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30 Rock Season 3 Episode 22: Kidney Now!

30 Rock has had an outstanding season, and tonight’s season finale was pretty great as well. Liz Lemon’s havok-wreaking streak of “Dealbreaker” pronouncements throughout the episode kept increasing in both hilarity and absurdity. As good as this was, it was totally topped by the Jack’s celebrity music ensemble to try to get a kidney for his long last father, played by Alan Alda. Here’s a link to the music number at E Online if you missed the episode.

Here’s the full list of musicians who were part of the ensemble:

Elvis Costello, Sheryl Crow, Cyndi Lauper, Michael McDonald, Clay Aiken, Mary J. Blige, Mike Diamond, Adam Horovitz, Adam Levine, Sara Bareilles, Steve Earle, Norah Jones, Talib Kweli, Wyclef Jean, Moby, Robert Randolph, Rachael Yamagata, and Rhett Miller.

May 14, 2009 Posted by | Comedy, Season Finale, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 30 Rock Season 3 Episode 22: Kidney Now!

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 15: Follow the Leader

For me, the big question going into this episode was which leader was being referred to in the title.  After watching, I suppose some could argue the answer is Jack, but I’m going to have say with complete confidence that it’s John Locke.

The episode opened with another look at Daniel Faraday’s shooting, this time from Jack & Kate’s perspective. Kate prevents Jack from rushing to Daniel’s aid, then Jack is promptly crushed in the face with the butt of young Charles Widmore’s rifle. When Widmore enters camp and asks Richard Alpert what happened, he says that “Eloise…reacted.” Eloise then instructs that Jack and Kate should be put in her tent, and that they aren’t from the Dharma Initiative.

Forward to ’07 and Richard Alpert is in his tent on the beach, building a ship in a bottle, when John Locke arrives at the camp bearing a boar on his shoulders. Locke says, “I brought dinner,” and Richard remarks that something is different about John. “I have a purpose now.” is the only response John gives. When Richard asks why Ben is back too, Locke just says that he helped him get back. Locke then tells Richard they need to take a trip into the jungle for an errand, then they need to visit Jacob. Away from that conversation, Sun is asking Ben who Richard is. Ben tells her Richard is ‘a kind of advisor’ and that ‘he’s had that job for a very, very long time’. Sun interrupts Locke’s conversation with Richard to asks about the picture of the ’77 Dharma folks–Richard tells her he remembers them because he watched them all die. [LOST]

Richard approaches Locke and says he’s ready to go, so Locke invites Ben to join them. Ben gives Locke a typical smartass response, “What’s the matter, afraid I’ll stage a coup?” but Locke just says he’s not afraid of anything Ben can do anymore.

Back in ’77, Jack is trying to convince Kate to help him follow through on Faraday’s plan to ‘set things right’ but Kate isn’t on board. Eloise then comes back and explains to Jack about how she saw Daniel on the island in 1954, which gives Jack enough trust for him to explain the plan to detonate Jughead. Jack plays on Eloise’s guilt about killing Daniel just enough, so she agrees to help and explains that Jughead is buried underneath Dharmaville. I guess that explains Ben’s secret tunnel, since apparently The Others have had tunnels in that part of the island for at least 20 years.

Cut to the Dharma security bunker, and Radzinski beating the shit out of Sawyer. Horace is being his hippie self and objective to the brutality, but Radzinski basically tells him to grow a pair. Security Phil lends a hand with the a/v part of the interrogation and plays the tape of Kate walking into the jungle. (Is it just me, or did this tape look a lot like the old blurry Sasquatch video we’ve all seen a million times? – Check out the recap video about 2 minutes in to see what I mean.) Sawyer doesn’t offer any information, so Phil decides to seal his fate by sucker-punching Juliet. The tactic works, but I think we all know now it’s only a matter of time before Phil gets destroyed by Sawyer. While reviewing evidence, the security team also notices the three names that were added to the sub manifest at the last minute, and wonder who this Hugo Reyes guy is. Cut to Hurley packing up some Dharma rations and making a not-so-subtle dash for the jungle, only to be trailed by Dr. Chang. When Chang confronts Hurley, Jin, and Miles, we are treated to the only real comic moment of the episode as Hurley fails Chang’s history exam miserably and has to admit he’s from the future. This causes Chang to asks Miles again if he is his father, to which Miles simply says, “Yeah, it’s true.” The guys then remind Chang of the importance of evacuating the island.

Back at Camp Other, Jack and Kate ask Richard about the whole Eloise/Charles dynamic to which he replies, “Let’s just say, love can be complicated.”

To ’07 and Richard, Ben, and Locke have reached the clearing where the Nigerian plane wreckage lies. Locke coaches Richard on how to save the man who is about to come into the clearing as well as what to say to him. Just then, we see time-skipping John Locke come stumbling into the clearing from the other side. Richard is confused, but follows Locke’s instructions and enters the clearing. Meanwhile, Ben is awestruck at John’s ability to pick out the exact moment in time to be at the clearing. When Richard returns from his errand, he tells Locke he’s glad he didn’t have to die after all. Locke then tells Richard he did die, and that Ben killed him. This is the first time I can remember Richard looking surprised at anything.

Chang arrives at the Dharma security bunker in ’77 and warns the gang about the impending disaster. Sawyer chimes and validates Chang’s theory and recommends they put all the women and children on the sub. He then says they should put him and Juliet on the sub as well. Radzinski agrees as long as Sawyer will draw a map to the hostiles. Speaking of–we cut to Eloise, Richard, Jack and Kate arriving at a pond, which Eloise explains is the entrance to the tunnels. When Kate decides to bail, the two Other goons who are on the trip take aim and threaten to shoot. We get a close-up of Kate’s face as a shot rings out–it’s the same look Faraday had last week, but when the camera backs out we see that it’s one of the goons who has been shot by none other than Sayid! Eloise then explains the plan to Richard while Kate and Jack catch Sayid up. This includes Kate bursting Sayid’s bubble by telling him that he wasn’t successful at killing young Ben.

Jin, Miles, and Hurley are watching people board the sub, which allows Miles to see his father being a dick to his mother while trying to convince her to leave. This is the moment we have expected for several weeks where Miles realizes his father loves him after all. Sawyer and Juliet climb aboard and Sawyer says good riddance to the island.

Richard takes a swim and leads Jack, Eloise, and Sayid into the tunnel which is apparently the same network of tunnels that Ben fell into from the temple.  We also see a bit of sarcasm from Richard when Jack asks if they got the bomb in through the pool–he tells Jack no, they didn’t get the 12 foot, 40,000 pound nuke in through the pool.

’07 Richard tells Locke they can leave to see Jacob in the morning, and Locke is disappointed. Locke decides to address the entire group–he proceeds to cast a large amount of doubt about Jacob’s existence, then invites the entire group to come with him and Richard to see Jacob in person. Off to the side, Richard and Ben share a moment:

Richard: “I’m starting to think John Locke is going to be trouble.”

Ben: “Why do you think I tried to kill him?”

It seems obvious to me that even Richard, the ancient and wise adviser is really not sure what lies ahead at this point. He has seemed very much in control every other time we’ve seen him, but this ’07 Richard has now been surprised twice in the same day by John Locke.

On the sub in ’77, Juliet tells Sawyer she loves him, and he says he ‘loves her back’. He barely finishes when who joins them on the sub but none other than third wheel Kate! In the tunnels below Dharmaville, Jack explains to Sayid that he trusts Young Eloise because Old Eloise is the one who told them how to get back to the island. When they arrive at Jughead, they simply say, “Well, now what?”

Daybreak in ’07 shows The Others marching down the beach on their way to see Jacob. Ben tries to explain to Locke that Richard is concerned. Locke explains to Ben that he has no intention of using Jacob to find the rest of the Oceanic gang. In fact, he plans to kill Jacob. LOST.

I only saw one leader in this episode. It certainly wasn’t Horace, and Radzinski isn’t leading, he’s just being paranoid. Chang isn’t leading, he’s just doing what others have told him to do. Richard isn’t leading in either time period, and Eloise is just carrying on someone else’s mission. I don’t think Jack is leading either–he’s just doing exactly what Sawyer accused him of always doing–reacting. If Eloise sent her own son back knowing she would kill him, why does Jack think she sent him back for any better fate? Locke is the only one who has established himself as a true leader, carrying out his own plan and bringing a group of followers along for the ride. And after this episode, I think I’m one of them.

Video Recap from ABC (Go 2 minutes in for the Kate Sasquatch moment)

Robert Patterson Sasquatch video

May 10, 2009 Posted by | Drama, Science, Scifi, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Lost Season 5 Episode 15: Follow the Leader

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 13: Some Like It Hoth

As much as we have learned about the Oceanic passengers, Desmond, and some of the Others (Ben & Juliet) over five seasons, we still haven’t learned much at all about the Freighties – Penelope, Faraday, and Miles.  I understand they’ve only been with us for about one season now, but I think we all know that they must be pivotal in the endgame that is starting to unfold.  At least if we didn’t know before tonight, we know now.

The episode opens with a woman looking at a mediocre apartment, who we quickly find out is Miles’ mother.  She assures the potential landlord that he is a well-behaved young man, then gives Miles money for the candy machine.  Not surprisingly, young Miles ends up in another apartment with a corpse instead of a candy bar.  The scene ends with Young Miles shouting at his mother, “I can hear him!” so now we know that this is an ability Miles has had since childhood.  

Cut to ’77 and Miles is working in the security office when Sawyer calls and asks him to erase the pylon security tape to cover up for him and Kate.  Miles is about to pull the tape when Horace arrives with a mysterious black bag that he needs delivered to Radzinski at Grid 334.  Horace tells Miles that he’s bringing him into the circle of trust since Lafleur is MIA.  Miles goes to Grid 334 and Radzinski greets him by aiming a rifle at him and asking why Lafleur didn’t come–Miles says, “Horace sent me instead, I’m in the circle of trust.”  Personally, I don’t know how anyone could say this line without cracking up.  I really feel like ‘circle of trust’ is a comedic phrase for all time thanks to Meet the Parents.  At any rate, Radzinski takes the mysterious black bag, unfolds it, unzips it, and two Dharma workers bring out a body to fill it.  Dirty hippie Radzinski won’t say what happened or why it looks like the guy was shot, but we all know Miles can just use his powers to find out anyway.

Back to the mainland and teenage Miles is visiting his dying mother.  He wants to know more about his father and she tells Miles that he is dead.

In Dharmaville, Miles gets orders from Horace to take the body to Dr. Chang at The Orchid.  When Miles goes back to the van, he finds Hurley loading coolers into the back with the body.  Oddly, Hurley doesn’t notice the body and just tells Miles he wants to carpool, adding that maybe they could prevent global warming since it hasn’t happened yet.  I have to say that while it seems a bit out of place at times, I really love the comic relief that the Miles-Hurley conversations have been adding lately.  It’s also nice to see the writer’s providing a bit of fan service with some of the topics they have been discussing, like time travel paradoxes and now Star Wars.

Kate comes back to the infirmary and lets Juliet know that they left Young Ben with The Others.  She barely gets this out when Roger comes in and sees the empty bed.  He starts freaking out, as you would expect, and Juliet is immediately apologetic and emotional, swearing that she only stepped out for 10 minutes and when she came back he was gone!  As soon as Roger leaves though, Juliet’s emotion vanishes.  She simply looks at Kate and says, “Well, here we go.”

We rejoin Miles and Hurley on the way to The Orchid, and Hurley accuses Miles of farting in the van.  He has Miles pull over so he can check the food, and then discovers the body.  Miles explains that the guy was working in a hole when a filling ripped out of his tooth and exited his head through his brain.  Hurley starts asking about Miles’ power, and then tells Miles that his secret is safe because he also talks to dead people.

Off island, grown-up Miles is selling his ‘service’ to a grieving father.  When the father explains there is no body, Miles demands more money to contact his son, then tells the father what he wants to hear.  As he leaves, Miles is approached in the street by a pre-stabbed-in-the-back-by-Locke Naomi, who invites him to a restaurant to discuss a possible job.

In ’77, Kate tries to ease Roger’s fears, and only succeeds in arousing his suspicion.  Hurley and Miles are finishing their dead people conversation as the approach The Orchid–Miles tells Hurley you can’t have a conversation with the dead and Hurley says, “you’re just jealous because my power is better than yours.”  If we believe that Miles has a legitimate ability, then perhaps this confirms that Hurley is not talking to the dead after all.  Does this mean Hurley really is hallucinating, or just that the island is giving him visions?  It wouldn’t be the first time, since it previously showed him Jacob’s cabin.  After their conversation, Hurley and Miles arrive at The Orchid, where Dr. Chang chastises Miles for bringing someone along, then threatens Hurley with polar bear shit detail on The Hydra island.  Dr. Chang also indicates that the experiments on the other island are absurd, which tells me they must have nothing to do with his own work.  I noticed that Miles wouldn’t make eye contact with Dr. Chang during this scene, but before I could finish my thought, Miles was telling Hurley that Dr. Chang is actually his father.  

2004 Miles and Naomi arrive at what she call ‘his audition’.  Miles quickly explains that the dead guy was delivering something to Widmore, then references photos of empty graves and a purchase order for an old airplane.  Naomi is impressed and offers Miles $1.6 million to join the expedition to an island to capture ‘a murderer’.  At least now we know why Miles asked Ben for such a weird amount in order to look the other way.

Janitor Jack is cleaning at the Dharma school when Roger appears and asks if Jack knows anything about Kate.  Jack let’s Roger know that Kate would never hurt his son (at least not in 1977) and basically tells Roger he should sleep of his drunken haze before thinking about reporting anything to Horace.  Back in the van with Hurley, Dr. Chang, and Miles, and Hugo is asking Chang a bunch of questions, mainly to mess with Miles.  Just as Hurley is suggesting they all have a beer together sometime, Chang tells Miles to stop the van.  He gets out and opens a camouflaged gate, revealing the construction site for The Swan.  When Miles and Hurley are about to leave, they spot to workers putting a serial number on the door of the hatch.  Miles is intrigued when Hurley correctly guesses the final number (42) on the hatch.  When Miles asks how he knew, Hurley says it’s because that’s the hatch that crashed our plane.

2004 Miles is enjoying a fish taco when he gets grabbed by some guys in a black van.  They try to get him to skip to freighter job, and also ask if he knows what lies in the shadow of the statue.  Miles doesn’t know, and try to get him to come with them so he can find out the answers to all his questions.  Miles says he will if they double his money and they just drop him off instead.  When Miles asks what team they’re on, they respond, “The one that’s gonna win.”

On their way back to Dharmaville in ’77, Hurley tells Miles that there will be an accident at the hatch and they’ll have to install a computer with a button you push to keep it from happening again.  This leads to the big confrontation where Miles reveals what Hurley has been scribbling in a composition book for the entire episode–it turns out to be a screenplay for Empire Strikes Back, which Hurley thinks he can send to George Lucas to provide some help, and perhaps a few edits.  At Casa de Lafleur, Sawyer returns to find Jack waiting to fill him in on the Roger/Kate situation.  Sawyer thanks him and after Jack leaves, Security Phil appears with the pylon video tape.  The idiot comes inside and tells Sawyer that he hasn’t informed Horace yet, so Phil gets cold-cocked.

2004 Miles returns to the grieving father and gives him a refund, telling him that he should have told his son he loved him before he died if he needed him to know.  This sets up the cutback to ’77 where Hurley tells Miles that he should give his dad a second chance.  Hurley compares Miles to Luke Skywalker, and why it would have worked out better if he hadn’t freaked out when Vader broke the paternal news to him.  This leads us to my bet for what must be Jorge Garcia’s favorite line of the series, “Let’s face it, ewoks suck dude.”  After receiving this bit of wisdom, Miles walks away and looks in the window of the Chang house to see his father reading a story (about polar bears) to his infant self.  Miles is getting teary-eyed when we see Dr. Chang get a call and come outside.  He asks Miles to come with him to pickup some scientists who have just arrived from Ann Arbor on the submarine.  Once they arrive at the dock, Miles goes down to the sub and find himself face to face with Dr. Daniel Faraday, who offers, “Hey Miles, long time no see.” LOST

This was definitely a critical episode that gave us some excellent back story on Miles and Dr. Chang, and also gave us more information about The Swan.  What I’m most excited about it that it disproves completely the theory that Sun was the infant child in the Chang house.  I never believed the theory that a person could not exist twice in the same time, since Locke/Sawyer/Juliet/Sun had been hopping through several points where they already existed.  I’m glad to see this definitively proven tonight.  My theory is that the landing points in time for the Ajira passengers are based on their role in the endgame–in other words, which side they will end up on.  I thought at first that it could be the Widmore vs. Linus war, but I think we’re going to see Richard Alpert’s group vs. Everyone Else.  One thing is for sure, next week we aren’t going to see anything new, but it looks like we should have a great Faraday-centric episode to blow our minds in two weeks.

April 15, 2009 Posted by | Drama, Scifi, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Lost Season 5 Episode 13: Some Like It Hoth