Monday, March 30, 2009

Lost - "He's Our You," Ctd

Hello all. Surprise, surprise, I'm actually getting this post up before Wednesday morning! Anyway, I found last week's episode of Lost, "He's Our You," a bit boring. Blasphemy, I know, but nothing really seemed to happen until the last minute. That doesn't mean I didn't have thoughts on the episode. Away we go:

*Nice parallels between Sayid killing the chicken for his brother (and sparing him the ire of their father), and Eko killing the man for his brother, Yemi (and sparing him the ire of the rebels). In fact, there was a number of parallels to Season 2, as there have been throughout the season (see Doc Jensen's columns, where he has chronicled this well). Along this line, there was Hurley providing food (as a chef in Dharmaville), just as he did when he was put in charge of the Hatch pantry in Season 2. Also, Sayid's imprisonment was eerily similar to Ben's when he was held in the Hatch, posing as Henry Gale.

*How does an assassin stop being an assassin? That was essentially the question facing Sayid after his final assignment in Moscow (how freaking cool did Ben look in that hat and trenchcoat, by the way?). As his stated reason for working with Ben was to protect his friends both on and off the Island (instigated by the murder of his wife), now that he was done, he no longer had a purpose. I think Ben's words, "You're free, Sayid," really made Sayid realize he had been a prisoner, a gun for hire, an automaton for the last three years. Once again, he allowed himself to be manipulated by Ben Linus. As we see in 1977, after Sayid's interrogation, he realized the purpose for his return to the Island -- to kill Ben, and hopefully stop his reign of terror in the future.

*The last point brings up the classic quesiton of, "If you could go back in time and kill Hitler as a child, would you?" It seems like an obvious question, but there is no telling what the result would be. I think there is no way in hell Ben is actually dead. In fact, I think it was getting shot that actually made Ben the Evil Ben he is today. He was assumedly a little evil (or misunderstood, if you like) due to not-out-of-the-ordinary daddy issues arising from his relationship with his father, but the shot pushed him over the edge. Did the future change? Methinks we are about to learn more about the rules of time travel in the next episode, "What Happened Happened."

*We all assumed Ben had all his knowledge of the Lostaways from the Flame station and Patchy. However, what if he knew all about our friends because he grew up with them??

*It's interesting that Juliet, who wanted to go home sooooo badly throughout the series up to this point, now wants to stay and preserve her current life in Dharmaville, despite knowledge of The Purge. I guess after living there for three years, she had given up hope of ever leaving the Island. That and a few bottles of Dharma merlot with LaFleur (aka Sawyer, nee Ford).

Quick hits:

*Love how flashbacks are actually of events taking place in the future. Very cool Darlton (That's show runners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse combined in a "Brangelina" way).

*The whole Oldham thing was kinda lame. He was so not scary. Perhaps it was my association of the actor playing Oldham, William Sanderson, with his sad-sack role in a great show, Deadwood. Did think there was a very cool light cue: as the drug took effect on Sayid, the whole scene got much "cooler," moving from orange tones to purple ones.

*The return of McCutcheon Scotch! I don't have much else to say about Ilana the Bounty Hunter. Nice to learn why she had Sayid in cuffs, and some kinda kick-ass moves when taking down the drunk Sayid (stay away from women Sayid! Shannon, Nadia, Elsa. All end up dead or pointing a gun at him!). Great line though about wanting her rib-eye "bloody."

*Reference to Ann Arbor. Are we going to see the Degroot's sometime soon?

*Horace did NOT look surprised to hear Sayid was from the future. I would not be shocked to learn Horace knew of time travel, and the chance that people from the future were living with him. Something to watch for.

Anyway, that's about it. Not a great episode in my book. Again, I don't expect Young Ben to be dead. I've heard that the next episode is going to be a Kate episode, which in the past has always proven to provide good times. Let's hope we can get some background into her general sourness the last few episodes and why she gave up/what happened to Aaron. As always, check out full recaps of "He's Our You" by Doc Jensen and Erika. I'll be back Wednesday for some thoughts on this week's episode. Until then...


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Family Guy Takes on Fox News

I love Family Guy, although I rarely get to watch it. Just saw this clip, and it screamed out to my progressive political nature.

God I love that show.

(h/t HuffPo)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Lost - "He's Our You"

Intriguing title for tonight's episode, huh? Who could say this? If the "he" is Sawyer, and the remark is meant to say he is the new leader, the "you" must be Jack. Who would have known Jack as a leader? Really only Juliet and Jin. I don't see Jin being this witty (even though his English is three years better), which leaves Juliet. I can totally see a Juliet-Jack conversation like this. Could the "he" be Ben? Richard? Locke?? I think we will see a return of Locke and the Ajirans tonight (can't have Locke off the show for too long). I'm looking forward to a Juliet-Kate horn-locking over Sawyer.

Questions I still want answered:

*Where is Faraday?

*Why is Miles so subservient and non-witty?

*Why didn't Sun disappear?!?!?!

*Will Jack enjoy janitorial duty?

*How will Kate react to coming back for Sawyer (assumedly) and realizing he's with Juliet?

I foresee tonight's episode really hurtling forward at a quite a clip. To be honest, I don't remember the preview at the end of last week's episode, so I will really be going into tonight as a blank slate, which is cool. I'm viewing tonight going forward as the snowball rolling down the hill, gathering size until the crashing in a huge explosion at the end of the season. In other words, I'm holding on tight for a fantastic ride. I will try very hard to get thoughts up quickly this week. Thanks for sticking with me.


Lost - "Namaste," Ctd

I apologize greatly for taking an entire freaking week to put up my thoughts on "Namaste." Here's the deal: I'm currently unemployed and while that would make you think I have plenty of time to rewatch the episode and put my thoughts up (I don't like to take notes while watching the ep for the first time), that is not actually the case. Besides trying to find work most of the day, my wife, who is a Broadway actress, is home most of the day every day. Therefore, as I have this opportunity to actually hang out with her, I don't really have the opportunity to review the episode. I promise to try to be better for the remaining 8 hours of Lost this season. Anyway, abbreviated thoughts on what, by all accounts, was a set-up episode:

*We better be told why Sun didn't disappear. My ideas? Either it's because she wasn't visited by Locke and therefore not "marked" by the Island, or it's because she gave birth to Ji Yeon.

*I continue to be impressed by Josh Holloway. His pangs for Kate, but his love for Juliet (whom he has been with for three years, as opposed to the three months he knew Kate) were beautifully displayed. Will Sawyer even want to leave and get back to his real time? Methinks, no. Unless Juliet can be convinced to go back to see her sister. Remember her?

*Loved the confrontation between Jack and Sawyer (who only wants to be called Jim or LaFleur, not James, further distancing himself from the O6). I think Jack really does feel relieved he isn't in charged. I wonder what a revitalized and relaxed Jack can or will do.

*Where did Faraday go? Sawyer said he has gone away, but to where?

*Frank Lapidus. Awesome pilot. Nuff said.

* How does Ben get all bloodied when Locke sees him? Sun hit him in the back of the head. When Cesar shows him to Locke (in "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham"), his face is all messed up. Hmmmmm....

*Sayid is screwed I think. We have to find out why he stopped working for Ben, so he won't be going anywhere soon, but as it has been leaked that at least two people will die before the end of the season, my bet one is Sayid (which would be a shame as Naveen Andrews is freaking great). I just don't see how he gets out of his predicament, being labelled a Hostile and all.

This was a nice, slowed down episode, getting everyone into their appropriate places to begin the season end run. I think the goal by season's end will be to get Sun, Lapidus, Locke, Ben and most likely Ilana and Cesar back to 1977. I'd like to know what the heck is going on with Desmond and Faraday. Anyway, a good deep breath before what will likely be a fantastic sprint to the finish in May. For refreshers before tonight's episode, check out Doc's and Erika's recaps.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

"And I'll Form the Head!"

Sometimes I like to think back to my childhood when the internet didn't exist. A time when if you missed something on TV, chances were you'd never see it again. A time when you could only relive your favorite memories with action figures. Well, this is indeed a different time. If you recognize the title of this post, you know what I'm talking about. My friends, I bring to you some amazing news. Enjoy.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Lost - "Namaste"

Hello all. After a verrrrry long two weeks, Lost is finally back on tomorrow night, with an episode entitled "Namaste." Besides being how I sign off most of my Lost recap posts, "Namaste" is a Sanskrit salutation, literally meaning, "I bow to you." It is often associated with yoga, and is the traditional greeting of the Dharma Initiative. Most obviously, tomorrow's episode will relate to Dharma, and how the Oceanic 6's arrival may disrupt the new lives the Left Behinders have created for themselves. I've got a couple questions about this:

*In the preview for tomorrow's episode, we see that Sayid will not be trusted when he is discovered. Why? Is it because he will be wearing handcuffs when he is found? And where has Sayid been; where did he land when he disappeared from Ajira 316?

*Are we going to see Sun and Lapidus? I still contend that Sun should have disappeared like the rest of the O6. Perhaps she disappeared to a place that Lapidus soon found her? Did Lapidus disappear too? Should he have? If either or both of them did disappear, how did they happen on the rest of the Ajirans so that Ceasar and Ilana knew they took the boat? This better be answered soon.

*It seems Kate, Jack and Hurley will be greeted well with the traditional Dharma "namaste" attitude (leis around their necks in the preview), but from what we saw of Sawyer in the same preview, he is very worried that their new life will be in danger by the return of the O6. I thought Sawyer wanted to leave LaFleur behind and get the heck off the Island. If not, why send Jin out every day to search for Locke?

*Wouldn't Jin pepper Kate, Jack and Hurley with questions along the lines of, "Where the hell is Sun?!?"

*Why did Miles seem so...un-Miles-like? He was very submissive to Sawyer; not cracking wise like in the past. What happened to him in the last three years?

*Where is Farday? I need me some crazy physicist tomorrow night?

*Will we see Locke, Ceasar, Ilana and the rest of the Ajirans tomorrow night? Methinks no, although two episodes (and three weeks) without Locke seems unlikely too.

Anyway, I'm very psyched for this episode. The love rhombus will be back in effect (Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Juliet). More info on Dharma. The return of Sayid. Maybe the returns of Farday and Sun. No "enhanced" version of "LaFleur" before the new episode as ABC will now be airing Scrubs and their new comedy Better Off Ted during the eight o'clock hour. So, go back and reread the recaps to refresh before "Namaste." Here's Doc's, Erika's and mine.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

And the President is Not Focused Enough?

There has been a lot made this week about how President Obama is supposedly taking on too much at once. The criticism goes a little something like this: the economy is the main problem facing the country. This should be the sole initiative for the President. He shouldn't try to reform healthcare. He shouldn't try to change energy policy. He shouldn't try to tackle stem cells. He shouldn't try to end the Iraq war. He shouldn't do anything besides focus on the economy. This critique has been the favored talking point of the Republicans this week, but has also been spoken by members of the President's own party.

So, if the economy is soooooo important, and the President shout only focus on that, and that alone (let's leave aside that he can't write and pass any laws, as that is Congress' job), you would think that Congress would be devoting all of their time to solving the economic crisis too. You would be wrong. This is what the House was worried about today:

Freaking pi!!!

Now, listen, I'm all about honoring science, especially after the last administration seemed to hate science, but come on. Time was spent writing, debating and voting on a resolution to honor pi?!? Maybe they should stop criticizing the President until they finish with this foolishness. At least President Obama is trying to solve the healthcare and energy problems.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Who the Heck are the "Pack Rats?"

As we have chronicled, Michael Steele, the new head of the Republican National Committee, has decided he needs to increase the hip-hop quotient of the Republican party. For numerous reasons, this is ridiculous. But come on Mr. Steele, how more ridiculous can you get? Has he been hearing the rumors there is a coup forming against him, and he needs to solidify the white baby-boomer demographic? I said it last time, and I say it again. Geesh.

(h/t TPM)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

More Fun From the Internets

So, as you know, I like to post fun diversions from the Internet. Here's the latest. Anyone who can combine Michael Jackson, Pokemon, AC/DC and Mario Kart into one song is A-OK in my book. Beware: Some NSFW lyrics. Enjoy.

(h/t Andrew)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Lost - "LaFleur," Ctd

Well, it appears that all of my theories as to the meaning of "LaFleur" were completely wrong. Nothing to do with the Orchid station. Nothing to do with Rousseau's French crew or introduction to a new character with the name LaFleur. Nope, it was freaking Sawyer! That was pretty awesome, as I never saw that coming. I even heard that this was going to be a Sawyer episode, and not once did I think LaFleur would actually be Sawyer. Very cool. Anyway, some other thoughts on a pretty good episode.

*Seeing the statue that left the four-toed foot was cool. Clearly Egyptian-ish and OLD, carrying an ankh, the Egyptian symbol of life. We've seen Egyptian-ish hieroglyphics many times before (the countdown clock in the Swan, the Temple, Ben's hidden Smokey door). The Island has obviously been around for a while, as has the Frozen Donkey Wheel, as a point was made to show that the FDW as being turned by Locke at the same time the rest of the Left Behinders were seeing the statue.

*Felt really bad for Faraday that Charlotte's body disappeared. I think he would have like to have buried her. Then he saw what had to have been little Charlotte: heart-breaking! Question though, where the heck was Farday three years later? We saw Sawyer/LaFleur, Juliet, Jin and Miles. Where was Faraday?

*The whole Amy/Horace thing I think was only significant in that it showed us how the Left Behinders were integrated into the Dharma Initiative.

* Absolutely LOVED Juliet's reaction to successfully delivering Amy's child though. It got a little dusty in my apartment (my euphemism for "tearing up."). Elizabeth Mitchell really should be considered for a Best Supporting Actress Emmy. She's fantastic. Which leads me to....

*How incredible are Elizabeth Mitchell and Josh Holloway? I was thoroughly scared that my apartment might catch fire from their sparks. There was some seriously awesome acting going on between the two of them. I know Sawyer pines for Kate, but he really should be with Juliet.

*Thought the summit between Sawyer and Richard Alpert was excellent. I like the idea that the groups are sharing information and that the storylines are coming together. And the line about Richard's apparent eye-liner, a feature often decried amongst Lost fans, was a great shout-out to the fans.

*Josh Holloway's face ran the gamut of emotions perfectly upon seeing Jack, Kate and Hurley. He had hoped for so long that someone would come back for the Left Behinders, but he always thought it would be Locke. As far as he was concerned though, the O6 blew up on the freighter. It is going to be very interesting to see how he further reacts in the next episode to his friends (and especially, of course, Kate) returning. From the scenes from the next episode, it appears these three will be received well (leis and what-have-you), but Sayid will not receive a similar welcome. I still want to know why Sun is with Lapidus, as it appears she is. She should have disappeared like the rest of the O6. I really hope this is explained.

All in all, a pretty good episode with some amazing acting. It's funny, because for the first 20 minutes or so, I was actually kind of bored, but as I reflect on the episode, I realize how great it was to slow down and actually watch some character development. As always, check out Doc and Erika's reviews. Lost is off for two weeks, and returns on March 18th. If I read anything of interest over the next couple weeks, I'll comment here. Until then...


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Lost - "LaFleur"

Hello all. Wednesday's new episode of Lost is entitled "LaFleur." Now, you don't have to be from the same place as the greatest hockey goalie in history to know that "la fleur" means "the flower" in French. What this means for Lost, well, the most obvious reference is to the Orchid station, which on the Island, "is what makes time travel possible" (Doc Brown, 1985). Perhaps we'll be seeing the Dharma Initiative's exploration and construction around the Frozen Donkey Wheel.

Then again, in the TV listings I have seen (my cable programming guide, TV Guide, IMDB), the episode is listed as written above: without a space between "La" and "Fleur." Therefore, I am led to believe that LaFleur is actually a name, and most likely a last name. Now, the only famous LaFleur I know of is also a hockey player and not some famous philosopher or writer or anything, so I doubt there is any connection. But, do remember that we have some French on the Island (or at least we did. Thanks Rousseau!), and it's likely that Dharma brought in someone with a French last name. I feel an introduction to a new character is in our, past. Whatever. Don't be surprised if there is some major Orchid station info, too, though.

I apologize, but I forgot to provide links to my favorite recappers for last week's episode, "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham." Here's Doc Jensen. Here's Erika. Here's mine. See you on Thursday (I promise. Well, if I don't get a job in the meantime.)


Lost - "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham," Ctd

I'm sure you have all been sitting on the edge of your seats waiting for my thoughts on the latest episode of Lost, "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham." Well, here they are. As this episode was pretty, well, episodic (picaresque even!), I'll shoot a thought about Locke's new life as Jeremy Bentham and a question about what needs to be answered in the upcoming episodes.

*Ceasar has clearly established himself as leader of the Ajira passengers. Ilana, despite being a cop of some sort, seemed to defer to him. Interesting. They were in the Hydra station, the one used to hold Jack, Kate and Sawyer in Season 3. There didn't seem to be all of the cages we have seen before, but then again, we weren't really shown anything. As the Hydra station, we believe, is the only station on the small island next to the main Island, it's just possible we haven't seen everything yet. I assume the outriggers will be used to get to the main Island. Is that who we saw when the Lostaways were shot at in "This Place is Death?" Sure seems like it. Also, I assume it was Sun who went off with Lapidus, as she is the only woman unaccounted for. If this is the case, however, why didn't Sun disappear like everyone else did? She should have. Was there another woman on the plane that Lapidus knew? And where is Sayid??
Question: What is in Ceasar's past that made him the immediate leader?

*I thought the explanation as to how Locke got the name "Jeremy Bentham." Widmore spoke what the audience was thinking. That's good writing. Why wasn't Widmore's surveillance system set up when Ben arrived in Tunisia? Did he only figure out the "exit point" when Ben came to see him?

*Sayid working for a Habitat for Humanity-like charity? Atoning for something Mr. Jarrah? Question: How did Sayid go from charity to killer again, when he rescued Hurley from Santa Rosa?

*Loved seeing Walt again. Loved that Locke didn't want to put Walt through any more pain. I felt really bad that he still thinks his dad is alive.
Question: Are the Ajira passengers (whom I will now refer to as the Ajirans) the ones surrounding Locke in his suit that want to do Locke harm?

*Very funny that Hurley had to ask if he was actually talking to Locke, or if he was having another Charlie-like episode.
Question: What convinced Hurley to go back to the Island after he got out of jail?

*Thought here: Abbadon sure does want to make Locke feel bad for not convincing anyone to go back. Too bad he had to go do Fringe.

*Kate appears to be in a lot of pain of Jack. Is she in pain over Sawyer too? She really dug into Locke with that "Look how far you've come" comment. Very bitter, that Kate.
Question: What happened to Aaron? Did she put him up for adoption? Give him to Claire's mom?

*Helen died on April Eighth. 4/8. I love when they do the Numbers thing.

*I particularly enjoyed the kismet of Locke's car accident bringing him to Jack's hospital. Jack is clearly in his shame spiral here, voicing the idea that none of them (the Lostaways) are special. Jack also speaks of the mere "probability" of Locke being brought to Jack's hospital. Clearly, Jack is still "Man of Reason" at this point. As we have seen though, Jack is about to become a "Man of Faith." Or at least something closer to that. No real question here.

*I will fully admit to being completely confused as who to trust in the Widmore/Ben war. I want to believe Ben because we have been with him so long, seems like a true believer, and, honestly, Michael Emerson is a freaking awesome actor. Then Ben went and KILLED Locke! What the hell?!? He could have just let Locke kill himself if he knew Oceanic 815 needed to be replicated as close as possible, as we learned in "316." Is this like the situation with the Elder Wand in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, that Ben needs to kill Locke to take control of the Island back? That wouldn't explain how Ben got the "power" from Widmore or how Locke got it from Ben, but hey, ya never know. Thought Ben's reaction to hearing Locke speak of Ms. Hawking was simply realization that Widmore knew of Ms. Hawking.
Question: Duh! Why the hell did Ben kill Locke?!?

*Once again, bloody Ben. I think he's gonna have some splainin' to do when he gets up!

I thought this was a pretty good episode. I really like the confidence Locke is walking around with now that he's back on the Island. Being resurrected will do that to a guy. I could have gone into the obvious Jesus references (e.g. "he [Locke] was found in (nay, on?) the water;" doubting his need to die before being killed/sacrificed (like Jesus in Gethsemane); resurrection, etc.), but such allusions have been pretty obvious this season.

All in all, it appears that the series has been reset. The characters have new motivations for being on and dealing with the Island, and we have exchanged some old characters for new, much more interesting ones (Boone, Shannon, Michael for Ben, Juliet, Faraday and Miles), but it seems like we're going to go back to figuring out the mystery of the Island, and how to get home (if the Island isn't their Home). Further, it seems we will be getting flashbacks again to find out what the O6, Left Behinders and Ajirans were doing prior to the Ajira flight arriving on the Island. Very cool stuff folks. Very cool.


No, You Don't Get to Say the Constitution Doesn't Count

So, the Obama Administration released a number of legal memoranda written by the Bush Administration in the days following the 9/11 attacks, laying the groundwork for Bush's trampling of the Constitution. Take a look. I'm sorry, but you don't get to say the 1st Amendment can be "subordinated" by the government at ANY time, especially when gearing up for war. Nor is there ever a justification for performing illegal searches and seizures in violation of the 4th Amendment. The whole reason the Bill of Rights was written was because it was a deal between the Federalists and Anti-Federalists to provide the people with certain rights that couldn't be contravemed by the government. The Anti-Federalists were concerned that the federal government would be too powerful, so the Bill of Rights was a compromise created to assuage those fears. Yes, there are a few specific times, when the Bill of Rights could possibly be restricted. But there is never a time when they can completely be forgotten. That is for what John Yoo and the rest of the Bush Administration's Justice Department was calling. Arrrgh. This is the kind of stuff that drives me insane.

Oh, and what is John Yoo doing now? That's right. Teaching Constitutional Law!!! Unbelieveable.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Office Musical

Hello all. I'm sorry it's been so long since I last wrote. And I know I owe you all some thoughts on the last episode of Lost. I swear. They're coming. To tide you over until then, here is a little happy video of my favorite TV comedy, The Office. As a musical. Enjoy.

(h/t HuffPo)