Thursday, August 30, 2007

Quick Question

I finally got around to reading the Q&A transcript with Darlton from the the Comic-Con - which was fascinating, BTW - and I started thinking about what I would ask them if I ever had the opportunity.

There are some questions you should never ask - like "what's the monster?" - because you know they're never going to answer it. I think the best questions are the middling ones which ask a specific unresolved plot point but whose answer won't give too much of the overall plot away. The question about Henry Gale that Memphish pointed out to me in my previous post that some enterprising young fan asked was an excellent one, I thought. It addresses a previously unresolved plot point and gets a definitive answer. Thinkin dude!

After giving it some thought, I think my question would be "What year did the Purge occur?" Why?

Well, I still have trouble putting all of the major island happenings in order. It seems to me that it must have been:

The Incident (1985)
The Purge (mid/late 80's)
DI funding cut by Hanso (1987)
Danielle arrives (1988)
Kelvin joins DHARMA (early-mid 90's)
Desmond arrives (2001)
Henry Gale arrives (late 2003 - early 2004)
Flight 815 crashes (September 2004)

I've included links to where I took most of my dates from. The thing that bothers me is Kelvin. It seems that he must have joined DHARMA well after the Purge and well after Hanso cut DI funding because we know he was in Iraq with Sayid around the time of the Gulf War (1990-1991) and he joined DHARMA afterwards.

Now since the Food Drops were still going on all the way up to 2004, we know the DI was still at least sending food to whomever was in the Swan. So it's possible that all of DHARMA was gone, but they were still afraid of what would happen if the button wasn't pushed, so they kept one or two people secretly in the Swan just to push the button.

If the Purge occurred after Kelvin joined in the mid-90's, it seems Danielle would have met at least some of the DI in her first seven or eight years on the island. Furthermore, at the time of the Purge, Ben did not yet have Alex, further suggesting the Purge occurred before Danielle arrived. Make sense? Asking what year the Purge occurred simply seems to me to be a question they could, and would, answer definitively.

So what would you ask Darlton? Do you think they'd answer it? :)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Face of Jacob?

In some terrific casting news, looks like Jeff Fahey will be joining our Losties on the island! And EW picked a very curious picture to accompany their article:

Said Cuse:
The producers wouldn't comment on the character that Fahey will be playing, but said he was the first and only choice for the role. ''The Lawnmower Man and [the 1995 TV series] The Marshall are personal faves,'' says Cuse. ''And he has the most intense eyes of any guy out there, and I say that as a non-gay man.'' Adds Lindelof: ''Fahey is one of those actors who feels like he fits into the Lost model: He's enormously talented and will be vaguely recognizable to some people, but he'll be able to land on our island without most people going, 'Oh, I know who that guy is.' And especially for the part we cast him for, he has exactly the right sensibilities.''
First and only choice? Intense eyes?

That says Jacob to me and, if he really is going to play the critical part, that's just an awesome job on the casting. Booyah!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Top Ten Episodes #4: 1.01 "The Pilot"

"Guys, where are we?" Rating: 9.46 and 9.43 for Parts I & II respectively (#16 and #22 overall)

Brief Synopsis: Let's do this "We Didn't Start The Fire" style, eh? Any attempt to sing this is thoroughly discouraged by the author. Bold are flashbacks.

Jack. Vodka. Vincent. Beach. Claire falls. Locke walks. Turbine Man. Wing crashes. Boone finally brings the pen.

Jack and Kate, Sewing drapes, 1-2-3-4-5. Marshall down, Monster roars, Cindy brings Jack a drink.

Cockpit hike, Charlie sings, Pilot wakes up. Transceiver found, Charlie high, 1,000 miles off course.

Monster attacks, pilot gets snatched, 1-2-3-4-5 (again!) Jack is safe, Charlie's fine, Pilot's in a tree.

Cindy chases Charlie, Sawyer fights Sayid, Hurley makes a friend, Republican Guard.

Hike number II, Kate's coming too, Jin serves up some urchin. Shannon and Boone, Shannon's coming too, Sawyer joins in the fun.

Walt and Locke, Oldest game in the world, Do you want to know a secret? Radio check, growling attack, "I just shot me a polar bear!"

Marshall's still out, Hurley's bad with blood, Sawyer has the badge. Kate's says she's bad with guns, but an excellent liar, the radio finally works.

Shannon translates, sixteen years, all of them are dead.

Guys, where are we?

Why it's a classic: Think back to all the first episodes of television series you've seen. How many of them stand out in your mind? Furthermore, compared to the overall quality of the rest of the series, how many of them are among the best the series has to offer?

Not many.

When you generally think of first episodes, you think of raw, stilted dialogue and actors trying to find their character and their chemistry with each other. Here are a few famous ones that stand out in my mind:

1. Seinfeld -
As great a show as Seinfeld was, the pilot was a poor representation of the series as a whole and an example of a "true" pilot - an example of an unrefined concept. Not terribly funny, no Elaine, Kramer's called "Kessler." Many of the elements of the show are here, but it's still trying to find it's footing, like it was through much of the first season.

2. Cheers - Better than Seinfeld here - the show is fairly established and it felt like a true episode of the show. I
t also introduced the series well - setting up Diane's predicament when she's dumped by her boss and betrothed.

But it's still not perfect. Who knew Cliff Claven would become such a TV icon from his
couple lines as a throwaway extra? The writers certainly didn't yet. And Sam and Diane hadn't quite gotten their rhythm and banter down. But it still felt like an episode of "Cheers," albeit an ordinary one. In fact, if it wasn't the first episode, there wouldn't be anything remarkable about it at all.

3. Star Trek: TNG - I remember watching this with my parents and brothers the night it premiered. We were all so excited to have another Star Trek series on the air. And it was an event - a big budget, well-hyped show with a thorough plot. "Encounter at Farpoint" introduced Q, one of my favorite Star Trek villains and had a clever, interesting (albeit predictable) plot. A refined introduction to the series to be sure, and one that intended to suck viewers in.

But I remember afterwards thinking how the show could be good, but it didn't really inspire me to watch the rest of the series. I thought Picard was stiff and boring compared to Kirk, Riker was a smarmy, arrogant idiot, and Wesley was just annoying. Granted, I was comparing it to the series that came before (and, for the record, I'm not a Trekkie at all - I just enjoy good sci-fi on TV. Buck Rogers, Bionic Man, etc...), but I really didn't think at the time that ST: TNG would become the phenomenon it eventually grew into. And again, compared to the series as a whole, it was a rather ordinary episode and one that even feels a bit awkward when viewed in conjunction with later seasons.

Complete aside here: If you love ST:TNG and haven't seen the Episode Guide Song, I highly recommend checking it out. :)

But the reason I'm bringing all these up is because I think you could make a case for the Pilot Episode of "Lost" being one of the greatest Pilots (or first episodes) in the history of television.

Yes, it has the advantages of a monster budget and a terrific cast. But let's face it, "Lost" could have flopped from the very start. With weaker writing and acting, "Lost" could have turned into an unfunny "Gilligan's Island" and been canceled well before they even found the Hatch.

Instead, however, not only did the show become a tremendous hit, but in some ways "Lost" has spent it's entire run trying to live up to its first episode. The writers set the bar so incredibly high, it makes you appreciate how good that first season was all the way through. The first real clunker of an episode for me wasn't until the aptly-named "Adrift," the second episode of Season 2.

And while I don't think I was totally hooked on the show until "Special" and "Numbers," when more of the seemingly fantastical aspects of the show reared their psychic and numerical heads, I certainly wanted to keep watching to find out where that transmission was coming from (and give the writers credit here - they answered that question within the first ten episodes).

You also have to give props to the cast, who gelled together quicker than any I can think of in my couch potato history. Of course, filming in a tropical island paradise may help matters there - or, perhaps, force them. Heh.

But there was so much to like about the Pilot as a "Lost" episode itself - the initial scenes between Jack and Kate, Sawyer and the polar bear, the Monster and the pilot, and Danielle's transmission, to name a few.

The Pilot makes my Top 10 list because not only do I think it's one of the best pilots ever made, but because in the context of the show it doesn't feel like a pilot - it simply feels like an excellent episode of "Lost" and one that easily makes my Top 5.

Here's hoping when I rewrite this list after Season 6, the final episode is here alongside it.

: It felt almost cheesy having the first episode on this list. I almost took it out because it was the first episode, but I simply couldn't in retrospect. The Pilot is one of the few episodes I've watched more than twice - it's simply a spectacular 80 minutes of entertainment - one that still gives me chills each time I view it.

So whatcha think? Is The Pilot one of Lost's best or am I simply being just too nostalgic and gooshy? (a definite possibility, BTW)

Barring disaster at work - next week #3!

Previous Reviews:
White Rabbit
The Man From Tallahassee
Man of Science, Man of Faith

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Lost Theory Question #6: The Real Henry Gale

Today we're off to see the wizard!

There are a lot of flashbacks I'd still like to see on the show: Danielle, Richard Alpert, Marvin Candlewickhead, more Ben. Unfortunately, two of the flashbacks I'd like most to see involve dead characters: Libby and the original Henry Gale.

Libby's backstory we're supposed to get through the eyes of another, yet undisclosed character. However, there are currently no plans to tell Henry's tragic tale. And that, to me, is a shame.

Despite him being just a pile of bones underneath a bright happy grave marker, we actually know a good deal about Mr. Gale. First off, his driver's license:

We know he hails from Minnesota and would have been 40 years old at present island time. Also, given that his license expires in 2003 and assuming that it was current, he must have crashed prior to that year. Lostpedia also says that since Minnesota has a four-year license renewal period, it seems likely he crashed between 1999-2003.

Of course, provided it's not a prop error, it's possible Henry crashed only a year prior to the rest of the Losties. The $20 bill that he wrote his farewell note to Jenny on was issued in October of 2003, meaning his license could have been expired and that he crashed sometime either late 2003 or early 2004.

And speaking of the note, it read:
Well you were
right. Crossing
the Pacific
isn't easy.
I owe you a
beer. I'm
hiking to one of
the beaches to
start a
signal fire, but
if you're reading this,
I guess I didn't make it.
I'm sorry,
I love you Jenny,
always have,
always will.
So Henry crashed in the valley, wrote a note on a bill and stuffed in his wallet, then hiked to the beach. The question now is what happened in between? Did he die of natural causes or did the Others kill him?

Obviously the Others at least found his body and buried him, but Ben (under interrogation) seemed to know an awful lot about Henry Gale:

Sayid Tell me about this balloon.
Henry GaleWhat?
Sayid This balloon that brought you here with your wife. Tell me about it.
Henry GaleWhat do you want to know?
Sayid Everything.
Henry GaleShe's 140 feet high, 60 feet wide. And when she's up in the air 550,000 thousand cubic feet of helium and a 100,000 thousand of hot air keep her up. And if you could look down on her you'd see a big yellow smiley face on top.
Sayid Why would you travel in that way?
Henry GaleBecause I was rich. Because it was my dream. And Jennifer thought it would be neat.
Sayid You were rich?
Henry GaleI guess I'm thinking of things in the past tense now. How's that for optimism?
Sayid What did you do to become so rich?
Henry GaleI sold my company.
Sayid What kind of company?
Henry GaleMining.
Sayid What did you mine?
Henry GaleWe mined non-metallic minerals. I know, everyone wanted to talk to me at cocktail parties.
Sayid Give me your hands. Give me your hands!

Ben could have made up the balloon facts and gotten Jennifer's name from the note in his wallet (I'm sure Ben knew of the note, he just didn't think Sayid would dig up the grave - or a least he hoped he wouldn't). But the fact that he knew Henry Gale was rich, that he sold his company and that they mined non-metallic metals is awfully personal.

But Ben didn't have to interrogate Henry to find out everything about him. If they can have files on all of the Losties, they could have easily found out everything on Mr. Gale. How? Well, his balloon gives that info away:

His company is the "Minnesota Metallurgy Mining Co.," a company likely inspired by 3M, and the two ads on the side are from "Mr. Cluck's" and "Nozz-A-La Cola," the latter being a brand prominently featured in Stephen King's Dark Tower series.

Now I've spoken about how I think the Dark Tower fits into Lost before, especially in the context of the season finale. But the fact Nozz-A-La is on the side of Henry's balloon is especially interesting. In Book 4 of the Dark Tower, Wizard and Glass, the heroes of the book end up traveling through a "thinny," basically a portal to another dimension, and end up in the version of Topeka, Kansas found in "The Stand."

They eventually come to a great glass palace, which one of the characters from our world recognizes as a twisted version of the Emerald City from the Wizard of Oz. In W&G, the wizard that the group finds within the city is King's version of the devil from all his novels, the evil being who relished the decimation of humanity in "The Stand," and the evil royal advisor from "Eyes of the Dragon," Randall Flagg.

It makes me wonder if Mr. Henry Gale came to the island from another dimension, perhaps even from Stephen King's world. And since he owned a mining company maybe really didn't crash heer accidentally - maybe he was really looking for this very island in the first place. Maybe he was even employed by the same people who sent Naomi, perhaps one of the first scouts sent out to find it.

And maybe - this woudl be sooooooo cool - the head of whatever evil group Jack radioed is the Lost version of Randall Flagg. Dum, dum, DUM!

Regardless, I'd still LOVE to see Henry Gale's story. Obviously it would have to be through someone else's flashbacks - either Ben or Richard on the island or perhaps someone more sinister off-island.

What do you all think? Is Henry a simple travelin' dude, accidentally caught in the Others' nefarious net and killed? Or did he have an agenda like Naomi and was purposely purged by the Others like DHARMA was?

Addendum: Of course, after I post this I remember yet another crucial point - Widmore Labs also sponsored Henry's balloon trip. Charles Widmore = Randall Flagg? Discuss.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


I'm back!

It's going to take me a day or two to get back in the saddle again with the posting (stupid work). But here's a bit of official cast news that's very cool if you haven't seen it:

Lance Reddick, one of the stars of HBO's "The Wire," will get exposure to a significantly wider audience early next year.

Reddick, who plays the tightly wound Baltimore police Col. Cedric Daniels on "The Wire," has landed a role on ABC's "Lost..."

As with a lot of things "Lost," few details are available about Reddick's character. We do know that the coming season of the show, as set up in the third-season finale, will feature both flashbacks to the time before the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 crashed on the island and flash-forwards to after the survivors' return to civilization. That, in turn, makes speculation about Reddick fits in all the more dicey...
Aaaaaaand a photo:

Cool, eh? I've never seen "The Wire," but he looks like he could definitely give Ben or Locke a run for their money.

We should be getting a lot of little "Lost" tidbits the next few weeks since filming will be starting. I can't wait! Woohoo!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Hey everyone! I'll be away for the next six days, first to my brother's wedding in Buffalo, then Em and I are taking a mini-vacation to Niagara Falls (we've both never been). Take care and I'll have more Lost-related goodness when I return.

As a quick aside, I just finished "The Third Policeman" and, I have to say, if you like "Lost," you really should pick it up. Personally, I think the book is really just a joke the writers were playing on all of us, but it's an exceptionally clever joke.

Let me put on my tin-foil hat and put it this way - even if the book has nothing to do with the show, it's incredibly easy to see why the writers put it in there because anyone obsessed with the show (like yours truly) could easily see how it could explain everything in "Lost."

I'll write more on it when I return and finish up the Top 4 episodes on my list. Have a great week! :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Another One Bites The Dust

Looks like yet another Lost rumor has been shot down, and this one's a true bummer. Kristen Bell, of the now-canceled 'Veronica Mars,' was mentioned to be a possibility for a new Season 4 cast member. Alas, it is not to be:

TV Guide's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Bell -- who was reportedly joining the cast last week -- turned down the role because she didn't want to relocate to Hawaii where the hit ABC series is filmed.
Boo! Hiss! What role would she have played? The answer's in the link. Sounds interesting, eh?

Question now is, who's going to be joining the cast? If you had to pick one actor and one actress, who would you want to join the cast and why?

My choices would be Mitch Pileggi and Linda Fiorentino. I think they're both excellent, underutilized actors who, while recognizable, aren't stereotyped into any specific role. And they both have the acting chops to go head-to-head with either Ben or Locke.

Monday, August 13, 2007




Thursday, August 9, 2007

Quote of the Day

"It's a much better idea than the show being a really big hit and then they have to keep it on for 10 years and suddenly we see episodes about Sawyer and, like, the spoon he made. Ya know what I mean?"
- Recent comment by ___________ on Lost's new Season 6 end date

To find out who said it, click here (minor Season 4 casting spoilers you've probably heard already). And speaking of casting spoilers, there was a post in the Lost group I subscribe to titled "Two new cast members." I'm sure whoever they are, it's been posted over at DarkUFO. I ain't posting anything until they've been officially announced (like technically the quoted being above, though I'm still being careful).


Added bonus: For a very good Doc Jensen article from EW, click here.

Jensen debunks three Lost rumors making the rounds:

1) The show is NOT moving to Fridays at 9pm. Thank God

2) Peter Stormare is NOT becoming a regular cast member. Boo! Hiss!

3) Forest Whitaker is NOT doing a two episode guest stint. Oh well...

He also gives us a neat theory on that new DHARMA Orientation film. Hmmm....

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Jackface Is The True Soul of Wit

Check out these entertaining little Lost cartoons that were brought to my attention! I think I like this first one the best, but be sure to check them all out. (Click the comic for biggie version).

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Lost Theory Question #5: Walt

Hey all! I'm back... and somewhat sobered up finally! :)

Walt's one of the few still unsolved Season One mysteries left, but he's a big one. We know Walt has some special powers and that the Others were extremely interested in him, but what exactly was the extent of what he can do and why did they let him go? From the limited amount of time we were given with him, let's take a look at what he did and speculate on what he's capable of:

1) The Backgammon Game and the Knife

It's clear Walt's powers somehow influenced the backgammon game he was playing with Hurley and the knife he was throwing with Locke. I've lumped these both together because I think there are two identical possibilities for both: Simple telekinesis or altered probabilities, the latter similar to the Scarlet Witch of Marvel Comics fame.

In both cases it seems he has to concentrate on what he was doing, using his "mind's eye" as Locke said to him. My first thought upon seeing the episodes was telekinesis and it's certainly the simplest solution. But it seems that the latter talent would be much more useful in trying to alter the Numbers of the Valenzetti Equation (which I think are probably going to have to be altered before the show ends).

But let's say it's simple telekinesis for now.

2) The Animals

Walt concentrates on a bird in a book. The bird appears.

Walt concentrates on a polar bear in a comic. The polar bear appears.

In both cases, the animals involved were indigenous to the area, so Walt didn't just conjure them up out of thin air. He did seem to call them (unconsciously) to him, however, which makes me think he has some sort of Aquaman-type telepathy. Now I'm sure he couldn't communicate with the bird and the bear, but he was focusing on them and I bet they could sense something inside their heads. It could have even been something painful - maybe like an instant migraine that they honed in on in an attempt to stop it (the bear was pretty agitated after all).

Regardless, I think we can chalk this one up to some sort of telepathy.

3) Shannon's Vision

This is the simplest one to interpret, I think: Astral Projection. He was obviously trying to communicate with her and send her a message about the button. Remember, Bea Klugh asked Micheal straightforward if he had "ever been somewhere he wasn't meant to be?"

The vision Locke had of Walt could have also been a projection, but I think it's more likely that was the Monster (or Jacob) communicating with him.

Regardless, I think astral projection is the way to go here.

So what did the Others want him for?

My best guess is they're looking for someone who can control the "Magic Box" and that psychics have a distinct advantage in that department. It might be that also children are considered automatic "good people," i.e. innocents. Then Walt, being a psychic child, would have really been exactly what they needed. However, they couldn't control him for some reason. Ben said that Walt was "more than they bargained for."

Walt reminds me a bit of Charles Wallace from "A Wrinkle in Time" - while his powers seem to be a bit different, his intelligence and maturity for his age fit very well. In the book, Charles was treated very differently by his Mom (much like Walt is by Michael) but is well understood by his sister Meg (much like his bond with Locke).

So my question here is, what happened to Walt during his time with the Others? They ran some tests on him and he proved to be too much. Were trying to use him to work the "Magic Box?" Was he supposed to be used to communicate with the Monster, perhaps, something else on the island that appears to use telepathy?


Friday, August 3, 2007

Link Dump: 08/03/07

I'm going to be away this weekend for my brother's bachelor party. Needless to say, I won't be in any condition on Monday to post a review, so the next Top 10 will be on August 13th. :)

* If you haven't seen it yet, Dark UFO has some leaked screencaps and a trailer for the forthcoming Lost video game. While it's pretty, I still wonder whether it will be as good as this fan-made video of The Swan using the Counter-Strike source code. Imagine if Valve ever put out a Lost game once the series is through? *drool*

* Looks like Ana-Lucia has garnered some gainful employment from the "King of the World" himself, James Cameron. She'll be starring as a marine in his new Sci-Fi epic, "Avatar." Why am I not surprised? BTW, is it just me, or is the caption under her picture a bit silly?

* Speaking of funny, this caused me to giggle uncontrollably.

Enjoy the weekend everyone! :)

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Mmmm... Daddy's Soul Donut

I really try to avoid "Lost" spoilers now. Before the finale last year, I avoided any and all "Lost" articles because I really just wanted to enjoy whatever the twist was while seeing it on screen. Heck, I really didn't read much of anything online the week Harry Potter was released.

But sometimes, I just can't help to give into temptation, especially when it involves cast news. There was a "Lost" panel recently at the San Diego Comic-Con that did feature some information on some cast members, structure of the episodes, and a brand-spankin' new DHARMA orientation film that I've linked below (that's really, really odd and pretty funny too).

I won't say anything more here. If you want the full scoop, head over to IGN. If you want the full video of the "Lost" panel Q&A, head over to DarkUFO.

Also, big props to Memphish for alerting me to this wonderful taste of available "Lost" temptation.