I'm not sure if this is an unpopular opinion or not, but I don't distinguish between Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes in terms of universe or narrative. I take everything that happens in A2A as a continuation of LOM. If Alex says Sam told her something when he woke up, I believe her. If there's a Sam mention by Gene or Chris or Ray, I take it as part of Sam's ongoing story, even if he's dead both in Alex's world and the 70's. So, when I saw Sam's picture, it was my MAJOR SQUEEEEEEEE moment of the night and when two different characters said "You can't help which way you fall," I took it both as a reference to Sam's going off the roof AND to Gene/Sam.
For the first 10-15 minutes I was getting worried that they were entering David Lynch-land and going for just plain weirdness with no specific end in sight, but I'm hoping I was wrong. They gave us the two perfect series and the ending of LoM, so I'm going to trust them to have a great conclusion for this where everything ends up making sense.
I like the continuation of Ray's character development, but I didn't need him to spell out what he wanted to hear from Gene, and I felt it was over-kill, when it's all clear in the acting and subtext anyway. I didn't believe the off-screen Shazz/Chris break-up at all, after what they went through together and Shazz's crowning moment of awesome at the end of last season. I suspect this is just a set-up for them to get back together after Shazz becomes the "woman in jeopardy" (again) next week. P.S--the Dexy's Midnight Runners look was NOT doing her any favors.
I got a very wrong, but kind of hot vibe between Gene and Shazz when he said "Drake's always telling me what a good little plonk you are." Damn I want some smut, with Sam-angst overtones.
Very happy to see Alex's "look" go a little less Madonna/slutty/MTV, but I'm not quite sure what the sleek hair and the too much eye shadow UNDER her eyes is suppose to be representing.
I like hating the new "bad guy." He's just evil/slimy/smarmy/creepy enough to be a worthy opponent.
Bottom line-Glenister as Gene is a fucking force of nature. I love him, I need him, I want him, and I will follow him anywhere. I hope they come up with a story conclusion that does him justice.
And it can never be said enough---I love the music on this show.