One of the casualties of burning off so many episodes early, like NBC did with Life to start the fall season, is that you end up airing a Christmas-oriented episode ("Black Friday") weeks before we even get to Thanksgiving. At least there's no more worry that it will be cancelled, as it's been picked up for the full 22 episodes. Add to that the news today that the other series that had moved into Life's previous two timeslots, My Own Worst Enemy (Monday at 10 p.m.) and Lipstick Jungle (Friday at 10 p.m.) have both been cancelled, and I'm thinking perhaps they should add a Charmed to the series's title.
At least this episode was a step up from weeks prior, relying heavily on Damian Lewis's dry delivery as Detective Charlie Crews for humor. "It's fruit and it's cake, what's not to like?" Crews wryly observes, revisiting his obsession with fruit. Of course, upon further inspection, "There's a distinct possibility that this is neither fruit nor cake." Besides Lewis, though, the running gags about the missing dead body and "do we have our first jumper of the season" remind me that the humor is not only dry here -- fairly often it's black as well. One complaint: They need to find better ways to shoehorn in the over-arching story, as the episode lost momentum when Crews shifted his attention to finding out who set him up.
Since it was a holiday episode there were plenty of carolers, along with The Kinks' "Father Christmas," which is second only to "Christmas in Hollis" as far as modern holiday music goes for me. Meanwhile, Cat Power made a return with the eerie "Cross Bones Style," making this the second song from her great 1998 album Moon Pix to make an appearance this season ("Metal Heart" appeared in episode 2.03). The haunting quality of these tracks heavily foreshadows something far more dark about Charlie's ex-wife Jennifer, and I'm thinking it has to do with a potential connection between her current husband and the person who set up Charlie. Considering how closely the storyline of Life matches up with the classic The Count of Monte Cristo, it's not much of a leap to imagine Jennifer's husband as a sort of Fernand Mondego, or more likely in cahoots with that line of metaphorical evil.
Playlist: Life - Episode 2.08
3. "Jingle Bells"
4. "Deck the Halls"
Previously: Logue and Dulli (Episode 2.08)