29 October 2010

Remember that guy who was in that movie?

So I'm a little out of practice with the blogging, but I want to get back into the swing. Future topics may include a retrospective on the "answers" that came out of the final season of Lost, fictional press releases for a fictional band, and and exploration of the modern "Girl Friday," who is best embodied by Jack Bauer's trusty techno-hag, Chloe O'Brian.

For now, though, I'm gonna just ease back into it, and here's how: You know when you see a movie or episode of your favorite show, and one of the actors looks familiar? Happens to me all the time. Usually what I do is get on IMBD and look him/her up. What I want to do here is give those guys a little free publicity. They are not the stars, at least not now, but, really, where would Schwarzenegger be right now if he didn't have "Thug #2" to kick around?

For instance, Michael Emerson wasn't always Benjamin Linus, or even Henry Gale. He played villains in two separate episodes of two different Law and Order series, the first of which was an habitual liar and manipulator who cared for nothing more than keeping his precious house of cards from falling down. Sound like someone we know? In the first installment of the Saw series, he played an orderly in the hospital where John Kramer was getting his cancer treatments, and served as the red herring for most of the climax of the film.

Speaking of John Kramer, aka Jigsaw, the actor who played him did a lot of bit parts before becoming a genre idol in those much-maligned Saw films. Tobin Bell played bit parts in The X-Files, Stargate SG-1, Nash Bridges, ER, Alias, The West Wing, and had quite a memorable role in the Sopranos as an admissions counselor at a military academy. "2100, lights out. What's missing? Give Up? Television."

He first came to my attention in season 2 of 24, as the season-ending villain Peter Kingsley, a cold, calculating man who had been hired by unnamed business interests to blow up a nuke in LA. The success Bell is enjoying now is long-earned and well-deserved.

So that's it; watch this space for more...

23 October 2010

This used to be so easy....

I would just sit down and the words would flow out of my hands with hardly any input from me. The gunslinger would understand; the curtain comes down and the hands take over and work on their own. Now, I can't think of anything to say. It's a fucking chore is what it is. Am I bored? Complacent? Out of practice? Have my 35 years made me dumb? Have I grown soft on wicked rock bands and horror movies?

08 June 2010

The real ending of lost:

There was a fake rumor that turned into a running joke on the Lost podcasts: that the show would have a mysterious 7th season, known as the zombie season. No one took it really seriously, but, in retrospect, the idea is worth considering. Maybe they did make a zombie season: season 6. Think about it: all the main characters in 1977 were at ground zero when Jughead went off, and those in the present were all clustered around the statue with the Smoke Monster inside. Everyone died and went to the alternate timeline/afterlife, but before their souls left the Island, they had a shared hallucination about fighting the Man In Black.

It's not a real theory, and if you think about it, it falls apart very quickly. It's just my rational mind trying to make sense of how disappointing season 6 was. Sure, there was the temple massacre, and the Richard flashback, and Desmond's "Dr. Manhattan" moment, but it just sort of fell flat in the end. The alternate timeline was pretty cool, and I'm not against the idea that it was the afterlife, per se; they just spent WAY too much time on it. They could have introduced the alt about 6 episodes from the end and accomplished the same level of emotional resonance. In the original timeline, the whole cork thing at the end seemed way too easy, and it didn't even respect the rules about the Source established 2 episodes earlier. Mother said going into the light meant a fate worse than death, and we saw it was true when the cave gave birth to Smokey. Jack, however, and Desmond had no problem. I know, Desmond's special, but you never got the sense that there was something special about his destiny, something he was "supposed to do."

It would have been better if Lost had ended last year, when Juliet hit a bomb with a rock. There are parts of the mystery we would miss, but if we have to suffer an end with hardly any answers, it would have been better to go out on a high note. How many series end with a huge cliffhanger? It would have been risky, and edgy, and we'd be talking about it for years. Did they live happily ever after, or did they all die needlessly tragic deaths?

This is how I feel now. I think I probably owe Lost at least one more viewing of the entire series before I pass my final judgment, and I'll try not to write about it here much anymore.

That is all.

26 May 2010

The End

So I'm still formulating my thoughts on the finale; I go back and forth on it. It was an awesome ending, probably would have been a lot awesomer if the Alt had been introduced much later in the season. Imagine a 6th season where everything on the Island happened the way it happened, but the flashbacks were the history of the Island, until the 3rd or 4th to last, when we would see 815 landing at LAX and a much shorter version of the "awakening."
But I want to like it because the action was awesome and I finally didn't think Jack was acting like a total d-bag.
Anyway, I got this quote from a blog comment; the poster credits someone over at New York Magazine. I don't necessarily disagree, I maybe would be a lot more measured about my reaction:

"knew this was the ending we would have THE MINUTE that damn recap show started. When the producers started babbling on and on about "how this show was really about these characters and the relationships with each other and not all this other stuff" I went "Oh SHIT. No one is going to explain anything tonight but we sure are going to see a lot of crying and people telling Jack not to 'go'". Yup.

Also, those dumb "Goodbye Lost" messages said a lot. We're not the people they wrote this show for...us who were fascinated by the time travel, mysterious numbers, looping dimensions, concepts of good and evil, ancient mysteries...nope.

They wrote this show for the people who took time out of their day to write "I'll be "Lost" without Jack!!" and "This show will always have a 'Locke' on my heart" emails. The people who think "Jack and Kate" are "super hottt!!".

When I saw those messages, I knew the finale was fcked."

Next up: Lost, BSG, and spirituality...

23 May 2010

The End is frakkin' nigh...

I don't really have a lot to say about it, surprisingly. I've enjoyed watching these last chapters unfold, and I know I'll have a lot of questions, a lot of thoughts, a lot of work to do to put together all the pieces, but for now I'm content to let it just happen without too much theorizing.

Quick hits:

1) Don't call them Darlton. What are you, 13?

2) Don't call it New Otherton; it's the fucking Barracks.

3) The Man In Black is not called Esau. You just made that up. Ditto Smocke and Flocke.

4) I really hope that Ben is running a con on MiB.

5) Will we see in the closing scene a layer of reality stripped away, the world on the other side of the Looking Glass?

6) Am I the only one who thinks that sweaty, greasy, I've-been-wearing-the-same-shirt-all-season Kate is SO much hotter than shampoo commercial Kate?

7) Richard? Frank? Miles?

8) Would it kill them to tell us the Others' backstory, even in three lines of dialogue?

That is all. I leave you with this snippet of a poem by Glados; it seems oddly appropriate.

This was a triumph!
I'm making a note here:

It's hard to overstate
My satisfaction.

Aperture Science;
We do what we must,
Because we can.

For the good of all of us.
Except the ones who are dead.

10 May 2010

"Charlie! Do you know how they got the hatch door open?" "No, but if you hum a few bars, I can pick it up."

So here we are. There are 2 episodes left until "The End", which, I can tell you without fear of spoiling you, is the name of the last chapter in the story that has had us all so wrapped up for the last 6 years. (5 years for me, really. 9/22/04, in my timeline, was a scant number of weeks after a certain harpie had ripped out my heart and stomped on it, and I was too self-absorbed that fall to start a journey like that. I rented the DVDs of season 1 when they came out, bought the set after I had seen the whole thing, and by the time season 2 premiered, I had seen season 1 through twice.)

Jin is dead. Ditto Sun and Sayid. Kate has been shot, and Hugo cried, good ol' funtime Hurley. I don't know why I believed MIB when he said he needed all the candidates to be with him on the plane; everything else he said was so obviously lies and manipulations. Of course he double-crossed our survivors. Better, he conned them into double-crossing him so he could get them all in a confined space together where he could get them to blow themselves up. James should have listened to Jack and left the bomb alone. I guess that makes them even for Juliet. (Season 2 was fun times. I had just turned 30, I was dating a girl I wasn't in love with, who was, prophetically, named Ilana, and we had some fun. Starbucks was on the rise, and so was my career with them; this was before the coffee giant hit the skids and started really putting the screws to their "partners." Dr. Marvin Candle and the Dharma Initiative really fired my imagination, as did the Button. The Button was everything: it was work, it was blind faith, it was social science and politics, it was a bit of civilization in the wilderness, it was isolation, and it was the canvas upon which was painted the stark conflict between the Doctor and the Hunter, the Man of Science and the Man of Faith.)

It all has to come back to the Swan eventually. Our survivors caused it to be built, and the system failure 27 years later caused the crash of flight 815. Locke's crisis of faith not only destroyed the Swan but made the Island visible to the outside world, allowing Penny and probably her father to find it. Desmond's role in the Swan's destruction turned him into a time-jumper and probably made him capable of whatever feat he was brought back to accomplish. All of this and we still have the big question of exactly what happened after Juliet hit a bomb with a rock at Swan Ground Zero. (Season 3 was good times. I was single and loving it, the Others had a book club, Tom was gay, and it was awesome. Kate, Sayid, and Locke trekked to the barracks in the second half of the season, and it was a grand adventure. They met Mikhail, had some iced tea, they blew the place up, and when they arrived at the sonic fence surrounding the barracks, they gave us the porno tree. See for yourself:


Electromagnetism, love, deception, loss, redemption, free will, destiny: this is what we have to work with. And history. Please, history!! BSG was kind enough to devote an entire episode to two conversations that revealed the entire backstory of the Cylons and the Final Five. I'm sure we won't see that, but I want at least one long scene where a character explains everything, maybe like how Dumbledore explains the prophecy to Harry at the end of book 5. Interesting analogy, that. Dumbledore made a point of saying that the prophecy was meaningless until Tom Riddle believed it and made it true. (Harry Potter, season 4: the year I fell in love with a Potternerd. She was a coworker who wanted to be in on all the Lost conversations at work, so I invited her to the house to watch season 4. 2 years later, we are living together and hosting our friends every week for Lost. Aside from that, season 4 was a blast. They found 815 at the bottom of the ocean? They're all dead? The doctor washes up on the beach with his throat slit hours before he is killed? Daniel, Frank, Charlotte, Miles, the survivors splitting into 2 camps under Locke or Jack, and O MY GOD WHAT HAPPENED TO THE FREAKIN' ISLAND?!?


The Others, I want more about the Others. What is their work, what is their governing ideology? What is their relationship to Jacob? Was he conning them? Did they only exist as obstacles for our survivors? What do they call themselves? One thing's for sure, after the Richard story, they are not indigenous to the Island as they have claimed. Everything else: the glass eye, Radzinsky and the Purge, Libby, I know we aren't going to get answers. Someone is eventually going to come along and write a book filling in all those gaps, but I want the Others to be explained. (Season 5 , jumping through time. Wicked unhappy at work, hands on fire, love my girl, hey, we're in the 70s, everybody! Oh, and the Oceanic 6, they were just kidding: they haz to go back. Locke is dead, then he's alive, then he's in a box, and, my god, if he's lying dead here, who's in there killing Jacob?!?)

Which brings us to season 6, the final battle between light and dark. If you haven't seen the extensive theory over at Lost is a game, do yourself a favor and check it out before the finale. It's the most extensive theory I've read, and it has a lot of potential. There's a bit of a stretch, and his timeline is a little off, but there's always been a 2-day discrepancy inherent in the timeline, anyway: remember the calendar on the boat? Strap in, hold on tight, the ride will be over before you know it.

Quick hits:

1)I still believe Kate is a candidate. Her name was not crossed out on the lighthouse wheel. Kate is The Mule in this scenario. (The Mule=the unpredictable element, the variable.)

2)Miles is pretty useless. I wonder if he's gonna do anything meaningful before he dies. If he had only accepted Bram's offer back in season 5, maybe he could have been somebody.

3)Why is MIB keeping Claire around? Like Voldemort, I don't believe he is capable of caring about someone, and Claire may have been useful in recruiting the other survivors, but he's probably gonna kill her soon.

4)Prediction: the mother of Jack's son in the flash-sideways is Juliet. She looks just like her.

5)As the only person I know who doesn't hate Kate, I really hope she makes it.

6)I am going to have so much fun this summer and fall watching it all again on Blu-Ray disc.

7)Ben needs some closure for his big feud with Widmore. I hope they get to face off. Maybe they could have an Old West style duel, y'know, 10 paces then turn, draw and fire. My money's on Ben.

8)Unrelated: 24 is also ending its run this spring, and, man, it has been so exciting this year. Katee Sackhoff has been a great villain, and Jack Bauer has finally gone off the deep end for real. He is out for blood, and he's gunning for a former president. I don't think it's going to end well.

That is all. Bon Appetit!

09 May 2010

I love my ma!

Happy Mother's Day, everyone!

The Candidate

I've been a bit off, blog-wise, the last couple of weeks, but I assure you I have been keeping up; this week's "Across The Sea" promises some answers, and I am positively frightened about the penultimate episode, which I won't name, as you'd probably think it rather, well, spoilerish.

Anyway, I guess they've been doing these videos for a while now, but this is the first I've seen. It's a recap of last week's episode by a muppet version of Dr. Pierre Chang. High-larious!

19 April 2010

Post #250: Vacation

So the Toaster is taking a quick jaunt to our nation's capital. I'll probably miss Tuesday's installment, but you bet I'll see it as soon as I get back into town.

I didn't tell you what I thought of the Hugo episode; I loved it. Libby was back, but of course we didn't get to see why she was at Santa Rosa in the original timeline, unless we did. Think about it.

Love seems to be coming front and center these days. Also free will, which reinforces the prediction I made earlier: Kate is going to have to choose between Jack and James one final time, this one for all the marbles. Mark my words.

Ilana!!! Man, I gasped when she blew up, and I really hope we haven't seen the last of her.

Ok, I'm off...

08 April 2010

Another thought....

Q: Why did Widmore take Jin and Jin alone? He didn't try to get Kate, Jack, James, Hugo: Why?
A: Remember when Sun and Widmore met in the airport? What does Widmore want? He wants the Island back, and he wants Ben. What does Sun want? Jin, and only Jin. We will see that Sun and Widmore made a deal: he would keep Jin safe and reunite them, and she would deliver Ben to him.
You'll see, I'm right.

07 April 2010

Happily Ever After, hopefully not the most ironic title ever :(

"Something has happened in the part of my brain where "Lost" lives. As we get closer to the end, I’m becoming far less analytical, and just watching for enjoyment. I love reading other people’s theories and acute observations, but I am no longer so interested in scribbling down notes during the show and trying to connect the many threads. In time, it will all be laid out before us. "

I found the preceding in a comment on Nik At Nite, one of the blogs I follow in-season. It really sums up where I am at with this story right now. I read the blogs, and the wiki talk pages, but I am quite happy to suspend theorizing, to just sit back and enjoy.

HOWEVER, I continue to notice things, make connections, have thoughts, such as:

1. Desmond, turning and turning in the widening gyre. Didn't that scene of him taking a big EM bath in Widmore's outhouse remind you of Dr. Manhattan, from Watchmen?

2. This is the second Desmond episode in which he plays the Picard role in a story taken nearly directly from an episode of ST:TNG. "The Constant" was based on the TNG series finale, in which Picard became unstuck in time, and, cycling through three different timelines, had to identify the commonality between all three in order to be saved. Tonight, Desmond was knocked out by an EM field, and woke up in an alternate reality, just as Picard did in The Inner Light, one of the most heartfelt, emotional episodes in the Trek canon. Picard lived an entire lifetime as a different man, a family man and scientist rather than a Starfleet captain, and when he awoke, it had only been 20 minutes since he had been knocked out. Both men seemed to have a profound experience. A lot can can happen in 20 minutes.

3. Still waiting for the backstory of The Others, to me, the last real character mystery of the series. They seem, despite all their disguises, to be deeply Catholic in their morality. One thing I keep coming back to is the lists. It was said, by various Others, that Jack, Kate, Sayid, and the rest were not on Jacob's lists. The lists Jacob gave to the Others were lists of people who Jacob wanted to become Others. Here's the thing: none of the Others knew anything about candidates, except maybe Dogen, and I'll bet he was also the only one who knew the true nature of the Monster, that he was a man. The events of Richard's flashback lead me to believe that there was no one on the Island in 1867 when Richard arrived, or at least, if there was anyone there, Jacob had no interaction with them. Another thing I keep coming back to is the runway. That's right, the runway Kate and James were forced to work on when they were in the Others' custody. Jacob told the Others to build it, because he knew about Ajira 316. It's entirely possible that the sole reason for the Others' existence is as an enemy, or an obstacle, for, first the Dharma Initiative then the survivors of Flight 815. That is, Jacob created them, shaped them for one purpose, just as Eloise groomed Daniel his whole life to die at her own hands. Of course, various Others have talked about their work, referring to "this whole thing we're doing," and I wonder if the Others are not just stooges in the end, like the denizens of the Pearl: they think they are are doing the science, but ultimately are just rats in a maze. With no cheese.

4. Another series is in its final season as well: 24. I know a lot of people have stopped watching, but I never did; even during the shitty years, I saw it every week without fail, and guess what? It's as good now as it's ever been. I won't talk too much about it, except to say this: After 9 years, it's a series that still keeps me on edge. They never lost their ability to sucker punch you. If you never thought Forrest Gump's best good friend Bubba or Milton from Office Space could be badass, this is the season you've got to see. And Katee Sackhoff as the duplicitous analyst with a dirty past is soooo nerd-tastic!

5. "Not Penny's Boat." I'm just sayin'. Still gives me chills.

That is all. Alohomora.

23 March 2010


Upcoming episode titles...

Tonight's episode is called "Ab Aeterna," which is latin for "from the beginning of time, and it looks to be a Richard episode. Look for big answers, probably the last big ones we'll get until the finale, unless Jacob or MIB get a flashback.

The next three, and I only have the titles, because I think spoilers are dirty, are called: "The Package," "Happily Ever After," and "Everybody Loves Hugo." You'll have to highlight them if you want to see them; I know some people consider even titles to be spoilers. Particularly excited about the last one. You know who else everyone loves? Jesus.

Who is this woman?

21 March 2010

By the Gods! That Michael Emerson is a fantastic actor!

So there was no written post last week for "Dr. Linus." Instead you saw pictures of 6 moments from the story that stick out in my head as the most iconic. (When I say iconic, I mean those moments that encapsulate the entire story while only telling a part of it. When you see it, you just say, "Wow.") I had fun posting them and probably will do more, but you should notice about the first six: Only one directly references the grand mythology of the story, while only one more does so even tangentially. They are, for the most part, character moments, and "Dr. Linus" was a character story through and through.
If we thought Ben Linus had fallen from grace by the time he turned the frozen donkey wheel, he never hit bottom until he ran away from digging his own grave, driven by desperation, guilt, and longing to the dark side. When Ilana caught up to him, he was penitent; he confessed and laid his soul open to the quick. This was truly the first time we have seen Ben being honest, the wheels which constantly turn in his manipulative mind silenced. It was truly an awesome moment. Ben's captor and executioner, Ilana, heard his confession and gave him absolution. "I'll have you," she said, and in that instant she was his mother, she was his lover, she was the Island, she was the world, looking into Ben's heart and seeing light instead of darkness.

Character, man, character. Without 'em, all you have is a board game.

08 March 2010

That's not work. That's a...that's a joke. Rats, in a maze. With no cheese. -John Locke

At the beginning of the season 2 episode, "?," Mr. Eko has a dream in which his brother Yemi tells him he has to find the question mark on the Island, and that John Locke has to help him. Later in the episode, Yemi appears again, this time in Locke's dream, and points the way to the question mark. We know now that the Man In Black appeared to Eko as Yemi and killed him. It appears to me now that the Man In Black wanted John Locke to find the Pearl and lose his faith in the button. Why? The Swan is still a mystery to us. I don't know whether Jacob or MIB knew or cared about the hatch, and given the fact that Kelvin waited at least ten years for his replacement, untouched by the Purge, the Others probably didn't know about it either. Given that life on the Island pretty much continued normally after the Swan implosion, there was nothing permanent or imminent about the potential danger of not pushing the button. It's likely that the DI could have not built the Swan, but then they would have lost out on either or both of the following: the use of the near-endless supply of energy at the site and the opportunity to do some really creepy social science experiments. Locke believed for a long time that it was his fate, first to get into the hatch, and then to push the button. It was MIB who used Eko to cause Locke to lose his faith and ultimately destroy the Swan. Was MIB only interested in sending John Locke along the spiritual path that would end in his death, or did it also benefit him that the Swan was destroyed? Remember those times when Locke did something crazy and you just had to say, "Locke, what the frak are you thinking?" Like when he stopped pushing the button and the Swan was destroyed, and when he entered 77 and blew up the Flame, or when he blew up the Dharma sub, or when Ben blew up the chamber at the Orchid because Locke told him it had to be done. MIB used Locke on numerous occasions to destroy the infrastructure of the Dharma Initiative, whose people had been wiped out to a man 12 years earlier. I think that Jacob and the Others were not just holding MIB prisoner; he was a slave, a sentient creature enslaved as a security system, to check out new arrivals, issue judgments on who is good and who is bad, and protect the Island and its secrets. Remember when Ben used the MIB as a weapon against Keamy's men? Slavery, plain and simple. Add to that kidnapping, lying, murder, and you have Jacob, or at least the people who act in his name. And now Jacob is dead, and MIB is free. And, boy, is he mad! He's recruited Claire and Sayid, and possibly Sawyer and Jin, and he's now wiped out a large number of Jacob's people at the temple. This was without a doubt the best Smoke Monster scene ever.
The point is that the balance of power has shifted, the tables are turned, and MIB is the one who has followers now, while Jacob is mere ash. If MIB's people lie, and cheat, and manipulate, and commit murder in his name, what makes him any worse than Jacob? Maybe MIB and Jacob are not the black stone and the white stone, but longtime rivals, both of them morally gray, who lure people to the Island, and, like flies to wanton boys, use them as pawns, like Locke's mousetrap game, or that Skinner box, the Swan.

27 February 2010

The Ascension of Hugo Reyes

So I went, in my wayback machine, to the early days right after the crash. Hugo needed the manifest so he could compare it with the census he'd taken. (Of course, it was Hugo who alerted the survivors that they had a mole among them. Key.) James had the manifest, only he wasn't James then; he was Sawyer. Sawyer was a mean guy who hoarded all the goods he could get his hands on, and anything you wanted from him came with a price. So Hugo told Sawyer that he should just give up the manifest for free, "because, Dude, you could use the points." Sawyer gave it up with a comment about how Hugo knew how to talk to people. What did Hugo say? "It's a gift."

Later he conned Sawyer into being nice to everyone by telling him he was about to get banished from the beach camp, and let's not forget when he conned Sayid, Kate, and Miles when they came to the Barracks looking for Charlotte. Hugo knows how to talk to people, how to appeal to their better nature and make them see that it's in their best interest to do what he says. These are the qualities of a natural leader.

We've seen a couple of times now that Hugo is the one Jacob has chosen to talk to, dead though he is. Jacob appeared to Hugo shortly after the time-travelers had returned from 1977, just after Ben had killed him, and told Hugo that he had to lead everyone to the temple. This week, Jacob told Hugo that he had to take Jack out of the temple to the lighthouse, because someone was coming to the Island. Jacob works in mysterious ways, though, and it seems he was not altogether honest; he wanted Hugo to take Jack and get out of the temple because something bad was about to happen. Not Dogen, not Lennon, not Miles or Cindy or anyone else, Jacob made sure to protect Hugo and Jack. We've seen now for 6 years that Jack is a leader of men, and it's safe to say that he will lead the good fight against the Man In Black once the sides have been chosen for good, but doesn't every king need a viceroy? Doesn't every godfather need a consigliere, every captain a first officer? We've recently learned that although Ben made the decisions, it was Richard and Richard alone who talked to Jacob, who brought the word of God down from the mountaintop. Now that the Others have no leader (Dogen's position is unclear,) and Richard is on the run, hugo will have to step forward and take the advisory role Richard has played. That's my take on it, anyway...

(I stole the picture you see from Jorge Garcia's blog...)

19 February 2010

Better late than never...

Things have been a little hectic in la vida del toaster lately, and I tried to write a bit on Tuesday but couldn't really come up with anything. Tonight will be better.

I've thoroughly enjoyed the first few episodes of the final season, and I know the fan-verse is abuzz with what has been revealed, but I'm of the opinion that we've not gotten answers, just more bread crumbs. Candidates to become the next Jacob, fine, if that's what you want, but it doesn't answer the only real questions:

1. What, exactly, is the nature of the Island?
2. Who, exactly, are the Others, I mean what do they call themselves?
2a. What, exactly, is their purpose?
3. What are the whispers?
4. What, or who, exactly, are Jacob and his mysterious nemesis?
5. Who will Kate choose, Jack or James? (Bear with me on that one.)

All of these questions were laid out in the first season. (I know, we didn't know who Jacob was or that he had a nemesis, but we wondered what the monster was, and what was the mysterious force that seemed to push all the survivors onto that plane on that day. So many questions have come and gone since then, about the Dharma Initiative, the Hatch, Widmore, Rousseau, Faraday, and all the myriad characters we've met, and even the questions that remain are unlikely to be answered. I find it highly improbable that we'll get one BSG-style episode consisting of nothing more than expositional dialogue, let alone the two or three it would take to tie up every loose thread. More likely, we'll get a lot of action, conflict, and character development; as the story of the Island crescendos, so do the character arcs, and somewhere along the way we'll get answers to those big questions. Once we have those, we'll have to go back over everything again and put the pieces together, for I am sure that there are enough clues and easter eggs along the way, clues that we could never understand only because we didn't have enough information, so that we can find the answers to the little ones on our own. This has been the most engaging, thought-provoking, interactive series I have ever seen, and I am sure that, even after all is said and done, we will have to find most of the answers ourselves.

I realize that a lot of folks would not put the whispers on that list, but to me, they seem like the sine qua non, if only the transcripts of them I've read are accurate. Look them up on Lostpedia, they're gripping!

I further realize that most would think the resolution of the love triangle is trivial at best. Indeed, I have mercilessly mocked people for being so dumb that the biggest point on Lost they can discuss is whether Kate belongs with Jack or James, but I got a hunch a few weeks back after I wrote about Schrodinger's cat. We've heard numerous references to free will, the most recent ones coming from Jacob himself, reminding you that you have a choice, no matter what you've been told, and we definitely seem to be at a crossroads, more likely two crossroads: I assume that the time has come, after much preparation, for Jacob's replacement to be chosen, and there seem to be at least five viable candidates: Jack, Hugo, Sayid, Sun, and Jin, although it's possible that it is only Sun, or only Jin, or my long-shot bet, only Ji-Yeon. Who will be chosen, and how will the choice be made? This is the first crossroads, the second is this: which side is everyone on? Does Jack side with Dogen and the temple dwellers? Does James side with Smokey? Hugo? Sun? Jin? You see where I'm going now, right? The love triangle was not for nothing after all: Kate will have to choose, this time for keeps: Jack or James? Not a prediction, just an intuition.

Now, that being said, there are certain things we need to see, not for answers to questions, but closure to the story. We need to see Desmond again, just to make sure that he and Penny will live happily ever after. We need to see Widmore again; he needs to either find the Island or die trying. (I would love to see him on the Island in real time this year.) We need some closure for the kids: Walt, Aaron, and Ji-Yeon. We need to see a bit of what Cindy, Zack, and Emma went through after they were taken.

And finally, Ben Linus has been a little neglected so far this season, but we really need to see a proper ending to his story: he was the man, then he was brought low, then he came back in penitence only to be used by Smokey as a murder weapon. Is there any hope for Ben to find redemption? I hope there is; I hope that Ben can give his life, finally, for the Island he tried to protect for so long. (See, the only thing he ever said that I truly believed was what he told Michael on the dock: "We're the good guys.")

17 February 2010

09 February 2010

"Here I am thinking that free will still actually exists..." -Dr. Juliet Burke, deceased

Here I am, trying to hammer out a post for the most recent chapter, "What Kate Does," and I am drawing multiple blanks. I see the suggestion of free will, the constant reminders that each of us chooses our own destiny, and I see the parallel between Claire and Danielle, who lost their babies and went seemingly mad alone in the jungle. I see Aldo, formerly the guy who fell for the Wookie Prisoner Trick, getting his ass kicked by Kate, and I see Sayid, risen from the dead and now infected, or claimed, by the Monster-Man In Black-Nemesis. I see James, mourning his love, and once again I sympathize with him: it started a while back, and you may not see it on first reading, or even second, but James, since he killed Sawyer, is the only one of the main characters to have redeemed himself. Everyone else is still broken, but James has become a community leader, a trusted man, a husband in spirit if not in law. Remember when Kate escaped from the marshal? She paid no attention to his briefcase, but we remember what she went through to get that case on the Island, not because of the gun, but because of the toy plane. Maybe the plane wasn't in the case this time around, because she never buried it in the NKOTB lunch box that she never got caught stealing, and Jacob never bought her the lunchbox because he was dead. Maybe Jughead killed Jacob? Who knows? The point is that I can't really come up with a cohesive thread for this week's post, so I'll just leave it there.

Stay tuned for my upcoming interview with Iroquois Pliskin, author of VersusCluCluLand.

It's the same, everything is just a little bit different.

The language is clunky, because we have no real-world counterpart for what we see. We see two realities, side by side, each of them mutually exclusive, and we have no idea if one is more viable, more real, than the other, so we can't really say one is alternate. We've seen flash-forwards, and flash-backs, but what do we call this? How can we describe the relationship between the two? Well, a minor war broke out last week over there at Lostpedia; they're fighting over terminology instead of discussing their views of the story itself. As a life-long fanboy, first Star Wars, then Star Trek, and now any number of things, this quibbling over minutiae really pisses me off, because they're missing the point: it's the story, stupid! Sure, flash-sideways is an awful, awkward term, but it's what we've got. Deal with it.

Moving on, I just read an interview with D&C in which they discuss the parallel timeline and its differences to what we know. Yes there are differences, but it's not really crucial to our understanding to catalog them all and try to find out exactly where the timeline split. That being said, D&C want to bring our attention to all the things our people didn't think about as consequences to their action, like the Island being underwater. I won't tell you the whole thing, just read it for yourself. Also, check out this video from comic-con: a segment of America's Most Wanted, featuring our very own parallel Kate:

Also, I got my hands on something that I do not consider a spoiler, but some of you might: the names of the upcoming 3 episodes. I'll post them here and now, but in black text so you have to highlight them if you want to read: The Substitute, Lighthouse, and Sundown. That's all the info I have, and I wouldn't post anything more even if I did. I hate spoilers.

03 February 2010

Schrodinger's Eye-Land

Schrodinger's Cat is a physics story, which means that very few people can truly grasp the whole thing, but what it boils down to is this: When two possible outcomes exist, there exist 2 parallel universes, one for each possibility. Eventually one will collapse, but not until the other is observed. If you close your eyes and flip a coin, you split the universe in two, and it is only when you open your eyes and see that it came up tails that the other universe collapses and a single reality exists.

This is important to the story. How many times has a chapter begun on a shot of someone's eye opening? Tonight it was Kate, and what she saw was bleak. The survivors were thrown back to the future, all of them, and what they saw was bleak. Whatever happened, happened; it was all for nothing. They still built the Swan, and the plane still crashed. Out of 72 original survivors, now only James, Kate, Jack, Hurley, Sun, Jin and Sayid remain, and Sayid is nearly dead. Jack's plan didn't work and it got Juliet killed. Only Juliet wasn't quite dead; she lived long enough to almost tell James, after a teary goodbye and a bloody kiss, what she told Miles after she died: it worked.

In one reality, it certainly seems that way. We saw the flight of 815 again, with a lot of little differences and one big difference: it landed. The survivors had minor run-ins with each other, and there seemed to be the faintest sub-time recognition, but they went on their ways, and I'm sure we'll follow them as they are inexorably drawn to their destiny, because the universe has a way of course-correcting, you know, and I'm sure it won't be long before the passengers of flight 815 start shaking their fists at the heavens and screaming into the night: "We have to go back!"

So we have two possible outcomes, both of which, according to the cat, exist until the observer of the experiment opens his eyes and sees whatever happened. Juliet, near death, seemed to be aware of both, and tried to tell James what she had seen, but everyone else seemed to be aware of only one of the realities they were in. What I am getting at is a question: Whose eyes will open and collapse a universe? Who is the observer, if everyone is living their life and choosing their sides as if the coin had already been flipped? I have long believed that the main action in the story is being watched by some unknown party. Whether for scientific research, sport, entertainment, or some religious notion, I'm not sure, but I have an idea that the whispers we hear so frequently are the voices of those observers; the transcripts reveal clearly that whoever is speaking has some awareness of the people who hear them and their circumstances. Maybe they lost their feed when the bomb went off, or the House is still taking bets before revealing the outcome.

I have a feeling that the next time we see an eye opening, it will be the eye of the Man Behind the Curtain, and a universe will collapse, and the battle will begin.

26 January 2010

The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist.

So. In one timeline we have a big hole in the ground, a pocket of electromagnetic energy, a hydrogen bomb, and one almost certainly dead fertility specialist, Juliet, whose detonation of the bomb left millions questioning over the hot, boring summer the nature of time travel, pondering whether you can change the past when you visit it or just play a role, ignorant of all that will happen, powerless to change your future.

In another timeline we have a man in black, wearing the disguise of a dead man's identity. The dead man, all his life he felt he was destined for something bigger, something more than the below average hand he'd been dealt, and the man in black, sensing desperation, knowing how badly the dead man wanted to believe, preyed upon him, told him he was special, led him down the path of his own destruction. The dead man was conned, not just by the father who stole his kidney, but by a devil claiming angelhood. And now the man in black has won. His rival is dead, thrown into the fire by his once most loyal disciple, whose doubts the man in black used to suit his own needs. This is inside the statue. Outside, in the shadow of the statue, those loyal to the rival of the man in black have just discovered that the dead man, he has not risen, and the man claiming to be himself is an impostor. The impostor, the man in black, has no name that we know, but his rival does; his name is Jacob. Not much is known about Jacob. We know that Jacob loves you, and we know that God loves you as he loved Jacob, and we know that Jacob made lists, and we know Jacob's last words, as his lifeblood was dripping out of him, before he was kicked into the fire like so much kindling: "They're coming."

Thus the stage is set for the final act. We've read books, we've heard music, we've studied names from the past, we've examined minutiae and theorized endlessly, but all of that is secondary to this: we've followed an extraordinary set of characters through their amazing, karmic, sometimes redemptive stories. We've seen through them how our lives are the sum of our experience, how every moment in our life has led us to this moment and this moment alone. We've seen that moment in their lives when their flaws are on display and never redeemed. The telling of this story has been a monumental achievement in writing before all. Is it going to end well? That depends. Some will hate it, of course. Some will love it. Some are worried even now that they will be disappointed, but I'm not worried. Life has jagged edges sometimes, I know this well, but these writers have not let me down before, and I trust them to listen to the characters and give them the endings they deserve.

Sure I have questions I want answered, but I know that the answers are never as much fun as thinking about the questions, and I know that ultimately the story is about the people in it, and I look forward to seeing these people finish their journey.