Desperate Straits and Disparate Locations

May 26, 2008

Okay, so I stole this title from the latest podcast, but thought it very accurately describes the situation each of the LOSTies face at the end of “There’s No Place Like Home” – Part 1.

Season Four has been outstanding thus far and I don’t expect anything less from parts 2 and 3 of the finale. We’re finally going to learn who is in the coffin, how they get off the island, why they are lying about their time on the island, why Aaron is with Kate, what happens to the non-Oceanic 6 LOSTies, and we’ll get to see a couple of characters we haven’t seen in quite some time. If you want to be “spoiled”, go view the listing of guest stars on IMDB.

LOST is “only” a television show, but it’s the closest thing to reading a really good novel that I’ve ever seen in a television show or a movie. It’s also such an amazing journey into human experiences that I personally can’t watch it without somehow relating to the experiences and hopefully learning an important lesson in the process.

So where are we and when are we? Here’s a recap:

• The Oceanic 6 hold a news conference and we hear the fake story of their time on the island and their rescue. Watch the re-run of part 1 before parts 1 and 2 for an extended version of this episode where we’ll see a couple of additional questions being answered by the Oceanic 6 Liars.

• Kate has no one for her back home…except Aaron who has her.

• Jack has his mom and eventually Kate until he starts to “lose it”. He also finds out that Claire is his half-sister, which makes him Aaron’s Uncle. What an excellent little scene. I think it’s safe to assume that he told Kate afterwards.

• Sayid had no one until Nadia finds him after the news conference and he’ll eventually have no one again when she is murdered by Bakir and he starts to work for Ben.

• Hurley has his family, a surprise party, and the return of the numbers on his cars odometer. I love that Cheech is his dad and loved the island theme for his party including the “whispers”.

• Sun will eventually have Ji Yeon, but what a surprising scene between her and her dad. I didn’t see that one coming at all – using her Oceanic money to buy a majority share in Paik Industries. Whoa!

• Daniel uses his nifty notebook to conclude that they all need to get the hell off the island, but does he really understand what The Orchid station will do? Remember, moving the island could mean to another time, not necessarily another place. Also, if they move it, won’t they move Keamy and his men as well?

• There’s a HUGE bomb on the freighter that everyone’s being shuttled to. Umm, WTF?

• Sun and Aaron are on the freighter.

• Kate and Sayid are being held at gunpoint by Ageless Alpert and the Others (sounds like a good band name to me) and they are all heading to The Orchid to presumably assist Ben in some way.

• Jack and Sawyer are heading to help rescue Hurley, but they’re going to find out that they’ll be rescuing a few other folks as well.

• Locke needs to take an elevator down into The Orchid and move the island, but has no idea what that means.

• That pretty much puts the Oceanic 6 ALL over the place – disparate locations and the desperate straits should be pretty obvious.

The most interesting emotion for me after watching this episode is how I feel about Ben. Anyone who reads this knows I love the actor and the character is awesome, but I found myself rooting for him and his survival even though he’s the “bad” guy. Perhaps he really is the “good” guy.

I debated even writing a blog this week; especially since the 3-part finale will air back-to-back-to-back on Thursday, but I figured why not try and add to the excitement a little. I have lots of speculation as to what might happen, but little to no idea if my theories will come to pass or how the writers are going to unfold the story and fit everything into these final two hours.

We will undoubtedly also be left with MANY more/new questions along with a killer cliffhanger in order to keep us frustrated and anxious to see the Season Five premiere in January 2009. How can you avoid the frustration? Anticipate that you won’t learn the answers to EVERYTHING and that there will only be 34 episodes remaining until the SERIES finale in 2010.



“Destiny is a Fickle Bitch”

May 11, 2008

John Locke and Benjamin Linus seem to be in agreement about one thing for sure; that they are not alike. They’re both wrong. John doesn’t want to believe that he is capable of making some of the decisions that Ben does. Ben is jealous of John and has been reluctant to admit that his time as the island’s chosen one is coming to an end.

Ben seems to come around in this episode and says things to John like; “I used to have dreams.” “I was told a lot of things too. That I was chosen, that I was special.” and “My time is over.” Ben is angry though and seems to be losing his faith as we have seen happen to John on occasion. I guess that’s what happens when you end up with a tumor on your spine and your daughter’s blood on your hands. As he says, “Destiny is a fickle bitch!”

Locke’s flashback was very revealing and brings to mind the journey of self discovery. Any Buddhist will urge you to “remember the journey” as you are living your life so that you can better understand how you came to be the person you are in the present. The next time he loses faith, he needs to remind himself of everything that he has overcome.

I have to tell you that more than any other LOST episode; this one had my head spinning.  I watched it again this morning and couldn’t believe how much there was going on. Here’s my best attempt at a re-cap:

• Emily Locke gave birth to Locke when she was only 6 months pregnant after she was hit by a car. She was dating an “older man”, who we assume is “Sawyer” (not James Ford), but are later led to believe that Richard Alpert might possibly be his father. I don’t think this is true though. I just think the “never-aging” Alpert was there to watch over baby Locke.

• A young backgammon-playing Locke is paid a visit by Alpert and fails a little game of “pick what already belongs to you”. He correctly selects a compass and what appears to be a vial of sand (or something like that), but then he picks a knife and Alpert tells him that it’s not his and that he’s not ready. I personally think he was supposed to choose the ‘Book of Laws’. He may not have been “ready”, but he was quite the little artist with that excellent drawing of the smoke monster.

• A teenage Geronimo Jackson listening Locke gets beat up in school and stuffed in lockers. When one of his teachers encourages him to go to science camp at Mittelos (lost time) labs and tells him he can’t be the prom king or quarterback, he replies in typical Locke fashion by saying, “Don’t tell me what I can’t do.”

• A crippled Locke is led back to his room via wheelchair by Matthew (I’m a lot more than an orderly) Abbadon who encourages him to go on the Australian walkabout (journey of self discovery), which eventually leads him to take doomed Oceanic Flight 815.

• Horace Goodspeed appears in Locke’s dream wearing a DHARMA Arrow station patch and keeps cutting down the same tree. Apparently, Horace had built Jacob’s cabin for himself and Olivia (his wife).

• I almost named this blog ‘Backgammon and Mallomars”. Why Mallomars? Because when Locke wakes up from his dream and wakes up Hurley, Hurley mumbles, “Mallomars”. Maybe next episode we’ll get to see what Hurley was dreaming. Just kidding.

• So, what is strapped to Keamy’s arm? LOSTpedia says that it appears to be a modified metronome, which is any device that is used to measure a beat or pulse. Perhaps it’s like a heart rate monitor and if Keamy is killed, something will blow up. By something, I mean whatever he’s bringing back to the island in order to “torch it”. I say this because right after Keamy kills the doctor and the captain pulls out his gun, Keamy holds out his arms and says, “I don’t think you want do that, Captain.”

• I used to think the captain was a bad guy, but now I have to lump him in with Lapidus and the other four because of the help he gives to Sayid/Desmond and the fact that he stood up to Keamy.

• The secondary protocol documents that Keamy opened up with Captain Gault’s key had the same DHARMA logo as the logo on the jacket Ben was wearing in Tunisia. I still believe this to be the Orchid station logo.

• Just a thought – Michael should start taking advantage of the fact that he can’t die.

• You have to wonder if Walt and Aaron are the next “chosen ones”. It would make sense, especially in the case of Walt.

• I like Frank Lapidus a lot. He may very well be the reason why the LOST beach dwellers end up surviving, assuming most of the non-Oceanic 6 survives.

• So…Christian Shepherd is Jacob’s spokesperson now? Interesting. Is he dead or is he alive? I know Jack identified his body in the morgue, but I’m not convinced he’s a ghost. And what’s the deal with Claire looking very content in the cabin and not at all concerned about Aaron’s whereabouts? We’re just supposed to accept that Aaron is “where he’s supposed to be” and that it’d be better that Locke not anyone that he saw her. I guess that’s all part of Locke keeping his faith.

• Perhaps the biggest question in this very mythological episode is, “how do you move an island?” Before we question whether or not it’s even possible to physically move any land mass, you can check out this link with regards to continental drift – Yes, it’s possible; however it would take thousands of years to move the island even a few feet. This answer should be interesting, to say the least. Maybe Locke and Ben need to click their heels three times and chant, “There’s no place like home.” Hey, isn’t that the name of the two-part, three-hour finale?

Finally, I think I may have witnessed my favorite comical scene throughout the first four seasons and there was no dialogue at all. We’ll just call it, “The Hurley/Ben Apollo Bar scene”. I’m still laughing.

There’s no place like home!

“Ah, that’s the Great Puzzle”

May 5, 2008

As Jack reads Alice in Wonderland to his Nephew on the evening of August 31, 2007, he seems so happy and at peace, however the words he is reading really summarizes what everyone on LOST Island (and most of us) has been going through since the show began. The words he reads are:

“I wonder if I’ve been changed in the night? Let me think. Was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I’m not the same, the next question is ‘Who in the world am I?’ Ah, that’s the great puzzle!”

Life experiences have a way of changing people, however not everyone has the self-awareness to truly learn from those experiences and help themselves from having the same emotional reactions to events that keep repeating in different ways throughout their lives.

Jack is a prime example of this type of person. There is probably no greater life-altering experience someone can have than to survive a plane crash, be stranded on an island, and eventually return back to the world you once knew. That return is the equivalent of crossing the Rubicon or the point of no return, where you make a conscious choice to “save” yourself.

The second chance that comes with an experience such as that is an opportunity that most people never receive. Jack seems like he’s got it all together and then suddenly the old reactions to similar experiences start to rear their ugly head. The biggest examples of these for Jack include turning to alcohol (and pain killers) like his father before him as well as the jealousy that comes from not trusting in the love of someone he cares very deeply for because he “can’t let go” of the past.

True self-awareness is not only knowing who you are, but also knowing who you are becoming and why you feel and act as you do. That awareness provides the opportunity to change and create the life you want.

I really feel for Jack and I’m rooting for him to find himself. The pre-season 4 promos said, “Find Yourself”. Perhaps Jack will finally do so in season 5.

Here’s a re-cap of other events from this outstanding episode:

• I was thinking exactly what Rose ended up saying to Bernard about Jack’s illness, “Why did he get sick? Here, they get better.” I’m sure we’ll find out some logical reason why and it will hopefully explain how Ben got his tumor as well.
• I found it interesting that Jack told everyone to be patient when he reminded them that he promised he’d get them all off the island.
• In the opening off-island scenes, I loved the millennium falcon toy, the newspaper headline, which helped us establish a date, and the appendix scar that you can see in Jack’s mirror reflection. Details!
• The new timeline established by the actual game between the Yankees and Red Sox tells us that Jack’s breakdown that we watched in the season 3 finale must occur in the fall of 2007, three years after the crash of Flight 815. It was originally speculated that that flash-forward was in April of 2007, but there’s been much online debate about the accuracy.
• Sawyer really does seem to be taking on much more of a big brother role with his island friends lately and with no obvious benefit to himself.
• I like the character of Miles. I don’t like him, but I like the character. I just hope that finding the dead bodies of Karl and Danielle Rousseau doesn’t mean that we’ll never get a Danielle flashback or at least see what happened to her fellow castaways who “got sick”.
• I liked Jack’s line to Hurley, “Just because I’m happy doesn’t mean that this isn’t real.” Hurley’s reply, “I was happy too Jack, for a while anyway.”
• When Hurley delivers Charlie’s message to Jack, “You’re not supposed to raise him, Jack”, we’re finally reminded of the season one episode titled ‘Raised By Another’. In that episode, we learn that Claire went to a psychic (Malkin) who warned her that danger surrounds her baby if he is parented by anyone else and that, “There is no happy life for this child, not without you.” Eventually Malkin sets Claire up on Flight 815 by telling her a family in Los Angeles is willing to adopt the child, but there really was no family in Los Angeles and Malkin knew the plane would crash and she would be forced to raise her own child.
• On top of that eerie message from Charlie, Jack and Claire are both visited separately by their father who sets off into the jungle with Claire and Aaron only to leave Aaron for Sawyer to find. Now, my first conclusion was that this was how they were going to explain the separation of Claire from Aaron instead of killing her off, but the preview for next week clearly shows Claire sitting back on the beach with Rose, Sun, and Aaron.
• There was a subtle comment made between Charlotte and Daniel that I found interesting when they are in the medical station (The Staff). Dan says, “Where do you suppose all this power comes from?”
• I was glad to see that Lipidus seems to be a good guy and I still think that even though Miles, Daniel and Charlotte are somewhat shady characters, they aren’t anywhere near as dangerous as the other folks on the freighter.
• Charlotte speaks Korean. I didn’t see that one coming, but how about Jin making sure that Sun and their baby get off the island even if it means he doesn’t. He may still be alive in the future!?
• The title of the episode was delivered by Bernard to Jack during the surgery when he says, “wouldn’t you rather be dreaming about ‘something nice back home’?”
• It seems pretty obvious to me that Kate must be doing something for Cassidy and/or Clementine (Sawyer’s daughter) and promised Sawyer that she wouldn’t tell anyone else about what she was doing, including Jack. I can understand Jack’s suspicion, but Kate’s plea for him to trust her should have been enough considering everything they have been through.
• How about Juliet’s conversation with Kate post-op? She says Jack kissed her because he was trying to convince himself that he doesn’t love someone else (Kate). To me, it was even more significant that Juliet knew Jack was awake to hear it.

Okay, this next episode is called ‘Cabin Fever’. The preview shows a blue schematic map that includes the word CABIN on it and the preview also shows us Horace Goodspeed who says that he may not be making any sense because he’s been dead for 12 years. To remind you, Horace is the one who helped deliver Ben and eventually brought Ben and his father Roger to the island to join the DHARMA initiative. He was killed during the purge, which we now have a timeline for. Subtract 12 years from the crash year and it happened in 1992. That’s assuming that a dead person speaking to Locke in a preview understands time in the afterlife.

The preview also seems to show Sayid sitting next to Juliet on the beach, which means he’s off the freighter.

Hold on over the next few weeks because we’re going to find out a LOT, but we’re also going to be furious about the eight month hiatus we’ll have to endure.


The Hunt Is On

May 1, 2008

I apologize for the delay in posting this blog. I have a pinched nerve in my upper back and it’s actually painful to sit at the computer and type for more than a few minutes at a time. So as a result, I’m going to just give a bulleted re-cap of last week instead of a philosophical analysis of the dramatic events. Wait? Did I just hear a sigh of relief?

– A new station, presumably The Orchid, can transport “things” off the island to certain destinations (and through time). In this case, it was Ben to Tunisia wearing a parka that belongs to Edgar Halliwax (AKA – Marvin Candle/Mark Wickmund). This most likely explains the polar bear skeleton from a previous episode. You have to wonder if there are other off-island locations that “things” can be transported to/from.

– Claire is still alive…for now.

– Ben’s secret room has a secret room with hieroglyphics on its door.

– Ben can control, or at least beckon the smoke monster.

– Ben REALLY cared about Alex.

– The freighter doctor is dead (island time), but still alive (freighter time).

– “When” is a kind of a relative term.

– James Ford (Sawyer) is really becoming very protective of people he would never have cared for or called friends before coming to the island, even at the risk of his own life.

– Sayid found and married Nadia after being rescued only to help bury her less than a year later. This starts to explain why he’s working for Ben in the future.

– Ben, Locke, and Hurley are off to see the wizard (Jacob). I say wizard because the two-part, three-hour finale is called, “There’s No Place Like Home”.

– The “rules” have changed.

– Ben is going to hunt down and kill Charles Widmore’s daughter Penny, also known as Desmond’s constant, while Charles continues to hunt for the island.

– Bernard knows Morse code.

– Jack is sick. Maybe it has something to do with not having any episodes that focus on him yet this year. Seriously though, he is very sick and this next episode IS Jack-centric and should reveal more about why he’s popping Oxycodone like Lay’s potato chips in the future (April 2007).