode) or just knowing what someone’s up to (like in the episode with the student prison experiment, where he knew the kid was inciting a riot) or as a way to connect to the suspect somehow and figure him out (as in this episode, where he knows that John is “that guy”).


John:  “What years?”

Charlie: “94 to 06.”

John:  “Attwater, 98 to 08.”


Jane: “Which one of you is Charlie Crews?” 

Ok, is she just being witty or something?  Because, as she’s about to reveal, she knows Dani’s name and Bobby’s name and she knows they were both his partners. She explains that she’s done her research.  And she doesn’t know what Charlie looks like? Random girls on buses know what Charlie looks like!  Pfft.


Whatever, the show redeems itself with Charlie’s line.

Charlie:  “But just to be clear, you’re not.”

Jane: “Not what?”

Charlie: “My new partner.  I have a partner. I have two partners!”

Yes YOU DO, Charlie.  *makes face at Jane*


They interrogate John.  Jane is trying to understand about the letters to prisoners.  This is classic Life right here:
Jane:  “Lots of girls do it.”  (sarcastic)

John:  “Lots of girls do it.”  (truthful)

Charlie:  “Lots of girls do it.” (light bulb)


I love this show.


And then he locks her out of the room!  I love that too!  Charlie: “You’re that guy.”


Ok, for the record, I don’t like the Jane character. Not like I was exactly predisposed to like anyone replacing Reese, but still. 


I mean, I like what they’re trying to do with her:  she’s the chipper, annoying overachiever.  Good way to distinguish her both from Reese and Charlie.  And I like how DL is playing off of her --- making Charlie sort of amused, baffled and irritated all at once.  But I’m not happy with Gabrielle Union at this point. To put it succinctly, she’s over-acting. I hate over-acting.


I’m willing to give her a chance, though.  Part of the weirdness is that she’s coming into an established show. Tangent: I caught five minutes of an old, old episode of ER yesterday.  SO awful with the overacting.  All of them (except maybe Clooney and I really don’t even have a crush on him, he just has an admirable restraint, somehow.  Always has.)  Same thing I noticed with the pilot of The West Wing which (as you know) is tied for my favorite show of all time.  I started watching it at the start of Season 2, watched that season, then went back to the beginning on DVD.  I tell you, the pilot was very weird for me.  Everybody was like their character, only on way too much sugar.  Punching every line, giving slightly bigger reaction faces, hitting these plump, rosy beats too hard, making it all too cute. Bouncy, bouncy music behind all of it (and you know I love Snuffy).  That’s the feeling I get from Gabrielle Union, optimistically.  Maybe it’s just beginner’s ick. Listen to her when she says to Tidwell, “I’m not a robot.”  She looks right at him, smug face, then a big grin.  MUCH too much.  Now imagine Reese saying something like that.  Better, right?   Anyway, GU might get way better, way fast.  Fingers crossed.


Reese.  I feel so bad for her.  She thought she was getting a great assignment and instead she’s living inside some nightmarish interrogation.  If that woman says “I’m asking you to be a cop” one more time I’m going to lose my mind because NO YOU’RE NOT.  You’re asking you to, at minimum, implicate someone she loves in a murder.


Storefront Church of Ewww.  Christian Prisoner Fangirl:  “Millions of his words he poured deep into me.  They went right up into me.  I’ve never been filled like that before.  It was raw and hot.  Filled me all the way up.  It was like a wire humming up inside of me.” 

Ok, I’m going to throw up.  Might be morning sickness, cause I think I got pregnant just listening to that. 


PANTS sighting, walking out of the church.  Maybe there’s a wire humming up inside him.  Nah, even thinking about Charlie, that’s still gross.


I liked this.

Tidwell:  “Women write to you?”

Charlie:  “Yep.”

Tidwell:  “You write em back?”

Charlie:  “Nooo.”


Jane is speed-reading.

Tidwell:  “Maybe she’s a robot.  Have you seen her blink?  Robots don’t blink.”

They go into the room with Jane.  Hello, Pants!

Charlie:  “Blinked.”

Tidwell:  “Saw that.”

Ha!  I love how they played that scene and I loved that Charlie went there!  He just went with Tidwell’s robot theory.  That was so cute.  I’m liking them together lately.


John’s back from the Lam he was on.  They put him in the interrogation room.  HOLY Mother of Pants look at Charlie leaning against the wall.  Rewatch, I’m telling you. 


I like how John looks at Charlie and says “She was the face I looked at when I was on trial.”  I really love that he’s reaching out to Charlie and that Charlie understands just what he means.  Again, Jason Beghe is great in this. 


I also like how Jane tells John he’s going to prison for life but John asks Charlie whether that’s true.  Charlie just blinks.  If we didn’t already know John was not guilty (which, then shame on us) Charlie’s non-reaction would tell us.  Nice job.


On the phone with Reese.  Each is looking at a photo of the other one with Rayborn.

Reese:  “So how’s she working out?”

Charlie:  “Yeah, she’s doing ok.”

Reese:  “Well don’t forget about me.”

Charlie (a touch ironically):  “I won’t.”

Reese:  “So he killed her because she was looking for the diamonds?”

Charlie:  “Yeah, looks like it.”

Reese: “You don’t think so?  ….Crews?  Sometimes things are just what they look like, right?”

Charlie:  “Yeah, Reese.  Sometimes things are just what they look like.”


Aw, I’m sad, but that was a good scene.  They’re still on the phone talking about his case all the time, which is nice.  And she can tell by his voice that he doesn’t like John for the murder, but she’s saying what she would say if she were with Charlie, trying to help him close the case.  That’s nice too.  And yet, they’re both talking about each other --- trying to talk themselves into believing what they’re seeing.  Trying to wrap their minds around the possibilities that they don’t want to face.  Sad, but good.


Ok, I need help with this aspect of it, though.  Charlie is very troubled by the photo of Reese with Rayborn.  Reese is very troubled by the photo of Charlie with Rayborn.  Am I stupid?  /rhetorical, ok?  Why are they so bugged? 


Let’s take Reese first.  If Reese talked to Rayborn --- and we know she has some idea who he is (friend of her dad, who had been linked to the conspiracy) --- why wouldn’t she think Charlie would talk to Rayborn?  That’s all she has:  Charlie talked to Rayborn.  I get why she thinks Charlie’s capable of killing Rayborn, but she has SO little evidence and SO much trust in her partner that I really don’t get why she doesn’t just ask him.  Unless her phone is bugged, which it really might be. 


Now Charlie.  He didn’t know Reese was involved in any way with Rayborn except that (as he must know) Rayborn knows Jack Reese.  Why would he be so unglued that Reese had a conversation with Rayborn?  He knows that Reese has been tormented by the idea that Jack was involved in the conspiracy.  Wouldn’t Rayborn be someone she might talk to if she still had doubts?  Even if that’s not plausible to him, all he has is that photo.  All he knows is that they had a conversation.  Why wouldn’t he just ask her?  Unless his phone is bugged, which it really might be.


What I would like is precisely that.  That each of them thinks there’s a small chance that the other one killed Rayborn, and they’re afraid to talk about it on the phone for fear that the FBI or Roman is listening and would hear damning conversation.  Each doesn’t want the other arrested for Rayborn’s murder.  But, see, that’s just my shipper heart talking, because I think The Show is saying that they don’t trust each other anymore.  L


Anyway, Charlie’s question to Ted indicates that he realizes this FBI assignment has something to do with him or Rayborn or the conspiracy.


I like Charlie in the theater, interrupting the Lyle or whatever his name is.  I like it when Charlie is goofy and dangerous at the same time.  And Charlie watching Jane eat is funny. 


Jane, Charlie and Charlie’s Paaaants! go back to re-interview Sally’s boss. This is not the best pants episode, but it’s not half bad.


Ok, I need more help. Lyle was arrested for attacking an LA detective at a theater?  I’m so confused.  So he was arrested for arguing with Charlie?  Or he attacked Charlie when…Charlie went to arrest him? 


And why did Charlie call Bodner?  I knew he would call Bodner eventually, but I figured it would be about Roman.  Because this:  a) Roman made Bodner shoot Charlie.  b) Charlie returned the bullet to Bodner by shooting him in the leg. c) Charlie told Bodner to keep the bullet.  I figured that meant, “Keep it until we team up to go after Roman.”  But he’s nowhere near ready to go after Roman, is he?   Help?


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 20th, 2009 02:25 am (UTC)
Not reading. Wouldn't understand if I was reading. And I SOOOO want to be caught up so I CAN be reading!

(I'm officially halfway through Season 1. I don't know whether I should be excited or depressed I only have half of season 1 to go!)
Mar. 20th, 2009 04:50 am (UTC)
Hurry up! If you can.

Mar. 20th, 2009 08:14 pm (UTC)
I've just started S2 - but all the eps are on my PC which is currently in pieces :( so my catching up is being sadly delayed. But I'm enjoying the show.
Mar. 20th, 2009 02:53 am (UTC)
Maybe I should re-watch the episode since I was so meh for the whole episode save for the parts with Crews and Reese interacting.

Seever is not winning me and I hope the next few episodes would but this episode kind of validate my thinking that I don't see Union pulling off the acting chops required of someone acting against DL's caliber.

Besides... Seever seems so much like a rookie when you compare her to Reese, actually every time Seever held a gun she looked misplaced using it. I do wonder why she thinks being a cop would help her become mayor. It's not exactly a popular route, I'd think being a DA would be a much better chance.

As for the partners, I was screaming: 'DAMMIT, SIT DOWN AND JUST TALK ALREADY!' at the monitor and at the same time my heart broke for them. They seemed so miserable suspecting each other.

But I aww'd when Reese said: 'Don't forget about me.' and then I see them staring at the other's incriminating photos and I'm once again compelled to scream: 'TALK TO EACH OTHER, DAMMIT!'
Mar. 20th, 2009 04:53 am (UTC)
I agree about Gabrielle Union. But she is tall. I like that. *g*

And I agree about Reese and Crews (as you probably saw, above). Exactly right --- why wouldn't they just ask each other? They've been working together for awhile; they totally trust each other; the entirety of the problem is a photograph of two people talking. HUH? This is the insurmountable obstacle? One conversation. Jeez.

And because I know SS is pregnant, it feels like just a device sometimes and takes me out of the story.
Mar. 20th, 2009 09:18 am (UTC)
I gathered from the end that Charlie returned to the theater and provoked Lyle into attacking him. Lyle didn't commit the murder but Charlie realized that Lyle was a bad guy who would kill again. So he arranged for Lyle to attack a cop and break his parole and get tossed back into the slammer.

I just wish we'd gotten to see it.

As for Charlie & Reese, I think what disturbed Reese, and therefore made her more suspicious of Charlie's connection to Rayborn, was that photo of Charlie and Jack. She seemed fairly freaked by it. It was obviously (more so on Jack's side) a very confrontational picture, which doesn't jibe cleanly with Charlie's reassurance a couple of weeks ago that Jack was not part of the conspiracy. Now she's suspicious of everything.

I find Gabrielle Union reasonably entertaining. But yes, she's hitting the notes too hard. And Charlie, who's normally so agreeable and cooperative, is actively resisting the notion that she's his partner.

I loved the bit where he said, "Don't write that down. Don't."

I don't know about Bodner. I just think Charlie needs help and Bodner is the only one he can ask.

Edited at 2009-03-20 09:18 am (UTC)
Mar. 20th, 2009 03:41 pm (UTC)
I gathered from the end that Charlie returned to the theater and provoked Lyle into attacking him. Lyle didn't commit the murder but Charlie realized that Lyle was a bad guy who would kill again. So he arranged for Lyle to attack a cop and break his parole and get tossed back into the slammer.

Right, that makes sense. Sprining from Lyle's comment about there not being anything left to take a picture of, next time.

I just wish we'd gotten to see it.

I agree! I love it when Charlie deliberately provokes bad guys. It's kinda hot.

It was obviously (more so on Jack's side) a very confrontational picture, which doesn't jibe cleanly with Charlie's reassurance a couple of weeks ago that Jack was not part of the conspiracy. Now she's suspicious of everything.

I think you're absolutely right; that makes sense. It still doesn't sit quite right for me (what the show is doing, not your explanation). Reese knew that Charlie was investigating her father's role in the conspiracy. And there's a photo of them arguing. So what? Why wouldn't they have a heated conversation? I would expect them to have a heated conversation. Charlie digs into Jack, Jack doesn't like it and protests his innocence, Charlie discovers Jack is telling the truth. Wasn't that the scenario in her head in the first place? My whole issue is that these photos don't seem like enough to be this divisive.

And Charlie, who's normally so agreeable and cooperative, is actively resisting the notion that she's his partner.

Yeah, you make a good point -- Charlie generally goes with the flow. He encounters a personality and lets them take him where they want to go (even if it's in service of defeating the other person). But with Jane, he can't quite bring himself to do that. I think he's showing in a great and subtle way that he's trying to be ok with her, but the zen just isn't covering his resentment of her as Reese's replacement. My favorite example of this, and the most blatant one, was "But just to be clear, you're not." Loved that.
Mar. 20th, 2009 04:26 pm (UTC)
I love it when Charlie deliberately provokes bad guys. It's kinda hot.

It's VERY hot.

It's hot in the same way it was when he was Winters. (Even though he'll always be Winters, really.) Both Charlie and Dick are very even-tempered people and, at the heart of them, not violent. And when they do resort to violence, it's also sort of calm, in a weird way. Controlled.

Which is ... yep. Hot.

And there's a photo of them arguing. So what? Why wouldn't they have a heated conversation?

We also have to add in Reese's natural pessimism. I think she instinctively believes the worst about her father. He's probably the one who made her this way. So even though Charlie told her that Jack was innocent, I can see that just not sitting right in her mind and therefore it would only take a small spark to rouse her suspicion again.
Mar. 22nd, 2009 02:44 pm (UTC)
The whole photos thing confused me too, but I think you're right, deen. I also have to guess that Dani's phone is being bugged and my instinct is thatif the FBI knew she would see Crews in person, she would be asked to wear a wire. Thing is, they know each other so well at this point that they could have that conversation without actually saying too many words.

I also get a sense of Charlie's mild amusement with Jane's inexperience. His attitude with her seemed to me to say "you have so much left to learn..." On top of that, there is also a layer of disrespect for the fact that she doesn't plan to be a cop for long, that it isn't good enough for her. Here is a guy who was a cop, did 12 years for a crime he didn't do, then made it a condition of his suit that he be allowed to be a cop again. It is who he is and what he loves and that she sees this job as a astepping stone seems to me to irk him more than a little.

Last, I think I had my first official Pants moment in this episode that was as clear and wondorous as watching at your place, marymary. It was such a lightbulb moment (and Joe didn't understand my glee) that I had to explain our Sisterhood to him. He still doesn't undestand...
Mar. 22nd, 2009 05:46 pm (UTC)
On top of that, there is also a layer of disrespect for the fact that she doesn't plan to be a cop for long, that it isn't good enough for her.

That's a really good point. I hadn't thought of that. His bemusement at her "fifteen-year-plan" did have a touch of disapproval to it.
Mar. 22nd, 2009 09:40 pm (UTC)
That, and he's such a "live in the now," "nothing exists except this moment" kind of guy that the idea of a 15-year plan seems a bit naive and ridiculous to him.
Mar. 23rd, 2009 01:57 pm (UTC)
I don't see Charlie as not respecting Jane, or not thinking she is a good cop. He isn't comfortable with her. She isn't one of his partners (or Tidwell, even). Plus, and I think this the point of the character, he reacts to her the way Reese reacted to him when they first started out. Hell, the way she still does, some of the time. I think it is kind of funny that someone is Charlieing Charlie. But yeah, she needs to tone it down a bit.

The whole "why won't they just ask each other thing" is going to make me crazy. It is exactly the thing that I hate on tv shows, very contrived, and the fact that TWO characters are doing it(and one of them is Charlie, who fears no uncomfortable moment) is enough to give me an anuerysm.

I predict a very, very funny scene with Jane and Bobby before long.
Jun. 9th, 2018 05:31 pm (UTC)
"I'm not a robot"
I laughed at that line, because I saw it as an in-joke reference to BOB: "I'm not a Quaker". Set up the same way (an oh-by-the-way pause at the door), line delivered with the same cadence, stress, intonation, and the same quick, sly smile before ducking out. She'd been shown the scene in the truck and directed to mimic it. Or that's the way I saw it, at least.
Jun. 9th, 2018 07:19 pm (UTC)
Re: "I'm not a robot"
Interesting! I don't remember the line well enough to say (do I need another rewatch?) but that would be cool if it's true.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )