Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Lost Episode Review 5.07, "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham"

"I remember dying..."

Holy crap!

This season keeps getting better and better. Of course, Locke's story was the star of the show, but tonight's episode was the first this season that felt like a self-contained story of old. You have to feel a bit sorry for Locke - when he was standing on that desk with the noose around his neck, I don't think he was doing it because Richard and Jacob told him to do so. I think he was standing there because he really did want to commit suicide, not just because he had failed to convince them to come back, but that Jack and Kate's words had cut him deeply.

Throughout the second season, a lot of people complained how pathetic Locke's character had become. They wanted the "Locke of Season One" back - the hunter, the tracker, the wise man with all the answers who believed they were on the Island to fulfill their destiny, not the miserable man sitting in his cave (cubicle) pushing a button. But the thing is that Locke's destiny was to push that button and that the real Locke really is a sad, lonely man who, yes, is a bit pathetic and suffers from dreams of grandeur.

When Richard came to visit Locke as a child, Locke reached for the knife and Richard took everything away disgusted. Locke wants to have an exciting, important destiny and has trouble accepting that it seems he has the latter without the former. This episode, after he rose up on the Island again, I think has finally accepted this.

Terrific performances from Terry O'Quinn, Matthew Fox, Michael Emerson and Lance Reddick. Great scenes between Locke and Widmore, Locke and Abaddon, Locke and Hurley, Locke and Jack and, of course, Locke and Ben. Could we see an Emmy for best writing out of this episode? Could we finally see an Emmy for Michael Emerson? Or a second helping for Terry O'Quinn. And the look Jack gave Locke when Locke mentioned Christian was probably the best Jackface of the entire show. I really thought we were going to get a Luke Skywalker "That's not true!" for a sceond there. :)

Lots to go through. First off, what did we learn?

1. Charles Widmore met Locke when he was 17 years old. He claims he was leader of the Others until he was overthrown by Ben.

2. He watches the spot in Tunisia because it's the "exit." He claims a war is coming to the Island and Locke needs to be on the winning side. Since this is the case, I do wonder if the Donkey Wheel opens up a wormhole.

3. Abaddon works for Widmore and "helps people get to where they need to get to." I'll get back to this below.

4. Locke visited Hurley, Kate, Sayid and Walt, but determined Walt was already through enough, so he didn't ask him to return, which is kinda odd considering I'd think Walt would be the one who likes (and respects) Locke enough to actually take him up on the offer on the spot.

5. Helen, his former girlfriend, is dead.

6. Abaddon gets killed by Ben (presumably).

7. Locke ends up in the same hospital as Jack and tells him Christian sent him.

8. Ben killed Locke after Locke told him Eloise Hawking was going to help him get back to the Island. He then took Jin's wedding ring and set Locke up to make it look like a hanging. Interesting that Ben didn't find Locke's suicide note. Wonder how Ms. Hawking got a hold of it without Ben's knowledge?

9. Locke is now alive and back on the Island with the rest of the survivors who did indeed appear to have landed on the Hydra Island runway.

10. Frank and either Sayid or Sun took off in one of the skiffs (I forgot to write down whether Locke was told Frank took off with a man or a woman). Either way there's only one more of the O6 unaccounted for - whichever of Sayid or Sun didn't take off with Frank. Remember Jack, Kate and Hurley landed at the waterfall.

This pretty much tells all of Locke's story, however we still don't know all the circumstances behind how the O6 made the final decisions to come back, i.e. How Sayid got arrested, how Hurley got Charlie's guitar and where Kate stowed Aaron. Future flashback episodes to be sure.

Man, I haven't even asked a question yet! :)

Five Questions:

1) So is Ben just evil or is he Sauron, cover-the-world-in-darkness evil?

While I'm always hesitant to claim something is definitive on this show, I think this episode established once and for all that Ben is the real bad guy and Widmore is more like the Man in the Iron Mask. All Ben seemed to need Locke for is to find a way back onto the Island. Once he got Hawking's name out of him (and Jin's wedding ring as a bonus) he killed him. For real this time.

But we still don't know Ben's true motiviations. Does he just want the Island's power for himself along with leadership of the Others? Does he, as Doc Jensen speculated, want to use the Island to change his past? Or could it be something even more sinister? Does Ben perhaps want to use the Island to destroy the world entirely - in a kind of "if I can't have it, no one can" attitude?

Now one can argue that Ben does (or did) seem to love the Island and the power he seems to have (or had) on it, so why would he want to destroy it. But I wonder if seeing Locke, the man he killed, standing over him will be enough to finally make him snap and consider destroying the Island all together. After all, the Island has now resurrected Locke, a fairly clear indication that it wants him to stick around. I wonder how Ben will take that kind of rejection? Probably about as well as he took Juliet's, I'm guessing. Can not wait to see what that scene between Ben and Locke.

A while ago I wrote:
It's interesting to note that John seems to almost have a child-like innocence about him: His need for a father-figure, his simple enjoyment of games, his gullible trusting nature that always seems to get him into trouble. It seems that young Ben had these properties, but perhaps his time leading the Others (and his subsequent desire to hang on to his power) has corrupted him.
I still think this is plausible as well, although that corruption seems to have now descended into desperation and madness.

2) So did the Island resurrect Christian too?

Last week I speculated whether Jacob and Christian were one and the same, but now I really wonder whether the Island simply brought Christian back to life and now Jacob is simply using him as his mouthpiece. We know Christian was up and walking from the get go as soon as the plane crashed, much like Locke this time around. I made a flippant comment the other day about Smokey being Metatron, but maybe Jacob's voice is really Jack's alcoholic dad instead.

3) So if Ben's evil and Widmore is good, then whose side is Ms. Hawking on?

On one hand, if Ben is really Dr. Doom, you would think Ms. Hawking wouldn't help him, but she did. Ben probably came to her and asked her how he could get back to the Island. She told him the only was to get back was to bring all the O6 back, like Locke was trying to do. Which does kinda make sense in that Ben's only motivation in getting them all back was so that HE could get back. And did he know he'd need them all? Is that why he had Sayid try and protect them? Was the only thing he didn't know was who could help him return? Seems a little funky, but lets roll with that theory.

If that's all true, perhaps Hawking is merely a neutral force, playing her role, but not judging, a Watcher if you will, who sometimes is called upon to act. Of course, what does that make Daniel? Hmmmm....

4) So can the Island only resurrect dead bodies that crash on the Island?

Or special dead bodies, I suppose, otherwise Eko's brother would probably be alive as well. Oh wait...

But seriously, do people that die on the Island stay dead? And what about famous people who may have crashed on the Island too? :)

5) Now what?

Locke's back. The Oceanic Six are back (sans Aaron, plus Jackface Jr.). What happens next?

Will the time skipping continue? What will the O6 have to do? How will the Island be put to rights? Will Locke finally assume leadership of the Others? Does he have freaky Jedi powers? Will they have to find a cure for why mothers on the Island keep dying or will we get to see Kate the Ticking Time Bomb meet with a bloody miserable death?

I tell ya', this season keeps getting better and better. :)

Bonus question #1:

So what was Ben doing with Walt oh-so-long-ago when he was "testing" him? He doesn't seem to have an Island destiny. Why was he on the plane in the first place?

Bonus question #2:

So was Matthew Abaddon responsible for putting everyone important on Flight 815. We know for certain he got Locke on the plane and since getting people "where they need to get to" was his primary role for Widmore, did he get everyone together - like Claire with Richard Malkin and Sun and Jin with Mr. Paik's watches - behind the scenes?


* Definite Top 10 episode. Might need to watch this one again next week.

* The two new people are named Ceasar and Alanna.

* Ceasar looked like he found a copy of Rousseau's maps in the Hydra:

* "This may be the best mango I've ever tasted." Awesome.

* The license plate number of the truck that picked Locke up in Tunisia was 342 6346

* Locke's, or rather Jeremy Bentham's, passport:

* Widmore told Locke to press "two three" if he needed anything.

* Sayid's shirt read "Build the World"

* Helen was born on 4/30/57 and died on 4/8/06

* Locke was staying in the Westerfield Hotel

* Hurley's been getting a lot of good lines this season. His "am I talking to a dude in a wheelchair"was priceless.


Best episode this season (and that's saying a lot) and one of the best of the entire show, not because it answered a lot of questions (which it did), but because it gave us back the John Locke of old. Of course, he was always there, only this time it's not just a face or persona Locke uses to cover up for the rest of his life that he's ashamed of. This time, it's who he really is because that other person, that John Locke of old, is dead. 5/5, easily.


There are two types of LOST episodes that have been near universally great - episodes featuring Desmond and episodes featuring Locke. Tonight's show, "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham," is one of the latter so my expectations are huge. Some questions that need answering:

What happened to Locke after he spun the Donkey Wheel?
Where did he end up? In the Tunisian Desert like Ben?
Did he visit Kate, Hurley and Sayid?
Did his broken leg get healed?
Why did he hang himself? Did Jacob tell him when and why?
Will he go all Obi-Wan Kenobi after he dies?

And, in case the title confuses you, remember Jeremy Bentham was the name on the obituary caused scruffy, bearded then-future Jack to try his hand at bridge diving. Enjoy the show! Review up tomorrow morning! :)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Doc Jensen, En Fuego

Doc Jensen over at Entertainment Weekly sometimes loses me when he seems to go out of his way to come up with the most ridiculous theory possible. Gets platitudes and bonus points for creativity, but I find myself often rolling my eyes and clicking another link.

But this week's episode review was a paragon of restraint by his standards, very insightful and well worth a full read from start to finish. A couple choice tidbits:
And how about this for a crazy theory: Remember back in Season 3, when the Others made Kate and Sawyer do hard labor on Hydra Station Island? According to Lost lore, the thing that they were helping to build…was an airplane runway. So…what if instead of getting magically downloaded out of the sky by The Island like Jack, Kate and Hurley, Ben's Ajira contingent merely landed safely on that runway? What if the very reason that Ben wanted to build that runway was because somehow (Jacob? Time loop? Precognitive powers?), he knew that one day he would need it?!
Very cool thought. In fact, I wish I had thought of it myself.

I must admit my new bias about Ms. Hawking. My romantic affection for her has bit the dust, in large part due to Fionnula Flanagan's arch portrayal. It was hard to take her seriously — which was a problem for the episode, given that she may have been supplying us with some monumentally legitimate intel: How The Island, like The Lamp-Post, sits on a pocket of ''unique electromagnetic energy,'' and that all these pockets are connected. The mystery engineer behind The Lamp-Post was particularly interested in finding The Island. Problem: For some reason, The Island keeps moving. ''Why do you think you were never rescued,'' Ms. Hawking said. The only way of hopping aboard, she explained, is to anticipate where and when it will manifest in space-time and then travel through one of its windows.

Look, I'm all for the weird stuff. But as I listened to Ms. Hawking's hammy elocution, even I found myself rolling my eyes.
I felt this way 100% during the episode as well. Ms. Hawking is awesome in small doses, but don't you think she's starting to suffer from overexposure just a tad?
But for me, the most provocative moment of the episode came aboard the plane, when Jack and Ben had the following exchange:

JACK: ''How can you read?''
BEN: ''My mother taught me.''

Ben was lying, of course. We know from ''The Man Behind the Curtain'' that Ben's mother died during childbirth. He saw a vision of her on The Island, during his hard Dharma adolescence, when the only parenting he got was neglect and abuse from his sad, heartbroken father. When Ben saw his mother, all he wanted to do was run away with her…whatever she was. But she said ''No. Not yet.'' So...when?


What does Ben want?


He's trying to change time in such a way that will dramatically alter the nightmare of his personal history — and allow his mother to live.

Who knows? Maybe in the rebooted world Ben wants, his mother will teach him how to read.

I think this is pretty interesting too. Maybe Ben's real motivation is trying to change people's fates. Must suck if you have an Island that can make people time travel and has a Magic Box that allows you to do juuuuuust about anything... except the thing you want the most - bringing your mother back to life (or, perhaps, changing your miserable childhood).

Read it all and enjoy your weekend everyone! :)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Lost Episode Review 5.06, "316"

"I wish you had believed"

Probably the best Jack-centric episode in a long while, eh? LOST totally surprised me tonight - I really thought the O6 weren't going to get back onto the Island until the season finale. The fact they're already there and we still have ten episodes left means lots more Island goodness than I expected (although next episode looks to be an almost total flashback).

I expected the show to pick up right where it left off, letting us see what happened to Locke when he spun the wheel. When the show opened with Jack sitting up in the jungle, I initially thought Locke (or just Locke's mind) had been thrown into Jack's body in the past. I've never been so relieved to have been wrong. So what did we learn this episode (and what can we speculate)?

1. Desmond was not required to go back with the others. Walt too, it seems. Frank seems to have been on the plane by either coincidence or someone's (Locke's or Ben's) machinations. Aaron was required, I believe, because Kate is now pregnant with Jack's moody, melodramatic seed. I'm willing to bet Kate is acting as a proxy for Aaron.

2. Charlie is probably responsible for getting Hurley on board - no doubt it's his guitar. Sayid found a proxy for the Marshall, probably turning himself in to get her on board (and interestingly enough, it appears she survived).

3. The L.A. DHARMA station is called "The Lamp Post" - pretty nifty symbol too - and it's how they found the Island. Here's a lightened image of the door:

4. It certainly seems probable now that the people who were shooting at Sawyer and company in the canoes were probably Jack and crew.

5. Ben seems to have settled his score with Charles and Penny. I really, really hope she's not dead, but the fact that Ben's still alive probably isn't a good thing for her.

6. It seems the plane landed in the Island's past, judging from Jin's sparkly new DHARMA van and jumpsuit. Did all the Losties go behind the scenes for DHARMA at some point? Cool.

Lots of questions this week, although the first one (that I'm not counting) really is what happens to the format of the show from now on? Are we going back to flashbacks given that there's so much that happened in the 46 hours between their meeting with Ms. Hawking and the flight? We still need to see:

1) What happened to Locke? It looks like next episode is devoted to this.
2) How did Hurley get Charlie's guitar and get out of jail?
3) How did Sayid pick up the Ana-Lucia/Marshall hybrid?
4) Where did Kate stick Aaron? I'm guessing with Cassidy.
5) What the heck happened to Desmond and Penny?

That's pretty much five episodes there: Locke, Hurley, Sayid, Kate and Ben (or Desmond). Will the other five be time-skipping goodness? And what happens now in the season finale? I had originally thought the finale would end with the O6 getting back on the Island. But if they're already here, I wonder what showstopper they're saving for us? Something with Smokey? Amelia? The Magic Box?

Food for thought, eh?

Five Questions:

1) Why did they all have to be on the plane together to get back on the Island?

I have probably more of Jack in myself than I'm comfortable in admitting. I did like the concept around the Lamp Post, that DHARMA had a way of tracking the Island and that it did constantly move. This also makes the Donkey Wheel kinda like a manual override for what the Island naturally does. That's kinda cool to me. But I really don't want to have to accept that they all had to be on the plane because it's their destiny, and that a magical confluence of events occured to make them crash, although that seems to be (sorta) what it is. So let me get this straight - originally we were led to believe that Desmond was responsible for Flight 815 crashing when he failed to enter the Numbers in the Swan. Perhaps at this same time, the Island was open in a particular window and it not only led to the crash, but perhaps it contributed to them all surviving it.

But them all being on the plane together kinda throws all that out the window, doesn't it? While it doesn't rule out Desmond contributing to their crash, would Flight 815 have not broken apart if they weren't all on board? Or would no one have survived if they weren't all together on that flight? The two aren't necessarily mutually exclusive, mind you, but it certainly seems to diminish Desmond's role in all this (not to mention, like Jack, I still don't quite buy it all).

Also lots of planes, ships and balloons have crashed on the Island before without Jack and Company. Are we supposed to believe you can't reach the Island unless it's your destiny to be there? Because if that's true, why do you need equations and a pendulum - can't you just tap your shoes three times and relax because eventually, no matter what you do and what choices you make, you'll end up there?

This bothered me a bit, I suppose, perhaps more than it should given the way the story has gone the last few seasons and I'm hoping this will be addressed in the ultimate answer to the show. Hurley's "we're all pawns" remark seems to be quite apt here.

2) When in time did they land on the Island and are they in synch with the other Islanders?

Judging from Jin, it seems like they appeared in the DHARMA heyday - 70's or early eighties - but that could be deceiving. Jin could have time traveled in a DHARMA jumpsuit, driving the van. In other words, he could have "carried" both with him from a previous time and the O6 could have arrived in the Island's present. This would mean the Losties are in synch with the rest of the time travelers on the Island.

However, from the episode with the canoes, Sawyer and company disappeared from whomever was chasing them. So if it really was Jack and company (and judging from the Ajira Airways bottle it was) chasing them, that suggests that the O6 is not in synch with the Island Losties. Guess we'll know for sure if Jin disappears before their very eyes.

Of course, it would also be cool if they really were all in DHARMA's heyday (if Jin hadn't time traveled with the stuff). I guess we'll find out the answer to this one soon as well.

3) What's Desmond's future role in all this?

Hopefully it's not to avenge his wife. :P

Desmond is certainly going to end up back on the Island at some point, but he wasn't required to get the O6 back there. Which brings up an interesting point, mainly that Desmond is so special he can reach the Island on his own. And remember, the first time he crashed there it was 1) in a boat and 2) without Penny. Wonder what he's going to do with his son?

4) What's going to happen to Ben now that he's (presumably) back on the Island?

At the end of "This Place Is Death," Jacob sounded kinda pissed at Ben. I'm really looking forward to Ben getting smitten (smited? smote?) by an angry, ghostly Island God. Not killed, mind you, just taken down a notch or two. Remember, Michael Emerson still needs an Emmy.

And I say presumably because we haven't seen Sun, Ben, Sayid or Frank yet, but I have to believe they all made it. Frank better still be alive, dammit. Needs to grow his goatee back too. Also remember that Frank was originally supposed to be the pilot of Flight 815. He's kinda a proxy for himself this time.

5) So what do they do now?

Okay, they're back. As Captain Finnegan said at the end of "Deep Rising," as he and Famke Janssen wash up on the shore of a desert island that has monster-like roaring coming from a dense jungle, "Now what?"

*As an aside, "Deep Rising" is probably the guiltiest of my guilty favorite bad movies. Great cast, cheesy as all hell, love every second of it. And the ending is eerily similar to our favorite show. Now back to your regularly scheduled LOST review...*

We've spent nearly a season and a half building up to this - so what to the Losties have to do to put the Island to rights again? And what was their original purpose for crashing on the Island. We'll probably get these answers in about another season and a half. *sigh*


* The episode opened with Jack's left eye (the evil eye). First eye opening in a while.

* The waterfall was the same one Kate and Sawyer recovered the case from in "Whatever The Case May Be" aka "The One With The Toy Airplane."

* That photo of the Island Jack was looking at in the Lamp Post:

* In case you care, Kate likes her coffee light and sweet. Like her men - NOT.

* If there was a five-color warning system for levels of Kate annoyance, Em just might have been tipped into STAGE FIVE: RED by this episode.

* On Ben's phone, when he called Jack from the marina, there was a sticker that said "Long Beach"

* Nice of Hurley to buy up the extra seats. Of course, if I was the stewardess who noticed it, I'd have developed a quick case of food poisoning before the plane took off and recused myself. Of course, the Island would probably go all "Final Destination" on my ass anyway. :P

* Jack was in seat 8C

* Jack's graddad's name is Ray

* Ben was reading "Ulysses" on the plane. Of course he was.

* "Dude, you might want to fasten your seatbelt" might have been the best line of the season. Best delivered line at very least.

* BTW, props where they are due: The two places I get my screencaps from are the Lost Media Photo Gallery and DarkUFO's Screencaps and Easter Egg site. Both are terrific and worth browsing on their own.


A very good episode, not as good as the last one, but better than average. I will say the plot of this season has simply raced along. I think it's a good thing in general even though I think the characters (with the possible exception of Daniel) have suffered a bit. I'm a little sad there aren't any self-contained episodes anymore, just a lot of fast-paced plot stuff. I'm giving it a 3.8/5.0 - I gave it an "Excellent" in my poll although I don't think it quite reaches that status. Looking forward to next week's Lockapalooza though. :)

His Only Begotten Son

Tonight's brand-spanking new episode is called 316. Now I don't read the previews for episodes beforehand (I really find I enjoy the show more knowing nothing going in) and I'm really not religious at all either, but I've had enough Sunday school in my lifetime that I can guess what the episode title refers to:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. – John 3:16 (KJV)
So for those not keeping score:

Jacob = God
Locke = Jesus
Island = Heaven

And from there we extrapolate further:

Jack = The Prodigal Son
Michael = Judas
Sawyer = Samson
Kate = Delilah
Ben = The Serpent
Smokey = Metatron
Eko = John the Baptist

Which leads us to some other obvious parallels:

Arzt = Sodom
Frogurt = Gomorrah
Patchy = Lazarus
Walt = The Ark of the Covenant
Libby = Lot's wife
Vincent = Moses

Of course, we still have no idea who Adam & Eve are, but I'm sure we'll get them eventually. ;)

Enjoy the show tonight!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Take Me Away, I Don't Mind...

Looking over Memphish's neat attempt at timelining the Island, here are the top 10 Island Events/People I'd like to see our Island Losties encounter first hand, provided Locke hasn't already taken the skipping record off the turntable. :P

No particular order here, just as they come to mind...

1. Danielle, Part II

We've now gotten half of Danielle's story and I suppose it's possible we'll get more this week (please, please, please). But we still need to see 1) The Others stealing Alex and 2) Danielle recording her message in the Radio Tower. It would also be cool to see what happened to Danielle's crew down in the Cerberus Vent.

2. Daniel & Charlotte

We know we're going to get this eventually, but now I really, really want to see Daniel & Charlotte meet in the past. Incidentally, I forgot to mention this last week, but anyone see shades of "The Time Traveler's Wife" here? So awesomely cool.

3. The Incident

The true history of the Swan Station has never really been explained, including what caused DHARMA to initiate the 108 minute protocol. I'd love to see Daniel witness it first hand or, better yet, cause it first hand.

4. The Black Rock

I'm guessing that the way the Black Rock got onto the Island is by appearing out of time directly beneath it. While we might not see that directly, wouldn't it be great to have the Losties casually walking through the jungle (as casually as one can on the Island) and suddenly be surrounded by the shocked crew of the Black Rock, who've found themselves mysteriously beached. Plus, we'd get to meet Magnus Hanso.

5. Henry Gale

I so want to meet the real Henry Gale and see him crash-land his balloon. And wouldn't it be neat if one of our own time-traveling Losties was actually responsible (intentionally or not) for his death, especially since Ben was basically tortured by Sayid for supposedly killing him (and lying about it).

6. DHARMA Origins

We're going to get a bit of this with Daniel for certain, but we really need to learn what the relationship was like with DHARMA and the Others leading up to the Purge. Were they originally peaceful with each other? Was it always a hostile relationship? When did they first encounter the Monster (that caused them to build the Sonar Fence)? We'll definitely get to see more of the Orchid, but I hope we'll get some of the other stations too.

7. Kelvin & Radzinsky

This kinda follows along with The Incident, but getting some more pre-Desmond time in the Swan and finally meeting Radzinsky (not to mention actually seeing for ourselves whether or not Kelvin was telling the truth as to whether he committed suicide) would be very cool. I'd also like to see Radzinsky constructing the Blast Door Map and who the "Him" is Kelvin and Desmond refer to (followed by the Snowman Joke).

8. The Four Toed Statue

I know the statue's probably the lamest thing the writers have ever come up with, but sending the Losties FAR into the past on the Island, so that perhaps they see what the entire statue used to look like, would be very cool. And the writers have hinted we are going to get this answer this season.

9. Mikhail

This isn't really an event, but one of the coolest things about the time skipping is being able to see dead characters alive again. I want more Patchy, please. :)

Of course, this goes double for Libby, if she's actually on the Island in the past. :P

10. Amelia

I've speculated before that Amelia is actually Amelia Earhart. And since we haven't seen her since her brief appearance in "A Tale Of Two Cities" it makes me think she's being saved for a season finale or opener (or, at least, sweeps week). :P

But if Earhart really did crash her plane on the Island, I hope our Losties are there to see it happen. ABC, if you're out there listening, please don't spoil the "surprise" by running obnoxious spoiler-filled ads leading up to the episode. kthxsbye

Anything else? What did I miss? Here's hoping the time skipping continues all season long. :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Lost Episode Review 5.05, "This Place Is Death"

"I suppose that's why they call it sacrifice, John."

Best episode of the season so far, bar none, and the first contender this season to possibly make my Top 10 of all time list. This episode was so... meaty, not only lots of new questions, but quite a few answers and it seems like there was something in it for everyone to enjoy. Kinda reminded me of "Lockdown" in that regard.

Lots of Smokey, as I predicted, but not from Locke's journey underground. So what did we learn?

1. What happened to Danielle's team. Her story's still incomplete, but the main thing we got was that going down the Cerberus Vent did something to her team. We still need to see what happened to them down there and why Ben took Alex away. Incidentally, considering the black smoke was in the air the day she shot her boyfriend, I wonder if that's the day she gave birth as well. Convenient of the Island too to send Jin a couple weeks into the future to see it right after he left.

2. We FINALLY saw the Temple. Lots of new hieroglyphs just like we saw on Smokey's door in Ben's basement.

3. We got the two minute synopsis of Charlotte's story. Seems her backstory was one of the things cut out of last season. But the cool thing is it looks like we'll be able to see it first hand through Daniel's eyes, much like we saw Danielle's through Jin's. Now when's Libby going to pop up, eh?

And remember the phrase "I'm not allowed to have chocolate before bedtime." Methinks Daniel's going to bribe the young Charlotte with a Baby Ruth or something.

4. Just as I predicted last week, Ben had Sun's wedding ring, although he got it second hand from Locke, not from Jin himself. Seems Sun's on board now too - convenient way for Locke to get around his promise to Jin.

5. We found out not only how Locke got off the Island, but that he really WAS supposed to be the one to turn the wheel in the season finale. That was something that always bothered me. Of course, that also leads to more questions....

Five Questions:

Unlike last week, I have so very much to talk about with this episode. So many interesting questions too. Where to begin? Let's start with:

1) Is Jacob really Christian Shepherd?

Okay, up until now I always assumed that Jacob was either:

1) Assuming Christian Shepherd's form
2) Animating Christian's body to get us ready for the Zombie Season

But his "Say hello to my son" to Locke calls all that into question. And if Christian Shepherd really is Jacob, did Flight 815 crash on the Island just to bring Jacob home? And if Christian Shepherd really is Jacob, that means that Aaron is Jacob's grandson. Now that's a pretty strong motivation for the Others wanting Aaron so badly.

It also makes a lot of other things fit too - why Jack is so important, why Claire was in Jacob's shack and gives us a reason why everyone on Flight 815 was important - Jacob wanted them on that flight. Also possibly gives us a reason why (and how) certain people survived. When the body of the God of the Island and his son, daughter and unborn grandson are all on board, it probably ups your chances of survival.

Which brings us too...

2) What is Ben's true goal in all this?

I kept going back and forth on this, but Jacob made it pretty clear: Ben is Dr. Doom. And Dr. Doom only cares what's best for Doom. We saw it when Ben shot Locke and left him for dead. But after he really did seem to be trying to set everything right last season and this, I questioned whether he was evil or just genuinely trying to do what was best for the Island.

But the fact that Jacob not only called Ben out in front of Locke, but also told us that Locke was really supposed to turn the wheel last season, I have to wonder. And since Ms. Hawking is working with him, does she really have the best intentions for them all too?

Does Ben just want to be important? Does he see Jacob as the great father figure he never had and feels betrayed by his insta-love for Locke? And perhaps more importantly, does Ben kill Locke in the end?

If Ben does eventually die on the show, I think Hurley should run him over with his father's van.

3) What would have happened if Locke had turned the wheel instead of Ben?

We might get a bit of an answer to this next episode when we see whether Locke turning the wheel stops the Island Losties from flashing through time, although we know Daniel at least has to keep time traveling because 1) he eventually will go back and see Charlotte as a young girl and 2) we know he visits the Orchid. Of course, if the Island does stop flashing they could all end up being trapped in the DHARMA era. That would be so cool (and possibly provide a lot of answers), but I digress...

But if Locke had turned the wheel instead of Ben, would simply the Island and everyone have blinked out with no skipping? Did Ben's evil energy (or something) set all this off? I'd love to see the next Ben/Jacob meeting. Methinks he's going to be grounded - no Magic Box for a month or something. :)

4) What happened to Danielle's crew down the Cerberus Vent?

This is the question I want answered most of all. The DHARMA sickness was a hoax, but whatever Smokey did to them down there - maybe they inhaled some bad Monster - made Danielle kill them. Did he simply possess them or was it something more?

Smokey can communicate as we saw with both Eko and Locke, but we really don't know his agenda, aside from the fact his original purpose was to defend the Island. Maybe he convinced them that Danielle (and Alex) had to die in order to save the Island (and themselves). In other words, they weren't being controlled, but were taking aim at Danielle of their own free will. The former is the simplest answer, but the latter makes a better story.

But we do know now that Danielle wasn't crazy when she shot them - it was truly self defense (and it pained her to do so). That was a simply terrific scene too.

I also wonder if Locke would have really been "okay" back in "Exodus," as he told Jack he would be when Smokey grabbed him. We still really don't know what transpired when Locke first saw the Monster back in one of the first couple episodes.

5) Did Ben not know that Ms. Hawking was Daniel Faraday's Mom? Does Ben even know who Daniel is?

Ben's reaction to Desmond statement that Hawking was Daniel's mom seemed to take Ben totally by surprise. Ben met Charlotte on the Island, but I don't think he ever met Daniel, at least in the present day. But given how much Daniel's going to be time traveling, it seems Ben MUST have met Daniel in the past, at very least as a boy.

Was the Other (Ellie) that Daniel recognized in "Jughead" really his mom, Eloise Hawking? If so, was Daniel born on the Island too? Will Daniel meet himself as a young lad in the past? And did Ben just put 2 + 2 together with a whole lot of things with Desmond's statement?


* Glyphs on The Temple. So how do they compare to those on Ben's door? Dark UFO has the biggie version.

* Em on Ji Yeon: "Now that's a cute kid!" And I wholeheartedly agree.

* When Ben told Sun to either come with him or "get on with it and shoot me," Em said "I so wish she'd have just shot him. That would have been so cool." No, Rule #1 of Lost is you don't kill Ben. :)

* Sawyer called Charlotte "Red." Has he done that before? Seems like low-hanging fruit.

* I wonder if the Others (or DHARMA) knew where to dig the well because they found this mysterious rope coming out of the ground there.

* Charlotte knowing Klingon was hilarious.

* Ben's outburst at Jack in the car was awesome. Evan, by text: "Jack is such an asshole."

* Day Danielle's team first explored the Island? November 15th, 1988.

* The arm coming off Danielle's guy may have been the grossest thing they've done on LOST, yet all I could think of was Monty Python. Then, when he said "I'm very badly hurt" from down in the hole (ala Austin Powers), I just about lost it.

* In contrast, Locke's leg actually made me squirm.

* Smokey wrapping a vaporous tentacle around Danielle's teammate was really cool.

* LOVED seeing Danielle's music box again. It's the one Sayid fixed back in "Solitary."

* So many good quotes this episode - great performances all round too, especially Charlotte, Locke and Ben. But I also really loved Sawyer & Jin's hug too - made me verklempt a bit.

* From Matt by e-mail, on Ed not being able to believe anyone would trust Ben at this point:
See this is why I'm so exasperated, Ed. You're hardly alone. It's like I'm running around saying "Soylent Ben is made of LIES" and everyone else watching is like, "yum, I'll have seconds!"


Back when "Jurassic Park" came out, there was one three-starred review that stuck in my mind. The reviewer (I think from the Albany Times-Union) basically panned the first hour, calling it boring. But then he said something along the lines of "But, oh man that T-Rex. Talk about charisma! He flashes his pearly whites and the movie comes alive for a rollicking hour!"

I feel the exact same way about Smokey. Any Smoke Monster episode is going to be better than average simply by default. But this episode also had a Danielle flashback, a Jacob appearance, Charlotte's backstory and some terrific all around performances. Loses a little from the compression of Charlotte's story and not being as self-contained as some episodes (like "The Constant" or "23rd Psalm"), but that's a nitpick. Best episode of the season and possibly one of the best of the entire show. Man, I can't wait for next week! 4.6/5

Whither Smokey?

Tonight's episode is called "This Place Is Death," and last week's preview showed Locke climbing down into a hole, one that didn't look much like the Orchid, although they could have been at a point in time where it wasn't built yet.

My question is whether Locke is finally going to explore the cavern of tunnels that likely runs underneath the Island, possibly as an alternative way to get to the Orchid? We know from the Blast Door Map that there appears to be an underground tunnel system, possibly used by Smokey to travel around the Island unseen. Also from the Map (and confirmed by the Lost Puzzle Clues), we know that Smokey pops up around the Island through Cerberus Vents (labeled CVI, CVII, etc... on the map). This is why Smokey seemed to disappear underground after encountering Eko and Charlie back in "The 23rd Psalm" and likely where it tried to drag Locke when it snagged his leg in "Exodus." But this is one thing that has never really been investigated on the show.

So given the title of tonight's episode and that we know from the preview Locke's heading underground, I'm hoping for some Hot Smoke Monster Action tonight. After all, what could be more like death than traveling though Smokey's Supertrain transit system? :)

Enjoy the show! Review should be up tomorrow morning, evening at the latest!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

That Feeling, You Can Only Say What It Is in French

In case you were curious about what Danielle and her crew were saying in French, Lostpedia has a full transcript and translation:


MONTAND: Robert... Regarde, le signal vient de l’ile. (look, the signal comes from the island)

ROBERT: Tu peux déterminer la source ? (can you find the source ?)


MONTAND: Bien sûr que oui. Regarde. (yes of course, look !)

ROBERT: Tu crois qu'l'île est habitée ? (do you think the island's inhabited ?)

(both speaking french)

ROUSSEAU: Ça va ? Comment tu te sens ? (how are you ? how are you feeling ?)

JIN: No understand.

ROUSSEAU: (French accent) You speak English?

JIN: (Panting) Little.

ROUSSEAU: Are you okay?

JIN: Yes.

ROUSSEAU: How did you get here?

JIN: Boat.

Robert surement : Qui est-ce? (who is he ?)

Montand : On s’en fout qui c'est. Qu’est ce qu’il fait ici ? (I don’t care who he is. What is he doing here ?)

ROUSSEAU: Il dit qu’il est venu en bateau. (he said he came by boat)

ROBERT: (French accent) What boat?

JIN: It's gone. Sink.

ROUSSEAU: It must've been caught in the same storm as ours.

MONTAND: Who are you? How long you in the water?

JIN: I don't know.

MONTAND: How do you not know how you wound up in the middle of the ocean, hein ?

ROUSSEAU: Montand ! Laisse-le, il est en état de choc. On a de l’eau à lui donner ? (leave him alone, he is shook up, do we have water for him ?)

Robert : Ouais. (yeah) (comes back with the water) Tiens. (Here)

ROUSSEAU: Merci, Robert. (thank you Robert)

JIN: (Exhales deeply) Thank you.

ROUSSEAU: What is your name?

JIN: Kwon Jin-su. Jin.

ROUSSEAU: Hello, Jin. I'm Danielle. Danielle Rousseau.

Nothing really shocking here, although I missed the Numbers recording during the broadcast. But the coolest bit of trivia from the episode is the following:
"Besixdouze" ("B612"), the apparent name of the expedition's lost boat (as per the wreckage on the beach), is a reference to the asteroid on which The Little Prince lives in the book.
Neat, eh? :)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Lost Episode Review 5.04, "The Little Prince"

"Time travel's a bitch"

I was actually fairly bored with this episode until the last ten minutes, which did somewhat redeem it. The dual treat of Jin being alive and getting to see Danielle land on the Island certainly offset an episode where, well, not much really happened.

Raise your hand if you figured out that Ben was playing Kate like a harp to make her run. Thought so. And my heartstrings simply refuse to be tugged by the re-emergence of Skate. Wouldn't you rather see them develop Sawliet (Juliyer?) instead? I sure would. I will have to say though the look Kate gave Ben when she saw him was priceless.

And allow me to enter full horn-tooting mode for a moment. Not only did I predict last season that Jin was still alive, but this little quote seems awfully prescient now:
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).
And what would be more horrible than Ben getting killed. :)


Until the last scene, the time jumping this episode was kinda boring too. While it was neat seeing the beam of light from the Hatch and Claire giving birth with Sawyer nearby, they didn't really tell us anything new. And the scene where they found the boats only seemed to serve to get them to (hopefully) hook up with the time-traveling Jin and Danielle (BTW, kudos to the casting director who found a wonderful young actress to play everyone's favorite crazy French woman).

The most interesting questions coming out of last night are really from next's week's preview. The band's beginning to get back together, so it looks like we'll get the resolution of the "Kwon... Sun-Hwa Kwon" subplot. And my fearless prediction: Ben knows Jin is still alive because he saw him in the past on the Island. Question is, how is he going to prove it to Sun? Did Jin give Ben something in the past that he can show Sun now? Only thing I can think of is his wedding band... hmmmm...

Enough rambling. As a reflection of how empty this episode was, I really struggled to come up with five questions this week.

Five questions:

1) Who's trying to kill (or capture) Sayid?

While Ben's plan to manipulate Kate was pretty transparent, it's less clear if he's the one trying to get to Sayid. Seems unlikely. And since Widmore seems to have been taken out of the equation as a bad guy because of his feelings for Penny, who's going to be the villain trying to keep everyone from getting back to the Island? The only person I can think of is Abaddon, who we really haven't heard from in a long time (I don't think we've seen him in the present since he visited Hurley in Santa Rosa). Wonder if he's going to visit Hurley in jail now...

2) How is it determined who gets the Time Travel Flu?

Daniel remarked on it could have had something to do with the "amount of exposure." But so far we've seen it affect Charlotte, Miles and Juliet in that order. Exposure to the Island? To radiation in general? Dunno, but let's say it's the former. We know next to nothing about Charlotte and Miles' backgrounds (and it certainly seems like they were hinting Miles was on the Island in the past - perhaps as a baby for all the conspiracy buffs out there), but Juliet was on the Island for three years. Are we to believe Charlotte and Miles were on the Island for longer than that? Very confusing. And furthermore, why hasn't Daniel been affected at all? You would think he'd be the most sensitive given the way he's fried his brain. Did he fix himself by speaking with Desmond?

The corollary to this question is how do they fix it? Do they have to all find Constants or do they just have to wait for Locke to spin the wheel? Also it's weird that their consciousnesses don't seem to be jumping - they're just passing out.

3) Who were the guys in the boat who were shooting at the Losties?

And when in time were they when it happened? Judging from the rusted state of the supplies on the beach, it looked like the future.

The Ajira Airways water bottle they found is a promotional tie in with some online LOST stuff ABC did a while back. I haven't really explored the sites, but Lostpedia has a really nice overview. Regardless though, who owns this company and how did they get to the Island? Was there another plane crash?

4) If they were in the future when they took the boats, what happened to Bernard, Rose and any of the remaining redshirts?

And how many of them are still alive? Bernard and Rose, I think, are the only ones we can be certain of. And Vincent, of course. :)

5) Are we finally going to spend some quality time with Danielle in the past?

Not really a show mystery as much as a request. What we really want to see from Danielle's flashback is 1) Her giving birth to Alex, 2) Ben stealing Alex and 3) what happened to her crew, i.e. did they really go crazy with some sort of "sickness." Getting to hear Danielle record the radio tower message wouldn't really tell us anything, but be pretty crazy cool.


* Em thinks Aaron is an incredibly ugly kid. I really wouldn't go that far, but he's certainly not the kid from "Jerry McGuire" either.

* For an episode packed with The Numbers, Sayid was in Room 133. Weird.

* Kate lives at 42 Panorama Crest

* The rendezvous was at Long Beach Marina, Slip 23

* Ben's lawyer's license plate was 4PC382

* Why a gun in a Godiva box if Sun ordered the gun from someone in a sealed package? Was the box lead-lined to foil airport scanners or did she just want some truffles for the road?

* John has now found his purpose in life - to die bringing everyone back - and he seems perfectly happy simply knowing what that purpose is.

* Orange isn't exactly a slimming color on Hurley.


This was a filler episode to me, designed to do two things: 1) Get all the L.A. Losties to the docks and set up the Ben/Sun confrontation and 2) Get the Island Losties to the other side of the Island so they can meet up with Jin (and possibly Danielle). The rest of it was just kinda filler. Giving this one a 3.0/5 and hoping for everything to come to a head next week. If we get some serious Danielle screen time, all will be totally forgiven.

Happy LOST evening!

Had a brutally busy week, but I'm through the rough patch. Review should be up sometime tomorrow morning. Enjoy the show, everyone! :)