Things are obviously not looking good for the series, so it was with heavy eyes that I watched the season two finale for Life. Did we just see Crews and Reese for the last time? Or will some the series be saved, with I'm calling DirecTV ex Machina, or will USA Network swoop in with a karate chop to the Adam's apple of cancellation?
When I saw that there was only a few minutes left in the episode after Crews got in the SUV with Roman, my biggest fear was a similarly quick and convenient resolution to his sticky situation. And boy was that quick and convenient. Sure, a lot of questions were answered, but it felt a bit rushed and not really laid out very clearly, and while Detective Crews didn't wake up on a rocket to mars, he did seem to wake up to the realization that he's in love with his partner. WTF? Part of what's made their partnership so fascinating is the complete absence of sexual tension, so I have some problems ending the season (series?) like that. I'm hoping that it's a different kind of love we're talking about, the kind that Captain Tidwell can get behind, but we may never find out.
Besides the abridged ending and confusion about Crews and Reese's relationship, the episode had a lot going for it. The great Garret Dillahunt always brings something to the table, and having that final face-off with Roman in Crews' orange grove made for great series symmetry, since we last visited their in the pilot. They even used Roman to tie up some loose ends from season one, literally killing off the documentarian (who was more or less dead anyway, as far as the series structure was dictating by now,) and having him tell Danni that he killed off her missing father. Ok, that again was pretty convenient. The final episodes all suffered from Sarah Shahi's pregnancy, but NBC was already having problems with all their series, so I don't think we can blame it all on the baby bump, but her absence was certainly felt.
One suggestion that the internet is a buzz with is that Life should move on to USA Network, where characters like Crews are always welcome, but that would require some serious budget cutting, and the first thing to go will be one of Life's calling cards: music. This season, there's already been a serious cutback in the number and profile of the songs used, and I can't be the only one that has noticed. If you've ever watched the series online after they've replaced most the music, you know what I'm talking about. As such, there were just two interesting choices (both of which have been replaced in the non-broadcast version,) the first being "Kiss The Sky" from Shawn Lee's Ping Pong Orchestra, which played as Roman's inside man began 'cleaning up' some of the FBI men in his pocket. The other was predictably the final song, Hayden's hauntingly beautiful "More Than Alive". If you've seen the broadcast version, just for an experiment, go and watch that final scene online with the replacement music, and try and tell me it doesn't suffer greatly.
So yeah, if the only way the series lives is for it to cut the music budget (and go on without Garret Dillahunt,) than I'm fine with this being the end. Goodbye Detectives Crews and Reese, we'll miss you. Oh, and good luck working out your new dynamic as partners with Captain Tidwell.
Playlist: Life - Episode 2.21
1. "A New Beginning" - 26 - Roman with Reese
2. "Kiss The Sky" - Shawn Lee's Ping Pong Orchestra - Roman's inside man cleans up
3. "Afterlight" - Clayhill - the exchange
4. "More Than Alive" - Hayden - released, reunited
Previously: It's Who You Are (Episode 2.20)