Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Lost - "The Last Recruit"

Tonight's episode of Lost, "The Last Recruit," seems to be referencing, at least to me, one Dr. Jack Shephard.  Smokey has said that he must gather the remaining candidates before he can get off the Island.  He has Sayid, Sawyer, Jin and Kate (it is up for debate whether Kate is still a candidate).  Sun and Hurley are at least now both in the same camp as Smokey, but so is Jack.  Whether or not he is willing to follow Smokey is what is at issue.  The look of utter confusion and disbelief that struck Jack's countenance when he saw Smokey as Locke standing there was priceless.  Will the good doctor be receptive to Smokey's plan?  Can the others convince him, or will he have some other plan up his sleeve? 

Further, what will be going on in the Sideways world?  Darlton said in their most recent "Official Lost Podcast" that tonight's episode will not be character-centric.  What I'm expecting to happen is that all of our characters will converge on evidently the only hospital in all of Los Angeles.  There, they will have some kind of cosmic awakening and realize that "they have to go back!"  Jack's already there, Sun, Jin, Locke and presumably Ben are probably on their way too.  I'm not sure how Hurley, Sawyer and Kate will get there, but at least the latter two are together (because Sawyer arrested Kate back in "Recon").

As far as what else I expect to see tonight, I think we'll get a classic Jack vs. Locke debate/standoff, although Locke is no longer Locke.  As much as it has been important for Jack to discover that he can't fix everything, I do miss "Leader Jack," so I hope he asserts himself a little tonight.  We saw in the creepy Willy Wonka preview lat week that Desmond was not killed by his descent down the well, so how will he get out?  Will he encounter anyone down the hole, like Christian Shephard?  How the heck will he get out?!?  I also expect further frustration that Sun and Jin will be kept apart, but maybe, just maybe, I'll be pleasantly surprised and they will finally reunite at the end of the episode. 

Other than these things, I really don't have many more expectations.  It's getting harder and harder to expect anything with such few hours left.  Moreover, I'm not sure I want to have any expectations, lest I be disappointed with the conclusion of the series.  So, anything more that what I've listed above will be nothing but gravy.  I'll be back this weekend with some thoughts on "The Last Recruit," our last episode for two weeks!  Until then...


Monday, April 19, 2010

Lost - "Ab Aeterno," "The Package," "Happily Ever After," & "Everybody Loves Hugo"

I'm a bad blogger.  A very bad blogger.  It is inexcusable that I would not post anything for an entire month! during Lost's final season.  I could blame work.  I could blame my writing at TVOvermind.com.  I could blame the return of the Spring soccer season (I'm a referee), but it all of those excuses would be for naught.  I've dropped the ball, and for that I apologize.  I thank everyone that has stuck with me through this time of inactivity.  I will strive to do better. 

OK, with my self-flagellation out of the way, let's turn to what has been an absolutely incredible period in the history of Lost.  We have now recahed the two-thirds mark of the season, with only six hours remianing of this incredible series.  Let's take a quick look back at the episodes I've missed chatting about for the last few weeks, and figure out where we are heading into this week's episode, "The Last Recruit."

Ab Aterno
Well, this was the epsiode everyone was waiting for: Richard Alpert's backstory.  Why doesn't he age?  Because Jacob granted him eternal life so he wouldn't have to go to hell for accidentally killing a doctor.  Why was it so nice for Smokey to see Richard out of his chains?  Because Richard was sold into slavery to avoid the hangman's noose for said killing.  How was the Tawaret statue destroyed?  The Black Rock (the slave ship Richard was on) crashed through it during a terrible storm that landed the ship a mile inland.  All great answers to long-asked questions.  We also got the wine bottle/cork explanation for the Island: namely that the Island is a cork holding evil from spreading throughout the world.  Is that "evil" Smokey?  We've yet to find out.

This was an absolutely great episode, and perhaps the best of the season.  As I mentioned above, long-held questions were finally answered regarding Richard and the Island, and an Emmy nomination-worthy performance was given by Nestor Carbonnell.  There has always been great acting on the show, but that was a grade A performance.  As the episode dealt solely with Richard's past, there was no flash-sideways (a welcome reprieve from that madness); it was simply an origin story that was top notch on every level.

The Package
I was waiting desperately for Sun and Jin's flash-sideways just so I could see those crazy kids together again.  I did get to see them together, but as with everything in the Sideways world, something was awry.  Sun and Jin were still lovers, but they were not married as of their flight on Oceanic 815.  Rather, they were stealing away to the U.S. after Jin finished one last job for Mr. Paik.  That job involved delivering a watch, and the money taken at Customs, to Keamy.  What Jin didn't know was that the payment was actually the bounty placed on his head for sleeping with Mr. Paik's daughter.  As we knew from "Sundown," Keamy was to be shot by Sayid, freeing Jin, but another gun batte ensued, with Sun, and her and Jin's unborn child, being possible casualties.  Undoubtedly, a trip to Dr. Jack Shephard's hospital is in order.  Lastly, the "package" that was behind the locked door on Widmore's submarine was revealed to be Desmond!

Up until the last few moments and the Desmond reveal, this was not a very exciting episode.  Don't get me wrong -- I love me some Sun and Jin, as I've said numerous times on this blog.  It was just that not much happened between the two in the Sideways world, and the action on the Island world was pretty stagnant as well.  Was it a bad episode like "What Kate Does"?  Absolutely not; it just didn't do much for me either way.  I can only chalk it up to continued and mounting frustration that the Sideways world was still completely unexplained.

Happily Ever After
That is, of course, until Desmond's Sideways episode.  Finally, we received some insight into what the Sideways world is, and how it relates to the "real" world back on the Island.  As Daniel Faraday Widmore explained, the explosion of Jughead split the world into two separate timelines. But there's a problem with the Sideways world; it's just not...right.  Like it's not supposed to exist.  Well, it's not supposed to exist.  There is hope though.  If people can experience a life-altering love, they can see into the other, real world.  Desmond had that occur at the moment he shook Penny Milton's hand.  Further, he received some knowledge that may have informed him as to a way to merge or fuse the two worlds.  Having secured a passenger manifest from Oceanic 815, Desmond now has a mission in both worlds to bring awareness of the dual realities to the Lostaways.

It's not surprising that a Desmond-centric episode was fantastic.  After "Flashes Before Your Eyes" and maybe the second best episode ever, "The Constant," "Happily Ever After" slides right into the canon of great Desmond episodes.  Every time Des and Penny share the screen, the electricty just jumps into your living room.  Further, the episode finally gave us some reason to believe the Sideways world is important to the resolution of the series, and not just some exercise in "what if?".  Throw in some nuanced and compelling perfromances from Dominc Monaghan and Jeremey Davies as the returning Charlie and Faraday, and "Happily Ever After" was an almost perfect episode.

Everybody Loves Hugo
That brings us to last week's Hurley-centric episode.  As a nice juxtaposition with "Everybody Hates Hugo," Hurley is actually leading a rather successful life as an entrepeneur, although his mother would like him to find a woman with whom he can settle down.  He finds that woman on a blind date: not the intended Rosalita, but rather Libby, who was at the same Mexican restaurant on a field trip from Santa Rosa.  Libby is still a patient at Santa Rosa, as she was in the "real" world, but once again, she's not "crazy."  She was committed in the Sideays world because she was having visions of she and Hurley on the Island.  Her love for Hurley was making those rememberances bleed through into the Sideays world.  When they eventually had their beach picnic (awwwwwwww) and kissed, Hurley, too, received a download of information from the Island world.  Desmond, who had encouraged Hurley to pursue Libby, looked on and was pleased by his handiwork, before going off to hit Locke with his car! 

I thought this episode was pretty great, mostly because of the performance by Jorge Garcia.  It was fun to see another flash into the real world, and, of course, the beach picnic.  Again, however, there wasn't much there there until the final scene when Desmond hit Locke with the car.  Why did he do this?  I know there is one line of thought that this was a revenge action for Smokey throwing Desmond into the well on the Island.  I think this is faulty because the only time we saw Desmond, Hurley or Charlie recognize the other world was during the flashes they each had when they realized love or had a near-death experience.  I don't think Sideways Desmond was aware of what happened to him on the Island.  Rather, I'm going with the theory that Desmond was trying to induce Locke's awareness of the "real" world by giving him a near-death experience.  Flawed logic?  Perhaps, but it's the best I've got.  As for the rest of the episode, the highlights were finding out what the Whispers are (souls trapped on the Island because they can't "move on"), and Jack's realization that he can't fix everything.  I do feel, however, that Jack will still end up being the hero and will lead his friends off of the Island. 

OK, so that's what I have, oh so briefly, for the last month's worth of Lost.  Again, I'm sorry I haven't been posting recently.  Moreover, I'm sorry the above isn't too in-depth.  I am going to post a preview of this week's episode, "The Last Recruit," tomorrow morning, and will then return to a normal posting schedule this weekend with a real review of the episode.  Thank you so much for sticking with me. 


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Lost - "Recon," Ctd & "Ab Aterno" Preview

Hello everyone.  I have to be honest, I wasn't jazzed about "Recon" as I thought I was going to be.  I enjoyed the Sideways Sawyer stuff, but I couldn't get that "up" about the on-Island story.  Perhaps this was a bit of great expectations for the episode, but from what I've seen from other Lost bloggers around the interwebs, I wasn't alone in my feeling.  Here are my slightly disappointed thoughts on "Recon."

*I thought Sawyer-as-cop was actually really fun.  I enjoyed the play on his most famous con (the "Pigeon Drop"), and the use of LaFleur as the signal for Miles and crew to arrest his conquest.  Similarly, it was great to see Charlotte back and have her go out, sleep with, and "investigate" Sawyer.  She is, after all, an archeologist, so her digging and finding out what kind of man James Ford really is was playfully brilliant (and how amazing did Rebecca Mader look?).  I was glad to see that Miles and Sawyer were still buddies, as well, working on a beat similar to their Dharma days.  But the thing that I took away most from the Sideways story was when Sawyer punched is reflection in the mirror.

*I had previously posited that regarding the characters' looks into reflective surfaces "seemed to reflect (no pun intended) the character's subconscious realization that while things aren't perfect, they are better than they could be. In essence, they have learned something from their 2007 life."  However, after this week, I had a different thought.  Sawyer's anger though, seemed to me, to be a realization not that things could be worse, but that something is unfulfilled.  Like he knows that somewhere out there, something bigger than killing Anthony Cooper, is waiting for him to discover it and complete the man he is supposed to be.  If anything, his search for Cooper is actually distracting him from finding his true calling.  It's the duality of free will and destiny again.  It is Sawyer's destiny to fulfill some greater purpose, but he needs to make the choice to unburden himself with to her goals and desires to achieve it.  The contemplations in reflections for these Sideways characters is their acknowledgement that they are supposed to be doing something "more."  Or it's just a cool, artistic motif.

*As far as the on-Island stuff went, there were some interesting moments (Claire attacking, then apologizing to Kate; Sayid's indifference; Smokey's "I am the smoke thing" to Sawyer), but nothing that made me say, "Wow."  If I had to pick something to write about though (which I guess is kind of the reason I have this blog, right?), it would have to be Kate's despair at realizing that her whole reason for coming back to the Island may have been for naught.  I am not one of the many Lost viewers out there that hates Kate and Evangeline Lilly.  On the contrary, I find her to be rather compelling, especially for someone who, at the beginning of the show, was an acting neophyte.  Anyway, I thought she played the devastation Kate felt particularly well, as well as the confusion I know I would have felt if Smokey then came and apologized for crazy Claire.  I think she'll eventually get Claire to come back to the light and be able to rejoin mother and son.

*Lastly, we get to the part of the episode that really tanked it for me.  The end.  OK, I get Sawyer playing both sides against each other, and I certainly get Sawyer telling Smokey the truth (Smokey is much more deadly than Widmore, being a smoke monster and everything).  I think the battle could be epic in scope, once we figure out who is on what side.  However, what I hated was Sawyer's plan to escape, and the lameitude of the plan was summed up by Sawyer's final line, "No, we're gonna take the sub."  Seriously?  Sawyer knows how to pilot a sub?  And seriously, that is the big cliffhanger line not only until the next episode, but probably for two episodes until we see Sawyer again?!?  You have got to be kidding me!  Listen, I know that not every line can be Shakespeare, but the whole Sawyer-Kate exchange at the end was just so full of melodrama that I expected Evangeline Lilly sitting just off camera and as soon as the director yelled, "Cut!" she just burst out laughing.  Let me interject that this has nothing to do with Josh Holloway's performance.  He's probably number three on the show behind Terry O'Quinn and Michael Emerson -- Holloway did whatever he could with that dreck.  But the dialogue just yanked me right out of all the action.  This was not what I was expecting for the last season, and certainly not what I expect of Lost's writers.

Quick Hits

*I did totally dig Claire's despair when Kate asked about the Squirel Baby: "It was all that I had."  Heartbreaking, and perfectly delivered by Emile de Ravin.

*Kate is clearly still on the run in the Sideways timeline.  I guess she didn't get that far with Claire's credit card.  Was cool that Sawyer was the one who ended up apprehending her after he let her go when they got off Oceanic 815.

*I guess one other major point is that Sawyer promised to get Jin and Sun off the Island.  This should be major, but as I have come to believe we'll never get the Kwons as a major focus at any point in the remainder of the series (obvious sarcasm), I really have nothing left to say about this.

*Does Widmore really think that travel sonic fence is going to stop Smokey?  Oh no.

*If I had to bet on someone or something in the locked door in the sub, my bet is on Desmond.  He's related to Widmore (by marriage) and we all know that "the Island isn't through with [him] yet."

OK, that's what I have.  Again, I'm sorry this has been so long in coming, but I was not very motivated by "Recon" to write about it.  On the other hand...

...tonight's episode "Ab Aterno" is guaranteed to be a something to write about.  This episode will, finally, give us the background on Richard Alpert.  All we really know about Richard is that he's really old, is consigliore to the Others, has some relation to The Black Rock, and wants to off himself because Jacob promised him a life of purpose, but he didn't get one.  Here are some of the major questions that may (hopefully!) get answered tonight:

*How old is Richard really?
*Was he a slave on The Black Rock?
*Why did he never try to become the leader of the Others?
*Why does he never age?
*Did he really see the Lostaways die in the past?
*Does Richard have a Sideways story?
*Did he really not know about the candidates?

These are just a few of the questions I came up with off the top of my head, and I am sure there are more.  We have been promised this episode for a long time so I have every faith that that the creators are going to deliver in a big way.  I know that there are a couple special guests on tonight but they might be a bit spoilery so I won't mention who.  Suffice it to say that if you like great actors from great (HBO western) shows, you will not be disappointed.  After tonight, we will be at the halfway point of the final season, so expect the show to barrel forward from here on out.  I am greatly looking forward to tonight.  Oh, one more thing!  Tonight's episode is actually six minutes longer than normal, so make sure your DVR is set accordingly!  I don't have any games to ref on Saturday, so I'll hopefully get my thoughts on "Ab Aterno" up this weekend.  Until then...


Thursday, March 18, 2010

FlashForward - Spring Premiere "Revelation Zero"

Hello everyone.  Tonight, March 18th, is the long-awaited (by some) return of FlashForward.  I was able to get a sneak peek at the two-hour spring premiere, and I wrote a review about it for TVOvermind.  I really enjoyed these first two hours and think the series has found a welcome new focus.  If you're interested, you can read it here.  This weekend I'll have some thoughts on this week's Lost episode, "Recon."  Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Lost - "Recon"

Sorry for the late post today -- busy at work, and a bit of a sore throat slowing me down.  Anyway, tonight's episode of Lost is titled "Recon."  As I mentioned at the end of my recap for "Dr. Linus," this week's episode is Sawyer-centric.  What will Sawyer be doing?  Well, the title "Recon" offers two possibilities.  First, there is "recon" as in "reconnaissance."  I imagine that Smokey is going to send Sawyer out on some type of mission to find out what the Jacobins are doing over on the Beach.  Secondly, there is "recon" as in "re-con."  We know that Sawyer is a con artist, and a damn good one.  Is it possible that he is pulling some kind of con on Smokey?  Definitely.  But then how does the "re" apply?  Is there someone that he has conned at one point that he will con again?  How about when he conned Kate over Shannon's inhaler so he could get a kiss?  Or the whole group when he used Charlie as a distraction to get control of the guns?  We'll have to see.  The other question for this episode, as it regards Sawyer, is what happens to him in the Sideways timeline?  Is he still a con man?  Will he seek out Hurley to bilk him for his lottery fortune?  Is he still a father?  Does he know Clementine?  Is his name even Sawyer at all, or just James Ford?  Here are some of the other questions I'm asking tonight:

*Whose side is Widmore on?  He seems to be docking at the Hydra station, so is he meeting up with Smokey?  Or is he the person Jacob knew was coming to the Island?  (I'm still hoping Jacob's guy is Desmond.)

*Will we actually see all of the Lostaways in tonight's episode?  I venture probably not, but you never know.  I guess it depends on whether Sawyer actually makes it to the Beach.

*I predict that Jin and Sun will not see each other tonight, and yes, this is a reverse jinx.

*What is the nature of the darkness that has enveloped Sayid and Claire?  Is it different for the two of them as one, Sayid, has died, and the other, Claire, has not?  Can they be "saved?"  Do they want to be saved?

*How is Claire going to treat Kate, knowing that Kate raised Aaron for the last three years.  Methinks, not very well.  Can Kate convince Claire that Aaron is OK, and she just did what she had to, for the baby?  If she can, will Claire then want to leave Smokey?

*What is Jin's role in all this.  We haven't seen him in seemingly forever.  Has he truly joined Smokey's side, or is he playing along like Kate.  And has his leg healed even though the Hot Tub of Doom is no longer functioning properly (the assumption being that the Island no longer has it's mysterious healing powers)?

That's about it for me.  Past Sawyer episodes have been great, so I'm expecting a good time tonight as well.  It's weird, I've found these preview posts a little hard when it comes to what I'm expecting in the episode because I have resigned myself to the fact that I have no idea what's coming.  And I'm OK with that.  I'm along for the end of this six-season ride and am not really questioning Darlton's choices.  I really just want to sit back, relax, and enjoy what I see.  I mean, I'm not going to stop doing them, but perhaps this is why they seem a little less specific.  Anyway, as always, thanks for reading.  I'll be back this weekend with my thoughts on what will surely be a great episode.  Until then...


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Lost - "Dr. Linus," Ctd

This week's installment of Lost was the Ben-centric "Dr. Linus."  For me, this was one of the better episodes of this final season, but kind of odd.  It was weird, even though there was some important information given and some major character development, I felt the episode was...I don't know....breezy, simple.  I'm not sure that makes any sense, but hopefully I can describe this feeling better below.  Here are my thoughts on "Dr. Linus":

*Isn't it amazing how this show has been able to take such an evil, reviled, spiteful, manipulative character, and made him sympathetic?  You'd be hard pressed to find any regular Lost viewer who didn't get a bit of a smile cross his or her face when Ben opened his front door and Alex was standing there.  I loved the idea that the Sideways timeline gave Ben the opportunity to have a fulfilling relationship with his "daughter."  This paralleled his on-Island story perfectly, as it was his confession of shame in sacrificing Alex to keep his power over the Island that led to his salvation. 

*There was some other great stuff in the Sideways plot as well.  Keeping true to the motif of the other Sideways stories we've seen, Ben studied his reflection in the microwave glass.  We also had Ben changing his father's oxygen tank -- giving him life-saving gas, instead of the poisonous gas he used to kill his father on the Island.  Of most importance though, was Ben's attempt to be the master manipulator he is on the Island.  However, like Jack, Locke and Kate, Sideways Ben was a "better" person.  This Ben has compassion.  This Ben is willing to sacrifice his ambition on behalf of others (both Alex and his father).  Unlike on the Island, when given the choice, Sideways Ben chose Alex over his chance at power, the thing Island Ben admits is his greatest desire. 

*Of course, this all plays in to Ben's story on the Island.  If you had told me, even a week ago, that Ben would turn down an opportunity to rule over the Island, I wouldn't have believed you.  We knew he felt very sorry for allowing Alex to die, but as he had the opportunity to choose which side he wanted to go with (Smokey or Jacob), he chose the side that really offered him nothing but forgiveness.  This would seem inherently out of character for Ben, but you know what?  I believed it.  Credit should be given to the writers and, obviously, Michael Emerson for making this transformation possible.  The question that remains, for me at least, is what does Ben want now?  He has turned down the Island, and he can't get his daughter back, so what does he want?  Further, in whatever he is seeking, will Ben still be the old Ben insofar as he will manipulate, lie and steal to reach his desired outcome?  I sure as hell hope so; I hope they haven't completely neutered the character we have all come to know and love.

*Someone else who has chosen Jacob is Jack.  How intense was that scene in The Black Rock?  Very intense!  And I loved it.  Jack's explanation for his seeming death wish was revealing (and exactly what Jacob was aiming at when he had Hurley show Jack the Lighthouse).  After his staring-at-the-sea meditation time, Jack has realized that there truly is some higher power working in his life, even if that power is a white-tuniced, sandal-wearing weaver.  The Man of Science has become a Man of Faith, and trusted that he would not meet his demise via dynamite because Jacob had larger plans for him.  I took his almost maniacal expression and laugh not as signs of a mad man, but as a pressure release.  Jack has fought so hard for most of the series against his destiny, but with his hissy fit in the Lighthouse and his staring down of the dynamite, Jack has finally released his doubt and inner turmoil.  We have seen "activated" Jack in the past, most recently when he was leading the group to detonate Jughead.  This is when the character, and the actor, are at their best.  I look forward to seeing a directed and motivated Jack for the rest of the series.

*While Jack has been motivated by Jacob, there is at least one person on the Island who would love nothing more than stab the Man in White over and over again, Richard.  It turns out that his eternal life was a "gift" granted by Jacob in return for faith in Jacob's master plan.  Now that Jacob is dead, and Richard still has no idea what that plan was, he wants to shake loose his (im)mortal coil.  I have found it fascinating to watch Richard completely unravel this season.  He was always the man with all the answers, but since Jacob has died and Smokey is running rampant, Richard, admittedly, can't understand what his world has become.  His falling apart allows for someone else to step into his role as leader of the Island denizens.  Since he has all of the answers now, it must be Jack.

*Lost has great direction in general, but there was a fantastic bi of directing I noticed in this episode.  When Sideways Ben is told he has to monitor detention, he is in a too-big-for-him sweater with his shoulders sloped forward.  He has been debased and embarrassed; he is as low as he can be as he has no power and does not control his fate (as it regards his job).  At the end of the episode, when Jack sizes up Ben at the Beach, Ben assumes the same physical stance, with his shirt baggy and brown with blood and dirt.  Again, Ben has been debased, forced to grovel; he is as low as he can be as he has no power and does not control his fate (as it regards his life on the Island).  Just a nice piece of bookended direction.  Also, check out again the lighting in the principal's office when he counters Ben's accusations with his threat against Alex's chances at Yale.  The bright sunlight, along with Ben's haircut and glasses, gave Ben a look of insignificance.  He is washed out, and the shadows make his face look very small and withdrawn.  He is a man defeated.  Great stuff,if you care about this sort of thing.

Quick Hits:

*Is Widmore on his way to meet Smokey?  He didn't want to stop to address the folks on the Beach, so he must be meeting up with the Man in Black on Hydra Island, right?

*Why would Smokey rally his army over at Hydra Island?  Is that the only place Widmore can dock his submarine? 

*We got an answer to why Ilana collected Jacob's ashes: so Miles could find out how Jacob died.

*Speaking if Ilana, I really hope we get a backstory on her.  How did Jacob come into her life, and what did he do that he became like a father to her.  Further, how did she end up in all of the bandages we saw her in in "The Incident?"

*Are we to believe no one else on the beach heard Smokey arrive with his "tikatikatika" and wind blowing?  And since when did he have telekenesis that he could unlock Ben's leash with just a thought?

*I assumed that in the Sideways timeline, the Island sunk in 1977 when Jughead was detonated.  This was the proverbial fork in the road that split off the Sideways timeline.  We know Dharma went to the Island, because we saw Dharmaville on the sunk Island.  But we learned in the episode that Ben and his father were on the Island at some point.  But in the "real" timeline, Young Ben and his father were still on the Island at the time of The Incident.  So, when did the timelines splinter?  This is hurting my brain.

*I'm not sure if you knew, but Sun has to find her husband.  Just wanted to make sure you realized that.

*Where the &!%$ is Sawyer?  Seriously, he hasn't been on the show for the last three episodes.  Hope Josh Holloway enjoyed the vacation.

*Nice callback to Nikki and Paolo with Miles calling them jabronis and digging up their diamonds.

*Others have pointed it out, but there was another nice callback to Hurley not being able to get exploded Arzt out of his shirt when Arzt couldn't get formaldehyde out of his shirt.

Once again, nothing from my preview post was addressed.  Kate and Sawyer were nowhere to be found, and we learned nothing about the effects of Sayid's stabbing of Smokey.  Nor did we learn what the Jacobins' plan is to defeat the Big Bad.  It's a good thing I'm not a weatherman, as I am terrible at the prediction business.

OK, that's what I've got for this week.  Again, I thought it was a good episode with some interesting plot revelations and character developments.  Next week's episode is entitled "Recon," and will, finally, be a Sawyer episode.  I already notice that "recon" has two potential meanings.  Recon as short for reconnaissance, meaning the gathering of information on the enemy.  Or, it could be read as re-con, meaning to con again.  Could it be, as I and others have speculated, that Sawyer is pulling his hardest and most important con on Smokey?  I guess we'll find out on Tuesday.  If you'd like full recaps and some more in-depth analysis, be sure to check out DocArzt, Jay and Jack, Doc Jensen, and Erika's input.  I'll be back early next week with my preview for "Recon." 


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Lost - "Dr. Linus"

Tonight's episode of Lost is titled "Dr. Linus."  Clearly, this installment will center around our favorite former Other, Ben Linus, and presumably his Sideways profession of European History teacher.  Something tells me that there is more to this chosen occupation than meets the eye.  Further, how will he interact with the new subsitute biology teacher?  And what will Ben's role in the "real" timeline be?  I briefly did see him digging in one of the graves on Boone Hill, so what is he doing there?  Is he digging up Locke's body?  Intriguing questions all.  Here's what else I'm looking for:

*Now that Smokey has gathered his army, what is his plan?  Does he have to gather the other Lostaways, or does he have sufficient forces?  What is his ultimate play?  What does he have to accomplish to be able to "go home?"  Clearly, I would like more information on Smokey tonight.

*In the same vein, what are Sawyer, Jin and Kate's alliances to Smokey, truly?  We saw Kate leave with Smokey at the end of "Sundown," but why?  Is she just trying to protect herself, or protect Claire?  Is Smokey aware of the danger her presence creates?  Is Jin "with" Smokey or not?  Last we saw, he was in Claire's tent of horrors. but did he have to swear allegiance to Smokey?  Did Smokey kill him?  And what about Sawyer?  We haven't seen him in three weeks, where he agreed to work with Smokey to get off the Island.  But why do I feel like he's conducting his greatest con?  I think Smokey's refusal to explain the bloody-handed blonde boy in "The Substitute" made Sawyer rather wary of the being in the form of Locke.  What will Sawyer do when he sees Kate is part of Smokey's coterie? 

*Do the Jacobins, the name I'm calling the group of Ilana, Lapidus, Ben, Sun, Miles, Jack, Hurley and Richard (and, yes, a reference to these guys), have any other reinforcements?  What can they do to stop Smokey? 

*Will Sun and Jin finally meet up in this episode?  As much as I want to say yes, I got majorly burned last week, so I will say no.  (It would be great if they did though!)

*Did anything happen to Smokey as a result of Sayid stabbing him with Dogen's dagger?

I think, now that we are at hour seven of the season, the season has begun apace.  Sides have been drawn, and the battle is about to begin.  There are obviously still many, many questions to be answered, but I expect the pedal to be to the metal for the rest of the season.  Ben episodes are always great thanks to the inimitable Michael Emerson, so I have no reason to think otherwise now.  I'll be back this weekend with thoughts on "Dr. Linus."  Until then...


Monday, March 8, 2010

Lost - "Sundown," Ctd

Hello fellow Losties.  This week's episode was titled, "Sundown," and I couldn't have been more wrong in thinking it was going to be a Sun and Jin episode.  Oh no.  Not even close.  What we did get was a kick-ass Sayid episode, and one that may have been the darkest in the series' run.  Cook yourself some eggs (where is that poacher), and let's dive into "Sundown."

*Man, they completely fooled me.  I thought Sayid was going to be with Nadia in the Sideways timeline.  I should have known something was off when we saw Sayid's reflection in the door glass.  There has been a theme running so far this season in the Sideways timelines where the character has looked at their reflection, contemplating some bit of "memory" from the 2007 timeline.  These contemplations seemed to reflect (no pun intended) the character's subconscious realization that while things aren't perfect, they are better than they could be.  In essence, they have learned something from their 2007 life.  (More on this below.)  Anyway, Sayid was not looking at his reflection; his view was skewed.  He couldn't see himself.  Specifically, he couldn't see what he learned in the 2007 timeline.  This should have been a clue that Sayid has not been redeemed in the Sideways world (as much as any of the characters have), at least not yet.

*As far as the rest of the Sideways story went, I thought it was great.  Sayid hasn't changed.  He's still a killer, and he's still pursuing Nadia, perhaps to his detriment.  I loved seeing Keamy again.  Kevin Durand is pretty excellent, and the chance to see him do his thing was awesome.  Sayid's whole life on the Island can be summed up in two lines of dialogue when Sayid has Keamy at gun point.  KEAMY: "The debt is forgiven.  Relax, forget about it."  SAYID: "I can't."  Exactly.  Sayid, can't forget about it, with "it" being the atrocities he has committed against others.  He can never be redeemed as long as he can't come to terms with what he has done.  Oh, and what the heck was with Jin in the freezer?  I mean, I assume the money that was confiscated from Jin at the airport was supposed to go to Keamy, but why bother throwing this in to this episode.  I guess it did serve as a reminder that Jin is being held captive by Claire.

*Speaking of Claire, how much fun is Emile de Ravin having?  To me, it looks like a whole lot.  She seems to be relishing the opportunity to play evil, feral Claire the way she dug into her scene with Dogen and her death-stare at Kate when Kate told her she raised Aaron.  I think she is playing a perfect blend of totally nut-bar crazy, with a hint of understanding that maybe she is being played by Smokey.  Her hesitation in entering the Temple ("Why not get Jin or Sawyer to do it?") spoke volumes to me.  And her creepy singing of "Catch a Falling Star?"  Holy schinkies!!  I haven't been that creeped out in a while.  I think in the end, however, she will be "saved" and pulled back from the dark side.  Perhaps it's wishful thinking, but she has to be "good" before she can get Aaron back, right?

*On the flip side, I think we may have lost Sayid forever.  Unlike Claire, who was desperately crazy to find/protect Aaron, or Sawyer who was grief-stricken and drunk, when they were approached by Smokey to follow him, Sayid made a clear choice to follow the evil guy.  Yes, Sayid is sad that Nadia is dead, but at the moment he chose his path, he was clear-headed ("darkness" growing inside him , notwithstanding).  He has now come to grips with who he is and always has been: a killer, and more importantly, a tool.  Think about it.  Sayid has never done anything of his own volition.  He killed the chicken to protect his brother when they were children.  He was a torturer for the Republican Guard.  He was used by the CIA to infiltrate the terrorist cell.  He was manipulated by Ben to kill Widmore's associates.  Sayid is nothing more than a machine to be used for other people's nefarious designs.  It seems that he has (finally) come to understand this, and has fallen in line with perhaps the greatest manipulator of all.

*Oh, Dogen.  We hardly knew ye.  You tried to use Sayid as a tool for his own demise, but met your end.  To be honest, I'm going to miss Dogen.  He became an intriguing character, especially from what we heard about how he ended up on the Island.  After this story, I began to really question Jacob's motives; he may not be as good as we are supposed to believe.  It appears that Dogen, after mortally wounding his son in a drunk driving accident, was trapped on the Island in exchange for Jacob saving his son's life.  If Jacob is benevolent, why trap Dogen?  Why not at least bring his son to the Island too?  Moreover, what power was bestowed on to Dogen so that he was what was actually keeping Smokey out of the Temple?  I hope this gets explained, although it will have to be in a flashback of some sort, as Sayid brutally drowned the Temple-master.  I'm sad to see him go.  Lennon?  Not so much.  I mean, I love John Hawkes, but his character was grating, so good riddance, hippie! 

*The other interesting thing about Dogen's demise, was his exchange with Sayid about Jacob driving a hard bargain, and Smokey making Sayid a similarly hard bargain.  It furthers the idea that the mysterious puppet-masters have similar powers/abilities.  When Smokey offered Sayid whatever Sayid wanted in exchange for killing Dogen (there's Sayid being a tool again), it got me thinking that perhaps Smokey is some kind of...malevolent is the wrong word...let's say, twisted genie.  Each character wants something for their off-Island life, and Smokey (or Jacob, I guess) can grant that wish.  The results are the Sideways stories.  I call Smokey a "twisted" genie, because the fulfilled wishes have catches.  Kate wants to reunite Claire and Aaron, but she's still a fugitive.  Locke wants to know love (from Helen, his father, and the world), but he's still paralyzed.  Jack wants to know that he "has what it takes," but his father is still dead and they can't reconcile.  Sayid wants Nadia to be alive, but she's married to his brother.  These all seem to fall into the category of not being able to have your cake and eat it too.  I am forever the optimist, however, so I am assuming that the end result for these characters' lives will actually put them in places better than what we have seen in the Sideways flashes.

Quick Hits:

*How great was that fight scene between Dogen and Sayid.  I actually can't remember the last time the show had such a long, technical, even-handed fight.  Hopefully on the DVD's there will be a behind-the-scenes piece on it.  I'd love to know how much was the actors and how much stuntmen.

*Some great direction from Bobby Roth, who also directed "Whatever Happened, Happened" and "There's No Place Like Home."  The aforementioned fight scene, the slo-mo, creepy closing scene with "Catch a Falling Star" playing over it, and Sayid's meeting with Smokey in the jungle were all beautifully shot.  The tone of the episode and the performances were pitch-perfect, as well.  Good work.

*Ahhhh, the Smokey rampage.  How awesome was that?  I love me a good smoke monster rampage.  Poor red shirts.  You should have chosen to leave!

*Did you catch Smokey's look upon seeing Kate emerge from the Temple?  He is at first surprised to see her, but then quickly sizes her up, wary of the fact that she may not be true to the cause.  Wonderful work, as usual, by Terry O'Quinn.  And why did Kate join Smokey?  Self-preservation (it's better than being smashed against a stone wall), or just to protect Claire?

*Smokey seems to have a pretty big army.  Who does Jacob have?  Ilana, Lapidus, Sun, Ben, Miles, Jack, and Hurley.  Doesn't seem like much, does it?

*Speaking of looks, I loved Ben's expression to Sayid 's retort that there is no more time for him.  It said, "OK, you crazy!  Even crazier than me!"  Then he just slowly backed out.  Great stuff.

*Yunjin!  She got two lines of dialogue!  WOO-HOO!!

Alright, that's what I've got for "Sundown."  This may have been the best episode of the season, so far, with great acting from Naveen Andrews, and fantastic pacing and action provided by Bobby Roth.  The next episode is titled "Dr. Linus."  I think I can predict who this one will focus on.  I'll be back tomorrow morning with some thoughts on what I expect to see in the episode. 


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Lost - "Sundown"

Hey folks.  Sorry this preview post is so late, but work conspired against me this week.  Anyway, as we discussed at the end of last week's recap for "Lighthouse," tonight's episode, "Sundown," should be a Sun/Jin episode, if the pattern stays true to Season 1.  I honestly have no idea if it will be or not, but I am sure hoping so.  It has been two years since the couple has been together, so I would love to see them reunited.  Moreover, my love of Yunjin Kim's acting is well-documented here, so the chance to see her actually do something would be welcomed. 

I also mentioned last week that team Darlton said the season was divided into three six-hour blocks.  Tonight is hour six, so the first block is coming to an end.  This should be the last bit of set-up we need to get through (endure?) before the thrust of the season's action begins.  I don't really have any predictions for anything other than I bet this will be a pretty great episode with the Island factions coming together (Temple, Claire, Beach, Smokey).  Or, at least I hope it will. 

Again, sorry for the late post, but sometimes, the people who pay you just get in the way.  I'll be back later this week with a recap of "Sundown."  Until then...


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Lost - "Lighthouse," Ctd

The consensus of Lost watchers has been that the first four hours of this final season have been a roller coaster ride, from great heights ("The Substitute"), to quite low lows ("What Kate Does").  This week's installment, "Lighthouse," was like the part of the roller coaster where it corkscrews around and around horizontal to the ground.  It's definitely fun, but you're a little dizzy and disoriented afterwords, headed for a huge incline that will eventually send you screaming towards the ground.  There was a lot to like in "Lighthouse," but I don't think it got to the heights of "The Substitute." However, I see it putting all the characters (and the audience) in the proper place for an ascent that will lead us to the final, breathtaking descent.  Darlton have said that this 18-hour season has been structured in three 6-hour blocks, with the first six hours getting all of the pieces in their proper places.  "Lighthouse" was hour number five so we have just about completed the set-up portion of the season.  In the opinions of many Lost watchers, this section of the season can't end soon enough, but I'm willing to give them the time they need.  I've trusted the Lost Powers That Be until this point, it would be folly to stop doing so now.  On that note, let's take a look at "Lighthouse":

*I really enjoyed Sideways Jack's story.  From the gasp that Jack has a son(!), to his heartfelt confession that David could never fail in his father's eyes was some great dramatic television, especially in light of what we know about the other Jack.  For a man who, admittedly, obsessed over his father's critique of him (and never got over it in the "real" timeline), it was poignant to see Sideways Jack confront, and be at peace with, his limitations as a man and father.  Further, he received from David, what he never gave his father: acceptance.  It will be interesting to see how 2007 Jack comes to these same realizations and be finally redeemed on the Island.

*We saw that 2007 Jack hasn't had these realizations yet during his trek with Hurley.  He states that he wasn't cut out for having a family and that he would be a terrible father, assumingly because he fears he'd turn into his father.  The question is whether Jack has now come to the same conclusions Sideways Jack has after his tantrum in the Lighthouse.  When Jack saw the image of his childhood home in the lighthouse mirror, and demanded form Hurley, "What does he want from me?!?" I don't think he meant Jacob.  After his visit to the caves and his father's coffin, and subsequent sight of his home, Jack has reached the breaking point with his inner demons regarding his father.  "What does he want from me?" succinctly sums up Jack's lifelong attitude towards his father.  Perhaps smashing the mirror (and representative image of his old self) and staring out at the ocean will allow this Jack to come to the same conclusions as Sideways Jack.  It's clear Jacob wants Jack to lead his troops against Smokey, but only a self-activated Jack.  It has to be Jack's choice.  When Jacob said that (or at least implied it), I released a large sigh of relief because, as I have complained about before, I was put off by the idea that they are all just pawns with no active choices.  Instead, Jack must choose to be the leader, must choose to prove he "has what it takes."  My fears are assuaged.  At least for now.

*It was great to see crazy Claire, and I thought she was wonderfully played by Emile de Ravin.  The question I was left with (and I think Jin as well) is whether she's crazy because she's been out on her own for three years and missing Aaron, or because of whatever sickness she may be infected with.  Undoubtedly, it's a little bit of both.  Probably the most intriguing thing I took away from Claire's story in "Lighthouse" was the fact that she was told Aaron was taken by the Others by both her father and her "friend."  The implication is that Christian and her "friend" (wonderfully revealed to be Smokey, "That's not John.  That's my friend!") are two different entities.  Now, maybe Smokey has the ability to be in two places at once, but I'm going to assume that Chsitian is not Smokey.  I think this is backed up by the scene in Season 5's "Namaste" when Sun and Lapidus are shown the 1977 Dharma photo of Kate, Jack and Hurley by Christian.  Yet, at the same time, Smokey (as Locke) was back on the beach at the Ajira crash site.  Who Christian could be then, I have no idea.  Any thoughts?  Lastly, I think Claire will eventually be converted back to the "good" side at some point.  With all the torture (both literal and figurative) Claire has gone through in this series, I imagine she will turn out OK in the end.

*Hurley and Jack's trek was certainly fun for it's being "old school," as Hurley described it.  Although, it did kind of remind me of some of the worst parts of Lost, namely what Hurley said, them walking around in the jungle to do something they don't quite understand.   I could understand Hurley's anger with Jacob that it would be preferable if they were just told what to do, but as Jacob explained, different people need different types of pushes to reach their self-activation points.  Further, Jacob had the purpose of getting the two of the them away from the Temple and keep them safe from Smokey's impending attack.  What does that mean for Sayid and Miles?  I'm not sure, but I can't wait to find out.

Quick Hits:

*Mirrors, mirrors everywhere.  Is there significance so that we'll care (about the Sideways timeline)?

*Loved that Hurley continues to be the voice of the audience.  His take on the Adam & Eve skeletons was spot on.  I now believe they are not any of the Lostaways, but actually two people associated with Smokey.  Perhaps the woman Smokey "lost" and the man she actually loved?  I don't know.  I assume Rose & Bernard are out there in the jungle in 2007 like the rest of them, so I just can't see how Adma & Eve are anyone we know already.

*Did you catch the sign at the conservatory auditions?  "Welcome all candidates."  Hehehe.

*Sideways Dogen's line, "It is hard to watch and be unable to help," stuck out to me.  Does that mean Dogen is some kind of consigliere like Richard and can't take an active role in whatever game Jacob and Smokey are playing?  Something to watch.

*How the hell did Claire escape the Temple?  If they were that concerned about her potential evil, how did they let her escape?  Did Jacob or Smokey have some hand in her release?  Is there a double agent in the Temple?

*The name at 108 on the Lighthouse dial was someone named Wallace, and was crossed out.  I know there is speculation that this Wallace will have some significance, but I don't think so.  I think Jacob knew that as the dial passed 108, it would reveal the images Jacob wanted Jack to see.  Incidentally, those images were, to my eye, were that of the place where Jin and Sun were married, and Oxford or the abbey where Desmond was a brother.  Significance of these places?  I don't think any other than they are pretty easy to recognize, making sure the audience realized the mirrors were showing places of importance.

*What poison has been fed Claire to make her that upset that she'd kill Kate for taking care of Aaron?  I mean, Claire literally abandoned Aaron in the jungle.  Shouldn't she be thankful someone took care of Turnip Head? 

*There has also been a lot of speculation over who is David's mother.  A lot of people are assuming it is Juliet, as David has blue eyes.  I was starting to lean that way too, but why couldn't it just be Sarah?  Then again, David appeared to be about 14, meaning Jack probably had him in his mid-twenties, before he would have met Sarah.  I don't know, but there's a good possibility there will be no significance to this at all.

As far as my predictions on what we'd see in this episode, I was so far off, it's embarrassing to even mention them.  So, we'll just move on.  Nothing to see here!!

OK, that's what I've got.  I know there is still some major consternation over the seemingly unimportance of the Sideways timeline, but I tell those people, have faith.  There is no way they are leading us down a path of meaninglessness.  Yes, I would like more clues to the Sideways' meaning then Jack wondering about his appendix scar for a minute, but we just have to take that timeline for what it's worth: an insight into how the 2007 characters might be redeemed.  What have they found in the Sideways that they are still seeking in 2007?  Make sure you check the usual places for more detailed recaps (DocArzt, Doc Jensen, Jay and Jack, Erika).  Please take a look at TVOvermind for all of your TV news and recap needs.  I'm writing recaps of Chuck, Modern Family, Survivor, and FlashForward over there, and would appreciate you checking it out.  I'll be back early next week with a preview of "Sundown," which I can only imagine is the parallel of Season 1's "House of the Rising Sun."  Until then, Namaste.  I'm off to hide a key under a rabbit.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Lost - "Lighthouse"

Tonight's episode of Lost is entitled, "Lighthouse."  I can only assume that this refers to an actual lighthouse somewhere on the Island.  How come we haven't seen it yet?  I mean, the Lostaways have been all over the Island and to Hydra Island -- surely someone would have seen a lighthouse, right?  Then again, no one saw the Temple until this season, so I guess it's feasible no one saw the Lighthouse.  Anyway, what the significance of the lighthouse is will surely be the centerpiece of the episode.  Beyond the literal lighthouse, we all know that lighthouses are placed along shorelines to warn incoming boats that they are getting close to punishing rocks.  Lighthouses aren't just warnings, however, they are guides too.  For sailors returning from long sea voyages, they safely show the way home.  As this is a Jack episode, mirroring Season 1's "White Rabbit," will Jack reassume his leadership role and begin the trek to guide his friends safely home?  Will Sideways Jack, the character we've seen have the most "rememberances" of the other reality so far, begin to guide the Sideways timeline towards its merge with the "real" timeline?  And what significance does whatever actual lighthouse on the Island have?  Is it what sets the coordinates for safe entrance and exit to the Island?  Is it a Dharma station of some sort?  Does it safely guide would-be Islanders (not these Islanders) to the Island, or is it warning them to stay away?  Very intriguing questions from the episode title alone.  Here's what else I'm looking for:

*They have to give us something more about Smokey, Sawyer and the cave, right?  They really can't leave us just wondering whether Smokey is lying, whether Sawyer is playing his last and best long con, and why Kate isn't on the wall.  They have to continue that story.  If not, it may be television serial malpractice.  If we do see more of this, I'll be looking for an explanation of Smokey's plan to leave the Island and perhaps another appearance by the blonde boy with the bloody hands.

*Dogen will explain to Jack more about Sayid's "darkness" and what, if anything, can be done to reverse it.  Perhaps this initiates Jack's trek to the Lighthouse, if he does go?  (Please remember, I haven't watched the "next time on Lost preview at the end of the last episode, so maybe this is obvious.)  Hopefully, Dogen will also explain to Jack and the rest of the Lostaways at the Temple what the nature of the conflict is between Smokey and Jacob.  That would be nice.  Or maybe even an explanation of what was supposed to happen in the dirty hot tub they dipped Sayid into.  That would be nice, too.

*We have to see Claire tonight.  They teased us with her two episodes ago, and then didn't show hide nor straggly hair of her last week, so we need to get some info on what happened to her the last three (Island) years and how "infected" she is.  Maybe we'll get an explanation of where she got that nice flannel shirt, too.

*Something tells me Ben, Sun, Frank and Ilana will be waylaid on their trip to the Temple and will get there in the last minutes of the episode, if at all.  In Season 1, the episode after "White Rabbit," was the Sun-centric "House of the Rising Sun."  I am predicting that Sun and Jin will finally be reunited in the dying moments of tonight's episode, so we can focus on the two of them in a Kwon-centric episode next week (again, I have no idea if next week's episode centers on the Kwons or not.  Spoiler-free!!).  I am deperately hoping this prediction comes to fruition.  Yunjin Kim has been given practically nothing to do since Season 5's "This Place is Death," and really since the Season 4 finale, "There's No Place Like Home."  Yunjin is too good of an actress to continue wasting like this (so is Daniel Dae Kim, of course).  Fans are eagerly anticipating the reunion of the Kwons as it will be a highly emotional moment, and I know these actors will knock it out of the park.  Please Lost, let's get this done tonight.

OK, that's what I've got for tonight.  I'm not expecting much Kate or Hurley this evening, mostly just in Temple group scenes.  Although, if Jack does trek to the Lighthouse, I wouldn't be surprised to see Kate want to come along.  Then again, when we last saw her, she was just randomly standing in New Otherton.  Not...really...doing......anything.  So, who knows where she'll be.  Anyway, with the gauntlet thrown down on Season 6 last week with the great "The Substitute," I feel tonight's episode will be just as fantastic.  We're on the roller coaster now, folks.  Hang on tight.  I'll see you this weekend with my thoughts on "Lighthouse."  Until then...


Monday, February 22, 2010

Lost - "The Substitute," Ctd

OK, now that was more like it!  After last week's a bit disappointing "What Kate Does," Lost was clicking on all cylinders with this Locke-centric episode.  True, we did only get one half of the characters in the episode (no Temple folks, or Jin and Claire), but what we did receive was a heaping helping of answers to big questions.  Well, perhaps the answers are not to be believed, but they were answers nonetheless.  I think we were supposed to be left with two main questions after the episode: 1) Is Smokey telling the truth about the nature of the Island and Jacob's attempts to "protect" it?; and 2) Why isn't Kate's name on the wall?  Intriguing stuff.  Here are my thoughts on "The Substitute":

*Wow, was that weird seeing a happy Locke in the Sideways timeline?  Despite his paralysis and getting fired from his job, Locke was a rather content individual.  Yes, he did get angry when his wheelchair lift didn't work, or when Hurley's car was parked too close to his, but these seemed to be passing aggravations, not the bitter hatred of the world orginal 2004 Locke experienced.  Look no further than his laughter when, face down on the lawn, the sprinklers turned on.  He did experience mounting anger about his situation (should he see Dr. Shephard about his paralysis?), but I felt this was more for Helen's sake.  He wanted to be perfect for her; however, with a little help from Rose and Helen's kind words, Locke realized that he has challenges, but is comfortable in who he is.  He is not a cosmic joke. 

*This stands in stark contrast to Smokey's declaration that Jacob's recruiting of people to replace him as protector of the Island is a joke.  When he siad this, I immediately thought about Locke: Original Recipe's conversion from faithful button-pusher to button-denier in Season 2.  Then, too, Locke ended up believing the button was pointless -- nothing more than a joke being played by the Dharma folks who were observing them like rats in a maze.  This all plays into the ideas of fate and free will, but I couldn't help make the connection between the Swan station, Smokey's explanation of Jacob's machinations and Sideways Locke's happiness.

*As usual for this season already, there was some really strong work being done by Josh Holloway and Terry O'Quinn.  I was right in thinking Smokey was going to approach Sawyer to follow him, but I may have been wrong in choosing a reason.  I don't think Smokey wanted to play on Sawyer's despair, because he seemed genuinely surprised to see Sawyer in such a state.  I think, rather, Smokey just wants to grab whomever hasn't been crossed out on Jacob's wall.  As Smokey doesn't know which Kwon was targeted by Jacob, the easiest person to get to is Sawyer.  I enjoyed the repurposing of Of Mice and Men here, as once again Sawyer was being led to an unknown destination by someone he didn't trust.  These echoes to previous points in the series provide a nice reflection on why we enjoyed the series so much.  Lastly on Sawyer, do you really think he is "ready to go home?"  I think, at this point, sure; Sawyer has aligned himself with Smokey, but something will change.  I just can't fathom a situation where Sawyer doesn't end up sacrificing himself for his friends.  As he detailed to Smokey earlier in the episode, there have been a number of times he was supposed to get off the Island, but was ultimately prevented from leaving (raft blown up, submarine exploded, jumped off the helicopter, etc.).  Unfortunately for Mr. Ford, I think something will prevent his leaving again.

*Jacob's cave.  Well, I think we're going to need more information before we can make any kind of definitive statements on what the names and numbers really mean.  Does Jacob really "have a thing for numbers" or do the Numbers have a more significant meaning?  Why wasn't Kate's name on the wall, or is she number 108 and we just didn't see it?  Was Jacob really trying to find a replacement for himself or is there something more to it?  How does one of the candidates get the job?  I mean, people have been crossed off the list for various reasons: Locke was murdered by Ben, Charlie sacrificed himself for his friends, and poor Gary Troup was sucked into the plane's engine when the plane first crashed.  Does the winning candidate just have to outlive everybody else?  Seems a rather random way to select a successor to such an important job.  Regardless, my interest was mightily piqued, so I look forward to more on this in the coming weeks.

*I guess I need to talk about the blonde boy with bloody hands that appeared to Smokey in the jungle.  To be honest, I have no idea who or what that was.  I thought it was maybe a vision of Smokey as a young kid or something, but then I got a different thought.  I know it's been floating around the internet for the last couple days, but you'll have to believe me that at the time, I thought that maybe the kid is some time-travelling version of Aaron.  I'm not sure how or why, but that's the vibe I was getting.  How that fits into the bloody hands?  No idea.  Why Sawyer can see him?  Not a clue.  I assume this kid's existence and why he knows the rules will be explained soon.  Further, I expect the creation of the rules and what they are will be explained soon too (at least, I hope so!).  To me, the most important thing about the whole blonde boy encounter though, was Smokey's use of "Don't tell me what I can't do!"  I am very intrigued by the idea that Locke is still in there somewhere.  Locke may be resurrected, but that may be a road too far.  However, as Helen said, "There are miracles, John."

Quick Hits:

*Biggest change for Sideways Locke?  He is friendly with his father.  Between Helen wanting to invite Locke's dad to their elopement, and the picture of Locke and Cooper in Locke's cubicle, it is clear Locke's father didn't cause Locke's paralysis.  I wonder how that happen, and whether we'll see it.

*I loved seeing Richard scared.  It was fantastic to see the guy who's usually completely in charge, literally running for his life.  I was wondering why Smokey didn't just kill Richard when Richard refused to go with him.  Perhaps it's against the rules -- you can't kill the consigliarie? 

*How come Smokey didn't turn into the smoke when he chased after the blonde boy?  Were his shape-shifting powers dampened somehow?

*Back to Richard.  How come he didn't know about Jacob looking for candidates?  How come Ilana does?  Why and when did Richard side with Jacob in the first place?

*Ben's eulogy was perfect.  Real emotion at seeing the death of his, perhaps, greatest adversary, but the continued archness in admitting his part in the murder.

*Speaking of Ben, of course he bitches about the coffee!  Ben is a nerdy European History teacher?  Awesome.

*I expect Boone to help Locke and Helen with their wedding.

*Did you catch Helen's t-shirt?  "Peace & Karma."  Nice.

That's it, folks.  Again, I thought this was a very strong episode, and really has the season moving forward at a fast clip.  Yes, more questions were asked, but they accompanied big reveals about major mysteries.  I expect, as we move forward from here, the hits will keep on coming.  Please leave any thoughts, theories or comments below.  Remember to check out the other fabulous reviewers for more info on "The Substitute" (Doc Arzt, Doc Jensen, Jay and Jack, Erika Olson).  I'll be back Tuesday morning with a preview of this week's episode, the Jack-centric "Lighthouse."  I'm off to put on some pants and make a gentleman's drink.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Lost - "The Substitute"

Tonight's episode of Lost is titled, "The Substitute."  The title has a couple potential meanings.  First, you have the mathematical connotation, lining it up with "The Constant" (still, my favorite non-Pilot episode) and "The Variable."  Will there be some time-travel plot point explained in this episode?  The other meaning ties into the fact that this will be a Locke-centric episode.  Taken literally, the "substitute" can be simply defined as Esau/Man in Black using Locke as a substitute form on the Island.  Will we finally get an explanation of how the loophole worked?    Perhaps.
A commenter to my thoughts on "What Kate Does" asked about the possible parallels between Season 1 and Season 6.  It has been discussed in different places around the web, and even alluded to by Darlton in various interviews.  What they have said is that Season 6 could be like a distorted fun-house mirror version of Season 1.  And so it has played out so far.  After a bombastic season premiere introducing us to the characters' situation and somewhat focusing on Jack, the next two episodes, like Season 1, feature Kate and Locke.  Whether or not "The Substitute" has the same emotional heft and kick-ass-ness of "Walkabout" remains to be seen, but undoubtedly the thematic elements of that seminal Season 1 outing will be reflected in "The Substitute."  Here's what else I am looking for:

*Before I was able to turn off the preview for "The Substitute" at the end of "What Kate Does" (I'm trying to stay that spoler-free), I did see that 2007 Locke/Smokey will approach Sawyer.  I expect Locke will play on Sawyer's despair to get the forlorn con man to join his side.  Will he be successful?  I think he will.  I predict Sawyer will, once again, fight against Jack's side, but eventually make the ultimate sacrifice for Kate, Jack and the rest of his friends.

*Since this is a Locke episode, I'd be surprised if we didn't see 2004 Locke back at the box factory.  Heck, I even predict we'll see Randy again.  What will Sideways Locke experience though?  Did he actually go on the walkabout and become a better person because of it?  Will we see flashes of the motivated Locke from the Island, or will he still be the scared, depressed, mentally-crippled man he was pre-Island?

*We better get some explanation of how Claire became Rousseau 2.0.  How did she acquire the "darkness" that has claimed Sayid?  Was that darkenss the result of a run-in with Smokey?  Was she shot or fatally wounded in some other way, taken to the Temple and bathed in the dirty hot tub of doom?  But more importantly, to me, is whether Claire can be reclaimed by the forces of good.  Can Jack, Jacob (through Hurley) or someone else do something to bring the old Claire back?  I hope we get more downloaded on this tonight.

*What will happen to Sayid, and what will Jack do about his sickness?  Now that Jack knows what is happening to Sayid (after having bonded with Dogen over baseball and poison ingestion), what will the Great Fixer do to save his friend?

*I hope we do get a good dose of the folks over at the Temple, Kate/Sawyer, and Jin/Claire, but I'm afraid we might get a sole focus on the people at the beach.  Last week we only saw action at the Temple, and personally, I missed the goings on with Locke, Richard, Sun (please do something with her! Yunjin Kim is being wasted!) and the Others.  Let's see both groups, OK?

That's it.  As always, we have a lot of questions that will hopefully receive answers tonight.  As this will be a Locke episode, I expect a fantastic outing like the others in the series.  Hopefully, I will be right.  Please be sure to check the usual places for coverage of last week's episode, and hone in on Doc Jensen's preview and Totally Lost vidcast in preparation for tonight.  If you're a fan of other television shows (I know you are!), please check out TVOvermind.com.  It is an extensive television site, full of recaps, promos and other TV news started by Jon Lachonis -- DocArzt himself.  I've been writing on there the past few months, mainly covering Chuck, Modern Family and FlashForward, but some other TV news as well.  The site is still relatively new, so I'd be grateful if you'd take a gander and give me your feedback.  I'll be back later this week with some thoughts on "The Substitute."  Until then...


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Lost - "What Kate Does"

I, like many other Losties, went into this past week's episode of Lost, "What Kate Does," expecting answers about the nature of the flash-sideways and its relation to the "real" timeline.  Moreover, knowing the title of the episode, I was expecting some great revelation of what both Kates do to further their respective plots.  I was disappointed on both accounts.  Now, I wasn't ready to throw Molotov cocktails into the windows of the Lost writers' room like many across the net (a coworker called this "the worst episode ever" of Lost), but I did think, initially, that this was not a strong effort.  Upon reflection, a second viewing, and some commentary from the inimitable Doc Jensen, I realized that while this was a set-up episode, it was a well-executed and important episode as well.  Here are my thoughts on What Kate Does":

*So what does Kate do?  Nothing we didn't know before -- she runs.  In 2007, she runs after Sawyer to escape the Temple Others, and to see if he will assist her search for Claire.  In 2004 (oddly, October 2004 according to Claire's sonogram, instead of September 2004), Kate is running from Marshall Mars, again.  I really thought there would be something more to what Kate does, but there just wasn't.  In fact, the last we saw of 2007 Kate was her filling up her canteen and watching Sawyer go back into his New Otherton house.  That was it.  So weird.  I think this lack of progress for Kate is what caused so many people to be disenchanted with the episode.

*Speaking of Sawyer, how great was Josh Holloway in this episode?  Yes, ever since "LaFleur," Holloway has been on absolute fire.  However, his seething nihilistic pain, just an absolute hatred of what his life has become, was palpable.  From his disgust at the cosmic joke that an "Iraqi torturer who shoots kids" gets a second chance, to the resigned despair with which he admitted his guilt over Juliet's death were dead on.  I don't know how anyone will be able to defeat Terry O'Quinn in the Emmys this year, but Holloway's agents should definitely submit this episode because this may have been his best work in the series to date.  One other note: how far as Sawyer's personality developed over the series?  Well, he was going to propose to Juliet!  The conman settling down?  Unbelievable during Season 1.

*Sayid is in some trouble, methinks.  When he was tortured before (by Rousseau), he was more defiant, more willing to play the game he knows too well.  This time, though, he seemed to be willing to give up anything he would have been asked.  Is this because of all he has gone through over the past five seasons, or because of his dip in the dirty hot tub of doom?  I hope we receive more information on this "test" soon, because it certainly was interesting.  I first thought Dogen was testing Sayid to see if he had been taken over by Smokey, hence the blowing of ash across Sayid's body (presumably, Sayid would have reacted to the ash if he was indeed Smokey).  But then it was revealed that Sayid had failed the test.  If Sayid has not been reanimated by Jacob or Smokey, then what brought him back to life?  How did he become infected?  Who "claimed" Sayid?  What is the process by which the "darkness" is growing inside Sayid?  And if Claire had been consumed by the darkness as well, does that mean that she died too?  So many questions.  I thought we were supposed to be getting answers!

*The thing that stood out for me about Jack was his humility.  Between his admission to Sayid that he didn't save the Iraqi and his lack of knowledge about the contents of the pill Dogen wants Jack to feed Sayid, the good doctor seems to have made a lasting change.  He no longer believes he has the answer to everything.  He is willing to doubt, to ask questions, to listen to others.  This doesn't mean he has abdicated his leadership position, as is evidenced by his ingestion of the poison pill to protect Sayid.  Rather, he understands his limitations now.  He is no longer the complete man of science we saw in Seasons 1-4, nor the ineffectual and passive man of faith from Season 5.  Perhaps Jack has finally learned to find the happy medium and will be the effective leader the Lostaways need.  All that said, I imagine this new version of Jack will end up working very well with Dogen against Smokey, as Dogen seemed to recognize jack's commitment to his friends when he swallowed the pill and subsequent conversation about a leader maintaining his distance from the people under his charge.

*Probably the most important development of the episode, of course, was the return of Claire, looking very much like the new Rousseau.  It appears she set the traps Kate, Jin, Justin and Aldo discovered/tripped, and she was sporting quite the disheveled, living-in-the-woods-for-three-years look last found on the crazy French woman.  As we were told by Dogen, the same "darkness" that infected Sayid first claimed Claire.  I asked above whether that means Claire died at some point as well.  What does it mean if she did?  I don't know  To me, she didn't look like she had died.  Not that I should be guessing at anything.  Just writing about this is getting me all angry again that more questions are being asked at this point in the series.  I need to remember that they have to set up the big reveals about the show, and that was what this episode was doing.  As far as Sideways 2004 Claire, it was interesting to see that even if the original Oceanic 815 had landed, she still was going to have to raise Aaron.  Some on the 'net have posited that Mrs. Baskem is going to have some further significance.  I don't think so; I think she was there just to show Claire would raise Aaron herself, and to provide an inciting event for Claire to go into labor.

Quick Hits:

*It was nice to see Jin and Kate have interactions together.  I can't think of a time it has ever been just those two.

*Sometimes a baseball is just a baseball, but how long has Dogen been on the Island?  If he knows about baseball, he must have come relatively recently, right?  I mean, he wasn't born on the Island.

*Having Ethan Goodspeed (not Ethan Rom?) be Claire's doctor in L.A. was a stroke of brilliance.  Plus, his lines about not wanting to stick Claire with needles if he doesn't have to, and that Aaron will be a handful were just fantastic.

*Will Claire's credit card come back into play later in the season?  I would imagine it would as there would be no reason to show the scene if it had no significance.  

*LOVED when Hurley asked Sayid if he was a zombie.  Listeners to Damon & Carlton's Official Lost Podcast know that they have joked that the final season would be the zombie season.  So, having this line was a nice shout-out to the audience.

*I really kind of missed what was going on at the beach.  I figure we'll be concentrating on them next week.

*We had a couple more instances of people in the 2004 Sideways timeline recognizing something from the 2007 timeline.  When Kate saw Jack at the airport, found the stuffed whale in Claire's bag, and heard Aaron's name, you could see flashes of recognition cross her face. 

I know this post seems to have rambled and lacked coherence, but that's kind of the way I feel about the episode.  I strongly disliked it the first time through because I felt it didn't do enough to advance the story quickly vis a vis the number of hours left in the series.  Further, it didn't bring us closer to an answer to the question of whether the Sideways timeline will have significance to the 2007 timeline.  This is the problem I think most people have with the season right now: people don't want to be led down a path that eventually is a dead end.  I certainly felt that way, at first.  However, upon second viewing, I realized that the set-up the episode accomplished (Claire/Rousseau, Sayid infected, Sawyer despondent, Jack on track, Kate...uh...I still don't know) was necessary to really move the final season forward.  The pump has now been primed, and is ready to deliver the goods.  Next week's episode, "The Substitute," is, allegedly, a Locke episode, so you know the show will be hitting the afterburners.

OK, that's it.  Please be sure to check out the usual places for more coverage of "What Kate Does."  I'll get up some thoughts on "The Substitute," on Monday night or Tuesday morning.  I hope you all have a Happy Valentine's Day and are enjoying the Olympics.  See you on Tuesday.  Until then, I'm off to the food court.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Lost - "LA X," Ctd, Ctd

If you missed my initial thoughts on Lost's Season 6 premiere, "LA X," please click here.  I'll try not to repeat my first post, but may need to in order to fully illustrate some other thoughts.  It's funny, I intended to write a full review like I did for previous episodes, but I realized that even though the premiere was two hours long, not all that much actually happened.  I mean, stuff happened, but that "stuff" was mostly the asking of more questions.  So, I don't have all that much more to add to my first post.  Therefore, we will just go with some Quick Hits (usually the second half of my posts), and get back to a "normal" posting scheme for this week's episode.  Away we go:

*Although the 2004 storyline was interesting and fun to see, nothing much of note occurred.  I imagine the "flash-sideways" (as Damon and Carlton are calling it) will illuminate some great character developments in the upcoming episodes.  Perhaps we'll see that if the Lostaways never crash on the Island, their lives will plummet (no pun intended) quickly into a deeper despair than we initially saw.  Regardless, I'm willing to trust Team Lost and be patient with this "reality."

*Additional thoughts on the 2004 storyline: What, if anything, does Jack "remember" about crashing on the Island?  I'm going to go out on a limb (like Kate: Climber Extraordinaire) and say he doesn't remember anything, until he sees Desmond again.  At what point after 1977 did the flash-sideways split off form the "real" timeline?  We know that some of the 2004 Lostaways' lives are different (e.g. Hurley is lucky; Shannon didn't come home; Locke maybe went on the walkabout), but when did they change?  Was Claire pregnant when Kate jumped in the cab with her?  Was Claire even on the plane, or was she already in L.A.?

*I did love the Jack/Locke scene in the luggage claim area.  It was short and sweet, and reminded me how much I loved the original Locke, and how much I missed him.  Locke's words of consolation ("They just lost his body.  They don't know where he is."), I think, really effected Jack.  Further, Jack's offer of a free consult on Locke's paralysis, to me, came from a genuine desire to help, especially after Locke's kind words.  Ye,s we know that Jack loves to try to fix people, but I think that was the old Jack.  This new 2004 version of him just wants to help someone.  I greatly look forward to how these two interact in the 2004 future.

*Did you all hear Greg Grunberg's voice as the pliot of Oceanic 815?  Maybe he can join the last few episodes of Lost now that Heroes is over (hopefully for good).

*I thought the direction of the episode was, as usual, great and very effective.  "LA X," like all big Lost episodes, was directed by Jack Bender.  The sound effect upon Kate's waking in the tree was fantastic.  Great stuff having Kate in the tree to begin with, and her tackling of Miles when he showed up.  These were two bits (Kate climbing; Kate on top of men) that have run throught the series; I liked seeing this little shoutout to the long-time fans.  Other pieces of direction I enjoyed: the water shot of Sayid's "Drowning," Kate bashing the marshall's head (he ALWAYS gets hit in the head), Sun's "No....English" line reading, etc.  Bender is a genius, and he'll, thankfully, be directing the finale.

*Upon a second viewing, I found Jacob's appearance to Hurley even more interesting.  He contemplated Sayid for a long time.  Was he thinking, "Wow, that looks like a great vessel for my essence!" or more like, "Oh darn...can't let the leader of the resistance to die."?  I'm not sure, and Sayid's revival at the end of the episode really doesn't answer either way.  Also, Jacob's line, "I was killed by an old friend who grew tired of my company," was intriguing.  Yes, we know he and Esau have been on the Island for a long time, but we don't know much about their relationship.  The easiest reading (and the one I subscribe to) is that Jacob was using "friend" sarcastically.  However, maybe they really were friends.  If so, what caused their rift?  As I said in my last post, I'm not too down with the idea of Sayid and Locke being used as puppets for Jacob and Esau, however, I do want to find out a whole heck of a lot more about them.

*Despite her death, I expect Juliet to return at some point, most likely in the 2004 flash-sideways timeline.  What she said during her death scene leads me to believe that her consciousness was slipping between the two time periods/realities.  Remember, Desmond was at the epicenter of the Swan hatch's explosion and coinciding electromagnetism release, and was able to have his consciousness jump in time.  Juliet, similarly was at the epicenter of the Incident.  Did her consciousness start travelling as well?  I think so. 

*Quickly repeated from first post: Not sure I like Dogen ("I don't like the way English tastes." Whatever.) and Lennon (my character name/costuming is a little too on the nose), and really don't like the Temple Others with their fancy costumes.  I'm now thinking Sayid is NOT Jacob because: 1) Sayid's body sat up (as opposed to Locke's) and 2) Miles couldn't hear Sayid's thoughts when Sayid was "dead."  The scene cut to Miles staring at Sayid's body as if there was something wrong.  HUrley asked him what was up, and Miles quickly said, "Nothing."  What I got from that was that Miles couldn't hear Sayid's thoughts, so Sayid must not be dead.

*Locke/Esau (and we'll just refer to him as 2007 Locke from now on until the Main in Black/Esau is finally named) had maybe the best line of the series.  After taking out Bram and his team as Smokey. Locke reappears to Ben and says, "I'm sorry you had to see me like that."  Best.  Line.  Ever.  Quickly followed in awesomeness with his retort to Ben calling him "the Monster":  "Now, let's not resort to name calling."  Awesome. 

*When Sayid said, "What happened?" at the end of the episode, did he have a different accent?  Or was it just something weird with the sound?  Guess we'll find out on Tuesday.  Also, did you notice that Sayid was in the water for one minute and eight seconds.  In other words, 1:08?  Sweet directing/editing job.

*Last, but not least, I freaked out.  I mean, really freaked out when I saw what Hurley was wearing under his Dharma jumpsuit: a RED t-shirt.  Now, most people know about the theory of red-shirted characters (if not, click here), and that they usually die in sci-fi shows.  In fact, last season, both Frogurt and Juliet blatantly wore bright red shirts while everyone else around them did not.  So here was Hurley with a bright red shirt on when everyone else was in khaki, green, blue, whatever.  I became very concerned that the Numbers were finally going to get him.  However, when we were shown the Temple Others, they were ALL in red.  This assuaged my fears, and leads me to believe Hurley will become a leader of the Temple Others of some sort.  Whatever the shirt's significance (or not), I just want the big lug to survive the series. 

OK, that's about it for "LA X."  It's Monday, so I won't write a preview episode for tomorrow night's installment, "What Kate Does" (I love that title, by the way).  Suffice it to say, I expect a major download on what's going on with the Temple Others, what they privately wanted to say to Jack, what's going on with Sayid, and how Kate escapes the law in the flash-sideways.  It should be some really great stuff. 

As always, please leave any comments, thoughts or theories below.  Be sure to check out all of the Lost goodies provided by Jay and Jack, Erika Olson, Doc Jensen at Entertainment Weekly, and the granddaddy of them all, Doc Arzt.  I am also writing TV recaps for Chuck, Modern Family, and FlashForward and other TV news at a great site, TVOvermind.  Please be sure to check it out for all of your TV needs.  For the next episode, I'll get back on the schedule I established last season for these posts.  Until then...


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Lost - "LA X," Ctd

Hello all.  I wanted to get some quick thoughts up on last night's season premiere of Lost, "LA X," before I read the deluge of commentary that I know is floating around the interwebs right now.  As you know, I was very, very excited for Lost's return, and after getting myself rather amped up for the premiere, I have to admit, I awoke this morning a bit underwhelmed.  Listen, Team Darlton has built up a lot of good will with me, and I trust them implicitly that the series will end in a rather satisfying fashion.  However, while I enjoyed many things about last night's episode, I have to say, a couple things fell flat with me.  I'm going to do a complete analysis when I have a chance to watch the entire episode again, but that likely won't be until Friday night at the earliest, so for now, here are a few thoughts:

*The 2004 timeline where Oceanic 815 lands safely in L.A. doesn't need much discussion, as nothing seemingly of consequence happened.  I liked picking out the inconsistencies (with the original Oceanic 815 sequence in Season 1), like Jack only receiving one liquor bottle from Cindy instead of two, but other than Christian's coffin not making it on the plane, what really happened?  One question though, did anyone notice if Claire was pregnant or in her dress form the "Pilot" when she was in the cab with Kate?  It was great to see Locke: Original Recipe again.  Juxtaposing 2004 Locke against Fake Locke/Esau really brought into relief how much I missed scared, trusting, fallible Locke. 

*Oh my God!  When Juliet was still alive, I totally thought the whole V layoff was subterfuge by ABC so Elizabeth Mitchell could play a much larger role in Lost's final season.  My heart was wrenched out of my body (again) when she "died" a second time.

*I don't think I like the idea that Smokey is also the Man in Black/Esau.  Why did he kill Eko then?  Why did he NOT kill Ben over the years?  Especially since Ben was always serving Jacob, why would Smokey/Esau allow himself to be called by Ben?!?  Meh.

*Really not digging the Mr. Miyagi-like, bonsai tree snipping leader of the Temple Others.  English doesn't taste right on his tongue?  He's got mad kung fu skills?  Please.  And all of a sudden the Others have ornate uniforms?  Huh?!?  I think this could be a Nikki/Paolo-size whiff here.  The Temple itself was pretty cool though, and nice to see the Tailie kids again.

*Kind of hating the Sayid is now Jacob thing.  Or at least that's what I got from Sayid's awakening at the end of the episode.  The idea that two of our Lostaways are now just meat puppets for the ancient dueling duo is a poor plot device in my opinion.  This was what really stuck with me this morning, but as I was mulling this over, I realized something.  Unless Jacob's body-snatching ability works differently than Easu's, Sayid is NOT Jacob.  It was very clear that Esau did not take over Locke's body, as Locke's corpse is lying on the beach.  Rather, Easu is just taking the form of Locke.  Sayid actually sat up awake and alive.  He didn't walk in from another room in the Temple.  So, if the process works similarly for Jacob and Esau, Sayid is not Jacob, but has just been ressucitated.  I really hope this is the case.

Anyway, all in all, I did like the premiere.  Like I said above, Darlton has a lot of leeway with me so I'm willing to trust that now with the story-telling device in place, they'll be able to move forward in a more satisfying fashion.  I don't know, maybe I'm the only one who felt this way.  I'm going to rewatch "LA X" this weekend and get a full post up then.  What did you think about the first two hours of the final season of Lost?  Please leave your thoughts, comments and theories below.  See you this weekend.