Thursday, February 26, 2009

5x07 wiki article open again

Apologies to those who visited the Lostpedia article for 5x07 and found it empty. For some reason, the article crashed due to so many people editing it at once... leading to a major system failure.

I fixed the problem in a bit of a cheat's way... deleting the article and recreating it. This is always a last resort as it wipes the edit history for everyone but Administrators... but it was an exceptional circumstance as it can't stay like that.

Hopefully now it should be fine considering there isn't such a surge of activity anymore. Please contribute to the article and bring it up to date:

The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham

Deconstructing: Widmore vs Ben

In picture: A very appropriate for this blog black and white contrast shot of Ben (taken from the scene where he confronts Widmore in 4x09)

Thanks to CTS for the 5x07 ep review - next week I've decided I'm back on the payroll for 5x08, which I have no idea about, so here's hoping it's a good one... It'll be nice to do an episode blog again though, having been on Lostpedia sabbatical since 5x05. Now, to the present blog, and we're kicking it up a notch with another deconstruction - which if you don't know is basically where we theorise and ATTEMPT to make some good fact/episode links - giving us an edge on general speculation theories. This week saw less in the way of sickness or electromagnetism (see previous posts), but interestingly more in the way of easter eggs, tis the season I guess. It was nice to see though, considering I don't think there's been many trivia things this Season so far... I mean yes there was Ulysses, but nothing as deep as an obscure TIME magazine copy, etc.

Anyway, enough intro rambling, time to go all binary oppositiony with the assessment of Benjamin Linus and Charles Widmore. I think clearly this episode, albeit uber-choppy (though that's kinda relaxing in a strange viewing way where you get answers), was all about those two men. Which of them is good, which of them is evil - in a non false dichotomy I don't even know what false dichotomy means kind of way. But regardless, this has been something that has been building since Season 4 - is Ben the one who is protecting the Island from the evil Widmore, or is Widmore trying to stop Ben's tyranny? Let's travel back to Season 4 where this opposition truly started.

In a nutshell, Captain Gault argued that Ben and his folk staged the wreckage of Oceanic Flight 815 at the bottom of the ocean. He chillingly commented how someone could find over 300 bodies for such a staged wreckage. However, flash through a couple of episodes, and the opposite is being said - Charles Widmore staged the plane wreckage. Believing Ben's story also has the advantage that Tom had some documental proof it was Widmore, including images of the burial site in... Cambodia (?) where Widmore got the bodies for the wreck. This issue has still yet to be fully solved... though it seems more plausible that it was actually Widmore, considering it's Gault's word versus documental evidence (unless you want to argue the documents' verisimilitude and all that). But still, this doesn't necessarily answer our question - Widmore could have staged the wreckage, and yeah got a load of dead bodies which is royally unseemly, to protect the Island. So, in that sense, is Widmore necessarily the big bad - or is Ben just playing his games?

Moving on to Season 5 and majorly glossing over the whole "I'm gonna kill your daughter thing" (don't wanna get even more sidetracked than usual, sorry), we have this new mystery - why did Ben banish Charles Widmore from the Island? We saw young Widmore, a fully-fledged Other with his people - wonder how far his lineage on the Island goes... This was at a time before Ben arrived, and Widmore leads us to believe that not only was he the Island's leader, but when Ben joined up he tricked Charles into leaving (by turning the wheel? Doubtful considering Ben had to blast open the bunny door to get to that room). Kicking someone else to get power does seem to fit the Linus profile, and manipulating people is kind of Ben's angsty past ridden raison d'etre.

But then again, we have our reasons for believing Ben too. Despite the fact that you can never trust a word he says, should evidently never turn your back to him, and apparently that he has a homocidal trigger command with the words "Eloise Hawking" - he did rightly call the Freighter team for what they really were. If Widmore was a good guy, yeah a mercernary team would be needed to take on Ben's crew... but a) he gave them orders to torch the Island, and b) he told them to kill everyone, which surely would include "his people" as he openly admits to Locke. Consequently, I seem to find myself siding with Ben in an acquiescey kind of way... wow I present a solid conclusion in this post!

Is Widmore telling the truth, and is he in fact a good thing for the Island and the survivors? Is it all just relative? Even if he does "want the Island for himself" like Ben always says - does Widmore necessarily want to do bad things. Sometimes a new leader, whether elected or not, doesn't do incredibly evil deeds on the people (though we can argue morality til Svetlana comes home). I think the main thing we should take away from this is the following: while everyone seems so quick to black and white the Ben vs Widmore issue on the basis of who is pure good and who is pure bad, maybe there are some very deep shades of grey between them. Let us know your thoughts - who do you side with and why?

P.S. Thought I should mention how Alan Dale (who plays Charles Widmore, whom this blog is kinda centered on) has major dissed Lost fans in the past for being too geeky and reading too much into the show... meh... *insert rude snappy comeback about his acting ability here*

5x07 "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham" Review

"The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham" was another fantastic episode of LOST's fifth season. John Locke has had one of the most interesting and important story arcs of the entire show.

The episode begins inside a presumed DHARMA station, with Caesar, who is searching through various DHARMA maps and supplies. Ilana tells Caesar that they found a man on the beach, who nobody remembers from the plane.

That man is none other than John Locke - who we last saw dead in a coffin. Locke tells Ilana that he remembers dying. We flashback to the end of "This Place Is Death", when Locke turns the frozen wheel to move the Island. Locke ends up in the middle of the Tunisia desert, just like Ben from "The Shape of Things To Come". He is severely wounded from injuring his leg back at the Orchid. There is a camera watching Locke, and at night, a car arrives, and takes Locke to a hospital. While the doctors are mending Locke's leg, we get a glimpse of Matthew Abaddon. Abaddon was the mysterious man who appeared as an orderly after Locke was in a wheelchair, and told him to go on the walkabout, which eventually led him to the Island. Abaddon also was in charge of the freighter's science team, and he appointed Naomi Dorrit to look after the group of four (Daniel Faraday the physicist, Charlotte Lewis the antropologist, Miles Straume the spiritualist, and Frank Lapidus the pilot). In "The Beginning of the End", we also saw Abaddon visit Hurley at Santa Rosa, asking him the all-important question: "Are they still alive?"
When Locke wakes up, Widmore talks to him, explaining that he was once the leader of the Others, but was exiles because of Ben. Locke explains that he left the Island willingly, and Widmore knows it's so that he can bring them back.

Widmore provides Locke with all the information on the Oceanic Six, and leaves Locke with Matthew Abaddon. They first travel to Santo Domingo, where Sayid is building a house. Sayid is adament about staying off-Island. Locke then goes to see Walt, who says that he's been having dreams about him. Locke doesn't ask Walt to come back, because "he's been through enough". Kate is also adament about staying, and says that the only reason Locke wants to stay is because he's never been in love.

Locke goes to visit Helen Norwood, who died of a brain disease. After this, Abaddon is shot dead by Ben, and Locke gets in a car accident. He is taken to a hospital, and sees Jack. Locke says it's fate that they go back, but Jack says he's a lonely old man who survived a plane crash.

Locke attempts to hang himself, but is stopped by Ben, who says Locke still has work to do. Shortly after Locke mentions that Jin is still alive, Ben strangles him to death.

This is one of the best episodes of the entire series in my opinion. Locke has such an intriguing story arc, and is definitely important to the overall story. This episode raises many questions: What war is Widmore referring to? Why did Ben kill Locke? Who is good, Widmore (the man who sent a team to torch the Island) or Ben (the man who attempted to kill Locke because he could see Jacob)? I think that Ben has his own agenda; to be the leader of the Others, and Jacob.

I think that the 'war' will eventually be between Widmore and Ben, since they both seem to want to be in control of the Island. I thought this was a fantastic episode. Locke has been vigorously trying to convince them to come back, but he was met with bitter resistance from Sayid, Kate, and Jack. After his death though, we all know that they change their minds.

This episode was a fantastic way to show Locke's mission off the Island, and also included one of the most shocking moments of the series (Ben killed Locke!). The acting was also incredible in this episode, with a great performance from Terry O'Quinn (John Locke). I was surprised to see Abaddon die so soon - he seemed to be the bearer of great mystery to me. Overall, this was a fantastic episode.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Deconstructing: Electromagnetism

Pictured: A fantastic screencap, but promo images of the entire episode rather than just the plane scene would be greatly appreciated TPTB!

Thanks to 'ILostMyKeys' for stepping in this week with a recap review of 5x06, and hopefully over the next few weeks we should have many other guest bloggers from Lostpedia posting the reviews. To the present post, and last week saw some fantastic discussion in the comments on "the sickness" after we ran a "deconstructing" blog, so this week it seemed clear that another one would be very cool - and while writing this, I'm genuinely looking forward to hearing your opinions/theories. Today's topic is electromagnetism, inspired by Eloise Hawking's comments about The Lamp Post station being built on a pocket of electromagnetic energy. Out of the entire episode, this was one thing that really stuck in this writer's mind. And here's why.

The comments by Hawking were interesting. She said that the Lamp Post was built on unique electromagnetic energy, one of many pockets of such all over the world. The one they were interested in though was the Island. They'd gathered proof that it existed (DHARMA found the US Army Top Secret photo intel, I'd wager) and from there worked out how to find the Island by predicting its movement. What struck me though was if you take a step back from these revelations - simply where the Lamp Post, and so in turn this electromagnetic energy, was. Beneath a church.

Now it's possible that DHARMA built the church above the station as some kind of rouse - let's face it, they've done worse. But it seemed interesting as we know of some other points of "unique energy" from the show. First, there's the Island itself and second in Australia where Isaac the faith healer was shacked up (remember him?). Both locations were associated with healing, and as Isaac commented to Rose:

There are certain places with great energy -- spots on the Earth like the one we're above now. Perhaps this energy is geological -- magnetic. Or perhaps it's something else.
So I don't think it's a major speculation to deconstruct these points as the following: it is the electromagnetic energy that is causing the healing. Evidence for this comes from Isaac's words, the Island's ability to heal and fact that it is on an electromagnetic hotspot, and that the Lamp Post was built under a church. The latter point you might think is odd, but it could be that the church was started after reports of "healing" or energy. There are quite a few "faith healing" churches out there... though then again the Lamp Post church seemed a bit fundamental Catholic by the looks.

But what else does the electromagnetic evidence tell us? Well, if there are pockets of it all over the world, then it could also explain how someone like Ben left the Island by turning the wheel. The explanation is probably more sci-fi than this, but I'd imagine that turning the wheel could set off a massive amount of electromagnetic energy - which moved Ben to another "pocket" in the world not only through space but time also. The sheer amount of energy on the Island could account for this. Perhaps we should think of the Island as a huge ball of energy - we know it contains not least an A-bomb and a volcano! Such is the power of said energy, it can go beyond the physical barriers. OK, getting a little bit too speculative now - but the idea of travel off the Island to another hotspot is an appealing theory, and explains why Ben landed in the Tunisian desert of all places.

Final thoughts: if this deconstruction is correct - why does the Island continue to move... is it unstable due to the electromagnetism? Why does the Island have a special amount of energy? Let us know your thoughts. But before we finish, maybe think about this - the Island's tides are odd. Juliet comments when she finds out that the survivors have a sailboat "they can enjoy going round in circles for a while". Ever tried the old magnet and metal sprinkles experiment, how they all gather around it. Is the same true for the water surrounding the Island? An old theory (I remember that one circling around circa Season 2), but it does all seem to lead back to electromagnetism, doesn't it?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

5x06 "316" Review

This week, friend of Lostpedia and the blog, user "ILostMyKeys", is posting the episode review. It's his first post ever so do be kind :)

"We have to go back!!" And now they are. I thought it wouldn't be until the later episodes of the season, perhaps the finale, that the O6 would make their return, but we saw it all in the latest episode of Lost, season 5 episode 6, entitled "316". When I learned of the title I immediately pictured Stone Cold Kate Austen, opening a can on some bad guys. In fact, it was flight 316, and this episode showed us the return of the O6.

316 was set almost entirely off-island, and was largely centered on Jack and the 36 hours after the cliffhanger of the previous episode, This Place Is Death. It began with a trademark of Lost, the close-up eye shot, in a very similar fashion to the first shot in season 1's pilot. Jack find's Hurley, and then Kate by the lagoon, before we are whooshed back in time 36 hours to find out how they got there.

Off the island, we are led into a new Dharma station, The Lamppost. Here, Ms Hawking explains that Dharma used this station to find the island, which is always moving. Using the apparatus they can predict where the island is going to be in a certain point in time, and Ms Hawking has found such a window for the O6 to exploit via a trans-pacific flight, Ajira flight 316, heading from Los Angeles to Guam. And this is the point where the episode and indeed the show itself turns in a direction I did not like. Ms Hawking insists that to maximize the chances of getting back to the island, not only must as many of the people on flight 815 be on flight 316, but other "recreations" must be made. She tells Jack that John Locke's body was a proxy, a substitute for Christian Shepard, who's body was being transported in flight 815. She tells him he must find something of his father's to give to Locke. My problem with this is: why does the island need them to make these recreations? Can it not tell the difference between Christian Shepard and another dead man with an item of his?!

Desmond tells the others that they are crazy to want to go back to the island, and tells Jack not to listen to Ms Hawking. Ms Hawking informs Desmond that the island is not done with him, he replies that he is done with the island, and leaves. Later, we are in Jack's apartment, in a very spooky scene. We hear a noise, and Jack goes to investigate, discovering Kate on her own, looking distraught. She says she will go back to the island with Jack if he promises never to ask about Aaron again. And then they do it! Goal for Jack! What happened to Aaron? If I could speculate, I would suggest that the guys with the traquilizer darts finally caught up with Kate, kidnapped Aaron, and are using him to blackmail Kate into going back to the island. I'd speculate further that Kate made out with Jack in an attempt to get pregnant, in another recreation of flight 815, Kate would take the place of Claire as the plane's pregnant woman.

What happened that night to everyone other than Jack is a mystery. In the morning, a beaten up Ben rings up Jack, and informs him that he got "side tracked" and needs Jack to pick up Locke's body. This leads to what I felt was a poignant scene. Jack had earlier met up with his grandad, who was trying to make a break from his old-folks home. His grandfather gave him a pair of his Christian's shoes, and Jack put's said pair on Locke's lifeless feet, and tells Locke that wherever he is he "must be laughing his ass off". Before closing the coffin, an emotional Jack gives Locke back his suicide note, telling him he already heard all he needs to hear and that he's going back.

At the airport we see Sayid, being led by an attractive, dark-haired, unknown woman. And we see Hurley, carrying what looked to me like a guitar case, for sure a case for some kind of instrument. These details seem to be following the recreation of 815 theme. On flight 815, Kate was being escorted by a marshall as a prisoner. Now it seems Sayid is the prisoner. Hurley takes the place of Charlie as the musician. On the plane, Sayid does not appear surprised to see the rest of the O6, an indication to me that he was aware of what was going on. Which begs the question, who is the woman escorting him, and why is he there when he explicitly said he wanted no part of returning to the island? I again go back to the tranq-gun agents, and speculate that they are Widmore people, and indeed the woman escorting Sayid on the plane is a Widmore agent.

An annoying recurring theme to Lost is the lack of communication, and on the plane it was especially absurd. You would have though someone would have said something to Sayid, at the very least said hi, but no. Jack hears that none other than Frank Lapidus is flying the plane, and he jumps at the chance to talk to him, in my view making the lack of communication between him and Sayid even more ridiculous, unbelievable and utterly unconvincing.

In the penultimate scene, Jack and Ben sit together, Ben reading. Jack asked Ben how he can read, and Ben replies his mother taught him. Jack, holding John Locke's suicide note (it found its way back to him after the security searched the coffin), asks Ben if he knew Locke killed himself, the reply a negative. Jack asks what was going to happen to the other people on the plane and Ben replies "who cares". I felt like this scene was designed to show just how selfish Ben is, the extent of his lying nature. He lies for the hell of it, nothing he says can be trusted as he only tells the truth when it suits him, and he doesn't give a damn about anyone. Jack reads the note, which says:


I wish you believed me.


And then the plane fills with a bright light, not unlike the flashes experienced on the island, and we are back where the episode started, Jack lying on his back in the jungle. We see him find Hurley and Kate again, before a Dharma van pulls up, and a man in a Dharma jump-suit points a rifle at the trio... It's none other than Jin! L O S T

I thought it was a great episode, well acted and well shot. I especially liked the atmosphere created in the plane, and the scene at night in Jack's apartment - very eerie and Lost at it's atmospheric best.. However I wish someone would have said something to Sayid, it just seems very hard to swallow that after all they've been through, no one said a word to him. Also, this idea of recreating things on flight 815 - it just doesn't make sense, and I fear Lost is trading science fiction for fantasy, a move that doesn't please me nor many fans of the show... Can't wait to find out what happened to Kate, Sayid, Hurley and Ben in those 36 hours, and of course the explanation for the recreating of flight 815. All in all, I'm glad they're back on the island at the very least, and the off-island stuff was for the most part only mildly intriguing. Let's hope not too much episode time is wasted telling more off-island stories and we get to the good juicy stuff on the island!

This episode gets 7 thumbs up. ilostmykeys

Monday, February 16, 2009

Deconstructing: "The Sickness"

After connecting some dots with the opening scene of S5, and that epic investigation the blog did on Ajira Airways a while ago, perhaps there should become a regular segment where we deconstruct a Lost mystery using all the information Lostpedia has on a subject to form a supported theory or answer. Today, I really wanted to address the sickness, having just gone through Lostpedia's article on it and also the transcripts of all episodes referring to a sickness on the Island. For a more complete and encyclopedic lowdown, see The Sickness page on the wiki.

What was interesting this week is that we now know more about the sickness and its symptoms. I think it's a fair bet to suggest that the writers have been playing with us over the years, making links between Claire's condition and the sickness in the episode "Maternity Leave", for example. But in fact, the sickness appears to have no physical "Quarantine" contamination zone symptom - it is apparently all in your head making you either under the control of the Monster or just plain crazy (or both... but the latter provides an interesting theory comparison I think to the 'cabin fever' experienced aboard the Kahana).

But what causes the sickness? This is a very contentious topic, and I've had a very nerdy argument about this in the Lostpedia Chatroom. The reason is that many people passionately believe that Montand and the other guys got the sickness after going down into the Temple (considering Montand was rather placid for a man who has just lost his arm when he was all like "I'm cool, come down and get me"). It makes sense considering Danielle was the only one not to go down, and also the only one not to get sick. However, some of the facts from Season 1 seem to contradict. See the transcript section below:

DANIELLE: We were part of a science team.

SAYID: A science team armed with rifles? Was Robert on the team?


SAYID: And Alex, was he, too?

DANIELLE: Our vessel was 3 days out of Tahiti when our instruments malfunctioned. It was night, a storm, the sounds. The ship slammed into rocks, ran aground, the hull breached beyond repair. So, we made camp, dug out this temporary shelter. Temporary. Nearly 2 months we survived here, 2 months before --

SAYID: Your distress signal? The message I heard, you said, "It killed them all."

DANIELLE: We were coming back from the Black Rock. It was them. They were the carriers.

SAYID: Who were the carriers?

DANIELLE: The others.

SAYID: What others? What is the Black Rock? Have you seen other people on this island?

DANIELLE: No, but I hear them. Out there, in the jungle. They whisper. You think I'm insane.

SAYID: I think you've been alone for too long.

Well first it's fun to see Sayid asked the question back then that we're all moaning about now - "how come a science team has rifles". Old news people, old news. But anyway, Danielle says they were there two months before the sickness started to lay in. That would mean either they contracted it later, or it was there unnoticed for a while. Is this just a goof on the part of the writers, or still full truth? You decide what side of the temple you're taking dear Lost fans, and comment so we know!

Furthermore there's quite a fun thing in that quote above - though it probably wasn't intentional. If you look where she says "it was them. They were the carriers", and Sayid says "who were the carriers". "The Others", she replies... but did she mean THE OTHERS or the others as in her friends? Again there's been some debate about how Rousseau had implied that the Others were the carriers, and yet Season 5 suggests it is her friends.... but if you actually look at the transcript, it is a little more ambiguous. Notice how Sayid then cuts her off with multiple other questions, ending on "have you seen other people on this Island"... is it a classic case of misdirection? Then again, the way she says "the others" if you actually watch the old episode again sounds very much like she means Ben's Others as opposed to her team. Seems once more it's a matter of interpretation, let us know what you make of it.

Lastly, discussing the actual symptoms of the sickness, it is still very early days but is the sickness the Monster controlling them? Or, alternatively, did the Monster just make them crazy and homocidal? It is definitely the Monster that changes them, as young Danielle screams at Robert (again kind of implying that they got sick in the Temple). Perhaps the Monster IS controlling their bodies - making them take out the enemy to keep the Island safe from outsiders (at this point, the Island has been battered by both the US army and DHARMA). Was Robert even alive at this point, or is it like with Yemi where his body had gone and suddenly he appeared to Eko?

The blog motto we've used in many past posts, "only time will tell", seems to hold new meaning this Season...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

5x05 This Place is Death Review

Pictured: First Ellie, now an almost exact same promo shot of young Rousseau. Looks like she doesn't change her clothes much over the next sixteen years. Gross.

Another great episode in a brilliant season of suspense and craziness. This episode in particular is a long time coming, with us finally learning a little more about Rousseau and the science team. Furthermore, we see the temple - which we can probably say with confidence is "the temple" we believed to be a DHARMA station that Ben mentioned (and where the Others are now supposedly).

Beginning with Rousseau and the team - connecting the dots was incredibly exciting, and also learning more about "the sickness" Rousseau kept mentioning... not a sickness with physical symptoms like many of us believed... but an infection in the style of horror movies. Very freaky. When we first see Rousseau and Robert standing off, I think we all thought "oh dear, Danielle really WAS crazy, and killed them all in paranoia". But then when she lowered the gun, Robert tried to kill her. And not just her - he was willing to kill off his own unborn children! Did the "infection" come from the Monster? Was the Monster controlling Robert? Is it really just a security system guarding the temple? Did Montand get "the sickness" while in the temple and spread it? Or all three get it at once? Why would that make Robert want to kill a pregnant woman? It's all absolutely insane, and looking forward to hearing your theories. But things do now make sense - such as why Rousseau was trapped in the radio tower by Brennan (as per her distress signal) - Brennan turned evil thanks to the sickness. The one thing that doesn't add up though is in Season 1 episode "Solitary" where Rousseau said about the Others, "it was them. They were the carriers". It opens up an alternative theory that Robert and co weren't actually sick, they were just turned by the Others (to the point of murdering your wife and kid though?!). Or, the Others did give them this "sickness" thing rather than the Monster. Many, many possible confusing explanations out there... but awesome nevertheless!

Now turning the attention to the old architecture featured in this episode. The temple itself - the house of the Monster? If the temple is in the Dark Territory, that would make sense. But the blast door map referencing a number of Cerberus Vent points - which I had always assumed were where the Monster came from... so either there are multiple temples or the blast door map CV points mean something else. Speaking of the temple though, much love to DocArzt and friends who have a translation screencap of those hieroglyphs here! Nothing stands out as amazingly revelationy though, I'm afraid.

Next up is the Orchid and well. I'm glad Sawyer pointed out how going into the Orchid and experiencing a flash could be deadly, and it was good to see it happen on the well (still confused about the whole raft thing not vanishing last week). It was cool to see the white flash come FROM the well though - again pushing the importance of that wheel room being the center of energy on the Island. Hopefully, Locke putting the wheel back on track will correct things on the Island... as I don't think the guys can take many more! (Though we sure can... otherwise we won't see more of the science crew!)

Finally, discussing our dear Losties... who have effectively fallen on the backburner from our minds this week. Sympathy to Charlotte, who could be Annie? Her dying words are about chocolate... and when we first meet Annie in Ben's flashback she's offering him an Apollo bar. It's a stretch of a theory, but one might think Charlotte's mom would make her change her name after they left (though this theory doesn't work when Charlotte is much younger than Ben). Last and I mean last - Ms Hawking, Faraday's mom. Well done to everyone who predicted it. But how does she know how to find the Island? And will she in next's week's ep pull a Joop and suddenly explain every detail about what the Island is? Hmm, the likelihood of that on this show....

Thursday, February 05, 2009

5x04 The Little Prince Review

Season 5 keeps getting better. The premiere night (5x01 & 5x02) to me were disappointing content-poor episodes whose only purpose was to bridge loose ends from the Season 4 finale in order to set up the chess pieces for the rest of the season's plotline: a slog-through pair of episodes, but an expected one. However, with 5x03 Jughead, the Lost story machine finally got some air and began to move. And last night it just kept going strong with 5x04's The Little Prince. It was so good that now I actually have the improbable hope that things will continue to get better, and revelatory bombshells will continue to get bigger and more frequent as the season goes on.

Before watching the ep, we knew the title, The Little Prince, and that gave me two guesses: 1) it was about Aaron, or 2) because it's also the title of a famous picture book by French author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the episode was going to go French on us. It turned out to be both.

Off Island, the slow unraveling of the convoluted relationships of the O6 and Ben was interesting to watch-- everyone has a hidden agenda, and as the writers face the 2 season series deadline, these hidden agendas are often not hidden long. But let's not do a play-by-play summary of the episode. Here's what I noticed.

Music. Now I am usually not a huge fan of Jack(face)'s emotional scenes. However, Jack's reunion with Kate at her car window really seemed real for me. Good job Evvy and Foxy for that scene. Later, the Giacchino music harked back to the snake-in-a-mailbox scene when the flashforward device was first unveiled... in the dark scene when Jack & Kate pull up to the marina to meet Ben & Sayid had the same music, and it brought me back to those emotions in the deep "wtf-scarred" regions of my brain.

Back to the island-bound, when the Losties are marching, I'm glad Giacchino didn't reprise his corny "march" music, first used in the trek to the Radio tower with Naomi from TTLG. But more importantly, music might be a clue: is it my imagination or did I hear a new musical theme when Juliet was talking (rather sweetly) with Sawyer? Go back and take a listen, and when the next episodes air, keep an ear out for this theme when Juliet appears. Is it her new theme and a clue, or is it some old theme I had never noticed before? Giacchino doesn't have a history of composing one-shot themes, so I'll have to go back and take a listen to her bedroom scene with Goodwin, to see if last night was the start of something new for Juliet's storyline. Enough of musical analysis.

My gut feelings toward the characters are also changing. Miles has always struck me as a poor combination of Ana-Lucia and Sawyer-- a cynical, cold, unpleasant character with some darkly funny nicknames and one-liners. I didn't initially like him, much like Ana-Lucia, but this episode, I started to like him more. Is it just habituation, or are the writers gradually making him more likable? The one-liner about his own nosebleed was the turning point last night. I also remember that I really began to like both Ana-Lucia and Shannon for the first time, in the very episode in which they were each killed off-- I hope the writers make Miles more sympathetic without killing him off. Only time will tell. BTW the order of the nosebleeds was: Charlotte, Miles, Juliet. I'm sure you can make of that what I did, especially after Daniel's comment to Miles.

Finally the French. I love it. The storm looked great. Jin looked cooked. I just about screamed when I heard "Montand!" amid the stormy ocean scene; I wonder which arm it will be. If you don't know what I'm talking about, go re-read the Exodus Pt 1 (Season 1 finale) transcript. The dripping violin case was a classic touch. In case you didn't see it, their boat was the Besixdouze (aka B612 in French), the asteroid home of the protagonist in the Saint-Exupéry's book "The Little Prince". Of note, there is a real life asteroid named after it known as 46610 Bésixdouze. More interestingly, read about the The B612 Foundation, which is a project that aims to alter the orbits of asteroids, to learn how to protect Earth from collisions. Just saving the world.

Last but not least, some minor kudos and quibbles about an otherwise very enjoyable episode. 1) The cinematography of the island scenes got a refresh-- I seemed to notice some new vistas (or at least some new angles). 2) Jack's shave. If you've ever shaved a mustache or a beard off, you know the skin underneath looks weak and pale from being suddenly exposed. Jack didn't look like that at all with an even cheeky tan and even sported some whiskered sideburns. 3) Props to the props department for not having any mis-spellings in the hospital signage this time. Remember Magnetic Resonance Imagining in Born to Run? 4) Danielle's husband is Robert, or is it the French Row-bear? Montand said it the Anglo way, and Danielle said it the French way. Which is it? Is there an explanation or is it just a script supervisor fail? BTW I can't wait to watch the arm go. 5) Hurley doesn't eat like a pig this episode, bravo to the writing team for avoiding that crutch. 6) Finally, the clue about Ajira Airways makes it into an episode. But what does it mean? And does Juliet have a flashback coming on the Indian subcontinent?

Cheers until next week!

March 9 UPDATE:
We were right and wrong about the new musical theme. We thought it was a Juliet theme, because it played when Sawyer told Juliet about seeing Kate & Claire in a flash. But I'd forgotten the music also played when Sawyer actually watched this happen, and because this music wasn't used for the same scene in Season 1, it might be a new Sawyer theme instead. However now we've just seen 5x08, and now it seems to be a Juliet + Sawyer love theme: It plays on the submarine dock when Sawyer convinces Juliet to stay on the island, and it also later plays in the romantic scene where Sawyer picks a flower and gives it to Juliet.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Lostpedia Book Club Returns To The King

Thank you, as always, to those who participated in January's book club read, "Watchmen" by Alan Moore. I hope it was enjoyable, and has also whet your appetite for the forthcoming blockbuster based on the graphic novel.

But now, February dawns, and the book club is returning to an author we first looked at right at the start when the book club first began (August I think it was). Yep, after last year's Carrie, we're now reading "The Stand" by Stephen King. Early reports suggest this book has more LOST connections than you can shake an Eko stick at. The writers themselves have also been quoted as saying how important this book was to them in influencing the show - so this read should be quite enlightening... we hope. At over 800 pages long, it frickin better be.

If you'd like to take part in this book read, it's not too late. The forum thread for this book HERE is open all month (and after - though there'll be less activity). You can also propose future reads HERE.

A final note - as usual we give you a month's advance notice before a new read - and it's with pleasure that I can say March's read is... "Ulysses" by James Joyce! In keeping with the Season 5 theme, we're going into the future - as this book hasn't actually happened yet on LOST. Mr Damon Lindelof and Mr Carlton Cuse, however, have stated that it will appear soon during a video blog they conducted on LOST books. So, in anticipation of the book, we're reading it ASAP to see if we can gleam anything before it appears on the Island. Apologies if you are now "spoiled" by that revelation - but for God's sake it's just a prop! So anyway, if you are not spoiled and excited about this read - then do acquire it now in prep for March. Buy the book at Amazon, or borrow the book from a US library (internationals, see regional Amazons, etc).


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