Wednesday, April 29, 2009

5x14 "The Variable" Review

It's been a day for 100s, though for different reasons, for different people. For most of the world, today marks the 100th day that U.S. President Barack Obama has been in office. However, for the Lost nerds of the world, this was a completely different 100 entirely. April 29, 2009 marked the first airing of "The Variable," the official hundredth episode (though some would debate 100th hour) of everyone's favorite Island drama. And the hundredth episode did not disappoint. But really, did you think it would?

Let me begin at the end: Daniel Faraday is dead. I say this to you with a heavy heart; Daniel was my favorite character of the show. But alas, his light was snuffed out by his own manipulative mommy (that's a first for Lost), Eloise Hawking. I have to commend the writers of Lost, however, for giving Daniel such a spectacular send-out episode, and such a great death. While I hate to see Jeremy Davies leave the show, I wouldn't have him do so any other way. Maybe he'll return as a guest star...I could possibly see that happening.

But regardless of favorite character deaths, this episode was one for the books. While it wasn't quite on par with the similarly named "The Constant," the episode was still quite revealing about Daniel, and was the second episode in a row (after two weeks ago's "Some Like It Hoth") to reveal shocking details about a science teamer's father. I feel like this episode really rounded out the character of Daniel, giving him a short but meaty arc.

The episode began with Penny waiting anxiously in the hospital while Desmond was rushed into surgery for the bullet wound that Ben gave Des back in "Dead is Dead." While I really didn't think at the time that the shot had even hit Des (the camera showed not even the slightest speck of red), it was quite believable to me that the flimsy paper sack hadn't been able to stop the bullet. I'm pretty sure that Desmond hadn't gone to the grocery for kevlar.

Meanwhile, on the Island, we picked up right back where we had left off last week, with Daniel getting off the sub and getting greeted by Miles. While the new recruits were being told that they weren't going to be getting their much needed rest, Daniel didn't stick around to listen and instead barged in on Jack, telling him that the "destiny" that Eloise had forced upon them was actually just a giant crock, and that they weren't meant to be on the Island. That's pretty tough for Jack to hear at three in the morning, but he held up considerably well.

And then we went into a super-freaky Lost intertitle, which was different in some little way. I can't quite put my finger on how it was different...maybe it was the stars surrounding the title, or perhaps it was the Starship Enterprise zooming through Lost's "O". It was quite disconcerting, and I'd rather Captain Kirk keep himself out of my Lost.

We then got a flashback to Dan's childhood, where he, like Ben, was a talented pianist, though Eloise insisted that he should give it up and instead focus all of his time on science. Perhaps this was part of her role as "temporal policeman," as she was once described by Damon Lindelof. After all, she stated that it was her "job" to keep him on the path to science.

Back on the Island, we had a little recap of the opening scene of "Because You Left," in which Daniel observed Pierre while Pierre was at the Orchid. And then Daniel dropped the bombshell: He was from the future. But did he honestly expect Pierre to believe him? Pierre brushed it off as a cruel joke, much like Daniel brushed off Desmond's claims of time-travel in "The Constant." And he didn't get any backup from Miles, even when he revealed to Pierre that Miles was his son. Miles simply denied this and went about his day.

We got to see Phil trapped in the closet this week, which I thought was funny, especially after Phil's incessant annoyingness throughout the past few episodes. Too bad he had to be discovered by that incredibly angry Stuart Radzinsky.

Earlier in the year, I stated that Stuart Radzinsky was like the DHARMA version of Frogurt. I take that back completely; he's much, much worse. Radzinsky's paranoia really went off the deep end this week, and we got to see him angry firing shots at almost all of our favorite characters, as well as screaming at everyone to get on the ground. Through my utter hatred of this character's actions, I try to take solace in the fact that eventually, one of those shots that Radzinsky fires will be a shot at himself, leaving only a brown stain for Kelvin Inman to point to. But for now, he's got Sawyer and Juliet in custody. I'll bet we'll be seeing even more of Radzinsky next week in some shape or form. Will Oldham be involved? I hope so.

We got to see a little bit of Theresa Spencer this week. If you don't remember, we had previously seen her in a coma during "Jughead," where she and her sister were visited by Desmond. Apparently she was Daniel's squeeze/lab assistant, though we really don't know what Daniel did to make her so invalid. All we know is that he tried it on himself, and presumably only came out with severe memory loss.

Speaking of memory loss, we also got to go back and look at the opener of "Confirmed Dead," which was Daniel crying while watching the Oceanic wreckage report on the news. Many fans speculated that this was due to Daniel time travelling or something else mysterious and relating to Daniel's time spent on the Island. But no, it was because it simply made him sad. He explained this to Charles Widmore, who personally came and recruited him to go to the Island, though Desmond did not remember their meeting. And also, Widmore confirmed that he staged the wreckage, finally giving a solid answer to the debate that's been going on between fans as to whether or not Ben was responsible. For more information on this debate, see Nickb123's earlier blog post.

We found out this week for sure that Ellie, who we saw in "Jughead," was actually "Eloise Hawking." Did anyone not see that coming? It's one of the most predictable twists of the entire show.

There was a pretty cool firefight at the motor pool between Radzinsky and his men and Jack, Kate, and Daniel. Jack took charge, making me proud of the character for the first time in a long time. Daniel got clipped in the neck as well. When I saw him go down, I was sure that he was a goner. Imagine my relief when I found out he was okay. Well, until he got shot by Eloise later. "Destiny," as Ben says, "is a fickle bitch."

Before he got shot, however, Daniel spilled the beans to Jack and Kate about everything he knew about the Island. We got a very cool speech about constants and variables, with the titular variables being people, who possess free will. Daniel stated that he intended to stop the incident by detonating the Jughead. Will the Losties follow through with his plan? They just might -- the prevention of the incident (or at least the evacuation of DHARMA) will mean that Oceanic 815 never crashed, that the freighter never came to the Island.. Is it possible? Can two different, parallell timelines be created in the Lost universe? I kind of hope so, because that would be incredibly complex, and a fantastic storyline for next season. Of course, there's also the argument that it could develop Donnie Darko-syndrome (too complicated for the average bear). Either way, I'm incredibly happy with what Daniel was saying, and I was buying into every word.

And then he got shot, and died. And before anyone says anything, there's no question in my mind that he is dead. The camera stayed on his unblinking face long enough to pound into our heads that he really is dead. As much as I hate to say it, he's got no chance.

The only question that this episode really left me with is this: where does the Comic-Con Dharma booth video fit in? That was obviously Daniel's voice in the background arguing with Pierre, but apparently there's no way that this could happen. your hypothesis in the comment section below. I'd love to hear it.

All in all this was an episode for the books, and probably one of my personal favorites. Episode 100 was all the hype they built it up to be, and it was the best hour of television all week. Quite possibly it was the best episode of Lost this year. What do you think? Again, share in the comments section below. Come back again next week as the LP blog reviews "Follow the Leader."

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Are Some Things Best Left Unanswered?

The recent Lostpedia Q&A with Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse - which, by the way, awesome - left me with one particular thing to ponder. When asked about Libby the writers basically said that this may be something that will be left unanswered, as their priorities are on the more pressing bits of mythology that need answering pronto.

Now this is fair enough I guess - but I did kind of take umbrage with their opinion that Libby is a low down question to answer. It's my personal opinion that when you actually END an episode with Libby at Hurley's mental institute - and this is used as the end of Lost episode 'OMG' cliffhanger moment - to leave this unanswered is a bit of a cop out. But am I just being a bit pedantic and hoping for too many answers?? As a Lostpedian, the word pedantic is pretty much your middle name.... but are some questions just sacred ground to us? Are there any questions that you guys would be outraged about if they weren't answered on the show? Are there any questions you wouldn't really care about learning the truth about or not? Are we being a little too glass half full believing all our questions will be solved when he hit the end of Lost days?

Carlton Cuse & Damon Lindelof Interview (Part Two) posted!

Here it is, Part Two of the Carlton Cuse/Damon Lindelof interview!

I hope the past couple of days were not too hard on you guys. ;)

Anyway, I wanted to use this opportunity to thank the countless fans who sent in questions (several hundreds of them!).

Obviously I had to make lots of cuts and choices, and basically wanted to ask Carlton and Damon what I thought were interesting questions that many fans had, as well as questions that were not often, if not ever, asked.

I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I did making it.

Putting in Perspective: Season 3 Desmond

Hey all. A question that has been playing on my (and a few others I've discussed this with's) mind recently is whether or not Season 3 future-seeing Desmond is the same sort of thing we've seen in Season 4 and 5, mind-flying rule-bending time traveller.

First of all, let's have a refresher of Season 3 Desmond. After the turning of the fail safe key, Desmond time travelled back to the late 90s, where he ran into Ms. Hawking and Charlie. This is the first time we get a hint that Desmond is special and doesn't follow the rules, as Hawking suggests that he can change the course of time (however, he shouldn't). He then comes back to 2004, where he woke up naked outside the remains of the Swan. After this, he had what he called "deja vu", mentioning the content of Locke's speech before he even spoke it. After this, he constantly saw visions of Charlie dying, prevented it, but then Charlie heroically dealt with his fate.

DESMOND: I've tried, brother. I've tried twice to save you, but the universe has a way of course correcting and -- and I can't stop it forever. I'm sorry. I'm sorry because no matter what I try to do you're going to die, Charlie.

Now, cut to The Constant and Because You Left where we learn Desmond's electromagnetic history has made him vulnerable to the throes of time, however he has the power to affect it. So does this work with Season 3 Des? I think so.

DAN: Wait, your friend, Desmond? Has he recently been exposed to high levels of radiation or electromagnetism?

Let's start with the immediate effects of turning the key, which I see as most similar to turning the wheel. In both cases, after being exposed suddenly to a huge dose of electromagnetic energy, the characters are transported through time and resulted. The slight difference being Des' involved consciousness time travel for a spell, however they both finished with the travellers (including Locke and Eko in the Swan case) physically moving in space, waking up in a different spot to where their journey commenced. I see this as the only "logical" answer to the Deslockeko trio surviving an implosion. The implosion had mental effects on Locke and Eko as well, sending both of them on sort of "spirit journeys" by the Island. Btw, Desmond's clothes were obliterated by the sudden release of energy, suggested by his cuts and bruises when he wakes up. (Yeah, I know that's weak, comment if you've got a better theory about the nudity)

DESMOND: When I turned that key my life flashed before my eyes. And then I was back in the jungle and still on this bloody island. But those flashes, Charlie -- those flashes -- they didn't stop.

Then we move on to Des' flashes, which LP numbers as six (excluding his day in the past). I believe, fitting in with S4&5 knowledge, that these are brief consciousness time jumps that occur when something has been changed in Desmond's timeline, much like his dreamory in Because You Left. In this case, Charlie's death has been delayed everytime (Perhaps indirectly in the case of Locke's speech, or perhaps that was just a random remnant of post-discharge energy or something). The fate theme plays in here, because even though Charlie was "fated" to die much earlier, his "true fate", in service to the Island, was to deactivate the Looking Glass and communicate with Penny. So his fate was to have his first fate put off, so he could fulfill his new fate. :S

MS. HAWKING: You don't do it because you choose to, Desmond. You do it because you're supposed to.

If the future-seeing is consciousness travel, which each of the flashes do resemble, it is perfectly sound to say that Season 3 Desmond The Time Traveller does not contradict at all the future...or is that the past?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Submit your questions for Leslie Ishii!

Leslie Ishii, the actress who plays Lara Chang (Pierre's wife, Miles' mother) on Lost, has agreed to do an interview with Lostpedia. Questions are currently being taken for the actress. The deadline for submissions is May 14, the day after the season finale, to give you time to ask questions about the season as a whole, if she makes any more appearances. Make sure you get any and all questions that you have for Ms. Ishii in by that date.

As for where you can submit your questions, there are, as always, two main places. There is a thread on the forums, linked here, where you can submit your questions for consideration. You can also submit your questions on the wiki talk page, linked here. And also, for the first time ever, we are accepting question submissions through our Twitter site. If you use Twitter and want to submit your questions that way, simply tweet your question and mark it with the hashtag #lplara, and it will be added to the possible questions list.

Thanks, and have fun with the questions!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

LP Interview:Damon Lindelof & Carlton Cuse (Part One) posted!

The first half of the much-anticipated Lostpedia interview with Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse has been posted! You can read it here. It's quite an informative first half, with Damon and Carlton spilling the beans on whether or not they use Lostpedia, as well as setting up the endgame for Lost. Of course, there are no major (or for that matter, minor) spoilers in this interview, so don't be afraid to check it out!

Part two will be posted in the very near future. Much thanks to TheAma1 for conducting the interview.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Lostpedia on Twitter

Lostpedia is now on Twitter! Several Ops from the wiki will be using the account for discussion, alerts about issues, article attacks, and generally interesting Lost related materials that we think you might find interesting. There will be, just like the wiki, absolutely no spoilers other than the immediate upcoming episode name. There are other accounts using the Lostpedia name on Twitter, but the only official one you'll find is Don't worry, we're working on reclaiming our name!

UPDATE : With thanks to the very gracious @bencordes we are now at the new address! Thank you so much Ben. We really appreciate you doing this, you didn't have to.

Lost Celebrates 100 Episodes!

This Wednesday, April 29th, Lost will air its 100th episode of the series entitled "The Variable". It has been more than four years since that fateful airliner, Oceanic Flight 815, crashed onto an Island on September 22nd, 2004. After 99 episodes full of ominous mythology, startling discoveries, shocking cliffhangers, buried secrets, and stunning character development - we have reached the 100 episode milestone. To celebrate the grand acheivement, the "Ace of Cakes" team went to Hawaii to make a special 100th episode cake for the cast and crew of LOST. Jorge Garcia (Hurley), Daniel Dae Kim (Jin-Soo Kwon), Jeremy Davies (Daniel Faraday), Josh Holloway (Sawyer), and Elizabeth Mitchell (Juliet) are amongst the cast that celebrated the filming of the 100th Lost episode "The Variable".

After four entire seasons of Lost goodness, we are now on the fourteenth episode of Season 5 (and the 100th episode overall), entitled "The Variable". I have been watching Lost since the start, and the journey thus far has been amazing and unforgettable. With only 21 episodes left, Lost is unraveling its compelling mysteries, and showing us secrets of the Island we never thought we'd see.

So what makes this show so great? Is it the intricate and intriguing mythology? The unique characterization? The captivating storylines? Or a mix of all of these? I think that Lost has a very unique recipe that makes it the best show in television history:

Recipe for LOST
(Yield: 1 series)

  • 2 cups Characters - The main ingredient in Lost is the charismatic characters. Lost has tremendous character development. There are so many incredibly interesting characters that make Lost great -- all of the characters in Lost are different and unique in their own way. The fearless leader Jack Shephard, the enigmatic John Locke, the conman James Ford, the Korean couple Sun and Jin, the fugitive Kate Austen, the assassin Sayid Jarrah, the time-trveler Desmond Hume, fertility doctor Juliet Burke, and the scheming / diabolical / manipulative Benjamin Linus are just a fraction of the incredible ensemble that is a part of the characters on Lost.
  • 2 cups Mythology - Almost equally important as the characters is the mythology of Lost. Lost's mythology is very unique -- DHARMA, the Others, the four-toed statue, Hanso, the DeGroots -- it all makes for a compelling story. The DHARMA Initiative has become such an integral part of the Lost universe -- the Swan, Flame, Staff, Arrow, Hydra, and Looking Glass are just some of the many stations that continously intrigue us. Who can forget the plethora of subtle references to an ancient island history -- the four-toed statue, ruins, Temple, and significant references to hieroglyphs. The mythology of Lost is always developing -- Season 5 has given us a much deeper look into the DHARMA Initiative, which is arguably the most mythological aspect of the entire show.
  • 1 tablespoon Cliffhangers - Lost typically ends with that L O S T blackout that we all know well -- what does that mean? Cliffhanger! Lost is full of unexpected plot shifts and character development -- it's what always keeps us coming back for more. Some of the most classic cliffhangers have been (in my opinion) - The Others kidnap Walt (1x24); Michael kills Ana and Libby (2x20); Ben shoots Locke and leaves him for dead (3x20); Jack and Kate in the future (3x23); Sayid working for Ben (4x03); Locke in the coffin (4x14); Sayid shoots young Ben (5x10). The classic cliffhangers of Lost continuous shock us, and always leave us wanting more.
  • 4 teaspoons E.U. - Lost has a very interesting expanded universe that exists outside the realm of the show. All of these EU (Expanded Universe) elements add to the overall story and mythology of the show. These include ARGs, video games, DVD features, mobisodes, magazines, and novels. The Lost Experience ARG focused on the origins of the D.I.H.G., and gave us more insight into the complex mythology of Lost. The video game Lost: Via Domus showed us a new perspective of Lost, from the eyes of Elliott Maslow, a survivor of Flight 815. The Lost: Missing Pieces showed us thirteen missing pieces from the storyline -- from Michael's talk with Doctor Arzt, to Christian's fateful encounter with Vincent.
  • 1 (15 ounce) can of Locations - all of Lost is filmed on the beautiful island of Hawaii -- all of the locations we see (both on-island and off-island) are filmed on the tropical island of Hawaii. DVD features such as Lost: On Location gives us a look at the scenery of the Island. All of the breathtaking Island scenery is essential in the overall look and production of the show.
  • 2 Writers/Producers - there are a myriad of talented and gifted writers/producers behind Lost, but only two of them steer the overall direction of the show -- Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse have constructed the series of Lost since Season 1. Their brilliant storytelling ability has provided us with 99 fantastic episodes of Lost. I applaud them for constructing such an incredible series.
Each season of the series thus far has been amazingly unique -- they are filled with the spectacular character stories and mythology that we all know and love . We have had 99 episodes of LOST -- all of them unique and special in their own way. This week we will see the 100th episode of this incredible series; with only twenty more episodes to go after that, the end of our journey is in sight. Lost is the most captivating show on television -- I have been following it avidly for more than four years; it has been a very long and rewarding journey for all of us fans. Even after the series ends, we will always be able to relive Lost and rewatch episodes; it will still be sad when the series comes to a close. Let's enjoy the rest of Season 5, and celebrate 100 episodes!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Deconstructing: Fake Oceanic Flight 815

And we're back... for another epic deconstruction blog, and this time we'll hit a true answer with an almost 100% certainty. Today's post deals with the question: who faked that plane wreck at the bottom of the ocean? I remember last year when we first heard Captain Gault say Ben did it, I remember when Tom told Michael how Widmore did it. Most of all, I remember my utter confusion over who to believe (which recently prompted another post about whether there truly was a good/evil side when it came to the Widmore-Linus divide). But this week saw what I now consider to be a categorical answer to the question: Widmore faked the plane wreckage. Let us begin with the scene in which Miles "reads" Felix, the dead guy Naomi shows him:

MILES: His name's Felix. He was... on his way to deliver something to, uh...

[Whispering continues]

MILES: A guy named... Widmore.

NAOMI: Deliver what?

MILES: A bunch of papers, photos, pictures... of... [whispering continues] empty graves. A purchase order... for an old airplane.

Is this conclusive enough? Of course, some people (including myself for a while) would argue that it is still not 100%. How like LOST. It's true - Felix could have been taking documents to Widmore that actually implicated Ben. We've all now kind of realised that Felix was probably killed by Tom, who would later show Michael the same documents in order to recruit him as "Ben's man on the boat". Michael never questioned the documents he saw, and our first piece of evidence in this post is that the documents were written out to Widmore Industries (see screencap). Thus, unless Tom forged the documents he presumably took when he killed Felix - the evidence speaks for itself that Felix was delivering Widmore receipts for his order, NOT results of any kind of private investigation. Might seem obvious, but it's good that we can clarify it all once and for all.

Our next main bit of evidence comes from Find 815. Now I know what you might be thinking - "I didn't play that sucky excuse for a LOST ARG, it was non-canon". And you are quite right. Find 815 was not canon. Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse were involved in the concept, and from what I've gathered researching on the InterWeb they gave Hoodlum (the guys who made the ARG) the premise of the Season 4x02 episode opener - that a salvage ship called the Christiane I was going to find the wreckage of Flight 815. From there, Hoodlum devised the entire ARG story, including backstories for any characters they created including protagonist Sam Thomas. Now if you view Find 815 as completely true, Sam was contacted through mysterious emails, seemingly sent from someone at a company called the Maxwell Group. Following the trail of the emails, Sam was led to the Christiane I, a salvage vessel searching for the Black Rock. After being literally given a specific set of co-ordinates by the mysterious emailer, Sam ends up finding the not the Black Rock, however, but the wreck of Oceanic Flight 815. Along the way, he meets Oscar Talbot, the expedition supervisor who also works for the Maxwell Group. Furthermore, after snooping in Talbot's room, Sam discovers that the Maxwell Group is in fact a division of Widmore Industries!!!

This all seems to fit in with the "Widmore faked the wreck" argument. It makes sense that the Maxwell Group might have been tasked with getting some sap to find the wreck their parent company planted. Playing to Sam's emotion (he lost his partner on Flight 815) - they trick him into making the discovery and make it seem like it was a remarkable "twist of fate" that the wreck had been discovered. Of course, though, this is all useless as it is non-canon, right? Well, consider what Damon Lindelof said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. After explaining how the ARG had been non-canon, he did admit:
I'll sign off on this idea: The Christiane 1, which in the show was responsible for finding Oceanic 815, was in fact looking for the Black Rock. We established that in the show — but the people who owned the ship may have been up to a little bit more than just looking for the Black Rock.
As a matter of fact, I don't think they did really establish that on the show conclusively - all they said was that the Christiane I had been quote " in search of the remains of sunken trading ships". But Lindelof's remark does furthermore fit in with the picture we're painting of how Widmore faked the plane wreck, and how he exploited the discovery. My first observation here was, OK, it sounds like this Christiane I is owned by Widmore (as per the non-canon ARG interpretation where Widmore had financed the ship's salvage mission) - but why would Widmore be looking for the Black Rock when he should already know it's on the Island? This can be easily answered though. As Lindelof said, "the people who owned the ship were up to more than just looking for the Black Rock". They were there to pretend like they had suddenly stumbled across the wreck of Oceanic Flight 815 while on an innocent salvage operation - when in fact they were hired by Widmore. It's likely that the majority of the ship's crew weren't complicit in the scheme as, judging by the reaction of the ROV operator in 4x02, they were genuinely surprised to discover the plane wreck. But it seems clear as day to this little blogger that Widmore not only staged the wreck, and also orchastrated another elaborate lie by slyly pushing the Christiane I (whether you believe my evidence or the Find 815 information) into finding his handy work. Indeed, what are the chances otherwise that a boat looking for the BLACK ROCK (thereby already making it dodgy without the Lindelof comment that they were up to more than that) should stumble upon FLIGHT 815?!

And there we have it - my conclusive proof and deconstruction that Widmore obviously faked the plane wreck and controlled its discovery. The writers likely intended the Naomi and Miles scene to categorically clear up this debate, and I hope I've helped along the way by picking off any remaining fans who still have their doubts. I also think my take on the Christiane I strengthens the writer's message, and gives a little bit of backstory that we were probably supposed to work out about Widmore orchastrating the wreck's discovery. As a fan, I'm much happier that it is now cleared up that Widmore did it - the notion that Ben was the one behind the lie never felt right - despite the fact that Ben and lying are seldom that far apart in a sentence. Moreover, I like that it has now also somewhat legitimized and given depth to the Find 815 alternate reality game. In hindsight the narrative cooked up by Hoodlum now actually seems to work really well within the mythology of the main show (though I never thought I'd compliment Hoodlum after the epic fail that was the recent Dharma Recruiting Project).

Were you always / are now 100% satisfied that Widmore faked the plane wreck? How did Widmore know TO fake the plane wreck (well he had met Locke in the 50s, so could have worked it all out...)? What was the whole point of Captain Gault's rouse in Season 4 with the black box? As ever, let us know your comments :)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

5x13 "Some Like It Hoth" Review

I like it Hoth. I really do. Not only because it's one of the strongest episodes of the season. But because it gave us such a flurry of answers, and quite a few questions as well. It was a wonderful first centric for Miles, and I hope we get to see many more from this great character.

But let's first get down to business -- Pierre and Lara are Miles' parents! As soon as I saw little Miles run into the first scene, I almost spilled my Dharma mug of coffee all over my jumpsuit. It's not that I hadn't been expecting it; fans all over the internet had been theorizing about this ever since we heard that little baby crying in the Dharma booth video from last summer's Comic-Con. I was just excited that they found a child actor who looked astoundingly like both Ken Leung and Francois Chau. If you add that to the young Widmore we saw at the beginning of "Dead is Dead," you can definitely realize that the casting directors on this show are geniuses.

The question of how Lara survived the Purge was easily answered in the next flashback, in which she told a very punkish Miles (perhaps a reference to Leung's character in X-Men: The Last Stand) that his father had kicked them out when Miles was still a baby. At first this made me scratch my head as to why Pierre, who seemed so loving to his wife in "Because You Left," would do such a thing. And then, it hit me, and it made perfect sense.

In the aforementioned Dharma booth video, Candle reveals that a pinhole has been opened in time, and that he has been able to discover that he would die in the Purge, among other things. During this video, baby Miles can be heard crying, and Pierre yells for Lara to take him outside. This means that the fallout happened after this video was filmed, and therefore Pierre knew about the Purge. I think Pierre made Lara and Miles leave the Island to escape the Purge, and that the only way they would go without him is if he kicked them out, and they had no way to go. Am I right, or am I right?

The only other significant flashback featured Bram, an Ajira 316 survivor who had been partnered with Ilana at the end of last week in kidnapping good ole Frank Lapidus as he arrived back on the Hydra Island. Bram kidnapped Miles in a van, and offered him answers as long as he didn't go to the Island. He also asked Miles that same question, "what lies in the shadow of the statue," that Ilana asked Frank last week. When Miles didn't know, he used this as evidence that Miles wasn't ready to go to the Island.

Is this why Ilana knocked Frank out? Because he just wasn't ready to be on the Island? And who exactly do Bram and Ilana work for? Definitely not Widmore, the number one fan pick. According to Bram, Widmore's on the side that's not "gonna win." So do Bram and Ilana work for Ben? Or some other unknown person?

By the way, I just thought I'd throw in that I really like Bram as a character. I don't know why...he just seems like the kind of guy that you could just go and hang out with or something...just a friendly guy. Maybe that's because he played the best friend in Choke, I dunno.

Now, finally, to the Island business. Miles first scene in the security booth felt a little too much like a recap... the line, "you mean your friend, Sayid" should have been unnecessary in the context it was used in, and was obviously a ketchup line for those who missed the past...three weeks.

I must say, I facepalmed when Miles left the tape sitting out in the player when Horace walked in (although Horace was looking very '70s in that ponytail, which makes sense I guess). It was like watching one of those disaster comedies where you can see things going wrong and you just can't do was cringe-worthy, in a good way.

Horace's little "circle of trust" quote was both incredibly naive and at the same time dangerous. Horace, like Bram, seems like a guy you could just be pals with, and you'd want to be in his circle of trust...but there's also another side to Horace that makes you afraid to break the circle. And thankfully, Miles didn't. But LaFleur may be in some trouble. By the way, did anyone think about Meet the Fockers when Horace mentioned the circle?

Radzinsky was the same as he's always been in this episode, basically a DHARMA Frogurt. I really want to see a sympathetic side to this character, because I want to like him. I just can't bring myself to.

The corpse in the promo which sparked all kinds of theories turned out to be a never-before-seen DHARMA worker named Alvarez. I really felt sorry for Alvarez; lovestruck guy who just got a cavity and the wrong job at the wrong time. But I had to giggle, even if it made my entire family look at me like I was sadistic; the mental image of some guy's fillings popping out of their head made me think of a scene from Tropic Thunder, where a soldier's helmet is shot and fountains of blood come out. Eh, I'm throwing around too many pop culture references.

But at least I'm not rewriting The Empire Strikes Back like Hurley was trying to do in the van. Even if it does seem a little lame to Miles, it's actually a pretty good idea; not only would Hurley have become filthy rich if he beat George Lucas writing the script, but he could have edited out some of the more annoying factors of Star Wars. Because really, the Ewoks do suck.

Sawyer's plan also got found out by Phil, who I knew would never do anything good for Sawyer in the long run -- except that he went to Sawyer first. I kind of feel sorry for the poor guy...he was trying to help out a friend before selling him out to Horace, who would undoubtedly be disappointed with the break in the circle of trust. But no, Sawyer destroyed all these chances of escape with one right hook that laid Phil out cold.

The final scene of the episode was the best, with Miles actually shedding a tear as he watched his father reading a book with his younger self. I think this is the point where he decides to give his dad another chance. Will he tell his dad that he's his future son? That seems more likely with the arrival of Daniel Faraday, who sounds eerily familiar to the voice we heard arguing with Pierre in the booth video. If Pierre grasps time travel, it seems most likely that Miles will tell him what's going on...because every build-up must have a result.

Speaking of which, we saw that Faraday had been gone to Ann Arbor, MI for a while, which is quite interesting, because that obviously means that his scientific talents have been grasped by DHARMA. That makes it obvious that the opening scene of the season happened before this episode, probably way before. So what happened in between? (EDIT: Several of users have called out my mistake in this paragraph. It instead appears that the season opener happened AFTER this week's episode. Sorry for the confusion.)

My money is that we'll find out in two weeks, in the episode "The Variable." The last math-term-titled episode, "The Constant," focused highly on Daniel, so it only makes sense that "The Variable" will too. And it's interesting that constants and variables are direct opposites. Hmm... And now that I'm thinking of it, wasn't one of the season four episodes that got cut due to the strike called "The Outlier?"

Anyway, that's all for this week. Hope you've enjoyed it, and I'll see you again in two weeks as I review "The Variable."

DHARMA Day Interview Special!

In honor of this being Lost Wednesday, the interview team at Lostpedia has posted two new interview for you to read! Both actors first appeared in the episode "LaFleur" earlier this year, and both their characters were members of the DHARMA Initiative. So, we're calling today DHARMA Day, in celebration of these two newLostpedia-exclusive interviews.

The first of the two interviews is with Molly McGivern, who played Rosie. If you don't remember, Rosie was the girl the security guy was dancing with at the beginning of "LaFleur." In the interview, McGivern reveals more about the role, including why she's credited for "Namaste" even though she doesn't appear! You can read her interview here.

The second of these two interviews with with Christopher Jaymes, who played the doctor in "LaFleur" (you know, the one who didn't want Juliet to operate on Amy). In the interview, Jaymes lets on his other projects (which include directing and writing), and also shares a painful anecdote about stepping on sea urchins. You can read his interview here.

But that's all for now. Check back in the coming months for interviews with Bobby Roth, Skye McCole Bartusiak, and many more! And don't forget that Lost comes on tonight at 9/8c.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Plagiarism in the Lostverse

We've heard lots of people commenting about this, so many of us administrators agreed that a blog post on the subject was in order. As some of you may be aware, DocArzt recently broke a story about a Lost video blogger who has been plagiarizing content from other blogs for his own. The blogger in question is known as "Seanie B" and you can see Doc's blog about him here, or simply watch the following video:

After hearing about this, we did a little digging here at Lostpedia and noted that we too had been plagiarized - parts of our article on The Monster had been completely ripped, in many instances word for word, in one of Seanie B's posts. On the surface of things, one might say "well so what, he doesn't have to post a video with 100% his own observations" - and in part I think most of us would agree with this. Many Lost sites use information from one another. For instance, Lostpedia has editors worldwide who add easter egg observations, theories, etc. Even popular Lost blogger DarkUFO was quoted as saying he uses Lostpedia to see if there's any easter eggs or what not he's missed, and then adds them to his own blog. And there's nothing wrong with that. Someone like Dark will only take the principle observation, and even then would attribute to Lostpedia as a source. What is different in the Seanie B case is that he has taken other peoples' ideas, and verbally copied and pasted their work. This, in our opinion, is a step over the mark - especially when it's an individual's personal blog and ideas they've researched (as an encyclopedia, Lostpedia is a little more hazey with it being the ideas of a collective). Thus, we think people should appreciate that this kind of copying is a little bit unfair, and to be honest... how hard is it to watch a TV show episode and come up with your own observations? Why word-for-word steal other peoples' thoughts on the subject? Such action implies that the blogger has little care about LOST at all even... but let's try and keep a shred of objectivity and not go down that road.

The moral of the story? Well there isn't one really. No doubt commentary such as this will ironically give a blogger perhaps not so widely known much more attention and site hits. Moreover, a lot of his watchers probably won't care how the guy gets his sources, as long as the videos are entertaining and insightful. But we do think not exposing stuff like this would be wrong - as it's unfair on individual bloggers especially when someone rips off their ideas to promote his own blog. We'll let Smokie be the judge on this guy.

What do you guys think? Should this guy apologize? Or do people care too much over their own work, and should expect a bit of plagiarism when posting on the Internet? A contentious topic, perhaps almost as volatile as the "spoilers are good/bad" debates we've had in the past... Let us know your opinions!

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Lostpedia Interview: Bobby Roth, Part 2

After a short break, the Lostpedia interview season is slowly beginning to get geared back up. Interviews with actors Christopher Jaymes and Molly McGivern will posted in only a matter of days, and more interviews have slowly started popping up!

The most recent Lostpedia Interview is with director Bobby Roth. Roth has directed two episodes of Lost, the fan favorite "The Man Behind the Curtain," and this year's "Whatever Happened, Happened."

Last year, Roth did an interview with Lostpedia about "The Man Behind the Curtain," which can be read here.

Questions for Bobby Roth can be submitted in this forum thread, or on this wiki page. Questions must be submitted before May 1 in order to be considered. Submit your questions today!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Deconstructing: Egyptian Myth

I've purposefully titled this one "Egyptian Myth" instead of "Hieroglyphs" and I cannot claim to have translated the glyphs from the Temple. This post is more concerned with the Gods and mythology generally - especially Anubis, who was depicted with the monster above what can only be described as a vent.

My first point of research call was looking to Anubis and the track record - looking for any similarity with the Monster's track record. Sure enough, the jackal-headed Anubis has major ties to afterlife happenings - "he who is upon the mountains" in some sources led you down to the underworld and looked after you while you were "judged". Perhaps the best example of this is in "The Judgement" from the papyrus of the scribe Hunefer, 19th dynasty - property of the British Museum:

Hunefer is taken by Anubis to the scales of judgment, with the monster Ammit crouching beneath. Should the judgment go against Hunefer, his heart becomes property of Ammit, who would swallow the wicked heart if it weighs more than the feather or something. If things go good, he's taken to Osiris - keeper of the Underworld and who will let him into afterlife proper. Hmm... I think my cliff notes version just desecrated thousands of years of respect and religion. Oh well.

So this Ammit thing was next to catch my attention. A monster, who will swallow you whole should the judgment not go your way. Could our black smoke monster be some alternative LOSTy version of Ammit? Experts have linked Ammut to Taweret due to the similar physical appearance (Ammit is usually shown as either a crocodile or dog) and role of protecting others from evil. Let us not forget that Taweret was heavily linked earlier as the identity of the statue seen by Sawyer and co when they hopped back in time.

Ammit was feared, despite being ultimately a force of good or neutral, by the Egyptians as it prevented one from rest forever. She also "dwelt in the Hall of Ma'at" - Temple link? I have no idea. But the links are compelling, the lap dog of Anubis who sorted you out if you didn't cut muster... exactly the role our Monster seems to be playing. What do you think? Any Egyptologists out there with some professional knowledge to share?

Check out Wikipedia articles on Ammit, Anubis, and Taweret to learn more. And copyrightness goes to the British Museum for the papyrus pic.

5x12 Dead is Dead review

I couldn't feel any more alive. I literally just finished watching the ep, another Ben-centric classic, and I'm euphoric. Best ep of Season 5. Soooo good to see Smokey, Desmond, badass Ben and wicked Widmore, and some great acting between O'Quinn and Emerson.

First of all, let's start with one of my favourite set of flashbacks. First of all we have Widmore (who I thought the casting(s) for were really good) meeting Ben for the first time. Then we see a teenage Ethan, who gave me one of my many Lostgasms for this ep, with the kidnapping of Alex! After Danielle's backstory earlier, I thought we would never get to see the kidnapping itself, so I had another lostgasm (even if it was another continuity error with Danielle's account). My third lostgasm in the scene came from the mention of the whispers. I always feel good when the writers mention a mystery I thought they had forgotten about/ignored.

Then we have the scene with older Widmore, which was a pretty cool scene to explain the origins of the rivalry with the daughter whose death sent into the next level. Next up was Widmore's exile, which I was glad wasn't via the wheel, they've come pretty close to wearing out its hinges. The mention of Penny, those Rules, and the foreshadowing of Alex's fate made this scene even more fulfilling.

Cut to 2008, to the first time we've seen Desmond in six episodes. Has it really been that long? As an LP forums member said: "I thought I loved Desmond, but I hardly noticed his recent disappearance". His pwnage of Ben was excellent however. Another interesting parallel was to Sawyer's first flashback where he couldn't go through with his con after seeing the kid, just like Ben couldn't pull the trigger in front of Lil Charlie.

Now to the "present", if that still exists in this show. The death of Caesar blew me away ;), Ben making sure his badassery wasn't hurt by that paddle. Hopefully we'll get some backstory for him still, unlike other characters with premature deaths. *cough*Libby*cough*

Sun and Frank's reappearance was perhaps the most boring part of this ep, a "Getting you where you need to be" scene that have been quite common lately.

But where do you not want to be? With the Monster, that thing is INSANE. My favourite Lost mystery, the thing that got me hooked on the show really delivered tonight. Plenty of confirmations about it, and is definitely the mind/voice of the Island. If Ben needed any more reason to trust Locke, he got it with his hot dead daughter threatening to "destroy" him.

And speaking of hot mysterious women, what is up with Illana? Does she know about the statue? How come she's got allies on the plane? For the first time, I've got reason to be really interested by her character.

In conclusion, awesome ep is awesome.

Monday, April 06, 2009

"Invisibul Dinasaur Hed" mentioned, but not picked

A few weeks ago, Blue eagle islander posted a blog urging fans to submit their finale code-names to Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse for consideration. LP's official choice was "Invisibul Dinasaur Hed" [sic], when stems from a long-running joke on this thread of LP forums.

However unsurprisingly, "Invisibul Dinasaur Hed" did not make the final cut, or even the final thirteen of the codenames (the winner of which was the electrifying "Fork in the Outlet"). That's not to say, however, that the beautifully misspelled title didn't get some other honor bestowed on it by the powers that be.

In an episode of "Getting Lost," a TV Guide exclusive video dedicated to the show, Damon and Carlton actually mentioned the fabled "hed," naming it the "#1 rejected" codename and stating that they "would not be naming the final scene that."

It's a pity that LP (not so) narrowly missed being a part of actual Lost history, but it is cool that we got a shoutout from Damon and Carlton.

In the meantime, all we can do is theorize about the meaning of the "Fork in the Outlet."

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

5x11 "Whatever Happened, Happened" Review

Even though the episode aired on April 1, there was no fooling around in "Whatever Happened, Happened," the twelfth episode of the fifth season. More mysteries were revealed, a few solved, and Kate actually had something important to do for the first time this season! Meanwhile, we took a look at remorseful and remorseless workmen, Hurley's hardheadedness and a very cool ending scene which returned us to the present for the first time in weeks.

First of all, "Whatever Happened, Happened" is the best Kate-centric since "Tabula Rasa," if not before. Not because of the flashbacks, mind you; they were average at best. No, it was the on-Island story that really fueled this episode.

We started with a disgruntled Jin waking up after being mugged by Sayid, who takes Ben in a van back to the Barracks. This is pretty much all Jin does in the episode, and I'm quite sad he didn't get a bigger role. He's hardly done anything recently, and I would love for him to get a little more screen time. I don't want his survival to have been in vain.

We also saw some Roger/Kate chemistry going on during their interaction at the Barracks. While it may not be mutual, it was obvious that Roger was trying to make time with Kate. Poor guy -- he never had a chance.

But speaking of Roger, he was shown to be quite sympathetic in this episode, much more so than he had been in "The Man Behind the Curtain" and "He's Our You." He seemed much more like a person than a simple child abuser, and I have to say I liked seeing this soft side to the big meanie. Having said that, I think his explanation of his bad parenthood was quite lacking, and he didn't quite own up to everything he did. But, at least for this episode, he was a good enough guy who legitimately cared about his son.

On the reverse of that coin, there was a janitor who couldn't care less whether Ben lived or died. That was Jack, and he was my least favorite character of the episode. His insensitivity to whether or not a child lived or died, regardless of who the child would grow up to be, was shocking from such a usually emotional character. The shower scene with Juliet, though, gave him the reality shock he needed, hopefully. Her teary confronting of Jack was one of the highlights of the episode, and hopefully put him in his place about his sudden turn from science to faith.

You can't help but think of the irony presented over the course of the episode. Jack refused to help because of what Ben would become. However, his refusal to help was the entire reason that Ben became permanently one of the Hostiles, as Richard put it. Poor Jack.

While Jack was refusing to save little Benny, however, something much better was happening in that little Barracks house. Hurley and Miles had a Q&A session regarding time travel. Hurley was obviously playing the audience surrogate in this scene, asking the questions that some of the less mythology-oriented viewers were dying to know, while Miles shot down each answer with some sarcastic retorts. However, the questioning seemed to go on a little too long, and I began to feel like Hurley was being a little hardheaded about the entire situation, until he popped out that zinger about Ben not remembering Sayid. That's what I (as well as many other Lostpedians, I'm sure) had been asking all week long, and I'm glad we finally had someone else ask that question.

The answer to that question, however, was less satisfying. Richard simply chalked it up to Ben forgetting what happened as a result of being healed in the Temple, which I felt was a little bit of a cop-out. Richard was great in this episode, but that one line of dialogue made me want to slap myself. I can't see how else they could have explained that question, but surely they could have formulated something better than "he just won't remember."

Speaking of Richard, he had a line of dialogue with an Other that made me stroke my chin and look thoughtful. The Other (named in the press release as Erik) whispered to Richard that perhaps he should check with Ellie or Charles, to which Richard replied that he answered to neither of them. This short dialogue was interesting, not only because it implied that Ellie had some form of power within the hierarchy of the Others, but because it was implied that she and Widmore were both supposed to be above Richard, or at least in Erik's opinion. When we last saw Ellie and young Charles, they were both hotheaded young teenagers who were very low on the food chain within the Others. How did they get to the top? And how will they ultimately be overthrown by Ben?

After that short exchange with Erik, Richard just strode off into the jungle, holding Ben. A camera pan revealed that he was walking to the Temple, which we had seen before as the place where Montand lost his arm. He then goes in, leading us to wonder what exactly happens behind that stone doorway.

This then led in to the great cliffhanger at the end of the episode. In present time for the first time since "Namaste," we see Locke watching Ben come to in the Hydra infirmary, almost directly leading in from "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham." As Ben woke up and stared in shock at the living Locke, I couldn't help but laugh at his scared expression as Locke welcomed him back to the land of the living. To tell the truth, though, I really wanted Ben to play it off well, which he could have done easily by smiling with joy and telling Locke that he wanted for this to happen. I really think that would have been a better ending, and it would have restored a lot of the faith I lost in Ben during that fateful flashback in episode 5x07.

Well, another episode down, six more to go. This season is flying by, and I'm getting more and more excited for each episode

Lostpedia Book Club in a Catch-22

After Ulysses, we appear to be gluttons for punishment - taking on another epically long book. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller is our April read. Set during WWII, it offers a satirical view on the absurdities of war - and is considered one of the great literary works of the Twentieth Century. This should yield some great discussion - as many of you have already read this one and so can have long debates about it if you know the content so well :)

As ever, you can discuss the book on the Forums HERE and also propose future reads HERE (please do this actually, as there's been slim pickings despite a good number of you actually taking part and reading).

Finally, I can announce May's book. As there was little in the way of choices, I decided to chip in with a book fitting for this Season. "A Brief History of Time" by Stephen Hawking will be May's read! Don't let the name throw you - this book is designed to explain astrophysics to the layman, with hardly any technical jargon and lots of pictures apparently. So we should all be able to learn something without getting too bored, and I predict it may even help us understand some of the mysteries of LOST time travel (at any rate, I can't hurt). Thank us in Season 6 when the characters sit down and all is revealed - knowing this book just might make it make a little more sense. Get a copy of "A Brief History of Time" now from Amazon US or public library (international peeps: local library or online websites).

M. Night Shyamalan (April Fools)

In a shockingly quiet press release yesterday, executive producers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof, revealed that the director of the series finale would be none other than acclaimed director M. Night Shymalan. The content of the finale still remains a secret, but Lindelof and Cuse stated that they wished to "get a hold" on the most important episode of next year, to make sure that everything goes "without a hitch."

Shyamalan, director of such films as The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and Lady in the Water says that he is more than up for the challenge, and will begin working with the producers as soon as his newest film, The Last Airbender, completes production. It is also rumoured that Shymalan's newfound experience with 3D (after working on Airbender) will be involved.

Shyamalan, an avid ''Lost'' fan, said that he was already working with Damon and Carlton on an early draft of the episode.

I have mixed feelings about this. We could end up with something Sixth Sense-ish, or something like Lady in the Water. Only time will tell, and hopefully it mainly remains in Darlton's hands.

UPDATE: It's an April Fools joke. Don't worry, the finale is in safe hands. :)


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