Hey, all! Holliedazzle here. Labor day has now come and gone, and for me that always felt like the unofficial end of summer. So, as the summer comes to an end, so does our “Life with Charlie Crews” summer series. We’d like to welcome you all to our season two wrap up!
This Tuesday is extra special, as not only are we talking about the last 3 episodes of the entire season, we are ALL talking about them! Each one of our fabulous contributors is weighing in on these final three episodes. Enjoy!
“I want a peaceful soul. I need a bigger gun.” — Charlie Crews
Last three episodes, other than the two “bad relationship” murders, build to the finale where we find out a lot but still do not have a proper closure. I am thinking out loudly about Season 2 wrap up below and cut some slack to the show runners since they probably did not know NBC would cancel Life and so deliberately left open questions for Season 3.
Some women disappear while others appear: As Life tries to work around Sarah Shahi’s pregnancy in Season 2, Dani becomes more of a sidekick than an equal partner to Charlie: unacceptable. As Dani has very little screen time in the last episodes, the other women of Life, Constance, Jen, and Rachel, completely disappear: unacceptable. Having said that, as sort of a balancing act, Life welcomes strong performances from two brilliant actresses!
Gabrielle Union shines as Charlie’s new partner Jane Seever! She is sort of everything Dani is not. Seever is an over-achiever: A cop. A lawyer. A speed reader. She has photographic memory. Oh wait, she is an Olympian, too: “just relay.” 😀 And besides she has a 15 year plan! Charlie’s psychoanalysis of why Seever is a sore loser is hilarious:
Helen McCrory kills as Rayborn’s security specialist Amanda Puryer! It is delightful that her British accent annoys Charlie and fascinates Ted 🙂 Well, sorry Charlie, I am with Ted on this one!
Moreover, Amanda seems to have invented smoking and knows how to hold a gun! She helps Charlie to locate Dani for a fee. She helps Ted to locate Olivia for free:
“I know she’s not your Olivia.” 😀
Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Charlie tears the picture of Dani with Rayborn on his yacht: “Objects are not deceiving. They are deception.” He trusts her. Dani wants to go to Charlie as she looks at his picture with Rayborn. She trusts him. So far so good. But 1 + 1 = 1? I know we will never know the rest of the story but I cannot imagine Charlie and Dani to be in love. Their relationship is RIGHT the way it is and they do not need to go there. Besides, I find the possibility of a romantic relationship between them unconvincing.
Charlie is the chosen one. So Rayborn notices this bright “kiddo” at the academy and wants to “own” him at all costs. Really? And why in the world Roman is obsessed with Rayborn’s choice? I want to believe what they give us in One is the tip of the iceberg and there is more to this story than a bunch of obsessive guys ruining Charlie’s life.
Charlie crushes Roman’s windpipe. “Officer new money” tries everything to put Roman behind bars. He thinks he did it only to find out some random guy is doing Roman’s time! Roman wastes many lives and gets by every single time! THIS obviously gets Charlie out of his Zen. We now know how he survived 12 years at Pelican Bay, don’t we?
Everything happens for a reason. I certainly sympathize with fans saying it is a shame Life was cancelled. The thing is… it is Brody who made me a Damian Lewis fan for life and a blogger, too! And there would probably have been no Brody should Damian have continued to be Charlie. I cannot even… 😀 So I choose to believe everything happens for a reason. Is it Zen, Crews?
Though I would have loved to watch the last three episodes and formulate my thoughts coherently, this deadline sneaked up on me! Been off grid forever it seems with various trips and family time. Will be back to devoting some time to the blog, starting with the next group Life post, I promise!
Now for our collective moment of Zen:
Hi! Lady Trader here with my thoughts on the last 3 episodes of “Life”.
I made sure not to read any of my “sister’s” posts, as I want to read everyone’s thoughts at the same time. I think it will be interesting to see if we all have similar thoughts, or totally disagree! That is the FUN part about this sisterhood – we all see things from different angles, and it makes for such interesting reading and discussion!
Overall, I was a bit disappointed on how the series ended. It felt (to me at least) that the direction of the show, drastically changed when Dani was “loaned” to the FBI. Now, I know this was to hide Sarah Shahi’s pregnancy. And many times, if it is not written into the story line, the actress who is expecting will be shown wearing loose fitting clothing, sitting behind a desk, holding something to cover her growing belly, etc. But, separating Dani and Charlie just changed the dynamic of the show a bit too much for me.
I also felt like the writers did not know what to do with Ted. I liked that we got to see a bit more of his background, and that he had a daughter and a grandson. But then in the last episode he just up and heads out to France to find “his Olivia”? It just seemed like the writers just wanted to end that storyline.
I did like Gabrielle Union as Jane Seever. I thought the chemistry between her and Charlie as great. They did a good job of playing off each other, and it was fun to watch. But, she wasn’t Dani. We watched these two people truly become partners over the two seasons of “Life”. We saw them gain each other’s trust. To have them separated (and I felt to have the FBI try and turn Dani against Charlie), just didn’t feel right.
I enjoyed both “5 Quarts” & “Initiative 38” as standalone episodes. The twists and turns in both really kept me guessing as to who was responsible for the murders. The rapport between Charlie and Seever was good, even if she did lock him out of the car!
I wish I could say that I liked “One”. I wonder if the writers knew that the series was not going to be renewed, and just wanted to tie everything up in a nice bow. Questions that were being asked over two seasons all got crammed into this last episode, and it felt jumbled to me. Roman owning the FBI; Rayborn being behind Seybolt’s killing (only because he wanted Charlie to work for him); Charlie losing his Zen. It was too much. I didn’t mind Charlie killing Roman. Charlie had been through so much, and his Zen helped him through most of it; but he had reached his breaking point. Again even how this went down felt forced. Roman causes all this havoc and boom, one chop to the throat and it’s over.
One thing that really bothered me was the implication that Charlie was in love with Dani. I’m not saying he did not care for her, or love her in a way. But in love? No. Men and women can work together, be great friends, but it doesn’t always have to lead to romantic love. Sometimes, one plus one does equal two, and that’s OK.
The shame of this to me is that I truly enjoyed this series (we will be posting our overall thoughts on that in a few weeks). It was fun, had great storylines, and had quirky characters. I was just let down on how the writers decided to end it. Maybe I’m being too critical; but because I like the show so much, I was hoping for a better conclusion for Charlie.
Life was a good journey. Individually season two provides some fantastic episodes, but collectively, as much as I love the show, I felt it was a bit all over the place. Storylines discarded without explanations, characters disappearing and others flung together from seemingly (IMO) nowhere.
Dani was truly relegated to a spare part in these episodes. We know Sarah was pregnant, but I can’t really buy that as an excuse for such a complete absence by the character in the most important episodes of the show. Though her appearances were not much better. The naivety to go with the FBI after she realised the agenda of turning her against Charlie is not something that I can accept from Dani Reese.
The trust, loyalty and strong bond of friendship Dani and Charlie have is something that I can believe in…the romance? Not so much. I was quite irritated by that ending. The question of quite how Tidwell would have dealt with “one” is an intriguing one.
Seever was rightly very worried about being in the position of owing Mickey Raybourne.
I am sure Charlie would do his best to help her out of that sticky situation though because in the words of Mickey Raybourne (played by the wonderful William Atherton)
“It was always about you Charlie”.
In Charlie’s words
“Everything is connected”.
So it is. Roman, it seems, is a tad jealous that Charlie Crews was Mickey’s choice to replace him at the top of the Police Mafia and wants Mickey in exchange for the safe return of Dani.
Here it is, an answer of sorts, Charlie Crews’ friend Tom Seybolt was to be framed for Money Laundering. Since he owned the bar with Charlie, if Tom is dirty then Charlie is too and Mickey and crew wished to invite Charlie into their group. Mickey doesn’t seem that bothered about the loss of the 12 years or the Seybolts because as far as he is concerned, Charlie turned out far better than even he could have imagined. You really get the sense from Raybourne that he feels pride in everything Charlie has become.
Charlie offers to trade himself (instead of Mickey) for Dani because he is Mickey Raybourne now. Dani watches aghast as Crews is whisked off and she will likely never see him again…do you know how Charlie survived 12 years in prison? Well, it wasn’t Zen after all. Charlie crushes Roman’s windpipe with one well aimed blow and is reunited with Reese.
One plus one = one…except that a bit like Charlie in the series finale I am having trouble with the maths. It doesn’t quite add up.
Hopefully this doesn’t come across as too negative and critical, but there is an element of disappointment. Ultimately, I feel Life is better than it receives credit for, but not as good as it could and should have been.
Life is worth a watch and re-watches because there is always something good to be found…well there would be…there can’t be nothing!
I’m a fan of another series that met an abrupt end-Roswell. As a fan of this show, I learned a lot about how network TV shows are renewed, written, how ratings are calculated, etc, as I watched my beloved show get pulled from the brink of cancellation, renewed, then transferred to an all new network where they were cancelled for one final time. Life’s writers probably knew half way through the season that they weren’t getting a third season. Much like Roswell’s writers, they probably got notice mid-season that they had X number of episodes left, and that was it. We can see evidence of this as certain plot lines were fleshed out, but then abruptly dropped. Ted is a great example of this, where we got a little peek of a bit of back story, and then suddenly nothing more.
The two episodes before the finale were typical of season two, each with an “M Knight Shamalan” twist ending-it was so and so all along! What a twist!! I did enjoy the peril that the FBI and Amanda placed Charlie and Dani’s friendship in. Those photos were enough to make each of them question each other’s loyalty and motivations. I loved when they each followed their hearts and trusted each other. It was one of the strongest moments of their whole partnership.
Of course the strongest moment came in our finale, where Charlie goes to the ends of the earth to save Dani from the treacherous Roman. The whole reason he was imprisoned, the whole reason he was targeted, was to turn him, to change Charlie into a criminal, the ultimate criminal, at that-the head of a crime network. He was to learn at the right hand of Mickey, and take over. Mickey had his eye on Charlie even when he was just a cadet. He was the perfect candidate-he would be powerful, as a man from the inside, able to control both the criminal and the lawful elements. It had to be a tempting proposition for him, in all honesty. Justice hadn’t necessarily served him well, what did he really owe to “the good guys”? The ones who threw him in prison for so many years? But ultimately, Charlie refuses to be swayed by such things. He ends the life of Roman, in one quick move, and finds himself staring into the sun, just as we found him in episode one of season one.
It’s one big circle-everything is connected.
Of course we can’t forget our beloved fruit count!
We’ve got the cantaloupe used to demonstrate the devastation caused to the literal melon of a beloved chef, 5 quarts of “fruit” punch(I think it counts!), and of course the thousands of oranges in Charlie’s grove from the series finale. Ted even left his “goodbye” note in fruit bowl at Charlie’s house, a guaranteed spot to be found.
Well that’s all for now, folks! We’ll all return, in just a couple weeks, to review the series, as a whole, and give you our favorite and least favorite moments from all of “Life”! Join us all in the comments to discuss the ending of the series! 🙂