Last week, we said goodbye to ABC’s Life on Mars after a too-short run of 17 episodes. Love or hate the ending, most people are happy that the show’s executive producers — Josh Appelbaum, Scott Rosenberg, and Andre Nemec — had a chance to wrap things up before the TV show said goodbye to primetime.
As those who tuned in on April Fool’s Day found out, Sam (Jason O’Mara) was not actually a cop from 2008 as we’d been led to believe. He was actually an astronaut from the year 2035 who had been placed in a state of deep sleep for a long trip to Mars. In his dream state, he was supposed to be living out a fantasy about living as a 2008 detective. His spaceship was hit some turbulence which caused the program to malfunction, sending his fantasy persona back to 1973. Elements of his 2035 life and versions of his fellow space travelers (Michael Imperioli, Gretchen Mol, Jonathan Murphy, and Harvey Keitel) were present in this new dream and kept our favorite “spaceman” off balance and confused.
At one point during the series, Sam learns (via one of his strange flashes) that Obama had been elected President. At the time, viewers simply assumed that this referred to Barack Obama being elected last November.
In the series finale, we find out that the flash was referring to a different President Obama from the year 2035. While Sam is communicating with Earth, he’s told that President Obama wanted to greet the space travelers but she had to go to Chicago with her sister to see their ill father.
The general assumption has been that the President Obama in 2035 is actually the daughter of our current Commander in Chief. A clever little twist.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t really work. As Alan Pergament points out, Malia, the eldest of the two Obama daughters, was born on July 4, 1998. That would make her 34 years old in the year 2032, the year of the last election prior to 2035. Our Constitution states that you must be at least 35 years old to be elected President so Malia would be too young.
Sure, the Constitutional age requirement could have been reduced or she could have come into power in another way but those seem pretty unlikely.
It’s a finale nitpick for sure and likely wouldn’t diminish the ending for anyone. Are there any inconsistencies from the series that, in retrospect, have bothered you? In the past week, have you changed your opinion about the last episode?
For those who missed the very end, you can see it below thanks to a YouTuber. To see the whole episode, head on over to ABC.com.