Monday, March 29, 2010

"Exodus Revisited"

Today nephew-Ian wanted to see Doc Arzt blow up again, so we watched Exodus-2. Later when we saw Locke getting pulled down the hole by Smokey, and his nonchalant attitude about it, we wondered if maybe MIB was trying to get Locke's body at that point for his Loophole scheme. After all, he scanned Locke previously, in White Rabbit I think, and would have been prepared to play pretender-Locke right then after learning his mannerisms and idiosyncrasies. Smokey had fooled Locke into thinking that he was a thing of beauty and a joy to behold, so if there was any free will involved, that was taken care of. Then one quick pull down the rabbit hole and he could have sauntered back to camp with no one the wiser. Until Jack and Kate showed up to rescue Locke. It's probably not going to happen that way, but it just really stuck out to us as a quirky possibility. Just think, then Lost would have only been about 3 seasons long if the Dynamite Duo hadn't come back to help him get away from Smokey. :o)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

"Ab Inferno"

This week's story has as many mentions of Hell as last week's ep had attempted cons. One man's heaven on earth is another man's hell on earth, as MIB does his best to convince Richard that the island is nothing but a Hell-hole made to drive men crazy.

Richard's long desired episode was a surprisingly Gothic tale of how he too came to this island during his own "dark night of the soul," ripe for the tricks of MIB and Jacob after he survives his island arrival. I'd be tempted to say that he has a better chance of saving his soul with MIB, than with an 18th century Catholic priest, but I won't go there but to say thank the Lord for the Reformation. Overall this episode was one of the most artfully beautiful, with the backstory scenes looking very much like a painting by Caravaggio, who did a painting that we saw last season BTW.

Nitpick #1: should we call anachronism-shenanigans here? I don't think that there were modern study-bibles with the center column footnotes back in the 18th century.

Nitpick #2: throw rotten tomatoes at me if you will, but in my mind I imagined a much more science-y, or Scifi, mechanism that put the Black Rock in the center of the island, and broke up the statue. I'm just saying. That's just a product of giving us way too much time to think about what the source of those mysteries were I guess.

Nitpick #3: ducking tomatoes again, some of the Black Rock scenes dragged on a bit for my taste, I began to lose concentration here and there.

I am very confused as to what went on between the crew, Smokey, MIB, Fisabella, and all that MIB told Richard, but I hope that those things will become clear soon. It seems as if MIB has the keys to everyone's happiness or desires, except for his own. And BTW, if all of the crew was killed by the shipwreck or Smokey, who buried Magnus as noted in Radzinsky's Blast Door Map recordings? Hmm?

I wasn't very impressed by Jacob's cavalier attitude towards RA, or the way he seemingly left RA to starve and rot to be fodder for MIB's plans, but maybe that's all a part of The Rules. Can Jacob not approach them until MIB does? Or can he not help the humans until they come to him for help? And why doesn't Jacob seem to care about the fact that everyone else who he's brought to the island is dead? Maybe he just knows that they're in that "better place" or something. But now we know how RA chose the eternal island life, most likely with the echoes of the priest ludicrously refusing him absolution still ringing in his head. He surely would have chosen eternity with Isabella instead, if he hadn't have been scared into false thoughts of his own damnation.

All of MIB's talk about Hell probably didn't help Richard's psyche any either, as MIB knew exactly how to scare him into believing his stories and helping him. MIB told Sawyer that there wasn't anything special about this island, but for him the island is a living hell. It makes you wonder if the island is some kind of universal prison that he's been banished to like those prisoners in the Superman-2 movie who were imprisoned in the Phantom Zone. Come to think of it, MIB does act a lot like General Zod at times. Or it could be something much simpler, as a job that Jacob and MIB have been assigned to, and MIB just can't stand to be stuck in one place. "The mind is its own place, it can make a heaven of hell, and a hell of heaven" ~ Milton.

Meanwhile back at the ranch-beach, the Losties try to cheer RA up, and get some answers out of Ilana to no avail. RA is inconsolable and returns to his mock grave for Isabella giving us another classic touching Lost scene to make the eyes tear up. Thankfully Hurley assists RA in finding some peace with his memories a-la Sawyer's Little House episode. And Isabella leaves me wondering what she meant by saying that she and RA are already together, as in, are we sure that it's just an island and not some way-station between Life and Death?

Saturday, March 20, 2010


There was a lot of conning going on in this episode! For me, this is one of those transitional installments that takes me from one train of thought about the show into another. One of those "things that make you go Hmmm" episodes. So I wasn't really sure how to intelligently analyze this one, and I'm not sure that I want or need to just yet. Although some thought bubbles did come to mind during the show.

I don't want to make light of anyone's appearance, but I surely hope that R.M. hasn't succumbed to the Hollywood stereotypical lollipop-head-on-a-stick image disorder. Her thinness in the ep almost frightened me for her.

For some reason I also don't feel the need to figure out the details of Sawyer's con/reverse-con/doubleback-con on Widmore and Flocke. I think that I'll just sit back and enjoy it as it unfolds, in the hopes that it's something really delicious and worth the wait. Other than that, I'm stumped by this one. Was anyone else affected in the same way?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

"God Plays With Us, M'Sabu"

Well, numerous swigs of NyQuil later, I'm up for trying to sort out some of my reactions to Dr. Linus. The heading I used comes from the movie "Out Of Africa", where Karen Blixen's personal servant is telling her a parable to help her philosophically deal with a lion attacking the cattle on their safari. He chuckles something to the effect of, "Karen does not have this ox; the wagon does not have this ox; the lion does not have this ox...God plays with us," intimating that everything is a part of the greater whole in the eyes of God and the nature of things. And that's partially the feeling that I got from this ep. Ben does not have this island, Widmore does not have this island, Dogen, etc. Hopefully all these "chosen" (see the book Ben uncovers on the beach) players are more than just hapless pawns in a higher entity's random chess game. This also reminds me a lot of "Clash Of The Titans" (the Ray Harryhausen version, please) where the humans figures are moved around on a tabletop shuffleboard on Mount Olympus by Zeus and his cronies.

Everyone raise your hands if you want to be in Dr.Linus' class! Ben is a very caring teacher in the flash sideways universe, I was impressed. He connects with people, thinks of their welfare first, and the impetus of his actions seems to be to work for the greater goals that benefit the most people. The complete opposite of Ben in the 815 universe, who has his own sort of Napoleon Complex type issues. Unfortunately like many teachers, Dr. Linus is hamstrung by an administrator who is also power hungry. And wow, who wasn't blown away by the flipped mirror version implications of FS-Ben with his father. Amazing, and bravo Powers That Be.

When Miles ratted out Ben I was actually hoping that he wouldn't do it for some reason! I also thought that it was very interesting how Miles seemed to be caressing Jacob's ashes, he obviously has retained his profound respect for the dead, as cynical as he may be with the living at this point.

And...the island still got Frank in the end, says Ben in a moment of his newly found wisdom. A bigger hint to what will come for our worker bees in God's beehives? That is, will whatever happens in the FS still somehow bring The Chosen back to the island like a converging side-path meeting once again with the main fairway after forking off temporarily?

I was amazed at how Ben retained his conniving mind up to what he thought was the very end for him. And also really wishing that Miles would let him go so that we could see Ben running to the FDW to turn it and make another escape! But lucky Miles does what we mostly felt needed to happen that had nothing to do with Ben....discovering that Nikki and Paulo were buried alive. And he found the diamonds, go Miles!

Thankfully we got to spend some time with Richard, who is feeling jilted by the one person he trusted. I'd guess that his confusion has been building since Locke and Flocke began to tell him how great they were and that Locke was the new Leader. And here is where even more I really tend to think that when the Islanders thought they were talking to Jacob, that sometimes they were talking to MIB by mistake. I could be wrong of course, but it seems like a hint here possibly.

We also got a parallel to Michael's not being able to kill himself. Was he touched by Jacob at a time that we weren't privy to? Jack seemed to have an epiphany about that and it all came together in his head full of Jackface before our eyes. Did, or will, Hurley realize it as well?

I have to hand it to Dedjezter at TLC for the best comment during the ep which went something like, "Jack has a sense of humor...never saw that coming!" And what was up with Jack saying that if they didn't help Richard, he'd just do it anyway?! RA just told Jack that he couldn't kill himself without their help. It's not like RA's standing on a corner in Manhattan and he can ask any one of a million people passing by to help him. There's no one else on the island, as far as they know. Maybe it was just Jack testing his new funny bone again.

What Ilana said to Ben about how she'll have him when no one else will blew me away, and was telling. Here could be an encapsulation of the redemption topic. The "island" judges, or the island forgives, we know this. And even despicable Ben can be a new man if he so chooses because Ilana has forgiven him for what he did. The most important point being that Ben was truly appalled at his behavior and sorry for what he did. He can have a completely new life now -- be a new man -- very much like what the Christian bible teaches that God offers mankind.

It was delicious watching Dr. Linus negotiating an off-the-cuff coup that would make Sun Tzu proud. He goes in with one plan fully intent on its success, but after it backfires he pulls an advantage switch that gains him a foothold for helping Alex, and a few little benefits on the side as well. Schwing!

I agree with everyone that it was so nice to have a happy beach scene once again, it's been a very long time! But TPTB appeared to have left us with the thought that Widmore in the sub might spoil the beach party, but I don't think so. I think that TPTB are still playing with us too.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

"Showdown At Sundown"

This week's header caption is brought to you by my nephew Ian, mentioned here often, because we watched the episode together after school Wednesday. We used to rewatch with his big brother Lee also, but he's got lots of after-school sports now (hi Lee!). Ian thought that it was pretty funny how Ben reacted to Sayid's eeevilness. He made a lot of comments during the episode, so some of them are mixed in with my thoughts.

Uncle Sayid? Wow, this flash-sideways timeline is like a flash-diagonal in it's bizarreness. I figured that TPTB were setting us up for something surprising here, but I didn't expect that. I didn't foresee much of anything in this episode, for that matter.

Ian and I both agree that this was a great fight scene, although it was a shame to see Dogen's lair trashed up. Little did we know that later he wouldn't be needing it anymore anyway.

One thing we did guess was that the baseball belonged to some iteration of Dogen's son, in whatever universe or timezone.

We're both pretty confused but intrigued by Claire's allegiance to Flocke. But we're guessing that three years with the freak would change anyone. We still need to know how he got her to walk away from baby Aaron so easily, but I'm not hopeful that we will be getting any information on that all. Although it might be just as simple as her death after the explosion left her fodder for MIB to take over.

It was fun Jack-spotting in the hospital passing Sayid and Nadia. A commenter on either TLC or EyeMSick mentioned that perhaps in this timeline Jack decided to operate on Shannon's dad instead of Sarah. I'm sorry that I can't remember who said that, but it's an interesting idea to think about as to the ramifications of the difference in choice.

So Dogen gives Sayid a Sting sword to kill the Orcs with, but it doesn't work. That caught us off guard as well. We figured that MIB would kill Sayid then and there, not pull a slick bargain on him.

But bargain he did, and he began to sound a lot like a certain snake in a garden. I'm still somewhat confused about how it relates to what happened in the FS timeline though. Nevertheless, we enjoyed seeing Keamy show up as another form of his over-the-top bad guy self, although I could respect him a little more as a mercenary than just a Mafia type thug. There's no logic in that thought at all, I realize.

I'm just disliking Cindy more and more every time she shows up...and she hardly ever does! Something is just very off about her, IMO. Perhaps she's just so distraught at the death of her boyfriend Gary...ah, who cares.

Well, I'm very confused (along with Amy Lynn at TLC) that Kate spent all that time telling Claire various details about Aaron, but failed to mention anything at all about her mother having him. Telling her would also reveal that she's alive (thanks The Other Lisa at TLC) and not in a coma anymore. Not that Kate would have known about the accident, etc., but it just felt that TPTB underestimated us in this area here. Or, maybe I'm underestimating them and they have plans for explaining such a glaring omission of dialogue. Kudos to Emilie De Ravin in her Rambo version of Claire, she's doing a great job of playing crazazy.

Ian and I feel that Dogen probably wasn't being specifically punished by Jacob in having to make the choice of saving his son and being banished from The World, as some are looking at it. It's kind of a Zen thing maybe. It was entirely Dogen's fault that his son was hurt, but it's a trade-off that had merit and dignity where none might have existed otherwise in the tragic situation. Not only in making some restitution for his foolish act and to pay Jacob for the "miracle", but to honor the gift that Jacob gave to Dogen and his son of allowing him to live. It's maybe not just a one-sided bargain to avoid the shame and suffering he caused in The World, Jacob needed him for an important task and it would be something that's also an honor to uphold, especially in Dogen's culture. That's just my take on it anyway, I could be totally off.

Give a 'Standing-O' to Naveen Andrews for his outstanding performance which flowed seamlessly between the suffering tragic, a compassionate hero, and newly formed demon. He was just amazing and this episode should be used in acting classes to exhibit the range an actor can aspire to. Seriously.

OK, we're really amazed about why Kate followed someone that she knew was dead in L.A., into the jungle with a bunch of people that she hates, without showing any concern for her pals left behind in the temple with Smokey. It's just not up to her usual Amazonian Warrioress attitude. Does she have a plan? Is she playing it by ear until she gets a plan? I'm leaning towards that angle at this point. Unless she has somehow been claimed because she didn't follow Jacob's request of giving up the life of crime and it made her susceptible to MIB, that's always an option too I suppose.

I think that everyone agrees that this episode had the creepiest and most compelling ending ever so far. It was a haunting rendition of Perry Como's big hit, like it was never heard before. The use of the song got me wondering: is the falling star a reference to MIB being the Lucifer who fell from grace in Heaven? Or alluding to the possibility that the island might be a fallen "star" or meteor that landed on Earth? And what about this part of the one verse that Claire sang: "For love may come and tap you on the shoulder some starless night, Just in case you feel you want to hold her, You'll have a pocketful of starlight." That sounds like some kind of loophole to me.