Friday, May 30, 2008

4:13 There's No Place Like Home, Parts 2 and 3

Last night's Lost was so full of action and twists and turns...I don't even know where to begin. I gasped, screamed, and yelled "Oh no!" so many times that Eric very sweetly told me to shut up. Now that's good TV!

First things first: they moved the Island! Something I noticed while Ben was in the cold room with the Wheel of Time (that's what I'm calling it, anyway!*) - the sound effects that were used sounded just like the ones in the Swan Hatch before it exploded. The same eerie humming that signified massive amounts of electromagnetism. The soundtrack music was the same too. And then when Ben finishes turning the wheel, the blinding light that results is the same that we saw in the finale of season 2. So, could the Island have been moved at that point too? There wasn't anyone offshore at that time to observe it, so theoretically none of the Losties would have been able to tell it had moved - they would have been moved right along with it. Maybe that could explain though how Desmond and Eko woke up far apart in different places on the Island, but completely unscathed.

We saw in "The Shape of Things to Come" that right after he turns the wheel, Ben ends up in the middle of the Sahara Desert. Remember that polar bear skeleton that Charlotte found in the Sahara? It had a Dharma Initiative collar next to it. I think the DI was using the polar bears as test subjects to turn the wheel, and that's how one (maybe several) ended up in the Sahara. At least they wouldn't mind the cold in the time chamber. The wheel spokes had holes in their ends - maybe for hitching up to polar bears?

*A bit of useless trivia about the wheel - for every season finale, the writers come up with a code word/phrase for the big reveal or cliffhanger of that season so they can refer to that scene in front of anyone without giving the secret away. Season 1 was "The Bagel" (Walt taken from the raft by The Others), season 2 was "The Challah" (Penny's men detecting the electromagnetic anomaly and reporting it to her), season 3 was "The Rattlesnake in the Mailbox" (finding out that Jack and Kate are off Island in the future) and this one was "Frozen Donkey Wheel". Damon and Carlton talked about this in the podcast a few weeks ago - who would have guessed that "Frozen Donkey Wheel" meant exactly what it said?

The big question though, is where is the Island now? Or when? One clue might be the Orchid Station orientation video that Locke watches. The writers had serious time issues this season (condensing 16 episodes into 13) and they took a big chunk of time for us to see that video, so it must be important. Right before the tape starts going haywire, Dr. Edward Halliwax says that when the rabbit is sent a few milliseconds in the future it will "seem to disappear" for a brief moment. Maybe that's what happened to the Island too - in being sent into the future it seems to disappear. And if it was being sent much farther than a few milliseconds (it could be months or years) it could seem to disappear for much longer.

Speaking of Locke...I was shocked, SHOCKED that he was the one in the coffin. I was sure it was going to be Ben, especially since the alias he was using was Jeremy BENtham. Turns out if I had paid more attention in philosophy class in 10th grade I might have clued in to who it was; Jeremy Bentham was a philosopher in the late 1700/early 1800s. (Also named for philosophers: Danielle Rousseau, Desmond Hume, Richard Alpert (AKA Ram Dass), and John Locke himself.) Jeremy Bentham was heavily influenced by Locke's work, and was also a rationalist. Here's an excerpt from

Bentham is primarily known today for his moral philosophy, especially his principle of utilitarianism which evaluates actions based upon their consequences, in particular the overall happiness created for everyone affected by the action. He maintained that putting this principle into consistent practice would provide justification for social, political, and legal institutions. Although Bentham's influence was minor during his life, his impact was greater in later years as his ideas were carried on by followers such as John Stuart Mill, John Austin, and other consequentialists.

Bentham is also known for designing the Panopticon, a prison design in which an observer can see all the prisoners, but the prisoners don't know they're being watched. The pyschological effect of the design is the "sentiment of an invisible omniscience"; the idea is that the feeling that they are constantly under scrutiny will lead to better behavior and reform. Here's a sketch:

Maybe the name Jeremy Bentham represents Locke's new role and how he sees himself as the new leader of The Others. That group definitely has a history of people watching (the many surveillance cameras, the black smoke, the whispers). I like the way we were shown Locke in the coffin, but have no idea how he got there - it's the same storytelling device the writers used last season when they showed us Jack and Kate off the Island with no explanation of how they were rescued. I bet a lot of season 5 will be about Locke as a leader on the Island and what "bad things" happen to prompt him to seek out the ones who left.

There were a lot of deaths last night (speaking of which, I recently saw Matthew Fox on Jimmy Kimmel, and he commented that the show has become a lot more violent since it was moved to the 10:00 time slot. So it's not just my imagination.) Three of the originals: Michael, Jin, and Locke - although technically we didn't actually see any of them die. The only person we saw die (twice!) was Keamy - holy moley, I was glad to see that guy gone. He was scary. Almost as scary as Ben. (Did anyone else get total chills when Locke told Ben "You just killed everyone on the boat!" and Ben said "So?" The guy is pure evil. But man, he's fun to watch!) Michael's death has me perplexed - why did Christian Shepard, who Michael had never seen before, appear to him? "You can go now" - does that mean "You can die?" or "Let me teleport you along with the Island"? We never actually see him get hit by the blast. Add to that the fact that Walt thinks Michael is still on the Island - and since Walt has been visited by Jeremy Bentham/Locke, you'd think he would have been clued in about his dad's passing. Curiouser and curiouser.

As for Jin, I think there is a good chance he's still alive. That was a pretty big explosion - but if people can survive a plane crash, a gunshot to the stomach, a helicopter crash, or a harpoon to the chest, why not a huge pile of C4 detonating? That would be a pretty good twist for season 6 too: Sun goes back to the Island and - surprise! Your husband didn't actually explode! (And hopefully you didn't start dating again.)

I think my favorite scene was the reunion between Desmond and Penny. Their story is one of the best arcs on the show. (On a side note, I really wish they didn't have to tell us in the opening credits who the guest stars are going to be. I saw Sonya Walger credited and instantly knew Penny was going to show up at some point - talk about ruining the surprise. But apparently it's in the actors' contracts or something so the writers/producers don't have a choice about who shows up in the credits.) The scene in "The Constant" when they speak to each other on the phone has the high honor of being the first scene in a television show ever to make me cry. If none of the other characters end up happy, I hope Penny and Desmond do. I almost wish this could be the end of their story - but it can't, since Ben's mission in life now is to kill Penny. Way to wreck the honeymoon, Ben.

Lots of creepiness last night too - Hurley playing chess with Mr. Eko sent shivers down my spine. Kate's dream about Claire was chilling, although I was glad to see Kate showing some remorse about taking Aaron away from his mother. And when Ben startles Jack in the funeral home I just about peed my pants - I mean, Ben is creepy even when he's sitting there eating an Apollo Bar; appearing in the corner of a closed funeral parlor dressed all in black pushes him way over the edge of the creepy scale.

A few of my favorite moments: finding out Charlotte was born on the Island (did her parents know Ben?), Sawyer jumping out of the helicopter and sacrificing himself for the rest of the group (when did he become so noble?), Sun confronting Mr. Widmore in London, and Sayid playing the spy/assassin role again (they are both so badass in the future).

A few things I don't really get: The Island let Michael die (if he did) once the freighter was about to blow up because that was the mission he was supposed to accomplish. But why did the freighter need to be destroyed? They moved the Island, so there's no way Widmore could have come back to find it (the reason they wanted to get rid of the freighter in the first place). Also, Keamy's "dead man trigger" - how in the world was it sending a radio signal to the freighter from so far underground in the Orchid Station? And when he died, why couldn't Ben and Locke just pick up the device quickly and put it on one of their arms? I'm not very knowledgeable about dead man triggers (a little, but not very) but I was surprised they didn't even try that.

Predictions for next season: On Island, we'll see Locke's rule as the new leader of The Others and how that eventually leads to his death. Hopefully we'll find out more about how the Island moved, and where it is now. We'll see the gathering of the Oceanic Six and how they are each persuaded that they have to go back to the Island. As far as how they'll get back...I'm kind of hoping next season will end with another plane crash.

What are your thoughts? Questions? Rants?

Eight long months to go until the next new Lost. I need a new hobby.

Friday, May 16, 2008

4:12 There's No Place Like Home, Part 1

This week I took notes. Here are my reactions to last night's LOST, scene by scene. It centered on flashforwards (or flashbacks, depending on which story line you consider present time) for all of the Oceanic Six. Stop reading now if you haven't watched it yet!

-I didn't think we'd see the arrival home of the Oceanic Six until the very end. Very cool. The Oceanic rep is Michelle Forbes (from Prison Break, 24, and Battlestar Gallactica - or so Eric tells me).

-Jack: "We all know the story." I wonder who told them what "the story" was? No one's there to greet Kate. So sad. No wonder she becomes so devoted to Aaron, she has no one else.

-"Don't bleed to death Jack." I really like Juliet. I hope they don't kill her off.

-How does Daniel know about the Second Protocol and The Orchid?

-Oh my. Sawyer looks mighty fetching with a baby in his arms. But how is that baby not starving by now? Did Claire get out her Medela and pump 12 ounces into a coconut shell before walking off into the jungle?

-Ha! He called it "New Otherton"! That's a long standing inside joke between the writers, so funny. "You don't get to die alone." I like Responsible Sawyer.

-So Kate is actually claiming that she gave birth to Aaron! Wow. She and Jack are both way too good at lying. They are saying Jin died on the plane and not on the Island. I wonder who they will say *did* die on the Island?

-I kind of hate that we know Nadia is going to be murdered soon. Stupid flashforwards. Poor Sayid.

-EW! 15 year old crackers!

-I can't figure out how only the Six are going to be rescued. So far they're still in three separate groups - Sun and Aaron on the freighter, Kate, Sayid and Jack in the jungle, and Hurley with Ben and Locke. It will be very interesting to see how they all get together for the rescue.

-Sun takes over her evil father's company. Go Sun!

-Hurley hears whispers! ...and it's a surprise party. A luau?! Nice. It's so weird to see Kate, Sayid and Hurley hanging out at a backyard barbecue. Hurley's keychain is a rabbit foot just like the pilot's in the beginning. Oh no, the numbers! I would run too!

-Hurley gets the best question of the night: If they move the Island, won't the bad guys just be moved along with it?

-Locke to Ben: "When are you ever entirely truthful?" Another excellent question.

-It's Claire's mom!!! Holy crap, that gave me chills. I never thought that's how Jack would find out that Claire is his sister. So he did know in the flashforward when he yells at Kate "You're not even related to him!"

-I really think Claire is still alive on the Island. It's so much more dramatic if she's still there and Kate is raising Aaron as her own. It gives them a huge reason to have to go back.

-A less than joyous reunion between Sun, Jin and Michael. Too bad he can't give the watch back.

-Whoa, the freighter's loaded down with C4. Is that what Keamy's device is set to detonate? I'm willing to put money down that we'll see the Kahana explode next episode. It just wouldn't be a season finale without stuff blowing up! (Past season finales exploded the door of the Swan hatch, the inside of the Swan hatch, and lots of Others)

-Gah!!! Richard Alpert! Dressed in Other clothes!?

-Ben always has a plan.

What did everyone think of this episode? I liked that all of the Six got a bit of the spotlight. Although this was kind of a bridge episode, it seems like they're gearing up for a big one next time so I'm excited. Let me know your theories about how the rescue will happen - and who is in that coffin!

Friday, May 9, 2008

4:11 Cabin Fever

Sweet sassy molassey, how crazy was last night's episode?! MOVE the Island?! Wha-ha-ha-haaaat?! Locke met both Alpert and Abaddon pre-Island - and they tried to recruit him?! Claire is chilling with Christian in Jacob's cabin, acting all high?! Locke drew a picture of the black smoke as a child?!

Something I had forgotten from previous episodes is that Locke's mother is named Emily. Remember who else was named Emily? Yep, Benjamin Linus' mother. Are they the same person, or is it a coincidence? Could Locke and Ben be brothers? That would be dramatic for sure, and it would explain why they are both "special" enough to be chosen by the Island. The problem with this theory is that Ben's mom died giving birth to him and in the season one episode "Deus Ex Machina" Locke met his mother - and DNA tests confirmed with 99% certainty that she was who she claimed to be. Maybe we'll find out that there is a prophecy à la Harry Potter about who the next leader will be which involves being born to a woman named Emily L---- (Locke and Linus have the same number of letters.) Richard Alpert is watching after Locke is born - maybe Horace Goodspeed shows up right as Ben is born because he is being watched in the same way, hoping that he will be the Island's next chosen leader.

Another weird connection is the test that Richard Alpert gave to young John Locke, apparently to find out if he was ready to be recruited to a "gifted school" (which we all know means the Island.) I remembered learning in a World Religions class that a similar test is given to children who are thought to be the new incarnation of the Dalai Lama. Here's part of an article about it:

Officials can decide where to look for the reincarnation [of the Dalai Lama] in several ways: by way of a dream; by watching the direction the smoke drifts after the cremation of the previous Lama and then searching accordingly; or from some sign or vision from a holy lake in central Tibet.

Once found, the officials present the boy with possessions of the previous Dalai Lama to determine whether the boy is familiar with them. If the child chooses the artifacts that belonged to he previous Lama, than that, along with the other signs, is believed to prove he is a reincarnation.

So did those objects belong to Jacob? Or another leader on the Island? Why did choosing the knife cause him to fail the test? It's interesting that the knife was the wrong choice - since that's the object that grownup Locke is always wielding. Maybe it's a sign that he's not being true to his real destiny?

And how about that "Mystery Tales" comic book? The guy with the dark brows looks a lot like the ageless Alpert to me. And notice the floating city.

Thanks to Google, I found out that this comic was published in April 1956 by Atlas Comics (which later became Marvel.) The stories inside include "The Hidden Land!", "A Warning Voice", "The Travelers", and "Crossroads of Destiny". Anyone want to buy a copy on eBay and tell me what the stories say?

I loved the cabin scene, and I'm not embarrassed to admit that I got REALLY scared. As soon as they cue those peeper frogs, I start getting goosebumps. Last night Eric had gone to bed early and there was a huge thunderstorm, so things were set up perfectly for me to get all kinds of freaked out. Then at the exact moment Locke first sees someone sitting in the corner of the cabin, the crappy Ikea blinds on our sliding glass door behind me fell off their tracks with a huge crash. I just about peed my pants! I had to do some deep breathing to recover - and then watch The Office to get de-creepified before going to bed.