But sod that. I came home to find my dearest, most beloved friend had dropped off episode seven in my letter box. SAM! GENE! And as slashy as, oh my.
So a little filler before I inflict spoilers and twisted extra textual readings upon you all.
Since my boys are working out of Manchester and Salford CID, I was bemused when this article about Sioux in Salford popped up. I'd known about Buffalo Bill's UK tours (in fact, there are a couple of half written fics on my zip revolving around same), but I'd not heard about how some of the cast were left behind or stayed behind (seeing as how it was around the time of Wounded Knee, I can see Manchester's relative attractions). And then some researcher decided to look them up, and found descendants. Suddenly, Mancunians had cousins on the reservation. It tickles me and somebody ought to buy up the film rights. And Sam better watch out for Injuns, or he'll really end up with an arrow in his hat - heh. (But he's very cool for cats).
And meanwhile I was thinking there's some Donnie Darko in the mix, somewhere, and I do hope if we finally find out what all these running through trees flashbacks mean, that the denouement is a little bit more than in Carnivale, where after two seasons of mysterious jump cuts of running through cornfields we finally had Ben and Justin chase each other through the confields, hack and slash at either just a bit, throw in some Christian imagery and roll credits. It was a little bit of a let down after so much build up. I'm just thinking it's all a bit de ja vu, that bit of it, at least. Not that I don't have faith, because they absolutely delighted me again.
I feel a bit nervous
I feel a bit mad
I feel like a good time that's never been had
I feel a bit fragile
I feel a bit low
Like I learned the right lines
But I'm on the wrong show
I'd made the mistake of peeking at spoilers, I couldn't help myself, and I was afeared the boys were on the outer. Not a bit of it. Gene is a better man than that. A far better man. Oh, this episode was just the proper old school slash I've been craving.
And how much do I love Gene? He just unfolds like a flower.
The episode starts with a chase, another brilliant chase, and Sam even slides across a car bonnet, and so does Gene, to lesser effect. Go on, Sam, you love the 70s, admit it. In fact, it's one part of my fic that has not yet been cancelled out, the idea that Sam secretly likes where he is. Gene even asks Sam to admit it, but he won't, but he's not making any real effort to get home, either. Everytime he's offered a way out, he chickens out. That is of course if he's time travelling or in a coma. If he's just mad, then he's pretty much screwed. (Well, okay, he did try to tear everything down this week, but it didn't work, but was Sam sincere in wanting to get out? Really get out?)
So then Gene asks Sam out to dinner. No, really. An actual dinner date. He makes some comment about wanting to hear about drug policing in Hyde, and that the Missus is away and he doesn't want to eat alone, but it's all subterfuge. He even lets Sam drag him downtown for a more authentic curry and is quite enjoying himself until Sam has another one of his little turns. This is where we see that Gene is well aware that Sam is as mad as a march hare, but he doesn't care because he's obviously fond of Sam, and Sam gets results. Just watch the way Gene just sighs, puts down his napkin and gently herds a freaking Sam out of the curry house. It's so damn sweet. I had to watch it half a dozen times.
Alas, while they've been out on their misfire of a dinner date, because that is so what it was, it was so a date, there's been a death in custody, and Sam gets all Royal Commission on everyone's arses, to everyone's disgruntlement. We get the lovely and amusing scene of the lads discussing what to do in the loo while Gene takes a piss, and talk about a comfortable level of intimacy there, and then Gene winds Sam up, Sam charges him and Gene has Sam pressed up against the mirror in a lovely bit of homoerotic violence when the big boss walks in. Gene lets Sam go, who makes a big thing about rubbing his shoulder, which Gene watches rather too carefully, then there's the old lecture from the bastard high up boss, straight out of The Sweeney. Loved Gene's comment about "Not going to wash your hands this time sir? How unlike you." Everything in this show has at least two meanings, and that line was a corker. In this episode we learn that Gene is not at all as dumb as he looks. Not by a longshot.
Anyway, after some particularly nasty moments as the team tears itself apart, because Sam is like a nasty little dog with a bone, we learn that Gene was just winding Sam up and letting him go, and Gene's anger was mostly an act, and mostly directed to himself, but it was easier to let Sam do the dirty work, because he was the outsider. Finally we trully see that Gene isn't just some hard headed buffoon or a lout with a badge, but clever, wiley, deeply principled, loyal and a superb player of political games and strategies.
And he's also very protective of Sam, which I liked. He's always watching him, keeping an eye out. I really like the way Gene watches out for Sam, because Sam obviously doesn't know the rules. I also really like the way that Gene has evolved beyond listening to Sam and using his advice to just letting Sam run with it, though it's true that Gene wanted to demonstrate some distance in this instance. But the whole playing off Sam's strengths, I really liked that. Gene has learnt how to play Sam like a fiddle. Heh.
Sam, meanwhile, is a bit of a shit in this episode, rebuffing obvious overtures from both Gene and Annie, turning on his friends, and being very nasty about it. The whole episode was about Sam trying to tear down the world, so he could get home, but the world didn't come crashing down, but a lot of his friendships were very badly damaged. Except Gene, who wants Sam to accept where he is and who he is. My gosh, what a scene. Gene wants Sam to find out what he really wants, and to take it. Some great alternative readings are promised in that little scene.
Aside from Sam's brutal investigation, the episode also carried the theme of being tested. Being tested by everyone and the situation at the station, and being tested in the present. If Sam is really in a coma, he was being tested for responsiveness, by seeing and hearing 2006, and suddenly tasting tabasco. But if he's just nuts, he was exhibiting the classic signs of schizophrenia, and freaking out, and everyone has seen him freak out too many times to not think he's missing a few cards in the deck. Especially Ray, and their animosity is ramped up to breaking point. But I don't think Ray could ever try anything when Gene was around, because Gene wouldn't stand for it. Sam is Gene's new number one, make no mistake.
So there it was, Gene taking Sam out to dinner, trusting Sam to do what he had to, and wanting Sam to accept and commit to where he was. Aw. Throw in the loo scene and I think it's one of the slashiest episodes ever, though there is some, ahem, stiff competition. Especially when they were undercover in the pub. Heh. They are so doing it.
I've also now got Disco 2000 stuck in my head. Thanks, Sam. Your insanity is catching. actually, it's funny though. A couple of weeks ago I started digging out cds for a DIY soundtrack, and I picked up my Pulp stuff and thought what a pity, not this time. Well, come back, Pulp, all is forgiven, apparently. I still don't know where Sam said he saw Pulp. Somewhere in Manchester I presume. Either that accent is getting thicker or he had a mouthful of curry, or both. I am amused. Gary Numan and now Pulp? Oh, Sam, I'm in love, if not for the fact you're a high maintenance anal little twat who is as mad as a hatter and secretly fancies big tough coppers. But aside from that, Sam, your music tastes are excellent and you strut your stuff so well.
Heh, on second thoughts, even with the barking mad, highstrung and secretly gay bits, especially with the barking mad, highstrung and actually gay bits, Sam reminds me of my old boyfriends. Heh. Not wholly, but he's definitely the type I used to fancy heaps, and still do, apparently. Oh dear.
Not that it does me much good. Not in this town. I couldn't even find any additional Simm on dvd, not even for money. Sigh.
The current office discussion, re yet another restructure, was how were we going to welcome folks from a nice dept with a nice website to our cruddy little plot. I just burst out laughing, because all I could think of was slamming them against the filing cabinet and telling them welcome to 1973. How very bloody apt. Much like Sam's world, it's a sad state of affairs, but funny at the same time.
There's been a lot of whining from young Simm regarding the 70s clothes in the press, but if this picture I found, circa 2003, is any indication, methinks he doth protest too much. Isn't he just too cute?
I love Sam. I don't want Sam to wake up. I think he should do what Gene says and just accept it and start living in the 70s.
I'm livin' in the 70's
Eatin' fake food under plastic trees
My face gets dirty just walkin' around
I need another pill to calm me down
Life on Mars
Life on Mars
Q&A: John Simm
Life on Mars Part Seven: Death and Corruption
Life on Mars writers on another planet - top cop
Movie shirts sold for $135,500
Clooney takes on his dad's battles
It's called 'acting'!
The New World on DVD May 30th
"Firewall" Melbourne Premiere
"Tsotsi" Los Angeles Premiere - Red Carpet Arrivals
"Tsotsi" Los Angeles Premiere - Arrivals
Is this bust the true face of Shakespeare?
Sorry, wrong habitat: the lost croc of Dee Why
Croc shown the love
Fair fight: research shows gladiators played by rules
Bags of worries
Livin' In The Seventies
Digitally Distributed Environments
Only a meaner nation could turn Kerry Packer into a secular saint