Thursday, December 06, 2007

Framed by The Frames

Last night concluded the amazing two-parter from Life ("Dig a Hole" and "Fill it Up") and cemented the drama as a weekly must see. The second-hour especially had many goose bump-inducing moments, especially with song choices, including the use of The Frames' "Finally" for the ending. Why then do I get the feeling that Life has given us the best it has to offer, and can only disappoint from here on?

Now that Crews has found the real killer of the crime that sent him to prison, how long can it survive just putting together the rest of the puzzle? So much of this series relies on Damien Lewis' powerful performance that the episodes suffer from any straying from his story, and how long can it really take now to figure out how he was framed? For now I guess we can only trust that the writers can work there way around these obstacles.

Meanwhile, though, last night's episode had many moments wreaking havoc on my '10 Best TV Music Moments' list that I'd already started. Right off, they used the slippery instrumental intro from "El Rodeo" from Kyuss for Crews return to prison. Next was the cover of Richard and Linda Thompson's "Shoot Out The Lights" by the legendary band X, which they recorded over a decade ago for a Thompson tribute album called Beat the Retreat. John Doe and Exene Cervenka harmonize while Charlie tosses his Zen cassette out the window, signaling that he's ready to lose control. There was already a signal, though, at the end of the previous hour, when it The Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter" played out the episode, which we know from it's many prior uses that things are about to 'get real'.

The goose-bumps only got bigger as the show went on, as next up came Leonard Cohen's classic "Who By Fire," backing Charlies' interrogation of Hollis along with the search for the shotgun swallowing snake. Cohen's lyrics "who by high ordeal, who by common trial?" were so right for nearly any scene with Charlie, but here especially. Then comes the slow building of The Yeah Yeah Yeah's "Down Boy," which climaxes when Charlie stands up looking over the two men he just surgically cut down with two shots. Down, down, down boy... good boy.

And finally, literally, when Crews makes his triumphant return to the station after having nabbed the real killer Kyle Hollis, it's to The Frames' "Finally," making the half-season come full circle, as their song "Dream Awake" played in the pilot as Charlie comes home after getting out of prison. That they use The Frames to frame the half-season works on so many levels, and not just because the series' mystery is about Charlie being framed for murder. The lyrics to "Finally" fit so well into the ending, and the series so far, it's almost as if frontman Glen Hansard
wrote it after watching.
Did you fall on your way
its a long way down
welcome back to your place
i hope you know it now
cause its true what you say
were the wrong way round
and the lie that cut the worse
has been resolved, then reversed... finally
Playlist: Life Eps 110-111
1. "Ride" - Liz Phair - Ep 1.10, opening
2. "Ooh La La" - Goldfrapp - Ep 1.10, discovery of old cellphone
3. "Fleur De Saison" - Emilie Simon - Ep 1.10, enter wild party
4. "Hello Hello I'm Back Again" - Shivaree - Ep 1.10, Connie shows up at the precinct
5. "Gimme Shelter" - The Rolling Stones - Ep 1.10, ending
6. "El Rodeo" - Kyuss - Ep 1.11, Charlie approaches the prison
7. "Ahead of My Time" - Teddybears w/ Daddy Boastin' - Ep 1.11, Charlie leaves the prison, approaches crime scene
8. "Shoot Out the Lights" - X - Ep 1.11, Charlie tosses Zen cassette out window, drives to Hollis residence
9. "Sorry" - Gram Rabbit - Ep 1.11, Charlie gives away his car
10. "Who By Fire" - Leonard Cohen - Ep 1.11, interrogation of Hollis / search for snake
11. "Down Boy" - Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Ep 1.11, Charlie stands up and looks over the two men he just killed
12. "Finally" - The Frames - Ep 1.11, they bring Hollis in, Charlie is greeted at the station

Previously: A Tale of Two Shows (Life Ep1.09)