Friday, December 19, 2008

Life - Recap & Review - "Trapdoor"


Original Air Date:18 Dec 2008

Brittany Wells – TwoCents Reviewer

I have a confession to make: I honestly didn’t get through last week’s episode of Life. Something about it just totally grossed me out. But give me Russian mobsters and a fall finale, and I’m so there. After all, this is the last of Charlie and Co. we’ll see until February. And wow, what a finale!

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[photo: Chris Haston/NBC]


  1. I have a confession to make: I honestly didn’t get through last week’s episode of Life. Something about it just totally grossed me out. But give me Russian mobsters and a fall finale, and I’m so there. After all, this is the last of Charlie and Co. we’ll see until February. And wow, what a finale!

    Crews and Reese find the bodies of three men shot dead at a construction site. One of these dead bodies is not like the other: two have Russian mob tattoos and one doesn’t. How many Russians do we know? Just the one, really. Crews calls Mickey Raybourn, asking after the slippery Roman Nevikov, who happens to have FBI Agent Bodner in his back pocket while he’s at it. Mickey says if he really thinks the two are connected he’d best go find out. Turns out the first two guys are low-level Russian mobsters (duh), and the third? A construction worker named Paul, who has a naïve girlfriend named Liza. Of course there’s always a naïve girlfriend. Or neighbor. When somebody gets arrested for murder, you never hear any of his neighbors on the news going, “Oh my God he was a complete psycho,” do you?

    Reese has some developments of her own. She’s taking the lieutenant’s test. I don’t remember her ever making sergeant (though if I’m wrong, someone please correct me), but it would be cool to see her in charge of something even if I think she’d snap some people’s heads off in the process. And apparently she’s hanging out at Tidwell’s house now. It’s either him telling her that his dad would love her, or Nevikov saying her father could’ve been shot by her partner, that drives her back to drinking. At least she’s woman enough to admit it, and unsurprisingly, she ends up ordered back to AA. But most importantly, Reese finally meets Rachel Seybolt, who blinks at her last name but doesn’t tell the detective she knows her father. So incredibly awkward, but so much possibility there.

    Speaking of fathers? Charlie shoots his in the leg. To be fair, his father was trying to break into his house, even if only to deliver an invitation to his and Olivia’s wedding. You’re telling me the guy couldn’t just turn up in the daytime and hand it over or leave it under the doormat? Charlie’s dad ribs on his son a bit and it’s clear there’s no love lost between the two. Everyone thinks Charlie is a whack job for shooting his dad, but if somebody broke into my house, I’d shoot first and ask questions later. And Olivia is conspicuously absent. Which is okay, because Ted is still in prison.

    This is clearly the comic subplot of the episode and I loved it. Ted thinks he’s going to get beaten up in prison but takes it like a man – and then is saved at the last moment by a big huge guy in for multiple life sentences who tells him Charlie said not to worry. Seems Crews still has friends in the joint so now Ted has friends in the joint.

    But back to the case at hand. Crews (even though he’s on leave because he shot his dad) and Reese go to visit Matthew Ross from The 4400. No, I mean Cromartie from Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles. No, I mean Nevikov. I swear Garret Dillahunt’s number must be on the speed-dial of every casting director looking for a really creepy guy. He weirds me out. But you know that if you were to meet him in the supermarket, he’s probably the nicest guy on the planet. Of course he denies everything, but they find construction signs in a closet at his club, and a bartender confides that while it closed for repairs she couldn’t recognize a thing different three weeks later.

    Eventually they go back to Liza, and she tells them that despite her working at a coffee shop, she and Paul went to another coffee shop to people-watch. Turns out the new Federal building is conveniently across the street. Later, Crews examines her notes to find Paul’s engineering sketches of Roman’s club. Bingo: the two are connected. Of course, they find this out just as Liza and the cops guarding her are kidnapped. They raid Nevikov’s club and Charlie steals his little electronic wannabe Palm Pilot, which also happens to reveal a trap door in the club where Liza and the cops are all held hostage. Finally, the Russian gets his.

    But it’s not quite over yet. Reese turns up on Charlie’s doorstep saying she needs to know about her father. Then the doorbell rings again. Thinking it’s Olivia come to claim his father, Charlie goes to get it – and gets shot in the chest. He has a brief glimpse of what might be heaven…well, it’s his old prison cell. If that’s heaven I think Charlie got screwed. Anyway, we see Reese tending to her partner as he lays bleeding…and then of course we end on a cliffhanger!

    So who shot Charlie? Was it the corrupt FBI agent Bodner? Mickey Raybourn? Some other random person? Take your best guess below; we’ve got plenty of time to speculate.

  2. I agree - Garret Dillahunt is SO very creepy!

  3. Glad to see somebody agrees with me! He reminds me of this baseball player named Jayson Werth. Every time you look at the guy, he just looks like he's going to murder you; yet we joke that he's probably the nicest guy in the world. It's just one of those things I guess. But this guy is obviously a very good actor as well if he really scares us all that much.

  4. This was hands down the best episode of season 2. I'd go even as far as say that this is as good as season 1 episodes, in fact, it *felt* like a season 1 episode. I love that they shifted their focus back into Charlie and Dani and their partnership from prickly to trusting and that Dani finally, finally asked Charlie about her father's involvement.

    Also, much as I love to see Dani happy, Dani's a lot more interesting when she's battling her demons than when she's skipping along and happy. And I'm far more interested in Crews and Reese's partnership than I am at any manufactured relationships the show is trying to build (although, I must say last night I'm finally seeing the Tidwell and Reese thing but I don't think that thing will last.)

  5. Sorry to steer the convo back to Garret Dillahunt, but he played a REALLY nice guy in "No Country for Old Men" but that movie was hella creepy so it didn't do ANYTHING for his Creep-Factor!

    In real life he probably rescues puppies and walks little old ladies across the street!

  6. Isa,

    Ditto to everything you just said. As I was saying to someone a few weeks ago I was waiting to see Dani get involved in the whole conspiracy arc -- she knows there's something going on with her dad, Rachel obviously knows her dad. I REALLY hope that they do more with her and Rachel, there's a lot of plot there.

    Likewise, I'm still sitting on the fence with Tidwell and started to grow on me up to the point they jumped in bed together. I still wonder why they got rid of Lt. Davis and Constance.

  7. To be honest, I really couldn't care less about Tidwell and Reese but this episode was the first that I didn't have the instinctive reaction to go: 'AGGGHHHH, WHY?'

    I hope they do something with Rachel and Dani too, I really do think Dani met Rachel when they were younger. I wonder what Dani knows about Jack that at age 12 it drove her to drink, we know the Bank of LA shootout occurred when she was 12 years old.

    I also hope Constance returns too because I felt like they left off Constance 'betraying' Charlie for so long. Also, I want Dani and Davis to at least talk. They used to be close and Davis used to be Reese's mentor, one of the reasons I loved having Davis around was because Davis and Reese has a history that' entirely separate from Charlie.

  8. There are so many little interesting tidbits on this show that you just *know* the writers are going to connect. It shows they've really thought out this conspiracy idea.

    I'm curious as to why the writers dumped Constance and Davis. I don't see Connie coming back, they really seem to have moved past her and whatever she had with Charlie in favor of getting him in bed with his ex-wife. It was great to see Davis back in that one episode where her partner went kind of insane, though and I wonder if we'll see her again,


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