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Posts Tagged ‘Lost’

Quick Hits: LOST S6, E11— “Happily Ever After”

April 7th, 2010 Comments off

Do not adjust your screens, you didn't accidentally switch to The Watchmen. This is LOST and that is your Constant.

At what point do you think the producers made the decision that LOST was not a pure drama, a sci fi thriller or mystery show?  When Bad Robot first optioned the script, did JJ Abrams know that LOST was a pure love story?  It’s hard to say just when such a turning point was reached; however, what is clear is that the little snippets of true love have all been building toward that very tale so central to the core of the series and the characters on the Island itself.

Desmond and Penny hardly operate in a vacuum with respect to romance and love.  Nonetheless, they are at the core of it all, even though they’ve only appeared together in a handful of scenes.  In honor of the Large Hadron Collider ramping up to 3.5 tEV this past week, let’s talk in the terms of black holes.  The collision of various of the 80 or so survivors of Flight 815 has spawned little miniature black holes… some more strong than others, but none truly capable of reshaping the galaxy of characters and interactions.

We’ve seen brief romances and true examples of love in the relationship between Bernard and Rose.  We’ve lived through Sayid’s mission to reunite with his dear Nadia.  Heck, even the somewhat forgotten triangle between Jack, Sawyer and Kate presents a lesson in exploration of feelings, as did Boone’s forbidden love for step-sister Shannon and Sun and Jin’s re-dedication toward their marriage.  Even Charlie’s unconsummated love for Claire could be considered a triggered micro black hole; however, the super-massive black hole around which the show’s galaxy rotates is the love between Desmond and Penny and it is no secret that the finest episode in the series run (“The Constant”) focused on that love.

This episode may not have quite reached the heights of “The Constant” or the handful of other episodes that have completely changed the game and flipped the Island world on its head; nevertheless, boy did Darleton deliver this week.  The Damon half of the production team promised via Twitter that “the conversation is going to change [with “Happily Ever After”]“.  It did.

Find out my quick hits on how, after the jump. Read more…

Quick Hits: LOST S6, E10 — “The Package”

March 31st, 2010 Comments off

Jin and Sun were two names connected to one spot on the wall as potential candidates. Although it wasn't completely clear, I believe it's safe to assume Jin is the candidate.

And so we return to the stories that advance the plot.  Even @DamonLindelof seemed to admit via Twitter that the LOSTies weren’t likely to love this episode, hinting that “in one week, the conversation is going to change.”  Well, this episode certainly didn’t shift the conversation, but rather it pulled things back in to a plot-centric course… taking a right turn from the mythological slant of the last episode.  Given that I heard half the audience groan over the lack of plot advancement last week, I think we can expect an exact switcharoo with the complainer last week lauding this episode and the lovers of the Jacob-MIB tales lambasting Darleton.

There was some thought amongst me and my fellow LOSTie friends that Jin and Sun could have been candidates for cancellation in prior season finales.  They always survived the cut despite the fact that, in many ways, their characters had ended their usefulness as primary storyline members and other characters who cross that Rubicon (like Boone, Shannon, and, at least temporarily, Claire) all met their end.  Darleton did a good job of reviving them, to a degree, but this episode showed that even the gimmick of the separated lovers couldn’t really carry an episode.

The one area that the episode did work for me was the sideways universe.  Sun and Jin in a separate existence worked quite well and more interestingly than many of the other storylines.  We’d been teased with Jin’s being found by Sayid at Keamy’s restaurant, so we already wanted to know how he got there.

Click through to keep on keeping on. Read more…

Quick Hits: LOST S6, E9 — “Ab Aeterno”

March 24th, 2010 4 comments

The episode focused on the Island and the relationship between Jacob and the MIB... and their pawn, Ricardus.

Although formally a Richard Alpert episode, last night was an Island-centric hour, perhaps more so than any prior episode in the series run. For that, and for the excellent manner in which it was executed, Darleton and co. deserve major, major props.

A return to mythology is where the LOST audience sometimes gets split. The fanatics, of which I count myself a member, love and revel in mythology, symbolism and literary or religious reference and allegory. The more casual fan who yearns for the serial sometimes gets confused and bored — thereby giving the ratings a major hit. I would imagine that last night represents a major coup for all true LOSTies and a major “over-the-head” moment for all people who tuned in and were unawares of the back stories of the characters and the inner backgrounds of the Island’s bicameral structure.

I reference bicameral largely because we’re 48 hours removed from a polarized health care reform vote which somewhat reminds me of this past episode. Our Congress, torn on two sides by competing interests represented by the DNC and GOP — or good and evil, or vice versa when viewed by a partisan on either side. Nevertheless, each good and evil are tied together. One party cannot exist without the other and good cannot be judged or identified in the absence of evil. Moreover, beyond the two parties, we are drawn within the bicameral structure of a world of two houses, each unable to function in the absence of the other.

I’m reminded of a story told by Leo McGary in the second season of the West Wing. It was a recounting of a seasoned Democrat Representative welcoming a new Congressman to DC:

“There was a freshman democrat who came to Congress 50 years ago. He turned to a senior Democrat and said, ‘Where are the Republicans? I want to meet the enemy.’ The senior Democrat said, ‘The Republicans aren’t the enemy. They’re the opposition. The Senate is the enemy.'”

Senator Dick Durbin recycled this story with respect to the health care reform vote not two weeks ago, and it still holds resonance, because in a bicameral structure both chambers are separate, sentient actors who must reconcile their inner balance and being (their fight between good and evil) as well as act in concert, or at least coexist, in order to accomplish anything. With health care reform, there is the distinct need for reconciliation in order to get the adopted forms of the bills passed. With respect to the Island… well, let’s just say things are different but no less complex.

And that brings me back to Jacob and the MIB. In this episode than any before, we were presented with that which has been readily before us all along: the question that Ricardus (and I do prefer that version of the name) himself has asked. What if Jacob is not what he proclaims to be? We were presented with the #TeamJacob perspective first and with concomitant sympathy; however, “Ab Aeterno” granted us, for the first time, the perspective of a neophyte in Richard who is first presented with the story of the MIB and then turned by Jacob.

You have more faith than I if you did not, for at least one moment, come to think that we might, just maybe, be operating on faulty or even a reverse polarity spectrum of what is good and what is evil. Perhaps it is the MIB and blackness itself that is good. Or, more complex is the concept that the Island is a bicameral world in which each house (that of Jacob and that of the MIB) are internally divided between good and evil and, while they must reconcile themselves, must act with and face as an enemy the other chamber.

A bit more on this and other thoughts in my Quick Hits, after the jump: Read more…

Quick Hits: LOST S6, E8 — “Recon”

March 18th, 2010 Comments off

Perhaps the most welcome return in the episode was that of the awesome tree from Season 1. You'll recall that Kate hid from the smoke monster in the tree in the Pilot episode. Her confrontation with zombie Sayid, FLocke/Not-John and crazy Claire all took place at it's base.

I’m entirely uncertain on what I thought about this episode. I’m totally wiped out from a long day and not enough sleep and watched it after 90 minutes of good hooping it up. So I’m a little weary typing away in bed with the beginning of the episode playing through again for a second time. As I type, FLocke/Not-John is addressing #TeamSmokeMonster, saying (paraphrased) “you’ve been through a long night and I know you have a lot of questions. I’ll get to those, but first we’ve got to get moving.” This was one of those episodes where “Darleton”, like FLocke/Not-John, said that very thing and, like the character, failed to answer pretty much anything.

I fully understand that sometimes you need an episode that serves a purpose of simply advancing the story. That’s all well and nice, but the end is nigh and we still have a long ways to go to get to where this show ought to end and this episode did little to tie up loose ends or move the plot along besides getting us to where Team Widmore is back on Hydra Island. The title of the episode, “Recon,” should have given us enough pause to realize that this wasn’t going to be the most action packed of adventures, but rather would establish the necessary basis for episodes to come. As a result, it’s not surprising that I fell asleep before getting this written and am now typing away in the morning.

After the jump, I’ve got my quick hits: Read more…

Quick Hits: LOST S6, E7 — “Dr. Linus”

March 10th, 2010 1 comment

OK, there are elements of this episode that were just amazing on a high level.  It was, in some respects, a brilliant final season episode, tying up certain elements of hanging story arcs; however, it also proved to have several glaring weaknesses.

We’ll start with the weaknesses.  Even to the most diehard of LOST fans, the coincidences have got to be growing tiresome.  In this case, we’ve got the previously disclosed connection of Locke ending up in Ben’s school; however, we’ve also been presented with Doc Artz as Ben’s sidekick coworker and Alex Rousseau as his star pupil.  My problem with this is that we don’t, at least on its face, have some form of driving force causing course corrections or causing the players to gravitate together.  With the Island sinking that impetus has been vanquished.  So the players coming together again is truly just coincidence… unless we see some driving force at the terminus of the off-Island timeline.

Ben-centric episodes have been, to date, quite excellent. Despite a few faults, this followed that pattern.

It’s actually well stated by Richard Alpert when he expresses to Jack that his dedication of his life to Jacob was for naught and all without meaning.  We’ll ignore, for a moment, that Jack convinces Richard that his life still has meaning and that Jacob’s missions have a purpose by lighting a stick of dynamite that doesn’t go off.  Richard has become an Island atheist and yet he still acknowledges the powers of the Island — Richard believes and perhaps knows that he cannot kill himself.  We previously saw this from Michael, who the MIB (presumably) similarly kept alive until releasing him on the Telmarine freighter with a visit from Christian Shephard.  That Michael was permitted to die via explosion in the hold of the freighter and that Richard was not permitted to do so in the hold of the slaver “Black Rock” was a very nice bit.

The questioning of meaning also is important for the purposes of the show in general.  LOST fans have been conditioned (often times without evidence) that every little element of the show has a purpose, in Joycean fashion.  If that weren’t the case, Doc Jensen couldn’t pen long essays and fans wouldn’t tune in and replay episodes with such fervor.

With that in mind I turn to our introduction to Dr. Linus the European history PhD.  His lecture to his class is on Napoleon’s exile and that the isle of Elba was truly the Emperor’s end.  Although granted free reign on the island, he had been stripped of his power, his meaning and his focus.  On the Island in the original timeline, Ben is Napoleon… but an emperor still in name only.  He’s completely impotent, hiding from his act of betrayal and anger at Jacob.  He is also a leader without a people.

More discussion and some quick hits from the episode, after the jump. Read more…

Quick Hits: LOST S6, E6 — “Sundown”

March 3rd, 2010 Comments off

Sundown is a Sayid-centric episode.

I wasn’t really wild about last night’s episode.  It was a Sayid based episode that focused on themes of evils (with minor contrasts to goodness); however, the story was somewhat dragging at times.  In the Island timeline, we have the confrontation between Not-John (as I have decided to call him, the homage should be self evident) and the Temple people, with Sayid as a pawn of each side.  In the alternate universe, we see a more placid Sayid as he tries to accept his past and the fact that he pushed his Nadia into marrying his brother.

The one interesting element of the episode that I caught was an allusion (though I admit this may be imagined on my part) to the idea of a creation egg.  First, why I think there’s some legitimacy here:  we have two pretty decent references to eggs.  Martin Keamy is eating eggs and offers them to Sayid.  Additionally, we see Sayid trying to piece back together a broken vase, implying a Humpty Dumpty type of concept.  Yeah, I know I might be stretching, but hear me out.  But ultimately my idea is based on the fact that I keep coming back to the Dogon religion each time I hear Dogen’s name.

Egg creation or “world egg” theory exists in many cultures; however, a couple of the most prominent include the Dogon myth in which the creator begins creation by placing two embryonic sets of twins in an egg.  The two male twins represent good and evil, with Yurugu serving as the sinner and temptor and Nommo as the undefiled brother.  As a side note, the creation myth includes the concept of escaping the egg too early (as Yurugu did) and trying to return to roll back the effects of that escape.  Other religions such as the Pangu involve the breaking of the egg with the Yin and the Yang of good and evil separated by the hemispheres of the egg.

Click through to read more. Read more…

Quick Hits: LOST S6, E5 — “The Lighthouse”

February 24th, 2010 Comments off

Dear LOST, please make sure Claire looks only like this.

On their Twitter feeds, Damon Lindelof and Carleton Cuse implied we would be in for a tour de force when we revisited the brother and sister duo of Jack Shephard and Claire Littleton, played by Matthew Fox and Emilie de Raven… mmm… Emilie de Raven. Pause for a few minutes to reflect, and then convince self that it’s creepy to pause any longer… ok… back up again… back to the Quick Hits.

Anyways, I actually wasn’t as impressed with de Raven’s turn as Danielle Rousseau 2.0. First, one should never attempt to make Emilie de Raven not hot. You’ll fail, and just make us mad. Second, Emilie de Raven may be fantastic to look at, but she actually just doesn’t have the acting chops to pull of true crazy. Her hut scenes with Jin and the prisoner Other were carried by Jin and the need to promote the storyline; however, throughout it was a bit hard not to compare (and not favorably, at that) de Raven’s performance next to Mira Furlan’s Rousseau.

The most intriguing aspect of Claire’s crazy was her being convinced (apparently by her “friend”) that Aaron was being held by the Others at the Temple. This driving element was directly at odds with Rousseau, who had given up on Alex being alive – despite the fact that Ben was leading the Others and had been the one to kidnap Alex.

More Quick Hits, after the jump. Read more…

Quick Hits: LOST S6, E4 — “The Substitute”

February 17th, 2010 3 comments

"The Substitute" focuses on John Locke in the parallel universe and the MIB on the Island universe.

Well, last night’s edition of LOST was easily my favorite of the early season and perhaps the best episode since “The Constant”, in my opinion.  Perhaps it is solely because it revolved around the Island’s most intriguing character.  Maybe it was the insight into the Jacob – Man in Black struggle.  Maybe it was just the minute details of a life changed in the parallel universe.  One way or another, it added up to awesome.

We got to see some familiar faces, such as Peggy Bundy (Katey Segal) as Locke’s formerly lost love Helen. Her steadfast dedication to John is a reminder of the hurt she felt when she decided she had to leave him (this occurred in the first couple of seasons, maybe the second, because John remained fully obsessed with tracking his father).  The most notable Helen moments involved two acts:  the second was her tearing up Jack’s card and giving up on the idea of destiny and fate at John having run into a spinal surgeon.  The second, more intriguing one was that she suggested they get married “shotgun” style with only her parents and John’s father in attendance.  Two “whoa”s there: 1) Helen is preggers? and 2) John and his father have a relationship?  If Locke and his father aren’t at loggerheads, then what led him to be a cripple?

Also intriguing was the fact that John seemingly went on his walkabout and presumably was allowed to — based on the fact that he missed his whole conference and was in Australia for a week.  [Apparently I’m wrong about that, it was noted in the episode that he was not allowed on it.] In the prior universe, John was not permitted to board the walkabout bus and was shuttled back to Sydney for an early departure on 815.  I’m not quite sure what to make of it.  I’m going to have to rewatch with that in mind.

More quick hits, after the jump: Read more…

Quick Hits: On LOST Season Premiere Titles

February 4th, 2010 Comments off

OK, so I admit I’m a little slow.  I just assumed the season premiere Tuesday night was named “LAX”.  It turns out it was “LA X”.

One way or another, we know they’re not talking about lacrosse; however, I’m not buying the automatic jump to conclusion that the “X” is a reference to the roman numeral for 10.  In fact, I think there’s a hint that Cuse and Lindelof were looking at something entirely different.

My thoughts, after the jump. Read more…

Quick Hits: LOST S6, E1 and E2 – “LAX”

February 3rd, 2010 Comments off

Last night's Season Premiere was a wonderful present to come home to on the DVR.

In the buildup to the sixth and final season of LOST, I’ve been using the DVDs of Season 5 and as a catch-up.  In the past month, I rewatched to episode 8 (it was a swamped month and I wasn’t able to fit the rest in) and watched the Season 5 finale prior to last night’s premiere.

As readers of the site know, I’ve been popping out LOST Recaps for those rewatched episodes, chronicling some of my thoughts.  I intend to continue to do so in order (the “Jeremy Bentham” episode is next and I can’t wait to write about utilitarianism) until I can’t up to Season 6.  So I’m going to be at least a couple of weeks behind in getting full on LOST Recaps out on Season 6, but as with 24, I will be posting initial quick thoughts on the episodes.

I began writing these Quick Hits at the end of the first hour and at the start of the second part of the season premiere entitled “LAX”.  I’m not sure I ever appreciated just how good Season 5 was until now.  Just watching the buildup to the finale (I avoided all spoilers, but reveled in past footage), it was like seeing old friends again and a storyline I had somewhat taken for granted.

Below are just some preliminary thoughts on LAX parts 1 and 2, written as and immediately after watching the first time through.  Click through to give a read. Read more…