Wednesday, February 14, 2007

“Lost” – America Gives It the Benefit of the Doubt

Oh, how I’ve missed all of you. And I can only imagine how much you’ve missed my weekly musings on America’s favorite fourth or fifth favorite show. I know I left you all pretty abruptly at the start of this 3rd season, and gave you all Lost “blue balls”. But that was only because I working hard to help cancel another sitcom. And by the time I was finished, and said show was officially “shelved”, Lost was already elbow deep in a ridiculous seventeen month hiatus. But another reason was because I was so furious at the sheer absurdity of the stories (Locke’s vision quest, Eko killed by the smoke monster, etc.), that I couldn’t in good conscience devote the time it took to write these recaps without having an overwhelming desire to kick my own ass. It would be like writing a recap exposing the plot holes to an episode of Dora the Explorer.

So the hiatus is over both for Lost and myself, so let’s dive right into the episode that finally answers the many questions posed by the cliffhanger of episode 6…which was… is Jack going to do something with Ben, I think… and they’re on another island… fuck it, let’s just do this!

“Lost” – Not in Portland

This episode starts off with a Juliet back story. After passing our old friend, Ethan Rom, in a dank, flickery hallway, Juliet visits her sister, Calamity Jane from Deadwood. She shoots her up with some form of mystery liquid (haven’t seen that since Desmond was juicing back in the day), then we reveal that we’re not on the island at all – it’s Miami!

Cut to the operating room on Dharma Island #2 where we last left Jack 91 days ago. He’s just made an incision in Ben’s kidney and is letting him bleed out so Kate and Sawyer can run away. Jack tells Kate to get safe and radio him with the story he told her on the beach when they first crashed. Kate reluctantly agrees, and then her and Sawyer lay some smack down on that super-douche, Pickett. Juliet calls Jacks bluff and orders the other Others to get back Saywer and Kate – even kill them if they have to.

Back story scene 2 involves Juliet back on the mainland and snooping around some medical facility for a refill of her mystery liquid. She’s forced to hide when some bogus dude wanders in with a completely disproportionate hot chick in tow. Turns out this guy is Juliet’s ex-husband, Edmund, and agrees to turn a blind eye for the moment so he and his new “research assistant” can get freaky next to the beakers.

Cut back to Jack and Juliet squaring off in the OR. Juliet spills the beans that Sawyer and Kate won’t make it to the other side of the island because they’re on a smaller island, 2 miles off shore and completely invisible to the inhabitants of the other island for at least two seasons. Jack retorts by spilling that Juliet wanted Jack to kill Ben during the surgery. Juliet leaves the operating room confident that Jack won’t let someone die on the table. Then again, none of his other patients had been holding him captive in an underwater prison.

As Kate and Sawyer traverse through the jungle, they reach the beach where Kate finally sees that they’re on a separate island. (Did anyone else find this reveal in the beginning of the season to be completely anti-climatic? They keep harping on it, too, as if the more they talk about it, the most powerful it’ll become even though it looks like I could swim between the two islands.) Nevertheless, Kate radios Jack for a boat. But before she can get a response from him, BOOM – a bullet shatters the radio right out of her hand.

Now, I remember the Others at some point being totally sweet fighters. I mean, Ethan was bad-ass and used to kill and kidnap people, and Mr. Friendly could snare a castway with a boomerang at 50 paces, and there was a time where I would believe that the sort of marksmanship I just witnessed was somewhat believable. But after the radio is smashed, Sawyer and three armed Others empty their clips at each other from about 20 feet away on an open beach, and no one hits a thing. Maybe this was Lost’s homage to John Woo movies. Luckily for Kate and Sawyer, not everyone on the show is a horrible shot, and the rebellious teen Other, who may be Rousseau’s daughter, Alex, pelts an Other right between the eyes with her trusty sling shot and helps Kate and Sawyer elude their captors by hiding in her fort.

Back in the OR, Ben wakes up from his surgery because he must have sensed that the plot was dragging, and they must have used Dharma’s do-it-yourself home anesthesia kit. He asks for Juliet, which leads up to her back story scene. Back in Miami, Juliet is summoned to Edmond’s office, and he tells her that he wants “in”. “In” to what still remains a mystery to us, but Edmond’s read her notes, so he knows what’s up. And he knows she’s using Calamity Jane as her guinea pig, so Juliet must be developing some kind of anti-“mother fucking cocksucker” serum. But Edmund tells her that with his help, the two of them could win prizes, drink champagne, and help people – in that order. Talk about an offer she can’t refuse!

Back on Island #2, Friendly tells Juliet that Ben’s looking for her. Then we check in with Kate, Sawyer, and Alex (who throws a little sass back at Sawyer). Alex tells them that she has a boat, but before she let’s them use it, they have to save her boyfriend, Karl. In the OR, Jack’s a little shocked that he’s talking to Ben while he’s looking at his exposed spine and organs. But thankfully Juliet breaks up the awkward moment, and Jack let’s them have a moment alone (3 minutes, to be exact, and to call back to Michael and Walt’s episode, “Three Minutes”). We don’t hear what they say to each other, but after the conversation, Juliet says that she wants Jack to put Ben under and finish the surgery. Why? Because Juliet is going to help Kate and Jack escape.

Back from the commercial break, we join Juliet watching a slide show of some overtly pleasant-looking private facility in Portland. Mr. Alpert (played by the ever-suave Nestor Carbonell) is doing is best to lure her into coming to work in Portland – after all, she DID successfully impregnate a male field mouse. Oh, so that’s what she does – pointless fertility research! Well, her research must be super-pointless because Alpert is jocking her pretty hard. When she mentions she couldn’t go because her ex is basically extorting her into staying, she lets it slip that the only thing that would help is if Edmund were hit by a bus. After leaving in a flurry of distraught tears, we cut to…

Bad-ass Juliet scanning the monitors for the whereabouts of Sawyer and Kate. She looks at the 6 screens that cover the 2-3 square mile island, and luckily they pass right in front of one of the cameras. She sees Alex with them, and realize that they must be going to see… Mac from ‘Always Sunny in Philadelphia’? He plays the young Other, Aldo, who happens to be guarding yet another section of dilapidated Dharma real estate while casually reading Hawking’s “A Brief History of Time” – maybe this was punishment for banging Dennis’ Mom? While contemplating the event horizons of black holes, Aldo is surprised to see Alex with Kate and Sawyer as prisoners. Aldo lets it slip that Ben is Alex’s father (?), and while radioing in for backup, he falls victim to the “Wookie prisoner” technique, and Sawyer spears him. After securing Aldo with a rifle butt to the dome, Sawyer and Kate follow Aldo’s direction to the cell where Karl is being held (cell #23, of course). Although it would seem from the outside that Karl is rolling his face off in a sweet rave, he’s actually being subjected to the PG version of Clockwork Orange “re-education”. There’s all sorts of weird audio and visual shit going on, but it all looks like pretty groundbreaking stuff.

Pickett and the Others find Aldo passed out, but Juliet catches up with them and tell them that Ben gave the order to let Kate and Sawyer go. Pickett refuses to believe her, and we flashback to Juliet and Calamity Jane. Jane tells her that her research does work, she’s pregnant! I guess she must be a male and/or field mouse. So they weep and sob together, and Jane says that all she needs to do is cure her combination of AIDS, Cancer, and Leprosy and she can raise her child! More tears. Now that the research works, Juliet has to tell Edmund. She does, and he promptly gets hit by a bus. That’ll teach him to be a smarmy douche in Lost world!

Back in the OR, Jack finishes the surgery with a queasy Mr. Friendly assisting. In one of the all time biggest Lost cock-teases, Jack asks Friendly why they didn’t just take Ben to a facility off the island, and Friendly starts to say, “Well, since the sky turned purple…” But then Jack screws up and nicks an artery! Aaahh! Let the man finish explaining!

So Kate and Sawyer reach Alex’s boat with Karl, but Pickett’s got them in his sights. Lucky for them Juliet blows him away before he can get off a shot. Juliet tells them to go, but Alex has to stay – Ben’s orders. So Alex says goodbye to Karl (more tears), and Juliet lets Kate radio to Jack that she’s okay. He makes her tell him the story he told her on that first day, which is juxtaposed to Jack fixing his similar fuckup on Ben. Again, more sobbing. Jack makes Kate promise that she’ll never come back for him – more tears. Kate and Sawyer push out the boat and sail off to the gigantic island right in front of them.

Cut to Edmund’s gross-ass corpse. As Juliet signs for the body, she sobs.

Back in the OR, Juliet and Jack share a moment while gazing at Ben’s body. Jack asks what Juliet and Ben talked about, and we go back to Juliet sobbing over Edmund’s body. In pops Mr. Alpert and his underling, Ethan, and they “express their condolences” while pitching the job to her one last time. AND they know about her man-sister being pregnant. When Juliet asks if her sister can come, they respond by saying that they’re not quite “in” Portland, but actually thousands of miles from Portland in the middle of the ocean. Sold!

Juliet tells Jack that she’s been on the island for three years, and (welling up with tears) if she helped him, Ben would let her… go home.

So, there you have it – the culmination of my 3 month bitter and angst-fueled expectations. Did I like the episode? Ehhh, not really. What was with the sob-fest? I haven’t seen that much crying in an hour since the 4th quarter of the AFC Championship. Even in the “Lost” script template in Final Draft, F11 is the shortcut for “HE/SHE SOBS UNCONTROLLABLY”. It was way too much heavy drama for my tastes.

AND, they focused the entire hour on the one story that sucked the most during those first 6 episodes. And when you boil it down, we’re really no further into knowing what they are doing on the island. It has something to do with fertility – ok, we knew that when pregnant Claire was kidnapped by Ethan. And now we know that it may have something to do with the pointless brainwashing of random idiots.

But whatever. I assume that this story was broken before the outcry of “Foul” from the collective fan base. And there are still people who worship the show even after the writers admitted that they want to figure out an end point for the series so they’re not spewing garbage onto the page every day. Plus now that we know Lost is mortal after all when Criminal Minds beat it, and CSI: New York (Street…on the Radford lot) beat it last week after it was moved to 10pm so as not to get endlessly dick-punched by American Idol, this series could be done sooner than you think. The writers should figure out an end point and know when to quit. Otherwise they’ll suffer from 24-itis, which, in it’s 6th season, is the dumbest f@*king show on television.

Speaking of 24, I’ve been doing some serious monitoring of chatter – Internet chatter, that is. And here’s what I’ve found out about this episode of Lost and the series in general:

  • According to the massive article in Entertainment Weekly by Jeff Jensen (who must have taken a short break from endless fellating the show to actually writing about it), we’ll find out about…wait for it… Jack’s tattoos! And in case you thought that wasn’t awesome enough, the talentless Bai Ling is somehow involved. I can’t wait. Also we supposedly find out about why Locke was in the wheelchair, even though I thought they had planned to wait for season 12 for that one. In next week’s, we’ll see the stewardess Cindy and the kidnapped kids from the tail section, and in three weeks we get to see the connection of the Others to the Dharma Initiative. We also see a new hatch – Dharma Flame, which probably involves some gay storyline. (Yeah, I went there.)
  • Tonight, we’re supposed to have a Desmond flashback device that the producers say will either “blow people’s minds or chase them away for good.”
  • The Michael/Walt story won’t be touched until Season 4.
  • “None of the big questions are going to answered until the end of the series,” says Carlton Cuse, the show’s executive producer. He added, “We will continue to pull stories out of our collective asses until we are staring down the barrel of cancellation, at which point we will give our duped audience some half-assed all-encompassing explanation of everything.”
  • You all knew that rave room had a tons of stuff for geeks to freeze-frame, slow down, play backwards, etc. Here’s what happens when you play the audio backwards:
  • - And here’s what Mac was reading in “A Brief History of Time”:
  • - Cheech Marin plays Hurley’s Dad??:
    Check out the smoke-show that plays Tricia Tanaka (and I’m sure she will be crushed under Hurley’s massive weight)

Score (out of a possible 20)

Back Story: 4

Island Story: 5

Total: LAME



Post a Comment

<< Home