Thursday, January 22, 2009

Lost Episode Review 5.02, "The Lie"


"You're playing one of your mind games aren't you?"




Speaking with my brother (also a huge Lost fan) over the phone last night, he was kinda disappointed with the first two episodes, especially because the way the writers have set up the Island time travel thing is really confusing and doesn't make a whole lot of sense. And I totally agree. I hope Darlton has worked out the time travel rules to make them consistent - i.e. why the survivors are jumping through time, but not the Others.

The fact that the two previous time travel stories Lost has done have been my two favorite episodes - "Flashes Before Your Eyes" and "The Constant" - makes me think they have ironed it all out, but I do hope they explain it better soon. Judging from the previews of next week's episode (the fact that Charlotte seems to be getting worse), gives me hope we'll get a bit of clarification.

Any disappointment I had with the episodes stems more from the format than anything. Without flashbacks, I felt the first two hours of this season ran together - if there wasn't the
L O S T sign at the end of the first episode, I probably wouldn't have realized it was over at all. And while "The Lie" was certainly a Hurley-centric episode (certainly having its moments of typical Hurley humor), it still felt kinda weird.

Five Questions:

1) What's going to happen in 70 hours?

Oh jeez. That last scene was so bizarre I really have no idea what to make of it. Out of it we gleaned that:

1) Ben knows Ms. Hawking
2) Ms. Hawking knows physics (and may be Daniel's mom)
3) She's got a Foucault Pendulum and is tracking "Event Windows" on a DHARMA era computer. 4) Ben has only 70 hours to get all the Losties back to the Island

When I first saw the Pendulum, I thought it was simply a nod to the book (one of my favorites), but my guess is that in 70 hours the Island is going to appear at one specific spot she's tracking and then disappear again. So Ben's going to have to get the band back together by then or, in the word of Hurley, "bloop."

But the bigger question here is what role has Ben played in Desmond's fate? I was always under the impression that Ben didn't really know about Desmond - has Ben ever even officially met Desmond face-to-face? But now it's possible Ben was manipulating Desmond behind the scenes through Ms. Hawking (of course, the reverse is possible too - Ben seemed kinda stressed when she gave him his deadline).

If Ms. Hawking is really Daniel's mom, we should find an answer to this soon, since Desmond's heading out to find her.

2) So who's Butcher Lady (Jill) and all her secret little friends? And what's in the box Ben pulled out of the vent?

So Ben seems to have a vast network of secret followers and helpers around (which seems to include Ms. Hawking). Who are these people (Gabe and Jeff were the names of the other two guys)? Are they Others he sent on missions (back in Through The Looking Glass he claimed to have sent people off on missions "to Canada" and elsewhere and we know Tom regularly went to New York.) or just an organization of people protecting the Island.

And what's in the box Ben took out of the vent in the hotel room? We'll probably be seeing that again very soon.

3) So are they going to have to break Hurley out of jail?

Seems where this is going. I always thought Kate was going to be their biggest problem since she can't leave the state by order of the court. But unless a Deus ex machina comes along with a keyring (definitely possible), seems like Lost is going to have a prison break.

This could be fun, and it certainly adds a layer of suspense to the "70 hours" deadline, but I hope it doesn't become an overreaching story arc. I don't want them to be spending the next several episodes trying to figure out how to break Hurley out of jail. On the other hand, I kinda hope Hurley has a visitor while he's in his cell - maybe another cool cameo (Charlie, Claire, Libby - remember her)?

4) Is Sun going to go all "Kill Bill" on Ben?

OK, raise your hand if you thought Sun was going to kill Kate? Now raise your hand if you openly wished for Sun to kill Kate. Yeah, that would have been kinda cool, wouldn't it?

Sun has now openly stated that Ben is the other person she blames for Jin's death (along with her father), but there was some real malevolence in her voice in her scene with Kate. When she announced last season that there were two people she holds responsible, I really thought Jack was going to be the second. Ben makes more sense from a story perspective because this plot device (unlike Hurley being arrested) could make for some wonderful tension, especially since she threw in with Widmore.

And don't forget that Ben is still gunning for Penny too, in revenge for Widmore's private army killing Alex. Of all the plots and subplots going on right now, I think I'm enjoying these revenge storylines the most. And Sun has become one of my favorite characters on the show.

5) So who was Jones (and who were his crew) and who whipped up the Flaming Arrow Rainstorm?

We now know the Island is in the future (or at least the Losties on the Island are in the future). Question is, how much in the future? Did Widmore find the Island again or is this a totally new group. When I first saw Jones' uniform, I thought he was a Ghostbuster.

I think one of the guys is still alive and will hopefully be around to give some vague, nebulous answers next week. :)

Tidbits:

* Ana-Lucia's cameo was awesome. For a minute, I thought Hurley had time traveled, but having him hallucinate was a terrific way to get her into the show. Kudos there.

* Matt sent me an e-mail shortly after the episode was over saying "they just should have called it 'Weekend at Sayid's'" On my note sheet for the episode I wrote "Sayid = Bernie" - too funny.

* Vincent! Nice to know he's still around. They better not kill him off.

* Ben's deli counter number was 342

* So the Arrow Station's purpose is "to gather intelligence and devise defensive strategies against the Island's Hostiles." Good to know.

* I thought Hurley's story to his mom was both hilarious (Jorge's delivery) and touching (Hurley's mom's response).

* Hurley's look at the end (at Ben) when he was arrested was great too. Matt passes along this as well:

Is Hugo the new Rorschach? "The Oceanic Six will look up to me and say 'Join us'....and I'll whisper, 'No.'"

Summary:

I thought this was an okay episode - not quite as good as the first half, but that's mostly just based on the format - having a character centric episode with no flashbacks just felt like we got an overdose of Hurley plot movement without a self-contained story. But my appetite is certainly well whetted for next week. 3.0 out of 5

9 comments:

Missie said...

I actually asked Ed if he thought that was the original Vincent. Not sure how long the training is to be a show dog.

The mere fact that Sun didn't up and kick Kate's ass when she got all indignant ("What kind of person do you think I am?") is a testament of her bad-assery. She and Sayid could rule the world.

And honestly, Kate. Yuo've killed for far less than your son's safety. If that sounds unreasonable to you, Claire chose poorly.

Jay said...

Good point, Miss. Kate's indignation was kinda out of place there, or is that an understatement. :)

Kerin said...

So I mentioned this on the Lost Diary blog and I wanted to see what your thoughts were.

The are two things that bothered me about the show...

Why is that Hurley's mom doesn't recognize that the "Pakistani on her couch" is Sayid? I mean she should know who he is by now, no?

Another bothersome thing - The picture of Sun's baby, she is way too young looking. AND it doesn't seem as though Sun has the best relationship with her parents (at least her dad), so why would she leave her child with them (Sun mentions the little girl is "with her grandparents" to Kate)
But I guess she can't bring her little girl to kill Ben..which is probably why she's in LA.

I'm in agreement with Missie's thoughts about Sun and Kate..Sun is a true bad ass and Kate is now a light weight.

Oh and my first instinct with the baby in the crib, probably Miles.

Also, after watching the first scene again in "Because You Left" -I got the impression that Daniel was there a during a time shift moment, thoughts?

Kerin said...

PS -"there" being in the Orchid station

Jay said...

The dead Pakistani comment I think was more of a joke than anything - she certainly should have recognized him, considering Hurley introduced them when they were all rescued. I think it was, at most, just a moment or nonrecognition because she wasn't expecting him to be there.

As for why Sun left, Ji-Yeon, I think you're right in that she's planning on killing Ben and didn't want him around. She certainly has the money now to pay, say, a nurse or nanny to also keep an eye on both her kid and her father, just in case.

And, yeah, judging from Daniel's appearance (he certainly didn't seem much younger when he was in the Orchid), it was probably time travel. The Orchid presumably was built sometime in the late seventies, early eighties. Daniel would have been twenty odd years younger if he really was a DHARMA employee. Not to mention, he also would have had to escape the Purge to end up at Oxford later on. He's got to be traveling there, IMHO. :)

Carly said...

Hi Jay!
Oh, congratulations on the wedding by the way! Great reviews and I agree with you about the time/space thing being confusing. Anything I have ever seen about the time travel always brings up so many more questions. My father is a big science fiction fan and his favorite movie is The Time Machine, so I grew up watching it. Big question about why the Others are not traveling in time as well. How and why is the Island just picking the Losties to move? That part doesn't quite fly with me yet.
We also know that Locke at some point leaves the Island under the name Jeremy Bentham and tells Jack that they have to go back (and somehow Hurley too) but Jack does not believe him until he reads of his death in the paper. Ben says that the last time he saw Locke was when he left him at the Orchid station so he hasn't been back since then? Somehow the side effects of having to move the island or something are bad and so did Ben not really know what the effects would be? He now seems all intent on bringing the O6 back when he was the one that told Sayid and Kate they could go ahead and leave in the first place after they helped him. It just seems like a funny part of the story to me. Anyway can't wait for next week!
P.S. Congrats on getting Frankie Rodriguez from my Angels. We weren't expecting him to return anyway with the salary issue so if he had to go to NY at least he didn't go to the Yankees!

someGirl said...

Great recaps, as always!! Just a few thoughts…

Question #5 in the “The Lie” review threw me for a loop. That scene with the flying-flaming arrows I think was a past moment not a future moment. Im pretty sure those were Dharma employees, PAST Dharma employees. I think what we witnessed soldiers/personnel of the Arrow Station, you know showcasing their “defensive strategies against the Island's Hostiles.” And if this is correct, it could explain Daniel’s presence in the Orchid Station during its construction AND it also explains that weird video we saw back in August…the one where we hear Pierre talk about the future with Daniels voice in the background—you remember??? Me thinks our Losties are going to be stuck in this time line for a while and Daniel’s trying to do some future-changin’.

I seriously think that Whidmore was the original Others CEO and was somehow duped to turn the donkey wheel (perhaps when Dharma began to inhabit the island) And the “hostiles” in the Dharma 1970-80s timeline are the time-skipping others suffering the consequences. It’s actually quite brilliant if you think about…It looks like our Losties are now the Hostiles in the Dharma 1970s timeline!!!

I think Ben is the source of the “lawyers” with the unnamed client that showed up at Kate’s door. What better way to get her to run again?

PS: And yes, I have both hands and legs in the air in agreement that Sun should kill Kate.

See you next week!!

Ana

someGirl said...

After re-watching the Pierre Chang video from August, I really think Daniel and the Losties are stuck in the Dharma time line and Daniel pays Pierre a visit so that he can send HIMSELF a message in the future. That would explain his (seemingly secretive) knowledge of the island and Dharma…And his present-day looking self at the Orchid station when it’s being built. I think his shpeal about not being able to change the past is a crock because it seems that he’s trying to change some past event[s]. Re-watch the video with this in mind and let me know what you think.

Missie said...

I agree with somegirl- I took the flaming arrows to be an attack from the past. Jones' overalls look excatly like Ben's dad's overalls from the hippy Dharma days.

I also figured the lawyers were Ben's idea.

And lastly, what's with all of the "J" names? John, Jack, Jin, Juliet, Jeremy, James. Am I forgetting any? oh yeah, Jesus stick.