Archive for the ‘Notes’ Category

Season Five in Review

Sunday, May 17th, 2009

Jacob falls. Jughead blows. Fade to white. Season five of “LOST” was a dizzying mix of sci-fi time travel, classic character flashbacks, and island mythology. All in all, a great ride, and one that has us hanging on for the sixth and final season in 2010. Though “The Transmission” is going to take a break for now, there’s too much to talk about to simply disappear into a magnetic pocket. We invite you to sound off on the season we’ve just seen, and continue the conversation with us and other listeners.

One More Show?

Depending on your interest, we may be able to assemble a “listener special” between the finale and Comic-Con in April. Of course, we want you to do all the hard work. You can share your thoughts here and via e-mail to lost@hawaiiup.com, but we’d love it if you’d contribute your voice via the new LostLine at (815) 310-0808. For best results, let us know who you are and where you’re from, and briefly answer one of the following questions:

  • What did you think of Season 5 overall?
  • What was your favorite moment… or least favorite moment?
  • Top unanswered question going into Season 6 (and your favorite answer)?
  • Favorite lines, quotes, or quips?

Even if a “listener special” doesn’t materialize, the comments here should offer great food for thought. Watch this space for news as Comic-Con approaches! As always, thank you for your support and participation. It makes everything worthwhile.

Next: “The Incident” (Episode 5-16/17)

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

The Season 5 finale gave us the widest view yet of what’s been unfolding on the The Island, and for that, I’m thrilled. But the Season 5 finale also honed in on some of our character’s most petty failings, and for that, we’re both somewhat annoyed. Frankly, Jen was livid. I like the suggestion that we’ve been watching only the latest round in a perpetual battle between light and dark — one in which our survivors finally opened a “loophole” for the dark forces to gain the upper hand. I don’t like the idea that the huge, dramatic, cataclysmic detonation of the Jughead core we’ve been building up to all season came only as the result of more twists in the “para-love-ogram.”

Let’s start with what I liked. Though “like” is dependent entirely on the foolhardy presumption that my interpretation of what we’ve seen with Jacob is right. Based solely on the opening scene, no less. To wit:

Jacob is light, goodness, benevolence. His nemesis, yet unnamed, is dark, petty, judgemental. Perhaps for an eternity, they have battled on The Island. But they cannot vanquish each other directly. The Island is largely the chess board, and the pieces are men. Imperfect, flawed humans. By the time the Black Rock arrives, they’ve been through the cycle many times. Jacob summoned another group, believing they might avoid self destruction. Darkness says, “It always ends the same.”

So the Black Rock, the Dharma Initiative, perhaps even The Others, and most certainly the survivors of Flight 815… each group came to the island, struggled over leadership, and self destructed.

Richard Alpert, perpetual advisor, serves Jacob by trying to guide and protect whomever is the leader: Eloise (who Richard called his leader in 1977), Ben (whom Richard and perhaps Jacob felt was ultimately an inadequate leader), and Locke (who Richard presumed to be special, even if it was Locke that gave him that idea in the first place). Darkness, meanwhile, acts through visions, or actually possessing the form of the dead. Christian Shephard. Alex. Perhaps Claire. And, yes, the late Locke, whom we now know isn’t Locke. We’ll call him Dark Locke.

Jacob is compassionate and feels for these flawed people. He visits them, literally touches them, perhaps merely knowing their path, or perhaps steering them. However the cycle ends, he knows it must end.

But something happened with Oceanic Flight 815. Something about this last cycle was different. And the why and how are, most likely, part of what awaits in Season Six. Nonetheless, the combination of The Incident, of Desmond turning the failsafe, of Eloise sending them back on Ajira 316 but scattering them through time — this whole convoluted series events, the entirety of the last five seasons of “LOST” — has led us to the loophole. The loophole that allowed Darkness to vanquish Jacob, with Ben as his instrument.

What is the loophole?

I can only guess by guessing at the rules. Only the leader can enter the temple. There can be only one leader. And the leader, essentially, decides who wins. Darkness, through manipulating the leader with visions and the reanimated dead, has probably brought the leader to Jacob dozens or hundreds of times. Each time, the leader has probably arrived, ready to reject and kill Jacob. But once inside, alone, Jacob appeals to the leader’s better self, gives them a choice, and they always choose light.

Darkness found his loophole through Locke. I’m not sure exactly when, but Locke had been the key for a while. Locke eventually died. And, yes, Locke is still dead. But with his body returned to the island, Darkness was able to take the form of Locke, becoming Dark Locke, and bewilder everyone  — including Ben and, curiously, Richard — with his knowledge of The Island. He asserts many times that he is the leader. And he repeatedly taunts Ben for never having made the cut with Jacob.

Dark Locke brings everyone to Jacob. He, the supposed leader, goes into Jacob’s lair, and insists on bringing Ben. Why? Because Ben is the leader. Ben’s been the leader ever since he returned on Ajira 316 and woke up in the infirmary, because Locke is still dead. That’s the loophole. And Dark Locke, having goaded Ben during the entire journey, looses his jealousy and insecurity and rage, and Ben, the leader, stabs Jacob and throws him into the fire.

The end?

Of course not. With his last breath, Jacob says, “They’re coming.” Who? My guess, perhaps obviously, is that “they” are everyone misplaced in time, back in 1977, who are near the Swan and subjected to the universe-twisting combination of electromagnetism and a hydrogen bomb blast. My guess for Season 6 is that everyone is reunited in 2007, but Darkness rules The Island, and the epic battle will be these imperfect, flawed humans trying to vanquish him.

But I could be completely wrong.

For example, where does the smoke monster fit? Is it an agent of Darkness? I’m inclined to think so, since it does stand in judgment of men, finding them unworthy and destroying them much as I imagine Darkness would. It could also be the agent through which Darkness assumes the form of the dead, such as both Alex and Dark Locke in the temple. Jen’s question, though, is how Ben became familiar enough with it to use it for his own means. It may be more likely that the smoke monster is a free agent.

Where do Bram and Ilana fit? Given the riddle, I guess they’re aligned with Alpert, and therefore presumably Jacob. What role will they play? I certainly hope it’s something more significant than teasing viewers with a mystery box for half a season. And if we now know that Ilana always knew Locke was in that box, she was obviously not surprised by seeing Dark Locke eating a mango in “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham.” How can she not be surprised by Dark Locke, but Alpert be apparently merely suspicious? And could they actually be agents of Darkness? After all, in the opening scene in the ancient past, it’s Darkness who calls Jacob “my friend.”

And if we’ve actually been watching pawns on a chess board, manipulated by Jacob and Darkness, it’d be somewhat disheartening to imagine that the longstanding battle between crafty and clever Ben and rich industrialist Charles Widmore is essentially insignificant. There has to be more to it.

Yet, Ben was goaded into killing Jacob after decades of servitude simply by becoming a petulant, whiny, sore loser. Juliet reverses herself halfway through the “Stop Jack” mission, simply because Sawyer looked at Kate funny. And Jack admits that his talk about destiny was all a crock: he wants to detonate a deadly hydrogen bomb simply because he blew it with Kate. Sayid is shot, valiantly rigs the bomb to go off on impact, but it doesn’t. Juliet dies, but doesn’t, but does, because Jack didn’t detonate the bomb, she did. And Miles gets the throwaway line about how their actions are creating the events they’re trying to stop… all bringing us to the big dramatic blast that wasn’t, because it was effectively “defused” by all the character machinations that led up to it.

The preceding paragraph is essentially why Jen went to bed angry. Here’s hoping she’s feeling a little more charitable by the time we record our podcast.

Notes and Notions:

  • Damon Lindeloff and Carlton Cuse hinted that the end of this Season 5 finale would be like the end of the Season 1 finale, and it was. Just as we saw nothing at the bottom of the hatch after Locke finally blew it open, we saw nothing after the bright white flash of Jughead. It’s a cliffhanger in only the faintest sense of the word. No tangible piece of what may come in Season 6 beyond “they’re coming.”
  • If the “what’s in the box” teases weren’t enough, what’s the deal with Hurley’s guitar case? We know Jacob gave it to him, which is great, but… really? Will we just not know? Or will it be blasted into 2007 alongside Hurley to taunt us in Season 6?
  • When Juliet said, “Live together, die alone,” didn’t you want to punch her in the face?
  • Juliet’s death was wrenching, but probably would’ve been moreso if she hadn’t essentially dumped Sawyer two scenes earlier. It doesn’t look good for Sayid, either. And while it was good to see Phil get skewered, I really felt Sawyer deserved to have his death under his belt, rather than a random pipe.
  • I’m not sure whether Jacob’s visits with all our characters were meant to direct them to their fates or change them. They made a point of showing him physically touch each of them, tapping Kate on the nose, holding young Sawyer’s hand a moment when handing him a pen. But it seems odd that Jacob helps revive Locke after falling from a high rise, but doesn’t do much more than give Jack an Apollo Bar.
  • I really liked how Rose and Bernard were handled, even if I’m pretty sure this is the last we’ll see of them (beyond perhaps more explicit confirmation that they’re the “Adam and Eve” skeletons from Season 1). Their dismay at being found was hilarious. They got the lives they always wanted, they retired from the cycle of violence, and they’re happy to die as long as they’re together. Aww…
  • We saw Vincent, too, but he’s now a mystery to me. If he survives the hydrogen bomb blast in 1977, he’s not likely to still be around in 2007. Unless he’s thrown through time along with Jack and friends. I can’t think of any other way Vincent makes it to the end of Season 6, as the creators seem to suggest he will.
  • I liked how Bram called Frank a “yahoo.” Since it turned out that Frank was only pretending to be unconscious, I would’ve enjoyed having him pop up to respond to the word like he did in Season 4. He also got the great line, “In my experience the people who go out of their way to tell you they’re the good guys are the bad guys.”
  • Talk about writing themselves out of a corner. Jughead already shrunk by several feet between “Jughead” and “Follow the Leader.” But after talking so much about its size and weight, turns out all we need is the core, which conveniently fits in a backpack. Now we can walk it over to the Swan!
  • Some of the flashbacks were so short, and linked so plainly to the scenes that followed, I would’ve rather not seen them. Juliet’s parents got divorced, so that’s why she dumps Sawyer! Sayid watched Nadia die in the street, so that’s why he’s ready to die after being shot! Jacob recruited Ilana, and Jacob put Hurley on Ajira 316! It felt off.
  • When Locke was thrown through the window, didn’t he bring a cascade of broken glass with him? The way he drops, singularly, with a thud before Jacob walks up seemed a bit strange. And were they suggesting Jacob saved Sayid’s life by pulling him back off the street?
  • I can forgive Miles’ anvilicious “what if this causes the incident” epiphany because he also had the great line after Jack said the plan is not to go back in time. “Right, because that would be ridiculous.”
  • Snarky Ben is fun. “I’m a Pisces.” Or, “I lied. It’s what I do.” Or when Sun asks Ben if he expects her to believe he doesn’t know about the statue. “Not really.”
  • I liked that Sun found Charlie’s Drive Shaft ring in Aaron’s old crib, and that Charlie was mentioned in Jacob’s conversation with Hurley (along with Libby). Interesting how some long lost characters still get shoutouts, while many others don’t.
  • Book: “Everything that Rises must Converge” by Flannery O’Connor. Interestingly, Jen’s working her way through an anthology of O’Connor short stories right now.
  • Locations: Too many to list completely. Sun and Jin got married at the Byodo-In Temple in Kaneohe. Locke fell out of the Waikiki Landmark highrise on Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki. Young Kate shoplifted from a small store near Haleiwa (the name escapes me at the moment, but we mentioned it on our podcast). Young Sawyer’s funeral was at a church in Ewa Villages. Hurley was released from the Oahu Community Correctional Center on Dillingham Blvd. Nadia was killed at the corner of Auahi and Kamani streets off Ward.

What did you think? Comment below, call the LostLine at (808) 356-0127, or e-mail us at lost@hawaiiup.com.

Next: “Follow the Leader” (Episode 5×15)

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

Each season, the penultimate episode is usually given the sad assignment of being the doormat for the season finale. And, like those that have come before, “Follow The Leader” had its share of trekking and shuffling and exposition, as the various chess pieces are moved into place for the final showdown. But as these “setup episodes” go, we really liked this one. Great character moments, solid conflicts, noticeably vibrant cinematography (about which we only periodically rave), and brisk pacing. We’re satisfied, and properly pumped up for next week.

True, we had not one, but two “recycled” moments last night. The first? They replayed the “Ellie Shoots Faraday” scene from Jack and Kate’s perspective. And to be honest, I briefly feared that the writers would pull a “magical moving bullet hole” trick, a la Ben. Instead, they went out of their way to show us that Faraday is truly dead… right down to the “hand over the eyes to close them” cliche that’s everywhere in movies and TV. But the second re-run moment was unexpected: Locke brings Ben and Richard to meet Flashing Locke at the drug plane. It was awesome to watch, but prompted the night’s biggest headache as we tried to plot out where and when Richard and Locke were, and when they knew what. Frankly, I wonder if they just wrote in the scene to solve the “infinite compass” question. Either way, though, it was fun to watch.

I loved Michael Emerson’s Ben this week, exasperated and snarky. His scenes with Locke were fun, yet significant, throwing the two “leaders” into sharp relief. I also liked the brief moments of chemistry between Ben and Alpert, both familiar and awkward. The scene where Hurley is outed as a time traveler was, of course, hilarious… especially since he’s stumped when asked who the president is in 1977. He asked that very question to Sawyer in “Namaste,” but Sawyer groused, “It’s not a damned game show.” But that same scene carried unexpected warmth, as well, when Miles admits to Dr. Chang that he’s his son… and Dr. Chang accepts it.

As far as chemistry goes, I was loving the interplay between Sawyer and Juliet. From the violent interrogation to their conversation on the dock (where Juliet says she’s still glad Sawyer talked her into staying, and he hatches a plan to get rich via Microsoft), it’s great how the show’s most out-of-the-blue coupling remains one of its most strong and mature.

Until, of course, Kate drops in, and is handcuffed next to Juliet, the two of them conveniently across from Sawyer. That moment was so cheap and forced, I actually thought I heard a cartoony needle-scratching-off-a-record sound effect in the back ground. And here I thought we’d at least make it out of Season 5 without returning to Season 1 romantic melodrama.

And I was just starting to warm up to Kate again, too. She’s assertive, skeptical, perceptive… a lot of the things she’s often not allowed to be for the sake of a twist. She’s the first (followed by Sayid) to point out that the last three years of their lives is not something to be discarded lightly. I liked her look of exasperation when Jack admits to being with Faraday, and her answer to Ellie when she asks whether Jack knows what he’s talking about: “He thinks he does.” She stands up to, and parts ways with, Jack, soon after delivering one of her best lines in recent memory: “Since when did shooting kids and blowing up hydrogen bombs become okay?” Evangeline Lilly’s acting was solid, not screechy, her glassy eyes tonight taking me back to Kate’s strong Season 1 moments. Alas, she then marches off… right back into a soap opera.

I’m certain that the fake-out, when Kate briefly thinks she’d been shot, is simultaneously a low- and high-point for those who aren’t a fan of her character.

And Locke. Something’s up with Locke. If Locke’s even Locke. Richard immediately notices something’s different about him, and I don’t think it’s because he has a “purpose” now. He’s confident and resolute, but he’s something else… and when he dismisses out of hand Sun’s hopes of reunification with Jin, I got a cold chill. And he wants to kill the allmighty Jacob, if he’s allmighty at all. Is doing so in service of a grand plan that Locke is executing? Perhaps. Or is it simply the folly of a man who thinks he’s ascended to a level higher than he has? There’s a dark side to the new-and-improved Locke. And while I said earlier that I didn’t think I could take one more rise-and-fall cycle for his long-tortured character, I feel as if another reckoning is coming for him.

Jen observed: Kate is turning into Jack, skeptical and assertive. Jack is turning into Locke, a blind believer. And Locke is turning into Ben, all-knowing but perhaps overconfident. My contribution? Sun is turning into Michael. Her one-dimensional “have you seen my husband” path of the last several episodes are becoming this season’s “Wa-a-a-a-a-alt!”

Finally, does Jack detonate Jughead? I’m still of the opinion that he doesn’t, or that whatever happens, it isn’t what you’d typically expect of a blast from a 40,000-pound hydrogen bomb. Indeed, tonight we learn that Jughead is actually parked right underneath Othersville. You know, the cozy cottages and grassy fields that still exist, intact, in 2007?

Notes and Notions:

  • “LOST” has good hair days, and bad hair days. It also has good special effects days, and bad special effects days. I have to say, the dramatic departure of the Galaga falls into the latter category. It was pretty weak, which I guess has to be expected given a weekly show and budget. It would’ve been better for us just to assume its departure based on the activity inside… but I guess they had to show the submarine under way else we draw the conclusion that it doesn’t move at all.
  • The casting for Younger Eloise is great. (As was the casting for Young Eloise in “Jughead.”) Alice Evans is absolutely believable as the precursor to stoic Mrs. Hawking. Her character’s struggle to process what Faraday said was great. And her motivations for helping Jack seem deliciously unclear. Does she really want to undo the death of a son she never knew? Or is the prospect of just blasting the Dharma Initiative to smithereens just too tempting?
  • In 2007, Alpert makes brief mention of another group of Others/Hostiiles at The Temple. Meanwhile, we know on Alcatraz (a.k.a. Hydra Island), Ilana and friends are up to something as well. I think both of these largely unexplored parties will play a key part in the season finale.
  • Sayid is back. He seemed to take the fact that Ben survived surprisingly well. I mean, he of anyone, now, should have a strong opinion as to whether what they’re doing (and what they’re about to do) is really changing anything at all.
  • So, Jack is seizing his moment. But Jen wonders, as do I, when his epiphany took place. He seemed to more roll into his current mission than blast off from a specific spark of inspiration or realization. I was expecting considerably more fireworks to celebrate the instant he decided to act.
  • Radzinkski is a vile man. And apparently can stage a coup just by telling Horace he’s in charge. At least we seem to know how his story ends, as a stain on the roof of his precious Swan. Given what Phil did to Juliet, I don’t suspect he’s long for this world, either.

What did you think? Please comment below, e-mail us at lost@hawaiiup.com, or leave a message on the LostLine at (808) 356-0127.

Next: “The Variable” (Episode 5×14)

Friday, April 24th, 2009

If the size of the post-thud headache is a reliable metric in evaluating the quality of an episode, “The Variable” may take top prize for Season 5. Jen and I are still trying to sort out the possibilities and impossibilities presented tonight. The man who preached emphatically that you can’t change the past finally returns, now emphatic that you can. Even our characters recognize the insanity of undoing everything that’s happened (essentially erasing the entirety of “LOST” to date). But just as Daniel Faraday gets rolling, he’s shot dead. By his mom. A mother who knew, in 2007, that he was sending his memory-addled son to that very fate.

My theory, such as it is? Faraday’s Jughead plan was doomed to failure, and will ultimately not change anything. But his death, his mother’s sacrifice, will instead be the key, the real “incident” that sets everything else in motion.

Why is Faraday wrong? Because he ended up telling Charlotte to leave the island, even though he didn’t want to, thereby closing the loop on one of his own “whatever happened, happened” moments. Because his supposedly radical conclusion — that people, and free will, are the key variables — is undercut by the fact that we’ve been shown that the meddling of our Losties in 1957 and 1977 were always part of the island’s history. And because, I think, we see him realize, with his last breath, what his mother was up to. He was never meant to go to the island to be healed or to save anyone. He simply had to die.

He simply had to die… for the first time. I’m struck by Eloise Hawking’s conversation with Penny, where she says with an obvious sense of wonder, “For the first time in a long time, I don’t know what’s going to happen next.” And she later tells Charles Widmore about sacrifice, about how she sent her son to the island knowing full well he would be killed (by her). Sacrificing her son, it seems, was something she only just barely found the strength to do. Something she’d never done before, which somehow allowed her to always know the future.

Yes, it’s still an attempt to change history, or change destiny, and I’m still not convinced it can be done. But if I ever suspected that Widmore and Hawking were playing at a wholly different level than any of the other characters, I’m convinced of it now. I only hope that whatever Hawking wants to change, it’s not erasing everything we’ve spent the last five years dissecting. That might be a bold move for the end of Season 5, but one that would ultimately be disheartening.

No question, the big questions raised in “The Variable” are worthy of a long conversation. But character wise, story wise, plot wise, it was… merely a good episode. One of those “set up” or “bridge” episodes, if you’ll pardon the expression. It brought a mix of reveals and confirmations, as we suspected Widmore might be Faraday’s father, and that Widmore planted the fake wreckage (meaning Miles’ chat with the dead guy in “Some Like It Hoth” was a fake out). The dramatic stakes were raised, once again via the separation of our Losties into two groups. We see things spiraling out of control, Faraday’s “four hour” countdown conveniently making the rest of the season a near real-time experience.

I was mostly disappointed in Faraday’s story. It simply felt rushed. We flew through his life, from his youth (torn away from the piano) to his graduation, through his experiments and expulsion from Oxford, to deciding to getting on the freighter. Theresa was but a mere blip, and the whole “Memento”-esque memory condition seemed awkwardly shoehorned in. (We did get our hint last season, though, via his memory test with Charlotte.) I mean, this is not the first time we’ve had an intriguing character with some key knowledge and connections… who ends up dying just when their significance begins to emerge (and at the end of a paint-by-numbers flashback episode).

Jen doesn’t want Faraday to be dead, but frankly, he better be. Another Ben-like resurrection at this point would be downright comical. I’d like to think we’ll still learn more about Faraday and his experiments (perhaps in flashbacks for Hawking or Widmore). His still unexplained tears at the sight of the fake wreckage suggests to me that, in true “Constant” fashion, a part of Miles’ scrambled brain was already in touch with his future self.

Notes and Notions:

  • Jaters rejoice? Sawyer asks “Freckles” to come with him to the beach to start over, and Juliet immediately gives up the code to the sonic fence. Sawyer asks if Juliet still has his back, and her response is only to ask if he’s got her back. If they’re going to go back down that path, I only hope they save it for Season 6.
  • I liked how young piano-playing Faraday told his mother that he could “make time.” Or how he, back on the island, knew when Dr. Chang would arrive at The Orchid, “right on time.”
  • We still haven’t seen Jack’s “moment,” but it was amusing how he noted that it was lucky he was a janitor when they suddenly needed the keys to the gun safe. As one of our listeners noted weeks ago, maybe that was always Sawyer’s plan.
  • Speaking of moments, Jack’s little speech to Kate about hers was pretty anvilicious. We know the both of them have yet to fulfill some grand plan, but to have that spelled out so melodramatically was jarring.
  • Tonight brought a great reminder that some of our Losties spent some time in the 1950s, with Hurley’s line, “Like, Fonzie time?”
  • Sawyer’s still got it in the nickname department. “Twitchy” suits frantic Faraday just fine. Bonus points for the straight-faced delivery of the line, “Your mother is an Other?”
  • Not to be outdone, Miles tells Faraday, “I thought you’d gotten rich inventing the DVD or something.”
  • Any numerologists want to sort out the significance of 141717?
  • Locations: Oxford was, again, St. Andrew’s in downtown Honolulu. The Indian restaurant where Daniel got his notebook was Grand Cafe on Pauahi St. Can’t place the “Marina Medical Center.”

We definitely need help untangling this 100th episode of “LOST.” Please comment below, e-mail lost@hawaiiup.com, or call the LostLine at (808) 356-0127.

Next: “Some Like It Hoth” (Episode 5×13)

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

After aligning herself with the minority in being disappointed in last week’s episode, Jen said tonight that she loved “Some Like It Hoth.” We both agreed it was hardly a deep, rich exploration of characters and mythology. It was a generous helping of fan fodder, chock full of little epiphanies and truly golden one-liners to keep us grinning throughout. Wrapped in the comfortable and traditional flashback structure, we finally get some of Miles’ backstory. We cross a few items off the “mystery” checklist. We get a glimpse of the coming “war” and the likely collapse of our survivors’ DHARMA ruse. And at the closing thud, Dan Faraday returns, likely with a hell of a story to tell… in two weeks.

First, the fun stuff. The unlikely buddy team of Hurley and Miles was as great as we’d imagined (and as was hinted during the time travel debate a couple of weeks ago). Miles was the straight man, but still wickedly wry. And Hurley was in top form. From stopping global warming to pre-writing “The Empire Strikes Back,” from possibly bringing us the closest to a “fart joke” we’ve ever seen on this show to his gleeful meddling between Dr. Chang and Miles, Jorge Garcia has never been more funny, and perfectly in sync with “LOST” fans. Was it a bit much? A touch of pandering? Jen doesn’t think so… though I can see how a grumpier fan looking for more forward motion might have felt a bit annoyed.

I thought Miles’ journey was well presented, though necessarily compressed. Tortured by his ability as a child, he grew to exploit it. He was also, like just about everyone on “LOST,” simmering with daddy issues. (Jen and I agreed, young punk Miles was wonderfully depicted.) Bram’s pitch in the black van didn’t penetrate his armor, but Hurley’s “Star Wars” metaphor at the DHARMA van did. And the scene where he sees his father reading to him was powerful. Dr. Chang has consistently been depicted as a grouch (and a “douche”), a reputation that even guarded Miles must have been familiar with. So to suddenly see him genuinely happy, perhaps only when he’s with baby Miles, said a lot. When Dr. Candle comes out to tell older Miles that he needs him? When Miles’ voice falters? Yeah, they got me.

Did Dr. Candle throw his wife and son out, or off the island? I’m thinking no. Perhaps she fled with baby Miles. But from what?

As for the reveals? They were doled out with great efficiency. Miles is Dr. Chang’s infant son. It’s possible to see yourself in the past (but physical contact may still be a problem). Miles wanted $3.2 million from Ben as he was trying, for the second time, to double his money from Widmore. Widmore was genuinely investigating the faked plane wreckage… though whoever was behind it is still unclear. And is that mysterious person or group behind trying to talk Miles out of joining Naomi’s expedition? Because that entity is also behind Ilana’s mission in 2007 (linked by the brilliantly-named Bram).

“The Reconstituted DHARMA Initiative” of the futurepresent is as good a theory as any.

It was a fun ride. But the path ahead looks to be a deliciously treacherous one. First of all, Kate is back to form, flapping her gums and toppling the first domino of doubt that’ll likely lead to our survivors’ expulsion from the DHARMA Initiative. And, yes, Daniel Faraday is back, returning from Ann Arbor as a Swan-assigned DHARMA scientist. How and why he ended off island will be almost as interesting to explore as what he’s ultimately up to. We only know he arrived, broken, in Othersville in 1974, and sometime later got inside The Orchid just as the frozen wheel was discovered. Is he trying to change something? We’re told “whatever happened, happened,” but if anyone’s going to break that particular rule, it’s him.

  • Favorite Hurley moment? His interaction with Dr. Chang where they discus polar bear feces. Favorite Hurley line? “It all could have been avoided if they just… communicated.” No truer words are there for “LOST” — or for just about any dramatic story.
  • I can’t wait for Jack to find his moment, to be “activated” a la Ilana… because his shuffling around is seriously getting on my nerves. The scene where he delivers his intel to Sawyer then quietly walks out left me scratching my head. And his defense of Kate to Roger was pretty weak. What could he have said to chill Roger out? How about, “She had a son, but lost him. She doesn’t ever want to talk about it. She just feels deeply for Ben, and for you.”
  • Lots of numbers in this episode, including (finally) the numbers, being stamped into the hatch. There was the $1.6 and $3.2 million, of course, and the 3:16 on the microwave in the opening scene. Mr. Vonner was found dead in apartment four. They also clearly showed Miles’ older, bedridden mother lived in apartment 7… but earlier it seemed as if she came running from an apartment a few doors down from apartment 104.
  • Music was prominent in this episode, too. Albert Hammond’s “It Never Rains In Southern California” and Captain & Tennille’s “Love Will Keep Us Together.” Plus a reference to Miles Davis. Dr. Chang loves country (hence “Shotgun Willie” in the opening scene of Season 5).
  • Locations: The apartment complex and the taco stand are both in Aiea, makai of Pearlridge, next to Pearl Kai Shopping Center.

Please comment below, e-mail us at lost@hawaiiup.com, or call the LostLine at (808) 356-0127 by Friday, April 17.

Upcoming: Season 4 in Review

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

Now that we’ve had a month to fully process the wild ride that was Season 4 of “LOST,” Jen and I plan to return for a wrap-up edition of “The Transmission.” From “The Beginning of the End” to “There’s No Place Like Home,” how does Season 4 stand among the rest? We’d love to hear your take. What were the low points and high points? The biggest twists? The smallest details? What questions loom the largest for the two seasons that lie ahead, and what answers do you think will ultimately be delivered? Comment below, or call the LostLine at (808) 356-0127!

Ahead in the hiatus, we’ll definitely be reporting on and from ComicCon, and hopefully putting together a mix of “LOST” reports, from revisiting past seasons to dissecting a character or two. Of course, “LOST” production resumes in August, so stay tuned for some early reports from The Island!

The Hiatus: What Should We Do?

Sunday, June 1st, 2008

The fantastic finale closed out Season Four in grand style, but it also marked the beginning of yet another long, dark hiatus before “LOST” returns in 2009. What’s a “LOST” fan to do? Jen and I are taking a break as well, but there’s some good stuff on the horizon. In July, we’ll be traveling to San Diego to attend Comic Con, where we’ll join other “LOST” podcasters and fans and hopefully hear some great “LOST” news. We’ve also signed on to contribute to “The Jay and Jack Show.” But beyond that, what do you want to hear from us (if anything at all)?

Many listeners have asked to see “HawaiiUP” revived, the Hawaii-focused podcast that begat “The Transmission.” I’ve been fond of the suggestion that we break Jen’s short segments out into their own show: “The Pith of Pop” podcast, which would tackle music, movies, TV, and other pop culture goodness. But as far as “LOST” talk goes, there are lots of possibilities. We could cover episodes from Season 2 and Season 3. We could do a “LOST” book club, examining individual books referenced in the show. Or, we could examine “LOST” characters one at a time, or “LOST” themes (from music to names to literary references). What’s your pleasure?

There’s No Place Like Home – Parts 2 and 3

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

We’re spent. It may just be the shock of the final reveal (and the exploding and disappearing and everything else), but I’m putting this season’s finale as the best yet. Oh, there was a big giant Pandora’s box or two opened, and the requisite handful of new nagging questions, but in terms of delivering a dramatic punch, a full sprint of plot and action, and major pointers as to the mythological direction of “LOST,” we couldn’t have asked for more. Every strength of the show was serviced tonight, and the only downside to this high is the inevitable crash tomorrow. We’ll have to wait more than seven months to pick up where we left off.

And I do think we will move forward, now, from the near present. Perhaps even the true present. (No issues with Walt’s age, now.) Mr. Bentham’s ominous tale of how things went south on the island after the Oceanic Six escaped perfectly sets up the island as flashback territory… the clever inverse of the first three seasons. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Ben turned the wheel and moved the island, a mind-boggling action that also comes with another rule: whoever invokes the measure of last resort “can’t” return. We also know from his arm injury that he goes straight from the deep Earth chamber to the desert of Tunisia. We see how the Oceanic Six come together and get off the island, and also the setup for their return. We see Sawyer sacrifice himself after a smooch that no doubt gave shippers a thrill, but we also see Desmond and Penny reunited — the kiss of the whole show, bar none. And we finally learn who was in the coffin.

Jen is immensely relieved to learn who was in the coffin. She demanded to know, out loud, every ten minutes during the last hour of the finale. Considering that Season 1 left us looking down a mysterious hatch, even I was convinced until the very last moment that they just might go there… the just might leave us hanging. And we both wouldn’t have guessed who Mr. Bentham turned out to be.

Jen’s also convinced that Jin is dead. I have to admit, it looks pretty dire. He does have a couple of things going for him, though. One, Sun is convinced enough of his possible survival that she’s going to engage in some pretty big corporate shenanigans with Charles Widmore. Two, just like the three gunshots that were supposed to have robbed us of Jin, Sayid and Bernard on the beach, I don’t think any “off-screen deaths” have really stuck. Hell, on-screen deaths don’t stick. (At least Keamy’s sudden reappearance got a token explanation.) With Locke apparently going back as carry-on luggage, after all, his story is obviously not done. Look at what happened with the last person Jack transported in a coffin.

For all the big details, though, it’s the little things that made tonight’s episode so satisfying. The way the episode opened at the exact moment Season 3 ended (tires screeching with the quick fade to black). Hurley’s awkward greeting for Jack, and real gratitude to Sawyer for coming back for him. Locke’s confidence with Jack (“Just watch what I’m about to do”) but befuddlement with anthuriums. The way Michael released Jin to be a father, and the way the island finally released him. The way Ben… did everything, from referencing time-traveling bunnies to the utterly cold way he reacted to dooming the freighter. Miles’ scolding from Rose, and cryptic message for Charlotte, who almost instantly becomes the new character whose story we’re desperate to hear.

Too many great moments to mention. With our minds spinning, we’re simply reduced to bullet points.

Notes and Notions:

  • The conversation between Jack and Locke goes to the very heart of the overall “LOST” story arc. If you haven’t recently revisited the conversation mentioned tonight, from the episode “White Rabbit,” you should read it again. And remember, that was Season 1, Episode 5.
  • What is Sun up to? Helping Mr. Widmore, or duping him? The why, at least, seems pretty clear. But she’s right, the Oceanic Six weren’t the only ones that got off the island. And joining Ben in the bonus set are Frank and Desmond.
  • Locke’s pseudonym off island was Jeremy Bentham. Philosopher, yes. Also a guy who willed his body to be put on display. It’s still in a glass case at University College London.
  • Hurley’s mention of Mr. Eko was a nice touch, because I do sometimes get the sense that there are parts of the show’s past that they’d rather we just forget.
  • The moment you heard Sayid’s voice at the car window, you knew that guy was toast. And of course his time of death was 8:15.
  • More Sawyer nicknames, from “Sundance” for Jack to “Kenny Rogers” for Frank. And… shirtless on a beach with a pretty lady and a bottle of rum? It’s fanfic time.
  • What happened to Daniel and his boatload of socks (or redshirts or background)? Are they stranded? Or, since “Alcatraz” apparently went with the main island, could they have gone along for the ride as well?
  • Jack officially has a musical motif (along with Kate’s Patsy Cline). His last drive to the funeral parlor showed us his appreciation for “Nirvana.” Tonight, he rocked his way out to the big reveal with “The Pixies.”
  • Yeah, so that was the “Frozen Donkey Wheel.” Ha ha. How literal and clever! Can we go back to metaphors for the next big twist?

A year ago, when we were similarly left stunned by the Season 3 finale, I wrote: “Suddenly I’m willing to entertain even the most ridiculous, crack-pot theories. Because I have no idea where ‘LOST’ will take us next.” I am still happily along for the ride.

And Jen wrote: “Season 3 of Lost, to me, is one of the best seasons of television ever.” And Season 4 tops that.

There’s No Place Like Home

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

The overall design of Season 4 has been genius, as the introduction of flash forwards have set us up for a most unique of season finales. We’re building to a climax from both the past and the future, and the energy seems fittingly magnified. Yet for all the tension coming to a head on the island, two off-island scenes tonight really stood out for me: the reunification of the Oceanic 6 and their families on the tarmac here in Honolulu, and Claire’s mom revealing to Jack that he had (or has) a sister. The latter because it’s a reveal that we knew was inevitable, but was still so pitch perfect it had me holding my breath. Matthew Fox was fantastic, showing the brutal impact of the devastating news in his face, and still again we know things that Claire’s mom and Kate so far don’t. As for their arrival in Hawaii, it was a powerful reminder of how “LOST” defies expectations. Here’s a scene we all had in our heads as the last scene of the entire series: some, but not all, of the crash survivors make it off the island. Yet we still have two more seasons to go. (more…)

Cabin Fever

Thursday, May 8th, 2008

The beautiful paradox of “LOST” is that, tonight, we have an episode that told us so much. Yet ultimately, at its core, the revelations are simple, basic, cutting right to the heart of the show we’ve loved for four years now. The quiet contentedness with which Ben shared Hurley’s candy bar said it all… without a single line. Tonight we saw the passing of the torch, the beginning of the next era for the island, and one that — perhaps foretold by Locke’s childhood choice of the knife — will be a tumultuous one. “Cabin Fever” directly takes us back to “Walkabout” from Season 1, the first episode to blow our minds, the first episode to put us on notice that “LOST” was up to something big. Locke’s destiny has been waiting for him since birth. Through immaturity, circumstance, and stubborn choice, he rejected that fate. But after a season of insecurity and confusion, it looks like he’s finally on track. Just in time to face an oncoming armageddon, a torching of the island. (more…)