Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Lost Blogging Collective Q&A - Week 6

Check out last week's Q&A for an explanation of the Lost Blogging Collective and what we do!

This week, we have grown to an astounding 19 members! As always, the LBC is open to anyone, blogger and non-blogger alike. If you are interested in taking part, send me an email at - simple as that!

Rather than focus on the future, on the mysteries of the show or the thoughts of the characters, I thought it was high time we turned the spotlight on the bloggers and asked them what their personal favourites are from past seasons. With that in mind, here are this week's Questions and Answers:

 - What is your favourite Season 1 episode, and why?

 - What has been your favourite reveal/answer of the series so far?

Izikavazo @ Not Confused, Just Lost

1) I know Walkabout is the most memorable Locke episode, but I think Dues Ex Machina stands out as my favourite episode of the season.  There's so much to love: Locke's vision, Boone being fatally injured, Anthony Cooper stirring things up, Sawyer's Frankenstein glasses, Yemi's plane, the Tailies showing up (in voice only), and then that scene at the end when Locke and Desmond connect.

2) It's a toss up between Penny's very surprising arrival at the end of season 4 or this season's solution to the Jughead situation.
The Penny thing was less of a mystery, we wondered how the Oceanic 6 were going to get saved, but it wasn't a huge mystery.  The reason why I loved it was because I didn't expect it at all.  I thought Penny and Desmond would get their reunion in the final season.
But the debate that was stirred up at the end of season 5 about whether or not Jughead "worked" or not really hung over my head over the hiatus.  I didn't want either solution.  I essentially abandoned my blog because I was dreading the premiere.  I didn't want to see the past erased, but at the same time I didn't want all that work and the deaths of two of my favourite characters to mean nothing.  When they revealed the two timelines in LA X I was extremely relieved.  It reignited my obsession.  So for that I'd say the LA X reveal my favourite.

Karen @ Karen's Lost Notebook

1) My favourite episode in Season 1 is Walkabout.  It is there that we first find out that John Locke is "misrepresenting himself".   The moment it was revealed Locke was in the wheelchair I knew he wasn't what we thought he was.  From that moment on I kept a close watch on Mr. Locke.

2) There are many answers I've been excited to see, but for me it is the reveal that Smoky connected to Locke.   When the episode Tabula Rasa first aired I saw that Locke and the smoke monster we "related".    So to get that confirmation this season was not only great, but showed me I wasn't crazy in my thoughts on that connection. 

1) Personally I think the last 10 episodes of Season 1 is one of the best runs of the series. Topped only perhaps by the last 8 episodes of Season 3. To pick a favourite out of those is tough, but since I have to, I think I'll go with 1.19 (Deus Ex Machina). The main Locke/Boone journey is flat out creepy, very compelling, and pivotal to the show. It was one of the first times we got the feeling that the Island was talking to someone and trying to convey a message/purpose. Locke's flashback, detailing his father's con that lost him a kidney, was high "rip-your-heart-out" tragedy of the best LOST kind. And the culmination of both plots with Locke banging away on the hatch and the light turning on was the pitch perfect ending with a twist. I love Giacchino's Locke theme when it's played for grand emotion. All that and we also get one of the best/funniest Sawyer/Jack plots on the side. Jack asking Sawyer about STDs in front of Kate when all Sawyer needs is a pair of glasses... was priceless.

2) Yeah, I've never been one to clammer for answers. Trust me, I want them, but I don't need them on a week-by-week basis. I don't rate/enjoy episodes based on how many checkmarks I can put on my questions list, and I find the people who do just a bit grating. What I think LOST does better than any mystery-mythology-based series is answer questions subtly, slowly, and indirectly, letting the meanings of things weave their way into multiple plot-lines and/or aspects of the show until the question has been answered without being pandered to, and the importance of that answer to the series becomes clue/asset to the couple larger mysteries of the show. Good example? The polar bears. We see polar bears wandering around in Season 1. Weird, right? In Season 2 we see a brief clip of polar bears in the Swan's Dharma Orientation video while Dr. Candle is listing the various sciences Dharma deals in (zoology being the one of import here). So now we knew who brought them to the Island. In Season 3, our heroes are held in bear cages at the Hydra station. Now we knew where Dharma kept them and did their experiments. In Season 4, we saw one end up in Tunisia, apparently the result of having been used by Dharma to turn the Frozen Donkey Wheel (since, you know, that's where people who do that end up). Since it's so cold in the cave... maybe that's why POLAR bears in particular were thought a good idea. In Season 5, we get more light shed on the Dharma mission to better the world by harnessing the Island's power for various aspects of science - the initiative was a key player in causing "The Incident" which led to the necessity of the Swan hatch, which led to the Crash of Oceanic 815. We might not know what all Dharma was doing with those bears, but we know enough. They were a clue, slowly expounded on, that permeated many aspects of the series and led to larger more important mysteries like the function of the Donkey Wheel and the impact of the Dharma Initiative.

1) Is it cheating to pick the pilot or the finale? It seems almost unfair to the other episodes in the season, but my choice is Exodus (Parts 1 &2). The season had built up so much momentum and fans had learned that this wasn't your typical plane crash drama. With the suspense over opening the hatch to the hope and triumph of launching the raft, this episode had it all. Throw in the Others, the Smoke Monster and finally seeing Black Rock (not a rock at all!), and you have one of the most satisfying season finales on television.

The Others taking Walt on the raft was such a stab in the heart after everything the group had been through to get the raft going, but my favorite part of the episode was the last scene with Jack and Locke looking down the shaft of the hatch. That was a great mystery and what a cliff hanger!

2) My favorite reveal on the show was from "Through the Looking Glass" when we first learned that Jack and Kate had made it off the island and what we had been seeing during the episode was actually a flashforward. We can debate whether the show delivered with the Oceanic 6 storyline later, but that reveal was well-crafted and mind blowing at the time. I wasn't one of those who picked up on the small hints throughout that this was the future (such as Jack's Razor phone). I can remember distinctly as we watched this season finale (this was the first Lost party I'd thrown and we had a large group watching at my house), when Kate got out of the car at the airport a few people questioned, did he already know her? Then we realized, boom, this is the future. When the episode ended, we sat in silence for a couple of minutes before really digesting what we'd seen.

1) Walkabout is the easy favorite, and so is the finale.  I'd like to shout out about one episode that I've surprisingly enjoyed during the re-watch. It's The Moth.  It's intriguing how Locke comes across as the helper here, a guide as Charlie is going through his heroin withdrawls, telling him he'll let him ask three times before he'll give the drugs back to him. The flashback shows the background of Charlie and DriveShaft, his junkie brother, who cleaned up his life.  Charlie went to Australia to ask Liam to start back up the band, not realizing his problem was his addiction. The freaky part looking back was the b-story of Sayid's triangulation, Jack getting trapped, Charlie deciding to slither in the whole.  A great episode leaving off the mystery of who walloped Sayid in the back of the head. We later find out, in the Season 1 finale, it's John Locke, of all people.

2) There have been plenty of wonderful reveals, the Lockdown hatch map was mesmerizing, so rich in clues some of which have been helpful in decoding the show.  Though I think my favorite is now the Lighthouse reveal of numbers and names and the dancing images of important landmarks in the candidates lives. The reveals are awesome, but the answers haven't been as forthcoming, more often answering a question with another question.  I also enjoyed the stint in 1977 Dharmaville, and the connections made through the time jumping in season 5.

1) This one is hard because there are so many great episodes in Season 1. Season 1 is so great because there was such a great character focus in every episode. From all of Jack's flashbacks and him growing into leadership, Kate’s flashbacks about being on the run, Charlie’s drug problems. Walkabout comes very close, but I would have to say that my favorite one has to be Exodus 1 & 2. Its great because it has Flashback for nearly every character and arguably the only Walt Flash. But I just love the raft cast off with the moving and awesome Michael Giacchino music and Vincent trying to follow them, also the trek to the Black Rock and Locke getting grabbed by the Smoke Monster. Plus the duel cliffhangers of Walt’s kidnapping and the opening of the Hatch.

2) That’s another hard one because unlike some I am very excited by the amount of answers that we’ve been getting. From Locke being in a wheel chair, who’s in the Hatch, who the Others are, who the OC 6 are, who’s in the Coffin, how did the Incident happen, etc, etc. But my favorite ones are from this season, like how the Smoke Monster is The Man in Black and that Richard did come from the Black Rock. I feel that we are getting a lot of important answers this season, theres minor things that might go unanswered and still bug me a bit, but over all I totally have faith that everything important will be answered in the end. And if not, theres always the encyclopedia that’s coming out in August!

1) For me, it has to be "Deus Ex Machina". I am always going to lean towards Locke-centric episodes, and as great as the reveal was in "Walkabout" that Locke was in a wheelchair, I thought the on-Island plot was much stronger in this one. This episode included:
 - Locke's dream of the drug plane (including creepy bloody Boone's "Teresa falls up the stairs, Teresa falls down the stairs") that ended up coming true.
 - Locke's increasing paralysis in his legs as his faith wavers.
 - The radio message back to Boone: "No, WE'RE the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815!". Totally gave me goosebumps the first time I heard it.
 - One of my favorite scenes of the entire series...the light comes on in the hatch. Cue chillbumps (again).
 - And, just for fun, Jack's interrogation of Sawyer before he diagnosed him with farsightedness.

This one was tough...looking back over the season brought back a lot of great memories. Close runners-up were "Walkabout", "Do No Harm", and the 2-part "Exodus" season finale. Oh, and the Pilot episode is still probably the best pilot I have ever seen for any show.

2) Wow. Can I cheat and give you one for each season?
Season 1 - Locke's pre-crash paralysis ("Walkabout")
Season 2 - Desmond in the hatch ("Man of Science, Man of Faith"). This was the moment I truly fell in love with this show, when Des pops out from behind the wall after we just saw Jack meet him in the stadium in his flashback. I often say that "Walkabout" was when I became hooked on LOST, but this episode was when I became OBSESSED.
Season 3 - Duh. "We have to GO BACK!!!" from "Through the Looking Glass". My favorite season finale of all time.
Season 4 - I'm going for the rare "cheat within a cheat" and pick the entire episode "Cabin Fever". Richard Alpert at John's birth. Richard showing up again to visit 8-yr old Locke and his freaky smoke monster drawings. Abbadon as "Orderly". Plus, that wicked-cool scene where Horace is stuck in some sort of time loop (even if it was a dream, that was awesome).
Season 5 - There was tons to choose from here, but one of my favorite scenes of all time, just from a mythology standpoint: The Smoke Monster, masquerading as John Locke, is leading Benjamin Linus into the bowels of the Four-toed Statue, so that Ben can kill Jacob at Locke/Smokey's command. That scene just brought so much of the mythology of this show into one power-packed scene.
Season 6 - So far, my favorite part of the season is the redemption of Benjamin Linus, happening simultaneously in both timelines. Does one have anything to do with the other? Only time (and Darlton) will tell...

1) My favourite episode in S1 was "Walkabout." I'm not suggesting the rest of the season was a let-down after that, because it was a truly fantastic season, but "Walkabout" was the masterpiece of the opening of the series... it was the episode that took Lost from a great show to an epic one. (And it was written by David Fury, a Buffy alumnus, so I was doubly happy.)

It's a carefully crafted episode that kept us guessing right to the end, and artfully hid the fact that Locke couldn't actually walk. On the island he's the weird bald guy with the orange peel in his mouth creeping out Walt with his eerie, "Do you wanna know a secret?" and we all took those preconceived notions of the man and put them onto the same guy we saw in the past. Not once did we notice that he was always sitting, and when he was talking to the woman on the phone he was turning off some machine and sitting awkwardly and stiffly on the bed. At the very end, when the man in the Walkabout agency got up and walked out, and Locke wheeled back his wheelchair, I swear you could hear the gasps of Lost fans worldwide in that instant. The music swelled, we realized a miracle had happened on the island, and it took us back to where Locke was standing on the beach, smiling as he watched his no-longer-needed wheelchair burn. What an incredible episode. (And it doesn't hurt that it features that absolutely superb Terry O'Quinn.)
2) Wow, your second question is a doozy. What a tough question! I think I'd have to say the reveal (if we can call it that) at the end of season 3 that crazy bearded wildman Jack was actually Future Jack, and what we were seeing was a flashforward. To me that was such an amazing moment, that not only were we seeing that rescue was imminent, but that that same rescue was going to drive Jack crazy, drive him away from Kate, AND it suggested the following season would give us more glimpses into the future. It was an extraordinary moment for me.

1) My favorite Season One episode is the three part finale "Exodus".

At the time of first viewing, I had never been this enthralled with any tv show before. Every episode up to this point was the greatest I had ever witnessed.  So, by the time I was anticipating watching this episode(s) , the expectations could not have been higher. And LOST did not disappoint. Everything about it is just outstanding... the writing, the acting, the directing, the editing, etc.

To me, it has the best of all that I love about the show. It is moving, tense, hilarious and mysterious. It has so many iconic moments ( The Black Rock's first appearance, Walt's kidnapping, the raft launch, Arzt blowing up, the boarding of 815, etc. )  And in it,  contains (IMO) two of the greatest scenes ever on the show : Locke and Jack in the jungle, pre -hatch opening , ending with " Yes, you just don't know it yet." and Jack/Sawyer exchange, right before James leaves for the raft.

2) There have been so many. But I have to go with "We have to go back, Kate! We have to go BAAAAACK!!!" reveal that they are off the island at the end of the Season Three finale "Through the Looking Glass". It was the last thing I was expecting. I even thought, for about 30 seconds, that Jack and Kate knew each other, pre crash. Damon and Carlton "got me good" on that one. And that answer/mystery alone held me for the nine months we had to wait for Season Four to start.

1) I just recently re-watched Season 1 and there are so many good episodes. I won't pick the season finale because the cliff hangers make them unfairly good. I wanted to pick Walkabout because the moment you realize Locke was in the wheelchair was one of my all time favorite LOST moments but I have to go with Outlaws. Sawyer meeting Jack's dad in the bar and later realizing who that stranger was is one of my favorite moments in the series. It's also the start of the Red Sox joke has some great payoffs and Sawyer and Kate's game of Never Have I Ever. Never have I ever seen a plane with so many mini bottles of liquor...

2) The Jacob/Man in Black reveal is my favourite by far. That 2 minute sequence changed the entire 101 previous episodes in a Bruce Willis seeing the dropped ring at the end of Sixth Sense kinda way. Jacob is a real person and is responsible for pulling all the strings. The Smoke monster is a person and trying to kill Jacob! I've never seen a show where after 113 episodes the audience still doesn't know what the show is about. This reveal came close to answering it and changed everything.

1) Well I could say the Pilot, but that would be like cheating.  Best S1 episode was probably Deus Ex Machina.  Locke's legs were failing, Cooper swipes his kidney, we see visions of the Beechcraft crash, Boone radios Bernard before falling to his doom, and of course Desmond turning the light on just as Locke is banging on the hatch door... just such an awesome episode.

2) By far the best reveal has been the 3-minute opening scene of The Incident.  Jacob talking to the dark-shirted man on that little beach as the Black Rock sailed up?  After five seasons of trying to figure out who the hell was playing the game, it gave me chills.

1) My personal favourite is the 2 pt Pilot episode - followed by White Rabbit (when the enduring mythology was first clearly set out).
Fellow blogger and personal friend, Izi, had asked me to videotape (remember that?) the Pilot episode for him. I wound up watching to make sure I had the right channel/time.
What I saw were the most incredible hours of television to date.
The silence in the jungle. Jack's eye opening. The eery music/sounds. Waving bamboo. Vincent's appearance -- so normal, a bounding yellow Lab so out of place in this context.
Jack's emergence onto the beach, the chaos, the debris and all the action.
I distinctly recall Shannon standing, screaming, in the middle of this scene and at that point I thought: I HAVE to watch this show.
I loved how this diverse group became a unit when they heard the monster in the jungle --- incidentally what was that rampage about? protesting the arrival of more "progress"?

2) I think my favourite reveal was when we learned that Locke was the person who had been in the wheelchair. Seeing the camera pull back when he is in the Australian travel office as he shouts from his wheelchair: Don't Tell Me What I Can't Do! was awesome. It made sense of his sitting on the beach, wiggling his toes right after the crash, his belief that being on the Island was a good thing --- and took away some of my fear for Walt! remember Locke's "wanna know a secret?" with him? Creepy.
It set the tone for this series full of reveals and also informed us about the Island and Locke's potential for being 'special'.

1) There are so many good ones to choose from. Luckily, I had never heard about Lost until Season 2, so I had the luxury of watching Season 1 back-to-back on DVD. As such, the episodes and memories have became a bit of a blur for me - more like moments popping out than specific episodes - realising the farmer in Kate's flashback would be awarded a 'number' ($23,000); realising Locke was in a wheelchair; Rose recognising the sounds of the smoke monster; the 'tailies' radio conversation; etc.

But the one episode that sticks out for me, as a whole, is "The Moth". Beforehand, Lost had been about specific characters - Kate, Jack, Locke. However, "The Moth" is the first time the whole crew get a decent shake of the stick - Charlie and Jack bond, Sawyer begins to show signs of a decent human being, Sayid shows his leadership skills, Shannon begins to show signs of a decent human being, Boone and Kate are given something useful to do, Michael gets to play hero for a while, Locke shows his wisdom and bonds with Charlie, Charlie begins to grow into the lovable character he became; even Steve and Scott get an appearance! This, to me, felt like the first true ensemble episode and set the tone for my favourite episodes since. That's not to say I dislike the "X-centric" episodes, but spreading the screentime between multiple characters makes a stronger show, in my opinion.

2) All the seasons have been jam-packed with great reveals - Locke in the wheelchair, Jack in the future, the Frozen Donkey Wheel, the Jacob/Smokey conversation; all of these have been major game changers.

But the reveal closest to my heart came in S.O.S. (which, to me, was a fantastic episode) when Rose reveals that it is the Island that has cured her cancer. There's lots of nuances to this reveal - the fact that the "faith healer" in Australia couldn't heal Rose due to her being in the wrong place, began the whole Vile Vortices theory, which to me is the moment Lost stepped over from crazy sci-fi theorising, to something else... something rooted in real life, in deeper discussions of all kinds of crazy. There's the fact that Rose knew all along that Locke was in a wheelchair, but kept it to herself. It's the fact that Rose may have been the first person to 'win' this game. There's the parallels to Claire and her pyschic storyline. There's a lot of nuances, and one may argue that this was more of a Question than an Answer, but to me Rose revealing she had been cured of cancer by the Island specifically, when she appears to matter little to either Smokey or Jacob, is a major game-changer for me in the way I thought about, and continue to think about, Lost. Others may use the Flash-Forward or Locke's wheelchair as major touchstones for discussion - I always come back to S.O.S. and Rose's cancer. To-may-toe, to-mah-toe.

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