Monday, May 28, 2007

Season 3, Episode 22: "Through The Looking Glass"

Well, the producers said that we'd have something to talk about for the loooooong 8 month break, and for better or worse, we do. I enjoyed the season finale, but there are so many ways to look at what happened that my head's spinning a bit. And while we did get some answers, we have plenty more questions to ponder - as usual. Let's break this up into a couple sections for your reading pleasure:

The Flash Forward

So future Jack has some issues. He's picked up a rather serious drug habit, contemplated suicide, quit shaving, and started drinkin. The whole time we're trying to figure out when this all could have been (after his divorce? After Thailand?), but all the while the answer was right in front of us: the future! Some interesting giveaways included the following: in the first or second scene, Jack uses a "KRZR" flip phone...a phone that was not unveiled until 2007. Additionally, the funeral home has an interesting name - "Hoffs/Drawlar" - hmmmm - what's that anagram spell? You guessed it - "Flash Forward." Also, Jack's ex-wife is pregnant, and the paper where he reads the mysterious obituary is dated April 5, 2007. (An interesting side note...that "Residents speak out..." headline that you may have seen was the ACTUAL headline in the LA Times on that day - the obit was on the other side of the paper). There were also plenty of maps of the south pacific (where the Island is) in Jack's hole of an apartment in the second to last scene.

But the writers tried to throw us off as well...many people are hung up on the fact that Jack called out his Dad in the Hospital while getting reprimanded by the chief of staff. But I think it's more than believable that he was clearly intoxicated and wasn't really "in control" as he was spouting off about his Dad (people say weird shit when they're messed up). But we all learned the truth when we saw Kate emerge from her trendy Volvo station wagon in the final scene. And the chills start up your spine when you hear Jack say, "we were wrong...we have to go back!" (Quickly, who was this "him" that Kate had to go back to? Sawyer? Or...her child??)

So what happened? Was Jack and co. all indeed saved by Naomi's crew and now can't re-assimilate to the real world? Well, that seems unlikely based on the fact that all they wanted to do was to get off that rock for 90 days (and battled through some crazy shit while doing so). Moreover, we seem to learn that Naomi was not who she claimed she was. Penny tells Charlie she doesn't know Naomi before he meets his fate. Luckily he's able to communicate that to Desmond so that he will (hopefully) be able to tell Jack that they may be in trouble.

So if they weren't all saved, what happened? Well....what about this: what if Ben was right about Naomi and the boat. What if getting found is the worst thing that could happen to them? I think it's plausible that Naomi and her crew could be working for either remnants of the Dharma Initiative, the Hanso Corporation, or anyone else that knows of the Island and knows wants control of it for themselves. So then, Season 4 could be about the battle for the Island. The Others and Losties team up and take on whoever the hell these people from the ship are. And who knows how it happens, but my bet is that Jack was either tricked into leaving the Island or was taken forcibly from it. We know Jack - he's a fixer, a leader, a saver....he would never leave his friends behind. He wants to go back and help them.

Or the Island just really fucked him up. Who knows.

The Coffin

Who was in there? Why was Jack so upset? More importantly, why was Kate so NOT upset? That clue right there should narrow the field down considerably. My guess is that it's Ben, but others have proposed that it could be Locke, Sawyer, Michael, or even Walt (that box looked a little short). The newspaper clipping is not much of a help as only the letters "J......Lanthem" can be seen and we can't be sure that an Island survivor took on an alias upon return. But Ben seems to make sense to me. Along the lines of the theory above, Jack might feel a shred of regret for not listening to Ben's advice about Naomi. Making contact with that ship might turn out to be the biggest mistake he makes - and instead of getting saved he has endangered the lives of all those around him. Additionally, no one was at the funeral, which makes sense cause no one knows Ben outside the Island. Finally, Jack says that he is "neither a friend or family" which rules out a lot of folks. But then why so upset about your enemy's death? Well, maybe he viewed Ben (or whoever this person is) as a possible ticket back to the Island. And with that ticket gone, his chances for going back are that much lower.

Or maybe he was just real emotional cause of the drugs and you know....the depression and all. Who knows?


After being pretty indifferent towards Charlie for the last season or so, he really made a comeback in the last few episodes and I was actually sad to see him go. Although, I don't see why he felt the need to tell the two Other ladies the Losties entire plan (and Bernard too...what's up with that...just lie for Christ's Sake!), but I guess he figured they were all going to die anyways. But the most important thing we really learned from this entire side story is that Ben was lying to a whole bunch of people. Not only Juliette thought the station was flooded, everyone but Ben did. And those two chicks down there were supposedly "on assignment" in Canada. Hmmm...apparently Ben's got some trust issues. But again, maybe he's doing all of this to protect his people.


The smoke. I think. There were whispers right before his appearance and that usually means the Island is up to its usual shenanigans. But then again, who knows? But looks like Walt will probably be a top ten NBA draft pick now that he's about 8 feet tall.


He knows what's up. The connection between him and Jacob and the Island seems like it's well on its way. He may even take control of the whole operation. Regardless...good to know for sure that he'll be around.

Flash Forward Reprise

So should we expect more Flash Forwards in the coming seasons? Could it be possible that the whole paradigm of the show has shifted? So instead of getting flashbacks we will only be getting flash forwards from now on and will be working our way back to the past? Or will be getting a little of both and work our way to the middle? Or what if the entire show is a just one big flashback pieced together by all the surviving characters? My head hurts....

Overall, there are a ton of questions to ponder. And maybe it is a good thing that we have 8 months to think about them. But I think the finale lived up to its hype. The show is going into a new direction, and I know I'm excited even though we have NO IDEA what that direction might be. I hope you all enjoyed watching. Sound off with any ideas you have below...and if not I'll see you next year!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Season 3, Episode 21: "Greatest Hits"

Alright, so it was a bit of a filler/set up episode for next week's bonanza finale, but I liked it nonetheless. I feel like the episode had a ton of gravity to it...meaning that I really felt bad/sad for Charlie and could really feel the sense of impending doom that next week's battle royale might provide. But anyways, let's get to what happened...

Jack's got a plan. And I must admit, it's not a bad one. He will have Juliette mark the tents as planned and the blow the shit out of anyone that attempts to get what's inside (which in this case, will be plenty of dyn-O-mite rather than women galore.) But Sayid has other plans. He's thinking that maybe - just maybe they should be figuring out how to actually get off the damn Island. They know there's a ship off shore but can't get a message to it and thanks to Juliette, we now know why. There is a station off shore that is jamming any out-going communication. But, according to Juliette, the station is flooded (a "fact" she learned from Ben), so even if the Losties were to try and remedy the situation, they couldn't due to the fact that no one can access the underwater Hatch.

Conveniently though, Desmond has a vision that Charlie flips a switch that releases the jam. The downside: if he flips it, he drowns. Damn. But what's curious here is that if Desmond "sees" Charlie flip the switch and drown, he must have seen wrong cause as we notice later in the episode the station isn't flooded at all. Either that or he saw Charlie get shot or something and just decided to go with the whole "drowning" thing instead...after all, it's supposed to be a peaceful way to die, right? (Certainly better than say, getting eaten by a tiger, but that's a "worst way to die" debate for another time, and probably, another blog). Regardless of cause of death, it looks like Charlie's much anticipated death is finally here. So why not go out with a flurry of "Greatest Hits flashbacks?"

There were a couple things to note in these sometimes cheesy yet endearing flashbacks. First off, we learn that Oasis' "Champagne Supernova" is the only song Charlie can play on the guitar. Well, probably not, but you'll remember that in Desmond's time travel-esque episode earlier this year he runs into Charlie playing this song in the rain as well (at first this looked like it was the same scene, but the message board fanboys have shown that they are indeed separate instances). But most importantly, Charlie eventually turns hero when he saves a helpless woman from an alley way mugging. And I have to admit, I didn't catch this at first, but the woman he saved was none other than Nadia - Sayid's lost love. Congrats if you caught that one. Score another one for the "it's not a coincidence, they're all connected" camp.

The other flashbacks weren't quite as revealing, but we learn that Charlie has enjoyed a threesome or two and that he used probably the best pick up line I've heard in a while on Claire with "'re first plane crash?" That's good stuff. Although, I have to believe that if that "Greatest Hits" list goes to number 6, you know it has to be: "the time I found the Virgin Mary statues stuffed with Smack."

But while Charlie may be on his way out, he's not dead just yet. As mentioned, he comes up for air in the clearly NOT-flooded hatch to live another day. Unfortunately though, he's not alone. Can't wait to see what happens there.

And let's discuss this hatch. It's officially called the "Looking Glass Station" (one of the the many Alice in Wonderland metaphors this episode) and its logo is a white rabbit within a Dharma logo. It seems to operate as a submarine docking station and a communication station to some degree. Not only does it block signals to the outside world, but I'm guessing that it is the home of the underwater beacon signal that guides the sub to the Island that Ben discussed a few weeks back. Thanks to the super handy and very detailed map of the station that Sayid somehow acquired (where the hell did that come from? I guess Mikhail's station?), you can see the schematics (and some other snapshots) for yourself:

So let's move on to Ben. He's PISSED. Jacob's got a new favorite in Locke and Ben's rattled. So rattled that he moves up the raid a night early. Screw it, he doesn't need all the preggy test results, they'll just take all the women and kill all the men. Simple enough. Fortunately for the Losties Alex is witness to all of this and takes a break from ripping open her fresh WHITE RABBIT kill to tell her boy Karl to warn the Losties. Karl gives the news to Jack and company and revised plans must be made since Rousseau can't have the triggering set up in time. Luckily, Sayid uses that big ole brain of his and adds that they can shoot the dynamite by using snipers. But who can shoot? Enter Bernard stage left! Rose and Bernard have been missing from the cast for pretty much the entire season and now not only are they back, but they're ready to throw down sniper style. Unfortunately I think this spells the end for Bernard, as this development seems to be a ripe situation for a throw away (but probably heroic) death in the finale. Bernard, we loved you while you lasted, old man. Poor Rose. But moving on, Sayid brings Jack back to reality, convincing him that he - the ex-military mastermind - might be the better choice to stay behind and fight the battle instead of Jack. If I were Sayid though, I'd be keeping a close watch on Juliette. I'm not totally convinced that she's still on the Losties side. A double cross is still a very real possibility in my opinion.

So the table is set. Charlie's in the Looking Glass; Sayid, Bernard, and Rousseau are sniping; Jack and the others are heading to the radio tower; Locke is most likely healing quickly in a massive grave pit; Desmond's knocked out cold in a dingy in the middle of the ocean (really, was that necessary?); Hurley's eating a jar of mayonnaise to keep his figure; and Ben is slowly losing his mind. Buckle up kids, next week will be 2 hours of finale bliss.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Season 3, Episode 20: "The Man Behind the Curtain"

Whoa. Probably the biggest episode this season so far in terms of content, and to prove it, most of the Lost fanboy sites I visit have crashed due to the massive amount of traffic that Wednesday's episode generated. There are a TON of questions that came out of the latest shocker of the season. This post will most likely be a bit of a ramble cause there is just too much stuff to go over, but I'll give it my best shot.

Let's try and take look at this one chronologically, shall we? First off we learn that, once again, Ben is a dirty liar and the was not in fact born on the Island. After around 9 or 10 years of presumably unsuccessful times, his father (aka Uncle Rico from Napoleon Dynamite) re-connects with Horace Goodspeed (aka annoying Percy from The Green Mile), who hooks him up with the Dharma Initiative. Just like that, we see Ben's real introduction to the Island.

During initiation on the Island Dr. Marvin Candle makes an appearance in an all too familiar role as he directs new employees via videotape talking about things like "harnessing the Island's properties for the advancement of world peace" and what not. Roger starts showing us his dark side as he grows angry with receiving "work man" status in this Socialist-like commune. As we move forward, Rogers anger - like his taste for ice-cold Dharma brewed beer - grows steadily. While the writing through this part was a little below Lost standards, we learn that Roger blames Ben for his mother's death and BAM, Ben's got his own set of Daddy issues (which seems to be all the rage in Lost Land these days), and more importantly, he's got a reason KILL EVERYONE.

Well, not really. He sees his dead mom and since he's all set with Dharma life he packs up his trusted bunny heads out to the Jungle. And here's where things start to get interesting. The whispers are back and this time they sound like a man and a women having a conversation. Things like "he is her son" and "he can't help us" are supposedly heard. And then out of nowhere long haired hippie version of Richard Alpert appears and tells Ben to think about his decision and to be patient. But the most important revelation here is that - being privy to what's going on in the future - we realized that Richard hasn't aged a day since this conversation, which was at least 30 years ago from the present.

I think there are two possibilities working here. The more obvious one is that Richard is an Island native and has benefited from one of its many powers. We know from the Hanso Foundation website and from past episodes that one of the Dharma Initiatives was researching "Life Extension." Additionally, towards the beginning of the episode, Ben says to Richard, "Today is my birthday. You do remember birthdays, don't you Richard?" Therefore, it is believable that Richard has inherited this anti-aging power via the Island. It would make sense that only natives can acquire this ability because Ben, who we know is not an Island native, clearly ages as time passes. You may ask, "why do they need kids then?" Well, they need kids cause they're not immortal - they can die just like the rest of us - so they still need kids to perpetuate the utopia that is OtherLand, even if they aren't Island born. You may also ask, "well, if Richard was born there, why can't they bear children now?" And to that I would say....I don't know.

Another possibility is that (and this is a bit out there) Richard isn't real. He's a figment of Ben's imagination. That, or he's just like Hurley's friend Dave, or Jack's dead Father, or Eko's dead brother, or Ben's dead mom - he either lives in Ben's mind or is produced by the Island somehow. Think about my recollection Richard hasn't actually conversed with anyone on the Island except for Ben and Locke. Both Ben and Locke are "special" in some way (we'll get to that later), so I can accept that. But again, I don't think Richard has talked to anyone else. Of course, the big fault in this theory is that Richard was in Portland recruiting Juliette. Not sure how to defend that one. But still...something is up with this Richard Alpert. Keep an eye on that guy.

Okay, okay, now let's focus on the big shit: Jacob. While I wasn't too excited about the whole "invisible" thing, it was a big reveal and all of us are asking the same question: who is Jacob? Well first off, after a quick poll of the agency there were some folks that did not see the split second glimpse (17 frames to be exact) of the actual Jacob in the shack. Therefore, below is a clip in slow motion showing the shadowy leader in all of his glory:

So who is this guy? Why is he holed up in this crappy shack in the middle of the jungle? And most importantly, what does he mean when he groans "Help Me" to Locke? As you can imagine, there are a bunch of are a couple that could make some sort of sense.

Jacob is smokie. While his body remains within the shack (or somewhere else, who knows), he can be somewhat omnipresent throughout the Island via the smoke. Some evidence to support this claim can be the black/grey mystery powder that Locke found surrounding the the shack (inert smokie matter?) and this picture, which shows a puff of black smoke in the area of the empty chair.

I"m not sure what to make of this approach, but what the hell do I know. Let's try another one:

Jacob is a character that we haven't seen yet, and he is being held prisoner by Ben. At some point, Ben was "summoned" by Jacob and was allowed to communicate with him, which gave Ben the power and influence to lead the Others. Jacob saw something "special" in Ben that the Others now see in Locke. However, somewhere along the line there was some sort of falling out between Jacob and Ben (maybe when Locke arrived to the Island?), but by then Ben had figured out a way to contain him so that he would not lose the position of leadership over the group. The mysterious powder could be some sort of barrier that surrounds the shack, containing him to that location.

But then if Ben knows he's a sham, why would he bring Locke to the shack? He did so to see how "special" Locke really is. In my opinion, Ben lost the ability to communicate with Jacob some time ago. His "conversation" the other night sounded forced and silly. However, when Locke spins around to Jacob's plea for help, Ben looks downright SHOCKED that Locke was spoken to by Jacob. At this point he knows that he's done. If Locke is the new "chosen one" (for lack of a better term), then Ben knows what he has to do, which is eliminate him. (Well, then why didn't he blow Locke's brain out??? I don't know. Maybe Ben wants to truly test Locke's healing ability.)

There are more out of control theories, but this post is long and (as promised) rambling as it is. In a nutshell, other theories are that Jacob is Alvar Hanso, or that Jacob is Locke's twin separated at birth, or that Jacob is Desmond. The list goes on and on. Honestly, at this point we're in the dark. But we know Locke is an integral part of this show. I would be shocked if he is in fact dead. If you guys have any interesting theories, blast off with a comment below.

Easter Eggs:

That mysterious painting from Ben's apartment I posted a few episodes back makes a return in his flashback...must be a portrait of his mother...

Overall, great episode. Again I'm not too psyched about the supernatural overtones but I'm hoping that the writers will tie it all together in due time. Only two more episodes to go folks!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Season 3, Episode 19: "The Brig"

Ok, ok...pretty good episode - if not a little predictable. I mean really, did anyone here really think that it was Ben that was under that hood? And moreover, was anyone surprised to learn that Cooper was the cause of Sawyer's tragic past? Me neither...but hey, I still found it pretty entertaining.

Let's start at the top of the show and talk about the Other's camping trip with Locke in tow. Ben mentions that they are going to an "old place" to hide out for a while so that - presumably - Juliette can be left behind / hunt for preggies among the Losties. Once we get to tent city, we see a couple things. First off, while Locke helps the flight attendant with her rinky A-frame tent, we see that Ben has had a camping mansion erected for him in about five minutes (with bookshelves ta boot!). Next, and more importantly, the place where they are squatting does in fact seem to be "old," as Cooper is tied to some sort of columnus ruin and other relics are scattered about the area. The only reason I mention this is that this site could have been built by the same folks that built that four toed statue that we saw in the last episode of Season Two. And it could help prove that in some shape or form, folks have been on this Island for quite some time. Worth noting. (And I didn't even go into the slaves from Black Rock - the ship. Who knows how long people have been on this Island.)

And, briefly, what's this shit about having to kill someone in order to pass the "Other Test?" That doesn't seem to jive with the whole, "we only take the good people" mantra that Ben and company have been living by now for a couple seasons (and setting a great example for the kids, eh?). Sure, Locke's got some daddy issues, but I just don't see how killing Cooper will resolve them. What I thought was interesting about the whole process was the conversation between Richard and Locke. Richard gives Locke Sawyer's file and leads him down the path of having James do his dirty work for him. While Richard claims that he's going behind Ben's back on this one, I'm thinking that Ben was behind the whole thing. In the end, I don't think Ben necessarily cared who killed Cooper, he just wanted to make sure that it SEEMED like he forced Locke to follow his orders. As we've seen in the past, Ben cares more about having the appearance of power than actually following through with his ultimatums.

Let's shift to Cooper. I'm not going get into the whole "they're NOT dead, the producers have said so" argument again, but I did think that Cooper's understanding of his situation was quite interesting. Think about it, this guy knows he's an asshole. He has no presumptions that he lived a noble life helping others or whatever. He was a scumbag. Therefore, when he got into an accident and blacked out in the ambulance only to come out of darkness in a dark, dank, hot room only to see his DEAD son in front of him - well, I'd think that I was in Hell, too. I thought it was a cool way for the writers to keep this little debate going, even though it almost like they're just fucking with us at this point. But again, in my opinion it's not Hell, and they're not dead...but I still liked the idea.

Finally let's get to the cliffhanger. Juliette wants to tell Kate a little secret, but Jack decides the time is not right. What's going on here? I'm thinking of a couple different possibilities. First off, Juliette has told Jack that she's still working for Ben and that they are planning to double cross him when the Others come to collect Sun and any other pregnant Losties. But if this were the answer, wouldn't Jack want to tell the camp so that they could prepare for this upcoming raid? Another option is that Juliette wanted to tell Kate that with the sub destroyed, there is no way off the Island (meaning: don't get your hopes up about this pilot and her claims of rescue). But this seems unlikely as well since we have to believe that Juliette is still working for her freedom at this point, which would mean that there still must be a way to get off (and remember, Michael and Walt were sent off on a raft, but who knows where they ended up). To be honest, I'm not sure what to think about this one...I welcome any thoughts you might have below.

Here's a few Easter Eggs, but nothing crazy this week:

The "Sawyer File" that Richard gave Locke was in French. Prop Error?

The "Columnus Ruins" ... did I make up that term? Spell check says so, but I like the sound of it ....

And a final update that we learned late last week, Exec Producers Lindlehoff and Cuse have successfully negotiated an end date for the series. There will be 48 more episodes planned that will run over the course of three 16 episode seasons. This is great news as now there is a hard date set for the writers to implement the ending that they have envisioned from the start without needing to artificially extend series with fluff. Also, each season will start in February and run through May without repeats. The only part that sucks is that we will have to wait for Feb 2008 for the start of next season. But according to the preliminary reports, the finale this season is supposed to mind blowing enough for us to not even notice the break!
Till next time....