Friday, March 20, 2009

Thoughts on Lost - Namaste

Anybody else get the feeling we were kind of watching Part 2 of the last episode, "LeFleur"? Just like that one, this one leaned more to character interaction/development, with a few little nuggets thrown in to fill in more of the mythology. More than anything, I feel like these last two episodes are moving the pieces in place to set up for the big stories to come.

Let's get started...

- Well, Lapidus IS a talented pilot, but he apparently had a little help setting the plane down so serenely on the Hydra Island. Yep, just like many thought (and I didn't) they did in fact land on a runway, one that we can only assume is the same one that the Others were building back when Sawyer and Kate were part of the chain gang.

So, SOMEBODY knew they were coming...Ben? He did benefit from its existence, since without it he would have been in a crash landing. Jacob? Alpert? Don't know, but I do know that it was a nice little callback moment.

Also, did you notice the transmission coming back over the radio as the co-pilot tried to send the Mayday signal? A man's voice intoning, "...15...16...". Sounded like the transmission that Danielle's crew heard that drew them to the Island. We know that Danielle changed that transmission to her own call for help back around 1988. that a DIFFERENT transmission, or has something changed in the timeline that kept the original transmission from being changed? Maybe there is another radio tower on the Hydra Island that was broadcasting the Numbers, just like on the main Island?

- Did Flight 815 have a co-pilot? I can only assume it did...I ask because the pilot of 815 was killed by Smokey, and I believe that was because he wasn't supposed to be the pilot...Frank was. So now I'm wondering if the co-pilot was killed by the Island because he is not supposed to be here, either, only Frank?

- I got a little misty during the Hurley/Sawyer reunion...shut up, so did you, you're just not secure enough to admit it.

- Notice, in Sawyer's greeting: Hurley=Khan, Jack=Doc, but Kate is not Freckles. She's Kate. I think Sawyer is REALLY trying to keep his feeling reined in.
- I keep forgetting that the characters aren't getting as much of the story as we are. Jack, Kate, and Hurley come back to the Island, and all of a sudden Jin and Sawyer are in the Dharma Initiative...and it's 1977. Hurley's reaction was priceless: "Uh....WHAT?"
- Hurley: "Dude, your English is AWESOME!" Hee. Great to have funny Hurley back this week, rather than borderline catatonic Hurley.

- Mentioned this earlier, but there is no way Sawyer ever wore that UGA sweatshirt. He may have camped under it at times, but he never wore it.
- Sawyer doesn't want anything to screw up "everything we got here." Again, like I mentioned before, Sawyer is HAPPY with his new life. And why wouldn't he be? He has an honest job for once, people actually look up to him, he has the love of a beautiful woman, Dharma beer...why would he want anything to change that? Do you think he actually wants to go back to his old life? Heck, no.

- So we finally meet Radzinsky...designing the Swan station. Awesome. He's a bit of a jerk, though.

And he's a Muppet fan. Check the top left monitor:

- The scenes of the Flight 316 survivors are so reminiscent of Season 1, which I'm sure is intentional. We even had that shot where someone is giving a speech (this time it was Frank) and the camera pans around as everybody listens and reacts. The camera did seem to focus on a couple of people in particular...wonder if they will have some significance later?

Oh, and if I was a survivor, I definitely would have been on Caesar's team. Let's see....wait here and do nothing, or go look through those buildings RIGHT OVER THERE that may have some resources we can use to survive, and probably even some way of communicating with the outside world? Of course, Frank knows plenty that they don't...

- And Horace and Amy's baby is....ETHAN. Definitely a goosebump moment, and I particularly loved how Juliet was immediately creeped out and in a HUGE hurry to give that baby back.

But...that would have meant he was only 27 when the Losties landed on the Island (1977 to 2004), and he only would have been 24 in the scenes we saw him in with Juliet after she arrived on the Island in 2001. Man, Island living must be pretty rough....he looked at least 7-8 years older than that, didn't he?

Honestly? I think the writers just wanted to show that mothers could carry babies back during this time, and then once the baby was born they wanted it to have some sort of significance, and Ethan fit the timeline better than anybody else they could think of that would mean anything to the viewers. Anybody have any other theories? Why does Ethan appear to be aging faster than normal?

Ooooh....maybe that's IT? Just like Alpert has something going on where he DOESN'T age, maybe since Ethan was carried to term and born here, it affects the aging process somehow? Hmmm.....

- It's sort of subtle early on, but you can definitely see that Jack keeps trying to re-assume his position as the Leader of the Pack, but Sawyer keeps beating him to it. You can sort of see it in this exchange:

JACK: You want us to say we came in on the sub. How's that gonna work?
SAWYER: Everyone gets knocked out before the trip, so no one meets each other until we process 'em.
JACK: Look, we need to find the rest of the people from the plane.
SAWYER: If there was a plane, Jin will find it. So we got about ten minutes to make intake, or y'all are gonna be camping in the jungle for a long time. There ain't another batch of recruits due in for six months.
JACK: What do you think?
KATE: I think we should listen to Sawyer.
HURLEY: I vote for not camping.
SAWYER: Trust me. Do what I say. Everything will be fine. Let's move.

Jack even turned to Kate for back up....but none was coming this time. You know that eats at him, and we will see this dynamic played out (awesomely) again a little later on.

- Nice, informative little exchange between Hurley and Sawyer in the van. Hurley reminded Sawyer (and us) that the D.I. has a doomed future. Sawyer knows that, but Faraday has apparently told them not to try and stop it. And Daniel is not there "anymore." We saw him at the Orchid station in "Because You Left." So...where is Daniel now? Just in a different part of the D.I. from what we have seen? Off on his own, infiltrating the work crew at the Orchid? Or, does Sawyer mean that he's not "there" anymore mentally, off his rocker?

By the way...the Purge that Ben helped to initiate was in 1992, 15 years from when they are now. I don't think that is the "war" that Widmore referred to. Remember in the Comic-con video that Chang referred to a "violent purge" that is apparently unavoidable, and I think that is a different occurrence from the Purge we have already seen. If nothing else, something has to happen that causes Chang to lose his arm (he has a prosthetic in the Swan Orientation Video), and I think that may be a result of an earlier battle between the Hostiles and the D.I.

- HURLEY: What if they start asking us questions we can't answer, like, uh, who's president in 1977?
Welcome back, Hugo.

- LOVED Miles's reaction to seeing the new "recruits." Miles is probably the most consistently funny character on this show, which is saying a lot.

- Apparently, Ben has done SOMETHING right...remember when the Island wouldn't cure him of the tumor on his back, and he had to have Jack operate? Notice when he took his sling off in the jungle, he was flexing his arm back and forth....I believe the Island healed him this time, just like it healed Locke (and maybe Rose).

- LAPIDUS: Sun, that boat I came here on--it was filled with commandos whose only mission was to get him.
BEN: And how'd that work out for everyone?

Emerson's delivery on this line was perfect, as usual...I rewound and watched that exchange about 5 times.

- Wow, this certainly is a different version of Sun than the one we first saw on the Island, isn't it? The shy, demure, obedient wife who always made sure her sweater was buttoned all the way to the top seems like a distant memory now.

- The whole Dharma vibe cracks me up. Everybody is so cheerful and happy, even while delivering lines like, "Please stay within the confines of your living quarters...our Barracks are surrounded by a high frequence sonar fence...some of the rules in your security handbook will seem pretty scary...etc..."

- One of my favorite lines of the night: "Based on your aptitude tests, you'll be doing janitorial work."

- The security guy, Phil, is one of the great "Hey, It's That Guy" actors on television. I went to to figure out what I recognized him from, and the answer is...everything.

- Hmm...that Juliet/Kate reunion was a little icy, wasn't it? And...apparently (according to some of the DarkUFO folks), Kate has been assigned to the motor pool (where Juliet works). And she is living right next door, again probably because Juliet arranged it. I think Juliet wants to be able to keep an eye on Kate. (Hurley? He's been assigned to the kitchen, of course)

- Radzinksy is very concerned that a Hostile might know where the Swan is being built and what it is. Probably because they think the Hostiles don't know where the A-bomb is buried, which we know is incorrect...Richard is the one who buried it.

- The Island is a very spooky place in 2007. Reminded me of one of those old slasher films where the killer goes crazy on the summer campers.

- Nice of Smokey and The Whispers to show up as the welcome committee.
By the way...that is going to be the name of my Motown tribute band. Smokey and The Whispers.

- Christian is the MASTER of creepy entrances, isn't he? In Jacob's cabin, at the bottom of Locke's well, now here in the barracks...he does an excellent job of finding shadows he can spookily step out of.

- So how are they going back to 1977? Christian said they have a "long journey" ahead of them...back to the Frozen Donkey Wheel, maybe?

- OK, here is another theory going around the blogosphere...check out the shape over Sun's left shoulder. After going back and watching it (and pausing it), I definitely think it's a person, MAYBE a blond haired girl. She seems to turn and look at Sun when Sun is talking. Whether it is just a production error or not, I don't know, but the door did blow open right before that...almost like someone was walking in.

- The Jack/Juliet reunion was MUCH warmer, although they were stupid to do it on the front porch when Jack had just walked away from a very suspicious-seeming Phil.

- The whole Sawyer/Jack conversation was very satisfying to someone like myself...Jack grates on my nerves with his arrogance and need to be in charge all of the time, to always have to fix somebody, etc. Sawyer laid it on the line for him...Jack abdicated the throne when he left, and Sawyer has replaced him as the guy in charge. Jack seems to begrudgingly accept it for now...but I have a feeling he's going to rebel and do something stupid.

- My advice for Sawyer is to release Sayid, but send a message to Alpert along with him. We'll see.

- So, what to make of the little mini-wave between Kate and Sawyer? Definitely still some sort of feelings there, but I honestly think that Sawyer knows he has a good thing right now and doesn't want to mess it up. I also think that, ultimately, it's Kate that he loves, even if Juliet is probably better for him. Isn't that usually how it is?

- The actor playing Young Ben has done a great job studying Emerson...if there was any doubt who he was, all you had to do was look at the expressionless face and the crazy eyes to know that this was Ben in all of his creepiness.

As for why he was delivering food to the prisoner, remember from "The Man Behind the Curtain" that Ben wants to be with the Others...he saw a vision of his mom out beyond the fence, he actually went to Alpert and asked to join them only to be told, "Not yet." So he identifies more with Sayid than he does his alcoholic jerk of a Dad, I would think, so he feels like he is giving aid and comfort to a friend, not an enemy.

Overall, another good episode, if a little less dense than the earlier episodes of this season. Like I said, the pieces are being moved into place, and I can't wait to see what Darlton has in store for them.


Scott said...

Sorry about the formatting issues, everybody...I'm having trouble with the edit function...I'll try again later.

Shan said...

Well, beat me by 5 minutes. Good job, "Quick Draw."

I think you give me credit for noticing something that I didn't. You saw Sawyer's approach with Jack as a sign of his growth, and that LaFleur isn't the "con man" of old. I saw it as actually out of character. Even if he did have a nice life going, and was concerned about people besides himself, I just don't see any practical or tactical advantage in antagonizing Jack. The smart play, IMO, is to keep him placated and docile and feeling like he's part of the solution. Surely Sawyer knows all about Jack's character by now. So if he really wants to help everyone, why not have Jack as an ally? And if he wants to screw Jack over, then also keep him close until it's time to do with him what he wants? Either way, I don't think it's good strategy by LaFleur/Sawyer to "poke the bear," and I think Sawyer is smarter than that. But I guess we'll find out.

Yeah, I did the math on the Ethan thing too. Either there's a "show explanation" (a la rapid aging),or since Mapother is Tom Cruise's cousin, Xenu is to blame.

You're right about Miles. He cracks me up regularly. I've heard rumbling that we're going to get a Miles-centric ep soon, which should be awesome.

Phil is definitely a "It's that guy!" but I recognize him from his recent turn as a asshole comic on Mad Men.

It's that rare week when Lost isn't at the top of the TV totem pole: tonight's "game changing" Dollhouse, plus the finale of BSG. Good time to be a geek!

Scott said...

I think Sawyer was sort of goaded into that verbal smackdown...he was calm until Jack smarted off to him: "Yeah? It looks to me like you're reading a book."

Mad Men is where I recognize Phil from the most, too, even though he looks really different to me somehow. I guess it's the hair.

Both dreading and looking forward to BSG tonight...can't believe it's over.