Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Jacob's Foot: The Package Recap



HE'S BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DESMOND HAS RETURNED TO THE ISLAND! WOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!! Patience is indeed a virtue, folks. Do I like the fact that Widmore kidnapped him and brought him back to the Island against his will? Hell No I don't. Do I like that the previews hinted that someone would be sacrificed and that it seems like, according to Widmore and the secrecy of Desmond, Desmond will be the one sacrificed to somehow prevent Smokey from leaving the Island and destroying the world? No. But with that second question I posed for myself to answer, I now am thinking about the button, the hatch, saving the world and how Desmond's purpose for three years was saving the world. I promise I'll detail a bit later. Also, do I like Damon Lindelof's cryptic tweet minutes after the episode ended after being, I assume, flooded with DESMOND!!! tweets? No. Anywho, this was Sun and Jin's episode and that is where I shall begin.

"The Package" is an episode that really advanced the plot as we head towards the series finale. We found out why Widmore came to the Island. Richard is now a man with the plan and is ready to launch an assault on the Man in Black. For Jin and Sun though, the fate of the world/saving the world is secondary to them. In the scene between Jin and Widmore, Widmore pretty much sums it up: for Jin AND Sun, it's about Ji-Yeon and being. It's about getting off the Island to be with Ji-Yeon, to finally be a family. In the Sideways, we saw that same theme play out just a little differently.

I gave a chuckle when the first flash sideways ended with the revelation that Sun and Jin are not married in the sideways world. I know that the sideways world have their differences yet I am always surprised when I find out about the differences. I loved it though. Sideways Jin doesn't have the anger of pre-Island non-Sideways narrative Jin. Sideways Jin is the man he was before Mr. Paik caused havoc in his life. He's the man we saw in "...And Found" and "D.O.C." He's not the overbearing, controlling husband we knew from "House of the Rising Sun" etc. He was working for Mr. Paik and Sun had nothing to do with it. Is Jin's father still a fisherman? Perhaps not. I doubt Jin is the son of a whore in the Sideways but I doubt his origins are important with just 8 episodes left to go. Or maybe it's essentially the same. Who knows. The Sideways story filled in the blanks from what we saw at the end of "The Substitute." What happened was a whole lot of fun (for the viewer). Customs confiscated the $25,000 and sent he and Sun on his way. The only problem? Jin had to deliver the 25 grand along with the the watch to good ol Martin Keamy. At the hotel, following the airport, we found out Jin and Sun are not married. Jin asked for separate rooms. What we didn't know is that they were involved in a secret relationship. At around 11:30PM, Jin stopped by Sun's room, preparing to go to the restauraunt. Sun told him to stay because no one would be there. Jin teased her by saying she's only here for shopping and that the watch delivery is of little interest to her. He also told her that he does what her father tells him and does not ask questions. Anywho, in the hotel room, she unbuttoned her top button and asked Jin whether or not he'd tell her to button it. He said no. He explained he only told her to button the shirt on the plane in case someone was watching. Sun continued to unbutton her shirt, asking Jin whether or not she should button each button that become unbuttoned. Jin said no. She eventually removed her shirt, they kissed, and you know...

The following morning, they awoke. Sun told Jin that she wanted to run away with him (which is of course another difference) and Jin wondered whether or not this was her plan all along. She told him she had her own account and that they could run away. Jin reminded her that it was forbidden. Soon, Keamy showed up. Jin hid when they first heard the knock on the door. Keamy came in, got the watch. He asked about the money and Sun said 'no English.' Omar soon arrived after checking Jin's room and finding no one. They looked in the bathroom and found a shirtless Jin. Soon, Sun and Jin were on the bed. They discussed what to do about the money. Sun suggested paying Keamy the 25 grand herself; however, Keamy and Omar couldn't understand a word because they don't speak Korean. Keamy made a Gozilla joke because he's a so and so. The two of them put their brains together (Omar and Keamy) and decided to bring in the Russian dude who speaks a bunch of languages. The russian guy? NONE OTHER THAN MIKHAIL! Mr. I-Killed-Charlie Mikhail returned. He translated for Jin and Sun. Keamy decided to take Jin with him to the restaurant while Sun would go with Keamy to get the $25,000.

At the restaurant, Omar and Keamy put him into the fridge. Omar bumped Jin's head and Keamy told Omar to be more gentle. I took this to be part of Keamy's twisted sense of humor considering his job was to kill Jin. In the fridge, Keamy told him exactly that. Keamy got a kick out of it too. Little did he know that, when Omar returned with Sayid, he'd be laughing no more. He told Jin that Mr. Paik found out about Jin/Sun because Keamy told Paik (Keamy is a bastard). After all of that, Jin simply said thank you for Keamy cleaning up the cut on his forehead. Keamy then put a piece of tape over his mouth. Sayid soon arrived, did his thing we saw in "Sundown," and he gave Jin the tool to set himself free. Once free, Jin met Mikhail where the dead bodies were. They had a brief fight and then Jin shot Mikhail in the eye. Mikhail shall always remain Patchy! But uh-oh. A bullet hit Sun. As Jin carried her off, she told him she was pregnant (yet another difference as Jin was sterile pre-Island). I wonder will Claire and Sun be giving birth at the same time. Time will tell.

Meanwhile, in the Island narrative, Jin was taken by Zoe and Seamus. But before that happened, NotLocke of The Smoke sat down to talk with Jin. He asked Jin about his leg. Jin told him that it still hurts. NotLocke suggested removing the bandage to the wound some air. Jin continued wrapping. He told Jin that about the candidates and admitted that he didn't know whether he or Jin was the candidate but he told Jin that he was working on getting Sun back because he can't leave the Island unless he has all six candidates with him (he did tell Jacob that he'd kill ALL of the candidates so he can leave...don't forge that). After his talk with Jin, Claire sat down with NotLocke. She overheard NotLocke telling Jin about the caves and the names written in the caves. She asked if she was on there. He told her no. I wanted to hug her. I digress. Claire seemed closer to the Claire we knew from seasons one through four. They discussed Kate. NotLocke told Claire that he needs Kate to get three more people but after that "whatever happens, happens." That bastard. Claire also talked about how Aaron wouldn't even recognize her if she got off the Island and how he thinks Kate is her mother. Anywho, when they finished talking, NotLocke went to Sayid. NotLocke told Sayid that he was in charge of the camp while he was gone and that he'd be a gone for a day. Sayid told NotLocke that he doesn't feel anything--not pain, not anger, not happiness. Nothing. Very powerful scene.

NotLocke soon left. Jin mobilized. He wanted to leave while NotLocke was gone. Sawyer tried to stop him. Of course Widmore's people stopped Jin from going. Everyone is hit by darts. When they are all down, Zoe arrives with the team and they take Jin with them.

Meanwhile, at the beach, everyone is pretty much relaxing. Ilana has no plans to move forward until Richard returns with a plan because Jacob said Richard would know what to do next. Sun grows frustrated and walks off. She goes to her garden. Jack follows her there. He tries to assure her that they are on the Island for a reason by telling her about the lighthouse and the names. Sun tells Jack that she doesn't care about destiny or the lighthouse. She just wants to be left alone. When alone, NotLocke shows up and tells her that he can bring her to Jin but she doesn't trust him and she runs away. She eventually runs into a tree and knocks herself out. She awakes with a concerned Ben over her. She tells him that she is allright but in Korean. She is able to tell Ben that she was running from Locke.

Back at the beach, Jack examines her and tells her she might be suffering from aphasia. She still understands English but cannot speak the language. Only Korean. There's a funny exchange between Miles and Frank when Miles wonders if they're supposed to buy this. Frank says "this coming from the guy who communes with the dead." That was great. I wonder when Sun will regain the ability to speak the English language or will Jin be her translator now. That would have a rather circular feel. Anywho, a bit later, Richard and Hurley returned from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Ilana was relieved as was everyone else except for Sun when Richard finally spoke. Ben tells Richard that NotLocke planned to go to Hydra Island and Frank confirms to Richard that the plane is on Hydra Island. Richard plans to destroy it and that's when Sun takes issue because Richard will be destroying their only way off of the Island. After all, Sun only returned to the Island to bring her husband home. Once Ben convinced her of Jin's survival, her only goal has been to find Jin. Not to save the world. She figures that, since she is candidate, she is important and needed and will refuse to go with them.

Later, at night, Sun sits on the beach and stares out at the ocean. Jack approaches her once again and sits down. He tells her about a patient he had who, after surgery, wasn't able to talk and grew frustrated. What Jack did for the patient was provide a notebook and a pen. He does the same for Sun so that she can still have her English voice. He tells her that he went back to the garden to look for Locke but he didn't find him. Jack did find a fresh, healthy tomato even though all of the vines were dead. Jack says to Sun, "No one told the stubborn tomato that it was supposed to die." Sun tells Jack that she didn't go with Locke because she doesn't trust him. Jack asks if Sun trusts him. Sun smiles, tears up a little and writes yes. Jack tells Sun to go with him and the others because he'll do whatever it takes to reunite Sun with her husband and get them on the plane. Jack offers her his hand and she takes it. Recall the scene when Sun did NOT take NotLocke's hand. I thought this scene was lovely. I loved the score. I love the season oneness of it all. I've been thinking about the transformation we've seen of Jack from the pill-popping man we saw at the end of Through The Looking Glass to right now. I've thought about that intense scene when Locke shows his face after throwing a knife into the back of Naomi and Jack pulling the trigger on an empty gun and the look on his face. That man is gone. This might be Jack's best season. More on Jack/NotLocke later.

We must return to Jin now. Jin awoke in Room 23. He made the mistake of accidentally turning on the video we saw poor Karl watching in season three. Zoe told Jin that Dharma used Room 23 to experiment with subliminal messaging. Zoe, the geophysist, had a map with her of the electromagnetic hotspots on the Island. The signature looked like Jin's and Zoe told him that whoever signed it could really help her out. Jin had no interest giving answers to her. He wanted to talk to the Big Cheese: Charles Widmore. Zoe had no problems with that.

Meanwhile, Widmore was a tad busy. On the main Island, NotLocke got Sayid to travel with him to Hydra Island because Widmore took one of NotLocke's people. Sawyer has a great line about The Smokeness and the ability to travel over water. NotLocke says it's not that simple. He and Sayid take the outrigger over to Hydra Island. When they arrive, well when NotLocke arrives, since Sayid's doing his stealth thing that he likes to do, Widmore meets him by the pylons after Seamus and crew go ballistic once they see the Walking Smoke. Widmore tells NotLocke that he knows that he's not John Locke. NotLocke inquires about Widmore having one of his people. Widmore claims he has no idea what NotLocke is talking about. NotLocke responds with: "A wise man once said that war is coming to this Island. I think it just got here." That wise man? Charles Widmore, of course, who told John Locke that war was coming to the Island in "The Life and Death of Jeramy Bentham." He also told Locke that he needed to return to the Island or else the wrong side would win. NotLocke left soon after that conversation. He returned to camp without Sayid. Prior to his arrival at camp, Sawyer and Kate had a nice conversation. Kate asked Sawyer why he's not worried. Sawyer says that he is worried but he's just good at hiding worry. Sawyer hopes that Widmore had gotten NotLocke but one second later NotLocke wanders back into camp. Sawyer asks about Jin. NotLocke tells him that they said they don't have Jin but it's not to be believed. Sawyer asks about Sayid and NotLocke tells him about the locked door in the sub and how Sayid's spying on that because NotLocke is not a fan of secrets.

Back to Jin, he's finally able to talk to Widmore himself. Before their conversation though, Widmore has a very interesting exchange with Zoe about a timetable.Zoe tells Widmore that she should've hired a mercenary. Widmore doesn't respond really. It looks like he's thinking "I DID HIRE ONE AND HE'S DEAD!" But anywho, the great part of Jin/Widmore was the camera Widmore brought for Jin. Jin was finally able to see his daughter Ji-Yeon. He saw pictures of Ji-Yeon on a playground and pictures with her mother at her birthday party. Daniel Dae Kim was great during this scene. Widmore then told Jin about the Man in Black and about the need to stop him. Widmore tried to relate to Jin, explaining that he is not allowed near his daughter or grandson. Widmore told Jin that if the Man in Black leaves the Island then everyone will cease to be. It makes the Man in Black seem like the physical embodiment of the electromagnetic energy bottled up and if the button's not pushed every 108 minutes then the world as we know it will be destroyed. If he leaves the Island, bye bye world. He's a clever bastard though that Man in Black. It seems like anyone going with him will die so all of Jacob's candidates will die. Claire talked about her fear of Aaron not knowing her. Well, he will know her in the Sideways. I believe the Sideways are going to bleed into the original Island timeline. How that happens? I don't know. But I'm thinking this season gets even more intense and I think the Island will become a place of death again. We shall see.

And then, at episode's end, we got the return of Desmond David Hume. One of the greatest characters ever created in all of fiction. Widmore wanted the package put into the infirmary. He told Jin that the package was a who. We soon saw, after the final sideways part and NotLocke returning to camp, Desmond emerge from the sub all drugged up. He fell down on the deck and saw Sayid in the water, looking up at him. And then he was taken away. End of episode.

Time for even MORE thoughts:

--I don't trust Charles Widmore. I never have. I don't even like the dude. He was a bastard to Des in every Desmond flashback. He was a bastard in Desmond's time-traveling fun (Flashes Before Your Eyes and The Constant). He sent a freighter to kill everyone. The last time we saw Desmond and Charles was in "Jughead" when Desmond finally had the upper-hand. He told Charles to stay the hell away from he and his family. Desmond also didn't want to go back to the Island. Ms. Hawking told Desmond that the Island's not done with him though. The last time we saw Desmond was as he recovered from the gunshot wound. He also beat the daylights out of Ben for trying to kill Penny. Between then and now, Widmore kidnapped him and brought him back to the Island. Why? We shall soon find out. Desmond is special though as Faraday told us. Please use him for good, Widmore. It's still great to have Desmond back.

--I really enjoyed the tiny scene between Sayid and NotLocke because it seemed like another tomato moment. Hope for Sayid. Hope for his redemption. Just hope. I really want to see a Jack-like Sayid transformation. HE'S SAYID! He's the same guy who needed to leave camp after he tortured Sawyer, telling Kate "What I did today I swore I'd never do again." Sure he's done those acts quite a few times since that day but it's not too late to shake himself out this...whatever is going on with him...and start on the path to redemption once again. Angel the vampire has been trying to atone for his past for over a century. There is hope for Sayid Jarrah. He's just very, very lost right now. He's been very, very lost since Nadia was killed.

--The Aphasia storyline is something I certainly did not expect. I'm interested in where it goes. I don't have much else to add about it. We also got a mirror scene with Sun as she took a long look at herself.

--There were some terrific lines tonight. I loved the exchange between Ben and Ilana when Ben was pleading his case about NOT being behind Sun's bump on the head. Recall when The Others were blamed for Sun's kidnapping in "The Long Con" when, in fact, it was Charlie doing the kidnapping. Sawyer hatched the idea. Anytime Miles and Frank are together is always a good time. Miles had a good line about Hurley's ability as a tracker, saying that unless Richard was covered in bacon Hurley wouldn't be able to track anyone. Ilana believed in Hurley though.

--There was quite a lot of exposition early in this episode. I wonder why. This is LOST after all. No one's going to suddenly decide, in the middle of season six, to begin watching the show without watching all of the show before. Of course, everyone will watch the finale without seeing the entire series. I digress though. Perhaps Lindelof and Cuse and Room 23 just wanted to point out the most important plot points as we begin the final part of the season and the series.

--I expected to see a Michael cameo just because he was an integral part of the Sun/Jin dynamic in season one and for most of the series except for when he yelled about Walt. Oh well.

--Speaking of Walt, there are some LOST fans on thefuselage.com that refuse to believe Desmond is the package and that Walt is, in fact, the package. WIDMORE AND WALT HAVE NEVER MET IN THEIR LIVES! COME ON!

--Keamy said that Mikhail's friends name is Danny. Is that Danny Pickett? Also one of the top 9 so and sos of LOST (I did a whole top 9 early on in the hiatus. It was fun).

--I do wonder what's up with locating the electromagnetic hotspots on the Island. What is Widmore's gameplan?

--I think Terry O'Quinn knocked it out of the park yet again this week. Yunjin Kim and Daniel Dae Kim did a great job as well. This was a different kind of Sun/Jin episode though. We got a heck of alot of Island story

--Paul Zbyszewski and Graham Roland wrote this one. They also wrote "Sundown." Veteran LOST crew member Paul Edwards directed it. Applause all around.

--Only six episodes left until the series finale. 8 hours in total. I enjoyed "The Package" a lot. I got a kick out of the Sideways story, seeing Mikhail again. It was a fun episode. It had a lot of heart and make it moved things along. Well done, LOST.

TO THE RANKINGS!

THE OFFICIAL LOST RANKINGS

Exciting week for the rankings I dare say. Desmond has returned to the top spot for me. Sayid has also returned to my top 5. Sawyer's no. 10 now. Kate got bumped to 11. Those are the big exciting changes. As for STEVE, his top ten stayed same pretty much. He switched Ben and Miles. But check them out for yourselves:

AFTER EPISODE 10

RANKED: 3/31/2010

CHRIS

1. Desmond

2. Jack

3. Ben

4. Hurley

5. Sayid

6. Jin

7. Claire

8. Locke

9. Miles

10. Sawyer

11. Kate

12. Richard

13. Frank

14. Sun

15. Ilana

16. Jacob

17. Man in Black

18. Widmore

STEVE

1. Desmond

2. Man in Black

3. Jack

4. Richard

5. Kate

6. Ben

7. Miles

8. Sawyer

9. Sayid

10. Jin

11. Frank

12. Ilana

13. Locke

14. Sun

15. Jacob

16. Claire

17. Widmore

18. Hurley

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Jacob's Foot: Ab Aeterno recap

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="624" caption="Richard and Isabella"][/caption]

I'm going to use the word sweeping to describe the first twenty minutes of "Ab Aeterno." That was epic. Tucker Gates, the director of this episode, deserves an emmy. How they did shot that in 8 days, and produced the episode as we saw it in 3-4 weeks is astounding. I'm telling you: if I could create 44 minutes of fiction on screen that's a little bit as quality as every episode produced by this show (particularly this one) I will be very, very happy.

ANYWHO, Heaven vs. Hell. Hm. Of course those two concepts can take on many meanings. This episode finally gave us the story of how Richard Alpert arrived to the Island and it provided a whole lot of light on Jacob vs. The Man in Black. The episode was jam-packed with religious themes. We even had a long shot of a specific bible passage. That passage? It's from the Gospel of Luke and I saw something about a prophet. Significant? I rather think so. I rather think a lot of this episode is significant. You too? Good! We're on the same page. Let's dive into this heaven and hell thing while we're at it.

Flashback to the teaser of "The Incident" when Jacob and Man in Black are talking about, essentially, nature vs. nurture. Jacob refreshed our minds when he told Richard that The Smokeness believes all men are corruptable and cannot avoid sin while Jacob believes men are not corruptable. He believes in free-will and choice. He brings people to the Island to prove Man in Black wrong. Something's off about the both of them and the way they approach proving their personal philosophies and beliefs to be true. While Jacob told everyone he touched in "The Incident," that they had a choice, he also brought them to the Island which is, in no way, a choice of anyone BUT he does allow them to be free of their past, as he told Richard on the beach; however, he does bring them to the Island without asking for their permission and makes it fairly hard to leave the place.

Man in Black seems to strive to corrupt individuals but he does so by promising them what they desire most in the world. He promised Richard that he would see his wife again if he killed Jacob, if he could assist him in leaving the Island. In fact, the scene between Smokey and Richard mirrored the scene between Sayid and Dogen. Intentional? I think so. Mirroring the two scenes made everything more ambiguous (and hell yes THAT'S intentional). Smokey's desire to corrupt makes sense because he's obsessed with proving Jacob wrong and it seems that all of Smokey's declarations of Jacob being false and fraud are merely deceptions disguised as truth. He is OBSESSED with leaving the bottle and spreading darkness and evil to the world (if that is indeed the case).

I now think back to words Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse shared regarding the battle between good and evil we'd be witnessing during the final season. They spoke of the battle that exists within each individual character and that will probably continue to play out in the weeks to come as sides are drawn and whatnot. What about Jacob and MIB? I'm still leaning towards the idea that the two exist in a shades of grey though Jacob and MIB perceive eachother in absolutes. Smokey told Richard that Jacob was the devil and that they were in hell while Jacob obviously believes Smokey to be evil incarnate. We don't know why this is. We know MIB couldn't leave the Island on his own, that Jacob kept him entrapped but we don't know why. MIB also mentioned something sort of MAJOR when he said his body was hijacked by Jacob. Hm.

What is to be made of all this heaven and hell talk? Let's see. Smokey did his thing when he came into The Black Rock which means he scanned Richard's soul, the essence of Richard. Richard was petrified of hell. His wife laid dying in their home in Spain and Richard sought a doctor's help. At the doctor's home, he did not have the money to afford the medicine, became upset, and accidentally murdered the doctor (shades of Desmond killing Kelvin? Maybe I'm the only who was reminded by that). He returned to find his wife, dead and then he was quickly arrested and put into jail. In jail, a priest visited him and asked for his confession after Richard told him that he and Isabella wanted to move to the New World. Richard tearfully confessed, explained that it was an accident, and begged absolution and the forgiveness of God but the priest told Richard that he could not absolve him from sin, that he would hang in the morning and would spend eternity in hell. On the day of his hanging, he was bought by Magnus Hanso and became a slave of his. He was chained in The Black Rock, that slave ship out of Portsmouth destined for the New World. But the ship shipwrecked on The Island (Jacob brought them there AND the ship also destroyed the statue thus creating Jacob's Foot. I'll take that as a shoutout!). Once shipwrecked, the ship captain went crazy and murdered every slave except for Richard. Smokey saved Richard from death. He killed every Black Rock officer. He did not kill Richard as mentioned above because he did his thing, looked at Richard's life and decided Richard was not worth death. As mentioned above, Smokey saw the essence of Richard and felt he could use him to kill Jacob.

Before the Man in Black saved him from death in The Black Rock, Richard became a Job figure. In the biblical story of Job, The Devil tells God that Job would no longer pray to him or worship him if he suffers and suffers, that the suffering would cause Job to believe God did not exist. So God tested him and tested him. He took everything from Job and even gave him diseases but Job did not stop believing. Richard suffered for many days inside of The Black Rock as he was chained to the wall. It took him weeks to loosen up a screw in hopes that he could free himself. When it rained, he was far enough from the rain that he could not get on water on his tongue. He tried killing a boar with the screw/nail but could not get the nail back when the boar ran right past him so his hopes of freeing himself were lost. He was surrounded by the dead. His wife appeared to him and told him that they were in hell and must be freed from the devil; however, the sounds of Smokey were heard and Richard told his wife to run because he promised that he would save her but it seems as if she was eaten by The Smokeness (of course I think that was Smokey doing his manifestation thing). After this, the Man in Black finally showed up all Titus Welliver (the actor who portrays him) and freed him. He gave Richard water. He confirmed that they were in hell. He told Richard that the devil took Isabella, not the Smoke. He told Richard that the devil must be killed in order to be free. MIB picked Richard up and moved him out of the hell of The Black Rock and into the sunshine of the Island. The Man in Black took Richard to a place underneath a large tree that would remind some people of the Garden of Eden and the tree of knowledge and good and evil. The Man in Black and Richard sat on a stone pew and MIB proceeds to go Dogen on Richard. He instructs Richard to kill him with the knife given but that he must not let Jacob speak, must not hesitate because Jacob can be persuasive. He tells Richard that, along with his body, Jacob or the devil also stole his humanity.

Richard, after a walk, arrives at the Foot of the Statue but is quickly twarthed by Jacob himself. Jacob opens a can of whoop ass on Richard. When Jacob learns that Richard believes he's in hell, Jacob rushes him to the ocean and waterboards him until Richards believe he is alive and declares that he wants to live. With that taken care of, Jacob wants to talk to Richard. They talk. Jacob gives Richard a plethora of information (and to the audience quite naturally) about the Man in Black when Jacob learns that Richard met the Man in Black in the jungle. The most significant exchange in their conversation revolves around why Jacob brings people to the Island (which I've addressed). Jacob tells Richard that he wants people to know the difference between right and wrong but does not want people to be told what is right and what is wrong because that defeats the purpose. It goes back to the essence of being, the battle that exists within each individual and figuring out the difference between good and evil. Damon Lindelof offered some really interesting words in the most recent podcast. Here's a transcript of that:
CARLTON CUSE: What are we to make of Sayid's condition coming out of Sundown, Damon?

DAMON LINDELOF: What I love about "Sundown"—and that script was written by Paul Zbyszewski and Graham Roland and directed by Bobby Roth—is, there's this kind of cool thing in play which is if you tell somebody that they're evil, is that an excuse for them to act evil? Ben Linus says last year, "Hey, you're a killer no matter what you do," and now Dogen, who basically tried to kill this guy based on whatever they hooked him up to, he says "You're a bad dude, too, and if you're not a bad dude then prove it," but it seems like when he gives Sayid that knife to kill Locke, he's actually setting Sayid up to have Locke do his dirty work for him, so there's an argument to be made for the fact that Dogen sort of got what was coming to him.

It's a slippery slope these characters walk. Returning to Richard now, Jacob offered Richard a job: to be the go between between the people Jacob brought the Island and Jacob. Richard accepted it. Jacob asked Richard what he wanted most and Richard told him that he wanted to be with his wife again but Jacob couldn't bring her back. Richard asked to be absolved of his sins but Jacob could not do that either. Richard then said he didn't want to die, that he wanted to live forever. So Jacob did that for him. Richard returned to MIB after receiving the gift of eternal life from Jacob. Man in Black accepted it and told him that his offer stands forever: to reunite Richard with Isabella. Richard gave the Man in Black the white rock. MIB wasn't too happy with that, folks. The Man in Black handed him Richard's cross. The same cross the doctor said was worthless to Richard, which incited Richard's rage and ended in accidental murder. The Man in Black disappeared. Richard decided to bury the cross.

CUT TO a sunny day in 2007 and the place where the Man in Black and Richard first talked. Richard has returned. He immediately digs into the dirt where he buried the cross, takes it out and puts it around his neck. No doubt a lot of symbolism about re-birth and resurrection. But before I dive into the conclusion of "Ab Aeterno," I have to go back to the beginning (that was a sort of play on the episode title).

The episode opened with Jacob visiting Ilana in the hospital, as we saw in "The Incident." The new footage we saw was Jacob telling Ilana that she had to protect six candidates on The Island. The next scene we saw was Ilana asking Jacob what she'll do after she has the six candidates under her protection. Jacob tells her that Ricardus will know what to do.

On the beach, at night, the beach group sit around and fire and talk about what they need to do next. My favorite part of this whole scene? Jack's reaction to being told that a John Locke is walking around this Island. I digress. Ilana made it clear that Richard was the one who would know what to do next. Richard seemed baffled and bamboozled by her words. He told her that he just tried to kill himself because everything he believed was a lie. Jack asks for Richard to explain and Richard tells Jack that the whole Island is not what they think it is. Richard claims that the Island is hell and that everyone on the Island are actually dead. Richard says he's done listening to Jacob, grabs a torch and is off to listen to someone who can morph into a pillar of Black Smoke (not in those words). As Richard wanders in the jungle, the rest talk about him. Ilana's ready to go after him but Jack tells her that Richard's lost his mind. Jack goes over to Hurley who is speaking in Spanish to the air (but it's not the air). Hurley tells Jack that whoever he's talking to has nothing to do with Jack. At the fire, Frank wonders how the hell someone can not age after Ben tells Frank that he's known Richard since the age of 12 and that Richard has always looked the same.

Back to daylight now and the tree and the digging and the cross around Richard's neck. Richard starts yelling 'does the offer still stand?' and then Hurley shows up. Hurley has been talking with Isabella. Richard does not believe Hurley but eventually does. Hurley speaks for Richard's wife, asking Richard why he buried her cross. He tells Richard to close his eyes and then Isabella does the talking. Isabella tells her husband that it wasn't his fault that she died and that he's suffered enough. Richard tells her how much he misses her and that he just wants to be with her again and that he would do anything for that to happen. Isabella tells him that they are together and after a kiss, she disappears. Richard looks content and at peace but Hurley has one last thing to tell Richard. He says his wife told Richard that he must stop Smokey from leaving the Island because if he does...everyone goes to hell. The last thing we saw was NotLocke watching from the distance. Uh-oh?

I don't think the assertion that they all to hell is about the literal place. Think of the magic box that had people, for some reason, baffled in season three. I think it's a metaphor. What it seems to mean is that people will lose the ability to decide for themselves the difference between right and wrong. The Man in Black will tip the scales the wrong way for many, many people. But who indeed knows. That is something for the show to resolve in the final 2 months.

The final scene of the episode was between Jacob and the Man in Black. Jacob asks why MIB tried to kill him. MIB explained that it's because he wants to leave the Island. Jacob says that he'll never let happen while alive and explains that someone will take his place if he's killed so MIB explains he'll kill every single candidate. Jacob gives MIB the bottle, tells him he'll see the Smokeness around and leaves. Man in Black then SMASHES the bottle and the wine spills everywhere. "Sooner than you think," the Man in Black says to himself.

Here's some MORE thoughts:

--I really enjoyed Richard's entire flashback. I particularly want to focus on the metaphorical cross Richard's been bearing for over 100 years: feeling responsible for his wife's death. The final scene between he and his wife freed him of his cross. He sought forgiveness for his wife's death. I think the doctor he killed was never the source of his anguish. I think it was feeling guilt for not saving his wife when he promised that he would. He wanted absolution for his sins. He wanted tabula rasa but no one granted that to him really. Jacob sort of but he told him he could not absolve him of his sins. He just wanted to forgiveness and he finally got it which I thought was one of the great LOST scenes in a series packed with so many.

--I mentioned how the bible passage we saw was from the Gospel of Luke. Well, in that gospel, Jesus spends 40 days and 40 nights in the desert. While out there, he is tempted by the devil. The devil offers him all of the kingdoms in the world. MIB comes off a lot like the devil as he tempts Claire, Sayid and Richard with whatever they want. Even Sawyer. And they believe him and follow him. It's never good when you resemble Satan himself.

--It's worth noting that Ab Aeterno translates to: from the beginning.

--I really want to know why Man in Black is imprisoned by Jacob on the Island. I'd like to know the whole history. I imagine we'll get that answer at some point before the series takes its final bow.

--This whole episode had me thinking about the sideways as well. Mostly about the nature of the sideways and why they exist. I have no theories to offer. I'm remaining patient, not thinking too much into them as Team Darlton recommended.

--This episode makes one wonder about The Purge and Richard's role in it. Of course we still need more information about The Purge and why it happened. Obviously, Dharma loosely followed the truce and were using Hostile land when building the Hatches. Also, Richard told Locke that his father needed to go in "The Brig." But the death of Anthony Cooper was about freeing Locke from that. Hm. Intentionally ambigiuous as always. Richard's one heck of a fascinating character though.

--I wonder about the nature of the apparitions on the Island. Smokey can assume the form of some people but the people who talk to Hurley are not dead. I wonder about Christian Shephard and the nature of his appearances. The same goes for Ben's mother, the boy we saw in "The Subtititute," Dave, etc. Wet Walt is also still a mystery.

--I also wonder if Jacob vs. Man in Black will be resolved in 3-4 episodes. Am I insane for thinking such a thing? Perhaps. But I know this season is a three act season. We're in the middle of act two and act three is to come. Hm indeed. I doubt it'll be resolved in 3-4 episodes. This battle will be with us during the final act of the final season. I feel sad typing those words.

--This was one of the few episodes with no B plot, folks. I usually reserve this spot in the recap for the B plot but this episode was all Richard. It was quite a linear story as well. This quite the different recap to write.

--Nestor Carbonell deserves an emmy for this episode. He was outstanding. Tucker Gates's directing was astounding. The First and Second Unit crews deserve emmys. If this episode doesn't win some emmys, I will be speechless.

--Melinda Hsu-Taylor and Greggory Nations wrote this one. Gregg Nations is Lostpedia of the writer's room. The dude keeps track of everything. Tucker Gates, the director, did a marvelous job. Jean Higgins deserves some props from The Foot too. She does so much for the show but I never mention her by name. The whole crew deserves many free milkshakes for this one.

TO THE RANKINGS!

THE OFFICIAL LOST RANKINGS

An exciting week for the rankings. STEVE has a different looking top 5 with the Man in Black getting the number two spot and Richard getting the number 4 spot. My rankings aren't too exciting. Hurley moved up one spot in the top 5. Richard nearly cracked the top ten but I didn't want to demote Kate or Sayid. I didn't even move Jacob or MIB from 16 and 17. Perhaps I'll explain. Unless your Charles Widmore, I'll leave characters in the cellar of the rankings if I'm not sure what to make of them. Remember the NotLocke bombshell in "The Incident"? Locke had been in the top spot for weeks and then I found out that Locke never resurrected and it was the Man in Black. I was floored. I didn't know what to make of it. It's like that. Plus, MIB hit Claire. Not cool. Jacob seems cool and all. But yes, Locke dropped to no. 5. Me and STEVE discussed whether or not sideways Locke should be ranked. We're still not sure. Anywho, check the rankings out for yourselves:

AFTER EPISODE 9

RANKED: 3/24/2010

CHRIS

1. Jack

2. Desmond

3. Ben

4. Hurley

5. Locke

6. Jin

7. Claire

8. Miles

9. Sayid

10. Kate

11. Richard

12. Sawyer

13. Frank

14. Sun

15. Ilana

16. Jacob

17. Man in Black

18. Widmore

STEVE

1. Desmond

2. Man in Black

3. Jack

4. Richard

5. Kate

6. Miles

7. Ben

8. Sawyer

9. Sayid

10. Jin

11. Frank

12. Locke

13. Sun

14. Jacob

15. Claire

16. Ilana

17. Hurley

18. Widmore

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Jacob's Foot: RECON recap



Tonight's episode reminded me of something Bodhi once said to his fellow ex-presidents in Point Break: "All this does is UP the stakes of the game." I enjoyed this one. I loved the stuff on Hydra Island. I loved the fact that NotLocke referred to the island as Hydra Island. I like how Sawyer doesn't really trust NotLocke or Widmore. I really enjoyed the Sideways story as well though I kept waiting for Juliet to show up. The stakes are raised. There's going to be a war. I'm glad Jack and crew are pretty much away from all of this insanity. HERE WE GO!

Sideways Sawyer did not choose the life of crime he chose in the Island narrative. The backstory is relatively the same for James Ford. A con man conned his father out of everything he had, slept with his wife and his father reacted by killing his wife and his mother. The con man seems to be the so and so Anthony Cooper. What we saw with Sawyer in the Sideways was a man who has not dealt with this trauma (obviously). He did not have Anthony Cooper waiting for him in the brig of The Black Rock nor Locke burning his file (symbolism for burning the past/letting go etc and just go back into the archives and read the episode of the day for The Brig!). But he's actively seeking Anthony Cooper because he wants to kill him. He went to Australia to follow a lead and found the lead Anthony Cooper. Silly me, I actually thought Sawyer really was just clearing up an unclaimed property thing with Cooper but nope. This raises the question about the person Helen referred to when she told Locke that their wedding should be small and that his father could be there. A photo in Locke's former office was of him and Anthony Cooper. HMMM. I digress though. It's nice that Duckett did not lose his life in the wee hours outside of his shrimp stand in the driving rain. I'll tell you though: Sawyer's Sideways story reminded me a bit of Ana Lucia's (we even had Miles in the role of Mrs. Lucia when Sawyer actually told Miles why he lied about Palm Springs, the reason for the Sawyer file and for traveling to Australia). Am I digressing? Maybe. The seach for the real Sawyer is not corrupting his life as it did in Island narrative. He's a man of the law. Instead of pulling cons, he is STOPPING CONS! The teaser of the episode tricked me. For a moment I thought we were getting a retread of what we saw in Sawyer's flashbacks from "Confidence Man" and "The Long Con." But no. The lady was wise to his tricks, admitted that her husband was a con man so she knew the tricks; however, he told her the room was bugged, that she was the stupid one and that he only needed to say the magic word (LaFleur) to call the cops in. She didn't believe him. He was telling the truth. The night didn't end well for her.

Besides trying to exact revenge on the man who took his parents from him, he decided to give in to Miles and meet his female friend. Miles doesn't want Sawyer to die alone which is why he suggested setting Sawyer up with a friend of his. The lady in waiting? Charlotte Lewis. No Faraday to be found. Maybe Theresa and Faraday are enjoying a happy relationship with eachother. I digress. Within minutes of meeting eachother, he and Charlotte were getting intimate. Charlotte did manage to get a glimpse into the real Sawyer. She didn't buy his Steve McQueen Cop movie line regarding Sawyer's career choice. He told her he reached a point where he could've chosen a life of crime or a life or become a cop. After some fornication, Charlotte asked to borrow a t-shirt. She also wanted to snoop or, at least, it seemed like it. Sawyer flipped when he saw her with the Sawyer file and kicked her out at 3AM. He later attempted to make things right by bringing a six pack of beer and a gigantic dandelion. She wasn't impressed and sent him on his way. The final scene was of Sawyer telling Miles the truth about his recent behavior and then a car crashed into his. Sawyer and Miles pursued this person as this person fled on foot. They eventually trapped her and we saw it was Kate. Sawyer was intrigued.

ON THE ISLAND, Sawyer is hell-bent on getting off of the Island. The episode opened as he boiled water for Jin to take. He and Jin were hanging out in Claire's shelter (possibly babysitting Squirrel baby? I kid). Jin wanted to flee as fast as possible but Sawyer gave him his word that he won't let Jin leave unless Sun is with him. Of course, the end of the episode made it seem as he's concerned with only getting himself and Kate off of the Island on that submarine. Anywho, Sawyer got a bit angry when NotLocke told the group they'd be spending a few days hanging out on the Island. Sawyer wants to leave immediately so NotLocke explained why they couldn't leave yet and gave Sawyer the task of exploring the new arrivals to the Island. Sawyer did just that. He found a woman who called herself Zoe. She pulled an Ana-Lucia on him. He saw through her lies and, eventually, those who with her showed themselves. He was brought to the man in charge, Mr. Charles Widmore. To be honest, I don't think either of them were being very honest with the other. I'm not sure if it's possible for NotLocke to be fooled. We'll see though. Sawyer is the expert con man. He pretty much told the truth to NotLocke AND Widmore. I'm sure Widmore's waiting for the metaphorical shoe to drop.

As for Widmore, he claims that he and his people did not kill the remaining survivors of Ajira 316. He didn't expect Sawyer to believe him. I don't really believe him. I don't trust NotLocke either so there that is. Widmore's the same dude who hired Keamy! COME ON!

Claire tried to kill Kate in this episode. Besides the knowledge that Kate took Aaron and raised him for 3 years, the breaking point might've been when Kate wondered what Claire was doing with squirrel baby. Kate begged Sayid to intervene but he just sat there. NotLocke came over and threw Claire off of Kate. He yelled to her that she had wandered off and Kate had no choice but to take Aaron off of the Island because she could not be found. He even slapped her and then told her to sit down. NotLocke wanted some bonding time with Kate. He told her that he once, a long time ago, had a crazy mother and that his mother gave him some issues. Hm. To digress a moment: I've been seeing some parallels to Shakespeare's The Tempest. This reminds me of Caliban and his mother Sycorax. Prospero killed Syrcorax and made Caliban a slave. I see a lot of Prospero in Jacob and some in Ben. End digression. The story seemed to say "Kate, you might have to kill Claire." It seemed to suggest that NotLocke feels Claire is beyond saving and that she's a lost cause for Aaron. Kate's desire to rescue Claire seemed to go away following the attempted murder. Who could blame her? Kate didn't seem to trust NotLocke at all. Near episode's end, Claire apologized to Kate and hugged her. Kate seemed completely confused. We never heard what NotLocke told Claire. Claire seemed genuine enough but I'm a softie for Claire. I'd totally forgive her. I'm glad Sawyer's there with Kate because he won't let anyone harm her.

Time for some other thoughts:

--Interesting that Sawyer seems to have set his sights back on Kate after 1 day of grieving for Juliet. He clutched the dress Kate once wore in the cages. Not sure how I feel about this. It's been 1 day since Juliet died. He clutched that dress in a way that suggested it was not simply thinking back to the good ol' days when Pickett wanted to murder him, Ben messed with him psychologically, being forced to do hard labor, etc. She's Juliet, Sawyer!

--Sayid, Sayid, Sayid. Damon Lindelof said a mighty interesting thing in the latest Official Audio Podcast about the turn Sayid has taken. It gave me hope for Sayid but then tonight took away some of that hope. Essentially, Lindelof talked about whether or not being told you're evil means you're evil. Would Sayid have chosen a different path if Sayid was told the opposite of what Dogen told him? We'll never know. Kate asked Sayid if he was allright and he said "no." He didn't do anything when Claire tried to kill her. I'm sad about this, folks. I'm a huge Sayid fan. He's just completely different, now. But, he's not beyond saving. We've got Jack, Hurley and the rest of the good guys coming to save the day. I assume so. At least Sayid knows something is very, very wrong with him. Self-awareness isn't terrible.

--LIAM! It's been nearly 3 years since we last saw Liam, Charlie's brother. It was good to see him again as he tried to bail his brother of prison.

--I'll explain my comment about Zoe going Ana Lucia on Sawyer. Remember season two's "Orientation"? In that episode, Eko throws Sawyer, Jin and Michael into the pit. A little while later, Ana Lulu is thrown in as well. She completely fooled all three of them. She pulled some recon herself. This time, Sawyer wasn't fooled by Zoe because he's seen it before. He also didn't seem too invested in doing good recon because he was completely honest with Widmore. I just found the parallels interesting even if I still dislike Ana-Lucia immensely.

--I'll be honest. I wasn't a fan of Man in Black slapping Claire. He's a dude who can become a pillar of deadly black smoke and she's a girl whose become this way BECAUSE OF HIM. At least he took some blame about making Claire the way she is. He gave her something to hate so that she could keep going after being separated from Aaron by him. A few questions: why exactly did Smokey need Claire? Why couldn't she simply get on a helicopter with Aaron like Desmond saw in his flash? I did think the scene between Claire and Kate, when Claire asked for forgiveness, was touching. Again, I'm a softie for Claire so I pretty much take everything at face value with her. I would totally hug her and forgive her even if she did try to stab me in the neck. Also, shouldn't that have been the time to tell Claire that your mother is with Aaron, Kate? Did that slip your mind? There's nothing that would take the crazy out of Claire more than hearing that Aaron's with her mother. Why? Claire DOESN'T KNOW SHE'S OUT OF THE COMA! That would've been an awesome thing for her to hear. But alas, Kate did not mention it. I also thought that Emilie de Ravin conveyed Claire's sadness about losing Aaron really well. I thought it was a terrific scene.

--I wonder what's locked up in that sub. As I told the world last week, STEVE thinks Widmore has destructive plans for the Island. Could a LIVING MAN be locked up in the sub? I doubt it though it'd remind people of Anthony Cooper and the metaphorical magic box that fans couldn't accept was simply a metaphor. Oh, LOST fans. You do create some stupid theories. The living man would be Desmond. I don't think there is a man in there. I think Widmore got the message after Desmond left his office in "Jughead."

--I did enjoy Sawyer's concern for Hurley and Jack. Perhaps he has forgiven Jack. If he's moved on to Kate, he should forgive Jack. It'd be fair.

--I thought it was nice of Smokey to comfort Zack and Emma. I still don't trust Smokey but it was nice of him to think of the kids and reassure them that harm would not come to them. It was a very Locke thing to do. Locke usually hung out with Walt and played backgammon with him or he would teach Walt how to throw knives. Interesting. It's not the first instance of true Locke shining through in some way in Smokey.

--I still think Desmond's coming to the Island. Do I really think Jacob wanted Hurley to assist Widmore in finding the Island? But then again, he didn't want Hurley to assist. It was something for Jack to experience. My point: Desmond's coming. He's too cool to stay on the sidelines.

--Jodi Lynn O'Keefe guest starred as the woman in the teaser. Who is she you ask? She used to star in a bunch of teen comedies in the late 90s/early 00s. She was Freddie Prinze Jr's ex in "She's All That," the object of Shane West's desire in "Whatever It Takes," and she made an appearance in Halloween H20.

--I thought Evangelline Lilly was wonderful in this episode. Terry O'Quinn also brought his A-game yet again. Holloway was no slouch either.

--Jack Bender directed this one. Elizabeth Sarnoff and Jim Galasso wrote it. Good work by all.

--I'm looking forward to next week's Richard centric episode. It's been a long time coming. The season's also really mobilizing to insanity. As Bodhi said, this episode has upped the stakes of the game. One could argue that Man in Black represents Bodhi and Jacob is the Johnny Utah figure. But who is Pappas? Sayd could conceivably be the Rosie figure. I think I'll stop with the Point Break stuff now.

TO THE RANKINGS!

A pretty quiet week of rankings. STEVE has put Smokey in to the Top 5. I have Jin at 6 now. Claire's been moved to 7. Miles down to 8. STEVE has a new no. 18. My top 5 remains the same. Not much more to add except CHECK IT OUT.

AFTER EPISODE 8

RANKED: 3/17/2010

CHRIS

1. Jack

2. Desmond

3. Ben

4. Locke

5. Hurley

6. Jin

7. Claire

8. Miles

9. Sayid

10. Kate

11. Sawyer

12. Richard

13. Frank

14. Sun

15. Ilana

16. Jacob

17. Man in Black

18. Widmore

STEVE

1. Desmond

2. Jack

3. Kate

4. Miles

5. Man in Black

6. Ben

7. Sawyer

8. Sayid

9. Jin

10. Frank

11. Sawyer

12. Sun

13. Jacob

14. Claire

15. Ilana

16. Locke

17. Widmore

18. Hurley

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Jacob's Foot: Dr. Linus Recap



"Dr. Linus" is a great example of what I love most about LOST. An excellent character driven story dominated this one: the redemption of Ben Linus. I felt all kinds of seasons one and three during this one, folks. I really, really loved it. I think it's my favorite of the season thus far. Let's dive into it, shall we?

We all know the history of Ben Linus. His father wished to Ben that they had stayed on The Island because Roger would've liked to see how Ben would've turned out there. Of course we know what Ben has done on The Island and for The Island. He sacrificed his daughter. He kidnapped pregnant women. He killed Locke because Locke threatened his power on the Island. He even killed Jacob, out of frustration, anger and sadness. He kidnapped Jack, Kate and Sawyer. He kidnapped Walt and eventually used Michael to kill for him so that he could be free. He did whatever it took to return to the Island. He manipulated (somewhat) Sayid into killing for him. More succinctly, Ben has a checkered past to say the least. When he returned to the Island, there was a noticable shift taking place in Ben Linus. When he awoke to an alive John Locke, he was terrified. He didn't say it at the time. He told Sun, as they sat on a porch in New Otherton, that he was terrified that Locke was alive because dead is dead on the Island. When he did awake, after being knocked out by Sun, the thing wanted was punishment for killing his daughter. He traveled to the some area of the Temple and sought punishment from Smokey. Of course all that led to was Ben being manipulated into killing Jacob. This episode he had to deal with the consequences.

The episode opened with a frantic Ben running through the Jungle after Smokey went all The Book of Exodus on The Temple. What an opening! I think LOST has the greatest teasers ever and I'm a huge "Buffy" and "Angel" fan (their teasers were usually spectacular) but LOST just owns the teaser. Even the teaser of "What Kate Does" when Lennon's walking quickly through the Temple is epic. Anyhow, Ben saw Ilana, Frank, Sun and Miles walking through the jungle. He immediately caught up with them. Ilana was amped up to get answers. She didn't believe Smokey had killed Jacob. She knew Miles could communicate with the dead and find out how and who killed Jacob. Miles did his thing and ratted Ben out. As Miles said, "Uh-oh." We also found out Jacob's dying thought was that he was wrong about Ben and Ben wouldn't kill him. Shouldn't have responded with "What about you?", Jacob.

Anywho, the fivesome went to the beach (oh how I've missed the beach) and Ben was gently trying to save his own ass. He offered to help Ilana with anything but no dice. The others were gathering supplies. Later on, Ilana marched over to Ben, forced him to Boone Hill and locked him to a makeshift rope tied to a tree. Ben had to dig a grave because Ilana was going to kill him for killing Jacob. So Ben began digging. As he dug, he tried to bargain with Miles to cut him loose but Miles had no interest in Ben possibly getting 3.2 million for him since Nikki and Paulo are buried with over 8 million in times (of course Eddie Kitsis and Adam Horowitz would throw that in). Ben did get his chance to escape though. Crazy ol' evil NotLocke showed up and told Ben he went back to the statue to retrieve Ben but Ben wasn't to be found there. NotLocke freed Ben and told him to flee, that a rifle was sitting at a tree 200 feet away and that he could meet up with him and his group on Alcatraz Island. Ben ran, reached the tree, grabbed the rifle, and pointed it at Ilana. Ilana dropped her gun and Ben told her that just wanted to explain himself. He wanted to explain why he had killed Jacob. He told her that he sacrificed everything including his Alex and that he killed Jacob out of anger and frustration. After he finished, he told Ilana he was going to find Locke. She asked why. He said because "he is the only one who will have me." Ilana softly told Ben that she would have him and walked back towards the beach. Ben followed. It was a small act of kindness that reminds me of what Angel tells Kate in the ANGEL episode "Epiphany." "The smallest act of kindness can be the greatestest thing in the world." I really liked the image of Ben putting down the rifle and then asking Sun if she needed help with her tent. The redemption of Ben Linus is on.

In the Sideways narrative, Ben felt like a loser. We found out he earned a doctorate in Modern European History but was stuck monitoring detention. He wasn't the only one. Good ol' Dr. Arzt was unhappy with the work conditions he had to deal with. Ben was frustrated because the principal was unconcerned with the kids, telling Ben that it was no big deal to cancel the History Club because only 5 people were in the club. Ben didn't agree with that assessment. He cares about the kids. Recall the scene when he took Alex for Rousseau and the unhappiness of Widmore that the baby wasn't killed. Ben was so earnest when defending why he didn't kill baby Alex. The Sideways story dealt with Alex. Ben was able to make up for what he did to her in "The Shape of Things to Come." But before I focus on that, I have to mention what leads to his Alex moment. In the teacher's lounge, Locke has the idea that Ben be the principal. Ben asks Locke, "who will listen to me?" Locke raises his hand and says that he's listening. Ilana later echoes such a sentiment. Now, what one would expect is a massive power-play for principal that involves the manipulation we've grown to love from Ben Linus. He finds out the principal and the nurse have been fornicating in the nurse's office during school hours (shades of what got Widmore banished and put into the Island). He enlists Arzt to hack into e-mail for some dirt. He gets said dirt and approaches his boss with the information; however, the principal knows that Alex is a favorite student of Ben's and she's just e-mailed him for a recommendation. If Ben forces the resignation, the principal promises to ruin Alex's academic future. Ben does not go through with it. He chooses to preserve Alex's academic potential. It's a lovely scene when Ben tells Alex that he had nothing to do with the recommendation letter when, in fact, he had everything to do with it. As she walked away and Ben walked the other way, it was such a great moment. She has the chance for a marvelous life. I thought the scenes between Ben and Alex were so moving. He treated her with such fondness. It was very fathlerly.

Speaking of fatherly, the relationship between Ben and Roger isn't toxic. Ben is taking care of his sickly father. He prepared an organic meal for him to help keep him alive. Of course one must recall the scene in "The Man Behind The Curtain" when he kills his father. Such juxtaposition. The scene between them was rather nice. Roger had comforting words for his son because he saw his son was frustrated with the school and the limitations he felt. I do like this Sideways world quite a bit for all of these great stories we're getting.

There's one piece of information that I've yet to mention: Roger had joined the Dharma Initiative and brought Ben with him to the Island. I find it significant that they had been to the Island and left. We all know the Island exists underneath the sea (New Otherton, Ezra James Sharkington and all!) because we saw it in that epic 'LA X' teaser. The obvious questions regard why Ben and his father left the Island. I could speculate and speculate but I'm not going to. It's funner to wait for the show to reveal that stuff.

And boy did it get a little dusty when Hurley and Jack returned to the beach (of course I'm going to write about that! hold your horses! I'm not finished with Benny Linus' story!). I was reminded of season one. It was overwhelming how happy I was to see that. I was also reminded of season three. Specifically, "One Of Us." The Juliet centric episode that began her intergration into the Losties camp. In the end of that episode, Jack, Kate and Sayid enjoy a nice reunion with the camp. It's so great and then Sawyer notices Juliet standing there. She's not accepted. At the end of "Dr. Linus," as Sun hugs Jack and Sun and joy is felt, Ben stands in the distance watching, sheepishly and lonely. But Jack did look his way. I think Jack, like Ilana, will have him too. After all, it is Ben who helped bring Jack to the Island. And Jack now knows he's back for a reason.

Gazing out at the ocean and thinking has helped Jack. I knew it would. Tonight, Jack became a true Man of Faith. He told Richard about the lighthouse, the image of his childhood home, and how Jacob had watched him for his entire life and that if he was so important then there's no way he OR Richard would die in The Black Rock. I think Jack gave purpose back to Richard. Richard was suicidal. He desired death. He felt as if his entire life had been a waste. Since The Black Rock he had given his life to the Island. I imagine since Jacob got him out of those chains. Jacob had told Richard that everything happens for a reason and that he would one day reveal his plan to Richard but then Jacob died. Richard felt utterly hopeless. He reminded me of Leo Tolstoy. Tolstoy believed suicide was the only option if life was without meaning and purpose (another thing reminded me of Tolstoy but I'll get to that). Richard knew he couldn't kill himself because of Jacob's touch but he wanted Jack to light the fuse for him. He really wanted to die. Hurley urged Jack to not do it but Jack said he couldn't talk Richard out of it. Oh that sneaky man. Jack must have restored Richard's life with purpose and meaning again in that slave ship. There was so much symbolism, allusion and meaning in this episode that I fear I won't be able to address it at all. Jack then told Richard that it was time to go back to the beginning so he, Jack and Hurley returned to the beach. Their story was all about faith in an episode that dealt with forgiveness and renewal, rebirth.

Before the season began, I had wanted to write an epic essay on LOST and Finnegan's Wake but I felt overwhelmed by the massiveness of Finnegan's Wake. But I was tempted to write the essay because of the themes of circularity, resurrection and rebirth in Finnegan's Wake. Jack's line about going back to the beginning spoke to those ideas. Jacob and Man in Black can be seen as Shem and Shaun figures. Shem and Shaun are twins, often opposed against the other. Jack sort of personifies Tom Finnegan. He falls from Ajira to the Island when he returns. In Wake, Finnegan falls from a ladder and there's the famous sentence "hohohoho you're going to be Mister Finnagain!" I hope you get the gist. As dark as it got last week (and oh it got dark) there was mostly light in this episode after the darkness had lifted. Even Hurley was seen awaking from a night's slumber.

The final image of the episode is of Widmore in a sub making his way to the Island and he's indeed very close. I wonder if he's going to Hydra Island or going to the Pala Ferry docks and heading to the beach.

Time for even more thoughts:

--Michael Emerson probably won himself another emmy for his performance in this episode. He was tremendous. The scene with Ilana alone should be enough to win the emmy.

--We saw Ben teaching his class about Napoleon's exile. Napoleon nearly took over Russia if it wasn't for that pesky deadly winter of Russia. Napoleon's exile clearly paralleled the Ben Linus we've known for nearly 5 seasons on the Island. Once upon a time Ben was banished from the Island, put into exile. Also, whenever I hear about Napoleon I always think of Tolstoy's War and Peace. What a book.

--No one seemed too concerned that Ben was about to be murdered by Ilana but Ben has done some shady deeds over the years. Sun once wanted to kill him because she thought he had something to do with Jin's death. Frank and Miles were on a freighter whose sole mission was to extract Ben from the Island. So it's understandable.

--I wonder if NotLocke really thought Ben would kill Ilana without hesitation. I think Ben's learned his lesson though. He was genuinely repentant to Ilana when explaining why he killed Jacob. It was the same repentance he had when he said his last words about John Locke. Will Smokey be pissed? Most likely. Smokey doesn't handle things not going his way too well. Ben is safe with Ilana but I imagine Smokey is not done with Ben. His offer to Ben appeared to be the same offer he has made to Sayid and Claire. There's just no way he can deliver on those promises. I do think he can deliver on getting them off the Island but is that really his endgame? Conceivably he can reunite Claire with her son but that lying so and so promised her she was in the Temple. But she's very confused so I don't blame her for going back with Smokey after Smokey went all biblical on the Temple. The same thing goes for Sayid. Nadia died. I just think Smokey's a manipulative so and so. I think Jacob's fairly manipulative as well but Jacob seems to have better intentions. Of course he left most of The Temple, minus Hurley and Jack, to die. I digress. Back to The Smokeness: Do these promises and the Sideways world reconcile in some way? Who indeed knows. We shall find out, at some point, in the final 11 hours of the show.

--NotLocke is pretty clever hiding away on Hydra Island but at least he's far away from the beach camp. But Jack's definitely going to go to Hydra Island to get Kate, Sayid, Jin and Claire. I think he'll be calm about it though and let Ilana do her thing. Ilana's also great. So much better than Ana-Lucia.

--Dare I hope Desmond is somewhere on the submarine? Dare I? Henry Ian Cusick's name has been in the credits ALL season. The last time this happened with Harold Perrineau in season four. He didn't show up until the end of episode 7 and then he got episode 8 all to himself. We saw no signs Desmond's with him. I don't even know why he's be with Widmore because he HATES Widmore. But, Darlton, we've got 11 episodes left. We've had one scene with Desmond. Desmond's one of the greatest characters ever. He's gotta show up.

--I was so excited to see The Black Rock again. I mentioned this earlier but this felt so much like season one and season three. I adore both seasons. I think season one is as close to perfection television will get. Season three had so many excellent episodes. The scenes in The Black Rock felt like "Exodus" all over again with the dynamite. During that episode, Locke and Jack argued about why they were here. Jack was then the staunch man of science but in this he became the man of faith. We also saw Dr. Arzt in the Sideways. Hurley even mentioned Arzt when cautioning Richard about the dynamite. Hurley told him he was cleaning Artz out of his shirt for two days. You know, I've always liked Arzt. I enjoyed his appearances in season one and I get a kick out of the webisodes he's in. Miles referenced "Expose" and Nikki and Paulo. Fittingly enough, some fans expressed frustration about the lack of answers provided in the episode (though I'd argue answers were given. Plenty actually.). "Expose" suffered from criticism even though it provided some fun answers as well. We even got the great scene when Charle confessed to Sun that he had been behind the fake kidnapping of Sun in "The Long Con." I digress. As I noted already, the end mirrored the end of "One Of Us." I hope it was intentional. I believe it was. The beach camp goes without saying. It was so prominent in season three (the construction of the beach camp as we saw it was in progress during season two). How I wished adorable, not homocidal Claire was there too in her cute designer clothing. But Feral Claire is pretty cool and Emilie de Ravin gets something to do other than hold a baby. I'm digressing.

--We found out a number of things: Jacob's touch prevents people from dying. Richard did in fact arrive on The Black Rock. Why he was brought here is another story. We found out Ilana's role on the Island. She's also done her homework on everybody.

--Imagine if instead of Widmore being revealed on the sub it was AARON AND WALT. I joke about that scenario with STEVE and STEVE's comment: "I'd kill myself." STEVE's prediction for Widmore's gameplan? Sinking the Island.

--I got a kick out of Sawyer's stash. I noticed a few things but I'd have to go back and pause to catch everything. I imagine Lostpedia's all over it anyway so head over that way for all that Ben found.

--Great exchanges between Hurley and Richard in the jungle as Hurley asked Richard about not aging. Hurley wondered if he was a cyborg or a terminator. What a great scene.

--There was a nice little scene between Ben and Frank. Ben said it felt like yesterday Oceanic 815 broke apart above New Otheron. Frank told him he was supposed to pilot the plane but he overslept. Ben commented on Frank winding up on the Island still.

--As Ben tutored Alex, he spoke of the 19th century East India Trading company. Not the first time it's been mentioned (see Season Four's The Constant when Widmore wins the bid for The Black Rock materials written by the first mate. The same ship Richard was on).

--I keep thinking of what Ben says to Michael in "Live Together, Die Alone" about being the good guys. Is that a long a set-up or what by Lindelof and Cuse? Goodness!

--Three weeks of no Sawyer. Very surprising indeed. I'm leaning towards getting a Sawyer episode next week. I feel fairly sure that we'll be joining His Smokeness and his recruits next week on Hydra Island which means CLAIRE! will be there. Listen, I love her australian accent so much. Emilie's delivery and inflections this season have been different from the previous four seasons she's been in the show. I'm even more attached to the accent because of those inflections and her delivery. The way she speaks in "Lighthouse" is great. I'm digressing again. The point: things will get more intense next week.

--Once again, I have to mention how much I loved the montage at the end. The hugs, the happiness. Giacchinno's score (The Oscar winner for the score he wrote for "Up") was beautiful. I nearly fell off the couch with excitement when I realized we were getting a reunion/montage. I LOVE THIS SHOW!

--Overall, I think this is the episode of the season to date. I loved everything about it. Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz wrote it. Mario Van Peebles directed. Season Six has been a blast so far.

TO THE RANKINGS!

THE OFFICIAL LOST RANKINGS

Per the rule, Dogen and Lennon are no longer being ranked. Jack is now no. 2 on STEVE's ranking. STEVE likes it when Jack is intense. Jack remains in the top spot for me. Miles dropped out of the top 5 for me. He's number six. Hurley's the one who bumped him because, you know, it's time for Hurley to be in the top 5. He's always hovering around the top 5. Man in Black keeps rising on STEVE's list. Will he one day claim the top spot? Desmond remains number one for STEVE and number two for me. Desmond rocks. But enough talking. Here's the rankings in all of their glory:

AFTER EPISODE 7

RANKED: 3/10/2010

CHRIS

1. Jack

2. Desmond

3. Ben

4. Locke

5. Hurley

6. Miles

7. Jin

8. Claire

9. Sayid

10. Kate

11. Sawyer

12. Richard

13. Frank

14. Sun

15. Ilana

16. Jacob

17. Man in Black

18. Widmore

STEVE

1. Desmond

2. Jack

3. Kate

4. Miles

5. Ben

6. Sawyer

7. Man in Black

8. Sayid

9. Jin

10. Frank

11. Sun

12. Jacob

13. Claire

14. Ilana

15. Locke

16. Richard

17. Hurley

18. Widmore

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Jacob's Foot: SUNDOWN recap



THAT WAS INSANE! OH MY GOD! I WAS SO ANXIOUS AND NERVOUS DURING THAT FINAL ACT! And then CREEPY VERSION OF 'CATCH A FALLING STAR' KICKS ON! And Smokey's flying around The Temple like God as he killed the Firstborns. You know what happened before that plague? THE PLAGUE OF DARKNESS! THIS EPISODE'S TITLE? "SUNDOWN." But dear god almighty! I sound like Jim Ross! I definitely expected The Temple to be over with in the next two episodes but DAMN did that story go out with a bang. But I'll settle down now. I will reel myself in. It's time to dive into Sayid's story.

The episode opened with Sayid arriving to see Nadia and her family. A Randy Wolf curveball was thrown our way when we find out Nadia is married to Sayid's brother and that she's the mother of two. Interesting. Sayid, we learned, was not in Australia to work with the FBI in an effort to thwart his old friend's suicide bomber plans. No, he was in Australia because he translates for an oil company. But he still has the torturer past and he's still tortured by that past. He's still in love with Nadia and carried her picture around with him. Nadia wondered why Sayid pushed her towards his brother. Sayid told her that he doesn't deserve her because of the horrible things he had done for twelve years. I hope the past we saw in "Solitary" actually happened because that episode is awesome. But yes, Sayid is very much doing penance for what he's done.

Of course his brother gets himself into a situation and ends up dragging Sayid into it (which isn't a bad plan at all). His brother has seemingly entered into business with Mr. Paik, that so and so of a man, and did not pay back all of the money he owed though he claimed he did. Jin in the freezer, beaten up, is the only reason I'm assuming this. We haven't seen what happened in the airport after they found a lot of American dollars in Jin's suitcase. Sayid wanted to give money to help his brother out his situation but Nadia declined, telling Sayid his brother must handle it himself. Nadia also kept Sayid away from whoever mugged his brother by telling him to wait for the kids and to make sure they were and felt safe. He did just that. He didn't want relive his past. But then Omar showed up. Yes, Omar Freighter D-Bag. He took Sayid to see good ol' Martin Keamy. Keamy was cooking egg and being the d-bag we knew when we last saw him in "There's No Place Like Home." Sayid sat calmly, listening to Keamy yammer on about paying back money when it needs to be paid back and THEN he threatened Nadia and the kids so Sayid tapped into Republican Guard mode and took care of business. He shot Keamy as Keamy swore the debt's been forgiven and forgotten. Sayid couldn't forget. Those words carry a whole lot of meaning considering Sayid has never been able to forget his past. It spoke volumes about Sayid.

It's sad that Sayid hasn't been able to work out his issues as Locke and Jack have. At least Locke and Jack have made important progress. Sayid is stuck. I thought season five's "He's Our You" was the tipping point in Sayid's journey for redemption but I misinterpreted the tipping point. He tipped to the wrong side. After all, one can't forget he shot kid Ben and announced himself to be a killer. Those events didn't happen too long ago either. But if Sideways Sayid can't forgive himself, Island Sayid is seemingly a lost cause.

I'm completely sold on this infection stuff. Last week, I was pretty much holding onto the hope that cutey-pie Claire was still there and just confused as Claire described her. She's pretty far gone. But I digress.

The Island story opened with Sayid wanting answers from Dogen about why he wants him dead. Dogen gave it to him straight. He told Sayid that, after awaking from death, he leaned on the evil side of the scale. Bad times for Sayid. Dogen and Sayid then had an awesome fight that ended right before Dogen would stab Sayid in the neck. A baseball fell. That changed Dogen and he then told Sayid to leave and never return. But then things changed because Claire walked into The Temple. Dogen told Sayid to go into the jungle and kill NotLocke but warned him that it'd be too late to succeed once NotLocke had spoken to Sayid. Sayid went out into the jungle with the huge knife Dogen gave him. He ran into Kate who asked him what had happened in the Temple. Sayid told her to go there and ask Miles. Once she left, His Smokeness arrived (and boy does he know how to arrive! Wind and Those Gnarly Sounds!). He said hello to Sayid. Sayid stabbed in the chest but nothing happened. NotLocke and Sayid got to talking. NotLocke told him Dogen sent him out here to be killed and then Sayid appeared to make a deal with Smokey concerning Nadia. The next thing we saw was Sayid giving a message to The Others. Either leave and live or stay and die. At sundown, all hell would break loose. And, oh did it break loose but I'll delve into that later (and I sort of already did). Sayid had one last thing to do: kill Dogen so that NotLocke could raise hell. He did kill Dogen but not before Dogen told him about why he came to The Island. Jacob promised to save his son but told Dogen he could never see his son again. It reminded me a whole lot of Juliet not being allowed to see her sister even though Jacob healed her. But, as we saw last week, Dogen is with his son in goody Sideways. I digress.

I wish I knew what exactly being infected meant. I know it involves being badass as hell but what the infection is is not very clear. Sayid has seemingly ceased seeking redemption. But, then again, if there's one man who hates The Others it is Sayid Jarrah. But if Dogen is to believed, his true self went away and all that is left is darkness. The scene between Miles and Sayid stands out because of Miles relationship with the dead. Remember his expression when sitting beside Sayid? Hurley asked him 'what?' and Miles said nothing but he looked like he knew something was up. He told Sayid that The Others did not save him, that he died and was dead for two hours and that something else saved him. If Jacob can heal people, I guess there's no reason why NotLocke can't do the same thing. But I think Sayid is beyond saving now. I hope I eat these words. The scene between him and Hurley was so powerful in "LA X" when Sayid wondered what would happen to him when he dies. But, you know, if I still believe in Claire being saved then SAYID WILL BE SAVED. After all, Ilana has arrived!

NotLocke is walking around The Island thinking his smoke doesn't stink. He just took out The Temple, Jacob's dead, he's winning recruits. But Ilana is still alive. When she showed up at the end, I felt such relief. There is hope for a happy ending because "Sundown" was as unhappy an ending as I've seen so that was needed. The scene between Jacob and Ilana in "The Incident" is very short but one imagines the two have a long history. She knows this Island and I bet she knows how to stop NotLocke. She got Miles, Frank and Sun to safety before Smokey found them. Ben went to get Sayid. It was poignant. Recall, quickly, in your mind their incredibly complex history together. Ben tried to save Sayid and then Ben got freaked the EFF OUT when he realized NotLocke had gotten to Sayid. But he missed the chance to get to safety with Ilana and crew.

Anywho, it's time for some more thoughts:

--Miles saying Claire is still hot rocked. I even pointed to the television and said "hell yeah man!" Miles is the king.

--I literally just wrote this but I was DELIGHTED to see Frank and Sun again. Frank's quick explanation to Miles about why he's here was great. I also enjoyed how Miles told Sun that Jin had left to the Temple to find her. Sometime soon, those two will be back together. More so, I'm really excited that the characters should all be together soon. Sure there's two different groups and Richard is wandering around in the jungle for all we know but MAYBE (please be so) the days of characters not being in episodes for 1-3 weeks will finally be over.

--Poor Kate. All she wants to do is reunite Claire with her son. Now she's found herself with NotLocke and company. I imagine Claire wants to kill her as well. I know Lennon only gave Kate two minutes to speak with Claire but, now that she and Claire are together again, Kate only has to say the words I suggested she say last week. Kate's got the best intentions, Claire. Settle down.

--Dogen's story about his son was very touching. It's a shame Sayid had to kill him because I liked Dogen. It wasn't too long ago I announced Dogen as, perhaps, my favorite Other. Oh well. He is alive and well in the Sideways narrative.

--I got duped by the crafty writers. I totally thought "Sundown" would be a Sun/Jin episode. Nope. This episode blew my mind. I felt like how I felt watching the end of "Two For The Road," "Exodus Part 3," etc. I'm fascinated by where this is going. I think we're heading to an amazing finish. The final 12 episodes are going to be amazing.

--Last week I predicted things would get more intense. Did I call it or DID I CALL IT?!?

--How ominous was that version of "Catch A Falling Star?" I did enjoy Claire's rendition of it while stuck in the hole.

--The shot of Smokey roaring past Kate as she hunt from the ladder was fantastic. Fascinating the way NotLocke looked at Kate when he realized she joined his merry ranks.

--Naveen Andrews was superb. He never disappoints when it's his time to shine in an episode.

--Paul Zbyszewski and Graham Roland wrote the episode. It's a first for Graham. Boy were these two given an insane episode. Bobby Roth directed.

--I'm so pleased with how season six has unfolded thus far. It's insane and it's got a lot of great character stuff thanks to the sideways. Right now we've got one hell of a story and, remember, it's always about the story. And I think the pieces are set for a mindblowing final 12 episodes. Bring on next week!

TO THE RANKINGS!

THE OFFICIAL LOST RANKINGS
AFTER EPISODE 6

RANKED: 3/3/2010

CHRIS

1. Jack

2. Desmond

3. Miles

4. Locke

5. Ben

6. Hurley

7. Jin

8. Claire

9. Sayid

10. Kate

11. Sawyer

12. Dogen

13. Frank

14. Ilana

15. Richard

16. Jacob

17. Sun

18. Man in Black

19. Widmore

20. Lennon

STEVE

1. Desmond

2. Sawyer

3. Dogen

4. Miles

5. Kate

6. Jack

7. Ben

8. Sayid

9. Jin

10. Man in Black

11. Frank

12. Richard

13. Locke

14. Ilana

15. Claire

16. Jacob

17. Sun

18. Widmore

19. Hurley

20. Lennon

AFTER EPISODE 6

RANKED: 3/3/2010

Another wild week of rankings. Hurley's dropped 10 spots in STEVE's. Miles cracked the Top 5 for both me and STEVE. Claire is inching her way to my top 5 while she got demoted in STEVE's. Ilana is slowly climbing the rankings. Man in Black is a top tener for STEVE. Sawyer's moved up for me despite not being seen for two weeks now. Sayid has dropped out of me and STEVE's top 5. This infection stuff messes with my mind! Kate's back in the top 10 for me because she is awesome. Anywho, take a look yourself. Also, this is the final week for Dogen and Lennon in the rankings.

CHRIS

1. Jack

2. Desmond

3. Miles

4. Locke

5. Ben

6. Hurley

7. Jin

8. Claire

9. Sayid

10. Kate

11. Sawyer

12. Dogen

13. Frank

14. Ilana

15. Richard

16. Jacob

17. Sun

18. Man in Black

19. Widmore

20. Lennon

STEVE

1. Desmond

2. Sawyer

3. Dogen

4. Miles

5. Kate

6. Jack

7. Ben

8. Sayid

9. Jin

10. Man in Black

11. Frank

12. Richard

13. Locke

14. Ilana

15. Claire

16. Jacob

17. Sun

18. Widmore

19. Hurley

20. Lennon

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.