Thursday, September 27, 2007

Off-Topic Observation #1

Graphic designers for local TV stations have far too much time on their hands.

(Taken from this story, via Fark)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

About That New Podcast

In case you missed it (or didn't miss it but haven't had time to listen yet), TALBOA has a great summary of all the good tidbits. The most important of which is the following:
The flashforward is set-in-stone. It's not a possible future or an alternate reality. Carlton mentions that the flashforwards would be less exciting if they never really happened (I agree). However, we will continue to see more weird time stuff, a la Desmond's time travel. Damon says that "Flashes Before Your Eyes" laid all the ground rules on how time travel works on the series. (Yes, Damon said "time travel." There is time travel on LOST. I hope people start believing this).
Interesting, eh? In my review of Through the Looking Glass, I laid out three possible scenarios the flash forward represented. According to the podcast, it seems that scenario #1 (future set in stone, we get to see how it happens) seems the most plausible now. But the fact that they specifically say time travel is possible (and more importantly that Desmond laid the ground rules) gives a glimmer of hope that scenario #2 is also possible (the future really happened, but they can go back in time and alter it).

So what are the ground rules?

1) If you're going to die sometime in the near future, you can't escape that fate

Charlie and Red Shoe Guy proved this one

2) Altering small things in Desmond's visions may change the whole future

Would Desmond have found Penny hanging from the tree had he not saved Charlie? We don't know that yet. But clearly Desmond does have the free will to alter things. Which brings me to the big one...

3) Desmond had a choice in the past. He could have stayed with Penny and everyone would have died.

The big thing here is that Mrs. Hawking didn't tell Desmond that no matter what he does he was going to end up on the island. On the contrary, she had to convince him not to stay with Penny and that pushing the button was more important. Yes, if Desmond had stayed it would have been catastrophically bad, but the point here is he had a choice to stay. And if Desmond has choices when he travels in time, who's to say that he can't go back in time and do it again.

Desmond sacrificed himself when he went back, sacrificed a life of happiness with Penny to save the world. I think he (or maybe Jack) is going to be presented with a similar choice towards the end of show.

Whatcha think? Yea or Nay? :)

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Lost Theory Question #7: The Capsule Dump

Note: I'm immersed in thesis writing right now. Posting will be slight for a little while. Management thanks you for your understanding. Yes, that means you, Missie.

One of the unanswered things Memphish's latest question brought to mind was the capsule dump. Along with the statue, it was one of the weirdest happenings in the Season 2 finale. The fact that the dump was a dump, i.e. a tube that emptied into the middle of nowhere rather than another station suggests DHARMA really didn't care much for their contents. This further suggests that the Pearl inhabitants were in the station for something other than simply monitoring the inhabitants of other stations.

In "Live Together, Die Alone," Desmond suggests it was the Pearl inhabitants who were the subject of an experiment:

Desmond Tell me about this other hatch you found... this Pearl.
Locke What do you want to know?
Desmond Details.
Locke The Pearl is a psychological station full of TV monitors. And uh... 2 men sat in viewing chairs and filled notebooks with observations on what happens in here. And then they put the notebooks in pneumatic tubes and send them back to their headquarters so they could evaluate us... as an experiment. What?
Desmond What if you've got it backwards?
Locke Backwards?
Desmond What if the experiment wasn't on the 2 men in here, but on the 2 men in there? I want to see that tape, John?
Locke No, you can't. There's no way to see it down here.

The dump seems to corroborate that assertion, but what was the experiment? An examination of note taking abilities? A trial run for the Swan to see if they get cabin fever? It just seems like an odd set-up to me.

Furthermore, the computer in the Pearl that was connected to the Swan does seem to suggest DHARMA was making sure the button was being pushed. But perhaps the note writing was merely cover. In other words, DHARMA didn't want anyone to know what was going on in the Swan, but they needed it monitored, presumably by underlings. So they concocted a phony story about the Swan inhabitants being the subject of an experiment so the underlings wouldn't suspect anything. The Swan gets monitored. The unsuspecting underlings get nothing but writers cramp. Win-win all round.

Of course, why they chose to have the capsules dumped in the middle of nowhere is still very odd. They certainly could have had them sent to a station so they could be destroyed or something. Seems awfully trashy for a bunch of hippie scientists, doesn't it?

So whatcha think? Do you agree, or do you have a totally different take?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Everybody In The Death Pool!

There's a scene midway through Jaws where Richard Dreyfuss' character Matt Hooper is looking for Rob Schnider's Police Chief. He arrives in bedlam as hordes of fishermen have decended on Amity Island to claim a $3,000 reward for catching the shark.

Hopper runs into the Chief amid the chaos who enlists his help in trying to stop eight fishermen from piling into a tiny motorboat. Hooper tells them they're overloading it, but they casually brush him away.

Dreyfuss then, with a masterfully sarcastic delivery, utters one of my favorite lines in all of moviedom:

"Hahahahahahah! They're all gonna die!"

Since Lost has such a penchant for killing off characters, regardless of their popularity (see Eko, Mr.), I'm kinda wondering who's going to kick the bucket next season. We know Jack and Kate make it off the island, but everyone else is squarely in the crosshairs.

Here are my top five candidates for horrible island death (with odds):

1. Michael (even) - The most hated man on the island returns. With all those weapons around, don't you think someone's going to take some revenge? Maybe Dave will get Hurley to do something way of out character for him. Maybe the Monster will make him pay for his sins.

Either way, I bet he'll be screaming at the end.

2. Rose/Bernard
(2:1) - I'm shocked, shocked I tell you that one of them didn't die in the finale. They are actually the perfect candidates: They'd create a huge emotional response, but it really wouldn't overly affect the show since they're so minor. Plus, Rose's cancer could easily make a return allowing for a death scene with a weepy Bernard. Book it - one of them won't make it off the island.

3. Jin (5:1) - Many of the main characters have already had their complete stories told, so they're pretty much fair game for the writers' sickle. Sun already has a date with death in Season 6 unless the Losties figure out why pregnant women die midway through, so that leaves Jin as odd man out here. He's one of the the more likely of the main characters to die, his death would have an incredible emotional impact and it would create a lingering plot point with Sun. Of the remaining first season Losties, I think Jin's the most likely to go.

4. Sayid (10:1) - On the other hand, there's Sayid. His story isn't fully told (what happened to him in Basra), he's extremely popular and his military/electronic/torturing abilities has made him an excellent deus ex machina for the writers. Losties in a tight spot? No problem! Sayid to the rescue.

However, because Naveen Andrews has such a budding film career, I think he make make a date with death himself; if he's killed, it's because he asked the writers for out. But if he goes, he's definitely going down in a blaze of glory. No going gentle for this English gent.

5. Danielle (25:1) - We know we're supposed to get her story this season and, if we do, I can see her being offed once her story's been told. She's been reunited with Alex and would likely do anything to protect her now. I'm betting she dies saving Alex's life.

Honorable Mentions, in order of death likeliness (and why they won't end up dying)

1. Claire - Partially because Jack doesn't know she's his half-sister yet. But mostly because them someone else would have to take care of Aaron all the time (and Christian Shepherd's grandson ain't going nowhere). Locke has no time for babysitting.

2. Hurley - You can't kill the funny guy. That's just lame, dude.

3. Sawyer - They'd lose 95% of their female audience

4. Desmond - They'd lose the other five percent. Besides, he can see it coming.

5. Sun - Too important a plot point

6. Juliet - Ditto. Besides we haven't seen her whole story yet

7. Ben - Because I'd hunt down the writers and kill them.

8. Richard
- Too new a character to kill. Besides, he's got some killer eyeshadow.

9. Locke
- HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. To think some people thought he was dead last season. Locke will be here until the end.

10. Vincent - Since he's the evil mastermind of the island, he's not going anywhere.

Who do you think's going to die in Season 4? Everyone? No one? Just the new guys? Discuss?

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Real Reason Ben Shot Locke

Congrats to Terry O'Quinn on his well-deserved Best Supporting Actor honor!

Top Ten Episodes #3: 1.04 "Walkabout"

"Don't tell me what I can't do!" rating: 9.5, #14 overall

Brief Summary:
Lost at its best. The first time we find out anything about the strange, orange-eating, secret-telling man who apparently has a trunk full of knives.

The episode has two simple threads: The funeral and the boar hunt.

The fuselage has to be burned because the decomposing bodies are attracting some renegade pork which, in turn, gives Locke the idea to get some chops for the camp. Kate and Michael go with him, the former to try and use the transceiver that Sayid fixed and the latter to, well, be a manly dad or something.

Michael is injured during the hunt and Kate drops and breaks the transceiver during a Monster scare. Locke comes face-to-face with the Monster and saw something "beautiful." He also manages to bring a boar back to camp, earning the respect of all the hungry Losties.

Meanwhile, Claire gathers up all the info on the dead for a eulogy at the funeral. She asks Jack to speak, but he wants nothing to do with saying goodbye, especially since it seems to usually involve whacking coffins with a sledgehammer. Claire reads off the names of the dead as they burn the fuselage.

Other minor plot points include, Jack getting Rose to talk, in which she informs him her husband's still alive, Shannon manipulating Charlie into catching a fish for her, and Jack seeing what he thinks is his dad standing in the water.

But the biggie this episode is Locke's flashback, the contrast between the confident, skilled leader shaman we see on the island and the meek, downtrodden, pathetically beaten man we see beforehand.

Oh, and the fact he was paralyzed before he fell out of the sky. Yeah, that too.

Why it's a classic:
Well, duh.

Oh, you mean you actually want me to talk about the episode? :)

I was actually surprised how low Walkabout was on the listings considering, I think, most "Lost" fans would consider it the best episode of the show. And it really hasn't lost any of its luster over time either; you still get goosebumps when you see Locke in the wheelchair, when you see said wheelchair sitting by the burning fuselage, when you see Locke staring up at the Monster.

"Walkabout" was the best of the character introductions, not just because it was the best revelation of all the characters, but because 1) it was a perfectly written and paced episode and 2) Terry O'Quinn has done a masterful job of portraying a complex character both as powerful and tragic as John Locke. Let's take a look at the first season character surprises (only the surprises here, not the episodes themselves) and see how they stack up, not counting this one, my favorite.

2) Hurley's a cursed multi-millionaire
3) Walt's the second coming of Franklin Richards; his dad can barely deal with a normal child
4) Kate's a fugitive who did something really, really bad
5) Sawyer's a con man with a tragic past

6) Sun can speak English and her husband works for the Japanese mob
7) Sayid's a torturer who helped his true love escape from execution
8) Jack's a brilliant surgeon with daddy issues
9) Charlie's a druggie rocker
10) Boone and Shannon do the nasty

Looking back at these, the thing that stands out to me is how much more powerful the revelation was when it dealt with something that was happening on the island. Charlie's a drug addict? Ho hum. Hurley won the lottery with the same freakin' numbers on the Hatch? Whoa! Can't wait for next week!

The revelation that something about the island allowed Locke to walk again was really the first real notion, aside from the Monster and a brief glimpse of Christian Shepherd, that perhaps there was something magical or paranormal about the island. The moment we saw Locke in the wheelchair in the Australian office it made us think that maybe, just maybe, this show was a bit more than a glorified "Cast Away" on the small screen. It changed the dynamic, and genre, of the show in one moment and greatly contributed to its popularity; Locke is still arguably the most popular character and any episode featuring him seems to drive up the ratings.

If you have a friend who has never seen an episode of "Lost" before and just wanted to show him one episode that perfectly encapsulates why the show is so enjoyable, I'd argue that "Walkabout," not the Pilot, is the episode you show him or her. What more can you say about that?

Okay, before y'all kill me for not making this #1, let me just say that the hardest decision I had to make was the order of my Top 3. I love all these episodes and I think they're all terrific.

I put "Walkabout" at #3 because, while I loved the episode and I think it's probably THE most representative episode of Lost at its best, the other two episodes above it on my list 1) are also terrific episodes and 2) I like them for very different, subjective reasons than most people would probably give.

Is "Walkabout" your #1? Do you even think it's the best Locke episode (notice it's my third Locke episode in my Top 10). Would "Tallahassee" or "Lockdown" give it a run for your money? What say you!

Previous Reviews:
#10: White Rabbit
The Man From Tallahassee
Man of Science, Man of Faith
#4: The Pilot

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Real Lost/Heroes Connection?

Could it be that they're going to be shown back-to-back on Mondays, with "Lost" at 8pm? Be still my heart! Hey ABC, make this so!

I've had an incredibly busy week, but my next Top 10 Episode review is done and will be posted on Monday morning. In the meantime, don't forget to root for Michael Emerson (or Terry O'Quinn) this Sunday during the Emmy Awards!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Blargh (+ Season 4 Tidbit!)




Friday, September 7, 2007

The Infinite Aaron Theory of Lost

Now I'm convinced Aaron is really the key to Lost. Immortal. Eternal. With infinite evil doppelgangers all quietly manipulating the Losties from the comfort of his crib. Control the baby, control the world.

No wonder the casting director in charge of Aaron's tiny thespians is so frazzled all the time. Just wait - The Misfit is going to start comparing Aaron face shots any day now. :)

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Need... L O S T... info... brain ... melting...

Man, February just can't come fast enough. I see the fall TV previews and weep because LOST is nowhere to be found. :-(

My next episode review will be a bit late - I forgot I was taking off for the weekend. To tide you over, here's an EW article on the five new cast members. I'm really interested to see what they have in store for Ken Leung - his episode of The Sopranos was indeed terrific.

Anything you guys are interested in watching this fall to pass the time? Em and I are trying to get through the third season of House in time for the Season 4 opener.