"The Long Goodbye" (Sentinel)

Reviewed by Kathryn A on 18th May 2002 (5)

After rewatching a Pretender episode in which Jarod worked on Death Row, I finally worked up the courage to read this story (which many had raved about) set in a parallel universe in which Blair is on Death Row as the Manifesto Murderer, and Jim is a prison guard assigned to Death Row. To my surprise, I liked this story. It was a surprise to me because I hadn't been able to finish the only other story I'd read by this author, it just wasn't my thing. It was also a surprise because I couldn't believe it would be possible to write a story with a Blair on Death Row and make it still the Blair which we knew and loved, but the scenario seemed reasonably plausible. Indeed, I almost wondered if I should break out into singing the Carpenters again, this time in regard to Blair, rather than D.L. Witherspoon's Jim:
    Why do stars fall down from the sky
    Every time, you walk by
    Just like me, they long to be
    Close to you...

No normal human being could be quite that universally charming. I started to wonder if he were secretly an empath, as well as there being an almost instant Sentinel-Guide connection in this universe, but I don't think that was the intent. Still, it's quite fun to watch, and also the various different things that Jim goes through too.