Sunday, July 04, 2010

America the Beautiful

I recently returned home from a week long trip to central Oregon.  During my time in Sunriver and an overnight trip to Portland, I was reminded of the beauty and geographic diversity of the United States.  It's been quite a while since I've been out West.  Sure I visited San Francisco a few years ago, but it's been several years since I've gotten out into the open countryside.  I've always liked to take drives to explore places I live or am visiting.  Relatively early in my life I was introduced to the concept by my parents as we took all of our family vacations by car.  We drove to save money but an added bonus was an appreciation for driving across this massive nation of ours to see some pretty amazing natural wonders.  Driving through the high desert of central Oregon, seeing the majestic beauty of the Cascade Mountains and getting an aerial perspective of the sprawling Great Salt Lake prior to a layover in Salt Lake City really makes me want to renew my exploration of the United States and all of it's natural beauty.  I love America and hope that I never take for granted how lucky I am to have been born here.

Happy 234th birthday America!  I love you and wouldn't want to be anywhere else!

Mt. Hood

Warm Springs Reservation

Benham Falls

Great Salt Lake

Monday, May 31, 2010

"The End" - Further Thoughts

After a week, a second viewing, a couple of podcasts and several websites, I have reached more conclusions about the LOST finale.  Although I stand by most of my initial interpretations, there are a few things that I have changed my mind about.  Chief among them is the status of Ben in the flash-sideways world.  I had originally thought that his reluctance to enter the Church indicated that he was not yet dead in the real world.  On further reflection and some brilliant insight by my friend Stacey, I see now that Ben too was dead as the entire flash-sideways world was a part of the afterlife.  The sideways world was an environment to rectify the character's human lives and in some cases come to terms with their flaws and failings.  This is not to say that it was Purgatory in the Catholic sense because not everyone was suffering for their past transgressions.  True, Ben was feeling guilt about some of the things that he had done in his life, specifically his treatment of Alex and Danielle Rousseau, but it was self imposed and may have been a byproduct of his Island enlightenment at the fists of Desmond.  Although Ben was sometimes a part of Jack's life, he was more tied to Alex, Rousseau and probably a number of Others.  When they have all been Island enlightened and come to terms with their pasts, together they will be able to enter the Church and move on as a group.

I've also had a chance to think more about the implications of the supposed detonation of Jughead at the end of Season 5.  At the beginning of Season 6, we all thought Juliet had split the timeline by setting off the H-bomb, but the more I have thought about it, this is likely not the case.  The bomb did not detonate when Jack dropped it down the shaft and we all assumed that Juliet detonated it by repeatedly hitting it with a rock.  I have been under the impression that because of the electrical anomaly at the future site of the Swan Station, the detonated H-bomb served to propel Jack et al back to their present time (2007) while also creating a timeline in which Oceanic 815 never crashed.  At the end of the finale, I was left feeling that Jughead had been a red herring along; a plot device used to get all of our characters back to 2007.  Now I'm of the opinion that Jughead was never actually detonated.  When we were first introduced to the Swan Station in Season 2, Sayid remarked on the amount of concrete being excessive even going as far to compare it to the containment of Chernobyl.  Furthermore, in Season 5, Daniel Farady told the young Eloise Hawking that the Others must encase the leaking Jughead in concrete.  I now feel that the Incident was not the destruction of the H-bomb but rather the attack on the Swan Station construction site by what appeared to be Hostiles.  After they vanished and the Dharma Initiative picked up the pieces, they encased the core of Jughead in concrete and built the rest of the station as planned.  The time-jump by Jack et al was caused by the mysterious elctrical properties of the Island in order to get them to where they were supposed to be in time.  Perhaps that's a little far fetched but seems par for the course on such a mysterious and powerful island.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

"The End"

It has all been building to this and, no doubt, there will be people that will be disappointed with the final episode of LOST.  Granted, there were things that I was still hoping for but in the end, what we were given was a beautiful finale that moved me to tears on more than one occasion.  My sadness was certainly related to the fact that the series was ending, but there's more to it than that.  Before the sci-fi and mystery, this show was about characters and the resolution of some of these stories was so touching after all this time that I couldn't hold back my tears.  Even when I was crying, I was laughing at myself for being so broken up about these fictional characters, but for the record, I also cried when characters died in War and Peace.  And truly, two out of my three crying jags during the finale were actually out of joy rather than sadness.  There will be many who consider this finale a failure on par with The Sopranos (which I liked, by the way) but I consider it a success.


Let me start by saying that there is no way that I will be able to say everything that I should in this single blog post.  Roxi is out of town right now and has been intentionally putting off watching the last few episodes of LOST so that she can have a nice marathon to finish off the series.  I plan on watching the finale again when she watches it later this week.  For tonight, I will hit on the high points and post as many companion entries as are necessary in the next few days.

In the past few weeks, I have started to enjoy the flash-sideways storyline more and more.  It started with "Happily Ever After" and has continued ever since.  For a plot device that I was suspicious about in the beginning, I was surprised how much I've ended up enjoying it.  I specifically liked the emotional experience of "Island illumination" that the characters were having.  So that brings us to tonight.  As much as I enjoyed seeing the Island story come to a close, I was mostly effected by flash-sideways illumination events.  And even though they all had strong emotional resonance with me, two of them in particular brought me to tears.  The first was the interaction between Sun, Jin and Juliet.  It was great seeing Juliet again and it made sense that she would be the OB/GYN attending to Sun in the sideways world.  I was surprisingly not very sad when Sun and Jin died in "The Candidate," but I guess it had been pent-up all came out when they had their simultaneous flash of the Island in tonight's episode.  I was overcome with emotion but also found myself laughing when they started speaking to Juliet in perfect English.

The second time that I became emotionally devastated was when Kate, Claire and Charlie had their flash when Aaron was born.  I was okay until Charlie came back with the blanket and then the waterworks were unstoppable.  I suppose it was residual emotion from Charlie's somewhat untimely death in "Through the Looking Glass," but I just couldn't stop crying.  Like I said earlier, I actually started laughing out loud at myself for being so effected by these scenes but I was just so happy for Sun, Jin, Charlie and Claire!

As expected, the concert at Pierre Chang's museum was the culmination of sideways Desmond's work to get most of the Oceanic 815 passengers together.  Of course there were the stragglers like Sun and Jin; Sawyer and Juliet; and Sayid and Shannon but thankfully they had other help in experiencing Island enlightenment.

On the Island, things played out mostly as expected as far as the Jack vs. Locke storyline went.  It was a pleasant surprise to see that both Jack and Locke were humanized as a result of Desmond's extinguishing of the light in the cave.  It certainly made killing the Man In Black a lot easier.  I only wonder why Jack didn't become a new Smoke Monster after reigniting the light in the cave.  I was really expecting Jack to be the new Smoke Monster to Hurley's Jacob.  Many of us have been expecting that Hurley would be the actual replacement for Jacob and it was very sweet to see him ask Ben to become his equivalent of Richard.  It was even nicer to see him thank Ben for being the best Number 2.  Here's a thought about Ben: when he didn't join the Oceanic passengers in the church, I don't think it was because he was not welcome.  Instead I think it was because he was still alive on the Island as the replacement for Hurley after he died in some future time.

The obvious big topic of controversy and discussion will the be final few minutes of the episode;  Namely that Jack went to his father's coffin only to find it empty...again.  The revelation that Jack was dead initially caught me off guard and my mind race to explain how and why all the other Oceanic passengers were in the church.  But as Christan explained, everyone dies sooner or later. Everyone was gathered together because they were so important to each other at that time in their lives.  That is quite a change from what Jacob said about their lives in "What They Died For."  They went from being flawed and alone in life to having an extended family on the Island. 

So what are we to make of the presence of Hurley, Kate, Sawyer and Claire in the church?  As I said earlier, I feel that this gathering occurs sometime after Hurley has passed on the stewardship of the Island to Ben in the future.  Kate, Sawyer and Claire were seen escaping the Island with Frank, Richard and Miles.  But they may not have ever made it home.  The plane may have crashed.  Or on a lighter note, they may have made it home and lived out their lives.  But in the end, they too died (will die as the case may be).  The point is that at some point all these Island souls meet up in this church as they move on to the next life. 

My third and final bout of tears came in the ending moments of the series as Jack stumbled his way back to the bamboo forest where he first awoke on the Island.  As he laid down, I was fine but when Vincent came out of the jungle and laid down next to him, it brought up memories of "Jurassic Bark," the most touching and cry-inducing episode of the Futurama ever.  As Vincent laid down and rested his head next to Jack, I couldn't help but cry.  And as the corporeal form of Jack closed his eyes for the last time, I felt that it was a perfectly poignant ending to such a fantastic television series.

Of course there were open storylines that I knew would never be closed and others that I thought for sure would see resolution, but like life, some things are just left as questions.  It has been a hell of a ride.  There were some down times and things that I would have done differently, but I don't think I ever would have come up with some of the amazing stories that the writers of LOST have crafted for the past six years.  All good things must come to an end and I am at peace with that but I will miss seeing these characters in new adventures for a few weeks every spring.  So long LOST.  Thank you for such a great story that has made me think and kept me guessing until the very end.  It has been a pleasure.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Ubee's Open Mic

Thanks to Nic Chimenti for a nice writeup on Trivianic about last week's open mic night at Ubee's featuring myself and two other songwriters.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

"What They Died For"

I've said it so many times this season, but I have to say it again: I can't believe LOST is almost over!  It really boggles my mind that this season has gone by so quickly yet maintained the typical pace that LOST has managed these last few years.  Sometimes things felt rushed and sometimes things seemed very belabored, but by and large, the story has managed forward momentum.  I know that sometimes watching on TV and waiting a week or two between episodes has seemed bad at times, but rewatching the previous seasons on DVD has almost always redeemed any slow parts of the series.  At times, I have been critical of LOST but what kind of fan would I be without gripes or nits to pick from time to time?  When I sat down to write this post a few minutes ago, I hadn't intended to start this way or go on this long, but I guess this is me eulogizing my favorite show.  I know that there's still one seriously super-sized episode left, but I couldn't help but feel a little sad as I watched the post-episode promo for the finale on Sunday.  It has been quite a ride and although a part of me would love more LOST, I realize that all good things must come to an end.  I respect what the producers of the show have done even if I haven't always been pleased with the way they brought us to where we are now, a mere two and a half hours from the final credits.  Even though I was a late comer to watching the show (I saw the first two seasons on DVD) I have been a devoted fan since I had my mind blown by the Season 1 Locke-centric episode "Walkabout."  It was then that I knew that LOST was something different altogether.  But I digress...the truly sad goodbye will come on Sunday night. 


A week after the most divisive episode in the history of the series, I was very curious about the follow-up.  For the record, I enjoyed "Across the Sea" even if it was perplexing at times.  If nothing else, it was essential for tonight's episode.  I was very glad to see Desmond again even if it was only in the sideways world.  I really thought he was about to run Locke down again so I totally shocked when he got out of his car and beat the crap out of Ben...just like old times!  Ben even had a flash of Desmond beating the crap out of him at the marina in "Dead Is Dead."  But Desmond wasn't done yet!  He turned himself in to Sawyer who put him in a jail cell with Sayid (very glad to see him again!) in a cell next to Kate.  I didn't realize they keep men and women in the same holding area but whatever.  Desmond still wasn't finished gathering up sideways Losties thanks to a deal he made with Ana Lucia who released them to Hurley while she was transporting them to county lockup.  I loved Hurley's line asking if Ana Lucia was coming with them.  His meeting with Libby had an even more profound effect than I had thought!  It appears that the climactic meeting of everyone in the sideways world will be at the benefit concert at Miles' dad's museum.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the sideways world, Locke got religion.  He became a the man of faith that we all know and love when Ben told him what Desmond said while beating the crap out Dr. Linus.  So Locke has decided that it is indeed time to fix his legs.  Speaking of Ben, he got invited to dinner at his favorite student Alex's house with her mother.  It goes without saying that it was nice to see Danielle again especially all dressed up like a normal person as opposed to a crazy Island hermit.  After dinner, it almost seemed like there was a love connection between Ben and Danielle.  I could be reading that wrong but it sure seemed like something to me.  I still have no idea what will happen when all the sideways characters get together in the finale, but a fair number of them are setup for the meeting and I'm sure the rest will be drawn together by Desmond during the epic finale on Sunday.

Back on the Island, Jack, Sawyer, Hurley and Kate were understandably upset by the deaths of Sayid, Sun and Jin but action Jack knew what to do.  After sewing up Kate's wound (mirroring Jack's post-crash surgery in the "Pilot"), Jack began leading the survivors in search of Desmond.  Sawyer stopped Jack along the way to ask about the bomb on the sub.  I really felt for Sawyer and his feeling of guilt and responsibility for Sayid, Sun and Jin's deaths.  Jack really stepped up and said some very comforting things to Sawyer and I liked Jack for doing it.  Not long after, Hurley saw the boy Jacob and followed him to find the full grown Jacob who told him that the end was near and that he needed to see the survivors.

Meanwhile, Ben, Richard and Miles were still on a quest to get C4 to destroy the Ajira plane.  However, they were ambushed at Ben's old Dharma house by Charles Widmore and Zoe.  Unfortunately for everyone, Locke was not far behind.  Widmore and Zoe hid, Miles ran and Ben and Richard attempted to confront Locke.  Suddenly Richard was attacked by the Smoke Monster and seems to be dead and gone.  I'm not totally sure we've seen the last of him, but I also wouldn't be surprised if he was gone for good considering how characters are dropping like flies now!  If he's gone I must say Richard, we hardly knew ye.  Please give Frank our condolences if you see him in the afterlife of secondary characters.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.  Just when I thought Ben had turned over a new leaf, he double crossed Widmore and Zoe.  After quickly dispatching of Zoe, Locke offered to spare Penny's life if Widmore told him how and why he returned to the Island.  I was surprised to learn that Jacob told Widmore to return with Desmond.  As Widmore was telling Locke about the importance of Desmond, Ben shot and killed him.  This is just getting ridiculous!  Ben asked Locke who else needed to be killed which disturbed me.  But then again, he could be pulling a long con on Locke.  At least I hope he is!

Back at Jacob's campfire, the remaining candidates questioned Jacob about his motives.  Apparently Jacob brought them all to the Island because they had lonely lives and they needed the Island as much as the Island needed them.  And Kate was crossed off the list in the cave because she had Aaron and wasn't alone anymore.  But she was still a candidate and she could have the job if she wanted it.  After last week, I really didn't care for Jacob and although he made some good points in his explanation, he still came off as pretty selfish.  He said that he was letting his replacement choose because he never got the chance to decide if he wanted to be guardian of the Island.  Of course, Jack stepped forward to be Jacob's replacement.  It felt right even though I haven't always been on Team Jack.  Jacob turned water into wine or something for Jack to drink and told him where the heart of the Island was.  Jack drank and became like Jacob.

Finally, Ben and Locke trekked to the well where Desmond was supposed to be but apparently, besides not killing him, Sayid also left a rope for Desmond to escape.  According to Locke, Desmond is the fail safe in the case that all the candidates are killed.  I have a feeling that Locke plans to throw Desmond into the light to make him a Smoke Monster but his unique resistance to electromagnetism will backfire on Locke and probably destroy him.

This penultimate episode was a pretty standard setup for the finale to come but I loved all the moving parts and placements of the characters.  With a two and a half hour finale though, I wonder if our game pieces won't be shuffled around more before the final acts.  I wonder how many, if any, of our Losties will survive the finale.  Only time will tell but I am on board and ready to roll with whatever they throw our way on Sunday.  I'd like to hope for something mindblowing but will settle for a good episode of a great show.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

MSA Open Mic Night at Ubee's

I played three songs at the Memphis Songwriters Association open mic night at Ubee's on Tuesday night.

You can find out more about my music at

"Across the Sea"

I can't believe that there are only two more episodes of LOST left...Ever!  Of course one of them will be two and a half hours long but still, that means that there are only three and half hours of LOST left.  And I still have no idea how it will end!!!


Well this was certainly the most unconventional of unconventional episodes.  I'm thinking of it as a companion piece to "Ab Aeterno;" heavy on the mythology of the Island, Jacob and the Man in Black while being almost entirely devoid of any of the regular cast members.  And for that matter, the only appearance of any regular cast members came in the form of a clip from the Season 1 episode "House of the Rising Sun" giving context to the skeletons that Jack and Kate found in the caves.  Adam and Eve are the Man in Black and his adopted mother.  Their bodies were placed in the cave after the Man in Black killed his mother and Jacob killed the Man in Black.  So the mystery of Adam and Eve is finally solved and I'm satisfied.  I suppose it could be considered strange that Jack estimated the age of the skeletons at 40 or 50 years when they were actually hundreds, if not thousands, of years old.  But they also had the gift of near immortality so I guess their bones age very slowly as well.

This episode started with the birth of Jacob and the still unnamed Baby in Black.  I liked that each was swaddled in a burlap cloth of their respective colors.  From the very beginning they were marked so to speak.  Unfortunately for them, their mother was brutally murdered by the woman who helped her deliver them thus setting up what would become the first in a long line of parent issues among those associated with the Island.  The murder seemed very unnecessary at first but it became clear that this adoptive mother felt a very strong distrust about other human inhabitants of the Island.  Some of her ranting and raving reminded me very much of Rousseau's solitude. 

Jacob and the Man in Black's birth mother came to the Island from a ship wreck but there were other survivors.  One day Jacob and the Boy in Black stumbled across some of the Others (?) and followed them to their village.  When they wanted to know more, their adopted mother showed them the secret of the Island and told them that one of them would be in charge of protecting it some day.  Later, Boy in Black saw a vision of his dead mother that Jacob was unable to see.  Boy in Black proclaimed that he was special.  After what his ghost mother told him, Boy in Black wanted to leave the Island but Jacob didn't so they went their separate ways; Jacob stayed with their mother and Boy in Black went to the village. 

Years later, Man in Black and the Others had figured out a way to find the secret of the Island and use it to leave.  It was very cool to learn that they had dug wells to investigate the magnetic properties of the Island and were working on installing the donkey wheel.  Unfortunately, Man in Black's mother stopped him, killed all of the Others and filled in the well.  In retaliation, Man in Black killed his mother but was caught by Jacob who was very unhappy about it.  Jacob took Man in Black to the special place and pushed his unconscious body into the cave.  After his body was eerily pulled into an underwater crevice, the light went out and the Black Smoke emerged.  Shortly afterwards, Jacob found Man in Black's lifeless body and he placed it in the cave with their adopted mother as mentioned earlier.

After last week's episode painting Locke/Man in Black in the most malevolent light possible, this episode made me sympathetic to his plight.  I don't condone what he has done to all the people he has killed, but it certainly seems like Jacob hasn't made his existence easy.  Of course, he isn't actually Jacob's brother anymore but rather some kind dark yin to the light yang that is the secret of the Island.  I also found it very interesting that not unlike Richard Alpert, Jacob seems a lot less enlightened the more we learn about him.  Perspective is such a key concept in LOST.  It looks like Locke/Man in Black wasn't telling stories when he told Kate that his mother was crazy just like Claire will seem to Aaron.  I know there is not enough time left in the series to learn Jacob and Man in Black's mother's backstory, but I suspect that she was recruited just as she "recruited" Jacob to take over her job. 

There really isn't much left to say about this episode.  It was very good and very necessary but it still doesn't give me enough clues as to what will happen during the rest of the series.   I just can't believe that LOST will be completely over in only twelve days!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

"The Candidate"

Glad to have LOST back after a week off even if there are only three weeks left of the series. 


I find myself very conflicted about this episode.  I really enjoyed some of the flash-sideways story but I was a bit disappointed with the outcome of the submarine escape attempt.  But as usual, I'm getting ahead of myself.  In the flash-sideways world, the more things change, the more they stay the same for Jack.  He saved Locke's life but he was not content to stop there.  He really wanted to perform another surgery to help Locke walk again and damn if he was going to take no for an answer!  Turns out Locke was a candidate for a new surgical procedure.  It was interesting to see that in the sideways world, it was Locke's fault that he was in a wheel chair and his accident made Anthony Cooper a vegetable.  Good old Jack tried to talk Locke into surgery one last time and after a fine performance by Terry O'Quinn, Locke rolled out of the hospital presuming to never see Jack again.  I have my doubts though since Jack is starting to notice how many Oceanic 815 passengers he keeps running into (nice cameo by Bernard).  It was also interesting to see that Locke had a vision of his Island life and spoke about it while sleeping.

Back on the Island, Jack was still convinced that he shouldn't leave and Locke was trying to convince him otherwise.  He at least got Jack to go along with him to rescue Sawyer, Kate, Hurley, Jin, Sun and Frank from Widmore who had locked them up in the polar bear cages for old time sake.  I've had my doubts about Locke's plan to fly off the Island mainly because the Ajira plane was too busted up to make any more trips.  It was nice of Widmore's people to build such a nice wooden staircase with railings up to the cabin door of the plane.  It seems like they should have spent more time working on the sonic fence though.  Once Locke found the C4 in the plane, I knew that he had plans to use it against our candidates, I just didn't expect the payoff so soon.  So it was off to the submarine instead.  I'm not sure what Sawyer had planned for dealing with Locke after he was in the water, but Jack did his part.  Whatever the plan, it changed when Kate got shot.  I've been expecting something like that to happen for the better part of the season, I just didn't expect what happened next.

Before Jack got on the sub, I saw Locke pull the old switcharoo with their backpacks so I expected Jack to unknowingly carry a bomb onto the sub.  Of course Jack never expected to get on the sub but once Kate got shot, Jack had to play the hero and bring her on board.  I liked Jack's attitude once they found the bomb.  From his time with Richard Alpert and the Black Rock dynamite, he was certain that Locke couldn't kill them or he would have done so already.  His logic seemed pretty strong considering what he'd witnessed recently, but Sawyer wasn't buying it and really, who could blame him?  I knew that Sayid still had some good in him and it was pretty clear that he was going to sacrifice himself at some point.  So I was not surprised to see him take the bomb and head for a secluded part of the sub but not before he told Jack where to find the still living Desmond.

So with an explosion, Sayid departs this second life and the series, that is until we presumably see a ghost version of the Iraqi appear to Hurley.  What I did not see coming was the fallout from the explosion.  This is also where I started to feel a little cheated.  First,  big metal door knocked Frank out and that was all he wrote!  So long Frank...we hardly knew ye.  He was my favorite new character introduced in Season 4 and I was so happy to see him back on the show last season and become a regular cast member this season.  I haven't loved the progression of his character this year and am disappointed that this was how he exits the series...not with a bang but a "Oh Hell!"

But they weren't done killing off characters yet!  Apparently the explosion trapped Sun against the wall of the sub but I didn't think the writers actually had it in them to kill three characters in one episode.  Turns out I was right...they killed four!  Four freaking regular cast members in one episode.  I knew that not everyone would make it out of the series alive, but I thought they might be spread out over several episodes.  But that's not how it was to be.  Sun could not free herself from confinement and Jin would not leave her so they stayed together to the end.  Another child is orphaned by the Island.  I guess I was supposed to be extremely saddened by their deaths, but I felt like it was missing the emotional heft that some other deaths have had over the years.  Maybe I was numb from the carnage that was occurring but death by drowning has already been done and to much better effect by Charlie in "Through the Looking Glass."

The producers have always said that the Island is a dangerous place and it stands to reason that a lot of people would die if there were an explosion on a submarine.  It's really a wonder that more of the candidates didn't die as a result.  So we bid adieu to Sayid, Sun, Jin and Frank.  I will miss them but all four have been underutilized this season and that has been a shame.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

"The Last Recruit"

Lucky 13.  Only five hours of LOST left, presented over three Tuesdays and a Sunday in May.  That's right...if you didn't glean it from the post-episode preview for the finale event, there will NOT be a new episode next week.  I repeat: NO NEW EPISODE NEXT WEEK!  Instead ABC will be airing a re-run of "Ab Aeterno" which will presumably be an enhanced version.  So LOST will officially conclude without ever completing an uninterrupted season which ABC has been promising since the second half of Season 3.  Granted, there was a (somewhat) unanticipated writers strike during Season 4 which created a hole in the schedule, however there were gaps in the schedule in Seasons 3 & 5 despite promises of "no breaks" and "no repeats."  So is there an upside to this?  There is, in a sense.  As stated above, the last three regular hour long episodes will air on May 4, 11 & 18 (all Tuesdays) followed by the two-hour series finale which will air on Sunday May 23.  So in the end, we will see the last three hours of LOST over a five day period.  So it goes, I guess.


If there is one word that describes the way I felt while watching this week's LOST episode, it would be "anxious."  There were so many times I was just anticipating something really terrible happening.  It was a palpable sense of dread.  I suppose it's because with so few episodes left, I would not be surprised if there were a shocking death coming before the finale.  I don't know who it might be but I'll admit that I am very worried about Desmond.  I don't think that we've seen the last of him but I am concerned.  But I'm getting ahead of myself.

It seems that we have now passed the point of single character-centric episodes.  Damon and Carlton hinted that this would be the case earlier in the season so I expect that going forward, we will see stories in remaining episodes following multiple characters as flash-sideways threads are brought together and pieces are set on the Island stage for the final act.  Since the flash-sideways were made so important by "Happily Ever After" and "Everybody Loves Hugo," I found myself enjoying this week's multiple storylines converging and all of the characters crisscrossing with one another like never before.  As expected, we see hit-and-run victim John Locke arriving at the emergency room at the same time as gut-shot Sun and shell-shocked Jin.  It appeared that Sun had her Island flash when she recognized Locke on his gurney.  So when will Sideways Locke have his flash of the Island?  And did Jack have his when he recognized Locke in the operating room?

I was very surprised to see Sideways Claire intercepted by Desmond on her way to visit the adoption agency.  Not only that, but I was definitely not expecting Sideways Ilana to be the lawyer that he was trying to get Claire to meet.  But the gears immediately started turning in my head and I realized that Ilana was probably also Christian Shepard's estate attorney and so we would get the Sideways Jack/Claire meeting foreshadowed in "Lighthouse."  The Sideways Sawyer/Miles/Sayid interaction was very interesting especially considering its placement relative to the Island Sayid story arc.  I'll revisit that in a bit.  And of course the Sideways Kate/Sawyer interaction was nothing shocking.  As has been the case all season long, our flash-sideways stories were all left with dangling threads to be picked up again in the remaining episodes of the show.

On the Island, we got a major download right away during the much anticipated conversation between Jack and Fake Locke.  I was pleased that Jack asked Locke point blank if he was the one posing as Christian Shepard on their third day on the Island.  I was equally pleased to hear Locke admit that it was.  Very cool.  As many of us long-term LOST fans have begun to suspect, all of the castaways have been manipulated by both Jacob and the Man In Black for a long time.  Now it would seem that Jacob conducted his business off-Island while the Man in Black has been manipulating everyone from the moment they arrived on the Island. 

After a demonstration of power and an ultimatum by Widmore's people, Locke sends Sayid to take care of his dirty work with Desmond.  Like I said before, I am concerned about Desmond's future.  I wasn't so much last week, but Sayid seems like he has nothing left to lose and would have no qualms about offing the Scotsman.  However, Desmond's questions to Sayid were very prescient and seemed to indicate that he knew that Locke had promised things that could only be given to Sayid with a great price.  Was this Desmond's attempt to get Sayid to have a flash of his sideways life?  This would make sense as it really would be the kind of deal the devil would make with someone.  Nadia would be alive but not with Sayid.  Not to mention that Sayid would be in jail thanks to the quick work of detectives Sawyer and Miles.  I was very anxious, but I did find the conversation between Desmond and Sayid very moving and I even felt a little sad that this was how Desmond would die.  Since we didn't see him again, I feel like Desmond is still alive for now but I will remain very worried about his future.

I've never been too keen on any plans involving the sailboat ever since Sayid and Jin royally screwed the pooch with it in "The Glass Ballerina." But I guess since Sayid and Jin weren't involved in this plan, things worked out well.  Sawyer and Kate found the boat and rendezvoused with Jack, Hurley, Sun and Frank.  Unfortunately, crazy Clarie followed them and was allowed on the boat.  What could possibly go wrong?  And just when I started to like Jack, he had his weird standoff with Saywer prompting him to jump off the boat and return to Locke.  I have no idea who is right and wrong in this fight, or if it will even be a clear dichotomy when all is said and done, but this shuffling around of the pawns could get very tedious if kept up for too long.  In any event, Jack arrived back to Locke just about the time that Sawyer et al were greeted as unwelcomed visitors by Widmore's team.  Thankfully Jin was still with them and the very very long overdue Sun and Jun reunion finally happened.  Sun got her voice back and all is right with the Kwons...for now.

Widmore's team bombarded Locke, Jack and the Others but Locke was able to move a dazed Jack to safety.  We are left to believe that Jack is now officially on board with Locke.  I disagree.  If Jack is to be the new Jacob, he's probably right where he needs to be to help contain the Man in Black.  But what do I know?!? There are three more episodes left to move this pieces around the game board several more times before the finale.  Despite my anxiety, I enjoyed this episode even if it was a lot of set-up for future events and machinations.  I especially liked the increasing connections between flash-sideways characters.  I'm not happy that it will be two weeks before we find out what happens next but I suppose we must make the best of it.  After all, there is so little LOST left, we must savor every minute we can get!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

"Everybody Loves Hugo"

Another great episode of LOST tonight!  The story is really getting amped up and I like where it appears to be going even if this denouement means that the show must end.  You know what they say about all good things... 


I'm starting my blog a late tonight as I was busy earlier playing some of my songs at an open mic night at a local restaurant.  As a result this may be a more abbreviated entry but once I get going it's hard to stop so it may end up being like a regular episode blog.  I just finished watching the episode and DAMN!  Things are getting crazy and I like it!  Good to see Michael and Libby again especially in their respective contexts.  It was nice to finally get an answer about the whispers, but I wonder if I'm alone in my feeling that my speculation was more satisfying than the reveal.  Don't get me wrong, I'm very appreciative to know that the whispers are the souls trapped on the Island as a result of the wrongs they did during their lives, but it's somewhat of an anti-climax.  I am thoroughly enjoying the season, but as these lingering questions continue to be answered over the remaining episodes, I wonder if I will feel excitement, frustration or ambivalence about them.  For now, I'm enjoying the ride.

It was very exciting to see Libby again!  It was especially interesting since it was sideways Libby and she was "crazy" which was somehow causing her to "remember" her Island existence.  I was also very glad to see both Island and sideways Desmond working to fulfill their destinies although I am a little worried about the nasty fall that Island Desmond took down the well.  As far as sideways Desmond goes, great to see him seeking out the Oceanic passengers to help them connect with their Island consciousnesses.  The gentle nudge that he gave Hurley paid huge dividends.  Roxi and I were both pretty overcome with emotion when Hurley saw flashes of his other life after his kiss with Libby.  What an awesome awakening!  But now what?  When sideways Desmond completes his mission, will the timelines merge?  Will characters have to choose which world they want. Can both worlds continue to exist in a parallel fashion?

I am really looking forward to seeing what is next for sideways Locke.  During that final sideways scene, a lot of thoughts were going through my head.  Here's a summary:

Is sideways Desmond planning to talk to sideways Locke?
What would be the point since Island Locke is dead!
Who would sideways Locke have to talk to in order to have flashes?
Charlie and Desmond both experienced Island flashes during near death experiences.
Desmond is going to have to run over Locke!
Desmond is about to run over Locke!
Desmond just ran over Locke!

Since sideways Locke appears to still be alive, I'm thinking that we will see him experience Island flashes next week.  But what will that mean for the Smoke Monster who is the "substitute" Locke on the Island?  Will this somehow restore Island Locke's consciousness to the Smoke Monster's manifestation of Locke?

I was gobsmacked by Ilana's sudden and violent death.  In the back of my mind, I was expecting it since she was really handling that dynamite too roughly, but I was still shocked when it happened.  Good thing that won't happen to anyone else now that Hurley destroyed the Black Rock.   But will we ever get any more of Ilana's backstory?  Is it even important?  There were several shots of Hurley's shifty eyes during the episode.  I wonder if he has a plan or if he's under the influence of other forces.  He just delivered the remaining candidates and an airline pilot to Locke.  I hope he knows what he's doing!

Alpert, Ben and Miles went off together to destroy the plane, this time with Dharma hand grenades.  I don't think they'll be successful.  They mentioned taking an outrigger.  Will we finally see the other side of the outrigger shootout that we saw in "The Little Prince?"  And as much as I hated the "Sun has aphasia" device from "The Package," I was glad that we didn't have to see her writing a lot of notes to Jack this week.  I also felt a sympathy for her when she scanned the people in Locke's camp and saw that Jin was not among them.  Will they finally be reunited next week?  I think that next week they will finally see each other for the first time since "There's No Place Like Home."

There is most certainly a lot more to say about this episode, but it is late and maybe less is more in this case.  The bottom line is that this was a great episode with a lot of meaty storylines.  I continue to look forward to the momentum that has been generated over the past few weeks.  Please feel free to remind me of anything that I missed in the comments and if I think of anything else after some sleep, I'll make sure to update this post.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

"Happily Ever After"

Episodes like this make me so satisfied that I've stuck with LOST through the ups and occasional downs, but it also makes me a little sad that it's almost over.  Time is really starting to run short; there aren't that many episodes left and a lot of story seems like it still needs to be told.  If this were any other show, I would be getting worried at this point, but since season finales are always top-notch, I think the series finale will be quite satisfying.


Finally, the long-anticipated Desmond episode! With the actor's off camera troubles last year, I was worried that Desmond's role would be cut out completely this year much to the detriment of the overarching story.  Thankfully, for this and presumably several more episodes, we get our beloved Scotsman back!  It's quite amazing really to think that some of my favorite characters from the series were not introduced until the second season.  I can only imagine what LOST would have been like if Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje had never got "island fever."    But I digress.

With a Desmond-centric episode, you never know exactly what you're going to get, but it's guaranteed to be great.  I'll be the first to admit that I was very confused and frustrated the first time I watched "Flashes Before Your Eyes" during Season 3 but it's because it was such a jarring change to how off-Island stories were told up to that point in the series.  Since then, I've come to expect to be challenged by the storytelling devices.  Perhaps the most challenging thus far has been this season's flash-sideways device.  Many viewers, including myself, have questioned their purpose and are left to wonder if we should even care about that version of the characters.  I can now say that the answer is a resounding yes!

As usual there are several questions that arise from this episode but it seems that we also got a really huge answer regarding the nature of the flash-sideways.  All season long, the characters in the flash-sideways world seem to have moments of déjà vu or some sort of knowing glance at someone they've never met.  It's been subtle but they are there at some point in every episode (excluding "Ab Aeterno" of course).  There was nothing subtle about the moments of déjà vu for Desmond though, but that's to be expected for someone whose consciousness can travel through his lifetime.  Still this was a very different flash.  The effects of Widmore's electromagnetic field device forced Desmond's consciousness to travel into his sideways timeline.  

Desmond had three very important sideways encounters that indicate that he's not the only one who has been having what many viewers are now calling "bleed-through" from the Island timeline.  His first with Charlie got the ball rolling and made Desmond to start pondering true love.  What really shocked him was the flash of Island-Charlie's dying moment from the Looking Glass Station when it appeared that sideways-Charlie was about to suffer a similar fate.  Couple that with his vision of a happy life with Penny while he was in the MRI tube and things started getting really heavy for Desmond.  His second important encounter was with Eloise Widmore nee Hawking.  At first it was a normal enough conversation, but after Desmond heard the name Penny (Milton!) and wanted to know more, Eloise turned into the more ominipotent "Flashes Before Your Eyes" version of herself.  She certainly seemed to know more than she let on about what Desmond might or might not have been experiencing at that moment.  Before Desmond could leave the museum (Charlotte and Pierre Chang's museum of course), he had his third important encounter with Eloise's pianist son Daniel Widmore (!!).  Daniel saw a beautiful blue-eyed redhead eating a chocolate bar one day and knew that he was in love with her even though they'd never met.  That night, he dreamt a series of mathematical equations that only someone who studied physics for their entire life could conceive them.  And then the bombshell (zing!):

Imagine something terrible is about to happen, something catastophic, and the only way to stop it is by releaseing a huge amount of energy, like setting of a nuclear bomb....What if this--all this-- this wasn't supposed to be our life?  What if we had some other life but for some reason, we changed things?  I don't want to set off a nuclear bomb Mr. Hume; I think I already did.

The flash-sideways just got very interesting.

Desmond's meeting with Penny at the stadium was perfect.  There she was running the stairs and I was half-expecting to see Jack running them as well so that we could come full circle from Season 2.  Although their conversation was very different from the highly emotional climax of "The Constant," I found it equally touching.  There is something about this couple that I find more compelling than any other romantic pairing on the show.  After their reunion in "There's No Place Like Home," I was sure the Desmond-Penny storyline would lose some of it's luster, but their meeting at the stadium was just as powerful if not more so.  After all, their handshake brought Desmond's consciousness back to the Island timeline and made a believer out of him.  He is on board now and he understands that to keep the life he has, he must fulfill his purpose on the Island.

There are a couple of things that concern me about his "destiny."  The first is that Widmore told him that he would have to make a sacrifice.  I am worried that his sacrifice might end up being similar to the one that Dogan had to make...something along the lines of having to forgo ever seeing Penny and Charlie again in order to save their lives.    My second concern is about Desmond's willingness to join Sayid without question even after he ambushed and killed some of Widmore's people.  Is this all part of Jacob's plan?  Is Desmond's destiny to defeat the Man in Black by appearing to join him?  Just when I thought that was it for the episode, we got a thought provoking sideways story coda.  Desmond set a date with Penny and then returned to the limo where he asked George (I loved seeing Minkowski get more screen time in this episode than he probably had in all his other appearances combined) to get him the passenger manifest for Oceanic 815....he needs to show them something.  Is this finally the beginning of the convergence of the flash-sideways with the Island storyline?  I think so although I'm not exactly sure how it will be accomplished.  I'm guessing that this newly imbued-with-knowledge Desmond has a plan to get all of the should-be-Islanders together in LA for a meeting...there's work to be done!

Great episode, maybe the best of the season for me although "Ab Aeterno" is certainly a strong contender.  LOST is living up to my expectations this far.  Sometimes I'd prefer more forward momentum, but as long as we get stories like we have recently, I'll be a happy camper come the May 23.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

"The Package"

Hour 10-of-18 of the season is history. We are officially careening towards the end now as we have passed the halfway point. Where will it go from here?


The long awaited Sun and Jin episode finally happened and I was foolishly expecting them to actually be reunited on the Island. Now I just hope it happens before the final episode. I like them and their being separated for so long is really getting boring. So it was nice to see them "together" in the flash-sideways. As was noticed by sharp eyed viewers of "LA X," they were not wearing wedding rings and Sun was addressed as Ms. Paik by airport security. It was nice to see that they are a secret couple in the flash-sideways world even if fate has not brought them together as husband and wife. It was not surprising to find out that Mr. Paik knew their secret and wasn't happy, but it was sad to learn that he ordered Jin's murder at the hands of a very creepy Martin Keamy. The whole thing was an obvious set-up from the beginning because even gangsters know that if you want to legally bring over $10,000 through customs, it must be declared. So not only did Mr. Paik want Jin dead, he was going to screw over the hitman!

It was very funny so see that Keamy's interpreter was none of than a two-eyed Mikhail. It was even funnier to see him lose his eye when shot during Jin's escape. On the subject of Jin's escape from the freezer, I was actually very nervous when Sayid hesitated to help him. In fact, I really thought Sayid might kill him since he effectively witnessed Keamy et al's murders. But in the end, Sayid did just enough to help Jin escape. My intuition told me that we were not out of the woods though so I was not surprised to see that Sun was shot during Jin's skirmish with Mikhail. And she was pregnant! But that's were the flash-sideways ended making me again wonder if and when a grand payoff will come. Will all of our characters eventually end up in the same place at the same time soon? Or are these stories simply the lives of the characters if Jacob had never gotten involved? Or is it what their lives will be if the Man in Black successfully escapes the Island?

Speaking of the Island, that was a very strange scene at the beginning of the episode with the night vision POV of Widmore's army. It seemed unnecessary. But we did learn that Locke's plan (or at least what he is telling everyone) is that he intends to fly the Ajira plane away from the Island but he can only do it if he has all the remaining candidates with him. That means he has to get Sun just in case she's the "Kwon" on Jacob's list. But that would be easier said than done. Locke also tells Claire that Kate is not a candidate but she will be useful in getting the other candidates on his side (i.e. Jack) but after he's done with her, Claire can do what ever she likes (i.e. kill Kate).

Okay, now here's my big quibble with this episode and I think that LOST should be better than this. After being knocked unconscious while running from Locke, Sun wakes up and has lost the ability to speak English. LAME!!!!! This is a legitimate shark jumping moment, unless....the Man in Black may have powers we don't yet know about including the power to take things from people, like Sun's ability to communicate. There are so many biblical references in this show, Locke might as well have the ability to confound people à la the Tower of Babel. He undoubtedly caught up with her after she was knocked unconscious and had ample time to work his magic, cast his spell or whatever he does before Ben found her. I hope this is the reason for her aphasia and not just a horribly cliched plot device.

While Locke was chasing Sun around, his beach camp was attacked in order for Widmore to kidnap Jin. Seriously, will Sun and Jin ever be together again? When he woke up I was trying to figure out where Jin was and enjoyed learning that it he was in fact in Room 23. Riddle me this: we have been led to believe that Dharma was exploiting the unique properties of the Island but the video in Room 23 mentions Jacob by name so were they also brought to the Island as part of the contest between Jacaob and the Man in Black? If so, why were they purged by the Others who are presumably disciples of Jacob? Why would Jacob's people kill, especially after what we learned about Richard last week and his feelings about murder?

Widmore had a couple of interesting conversations tonight. First, he talked with Locke on the beach of Hydra Island. Nice to see that the temporary sonic fence actually kept Locke out...or at least that's what he'd have Widmore believe. Curious that Widmore doesn't know what Locke is but says he is a "combination of myth, ghost stories and jungle noises in the night." So how much does Widmore really know about the Man in Black and Jacob for that matter? One thing is for sure, Widmore is definitely not on Locke's side. The second important Widmore conversation was with Jin who got to see pictures of Ji Yeon for the first time. Very good acting by Daniel Dae Kim in this scene. Apparently, if the Man in Black get's off the Island, all of the Losties and their loved ones will cease to exist. Very interesting.

So who is "The Package?" Why it's our old long lost fan-favorite Desmond Hume. So what's the story with that? Eloise Hawking told him last season that the Island wasn't done with him yet and I've certainly felt that he would become important to the Jacob/Man in Black rivalry if for no other reason than that "the rules don't apply to him." But how did he end up on Widmore's sub? Last we saw him, Desmond was in the hospital recovering from being shot by Ben at the marina. Charles Widmore and Eloise Hawking were seen talking outside of the hospital. So did Widmore abduct Desmond then or did he keep an eye on him for a later kidnapping? Perhaps we will find out next week.

That's about it other than a note to ABC: don't put a stupid countdown clock over the lower right corner of the screen! If Jack didn't reiterate all of Sun's notes to him, I wouldn't have known what the hell was going on! "V" is an okay show but there have only been four definitely doesn't deserve a countdown clock!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

"Ab Aeterno"

I'm a little late getting to blogging tonight as I was a little late getting to watch the episode...thankfully the Tivo worked and I added an extra few minutes of recording having been warned about the extended length of the episode. I have a few thoughts but I'll probably forget most of them before I get to the end of this's late and I need to be up for work in a few hours!


Roxi and I were out tonight hosting one of her former dissertation advisers who is visiting Memphis to give a talk in Roxi's department tomorrow afternoon. We didn't start watching the episode until about 11:30 tonight and Roxi didn't make it through. I was determined to see this story though after these three years of waiting. All week I have been trying to temper my excitement and expectations about Richard Alpert's backstory as I felt that I could only be disappointed if my hopes were too high. All-in-all I really enjoyed the episode but as usual, my imagination probably caused me a little cognitive dissonance. Don't get me wrong, I think we learned a great deal but I guess I had hoped that we would see even more. But a new episode of LOST is better than no LOST at all (what will become of me in a few short weeks?!?).

It was certainly curious how the episode opened with an extended version of the Season 5 finale scene showing Jacob's meeting with Ilana. I wonder when we will get the proper flashback treatment for the mysterious protector of the Candidates. Back on the beach as Ilana explained her purpose to Jack et al, I was a little creeped out by Hurley standing by himself speaking in tongues (being from South Louisiana I learned French in high school not Spanish so it was gibberish to me). When Richard said that he didn't know what Jacob wanted him to do and stormed off the beach, I knew that he was headed for a meeting with the Man in Black.

The last time that Richard was mortal was 240 140 years (bad late-night math) before the Island present of 2007. Any significance to that amount of time? I'm not sure yet but it was sad yet unsurprising to see that his pre-Island life wasn't any easier than anyone else stuck there. After he accidentally killed a man trying to save his dying wife, Ricardus was sold into slavery to Magnus Hanso, great grandfather of Dharma Initiative financier Alvar Hanso. The mystery of the destruction of the statue was finally solved as we learned that it was destroyed by the Black Rock as she ran aground on the Island. That was one hell of a storm! Not unlike the wreckage of Oceanic 815 in the jungle, the Smoke Monster made short work of all of the survivors except Richard. Instead, it chose to "scan" him in the same manner that we saw him/it scan Mr. Eko, Juliet and Kate. It was no real surprise to see Richard's dead wife appear to him which I'm presuming as actually one of the Smoke Monster's many forms.

The really cool stuff happened after the Man in Black (back in Season 5 form) released Richard from his bondage on the condition that he help get rid of his nemesis. Curiously, the Man in Black gave Richard the same dagger to kill Jacob that Dogen gave to Sayid in "Sundown." Furthermore, he gave him verbatim instructions on how and when to kill Jacob. Richard fails in his mission when he has the crap beaten out of him by Jacob. But then things got really interesting as Jacob explained what the Man in Black was trying to achieve and how disastrous it would be for the world if he did manage to escape the Island. Also of note: Jacob said that whatever Richard did before the Island didn't matter. Why can Jacob only offer to grant some of Richard's wishes but not all. Why can't he reunite Ricardus with Isabella? What's the reason, it is the same as why Dogen could only save his son if he never saw him again. The blessing/curse.

The Man in Black was disappointed in Alpert but not so much that he shut the door on any future "professional" relationship between the two. This of course turned out to be precisely the reason for Richard's lone trek through the jungle. Thankfully, Hurley had Isaballa's ghost guidance keeping Richard from embracing the darkness much to the chagrin of Fake Locke who we saw looking on in disdain. I was expecting the episode to end at that point, but we got the extra little tag of Jacob and the Man in Black discussing the Island. Unless we are getting more of a smokescreen(!), we can be fairly certain that Jacob's mission had always been to keep the Man in Black on the Island. But is there something more sinister to Jacob's motivation? If we found out definitely, I don't think it will happen until the series finale.

Well, I am officially beat. I know I must have left some things out of this post, but it is late and I am tiered. If I think of anything else, I'll update this post accordingly so stay tuned. I no find myself in a recurring experience: waiting for the next new episode of LOST next week. Goodnight LOST fans.

UPDATE: Two things I forgot to mention last night:

(1) Hurley referred to the spirit inhabiting Locke as "The Man in Black," which is what we have been calling Jacob's nemesis since "The Incident" but this is the first time that he has been given any sort of "name" by someone on the show.

(2) When Richard saw Isabella on the ship and hears the Smoke Monster outside, was the Man in Black in two places at once? Up until now, we have only seen the Man in Black either in a human form or as the Smoke Monster but not both at the same time. So was it the Man in Black taking the form of Isabella or was it someone else...perhaps Jacob?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Great episode of LOST tonight. I liked the story, the pacing and the information revealed. All in all a strong episode.


First I have to mention that Sawyer's shorter hair was extremely distracting to me throughout the entire episode. I'm not sure what the story is with that but it just looked strange. This is not a real gripe, it's just that his hair has been fairly consistent throughout the past few seasons and to see such a change was very odd. But that is neither hair(!) nor there. I really liked the sideways storyline in this episode but I must admit that I figured out the story arc very earlier on. Surprisingly that did not diminish my enjoyment of the episode though. I found it very satisfying even though his blind date turned out to be with Charlotte rather than Juliet but as usual I'm getting ahead of myself.

I was definitely conned in the beginning of the episode even though I jokingly told Roxi that Sideways Sawyer was a cop before the reveal. I loved that "LaFleur" was the code word and that Sideways Miles was his partner. Just like old Dharma times! When Sideways James was making phone calls to Anthony Coopers, I had a suspicion that even in this world, his parents were dead and he was trying to find the man who was responsible for it. According to Miles, his dad (Pierre Chang?) is still alive and works at the same museum as Charlotte. So here we have another member of the DI who came back to the real world for the as yet to be disclosed reason. I wonder if Sideways Miles was born on the Island or if he has any memories of it.

I was really expecting for Sawyer to "go Dutch" with Juliet on his blind date but alas it was good old Charlotte. And with her snooping we got the reveal that this James Ford has the same sad past. Nice to see him admit it all to Miles but a little scary to see his intensity when he said he was planning to kill Anthony Cooper. I wonder if Sideways Sawyer killed Sideways Frank Duckett when he was in Australia. I knew that there had to be some crazy end to the sideways story and it came when Sideways Kate came running onto the scene. We're left with James catching Kate and recognizing her from the airport....which raises the question: if he noticed her handcuffs in "LA X," why didn't he do something about it then? Answer: because it would have tipped the writers hand that he was a cop which was something they wanted to be revealed now not then.

More characters are crossing into sideways stories each week. Is there going to be some critical mass where all the characters are in the same place at the same time again? Will this create some kind of nexus that reconciles our two storylines? It seems that something is up but what is it?

Back on the Island, it was nice to see that Jin is recovering, but that's all we got of him. I wonder when the Jin and Sun episode will be. Fake Locke is playing a different game with each of his followers and I'm finding it very interesting what information he chooses to reveal to each of them. He admits to Sawyer that he is the Black Smoke, yet he tells everyone else that the Black Smoke killed all the temple Others. He talks to Kate about his crazy mother (truth or lie?) so that she can understand what Aaron will be up against when he is reunited with Claire. I'm not sure what parts of his story to believe but I don't think he's being entirely truthful.

When Sawyer went to Hydra Island to do reconnaissance, I expected some but not all of the Ajira passengers to be dead. I was pretty sure that Zoe was not who she said she was and that Widmore was involved in some way. There have been so many misdirections and twists in this show, when Sawyer mentioned that he knew who Widmore was, I honestly didn't remember that they are all under the (mistaken?) impression that Charles Widmore sent the freighter to kill all the Oceanic survivors. Of course Widmore did little to clarify with his vague comment about how little Sawyer et al understand. It was very interesting to see the temporary sonic fence being assembled around Widmore's teams' base camp. Does that mean that Widmore from the old days of the Island was involved in the construction of the original fence or did he just learn it's importance because it was already there?

I was pretty sure that Sawyer was working a long con on Fake Locke since "The Substitute" but this episode sealed the deal as he seems to be stringing both Locke and Widmore along so that he can get off the Island. And for some reason he told Kate that she is going with him!?! That seems like a bit of a departure from the Sawyer that was despondent and rudderless back in "What Kate Does." I'm not sure how Sawyer plans to achieve his goal but I fear that there will be some collateral damage along the way. For the record I think that either Kate or Sawyer will be shot while they are in an outrigger canoe in pursuit of the outrigger canoe that time-flashing Locke and company were using in "The Little Prince." Recall that time-flashing Juliet shot someone on the pursuing outrigger. For a while now, I've thought that it would be the ultimate irony if she unknowingly shot and killed Sawyer but now I'm starting to think it would be ultimate karma if she unknowingly shot and killed Kate.

There's probably plenty that I've forgotten to mention, but that's all I have for tonight. Now I have to compose myself and not get my expectations up too much for the next episode of LOST. I've been waiting for next week's story for a very long time...I really hope it doesn't disappoint!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

"Dr. Linus"

These episodes are going by so quickly! Seven hours in and I'm still trying to figure out the endgame. Not a lot of answers tonight, but rather a fair amount of confirmations.


Since we broke with the Season 1 episode centricity and had the title fake out last week, all bets are off about who will be the focal character each week...but this episode had no fake out. We got to see flash-sideways Ben and he's a lot more like you'd expect someone who looks like him to be: meek. The big winner in this weeks flash-sideways cross is Leslie Arzt. I shouldn't have been as surprised as I was to see the perennial bit-player get a role at Ben's school. Now that I think of it, Alex was a pretty big winner too but I'm getting ahead of myself. As I watched the flash-sideways story unfold, I was trying to figure out if this Ben was going to be ruthless like Island Ben or if he would be more selfless. I was pleased with the answer.

It was nice seeing Ben taking care of the still living Roger Linus and it was believable for Roger to be sorry that he wasn't able to provide the life that he thought Ben deserved. I found it very interesting to learn that sideways Roger and Ben went to the Island as part of the Dharma Initiative but left, presumably when the pre-Incident evacuation occurred, and never returned. I guess this is more confirmation than revelation since we saw the remains of the Dharmaville in the underwater shot from the season premiere so we already knew it had existed at some point. In any event, in this life, Roger and Ben seem to have a good relationship. Of course, the story would have been incomplete without Alex (I wonder how Danielle Rousseau ended up in Los Angeles...on second thought, I hope no time is wasted on that anecdote) who is still in Ben's life as one of his brightest students. And of course, we had a nice brief cameo from substitute Locke.

When Alex confided in Ben that Principle Walter Peck (not the principle's name but that's how I'll always remember the actor) has been getting frisky with the school nurse, I could see the wheels spinning in Ben's mind. It was pretty evident that he was going to try to manipulate the principle out of his job and take his place. Unfortunately, sideways Ben was trumped by the principle's threat to give Alex a bad college recommendation. I was not sure if sideways Ben could do it, but he resisted the temptation to double down and be responsible for the death of sideways Alex's dream, but he did it! I'm still wondering how these flash-sideways stories connect to the world where the Island exists, but I have faith. Don't make me regret it LOST!

Speaking of the Island, a lot of stuff happened but at the same time, we didn't learn too much new information. As I said earlier, there were a lot of confirmations of things we were pretty sure we knew especially about Richard Alpert, namely that he came to the Island on the Black Rock. When asked why he didn't age, Alpert said that it was because he was touched by Jacob but that it was more of a curse than a blessing because he couldn't die by his own hand. Apparently Jacob's touch is a mixed blessing which really makes me wonder about our candidates. Does this mean that the candidates can't kill themselves either? I think we saw the Island spare Jack's life when he let the dynamite wick burn down.

Everybody seems to be having a crisis of faith this season. If this was Jacob's plan, than mission accomplished! I never thought I would hear Richard say that he wasted his life because Ben told him he had a plan, but Alpert did just that. Of course we've known that Jack and Ben have been suffering with their own crises as well since last season. They have been trying to find meaning in their lives after feeling betrayed by the lack of direction they have gotten from the Island/Jacob lately. It was quite a gut punch for Ben when Miles told him that Jacob had hoped he wouldn't kill him up until the moment that Ben stabbed Jacob in the heart. And what's the deal with people on TV being able to dig perfectly geometric graves? I mean all Ben had to work with was an oversized hunk of bamboo and he made straighter edges than Pythagoras could have done! I also found it amusing that not only did Miles know that Nikki and Paolo were buried with diamonds, by the end of the episode, he had recovered at least one of them!

I enjoyed the use of the Smoke Monster noise before Locke showed up to tempt Ben into joining his team but I hope that don't overdo it with that device. Less is more! Apparently Locke and company are heading for Hydra Island but Ben won't be joining him thanks to Ilana's forgiveness and acceptance. I want to think that her faith in Jacob, despite his death, actually helped Ben make his choice. Roxi doesn't agree with me, but I think Ben knows full well that Locke's intentions aren't good even if Jacob didn't have the best track record. I loved the reunion scene when Jack and Hurley arrived at the beach camp. They were so happy to see Sun, Miles and Frank, and the musical accompaniment really pushed me over the edge. Michael Giacchino writes a great song! We were supposed to be surprised to see Charles Widmore in a submarine off the coast of the Island watching the beach reunion, but I was spoiled when I noticed the actor's name in the credits at the beginning of the episode. Still though, we all had to know he'd be showing up sooner or later.

All-in-all, I liked this episode...not as good from a story perspective as the past two episodes but it featured excellent work by Michael Emerson. Was it just me, or was that Leonard Cohen preview for next week just weird? So what now? Apparently, this was the first episode of the second act of the season (with 18 hours of the show, the season is split up into three 6 hour blocks...get it? 6-6-6!). Are you satisfied with where things are going? Is it moving quickly enough for you? I'm just curious because Roxi is a little frustrated by the pace whereas I'm mostly savoring each episode and enjoying the ride (of course I could have done without "What Kate Does" but you probably knew that already). Other than that, I really only get feedback from other blogs and podcasts but I'm curious about what casual fans think.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010


A very interesting episode of LOST tonight...overall not as great as the past two but still pretty good. I continue to be in the dark though about where this is all going but I have a few new insights as well.


First of all, they totally faked me out with the episode title. I was sure that this would be a Sun-centric episode so I was very surprised to see the episode start with a Sayid flash-sideways. Kind of sad to see in the flash-sideways that it is Sayid's brother that ended up with Nadia, but Sayid had his reasons. It was also interesting to see that like the Island Sayid, "just when he thought he was out, they pulled him right back in." I'm getting used to seeing other characters appearing in the flash-sideways so now it's just a guessing game to see who the surprise cameos will be. I took a shot in the dark and guessed that it would be Jin tied up in that meat locker, but I never suspected that we'd see Keamy again. I suppose it's fitting that Sayid dispatched him here as he was unable to do so alone on the Island back in Season 4. So why was Jin tied up and beaten in the meat locker? Roxi thinks that he had delivered the gold watch and I suppose that Keamy and his men beat him up to send some sort of message to Mr. Paik. Hopefully we'll find out more about that soon.

Honestly, the flash-sideways storyline wasn't too compelling but that was more than made up for by the Island story. Right off the bat, it seemed like this would be another episode where someone would ask questions but not get any answers. Despite some obfuscation though, Dogen was quite forthcoming. During the extended fight scene between Dogen and Sayid, the slow motion falling baseball was pretty laughable, and I should have seen the heartbreaking story associated with it coming, but I figured it might be weeks before we'd get it. Dogen confirmed what we were led to believe after his appearance in Jack's flash-sideways last week: he isn't an ancient pirate but rather came to Island more recently from Japan where he was a banker and he came to the Island so that his son could live back in the real world. Beyond that we might not learn much more about him thanks to his shocking murder but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Sayid's confrontation with Locke was pretty awesome. The Smoke Monster noises and rustling foliage before Locke's appearance made for a really cool entrance. I wonder if things would have gone differently if Sayid had stabbed Locke before he had the chance to say hi. I don't think that Dogen was being literal when he told Sayid that if he stabbed Locke after he talked it would be too late...but what if he was? Honestly though, I think that it was Dogen's plan for Sayid to be killed by Locke...too bad he never counted on Sayid being amenable to temptation. I shouldn't have been surprised that Sayid ended up killing Dogen but I got faked out when he set the knife down. I never expected him to drown the man! And then to kill Lennon just like that was brutal! Even though Lennon said that Dogen was the only thing protecting the Temple from Locke, I have a feeling that Sayid simply broke the circle of ash and that's what let the Smoke Monster in.

Kate is really annoying. With all the female writers on the staff, it would seem that they could create a better storyline for her. Her hunt for Claire didn't last very long and Claire was pissed, but it doesn't look like she's going to kill Kate any time soon. So now what? I don't know what we're supposed to take away from their interaction other than Claire has definitely chosen sides and she is with Locke. And what's with the "Silence of the Lambs" pit in the temple?

The assault of the Temple by the Smoke Monster reminded me of the time that Ben called the Monster to take care of the commandos in the Dharma Village in Season 4. The carnage was intense and I wasn't sure if Miles was going to make it. I actually thought the pounding on the door he was hiding behind was Locke coming to bargain with him. Needless to say, I was surprised when it turned out to be Ilana, Frank, Sun and Ben. I guess we'll learn about their trip to the Temple soon (next week?). Ben was suitably freaked out by the "new" Sayid which led Roxi to speculate that whatever was done to heal him when he was a boy was different than what was done to Sayid.

The closing moments of the episode were very powerful and disturbing. The soundtrack of "Catch a Falling Star" while Clair and Kate walked amongst the Temple dead was suitably creepy. And then the slow motion reunion of Sayid and Claire with Locke was very ominous. I am wondering what we are to make of Locke's expression when he saw that Kate was with Claire. I couldn't tell if it was disappointment or indifference. I am officially creeped out by Locke and the power that he wields. As I've said before, I still don't have any idea how the show will end but it seems that our main characters may end up being split between two sides of a very old conflict.

As always, I'm left wanting more and look forward to next week. I can't believe there are only ten more episodes of LOST left!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Five hours in and I still have no idea where this season is heading, but I am, for the most part enjoying the ride! After a great episode last week, I was expecting a bit of a let down, but was very pleased with this installment.


As discussed last week, this episode's flash-sideways followed in the pattern of Season 1 by focusing on Jack. I'm mixed on my enjoyment of Jack-centric episodes but on a whole I liked this one. So parallel Jack has a son. I might be reaching here but since Sarah's name was never mentioned I was expecting David's mother to be revealed as someone else we know like Ana Lucia...perhaps in a future episode. I was completely unsurprised to learn that parallel Jack is a crappy absentee father. Also, his mom is a worse drunk than his dad...apparently she didn't even look for Christian's will before calling Jack because it sure didn't seem hard to find. At least Jack made an effort with David by watching his audition for the music academy. I found the scene between the two of them after the audition to be very touching. But what are we to make of Dogen and his son being in LA at the same audition. Does this mean that Dogen hasn't been on the Island since the days of the Black Rock and that he might have only arrived sometime after the Incident? Very strange.

Back on the Island, I thought Hurley was in top form; funny as hell and taking charge thanks to help from Jacob. But what's the deal with Jacob? Is he just f-ing with Hurley or what? Making him take the sad, pathetic Jack across the Island for a task that he knew Jack wouldn't be able to do correctly? Seriously? Island Jack needs an attitude adjustment and fast! He is a tremendous contradiction. He never listened to Locke in the past and went out of his way to do the opposite. Fine. But then after he left the Island he want back on faith (not just because he was "broken and hoped to be fixed" but also because Locke told him Christian wanted to say hello) and was zapped to 1977! He set off a hydrogen bomb and didn't die but rather zapped forward to 2007! He saw Sayid die and then come back to life! But(!) he thinks it's strange that his childhood home could be seen from the mirror in the Lighthouse?!? We all want answers but he needs some damn anger management! When he broke those mirrors my stomach just sunk (and I don't think it was from the flu that I'm getting over). He is so pathetic and selfish it hurts. Jacob told Hurley that Jack has an important job to do and as long as it involves messing something up, Jacob's picked the right guy!

I was a bit disappointed that we didn't get to find out whose name is at 108 degrees on the Lighthouse bearing. My first guess would be Kate since she was conspicuously absent from the list we saw in the cave last week as was the number in question. But this number is supposed to correspond to someone who needs to come to the Island. In that case, I'm thinking it belongs to someone like Desmond or Charles Widmore. No sense in worrying about it now though; we'll find out when they want us to find out. I loved the callbacks to Season 1 as Jack and Hurley were trekking to the Lighthouse. Not only did they find Shannon's long lost asthma inhaler but they actually mentioned Adam & Eve! I loved Hurley's time-travel theory about the identities of the skeletons. I only hope this scene serves as a reminder to LOST fans who may have forgotten (is that even possible?!?) about the skeletons in the caves and is not the last we hear about Adam & Eve. I suspect it is the former.

As we all thought, Claire has been living in the woods like Rousseau for the past three years and trying to find Aaron who she is sure was kidnapped by the Others. Apparently her father and her "friend" told her that's who took him. So again, I can't help but think that whatever is now taking the form of Locke was taking the form of Christian Shepard for a long time, perhaps even since the beginning. What's perplexing is that Claire seems to forget that she left Aaron when Christian appeared to her towards the end of Season 4. What gives? She was also apparently "tested" by the Others like Sayid. When Jin told her that Kate took Aaron, I knew that would be trouble for Kate and was confirmed by the end of the episode. So what's Jin's game here? Does he think he'll stay alive by bringing Claire to the Temple? And does Claire see someone else when we see Locke? It seems like she'd call him Locke instead of her "friend." It'll be interesting to learn more about that. So I guess Locke and Claire heading for the Temple are what Jacob warned Hurley about. That doesn't bode well for Sayid and Miles not to mention all the Others hanging out there.

I'm looking forward to more as long as they maintain this pace of story-telling and don't tell us any more about what Kate might do!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

"The Substitute"

I seriously don't remember episodes of LOST going by so fast! I know it's only the fourth hour of the season, but I'm really starting to suspect that there may be more questions left ambiguous than will be definitively answered. I really have to start tempering my expectations each week but by the time Tuesday rolls around I am admittedly annoyingly excited.


As I somewhat suspected, we got a Locke-centric episode and although it wasn't all I'd hoped for, I did enjoy it. As far as flash-sideways Locke goes, he seemed very at peace last time we saw him in "LA X" but he certainly seemed like the old dejected Locke from pre-815 crash times in this episode. It was nice to see that in this world, he at least has Helen to help him cope and believe in miracles (loved that scene by the way--she was a woman of faith and he was a sad man of science, so to speak). It sucked to see Locke get fired by "douchey" Randy but great to see Hugo give him a break and hook him up with a new job. And while it was interesting to see Rose in charge at the temp agency, doesn't it seem like she would have known that the owner of her company was on the same flight back from Sydney as she was? Maybe not but I thought it a little bit of a plot hole. Regardless, I did appreciate that in this world, she still has terminal cancer and she and Locke connected on their feelings of helplessness just as they did in the other world. And of course, just for us fans, we got that short scene with substitute teacher Locke meeting history teacher Ben in the teacher's lounge. Is John Locke a nexus for LOST crosses or what?!?

On the Island though things look to be pretty final for John Locke. It was very sweet of Sun to insist on burying Locke's body and actually quite sad to see Ben and Lapidus lower it into a grave. So many Losties are buried on that hill...I never thought John Locke would end up as one of them. For once in his life, Ben finally told the truth when he said that John was a believer and a better man than he would ever be. I was surprised that he admitted that he was sorry for murdering Locke, but I suppose he is after the conversation he had with Fake Locke in "LA X." In true LOST fashion though, just when it couldn't get any sadder, Lapidus chimed in with a great bit of comic relief about this most unusual of funerals.

Meanwhile, Fake Locke seemed to be on a quest to recruit as many Losties as possible to his cause. Of course before making contact with Sawyer, he tried to make a convincing argument to Richard Alpert. I really hope we get to see Richard's backstory because I'm very curious how Jacob recruited him and how much he really knows. Aside from his unexplained eternal youth, I like how he has become less mystical in his knowledge with each season. There is a very strong possibility that he's only on Jacob's side because that's who got to him first.

I'm a little worried about Sawyer to say the least. Juliet's death has really taken any will to live from him and I fear that he may not make it through the end of the series. I was never really worried about him dying while climbing down the side of the cliff, but I have my doubts that he will manage to survive until the end of the show. By the end of this episode, he seemed to have reverted back to his old "every man for himself" ways. Then again, he is a con-man and may be working a long one on Fake Locke. Also of note is that according to Ilana, the Man in Black is stuck in Locke's form for some undisclosed reason. Of course, as we have seen, that does not preclude him from turning back into smoke in order to wreak havoc.

But now to perhaps the juiciest information revealed in this episode: Jacob/Man in Black's Cave of Names. Fake Locke promised to show Sawyer the reason that he was on the Island and it all has to do with his meeting with Jacob earlier in his life. Apparently, those on "the list" are candidates to take over for Jacob.

So who are the candidates?

42-Kwon (Sun or Jin?)

As Fake Locke went through the list and we saw flashes of the Losties interactions with Jacob, I noticed one glaring omission: Kate was not listed despite that fact that she was touched by Jacob that we first saw in near the beginning of "The Incident" last season. Why isn't she a candidate? Perhaps the answer lies in the shadow of the statue. Last season when Ilana, Bram et al kidnapped Lapidus, they had a conversation about him being a candidate. I'm guessing that only men can be candidates leading me to also believe that the Kwon referred to on the list is probably Jin. But what of the significance of the numbers assigned to each name on the list? You got me! I never expected the numbers to come back into play other than as Easter Eggs and for all I know, that could very well be all there is to their appearance here!

Fake Locke told Sawyer that he has three choices: 1) do nothing, see what happens and possibly be "crossed off" the list, 2) become the new Jacob and protect the Island or 3) get the hell off the Island and never look back. For now it seems that Sawyer is ready to choose option three but as I mentioned before, it might just be a log-con and he'll eventually double-cross Fake Locke. One other oddity of note. Early in the episode, Fake Locke sees a little boy dressed in shabby Others-esque clothing. Later both he and Sawyer see the boy. When Fake Locke actually talks to the boy, he is told that he "knows the rules" and he "can't kill him" to which Fake Locke angrily replied "Don't tell me what I can't do!" Great response but it doesn't bode well for Fake Locke seeing as how will things worked out for the real Locke! So is the boy a form of Jacob? He would seem to be, but why is he a boy? Or is he someone else? My guess is that he is Jacob and all this means that Fake Locke is not allowed to kill anyone but if they were to killed by someone else, that's a "win" for the dark side.

Why can't these episodes be longer?!? I don't know what will happen next but based on some things Jorge Garcia said on his Geronimo Jack's Beard podcast, it would appear that the centric episodes this season are, so far, following the order of episodes from the first season. Both "pilot" episode sets dealt with multiple character's flashbacks/sideways, followed by Kate-centric second episodes and Locke-centric third. So are we to expect that next week's episode will be Jack-centric? I like the symmetry however it can't be sustained due to a fewer number of episodes this season not to mention the absence of several characters that are no longer alive. Whatever the plan, I'm interested in finding out!