END OF REFRESHER VIDS
"THE END": STICK A CORK IN IT
REVIEW The sad news is that the ending to LOST was indeed Deus Ex Machina and was almost as bad as the Battlestar Galactica ending (but saved its crappiness for the final episode cluster rather than stretching it out for a whole season).
Note to LOST storytellers and Hollywood in general:
STOP BEING SUCH FUCKING LAZY WRITERS!
Every single fan idea about the mysteries of the island and the story and every bit of fan fiction about a proposed ending was better than what the high-powered, paid, professional writers of the show came up with. Egads.
The big island climax comes with Desmond descending into the Golden light cave since Jack had been badly stabbed by Smokey/Locke so couldn't be lowered by rope down into it. Desmond goes down but is not converted to smoke. And the golden light was less glowy - in fact, once Desmond got to the cave (which looked like leftovers from one of the Pirates' movies or a Laura Croft set) it looked more greenish-yellow and was much more muted. And then when Jack goes down into the cave - oh wait, our hero can descend by rope into a deep cave with a gaping stab wound! - and puts the drain-plug "cork" back into the hole the light is reddish. Weird how having the cork in let the water flow yet pulling it out dried up the flow (tampon companies are you watching?).
What was most distressing for me was how syrupy and sentimental it all was. I wanted answers and a final spectacular showdown between Smokey/MIB and Jack/whomever (not some cheesy Kirk on the sandstone rocks in Chatsworth and styrofoam boulders) and to find out what the island actually is. I got that queasy feeling I had when I watched the worst part of any Star Trek ever: the scene in Generations where Picard wakes up in the diffusion-filter pinky-out doily parlor with children and a Christmas tree.
First Ron Moore and David Eick give us a great show (2003's reboot of Battlestar Galactica) with so much promise only to basically abandon it to simplistic angels and god did it for their big deus ex machina ending, and now JJ Abrams, Cuse and Lindelof (and the rest of the writing team) decide they're too lazy to bother weaving together their vast and myraid collection of story elements they'd concocted and did their own version of god did it: it was all a dream - Jack's death fever-dream of his life as he ascends that tunnel of light to heaven.
On an entertainment scale I'd give the episode a 5 out 10 and I'd give a 3 out of 10 for living up to its potential.
This is what you gave us, LOST creatives: an unfinished masterpiece. Yes, the adage goes an artist never finishes his work, he merely abandons it, but at least with Michaelangelo we have a vast body of his works and thus the unfinished sculptures are understood on their own merits and technical brilliance. He said he didn't create the figure(s), he liberated them. You LOST guys were working on one series and just walked away from its complexities rather than face them. [Imagine Jersey accent]: Yo, it's lika a body - comin' outta da rocks deh - jus leave it, it's good enuf. You were never liberating a brilliant and complex story, you were just randomly chiseling and then quit.The LOST-Untangled (with muppets) is now up and is much much better than the live-action slop we got.
ANALYSIS PRIOR TO AIRING OF "THE END"
[I gave the show's creator/writers way too much credit]
Ouroboros (the snake eating its tail - the endless cycle) ... time repeating. In Battlestar Galactica there was the constant refrain All of this has happened before and all of it will happen again and it looks like that's what we'll get with the finale of LOST. You can't fracture time, it will always re-set.
I see the main conflict as Eloise vs. Desmond. Eloise has carefully manipulated people and events to create a happy timeline - the Alt+B as I've been calling it, where her son Daniel is alive and pursuing music rather than science. Eloise killed her son by shooting him on the island when she was younger than he was and she was pregnant - possibly with Daniel - an ultimate time-paradox. Eloise was trapped after that with the knowledge of what would happen but she manipulated what events she could to destroy the island reality or at least the relevant peoples' knowledge of the place in Alt+B.
Her pendant at left is an open Ouroboros, telegraphing that she believes time is not a closed loop, so believes she can fracture it and proudly wears this sentiment as jewelry.She knows there are now two timelines and wears that knowledge as well.
Eloise can't control the discoveries nor the impact of her son's time experments in the timeline in which Desmond goes to see him at Oxford and I suspect that it is Faraday's time experiments which set this all in motion in the first place, he is the Ouroboros - time loops again and again because of him. Eloise helped explode the bomb to undo her murder of her son, which allowed her to see the alternate timelines.
Eloise's husband, Charles Widmore, in the island reality has blasted Desmond with electromagnetism but never really explained why. I suspect that Widmore had reason to believe that Desmond would be able to see both (or all) timelines through this exposure since the island had displayed unusual magnetic properties and other phenomena. So island Widmore activated Desmond's quest in the Alt+B timeline that is fracturing all of Eloise's hard work. There should be a showdown between Desmond and Eloise. If the show it true to form I expect some rich irony in the outcome. Desmond may think he's doing all of our characters a favor in Alt+B but he is probably provoking time (and the island) to re-set.
There seems to be a balanced scale effect happening - most evidenced through Ben: as he grows more sweet and principled in Alt+B he becomes more evil on the island. Desmond is active in Alt+B but passive on the island.
The concert in Alt+B seems to be where it is all set to manifest (kinda cheesy). Desmond is assembling the principals there while Smokey/Locke is still trying to assemble who he has left on the island. Smokey want them to die - but they must kill each other (even if by accident) and now he has his instrument - Ben will do it.
The ending could have gone many different ways but the show's creators and writers had to narrow it down somehow and I'm okay with a Desmond-Eloise face-off. She is the Controller, so carefully trying to shape one reality to give her and the others happiness (the price is their ignorance), and most importantly have her son's life back. Desmond is the destroyer - but perhaps unwittingly. It would be most helpful to find out Widmore's motivation for putting Desmond in the magnetic field and see a shot of Desmond's POV in that magentic field, and if we don't get that information the writer's have been lazy or sloppy.
I see the island as a living thing - although not sentient - that exists outside of space and time. It can't be found unless it or its agents find you. It is a time-space well, drawing to it those people also outside of spacetime. Again, a paradox: people the island seeks have to have been to the island to acquire such properties. I'm sure hoping Abrams, Lindelof, et al are not going the Battlestar Galactica route and we end up with another deus ex machina god explanation ... I'm worried because of Allison Janney/Earth Mother Hippy's comment about the golden light in the cave, "a little exist inside all men."
Now, Smokey/MIB/Locke has one motivation - to destroy the island - MIB shattering the wine bottle after Jacob gave it to him is his way of telegraphing that he will not even try to remove the cork to get free (remember, Jacob told Ricardo/Richard that the island is the cork holding the evil on the island?) ... no, MIB/Smokey will break the bottle - attempt to destroy the island itself ... the only way this seems possible is for him to let the light out of the cave
"WHAT THEY DIED FOR"
Much better episode than last week's Across the Sea, but again some puzzle pieces felt hammered into place and not carefully inserted where they would naturally fit (Widmore's sudden death, Anna-Lucia pops up, Ben's turn to evil)
Jacob Explains It All For You worked okay - yet his driving force was to atone for some guilt about throwing his brother ManInBlack into the Golden Cave - yet he seemed to have no problem with spending 30 years with some crazy Earth Mother Hippie who killed his real mom and forced him to take on the horrible responsibility of guarding the reverse Pandora's Cave: goodness, but also an evil wind (to contrast with Pandora's Box: all the world's ills, but also hope)
Yin and Yang, baby, that's where it's at with LOST ... black & white ... loose and tight ...
As Ben is humanized in the Alt+B parallel timeline (fighting on behalf of Locke, warm-hearted feelings for Delenn, oops, I mean Rousseau, and her daughter) he becomes more
d e l i c i o u s l y evil "I want to watch" in the island reality [clearly, what goes up in one reality must come down in the other] and even viciously shoots Widmore dead. Yea !, bad Ben is back! And Billie Jean King was Jason-ized, shut-the-hell-up with a teen-slasher-film slash [nod to Potiphar, you called it ... or you know things].
Sawyer shows a little puppy-dog I fucked up face to Jack since he got the sub blown up and people killed but Jack lets him off the hook - he [Locke] did it, Jack growls. So deathlist for this ep includes: Widmore, annoying glasses lady (BJK), and maybe Richard. I'll bet Claire and Miles (and Pivotal Penny) get to join the list in the finale, and SmokeMonster may thrash Kate, Sawyer and Hurley just for fun.
All those names written on Lighthouse light-base (I guess that's how Jacob found his lost souls to bring to the island) and on the cave ceiling, not so mysterious after all. Kate, you can be the one, if you want, but since you're an adoptive mommy now, I crossed you off.
And when the moment came for the Candidates they didn't even try a To Tell the Truth fake step-forward - no one besides Jack even expressed the slightest interest in the job. So, as completely expected, Jack took the job (and took the drink of the stank river water - or maybe it tastes of golden light?)
Was Richard killed? Just like that, an unceremonious quick Smoke-Monster-tendril thrash ... almost off-camera? Laaaaaaame ... if that's really the end for him. They give his character one of the best episodes of the whole series Ab Aeterno - almost cinematic in its beauty - and this is his end?
Desmond is a busy little bee over in Alt+B, lining up all the kiddies to fracture island reality (jail breakout - well transport van, actually) ... it seems Widmore's little magnet experiment let him see the view to the other side as I said a few eps ago [note: re; 'Beautiful View' image of window at left - I had it in my huge image folder and lost track that I had saved it from a wonderful Greek photographer's site called toomanytribbles - apologies for lack of credit and here is the photo link]
We finally catch up with Miles, Richard and Ben and we end up at the condos - Miles feels all twitchy because he's standing on the ground where Richard thoughtfully buried Ben's daughter (pound in another puzzle piece), then Miles decides he'll race around the jungle alone rather than hide from Smokey/Locke. Ben shows his special place in the closet and then says howdy to Smokey/Locke and leads him to where Widmore and BJK were hiding and gleefully watches/participates in their murders. He is desperate to know what was whispered about Desmond.
Back in Alt+B wheelchair Locke goes to see Dr. Jack and is ready to "let go" and be operated on to perhaps restore some leg function ... after good Ben tells him that Desmond didn't want to kill him really but for him to let go. In the Yin-Yang what-goes-up-must-come-down equation of the two time-streams if Locke does this in Alt+B, then Smokey/Locke will lose power on the island.
And at The End, when the show creators re-set the story, who else will join the intrepid cast on their journey on Oceanic 815 for the movie version?
Even if all was obliterated but the Alt+B timeline by the end of the tv show, the same scenario would manifest again albeit a bit differently for the film version because you can't really change things.
Epilogue: It seems there has been a long cycle of humans who were brought or somehow made it to the island and always one that figures out the golden light needs protecting and this mission overrides all sense of morality and other human and social imperatives in order to uphold the mission.
KLUNK, rattle ... rattle
Hmmm. Where to begin and how many words to waste on Across the Sea? We sadly got the Battlestar Galactica No Exit episode info-dump, albeit a bit more cleverly shown than told to us - but entirely unnecessary. There was no need for this episode of Jacob's and MIB's backstory at all. It served to diminish those two characters and make their former mystery mundane. And the Allison Janney Mother Earth woman - oh no you dint, and don't get me started!
Several LOST puzzle pieces were crudely hammered into place (the "Adam and Eve" skeletons, the dagger [and where did this finely-crafted piece of metal come from?], the origin of the Smoke Monster cave-sausage, the donkey-wheel) but so what? Again, the mystery of those elements were rendered mundane. The black rock and white rock have no deeper meaning other than they were play-pieces to a game MIB found as a child and Jacob was always white and MIB always black.
When you tell a story that has mystery, if you are going to reveal the mystery to your audience you want to wow them - give them goosebumps, not insult them or bore them.
We're supposed to believe that Jacob stayed loyal to this woman who murdered his real mother all those years yet never went over to the people where his brother MIB was living once he got old enough to find out about sex? So for 30 years he just helped Earth Mommie with her weaving? Dumb. Er, what about when Jacob was globe-trotting and lining up our LOST crash survivors for their big journey in all those sideways timelines? I guess time-travel to cover that will be explained in a future ep? Who was Earth Mommie? She got there "by accident" too, but seemed to have answers - who gave them to her? I like Allison Janney. I've met Allison Janney. But she is no Jack Kennedy and she was woefully miscast.
If they were going to commit to a character like this they needed someone who could convey a more sinister side.
This ep was a real let-down - just short of ridiculous I'm afraid. The mystery of the island turns out to be a surreal golden light that lies hidden deep inside ... kind of silly. Visually, we've seen it before
My version is way better (what I have so far is in the next post)
Well, let's start with the death list and injury roster!
I think I counted Smoke Monster/Locke shooting to death 17 or 18 people, he snapped the neck of at least one other, and in his smoke form killed at least a couple more (Sayid conveniently knew how to disable Widmore's EM fence).
Crazy Claire killed at least a couple of the expendable Widmore people (but, alas, Billie Jean King clone still lives for another ep at least) ... no sign of Widmore. No Desmond this ep. What happened to Miles?
Next ep, Across the Sea, is the flashback to how it all began - the backstories of Smoke Monster/Man In Black and Jacob. So that only leaves the eps What They Died For and a 2-parter, The End to explain it all.
After this ep, I'm kinda feeling shorted. Too many of the principals crowded together but not doing much. They go to the plane planning to fly it away (er, with what runway and with blown sand in the engines and no gas?) - but Smoke Monster/Locke finds a bunch of C-4 Widmore had hidden away on the plane to blow them all up (specifically Smoke Monster/MIB/Locke because that's who Widmore is after). Locke then leads them to the sub - they'll leave that way. Jack says he'll stay behind but Kate gets shot and so he helps get her on the sub (after pushing Smoke Monster/Locke in the water they way kids at camp do) and then climbs aboard himself. Sawyer is playing boss and says to leave Claire, who stupidly doesn't seem to notice that they're leaving without her.
But wait, there's a twist! Our main characters escape in the sub, but meanie Smoke Monster/Locke put the C-4 in Jack's backpack and it has a timer, but Jack realizes they must not do anything because the island won't let them die, they can only kill each other or themselves if they try to disarm the bomb - Sawyer can't process that in his Cro-Mag brain and finishes his fit of machismo and a quicker timer now races to ZERO and Sayid suddenly grabs the explosive device and runs with it and saves most of the rest of them and gets ... blown to bits. A sub door flies loose and kills Jeff Fahey's pilot character (they kept him around all this time to kill him like this?), and Sun gets trapped and Jin decides to stay with her and they lovingly drown together. Sayid tells Jack about Desmond and then tells Jack "It's going to be you" i.e., our candidate. Weirdly, Sayid tosses that off almost as a throwaway line, mumbling almost and looking down and almost out-of-frame (writers', director's choice?).
Only Sawyer (who saves Jack), Hurley, and Kate make it to the beach. Hurley breaks down and sobs and they shorted Jorge Garcia a real moment - he could have conveyed Hurley's deep sadness and the futility of it all if they've let his emotional reaction play out longer.
In the Alt+B timeline lots of Jack (and everyone intersecting again - Jin in the hospital hallway with flowers for Sun ... Leela - er, I mean Katie Sagal, pops up re; father stuff). Dunno what's up with the creepy dentist who seems to know stuff and intones mysteriously to Jack. The father complex stuff is played out and Jack tries to reach out to Locke who again refuses him. A music box is left to Claire and she and Jack open it but don't really listen to it's tune nor look through it more thoroughly ... oh, and bad acting alert: Emilie de Ravin (who plays Claire) didn't even attempt to move as though pregnant - that fake baby strapped to her real tummy didn't seem to weigh anything when she moved.
This episode felt very much like that Dave Chappelle skit Wrap-It-Up
PREDICTIONS FOR "THE END"
Okay, just 4 episodes left (the finale, The End, is a 2-hour ep):
Across the SeaWhat They Died Forand The End
Time for predictions:
The Candidate - Jack is a candidate for both MIB/SmokeMonster/Locke and Jacob and he must choose to be on the side of good or evil, which will determine the fates of everybody else. Likely, he will be given a Faustian bargain by MIB/S.M./Locke that goes something like this: "You can go back to your life, and have no memory of any of this, but you must A. make sure I get off the island; B. Kill all these other people." But Jack will opt for C [see below].
Across the Sea - This will probably focus almost entirely on the Alt+B timeline [see post below for Alt+B] and how Desmond battles Eloise's order with his bringing of chaos - to send reverberations to the island reality that can fracture the balance and free the souls trapped there to live out in the Alt+B timeline. There will probably be Penny in this ep, and she'll probably have to die. Desmond will reveal to some (at least Jack and Penny) in the Alt+B timeline what he knows about the island reality.
What They Died For - The title implies we'll get explanations, but probably not fully satisfying ones, or else there is no mystery left for any movie versions. Something along the lines "maintaining the balance" is probably what we'll hear - Smoke Monster remains trapped and they can carry on their lives in Alt+B. The science will probably come into it here, Jacob intervened in all their lives because in a future timeline he met them all and thus knew these specific people had to be compelled to fit into that island timeline ... it could be that MIB/Smoke Monster has been messing with electro-magnetism and time to try to free himself all along. The Dharma people were drawn by the strange magnetic properties and physics anomalies and were trapped in his web.
The End - The "end" is, of course, an open end - A, because they have a movie to make, and B, because the struggle between good and evil is never-ending in the minds of most people who believe in that kind of thing ... Desmond will let everyone know that their lives exist in other time streams and urge them to let go of what happens to them on the island - doesn't really matter if they die, so long as they accept it so they don't remain trapped like Michael and the other "whisperers." Hurley and the rest of the gang, most of them, will let themselves get killed. Desmond will let Jack know that he must stay and his life on the Alt+B timestream will have to end - he will only live on the island.
Now, a recap from The Candidate that factors into the finale - Jack is a candidate for both MIB/SmokeMonster/Locke and Jacob and he must choose to be on the side of good or evil, which will determine the fates of everybody else. Likely, he will be given a Faustian bargain by MIB/S.M./Locke that goes something like this: "You can go back to your life, and have no memory of any of this, but you must A. make sure I get off the island; B. Kill all these other people" ... since Jack is our ostensible hero he will choose the noble course, C., and sacrifice himself and take over the Jacob role and be forever locked in perpetual struggle with MIB/S.M./Locke
This latest episode - The Last Recruit felt forced. For a brief time while watching I got that queasy feeling I had during the No Exit episode of Battlestar Galactica ... but the feeling passed because the LOST ep wasn't nearly as bad. No Exit is where BSG totally lost it and just became terrible.
With Last Recruit, we've seen some worrying signs, but the show didn't step over the line ... yet. Way too many loose threads were sewn together - from Sun seeing Locke on an ambulance stretcher right next to hers as she's being wheeled into the Emergency Room, to cop Sawyer catching Sayid at his girlfriend's house, to a shiny new sailboat MIB/SmokeMonster/Locke had hidden away, to Jack ready to operate on Locke, to Ilana at the office to - and this was the big groaner - reunite Jack and Claire - who ends up being Jack's sister (oh, and I'm sick of Crazy Claire anyway). It was a most inelegant episode and I hope the nadir of what's left - I certainly expect better from here on out.
The Billie Jean King lookalike who works for Widmore calling in missile strikes on MIB/S.M./Locke was just stupid - no way around it. Even if they hit him dead-on, er, couldn't he just transform into smoke and have the missile and explosion harmlessly pass through him? I must say, I think the LOST Untangled spoof is better than the ep.
THE POWER OF LOVE
Lots of touching moments in LOST these past few eps, and I'm beginning to get that love transcends all feeling ... which, in poetry and movies can be nice but in a time-travel/vortex/alternate universe/evil-held-prisoner surreal television show can come across a bit, smarmy. I'm hoping the love stuff isn't going to be the end-point but a means to get there.
Lady Miss Kier has something to say on the subject:
And a lesser-known (but terrific) track by Deee-Lite that sorta works with the theme also:
The parallel lives / alternate reality / coexisting universes / prime number / cannot upset the equation concept should be expanded upon in tonight's ep ... and I expect we'll see Hurley win his lotto jackpot with the other set of numbers. The prime this time is 53
post-viewing update: Well, despite the still image floating around with the different set of winning lotto numbers, we didn't yet see that scene and we got no Hurley's dad (boo-hoo) and just the one scene (previewed often) with his mom in the ep Everybody Loves Hugo. Sideplot took away a bit of the mystery when Michael appeared to Hurley at Libby's grave and later revealed that he was trapped on the island, as are many others - strengthening the purgatory aspects of the island vis-a-vis the good vs. evil component of the story.
We got the two Hugo realities and the two Desmond realities, and as with Charlie, the Alt+B timeline (as I'm calling it) that the LOST writers are focusing on as they close the show seems to be where our characters get glimpses into the island reality that has made up most of the show. They seem to be dispensing with all but two timelines.
Desmond has seen, and he is now hell-bent on changing outcomes.
He served an almost Jacob-like role in the Alt+B timeline getting Hurley to pursue Libby and have that date on the beach that never happened on the island ... mission accomplished (Hurley kissed and sparks really flew - he saw the other reality - the post-crash island - in flashes and the rich golden color-saturation) ... kudos to actor Jorge Garcia - it is always a mark of a fine actor when they can just silently react to something and convey deep emotion or move a scene along. Garcia was just terrific, as was actress Cynthia Watros - who played Libby in three touching scenes.
Desmond even staked out John Locke and ran him over ... and back on the island MIB/Smokemonster/Locke threw that Desmond down a well (despite knowing Desmond has some special magnetic properties, as did the well) yet Desmond is completely content with whatever happens to him on the island.
I'm pretty convinced that the EM field Widmore subjected Desmond to with his machine either lets Desmond transcend both realities simultaneously or he saw enough to know that what he does in the back-on-the-mainland reality is much more important than what he does on the island. I suspect we'll get a flashback at some point showing us Desmond's POV of that moment in the EM field. Despite Eloise's admonition not to "break rules" he is breaking every rule he can to upset the balance.
If Eloise is determinism then Desmond is the bringer of chaos.
Well, let's see ... take one plane crash (or several), one mysterious island, a smoke monster, some secret government science/military program, time-travel, electromagnetic disturbances, ghosts, a nuclear bomb, and bunch of intersecting lives and what do we get?
Ah, now we have it. The LOST writers are uniting the good vs. evil and time-travel streams into one story and it involves all of the principals having intersected before, during and after the plane crash, and Eloise Hawking (Daniel Faraday's mother and wife of Charles Widmore) seems to be the fulcrum upon which the whole time-travel element to the story pivots and will be resolved. She knows the answers and her consciousness seems to transcend the various time-streams of parallel lives we've been shown.
This Desmond-centric episode, Happily Ever After, finally brought back the sci-fi time-travel stuff, and as expected, returned Faraday to the equation.
So it looks like Mommy Eloise screwed up the time-stream originally somehow and she raised her son in one time-stream to skip music for science so he could try to right her wrong (something to do with the bomb probably), and she probably married Widmore because he had the money she needed to make things happen.
Widmore's daughter Penny and Desmond have some special time-equation properties also because they seem to factor into the events that led everyone to the island. Desmond must intersect with Penny in all time-streams and Desmond is impervious to huge electro-magnetic discharge as shown in Widmore's experiment early in the episode.
The whole subplot with Charlie was pretty good ... in this time-stream he's had a vision and seems to invite death by pushing limits on everything - hoping to have the revelatory moment he recounted to Desmond earlier. Charlie forces their car into a marina and Desmond has a flash of another time-stream also - he sees written on Charlie's hand "NOT PENNY'S BOAT" and then has visions of Penny and the two of them together.
Desmond is Widmore's favored errand boy/dealmaker in this time-stream and he tasks him with seeing his wife to break the bad news that Charlie's band won't be performing and this will disappoint her son (Faraday). She takes the news in stride and only turns into the predicted witch when Desmond mentions trying to find Penny. Eloise tells Desmond not to look for her to just leave it all alone.
Faraday overhears and takes Desmond aside and tells him he thinks they've lived other lives and are seeing flashes of these other lives and that he, Faraday, blew up a nuclear bomb in one of these other lives. Desmond looks at him like he's a wackadoodle until he says Penny is his half-sister and he can tell Desmond where to find her.
Cool back-and-forth between time-streams and story arcs this ep - well done. And at the end when a resistant Desmond is checked, found healthy, and released from the electro-magnetic experiment Widmore had subjected him to on the smaller island, he is a changed man. He wants his Penny back, and knows to go with the flow to get to her. Widmore told Desmond he'd have to make a great sacrifice, so likely that will end up being Penny (probably to set the time-streams right again).
Now I don't know how they are going to join up the supernatural with the science, but next ep is Hurley and his I see dead people, so maybe the ghosts will glue together the time-travel and good vs. evil for us. My worry is that the writers will give us a Schrödinger's cat scenario, whereby the nuclear bomb detonated on the island - with its weird magnetic properties opened a rift in time and now allows various time streams to co-exist with the island as an inersection point to all those people involved. My guess is the bomb serves the same role as the guy with the gun in the top Schrödinger Cat image - upsetting the balance.
Well, this was a set-up episode that had little content.
Unless you count the dull-as-dishwater Sun/Jin backstory (there's a sink right there in that restaurant kitchen and Jin doesn't have Sun wash her bloody hands?) How and why Sayid happened to be the contract killer who killed the other contract killers hired by Sun's daddy to finish off Jin is about all that is of interest there - like if we were still in season 4.
MIB/Smokemonster/Locke can't cross the zapper fence. He goes all the way across the island to get Sun then bops her on the head and leaves her there?
Billie Jean King (oop, I mean Zoe) and Whitmore bring "the package" on their mini sub, and it's Desmond?
Desmond and Sayid have a nice stare across the water? Don't ask, don't tell.
TEASES WITH NUMBERS
New ad (via this link found on Gawker)
Are they pulling BSG type clues? Have our LOST characters divided into Black Rock and White Rock camps? I don't see Richard. I don't see Jin. Charlotte ends up evil? No Claire. I figured Desmond and Faraday would be back, but not that Miles would survive to the end.
Or, if we go by the backgrounds, then the LO people get to go back to the big city and the ST people stay behind - with Locke the new Man In Black and Sawyer our new Jacob. Sayid gets to live? Ben leaves the island? Hmmm. Hmmmmmm. For whatever it's worth the numbers on the left add up to 89 (Sayid-16, Jack-23, Sun-42, Hurley-8) and those on the right 19 (Locke-4, Sawyer-15) - totaling 108 of course (I know, Kate ... see below). We're talking active numbers - not those people who have had their numbers crossed out (like Ben) on the lighthouse gear.
Well if the BSG Last Supper pic was so simple as to be left-to-right L (Laura) N (Natalie) Tigh to reveal the final cylon as represented by the missing person behind the Grail cup (ELlen Tigh), then maybe the new LOST poster is just as simple ... B S K J S H D (if we add numbers based on the alphabet of the initials to the characters' names = 73) ... L C S J F M (adding = 61) ... 73 - 63 = 10, or 73 + 63 = 136, or 73 X 63 = 4599 ... or, er, maybe not
Now, upon closer inspection (namely at this website ... great close-ups) it appears Kate too has a number - as shown on the lighthouse panel, and it is 51 ... that revises the number to 159 if we add her to the others composing 108, and there goes our Valenzetti equation - so maybe Kate saves the world?
In an earlier post I pointed out that Jack's number, 23, is the only prime number among those left and it should be noted that 1-5-9 are the next sequence of three digits that follow 3.14 in pi (3.14159265358979323846 .... ). 159 is also a Woodall Number ... but what is of note is that Woodall numbers are conjectured to be composites (nearly all). Kate (51) surviving might tip the balance from the 108 of the Valenzetti end-of-the-world timeline to a reset state due to her compositing her number with the others'. Here's Wikipedia on the number 159 (are you reading Larissa?)
So Kate will tip the balance somehow (the bad girl made good) to fracture the Valenzetti equation and save the world - with Locke the new MIB and Sawyer the new Jacob on the island, with Faraday forever hitting that reset switch?
LOST - AB AETERNO
I loved the episode ab aeterno (trans: since the beginning or for long ages) - Richard's story. It featured a wonderful performance by actor Nestor Carbonell and a well-written backstory that featured Richard as Ricardo, a kind-hearted man from 1867 - a deeply-grieving widower who had been wrongly convicted for murder while struggling with a greedy doctor for medicine that could have saved his sick wife.
Ricardo is himself saved by an ancestor of Whitmore and chained to the below-decks of the same shipwrecked wooden sailing ship Black Rock we've seen before (remember the Richard/Jack dynamite scene from last ep?). A storm hits, which we find out later was Jacob causing this ship sailing to the New World to wreck on the statue of Taweret, and thus strand Richard on the island. Everybody dies eventually but Ricardo (before he had good English) and TOSM (The Original Smoke Monster) face off - TOSM makes a couple really cool appearances where he viciously murders everyone except Ricardo (TOSM even has sparks at his tip) before Man-In-Black appears (Smoke Monster's human form) to Ricardo. A struggle ensues for Ricardo's soul. Ricardo had a vision of his wife before meeting MIB - was it an hallucination? Was it MIB manipulating/tormenting him?
Ricardo's offered a Faustian bargain by MIB and accepts, he will stab Jacob - whom he does not yet know (then living below the foot of the statue) with the silver ceremonial dagger so he can be with his wife again - but Jacob sees him coming, bests him, and offers him another deal - be the person who vets new arrivals for me, he tells him - help sort out who is ultimately good and who is evil at their core. So, in essence, we have Richard as Tattoo to Jacob's Mr. Roarke.
Up to this point Carbonell transcended the script with his performance, then the writers gave him a line which served the plot but was at odds with what we were seeing. Jacob tells him, no, I can't bring your wife back and I can't absolve you of your sins (Ricardo was devout) ... then the poor forlorn fellow who seemed devastated, hopeless, and ready to die moments earlier to be with his wife says "I want to live forever" W-T-F ?? [see comments for another take on this]
Jacob and MIB have another little chat - this time on a mountainside looking over a valley, not the beach (but here's the old pic) and Jacob gives MIB the bottle of wine he had used earlier as an example to Ricardo "Evil is like the wine in this bottle - the cork is the island, holding it here." Of course MIB smashes the bottle. Also White Rock appeared (prior to its scale days) - when Ricardo had returned to MIB after failing to kill Jacob - Jacob asked him to deliver it - clearly signaling to MIB that Jacob considered Richard in the white camp at that moment - or it's simply their in-joke - a Black Rock smashes Jacob's temple, so Jacob will turn this agent of destruction - Ricardo - into a white rock of goodness.
So the sci-fi time-travel elements of LOST fade further into the distance as we get a redux of the LEXX season 3 story arc (Fire and Water) and the end of BSG (angels, and god did it) - a showdown between good and evil as what underlies all phenomena on the island and in their lives leading up to the island.
Touching scene at the end where Hurley shows up when Richard/Ricardo has had enough (in his time-frame he's walked from the dynamite scene in the Black Rock last ep) and shouts to the air for the MIB/TOSM to honor his deal - which was an offer forever.
Hurley it seems can talk to more than just Jacob - now the dead wife, Isabella (sporting spiffy modern clothes) appears to Hurley (and eventually to Richard) and the love-through-time couple have their touching reunion - We are already together she tells him.
Hurley regularly communicating with Jacob, and now other spirits too, would lead you to believe that he is the clear front-runner to replace Jacob, as he is clearly the most pure-of-heart. But we were left with a shot of MIB/Locke standing a ways away watching the love reunion so maybe it was MIB appearing as Isabella to both Hurley and Ricardo, and it was all a perverse manipulation.
If the writers intend one last sojourn to evil before their grand finale then it was a fake-out - but so far it seems pretty straightforward - a march toward redemption for most of our star characters.
Over at at-largely, Larissa has another similar but much more complex reading of the situation
BILLIE JEAN - IS NOT MY LOVER
With the guest appearance of Zoe on last week's LOST, the clues are lining up
Zoe is the last letter of the alphabet, or Zed for 0 ... Zoe looks like Billie Jean King, who was/was not afraid of the male penis the way Zoe here is/is not afraid of the gun Sawyer holds to her face ... Billie Jean King ended male dominance of tennis in the so-called battle of the sexes in the 70s ...
Zoe will be the agent that brings to an end the domination of the Smoke Monster on the island
The Legend of Billie Jean came out in 1985 - numbers which add to to 23 - Jack's number ... the movie starred two actors named Slater (Christian and Helen), one male who represents the female-oppressing monotheism of Christianity and the other, female, who represents the pantheism of nature-worship and multiple gods of both genders
Michael Jackson's Billie Jean came out in 1983 - Michael Jackson's initials, MJ, add up to (M=13, J=10) ... 23 - Jack's number ... 1983 adds up to 21, plus 2 for the two years until LoBJ came out and that equals 23. It's all about Jack ... and Billie Jean, er, Zoe will help him realize that
4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42 add up to 108 which, if you subtract from 350 = 242 ...2+4+2 = 10 and the dollar is divided by units of 10. Now $3.50 is what the Loch Ness Monster kept trying to get from Chef's dad on South Park in the Succubus episode ... the word succubus has 8 letters (Hurley), one vowel (U) used three times which if added to the one representing the vowel equals 4 (Locke), and if you take the one vowel (1) and put it in front of the five consonants you get 15 (Sawyer) ... Sayid (16) is part of the code 1623 that activates the security fence that can keep the evil Smoke Monster out so he will have to work with Jack - Since 42 is Sun/Jin we can split that in two, or 21 each, when added together makes 3, but since there are two of them it is 6 which is the same number of Wimbledon titles Billie Jean King won! [Who knew this would be so easy to figure out?]
Here's someone who explains the meaning of numbers even better than I do
First big misfire of this final season - Sawyer and Miles are cops. And Evil Locke says, "I'm the smoke-thing." And Locke has a heart-to-heart with Kate (I wanted Oprah to mediate). Locke is better as the scary, silent enigma.
Yet another small island, yet another plane, yet another group of survivors (well some were decaying and drawing flies) ... oh, and the submarine, "He's waiting for you." And guess who's back, the architect, er I mean Charles Whitmore, and he and his people are looking to catch and/or kill Smoke Monster/Locke. Plane or sub - what will Sawyer take? Lots of flashbacks with character overlap: Kate-Sawyer-Miles-Charlotte. Hope next week is better (Richard's story)
LOST FANS, WATCH OUT FOR ANGELS 2/18/10
I've caught bits and pieces here and there of the enigmatic show LOST and watched part of Season 4 and decided I'd watch all of Season 6 (the last year) as it airs, so I've just finished with the most recent 4th ep on Hulu and I think LOST just flashed me its junk.
I have a little bad news for die-hard fans, so stop reading now if you don't want your hopes dashed. It seems that LOST may well fall into the trap that Ron Moore's version of Battlestar Galactica suffered (for which this blog was created to originally celebrate before that show imploded and I became a critic) - the dreaded deus ex machina.
Below I have clues to the final eps, with each major character getting an episode built around them - leading up to the replacement for Jacob as the story's ultimate goal (Much like the reboot of The Prisoner [my review here] was about James Caviezel's young idealistic man taking over for the tired old man played by Ian McKellen).
In a nutshell, LOST is being reduced to a good-vs-evil story and they couldn't have made it any more literal.
Smoke Monster Locke picks up the white stone off of the scale in Jacob's secret cave and tosses it off the island into the ocean. Get it? Jacob was good, Smoke Monster bad (now in Locke's body) ... and the scale represented the balance that existed before Ben was manipulated into killing Jacob.Smoke Monster Locke (we got to see from his smoke monster POV at one point in the ep) is seducing Sawyer so he will end up being the Judas character no doubt - a bad boy to the last. We got to see the characters' names and numbers so that will be explained at some point - the whole numbers game they've dangled again and again. So for the next few eps real-time on the island (whatever that means there) bad things will happen to bring it all to a head now that the scale is tipped in favor of evil. This good vs. evil theme was explored thoroughly in Lexx during its 3rd season. Expect several major LOST characters to die.
Here is the link to my source for info on the upcoming eps (there may be a better source out there): ep guides ... and here is what the next eps have to offer according to that source [my notes in this color]:
S6-Ep5 Lighthouse - Hurley must convince Jack to accompany him on a mission, and Jin comes across an old acquaintance [Claire reintroduced]
S6-Ep6 Sundown - Sayid faces a difficult decision, and Claire sends a warning to the temple inhabitants [Sayid dies I bet]
S6-Ep7 Dr. Linus - Ben-centric of course [insight into why he's such a weasel?]
S6-Ep8 Recon - A Sawyer-centric episode [probably about his betrayal and death]
S6-Ep9 Ab Aeterno - A Richard Alpert-centric episode [Richard was a candidate who didn't measure up I'm guessing, hence his long tenure on the island]
S6-Ep10 The Package - A Sun/Jin-centric episode [watch, the couple will live to get off the island]
S6-Ep11 Happily Ever After - A Desmond-centric episode [time-travel explained by the interloper with a touch of Faraday I bet]
S6-Ep12 Everybody Loves Hugo - no info [Hurley's turn in the spotlight]
S6-Ep13 The Last Recruit - no info [my guess is it will be Kate]
S6-Ep14 The Candidate - no info [Jack, of course]
So through deduction it appears that all of the terrific chill-inducing strangeness of the show and the fascinating time-travel elements are going to be reduced to some cosmic need to maintain a balance between good and evil. Now since Jacob has appeared to Hurley in a dream (or as a spirit, whatever) is he like Yoda and more powerful in death? Is the white Polar Bear a representation of Jacob? Will the white rock turn into the bear and swim back to shore?
Science fiction fans love atmospherics and ideas. All you have to do is show us light-beam weapon, call it a phaser and we get it. Tell us there is some number sequence at the root of nature and/or the power behind the island and we get it - but we expect some explanation and for it to be creative. I, like many fans, would love for the mystery to be richly textured and goose-bump inducing when it is finally revealed - but I won't get my hopes up. I truly hope JJ Abrams doesn't let us down as badly as Moore did with BSG.