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Life: Mind Games

Crews and Ted contemplate the chilling words, “There were six, there are five, there could just as easily be four…” that they replay from the Jack Reese tapes.  As Crews attempts- and perhaps enjoys-solving the riddle, he and Dani get called in to unravel the murder of a college student who was participating in a psychological experiment in which participants play out roles in a prison.  The murdered student, a prison guard, was attacked during a blackout.  As Crews and Dani try to find the cat behind the cruel cat and mouse game that took place during the experiments, they find a slew of suspects including prisoners, guards, and the sadistic psychologist behind the experiments, Professor Halladay.  Back at the office, Captain Tidwell also has his hand full with a trigger happy, suicidal police officer, Henry, who is on the verge of shooting himself because he was recently dumped by his first wife.

After the detectives come across a room containing hours of surveillance footage rigged by Dr. Halladay, Ted is recruited to try and find evidence of the murder on the tapes.  He and Crews cringe while viewing the life-like prison recreated on the campus which reminds Crews of his jailbird days.  The tapes don’t manage to reveal much about the murder, but do provide insight into all the cruel experiments conducted by Halladay to heighten tensions between prisoners and guards.  After Crews traces a recent phone call from the phantom reporter to his ex wife back to Halladay, he threatens Halladay into giving him more information about the murder.  Halladay finds footage of the murdered guard who not only had a reputation for mistreating prisoners but who attacked Halladay as well.  The detectives have him arrested for gross bodily harm anyway.  While they solve the problem of Halladay, they still find themselves with no murderer.  After Crews sniffs out burning plastic, we get a brief lesson in prison lingo, as the smell leads him to a shank, or “melted plastic burned to a point,” which turns out to be the murder weapon hidden inside an Exit sign.

While this week’s murder was a revealing glimpse into how quickly people can fall into self-created traps with the power of suggestion, what was more important was the missing piece to the Conspiracy Theory puzzle in the form of an old photograph of Jack Reese and four other police officers attending the funeral of a slain, fellow police officer.  Apparently the officers were the six that are now five that could be four. . .and the picture of a young and perhaps less disillusioned Reese leads Crews to solve his riddle and get one step closer to catching his cat.

Season 2, Episode 4: Not For Nothing (originally aired 10/10/08)

For another take on this episode, check out Cameron Cubbison’s review here.

To read all of Poptimal’s reviews of Life, click here.

Wednesdays at 9/8c on NBC
Photographs courtesy of www.nbc.com

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