Eclaire Fare

Enjoying Pop Culture, One Bite at a Time

2010: Year in Review January 1, 2011

Filed under: Books,Fringe,Glee,Lost,Memories,Movies,Music,Television — Emily @ 5:24 pm

2010 was a year that marked the birth of my second son, which has made it decidedly more difficult for me to maintain this blog. Perhaps one of my new year’s resolutions will be to post more frequently. We shall see. Blame it on pregnancy ditziness, blame it on newborn phase sleep deprivation, but whatever the cause, much of 2010 is a blur, especially the entertainment world. I do remember saying goodbye to, and shedding some tears for, one of my all-time favorite shows. I also remember the wrong person winning American Idol, the soap opera I grew up on coming to an end, and Christopher Nolan continuing his movie-making magic. Here’s a bullet point list of the best of times, worst of times of 2010.

  • Good Reads
    • Stieg Larsson’s Girl trilogy – I read all three of these books in 2010 and found them completely riveting. Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was a satisfying blend of suspense and mystery revolving around the enigmatic Vanger family. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest was a conspiracy-filled investigation to clear the name of the wrongfully accused, and The Girl Who Played with Fire was a satisfying ending to the trilogy with its expose of a secret organization and Lisbeth Salander finally finding some peace. I have watched the Swedish movie adaptations of the first two novels, and they were surprisingly good (meaning the transition from page to screen was pretty accurate). I hear there are American versions in the works, but since the trilogy is set in Sweden, and so much of the plot revolves around Swedish politics and culture, I don’t think they will be as good.
    • Eric Larson’s The Devil in the White City – I don’t usually read historical non-fiction, but I was fascinated by this book, which blends the story of an infamous serial killer with the city of Chicago’s efforts to prepare for and host the 1893 World’s Fair. Larson knew when to elaborate and when to summarize, to make this a quick and interesting read. Word on the street is that there is a movie in the works, with Leonardo DiCaprio set to play serial killer H.H. Holmes. Should be a good one!
  • Good Movies
    • Shutter Island – Speaking of Leonardo DiCaprio, he has completely redeemed himself for Titanic. Yeah, I guess I should have gotten over that about ten years ago, but I lost over three hours of my life to that movie!! It took me a long time to forgive him for shouting “I’m the king of the world” and such. This year, he only impressed me, starring in two of my favorite movies. One was Shutter Island, adapted from the Dennis Lehane novel. I knew it would be good when I saw that it starred DiCaprio, along with Mark Ruffalo (one of my favorite character actors) and Ben Kingsley. This one was terrific in the theater: the scenery, the music, the everything. The ending surprised (and disappointed) some people, but Martin Scorsese did a great job with every single detail, from beginning to end, and I was impressed.
    • Inception – The only person who outdid Scorsese this year was Christopher Nolan, who continues to amaze me with his ability to intrigue and entertain. Inception is the last movie I saw in the theater before my son was born, and I haven’t been back to the movies yet! What a terrific experience that movie was: the sights, the sounds, the story… the whole package. I look forward to giving it a second look soon.
  • Good Music
    • Mumford and Sons – Their Sigh No More is the only complete album I purchased in 2010, and I love it. From the mainstream hit “Little Lion Man,” to the solidarity of “Timshel,” to the poetry of “The Cave,” everything is worth listening to and enjoying.
    • Glee – Nothing is more fun to listen to than songs from Glee. They are fun to sing and dance along to, in the car, the kitchen, or anywhere else. The second season has been a little lackluster, but I’m still enjoying last season’s hits – most notably “Somebody to Love,” “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” “Borderline/Open Your Heart,” and “Alone.”
  • Good TV
    • Breaking Bad – After three seasons of it receiving awards and accolades, we finally jumped on the Breaking Bad bandwagon, zooming through the first two seasons on DVD. Now we are anxiously awaiting season three, and hope it will reair on AMC before the dvd release. Bryan Cranston is truly amazing in this role, one that is about as far removed from the dad on Malcolm in the Middle as you can be. I’ve had several people tell me they don’t want to watch the show because it sounds depressing (actually, I think I was one of those people before I watched it!), but the show balances out the heavy themes (cancer, drug addiction, deception, etc.) with lighter moments. We so enjoyed this show that we decided to try out AMC’s other original series. We quickly lost interest in Mad Men (well made, yes, but no likable characters!), but immediately took to the new zombie drama The Walking Dead (too bad there were only six episodes in season one…). I was also interested in Rubicon, but since it was canceled after one season, I’m not sure I’ll ever watch it.
    • Fringe – I continue to love this sci-fi investigative show. The story arcs are imaginative, the characters well drawn, and the details thorough. This season has been all about this universe vs. the alternate universe, and I appreciate all the little details that the writers throw in about alt-universe (JFK was’t assassinated, they no longer use writing pens, avocado are a rare fruit, etc.). This show even inspired the name that I eventually chose for my son (Peter).
    • Lost – I couldn’t do a year end post without mentioning what is probably my all-time favorite show. I throughly enjoyed the final season, although it took me awhile to come to terms with the way it ended. The show had a great run, though, so I don’t miss it now. Too much other tv to watch anyway.
  • Good Sports
    • The Saints won the Super Bowl! – After years of embarrassment, followed by some years of “almost, but not quite,” the Saints finally had their moment of glory as Super Bowl champs, by winning a handful of crazy games. It was oh so sweet to celebrate with them after all those depressing Sunday afternoons growing up in Louisiana, watching the ‘Aints.
    • Duke wins the NCAA championship! – What a rare thing, for two of my teams to win championships during the same year! I have been a Duke fan since 1991, the year they won their first championship. I’ve followed their ups and downs ever since then, and was pleasantly surprised when they were the only #1 seed left standing for the Final Four last season, and added another championship to their collection. Go Blue Devils!
  • Disappointments
    • Velva Jean Learns to Drive – This book was okay, but I was really unhappy with how it ended.
    • The Event – I guess I shouldn’t have expected much from NBC, since their action/suspense shows usually fail, but this show was just one, big convoluted and implausible mess. I tried to watch it, but gave up on about episode 5 or 6. I suppose it will last for awhile, but I won’t be tuning in to this failed hybrid of 24 and Lost.
    • So You Think You Can Dance: Season 7 – When I first heard that the show was mixing things up by pairing new contestants with all-stars, I was super excited. And as much as I loved seeing Pasha, Mark, Kathryn, etc., their presence made it nearly impossible to pick favorites among the newbies. We couldn’t enjoy power couples, and I was usually too busy watching one of the all-stars do their thing to notice how the actual contestants were doing. Throw the ridiculous number of injuries in, and the uneven number of guys and girls during the second half of the season, and it was an epic failure. There were still a few memorable performances, but none that I can think of right now.
    • Lee beating Crystal on American Idol – Every year I only half watch the spectacle that is American Idol, and last season, my one eye open quickly pegged Crystal the only one with the total package amonst the weak top ten. As much as I liked Lee (he was a nice guy, after all), he wasn’t nearly as talented or comfortable on stage as Crystal. Like all previous contestants, their post-Idol successes or failures will determine the real winner (a shout out here to the one and only Jennifer Hudson, who was voted off way too soon on her season of Idol).

So what were the best and worst moments in 2010 entertainment for you?

 

Lost: The End May 26, 2010

Filed under: Lost,Television — Emily @ 11:47 am

The two and a half hour series finale of Lost was a lot to take in. In fact, it has taken me a few days to fully appreciate the way Cuse, Lindelof, and Abrams chose to wrap things up. My initial reaction to the islanders’ afterlife reunion in the church, and Jack’s death on the very spot where he first awoke on the island, was “huh?” This ending was so at odds with what I had been expecting that I couldn’t process it. Even though I tried to keep an open mind about how the show would end, I found myself expecting the two worlds (the original island timeline and the alternate world) to somehow come back together in the end, with Desmond somehow orchestrating this reconvergence with his special gift as “The Constant.” It was my expectation that Desmond would play a major role in the islanders’ final destinies that made me feel slightly disappointed initially. I wanted him to be the hero – to set the island right again and lead his friends back to their true lives. However, I’m no longer disappointed.

I think the ending to the show was beautiful, touching, and in keeping with the show’s tone for the past six seasons. Lost was always exciting to watch and dissect because of the crazy mysteries – the four-toed Egyptian statue, the polar bears, Jacob’s cabin in the woods, the light at the heart of the island, etc. But what made the show really special was the characters and their stories. I fell in love with Jin and Sun as they went through all the ups and downs of their stormy relationship. I cheered for Sawyer as he let go of his anger and learned to lead and care about other people. I marveled at how I still liked Benjamin Linus even after he lied, murdered, and manipulated just about everyone in his path. There were so many characters to get to know, and as the writers developed their stories, motivations, and personalities, I loved all of them (well, except maybe Ana Lucia!).

Since the show has ultimately always been about the characters, it was appropriate and satisfying for the finale to focus more on who they are and where they have been, than on what the island was.

The Mystery of the Alternate World Revealed

  • I’ve been puzzled by the widespread misinterpretation of the finale by not only many fans, but by the media. Writers at TV Guide and L.A. Times, to name a couple, somehow gathered that the islanders were dead all along, presumably from the moment the plane crashed in the pilot episode. Did they not pay attention when Jack’s dad told him that the events on the island were very real and were the most important part of all those people’s lives? How depressing would it be if this were really the case – if all six seasons were nothing more than these people’s purgatory?
  • Fortunately, that was not the case. The only place where these characters were dead was in the alternate world. It wasn’t a parallel reality, as the writers tricked us into believing. It was more of a purgatory that the characters had to live in until they were able to “find each other” and move into the afterlife together. This world represented the way these people wish their lives would have been: Jack had a son who he could be a good father to, Jin and Sun were able to escape her father’s iron fist and start their life together, Sawyer was able to be a good guy, etc.
  • Desmond was the first to “remember” his real life, and then he made it his mission to help the others remember. He visited them one by one and jolted them into seeing glimpses of the most important parts of their lives. Once they understood, they were ready to reunite with those they cared about most and move on.

My Assessment of this Purgatory World: I’ve had trouble understanding how this purgatory fits into the chain of events on the show. I kept getting hung up on the moment when Juliet set off the bomb, resulting in the white light that transported the ’70s islanders back to the present. As Juliet lay dying in Sawyer’s arms, she had a glimpse of the other world (we learned in the finale that she was experiencing the moment when she and Sawyer meet at the vending machines, and she says “We should get coffee sometime… we can go dutch.” This vision led her to tell Sawyer (through Miles’ psychic ability after she had died) that “it worked.” I guess the “it” was vague. I assumed she meant that by setting off the bomb, she had changed the future, and created a new timeline where she, Sawyer, and the others could live happily off of the island. Apparently, she just meant that they had found a way to be together, even if only in death. I’m still confused about what exactly the bomb going off accomplished. I guess the simple answer is that it created an energy that flashed the island back to the 2000s so that these people could finish what they started – protecting the island, keeping evil Locke from being unleashed on the world, and fostering their relationships with each other.

Wrapping up the Island Adventure

  • After a season long struggle between good (the candidates) and evil (Locke), good prevailed. This was made possible when Desmond removed the stone from the heart of the island, making the Smoke Monster mortal, which allowed Jack and Kate to finish him off with a good beating, a gunshot, and a final shove off a cliff. This was the purpose that Jack had been headed toward since the beginning: to stop the Smoke Monster and save the island.
  • The side effect of Desmond removing the stone is that the light went out, and the island started to fall apart and sink into the ocean. To remedy this unfortunate turn of events, Jack chose to sacrifice himself. He put the stone back in place, which made the light come back on, and thus brought the island back to life. The energy created in this moment was too much for anyone other than Desmond to withstand, and so Jack died as a result – but not before the island deposited him back on the rocks. For a moment, I was concerned that Jack was going to be Black Smoke 2.0. That would have been a terrible ending! Apparently the island just gave him one final gift, by allowing him to stumble back to the spot where he originally awoke on the island, surrounding by bamboo, with Vincent the dog as a companion. For a moment, he thought back on all that he had been through since first coming to the island, and then he closed his eyes to this life.
  • Meanwhile, Jack had turned over the responsibility of protecting the island to Hurley. We can assume that Hurley was a more personable leader than was Jacob. His first noble act was to ask Ben to be his number two. What a great moment! Finally, Ben had a real purpose on the island, and was needed and appreciated. I like to think that Hurley and Ben changed Jacob’s rules, so that people didn’t have to choose between complete island devotion or banishment. I’m guessing that they helped Desmond get back to Penny and little Charlie with his boat that was sitting out in the harbor. Rose and Bernard probably lived out the rest of their days happily on the island, too.
  • In a pleasant surprise, Frank the pilot was revealed to have survived the sub explosion. I guess Locke was lying about the plane being rigged with explosives (or someone disassembled them), because after a little duct tape repair, Frank was able to safely fly the plane off the island, carrying Miles, Richard, Claire, Kate, and Sawyer with him. It’s nice to think that Richard was able to finally live a normal life and grow old, that Kate and Claire were going to raise Aaron together, and perhaps that Miles and Sawyer were able to continue their Dharma partnership (maybe as private investigators or something?). This was definitely a happy, if bittersweet ending for these islanders.
  • Most of the viewers’ confusion probably stemmed from the closing scene, as the credits rolled, of plane wreckage on the beach. Cuse and Lindelof probably did this on purpose, just to stir up some doubt. But I think this was just the remnants of the original Flight 815 crash, not some sign that Jack and company had actually returned to the moment of the original crash, and that they died at that moment. The wreckage was a reminder of all they had overcome and accomplished together.

My Assessment of the Island Ending: I liked it! From Locke and Jack’s epic cliff side battle, to Jack’s changing of the guard to Hurley, to coming full circle with Jack’s eye closing amidst the bamboo, everything that happened seemed right. It’s sad that Jack died, but his actions allowed the island to continue to exist, Hurley and Ben to bring a new brand of justice to the island, Rose and Bernard to continue their retirement, and the folks on the plane to go back to civilization and continue a more normal life together.

Loved It: Here are some things I loved about the finale

  • The reunions – It was so nice to see Charlie, Juliet, Shannon, Boone, etc. again – especially Charlie and Juliet. Charlie and Claire’s reunion was sweet and reminded me how much I loved his character. And it was very satistfying that the writers resolved the “we should get coffee some time” moment from the beginning of the season by giving us one final, emotional scene between Sawyer and Juliet. I loved them together, and the actors did the scene perfectly to convey the couple’s relief and happiness at being together again.
  • The flashbacks – These glimpses of previous seasons ran like a “best of Lost” clip selection, and brought back lots of happy memories for me. But they worked seamlessly with the current story, as they were the characters’ visions of their lives’ most important moments. Sun and Jin’s flashes, during their sonogram, were the most touching, but I also enjoyed Claire’s and Charlie’s, Claire’s and Kate’s, and Sawyer and Juliet’s. Beautiful moments.
  • Ben’s Atonement – Ben is perhaps the most complex, compelling character of all on this show. It was nice to see him ask Locke for forgiveness (as he should have – he murdered him, after all!), and for Locke to grant it. And it was also satisfying for Hurley and Ben to acknowledge their roles as island protectors. It makes me think that it was a long and fruitful partnership. I had always hoped that despite his questionable intentions and actions, Ben would ultimately fall on the side of good, so I am glad that he did.
  • Jack’s “Scars” – This was one of those little details that we had been getting clues about all season – Jack’s recurring notice of the cut on his neck, and his noticing a scar on his side. It turns out they were both the result of his final battle with Locke. As he came closer to remembering his life, the wounds became more visible.
  • Richard’s New Beginning – I’m sure a guy from the Old World will have a hard time adjusting to modern life, but after years of being stuck at the same age and in servitude to the island, it was nice to see Richard given a chance at a normal life. Miles pointed out Richard’s first gray hair, and in that moment Richard realized that he looked forward to living again, and to aging, and one day dying.
  • Frank and Miles Survive – Since most of the later characters didn’t survive to the end of the series (Widmore, Daniel, Charlotte, Ilana, to name a few), it was nice that these two did just that. And I mentioned earlier that maybe Miles and Sawyer continued their friendship and professional relationship once they made it back to the mainland. That could almost be a spin-off! 🙂
  • Sawyer finally gets off the island – Poor Sawyer – he spent so much time trying to get off the stupid island, and went through so much hardship – it is satisfying for him and viewers that he finally succeeded. I’d like to think that he and Kate didn’t get back together. Maybe he became Uncle Sawyer to little Aaron, but hopefully he and Kate didn’t try a relationship again. After all, she professed her love for Jack before leaving the island.
  • Claire becomes less crazy, leaves the island with Kate – Kate achieved her purpose of bringing Claire back from the island so she could be reunited with Aaron. And since Claire said the island had messed her up and she didn’t think she could raise Aaron alone, they were going to have a tag team approach to parenting. That makes sense, since Kate had already spent years being his mom. Even though they surely had bittersweet feelings about leaving Hurley and Jack behind on the island, it was the right ending for them to return home to Aaron. Too bad Sun and Jin couldn’t do the same for their daughter. But at least now there is someone to share their story with her.
  • Desmond survived! – Desmond was one of my favorite characters, so I am thrilled that he didn’t have to sacrifice himself to save the island. I am also happy that he most likely found his way back to Penny and his son. Desmond and Penny’s love story may have been the most touching of all the Lost romances.

Laughed at It: Some of the moments that amused me

  • Hurley shooting Charlie with a tranquilizer gun – Oh how the tables were turned. Sayid is usually the one doing such things, so it was funny when he asked Hurley, “What was that?” as Hurley threw an unconscious Charlie into the back of his Hummer. Hurley and Desmond seemed to have a better idea of what was going on in the alternate world than everyone else, and I loved their confident, nonchalant attitudes.
  • Claire’s warp speed labor and delivery – I don’t think anyone has ever had such a quick labor as Claire did – it couldn’t have been more than five minutes from the time she had her first contraction to the moment Kate put Aaron in her arms. Charlie didn’t even have time to bring blankets! I guess it didn’t need to be realistic, though, since it wasn’t happening in real life.
  • Sawyer’s Nicknames – I can’t remember them right now, but he had a lot of good ones in the finale. They provided some much needed comic relief.

Letting Go and Moving On: And so, after six seasons of joy and sorrow, time travel, heroic acts, and interesting characters, it’s time for Lost fans to say farewell to the show. It’s fitting that the characters had to do the same, let go and move on, in the parallel “purgatory” world. As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been confused about why they would need to remember their other lives if they had already lived them out – since I thought the point was for them to get back to those lives. It wasn’t so much that they needed to remember their lives as they needed to find each other before they moved on into the afterlife. It was nice to see these characters back together again in the church, and nice to think of them living on together in eternity. Jack, Sawyer, Sun, Jin, Charlie and the rest are some of my favorite tv characters ever, so I am glad that the show provided closure for them. It was certainly nice knowing you, Lost! Thanks for all the hours of confusion, excitement, drama, and satisfaction.

 

Lost 6.3: What Kate Does February 10, 2010

Filed under: Lost,Television — Emily @ 2:46 pm
Tags: ,

Now that we know the lay of the season six land – with everyone back in modern times on the island and running into each other in a parallel universe – this week’s episode was easier to follow, and still gave us some new developments to chew on. The flash-sideways gave us eerily familiar sisterhood moments between Kate and Claire, while the island story focused on Jack and the gang as they tried to to make sense of life at the Temple, and on Sawyer as he dealt with his grief over Juliet’s death.

Flash-Sideways

  • We picked up where we left off last week, with Kate eluding the U.S. marshall and commandeering a taxi cab that Claire happened to be riding in.
  • At first, I thought it was crazy that Claire would accept a ride from an escaped convict who had just held her at gunpoint! But I suppose someone all alone in a foreign country, going through such a traumatic circumstance as a failed adoption, would cling to the one person they had kind of gotten to know.
  • Claire trusted Kate enough to ask her to go inside with her when she met the prospective adoptive parents, and when she started having contractions, Kate gave her a ride to the hospital and stayed with her while the staff figured out what was going on with the baby.
  • Again, someone desperate to escape authorities would probably not take the time to be a good samaritan – they would be getting as far from L.A. as they could! Besides, would Kate trust Claire so much that she would stick around, when at any moment Claire could tell someone that Kate was a wanted woman? But we aren’t supposed to ask these questions. After all, it’s fate that Kate and Claire meet and bond over baby Aaron.
  • Similarities to the original timeline of events: Kate was with Claire when she went into labor, and Ethan was Claire’s doctor! I wonder if he was sent from the island in this parallel universe. One more I noticed was the stuffed killer whale in Claire’s purse – wasn’t that a gift that Jin was delivering to a new mom in one episode?

Jack vs. the Pill

  • In a disturbing turn of events, Dogen forced Sayid to endure a series of torture methods, without the usual interrogation for information. It turns out this wasn’t so much torture as it was a test to see if Sayid was infected. I’m not sure how they could tell that he was infected with “the darkness.” Wouldn’t anyone being burned or shocked react with similar screams and pleads to stop?
  • Whatever the case, this “test” led Dogen to believe that there was no hope for Sayid, and so he tried to trick Jack into killing him with poison, in the form of a pill that he said was medicine. Thankfully, Jack had enough sense to protect his friend by forcing Dogen to tell the truth about the pill. (He knew that Dogen wanted him alive, and so he swallowed the pill, knowing that if it was dangerous, Dogen would try to stop him.)
  • So now what? I don’t know. Obviously, Jack isn’t going to force Sayid to take a pill that he knows will kill him. But the Others are another story. I doubt they are just going to let Sayid hang around their camp, so will they banish him or keep trying to kill him?
  • On the other hand, I have a feeling that Dogen is manipulating Jack just like Ben used to do. Maybe he never intended to kill Sayid. Maybe he’s just trying to get Jack and the other non-Others to trust him.

Sawyer Goes Solo

  • Sawyer decided not to stick around the Temple, and instead went back to the place where he had made a happy home with Juliet: Dharma village. It’s now nothing more than a ramshackle mess, but he found what he was looking for: a memory box containing the engagement ring he was planning to give her.
  • Once again, Josh Holloway did an excellent job conveying Sawyer’s despair and deep pain. I nearly had a complete breakdown watching him look through their old home, and hearing him talk about how he blamed himself for her death because he convinced her to stay on the island. I was sad when he threw the ring out into the water, too.
  • Talk about awkward when Kate showed up right as Sawyer was having a nostalgic moment. At least she tried to sneak away, but of course he heard her at that point. After Sawyer opened up to her about his feelings, I couldn’t exactly figure out why Kate was crying. Was it because Sawyer rejected her, like did she think she was going to go play house with him and pick up where they left off? Or, was she genuinely sad for Sawyer because she cares about him? Maybe a little of both?

Claire's return was marked by a very bad hair day.

The Infection

  • This exchange between Dogen and Jack gave us the latest twist in the Lost saga: Dogen – “We believe he [Sayid] has been claimed… There is a darkness growing in him, and once it reaches his heart, everything your friend once was will be gone.” Jack – “How can you be sure of that?” Dogen – “Because it happened to your sister.” And with those words, we found out what happened to Claire when she wandered off into the jungle – kind of. We still don’t know how she became infected, but we know that she’s not herself anymore, at least according to Dogen.
  • Claire’s return was the most interesting development in this episode. Appearing on a ridge above Jin and rescuing him from the Others who were about to shoot him, she made quite an entrance! She’s like a Rousseau, Jr., setting traps and gunning people down. She could have been straight out of Deliverance – she was looking rough and crazy.
  • I am guessing that Rousseau was “infected” with the same darkness that the Others’ leader says Sayid now has, and that he says consumed Claire. Is this the same disease that Rousseau went on and on about? I assume it has something to do with Evil Locke and his Black Smoke.
  • This new development of the Darkness Infection brings many new questions to the table: How does one become infected? Is there a cure (other than swallowing a lethal pill…)? Are the infected doomed to become part of not-Locke’s army? Or does the infection simply make them ineligible for Jacob’s lists of the worthy?

So they writers are making us do the waiting thing that we had to do in other seasons, where we didn’t see not Locke and Frank and Sun, etc. at all this week. I really want to know Richard’s story! Hopefully we will see that group next week. Since Sawyer was featured a lot in the preview, I hope we’ll see what his parallel world persona is up to. Maybe he’ll run into Juliet!

Random Questions

  • What was with the dirty baseball that Dogen had in his office? That doesn’t really seem like something that a wise medicine man would have sitting around. – I just found a possible answer on Lostpedia: “In the TV series Deep Space 9, Benjamin Sisko, the commander of the station, used to have a baseball prominently placed on his desk throughout the entire run of the show. In the pilot episode, he used the baseball as a metaphor to explain the nature of linear time to the inhabitants of the wormhole, who experienced time all at once.”
  • Who is Claire protecting herself from, or is she just crazy?
  • Are Miles and Hurley ever going to have anything more to do than make jokes about food courts and white lights? They need some more dead people to talk to.
 

Lost 6.1: LA X February 3, 2010

Filed under: Lost,Television — Emily @ 4:35 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Lost is back, and I couldn’t be more excited. Even just watching the one hour recap show reminded me how much I’ve missed the Island and all its inhabitants. There’s nothing else like it on television. There’s a lot of ground to cover from last night’s two-part season premiere. I’ll start with an assessment of the three main plot threads, and then move on to my theories, questions, rants, and raves.

Season six opened with Jack sitting on Oceanic 815 - only this time it didn't crash on the island!

Same Song, Different Lyrics

  • It was fascinating to see the parallel world created as a result of the bomb (if the bomb was, in fact, responsible).
    • The few seconds that the screen was white at the beginning drove me crazy! After so many months of waiting, those few seconds of waiting to see what happened were very intense.
    • What was with the cut on Jack’s neck? Was that just to indicate that he had recently shaved off his beard, or is it some hint about something else?
    • What was Desmond doing on the plane? And where did he disappear to when Jack returned from saving Charlie? Weirdness all around. If nothing else, those two incidents were like a repeat of history in the original timeline, only in a different location: Jack saved Charlie after Ethan left him for dead, and Desmond had a habit of popping up in unexpected places.
    • How creepy was it to see the island, the Dharma village, and the giant foot under water, in ruins? That was our confirmation that Juliet succeeded in setting off the bomb, destroying the island, and changing the course of history.
    • The cameos of dearly departed Losties were fun: Artz, Charlie, Neil, Boone… I wonder if Mr. Eko, Ana Lucia, Libby, and Shannon were missing for a particular reason, or simply because they weren’t available at the time of filming.
    • Apparently in this reality, Hurley is “the luckiest guy alive.” Winning the lottery was a blessing, not a curse. I wonder if he used the same numbers?
    • A few things that happened in this parallel reality were like echoes of previous events. After Jack saved Charlie, Charlie told him, “You shouldn’t have let that happen, man. I was supposed to die.” Just like he was supposed to die (and did) on the Island, despite all Desmond’s efforts to save him… Another echo was how Dr. Shepherd’s body disappeared. In this case, it was apparently never put on the plane, while on the Island, the coffin and the body were separated from the other wreckage.
    • It was interesting to see the Losties in this parallel universe pick up where we’d left them in their original flashbacks: Jack dealing with his father’s death, Kate still trying to escape from custody, Sawyer looking for his next con, Sun and Jin trying to keep up appearances, Rose and Bernard enjoying life together, Sayid hoping to reunite with Nadia, Charlie struggling with drug addiction, Hurley figuring out what to do with his lottery winnings, Boone dealing with his bratty sister Shannon, and Locke trying to maintain his dignity despite his paralysis. But fate seems to be interfering with the “natural” course of events, since all these characters are crossing paths: Sawyer helped Kate elude the security officers, Jack and Locke struck up a conversation about how “nothing is irreversible,” Desmond and Jack literally saw each other “in another life,” which are the words they parted with when they first met while running stairs in L.A.

Back in the Saddle Again (aka How Jack’s Plan Led Them Back to Where They Started)

  • But the premiere wasn’t as straight forward as “now the Losties are on a different path, one on which they never came to the Island.” Instead, after the first commercial break, the writers threw us for a loop, showing Jack and the gang still very much alive on the island, but apparently back in the present rather than still stuck in the 70s.
    • Hurley’s ability to talk to dead people came in handy, as Jacob delivered that message that Hurley needed to take Sayid to the Temple in order to save him from certain death. I wonder if Jacob will continue to communicate with the Losties via Hurley.
    • Juliet’s death was hard to watch, but at least she and Sawyer had a better goodbye than the heart-wrenching one when she let go of his hand last season. Josh Holloway got to show off his acting skills, as Sawyer agonized over Juliet’s fate, and said his tearful “I love you’s” and “goodbyes” to her.
    • Juliet’s final words were perplexing: “We should get coffee some time. We can go dutch.” Just the incoherent ramblings of a woman near-death, or something else – perhaps she was slipping away to the parallel reality where she and Sawyer weren’t on the Island, where their plan to change the course of events had worked. We have reason to suspect this, based on her next words being “I have to tell you something. It’s really, really important,” and based on Miles’ message from Juliet’s spirit that “it worked.” Regardless of the answers to these questions, Juliet’s death was one of the most memorable on the show.

The confrontation between Richard and Not-Locke was one of the most perplexing and disturbing moments of the premiere.

A Tale of Two Lockes (aka On the Waterfront)

  • The events on the beach in the present didn’t seem to be affected at all by Juliet’s efforts. But that didn’t make them any less interesting.
    • It was fascinating to watch Ben’s rollercoaster of emotions: he went from horrified that he actually murdered Jacob, to disturbed when he saw the real Locke’s dead body, to full freak-out mode after he realized that not-Locke is the one and only Smoke Monster. The master manipulator couldn’t believe that he had been outmanipulated, and he was clearly nervous about just what sort of creature he helped unleash on the Island.
    • Not-Locke is turning out to be a fantastic villain. He’s so calm, collected, and matter of fact: “I have good news. Jacob burned up in that fire. You have nothing more to protect…” Plus, he’s practically invincible – speeding bullets bounce off of him, and he can turn into his destructive smoke form to become a thoroughly efficient warrior. The only defense against him is encircling yourself with ashes.
    • I was hoping his conversation with Ben at the end of the episode would at least reveal his name, but it didn’t happen. Instead, not-Locke tormented Ben, telling him that Locke was very confused as he died, thinking only “I don’t understand.” His description of Locke was spot-on, and thus sad, especially in light of his tragic death, which allowed this Monster to rise to power. And we were left with yet another intriguing question: not-Locke wants the one thing that John Locke didn’t: “I want to go home.” Where is home for this Smoke Monster?!
    • The closing scene had Richard reuniting with an old acquaintance (not-Locke said “Hello, Richard, it’s good to see you out of those chains.”) I for one am ready to know Richard’s backstory. The “chains” part still makes me think he came to the Island on the Black Rock. Not-Locke quickly and easily knocked Richard out and carried him away, scolding the rest of the beach Others with a stern “I’m very disappointed in you!” What is going on?!

Hugo Reyes and the Temple of Doom (or Hope?)

  • The Temple – In typical Lost fashion, we met yet another group of island inhabitants that we hadn’t seen before. Actually, I guess these are just more Others, but we’ve never seen these particular ones, except for the flight attendant and the two kids (Zack and Emma) that were taken from Ana Lucia’s group. I wonder if the Temple will be this season’s Hatch, pivotal to the ongoing plot. It is appropriately mysterious, and the passageways beneath it are creepy, with all the whispering and crumbling ruins.
    • Jacob instructed Hurley to take the guitar case and its contents to the Temple. It contained a wooden cross of sorts, which in turn contained a piece of paper. I assume it was a list that included the names of Jack, Hurley, Kate, Jin, Sayid, Sawyer, and Miles, but one of the Others told Hurley it said “If your friend there dies, we’re all in a lot of trouble.” Perhaps if Jacob wrote all their names on the list, that means all of them must survive in order for some plan to work.
    • The Temple contains a healing pool known as “The Spring.” Apparently a dying person has to be held underwater for a certain amount of time (determined by the sands in an hourglass), and has a chance of being healed. Initially, the Others thought it hadn’t worked, but they were acting very strangely. By the end of the episode, after lying still and not breathing for several minutes, Sayid suddenly sat up and said “What happened?” So did the spring save him, or something else? We don’t have a clear answer yet.
    • “I don’t like the way English tastes on my tongue.” The apparent leader of this group of Others used a translator, but he does speak English. When Hurley informed him that Jacob was dead, the Others sprang into action, setting off a flare, and securing the Temple “to keep him out.” They must know what they are up against.
    • I’m also curious why the Others wanted to talk to each Lostie individually. They are a very mysterious bunch.
  • At the end of the episode, Sayid rose from the dead, or so it seems. Not sure what to make of this yet.

The Implications

  • Not-Locke is the Smoke Monster – Upon confirmation that the Smoke Monster can appear as people who have died, Lost fanatics everywhere rushed to their archives last night to study all the scenes from previous seasons involving dead people appearing to the islanders: Christian Shepherd “advising” various people, Mr. Eko’s brother, Shannon, Claire, etc. Can we assume that all these visitations were actually the Smoke Monster, and that they were all part of its plan to find a loophole? One of the more recent occurrences is when Christian guided Locke through the subterranean passageways and told him he had to move the island again to stop the time flashes. A lot to think about here… Another visit that comes to mind is Claire’s appearance to Kate in L.A., when she warned Kate not to take Aaron back to the island. If that Claire was actually the Smoke Monster, then it would seem that Aaron’s return to the Island would be a good thing for the Losties. But can the Smoke Monster appear off the Island, and is Claire even dead?
  • Jacob Leads the Losties to the Temple – Apparently all hope is not lost just yet. If that spring can bring Sayid back to life, then maybe the Others and the Temple have some more tricks up their sleeves.
  • Flash-somethings – In the early seasons we had flashbacks, and then last season we had flashbacks, flashforwards, and some flashes that were hard to label as either one. Apparently, this season we will have inter-reality flashes. (Producers Cuse and Lindelof refer to them as “sideways flashes” in this interview.) Whether it’s a parallel universe, a simultaneous reality, or whatever you want to call it, there seem to be two Jacks, two Kates, two of everyone. It’s hard to wrap my mind around it all, but I can’t wait to see where we are headed. This new storytelling device leads to all sorts of questions, but one big one is this: will these two worlds somehow converge, and if so, what will the results be?
  • Not of this World? – Where is “home” for the Smoke Monster, and will his/its name ever be revealed? The only “out there” theory I am considering right now is that the Island is alien in origin. Remember that “Little Prince” episode early last season? Check out this excerpt, in which I theorized about what it would mean if Locke were the Little Prince in question (the text in blue seems especially relevant now that we know the whole Not-Locke angle): 
    • Locke – At the end of The Little Prince, the Little Prince tells the Narrator that he must return to his home planet, and explains to him that “while it will look as though he has died, he has not, but rather that his body is too heavy to take with him to his planet” (I gathered this info from Wikipedia, since it has been years since I read this novel and I’m foggy on the details.) This reminds me of Locke, who has to die in order to make everything right again. Will Locke be reincarnated in a different body, or has his body been left behind while he’s actually still doing the Island’s work? One famous quote from The Little Prince sounds exactly like something that Locke would say: “One cannot see well except with the heart, the essential is invisible to the eyes.”
    • Just some food for thought… You can check out that full post here.

I could go on and on with my questions, but I’ll save some for the rest of the season, as we learn more. My favorite characters in the premiere were Sawyer (dramatic flair) and Hurley (comic relief). What did you think of the premiere? What questions are you dying to have answered? Any theories to share? To read more about the episode, check out the following:

 

2009 Emmy Awards: Predictions, Results, and Reactions September 20, 2009

The 2009 Emmy Awards have come and gone. How did Neil Patrick Harris fare as host? Which stars were best dressed, and which ones were worst? And most importantly, who took home awards? This year’s Emmy Awards ceremony was Mad Men themed, from the opening images of the stars’ arrivals with voiceover narration, to Neil Patrick Harris’s old school opening number, to the comic book page set up of the various camera views before commercial breaks. They also had Jon Hamm be one of the first presenters, along with Tina Fey. This show isn’t shy about playing favorites!

Speaking of 30 Rock, it won for Best Writing in a Comedy Series, with Matt Hubbard accepting the award for the episode “Reunion.” The Office, not to be outdone, won in the Best Directing for a Comedy Series category (Jeffrey Blitz for “Stress Relief”). When the show shifted gears to Reality Programming, I was initially irritated to see two dancers from Dancing with the Stars, but then some of my favorite SYTYCD performers appeared on stage, including season four winner Joshua, in a routine choregraphed by Tabitha and Napoleon. It was also nice to see Hugh Jackman’s excellent opening number from the Oscars win for “Best Original Music and Lyrics.” After that, the show settled into a dreary sea of cliched banter between presenters, and boring acceptance speeches. The awards that pleased me most were all of 30 Rock’s wins and Michael Emerson’s win for Best Actor in a Drama. The most disappointing category was Jon Cryer beating out everyone else for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy.

As for the fashion, or lack thereof, my pick for Worst Dressed goes to Patricia Arquette, who appeared to be wearing a black “Hefty trash bag” as a dress. Vanessa Williams’ aqua blue dress was pretty unflattering as well. Gabriel Byrne was looking rather unkempt with his loosened tie and wrinkled shirt (at least by the time they showed him in the crowd late in the show). On the other hand, my picks for Best Dressed go to Kyra Sedgwick, Alyson Hannigan (who looked great in a classic black straplessdress), and Justin Timberlake. I didn’t pay close attention to all the dresses and tuxes, though, so I am sure there are other good and bad choices I could have gone with.

NPH didnt win an Emmy, but he was a fun host.

NPH didn't win an Emmy, but he was a fun host.

So how did Neil Patrick Harris do as host? Sure, there were some awkward moments, but also some funny ones. I liked how every presenter was introduced by naming some obscure show or movie they appeared in. I double-checked the authenticity of some of them on IMDB because they sounded so ludicrous. Best moment of the night, though: Dr. Horrible interrupting the token Ernst and Young “Emmy vote tabulation process” explanation to proclaim that television is dead and Internet is the new king of entertainment. It was a clever and creative diversion, with bonus points for appearances by Nathan Fillion and other Dr. Horrible cast members, and a few musical moments.

Read on for a list of nominees in the major categories, as well as my predictions about and reactions to the winners.

Outstanding Supporting Actor, Comedy
Jack McBrayer, 30 Rock
Tracy Morgan, 30 Rock
Kevin Dillon, Entourage
Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother
Rainn Wilson, The Office
Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men
  • Who I wanted to win: Neil Patrick Harris – please, please, please let him win this year! He has totally deserved it for the past two seasons, so I am hoping that the third time is the charm, especially since, as host, he will already be up on stage to accept his award.
  • Who I thought would win: Since Emmy voters tend to like over the top comedy, they might award Rainn Wilson, but I really think NPH has a good shot at it.
  • Who actually won: Jon Cryer. That is just outrageous. There are no words. At least it provided ample material for a funny running bit for NPH.
Outstanding Supporting Actress, Comedy
Kristin Chenoweth, Pushing Daisies
Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock
Elizabeth Perkins, Weeds
Amy Poehler, Saturday Night Live
Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live
Vanessa Williams, Ugly Betty
  • Who I wanted to win: Kristin Chenoweth – Wouldn’t it be nice if Pushing Daisies could have one last moment of recognition? I don’t think it will happen, though.
  • Who I thought would win: Elizabeth Perkins – I’ve never seen an episode of Weeds, so I can’t give an opinion on whether or not Perkins deserves the award, but she seems to fit the Emmy voter bill.
  • Who actually won: Kristin Chenoweth! Hooray! What an excellent start to the evening. Her acceptance speech proved that she was totally surprised by the win.
Outstanding Supporting Actor, Drama
William Shatner, Boston Legal
Christian Clemenson, Boston Legal
William Hurt, Damages
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
Michael Emerson, Lost
John Slattery, Mad Men
  • Who I wanted to win: Michael Emerson – He was so perfect last season as Benjamin Linus that it almost causes me physical pain to imagine him not winning in this category. Well then, I guess I should plug in my heating pad, because my muscles and joints are bound to start aching when the actual winner is announced.
  • Who I thought would win: If Emmy stands by its old, boring, and infuriating habits, William Shatner will win. If that happens, I will be furious. If the voters decide to mix things up, they might award John Slattery instead, since Mad Men is the trendy show du jour. (I’ve never watched it, so again, my opinion doesn’t really count.)
  • Who actually won: Michael Emerson!!! I am so thrilled that he won. He earned it, and it gives Lost the respect it deserves. He gave a very sincere, if creepy, acceptance speech. (It’s that voice of his!)
Outstanding Supporting Actress, Drama
Cherry Jones, 24
Chandra Wilson, Grey’s Anatomy
Sandra Oh, Grey’s Anatomy
Dianne Wiest, In Treatment
Hope Davis, In Treatment
Rose Byrne, Damages
  • Who I wanted to win: Back when I watched Grey’s Anatomy, I always liked Chandra Wilson’s performance, so I guess I’d be happy for her to win. Even though 24 is the only show in this category that I watch, I don’t think that Cherry Jones’ performance as the President makes her deserving of the award over these other women.
  • Who I thought would win: Dianne Wiest – Just a wild guess, but she does arguably have the most impressive track record among these nominees.
  • Who actually won: Cherry Jones. Ok. Good for her.
Outstanding Actor, Comedy
Tony Shalhoub, Monk
Steve Carell, The Office
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Charlie Sheen, Two and a Half Men
Jemaine Clement, Flight of the Conchords
  • Who I wanted to win: Alec Baldwin – He is always pitch perfect as Jack Donaghy and so is completely deserving of this one. It’s also nice to see Jemaine Clement nominated for his hilarious work on Flight of the Conchords, but he’s up against some heavy hitters in this category!
  • Who I thought would win: Alec Baldwin – Amazingly, Baldwin seems to be as popular with Emmy voters as with the viewing public. As long as Charlie Sheen doesn’t win, I’ll be happy.
  • Who actually won: Alec Baldwin. I’m mainly just relieved that Rob Lowe didn’t call Charlie Sheen’s name. Alec gave a very polished and efficient acceptance speech.
Outstanding Actress, Drama
Sally Field, Brothers & Sisters
Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer
Glenn Close, Damages
Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Holly Hunter, Saving Grace
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
  • Who I wanted to win: I don’t feel strongly about any of these nominees.
  • Who I thought would win: Glenn Close – She plays a powerful character on a risk-taking show, and that makes her quite a one-two punch to Emmy voters.
  • Who actually won: Glenn Close. Predictable.
Outstanding Actor, Drama
Simon Baker, The Mentalist
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Hugh Laurie, House
Gabriel Byrne, In Treatment
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
  • Who I wanted to win: Michael C. Hall! This is an extremely strong category, and it is highly doubtful that the Emmy voters will reward someone for playing a serial killer over some of the more noble characters represented. However, I think he does an amazing job as Dexter Morgan, and beyond that, that Dexter more accurately represents the human psyche than many of the other nominees.
  • Who I thought would win: Hugh Laurie. He’s always an Emmy favorite, but then there’s the trendy choice of Jon Hamm. As much as I love Simon Baker, he seems out of his league in this group. But I am setting all my hopes on Michael C. Hall winning. Fingers crossed!
  • Who actually won: Bryan Cranston. Come on, Emmys, how about letting someone else win? Then again, maybe I need to check out this show.
Outstanding Actress, Comedy
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, The New Adventures of Old Christine
Christina Applegate, Samantha Who?
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Toni Collette, United States of Tara
Mary-Louise Parker, Weeds
Sarah Silverman, The Sarah Silverman Program
  • Who I wanted to win: Tina Fey
  • Who I thought would win: Tina Fey. She and the whole cast, as well as the writing, have been so good. They deserve to sweep most of the comedy categories (except for NPH’s category, of course).
  • Who actually won: Toni Collette. I’m okay with this. Spread the love a little beyond 30 Rock. Strangely, I know absolutely nothing about the show she was nominated for, United States of Tara. Perhaps I should check it out.
Outstanding Series, Comedy
30 Rock
Family Guy
Entourage
The Office
Flight of the Conchords
Weeds
How I Met Your Mother
  • What I wanted to win: 30 Rock
  • What I thought would win: 30 Rock. Like I said above, it’s the funniest, most consistently well done comedy on tv right now.
  • What actually won: 30 Rock. Yeah, this show’s gonna be on for many seasons to come.
Outstanding Series, Drama
Breaking Bad
Damages
Dexter
House
Lost
Mad Men
Big Love
  • What I wanted to win: Lost or Dexter, but I think Lost’s ship sailed a long time ago. Even though it just had its best season ever, I think the Emmy voters have already forgotten about it. I also think that season three was Dexter’s best season yet. So fascinating and well executed (pun intended – can’t help myself).
  • What I thought would win: House? Well, I wouldn’t award this medical drama for the uneven season it had, but then the Emmy voters don’t judge a show by an entire season so much as the one episode that is submitted. I don’t know much about the other four shows that are nominated, but if I were to pick one of them as the winner I would go with Mad Men.
  • What actually won: Mad Men (Excuse me while I roll my eyes. Then again, maybe I need to see what all the fuss is about with this show.)
Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program
Ryan Seacrest, American Idol
Tom Bergeron, Dancing with the Stars
Heidi Klum, Project Runway
Jeff Probst, Survivor
Phil Keoghan, The Amazing Race
Padma Lakshmi and Tom Colicchio, Top Chef
  • Who I wanted to win: Well, I wanted Cat Deeley to win, but she wasn’t nominated. 😦
  • Who I thought would win: Jeff Probst. But do I care? Not really. I don’t watch any of these shows. As long as it’s not Tom Bergeron…
  • Who actually won: Jeff Probst
Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series
The Colbert Report
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Late Show with David Letterman
Real Time with Bill Maher
Saturday Night Live
  • What I wanted to win: The Colbert Report
  • What I thought would win: The Colbert Report. Stephen Colbert is so great on that show.
  • What actually won: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Outstanding Reality-Competition Program
The Amazing Race
American Idol
Dancing with the Stars
Project Runway
Top Chef
  • What I wanted to win: Don’t really care
  • What I thought would win: The Amazing Race (doesn’t it win every year?)
  • What actually won: The Amazing Race
Outstanding Reality Program
Antiques Roadshow
Dirty Jobs
Dog Whisperer
Intervention
Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List
MythBusters
  • What I wanted to win: Dirty Jobs. I do love that Mike Rowe. He should be rewarded for what an easygoing, entertaining host he is.
  • What I thought would win: I honestly have no idea. Maybe Intervention, since it’s the most serious on the list?
  • What actually won: Intervention
Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series
Brenda Blethyn, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Carol Burnett, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Ellen Burstyn, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Sharon Lawrence, Grey’s Anatomy
CCH Pounder, The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency
  • Who I wanted to win: N/A
  • Who I thought would win: Sharon Lawrence
  • Who actually won: Ellen Burstyn
Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series
Edward Asner, CSI: NY
Ernest Borgnine, ER
Ted Danson, Damages
Michael J. Fox, Rescue Me
Jimmy Smits, Dexter
  • Who I wanted to win: Jimmy Smits, please! He was simply amazing as Miguel Prado, and I have spoken at length about it in previous posts.
  • Who I thought would win: Jimmy Smits (wishful thinking, perhaps, but he really was that good!)
  • Who actually won: Michael J. Fox
Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series
Jennifer Aniston, 30 Rock
Christine Baranski, The Big Bang Theory
Tina Fey, Saturday Night Live
Gena Rowlands, Monk
Elaine Stritch, 30 Rock
Betty White, My Name Is Earl
  • Who I wanted to win: Tina Fey
  • Who I thought would win: Tina Fey
  • Who actually won: Tina Fey
Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series
Alan Alda, 30 Rock
Will Arnett, 30 Rock
Beau Bridges, Desperate Housewives
Jon Hamm, 30 Rock
Steve Martin, 30 Rock
Justin Timberlake, Saturday Night Live
  • Who I wanted to win: Jon Hamm
  • Who I thought would win: Jon Hamm. He was terrific as Liz Lemon’s perfect guy, Dr. Drew.
  • Who actually won: Justin Timberlake. How about SNL getting some recognition in the guest acting category?

So, what were you happy or disappointed about on this year’s Emmy Awards? Or, did you not even watch?

 

Lost: Season Two Revisited May 22, 2009

Filed under: Lost,Television — Emily @ 4:30 pm
Tags: , , ,

Upon my second viewing of Lost’s second season, I came away with a similar opinion to the first time around: it wasn’t as all-around amazing as the first season, but it introduced some interesting new twists. Knowing all that we know now, the developments of season two don’t seem as earth shattering. That being said, there was still a lot to enjoy.

The Characters

  • The Original Cast – We didn’t spend as much time with Jack, Kate, Sawyer, and the other “cool kids” (and the writers continued poking fun at the fact that everyone acted like the other survivors didn’t exist or matter). We continued to piece together their back stories: the dissolution of Jack’s marriage, the truth about Kate’s criminal past (she murdered her “step” father), the stranglehold that Locke’s despicable father had on his life and relationship, the not so innocent side of Sun, the softer side of Sawyer’s nature, the crazy side of Hurley, etc. Over the course of the season, we saw Sayid mourn and recover from Shannon’s sudden death, Kate and Sawyer develop more of an attraction for each other, Jack and Locke clash over leadership direction, Sun and Jin celebrate over the news that she is pregnant, etc.
  • The Newbies – Ah, the now infamous tail section survivors of Flight 815: Ana Lucia, Mr. Eko, Libby, Bernard, and that other chick who got taken by the Others before we got to know her. Ana Lucia was always super annoying, but she didn’t bother me as much this time around – probably because I felt sorry for the gruesome death for which she was headed. Mr. Eko was actually more annoying this time. He was always speaking in cryptic, mysterious ways, and wandering around looking creepy. I’m still bugged that we never got all of Libby’s back story before she died. The fact that three of these survivors died within a season of first appearing makes them feel like an after thought, or like filler until the writers could get to the good stuff. Sure, initially it was fascinating to think that there were other survivors, and it was heartwarming to see Rose and Bernard’s reunion. But introducing this group didn’t give us any clues about the mysteries of the island.
  • Desmond – With a skipping record player, we met the beloved Desmond. In the beginning he was a bit loopy from being closed up in the hatch by himself for so long. And then he disappeared for the whole season! The writers redeemed themselves by centering the season finale around him and his back story. We learned that he arrived on the island during a boat race around the world. He had embarked on that race to regain his honor (after being dishonorably discharged from the Queen’s army), and to win back Penny. Instead, he ended up stuck in a hatch pushing a button every 108 minutes to, presumably, save the world. He is one of the more fascinating characters on the show, and we saw a lot more of him in season three.
  • Henry Gale/Benjamin Linus – We didn’t learn his real name until, I believe, the beginning of season three. But from the very beginning, he was uber creepy! The scene where he is eating cereal at the table with Locke, and laughingly talks about what he would do if he were an Other (lead them to a secluded spot, have my people ambush them…), perfectly demonstrated Ben’s manipulative, disturbing personality.

The Mythology


  • The Hatch – We learned that the Hatch was one of many stations set up by the Dharma Initiative, a group who lived on the island and performed scientific and sociological experiments. I liked how we were introduced to Dharma via the warbled, unsettling Orientation film strips. All season we wondered along with Locke and the rest whether or not it was really necessary to push the button. We found out it was in the season finale, when the electromagnetism went berserk when Locke didn’t push the button and destroyed the computer. Thankfully, Desmond seemed to save the day by turning a failsafe key – but we had to wait until the next season to find out what happened to the Hatch and everyone in it. The Hatch’s main purpose was to set up Locke’s struggle between reason and faith. After his temporary skepticism, the incident at the Hatch made him a believer once more.
  • The Others – We only saw them lurking around the jungle, barefoot, wearing ragged clothing. And then we saw them living in huts on the beach. But, we also had some hints that they were pretending to be savages: the medical station where they treated Claire, the fake beard and stage makeup in the locker, and the civilized people (Ethan, Goodwin, and Ben) who infiltrated the survivors’ camps. We didn’t know how long they had lived on the island, but we pieced together that they thought of themselves as Good, and they were taking the Good people from the flight survivors and leaving the Bad ones behind.
  • The Dharma Initiative – At this point we weren’t sure if the Dharma people and the Others were different groups, although it seemed to be so. We did know that they were studying the electromagnetic qualities of the island, as well as sociological experiments on the people living in the Hatch.

Random Observations and Questions:

  • Visions of Dead People – By the end of season two, Jack had seen his dead father, Mr. Eko had talked to his dead brother and the just deceased Ana Lucia, Kate had been spoken to by her dead step father (who had, it seemed, momentarily possessed Sawyer), etc. These instances, except maybe for the Sawyer/Kate’s step dad one, are like the more recent visitations (Alex telling Ben to do what Locke says, Jack’s father guiding Locke, Hurley’s conversations and chess matches with his deceased friends). But what about Shannon’s visions of Walt, and Hurley’s conversations with his imaginary friend Dave from the mental hospital? We knew that Walt had telekinetic abilities, so that probably explains why Shannon and Sayid saw him. And Hurley was going through some major stress related to his overeating and his crush on Libby, so his hallucinations of Dave were probably not island related as much as in his head. The vision that doesn’t make sense to me is from season four, when Kate saw Claire in Aaron’s bedroom, and Claire told her not to bring Aaron back. We don’t know if Claire is dead or alive, but since they didn’t show her die, I have to believe that she is alive on the island. One of the latest theories is that not-Locke (aka Jacob’s nemesis) has the ability to appear as anyone who has visited the island and who is dead: Jack’s father, Mr. Eko’s brother, and more recently Locke. So Kate’s vision of Claire could mean that Claire is dead and that was actually not-Locke in Aaron’s room. Or, it could be some other force at work, regardless of whether Claire is alive or dead. That’s a head scratcher.
  • Why did the Others dress in ragged clothes and pretend to be savages, when they were really living in a civilized community? And why did they abduct the “good” survivors? How did they determine who was good and who was bad? The answer to the good/bad part of this question seems to lie with Jacob. He chooses people for a list, based on how worthy they are to remain on the island as an Other. And I guess the Others could maintain more control over the island visitors by creating a sense of mystery about themselves. Had the Flight 815 passengers known that the Others lived on a commune and had book clubs, they would have been less likely to cooperate. But still, it seemed like an awful roundabout way to distract.
  • “What Kate Did” – This episode answered the burning question of what Kate did, but it also raised a couple of lingering questions for me. What was with the black horse? Can not-Locke appear as animals, too? The appearance of the horse doesn’t fit with the rest of the mythology. Another question: Why did someone cut part of the Dharma film out and hide it in a book? Who did that? Was this question ever answered?
  • “Maternity Leave” – Claire, Rousseau, and Kate discovered the truth about Claire’s abduction. She was held captive and sedated, and was told that her baby needed a continued treatment of a vaccine to prevent him from getting sick. This could have just been a ruse, to convince Claire to let the Others keep Aaron, just as Desmond injected himself with the vaccine and stayed inside the Hatch to avoid “the sickness.” However, Rousseau thinks Aaron has the same sickness that infected her crew. In season five we saw her crew turn on one another from whatever sickness they contracted. I wonder now if their sickness is related to Not-Locke. Something else in this episode that reminds me of Not-Locke is when Ben, then known as Henry and being held captive in the Hatch, asked John whether he’s the genius or the guy living in the shadow of the genius (a comparison at the time between Locke and Jack, and Hemingway and Dostoevsky). If Ben has been involved in not-Locke’s plan all along, then perhaps he was already planting seeds of desire for leadership in Locke’s mind, to position him to a place where Not-Locke could get to him. I mean, think of all the times Ben tried to kill Locke. Maybe he was always following orders of not-Locke!
  • In “Two for the Road,” Locke asks “Henry” why he tried to kill Ana Lucia but not him. Henry/Ben answers that the man in charge (Jacob, we now know) is a brilliant man, but not a forgiving one, and he wouldn’t be too happy that Ben failed in his mission (when Rousseau caught him), which he claims was to bring Locke back to their camp. I wonder if Jacob really wanted Ben to bring Locke back to the camp. Probably not. This was more likely Ben’s way of manipulating Locke, either for his own purposes or perhaps for not-Locke.

  • Season finale: “Live Together, Die Alone” – Desmond’s backstory. We see that his Hatch partner, Kelvin, was the man who asked Sayid to torture his commanding officer. Then, we learn that Radzinsky was Kelvin’s partner. He’s the one who came after Sayer, Juliet, etc. We saw many connections like this in season two. When Desmond turned the failsafe key, what happened to the hatch (did the electromagnetism reset, did destroying the Hatch negate the effects of the magnetism, etc.)? Why did the sky turn bright white like during the time flashes? And why did this flash seem to only affect Desmond, who ended up going on a journey through time? I don’t have any good answers to these questions.
  • I liked how the finale developed Desmond’s character more and introduced us to his relationship with Penny. Their love story is so much more epic and touching than the Jack/Kate/Sawyer stuff, which has always seemed juvenile.

Best Episodes

  • “Man of Science, Man of Faith” – This episode had the single greatest opening scene of any season, and perhaps of any show! We didn’t know who this man was who was going about his morning routine. Our first assumption was that it was one of the crash survivors, and we were seeing a flashback. But then, with a skipping record and a loud “BOOM,” we realized this man was living in the Hatch! The rest of the episode introduced us to Desmond, to the Hatch, and to Jack’s struggle between science and faith.

  • “The Other 48 Days” – Despite all my complaining about the addition of the tail section survivors in season two, I thoroughly enjoyed this fascinating episode that showed what was happening at their camp while Jack and company were creating a near tropical paradise on their side of the island. The question remains, why did the tail section folks have such a horrific time of it in their first 48 days, while the other group survived relatively unscathed? For one thing, they must have had more “good” people in their camp, since the majority of them were taken, whereas only a couple were taken from Jack’s group. Whatever the case, this episode, which consisted entirely of chronological flashbacks starting with the crash of Flight 815, gave us yet another new perspective of the island and its inhabitants.

  • “Lockdown” – This episode was the first one in which Michael Emerson was really given a chance to be super creepy, plus show off his acting abilities, as Henry Gale. It was fascinating, especially the second time around, to watch him manipulate Locke and bide his time, rather than escaping when he had a clear shot. This episode also gave us clues about the greater scope of the Dharma Initiative, when Locke discovered the mural when the hatch doors closed. Psychologically gripping, plus plenty of exciting plot development, this was a great episode.
  • “S.O.S.” – I really enjoyed this episode, which finally gave us a Rose and Bernard flashback. Their backstory was very touching, from the way they met when Bernard helped Rose get her car unstuck from the snow, to his romantic proposal at Niagara Falls that turned into Rose tearfully telling him she had terminal cancer. I’ve wondered over the years why these characters weren’t given more screen time. My guess is that they both have either family obligations, or other television or theater work, that prevents them from having more active roles on Lost. Whatever the case, their episode was probably my favorite in terms of the flashbacks of season two.
  • “Live Together, Die Alone” – Two hours of Desmond flashbacks! How great is that? He disappeared for most of the season, so I was thrilled when he showed up on his boat. I just said that Rose and Bernard’s flashback was my favorite of the season, but Desmond’s was great as well. But, I liked the parts of his flashback on the island more than the off-island parts. It was interesting to see how he came to be on the island, and how he ended up pushing the button in the hatch for three years. Meanwhile, the current events on the island were interesting as well. It was tense watching Michael lead Jack, Kate, Sawyer, and Hurley into a trap, and wondering what was going to happen when Locke didn’t enter the numbers and push the button. And we got our first glimpse of the giant four-toed statue that was so pivotal in this season’s finale. How strange that we didn’t hear anything else about it for three years.

I’ve now moved on to season three, but I’m slowing my pace a bit. I need to make these episodes last awhile, since I have to wait so long for season six!

 

Lost 5.16: The Incident May 14, 2009

Filed under: Lost,Television — Emily @ 2:53 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Jacob is Paul (Mark Pellegrino), Rita’s ex-husband from Dexter! He visited all the Losties at some point in their lives, thus weaving them into his grand island tapestry! Locke isn’t Locke?! Real Locke is dead in the cargo box, and not-Locke is manipulating Ben into stabbing Jacob?! Jack drops the bomb, but it doesn’t detonate. But wait, Juliet falls to her death at the Swan. But wait. She’s still alive and detonates the bomb herself! These were only some of the developments on the crazy good, fast-paced, fully loaded Lost season finale.

Making Sense of the Madness – I’ve divided my post into sections, based on the various threads of the finale’s plot: the flashbacks, the events of 1979, and the events thirty years later. For each section, I’ve tried to establish what we already knew, what we learned, and questions we still have.

In the beginning – In classic Lost fashion, the finale opened by taking us back to the beginning, at least the beginning of what we know about the Island. As the Black Rock approaches from a distance, we meet the mysterious Jacob, who seems to be an ordinary guy who likes to eat fish and weave fabric on a loom. He has a cryptic conversation with some guy in sackcloth about how he keeps bringing people to the island in the hope that one day things will end differently than with “they come, fight, destroy, and corrupt.” Jacob says that “if it only ends once, anything that happens before that is just progress.” At that point the other man turns to him and says, “Do you have any idea how badly I want to kill you?” Jacob says he does. The other man continues, “One of these days, sooner or later, I’m going to find a loophole, my friend.” Jacob responds, “Well when you do, I’ll be right here.” The camera then pans up to reveal the four-toed statue in all its alligator snout, cat-eared glory. The exchange between Jacob and this man set up the theme of this whole episode, and gave a larger perspective to the series as a whole. Come. Fight. Destroy. Corrupt. That’s kind of what has happened over and over again, and now everyone is coming to some end point at which the cycle can either continue or be broken.

  • What we already knew: Jacob is in charge of the island. The Black Rock is a ship that wrecked on the island, which has been referred to at various times during the five seasons of the show.
  • What we learned: Jacob is real, not an apparition, and he apparently has the same anti-aging solution as Richard. Jacob “brought” the Black Rock to the island, as part of his plan. He weaves together the fabric of the island and its inhabitants just as he weaves his baskets and wall hangings. Not everyone loves Jacob – this unnamed man wants to kill him. And the giant statue was still standing when the Black Rock arrived.
  • Questions we still have: Where did Jacob come from, and why is he conducting this social experiment? Who is the unnamed man, and why does he want to kill Jacob? How did such a huge statue get demolished?

The Flashbacks – This week’s flashbacks took us back to earlier times in the Losties’ lives, at the moments they encountered Jacob. I loved the shout outs to previous seasons in these scenes: Patsy Cline playing during Kate’s failed attempt to shoplift a NKOTB lunchbox, a young Sawyer writing his vengeful letter to the man who destroyed his life, Jack freaking out while performing the surgery he talked about in the pilot, Locke being pushed out of the window by his father.

  • What we already knew: We already knew the circumstances in which we saw the characters – we just saw them from a different perspective.
  • What we learned: It wasn’t just “fate” that led these people to the island – it was Jacob himself. Apparently, by visiting each of them at some point in their lives, and touching them, he made them part of his grand plan, and from that moment on they were attached to the island, and being woven into its tapestry. It was suggested that Jacob healed Locke by touching him, after Locke fell to an almost certain death. We finally learned how Hurley ended up on Ajeera Flight 316 – Jacob told him to get on it, if he wanted to. Jacob is all about free will and giving people choices. Not all of Jacob’s visits were friendly. He orchestrated Nadia’s death, and it’s horrible to know that Sayid witnessed her being hit by a car, when moments before they were happily discussing their anniversary.
  • Questions we still have: Why did Jacob cause Nadia’s death? Was that the only way to get Sayid to return to the island? And what made each of these people so special that he wanted to draw them to the island?

Thirty Years Later – Locke leads Richard, Ben, and the Others on his quest to see Jacob, but only Ben knows that he plans to kill him. We should have known something wasn’t right when Locke lied to Richard, saying he only wanted to thank Jacob for bringing him back to life, when he had already told Ben that he wanted to kill him. Another clue that something was amiss was when Richard said he’s seen a lot of things on the island, but had never seen someone brought back to life. Add this to Benjamin’s statement from a previous episode that “dead is dead; there’s no coming back from that,” and we had major signposts that all was not what it seemed to be. Despite all of that, I was completely shocked when we learned what was in the cargo box!! But we had to wait until the end of the episode to learn that a very dead Locke was in the box. Leading up to that moment, we got some more hints about Ilana, Bram, and the other Ajeera passengers that were also on a mission to visit Jacob.

  • What we already knew: Jacob is in charge of the island, and there’s a constant rotation of island leaders who answer to him, through Richard. These leaders have included Widmore, Eloise Hawking, Ben, and Locke. Until now, as far as we know, only Richard has interacted with Jacob, so not-Locke is bucking the trend by meeting Jacob face to face, and by bringing Ben with him.
  • What we learned: The biggest revelation of the whole episode is that born again Locke isn’t Locke at all. He’s the man who was talking to Jacob at the beginning of the episode. Apparently he found a loophole and was able to return to the island, or at least jump into Locke’s body, so he could challenge Jacob’s position as island head honcho. Not-Locke made it into the foot of the statue, and easily convinced Ben to kill Jacob. Meanwhile, Ilana and the gang looked for Jacob at the cabin and determined that he hadn’t lived there for some time, and then continued on to the site of the statue. They called themselves the “good guys” and brought Frank along because he might be a “candidate.” Speaking of Ilana and her friends, it seems clear that they weren’t on Flight 316 by accident. Jacob probably told them to get on it. I suppose they aren’t crazy after all – they are just on a mission. We saw a brief flashback of Ilana, her face bruised and bandaged, and Jacob paying her a visit asking for her help. We’ll have to wait until next season to learn more about this newest group.
  • Questions we still have: This part of the episode was interesting to me and suggested a few things. One, if Jacob hasn’t lived in the cabin for several years, who or what did Locke and Ben encounter on their visit there, when things were flying through the air and a disembodied voice cried out “help me”? Two, when Ilana arrived on the beach where the Others were camped out, she asked to speak to Ricardos. When she asks him what lies in the shadow of the statue, he responds in Latin, saying “He who will protect/save us all.” I still believe that Richard arrived on the island via the Black Rock. I am still hoping for a Richard-centric episode next season. Bram told Frank that what they (the Others) are up against is something a lot scarier than Locke’s dead body. So then, who is not-Locke, and why is he so scary? When not-Locke’s group came across the old Losties’ campsite, Sun found Aaron’s crib, and Charlie’s ring inside it. This reference to our favorite family trio suggests that Claire and Aaron will play a role next season, and that perhaps that Charlie’s death wasn’t pointless.

Back in 1979 – Sawyer, Juliet, and Kate easily made their way off the sub and back to the island, while Jack and Sayid transported the bomb through the Dharma village (with the ultimate goal of detonating it at the Swan, to change the future), but ran into some gunfire before they could make it into the jungle. Sayid got shot, but Hurley, Miles, and Jin showed up in a blue VW van to save the day. Several frantic moments later, Jack and Sawyer faced off and had a fist fight in the jungle. They were interrupted by Juliet, who changed her mind and decided rather than try to stop Jack, they should help him. Why? Because he was right. But I think more than saving the lives of hundreds of people in the future, Juliet was trying to save herself the pain of the rejection she believed she would receive from Sawyer eventually. I thought it was a pretty weak explanation, for her to say that she knew what they had wouldn’t last, just because of how Sawyer looked at Kate on the sub. But, I suppose the flashback about her parents splitting up was an okay explanation for her way of thinking.

  • What we already knew: We knew that some sort of incident took place at the Swan around this time – we’ve known that since Season One, when Dr. Chang basically said as much on the Dharma Orientation video. We also knew that Daniel came back to the island to try to prevent this incident from happening, and that Jack wanted to continue his plan after Eloise shot and killed Daniel.
  • What we learned: Thank you, writers, for finally letting us know what became of Rose and Bernard (and Vincent). It turns out they decided to “retire,” and they’ve been living happily in a hut just off the beach for three years, since the day that Sawyer’s crew fled the flaming arrows to join the Dharma Initiative. I liked their outlook – that their would always be something to worry about, so they just chose to let it go and be thankful that they were together. If only Sawyer and Juliet had shared their philosophy and taken that sub off the island… Instead, the electromagnetism pulled Juliet down into the hatch, where she survived long enough to detonate the bomb. (What a horribly sad scene it was when she let go of Sawyer’s hand.)
  • Questions we still have: What happened when Juliet detonated the bomb?! The writers cruelly will make us wait until next January or February to find out. It seems clear that it killed Juliet, but did Jack, Kate, and Sawyer have time to get out of the blast radius? What about Hurley, Miles, and Jin? What will be the implications of the bomb? Is it going to change the future, or was the bomb the incident in the first place?

The Big Questions

  • Not-Locke and Ben vs. Ilana, Bram, and the Others: Not-Locke promises Ben that things are going to change after Jacob is gone. The question is, how will they change? A more interesting question related to this one is, who is or will be on whose side in this battle?
    • Ben – What if Ben was in on the plan to bring not-Locke back as Locke all along? Maybe that’s why he killed Locke. He reemphasized this week that he’s a liar, that that’s what he does. So it’s strange that he would suddenly be this naive, broken man. That being said, his speech to Jacob about his years of service to the island, was quite touching. Who can blame him, that when Jacob’s only response to his question, “What about me?” was “What about you?” he wasted no time stabbing him. Even so, I don’t think we can ever trust Ben, so maybe making a deal with not-Locke is his final power play after all the failed moves that came before. I’m not sure how his encounter with Alex and the smoke monster would fit into this equation, but it’s something to keep in mind.
    • Richard – Richard is the advisor to the island leader, but since not-Locke isn’t technically Locke (who is the current rightful leader), and since Locke is dead in a box, who will Richard side with? Will he work with Ilana and Bram, will he support not-Locke, or will he branch out in his own direction?
    • Charles Widmore and Eloise Hawking – They have both spoken of the coming war. We can now assume they were referring to the war between not-Locke and Ilana’s group. So which side are they on? I need to go back and watch this season and last to refresh my memory on who told who to go back to the island, and why. That may give us some clues about the two sides.
  • What happened after Juliet detonated the bomb? – Miles made a good point that perhaps by detonating the bomb, they would simply be causing “the incident” they were trying to prevent. However, they chose to ignore his advice that “maybe the best thing to do is nothing.” What does this mean for the final season? Here are a couple of scenarios:
    • The bomb demagnetizes the Swan, but doesn’t cause a time flash – In this scenario, Jack, Kate, Sawyer, and the others who are stuck in the ’70s stay stuck in the ’70s. This doesn’t seem likely. I think the whole “stuck in the ’70s” story has been played out.
    • The bomb caused the incident that led them to the island in the future – If this is true (that the detonation of the bomb was the incident), then Flight 815 would still land on the island, in which case perhaps when the bomb went off, they were time flashed back to the present, where they will meet up with not-Locke, Richard, Ilana, and everyone else about to go to war by the four-toed statue. I kind of like this scenario, and I think it’s the most likely.
    • The bomb changes the future, and Flight 815 never crashes on the island – This scenario gets too complicated. Why? Because some of the Flight 815ers are still on the island in 2000-whatever. Surely the writers are going to show us how all of that resolves. It would be anti-climactic if we just saw Flight 815 land in L.A. and all the passengers go on their merry way. I mean, there are still 16 episodes left? The only way this scenario would make sense is if they had some memory of their past experiences, and were drawn back to the island. But if Flight 815 never crashed, then that makes most of what happened over the past five seasons pointless, which would be sad. Charlie’s sacrifice, Sawyer and Juliet’s relationship, Miles reuniting with his father, etc.

  • How and when did not-Locke jump into Locke’s body? – This question could drive me crazy. I tried to think about it last night, but I got confused thinking about present Locke, time jumping Locke, etc. One thing that I think I understand is this: not-Locke had Richard tell real Locke that he had to die to save the island. We saw that scene again last week, where Locke was shot by Ethan, and then flashed into the future, where Richard came over and doctored his wound, and told him that he had to die. So, not-Locke orchestrated the circumstances of Locke’s death. What I can’t figure out is how there can be two bodies that look like Locke. Someone needs to explain this to me next season!

That’s all I have for now. Any thoughts, theories, disappointments, etc. that you’d like to share?

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