Thursday, May 27, 2010

What Could Have Been...

One last thought on "The End" and I'm done. I was looking back through some of my old theories and such and came across this entry, and I couldn't help but think how much cooler (to me) a sci-fi ending to the show would have been.

I know most of you disagree, but I think right up until "Across The Sea," I was still expecting an ending like that. That change in expectations after AtS definitely contributed to my disappointment in the finale.

Makes me also realize just how wrong my predictions were about everything, especially in Seasons 4 & 5. *sigh*

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Moving On...

Few more thoughts from the finale, which I don't really want to dwell on, but there were a couple (positive) things I forgot to mention in my review. I'm a pretty optimistic guy by nature and I really hate being negative. I've read a lot of reviews the past few days and I'm happy so many people liked the finale, critics and fans alike. It's going to solidify Lost's reputation as one of the best shows ever seen on the small screen, a reputation I happen to agree with regardless of my feelings on the finale. I think if there was a positive review I agreed with the most, it was The Onion AV Club. While I dislike the fact the ending of the show was more metaphysical than sci-fi, I do like the idea that the friendships and connections these characters made was what helped them triumph in the end.

- Best awakening scene, IMHO: Sawyer and Juliet. Yeah, Kate, Claire and Charlie was good too, but somehow James and Jules got to me the most.

- Hurley's grin when Charlie answered the door was great too. Also loved his pose as he aimed the tranq gun.

- And as wrong as it was that Shannon awakened Sayid instead of Nadia, it was great seeing Boone again, as himself instead of a trippy spirit guide.

- As I mentioned in the comments, my favorite line of the night was: "You all head to your heart of the island and I'll go get the magic leprechaun out of the well."

- I did love all the homages to earlier episodes. The Hatch shot, as Jack and Locke looked down at the Source, the sonogram Juliet gave Sun, Kate and Sawyer cliff diving together.

- So when Desmond time-traveled in "Flashes Before Your Eyes" and "The Constant" did he actually travel to the Alt? Maybe in the former, likely not in the latter. Desmond very well could have died in the Swan implosion sending him temporarily to the Alt universe where Alt Eloise (who seemed to be just as aware as the one who was married to Charles) tried to keep him on the right course. When he traveled in "The Constant" was was very clearly in the same timeline as present day Penny, so I don't think that was a trip to the waiting room. Not to mention, escaping the Island isn't quite the same experience as being thrown into a giant Em box or releasing a huge amount of EM energy.

- So why was Smokey so angry at Eko for not preventing the destruction of the Swan? Two reasons. First of all, I think he knew that the Swan's energy could destroy the Island if it wasn't kept contained and since Jacob was still alive at that point, he knew he'd be destroyed along with it. Secondly, I think he was worried that even if the Island wasn't destroyed, his personal loophole, John Locke, would be. I think the reason he wanted Eko to "help John" was partially to protect his escape plan.

- It's also fitting Michael wasn't in the final reunion. He didn't deserve to be there for what he did and he related as much to Hurley when he saw him on the Island. And the more I think about it, the more I really like Ben staying outside the church despite being forgiven by Locke. I really hope those two guys do get to work together on a project in the future.

- I'm currently editing my Top 108 moments list. Really hard to pare down and organize. Should foster some interesting discussion. I'm having a particularly hard time about where to place some moments from the finale because even if I disagree with some of the choices the writers made, they're too important not to have on the list. First installment will be up after the holiday.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Lost Episode Review 6.17 & 6.18: "The End"

This is the place you all made together so you could find one another. The most important part of your life was the time you spent with these people. That's why you're all here...."

(Thanks to Dark UFO for all the screencaps).

I was going to simply use "See you in another life, brutha" as my quote, but it just seemed too obvious.

Leading up to the finale, there was a lot of online discussion about where Lost's ending would fall among the ranks of the great and the not-so-great. On the great side, you have M*A*S*H, Newhart and Cheers; on the not-so-great (or at very least, controversial) you have Seinfeld, The Sopranos, St. Elsewhere and BSG. My gut feeling is that if you're one of the people who liked "Across The Sea" you're going to put "The End" in with the greats. If you didn't, it's going to fall in the latter group, possibly pretty far down.

As for myself, I'm of two minds. On the one hand, I really enjoyed the narrative overall, but I'm greatly disappointed that 1) everything in the Alt was kinda made irrelevant by the fact it was really just an existential waiting room and 2) all the unresolved questions that were ignored in favor of the Jacob/MiB conflict this season made much of the previous seasons feel irrelevant as well.

On some of the message boards, it's been suggested Lost would have been better if it ended with Season 5 - Juliet detonates the bomb and fade to black (or white, I suppose). The end. Dark? Sure, but dark is always cool. The same thing could be said for BSG, which could have ended in even a darker manner halfway through the final season (in fact, it could have gone down in history as the darkest, bleakest ending ever seen). But BSG instead chose to go out happy, giving most of the characters a fan-friendly send-off that treated them with reverence. Lost chose this route as well. There was also a touch of "The Sopranos" here as well, especially in the fact that Darlton chose to go out on their own terms.

Darlton were kinda sensitive in their defense of "Across The Sea," especially in regards to the words "cop out." But there's really no way to spin this ending without mentioning those words. Even if you liked the feel-good reunion at the end and didn't care about all the unresolved questions, in order to make it all work and us in suspense all season they had to give us a big head-fake as to the Alt's true nature. And now, in retrospect, a lot of what we saw in the Alt this season doesn't really make a lot of sense to me. And for a show that prides itself on its intelligence and the intelligence of its viewers, this is extremely disappointing to me.

I'm not going to be totally negative here, if you want that you can go here instead. Let's go through some of the individual plot elements from "The End" and take a look at what I liked and didn't like.

1) The Alt is an existential waiting room where the Losties gather until they're all dead and ready to "move on."

I did like this. Sorta.

Is it creative? Yes. Is it schmaltzy? Yes. Were all the awakenings emotionally manipulative? Heck yeah. But I really enjoyed all of the Alt scenes regardless. The ending in the church felt a little too much like a self-congratulatory cast party, but it still tugged the heartstrings. And it didn't cheapen what happened on the Island because all these people really did die, just some much later than others. Kate, Sawyer and everyone on the Ajira plane really did escape from the Island.

The problem with it is that because it was just a "waiting room," nothing in it was real. Everything we saw in the Alt this past season was fake. And in retrospect, even though all the awakenings were cool, it makes us question why they all had to wake up in the first place.

Also, because they didn't want to give the ending away, they had to mislead us all season into thinking the Alt was actually an alternate timeline. Yes, Jack's cut on his neck and "appendix scar" (yay, more blatant Christian symbolism) were nice bits of misdirection, but there was so much about the Alt that now, in retrospect, just doesn't make a lot of sense. Showing us the sunken Island in "LA X" was a total head-fake, put there simply to make us think it was an alternate timeline and that kinda ticks me off. It does make me feel somewhat good that my pocket universe theory was somewhat closer to the actual truth.

Also because the Alt is a total fake, a lot of the stuff we saw there this season just doesn't make a whole lot of sense. As I mentioned above, why did Desmond have to wake everyone up? How did he get woken up in the first place? Did he did actually die and come back when Charles Widmore tried to turn him into Dr. Manhattan? Certainly seems like it. But the weirdest thing was Aaron being "born" into the Alt. He certainly must have lived a full life in the real world with Claire and Kate. Must suck to have to then spend your entire afterlife as an infant because that's how these people remembered you. :P

2) The Island really is a cork to keep Hell in its place.

It's not just a cork, it actually has a literal cork too. And when you pull it out, it negates all rules on the Island or something. Jack and Smokey become mortal, everyone dies. Again I imagine anyone who liked "Across The Sea" liked this. I thought it was kinda cheesy.

3) You gain no awareness or knowledge whatsoever by becoming the new Jacob.

I think this is the plot element that annoyed me the most. Jack becomes the new Jacob and doesn't have a clue. WTF? Granted, this was only done because it was the only way to set up the ending, but this was emblematic of the episode itself. The awakenings, Jack being clueless, Jack and Smokey becoming mortal, Aaron being an infant in the Alt... all these things were done to get us to the reunion and the final shot of Jack's eye closing. Darlton knew the final shot was to be Jack's eye closing in the bamboo field and had to come up with some pretty silly plot devices to get him there.

Jack's been stabbed in the side and has to cross the Island and climb down a rope? No problem. Jack gets blown out of the Source like Smokey and survives? No problem. After all that he's still able to stagger through the jungle to the bamboo forest? No problem. After all that he wants to stagger through the forest to the bamboo jungle? Yeeesh. It was almost like you could see him thinking "I've... got... to... get... perfect... final... shot... before... I... die" while he was walking. Completely contrived and really, really weak.

4) What happened on the Island, happened. Those who escaped, escaped.

I liked the fact that some people did manage to escape the Island, that Kate managed to bring Claire back and that all the Island stuff wasn't a dream. There's also a bit of fanservice in that Kate and Sawyer get to be together in real life while Kate and Jack (and Sawyer and Juliet) get to be together in the afterlife. Guess Kate got the best of both worlds, eh?

I also cheered when I saw Frank was still alive. Makes me feel better knowing he didn't die a pointless death.

5) Ben and Daniel stay behind to be with the people they love.

I kinda like this even if it doesn't make much sense. Daniel wouldn't go with them since Charlotte was here. Ben would stay for Alex (and maybe Danielle), not to mention, he always felt he was a bit of an outsider of the group - remember his pained speech to Ilana where he told her he was going to Locke because he had nowhere else to go? The scene outside the church reminded me of that. In fact, I think that would be the one scene from the episode that would make my Top 108 moments list - Locke forgiving Ben.

But why would you want to stay in a waiting room when the real afterlife awaits? Wouldn't the real afterlife be so much better? Maybe there's a really juicy issue of People Magazine they haven't read there or something.

6) Rose, Bernard and Vincent did time travel to 2007 and lived out their lives on the Island.

Yay. Just yay. :)

Oh, and I totally called it, by the way. In general I was pleased with several of my predictions: The Alt being Lost's happy ending, Desmond entering the source, Juliet being Jack's ex-wife, Hurley being Jack's backup, Smokey using The Elizabeth as his escape plan. Just didn't see the waiting room coming. *sigh*

7) Hurley becomes the new Jacob and Ben becomes his #2.

I liked this as well. And props to Michael Emerson here too. Did you notice the way his eyes dropped when Jack chose Hurley as his successor? He so wanted the job himself, even though he knew he didn't deserve it. But somehow the thought of those two living on the Island for an eternity together after everyone else has left is kinda neat.

8) Eloise really was self-serving.

I kinda predicted this. Smokey had nothing to do with the Alt, but it does fit that all of Eloise's motivation was selfishness, driven by the desire to be together with Daniel.

9) The writers really didn't care about anything other than the characters.

And this sucked. Yeah, they've been warning us all season, but it doesn't make it suck any less. And don't get me wrong, the characters were important, but Darlton knew the fanbase cared about the mythology as well and to just ignore it entirely in favor of heart-tugging schmaltz is a total cop out. You can almost hear Journey playing in the background.

Darlton will argue that they had no obligation to answer every question on the show, but the sheer magnitude of everything they've ignored diminishes every season of Lost outside of this one and the first. Why do all the Egyptian stuff in the first place? Why spend so much time on childbirth on the Island? Why tease us with giant statues of fertility goddesses if they're just there for show? I'm not angry, I'm just sad and incredibly disappointed they chose the easy way out.

10) I have perfected the chicken wing.

If there is one excellent thing that came out of last night, it's that I've perfected my chicken wing recipe. The breading was excellent, the sauces were incredible and they were cooked to perfection. I actually had to put the remaining Honey BBQ sauce into the fridge otherwise I would have eaten the entire bowl with a spoon. I wish I was eating them right now...

Summary (and future blogging plans)

I'm going to give this episode a 2.5/5. The character stuff was a 5, but it gets a 0 for the mythology and overall I feel a little disappointed, about the same as I did after the BSG finale, but I do think on the whole I liked that finale a bit more because (with one major exception) I thought it was a bit more honest about it's intentions than Lost was.

Next week, I'll start my Top 108 Lost Moments list. I'll probably post them in batches of 10 or so along with a few honorable mentions that didn't quite make the cut. After that, I think I'm probably going to start a new blog, one that will touch on a variety of subjects I'm interested in, including science, the Mets, parenting and, of course, pop culture. There will be an announcement once that begins.

As for Lost, it will still remain one of my favorite all-time shows. I'm just a bit saddened that it's legacy to television (which will still remain great, to be sure) is likely going to be diminished by the ending.

What did everyone think? :)

Sunday, May 23, 2010


So.... what did everyone think? I'm working on my review - which will be up tomorrow morning - though I might need to marinate on this for a couple days before it all sinks in. Very curious to see the poll results on this one.

Still can't believe it's all over. :(

I Need A Countdown Timer...

Less than three hours left. I've got three types of hot wings going. Some Honey BBQ, Mild Buffalo and the original Anchor Bar wing recipe (which is absolutely fabulous). I'm ready for a cluckity, cluck, cluck final evening of LOST. :)

Of course, there might eventually be one up for sale, although it's not currently in the LOST Auction preview. I think the timer is the one thing I'd really, really kill to have of all the memorabilia. Out of what they've listed though, I think Hurley's Lottery Ticket and the Jesus Stick are my two favorites. Locke's backgammon set is tempting too, but it's just not distinctive enough. Faraday's journal would be a neat thing to stick innocculously on my lab bench. :)

What would all of you really, really want from the show?

In Tears...

But not from sadness. Jimmy Kimmel's LOST-themed "Unnecessary Censorship" had me laughing so hard I was crying.

Less than 12 hours people... :)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Finale Preview

Before the season kicked off, I made several lists of mysteries I predicted we would or would not get answers to before the end of the show. For starters, let's look at how we're doing on mysteries from my pre-season poll:

1) Who are Jacob and the Nemesis?

Pretty much answered, although I'd still like to know whether they or Mother have any ties to Egyptian mythology (or whether all the Egyptian stuff was just a hobby of Jacob's).

2) What is the Monster?

Again, pretty much answered and we'll certainly find out what the exact nature of the Monster is tomorrow night, i.e. Is he Smokey's soul or something Jacob released by throwing his brother into the Source.

3-tie) What are the Whispers?

Answered. Restless souls trapped on the Island, incapable of moving on.

3-tie) What is the Island?

Basically answered. It's certainly a prison for Smokey now, but we still need to know exactly what The Source is and why Mother was protecting it before Jacob came along.

5) What's in the Temple?

Answered. Too bad it was kinda lame. I am still curious as to whether the pool in the Temple bubbles up from The Source. If so, it seems The Source was corrupted with Jacob's death. Has it been restored now that Jack has taken over?

6) Why is Aaron important?

In the wake of the previous episode, this something I'm even more curious about. Since the end of last season, I thought Aaron had to be raised by Claire and Claire alone so that he would remain "good" and be able to replace Jacob. However, Jacob said he chose all the candidates because they were "flawed like him." Furthermore, he was raised as an innocent and railroaded into becoming Jacob against his will and I can't see him doing the same thing to another young, blond-haired lad.

So was the whole Richard Malkin thing simply a ruse by Jacob to get Claire on the plane. Did Aaron have a destiny on the Island before Kate took him away. This is one of those big questions that hasn't been addressed. I really hope we get an answer to tomorrow.

7) Why do pregnant women die on the Island?

This will be addressed tomorrow. It's one of those things Darlton has been incredibly evasive on, so you know it ties into the nature of the Island itself.

8-tie) Who are Adam and Eve?

Answered. Even if (to me) the answer was incredibly disappointing.

8-tie) What's Libby's backstory?

Unfortunately I think this is one of those things that's going to fall by the wayside, unless her Alt timeline counterpart reveals something in the finale. And the sad thing is how little we really know about her - we don't know why she was in Australia, why she gave Desmond the boat, who her husband was or why she was in Santa Rosa. And even sadder is the reason we don't know all of this is likely because Cynthia Watros decided to get go get herself a DUI and was written out of the show. :P

10-tie) Who are Ilana and Bram?

Answered. Again they were both kinda lame, although Ilana did have one really good scene with Ben before she went boom.

10-tie) Does everyone on Flight 815 have a specific destiny?

Answered. The people who survived certainly did. It does seem that the majority of them were candidates, brought to the Island by Jacob. And you have to imagine he manipulated them to get them all on Flight 815. Much easier to have to bring just one plane to the Island then have them all arrive separately. :)

12) Did the Juliet really change history by detonating the bomb?

Kinda answered. She certainly created the Alt, but it remains to be seen how the two timelines are connected and how it's all going to be resolved.

So out of the twelve listed here, we have five that have been fully answered, four more that we've gotten partial answers on and one that we've got nothing but almost certainly will be addressed tomorrow. The only two from this list that might fall by the wayside are Aaron (boo) and Libby (oh well). That's really not too shabby.

But what about my two lists of Minor Mysteries (some of these do overlap)? How did I do on these?

Mysteries That Will Be Answered:

1) Claire and Aaron - Probably not
2) The Whispers - Answered
3) Walt's importance - Probably will
4) The Black Rock - Answered
5) The Supply Drops - Likely not

Mysteries That Will Not Be Answered:

1) Ben, Locke and The Swan - Probably not
2) Kelvin, Radzinsky and The Sickness - Probably not
3) Henry Gale - Likely not
4) The Capsule Dump - Likely not
5) The Elizabeth - Answered

Unless we revisit (and get to see) a bit of the aftermath of The Incident, I think most of the DHARMA minutiae are going to fall by the wayside as well. I definitely think we'll get a reason why they kidnapped Walt - Ben is going to say something along the lines of "we were trying to get him to manipulate the Island's energies for us" to wrap that up. We could conceivably get the same sort of answer about Aaron as well, but part of me thinks Walt is more likely.

Regardless though, I'm really not that concerned. As long as they wrap everything up in a well-written, non-cheesy manner that does right about the characters, I'll be really happy. Lost has been a wonderful, imaginative, completely original trip for the past six years and I'm really happy I've been along for the ride.

Don't forget that tonight at 8pm there's a pop-up version of The Pilot on ABC! Now if you'll excuse me, I've got some wings to prepare. :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Valiant Effort

Woman who just lost her job tries to watch all six seasons of Lost in 4.5 days and writes a blog on it as well. She may not succeed, but it's pretty fascinating to follow her along. As of early this morning she was up to the end of Season 2. Might take a couple all-nighters to get it done. :)

I'll have some pre-finale thoughts tomorrow as I contemplate my wings. Missie, you're totally right, I need a Mr. Cluck's bucket for them. :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Lost Episode Review 6.16: "What They Died For"

"Mr. Locke, I think you're mistaking coincidence for fate..."

(Thanks to Dark UFO for all the screencaps).

Yeah, it wasn't the best quote of the episode, but I couldn't resist.

Now this was the heady Lost buzz I was looking for last week. I really can't believe they didn't air this episode right after "The Candidate" and give us "Across The Sea" earlier in the season. AtS was easily the most polarizing episode I ever had in my Lost poll. The results:

Best episode ever: 10%
In my Top 10: 10%
Above average: 32%
Average: 13%
Mediocre: 20%
Awful: 10%
Toy airplane awful: 3%

I've never had an episode poll where every single category got at least one vote. I expect this episode to be much more clustered near the top. Overall a great set-up for the finale - it didn't redeem AtS much, but it at least returned to the Island and Alt narratives that were chugging along so well until last week. The one reference to last week I did like is the fact Jacob wanted to give the candidates "what he never had" - a choice, even though there was a risk none of them would take the job (although, much like his Mother, Jacob really didn't explain all the negatives that come with the position).

It's now down to Jack, Hurley, Sawyer and Kate (and maybe Richard and Miles) vs. Locke and Ben (and maybe Claire). I like those teams. My predictions were completely off this week. Not only did the reveal of Alt Jack's wife get put off until the finale, but I guess I was totally wrong about Ben redeeming himself (maybe). Ben's betrayal of Widmore and Tina Fey was the most shocking scene of the season to me - easily makes my Top 108 moments list, possibly fairly high up on it too.

Alt Desmond was great too. Part of what's so enjoyable about his "getting the band back together" routine is how much fun he seems to be having doing it and I loved how Hurley is now fully on board as well. Now it seems that entire storyline is on a collision course with David's concert where Jack's wife is waiting for us... and where Kate is now heading as well... in a little black dress. Methinks Jack's head is about to explode.

The only thing I was a little disappointed with was how easily Jack took over Jacob's job. It was all kind of anti-climactic - happened pretty much exactly as we all expected it to happen. The candidates have a choice? Check. Jack volunteers? Check. Jacob makes Jack take a drink and Jack gives him some good "Party of Five" Jackface? Check aaaaaand check! But that's really a nitpick. This was a great prelude to the finale and I can't wait until Sunday!

The Final Five Questions... Ever!:

1) How can Desmond destroy the Island?

Desmond is really the Failsafe Key to both universes. Alt Desmond very clearly understands what he's trying to do and seems to be executing it with ruthless efficiency. Present day Desmond also knows what his significance is and (presumably) headed to where he needed to be after escaping from the well. Speaking of which, who let him out? Sayid said he left him at the bottom the well, but there was clearly a rope there. My wild guess: Rose and Bernard. After all, they're not Adam and Eve, right? And I have to think they time traveled with the rest of them since if they didn't, Vincent would be dead in 2007. And we know Vincent will be in the finale in some way. :)

But I think Desmond knows how to kill Smokey using the EM energy on the Island and his counterpart in the Alt. I'm guessing it's going to take a combination of the two to work. But how could Desmond destroy the Island? That's certainly not his intention here, although it's why Widmore brought him along. After this episode, I'm revising my previous prediction from this week - I now think that if Desmond enters The Source, the Island will be destroyed. The Source seems to act by separating the soul from the physical body, but if Desmond is resistant to this I think throwing him in the Source would act as a wrench in the gears - The Source would be unable to destroy him and it would start a chain reaction that would destroy the Island.

If I were Jack I'd want to keep Desmond as far away from the Source as possible.

2) What will happen once Alt Jack and Locke remember?

Whatever happens in the Alt, whatever role the Alt has to play in the finale starts and ends with Jack and Locke. Both of them need to "let go" of their baggage in order to remember the other universe. Desmond and Kate are converging on Jack at David's concert and I imagine Hurley and Sayid are heading to see Locke. So what happens when all of their memories come flooding back? Will Locke remember dying? Will Jack remember becoming the new Jacob? And what implications will this have on the present day universe?

Part of me feels like this might be leading up to a mind-switch thing where, if both of Jack and Locke's counterparts remember the present day universe, they'll be able to mind-switch with their on-Island counterparts. And maybe if that happens, Smokey will be trapped in a mortal body and can be killed (or can choose to live a "normal" life off the Island). Alt Locke becomes Smokey and gets to have the Island adventure he always wanted, playing backgammon (or Senet) with Jack for all eternity. As amusing as that ending would be, I think Smokey's too crazy now to allow to live. They're going to have to kill him.

But there's a third key here as well: Alt Jack's wife. I'm sticking by my original prediction that Alt Jack's wife is actually Juliet, who's important because her deceased present day counterpart was the one who actually created the Alt. Maybe Juliet is the most important one out of the three, especially if she can affect the entire Alt universe in some way? Now watch - Alt Jack's wife will turn out to be Nikki or, worse, Mother. Ewwww...

3) So can Jack make up his own rules now?

This is really a bunch of questions all strung together. Jack is officially the new Jacob, and judging from his quality zen-like Jackface after he drained Jacob's cup I imagine he knows everything that's going on now. So the question is, since the Island has a new Jacob can he make up rules that Smokey has to abide by, especially rules like "No killing former candidates."

Since Hurley and Sawyer are no longer candidates can Smokey kill them or are they still backup candidates in case Smokey succeeds in killing Jack? After all, Jack would certainly be able to pass on his mantle to one of them in the same way, provided they volunteered. Heck, I bet Kate would even take the job if both of them refused.

But if Jack does make up new rules, I imagine he's going to have to convey them to Smokey and whenever and wherever he does that, Smokey's going to have Ben waiting in the weeds to kill him. Unless...

4) Is Ben really on Smokey's team?

Ben's betrayal of Widmore was by far the most shocking (and enjoyable) scene of the episode. Understandable too, in that Ben wanted revenge on Widmore for Alex's death - his motivations in that case were perfectly clear. But Ben doesn't exactly like Smokey either - not only did Smokey manipulate him, but he's inhabiting the body of the one man Ben hates most in the world as well. Plus, if Smokey's backup plan is to destroy the Island, that probably doesn't sit well with Ben, considering the Island is supposed to be his prize for helping Smokey escape.

All this season I've thought Ben was going to redeem himself for killing Jacob, which made his betrayal all the more shocking last night. Especially in light of his Alt self where we see he really is capable of becoming a good, kind human being who is loved and appreciated by others. So while part of me understands it's completely in Ben's nature to want to take his revenge on Widmore and work with Smokey to get "his Island" back, I'm thinking there's going to be a double team here.

Yes, Ben is completely self-serving, but sticking it to Smokey would be something he'd love to do anyway and he does have a backpack full of C4. I think Ben is going to double-cross Smokey first chance he gets and possibly get a modicum of redemption with his Island self as well.

5) Would the candidates all have been flawed without Jacob's interference?

Of all the things this episode, this interested me the most. Jacob told them he chose all of them because they were "flawed like him" and they weren't happy in their previous lives. But in the Alt universe this season we've seen what the candidates became without an Island, without Jacob's influence. So just how much of their flaws was due to Jacob himself? Certainly Kate still has her problems, Sayid is still a torturer, Sawyer still has his past to deal with, but with the exception of Kate I'd say they're all a lot happier in the Alt. Did Jacob take away their only chance at happiness for the greater good? Seems like it to me.

Now he may not have done this intentionally. He may not have known how things were going to turn out in the future. But it's also neat to see that, when left to their own devices (and their own choices), pretty much all the Losties chose good over evil. In a way, it's Smokey's worst nightmare. If Jacob and Smokey were to go through each of the Losties in the Alt on a case-by-case basis Smokey would have a pile of white stones in front of him. And in no one is this more evident than in Ben, who (right now) is the polar opposite of his Alt self.

So was Jacob making lists to protect the non-candidates? I think so. The Others were taking away "good people," i.e. people without flaws (like Mihkail once pointedly told Sayid, Kate and Locke they weren't). Jacob must have had them take the good people away to protect them from the Island and from the other candidates. I wonder how much of this Ben and Richard knew.

Bonus: How will it all end?

The only question left to ask, right? I'm guessing Jack is going to figure out a way to destroy Locke - maybe using Desmond to transport him to the Alt, making him mortal or something - but both timelines remain intact. That way, all the characters who've died in the present day universe get their happy ending, but I'm guessing the final scene will come down to Kate choosing to stay with Jack on the Island over leaving with Sawyer. And Jack will give her Richard's gift of eternal life so they can be together forever.

Yes, I'm predicting the show is going to end by answering the most important mystery of all: Jate or Skate? (I keed, I keed). ;)


- I think it's fairly clear that since Sun was a mother, it was Jin who was the actual candidate of the two.

- Raise your hand if you thought Jacob and Jack were going to Locke lips after their Communion? Yeah, Em and I both...

- Is Richard dead? Can he be killed by Smokey? Presumably he was attacked before Jacob transferred power. My gut says he's still alive.

- I liked that The Source was near the bamboo forest where Jack, Kate and Charlie first encountered the Monster.

- A little disappointing not much more was done with Jacob's ashes, but I suppose using them against Locke would have been too easy.

- Wasn't Zoe the most useless character Lost has ever introduced? Her death was quite satisfying.

- "Even if we have to kidnap you." I loved the dinner scene with Danielle and Dr. Linus. I actually think they'd make a nice couple...

- "Nice not knowing you." Great Ana-Lucia cameo too.

- Text messages for the finale? Jebus, they're milking this for all it's worth. And what was the deal with the squeaky-voiced woman who did the preview for the finale? Sounded like the psychic from "Poltergeist," although Zelda Rubenstein (great name) died earlier this year. Maybe she's a ghost on the Island. :)


As far as penultimate episodes go, this one was great. Jack taking over, Locke killing Zoe, Ben betraying Widmore and lots and lots of Alt Desmond. What more could anyone want? 4/5. See you Sunday! :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Comments, Predictions And The Penultimate Link Dump...

Been quite a week. I haven't had a chance to watch "Across The Sea" again, but I have read a good deal of opinions online, most of which were at opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of liking or disliking it. I still fall into the 'dislike' camp, but not because I wanted more to be revealed (as many of my friends and many of the commenters in this thread were), but because I thought what we were told was kind of cheesy.

This interview with Darlton has been making the rounds because the interviewer asked them about some of the specific complaints people had with the episode and they got a bit testy. On the one hand, they're absolutely right in that there's no way they can please everyone with the finale (and no reason to think they should have to either). On the other, I do think that many of the problems that I had with the episode were self-inflicted and correctable. If you think a cave with a golden light might look cheesy - don't show it. Either that or come up with something else. And I do agree that this episode probably would have gone over better had it been shown earlier in the season rather than now.

But they're also stuck between a rock and hard place here. I had really high expectations of "Across The Sea" because the show has been one of the best things on TV for the past six years and I was hoping the end run would meet that standard. So if you're going to reveal the centerpiece of the Island's mythology, come up with something better than a glowing cave (or at least make it look better than it did on screen). And I also realize that once the show ends, The Source (and "Across The Sea" in general) could look much better in retrospect.

The watering down of Smokey's evil also bothered me, but this is a personal preference thing. For me, the villains often make the show or the series and throughout Lost, Smokey was one of the most compelling reasons to watch. All this season has been constructed around him, building him into a villain with a single, solitary purpose - to escape the Island and destroy whoever got in his way - and I thought that was terrific. But now we understand why he wants to escape and, well, now I completely understand and kinda sympathize with him.

Yeah, he's certainly more bitter and evil in the present day than he was in "Across The Sea," but he isn't the product of his own arrogance like Dr. Doom, isn't pure evil like Randall Flagg or completely insane like the Joker. No, he's the product of a crazy, manipulative Mother and an impulsive, irrational brother who didn't think before he acted. It doesn't forgive everything he's done in the present, but it make us understand why he's the way he is. And the fact the supposed good Island god is partially responsible for creating him makes their whole conflict a lot less - *ahem* - black and white. And that just doesn't sit right with me, given everything we've seen this season, and seems to go against one of the major themes of the show. I like my evil to be EVIL, dammit! ;)

But anyway, this episode doesn't change the fact that I still love the show and am greatly looking forward to tonight and Sunday. What's everyone making for the finale? I think it's going to be wings of some sort for myself, but I can't decide whether I want slow-cooked Thai Peanut Wings or some breaded, fried Hot Wings. Mmmm... wings.

The only other link I have to share other than the above Darlton interview (which you should read in full) is this letter from George Lucas to Darlton. I can't tell whether it was written in jest or not, but it is amusing nonetheless. :)


Tonight's episode, "What They Died For," sounds rather expository to me. You gotta figure the entire endgame will be revealed tonight - i.e. Jack's gotta learn what Desmond's task is on the Island and (hopefully) what the role of the Alt is in all this. And you have to imagine they're going to be going to The Source at some point. Desmond's probably the only one who can find it...

Fearless Predictions

Considering there are only two episodes left, I might as well go all out...

1) I'm going to guess that not only is Desmond the only one who can find The Source, he's the only one who can enter it and survive. And perhaps if Desmond enters The Source he can reverse whatever damage Jacob caused by flushing his brother's body down the cave...

2) I'm going to guess one of the three remaining candidates will die this episode: Sawyer. And he does so in spectacularly heroic fashion to save everyone else. Unfortunately we'll probably get a teary goodbye scene with Kate beforehand.

3) Smokey will send Claire after the remaining candidates and she'll succeed in mortally wounding Kate before the candidates are rescued by... Ben!

4) Alt Jack will achieve awareness this episode and realize the person he really needs to make everything right is the creator of the Alt Universe - his wife, Juliet!

5) Someone will rhetorically ask "what did they die for" during the episode and Hurley will respond by quoting "Wrath of Khan."

I am 100% certain these things shall come to pass. Enjoy the (second-to-last) show everyone! Review up tomorrow morning! :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Lost Episode Review 6.15: "Across The Sea"

"So do you want to play or don't you, Jacob..."

(Thanks to Dark UFO for all the screencaps).

I think my Kool-Aid glass has finally been drained. Honestly if the Mets hadn't had a thrilling come-from-behind win last night, I would have gone to bed totally depressed. I thought this episode was incredibly weak and the explanations given incredibly... lame? Silly? Vague? Pick your adjective. Granted this show has set the bar quite high for a very long time now and this episode had some very high expectations from me coming in, which is part of the reason I'm disappointed, but it just seemed like incredibly weak writing for one of the last three episodes of the show. Let's look at a few of the major things we learned:

Jacob and ....... are actually brothers. OK.
Their real mom was killed by Allison Janney who raised them. Eh.
The Island protects a mystical golden light. Lame.
You become the new Jacob by taking Communion from the previous one. Doubly lame.
Adam and Eve are really Smokey's original body and Allison Janney. Triple-ly lame.

And I think the thing that bothers me the most is that this episode makes you feel sorry for Smokey which, IMHO, makes him a weaker villain and makes Jacob seem like a naive tool. Don't you kinda want Smokey to get off the Island now? And Allison Janney could probably have prevented all of this from happening if she just gave them some straight answers on who they were and what they needed to do instead of jerking them around. I mean, she kills their real mother and forbids them from leaving the Island for a greater purpose that she never fully explains, nor does she explain the consequences if they refuse. I'd say screw you, I'm leaving too! Someone's gotta make some "I'm with Smokey" bumper stickers...

And lastly, the last two episodes were arguably two of the weakest of the season, but I didn't really have much of a problem with them because they seemed to be getting the pieces into place for the finale. This episode, however, was supposed to be a major piece of the mystery of the show and for it to be even weaker than the previous two (IMHO) is extremely saddening to me.

Don't get me wrong, I'm still greatly looking forward to the final two episodes. It's just that my expectations have been significantly lowered now. And that's kinda sad. Am I being too harsh? Maybe. And maybe after the finale I'll be able to look back at this episode in a different light. But I was bummed when I went to bed last night and that has never happened to me before on a Lost night.

Before we delve into the questions, let's summarize the stuff we did learn this episode:

Bullet Points:

- Jacob and Smokey are human-born fraternal twins born on the Island.

- Their birth mother was killed by their adoptive Mother.

- Their adoptive Mother was the guardian of the Island who raised them away from what she considered to be man's "corrupting influence" so one or both of them could take over her mantle.

- Their adoptive Mother has some sort of powers since 1) she was able to grant eternal life to the two human children she found and 2) she seemed to slaughter all the men on the Island quite easily for an elderly woman, not to mention filling in the Donkey Wheel well with dirt. She does mention that she came to the Island "by accident."

- The Source of the Island is what the Mother is guarding, a cave filled with golden light described as "life, death, rebirth." She passed her mantle on to Jacob by having him drink a very symbolic cup of wine. *rolls eyes*

- Smokey is "special," according to Mother and can see ghosts on the Island. Jacob cannot.

- Smokey created the Donkey Wheel and intended to use it to go home.

- Smokey killed his Mother, after which she said "thank you."

- Jacob threw Smokey's body into The Source, out of which emerged the Smoke Monster and his brother's dead body.

- The mysterious boy seen on the Island in present time is really the ghost of Jacob. Why he's appearing as a boy to the candidates and Smokey while Hurley sees him as an adult is still a mystery, Maybe he's just messing with Smokey's mind.

- Smokey's original body and his Mother are Adam and Eve. Of all the disappointing reveals this episode, I found this one to me the most disappointing of all. After all the seasons of hype and speculation in a show filled with time travel we finally discover that Adam and Eve are (de)composed of a woman we've never seen before and the soulless corpse of Smokey. How... how... boring. I mean, really. Of all the possibilities out there this is the best they can come up with? Not to mention the fact that now we're supposed to believe that the skeletons that Jack had said had been there 40-50 years really have been there for centuries and still have decomposing clothes?

I suppose I should have expected this when Hurley gave a nod to the time travel theories back in Lighthouse, but this was just incredibly anti-climactic for me. And the splice of Season One footage was rather poorly done too, I thought. *sigh*

Anyway, there were some good things about the episode. The kids were excellently cast - spitting images of their adult counterparts. Jacob and Smokey are always a delight to see together and Smokey emerging from the Source was cool. Plus, we do have a lot to talk about.

OK, enough ranting. Lemonade out of lemons and all that. :)

Five Questions:

1) What is the energy at the Source of the Island and what did it do to Smokey?

When we first were shown the Source, two things came to mind for me: Midichlorians and Pulp Fiction. The former is not good, the latter makes me think of what the scene could have been. Wasted potential, especially when you have an actress of Allison Janney's caliber spouting off lines like "life, death, rebirth" and "the light that's inside of every man." Sigh.

Midichlorians, for those of you unfamilar, is George Lucas' feeble attempt to explain The Force in the later Star Wars films. What are midichlorians?
They are microscopic life-forms that reside within the cells of all living things and communicate with the Force. They are symbionts with all other living things and without them life could not exist. The Jedi have learned how to listen to and coordinate the midi-chlorians. While every living being thus has a connection to the Force, one must have a high enough concentration of midi-chlorians in one's cells in order to be a Jedi or a Sith.
Suffice it to say that this was one of George Lucas' worst ideas, and a self-inflicted one at that. The Force didn't need explaining, especially when that explanation is so ridiculous. Now the Source isn't quite that bad, but the cheesy yellow light coming from the cave and behind the wall in the well made me wince and groan. Now maybe The Source will be explained in more detail in the finale, but the vague explanation we got last night made me think they might have been better not saying anything about it at all, which brings me to Pulp Fiction.

One of the most iconic parts of Pulp Fiction was the briefcase John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson were picking up for their boss, Marcellus Wallace. We never see what's inside the case, but whenever it's opened, a bright orange light shines out, a light one character later describes as "beautiful." At its essence, it's a MacGuffin, pure and simple. And as a MacGuffin, it works because it leaves what's inside up to our imagination. In fact, Tarantino has stated that knowing what's inside the case "radically alters one's understanding of the movie."

Part of me feels, at least at this point, that the Source would have been better left a MacGuffin - we never see anything inside the cave with no explanation given for what it is, only that it's important and Jacob and Smokey have to protect it. This can also be used to change Jacob and Smokey's motivations as well: Smokey is curious and covets the light, wants to possess it. Jacob sees the importance in protecting it and finally understands what his Mother wants of him. There are some things you want definitive answers for and some that are better left alone. I think this (at this point - I may change my mind after the finale) would have been better left alone.

But given what we've been told, what is The Source? Seems to me that this is the collection of human souls unable to "pass on" because of their past sins, as Michael explained to Hurley. That's why ghosts can materialize on the Island - they're all floating around in The Source, waiting to be redeemed. Once they are, I'm guessing they have the chance to be either reincarnated or head to the afterlife. This is also why I think the Mother was cynical towards humans - she knows just how many souls are in there and how corruptible they are. And what happens if "the light goes out?" All the souls in The Source lose the chance to pass on - doomed to the Underworld for all eternity.

So what happened to Smokey when he entered The Source? When he came out of that cave the first thing I thought of was Pandora's Box, but I don't think that's what the writers were aiming for. I think The Source separated Smokey's soul, black and corrupted after his time with the humans, from his body and purged him from the cave. Thus, up until he got stuck in Locke's body by killing Jacob, he had no corporeal form and that's why he was able to shape-shift. And the punishment that's "worse than death" is his soul now has no opportunity whatsoever to pass on, in either direction. He's trapped on Earth for all eternity.

This also means that the consequences of Smokey escaping the Island would be the damnation of everyone else on the planet by the extinguishing of The Source and, possibly, also the total corruption of mankind by Smokey's cynical views.

Speaking of those views...

2) Is Smokey really the "Man of Science" and Jacob the "Man of Faith?"

"So, Lone Starr, now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb."

This is another thing that bothered me about the episode. One of the standing themes through this past season is the difference in philosophy between Smokey and Jacob. Smokey sees mankind as irredeemably corrupt while Jacob sees the good in everyone. And since Smokey's been so clearly set up as the evil villain, especially after he tried to brutally kill all the candidates two episodes ago, I was really looking forward to a knockdown, drag-out battle of good vs. evil over the last couple episodes where I knew who I was rooting for to win.

Now I'm all for character development and I love every moment Jacob and Smokey spend on screen, but this episode not only shows Smokey in a new light, an intelligent, inquisitive man whose birth mother was murdered and who was forbidden from leaving the Island for reasons that were never fully explained to him, but also paints Jacob as a dumb, naive momma's boy who's entire optimistic view of mankind comes from the fact he was sheltered his entire life and all his vaunted power comes by default because his brother said "no thanks." Not to mention his temper tantrums that resulted in 1) Smokey running away to the humans and 2) the creation of the Smoke Monster himself.

It makes you feel sorry for Smokey and wonder if his worldview is correct because 1) he's actually experienced life among humans and 2) Jacob is dumb. It also makes Jacob the "Man of Faith" (fine.) and Smokey the "Man of Science" (really?), though that's kinda ironic considering Smokey now inhabits the previous Man of Faith's body, but I digress.

There's nothing wrong with blurring the lines between the two characters, after all, we did see Jacob waterboard Richard in Ab Aeterno. But ever since The Incident we've been led to believe that Smokey's worldview is cynical and wrong because he's the evil guy, right? Well now he seems more like a guy who got screwed over by a murderess and sheepish son and that just doesn't feel right to me.

And the final piece of this is that Jack is now going to be converted from the Man of Science to the Man of Faith in order to save the world. Too bad he's not a Momma's Boy... *sigh*

3) So who exactly is the Mother?

This seems to be the overwhelming question this episode introduced and the answer likely ties together all the Egyptian symbolism seen on the show so far. She seems to certainly be a deity of some sort or at least someone with god-like powers... and that would point to Taweret, right? Really can't think of anyone else it could be.

And since Jacob was so smitten with her and is likely responsible for the construction of the statue, I'm guessing he had the statue built as a memorial to her. This could also be the source of the problems with childbirth on the Island - the goddess of fertility was killed by her adopted son.

4) So the Donkey Wheel's entire purpose is merely an escape hatch for Smokey?

Seems like it. Smokey wanted to use "soul power" to open a wormhole that would allow him to escape, though it looks like the side effects of turning the wheel is not only that the person who turns the wheel moves, but the Island moves as well. And when Ben spun the wheel he knocked it off its axis and caused the Island to skip through time. I actually kinda like this explanation for it.

And this also means that Smokey plans to use the wheel to escape now that the sub and plane (not to mention the pilot) are out of commission.

5) Why can Smokey see ghosts, but Jacob cannot? Is Hurley as "special" as Smokey?

This kinda perplexes me, unless Smokey has some "special" connection to the Underworld, especially since you would think the Man of Faith would be the most likely of the two to see ghosts. And this makes me wonder whether Hurley and Smokey have some sort of connection as well.

Does every Jacob need his own Man in Black? Will Jack need Hurley on the Island to act as a bridge between him and the spirits? This makes me think Hurley is a lot more important than I thought and that perhaps Jacob is not responsible for him being able to see ghosts. Maybe he's just cut from the same cloth as Smokey. Good thing he doesn't have his cynicism.

Tidbits (and additional questions):

- The game Jacob and Smokey play is an ancient Egyptian game called Senet, one of the oldest games in the world whose rules are unknown to this day. No wonder they had to make the rules up as they went along.

- Will we ever get Smokey's name? Does he have a name? I'm not so sure that he does. After all, Claudia said that she only came up with one name - maybe they never gave him one. Of course, if he does have a name, it's something very, very significant which is why they're saving it for the finale. But I'm guessing that he might not have one altogether.

- So how will Jack become the new Jacob in the absence of wine? Will he have to eat Jacob's ashes? Given all the Christian imagery I wouldn't be surprised if all he has to do is smear some on his forehead. I thought the wine thing was really poorly done, though it does make me wonder whether Jacob was trying to trick Smokey when he gave him the wine bottle, i.e. drink this and we'll be as one. Makes me also wonder if Richard is also special since he also shared wine with Jacob.

- Despite all this gloominess, I did really like the Doors-themed preview for next week and I am looking forward to it.


Despite some very good casting and cinematography, I was very disappointed in this episode, not just in the reveals, but also in the alteration of my sympathies towards Jacob and Smokey. Now maybe this will change in the last two episodes and I'll be able to look back at "Across the Sea" in a completely different light, but for now it gets a 2/5.

Very interested to hear all your thoughts. Am I overreacting? As Rachel Maddow would say, "talk me down."

Technical Difficulties...

Thanks to Firefox crapping out on me on the train, I lost everything I typed this morning. As a result, my review won't be up until a bit later this afternoon. And usually I back everything up in Word, but for whatever reason I didn't today, so now I have to type it all over again. *facepalm*

So... very... angry....

So in the meantime, discussion topic: What did you think of "The Source" and the Mother's quasi-explanation for it. I have a strong opinion, but I am curious to see how many of you agree.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Link Dump + Predictions

I have no clue what the title of tonight's episode, Across The Sea, means, nor do I have any idea whether it'll have some sort of centricity either. But my gut feeling from the title is that this may be an info dump on the origins of the Island, Smokey and Jacob in general. Anyone who's seen the "No Exit" episode of BSG will know what I mean. I'm not linking to that episode because it contains MASSIVE SPOILERS for anyone who hasn't seen the series yet and still wants to (and I highly, highly recommend it - in fact, this reminds me that I still have a BSG series review to do. Hmmm....)

Link Dump:

- Lostpedia is hosting a Q&A with Darlton, not about show mysteries or questions, but about general influences, writing stuff, etc. You can post your questions to them here and they'll try and answer as many as they can before the finale. Be warned: There are a lot of questions already.

- This is a funny Darlton video (featuring the Muppets), if you haven't seen it already.

- I picked up the EW Lost Finale issue and I was a bit underwhelmed. It's not bad, per se, just kinda thin, especially when compared with what they did for Seinfeld's departure. I still have that Seinfeld issue and it's simply one of the best magazines I've ever read. Complete series guide with capsules and ratings for every episode, lists upon lists of minutia, guest stars, Jerry's girlfriends, Newman appearances, a guide to Seinfeld around New York City, etc., etc...

Now I really didn't expect something quite so good for Lost, but I did hope it would be similarly comprehensive. And while there is some good stuff in it, it wasn't anything special. Oh well. Worth picking up if you're traveling and need something to browse.

Fearless Predictions:

1) The big reveal tonight will be a full explanation of "the rules" behind Smokey and Jacob's little contest and I predict we'll also find out just how the new Jacob is chosen and ascends his Island throne,

2) The big Alt reveal tonight will be exactly what Eloise knows about the Alt timeline and what her role in all of this really is.

3) The episode will end tonight with Desmond telling Jack and company about the existence of the Alt

4) The carnage will continue. My guess is Richard or Miles is going to buy it tonight at the hands of a really pissed off Smoke Monster.

5) A new, underground DHARMA station will be found, The Leaf, manned by two guys who've subsisted on nothing but Twinkies and Ding Dongs for the last fifteen years (that stuff never goes bad, right)?

I am 100% certain these things shall come to pass. Enjoy the show! Review up Wednesday! :)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Lost Episode Review 6.14: "The Candidate"

"Because it's going to be you, Jack..."

(Thanks to Dark UFO for all the screencaps).

Welcome to the action-packed review of The End, Part II of VI... at least, that's what it felt like. My predictions were not too bad this week, depending on whether you think Claire's really gone back over to the dark side or not. I had accepted the fact that all the Losties weren't going to make it through the finale, but I really didn't see us losing Sayid (who did indeed manage to redeem himself), Frank, Jin and Sun this episode. Em had tears streaming down her face as they sank, though I managed to fend the waterworks off. That was really the reunion scene we were waiting for - so much better than the previous episode. The scene where Sun gave Jin back his ring was really sweet as well.

Really I didn't see this episode coming at all. I was expecting a lot more conversation - especially between Jack and Smokey, plus some catching up plot-wise with Widmore, Desmond and Richard and company (and the latter two we didn't see at all). Instead we got an hour of action which ended up halving the number of viable candidates and took out the only pilot on the Island (poor Frank).

And so then there were three... Jack, Hurley and Sawyer. And Sayid claims that Jack's "the one." Is he right? I think so, and it looks like the next step is to collect Desmond before Smokey finds him.

As a side note, this may be the last week I'm really able to do five questions, considering there are only four and a half hours of the show left (yes, you read that right - the finale's been extended by another half hour) and it feels like we're already in the endgame, so my reviews will probably be a bit more general over the next two weeks and I'll have an overall show wrap-up after the finale.

1) Will the Alt be LOST's happy ending?

My official answer to this is "no," because my gut feeling is that Lost is not going to have a touchy-feeley happy ending. But didn't you get a vibe this week that the Alt is going to replace the regular universe? After all, everything seems to be going pretty swimmingly for Alt Jack; he's a good doctor with a much improved bedside manner, he's a good father who's not a drunk (which is always a plus), he's been united with his half-sister who's about to give birth to his nephew and he's above all happy with his life.

And, yeah, not all the other Losties are happy in the Alt, but at least they're alive. And since the body count in the regular universe looks to be extraordinarily high, seems the only way to get a happy ending for all our Losties is to have the Alt replace the regular universe entirely now. And if that happens, it seems to me that it's all going to be up to Jack.

A lot has been made about how everyone, manipulated by Desmond, is converging on the hospital. But I don't necessarily think it's to bring them all together - I think Desmond's sending them all to Jack. Maybe one Alt Jack achieves some Desmond-like awareness, he's going to have to choose which timeline stays and which timeline dies. Seems kinda like a no brainer at first: Everyone alive with happy Jack or Everyone dead with sad Jack.

But what if the choice is more complicated than that? We still don't know if Smokey even exists in the Alt and if he does, what effect he's had on that universe. That could be a deciding factor, but I'm guessing it's going to be something sappier than that - namely that if he chooses the Alt universe, Jack will be choosing a universe where he never knows Kate. And I can't help shake the feeling that whatever Jack chooses, Kate is going to play a large role in the decision.

2) Where the heck did Widmore get a list from? Did Jacob give him one as well?

The fact that Widmore had a list surprised me; Jacob's the list maker around these parts. Did he personally enlist Widmore to come to the rescue? And what does that say about Ilana - did Jacob use Widmore as his backup plan because he knew she was going to blow herself up? Kind of a gruesome thought.

And it seems that Widmore's list contained the same six candidates as Ilana's (Sayid and Jack weren't mentioned because they weren't with the group at the time). I kinda liked the fact the writers were pretty explicit in saying Kate wasn't a candidate - not only did Sawyer mention Kate's name was crossed off the cave wall, but Widmore seemed pretty adamant about it as well.

Of course this means that Kate will almost certainly survive until the end of the show. Methinks she has a bit of Mikhail in her now.

3) So how's Smokey getting off the Island now?

OK, so if Smokey's plan wasn't to take either the plane or the sub, how's he getting off the Island? Two choices I see:

a) He lied to Sawyer previously and really can fly off the Island once all the other candidates are dead.

b) He's going to take the Elizabeth.

Personally I don't think he's going to escape at all. But he's got to at least have a plan for leaving now, right? And I think he can fly - after all, didn't Jacob say that once the cork has been popped, the evil can spread? Methinks Smokey can simply leave if he manages to kill Jack, Hurley and Sawyer.

4) What's the deal with Christian's music box?

Have we ever seen it before? I don't think so. Seems to be something totally new - it's certainly not Danielle's music box - the only other music box we've seen on the show that I can recall. Was there anything inside it? Seems they went out of their way not to show us the contents. And what was the song? Was it Catch A Falling Star? I think it was - can't imagine it would be anything else.

Here's my fearless prediction as to what's inside: The black and white stones that Jack found on Adam and Eve.

5) Would the bomb have gone off if Sawyer hadn't messed with it?

I don't think it would have. Jack was right - just like the dynamite in the Black Rock the candidates can't die by their own hand or by Smokey's hand directly, but they can kill each other indirectly (and I guess Sawyer manipulating the bomb qualifies as indirect). Of course, this begs the question as to whether Sawyer would have survived the bomb he manipulated himself, but let's not go there.

No, this episode definitely confirmed that Smokey can't kill the candidates directly. He needs to find someone to do his dirty work for him... and that's where Claire comes in (hopefully).


- Loved the backgammon preview for next week - want to watch it again in slow-mo. Here's hoping we'll get a hefty helping of Jacob and Smokey.

- I loved Alt Jack's new bedside manner. He's happy! He's optimistic! I think I might actually want him as my doctor! Seriously, I don't think I've ever seen Jack smile as much on the show as he does in the Alt. :)

- Locke mumbled "Push the button" and "I wish you had believed me" in his sleep in the hospital, the latter of which was what was in his suicide note to Jack. Alt Jack then turns it around by saying it back to Locke later on. He also said "whatever happened, happened" to Locke as well.

- Thought what happened to Locke and Cooper was heartbreaking. And there's something about Locke using the wheelchair as his penance that I like a lot.

- Anyone else think Hurley and Jack escaped from the sub a wee bit too easily given they were respectively hauling along a shot Kate and an unconscious Sawyer?

- Also anyone else a bit disappointed we didn't get a fish biscuit? :)

- And where the heck did Smokey get his bomb making ability? Did he pick Sayid's brain or something?

- Jack bought an Apollo candy bar and offered it to Claire in the exact same way Jacob offered it to Jack in "The Incident"

- Frank deserved a better death than to be floored by a sub door. :P


The last 15 minutes of this episode were about as good as anything Lost has done, and Jin and Sun's death scene will almost certainly make my best moments list. Everything up until that though (in the present timeline anyway) felt a little contrived and Locke's backpack switcheroo was just a little too telegraphed for my taste. Still, the ending makes this easily a 4.5/5

Monday, May 3, 2010

So Who's It Going To Be?

Season 6 can now basically be boiled down to three questions:

1) Which candidate will become the new Jacob?

2) How will the two universes come together (or will one be destroyed)?

3) What will happen to all the remaining Losties when all this is over?

I'm guessing that Tuesday's episode, "The Candidate," is going to definitively address #1. And since we know that the remaining six (kinda) candidates are Jack, Hurley, Sawyer, Sayid and Jin or Sun, we can kinda speculate on who it's going to be.

Jack is the obvious candidate - he's the hero, the one who's now been set up to spend some quality alone time with Smokey and the common sense pick for the new Jacob. But perhaps Jack has another role to play - maybe he needs to make a sacrifice (playing the hero) so that one of the other candidates can become Jacob. If that's the case, who will it be?

You have to think Sayid is automatically disqualified, given he killed the protector of the Temple and his hippie translator. Likewise, I think whichever of Jin or Sun is the actual candidate will turn down the role, given their son daughter is still alive out there in the outside world.

As I speculated before, I see Hurley in more in a supportive role (i.e. the new Richard) than becoming the new head honcho. That leaves Sawyer, and I have to say of all the remaining candidates outside of Jack, I could definitely see him as the new Jacob. Why? Mostly because he really doesn't have anything to go back to. Yeah, there's Cassidy and Clementine, but even if he did leave the Island, I really can't see him playing much of a part in either of their lives.

Plus, can't you see Sawyer becoming an omniscient Island God and convincing Kate to stay behind with him? Of course, if this came to pass, they probably wouldn't become Adam and Eve, but that's what Rose and Bernard are there for anyway.

Am I right? Probably not - it probably will be Jack, setting up the inevitable Jack vs. Locke endgame showdown, which is probably how it should end anyway. But I've only got three hours worth of speculation left before we get the rest of the answers - I've got to make the best of the time that I've given! :)


1) We will find out in this episode who the new Jacob will be.

2) Widmore will reveal how he plans to defeat Smokey using the Island's electromagnetism.

3) Smokey will blaze a trail of murderous destruction through Hydra Island, only to be stopped by Hurley's bag of Jacob's ashes (right before he's about to slaughter Tina Fey).

4) Claire will revert to evil form, reveal she just went along for the ride for an opportunity to sink her teeth into Kate's sweet, sweet brain.

5) We'll finally get to see Ben, Richard and Miles again and discover they've spent the last 24 hours getting wasted off of stale DHARMA beer while playing pool in the rec room.

I'm 100% certain these things shall come to pass. Enjoy the show! Review up Wednesday morning! :)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Few Observations From An "Ab Aeterno" Rewatch

Last Tuesday, in the absence of new "Lost," I watched the pop-up version of "Ab Aeterno" and came away with a couple things.

1) They told us straight-up that the remaining six candidates were exactly what they told us they were: Jack, Hurley, Sawyer, Sayid, Jin/Sun and Locke (with Locke obviously eliminated from contention now). No Kate, which might have been a production snafu on the lighthouse wheel, which also means Smokey was telling the truth about "not needing her," no Frank and no Ji-Yeon as well.

So I was totally wrong about Kate and it seems the writers have been playing it straight with us from the beginning on this point. In fact, it really does seem to me that this season pretty much all the answers have been fairly straightforward. We're heading toward an ending where one of the six candidates will become the new Jacob - and it seems it's going to be one of the expected ones all along (the only twist they can throw in there is if it's not Jack).

Part of me does wonder though, that if Smokey does finally figure out which of Jin/Sun is the actual candidate, if he'll immediately kill the other (or, at least, threaten to kill the other unless the candidate leaves with him).

2) Richard was the first of the Others - apparently everyone else Jacob brought to the Island before him had died (or been killed). Missed that the first time around. This also seemed to be the first time Smokey tried to kill Jacob too.

3) The Statue of Taweret was referred to as "protecting the Island." And since the Others really didn't start until 1867 with Richard, I wonder if the childbirth problems all stem from the statue being broken? Maybe the Others didn't even try to reproduce until Ben took the leadership mantel from Richard - after all, didn't Charles have Penny with an off-Island woman? And Eloise gave birth off-Island as well.

Maybe having kids on the Island was all Ben's idea in the first place - the Others simply hadn't even tried to have kids until then, being completely populated by Jacob from outside sources. Ben always did seem to want a "normal" life though, and may have encouraged them to try, especially after the Purge when they took over the Barracks. However, since the statue was broken and Taweret's protection was lost, Smokey was able to prevent any children (i.e. possible future candidates) from being born. Maybe the key to fixing the Island's childbirth issues is restoring the statue?

Just a few things muddling around in my head. Have a great Sunday - predictions will be up tomorrow. :)