LOST Challenge of the Week: “Whatever Happened Happened”

31 03 2009

So…where do I even start this week?  I guess I should start by saying that I really hope that all of you are enjoying LOST as much as I am right now.  In reality folks, we’re coming up to the end of the show.  We’re on the stretch run of the penultimate season, so the time of blind guessing about the meaning of all things LOST is rapidly coming to a close.  For me, that’s what I’m going to miss the most about the show.  The narrative and plotlines in and of themselves are fantastic, the characters are great to follow, and the money they spend on the show to make everything seem real is incredible.  But what has really made this show transcend normal TV into something different and better has been the ability to talk about it with so many other folks, and share theories about what just appeared on the screen, and what might yet happen.

So this week’s challenge is centered around stimulating that discussion, and thus is a little bit more grand in scope than usual.  Let me set the table appropriately.  I’ve been reading around the web alot this past week, because I’ve been so excited about the possibilities for the rest of the season.  And what I’ve found is a bunch of people debating whether or not Ben is really dead, and whether or not the idea of “Whatever Happened Happened” is actually legitimate.  (You know where I stand on that issue, but I have a feeling we’ll get a pretty good answer in the upcoming show.)  In any event, let’s just assume that the rule is indeed held up to be true for the purposes of the show.  I actually read that someone thought that would be the most boring plot device ever.  He rationalized, what fun would it be to know what was going to happen?  What fun would it be to have the future set, and all we’d see is everything play out exactly the way we know it would?

Well, as you might imagine, I’m in the complete opposite camp.  What I think we’re seeing here is really cool.  If everything we know is true right now, then we’ve been shown why Ben grows up to be the evil man he is.  Instead of being walked through it via dialogue, or re-living it through a flashback, we’ve gotten to witness it first-hand.  So my thought is, what if the LOSTies are responsible for much more than that?  What if the LOSTies are responsible for The Purge?  What if the LOSTies are responsible for The Incident?  What if, amazingly, the LOSTies never go “back to the future”, live through 1977, 1978, 1979…all the way to 2004…and are responsible for their own Flight 815 crashing on the island?  How crazy would that be?  That wouldn’t be boring at all in my opinion…that would be the coolest of cool.

So, how does that tie in to the Challenge of the Week?  Well, this week’s challenge is a little bit more big-time than usual.  What I’m looking for you guys to come up with is, what LOST lore would you love to have explained via the LOSTies actually creating for themselves?  And, additionally, how would you explain it?

Yeah, pretty big challenge this week, but I hope at least a couple of you are up to it.  I’d love to hear what you think.  And if you think I’m way off base, feel free to chime in with your latest theory and explain it all to me.  Here’s hoping we can get some good discussion going in these last few weeks of the season!

In any event, I hope you all enjoy the show tonight!  Thanks for stopping by!





LOST Recap: Season 5, Episode 10: “He’s Our You”

27 03 2009

And away we go!  As expected, last episode was all about putting the final pieces in place, and starting with this episode, it’s all about moving the narrative forward.  To be fair, there weren’t too many major revelations in this episode, except for the shocking (or perhaps not-so-shocking) ending.  But there were a lot of interesting little pieces of information that you may have missed along the way if you didn’t examine things too closely…

Sayid the chicken killer

So…Sayid was able to kill a chicken with little remorse as a youngster.  That’s pretty telling, especially with the way it dovetails with the episode’s conclusion.  But here’s another piece to take from this: what does Sayid’s actions, especially later in life, tell us about his ability to choose?  I think that’s a theme running all through this episode, and even through the over-arching tale of this season as a whole.  I’ll touch more on that a bit later, once we’ve lined up the body of evidence.

“Brought you a sandwich…and a book.  I’ve read it twice.”

Really, I’ve never been able to truly decipher what the writers want us to glean from the books they strategically place in the show.  “A Separate Reality” seems like a really good title for a possible explanation for the end of this episode, when Sayid ends up shooting Ben.  But if I remember correctly, most of the books shown on LOST indicate what the story is *not* about.  So I’m going to stick with that again, and say that it’s a head fake.  The events in this episode are not a separate reality from what we theoretically know about Dharmaville.  It is, in fact, the same reality we are all too comfortable with.  This is another topic I’ll dive into further detail on later.  But for now, let me just say that I think the book (not ever having read it) is a red herring.

Sayid completes his mission

sayidcompleteshismission

I guess that answers why he was off doing his Habitat for Humanity work earlier in the season.  And it also answers why he was so thoroughly bitter with Ben when the Oceanic 6 had all gathered at the dock before Flight 316.  It would be one thing for Ben to end the crusade against Widmore and his people (assuming he was telling the truth that they were all dead…or that all of the people Sayid hunted down were indeed Widmore allies), but beyond that, Ben tosses Sayid aside like last week’s newspaper.  Sayid had convinced himself that he was Ben’s partner in crime.  But in fact, Sayid was simply a pawn in Ben’s game.  But Sayid was so caught up in what he was doing that he couldn’t see how Ben was playing him…or maybe he simply chose not to.  But now…now that the game is over…Sayid knows that it was all for naught.  Or perhaps, it was all about him coming to grips with who he really is.

Goodspeed and his “interrogation”

Horace really does seem to be one of the few well-intentioned guys in Dharmaville, doesn’t he?  He tries to treat Sayid with respect, and gives him multiple chances to do what Goodspeed thinks is the right thing.  But what I took from this scene is Sayid’s unyielding faithfulness to his friends.  At least at this juncture, he’s prepared to take his knowledge of what’s really going on to the grave in order to protect the LOSTies in Dharmaville.  How ridiculously ironic that the guy he’s protecting the most…Sawyer…will have such a complete moral breakdown, sentencing Sayid to almost certain death, later in the episode.

“It’s over, isn’t it?”

There are times in LOST when you just have to take a step back and admire some of the acting performances on the show.  And Elizabeth Mitchell (Juliet) is just absolutely knocking it out of the park right now.  I have to admit, I originally thought that she was miscast, and the whole “defecting Other” role she played in most of Season 3 never really captured my imagination.  But these past few episodes of playing house in Dharmavile…I really think she’s nailing it, more than anyone else on the show in fact.  Great stuff, and it really makes me feel for her character.

“Oh, he’ll talk to me.”

The conversation between Sayid and Sawyer is actually very insightful, if you take a minute to really think about what they’re saying.  Sayid asks Sawyer why he tolerates living with a young Ben Linus, and Sawyer’s response is, “I ain’t got a choice.”  Once more back to fate vs. free will.  Despite the fact that Sawyer is on the outside of the steel bars, he feels less empowered to control his own destiny than a locked-up Sayid.  While Sawyer seems to be losing his backbone with each subsequent appearance in the episode, Sayid becomes more and more empowered to do and say what he wants.

One other interesting thing about this exchange: Sayid offers Sawyer the chance to release him out into the wild of the island, but Sawyer refuses.  He’s concerned about betraying the trust of the rest of the Dharma folk.  Later in the episode he changes his mind…but by then, it’s too little, too late.

“I made a sandwich for you…”

bensdad

Poor little Ben.  It almost makes you feel sorry for him, doesn’t it?  He loses his mom without ever getting to know her, he gets the beatdown from his dad consistently, and some total stranger that he tries to help escape from prison shoots him for apparently no reason.  Is it any wonder that he turns out the way he does?  Oh wait, that’s my end argument…let me get back to that in a bit.  But for now, notice what Ben’s dad tells him: “I’ll tell you what to think.”  Could the writers have beaten the fate vs. free will theme over our heads with any more tenacity?  Well…

“If I can find you, so can the people who found Locke.”

ben_visits_sayid

Ben’s duplicitous and reflexive statement notwithstanding, he’s got Sayid figured out even more than Sayid himself does at this juncture.  Of course, it could be because he actually knows more about Sayid’s actions (circa 1977 especially) than Sayid himself.  But at the heart of the conversation is the real question of the episode, the season, and perhaps the series itself: are we creatures of destiny, or can we control our fate?  If we’re programmed a certain way, if our circumstances are fated to turn out a specific way, is there anything we can do to stop it or change it?  Ben knows that Sayid’s a killer, and Ben knows that the island is not done with Sayid.  And despite Sayid’s protestations to the contrary, he’s going to go kill the guy spying in Hurley, plus several others (despite them trying to do nothing more than tranquilize him), and he’s going to try to kill young Ben back in 1977.  Sayid’s path has already been determined…it’s now just a matter of when he decides to accept it.

Oldham, the hippy interrogator

oldhamandsayid

Hey, if Goodspeed and Sawyer can’t make it happen, then why not some guy in the middle of the jungle who lives in a tent?  While there was no additional info revealed in Sayid’s interrogation, I can’t help but to think about how this would seem to the Dharma folk.  It’s almost as if they’re in the position that we were way back in Season 2.  How the heck does this crazy guy from out of nowhere know so much about what they’re doing?  Actually, it makes me wonder what it would be like to watch LOST over again from the beginning, but in chronological order.  I bet that would be really trippy, and really cool, to see how it all played out.  And I also bet it would be way too much work to ever think about realistically doing.  In any event, it seemed like a cool thought, even if completely unfeasible.

The Dharma mob calls for Sayid’s head

thedharmamob

The decision they all make is not too far from what the original LOSTies may have done if they caught an Other (like Ben in Season 2).  In fact, it’s almost expected.  But if you haven’t been following along all episode, Amy gives you one last chance to hear the words.  They have to kill Sayid.  They have to because they “have no choice.”  Wow, could they be any less obvious?

Of course, the other big thing to get out of this sequence is Sawyer’s complete moral meltdown.  Instead of fighting for what he believes to be right…instead of fighting for his friend’s life, he caves in to peer pressure and the desire to keep up the charade.  Sawyer does the unthinkable and raises his hand when Goodspeed asks for unaninimity.  Way to go Sawyer; I guess playing house with Juliet is more important than Sayid’s life.  It doesn’t look like you’re too ready to make the tough decisions correctly…

Sayid lowers his guard

It’s almost sad how many times Sayid tries to get away from being a killing machine.  But despite his best efforts, he just can’t get away from it.  And this time, it’s Irina that helps him (OK, forcefully drags him in handcuffs) back to his destiny.  Although you had to see this one coming based upon the events of previous episodes, it’s still hard to believe that Sayid got himself caught.  For better or for worse, the island’s not yet done with him…

Little Ben sets Dharmaville ablaze

dharmaablaze

Not too bad for his first act of villainy, is it?  A great distraction, and fairly well thought out.  And he even brought along a little dark hoodie to both disguise himself and look a little evil.  Great job Ben!  Too bad you had absolutely no idea what Sayid’s true agenda was…

By the way, I love the actor playing little Ben.  He comes off as a very believable young version of Ben Linus, but on top of that, he really makes you feel sorry for Ben as a youngster.  Skillful acting from multiple angles in this episode.

Sayid takes out Ben, and jacks up the entire timeline in the process

benshotbysayid

Or does he?  OK, despite it being fairly well telegraphed, it was still a pretty shocking sight to see Sayid put a bullet in a little boy…even if that little boy’s name is Ben Linus.  But don’t jump to conclusions just yet.  I’m a firm subscriber to LOST’s insistence on non-paradoxical time travel.  In other words, whatever happened, happened.  It’s hard to imagine, but Sayid always shot little Ben back in 1977, we just didn’t know it.

I know, some of you are saying, why didn’t Ben know Sayid when they captured him back in Season 2 (circa 2004)?  Well, that’s a great question, but I’ve got a better one: who’s to say that Ben *didn’t* recognize Sayid?  Ben is an accomplished liar.  As I pointed out in a previous entry, he does it with the simplest of discussions and off-hand remarks.  Is it really beyond the realm of possibility that he knew Sayid but simply lied about it?  I certainly think it’s a very valid possibility.

But back to Sayid for a moment.  He was clearly trying to rid himself of years of pain by killing Ben before he ever could neagtively influence his life the way he did.  Unfortunately, he wasn’t aware of Faraday’s knowledge of how the timeline works.  If he did, perhaps he’d try *not* to shoot Ben.  Why?  Well, in essence, if Ben survives (and I’m betting the ranch that he does), then Sayid well have in effect, helped to create his own misery.  His actions against Ben as a child helped to create the monster that Ben is as an adult.  Almost sounds cyclical, doesn’t it?  And if you subscribe to the “whatever happened, happened” theory, then you almost have to wonder as to whether or not Sayid had any real choice in the matter.

If Sayid was always destined to shoot young Ben in 1977, was there any way he could avoid it?  Couple that with Sayid’s nature as a killer, and you have overwhelming circumstances that work against Sayid having any chance of doing anything other than shooting Ben.  When thought in those terms, Sayid’s shooting of Ben was about as inevitable as the Purge, the Incident, and any other activity that we know is going to take place.

So here’s the real kicker: where does the “whatever happened, happened” theory end?  If we can look back to 1977 from 2009 and know what *must* happen because it did, wouldn’t that apply to anyone looking at 2009 from any point in the future?  When we think about the present, we believe we have free will because none if it has happened yet.  We can make decisions and take actions freely because the future is untold.  But all of 1977 Dharma believes that they are in the present, and they can take whatever actions they want.  But the truth of the matter is that we know that Ben lives to grow old.  And we know that Ethan lives to at least 2004.  So their free will, at least with respect to doing something that would get them killed, is in fact, restricted.  (As an aside, wouldn’t it be interesting to know that you wouldn’t die until at least after a certain date?  You could pretty much do anything and know that you’d be safe.  Hey…does that remind you at all about the discussion that Ben and Widmore had with each other?  Is it possible that they’ve met their future selves and know that they will live to at least some point in the future?  Hmm…)

I don’t want to get too metaphysical here (too late?), but I think that LOST really wants us to ask the question of fate vs. free will, especially with this episode, and the season as a whole (Locke is told he will die, the O6 know they must go back).  You could have some really entertaining discussions on this topic using LOST as a springboard, and I hope that some of you might share your thoughts on it below.  But with that, I move on to…

Post-episode questions

  1. What are the LOSTies going to do with Ben?  Will he survive, and if he does, how will his psyche be impacted by this turn of events?
  2. Can Sawyer keep his secret together, or will he be forced to stop playing house with Juliet?
  3. How long will it be before Jack steps in and tries to set things straight?
  4. Will we get to see what Sun is up to on her journey next week?
  5. When the heck will we get to see what’s up with John Locke?

Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you again next week!





LOST Challenge of the Week: “He’s Our You”

25 03 2009

Ah…Wednesday again.  It feels so much like we have the old LOST back right now, and that really makes me look forward to Wednesdays.  I’m especially excited about tonight’s installment, as I’m guessing that we’re going to see all of the pieces that got set up in “Namaste” start to move forward.  There are a bunch of interesting possibilities just waiting to happen, and I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds.

Of course, with last episode being more of a “set-up” episode than anything else, it makes it tough to come up with a truly compelling challenge of the week.  But my best try revolves around the episode’s title.  Without knowing key pieces of the principals of the title, it makes it hard to have any clue what it’s talking about.  So, see if you can guess them:

  1. Who’s the “He”?
  2. Who’s the “You”?
  3. And who’s the one saying the line?

I bet you can come up with some fun answers, even if you’re not trying too hard to get it right!

Enjoy tonight’s episode!





LOST Recap: Season 5, Episode 9: “Namaste”

19 03 2009

Halftime’s over!  Yep, Season 5’s mid-season one-week hiatus has come to an end, and the second half of the season officially kicked off with “Namaste”.  This episode once again felt like old LOST to me, but in addition to that, it seemed like it was one of those pawn-placing episodes.  Not that it wasn’t a fun episode in and of it’s own right, but it certainly seems as though we’re getting people in the right places for some serious kick-ass stuff to happen in the episodes to come.  Just the fantastic juxtaposition of Ben and Sayid alone in contrast to their Season 2 situation was incredibly intriguing.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.  Let’s start at the beginning…

Ajira Flight 316…

flight316

I actually didn’t think that we’d see this plane in the air ever again, but I’m sure glad we did!  Not only did we get definitive proof that Jack, Kate, Hurley and Sayid were zapped off the plane before it landed (did that happen on Flight 815 as well?), but we got to see the landing strip that Sawyer, Kate, and the Others were building back in Season 3.  Clearly, someone (Jacob?) knew that the plane was coming to the island, and they wanted to make sure that it came down without too much death and destruction (the co-pilot notwithstanding).  By the way, I enjoyed the last little dig about Hurley’s fame back on the mainland.  Of course, I’m guessing that 90% of the action from here to the end of the series will be on the island, so that may be the last time we hear about that (except for maybe Hurley’s flashback episode).  Oh, and before I move on to the next topic, how cool was the scene of Lapidus landing the plane?  Wow, nice use of the special effects budget.  That was an intense scene!

Of course, re-visiting the plane brings me to one of the big burning questions I have surrounding this season: Why did only Jack, Kate, Hurley, and Sayid get transported back to 1977?  And as a corollary, why did the Others not get transported through time when the frozen donkey wheel get knocked off its axis?  With all of the other action going on, it becomes very easy to gloss over that question.  But it’s way too convenient too be shrugged off as a random coincidence.  I really hope that they revisit this at some point and give us a fairly reasonable explanation as to why certain people are flashing/jumping through time, while others are not.

“Uh…what?”

hurleyhugssawyer

It was really cool to see the reunion between Sawyer, Hurley, Jack, and Kate.  The emotions and reactions they show to each other really tell alot about where they are and where things might go from here.  Sawyer and Hurley seem truly happy to see each other, while Sawyer and Jack appear to share nothing more than a truly uneasy moment together.  And if Sawyer still has any feelings for Kate after spending the last 3 years with Juliet, he’s sure not showing it.  Of course, I get the feeling that this is the last of the pleasantries we’ll see from the Flight 815 survivors.  Pretty soon, I’m guessing that they’ll all be looking to pursue their own destinies with the island, no matter what the cost.

“I gotta find a way to bring ’em in before somebody else finds ’em and they screw up everything we got here.”

I absolutely loved this exchange between Juliet and Sawyer.  Juliet is clearly shaken by the return of Jack, Kate, and Hurley.  Presumably (OK, almost certainly) because she sees Kate as a threat to what she’s established with Sawyer.  But Sawyer recognizes this even in his rush to keep the 3 disguised, and he takes a moment to ease Juliet’s fears in the best way possible: by showing her that he feels exactly the same way about what they’ve established.  Yet another way that Sawyer’s shown how much he’s grown since the beginning of the series…at least until the second-to-last scene of the episode…

It’s Radzinsky!

radzinskyandtheswanmodel

You know, the guy that supposedly blew his brains out and left a blood stain in the Swan station?  And he’s building a model of the Swan station!  Interesting.  It appears as though the station is not yet built, and that we might just get to see it built as the season progresses.  And hopefully, as we do, we’ll get to see if it gets built on top of the area where Jughead (the massive bomb) was buried.  Of course, if it is, then it’ll be interesting to see if it was built over the bomb intentionally, or on purpose.  Remember, Richard and the Others were the ones that supposedly buried the bomb on the island.  The Dharma Initiative would likely have no idea that there was a bomb on the island…unless they were tipped off somehow.

Amy’s baby is…Ethan!

babyethan

OK, so that’s not a complete surprise for a lot of you.  But if you start to think about it, that’s *at least* 2 traitors/defectors in the Dharma Initiative.  Both Ben and Ethan are little boys that came from Dharma, only to switch sides and become Others.  My question is, could there be more?  Is the Purge a lot less one-sided than we originally thought?  And on top of that, who else might end up being an Other?  Could Dr. Chang have actually switched sides prior to the Purge?  What about Miles or anyone else from the future?  Is that how the Others knew so much about Flight 815?  Just a thought…

Oh, and I love how this scene ended: Juliet says the timing’s gotta be right when asked about when she and “Jim” might be having a baby of their own.  That sounds like some foreshadowing if I’ve ever heard it.  Hopefully, in a good way…

“Did you say Faraday?  He’s here?”

“Not anymore.”  I was wondering why we hadn’t seen Daniel in any of the 1977 scenes.  Hopefully the poor guy took the sub off the island and tried to get his head straightened out.  But based upon what we saw at the beginning of the season, you’d have to think that he’s still got some business to take care of near the frozen donkey wheel.  That’s one storyline I’m seriously looking forward to.

Sun’s ready to extract her pound of flesh

benknockedout

Honestly, did you expect anything different than how this scene ended?  (Except maybe that Sun might kill Ben?)  Since we knew from a couple of episodes ago that Ben was in the infirmary, and we quickly learned that he didn’t get that way from the plane’s landing, it seemed like just a matter of *who* was going to deliver the beat down.  And once he gave up the ghost and told Sun exactly what she needed to know to get back to the island and try to find Jin, she delivered the whack upside the head.  Nice to see someone playing Ben exactly the way he plays everyone else.

“Based on your aptitude test, you’ll be doing janitorial work.”

jackandchang

I wonder how many takes it took for them to shoot that scene without breaking into laughter.  That was a great line, and even Jack has to be amused at Sawyer’s sense of humor regarding his position.  Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that we got to see a scene with Pierre Chang that didn’t include him browbeating someone (although he was upset at the level of organization in the Barracks).  Despite his temper, Chang always adds a coolness factor to any episode he’s in.

“Who’s your recruiter?”

Did any of you think for a second that Juliet was going to set Kate up with a quick exit from the Dharma Initiative?  For the briefest of moments, I thought that Juliet had intentionally left her off the list so that she’d get a quick boot (or worse), and Juliet wouldn’t have to worry about her stealing Sawyer.  But of course, things worked out…at least for now…

“There’s a 14-J at the Flame.”

Sayid just really seems to be finding himself in the wrong place at the wrong time these days.  First he’s handcuffed and brought aboard Flight 316, now he’s still in handcuffs, and about to be out in the Dharm jail.  Looks like he might be serving some penance for all of the killing he did for Ben off-island…

Sun and Frank meet Smokey/Christian

christianfrankandsun

Alright, this isn’t the first time someone’s briefly encountered Smokey and then the figure of someone dead.  (Eko’s last moments come to mind.)  But what the heck are we supposed to take from that?  That Smokey and the ghosts are one in the same?  That Smokey can take the form of any of the people that have either died on the island or died and come to the island?  I might be getting way ahead of myself here, but we’re clearly going to look back on these scenes and go, “OH!  I get it now!”  I just wish I could decipher it instead of getting the answer directly.  But I’m sure we’ll see more of Smokey and Christian in the episodes ahead.

For now, it’s interesting to focus on the encounter itself.  First of all, was this one of LOST’s spookier moments, or what?  They built the tension really well with this scene, what with the lighting (or lack thereof) and the wind.  I always love the Smokey/Christian/Jacob scenes (who doesn’t?), but this one was one of the best.  Oh, and was it just me, or did a little puff of smoke just decide for itself to open the door to the room they were all in and spill out into the night?  Whoa, creepy!  Christian’s statement that Sun has a bit of a journey in front of her was a really cool way to end the whole scene.  But what does it mean?  Is she going to attempt to move back through time?  If not, then what else can she expect in her future?  As I said at the top, we’ve definitely set up the pieces here for some fun and interesting adventures in future episodes.

“What can I do for you Jack?”

Interesting little pissing contest that happens at the end of the episode.  And it makes me curious: whose side are you on with this one?  To me, they both come off as a little immature.  Jack waltzes in to Sawyer’s place, doesn’t accept his offer for a beer or a seat, and proceeds to dress down his leadership skills to the tune of, “Really? Because it looked to me like you were reading a book.”  Of course, Sawyer doesn’t just let that run off his back like he should.  No, instead, he fires back, letting Jack know what he thought about his leadership ablities during their initial 3 months on the island: “You didn’t think Jack…a lot of people ended up dead.”  And of course, he finishes it off with a firm figurative kick in the rear, letting Jack know that he is no longer the one calling the shots, and he should be quite pleased with that.

Of course, Jack’s last line is the one I have the hardest time trying to figure out.  Is he truly happy that someone else is calling the shots for once, or is he just sitting back, guns at the ready, waiting to get back in the game?  Whichever it is, I bet that we won’t have too long to find out the answer.

“It’s nice to meet you Ben.”

benandsayid

As if Sawyer didn’t already have his hands full, now the one person you’d least hope to touch base with Sayid has done so…and who knows what the consequences will be.  Clearly, Sayid would love to try to change everything that happened with he and Ben, especially his post-island time.  But Sayid doesn’t understand the “whatever happened happened” theory that Faraday subscribes to, and will likely just muck things up with anything he tries.  In fact, wouldn’t it be interesting if Sayid brought all of that pain upon himself by imprinting his actions on a young Ben that will be excited to turn the tables on him in the future?  Wouldn’t that be a great irony built out of a time paradox?  Either way, it definitely sets things up nicely for next episode!

Post-episode questions:

  1. How is Sawyer going to get Sayid out of jail without disrupting his life in the Dharma Initiative?
  2. Can Jack really sit idly by while Sawer runs the show?  How long before he tries to exert his influence?
  3. Have Sawyer’s feelings for Kate truly subsided?  Will they even talk about it?
  4. What is Sun’s (and Frank’s?) “journey” entail?  And how can Sun even think about seeing Jin when they’re separated by 30 years?
  5. How are the Smoke Monster and Christian related?  And is Jacob part of it too (like some kind of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit relationship)?

That’s it for this week…I look forward to seeing what any of you have to say, so please chime in!





LOST Challenge of the Week: “Namaste”

17 03 2009

LOST is back! After a one-week hiatus, our favorite show is back for the 2nd half of the season.  Can you believe we’re halfway through already?  Personally, I’m more excited for the remaining episodes this season than I was for the start of the season.  It feels like we’ve got a great setup for some interesting storytelling in the next batch of episodes, and I can’t wait to see it unfold.  What role will our LOSTies play in the Purge or the Incident?  Also, if the rumors are true, we’ll be seeing TWO deaths before the end of the season, one of which will be a truly major character.  Of course, all of this leading up to the final cliffhanger of LOST, ever.  Can you tell yet that I’m geeked to get the 2nd half of the season started?

All that being said, we’ve got a challenge of the week to get to.  And I’m going to throw you a bit of a change-up for this one.  Instead of giving you a challenge based upon the upcoming episode, I’m going to give you a challenge based upon the upcoming podcast.  You might be saying, “what”?  How could that be interesting?  Well, our friends over at TV Guide say that the next podcast will invite the fans to name the next “secret” scene from the upcoming finale.  Last year it was “the frozen donkey wheel”, the year before it was “the snake in the mailbox”…what could it be this year?  Maybe YOU will be the one to name it!  Anyway, even not knowing what the heck the scene is about, this week’s challenge is to throw out your best name for this season’s secret scene!  I’ll give you a little nudge…how about, “Dr. Candle’s Scandal: it’s Dharma Karma!”

OK, that was bad.  That’s why we need your guesses!  I hope to hear a few good ones; I know you guys are pretty creative.  Either way, enjoy the return of the show!





LOST Recap: Season 5, Episode 8: “LaFleur”

7 03 2009

Wow, was this a humdinger of an episode or what?  After all of the time-skipping, multi-threaded, head-scratching episodes that made up the first part of the season, “LaFleur” made me feel like I had my old LOST back.  Not that we didn’t jump around a bit, or get a few teasers of info, but really, this episode just “felt” so much more like the LOST of season’s past.  I’m really pleased that everyone’s back on the island, and I’m genuinely excited about the next installment!  But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves.  First, let’s dissect “LaFleur”, as there was a lot that went on…

“Yeah, I’d say WAY before”

fourtoedfrombehind

Wow, has there ever been a better jump-off to an episode than this one?  As soon as they all started looking up, I shouted, “The statue!  We’re finally going to see the statue!”  Alas, we only got to see the *back* of the statue.  Not that I mind that much.  I’m OK with them dragging this one out a little bit, because it’s fun to try to guess what the heck it all means.  First of all, the popular guess around the interwebs is that the statue is actually Anubis of Egyptian fame.  Certainly not a bad guess, as my understanding is that Anubis’ back feet actually had 4 toes.  Plus, the item in the right hand of the statue certainly looks very much like an ankh, which would further support the theory.  And, we have seen what appear to be hieroglyphics, both in the Swan station when the button wasn’t pushed, and with what was carved into the temple.  Plus, later in this episode, Amy is very find of her dead husband’s keepsake, an ankh.  It’s actually very interesting that we just came from an episode with very strong Christian overtones to one with a decidedly Eqyptian god theme.

anubis

But anyway, what if it *is* Anubis?  What does that mean?  A quick wiki on the subject tells us that Anubis is the god to protect the dead and bring them to the afterlife.  All that does for me is lend credence to the whole “purgatory” theory of the island, despite the fact that Team Darlton has flat-out debunked it.  Perhaps it was built as some sort of warning by those who believed in Anubis, warning others that death or the afterlife would await anyone who approached the island?  I can’t say that I’ve got this one figured out, and I’d love to hear what any of you might think.

Of course, I wouldn’t rule out the idea that the statue is actually one of our LOSTies that got pushed back in time somehow.  The writers certainly aren’t beyond pushing us one way and then pulling back the curtain to show something else entirely.  But to be fair, I’m just as interested in how the statue got destroyed down to its 4-toed foot as I am who its a statue of.  In fact, that might be the bigger clue to LOST’s endgame.  Or perhaps not.  Either way, I don’t have any real good guesses, I’m just glad to be along for the ride on this one.

Sawyer jumps into the well…

…well, sort of.  Too bad it’s all sealed off.  But I tell you what, Sawyer really seemed to all about everyone else in this episode, starting with this act.  He was ready to throw caution to the wind to save Locke, and that’s just the start of his heroics in this episode.  We’ve come a long way from Sawyer’s first days on the island when his only concern was about how much stash he could horde away from everyone else…

“I’m gone ten minutes and you’re having a hootenanny?”

hootenanny

Hahaha, I crack myself up just writing that line!  It’s cool to get a little insight into the lives of the Dharma Initiative, especially with our good ol’ friend Horace blowing up trees with TNT.  That’s certainly one way to have fun on the island!  Of course, the kicker is that we find out that Dharma’s head of security back in 1977 is none other than LaFleur…better known as Sawyer.

Hey! How’d Michelle get on the island?!

All of you out there that are fans of both 24 and LOST got a little treat in this one as “Michelle Dessler” (Tony’s deceased wife) from 24 shows up.  I could make some witty comment relating her death on 24 and appearance on the island…but I won’t.  The bigger issue at hand is that Amy looks very pregnant, and is about to try to have a baby…on the island.  But the show makes us wait before we get any resolution on that front.

“I’m not going to do it.  I’m not going to tell her.”

As I stated in an earlier blog when we first saw Charlotte die, Faraday is soon to face the ultimate proof of his theory that he can’t change the past.  You see, he’s already told Charlotte that she shouldn’t come back to the island.  So when the time comes again, he will have no choice but to tell her, even though he knows she won’t listen, and will return to her death.  Faraday is so desperate to save her right now that he’s trying to will himself to not do the inevitable, just in an attempt to change something, anything, about the timeline that would lead to a different result than this one.  But in the end, he’ll have no choice.  He’ll have to tell her even though he won’t want to.  How truly sad and ironic.

“Thanks anyway, Plato.”

amyatgunpoint

Just as Miles was about to lose his mind about going back and forth between the beach and the Orchid, the crew gets a little unplanned interruption in the form of a Dharma/Others skermish.  I’d be curious to know a bit more details regarding what prompted the issue, but the bottom line is that once again Sawyer puts others first and crew is off to spend some time with the Dharma folk.  Of course, that’s not before they come face-to-face with the sonic fence…

“Maybe whatever made that happen hasn’t happened yet.”

Not only is Sawyer well-versed in Faraday’s rules, but he also has insight into the whole island pregnancy thing.  Don’t ask me how, but he’s got a theory that women can have babies on the island at this point, and he just so happens to be right.  On second thought, *do* ask me how he knows.  It’s an odd thing that he came up with that.  Maybe he knows more than he’s letting on, maybe he’s just hoping for the best.  But either way, there’s clearly something that happens in the next 27 years of island time that causes all of the pregnancy problems.  The first thought that comes to mind is that the purge has something to do with it.  That maybe there’s some leftover effect in the air, soil, or something else that’s causing the problem.  Of course, there are probably a multitude of other possible explanations, so we’ll have to see how that works out.

“Searching for a famous lost wreck, it’s an old slaver…the Black Rock”

horaceandsawyer

Sawyer does a good job of name dropping here, but other than that, he does a poor job of selling his story.  In fact, it appears as though Horace doesn’t buy it at all, as he’s ready to ship Sawyer and gang off the island with the very next submarine.  Thankfully for them, the Dharma folk get a visit from a special visitor…

“Your buddy out there with the eyeliner, let me talk to him.”

sawyerandalpert

You gotta love when the writers pay attention to their audience.  Little lines like that let us know that they’re listening to all of the chatter, and are not above having a laugh right along with us.  As for the conversation itself between Sawyer and Richard, that was pretty classic as well.  Sawyer comes at Richard with the you’re not the only one with a secret trick, firing away with knowledge about Jughead, John Locke, and some crazy disappearing act.  Alpert fires back fairly non-plussed, pretty much saying that he doesn’t give a crap what he know or who he is, he needs some payback, period.  Amy agrees to the exchange, and everything is right again in the Dharma camp, at least for now.  And, as a result, Sawyer buys his crew 2 weeks to stay on the island and wait for Locke.

But before I address that, what I want to know is, where’s little Ben Linus?  If my math is right, Ben and his dad should be part of the Dharma initiative at this point, and part of the proceedings.  Perhaps we’ll get to see some more Dharma adventures in future episodes, and he’ll be involved somehow.  But for me, he’s conspicuous by his absence in this episode.

3 months or 3 years?

3monthsor3years

Even before the final segment where Horace’s dilemma dovetails Sawyer’s, you could feel the situation coming.  And while Sawyer says that 3 years is long enough to get over someone, we’re certainly led to believe otherwise.  Obviously, that’s going to be a thing to play out in subsequent episodes, but I think it’s important to stress something.  Remember, even though it only played out over the course of one episode, Sawyer and gang have been playing house with the Dharma folk for over three years.  On the flip side, Sawyer and gang’s “friendship” with the other LOSTies, despite being played out over 4+ seasons, pretty much amounts to only 3 months’ time.  Who will the group feel more loyal to, Dharma, or their Flight 815 buddies?  I’m very excited to see how that plays out.

Post-episode questions

  1. Who’s Sawyer going to pick?  Will he stay with Juliet, or will he be persuaded to try to get back with Kate?
  2. How will everyone get back to the “present” of 2007?  (We may have had our answer to this in the opening segment of the season premiere.)
  3. Do we know who Amy’s baby is?  Is it someone we’ve seen before?  (Rumors are flying around that it might just be an Other that we’re very familiar with…)
  4. How will the LOSTies avoid being part of the purge?  And do they play any role in causing it to happen?
  5. What changes between the timeline Sawyer and gang are in and 2004 that causes mother and child to die in childbirth?

Remember, no new LOST next week, but I’ll be back on here trying to spur on some conversation with all of you!





LOST Challenge of the Week: “LaFleur”

3 03 2009

Here we go again!  As disappointed as I was in “316”, I was equally as excited and pleased with “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham”.  Especially now that all of the LOSTies are back on the island, I can’t wait to see what’s next for everyone.  There are clearly some new rules for our beloved characters, as there’s now absolutely no desire for any of them to leave.  Now, it’s almost as if they all have to sit and wait for the big event to occur.  I’m sure there will be some interesting revelations prior to then, including some background info on the other passengers of Flight 316.  But how our LOSTies handle their current situation will be something interesting to see play out.

In fact, I’d love to get your opinion on the teaser for the upcoming episode.  It claims that Sawyer lies to the other members of Flight 316 based upon what they all know about the island.  So the question is:

What is Sawyer lying about, and why?

By the way, if you haven’t listened to this week’s podcast, I would strongly recommend it, especially if you’re a fan of the Red Sox or Yankees.  Cuse and Lindelof have some really funny banter, including some great digs at each other for their respective favorite baseball teams.  Fun stuff!

I look forward to reading any responses you may have, and I’ll be back in a couple of days with the recap!