Thursday, March 30, 2006

"Lost" - Lockdown

“Lockdown” – Locke Story

Good episode, not the best ever, but good. The back story with Locke finally gaining closure with his father only to get dumped by Peggy Bundy was intriguing, but part of me thinks that I’m only interested in Locke stories because every scene I’m anxiously awaiting the moment where he gets hit by a car or a bus and paralyzed. This ep. didn’t even have any misleads to that effect. So I guess in retrospect, that back story was bull crap. One cool scene was when Locke was inspecting that woman’s house and we find out that it’s Sayid’s broad from Iraq. Oh, I love it when they do that!

My question is, why was Locke so easily swayed when his father asked him to retrieve stolen money? Wouldn’t any number of shady characters be watching the money at all times and waiting for the first person to withdraw seven hundred large from a bank? Maybe I’m just geeking out, but it seemed like it was out of his character to cave so easily to something so blatantly illogical. But I can see how it related to the main story, so I’ll buy it.

Speaking of the main story…

Locke finds himself alone in the hatch with Henry Gale. Jack should be there, but he gets caught up in a game of Texas hold-em with Sawyer to win back the medicine Sawyer took from the hatch. He ends up completely demoralizing Saywer while using his vast knowledge of the game he learned in Phuket.

Meanwhile, back at the hatch…

Some sort of unintelligible voice comes through the loudspeaker. It’s a countdown, and before you know it, 2 ton metal blast doors (the very ones Sayid had pointed out earlier) come crashing down. Luckily, Locke wedged a tool kit and attempts to climb under the doors so he can get to his precious button. Who would have thought a hollow aluminum tool kit could support the weight of the blast doors? Well, Locke did, so he goes (legs first) under the doors, when BOOM, the door impales his formerly-paralyzed leg. And to think that two months ago, Locke wouldn’t have felt the massive sprockets impaling the main arteries in his leg. How ironic.

In desperation, Locke tells Henry about the button, and the path way through the ducts to get there. No, why wouldn’t Locke use that very same path, which seems quite accessible and much safer than pulling an Indiana Jones under the blast door? Well, Locke seems to have lost all rational thought in this episode.

Locke convinces Henry to press the button, and Henry obliges, promptly knocks himself out, comes to, then navigates the ducts, enters the numbers and presses the button. Then Locke sees the black-lit map on the blast door (more on that later). After some clanking and sirens go off, the black lights turn off, the doors rise up, and Henry also comes back to save Locke. Maybe he’s not so bad after all…

Oh wait, he is bad. On their expedition to find the balloon, Sayid also finds a grave. And upon digging up that grave, he finds the real Henry Gale and his balloon. Damn, you’re screwed, (not) Henry Gale.

So let’s talk about the map. The lockdown in the hatch occured presumably to keep whoever’s inside it there so they won’t see who’s providing the supply drop. However, the map on the blast door would suggest that they either come down quite often, or that whoever drew it (Desmond, Kelvin perhaps?) was pretty quick with a black light pen.

Talk about a writer’s license. I feel like that map provides the show with hundreds of options to cover their ass for any storyline they choose for the next 20 years. Either that or it’s just nonsense to keep internet geeks busy deciphering in order to distract them from the declining quality of the show. You can see some good notations on the map here: http://www.4815162342.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=13696

So, does this map actually reveal anything? A translation of the Latin yields: “Polar Bear.” “Here be Dragons.” “Save Yourself from Hell.” “The disease worsens with treatment. The remedy is worse than the disease.” “I think therefore I am depressed.” Not too insightful. The map obviously has the layout of all the various Dharma stations, but the geography seems to be off. For example, if the hatch is Dharma Swan – and the Tailies were in Dharma Arrow – then that makes sense, they’re completely across from one another. However, Claire, Kate and Rousseau took a day trip and ended up at Dharma Staff. That means that Dharma Flame is somewhere right near the “losties” (as they’ve been dubbed on the net).

But I get it, the map isn’t to scale. What it could be, however, is what people are saying is a diagram of a large scale Skinner Box (read all about it here: http://lostpedia.com/wiki/B.F._Skinner). This certainly adds to the theory that they are all part of a grand experiment, and the Dharma supply drop supports that as well. It makes you wonder why everyone isn’t all concerned about the fact that they’re all lab rats. Oh wait... that’s cause nobody talks to each other about anything (sorry, had to get that in there).

Score (out of a possible 20)
Back Story: 6
Island Story: 8
Overall: 14

Links:
- By now I’m sure everyone has seen the blown-up color version of the map in Entertainment Weekly, but in case you haven’t, check it out here.
- I found this re: the math:
“…there is a continued radical on there.. the numbers squared represent each "n" inside the square root in sequence... Continued radicals always approach a limit...
x4,y8,z15 subterranean conduit... maybe 16,23,42 is the direction magnitude? of the vector coming from this location..
there is a vector eq'n for strength of a dipole mag field
[(5)^(1/2) - 1]/2 * r is an integral number representation that leads towards assuming the number phi 1.618 the golden ratio is a part of it
There is an equation for a rate of enthalpy reaction...”
Oooh, fascinating.
- http://lostpedia.com/wiki/Main_Page : Basically a wikipedia for all things Lost. See, there ARE more obsessed people then me out there.
- Two Oceanic branded aircraft are seen landing while Locke drops off the cash.
- Anthony Cooper's safety deposit box was #1516

Thursday, March 23, 2006

"Lost" - The Whole Truth

“The Whole Truth” – Sun story.

Overall, worst ep. of the season. B-story was better than the A (although I was relieved that Jin replanted Sun’s garden. Talk about a nail-biter!), but this one score’s some pretty low marks.

The island never ceases to amaze me. Not only does it offer all sorts of monsters, omniscient black smoke, and sickness that terrorize the inhabitants, but it CAN do some good. After all, it gave Jin super sperm to knock up his wife. Remember when he came back to camp after everyone thought he was on the raft? That next morning, he walked out of his tent with Sun and had that grin on his face that went from ear to ear. The kind of grin that says, “Oh yeah, I put a hurtin’ on her last night.” I’m surprised he didn’t go around high fiveing everyone – I guess that not part of Korean culture.

Speaking of Korean culture, what else can’t doctors tell Korean men for fear of having their practice burned down? I assume STDs are out of the questions, but how about other ailments? Chicken pox, flat feet, erectile dysfunction? What a country!

And was it Jin that got Sun pregnant? After all, she did seem pretty cozy with Weird Bald Guy. But she told Jin that she didn’t sleep with anyone else, and I believe her, even though it seems like this chick’s got more secrets than the Pentagon.

So, did I like the A-story? Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Talk about a snoozefest. However, at this rate, Sun will give birth to her baby around season 10. Then it will be tortured as only the Lost writers can do.

Let’s move on to the Henry Gale story. At first, when Locke wanted Ana Lucia to talk to him, I thought if Sayid, the “torturer”, couldn’t get him to talk, then how could she? Who’s the next interrogator, Rose and Bernard?

Also, everyone, including Sayid, knew that there’s about an 80% chance that they were walking into a trap. And after that speech by Henry at the end of the episode, I was about 60% convinced that he was an Other. Then in the preview for next week, we see the friggin smiley face balloon! And we see Sayid in the hatch (where it looks like some crazy stuff goes down), so he probably wasn’t captured. However, if the Others needed to kidnap some survivors for a trade for Gale, they could have snatched 10 people from the beach if they wanted to. But there’s also the fact that if Gale was an Other, then perhaps the balloon belonged to someone else (remember Desmond? He was just helping out Jack Bauer on 24), and the Others knew about it and concocted the story around it. Or it could have belonged to Adam and Eve (the bodies found near the caves in Season 1). Either way, why didn’t Locke just bitch slap him for being a patronizing douche?

Ahh, so many questions. Too bad the preview for next week was better than the show.

Some interesting links:

- Transcripts of all the whispering conversations from the past episodes:
http://www.lostlinks.net
- Videos of some “Lost” cast members before they were on the show: http://www.thesuperficial.com
- Some fan site with schematics of the hatch: http://www.cs.iastate.edu/~andorfc/paint.html
- I knew as soon as I saw it that someone was going to play the audio that Jin heard when Sawyer and Bernard were talking backwards. Sure enough, here it is: http://lost.cubit.net/audio/sawyerBernard.mp3
Canadian Promo: http://tinyurl.com/kyswj
America Promo: http://tinyurl.com/khrzz

Score (out of a possible 20)
Back Story: 3 (you know it’s bad when you don’t even bother to read the subtitles)
Island Story: 7
Overall: 10

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Oscar Picks

Having finally gotten over the snub of King Kong in all major categories, I’ve collected myself, seen almost every movie, and here’s who I think is bringing home hardware:

Supporting Actress: This one’s between Rachel Wiesz and Michelle Williams, but this category tends to skew away from the big winners of the night (this year it’s Brokeback) and awards the random ones. I saw Junebug the other night, and Amy Adams is awesome in that movie. I wouldn’t be upset if she won at all, but look for Rachel Weisz to bring it home.

Supporting Actor: This one’s all Clooney, who’s going to win for Syriana. But this’ll be the only trophy Clooney sees tonight.

Actress: Reese seems to have this one locked up, but don’t be surprised if Felicity Huffman pulls an upset. After all, she did wear a prosthetic penis that actually peed on camera – the Academy loves that!

Actor: Philip Seymour Hoffman is a lock. And Capote’s a damn good movie, too.

Original Screenplay: No one understands Syriana, and Good Night and Good Luck is basically a college thesis on Murrow where 75% is actual transcripts. I hate to say it, but this one’s going to Paul Haggis’ Crash.

Adapted Screenplay: Brokeback.

Director: Ang Lee for Brokeback

Picture: King Kong. But in case that doesn’t work out, I’ll say…um… Brokeback.

Oscar Surprises: Jon Stewart will be funny, celebrities will look glamorous, and there will be 40-50 gay-themed jokes, each of which will be side-splittingly hilarious (that’s Bruce Villanch’s bread and butter). Oh, and a couple cracks about Cheney shooting people.

Friday, March 03, 2006

"Lost" - Maternity Leave

Hey Lost fans! Wednesday’s ep. certainly had lots of stuff to talk about, so let’s get into it.

“Maternity Leave” – Claire Story

This episode saw the return of Ethan Rom, the sociopathic Other that kidnapped Claire, hung Charlie, killed Scott (or was it Steve), and then got riddled with bullets before he could offer any insight into what he was up to – more on him later. But first off, I liked how the backstory involved something that happened on the island. I hope the writer’s continue this structure when talking about other storylines, ie. Walt’s or Michael’s, should the writers choose to ever talk about those two again. But what exactly did it reveal?

Thanks to Libby’s expert psychoanalysis (I think she was a dog psychologist back in the real world), Claire was able to remember what happened to her during her abduction. Because of this, we know that there’s another Dharma facility that was functional at the time of Claire’s abduction (we know that Dharma Arrow is abandoned from the Tailies story). I found this video that may or may not be genuine (and I mean “genuine” in the sense that it came from the show and not a fan): http://www.prestonandsteve.com/video/144.wmv
This video shows the functions of the various Dharma facilities on the island. However, after freeze framing the door of the facility that Claire was held in, it doesn’t match any of the designs in the video. The one Claire was in had a symbol of what looks like a caduceus on it – so perhaps this was a dedicated medical facility, or maybe it was a main Dharma bunker at the core of all the others. Or maybe it’s bullshit. Either way, it shows all the interesting things Dharma’s been up to on the island.

We also now know that the Others may not be as bad as we had originally thought. Sure, the kidnap women and children and kill people by the dozen, but this episode also brought back a theme that has been dormant since the beginning of the Rosseau story – the sickness. We know Rosseau killed her team after they become sick, and Ethan and company seemed very concerned that the baby be saved from getting sick. Could the outbreak of “the sickness” be the incident that was mentioned in the Dharma video? And is the sickness severe enough the warrant the rampant killing of anyone not within the quarantined structures of Dharma? Claire’s baby seems to be significant to the Others, as does Walt, so perhaps children are vital to the overall plan of the Dharma Initiative.

And how about my man M.C. Gainey? I’m sure we all collectively did a double take when we saw him without a beard, then we did that math and figured out that he would have had to grow a giant beard in about 2 weeks to the time he blew up the raft. Luckily they explained this when Kate found the fake beard, the ratty clothes, and the theatrical glue. But why? Why do the Others put on that façade when they interact with the survivors of the crash? Is it to create the illusion that they’re savages that aren’t to be fucked with? I guess their bad-assness would be compromised if they were roaming the jungle in suits and medical lab coats.

And sweet Rosseau. I thought that main characters were good at not talking to one another about anything that may be vital to a given situation, but Rosseau is the best. Whenever anyone asks her a question, she responds with a blank stare and walks away. Brilliant! After a day of Claire yelling at her and Kate pointing a gun in her face, she waits until the very end to say that she saved Claire and carried her back to camp. And where does she live? Didn’t she blow up her own place last season?

Then there’s Ethan. That guy creeps me out. Apparently he was a higher-up in the ranks of the Others, a doctor of sorts that could also infiltrate the camp and kidnap Claire. Here’s my question, if the Others are worried about getting sick, then what about Ethan hanging out in camp for those days or weeks before taking Claire? Did they just jack him up with enough of the serum to make sure he was safe? And I guess after Ethan was killed, the Others decided to pack up shop in that Dharma bunker and continue their work elsewhere. But they did leave behind Claire’s knitted bootie, which after being on a dirty floor for a month, Claire found and brought back to baby Aaron in a very sweet scene. Nothing helps a sick baby like chewing on a disgustingly germ-infested bootie.

Quick word on the other stories: The prisoner Henry Gale and Mr. Eko. That guy is definitely an Other, but I didn’t like the Locke outburst at the end. I mean, Gale pulled the most obvious attempt to usurp his captors but trying to pit Locke and Jack against each other, so why did Locke fall for it? Or was he pissed at himself for letting Gale get to him?

I have no idea what’s going on with Mr. Eko. I think he may be building a church, but I don’t know what anything he said to Gale meant, or why he cut off his beard thing. But I loved the reaction Gale had to Eko walking in to the room - sheer shit-your-pants terror.

Score (out of a possible 20)
Back Story: 8
Island Story: 8.5 (points for answering a story line that happened in season 1)
Overall: 16.5

Here’s a link you will enjoy. It’s all the frames labeled with their significance. Some great stuff to check out: http://www.4815162342.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=9533