Eclaire Fare

Enjoying Pop Culture, One Bite at a Time

Lost 5.14: The Variable April 30, 2009

Filed under: Lost,Television — Emily @ 2:36 pm
Tags: , ,

This week, we learned the tragic history of Daniel Faraday, a history that was non-linear, and that included betrayal and deception by his own mother. It turns out that Mrs. Hawking is quite devious, and willing to sacrifice just about anything in the name of the Island. Somehow, she always knew that by sending Daniel to the Island, she was sending him to his death. It’s hard to wrap my head around the implications of this time travel conundrum. Rather than making you suffer through what would certainly be my rambling thoughts on the scifi/time travel aspects of the episode, I’ll refer you to this well written post that I came across:

The Facts about Daniel:

  • Mrs. Hawking is his mother, and Charles Widmore is his father (although Daniel isn’t aware who his father is). I wasn’t surprised by this revelation. It had seemed pretty clear that Widmore was his father since we first learned that he just so happened to fund his research.
  • Daniel could have been an excellent pianist, if only his crazy mother hadn’t forced him to spend all his time focusing on developing his mind for science. This minor detail of the episode made me sad, because it reminds me of real life kids who miss out on countless hours of childhood fun because their parents force them to put all their effort into one area, in the hope that their child will achieve greatness as a gymnast, a football player, a spelling bee champion, etc. Don’t believe me? Rent the movie Spellbound.
  • His mother gave him the journal that he’s written all his notes in as a graduation present.
  • Daniel was romantically involved with Theresa, the woman who was also his research assistant whose mind was destroyed by his experiments with time travel.
  • Daniel’s mind was also affected by these experiments, but apparently going to the Island healed him, just as Charles said it would.
  • After the gang traveled back to the ’70s, Daniel left the Island to do research at the Dharma Headquarters in Maryland. While there, he saw the picture of Dharma recruits that included Hurley, Jack, and Kate. He returned to the Island to tell them that they didn’t belong there, that his mother had made a mistake. He proceeded to attempt to find and speak to his mother (the young, Other-dwelling Ellie), so that he could detonate a hydrogen bomb that would reverse the chain of events that led Oceanic Flight 815 to crash on the Island (if there was no need to push the button in the Hatch to control the energy, then Desmond wouldn’t have missed entering the numbers that one time, which led them to crash…) What would have happened to all the people on the Island in 1977 if Daniel had succeeded in detonating the bomb? That didn’t sound like a good idea to me.
  • Daniel’s main motivation for changing the past seems to be saving Charlotte’s life. He loved her and didn’t want to be responsible for causing pain/death to someone else he loved (Theresa being the first).
  • Before Daniel could do much, his mom showed up and shot him. He certainly looked dead, after he uttered his last words, “I’m your son.”

Other Developments:

  • Mrs. Hawking apologized to Penny for Desmond getting shot, explaining that she believes it is her son, Daniel’s, fault. Is it his fault because he told Desmond to find his mother in L.A., which put him on a collision course with Ben?
  • Sawyer made the mistake of calling Kate by her old nickname, “Freckles,” which didn’t sit too well with Juliet. I hope those two work things out!
  • Daniel told Dr. Chang that Miles is his son, but Miles denied it. I guess he’s not ready to have a heart to heart with his dad.
  • While Jack and Kate wandered into the jungle with Daniel to find the Others, Sawyer and the rest of the gang prepared to leave the Dharma commune to start over on the old beach. Before they could leave, some of the Dharma folks showed up, figured out something was up, and are now holding Sawyer and Juliet at gunpoint.


  • What made Daniel think that his mother was wrong for sending the Oceanic Six back to the 1970s Island?
  • Why was Daniel crying while watching the news coverage of the discovery of the fake Flight 815 wreckage? Is it because he was having subconscious memories of his past on the island? Certainly it wasn’t just because he was crazy.
  • Why did Mrs. Hawking send Daniel to the Island, knowing that this would lead to her younger self killing him? Is there a chance that he will come back to life, a la Locke, or was his death necessary for the upcoming battle that everyone’s been talking about? I guess we’ll start to get some answers about that next week.
  • What was the purpose of showing Penny and Desmond in the hospital? It made me very nervous to see Mrs. Hawking lurking around there, with her shifty eyes. I was afraid she might finish the job that Ben started! As it turned out, it was sweet how Desmond told Penny he would keep his promise to never leave her again. Is this the end of the story for them, or will they go back to the Island together?
  • And I continue to ask, where are Rose and Bernard? Not to mention the other unidentified Oceanic 815 survivors. Did they stay in the present when Locke turned the wheel? Did they join the Others? Someone needs to say something about this.

Cryptic Poetry from the Vault April 27, 2009

Filed under: Language,Memories,Poetry,Uncategorized — Emily @ 4:29 pm
Tags: , , ,

This morning my husband discovered a folder containing poems I wrote during high school, college, and graduate school. Sadly, I haven’t written a single poem or short story since finishing school. I used to really enjoy those types of writing, and would love to begin again.  The last poem I wrote consisted of two stanzas, and was an assignment for a 20th century poetry class I took in graduate school. We studied Marianne Moore, HD, and Gertrude Stein, and while I thoroughly enjoyed Moore and HD, I mostly found Stein’s writing infuriating. It is difficult to discover meaning in her words, particularly her seemingly nonsensical poetry.

Take, for example, the first two stanzas of Stein’s “Yet Dish”:


Put a sun in Sunday, Sunday.

Eleven please ten hoop. Hoop.

Cousin coarse in coarse in soap.

Cousin coarse in soap sew up. soap.

Cousin coarse in sew up soap.


A lea ender stow sole lightly.

Not a bet beggar.

Nearer a true set jump hum,

A lamp lander so seen poor lip.

Er? There is some clever word play to appreciate there, but that’s about all I get out of it. So, it was something of a challenge when our professor in the class asked us to write a poem of our own in the style of Gertrude Stein. I must say, completing this assignment made me appreciate Stein’s work more. I still prefer a poem that can be reasonably interpreted, but I also love language itself – the sounds of syllables, the way words and phrases can blur together, and the musical quality that a sympony of sentences can take on.

For what it’s worth, here is my Steinesque poem from nine years ago. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long! I am sure that some meaning creeped into the verses from my circumstances at the time, but I can’t make much sense of it now. I recall that it was snowing outside while I wrote it, but that’s the only specific memory I have. I welcome all interpretations, critiques, and comments!

Stanza 1

The thing to see is here to know

No it was not for them it was

From it not to them in that

Which it was not bright by them

Wish that it for them was not here

She was not wishing it for them

Still quickly falling which is slow

Yet some may pillow disregard

While she or they to know of which

And so the spring is falling up

Or seeming way to show it so.

Stanza II

The difference in two things is in too much

Seeing into something without knowing

What it is to see and know. The name

Of knowing is in seeing or she is

Telling nothing fast to him who time

Already passed when they were still

Asking to know what it was

Asking to know what it was.

He told them before about roundness

On sidewalks where others were finding

Not what they were seeking but

Sickening still to be met by a

What which that seemingly seems so

To know you are hiding from other

No nothings not in noting their what

But in needing some something which

To climb into in two moments too momentous.


Lost 5.13: Some Like It Hoth April 16, 2009

Filed under: Lost,Television — Emily @ 2:28 pm
Tags: , , ,

What does lie in the shadow of the statue?! Why is Dr. Dan returning to the Island on a sub? Why is the Circle of Trust so secretive about the building of the Hatch?! These are the intriguing questions that came out of this week’s Miles-centric, Star Wars-tinged episode.

Quick Recap: Miles dealt with his daddy issues with Dr. Pierre “Marvin Candle” Chang while driving around a dead guy and listening to Hurley talk about recreating the Empire Strikes Back screenplay to save George Lucas some time. Meanwhile, Kate’s heart being in the right place makes Roger Workman very suspicious, and Sawyer resorts to knocking out and tying up Grumpy-faced Dharma man after he is confronted about the surveillance tape that shows Sawyer and Kate leaving the perimeter with kidnapped little Ben. In the flashbacks, we learn more about why Miles is a jerk, how he communicates with the dead, and how he ended up working for Charles Widmore. Finally, back on the Island, Miles and his dad go to pick up a group of visiting scientists, and one of them turns out to be Daniel.

Getting to Know Miles: I’ve always thought of Miles as nothing more than a self-centered jerk who talks to dead people. It was nice to get some insight into his motivations and personality. He is bitter because the one person who loved him, his mother, died of cancer, and his father wanted nothing to do with him. All he was left with was an ability to “feel” the final thoughts and experiences of dead people. (How creepy was the scene where he stumbled upon the body in Apt. 7?) Since coming to the Island, and being transported back in time, Miles has softened up a bit. He has learned to be more of a team player, working with Sawyer and Hurley in particular. And he’s finally starting to deal with his bitterness toward his father, thanks to a little encouragement from Hurley. And I’m loving the comic relief provided by those two. The Star Wars discussion was hilarious. So, after this episode I like Miles more than I did before, but I still think he lacks certain noble qualities. And shame on him for leaving that surveillance tape right where anyone could find it!

Meet, Bram, leader of the Shadow of the Statue cult: How sneaky of the writers. We figured this guy was just another extra to take up space on the Island, when we saw him last week hanging out with Ilana. Turns out, he intended to go to the Island all along (as opposed to being an innocent passenger on Flight 316). Bram is played by Brad Henke, who most recently played a desperate hostage taker on Life on Mars, but who I mainly recognize as Tony Tucci, the amputee survivor of the Ice Truck killer on season one of Dexter. Henke has the sort of face that looks kind and gentle at first glance, but upon closer inspection looks slightly devious or troubled, and that’s the type of character he is playing now. We don’t know much about Bram yet, other than that he was a passenger on Flight 316, he belongs to a group (or is it a cult?) who claims to know what lies in the shadow of the statue, and he tried to convince Miles not to take the job of going to the Island for Widmore.

Trouble Brewing at the Hatch: So apparently the Hatch’s electromagnetic properties caused problems even before it was built. How else can you explain Alvarez’s tooth filling dislodging and flying out through his brain? What a weird way to go. It was also eerie to watch “The Numbers” being etched into the hatch door. Hurley hadn’t had to think about them in a long time.

The Circle of Trust: Horace, Sawyer, Radzinsky, Dr. Chang, and now Miles and Hurley are in the so-called Circle of Trust. Why the secretiveness? Are they trying to cover up that people are dying during the construction of the Hatch, or are the trying to cover up the fact that they are infringing upon Other territory? My guess is more for the second possibility. It’s interesting to think that if the Dharma-ites hadn’t built the Hatch, and had stayed in their territory, all these planes and ships might not have crashed on the Island. Richard and his people would have lived in relative obscurity and had a much easier time of protecting the Island.

The Return of Daniel: Er? I was so confused when Daniel hopped out of that submarine. I’ve been wondering where he was. I guess Sawyer (or whoever it was) was telling the truth when he said Daniel was “gone.” Perhaps in the season opener, when we saw Daniel lurking around the Time Wheel in the Orchid, he was actually plotting his escape from the Island. Or, maybe he left the Island on a sub with Charlotte and her mom, then decided to return to continue his research and to help his friends. Regardless of how he left in the first place, the real question is, what has he been doing? I’m ready for a Daniel backstory now.

What Lies in the Shadow of the Statue?: We don’t have an answer to this question yet, but I’m picking up a cultish, religious vibe. We had another hint of an Egyptian this week, when Jack was wiping off the chalkboard in one of the Dharma classrooms. The notes he was erasing related to various phases of Egyptian culture and language. My guess is still that the Temple lies in the shadow of the statue. But I’m wondering how Bram and his other cult members know about the Island’s secrets. Bram seems to think whatever lies in the shadow of the statue can fill the empty hole inside Miles, and he claims to have the answers to Miles’ questions about his gift and his father. In addition, Bram claims to be playing for the right team, the one that’s going to win. How many teams are we dealing with here? Widmore’s, Richard’s… Are we to think that Bram is aligned with Ben or with Richard and the Others? Or is his group completely separate? This show is highly skilled at driving us crazy with questions, and at slowly spoon-feeding us snippets of information that both answer small questions and create bigger ones.

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Lost 5.12: Dead is Dead April 9, 2009

Filed under: Lost,Television — Emily @ 11:53 am
Tags: , ,

A young adult Ben with bad hair, unexpected shootings, potentially crazy castaways, and that mysterious smoke monster were at the heart of this week’s episode. We took a break from the Dharma era, and instead focused on the modern era happenings on the Island, as well as some glimpses into Ben’s past as Alex’s father and Charles Widmore’s adversary. Based on the new information we have about Ben and the Island, there are some interesting ideas to discuss.

Plot Synopsis

  • In Ben’s flashbacks, we see him as a young adult (with the aforementioned bad hair, and not looking young at all – why couldn’t they cast a younger actor who resembles Ben?). He and Ethan sneak up on Rousseau’s tent, hold her at gun point, and take her baby, Alex. Ben tells Rousseau that if she wants her child to live, she’ll never try to find them, and she’ll run the other way whenever she hears whispers. Back at the Others’ camp, we learn that Widmore had ordered Ben to kill Rousseau, so he isn’t pleased that Ben not only let Rousseau live, but that he brought a baby back with him. Charles wanted Ben to kill it, but Ben adamantly refused, saying that it was a child, not an it. Perhaps Ben and Charles’ main conflict with one another stems from this moment. If Ben’s one decent trait is his love for children, then he would despise Charles for suggesting such a thing as exterminating a child. Perhaps the entire Others’ camp lost respect for Charles in that moment, since they have always shown a reverence for children.
  • Ben tries to regain Locke’s trust – a difficult task since he killed him – by agreeing to go face the potential wrath of the Smoke Monster with him. As a show of good faith, he shoots and kills leader wannabe Ceasar. (Didn’t see that coming!) Once they arrive at Ben’s old house on the main island, they run into Frank and Sun, who are surprised to learn that Locke is alive again. Frank opts to return to the other island, while Locke, Ben, and Sun go in search of the Others’ Temple. When they get there, Locke and Ben crawl into a series of tunnels that run beneath the Temple, so that Ben can be judged by the Smoke Monster. And so he is judged. His life with Alex flashes before his eyes, including the horrible moment when he chose to let her die rather than leave the Island. Because of his genuine remorse, Smoky forgives him, but that doesn’t mean he’s off the hook. Alex appears to him, and she’s not too happy. She warns him not to kill Locke again, but instead to do everything that Locke says. It looks like the Island has put Locke in charge now and made Ben one of his minions.
  • Meanwhile, Frank returns to the other Island and finds that things are spiraling out of control. Ilana and some other guys found a stash of guns and are obsessed with the question “What lies in the shadow of the statue?” They knock Frank out as they decide to take him with them, wherever they are going.

Ben’s Quest for Power

  • In a flashback, we saw Charles and Ben meet for the first time, when Ben was a child recovering from whatever healed him in the Others’ Temple. He told Charles he didn’t want to go back to the Dharma Initiative. Charles tells him, “Just because you’re living with them, doesn’t mean you can’t be one of us.” We can assume that Ben returned to the Dharma camp shortly after this, and stayed there until the time came for the purge. This flashback showed us that Charles was never happy about Ben becoming an Other. He protested to Richard, even though he knows “the Island chooses who it chooses.” So from the beginning, Ben and Charles were at odds with one another. This flashback also reminded us that Ben always wanted to be with the more powerful Others, rather than with the Dharmaites. Somewhere along the way, this desire to belong to a mysterious group evolved into a consuming lust for power.
  • Ben finally attained his position of power with the Others when Charles is banished, presumably for “leaving the island regularly,” “having a daughter with an outsider” (that answers the question of whether or not Penny ever lived on the Island), breaking the rules, and being selfish. Doesn’t sound like the kind of leader the Island would want. Then again, most of those things describe Ben as we know him. Ben claims he “would do anything to protect this Island.” Charles points out that Ben wasn’t willing to kill Alex to protect the Island. So as Charles leaves, Ben is left with the looming question of whether or not the Island wanted Ben to kill her, or if it was Charles that wanted her dead. Charles’ prediction actually does come true: that if the Island wanted her dead, then one day she will be dead, and Ben will be the one being banished. “You cannot fight the inevitable.” Of course, it’s easy to see why Ben blames Charles for Alex’s death. He could easily believe that Charles sent the commandos to the Island to finally follow through on the order to kill Alex, which would be a case of Charles manipulating Ben. And so it comes back to a power struggle between these two men. Charles, still embittered over his banishment, forces Ben to leave the Island, which leaves them both in a situation where they are clamoring to be the first one back to reclaim their position. Looks like it won’t matter now, though, since Locke is the new king of the castle.
  • Ben’s constant manipulation of those around him is all part of his quest to maintain control, and to attain, keep, or regain his position as someone who has power over the Island’s inhabitants and who can speak for the Island. We have seen this power struggle time and again. Ben vs. his father, Ben vs. Charles, Ben vs. Jack, Ben vs. Locke. In this week’s episode, Ben told Locke what he thought he needed to hear, that he returned to the Island “to be judged,” and that he killed him because he knew that he would come back alive on the Island. He was lying in at least two ways in that conversation: 1) He didn’t want to be judged for killing Locke; he wanted to be judged for causing Alex’s death. 2) He didn’t consider that the Island would actually bring Locke back to life. He later tells Sun that he’s scared to death that Locke is alive because he didn’t know the Island was capable of resurrection. That leads me to believe that a dead Locke was simply his ticket back to the Island.
  • It was disturbing to see Ben manipulate Ceasar, making him think that Locke was no more than a crazy man who was already on the Island when they arrived. And then, he handily eliminated this marginal threat to his leadership by stealing Caesar’s gun and killing him, right in front of everyone. That was unexpected and jolting. Never has Ben been so obvious with his evil deeds. Usually he acts in secrecy.

Ben’s Weakness: A Fatherly Love for Children

  • Ben may be evil, and he may have an obsession with obtaining power, but his one soft spot is his love for his adopted child, Alex. Perhaps because of his own troubled childhood, he feels a need to protect and nurture other children. When he confronted Rousseau in her tent and saw the baby, all thoughts of completing his mission to kill her vanished, and his focus turned to Alex, and claiming her as his own daughter. Based on what we know of their relationship, it seems that he raised her in a loving home, kept her safe, and genuinely loved her. Everything was just peachy until Ben’s two worlds collided: Island leader and doting father. When forced to choose between saving his daughter’s life and leaving his position of power on the Island forever, he made the regretable decision to let her die. Now he feels great remorse for that decision, and it cost him everything: he lost his daughter – the one person he truly cared about other than himself, and he lost his place of importance on the Island.
  • Ben’s paternal feelings for children also prevented him from carrying out his threat to kill Penny, out of revenge for Alex’s death. He makes a cruel phone call to Charles, telling him that he’s about to kill Penny, and then has no qualms about shooting Desmond, who is unloading groceries from a car. But, when he has Penny trapped, he hesitates because little Charlie comes out on deck. That was a tense moment, but thankfully Ben’s soft spot for kids won out over his desire for revenge over his adversary. That moment of hesitation was enough time for Desmond to tackle Ben, break his arm, pummel him with his full strength, and throw him like a sack of potatoes into the water. Hooray, Desmond! (It’s no wonder Ben asked Sun to deliver a message to Desmond that he is sorry. How horrible that he was about to kill Penny right in front of him.) It’s interesting that Ben felt justified in his attempt to kill Penny because, as he told her, “Your father is a really terrible human being.” In his mind, Charles is a worse person than he is because he entertains the thought of killing children. In the end, Ben can’t pull the trigger (even if Desmond hadn’t attacked him) because in doing so, he would become just the sort of heartless monster he sees Charles as.
  • In the end, it was Ben’s remorse for the trauma he caused Desmond and Penny, and for his responsibility for Alex’s death, that made the Smoke Monster spare his life.

The Smoke Monster

  • Our first clue that Ben had lost his status as a powerful Island leader was when he failed to summon the Smoke Monster. Apparently all it used to take was draining the pool of murky water in the secret passageway beneath his house and muttering, “I’ll be outside.” Didn’t work this time. Instead, Locke suggested that they go to the Smoke Monster.
  • Ben’s journey into the bowels of the Temple brought him to an ancient wall painting that showed a wolf-person kneeling before the Smoke Monster. He catches on and kneels before a grate, from which the Smoke Monster emerges and treats him to a “This is your life” montage. He experiences the excruciating pain of his choice to let Alex die. Amidst his tears, the Smoke Monster dissipates, leaving him with his guilt, and a visit from Alex.
  • It seems clear that this isn’t actually Alex paying a visit from the Great Beyond, but the Smoke Monster appearing in a form that Ben will most respond to. This is similar to when it appeared to Mr. Eko as his brother. So it is Smoky who warns Ben that it already knows he’s planning to kill Locke again, and says that if he so much as touches him, “I will hunt you down and destroy you.” Smoky’s not messing around! In addition, Ben is instructed to listen to every word John Locke says and follow his leadership.
  • So in one way, Ben came out of his encounter in a positive way – “It let me live.” On the other hand, he has failed in his quest to regain a place of importance on the Island, and he’ll have to continue living with his guilt over Alex’s death.

Locke – The New Leader

  • It seems like death made Locke wise up. He doesn’t believe anything that Ben says, but has instead started telling him what’s going to happen.
  • Locke also tells Sun that he has some ideas for how to find Jin. Might he pay Jacob a visit, or go turn the wheel again?
  • Now that Locke is calling the shots, we’ll get to watch Ben squirm.

The Crazies from Flight 316

  • “What lies in the shadow of the statue?” – Um, excuse me?
  • Ilana seems to be the new queen of crazy, taking over Rousseau’s old position. Apparently, she is leading the other castaways on some mission to discover whatever lies in the shadow of the statue. I’m guessing she’s talking about the big foot, which is all that remains of the Egyptian looking statue that once stood tall over the Island? Could the answer to that question be “The Temple?” If she is leading a group to the Temple, perhaps it will play a pivotal role in the reunion of the 1970s castaways and the modern-day ones. Or, maybe Ilana and her comrades have been inflicted with the same sickness as Rousseau’s team, in which case Frank is in trouble, since the next phase would involve them killing each other off.

The Temple

  • Whether or not Ilana is headed for the Temple, it seems clear that it will eventually play a crucial role, just as the Hatch did in season two.
  • All signs point to the origin of the Others as an ancient civilization, or maybe even something extraterrestrial. Whatever the case, the Temple is a source of healing, as it is where Richard took young Ben to be healed. It also seems to be where someone can “become” an Other. Maybe the Smoke Monster does some hocus pocus to mark you for life.
  • I know all this Temple, ancient civilization, smoke monster stuff is too weird for some people, but I’m still loving every minute!

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Battlestar Galactica: In Memoriam April 8, 2009

Forgive me if I get all weepy as I write this. I’m finding it very hard to let go of my favorite sci-fi show. Three years ago I jumped on the Battlestar Galactica bandwagon, and within a few weeks I had watched the miniseries, season one, and the first part of season two (thanks to the network’s pesky habit of splitting up the seasons and the DVD releases). I was hooked. For the past three years, I have been fully invested in the fate of the fleet, and in the individual struggles and triumphs of its crew and passengers.

I waited until two weeks after its original air date to watch the series finale, because somehow, I felt like if I hadn’t watched it, the show wasn’t really over. Now that I’ve finally watched the finale, I can honestly say it was amazing, and a near-perfect end to a near-perfect show. The finale played out like a grandiose symphony, orchestrated to celebrate all the things that we loved about the show, its characters, and their lives. So now, I give you a coda of sorts, in an effort to digest four seasons of resilient humans, formidable Cylons, and an aging Battlestar, and to bid a fond farewell to the characters I’ve grown to love.

Finale Synopsis: (Warning: spoilers ahead!)

  • The first hour focuses on the final showdown between Adama’s rag tag band of human and Cylon warriors, and Cavil’s intimidating Centurion forces. The battle begins the moment Galactica jumps into its “parking spot” next to the sprawling Cylon Colony: raptors and vipers open fire on the Cylon raiders, two assault forces  – led by Lee, Kara, Athena, and Helo – board the Colony in search of Hera, and the reserve forces – including Caprica Six and Baltar – stand ready to defend Galactica when it is boarded by enemy Centurions. The action is fast and furious, culminating in a tense segment in which Hera is found, then lost again, then found by President Roslin, then lost again, then found by Baltar and Six…
  • The scenes involving Hera’s disappearing/reappearing act are the ones where the episode takes on an operatic quality, both visually and aurally. These were also the first of many emotional moments in the finale. Roslin, fresh off giving herself an injection, has a vision of Hera running through the opera house, eluding her as well as Athena and Caprica Six. Roslin realizes that the return of her prophetic visions means that Hera is nearby, and she runs through the corridors of the ship, as best she can in her weakened state, searching for the child. I was glad that the writers finally made sense of Roslin and Six’s recurring visions of Hera in the opera house.
  • Six and Baltar state what viewers already know – “I’ve been here before” – and they escort Hera into the “opera house,” a.k.a. the CIC. Suddenly the events that have been replayed in their vision are actually happening. The “final five” are looking down on them from above, silhouetted by a bright light. It is clear that this is the moment that Hera will play a pivotal role in the destiny of both humans and Cylons. A moment of chaos results in Cavil grabbing Hera and holding her at gunpoint. This is Baltar’s moment to shine, as he gives a brilliant speech that appeals to Cavil’s rational, logical nature. He says it’s time to break the cycle of birth, death, rebirth, destruction, escape, death… Tigh pipes up at this point, saying that if Cavil gives them Hera, the “final five” will give Cavil resurrection technology. Thus, crisis is averted, for the moment.
  • In order to upload the resurrection technology to the Colony, the final five must all be connected, which will make each of them an open book – they will all be fully known to one another. This is bad news for Tory, whose dark little secret is about to catch up with her. Sure enough, all five of them “see” Tory sending Callie out of the airlock, and in a moment of blind rage (who can blame him?!), Tyrol breaks the connection to choke Tory, which sends off a slew of unfortunate events: Sam starts screaming, as does the hybrid on the Colony, Cavil believes this whole deal was a trick and orders his soldiers to open fire, bullets start flying in the CIC, and Tyrol breaks Tory’s neck, ending her life, and along with it any chance of following through on the deal to provide Cavil with resurrection technology. Simultaneously, the Cylon raiders start attacking Galactica again, and in a moment of seemingly divine intervention, a very dead Racetrack posthumously fires her nukes at the Colony, effectively destroying the ship and ending the war.
  • Adama realizes that Galactica can’t survive the shock waves from the nuclear blast for long, so he orders Starbuck to get them out of there. And thus begins another beautiful moment in the finale, in which we finally learn how Kara Thrace will lead the humans to their end, when Kara realizes “there must be some kind of way out of here.” She punches in the numbers that correspond with the notes of the song (“All Along the Watchtower”) that she, Hera, and the final five have been haunted by, and miraculously this leads them to the rendezvous jump point, which also happens to be where Earth (the one we know) is. Hooray!
  • The good news continues, as the rest of the fleet shows up, and they discover that this Earth is very habitable (which is necessary since the Galactica will never be able to jump again after the stress of the last Cylon battle). The only catch is that this planet is already inhabited by tribes of less advanced humans, which means that their technology, weapons, and spaceships may complicate their efforts to assimilate. Lee makes the decision, and everyone jumps on board, that they ditch their technology and give these people “the best part of ourselves, not the baggage.” So, the 38,000 remaining humans set out to the four corners of the Earth, with the clothes on their back and a few supplies, to start a new life, back to basics.
  • The remainder of the episode plays out like an epilogue, giving us a glimpse into the lives of the former space travelers in their new terrestrial home.

A Day in the Life – Then and Now – When the flashbacks to Caprica started, in Part I of “Daybreak,” I was skeptical as to why the writers chose to insert “old news” about the characters into the crucial events of the present. After seeing the flashbacks come full circle, I understand their purpose and think it was a great idea. By seeing these characters’ life situations shortly before the destruction of Caprica and before their subsequent search for a new home aboard Galactica, we were able to better appreciate the beginning of the next chapter of their lives, on Earth. These flashbacks also showed that destiny played a hand in their journey to Earth. So, in what condition did we leave our favorite characters?

  • Kara Thrace and Lee Adama – The flashbacks showed us that these two always had a special connection, from the moment they met over dinner with Lee’s brother, and Starbucks’s boyfriend at the time, Zack. These flashbacks also showed us that Lee always had an idealistic nature, and that there has almost always been someone standing in the way of Kara and Lee having anything more than a passing relationship – Zack, Dee, Anders… But their friendship has almost always remained intact, and that is how we leave them on Earth. One moment they are talking with excitement about Lee’s plans to explore this new world, and the next Kara is just… gone. Shortly before this, she had told Lee that she wasn’t sure where she was going, but that she wasn’t coming back – “I’m done here. I’ve completed my journey, and it feels good.” So Starbuck and Apollo didn’t get the happily ever after ending many of us would have liked to see, but they were always there for each other when it mattered. And, indeed, Kara played a pivotal role in leading the human race to Earth. I suppose we’re to think she really was an angel – that she really did die when her viper crashed, and that she returned simply to complete the task of leading the human race to its end. Her fear, of being forgotten, seems moot now. At least by the people she cared about, she’ll be remembered. As Lee stated, while standing in an empty field from which he would begin his new life, “Goodbye, Kara. You won’t be forgotten.” I have an image of Kara joining Sam “on the other side,” whatever that looks like, and of Lee climbing mountains and discovering many wondrous things on Earth.

  • Baltar and Caprica Six – “I’m proud of you.” With those words, Caprica Six rekindled her passionate relationship with Baltar. Their renewed (and much healthier) relationship was one of my favorite things about the finale. Both Six and Baltar have come a long way since they instigated Caprica’s destruction and the subsequent war between Cylons and humans. We also learn, at the same time they do, that their invisible friends are actually there, not just figments of their imagination. They are guardian angels, or spiritual guides, who have always led Baltar and Six toward their destiny. Their flashback showed us that Baltar already cared about Six on Caprica (“the things men do for love”), especially after her considerate gesture of finding his father a comfortable place to live. Over the past few years, they have both been plagued by guilt over their part in causing so much death and despair, and have been trying to atone for the sins of their past. They found redemption by saving Hera, and now they will start a new life together on Earth. Another beautiful moment of the finale occurred when Six and Baltar were talking about where they would live on Earth, and after mentioning he found some land good for cultivation, he is barely able to utter the words, “You know, I know about farming,” before he breaks down weeping, and Six gently comforts her and says, “I know you do.” This was a touching reference to their flashback, in which we learned that Baltar was ashamed that he had come from a poor, farming family. Now he is ready to once again embrace his heritage, partly out of necessity, but mostly because he has genuinely changed. He’s no longer a self-centered, manipulative egotist. He’s now a caring, brave man, who is finally mourning the loss of his family on Caprica, and someone who Six can be proud of. I am pleased that Six and Baltar ended up this way, and love the way their characters evolved over the course of the series.

  • Adama and Roslin – The flashbacks showed us Adama rejecting a desk job in favor of staying with his old, broken down battlestar, and Roslin having a change of heart and deciding to join the mayor’s campaign and following through with it until the end, where ever that may be. Little did she know at the time that her decision to join the campaign would save her life (temporarily), make her president of the colonies, and lead her to a new home far, far away from Caprica. And little did Adama know that his old, broken down ship would hold up enough to survive another Cylon war, and to carry an entire civilization to its new home. And he also didn’t know that on that ship, he would fall deeply in love with Laura Roslin, only to lose her to cancer just as they found the place where they planned to build their cabin and live in harmonious bliss on the new Earth. I can’t think of many scenes, from any tv show or movie, as moving as the one in which Adama and Roslin are flying over the Earth, enjoying the view of “so much life.” As Laura’s hand falls to her side, we realize she has quietly passed away, but he keeps talking for a moment. When he realizes she’s gone, he takes her hand, transfers his wedding ring to her finger, and begins weeping. Moments later, he picks out the spot on which he will build their cabin. This scene was understated, yet powerful and deeply moving. It emphasized how comfortable they were together, and how Laura died happy, knowing the human race would survive on this beautiful planet, brimming with life.

The Final Five

  • Tory – Good riddance. I never liked Tory, even before we knew she was a Cylon. She was always annoying and heartless. After she ruthlessly killed Callie, I had no interest in her well being. I couldn’t imagine Tyrol having any other reaction than choking her to death, after discovering what she had done. You have to wonder why she was so much more cold-hearted than the other four of the Final Five Cylons.
  • Galen Tyrol – Chief had one of the saddest endings of anyone on the show. It seems completely hopeless. He opts to be dropped off on a cold island in the highlands, and live a life of solitude, rather than have to deal with anymore people or Cylons. “I’m just tired of people, humans, Cylons, whatever.” He hadn’t had any good news in a long time. Callie died, he found out their child isn’t his, he momentarily rekindled his romance with Boomer only to find out she was playing him, and he learned that Tory did the unimaginable act of coldheartedly murdering Callie in front of her own child. I wonder if he continued to live out his whole existence alone, or if his wounds ever healed enough for him to trust someone again.
  • Saul and Ellen Tigh – Talk about second chances at happiness. This couple had a troubled relationship, to say the least, before the events on New Caprica. Between Ellen’s promiscuity and Saul’s alcoholism, they had a very dysfunctional relationship. And then on New Caprica, Saul killed Ellen because he thought she had betrayed them to the Cylons. Somehow, though, their love was enough to keep them together (and the fact that Ellen was a Cylon brought her back to life so they could be reunited to have this chance). In their flashback, we see Ellen telling Tigh that she just can’t wait until he retires so she can be with him full time, whatever that looks like. In the end, they have all the time in the world to spend together, as they forge a new existence on Earth. I’d like to think that eventually they were able to adopt a child, since parenting was the one joy they hadn’t shared together.
  • Sam – As difficult as it was to see Sam go from a vibrant, healthy man to no more than a conduit lying in a tub of goo, it seems fitting that he guide the fleet to its final destination – the Sun – where it would no doubt go out in a blaze of glory. In Sam’s flashback, we saw him talking to a reporter about the true appeal of the sport of Pyramid: “Those moments when you can feel the perfection of creation, the beauty of physics, the wonder of mathematics, the elation of action and reaction. That is the kind of perfection that I want to be connected to.” In the end, he couldn’t have been more involved in the beauty of physics than to play an integral role in the final human/Cylon battle (by taking control of the Colony’s hybrid), and then to guide an entire fleet through space under his command. It was very touching to see his face as he whispered, “See you on the other side” to Starbuck.

Helo, Athena, and Hera – I am so glad that Helo survived his gunshot wound. And what a happy ending for this little family, that faced so much prejudice, the kidnapping of their child, etc. They will now hunt, fish, and basically have a peaceful, enjoyable existence on planet Earth.

The Ending:

  • I would have been perfectly happy for the series to have ended on the shot of Adama sitting on the hilltop site of his future cabin, next to Laura’s grave, talking about how the view reminded him of her. Since Adama was the heart of the show, it would have been fitting to end with him finally having some peace, finally free from any responsibility, other than for himself. But, the writers decided to add something else.
  • We see Hera walking through a field, and then we jump ahead 150,000 years in the future, to present day New York City. This tells us that the events of the series occurred in the past, and that modern day humans are, in fact, the ancestors of both humans and Cylons.
  • Archaeologists have found the remains of mitochondrial Eve, “the most recent common ancestor for all human beings now living on Earth.”
  • The “guardian angel” versions of Six and Baltar then have a conversation about “Commercialism, decadence, technology run amok … remind you of anything?” And so we’re back on the recurring theme of the viscious cycle of life, death, rebirth… Six figures that this time things will turn out better this time, despite the technological advancements of this society, since something surprising might happen if a complex system repeats itself enough times.
  • At this point we’re treated to the worst part of the finale, a silly montage of dancing robots to the tune of “All Along the Watchtower.” I suppose Ronald Moore wanted to end the series with some nugget of wisdom about the dangers and possibilities of technology.
  • The message seems to relate to Lee’s idealistic view of where humans have been and where they are going: “You know, our brains have always outraced our hearts, our science charges ahead, our souls lag behind. Let’s start anew.” It seems that in 150,000 years, humans managed to get right back to where Galactica and its fleet left off. The open-ended ending to the series left us wondering if the cycle would stay broken, or start all over. I vote for making Lee proud.

Overall Assessment:

  • This is one of the best, if not the best, series finales I’ve ever seen. It managed to answer just about all the looming questions, while leaving just enough open-endedness to let us come up with our own “rest of the stories” for the characters.
  • The main question I am left with is, did the Cylons age? And how did they end up dying? What about Ellen, Tigh, and Tyrol? Athena? Six? Did they just go on living forever, or did they age and die natural deaths?
  • The music was fantastic, the battle sequences were thrilling, and the drama was searing. I cried several times and felt fully invested the whole time.
  • Grade: A+
  • Now that the series is over, I will begin my quest to convince everyone I know to give the show a chance. I don’t think they’ll be disappointed. I also plan to buy the series so I can watch it from beginning to end, to fully appreciate its complex storyline.
  • It was fantastic knowing you, Battlestar Galactica. The world of scifi, and the television landscape, won’t be the same without you.

Twilight: Teen Angst and Vampire Lore Go Campy April 4, 2009

So I finally watched Twilight, the movie, last night. I wasn’t one of the 30-something women who wore my “I ♥ Edward” t-shirt to opening night, and I didn’t throw a Twilight DVD release party, where everyone dressed up as their favorite character from the book. I’m not what you’d call a diehard fan of the series – I’m more of a casual reader who appreciated the epic and thrilling aspects of Bella and Edward’s saga, while still critiquing the series’ flaws and mediocre parts (see my reviews of all four books here).

I had heard mixed reviews of the movie, and that’s about how I feel after watching it. As a story of a misfit teenager who falls in love with a vampire, it works well. As for its attempt to be a suspenseful film that wows you with riveting action and clever special effects, it falls flat.

What I Liked:

  • The Setting – The producers got this part right. The town of Forks, the high school, Charle’s house, the beach at La Push, and the lush forests all set the right tone of gloominess amidst Bella and Edward’s fiery romance. I especially liked the contrast of colors in the forest scenes, with the beautiful shades of green jumping off the screen. The use of near constant rain and the occasional ray of sunlight was also effective. Overall, the scenes were pretty to look at:

  • The Chemistry – Despite all the pre-release debate about whether or not Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart were the right actors for the roles of Edward and Bella, they had great on-screen chemistry. Sure, it was a little creepy at times how they would just stare into each other’s eyes (particularly when they were laying in that mountain top field), but I much prefer their silent admiration of each other to what we got in the book, which was Bella’s constant gushing about how perfect and beautiful Edward is. Both actors did a nice job of conveying their mutual attraction, from the moment Bella first saw Edward in the cafeteria, to the tense science lab scenes, to their steamy kiss in Bella’s bedroom:

  • Edward Cullen – I wasn’t crazy about Kristen Stewart as Bella, mainly because her acting felt very one-dimensional to me (same way I felt about her in Jumper – awful movie by the way). However, as I mentioned above, I felt like she and Pattinson had good on-screen chemistry. I was wary of seeing young, fresh-faced Cedric Diggory turn all dark and brooding vampire, but Pattinson did a nice job. I don’t consider him the most beautiful man in the world, or even close to it (something about his nose and eyes isn’t quite symmetrical enough to fit the classic idea of physical perfection, but I digress), but he exuded strength, restraint, and ferocity just beneath the surface of those furrowed brows, brooding thoughts, and dark eyes.

  • The Baseball Game – I thought the impromptu game of vampire baseball was weird when I read it in the book, but since I knew it was coming in the movie, I actually enjoyed it. It did a nice job of showing how the Cullens have fun together and use their special abilities to their advantage, and it also set up the subsequent conflict. For a brief moment, Bella and Edward and his family were content, laid back, and really thinking that everything was going to work out.
  • The High School Scenes – Just because I liked these scenes doesn’t mean I liked the actors (I found Mike, Jessica, and Eric very annoying, and Angela was only slightly better). I’ve always had a soft spot for teeny bopper flicks, and this movie had scenes that were reminiscent of that genre. We had the cafeteria moment when Bella got the “who’s who in school” lesson, with the focus on the mysterious Cullens. (You’ve gotta love the overabundance of slow motion camera work that always goes into these moments). And the science class scenes reminded me of the tv show Roswell, since it was during science lab that Liz Parker and alien Max Evans got to know one another. The best part of the high school segments were those in the parking lot. The awkward stares, the furtive glances, the suspicious looks – oh, and the whole out of control van incident that really kick-started Bella and Edward’s relationship.

What I Didn’t Like:

  • Jacob Black – Um, since when do poor kids living on a reservation have shiny, flowing hair right out of a shampoo commercial and perfect pearly whites? I suppose the casting director was all about making the cast easy on the eyes, but I just wasn’t buying Taylor Lautner in this role. I expected Jacob, especially in this first installment of the series, to be scrawnier, a little less confident, etc. I can’t believe Lautner is only 17! Actually, a lot of the teens in this movie really are still in their teens, even though they look older. I guess that works well for the teen vampires, since it helps establish that they have been around for a long time. Anyway, I don’t have anything against Lautner as an actor. He was okay in his role on the short-lived My Own Worst Enemy. And maybe I will like him better in New Moon. Mostly I was too distracted by his perfect appearance to believe him in the role of love-sick Jacob.

  • Carlilse – When Peter Facinelli first appeared on screen in this movie, when Bella was in the hospital, I couldn’t believe how comical he looked. The fake blond hair, the rosy cheeks, the painted lips, the turquoise shirt – he looked more like a Cirque du Soleil performer than an ancient, noble-hearted vampire. What was that?! Why couldn’t they cast someone with naturally blond hair, and kinder eyes, to play Carlilse, who was one of my favorite characters in the series? They turned him into a caricature. I’m used to seeing Facinelli play the creepy, arrogant type, so it was hard for me to accept him as a humble, wise father figure to a clan of “vegetarian” vampires. Such a shame. This is not the image of Carlilse I had in my mind:

  • Rosalie – Another of the Cullens whose movie-version I didn’t like was Rosalie, played by Nikki Reed. Based on other photos I’ve seen, Reed seems to be a natural brunette, so maybe that was part of my problem, since something was off about her blond hair. Mostly, though, she just didn’t possess the breathtaking beauty that Rosalie is supposed to have. Not to say that Reed is unattractive, but her features have a certain harsh quality, and I expected Rosalie to be more graceful.

  • The Trio of Bad Vampires – Certain aspects of the movie were cheesy, including the glittering effect of the sunlight on Edward’s skin, the flashback to the Quilheute tribe’s origins when Jacob was telling Bella about the legend of the pale ones, and pretty much anything having to do with Laurent, James, and Victoria – the three vampires who infringe upon the Cullens’ territory and start killing its inhabitants. Talk about campy. The way these three would zoom in and say silly one-liners, crouch like animals, and have a spontaneous wind and fog always blowing around them, was quite comical. Were we supposed to be afraid of them, because I certainly wasn’t. Rachelle Lefevre is too sweet, girl-next door looking for me to believe her as the fierce, vengeful Victoria. Plus, she looked ridiculous in all that fur. Edi Gathegi did a decent job as Laurent, but I also didn’t care for Cam Gigandet as James. He’s supposed to be a cunning, ruthless tracker, but instead he came across as a punk who was mostly talk.

  • The Shoddy Camera Work – I’m referring specifically to the jerky camera movement during scenes in which characters were having conversations (as opposed to action-oriented sequences, which I was okay with). These scenes, mostly indoor ones, were very distracting. It was as if someone was filming with a hand held video camera, which was unnecessary and out of place in scenes where your focus should be on the characters’ dialogue rather than on the disorienting, shaking position of the camera. Sometimes it almost seemed like the cameraman was nodding off – not surprising really, since much of the dialogue was quite boring.
  • The Soundtrack – This movie came across as flat to me. Part of that was due to a stale screenplay, and wooden acting, but it also didn’t help that many of the scenes lacked background music. I’m talking about instrumentals. There was plenty of pop music, which is typical of today’s teen movies, but I found those songs more distracting than involving. The most effective scenes, musically, were when Edward played Bella’s song on the piano, and when they danced to “Clair de Lune” in his bedroom (by the way, I wish my room looked like that!). That music was nice to listen to, and in both cases, the entire scene was understated, which acted to enhance the emotional impact. All the Guitar Hero-type, edgy music that played during the evil vampire trio’s scenes was just silly. I would have preferred more classical instruments, and less obnoxious, throwaway pop music.

  • The Rushed Climax – One of my issues with the books has always been that the climaxes are less than stellar, and sometimes lackluster. That being said, the pivotal events in Twilight were enough to keep me turning pages until the end. Can’t say the same for the movie. If you blinked, you missed the crucial conflict. The gang is playing baseball. The wind blows Bella’s hair. Oops. James is bent on tracking her now. Suddenly, Bella is in Arizona, sneaking away from Alice and Jasper, and falling into James’ ballet studio trap. A few broken mirrors and a bonfire later, we’re waking up with Bella in the hospital, and all is once again right with the world. Maybe if the writers had spent less time having Charlie and Billy act ridiculous (“I’m down with the kids.” “Yeah, you’re the bomb”), or less time with Jessica bragging about her cleavage, they could have created more suspense and drama about the Cullens trying to protect Bella from James.
  • The Beginning and the Ending – I’m not talking about the overall story here. I’m referring to the opening and closing scenes. Bella’s narration at the beginning was fine, as she explained why she was moving from Phoenix to Forks. However, why show us the deer running in slow motion, and then (presumably) Edward closing in on it? What is the symbolism they are going for there? Is that supposed to represent Bella and Edward, or Bella being tracked? I didn’t get it, and I didn’t like it. As for the ending, I didn’t mind Edward and Bella’s prom dance in the gazebo, but when it panned up to Victoria watching them from a window, and then zoomed out to show her walking (in slow motion, accompanied – of course – by some rockin’ guitar chords) down some stairs with a vengeful look in her eyes, I had to roll my eyes. She didn’t look like a spiteful vampire who had just lost her lover. She looked like a little girl playing dress up in her mom’s formal wear, who was about to go steal some jewelry out of mom’s dresser drawer. This final scene simply didn’t leave me with the impression of foreboding that I think the director was going for.

The Rest:

  • So the points above are the things I liked or disliked about the movie, and everything that I didn’t mention falls somewhere in between.
  • I am indifferent about the other Cullens in the movie. In this first installment they don’t have much development anyway. Esme (played by Elizabeth Reaser of Grey’s Anatomy fame), only had a few spoken lines, Emmett mostly jumped around a lot (Rosalie even called him her monkey man), Jasper just stared at everyone with a wide-eyed, empathetic look on his face (I thought that was rather decent casting since Jasper can affect people’s emotions and such – that actor has very large, emotive eyes!), and Alice had the right mix of small stature and spunky personality. We’ll see how well these actors fare in the New Moon movie.
  • I already mentioned that I thought the interaction between Charlie and Billy was silly, and these two actors weren’t given much decent material to work with. Then again, those characters are rather dorky in the book, too, so maybe the writers were just being true to the source material.
  • The plot was about as scattered as I expected: the random scenes of the evil vampire trio killing unsuspecting victims, the inane conversations Bella had with her “normal” friends at school, Edward’s awkward introduction of Bella to the family at their house, etc. Overall, though, the movie seemed to carry over the atmosphere and important plot points of the novel.
  • The super-speed effects – I’ve heard people make fun of the vampires’ warp speed and their tendency to sparkle in sunlight. Edward’s sparkling diamond moment was pretty bad, but I didn’t mind all the speedy gonzales moments. It was pretty weird, though, when he started climbing all those trees with spider monkey Bella on his back:

Grade: C

This movie was just average – nothing special, but not completely awful. People who read the book will enjoy the movie. People who don’t know anything about the book will wonder what all the fuss is about after watching the movie. People who like vampire mythology will find some interesting food for thought in Twilight. And people who like to watch cheesy teen movies will find much to amuse themselves. It’s pretty to look at, but sometimes painful to listen to. So, not bad for a popcorn movie, but definitely not at all award worthy.


Lost 5.11: Whatever Happened, Happened April 2, 2009

Filed under: Lost,Television — Emily @ 12:18 pm
Tags: , ,

This week’s Kate-centric episode provided us with an answer to the question, “What happened to Aaron?” and gave us a peek into Ben’s origins as an Other.


  • On the Island in 1977 – Juliet does her best to save Ben’s life after Sayid shoots him, and she gets no help from a cold-hearted Jack. Eventually, Juliet, Kate, and Sawyer decide to do what is necessary to save the life of this child, regardless of what kind of monster he becomes as an adult, and they hand Ben over to the Others. Apparently the Others’ motto is “Once an Other, always an Other.” Meanwhile, Miles and Hurley provide comic relief with their discussion of the implications of their time traveling. Initially, Miles exudes confidence and expertise, until Hurley points out a flaw in his logic. (I like how the writers worked this into an episode, since as viewers we could get bogged down in the details of the time/space continuum.)
  • Kate’s three years in L.A. – Kate keeps her promise to Sawyer (before now the details of which were unknown to viewers, since Sawyer whispered his request in Kate’s ear before he jumped out of the helicopter) to visit Cassidy (Sawyer’s old flame), and take care of Clementine (his daughter). Kate and Cassidy, who already knew each other from when they traded criminal favors, strike up a comfortable friendship (which apparently continues for the three years Kate is in L.A., based on Clementine’s greeting at the door three years later of, “Hello, Auntie Kate!”) After Kate tells Cassidy the truth about what really happened to Flight 815 and then feebly talks about her pregnancy, Cassidy, being the great con artist she is, immediately recognizes that Kate is lying about Aaron being her son. So although the Oceanic Six agreed not to tell anyone the truth about their time on the Island, Kate now has a confidante. Skipping ahead three years, Kate runs by the grocery store with Aaron after leaving the docks (where the confrontation between Ben and Sun went down), and she suddenly loses track of him. Before long, he turns up holding hands with a Claire lookalike. Spooked by this experience, Kate visits Cassidy, who helps her realize her true motives for “taking Aaron.” And so we come to the answer to that burning question, “What happened to Aaron?” As I expected, Kate decides to tell Claire’s mom the truth about Aaron’s parentage, and leaves Aaron in her care while she goes back to the Island to find Claire.
  • On the Island in 2000-something – At the end of the episode, we jump straight from Richard carrying young Ben’s body into the Temple, to John Locke sitting at grown up Ben’s infirmary bedside. Locke says to Ben, “Hello, Ben. Welcome back to the land of the living.” The implication is that what happened to Ben in 1977 had some affect on Ben in the 2000s. Or maybe this was just a nice segueway into next week’s Ben-centric episode.

Thelma and Louise

  • I enjoyed the vibe of Kate and Cassidy’s surprising friendship. You would think two women who love the same man would hold some animosity toward one another, or at least see each other as competition. But it is their common ground as “ditched women” that brought them together. I don’t know if I buy Cassidy’s theory that Sawyer jumped out of the helicopter just to avoid a real-world relationship with Kate, or her theory that Kate just kept Aaron as a crutch to help her get over Sawyer. But, it seems that Cassidy struck a chord with Kate since they stayed in touch over those three years.
  • We can also guess that in an episode last season, it was Cassidy that Kate was talking to on the phone, which led to an argument and break-up with Jack. It was pretty sneaky of Kate to keep a whole friendship with Sawyer’s ex a secret from Jack, her fiance. Not a great way to build trust.

Losing Aaron

  • As soon as Kate let go of Aaron’s hand to check her cell phone, I knew he was going to disappear. I was horrified at first, wondering if that was the last time she saw him, wondering if he just disappeared similarly to Claire on the Island, or if he was taken by one of Ben’s cronies. I was relieved when he turned up after Kate’s momentary panic. How creepy was it that he was holding hands with a Claire lookalike? First of all, it must have been a jolt to Kate (not to mention a guilt trip), but also, it makes you wonder if Aaron possesses some special abilities, assuming he sought out someone who looked like his real mom (when he shouldn’t be able to remember what she looks like or that Kate isn’t is mom). It wouldn’t surprise me, based on the psychic’s belief that he is special, and on his family’s significance on the Island.
  • The scene where Kate tells Claire’s mom, Carole, the truth about Claire surviving the crash, giving birth to Aaron on the Island, and then disappearing into the jungle, was difficult to watch. I couldn’t imagine finding out so many revelations at once: “So your daughter survived the plane crash. Oh, and she had the baby. Oh, and she’s still alive, but missing. And one more thing. Your grandson is waiting a couple rooms down, and I am handing him over to you now so I can go back to the Island that it was so hard to get off of in the first place. Which means you might have a whole lot of responsibility for the next 15 or so years. See ya!”

  • Even harder to watch was Kate’s teary-eyed goodbye to the sleeping Aaron. Regardless of Kate’s motivations for raising Aaron as her son for those three years, she obviously developed maternal feelings for him. It took a lot of resolve for her to walk away from that hotel room, knowing she might never see him again. I shed a tear or two along with her. I really do hope she finds Claire, and that the Littleton family can be reunited. And if that happens, I hope that Aaron will be young enough to not be too scarred by the revelation that Kate isn’t his real Mommy.
  • Watching Kate’s trauma over leaving Aaron to go back to the Island got me thinking about Sun. For years, Sun and Jin tried unsuccessfully to get pregnant, and when they finally did on the Island, they were overjoyed. So it seems that with all the anticipation for this child, Sun would be very hesitant to leave her to go back to the Island. Then again, Sun’s trauma over witnessing Jin’s supposed death, and her subsequent grief, have hardened her and changed her. She seems more bent on revenge now than anything. Plus, the revelation that Jin is still alive on the Island would be quite the motivation to return (Ben knew this). I hope the writers will address this whenever a Sun-centric episode comes around.

Best Line of the Night

  • “That’s why I’m doing this. I’m doing it for her.”
  • That was Sawyer’s answer to Kate’s question, “Why are you helping me?” when Sawyer drives out to the Dharma/Other border to meet her to deliver Ben to the Others in the hope that they can save his life. As he explained to Kate, he wondered the same thing until Julet told him, “No matter what he’s gonna grow up to be, it ain’t right to let a kid die.”
  • Kate was probably secretly hoping that Sawyer would say he was helping her because he wanted to be where she was, or thought he couldn’t stand to stay away from her… Instead she got a wake-up call to reality. When Sawyer told Kate he was doing this for Juliet, it was a clear indicator that he’s not even thinking about Kate. It wasn’t about Kate at all. Kudos to the writers for throwing in a simple line of dialogue that holds the weight of the trust and love that Sawyer and Juliet have built during their time at the Dharma Initiative. Loved it.
  • I also enjoyed Sawyer and Kate’s other conversation about “what might have been.” Sawyer told Kate they would have never worked out as a couple, and that he couldn’t have been a good father to Clementine. However, he says he’s “done a lot of growing up these past three years.” Indeed, he has. Let’s hope that Kate doesn’t make him fall off the wagon.

Ben’s Transformation from Dharma-ite to Other

  • The key to saving Ben’s life, as Juliet and Kate see it, is to deliver him to the hands of the Others. They must be able to tap in to the Island’s healing properties. And Kate and Sawyer successfully transfered Ben over into Richard’s care. Their encounter led to some interesting new information about Ben.
  • “If I take him, he’s not ever gonna be the same again… He’ll forget this ever happened… His innocence will be gone… He will always be one of us.” There’s a lot of connotations packed into these statements, which were Richard’s answer to Kate’s question of what would happen to Ben if Richard took him. At the moment Richard took Ben and healed him (presumably by way of the Island’s supernatural ability to bring new life where there is death or injury), Ben became an Other. When Ben had this encounter with the Island, he became forever linked to its destiny. Apparently, he can’t remember how he developed this connection, since as Richard said, he would forget about this experience. The part that I don’t get is “his innocence will be gone.” By becoming an Other, does one gain forbidden knowledge, similarly to eating an apple from the tree of Life? I don’t get it. Not all of the Others seem to be evil or even just manipulative. Why Ben? Why did this experience change him into the conscience-challenged, self-centered, slightly crazy man that he is today? Perhaps we’ll get some answers to these questions next week, or eventually.
  • Richard’s exchange with Kate and Sawyer also revealed that at this point in the ’70s, Charles and Ellie were still on the Island, and had some sort of leadership role among the Others. Although, Richard said “I don’t answer to either of them.” It still seems that Richard has a special connection to the Island that no one else possesses. Will we ever have a Richard-centric episode? I hope so!
  • Returning to the question of whether or not Ben being carried into the Temple by Richard somehow altered his condition in ~2000. I don’t think so. I think the writers just used the abrupt transition to reflect how that moment in 1977 was the moment that Ben became the person who we know now. Not an innocent, if slightly messed up litle boy, but a conniving, not-to-be-trusted manipulator of everyone around him.