There are three reasons for my decision - the first is due to the overwhelming response I have had to the Lost Blogging Collective project. There are now 15 regular members, as well as the random additions through my Weekly Round-Up, which means you the reader have an abundance of recaps and analysis to read through, many of which are far better at this than I am. So, rather than try to swim in a small pool with big fish, I am instead going to provide my own observations to "fill in the gaps" as it were.
The second reason is that I am wanting to concentrate more on Essay-type postings - expect to see a lot more coming soon. This, I believe, is what I am better at than analysing each episode.
Thirdly, Lost at the moment has thrown us all for a loop - we not only have to try to guess the answers, but often the questions as well. There is simply no foundation to base many of our theories on, and I am not one for blind guesswork. So I would rather take my time to look back over the previous seasons and provide support to the episodes, rather than try to predict the future.
Anyway, I hope you all enjoy the new format and outlook for the blog and hopefully I'll have some Essays published soon for you all to read. Here's my thoughts on Episode 5 - Lighthouse and Episode 6 - Sundown.
What else could I say?
Well, Lost is certainly on a good run at the moment. This was without a doubt one of my favourite Jack episodes, which is saying a lot as I generally don't much like Jack episodes. In fact, White Rabbit and Through The Looking Glass are the only other two off-the-top-of-my-head Jack-centric episodes that I can remember enjoying this much.
Secondly, as you may or may not realise, I have a very love/hate relationship with Damon & Carlton penned episodes. I think you could split them down the middle - half I hate the writing, half I love the writing. As with everything in life, it is unfortunately the negatives that I remember the most - so much so I was watching this episode thinking "I have to make a post about how THIS is how a Lost episode should be written, and scoff at Damon & Carlton again". I could have simply not mentioned this fact, but I feel I have to publicly eat humble pie - with the exception of a fairly useless "Kate" scene, this was a brilliantly written script. It helps that the great Jack Bender directed!
Anyway, enough with the love-fest, on with the show.
Same old game that never ends,
If I could say all the right words,
I know I could make you stay.
Let us begin by revisiting my Crazy Theories from last week's episode. First - Hurley will become the new "Jacob" (or Ultimate Good) and Jack will become the new "Smokey" (or Ultimate Bad - these new nicknames serve for the fact that we have no idea who is good or bad at this point in time!).
I think this episode served to show us that, in an alternate world, Jack could have grown to be a stable, balanced person without constantly needing to be needed. However, back in the 'original' favour world, Jack is a crazy, irrational, violent jerk who is prone to delusions of grandeur. For instance, upon seeing the Lighthouse compass-cum-mirror machine, I for one would be interested to learn if all my friends' names were on that list; who was scratched out, and who wasn't? Were the Dharma folk and the Others that I knew also on the list? Other people from my off-Island life?
Jack, however, only cares that he is on the List, that his childhood home is in the mirror. He doesn't even ponder for a second that it was perhaps his father's name on the list, his father's home, his father whose makeshift gravesite he had just visited a few moments previous to be reminded that his body is still missing and floating around the Island seemingly reanimated. Nope, Jack immediately assumes it is his name on the List, and flies into a fit of irrational rage and judgement of Jacob and his goals.
And Jacob seemed to be expecting this, wanting it almost. It certainly seemed to me that Jacob was grooming a calm, obedient Hurley and a mad, judgemental Jack, giving my theory that we are looking at the next Jacob and Smokey a huge thumbs up from my perspective.
I Am The Walrus
I am he,
As you are he,
As you are me,
And we are all together.
My second Crazy Theory put forward that Jacob and Smokey are either two aspects of the same person, or else it is Jacob who is the 'villain' and Smokey who is the 'hero'. Well, both Lighthouse and Sundown depicted Jacob and Smokey as master manipulators who use their pawns to win at all costs.
Jacob made a deal with Dogen where he would save his son, if Dogen gives up his life to serve Jacob forevermore. Sure sounds a lot like Richard there. Smokey has made a similar deal, it would appear, with Sayid - kill the people who tried to kill you, and I will deliver Nadia from the dead. While this may seem more evil on paper, keep in mind that it is quite likely Jacob's fault to begin with that Nadia is dead.
There was a sweet moment in Sundown where, for almost no reason, it seemed that Sayid would turn his back on Smokey and stay at the Temple. It lasted a matter of seconds, but for that small period of time I thought Sayid could be truly redeemed. I was proved wrong when the mayhem began and instead I think the image that will forever sum up Sayid for me has "crazy horror movie villain" written all over it.
Back to the theory - the more we learn of these two (Jacob and Smokey), the more similar they appear - manipulating lives, using the dead and the living, offering impossible deals, giving vague instructions to lackeys forced to remain loyal through no real choice of their own, dangling carrots and pulling puppet strings. A lot of blood has been shed because of these two and their "game" or "experiment", and I am beginning to find myself aligning with the crowd that believe the Alt timeline is showing us a world, a still imperfect but much improved world, without the influence of Jacob or Smokey - I know which world I prefer so far.
Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)
Another turning point,
A fork stuck in the road,
Time grabs you by the wrist,
Directs you where to go.
Now, in the interests of keeping this streamlined, I am going to run through the major plot points of these two episodes and provide a little commentary. First off, Hurley was on fire this episode. His dialogue cracked me up, his mission was vintage Lost adventuring. I also got a kick out of listening to Jorge Garcia's podcast and discovering that the instructions on Hurley's arm were intentionally written, by Jorge himself, to make no sense no matter how often you pause the screen and analyse it - so don't try guys!
Secondly, I'm going to stop trying to make sense of Island geography. White Rabbit Trails made some excellent maps a while back trying to map out the Island properly, and I have been trying to do the same, but between these new structures popping up out of nowhere, to the lengths of time changing dramatically between different camps travelling to and from certain locations - I'm just going to give up now and go along for the ride.
So, in that positive spirit I am glad to see we are back to good structural buildings and good Smokey CGI. Nothing kills my enjoyment of Lost more than the occasionally terrible CGI scenes, so I was very impressed with Smokey's outings in Sundown. But, I'm getting ahead of myself a little.
Who's That Girl?
Look into my eyes.
Back to plan B.
Now, I can take no credit for this (Fishbiscuitland, however, can), but I think the mystery of David's parentage can be put to rest. Compare these two pictures, and the blueness of David's eyes, and Juliet certainly gets my vote. The first is Juliet's house in Season 3, the second is David's mother's house (Juliet?) in Season 6. Take note of the hats and the mirror.
Last thing I want to say about David's arc - I thought for a moment that the message left on David's answering machine referred to a "Dr Rutherford" and was convinced Shannon's dad hadn't died in this timeline. However, it would appear I was wrong - it was a "Dr Summerland". Oh well, we can but dream sometimes.
Three pieces of praise I want to heap upon the details shown in this Alt story - one, kudos on getting the date right (Friday 24th September 2004), not one of Lost's strong points. Second, perfectly framing this shot to make me believe David was going to look out into the crowd, mess up his routine and hate Jack for the rest of his life.
Finally, this brilliant usage of the word Candidate. It's the little things that make us fans happy.
Here comes the woman,
With the look in her eye,
Raisd on leather,
With flesh on her mind.
On-Island, we had crazy Claire to contend with. Between her axe-wielding insanity and Sayid's complete meltdown, I'm getting a spooky, horror-movie cult vibe from the Infected crew. I just hope Kate and Sawyer don't start turning into characters from a Rob Zombie film any time soon.
I was very happy to see Justin alive and well (at least for a short while), but then he had to go and ruin it by acting like a typical Other - why he had to make it so clear that he was going to kill Claire, I don't know. Had he been all "me and you Jin, we'll just run away," I think Jin would have been a lot quicker to act. As it stands, his bloodthirst cost him dearly, and he can now be added to the long list of departed Others.
Goodbye, Caeser's #2, #3 and #4, we hardly knew ye. Am I right in understanding that the only "Others" who we know by name now are Richard, Ben, Cindy, Zack, Emma and Ilana? That's pretty sad. The rest of the Others remind me of that large group of redshirts from Season 4 - I can almost see the flaming arrows now.
I'm also left pondering - where are Sawyer and Jin at this point in time, and what exactly are they thinking? I feel rather sorry for Sawyer, Kate, Jin, Sun, Miles and to a certain extent Ben - Jack and Hurley have Jacob looking out for them, Frank seems to be rolling along in the Ilana train nice and fine, but the rest must have no clue what in the heck to think or do anymore. At this point, I'd be throwing in the towel, sitting myself down on the crowd and just accepting whatever "fate" the Island had in store for me.
Speaking of fate, what exactly does Smokey have in mind for the Island? Is he going to nuke it? Destroy the donkey wheel? Sink the Island? Transport everyone to the Alt timeline? My theory, and this is purely guesswork, is a little of everything - he's going to use some new deus ex machina to send some people (Sayid and Sawyer for example) into the Alt world, where the promise of Nadie and Juliet lie. He's going to send some people through the donkey wheel and into the outside, 'original' world (Claire, Kate, etc) where they can hope to rebuild their fragile lives. Finally, when everyone has chosen their destination, he (and perhaps a select few followers) are going to propel themselves into the sky, back to the home planet, and the resulting power needed to do so is going to destroy the Island and sink it to the ocean floor, killing anyone left alive (Rose, Bernard, Vincent). That is, if no-one can stop him first!
Three final things to say about the on-Island events in Sundown - Kate should have really told Claire that Aaron was with her mother, who is out of a coma btw. I think that might have provoked a stronger reaction. Other than that, Kate reminded me very much of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider in this episode.
Why didn't Claire just mess up the Other's circle of ash?
And did Ben make it safely into Ilana's secret tunnel?
I never doubted for a second,
That it would be hard,
But the will to be alive,
Greater than any ideals.
Okay, now onto Sayid's Alt timeline life. Not a great deal to talk about here - a good mixture of positive surprises (Nadia isn't Sayid's! Keamy is the world's happiest loan shark! Jin!!) and one missed opportunity (I am determined I want to see Mr Tom "Friendly" one more time, and having him as the school bus driver would have been perfect!). Other than that, it was an enjoyable but not life-changing story, which at this point in the season is no bad thing, it just leaves little to really talk about.
Apart from - why is Jin there and not held up at airport security? Where is Sun? When will we get some answers!? I'm hoping we get at least one episode of Sayid and Jin running around like some multi-cultural Starsky & Hutch meets James Bond, roughing up bad guys for information and destroying the head of some shady, underground mafia-type group... and I think that's enough crazy theories for this week.