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Comm Rewatch - 1.07 - dorsetgirl
September 7th, 2008
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Comm Rewatch - 1.07
 
00:00   Well, here I am getting ready for tonight’s rewatch, and I haven’t got a clue which episode this is. I missed last week’s as I was out, but I know that was Reg Cole, and Sam looking longingly at Gene, and Gene almost in tears as Sam is about to die. And next week, being 1.08 is of course Vic Tyler, and Sam pulling a gun on Gene. But this week? When I’ve calmed the kids down a bit, I’ll hit the button and find out.
 
Oh, this one. Billy Kemble. There’s some great Sam/Gene stuff in this, and Phil is incredible at showing how much Gene is shitting himself about it all.
 
00:10   “All my ambitions fulfilled” – ah, Sam. Such a snarky bastard.
 
00:30   Gene looks so surprised when Ray says it’s because DI Robinson made a pass at his wife. Not surprised like it’s not true, but surprised that Ray had noticed, or that Ray had realised it had created a rivalry. Although Gene is so much the alpha male that I imagine he had a rivalry with every other department he ever came into contact with.
 
01:00   Aww, Gene comes back to let Sam out of the car. How sweet is that.
 
01:10   Phil does such a lovely job of crashing over that car bonnet. He makes me go all gooey at his sexiness at the same time as I’m cringing at the embarrassment of Gene making such a prat of himself.
 
01:17   Of course, being left behind a bit works out for the best in the end. In 1.05 I noted that one of the great things about the way this show is shot is that we see what’s going on in the background, and the same happens here. While Sam is tearing down the ramp into the car park after Billy Kemble, Gene is using his nous and local knowledge to slip in at the higher level ready to block off the lift. And Jesus, but John needs to wear some tighter briefs when he’s running. That cap might be worth a closer look. 

Hmm, yes it is...  
 
01:32   When Billy flashes Sam, Sam rolls his eyes – of course – and actually turns away! Is he too delicate to look? Pretty stupid behaviour, really, to take your eye off the guy you’re trying to corner.
 
01:39   Gene displays the old gut instinct and common sense; Sam is like a babe in arms against this bloke. Sam knows he shouldn’t be impressed, but he so is. Hmm, I usually try to at least start out neutral on the slash issue, but not tonight it seems.
 
03:20   Sam tempts Gene. “How’d that be for sticking it to your mate in the Drugs Squad?” He’s learning to play Gene to get things done the way he knows they should be done.
 
03:40   Gene is almost gentle when he’s trying to persuade Billy to talk, but he doesn’t stop Ray doing his stuff. Of course, he doesn’t actually tell Ray to do his stuff, either – he doesn’t need to. This is obviously standard procedure for them.
 
04:15   Gene is looking so fine in this episode. I really like his hair length.
 
04:40   Sam and Gene just don’t do personal space. Obviously it’s all about framing, but the normal response to Gene sticking his face in Albert’s window would be for Sam to pull back out of his way, but he doesn’t. These two just like to be touching each other.
 
05:02   Gene says “Call DI Carling when you’re ready to name your source.” Is that an error on someone’s part? Presumably not, because although it might have been an error in the writing, I can’t imagine Phil actually saying DI Carling by accident. Perhaps the idea is to make Albert think Ray is more senior than he really is.
 
06:47   I love Gene and Sam having dinner together. By the time Sam says “So, you said you wanted to talk about procedure” they have already ordered their food and waited for it to be brought. So what did they talk about during that time? Aww, and the screen behind Gene is covered in heart shapes! ©©
 
06:57   “I don’t eat alone. Well if I told you that, I knew you wouldn’t come!” Sam has an interesting look on his face when Gene says that – almost fear. What’s that about? Gene has just let slip that it matters to him that Sam should go out to dinner with him! And that makes Sam nervous. Love it.
 
07:44   Sam totally freaks at this point; he’s sort of used to TCG by now and indeed voices on the radio, but doctors talking to him on the radio in a place that is not connected with Sam in any way? That’s really got him scared. It’s like he assumes that normally he’s causing it himself in some way, in his flat, or his workplace, but he’s never been here before, so perhaps it really is happening, and not a hallucination. It’s not, of course – Gene hears nothing wrong with the radio – but that seems to be what Sam’s thinking.
 
08:00   Poor Gene has to abandon his dinner. The business about it being time to get back is tacked on as an excuse. What gets him out of his seat is removing Sam to stop him making such a fool of himself in public.
 
08:08   “We need to be getting back – see if Billy Kemble’s coughed.” Which of course he has; good use of words. And Gene ends up paying for the dinner, when earlier he said Sam would be paying. That could have just been for show, of course, in front of Ray and Chris. Perhaps he always intended to buy dinner for his new boyfriend Inspector.
 
08:12   Again, Gene is quite gentle when he tells Sam to move out, and when he catches hold of his arm. He absolutely does not drag him out angrily, shouting at him. He leads him out.
 
08:58   Beautiful framing – all six of them in shot, and the doctor at the apex of the triangle. Sam is so close to Gene that it’s difficult to imagine they’re not touching.
 
09:09   Gene looks terrified.
 
10:28   “Good night’s work.” Sam is his usual contemptuous, superior self here. But then Gene grabs him by the arm and there is this very long moment of stillness as they stare at each other. I can’t quite work out Sam’s tone of voice when he says “Are you OK? You look a bit – shaky – Guv.” Just afterwards, he looks puzzled, so presumably it’s because he doesn’t know what Gene is so frightened about. It probably doesn’t occur to Sam that (a) Gene suspects that one his team might have done this deliberately and (b) Gene will swallow it down personally and not distance himself from the perpetrator. Does Gene already suspect at this stage what Ray has done?
 
11:06   “One scumbag offed another.” Gene doesn’t look convinced – this is a statement of policy, not belief.
 
11:58   Sam feels so bad for Annie that he puts an impersonal hand gingerly on her shoulder. The body language between these two is so off. “It’s not your fault.” She knows that, you patronising bastard. Excellent reaction from Liz, there. Surprise, amazement, moving into anger
 
12:58   I didn’t spot this for myself, but it’s been pointed out in other posts – while Gene is talking to Sam about the next of kin, Ray in the foreground is lovingly fingering his badge. He knows he’s endangered it.
 
13:07   Ray is unbelievable – he’s trying to put the blame on Sam. And Sam gets the first inkling that Gene isn’t going to support him. This is where Sam totally feels isolated from the team, just as he was starting to feel part of it.
 
15:30   “And that’s how he died?” Sam is trying not to tell any lies, but he is actually trying to obey Gene by not giving away anything directly. Does he actually want to support Gene in this, or is he just biding his time until he finds out more about what happened?
 
16:08   Sam isn’t used to the public trusting the police like this. He can’t believe Billy’s sister isn’t going to be all suspicious about the bruises. He thinks she’s going to guess immediately what had happened, but the business about police officers beating up people in the cells didn’t become public knowledge for quite a few years after this, and even then people just didn’t believe it.
 
16:20   “I – we – didn’t see any real danger.” Ah, Sammy, you devious bastard. You’re trying to distance yourself from this; you feel guilty.
 
16:48   Ah, the scene in the Gents’. I suppose blokes are used to the idea of peeing in public, although it definitely seems weird to me. I know some women are quite comfortable with continuing to talk while in a cubicle peeing, but I’m never quite sure about it! This whole scene seems quite uncomfortably intimate – such a strong contrast between the small intimacies of having a pee while other people watch, and the terrible topic of conversation.
 
17:10   Gene is still obviously very frightened. Phil is showing that so subtly, but it is very definitely there. I’m not sure Sam notices though.
 
17:40   Was Sam actually going to attack Gene? Or does Gene automatically go into attack mode when someone comes up behind him? Or only when it’s someone he thinks can or might hurt him? Which would mean he does respect Sam’s ability to hurt him. Or am I reading too much into this? On second watching, I think Sam was about to hit him, which supports what someone said – somewhere – about it often being Sam that starts the fights.
 
17:50   While Sam is recovering from the half-nelson, Gene spends the whole time staring down at – what? Sam’s chest? His adorable tight tummy? Or lower?
 
18:50   “Not going to wash your hands, Sir? Most unlike you!” Gene is so good at giving the impression of total invulnerability. This is just so insulting. And, having just had a conversation at Lifein1973 – even less of us there this week, which is disappointing - about the “made in my image” line, this is another God-type reference. Wasn’t it when Jesus was on the cross that Pilate publicly washed his hands?
 
19:12   Gene is trying to make Annie say she felt threatened “... as a bird, like...” by Billy Kemble being a flasher. But she wouldn’t have; she’s a police officer, and besides even as a young kid in the late ’60s I remember we just took it for granted that at certain places there were likely to be flashers, and we thought nothing of it. Of course, we had no idea that flashers sometimes move on to worse things, but we simply did not feel threatened, and it’s ridiculous of Gene to think that Annie would. Either he’s being very naive, or a total gentleman, or he knows that whoever reads the statement will – or will pretend to – believe that Annie felt threatened.
 
19:50   During the taking of the statements, Sam is leaning back with his arms folded in the classic “I withdraw - I am not part of this” posture. As Phyllis walks away he sits forward to make contact with Gene again, and after Gene puts his pen away he goes into total posture echo. It’s that old synchronised policing again, even though they are fundamentally in disagreement at this stage. Oh, and their elbows are touching.
 
21:55   I adore the way Gene puts on a gentle voice and a sympathetic expression to say “Just come to talk to you about how your brother copped it.” He really is sincere!
 
23:12   I just can’t stop seeing the slash in this episode for some reason. Gene apparently has to put his hand on Sam’s arm to point out the “sound of this case being closed.” I think if I’d ever got round to watching these episodes more than once or twice I wouldn’t have quite so much to blog about, but apart from 2.07 there are very few episodes I’ve watched more than a couple of times. Which is why I’m so grateful for the comm rewatch to push me into demanding the time and opportunity to do it.
 
27:15   And Gene actually authorises – nay, orders – Sam to carry out the internal investigation. When Sam said to him in the corridor “Someone in this station knows how he died”, that really got through to Gene.
 
28:25   JS looks very hot – pun not intended – during the tabasco business. I think it’s the wet hair and face. Then Ray comes in on his moment of hysteria. I’ve never understood why Ray feels safe to be so utterly disrespectful, unless it’s because he knows that Gene doesn’t mind. Against that is the fact that it’s clear that Gene and Sam work well together and respect each other, but I suppose Gene would be the kind of boss that would expect his DI to stand up for himself and not need any looking after against the likes of Ray.
 
30:00   I really don’t like Annie in this scene where Sam questions her – and that’s nothing to do with the slash, because that was my reaction the very first time I saw this episode, before I’d seen the light. OK, she’s the most junior member of the department, but she has totally bought into the whole coverup business, and she is getting personally angry with Sam when he is just professionally trying to do the right thing. She can’t separate the Sam who is her slightly loopy sort-of boyfriend from the professional Sam who is only held together by believing in himself, in his own integrity and professionalism.
 
30:35   “What happened to the cocaine wraps...?” “...did you hear someone fart?” This is just the most extraordinary bit of insubordination I have ever seen, anywhere. Simply unbelievable. Although Deano does actually give Ray that sense of invulnerability that makes it plausible. When Chris asks “How is this helping? Sir?” it’s Sam he is questioning, but he should be asking Ray. How can he believe that Sam is doing anything wrong? This whole business of the investigation really points up the difference between then and now – we may not necessarily believe an investigation will be honest and impartial, but we do take it for granted there will be an investigation, and it will try to look honest and impartial.
 
31:10 And now Sam and Ray have got themselves into an impasse, and this is one of the rare occasions where Gene openly supports Sam against Ray. At least, that’s how I read that little cough of Gene’s at this tense moment. Ray will never back down, and Sam simply cannot. It would never occur to Sam – as we see in the locker room later – that there would actual be a physical fight over a work issue, while for Ray, to be beaten physically be Sam is the only way he is going to respect him. Gene’s little warning cough touches Ray more than Sam, because he feels the weight of Gene’s authority more heavily than does Sam, but Gene does it to support Sam without making it look as if Sam needs his support. Because that would actually undermine Sam. Er, I think that makes sense.
 
I’m going to have to stop there for now as it’s almost one in the morning – I started this just before nine! I hope to come back and complete this at some point, but I still haven’t finished 1.05 or started 1.06

 
 
32:22   “All right, it’s not exactly Raffles here...” Oh, what was that programme? Years ago, set in the Raffles Hotel in - Singapore? With, I believe, Anthony Valentine. I am not going to distract myself by googling it right now! Nah, I’m mixing up two shows. The one I’m thinking of, Anthony Valentine as a gentleman thief or something. Good looking bloke if I remember right.
 
33:55   In the long list of questions that needed answering, Sam doesn’t say anything relating to Ray. Ray continues to look frightened and guilty, though it has to be said that I didn’t spot that the first time I watched this ep.
 
34:20   Why does Gene banish Sam from the station? Is it to protect him? To rile him up enough to make sure he does a good job? Surely not necessary with Sam. The fact of the job existing is enough to make sure he does it, and well. It can only be to protect him and take him out of the danger zone. It doesn’t make any sense any other way, because it is completely open-ended. Gene can’t just suspend his DI indefinitely, so presumably this is all about enabling Sam to do the job?
 
34:35   I love the way they take the time to have the camera linger on Sam’s face as he takes in what Gene is saying. “Get out! NOW!” Total disbelief. It’s a pity we don’t go back to Gene; we see Annie and Phyllis, Ray and Chris, but we don’t get Gene’s own face at this point. And I love watching Sam from behind. The man can certainly walk with attitude. And that arse, of course.
 
35:46   “Hunt says” – that’s rare, I think, for Sam to call Gene “Hunt”? He does it in 1.01, but off-hand I can’t think of any other occasions.
 
36:00   “That’s what I have to do - destroy his world, then I can get back to mine.” Hmm, so Sam isn’t doing all this because he thinks it is professionally the only way to do things. He’s doing it to get home. Not unreasonable, of course, but the different and possibly less noble motive does change my view of Sam; I now feel slightly disappointed that he’s acting for his own selfish reasons rather than through extreme professional integrity.
 
Finally continuing this after three days of not being able to get the bloody DVD to play in the computer.
 
36:09   Ah, Sammy standing on the corner like a rentboy. Now, I wonder what put that idea in my mind. I wish he wouldn’t keep pulling his jacket together like that, because I really like those trousers!
 
36:18   God, Chris is so slow and gormless. However, the compensation is that we get the most magnificent shot of John’s Sam’s arse. Gorgeous. I was continuing my blog of 1.05 yesterday, as I couldn’t get this one to play, and I remarked there that I think some of the directors and camerapersons must like looking at that arse.
 
37:23   John uses his voice so well, going from harsh and angry at Chris to softer and understanding to get him to talk.
 
39:02   Ooh, you perv. Sniffing her shirt. Actually, this is one of the few bits in the entire series that is believable as evidence of a real relationship, or at least of any true interest on Sam’s part. Of course, we all know where Sammy’s really sticking it, but on first viewing of the series I did buy into Sam/Annie to a certain extent. Not because I ever cared about Annie, but because right from the beginning I loved Sam, and was desperate for a happy ending for him.
 
39:10   The tape isn’t going to be in those bottles, Sam. Now we see him just acting as a copper; he’s looking at those bottles because that’s what you do when you’re searching, not because he wants to caress Annie’s possessions.
 
39:25   As he takes the tape out, he seems to be debating with himself. If he walks off with this now, he will have to admit to what amounts to stealing, to violating Annie’s privacy, and more importantly, he is committed to doing something with the tape. No possibility of turning a blind eye, if there ever was.
 
39:25   Wow. Ray is just. There. Sam turns away from the locker to face him squarely. At this stage he has no inkling that this is going to get physical. This is one of the scenes where we really see for ourselves how different the world was then. Not that people routinely had fist-fights with people at work – or not to my knowledge, anyway! – but of course Ray and Gene are extreme in the opposite direction, very strongly of the Real Man tradition. It would be important to Ray, quite apart from the significance of that tape, to take Sam down. He’s been longing to do it ever since Sam arrived, and it’s only been Gene’s acceptance of the man that’s stopped him doing it before now. Probably at this stage Ray takes it for granted that Gene would approve of him knocking Sam out to retrieve and destroy the tape, for the safety of the team.
 
39:45   Deano really has got that smirk down. I remember that look so clearly from men in those days, that horrible, gut-wrenching, toe-curling feeling that they were laughing at you, despising you, taking for granted their superiority over you. And enjoying watching you reading all that in their faces. I actually remember in about 1982 or so, going into the garage I’d bought my car from a week earlier, and telling the salesman that the radio didn’t work. He looked at me, smirked just like Ray and said “Oh, the radio doesn’t work? Well, this is a garage. Nothing to do with me.” and walked off. Jesus, when you’re 25 and sadly well used to that sort of treatment from men, what can you do. It was mortifying, that sort of thing, just – urgh, it made me want to vomit on the floor. Now it just makes me want to go back and kick his fucking nuts in. So, well done on Deano for getting that just absolutely spot on.
 
39:50   And Sam is still not getting it. He still thinks – against all experience – that Ray is going to behave like a human being and obey Sam’s orders.
 
40:22   Masterful use of the face by John. The dawning comprehension and gobsmackery of realising that Ray is going to force a fight is just beautifully done.
 
40:45   Ray is playing nasty – that locker could have caused a lot of damage. It’s very Sam that at the end of the fight, when Ray is helpless on the floor, Sam doesn’t take advantage, doesn’t kick him in the goolies or anything, or even in the face. Doesn’t even look tempted. Just straight back to the business in hand.
 
41:11   This whole scene with the tape is brilliant. Starting with Sam listening, apparently alone in the room, with the camera panning smoothly round him, we then start to see people arriving and realise that he has already heard the tape by now. Absolutely brilliant way of jumping ahead without having to explain anything.
 
42:20   When Gene starts to realise what Ray has done, when Ray says “I promised the Guv a result; I’m not letting him down” it’s Sam he looks at, judging by his eye-line. This is where we see Gene start to accept the responsibility for what has happened. And Ray understands now, from the way Sam is playing this to everybody, and Gene isn’t stopping it, that this is coming home to roost.
 
42:30   Sam actually looks a little too smug here; definitely a bit of “These people are such crap” in his face. And then he sneaks a tiny glance across at Gene to see how he’s taking it. And then we see, very briefly, that Gene is looking at him, too.
 
43:48   “I was doing what you taught me. I was trying to get a result. For you.” That’s right, Ray, make Gene feel like shit because you didn’t have the brains to handle the situation. “That concludes my investigation” says Sam, and again looks at Gene. Good God, stop with the slash-goggles, woman. Of course he’s going to look at Gene at this point. He’s the man who has to carry this burden. For all he was a DCI “back in Hyde”, Sam is surprisingly comfortable being the second in command.
 
44:58   “...I’m to blame for this.” So Gene.
 
45:28   Sam has a pretty effective line in shitty smirks himself when he wants to. This scene between Gene and Sam is seriously soul-baring stuff, although not much is said. Sam obviously isn’t too happy that Gene has used him, but on the other hand he feels good that he was the only one Gene could trust. (Although that may not be the character endorsement that we, and Sam, take it as. It may be simply that Sam is the only one with an unbreakable alibi for the time of the incident.) Then Sam comes to reluctant admiration of Gene for having allowed the facts to come out. He could have just got rid of Sam and discredited him to stop him being believed if he talked.
 
46:42   “What happens now? Power’s in your hands ... you can still destroy us – if that’s what you want.” And Sam now has enough respect for Gene, or enough ambivalence about the benefits of going ahead with exposing the truth, that he has to go home and agonise about it. When Gene puts the whisky down in front of him that’s not a bribe, obviously, but it is more than just a drink after a difficult scene. I read it more as Gene opening up to him, a gesture of partnership.
 
48:25   Something I’m certainly guilty of in my fic, and I don’t think I’m the only one, is forgetting just how desperately alone Sam is in the show. Night after night in that horrible little room; no-one to phone, no-one to visit; no-one – with the possible exception of Annie, and he really doesn’t seem to see her very often – who might ring him and invite him out for a drink.
 
48:39   And as if to compensate for the previous remark, here comes Annie, banging at his door and calling his name in her irritatingly sweet girlie voice. Sorry, Liz, but it’s one of the things that’s always annoyed me about Annie. Perhaps it’s because I’ve never got on well with sweet girlie people. Not being exactly a tactful bunny I tend to do better with strong, confident people. Yeah, OK, I suppose I do realise that the two aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive. Just that they often seem to be.
 
49:00   Is this the bridge that Kendle Bains walked under with his policewoman girlfriend? I think Annie is being over-dramatic here; if it all came out the old “I was only obeying orders” business would go a long way to getting her off. Sam can’t believe she’s actually asking him to destroy the tape. She’s trying to put his putative feelings for her in the same scales as his professional duty, and she’s sadly misjudged her man. Sam Tyler is one of the least likely people in history to be swayed by a request for special favours.
 
49:50   Gene has clearly been looking out for Sam, because he comes out of his office the instant Sam walks in.
 
50:30   God knows what Marshall was on when he filmed this scene, but I’ve never seen Chris looking quite this gormless before. Taking away half of Ray’s wages is presumably something Gene has thought long and hard about, as being the worst he can do to Ray after the demotion. This is in line with barring him from the Railway Arms – something which will also function as a punishment to remind him every single day that he is in disgrace. Only... by next week isn’t he back in there again?
 
51:18   That’s a furious look Gene gives to Sam as he brushes past on his way out. Perhaps he would not have punished Ray at all if it weren’t for fear of Sam going public in some way?
 
51:37   Gene has to look out to see what Sam’s going to do next. And Sam is more interested in staring back at Gene than noticing Annie whispering in his ear. She has no idea of boundaries. What does she say as Sam stalks off? Is it “Shit?”
 
52:00   I wonder who Rathbone is speaking to as Sam approaches his office? Could be Gene, but that would involve begging rather more than I would expect Gene to do.
 
52:35   Poor Sam still hasn’t caught on. He is so amazed when Rathbone asks “What do you expect me to do with it?” that he hasn’t even got an answer ready. The question shouldn’t need asking, is Sam’s view.
 
52:52   Of course, the tape itself is unharmed by Rathbone breaking the cassette. If he has any practical skills at all, it would be a simple job for Sam to retrieve the tape and place it in another cassette. But then what would he do with it? This moment shows him that it’s not just Gene who falls far short of the professional standards Sam expects, but the whole place. Possibly even Jackie Queen wouldn’t run the story – probably George the editor is good friends with the Chief Constable or something.
 
53:02   That tape was The Truth. Poor Sam. He thinks The Truth is what’s going to get him home, and these people are pissing all over it, every day. And yet another grade A smirk, this time from Rathbone.
 
53:22   “What were you expecting Tyler? The whole world to come crashing down?” It just did, though, didn’t it. Sam has known for a long time that Gene has some pretty dodgy ideas of how to do things, and he was fairly confident that his presence was improving things on that side. But now he’s been forced to acknowledge that “going over his head” just won’t work. Sam has nowhere else to go; there’s nothing else he can do. At this moment he feels he has lost everything.
 
53:59   ...but after all that, he hasn’t lost Gene. We don’t know, of course, whether Gene has come down ready to defend himself to Rathbone, but he certainly comes over as being there to put Sam back together when he comes out broken. The expression on Gene’s face here, and his tone of voice, are not triumphant, or gloating, or even relieved. Gene shows understanding and compassion towards Sam at this point. He is kind to Sam here. Even after he’s just tried to shop the whole department.
 
54:29   “We can’t change this world Sam – only learn how to survive in it.” That’s not like Gene, who normally comes over so cocky and secure. This is a big admission for him to make to a difficult, pushy, holier-than-thou subordinate, and I see this as another example of Gene treating Sam very much as an equal, not a subordinate. And even at this time they are standing so close. The natural thing would be for Sam to keep walking, or wait for Gene further down the corridor,  but no, he has to go upcloseandpersonal for this.
 
55:00   At least Sam has the grace to look guilty when he goes in to see Annie.
 
55:05   “So I do mean that little to you.” This is nothing but emotional blackmail. If you go out with someone at work, you have to expect that there will be problems when the two worlds collide. Particularly if one reports to the other. Many years ago I was having an affair with one of the Directors where I worked. When I put in to have my job re-graded, he told me the night before the Grading Committee meeting that he would excuse himself from the meeting when my application came up. Not so much out of high principles, but for the simple fact that one of the other committee members knew about us, and anything he might have said in support of my application might actually weaken both my case and his professional credibility. Obviously it was a pain in the arse, because he was actually the person who knew my work best, and knew how hard I worked, but I can put my hand on my heart and say I accepted that as inevitable; it never occurred to me to ask him to speak for me. For God’s sake, you just don’t.
 
55:09   Typical Sam, though – he doesn’t give her any reassurance about how much she means to him. Instead it’s all about him – “You’re the only one that understands.”
 
55:28   “Nothing I do makes any difference.” He means to getting home, of course. He must think by this stage that he’s tried everything.
 
55:45   And he still has no soft words for her, just “Don’t abandon me.” Understandable, I suppose, but he does come over as being extremely self-centred, poor lamb.
 
55:55   Annie’s next line is rather odd, I think: “How would I do that? We’re stuck here together.” Not really. He didn’t mean physically. I don’t really understand the point of this “heart-warming” little scene, unless it is just that. Shovel in a bit of the old Sam/Annie because the episode has been heavy on Gene and Sam as opposite poles who are still talking to each other at the end of it.
 
 
I spend nearly all my LOM time reading and writing fic, and unless I have some sort of push I just don’t seem to watch the eps very often, but in each one I see more than I remembered. I’m enjoying doing these blogs, but they take a hell of a lot of time. It’s now ten past midnight on the Friday (well, Saturday, technically) after the comm rewatch of 1.07, and I had intended to start 1.08 early, to have some chance of posting before everyone moved on to the next episode. Ah well. Time to fight LJ and see if I can get this up without breaking something.
 
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From:ripley312
Date:September 7th, 2008 01:34 am (UTC)
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You do such a good job with these recaps that I have nothing to add. So well done. Jon and Phil's acting is really superior here. It's a credit to John especially because in this ep, he just so morally smug and superior to the whole crew even though he is being professional, he just irrates me - yet somehow I don't end up hating him.
Also, I love the scene where Gene addresses the whole crew and asks "who the biggest dickhead is in here."
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From:dorsetgirl
Date:September 8th, 2008 05:18 pm (UTC)
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Thank you - I'm glad you enjoy these. I love doing them, too.

And you're right about John - Sam is such a prick sometimes, but it's so clear in this episode that he knows he's doing the right thing. To a certain extent, I think his smugness is offset by the incredible insubordination from Ray, and tbh, getting suspended by Gene in public balances out quite a lot. Whatever Gene's motives, that was a shitty way to do it. Although perhaps it was for show and had to be done that way.
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From:sytaxia
Date:September 8th, 2008 04:54 pm (UTC)
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Oooh - this is the first of your recaps that I've seen here, and I lvoe the format, and the way that you dissect everything and point out all the little hints, from the acting to the hotness to the character development...

OK, she’s the most junior member of the department, but she has totally bought into the whole coverup business, and she is getting personally angry with Sam when he is just professionally trying to do the right thing. that has always irked me about that scene, as well - and you've definitely hit the nail on the head, trying to suss out why :)
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From:dorsetgirl
Date:September 8th, 2008 05:24 pm (UTC)
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Thank you - I love doing these, although they do take a hell of a lot of time, which is why this isn't finished yet. Even at this level of detail there are a lot of things I just have to let go - expressions on faces, for example, are always worth looking at even on the Nameless Ones, and I probably don't even notice most of the lighting and cinematography stuff that people rave over.

Yeah, the whole Sam/Annie business is pretty much an object lesson in not dirtying your own doorstep at work. Especially when one works for the other. Obviously my moral objection on this point doesn't apply to Sam and Gene, because they were simply made for each other and it's clear it doesn't affect their working relationship *g*.
From:severinne
Date:September 15th, 2008 12:39 am (UTC)
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I'm actually ducking over here from the link you left in the discussion for 1.08, and glad I did, since I missed out on last week's rewatch (was still having an epic battle with my ficathon entry) and this is a wonderfully thorough take on the episode, and I'm a sucker for detail :)

Thought I'd chime in after that point you made about the bathroom scene and how you found it surprisingly intimate/weird as a woman. I did too, so much so that I once asked my male friends about it in the bar one night (most of my friends being men), they don't watch the show but I described the scene and asked if they found that unusual, etc. The consensus was that it's okay if a conversation had started outside the bathroom, but they were weirded out by the fact that it was only Gene that had to take a piss. More specifically, the question was 'Okay, so if the one guy is peeing, what was the other doing there?' and I was like 'um, he was in a stall, door open, sorta just there...' and all I got back was a Look and 'yeah, that's kinda gay.' So that concludes my investigation.
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