Wednesday, October 21, 2009

3.10 Tricia Tanaka Is Dead

Follow along! The episode guide for “Tricia Tanaka Is Dead” is in Finding Lost — Season 3, pp. 85-89.

I realize this isn’t a strong episode of Lost because the flashback doesn’t really teach us much about Hurley that we don’t already know, aside from his Daddy issue. But that said, it’s HILARIOUS and I’d forgotten how good the writing was. There are so many fabulous highlights. I can’t choose a favourite (I list many of them in my book, but I’d forgotten to mention the part where Sawyer jumps with a start and says, “Why is there a HEAD back here?!” Or where Hurley’s mom says she has needs and he covers his ears and yells, “NO NO NO NO NO!” Hahahahahaha). What bothers me about it is Hurley seems to have a breakthrough, and realizes he’s not cursed and Charlie’s not cursed, and that they make their own luck. And then… in seasons 4 and 5 he goes back to referring to the curse again, as if this episode never happened. That irked me… but maybe it’s because Charlie died. Realizing Charlie couldn’t cheat death perhaps made Hugo think that he was cursed after all.

Fun things I noticed:
• Great. When this episode first aired I had Shambala in my head for weeks. And… it’s there again.
• I love that Cheech is attempting to look like he’s in his mid-30s at the beginning of the ep. Fail.
• Kate refers to Sawyer as James when she’s trying to appeal to him or when she thinks they’re getting closer, and she calls him Sawyer when she creates distance and is pissed at him.

Things that have new meaning:
• Now that we know who Roger was, and how he died, it doesn’t exactly make us more sympathetic to Skeletor, but it definitely makes us watch the scene a little differently.
• At the end of the episode, Jin, Sawyer, Charlie, and Hurley are in the van. One of them is now dead, and the others have since driven in the Dharma van in 1977.


celandinehaleth said...

Is that a red feather Hurley puts on Libby’s grave? If it is, does it have signifigance? I thought it was an indication of cowardice, but I can’t see how that would apply here.

IMHO the whole meteor crashing into the Chicken Shack is at once the silliest and best gimmick they have ever used on LOST! I mean where would anyone dare do such a dumb thing?

The Reyes family certainly does not eat healthy. Hamburger, fries and lasagna is so not a balanced meal. You at least need to add chocolate. No wonder Hugo packs on the pounds.

Marebabe said...

I agree with you, Nikki, that this is the funnest of the Hurley flashbacks. Great comedy bits sprinkled throughout. In S1 Hurley brought the fun with the golf course, and here he brought the fun with the joyride bus. And I knew before that Hurley is a motorhead, but I really got it this time rewatching this episode. It was the sight of the KEY that inspired him to chase after Vincent, not the icky, decaying arm.

I’m confused about one thing you said regarding Kate and Sawyer. I had it in my mind the other way around: it always seems to me that if we hear Kate call Sawyer “James”, it’s because she’s irritated with/pissed off at him.

Every time I hear Tricia Tanaka’s name mentioned, I think of “Family Guy” with “Asian correspondent, Tricia Takanawa”. I can’t help it. : )

We hear the word “hope” again, many times in this ep. And a few lines really stood out for me:
Hurley: “It’ll be fun.”
Hurley’s dad: “I’ll be here when you get back.” (From Australia. And he was!)
Charlie: “Victory or death.”

Sawyer observed that the Dharma beer didn’t keep very well. And, I’m sorry to say (reality check time) that the Dharma gasoline wouldn’t have kept very well either. I checked with my husband, quite an experienced shade-tree mechanic, and he confirmed that gasoline has a limited shelf-life. It will turn varnishy in just a couple years, and be useless in an internal combustion engine. That is, you wouldn’t even be able to get it started by pushing the vehicle down a hill and popping the clutch. So I’ll continue to keep my disbelief suspended when watching this episode. Just go with it!

Nikki, you brought up a few things in your chapter for this episode that I would like to respond to. First, you said that the old VW bus had no engine. At first I thought, how on earth did I miss that? But then I remembered at the end, after all the guys piled in, Hurley drove it in some nice, happy circles across that meadow. He wasn’t just coasting along at that point.

When Hurley tells his parents he’s going to get rid of the houses and the livestock, I think he’s referring to pets. Like, maybe they bought a bunch of fancy, pedigreed, designer doggies or something, and he just likes to call them livestock. I’ve actually heard people use the term, especially when someone has LOTS of beloved animals.

Regarding the psychic being able to pull up the Death card, I think she was probably holding a deck of nothing but Death cards. I’m reminded of “Live and Let Die”, when James Bond tricked (seduced) Solitaire with a deck of nothing but The Lovers cards.

Marebabe said...

@celandinehaleth: I couldn't agree more about the chocolate!

Don said...

Something to keep in mind through all the discussions about episodes from Season 3, is that as brilliant as the creators are, they couldn’t have had every single detail of the next three seasons mapped out back then. In Flashes Before Your Eyes, it’s amazing how many bits and pieces fit into future episodes but there certainly must be times in Season 5 where the writers had to disregard something from earlier episodes, to make the story go in the direction they want. Similarly we see a lot of details in this episode about the DHARMA Initiative that will tie back in to Season 5. So we shouldn’t focus too much on what Mrs. Hawking knew about Desmond’s future, or about Hurley time-traveling and being in a DHARMA van again, and looking for any time-travelling logic holes.

After the finale, it will be interesting to hear some kind of chronology from Cuse and Lindelof about how the story was put together, example in Season 3, what details of the next 3 seasons had they worked out, did some story arcs change during that time, etc. Some times they must have force-fit some newer details in for continuity, other times they must have just not bothered.

For the few times we look back three seasons ago thinking “How could..?”, we should be amazed during this Rewatch just how well the later years interlock with the early seasons, and what an incredible story Cuse and Lindelof have woven together.

Marebabe said...

@Don: I agree. It will be fascinating to listen to interviews with Damon and Carlton after the story has been completely told. Looking forward to that!

The Question Mark said...

@ Marebabe: it's funny that Tricia Tanaka reminds you of the anchor from Family Guy, because she reminds me of someone too: her last name reminds me of Boss Tanaka, the angry Yakuza crimelord from Kill Bill Vol.1
Coincidentally, everytime I hear the name Alvar Hanso, I always think of Hattori Hanzo, the bladesmith, also a Kill Bill character!
LOL maybe this means Tarantino'll direct an episode where Sayid tortures a guy while playing "Stuck in the Middle with you", while Jack and Locke swordfight in the background. :)

I wanna go on the record and say I love the Reyes family! Lillian Hurst plays Carmen so wonderfully, every line she delivers is solid gold. Her expression in this episode, when she rushes down the stairs and sees her son covered in dust, is priceless!
Also, Cheech Marin rocks! When I was little I used to love hearing his voice in two of my favourite Disney movies, "The Lion King" and "Oliver & Company". Now I get to see him in my favourite TV show, too! Thanks, Cheech!

A friend of mine just informed me that on a recent episode of "Desperate Housewives", there is a plane crash, and the airline in question starts with an "O" and ends with a "ceanic"...

Marebabe said...

@The Question Mark: LOL at your Kill Bill/Tarantino tie-in! That's awesome! And regarding the Oceanic plane crash thing on "Housewives", I read in TV Guide that they were gonna do that. It kinda irks me. It's just ABC cross-pollinating on all their hit shows. Fans of FlashForward got all excited in the pilot episode when they saw an Oceanic billboard in the background, but it was nothing more than product placement.

Susan said...

What do I like about this episode:

--the kid who plays little Hurley - he has Jorge's mannerisms down pat without overdoing it

--the Hurley and Sawyer reunion - Hurley must have felt guilty about having to leave Jack, Kate, and Sawyer behind and he was so overjoyed to see Sawyer was ok.


--the song - sorry Nikki I like the song ;) and think it fits in so well with the episode's theme

--Rousseau popping up at the end of the episode

--the psychic that David Reyes takes Hurley to is hilarious

Just a comment about Kate and Sawyer's little argument. Kate is being a bit unreasonable in expecting Sawyer to apologize. Much as I hate Sawyer, his behavior here is completely understandable. After Kate sleeps with him and acts like she loves him, she starts crying about leaving Jack behind and going on and on about getting him back. And then she expects Sawyer to apologize.

glf said...

I love this ep and I still do! You're right Nikki it was disappointing that it seemed that a psychological hurdle was overcome that seemed to forgotten about later.

To any critics out there now - you forget what a beautiful breather this ep was in between a very heavy set of eps. As Hugo said‘We could all use some fun.." and it was
It was also about Hope; not being scared; and making your own kind of luck.

For me what I loved about it was - Three Dog Night! The Camaro! Vincent! Carmen Reyes!! The most Sublime moment in Lost (the guys in the van riding around after it started) and when Hurley saved the day with the van at the end of the season - I cheered very loudly - I was right - this ep wasn't for nothing.

Fred said...

This episode got me thinking what sort of a warrior Hurley was. Could it have something to do with racing cars, or derbys? I was wondering because Hurley seems to have total confidence in his driving ability, even down a hillside that looks at least 35 degrees or more.

Although this thought didn't occur at the time, the van now reminds me of the car Harry and Ronald Weasley lost in the Forbidden forest, only to have it come back and help them at a later time. Much like Hurley will use the van later to save Bernard, Jin and Sayid.

When Hurley comes home after the Chicken Shack is destroyed, he tells his mother it was a meteor or an asteroid. But when he told the story to Jack, he corrected himself from meteor to meteorite. Did he get a dictionary in the mean time?

For anyone thinking there are alternate realities, when the van rolls down towards the rocks, the filming looks really odd (editing wise and such). So was this meant to be a scene where two different possibilities occur: hitting the rocks and not hitting them. Two separate realities? Just that scene and the sounds associated with the van was really odd.

Jazzygirl said...

LOVED this episode. First off, OMG I totally agree about the Trisha Tanaka vs. Tankanawa from Family Guy. I think of it EVERY time!
Celandine...he puts a flower on her grave. It's one of those exotic Hawaiian ones, like a Bird of Paradise or something.
I too love his family scenes...although seeing him watch his dad drive off and then he starts eating the chocolate...what a perfect way to show how someone gets addicted to food due to emotional issues. It's SO connected there. And of course I could not help but think of blackbox's video of the kids that kills me every time.
I believe you have to suspend disbelief a little bit in this episode in terms of the van starting. But because it's Hurley, we willingly do it. I did think of an alternate timeline as well b/c at one point it looks funny when they're in the van, as if it's a "shift" of some sort.
Now, for the van...I LOVED the fact that we know who Roger is. I felt myself going from sympathy to hatred and back to sympathy again. We all felt bad when we found out Ben killed him. Then we felt bad for Ben b/c Roger was a drunk. But now seeing S5 has shown us he DID care about his much as he was able to anyway. But it still cool to see him in the van. And yes, Sawyer's reaction to the head was great. I also loved him teaching Jin English. :) The Dharma beer has become a long joke on the show. When the Cake Boss people made the LOST cake, they even made a Dharma beer out of cake and Josh Holloway ate it! LOL!
I agree with Nikki...Kate called Sawyer James when they were talking about their "stuff". When he pushes her away emotionally, as he always does when people care about him, she said "so this is the way it's gonna be....Ok SAWYER." I took that to mean that their relationship was shifting back to just "friends" and they would hide what really happened. I know Nikki doesn't like shipper talk but this episode did show how much they care about each other. (Well the end of the previous one and into this one)
I remember feeling excited the first time around when Kate tells Rousseau about Alex.

Nikki Stafford said...

celandine: The significance that I saw in the red flower is that it's the same flower in the field where Eko makes his final speech to Yemi... those red flowers surround that particular area. Not sure how THAT is significance, but they do seem to symbolize death to me because of their appearance in both of those scenes.

The hamburger combined with lasagna plate always makes me laugh out loud. Talk about artery-clogging.

Question Mark: I agree... Lillian Hurst is one of the best things about Lost. Every time she's on screen I have a crazy smile on my face. When she covers the golden Jesus's ears??? HILARIOUS!!!

Nikki Stafford said...

Susan: Oh, don't get me wrong, I actually love that song, too, and it's PERFECT in this episode because it's so joyful. But now I can't get it out of my head...

glf: I agree completely that this episode wasn't for nothing. Not only is it hilarious, but the VW van takes on greater importance in the finale when Hurley uses it to bulldoze the Others. :)

Fred: When Hurley comes home after the Chicken Shack is destroyed, he tells his mother it was a meteor or an asteroid. But when he told the story to Jack, he corrected himself from meteor to meteorite. Did he get a dictionary in the mean time?

I'm thinking in the meantime the newspaper article would have run and the insurance would have been paid out, etc. etc. and so he would have known it was a meteor or meteorite. But when he tells his mom, it's just him, the incident has just happened, and he's had no filter in between to tell him what it was.

Jazzygirl: When the Cake Boss people made the LOST cake, they even made a Dharma beer out of cake and Josh Holloway ate it! LOL!

In my latest book I have a photo of him doing that! :)

And don't worry; I agree that Sawyer and Kate care about each other, and pointing these things out isn't shipper talk at all. We can definitely talk about the relationships of the characters and what we think is happening. What always worries me is when people jump on fighting one side or the other vociferously. That is the shipper talk I don't like. :)

Anonymous said...

"We found them at Bennigan's."

Pretty much sums up "nouveau riche," doesn't it? (As if the specially commissioned solid gold rotating Jesus statue wasn't a big enough clue!)

Hurley's mom should be in every episode. I can't wait until she asks "Hoo-go" why there's a dead Pakistani on her couch.

Nikki Stafford said...

Studio: Hurley's mom should be in every episode. I can't wait until she asks "Hoo-go" why there's a dead Pakistani on her couch.

One of the best lines on Lost EVER. I'm giggling just thinking about it. I SO wish she was on the island with everyone else. I adore her.

Teebore said...

Count me amongst those dissapointed that Hurley's epiphany in this episode regarding his curse seems to have gotten swept under the rug of late.

Gillian Whitfield said...

This is one of the funniest episodes of LOST. The "I have needs" "NO NO NO NO NO!!!!" part makes me laugh every time. Gotta love Ma Reyes. :P

I think this is the happiest episode of Lost. I can't think of one that is happier off the top of my head.

tiasabita said...

Yes, this is a happy episode, all about hope and just having some fun. I will eighth or tenth the sentiment that Hurley + Carmen is some great comedy! Now if we can throw Charlie in the mix, what a trio that would be!

How'd that rabbit's foot keyring stay so clean and white compared to the condition of the hand holding it?! It wasn't so lucky after all!

JS said...

@Don – I agree completely, I am sure there was some force fitting, and some deliberate ignoring…

@Fred – I was thinking the same thing both about his driving ability – he is more confident about that then anything else, expect perhaps his cooking – and the helpful car in HP.

Charlie + Carmen = Hilarity. They need to make that happen.

Nitpick (of course) on Jin, his L’s are too good for an asian person just learning English. We know the actor is American. But it was funny.

SonshineMusic said...

Love Charlie's line, "Chase the dog with the skeletal arm into the creepy jungle. Be my guest."

Seriously, though, that dog has GOT to be more than a dog.

Also noticed that this episode has no "previously on Lost" setting itself apart, but still containing so many little things that will come in as very important later.

Ghk... Paulo - I did some self-editing as he was talking.... "Why do [we] I need to [start a car?] exist?"
"Well, I've got to [cut some bananas] get bitten by a spider and get buried alive. Sorry."

It's funny how, not matter how horrid they are to each other, when one of them shows up alive, everyone is happy to see them and seemingly willing to start over again from scratch. We see it over and over and over again.

Hurley: Shut up...Red...Neck...Man.
Sawyer: Touche

The Shout said...

Did anyone else shout out loud when Sawyer stepped on the dart just like he'll do in Season 5? Could it be one of the darts that The Others used to attack the time travelling Losties? Great moment of foreshadowing.

Nikki Stafford said...

Sonshine: Ghk... Paulo - I did some self-editing as he was talking.... "Why do [we] I need to [start a car?] exist?"
"Well, I've got to [cut some bananas] get bitten by a spider and get buried alive. Sorry."


Shout: Great observation!! I thought he just stepped on a stick in S5, I don't think it was part of an arrow, but I never thought of that as foreshadowing of the flaming arrows scene!! Could this be an early indication that the island was already time-jumping somehow before they got there and it left some things behind?

Blam said...

Marebabe: [G]asoline has a limited shelf-life. It will turn varnishy in just a couple years, and be useless in an internal combustion engine.
... unless you're on a magical Island where gasoline ages very slowly.

Blam said...

Nikki: At the end of the episode, Jin, Sawyer, Charlie, and Hurley are in the van. One of them is now dead, and the others have since driven in the Dharma van in 1977.
I love how this now makes perfect sense to you, when six months ago you might have asked, "Why doesn't Sawyer remember the blue van from driving one just like it 30 years ago?" 8^)

Blam said...

The comic relief of this episode was welcome, although by Lost's nature it couldn't go quite so far as some series do when throwing in a tongue-in-cheek installment. I kept getting reminded of The X-Files:
• "Shamballa" --> Three Dog Night --> "One (Is the Loneliest Number)" --> David Duchovny improvising with the lyrics of that song to Glenne Headly as Mulder sits in the bar in the first X-Files movie.
• "Tricia Tanaka Is Dead" --> "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose" and "José Chung's From Outer Space".
Funny how the mind works...

Jazzygirl said...

OMG what a great connection, Shout! What if it WAS an arrow he stepped on!

crazyinlost said...

This is my first ever blog so please be patient with me.

Nikki, I just stared reading your rewatch blogs about a month ago when I finally got my daughter to whatch Lost. I'm not caught up to you yet but I have seen this episode so many times that I decided to start my comments with this one. I am enjoying everything so far!

Hurly is my favorite character! He is just so enduring. My favorite parts are when Jin is talking Korean and Sawyer doesnt know what he's saying so Hurley translates for him! So when did Hurley learn Korean? Must have been from his dream in "Everybody Hates Hugo" (another one of my fav eps). Also love when Sawyer is having a beer with "Skeletor", and Hurley says "Dude he has a name. Its Roger Workman"!
Also love, love the scene with Charlie and Hurley going down the hill when the van starts up with the Shamala song. I'm with you Nikki, just thinking about it puts the song into my head again!
But the ending with them all coming back to the beach with Jin and the flower (aw!) and Charlie talking Claire's ear off, and poor lonely Sawyer all by himself.

Dont want to overstay my welcome first time out, so that's all for now.

crazyinlost said...

My favorite all time Carmen Reyes line:
-"Hugo, Jesus Christ is not a weapon!"
You gotta love her!

SonshineMusic said...

Welcome CrazyinLost!

Always great to have new bloggers join in :) Have fun (cause we all do here :)

humanebean said...

SO far behind the curve here ...

... however, I particularly enjoyed Hurley's description of 'Roger Workman': "That guy had a mom, a family, and friends." Oh, and one creepy son, btw, I'd watch out for him if I were you .....

Hey, I haven't nitpicked anything for a while, so I'm due - why exactly does the Dharma Beer have a Swan logo on it?

EVERY Hurley episode is a great episode!

SonshineMusic said...

@HumaneBean: I was pondering your question about the Dharma beer having a swan logo on it, so just for fun I Googled Swan Beer and, presto!

There is a Swan Beer Brewery in....... wait for it..... Australia! Which was in operation from the 1800s to the 1980s when it burnt down.

Dude, I have been watching way too much Lost, because my brain is flying all over the place with ways that there might actually be a real connection between these things.

humanebean said...

You and me BOTH, SonShine! I fell radically behind in the Rewatch in October and have been gorging on Season 3 in the last week. I have 4 more episodes to watch TODAY or tomorrow just to get caught up with LAST week. Hoo, boy!

Nice research! Clearly the Swan Brewery in Australia was burned down by an irate Dharma Initiative lackey fleeing the Island in the wake of The Incident. I can imagine that he/she would want to BLOW UP anything with the word "swan" attached to it by then!