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LIFE: DIG A HOLE. FILL IT UP, PART 2 (NBC)
(Wednesday, December 5 at 10:00/9:00c)
The network's description: "WHEN A WIFE KILLS HER HUSBAND THE HUNT IS ON TO FIND THE MURDER WEAPON � Charlie Crews (Damian Lewis) and Dani Reese (Sarah Shahi) arrive on the scene shortly after a wife has shot and killed her husband. A search of their apartment reveals an ample amount of illegal narcotics but no murder weapon. Amidst the search, Crews asks Reese to cover for him saying he has something he needs to deal with. Before Reese can answer, Crews' former partner, Bobby Stark (Brent Sexton), chimes in to say of course they will cover for him. Crew is then off to track the man he thinks is responsible for the murders he was imprisoned for. What he ends up uncovering is something much bigger than anything he could have imagined. Adam Arkin, Brooke Langton and Robin Weigert also star."
What did they leave out: It's the last episode of the series to air in 2007.
The plot in a nutshell: A visit to Mark Rawls (Michael Cudlitz, last seen the pilot) points Charlie in the direction of Kyle Hollis (Titus Welliver), the man who he believes killed Rachel Seybolt's family - the crime which he was framed for. To say any more would spoil the fun, but suffice it to say Kyle turns out to be far from the man he expected. In the meantime, Bobby and Dani are forced to work together to find a missing murder weapon (and cover for Charlie as he deals with the above) which may or may not have been swallowed by a pet snake.
What works: In retrospect, the show's premise - a wronged cop gets released from jail where he embraced a Zen lifestyle - has turned out to be far more clever than anyone's giving it credit for. Sure, from a procedural standpoint it's still very much "House" done as a cop show. But as a character study, its examination of Charlie Crews proves to be more intoxicating with each passing week. Is Crews a changed man who took solace in the Buddha's teachings to get him through a dark time? Or is Crews really still the con everybody says he is, clinging to his Zen identity like a mask? Events from the dangerous (the knife incident) to the innocuous (in tonight's episode, a cassette tape) have increasingly made us wonder if it's the latter case. After all, is Charlie's investigation into his framing really about justice or revenge? Said questions come to a head in this de facto "fall finale," as Charlie finally starts to get some answers. And as with any big reveal, the answers provided open up even more questions. It all leads to the most genuine "I can't believe I missed it" moment any TV has show has churned out in some time. Kudos to Damian Lewis, Rand Ravich and company for digging Charlie a real metaphorical hole...
What doesn't: ...now we just have to wait and see how they fill it up.
The bottom line: While the Buddha's teachings say "Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it" and "Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many," trust me - this is a great show.