Friday, April 25, 2008

They changed the rules on us

LOST returned from hiatus last night with an all-killer/no-filler, story-based episode titled “The Shape of Things to Come”. If this type of intensity is the shape of things to, I might need some adult diapers. Ben showed us some of his ninja moves, Charles Widmore upped the ante, the Black Smoke Monster took the bullet train to Othersville, we say goodbye to an innocent pawn, we learned Claire is made of Teflon, Bernard gets to practice the Morse Code skills he learned in dental school, and Ben took in the sights in some beautiful parts of the world.

LOST 4x09: The Shape of Things to Come

“The Shape of Things to Come” will likely be seen as one of those “game changer” episodes. They’ve changed the rules of how they will tell the story of these characters and this island moving forward. Sure, the episode relied heavily on a flash forward – Ben’s. But the storytelling was so intense that the mythology of the island almost played second fiddle to the plot.

On the island:

Alex hits the panic button when her captors – the motley crew from the freighter led by Keamy – try to get to Ben. Locke answers the phone and hears the emergency message, “Code 14 J.” Ben tries to barricade himself in the house, but Keamy bargains with Alex’s life to get Ben to surrender. Ben, in both a selfless and callous move, says that he doesn’t care about her, figuring they’ll let her go. Keamy proves himself the ruthless mercenary that he is and actually carries out the execution.

Ben was stunned, as were we all. As if Alex’s short life wasn’t sad enough, she died thinking Ben didn’t love her. This is the most sympathetic moment we have for Ben since being introduced to him, trapped in that net a couple of seasons ago. Ben announces “he changed the rules” and goes into action mode.

He exposes his hidden office and shuts a security door behind him. But not before we get a glimpse of what’s behind a wall of suits in there – some sort of cave or tunnel door. It’s covered with hieroglyphs and other symbols. Want to take a shot at deciphering them? Feel free. Seems to me this is something left behind by the original island inhabitants – the ones who built that four-toed statue we have yet to get the scoop on.
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Right before they were attacked, Hurley put Aaron on a pillow in a laundry basket. Is this an allusion to Moses in the basket being sent down the river? Will Aaron be the key to the Oceanic 6’s freedom or safety? Or perhaps Future Aaron will play a key role in leading the Losties back home.
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The crew blows up Claire’s house with her in it. But somehow, she emerges with just a scratch on her face. Good luck explaining that one.

Back on the beach, the freighter’s doctor washes onto the shore with a slit throat and a stitching job across his cheek that looked like shoelaces. I guess the poor guy probably had to stitch himself up, though. Bernard suggests Faraday try to fix the radio to send Morse Code since the microphone is broken. They manage to make it work and Daniel sends a message asking about Sayid, Desmond and the doctor. Faraday says the reply is “friends are fine – helicopters coming in the morning.” But Bernard utilizes that dental school training in Morse Code (huh?) to translate the real message, “What are you talking about? The doctor is fine.” Yet another time glitch perhaps – the island time is actually ahead of the freighter and the real world by some amount of time.

Ben emerges from the room and tells them they need to run for the treeline. The house begins to shake and the Black Smoke Monster comes racing at the freighter crew like a bullet train. Ben clearly called in the island’s backup defense system, and it does a number on them.

Sawyer’s takes Claire and Aaron back to the beach. Hurley, however, has work to do with Locke and Ben, and they set off to find Jacob’s cabin for further instructions.

Off the island:

Ben appears out of breath in the Sahara Desert wearing a parka with the name Halliwax on it. Why he’s wearing a parka, we’re not sure. Perhaps there are no non-stop routes from the island, and he had a stopover in Antartica. He also had a gash in his arm. Maybe he encountered one of the polar bears on his trip. Two men on horses question him and Ben takes them both down with some kickass Rambo style moves.
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Geek alert: Edgar Halliwax was the name given by the narrator in the Orchid Station orientation film. He called himself Dr. Marvin Candle in the video for the Swan Station and Dr. Mark Wickmund in the Pearl Station film.

Back from commercials, we see Ben in Tunisia checking into a hotel as a preferred guest using his Dean Moriarty passport from “The Economist” episode. The hotel employee seems alarmed. He asks what day it is, and she replies “October 24th.” “2005?” he asks. Ben sees a TV report of news crews hounding Sayid as he begs, “Please, I just want to bury my wife in peace.” Ben high tails it to Tikrit, Iraq, and although in the middle of a war zone, he manages to use press credentials to get to the top of a building where he photographs a bald man. Sayid catches a glimpse of Ben on the roof and then ambushes him. He didn’t realize it was Ben (is there paparazzi in a war zone?), but Ben convinces him the bald man is working for Widmore and was responsible for Nadia’s death.

Later, we see Ben chasing after the bald man again, but Sayid takes him down and empties out his handgun into the guy. Sayid volunteers to work with Ben, who walks away with a smirk. Was this Ben’s plan all along?

Next we see Ben in London. He enters a posh building and tells the doorman he’s visiting the Kendricks in 4E. However, he uses his key to access the penthouse and walks into Widmore’s bedroom. This ain’t no late-night booty call, and he’s not there to kill Widmore either. He’s there to confront him on having changed the game by killing Alex and to let him know that now he’s going to kill Penny. The rules appear to have been that no family would be killed, but Ben’s going tit for tat.

Ben cannot kill Widmore. Will the island not let him or is Ben still following some rules despite them having been changed by Widmore?

Did you take note of how stunningly this scene was filmed, with shadows and both Ben and Widmore only half-lit. It seems to play off the whole idea of light/dark, black/white, good/evil.

There are some fans that are drawing connections to theories of dark matter coming into play. Feel free to check the link for a detailed description, but be prepared for a serious headache.
(Photos from

For discussion: Hurley, Locke and Sawyer are playing the game Risk at the beginning of the episode. Hurley gets frustrated at Sawyer and says that “Australia is the key to the whole game.” Is this a clue that the writers view this all as a big power struggle – perhaps with the armies of Widmore (and Paik) advancing on the island? Perhaps Australia actually is the key to understanding what is going on here.

The shape of things to come on LOST is good since the writers keep raising the bar. What did you think? Leave me some comments in Morse Code below.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

NBC announces a spinoff of The Office

Lord help us! Let's hope they don't go mucking up and watering down one of the best-written, sharpest comedies ever on TV.

NBC is set to launch a spinoff of The Office in the Winter/Spring 2009.

News here.

Met Kevin Johnson...can't say as I like him that much

Episode 4x08 episode of LOST, “Meet Kevin Johnson,” gave us all the scoop on Michael since we last saw him sailing away with Walt from the dock at the end of season two. We saw Michael try to kill himself numerous times, an Other was outed, a sniper took out a couple of people on the island, we almost caught up with Walt, got some seemingly hard evidence that Widmore faked the wreckage found in the ocean, we got a little more screentime for Naomi and Minkowski, and learned that Ben, at the end of the day, still controls everything. More after the jump.

Lost 4x08: Meet Kevin Johnson

The episode opens with a tense town hall meeting at Locke’s house. Our buddy Miles returns, with his jaw still in tact. Ben reveals to the group that Michael is his man on the boat, and the Losties gasp. He also explains that Miles’ mission is to retrieve Ben and then they will kill every remaining person on the island. Ben confides to Alex that the freighter folk will use her to get to him. He begs her to go with Karl and Rousseau to The Temple, where the remaining Others have been since we last saw them.

Sayid and Desmond confront Michael on the deck of the ship and we flash back to Michael in New York.

Though his car is older, the stereo in it reveals that it’s relatively recent. Michael is despondent after making it back home and having revealed to Walt who he killed to get them off the island. He pins a suicide note to his shirt and drives full speed into a dumpster. We next see him in a hospital, and Libby – who he unintentionally killed on the island – enters the room. Michael awakes with a scream.

Geek alert: He’s still in a hospital room, but the room’s equipment was far less high-tech than the equipment in his dream. Why? The monitor in his dream says that all alarms are off and to “admit patient to activate alarms.” Wouldn’t he have been admitted?


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And in the room after he wakes up:

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After being released from the hospital, he hocks Jin’s watch for a gun and tries to kill himself in an alley. (Note to producers of Lost: New York is not filled with alleys. In fact, there are hardly any. Sorry, it’s a pet peeve of mine.) Michael is interrupted by our favorite Other, Tom. We can assume that means this is before he’s been shot on the island, but more on that question later. Tom tells him that they’ve been keeping tabs on him since he and Walt left. He also tells him that the island won’t let him die. Michael tests this theory later back in his apartment with the gun and it seems to be true. Just then, the news report of the discovery of the wreckage of Flight 815 in the ocean is reported on the news.

Michael goes to Tom’s hotel room. And, no big surprise, we meet Tom’s boyfriend, Arturo. (Tom did say to Kate when she was showering, “you’re not my type,” and he didn’t seem to count football among his skills when he was tossing the ball around with Jack.)

Tom tells Michael that the wreckage was faked by Charles Widmore and gives him his next assignment. Michael has to pose as a deck hand on the freighter and kill everyone aboard. (Is Michael the most unlucky guy in the world, or what?) Reluctantly, he accepts the mission. However, it seems that the island wasn’t ready for him to die, as he tries to blow up the freighter, but instead a note pops up jack-in-the-box style saying “NOT YET.” Ben contacts him and tells him to make a list of the people on the freighter. Again, he agrees. Is there anyone Ben doesn’t own?

Sayid and Desmond confront Michael, who reveals the truth about what he’s doing there. Sayid tells the captain Michael is Ben’s spy. The captain actually seems pretty unimpressed with that information in the second after he got the news, but we’ll have to wait until they return to see what his actual reaction to the news was.

Back on the island:

En route to the Temple, quiet shots begin to ring out from the jungle and Karl goes down. Rousseau and Alex try to run for it, but Rousseau takes a hit. Alex waves a white flag of surrender, aaaaand…LOST. See you in a month.

Let’s discuss:

So help me with this timeline, if you would… How could Michael have sailed from the island, been rescued, flown to New York, convinced his mother to take care of Walt, become despondent, attempted suicide, recovered from what appeared to be very serious injuries, gotten out of the hospital and visited his mother, pawned the watch, wrestled with Tom in the alley, left for Fiji, boarded the freighter, sailed out to sea, sabotaged the freighter, then days later meet up with Sayid… all in the span of like 2 months!?!

One possible reason - the boat sailed out on the bearing Ben gave Michael (325), and that bearing sent Michael and Walt physically back in time, which could explain Walt’s height. Yes, Faraday said it was your consciousness that travels, but otherwise, I'm at a loss as to how they fit it all in that short couple of months.

Tom’s file had a picture of some open graves in Thailand. Thailand was also Jack’s vacation spot pre-crash. Coincidence? Maybe we’ll see the return of Bai Ling to a future episode of Lost. (*Fingers crossed*)

There was also a purchase order in Tom’s file made out to Widmore Industries for a decommissioned 777. Wouldn’t Widmore have covered his tracks a bit more than to have a paper trail with his company’s name with an order for the plane?

Was Michael’s hospital connected to Ben or perhaps Widmore? The nurse seemed like she knew more than she let on, sort of like the last minute replacement doctor at the hospital where Sun gave birth to Ji Yeon. Tom did say that they were keeping tabs on him. Could some connection to Ben or Widmore explain why it seemed he was out of the hospital much more quickly than his injuries suggested he should be?

Did Ben send Rousseau and Karl into the jungle to die like he did Goodwin?

Michael’s passport number was HNS012153. Is it a coincidence that the letters and the first digit look like “Hanso?”
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The game show on TV in Michael’s room appeared to be a 70s era game. There was nothing you could make out from it, except someone said “Kurt Vonnegut,” an author the show has referenced more than once.

Oh, and by the way, thank you to the producers of the promos for Lost, for clearing up any further debate. The Oceanic 6 are: Jack, Kate, Sayid, Hurley, Aaron and Sun. The end.

Help me out with some of those questions. What do you think? Hit us up with some comments on your thoughts.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Flash hopscotch

I need to take “expert multitasker” off my resumé, because the flash forward/flashback combo in last night’s episode of LOST, “Ji Yeon”, caught me off guard. The big shocker was supposed to be Ben’s man on the boat: Michael. Instead, we got a psych out by the writers with the reveal that while Sun was delivering her baby off-island in the future, Jin’s flash scenes were actually from 2000 while still working for Sun’s dad.

The mind scrambling effect was soon replaced by another disorienting sensation – mourning. Jin, it seems, is dead. Though I’m holding out hope that Jin’s still fishing with Bernard on a canoe somewhere off the coast of Lost Island.

Lost recap 4x07: Ji Yeon

In the flashes:

We start with a flash forward of Sun going into labor. She happily delivers a healthy baby girl. A well-dressed Hurley visits Sun and little baby Ji Yeon in Seoul and they pay a visit Jin’s grave. The date of death on the headstone was 9/22/04, the date of the crash – evidence that Jin may still be on the island.

Geek alert: In Sun’s first flash forward scene, Sun’s TV was showing Exposé dubbed in Korean, starring every Lost fan’s least-favorite character from last season, Nikki. Razzle Dazzle!

In Jin’s flash backs, he is delivering a stuffed panda bear to an associate of Sun’s father. The toy shop salesman said that it was the Year of the Dragon, apparently 2000. Another clue was Jin’s old cell phone.

On the island:

Juliet was trying to ensure Sun stayed on the beach for her best chance to get rescued and stay alive, but really pulled a bitchy move by telling Jin about Sun’s pre-crash affair. Regardless, it worked. After a chat with Bernard, Jin forgives her. Further evidence that he’s still alive in the future, Jin says to Sun, “You’ll never lose me.”

On the ship:

Desmond and Sayid were slipped a note warning them not to trust the captain. Later, they meet Captain Gault, who confirms that there was wreckage from flight 815 faked and that he believes Ben is responsible. The helicopter was no longer on the landing pad, and Gault explains that Lapidus is off on a quick mission, but doesn’t clarify where.

Geek alert: Captain Gault was a fictional sea captain in a series of stories written in 1917 by English author William Hodgson. Gault is a captain for hire who despite being a law-breaker, seems to follow a solid moral compass. He’s also revealed to be a member of a secret society and possesses knowledge about an unusual number of areas including the occult, religious artifacts and gemology. The stories also often include misinformation and misdirection by the captain . Sounds a little like a show we know.

We finally meet the mysterious Regina who is clearly confused as she’s reading a book upside down. When we see her again later she’s wrapped up in chains, looking like she’s just come from the freighter’s drama club performance of “A Christmas Carol” playing Jacob Marley. She jumps off the port side of the ship to her death. The captain orders the crew to ignore her, much to Sayid’s and Desmond’s dismay. Apparently the captain doesn’t want to lose more of his crew to “cabin fever”. We later see that Regina isn’t the only one to have killed herself, as the doctor shows Des and Sayid to their suite, and it’s primed with brain splatter on the wall.

Geek alert: The book that Regina was reading upside down was The Survivors of the Chancellor by Jules Verne, a story about a group of survivors from a shipwreck on a raft for weeks, several of whom commit suicide.

Let’s discuss:

We now know that the members of the Oceanic 6 are Kate, Jack, Hurley, Sayid, Aaron and Sun. Agreed?

Did it seem curious that Sun’s OB doctor wasn’t available? This does frequently happen, but he told her she’d need a cesarean section when the baby was already crowning. Was he even a doctor? Or was he working for Ben to report back whether the baby who was conceived on-island lived?

When Sun told Hurley no one else came to see her and the baby or to visit Jin’s grave, he said “Good”. Why?

The doctor said the room that he was showing them to was quiet. Sayid said that the ship was anchored so it shouldn't be noisy. The doctor replied, “If you say so.” Are they moving through the water? Time? Space?

Why is there an axe embedded in the hull of the ship? More “cabin fever” crazies? I'm betting we get a freighter flashback story at some point this season.

Although it seems we got the answer to who Ben’s man on the ship is, do we really know it’s Michael? How can Michael communicate with Ben with a sabotaged radio room? I’m thinking Walt might actually be Ben’s mole, using telepathy or teleportation to communicate with Ben. Also, the note not to trust the captain looked like it was written in a teenager’s block lettering to me.

What do you think? Comment below with your thoughts.

See you guys at dinner

They can’t all warp our brains, and I’m happy they don’t. Last night’s episode of LOST, The Other Woman, gave us answers to who sent Not-Penny’s-Boat, a return of the jungle whispers, a love triangle that didn’t include Kate, a love quadrangle that does include Kate, and Ben owning everyone he comes in contact with – especially Locke.

Got an appetite for rabbit…uh…answers? We can satisfy that hunger. What did you notice about last night’s episode? Add your catches in the comments section.

Lost 4x06 Recap: The Other Woman

On last night’s episode of LOST, Juliet is visiting her shrink and talking about feeling like a celebrity. We assume she’s been rescued, but the producers switched it up and re-introduced flashbacks. (How quaint!)

The shrink is Goodwin’s wife, Dr. Harper Stanhope. In her home office where she’s psychologizing on Juliet, there are framed diplomas and certificates on her wall. One is from the Experimental Social Psychology Society. Another is a Certificate of Recognition from the Hanso Foundation.

The episode title, The Other Woman, was a cool play on words. Juliet is the other woman in Goodwin’s marriage to Harper, the other woman in Jack and Kate’s relationship, and she was an Other who was a woman.

It would seem she had officially left behind her Team Ben loyalties, but when confronted with the spectral Harper in the jungle, she is convinced to follow Ben’s orders to stop Charlotte and Daniel. Was Harper really there, or was she another manifestation of the black smoke monster, like Tall Walt or Eko’s brother Yemi? I’m going with the latter. I’m not so sure that Harper was actually relaying orders from Ben, but rather from the island itself.

Charlotte and Daniel strayed from their class trip to take a detour to the Tempest station, the island power plant. DHARMA had some serious gas, man! The Tempest station had huge cooling tanks. Why were they using some sort of lethal gas to power the island? And how did Goodwin get a chemical burn from a gas? Granted, I haven’t taken a bio or chem class since 10th grade, so there could be an answer that some 15 year old could fill me in on.

Geek alert: The map Faraday and Charlotte used get to The Tempest has a DHARMA logo on it. There are also a few “Unknown” markings on them. Why would there have been sections marked “Unknown” if DHARMA built all the infrastructure on the island?

By the way, Charlotte is one bad ass! She cold cocks Kate in the jungle and then manages a little Sayid-worthy breakdance skills on Juliet in the Tempest station. Those are some pretty handy moves for a…cultural anthropologist?

Ben gives Locke the combo to his wall safe. Inside is a videotape marked Red Sox which he taped over (Yankee fans rejoice!) with a video of Charles Widmore, Penny’s dad. Widmore’s henchman is shoving a blindfolded man that looks like Ben Affleck into a car. (Maybe Jimmy Kimmel was the cameraman.) How convenient that Ben had exactly what he needed in that safe (box) to convince Locke that he was telling the truth. However, more than in any other episode, I felt like Ben’s words were somewhat more sincere this time. Then again, with the amount of detail Ben’s been able to gather on every other person on the island, it seemed odd that Ben would have a sketchy file on Widmore.

Although this was a Juliet-centric episode, I think we can all agree it was all about Ben Linus. Ben may rule all people, but after he left Juliet with Goodwin’s body, he hiked back over the hill like a little girl. Ben’s childlike declaration to Juliet – “You are mine” – was telling. We also see this with his trying-too-hard attempts at giving her the house and making dinner for her. Despite his evil mastermind capabilities, he seems pretty stunted with his personal relationships.
Even with his relationship issues and the impending attempt for an outside force to take over the island, Harper says to Juliet that Ben is exactly where he wants to be. (Miles told Kate the same thing in the boat house where he’s being held.)

Locke, apparently the island’s Century 21 real estate agent, helped Ben trade up from his dank, basement rental to a nice ranch on a quiet street in the ‘burbs. In typical, manipulative Ben fashion, he strolls across the courtyard all smiles at a stunned Hurley and Sawyer saying, “See you guys at dinner.”

Random observations:

The word hostile was thrown around a couple of times tonight. First Juliet said to Goodwin that Harper “seemed kind of hostile.” Then Claire said to Locke that she rhetorically stated that the freighter people “think we’re hostile.” The Others had been the island hostiles, but now the Locke Flock are the hostiles to be dealt with and eliminated by a new crew.

Why didn’t Ben ask Locke for his house back? Was it a power play by Locke, or another way to help discredit Locke in front of his crew?

Geek alert: In the Tempest station, there’s an image of a fuse box-like door labeled “Box Maker.” Odd label. Does this have something to do with the magical box through which Ben brought Locke’s dad to the island?

Jack kissed Juliet in the woods, but it was pretty chemistry-free. Is he over Kate and really in love with her, or just trying to fix things again?

Juliet was fortifying a shelter on the beach. Sun asks her why she would bother since they were about to be rescued. But Julie knows she’s not going anywhere as long as Ben is alive.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

This ain't no Love Boat

“Maybe if you talk real slow, we’ll be able to follow you.” – Juliet

Physicist Daniel Faraday (Jeremy Davies) could explain it as slowly as he wanted, and I’m still not sure I followed all of what transpired on last night’s episode of LOST. It’s not really going out on a limb to say that the episode, “The Constant,” is in the top 5 episodes of the series. Though once my brain stops melting, it might even move into the top episode position. Much like Desmond, I think I need “a constant” to help me figure this one out.

I’m not gonna lie. I’ve got mostly a list of questions. Drop us a comment with some of your thoughts. Might need some help with this one!

Lost 4x05: The Constant

Here's what we know:
  • Charles Widmore, Penny’s father, is bidding at a 1996 auction on some items related to the Black Rock – the slave ship that’s somehow now in the middle of the island. The ship was lost in 1845, and one of the items he wins in his bid was the ship log of crew. Will some of the names in the log be remarkably similar to the names of some current-day inhabitants of the island? Perhaps we’ll learn that Richard Alpert, the eyeliner guy, ages even better than we’d realized.

  • Geek alert: The auctioneer stated that the last-known owner of the Black Rock items was Tovar Hanso, an obvious relation to Alvar Hanso and the Hanso Foundation. Also, the captain of the Black Rock in 1845 was named Magnus Hanso.

  • Widmore sends Desmond to see Penny at her new address – 423 Cheyne Walk. Four and 23 are two of the LOST numbers, but also significant is Cheyne Walk, a street in London with some famous past residents including Henry James, author of one of the books Desmond had in the hatch with him.

  • Widmore used a towel to turn on the faucet and on the soap dispenser in the restroom at the auction house. But when Desmond touched the faucet, he flashed back to 2004 on the freighter.

  • On the freighter, 4 dates in October weren’t X’d out - or were so in a different color - on the calendar in the sick bay. Could this have coincided with the dates that Desmond turned the failsafe key and “the sky went purple?”

Help a brotha out:

  • Are the writers of LOST seriously trying to keep me awake all night?

  • Were Gopher, Julie and Isaac on another deck waiting to welcome Sayid and Desmond on board?

  • Is Daniel affected by the same time perception shift as Desmond? If Desmond is Daniel’s “constant”, did Daniel’s reminder note to his future self end his time shifting?

  • Was the “sickness” that killed Rousseau’s scientist shipmates what killed George Minkowski (Fisher Stevens) and Eloise the rat?

  • Was the crew on the freighter was a little more ragtag than expected? Hadn’t you expected a paramilitary operation led by the “evil” Minkowski?

  • Was Juliet being protected from this effect when they drugged her before bringing her to the island?

  • Since it’s Christmas Eve, will the Losties remember and do a Secret Santa?

  • Is Jacob caught in this time loop? Remember his one and only line: “Help me.”

  • Are people who enjoy the relationship angle of LOST now totally swooning over Desmond and Penny after their phone reunion? I’m man enough to admit I got a lump in my throat.

  • Was the time shift on the freighter later or earlier than the island? Or was the crew so surprised to see the chopper back because it appeared to them as if they chopper had just left?

  • Has Ben somehow mastered this time perception shifting? Is he using this ability to alter the future of the island?

  • Will the real-world Asian tsunami that happened on Dec. 26, 2004 factor into the show’s plot?

There were certainly enough questions to keep my mind racing. Hit me up with your comments below with your answers to the questions from “The Constant.”

Monday, February 25, 2008

Jimmy Kimmel is f***ing Ben Affleck

Is this the funniest video ever made? No need to answer. The answer is yes. Resume your day. Enjoy.

Of course I geeked out to Dominic Monaghan's cameo. And Don Cheadle and Harrison Ford. This is made of win.

Grenades for breakfast

Yet again last night, LOST totally Scooby Doo’d us. Kate wasn’t pregnant with Sawyer’s baby. But she is playing mommy to Aaron, Claire’s son, in life off the island. Is Claire still on the island after the rescue of the Oceanic Six, or did she meet with an unfortunate end? Oh, and Locke makes Miles a breakfast fortified with extra minerals. Hit me up with your comments on what you believe happened to Claire, and what that ghostbuster Miles is up to.

Lost 4x04: Eggtown

Any episode of LOST that starts with an extreme eye close-up is typically a sign that person is in distress. Such was the case with Locke. He’s become Ben, in many ways. He seems to be losing touch with the forces of the island, his team is questioning him and he’s acting irrationally.

Locke hands Ben a book he’s already read, Philip K. Dick’s “Valis.” In a wink to the audience’s insanity with reviewing every freeze frame of the series, Locke tells him to read it again because, “You might catch something you missed, the second time around.” Locke appeals to Ben for information on Miles, and Ben continues to throw him off his game, chiding Locke for hitting dead ends. Locke tries to shrug it off, and Ben exclaims, “Excellent, John! You’re evolving.” But how is he evolving? Is John evolving to the point where power corrupts him, as it may have done with Ben?

Hurley’s tricked into revealing where Miles is being held. Kate makes her way to him only to find that he wants to speak to Ben. Sawyer was reading a novel and Hurley had just popped “Xanadu” into the VCR when Kate arrived to ask for Sawyer’s help. Oddly, in the preview clips earlier this week, the videotape that Hurley put in was “Satan’s Doom” with a Metallica track blaring, not “Xanadu” with Olivia Newton-John, as aired last night.

Geek alert: The book Sawyer was reading in the house was “The Invention of Morel”, in which a fugitive on a deserted island in the South Pacific encounters a group of tourists who don’t acknowledge his presence. He realizes they exist as film-like images captured in an invention that attempts to reproduce reality and provide immortality for those filmed.

Sawyer visits Locke and they play backgammon. Sawyer takes the white pieces, Locke the black. Good vs. evil symbols again. Perhaps this is a further sign of Locke’s fizzling connection to the island. Kate manages to break into Locke’s house with Miles and brings him to Ben. What did Miles want from him? Answers? A Psychic Friends reading? A guided tour of the island? Nope. He wants $3.2 million to tell the people he works for that Ben is dead. Is Miles just blackmailing him, or is it coded speech to Ben? Or could Miles and the freighter people know that Ben would have to leave the island to get that much scratch, providing them with their only actual chance to capture him?

Elsewhere on the island, Daniel Faraday and Charlotte are playing a memory card game, and Daniel is struggling to recall the three cards. Does Daniel have no short-term memory? Could this be why he couldn’t answer why he’d been crying at the news report of the recovery of Flight 815, or why he wasn’t able to answer what was up with the hazmat suits and gas masks that were on the chopper? Or is he practicing ESP with Charlotte? Juliet and Jack convince them to call back to the freighter on another line, and they learn that the helicopter that left a day and a half ago has not made it back to the ship. Whoops, guess Frank didn’t follow the exact same bearings he took in, as Daniel warned him.

John visits Miles, now held much more securely at the boathouse. Locke puts a live grenade in Miles’ mouth and leaves him there to think about the answers to who they are and what they’re doing there. In one of the most evil lines ever delivered on the show, Locke says to Miles, “Enjoy your breakfast.”

In the flash forward, we see Kate’s courtroom trial. Jack is a surprise witness for the defense, and we learn the lie they’ve all been forced to tell: Only 8 people survived the initial crash and Kate helped get them all to the shore of an island where they nearly starved to death. Kate’s given probation thanks to her mother’s refusal to testify against her. Jack meets her outside the courthouse, but says he can’t go with her because he doesn’t want to see her son. The assumption that it’s Sawyer’s son is shattered when they dropped the bomb on us that it was Aaron. Scooby Doo’d, indeed!

Geek alert: In the painting in Aaron's nursery, there's a 6 of spades card with the number 7 on it in a painting. Why is that there?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Sayid and Ben cuddle up for Valentine's Day

Last night’s flash forward heavy episode of LOST was a grower, not a shower. We learn little bits of Sayid’s post-island life building up to the knock-you-on-your-ass cliffhanger moment. For instance, Flash-forward Sayid is: 1) dapper; 2) an assassin; 3) suave with the ladies; 4) able to pull it together after being shot; and…oh yeah, 5) working for Ben!

Really, we could end it right here, because it’s tough to recall most of what happened after seeing Ben in the room with Sayid in Berlin. How did Ben get off the island? And more importantly, why would Sayid be working for him? What do you think? Comment below with your thoughts.

LOST 4x03: The Economist

Sayid stares at Naomi’s corpse for a bit and admires her jewelry. (Inscription said “N – I’ll always be with you – R.G.”) Sayid makes a deal with the pilot, Frank, to deliver Charlotte back to the chopper team in order to snag a coveted exit row seat on the first flight back to the freighter. Sayid, Kate and Miles set off to get Charlotte. Frank asks Jack about Sayid. If Frank knew the passenger manifest so well that he knew Juliet was not on the flight, wouldn’t he have likely known where Sayid was from?

Team Locke can’t find Jacob’s cabin where he and Ben had visited it. Ben digs at John, saying he needs someone to ask what to do next. Clearly Ben’s mindgames are putting doubts out there. Hurley asks Locke to let Charlotte go as an act of “good faith.” Locke, always the man of faith, calls that an act of foolishness.

Sayid’s crew find Hurley bound and gagged in a closet in Juliet’s house in Otherville. But Hurley was swayed to pretend to have been left behind by Locke and crew. Sayid’s crew split up, and Sayid finds Ben’s secret room. Is this the “Magic Box?” There there are several international passports, including a Swiss one has a name of Dean Moriarty on it, and a drawer filled with various currency. An out-of-circulation ₤20 note with the image of Michael Faraday – physicist Daniel Faraday seems to be named after – topped one stack of cash. (Photo from

Much like Ben did earlier, Locke separates Sayid’s crew. Sayid is held with Ben in the Recreation Center, Kate with Sawyer in Ben’s house. The scene mirrors the one from last season’s “Man From Tallahassee” episode where Kate is held after trying to rescue Jack.

With all these scenes, it’s almost as if The Losties’ are transforming into The Others: Now they know the island, they ambush newcomers, they withhold information, they keep the rest of their teams in the dark, and they use people as bargaining chips.

Sayid returns to the chopper with Charlotte and says he traded Miles for her. But we didn’t see the transaction. What was it that we didn’t see?

Geek alerts:
  • George Minkowski – The guy back on the freighter. Predictably, his name’s not just a name. Hermann Minkowski was a German mathematician who in 1907 theorized that in Einstein’s special theory of relativity, space and time aren’t separate dimensions, but are intertwined in what is known as the space-time continuum. Confused? Don’t worry. All you need to know is that Minkowski is a clue that perhaps space and time don’t follow the typical patterns here on the island. This theory seems to be a clue to solve Daniel’s experiment where the clock from the rocket “payload” was 31 minutes ahead of the clock he had on the island. But I’m betting that the island isn’t just 31 minutes off from the rest of the world.

  • Here’s a brainbreaker for you: Jack asks Frank if the Red Sox really won the World Series, and Frank says yes. However, if time moves differently on the island, could it be that Frank was replying yes about 2007’s Series, not 2004’s, when the Losties crashed?

  • Elsa was wearing the same type of bracelet as Naomi. Was Elsa actually Naomi’s “RG”? Or did Elsa and Naomi both work for the same people?

LOST news: The producers announced that we’ll get five more episodes this season, for a total of thirteen. The remaining three we would have gotten will roll up into a future season, meaning we will still get the planned episodes of LOST. Of course this means that we’ll get an accelerated story leading up to the season finale. I’ll take it. - Sean Salo

Friday, February 8, 2008

A physicist, a ghostbuster, an anthropologist and a drunk walk onto an island…

From polar bears on tropical islands to polar bear remains in the North African desert, from ghosts in the cabin to ghost whisperers, Thursday night’s brilliant episode of LOST continued to take the show in new directions. We meet the goofballs who are supposed to rescue the Losties, and Ben gives us even more reason to love and hate him. “Tell my sister I love her”, cuz after this episode, I feel like my brain exploded with LOST goodness. “Comment” below with your fave freak out moments.

LOST 4x02: Confirmed Dead

Under the sea - The open of tonight’s episode is an underwater mission to retrieve shipwrecks – the Black Rock? – in the Sunda Trench, in the Indian Ocean off of Bali. However, the crew stumbles upon Oceanic Flight 815 – just where Naomi mentioned they found it. The subsequent news reports triggers a series of flashbacks that introduce us to the ragtag crew of the chopper that has arrived from SS “Not Penny’s Boat”.

Animal magnetism - Daniel Faraday (Jeremy Davies) is watching the news coverage of the discovery of 815 at home in Massachusetts when he starts to weep. When asked why he’s crying, he says he doesn’t know. (Is he an “empath” who tuned into the emotions of the family seeing the report?) Next we see him on the island, in a vest and tie. I’ve never seen ties in the outdoor equipment store at the mall, but maybe I’m shopping at the wrong mall. He tells them he’s a physicist. Kate, Jack and Daniel come upon a container of gas masks and bags with biohazard symbols. Were they anticipating a “purge”, like the one where Ben and team gassed the Dharma folk, or were they expecting to defend against being “purged”? Homeboy is all twitchy and stuff, so add that to his not-so-fly paratrooper gear, and this was our first clue this ain’t The A-Team.

(Geek alert: Michael Faraday was a physicist who studied electromagnetism in the 1700s. One of his findings was named Faraday’s Law, which became one of the four Maxwell equations, which would only mean something if you were insane enough to have spent several weeks playing ABC’s game and were introduced to The Maxwell Group who are looking for 815. Later in life, Michael Faraday also discovered what’s known as the Faraday Effect, which established magnetic force and light are related.) So was Daniel Faraday’s comment to Jack and Kate that the light didn’t “scatter right” on the island a reference to the magnetism scattering the light to keep the island invisible to the outside world?

Who you gonna call? - Next we meet Miles Straume (Ken Leung) – probably a play on “maelstrom”, or a dangerous whirlpool in a body of water. He’s entering the house of a Mrs. Gardner to remove a spirit of her grandson from his bedroom with some Dustbuster-looking contraption – while he’s at it, he removes some cash from the room as well. (Geek alert: the photo frames of her grandson are completely different on the way up the stairs than they are on the way down. No idea what this means. Did he open an alternate reality in the room?)

On the island, he plays possum until Jack and Kate are upon him and then forces them to take him to Naomi, who he knows is dead. He knows not cuz he’s all Sixth Sense, but because she relayed the “Tell my sister I love her” code for “Got a gun pointed at my head” before she died. He seems pretty attached to Naomi, and when they arrive at her body, he knows they were telling the truth about Locke having killed her.

Charlotte Sometimes - Next we’re in Tunisia and Charlotte (Rebecca Mader), a pushy archaeologist, makes her way into an illegal dig site and finds a polar bear skeleton – with a Dharma Initiative Hydra station collar! Dun dun dun… Did it get there through time travel? Dimensional travel? Something tells me it’ll take a few episodes to find this out. ;)

Her full name, Charlotte Staples Lewis, is certainly a nod to C.S. Lewis, author of The Chronicles of Narnia. (Geek alert: Narnia is a land with magical animals you can only get to through a secret entrance…like the magic box?) Her parachute became entangled with a tree and she was dangling over a lagoon. She cut free and encountered Locke and his merry band of Losties. She seems genuinely confused about why they wouldn’t be excited to see her when – POW – Ben pops a couple of caps in her chest. Good thing she was wearing body armor – it’s what all the stylish archaeologists don in the field.

Guess it's not better in the Bahamas - We meet Frank Lapidus (Jeff Fahey) in The Bahamas when he calls Oceanic’s crash info number following the discovery of 815. Frank was supposed to have been the pilot of the flight, so he knows the body they claim is the pilot in the recovery video is not that of Seth Norris, his friend who piloted the flight.

Frank lands on the island and the first thing he encounters is one of Mikhail’s cows, a nice call back to last season, and he shoots off a rescue flare. He later says the helicopter was struck by lightning, but he’d been able to land it safely.

Naomi may be gone, but she's not forgotten - Naomi was not only part of the rescue team, but it seems she was leading them. Only problem is, they weren’t there to rescue the 815ers, they were sent to get Ben. She and the spooky Matthew Abaddon, the “Oceanic lawyer” who visited Hurley in the flash forward from last week’s season opener, had a meeting in a warehouse where they discussed the crew for this mission. Abaddon was adamant that the team he assembled would get it done because she was leading them. So when he asked Hurley, “Are they still alive?”, did he mean the other people from Oceanic 815 or the rescue crew?

(Geek alert: Naomi’s last name is Dorrit, perhaps a reference to Charles Dickens’ “Little Dorrit” satirical novel that condemned his era’s debtor’s prisons, where people who owed money were held until their debts were repaid. Could the island be a “spiritual debtor’s prison”, where you have to work at repaying your debts to karma before you can leave?

Meanwhile, back on the island - Team Locke is making a detour looking for Jacob’s cabin. Hurley almost reveals that he’s seen it and Ben’s eyes bug out of his head – even more than usual.

After Ben shot Charlotte, Locke appears ready to kill Ben. Fearing for his life, he offers Locke answers. In a nod to the audience who’ve complained about the pace of answers, Locke demands to know what the black smoke is. (FINALLY!) Ben says he doesn’t know. (DRATS!) Locke is about to shoot him, and Ben opens up like a fountain – revealing he knows every detail about Charlotte and the rest of the rescue team. Ben knows this…how? He has a spy planted on the freighter working for him who alerted him to the rescuers’ identity. Who’s this mystery man? Richard Alpert? Oscar Talbot, who works for the Maxwell Group? My money’s on Michael. We all know Ben likely didn’t really let him and Walt go…

With cautiously optimistic reports of a deal in the WGA strike, there could be even more reason to celebrate LOST. Hit me up with some comments on your thoughts on the show.

New reports of an end to the writer's strike...

Michael Eisner told CNBC that there's been a deal struck for the end of the WGA Strike. Let's hope the WGA accepts the new proposal tomorrow! Come on more Lost and The Office!!!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Reports That LOST Has Resumed Production (EDIT: Confirmed FALSE)

DarkUFO is reporting that Lost has resumed production in Hawaii!!! Could be amazing news for the possibility of a full 16 episode season! Keep yer fingers crossed folks.

EDIT: Reports now state it was for a Lifetime movie. Oh well. "Looks like it was a shoot for “Special Delivery.” Apparently it’s not unusual for one production to use another production’s staff and assets, even leaving vehicle signage and trailer placards in place. As for the crewmembers who said “LOST” was back? I’ve obviously been punk’d. And I probably deserved it. So the bad news is, “LOST” production has not resumed, after all. The good news is, Jack Bender is not working on a Lifetime Channel flick. Sorry, all."

Never Say Never, Dude

Lost finally returned from hiatus on Thursday with an episode that both helped bridge the gap from last season’s focus on The Others and dropped enough nuclear mind bombs on us to keep the fans buzzing on this one all week. Here’s a list of some of the things we learned, some new questions raised and some things that got our panties all up in a bunch. Tell me your theories about this episode and what moments had you on your feet in “Comments.”

Lost 4x01: The Beginning of the End

Good evening Los Angeles, give it up for The Oceanic Six! - The number six showed up in promos for the season, apparently in reference to The Oceanic Six. We know Jack, Hurley and Kate are among the six, but Kate was actually a fugitive before the crash, so did she hide her identity or perhaps even stow away among the six and sneak back into society? Could explain the clandestine meeting with future Jack at the airport runway. Those who made it off the island are keeping mum about the other survivors, for reasons yet to be declared. It wouldn’t be Lost if they didn’t clue us in to something we needed to know, and then leave us hanging.

Cabin Hopscotch - Jacob’s cabin hops around Hurley – not an easy task. When Hurley finally takes the bait, he gets a way freakier peep show than he expected…a lantern, a painting of the dog on the wall, and a chair rocking with a white-sneakered Christian Shephard in it. (Check the screencaps out there.) In the last “Missing Pieces” mobisode released by ABC, we see Christian in the jungle – whose body was being transported on the flight back to the US – on the island just after the crash telling Vincent the dog to wake up his son Jack because he has a lot of work to do. (Image from

Peek-a-Boo - We see an eye meet Hurley’s through the window and we lose our shit along with him. Of course we have no idea who else was in the cabin – some options – Jacob, Locke, perhaps Mikhail back from the dead again… (Image from

Sharpies come in handy for water scenes – Hurley realizes he’s better off in an institution and jumps at the offer/threat that the detective, Ana Lucia’s former partner, makes. Hurley’s been seeing Charlie where ever he goes, including on the other side of the 2-way mirror in the interrogation room. Charlie has “THEY NEED YOU” written in marker on his hand, before the mirror crashes and water starts rushing in to the room until the detective walks back in and no one’s there. (Image from

A lawyer walks into a mental hospital… - Oceanic’s lawyer, Matthew Abbadon (Lance Riddick, HBO’s The Wire) visits Hurley to offer him an upgrade to first class from the coach class mental hospital he’s in. He asks Hurley, “Are they still alive?” Hurley asks for his card, but Abbadon can’t produce one. Hurley flips his wig and the guy leaves. (Abaddon, variation on spelling, is defined as “a place of destruction,” or “the gates of hell” or as “the destroyer”.) Forgetting his business cards may be just the tip of the evil iceberg with this dude. (Image from

“I See Dead People” - Hurley might not be crazy, though. Another patient at the hospital tells Hurley that someone’s staring at him and points off in the direction of the now-dead Charlie. (Though it could have been the random, out of focus guy behind Charlie who we didn’t notice because our brains broke after seeing Charlie standing there.) Charlie tries to convince Hurley to help the people still on the island.

Jack stinks at HORSE – Jack visits Hurley to play a little basketball, and Hurley says to Jack, “It wants us to go back, and it’s going to do everything it can…” IT? Can someone please explain? It seems that it’s pre-Jack flash forward from last season’s ender. Hurley tells Jack that he should have stayed with him, and not gone off with Locke.

It’s not you, it’s me...let's break up – After news gets to the Losties that the helicopter might not bring salvation, the survivors break up into two groups. Locke, who appears to not have been as loony as we thought after the sub explosion, leads a group of people up to the Other’s barracks and relative security. Ben, still hog tied, delivers the line of the night, requesting, “With your permission, Jack, I’d like to go with John.” Jack’s group stays behind to deal with the crew on the helicopter. The helicopter appears to lose control over the island, but a man manages to parachute out. They run to him, he takes off his helmet and asks, “Are you Jack?” The end.