Monday, October 12, 2009


The plot thickens!


We open with another survivor, Joanna, drowning. Charlie gets Jack to go out and save her because he “can’t swim.” Really? I guess he either picked that skill up in the next couple of months or was lying through his teeth. I thought Hume was the coward! Seems like Charlie even cited being on the swim team in high school or something when he and Desmond rowed out to the Looking Glass. But, we’ll give the writers a pass, lots of insane threads in between the top of this season and the end of the third.

Another couple of huge lines show up here again in more innocent, or less charged, form: Boone tells Jack “we have to go back” for Joanna when Jack’s swimming him to shore. And the hotel employee tells Jack that “there was an incident” at the hotel bar involving Christian Shephard. I bet that incident didn’t involve a drill or a plutonium core, though, yeah, maybe somebody lost the use of their left arm.

Sawyer gives Kate the marshal’s badge since she’s the new sheriff in town. Never caught that his declaration at the end of THE LONG CON is a reflection of this moment.

When Locke tracks down Jack, Jack asks him, “How are the others?” Seems like that word gets used a lot pre-Ethan to refer to the 815 chorus.

And we get Locke’s mission statement, “What if everything that happened…here…happened for a reason?” The principle subtextual conflict in this entire show, Is all of this random insanity that the writers are throwing at us as fast as they can think it? Or is some beautiful narrative revealing itself so gradually that only the truly patient or faithful suspect that all is unfolding exactly as it must?

So, is that Jacob or his brother running around as Christian? Jacob? Because he leads Jack to the caves? I understand that there are going to be about 108 unanswered questions when we’re done here, but I really hope that events in the final season will at least make something like that clear, who’s been manifesting as all of these dead folk and what the intention was, other than to be mysterious and sinister on the first season of a new drama.

And we get the caves, where we see Jack cry for the first time. I’m going to make a note of that every time it happens, because by the third season, it seemed like he’d been doing it just all the time. I remember seeing the trailer of WE ARE MARSHALL for the first time and they drop the bit about the tragedy of the plane crash and cut to Matthew Fox crying and I wanted to high-five my date. I know someone who skipped the audition for that malarkey!

So, where is Christian’s body? As of that final bit outside the statue base, we know that Jacob or his brother leave the bodies behind when they go running around in the form of whomever. So, where’s Christian? The bottom of the ocean is not a very thrilling answer.

And in the now-famous “Live Together, Die Alone” speech, Jack also drops “Every man for himself” as the philosophy that’s not going to get it done. Though it makes a lovely title for a Sawyer-centric. Hello, 3.4


We see the remains of Adam & Eve. With all this time-hopping, I’ve been pretty sure their identities are going to wind up being a couple from 815. Jack & Kate are the most poetic answer, since they’re the ones who discover the bodies. I was looking in Sawyer & Juliet’s direction, and liked the idea of Sawyer & Kate. But, if that’s going to be the case, next season’s going to have to involve some more jumping, because I forgot with all that 70s fun that Jack said that the bodies have been there at least 40-50 yrs, judging from the clothing degeneration. Around the time Jughead went underground, then.

And totally forgot the black and white rocks in Adam’s pouch. Yeah, that’s pretty much everything, there. Whatever it’s going to wind up meaning.

Have always missed Sawyer’s “That’s the real trick, isn’t it?” in reference to the beach vs. caves debate as a Han Solo quote. I do that, too!

Kate tells Jack, “I don’t want to be Eve.” We’ll see . . .

Willie’s “Are You Sure” at the end = FLATTENING.


Locke gives Charlie a speech focusing on choice separating him from the boar. That lines up pretty damn well with the big picture, at this point in the game, cool to see it come out so early.

Hurley brings Charlie his guitar case because it’s in the way. I knew I’d seen him with a guitar before 316!

Charlie, to Jack: “I’m here to rescue you.” Luke, to Leia, of course. Also, probably too short for a stormtrooper.

I forgot that, for a few weeks, I originally assumed that Kate just boned Jack pretty much right after he came out of the cave-in, and really, that’s closer to explicit than im- from her reaction/greeting. How did he get out of that hug?


Just a couple of noteworthy lines in this one:

Hurley’s “That was a Jedi moment.” to Jack after he calms Shannon down prefigures his whole EMPIRE fixation in 5.13. (and looks like the third STAR WARS shout-out on this disc)

And, yeah, Sawyer tears up every scene he’s in, does amazing things in his first –centric, but has he ever delivered a better line than, “Darlin’, I’m tied to a tree in a jungle of mystery and I just got tortured by a damn spinal surgeon and a genuine eye-raqi. Of course I’m serious.”


Friday, October 09, 2009

WE HAVE TO GO BACK I____>: 1-4

All right, since I, 1) didn’t start doing these until the second episode of the second season, and 2) am powering through the entire series one last time to get ready for the home stretch, it seemed like I ought to finally slam out a few thoughts on this first season along the way. Not for every episode, though, surely, just going to do one entry per disc (or maybe multiple discs later, we’ll see).

>: 1 PILOT

So. The pilot. How does it hold up, after all this time, light years past caring about who the Others are or What’s in the Hatch? Pretty damn well. Have seen that opening scene just too many times to count and it still bowled me over on the 42-inch screen with the orchestra booming. Really hit me, though, when the credits started in after the initial adrenaline surge, Jack starts walking around and the Giacchino score swells and then we get that list of actors, the original first-string team, so many of whom have left us. It was pretty powerful, watching that sequence in 5/6 hindsight, knowing a great deal of What Happens Next, where lots of pieces fall.

I think I read the line in Entertainment Weekly, that the first season is “a master class in capturing the imagination,” and I really can’t put it any better than that. From the moment Jack opens that eye, they’ve got us.

Noticed a couple of interesting things in the two-part pilot. Hadn’t sat through it in at least a couple of years, I guess, and so was very struck at the end of Part 1, when Jack gets separated from Charlie and Kate post-cockpit and Kate’s freaking out and grabs Charlie and says, “WE HAVE TO GO BACK for Jack!” There’s your logline for Season 5 and your ramp-up catchphrase for Season 4, just hanging out barely forty minutes into the whole production.

>: 2 PILOT (PART 2)

Then, at the end of Part 2, after Sayid and crew have made the hike to get high enough to use the transceiver and we’ve heard the strident cello Walking Music for the first time and Sawyer’s busted out the marshal’s gun (that, after changing hands a few times will eventually be used to accidentally kill the blond on the very same trek!) to kill the polar bear and we hear Rousseau’s message for the first time, then Kate says, “We have to lie,” in reference to not sharing their findings with the rest of the group. Of course, that sentiment is quite a plot point for the Oceanic 6 in Season Four, so, funny to find it hanging out, nestled in here right at the beginning, as well.

And, talking We Have To Lie, this is the first time that I’ve ever caught a weird little continuity-glitch. When Jack, Kate, and Charlie come back from the cockpit, Boone asks if there were any survivors. Jack says No and the camera cuts to the other two, rocking the tacit cover-up, as well. Then, on the aforementioned transceiver hike, Boone just makes a random reference to the pilot telling them how far off course they were. Not that they couldn’t have let him and Shannon and Sayid and Sawyer in on it during the walk/climb, but it seemed like a funny thing to highlight and then omit the middle part.

Never noticed before, but that scene where Kate takes the gun off of Sawyer, when he walks away laughing and shaking his head, that’s it, right when she got him.


And so we begin the tradition of the no-dialogue end of the day montage scored by Hurley’s Discman that was used to great effect so many times in Season One. Never picked up that Joe Purdy song, need to do that. That last shot, man, Locke seemed so sinister! Totally the bad guy. We had no idea.

(Oh, did mean to point out, really just reiterate because it’s been done everywhere, but Locke explaining roulette to Walt in the second part of the pilot seems a lot heavier after the end of Season Five. White and black, good and evil.)(Silly, but as he was breaking it down for the kid, I just had to squint, “Yes, but are you really John Locke?”)


Such a fine, fine episode. Will always remember rolling with Stew to get him some new glasses the weekend after that aired and killing time while we waited with, “There’s this new show you’ve GOT to see.” Worth noting how they play with the chronology of this one, after we’ve barely oriented ourselves from the pilot’s post-crash/pre-crash jumping and then the first –centric episode (Kate), we open with the Locke response to the first scene of the series, opening his eyes after the crash. They filmed that so well in the pilot, because though he jumps out at you several other times before he starts talking, when all that other shit’s going on, you can’t really make out that it’s him and it makes this episode’s ending so much more powerful.

Not just a terrible lot of things that hindsight brought to this one, it was pretty happening on its own present-tense merit. That first shot of Christian Shephard standing by the tree is forever chilling. And the scenes with Randy giving Locke shit are a lot funnier knowing that Hurley owns the company and for some reason hooked his old Mr. Cluck’s supervisor up after bringing a meteorite down on the joint.

Taken in immediate succession, these first four episodes are a lot to process, even if you already know every beat. Bring on demented Jack, the first Locke/Jack head-to-head, Willie singing the Koreans to sleep, Adam & Eve and Charlie the Moth, and some good old-fashioned tree-tied torture.