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  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. 

Monday, February 1, 2010

Lost, "LA X"

Believe it or not, but the fateful day has arrived.  Tomorrow is February 2, 2010.  The beginning of the end.  The day we finally discover what the future will be.  That's right.  Tomorrow is....Groundhog Day!!  Wait....what?  Tomorrow is.....huh....OOOOHHHHH!! Riiiiiiight.  Let's start this over.

Believe it or not, but the fateful day has arrived.  Tomorrow is February 2, 2010.  The beginning of the end.  The day that destiny will finally be found.  That's right.  Tomorrow is the season premiere for the final season of Lost

I can't begin to express to you how excited I am about this.  I am taking this so seriously that I have remained as spoiler-free as possible.  I haven't even been reading the site I have been writing for (check out for all of your TV needs!), as we have a couple sneak peeks and promos with slightly spoilery material on there (but check out the site!  Any spoilery stuff is clearly marked).  Bottom line is, I want to have my mind blown as thoroughly as possible when I watch the show tomorrow night. 

To further prepare myself for the premiere, I embarked on a full series rewatch.  I got through Season 1, and half of Season 2, and realized I was going to run out of time.  So, I jumped to Season 5 with the intent of watching the whole season, save "The Incident."  I was then going to watch the Season 5 finale at 7:30 Tuesday night so it would end right at 9:00pm, premiere time (Each hour of television without commercials is approximately 45 minutes.  The "two hour" Season 5 finale is actually 90 minutes).  Again, outside forces (the Island?!?) conspired against my plan.  I did get through the season, but watched "The Incident" this past Saturday, as I have a follow-up dentist appointment Tuesday night. 

It was so great to watch it all again as it afforded me the opportunity to think about all of the questions left to be answered again, and in light of the Jacob/Easu plot.  Other folks have done very exhaustive lists of questions they want answered, so I thought I would just post some thoughts I had while rewatching Season 5, and what we might see in Lost's final season.  Away we go:

*In "The Lie," Ben tells Jack, as they prepared to return to the Island, "If there's anything you want from this life, get it, because you're not coming back."  At the time, this seemed simply like a statement about the fact that they were going back to the Island, and may not be returning (it was so hard to get off it in the first place).  However, in light of the Jughead plan to blow them into an alternate reality (or at least a reality where Oceanic 815 doesn't crash), I was left wondering whether Ben knew about the events to come.  Did Ben know that the Jughead plan was going to work somehow, even though it hadn't been formualted yet?  His sheer wonderment upon discovery that Kate, Jack, Hurley and Sayid were no longer in 2007 belies any possible knowledge that he had, but as we have seen many times before, Ben never quite lets on what he does or doesn't know.

*"The Little Prince" gave us this quote from Kate, "I have always been with you [Jack]."  Ms Austen has certainly seen her affections shift between Jack and Sawyer, but there was something so genuine in her saying this to the hero doc that I make the Prediction that Kate will end up with (or at least die! loving) Jack.  I'd say this is backed up by the fact Kate saw how much Sawyer loved Juliet as he tried to hold on to her in the season finale.

*What exactly happened to Ben in The Temple?  In "What Happened, Happened," to heal Young Ben, Richard takes him into the Temple and tells Kate and Sawyer that Ben will never be the same, that "his innocence will be gone."  What did that mean?  Was he marked somehow, at that point, to be the future leader of The Others?  Is that what turned him into a homicidal manipulator?  I would like some more info on this.

*In both "Dead is Dead" and "Follow the Leader," Locke/Esau tells Sun that he has ideas on how to get our people back.  Of course, he later says in "The Incident" that he has no intenion of bringing the Lostaways back to present time.  So which is it?  Is Locke/Esau just trying to "manage" Sun so she won't interfere with his plan to kill Jacob, or is there some intent to bring the Oceanic folks back to the present?  The whole Locke/Esau thing was interesting duirng my rewatch because of the dichotomy being displayed in the Locke/Esau character.  I was struck by the number of times the character didn't really seem to know what was going on, or how he came to be back on the Island.  Terry O'Quinn has said that he didn't know he wasn't the true Locke until he read the script for the season finale.  Could he just have been playing his own real sense of bewilderment at how his supposedly murdered alter ego was walking around Hydra Island quite confidently and empowered?  Or did Esau not really anticipate how the "loophole" would work?  Personally, I can't wait to see how this storyline works out.  Of course, one of the main questions heading into Season 6 is whether the real Locke will come back at some point.  I think, unfortunately, the answer came in Season 5, "Dead is dead."

There are a million other questions we all have going into Season 6, and a million ways we want the series to end.  I am really only hoping for the same great entertainment we've received for the last five years.  On my FlashForward posts, I like to make predictions for the series.  I haven't done that for Lost at all, but since every other Lost pundit has done so, I figured I'd give it a shot.  These are broad, wild-eyed, not knowing jack squat, predictions for what will happen by the end of the series finale:

*Oceanic 815 will land in L.A. in September 2004, but those touched by Jacob will remember everything that has happened to them in the "past."

*At the same time, on an alternate plane of reality (no "plane" pun intended), the 2007 events on the Island will continue to unfold.

*The 2004 Lostaways, led by Jack and Locke, will venture to the Lamp Post and Mrs. Hawking to try to merge the timelines in 2007.  Desmond will be the link used to unite the two time periods.  (I never said any of this makes sense!)

*Jack and crew will defeat Esau and the Others on behalf of Jacob.

*Jack will try to make the ultimate sacrifice to save Kate, but will be saved by Sawyer.

*Sawyer will die, on behalf of his friends.

*Jacke, Kate, Sayid, Hurley, Sun, Jin, Claire and Aaron will live.  Sawyer and Locke will die.

*Ben, having made some unslefish act, will become the new Jacob.

*Rose and Bernard will be Adam and Eve.

*None of the previosuly dead Oceanic passengers (Charlie, Michael, Libby, Ana Lucia, Eko, Boone, Shannon) will be reborn and alive by the end.

*We will be very, very confused for a good portion of the final season!

I know, not the boldest predictions in the world, but that's what I've got.  I will continue to provide my thoughts on the season's episodes as they are shown to us.  It's actually good that the show got moved to Tuesday because it doesn't interfere with my responsibilities over at TVOvermind.  At TVO, I'm writing recaps and thoughts on Chuck, Modern Family, and FlashForward when it returns.  Please do me a solid and check out TVO -- we've got breaking TV news, recaps, previews, promos and feature articles on everything television.  The site was started by none other than DocArzt himself, and I truly believe it is a great source for all of your TV needs.  Thanks to any regular readers of this blog for putting up with my lack of posting the last couple months.  I could say that I was really busy during the holidays and such, but that would just be an excuse.  So, thanks for sticking with me. Please leave any thoughts, questions or comments below.  HAve a great time watching the final season premiere of Lost!  Until then...