Thursday, May 28, 2009

Jacob's Foot: LOST and The Mars Volta

Written by Chris Monigle

Gotta love independent movies and OnDemand. Right now, if I so chose, and for the modest price of 6.99 and 9.99 respectively, I could watch the French movie Summer Hours or the Soderbergh picture starring that porn star everybody is wild about, and I'm not sure why. I'm interested in both. In fact, I think today is the last day I can watch The Girlfriend Experience OnDemand. But here's the thing: it's 78 minutes. Paying 9.99 for 78 minutes. But then a new Woody Allen DVD with no extras and a film that runs 90 minutes is sold for 21.99 or something. So, why do I run away from a 9.99 movie in theaters OnDemand and embrace 21.99 DVDS? That's actually a trick question: I buy DVDs as cheap as possible. The likely candidate to be watched soon is Summer Hours. Foreign films have the ability to tell good stories with actual substance. The movies currently playing in lovable corporate multi-plexes (and can be viewed for the fantastic price of 10.25 a ticket) barely ever leave me with the feeling that the 10.25 was worth it. I'd like to see Hugh Jackman be a badass as much as anybody but not for 10.25 and especially not when (I'm pretty sure) Roger Ebert spoiled the entire ending. The last movie I saw in the theaters (I Love You, Man) entertained me. I enjoyed it. But...bleeding 10.25 for that? I alternately love and hate HBO. Sometimes, they constantly play trash. Other times, I can watch Kung Fu Panda up to 4 times in one day. It's fantastic. I've watched Fred Claus, no matter what part, whenever it's on. In fact, I've literally never paid to see Kung Fu Panda. I worked in a movie theater last summer. The point: I am stingy. I feel like I've slighted The Girlfriend Experience though since I made an elitist-blowhard statement about foreign films. The Girlfriend Experience has been getting great reviews. There are many American films that deliver and don't make you hate yourself for spending an hours + wage on a movie such as Rian Johnson's 'Brick,' and Linklater's 'Before Sunrise' and 'Before Sunset,' and, for good measure, 'Waking Life.' Another point: I'm not sure what my point is because the purpose of this entry is to compare The Mars Volta and LOST. Maybe the point is that I'd like more movies to be offered OnDemand. Probably not though. That's a lame thesis. How about all you deconstructionists and post-structuralists come out of hiding and tell me what the meaning of this paragraph is since I, the author, do not exist? I don't know. This whole paragraph is a trainwreck.

Here's the deal for the forseeable future of my blog, Jacob's Foot: as LOST won't be back until January 2010 (which sucks), the blog will branch out into other areas of entertainment and sports (oh yeah. i'm a sports addict). It is my plan to devote space to LOST each and every week until January 2010. I'll post some old things I've written about episodes and seasons past and I'll write new material for the show. I will be writing about my favorite season five moments sometime in the future. I'll be doing crazy stuff like I am today with comparing Mars Volta and LOST. As for the branching out part, I'll be writing about two shows that have been off the air for over five years (Buffy and ANGEL). I've seen the entirety of both series more than once so I'll probably just write down random thoughts about a random episode or season. I'll write about Dollhouse a bit as well. The big thing will come in September: I will be bringing my weekly NFL picks to Jacob's Foot. I've been writing weekly picks for the last three years. I usually post them every Thursday because I read Bill Simmons' NFL picks every Friday. It's like how I am with LOST. I don't want anything to influence what I write. I want my thoughts to be me and me only. During the summer, I might try to interview a band or something and post it here. I've been reading some David Foster Wallace nonfiction so I might report on some things (for instance my 3 days down the shore with friends). The possibilities are endless. Anywho...

 

[caption id="attachment_593" align="alignnone" width="1024" caption="The Season 3 cast. Emilie de Ravin looks absolutely fantastic."]The Season 3 cast. Emilie de Ravin looks absolutely fantastic.[/caption]

I've finally arrived at the purpose for this entry. The Mars Volta are one of my favorite bands. They've made two brilliant records, a great record, and a good record. Omar Rodriguez-Lopez never runs dry of ideas for a record, never fails in the execution of a record, and always finds the best musicians to play the music he's written. Cedric Bixler-Zavala's voice is a perfect complement to Omar's music. I figure there is no better way to, sort of, discuss the Mars Volta records than comparing them to seasons of LOST. There are only four full-length Mars Volta records and five seasons of LOST (well five Mars Volta if you count the live album but I won't count it). Believe me, I'm aware. But it all works out. 

THE FIRST SEASON OF LOST AND THE MARS VOLTA'S FIRST RECORD 'DE-LOUSED IN THE COMATORIUM'

 

[caption id="attachment_589" align="alignnone" width="250" caption="The First Season Poster"]The First Season Poster[/caption]

The first season of LOST was some experience. I began watching the show because of the involvement of David Fury, a former writer of ANGEL and Buffy. The year was 2004. Autumn to be exact. ANGEL had ended its run in May of 2004. It sucked. I began watching Buffy during my junior year of high school and ANGEL in the summer before my senior year. In fact, my first ANGEL episode was season four's 'Orpheus.' Blew me away. But I digress. I enjoyed LOST immensly. It was riveting, exciting, and it had the best storytelling on television (since theWB cancelled the last Joss show on TV). And then LOST aired 'Solitary' on November 17, 2004. It's that episode which made me into the guy who writes 4,000 words about a finale. Coincidentally enough, David Fury wrote 'Solitary.' Solitary introduced the whispers, The Sickness, the idea of The Others. It was awesome. I remember how I felt when Sayid heard the whispers in the jungle as he headed back to camp. And then the following week was the episode when Claire was kidnapped...fantastic. Season 1, as a whole, tells great, great stories full of nuance and feeling. The location is beautiful. Giacchino's music is beautiful. I think his greatest composition is the one that plays when the raft takes off. Vincent chases after the boat. It's a moment of triumph. It's among my favorite scenes of LOST. The first season is 25 episodes. Very few shows can produce a quality 25 episode season. The Office, it seems, failed to put together a consistent season with 26 episodes. Heroes, as always, faltered with a 25 episode third season. LOST never did in the first season. There isn't a single weak episode in season one. 

 

[caption id="attachment_594" align="alignnone" width="200" caption="Go to lala.com and listen to this record"]Go to lala.com and listen to this record[/caption]

The first album of The Mars Volta clocks in at over 75+ minutes. 10 tracks of exceptional music. I discovered the band on MTV2 when I watched the video for 'Inertiatic ESP'. Great, great song. The atmosphere of the album begins with the opener 'Son et Lumiere' and the atmosphere continues throughout the record. It's an emotinal and beautiful record. Inspired by a short story of Cedric's and the late Jeremy Ward, it tells the story of Cerpin Taxt who attempts to commit suicide by overdosing on a mixture of rat poison and morphine. He lands in a week-long coma in which he experiences visions of humanity and his own psyche. Upon awakening, he is dissatisfied with the real world and successfully kills himself by jumping to his death. The story was inspired by the death of their friend Julio Venegas. The emotion is palpable throughout the 75+ minutes. There's amazing crescendos and decrescendos throughout (absolutely fantastic in 'Roulette Dares), beautiful interludes and ambience. I think it's their best. The totality never fails to move me as a listener. The interlude in 'Take The Veil Cerpin Taxt' is mind-blowing. It's not complicated musically nor is it simple. It's just right. 'Cicatriz ESP' is an up-and-down whirlwind musical experience. The album surprises with beautiful simplicity out of nowhere, emerging from chaos. 'Drunkship of Lanterns' builds and builds and builds, and when it bursts, it's bloody fantastic. I think the album is my favorite of the four. But it's close. You'll see.

THE THIRD SEASON OF LOST AND THE MARS VOLTA'S SECOND ALBUM 'FRANCES THE MUTE'

[caption id="attachment_591" align="alignnone" width="250" caption="A brilliant and fantastic season"]A brilliant and fantastic season[/caption]

It gets a little tricky here, you of my 750,000 readership. I was hoping like hell season three of LOST wouldn't be like season two. I'll dive into season two more at its proper place but, suffice to say, I didn't want to be disappointed by season three of LOST. I was not at all. I often am privy to declaring season three to be my favorite of LOST. Once the season returned from the three-month hiatus in February 2007 after the first six of season three, I knew the show I love was back the way I wanted it. What solidified that for me was Desmond's 'Flashes Before Your Eyes,' an episode that revealed what happened to Desmond after the Hatch explosion/implosion. A gem of an episode. Time-travel is introduced into the show. Emotional character story for Desmond. Charlie being told that he's gonna have to die. After that episode, LOST could do no wrong. They struck a great balance between revealing things about the Island (New Otherton/Locke's adventures/Jack being there, ect) and flashbacks that revealed new layers to the characters. It wasn't the re-hash I felt was going on in season two. Until 'Whatever Happened, Happened,' 'Left Behind' was my favorite Kate episode. 'Par Avion' is my favorite Claire episode. 'Further Instructions' is an underrated Locke episode. 'Catch-22' is a great Desmond episode (Flashes is better of course). It's a great Locke season which features his Island tour of blowing things up. Fantastic Ben/Locke moments. I love, love, love the Island stories like Hurley conning Sawyer into being decent. Season Three is terrific. My favorite Juliet episode is in season three 'One of Us.' The great unkillable Mikhail is in season three and Charlie's arc was fantastic. 'Greatest Hits' is among LOST's best. And, then, of course, the finale features a flash back with the infamous line by Jack: 'WE HAVE TO GO BACK!' I get goosebumps just writing about it. It's no coincidence that the story tightened once Lindelof and Cuse got an end-date from ABC. Season Three tells a terrific story. There's catharsis (The Brig with Sawyer) and Sawyer finally gets Tom for taking the kid off the raft. It's an extremely satisfying season and has terrific re-watch value. I've seen the episodes multiple times and never tire of them. Even 'Stranger in a Strange Land,' Jack's tattoo episode, is better on re-watch (when that originally aired, it ruined STEVE's week. he hates that episode). I love season three. 

[caption id="attachment_595" align="alignnone" width="200" caption="only these names i clutch will bring me to my home. OOOO YEAH"]only these names i clutch will bring me to my home. OOOO YEAH[/caption]

Frances The Mute is the second album of The Mars Volta. I remember listening to it during my senior year of high school (fantastic year all-in-all: first season of LOST, The Everglow by Mae, Frances The Mute by the Mars Volta, Kairos, and general kick-ass stuff with school and friends and whatnot). It's five tracks. The label forced the band to divide it up into 12 tracks though there are just five songs. There are 4 songs that are over 12+ minutes song. The Widow is the shortest at just over 4 minutes. The record was inspired by a diary the late Jeremy Ward found in his days as a repo man, and noted the similarities between his life and the author--they were both adopted. The diary told of the author's search for his parents. Frances The Mutes follows this story. The opener 'Cygmund...Vismund Cygnus' opens acoustically before kicking into drive as Cedric flips between the English and Spanish language. The breakdown in 'Cygmund' is terrific. It's simple. It breaks down and then begins to build back up again into the thesis of the record 'only these names I clutch will bring me to my home.' Musically, Omar upped the ante. Each member recorded their parts separately--a technique Miles Davis implemented: refused to let members know the other members part, forcing each to play their part as if it were a self-sufficient song. Each member recorded to the pulse of a metronome. The Red Hot Chili Peppers' John Frusciante plays on the record and Flea (who played bass on De-Loused) plays the trumpet. The final song 'Cassandra Gemini' is 32 minutes. There's absolutely no filler in it either. Omar covers a whole range of musical styles in Cassandra: jazz, latin, jazz fusion, etc. I'm all about the music with the Mars Volta. I don't put alot into the lyrics. Cedric's voice is another instrument. Cedric's not as good on Frances as he on Deloused on Bedlam but he's pretty good. Frances The Mute is a remarkable album though.

THE FIFTH SEASON OF LOST AND THE MARS VOLTA'S FOURTH ALBUM 'BEDLAM IN GOLIATH'

 

[caption id="attachment_81" align="alignnone" width="235" caption="What a poster. I want to marry it."]What a poster. I want to marry it.[/caption]

There's plenty of already written things for the fifth season of LOST so I'll keep it brief. The Time-Travel season. The first five episodes of season five are frantic and jump from time to time while telling some damn good stories. The season settles down once the Oceanic 6 get back to the Island. The season did a good job going back to the past to prepare everyone for the future. I feel like the season was geared toward the fans who never left. It really dove into the mythology of the show at, literally, the expense of characters. Barely any Desmond. No Claire. Strings of episodes set in Dharma. No Dharma when they were in 2007. But everything was very cohesive by the time the finale came. Nothing felt forced. I loved the emphasis of the themes of redemption and destiny as we saw with Sayid and his struggle with his demons, Jack developing a Lockean disposition. 'The Incident' is quite simply fantastic. Not a weak moment in the entire episode. Lindelof, Cuse, and the writers took a bold chance by moving the show 3 years. It didn't get talked about much and I barely wrote about it but its worth bringing up because of how Sayid, Kate, and Jack changed off-the-Island. Season Five was about the past, the present, and the future and, perhaps, the importance of time and time's relation with destiny, and destiny and the Island bringing these characters to places where they played a vital role in what became their present. It's my favorite Ben season. I enjoyed Ben as a defeated man. Desmond's episode kicked ass. Loved the scene with him talking about England to his son. I enjoyed the character development of Jack and Sawyer. Loved everything with Locke and "Locke". I liked experiencing Dharma. I liked meeting Radzinsky and the development of Goodspeed. That scene with a hungover, depressed Goodspeed and Sawyer is among my favorite moments of the season. I liked that Miles actually resolved his daddy issues. Loved Pierre Chang. He was hilarious. So yeah, Season Five is very good. I'm sure I'll more about season five in the future.

 

[caption id="attachment_596" align="alignnone" width="200" caption="This is a wild album. Conjucal Burns is wicked."]This is a wild album. Conjucal Burns is wicked.[/caption]

'Bedlam in Goliath' is a wild album. It's not as experimental or progressive as the previous three Mars Volta record. It's more straight-forward. The album doesn't slow down until 'Torniquet Man.' 'Goliath' is an chaotic song that is amazin. The story behind the album is that it was born out of an Oujia board Omar bought for Cedric while in Jerusalem. They dubbed it 'The Soothsayer' as it would give names, make demands, and were contacted by three different people who were of one form--Goliath. The band claim Goliath haunted the studio where they recorded and nearly ruined the record. The album chronicles this Goliath. It's a kick-ass record and it brought the kick-ass back to The Mars Volta (they may have gotten too lax with Amputecture'). The album is also the first without Jon Theodore. Thomas Pridgen (who is out of this world on the album) replaced drummer Jon Theodore. It's an album that is very tight musically. Thematically, it deals with religion and spirituality. 'Soothsayer' begins with a religious song/chant/whatever you want to call it. 'Cavalettas' dives into the world of Goliath and the chaos he brought into the band. It's a very good record. I enjoy it immensley. 

THE SECOND SEASON OF LOST AND THE MARS VOLTA'S THIRD ALBUM 'AMPUTECHTURE'

[caption id="attachment_590" align="alignnone" width="250" caption="The season two poster. It's like an old school Royal Rumble poster."]The season two poster. It's like an old school Royal Rumble poster.[/caption]

The second season of LOST sits better with me now than it once did. Season two suffered from re-runs. It felt like ABC would air two new weeks of LOST followed by five weeks of re-runs and so on and so on. Season two has some great stuff. For instance, the introduction of Desmond and the Dharma Intiative, the button question, the introduction of Ben. I never cared for Ana Lucia though. I didn't really care about What Kate Did when season two rolled around, I was mostly anticipating The Others and never really got it until the end of the season. I felt like the flashbacks were re-hashing things we already knew about characters. It's in no way a perfect season but it's not terrible. It's good. Sayid's episode is a highlight as is 'Man of Science, Man of Faith,' 'Orientation,' 'Everybody Hates Hugo,' 'Lockdown,' 'The 23rd Psalm,' 'Live Together, Die Alone,' and '?'. I still love the confrontation between Tom and Jack, Sawyer, and Locke in 'The Hunting Party.' I think the season suffered from the no-end date though. 

 

[caption id="attachment_592" align="alignnone" width="200" caption="Don't bother with the final song on this album."]Don't bother with the final song on this album.[/caption]

'Amputechture' isn't a bad Mars Volta album. It just doesn't have that 'hook' that the others have. I love the opening track as well as 'Viscera Eyes' and 'Day of the Baphomets.' 'Tetragrammaton' is very cool. I'm a big fan of the lyrical output of the record. The music isn't as good though. Cedric said this about the album: 

"This album's a commentary about the fear of God instead of the love of God, which goes hand-in-hand with Catholicism...To me, religion is the reason there is so much conflict in this world, and I think it's just so unnecessary to believe in this blue-eyed, white-bearded, white-haired God. Amputechture is my personal way of describing enlightenment, or just the celebration of this person who is a shaman and not a crazy person. It's about the pineal gland and how it has certain elements that mimic a DMT experience, and how we can come up with cures for cancer and AIDS if we're more in tune with what's going on in the rainforest."

THE FOURTH SEASON OF LOST

 

[caption id="attachment_588" align="alignnone" width="250" caption="Love this one. It's neat."]Love this one. It's neat.[/caption]

Since there's no other albums of The Mars Volta, Season Four stands apart from what I was doing but I still wanted to write about season four. The season opened with a bang (Hurley yelling 'I'm one of the Oceanic 6) which really set up everything. Throughout, I wondered who was also part of the Oceanic 6, wondered who would live and die on the Island. The finale was intense, folks. I was yelling at the television, pacing, standing, sitting, etc. The knowledge that the Jack, Kate, Hurley, Sayid, Aaron, and Sun got off didn't kill my enjoyment at all because I was left wondering what happened to those on the Island. I was prepared for anything in that finale. I still remember my jaw-dropping when it was revealed Kate had Aaron in Eggtown. The Constant is one of the best of LOST. Henry Ian Cusick shines in that episode. As I wrote previously, Hurley's arc is great. I really dug his 'I talk to dead people' angle. 'The Beginning of the End' is, maybe, my favorite Hurley episode. I liked that the series devoted an episode to Charlie's death and the characters reaction. Hurley's speech (I'm listening to my friend! I'm listening to Charlie), Jack thinking about Charlie with Kate at the Fuselage (a call back to the Pilot), Claire's reaction Charlie. Season Four also brought us Faraday, Miles, Frank, and Charlotte. The finale offered a few surprises such as Desmond reuniting with Penny and Frank getting off of the Island. We also got closure on the story of Michael. 'Meet Kevin Johnson' was a highlight because we got to see how Michael dealt with his own past. It also was something that the Island would not let Michael die. Keamy was a great villain. I remember the scene when Juliet told Jin that Sun cheated on him in 'Ji Yeon.' Very shocking, folks. All-in-all, season four is terrific. I feared that the writer's strike would kill it but it didn't. It's a very quality season. 'The Shape of Things To Come' is great for many reasons. Here's one: I loved that it opened with Ben after turning the donkey wheel. Loved Sawyer being a badass. Didn't love Keamy blowing up Claire's house. Season Four is fantastic. 

Believe-you-me, readers, this is not the last time I write about any of these seasons. I got really into writing about each. That was fun. Hope you enjoyed reading about it. Here's some other random thoughts:

--I'm watching 'Field Of Dreams' as I write this. It's a great movie. I will use this movie (as Simmons does) to determine whether or not a woman has a soul. The poignant thing about this movie now besides the many poignant moments in the film is that the Phillies video team used the Field of Dreams music in their tribute video to Harry the K. It gets a little dusty when I hear the music and think of Harry the K. Phillies baseball isn't the same without him.

--I maintain that the saddest scene in ANGEL is when Angel says goodbye to baby Connor in season three's 'Sleep Tight' because I know everything that happens after that moment. I don't want to spoil things for anyone planning on watching ANGEL but I dare anyone find me a sadder moment than that, taking in account the totality of the series.

--It's that time of the year where I begin making moves in fantasy baseball. I tend to wait 2 months to to assess players. I've made some moves and I am now wondering when to pull the trigger on fixing my pitching. My problem in fantasy is that I'm loyal. I like the guys I draft to be the guys I win with. My i dont like the mets squad is pretty good but I need to turn around my pitching. I've got guys on my radar but the question indeed: when to begin change? MLB Network is also my favorite channel. 

I think I'm done. Have a splendid weekend, folks!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Jacob's Foot': Dotting My I's

Written by Chris Monigle

 

[caption id="attachment_551" align="alignnone" width="180" caption="Yep. This blog is now 'Jacob's Foot.'"]Yep. This blog is now 'Jacob's Foot.'[/caption]

As you can see, I've changed the title of the blog to 'Jacob's Foot' since it was revealed Jacob's Cabin hasn't been Jacob's cabin in a long time. It's time to dot my I's, so to speak, with the LOST finale. Yes, I still have more to write about the LOST finale.

--'What lies beneath the shadow of the statue?' 'He who will save us all' is THE answer to the question. By now, I'm sure everybody that reads anything online about LOST knows that. I discovered the answer about 3 minutes after I posted my recap. My whole deal is: I don't like to read or hear anything about people's thoughts on an episode until I have my recap finished. Why? I want my thoughts to be my own and not influenced by anything else. And then afterwards everything is fair game. And I'll shove my absolutely wrong thoughts in a garbage can once Lindelof and Cuse introduce something totally different from what I thought into their show.

--Speaking of Lindelof and Cuse being awesome and me being inferior to them, I really, really, really, really (you get the gist) believed in the idea of John Locke as special, and the only character who could be resurrected on the Island. While doing so, I tossed aside the previous season's commentary by Lindelof and Cuse about a character being dead once the show kills them off (it's still a wait and see with Jack's daddy). They even titled an episode 'Dead Is Dead' in season five. To say the least, John Locke falling out of the cargo jawn did shock me. It doesn't matter that I heard someone say that John Locke isn't John Locke because, to be honest, I don't listen to any theories the average fan has to say about the show. I'm an elitist so-and-so when it comes to LOST. If there's anything that steams my clams, it is literary theory that states the author is dead. Good ol' Roland Barthes wrote the blowhardy essay arguing that the author is dead. How does this relate to my intolerance for LOST theories? Well, first of all, I'll state that I am not against fans thoughts on the show. What I hate are people who care more about their dumbass theories than the story itself. It reminds me all too much of these blowhard literary critics who claim that the readers create the text rather than author. No. Not how it works. Without these texts, literary theorists can't be blowhards. So, the author is in no way dead. With LOST, I'm all about the story. I won't always buy what the writers are selling me but I won't entertain any theory unless it becomes part of the story. It's the way I roll. Another thing about theories. Fans just can't throw anything on their theory wall, hoping that it sticks. You gotta have evidence for anything you theorize. It's like writing an English paper. If I want to write about...say...Jane Eyre as a text about strawberry milkshakes and the growth of Victorian belief in cows as overlords then I need textual evidence to support my arguments. See what I'm saying? That's about it. Just think.

Anywho, now with the pieces of the season five mosaic fixed in place, it's all so obvious with Locke. I might've been too quick to say that Mr. Nameless (Doc Jenson came up with that and I like it so I'm using it) hijacked John Locke's body because (it's pretty clear) that Locke's body fell out of the cargo. Times like these, I should let my dog hit me over the head with a bleeding two-by-four. Here I was, on Wednesday/Thursday, writing about how Mr. Nameless gives off a Smokey vibe and I'm writing about HIJACKING A BODY?!? I expected better from myself. If Mr. Nameless is Smokey, and it seems likely, he just assumes the form of people. What confused me, my 750,000 readership, was the whole idea of the loophole. If Mr. Nameless is Smokey, what makes John Locke the loophole? What about John Locke being dead creates the loophole? Or is it something larger than that? Or maybe all of these questions I'm asking is taking me and you away from the bigger issue at hand: the scene with the Ajira folk at Jacob's Cabin. Bram finds the ash surrounding the Cabin (it's not even Jacob's cabin) disturbed. Ilana enters and then exits, claiming that Jacob hasn't been here in a long time. This scene takes me back to season three's 'The Man Behind The Curtain' in which we hear 'Help Me!' uttered by the dude seen in the chair for a brief instant. He's a fellow who looks like an older version of Mr. Nameless. It seems as if he was set-free but it still doesn't explain why he used John Locke. So this will probably be a pretty big plot-point for season six. I wonder what it means for Claire. Mr. Nameless better have been good to her.

--I am of the opinion that time will not be erased. I think Kate, Jack, Sawyer, Miles, Hurley, Jin, and Sayid will be in 2007. But I'm all up for being surprised. 

--I made a big commotion about the line 'If it only ends once, anything before that is progress.' Well, the meaning of it hit me one day as I played FIFA 08 on ps2. I made it more complex than it actually is. All it means really, in the context of the scene and the conversation, is that Jacob is the optimist and Mr. Nameless is a nihilistic pessimist. Or to generalize it biblically and enter blowhard territory: Mr. Nameless represents the Old Testament vengeful God whereas Jacob represents the merciful, selfless God of the New Testament. Now this is beginning to resemble my essay on The Merchant of Venice so I will move right along...

--...To John Locke again! Obviously, as evidenced by the rankings, John Locke is one of my favorite characters. I've been watching season one re-runs weekday afternoons on sci-fi, and Locke owned those early season one episodes. Yesterday, 'The Moth' was on, the episode in which Locke helps Charlie overcome his drug addiction. Locke is one of the most fascinating characters on LOST. If his paralysis could be healed by the Island, I believed any other miracle, including being raised from the dead, could've happened. I always loved the story of John Locke. This guy who felt hopeless about his life until he came to the Island, was healed, and found his purpose, felt he realized his destiny. I liked how he made mistakes, sometimes fatal (as with Boone). One of my favorite moments from season five is when he tells Sawyer that he needed that pain, when explaining why he doesn't want to change anything. I will miss John Locke. It is surprising that he's actually dead. But dare I, despite everything I've written in this, hold out hope that the real Locke is not totally dead? I don't know. 

That's about it for the additional thoughts on the finale. I'll probably have more as the summer wears on. I'm going to post some favorite moments from season five soon. And soon, I'll cover other things that are not LOST. But not yet.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Jacob's Cabin: The Season Five Finale 'The Incident'

Written by Chris Monigle

 

[caption id="attachment_512" align="alignnone" width="180" caption=""If it only ends once, anything before that is just progress""]'If it only ends once, anything before that is just progress."[/caption]

Well, they got me again. Every year! And I love it every year even if the realization of the 8 month hiatus sweeps over me and hits me like the 50 year storm in 'Point Break.' I absolutely loved every moment of the season finale. I was on the edge of my seat for the final twenty minutes! My jaw dropped when the dead body of John Locke rolled out of the cargo carried by (I believe them!) the good guys. Very intense fight scene between Sawyer and Jack. But I guess I'll save these thoughts for their usual place. This finale solidifed LOST as the greatest show ever created. That's not even hyperbole. It is the truth. No show, for a long time, will ever match the brilliance of LOST. Lindelof and Cuse, you are the kings. 

But you know all that talk about this recap being epic? Well, I lied, in the context of it being epic in the blowhard sense. I had an epiphany. I don't like turning these LOST recaps into an english essay, full of blowhardiness. I'm going back to how I used to do it. A paragraph or two about what interested me most followed by a extreme amounts of bullet thoughts about the episode. No insane analysis. I've always been about this story and letting it unfold itself and I will continue to do that until it ends next year. It'll probably be pretty long still but hardly the blowhardiness I've indulged the last few weeks. With that said, I'm going to talk about Jacob!

"If it only ends once, anything before that is just progress," says Jacob to the man who eventually will hijack Locke's body. No name given. He is a man who looks like he could be Radzinky's father (and no i'm not going there). He spoke with contempt, acknowleding to Jacob that he is aware that the only reason he brought the Black Rock to the Island is to prove him wrong. Jacob says that he is wrong. The man tells him that it all ends the same: 'they come, fight. They destroy. They corrupt. It always ends the same.' To which Jacob replies: 'if it only ends once, anything before that is just progress.' The man then asks, rhetorically, if Jacob realizes just how much he wants to kill him. Jacob knows. The man says that, sooner or later, he will find a loophole and that he will Jacob. Jacob tells the man that when he does, he'll be on the Island. 

What a way to open the season finale, which is a launching point for the final season of the show. I expected them to open with something like this because, well, this is how Lindelof and Cuse roll with the finale. For so long, we fans have wondered and wondered about Jacob. Hell, when I wrote about the season three finale on my livejournal, I even placed pictures of Jacob, just wondering. Last year, in my season four finale recap, I included a huge excerpt about Bentham and the Jacobeans. After all the wondering, we finally meet Jacob. With Jacob comes a whole new set of ideas and questions. I watched the opening scene three times. It's one of the most intriguing scenes I've seen on the show. What does Jacob think the man is wrong about? What in the world does 'If it only happens once, anything before that is just progress' mean? There's so many questions about Jacob. So, of course, he dies. I'm probably going to be dreaming about that scene until January. It's going to be one of those scenes that I just watch and watch. So, yeah. It had quite an impact. The most interesting thing about Jacob was/is his insistence on free-will and choice. For five seasons, we have heard about destiny and fate from Ms. Hawking, Ben, Locke, ect. I've written incessantly about destiny. And Jacob, who might be the Island literally or something, is talking to our favorite castaways about choice and free-will. The mere presence of Jacob though is the lives of the castaways suggests something about their destiny on the Island though. He was there when little Kate, with the help of her friend who would eventually die for her in 'Born To Run.' Jacob was there to console little Sawyer at the funeral for his parents. He was there to, in a way, bless the marriage of Jin and Sun. Jacob told Locke that everything would be allright after his father pushed him out of the building. He was there after Jack's first major surgery, when he cut the girdle sac we heard about in his first conversation with Kate. Jacob was the one to turn Hurley around, telling Hurley that it is his choice. But, really, what does choice mean to Jacob? There's little choice for those who are kidnapped to be with the Others. But that's for another time I suppuse. But why? Why these people? What is their destiny? Add to that are the lists. Those lists which were responsible for the fun times the tailies and losties had during the first 48 days. Why? I am really eager to find out in the final season of LOST. Back to the unnamed man, why did he want to kill Jacob? It seems as if he could not kill Jacob. He needed Ben to do it. It was really something, seeing the role reversal. Ben was in Locke's shoes while "Locke" was Ben. The scene when Jacob is killed by Ben is one of the greatest scenes in the show's history (we even saw Jacob in his chair!). Michael Emerson knocked that out of the ball park. We finally saw the human element of Ben, a man who questioned why he never saw Jacob, expressed frustration because of that fact and the lists, and his time as a leader. We also learned that John Locke is not John Locke, something that has been speculated about for some time now, but seeing the dead body of Locke still had quite an effect on me. My jaw literally dropped. John Locke really is dead. It's very sad. So, this raises the question about the unnamed man: is he Smokey? Is "John Locke" just another "Yemi" and "Alex"? It explains why Smokey as Alex threatened to destory Ben if he interfered with Locke at all. Should that be true (and seems pretty damn plausible to me) then that raises yet another set of questions. The most important question has got to be: what does killing Jacob mean? What are the consequences of such an action? My good ol' friend STEVE (and rankings buddy) thinks that Juliet's detonation did not cause the white flash but rather the death of Jacob. It's something to chew on during the next 8-9 months. I'm eventually going to get to the white out but not right now. I've been talking about game-changers throughout the season. This I know: killing Jacob is a game-changer. That's all anyone knows right now except for Lindelof and Cuse and their band of writers. I can't wait to see what killing Jacob means. With all of this going on with Jacob, I have the prevailing idea that Jacob is good. There's no way OUR John Locke would kill Jacob. The presence of Jacob in the lives of the castaways means a lot of different things. An interesting aspect of Jacob's presence is simply that: his presence. He never interfered (though it seems he distracted Sayid so Nadia would be hit by the car). He was always there. Our beloved characters' fate and destiny lies with that Island. But maybe Jacob dying changes things. Who indeed knows. That is something for 8-9 months from now. It's time for some other thoughts about the brilliant season five finale:

--We finally saw The Incident, the event which is responsible for the entirety of season two and the intrigue of the latter half of season one. It was a blast to the past of season two, seeing the power of the electromagnetism. I liked how we learned of Radzinky's intentions with The Swan. He wanted to change the world. He gets his wish with The Swan. The poor guy has to push that button for a long time. I mean, Radzinky wasn't all bad. Sure he was annoying and he yelled a lot (sort of like Pickett actually) but he wasn't a bad guy. He was all about The Swan. That's why he was so damn paranoid. Phil, on the other hand, was a bad guy. He had a taste for blood, folks. He would've shot Sawyer too if not for those poles. The Incident pretty much happened as described. Dr. Chang will eventually lose his hand because of what happened to it at the site. That was such a nice scene when Miles rushed to his dad's aid immediately. One of the most underrated stories of the season: Miles and his dad. I'm so glad the writers told that story. 

--The Incident also killed Juliet. In fact, the body count might be three when all is said and done in 1977. Does that blow my belief in whatever happened, happened? NO! 1977 was their present. Faraday didn't die in '77 (well he did but he didn't) just as Juliet did and didn't. I think Sayid will live. Never saw him die! It's exactly like what happened with Michael and Jin in the season four finale. We know Michael was toast because the bomb detonated just as Juliet's gone because she detonated the bomb. Never saw Jin die. Never saw Sayid. Very fitting that it was Jin that kept taking care of Sayid. Lindelof and Cuse talked about time loops in their interview with Doc Jensen and his friend on EW.com. Don't mistake it for a paradox because it's not. They referenced Ms. Hawking with Daniel at the piano when she was in tears (as Doc Jensen interpreted: because she just got back from the Island where she killed her little boy Danny Faraday) and her insistence on Daniel devoting his time to science and physics, hoping that he can create a time loop which would prevent what happenes in 1977. Once again, don't mistake it for a paradox. Yes, Daniel died in 1977 but little Daniel is going to grow up to have the life we witnessed and it will end. If detonating Jughead worked then Daniel succeeded in the time-loop. It's all or nothing basically. Either time doesn't change or it changes so that everything that happend didn't happen. There will be no paradox and this is the 1,354,789th reason that LOST kicks the hell out of that fraud of a show HEROES and blows that show out of the water. Just walk away from Heroes, Kring. End the show. You'll never, ever, EVER be LOST.

--How bad-ass was Jack in this finale? Probably the most bad-ass he's been in the five seasons of LOST. I loved how he had Sayid's back the moment Sayid was shot by Mr. Linus. Jack's a loyal guy. He always looks out for the people of Oceanic 815. 

--People were worried about Sawyer, Kate, and Juliet getting off the sub being a paradox. Once again, no paradox because Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse are brilliant. I always love when Juliet just completely owns someone. Such an underrated bad-ass. I remember back in season three, I wrote something about 'Left Behind' (it hadn't aired yet). The previews previewed a Juliet/Kate fight. Back in season three, Juliet rubbed me the wrong way but I've since grown to love her but I digress. I wrote that there was no way Kate would lose in a fight to Juliet. Well, I was proven wrong. Don't mess with Juliet. Ah I will miss Juliet. Elizabeth Mitchell did a wonderful job portraying her especially Juliet's final moments as she hit Jughead. Very powerful. One of my favorite Juliet moments happened this season: when she delivered Amy's child. It's those stories that I really love about LOST. Never underestimate my love for the characters of LOST. Juliet had a hell of a time delivering babies because the mothers and the child died on the Island. So, I'm glad that moment happened. The fans and the character deserved it.

--The fight between Sawyer and Jack was five seasons in the making. They've had their good times and their bad times. Jack's plan to change everything seemed to be just an excuse for Sawyer to kick the tarnation out of Jack (Jack got his shots in too). The whole thing blew up when Jack expressed his regret for losing Kate. I've never been into the love stuff on LOST (and apparently Matthew Fox thinks the show is too intense for a triangle) but I didn't mind the love stuff in the finale. In particular, when Sawyer was holding onto Juliet...damn. It nearly got a little dusty in my family room. Josh Holloway is terrific. 'DON'T YOU LET GO!' And then Sawyer breaking down when she dropped. Holy moly. Kate and Jack pulled him back. You see, Jack always has their backs. 

--No one drives a Dharma van like Hurley. He had no problem driving that thing through the battlefield the future New Otherton became. I really enjoyed the scene with Hurley and Jacob. Jacob's perspective that Hurley is blessed because he can still talk with Libby and Charlie was very nice. In fact, I loved the return to season one which we got with Jacob and, well, how the season ended. But I'm going to write more about season one in a bit.

--Poor Jin. Not enough of screen-time for him in season five. 

--Loved Miles' line about Jack causing the Incident. Once again, Lindelof and Cuse are brilliant. Always anticipating fans thoughts.

--I loved how everyone got together to protect Jack at the site of The Swan. I love this show and these characters.

--Richard knocked Ms. Hawking out because he said she was pregnant. We know Daniel is alive. So, who is Daniel's sibling?

--VINCENT!!!!!!!!!!!! VINCENT!!!!!!!!!!! ROSE AND BERNARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was overjoyed to see Vincent run out of the jungle, and then Rose, and then Bernard. They had a nice set-up. I got a kick out of Rose guessing that Jack is doing something Sawyer, Juliet, and Kate don't agree with and their purpose to stop him. Bernard had a particularly touching line when he said 'then we die.' It was really great seeing those three again.

--I will now turn it to the 2007 story. Wait, what's that you say? I didn't address the insane cliffhanger they left us? Patience, my lads. Patience.

--The central story, obviously, of 2007 was the journey to kill Jacob. "Locke" and Ben. My favorite part of the story, as noted earlier, was/is Ben. They really opened up Ben in this finale. Since season two, Ben has been shrouded in mystery, always lying and deceiving. But he was different. He just seems exhausted or tired. His response to Sun after she said something about his lies was full of weariness and a sense of 'no use in lying anymore.' The disposition of Ben crescendoed in the four-toed statue of Jacob's, when he was baited and proded by the man who hijacked John Locke's body, thirty five years coalesced into one moment with Jacob, when he spoke about the lists, and never being able to see Jacob, and Richard delivering Jacob's instructions, and the fact that Ben devoted his life to the Island and, as "Locke" reminded him, all he got was cancer, a dead daughter, and banished. Everything for Ben has always been about the Island so it was quite a moment (I was on the edge of my seat, completely immersed in the world, feeling the emotions of Ben) when Ben asked 'What about me?' and all Jacob said was "What about you?' After all of the years of devotion, Jacob never really cared for Ben at all. Ben was never special. You best believe that was a powerful moment. And then Ben stabbed Jacob, just like he stabbed Keamy. And then, in what will stay with me for a long time, "Locke" coldly kicked Jacob into the fire, torching the leader of the Island, solidifying his death. Holy moses. Before Jacob is kicked into the fire by "Locke," he says they're coming to which "Locke" pauses for a moment, and then with contempt and disgust, kicks Jacob into the fire while Ben looks on like he just realized the immensity of the act he just did. Who, indeed, is coming?

--More Ben: he finally admitted that he realized he was talking to an empty chair when he took Locke to see Jacob in season three. I just really enjoyed everything Ben's been through in season five. Great character development. He had no idea what happened when the cabin went wild. Locke heard 'help me.' 

--I'm glad we finally figured out that the Ajira crew seem to be good. This is really something. The Others are the good guys now. For the first three years, the Others were the enemies and now they are the good guys. Jacob went to Ilana, who was hospitalized and banaged (burned?). Jacob most likely healed her. He then asked for her help. Jacob probably saw all of this coming. They torched Jacob's cabin. They carried around cargo which we find out contains Locke's body. I still have no idea what lies in the shadow of the statue because I didn't understand the language Richard answered the question in. Hopefully Doc Jensen has the translation (I will be reading that recap as soon as I'm done this). But, you know, I like the Ajira crew.

--Poor Sun. All she wants to do is find her husband and she's having a heck of a time doing so. "Locke" isn't even Locke. When she saw Aaron's cradle, I thought we might get some Claire. Only for a second or two. I realized it would send get her thinking about Ji Yeon and her husband. I appreciated her finding Charlie's ring that he gave to Aaron before heading out to the Looking Glass. I enjoyed seeing the camp again even though it was pretty much destroyed. 

--We learned Richard doesn't age because Jacob made him that way. The most obvious question is: why? He told "Locke" this after asking him about dying and then resurrecting. I think Richard is going to step up big time in season six or at least provide a lot of answers. Whatever way you look at it, he'll step up. Richard just seems like a nice guy. He offered Sun water. He's never been malicious. I think, and hope, he is a good guy. But we'll see.

--Good ol' Frank. That's really all I have to say about Frank. I didn't want to ignore him in the recap.

--I love the official LOST podcast. I've listened to it since it began in 2006 during season two. Lindelof and Cuse never cease to crack me up. After the finale (since it's taken me a bit of time to finish this and it's thursday), I listened to the podcast previewing The Incident. I couldn't contain my laughter while walking my dog when Lindelof joked that Jacob was 60 feet tall and made of flames. Ah man. Terrific. You gotta hear it to get the full effect of the joke especially with Lindelof's idea for how Follow The Leader should've ended with the acknowledgement that Jacob is 60 feet tall and made of flame.

--Back to 1977 and the detonation of Jughead!

--So, Juliet survived the fall. She woke up and saw that Jughead never exploded on impact. She grabs a rock, crying, and hits it and hits it, until it explodes...and white. The first whiteout for LOST. And with that, we go into the sixth and final season of my favorite show of all-time.

It's the classic LOST cliffhanger. I still remember how I felt, five years ago, when the Others took Walt, and the feelings I had when Jack and Locke looked down the Hatch. This finale felt like that season one cliffhanger. No, no children were abducted. But that same creepiness and, hell, frightning feeling was present when we discover that Locke is really dead and the unnamed man hijacked Locke's body, and Jacob's death. The big thing of it all is: did everything change? Or will they sent to 2007? They are coming, Jacob says. I will write a little the sixth and final season.

Everything is beginning to fall into place. Not Locke tells Jacob that he has no idea what's he done to get to this point. The Ajira crew are there for Jacob. The battle is going to begin. We've got Widmore, Hawking. Desmond's around. And we still have to see Claire again. And believe you me, we are going to see her in the sixth and final season. I know it.

I won't even beat around the bush here. The sixth season is going to reflect the first season. How do I know this? Damon Lindelof and Cartlon Cuse have said so. The time-travel stuff is season five. Season Six is going to be, simply put, 'destiny found.' It'll be more grounded and character-centrice. I believe everything is going to coalesce. Jacob says, "It takes a very long time when you're making a thread. I suppose that's the point, isn't it?" It's something that Damon or Carlton could say to their fans. It has taken five years and now these threads are going to create the complete design that Ben sees on the wall. It goes without saying that I'm delighted to hear about season six as a reflection of season one. I think season one is the most brilliant television season ever produced. I won't even say 'one of' because I don't believe it. The character stories of the season one are mind-blowing. The first episode I ever saw was 'House of the Rising Sun' and it blew me away so I watched every week from then on. Season six is going to be about these characters, their stories, and their destinies. It already began in this finale, going back to key moments in the childhoods of our characters. Going back to season one moments. I already get sad thinking about this show ending but I know it's going to be fantastic and that it's for the best that this show ends. I can already see where it is going a tiny bit. But as always, I like for the story to tell itself.

All in all, for season five, and the finale, it kicked ass. The cast and crew deserve so much applause and accolades for the season it was. I really, really enjoyed it. It was exciting storytelling and all that jazz. As for the finale, I went through the usual flurry of emotions. They shocked the hell out of me and sent me to the floor as the whiteout engulfed the screen and LOST appeared. An absolute A+ finale. Thank you, Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse. I'm going to be thinking about this for the rest of 2009. You are the kings.

"If it only ends once, anything before that is just progress."

TO THE RANKINGS (with commentary!)!

THE OFFICIAL LOST RANKINGS!

Me and STEVE did a commentary on each character last year. I liked it so much that I suggested we do it again. We did. My rankings contain a first that will probably never happen again. But no need for setup. Read and enjoy!

AFTER EPISODE 16 & 17
RANKED: 5/14/09

CHRIS
1. Desmond-He's been missed
2. Sayid-he'll survive that bullet wound or land safely in LAX
3. Jack-The most bad-ass Jack has ever been was this finale
4. Richard-the coolest Other ever
5. Hurley-No one drives a dharma van like Hurley
6. Sawyer-what a goodbye with Juliet.
7. Jin-Only dude taking care of Sayid.
8. Ben-Probably my favorite Ben season yet
9.  Juliet-I'll miss her. I really warmed up to her since she first appeared.
10. Miles-The second most logical character on the show plus agreed with me about Jack causing the Incident
11. Kate-Good ol' Kate
12. Sun-Poor Sun.
13. Frank-Always liked Frank. Just doesn't get enough screen time.
14. Daniel-Did he, in fact, make time?
15. Widmore-Nature of the Rankings Beast
16. "Locke"-No idea how to rank this dude now

STEVE
1. Desmond-Please come back
2. Sayid-Alive or dead at numba 2
3. Kate-Sexy
4. Miles-Miles is jaboy for using his head at times where no one else would
5. Sawyer-We loved his emotion in the last episode
6. Ben-Mans up and stays at 6
7. "Locke"-R.I.P. John Locke
8. Jin-Didn't get enough exposure this season
9. Richard-Wild for not aging
10. Frank-Frank's a good guy. He means well and he needs more airtim.
11. Sun-poor Sun, stuck with a dead locke, a real locke, a man who doesn't age, and a man she doesn't trust.
12. Jack-Jack
13. Widmore-We don't know enough about him yet I feel
14. Hurley-Only reason he was ranked that high is because of last week's laugh he gave us.
15. Daniel-Last time he'll be on the rankings hopefully.
16. Juliet-She is dead last for trying to control Sawyer and being a famous 5 letter word that begins with B. She deserved to die.

I'll write about LOST sporadically during summer and fall but this blog will branch out a bit. To what exactly? Wait and see.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Jacob's Cabin: A List and dreams about LOST.

Written by Chris Monigle

"Time present and time past
are both perhaps present in time future,
and time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
all time is unredeemable.
What might have been is an abstraction
remaining a perpetual possibility
only in a world of speculation.
Footfalls echo in the memory
down the passage which we did not take
towards the door we never opened
into the rose-garden. My words echo
thus, in your mind."
--"Burnt Norton"--T.S. Eliot.

Words of T.S. Eliot about time. Seemed appropriate for season five of LOST.

I did not sleep like a baby last night. No, indeed. I fell asleep after watching a bit of the season five Buffy episode 'Spiral,' written by Steven S. DeKnight. And then the dreams began. It happens every year around season finale time and season premiere time. I dream of LOST. I remember after the season four finale I dreamed immediately about the season five premiere which focused on Claire (that obviously didn't happen). Before the season four finale, I had several dreams in which I watched the finale. I dreamt about LOST during season one, season two, season three, season four, and am still dreaming and will probably continue to do so until the series wraps up this time next year. So, last night, another dream occured. In this one, I couldn't get my cable box to turn to ABC. Everytime I tried, it went to a different channel. I did witness, in the dream, about 10 minutes of the Journey In Time special to be hosted by Lindelof and Cuse tomorrow; however, I couldn't get to LOST. My subconcious was freaking out, frantically trying to change the channel only to fail each and every time. And then I woke up and, literally, breathed a sigh of relief. But here we are: one day from the season five finale. I always love this time of the year even though it means there won't be any new LOST until January. 8 months. It is tough. I'm a season veteran though. It is even bittersweet this time because this will be the last 8 month hiatus of the show. Only 17 episodes left after tomorrow's finale. However, this neither the time nor the place to discuss season six. The season five finale is tomorrow! I am stoked for it to say the least and that's pretty much all I have to say about the finale at this point. I don't really want to write any sort of preview for it (I do want to go on record saying that I think life will imitate art in regards to the specific scene we know Hurley changed from Star Wars...in some form). But there will be no preview for 'The Incident.' Instead, I'm going to dive into the world of odd numbered lists and count down some things LOST for my readership of 750,000.

THE TOP SO AND SOS WHO HAVE APPEARED ON 'LOST'!

Last week, in my recap of 'Follow The Leader,' I previewed this list a bit by calling Phil a so and so. In addition to that, I named some more so and sos. What exactly is a so and so you ask? Quite simply, a so and so, in the context of LOST, are the people who annoyed me and that I do not like. Most are the bad guys, villains and then others are people just mean and annoying. So I thought it'd be fantastic to list the top 9 so and sos on LOST. Number one denotes the worst so and so of them all. LET IT BEGIN!

9. Charles Widmore

[caption id="attachment_471" align="alignnone" width="250" caption="He's a so and so but he's not all bad."]He's a so and so but he's not all bad.[/caption]

The only person on the list of so and sos who is on the official LOST rankings. Why he is number nine? Let's see: always hated Desmond, planted fake wreckage of Oceanic 815 so he could send a boat with Martin Keamy and his band of mercenary friends to kill everybody on the Island, killed an Other in 1954 so he wouldn't say anything to Locke, and he didn't turn off a faucet when he was finished washing his hands in 'Flashes Before Your Eyes.' Widmore has his flaws but he's not all bad. He's responsible for bringing Faraday and Miles to the Island, helped Locke with Abbadon. But he is a so and so which is why he's number 9.

8. Cassidy

[caption id="attachment_466" align="alignnone" width="180" caption="Gotta stop blaming Sawyer for everything, Cassidy. Not cool."]Gotta stop blaming Sawyer for everything, Cassidy. Not cool.[/caption]

Never cared for Cassidy. She was introduced to the world in season two's 'The Long Con.' Sawyer conned her and got her pregnant. Ever since then she has been anti-Sawyer. Everything since then has been fueled by her hatred for Sawyer. But she never stopped to think about the huge sum of money Sawyer gave to Clementine after his deal with the Warden. Nope. Instead, she was entirely 'woe is me,' trying to con people using THE SAME CON SAWYER TAUGHT HER! In season five, she kept insisting upon the idea that Kate didn't really care about Aaron at all but, rather, she needed Aaron to fill the hole left by Sawyer, to mend the heart that Sawyer broke. Oh yeah, he really broke Kate's heart by jumping out of a helicopter to save his friends lives. But, again, Cassidy isn't all bad, folks. She did help Kate get some measure of peace with her mother regardless of the fact that Kate's mom told her to get lost (i'm paraphrasing).

7. Mr. Paik

[caption id="attachment_467" align="alignnone" width="250" caption="Nearly destroyed Sun and Jin's marriage. What a so and so."]Nearly destroyed Sun and Jin's marriage. What a so and so.[/caption]

The father of Sun. This so and so nearly destroyed the union of Sun and Jin, forcing Jin into a violent profession. Sure Jin wanted honor but he tried to quit after Mr. Paik told him to take care of someone who stealing from him (yes the someone was Jae, the man who Sun was cheating on Jin with). Mr Paik had the misfortune of walking in on that. But all-in-all, Mr. Paik is just annoying. Always intimidated Jin. He got his when Sun bought half of the shares in the company. 

6. Phil

[caption id="attachment_472" align="alignnone" width="250" caption="Come on, Phil. It's not cool to hit a lady."]Come on, Phil. It's not cool to hit a lady.[/caption]

You never like the paranoid dude. Ever since Phil gave Jack that look in 'Namaste' I knew he'd turn into a problem. And turn into a problem he did. He discovered Kate and Sawyer as the people who took Ben to the Others. His status as a so and so is now solidified after hitting Juliet in the face. I don't think he'll have a happy ending when/if Sawyer encounters him. 

5. Thomas

[caption id="attachment_473" align="alignnone" width="250" caption="Did nothing good for Claire"]Did nothing good for Claire[/caption]

What a so and so Thomas is. I was very, very tempted to place him in the top three but there are characters more deserving. Thomas is a big so and so though. Thomas is, of course, the former love of Claire. He is the father of Aaron but Aaron will never meet his father because his father is a so and so. He had no problem being around Claire when the two were having sex but once she got pregnant it was a different story. At first, he was gung-ho to raise the baby with Claire, telling her that he and she could do it. And then he reneged on his word and left Claire alone with a baby in her belly, accusing Claire of getting pregnant on purpose. What a so and so.

4. Ethan Rom

[caption id="attachment_468" align="alignnone" width="250" caption="Kidnapped Claire and nearly killed Charlie. Shame shame."]Kidnapped Claire and nearly killed Charlie. Shame shame.[/caption]

I proclaimed Ethan as the number one so and so in the 'Follow The Leader' recap but he isn't. He's in the top five which makes him pretty bad. Ethan posed as a survivor of Oceanic 815 (just like Goodwin did but Goodwin never harmed Claire). Hurley discovered he wasn't on the manifest after Ethan began giving shots to Claire as she slept. He ended up kidnapping her and hanging Charlie from a tree. He killed Scott or Steve (inside joke of an inside joke). He beat up Jack. According to Juliet, he acted on his own but who knows. I think Ben had something to do with it but I digress. He also shot Locke as Locke shifted through time. But really he's four for kidnapping Claire and drugging her in The Arrow. If not for that, he wouldn't have made the list.

3. Danny Pickett

[caption id="attachment_465" align="alignnone" width="150" caption="Always yelled and hit things. A true so and so."]Always yelled and hit things. A true so and so.[/caption]

Good ol' Pickett and his love for yelling and hitting. We met good ol' Danny Pickett in season two's 'Three Minutes.' He was urinating when Michael, who was looking for Walt, approached him with a gun. Pickett's first lines were very smart-ass, saying 'I know you. You're Walt's old man!' He helped Tom capture Michael. After that, he made it his personal mission to annoy the hell out of every fan of LOST as well as Sawyer and Kate. The one thing Pickett loved to do was beat Sawyer. He loved yelling at him too. Pickett wanted to kill Sawyer as well. But he never was able to. Juliet shot him before he could shoot Sawyer. Of course, what set Pickett over the edge was the fact Sun killed his wife. But before that, he yelled and yelled and hit and hit. Pickett was a true so and so.

2. Martin Keamy

[caption id="attachment_469" align="alignnone" width="250" caption="The reason why I have seen Claire just THRICE in a year."]The reason why I have seen Claire just THRICE in a year.[/caption]

He blew up the house Claire was napping in. That's strike one. He killed redshirts in the same assault on new Otherton. Oh yeah, he also killed Alex in cold blood. AND he strapped a heart monitor jawn to his arm so that when he died the Kahuna would blow up. The Kahuna blowing up nearly killed Jin, and did kill Michael, as well as innocent boathands. He wanted to kill every single person on the Island. He killed the Captain (I thought the Captain was awesome!). He killed the Doctor who was also the doctor on ANGEL. It was awesome when Sayid fought Keamy which ended in Richard shooting Keamy a few times. Because of his actions I've seen Claire a total of THREE TIMES in one year. Yeah...that's about it. What a so and so.

1. Anthony Cooper

[caption id="attachment_470" align="alignnone" width="250" caption="The truest so and so of them all."]The truest so and so of them all.[/caption]

Not only did he con his own son out of a kidney and push him out of an eight storie building which paralyzing his own son but he also conned Sawyer's family, which resulted in Sawyer's father killing his mother and himself. Because of this, Sawyer ended up killing an innocent man who he thought was Sawyer (because Hibbs told him it was). Cooper damaged his own thorougly. Locke was consumed by what his father did that he ruined the relationship with the only woman who ever loved him. He ripped up Sawyer's letter in 'The Brig.' The man did not have a remorseful bone in his body.

There it is! The top 9 so and sos in LOST! Wasn't that enjoyable, folks?

During the summer I'll probably do some more lists like this. The next entry will be about the season finale, folks. And it will be epic. There will even be annotated rankings. Very exciting. Until then, enjoy 'The Incident.'

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Jacob's Cabin: Season Five episodes 1-8, 10

Written by Chris Monigle

[caption id="attachment_81" align="alignnone" width="235" caption="What a poster. I want to marry it."]What a poster. I want to marry it.[/caption]

So, I'm finally putting all of the recaps for this season (that were not here yesterday which are episodes 1-8 and 10) RIGHT HERE! I figured I'd just cut right to the chase. You can find these recaps buried within the wcuquad.com website (or really by simply searching my name) but it makes more sense to just put everything into the official Quad LOST blog. I flirted with the idea of putting everything I've ever written about in this single entry but since season five is ending on Wednesday night I'll just limit this to the season five episodes that do not appear in Jacob's Cabin. Rest assured, my 750,000 followers, I will post archived LOST thoughts which dates, quite honestly, back to season two and the episode 'Two For The Road.' But all of that is for another day. For now, SEASON FIVE! And I will be back with another entry before Wednesday's season finale. And let's just say: if you like countdowns with odd numbers, it'll be the entry for you. One other thing: you'll notice my evolution as a blowhard as you go through these recaps. One final thing: recaps of episode 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15 can easily be found in this very blog. TO THE RECAPS!

SEASON FIVE!

EPISODES ONE AND TWO ('Because You Left'/'The Lie')

Yes, indeedy! LOST is back! I have to re-watch both episodes before I can fully digest everything in those episodes. Both episodes kicked ass. Here are some thoughts before the rankings:

--It's safe to say 'The Lie' was Hurley's episode. That scene with his mother kicked ass. We got the hilarious account of everything that happened on the Island (hilarious because it sounds ridiculous) and then Mrs. Reyes believed what her son told her. I was not disappointed by the crazy adventures Sayid and Hurley found themselves in. I'm excited to re-watch this one.

--The soldiers at the end have to be Widmore's men, right? British accents, uniforms. I read some theories about WWII era but eh. I think it's Widmore's guys and that the Island is probably over 20 years in the past from the present of those on the Island. I think we found out for sure who those soldiers are very, very soon.

--I thought briefly Locke and Sawyer and the rest were separated in time on the Island but there's no way that is the case. They were just on different parts of the Island. The time stuff isn't that insane.

--Speaking of the time stuff, absolutely anything goes. I highly doubt the future can be altered by the past because of Daniel's line 'whatever happened happened' because that's basically Cuse and Lindelof telling the viewers that what you've seen already means something. But it doesn't mean the characters won't try to change things. HMMMM.

--There's a string of interviews with Lindelof and Cuse on ew.com in which they say that the premiere is not the best expression of what they're going to be doing with time. the premiere really expanded on the rules we got from desmond's season 3 episode 'flashes before your eyes' and his season four episode 'the constant'. but everything is not clear. to quote doc jenson who quoted the exchange between hurley and his mother 'i dont quite understand it but i believe you.' i understand the basic rules of what they're doing with time. the Island narrative and the Oceanic 6 narrative are going to lead to the same place at some point. yeah. i trust in lindelof and cuse completely. they've brought me four seasons of great storytelling and i love what i've seen. i simply need more of the story they're telling. there's going to be that 'holy smokes!' episode. you know it and i know it. but yeah...daniel faraday is going to have a JABOY season. i know it.

--Here are my favorite scenes from the two episodes: Richard and Locke after Locke's been shot by Ethan, Hurley and his mother, Ben and Ms. Hawking (Daniel's mother, right?), Daniel and Desmond at the Swan, Desmond waking up on the boat and ready to go to Oxford, Sawyer's emotional outburst about everyone he cares about dying, Miles bringing the boar.

--In no way do I trust Sun. She is a shady woman.

--Loved Frogurt last night. Doc Jensen wrote a great paragraph about the character in his recap. Frogurt's a guy who has only appeared in a webisode. Prior to that, his name was mentioned. I really liked what Doc wrote at the end: Season Five (and the show now really) is for the die-hards, the ones who never stopped watching, never quit on it. Basically, it is for ME. BAM! I LOVE THIS EFFING SHOW!

I think I'm going to dive into the rankings. i'll write more about these two next week when I write about the third episode of the season.

THE OFFICIAL LOST RANKINGS
SEASON FIVE

Me and STEVE ranked last night after the premiere event ended. We decided to remove Claire and Jin. I expect both to return to the rankings at some point in time. I really do. Lindelof and Cuse will have to return to Claire's story soon (but maybe not this season). But yeah, Claire and Jin have been removed for the time being. It's the nature of the rankings beast. We added Richard Alpert. There have been some changes since the season four finale in each our rankings. Jack has fallen out of my top 5 for the first time since the series began. So, yes: there is a new number one for my rankings. And Frank is so low because it is the nature of the rankings beast. He still kicks ass but it's the nature of the rankings beast. HERE WE GO!

SEASON FIVE RANKINGS
AFTER EPISODES 1 AND 2
RANKED: 1/22/08

CHRIS
1. Desmond
2. Sawyer
3. Locke
4. Sayid
5. Ben
6. Jack
7. Daniel
8. Hurley
9. Richard
10. Juliet
11. Miles
12. Charlotte
13. Kate 
14. Frank
15. Sun

STEVE
1. Ben 
2. Sawyer
3. Locke
4. Sayid
5. Desmond
6. Jack
7. Sun
8. Frank
9. Richard
10. Charlotte
11. Juliet
12. Miles
13. Kate
14. Daniel
15. Hurley

EPISODE 3 ('Jughead')

Absolutely loved 'Jughead'. What a great episode. Here are my favorite moments:

--Locke telling Richard to see him as a child if he does not believe him about time-travel. It relates back to Season Four's 'Cabin Fever'. It gave me goosebumps and I exclaimed that LOST is the greatest show ever. LOST is so good. so good.

--Young Charles Widmore and the discovery that he was once an Other. Badass! 

--Desmond and Penny naming their child Charlie. I know it ain't for Penny's dad. It is for the man himself, Charlie Pace, who gave his life so that his friends could contact the freighter. Perhaps I will watch Greatest Hits tonight. Hm.

--I hope cute blonde Other Ellie returns at some point. She was amazing. Of course she might be either Charlotte's mother or Ms. Hawking. That tricky time travel business.

--Interesting info revealed about Danny boy Faraday. I think he's a good guy at heart but as STEVE said 'he's shady.' 

--Loved Juliet last night. She cracked me up. 

--Still missing Claire. But I'm content with her not being around. I like looking at Emilie de Ravin. She's very pretty.

--I did not mind the no Oceanic 6. And might I add something about 'The Lie,' Michael Emerson is absolutely brilliant in his scene with Hurley, when Ben is trying to get Hurley to come back to the Island. If I was Hurley, I would've followed him. He was just that damn persuasive, sincere, genuine. I can't describe it. Emerson is a genius. His tone when describing what going back to the Island will do for Hurley was sensational. What the hell am I gonna do with myself when this show ends?

--Either the bomb comes into play at the end of the season or the bomb was responsible for the Swan's existence. Either way it's important. Everything in LOST is important.

--I woke up a few days ago with the LOST podcast playing. I did not switch to that on the iPod. It just happened and it was awesome. Lindelof and Cuse are great together. I model my podcast after how they do theirs. The more you know.

--The Others were so different in the 50s. Amazing what a changer in leadership. Back then, they are battling the military. In the new millenium, Ben's got them doing fertility stuff. Richard tells Locke in season three's 'The Brig' that Ben's been wasting everyone's time with that stuff. Season Three is great. A lot of things were set in motion that year. But yeah, theory: Ben might've been so into the fertility stuff because, perhaps, Annie died in childbirth. Maybe after that happened, he stole Alex. The reason he was so into it has not yet been explained. I like my theory.

--I don't have much to say about Desmond's story thus far. So yeah.

THE OFFICIAL LOST RANKINGS
AFTER EPISODE 3
RANKED: 1/29/09

Not too exciting this week. Not too much movement. Me and STEVE decided to add Charles Widmore to the rankings. We are back to 16 characters as was the case four some time in Season Four before the deaths of Rousseau, Alex, and Karl. Without further ado:

CHRIS
1. Desmond
2. Locke
3. Sawyer
4. Sayid
5. Ben
6. Jack
7. Daniel
8. Hurley
9. Juliet
10. Richard
11. Miles
12. Charlotte
13. Kate 
14. Frank
15. Widmore
16. Sun

STEVE
1. Ben 
2. Sawyer
3. Locke
4. Sayid
5. Desmond
6. Jack
7. Richard
8. Sun
9. Frank
10. Charlotte
11. Miles
12. Juliet
13. Kate
14. Widmore
15. Daniel
16. Hurley

EPISODE 4 ('The Little Prince')

the fourth episode of season five has now aired. it, of course, was enjoyable. so here are some thoughts about it:

--as soon as i saw the french stuff, i knew we were going to see rousseau's crew. and i loved how we heard the name of montand. montand, as you remember, loses his arm. lindelof and cuse have been joking about montand and his arm since they began doing the podcast in season two. 

--the man himself, jin, is alive! 

--i'm starting to really despise the dumbass theories people think up. i'm glad miles and juliet have experienced nosebleeds as well because it eliminates one of the dumbest theories i've read, and i've already read a ton of dumbass theories. i won't write it here because it's not worth it. but, trust me, dumb theories.

--must rant: yes, when sawyer saw kate it was a nice moment. but is no one, at all, wondering what happened to claire? she just walked off into the jungle, left her baby in a tree, and hasn't been seen by anyone since except for locke in jacob's cabin. yeah, christian told locke that he wasn't to tell anyone that he saw claire, that claire is where she needs to be, but sawyer was with claire when she left, and all he's focused on is kate? and juliet can't wonder about claire since it was the birth of aaron? and where's rose and bernard?!?

--with that said, i liked the 20 seconds of claire even though i can watch that whenever i want since i have that episode on dvd.

--i loved the locke/sawyer scene discussing when they were. locke banging on the hatch is one of the greatest moments in the show's history. i love the exchange between locke and sawyer when sawyer wondered why locke wouldn't tell himself to do things differently and locke said 'i needed that pain.' john locke is awesome. and i enjoy any time the show mentions season one. it truly is a brilliant season.

--i'm on board with the oceanic 6 now. hopefully, sun doesn't mess everything up.

--i'd be a true so and so if i ignored the japanese water bottle they found, along with the canoe. i'm just going to wait for the show to explain that. there is a website for that company. a fictitious website. the LOST crew does that. it was the second time i saw the logo for the company. moving on...

--juliet has been awesome this season. i loved how badass she was on the canoe. and she's able to settle everything down. yay for juliet indeed.

--that's about it. as always, i'm looking forward to next week's episode.

THE OFFICIAL LOST RANKINGS

There are now 17 characters. Me and STEVE added Jin. We did not add Rousseau back in because STEVE made the point that she'll be gone once the next flash happens. A lot more action in the rankings this week than last. I have a new number one. STEVE has a new number one. Here they are:

AFTER EPISODE 4
RANKED: 2/4/09

CHRIS
1. Locke
2. Desmond
3. Sawyer
4. Sayid
5. Jin
6. Ben
7. Jack
8. Juliet
9. Hurley
10. Daniel
11. Miles
12. Richard
13. Kate
14. Charlotte 
15. Frank
16. Widmore
17. Sun

STEVE
1. Sawyer
2. Ben
3. Locke
4. Sayid
5. Desmond
6. Jin
7. Richard
8. Jack
9. Frank
10. Miles
11. Juliet
12. Kate
13. Sun
14. Charlotte
15. Widmore
16. Daniel
17. Hurley

EPISODE 5 ('This Place Is Death')

i know i am not the only one who has noted the title of the fifth episode of the fifth season of LOST. yes, it is 'this place is death.' Charlotte tells Jin that the Island is a place of death and to not bring her back. Jin thinks that she is referring to Sun and maybe she is. But what I'm thinking is she remembered what Daniel said to her mother when Charlotte was just a girl and leaving the Island. Don't bring her back because your daughter is going to die. But once we saw Locke in the coffin at last season, STEVE remarked that he bets Locke is resurrected once he is back to Island. We saw the Island as a place of death last night with Smokey, what happened to Rousseau and her crew, Charlotte's death, etc. But I think Locke has begun to fix that. He set the wheel in place it seems. Perhaps the time jumps will stop but I doubt it. Before the end of the season and the series though, I think we will see the Island as a place of life. I wanted to write a whole bunch about fertility myths in relation to where the show is right now with Locke and compare him to the Fisher King but...maybe next week. Google Fisher King. Here some other thoughts about the episode:

-I am not made of stone. I began liking Sun again last night. I felt like that scene, when she was on the phone with Ji Yeon, was bittersweet because Sun might not see her daughter for a very long time if she returns to the Island. 

-Ben is an ambivalent dude. I loved him flipping out in the van.

-Ms. Hawking is, of course, Daniel's mother. I definitely want a Daniel backstory. And I loved Desmond's face when he saw Ms. Hawking again. 

-Just because I'm a fanboy of this show, I really dug seeing Danielle's music box again. One of my favorite episodes of the series is 'Solitary' when we first meet Rousseau. It is a Sayid episode. That episode just rocked my world. It was the first episode when I had what I like to term as the 'LOST moment' in which I get extremely excited, get goosebumps, and go crazy about what just happened. In 'Solitary' we learn about the whispers, the Sickness, and then there's the scene when Sayid is walking back to camp and hears the whispers. So. Awesome. One of the best scenes of the series is when Sayid fixes Rousseau's music box. Mira Furlan plays that scene so well, and five seasons later, we are giving context for the music box because we saw that she had a husband whom she had to kill. Bravo, LOST! You always amaze.

-Those flashes are looking quite brutal now. 

-Terry O'Quinn is a great actor. The scene with Locke and Christian was fantastic. Christian telling Locke that he was the one who had to move the Island originally. But I especially was moved by the reaction Locke had when Christian confirmed that Locke would have to die. It was absolutely brilliant.

That's about it for this episode. I'll probably have more thoughts when I re-watch it but next week will be all about the latest episode and not this one.

THE OFFICIAL LOST RANKINGS!

Some movement in the rankings. As always, a character who dies remains in the rankings until the following week so this will be Charlotte's last week in the rankings. STEVE shocked me with how far Jack fell on his list. See where Jack is on STEVE's.

AFTER EPISODE 5
RANKED: 2/11/09

CHRIS
1. Locke
2. Desmond
3. Sawyer
4. Jin
5. Sayid
6. Ben
7. Jack
8. Juliet
9. Hurley
10. Daniel
11. Miles
12. Richard
13. Kate
14. Charlotte 
15. Sun
16. Frank
17. Widmore

STEVE
1. Sawyer
2. Ben
3. Locke
4. Sayid
5. Desmond
6. Jin
7. Richard
8. Frank
9. Juliet
10. Jack
11. Miles
12. Sun
13. Kate
14. Widmore
15. Daniel
16. Charlotte
17. Hurley

EPISODE 6 ('316')

I love LOST. I absolutely loved last night's episode. It's the second best episode of the season thus far (Jughead is the best still). They got back to the Island. THEY GOT BACK TO THE ISLAND! And I couldn't be happier. Jack waking up in the jungle, just like in the pilot except he didn't have to deal with burning wreckage or a whole bunch of survivors. He simply had to dive into a lagoon to help Hurley, and make sure Kate wasn't dead. A lot of stuff went down last night, folks. And I am totally stoked for next week's episode about the life and death of Jeremy Bentham. Without further ado, here's my thoughts on '316':

-Well, I was wrong about what the episode title meant. I mean, one could consider it a bearing of some kind because they did take plane Ajira Airline 316 in order to be over a window that would get them back to the Island. And I think we now know that the canoe for Ajira did not bring back the Oceanic 6. So, then, who came in the canoe?

-Either Ben got his ass kicked by Desmond or Sayid. I'm leaning towards Desmond because, for Ben, killing Penny was a loose end and Widmore is an old friend. But then again, Sayid and Ben worked together and maybe Ben wanted to make things right. But I'm leaning towards the former.

-Ms. Hawking revealed that the Island is constantly moving. And I loved how she reacted to Desmond flipping out. She knows that fate and destiny have her back. 

-It'd make sense that Charlie appeared to Hurley, which is why Hurley decided to go back to the Island. He had a guitar with him. Could've been Charlies. As for Kate, maybe a Claire appearance? Everything might be answered next week though. 

-Dude who offered his condolences to Jack will be back. I think, and STEVE agrees, that he's one of Widmore's.

-Me and STEVE came to the conclusion that the Island is stuck in time now. The show is where it was when season five opened. We got Jin working for Dharma, Daniel is somewhere around the construction of the Orchid, but who knows what Sawyer, Juliet, and Miles are up to. I'm excited. It's going to be great.

-Interesting book choice for the show last night. Ben was reading 'Ulysses' by the great James Joyce. Whenever a book is mentioned, it is important. Ulysses is about a single day in Dublin. It follows three characters: Stephen Dedalus, Leopold Bloom, and Molly Bloom. It's one of the most difficult books to read but it's absolutely worth it. 

-Frank looks to be back. I loved his line 'we're not going to Guam, are we.' Not even a question. He is awesome.

-My favorite scene of the episode is when Jack is putting his father's shoes on Locke's body, and talking to him. The Jack/Locke conflict is terrific. 

-Second favorite scene: Ben telling Jack the story of the doubting Thomas in the church. Locke is definitely going to resurrect.

-Jack's grandfather is going to be back at some point. I sometimes point out the obvious.

-Loved Ms. Hawking telling Jack that 'it's a leap of faith.' Yep, you heard it before. Locke told Jack that in the season 2 episode, "Orientation.' Locke is talking about pushing the button in that scene.

I think that's it for the thoughts. I now dive into the world of reading about last night's episode.

THE OFFICIAL LOST RANKINGS!

Charlotte is no longer in the rankings. There's been some movement in both lists so check it out.

AFTER EPISODE 6
RANKED: 2/19/09

CHRIS
1. Locke
2. Desmond
3. Sawyer
4. Jin
5. Sayid
6. Jack
7. Ben 
8. Juliet
9. Hurley
10. Daniel
11. Richard
12. Miles
13. Frank
14. Sun
15. Kate
16. Widmore

STEVE
1. Sawyer
2. Ben
3. Desmond
4. Frank
5. Sawyer
6. Locke
7. Jin
8. Richard
9. Juliet
10. Jack
11. Miles
12. Sun
13. Widmore
14. Kate
15. Daniel
16. Hurley

EPISODE 7 ('The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham')

LOST did it once again. Knocked it out of the ballpark. This episode was all about John Locke, and we saw him return to everything he felt he was off of the Island. He felt he couldn't do anything right. He was literally a broken man because of his broken leg. He was forced back into the wheelchair. And he really had lost Helen forever. The end of the John Locke/Helen story reminds me of a Joyce short story entitled 'A Painful Case.' Locke, off of the Island, reminds me of the main character, Mr. Duffy, because he is lonely. Here is a passage from the story: 

"He had neither companions nor friends, church nor creed. He lived his spiritual life without any communion with others, visiting his relatives at Christmas and escorting them to the cemetery when they died. He performed these two social duties for old dignity's sake but conceded nothing further to the conventions which regulate the civic life. He allowed himself to think that in certain circumstances he would rob his hank but, as these circumstances never arose, his life rolled out evenly -- an adventureless tale." 

And, like Locke, Mr. Duffy reflects upon the truth, when he finds out his former love Mrs. Sinico died, actually loved him. Locke even tells Abbadon, at the cemetary, that 'she actually loved me.' Another interesting thing with the story and LOST is that Mr. Duffy finds out about Mrs. Sinico's death via the paper, just as Jack finds out about Locke's death in the season three finale. I think the story is worth noting because of last week's inclusion of Joyce's Ulysses. Moving onto some thoughts about the episode:

--Cesar and Ilana (or Elana) are the newest characters. Did you see that plane? Not even damaged at all. Lapidus did a pretty good job of landing it. But yeah, the new castaways are on the Alcatraz Island, where Sawyer, Kate, and Jack were for the first batch of episodes in season three. And Lapidus, and Sun I presume, took off in the middle of the night. 

--Locke was in his element again on the Island. And yep, he was resurrected. 

--Widmore and Ben. Can't trust either of them. Ben's manipulated everybody and Widmore sent a team to kill everybody on the Island. Of the two, Widmore is more trustworthy I suppose.

--Walt had a vision of Locke on the Island, surrounded by people wanting to hurt him. Sounds like our new Ajira friends. And those canoes that were just there are the Others' canoes. Remember, they are on the Alcatraz island.

--Kate has turned into a true bitch. 

--The Island still does not want Ben back. He didn't disappear with the Oceanic Six. 

--Abbadon was awesome. It's a shame he was killed. But the stuff between him and Locke rocked.

--What a scene between Locke and Ben. 

THE OFFICIAL LOST RANKINGS
Ranked: 2/26/09

STEVE has some major movement in his rankings. Ben pays the price for murdering his JABOY Daniels aka Abbadon. Some small changes in mine but nothing too exciting. Here they are:

AFTER EPISODE 7
RANKED: 2/26/09

CHRIS
1. Locke
2. Desmond
3. Sawyer
4. Jin
5. Sayid
6. Jack
7. Ben 
8. Juliet
9. Hurley
10. Daniel
11. Frank
12. Miles
13. Richard
14. Sun
15. Widmore
16. Kate

STEVE
1. Sawyer
2. Desmond
3. Sayid
4. Jack
5. Locke
6. Jin
7. Juliet
8. Frank
9. Richard
10. Ben
11. Miles
12. Sun
13. Widmore
14. Kate
15. Daniel
16. Hurley

EPISODE 8 ('LaFleur')

The first Sawyer episode in over two years! There was no flashback of course but this was all Sawyer. And it was a pretty good episode to boot. I want to use the words 'game changer.' I won't yet but I'm thinking the overall being in 1977 is going to be an absolute game-changer. I may or may not go into detail about what I mean by that. And should that happen...who knows what is in store for the sixth and final season of the series. One more thing: my early feeling is that the season will culminate in the Purge, or lackthereof. There truly is nothing like LOST on television and there never will be again. Here are some thoughts, as always:

--'Whatever happened, happened," says a broken Faraday after being asked whether or not the gang can interact with the people. Since they are now spinning again, they can. But maybe things can be changed. To a take a page from Doc Jensen's recap, I think the show might be setting up for the Dharma fate to be altered but then again...I don't know. Whatever happened, happened. 

--Loved the return of Horace Goodspeed. I did enjoy watching Goodspeed blow shit up.

--I really dug the moment when Juliet succeeds in delivering the baby. That's a trademark LOST moment. Very season 1. Very triumphant too.

--I wonder if Locke and the Ajira gang are in a different time period. We saw in a past episode that the canoes were at the camp. There's alot of story left to be told. I'll just sit back and see what happens with the Ajira group.

--I would still like Claire to be around. I feel like she would've fit in nicely with the Dharma group.

--Great scene between Richard and Sawyer. Sawyer being there in '77 has to be a game-changer for Richard somewhat.

That's it for 'LaFleur.' 

THE OFFICIAL LOST RANKINGS

Not much movement in the rankings this week. STEVE has a new number one.

AFTER EPISODE 8
RANKED: 3/5/09

CHRIS
1. Locke
2. Desmond
3. Sawyer
4. Jin
5. Sayid
6. Jack
7. Juliet 
8. Hurley
9. Ben
10. Daniel
11. Miles
12. Richard
13. Frank
14. Sun
15. Widmore
16. Kate

STEVE
1. Desmond
2. Sayid
3. Sawyer
4. Jack
5. Locke
6. Jin
7. Juliet
8. Richard
9. Ben
10. Miles
11. Frank
12. Sun
13. Widmore
14. Kate
15. Daniel
16. Hurley

EPISODE 10 ('He's Our You')

Benjamin Linus and Sayid Jarrah met in episode 2.14, which translates to episode fourteen of season two. And that is really important now. Doc Jensen of Entertainment Weekly has noted the similarities between season two of the show and the current season five, and I'd be a fool not to give a nod to Doc in this because the opening of the episode immediately reminded me of the span of episodes when Ben (then known as Henry Gale) is a prisoner of the Losties, and Sayid becomes the torturer again. Except, in 'He's Our You," Sayid is the prisoner, and Ben is the kind boy who is bringing him sandwiches. And believe you me, readers, I'm about to delve into the origins of the Ben/Sayid relationship because after the episode ended, the entire relationship between Ben and Sayid took over my mind. But this episode was/is not just about that relationship. And I'll elaborate on that right now.

The overarching theme of Sayid has always been his past as a torturer, and he's always been battling that part of him. He is ashamed that such a brutal side of him can exist. After torturing Sawyer in the first season's episode 'Confidence Man,' Sayid leaves the camp because he is ashamed of what he's done. He tells Kate: 'What I did today I swore to neverdo again." But the Island is not like any place in the world. It is place where, literally, John Locke can kill his daddy issues. The Island will put Sayid into situations like the one with Sawyer. And that is paraphrased from the mouths of Lindelof and Cuse. In Sayid's second episode of season one, he ends up being the reason his friend kills himself.

And then episode fourteen of season two happens. It is titled 'One Of Them." Rousseau captured Ben in her net, and brought him to the Losties. Ben claims he is Henry Gale, from Minnesota, and that he crashed his hot air balloon on the Island. Sayid doesn't believe the story one bit. He introduces himself to Ben as as a torturer. And torture Ben he does. And this is how Ben and Sayid's relationship begins. The relationship has always been about violence and manipulation. Sayid says it himself in 'He's Our Hero.' Ben, by lying about who he was, manipulated Sayid into torture just as he manipulated him into killing all of those men, and manipulated him to go to Los Angeles because Sayid believed Hurley was in danger. And Ben could very well be the man behind the death of Nadia, and probably is. 

But Sayid is always trying to change, as he tells Alana in the bar. But when he is handcuffed to the tree, and he's given the juice of truth (as I like to call it) he describes himself as a bad man. He also describes himself as a killer before he shoots 12 year old Ben in the chest.

But, you know, Sayid is not a bad man. Sayid, in a way, reminds me of Mr. Eko. Eko tells 'Yemi' (the smoke monster) that he did not ask for the life he was given, but was given it nonetheless, and did the best he could with what he was given. There's a bit of nature vs. nurture in this episode. Little Sayid kills the chicken for, I think is his brother, so that the father will love his son. That scene is very much like the scene when the Nigerian gang want little Yemi to kill the old man but Eko kills the man for Yemi, and is brought into the gang. Folks, re-watch 'The 23rd Psalm.' It is terrific. And I'm sure Jensen will bring this parallel up in his recap but I wrote it first! Sayid is a good but troubled man. One of my favorite characters. 

And to say the least, Sayid is a complex character. Kitsis and Horowitz did a terrific job with the episode. The scenes between Ben and Sayid post-Island were great especially the scene when Ben told Sayid that John Locke was dead. It emphasized that manipulation, and you know it just hit me, that he had to have done the same thing to Nadia. 

And then Sayid is being held in prison by Dharma, and he meets little Benny Linus. Ben begins asking about Richard, whether or not Sayid is a hostile, and suggesting that Ben can free Sayid so that Sayid can bring Ben to the Hostiles. I don't really have to write it because everybody knows this but I'll write it anyway: Ben is responsible for some bad, bad stuff and Sayid believed he was brought to 1977 to kill Benjamin Linus. 

However, I wrote this last week: as Faraday says: whatever happened, happened. No one was able to tell Sayid that. Also, Ms. Hawking said it herself to Desmond: the universe course corrects itself. Ben can't die, people. Ben CANNOT die. Jin is going to wake up, he will bring Ben to the Barracks which is future New Otherton, and Jack will save Ben's life for the second time. And I'm going to write a new paragraph about the ending alone before I dive into other thoughts about the episode.

I'll keep repeating myself: I am not made of stone. I love this show so much. LOST has the ability to get to me in an emotional sense. The final scene of the episode quite affected me, readers. A lot of it had to do with Ben as a 12 year old. We all know what Ben becomes but it is 1977 and Ben is just a kid who is in desperate need of a mother, and stuck with an abusive father who hates him. I was watching 'The Man Behind The Curtain" on Sunday night so Ben's backstory was fresh in my mind. There was a real sense of sadness in that final scene. Naveen Andrews knocked it out of the park. Sayid's reaction after shooting 12 year old Ben was brilliant. I can't really explain with clarity why the final scene affected me as much as it did but it did. This episode was extremely well-done. As always, here are some other thoughts:

--Horace Goodspeed is awesome. He's a good leader. I don't know why I thought this but I did. When he brought in that tool, I thought he'd torture Sayid but he simply cut the cuffs off of Sayid. Again, I'm a fool for thinking Horace would do something like that but, you know, it happens.

--Oldham's not as brutal as Sawyer made him out to be. Also, Oldham's got some good musical taste (Billie Holliday). Not a bad dude that Oldman.

--Jack played the Kate finding out about Sawyer/Juliet pretty well considering he and Kate had sex literally a few days ago. I enjoyed how Hurley told Kate the news. 

--Loved the line from Sawyer about a burning Dharma van happening for the first time after Jack, Kate, Hurley, and Sayid returned. 

--Speaking of awesome lines, 'A 12 year old Ben Linus just gave me a sandwich. How do you think I feel?' is so AWESOME. Sayid's great.

--I'm not that into the love quadangle to be honest. I was never into the Jack/Kate/Sawyer thing when it began in season one. I like the other relationships on the show like Desmond and Penny. I was a fan of Charlie and Claire. Bernard and Rose are fantastic together. Never got into Hurley/Libby or Sayid/Shannon either. 

--Annie better show up before season five ends. 

--I wonder why Kate chose to return to the Island. I, of course, hope it has something to do with Claire. I miss Claire. But I dare say we might learn why next week. Hm. 

--Once again: whatever happened, happened.

--No Miles this episode. I wonder if we'll ever get more of Miles' story. I'm sure we will.

--I'm ready for Desmond's return, and I'm waiting patiently to catch up with Daniel Faraday. 

--Radzinsky needs to settle down. 

--I also am eager to see Locke again on Alcatrez Island. The show has alot of ground to cover still before the season concludes May 13.

--That's about it for 'He's Our You.' Very jazzed for next week's episode. The season's really progressing well.

Before the rankings, here's your chance to win a slightly outdated but entirely free CD. Here's the question:

Electromagnetism has played a big role in the show. The Swan's existed because of the unique electromagnetic properties on the Island. After The Incident, numbers were put into a computer every 108 minutes to defuse energy that built up. Desmond thinks he crashed Oceanic 815 because he was late getting back to Hatch (it was after he accidentally killed Kelvin). So, yes, electromagnetism has been a big part of the series. So, the trivia question is:

In what episode was electromagnetism introduced, or rather, foreshadowed? Here's a hint: In the same episode, Charlie tells Jack that Locke is the one person he trusts to save everybody on the Island. 

The first one to e-mail quadEntertainment@wcupa.edu with the correct answer will win a copy of 2-Pac's album 'Pac's Life.' Only WCU students are eligible. The prize can be picked up on Tuesdays between 2-4 pm or on Sundays between 10-3. 

TO THE RANKINGS!

THE OFFICIAL LOST RANKINGS

Nothing too exciting this week. STEVE has a new number one. I only made one change to my rankings.

AFTER EPISODE 10
RANKED: 3/26/09

CHRIS
1. Locke
2. Desmond
3. Sayid
4. Jack
5. Sawyer
6. Jin
7. Juliet 
8. Ben
9. Hurley
10. Daniel
11. Frank
12. Sun
13. Miles
14. Richard
15. Kate
16. Widmore

STEVE
1. Sayid
2. Desmond
3. Locke
4. Jack
5. Sawyer
6. Jin
7. Juliet
8. Richard
9. Ben
10. Frank
11. Miles
12. Sun
13. Kate
14. Widmore
15. Daniel
16. Hurley

About The Foot

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Originally, I titled the blog Jacob's Foot after the giant foot that Jacob inhabited in LOST. That ended. It became TV With The Foot in 2010. I wrote about a lot of TV.