Monday, May 31, 2010

Final LOST Big Board?

Since expanding the field to 90 players, this is the third time I've updated the LOST Big Board (here are the other two), but it probably won't be the last. I still intend on rewatching the entire series in order, and who knows what will change (the last time I rewatched it all, Mr. Eko took a huuuuuge hit). Below you'll see the revised order, complete with Season 6's new characters. Instead of showing their old rank in parenthesis, I showed how much they gained or dropped. Alex Rousseau went up the most (+22), while Eleanor Hawking went down the most (-20).

10. Richard Alpert - The once-immortal Ricardos climbed into the Top Ten thanks to his sweeping love story, "Ab Aeterno." Richard was badass before Season 6, but we finally got to learn why he's immortal (thanks to Jacob), why he chose to be immortal (to avoid Hell), and why he has one on the BEST themes in the whole show. Of all the feel good moments in the finale, Richard sprouting a gray hair was one of the best.

9. Frank Lapidus - I can't answer for your LOST party, but at MY LOST party, the biggest cheer came when Lapidus was found among the sub wreckage... alive!!! After 10-15 more one-liners, ole' Frank saved the day by flying the remaining castaways off the Island for good... probably.

8. Man in Black - Titus Welliver combined with Terry O' Quinn yielded one of the most lethal characters in the show. The original MIB showed how vulnerable the character could be (remember he never chose to become Smokey), and then Locke/MIB unleashed all hell to give LOST one of the great baddies in modern TV. The guy spent 1500 years planning the deaths of everyone that ever landed on that rock, and in spite of that, you probably still feel a hint of sadness when he fell to his death (unless you feel that him dying allowed him to "leave" the Island).

7. Christian Shephard - Way back when I started writing about LOST stuff (Season 3 Finale Running Diary), I was demanding a scene between Jack and Ghost Christian. Just to piss me off, the writers waited until the last scene of the last episode to deliver the goods. If you thought the scene was cheesy and a betrayal to everything the show represented, then you suck and I hate you. What I saw was a big emotional payoff between a father and son finally realizing what's important in life. He gets bonus points for his seamless transition from abusive dad --> cool, abusive dad --> cool dad.

6. Juliet Burke - Kind of a no-show this season with the exception of a sweet finale cameo, I'll just repost what I wrote in January. "Hottest chick in the whole cast. She was so close to leaving the Island 3 times (on the sub in Season 3, on the freighter in Season 4, on the sub again in Season 5), it breaks your heart that she met her end at the bottom of a drill hole. How many people in this world can beat the shit out of Kate, talk down stubborn Jack, and soften up asshole Sawyer? Only one..."

5. Ben Linus - Big Ben dropped a few pegs because he wasn't the manipulative heavyweight that controlled the group in seasons past. This year, he played second fiddle to pretty much everyone else. Even his big payback shot on Charles Widmore went by a little too fast. So why is he still top 5? Simple... cause sideways Dr. Linus probably banged Rousseau.

4. Jacob - "Across the Sea" came awful close to damaging Jacob's Big Board potential. It portrayed him as a whiny momma's boy too afraid to see the truth in the world. Nonetheless, every time he made an appearance on the Island to speak with Richard, Hurley, or the remaining candidates was flat-out AWESOME!!! Also, in case you didn't check out Jacob's hilarious appearance on Totally Lost, watch it now. It completely justifies this rank.

3. Desmond Hume - In the last season, Desmond out-Jacobed Jacob by helping all of the sideways characters realize they're dead and then ferried them to the afterlife. So what if he got a little chubby in the final season? Don't believe me? Compare exhibits A and B. Anyway, Desmond ended up being the third most important character in the show, so of course he's third on my list.

2. Jack Shephard - Season 6, and LOST as a whole, is the story of Jack. They purposely wrote him to be an overbearing, headstrong, impulsive, stubborn leader in the first 3 seasons so we all could appreciate his transformation in later seasons. Everyone I've talked to that have hated in Jack in the past cannot deny how much he dominated the final act. And that last scene was BRILLIANT! Here's the first scene played backwards to show how it's mirrored.

1. John Locke - No one should be surprised by this pick. I've had Locke as my number one since the beginning, and even though he died midway through season 5, he came back in the sideways world and reminded all of us how great a character he is. Gone was the anger and the resentment. In almost every scene this season, he acted like he did when he first stood up on the Island way back in season one. His unwavering strength and optimism helped Jack get over his missing dad in "LA X," and it greeted him with open arms at the church in "the End." It came down to Jack and Locke in the end, and since Locke's faith won over Jack's science, he maintains the top spot on the Big Board.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Clip of the Week: LOST Questions

I'm 100% in the same boat with Dave on the matter of the LOST finale. I loved it. I don't care about the billion lingering mysteries that the show chose not to address. I don't care that a show long anchored sci-fi chose to end on a comforting religious note. I DO care that a lot of people are flat out misinterpreting the finale. ABC has been forced to come out and declare that those photos of the plane wreckage at the end of the show MEANT NOTHING!!!!

As we wind down our LOST coverage, this week I'll be posting my final Power Rankings comprised of 90 main characters from LOST. I'll also write an in-depth ranking of the 6 seasons of LOST. I was able to convince a bunch of noobs who have never watched LOST to join me in a sort of LOST book club where we meet once or twice a week and watch a handful of episodes, starting with disc 1 of season 1 (think of me as a flashsideways Desmond, herding and nurturing people towards enlightenment). Until I do all this, sit back and laugh at all those questions left behind...

Monday, May 24, 2010


L O S T is over. I'll spare you an eloquent intro on the significance of it's passing; the finale left people puzzled and we need to fix that. There will be plenty of time for Herb to eulogize the show later, but right now it's up to me to help guide you through the sea of bullshit that's being written about the finale. I spent a lot (a lot) of time at work today reading the reactions from different media outlets ranging from prestigious publications like Time magazine, New York Times, this website, LA Times, Boston Globe, etc, to the many amateur blogs who had to throw in their two cents on what we all saw last night . To say that reactions were polarized is a big understatement. Obviously The End was never going to satisfy everybody. It all comes down to what kind of L O S T fan you are (and there are only two types): Those who fell in love with the characters (like me), and those who fell in love with the mythology/mysteries. Yes, most everybody is a fan of both, but when push comes to shove you're either a Man of Character or a Man of Mystery...

This finale appealed to the Men of Character out there. The Mystery Men wanted answers!answers!answers! Nothing short of a complete explanation of every major unsolved mystery would satisfy them. Polar bears (which was solved by the way), Dharma food drops, Walt's powers, the Source of the Island, Eloise's crazy genius, it all needed answers to these people. People like me, on the other hand, wanted proper, emotional, meaningful resolutions to the major characters of L O S T. That's it. A fond farewell. And the show delivered in a big way. If you haven't figured it out by now, I loved this finale.

I didn't care if it was predictable in more than a few places. It brought things full circle, and it gave one of my biggest pet peeves (the flash sideways universe) a perfect resolution. Let's be honest, there's was only way good way to explain Sidewaysland. It wasn't "a world where they never crashed on the Island," which many speculated about when the season first started. It also wasn't "a world where Smokey destroyed the source and succeeded in leaving the Island," which is what people speculated towards the end. Both versions would have diminished the actions and the impact of on-Island events. For all their craziness, Cuse and Lindelof were well aware of the one big pitfall with a Sideways universe: It could not diminish everything we've seen in the seasons before. Both timelines needed equal significance, and so the perfect solution easily had to be: life and afterlife. For the record, I don't believe Juliet's detonation of Jughead caused the alternate universe. Considering what we've seen, Cuse and Lindelof used that ending to make fans think that's where the show was going, so no one would see this final twist coming. Jughead's detonation is simply the Incident referred to by the Dharma Initiative later on. It's use in the grand scheme was not to create an alternate reality, but simply to access the energy needed to send the Losties from 1977 to 2007, a time when Jacob's days were numbered, where the candidates needed to be to bring about the destruction of the Man In Black.

Okay, I got off track, the main reason I'm writing this, the thing that constantly drove me nuts today as I read fan reactions, had to do with people's bitching about the ending. I love how L O S T can be interpreted a million different ways, but some aspects of that ending just should not be up for debate. People are out there writing articles criticizing the entire series (Huffington Post, you bastards) because they totally missed the point of the ending. And it wasn't just them, a handful of websites who lampooned the ending did so using sound and logical arguments, but the majority of the whiny piss pants out there denounced the whole series because they thought all of the castaways died in the 2004 plane crash. I was amazed at how many people believed this. In fact, I'm gonna need to number the Top FIVE Reasons Why People Hated THE END (reasons that are absolute shit. You're talkin shit, mate!)

1. Everyone being dead at the end meant they've been dead all along (killed in the 815 crash), making everything you've seen for the last 6 seasons the dreams of the Losties, or the dreams of Jack. (People can be such retards, I thought L O S T fans had brains (Huffington Post eat my poop).

2. Everyone being dead at the end meant that right after Jack succumbed to his wounds in the bamboo forest, Ajira crashed on the beach trying to leave, killing Kate, Sawyer, etc. (There's no way to prove this wrong, but come on, if they're gonna give characters like Sayid, Jin, Sun, Charlie, Michael, Shannon, Boone, Locke, and Jack time to die on camera with some resonance and emotion, they aren't gonna kill heavyweights like Sawyer and Kate off camera. I don't care about the wreckage during the credits, that was 815 wreckage you idiots. Someone hit the nail on the head when they said Kate's first line to Jack at the concert, post-awakening, "I missed you" or something had to do with with the long life she lead after the leaving the island while Jack was dead. This was the first time she got to see him in decades. The awakenings weren't just realizations of the lives they had on the island, or the people they loved, it was also the realization that they were dead. In Kate and Sawyer's case, they died long after Jack and Juliet, but still had to figure it out when the other Losties were figuring it out too. Remember, as Christian put it, "there's no here, now."

3. Since everyone was dead at the end, it didn't matter at all what they did on or off the island in the previous 6 seasons, rendering previous seasons pointless and the writers way lazy. If you believed this then you totally missed the point of the ending. They were all gathered together because everything they did on the island, every experience they had, conversation they had, every person they connected with, is what made them the people they are. It's how they all achieved redemption. Everything they did brought them to that moment, up to and including Jack's final moments with Kate, Sawyer, and Hurley. Live together, die alone people. Or in the case of Sidewaysland, die together.

4. If the sideways world was created by the Losties from 815, why were people not on 815 (like Penny, Juliet Desmond, etc) even at the church going on to Heaven with them. They didn't belong. Honestly, I'm not even gonna touch this one. Some people are just ornery.

5. Everyone being dead at the end is a lazy finale technique to begin with. This one really pisses me off, because these idiots totally disregard the fact you still have Kate, Sawyer, Lapidus, Miles, Alpert, Hurley, Claire, and Ben still being alive years into the future. They survived. In the case of Ben and Hurley assuming the roles of Alpert and Jacob, they probably lived hundreds of years into the future, maybe longer. The people in the church all didn't die when Jack died. Christian comes right out and says "some died before you, others long after." What part of that is hard to understand??? If the show were about Kate, more significance would be placed on her successfully getting off the island in the end, but it ultimately was about Jack's arc, and therefore the significance was on his death.

Stay tuned for further analysis from Herb. We'll probably break down the best moments of the Finale and Season 6...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

LOST Running Diary: The End

As I type this, we are 20 minutes from the start of the final episode of LOST. I'm at a LOST costume party (pictures forthcoming) with the entire website crew, and we've spent the day eating LOST-themed food, decorating the room with Dharma logos, watching old episodes, and doing a joint power rankings. After intense debate, the consensus Top Ten are:

10. Hurley
9. Juliet
8. Alpert
7. Penny
6. Desmond
5. Man in Black
4. Ben Linus
3. Jacob
2. Locke
1. Jack

I'm finally ready to tackle this 2.5 hour event with a running diary. What kind of cool things should we expect to see? Supposedly, the return of Shannon and Walt? Charlie hooking up with Claire at the concert? Desmond going into the source of the Island? More major characters dying (please Kate!!)? It's safe to see that anything can happen. I'm most curious about where the sideways characters go when they have their joint "awareness" event. I'm going to around the room and find out what everyone wants to see, or what mystery they want resolved.

Andy: Someone important is going to die, and I just want to see the closing scene.... and whether Sayid will come back...
Jay: I'm looking forward to the benefit concert, and I think Claire is going to have her baby.
Doob: I want to see HOW they kill the Man in Black. I think Flashsideways is what happens when MiB leaves the Island.
Dave: WHY DOES ELOISE KNOW EVERYTHING?!?! And how will they kill her off?

Ok, the buildup of an event six years in the making is finally concluding. There's a tinge of sadness mixed in with the excitement and anticipation of this finale. Maybe it's the Michael Giachinno raft-sailing music that's getting me worked up, but I can't cry. NO JACK TEARS TONIGHT!!!

8:59 - For the last time.... let's go...
9:00 - Recaps are for chumps... we've spent the entire day doing recaps!!!! GET TO THE SHOW!!!! -1
9:01 - First scene... a sad slow motion shot of the great Oceanic airline with some sad music. Jack at his desk.... mixed with Jack, the "new Jacob." Dr. Linus at work... mixed with Ben in the jungle with Locke.... and then Locke at the hospital. You get the idea... these worlds are coming together!!! Who is the bozo driving the baggage cart?? +1
9:03 - Christian Shepard special delivery!!!!! Are they going to put the coffin on a dolly? Creepy... It should be mentioned yet again that Sideways Desmond is awesome!!! +2
9:04 - "Who are you?" " My name is Desmond Hume, and even though you don't realize it, I'm your friend. As for what I want..... I want to leave..." Approving hmmmmms from around the room. +2
9:06 - Jack just finished giving Hurley, Sawyer, and Kate a sit-rep. They're pretty much laying out the plot of this whole finale. They need to protect the source, and Locke wants to destroy it, which means they need to get Desmond. Hurley: "I got a bad feeling about this." The writers just couldn't resist squeezing in another Star Wars reference. +3

Commercial Break 1: Despite the 9 people in the room, it's mysteriously quiet. No one is theorizing or predicting, there's just a quiet calm, almost like everyone's patiently settling in for a long ride.

9:10 - Hurley and Sayid showed up at some apartment building to jog Sayid's memory. it's Charlie's!!!! And Hurley can't contain the glee and excitement of seeing his old best buddy. Too bad Charlie still doesn't care.... so Hurley pops him with a tranq dart. Sweet. +2
9:13 - "I took it because the Island is all I've got left. It's the only thing I haven't managed to ruin." -Jacob/Jack, the truly reformed doc. +2
9:14 - This scene between Locke, Ben, and Sawyer just gathered a lot of steam, and I didn't expect it. A lot of awesome stuff happened, including Locke laying out his grand plan, hinting at the sinking of the Island, and Sawyer knocking out Ben one last time. But who saved Desmond???? +2
9:16 - VINCENT AND ROSE AND BERNARD!!!! Uh oh, and the smoke monster has arrived. Will he kill them??!?!?!? I fear that he will!!!! +3
9:17 - Desmond ends the tense standoff by agreeing to go with Locke. As much as I like to rag on Rose and Bernard, I would've hated it if they would've gotten the Zoe treatment. The other interesting thing from this scene is that Smokey was uncharacteristically nasty when he promised Desmond that he would make their deaths hurt if he didn't leave with him. +1

Commercial Break 2: It looks like this episode is going to try and get closure on as many people as possible, so we got our only taste of Rose and Bernard. I'm glad they are out of the way. Let's get on to the power players...

9:21 - Desmond continues to be oddly ambiguous, and he already hints that he knows about the light source... hmmmmm... +2
9:22 - First real good news of the night: ALPERT LIVES. Miles quips about Ricardos getting punted through the jungle, and then they are off to blow up Ajira 316. Lapidus could still fly that thing, you know... +1
9:23 - Back in Sideways world, and Det. Ford is on his way to make sure Sun will remain safe since she witnessed Sayid's killing spree. That will put him, Sun, Jin, Jack, and Locke in the same place... +2
9:24 - DOCTOR JULIET CARLSON IS HERE, LOOKING HOTTER THAN EVER!!! By the way, V blows, but her theme music rocks. Does this mean Juliet isn't David's father and Jack's ex? Her ultrasound of Sun just triggered her Island Enlightenment. The pregnancy news just triggered JIN'S enlightenment, with the reunion music!!! I just got chills. Wow. +10
9:26 - In an almost too-corny moment, they know their kid is a girl, that her name will be Ji-Yeon, and they remember how to speak English. Almost too-corny, but still awesome. +4

Commercial Break 3 - The Sun/Jin scene was a big hit with a group and we LOVE to bash Sun, so it had to be pretty sweet. Doob thinks that was their greatest scene together, and more than a few of us had the chills. Someone just tried making a Friends joke and got slammed (rightfully) for it. Friends has no place near LOST.

9:30 - Sawyer's maybe-last nickname for Hurley? Bigfoot. Underwhelming. -3
9:31- Sideways Locke looks like a dope with his shower cap on. "I'll see you on the other side," says Doctor Jack. He was referring to the end of surgery, but perhaps he's hinting at the return of the old John Locke to the Island world. We can always hope... +3
9:32 - Yeahhhh Alpert music, and Miles notices a gray hair. Now he's allowed to age and experience------NEVERMIND THEY FIND LAPIDUS IN THE OCEAN. THE ROOM ERUPTS IN APPLAUSE!!!!! "Well if we leave, that thing won't have a plane to leave in." I missed you, Frank J. Lapidus... +4
9:34 - Showdown out in the open!!! Kate is retarded. I think this is where they shot the Season 3 finale, and maybe also Season 2. Yikes. Locke and Jack just had maybe their greatest scene together. I'm stunned and floored and overjoyed by this setup. Both of these titans are on top of their game right now, like Tango and Cash!!!! +10

Commercial Break 4: This half hour has been incredibly good. All the heavyweights are bringing it this week, even people I normally hate like Sawyer.

9:39 - Jack and Juliet!!!!!! Tickets to the concert!!!!!! "I JUST GAVE THEM TO YOUR MOM!!!!" Juliet will probably deliver Claire's baby!!!! As exciting as this is, I'm kinda bummed that Jack and Juliet couldn't work things out. They were always my favorite couple. +5
9:41 - Jack, Desmond, and Locke are heading the rest of the way on their own... the Top 3 in the LOST Power Rankings right now, so this is an epic fit. Locke's calling for a hell of a storm, so this is going to be amazing.... THE LIGHT!!! It's a little weird that we're only 40 minutes into the finale and we're already at the source. -3
9:43 - Desmond is talking to Jack about the sideways world, and believes the light in the tunnel is his ticket to Sideways land... but Jack already tried to change the past, so he's not buying it. Ohmygod they are goin in. +3

Commercial break 5: Some people are noticing that the light in the cave is a little dimmer than it was before. Target just aired a commercial that had the Smoke Monster roaring into camp and then it cuts to the picture of a smoke alarm. Very clever stuff... Target is light, and Walmart... dark. Thumbs up! Another Target commercial... someone is trying to enter the numbers into the Hatch computer, but it's not working... cut to a shot of a $20 keyboard. Also very clever.

9:47 - Hurley is still running around town trying to trigger Sayid's Island epiphany. Someone is getting jumped in the alley, and it's Shannon and Boone!! This is going to do it for him..... and it did. I hate Shannon, but I hate Shannon and Sayid as a couple even more!!!! Ooooo Boone was in on this little scheme, as he is also Island-aware. More closure for supporting characters!!! +6
9:50 - Back on Hydra Island, Claire is pissed for the final time, and decides not to join in the latest escape plan. Good riddance. +2
9:52 - "If there was a button down there to push, we could fight about whether or not to push it." "You're not John Locke. You're disrespecting him by wearing his face." These two are dominating tonight. Okay, Desmond is down in the SOURCE. There was a nice little season 1 throwback shot just now. Like when they opened the hatch and we looked up at Jack and Locke, the same thing just happened at the waterfall in the cave. +5

Commercial Break 6: We now have competing plans on the Island. Desmond is trying to bridge the gap to the sideways world, Jack is battling with Locke, and the remaining castaways are going to try and fly off the Island. Last I checked, the nose of the plane was wedged into the jungle, and I don't think 6 castaways are going to be able to turn that thing around.

9:58 - Concert time!!! Juliet is looking hot... Claire, not so much. +3
9:59 - OOOOO Faraday is taken back by his love for Charlotte. Hopefully he's enough to trigger her memory.... ooooo I guess not. -2
10:00 - At cursed table 23 are Desmond, Kate, Claire, and Davey. Suave Pierre Chang introduces DriveShaft + Faraday. This is also happening earlier than I would've thought in this episode. -5
10:02 - DESMOND IS AT THE SOURCE!!! A glowing well in the center of the Island (with cheesy special FX). Uh oh, he just moved a stopper at the center of the creek and everything goes dark and quiet. The water was replaced by flame (Balrog?), and Locke is making a run for it. +5
10:04 - SHOWDOWN!! Locke vs. Jack, round 1. FIGHT!!! I guess Locke is now mortal since Jack bloodied his lip?!? With a rock to the head (just like what his mom did), Jack is out cold. +6

COMMERCIAL BREAK 7: Doob didn't think that Island was ACTUALLY a cork, she thought it was just a metaphor. Dave thinks that Locke's lip is bleeding because he is no longer the smoke monster. Since Desmond removed the cork, HE is now Smokey. Both are interesting thoughts. I wonder if Jacob would be pissed that Jack refused to protect the one thing he swore to do, or if he knew all along that this would happen, and maybe it's apart of his plan? LOST has conditioned me to instinctively think that a character is instantly lying in every situation, and also that they plan for everything that has gone wrong.

10:09 - Claire is about to poop out little Aaron, and obviously Kate will be there for her again. Yawn. Two stupid characters back together again. -15
10:11 - Birth of Aaron. This is sooooooooo dumb. Island Enlightenment for Kate and Claire. Gayyyyyy. -20
10:13 - Though I hate the Charlie/Claire/Kate dynamic, I'm still getting chills. Sorry for being such a girl (I blame it on the music). -7
10:14 - The Island is getting ready to implode like in Congo, and BIG BEN LINUS WAS JUST CRUSHED BY A TREE. NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! -5
10:17 - "LOCKKKKKKKKKKKKE!!!!!!!!!!" - Jack *CYMBALS CLASH!!!!* +1
10:18 - JACK VS. LOCKE, ROUND 2, FIGHT!!!!!!! Achilles finisher (says Dave)!!!!! +2

Commercial Break 8: They kinda overdid that big fight scene, but I'm on board for all this drama. If you can't summon up the intensity and emotion now, then why bother? I'm glad they're taking everything out of the bag. Though the symmetry of them leaving the Island the same way in which they arrived (on a plane) is nice, I don't think that thing will be airborne anytime soon. Anticipate everyone using the boat to leave, if it's even possible.

10:22 - Jack and Locke are still battling like Neo and Agent Smith (bad comparison, since the Matrix sucks and this does not). It sure looks like the Island is... sinking.---- but wait!!! LOCKE STABS JACK!!!! FINISH him!!! Oooo, Kate saves the day with a bullet to the back of Smokey. "You're too late...." Smokey's last words before Jack boots him over the cliff. WOWWWWWWW. Is he dead??? Is Desmond next!?!?!?!+14
10:25 - Locke is about to have his epiphany... will he remember being Locke or Smokey? WALKABOUT FLASHBACK!!!!! LOCKE IS BACK!!! CHILLS!!!!! OOOO Jack almost felt it too! "You don't have a son, Jack!!!" "I hope that somebody does for you, what you've just done for me." WOW Who will that be for Jack!!!! +9

Commercial Break 9: Who hasn't had their moment???? From the main characters, only Jack and Sawyer haven't, right? Will Kate do it for Jack? Will Juliet do it for Sawyer? And what moments will trigger it? Kate stitching up Jack like in the pilot? LaFleur giving Juliet a sunflower? If Desmond is the new Smoke Monster, does he necessarily have to be evil? Dave thinks he will be a nice Smoke Monster.

10:31 - Jack's wound looks pretty bad. I guess they were able to lift the tree off of Ben after all... so why bother crushing him to begin with? Maybe to show Ben that people care about him after all? I hate fake drama... -2
10:33 - Back in sidewaysland, Sawyer is chatting with Jin and Sun, and they're too happy to be bothered by his nonsense. Where is WALT? +2
10:35 - "If the Island's goin down, I'm goin down with it." And with that, Hurley and Ben are sticking with Jack to put the cork back in the Island to fix it. JACK AND KATE SMOOCH!!!!! THEY LOVE EACH OTHER!!!! MORE CHILLS!!!! +15

Commercial Break 10: Target is 3/3 with their LOST commercials. The latest one has a boar running through a jungle, and then it cuts to BBQ sauce. Well done. By the way, I forgot to enter the button on My browser shrunk and started shaking, and when I toggled over to it, the screen said SYSTEM FAILURE SYSTEM FAILURE SYSTEM FAILURE. I guess I wasn't cut out for hatch duty. We've been pushing it since late this morning, and now all of it has gone to waste...

10:42 - Like Harrison Ford in Six Days, Seven Nights (underrated gem), Kate and Sawyer are cliff diving.... Also, Sawyer and Jack just shared their first deja vu in the sideways world. LAFLEUR AND JULIET!!!! They're about to go dutch on coffee!!! Woo hoo they both had their moment at the same time, accompanied by the awesome Juliet theme music. The chills keep on coming this episode, but neither Jack/Kate, Claire/Charlie, Rose/Bernard, nor Juliet/LaFleur could get me to break down. Still, that last scene got me the closest. +13

Commercial Break 11: If I had to rank all the former lovebird reunions in the sideways land, Lafleur/Juliet would be number one, followed by Charlie/Claire, and then Sayid/Shannon. Jack and Kate's kiss doesn't count since it was present time, but if it did, that would've been second best. Doob thinks that Lapidus/Airplane should also count as a lovebird reunion, and she's right.

10:51 - Jack and Kate are about to have their moment outside the concert. I guess they are saving the best for last. "I've missed you so much." And just like that, the Doc is back! Or maybe not. Hmmmm... that wasn't a full-blown experience for him. Locke couldn't get him to do it, and now Kate has also failed. Who else could it be???? -6
10:54 - "You're not supposed to die!!! THE ISLAND NEEDS YOU!!!" Jack is giving the governorship of the Island to HURLEY!!!! Poor Ben just got snubbed... he must feel like shit right now. +3
10:55 - Awww, that was a really touching scene between Jack and Hurley, and they're about to seal it with some nasty creek water. This kinda blows. Hurley shouldn't be the Island Protector, and if he stays like this, then it'll be a huge letdown. -30
10:57 - In case any of you rubes forgot over the past 3 years, Lapidus is a helluva pilot, and he just got the plane up and running. +3
10:58 - Jack is now down in the source, and with all the steam and stalactites, it begs an obvious comparison to Hell. Is Jack even able to put the cork back in place without getting fried? -10
11:02 - Cork back in place. Plane ready to jet. This all seems a little too easy. There has to be one more wrinkle from the Smoke Monster... Nevermind, the plane gets away with some nice raft-launching music. +5
11:05 - Could this be it for the doc? He's down in the magic pool shedding some major Jack tears and then---commerical. -25

Commerical Break 12: Place your bets: Will the final scene take place in the sideways world or the Island world? Everyone guesses the Island, which makes my question dumb. Still no Walt, and no Christian Shephard, either. We're all thinking that Jack will finally reach Enlightenment when he opens up Christian's coffin to find it..... empty.

11:11 - LOST's best tandem, real John Locke and Ben Linus are sharing a great scene together. Ben is now combing his hair like the real Ben instead of nerdy Dr. Linus. Cue the awesome Linus music. By the way, I also got chills during this scene. Everyone is gathering at the church, but wait a minute, Gorilla!!! John Locke is getting ready to storm into the church on foot!!!! MORE CHILLS!!! +35
11:13 - Did Jack survive the energy in the cave? Will he become the new Smokey? Ten bucks says this is one of those things they'll never tell us. Since the light is restored, does that mean the Island won't implode and sink? Awww, Ben just got recruited by Hurley to help him run the show. Everybody is winning in this finale, and that's the way I like it. +20
11:15 - WILL JACK BE IN HIS OWN CASKET SINCE HE JUST DIED IN THE REAL WORLD!!?!?!?!!? The theories and predictions will never end with this show. WAIT ANOTHER SECOND!!!! JACK'S NOT DEAD ON THE ISLAND. Apparently, the cave just spit him out like it did the Man in Black, and despite the energy overload, the bash to the head, and the stab wound, he seems to be okay. WHAT?!?!?!? +30
11:18 - Will Christian really be in the casket???? This could be the scene where they filmed 10 different endings. Who's it going to be??!?! Whoa now, the casket is finally causing Jack's Island Awareness, and it's mostly Kate stuff. Casket goes up.... and IT'S EMPTY!!!! Christian isn't dead?!?!?!??! CHRISTIAN ISN'T DEAD!!!!!!!!! I've been waiting for this scene for the past 3 years!!!! Wait, Jack's dead too?!! They're hugging and crying and I'm starting to get worked up. Sidewaysland is deadland?!?!?! "Everybody dies... some of them before you, some of them after. There is no now... here." +25
11:22 - Jack is stumbling out of the jungle. WAIT. BACK TO THE BAMBOO FOREST. SYMMETRY!!!! He's going back to the beginning to die... +45
11:23 - Calling it now: The final scene is Jack's eye closing. +10
11:26 - Big cast reunion inside the church. So this is heaven, or some sort of afterlife (purgatory). There are lots of handshakes and hugs and slowmotion and happy music. I'm stunned right now, but I'm not getting chills or tears or anything. I'm realizing that this is the end... that's what I'm feeling. This is the last scene of LOST, and they aren't going down with twists and turns... they're going out with a happy goodbye. +60
11:28 - Awww VINCENT!!! Now I'm getting the chills. Between the nasty shoe from the opening scene of the pilot, and now Vincent, I'm loving the nostalgia. +30
11:29 - Called it. W0w +50


A lot of stuff is left unanswered (Hurley never came face to face with the numbers), and a lot of stuff just doesn't seem important now (example: Why was the show tilting towards sciency and science-fictiony stories only to then finish on religion stuff?), but these little gripes hardly matter. LOST could have ended with some clever twist. Another plane could've crashed. Locke and Jack could be sitting on the beach playing backgammon forever. It could've been fake. But no. In the end, the writers opted for a satisfying ending involving a touching goodbye to the season 1 castaways. Yeah, Juliet (Season 3) was thrown in there for Sawyer, Libby (Season 2) was thrown in there for Hurley, and Desmond and Penny (Season 3) also joined the trip to heaven, but really it was great seeing Jack, Christian, Kate, Sawyer, Locke, Jin, Sun, Hurley, Boone, Shannon, Charlie, Claire, and Sayid all in the same room again. Their individual redemption could only be achieved through the help of a group (fancy way of saying 'Live Together, Die Alone'), and this afterlife together is that reward. The flashsideways were still very trying at times, but the payoff was worth it. Also, Jack ending back in the bamboo with Vincent is just a really cool way to go. Anyone who is pissed off about this ending probably would not have been satisfied with any ending. I, for one, LOVED this episode. I feel like they wrote it for the fans. All the lovebirds hooked up! Lapidus is rescued! Alpert is finally allowed to die! People that wanted to escape get to leave! Smokey is defeated! Jack saves the day! Hurley is the new leader, and appoints Ben as his second-in-command! Then they all get to leave together! These little victories accumulated throughout the night and culminated in a very rewarding experience.


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Pic of the Week: Don't Judge Him Until You Read it All

The picture was taken down, but you can see it here...

Read it again through the Star Wars filter and it sounds wayyyyyyyyy less creepy...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

LOST Running Diary: What They Died For

Am I mad? I must be, because here's my second consecutive running diary for LOST. For whatever reason, there was a lot of backlash from Across the Sea. Of course, I disagree with those people, but the invincibility of the Running Diary was tainted. To find out for sure if I've lost my powers, I'm jumping back into the fire.... or diving back into the stream that leads to a glow-in-the-dark cave.

Oh, but before you read this, go here to see the latest Totally Lost video on You can skip through the first couple parts if you like, but part 5 features a "counseling" session between Jacob and Dr. Smoke, and it's surprisingly hilarious.

So where did we leave off in present time? Sayid, Sun, and Jin are all gonzo, and the remaining candidates are left reeling on the beach. Will Jack reach Desmond in the well? Will Big Smoke reach out to Widmore so they can kill them off?

8:59 - Make ready....... LOOSE!!!
9:00 - Jack's eye opens...We're back to flashsideways Jack and his nasty shaving cut. Retard son gets all needy and wants Daddy to attend his concert with the MOTHER. Place your bets. Claire from Modern Family? Juliet? Rousseau? I've already explained that Claire from Modern Family was recently shooting their vacation episode in Hawaii, so she's the safe bet. -4
9:02 - Desmond totally played the doc with an effective Yank accent. It's going to take a lot to get Jack to reboot.... I don't have any ideas, by the way. +0
9:03 - Jack is repairing Kate's wound to nicely mirror the pilot episode where Kate stitched up Jack. "We have to kill him, Jack," barks useless Kate (by that, she means you have to kill him while I get captured again). -4

Commercial Break 1: Two questions. How will Desmond get Jack to realize his destiny? It sounds like Jack is traveling to the airport to pick up his dad. Will anyone else be there? Also, how can you kill BIG SMOKE?!?!?! Does it have to do with the light in the cave?!?!??!

9:06 - Classic LOST music... my favorite. +2
9:07 - I hate myself for doing this, but I noticed Mira Furlan in the credits... aka Rousseau. I suck for spoiling the surprise. -5
9:08 - HAHAHAHAHHA. Even in the sidewaysworld, Ben gets the shit kicked out of him.... And that's what it takes to get Ben to see the real world. Brilliant. +3
9:09 - "I lived in these houses a long time, Miles. I think I can remember how to get there."
"Well, I lived in these houses 30 years before you did... otherwise known as last week... and I have no idea where the hell we are." (Miles kicks ass). +2
9:10 - Miles is freaking out over a corpse. Whose? Ben's daughter? SCORE!!! I wonder what she was thinking right before Keamy plugged her, and I wonder if Miles will ever tell Ben. +3
9:12 - OOOOOOO Widmore just showed up at the Barracks with the hottie scientist. This is the first time Ben and Charles have seen each other since Ben told him he "changed the rules," right? +1

Commercial Break 2: Any chance that the events we're seeing with Ben and Charles happened before Jack and co. stormed the sub? It just seems so unlikely that Ben would get C4 from the Barracks to put on the plane AFTER Widmore had already loaded C4 on the plane. Perhaps Alpert fired that first shot the hit Kate? Yep... I don't think I'm making sense right now.

9:18 - "And why would you want to do that?" - the weekly award goes to Mr. Charles Widmore, in reference to the C4 mission!!! +2
9:19 - "Why wouldn't I want to?" - the runner up award goes to Sideway Locke, when Ben told him not to call the cops. -2
9:21 - Desmond is on the move again, this time to the precinct where Sawyer, Kate, Miles, and Sayid are. Ten bucks says he mentions that all of them were on 815. +1
9:22 - "I killed them, didn't I?" YES STUBBORN SAWYER. YOU KILLED 3 CHARACTERS THAT WE DON'T REALLY CARE ABOUT. WAITTTTTT Hugo just saw lil' Jake in the woods, and he wants... his..own... ashes? Uhhh... and now Jacob is here... +3
9:23 - "Your friends are very close to the end, Hugo." Sorry for getting a little quote-heavy here, but this is Jacob's last appearance (I'm not sure why that is when other dead characters seem to have unlimited mana). Thumbs down for bringing kid Jake into the episode, and thumbs down for no more Jacob. -6

Commercial Break 3: I'm a bit overmatched this week since both the regular world and sidewaysland are all over the place. We are hitting on damn near every remaining character, so it's hard to keep motives and objectives in check. The Ultimate LOST Fan Promo contest is a weird mash-up of some of LOST's best quotes with shards of crystal meth... oh it's the black and white stones. Well done, Ultimate LOST fan...

9:29 - "Give me your walkie-talkies." "Why?" "Because I asked." Ummmm, not really a question, Linus. Okay, to make matters more complicated, we have 4 different plans to handle Big Smoke. Widmore wants to hide. Miles wants to run. Ben wants a showdown. And Richard wants to chat. Yikes, I'm tired. +3
9:30 - oooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. So much for talking, Richard. He just got Terry Tated by Big Smoke and is now sailing off into the distance. +1
9:32 - "And why would I do that?" Another award goes to Ben, after Smoke's tells him to kill some people. I hate this game. -4
9:33 - The proposal is simple. Kill everyone and you get the Island. Obviously if Ben had any brains he would know that Locke is lying... yet again. Oh, and Widmore just got ratted out. Hah! +3
9:35 - Awwwwww, it's Rousseau. What a great (and hot) mom. And I'm pretty sure she's hitting on Ben. "It's so nice to be cooking for someone other than Alex." She's definitely mackin on him. Too bad the flash cuts out before they smooch. -1
9:36 - Round 1. Big Smoke vs. Widmore+Hot Doc. FIGHT! +2
9:37 - NOOOOOOOOO Smoke just slit her throat for being "pointless." This hurts more than Sun's death... -5
9:39 - Uh oh... here it comes.
9:40 - Yep. Lights out, Charles Widmore, courtesy of Big Ben's glock. "He doesn't get to save his daugher." Evil Linus is so much more awesome than pitiful Linus. I was going to give it a +10, but then he said "Didn't you say there was some other people to kill?" +20
9:41- Whoa. Roundtable war council with Jacob. I wish I could transcribe all this awesomeness, but Jacob pretty much just told them that he'll tell why he chose them as candidates, how they can protect the Island, and that one of them IS GOING TO START DOING IT!!!!! +8

Commercial Break 5: I nearly had a brain aneurysm just now. Firefox just crashed, and I nearly lost everything I just wrote. Thank goodness for autosaves. This episode is still too scattered for my liking. This upcoming scene with Jacob is going to make or break the epsiode, I fear.

9:46 - Consult time... with Jack and Locke (sounds like a great TV show idea). "What if all this........ maybe this is happening for a reason!!" I miss old Locke... still my favorite character. Island download is imminent for both of them. +9
9:49 - W O W. This could be one of the most important scenes in series history. I wish I could transcribe everything that Jacob said. He explained why he chose them (because they were flawed and lonely, just like him). He told Kate why he crossed her out (she became a mother). He explained the job (don't let the light go out). Can they kill the monster? Let's hope, cause he sure as hell is gonna try and kill them, says Jacob. He even gave them the choice he never had. All of this kicked ass, and then big Jack stepped up to the plate, summoned up some Jack tears, and took the job. This scene was H U G E, and I can't wait to watch that again. +30
Commercial Break 6: Not much to say. I spent the whole break writing that last part, and I need a moment to breathe.

9:55 - Jack drinks the Kool-Aid... "Now you're like me." Not as epic as I imagined it would be. -10
9:56 - Kate in a cage (her cell). That's going to do it for Sawyer. Or maybe not. -5
9:57 - Desmond is my favorite character in this sideways world (after real Locke). He's just so quirky and positive about all this. +4
9:58 - I'm not sure what is happening, but unlike ugly, stupid Kate, I trust Desmond. +0
9:59 - Speaking of Desmond, it's good to see that Desmond made it out of that well. "Desmond was a fail-safe. Jacob's last resort in case, God forbid, I manage to kill all of his beloved candidates. One final way to make sure I never leave this place." Uh-oh. "I'm gonna destroy the Island." WHOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaa +50


10:00 - Some crazy old lady narrator teases the finale. How stupid was that? -15

Final Arbitrary score: +76, which falls between MacCutcheon's Whiskey and "WE HAVE TO GO BAAAAAAAAACK" on the LOST Awesome Scale.

I originally was going to pan this episode for trying too hard to move too many pieces into too many different places for the finale.... but then Jacob had the candidate's meeting by the campfire. Also, this episode was packed with great exchanges between characters in those little moments that don't stand out thematically but they still rule (examples: Sawyer and Miles at the police station, Ben and Rousseau outside her car). By the way, do all the best scenes in LOST happen by a campfire? Here's a quick list:

1. The fuselage burning at the end of Walkabout when Locke looks at his wheelchair and smiles. Awesome.
2. Charlie throwing his drugs in the fire as Locke looks on.
3. Mr. Friendly's "LIGHT EM UPPPPPPPPPP" speech where he said "This is OUR Island."
4. Desmond getting drunk on MacCutcheon's as Charlie and Hurley ask about the flashes.
5. Jack and Smokey Locke meeting this season.

Am I missing anything from season 4 and 5? Anyway, Jacob's talk ranks up there as one of the more enjoyable scenes to watch because he gave up so many answers. We can all agree that Jack was the safe (and best) pick to replace him, but after that we still had some crazy shit with Desmond and Locke. I'm officially pumped as hell to see the finale. Will Locke destroy the Island? Will Desmond prevent it by transferring the sideways people to the Island? Will Lapidus show up out of nowhere with a snappy one-liner and fly Hurley, Kate, and Sawyer off the Island? Do I dare live blog this behemoth?


1. Ab Aeterno
2. the Candidate
3. the Substitute
4. Lighthouse
5. What They Died For
6. Across the Sea
7. Everybody Loves Hugo
8. Happily Ever After
9. The Last Recruit
10. LAX
11. Dr. Linus
12. Sundown
13. the Package
14. Recon
15. What Kate Does

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Review: Robin Hood

My main concern going into this movie was that since Robin Hood is traditionally set during the Crusades, that we'd get a film pretty similar to Ridley Scott's so-so Kingdom of Heaven. The good news is that if you also had similar reserves, you can forget it about them. Robin Hood is much much closer in plot, tone, and scope to another English legend's reboot film, King Arthur. If you liked the 2004 Clive Owen movie as much as I did, you will certainly enjoy this one.

Robin and his companions have just deserted the Lion Heart's army after the King's death, and their quest happens to take them through London and a plot filled with political intrigue. Just like in King Arthur, where we were briefly given insight into Rome's affairs with Britain, Robin Hood nicely touches on England's impending struggles with France. This story is actually the main plot, as one rogue Englishman conspires with King Phillip of France to destroy England and also take out Robin for getting in the way. Even though it greatly cuts down the amount of time we get with Robin's merry men and the Sheriff Nottingham (big disappointment), I understand why they did it, and will explain in a little bit.

Like King Arthur, Robin Hood takes the classic legend that everyone is familiar with and gives it a gritty little tweak. This time around, there are no tights, and Marion is no Maid. In fact, Robin Hood is not even Robin of Loxley. In the only silly and confusing scene of the film, Robin is kinda granted the estate and Marion's hand so people can think he's Sir Robert Loxley rather than Robin Longstride. Russell Crowe is not dashing or charismatic like Cary Elwes and Kevin Costner, and his Gladiator shtick doesn't work so well in this movie. You could say he's pulling a Sam Worthington because he doesn't add toor take away from the film (and whichever journalist called him out for a Scottish accent, they were on to something). He's joined by his companions from the war, Little John (aka the awesome Martin Keamy), Will Scarlet (funny pothead Morris from ER), and Alann a' Dayle. Later on, we get to see the wonderful Mark Addy (from A Knight's Tale and the upcoming A Game of Thrones series... don't judge him from Still Standing alone). The supporting cast is not as great as King Arthur's round table knights, but they're still pretty cool.

And finally, like King Arthur, Robin Hood is only telling Act I of what will hopefully be an ongoing story. At the end of King Arthur, the hero is crowned and married to Guinevere, and they were probably about to build Camelot.... except the move was panned and didn't make much money. Robin Hood similarly becomes that man he is destined to be at the end of this film, but there is much left to tell. We only briefly get glimpses of the forest and the sheriff. Instead, they spent more time on political squabbling with the entertaining King John, who is obviously inexperienced and temperamental as the new King. William Hurt's also in this as the generic and noble advisor like Jeremy Irons was in Kingdom of Heaven.

But like I was alluding to earlier, Ridley Scott built a pretty solid foundation for the rest of the series, if it continues. We understand the motives for why outlaw orphans take refuge in the forest like a bunch of Lost Boys. We also understand why the Sheriff of Nottingham is a petty, slighted person because what little power he has is really not much at all. These stories can be further explored in a sequel, but for right now, Robin Hood accomplished giving us a interesting new side to the classic story that still showcases cunning warfare, uplifting comradarie, and a sorta convincing love story.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Clip of the Week: Dude

Probably my favorite one is "Jack BROKE your lighthouse, Dude!!!"

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

LOST Running Diary: Across the Sea

I've been debating whether or not to live blog the epic finale next Sunday, and just in case I choose not to, I'm going to fire one up for tonight's "Crazy Episode 15," Across the Sea. I expect big things from this self-contained episode. In no particular order, I want to find out:

- Smokey's name (Esau? Wallace? Lindelof?)
- The identities of Adam and Eve in the caves
- The identities of the little brats that Smokey has been seeing in the jungle
- Is Smokey equal to Jacob?
- Did Jacob grant Smokey his power?
- Why does Jacob have a thing for numbers, especially the cursed numbers?

As usual, the rules of the Running Diary state that I get one shot at writing this. Nothing is edited after the fact, so don't get mad at me when I am 100% right.

8:59 - Let's roll...
9:00 - We start off with typical boat wreckage and an exotic dame arriving on the Island. Smokey's wife? His mommy? OOOOOO she's pregnant, so I'm thinking the latter. Wow, for a stressed, shocked, trauma patient, she knows enough to search for fresh water right away. I'm intrigued.... +1
9:01 - Allison Janney? She speaks Latin like any good Roman... and also English. +1
9:03 - Exotic dame (aka Claudia) is giving birth. Place your bets!!! Jacob or Smokey!! I'm saying Smokey cause she has the devil's black hair.... OOOOOOO JACOB!!!!!!!!!! +5
9:04 - ANOTHER BABY!!!!! WHOA!!!!!! Here comes the name!!! "I only picked one name" - Stupid exotic dame. Ten bucks says she dies right away like Ben's mom. +2
9:05 - Yikes!!! I'm half right. Whereas momma Linus died from birth complications, Exotic Dame gets her skull bashed in by Allison Janney. What a sweet opener. +5

First Commercial Thoughts - It seems so simple, why didn't any of us predict this before? THEY ARE TWIN BROTHERS!!! One wrapped in white cloth, the other swaddled in darkness, but how do they get their powers? Crazy Allison Janney has a mother Gaia vibe going for her, so she's probably responsible.

9:08 - First question answered. The two brats are kid Smokey and kid Jacob. "I JUST KNOW HOW TO PLAY BACKGAMMON, JACOB!! DON'T TELL MOM!!!" Lame. -5
9:10 - Jacob is a sucker and a momma's boy, while Smokey is a scheming liar, and "special" according to Mother Gaia. Smokey mentions something about "Across the Sea," but I missed its importance, which is good because I hate when episode titles are mentioned in the dialogue. -3
9:13 - The boys encounter THE OTHERS!!! The director goes out of his way to hide the chieftain's face. Are they Egyptian? Are they conquistadors? They look like Mongols, but who the hell knows. -4
9:15 - Okay, a lot just happened. Gaia just gave the same "Man is inherently evil" speech that Smokey tells Jacob at the beginning of Season 5. Then we find out the mom has made it so they can never hurt each other (how? beats me). And yes, there's a rainbow/pot of gold/fountain of youth magic cave. "The warmest, brightest light that you have ever seen or felt. And we must make sure that no one ever finds it." That means you, Widmore. +2
9:18 - Her primary goal is to protect this pocket of light so greedy men can never extinguish it, and that responsibility will be passed on. Obviously she'll choose Jacob, which is weird because she kinda favors Smokey. Eventually, JACK SHEPHARD will probably assume this role. +5

Commercial Break 2 - What the hell is happening? Cave of light? Someone took second-rate fantasy storytelling (Legend of the Seeker?) and wrapped it in a LOST exterior. They are chuckin a lot of this up to faith with vaguely straightforward explanations like "I'm responsible for this" and "this is our mission" and "It's like this because I said so." YOU'RE TALKING SHIT, WRITERS. EXPLAIN YOURSELVES!!

9:22 - "One day, you can make up your own game and everyone else will have to follow your rules." BLANTANT FORESHADOWING ALERT!!! +1
9:23 - OOOOO exotic birth mom is back and standing under a spotlight. Is she one of the whisperers? Someone else doing Smokey-like shapeshifting? +1
9:24 - Jesus H Christ, they've said "Across the Sea" 7 or 8 times. THAT BUGS ME!! Also, Smokey sees his people that crashed with the birth mom, and he also learns that Gaia is a lying bitch. These characters kinda suck ass. I miss grown up Jacob and Smokey... -8
9:29 - Smokey just left because he's the sympathetic rogue. Jacob stayed because he's a gutless momma's boy. The Mom is a crazy loon. We didn't really need 5 minutes to say all this, so whatever... -8

Commercial Break 3 - All the momentum from that awesome opening scene is gone. The first Act of this episode has worn out its welcome, and we need to get to the big conflict. Why does the Man in Black want to kill Smokey in their later years? What fatal mistake does Smokey make that causes the kids to haunt him (besides murdering Jacob, right)? Here's my prediction: Smokey gets in with his people and because of them, they hunt down and kill Gaia. Still no sign of any black smoke...

9:34 - YES! Grown-up Jacob, still kinda spineless, is back to dominating the rug-making business. And he still regularly plays board games with Smokey. Now we're cookin'. +7
9:35 - "I found a way off the Island."
"That's impossible! There is no way off the Island!"
And now we see the type of well that Desmond was thrown in. Woo hoo!!! +4
9:37 - For someone who presents herself as all-knowing, Gaia sure dropped the ball with this magnetic well stuff. I thought she was supposed to prevent men from tampering with the Cave light!?!?!? +2
9:39 - FROZEN DONKEY WHEEL!!!!!! I can't explain it fast enough, but the scene between Gaia and Smokey was the best of the episode so far; just all-around fantastic. +10
9:41 - WHOAAAA I wrote that last bit before Gaia SMASHED SMOKEYS HEAD INTO THE WALL. Rocks to the head seem to be her preferred method of murder. WOW. +10

Commercial Break 4 - How's that for a 180 from our last commercial break? Smokey has figured out how to leave the Island (using science... hmmm), and his mom punishes him with a good bashing. I kinda thought Smokey was going to kill her down there, so it completely caught me by surprise. Is he dead? I think not. It's interesting that he has characterized his people as greedy, manipulating, and selfish, which is exactly what he is. It's also interesting that the donkey wheel works in transporting people off the Island, but Smokey never leaves...

9:45 - "Jacob... it's time!" Bring on the crazy well. +5
9:46 - "Life, death, rebirth. It's the source, the heart, of the Island." "Promise me you will never go down there." This is another scene loaded with themes of temptation and faith. Oooo she breaks out the magic bottle (later broken by Smokey in Ab Aeterno). If Jacob drinks the magic wine, he accepts the role of Island Protector. Jacob correctly points out that Smokey was the chosen one, but after a little pissing and moaning, he drinks.... Great music, by the way. +12
9:50 - Smokey ain't dead, but he's plenty pissed that his Orchid well was filled in... AND THE CAMP WAS BURNED TO THE GROUND!!! Wow, we never would've thought that Jacob would be behind Island massacre. I guess this is the turning point that causes Smokey to hate Jacob's guts. +5

Commercial Break 5 - So Jacob wiped out the camp. Maybe he also wiped out the Ajira 316 survivors before he died. I'm not sure why he would do that, but now we see that Smokey isn't the only one capable of genocide. Since they are probably the only 2 left on the Island, we might see this episode ending like the Season 5 finale ended: with them chatting on the beach as the Black Rock appears. Right now this episode is sitting at a B-; let's hope the home stretch dominates.

9:55 - Okay, another thought. Perhaps the mom killed that camp and not Jacob... that makes more sense. I lose points for being stupid. -2
9:56 - DEATH BY FANCY KNIFE!!!! Not quite as cool-sounding as Sawyer's "Winner by knockout" comment to the Doc, but it works. +15
9:58 - Why didn't you let me go? Because I love you. Awesome stuff, and now Jacob is pissed. THROW HIM DOWN THE WELL!!!! THAT'S HOW HE BECOMES SMOKEY!!!! +10
9:59 - The light is extinguished, and it is now manifested into THE FUCKING SMOKE MONSTER!!!! +15
10:01 - YES!!!! Cut to Jack and Kate finding the bodies in the caves with the black and white stones!!!! ADAM AND EVE = SMOKEY AND GAIA. That's a much more satisfying explanation than Rose and Bernard or Sawyer and Juliet. I'm loving the season 1 throwback. Also, did you notice that season one Locke had way fewer wrinkles? +10
10:02 - "Goodbye, brother... goodbye" +10


Final Arbitrary Score: 98, right between "Lapidus' beard" and "Jack's sleeveless purple shirt" on the LOST Awesome Scale. And yes, there is a scale.

Final thoughts: LOST has succeeded in NEVER producing a likable child character. Walt was a huge, whiny loser. The kid versions of Locke, Jack, Kate, Sawyer, and Charlotte all sucked. Aaron is a mental defect, and Ji Yeon is ugly. So it doesn't surprise me that I also hate the kid versions of Smokey and Jacob.

Of the questions I asked at the beginning of the episode, 4/6 of them were answered, and that's pretty damn good. Since Smokey technically died, is that why he can't leave the Island by using the donkey wheel? If that's the case, then what would it take to get him to leave? I feel like we should have enough information by now to answer this question, but I can't answer it. A lot of the show's mythology has been explained, and this was definitely a good standalone story, so I'll give it a B+.

1. Ab Aeterno
2. the Candidate
3. the Substitute
4. Lighthouse
5. Across the Sea
6. Everybody Loves Hugo
7. Happily Ever After
8. The Last Recruit
9. LAX
10. Dr. Linus
11. Sundown
12. the Package
13. Recon
14. What Kate Does

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

LOST Review: The Candidate


What just happened?!?!? I likened The Last Recruit to the first part of a season finale, and I still believe it. Building off of that, The Candidate is the very dark Act 2 of a finale, almost like the Empire Strikes Back. Very few shows in all of television can get its audience to hit a range of emotions throughout the course of a 42 minute episode, and the Candidate (a fantastic episode) is among them. Happiness, Sadness, Confusion, Anger, Elation, Fright and probably a lot more that could be described with fancy words that I don't know. Because my mind is blown more than usual tonight, there's no point in covering this in a traditional, linear format. Instead, let's just cover each of these crazy emotions.

Awww.... Jin and Sun are together again. It's still unnerving when they easily speak English to each other, but it was great hearing them discuss their little girl. I'll admit that I got a little worked up, but so what?!? You're a mindless zombie robot if your heart wasn't warmed by their fleeting moment.

Where can I begin.... HOW CAN YOU KILL OFF JIN AND SUN LIKE THAT!?!?! Okay, I'm venturing into frustration territory, but I don't mean to. In fact, I joke nearly every week that Sun is a useless character that should die a horrible death. Now I'm eating those words. The explosion threw debris across the room and wrenched Sun against the wall. It didn't matter how hard he tried, because Jin couldn't get her out. Every time something was removed, another thing remained. They shared a tearful goodbye, a final embrace, and drowned while our old friend, the Life and Death theme, played in the background. Their deaths churned up thoughts of Charlie's sad goodbye in Season 3 (another character I wished dead but was sad when it happened). If all of this wasn't sad enough, hearing Hurley, Kate, and Jack sob like children on the beach because of this only made it tougher.

Oh, and Sayid also met his demise tonight, cutting the potential Candidate pool in half. There wasn't as much emotional punch to his death because he's been such a tool this season, but I am glad that he technically redeemed himself with his sacrifice. I'm betting he goes on to join the whisperers of the Island. Just like Michael sacrificed himself to save the castaways on the freighter, Sayid ran the C4 (mostly) out of harm's way. And since Michael was ultimately punished for the double homicide of Ana Lucia and Libby, I'm thinking Sayid will also suffer for the double homicide of Dogen and Lennon. And hey, what about Lapidus???

Yep, that was just one of the many moments of confusion sprinkled throughout the episode. Lapidus was donked on the head by the hatch door, but we never saw he die... we also never saw him surface. So what happened to him? Also, how stupid does Claire have to be to not notice a sub launching 5 feet behind her? Sayid yelled for her. Sawyer yelled for her. Locke ran down the dock towards the damn thing and she still paid it no mind. And then all of sudden, "Hey! They left me?!?!?" You suck, Claire.

One final thought about the deaths of Jin, Sun, and Sayid. Let's not forget that the sideways world still has a part to play in all this. That's why I am further confused because Jin and Sun could conceivably live out a happy life in sidewaysland where they are alive, well, and pregnant. Too bad the same cannot be said for Sayid, who was arrested for murder.

Were you also among those fooled by Smokey? I wanted to believe that there was something good about him. I never thought him to be the good guy and Jacob the bad guy, but I did believe that he was a man who believed in free will and other noble virtues. It turns out that I was a sucker. Smokey never gave a shit about the candidates' well being. As Dogen wisely said, he is "evil incarnate." All along he worked to gain all of their trust (and ours as well), only to perfectly execute a plan that nearly killed them all. And really, it should've killed them all. How often do 400 pound guys (that are carrying 120 of dead weight) swim up from sinking wreckage? What were the odds that Jack could carry Sawyer out of there after the sub had been sinking for a good 5 minutes? That must've been 1000 feet under water!!! Anyway, well done you sonuvabitch Smoke Monster.

Another thing that angered me (and this time not in a good way) is the cages. It's like the old saying: "Stand up. Sit down. Stand up. What did you accomplish?" I felt that way the first 10 minutes into the episode. Out of the cages. Get in the cages. Back out of the cages. What was the point? Yes, Widmore was trying to protect the candidates from Smokey, but the cages just conjure up old painful memories of a show treading water. To a larger extent, why have Sawyer's group captured at the end of the Last Recruit only to be rescued at the beginning of the Candidate. It just seems like manufactured drama to me.

This episode had its downer moments and its weepy moments and its frustrating moments, but it also had the funniest 5 seconds in perhaps the show's history. Locke bitch-slapping a hysterical Claire had me keeled over in Laughter, but this had me jumping for joy like when Ana Lucia was shot. Yes, I'm talking about Kate getting shot. The scene went something like this:

Jack: "John Locke told me to stay"
*Jack pushes Smokey in the water because it seems logical*
*Kate stupidly looks over and says...*
Kate: What happened!?!?!?
*Kate gets shot*

It's so silly and absurd that a scene would go down like that, but yet it did and I loved it. I honestly replayed it about 5 times to soak up all the excitement.

Okay, I'm now officially scared of Locke. I've seen him pissed before, but now that his sinister end-game is revealed, it just gives me chills. LOST really delivered a solid grand bad guy to clash with, and I can't wait to see how it ends. To kind of pat myself on the back, here's my "God of War 3" theory that I sent out to my family last week:

"You know, in Greek Mythology (according to God of War 3), damned souls could travel out of the Underworld through a hyperion gate if they had the soul of a god with them. Damned souls = castaways. Underworld = Island. Hyperion Gate = Flashes or pockets of energy like the Orchid. God = Jacob. So what’s the end game then? Simple… Smokey is going to orchestrate the deaths of the remaining candidates. He won’t kill them himself cause that’s cheating… so he’s leading them to Widmore so they’ll die there. Once everyone is gone, he’ll claim Jacob’s soul and be able to escape through some gate that is yet to be revealed.

Just like Hades was tricked into running the Underworld and is now "trapped," Smokey too was trapped on the Island by Jacob, and now he's looking for a way out."

Right now, I am feeling happy about the episode because it kicked ass. Big time character deaths are always a welcome addition because it raises the stakes and makes us that much more invested in the show. Also, Jack was right and Sawyer was wrong, and I love seeing that. The Doc made perfect sense about them falling into Smokey's trap, but Sawyer's stubbornness caused them to blow up and it caused the deaths of their friends. Remember when Sawyer held Jack responsible for killing Juliet because he spearheaded Operation Jughead? This is the exact damn thing, and I hope Sawyer is eaten away by the guilt of making a stupid stupid decision. So much for him being the world's best con man. He totally thought he was playing Locke, but he didn't expect the old man to pulling a long con of his own. Brilliant.


P.S. - The weekly "Why would he do that?" award goes to Jin, who uttered the often-used phrase on the sub after they discovered Locke's bomb. I was afraid this award would be passed up by the weekly "I was on Oceanic 815, too" award
P.S.S. - The alarm on the sub was the same alarm from the Hatch
P.S.S.S. - Flashsideways cameos usually seemed forced because they force a character into a situation with a new job and a new life (Minkowski a limo driver? Ilana the lawyer?). Bernard's cameo was awesome because it wasn't forced. He's still a funny old man dentist married to Rose. It's good that some things don't change.

1. Ab Aeterno
2. the Candidate
3. the Substitute
4. Lighthouse
5. Everybody Loves Hugo
6. Happily Ever After
7. The Last Recruit
8. LAX
9. Dr. Linus
10. Sundown
11. the Package
12. Recon
13. What Kate Does

What if Super Mario . . . wasn't so super?

Vintage gaming this week (figured out SimCity 2000 on Windows 7), but it was child's play compared to this:



Saturday, May 1, 2010

Why the Penguins will succeed where the Capitals failed

The Canadiens stunned the NHL world by upsetting the #1 seed and reigning President's Trophy champs.... the loser Washington Crapitals. Though their dramatic comeback was stunning, there is an explanation for it. The Capitals are a team that shoots on the rush, that shoots early, often, and from everywhere on the ice. They'll shoot as hard as they can in any direction, and score on the brute force of their shots..... unless they meet a shutdown defensive team willing to sacrifice the body. You see, the Canadiens knew that Ovechkin and company would shoot ASAP, so they were ready to jump in the lanes. They would shoot high in the circles and the point, so the goalie had more time to see it coming. The captain often reflects the will of the team, so let's look at how Ovechkin handles himself. Below is a chart from that shows where and how Ovechkin netted his 50 goals.

You'll notice that they are all over the place. From the points, the wings, the slot, on breakaways, and that's also how his team plays. Now I won't fault the guy for this. You get your 50 goals any way you can, but this is NOT a strong offensive strategy for playoff hockey. In the playoffs, defenses collapse toward the net to protect it. They block shots. They get in your face and disrupt your pretty one-timers because refs won't call the obstruction penalty. All of this is why the predictable Crapitals are sitting at home right now. Their system was not built for the long grind of playoff hockey (and it's the same reason they were dismissed in other game 7s in seasons past).

Now let's look at Sidney Crosby's goal chart. You'll notice right away that they are all almost entirely below the circles. When he's not scoring in the slot, he's scoring in the crease. He gets deflections, he battles for rebounds, he scores goals as ugly as sin, and that's EXACTLY how playoff hockey is!!! That's why Crosby is the best player in the league. That's why he's a reigning gold medalist and Stanley Cup champion. You lead by example, and Crosby is not afraid to battle for the hard goals. The Habs will not have an answer for that kind of persistent pressure. They were used to the Capitals firing as soon as they could, so they didn't expect the Pens power play to defer... and defer.... and defer... and change the angle... and defer again... and pause.... headfake.... and now FIRE. The Canadiens didn't know how to stop this kind of patient attack, and if they don't figure it out soon, we'll be heading back to the Eastern Conference Finals.