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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 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 10: He’s Our You

Let’s get straight to the recap/analysis on this very Sayid-centric episode.

We open with a scene in Tikrit where a father is trying to make his son a man by forcing him to kill a chicken in their coop.  After the father goes inside, a younger boy appears and proceeds to lure and kill a chicken with his bare hands.  It’s no surprise when we find out that this boy is in fact Sayid.  I believed the older animal-loving boy was Sayid for about 0.2 seconds, until my brain reminded me I was watching Lost and it was obviously a trick.

Back to ’77 and Young Ben is bringing another sandwich to Sayid.  Ben reveals it has been four years since his conversation in the jungle with Grungy Hippie Richard Alpert.  Ben wants to know if Richard sent Sayid to retrieve him.

Flash to ’04 off island and Sayid executing a Russian guy who makes a worthless attempt to bribe Sayid and avoid death.  After the hit, Sayid meets up with Ben, who tells him that was the last hit.  Sayid is pissed off, but Ben tells him the mission is accomplished and his family is no longer in danger.  “No one else in Widmore’s organization is a threat.  You’re free Sayid.”  I’m surprised we didn’t see the steam rising for the hot bullshit that Ben was serving up on a cold Moscow night.  I think it’s painfully obvious at this point that Ben is completely full of shit and the killings had nothing to do with Sayid and everything to do with Ben’s vendetta against Widmore.

Horace and Radzinski pay Sayid a visit in ’77.  Horace removes Sayid’s restraints in a lame-ass attempt to get on his good side and get some information.  Radzinski presses Horace to ask about the model of the Swan, but Horace gives Sayid an hour to start talking, or he’ll have to “take it to the next level.”

Cut to a preoccupied Juliet staring out the window.  When Sawyer asks what’s up, she confronts him about Kate and the gang returning and guesses that their time ‘playing house’ is over.  This moment almost gets lost as Horace shows up to tell LaFleur that they’re taking the prisoner to see Oldham.  I think the important thing to take away from this scene is that Juliet is genuinely invested in her relationship with Sawyer–and it really seems like he is as well.  They share a look right before Horace comes in that tells me that Sawyer may not ditch Juliet for Kate after all.

Sawyer quickly heads to security and tells Phil to go take his lunch.  Once alone, he invites Sayid to “join the party in Dharmaville,” but Sayid decides to go it alone.

Still in ’77, we get a quick scene in the Dharmateria that serves only two purposes: 1) To show us that Hurley is working in the cafeteria, and 2) To offer a lame pretext for Hurley to tell Kate that Sawyer and Juliet are living together, “you know, like, not as roommates.”

Back to Dharmajail and we get a cameo from Roger “Workman” Linus, who offers up a warning about Oldham to Sayid.  Then we are reminded that Roger is an asshole when Ben shows up with a sandwich for Sayid, only to receive a beating from his father.  It was nice to get a refresher on why we weren’t upset when Roger got the gas.

Back to the future (’07-ish by my guess) and Ben has found Sayid at his Dominican Habitat for Humanity.  Ben tells Sayid that he is in danger and then John Locke is dead.  He even has the balls to tell Sayid, “I think he was murdered!”  I laughed out loud at that–more confirmation that Ben will say pretty much anything to get his way.  He then reminds Sayid that no matter how many houses he builds for the poor, he’s just a killer at heart.  When Sayid says he doesn’t like killing, Ben apologizes and says “I was wrong about you.”

Back to ’77 and Sayid is tazed and taken to Oldham’s camp outside the village.  Sayid asks who this guy is and Sawyer says, “He’s our you.”  I said, no that’s Larry from Newhart.  You know the guy with the two brothers named Darryl?  Or perhaps you remember him from Blade Runner?  Whatever you remember him from, he gives Sayid a sugar cube soaked with truth serum.

Flash to the dock in ’07 with the gang splitting up when they realize what Jack and Ben want them to do.  After he leaves, Sayid is at a bar when who starts hitting on him–the Marshal.

Next we join a very loopy Sayid at Oldham’s place.  Sayid spills the beans about both of his flights to the island.  He almost blows Sawyer’s cover, but Oldham changes subjects to the Dharma stations.  When Sayid mentions the Swan and “The Incident” Radzinski loses his shit.  Sayid then warns them all of their impending deaths, causing Oldham to wonder if he used too much serum.  Sayid lets out a maniacal laugh and tells him he used “exactly the right amount.”

At the motor pool, we have another scene that exists to give us one piece of information. Kate tells Juliet she knows about her and Sawyer, then Juliet admits she’s glad Kate knows.  Juliet does make it clear she’s not giving Sawyer up easily.

The inquisitors gather in Horace’s living room to discuss Sayid’s fate.  Sawyer tries to sway the group away from execution, but Amy steps in and makes a plea to kill Sayid so she can stop ‘sleeping with one eye open’.  Her speech works and everyone votes for death.  Sawyer resists at first, but caves when Horace turns and says that he would like the vote to be unanimous.

Sayid’s hotel room in ’07 – He and the Marshal burst in while making out and find their way to the bed.  As he starts to undress her, she kicks his ass and pulls a gun.  According to her, the family of the guy Sayid killed on the golf course have hired her to bring Sayid to Guam.  Apparently she’s a bounty hunter and not a marshal after all.  I guess I’ll have to start calling her Boba.

In ’77 we’re back at Dharmajail and Sawyer is trying to help Sayid escape.  Sayid refuses and tells Sawyer that he now knows his purpose for being back on the island.  Sawyer leaves and finds Kate to ask why she came back.  Before she can answer, a flaming Dharma van crashes into a house and starts a huge fire.  Janitor Jack miraculously becomes Fireman Jack as Sawyer issues the all-hands-on-deck.  In the fray, Young Ben appears and offers to spring Sayid if he can come too.  Sayid agrees to take him along, saying “That’s why I’m here.”

Quick scene at the airport in ’07 with Sayid asking Boba if they can take the next flight once he sees Hurley and Kate waiting at the gate.  When Ben gets on the plane, Sayid asks Boba if she’s really working for him–she says no.  By the look on her face she’s either telling the truth, doesn’t know she’s working for Ben, or is just a really good liar.

Sayid and Ben race into the jungle in ’77, only to encounter a Dharma van.  The van stops and Jin pops out.  Sayid asks him to look the other way, but is forced to knock Jin out when he insists on trying to raise Sawyer on the radio.  Ben tells Sayid they need to hurry.  Sayid says, “You were right about me, I am a killer,” then shoots Ben in the chest and walks away.  LOST

Now I don’t think for a second that Young Ben is actually dead.  I could be a sucker, but I really believe in Faraday’s whole theory about not being able to change things.  I also like the idea of the symmetry between Young Ben returning from a gunshot in the same way Locke returned after older Ben shot him.  What I’m really looking forward to is finding out more about Widmore’s past on the island, but I’m starting to think that won’t be revealed until Season Six.

Another intriguing item tonight was Sayid’s mention of “the incident” during his interrogation by Oldham.  On this week’s Official Lost Podcast, Lindelof and Cuse revealed that the two-hour season finale has been written and is titled “The Incident Parts 1 & 2”.  They also said not to worry, both parts will air together on the same night.  One thing is for sure, once the finale has aired, none of us want to wait until next January for the next episode.

March 25, 2009 Posted by | Drama, Scifi, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Lost Season 5 Episode 10: He’s Our You

Lost Season 5 Episode 9: Namaste

The last 13 days have been painful.  This is the longest we have gone without a new episode of Lost since season five premiered in January.  After this brief layoff, I am dreading the long 8 months that will separate the end of season five and the premiere of season six.  I decided to mix a spoiler-laden recap with my own thoughts, analysis, and speculation, so this post is a bit longer than most.

The only positive thing for me about our week off, was I got to experience a higher level of excitement when my brain caught up and realized it was time for Lost again.  One moment, I was using my iPhone and hitting play on the DVR and the next my brain was shouting, “Oh Shit, It’s the Ajira plane!  We’re going to see the trip back to the island from the perspective of the people who didn’t get flashed off the plane!”

That’s exactly what we got to see.  We got some sweet Lapidus-as-hero action as he navigated the stalled plane to a safe landing on the much talked about Dharma runway on the second island.  I was glad to see this validated since it’s been the subject of so much online gossip since the 316 episode.  Captain Lapidus awakens on the ground in the cockpit, only to discover his copilot has come down with a terminal case of Tree Branch Through the Chest Syndrome.  Back in the cabin, Cesar introduces himself to the Marshal who had escorted Sayid onto the plane.  It seemed to me that this introduction was solely to remind all of us what Cesar’s name is, so I guess he’ll be around for at least a few episodes.  The next reveal is that Lapidus isn’t the only alumnus who didn’t disappear in the flash–Sun and Ben are with all the newbies as well.  Cue the first brain melting moment of the night…

30 Years Earlier

Oh. Shit.  Without sounding to cocky, I kind of felt this coming, but it was still something totally different to see it in black and white on the screen.  I think we all knew it couldn’t be super easy for everyone to just flash back to the island and live happily ever after.  What I’m very interested in is the explanation of why Sun, Ben, and Lapidus weren’t cool enough to get flashed off the plane.

So Ajira crash minus 30 years, Jack tells Sawyer that Locke is dead, and Sawyer drops some knowledge of his own by telling us all that it’s 1977.  Cue Hurley with the line of the night: “Uh….what?”  Back at Dharma camp, Juliet is a bit too frantic at the security station, asking Miles where James has gone.  Maybe it’s the three years of relationship we didn’t get to see, but for me the whole Juliet-as-worried-girlfriend/wife/whatever just doesn’t come off as believable.  Back to the Oceanic 3, and we see an interesting side of Sawyer as he tells the gang that he doesn’t want to ‘screw everything up that they have with Dharma’.  Again, I wish we could have seen more of the missing three years, but I get the distinct impression that old Sawyer may be happy with his new Dharma day job.  Jin, having found out from Jack and Co. that Sun was on the plane, races to The Flame to see if Radzinski has spotted any planes landing/crashing on the island.  Radzinksi blows Jin off, and we get to see a flash of the old pre-island Jin come out as he gets physical in convincing Radzinski to call the other stations for a report.

Fast Forward to Sun on the beach.  The Marshal is starting to quiz Sun when Lapidus gathers the group and informs them the radio is broken and wherever they landed, it isn’t on his charts.  Well no shit.  Cesar seems to be unhappy with Captain Lapidus assuming the leadership role and starts running his mouth about buildings and animal cages on the island.  Cue Ben, who goes running into the jungle.  As an aside–I’ve always thought Ben looked like a rodent of some kind, and when Cesar was talking, I think I saw Ben perk up like a caged mouse who can smell the cheese before it’s dropped in his cage.  No surprise that Sun follows after Ben.

Back to the 70s and Juliet is snooping.  She wakes Amy from a nap on accident, and then decides to check on the baby.  Brain melting moment 2:

Amy & Horace’s baby is Ethan.  And now we understand why he’s so loyal to Ben.  Obviously young Ben makes a disciple of Ethan at an early age.  Back at The Flame, we have a Code 14J, also known as a Hostile in Dharma territory.  Jin grabs a rifle and runs out into the jungle only to find Sayid wandering around.  Before he can fill Sayid in, Radzinski shows up with his rifle and forces Jin to play along, taking Sayid into custody.  Back in the Dharma bus, Sawyer is telling Jack, Kate and Hurley what they need to do to fit in as recruits who are fresh of the submarine.  In the process, Hurley asks if Sawyer is planning to save the Dharma people from the Others.  Sawyer explains that Faraday doesn’t think it works like that.  Then we find out that “Faraday isn’t here anymore.”  So what’s up?  Did Daniel hop a sub back to the mainland?  Did he die?  Did he decide to give the donkey wheel a spin?  Whatever the answer, my money is on it having something to do with Desmond.  The new recruits get welcomed, but not before Miles shows up looking for an explanation from LaFleur about his disappearance.  I enjoyed watching the look on Miles’s face when he saw Jack, Kate, and Hurley.

Back to Ben and Sun, who are joined in the jungle by Lapidus.  Even he knows better than to trust Ben, but Sun seems determined to follow Ben to the outriggers and then to the main island.  Just when I started wondering what the hell Sun was thinking, Ben decided to start a monologue about his responsibilities and what his plan on the main island was and just when he gave enough details WHAM!  Sun cracks him upside the dome with an oar.  Nice.

A bonus character intersection at Dharma Orientation as Jack meets with Pierre Chang, Dharma’s resident orientation film star.  We find out the apparently Sawyer has earned the respect of Chang, then we are treated to a funny parallel of Ben’s father’s orientation as Jack is informed he will be a Workman.  I’m sure Sawyer had a hand in making Jack a janitor.  Just as Kate is about to be busted by Security Phil, Juliet arrives to save the day with a sweet line of bullshit.  Back to Sawyer arriving at The Flame, and we discover that in 1977, The Swan is apparently nothing more than a model Radzinski is working on.

Back in 2007, Sun and Lapidus arrive at a trashed Dharma camp that is occupied by a smoke monster and brain melter number three of the night: Christian Shephard.  Oh man this is getting good.  I don’t know why it took me this long to believe it, but I think Christian is alive.  I never had a problem believing Locke was brought back by the island, so I don’t see any reason that couldn’t apply to Christian as well.  Apparently he knows a little something as well since he tells Frank and Sun that they have “quite a journey” ahead of them.

The episode wraps up back in 77 with an increasingly suspicious Security Phil wondering why Jack the Janitor is dropping in on Lafleur, Master of Security.  Jack gets surprised with a Juliet reunion, followed by the reveal that she lives with Sawyer.  The scene that follows between Jack and Sawyer was my favorite of the night.  It really seems that three years with real responsibility have given Sawyer some much needed perspective.  He proceeds to serve jack a big slice of humble pie when he reminds Jack that all the actions Jack took were reactive, whereas he prefers to stop and think in order to come up with the right solution.  It really underscored for me the journey in opposite directions that Jack and Sawyer have been on in the three years since they last saw each other.  Sawyer built a life and a career based on fulfilling responsibility to Dharma and Juliet, while Jack has done nothing more than become a self-pitying drunk and painkiller addict.

The closing scene is a nice reveal of a young boy visiting Sayid in Dharma jail to bring him a sandwich.  Who is that young man with the rodent-like features and dorky circular glasses?  Why Ben Linus of course.  And now Sayid (who didn’t get Faraday’s memo about altering the past) may have a new plan of his own.

March 18, 2009 Posted by | Drama, Science, Scifi, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments