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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Let's get LOST! (Episode 6:5 Lighthouse)

If you haven't seen this week's episode of LOST yet...
BEWARE! HERE THERE BE SPOILERS!

Don't say you weren't warned. Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's talk LOST!


I think my brain is going to implode. Those LOST writers certainly left all the good stuff for last. My mind can barely wrap around one revelation when they toss another one at us. What a wildly entertaining show LOST is, and oh, how I will miss it when the final BAD ROBOT logo runs across the screen. Here are my three favorite moments from this week's show (although each week it is getting harder and harder to just pick three...)

I thought this was the most shocking moment of the night:

Jack has a son in the flash-sideways universe. Tied with A Lighthouse! More Numbers!

It's totally plausible that in the alternate version of reality, Jack had a son with his wife before he divorced her. How interesting to see Jack have a breakthrough, and overcome the mistakes of his father, and the hurts of his past, by trying to repair the relationship with his own son. Which leads to my next "moment", but before we go there, let's talk about the last ten minutes of the show.

The ancient lighthouse seems to be a portal to the "real" world, or at least various versions of reality off-island. In the mirrors, we saw an Asian style temple, which looks like the place where Jin and Sun got married, and a white church with a steeple, which looks like the church where the funeral for Sawyer's parents was held, and then of course, there was Jack's childhood home. I don't think this lighthouse is a portal, but I do think Jacob used it like a window, to observe "candidates", as Jack rightly deduced when he said, "he's been watching me since I was a child." It seems obvious, based on what Jacob said to Hurley in the final moments, that he knew all the long Jack would destroy the lighthouse, and that's exactly what he wanted him to do. Free will vs. omniscience. Discuss.

I thought this was the most heartbreaking moment of the night:

Jack (to his son, David): You know, my dad told me I "didn't have what it takes." I have carried that around with me all my life. I never want you to feel that way. You can never fail in my eyes, because I love you.

This was one of those wonderful LOST moments that we used to get so frequently in the first season of the show, where a character has a breakthrough and is victorious over their past mistakes, past hurts, past injustices, whatever. I liked seeing Jack try to make things right with his son. In fact, I'm really starting to get attached to the flash-sideways alternate reality. Locke is happy with Helen, and laughs at the troubles life gives him. Hurley is the luckiest guy in the world, and seems confident and happy. Jack, although still divorced, seems to have a hope of a future with his son, and redeemed some of his past hurts. It feels so strange, to begin to become attached to that new plotline, when I've been so emotionally tied up and committed to our island losties for six seasons now. Now I'm not so sure which timeline I want to be real. (Although that's just a guess - I have no idea how the writers are going to rectify these split timelines.)

And finally, here's the funny moment of the night:

Hurley (to Jack): "This is cool, dude. Very old school. You and me, trekking through the jungle, on our way to do something that we don't quite understand. Good times."

I also liked Hurley's comment about "liking history and Indiana Jones type stuff" when Dogen asked him what he was doing in the passageway. I've always loved Hurley, but I've really been enjoying his enhanced role in this final season. In fact, looking back, it's been a slow, steady progression for Hurley, from his neurotic early days, to the day he took charge and got the Dharma van running, and used it to save the day, to now, when became leader of the group and took them to safety at the temple. Even how he trusts his "visions" of dead people now, and calmly acts on them, is a big change for him. Love his character development, and love it that they've brought this supporting character more into the limelight for this final season.

So, what revelation really stuck with you from this episode? What do you think about Jungle Claire? (Or as I've decided to call her, "Creepy Claire".) Do you think she can be saved or rescued out of her insanity, or is she too far gone? Remember, Dogen told Jack she was "infected". And, from what Claire said, it sounds like they gave her the same test as Sayid and then tried to "cure" her but she escaped before they could help her. Either way, I smell a royal catfight of the century, when she finds out Kate took Aaron and raised him. Although, technically, Claire abandoned him when she followed Smokey into the jungle (when he was wearing the Christian Shepherd flesh-suit). Speaking of creepy, how evil was that grin Not-Locke gave Jin? (Shudders.) So much to talk about, so little time until the next episode. Let's discuss!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Musical Interlude - Cliff Edwards

I just got back from a trip to Disneyland, and I'm feeling sentimental and a little sad that it's back to reality today. So, no rock and roll to start out our Monday morning "Musical Interlude", but instead a sweet little tune that always makes me a little misty eyed. Listening to it helps me stretch out that Disneyland feeling for just a little bit longer.

"When You Wish upon a Star" was written by Ned Washington and Leigh Harline and appeared in the 1940 Walt Disney movie Pinocchio, where it is sung by Cliff Edwards, the voice actor for Jiminy Cricket. The song won the Academy Award for Best Original Song that year. Like Mickey Mouse became the mascot for all things Disney, the song has become the theme song of The Walt Disney Company. The American Film Institute ranked "When You Wish Upon A Star" seventh in their 100 Greatest Songs in Film History, and it is the highest ranked Disney song on that list.

I'm not a pollyanna type person, and I certainly don't believe in wishing on stars, but I love the sense of hope and optimism in this song.



"When You Wish Upon a Star"
From Walt Disney's Pinocchio

When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires

Will come to you

If your heart is in your dream
No request is too extreme
When you wish upon a star
As dreamers do

Fate is kind
She brings to those who love
The sweet fulfillment of
Their secret longing
Like a bolt out of the blue

Fate steps in and sees you through

When you wish upon a star
Your dreams come true

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Let's get LOST! (Episode 6:4 The Substitute)

If you haven't seen this week's episode of LOST yet...
BEWARE! HERE THERE BE SPOILERS!
Don't say you weren't warned. Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's talk LOST!


First of all, let's discuss the title of this show for a minute: "The Substitute". That's a nice little play on meaning. In the flash-sideways, Locke is a substitute teacher. However, in the original timeline he is a substitute physical form, for Smokey/Nemesis to inhabit. Nice.

Did you see Illana collecting up Jacob's ashes? You will remember what I suggested in my previous post, about the protective ash they put on the ground being Jacob's ashes, and that maybe he's a phoenix type entity that dies and is reborn over and over again in some kind of ritual. Her collecting up the ashes, plus if that little boy in the jungle is Jacob reborn (He certainly looked and acted a lot like him.) both make me think my theory might be right.

Also, how wild was it that we saw the world from Smokey's point of view, via Raimi Vision? (Just as a point of interest, Raimi vision is only used to represent the most unspeakable evil... Is this one more hint as to what side the Nemesis is on?) But before I get ahead of myself on the whole evil vs. good thing, let me quickly recap my three moments from the show.

I thought this was the most shocking moment of the night:

Ben: "He was a much better man than I will ever be. And I'm very sorry I murdered him."
tied with
Richard Freaking Out
tied with
The numbers (4 8 15 16 23 42) are Jacob's numbers.

I don't know about you, but I was shocked when Ben stepped up to say something at Locke's graveside. It was wildly inappropriate, but at the same time it was like watching the Grinch's heart grow... Ben didn't have to say those things, and he didn't have to admit amongst mixed company that he killed Locke. Do you think he was really sorry, and honestly meant the things he said? I'd like to think so, but Ben has ALWAYS had an ulterior motive for all his actions. I'd like to think he's a changed man ever since Alex was killed and it seems like that might be the case. Don't get me wrong though; I still don't have much sympathy for him, and I still think he's one of the most evil twisted masterminds ever to appear on TV. And let's not forget he might have admitted to this murder, but the little weasel coped to a lie when Illana asked him what happened to Jacob, and he said the Nemesis killed him. (Then again, I might not be so quick to admit to a crying girl with a gun that I was the one who murdered her master. It's all about picking the right time, I suppose...)

Now let's talk about Richard. Anytime we've ever seen Richard, no matter what's been going on, he's been calm, cool, collected and in charge, completely nonplussed by whatever is going on around him. So to see him freaking out and being a spazzy mess was shocking and very disconcerting to me as a viewer. His intensity and panic, when he was trying to convince Sawyer to ditch the Nemesis and run, really scared me.

Finally, let's talk about Hurley's numbers. We know they've been lottery numbers, airline seat numbers, hatch numbers, and part of the Valenzetti Equation. But now I feel like we've been shown the final meaning of these mystical numbers. They are part of Jacob's plan or magic, if you will. (If you want to get your super-LOST-fan freak on, just check out this Lostpedia entry where some dutiful (i.e. obsessed) fan freezeframed all the shots of the cave wall and cataloged all the names they could read.) In reference to these numbers and names, the Nemesis told Sawyer that he and the others were candidates. Candidates for what? (More on that later.) I wonder if we'll ever get a full explanation of why Jacob used those particular numbers with each name?

I thought this was the most heartbreaking moment of the night:

Helen: "Miracles do exist, John. And the only thing in this life I ever waited on, was to find you."

In the original timeline, Helen is dead. Or at least, that's what Abbadon told Locke. In the flash-sideways timeline, not only is she alive, but her and Locke are planning a wedding together. In some ways, this alternate timeline is like the happy ending these characters never received. It's especially poignant to watch these scenes with Locke, knowing that the Locke from the original timeline was broken, sad, alone and now dead. As it stands now, it seems like there's more hope for happiness and redemption in the alternate reality than in the original timeline. (Even Hurley is a successful, confident, happy, lucky guy in the alternate reality.)

On a side note, Helen suggests to Locke that they just have a shotgun wedding in Las Vegas with her parents and his dad. In the original timeline, Locke's dad is the one who pushed him out of the window and paralyzed him. So apparently in this flash-sideways timeline, something else paralyzed Locke, otherwise I would imagine he wouldn't be on good speaking terms with his dad.

And finally, here's the funny moment of the night:

Lapidus: "This is the strangest damn funeral I've ever been to."

Well said, Captain Lapidus! Leave it to Hurley and Lapidus to always say whatever is on the audience's mind!

A few parting thoughts...

Questions about the Purpose/End Game - The Nemesis's explanation to Sawyer about this island end game was that he and the other "candidates" could 1. do nothing and possibly get their name crossed out (i.e. dead/killed?), 2. take over and become the new Jacob and protect the island or 3. leave. Well, I'm not buying any of that. I think the Nemesis is telling his twisted version of the island story to win Sawyer over. The Nemesis also said that Jacob is protecting the island. Well, I think Jacob isn't protecting the island, I think he's protecting the rest of the world from Nemesis and his evil. I think the island is the Nemesis' prison and that's why he's so anxious to break free and wreck his evil ways all over the world.

Questions about the Nemesis - Why is he now "stuck in Locke's body" as Illana said? Why doesn't he have his own form, but has to use someone else's? He said he was once a man. What is he now? In the cave, the Nemesis picked up the white rock from the scales and threw it away. Is this another sign he's the evil guy? Why is the Nemesis recruiting people? What does he need them for?

Questions about Jacob - Is the little blond boy Jacob reborn? What did he mean when he told the Nemesis, "There are rules. You can't kill him." Why couldn't Richard see the little blond boy, but Sawyer could? Why did Jacob bring people to the island? The Nemesis explained it this way: "At some point in your life he came to you when you were vulnerable or miserable, he came to you, manipulated you, pulled your strings like you were a puppet and as a result the choices you thought you made were never really choices, he was pushing you, pushing you to the Island." I disagree with the manipulation/puppet part. I think that's the Nemesis's twist on it. He said they never really had a choice. But right before Ben stabbed Jacob, and with Hurley in the cab, Jacob said they had a choice.

In regards to the "vulnerable moment", let's just say for a minute, that Jacob is good, like God. Well, doesn't God reach into our lives and cause the most transformation in us when we are at our weakest point? It's when we realize we need Him the most. It's when we are called above our circumstance to lean on Him, to turn away from evil and to good. In fact, didn't Jacob tell little Kate to "be good"? I think he said something similar to little Sawyer, and how he shouldn't let hate take over his heart.

I know several of you think the good/evil lines are blurred too much on this show, to the point that no one is either all good or all evil, which I would agree with, when it comes to the humans. But I think I'm picking up on some definite lines the writers are laying down, that are showing us the final "truth" to their story, and their take on the good vs. evil argument, which is headed up by the Nemesis (evil) and Jacob (good).
Sorry for the long length of this post. Each show of this season has been a rollercoaster of non-stop shocks, revelations, action and plot development. It makes it difficult to sum up in 200 words or less. Let the discussion begin! Leave me a comment and let me know what your favorite moments were, or what your theory is on the whole debate of good vs. evil on the show.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Musical Interlude - Toby Mac

There's approximately 10 minutes left to Monday, so I can still get this posted in time to be a Monday Musical Interlude. Ha!

Toby Mac's new album, Tonight, came out last week, and although completely different than Portable Sounds, it's quickly grown on me. It showcases a lot of different musical styles as well.

Maybe if I'd had this music to get me going first thing this morning, I wouldn't have been so sluggish all day...

Here is the first single off the album, appropriately titled "Tonight". Embedding is disabled, so if you just click on the screenshot below, it should launch a new window of the video on You Tube. Enjoy!
Tonight
by Toby Mac

Hey!
Everytime I try to go in alone I get shut down,
Locked up and held captive in the clutches of my down
We go back, we go forth,
We go back
I'm sick with vertigo
Weary of my ways, my days
My lips are frozen
I wanna feel a new day
(There's gotta be more than this)
I wanna live a new way
(There's gotta be more)
I wanna feel a new day
(There's gotta be more)
I wanna live a new way
(There's just gotta be more)

Right here, right now
Under the stars, I promise you my heart

Cause it starts tonight!

We wanna rise,
We wanna touch the other side
(It starts tonight!)
We wanna soar
We wanna reach right out for more
(Cause it starts tonight!)
We wanna rise,
We wanna touch the other side
(It starts tonight)
We wanna soar,
We wanna reach right out for more
(Cause it starts tonight)
Tonight tonight
Tonight tonight tonight
Tonight

Can't feel like any night before
Under the sky full of stars
With hearts that want more
(Tonight)
Like the rhythm no dam can hold
Bein' drivin by a source overflowin our souls
(Tonight)
Won't be like any night we have seen
It changes everything (e-e-e-e-everything)

Right here right now
Under the stars
I promise you my heart

Cause it starts tonight!

We wanna rise
We wanna touch the other side
(It start tonight!)
We wanna soar
We wanna reach right out for more,
(Cause it starts tonight!)
We wanna rise,
We wanna touch the other side
(It starts tonight!)
We wanna soar,
We wanna reach right out for more
(Cause it starts tonight!)
Tonight tonight
Tonight tonight tonight

Tonight

So let us seize this night
Let us make off great
It's on like the break of dawn

So let us seize this night
Let us make our flight
It's on like the break of dawn

Tonight
Tonight

Cause it starts tonight!...

Cause it starts tonight!

I wanna feel a new day
I wanna live a new way
(It starts tonight)
I wanna feel a new day
I wanna live a new way
(We don't wanna fall tonight!)
We wanna rise
We wanna touch the other side
(We wanna shine tonight!)
We wanna soar
We wanna reach right out for more
(We don't wanna fall tonight)
We wanna rise
We wanna touch the other side
(We wanna shine tonight!)
We wanna soar,
We wanna reach right out for more
(We don't wanna fall tonight)
Tonight tonight

(We wanna shine tonight!)
Tonight tonight

Cause it starts tonight!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

You Can't Throw a Kindle


As I have professed in previous posts, my husband and I are bookworms. We have what is probably an unhealthy obsession with reading and books. We can't buy bookshelves fast enough to store our precious tomes. In fact, it was getting to the point where we could probably build the walls of our next home entirely out of bookshelves. We probably have over 500 books. I don't know an exact number, because I'm afraid to count. But admitting you have a problem is the first step, right?

We've made hard choices and weeded our collection. We started selling and buying books through used bookstores. We've made a rule that we're only going to buy a book that we will re-read or reference and use again. I've made a commitment to use the library whenever possible, for my book club reads and such, and have been meaning to look into PapebackSwap.com. All these actions have somewhat stemmed the tide of hardbacks into our house, but we still have a problem. This is why, in December, we broke down and purchased a Kindle electronic book reader.

Since purchasing the Kindle, and using it for the last couple of months, several of my friends have asked my opinion of it. Naturally, that inspired this blog post. So without further ado, here is a breakdown of the things that I love and hate about the Kindle. First up are the positives.

1. Cuts down on storage.
Obviously, this is the main reason we purchased the Kindle. In fact, we're trying to convert some of our books to digital, then we'll sell the hard copy versions to the used bookstore, to save space. The Kindle will hold up to 1,500 books, all in one 10 ounce, 7 inch by 5 inch device. Just think how many bookshelves that saves us from buying.

2. Can transport a lot of books with you.
With my husband (the apologist, philosopher and teacher) when he travels to conferences and seminars, he takes a lot of reference books with him. We've had trouble packing luggage because of the reference materials he needs to take with him. Not anymore! And for me, I always struggled with what book I should bring on our long trips or vacations. What will I be in the mood to read? What if I bring the non-fiction, and end up feeling like reading a fantasy? Well, now I can bring my collection with me, and read whatever inspires me in the moment.

3. Can read books online or on my iPhone.
One of the first discussions we had was how we were going to share custody of the Kindle. What if my husband was reading for his college class, but I need to read for my book club. Do we make a schedule? No. There is an online reader, as well as a Kindle iPhone application, so one of us can still access our collection and read a book, while the other person is on the Kindle.

4. It has an embedded dictionary.
No more stopping to look up a word. Just highlight the word, and the built-in dictionary shows the definition. Nice.

5. The screen has no glare.
It can be read in any kind of light, and is easy on the eyes compared to, for example, a computer screen. It's an amazing thing to behold, and really does simulate the printed page. Clicking the "turn page" button was intuitive as well. I was surprised at how quickly I got accustomed to using it.

6. Scribble in the margins and highlight passages.
My husband and I are notorious for dog-earing pages we want to reference later, highlighting passages, writing notes in the margins, etc. You can drop virtual bookmarks, digitally highlight passages and write notes connected to a certain section. You can even download those notes and e-mail them to yourself.

7. You can read .pdf documents on it, as well as magazine and newspaper subscriptions.
I haven't really used this feature much yet, but it's a nice option.

8. It will save us money in the long run.
Not only will we save money in bookshelves, and building extra rooms onto the house to store our collection (ha ha!), but Kindle editions are all $8 - $10 in price, which is cheaper than most hardbacks.

And now for the downside...

1. Missing the tactile beauty and experience of holding a book.
The feel of the pages against your fingers, the smell of new ink, getting lost in the cover art, the comforting weight of the book in your hand - it's all gone with the Kindle. As an artist, this really makes me sad. The physical design of a book always influences my perception of it.

2. No more illustrations.
The Kindle showcases some beautiful pen and ink type illustrations as its screensavers, so it has the ability to show graphics. However, all the books I have downloaded so far, where the hard copy actually had illustrations, the art was omitted from the digital edition. Additionally, the Kindle screen is black and white only. No color. Not that I'm reading a bunch of picture books on a regular basis, but as someone who considers herself an illustrator, this is just bad news.

3. If you get it wet, you can't dry it off in the microwave.
I was the kid that would never put her book down. I'd walk around the house reading. I'd brush my teeth while reading, which means I've accidentally dropped my book in the sink and knocked it off the counter into the toilet. As an adult, I read during my lunch hour, which mean I have spilled drinks on my book. (No, I'm not graceful. Yes, I'm a klutz.) Do that with a Kindle, and you're out of luck.

4. Can't flip ahead.
No, I don't mean flipping ahead to read the ending first. I'm talking about reading-time-management. The Kindle has a runner along the bottom that shows you what percentage of the book you have read so far, which is nice, but it is hard to see how much more you have to read to get to the end of the chapter or to find a good stopping point. There's no easy way to flip a few pages ahead to see how much further you have to go.

5. It's not back lit.
You still need to use a booklight if you're going to read in low-light or no-light. It's not a big deal, but with iPhones and other technology, you expect it to light up in the dark.

6. No more fancy bookmarks.
Yes, there's a way to place digital bookmarks with the Kindle, and it remembers where you last left off in every book you've opened, but I enjoy collecting bookmarks. In fact, I almost always buy a new bookmark with every new book purchase. The fancy tassels, the little beads and jewels, the miniature artwork, the quotes about reading and books - bookmarks are pleasant little things of beauty. Again, it's a tactile thing that I miss.

7. It's expensive.
The Kindle will save us money in the long-term, with all the bookshelves we won't have to buy, and with the average purchase price. However, the initial investment is still pretty steep. Additionally, you can't recoop your costs like you do when you sell your used volumes back to the used bookstore, or in your annual yard sale.

8. You can't slam it shut or throw it across the room in disgust. (Well, you can, but you'll regret it later.)
I discovered this unique wrinkle just recently, when I was reading probably the worst book I've ever read in my life. After reading one terribly offensive passage, I went to slam the book shut in disgust and realized I couldn't. Hitting the off button just doesn't have the same satisfaction. It's similar to how hanging up on someone is so much more satisfying by slamming down a classic handset onto the phone base instead of hitting a tiny button on a cordless phone. At another point in my reading adventure through this terrible example of "what not to do when writing a novel" I actually had the urge to throw the book across the room, and realized I couldn't do that either. And please know, I'm not typically a violent reader or someone with a short fuse. That just goes to show you how bad this book was.

So if you take anything from this post, just remember, you can't throw a Kindle (unless you want shards of broken glass, plastic and microchips all over your floor).

Monday, February 08, 2010

Let's get LOST! (Episode 6:3 What Kate Does)

If you haven't seen this week's episode of LOST yet...
BEWARE! HERE THERE BE SPOILERS!
Don't say you weren't warned. Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's talk LOST!

Last night, instead of learning what Kate did (Season 2, Episode 17 title), we learned what Kate does after arriving in LA. Big surprise - she runs. I wonder what it is going to take to make Kate stop running. She tried to settle down once (remember how she was briefly married?) but it didn't work. What kind of epiphany moment does she need, to realize she doesn't have to run anymore, and just face who she is, face her emotions, face life? Either way, it was helpful to have the main storyline and the flash-sideways be somewhat centered on one character (or two, if you count Claire). It definitely helped me to follow along (compared to the season premiere, which was all over the map and threw so much new information at us, I'm still trying to process it). Here are my favorite moments from this episode.

I thought this was the most shocking moment of the night:
Dogen: "The infection will take over, and the Sayid you know will be gone."
Jack: "How do you know that's what will happen?"
Dogen: "Because that's what happened to your sister."


Ever since Claire just laid Aaron down on a palm leaf and followed her not-dad into the jungle, I've been dying with curiosity to know what happened to her. Then we saw her briefly in the cabin with not-dad (i.e. Christian, who was pretending to be Jacob, but who was really the Nemesis all the long). She was acting all spacey and weird and we didn't understand it. Now we know that she has been "claimed" by the Nemesis and has turned bad/evil. I wonder if it's like a possession or if it's more like she's under his spell, compelled to do his evil bidding? Not sure how that all works, but I was surprised that Dogen knew about Claire, and knew that she was Jack's sister. I was also surprised to see Claire in the last shot.

So, here's something my deep-thinking husband observed... Claire followed the same pattern as Rousseau. She was separated from her crew, had her baby taken away from her (although technically Claire just abandoned Aaron), then went crazy and lived a solitude life on the island, setting traps and shooting people with a rifle. Interesting...

Also interesting is Dogen's talk of Sayid being "infected." Rousseau talked about her crew being infected and we all thought she was crazy. Now we know she was probably right. After they visited the temple, she said they came back different. Now we know they were probably infected by the Nemesis.

Another observation, is that there seems to be two camps slowly evolving. There's Team Jacob and the good guys - the Oceanic 6, Richard, Illana, etc. and then there is Team Nemesis and his minions (so far, it's just Claire and possibly Sayid). I predict the Nemesis will start trying to convince people to come over to the "dark side of the force" so he can build up his own crew or army. I also predict he will target the most broken people who have nothing else to lose or nothing else to live for (Sawyer, that puts you on notice, buddy). Speaking of Sawyer...

I thought this was the most heartbreaking moment of the night:
Sawyer: "It's my fault Juliet is dead. She sat right where you are sitting, ready to leave this island, and I convinced her to stay. I convinced her to stay because I didn't want to be alone. You understand that... But now I think that maybe some people were meant to be alone."

Could someone just go ahead and give Josh Holloway (Sawyer) his Emmy right now, because that was one of the most amazing moments of acting I've seen in a long time. He broke my heart into a million pieces, and then when I saw that what he had in his hand was an engagement ring... ugh... it was so incredibly sad. I just ached for him. I understand why Sawyer ran off. He wanted to be alone. He wanted to grieve. He doesn't care now about anyone or anything. And not that I've ever really been that interested in the Jake-Kate-Sawyer triangle on this show, but I can't imagine her ever having a chance with Sawyer now, after that scene with the two of them. It's obvious that Sawyer had found his true love, and now she's gone. Kate could never replace that. I think that's why Kate was crying, because she realized that too.

Sawyer is in such a dark, lonely, broken place, where he no longer cares about anything or anybody, I'm worried that is going to make him susceptible to turning evil and joining Team Not-Locke. I hope he doesn't, although I can't imagine what it will take to get him to rise up and be the hero again.

And finally, here's the funny moment of the night:
Hurley: "Dude, are you like, a zombie now?"
Sayid: "No, I am not a zombie."

So there you have it: another satisfying, confusing, mind-twisting episode. It was creepy seeing Ethan again. It continues to be weird to see the Losties interact with each other in the parallel reality with those awkward de ja vu double-takes they give each other. After his conversation with Jack, I find that I really like Dogen and I'm interested in his character and the role he plays on the island. Is he one of Jacob's representatives, like Richard? Is Sayid doomed to become a bad guy? Leave me a comment and let me know what your favorite moments were, or any theories you may have. I love this show!

Musical Interlude - Death Cab for Cutie

Not much to say today. I'm feeling mellow, so mellow music fits my mood. I think this song is sweet and simple and beautiful. For some reason, it reminds me of the myth about Orpheus and Eurydice. Funny, the associations our minds make...

The original video can only be found on the band's website, so if you click on the image, it will open a new window and take you to the band's media page and, if I did it correctly, it will launch the correct video. If you like what you hear, you should check out their other videos. In addition to making good music, their videos are always unique and creative.
I Will Follow You Into the Dark
by Death Cab for Cutie

Love of mine some day you will die
But I'll be close behind
I'll follow you into the dark
No blinding light or tunnels to gates of white
Just our hands clasped so tight
Waiting for the hint of a spark

If heaven and hell decide
That they both are satisfied
Illuminate the no's on their vacancy signs
If there's no one beside you
When your soul embarks
Then I'll follow you into the dark

In Catholic school as vicious as Roman rule
I got my knuckles brusied by a lady in black
And I held my toungue as she told me
"Son fear is the heart of love"
So I never went back

If heaven and hell decide
That they both are satisfied
Illuminate the no's on their vacancy signs
If there's no one beside you
When your soul embarks
Then I'll follow you into the dark

You and me have seen everything to see
From Bangkok to Calgary
And the soles of your shoes are all worn down
The time for sleep is now
It's nothing to cry about
Cause we'll hold each other soon
In the blackest of rooms

If heaven and hell decide
That they both are satisfied
Illuminate the no's on their vacancy signs
If there's no one beside you
When your soul embarks
Then I'll follow you into the dark
Then I'll follow you into the dark

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Let's get LOST! (Episode 6:1 & 2, LA X)

If you haven't seen this week's episode of LOST yet...
BEWARE! HERE THERE BE SPOILERS!
Don't say you weren't warned. Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's talk LOST!


When Juliet hit that bomb and the screen went white, we spent the next several months wondering if the Losties were back in 2004 on a plane that didn't crash, or if they were still stuck in 2007 (or 1977). The answer is, yes. I have two words for you: Flash-sideways. First we had flashbacks, then we had flashforwards, and now we have what the showrunners have named "flashsideways". We're watching two possible parallel realities unfolding at the same time - one reality in which the plane didn't crash (2004 - what we see as the flashsideways) and one reality in which the plane did crash and they are still hashing it out on the island (2007 - what we see as the "present"). It's as if when they exploded the bomb they split time. I wonder which reality will win out? The title of the show, LA X, is like when you talk about math solutions and you solve for X. This is Los Angeles X or possible Los Angeles. (And, of course, it's a clever pun on the name of LA's airport.)

Ever since I watched the premiere, I've been trying to formulate my thoughts for this post and found it was nearly impossible. There were so many revelations and new developments shoved into those first two hours. Almost a week later, and my mind is still reeling. Could I just go ahead and give the LOST writers a standing ovation right now? (Stands up and claps.) I never saw any of this coming! The following are my three selected moments from the show, with more discussion after that.

I thought this was the most shocking moment of the night:
Not-Locke/Esau/Man In Black/Nemesis: "Sorry you had to see me like that..."
Tied with
Jack on the plane was NOT a dream...

First of all, can we decide on a name for the as-yet unnamed king of all evil on this show? At the end of last season, we were all calling him Esau. I've seen all of the above names given to him. Lostpedia is using Man in Black. Cuse and Lindelof are calling him the Nemesis. I suppose I'll go with that until we finally get a real name. So, we discovered this evil Nemesis and Smokey are one in the same thing. How scary was that scene and that look Not-Locke gave Ben? (Shudders.) I'm getting a lot of Narnia overtones in this story, in that the Nemesis's powers were somehow limited or put in check by the presence of Jacob. At the end of last season, Jacob gave himself up to be killed almost willingly, with a calmness that reminded me of Aslan submitting himself to death at the hands of the White Witch. Just like the witch, the Nemesis now thinks he's won, and is free from the "repression" of "good", but I have a feeling Jacob has something up his sleeve, and the Nemesis played right into the pattern of what was to happen, (again, just like Narnia). What I want to know is, where is home for the Nemesis, and why does he want to go there?

How many of you thought the initial scene of Jack on the plane was a dream, especially when things weren't going the way we've always seen them? Yep, me too. (Raises hand.) Especially after they cut to Kate waking Jack up, then I really thought it was a dream. But oh no, it can't be that easy! We are sooooo at the mercy of those writers! They know our expectations and play with them, tease us, wink at us, and drive us nuts! Did you notice all the subtle differences from the first version of the 2004 flight and this current version? Lostpedia has a nice breakdown here. You thought flasforwards were hard to wrap your brain around, with this latest development of flashsideways, I'm pretty sure my brain is going to explode while watching this show. ABC should provide complimentary Excedrin to all Losties.

I thought this was the most heartbreaking moment of the night:
Juliet: "We should get coffee sometime. We can go dutch."

So, this whole show was pretty heartbreaking. If I hadn't been in a room with a bunch of other people, I probably would have cried through most of it. I thought we'd cried enough with Juliet and Sawyer's tearful last scene in the season 5 finale. This scene just made it even more awful. However, I think Juliet got a glimpse of both possible timelines (2004 and 2007) and that's why her last message (delivered post-mortem by Miles) was "It worked." The bomb did re-write time and the plane no longer crashes. How does Juliet know this? I predict we'll see a scene, much closer to the end of the series, where Sawyer flirts with Juliet in the airport or something and she says they should get coffee sometime. Remember when we were flashing through time last season, and we discovered that if you don't have a constant, you can't keep your mind/soul grounded in one time and it bounces back and forth? Right before Charlotte died, she was flashing back to being a child, talking about eating chocolate before dinner? That's what I think was going on with Juliet, only I think she flashed to the alternate 2004 timeline. I can't wait to see if I'm right!

I wanted to cry when Charlie appeared on the screen, and when he angrily told Jack he was supposed to die. The 2004 timeline negates all the character development he went through and his heroic death - that's a sad thought. Seeing all the characters interacting with each other as complete strangers was weird and sad. Seeing Sayid die was REALLY sad. I'm so glad he's not dead, although I hope he's not possessed now by Jacob like Locke is possessed by Esau/Nemesis. But most of all, I really felt for Jack in this episode. I guess part of me really identifies with his need to fix things and make them right, to live up to the expectations of others, to please others, and of having all the burden put on you to be a leader, to be the responsible one, the one to make decisions, etc. It's a heavy burden to bear, especially when things don't work out. I think Fox portrayed this with some amazing acting, without many spoken lines. This reviewer describes my sentiments about this exactly. It's worth a read. Take some time when you're done here and go over there to read the review.

Other bloggers can diss Jack as being a sad-sack wussy but I can't wait for the writers to give him his final "moment" (just like Charlie) where he transcends all this. I think it will be a powerful moment, and I really hope the writers don't miss out on that opportunity, to give Jack the redemption he so deserves.

And finally, here's the funny moment of the night:
Sayid: "What happened?"

Sayid coming back to life wasn't funny, but the fact that the last line of the show "What happened?" is exactly what all us LOST fans were asking as the Bad Robot logo flashed across the screen IS funny. What just happened?!?!

A few more parting thoughts... I loved Jack's line to Locke about his back injury, "Nothing is irreversible." What a very telling and hopeful line! What do you think about the Nemesis telling Richard he was glad to see him out of his chains? Was he a prisoner on the Black Rock? Personally, I think he's referring not to literal chains, but to his bondage/servitude to Jacob, which is severed now that Jacob is dead. What do you think about the 2004 island being underwater and uninhabited? (Kathleen - that question is for you. I know you have the answer!) Why do you think Desmond is on the plane? What do you think about Sayid? I think Sayid is still Sayid, and that it just took longer for the magic spring water to heal him because it's lost some of it's power, since Jacob is dead. What do you think about Dogen (the leader in the Temple) and seeing the Temple for the first time? What do you think about seeing Cindy the stewardess again? So many things to discuss!

Here's one more theory of my own that I'd like to put out there, to see if I'm right when the end of the show comes. I think the protective ash is Jacob. After Ben stabbed Jacob, he was burned up in the fire pit. I think the ash they pour in a protective circle around them (i.e. at the cabin, Braum, at the temple) is the cremated remains of Jacob. Since he seems to be the good guy, the protector, and the one that kept the Nemesis and his evil ways in check, maybe his ashes would hold some of that power. But, how do they have the ash BEFORE he is dead? Well, maybe he's like a phoenix, and has died over and over again as part of a sacrificial/protective cycle? Just a thought.

What were your favorite moments? What do you think about the direction this final season is headed? Are you worried about them not answering all your questions, or leaving any loose ends? Leave me a comment and let me know.