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Lost Season 5 Blu-ray Collector’s Set Announced

Dr. Chang

I don’t normally get excited about the “collector’s edition” sets that usually throw in a stupid doll or die cast model with your favorite movie or tv series. However, this just-announced version of Lost Season 5 on Blu-ray looks pretty amazing to a geek like me. The theme is that the set is actually a Dharma Initiation Kit, so I’d like to think there will be some sweet bonus videos like some of the uncut orientation films we haven’t seen before. Either that, or this is some kind of conspiracy between Disney/ABC and the last remaining VCR manufacturers. Lost: The Complete Fifth Season Dharma Initiation Kit will be released on December 8, 2009, on the same date as the standard Blu-ray and DVD versions.

July 9, 2009 Posted by | Blu-ray, Drama, dvd, Home Video, Science, Scifi, Television | , , , , , , | Comments Off on Lost Season 5 Blu-ray Collector’s Set Announced

Lost Season 5 Episodes 16 and 17: The Incident Pt 1 and 2

Maybe Lost has melted my brain so many times that I’m now immune. Maybe I over-theorized about the finale. Whatever the reason, the finale didn’t totally blow my mind. Let’s break it down.

The episode opens in a poorly lit shelter, where a faceless man is working at a spinning wheel and then a loom. We then see the man retrieving fish from a trap in shallow water, which he cooks up over a fire on the beach. The man is joined on the beach by another man and they both look out at the ship that is approaching the shore. It appears to be the Black Rock, and Man #2 says they will come fight, destroy, corrupt, it always ends the same way. Man #1 says it only ends once and that anything that happens before that is progress, which seems to piss Man #2 off. Man #2 says he wants to kill Man #1 and threatens that one day he will find a loophole. Man #1 says he’ll be waiting. Man #2 gets up to leave and says, “It’s always nice talking to you Jacob.” Jacob says, “It’s always nice talking to you too,” but doesn’t say Man #2’s name. The camera then backs out to reveal they are at the base of the statue, and it appears to have a sort of crocodile mouth–that doesn’t sound like any Egyptian god I’ve ever seen.

So we finally know what Jacob looks like–and this sets up a series of great flashback reveals throughout both the entire two-hour finale. The first involves a Young Kate who tries to shoplift a New Kids on the Block lunchbox, only to get busted. Jacob arrives just in time to pay the shopkeeper and keep Kate out of trouble. He makes Kate promise not to steal anymore–yeah that worked.

Back to the sub in ’77 and Sawyer basically tells Kate to get over it and come back to the real world with him and Juliet. Back on the island, Jack and Sayid layout their plan to remove the plutonium from Jughead and transport it to The Swan site. According to Sayid, they only have two hours to make it happen. Over at The Swan, Chang tries to explain to Radzinski why they have to stop drilling, and Radzinski bitches him out, explaining he has been working on the plans for The Swan for six years.

In ’07, Locke gives his people a quick five, which gives Sun enough time to ask Ben who Jacob is. Ben explains that everyone answers to someone, and the Leader answers to Jacob. She probes further, causing Ben to begrudgingly reveal to her that he has never actually seen Jacob. Meanwhile, Locke and Richard are talking and Richard explains the reason he’s been starting at John is because he’s never seen someone come back to life before. Before pressing on, Locke let’s Richard know that after they are done visiting Jacob, they will have to ‘deal’ with the Ajira survivors. For whatever reason, Locke doesn’t even find it necessary to pretend that ‘deal’ means anything other than kill. Speaking of the Ajira folks, they are arriving on the main island and Lapidus regains consciousness just as they are discussing what to do with him. He asks what’s in the box, and surprisingly they decide to show him. We don’t get to see what it is, but the look on Frank’s face is priceless.  All he can say is, “Terrific.”

Another flashback shows us Young James after his parents’ funeral. He is sitting down to write the letter to Mr. Sawyer and Jacob shows up to give him a nice pen to write it with. After Jacob leaves, Uncle Doug shows up and tells little Jimmy that he needs to move on. He tells him that what’s done is done. This obviously frames grown-up James’ opinion about whether or not to execute Faraday’s plan.

Back on the sub, after some debate which Sawyer thinks he’s won, Juliet surprises him by knocking out the guard and freeing herself. They disable the radio and make the captain surface so they can get back to shore to stop Jack from carrying out Daniel’s plan. Beneath Dharmaville, Richard approaches Jack and wants to know a little more about this Locke dude. He tells Jack he has left the island on three occasions to visit John and that he has never seemed particularly special. Jack tells Richard not to give up on him just yet.

On the road to Jacob, Locke quizzes Ben in an attempt to figure out why Ben hasn’t tried to screw him over yet. Ben explains what went on in the cave below the temple, then begrudgingly confirms when Locke realizes Ben has to follow his orders. Locke instructs Ben to kill Jacob. 

Off-island in ’04, we see Sayid and Nadia walking down the sidewalk, approaching a crosswalk. They start across when Jacob appears and get’s Sayid’s attention. This separates them just enough for Nadia to get plowed by the SUV while Sayid is totally unharmed.

In the tunnel in ’77, Richard opens up a wall to reveal a passage into a Dharma house, then knocks out Eloise so she can’t lead the group any further. He tells Jack and Sayid to go on alone, and turns back with Eloise. Once topside, Jack and Sayid quickly find themselves in a firefight with Dharma, resulting in a serious gunshot wound for Sayid, and Jack killing several Dharma guys. Hurley, Miles, and Jin pull up just in time to drive the boys to safety. 

We got a nice break at this point, and some long overdue fan service. Sawyer, Juliet, and Kate arrived back to the beach, only to be greeted by Vincent–followed by a disappointed Rose and Bernard. Apparently they have been enjoying ‘retirement’ on the island and have absolutely no interest in rejoining the fight. They say they don’t care what happens with the bomb as long as they’re together. This offers an important insight for Juliet, who at that moment see Sawyer look not in her direction, but instead toward Kate. Elsewhere on the island, Lapidus is wishing he hadn’t seen the contents of the box when he is assured these people are ‘the good guys’. Then the group comes upon the cabin, and after Ilyana retrieves a piece of cloth with a picture of the statue on it, the burn the place to the ground. In the middle of this, we get a flashback to an injured Ilyana who is visited by Jacob in the hospital. He explains he needs her help.

Another flashback shows us Jacob on a bench reading Flannery O’Conner’s ‘Everything That Rises Must Converge’, which seems very tongue-in-cheek once we see John Locke’s paralysis-causing fall take place over Jacob’s shoulder. Jacob goes to the injured Locke and rouses him long enough to assure him everything will be fine.

On the island in ’07, Locke lets his people rest at the old Oceanic campsite while he shares a few moments with Ben. Ben admits he is a liar, and Lock proceeds to explain that with everything that has happened to Ben, he fails to see why he wouldn’t want to kill Jacob. This seems to ring true to Ben, and I think we just witnessed the first time Locke has ever tried to manipulate Ben and been successful. On the other side of camp, Sun finds Charlie’s old ring and flashes back to her wedding with Jin, remembering a visit they received from Jacob, who Jin noted spoke excellent Korean.

Hurley hits the brakes on the Dharma van in ’77 and when Jack asks why, we see that Sawyer, Juliet, and Kate are standing in the road with their guns drawn.

’07 – Locke asks Richard why they’re stopping and Richard just says, “You’ll see.” Pan over to the statue’s foot.

Sawyer tells Jack he needs five minutes to talk to him before they let him go on. Jack flashes back to his first big surgery, during which Christian made him look like a fool. Afterward, Jack runs into Jacob at the candy machine when Jacob gets two candy bars after Jack’s gets stuck. As Jack walks away with his candy, we hear Jacob say, “I guess it just needed a little push.” This seemed to me like a reference to what it took to make Jack into a true believer instead of a cynical man of science. Back with Sawyer, Jack listens to the theory of ‘what’s done is done’ and denies it. A fistfight ensues, and is only broken up when Juliet arrives to tell Sawyer she has changed her mind about helping Jack. Flash to Young Juliet and sister Rachel getting told by their parents that they’re getting divorced. This leads to Juliet confronting Sawyer about his feelings for Kate, and her final argument, “If I never meet you, then I don’t have to lose you.” I really don’t like this reasoning, because I think that regardless of the love triangle and its outcome, Sawyer is a better man now than he was when the plane crashed. Reverting everything back would mean turning him back into the asshole he originally was.

Over near the Swan, Jack and Kate share a moment and Jack gets her to agree to help him after all. He says, “Nothing in my life has ever felt so right.” It seems to me that includes all the time he spent with Kate–hmm slap in the face much?

Off-island Hurley is getting out of jail, and naturally Jacob is waiting to share a cab back to town. Jacob explains to Hurley that maybe he’s not really cursed, and might even be blessed. He tells Hurley the Ajira flight information and says the choice is his. Jacob leaves the guitar case behind in the cab when he gets out.

’07 on the beach, and Richard is lighting torches to lead the way to Jacob. Richard is pissed when he sees Ben coming along, but Locke puts Richard in his place. Richard opens the door then leaves. Locke then hands Ben a knife and reminds him that things will change once Jacob is gone. For some reason I really felt like for once, Ben was going to follow through and not screw Locke over.

Near The Swan in ’77, Miles takes a moment to ask the group if anyone ever thought maybe the bomb was actually the cause of the incident, and that the best thing they could do was actually nothing. Once again, I have to thank the writers for making Miles the voice of the fans. I have been considering all along that the incident was really caused by the actions of the gang, rather than prevented by them. At the construction site, Jack is spotted and the big climactic firefight begins. Several Dharma folks are killed, and eventually Phil calls everyone off since there’s a gun to his head. Sayid has rigged the bomb to detonate on impact, and Jack drops it into the drill shaft since Faraday’s notes called for it to be close to the energy source. Everyone braces for the explosion and then nothing happens. Instead, the electromagnetism kicks into overdrive and metal stuff starts flying everywhere. Dr. Chang gets pinned under some scaffold and Jack gets busted upside the head by a toolbox, knocking him out. Sweetest of all, Phil gets pinned by scaffolding, then run through with some other metal parts. The culmination of the scene comes when Juliet gets tangled in a thick metal chain, which causes her to get dragged into the mouth of the shaft. Sawyer grabs her arm, but she cannot free herself from the chains. She professes her love for James while he shouts at her not to let go. Ultimately the magnetic force is to strong and she is pulled down the shaft, leaving a screaming, sobbing Sawyer on the surface with Kate.

The Ajira group approaches the Statue beach in ’07 and says they are looking for Ricardos. Richard steps forward and correctly answers the secret question with a Latin phrase. Ilyana then opens the crate and reveals that what they found in the cargo hold of the plane was the body of John Locke. So we quickly realize that this new forceful Locke is none other than some form of Man #2 from the opening sequence of this episode. This explains his strong desire to see Jacob and get Ben to do the dirty work for him. Inside the statue base, Jacob greets “Locke” and says, “I see you found your loophole.” to which he replies, “You have no idea what I’ve gone through to be here.” Jacob explains to Ben that he has a choice to make, which only serves to make Ben angrier than he already was. Ben is extremely bitter about the way he was treated, especially after he blindly followed orders and sacrificed so much for the island. Ben asks, “What was it that was so wrong with me?” and then wants to know what’s in it for him.

Ben: “What about me?”

Jacob: “What about you?”

That’s all the justification Ben needed to plunge the knife into Jacob’s chest. And while Ben seems somewhat horrified at what he has done, Man #2/Locke just kicks Jacob’s body into the fire to ensure the job is finished. The look on Ben’s face reminded me of two things at once: 1) Brutus after stabbing Ceasar, and 2) Judas after kissing Jesus on the cheek. I’m sure this similarity is not accidental.

Back at The Swan site, the camera takes us into the shaft, and to Juliet who’s eyes slowly open. She seems upset to still be alive, then happy to see that the un-detonated bomb is just a few feet away. She grabs a large rock and begins to strike the casing of the bomb. It doesn’t work at first, so she tries again and again and then a white flash fills the screen. LOST.

Let’s be clear. While the episode didn’t completely melt my brain, I still thought it was EXCELLENT. Just like we have all season, we got a lot of answers tonight–answers to questions we have been asking for years in some cases. Of course, in true Lost fashion, we got a bunch of questions too. But that’s okay. 

I told my wife last week that I thought the season would end with a white flash and LOST. I’m actually not thrilled to be right about it though. I would have loved to have been wrong and actually seen what happened to our heroes, instead of being forced to wait until January to find out. That’s okay though, because I know in a year when the series is over, I will be sad that there is no more suspense left. That is my advice for now–enjoy the suspense while we have it, because it is finite.

May 13, 2009 Posted by | Drama, Science, Scifi, Season Finale, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Lost Season 5 Episodes 16 and 17: The Incident Pt 1 and 2

Lost Season 5 Episode 14: The Variable

Now this is what an episode of Lost should be like. As much as I enjoyed the breather provided by Laurel & Hardy Miles & Hurley, tonight’s episode was the kind of fast-paced thrill ride that the best episodes of Lost always are. Let’s recap and analyze…

We begin in 2007, as Desmond is rushed into the hospital with Penny and Charlie by his side. Penny and Charlie are in the waiting area as Desmond is operated on, and Eloise Hawking walks up. She apologizes to Penny and says it’s her son’s fault that this happened. The look on Penny’s face was great as she said, “Your son is Benjamin Linus?” Eloise sets her straight and we cut to 1977 Dharmaville.

Daniel is getting off the submarine and we get our only true comedic moment of the night–Miles says, “Once you left for Ann Arbor, I figured you got rich and invented the DVD or something.” In addition to the big laugh he got from me, Miles confirmed my suspicion that Daniel had just been working for Dharma off-island all along. Daniel shows Miles the “Class of 77” photo to explain why he’s back, then asks to see Jack. Once they get to Jack’s place, Jack tells Daniel that Eloise is the reason he came back. After Daniel guesses correctly that Eloise told Jack about his ‘destiny’, he promptly bursts Jack’s bubble and says his mother was wrong.

Flashback to Young Daniel playing piano.  Eloise explains to him that destiny is about using your gifts to their fullest, and apparently not about playing the piano. When Daniel says he can make time, she responds, “If only you could.”

Miles and Daniel head to The Orchid, so Jack goes to Sawyer who reveals a bound-and-gagged Security Phil in the kitchen cabinet. Not to digress too much, but for some reason I was really pleased to see him locked in the cabinet. I’m sure Patrick Fischler is a fine character actor, but I just can’t stand him in this role. Although, I guess that may be the point of the character–if so, it worked.

Daniel and Miles arrive at The Orchid, and they see Dr. Chang arrive shortly after them. We are then treated to the scene from the season premiere, only this time from Daniel’s point of view. After the part we saw on the premiere, Daniel actually approaches Chang and tells him he only has six hours to evacuate the island. Daniel’s “proof” isn’t very convincing though, since it consists of telling Chang “I’m from the future!” Chang is also unconvinced when Daniel tells him that Miles is actually his grown son. I thought Dr. Chang was going to buy it for a minute, but then Miles slams the door shut with a quick denial. Once Chang leaves, Daniel tells Miles he just had to make sure that Chang does what he is “supposed to do”.

Flashback to doctoral graduate Daniel, who is with Theresa (pre-brain melting) when Eloise appears. Eloise makes it obvious that she is not happy with Theresa and takes Daniel to lunch. After Daniel tells his mother about his $85.1 Million grant from Widmore, she pisses him off by telling him to stop wasting his time on Theresa. Eloise hands Daniel a gift, then leaves the restaurant. The gift is Daniel’s journal, complete with an inscription:

“Daniel,

No matter what, remember I will always love you.

Mother”

She also left Daniel with the check, which I think was pretty weak. I thought it was interesting that Eloise considered a relationship with Theresa to be as worthless as playing the piano. I think it’s interesting that Eloise doesn’t even entertain the possibility that these other pursuits could be an intricate part of nurturing Daniel’s genius. 

Back in ’77, Sawyer is presenting the gang with two options: 1) Steal the sub and leave the island, or 2) Go into the jungle and ‘back to square one’. A knock at the door brings Miles and Faraday (or Twitchy if you prefer) into the conversation, and Daniel presents option 3) Let’s go talk to The Hostiles since my mom is one of them. His reason? Daniel says she can get them all back where they belong. My first thought on this was that our people are going back to 2007 where they ought to be.

Another flashback, this time it’s Daniel crying at the fake Oceanic 815 wreckage on the ocean floor. Widmore pays Daniel a visit and offers him a new opportunity. Daniel has some kind of mental disorder thanks to an experiment on himself, which he says he tried first before trying it on his research assistant Theresa. Apparently Daniel’s brain only got partially melted. Daniel tells Widmore that he doesn’t understand why the wreckage is making him so sad, so Widmore decides to cheer him up by admitting that he staged the entire thing. Widmore then tells Daniel that the island will heal his mind and memory. When Charles tells Daniel that he needs shouldn’t waste his talent, Daniel says that sounds like something his mother would say.  Charles says they’re old friends.

At Casa del Lafluer, Sawyer asks Daniel, “Your mother’s an Other?” Sawyer then proceeds to argue against Daniel’s plan, making it extremely clear to me that he really does like the life he has built with Juliet, and he does not like the idea of leaving Dharmaville. Juliet gives the sonic fence code away, so Jack, Kate, and Daniel decide to head for The Others. Sawyer tells the rest of the gang to get their stuff so they can head back to the beach, adding that once they’re done chasing The Others, Jack, Kate, and Daniel will know where to find them. As they head toward the motor pool, Daniel takes a quick side trip to talk to -no surprise here- Young Charlotte. Before they can get away clean, Radzinski shows up with his black jumpsuit gang.  A gunfight ensues, with both Daniel and Radzinski getting incidental wounds.

A final flashback to melty-brain Daniel as Eloise encourages him to take Widmore’s job offer, saying it’s ‘important’. Daniel just wants to know one thing, “If I go, will it make you proud of me?”

Back in ’77 at the sonic fence, Daniel confirms what Miles told us a few episodes ago–they are currently in their own present time, which means any one of them could die. Back in the village, Radzinski shows up at Sawyer’s house, and just when we think Sawyer’s bullshit artistry will save them, Phil is discovered in the cabinet. Things don’t look good for Sawyer and Juliet, but I just can’t believe they won’t find a way out of this.

In the jungle, Daniel explains his new theory to Jack. In a few hours, Dharma drills into the energy at The Swan, causing what we will come to know as The Incident. That causes them to build the button, which Desmond will one day not press, bringing down Oceanic 815. While his previous theory focused mainly on the Constants, Daniel is now focused on the Variables, by which he means people. He now contends that their free will and reasoning mean that they can break the cycle–unfortunately his brilliant plan involves destroying the energy by detonating the hydrogen bomb we saw at the beginning of the season.

In 2007 with Penny, Eloise tells her that for the first time in a long time, she doesn’t know what’s going to happen. Cue a nurse to tell Penny that Desmond is out of surgery–he reminds Penny he promised never to leave her again. As Eloise leaves the hospital, Widmore approaches and explains he had to sacrifice his daughter, and Eloise quickly reminds him she had to sacrifice her son as well.  Charles then confirms what I had suspected since the 1954 skip on the island–he is Daniel’s father. This earns him a nice slap from Eloise.

Approaching The Others campsite in ’77, Daniel tells Jack and Kate to wish him luck, then enters the camp alone with his gun drawn. He trains his sight on Richard Alpert and demands to speak to Eloise Hawking.  Richard tries to tell Daniel that she’s not there, but Daniel keeps waving the gun. The camera is tight on Daniel and Richard when a shot rings out. As the camera pulls out, we see that it’s Daniel who has been shot–by Ellie. as she stands over a dying Daniel, he says, “You knew. You always knew, but you sent me here anyway.” Daniel’s face goes blank. LOST.

The last scene was a total brain melting moment for me.  It’s not that I thought Daniel was invincible, I just enjoyed him so much that I wanted him to stick around. I really wasn’t prepared for him to die tonight, but at least they told his full story before killing him. I know that the Island sometimes brings people back, but I don’t think that’s going to happen with Daniel. He shared his full plan with Jack, so now it’s up to him to carry it out. At this point, I can’t wait for old lady Eloise and Charles Widmore to get their payback for sending their son to be killed by Young Ellie. It seemed clear by the look on Richard Alpert’s face that Daniel’s death was not necessary.

April 29, 2009 Posted by | Drama, Science, Scifi, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Lost Season 5 Episode 14: The Variable

Lost Season 5 Episode 12: Dead is Dead

Any issues I had with a slowdown in last week’s Kate episode, were definitely resolved tonight thanks to a focus on Ben, Widmore, and Locke.  Let’s break it down.

The episode opened in ’77 with a man entering the Others camp on horseback.  His first stop after dismounting is to get in Richard Alpert’s face and chastise him for saving Young Ben.  Richard quickly responds that the Jacob wanted it done and that we all know the island chooses who the island chooses.  This seems to satisfy the man, who asks for the boy’s name and enters the tent.  After telling Young Ben that living with Dharma doesn’t mean he can’t be one of them, he introduces himself as Charles Widmore.  I had a major ‘oh duh’ moment when this was revealed.  For some reason I didn’t see this coming, and I feel like after last week it should have been pretty obvious.  Ultimately I think the fact that this guy didn’t seem to look anything like old man Widmore must have been what fooled me.  

Ahead to 2007 and Locke sitting next to Ben in the infirmary when Ben wakes up.  Ben immediately tells Locke that he knew he would be resurrected, to which Locke asks why Ben seems so surprised to see him then.  Ben, quick on his feet as always, tells Locke while he believed it, it’s another thing to actually see it.  Ben also tells Locke that he’s headed to the main island to be judged for breaking the island’s rules. Like the rest of us, Locke wants to know who is going to the judging.  Ben says they don’t have a word for it, but I believe you call it The Monster.  Awesome–who hasn’t thought about Ben getting ravaged by Smokey ever since we saw Mr. Eko get devoured?  I must admit though, that Ben has become a character I love to hate.  I find myself wanting to see what web of bullshit he’ll spin next.  Speaking of, Ben promptly makes an ally of Cesar, by planting some serious doubt about Locke.

Next, we cut to a 20-something Ben and Ethan at approximately age 12.  Ethan’s making a bunch of noise and almost blows their cover as they sneak up on a sleeping Danielle.  As we guessed, Ben steals Baby Alex.  In addition, he tells Danielle that if she wants to live, every time she hears whispers she has to run the other way.  I believe this is the first time anyone has openly acknowledged that the whispers are the cue that the Others are coming.

In Ben’s old office in 2007, Locke decides it’s time to talk about the elephant in the room. Ben is quick to tell Locke that killing him was the only way to get the band back together to play the Island Reunion Tour ’07.  Ben also reminds us that like so many other things, he did it for the best interests of the island. Locke cracked me up with, “I was just hoping for an apology,” then telling Ben that he would like to help him go and get judged. At this point I was already starting to enjoy this new Locke.  In addition to being resurrected, it appears the Island gave him a pair of balls.  The head for one of the canoes on the beach, but are confronted by Cesar a a few guys.  Cesar starts getting in Locke’s face and questioning his motives.  After leading us to believe he’s going to throw Locke under the bus, Ben surprises Cesar by pulling out the sawed-off shotgun he stole from him and giving him a slug to the chest.  Ben looks at the other men and says, “This gentleman and I are going to take a boat, does anyone else have a problem with that?”  I love when Ben talks shit.  Once back on the mainland, Locke figures out that they’re heading to Ben’s old house so he can summon Smokey.  Locke also calls bullshit on Ben for the second time tonight, as he figures out that this has nothing to do with breaking the rules and everything to do with Ben letting Alex die.

This leads us into another flashback to 20-something Ben, this time with a middle-aged Widmore who is now old enough to played by Alan Dale.  Charles is upset with Ben for failing to kill Danielle and Alex, and reminds Ben that he is making decisions for the good of the island.  Ben asks if that’s what Jacob wants and then offers Baby Alex to Charles so he can kill her himself.  Rather than kill the child, Charles turns and walks away.  I may be premature, but I think this is the moment when Ben asserts control over The Others and Widmore starts to become diminished.

Now we’re back in 2007 Dharmaville, and Locke wants to know why the Others moved in after killing the hippies.  Before Ben can spew more lies, a light comes on in Alex’s old room.  Locke tells Ben to go check it out, and after some brief suspense it turns out to be Sun & Frank.  We find out that Christian told them to wait for John Locke, and they think that’s crazy talk.  Ben tells them to look out the window.  John tells his resurrection story and Sun doesn’t believe him–but Lapidus REALLY doesn’t believe him and plans to head back to the crash site.  Locke warns Sun that her only chance to see Jin is by coming along, so Frank heads back solo.  Locke tells Sun that Ben has something to take care of, so Ben goes into his cubby-hole and summons the smoke monster by pulling a drain plug and talking into a hole in the ground.

Back to the Others and Ben is a bit older–looks like the late eighties since Alex is about 3 or 4 and the Others are now in Dharmaville.  Richard Alpert walks up and lets Ben know that the submarine is about to leave.  Even the Richard tells him he doesn’t have to Ben makes a point to go to the dock to see a handcuffed and somewhat older Charles Widmore being escorted to the sub.  Ben doesn’t miss the opportunity to chastise Widmore, telling him this is what he gets for breaking the rules by leaving the island all the time and fathering a child with ‘an outsider’.  Widmore makes it clear this isn’t over and says, “I’ll be seeing you boy.”

In 2007 Dharmaville, Sun tells Ben she doesn’t believe Locke was really dead.  Without confessing, Ben assures her he was, then tells her how surprised he is that Locke was resurrected.  He says that ‘dead is dead’ and that the resurrected Locke scares the living hell out of him.  After a rustle in the bushes, Ben tells Sun to go inside because he can’t control what’s about to come out, and that’s when instead of the smoke monster, Locke appears out of the jungle.  I see two meaning here and I think both are true.  This is confirmation that while Ben was able to summon the smoke monster in season four, he did not ultimately have control over it.  Also, I think this is a clue that Ben is no longer calling the shots.  Since Smokey isn’t showing up, Locke decides they have to take a walk.

Back at the dock in Los Angeles, but not at night, Ben is on the phone with Widmore.  He called just to tell Charles that he is going to kill Penny.

Cut to Sun, Ben, and Locke walking through the jungle.  Ben wants to know how Locke just knows where to go, and John tells him that now he knows what it was like to be him before.  Ben figures out they’re going to the temple about 50 yards before they get there.  Locke stops been from opening the door and points him toward the hole in the ground that Danielle’s unfortunate shipmate got dragged into by the smoke monster.  Before climbing down, Ben tells Sun if she ever gets off the island, he needs her to find Desmond and apologize for him.

Cut back to Ben at the dock.  He shoots Desmond and approaches Penny with his gun raised.  Toddler Charlie comes up from the cabin, distracting Ben long enough for a wounded and adrenaline filled Desmond to tackle and beat the absolute shit out of him.  I had been thinking and hoping all along that Desmond was the one who worked Ben over, so I’m glad to see I was right on that one.  Like it or not, I’m a fan of Desmond/Penny.  Here’s hoping they find their way back to the island as well.

In an odd sequence that I hope will make more sense before the end of the season, Lapidus arrives back at the small island, only to have Ilana knock his ass out after he fails to answer her riddle, “What lies in the shadow of the statue?”  It seems like I heard some speculation that the rest of the people who survived the crash were really Others, but my money  says they are Widmore employees.  I mean you can’t tell me he didn’t have a search setup to notify him when Hugo Reyes decided to buy a last minute plane ticket (or 79).

The big scene this week came with Locke and Ben walking through a tunnel under the temple.  Ben is acting very strange and then insists he can proceed on his own.  Locke agrees and Ben promptly falls through the floor into another chamber.  Locke leaves to find a way out, leaving Ben to explore the chamber.  Ben approaches an altar with a hieroglyph depicting Anubis interacting with what appears to be the smoke monster.  There is a large stone in the floor with a grid of holes, and just as Ben starts to look at it, the smoke monster begins to enter the room through the holes.  It quickly surrounds Ben, and we then switch to a perspective inside the smoke monster, where Ben is shown a series of his own memories about Alex.  After making Ben relive the moment of Alex’s death, the monster dissipates and reveals a corporeal Alex.  Ben’s joy is short-lived as Alex slams him against a column and says she already sees his thoughts about killing Locke again, and threatens to kill him if he doesn’t vow to obey John Locke.  Ben agrees and Alex disappears.  Moments later, Locke appears with a vine to lift Ben out and asks what happened.  Ben says, “It let me live.” LOST

I’ve rattled on a bit too long tonight, but I guess that shows how much I enjoyed this episode.  I am really enjoying this new version of Locke, and I hope it isn’t just a tease.  I would like to think that despite their wishes, both Widmore and Ben are no longer leaders on the Island.  I expect Locke to reunite the Oceanic 815 survivors (including Rose & Bernard) and take his place among the Others.

April 8, 2009 Posted by | Drama, Scifi, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Lost Season 5 Episode 12: Dead is Dead

Lost Season 5 Episode 11: Whatever Happened, Happened

I’ve never been a Kate-hater, but the more I’ve gotten involved with the online Lostie community, the more I see just how many people really don’t like her.  I’m still not a hater, but I’ll admit this episode definitely wasn’t on part with the previous three installments.  Kate-hate aside, there were some great reveals this week, so let’s get to the spoiler zone for some recap and analysis.

We open in ’77 with Jin regaining consciousness after his beatdown from Sayid.  He talks to Creepy Phil on the radio then retrieves Young Ben, who whispers, “Please help.”  Jin loads him in the van and heads back to Dharmaville.  Cut to Horace organizing the search and security force and — what’s this?  Workman Jack has the audacity to question Horace about the prisoner escape?  Guess who just went to the top of Horace’s suspected traitors list?  Pan to Roger Workman who notices Kate standing around being useless and enlists her for winch duty.  After they extract the burned-out Dharma van from the house, Roger has just enough time to tell Kate his last name and see her flinch before Jin pulls up and takes Young Ben straight past them toward the infirmary.  Cue Flashback…

2004 Kate is traveling with Baby Aaron.  We find out she’s visiting Cassidy, who you may remember is the woman Sawyer screwed over and Kate also saved from a run in with the police in their pre-island days.  Cassidy is surprised to see Kate, but not as surprised as she is when Kate says, “Sawyer sent me.”  So the mystery of Sawyer’s helicopter whisper in Kate’s ear is that he asked her to make sure his daughter Clementine was taken care of.  In the process of explaining, Kate apparently spills the beans about the Oceanic 6’s lies.  Cassidy has a theory about why Sawyer jumped out of the copter–classic fear of commitment. Then she calls bullshit on Kate’s lie about being Aaron’s mom–she asks why Kate would tell almost all the truth and try to keep lying about this–Kate says, “Because I have to.”

In ’77 Kate is talking to Sawyer at the Dharma Security Bunker when Horace, Jin, Miles, & Phil show up.  Sawyer spins a quick lie about questioning Kate, then sends her away.  The guys examine the cell and find a set of “janitor keys” hanging from the lock.  (I guess they could tell because the keys had the cool retractable belt loop attachment that janitors always have.)  Cut to Sawyer arriving at the infirmary and quickly pinpointing that Roger is missing his keys.  Inside, Juliet informs Sawyer that Young Ben needs a real surgeon if he’s going to live.  She didn’t specify that the surgeon should also be wrestling with his faith and have a substance abuse problem, but I’m still pretty sure she was talking about Jack.

In my favorite moment of the episode, we are in a Dharma house with Jack, Kate, Hurley, and Miles.  Hurley is acting weird and when Miles asks why, Hurley explains he is trying to see if he’s disappearing.  “You know, like Back to the Future!”  I love it when Hurley acts as the stand-in for all of us geeks who the creators know are in the audience.  Sawyer ends the comedy by bursting in looking for Jack, who promptly refuses to save Ben again, regardless of his age.  Sawyer leaves and Kate pleads with Jack not to let Young Ben die.  Jack tells Kate to get stuffed in so many words.  He also manages to remind us that he is starting to believe in the island, thinking that his previous actions were just getting in the way of the island fixing things on its own.  Kate says she doesn’t like the new Jack, to which he reminds her that ultimately she didn’t like the old Jack either.  Ouch.

Kate goes to the infirmary and has an exchange with Roger that I think was supposed to make us actually feel sorry for him.  It didn’t work.  Roger has been too big of an asshole for me to forgive him after four lines of remorseful dialogue.  Thankfully we cut back to the house where Hurley is trying to disprove the ‘circular time’ theory that Miles is explaining.  Some hardcore fans might not like this blatant explanation for more casual fans, but I find it hilarious.  It was particularly welcome in tonight’s episode with all the downers courtesy of Sad Kate.

Kate decides to play mother to Young Ben and gets Juliet to help her load him in a van so she can take him to The Others.  Juliet wanted to go, but Kate tells her not to risk her life with Sawyer.

Back to the dock scene in ’07.  Now we follow Kate after the group breaks up.  She takes Aaron to the grocery store and promptly loses him.  For a moment she thinks Ghost Claire has appeared to take him, but it’s just a random blonde woman.

’77 Kate pulls up to the sonic fence and hops out as Sawyer pulls up in another van.  He calls her Freckles (for the first time in ’77) and says he’s there to help.

We jump back to Cassidy’s house in ’07 and Kate admits she has been expecting Aaron to be taken all along.  Cassidy gets Kate to admit that she only took Aaron because she wanted to fill the void left by her breakup with Sawyer.

Back to the sonic fence and Sawyer reveals it’s actually Juliet who got him to come.  Back in Dharmaville, Juliet is confronting a naked post-shower Jack, letting him know it’s his fault that Sawyer and Kate have left.  Jack takes offense and says he came back to save everyone.  Juliet doesn’t buy it, telling Jack he came back for himself and no one else.  Jack changes course and says he came back because he was “supposed to”.  In the jungle, Sawyer gets a Clementine update from Kate, then tells her they never would have worked out.  She points out that he seems to have settled down with Juliet nicely–he admits he’s grown up a lot in three years.  The Others appear and Sawyer demands to be taken to Richard Alpert unless they want a war.

In ’07, Kate shows up at the motel and confesses to Claire’s mom.  She tells her she’s leaving for a while and that Aaron is waiting for her in another room.  Kate has a tearful goodbye with sleeping Aaron and we go back to ’77.

Sawyer (carrying Young Ben) and Kate meet Richard in the jungle.  Richard immediately asks if this is Benjamin Linus, revealing that he knows the boy.  Kate asks if Richard can save Ben.  Apparently it’s not that simple–Richard explains that he can, but Ben will not remember anything.  He also warns that Ben will lose his innocence and be “one of us forever.”  Another Other whispers in Richard’s ear that he shouldn’t do this without asking Ellie, and what if Charles finds out?  Richard blows this guy off saying he doesn’t answer to them.  Richard takes Young Ben away and we cut to an exterior of the ruins where the Smoke Monster lives.  Richard approaches with the boy in his arms and enters the structure.

Cut to ’07 on the island and adult Ben awakens to a smiling John Locke who says, “Welcome back to the land of the living.”

LOST

The last two scenes really made up for an extremely sluggish episode.  While I’m not a Kate-hater, I wouldn’t try for a second to convince anyone that this wasn’t a much slower and less exciting episode than any other one this season.  Thankfully we got the answer to how Ben became an Other, as well as an explanation for how he became such a dark and sinister bastard.  For a moment after the episode, I thought they were trying to tell us that when Richard healed Ben it caused Ben to immediately jump forward to ’07.  Once I thought about it for a minute, I decided this just wouldn’t work.  The one huge question I have is this–Is Richard Alpert also the Smoke Monster?  There has been a lot of speculation about Richard being a god-like figure (Egyptian god Ra has been a popular choice) so perhaps the Smoke Monster is just another form he can assume and the ruins are his sacred ground?  I really don’t know, but I’m feeling more and more confident that Richard is definitely not human.

The big payoff at the end of this episode was the teaser for next week–It’s a Ben episode!  That means we should finally find out how he got his ass kicked before the Ajira flight, and I’m sure we’ll see more about the resurrection of Young Ben as well.  While tonight’s episode may not have been the best, at least it provided some answers and allows us to move on to a much more exciting chapter.

April 1, 2009 Posted by | Drama, Scifi, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Lost Season 5 Episode 11: Whatever Happened, Happened