Friday, May 28, 2010

Lost Finale: The Flash-Sideways Sound

I just realized something kind of cool. All this season, while fans have been trying to figure out what the flash-sideways were (no one guessed a magical waiting room), there was some debate over why the flash-back noise changed.

For the first five seasons, whenever there was a flashback, the sound was a whooshing sound that we've all become pretty familiar with. But starting with Season 6, whenever they went to a Flash-Sideways, the whoosh was replaced with the sound of a plane flying by. I always just assumed this was because blowing up the Jughead bomb worked, and the Losties were whoosing back onto Flight 815. Or that it was supposed to represent this alternate reality where the plane landed safely in LAX.

Butnow, watching the last scene of the finale and knowing what the flash-sideways really are, I noticed something. The sound of the plane they've been using to jump to the flash-sideways on the show is ALSO the exact same sound effect used when the plane flies over Jack's head at the end of the finale when he dies. He lies down, wondering if he saved anyone, and then sees his friends flying off the island and hears the whoosh of the plane as he passes into the afterlife. Pretty cool.

So as soon as Jack died, he went to the flash-sideways world that began as we saw it begin in Season 6's opening episode. One other cool thing about that: Season 6 actually opened with a shot of clouds, before pulling back through the window of the plane into Jack's seat. Was this a nod to Jack's soul ascending into the afterlife? A nice touch, methinks.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Lost Finale Further Thoughts: Why I'm growing to love the ending.

Hey guys, been thinking a lot about that ending.

Hands down, it was an unsatisfying ending to the flash-sideways storyline OF THIS EPISODE. They'd been building up to an unbelievably awesome climax, and then suddenly seemed to throw it all away. It felt weird. But I'm starting to come around that it was the right way to end the series as a whole. Everyone awakening to a perfect new world time line which they got to keep living in would have been an awesomely satisfying ending in a Shawshank Redemption kind of way. But would it have been real? It would have negated the time line that we originally knew and it would have ultimately cheated the Losties out of the realest parts of life: That there are consequences for your actions, you have to own them – and every choice you make matters. What the flash-sideways showed us is that everyone we love eventually made peace and were able to go to Heaven. But their choices on earth during their life on the island and in their past were not without weight or import. This is the right way to go. The fairy tale perfect ending that they teased us with throughout the episode would have felt right, but in retrospect have just been wrong. So, it was the right way to end, but in the context of the episode it felt like someone pulled the rug out from under our feet emotionally.

That said, upon reflection, I think the SATISFYING ending is actually in the REAL time line. Let's think about it. Jack made the ultimate sacrifice to save the world from evil being released, and died content knowing that his friends got off the island. (In my interpretation, which is the right one.) Frank, Miles, Richard, Sawyer, Kate and Claire flew home, and lived out the rest of their lives somewhere off screen. Claire probably reunited with Aaron in the real world, and worked hard to heal her relationship, and mentally recover from years of axing dudes in the chest. Frank saved them all, and made up for the time he overslept and sent another pilot to his death in the original crash. Miles was able to cash in Nikki and Paulo's diamonds and buy as many fish tacos as he wanted. Richard got to live out the rest of his life, having made peace with his past. I'm assuming he got to die a noble death, complete with gray hairs. Kate and Sawyer probably ended up together, but apparently made the switch back to their true loves in the afterlife. And best of all, Hurley and Ben protected the island together for an untold amount of time. Given that they can both have immortality, I'm assuming they lived there for a long, long time and met many new people and fought new and interesting battles together keeping some new form of an old evil at bay. Imagine the cool fan fiction and graphic novel ties-ins possible there. Pretty sweet. Even Rose and Bernard got to stick around and die of old age. It's a pretty awesome wrap-up, with not as nearly as many deaths as you would expect. I'm guessing even Michael and the other whispers were released when the Man in Black was killed, or when the cork was pulled.

On top of that, we got to see all the characters reunite right as they go into Heaven. Like I said, it felt like a let down in the context of the dramatic arc of the episode, but when you think about it, that's a pretty great ending.

It even makes me want to go back and watch all the flash-sideways again. Christian said that our Losties "created this place". Since they all teamed up to help blow up the hatch and reboot time, I think it makes sense that they would be convinced in the after life holding room that they had succeeded. Knowing that they "created this place," you can really start analyzing the entire season's worth of flash-sideways in a new way. Was David actually young Jack himself, dealing with his own father issues? Locke did say, "He looks just like you." Was Aaron actually there, or just in Claire's mind to help her deal with what happened? Was Keamy actually there, or just an apparition to help Sawyer work through who he really is? And Sawyer apparently still had issues to work out with the death of his parents, but because of his time on the island in the 70s as head of Dharma, he now viewed himself differently – a hero instead of a villain. Locke's purgatory is also very interesting. The fact that he had created a world where he was punished for killing his father in a plane crash was very interesting. Because 815 did crash in a place where he would eventually arrange the murder of his father. It was like he was trying to forgive himself for that. And Anthony Cooper's state in this inbetween place, to me, suggests that his actual soul is somewhere else, somewhere much hotter.

There's so much to analyze, and really, it's great that all our beloved characters not only got a chance to live a full life on earth after the island, but we also got to see that they eventually all found redemption – and they were so connected in life that they ascended to the "other side" together. Pretty cool.

Or, you can be a cynic and think that the ENTIRE thing was in Jack's head. And that there's nothing to believe in at all. The writers gave you that option with the ending, but my guess is that they cast their votes on the "faith" side by having the plane fly overhead. It certainly didn't have to, if they were trying to say it was all in Jack's head.

What I'm saying overall is don't discard the ending just because it didn't feel right in the flow of the episode. They made a bold move and ended it the right way, in my opinion. And we all have to deal with it, just like the Losties themselves.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Lost Finale – Quick thoughts

Hey guys, for a variety of reasons I'm not going to be able to do a long post tonight. But I did want to give you my initial reactions. The first 2 hours and 15 minutes were some of the most rewarding moments in television history. I loved every second. The last 15 minutes or so, I'm going to have to digest for a while. I did not hate it. Overall, I think the show is genius, even up to its last frame. Do I wish the flash-sideways had been reality and not purgatory? YES. But I also thought the last shot was beautiful. (In the jungle, not in the church so much.) I think I will grow to love the ending in its entirety more as time goes on. The show was called LOST y'all, and it was fitting that it ended in a church. I just wish that it wasn't "couple's heaven" with folks makin' out in pews. That was kinda weird.

My least favorite thing about the ending, however, was the stained glass window. A history of being subtle, thrown out the window. I didn't mind so much that it had all world religions (I get it, they're just talking about faith, and aren't going to just pick one to put people off) but that it was so darn corny and painfully symbolic.

As I see it there are two interpretations of what happened at the end. Either the flash-sideways was like purgatory and the entire show besides that was REAL, or the whole ENTIRE SHOW was like purgatory. The plane flying over Jack's head at the end seemed to suggest that Frank and the crew flew home safely after Jack somehow washed out of the cave (water pressure, I guess). I think this is the case. I think the island was real, they all left and kept living, except Jack, who died, and Hurley and Ben, who stayed on the island for a while leading, sent Desmond home, then eventually died themselves. There is no "NOW" where they are in the flash-sideways world, so it's possible everyone lived a full and complete life after the island, dealt with their issues (looking at you, Claire) and then moved on, all arriving in the afterlife at the same time, because time doesn't exist there. Which is why time could get so jacked up on the island, because it was the closest place on earth to the afterlife. I still think it is the Garden of Eden.

I think that the magic island stuff we've been watching for 6 year was real is really the best version of the ending. The other way, that the WHOLE SHOW was purgatory, that doesn't really work so much for me. Because why would Jacob and MiB be there, having their own issues? They would have just been deities, and not frail humans if the island was there to be purgatory. I think everyone in the show, Jacob included, had their own stories of redemption to work out while on the island. And they eventually did, as evidenced by their appearance in the flash-sideways world. And interesting that some of them still have some work to do in the this inbetween world. Ben, for instance, I'm assuming has to help Danielle and Alex "let go" and receive forgiveness from them as well.

A couple of questions: Were Helen and Nadia in on it, helping Sayid and Locke let go? We know Helen died long before Locke, so maybe she knew and was like an angel, helping out? Were Danielle and Alex in on it, too? What about Ben's dad? Was that just Ben dealing with the fact that he killed his dad, and paying penance for gassing him in the real world by hooking him up with Oxygen tanks in the flash-sideways?

And... what's up with David? I'm assuming Jack needed to make peace with his daddy issues, and David was there to help him work it out. I'm more surprised they didn't name him Peter, as in keys to the pearly gates St. Peter.

Already, the more I think about it, the more I like this ending.

Did you notice the shots of the wreckage after the "LOST" logo? I think this was to get debate going on whether or not Jack died in the crash the first time and the whole show was all in his head, or if he truly died saving the island. To me, the plane flying overhead answers that. What plane would it have been otherwise? But these shots of the wreckage may convince other people that the first crash was the only one. I'm not sure about that. I did notice some footprints in the sand (forgive the lame reference) in one shot. But even that could mean different things. It could mean that people survived the crash, just like we saw in the pilot episode, and everything went exactly as we saw through Sesaons 1 through 6. Or it could mean that the plane crashed, Jack was the only survivor, and he got up and walked over to the water, took a drink, walked through the bamboo, then died. It's actually up to you. Was it all in Jack's mind? Or was the island real? Are you a man of faith, or a man of science?

If it was ALL in Jack's mind, then what was Horace and the Dharma Initiative all about? I think, like Christian said to Jack, everything that happened to Jack was real. The island adventure was real. The flash-sideways are more in question. They're real, but occurring on a spiritual plane. Get it? Plane?


I'm going to bed. More later. What did you think?

Top Ten Worst Ways Lost Could End...

Hey guys, I'm watching the pre-show right now. Very fun. As promised, here's my complete list of the ten worst possible endings that could happen, followed by a vague last minute prediction. No spoilers here! Read on:

Here's the ten worst things that could happen in the last moments of Lost:

10. Space hibernation pods. (see post below)

9. A sentient race of polar bears that live under the island.

8. Jack, Sawyer and Kate are asked by a mystical angel to stand in the three points of the magical "love triangle" to keep the island safe.

7. Jack's son David turns out to be the Man in Black, and unveils his evil costume and a huge bomb at the piano recital.

6. Right at the last moment, a Dharma drop lands on top of the Man in Black, killing him, but is still never explained.

5. The last scene ties the show into Flash Forward.

4. The Losties find a second hatch under the island, and the last shot is them peering down into the new hatch. Cut to black.

3. A nursery full of familiar looking babies, and the Losties start life over again.

2. A giant dance party breaks out at the piano recital, featuring the entire cast.

1. However the Matrix trilogy ended.

Last minute prediction:

Maybe we learn the island is the source of all the myths in the world: The fountain of youth (the cave), the lost city of Gold (the temple), Adam and Eve (man in black and fake mom), Atlantis (the sunken island in the flash-sideways), the bermuda triangle (Ameila Earhart is there), The Garden of Eden, etc.

Wow. Just saw the KVUE news promo that features the Lost logo and says Namaste. Shocking.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Worst Possible Ways Lost Could End, part 1

Hey guys, up until the finale airs, I'll hopefully be posting my ten worst ways that Lost could end. Prepare yourself. I'm basing these on endings that would be SO bad that they would ruin the show forever.

Here's the first one, which I call:


Open on a close up of an eye.

Pull out to reveal — It’s Jack’s eye. And he’s lying frozen... inside of a space hibernation pod.

An alarm is going off. It’s a familiar sound — much like the one in the hatch.

The pod opens on its own, and oxygen starts to fill Jack’s lungs. He coughs violently. Then sits up.

He rubs his face. He’s wearing an astronaut uniform. His beard is long.

Another pod opens next to him, and a female coughs. It's Kate.

Ugh, space hibernation. It’s the worst.

Jack has a strange, distant look on his face.

Jack, what’s wrong? (checking her gauge) Hey, we weren’t supposed to wake up yet.

I just had the weirdest space dream.

Hello Jack, Hello Kate. This is J.A.C.O.B. And… I woke you.

Computer, why? We’re not even near home.

There was a problem in The Source. But proper levels have been restored.

The power supply of the ship? Give me the error code.

4 8 15 16 23 42.

Smoke damage? in the heart of the ship?

Something became… locked up.

A recorded image of the ship’s engine appears before Jack’s face on a floating screen. The engine is jammed; shaking and sparking. It's making a familiar clicking sound – and it's emitting dark smoke.

I thought you were the perfect candidates to help dislodge the drive. But it seems I awoke you prematurely.

You've already fixed it? How?

Using the Faraday equation combined with Hume's constant. I ran the numbers then rebooted the system. We’re back on track. Things are as they should be. You may return to space hibernation. Sorry for the inconvenience. And namaste.

Namaste. (to Jack) You okay?

Jack pauses, rubbing his face. Exhausted.

Yeah. (sighs) Namaste.

He glances at Kate. They smile at each other, then lay back as their pods seal shut.

We then pan across the other pods near them. Rows and rows of pods. We see Hurley, Sayid, Sun, Jin and other familiar faces, all frozen in hibernation, sleeping in clearly numbered pods.

We pull out further and see the exterior of a massive spaceship, with a Dharma logo on the side, along with a name:

The U.S.S. Island.

Cut to black.


One more theory: David is the Man in Black

Ok, there's only one day left before the end of Lost, but I have a quick theory for you that's probably not true, but kind of cool to think about.

What if David, Jack's son in the flash-sideways, is actually the Man in Black, reborn? I'm not saying David's evil, but hear me out. What if next episode, on the island, Jack finds a way to kill the Man in Black just as Smokey's destroying the island. But as he does so, Smokey is reborn as a child. We know from Allison Janey's lines in "Across the Sea" that the island's source is all about life, death and rebirth, so maybe this final battle takes place close to the source. Jack takes the child and then wakes up in the flash-sideways time line with an erased memory, and raises him as his own, good child. And maybe his mother turns out to be... Claudia, MiB's real mom. Crazy theory, but it would explain why in the flash-sideways Jack suddenly has a child AND why the writers went through the trouble to introduce Young Jacob appearing on the island this season after Jacob's death. And why the writers have kept the mom's identity a secret for so long.

But his mom will just probably end up to be Juliet.

One other quick observation about the "concert" everyone's headed to in the flash-sideways timeline. It is very possible that it's Ms. Hawking's concert that she was planning a few episodes back. Which means Charlie, Daniel, Mr. and Mrs. Hawking and Widmore will all be there. And we know Penny was on the guest list. Jack's going with David, and David's mother is going to be there. They will probably bring Claire with them since she's staying with them. Desmond and Kate are headed that way in the Camero. Miles told Sawyer he was going and that Charlotte would be there. I'm guessing Miles' dad Mr. Chang will be there as well. Sawyer said he wasn't going, but once he learns Kate escaped, he might track her there. Hurley and Sayid left in Hurley's Hummer, and my best guess is that they're headed to the hospital to pick up Sun and Jin. So the only people left to be there are Locke and Ben. Interesting. Keep checking the site because I plan to have more posts before the finale. Exciting!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Lost Episode 6.16: "What They Died For"

Awesome episode. Pretty much a Ben & Desmond-centric episode, which is never a bad thing. There were several deaths: Richard (I guess, hard to say), Unfunny Tina Fey, and Widmore all hit the dirt. Ben got evil again, the remaining Losties joined forces, Jacob had a long fireside chat, and for once the flash sideways were just as interesting as the island stuff. The only thing that left me scratching my head was the voice-over choice for next week's preview. I'm pretty sure that was Eartha Kitt's voice, and yet she's been dead a couple of years. Creepy. What exactly do they have planned for next week? Anyway, let's pick this show apart one second-to-last time, starting with the on-island stuff...

KATE IS GOING TO BE JUST FINE. FOR SOME REASON: The on-island action this time around felt VERY much like season one Lost to me, including Jack doing some island-ghetto surgery on Kate. Meanwhile, everybody else emotionally stares into the ocean. I was 50% sure Frank was going to crawl out of the sub wreckage at one point with a witty one-liner, but it never happened. Maybe it's not gonna. Either way, I like how the Losties agreed they were going to kill Smokey, and I'm glad Sawyer didn't ditch them in the process. Good stuff.

BEN, MILES, AND RICHARD HAVE A VERY SHORT ADVENTURE: So we learned that Richard's group was very slow in getting to the Barracks. Basically, they've just been walking around the island for an episode or so. Once there, Miles accidentally reminds Ben about Alex's death in a nice set up moment for Ben's switch to the dark side that comes later in the episode. Ben takes the gang to his secret bookshelf behind his secret room, and basically says that he realizes that the smoke monster has been using him the whole time he's been on the island. Or, as he put it, the smoke monster's been "summoning" him. They hear Tina Fey rummaging in the kitchen (what is she looking for?) and then Widmore makes his entrance.

JACOB INVITED WIDMORE TO THE PARTY: Well, if we're to take Widmore at his word, Jacob came to him after the Freighter affair, scolded him for his actions, but still invited him to come back to the island. I think, upon hearing this, that Ben realized that it was NOT Jacob's fault that Alex got shot, but Widmore's. So Ben began planning his revenge. I think the entire reason he waited to talk to the smoke monster was to reveal Widmore's hiding place. He even helped trap Widmore for Smokey. But more on that later.

SAWYER REALIZES HE BLEW IT, LITERALLY: Walking through the jungle, Sawyer and Jack have a poignant moment together as Sawyer faces the fact that his actions caused Sun and Jin to die. Jack knows that Smokey planned it that way, and pins the blame on Smokey instead, in a classy move. I hope Sawyer gets over it and gets back to being awesome soon. By soon, I mean in the last episode ever.

YOUNG JACOB IS JUST ALSO JACOB: Somewhat confusingly, young Jacob shows up and steals Jacob's ashes from Hurley. Then, when Hurley catches up with him, it's older Jacob instead. And he's burning the ashes so that he will finally be free from the island. I guess this means Hurley won't be dumping the ashes on Smokey to watch him wilt, Wizard of Oz-style. How will they kill Man in Black? Not sure. Also, how did the ashes survive Hurley's swim from the sub underwater to the beach? To that point, how did Hurley survive such a swim? Also, are we going to see young Jacob anymore? What was the point of him being on the island if he's just going to disappear along with his older version?

RICHARD'S LAST STAND: In an odd moment, Ben takes the walkee talkees from Widmore, who trusts Ben at exactly the time he shouldn't. Ben gives one of the walkee talkees to Miles. Why? What's Ben's plan with that? Does he really plan to find Miles later, or just find out where he is and give him to the man in black? Richard bravely goes first and gets smacked aside by the smoke monster. We're not shown his dead body, so there's still hope for a comeback, in my mind. Maybe Richard and Frank will show up at the last minute driving the Dharma bus loaded with C4 and numbchucks. To that point, did anyone follow the path of the backpack of C4 this episode? Richard had it last, I think, but he set it down before discovering Tina Fey looking through the cabinets for some Teddy Grahams. Not sure if the C4 will come into play later, but it might. I really hope Richard's not dead, but at this point I know some folks are going to have to go so I'm not really mourning him too much. Can the smoke monster even kill him? Jacob made him immortal, right? Next, fake Locke walks around the corner and Ben offers him a glass of lemonade. At this point, Ben agreed to talk to Smokey. Does that make it too late for Ben? And does that make Ben's scale start to tip to the darkside more than normal?

TINA FEY'S LAST STAND: In a really tense scene inside Ben's hidden closet, Smokey nastily takes out Tina Fey. He says since Widmore told her not to talk to him, that she was useless. Was this just sass on the Smoke Monster's part, or is talking to Smokey really a dangerous thing to do? Probably the latter. Just what happens when Smokey talks to you? Smokey then threatens to kill Penny when he gets off the island, unless Widmore tells him his plan for Desmond. Widmore agrees to whisper it in his ear, and watching two grown men of such dramatic heft whisper to each other is a little off-putting, if you ask me. Not exactly sure why. Ben agrees and ends the conversation by shooting Widmore, while also fulfilling one of my predictions from this old post. Ben then asks who else Locke wants him to kill. I'm not completely sure if Ben's completely returned to being a villain. I know he wanted to kill Widmore. But I suspect he also hates the Man in Black for using him for so many years. I'm even guessing the Man in Black is the one who told Ben to kill all the Dharma people in the Purge. And Ben has to be realizing that he's been used. I think if Ben ends up being the one who eventually kills Man in Black, it would be a pretty fitting way for the show to go.

JACOB TELLS ALL: Back in the jungle, suddenly all of the candidates can see Jacob. None of them seem to remember him from the times he touched them in the real world, but I'm not sure they would given his brief encounters with them. Kate gets really sassy with Jacob and questions his motives pretty harshly, but I have to say I didn't really mind. Given what we know about Jacob after last episode, he kind of needs to explain himself a little bit more. Jacob tells them that he made a mistake, and that's why he brought everyone to the island. He wanted them to replace him because he knew the monster he released was going to try to kill him. And if he didn't get a replacement, the monster would get off the island and kill everyone they've ever loved. Sawyer then says that he shouldn't have messed with their lives, that they were doing just fine without him, but Jacob disagrees and says he plucked them all out of miserable, flawed existences. He chose them because they were alone, like him, and they needed the island as much as it needed them. This explains why everyone on the history of Lost has had such messed up back stories. I'm trying to think of someone who came to the island who had a happy life before hand, but I can't. So I guess this reasoning holds. We also learn that Kate's name was scratched from the wall because she became a mother. This makes sense, because she had something to care for besides herself, and Jacob didn't want to take her from her mom. But why weren't Sun and Jin's names scratched off the wall? Is it because they were still separated from each other, and therefore unhappy? Is this desire to have no mothers be candidates partly why infants began dying on the album? I don't think so, but it's an interesting thought. Either way, Jack agrees to be the guardian, and realizes that he will have to kill the Man in Black. If I were Jack, I would have asked to see the complete job description, but whatever.

JACK HAS A CUP IN HIS BACKPACK: Really? Well, okay, I guess. Very convenient. Luckily for him it wasn't a Big Gulp cause that might have been embarrassing.

JACOB TELLS JACK WHERE THE HEART OF THE ISLAND IS LOCATED: And it's right next to where Jack landed at the very beginning of the pilot episode. Jacob says an incantation over the water, and according to Lostpedia it's latin for: "For we do not accept this just as a common drink, but as if that he should be one with me." Cool. Jack asks how long he will have to do the job, and Jacob says, "for as long as you can." I'm guessing one more episode max. Or, will the show end with Jack alone on the island? Now that Jack is "like" Jacob, does he know more things that he didn't know before?

WHO RESCUED DESMOND? Smokey and Ben get to Desmond's well, and find it empty. Who let Desmond out? Miles? Richard? Frank? Or did Sayid give him some rope? I don't think Sayid let him out, because he told Jack that Desmond was still in the well. Locke is glad that Desmond's out of the well, because he's going to find Desmond and use him to destroy the island. Seems like he would be more glad to have Desmond sitting in the well waiting for him, right? But Smokey likes to look on the bright side. And much like Season 4's "I'm gonna move the island.", Flocke gets to say "I'm going to destroy the island." Does Smokey succeed in using Desmond to destroy the island? Is that what sinks the island and causes the Flash Sideways to start up? Guess we'll find out next episode. Or else not at all.

Now on to the flash-sideways:

SO, JACK SLEEP SHAVES? Jack wakes up in flash sideways land with another nick on his neck, just like in the first episode this season. What's that about? I have no idea. Maybe the island is like the matrix, and Jack's avatar in the matrix is Tina Fey lady, who got cut in the neck? Man, I hope not. That's the worst theory I've ever had. I checked, and the cut is on roughly the same spot both times. I even checked the pilot episode to see if he had the cut on his neck in the opening scene there, but he didn't. I don't know what to make of it folks, but my guess is that it ties in with the very last reveal of the show, the twist ending that's coming that none of us have predicted.

DAVID'S CONCERT: Jack's son David says he's going to have a concert that night, and I had no idea at that point that the concert was going to be a pivotal part of the next episode. But it apparently is, since Desmond is planning to take Kate there at a later point. David's mystery mom is also going to be there. Juliet's pretty much the only one left. Unless it's Allison Janey. But that would be too freaky, for a variety of reasons. I'm afraid Jack's not going to be able to keep his promise not to do anything weird at the concert. We learn later this episode that Miles is going, and that Charlotte's going to be there. I'm guessing Daniel Faraday will be too, wearing his music hat. Will Charlotte and Daniel finally meet in this time line?

DESMOND CALLING: So, why does Desmond call Jack and say that he's with Oceanic? Seems like a weird move since he's also planning to go to Jack's son's concert. Desmond is like George Clooney in Ocean's Eleven in this episode. Watching his plans come together had a very heist-movie feel.

BEN GETS BEAT UP A LOT: Desmond beats poor Ben up yet again, punching him directly in the memory center of the brain. I think at this point Ben remembers everything that happened on the island. Which is pretty cool, given the scene that he has later with Danielle and Alex.

ONE SUSPECT BRUTHA: Desmond turns himself into the police, and Sawyer puts him in a cell with Kate and Sayid. I really liked this jail-break scene, and it was fun to see the flash-sideways folks start to see the bigger picture.

DANIELLE HEARTS BEN: Alex invites beat up Ben over for dinner, and in a surprisingly touching scene, Danielle is clearly thankful for Ben's support of her daughter, and even describes him as the father she never had. She talks as if he's going to be invited over for many more dinners, which is very nice. But I'm not sure it can last. If, like everyone else, Danielle wakes up to her past memories, then Ben might have to answer for his alter egos kidnapping and other failures. But nice to see that there's a time line possible where the three of them could become a functioning family unit, although a kind of creepy one. Again, I think Ben is somewhat cognizant of both time lines at this point.

MAN OF SCIENCE, MAN OF FAITH: Locke wheels into Jack's office, and it's the Locke we remember from Season One. He believes in fate, and is again trying to convince Jack that something important is happening. I'm very curious to see how the whole operation thing works out. Will Locke be able to walk again? And will that have anything to do with Smokey's defeat?

PAY ANA LUCIA ENOUGH, AND SHE'LL BE BACK: Desmond and Hurley are now working together, which rules. And Ana Lucia makes an appearance as well. This was a great scene. I like that the finale is boiling down to a couple of A-Team style missions in a bitchin' Camero and a bright yellow Hummer. Not sure I love the fact that in the final act of Lost, all the characters are headed to David's piano concert. But there it is. Matthew Fox was right when he said we'd never be able to guess how it ends. Anybody guess piano recital? Not me.

Very fun episode. Sunday's episode is going to be unbelievable. Will it star the creepy voiced lady from the promo for next week? Man, I hope not. You guys notice anything else interesting?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Lost: Episode 6.15: "Across the Sea"

"Every question I answer will simply lead to another question."
– Jacob's mother (by murder)

"Am I good?"
– Jacob

I imagine somewhere in the world, somebody decided they were going to check out this show "Lost" that they've been hearing about, and they started with this episode. What on earth would they be thinking? Don't get me wrong here, I thought this was a great episode. But if the show had kicked off Season One with this episode millions of people would have never tuned back in again. This is a lesson on how to successfully pace a sci-fi story with mystical elements. You start with a first season featuring mostly hot bods on the beach and love triangles. Then you slip in a Dharma initiative here or there, then go safely back to the love triangles and the family relationship dramas. Pause for a bit, toss in a little time travel, then when no one's looking you go completely Land of the Lost on everyone right in the last three episodes. I like it, Lost. Bold move.

Another observation: Is there an hour of television LESS suited to be the follow-up to Dancing With The Stars? I don't think so. Dedicated 'Stars' viewers who left the TV on while mourning the loss of the latest contestant were abruptly greeted with the image of a pregnant woman getting her head bashed in with a rock.

I'm afraid, yet again, I don't have time to do my traditional step by step run through (big day at work tomorrow, must sleep) but I will try to cover my main interpretations of some of the major points, then revisit the details later this week.

So here's what I think about "Across the Sea" in random order. In a few places, I think I'm on to something:

DANG! WHAT THE HECK? That was my first thought. Then I watched it a second time and I can now elaborate further.

WHO IS 'WOMAN'? WHAT ARE HER POWERS? Once again, one of my subheads would make a pretty good title for a book. So, In the script, character actor Allison Janey is known only by the name 'Woman'. And right off the bat, she's a conflicted character. By that, I mean she will sincerely apologize in a empathetic voice before killing you via repeated blows to the head. My wife and I debated somewhat if she was sincerely crazy or if she really was protecting something hugely important. I lean towards the latter, but definitely question her methods and her violent streak. So we have no idea who she is, how long she's been there, where she came from, or what she knows and doesn't know. Also, what powers does she have? Here's two powers we know right off the bat: She said she made it impossible for the brothers to kill one another (how?), and she seemed pretty omniscient at times (like when she knew the boys had found the gameboard.) Here's what I think: I think she's fulfilling the role of both Jacob and MiB. By that I mean, she's both light and dark, and she's also a freakin' smoke monster. See next paragraph.

IS THE FAKE MOM A REAL SMOKEY? I think so. She told Jacob that if he went into the cave of light that he would suffer a fate worse than dying. So, I think she knew this because she went in there herself, some time before. That's the only way I can explain how she was able to kill an entire village of people and fill up a well with rocks in a short amount of time. And I think it's why she liked MiB better, because she knew he had a dark, rebellious side. But at the same time, she also was fulfilling the 'guardian of the Island' role that Jacob later took. My wife Erin suggested that she saw her opportunity to be released from that role when she saw the pregnant woman, and took the babies to pass on her mantle. She didn't know she was going to get twins, though, and the roll was split into two. I think that's a good guess on her motivations. Is this how the legacy of stealing babies got started?

NOBODY'S PERFECT IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN: So, the main take away of this episode is that we got a little more understanding and empathy for the MiB, and we learned that Jacob was no saint when he threw his brother into the cave of light to face a fate worse than death. I don't think this is the same as saying there is NO good and NO evil, though. I think we're just seeing that Jacob and MiB are also human. But there is obviously good and evil on this show. I think the light in the cave is a lot like the tree of knowledge in the Garden of Eden. And I think its existence points to a source of all Goodness–that is, God. But just like the Garden of Eden, God instructed people NOT to eat from that tree, or in this case fall down the log flume of light at the end of the Fraggle Rock tunnel, and if someone does it, they will become aware of the existence of evil. And then that evil will try to get into the world, just as all evil entered the world through Adam's sin.

TO THAT POINT, SAY HELLO TO 'ADAM AND EVE': So, we learned who Adam and Eve are this episode. And, is it possible they're ACTUALLY ADAM AND EVE? As in THE Adam and Eve? Neither MiB or his mom have ever been named, except in this one instance, by our Losties, when their bodies are discovered. I think this is intentional, because they represent the biblical Adam and Eve. And I don't think we'll ever get any other names for them. Think about it. The Woman showed MiB the source of light and knowledge from which they were not supposed to partake. (Just like Eve showed Adam the apple.) Then MiB became obsessed with it, and wanted to find the light to experience it and harness it. He found it, became 'sin', and now he wants to get out into the world. It's also interesting that tonight's story echos Cain and Abel's story (a brother killing a brother) and Jacob and Esau's story as well, in ways. As my wife put it, the backstory of the island is kind of an Old Testament hodgepodge. I think this early Island mythology (and maybe the show at large) is a sci-fi attempt at retelling the mythology of the Bible as a whole in a different setting. Maybe in the Lost universe, we're even witnessing the actual stories and myths that would become the stories in the Bible as we know it. Interesting. In a clever twist, for the first time a show's 'mythology' attempts to tackle a retelling of the entire mythology of the Western Civilization. Not bad for a show on the same network as "Cougar Town."

DON'T FORGET ABOUT THE SERPENT: So, if the Island is a Garden of Eden type scenario, then I think that explains why MiB is seeing dead people. When Claudia first appeared in ghostly form to young MiB, I was all, 'huh?' But I think I get it. The island is the home to the cave of knowledge that the boys are forbidden to enter, but it's also the home of a familiar serpent–the source of all evil. MiB as a child is not the embodiment of evil, not at this point. But he starts to listen to the serpent when he chooses to follow the visage of his dead mother and takes her advice. Just like later, when people warn others not to listen to the Man in Black, he listens to the ghostly form of his mother. I think the ghostly mom is not a good person, and is basically the devil appearing in deceitful ways. After all, she takes MiB to the village where he will begin his dangerous quest to find the light in the cave, despite having been told that it would release evil into the world. Also another interesting point:When MiB tells his fake mom he's going to build a wheel to escape from the island, she asks him how he knows how to do that. And he says it's because he's "special." But it's not. I think "special" people are just the ones that the serpent has appeared to as dead people. It's because the serpent in Claudia's form has TOLD HIM HOW TO BUILD THE WHEEL. The serpent is the one that wants to get off the island. To bring evil into the world. The same plan the serpent had in the Garden of Eden. And that's why MiB's mom knows she has to stop him.

DRINK FROM THE CUP: After knocking MiB unconscious, the Woman kills everyone, fills up the well, and then knows it's time for her to appoint a successor. She makes Jacob drink from the wine which makes him immortal, freezing him at his current age forever. (Later, Jacob will use the same wine to do the same thing to Richard. But why would he then give what's left of the magic wine to the MiB to smash over a log? I have no idea.) One important question: Why did Jacob's fake mom need a successor? There's only one reason I can think of. I think she knew after killing the villagers and closing up the well that MiB wasn't dead. And that he would come for her. In fact, I think she let him live on purpose, because she loved him and couldn't bear to kill him. Then, when MiB killed her later, she said "thank you" because she was immortal and only a candidate could kill her. She was tired of her post. And MiB had been a candidate, one of the only people who could kill her.

BTW, THAT MATT DAMON BOY IS JACOB: Now we know without a doubt that the boy that MiB has been seeing around the island this season is actually young Jacob. That was everyone's best guess, and it turned out to be true. (I think I had guessed Aaron, but I also thought MiB was Aaron, so what do I know.) What does it mean that he's been walking around the island all season smiling at Flocke? I have no idea, but I would assume it means he's got the upper hand, and he's found his own loophole and created his own game with its own rules.

WHAT JACOB BELIEVES: It was interesting in this episode to see how the MiB and his Mother by Murder both agreed that people were bad and deserved to die. People were never, ever good in their mind. Jacob's Mother by Murder also kept saying that Jacob didn't have a choice, and that she didn't have a choice. But we know Jacob believes the opposite. He believes people can learn to be good, and that people always have a choice. How did he start to develop these beliefs while living alone on the island for so long? Also interesting was MiB's line "Why are you watching us, Jacob?" Jacob responded, "I watch because I want to know if mother's right" – he wants to know if people really are bad. I guess he wants to know so bad that he eventually builds a magical lighthouse viewing machine.

OH, ALSO, DID SHE SAY "JOSE"?!? Ok, I know I've already stated that I don't think they'll ever give Adam and Eve any other names than Adam and Eve, but when MiB's mother by murder got stabbed, did she roll over, see him and say, "José?!" Erin and I watched it three times and couldn't figure it out. It really sounded like "José." I looked online but so far no one else has mentioned it, but several people have mentioned that we still haven't gotten MiB's name. So I think maybe we misheard. Maybe she said "Hey." But that seems even more doubtful given the circumstances. I don't know why, exactly, but I would be pretty darn disappointed if the final showdown was between Jacob and... José. I'd almost prefer "Gary."

That's all I've got for now. All in all, it was a pretty dark episode. The darkest moment (besides the two brutal head bashings by the Fake Mom) was probably Jacob's brutal head bashing and worse-than-death-ifying of MiB. His regret was palpable as soon as the deed was done. Who knew that MiB was telling the truth all along, that Jacob made him into the smoke monster? Though I do think that MiB was already on his way to becoming the smoke monster. If he had tried to find a way into the light to install the wheel, it probably would have happened anyway. And I think the evil presence on the island wanted him to do that, wanted MiB to become his vessel. I also think that the real MiB died after Jacob found his body. His body was empty. His soul had become one with the darkness that wanted to escape the island all along. Just like how Locke is literally dead, but his soul and memories are now a part of Smokey. Same deal with MiB, in my opinion.

Deep stuff. What's scary is that for a second during writing this it all started to make sense. Looking back over it all now, though, I'm not so sure. Your thoughts?

I would mention the preview for next week, but it showed absolutely nothing at all, and featured a Doors song.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Lost Episode 6.14: "The Candidate"

Hey folks. That was a fast-paced episode. Not my favorite of the season, but by no means bad. I just prefer the more weird, character-driven episodes to the action-packed, gunfight episodes. And I don't mind a little sadness and saying farewell to a few characters, but the parts that were supposed to make me tear up just didn't do much for me this episode. I don't have the time or energy to do a full synopsis tonight (been running on a lack of sleep due to kid issues) but here's a few thoughts. Pictures have not been posted online by the time I wrote this, so you'll have to rely on your own mind-pictures.


JACK AND LOCKE MEET... AND NOTHING REALLY HAPPENS: After all the build-up and wondering about what it would be like when Jack and Locke meet at the hospital (after Desmond sent Locke there), there was very little payoff in this episode. Locke didn't seem to fully regain his island memories, though he said a few key words in his sleep. And Jack basically just became obsessed with learning why Locke wouldn't want to be able to walk again. Erin and I guessed the reason pretty early on... that he was punishing himself for hurting his dad in an accident. Meh. It's kind of cool that Flash-Sideways Locke has his pilot's license, though, if they do try to go back to the island or if his consciousness does start to drift back to the other time line into Flocke's body that might come in handy.

BERNARD? REALLY? Guys, you've only got four episodes left. Please don't use them on Bernard the Dentist. This may shock you, but I don't care where flash-sideways Bernard ended up, especially if it's in the same place he was in the regular time line before the crash.

CLAIRE AND JACK AND A MUSIC BOX: I liked that Jack was getting freaked out in the Flash-Sideways by all the coincidences taking place. The music box was strange, mostly because of the song it played, which was the creepy lullaby that Claire sang in the "Sundown" episode. Why did Christian give that to her? Also interesting that Claire is going to move in with Jack. Will she give birth to Aaron while staying with him? We did note that Claire and Jack looked at their own reflection again...


WHAT'S WIDMORE'S DEAL?: Widmore takes Kate hostage and says he will shoot her if they don't get in the bear cages. He reveals that the only ones he cares about are the four candidates, which I guess at this point are Hurley, Jack, Sawyer, and one of the Kwons. This is really confusing to me. Why did Widmore come to the island? To exploit it or to protect the candidates? And if he's trying to protect them, why would he plant a bomb on the plane? If he just wanted to stop the Man in Black from getting off the island on the plane, then he should have just blown it up before they got there, not just rigged it with explosions to trigger later. The explosives make me think that he wanted to kill the candidates, too. Confusing.

HOW DID MAN IN BLACK KNOW ABOUT THE EXPLOSIVES? Ok, remember when Flocke snapped those dude's necks who were guarding the plane? Well, he stopped afterward and grabbed one guy's watch, which was weird. But then we later saw the same watch on the C4 he put in Jack's backpack. So, if he grabbed the watch before seeing the C4 in the overhead compartment, then he must have already known it was going to be there. Maybe he's just a step ahead of Widmore mentally? He must be really good at chess.

WHY IS KATE'S NAME CROSSED OFF THE CAVE WALL? Any thoughts? I have a few wild guesses. Is it because she did something evil to join Man in Black's side without knowing it? Or because Jacob knows she's only there for Aaron's best interests, and not there to protect the island? Or, on that note, is it possible the Man in Black IS Aaron, and Jacob knows that once Kate learns that she will join his side, because she cares for him?

SAYID IS APPARENTLY GOOD AGAIN: So, we learned that Sayid listened to Desmond's advice not to shoot anybody just to bring your lover back from the dead, because if you do she will think you're gross and weird. And now he's a changed zombie, and ready to help the candidates. This is a pretty quick change, because a couple of episodes ago he was staring blankly as Claire tried to kill Kate. He later proves his goodness, though, by exploding himself to save the others. But not before telling Jack: "It's going to be you." I guess he means Jack is going to have to save everyone, and become Jacob's replacement. Cool. I thought that was a pretty good send-off for Sayid. Which brings me to two disappointing send-offs.

FRANK!!!! IF THE OTHER CHARACTERS DON'T GRIEVE FOR YOU, I WILL: Hey writers! Don't kill off Frank. One, because he rules. And two, because you haven't done ANYTHING at all with his character yet. He gets like one line an episode: "Aw hell" or "Probably." He could have at least done something cool before dying. And what was up with Hurley and Jack crying about Sun and Jin and Sayid but not even giving Frank a shout-out? Poor Frank. I'm only hoping that after he got hit by the sub door, his body floats out of the sub and into a secret underwater hatch full of numb-chucks, where he awakes, arms himself, then makes a dripping but awesome return at the last minute in the finale. The other option is that he's just dead now, because he got hit with a door. 'Hit with a door' is officially the worst Lost death ever, if that is the case.

SUN AND JIN, SELFISHLY DYING SO THAT THEIR CHILD CAN BE RAISED BY KOREAN MAFIA: As a parent, I could not stand the Sun and Jin death scene. First of all, Sun should never have left her kid to go to a secret island from which escape is highly unlikely. Secondly, when trying to convince Jin to leave her in the sub so that he can live, it didn't even come across her mind to point out that one of them should survive to raise their child. Lame. One point to bring out here... So, we know that candidates can't die, unless they kill each other. So is everyone's death here Sawyer's fault? Because once he touched the bomb, unplugged it, it became his action and not Man in Black's? I think Jack was right, if they had left it alone they wouldn't have died (except maybe Frank and Kate, who are not candidates.) Also, Did Flocke know that Jack and Sawyer would find the bomb in his backpack and try to unplug it, causing their own deaths?

ONE MORE THING ABOUT THOSE EXPLOSIVES: Flocke put the bomb in Jack's backpack. How did he know Jack would get in the sub? Jack was planning not to. Was Flocke counting on the fact that Widmore's men would be there to chase them onto the sub? Either way, you don't mess with Smokey because he's always one step ahead. Also because he can turn into a deadly pillar of smoke.

FLOCKE FEELS A DISTURBANCE IN THE FORCE: So, Flocke tells Claire that he knows the sub has drowned, and that he knows some folks are still alive from the blast. How does he know this? I'm guessing when they're all dead he'll feel that he's free of the island, and he knows he's not free yet because he's still stuck there.

That's all I've got for now. More later when I'm not exhausted. Did you notice anything else interesting? I did notice Kate got shot, but somehow that was one of the least eventful parts of this action-packed episode. Plus she got shot in that area between the shoulder and the heart that is totally safe to get shot in, if you're starring in a movie or TV show.

Here's what I saw in the preview for next week's episode:

Clearly this is a Man in Black/Jacob focused episode. Awesome. I predict that minds will yet again be blown. The preview opened with Man in Black and Jacob sitting down for a game of some kind involving long sticks. I'm guessing it's not Jenga. Then we see a cool clip of Locke from Season one, explaining backgammon to Walt and holding up the white and black game pieces. Then we see that young blonde kid running through the jungle. Then a super says, "There are two sides to every story." Cut to this really creepy shot of Locke, sent to me by Zach, which features Locke with both light and dark eyeballs:

Wha? A dream sequence maybe? Looks weird. Then a super says "Good/Evil" and both Jack and Locke and Man in Black and Jacob are shown. Then it ends on Man in Black's threat to Jacob at the end of Season 5, "Do you have any idea how much I want to kill you right now?" I hope we'll finally get Smokey's name next week. The episode is strangely entitled "Across the Sea." Can't wait.

That's all for now. Must. Sleep.