Thursday, October 29, 2009

Jacob's Foot: The Beginning of The End

THE 'LOST' EPISODE OF THE DAY

File4x01 DeliveringNews.jpg

The episode: The Beginning of the End

Original Airdate: January 31, 2008

Written By: Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse

Directed By: Jack Bender

Content: Feeling that their rescue is close at hand, the survivors don't know whether to believe Charlie's final message that the people on the boat are not who they claim to be.

Why It's Worth Re-Watching: This is the most reflective LOST premiere to date. Sure there's a sense of foreboding throughout the episode (both on Island and off Island in the flash forwards) but this episode mostly reflects on the past as the show prepares to go forward.

This is Hurley's episode through and through. The episode opens with Jack watching a high-speed car chase and then we are taken to said car chase and it's revealed that Hurley is the one driver, and when arrested yells "I'm of the Oceanic 6!' Hurley was running away from Charlie's ghost. Hurley's story on the Island is about reflecting on Charlie's death and honoring his death by listening to him about the 'Not Penny's Boat' message. In his flash foward, he cryptically (as the audience senses it) reflects on getting off the Island and why they should've never done it. I'll write it one more time for the heck of it: reflective.

When Hurley's standing on the beach with Bernard and confesses that he's always wanted to do a canonball into the ocean, there's such a tangible sense of hope and the future which is then juxtaposed by the flash forward in which Hurley jumps at the chance to be put back into the Santa Rosa mental hospital. Also, as soon as Hurley emerges from the water, Desmond has returned without Charlie. There's many good things about Hurley-coping-with-Charlie's death in this episode. Number one is how Sawyer attempts to help Hurley, attempts to talk with him about Charlie. Number two is the scene between Hurley and Claire. Sure Jorge Garcia and Emilie de Ravin overact in it (yes I'm capable of criticizing her as well. won't happen often but it will happen) but it's still effective especially Jorge's expression as he walks up to Claire to give her the news. Number three is the "I'm listening to my friend! I'm listening to Charlie" speech. It's fantastically written, fantastically acted, and the music in the sceen's powerful. It's such a critical moment in the episode as well because this essentially forms the two major major major stories of season four and, back in the day when watching in a weekly order, I wondered how the heck Hurley ended up off of the Island. LOST is brilliant.

One of the coolest sequences in the episode occurs when Hurley gets lost in the jungle after Sawyer leaves him. It's cool because Jacob's Cabin appears to Hurley and it's fairly creepy. The figure (presumably Christian) is rocking in the chair but then an eye appears at the door and looks at Hurley. Hurley runs away and then a LIGHT turns on. At this point, Hurley closes his eyes, counts to five, and re-opens them to find the cabin gone. And then he runs into Locke. But before I delve into the Locke/Jack things in this episode, I have one last Hurley thought.

One of my favorite scenes in the entire series of LOST is when Charlie and Hurley talk outside the mental hospital. It's just fantastic. Words won't do the scene justice. I posted the scene in the 9/22 entry to celebrate LOST's birthday.

As for Locke and Jack, Jack is very, very mad about Locke's actions in Through The Looking Glass. Jack actually tries to kill Locke in this episode but the gun wasn't loaded (or so says Locke). One of my favorite exchanges occurs in this episode. It is when Locke tells Jack that whatever he's done he's done in the best interest of the people on the Island. And then Jack yells, "Are you insane?!?" Matthew Fox's delivery is top notch. I should also mention that the big question of this episode, as raised in Through The Looking Glass (which will eventually be an episode of the day, readers, don't think I'm going to ignore the most mind-blowing episode in LOST's history...I am merely waiting until the semester is over because I could reach 5,000 words writing about it), is whether the Freighter have very bad or very good intentions. Locke feels that they are a threat as does Ben (who says in Through The Looking Glass that 'this is the beginning of the end'). It's a very intense scene and then sides are taken. Some go with Locke. Some go with Jack.

I also enjoy the short scene at the end with Jack and Kate, at the fuselage, where Jack remembers Charlie. It's nice. And then Daniel Faraday drops into the jungle from the sky.

I should also mention that this is Matthew Abaddon's first appearance. It's cryptic and ominous. It's great.

Also, Ben tells Danielle to get Alex as far away from "rescue" as possible, Rose, Sun, and Claire share a moment and it's great. Naomi dies in this episode right before she tells Minkowski that she's been fatally injured by Locke. Kate does try to help Naomi.

As for the title, the title obviously echoes the words of Ben. This episode also truly marked the beginning of the end for LOST. The first episode of the new shortened seasons, the end date firmly planted. It's a terrific episode. Lindelof and Cuse wrote a gem. Bender did another great job directing.

Ah...what an episode.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Jacob's Foot: The Cost of Living

THE 'LOST' EPISODE OF THE DAY

File3X05 EkoEye.jpg The episode: The Cost Of Living

Original Airdate: November 1, 2006

Written By: Alison Schapker & Monica Owusu-Breen

Directed By: Jack Bender

Content (from lostpedia.com): A delirious Eko wrestles with demons from his past, while Locke and some of the other castaways head back to the Pearl, hoping to find a computer that they can use to locate Jack, Kate and Sawyer. Meanwhile, Jack doesn't know whom to trust when two of the Others seem at odds with one another. Eko's flashbacks in this episode unusually follow the format of occurring immediately after the flashbacks from one of his previous centric episodes, "The 23rd Psalm".

Why It's Worth Re-Watching: Every season, Lindelof and Cuse like Smokey to show up. Each time Smokey does show up, they like to reveal a new element of Smokey. Well, this episode is third season appearance for Smokey. And this is one heck of an important Smokey episode.

Death dominates this episode. One of the first scenes in the episode is the funeral for Colleen. Juliet asks Jack to let Ben die on the operating table. In the flashback and on the Island, Mr. Eko is asked to repent for the lives he has taken, to confess to what he has done. Mr. Eko, of course, dies at the end of this episode.

The episode title directly refers to Eko's life. There's always been a cost to his existence. He had to do very bad things to save his brother. He did what he needed to do to survive, and that he's proud to have saved his brother's life; however, he receives a very cryptic response from Yemi: 'You speak to me as if I am your brother.' He then walks off and the Monster emerges and beats Eko to death. But, as Mr. Carlton Cuse says on the podcast, Eko doesn't allow himself to be judged and goes out on his own terms. It's a great way to end Eko's personal story arc. In the flashbacks, following immediately the events of Yemi's death, Eko tries to keep the church alive and the little community surrounding the church. Eko tries to take the power out of Emeka and his men's hand, to bring peace. But he can't 'save' the church, the community without bloodshed and he literally sheds the blood in Yemi's church (thus forcing the church to close). Amina also tells Eko that new men will arrive and everything will just repeat itself. She does tell Eko that he owes Yemi a church (which Eko begins to build in season two). My favorite image in this episode is of little Eko and little Yemi walking off into the sunset, with Eko's arm around his brother. It's very moving.

As for actual Yemi, his body is no longer in the plane, much like Christian's body somehow disappeared from the coffin. That's some Monster right there. As for the why and how...that's all for season six I suppose.

As for the other happenings in the episode, Jack and Ben have a good back and forth about the tumor. Ben admits that he wanted Jack to want to help him. Jack has the upper hand in the situation. They're terrific scenes. I think Matthew Fox is fantastic as Jack. I'll continue to repeat it because he's consistently great throughout the series. My favorite between Jack and Ben during these 'pod' of episodes as Lindelof and Cuse once called them is the teaser of "I Do" in which Jack tells Ben exactly how he will die. Anywho, later on, Juliet pulls a Bob Dylan and tells Jack that she wants Ben dead and that she'll make it look like an accident. You know, people hate on the first six episodes of LOST specifically the Others stuff but I think it's terrific. I mean, we've got the great Sawyer episode in 'Every Man For Himself," one of the best Jack episodes in "A Tale of Two Cities,' and "The Cost of Living," Eko's epic send-off. I feel like I'm digressing. I also find Colleen's funeral scene fascinating. The Others are so cool.

Also, Locke, Sayid, and company see Mikhail for the first time while in The Flame. Locke is also told that he's next by Eko. Watch the full episode at hulu.com, folks.

The man himself Jack Bender directed this episode. This episode is written by two ladies who are no longer with the show but they did a great job with this one.

Also, the latest Mysteries of the Universe hit the interweb last week. It's the penultimate episode but it really revealed no new info besides a suggestion that DeGroot was more involved in Dharma than Hanson ever was, that Hanso was just a financer of the project. So I'm looking forward to how Mysteries of the Universe concludes.

Hopefully I'm back with another episode of the day later this week.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Jacob's Foot: Orientation

THE 'LOST' EPISODE OF THE DAY

FileDesmond Brotha.jpgThe episode: Orientation

Original Airdate: October 5, 2005

Written by: Javier Grillo-Marxauch & Craig Wright

Directed By: Jack Bender

Content: Michael, Sawyer and Jin find themselves prisoners after they encounter what they believe to be a group of Others. At the Hatch, the group learn more about their new surroundings, but are confused at Desmond's reaction when the strange computer equipment is broken.

Why It's Worth Re-Watching: Simply put, this is the true beginning of the Dharma Intiative. Sure it was technically introduced in the season two opener but this is the first episode to delve into exactly what Desmond's doing in The Hatch as well as fully lay-out the big theme for the second season. This episode has the first ever Dharma station video (titled Orientation) in which Dr. Chang (using the alias Marvin Candle) explains the function of The Swan and how the original function has since changed because of a mysterious Incident (click here to read an analysis of the episode Namaste as Orientation II that I wrote during season five).

When I first saw this on October 5, 2005 I had no idea what to make of it. I had a tough time getting into season two. Many LOST fans felt the same. We wanted The Hatch open but we weren't prepared for what was contained in that Hatch. I did like this episode though. I love the episode now. In 2005, I was (and still am) a big fan of the Island story. The character of Desmond really stole this episode. Henry Ian Cusick did a great job. From the moment he despairs that Kate just killed them all by blindsiding Desmond with a rifle to his head (which caused Desmond's gun to go off and hit the computer), he made this episode his. AND IT'S A LOCKE EPISODE! Yes indeedy, Locke's flashbacks involves him meeting Helen.

This episode also deals with the beginnings of Locke's crisis of faith. He yells 'What am I supposed to do?' when Jack leaves him alone with a broken computer. He also begs Jack to take a leap of faith, to believe in something when the numbers to be put into the computer because, perhaps, he needs to believe himself. Oh, Locke.

Back to Desmond, we get a bit of his backstory (we see these events ourselves in the season two finale 'Live Together, Die Alone'). He frantically tries to fix the computer himself while explaining how he got to The Island (a race around the world). We see a picture of he and Penny (which sparked much discussion on message boards back then about whether or not this woman was Sarah, Jack's wife and other nonsense like that). My second favorite scene of the episode occurs after Desmond has abandoned The Swan (following an attempt to power up the computer but it shorts up and the fuse bursts). He runs into Jack in the jungle. Desmond remembers that Jack was in the stadium the night Desmond was training for his race around the world. Desmond asks about the girl Jack was trying to save which then causes Jack to cry and yell that he married her (this also caused much speculation back in the day). Desmond nods and says 'see you in another life, yeah?' It's a simple scene but Matthew Fox and Henry Ian Cusick did a terrific job with it. It also sets up the great season three premiere flashback story of Jack's as well.

The meat of this episode involves the repair of the computer as well as the question of whether or not pushing the button is a social experiment or the real deal. Of course this isn't answered until the end of the season. This episode introduces some of the fundamental questions that make LOST what it is. Questions about fate, destiny, free-will, faith, science, etc. And this episode also introduces the Tailies (sort of). It's not a favorite of mine so I won't elaborate on it. My favorite Tailie story in the first 8 episodes of season two is BY FAR the Mr. Eko/Jin adventure in '...And Found.' But yes, this is an entry for 'Orientation.' And this story with Michael, Jin, Sawyer, and the deceptive Ana Lucia is not very good.

Javier Grillo-Marxauch & Craig Wright wrote this episode (the two are no longer with the show. Javier was great too as a LOST writer). The No. 1 director of LOST Jack Bender helmed this one. It's a very good 44 minutes of LOST, folks.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Jacob's Foot: Par Avion

THE 'LOST' EPISODE OF THE DAY

File3x12 ParAvion Portrait.jpgThe Episode: Par Avion

Original Airdate: March 14, 2007

Written By: Christina M. Kim & Jordan Rosenberg

Directed By: Paul Edwards

Content: After noticing some migratory birds, Claire hatches an impressive plan to get the survivors of Flight 815 rescued. Meanwhile, Sayid, Kate, Locke and Danielle continue their trek to the Barracks with Mikhail in tow.

Why It's Worth Re-Watching: It's very simply why you should watch this: it is an Emilie de Ravin episode. She's cute as a button, folks. This is probably the second best of her three episodes (the first being the fantastic "Raised By Another"). What I like about this episode is that it's a nice, calm episode. The B story is the most intense part of the episode but it's not too intense.

This episode deals with death. It's something that the episode is sort of quiet. In the flashback, Christian tells Claire to give up on her mother because she's as close to death's door as one can get. Why hold on to false hope he asks her. On The Island, Claire learns about the visions of Charlie's death that Desmond's been having. In the flashback, Claire won't give up on her mother. On The Island, Claire tells Charlie that she's not giving up on him. And then she holds his hand after she lets free the bird with the note. One of my favorite scenes in LOST is when Claire, pregnant and blond, no more the girl-with-black-hair-and-an-attitude, apologizing to her mother for all the awful things she said in the car. It's a very touching scene. Emilie de Ravin plays it beautifully.

I love the A Island story as well. I loved how Jin helps Claire to catch a bird. I love the relationship between Claire and Sun. An episode like "Par Avion" shows how rich the characters of LOST are and how rich the story is. Claire's story is pretty stand-alone in this episode except for the fact that this episode confirmed many people's predictions that Christian was Claire's father. Lindelof and Cuse have joked about this episode though, citing it as one of those episodes fans have complained about. But I'm a big fan of it.

As for the other story, the one with Kate, Locke, Sayid, Danielle, and hostage Mikhail trekking their way to the Barracks to rescue Jack, well...this moved the story along. This story sets up some of the events that happen in "The Man From Tallahasse." We see Locke is packing C4 in his backpack. Sayid's questioning his motives. The sonic fence is first seen in this episode. This episode is also the first episode in which Mikhail dies. He will die two times in future episodes.

I'm a big fan of the end of the episode too. I crack up when I see Jack Attack and Tom throwing the football around.

All in all, this is an underrated episode. Cinematographer Cort Fey did a great job. The episode looks fantastic. Do watch this.

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. I write regular posts about Grimm & The Vampire Diaries.