Friday, July 31, 2009

1.16 Outlaws

Follow along! The episode guide to “Outlaws” is in Finding Lost, pp. 101-105.

This was an episode about guilt coming back to bite them: Sawyer’s guilt for killing Duckett; Charlie’s guilt for killing Ethan; Locke’s mother’s guilt for not watching Jeannie; Sayid’s guilt for being part of a firing squad… and even a moment of guilt from Kate when she’s playing I Never and admits to killing a man.

Fun things I noticed:
• This is one of the only times we ever see Sayid truly enjoying himself… mocking Sawyer. I love it.
• This is a NOT-so-fun thing I noticed… the whisper transcript to Outlaws was not in my Finding Lost book. I checked my old file folder, and sure enough I had the sidebar all written up… but then I’d forgotten to paste it into the master file I handed to my publisher, and no one seemed to notice. Stupid, stupid me… I can paste it here if anyone is interested. Just let me know.

Things that have new meaning:
• I wonder if there’s any significance to the fact that we’ve never see Sawyer’s dad’s face? We only see his boots. Could that factor in later?
• Hibbs telling Sawyer he’s not the killing type is interesting: He’s killed Duckett, Cooper, Tom… yet each time he feels sad about it.
• That photo of Duckett in his file makes it look like he’s wearing Dharma clothing.
• Hurley always has the throwaway lines, but then they end up being prescient. Now he’s talking about Ethan rising from the dead and chasing them like a zombie. Not far off from other things that have happened on the island…
• Kate refers to “carte blanche,” which is French… like “LaFleur.”
• We now know just how brief that marriage of hers was from I Do, and that was actually painful for her to leave him.
• John says, “Well… that would be silly” when Kate suggests the dog was Jeannie, but does he actually believe that? I don’t think his mother is the only one who believes the dog might have been Jeannie.
• Later, in Cabin Fever, we see that Locke’s sister was Melissa. And the mother clearly wasn’t off the rails yet. I’m thinking either Jeannie was out of the house in that scene, or that was a different foster family. Maybe they turfed him once he didn’t prove his specialness.
• That soccer game playing in the bar where Sawyer meets Christian made me think of the one in Flashes Before Your Eyes (but obviously it’s not the same one, since that one was in 1996).

1.15 Homecoming

Follow along! The episode guide for “Homecoming” is in Finding Lost, pp. 94-98.

Chah-lie’s second flashback is a heartbreaker… this one speaks to the heart of what Charlie is all about. All his life he’s been told he can’t take care of anyone, when all he seems to DO is take care of everyone. He threw his sobriety away to help Liam, he made him what he was, and now he’s trying to save Claire. But it always ends badly when Charlie manages to screw up somehow. I LOVED his character in this ep. That photocopier scene is yet another comedy classic from Dominic Monaghan. And the scene of him at the dinner table explaining that there’s been a problem with royalties while finally admitting to Lucy’s father (and himself) that DriveShaft is over, is very poignant.

Fun things I noticed:
• I remember at the time wondering that if the last memory she had was the plane, is it possible she died in the crash and we’ve always been looking at ghost Claire? Pregnant ghost Claire? Hm… people have always theorized that Claire may be dead at one point or another, and considering her recent disappearance…
• Someone asked in a previous episode why I didn’t point out Ethan’s superhuman strength. I talked at length about it in my book and I’m trying not to repeat what I said in the book here, but that’s definitely something that all of the Others possess – even Juliet lays a smackdown on Kate in Left Behind that is superhuman.
• Jin and Sun once again refer to the survivors as “others” followed immediately by a scene where Claire does the same thing.
• I still love the little in-joke about Ricky Gervais’s The Office, when Lucy says her dad’s buying a paper company in Slough. Teehee!!
• I still love how Sayid looks at Boone hesitantly when Boone steps up to volunteer as sentry (and the fatherly way Locke says he believes in him…)
• As I explain in my book, it’s actually Steve who dies… Scott is standing right there at the funeral.
• I think this might be the only time we see a flashback that cuts right back to a character (without a whoosh) making some reaction to what they just remembered. Charlie’s face is CLASSIC.
• I STILL can’t figure out why it took a full minute for most of the people with guns to make it over to Claire. If she was never in any danger, why does Jack go mano-a-mano with Ethan without anyone rushing in to help?
• I think I said this in my book, but Penny also lived in Knightsbridge, like Lucy. However, what I didn’t notice earlier was when Charlie’s standing on the doorstep, it looks like the country behind him. Correct me if I’m wrong, anyone reading from London, but isn’t Knightsbridge that area right around Harrod’s, and all of it is city blocks?

Things that have new meaning:
• Charlie deems Ethan the bad guy: even from the beginning, people are either good or bad, and that’s the only way they’re characterized. Yet in the season 2 finale, Ben defines the Others as the good guys.
• When we later see Ethan – as a hardworking doctor who was sent on a mission by Ben – his creepiness and threats in this episode seem a little baffling. Were the writers simply still trying to figure out what to do with the Others?
• Locke and Jack argue about whether to tell everyone or not. Jack’s reactionary, Locke says let’s stop and think for a bit. This conversation mirrors the one Sawyer has with Jack at the end of “Namaste,” where he tells him that Jack’s reactionary leadership led to the deaths of many people, but instead Sawyer thinks things through first.
• Jack puts his hand affectionately on Claire’s shoulder as he leads her away… almost in a brotherly sort of way…

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Technical Difficulties

Hey guys: I have to apologize; my blog posts for the next two eps won't be up until tomorrow. I'm so sorry... I'm out of town at the moment, and on another computer because I can't get the internet to work on mine, and I don't have the eps written up yet. I'll have them up by tomorrow. Sorry about that!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

1.14 Special

Follow along! The episode guide for “Special” is in Finding Lost, pp. 87-91.

Special. It’s a word that’s now been applied to many people on the island, but most often, John Locke. Walt was the first special person on the island that we knew about – he can make things happen just by picturing it. Locke figures out his talent instantly, which is a little strange, and then hones it to show Walt how he can use his abilities. Now in light of season 5 most of this episode seems standalone because the Walt storyline is that one giant thing they’ve sort of just dropped, and it seemed to be building up to something extremely important. But then the writers got stuck in the practical problem of an actor growing up too quickly when the little character was supposed to stay the same. But I really REALLY hope that Walt is somehow addressed in season 6.

Fun things I noticed:
• Michael hasn’t yet perfected his “Waaaaaaaaaaalt!!” cry. Go here to find out how it’s SUPPOSED to be done. Heh...heh...
• When Locke tells Walt to picture the spot where the knife will go in, Walt looks at it, and then Vincent turns his head and looks at the tree. It’s as if the dog in this scene is psychically helping Walt out.
• Baby Walt still makes me melt.
• Susan = EVIL. She says they’re not married and therefore Michael has no right to the child. In what universe?! They’re common law, for goodness’ sake, and if he’d decided to fight it he would have. I found the gender reversal in this episode really interesting; if Michael had been the breadwinner, he would have moved the family to Amsterdam. But instead it’s Susan, and she won’t drag Michael’s ass along for the ride. She clearly had her eyes on Brian already. I know Michael’s one of those characters who’s not a favourite with a lot of fans, but I’ve always had a soft spot for him. Taking a child away from his father is just unforgiveable to me.
• The Bonneville of Death!!!
• Charlie’s scene with Claire’s diary is still a comedy classic.
• Re: the unopened letters... Susan = EVIL!!!
• You know, I think Brian’s a special kind of shitty for abandoning his grieving son, and letting him meet his father and new guardian completely alone, with NO ONE there to help him through the transition process. I asked in my book why Walt doesn’t call Brian “Dad,” but now I watch it and think, “Why the hell would he?”
• I’ve always believed Michael does Walt a huge disservice by suggesting Brian wanted to keep him and now Michael’s taking him against his will. Way to make the kid resent you right out of the gate, and make him spend the rest of his life thinking he drew the short straw.
• When Michael says to Walt, “I’m right behind you,” I remember at the time thinking for the first time that a major character was about to be killed.
• I still think that polar bear is horrific CGI.

Things that have new meaning:
• Locke discovers Walt’s specialness, and Michael threatens to kill him. And then... Walt is kidnapped by the Others. Presumably, they, too, sensed Walt’s specialness, and when they took him away to Room 23, they probably gave the same test to him that they did to John Locke – putting the objects in front of him – to find out if maybe he was meant to be their leader. And if you have no idea what I’m talking about... check out the mobisode, “Room 23” on the season 4 DVD. (Or look in the Season 4 Finding Lost book, page 136, for a synopsis.) But now, with Locke appearing to be inhabited by some evil spirit at the end of season 5, one wonders if he could have had anything to do with Walt’s kidnapping...
• At the time I assumed Claire’s comment in her diary, “I HATE HIM,” referred to Thomas. But could it refer to Christian? Or could it be prescient? She mentions the Black Rock in her diary... how is she seeing the future? How could she know things on the island that she hasn’t seen yet? Is it possible there’s a reason she was with Christian in season 4? What role will she play in season 6?

1.13 Hearts and Minds

Follow along! The episode guide to “Hearts and Minds” is in Finding Lost, pp. 81-85.

Aside from being the flashback for the “Dumb” half of “Dumb and Dumberer,” this is the episode where Locke goes completely frakkin’ nuts. I still remember watching this one and thinking, “Uh... what the HELL is he doing?” (I still loved him, though...) It’s also our first hint that Locke was actually the guy who clocked Sayid in the back of the head. Locke has a purpose, but at this stage in his spiritual journey, he’s already learning to hurt people in order to get ahead.

Fun things I noticed:
• I’ve often talked about Sayid’s active b.s. detector, and how he can usually see through the crap that brainwashes everyone else, but he’s definitely not yet on his game in season 1. First, he falls for Locke’s trick in “Confidence Man” by making him think Sawyer’s the guy who hit him, and now he seems surprised when Kate suggests that maybe Locke’s not actually hunting boar for them anymore.
• I’ve always laughed at how Hurley complains that Jin is holding a grudge. Watch that scene again where Jin tries to offer him sea urchin, and Hurley doesn’t decline, he flat-out refuses, then makes fun of him and then laughs his ass off at the poor guy. Remember that Jin was embarrassed by what his father did for a living, and now he’s actually doing the same thing, which is a necessity, but it must cause a pang of guilt for him. So for Hurley to laugh at him must have been very painful. I probably would have avoided the big guy, too, if he’d treated me like that and I didn’t understand anything else he was saying.
• It’s still so weird to me to see Jack and Locke having a normal, joking conversation.
• I mentioned in “Whatever the Case May Be” (which is the episode that precedes this) that Jack is an absolute dick and it comes out of nowhere. And once again, he’s very sweet to Kate in this episode, giving her the guava seeds. Definitely chalking it up to the changing writers.
• Shannon asks if by hatch he means door, and Boone says, “That’s what a hatch IS” but throughout season 2 (and right through to season 5 when Hurley says it in “Some Like It Hoth”) they refer to the actual station/bunker as the hatch.
• That crazy Batman-esque music that plays while Shannon and Boone run from the smoke monster is something we never hear again.
• Boone doesn’t actually see Smokey, and yet his sounds and presence are exactly the same, and you even catch a glimpse of the smoke as it’s uprooting a tree. Strange that a hallucination could be so accurate. Why did the island want Boone to see this particular thing?

Things that have new meaning:
• Seeing that hatch gives me CHILLS now that I know what it’ll be. It’s so weird to watch it now and know that Desmond is in there. What never ceases to baffle me is that in all that time they NEVER found the back door.
• Locke was full of his weird stories in season 1. In scenes like the Michelangelo’s father story (or the Norman Croucher story in “Walkabout”) I’m starting to look at him as if he IS the Man in Black, as someone suggested a few episodes ago. What if when he looked into the eye of the island he was momentarily possessed by the Man in Black, and then when he saw the monster as just that – a monster – he turned back into John Locke? OK, I’m being a little sarcastic now, but season 1 Locke is a lot like season 5 Locke, whereas the Locke in seasons 2, 3, and 4 is very different. Again, this could have been part of the growing pains, since Locke is definitely the most complex character on the island, and the writers were probably trying to figure out exactly which direction to take him in.
• Notice that Locke is making his concoction already and saying it’s for later... as if he can see the future.
• Wow, that Sydney marina looks a LOT like the one in L.A. where Ben visits Penny. Nyar nyar...
• John Locke hands Sayid the compass and tells him that he doesn’t need it anymore. Oddly, that’s exactly the instrument he needs – and gets – from Richard Alpert.
• Sayid’s story about the magnetic pull has always resonated with me, and was in the back of my head in season 5. Obviously we’ll find out the magnetic pull he can sense is the one from the Swan station, and it’s thrown off the accuracy of the compass. However, in season 5 when Locke returns to the island in “Follow the Leader,” he asks Alpert if he still has the compass. Alpert says yes, it’s a little rusty, but it still works perfectly well. Why does it work perfectly well? Shouldn’t it also be skewed? Is it possible that the Alpert compass is actually designed to be used specifically on the island, so the N is on a different spot?
• Locke is staring at the water the same way Jacob stares at it at the beginning of “The Incident.” Jack asks jokingly, “Any ships?” and at the beginning of “The Incident,” that’s exactly what Jacob is watching. Locke says no, but he’s patient. Jacob was patient, too, and no doubt sat on that beach waiting for decades for a new group of people to show up.
• Charlie says, “If there’s one person I put my absolute faith in who will save us all, it would be John Locke.” As I wrote in my season 5 book, the answer to the question, “What lies in the shadow of the statue” is “He who will save us all.” So... is Charlie’s comment a very early suggestion that that person is, in fact, John Locke?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Lost Rewatch: Week 4

So I think the way we're doing this is working so far. What do you guys think? Should I be splitting them up differently? Would you rather one episode a night from Monday to Thursday? Or is two on Wed, two on Thurs working for you? In any case, here is this week's schedule!

Wednesday night at 8:
Hearts and Minds

Thursday night at 8:

See you there!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Win Finding Lost Season 1&2!

This is for all those twittering twits out there who tweet on Twitter all day. (You know, 2 years ago that sentence would have made NO SENSE.) My publisher, ECW Press, is offering a free, signed AND personalized copy of my first Finding Lost book today to anyone who can come up with the craziest idea of how Lost will end... in 140 characters or less. Visit their Twitter feed here to enter your idea. Contest ends at 3pm today, so hurry!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

1.12 Whatever the Case May Be

Follow along! The episode guide for “Whatever the Case May Be” is in Finding Lost, pp. 75-79.

Season 1 established the standout characters by how many flashbacks they got – we’re only on episode 12 and we’ve already had 2 flashbacks for both Kate and Jack. I’ve never been a huge fan of this episode, even though it has a lot of great stuff in it, simply because of the way Jack and Sawyer treat Kate. It makes my skin crawl every time. Both of them take the case from her as if they’re somehow above her, chastising her like she’s some stupid child who needs discipline. Yet both of their actions speak loudly about their characters – Sawyer takes the case first because he thinks there might be something in it for him, secondly because he can use it to flirt with Kate (she keeps coming back for it, and he likes that) and thirdly because it gives him the upper hand in their “relationship,” or so he thinks. Jack, on the other hand, is a complete dick. He accuses her of lying and withholding information (like he’s not?!), and the moment she first tells him they have a problem he turns to her and shoots back, “WE have a problem, or YOU have a problem?” I’m sorry, Doc, but who the hell crapped in your corn flakes this morning? A day ago you were out in the jungle with Kate as the two of you chopped down Charlie, and the two of you were victorious in bringing him back to life. And now you’re biting her head off? One of the only problems with season 1 is that the writers were different on every episode, and there wasn’t that cohesiveness that was there now. One writer would write Jack as being annoyed with Kate’s mere presence, but in the next episode they’re chatting like equals. Next episode she’s hot for him, and then suddenly he’s all angry at her again.

Fun things I noticed:
• Sawyer asks Kate if she’s the navel-gazing, no-fun mopey type. I love his subtle reference to Jack here.
• Why is Sayid still referring to Claire as “the pregnant woman” when they’ve been on the island for 2 or 3 weeks? You’d think the one person who has been kidnapped might be a name everyone would know by now.
• Oh, Sayid. I love you. LOVE YOU. I love his character, I love his development through five seasons, I think Naveen is a brilliant actor... but I will never, ever understand his attraction to Bitchy von Ditz. It watered down his love for Nadia and made me lose a little respect for him. It was like when I found out David Boreanaz was married to an Irish screenwriter when he started on Buffy, and then became famous and dumped her and married a Playboy bunny. Sigh. The light of these people just kinda dims in my eyes.
• I’ve never understood why Shannon didn’t just say “Finding Nemo,” rather than going on about the fish movie.

Things that have new meaning:
• Sawyer tells Michael he better start looking for a runway. Did anyone else yell out, “hey, they’re building one over on the Hydra island!”
• Locke says, “The easiest way isn’t always the best.” Talk about understatement of the century, coming from that guy.
• I’d said that in the beginning of season 1 it’s hard for me to reconcile soft, sweet Rose with angry get-off-my-lawn Rose of the season 5 finale, but you can see the nice bridge here. She’s full of tough love, pushing Charlie to get off his ass, but the next minute holding his head while praying with him. I’ve always adored that scene between the two of them.
• Sawyer’s line, “Physics, my ass,” has a COMPLETELY different meaning in season 5!! Isn’t it weird that the one guy who had a basic understanding of physics (insofar as how it impacted construction) is gone by the time anyone needs it? Poor Michael...
• I’d forgotten that the writers played with our expectations of “what Kate did” throughout the first two seasons the way they did with Locke’s paralysis. By this episode fans thought she’d shot the guys in the bank robbery and that’s why she was being hauled in. Or maybe it was the guy she “killed”... (we know now that she didn’t kill Tom, but put him in the position of being killed).
• The line, “There’s a fine line between denial and faith” is a very important line for the rest of the series; Jack is a man of science, but when he sees the island disappear at the end of season 3, he insists that it didn’t, even though he just saw it happen. If there was ever a captain of denial...
• The end of this episode is beautiful (see, I really do think there’s a lot to love about this episode, even if overall it’s not one of my faves) with the way Kate plays with that airplane. It shows how her idealized childhood is still playing a role in her present. If you really want to see this scene used well, check out the “childhood” trailer for season 6, if you haven’t already.
• Kate looks at the toy plane with a lot of sadness in her face (and we know how why that is) which reminded me of her comment in "316," when she sees Christian's shoes in Jack's house and asks him why he holds onto something that makes him so sad. You'd think she of all people would already know the answer to that question.

1.11 All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues

Follow along! The episode guide for “All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues” (a.k.a. longest title EVER) is in Finding Lost, pp. 70-75.

You know what I said about Christian being a sympathetic character in “White Rabbit” if you watch it in light of season 5? Not so sure about that. I think the writers really wanted us to dislike the guy, though even with that said, he’s certainly not painted in a black or white kind of way.

Fun stuff I noticed:
• Any theories on what Hurley meant when he says he’s a bit of a warrior himself? Is he referring to his lottery win or something else? Perhaps he’s a master at Pong?
• How did Locke know the time? He had to have reset his watch for the different time zone, but how does he know what time zone he’s in? Is he basing it on the sun?
• Ethan is like the bully in “White Rabbit” who tells Jack to stay down, and of course, Jack doesn’t. What I really enjoyed about this episode is that it was pro-Jack, and showed that sometimes, tenacity is a good thing. Had he given up on Charlie when Kate told him to, Charlie would have died.
• That said, Jack turning to Kate and snapping at her about her tracking skills STILL baffles me, and I’ve seen this episode a gajillion times. Why then? Why was he suddenly on her case? Is it because he’s remembering his father lying to him? It just seems like the wrong time for that.
• I remember being absolutely convinced Charlie was dead. This is one of the only times on television that someone has come back to life and it completely shocked me. I love how they played with it. Even if they did kill Charlie two seasons later. :::sniff:::

Things that have new meaning:
• It’s so strange to see Locke actually helping out with the group. This is the man who dumped Boone’s body at Jack’s feet and slunk back into the woods. The man who threw a knife into Naomi’s back before disappearing into the jungle again. The guy who mutters that he’s doing his own thing for the greater good, but doesn’t seem preoccupied with making friends on the island in any way. But here, he realizes Claire’s been taken, and dashes off into the jungle to find her. It was a refreshing change to see him focused on something other than his “purpose.” But that all changes when he discovers the hatch.
• Locke says he’s going to travel north, and tells Michael to go south. We know from season 3, when he sees the etching on Eko’s stick that says, “Lift up your eyes and look north” that the north has a significance to the island, and it’s where one finds New Otherton.
• At the time I didn’t notice it, but after “Special,” where we find out Walt can visualize something and make it happen, we realize he was willing the dice to roll in those numbers.
• Hurley tells Walt that he’ll give him his $20,000, and we know now that he really can afford that. So… considering Hurley and Walt are two people who made it off the island, didn’t Hurley owe Walt some cash? Har har…
• Christian’s touch seems like Jacob’s – Jacob has marked them all in some way that’s as yet unclear, and similarly here, Christian’s hand on Jack’s shoulder seems like a 10-ton weight to him.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

1.10 Raised by Another

Follow along! The episode guide for “Raised by Another” is in Finding Lost, pp. 64-68.

Who’d have thought that a first-season flashback for someone who’s not one of the Oceanic 6 – someone who doesn’t even appear in season 5 – would have such resonance for the end of the series?! I loved rewatching this episode. Where most of the season 1 episodes so far have offered up questions that have been largely answered – with a few major exceptions, of course – so much of this episode still hangs in the air like a giant question mark over the whole series.

Fun stuff I noticed:
• I pointed this out in my season 3 guide for “Par Avion,” but there’s a huge inconsistency in this episode with what we later know to be true about Mrs. Middleton. Claire talks about her like they don’t get along, and at one point she says if her mom finds out she’s pregnant, she’ll disown her, and Thomas says she pretty much already has. Fans took that to be an indication that she’s in a coma, but I don’t buy it – she hasn’t DISOWNED Claire while in that coma, she’s in a coma. Before the coma, Claire and her mom fought a lot, which is consistent with Claire’s attitude here. But Claire was a black-haired goth girl who worked at a tattoo parlour in that episode, and she definitely wasn’t pregnant. Now she’s a blonde who works at the Fish N Fry. If they’d kept her hair blonde in that episode, we could say that maybe she was actually pregnant at the time of the accident, and that the scene of her finding out she’s pregnant happens only a few days before the car accident. But the hair colour throws that off. Later, when she’s visiting the psychic, she mentions that she hasn’t told her mother the truth yet, and asks if maybe she shouldn’t. She wouldn’t be that concerned if her mother were in a coma.
• Kate allows her feet to be rooted to the spot, which is unlike her. Yet at the same time, sand is always shifting, showing how temporary her rootedness will be.
• I wasn’t going to say this, but I can’t resist: how bad were the accents on Claire’s friend and the woman who wanted to adopt Aaron? Wow. OK, enough accent talk. ;)
• So why do YOU think Hugo’s nickname is Hurley? My bet is on one too many chilli dogs at a carnival.
• Despite Jack being wrong-o on this one, he’s right on the insanity of pregnancy dreams. When I was pregnant with my first, I began having nightmares right before she was born that I was forgetting her everywhere, or that I’d forget to feed her. In one, I walked into a grocery store with the baby and grabbed a head of lettuce, and stuck the baby in the spot where I’d grabbed the lettuce from. Only when I got home did I realized I’d left her there. Like… WHAT?!
• Ethan, for the record, really is from Ontario. He was working together with me on our scheme with Sawyer that he mentioned in “Confidence Man.” We’re all connected, us horrible Canadians. (His last name, incidentally, is the same as the ROM, or Royal Ontario Museum, which is the massive museum in downtown Toronto that recently got a controversial makeover by architect Daniel Libeskind.) And as I point out in my book, his full name is an anagram for “Other Man.”
• Claire’s phone looked HUGE.
• Sawyer’s sunglasses were awesome. My 4-year-old daughter has a very similar pair.
• Hurley notices that Ethan’s name isn’t on the manifest, but since he only knows Sawyer as Sawyer, and we later find out Sawyer was listed as “James Ford” on the manifest, why didn’t he immediately suspect Sawyer, too?

Things that have new meaning:
• In Claire’s dream, she sees Locke, who says she gave Aaron away. At the time it referred to her wanting to give him up for adoption, but now it’s prescient of the fact that she abandoned Aaron (and interestingly, Locke is the only one who’s seen her since the abandonment) and happily went on her way.
• Locke has one black eye, one white one, like the stones found on Adam and Eve; could it be an early foreshadowing that Locke would embody both sides of the good and evil spectrum? That Locke was white, and the Man in Black was, well, black?
• Malkin warning Claire that no one else can raise Aaron casts an ominous cloud over Kate raising him for the past three years. What will happen to Aaron now that they’ve gone against what the psychic said? Was the psychic nothing more than a fraud?
• Claire asks the parents if they could sing “Catch a Falling Star” to the baby, and in “Whatever Happened, Happened,” we see Kate singing that to baby Aaron. Also, Mrs. Littleton must have told Claire that Christian sang that, since in “Par Avion” we learn that she thought he’d died when she was 2.
• Locke looks VERY interested as Sayid is talking about other people being on the island. This is the first time Locke hears about the existence of his people.

Questions that still need to be answered:
• What is Malkin’s role in the bigger picture? We know that he’ll be the one to get Claire onto the flight, and later it’s his daughter that lures Eko to Australia and gets him on the flight, too. Is Malkin an off-island Other? Does he have something to do with all of this? Could he be with the Shadow Seekers in some way?
• What is the larger role for Aaron? This episode suggested he would be a very special child. It’s because of him that Kate has come back to the island, and he’s Jack’s nephew and Christian’s grandchild, so he has many island connections. Is it possible he’s the Adam skeleton, as some have suggested?

1.09 Solitary

Follow along! The episode guide to Solitary is in Finding Lost, pp. 57-62.

This is one of the episodes I was most looking forward to rewatching, since we actually saw Rousseau’s backstory in (sorta) real time in season 5. For the most part, the writers remained consistent with what Rousseau tells Sayid. The differences I noticed: she says they built the underground shelter in their first few days on the island, but when Rousseau kills Robert – who is the last of them save her – they’re still living on the beach. In her story to Sayid, she makes it sound like they lived on the island for two months before anything bad happened, and that they’d been attacked on their way back from the Black Rock, when in fact it happened on their first day on the island. She says she’s never seen any of the Others, but we know from “Dead Is Dead” that she saw Ben come and take Alex. Also, I’d mentioned back in my original episode guide for “The Little Prince” that I loved that she’s wearing the sweater we later see on the island, but now I see the sweater in “Solitary” is a dark brown colour, and the one she’s wearing when she comes to the island is a light grey. They could argue that over time it turned brown, but I don’t think it would take on quite that chocolate colour, no matter how old it is.

Fun stuff I noticed:
• Jack says that Sayid is a trained soldier, and it cuts to Sayid getting tripped up in the net. I remember at the time wondering if Sayid had been lying and actually had no idea what he was doing.
• Jack to Hurley: “Things could be worse.” Hurley: “How?” Me: “Um… let me tell you a little something about what’s about to happen to all of you…”
• The Island Open is even more meaningful now that we know they’re about to go through SO much worse… it was nice seeing all of them just enjoy themselves for a moment.

Things that have new meaning:
• Locke’s the guy who brings Ethan into the fold of the group. This could back up the theory that Locke may have been a baddie from the beginning, but it also makes me remember the flashback in “Further Instructions,” when he led the cop right into the marijuana grow-op commune.
• When Rousseau strokes Sayid’s cheek and says, “I’m so sorry,” we think of how kind and motherly she is when she’s so young in “This Place Is Death.”
• Sayid says to Rousseau, “The more I hold on, the more I pull away from those around me.” That could be said for just about every character by the end of season 5. Jack’s obsessions drove Kate away; Sawyer refuses to let go of the ideal of Kate; Kate is holding on to Aaron; Sun is holding on to her grief over Jin, etc.
• In the whisper transcript for this episode (see Finding Lost, page 61), you can hear a beep, like an old computer, which makes me wonder if the sound is coming from one of the old IBMs on the island.
• Since we didn’t see Rousseau with any of the stuff she had in the underground shelter (like the batteries), we can probably assume she either found it washed up on shore, or, more likely (since I doubt those batteries would have been aboard a boat) she’s found a few of the Dharma vans and took them out.

Questions that still need to be answered:
• What are the whispers?
• Why is Rousseau’s English even better now, after not speaking to anyone for 16 years, than it was when she first came to the island? (Yes, I’m being a smartass…)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

This Week's Rewatch Schedule

I hope you're enjoying the rewatch so far! This week's episodes are:

1.09 Solitary
1.10 Raised by Another
1.11 All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues
1.12 Whatever the Case May Be

I'll be posting 1.09 and 1.10 Wednesday night at 8, and 1.11 and 1.12 Thursday night at 8. See you then!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

1.08 Confidence Man

Follow along! The episode guide for "Confidence Man" is in Finding Lost, pp. 51-55.

The thing I’m enjoying most about the rewatch so far is remembering what it was like seeing them for the first time, and how it was such a big surprise that Locke was paralyzed, or Sun spoke English, or Jack’s dad was such a dick, or, in this case, that Sawyer is a conman who is emulating the man who destroyed his life. Talk about taking the redneck bully and turning him into a complex guy with major issues.

Fun stuff I noticed:
• All of the non-Sawyer plot material acted as a bridge between the first section of season 1 and the next. Sayid leaves; Sun infiltrates herself within the group a little more; Charlie and Claire get together.
• I commented in my season 1 Finding Lost guide that pregnant women shouldn’t be eating peanut butter, so it’s a good thing Charlie gives her the imaginary stuff. I wrote that book after my first pregnancy, and yet, by the second one, only three years later, I was told by my doctor to go ahead and eat all the peanut butter I wanted, and now they let you give peanut butter to babies under a year old. New studies are showing that peanut allergies may be caused by people NOT giving peanuts to kids, so they never develop an immunity to it. Give it 5 years and it’ll be banned again. But in 2004, Charlie’s doing the right thing.
• I loved that Sayid refers to his years of torturing as being “communications.” It sort of fits with life on the island: getting anyone to communicate is like pulling teeth.

Things that have new meaning:
(I couldn't decide between a pic of Angry Sawyer and Vulnerable Sawyer, so I've chosen both. You're welcome.) ;)
• Throughout the series, Locke is the one guy who never tells a lie, and who is brutally honest no matter what. He marches into the Others camp and announces who he is (in several different eras). He is consistently honest, even when it would be advantageous to him to lie. And yet here, he actually creates his own long con against Sayid by making him believe Sawyer is the bad guy. We’ll never see Locke pull off something like this again, by not only lying, but pointing the blame in the wrong direction. We’ll know by the end of season 1 that he’s the guy who clocked Sayid in the head (something I’d forgotten about until I saw him do it in “The Moth,” and then thought, “Oh YEAH! THAT’S why Sayid hates him so much”).
• This isn’t from the episode, but just a fun fact: at the 2008 Comic Con, Darlton told the audience that in the Exposé episode, they were going to include a gag where Nikki and Paulo are in the jungle and they find Shannon’s inhalers, look at it, and toss it aside. HAHA!!!
• Sawyer says his investor is from Toronto. It was actually me. And in the world of Lost, that means I’m evil.
• After seeing the finale, I could only picture that little boy writing the letter on the steps of the church and his uncle trying to stop him. That letter takes on a whole new meaning when you’ve seen the genesis of it.
• When the woman’s husband is talking to Sawyer in the restaurant, he says, “What is this, a loophole?” THAT word means something entirely different to us now!
• Watching Jack punch Sawyer in this episode, I can’t help but think how they’ll pummel each other senseless in “The Incident.” But at the same time, Sawyer develops a real hatred for Jack, and yet the man sticks his fingers into Sawyer’s arm to pinch an artery closed. Eep.
• The end of the episode we hear “I Shall Not Walk Alone,” and not only do I LOVE that song, but one of the lines refers to taking the hand of “my mother Mary,” and we later discover that Sawyer’s mother’s name is Mary. :::chills:::

1.07 The Moth

Follow along! The episode guide for "The Moth" is in Finding Lost, pp. 45-49.

Oh Chah-lie. Now, as we head into season 6, I miss him so much. In season 1, he was sweet and lovable and funny (and when you watch this episode with the commentary on, Dominic Monaghan is HILARIOUS). But when he stops using, and becomes all hostile in season 2, I really disliked him a lot. By the middle of season 3 he was as holy as Jack, and I couldn’t stand him... and yet he’ll redeem himself in “Greatest Hits,” just in time for... well... you know.

Fun things I noticed:
• It’s interesting that Locke chooses Charlie, of all people. In retrospect, we see how important Charlie will be to everyone, but his importance lies in him unjamming the frequency so they could be “rescued,” which is counter to what Locke wants. Similarly Locke encourages Jack to become the leader of the people, which again runs counter to Locke’s best interests. Early on, it seemed Locke was making decisions that weren’t good ones for himself. When I was reading Ulysses, I noticed the Stephen Dedalus/Leopold Bloom relationship was much like the Charlie/Locke one here: Bloom wants to be a father figure to Dedalus, even if the kid doesn’t want him to be his father.
• Locke describes a moth coming out of its cocoon and says struggle is nature’s way and that’s what will make the moth strong. This is consistent with John; in season 5, when he has the chance to tell his former self what will happen, he tells Sawyer he doesn’t want to because he needs that journey to become the man he is today.
• As a mother to a budding lepidopterist (and I only know what the word means because of my daughter), I found Locke’s assessment of moths versus butterflies very interesting. My 4-year-old daughter has been obsessed with monarchs since she was 3, and so last year and this year we go tromping through the woods collecting monarch caterpillars and raise them through the larvae stages into their chrysalis, and watch as they emerge 10 days later. Then we wait the requisite 24-48 hours and take them outside and let them go (last year one of them didn’t come out of the chrysalis right, and I ended up on speakerphone to the nearby Butterfly Conservatory with a scientist, who was talking me through how to get the poor thing out with a pair of tweezers and a needle... afterwards he explained that we were actually doing a good thing; that 80% of butterflies will survive in captivity, as opposed to 10% in the wild). It’s pretty amazing (I have 5 chrysalises downstairs right now, along with one still in the egg and three hatched caterpillars) and I’ve read scores of books on the subject in the last year. We’ve tried to raise countless moths, but we’ve yet to actually have one make it out of the cocoon. The butterflies seem to be able to make the journey no problem, but those moths never do. At first I thought Locke was wrong when he said moths were stronger, because if the things can’t get out, how does that make them stronger? But it links back to Charlie because, like other drug addicts, only the strongest one will kick the habit, and similarly, only the strongest moth will make it out, whereas the butterflies obviously have an easier go of it. OK, now back to your regularly scheduled Lost discussion. ;) And now you know that weird aspect of my life; when I’m not watching Lost, I’m standing in a field with my daughter searching through milkweed plants for tiny monarch eggs.
• This episode has the first instance of Sceve. To read the full controversy surrounding these two, check out pp 97-98 of my first Finding Lost book.
• Sucks to be the only doctor on the island... first he has to talk Kate through how to give him painful stitches, and now he has to talk Charlie through painfully relocating his shoulder. Yeeowch.
• I think I noted this in my book, but Charlie emerges from the ground like a vamp on BtVS, and it looks like a rebirth of sorts.

Things that have new meaning:
• Jack says he wishes he had Kate’s faith. Now we know one thing that sets Jack apart from the others is that he doesn’t seem to have any faith in anything. And interestingly, Kate’s always been more on the side of Jack – she doesn’t seem to believe in any of the destiny talk, either.
• Locke tells Charlie that life is a series of choices, and you make those choices based on instinct. This is a really interesting scene, considering that Locke is so firmly on the side of destiny over free will. Here he seems to be a proponent of free will, but notice how he says those choices are based on instinct, not a thought process. That would seem to be more of a fate thing again.
• The Charlie episode has a subplot of Sayid trying to open a radio signal, which is weird now that we know Charlie will eventually die doing the very same thing.
• Sayid has his little speech about how maybe they were all destined to be on the island, but that runs counter to what we later know of Sayid. Despite him being religious (and as I’ve said in the past, typically on this show they put the religious characters on the side of destiny), he mocks Locke in season 3 for following a few words he’d seen etched on the Jesus stick, and he firmly believes in free will. AND YET... in season 5, he’ll believe he came back for a reason, and that his destiny is to kill Ben Linus.
• Now that we know the island manipulates certain situations to make things happen, I wonder if it actually created the cave-in? Notice it happens just as Charlie is proclaiming himself to be a god, and it forces people to come together to get him out.
• Charlie dies in the episode “Through the Looking Glass,” based on the Lewis Carroll book where Alice steps through the mirror and enters a strange and scary world. And looking back at this episode, Charlie is sitting in front of a mirror when he holds the bag of heroin for the first time, and presumably makes his own metaphorical step through the looking glass into the strange and scary world of drug abuse.
• Jack says he’ll always remember what a hero Charlie was. Charlie says, “For the rest of our lives?” and I thought, “Which, for you, is only about 3 more months.” :::SOB:::
• Locke says, “I’m proud of you, Charlie. I always knew you could do it.” And that’s how we’ll feel about Charlie when he dies. :(

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

1.06 House of the Rising Sun

Follow along! The “House of the Rising Sun” episode guide in Finding Lost is on pp. 40-43.

The two characters who didn’t seem to have been completely worked out by the writers in the beginning were Jin and Sun. Going back to see them in these early episodes, the seeds of who Sun is now were there, but Jin is entirely different. Witness his ordering Sun to button up her top button, or viciously beating up Michael for a watch, or refusing to talk to anyone, or help, or be a part of the group, etc. etc. Now compare that to Jin of season 5, passively standing back, rarely doing much of anything, quietly watching things happen around him. His wife might be on the island, and that sparks a tiny bit of a jump in the guy, when he races off into the jungle, but instead, when he finds Sayid, he drifts back into Mr. Quiet Guy again. I believe it’s the 17th episode in season 1, “...In Translation” (and if I just got that right my husband will think I’m a bigger geek than he already thinks I am), which is similar to “Walkabout,” where we got a revelation of a character that made us instantly like Jin, and that’s why it’s one of my faves of the season. But for now, he’ll be the Angry Korean guy. One could argue that he "developed," but I don't believe a person's personality could utterly change like that. Certainly not in that short a time. He's already Sweet Happy Jin by season 2. I remember in the first season of Lost, many Asian groups were unhappy about the portrayal of Sun and Jin in the first season. Luckily they turned them into two of the most popular characters of the show (unfortunately they barely had anything to do in season 5, but here’s hoping we see more of them in season 6... especially that reunion!)

Fun things I noticed:
• Charlie has changed FATE to LATE on his fingers. At the time we didn’t know what it means, but in this episode he flashes it to Claire. There’s a belief that Claire may be dead, and Charlie definitely is, and “late” is used to refer to people who are dead. Could this have been foreshadowing?
• Right from the beginning, there was a fear of the “other” and Jin and Sun definitely represent that to everyone else. There is a lot of critical theory out there on the Self and the Other in literature (and I actually wrote up a chapter on it for my season 2 book, but it felt so dry I cut it out of the book) and it’s already there in these first few episodes. The Other is that which is foreign, and different. Sun and Jin don’t speak the language of the others. In “Tabula Rasa” we saw Sawyer and Sayid trying to kill each other on the beach. It barely registered with anyone else. But here they lock the “Chinese” guy up to the plane, handcuffing him and refusing to try to talk to him. They yell, they motion, and only Jack is the one who walks up to him with water and tells him to take little sips. The rest of them just want the “other” to be out of their midst. Notice how many times the word “other” is used in season 1, and not to refer to “The Others.”
• I really miss that mournful Sun musical motif they used to use, with the violin. They didn’t use it anymore for her in season 5. It seems to disappear when she becomes badass Sun.
• “It was full of bees.” “I thought C’s, actually.” That NEVER fails to make me laugh!
• I always forget that Locke was kept out of the loop on the whole Rousseau thing, which is weird to me when I think of it now. Watch how Charlie sees Adam and Eve and blurts out that they might have been the people there before them, and Jack’s all, “SSSSSHHHHHHH... LOCKE IS RIGHT THERE!!!” with his eyes. Locke steps up like he knows something’s up, but plays along. Good one, guys. Keep Shannon and Boone in the know, but make sure Locke’s in the dark.
• I REALLY miss those musical montages at the end. The “Wash Away” one at the end of “Tabula Rasa” was great, but Willie Nelson’s “Are You Sure” at the end of this one was just brilliant. One of my favourite uses of music in the entire series. Interestingly, it’s a Willie Nelson song that opens season 5 when Chang puts the record on.

Things that have new meaning:
• Jack tells Locke he found the cave “by luck.” Yet we all know Jack doesn’t believe in luck. Or destiny.
• I’ve always loved that scene with the black and white stones in Adam’s pouch, but now they take on new meaning, possibly representing Jacob and the Man in Black.
• Knowing that Jack will later attempt to detonate a nuclear bomb in order to win back Kate, it’s weird watching these earlier scenes where she’s mercilessly flirting with him, hoping he’s looking at her butt, and when she asks him coyly what he’s thinking about, he’s like, “I was thinking about the caves and survival and the people and the beach...” You can just hear the horn playing, ‘Wah, wah, waaaaaah.’ And you just want to smack him in the head for not seeing what’s right in front of him.
• A few of you have suggested that maybe there’s something off with Locke right from the beginning, that maybe he’s known what is happening all along. He certainly does seem very self-assured in this scene, right after he’s seen “into the eye of the island.” (After he sees the dark side of Smokey in the finale, he’ll be less confident in season 2.) He tells Charlie that he WILL see his guitar again... not might, but will. Then again, he’s probably already seen it on the cliff side.
• Michael to Jin: “Time doesn’t matter on a damn island!” GAAAAHHH!!!! Talk about getting THAT wrong.
• This episode features the first major split of the group. Interesting to note that the sides are Kate/Sawyer/Sayid on the beach, Jack/Locke/Hurley in the caves (Jack and Locke on the same team?!). In season 4 when they split into groups, it’s Jack/Kate/Sayid and Locke/Sawyer/Hurley. The only consistency here is Kate with Sayid and Hurley with Locke. Everyone else switches.

Questions that still need to be answered:
• Who are Adam and Eve?

1.05 White Rabbit

Follow along! The “White Rabbit” episode guide in Finding Lost is on pp. 33-37.

“White Rabbit” was the first of MANY overt references to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, with Jack chasing the white rabbit deeper down the rabbit hole into Wonderland, where he eventually meets with the Cheshire Cat/White Knight/Mad Hatter… or however you’d like to characterize Locke. I think the scene between Locke and Jack was so integral to the entire series, I’m just gonna go ahead and quote the entire thing here:

LOCKE: Why are you out here, Jack?
JACK: I think I'm going crazy.
LOCKE: No. You're not going crazy.
LOCKE: No, crazy people don't know they're going crazy. They think they're getting sane. So, why are you out here?
JACK: I'm chasing something—someone.
LOCKE: Ah. The white rabbit. Alice in Wonderland.
JACK: Yeah, wonderland, because who I'm chasing—he's not there.
LOCKE: But you see him?
JACK: Yes. But he's not there.
LOCKE: And if I came to you and said the same thing, then what would your explanation be, as a doctor.
JACK: I'd call it a hallucination. A result of dehydration, post traumatic stress, not getting more than two hours of sleep a night for the past week. All of the above.
LOCKE: All right, then. You're hallucinating. But what if you're not?
JACK: Then we're all in a lot of trouble.
LOCKE: I'm an ordinary man, Jack, meat and potatoes, I live in the real world. I'm not a big believer in magic. But this place is different. It's special. The others don't want to talk about it because it scares them. But we all know it. We all feel it. Is your white rabbit a hallucination? Probably. But what if everything that happened here, happened for a reason? What if this person that you're chasing is really here?
JACK: That's impossible.
LOCKE: Even if it is, let's say it's not.
JACK: Then what happens when I catch him?
LOCKE: I don't know. But I've looked into the eye of this island. And what I saw was beautiful.
[Locke gets up to leave.]
JACK: Wait, wait, wait, where are you going?
LOCKE: To find some more water.
JACK: I'll come with you.
LOCKE: No. You need to finish what you've started.
JACK: Why?
LOCKE: Because a leader can't lead until he knows where he's going.

How rife is that passage with meaning for the rest of the series?! First, how much do I love that Locke talks and Jack listens? That alone is worth watching this episode. I love that Locke saves Jack’s life by pulling him up the cliff (and therefore the lives of just about everyone else on that beach). Many people have forgotten that Locke did that early on.

Fun things I noticed:
• How many times so far people have been referring to “the others” to simply mean other people on the flight. Especially Jin, who refers to everyone aside from them as “the others” when talking to Sun. Then Locke says in the passage above that “the others” don’t want to talk about it. It sounds so strange to hear them use this phrase when it would later take on such a significant meaning.
• There are 45 people on the beach. You’d think news of the water disappearing would have spread like wildfire, and that the pregnant lady in dire need of water would have had everyone going completely nutzoid. So… why doesn’t Boone fess up and just give her the damn water? He took it because Jack just “left it out there” so some goon could take it… um, like BOONE, maybe?? God, I’m happy the Boone and Shannon show is officially over. I never realized how much they annoyed me until now.
• Jack running really fast and suddenly tripping hard was REALLY funny to me. Sorry Jack. You fall funny. Teehee…
• I’ve mentioned throughout my episode guides that Sayid probably has the most heightened b.s. detector of anyone in the group. And already you can see it: notice he is convinced Sun understands every word he’s saying.

Things that have new meaning:
• In “The Incident” we saw Jack do the infamous five-second-fear surgery, and we see Christian help him through it, and then Jack comes out into the hallway and freaks out on Daddy for actually treating him like a normal student and helping him save the woman’s life. Until that point we’d been led to believe Christian was some hard-ass father, but in that scene we realize it’s all about perspective. Maybe Christian really DID believe his son was smart as a tack and believed in him, but Jack just didn’t believe in himself and thought his father was constantly undermining him. So watching the scene where Christian tells Little Jack that he doesn’t have what it takes, I tried watching it as if Christian wasn’t the bad guy. And it turns out… you really CAN watch it that way. Aside from the awful, “You don’t have what it takes” crap, he’s suggesting he has a sensitive son who wants to help people so badly that he’ll take it to heart when he can’t, and he’s urging him to another life where his sensitivity could be a help, not a hindrance. But Jack becomes a doctor, and then we see when he talks to Rose a couple of episodes ago that he’s all, “I didn’t choose this career; it chose me.” Maybe not.
• I loved the beginning where the kid says, “You should have just stayed down, Jack.” How many times have we thought that about him since? And in season 5, that’s exactly what he does. Just lies on the ground while things happen around him and thinks, “Oh well. Not my problem.” But that doesn’t last for long.
• I said it at the time, but watching Charlie freak out saying, “I don’t swim” seems very strange when we saw him dive under the water to the Looking Glass station after announcing he was some sort of junior swimming champion. Guess the writers hadn’t figured that one out yet.
• When the hotel manager tells Jack that Christian was involved in an “incident” at a hotel bar, I thought, “OMG, he set off an H-bomb, too? Oh… wait…” Man, THAT word has changed for me!
• When Jack goes to see his father’s body, he just cries and falls against the wall, and can’t actually say anything to him. But in “316,” he actually has a moment where he talks to John Locke’s body. I think in many ways John really DOES act as a proxy, not just physically, but emotionally for Jack. Christian was the man who haunted Jack when he was younger, but now it’s Locke hanging over him. And when he puts the shoes on Locke – a literal hint that he’s like his father – he gets to tell him off in a way he never did with his father.

Questions that still need to be answered 5 seasons later:
• Why wasn’t Christian in the coffin? If the Man in Black possessed Locke’s body, but Locke’s body exists separately, then why is Christian’s body gone?

Week 2 Schedule

Hey all: Just a quick update that I'll be posting White Rabbit and House of the Rising Sun tonight at 8pm, and The Moth and Confidence Man tomorrow night at 8pm. See you there!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

1.04 Walkabout

Follow along! The episode guide to "Walkabout" is in Finding Lost, pp. 27-30.

The pilot was amazing, the characters were already intriguing, but on October 14, 2004, THIS was the episode that made me go, “WOW!” And not just because Buffy executive producer David Fury was the dude who wrote it. This episode was epic. Now I watch it and think, “How did I NOT figure out he was paralyzed?” because on my first viewing, that wheelchair pulling away from the desk in the Walkabout office elicited loud gasps from both me and my husband. It was shocking; a beautiful twist to a wonderful episode. Locke was my favourite character from that point on. He was creepy, weird, possibly psychotic, but there was something about him that just made him stand apart. I LOOOOOOVED watching this episode again!

Fun things I noticed:
• A few people have wondered aloud if Smokey might have brought down the plane. One thing I noticed even back in 2004 was that there was a LOT of black smoke sort of wisping and dancing around the fuselage, even where there’s no fire. Where’s there’s smoke... there’s supposed to be fire. But here it’s just black smoke. That, however, would cancel out my theory that Smokey avoids the beach.
• When they hear the boars, Jack’s immediate assumption is that Sawyer is looting the fuselage again, showing how he already hates the guy. Sawyer’s response – “I’m right behind you, Jackass” – is frickin’ BRILLIANT. I howled.
• I love how they run from the boars as if it’s the scariest thing they’ve ever seen. I have bad news for you guys: you’re going to see MUCH scarier.
• You know, honestly, I’ve never understood why Kate and Sayid were never a thing. I sense chemistry between those two. He respects her, he doesn’t judge her, he brings her into his personal “circle of trust” and she respects him. I guess she thought he wasn’t complicated enough?
• Jack has a bandana tied around his neck. THAT is a fashion statement that, thankfully, did not continue. Thank the island gods.
• Between Claire and Boone asking Jack to do things that there’s no reason he would have to do, we can already see the makings of the reluctant leader. They want him to lead them in everything, and he doesn’t want to.
• I still can’t get over Locke with HAIR!!
• I love that Shannon’s wearing hot pink lipstick. 
• Rose says that Jack has a good soul. Sometimes I have trouble reconciling this Rose – who I saw as sort of saintly, motherly, lovely – with the, “Oh you have GOT to be kidding me” Rose we saw at the end of S5 who sees everyone for the first time in 3 years and basically tells them to piss off.
• Sawyer flirts with Kate, she rejects him. Ah. Just like the good old days. In the... future. In... 1977. Man, this show is confusing.
• The show had a different format back then. There were lots of hints of closed arcs of upcoming episodes, whereas now the show has a serialized feel, with individual backstories only being part of that episode and that episode only. But in this one we see Jack’s Christian sightings (foreshadowing White Rabbit), Sayid finding Nadia’s picture (Solitary) and Charlie being used by another woman (Homecoming)
• Jack: “I’m not big on rubbing it in.” Me: “LIAR!”
• I said just before Locke disappeared down the well in “This Place Is Death” in S5 that when Juliet says thank-you, that’s got to be one of the first times anyone says it to him. Sure enough, Michael just says “Nice work” about killing the boar, not “Thank you.”

Things that have new meaning:
• Jack: “Any bodies we bury are not going to stay buried for long.” EEK! Everyone always quotes Locke telling Paulo that things on the beach don’t stay buried for long, but they were touching on this theme in the fourth episode. Nothing on the ISLAND seems to stay buried for long...
• Sayid notices that Kate is as anxious to get off the island as he is... and yet they’ll both come back (against their will, interestingly).
• In later seasons, we see John say, “My name is John Locke” to just about everyone. And yet here, when Jack asks him for the first time who he is, Michael answers that he’s “Mr. Locke.” John never actually introduces himself to Jack. Hm...
• After JL flips open the knives, Hurley says, “Who is this guy?” Many times people will ask, “Where are we?” “What is this place?” but Locke is the only one where they ask who is this PERSON.
• Jack distrusts Locke immediately.
• Randy mocks John’s mentions of “destiny,” and when he says that word, John’s three-note musical motif plays. What an awesome moment in retrospect!!!
• Randy also calls John an old man and says his delusions of destiny are just that: which is what Jack says to him in “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham”
• Hurley says he fished off the Santa Monica pier with his old man. I didn’t think anything of that, until now. He must have been very young fishing, since his old man left when he was a kid.
• The first person chosen as a babysitter is Sun, despite the fact she can’t speak English. This foreshadows how Claire always leaves Aaron with her when she has to go somewhere.
• Rose says of the Tailies, “They’re probably thinking the same thing about us.” Yep. They were.
• Jack chases the image of Christian into the jungle... and Locke is standing there. Wow. Even in the fourth episode they were linked. Now, just like Christian, Locke has died off the island, travelled to the island in a coffin, crash-landed onto it, and seems to be walking around it.
• John’s two mantras – “this is my destiny!” and “don’t tell me what I can’t do!” – are linked in this episode, and now they have SO much more resonance when we’ve seen what he CAN do. Or... what his reanimated body can do.
• At the end of the episode, fire loops up around the image of Locke standing there. It has a different resonance to me now, thinking of him kicking Jacob into the fire pit.

My Favourite New Theory:
• Ali Bags suggested on “Pilot, Part 2” that maybe Vincent is Jacob! I must admit, the dog creeped me out even more on the rewatch than ever before. I mean, this is the dog that pulled the blanket off Nikki and Paulo and tried to get them to STOP burying them alive... what kind of horrible canine IS that thing?! But seriously... he seems to be all-knowing, he does some benevolent things, some terrible things, seems to be leading people in bad directions... and he seems to have an ambivalent relationship with Smokey, who may be the Man in Black. And remember: in the cabin, there’s a painting of a golden-haired dog. It’s not a lab, but we can pretend it is. ;)

1.03 Tabula Rasa

Follow along! The episode guide to "Tabula Rasa" is in Finding Lost, pp. 21-24.

After the fun and foreign feeling of the pilot, “Tabula Rasa” begins to feel more like the show we know and love. Sawyer’s nicknames are far more inventive (“Al Jazeera,” rather than the obvious “Lardo”) and he’s not just an ass, but a really funny one. Jack’s holier-than-thou self is already in fine form – he can be a hero... but just for one day.

Fun stuff I noticed:
• This episode features the first time Sawyer calls Kate Freckles. Aww...
• Sawyer is a complete dick to Jack from the get-go.
• I don’t think I caught this in the numbers in my book, but the marshal’s temperature is 104, which is the numbers added up, except for the 4.
• Aaaaaand... this is the beginning of us saying, “shut UP Jack.” He acts like he’s the new marshal and Kate should be telling him everything and that she OWES him that. Um... if I recall, SHE is the one who sewed YOU up, Buddy. Ahem.
• Wow, Hurley’s CD player looks SO outdated only 5 years later!!

Things that have new meaning:
• Kate gives a fake name to Ray, and it’s Annie, the name of Ben’s childhood sweetheart
• Ray, the guy who owns the farm, has the same name as Jack’s grandfather (how AWESOME would it have been if, in hindsight, they hadn’t made this guy Australian, and instead Jack’s grampy was living in the Outback?)
• Ray’s arm is prosthetic, just like Chang’s hand. The camera holds on it, as if showing us that things and people and places aren’t always as they seem.
• I meant to mention this in the blog for the previous episode, but Rousseau’s distress call is so different now that we’ve actually SEEN Smokey come and kill them all
• In “Namaste,” Sawyer has his harsh talk with Jack where he reminds him that his reactionary leadership cost a lot of people their lives, and that instead, Sawyer’s going to think things through. And that sometimes the hard choice is the only one you can make. In this episode, Jack’s pouring all the stash of antibiotics into one guy, and Sawyer confronts Jack about giving their only meds to someone who’s going to die anyway.
• Charlie changes the tape on his fingers. It originally said FATE, now it says LATE... which is an interesting foreshadowing of the time travel that will happen in a few more seasons.
• Jack: “Three days ago we all died... we should all be able to start over.” Interesting choice of words, there, Jack. Hm... no wonder that whole purgatory theory started so early. And now Jack is detonating an H-bomb that will cause all of them to die... so they can start over.

1.02 Pilot, Part 2

Follow along! The episode guide to "Pilot, Part 2" is in Finding Lost, pp. 15-18.

Check out Sayid: he grew a mustache and full beard in one day!! That is one hairy guy. OK, so I pointed out that continuity error in my Finding Lost book (there are many of them: Sawyer’s hair is longer and he has some stubble; Walt’s like a year older…)

Fun stuff I noticed:
• Sayid’s got that signature move down pat: he says something shocking while looking down, and then suddenly snaps his head in the direction of the person he says it to so he can see their rection.
• Between Shannon sunbathing and Kate just bathing, there was a lot more T&A in these early episodes. ABC probably had a mandate…
• When the camera showed Locke setting up the backgammon board, I cheered. It’s so exciting to rewatch his first lines on the show.
• Anyone who thinks Hurley hasn't lost any weight since he crashed onto the island hasn't been paying close enough attention. He's a lot bigger in the pilot than he is now.

Things that are different in retrospect:
• Sawyer’s first line to Jack: Whatever you say, Doc, you’re the hero.” By season 5, Sawyer will be the hero.
• Sawyer and Sayid are beating the hell out of each other at the beginning; in “He’s Our You,” Sawyer is trying to save Sayid’s life, and when he tells him to punch him, Sayid refuses.
• Kate tells Jack she’s going on a trek and he tries to stop her. She asks him what makes him think they’re safer on the beach than in the jungle? Now we know that Smokey never comes up onto the beach. Again, this could be a clue that links the monster to the Man in Black, who emerged from the jungle in the finale and returned to it after talking to Jacob.
• Jack tells Kate, “If you hear anything, run.” This is what Ben told Rousseau when he kidnapped Alex.
• Sawyer’s first line to Kate: “I’m a complex guy, Sweetheart.” The line was meant to be ironic at the time – as in, there was NO complexity to Sawyer. Now, it’s absolutely true.
• Locke’s first dialogue on the show is talking about how they’d found backgammon boards in the ruins at Mesopotamia that were 5000 years old. He says, “That’s older than Jesus Christ.” Could this be a hint that there are things on this island that are also older than Jesus?
• Despite everyone talking about how Sawyer went from being a selfish ass to becoming a hero, when everyone runs away during the polar bear scene, Sawyer stops and faces it head on, shooting the gun without blinking. That’s pretty heroic to me.
• Hurley tells Jack he’s not so good around blood, and then passes out when Jack pulls the shrapnel out of the marshal. And yet we left him at the end of S5 holding bandages on Sayid’s wound, showing how different he is now.
• After Sawyer explains where he got the gun, he says he also grabbed the badge of the U.S. Marshal. He holds it up, and it’s exactly what the logo was on his Dharma uniform: a star with a circle around it.

1.01 Pilot, Part 1

Follow along! The episode guide to "Pilot, Part 1" is in Finding Lost, pp. 9-14.

Wow, it’s so weird and amazing to be back here again. There’s no Dharma Initiative, no Others, no hatches. No one’s been off the island and back again, the survivors don’t know each other. It was like I was watching an entirely different show. But man, I love this pilot every time I go back and watch it. And now, with season 5 behind us, it’s new again. Look, it’s Chah-lie! And Hurley has fuzzy hair! Claire’s back, and round! Locke has... hair! (You know, I really didn’t realize in the first episode that Mount Baldy actually had fuzz around the sides and back of his head.) Jin’s a dick! Sun is submissive! Sawyer’s smoking… and he’s an ass! Jack is... not a tool! Boone and Shannon… still tools.

What I plan to do for our rewatch is point out a few fun things I didn’t notice the first time around, and then a bunch of things that are different now that we’re at the end of season 5. I don’t mean for my lists to be comprehensive, because A) I want you guys to be able to chime in with everything you saw, and B) I want to have a bit of a life for the next 8 months. So here we go!

Fun stuff I noticed:
• When Jack wakes up at the very beginning, I noticed what appears to be a black metal cylinder beside his head. Last year one of my readers emailed me asking if I would rewatch the opening, and wondered if it was Ben’s billy-club. Could it be?
• Hurley says the word “dude” in his third line of dialogue
• Jack saves Rose, Hurley, and Claire in the first 5 minutes. I think this is why I was slow to get on the “Oh SHUT UP Jack” train… I think everyone on that island owes Jack their lives. Maybe he’s right to be holier-than-thou. But honestly, by season 4, we kinda want him to shut up. But in this episode, I thought he was freakin’ awesome.

Things that are different in retrospect:
• We all remember Vincent being at Jack’s side when he woke up, but now we know from the final mobisode (see Finding Lost — Season Four, page 140-141) that Christian sent Vincent to wake up his son, telling him he has important work to do
• As Jack is running to the beach, he passes a white tennis shoe hanging from a bush. I guess now we can assume that was Christian’s.
• Jack tells Kate about the whole counting to five thing, and how you have to stay put and fix things. Kate says if she’d been in his situation during that surgery she would have run out of the door. Both their personalities were already perfected by that first episode.
• Jin says to Sun, “Don’t worry about the others; we need to stay together.” That line is ironic in season 5 (especially if you think of the Others with a capital letter…)
• Kate says she saw smoke in the valley and that’s where the fuselage was. But now I wonder, was she the first person to see Smokey?
• When Smokey attacks that night, Charlie steps up and says, “Terrific.” Which is exactly what Lapidus said when Bram cracked open the crate and he saw Locke’s body in there.
• Kate needs hiking boots, and slowly takes them off a dead body. It’s the opposite action to Jack putting shoes ONTO a dead body, Locke’s.
• Locke spends the first episode staring at the water, and when he’s resurrected, he just stands on the beach looking out at the water.
• The co-pilot of the plane died on impact, just like Lapidus’s.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Start Those DVD Players!

And blu-ray players and streaming video and however else you're gonna do it...

That's right, my lovelies, our Lost Rewatch officially begins this week!!

On the sched this week are the first four episodes:
Pilot, Part 1
Pilot, Part 2
Tabula Rasa

My plan is to watch them and put up posts on the first two Thursday morning, and the next two Friday morning. We'll see if I can keep to that schedule, and you can post comments on the individual episodes (I'll be splitting them up into posts based on episodes rather than grouping all 4 together) whenever you'd like.

I'm so excited!! I can't wait to go back and start all over again. I remember heading into season 7 of Buffy having watched the previous 6 seasons and how much fun it was, and it put an entirely new perspective on the season.

And happy Fourth of July to my American readers! And a Happy belated Canada Day to my Canucks (our holiday was Wednesday... which is so not awesome).