Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Jacob's Foot: The Last Recruit Recap

[caption id="attachment_1332" align="alignnone" width="800" caption="Jack and NotLocke discuss stock options."][/caption]

What an hour of LOST, folks. Goodness gracious, this felt like the penultimate episode of the series but we still have four left. We had the Sideways stories connecting and some serious plot movement on the Island. That was fantastic. I need a cigarette. AND I DON'T EVEN SMOKE! No singular character was focused on. It mixed in every lovable character from the six seasons of this magnificent show. I hope that this is how the remaining four episodes play out. I think it will. Did MIB just meet the new Jackob? EH? See what I did there?

Speaking of Jack, this episode did have a main focus: Jack and Locke. They are the most iconic characters on the show. Their relationship personifies the Man of Science vs. Man of Faith battle that has dominated the series since the first season. But, of course, this wasn't Jack and John Locke because Locke's been dead for a bit of time now. Jack finally got to meet The Smokness/His Smokeness/Smokey/NotLocke/The Man in Black. The writers aren't playing around anymore. The teaser featured their conversation. THE TEASER. They had a heavy mythological conversation. Just how could Smokey take the form of John Locke? That is what Jack wondered. NotLocke downloaded a bit of information for him. John Locke had to be dead (which seems a given considering the rampant speculation since NotYemi reared his ugly head in "The Cost of Living). NotLocke scolded Locke again, telling Jack that Locke was a sucker who thought they were really there for a reason. Jack wondered whether or not NotLocke took the form of his father, Christian, in "White Rabbit." NotLocke says he did. Jack wondered why. NotLocke explained that Jack needed to find water. He added that he's always tried to help them. He didn't want them trapped and he told Jack that he had been trapped by the Island even before he arrived to the Island. One could argue with NotLocke. The show wants the audience to debate that: fate vs. free will. What constitutes destiny? I believe we're going to get more of that as we progress.

Their conversation ended when NotLocke brought Claire, who had been following them, out of the darkness. She just wanted to see her brother again. It was a moment four seasons in the making. I loved Jack's first words to her: "I'm so sorry." I digress though. Jack had a decision to make in an episode entitled "The Last Recruit." Of course, Jack is the last one. Like Locke attempted for five seasons, even in death, NotLocke wanted to do: make a believer out of Jack. Of course, Jack's been a believer since Locke's death, since that meeting with Hurley in Santa Rose, since he had a vision of his father late at night in the hospital. Jack's not going to buy it. He followed Sawyer's plan to keep his promise to Sun. He wanted to get everyone off the Island but he doesn't want to leave the Island. Not again. We all know what happened to him. A miserable, suicide beard man. Pill-popping and drinking alcohol. He didn't come back just to leave again. He told Sawyer, during another heart-warming chat, that if NotLocke wants them all to leave then they should probably stay. Sawyer told Jack to get the hell off of his boat. Sawyer had no interest as Jack told his Lockeisms. Jack admitted he felt a piece of himself missing once he left the Island. He looked at Kate for possibly the last time. He apologized to Sawyer for getting Juliet killed and he jumped into the ocean. On the shores of goody Island, he found the waiting NotLocke. Of course, seconds after he arrived, Widmore's crew had NotLocke's position locked in. More explosions. This is rivaling John Locke's great Island Explosion Tour of Aught Four, folks. Jack went FLYING. The familiar post-explosions sounds were heard. NotLocke rushed to get Jack. He carried him on his back to safety. "You're with me now," NotLocke told Jack.

Meanwhile, Sawyer successfully eluded NotLocke for the time being with Desmond's ol boat that Libby gave him. Jack brought Sun, Frank and Hurley with him as planned. Sawyer explained to Jack that Claire and Sayid weren't invited. Sayid's a zombie and Claire's nuts is how Sawyer summed it up. Jack went along with it. It was a bit cruel. Moments before Jack fled, he had a little talk with his sister about the trust she's put into NotLocke. Claire put it simply: he was there for her when everybody else had left her. What she didn't know is that the Island started throwing characters back in time. Of course, Jack immediately abandoned her again. She didn't take kindly to that. She approached the boat with a gun, ready to shoot. She yelled that NotLocke would be mad. Poor Claire. She doesn't want to be alone. Kate came through in the clutch. She finally told Claire why she came back to the Island. She apologized for raising Aaron. She told her she would not leave without her. It was enough to make a grown man dusty in the eyes, folks. She got on the boat but not before warning them that NotLocke will be mad if he finds the boat. HE'S A PILLAR OF BLACK SMOKE! OF COURSE HE'LL BE MAD! Sawyer's Widmore-Submarine plan didn't go as planned. We got one heck of a Jin/Sun reunion. I didn't expect it. I yelled out loud and I command absolute silence during LOST. But we were left with the group of six on their knees. I assume Widmore, that bastard, wants them killed. Zoe told Sawyer that the deal was off. Someone name ONE thing that Widmore's done to make him likable. ONE.

Also, NotLocke assigned Sayid another assignment: kill Desmond. You see, Zoe showed up to show off the power of her crew. NotLocke didn't really care and wasn't scared. After all, he IS black smoke. Widmore wanted Desmond back. NotLocke acted ignorant. Later is when he told Sayid what to do. Sayid arrived at the well and pointed the gun down. Desmond began talking to Sayid, his old buddy. They once traveled with one another to the freighter, had each other's back. Desmond wanted to know what Smokey promised Sayid. Sayid told him about the return of the love of his life. Desmond wanted to know how Smokey could pull that off. Sayid explained that he died and was brought back by Smokey. Desmond then went for the heart. He asked Sayid what would he tell his love about what he did to get her back. Such sadness conveyed in this scene. Shades of what Michael did to get Walt back. It was brilliant. We didn't see Sayid kill Desmond. The next thing we saw was Sayid tell NotLocke that he killed him. Hope for Sayid? I think I write those words every week.

In the SIDEWAYS, the threads began to merge. Sun and Locke were taken to the hospital. Sawyer had a chat with Kate about their little meaning. Sawyer made a big fuss about fate bringing them together. Kate assumed Sawyer didn't want anyone finding out he had been to Australia. She's very good. Claire ran into Desmond as she was arriving for her adoption appointment. Desmond told her he could help her with the legal stuff of adoption. Claire obliged though she seemed a bit freaked. They were both going to floor 15. There, she met Desmond's lawyer friend Ilana. Yes, the very same Ilana who got Arzted last week. Ilana seemed to be waiting for her because she had Christian's will. Later on, Claire and Jack met. Claire told him that she was his half-sister. Jack had a tough time dealing with that bit of news. He received a phone call from the hospital. He was needed for emergency surgergy. Also, Sayid got arrested for murdering Keamy and his friends. HOW'S THAT for a succinct recap of the Sideways? Listen, you can go to Lostpedia for a thorough detail recap of the Sideways. I do have more to say about the Sideways.

A fascinating bit happened very early when Sun and Locke were side by side. She said "no...no...no...it's him." HMMMMM. In the ambulence, Ben tried helping the paramedics as much as he could with the little info he had. Locke told them to contact Helen, his fiancee. "I was going to marry her," he said. The way Terry O'Quinn delivered the Helen line was enought to make a grown man dusty in the eyes as he recalled the lousy life of John Locke. The man who believed when no one else believed and was rejected for his belief. The man whose own father conned him, who was left alone by Helen when he couldn't and so on and so on. John Locke was so awesome. I digress. Jack arrived for surgery and noticed the man he was about to do surgery on was none other than John Locke, the man he had a nice chat with in the airport. Of course, I had a flashback of the season three spinal surgery storyline with Benjamin Linus. Do I think we're going to see part II of that? Not really. But it sure was a familiar scene. About Sun's line, maybe she was having memories like we've seen the characters having. She was bleeding, traumatized from being shot. I think John Locke is absolutely the original John Locke. In the Sideways that is. Sun's lines are matter of the worlds slowly, slowly becoming...one...maybe...or bleeding into eachother. How they reconcile will be amazing I'm sure when we finally learn how they reconcile.

Time for some other thoughts:

--Of course I'm going to begin this by complimenting Emilie de Ravin's beauty. She looked gorgeous in the Sideways. Absolutely gorgeous. I really enjoyed her reunion with Hurley. I especially enjoyed Hurley's reaction. I felt quite bad for Claire. No one wanted her. People were afraid of her. She just wanted to be with her friends again. She even told Jack that she never had much family and was glad that he was back. All she needs is a little love. I thought Emilie was wonderful in this episode.

--Best scene of the night goes to Desmond and Sayid. Henry Ian Cusick is a hell of an actor. Great writing, great performances. That scene ranks among some of LOST's best.

--Sayid, Sayid, Sayid. It's been a rough season for him. I keep writing that there's hope for Sayid's redemption. Is there? If Hurley believes people can be brought back from the dark side, there is hope. He's not giving up on Claire. I don't think he'd give up on Sayid either.

--I feel a bit bad for getting angry at Richard, Ben and Miles for going off on their own. I now LIKE their plan. Hopefully, we catch up with them in two weeks.

--Who would've thought when watching seasons 1-4 that Claire would one day be a real threatening presence? I didn't think she was going to shoot Kate but it wouldn't have surprised me. That's good writing and good acting.

--As I wrote earlier, this episode felt like the penultimate episode of the series. The final four are going to be astounding.

--Speaking of that, I can't believe there's only four episodes left. This season has flown by. I'm really going to miss this show.

--The Jin/Sun reunion was well worth the wait. Yes, I applauded when it occured. I thought I even saw Sawyer choke up.

--I must mention: there's only 3 audio LOST podcasts left. The Official LOST podcast has been a favorite of mine ever since it debuted in late 2005. Damon and Carlton are awesome in every podcast. Yep. There's only 3 podcasts left. I'll probably give a recap and thoughts on the final podcast.

--Paul Zbyszewski and Graham Roland wrote this episode. It's probably their last LOST episode. Tremendous job by them. Graham Roland, a new writer this season, has some potential. I'm looking forward to what he writes after this. Same for Mr. Zvbyszewski. Stephen Semel directed this one.

--I enjoyed this one a whole lot. I had so much fun watching it. The pay off is truly beginning. Every actor and actress was wonderful. The entire crew was fantastic as always. There was so much going on in this episode. I'm so excited to watch the final four episodes of the series.

--No LOST next week so I'll be back in two weeks. Enjoy the re-run of "Ab Aeterno" next week.

--And yes, this is being posted a mere 2.5 hours after "The Last Recruit" aired!

TO THE RANKINGS!

Good times with the rankings. There's some movement in both. STEVE moved Jack to 2 and MIB to 3. Kate was demoted in STEVE's. Frank made it into the top ten. Sayid fell out of the top ten. As for my rankings, Claire remains on the cusp of the top 5. Will she make it? My top 5 remained the same. I moved Kate up because of how awesome she was with Claire. Sawyer got demoted for his plan backfiring and kicking Jack off the boat. Check 'em out for yourselves:

AFTER EPISODE 13

RANKED: 4/20/2010

CHRIS

1. Desmond

2. Jack

3. Hurley

4. Jin

5. Ben

6. Claire

7. Kate

8. Locke

9. Sawyer

10. Miles

11. Sayid

12. Frank

13. Sun

14. Richard

15. Jacob

16. Man in Black

17. Widmore

STEVE

1. Desmond

2. Jack

3. Man in Black

4. Richard

5. Ben

6. Miles

7. Kate

8. Jin

9. Frank

10. Sawyer

11. Sayid

12. Jacob

13. Claire

14. Locke

15. Jacob

16. Hurley

17. Widmore

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Jacob's Foot: Everybody LOVES Hugo recap

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="800" caption="Michael gives Hurley some advice."][/caption]

The last thing I needed to see was Sideways John Locke being run over by a car as he simply was wheeling himself to his car but I suppose it's a case of the end justifying the means. Why do I have a feeling I'm going to write more about John Locke than Hurley when it was a Hurley-centric episode? I can tell you one thing: I'm going back to the old way I wrote recaps STARTING NOW.

Hurley is a beloved individual. Both in the fictional world(s) in which he lives and in the fan community that celebrates his character. He's been the heart of the show since episode one and, now, he is the leader. With Sayid the BFF of Smokey and Jack deciding that it's time to let it go and to stop fixing things and with John Locke dead, it's time for Hugo Reyes to take on the role of leader. If I'm any of them, I would trust Hugo with my life. This arc began when he first met Jacob in a cab outside of the prison. After his encounter with Jacob, he no longer felt like he was crazy because Jacob provided him with some perspective. What if he wasn't crazy? What if the deceased people who visited him and talked with him was a gift? What if he wasn't curse? Jacob left with a guitar case with an ankh in it that would get him into the Temple where he would take the next step. He stood up to Dogen, with some helpful 'you can do it!' from Jacob. He was tasked with a mission: to bring Jack with him to the lighthouse where Jack himself would be given some perspective. Jack realized quickly, after the death of Juliet and the own weight of responsibility he carried with him about her death, that he needed to let it go. He needed to let go of his anger, let go of his need to fix things he even though he sitting back and letting others tell him what to do kills him. I digress though. Hurley has assumed the responsibility for people now. Sun, Frank and Jack trust him with their lives.

Hurley never actively desired the leadership. It's just in him. It comes naturally to him. For the first few seasons, Hurley was the man who wanted everyone to forget about how terrible a situation they were in. He wanted to provide them with pleasure and fun every once in awhile, just to relieve the depression they felt. There was the golf course in "Solitary." There was the 'let's fix the van!" from season three's "Tricia Tanaka Is Dead." He had the idea for a census so that everyone would know eachother. Sure Boone had a problem with it but he was way liberal. I digress. Hurley also wanted to help. He volunteered for the trek to the Black Rock in "Exodus." He witnessed the explosion of Dr. Arzt. I digress again. Hurley is nice to everybody. The Others used him to frighten the rest of the Losties or The Others loved him so much that they let him go and spared him from the good time in the cages and the Hydra station. He never wanted to hurt anybody. He would offer to carry Aaron for Claire. He wanted to comfort Sayid and suggested fixing a radio after Sayid lost Shannon. He didn't want to lie when he and the rest of the Oceanic 6 left the Island. The lie killed him. He sought the comfort of his mother when burdened and tortured with the lie. He wanted to go with Charlie when Charlie volunteered to swim to the Looking Glass. After Ilana died suddenly from not being careful enough with the dynamite, he decided he was done with that. He destroyed the rest of the dynamite along with The Black Rock. No one else would blow themselves up. Of course Richard was on a mission to blow up that plane so he, Ben and Miles began their journey to New Otheron to get grenades and other explosives. But I digress. Hurley's ultimate act of leadership was deciding to not use violence. The old leaders have used violence. Not Hurley. He went the Leo Tolsoty/Ghandi route: resitance through non-violence. He suggested talking with NotLocke. That's why everyone loves Hugo.

In the Sideways, he was the same man only he didn't feel cursed as he did for much of his post-lottery life. In fact, the episode opened with a speech given by good ol' Dr. Pierre Chang at an event that celebrated Hurley's donation to the Museum. As we learned earlier this season, he went to Australia for business reasons. He didn't go to see Sam Toomey's wife about the numbers he used in the lottery. Presumably, his grandfather Tito did not die of a heart attack shortly after he won the lottery. Presumably, his friend Johnny did not run off with the girl of his dreams Starla. No, Hurley was afraid of even saying hello to a girl. Hurley still possessed the altruistic and good-natured, caring and loving personality we've loved since episode one. He hooked Locke up with a job when he learned Randy Nations had fired Locke after seeing an angry Locke yell at Hurley's car. When his mother set him up on a blind date, he went and was approached by Libby, the love of his Island life. She swore she knew him from somewhere but she couldn't quite place it. Soon, Hurley's old doctor from the Island took her away and apologized for the intrusion. The thing is, Hurley thought for a moment she was Rosalita, the woman Hurley's mother arranged for Hurley to meet. He remarked that she was so pretty. He was so taken aback by her beauty. He didn't react freaked or anything. He watched her wistfully as she was taken into the Santa Rosa Mental Hospital van. He became depressed and went to Mr. Cluck's to eat a family size bucket of chicken. One wonders if his father returned in the Sideways. Probably. I assume he still left the family for awhile which is where Hugo's depressive eating habits begun. At least that's how it began in the Island timeline.

In Mr. Cluck's, he met Desmond. Desmond was awaiting his order when he recognized Hurley from Oceanic 815. He sat down and they began talking. Hurley told him about Libby and what she told him. Desmond asked whether he had any memory of Libby. Hurley said he sort of did but didn't quite believe himself. Desmond suggested looking for her so that he could talk to her. Hurley went to Santa Rosa, spoke with the Doctor who informed him that Libby's mental illness involved confusion about realities. Hurley donated generously to the hospital so that he could speak to her. Libby told her about what she remembered, that there was a plane crash and that they liked eachother. Hurley couldn't remember but he asked Libby out anyway. Those writers in Room 23 are pretty crafty and sneaky, too. Hurley recognized Libby but couldn't quite place her in his head. She told him that he knew her because he stepped on her toe; that wasn't true since Hurley remembered her from the mental hospital. We finally got confirmation on that matter when Libby told him, in the Sideways, that she remembers him being in Santa Rosa.

The relationship between Hurley and Libby produced one of the saddest moments in the show when Hurley sat beside her dead body and apologized tearfully for forgetting the blankets. She saved him from doing something very stupid when Dave tried to convince him that the Island was just part of his "crazyness." It ended before it began when Libby ran into a desperate Michael who had just shot Ana-Lucia in the gut. Libby was in the wrong place at the wrong time. The two finally were able to have their picnic in the Sideways. Hurley even remembered Libby after a kiss as a satisifed Desmond drove off to rundown poor wheel chair bound Locke. The episode opened with Hurley speaking to Libby's grave. The first act of of Act I in 'Tricia Tanaka Is Dead" is Hurley talking to Libby. He explained that crazy things were happening but he mostly wondered why she hadn't spoke to him like the others do. Ilana came by for some exposition and then left. Soon, Michael showed up to tell Hurley that they would all die. He was there to warn Hurley. It's quite interesting that Michael was the guy to show up. I don't mean interesting in regards to Island craziness. I just mean interesting in regards to the narrative they were telling. I was anticipating Hurley telling Michael that he forgives him in their last scene together but I think he did without saying after Michael told Hurley to apologize for murdering her.

Hurley, Jack, Sun and Frank arrived at NotLocke's camp. Before Jack, Sun and Frank showed themselves, Hurley wanted to make sure no one would get hurt or die. NotLocke told Hurley that he would not harm anyone. And then the three came in. Kate smiled widely when she saw Jack. Sawyer looked sort of relieved. And then we got to the end of the episode when Sideways Locke was rundown by Desmond.

Time for more thoughts:

--As I'm returning to my recapping roots by focusing on the central character of the episode and NOT spending so much time trying to recap every iota of the episode, I devoted about 5 sentences to the end. I didn't devote any words to the Desmond/NotLocke subplot. I will because that's what this section's all about: the subplots. NotLocke was rather offended by Desmond's non-fear about everything. NotLocke could not get to Desmond. It was very, very interesting when NotLocke explained the origins of the wells. People dug for answers to the wonky compass issues. And there are multiple wells on the Island. Yes, I think there's going to be a major electromagnetic event in the series finale. Desmond was eventually pushed into the well because NotLocke grew frustrated. Did Desmond get pay back in the Sideways? I'm not so sure. I'll wait and see like I've been doing for the last six seasons. Could Locke be making his heroic return? Could he somehow from another world thwart the Man in Black? One can hope. Also, the final shot of the episode was of Locke lying on his back, bloody. Yes, it indeed mirrored the shot of Locke after he fell 8 stories. Perhaps Desmond just wanted to trigger some memories. He is a man on a mission after all. Also, how about Ben rushing to save John Locke's life when, in Island timeline, he's the man who ended Locke's life.

--Loved Jack's scene with Hurley when he explained why he trusted Hurley and went with him. It was a moment six seasons in the making. Matthew Fox was outstanding during that. Bravo, Mr, Fox.

--When I saw the shot of the dynamite in Ilana's bag, I had a brief thought about how long it's been since the unstable dynamite did anything. Well, I guess the writers did as well. Ilana got Arzted. Ben wondered what the Island has in store for them once It's done with them all. Ilana, who trained for years and years to protect the candidates, dies as a result of handling the dynamite too casually. I think, like Hurley thinks, it was a case of not handing the dynamite carefully enough.

--I think it's wonderful that everyone is pretty much together now. Hopefully every character is involved now. I hope I've seen the last episode that focuses on one group of characters and ignores another group. I long for the early season one episodes when everyone was invovled. We've still got Jin (Poor Sun) on Hydra Island, hanging out with Widmore's crew, but this is as close as we've come to everyone being together since "The Beginning of The End." Of course Richard, Ben and Miles are off to blow up the plane but they weren't part of the season 1 magic anyway.

--NotLocke saw another kid in the jungle, smiling demonically at him. Desmond saw him too and NotLocke told Desmond to IGNORE HIM. This kid has dark hair instead of blond hair. It seemed like the same kid NotLocke saw in "The Substitute." Who knows. NotLocke wasn't too pleased. It certainly didn't help when he made the decision to throw Desmond down a well. Am I fearful that Desmond is dead? No. The previews solved that problem. Plus, the well didn't seem too deep when NotLocke dropped the torch.

--I was very disappointed in Sayid. Perhaps the most disappointed I've ever been in the character. Tying up Desmond to a tree? Do you not remember Ana-Lucia doing the SAME thing to you in "Collision"? Probably not since he is a ZOMBIE and BFFs with NotLocke. Of course Sayid probably thinks NotLocke can actually bring Nadia back to him and back to life. Bad times for Sayid fans.

--Sawyer continues to grow impatient with NotLocke. He wondered why NotLocke was carving himself a spear. NotLocke told him to sod off. Not in those words of course. NotLocke claims everyone needs to leave together just as the Oceanic 6 needed to be together to return. What if it turns out that NotLocke was telling the truth all of this time? I'm not sure he is telling the truth. I think he mixes truth and lies as he sees fit. I think NotLocke is like the Hatch. The Hatch was destroyed to prevent the end of human existence. NotLocke needs to be destroyed to prevent the End of All Things. I wondered internally about whether or not the Island's Volcano would come into play at all this season since DL and CC said the volcano introduced in 'The Man Behind The Curtain" would be important but I'm thinking there's going to be a major electromagnetic event to destroy The Smokeness NotLocke.

--The mystery and intrigue of Libby wasn't there in this episode. We'll never know the backstory of Libby. Does it really matter though? I don't think so. I was glad to see the Sideways Libby the way she was. Cynthia Watros looked beautiful.

--How about the answer to the whispers? They've been a favorite of mine since "Solitary." The Island does have Purgatory qualities to it. I wondered who else is lingering on the Island. I also think Hurley's line about dead people being more reliable than alive people is heavy foreshadowing.

--My face is going to be all kinds of red if Man in Black turns out to be a good guy. I also really enjoyed Hurley's nervousness when thinking about his upcoming disucssion with Smokey.

--I want to see a 6'7" Walt return and DUNK on The Smoke Monster.

--Lostpedia reports that this was the first episode directed by Daniel Attias since Hurley's first flashback episode 'Numbers.' How fitting that he returns to direct the final Hurley episode. Eddie Kitsis and Adam Horowtiz wrote this one. I really enjoyed this episode. It's never a bad hour when Hurley's at the forefront. Jorge Garcia was terrific. It was great seeing Harold Perrineau again and the beautiful Cynthia Watros. Kudos to see Terry O'Quinn and Henry Ian Cusick as well. It was great seeing Francois Chau again too.

--Damon Lindelof had a great tweet about not switching over to Glee because LOST would feature copious amounts of Madonna songs in the second half. By songs, he meant EXPLOSIONS. There was a lot of that in "Everybody Loves Hugo." Also, just because I feel like it: season two's Hurley episode title was "Everybody Hates Hugo."

TO THE RANKINGS!

After a week of no changes, my rankings have gone wild. I've moved people all over the place. I'm not too happy that Richard, Ben and Miles went off their own and ignored Hurley. Ben remains in the top 5 but he's at 5. Richard's down to 14 and Miles is now 10. Sayid, after his actions, is no. 11. I moved Sawyer to 8 and Kate to 9 because they've been solid and loyal all season. Jin moved into the top 5. Claire is on the cusp of the top 5-dom. Will she make it before the rankings take their final bow? Also, I'd like to announce there's a very special rankings me and STEVE will do once the series finale is over. Anywho, STEVE's rankings are the same for the most part. There's the usual switcharoo he does for the lower ranked characters. Also, we removed Ilana and Zoe. I made the mistake of wanting to rank Zoe. In the past, we usually gave a character who died one more week and we still might. Who knows. But the series is coming to a close quickly and we've got to rank the characters who really matter. CHECK 'EM OUT:

AFTER EPISODE 12

RANKED: 4/14/2010

CHRIS

1. Desmond

2. Jack

3. Hurley

4. Jin

5. Ben

6. Claire

7. Locke

8. Sawyer

9. Kate

10. Miles

11. Sayid

12. Frank

13. Sun

14. Richard

15. Jacob

16. Man in Black

17. 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. Claire

13. Locke

14. Sun

15. Jacob

16. Widmore

17. Hurley

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Jacob's Foot: Happily Ever After Recap

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="800" caption="Desmond has some fun with electromagnetism"][/caption]

Ladies and gentlemen, the third and final act of the final season has begun.

Does patience pay off? It does because we just got a huge progression in the tale of the sideways. Our characters are having vivid memories of their Island lives. Charlie saw his life with Claire as he lay dying on the Oceanic 815 Faraday felt love the first time he saw Charlotte as he walked in her museum and he had never met her but, that night as he slept, he dreamt about her and awoke to write a complex equation and Desmond kept seeing Penny throughout and began searching for her. In the end, he awoke from the electromagnetic event Widmore put him through with a sereneness about him and purpose. He asked Charles, "when do we start?" We don't know what Widmore told him. The next thing we saw was Sayid attack two of Widmore's men and allow Zoe to run. Sayid invited Desmond to come with him and Desmond said, "lead the way."

Desmond is, indeed, special as Faraday told us last year in "Because You Left." He is the connection between the sideways and the Island. This episode mirroed "Flashes Before Your Eyes" but mixed in a little bit of "The Constant" with some "Through The Looking Glass," "Further Instructions," "The Variable," "Man of Science, Man of Faith," and "Live Together, Die Alone." The two most important episodes to remember while thinking about "Happily Ever After" are "Flashes Before Your Eyes" and "The Constant." Desmond was our introduction to time-travel (although Hurley teased it during season two). Desmind is OUR constant. He's been a man trapped by fate as Ms. Hawking told him in "Flashes Before Your Eyes." Desmond wanted to change things, to propose to Penny but Ms. Hawking told her that wasn't going to happen because his purpose was going to the Island and pushing the button so the entire world didn't go bye-bye. In this episode, he seemingly has full control of his destiny and it looks as if it will come down to choice in the end. Allow me to dive into an episode that didn't have one insignificant scene.

The opening of the Sideways story mirrored the opening of "what happened after Desmond turned the key in the Hatch" in "Flashes Before Your Eyes." No, Desmond wasn't on the floor surrounded by red paint. Instead, he stared at his reflection as he searched for baggage claim for Oceanic 815. Luckily, Hurley came by and directed him. As Desmond approached the baggage carousel (is that what it's called?) he found Claire trying to get her bags. He helped her and they talked. He asked about her pregnancy but apologized for asking since he was, you know, a stranger. They had a nice talk. Desmond offered her a ride but she wanted to take a taxi. Before they parted, he told her that her child would be a boy. NOW how would he know that? (I ask knowingly with a gleeful grin).

He found his driver, George Minkowski. Minkowski, if you recall, was the communications guy on the freigher and was the suffering from the sickness of mind time-travel and eventually died. He and Desmond bonded during that time. Anywho, Desmond was the right-hand man of Charles Widmore. Ms. Hawking (or Mrs. Widmore in this case) told Desmond, later at the concert set-up, that he got what he always sought: the approval of Charles Widmore. That's debatable but it's worth mentioning. Their scene was full of references to old episodes. The most symbolic part of the scene was when Widmore shared a bottle of McCutheon whiskey with Desmond as that bottle of whiskey represents the how beneath Desmond is to Widmore in the Island narrative. Widmore had a job for Desmond: get Charlie Pace, the junkie rockstar of Driveshaft, and take him to the concert where Daniel was going to mix classical music with rock n' roll.

Desmond did just that only Charlie walked right past him, across the street, and into a bar. Desmond caught up with him and they drank together. In the bar, we got additional context for why Charlie told Jack that he was supposed to die. On February 2, it seemed like a nod to fate, a nod to what happened in the Looking Glass station. But no, it wasn't. He told Desmond a story about love. We were misled to think that Charlie fell in love with Kate but, no, the marshal merely motivated Charlie to go to the the bathroom to get rid of his stash of heroin through swallowing. He told Desmond that he swallowed it and that darkness overcame him. In that darkness, he saw the most beautiful blond girl ("rapturously beautiful" is how Charlie described Claire). He loved her and it was like they had been together for all of time and would be together for all of time. Just as he was about to be engulfed in it, Jack saved him. The experience convinced Charlie that he was living in a reality that wasn't all real and he became suicidal because of his experience. Charlie became motivated to show Desmond the falseness of the reality in which they lived because he saw the truth. Charlie didn't believe that Desmond was happy with his life even though he was successful. Couldn't be. He didn't see the truth.

They left the bar and entered a car. On the road, they continued to talk. Charlie told Desmond that he'd show Desmond what he meant. Charlie grabbed the wheel and soon he and Desmond found themselves in the boat harbor where Desmond was shot by Ben in Island story. He escaped, surfaced to catch his breath and then went back down to save Charlie. As he attempted to open the door, Charlie opened his eyes and put his hand to the window ("Through The Looking Glass" parallel) and Desmond began having flashes of Charlie's death in the Looking Glass station. He did pull him out eventually. I think it's right to assume that Charlie experienced that experience as he lay dying in the airplane bathroom because he died with the thought that the love of his life and her son would fly safely away from the Island. I think Charlie definitely felt that.

At the hospital, the doctor was concerned about his head while Desmond was concerned about finding Charlie. The doctor wouldn't let Des find anyone without undergoing an MRI first to figure out if there's anything wrong with his head. At the MRI, he was given a panic button. Desmond was alarmed by the word button because of his history with buttons. He entered and saw flashes of his Island timeline that was all Penny. He saw every important moment including the birth of his son. He pushed the button. The doctor freed him and then Desmond went looking for Charlie. He ran into Jack while looking for Charlie. They exchanged pleasantries. Jack expressed incredulousness when he heard that someone from Oceanic 815 was in the hospital (shades of old man of science Jack). Charlie appeared, running through the hospital and away from nurses. Desmond followed him and, after descending a stairwell, cornered Charlie. Desmond immediately asked about Penny. Charlie was glad that Desmond had felt it. Charlie told Desmond that he wasn't going to play the show because it didn't matter, that none of it matted and that the only thing that mattered was that they felt it. Charlie told Desmond to find Penny. I think Charlie was the MVC of this episode. His characters seems to have set-up the final arc of this sideways narrative. Desmond echoed the words of Jacob in the bar as he talked to Charlie, "there's always a choice."

Desmond quickly updated Widmore on the Charlie news. Desmond was tasked with telling Mrs. Widmore. He went to the house and told her. She reacted kindly like she knew that it would happen but she grew perturbed when Desmond wanted to look at the list of guests. She told Desmond that he wasn't ready to find who he was looking for and that he had gotten the approval he sought for his entire life from Widmore. Her son, Daniel, listened to the entire conversation. Desmond left, entered the limo, poured himself a glass of alcohol and told Minkowski to just drive but Daniel knocked on the window and wanted to talk with Desmond.

Daniel talked about love at first sight and proceeded to tell him the story about Charlotte that I described at the start of the recap. He also talked about dream. Daniel then pulled out a journal which he wrote in after the dream: a complex quantum physics equation. He didn't know how considering he was a musician and not a physicist. It would take years and years of study but he brought the equation to a friend. Daniel learned that the problem was of a new reality being created as a result of something catastrophic happening, of a huge bundle of energy being released, like a hydrogen bomb being detonated (JUGHEAD!). Desmond asked Daniel does he want to detonate a hydrogen bomb. Daniel said he thinks he already did. Daniel asked about Penny, the girl he's been seeing flashes of and searching for. Desmond said that she was just an idea. Daniel said that she was not just an idea, that she was his half-sister and that he knew where and when he could find her.

Turns out that she likes to run up and down stairs in an empty stadium just like Jack and Desmond did in "Man of Science, Man of Faith." Desmond introduced himself after she confirmed that she was Penny and they shook hands. Also, that stadium was where Desmond saw Penny for the last time before his race around the world. He was the one preparing to run up and down the stairs.

And then he awoke in the Island timeline. Seamus and Zoe were stunned that he survived all of that electromagnetic energy. Not Widmore. He knew that Desmond would survive because he survived the Hatch explosion. He needed Desmond to be prepared to sacrifice for the sake of his wife and child. He needed Desmond to be on the same page. Desmond was game to do what needed to be done. He had purpose and he believed in Widmore. We don't know what Widmore told him or if Desmond saw something that we didn't see. He eventually wound up with Sayid as mentioned earlier.

And then we were back in the sideways. He had fainted upon shaking Penny's hand. He asked to have coffee with her. He made his case by saying he had just fainted in front of her. Penny was swooning. It was adorable. She agreed to meet him in an hour at a coffee shop. He went back to the limo, all smiles. Minkowski told Desmond that he would get whatever he wanted after Minkowski had asked Des whether or not he found what he was looking for to which Des said yes. Desmond had one request. He wanted the manifest for Oceanic 815 because he had something to show them. I think it's certain he possesses the knowledge of both timelines, both realities. We do not know what the plan is yet.

This episode has really brought a new level of meaning to the flash sideways. I followed the advice of Damon and Carlton so I didn't dive into much speculation. I noted the differences here and there but I mostly waited for the sideways to reveal themselves a little more and, now, we have some real information. New context has been given to the previous sideways encounters. I'm thinking of Kate and Jack specifically. They both shared looks outside of "LA X." I wonder did Jack and Kate experience or, rather, feel their other life experiences? Jack seems to have felt his other life but, like his encounter with Desmond, might be shrugging off as something insignificant. More than any other character (not counting the characters in "Happily Ever After"), Jack seems to have been remembering. As we are now in the third and final act of the season, we've gotta see more characters experiencing or feeling their other lives. I think I can see the ultimate conclusion of this show forming in the distance. I can see the various plot threads and narratives forming into what seems to be an extremely emotional and heartfelt finale.

The episode blew my mind. It's one of the great LOST episodes. I got goosebumps during various scenes. I had a lump in my throat during various scenes and I felt quite emotional as I realized the threads of the story are slowly being pulled together as this show nears its conclusion. I was overjoyed that the endgame really is going to focus on these characters that we've spent six seasons with. I'm excited. I'm ready.

Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse penned this episode and it was FULL of references to episodes past. So full that I'm going to wait until the "More Thoughts" section to detail every single one FROM MEMORY. I am a geek. I wrote an entry earlier today about my feeling that there would be some sideways revelations. I feel vindicated. I also argued for patience. Well, hopefully, people learn to settle down and just roll with the show with only 7 hours of the show left. But, anywho, let me dive into the central story of "Happily Ever After."

Time for MORE thoughts:

--This episode most clearly mirrored "Flashes Before Your Eyes" as I've stated. Here's the references I caught to that episode as well as all of the other references to past episodes:

Hurley was the first person to see Desmond in the airport after his conciousness shifted to the sideways. In "Further Instructions," Hurley was the first person to see a naked Desmond running in the jungle after he turned the failsafe key.

In "Flashes Before Your Eyes," Desmond can hear Claire calling for help from a mile away as she nearly drowns in the ocean. Desmond helps her with her luggage in baggage claim. The last time

Desmond was in a limo was "Live Together, Die Alone" where we also met Widmore for the first time. Widmore told Desmond that Des wasn't good enough for his daughter and asked him to leave without a trace. In this episode, Widmore got a limo and a personal driver for Desmond.

Desmond's task in this episode was keeping track of Charlie Pace. Of course, one of the big arcs of season three was Desmond trying and trying to prevent Charlie's death even though he knew the universe has a way of course-correcting itself. In this episode, Charlie was suicidal and hell bent on dying because of what he saw as he lay dying.

His dual conciousness occured in "Flashes Before Your Eyes" and "The Constant."

Desmond attacked Ben Linus and sent him into the harbor in "Dead Is Dead." Charlie made sure they went into the harbor.

I think everybody noticed the "Through The Looking Glass" parallel/reference.

The only other significant bar scene in LOST that I can recall off the top of my head is the scene between Sawyer and Christian in "Outlaws." The bar scene with Desmond and Charlie is pretty damn significant. Christian expressed regret that he couldn't pick up a phone to tell his son that it's allright. Charlie was obsessed with what we saw. Christian spoke about fate and destiny using the Red Sox. Charlie felt that he had witnessed his fate and destiny.

Desmond collapsed in a stairwell in "The Constant." I expected that would happen as he chased Charlie in the hospital but it didn't happen.

When Faraday knocked on the Hatch door in "Because You Left" and told Desmond that everyone was in danger and that he needs to find his mother, he awoke in bed with Penny. Penny asked him if he had a dream. Desmond said no. He thinks he just got a memory. In this episode, the characters dreamed these things they experienced but they aren't dreams at all. They are memories.

Desmond and Faraday spoke about constands and time-travel in "The Constant." We got a huge download of info in that episode. The same thing happened in this one with Faraday, once again, explaining complex stuff with simple terminology. I've missed Faraday. Jeremy Davies owns that role.

Widmore exposited the events of "Dead Is Dead" for the audience when Benny Linus shot Desmond. It's sort of a reference.

--Dominic Monoghan was great in this episode. My favorite scene of the episode is Charlie telling Desmond about Claire. I almost forgot how big a fan I was of the two of them together. The music was very moving and the way Dom Monoghan played it was outstanding. Dare I believe there's a happy ending for Claire, Charlie and Aaron together? That would make The Foot very dusty.

--I just re-watched the scene between Desmond and Ms. Hawking (should I refer to her as Mrs. Widmore?) and I believe she's just as knowing. She told Desmond to stop because he has the perfect life. Is she, perhaps, trying to prevent the sideways from maybe crumbling? Who knows. We shall soon see.

--I'm a big fan of Seamus. He seems like a nice fellow. He hesitated with maximizing the electromagnetic energy. He looked relieved that Desmond was okay. I'm a fan. I don't have much else. I also love the name. The name is a big reason why I'm a fan.

--I just re-watched the end when Desmond tells Minkowski, with clarity and purpose in his eyes, that he needs to show the people of Oceanic 815 something. Oh the goosebumps. The music is amazing. It's going to be an immense final 6 episodes and 7 hours.

--Sayid was pretty nice letting Zoe go. I imagine Zoe has an important role to play. I don't mind her. She's better than Ana Lucia.

--It was cool seeing another old Dharma project. There's no way Widmore brought that fancy contraception with him on the sub. Fun fact: electromagnetism was first introduced on the show in season one's "Hearts and Minds." Sayid theorizes about electromagnetism when trying to figure out the wonky compass.

--"Happily Ever After" is an episode that proves the creative masterminds always had a gameplan. Was it sketchy at times because of the fact that they are a network show? Sure. But it's been there. I have the quotes and podcasts to prove it. Don't believe me? Carlton gave away Tawaret IN THE "LIVE TOGETHER, DIE ALONE" REHASH PODCAST! Damon mentioned the possibility of flash-sideways in season four! Anywho, Desmond's specialness was introduced in "Furthers Instructions" when he first saved Charlie's life. His specialness became evident more so in "Flashes Before Your Eyes" and The Constant." And then I've mentioned the other instances. My point: bravo, Darlton!

--This has nothing to do with the episode but I'm curious about what exactly was going on in that cabin that Jacob was not using.

--Widmore seemed taken aback when Desmond was on the same page with him. Could it be because HE HAS FLASHES OF THE FUTURE?!? Come on, Widmore! (I know he doesn't know that but he knew Des is special). I also failed to mention Desmond's beat-down of Widmore with an I-V stand.

--Desmond received two eyeball scenes. The first was when he awoke in the hospital bed. The second when he awoke...in a hospital bed in the sideways.

--I'm really excited to see how the two storylines will reconcile. I think it's going to be tremendous.

--Last night, Damon accidentally retweeted a fan's observation about Desmond's missing wedding ring and wondered if it's a result of the worlds bleeding into one another. Remember in "Recon" when Liam showed up to bail his brother out? Where in the world did Liam go? It could just be a case of Desmond beating Liam to the station. Also, last week, it sounded like Keamy told Jin he would freak if he told him what happened to the Island. Some people have opted to chalk that up to a sound glitch. But with the knowledge we got in "Happily Ever After" it might be very intentional.

--Henry Ian Cusick, Dom Monoghan, Sonya Walger, Jeremy Davies and Alan Dale were great. Damon and Carlton wrote one of the series best episodes (no surprise there). Jack Bender did an outstanding job. The ace team of LOST delivered yet again.

--Next week looks very, very good as well. It's gonna be Hurley's hour and it looks like some familiar people will be showing up.

TO THE RANKINGS!

THE OFFICIAL LOST RANKINGS

We decided to add Zoe to the rankings. I tried to add Seamus but no one even knows his name really so it's understandable. So Zoe enters the fray with just 7 hours left in the show. But besides that, there were pretty much no changes at all in either rankings. Save for Zoe and the usual switcharoo STEVE does with Widmore and Hurley, it's exactly the same as last week. Take a look regardless:

AFTER EPISODE 11

RANKED: 4/7/2010

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. Zoe

19. 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. Zoe

18. Hurley

19. Widmore

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Jacob's Foot: The Damon Tweet

It's been two months or so since I've written anything besides a recap for LOST. That changes today. As I patiently await the new episode at 9PM, there's a few things worth discussing in anticipation of the Desmond-centric episode "Happily Ever After."

In last week's long, long recap (I'm turning into lostpedia here! but that's changing starting tonight) I expressed my excitement about Desmond's return. I also expressed fears that he'd be killed off because of a cryptic tweet from Damon Lindelof; however, I believed I mis-read the meaning behind that tweet because I seem to be one of the few people who is actually enjoying the final season and doesn't feel that there's much to complain about. There are many who have grown frustrated with the season. It's an interesting thing to observe. If one is asked what they want from the final season, they don't know. They just want something. I don't know what I'd say to the masses who have become frustrated by the flash sideways and other stuff. We're halfway through season six and you still haven't become familiar with how this show operates? Really? I know that people want answers. Should they read my old column about how answers aren't essential to enjoying the final chapter of LOST? Yes, they should. I trust Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse a whole lot. If they suggest being patience with the flash sideways then I will be patient. Every season of LOST builds to a mind-blowing finish. I don't doubt that season six is doing just that. The true purpose of the sideways has yet to been revealed but they will be. This now brings me to the purpose of this little entry. Damon's tweet: "In one week, the conversation will change."

Lindelof has more than once expressed his frustration about fan response. He's tweeted some frustration, suggesting fans watch NCIS instead. He admitted to Entertainment Weekly that he's got to control his emotions better. Now, last week's "The Package" was met with so-so reaction by the LOST internet community. I enjoyed the episode. It was fun. It moved the plot forward. It's probably my third favorite Sun/Jin episode of the series. Anywho, I imagine fans were complaining and whatnot about the the episode, the sideways. I assume it was the usual complaints about season six.

The biggest topic of LOST conversation this season has been the sideways. One would assume there might be some sideways revelations tonight. One would be even more encouraged because it is Desmond's hour. He appeared in "LA X" as the guy who Jack felt that he knew but just couldn't place. He seemingly disappeared as well. Faraday made it known in the "Because You Left" season five premiere that Desmond is special. Sure many characters from the past have showed up in the sideways but it seems different for Desmond. We'll certainly find out why Widmore brought Desmond back to the Island tonight.

The point: there could be sideways revelations tonight. That's really all I wanted to say and, also, that I would prefer people stop complaining about the final season.

I'll be back with the recap and rankings tomorrow.

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.