Eclaire Fare

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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?

Related Post:

 

Lost 5.15: Follow the Leader May 8, 2009

Filed under: Lost,Television — Emily @ 12:51 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Why did Kate have to show up on the sub and mess up Sawyer and Juliet’s happily-ever-after? How annoying! Sorry, I just had to start with that because of all the developments in this week’s episode, that was the one that stuck with me the most. This will be a scattered post because I don’t have the benefit of my Tivo to review the episode (I’m in a DVR-less hotel room in Los Angeles).

This episode’s dominant theme was leadership, thus the title “Follow the Leader.” The question is, who is the rightful leader, and who’s leading who? We have Locke as the new leader of the Others, with Ben as his sidekick and Richard as his advisor. Then there’s Jack unofficially declaring himself leader of the 1970s gang, while Sawyer throws in the towel to run off into the sunset with Juliet. There is also tension between Eloise Hawking and Charles Widmore in the ’70s, as they argue over what’s best for their people. And perhaps most intriguing, Locke has positioned himself to challenge the ultimate island leader: Jacob.

A Role Reversal:

  • In the past, it has always been Jack who made rational decisions and seemed to act in the best interest of everyone on the island, while Locke was the one putting too much trust in the Island’s mystical forces, relying on faith rather than reality to guide him. In this episode, however, their leadership roles are shifting. Kate even told Jack that he was beginning to sound like Locke, when he told her his plan to detonate the bomb to change the timeline of island events. Has life really been so miserable for Jack that he’s willing to risk everything to reverse all the events they’ve been through? I must say that I agreed with Kate when she said it hasn’t all been bad. Regardless of his motivation, Jack is now looking crazy-eyed, as he swims through underwater tunnels to what appears to be the same subterranean passages in which Ben was confronted by the Smoke Monster. Eloise said that the bomb was located right under the Dharma camp, so I’m guessing that the pool of water under Ben’s house drains to that area.

  • While Jack is talking crazy and hypothetically, Locke is suddenly Mr. Straightforward. He somehow knows exactly when to lead Richard to the old crashed plane (from season one – the one that was Boone’s deathtrap), so that Richard can treat other Locke’s gunshot wound and tell him that he has to die to save everyone. (I was glad they explained that encounter that we only had half the story of before now – interesting that it was in the future). Then he demands that Richard take him to Jacob without delay. Not only that, but he takes the entire camp of Others with him, and tells Ben that he plans to kill Jacob! Some of this is crazy talk, but Locke is certainly taking matters into his own hands and seems more grounded in reality than in the past.

I Wash My Hands of It:

  • I thought it was realistic that Sawyer was ready to be rid of the island, when it became a choice of protecting the whereabouts of Jack, Kate, and Daniel, or preventing Radzinsky from torturing Juliet. He made a reasonable decision to tell Radzinsky what he wanted to know so that he and Juliet could go back to living a life of domestic bliss. After all, he has nothing to go back to in 2009, but has a woman who loves and respects him in their 1970s present. It seems like Juliet would want to make it back “home” to see her sister and her sister’s child, but perhaps at this point she cares more about just getting off the island.
  • Of course, all of these plans for happiness and freedom are moot, since Kate shows up just before the sub leaves the island. Boo! Based on the preview for the season finale, it looks like she’ll convince Sawyer and Juliet to go back to the island to rescue everyone from Jack’s crazy plan.

A Happy Answer to a Lifelong Question:


  • One bright spot in this episode was Miles’ semi-resolution with his father. Dr. Chang basically interrogates Hurley about current events until he caves and admits they are, indeed, from the future. This frees up Miles to admit to Chang that he’s his son. And then later on, in an even better moment, he watches from afar as Chang verbally assaults (in a display of impressive theatrics)Miles’ mother as she waits to board the sub. Miles realizes at that moment that Dr. Chang wasn’t really a deadbeat, uncaring dad. He cared for Miles and his mother so much that he did what was necessary to make her leave the island, so she wouldn’t be in danger. It’s really sad that she lived the rest of her life thinking that Chang didn’t love her and didn’t want to be a part of their family, but at least now Miles knows that the truth is more complicated, and that Chang was a decent man.

Crossing Over to the Dark Side:


  • Sayid made his first appearance (that I can remember) since shooting Ben. It is appropriate that he is dressed in black, as he seems to have resumed his remorseless, amoral attitude. He has no qualms about killing two of the Others (albeit to protect Kate), and he sounds similar to Jack in his belief that he has already changed things by (as far as he knows) killing Ben. Kate broke the news to him that he didn’t succeed. So now Sayid is willing to ally himself with Jack, most likely for another chance to reunite with Nadia, no matter how small the likelihood of success is. I can’t blame Sayid for his willingness to destroy the island. It’s been nothing but bad news for him, as I discussed in my review of this season’s episode “He’s Our You.”

The Mysterious Mr. Alpert:


  • When the episode opened with Richard working on a model of a ship, I was momentarily excited, thinking that maybe we would finally get a Richard-centric episode! I am dying to know his back story. We got a couple more hints in this episode. One is the fact that he has a ship in a bottle that resembles the Black Rock. This reminds me of the episode a couple seasons ago when young Ben encountered Richard in the jungle. At that time, Richard looked very old school, with longer hair and a ruffly Pirate-esque shirt (reminsicent of Seinfeld’s puffy shirt, actually). Could it be that Richard arrived on the island via the Black Rock, when it wrecked years ago? Ben did say that Richard has had the role of island advisor for a very long time. Hmmm…

Collision Course:

  • There seem to be four paths headed toward one another as we come to the season finale: Jack and the Others who are trying to detonate the bomb, Radzinsky and the Dharma-ites who are trying to apprehend them, Locke and the modern Others who are going to confront Jacob, and newcomers Ilana and Bram (with Frank as their captive) who are seeking what lies in the shadow of the statue. The variables in this recipe for trouble are Sawyer, Kate, and Juliet; Hurley, Miles, and Jin; and to a certain extent, Ben, since he probably wants to do anything in his power to prevent Locke from gaining even more power. Will Rose and Bernard play a role somehow? And will Claire reappear? So many questions, so little time for answers!

I look forward to next week’s season finale, but at the same time I know that it will leave me with tons of questions that I’ll have to wait months and months to have answered! Thank goodness I have five seasons to enjoy rewatching until next January.

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Lost: Season One Revisited May 5, 2009

Filed under: Hulu,Lost,Television — Emily @ 7:54 am
Tags: , , , ,

Plane crash. Mysterious island. Smoke monster. Life. Death. Survival.

That’s what season one of Lost boils down to. I’ve been loving the show so much this season that I decided to rewatch from the beginning. So over the past two weeks, I made my way through all 24 episodes of season one. If only there were eight more episodes this season – I’m sad that there are only two left! Season one was far less complicated than this season has been. There was only one known camp of people on the island – our Oceanic Flight 815 survivors – plus that crazy lady Rousseau and creepy Ethan. Time travel hadn’t even crossed most fans’ minds yet, the Others were only mentioned in passing, and the fateful connections among the survivors had only been hinted at. All the elements I just listed have become integral to the show over the past two seasons, so in their absence, what was season one all about? Well, the characters. To borrow from Rodgers and Hammerstein, “Getting to know you, getting to know all about you.” So what were our favorite (and not so favorite) characters all about in the beginning of this fantastic show?

The Characters

  • Jack – Jack had a lot of screen time, and more flashbacks than anyone else, as far as I can tell, with Kate running a close second. (I always find myself feeling disappointed when I learn that it’s a Kate or Jack episode, even though some of those are really good.) We learned about Jack’s troubled relationship with his father, about his hero complex (which led him to marry the girl he managed to “fix” after her car accident), and about his refusal to accept failure as an option.
  • Kate – We quickly learned that Kate was being transported by a U.S. marshall and that she had been a fugitive. We had to wait awhile longer to learn exactly why she was in trouble with the law. The writers portrayed Kate as someone who fears commitment, preferring a nomadic existence over settling down and dealing with sometimes difficult circumstances (she wandered back and forth between the beach and the caves, and flirted with both Jack and Sawyer). She also appeared somewhat devious and untrustworthy, traits that the writers have put on the back burner since season one. You’d hardly know now that she was a fugitive and a murderer.
  • Sawyer – He has probably changed more than any other character on the show. The first several episodes he was the stereotypical bad boy, hoarding food, stealing stuff off of dead bodies, and using his stash as bargaining tools to get more things that he wanted. But before long, we saw the softer side of Sawyer, and he has continued to transform over the past five seasons. He was plagued by guilt over becoming a con man, when his original goal had simply been to exact revenge on the con man who destroyed his family. The episode in which Kate discovered and read the letter he had written to Mr. Sawyer was heartbreaking. Once we learned why Sawyer was the way he was, we cared much more about him. One of the stand-out moments of the entire series for me is from the episode”Exodus: Part I,” where Sawyer finally tells Jack about his encounter with his dad in Sydney. That’s the moment that Sawyer really started to become a good guy. He had nothing to gain from telling Jack that his father was proud of him and loved him, but he did it anyway. In addition to giving us insight into both characters, and developing their relationship into something more than a rivalry, it was simply a very well done, powerful scene.
  • Locke – I think Locke has the best back story on the show. We had to wait so long to find out the whole story! His first flashback episode revealed that he had been paralyzed before the plane crashed, which explained why he was so excited about being there. The contrast between his job at a box company and his adventureous spirit on the island was so drastic. It was as if the island not only took away his physical paralysis, but also his emotional/psychological paralysis. On the island, his tendency to be passive and ineffective was replaced by an almost super human ability to solve any problem, hunt any animal, and face any fear. He was also kooky sometimes, with all his talk about “the island will tell us what to do” and “it’s a sacrifice that the island demands.” In season two the writers would develop Locke as a man of faith even more, in contrast to Jack’s man of science. The back story about his father conning him into giving him a kidney was so horrible (horrible for him, but fascinating to watch). No wonder this man has issues.
  • Sun – It’s weird how mysterious the writers made Sun and Jin out to be in the early episodes. I guess that’s how the others would have perceived them, since they couldn’t communicate with them. What a surprising twist it was that she could speak near perfect English! Sun and Jin’s imperfect, yet loving relationship was one of my favorite things about season one. Seeing the flashbacks about their courtship, followed by the struggles that came along with Jin’s job for her father, and finally their separation and reunion on the island, were all so emotionally engaging.
  • Jin – Like Sawyer, Jin has come a long way since the first season. In the beginning, he came across as a stern, insensitive man who ruled over Sun with an iron fist. Over time, though, the experiences on the island softened him, and he loosened up a lot. The episode where he pummels Michael over the misunderstanding about the watch was effective in revealing what made him tick (pun intended – sorry). We’ve had to wonder about his fate several times over the seasons, and the first time came in the season one finale, when he went overboard from the raft during our survivors’ first encounter with the creepy Others. Thank goodness he is still with us, not to mention speaking perfect English now!
  • Charlie – Of all the people who have died or disappeared, it is saddest to see Charlie, knowing what eventually happens to him. He was so laid back and fun loving, a breath of fresh air in a group of so many Debbie Downers. It was hard to watch him go through the ups and downs of his heroin addiction, but was sweet to see his relationship with Claire and Aaron develop. He always tried his hardest to protect them, but didn’t always succeed. One of the most heart wrenching scenes of the series was when Jack and Kate discovered Charlie hanging from a tree, and it seemed that all efforts to revive him would fail. We really thought he was dead that time, and just when we were starting to mourn the loss of this great character, Jack beat on his chest one more time, and with a great gasp, Charlie breathed again! Those pesky writers, playing with our emotions!
  • Hurley – I was surprised during my rewatch that Hurley only had one flashback episode in season one. In that episode, we learned that he won the lottery using numbers that he heard a guy repeat over and over again at the mental institution he stayed in for awhile. We didn’t know why he was there, though. Hurley was mostly comic relief, and still is, but his discman also provided a great soundtrack during most of the first season. I guess ipods weren’t popular yet.
  • Sayid – Sayid’s season one flashback episodes weren’t my favorite, even though I really like his character. I always had trouble believing that he would be attracted to, much less get involved with, Shannon, especially since at the time of the plane crash he was so focused on reunited with his true love, Nadia. The writers played up the tortured soul angle in season one. Here was a man who strived to do what was right and good, and to play by the rules, but whose training as an interrogation specialist would lead him down dark paths from time to time. I am still hoping Sayid can have something go his way before the show ends, because so far he always seems to get the bad end of the deal.
  • Claire – Claire was a sweet character – probably the only female character that I would describe as such. Here she was, a young woman, on the brink of becoming a mom to a baby she was about to give up for adoption, and now she was stuck on an island, with a recovering heroin addict as her new closest friend, and with plenty of time to sit and ponder the warnings that the psychic gave her that it was imperative that only she raise her child. I miss her presence on the show now (although I’m sure she will resurface at some point), because I think her kind, softer personality would balance out some of the more abrasive, dominating female personalities that still remain.
  • Michael and Walt – I haven’t missed these two very much, but their season one back story was sad. I felt sorry for Michael, over how Walt’s mom manipulated him into giving up his parental rights. It was ridiculous how controlling she was, and I couldn’t understand why she wouldn’t want Walt to know his father. We got some hints that Walt had some psychic abilities, and Michael’s temper led to some run-ins between him and other survivors. It was sad to see these two again, knowing what Michael was willing to do later on to get his son back.
  • Shannon and Boone – I’ll lump these two together, since that’s what the writers always did with their flashback episodes. They always kind of grossed me out. Boone was in love with his step sister, and Shannon used this to her advantage time and time again. Neither of them was as annoying after they developed a healthy distance from each other, when Shannon started hanging out with Sayid and Boone became Locke’s apprentice. As much as these characters didn’t interest me, Boone’s death was so tragic and sudden, that those episodes left their mark. Watching them for a second time, they were just as devastating. I always liked Shannon more after Boone died.
  • Rose – As held true in the following seasons, Rose only made an appearance a handful of times in season one. This has always been a frustrating aspect of the show, but I always enjoy seeing her. In the early episodes, we thought she was in denial about Bernard’s fate. Surely he died in the crash! But then we started getting clues that maybe he and some others in the tail section had managed to survive, clues that turned into huge revelations in season two. We didn’t have a Rose-centric episode until season two, so we didn’t know much about her until then. But one particular episode, Rose reached out to Charlie, who was hurting over his failure to protect Claire from Ethan. This came across as a “pay it forward” gesture, since Jack had approached her in a similar way shortly after the plane crash.

Wow. There are a lot of characters on this show! Thank goodness the writers chose to devote individual episodes to developing each person, rather than try to cram information about everyone into every episode. That would have gotten way out of hand. Like I said before, the primary focus of the first season was on developing the characters’ back stories and their role on the island. But we did get a taste of the island mythology that we know and love. It’s hard to believe that we didn’t meet Ben until well into season two, and that Juliet and Richard didn’t appear until season three. It was a totally different show back in season one!

The Mythology

  • The Smoke Monster – I had forgotten that Rousseau referred to it as the island’s “security system” later in the season. Thinking of it as something designed to patrol the island takes away some of the creepiness of it, but there’s still something unsettling about the humming, clicking, and crashing noises that it makes.

  • The Black Rock – This ship supplied the gang with the dynamite they needed to blow open the Hatch. But it also suggested that it wasn’t a coincidence that planes were crashing on the island. First this slave ship wrecked there, then Rousseau’s crew met the same fate, and finally Flight 815 crashed on the beach. Something must have been drawing these vessels to the island. We would get confirmation of this in season two.
  • Strange Visions – Our first hint that this island was inhabited by a supernatural force is when Jack’s father (who was supposed to be dead and in a coffin) started appearing and leading him into the jungle. By the way, I’m not clear on one thing. When Jack discovered his father’s coffin at the caves, his body wasn’t in it. Are we to believe that he actually came back to life, or was the absence of his body just meant to frustrate Jack – since if his father’s body had been in there, he could have shrugged off his visions as just “seeing things”? The next time I recall someone having a vision is when Shannon saw Walt appear in the jungle, shaking, wet, and telling her to be quiet, when the audience knew that he had just been taken by the Others from the raft. As I recall, I think that vision foreshadowed Shannon’s tragic fate in season two.
  • The Others – We had no clue that these people had an organized civilization with book clubs, full kitchens, and indoor plumbing! Our first glimpse of them was via Ethan, when we learned that he wasn’t on the flight manifest, and he tried to abduct pregnant Claire (presumably because he wanted the baby). And then came the big introduction to the Others, in the season finale: “the thing is, we’re gonna have to take the boy.” What?! That has to be the most famous line from this show. I was so creeped out the first time I heard it. One moment Walt, Michael, Sawyer, and Jin were celebrating, thinking they had been rescued, and the next, they were encountering these strange people, dressed in tattered clothing, and speaking so matter-of-factly about abducting a child. At the time we also associated them with the plume of black smoke. They seemed very primitive, violent, and super creepy! And they always went around whispering in the jungle.
  • The Hatch – For most of the season, the hatch was little more than a mysterious door in the ground. The only question we had was what, or who, is in there?! We had to wait an entire summer break to find out, but it was totally worth the wait. (The opening of season two is the best opening sequence of the series!) Our heads were spinning as season one came to a close, with Locke staring down into the freshly opened hatch. Were the Others down there? Was there really a reason that it didn’t have a door on the outside? Would it provide safety or danger? By climbing into the hatch, Kate, Locke, and Jack ushered the show into its first of many shifts in direction.
  • Glimpses of things to come – In the episode “The Numbers,” Sawyer was reading Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, which is a book about travel through time and space. I had forgotten about this little hint of things to come, if I ever noticed it in the first place. Another major clue came when Boone made contact with someone on the Nigerian plane’s communication system just before it fell down the cliff. When he said “We’re survivors of Oceanic Flight 815,” the voice on the other end answered, “We’re survivors of Oceanic Flight 815.” Between that exchange, Rose’s belief that Bernard was alive, and Jack’s airport bar encounter with Ana Lucia, we had some pretty big indications that there were other survivors on the island.

Best Episodes

  • “Pilot” – I was blown away by the pilot the first time, and I’ve enjoyed it just as much every time I’ve watched it. I’d never seen anything like it on tv, and its recurring use of flashbacks added so much insight into the characters. We didn’t have any idea where the show was going, and it’s hard to believe it has taken us so far now (Dharma Initiative? 1970s?…)

  • “All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues” – Jack’s daddy issues made for good tv in this episode. He sets out with a search party looking for Charlies and Claire, who had been abducted by Ethan. Jack’s discovery of Charlie’s seemingly lifeless body, and his subsequent refusal to give up on saving Charlie, is brutal to watch. (At least it ended well.) Meanwhile, we were also introduced to the hatch.
  • “Do No Harm” – This episode, where Boone dies and Aaron is born, is one of the best of season one in terms of drama and emotion. It still made me cry all this time later. The contrast between Boone’s life draining away, and Claire’s struggle to give birth to Aaron, followed by the celebration of the survivors over Aaron’s arrival, while in the background Jack broke the bad news to Shannon that Boone had died, was all so well done and moving.
  • “Exodus” – The season finale brought us full circle, showing us flashbacks of all the survivors on the fateful day they boarded Flight 815. The plot also progressed quickly, as one group set sail on the raft in hope of rescue, while another group sought a place to hide from the Others, and while Locke and his gang worked to finally open the hatch. The only unnecessary part of this episode was Dr. Arzt’s ramblings about dynamite, followed by his explosive death, and Hurley’s off the cuff remark to Jack, “You have some Arzt on you.” I suppose this was all meant to provide comic relief, but I found it distracting from the otherwise intense happenings.

It was hard to compose all my thoughts on season one into one post. Did I skip over any of your favorite moments or forget to mention a key character or plot point?