Thursday, April 29, 2010


Well, it had to happen.

And it's never a good time when it does. I recommend rewatching last week's installment or heading back on over to the Alpert-centric AB AETERNO. Which, I guess somebody in programming agrees, as they're rerunning the latter tonight in the time slot.

This is the last gap, though.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


This is, what, basically the opening of the series finale? Those are the beats. The bottom has dropped out of the –centrics and it’s scattershot all over the place, running through the roster fast as we can. Just so much going on pre-titles, only mentioning monster’s confirmation of being the Christian Shephard ghost nicely punctuated by Claire telling Jack that, from the moment he let Locke start talking, “You’re with him, now,” which of course, thunderous because that turns out to be the last line of the episode.

They came out guns blazing this week.

“Who the hell is Anakin?” SO GOOD. That old bit finally comes back around the other end and becomes wonderful.

The Sawyer/Kate exchange is the argument nullifying any lingering gits who might still be bitching about the parallel timeline format for this last season. The lack of continuity, the absolute sense of reset, such a refreshing shift to that pair’s chemistry, another classic scene conjured up when we least expect it, and with the titles still rolling.

Ha ha, and the purpose of that stick Locke Monster was carving was to smash up Zoe’s walkie-talkie. Say NO to being firebombed, though, guys.

Giacchino turns on the afterburners with the Desmond and Claire in the elevator scene, those strings are gut-wrenching. And then Ilana, ha. Oh, and then, too, that march while Sawyer and Jack have that pow-wow, this is some vintage going for broke orchestral business right here now, yes.

Desmond crushes it at the bottom of the well, to the surprise of none.

Sawyer handcuffing Sayid in one timeline, followed by saying “Thar she blows,” upon encountering The Elizabeth, is terrific juxtaposition.

And who could be prepared for the sight of those anything but dysfunctional and so smartly attired Shephard men strutting across the lobby? Classic, of course, though by this point we’re all clearly shrieking for even a glimpse of John Terry.

Oh, now see, shit, completely missed it the first time but now, Ilana asks Claire if she believes in Coincidence and then flips it later on and says Fate for the Shephard boys. The old Locke/Eko debate.

And is my man coming back or not? HOW CAN HE NOT?

“Not A Very Good Time,” “Get Off My Damn Boat,” or, the frontrunner, some version of “You’re With Me, Now,” are the standout episode titles, all of which, presumably made it to the final round.

Every time somebody talks about HYDRA Island, and this will probably never be exemplified to a more perfect extent than the conversation in which Sawyer christens Lapidus, Chesty, but I always think that all of a sudden the Steranko Nick Fury madness is just one slip of the knot away from being unleashed.

Just even try to hold it together with those strings Giacchino is singing over Sawyer and Kate arguing after Jack jumps in, not even counting how that mirrors him bailing out of the chopper, and right then cue that perfect call-back to going back, here and now, just too much.

“Dural sac’s obliterated,” and “I got this,” are crushing lines.

And you’ve of course got to love the random reunion after almost two entire seasons for the Koreans. Followed by the shellshock.

Shellshock possibly could have been the best title for this episode. Though I’m quite surprised that it wasn’t a riff on You’re With Me, or, really, the Sawyer on the boat line, if only because I’m just realizing how evocative of Twain that whole bit really is.

I bow to you, Island Faithful, oh, and Namaste for just a little while longer.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


A fine episode, one that possibly peaks too early, and I’m talking about that opening Hurley the Philanthropist montage narrated by Dr. Chang, hilarious stuff, particularly Mr. Cluck’s Experimental Farm. You just know that DJ Qualls and Starla pulled some off-screen chicken liberation in that timeline. Harrowing! I was beginning to think we wouldn’t get to see old Marvin Candle again after that one mention from Miles a while back, but here he is to drop the obvious episode title in the first frame. Direct counterpoint to the title of 2.04, which also featured the debut of Jin speaking English alongside Randy in the Mr. Cluck’s chicken costume. An unsettling entrance into the first episode after hearing the words DHARMA Initiative strung together for the first time. Meeeeeeeemories.

“A lot of crazy stuff’s been happening.” Haha. Hurley’s Voice of Constant Viewer rides again. Of course, as soon as his mom mentions a date, we’re all right away looking for Libby to show up. Certainly wasn’t thinking they’d drop Michael on us, though I wonder if the nationwide reaction resembled the one in my living room, which can best be summarized as, “Gah. Fucking Michael.”

Cool trick only apparent on the rewatch, when Hurley’s calling out to Libby, saying how dead people talk to him, there’s the pause, then Ilana says something instead, foreshadowing her own Artz moment. That same thing happens in a minute with Jack when Michael tells Hurley that people are listening to him now, cue the Shephard walkup. All Jack does this week is listen to Hurley.

Something about Ilana’s performance in this one comes across as really forced, I thought, like she couldn’t quite sink into her character, or was maybe trying too hard for the home stretch. I don’t know, it took me out of it just a bit. Didn’t diminish how insane it was when she exploded herself with enough dynamite to take out the entire airplane, though. If that were really true, seems like it would have blown up everybody else, too. I guess the Island didn’t demand it.

Aw. Probably the last Kitsis/Horowitz-written episode. Those men gave us some classics. And with Vaughan and, just realizing, Goddard out of the picture this season, our go-to guys this season after the varsity squad. (Go, CABIN IN THE WOODS!, which, just now shuddering at the synchronicity)

Spanish johnny’s is a hilarious name. Particularly that lowercase j.

Desmond as L.A. interloper/instigator is a fantastic twist. Was wondering how Hurley got Order #38, but of course he was just four back from Our Des.

Who is obviously addled from all this flashing back and forth. Pretty blatant something no good is afoot when he says, “You’re John Locke,” and the guy’s immediate response is, “Later, Sayid, I, singular, will be back to the camp soon, after we take this walk.”

So, halfway through the episode and aaaaaall the dynamite is out of play. Unfortunately, that shot of Hurley running right before the explosion looks just incredibly fake, possibly all-time worst for the series. Glad we got it out of the way?

“We’re dead, we’re all dead!” Shouldn’t Richard . . . not be pissed off at that concept?

For that matter, it’s been bugging me (and not just positive why they’re related in my mind, but): How exactly did Ilana train her entire life to take care of some Candidates on a Mystery Island?

That kid is sure creepy. Young or reincarnated Jacob? Young Monster? Next week, maybe . . .

Leonard! Not chanting numbers! Obviously. But this does beg a question that didn’t occur to me until now. Did Hurley win the lottery with different numbers, since he was never at Santa Rosa, and even if he had been, Leonard never heard the numbers because the Island sank? Did that stop being a question somewhere in there? And was that Hurley’s voice on the transmission? Are they just going to leave us twisting in the wind on that one?

And when are we going to get back to Officer Ford and his freckled fugitive?

“If You Remembered Me” was my hope for episode title, though it never really had a shot.

Giacchino brings back the Raft Theme. Parting Words! I need it.

Cynthia Watros is so great.

So wait, since Jacob wasn’t really there, why exactly did Hurley think going to talk to the Locke Monster was a plan? Just making shit up as he goes along? Talk about the worst guy around the campfire to follow. What does Miles think we should do?

Richard’s confirming question is huge! Ultimate, really. “Ask him what the Island is.” Yes, yes, ask him that! Or, or maybe you could take a break from trying to blow up 316 for like five minutes, Alpert, and crack open a DHARMA beer and just tell us. Mm?

Completely forgot Sun no longer speaks English until she busted out that pad. Kind of a lot going on.

Ah, the last time Jack decided to let go and do nothing, we got the Secret (incomplete) Origin of Ben Linus. So, yes, do that again.

Michael’s apology falls just all kinds of flat. Being sorry isn’t enough. I want to see you chained up on the mountain with Prometheus, the vultures picking at your organs, Brothah!

And, uh, yeah, that’s what the whispers were. Ghosts. Probably still animated by all the crazy EM. I mean, that was always the best guess, but wild just to get that dropped out of nowhere like that. Not unlike the double Black Rock/smashed statue answer. This was that, moving on!

What was Hurley going to say to Libby on the beach? “I figured you’d like cheese, because all crazy people like cheese”? Nice that they finally got that date, though. You knew a “Dude” was coming after the memory floodgates opened.

So, L.A. Desmond’s mission is to influence the 815 crew’s lives for the better? Or at least the ones he likes?

Right about the time they walk up to that well, I’m thinking maybe Desmond should ask this guy what one snowman said to the other. Just to be sure, you know?

O’Quinn is certainly acting his heart out, making that monster entirely relatable. I loved the way he responded to Desmond’s “Very old?” Even though you could see it coming a mile away, it still managed to be a bit of a surprise, the way they played that shove.

Then Hurley delivers every single remaining Candidate to the Locke Monster’s camp. Oh, and look, we brought a pilot, too. The pieces are certainly falling into endgame position. How many more “sonuvabitch”s will Sawyer utter? I think it’s time to start counting. I guess smart money puts it at four, but I posit that this was the first of those, so three to go! Another great fakeout, they’re doing it almost every time now, you’re sure the episode is over, both plots are resolved or hung off the cliff, but then some other crazy shit happens.

Who guessed that Desmond was going to mow down crippled Locke? I didn’t catch it until this scene, that his injuries are in both timelines and he is, yes, straight up jumping back and forth. Which is what I thought at first, but then when he went right back to Penny in the stadium at the end last week, it made me think that maybe both were going concurrently? But no, it’s clearly one Desmond who’s learning, that’s the motivation for taking out Locke, since they were nice and explicit earlier, that Desmond has no idea that’s the monster. So, DID he flash off of 815 back in the premiere? Or just go back to his old seat. That’s not an answer we’ll be getting, it doesn’t exactly rate very highly.

Well, based on Jack’s remark to Hurley about Locke doing a lot of talking, coupled with the last shot, I guess we’re due for a Monster-centric? Is that POSSIBLE? It could always be something out of left field, push the pause button with these guys and bop back across the pond for the Widmore-centric, but I can’t believe that what’s not out of left field would be a Monster-centric. And is he EVER going to turn back into Christian Shephard or is he locked into that form because it belongs to a Candidate?

Soon, said I, will know.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


So, even before the episode begins, point of contention about whether this will be yet another all-out Desmond-centric shooting-for-the-Top-5-yet-again sort of ride or if having ended with him last week, they’re just going to twist us in the wind for a week or three, even now. When I pointed out the episode number, it was decided that we’d have to drink all the whiskey in the house if it was, in fact, time for Desmond. Fortunately, there wasn’t much left.

The pre-title sequence is insane! From the opening Desmond eye shot to quite understandably and wonderfully beating the shit out of Widmore with the IV stand to Schillinger’s kid all of a sudden Scientist Prime to dude getting cooked by the solenoids since he’s not Desmond or Jon Osterman. So great, only question was, WHEN they put Des in, was that just going to send him over to the parallel stream for the whole episode, or maybe bunches of them why not? or were they just going to go for it and all of a sudden it be the hide Desmond’s big blue cock with carefully placed furniture episode. I’m glad it turned out the way it did.

The guest star list is astounding. The entire Widmore family that wasn’t, Charlie, Minkowski, and Penny. Out of control.

Pause right when Schillinger’s kid turns around before not throwing the switch when it’s Desmond’s turn. Check out his face. It’s hilarious, when the dude came out from nowhere at the beach hollering and barrel trained on Sawyer, I bet you a hundred dollars the actor had no idea he’d be in here doing this shit this week. Aaaaaand, now you’re Widmore’s EMF guy!

They totally tease you, too, after the fantastic Dr. Manhattan discorporation moment, cut to blue sky like, Yes, it IS Superman time, we are totally now making Desmond a superhero here at the end but hey it’s all right we’ll certainly give him clothes since it’s network, then the pull-back, nope, this was just that time that Desmond was on the 815 flight and disappeared when Jack came back because he’d gone up to the cockpit for a quick peep out the front window for this absolute fucking cocktease POV shot, because now fade to him trying to figure out which baggage claim he needs to hit, the result of the Manhattan experiment is actually only going to be that we catch up with him after those first five minutes that opened the season.

Cusick obviously crushes everything within sight this episode. Every one-on-one is immaculate. He nails every beat of the encounter with Claire. And, as if we weren’t expecting it, it’s A-team time, Lindelof/Cuse/Bender. Hold on.

Great to see George Minkowski up and about. Him and Trixie, man, as soon as they showed up, both taken out in their debut episodes, such a waste.

And I love how horrifying it is to watch Widmore’s reception of Desmond in LA. How normal it would seem, if you didn’t know, except for the music, but how really wrong it is. Reminded me of the bit with Jack catching and spiking Tom’s pass, the inversion of surface appearance.

The conversation in the bar with Charlie might win. Dom crushes fantastic writing, drops my first pick for episode title with the “This Feeling, This Love” speech before Desmond brings us right back with killer read of “that’s poetry, Brother.” Charlie’s story about seeing, I presume, Claire and then being yanked away at the moment of realization foreshadows the fake ending of the episode, when we think he’s carried away from Penny at the instant of contact.

“The Beginning of Everything Great” is my second pick.

And of course insane the way that car ride ends up in the harbor. Same marina? Why not, same marina! Season Three finale hand on the glass! It’s all too much.

The panic button! The Penny vision! Might should just finish this one out via exclamatory summary.

This is a perfect Desmond episode, a recapitulation and summation*. Just when you think they’re not going to be able to logically pack any other perfect encounter, we get that little exchange with Jack.

Is it significant that Jack In The Box advertise during this episode? Should we read anything into that?

“What Happened, Happened!”

Penny’s last name is Milton here? She’s Widmore’s daughter and that’s her mom’s name? Certainly not a surprise that they grabbed the author’s name, but interesting detail to fill in in such a strange context. “The Perfect Life!” Does Eloise’s voice do some weird sub-tonal thing when she tells Desmond he needs to stop looking for it? Reminds me of the effect they used on the Visitors in those first two V mini-series way back when. And of course, she’s here to course-correct Desmond. Or maybe prevent him from doing same?

“Because I bloody do,” takes best delivery of the week, no problem.

“Just Drive, George.”

Faraday in the All Things Must Pass hat! Too many crushing potential episode titles**!

“Love At First Sight!”

I have really missed Daniel Faraday, didn’t know how much until seeing him.

“You Felt Love!” “She’s An Idea!”

Penny rocking the Tour de Stade! Just the sight of that stadium sends lactic acid firing through my calves and makes me so happy.

And Giacchino drops the fakeout music, when Desmond asks Widmore when they start, you totally expect Drum-cut to L E T T E R S.

“A Lot Can Happen In Twenty Minutes!”

Random Sayid Neck-Breaking Glory!

“Aye!” “Lead the Way!”

And then, second complete shock ending, they make it not contingent on the machine and ol Des just slides right back over to Penny to close things out, totally undercutting the brilliance of jumping back when the two made contact, but completely worth it with the mad notion that Desmond is going to get his hands on the manifest and cause all kinds of mayhem, if the look in his eyes is any indication. “I Just Need To Show Them Something!”

“The Corner of Switzer & Melrose” is a late dark horse contender. I really love the idea of the folks who do know the title ahead of time puzzling this one out until the last two minutes. The Wife suggested "Electromagnetic Love," which maybe trumps all these others.

Oh, the laugh Penny gives him turning around on the way out.

*Thinking about this a bit later, no, it's not PERFECT, there's no Brother Justin Clancy Brown drunk at the charity ball with girls young enough to be his kids on either arm. That is the only subtraction that keeps this episode from being mathematically perfect. But so close!

**and, really, I’ve been guessing hard what the finale could be called for weeks now, and that’s the first one that I’d be happy with***

***massive and total understatement

Friday, April 02, 2010


The surveillance footage POV, what a creepy damn Friday the 13th open.

Then, man, going back through, really found myself unable to on any level detect that Sun and Jin weren’t married in the LA timeline. Made it halfway through the second time of that security guy telling Jin he’d have to file paperwork for the 25K before realizing that she wasn’t messing with him, neither one of them spoke English and were really just getting hustled out of Customs after being fleeced. Jin dropping the No Marry accompanied by the naked ring finger was quite a moment.

Sayid’s bit about being numb, devoid of emotion, makes you think Ben’s been that way all this time. Which makes just all kinds of sense.

And before that dart hit Sawyer, I fell for the same bit with Charlie back at the top of BKV’s 3.18 debut, really thought for an instant that Jin just got taken out at the top of his –centric, which, I’m sure he’s still got much to do, but I hope so because that would have been a really brilliant and insane move to make, and I always hate it that doesn’t wind up happening.

Best dialogue all episode: the bait and switch when Lapidus interrupts Miles and you think he’s standing up for Hurley but the line is just, “Hey, don’t talk about bacon.” Marvelous delivery.

So, Ilana is Locke, by the way, filling in the archetype/role this last time out.

Wow, Jin drops his first No right before Sun undoes her first button. That’s brilliant. And just a small example why two viewings per week is the bare minimum for appreciating the scope of this thing.

How hilarious and creepy is the Locke Monster’s argument for why Sun should come with him? He jump-cuts right from that sweetly scored, “I gave all those people I killed at the Temple a choice, Sun,” to “and I’ll give you the same choice, too. Come with me, or not.” I mean, that’s not much of a choice, is it?

Sun clobbering herself upside the tree might be the Greatest FlashCut of All Time. Definitely nudging right up against Goldman’s work in 4.05, which is appropriate considering the cliffhanger.

Great how the scene with Ben and Sun cuts away after “Locke” and we don’t realize right then that she’s lost English.

Certainly wasn’t looking for Room 23 as the answer to Where’s Jin? Really had to keep it down not to ruin anybody else’s experience.

So, Locke says Kate’s name wasn’t on the wall. I didn’t see it either, but she’s #51. Why is she no longer a candidate? What did she do? Murder’s off the table, as Sawyer and Sayid are still viable prospects, as far as I can tell. The three people Locke Monster needs are Jack, Hurley and undead Sayid, since:


he’s already got Sawyer and Jin. Actually, the fact that he doesn’t have Sun and is saying three is pretty decent evidence that it’s Jin not Sun.

The look on Anthony Azizi’s face when he walks in the door is priceless. Got to be in the pantheon of best guest entrances of all time, Kramer, jump off the roof.

Mikhail! Grar!

I was sure hoping for but not counting on this last stand of Martin Kimi. Durand surpasses his previous career best.

And what a great almost-mirror having Sun lose English here at the end. I think we found out in the sixth episode that she could speak it, first time one of them dropped Korean. Now, with seven episodes left, she’s back to the native language.

And so the War shall be fought between Widmore and the Locke Monster. You always knew it was coming, and I think this time really it is, just wouldn’t have guessed that these would be the factions after all the bait and switching, Jack vs. Locke, Ben vs. Widmore, never figured the monster would be one of the sides. If they’re not just messing with us, even now.

Sun’s indecipherable tirade is magnificent.

I love when Azizi (just not right to call him Omar, you know?) yips back with the I’m an Arab, you know? bit and Kimi comes back with this parallel’s version of “Get the chopper started, Frank.” Same look in those eyes.

The Heart Wants What the Heart Wants.

God, what crushing delivery. Durand hits the afterburners. The smile, that look in his eyes.

Right when Widmore tells Zoe to take the package to the infirmary, I’m hoping it’s just going to be some writhing mass of alien tentacles but pretty sure that’s not going to be the case. First impression, though.

So Widmore says that if Locke Monster gets off the Island, their loved ones and, by implication from the way he phrased it, everything simply ceases to be. These are the stakes, people.

Referring to Desmond as “The Package” the night before the “Medicinal Fried Chicken” episode of SOUTHPARK airs is a pretty unfortunate damn convergence, but I guess everything happens for a reason.

That Sayid sure does have the sleepy-eyed Got You Covered look down pat in LA.

“Sun, move away.” That is some career-worst bad advice, Jin. The opposite of fortuitous. Stand riiiiiiight over there . . .

Then all of a sudden it’s the end of THE DEPARTED and Jin Darkos Mikhail + Sun is pregnant! Possibly with Jin’s baby, ohmyfuckinGod you guys! No great surprise on this show, we get one of the two dangling LA cliffhangers resolved with another cliffhanger. Can’t wait to see how we cross back into the Sawyer and Kate in the alley thread.

I totally, once and hopefully not never again, called this episode title, but with the caveat that anybody had to agree that the sentimental favorite was “One Stubborn Tomato.” That would have been fantastic.

The countdown timer to V returning, particularly after juxtaposing the content of that episode with this one, was of course maddening throughout. I managed to keep the rage choked down until Sun held her pad up underneath it. Frothy rage!

But even so, that scene really laid into me, the look on Sun’s face when Jack asked if she trusted him. Just a crushing trick, all of a sudden on the way out, making language moot, the look she gives him saying everything.

It is wild how many conflicting agendas we have with this many weeks left:

1)Locke Monster escaping via Ajira 316 (if he’s to be believed), presumably after having eliminated all the Candidates.

2)Widmore stopping this from happening.

3)Sawyer and Kate hijacking Widmore’s sub and escaping, with the help of pluck and an operations manual.

4)Jack reuniting the Kwons and helping them escape via Ajira 316.

5)Alpert leading Ilana and some faction to destroy Ajira 316, so that no one can escape.

And Sayid was totally channeling 80s Wolverine with that tidal surveillance. Great look between him and Desmond. It’s good to have you back, Brothah!

It might not be official, based on how they reckon double-episodes, but next week is the 108th time that a new episode airs. Get ready.