Lost: Sundown

*SPOILER ALERT*

I stand corrected. Smokey is big and bad, and he doesn’t seem to have a very nice effect on his recruits.

I will also stand by my assertion that Jacob isn’t all sweetness and light, either, that he may not be the Big Bad Smokey, but let’s look at what he did to Dogen. “I’ll save your son,” he says, “but you’ll never be able to see him again. I have another job for you.” That’s pretty tough. Jacob’s a little more Old Testament than New.

After two weeks of showing how redemptive the Sideways Story is, we get Sayid’s story line. In which our favorite torturer makes eyes at his true love (but his brother’s wife) and continues his struggle to “not be that man anymore”. He fails rather spectacularly when he’s summoned to see his brother’s Shylock, a big, meanie named Keamy. (Note to henchmen: Watch your weapons.)

Back on the Island, Sayid is banished, tries to kill Not Locke at Dogen’s request, is promised by Not Locke his heart’s desire (shades of Satan right there, pretty much), embraces his darkness wholeheartedly, and goes back to the temple to deliver a message. Again, there’s not much of a choice offered here: Leave by sundown or die. Um, okay. Then Sayid kills Dogen by drowning him in the pool, and slits Lennon’s throat. And then Big Bad Smokey has his way with the Temple inhabitants.

I have always found Sayid the hottest character on Lost. Naveen Andrews and that black tank top have played prominent roles in some of my favorite dreams. But crazy-ass Sayid with that creepy smile and those wild eyes? Not so hot.

Only question: Where the heck was Sawyer? Think he was hanging back at the cave? The popular theory going around now is that Sawyer is running a long con on Not Locke (I’m willing to believe that) and he’s going to be the big hero of Lost. So why isn’t Jacob spending a little more time with him (via Hurley) instead of Jack? Maybe you can’t con Smokey, even if you think you can. Maybe Sawyer in simply verbally agreeing to help Smokey get off the Island has already committed his soul.

Oh, okay, another question: Think Dogen is coming back? Hmmm?

They are certainly knocking off the candidates in short order, if my observation about Sawyer is true. And the hot guys! (Even I will admit that Josh Holloway has it over Matthew Fox in the hotness category. Although either can certainly wear a pair a jeans well. Rawr.)

I may be off topic a little bit here. Sorry.

I have to admit: I don’t care about the Claire/Kate story line. I am sorry, I know I should care about everyone who’s left, but Aaron’s two mothers just don’t do anything for me (and I don’t mean in the hotness category — although that too — I mean in the interest category). I am more curious about their sideways stories, but on-Island? It’s just not captivating me.

Ten episodes left. A 2-hour season finale. I’m enjoying the ride, still.

+++

Afterthought to “Lighthouse”: Maybe number 108, the once-candidate Wallace, isn’t coming to the Island at all (or maybe he/she is, but is no longer a candidate). Maybe Jacob just wanted Jack/the audience to see what the lighthouse mirrors reflected (Jack’s childhood home, Sun and Jin’s marriage site, the church where Sawyer’s parents were buried).

Lost: The Lighthouse

*Spoiler alert* (I have been remiss in noting that my Lost posts are chock full of these, and I have been gently chided. So, now ya know.)

Here’s the difficulty I’m having.

Let’s take a look at Sideways Jack. Divorced, a dad (that was only one of last night’s surprises); there seem to be some difficulties between him and his son, but, hello? His son’s a teen. Jack doesn’t drink. He’s mystified by an old scar — which is explained away by his mother, but leaves us wondering (okay, leaves ME wondering) how close the Sideways reality and the Island reality are getting.

Jack is honest. Honest without being pained, martyred, angry. The Jack Shepherd we have seen for five seasons has been angry and tortured, has second guessed every decision he has made. Is haunted.

Sideways Jack isn’t haunted. Does he want to be a better father to his son? You bet he does. And if you weren’t moved by that final scene with him and David, you have a cold, cold heart. David doesn’t tell his father about his audition because he doesn’t want to disappoint his dad. And his dad says (I’m paraphrasing), “I will always love you. You will never fail in my eyes.”

Nice use of Dogen, there, too.

Now, let’s head back to the Island. Jacob appears to Hurley, gives him a few instructions, and then tells him exactly how to get Jack to do what he wants him to do (leave the Temple, go to the Lighthouse). He tells Hurley to use the phrase: You’ve got what it takes.

Jack has been hearing his whole life, from his father, that he doesn’t have what it takes. (Takes to what is up for interpretation.)

(Aside: The Island is full of people with daddy issues, isn’t it? Name one of the characters in the Island timeline that doesn’t have them. Even going back through every season, we see problematic father figures all over the place.)

Jacob manipulates. This is why I’m having trouble seeing him as the “good” guy. (The whole idea is starting to seem to me a little simplistic, actually.) The Sideways characters seem more whole, less tortured, than their Island counterparts.

What did Jacob do to them and why? (I think this will directly tie into what the Island is, which is pretty much the Number 1 question on everyone’s list.)

And why is he bringing more people to the Island?

Yeah, Not Locke isn’t exactly warm and fuzzy. He kills people; he manipulates, too; he’s scaring the shite out of Richard. He’s likely the source of infection that’s turned Claire into a cold-eyed killer. Can’t wait to see how “the infection” affects Sayid.

I don’t have a lot to say about the Claire/Jin story line. To me, it looks like Claire is the new Rousseau. Hey, maybe along with the protector, the Island needs a crazy, bereaved mother — one who sets deadly booby traps — running around on it. Not Locke showing up in the role of Claire’s friend at the end of the episode confirms this (for me): Not Locke = Not Christian Shepherd = Smokey.

Thanks to my diligent fellow Losties on Plurk who looked up 108. Sum of all the numbers. So far, all of the candidates we saw last night in the cave are alive and kicking. But who the heck was Wallace?

Lost: The Substitute

The Sideways Story is going to break my heart. I like everyone so much better in it! See the alive but still crippled John Locke start to find peace and acceptance in his body and in his life. I’m so happy to see Helen (which doesn’t mean she’s not going to die of a brain aneurysm down the line). See Hurley act like a benevolent Buddha. See Ben Linus as a history teacher bitching about the coffee in the teacher’s lounge!

Helen mentions John’s father as if he is still in his son’s life, as if he’s invited to the wedding. So why is John in a wheelchair? I wouldn’t think you’d invite the guy who shoved you out of a window and crippled you to your wedding, even if he is your dad.

It’s another glimpse (like Hurley’s comment in “LA X”: “I’m the luckiest guy in the world.”) that not only are these characters’ futures changed, but their pasts have changed. John’s in a wheelchair, yes; Kate’s on the run, yes; Hurley’s won the lottery, yes; but the reasons for these things have shifted.

Because in the sideways timeline, the Island is under water. Jacob hasn’t touched them. Their lives have taken the track that they were supposed to have taken.

Maybe it did work.

Back on-Island, in the meantime, Smokey drifts around and decides to recruit Sawyer to his cause. Richard is terrified of him (the usually unflappable Richard has been seriously rocked by Not Locke’s appearance). A boy (the boy from Flight 815?) tells Not Locke that he can’t kill “him” — Sawyer or Richard? (I think Richard; Richard is somehow special.) Ben only lies once! Sawyer sees right through Not Locke, even with two-thirds of a bottle of whiskey in him (my favorite moment of last night’s episode).

And Not Locke takes him to that spooky cave.

I think the writers/producers of Lost are exploiting our assumptions about black and white, namely, that white is for the good guys and black is for the bad guys. I don’t think it’s as simple as that.

To me, the names all over the cave wall and ceiling are proof that Jacob is crazy. Insane crazy. Hell-bent on proving the Man in Black/Not Locke wrong — that there will be an ending; that the Island does need protecting; that some day someone else will take his (Jacob’s) place. At the same time, though, I think Jacob is setting up “the candidates” for failure. He manipulates people so they come to the Island, and then leaves them to their own devices. A terrible twist on the idea of free will.

And by doing so, by attempting to keep things in balance, Jacob keeps the Man in Black trapped.

That’s all over now, though.

Did you notice whose names were not on the cave wall? Kate, Claire, Rose and Bernard, Mr. Eko, Frank Lapidus (whom my husband insists on calling Frank the Penis), Ben, Juliet, Miles. Are they wild cards? Dispensable? Not candidates to do one of two things: protect the Island or help Not Locke escape his trap?

I know: it seems like a lot more questions. But I think the story is getting told, the mysteries are being revealed. They’ve got fourteen more hours.

I am loving it.

Lost: What Kate Does

(Aside from get on a lot of nerves…)

Runs. This we know. In this episode, she runs away from the Temple (arguably toward Sawyer). I think her sobbing on the pier is because she knows she’s lost him. I don’t particularly care for the heartbroken Sawyer; I like the swaggering con man (I still have such a weakness for bad boys!). But Kate witnessed the end of the triangle right as Sawyer threw that ring into the ocean. She can either go back to Jack, or be alone.

In the sideways story, she helps Claire. She actually doesn’t run, staying by this stranger’s side. For all the bitching I do about Kate, I will say this: she has a weakness for a person in need. Claire’s plight moved her on the Island, and it clearly moves her again in this sideways story.

The suspension of disbelief was difficult for me. Okay, yes, young pregnant girl far from home needing some support, turning to the only other person she has actually encountered — even though she’s a gun-toting outlaw. But here’s my theory about that: Somehow these characters as they meet and interact in the Sideways Story (as I’m going to call it) are recognizing each other. Some instinct is pulling on them to help each other, trust each other. We saw it last week, when Locke and Jack actually reached out to each other instead of fighting as they did on-Island. We see it again when Kate finds Claire, stays by her side; we see it when Claire gets back in the taxi. That flash in her eyes that said, “This is crazy but it doesn’t feel crazy.”

We’re seeing the LA version of “stand together or die alone.”

In the original timeline, Kate makes no bones about the fact that she killed her (step)father. In the Sideways Story she tells Claire she didn’t do it. Does the Sideways Story have her falsely accused of something else? Or is Sideways Kate just trying to justify Claire’s trust of her?

Speaking of Claire: I’m sure I am not alone in saying this: Crazy Claire, as she appeared at the very end of the episode, certainly reminded me of Rousseau — another woman who had given birth on the Island, and lost her baby. Honestly, I don’t think “the dark thing” claiming people is more than madness, although it may have an organic origin on the Island.

Speaking of bad boys: Sayid is alive; gets a taste of his old medicine; is infected with… that darkness thingy. (Favorite line of the night: Sawyer: “He’s an Iranian torturer and murderer. He definitely deserves another go-around.” Bitter much? I also really enjoyed Miles rejoinder when Jack asks to speak with Sayid alone: “We’ll be in the food court.” Season 6, now with more sarcasm!)

I knew Jack was going to try to take that pill. Jack is savvy this season, figuring out how to be the puppeteer and not just get jerked around by his strings. I’m kind of liking it. He knows he’s penetrated into something, the inner sanctum of the Island, and damnit, he’s going to get some answers.

The question is, though, if the Others went to all that trouble to heal Sayid in the Temple of the Funky Water (trademark to Dan, my husband), what would that pill have done. Were the Others surprised Sayid is alive again? I don’t think so, but I do think they know such a thing is bad, bad news. Hence the poison. Would it have killed Sayid (again)? Or just killed the infection?

We didn’t get much in the way of answers this episode — or if we did, we’re not seeing them. I’ll be re-watching “What Kate Does” this weekend because Dan missed about 10 minutes dealing with my car and a tow truck (another story for another day). Thank goodness for FiOS on demand.

I’m off to do my rounds of “what the pros think of LOST”. Feel free to tell me what you think!

Random Thoughts: The Scary Show

1. To be perfectly honest, all I want to do is go watch the season premiere of Lost again.

2. Something I forgot to mention about Tuesday night: Flora watched the season premiere of Lost with us. At least the last hour and 15 minutes of it. If I hadn’t been so aggravated it would have been amusing. I had to cover her eyes during the Smokey scene, The Wolfman commerical with Benicio Del Toro, and another commerical for a video game rated ‘M’. Awesome.

3. Quotes from the night from Flora. “Why do you stay up late at night?” “What is this scary show?” “Why do you want to learn about scary things??” (Please note: At least she thinks TV is educational.) “When is the scary show going to be over?”

4. I really struggled with today’s post because, once again, I am tired. Once again, I received a 5 a.m. wake up call from Kate, and then ended up with both of them in bed with Dan & me. And I don’t mean to complain about not sleeping, primarily because it gets old (for you and me), but because generally my girls are GREAT sleepers.

5. Which is part of the problem, because Dan and I have been spoiled by babies and toddlers who slept 12 hours or so a night (starting around six months or so), and lately it’s all been disrupted, and neither Dan nor I are dealing with it very well.

6. Why did Flora watch Lost with us? Because she wasn’t tired. And she wasn’t tired because Tuesday morning she woke up (and woke me up) at 4 a.m., but she took a nap at daycare (one of the DCL’s that day: “Is Flora okay? Because she actually took a nap today.” Grrrr.), so wasn’t tired at bed time. And she knew her father was home, and she knows her father is a pushover, so after I had been upstairs twice (during commercial breaks) she came downstairs and appealed to him. And he did try to talk her into going back upstairs to bed, but he didn’t actually take her upstairs to bed, because Flora would have wanted him to stay with her and sleep in her room, and Dan is a pushover, so instead of saying ‘no’ and hearing her cry, he didn’t really say anything, and we listened to her whinge about how scary our TV show was.

7. Holy run-on sentences, Batman.

8. Is it next Tuesday yet?

Lost: LA X

Wow!

Totally worth the wait.

I was very surprised to see Juliet last night. And what a tease it was, further destroying Sawyer (and my husband, a little bit).

She said (via Miles), “It worked.” And, if the 2004 timeline with Oceanic Flight 815 landing in Los Angeles is the ‘real’ timeline (I have my doubts about that), then it did. So what are the Ajira Flight 316 survivors doing running around on the Island, still, in 2007?

At first I thought that somehow, even though they get to land in LA in 2004, they end up on the Island anyway in 2007. But as their memories don’t seem to have skipped, I don’t think this theory works. The 2007 timeline proceeds directly from 1977 and the destruction of the Swan site.

In the 2004 timeline, Jack is clearly feeling wonky. The disappearance of his father’s body is upsetting, but I also think it’s foreboding: I think it’s a sign that this 2004 timeline isn’t true. Yes, it is actually happening. Somehow the bomb — the reset — has split the survivors’ reality (shades of quantum physics).

And somehow, this 2004 reality is going to fall apart bit by bit until only the 2007 reality stands. Although, maybe I have that wrong, and the 2004 timeline will solidify. The timelines are interacting somehow (the bullet graze on Jack’s neck in the airplane bathroom; Charlie declaring, “I was supposed to die.”).

Interesting that Kate hijacks the taxi with Claire in it (Hi, Claire!). I wonder if she (Claire) is pregnant, and if Kate is going to help deliver the baby again.

Do you think Kate will ever give up running? Jeez Louise woman, you killed a man in cold blood. Justified or no, you gotta face up to that and take your punishment. Put enough straight men on that jury, and make yourself into a sympathetic witness. Put on some lip gloss and cross your legs. You won’t be in jail long.

Sorry, my way of saying, again: sick of the running woman bit. I’m actually liking Kate on the Island more so far.

Although in contrast, I enjoyed seeing Sawyer act the part of cock of the walk in LA. I’ve never been hot for Josh Holloway, but that dimple and the deviltry in his eyes were killing me last night.

And where did Desmond go? Back to his seat? I’m thinking no. (Dan said, “Desmond wasn’t on the plane!” meaning Flight 815. But I pointed out that theoretically the Swan hadn’t been built because Juliet blew it up, so he could have been. This was quickly disproved the next time we returned to the Island to see the destroyed Hatch.)

I knew Not-Locke was the Smoke Monster. “I’m sorry you had to see me like that.” Uh, yeah.

Co-worker Lost theory: Richard was a slave on the Black Rock, hence the line about seeing him out of chains. Could Richard have been any more shocked to see Not-Locke? He clearly has an inkling of what is going on (“Don’t shoot him!”), but was still caught utterly flat-footed. And got his clocked cleaned, too.

So, the war is coming: Not-Locke heading to the Temple, the Temple people preparing. The ash clearly points to the fact that it was never Jacob in that cabin; it was what/who is walking around as Not-Locke now. The original crash of Flight 815 must have disturbed the ash (which is why Not-Christian was wandering around, although a co-worker points out that they never found Christian’s body. Christian is a possible wild-card.)

I want to cast Not-Locke as a dark angel, a fallen deity, one trying, as he said ominously last night, to “go home”. Which would make Jacob the good angel/shepard. Was Jacob somehow set over Not-Locke (is the Man in Black ever going to reveal his identity? Lucifer? Esau? Come on!)? Or are our assumptions (good guys wear white, for instance) being challenged? Was Jacob the bad guy in the scenario? It would be hard to believe. Jacob sets about, even after he’s dead, to heal Sayid (although, notably, not Juliet); Not-Locke turns into the Smoke Monster and slaughters a bunch of the “good guys”.

Yeah, I’m going with Not-Locke being bad. Prove me wrong.

Finally: I gasped — literally gasped, with my hands up over my mouth — when Sayid sat up at the end of the episode. (And not just a “holy cats Naveen Andrews in a black tank top” gasp.) I didn’t see that coming. Haven’t we been told: Dead is dead. We also know that Sayid will not be the same. I wonder if his innocence has been restored? I tend to think the Island is a place of rebirth and redemption. I guess I fall on the Locke side of the man of faith/man of science dichotomy. Which maybe means that Sayid’s past as a torturer and murderer has been erased, and he has been reborn.

Or, conversely, he’s going to be utterly devoid of remorse on this go-round.

Conspiracy

Flora came into our room at 4 a.m.

I let her climb into bed with us, because I was too tired to do anything else.

This was a mistake.

Because now, as I mentioned on Twitter, I am running on five hours of sleep and two hours of angry. That child poked me, sighed at me, stole my blankets. What she did not do: GO BACK TO SLEEP.

When I asked her to go back to her own bed, she cried. When I angrily got up at 5:30 a.m. to shower and go to work, she cried.

“No one goes to work at night, Mommy,” she told me.

No, dearest older daughter of mine, people sleep at night.

I wouldn’t care all that much, except I have two hours of BRAND NEW LOST to get through tonight. If I could throw in the towel at 8:30 or 9 p.m., wouldn’t matter. But I gotta make it, awake and alert, to 11 p.m.

It’s the only show I watch. I’ve been waiting nine months for this.

Let’s hear it for a cat nap after dinner. I’ll even let them watch Max & Ruby if they want.

Belated

It’s not as good as a Steelers’ Super Bowl (which is what I got the day after my birthday last year), but it’s awfully dang close.

Lost returns for its final season — its final 18 hours — tomorrow night (two days after my birthday).

I cannot wait.

I think that things change, but not the way Jack expects them too. He expects that the lives of the Oceanic Flight 815 passengers just reset, but he’s wrong. Season 6 can’t just be a show about a bunch of people who didn’t crash on The Island, you know?

The five must-answer questions for me:

Who is Jacob? (Corollary: Who is the Man in Black/Esau?)
What is The Island?
Who/What is Richard Alpert?
Why couldn’t women give birth on the Island?
What was the deal with Claire? (Corollary: What’s up with Aaron?)

I’ll be following post-game day breakdowns (so to speak) with Doc Jenson, the TV Club at Slate, and at the Lostpedia wiki. I’ll be offering my own thoughts and theories here, of course, probably in a sleep-deprived stupor.

But that’s nothing new.

Anywhere else I should consult? How about you: What do you want to know?

Oh, yeah, I totally forgot: Yesterday was my third blog-o-versary. Happy year 3 of blogging. Still digging this thing!

What I Am: Reading, Watching This Week

Under the Dome, Stephen King

My husband knows me very well. I hadn’t even mentioned this book, and he bought it for me for Christmas. I just started it (and it’s massive) last week. I’m probably about a quarter of the way through, and wishing I had more time to read!

So far: King starts things off with (literally) a bang. Within the first three pages, he kills two people (and a woodchuck), and over the next 10 to 20 pages, slaughters a bunch more. Spectacularly. Come to think of it, all of the people biting it so far in the book aren’t going out with whimpers: car accidents, plane crashes, murder, a ricocheted bullet — you get the idea.

It’s, uh, pretty violent.

I want to read it all of the time, which is impossible what with the job and the kids and so on. The massive question in the middle of it all: what is causing the Dome?

I do have one complaint: King clearly sets us up with protagonists and antagonists. The good guys, the bad guys (and girls in both cases). It seems to me, unlike in the King classic The Stand (my all-time favorite King novel), the nuance is gone. Jim Rennie is a corrupt politician, and cold-hearted to boot. There is nothing to like about him. So you don’t like him. Dale Barbara is probably more complicated a character (short-order cook, drifter, Iraq War veteran), but he is clearly a Good Guy. The bad guys (and girls) are caricatures, in other words (thugs, dummies, corrupt politicians, a crazy preacher, etc.), and the good guys (and girls) are more fully realized.

If you’re a King reader, think back to The Stand. Think about Larry Underwood: musician, ladies’ man, quite a self-centered prick when we meet him (and through a pretty good part of the book). How about Flagg’s right-hand man in Vegas — his name is escaping me? Not exactly the most sympathetic of characters, and he does side with the ultimate of King’s bad guys, The Walkin’ Dude, but you end up having sympathy for him anyway. (Or I did at least.)

Now, as I’ve said, I’m only a quarter of the way through. My desire to see Jim Rennie or his son Junior get comeuppance may be mitigated by the end (or even the middle) of the book. King can do that to you.

Lost, Season 5 on DVD

Are you excited, boys and girls? The last season of Lost is on the horizon, and I better get cracking on the DVDs I gave to myself (and Dan) for Christmas. So far, I’m only two episodes in (I think Dan is at least six in).

How do I forget what an awesome show this is? All I can say is: Watching Juliet gives me chills. Ben Linus is the baddest bad guy on TV ever. I’m over Kate. Sun is insane! And I’m usually not hot for Sawyer, but it was fun to watch him walk around without his shirt off.

I have to get caught up, and quick.

Lost Day: The Incident

Did you love it? Or did you hate it?

Watching last night, there were parts that were perfectly predictable — primarily those Jacob appearances, the most shocking of which was when he appeared to Sayid. They do like creaming characters with vehicles on this show, don’t they?

I come away from Season 5 perfectly satisfied and looking forward to Season 6. The Final Season. I don’t know how I’m going to get through the next nine months, though.

Oh, yeah, the Penguins won last night, so I’ll have that to distract me for another month or so.

Anyone surprised to have seen Locke’s body — the real, dead real Locke’s real body — dumped out of that metal box the Ajira Airlines survivors were lugging around? Not me.

So: Jacob and… Not-Locke. Esau? Good and evil? God and Lucifer? There’s the central mystery for Season 6. Which I am guessing will look a lot like Season 1. But that’s nine months away. Have I mentioned that?

Back to last night’s episode, and a few thoughts.

I loved seeing Rose, Bernard, and Vincent again. And I loved Rose and Bernard’s attitude. They got it right. Although, admittedly, it would have made a boring show.

I cried when Juliet fell, I admit it. I’m glad she was the one to detonate the bomb. It was pretty significant that during her flashback, Jacob did not show up. You kind of saw it coming. But my heart breaks for Sawyer.

Ben tells the truth, but does the truth set him free? You could see him choking on every word that came out of his mouth last night. Michael Emerson should get a frickin’ Emmy for his role as Benjamin Linus. Never has an actor on a TV show so completely embodied a character — for me, anyway.

Richard was utterly and completely taken in by Not-Locke (Terry O’Quinn is also quite awesome, BTW). Richard, Ricardus: ancient, ageless, but not infallible. What kind of gods are these?

The Ajira people might be the good guys after all. Couldn’t they have humped it a little faster to the foot of the statue?

My guess for season 6: Yeah, sure, Not-Locke (the blue-shirted guy at the very beginning of the episode) found his loop-hole, but I think Jacob found one, too. “They are coming.” Jack and company. That’s who I think he meant. They did change the past and hit a big ole reset button.

Okay, I’m going to go do a survey of some Lost-phile sites. I cannot wait to see what people thought.