TV Recap: Life - Trapdoor

Say it with me: February 4th. That’s when we’ll learn the aftermath of tonight’s episode of Life. Trust me, after all the father shooting, Reese drinking, Russian madness, and Crews in afterlife goodness to come, you’ll want to skip all of January, too.

Three Russian guys are found killed, execution style, and immediately, Crews’ favorite Russian pops into his head. Yup, Roman’s back. You remember Roman, right? The sleazy club owner who threw somebody out of a window and was caught red-handed but freed because he’s an FBI informant? Of course, there’s nothing solid linking the deaths of an engineer and two construction workers to Roman other than the Russian connection but that’s good enough for Crews and Reese. Especially after spotting a “Pardon our dust” sign in one of the closets at Roman’s club. Unfortunately, when the LAPD shows up to search the club, nothing can be found anywhere. There’s absolutely no sign of construction at all.

The only direction Crews and Reese can take is to follow the engineer, a young guy named Pavlo, or Paul to his American girlfriend. According to her, Paul was a sweet guy who never meant any harm to anyone. Seriously, though? A Russian engineer who scopes out a soon-to-be finished federal building isn’t alarming at all? Oh, I forgot to mention that many times on their dates, they would go to a certain coffee shop and people watch (a.k.a. do recon on a construction site). He’s not harmful at all. But in all fairness to her, he does seem to be rather bullied into the whole thing. Roman is involved, after all, so there’s really no telling to what lengths this poor kid is being blackmailed. I mean, he would help his girlfriend with her math homework for god’s sake.

And who knew that such a sweet little ditty would be the undoing of Roman? Turns out that while Paul was helping his girlfriend with her homework, he would sketch things in her book and try to solve some puzzles of his own. After spotting them, Crews and Reese put the sketches together with Roman’s club and figured out he was always sketching that building. The only two people with the knowledge of what was built are Roman and Pavlo and neither are talking. Except Pavlo kind of is through his girlfriend. Too bad she, and the two LAPD officers who were watching her, have mysteriously vanished. Now the only way Crews and Reese will find out what happened is at the club with Roman.

SWAT busts in and Roman’s sitting pretty without a care in the world. This time, though, Crews and Reese are thinking less like themselves and more like Pavel. See, he was basically an engineering genius. The kind of genius who would build a security system that could be completely controlled by one handheld monitor, just like the one that Roman is always carrying with him. Using the Russian name for Elizabeth, they bypass the password and find themselves staring at a then alive Pavlo, speaking directly into the camera. There isn’t too much explanation of what Roman’s having him build but a quick shot of the area now (a room underneath the club in the ground) shows about 20 people locked up in it, including the girlfriend and her escorts. What is this guy Roman about? Is he smuggling people? Is he a terrorist? Before we really get to find any good info out, we’re whisked away to a different scene. Damn you, Life.

So we don’t yet get to know what’s up with Roman and the FBI guy who protects him. At least we found out some good stuff about Charlie, right? Nope. Seems those writers like to keep us guessing…Charlie’s dad sneaks into his house to leave a wedding invitation only Charlie and Rachel don’t know it’s his dad so Rachel screams and Charlie shoots him. This all leads to Roman whispering in Reese’s ear that Charlie really wanted to shoot her dad and thus Reese finds a bottle of what looks like Vodka in Tidwell’s fridge and chugs it. When she tries to confront Charlie, she rushes to the bathroom because, quite frankly, she’s been on the wagon for some time.

Take a breath.

All of Crews’ and Reese’s investigation into Roman lead him to threaten Rachel and so Charlie sends her out of the country to some unknown destination. Now Rachel’s safe, Reese is back in AA (Tidwell pulled rank), and Charlie’s father will make a full recovery but for now is waiting for Olivia in Charlie’s living room. A knock at the door proves to be Reese, not Olivia and not drunk this time, ready to finally ask Charlie everything he has on her father. Before he can answer her, though, another knock at the door and this time, it’s still not Olivia. Instead, a gun goes off and Charlie turns to reveal a big old gun hole in his left shoulder, ominously close to the heart. The next thing we see is what we can assume is Charlie’s cell. He has a quick chat with Arthur Tins, who informs Charlie that his gunshot wound will still hurt here (Heaven? Hell? Limbo?) and then he’s pulled back by the sound of sirens and Reese’s voice. The end.

No, seriously, that’s how it ended and then the nice NBC voice is kind enough to tell us new episodes will return on February 4th. I don’t think I can wait that long. I know I’ve said I want to fast-forward before but really, I don’t think I’ve meant it until now. Really, though, I only want to if I get a written guarantee that we’ll find some hard facts out about how Roman and everyone else fits into Charlie’s story. Oh, and poor Ted gets out of jail. I know Charlie has his ‘friends’ protecting him in there but so sad. Till February… “You don’t have to be ‘here’ to understand ‘here’.”