Thursday, May 29, 2008


Incredible choice of opening scene. I was looking for straight Bearded Jack post Season 3 runway or something insane like the three hour after-all-this-time Christian flashback/forward or even post-future Ben, but not, not Michelle Forbes in the cockpit bringing the Oceanic 6 home. Steve Anderson made a great immediate point that that’s a hat-trick for her in terms of Greatest TV shows of all time (thinking ST:TNG and BSG, not even doffing a cap to her 24 season/day, but the point stands, if she was a backwards-talking goblin in the Black Lodge or a New Canaan devotee, that’s pretty much the only way she could have done better, at this point)(or Tony’s eighty-fourth mistress in Season Five, say). But we’re getting off-track already. On-point: Opening with this scene suggests that they really will sew up the fracture, THIS fracture with the finale. This run of forward/present. It would be incredible if Season 4 ended with the Oceanic 6 making their getaway from the torched-Island madness that Kimi and his platoon ignited, if the entire finale is a slipknot and the present tense crashes right into where this flash-forward begins, even while this mass-Oceanic 6 flash-forward that we begin with careens through every glimpse we’ve had this season and crashes right past Jack and Kate on the runway and on, into whatever insane cliffhanger that such a progression implies. That’s what I want. Sew this fold up this season and tear us a new one next time, present tense being Bearded Jack either rallying the team back, or the team already having arrived on the Island at the end of 4 and dealing with what they find, while we handle a new series of flash-forwards.

Wonderful news to have the Orchid mentioned before the title. That means time-travel is coming. And Ben will probably escape this season to jump forward to Tunisia at the top of 4.9 and wreak his double-talking madness upon unassuming armed horsemen before beating them down.

Hah, maybe the Swan’s just got me so conditioned now, cheers Skinner/Candle/Pavlov, but even Jack’s cell phone tracking the chopper has me drooling for a keyboard and button to push. Or a puzzle-cube of some sort to solve.

Man, the look on Sawyer’s face walking out of the jungle holding Aaron really says it all. And he can do so much with just a scene, Miles is Genghis and then he follows Jack, as ever, into the jungle, calling out that Jack doesn’t get to die alone. That is why I drink to the health of James Ford on a weekly basis. (when they let me)

All right, the press conference. According to Michelle’s breakdown of the crash-site, it looks like we’ve either been wrong all of this time about them crashing at longitude 4.815 latitude 2.342 or that the John/Ben/Hurley/Orchid Show does in fact move the Island northwest of Australia by Day 108.

What is the survivors’ logic in saying there were more others who died? Eight people left 815. That’s not counting Aaron. Who are the other three? Why?

Juliet telling Sayid that “Jack and Kate just went running after it”, it being the chopper that has every intention of killing us all, yeah, that pretty much sums things up too, without all that pesky Dharma/Jacob mythology. Now Sayid must run and save, too. When will Jack and Kate get their chance to torture?

Was Ben signaling Richard? Who else?

Thought that whole raft that Faraday was taking out was doomed, bombed. And then Sun got on. I am being manipulated by writers.

Great plot advancement, Sun taking over Paik-Heavy Industries. Chris Kimbley points out that the idea of her in coalition with Penny Widmore in control of their fathers’ companies represents a very interesting turn.

And Hurley runs right back to Mr. Cluck’s. Of course. Great theme for a surprise party, Mom. Also, interesting twist on the Whispers. Are they just everywhere? I’m convinced that the answer to the Whispers is one of the slipknots, some electromagnetic resonance thing that can’t be revealed until 2010. And Miz Reyes sneaks in the line, “Jesus Christ is not a weapon.” Incredible. What a shame that Cheech stole his son away, I really could have hung out with Sayid and Nadia, happy together with Hurley, for like five minutes. Even five more lines. Honestly. But we had to. The sight of that odometer was my favorite thing about this episode, clapped my hands together like an autistic genius who made all of this up in the first place right there on the spot, alternately like a pig in shit, a few picoseconds after that magical combination went up on the screen, and then tick. Tick. Tick. Everyone else was like, ooooooooh, the numbers, Hurley, right.

And then Foxy destroys that scene in which Claire’s mum lets him know the score. He didn’t have to do anything but look completely crushed, but he put it over the top, and then that somehow hopeful look at Kate at the end, like they can still beat this thing. He has to win something. At the end of all this. I don’t care what it is. In any reality. Redemption.

And Richard Alpert finally makes his on-Island return, fresh from the Temple where he’s been hanging out for the duration of this season. Are you Immortal or Chrononaut, sir? Will you please answer some of our many questions? (I’m thinking you’ve got the Adam & Eve theory that I care about most)

Ah, but there at the end, Ben gives his 355-beater to John, so he’s either going to have to get it back before it all goes down or beam over to Tunisia a bit later. I think this is misdirection, deliberate, designed to make us think that he won’t actually shift away before the curtain falls on ’08. It will be.

And I just realized, Ben is the opposite of Indiana Jones. Which seems apparent in hindsight.

The only thing about this episode, and it’s not so bad on the rewatch, when I’m not just falling off the couch in clenched expectation, is that pistol-whip at the end. It doesn’t seem to stand for as much as it should. I mean the last time they did this, it was the Raft Overture segueing into Black Smoke. Way back in Season 1, when finales could not even be contained in two-hour episodes. But Giacchino definitely for the first time this season brought the goods, that opening runway scene and then the montage/transition at the end, great themes.

The title of the episode is what gives me hope. That they’re really going to tie all this up this time. Bearded Jack’s quest for meaning. The Oceanic Six. Kimi torching the Island. Ben time-traveling to Tunisia with his 355-stick. Sawyer making his choice. Jin dying. Locke is the gaping question.

The only sticking point is Claire. She seems to be dead, has given every indication of it. And yet Desmond’s visions, which haven’t cheated us yet, have her getting in the chopper with Aaron, if Chahlie sacrificed himself, which he did. Needlessly. Claire on the chopper does not seem likely now. Which does not, at this time, make sense.

It seems, optimistically, that with two hours you could actually crash all of these things into one another, and even blast the narrative forward into my sweet bearded friend motivating them all back to the only place that matters, wherever it even happens to be.

I have been growing hair on my face. For this convergence. Tonight. It’s all going to make sense for a few seconds, and then spin us around, careening toward the worst dangling suspense yet, the thing that matters most. And always, the message.

We have to go back.

Enjoy it while it lasts.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Wow, what an opening. Everything’s so charged at this point. The record player, recalling Desmond and Mama Cass and all the rest. And then we actually get Buddy playing a song that Pearl Jam learned special just to play in Lubbock. It can’t be real, we think, surely that’s Kate in the poodle skirt. This episode is not really starting in the late 50s. Girl’s name is Emily, with a fellow twice her age. Who’s the guy?

Who hit her?
(too early for the FuckYouUp Car.)
(Walt’s mom is an Emily)

At this point, I was primed for this to be the birth of Jacob and/or Christian. Shocking she names him John.

And the Island is still not done with Michael. Again, a lot before the opening title.

Nice symmetry, last time Jack got the delayed eye-open, now it shifts to Locke, maintaining the horizontal tilt. What a whacked out way to open. The Horace Mathematician Godspeed dream. Horace delivers Ben. And now he delivers John to Jacob (Cheers, Paul). Man, the answer about all these ghosts, electromagnetic resonances or whatnot, that’s a huge part of it.

So, John and Ben both survived improbably. Because of the Island. Most of the present scenes between them this time seem to be Ben handing the baton off to John (if you ever want to actually, really, trust Ben)

And Richard! Horrifying! Been waiting all season to see him, who was so important when we did not realize. And now he’s back to test John, Dalai Xavier Lama-style. The real question here is: Is he an immortal, as he seemed to be when he projected that ageless vibe last season with Ben in 3.20? (Aww, Young John drops the Monster drawing as a child) OR. Did Richard travel through time to check on him? That seems to be the deal with the Orchid.

What was the correct choice that Young John failed to make? The vial of sand? The compass? Obviously, I’m going to go with MYSTERY TALES, the comic book whose cover blurbs a Hidden Land and implores the prospective buyer to “heed the voice of learning”. But they all seemed like solid ideas. Except the knife. Oh, John.

Emerson drops some serious supporting acting again this time, so deadpan opposite Hurley.

And Widmore’s got secondary Dharma Initiative protocols? Quite interesting. “What do you mean ‘torch the island’?” Serious and ominous.

How did the doctor, the doctor’s body, travel backwards through time? Regina’s payload seemed to skip 31 minutes.

And wow, there are like five ways you can read that exchange between John and Ben, re: Hurley.

HighSchool Locke is a fan of Geronimo Jackson, the 60s power trio that is probably 2/3rds DeGroot, the record that Charlie and Sayid listened to in the Swan way back when.

As soon as somebody point-blank tells me that I can’t be a super-hero, yeah, they plummet in my mind as well. Of course, that’s the secret origin of Locke’s ultimate catchphrase.

What is the nature of Martin Kimi’s custom-XM?

Very interesting, the Desmond/Sayid split. Given that surely Desmond lives and we know that Sayid does as well. And Giacchino goes on and resurrects the original search-party-trudge across the Island cello-heavy theme from the pilot for Sayid’s departure across the ocean. Who wouldn’t tune in week after week for the tales of Sayid, Assassin/Torturer?

Emerson steals every damn scene. Locke might as well hand his Emmy over, it’s so overt.

And Daniels. I know, Abadou. How huge, hell of a retcon. He’s the one who set the miracle/walkabout wheel spinning with our guy Locke. This is my destiny! And now, Locke owes him one, monstrous.

How odd of them to just time-stamp everything with the doctor. The Morse Code definitely came in, he already washed up, then Kimi kills him and tosses him overboard to drift 80 miles back to the island to arrive last episode.

Didn’t expect to get back to the beach camp. And then, man, thought they were doomed, the sound of that chopper, everyone gathering just like for the monster heading in to the first-ever commercial break. But no, it’s okay, Jack is front and center.

And John in the cabin. Man, how creepy. I love Christian’s line about the question that does matter, and Claire, there’s the really crazy thing. I mean, she must be dead, right? From the RPG? Why else would she leave Aaron? That smile she shares with her dad, macabre. And Giacchino drops the Silence of the Lambs Shore score.

Masterfully acted-out candy bar scene.

And Locke’s last line. Probably my favorite non-finale ending of an episode (well, not counting the original classic goodness of Walkabout, which tractor-beamed me in in the first place). Of course, teeing the next one up. But ever since we found out that was Eko’s plane, the island just had to be mobile. I mean, Nigeria?

Thursday, May 08, 2008


Hey, that’s the first time an eye hasn’t just shot open at the top of the episode.

Aaaand the long pan up Jack’s body, no beard. Catherine curses. Great to have him trip over the Millennium Falcon. Did the Yankees bludgeon the Red Sox in ’05? That puts this flash-forward even with Ben and Sayid getting together last week. Clever of Kate to pitch her voice lower like Juliet or Sun’s until she got on-screen.

“Who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the great puzzle.” That kind of boils everything down nicely.

Jack allows that his father was a good storyteller. Yikes. Yow, and Jack and Kate are going to wake up poor Aaron.

How many episodes of this series are dedicated to some group crossing the jungle from Point A to Point B? Sawyer, Claire, and Miles take their shift this time, with Claire’s first scene setting up that she’s been “seeing things”. What’s with Miles looking at her next scene? We know she doesn’t get off the island, is she going down soon and he can tell?

Good call, Rose, the Island totally struck Jack down with appendicitis. No taking these people off the Island!

Yeah, that’s totally his dad in that first hospital scene. You’ve got to love these flash-forwards, instead of one thread, you get the Jack/Kate & Aaron show and Hurley can pop in as a guest star. Charlie says Jack’s “not supposed to raise him”. Is this Aaron? The Australian psychic was certainly concerned with the fact that only Claire should raise Aaron. The first baby born on the island. I thought it was Christian at first, as in “raise him from the dead”.

Faraday as chivalrous protector is pretty funny. “Add that one to the list, Dan.” is probably the line of the night.

And Frank comes running out of the jungle! How lame is it that the monster didn’t just snuff all those guys? I mean, I’m sure they still have to serve some dramatic executing purpose, but for all that commotion, it looks like the monster hurt that one dude they still had and maybe killed another. If there were really only six outside Ben’s house.

Jack would TOTALLY want to just take his own appendix out.

Wow, that proposal came out of nowhere. Really didn’t see that coming at all. They were doing so well!

Jin’s duel with Charlotte was pretty serious. Still using that skill-set he picked up from his father-in-law. So Charlotte’s got to get Sun on the helicopter. Man, that is going to be some crazy shit, even though we know quite a chunk of how it will go down. Really hope we get that this month.

Gah, that surgical scene was brutal. At least it wasn’t a vasectomy, I guess.

And Jack’s got to heed the call of the smoke detector out of batteries. What the hell happened with the Swan imploding, anyway?

And there’s Christian! Still rocking the white tennis shoes from the webisode and Jacob’s cabin. Freaking Erica’s got to blow it for everybody. Twice, scaring Christian away, then writing jack his first scrip. Throw out that new razor, buddy.

Jack catches Kate on the phone. Dr. Jones points out that the name Kate uses, Noreen, is the same as one from a Seinfeld episode involving confusion on Elaine’s part over the identity of someone on the phone, she’s really talking to Noreen’s boyfriend, this pointing to Sawyer being on the phone.

That Juliet is one odd bird to read. What a weird end to that scene with her and Kate and Jack. She catches Jack playing possum while she busts him on kissing her.

Is Veronica Mars Aaron’s nanny? Neptune’s probably not too far of a drive from where they’re at.

Where did Kate go? Did she meet Cassidy halfway to check on Sawyer’s daughter? “He made his choice”, did he? He chose to stay. That’s wonderful news.

Does Jack know that he’s related to Aaron? Sounds like it from the way he talked to Kate. If so, the knowledge would have to come through Claire, because he sure didn’t act like he’d seen his father before leaving the island.

Miles saw Christian too? Is that because he’s a ghostbuster? Would Sawyer have seen him if he’d woken up?

And we’re back to Season One, out in the middle of the jungle calling Claire’s name. At least she left her baby behind. Why would she do that? Ominous business. I bet we don’t find out next week. Man, so many threads. Will we check in on the freighter for the first time since mid-March, with the Captain informed that Michael is the saboteur? Will we see Ben and Locke and Hurley’s progress to Jacob’s cabin? Will Kimi kill again? Will we finally get a Sawyer flash-forward now that we know he doesn’t get killed (yet)?

Don’t bet on any island flash-forwards until Bearded Jack makes it back, I’m thinking. Give me the monster Jacob/Christian flashback explaining everything. You scoff, but last season I was sure they were saving the Ben flashback for the finale and instead they through that in right before it started. And here we are again.

Thursday, May 01, 2008


Open on Kate bathing, man, she is the cleanest person on the island, there’s no getting around that. And Jack starts in on the pills, wrote himself a prescription. A sign of what’s to come, he’s making my beard itch.

I was positive they were playing Risk. The games motif is alive and well. Hurley understands the strategic importance of Australia.

Well, I was sure wrong about Ben setting Alex’s people up. Nice misdirection, there. It’s great how such mundane things as a phone ringing or playing catch with a football take on such ominous overtones on the island.

And Ben’s got a shotgun in the piano. Hilarious.

That’s a lot before the title.

And Ben’s in the Sahara, sporting a nifty new DHARMA logo on his jacket. The name on his jacket is Halliwax. That’s the name Marvin Candle/Mark Wickman gave on the clip for the Orchid station that they showed us at Comic-Con. This clip led us to believe that that station deals with teleportation or maybe time-travel, as a cute little bunny with a 15 on its side seemed to exist in two places at once all of a sudden. The time-jump seems to be confirmed later on when Ben asks for the date and specifies not knowing what year it is.

Faraday: “When is kind of a relative term.”

Man, I thought Sawyer was toast. He is a hell of a bullet-dodger. And the rocket-launcher! Good trick, I thought Claire was history, too.

“I just want to bury my wife” are maybe the craziest words that could have come out of Sayid’s mouth on TV, quite a lot of information conveyed in a single sentence.

The ringing doorbell was pretty funny.

Wow, I can’t believe they shot Alex in the head. Serious stuff. What are the rules established between Ben and Widmore? He really seemed like he wasn’t expecting Kimi to shoot her. Emerson is getting another Emmy nomination this year, no question. The look on his face after Alex got shot was incredible. So killing Alex was somehow a violation of the rules and sent Ben into his Batcave to summon the monster, which was wonderful because I’ve been sure that he was in control of it since early last season. Some glyphs on that secret door too, recalling the Swan timer. Interesting.

Surprised that Widmore’s guy didn’t know what Ben looked like. Sayid is all about the dry-firing. Six bullets just aren’t enough.

That little smile of Ben’s while he walks away seems to suggest that this was all a set-up. Is it possible that he had Nadia killed? Him seeing Sayid on TV seems like a legitimate reason for him to be involved, but smile makes me wonder.

Great to see the monster. There were some flashes in it, but nothing biographical like when Eko stood up to it.

Kate sure was making eyes at ol Daniel Faraday, there. How can the doctor be fine? Is this like Halliwax’s two rabbits in one place?

Sawyer and Claire defect, taking Miles with them. Tense standoff with Sawyer and Locke, they’ve got everything so ratcheted up that I’m looking for people to die just any time now. And Ben appropriates John’s line, “Follow me.”

Wild conversation between Ben and Widmore. Is all this really just a struggle between the two for control of the Island? Widmore’s got nightmares and is rocking the MacCutcheon. Ben can’t kill Charles. And has horrible eyes. And the Island used to belong to Charles. And will again, if he can find it. And Ben is going to kill Penny. If he can find her.

Just a hell of an episode. Guess the title means we’re in for more of the same. Gah, two episodes and a gigantic finale aren't enough. But nothing will be I guess, until the end, which will just shatter me.