Friday, May 30, 2008

Lost Episode Review 4.13, 4.14: "There's No Place Like Home, Parts 2 & 3"

: "I hope you're happy now, Jacob."

Four seasons down, only two left to go. :(

Overall, I liked last night's episode. It fell a little bit short of my expectations, I think, because 1) by the end, it wasn't a surprise (to me), that Locke was in the coffin and 2) I think I was a bit put off by the way the writers handled the moving the Island bit.

Wasn't it Locke's destiny to move the Island ("Just wait until you see what I'm going to do")? Wasn't Locke the one who spoke to Jacob? Why didn't Jacob tell Locke what he had to do? And why did Ben suddenly feel all uncharacteristically magnanimous? Was he trying to make up for the fact he was responsible for the death of everyone on the freighter? I dunno. To me it just made the whole trip to the cabin feel like much ado about nothing.

But those are minor quibbles. The sun is shining, the birds are singing and Desmond is still alive and reunited with Penny. I'm so happy. :)

LOTS of questions today. Really the finale, even though it tied up a bunch of loose ends and showed us who's in the coffin, still gave us more questions than answers. So...

1. Where did the island go?

It probably traveled in both space and time, given that Ben was transported halfway around the world and ten months into the future. This also means Ben really didn't go to Tunisia with the express purpose of recruiting Sayid, he just happened to see him on TV and took advantage of the situation. So why is this a side effect of moving the island? Does moving the ice wheel open up a wormhole between that cavern and Tunisia? Seems very "Being John Malkovich" to me. :)

But if the Island has now been transported anywhere in space and time, it certainly answers two things: 1) Why Widmore can't find it and 2) likely how the Black Rock became lodged in the middle of the jungle. Chances are, the Island simply appeared out of nowhere underneath it sometime in the past!

Question now is, how are they going to find it again? Fumiko thinks Walt's going to be the key. Of course, if all the dead people on the island can contact the O6, one would think they could get some directions. Which brings us to...

2. What happened to Locke and how did he get off the island?

I'm guessing we won't get an answer to this until Season 6 (see below). Really the "who's in the coffin" question has just changed to "what happened to the person in the coffin" and it took us a full season to get that one answered. *sigh*

But even though we'll still see plenty of Locke through (presumably) flashbacks, I wonder if he's now going to go all Obi-Wan Kenobi on everyone? His character's always been kinda shamanistic, I wonder if his destiny now is really to become Jack's spirit guide and help him find his way. It is kind of puzzling too why the Island even allowed Locke to die. You would think if it went out of its way to protect Jack and the rest of the O6 (I really don't think Aaron survived the helicopter crash by pure turnip baby mojo alone), the Island wouldn't want Locke, its new chosen son, to be dead unless it was for a specific purpose. Maybe Locke HAD to die in order to convince them all to return. And maybe now that he's dead, he's really become "more powerful than you can ever imagine."

It's looking more and more like Jack might be the real man of destiny on the show. After all, Matthew Fox is purportedly the only cast member who knows how the show is going to end.

3. Does everyone have to go back?

If Locke's corpse is needed to get the Oceanic 6 back on the Island, it seems the "everyone" Ben mentioned is rather inclusive. Does this mean they need Ben, Desmond, Frank and Walt to back too? Is there anyone else I'm missing?

And, of course, this sets up all sorts of delicious plot devices for next season. Indeed it's one of the things that I thought the finale (and Season 4 in general) did exceptionally well. Kate's now a parolee that can't leave the state and she's been told by Claire NOT to bring Aaron back. Ben's trying to kill Penny and Desmond likely won't be wanting to leave Penny's side.

And then, in what was best scene of the episode, Sun actually wants to work with Widmore! In the words of the great Dread Pirate Roberts this might put a damper on their relationship.


4. Has Sun really gone over to the side of... *raised pinky*... eeeeeevil?

The scene with Sun and Widmore was simply fabulous. It was the one scene in the episode where I really jumped off the couch with excitement. Dark Sun (which was actually the name of an old Dungeons and Dragons expansion set - yes, I'm a geek) offers so many plot possibilities it makes my head spin! And you just know Yunjin Kim would be simply fabulous in the role. If Sayid and Sun went at it, I'm not sure who I'd put my money on...

And we know Sun has a dark side too; how she got her maid fired to keep herself out of trouble and how she had an affair which not only got her lover killed, but was responsible for Jin becoming her father's hit man as well. But what is she trying to accomplish here? Does she want to get back to the Island? Does she blame Jack (or, possibly, Ben) and want revenge? Does she think Jin is still alive? Speaking of which...

5. Is Jin really dead?

One would think so, but it's possible he was blown off the freighter and into the radius of the island's teleportation perimeter. After which he could have been...

6. What happened to Daniel and the raft?

....picked up by Daniel and the raft. I'm assuming, since Daniel would certainly have seen the helicopter crash if he wasn't transported with the Island, that he was transported along with it. And maybe, just maybe, Jin was transported too and Daniel will swoop by and pick him up. Certainly looks like the raft was in the field, given the light here...

The one thing that makes me think Jin might be still alive is that he's the one person who could bring Sun back from the dark side (and maybe finding out he's still alive will prevent her from doing something horrible at a critical juncture).

7. Where are Penny, Desmond and Frank now? Does Widmore know where they are?

I guess the real question here is how much contact does Penny have with her dad? On one hand, if Ben wants to kill her, you would think Widmore would certainly want to warn her and keep tabs on her so make sure she's okay. But on the other hand, he hates Desmond so you would think they'd want to sever all contact with him and find someplace to hole up and live happily ever after.

And do they take Frank along? You would think he could probably return to his "normal" life if he wanted. But you would also think that if he did, Abaddon would have tracked him down to find out what happened to everyone. Is he living the good life with them somewhere?

BTW, when the chopper went down, I was so afraid Frank and Desmond were dead. I loved how they resolved it with Penny's boat. If it weren't for the Sun/Widmore scene, the Desmond/Penny reunion would have been my favorite of the episode.

8. Was Charlotte born on the island?

Oh, so tantalizing. Two throw away little lines that we'll probably not get an answer to for a long while. I'm betting Charlotte is the daughter of someone in the DI and somehow managed to escape the purge. Does she know Annie, Ben's childhood friend? Is she really Annie herself?

Man, I really want a Charlotte flashback.

9. Where's the real "magic box?"

Okay, so the Orchid isn't the magic box, it's just the DI's boring, old teleportation station. So where's the freakin' magic box then? Is it at the Temple? I bet we're not getting an answer to this one until the final season too. :P

10. How will the show be structured the next two seasons?

Fumiko and I were talking about this this morning. What makes it so difficult is that there are essentially three remaining storylines:

1) How the Oceanic 6 (and their friends) get back to the Island
2) What happened on the Island after it was teleported
3) What happens once the Oceanic Six get back to the Island

The only way I can see the show resolving these storylines given its present structure is if next season focuses on Jack and Ben struggling to get their band back together (#1), along with on-Island flashforwards showing bits and pieces of what they find when they return (part of #3). Thus, next season would end showing how the O6 actually returned to the Island in real time, kind of in parallel of how this past season was structured. Then, in the final season, we get the climax of the show (#3) structured around flashbacks of what happened on-Island after the Island was transported (#2).

Of course, if this is true, we probably won't find out what happened to Locke until Season 6. Bleah. But I really can't think of any other way they can do it unless they eliminate the flashbacks or forwards because the cast is so separated right now and you can't have a full season focusing on only half the cast! Anyone else have any ideas here?

Other Tidbits:

* It was nice to see Sayid kick some ass.

*Missie, over e-mail today:
"I am disappointed with Walt's lack of inquiry about Vincent. In fact, I'm just bummed we haven't seen much of Vincent lately at all"
"My [baseball] fantasy team next year may be called "Time Travelin' Bunnies."
That's just awesome.

* Selected thoughts from Matt, also over e-mail:
I wouldn't have had a hard time with Ben killing Keamy, but I do find it hard to believe that he took him out mano-a-mano with a knife. Keamy had just gone toe-to-toe with Sayid and lived to tell the tale, after all.

Even though I'm sick of "Christian," and more than sick of Michael, I thoroughly enjoyed Christian showing up to give Michael his pink slip.

Juliet, seeing Sawyer climb back onto the beach: "I'm missing Jack a lot less than I thought I would."

Sawyer, seeing Juliet half way into a bottle of Dharma Rum at the end of his swim: "I'm missing Kate a lot less than I thought I would."

Google "Jeremy Bentham auto icon." You won't be disappointed. Perhaps Season Five will be an acceptable substitute for the long awaited "Weekend at Bernie's III."
I just want to say here I thought the Sawyer cheesecase was totally gratuitous. Juliet and Kate both looked fabulous the past few episodes though. Wonder who does Jules' hair on the Island? ;)

* From my e-mail to Missie and Matt:
Could we be witnessing an evil Sun rise? Could the next two seasons bring us evil under the Sun? The punsabilities are endless!
I couldn't resist.

* Dark UFO, via Get Lost Podcast, has a collection of screencaps from the frozen donkey wheel room. Anyone see anything interesting?

* Uncle Fester?

* Sawyer called Jack "Sunshine" and Frank "Kenny Rogers"

* I loved that Hurley was playing chess with Eko, but I'm also saddened they couldn't get Adewale to do a cameo, which would have sent the awesomeness factor of the episode to 11.

* Also loved Jack's "see you in another life, brother" line to Desmond.

* Kudos to the Lost casting department. Not only did they find a toddler who really looks like he could be Claire's child, but they also found someone who has a head like a turnip!

* And speaking of Claire, even Em remarked last night that Emilie de Ravin looked kinda... puffy. Is she pregnant? Seems like a possibility given she's married now.

* I put my e-mail in at Octagon Global Recruiting, which looks to be the start of a possible summer Lost webgame, but haven't received anything back yet. Anyone get anything?

Summary: A solid, exciting finale, but (in my book anyway) still the weakest of the four finales (although that's nothing to be ashamed about). I think it especially pales in comparison to last year's finale whose twist took me completely by surprise and simply blew me away. By the time we saw Locke in the coffin, I had kind of guessed it was either going to be either Locke or some representation of Jacob (i.e. Christian Shepherd), partly due to Hurley's "Dude, why don't you just call him..." statement which just kinda sapped some of the suspense.

I didn't know about the alternate endings going in that, according to Lostpedia, were shot with Sawyer and Desmond in the coffin, but neither of those possibilities really even crossed my mind. I suppose, in retrospect, Sawyer being the messenger of doom could have been cool, but would it have had the same emotional impact of Locke being in there? I dunno. And, given where the show is heading, with an eventual confrontation between Ben, Penny and Desmond, I simply couldn't see them killing Desmond off after he survived the helicopter crash.

So I'm giving the finale a solid 4/5 as we enter the dismal, dark summer and fall of no LOST. My comic book reviews will be up eventually - if I don't receive them in the next week, I can pick up my original copies from my mom's house when I head there for a visit next weekend. I'll also be posting fairly regularly on various things throughout the hiatus though. :)


Man, there's a lot to write about this episode! It'll take me a bit longer than usual to post it - probably a bit later in the afternoon - because I'm still not finished and I have to start a couple things in the lab right now.

The death poll I had up the last couple weeks was interesting given last night. Most people who voted thought Jin would die (69% of you) and probably even more would have picked Michael if I had offered him as a choice (duh). But only one person picked Locke, which speaks to the happy lack of spoiler readers who stop by. :)

Of course, there's still a lot of questions around who's really dead or not. Drop by in a couple hours, certainly before the end of the workday. :)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

One More Day

Hope everyone had a nice holiday! Em and I had a wedding to attend on Saturday, then spent the next three days down on the Jersey shore with her family. A simply delightful gathering that certainly helped whittle away the remaining time before tomorrow's super-awesome LOST finale! I still haven't received my comic books (grrrr - I have to write to the eBay guy again) so my write up is going to have to wait a bit longer.

So how did y'all spend the weekend? Did everyone get as lucky with the weather as the Northeast did? :)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Big Headed Jack

Saw this new Jack action figure advertised on Ain't It Cool News so I clicked over. It's not bad, per se, but doesn't his head look weird? It's almost like one of the aliens from Mars Attacks! crawled inside his skin and is using it like a suit (ala MIB).

But I think this figure especially pales in comparison to the terrific McFarlane LOST toys. That link is to the Series 1 toys, the Series 2 toys can be found here. There was supposed to be a third series of toys that was supposed to come out earlier this year, but I'm not sure it's going to happen now. Any of you guys have any of these? I still would love a Locke or the Hatch... someday when we have a little more room for all my junk anyways.

If you want to see a couple more images of the Sideshow figure, click here, but be warned - Doc Alien costs $99! That's a whole lot of mangoes! :)

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Lost Room (Updated)

Anyone seen it? I wanted to when it first aired, but never got a chance. A week or two ago, I finally broke down and bought the DVD and Em and I watched the first episode last night. Pretty neat. Reminds me a lot of Friday the 13th, The Series (a very, very underrated show, IMHO, which had no relation whatsoever to the movies), but with a neater, more personal, twist. Feels like it would make an awesome video game too - collecting cool objects that create different effects when they're together? Sounds like Legend of Zelda sans elves.

Looking forward to the rest. Anyone know if it's going to become a full series or not? SciFi website for the show is here, if you're interested.

*No spoilers below, but everyone be warned there may be some in the comments*

UPDATE: Finished the series last night. Thought, in general, it was terrific. Simply a fabulous cast, and not just the main characters - all the supporting charaters (Wally, the Weasel, Kreutzfeld, Harold) were wonderfully fleshed out by their portrayers. And the concept was such fun, so original I do wish they had made the series a bit longer. I think 12-26 episodes could have easily been done without the show getting repetitive. And while I do think it has a lot of potential as a full series (provided all of the cast returns), I think there is some risk there given how the show ends. Highly recommended to anyone who hasn't seen it yet.

If anyone wants to discuss plot stuff (Capcom, Memphish), feel free to put it in the comments. Everyone just be warned that there may be spoilers if you haven't seen the series and plan on watching it.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Lost Episode Review 4.12: "There's No Place Like Home, Part I"

: "Haven't you realized by now, John, that I always have a plan."

Ah, what a tease. You just knew the episode would end just as it was getting good. You can't review the first third of an episode, just take it for what it is and give it an incomplete.

Certainly it looks like they're going to be wrapping up a lot of questions in the last two thirds of the finale and it seems that the finale is going to come full circle too; basically ending in present time where the flash forward began at the beginning of the episode, i.e. with the O6 getting on the plane to Hawaii.

Several things I loved so far:

1) Sun taking over Paik Heavy Industries. That must have been quite the settlement Oceanic gave the O6.

2) Hurley not wanting the lottery money and the Numbers appearing in his car. That was awesome

3) Claire's mom (she's awake!) appearing at Christian's funeral and telling him the truth about Claire. Jack gave quite possibly the best Jackface of the entire series at the end of that scene.

4) Jin and Sun seeing Michael again

5) Sawyer's concern for Hurley. Saywer really hasn't done much this season, but I love how when he has been on screen, he's been a caring, thoughtful protector (by and large).

6) I was also touched how, when no one was there to see Kate and Sayid in Hawaii, Hurley introduced Sayid to his family.

So in lieu of a real review, let's do the Top 5 questions I expect to be answered in the second half of the finale.

1. How do all the Oceanic 6 end up together?

It seems that Jack, Hurley, Sayid and Kate will probably take the chopper back to the freighter with Frank. I'm guessing there won't be enough room for Sawyer since he gets left behind (or else he simply chooses to stay).

Once back there, the freighter is probably going to go boom somehow and the O6 are going to escape in the little motorboat (remember, it holds six). Of course, if that comes to pass it makes us ask...

2. What happens to to Desmond, Jin, Michael and the Freighter Four?

I find it very hard to believe that the writers would kill off Desmond, Jin, Michael and all the new guys in one fell swoop. In fact, I'll be completely horrified if they kill off Desmond, period. But we know that, according to their story, eight people survived the crash of Flight 815. Only six returned and Jin wasn't one of them. Who are the other two? Michael and Sawyer?

But another possibility is that Desmond turns off whatever's causing the interference on the (sonar?), so they're able to move the freighter closer to the Island. Then, whenever Locke and Ben do whatever they're going to do in the Orchid and the Island moves, the freighter ends up going with it.

Also interesting to note that in "The Third Policeman" (which I never got around to posting my review of, although Juno does a nice job), the main character also has to take a long elevator underground to get to the "black box" down there. The elevator is constructed so that whatever weight it carries down, it has to carry the same weight back. You can't take anything out that you didn't bring in. Be interesting to see if that parallel pops up in the finale.

And yes, yes, I know, I know. The writers have said TTP has nothing to do with the actual plot of Lost and was really just thrown in there as a red herring (or to possibly make people read a not-so-good, overblown novel, which I happened to like, thank you very much). However, I do think the writers may not have been totally honest there. Certainly the major conclusion they didn't want people drawing from the book is that everyone on the Island was dead. However, I could certainly see how certain aspects of the "black box" could find their way onto the show.

Anyhoo, this all leads us to....

3. How will Locke and Ben move the Island?

The Orchid seems to be the key to the Island at this point and looks to be the crux of the finale. Hopefully we'll discover how it works, what it's capable of and what they're going to do with it. It would also be interesting to know if the Orchid station worked in conjunction with the Swan, since both seem to exploit the natural properties of the Island. Now that the Swan's energy is gone, will that change how the Orchid functions?

And I guess the biggest question is will they move the Island in time, space or both. My money's on both.

4. What will Sawyer ask Kate to do for him when she returns?

You have to figure there will be an overdrawn, emotional goodbye when Kate and Sawyer eventually part ways. Question is, will Sawyer ask Kate to check up on his daughter? Will he tell her to get in touch with Cassidy? You have to figure he'll mention at least one of the two.

5. At what point will the flash forwards end?

The flash forwards seem to be skipping ahead at a pretty decent clip, filling in all the blanks from the flash forwards. Question is, will they end with or after Jack telling Kate that they have to go back? I figure next season's going to be spent with them largely trying to get back to the Island, so will they all get together and resolve to find it? Will Ben appear to help them? Will we finally find out who's in the coffin? Enquiring minds want to know!

Other tidbits

* Fumiko thinks Oceanic Airlines is in on the cover up. Personally I think it's hard to say, given that you could take the flight attendant's comment of "you don't have to talk to the press if you don't want to" either way. Still the size of the settlement Oceanic gave them makes one wonder whether part of the payment was simply to make sure they didn't talk. Also the pilot rubbing the rabbit's foot for luck is also suggestive.

* Great tidbit from Lostpedia: According to the fabricated story, the Oceanic 6 found rescue on Day 108. Coincidentally, this falls on January 8, 2005, or 08-01-2005 - 815.

* Sawyer calls Miles "Genghis" and Frank "Shaggy." Nice. There has been a serious lack of nicknames this season.

* Hurley had a bag of Mr. Cluck's when he arrived at his house for his party.

Summary: Incomplete, until the entire finale has aired. I have a different poll up this week - instead of rating the episode, pick who you think is going to really, truly die in two weeks. You can vote for as many people as you like. :)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Mahha GoGoGo!

Last night Fumiko and I saw Speed Racer on IMAX in the city and I don't think I can properly describe how wonderful the experience was. On one hand, it was pure eye candy, like if you took F-Zero and a Saturday morning cartoon, polished and shined them up for the screen and added a whole bunch of Matrix-y cuts and stylish edits. But on the other hand, it was a loving tribute to a show that everyone involved - from the directors to the actors to the crew - treated with reverence and absolutely had a blast playing on screen.

Many critics didn't like it probably because there are likely only two demographics the movie resonates with: Those of us who grew up with the cartoon and 6-12 year-old boys. It was a bit of a kiddie movie, aimed a crowd much younger than, say, those who enjoyed "Iron Man," and I think it suffered from being marketed to that same crowd. It probably would have done better if it was pitched as a family-friendly spectacle for the screen instead of an action-adventure film for adults (much in the way "The Frighteners" would have likely done better if it was promoted as an action-adventure thriller instead of the next "Ghostbusters"). I can't recommend this film more, especially if you've ever seen the show. It wasn't a better movie than "Iron Man," but it might have been the most fun I've had in the theater since "The Mummy." For those of you who know me, obviously that's saying something. ;)

One last thing, Matthew Fox is in the film as "Racer X" and Fumiko and I couldn't help but laugh anytime he was on screen not just because he's Jack, but because he was Jack with a big black mask covering half his face. And don't get me wrong, Fox was pitch-perfect as Racer X - also looked incredibly buff in the role - it's just that at critical times in the film you half-expected him to bust out with a Jackface-laden "We have to go back, Kate! We have to go back!". :)

Anyway, now we have Part I of the finale tonight! Happy Lost Day, everyone! :)

Monday, May 12, 2008

No Escaping That For Me!

Just to let everyone know, I was away the past four days (in Ithaca, attending a rockin' Bat Mitzvah for Em's cousin, Sydney), so I've just caught up with all my e-mail and the comments in the review. Shortly after my post went up though, my friend Matt sent me an e-mail with "Destiny is a fickle bitch" in the headline. The text?
So, what, Destiny is Kate?
It's funny 'cause it's true. :)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Lost Episode Review 4.11: "Cabin Fever"

Quote: "Because destiny, John, is a fickle bitch."

I have to admit, I was a bit disappointed with last night's episode. Did any of you feel like Locke's meeting with "Jacob" was a bit anticlimactic? I know the whole episode was merely a ramp up to the finale and I know they were probably pressed for time condensing the episode down, but it really just felt like much ado about nothing. There were a few things about the episode I liked, namely:

1) Locke's flashback in general (which, strangely enough, I enjoyed more than the on island stuff)
2) Seeing Richard again
3) Seeing Abaddon again
4) Jack and Juliet's little scene (which I thought was kind of cute)
5) Ben and Hurley sharing a candy bar

But even that last scene seemed a bit out of place, didn't it? Ben's resigned self-pity was entertaining, but so very out of character for him. And while I'm sure Alex's death has shaken him right now, we know he certainly gets his mojo back in the future. I guess I was waiting for Ben to pull a master plan out of his hat and was really, really surprised when it never came.

And the meeting in the cabin was just really strange (although Claire's presence and behavior was genuinely spooky). Anyhoo there is a lot to talk about. First off...

1) Will they use the magic box to move the Island?

I suppose the mere fact the Island can move deserves some comment. I mean, in what way is it going to move, i.e. are we talking space, time or both here? It certainly answers the question why Charles Widmore hasn't been able to find it again in the future.

But then I guess we really have to ask how Locke's going to complete his Herculean task? The only two things I can think of that we know about are 1) The Orchid and 2) The Magic Box. We know that Keamy and the copter is liked headed to the Orchid since that was DHARMA logo on the "Secondary Protocol" Keamy was reading on the ship. And it also seems likely that Jack and company are all headed there too (certainly all of the Oceanic Six on the beach will be).

But it's also possible that the Orchid and the Magic Box are one and the same too. After all, DHARMA built the Barracks right over the ruins which contained the Monster. Seems certainly possible (and even likely) they could have built a station over the Magic Box as well. At least it looks like we'll get an answer to this in the finale.

2) Was Jacob reanimating Christian's corpse?

Was it just me, or did John Terry look positively skeletal in this episode? Maybe it was just the lighting in the cabin. But Christian said that he "speaks for Jacob," which in and of itself is incredibly suggestive. Does Jacob need a mouthpiece, something like the Metatron or the Mouth of Sauron? He didn't seem to need one when Ben and Locke first visited the cabin, but perhaps he needs one for more extensive conversation.

If so, is Jacob reanimating Christian's corpse? Is this why "people on the Island don't stay dead?" It also brings up the question of Yemi. I long thought that the Smoke Monster itself was impersonating Yemi, but maybe Jacob was really reanimating his body and then using the Smoke Monster to do his bidding afterwards.

Even though I thought this scene really didn't tell us a lot, it did bring up a whole lot of questions. Which brings us to...

3) Is Claire really dead?

She was acting far too calm and out of sorts. Creepily so, in fact. And, if Jacob can really reanimate corpses, did he reanimate Claire (or at least keep her going) after her house got blown up long enough to get Aaron to safety? Regardless, it doesn't seem like she's going to be much of a factor in the finale and I wouldn't be surprised if we didn't get an answer to this this season. :(

4) What is John's destiny?

This is kind of interesting to me. I've always thought that the Season 2 John Locke was the real John Locke the Island wanted him to be. As frustrating as it was for us to watch him suffer pushing the button, it was equally frustrating for John, who always believed he had a grand destiny to fulfill (for good reason too, given Richard and Abaddon putting ideas in his head). But John's idea of a grand destiny always seemed filled with adventure rather than something mundane even if that mundane thing was for a grand purpose. And it seems to me that the latter is the destiny the Island has in mind for him.

The Island tested Locke by making him push the button. He destroyed the computer because he couldn't believe that was his destiny. His guidance counselor tried to push him into science, he wanted to explore. Richard presented Locke with three mundane items (sand, a compass and the Book of Laws) and three fantastic ones (a baseball mitt, a comic book and a knife). Locke only got two out of three. All his life, Locke's wanted a grand destiny, something fantastic. But it seems to be Locke's destiny is going to be something he's not going to enjoy, but will end up saving the world anyway. He only needs to finally accept it.

5) What is Abaddon's agenda?

I have to admit I'm a bit mystified at that scene with him and Locke. I thought he was working for Charles Widmore, right? How did he know about Locke way back when? And what is his purpose?

Other Tidbits:

* Horace mentioned to Locke that he had been dead for "12 years," which, if correct, puts the date of the Purge at December 19th (Ben's birthday), 1992. Now this somewhat bothers me since it's much later than I originally anticipated it being. Basically it places the Purge sometime after both Danielle arrived on the Island (1988) and around the same time Kelvin presumably began working in the Swan Station (post Iraq War I). The biggest problem here is Alex, since it seemed like Ben didn't have her (or at least we didn't see her) in his first flashback. Grrrr... I can't believe they killed Danielle without giving us her flashback.

* The six items Richard presented to Locke were: a baseball mitt, a book entitled "Book of Laws", a small vial of sand, a compass, a "Mystery Tales" comic book and a knife.

* The two blurbs on the cover of the comic Richard presented to Locke said "What was the Secret of the Mysterious Hidden Land?" and "Does it Pay to Ignore the Voice of Warning?" Very nice touch. It also has a picture of a floating city (or set of buildings on a cloud).

* Once again, the Island seemed to prevent Michael from being killed.

* When Richard told Locke he ran a school for "special kids," I half expected Wolverine to walk in the door behind him.

* I LOVED 'lil Locke's drawing of Smokey:

I wonder what a child psychologist would make of this? ;)

* Richard certainly didn't look much younger when he visited Locke. This might all just be a product of the casting and such, but at the very least Richard has aged really, really well. Must be that healthy Island living.

* Interesting that most of the eye shots we've gotten this season are of the left eye (although this is the first true flashback we've gotten from one of them).

I'm giving this one a 3/5. It had some entertaining scenes to be sure, but I can't help feeling a bit disappointed about it. On to the finale!

Got "Cabin Fever" yet?

Happy Lost Day! :)

I'm sooooooo excited for tonight's episode, which seems like it's going to be Locke-centric in some form. Question is, will it be a flashforward, flashback or something funky ala Desmond? I'm going with the latter and hoping for lots of Jacob-y goodness. :)

In regards to my comic posts, they'll be up the next week or so. Part of the problem I've had in writing them is that the majority of my old comic collection is still being graciously stored by my Mom (whom I've somehow convinced not to throw them all out). I happened to have the comics from my last post with me, but I don't happen to have any of the others.

Fortunately, I've managed to procure a Secret Wars trade paperback of off eBay and a copy of the one other comic I needed. I'll probably get them sometime next week and will post shortly afterwards. It's kind of win-win for me, since I've kind of wanted a Secret Wars paperback for a while now so I could read the entire series again - it really was a great series for a simple marketing gimmick (let's put all the best Marvel characters together and force them to fight all the best villains), even if it was one of the first of such gimmicks that really started the slow decline of the industry (mainly due to gimmicking ad nauseum during the 90's). But unlike other gimmicks, the story was pretty solid, the ramifications for the Marvel Universe were pretty significant and Dr. Doom was at his evil best throughout the series, actually managing to complete and execute a pretty decent plan to destroy all the heroes, only to fall prey to... well, you'll see.

Anyhoo, enjoy the show tonight! Go go Team Locke!

Monday, May 5, 2008

More About Aaron

My thinking in that previous little post was a bit clouded by some post-Iron Man cocktails, but I guess what I was trying to get at was the following:

1) Now that the "raised by another" mantra has been raised once again (and seems to be important rather than a red herring), we have to ask why it's so important that Claire raise him? In other words, who is Aaron going to grow up to be and what will his destiny be?

2) What exactly did Ben want Aaron for? "Island birthing research," to me, just doesn't sound right given that a) Aaron seems to have a much more important destiny than simply being a part of Juliet's lab agenda and b) Given the nursery they set up in the Medical Station it seems that they planned on raising Aaron rather than cutting him open to see what made him tick.

So my question with that little post was really asking what bad thing would happen in the future if Aaron was raised by Ben rather than Claire? Now Aaron being Charles doesn't really make a whole lot of sense, but what if Aaron was eventually sent back in time and became someone else we already know in the present?

Charles was my first thought since 1) he's one of the oldest people we know on the show and 2) if Ben and Charles can't kill each other for whatever reason (and really aren't one and the same either) then what if Ben knew Aaron was going to grow up to become Charles and wanted to change the future by raising him himself?

But what if Aaron grew up to become someone else? Jacob is the other obvious candidate, but imagine he turned out to be the father of another of the Losties or Others? I kind of like the idea of Aaron actually being Christian Shepherd's father, Jack's great-grandfather, giving the show a Futurama-like feel. I'll talk a bit more about this idea in Part III of my comic book/Lost installment, but I just thought I'd put these thoughts out there now so I can refer to them later. Hopefully Part II will be up this week, but given that I'm going away on Friday, work may intervene. My review will be up on Friday as usual though.

Hope everyone had a great weekend. Here in NY it was gorgeous - really the first real weekend with a summer feel to it. So nice. :)

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Sunday Thoughts

1) Iron Man is terrific. See it in the theater.

2) Aaron grows up to become Charles Widmore. Discuss.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Lost Episode Review 4.10: "Something Nice Back Home"

Quote: "You're not supposed to raise him, Jack."

I say my... my slow descent
into alcoholism, it went
to my head, where I really need it
with the views that remain untreated.
-The New Pornographers

I have to say, I'm loving Jack's slow evolution into the addicted, bearded crazy man we caught a glimpse of in last year's season finale. But I still can't believe we've had two straight weeks with no freighter! Arrgh! At least that will be corrected with next week's installment. Onward!

1. What happened to Claire?

Two things here:

1. Claire disappearing does give me some hope that she may survive the season, since there's now a path for Aaron to get off the island without her. Sawyer will bring Aaron back to the beach and give him to Kate and Jack who are leaving. Jack will initially refuse, but Juliet will then drop the "he's your nephew" bomb on him and he'll take him along using Kate as a mommy proxy. Jack certainly seemed to know Aaron was his nephew from his angry "you're not even related to him" remark to Kate.

The only problem with this is Desmond's vision of Claire and Aaron leaving the island together. Was he wrong or did he lie to Charlie to get him to swim down to the Looking Glass?

2. Going back over my previous thoughts on Aaron and Claire, this episode certainly gives credence to the "Richard Malkin wasn't a total fraud" theory, given that the "raised by another" meme appears to be important after all. This means that either 1) Malkin is an actual psychic or 2) he's a fraud who had at least one real vision in his life. I'm still leaning towards the latter given his scene with Eko, but I suppose it's also possible Malkin had a visit from a Christian Shepherd like ghost (or Ms. Hawking, perhaps) who convinced him what needed to be done.

So what did happen to Claire? Where did Smokey or Jacob lead her? Will she show up in Jacob's cabin next week? I hope we get an answer to this before the season is over.

2. What did Sawyer want Kate to do for him?

Presumably, check in on his daughter. And I imagine Kate was talking with Cassidy on the phone when Jack walked in. Sawyer probably tells her to look up Cassidy and make sure Clementine is okay. That'll probably be an amusing scene given Kate already knows her. :)

3. What's the flashforward timeline so far?

Putting together what we know about the post-island timeline so far.

1. Sun - July/August 2005. Hurley visited Sun shortly after she gave birth and, presumably, her due date was sometime in July.

2. Ben - October 24th, 2005. Ben asks the desk clerk at the hotel what the date was.

3. Kate/Hurley - June/July 2007. Aaron's pretty big by the end of the trial. Obviously they used the same young actor, but Jack and Kate must have started hooking up shortly after the trial finished. Hurley's flashforward probably took place shortly afterward (or even during Kate's trial) given that Jack had already started to drink by that point although he didn't seem to be living with Kate at the time.

4. Jack #2 - August 31st, 2007. Date of last year's three game sweep of the Red Sox by the Yankees. This date is fairly certain given the details of the game in the newspaper article.

5. Jack #1 - April 2008? If the newspaper clipping from "Through The Looking Glass" is to be believed, the date for this flashback is April 7th, 2007. However, given this episode's flashforward, that can't be correct considering Jack doesn't have his beard yet and has just started down the long road to addiction. According to Lostpedia, the writers have apparently said not to take the newspaper clipping's details as perfect canon. But April 2008 would seem about right, eight months after Jack's breakup with Kate.

6. Sayid - 2006 to 2008? Would have been at least a year after Ben's, given that Sayid had already completed a couple missions for Ben and he spent some considerable time in Berlin. Could have completely overlapped Jack's last two flashbacks.

4. Are the Island's healing properties fading away?

If so, it probably doesn't bode well for Rose (and I have to say I'm so happy she and Bernard have been given some significant face-time this season). And what of Ben's tumor? Or Locke's legs? Are we going to see Locke's wheelchair again before the end of the season?

5. Anyone else going to die this season?

Well, I guess Danielle's actually dead after all. That sucks. Now who's going to tell her story? Will she become a ghost on the island and tell it to Miles?

But I'm guessing we're probably not going to make it through the rest of the season without losing somebody. After this episode, I'd say both Jin and Claire's chances of surviving increased, given that there are not plausible scenarios for both Sun and Aaron to get off the island without their significant other... people.

However, and this saddens me greatly, I'd say Juliet's chances of getting offed just went up like tenfold given that 1) she wants to get off the island more than anything 2) if she did, we would have almost certainly seen her in a flashforward by now and 3) she's already had an episode this season and it was a flashback. Since from Day 1 she was either going to get off the island or die trying, I'm now starting to think it's going to be the latter.

Boo! Elizabeth Mitchell was robbed of an Emmy nomination last year too. She and her character deserve better (although Juliet deserves better than Jack).

Other Tidbits

* The book Jack is reading to Aaron is "Alice in Wonderland"

* The prescription Jack asks Ericka to write for him is for Clonazepam, the same drug Hurley asked Jack for to stop him for seeing things back in "Dave."

* When Jack was reading the x-rays of someone with a tumor on their L4 vertebrae, I thought for sure they were going to end up being Ben's, given that that's exactly where Ben's tumor was growing.

* Some observations from friends and fiancées more perceptive than I:

Both Em and Fumiko are quite tired of Kate (with Em using much, much stronger language). :)

Em also was wondering if Jack had a scar from his surgery? I couldn't see one in any of the screencaps, but there really weren't any close ups. I don't think Hurley's idea that they died getting off the island was correct (especially given that Ben's flashfoward seemed quite real), but if it was, having no scar would be a cool touch.

Matt was amused by the "smokey-detector" going off right before Christian's appearance to Jack.


Summary: Despite the great flashforward, this episode was a bit of a comedown simply because the whole appendectomy storyline seemed somewhat unnecessary (although, if the island's healing powers are waning, that does change things a bit). And even though I thought Kate was actually pretty good in this episode, I really wish they give her something meatier to do than fawn all over Jack and Sawyer. My hope is that, once the Oceanic Six begin to get the band back together to return to the Island (which I suspect is what Season 5 is going to be about), Kate will have to return a bit to her criminal roots. Remember that, at the very least, she can't leave the state, which may cause a few legal problems in trying to return to a remote Island. Still, I'll give it a 3.5/5 for effort. Greatly looking forward to next week.