Episode 13 “re-entry”
Charlie Crews, the cop and Charlie Crews, the con. Which is nowhere and which is somewhere? That is the question.
Dani is questioning Charlie on who shot him, but he is sticking to the story that he doesn’t remember. He also thinks it would be rude not to take the bullet that was used to shoot him because “someone gave it to me”. Question answered.
Charlie and Dani are investigating the death of William Ellis, a retired astronaut who owned his own Company, selling rocket fuel. He has been found dead in a helicopter landed in the middle of the street.
Suspicion falls upon his son, Dean, who is the typical son who cannot live up to dad’s expectations. He can’t fly because he is afraid of heights, he has started at the bottom in the company, being responsible for waste removal and Charlie picks up on the fact that his father never spoke to him like a man. It transpires that his dad was selling the Company to pay the Russians so he could go back into space one last time.
With the realisation that Dean is likely not the killer, mostly due to his disposition, Evan Tucker who William Ellis climbed with is the new suspect. Last time they climbed K2, William Ellis cut a rope and Evan fell.
Ted is back in prison as punishment for Charlie’s unwillingness to leave the past alone. Ted does what he does best and teaches about finance, but he attracts some unwanted attention. Charlie has, however, taken measures to ensure Ted is protected inside.
Charlie, the con is re-configuring the bullet used to shoot him and then returns it to sender quite literally when he walks into Bodnar’s house and shoots him in the leg, ordering him to make the call to get Ted out of prison.
Holly mentioned in her earlier reviews the regression of Dani as a character and I have to say that I agree. I love Charlie and appreciate that he is the main character, but Dani should be his equal and Charlie is increasingly the one who seems to be figuring everything out. We see him doing just that again as they have realised Evan Tucker is not the murderer. He conducts an experiment with Evan Tucker, the result of which is to realise that whoever killed William Ellis would have had to train for it and the spotlight turns on Mick Breem, who was to inherit the company on William Ellis’s death and he is duly arrested.
Dani has another question for Charlie, the one about whether or not her father had anything to do with him going to prison. He tells her no.
Episode 14 (Mirror Ball) and Episode 15 (I Heart Mom) continue what I consider to be a trend in Life by this point i.e. the main murder story is becoming secondary and who the murderer is increasingly matters very little. What matters is what we discover about Charlie, Dani and Tidwell and all during the investigations and what this tells us about them.
It becomes ever clearer that, while Charlie may have assumed he had nothing at all to lose when he first came out of prison, he most certainly does now. He has people that he cares about very much.
Tidwell is increasingly involved and we begin to see Charlie taking more notice of him and almost ‘sizing’ him up. At this point, I don’t think there is any notion of jealously, but certainly a need to ensure Dani is protected. It is very frustrating that Life never made it to season 3, but what is so great about re-watching is speculating on potential storylines even though they will never be. Holly commented earlier in her reviews that Tidwell’s relationship with Dani made her uncomfortable and I share that discomfort though perhaps for a different reason. He always seems to me to be trying too hard and this is not a criticism because it is something I believe was intentional. He just sets off alarms for me and I would not have been a bit surprised if the plan had been for him to be more than the nice guy he appeared to be.
Mirror Ball deals with the murder of Mitch Wagner, the lead singer of a tribute band. Why would a man making a living out of pretending to be another man be a target for so much hate? Heavy Caliber, who Dani does not remember, were a popular band and there are lot of people lining up to be Jude Hayes…
Charles Senior arrives at Charlie’s and is as usual about as welcome as dry rot would be. He is here with a tale of woe about Olivia calling off their wedding and Charlie is very unsympathetic about it. I mentioned earlier about those people Charlie had to lose, I seriously doubt he counts his father among them. Later on for example he tells Ted to tell Olivia that he loves her.
This episode deals with people who pretend to be someone else and we should really pay attention to the mask metaphor. Who would wish to kill the tribute band lead singer? Well, the person whose life that used to be, the person who feels he has had that taken away from him whatever the circumstances. Sounds familiar that does. So, the real Jude Hayes, now living as a homeless man called Al, is charged with the murder of the man pretending to be him.
With Episode 15, we begin to enter the home straight of season 2 of Life. Roof scammer Roy, is the murder victim and seemingly picked the wrong person to scam.
Charlie, the con seems to be here permanently now. He feels the need to act as Mickey Raybourne’s chauffer again, with poor Finn taking up residence in the trunk and the other security guy being handcuffed to a post and left behind. Mickey suggests that Charlie should just call and a meeting is arranged.
Roy, the roof scammer and his accomplices, Sasha and Ian really did pick the wrong person to scam. The little old woman will have seemed like a very easy mark. Shame they never realised about her son, William who had already done time for aggravated assault and who has a habit of taking over the businesses of people who offend him in anyway.
Mickey Raybourne thinks that Charlie should get a boat. Mickey has a bit of fun with Charlie here solely aimed at seeing how far Charlie is willing to go to get what he wants and also, I suspect, to show to Charlie that even someone as strong as Charlie is can be bent to Mickey’s will if necessary. Charlie proves Mickey’s point as he starts to eat the Scorpion that Mickey wants him to before he will tell him anything. Mickey who reiterates that he is dying then decides to actually play dead in Charlie’s presence. The subsequent long lense shot we get from outside the boat should be a big hint. After having his bit of fun with Charlie, Mickey admits to the Bank of LA robbery and “that was just the start”. Mickey has no qualms in telling Charlie any of it. He has clearly realised Charlie isn’t interested in “justice” through the Courts. Mickey advises that Roman Nevakov was an investment of him and the others, but now it seems Roman is out of hand and as Charlie is a cop, it is his job to do something about Roman.
Charlie follows up on the roof scammer and it is now very obvious that William has taken over the roofing business. Sasha is too scared to talk to Charlie.
Enter Amanda to shake up Charlie’s life. Amanda is the head of Mickey Raybourne’s 24/7 security and Mickey Raybourne’s boat is now a crime scene with a big puddle of blood in the middle of the deck. Amanda is here to tell Charlie about it and the fact that he is her number 1 suspect for Mickey’s murder. This scene and every scene Amanda is in is delicious as Helen McCrory shares the spotlight with her husband.
The murder of Roy is solved and it turns out to have been his partner, Ian that murdered him. Speaking of partners, Dani’s role continues to decrease and Charlie speaks to her about how sad it would be if they were standing far apart. Uh oh…
Episode 13, apple; Episode 14, Asian pear; and Episode 15, apple