Wednesday, December 16, 2009

5.01 Because You Left

Follow along! The episode guide for “Because You Left” is in Finding Lost — Season 5, pp. 1-16.

And here we are in season 5 already… I can’t believe how quickly this has flown by. Was there a white light I somehow missed? Season 5 opened with time travelling Daniel, flashforwards of the Oceanic 6 and flashbacks to the people on the island. I can see why so many fans got REALLY confused this season. We, on the other hand, followed it perfectly. :)

Fun things I noticed:
• There’s a giraffe by Baby Miles’ bed, and I’m pretty sure there was a giraffe on the wall in the Dharma Claire nursery and a giraffe in Aaron’s room at Kate’s.
• I know I said this before, and I don’t mean to be cruel, but I think the construction worker is a better actor than Francois Chau. He really does seem to handle every scene through gritted teeth.
• On previous DVD sets, you can skip once through the “previously on” section, and hit skip one more time when the Lost credits roll (yes, I can’t even watch the 5 seconds that takes). But on this DVD, when I hit skip, it skipped over the previously on AND the opening segment with Chang, straight to the credits. When I hit skip again, it went past that entire track and into the next. I actually muttered to myself, “They changed the RULES!” exactly the way Ben did in “The Shape of Things to Come.” Then I giggled to myself at my extraordinary geekiness.
• Ben asks Jack what Locke told him when he saw him, but he asked him that same question at the funeral home in the S4 finale.
• Poor Sawyer seems to begin every season barefoot.
• I kept thinking that if Locke could make it to the top of the cliff and knock the Beechcraft down, then Boone wouldn’t have died. Miles would hate me.
• The hotel address where the safehouse is, is 1818. The plane that carried the Oceanic 6 had 1717 on it.
• Richard says to Locke “that’s all relative,” when referring to “when” they are. In S4, when Jack asks Daniel where the helicopter is, Dan says the same thing.

Things that have new meaning:
• You can already see how Juliet and Sawyer will end up together; I found myself watching their every move in this episode.
• It’s interesting to watch Alpert come upon Locke knowing what we know from later in the season. And I noticed that Alpert had a surprised look on his face, and yet a rushed, knowing one. I wonder what direction they gave Nestor Carbonell before he did that scene?
• Charlotte mentions she hasn’t had a nosebleed since she was little. Was that just a throwaway line or is there a reason she had nosebleeds when she was a child?


Marebabe said...

“They changed the RULES!” LOL! Love it, love it.

It’s kinda funny, how I approached Season 5 of the rewatch. I waited a few days after buying the DVDs, because I wanted a time that was free of distractions, when I was properly awake and alert (that means enough caffeine in my system), and for good measure, I read Nikki’s chapters on each episode BEFORE watching them. In the past, I’d always watched first, and read about them later. And I was telling myself things like, “OK, it’s time to get serious.” It’s because S5 the first time around worked my brain really hard!

I think that if the writers didn’t need to impart some crucial information to us in the audience, Dr. Chang wouldn’t have wasted his breath mentioning time travel to a philistine like the construction foreman. He would’ve just barked his orders and left it at that, confident that he would be obeyed. Clearly, he was the ranking officer in the Island branch of the Dharma Initiative.

I noticed a couple things about Locke. What a strange bit of acting business, to have to play a dead guy in a coffin at the moment the lid is slammed shut! Not gently closed, but SLAMMED down. That would be hard for a lot of people to do, even if they’re not claustrophobic. And I realized that when Locke found the freshly crashed Beechcraft, there were freshly killed people in it, whom he would’ve found if only he hadn’t been whisked away by another flashy time jump.

Nikki, in your discussion of “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham”, you brought up the problem of the actual location of the Santa Rosa Mental Hospital, and in this episode, when Jack and Ben are still in the hotel room, the TV is on, and the woman reading the news refers to the hospital as being “outside Los Angeles”. I got out my handy road atlas and located the town of Santa Rosa, which is quite a ways north of San Francisco on U.S. Highway 101. You’re right. Hurley’s mom would never have put her son in a hospital so far away. It’s got to be somewhere close to Los Angeles. So, everyone, when we get to “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham” and the title card says “Santa Rosa, California”, remember that someone just goofed in the editing room.

Marebabe said...

So, this is the episode where we started seeing time travel nosebleeds. And almost every time, the person doing the bleeding is unaware of it until someone else mentions it. This is not the same as having a blob of mustard near your mouth. I assert that the person having a nosebleed would be the first to know it, would instantly feel it, and, if conscious, would hastily put a hand to his/her face to catch the drip. That’s the reality of the situation, so why not write, direct, and act it that way?

I sort of did this the first time through S5, but I’m really talking to myself a lot on this rewatch. From the first time jump on the Island, and the first of Faraday’s attempts to explain what’s going on, I started telling myself, “Just roll with it.” Anytime I don’t understand something (and that’s pretty often), that’s what I repeat to myself. And it really helps! Desmond is miraculously and uniquely special? Okie-dokey. Just go with it. I realize that the reason I’m able to take it easy and let go is that I have confidence in Damon and Carlton, that things will be adequately explained and resolved in the end. The fog will clear, and all the important story threads will be neatly tied up so we can make sense of this confusing and epic tale.

P.S. Nikki, I was in WalMart today, and I saw adult-size, green footy pajamas with reindeer on them, and I thought of you. :)

Susan said...

Nikki re nosebleeds: some kids do get them regularly. It can happen when their nose is hit or it can happen in the winter when the surrounding air is especially dry.

I think the reason this time travel stuff doesn't really confuse me is that I have 20 years of experience as a Star Trek fan. They did so many takes on time travel that I almost feel like I've seen it all.

You know, if I saw a guy with a gun looking down in my direction with a gun, I don't think I would yell out, and I really don't think I would snap his picture with my cell phone.

Favorite line: "It points north, John." There must be so many times that Ben and Richard have wondered, why has this guy been chosen to be the leader?

What kind of a loser is Sawyer? For a man to slap another man, it's a sign of disrespect, and it's also a littly girly.

The Question Mark said...

hahaha "They changed the RULES!" They did it on purpose to mess with u, Nik! Widmore strikes again!

I absolutely LOOOOVE when the seasons open with a record being played (and nice touch on having the record skip this time). I really, really hope Season 6 starts the same way, just because it's become sort of a Lost premiere staple for me.

Maybe it can begin with the mysterious Man In Black playing a record of Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water"

Marebabe said...

@Question Mark: Maybe it can begin with the mysterious Man In Black playing a record of Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water"

From your lips to Darlton's ears! (Or, if we're going to be technical, from your computer keyboard to Darlton's monitor.)

Joan Crawford said...

“They changed the RULES!”

Hahaha! I love it. I only wish you had done this at a display model inside Future Shop with a group of strangers.

Joan Crawford said...

I only had one nosebleed as a kid. It was so awesome. I was 8 and had bragging rights "Oh, yeah - well, I had a nosebleed!"

I don't know why I got it, I was just sitting there and then there was a flash...wait no, that's not right. I was just sitting there. Being 8.

Not one of my better stories. I apologize.

Yet I am compelled to keep typing.

That is all.

Also, my verification word is "Legarbo". Greta en Francais.

SonshineMusic said...

@Nikki: I kept thinking that if Locke could make it to the top of the cliff and knock the Beechcraft down, then Boone wouldn’t have died.

I was thinking the EXACT same thing, but then I just told myself he would have just died in some other horrific way.

Charlotte mentions she hasn’t had a nosebleed since she was little. Was that just a throwaway line or is there a reason she had nosebleeds when she was a child?

I definitely wondered if there was any significance to this. Sure it could have been a throwaway, but there's not much on Lost that is.

I'm rewatching this with my parents who are seeing it for the first time. Wait. That just sounded like some sort of time warp. Anyway, you know what I mean. And it's so bizarre to see their reactions to things (especially my Mom)

I want to know when and why Daniel is there and I really hope we get some kind of explanation. He was doing a whole lot more than we've had a chance to see, I'm sure of it.

I love the "Safety First" poster behind Jack and Ben in the funeral parlor.

When Richard comes out of the jungle to fix Locke, he puts on these little glasses and I remembered someone on here suggesting Richard was a pirate and I realized that they look like Smee glasses, like from Disney's Peter Pan and I got this sudden image of him in the red and white striped shirt and the glasses and the pants and it totally fits.

SonshineMusic said...

I would just like to say that this episode will always have a fond spot in my heart for two reasons.

1. It was the first Lost episode I was actually able to watch live.

2. It was the first time I visited Nikki's site. I had never been on a blog before and never considered getting into any kind of discussion over a tv show, but I was hooked from the first visit. I vividly remember the conversation you all were having about whether you loaded your knives up or down and I laughed until I almost fell off my chair. Then I immediately set up an account so I could join the fun.

So this is a giant thank you to Nikki for hosting this fabulous site and a thank you to all of you who contribute. From the first comment I posted you all made me feel welcome and from what I've heard and seen that's a rarity in the blogosphere.

Thanks to you all :)
(you may now return to your regularly scheduled Lost discussions)

verification: imelf - the anti elf

EvaHart said...

I always love the first episode of teh season as you can be sure that there will be something completly different and a great record being played. The first few minutes of teh seqason also shows whats to come in the entire season, for example in this one, The Dharma initiative and Time travel. I'm just wondering even more now what the first few minutes of season 6 will be!

@Susan I too have always thought Sawyer's slap was a little odd, he normally throws punches (or snarky comments and nicknames!) And then threatening to slap Charlotte? It doesn't seem like Sawyer to hit a woman.

Lisa said...

Hi all!
"DON'T BE ABSURD" - This has become my new catchphrase ever since Chang said it. It really is said in the funniest way. I agree, the construction worker rocked that scene.

I also loved Richard when he came to assist Locke with the bullet. His glasses were so cool. I also wonder how the actors were able to film this season in such a convoluted way, and manage to act it out so well! Knowing what we know now about why Richard came out to help Locke makes me appreciate this scene so much better.

Death by dishwasher! Has there been a better death in all history of TV? Love Sayid. And where did all that ketchup come from on Hurley's pj's? He can't have possibly had that much in his bag.

I also wondered if Locke could have gone up to the plane, would he have been able to save anyone? Did any of them live through the crash? I know Yemi was already dead, but it would have been interesting to see. (Sorry Miles!)

"He changed the rules!" Love it Nikki, now I'll be saying that all day!!

Blam said...

"It... points north, John." Still one of the best lines ever! This is where I joined your merry coterie of commenters, Nikki, and it's been a blast.

Blam said...

Nikki: I know I said this before, and I don’t mean to be cruel, but I think the construction worker is a better actor than Francois Chau.
I think the drill bit is a better actor than François Chau. Either the PTB didn't plan on Dr. Candle-Halliwax being a real character when he was cast for the Dharma video or somebody dropped the ball during that screen test.
Verification word: gengibl — Something or someone that can be compared to Genghis Khan.

Blam said...

Marebabe: I'm right with you on the nosebleeds. And just now I was put in mind of one of my favorite Far Side cartoons: Two cavepeople are sitting around eating from a carcass. One of them has this huge tusk on his cheek, and the other says, "Thag. Got some mammoth on face."
Verification word: sedatin — The act of puttin' somebody to sleep. Duh.

Blam said...

Question Mark: I really, really hope Season 6 starts the same way, just because it's become sort of a Lost premiere staple for me.
I think that Season 6 will start with Jack's eye, but then we realize that it's Jack's eye in a photograph and that the photograph is on the sleeve of a Geronimo Jackson record album as a needle drops onto a record and we hear "Dharma Lady". The final episode will reveal that the bones of Adam and Eve belong to Jack and Kate, who before dying on the Island had a child named Geronimo. The band is named after him — Geronimo, Jack's Son.
Verification word: ecovis — (1) An electronic covis. (2) An environmentally friendly pair of Levi's jeans.

M9 EGO said...

@ Susan : With regards to Sawyers slapping of Daniel, I think it was probably out of respect for him. if Sawyer had punched him in his normal way he would have probably killed him. It was a gentle reminder he wanted the answer.

Blam said...

I gotta say that the whole time-skipping thing is still a bit odd to me. Now, I get the concept of the castaways skipping through time, out of sync with the Island, and of the Others — at least the "real" Others, Richard's group — being in sync with the Island in some organic fashion, perhaps by having been reborn through the Temple (if they're not all complete Island natives somehow), which obviously Juliet wasn't. What doesn't make sense to me is that the skipping is explained by the Frozen Donkey Wheel being off its axis, which if anything should mean that the Island is skipping and that perhaps the castaways are the ones who are staying in place, or bumping "up" and "down" in four-dimensional space as the Island ripples "under" them, the way the kids would get in a circle and bounce beach balls on a giant parachute in gym class at a preschool camp where I worked. Maybe I finally just answered what's nagged at me through that analogy, but it never seemed to click. Was that part of the eventual explanation and I forgot it?

Blam said...

"Oh yeah... Libby says Hi." Yet another great line from this episode. Unlike you, Nikki, I still think both that Ana Lucia means it (grudgingly) as a courtesy and that Hurley takes it that way.

Batcabbage said...

@Susan and EvaHart: (Batkitty contributed to this considerably) I think Sawyer slapping Daniel is meant to be disrespectful and ultimately emasculating. It's like he considers him beneath warranting a punch. Also, I think there's an element of hysteria there. It's like 'Oi! Stop acting crazy, and speak sense.' The threatening to slap Charlotte was a step too far for the character, I think.

humanebean said...

What a fantastic opening to Season 5 - it still has the power to thrill and fascinate in equal measure. i've always been a sci-fi fan and particularly partial to notions of time-travel, so I was delighted to see the events of the Island's time-skipping play out.

Re: nosebleeds: while I think that many folks would notice quickly, it is undeniably true that many do not. Since they were playing these nosebleeds for dramatic effect, I don't find it awkward that someone has to call it to the attention of the affected person.

Some things that jumped out at me in the Rewatch:
1) Ben lies so off-handedly that it's easy to overlook it. When he is telling Jack about his last encounter with Locke (supposedly), he finishes by saying "... and then he left". Um, no, he didn't, Ben. YOU did.

2) When our LOSTies are milling about their (former) campsite on the beach, we see the ominous red flowers all over the area. This nicely foreshadows the flaming death that will rain down upon them soon.

3) As Daniel frantically flips through his journal before pounding on the Hatch door, he clearly passes the page that reads, "If anything should happen, Desmond Hume will be my constant". This doesn't appear to be the item that cements his decision but surely contributes.

4) The shot of Richard Alpert's torch appearing in the distance behind Locke as he sits bleeding by the plane is very compelling. On the commentary track, Darlton notes that the actors were given direction as to what emotions to register in these time-travel scenes without a full explanation of what would occur later that would expand upon what we've already seen. So, neither Nestor nor Terry knew about the key scene of Locke telling Richard to go help him between flashes.

5) Also on the commentary track, in the opening scene, Damon narrates the alarm clock going off, saying "... and now it's 8:15, time for Morning Edition!" HOOT.

Re: Sawyer's slap. I think Josh does a fantastic job of portraying his raging emotions in this episode. He has just jumped from his (supposed) rescue helicopter in a heroic attempt to get Kate & Aaron to the freighter. He then swims ALL the way back to the beach, only to find out that the freighter is burning/exploding. THEN the flash takes this all away - along with the camp. He has no shirt, no shoes (BIG problem), can't get any answers from the one guy who seems to think he knows what's happening ... then finally snaps when Daniel edges into condescension by telling him that he couldn't possibly understand any explanation - it would be hard enough explaining it to a SMART person.

*SMACK* I cut the guy some slack!

Blam said...

Nice snowman, Sonshine, and great hat, Batcabbage.
Verification word: Bewowsor — New from RonCo! A device guaranteed to fascinate your friends and loved ones! What does it do? It fascinates your friends and loved ones, we just told you. Order today and get not one but two Bewowsors for the price of one... You pay only shipping and handling. Does it work? Didn't you just order two?

Nikki Stafford said...

Marebabe: How much do I love that my readers see footie pajamas and think of me?! Ah, my dream is complete. ;)

Susan: Yes, you're right, and I know a LOT of people who had tons of nosebleeds as kids and then they stopped when puberty hit. There might be more significance to the fact that she was on the island as a child, though. Probably nothing, but might be something. :)

Nikki Stafford said...

Susan: You know, if I saw a guy with a gun looking down in my direction with a gun, I don't think I would yell out, and I really don't think I would snap his picture with my cell phone.

LOL! I was thinking the SAME THING when rewatching it this time! That had never occurred to me before, and yet I'm thinking, "Uh... dude? If he really DID kill that guy, don't you think he could shoot you, too?"

Nikki Stafford said...

Blam: I think the drill bit is a better actor than François Chau.

I'm reading your comments at work, and I just burst out laughing. For reals. ;)

M9 EGO said...

@ Nikki - I have just checked and 'that drill bit' had his first bit part appearance in the 1974 Roger Moore film 'GOLD'....quality actor unlike Carvin Mandle

Teebore said...

I vividly remember the conversation you all were having about whether you loaded your knives up or down

I still maintain it's perfectly normal to load your knives blades up... ;)

Nikki Stafford said...

Ack, no! Blades down! I fear for your poor fingers, Teebore! Unless you unload your dishwasher with your chain mail gloves. I do know how you love wearing those. ;)

crazyinlost said...

I'm running at a disadvantage here. I dont get my copy of Lost S5 until Christmas, but it does come with a copy of 'Finding Lost' S5 companion book by no other than our beloved Nikki Stafford! Yay, I can't wait. I tried to rent a copy, but they go out as quickly as they come in, and there are only the last 7 or 8 eps on right now. I just saw the first few eps recently when they were on TV, so I'll just have to go off memory.

This is my favorite season! Time travel, and jumps thru time, and deception, and Sawyer sans shirt! What more could you ask for!

Teebore said...

That's okay, Nikki, I fear for your poorly cleaned knife blades, with bits of food and stuff still clinging to them since they were hanging out in the moist, damp, dishwasher basket.

Besides, any excuse I can come up with to wear the chain mail gloves, right?!? :)

Nikki Stafford said...

Teebore: LOL! OK, here's why I'm going to let that comment slide... because I COMPLETELY agree. Not about putting chef's knives blade up (ACK!) but because I believe everything else in the dishwasher should be handle down, eating end up, and NO ONE seems to agree with me. No one. My husband loads them handle up. My mother-in-law loads them that way. I was at her house recently and after dinner I was loading her dishwasher and she told me they can't be properly cleaned like that. I told her that all the dirt runs to the bottom, and therefore unless it's a chef's knife (har) where all that's at the bottom is the tiniest tip, you don't want forks and spoons and butter knives like that or all the bacteria will be there. She said I was wrong, and systematically turned them all upside-down. Every person I know loads them handle-up. Thank goodness I'm not the only person out there who loads them handle-down!!

Except chef's knives. I just can't budge on that one. Maybe it's the fact my 2-year-old always wants to help me unload the dishwasher, though I've always loaded them that way. ;)

Pamalamb said...

This was a great season opener. The opening scene with Daniel being in 1977 really blew my mind. I knew from that moment on we were in for an exciting ride!

I don't really have anything to add to everyone's wonderful insightful comments, except that I really enjoyed reading them.

I would like to weigh in on the utensils in the dishwasher question. I totally agree with you Nikki, the folks and spoons should be loaded handle down. The idea that they would get cleaner with the eating part down in the bottom of the basket is absurd (although I'm sure your mother-in-law wouldn't believe me either). However, I am in agreement with Teebore regarding the knives - handles down also.

crazyinlost said...

@Susan-I am SO there with the Star Trek and time travel! I too don't seem to get totally confused with it. Star Trek either did a good job of explaining or I'm just sensitized to it. My husband on the other hand, is like Cpt. Janeway, "Time travel gives me a headache". But I love it.

@Nikki & Teebore-I have always loaded silveware (or 'cutlary' for you, Nik) handle up so that when you unload, you are not putting your hands all over the clean eating parts. I have always put the spoons eating side up, since it seems like the end up 'spooning' if they are down, and I can keep a better eye on them. But since I dont load the dishwasher much (my teenage kids, or husband do it most of the time), I guess this conversation is moot!

tiasabita said...

"I need a cool code name."

Chang is pretty much a wanker.

It's raining when John comes out of the first flash but sunny on Sawyer and the other Beachies.

It's probably too late to be commenting on this episode (but I'm way behind and am going to be even further behind!) but I'm having trouble remembering why Sun wants to be in cahoots with Widmore to kill Ben. Does she know Michael is working for Ben thus thinks the boat is Ben's and that Ben is responsible for blowing up the boat and her husband?? And how does she know about Widmore? If anyone out there reads this and knows, I'm all ears!!