Life With Charlie Crews, Season 1: Episodes Three and Four

It’s Tuesday, so it must be time for the second installment of our summer re-watch of “Life”! I was tasked with Season 1, Episodes Three and Four (“Let Her Go” and “What They Saw”, respectively).


I will admit it: I’m a crime drama junkie! I have watched every episode (multiple times) of the original “Law and Order” (yes all 456!) and even did background work in two scenes in Season 17, Episode 3. Thanks to the modern miracles we call Amazon Prime and Netflix, I have also been able to devour “Sherlock”, “Walllander”, “Prime Suspect” “Inspector Morse” “Inspector Lewis” “Endeavour” “Grantchester” “Luther” and “Shetland”. However, I have never watched a single episode of “CSI”, whether it be New York, Miami, Las Vegas or Des Moines! While thinking about why I enjoyed some shows more than others, I began to see what drew me to the ones I loved.

“Sherlock”, “Inspector Morse” and “Inspector Lewis” all have partners that are very different. And those differences would always lead to amusing scenes of banter between the two characters. Now, unlike one of my favorite television characters, The Doctor of Doctor Who (who is on record of not liking banter), I love it. It usually reveals the core of the relationship between the partners. And let’s face it; the chemistry between two partners can make or break a show.

Another thing I noticed that drew me to these shows were how the cities they were in basically were co-stars. “Endeavour” makes you believe you are in 1960’s Oxford, and the use of the different buildings of the University are amazing. “Inspector Morse” “Inspector Lewis”, also in Oxford, bring you a more modern day view of the city. “Grantchester” uses Cambridge as it’s home and again, the use of the University is beautiful.  With “Sherlock”, “Prime Suspect” and “Luther”, London is the star and I have never watched any episode without wanting to immediately book a trip to London! “Walllander”,  and “Shetland” use the beauty of Sweden and the Scottish Highlands respectively. Of course, “Law and Order” does an amazing job of featuring the greatest city in the world, my home of New York.

So, it would be natural for me to love “Life”, as it has both the characteristics that I believe make a great show: the banter between Charlie and Dani, and diverse backdrop of Los Angeles.


Dani: Are you really Zen?

Charlie: I’m Zenish.

In Episode 3 (“Let Her Go”) Charlie and Dani investigate the murder of a woman during a carjacking gone bad.

The show opens with a classic Charlie/Dani exchange:

Charlie: I think I might go into space. You can pay the Russians to take you up there now.

Dani: So after spending 12 years in a box down here, you’re gonna pay the Russians to put you in a box up there?

I love how Dani is usually the voice of reason. She is a no-nonsense woman, and just tells it like it is. I believe she is the perfect partner for Charlie, and she plays the ying to his yang.

While investigating the whereabouts of a possible suspect, Dani and Charlie walk into a garage to speak to the suspects “known associates”. While in the garage, Charlie spots and becomes enamored with a car.  Now, they never mention what type of car it is (the mechanic gives Charlie all the details of how “pimp” it is), but one look and I knew in an instant: it is a Buick Grand National. Now, I know very little about cars, but growing up, the Grand National was my dad’s dream car. Not a Mercedes, not a BMW; my dad loved that car and so it brought a smile to my face to see Charlie fall in love with the same car my dad did!

Charlie asks the mechanic if the car has GPS.

Mechanic: You don’t want that! The man track you like a dog with GPS!

Charlie: Yeah. I don’t want that. The man will track me down like a dog with that.

Dani: Crews, you are the man!

This episode highlights Los Angeles in several ways, but Charlie driving through the streets of downtown LA in his newly acquired Grand National (and pulling over his ex-wife and her husband) was the outstanding one for me.


In Episode 4 (“What They Saw”) a murder in the Los Angeles hills finds Charlie and Dani looking at multiple suspects and befriending a homeless man, Easley .


The scene of the murder is a typical magnificent home in the Los Angeles hills. Overlooking the city, the view from the pool at night is gorgeous. And in true Los Angeles fashion, the home has massive glass windows so you can enjoy that view indoors or out. I have never been to LA, but if I ever do get there, this is the type of home I would love to stay in.

While Dani is checking out the crime scene, Charlie investigates the woods behind the home. In the process, he comes across a homeless man (Holt Easley) living in the woods, who seems to think it is best to throw things at Charlie while he hides in a tree. Charlie climbs the tree and he and Easley fall to the ground. Dani comes upon this scene, while Charlie is hand-cuffing Easley. During and exchange between Dani and Easley, she calls Charlie “my partner”. While Easley is being taken away for the murder, Charlie is so happy Dani has finally called him her partner. She denies it, of course. Again, the dynamic of Dani not wanting to get too close to Charlie and Charlie embracing Dani is cute.

Charlie takes a liking to the mercurial Easley, and does not believe he is the murderer.

Charlie: If I were a cowboy, he’d be my goofy sidekick.

Dani: Kinda like how you’re mine.

Charlie and Dani need to know what Easley knows about the murder. As the drive him to the DA’s office, a classic exchange between Charlie and Dani takes place, with Easley happily joining in.

Easley: I’m kinda hungry.

Dani: Tough!

Charlie: I could eat something.

Dani: What did I just say?

Easley: Can we get burgers?

Charlie: I could go for a burger.

Dani: No!

Charlie: We gotta eat!

Easley: Tacos?

Charlie: I could go for tacos.

Dani brings the car to a screeching halt.

Dani: That’s it! If either of you say another thing about food, or anything, I’m gonna turn this car right back around and I’m taking him to jail!

There you have it. Dani having to play responsible Mom!

Fruit count:

Episode 3: a very delicious looking caramel apple

Episode 4: a bunch of green grapes

Bonus Question: Can anyone tell me if my two favorite actors, Damian Lewis & Peter Capaldi (The Doctor),  have ever worked together?


Author: Lady Trader

"Lady Trader" is a Brooklyn girl, and a Wall Street lifer! Recently fought cancer, and won! I love heavy metal, history, sci-fi, oh, and blogging about Billions and it's great lead actor, Damian Lewis!

9 thoughts on “Life With Charlie Crews, Season 1: Episodes Three and Four”

  1. This is a fantastic post that kept me giggling as I read! And I LOVE it that you randomly got assigned an episode that featured your dad’s favorite car! What are the odds? I also love how you identify what you like in a crime show. This is probably what I love the most about our blog – the posts almost always have a piece of us in addition to a big chunk of Damian.

    I have been to LA several times – mostly for work. In fact, we got offers from a university in LA but did not more. I could never bring myself to like that city. I can’t put my finger on it… Maybe it’s an East Coast – West Coast thing. Maybe it’s because you need to drive everywhere (I love my subway!). Maybe because a lot of stuff seems a little bit over the top in LA (you can always ask “is it not in NY?” :))). But exactly for that reason I think it was the RIGHT decision to have Life filmed in Los Angeles. Some crimes we see on the show could probably be listed as “only in Los Angeles.” 🙂

    Finally… I did a bit of research on your bonus question. Well, the answer is, no, they have not worked together. But funny thing is, first
    , both actors, separately, had their first TV break in Agatha Christie’s Poirot (one of my favorite crime shows which should go into my post!):
    And second, it seems they were supposed to work together in a thriller called Driven which probably fell through later:

    1. Ha! I knew if anyone could find a link between The Doctor and Charlie Crews it would be you my friend! It would have been great for them to work together, but they both went on to career defining roles, to it all worked out in the end!

      I totally get the East Coast/West Coast thing. I love my trips to San Diego, but I don’t know if I could ever live there. I need to be able to order pizza at 2:00 AM if need be, and as far as I know, you can only do that in NY.

      I do agree that LA was the perfect backdrop for “Life”. The lifestyle, the weather, the over-the-topness was perfect for telling the story of someone locked up “in a box” for 12 years.

      The car thing was great! I totally understood the look on Charlie’s face when he spotted that car; it was the same look my Dad would get if we saw one on the street!!

  2. I practically grew up on Morse (along with a Touch of Frost, Poirot and Miss Marple). You are not the only crime Drama Junkie here or as the Doctor may say (whether purposeful discovery or not!) You Are Not Alone! I watched CSI Miami and CSI NY, but weirdly (considering it came first) never liked CSI itself. The opening scene of Sherlock season 3 remains one of my favourite of TV. It is up there with the fake fight scene in Billions. Endeavour is a fantastic look at young Morse’s career. Have you ever seen Midsomer Murders? It is a good crime drama too.

    LA is a great extra it has to be said. I also appreciate the banter between Dani and Charlie. They have both come out of their own personal hells and are trying to find their way about, but go about it so differently. Charlie wants to smile, Dani wants to scowl. They compliment one another so well.

    I love Easley…I can’t be the only one who laughed when he threw that toaster at Charlie and the climbed the tree…right??? Charlie wanting to be so sure they get the right man is so admirable.

    Helen was in Doctor Who, does that count?

    1. I love that we love the same shows! And yes, I did love Easley and could totally see him being a sidekick to Charlie.

      I’m going to have to check out Midsomer Murders.

      Helen being on Doctor Who counts as one of the degrees of separation between DL & PC!

  3. AAH I knew there was another reason I liked you so much-another Whovian in our midst! The Doctor’s companions and the partners on crime dramas….great parallel! So many times, The Doctor is investigating a crime, of sorts, so that comparison really holds up well. Loved your insights-I am just loving Tuesdays, lately!! 😀

    1. I’m loving Tuesday’s also and it is thanks to you!

      And a fellow Whovian! You are so right about the Doctor and his companion investigating a crime. I guess since I loved the sci-fi aspect I didn’t see it as a kind of crime drama!

  4. Ha, I think I’ve seen every Law and Order too, though I haven’t counted. 😀 I’ve always loved the idea of basing a story on solving a mystery, be it murder or a missing painting or identifying a rare disease and curing it (like House, which, in case you haven’t heard, is based on Sherlock!). Can’t say I see all crime drama as equal, but there definitely are some good ones out there! Life was one of the good ones!

    I lived in LA for six years after college. Though not really what you’d call cohesive, it certainly has a very identifiable feel and character. The retro parts of LA always appealed to me….the art deco stuff in Hollywood. I lived right below Griffith Park in the Los Feliz area, which I learned only after I left is now a hip place to be. In general, it’s really a huge sprawling mess of a city…..each neighborhood seems to be its own little city. “Life” captures that ethos really well, I think.

    Great post!

  5. Wow! Love all the crime drama you mentioned. You must check out Luther with Idris Elba, Line of Duty with Martin Compton, The Bridge – Swedish/Danish version and definitely BROADCHURCH with David Tennant!

    1. Thank you! I have loved Luther (really wish they would make more!), and am anxiously awaiting S3 of Broadchurch here in the US. Line of Duty is next on my list (I found it on Hulu), right after I finish Happy Valley!

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