LOST Discussion: Times Talks Live

21 05 2010

Hey everyone, are you all as excited for the finale as I am?  If you’re reading this blog, it’s hard to imagine that you’re anything but 100% geeked for this Sunday night.  But before we get there, some of us got the chance to listen to LOST showrunners Damon & Carlton answer some questions last night.  It wasn’t anything earth-shattering, and they managed to dodge as many questions as they answered, but it was still fun.  It actually felt like one last chance to sit down and chat with one of your friends at work before they left for a different job.  It’s not like you’ll never talk to them again, but it won’t be the same as having them around all the time.  The bottom line is that I felt like the $12.50 I had to fork over for the ticket was well worth the experience that I had.

For the most part, the interview was structured around writing decisions the two had to make over the course of multiple seasons.  There was one particular insight they shared that really resonated with me.  They showed a clip of Locke trying to convince Jack to push the button in the Swan station (from Season 2), and Carlton noted that most sci-fi shows would be dealing with the logistics of the button: how was it constructed, how could they unplug it, how could they trick the system into thinking the button was pushed…that type of thing.  But that for LOST, they were always more concerned with how the characters might react to certain situations.  It wasn’t about how the button was constructed as much as it was what each character would feel when presented with the idea of having to push a button every 108 minutes in order to save the world.  They pulled this off so well that it didn’t even occur to me as I originally watched it.  I never even questioned how the button worked.  It was their conscious misdirection, and focus on character motivation that made that piece a non-issue.

They also mentioned that it took them 5 weeks to complete the Desmond-centric “The Constant”, mostly because they wanted to do time travel in such a way that was both more emotional than sci-fi, and also because they didn’t want any actions in the time travel to potentially disrupt any known “truths” about the story…both what the audience already knew, and what the writers knew was to come.

A little less than halfway through, Michael Emerson (Ben) joined the conversation, and not too long after that, so did Jorge Garcia (Hurley).  At that point, tons of fan questions rained down, too many for me to remember for this post.  But some of the more memorable moments included:

  • The writers being on-set for the final (not final, final according to Damon) scene, and asking the actors in it if they had any questions about what it was or how they needed to play the scene.  Jorge commented that they hadn’t been cluing them in for six season, so why should they start now?  That got laughs from both the local and remote audiences.  Carlton probed a bit further, and Jorge said he didn’t need to ask because he thought he got it.  That elicited a cheer.
  • The writers admitted that they used a combination of long-term planning, short-term planning, and making it up as they went along during the course of the show’s run.  They admitted that they broke the fourth wall in more ways than one in “Expose”, when Sawyer didn’t know who Nikki was, and when they buried both Nikki and Paulo alive as a way of saying, “we get that the audience doesn’t like these characters…we’re going to bury them alive instead of pushing them to the background”.  They did, however, say that the finale plays out mostly the way they enivsioned it from the beginning.
  • Many cheers went up in New York, and “ooh”s and “ah”s from the audience in San Diego when the writers said that we’d get to see Walt in the finale.  At the same time, they suggested that we cover the credits at the beginning of the finale so as to not be spoiled about some of the guest characters.
  • Jorge mentioned Ben as his favorite character, because he gets to say some cool stuff; Emerson mentioned Mr. Eko because he had a well-fleshed out backround story and got to carry a big stick.
  • The writers said that their most difficult decision on the show was killing off Charlie.  They admitted that Dominic was doing some fabulous work, but that they had to make Desmond’s flashes real, and realized that it meant that Charlie had to die.  They even called themselves “bastards” after they watched the final cut of the season 3 finale and realized what they had done.
  • One of the more interesting things they said was that they have equated LOST and their relationship with the fans to a romantic relationship.  In the beginning, if someone were to ask, “You’re not going to break my heart, are you?”, then they’d say, we’re only on the first date, I hope not!  But to ask it now, after six seasons…at some point, you just have to take that leap of faith.  At some point, you have to risk getting hurt in order to achieve that happiness that you couldn’t get otherwise.  As Damon said, you can’t hit a home run if you don’t swing the bat.

The event ended with a preview of the finale.  It actually is an extended clip of what you can find on ABC’s site: http://abc.go.com/watch/clip/lost/SH006723620000/165261/261547

The extended bit shows Sawyer physically attacking Ben and taking his weapon, and stating that he and the rest of his group aren’t candidates anymore.  As Sawyer quickly exits, Locke tells Ben that he chooses not to chase him because it doesn’t matter; he’s going to find Desmond and use him to sink the island.  Ben’s upset with that because Locke promised that he could have the island, but Locke says that he can still have it if he wants…it’s just that it’ll be at the bottom of the sea.  He also gives Ben another option: he can be on the boat that Locke’s on as he leaves.  As the two get ready to leave the area, Locke notices a paw print near the well, and states that a dog has been there…

Overall, the night was a great way to get that one last fix of LOST before the finale on Sunday.  I’m ready; there’s nothing left to do now except sit back and see what they’ve got in store for us.

With that, I’ll be gone until Sunday night, where I’ll post an open thread for any comments anyone wants to leave regarding the finale.  I’ll be back on Monday with a review of the finale, although it may only be for Part 1, depending on just how dense the writers pack everything in.  Have a great weekend everyone, and enjoy the finale on Sunday!

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LOST Recap: Season 6, Episode 14: “Across The Sea”

13 05 2010

Usually when I start off one of these posts, I like to come in with some kind of witty or attention-grabbing sentence or paragraph.  But for some reason, it seems strange to do that for this episode.  “Across The Sea” seemed to really polarize the LOST audience, and strangely, that reaction seemed to annoy the show’s writers.  With only 2 episodes and 3 1/2 hours of new material left to air, things seem to have shifted from last week’s giddy anticipation for the finale, to an atmosphere of guarded apprehension about what we may or may not get in the finale.  I’ll touch on that a bit more at the end of the post, and also clue all of you in on what’s in store for Finale Week on interLOST.  But first, let’s take a closer look at some of the on-screen happenings of the episode that is clearly first chronologically in the history of the show.

“Across The Sea”

Typically, the writers are extremely clever, and have double-meanings in their episode titles.  Obviously, “Across The Sea” refers to where Jacob and MIB’s mother comes from, but I failed to come up with a secondary explanation, even after giving it some thought.  With all of the subtle clues dropped in this episode, I was sure that there had to be something, but I just couldn’t find it.  If anyone else came up with something, please help me out by mentioning it in the comments!

“Every question I answer will simply lead to another question.”

Claudia, trying to determine who she's with

Right off the bat, the writers are letting us know that this episode was created just for the mythology folks.  It’s quite clear that crazy mom’s words to Claudia are not intended just for her, but more importantly, everyone one of us that are looking for LOST to explain itself and it’s mysteries.

Now, I hate to go into a deep dive on dialog when it’s one of the first lines in the episode, and I haven’t had a chance to build a rhythm yet, but this line is here, and you almost have to talk about it.  I imagine that the writers threw this line in as sort of an in-joke…something that they thought would give the audience something to chuckle about.  But I have to tell you, everyone that I’ve had a chance to talk to about it took more as an insult than an in-joke.  True, to some extent you can’t answer every question that has spawned from another question.  But this line seems to indicate that they won’t even give it the good-old college try.  The fact is, the writers know that they have an audience that painstakingly reviews each and every detail in each and every episode.  And we know that they know because they consistently drop in easter eggs, both visually, and with nuggets of dialog.  They’ve used this passion to create the “cool” factor of the show…to help geek it out for the absolute fanatics.  But now, using the same device that they once used to reel everyone in, they’re now using to tell everyone to back off.  The fact is, the writers created the mysteries that we all want answers to.  They made it important to us, the audience.  And since they had to know we’d clamor for answers, it seems to speak to a lack of planning to open all of these doors without having visualized a narrative focus that would take us through them all being closed.

I could write pages and pages on this topic, so maybe I’ll turn that into a discussion topic in the final few days we have before the finale.  And then again, maybe I won’t.  Either way, suffice it to say that I think that the writers went a little too far and actually belittled their audience with this one.

“I only picked one name.”

The newly born Jacob and his brother

The rest of the scene gives us a minor answer, and then denies us of another.  First off, Jacob and MIB are brothers…something that adds an interesting twist to their conflict.  At the same time, it appears as though the writers simply do not want to provide us with MIB’s actual name (wouldn’t crazy Mom have given him some type of nickname?), and so that’s that.  That’s also that for Claudia, who meets with her demise at the hands of the same woman who delivered her children.

“Jacob doesn’t know how to lie…he’s not like you.”

Right from the start, it’s clear to everyone involved that BIB (the boy in black) is crazy mom’s first choice to be her successor.  Crazy mom knows it, BIB knows it, and Jacob even realizes it.  I mention this because it’s critical to understanding the motivation of each of the characters as they progress through the episode, and perhaps into the final 3 1/2 hours reamining this season.

“Of course it did!  Where else would it come from?”

Jacob and his brother playing a game

One of the bigger revelations of the episode is the “protector’s” ability to harness the power of the island.  This idea is addressed more directly later in the episode, but it’s important to take notice of it here as well, since it’s not as straightforward.  BIB finds a game, and crazy Mom claims to have placed it there.  But how?  She wasn’t concealing the game just to take it out at just the right moment.  No, what I think we’re seeing is the manifestation of the “magic box” that Ben referred to back in Season 3’s “The Man From Tallahassee”.  While we were told that the box was just a metaphor for the island, I think that there have been numerous occasions in which the best explanation for some activity or event would be that enough people believed that it would happen.  I think the infamous Dharma food drop is a perfect example, and this season’s lighthouse is more recent potential proof.  While it’s a far-fecthed theory, don’t be too surprised if we come to learn that the ability to simply believe that something exists on the island is all that’s required to make it be the case.

“I’ve made it so you can never hurt each other.”

In and of itself, this piece of info is nothing dramatically new.  We already knew that Jacob and the Man in Black couldn’t kill each other.  But what this statement really implies is that the protector of the island has the ability to make the rules.  MIB even foresahdows this later in the episode, when discussing the rules of the game he and Jacob play.  But these rules haven’t been around forever…they seem to be modifiable, or at least appendable…if you have the job of taking care of the island.

“This is the reason we’re here.”

Jacob and his brother are shown the cave of light

Crazy Mom takes the boys to the cave of light and explains her reason for being: protecting the light that no one can steal, but that everyone will want.  It’s this light that apparently powers all of the mystical properties of the island.  But it’s not only that; tampering with the light on the island can have a ripple effect everywhere, and cause unspecified harm to humanity even off the island.  I think that the episode is very straightforward in this area, but I specifically call it out because while we’re currently worried about Smokey and what he did to Sayid, Frank, Sun and Jin…Widmore might be the one that is actually about to violate crazy Mom’s initial concerns.  Food for thought as we head into the finale.

“I’m going for a walk on the beach.  I’ll meet you later.”

Claudia's apparition appears to her unnamed son

One of the mysteries of the episode that I’m still trying to figure out is why Claudia (the boys’ mother) would appear to BIB, but not to Jacob.  BIB even asks this very same question, and is told it’s because Claudia is dead.  Unfortunately for the audience, that still doesn’t explain the situation.  Is it one of the rules that Jacob can’t see dead people?  Is it because Claudia doesn’t want to appear to him?  This may be one of those questions that never gets answered.  Regardless, Claudia shows BIB just enough to convince him that he doesn’t belong with crazy Mom, and instead, should go live with his people.

“Follow you where?”

An unhappy young Jacob

The writers have used this line just enough this season for me to think that it’s got to be some type of in-joke with the writing team.  Perhaps it’s part of a drinking game that they play.  In any event, Claudia’s revelation to BIB has caused him to want to leave crazy Mom’s camp, and to take Jacob with him.  While the resulting beatdown that BIB takes from Jacob is intriguing, what’s even more intriguing is the fact that crazy Mom seems completely powerless to stop him.  It appears as though free will, at least in some form, trumps the “rules” of the game.  It’ll be interesting to see if this is explored in further detail in the last 2 episodes.

What is certain to be explored in further detail is the warning crazy Mom gives to BIB: that he’ll never be able to leave the island.  He clearly believes otherwise, and I’m sure we’ll find out the ultimate truth before the last frame of the finale is shown.

“I’m leaving, Jacob.”

Thirty years pass, and BIB becomes the MIB that we’ve all come to know.  And now, even this far back in the storyline, MIB’s desire is the same as it is many, many years later: to get off the darn island.   But here’s the thing: at first it made sense for crazy Mom to try to stop MIB from leaving the island: she didn’t want him to be corrupted and/or killed.  But now, after he’s spent 30 years with a group of humans outside her sphere of influence, it doesn’t seem to make sense that she would still want to stop him.  It makes even less sense that Jacob would want to keep him on the island.  But that’s exactly what transpires.

Jacob relays MIB’s plan to crazy Mom, who subsequently pays her first visit to MIB after 30 years of staying away.  And after failing to convince him to give up his plans to create the frozen donkey wheel, she physically stops him by surprising him and knocking him out.

“I don’t have a choice; it’s what he wants.”

Crazy Mom transfers the power of the island to Jacob

After stopping MIB’s plans, it’s clear that crazy Mom knows that she’s going to be hunted down and killed.  She quickly takes Jacob back to the cave of light, and runs through the ceremony of transferring her abilities to him.  The interesting thing to note is that the whole thing was a very clear set up from the beginning.  She made Jacob jealous of his brother right from the start, and manipulated him both into taking her place, and trapping MIB on the island.  Not only did she know that her death was coming, but she did it in such a way that she could set up MIB to fall out of favor with Jacob, and set up the dynamic that they’re still battling under in the current timeline.

“No it doesn’t; you wanted it to be him!”

One of the things I found interesting about this episode was the way the actors delivered their lines.  I’m not sure if it was intentional, but even as adults, Jacob and MIB used verbage and intonation that suggested the maturity of a little boy.  It’s fascinating to me, because here are two immensely powerful beings, but neither of them have any real-life experiences.  Perhaps MIB has more than Jacob because of his 30 years with the human inhabitants.  But for all intents and purposes, these two are kids in adults’ bodies, playing high-stakes games with people’s lives and not really understanding the consequences.

“What did you do?!”

Even as crazy Mom thanks MIB for ending her run as protector of the island, Jacob cannot see the manipulation that he’s been a part of.  He again provides a beatdown for MIB, and then attempts to give him the only punishment he can think of, considering that the rules state that he can’t kill him outright.

“You wanna leave this place brother?”

The Smoke Monster is born

As we all saw, Jacob chucked his brother into the cave of light, causing him to turn into the Smoke Monster.  2 things to note here.  First, it appears as though the light in the cave goes out as a result of MIB being tossed in.  I’m not sure if this is a temporary condition that happens as a result of someone going into the cave (and we don’t get to see it again after the transformation), but it certainly fades out.  Again, just something to keep in mind for the finale.  Additionally, although not explicitly stated, it certainly appears as though the crazy Mom speech regarding everyone having a little light inside of them is referring to individual’s souls.  It seems to me that the effect of being tossed into the cave is one that tears your soul from your physical body, and renders it as the black smoke that we’ve seen.  It also may give a level of explanation as to how MIB can use the bodies of the dead on the island.  Once the soul leaves the body, MIB can push his soul into the body, and take control of it.  There seems to be some strange measure of logic around it all if looked at in that fashion.

I should also note that it’s very clear that the writers are once again trying to blur the line between good and evil.  After the events of last episode’s “The Candidate”, you could easily argue that MIB is the main protagonist.  After all, he just helped to kill 3 main characters on the show.  But after this episode, you can’t help but to sympathize with his situation.  He’s been pulled from the life he meant to lead by no fault of his own.  And the only thing he’s wanted to do his whole life…leave the island…has been denied him at every turn.  Not only that, but his brother and adopted mother betray him; the former cruelly subjecting him to an horrible existence in a fit of childish rage.  It’s hard to feel fully sympathetic to Smokey based upon everything we’ve seen him do over the years, but it’s certainly not hard at all to at least rationalize his actions.

“Our very own Adam and Eve…”

A nice touch at the end of the episode, not only tying back this story to that of our LOSTies, but helping to clarify the “Adam & Eve” comment from Locke.  Clearly, these two are truly the start of the story of our gang of LOSTies.  And while the initial timeframe that Jack, Kate, and Locke thought they were from is way off, I’m still very satisfied with the answer given to us regarding who these two really are.

Post-episode questions:

1. What are the rules of the game?  Are all of the rules that crazy Mom put in place still in effect, and which new ones has Jacob introduced?

2. With the wine bottle smashed, what ritual does Jacob have to put his successor through in order for him/her to take over?

3. With Jacob being killed before his successor was named, how can he transfer his power to the new person?

4. Even if MIB kills all of the candidates, will he really be able to leave the island?

5. If that was all of the mythology you’re going to get surrounding the conflict between Jacob and MIB, would you be satisfied?

I ask the last question because of an interesting article I stumbled across today.  It’s an interview with the show’s writers, and how they defend some choices that they’ve made regarding the show.  It was the first time that I came across an interview in which they seemed both guarded and jaded, and I was actually surprised as I read through it.  Check it out here and see what you think: http://www.hitfix.com/blogs/whats-alan-watching/posts/exclusive-interview-lost-producers-damon-lindelof-and-carlton-cuse-talk-across-the-sea

To me, there are some discouraging things mentioned in the article, most of which harken back to my thoughts around the “we can’t answer all of your questions” line by crazy Mom in this episode.  That being said, I’m still hopeful that the finale will be knock-your-socks-off good, and that we’ll have much to discuss after it airs.

That’s all I’ve got for now, but I plan to be pretty active on the blog as we head into Finale Week next week!  I plan to post the challenge of the week on Monday, which will be highly open-ended.  I’m hoping to talk about whatever things you hope to get answers to in the final 2 episodes.  I’ll also post on interLOST itself: how it came to be, its progression over the past few years and what I had hoped for, as well as what will happen to it after LOST leaves the airwaves.  Obviously, I’ll recap Tuesday’s episode, “What They Died For”, but then I’ll also be back to share with you what was said in the Times Talks Live session.  And once the finale airs, I’ll have an open thread for comments and initial thoughts prior to my recaps the following week.  I’m looking forward to a fun week of LOST, and I hope to share it with all of you!  For those of you lurkers (and I know there are a bunch of you), now’s the time to come out of hiding!  Share a little tidbit in the comments!  This is your last chance before the show goes off the air!

As always, thanks for stopping by!  Let’s hope that next week is as special as we all hope it will be!





LOST at the 2009 Comic-Con: One fan’s experience

26 07 2009
Comic-Con's cool logo

Comic-Con's cool logo

 

Hi everyone, I’m back with the story of my trip to the LOST panel at the 2009 Comic-Con.  I have to be honest…I’ve always been a bit of a comic book geek.  I collected comics through most of my childhood, and didn’t really stop until I pretty much didn’t have time for it anymore while going to college at Arizona State University.  In fact, had I grown up in San Diego, I’m sure I would have been to a Comic-Con much earlier than this year.  Regardless, attending the Con has been on my list ever since I first heard about it after moving to San Diego back in 2002.  When I came to realize that this would be the last LOST panel ever at the Con, I knew that the time was finally right to go.

 Getting Tickets

Ironically, it almost didn’t happen.  During all of the hype for LOST’s cliffhanger this past season, it didn’t even occur to me to go to Comic-Con.  It really wasn’t even until after the season ended in May that I came to realize that this year’s LOST panel would be the last.  Once it hit me, I immediately tried to get tickets.  Unfortunately, at that time, all of the 4-day passes had been sold out, as well as the Friday and Saturday 1-Day passes.  I could have bought passes for Thursday or Sunday, but at that time, I had no idea when the panel was.  If I couldn’t get a 4-Day pass, I didn’t want to buy a single day pass for a day when the LOST panel wouldn’t be there.  But rather than give up, I sent an e-mail to the “Contact Us” link on the Comic-Con site to see if there was going to be a wait list for folks that may have bought them last year but wanted a refund.  Initially, I was told that no additional tickets would be sold…but a few weeks later, I was told of a new method of getting tickets that Comic-Con had never used before…

 

That method was a combination of Twitter and eBay.  Basically, Comic-Con would tweet when they were going to release tickets that day, and then they’d put up a small set of tickets for everyone to try to get simultaneously.  The tickets sold very quickly.  Generally, they would all be gone each day in 60-90 seconds, sometimes less.  I tried every day for the weeks leading up to the Con with no luck.  The experience was actually rather frustrating; some days I felt as though I was just a few seconds away from getting the tickets, while some days it felt as though I had no chance.  In fact, as we came up on the last few days before the Con, I had pretty much resigned myself to the idea that I wasn’t going to go.  But amazingly, on the last Sunday prior to the start of the convention, I snuck in and got a ticket for Saturday!  It was a great feeling, and I became incredibly excited for what was to come.

 

After winning the ticket, I realized just how little I knew about the Con.  I had heard a bunch about the lines, the mass of people, even the smell…but that’s it.  I knew nothing about getting into the LOST panel and getting a good seat, how the parking might work, and generally how I might spend the day.  There were a lot of good posts around the web on attending the Con, and what to expect.  It helped me to know exactly what do in all respects: pick up my Saturday passes on Friday night, get in the line for LOST and Hall H ridiculously early, and bring my own food.  Everything was set to go for the day of the panel.

 Waiting in Line

LOST fans camping out at 3:00 am for the final panel

LOST fans camping out at 3:00 am for the final panel

Driving down to the Con at 2:30 am was pretty cool.  I’m used to driving on the 15 freeway during rush hour with a ton of traffic.  Obviously, at 3:00 am, there was no one to slow me down or make me feel as though I was going to have anything other than a great day at the Con.  When I got there, it was about 3:15 am, and the line was about what I expected.  Several hundred people were already there, almost all of them with camping gear, blankets, and pillows.  Pretty much everyone was doing what we all hope to be doing at 3:00 am: sleeping.  I only managed about 4 hours of sleep prior to getting up for the event, but I was too geeked at this point to actually shut my eyes and sleep.  I brought my iPod to entertain me, and I’m glad I did.  With everyone snoozing, there was no people watching to do, and no conversations to eavesdrop on.  I played some Solitaire and Mah Jongg, and listened to my favorite music.  It was essential to help me pass the time between the wee hours of the morning, and when the sun finally came up.

Wonder Woman is a LOST fan!

Wonder Woman is a LOST fan!

As the sun rose on what was a hazy San Diego morning, things came to life just a little bit.  People started to wake up and head out to get coffee and breakfast for their groups.  I had heard that if you didn’t get into the line by 6 am, then you’d be in jeopardy of not getting into Hall H for the panel.  But when 6:00 rolled around, the line was really not a whole lot longer than what it was at 3:00.  There were maybe an additional 2 lines, but I’m sure those people got in without any issue.  The fact that the line wasn’t very long actually made for an interesting story for the people just in front of me in line.  Apparently, these 2 had 4-Day passes, but no hotel room.  They had just left some party at 3:00 am and realized that they didn’t have anywhere to stay.  They knew that Hall H always had a line that camped out overnight, so they got in line simply to have a safe place to sleep for the night.  Crazy!  Once they woke up, they admitted to me that they had no intention of actually going to the LOST panel.  In fact, they were hoping to sell their place in line for $100.  I wasn’t sure how that might work out for them, but I didn’t think that it was completely out of the realm of possibility.

 

At around 8 am, almost everyone was milling about, and costumed fans began to wander the grounds, with many folks looking to get their picture taken with them.  It was at this time that I noticed someone very familiar in the very first line…it was Ed Hochuli!  For those of you that are a fan of the NFL, you probably know just who I’m talking about.  For those of you that don’t, here’s the quick scoop.  Ed is a very muscular man, who was known as one of the strongest referees in the league prior to last season.  Last season, however, Mr. Hochuli made one of the most controversial calls of the year, perhaps in several years.  And in fact, most objective observers say that it cost my favorite team, the Chargers, the game.  Click here if you haven’t seen the play and are interested:  http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-highlights/09000d5d80ad0bfa/Broncos-fumble-analysis

 

In the end, the call didn’t end up hurting the Chargers, as they wound up winning the division over the Broncos on the last day of the season.  Plus, there’s this article on Hochuli that makes you realize just how good of a guy he really is: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/eticket/story?page=090507/hochuli

Ed Hochuli is a LOST fan!

Ed Hochuli is a LOST fan!

In any event, I had no ill will towards the man, and I was stunned that he was in the LOST line, camping out!  He was nice enough to chat with me for a bit, and shared with me that he’s a big fan of LOST, and of sci-fi in general.  It just goes to show how down-to-earth the guy really is.  I told him that I’m a Charger season ticket holder, and that I had forgiven him for the bad call.  I told him to enjoy the LOST panel, and wished him luck in the upcoming NFL season.

 

Just after my encounter with Ed Hochuli, the guys in front of me gave up on their plan to sell their spot in line and headed out to who knows where.  Apparently, one of them went to the end of the line and asked the last person if they wanted a spot further up.  There didn’t seem to be much interest.  Really, they should have waited it out a bit more.  Around 9:00 or so, the line got so long that I couldn’t see the end of it.  I’m sure someone would have taken them up on their offer then.  It was also around 9:00 that I saw Chris from the official ABC LOST podcast interviewing some of the fans at the front of the line.

Chris interviews the LOST fanatics

Chris interviews the LOST fanatics

Getting Ready for the Panel 

Finally, at around 10 am, they let us into the Hall.  Wow, was it big!  I knew that it sat 6500 people, but you don’t get a feel for just how expansive it is until you actually get in there.  My wife and I got seats in the second row of the second section.  In retrospect, we probably could have done much better.  The panel seemed to take questions from a line that formed on the left side of the hall.  We initially tried to get our seats as close to the middle as possible.  But had we just gone for something slightly to the left, we probably could have had something in the first section, and we could have been close to the Q & A section for photos of Jorge Garcia and Michael Emerson when they invaded the line.  In any event, we were close enough, and got some decent photos of the panel.

At about 10:30, Chris from the podcast actually came into our area, and my wife volunteered me to ask a question.  As I was about to ask Chris the question, he said that the question was for Damon & Carlton.  I actually had a question for them prepped in case just such an event happened, but with the way it worked out, I was caught off guard.  I ended up still asking Chris the question for him, which was just how much did *he* know about the final season of LOST.  I’m sure I won’t make the cut for the podcast.  My original question for Team Darlton was about Nestor Carbonell, and whether or not he was going to be a regular for Season 6.  (More on that later.)

At about 10:45, it felt like all of the hoopla was over, and it was go time.  We had sat in line for hours, we saw all of the sideshow stuff, and now we had our seats.  All that was left was to see what Team Darlton had in store for us.

Team Darlton Gives Us a Show

And what they had in store was cool right from the start.  The panel started off with a really sweet silhouette progression through all of the characters of the show, until it finally displayed the LOST logo, and the “final season” tagline.  Way cool, but I haven’t seen it anywhere online to share with you guys.  They followed that up with the LOST University clip that I shared with you in my last post.  Nothing new there, but still pretty cool.  They then went with a new clip, and one that I really enjoyed.  It was a video of what was supposed to be an old TV show, and they pulled it of really well.

It reminded me a bunch of the old “In Search Of” TV show from the 80s:

You can view the video from ABC’s site and get ready for new ones by going here: http://abc.go.com/primetime/lost/index?pn=lostmysteries&v2  The next video is due to be available on August 4th.

 

After the great intros leading things off, Damon and Carlton took the stage and let us know that they wanted to celebrate the fans with this panel.  I found some good video on YouTube for you:

Here’s a video of the fan generated content they showed:

Here are some “commercials” that air in the middle of the next video.  First, there’s an Oceanic commercial:

“30 years with a perfect safety record”? Hmm…  Next is a “Mr. Cluck’s” commercial:

“Ever since I won the lottery, I’ve had nothing but good luck”?  Interesting.  I’ll comment more below.  But the panel continues here, first with Hurley asking about the commercials, and then with hilarity from Jorge Garcia and Michael Emerson.

Next was an “audition video” of Michael Emerson trying out for the role of Hurley:

After the “audition”, Jorge and Michael joined the panel, along with a surprise guest:

The panel continues here, with even more special guests:

Here’s the video they played before Josh took the stage:

There were a couple of videos I couldn’t find online, including the winner of the LOST theme song (which was very cool when set to video), and the ending tribute of all of the dead characters set to Boyz II Men’s “It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday”.

 Recapping What We Saw

At the end of the panel, we seemed to get plenty of answers, even if they were minor ones.  My favorite character, Richard Alpert (played byNestor Carbonell), will play a large role next season (rumored to be 16 of 18 hours).  Man #2, called “Esau” by many, is not really named “Esau” (at least that’s what Michael Emerson says).  Jacob has not ever appeared as any other main character in LOST in any previous episode.  Elizabeth Mitchell *will* be in Season 6 (although it’s not certain if it’ll be as a live character in the present, or in flashbacks).  Faraday will also be back for Season 6.  The Dharma food drop will be explained.  And some characters that we haven’t seen since Season 1 will return in Season 6.

The LOST panel fields a question

The LOST panel fields a question

To be honest, I’m wondering who those characters might be.  After all, even though Boone died in Season 1, we did see him again in Locke’s vision (which I believe was in Season 3).  But regardless, I’m excited to hear that they’re going to try to bookend things by bringing back characters from the beginning.  But the real head-scratcher and thing to question coming out of the Con is the 2 commercials from Oceanic and Mr. Cluck’s.  If we’re to take them at face value, then the crash never happened.  I’ve never really given that a ton of thought before, because I’ve always subscribed to the “Whatever Happened, Happened” theory.  But what if Jack and crew actually succeeded?  How could that make any sense?  Well, this post is on my experience at the Con, so that’s a question for another post.  Feel free to post your theories below though, if you’re so inclined.

 The Rest of the Day in Hall H

Once the LOST panel left, my wife and I decided to stick around in Hall H for the remainder of the afternoon.  We saw a Solomon Kane panel, which had some really cool special effects.  It was a little heavy on the blood and violence, but I would still recommend it based upon the footage I saw.  Next was a Mike Judge panel discussing his new movie, “Extract”.  For someone with such big chops for comedic writing, I was quite surprised at how uncharasmatic and unfunny he was in person.  If I was basing my decision to go to the movie based solely on the panel, I don’t think I would.  He was largely unentertaining. 

Woody Harrelson heads up the ZombieLand panel

Woody Harrelson heads up the ZombieLand panel

Up next was a panel previewing 2 movies: “Zombieland” and “2012”.  Both movies looked great in their own way.  Zombieland’s selling point seemed to be its unique way of dispatching with zombies.  I won’t get into it here for those of you that may not want to hear of such gruesome details, but it was entertaining in a brutal and demented way.  If you are inclined to like zombie movies, I think you’d like this one.  But really, 2012 stole the hour.  We were treated to an extended scene of carnage, where John Cusak’s character is trying to escape a massive earthquake and the wreckage it causes all around him.  It’s absolutely on-the-egde-of-your-seat stuff, with incredible CGI that makes you believe that LA is crumbling into the earth and into the ocean.  The scene, to me, was the definition of blockbuster.  I don’t think they’ll be much disappointment.  Finally, we were treated to a sneak of some Iron Man 2 footage, which looked spectacular as well.  I absolutely loved Iron Man last year, and rank it as one of my all-time favorite super-hero movies.  It’ll be hard to top the first one, but the footage looked like it was going to do its best.

Robert Downey Jr and the rest of the Iron Man panel

Robert Downey Jr and the rest of the Iron Man panel

Walking the Exhibit Hall

After the Iron Man 2 panel, we decided to walk the exhibit hall, and here’s where we had the least amount of fun.  All of the bad things I had heard about the Con…the crowding, the smell, the overall feeling of being “too busy”…they all happened here.  My wife and I went to the LOST auction table, but didn’t spend much more time there after that.  I think we spent less than an hour there overall.

What an experience! 

So that was my first (and probably only) Comic-Con experience!  Overall, I really enjoyed myself, and felt as though it was worth every penny of admission, as well as the early morning wait in line.  The panels were all fun in their own way, and if I ever go back again, it will be because there’s a panel on some TV show or movie that I’ve just got to see.  But you do have to deal with crazy crowds, especially in the exhibit hall.  And getting in line early is almost a must, especially if the panel you want to see is remotely popular.  But if you’re willing to put up with those things, it’s a great experience.  I would certainly recommend it to anyone considering going.  You’ve got to do it at least once, just to see what it’s all about.

 

And that’s it for now!  I’m sure that most of the info has been posted since right after the Con, but hopefully I shared some things with you that you didn’t get elsewhere.  I’ll be back soon to comment on the next Mysteries of the Universe installment, and maybe to discuss the 2 commercials shown at the Con, and what they might mean to LOST’s final season.  As always, thanks for stopping by and reading the blog!

 

EDIT: I found the tail end of the silhouette intro I was referring to, check it out below.

Also found the “In Memory Of…” video as well.  Not the best quality, but it gives you the idea:





Comic-Con, here we come!

24 07 2009

Hey everyone, Comic-Con is in full swing, and yours truly is getting pretty excited about making the trip to the convention center bright and early tomorrow morning to get in the line for the LOST panel.  I’ve heard stories about getting turned away if you’re not in line by 6:00 am, so I’m going to try to get in line around 3:00 am to make sure I get in.  I’ll be posting to the blog on Sunday with a full recap of my experiences(both of the LOST panel and the Con in general), hopefully with a ton of photos and maybe even a video or two.  And of course, most importantly, I’ll have the latest news from the panel, and my take on what any of it means.  If you haven’t already heard, Team Darlton will be there (showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse), as well as Jorge Garcia (Hurley) and Michael Emerson (Ben).  There will also be a special guest…whoever that may be.

 

I’ll also be tweeting from the Con, something I really haven’t done much of before.  But I had to sign up for Twitter to get the latest info on the Comic-Con tickets themselves, so it only seems reasonable to go full circle and use it to update everything I see at the Con as well.  I’ve added a Twitter Updates section to the front page of the blog, and it seems to update fairly regularly.  But if you want up-to-the-second updates on what I see at the LOST panel, subscribing to Twitter itself and following me is the way to go.  If you do that, my alias on the site is @hablodepablo.  I look forward to sharing everything I see with you!

 

By the way, it seems as though a LOST nugget has already been unearthed via the Con.  There’s a new ARG-type game for LOST that appears to have just been launched.  Typically, I’m not one to play along with these, but two things make me think a bit differently about this one.  First, it’s the last season of LOST.  This is the last chance we’re going to get for anything new related to the show, so I’m going in with reckless abandon.  Second, it actually looks like a bit more fun than what has come before it.  (That might just be me though.)  In any event, I’m going to give it a shot, and you can check it out too, by going here: http://lostuniversity.org/index.php

 

That’s about it for now…check back in a couple of days, or feel free to follow my tweets!





LOST Challenge of the Week: Season 4, Episode 10: “Something Nice Back Home”

1 05 2008

Happy LOST day!

It’s definitely nice to have LOST back on a week-to-week basis.  It’s hard to think that next month, it goes away for another 7 months or so.  But the episode quality has been so good this season that I can almost live with the long hiatus to come, knowing that we’ll have this level of storytelling at the end of it.

Anyway, as I thought about putting togther the challenge of the week this week, I felt as though all I ever do is send you to TV Guide and Entertainment Weekly to discuss their articles.  But hey, I’m not an insider, and if they’ve got good stuff over there, they’ve got good stuff!

So again, I feel the need to share with you the articles over there.  Check out the second part of Jimmy Kimmel’s interview with Team Darlton here: http://community.tvguide.com/blog-entry/TV-Show-Blog/Tv-Previews/Jimmy-Kimmel-Grills/800038238

It’s a really cool interview, including Team Darlton’s admission that Jimmy asks them “…one of the best questions we’ve ever been asked.”

Over at EW, we’ve got another great tease from Doc Jensen, but even better, we’ve got a him interviewing…himself!  And it’s really a great conversation, especially considering the Jimmy Kimmel interview.  If you connect the dots, things could start to become much, much more sci-fi on the show starting with the end of this season and into the next.

But before we get to all of that, let’s take a look at tonight’s episode.  In the most recent preview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwyI-kwLD34 the voice-over states that “the island takes one survivor as it’s own”.  This week’s challenge is pretty simple:

Who dies in tonight’s episode, and how?

Enjoy the episode tonight!