Sunday, March 25, 2007

>: 60 THE MAN FROM TALLAHASSEE

Another great fake-out intro. This show continues to make a gullible fool out of me. I was already cursing that this flashback was starting post-paralysis, what a gyp. Locke even reaches down with his arms like he’s got the chair. Tricky. When he stood up, my friend Steve muttered, Now we’re going to see HOW. I’ve been saying that the last four times, I whispered back, since before we met Anthony Cooper in the first place.

And back to the novelty of throwing the pigskin in the Village. “Good hands!” Was sure Juliet was going to lay one on ol Jack right there, so manly is he. Locke again breaks it down for the team with his gift for oversimplification: “This is going to be more complicated than we thought.” Much what I was thinking as well, sir, 80 days after 815 actually crashed, in the neighborhood of December 11th 2004, about the time you and Boone first stumbled across the Hatch, our time. More. Complicated.

Flashback, hell yes, Locke is rocking the Marie Callender Meat Loaf & Gravy frozen dinner. A personal favorite of mine, Lindelof’s too, certainly. Peter Talbot? Only thing that makes me think of is David Talbot, the guy who interviewed a vampire in Anne Rice’s debut. Locke, such an idiot to lie and cover up for his awful father. As always.

Locke sends Kate in first. Again, as always. Same as the hatch. Jack was making the Giacchino chords happen on the piano. Sounded original, anyway. Much more shocking to see those guys pin Sayid to the floor than nab Kate. Figured Rousseau was coming for Ben, not Locke.

Tom’s “Got it” to Ben cracked me up, Tom making it happen, as always and forever, surely. The second Ben said “the man from Tallahassee” I knew that it would be Locke’s father, not Jack’s, who would turn out to show up on the island first. By way of Sawyer, Florida, and the Long Con. Attuned, am I!

The wildest thing of the episode was the return of the FuckYouUp Car from Season 1! Right when Anthony Cooper, sitting member of the Board of Directors at WidmoreCorp, says “Hello, John,” in his mark’s floral shop, you can see the car drive by in the window behind him. This is huge. The car doesn’t do anything else this episode. But it’s the same car that backed into Locke in the parking lot on the way for him to start to get tricked by his mother in 1.19. Same car that plowed into Michael after he hung up mad with his ex and kept him from going to get Walt (that’s my SON!) in 1.14. And it’s the car that Kate smashed into when she managed to kill her old boyfriend in 1.22. And now . . . it returns! So weird for them just to put it in here and not have it do anything heinous. Did it kill Peter Talbot? Is it taking orders from Cooper? Is the driver wearing a Dharma Initiative uniform and/or on the payroll of the Hanso Foundation/Mittelos Corp? Yes yes and yes, children.

Locke, you douchebag, why tip Cooper off? Who could be that stupid?

Ben wants some dignity. Emerson is acting his ass off. “I know you, John Locke.”
Wow, them talking about the back breaking. After all this time, we’re going to see.

So weird to have Jack giving Kate the same Others pat answer about the all-this-time missing captives. “They’re all safe.” Nice touch him throwing Sawyer back in her face re: trusting Others in the first place. But he’s still got the head-dipdown “I will come back for you”. Good stuff. Daniel Day-Lewis has nothing on you, Shephard. Loved that last shot with the foosball table in the foreground, Kate hunched down trying to figure it all out. Sums up the great trick they always pull about recasting the mundane in new and interesting ways (see Jack & Tom playing Catch). Great first half of the episode. I wonder if we’re going to have Locke blow up the sub and break his back.

Loved Ben reminiscing about his Swan captivity and not asking Locke about all he knew (and that Henry Gale could not)(wow, really, who the fuck was Henry Gale? And Jennifer?) . Looks like portrait of Juliet holding the pregnant male mouse up on his wall, as well as a chart of constellations I used to keep hanging up over my bed from like age 10-13. The island won’t fix him, Ben is not a good person, certainly. After all this time, Locke’s holding him prisoner again. You got any Stephen King?

And Sayid plants the first seed of doubt in Alex, good stuff.

Ben’s got Hawking’s A Brief History of Time in his living room. Maybe he loaned it to the guy who fell for the Wookie prison transfer. Great crack about giant hamsters in the underground lair. The magic box example “in terms Locke can understand” is fascinating to me. A scientific explanation, whatever you imagine, it can make, well that’s nanotech. Those little suckers own hydrogen and just move forward from there, so they can literally craft anything you can imagine. And I’m sure the smoke monster must be rogue nanotechnology. JJ Abrams, when he was real young, bought a magic box with a ? on top of it in NY, a $50 magical value for only $15, the sticker claimed. 15, I say. He’s never opened it in all this time, his imagination having long since far outstripped whatever is literally in that box. He’s going to die not knowing for sure what’s in there, but with an infinite variety of mysterious riches nesting there in his mind. Ben’s little example freaked me out pretty good, more than the FuckYouUp Car returning even, JJ’s magic box, the ?, nanotech, how all of these things apply and nestle and bundle and swirl in the creative process . . . again, let me sum the island experience up. WHAT IS GOING ON HERE? (exactly)

Great retort from Locke about the submarine, too.

Wow, cold-blooded, Ben tells Locke that basically all he’s doing is blowing up Jack’s ride, the sub can never come back anyway because of the anomaly (Locke’s last major fuck-up, please bear in mind, island faithful)(not counting his more-than-indirect role in the departure of the best character to crash into these shores, a certain Nigerian) and his pat response is “Let’s go.” Brilliant. Gahd, and then Alex, 16-year old Alex, even tells Locke that Ben is the master manipulator, which anyone tuning in with a cerebellum could also share, and he has the nerve to come back with “I’ll have to keep that in mind”. It’s not a mind, dude. It’s a Rambo gag-reflex.

Not that the creators are as stupid as Locke. Incredible move to have the shot of him first opening the porthole down into the sub mirroring the classic shot of him and Jack looking down into the hatch, but now he’s in the NE quadrant opposite his former location in the SW. Indicating an absolute reverse. In intentions and outcome.

Was Ben referencing Judge Reinhold with “You don’t knock?” at Jack. If so, can I handle it?

Bad edit with Jack/Ben/Juliet. Ben makes his tiered, not-going-to-happen promise, shakes hands with Jack, Jack clearly turns and walks away, then Ben has his little moment with Juliet. Cut to Jack standing in the same place, pre-walkaway. The anomaly strikes again! I’ll blow his damn head off, brothah!

Hah, I must be channeling Desmond because Cooper pours himself and Locke shots of MacCutcheon right before Locke finally finally falls eight stories and one of the oldest questions is answered. Next up, just any day: Who are Adam and Eve? and Where’s Christian Shephard’s body? Cold, how Dad sets Locke up, too.

(Horrifying numbers footnote: at this commercial break, we cut to Austin local news showing a cop’s car camera doing night-vision on another car on fire. The ticker reads: 4215. 4216. Doesn’t skip to 4223, though)

The detectives say Locke’s father could be anywhere in the world now? Hmm, I would try latitude 4.815 and longitude 162.342 to start with, but I’m a nut. Couldn’t be.

Wow, and there’s Richard, the guy who hired Juliet (and hit her ex with an Apollo Candy bus) three years ago, helping Ben with John. Mittlos Tech=the Others=the Hostiles, the little doubt removed. He asks Locke “Are you going to do anything stupid?” Yukyuk. Richard is being ironic.

I missed this the first time: Ben asking John “are you ready to see what came out of the magic box?” Meaning his father. Adding credence to my idea that all the ghost guides who keep cropping up (Christian, Ana, backwardsWalt, Boone, Yemi) are results of nanotech. Ben dropping the word “communion” with Locke brings Whitley Strieber to mind, very interesting, we’re right back to aliens and bigspaceship1 after all of this. So great, how he set Locke up, this is the one place your father can never get at you. Is it really his father? What in hell is happening on this island? Really! I mean it, this time! 108108108eject!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

>: 59 PAR AVION (this post=842words)

The recap lets us know that we’re going to get tons of plot advancement down several threads. Great news. I about didn’t expect to see Jack’s crew or Sayid’s crew this week and focus on base camp adventures. The writers are juggling a lot, and very well.

Killer opening (except for the Dancing w/the Stars simulacrums gliding across the bottom of the screen, that was pretty frustrating). Claire’s eye. Second shot of the ep shows her odomoter, the tenth of a mile’s on an 8 and she’s on mile 10, giving us a cool 108 in black and white, no less. The numbers endure. She’s hurt, but not as bad as Ma. The goth girl dark hair tells us this is the earliest we’ve seen her.

And Charlie’s woken up free of worry. Which should last all of four minutes. Precog Desmond is one of my favorite subplots ever. “I know how we can get off this island!” Quite a lot before the title.

Sawyer’s rocking Rand’s The Fountainhead. Catherine’s been after me to read that for the majority of our relationship. I yield. There’s MC Gainey in the credits, guess Tom’s showing up. Claire all-but-confirms Christian Shephard as her dad in my eyes when she tells the cop that her dad died when she was two.

Is that creek where Kate and Rousseau talked about Jack and Alex the same one where Eko took his last drink of water? Could it NOT be?

Real interesting, that talk with Mikhail. So, the Swan’s EM juice was emitting a locator signal for the Hostiles’ sub.
“Why would we want to come back (to the island)?”
“You are not capable of understanding . . . because you are not on the list . . . because you are flawed.”
Including Locke (Ben was lying back in the Swan armory, no surprise there). So, who are the Good Ones? Are there any left or have they all been taken? Mikhail dropping all of their names and Locke’s paralysis was awesome. As was the sweeping shot of the pylon perimeter.

And there’s Aunt Lindsey. I didn’t recognize her from the Ana-Lucia flashback, but hearing about someone paying for everything REALLY confirms the whole Uncle Jack/Christian-as-father theory that’s been percolating since only a few minutes before Ana and Libby breathed their last.

A brutal cerebral hemorrhage for Mikhail. They really are running hard for the Locke-as-jackass angle. Wonder where it’ll wind up. He seems to have about lost all credibility with Sayid and Kate.

(and that’s only half of the episode, yeesh)

Kate shimmying up the tree was suitably tense.

Knew he was going to be there but it was so great to see Christian Shephard show up yet again. So, he’s been in almost all of Jack’s flashbacks and one of Sawyer’s and one of Ana’s (where they bumped into Sawyer) and now Claire. I’m really liking the idea that he’s going to come back on-island more and more, he’s easily my favorite recurring flashback performer. It’s very significant that we still haven’t seen, in all this time, how he got from that bar with Sawyer to the slab where Jack ID’d him. And of course, moreso, that Jack found his empty coffin way back in episode 5. Real interested to see how this will play out. But, Jack is Aaron’s uncle. Cool.

Nice to have Claire in the loop about Charlie. And great touch, the birds on TV in her ma’s hospital room. Perfect note she wrote, too. Giacchino brings back the cellos in C# for the bird to escape the island, reminiscent of the unbeatable Raft Theme in the same key when Michael and crew shoved off back in 1.23. Nice touch, guy.

So, what an episode. I was totally sold. Figured Sayid & co would pull back the bushes and we’d see the village from the season premiere and that would be that. But, so much better! Amazing how the adrenaline can spike from such a small sight as Jack running toward the camera. Sent my mind a’spinning! I was already thinking:

[Okay, we’re going to get that whole story next week, how he’s running, what happened to Juliet, and I just hope hope the episode won’t end with this (the great cliffhanger flashback trick from 2.2 and 2.7) and we’ll GET TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!]

my mind made it all the way through that in the time it took Sayid to hold Kate back. Genius to have him be going out for a pass. Thrown by Tom, there he is, the Bogeyman of Season 2 entire, just romping around with his buddy Jack! The look on Kate’s face was perfect. But could only be topped by Jack’s spike. Sublime, such a great trick, the horror of throwing a football.

No real easter eggs other than the mileage. Sayid’s map from The Flame didn’t offer any new insight beyond the fact that there are certainly subterranean passages in effect in the vicinity of the village. Really can’t wait for next week. Again.

Friday, March 09, 2007

>: 58 ENTER 77

Quite an enticing Previously . . . there. The Pala Ferry docks, Ms. Klugh, and the eyepatch guy! Open with the ping-pong table B-plot. Any B-plot involving Sawyer, I’ve decided is just a winner. He manages to drop a trio of great new nicknames (Zorro, Avalanche, Crouching Tiger & Hidden Dragon) before wagering them away. Loved him asking Nikki who the hell she was.

So, they’re heading north on a bearing of 305? Was that the bearing Ben gave Michael back in 2.23? Or maybe 325? Not sure. We get a little more cowbell on the island, good times. That was wild how the Russian just put one in Sayid, there. The flashback was solid, though not particularly revelatory. I guess it gave a bit of insight at the end there to Sayid letting Mikhail live. This episode taught me that I am very gullible when it comes to all these hijinx. I was shocked that Mikhail was lying. I believed Sayid when he said he hadn’t tortured that chick. And I thought 77 was going to send out some sort of distress beacon to the mainland.

So, Locke is still just a freaking moron. Can’t believe they’ve castrated what was such a cool character in the first season. Great bit with the chess game. Always great to see Brother MC (Marvin Candle, Mark Wickman) again.

The outcome of the ping-pong game was predictable but just played so well. Sawyer has endured as one of the best characters all this time.

Naveen Andrews did a great job this week. The way he looked at Mikhail when he told him they’d killed “one of them” was priceless. He even outcried Matthew Fox at the end there, never saw that coming.

So, Ms. Klugh is one hardcore broad. Just like Ethan, the most badass Hostiles (I think the name has now officially changed from “Others”) get taken out with all questions unanswered. That actress was just chilling. Hopefully she be back in the massive Ben flashback that has to one day happen.

Here’s the last conversation of her life, translated from Russian:

K.: Mikhail. Mikhail! You know what to do!
M.: We still have a way out. (meaning: out of the situation)
K.: We can't risk.
M.: There's...
K.: You know the terms! (as of a contract, treaty etc of a kind)
M.: There is another way.
K.: They've taken us (hostage). We shouldn't let them come on the territory. (which territory is not specified, but the accent is so dreadful (esp. here), that this is what I could get from what she said) You know what to do! This is an order!
M.: There's still a way out!
K.: Just do it, Mikhail!
M.: Forgive me.

Here’s a partial of what Locke pulled from Mikhail’s typewriter, courtesy of a fella name of Morgunov Alexey:

“Hi. I am Russian.

The first underlined text is a declension form of a name Andrey, which is also mentioned nearby with red ink, saying "My name is also Andrey". Andrey has no feminine version, it is a widely used masculine name.

The red text on the second sheet says "I've forgotten so much about Afganistan".

The text itself seems to be a kind of narrative about events before/during the conflict in Afganistan ("The fall of Afganistan may be a nudge to a worldwide socialist revolution."). Andrey appears to be a key figure in the text.

I'll try to translate as much as possible from it:

...were lost in his counry, and they have to be...
...with force, and if neccessary, through complete social...
...in some extent repulsed Andrey. Nadzhi was not...
...of afgan resistance, however, he was an excellent...
...he was a half-cousin (second cousin) of an influential...
...who controlled one of north-eastern...
...(some kind of - only the end of the word is present) specialist, who helped...
...Mudzhahedins used...

...he compensated with his brains...
...as all of the radicals of the time, Nadzhi...
...believed that they restrain the West and...
...they make way to Allah, so that he erased from the face of the Earth all non-believers,
while Andrey believed that the fall of Afganistan may be a nudge to a worldwide socialist revolution.
The Pakistanis arrived today, - announced Nadzhi with a strong accent
in stilted Russian.
We knew that ISI would be involved in this. And you...
...report this? Andrey knew that he...
...as well. I reckoned that you...

If anyone has better images of the missing fragments, post them to homo.sapiens.alexis(at)gmail.com and I'll try to make something out of them.

Morgunov Alexey”

Cheers, Morgunov.

The only other easter egg: there were some dharma wheels in the Parisian restaurant where Sayid did not get hired on as chef, we last saw those on the wall of Isaac, the healer Bernard and Rose visited in Australia.

Great episode. Loved the throwdown between Sayid and Mikhail. Thought we’d storm the camp, but this was a hell of a detour, we got some interesting clarification that the Others DO NOT equal Dharma Initiative and got a glimpse of a great deal of precious data. Too bad all you have to do to make Locke push a button is put it in front of him. Freaking dumbass.

Is it fate or a coincidence that I'm turning 30 on Sunday (3/11), four days after the airing of episode 3.11? Well, I've been alive 360 months and that's how many degrees there are in a circle, and I don't think that's coincidental at all.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

>: 57 TRICIA TANAKA IS DEAD

Hilarious title.
No time for a Previously, young Hugo sets to work on a Camaro, license plate 429 PCE. Cheech! “Having hope is never stupid…you’ve got to make your own luck.” And your own kind of music. Great touch to have the departing father send his son down the road to obesity. “Live a little, Hugo, it’s just a candy bar.” Priceless. Figured it would be an Apollo bar courtesy of the Hanso Foundation, but it’s a Glacier bar, keeping up with the polar bear motif, I guess. Cheech rides off on a YAMAHA bike with the Y and last A painted off, giving us AMAH. Interesting bit from lost.cubit worth sharing, if you’ve got your magnifying glasses handy:

“ . . . it is interesting to note that an AMAH is a maidservant in the east (Hong Kong, Thailand, etc.). In Hong Kong, there is a naturally occurring rock that resembles an Amah carrying a baby. It is appropriately named Amah Rock. The entry at Wikipedia for Amah Rock has a very LOST relevant story:

According to a legend, the faithful wife of a fisherman climbed the hills every day, carrying her son, to watch for the return of her husband, not knowing he had been drowned at sea. In reward for her faithfulness she was turned into a rock by the Goddess of the Sea so that her spirit could unite with that of her husband.”

The strings let us know that Cheech’s certainly not coming back from Vegas, if the pack on his back doesn’t do the trick.
You’ve got to love Vincent running out of the jungle with poor Roger’s arm in his mouth. Even with a rabbit’s foot, Roger didn’t make very good luck for himself. Wonder what killed him? Smoke monster/Cerberus? Escaped polar bear? The . . . the hypothetical 108-day virus?!? Too many unanswered questions?
Mr. Cluck’s! When the doomed Ms. Tanaka said it was re-opening, I figured it was because of the meteorite, and that was why Hurley bought it, of course not the case. I think this hearkens all the way back to 2.1, the second season premiere, when Hurley clues Jack (and presumably the new viewers) in on his whole numbers curse and lists everything that we saw go wrong in his 1.18 flashback + this. I remember thinking that was a pretty awesome cherry on top, glad they got around to showing us. Hell of a way to offset the rest of the episode, with its No Curse, Luck Is What You Make It kind of vibe. There is so a curse, and it adds up to 108. I guess Hugo gives former boss Randy a job at his paper company after this, so he can go on to great things like belittling bald wheelchair-bound employees. Randy is good people.
Dharma bus on the island! Great times. We’ve spent so many scenes over there with all the Others, it was kind of jarring seeing all the regulars back at the beach camp. Paolo sucks, though.
Man, Sawyer had Kate on the line and just threw her back. Dopey bastard. And see Nikki hug Kate, they’ve been best friends all this time, naturally.
Hurley’s dad couldn’t have showed up with a joint? Or in a tutu? No UP IN SMOKE love, Lindelof?
Dharma Initiative Beer. This is what I’ve been waiting for. You know the chemical composition is idealized to provide maximum buzz with minimum dehydration and hangover.
Loved Hurley hugging Sawyer, who was again just on fire with nicknames. Calling Hurley Snuffy after Big Bird’s imaginary friend had to win it for me, though Roger as Skeletor is a pretty close call.
Not too much to glean from that blueprint. Looked like maybe plans for a road leading down in the neighborhood of the Swan? Here’s a screencap for those who want to take a look: http://lost.cubit.net/pics/3x10/dharmaRoadMap_Full.jpg
As soon as the fortune-teller started spouting the numbers, you knew it was a set-up. I mean, we knew anyway, because it had to fail, because Hurley had to go to Australia.
Dug Jin’s English lessons. “I’m sorry. You were right. Those pants don’t make you look bad.” Sawyer forgot “I love you.”
And Hurley finally bites back with a nickname for Sawyer. Good times.
Cheech will be there when Hurley gets back. And Ana-Lucia’s mom will be waiting at the airport, mija.
Man, they had me there at the end, about convinced me that Hurley was toast because it was his episode or Charlie was because of Desmond. Good trick, to actually be surprised when main characters aren’t killed off in a serial. Really cool how Giachinno’s strings took up the melody of Three Dog Night's "Shambala" for the no-dialogue return to camp. Would’ve been a solid enough finish, but we get a bonus hook for next week, cue Kate finding a net and Locke and Sayid. Now, the Reason Mr. Eko died was so the guys could get a compass bearing off of the Jesusstick on his grave? Interesting spin, guess we’ll see how this trek plays out in terms of ripple-effect significance. Certainly been wondering when Rousseau would return, with all the exposure Alex has had of late.
I thought this episode was a lot of fun, plenty of characters who we hadn’t seen enough of lately got screentime. We got relatively little development on the big over-arcing plot, but that was just fine, it was a great ride. They’re doing a pretty good job of late balancing character development with the massive mythology they’ve constructed.
Should be a pretty interesting foray next week, Kate and Rousseau and Sayid and Locke busting into the Others’ village/camp for Jack and Alex and maybe Juliet, with Isabelle and Ben in the way and Carl as the wild card. It’s getting ridiculous, my body is trained to stop expecting new episodes about this time, so great that they’re just going to keep coming.