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 episodes...it 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 post...it'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!