Saturday, May 12, 2007

TV Week in Review (LOST)

LOST: Given the content of this week's episode (a surprising subject for a flashback and a major character reveal), I expected season finale material. But the flashback gave me less than I wanted, and the scene in the cabin -- though it involved a twist on a cliche -- still had such a classic cliche I got a little frustrated.

Then Sara pointed me to It was at that point that I realized that I was not paying enough attention and that this episode, except for two mistakes (or what looked to my eyes like mistakes), was great, and delivered exactly what I wanted. The show is now in answer mode -- and we got some HUGE answers in this episode. We got the arc for the rest of the show. I will go into spoiler detail in the first comment to this post.

In other Lost news, after season three ends on May 23rd there will be 48 more episodes until the series ends. This is two seasons of material (24 episodes per season), but they will be spread out over three 16 episode seasons. That is kind of lame -- they are really giving us less for our investment of time, which is what people have been accusing Lost of for a while now, but it is probably a good compromise. The network probably wanted three more seasons, these guys had two, and this is what they came up with. You have to admit this is better than keeping the show on for 24 episode more than it needs (a la X-Files, which had at least 48 more than it needed).


Geoff Klock said...

If you look fast -- and I did not -- you can see Jacob in the chair. He is an old white guy with a beard in a chair, and he is spliced in to 11 frames of the film (less than half a second worth, I think) as Brad Pitt is spliced into the early parts of Fight Club.

Outside the Cabin Locke touches ash or something -- there is a circle of ash around the house.

Ben is a Dharma guy and not an Other which was the twist in this episode.

Put it all togther -- we though Ben was an Other working in some kind of harmony with the island. Now we see what he is -- an outsider who has bound the spirit of the island into that house with a kind of spell (the magic circle of ash) and is now exploiting him. When Jacob says to Locke "Help me" that is the arc for the rest of the show -- he will save Jacob from Ben.

The errors I saw: Richard does not age in decades. Could be intentional, but if you intention was to show he does not age you would have had him look exactly the same.

Second Error: why would Ben only shoot Locke once in the stomach on an island with healing properties? I do not get that.

Sorry this is fast but I am in a hurry.

Bill said...

aging thing wasn't an error. Thats part of the intigue of the episode, and a major mind blowing addition.

derikhefner said...

Interesting about the ash circle around the house. I hadn't noticed that. I had a couple of thoughts about this episode. First off, Other or not, Ben seems to have some unique connection with Jacob, although it may be that he's the only one that dares approach him. From his "conversation" with Jacob, it seems that he is able to communicate with him... but then again, Ben has lied on so many occasions that it's hard to tell if he was genuine or if it was a ruse. However it is quite apparent that he and the Others (Richard in particular) see a quality in Locke as being a sort of messiah figure for the island. He definitely has a special connection with the island, as evidenced in this episode by his ability to hear Jacob.

What struck me was Ben's surprised response when Locke tells him what Jacob told him. It could mean A) Ben has finally found someone that can genuinely communicate with Jacob and he has now shot him in the stomach (which could explain why he didn't finish him off), or B) he's found someone other than himself that can genuinely communicate with Jacob, making him a threat to Ben's position with the Others (and with Jacob himself). I'm leaning toward Ben actually being able to talk to Jacob (or at least having been able to in the past) based on some of his comments from previous episodes (such as saying the man in charge is "a great man" when Jack and the gang had him in capitivity... not to mention the fact that he deemed it necessary to bind him in the house--- and not to get too sidetracked here, but what reason would he have for binding him at all? Could Jacob have a connection to the smoke monster? Question leads to question...).

Regarding Richard: I don't think it was a mistake. The Dharma guys (as well as the Hanso website, etc) have alluded frequently to the life-extending properties of the island. The Hanso website claims that Dharma's purposes for studying the island had to do with those very properties. If they had made him look exactly the same in the flashback (haircut and all), I think it would have been a little forced. The "Hostiles" were a ragtag bunch if his clothes were any indication, and with the recruitment of Ben and the takeover of the Dharma village, it makes sense that haircuts and nicer clothes would be picked up later. Richard was also the person who recruited Juliet, so having contact with the outside world would necessitate a more clean cut image, especially considering the corporate circles they seem to operate in.

One more thought. I find the appearance of "dead" people on the island (Locke's dad, Ben's mom, Jack's dad, etc) very telling. The writers stated very early on that all the characters are not dead, and that the island is not Purgatory. But that doesn't mean that some of the Losties aren't dead. The island could be a place where the dead co-exist with the living. Hence Richard's sustained youthfulness, as well as the plausibility of so many survivors from a plane crash (one of which carrying a child to full term after the crash). If this is the case, we don't know which of the characters are alive and which are dead (Jack would most likely be the latter, seeing as he woke up on the island after the crash, and not in the water). It would fit with the duality theme running through the show (black and white, good and evil, faith and reason), but it also raises a lot of questions. Such as, what happens to the people who die on the island (assimilated into the smoke monster perhaps)? And what is the significance of Richard (who would presumably be one of the dead "non-aging" ones) recruiting the living from the "real" world? For that matter how could a dead person interact in the land of the living? Or even deeper, are those recruited into the Others killed as a method of passage to the island? If I remember correctly Juliet was given something to knock her out on the way to the island... a lethal injection maybe?

That's enough for now... love to hear your thoughts.

Geoff Klock said...

Bill -- where does this belief come from. I am open to it -- Lost is awesome -- but I am curious where your confidence comes from.

Derik: yeah, you are right about the island slowing down the ageing process. That makes sense. You have some good points there; I will give them thought.

Madd_Hadder said...

People complain so much about the repeats of Lost, so this season they tried breaking it into two sections, but people complained about that as well, so I think this 3 seasons of 16 episodes is the compromise of that. They are taking the cable approach of less episodes per season. This way you get 16 weeks of pure Lost goodness without the breaks. It has worked wonders for 24 (granted they do 24 episodes in a row), but now you don't have that annoying 8 week break for Christmas and the New Year and what not.

I do not watch Lost currently, but if the dvds for this season get out before next season, I will start watching as they air because I can handle 16 non-stop weeks better than 24 episodes broken up over 8 months.

neilshyminsky said...

Geoff: Further to the point about Richard not aging, the only reasonable answer seems to be that it's intentional. Given that Young Ben was being played by an 11 year old actor and that Michael Emerson is 42, I think we have to assume that anywhere from 25 to 35 years have passed since Ben and Richard first met. Nestor Carbonell is 39, and looks younger than Emerson too - they could have simply cast an 8 to 10 year old look-alike if they wanted to suggest that he ages normally, but they didn't.

On the matter of Jacob, though - on a board I frequent, the identity of Jacob (that is, of the actor) has been the major topic of debate. The popular choice right now seems to be Clancy Brown (Kelvin "Joe" Inman, who was in the hatch with Desmond and recruited Sayid during the Gulf War) as both the voice and the face. Kelvin offers plenty of mysterious, of course - we don't know that Desmond actually killed him and we don't know how he survived when the other Dharma folks died - but none of it suggests any connection to Jacob. Except for one thing - he's the only Joe we've been introduced to, and Joseph was the only son that Jacob favored over Benjamin. (Man, this is fun - I should really just collect this stuff on my own blog.)

neilshyminsky said...

Oh, and I was just reminded by someone of a line that Ben delivers in this past episode to Richard. Richard sees the statue that Annie carved for Ben and asks what it is. Ben replies that it was a birthday question, shooting back a question to the effect of, "You do remember birthdays, don't you, Richard?" It's a very provocative question in light of Richard seeming to not age, isn't it?

Geoff Klock said...

Neil -- YES! Awesome. Of course Richard does not age. Lost is the best.

Now why did Ben not put one in Locke's head?

neilshyminsky said...

Aside from the implicit joke about not watching his back, I can only stretch to explain why Ben didn't kill Locke outright. I'm guessing that he shot Locke once in back because that wouldn't impede his ability to explain what Jacob had said to him. And then he didn't finish the job because he was too spooked by what Locke said, I guess.

James said...

Great catch on the birthday's line Neil, I was sure Richard's not aging was intentional, but couldn't come up with any evidence.