Thursday, February 28, 2008



For the first time, we open with an eye who does not belong to the flashback/forward character. When the wave surged and the camera was on Kate, it was funny, my guts were like, No, Locke, you’ve got it wrong. Learned behavior. Marvin Candle would be proud. Great V.A.L.I.S.-callback to the classic Swan days of bringing Ben/Henry Gale books. That’s one of my favorite ever novels, you can see PKD’s mind unraveling onto the page. Would have been funny, though, if Locke had selected Stephen King, though I guess Ben probably doesn’t have any lying around. Maybe a copy of CARRIE that Juliet loaned him 100 days ago?

Oh, Locke brings him eggs. Eggtown is still a weird damn title for this episode, babynapping aside. Locke’s “You might catch something you missed the second time around.” is a meta-comment and a half. Can’t believe Locke has grown so little that Ben’s still got him smashing dishes two seasons later.

Catherine figured it out the instant Claire asked Kate to get Aaron for her. I think I would’ve gotten it a few seconds later.

Jack comes in and perjures the hell out of himself. No beard, unfortunately. So they’re claiming only eight people survived the crash? Wonder which two other people they said survived and what the motivation was. Kate “tried to help the other two but they died”. Kate’s mom thinks Aaron’s her grandson, so it’s not like they’re saying he’s really Claire’s and Kate’s just keeping him. Shouldn’t it be a matter of public record that Kate wasn’t pregnant when she crashed? Does this mean they don’t get off the island for a lot longer, long enough that she could have conceivably given birth to Aaron?

Xanadu! And Dharma boxed wine, fine times.

Sawyer brings back backgammon! Nice riff on the pilot, there, that first game with Walt.

Miles is willing to lie for $3.2 million? Does he work for Daniels or is there a higher-up? Who is Ben, according to Miles? What can he do?

What the hell are Dan and Charlotte doing with the cards? Testing short-term recall? Something to do with being on-island or with Daniel himself? One scatter-brained physicist, to be sure.

Frank, Sayid, and Desmond never made it? Serious. Hope it’s not weeks before we see them.

Locke with the grenade in Miles’s mouth! Hardcore. That’s the man I elected in ’04.

Sawyer talks Kate back to the beach in about a minute. She whacked him good, though. Too, that book he was reading twice this episode "The Invention of More" (amazon&google are letting me down on the author in the short-term) has a pretty resonant synopsis: "A fugitive hides on a deserted island somewhere in Polynesia. Tourists arrive, and his fear of being discovered becomes a mixed emotion when he falls in love with one of them. He wants to tell her his feelings, but an anomalous phenomenon keeps them apart.") Shades of Desmond, yas.

Why doesn’t Jack want to see Aaron? What is that indicative of? Does he realize that he’s Aaron’s uncle? Did Claire get killed on the boat? (remember, we know she gets on the chopper, because of Desmond’s vision/Chahlie’s sacrifice) Is that kid they got to play Future Aaron the baby from the end of Season One? Because the resemblance is freakish. What will be the final fate of the survivors of Oceanic 815?

Monday, February 18, 2008


Obviously a Sayid-centric from the first shot. Frank’s chopper is N842M, no great surprise there with the numbers, but also kind of cool if you look at the letters, the midpoints of the alphabet. M ends the first half and N begins the second half, so we’ve got Hurley/Desmond/Locke/Valenzetti’s numbers sitting at the “bridge” of the alphabet, touching back on the bridge theme of the last season finale and stretching us from the end of the beginning to Ben’s “beginning of the end”, all on the back of a helicopter. And in reverse, of course.

Sayid closes Naomi’s eyes and checks out her bracelet inscribed with N, I’LL ALWAYS BE WITH YOU –R.G.

Every line of the Sayid flash-forward is laced with portent on the rewatch, every glance, even. As soon as Sayid says “plane crash” on the golf course, the guy is horrified. He’s clearly done something to merit execution. “I insist, Mr. Avonlea.” (sic? Couldn’t really make out the name). So, taking into account what we know by episode’s end, this is a guy that Ben has sent Sayid to kill, he’s on a list and has got something to do with Oceanic or the crash or Naomi’s corporation or the island. Or all these things.

Elsa’s employer is “an economist. He works in merging markets.” Bears repeating, given the title.

It really did not sound like Ben on the phone with Sayid after he’d made contact.

So, Jacob’s cabin moved and didn’t come back. The circle’s not essential? Or just residual and in every occurrence? Not enough information for conjecture.

Really nice to see Locke in charge, bossing people around. A couple of seasons later than I was looking for it, but nice.

Elsa’s employer is “very old-fashioned”. Insisting on the pager.

Ha, Sayid fell in love with his target and doesn’t even realize she’s playing him.

Glad to see the physicist running an experiment, never too soon for such things. 3.3 introduced Desmond as Time-Traveling Jaybird, now this for 4.3. Zoe Bell as Regina on the boat. That’s an R. to give Naomi a bracelet, great hint if that sister stuff wasn’t code. What’s with the 31:18 discrepancy on the payload’s arrival? 1878 seconds. Not divisible by 108, 42, 23, etc. Very interesting. Maybe the most serious bit about this episode, when all is said and done. Who knows?

Seemed quite serious when Double-Agent Hurley said “They left me”, his coming over to the other group is a big part of him becoming Oceanic 6 and getting off the island, present becoming future, etc, but it was just a ruse, we’re not even close yet.

Touching back on the Red Sox here is almost certainly significant. Jack can’t believe it’s been only one hundred days since he’s seen a game. That’s going to have to come into play somewhere, no way they’d squeeze it in otherwise at this point.

Can’t be 100% but looks like Sayid touches the spine of Ben’s copy of the Koran before checking out his secret room, which reveals that Ben is a serious globetrotter as well as a fan of Kerouac: the name on the passport Sayid grabs is Dean Moriarty. Yas!

Killer recursion of Kate on the far side of Ben’s bed watching boots walk in, a call back to the top of 1.16, young Jimmy Ford hiding under the bed from his daddy who just shot his momma after Tom Sawyer done conned her. No question who’s coming for Kate. Really great way to bundle that up, convey it in a quick shot.

Sawyer’s “Why don’t we find out?” to Kate’s “How long will we be able to play house?” stretches out quite a bit over the week, given that we don’t see them again and “she decided to stay.”

I would love to know what song’s playing for Sayid’s pre-homicide post-coitus, maybe chosen to place the scene chronologically. Though they could just be messing with us (a la Heart-Shaped Box [‘93] in Jack’s flash-forward [c. ’07?] in 3.22). Serious showdown between Sayid and Elsa. Symmetry with the beginning of the episode, he closes her eyes. And she has one of those bracelets. This all but confirms that the initials of her employer are R.G. and he’s a higher-up or big boss of the latest Others, this phantom corporation who brought in the “rescue” team. Daniels, perhaps? (I speak of Lance Reddick, non-WIRE fans)

(and shame on you)

(no wait, never mind, remembering he gave Hurley his name as Michael Abadon, or something)(could always have been lying, I guess)

And thank you, Desmond, for trying to get to the bottom of what your picture with Pen was doing in Naomi’s ARDIL-22. A nagging thread amidst all this nonsense, to be certain.

What would be the consequences if Frank didn’t follow the same bearing they came in on? Something worse than being displaced 31 minutes and change?

And the chopper takes off. Unbelievable. Very similar feeling to the raft. And that turned out so well. Giacchino didn’t come close to hitting it as hard, though. Might never, it’s fair to say.

Ben is in a kennel? In Germany, or has Sayid traveled? Seems like a fresh wound. “Need I remind you what they did the last time you thought with your heart instead of your gun?” he tells our tortured torturer. Ominous tidings for what lies ahead on the boat, children. Sayid accuses Ben of recruiting Elsa to make him (Sayid) kill for him. Implying this was the first time. Does this mean the hit on the golf course was a different thing? (or, I guess, no reason it couldn’t have taken place after all the Elsa stuff, could have even been the hit Ben’s talking about at the end). But the motivation is protecting his friends. Which friends? Oceanic 6 friends? Still-on-the-island friends?

Ben’s presence here further validates something I’ve already been thinking. I’m doubting more and more that Kate is one of the Six. We know she got off the island, but she’s also a wanted woman, as Sawyer points out. Doesn’t seem like she’d be able to handle being famous and still be loose to meet Jack by runways. The way Ben’s acting (and wowHolyShit, he’s off the island in the future, don’t mean to sell that short for an instant), it doesn’t seem like he’s in the gang, either. The only confirmed O6 we have are Jack, Hurley, and now Sayid. The Kate/Sawyer gimme feels like it should be ruled out for the time being, and I’m inclined to think that the other three are going to be surprises, although Desmond certainly leaps ahead of the pack of contenders by episode’s end.

The best thing about these flash-forwards is, all of a sudden, we don’t know who these people are, who they’ve become. Just as in the first season, we waited week by week (or thumb depression by thumb depression, latecomers!) to have the mystery of who our castaways were explained, now everything’s reversed through the looking glass/bridge and we’re left waiting for glimpses of who they will be, why they turn out the way they do, which of course inspires an entirely new slew of questions, tacked on to the 100+ we already have.

Oh, Christian Shephard, where are you, where have you been, and what’s HAPPENING on your wacky island?

Friday, February 08, 2008


Honestly, Holy Shit.

Reeling, so much plot just chucked our way.

So many questions, so much ridiculous . . .

Open with the POV of random guys dredging oceanic depths. HOW was this not the premiere? I mean, the entire time last week, I was thinking, Yah best premiere yet, but that’s still not saying so much and then this comes in and flattens . . . in few words: as much as I’ve loved all that we’ve had, tonight makes me feel like we’ve just been spinning our wheels almost entirely and now it’s time to cash in the promise of that improbably imaginative first season.

Blame Goddard and Vaughan. I have impossibly too much affection for those blokes and knew that it was all over once the writing credit came up. (figuring that the combined minds behind Poor Yorick Brown and the Cloverfield youths might possibly be able to string together a coherent sentence or scene from the castaways at this point)

The episode in question: What an opening! Of course you’re already thinking Cloverfield from the cameras but then Hell! I was mining for some bloated Pace Driveshaft corpse. I mean, really, that’s all. But the plane! 815. The news. I’ve been concerned about this. Naomi, who is in on an as-yet undisclosed plan, told them that their bodies, that 815, had been found. And now confirmation. She was not lying. Murder of ambiguity, indeed. And it seemed to be a Faraday flashback. But not so, not standing still any longer, an entire Team Flashback.

Why was Dan so upset at news of the crash, though (besides being a very empathetic and intuitive physicist?)? (and Jeremy Davies, who basically acts just like that, all the time?)

And great to have Locke basking in the rain. How can no one else realize, even now, that it’s scheduled?

And also funny for Locke to talk about Tall Walt, acknowledging MD Kelly’s undisguisable puberty, but then I can’t help feeling (just for the Buffy devotees) that that was a little dig on Giant Dawn as well, since both writers are or did hit Season 8 of same. Moving on!

(but what would you give for Xander or Willow to show up now on the island, honestly?)
(I would say, quite a lot)

“I’d probably be dead, if I still had a kidney there.” should be the too-long title of this episode.

And Miles Strong is a ghostbuster? How could he not be. I like how he basically turns on a vacuum cleaner and starts talking, without explanation, and that’s the gig. And we buy it. Looks like that MIGHT be a picture of young Eko on the stairway there, African background and all.

Ben’s “Kaaaaarl,” is wonderful.

As is Sawyer calling him Yoda.

But then the Locke rebuttal to “Did his mouth put that hole in yer gut?”, man, that is the guy I elected, or at least voted for, back in ’04. Parables and good sense. Michelangelo and reincarnated sister as dog. Impossible now, seems, but all of that with the button and blowing things up was just a detour and now he’s finally FINALLY where he’s supposed to be, leading an army against that evil Christian Doctor Shepherd Hard

I love Faraday re: “this light out here, it doesn’t scatter quite right.”
(if it’s not blindingly obvious, I view this latest entry utterly without criticism but only delight, and am hard-pressed for synonyms for terms such as love, innovative, tableau-resetting genius, etc)

Sayid & Juliet dropping in avec guns was pretty wonderful and definitely convinced me that Miles was stupid.

Both chicks, Juliet and Kate, reacting to the Admission of Shephard Wink is pretty funny.

So Miles knew the Oceanic 815 were all alive and wasn’t disturbed/surprised? One. More. ?

Locke’s “We don’t want to be found.” hearkens back directly to that great w/Sun talk in 2.5. Nice touch. I credit Vaughan, though I might be wrong.

(but I have now referenced Radiohead. AND rhymed!)

Mocking up Grunberg with the mustache, Seth Morris apparently, is news to me cognomenwise and GoodTimes (though that wasn’t his very bloated body, we all know) O, wowfuck, and now THIS guy, Frank, was supposed to be the pilot? Whatwhy? Mikhail’s ClaraBell?

And there’s the chopper. For Claire and Aaron to get into. Now that Chahlie’s dead. (brothah)

Horrifying to have Naomi and Daniels in the fifth flashback! Why does Baltimore’s favored son think, no, is positively CERTAIN that there are no survivors of that hallowed flight? And, obviously, what’s so important about these, ya-hah, 4 people as Team?

Then what’s with the reaction to Miles’s call, call ya back later? The chick on the other end did not seem to think that it was a kind of big deal. Which, what the hell else could be going on on her end, to feel that way? (not a ?, rarely, that we need concern ourselves with here)(probably)

I love how Frank immediately tags and calls out Juliet, stone cold. Even if Daniels wasn't, these people were obviously expecting survivors if they're studying the Manifest. “We’re here for Benjamin Linus!” And Miles rocking the rat-face Polaroid of same. They want him because he’s the conduit to the Island/Jacob? Why else?

But Ben counters! “I have the answers.” No chance, bucko, especially not at 9:01! But then (love the writers) Locke responds with perfection, acrobatic Flying Grayson precision, even: “What is the Monster?” Not time for that answer. Yet. AyeGod. “I don’t know.”

But of course Ben, still, has flips and whirls. A mole. He claims. On the boat. 80 miles out. Not Penny’s Boat. They Need You.

The avalanche is bearing me away.

Monday, February 04, 2008


And after the longest wait yet, just over eight months, we are back with new episodes. Open with a pyramid of produce, four sides denoting the fourth season if you really want to sniff around. And more than 42 lemons and limes. But we’re not on the island! And Hurley’s making a getaway. And Jack’s watching it on the news, OJ-style. The fact that he’s rocking the AM screwdriver has me thinking flash-forward and Hurley confirms it with that horrifying call for recognition. SIX? SIX? Does that mean everyone else died? Or got left behind? Or chose to stay? Four minutes in, and the questions already stacking up.

Who are the other three Oceanic 6? The knee-jerk is to assume that Kate, Jack, and Hurley are the ones we know. What about the person who died? Locke or Ben or Michael (or whoever)? Friend of mine made the convincing point that there would have been at least reporters at that funeral if that person was one of the Oceanic 6, they’re famous. Hurley’s invoking the name like it means something, everyone knows Jack, Iron Man’s watching it on CNN in Marvel Comics. So that opens up: six got off the island publicly and told a story, a lie, that at least Jack will come to regret. But do they have to be the only ones who got off? If that’s Michael in the coffin, they still could.

Oh, one thing I missed. The Return of the FuckYouUp Car! Yes, the same car that hit: Michael in New York and put him in the hospital, Locke in the parking lot but DIDN’T paralyze him before he got conned by his own mom, Kate when she was escaping from the hospital (and killed her boyfriend, n’est-ce pas?), and that probably drove by behind Locke’s dad in that flower shop shows up again to halt Hurley’s forward progress. It’s still active in flash-forwards? This CAN’T just be a reused stunt car, honestly, with this show, it’s got to mean something. GOT to.

Anyway, moving on, Naomi’s not dead, wait yes she is, but she wasn’t so bad, covering for Locke knifing her and all and rejiggering the frequency and actually dying before hanging up.

And Hurley denies knowing Ana-Lucia to her old partner, Big Mike. Got to have something to do with the necessary fiction behind being a member of the Oceanic 6, I’m thinking.

Hurley’s slo-mo cannonball was the only point where the episode dipped, yah’hah.

Cedric Daniels from THE WIRE drops in on Hurley as creepy possible counsel for Oceanic. “Where are they? Are they still alive?” Are “they” the other survivors? The other four of the Oceanic 6, who have maybe gone to ground? (remember Kate is probably low-profiling it unless she’s still got the ID off that chick who drowned in 1.5 or whenever)(and if her “he” is Sawyer, yeah, they’re not exactly slinging their passports around the Oceanic terminal nearest you) And looks like Hurley was sketching out 2.2 on the chalkboard in the background there, I see the raft and DHARMA shark. He forgot ungrateful Michael, bitching at Sawyer for saving him from drowning so that he can go kill some tailenders.

And Charlie returns for a solid cameo. “They need you.” This is also what was written on his hand during that excellent hallucination in Big Mike’s interrogating room when Master Pace swam up toward the TV screen and slapped his palm on it. Again, “they”?

Biggest HolyShit moment of the night, though: got to be Hurley stumbling upon Jacob’s now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t cabin. He looks in the window and sees someone sitting in the rocking chair.

_PAUSE: If you have not seen the 2-minute clip, SO IT BEGINS, you are strongly encouraged, nay demanded, to view it here now. Seriously. If you care enough to be reading these words, do this now in remembrance of Eko. We'll be here when you get back. :UNPAUSE_

In addition to confirming what many have suspected since 1.5, that clip also locks down who is sitting in Jacob’s chair. The white shoes, the suit, the profile. Dr. Christian Shephard can be added to the list of on-island individuals hanging out off-screen during the first two or three seasons, waiting for their part of the story to kick in. IS this the actual Doc? We know his body was on 815. We know Jack found an empty coffin in the caves after chasing what appeared to be his dad through the forest. But WAS that old CS himself? Crucially, we’ve never seen what happened to him after rushing Claire’s house with Ana Lucia in Sydney and him getting Sawyer to buy him a drink. He could have taken something that would make him appear dead to Jack and the mortician. Of course, that leads to the impossible Ultimate question: WHY? Why do all this? What is the significance of these passengers on this flight? What is the deal with that island the monster Walt talking backwards and killing birds Zombie Mikhail and the reason that mothers can’t carry their kids to term and the EM anomaly and those numbers O those numbers won’t let me go___

On-point: That was Christian in the cabin. Was Jacob just assuming his shape, as he has done with several pivotal people from our castaways past? Or is Christian Jacob? And how about the wild eye that sent Hurley packing? Checking out a still, it looks a little like Locke, which fits with what’s come before and with him showing up a minute later.

The factioning was pretty crazy. I kept expecting this almost every week in Season 1 and it took us another fifty episodes to get here, the Jack and Locke split. Wild to have Hurley not with Jack and Kate.

And then a charming game of Horse between friends. Nice touch that Hurley can’t miss. He’s the master of jump-shots and ping-pong, thanks to the asylum. But Jack’s just teasing us talking about that beard! Obvious question from this scene: What is Jack afraid that Hurley was going to tell? It’s the same thing they lied about, surely. What? And what happens between that game and go-time at the bridge to spin Jack so hard in the opposite direction, turn him into a mirror image and all?

And what’s going to happen now that Jeremy Davies has landed?

The strike might get resolved in time, island faithful. Cross your fingers. And welcome back to the island.