LOST Recap: Season 4, Episode 9: “The Shape of Things to Come”

25 04 2008

Is it great to have LOST back, or what?  I think the whole Smoke Monster showdown came off as a bit of a disappointment, but there was so much good stuff packed into this episode that it showed once again that even when the show is not at the absolute top of its game, LOST is miles ahead of anything else on TV today.  Let’s check it out:

 “The Shape of Things to Come”

Well, the obvious meaning in this episode refers to changed tactics in the war between Charles Widmore and Ben Linus due to the death of Alex (more on that later).  But occasionally, the writers love to throw us some double-meanings.  So, could they be talking about the smoke monster?  Is there something else going on that they want to hint at?  Nah, I don’t think so.

“Got a prescription for that?”

Jack’s feeling a little under the weather, and the preview for next week’s episode makes it look like he’s got appendicitis. I think we’ve got the setup for a Man of Science vs. a Man of Faith scenario again.  Locke uses the island to help him get better, but Jack must rely on his knowledge and medication.  Maybe some interesting questions about the island’s healing power will be answered next week, as the island taunts Jack: “Physician, heal thyself.”

The freighter doctor washes ashore

But is later found out to be “OK” on the freighter.  Because of all of the other amazing, more straightforward moments in this episode, the significance of this moment may have been missed.  Let’s break it down for a moment.  First of all, with the doctor still alive on the freighter at current “island time”, it’s clear that the time difference that Faraday observed earlier this season is not linear.  The path you take to get to and from the island is extremely crucial with respect to when you will appear at your destination.  Faraday’s rocket took a path that determined that it would show up slightly after it was launched from the freighter.  The doctor’s path through the ocean determined that he would show up on the island even before his death on the freighter.  This could create a very interesting scenario for folks on the island, which I’ll write more about in just a bit.

The freighter folk are responsible for the deaths of Karl and Rousseau

Not a major shocker, but it confirms 2 things: WIdmore is willing to do anything to gain (or re-gain, as the case may be) control of the island, and the Others are not into shooting their own for the heck of it.  Ben’s culpability, however, is still up for debate.  I’ll get into the details of that towards the end of the recap.

Ben takes a ride on the Frozen Donkey Wheel

Alright, far be it from me to toot my own horn, but it’s beginning to look a lot like my prediction for the frozen donkey wheel scene may in fact be on target.  Ben appears in the middle of the Sahara desert shivering and with a Dharma parka on?  As much as I thought that teleportation in LOST might be a reach, I can’t imagine what else it could have been that we witnessed.  Ben’s got a teleporter, and he knows how to use it.  I have very little doubt now that our Oceanic 6 are going to use it to get themselves off the island in the season finale.  One last thing to touch on from this scene: Ben’s got a nasty gash on his arm that seems pretty fresh.  It certainly looks like he was under duress as he was using the teleporter.  That’ll be an interesting thing to keep an eye on in future episodes as we try to piece back the sequence of events.

Claire survives a rocket being launched into her house

With bodies dropping left and right all around her, I don’t think this event is insignificant.  And if I might be so bold as to go out on a limb with another crazy prediction, let me expound on an item I discussed earlier: the freighter doctor and his timeline.  If the doctor can arrive on the island before his death off the island, then anyone could be on the island before events that they are a part of afterwards.  And thus, they could already have a “destiny” of sorts…things that they have yet to fulfill, but that are etched in time because they’ve already happened.  What if Claire is one of those people?  What if Claire can’t die on the island because she still has future events to enact off the island? 

Think of it this way: what if the Claire we know on the island now is not the same Claire that we saw crash on the island with the rest of the Flight 815 counterparts?  And if that doesn’t make sense, or you wonder how Claire could have been replaced, remember this: the Others did capture Claire back in the first season.  No telling what exactly happened while she was with them.  Just something to think about… 

Keamy murders Alex

Totally didn’t see that one coming.  Ben’s bluff is called, and yet another interesting secondary character is no longer among the living.  But was it really a bluff?  Ben willing sent his daughter, Karl, and Rousseau out into the jungle, and if you think he didn’t know that the freighter folk were coming even before the signal was tripped, you haven’t been paying attention.  It’s not to say that Ben didn’t care about Alex, but a) he felt betrayed by her due to the events that transpired at the end of last season, and b) he wasn’t willing to risk his position of control on the island to save her.  And now, he’s using the experience to take the “game” he’s playing with Widmore to the next level.  Ben’s never without a plan, and it certainly seems like he may have had this outcome in his sights all along.

Ben and Sayid begin their sordid relationship

A couple of things to touch on here.  First, it’s awesome that the writers are answering questions left and right this season, even the ones that they start within the season itself.  “How did Sayid start working for Ben?” is no longer an unanswered question of the show.  Second, Ben once again exerts his manipulative abilities on an unwitting soul.  Poor Sayid…I wonder what will happen if he ever finds out that he’s being played…

The Smoke Monster is back…

…and Ben seems to have control of it in some fashion.  Clearly, he was again lying when he said earlier this season to Locke that he didn’t know what it was.  Does this guy ever tell the truth?  With every episode, I’m becoming more and more convinced that he’s not one of the “good guys”, even if he believes it in his own mind.

Ben and Widmore put their cards on the table

…sort of.  Quite an interesting conversation to close the episode, as we get just a slight bit more information on the motivation of the kings in this chess match.  And it raises a few questions, such as:

Who will find their target first, Ben or Widmore?

Not that I expect an answer to this anytime soon, but it makes it more fun to have a better understanding of what they’re trying to accomplish.

Is Claire death-proof on the island?

A huge explosion in the house she was in, and not a scratch on her?  There’s something really interesting going on with her.

Will Jack succumb to faith in the island, or will he stick to his science?

His illness appears to be life-threatening, so it’ll be interesting to see the manner in which he survives (since we know that he does since he makes it off the island).

When do we get to see the Orchid station and the Temple?

And could they be one in the same?  The season ahead promises to be filled with incredible story-telling, and I can’t wait for the next episode!

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LOST Challenge of the Week: Season 4, Episode 9: “The Shape of Things to Come”

24 04 2008

LOST is back!

After a few weeks of hiatus, the show returns with a bang tonight.  There are a ton of cool previews floating around the net (as you may expect), but my favorite is again Doc Jensen’s over at EW.  He’s got a video tease for tonight’s show, as well as a look ahead.  If you haven’t seen it yet, you can see the whole article here: http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20194903,00.html

In addition to that, there’s a really informative article on TV Guide, where LOST fan Jimmy Kimmel (who knew?) interviews Team Darlton and gets a few juicy answers.  It’s cool to see Jimmy go right to the tough questions that we the fans might ask if we met the showrunners.  A great read, and you can check it out here:  http://community.tvguide.com/blog-entry/TV-Show-Blog/Tv-Previews//800038097

Alright, without further ado, let’s get right to the challenge!  If you read either of the 2 articles above, you know that good ol’ Smokey is making a big return tonight!  This week’s challenge is:

Who will Smokey run into tonight, and does he have in store for the unfortunate soul that meets up with him?

Tonight looks like a barn burner, and I’m pretty geeked for it!  Here’s hoping it lives up to the hype!





Episode Re-watch: Season 1, Episode 3: “Tabula Rasa”

15 04 2008

We continue on our re-watch of the series from the beginning, and our thoughts and comments on the look back.

“Tabula Rasa”

The title for this episode is about as straightforward as you’re going to get.  It’s driven home with Kate, but all of the other survivors of Flight 815 have the same situation: they all have a clean slate on the island.  With rescue uncertain, they all have a new life on the island.  One little additional piece of info, that you may or may not have been aware of: although Aristotle is credited with first using the term “tabula rasa”, the idea was fleshed out into its current state by philosopher John Locke.

The Nicknames begin

Although Sawyer had a few choice words for some characters in the pilot episodes, this episode marks the first time he uses a nickname in the true sense of the word.  And of course, it’s when he calls Kate “Freckles” for the first time.

Character building

What strikes me the most after the first 2 episodes of Season 1 is how much attention is paid to the characters and their backstory.  Obviously, we needed to get to know these characters early on, and feel an emotional connection to them.  Plus, as we look back now, we know that the plan all along was to have the first season be all about the characters.  But it amazes me to see how much different the show was back in Season 1.  Absolutely zero mythology in this episode, and the plot advancement was all about the characters: getting to know more about Kate, Jack, and Sawyer, and seeing the marshall die. 

It’s so different now, with so much happening with plot advancement, and seemingly so little in the way of character exposition.  Although I love the structure of the show, especially how it’s evolved and re-invented itself each season, the change is probably a large part of why the viewership has declined.  The show as it is now is not as it was in Season 1.

Closing Montage

In fact, one of the big things that gave LOST that JJ Abrams touch was the closing montage.  Calming, positive, upbeat music in the background with characters in slow motion interacting happily with one another…it’ll give you the warm fuzzies if you let it.  But no more.  That style of storytelling died way early in Season 1.  Maybe we’ll get one more at the end of the series, but I can’t remember the last time we saw it (if at all) since Season 1.

Overall, despite the lack of any island mythology, the episode is great at further introducing us to the characters we’ll come to know and love, and is a satisfying follow-up to the pilot episode.





Momentum Is Building

12 04 2008

Despite the fact that LOST is on hiatus and won’t be back for another 12 days, it’s definitely a great time to be a fan.  We just finished up a set of episodes that IMHO are the best batch to start the season since Season 1.  And now comes some more exciting news from around the net.

First, we get confirmation from our friend Michael Ausiello over at TV Guide that this season will indeed extend one hour further, to six full hours post-hiatus, and a total of 14 for the season.  You can read the full article here:

http://community.tvguide.com/blog-entry/TVGuide-Editors-Blog/Ausiello-Report/Ausiello-Scoop-Lostgreys/800037370

Summing up the remaining schedule for Season 4, it looks like this:

4/24:  Episode 9 (return from hiatus)

5/1:  Episode 10

5/8:  Episode 11

5/15:  Episode 12 (Part 1 of 3-hour finale)

5/22:  One week hiatus

5/29:  Episode 13 (2-hour conclusion of season finale)

I’m really thrilled that the head honchos at ABC allowed Team Darlton to tell the story the way they wanted, even if it meant extending the season past Memorial Day.  They did us fans a favor, and I for one am grateful for it.

Additionally, our friend Doc Jensen at Entertainment Weekly spent some time on the set, and brought back some juicy info with him.  You can read the whole article here:

http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20190415,00.html

In addition to the news that a major battle is about to ensue on the island, we also get word that we’ll see the Smoke Monster in the not-too-distant future.  That’s something to get excited about!  If that’s not enough, we’re getting introduced to a new Dharma station, guest-stars Penny, Richard Alpert, and Matthew Abaddon will all appear…and, my favorite part of all, is this quote from showrunner Damon Lindelof:

“There could easily be a time when the word ‘flash’ becomes irrelevant.”

If that’s not something to get excited about, I don’t know what is!

Yes, it’s a good time to be a LOST fan…





Episode Re-Watch: Season 1, Episodes 1 & 2: “Pilot”

11 04 2008

Believe it or not, there’s someone out there who hasn’t seen LOST yet.  (Your humble author didn’t start watching until after the start of Season 2!)  And with every person who hasn’t seen LOST, there’s a chance to share in the magic that this show has to offer.

Just this week at the office, we decided to watch 2 episodes a week of LOST during lunch, in order to get the LOST newbies all caught up by the time Season 5 starts in early 2009.  Of course, with every viewing of LOST, there’s a chance to take a look back and remember what it was to watch the shows for the first time, and to try to catch any clues that you may have missed the first time (or 3) through.

So…every week I’ll be recapping a couple of shows for you, reminding you of what you missed, and (after Season 4 ends) getting you excited for the next batch of episodes.  Let’s start from the beginning…

 

“Pilot”

Even as early as Season 1, Episode 1, the writers were having fun with double meanings in their titles.  Obviously, this refers to the launching of a new television show, but it also can be a reference to one of the first deaths on LOST: the pilot of Flight 815.  In fact, could his death at the hands of the smoke monster give away any hints as to the monster’s behavior?  When the true nature of the monster is revealed, it’ll be fun to look back on this episode and see if everything falls into place.

Arzt?

It’s really hard to tell in the scene, but it certainly looks like the guy that Jack pulls out from under the airplane shrapnel in this episode is Arzt.  You never clearly see his face though, so it’s hard to tell for sure.

Manic 5 minutes

One of the most exciting parts of the episode…maybe even of the season, and possibly even the whole series prior to “Through The Looking Glass”…was the first 5 minutes of Jack running around trying to help all of the injured.  Great editing, great acting by Matthew Fox…just an excellent sequence to kick off the show.  If you haven’t seen the pilot in awhile, it’s worth watching the episode again just for that opening.

Is that Sawyer?

If there were a vote for “most changed since Season 1”, Sawyer would win it hands-down, just from his look.  I mean, Jin’s personality has changed greatly (he starts off as quite a jerk in this episode), but Season 1 Sawyer could pass as a totally different guy than Season 4 Sawyer.  Take a look:

Season 1 Sawyer:

Season 4 Sawyer:

 

Hair style, facial hair, even the pigment of his skin looks different!  Could they pass as different people…maybe brothers?  Hmmm…

Well, that’s about it for the recap…nothing much in the way of secrets or hints relevant to the current batch of episodes.  I’ve heard the stories about the smoke monster appearing in Jack’s eye at the start, or it going into the plane’s engine and causing it to blow up, but I’m not buying it.  It was, however, certainly fun giving the show a second look!





Another hour of LOST this season?

10 04 2008

Hey there everyone, just a quick note to mention this afternoon.  The big LOST news around the net this week is the rumor that we may get 14 full hours of LOST this season instead of the 13 we thought we’d be stuck with following the writer’s strike.  In case you were unaware of LOST’s upcoming slate of episodes, here it is:

4/24: Episode 9

5/1:  Episode 10

5/8: Episode 11

5/15: Episode 12

5/22: Episdoe 13 (Season finale)

Each of the above shows were slated to be an hour each.  But now comes word that Team Darlton has pitched to the head honchos over at ABC the idea of squeezing in an extra hour.  Our friend Michael Ausiello over at TV Guide first broke the news here:

http://community.tvguide.com/blog-entry/TVGuide-Editors-Blog/Ausiello-Report/Ausiello-Scoop-Lost/800037127

And then Kristin over at E! Online followed up with this bit of news, making it seem even more likely that we will indeed get the extra hour:

http://www.eonline.com/gossip/kristin/detail/index.jsp?uuid=73adc1fc-2870-4db6-888c-2e04c3e5d98d&sid=fd-kristin

The thing they both seem to be unsure of is where the extra hour might air.  I’ve heard rumors of an “Other 48 Days” type of story detailing the freighter crew’s background a bit more in-depth.  But the prevailing opinion (as well as logical thought) leads one to believe that it’s likely that Team Darlton is not fond of compressing their finale into a single hour, and are trying to tell a better story with the extra hour.  The timing would make sense as well, as it seems that spoilers around the net indicate that episodes 9 through 12 have been written, titled, and mostly shot, and that only the finale remains.

I guess we’ll know soon enough, but it’s nice to get a little news surrounding the show during the downtime.  The good news is that the show is back in 2 weeks!





Mini-hiatus Week 2

4 04 2008

Another slow LOST week this week…probably even slower than last week.  No episode, and no podcast this week either.  April 24th can’t get here fast enough!  Around the web, we did get a couple of interesting articles though.  First, our friend Michael Ausiello at tvguide.com gives us a couple of minor spoilers, including a season finale kiss that Carlton Cuse describes as “…one of my favorite moments of the series so far.”  There’s a also a quick bit about Claire.  You can check it out here:

 http://www.tvguide.com/ask-ausiello

A slightly meatier article popped up on Thursday over at Entertainment Weekly’s site.  LOST freak Doc Jensen chimes in with some grades for the season, and a very interesting theory regarding the season finale.  To be honest, I think his theory is brilliant, and it makes me wish I had thought of it first.  And if it happens like he describes, it could certainly be “The Frozen Donkey Wheel” scene, even if he doesn’t mention it at all.  You can check it out here:

http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20188031,00.html

As for me, I don’t have a ton to share from my own brain this week.  I already did my best with “The Frozen Donkey Wheel”, and without any new episodes, I don’t have much to analyze.  I am however, beginning a re-watch of all episodes of LOST at work next week, starting with Season 1, Episode 1, to try to get some new folks into the fold.  During the viewings, I’ll take notes and share mini-recaps, so that we can see how/if previous episodes tie in with new material.  It should be interesting.

Have a great weekend!