Like so many dancing hippies who were trying to "find themselves," so too is Sam Tyler in this episode. This episode has Tyler and the detectives of the 125 Precinct investigating the murder or a decorated Vietnam veteran. Having moved around so much as a kid, he suddenly realized he potentially lived in the same neighborhood he's investigating. To get back home he deduces he must find himself.
Maharishis, revolutionaries, hippies, Vietnam protestors, and those damn pesky intellectuals reveal themselves in the same scene as Sam continues his murder investigation. Thank goodness the show's producers tidily wrapped up the '70s counter-culture revolution in under 5 minutes! It's one thing to appreciate magical realism but it's another when a character's actions are abnormally different than we would expect. Case in point, as Sam marvels at the '70s party in the loft, he sees someone carrying a silver tray of pot. Does he stop this person? No. Instead his hippie neighbor drags him like a puppy dog to the stage to dance under the disco ball.
The sensational cherry on top of the sensational scene is the investigation of the accountant who had previously met with this episode's murder victim thereby bringing Sam deeper into the real cause of his murder. Here are a few clues. He's a neat dresser, crosses his legs, fusses with his clothing, and mentions the sensational Bobby Short and the Carlyle Hotel. Oh no. I may have used the word sensational too much. You know what that means.
The driving goal in each episode is Sam finding his way back to 2008. This episode is filled with flashbacks, memories and hallucinations that trigger thoughts of Sam's childhood past. This is contrasted by last episode's physical futuristic robot device that triggered his memories of 2008. Because it felt so real, the robot gave the impression that someone or something was controlling this trip to 1973. In this episode, Sam's 2008 life was not visually represented leaving an open question as to what's controlling his time travel predicament.
For full Recap Read here