Thursday, January 31, 2008

"The Beginning of the End" Instant Reactions!

Brian's Two Word Review: Surprisingly fair.

I went into this preparing to be absolutely blown away... but I wasn't. It's kinda ironic - for most of the third season, the flashbacks were the weak part of the show - with the on-Island action being where we really wanted to spend our time. Yet this week, I found myself longing for more flashforward action... in part because the on-Island action felt surprisingly filler-like for a series with only 47 episodes left.

What do I mean? Think about where we left the show at the end of the third season. Jack called Naomi's boat and Naomi was "killed" by Locke. What happened in the fourth season premiere? Kate called Naomi's boat and Naomi officially died. In reality, the only true on-Island plot that was furthered was the reconnection of the Survivors, followed by the split into Team Island and Team Rescue. Even Charlie's death was surprisingly ignored by most everyone except Hurley and Claire. Also, the dialogue felt a little bit off. Some of the Rose / Bernard / Naomi lines felt a tad cheesy, and a little un-Lost-like.

Still, there were plenty of intriguing tidbits in the episode worthy of discussion at work tomorrow morning:

Oceanic 6. This is the phrase I read in some blasted TV magazine that ruined the surprise of the giant number "6" in the season preview clip - because as soon as I read those two words together, it made perfect sense to me: only six people made it off the Island alive. We've seen Jack, Kate, and Hurley - which leaves room for three more. My money would still be on some combination of the pregnant ladies and the star-crossed lovers (Sun / Jin, Claire, Desmond) occupying the other three spots - but I'll get into that during my in-depth review.

Oceanic 31. (Is that how many Survivors are left besides those six?) Based on the episode, this is the far bigger question - what the heck happened to everyone else? It seems like they are very much alive, and possibly very much in need of rescue since we've now seen both Jack and Hurley reference "going back" and feeling guilty for what happened when they escaped the Island. Have the Freightors taken over the Island and turned them into slaves - a la Dharma using the Island originals for wacky experiments? Did the Oceanic 6 somehow have a hand in all this? They all seem very guilty - and very afraid of each other spilling the truth about what happened.

Naomi. Seriously? She's got a knife halfway through her back and can crawl off into the jungle without any of the 30 people around her noticing, make a fake trail, then climb a tree to attack Kate - but then die after a few seconds of talking? Not good, Lost writers - not good.

Rescue. How ironic. The episode ended with a Freightor stating "we're here to rescue you." Yet we know from the season preview that the same Freightor will be saying "we can't say that rescuing you is our primary objective" in the very near future. Something's fishy... and if I was picking sides, I'd go with Team Island.

Eye. So who was the eye inside Jacob's cabin? It was pretty clear that it was an image of Jack Shepherd in Jacob's chair, and that the eye was an entirely separate entity. Nominees include Locke (who was right in the area, possibly hanging out in the cabin with Jacob and scheming) or the same eye from last season - which would be Jacob (meaning that Jacob and Christian were hanging out in the cabin).

At the very least, it's clear that Jacob is quite real. Heck, Hurley even thinks the Oceanic 6 are still being "haunted" by him, calling them to come back and rescue the Island.

Okay - that's enough mindless rambling for now. Full analysis soon!

http://facethewoods.com/lost/index.php?topic=232.0

53 comments:

Jack E. said...

Pretty disappointing considering the hype and that we only have 8 episodes to begin with. Next week looks to be better though.

Stef said...

I liked the episode... I expect a premiere to be about opening new storylines, though, not necessarily resolving or moving them forward too much.

I thought this did a good job of that - laying out the new mysteries you mentioned and setting up more of the distance between on-island and the future. Now the mystery is how things go from where they are now to that future time when the 3 characters we've seen so far are all filled with fear/regret/sadness. Something big's gotta happen, and knowing Lost they will still build that mystery a while before we get it resolved. Not for years, but at least a few episodes.

I thought it was Locke's eye in the cabin - didn't think it might be Jacob. Interesting. And I interpreted Hurley's pleas at the end to be that "it" - the Island - was trying to bring them back, not "him" as in Jacob. I'll have to rewatch.

Anonymous said...

I liked it, though I didn't have too high of expectations (I didn't know what to expect). We got more "What the hell happened to the Losties?" and I thought that was pretty crazy. It does seem like they (the Oceanic 6) are guilty and they are hiding the island from outsiders (along with some survivors that didn't make it back to the mainland). . .but why are they keeping secrets? Especially Jack, who wanted to rescue everyone.

Hurley was asked "Are they still alive?" and he "sees" a dead Charlie (along with another wacko) talking to him -- and slapping him -- telling him "they need your help". What's the story there? Again Lost keeps leaving us with questions, but no answers. Hopefully, in 7 more episodes, we find out more soon.

Randy said...

Good episode.

Jack had to quit and walk out in the middle of the "Horse" game cause Hurley was totally going to kick his buttocks!!!

Anonymous said...

Some of the remaining islanders did not arrive on oceanic...

perhaps a few more than 6 can make it off the island...

phishpac said...

The "attorney" who visited Hurley in the mental hospital was F-R-E-A-K-Y !!!!

Chris Bobb said...

I think we need to understand what we KNOW, and not what we think we know. Hurley mentioned the "Oceanic 6". That just means there are 6 people that the public know about. But lets also remember that Naomi already told them that they were all pronounced dead already back home. Although she could be messing with them as well. WE DON'T REALLY KNOW ANYTHING!!!

Rebecca said...

There definitely wasn't as much 'hype' as the previews led to believe but I was taking the previews more as previews of this season & not this first epi. I agree, the flash forwards were MUCH more exciting than the island action. It seems that Jack was stable for some amount of time after getting back home before getting all depressed. I was wondering if it was Locke or Jacob in the window - either way, something fishy is going on. Hurley definitely said "it" wanted them back, I was guessing the island - but that could also mean Jacob/Smokey/Island spirit. OH I definitely have more questions than answers right now but I'm just glad it's back on again. And yeah, I didn't buy the whole Naomi thing either.

davis said...

but I mean come on...what was the biggest thing about last season's finale? that it was all a flashforward. Seems logical to have an important flash forward kick off the season that follows. Overall, a very necessary episode that contained a lot of interesting tidbits to discuss, as well as a great flashforward that is in a way setting up/raising questions about the on island action. I liked it. Next week looks to be the kind of episode that pretty much everyone will enjoy.

Anonymous said...

Desmond can't be part of the "Oceanic Six"

Anonymous said...

"...it was an image of Jack Shepherd in Jacob's chair..."

Yes, it was Christian waering the same white tennis shoes from the last mobisode. Presumably this is smokey, but it's strange that the image of Christian was absent for months and then happens to show up again now.

Hobnail_Boot said...

Pretty weak season premiere. 3 points I had while watching it, the first 2 you already hit on:

- Some very cheesy dialogue from Rose.
- The whole Naomi sequence you outlined.
- Hurley-centric episodes are weak by nature because you're never sure if something actually happened or if it was in his mind. This causes several problems, the most pressing being the 'Oceanic lawyer' and 'Charlie' visiting him.

Anonymous said...

A nurse pointed out the Oceanic lawyer, but a crazy man vaguely pointed out Charlie, so I think the "lawyer" was real.

Anonymous said...

There would be at least 35 other survivors from 815, if you count Bernard, Cindy, and the teddy bear-toting wonder twins.

Missy said...

I liked it - it was so great to get my Lost fix!

I had a hard time placing the fast-forwards because Jack looked so clean cut (and the joking about growing a beard?!). Was this right after they got back? So the first flash forward from last season is after they've been home awhile and Jack starts to lose his grasp? Does anyone have that figured out?

Seenu said...

First time poster here...

It struck me that in the last conversation between Jack and Hurley, there was a reference both to a "he" and an "it"...didn't record the epi - can someone transcribe that piece of dialogue?

Salvar said...

Don't forget, from last season, one of the "Oceanic 6" is already dead. You suspected that to be Ben--which means that we only have to wonder about two more.

Anonymous said...

Finally Lost is back!

The flash-forwards were definitely set before the ones in the final of season three.

The whole episode was a bit slow - not boring but not many new things happening either.

I hate recycling of actors from other currently running TV shows. The worst example ever is the Veronica Mars actress popping up in Heroes - playing a character that is a Veronica Mars clone in looks and talks. That's idiotic and gets in the way of the story. The same thing happened here, when Cedric Daniels from the Baltimore PD met up with Hugo during mental ward visiting hours.
( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cedric_Daniels )
A scene intended to be somewhat eery immediately became weird (in a bad way) and almost funny (in a bad way).

C'mon Lost writers don't do things like that. Don't punish those of your viewers that follow several tv series by using actors that are already prominent parts of other narrative worlds. (Imagine an upcoming episode where Jacob shows himself in broad daylight - and is player by Cosmo Kramer (= Michael Richards).

Anonymous said...

As pointed out here by several (Missy), what happened between the time Jack arrived home (as seen last night) and when he began to become tormented and fixated to return to the Island?

Also, the way the other "patient" points out Charlie's presence to Hurley is well done in that it places doubt as to if he was somehow there or not.

Kram said...

The big question in my mind is what secret are Jack/Kate/Hurley keeping in the future that Jack was afraid Hurley would let slip? I also think you cannot assume the person in the coffin from the end of last season was one of the Oceanic 6. I'm still firmly convinced it is a black person due to the neighborhood around the Funeral Parlor; maybe it is the spooky lawyer Hurley was talking to!

jack said...

The eye at the window was Locke. There's probably a screen shot up on the web by now.

The episode had the deliberate pacing of part of a 16-episode story arc. Since we're only getting half that number now, I think this shortened season will ultimately be frustrating. We wouldn't expect too much from each episode if we knew we had 15 more to go. But with only 7 left...

Sigh.

goklemez said...

As pointed out, body in the coffin should be one of the oceanic six.

Also there is one thing more:

When Charlie visited Hurley in the instute; after counted to 5 and looked to spot where Charlie was, at the background we see a woman sitting at the table. But in the next shot, the seat that woman is sitting is empty. Maybe I am too overlooking but woman looks like Juliet.

I am not sure, if it is a mistake or a plot.

For your considerations Brian.

Griffin said...

Two big comebacks I noticed...

It's raining again!! Yay, I missed the rain.

Loooads of 'voices' in this ep, cant wait for the voice analysers to do their thing over on the other forums.

Anonymous said...

I don't think there is a rescue "boat" - seems strange that no one has seen a boat and these people drop down via helicopter. Staying on the island must not be much better than leaving if Hurley wishes he would have chosen to stay with Jack. Who was the crazy man that visited Hurley in the crazy place? I think Michael will bring light when he resurfaces to the storyline - just what is out there and what is going on.

Anonymous said...

I think there was an easter egg in the shot of the mental hospital. In the background of Hurly meeting CAG (Creepy Attorney Guy) there was a chalkboard with an ocean, palm trees, a ship and a shark. So, I'm guessing that this might be a hint that the 6 build a boat (or find a boat) and escape. Or, it could be a red herring ;-)

Rutkowskilives said...

Looks like I'm in the minority that thought this episode was awesome! Loved the action on and off the island, loved the creepy bald guy and Charlie. Loved the division on the island. Wondering what happened to Vincent in all of that. Thought they handled Charlie's death really well in light of the shock of everyone knowing a rescue team is coming.

Kait said...

A few things:

We do NOT necessarily know that someone from the "Oceanic 6" is "already dead." There is no information we have that indicates the person in the coffin of the Season 3 Finale was one of the Oceanic 6.

Kram: Did the "black guy" that came to visit Hurley really seem like someone who would have his funeral in a "ghetto"???

Missy: It's safe to assume that last night's flashforward occurs before the Season 3 Finale flashforward. Obviously, at the time of last night's flashforward, Jack has not yet plummeted to complete rock bottom, he has not yet decided that they made a mistake, and he has not yet grown a beard.

Overall, I was not disappointed with last night's episode. I was not surprised by anything, but I blamed myself for reading too much about it before I watched it. While I typically avoid spoiler sites, there's still a lot of information I stumbled upon before watching the premiere that I wish I had not seen. I think I'm going to avoid reading all Lost sites aside from Brian's from now on in order to avoid spoiling everything for myself. (Brian, I still feel safe reading yours because when I read your preview, there were a bunch of instances during which I knew that your predictions were wrong because I had already read otherwise.)

davis said...

So let’s say that it was Christian Shepherd in Jacob’s house. First of all, even with this being the case, there is no way that Jacob just IS Christian Shepherd. I also don’t think that Christian was ‘resurrected’ and is just hanging out with Jacob. Christian Shepherd is definitely, definitely dead.

All that said, that did look an awful lot like Christian Shepherd. If it is confirmed it is that actor playing Jacob, I think the likeliest reason is that Jacob needed some kind of a ‘host’ body. I mean, we already know there is something to the whole dead bodies disappearing on the island thing.

The question is: If that was ‘Christian Shepherd’, meaning that Jacob is using his body as a physical manifestation of himself, then what about the other times we have seen dead people alive on the Island? Were all of those Jacob? We have kind of been saying they are ‘The Island’. But does that mean Jacob is the Island? The interesting this is this could confirm that Jack wasn’t hallucinating way back in season one. Perhaps it was Jacob all along.

Jana said...

What kind of security does Locke think they'll have at the barracks? People with helicopters can fly right over the sonic fence.

My thought about "Oceanic 6" - that sounds like when reporters refer to a group of people in a court case. Maybe those six are the only ones who sue Oceanic, even though more survivors make it back. Also, I don't think any Others, like Juliet or Ben, would be counted in the Six.

Anonymous said...

it was clearly and unmistakably established in Jack's diaglogue that when he saw Hurley last night, it was BEFORE he started to tank out. That said, if you think about it, Jack had some facial scruff. Assuming this was the start of his facial hair growth, safe to assume it was a couple of months or so till he tubed out (when we saw him in last seaons's finale). Again, what transpired, in this timeline that would cause Jack to fixate on returning to the Island? What caused him to want to kill himself? Many questions related to Jack's return home. Also, given that Hurley joined "team Locke/Island", i wonder what happened that caused Hurley to return home with Jack (and others)? On a related note, the flash foward dynamic adds an entirely new dimension to the LOST story telling! I think Cuse and Lindeloff (sp?) are brilliant! Yeah, last nights episode had some sloppy writting.....but still awesome TV and LOST is probably the greatest, most ambitious story ever told on network or cable television!

Hope said...

I think the most intriguing line in this episode is when Hurley says to Jack that he (Hurley) shouldn't have gone with Locke. If it wasn't for this line I would be more hopeful for the Team Island group. However, this one line has many, many implications. If Hurley hadn't gone with Locke, would the group have split? I'm not sure they would have beyond Locke and maybe a couple others. So does this lead to more problems because of the split, you know it does. So why does Hurley regret going with Locke but still wants to go back? Very, very interesting.

Anonymous said...

great point Hope. I missed that piece of dialogue but it clearly does give rise to many questions. Amazing how the writtes can really throw off what would be obvious with a single line! One would think that Team Island (Locke) are "right" and to have remained with Jack....a mistake!

Anonymous said...

I really liked the episode. My highlight was when Ben asks Jack if he can join Locks group.

My bet is that the next episodes follow each of the six. We had Jack and Hurley, next I would guess is Kate, and then we get a reveal on who the other 3 are. My guess is Claire and Aaron (Desmond saw them leave on a helicopter), and Sun, b/c she would die if she delivered on the island. I still say the funeral could be for Michael. That would explain the animosity Kate had when Jack mentioned the funeral.
And he was the only character with a teenage son.

It seems as though they were setting Jack up for the fall. He is either heading out for his interview or just coming back and is already spiking drinks like his dad used to. Obviously something sets off his breakdown, but obviously he is coping with something by drinking.
My main questions are what lie did they tell that they still get "autographs" and why are they considered heros? Obviously no one knows about the island, b/c the cop that questioned Hurley asked if he had met Anna Lucia on the plane, not the island. And Hurley's evil visitor from "Oceanic" wanted to know if they are all still alive. If Oceanic didn't make them lie about what happened, then who did? Why? Or did they all set up a pact, that they would lie to the world when they got back, to protect something.

steve said...

Ben or any 'others' would not be an oceanic 6 because they weren't on the plane. So it's still possible that others have made it off the island and died.. leaving the 6 in tact.

I'm trying to think of #6 though... I do not think it's desmond. I'm trying to think of someone else who's lover may be back on the mainland.

If it were clair, would the baby count as one of the 6?

And we're assuming that 4 and 5 and Sun and Jin. Sun is a virtual lock, but would Jin stay behind? Maybe, not being his choice? That could make room for both Clair and Aaron.. thought technically, aaron wasn't born when on the plane.

I'm also considering Sayid, we keep seeing his lover in flashbacks, that needs to go somewhere.. right?

Oh, and I'm also thinking.. could the "HE" in looking glass be Kates child? There is question that she could be pregnent. We know that the 'article' in looking glass(death) was april 2007... and we're talking Christmas 2004... so if Kate had a child born summer of 2005... the child would still be too young to leave alone. So I'm wrong there, but it's an interesting thought.

Jennifer said...

I don't think Claire will turn out to be one of the "Oceanic 6," despite Desmond's vision of her getting on a helicopter. I think Claire is still on the Island, and that's why Charlie is showing up and telling Hurley, "there's something you need to do," and "they need you." He wants Hurley to fess up that there are still more survivors left behind, and take action to go back for them. Now, exactly *why* the Oceanic 6 had to keep that a secret... I have no clue. But the Creepy Guy pretending to be an Oceanic attorney obviously knows, or believes, that some got left behind.

My guess as to the idenities of the Oceanic 6: Jack, Kate, Hurley, Michael, Walt, and Sun.

Personally, I loved this episode. The flash-forward thing adds a whole fresh dimension to the show that opens a completely new storytelling door.

Only 6 more days til episode 4:2!!

anne said...

the guy in the rocking chair was an image of jack or jack's dad? is there a screen shot of it somewhere?

CR said...

I liked the epi. My thoughts on the Oceanic 6 are that it will be Jack, Kate, Hurley, Jin and Sun, and Sayid. NOW that being said ... there are other people who could get off but NOT be considered part of the 6. Desmond, Juliet, Alex and Karl, Ben even - NOT ON THE PLANE! So they wouldn't be part of the Oceanic 6, just other survivors of the island.

I think you are right about the folks who stayed on the island needing help, which is why the torment of the deserters.

CR said...

Actually, I think this short little season will be to set up next season, getting BACK on the island. That we won't really find out what happened to those left behind until next season which will be about saving the folks left behind setting up to which I think the end of the show will be that everyone WANTS to stay.

Gekco said...

What gets me is what could happen in between the flash forwards that changes Jack's attitude about leaving.

In this one Jack is happy and Hugo is saying that they should have stayed. Also he is sorry to have sided with Locke.

But the end of season three we saw Jack with similar feelings of they should have stayed.

So there are two major events that have to happen to fill out this setting. One that shows what happens to the two groups on the island and the other that takes place back on the main land.

It has to be something major to make Jack do a turn about that drastic.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Hurley, then Jack... and eventually Kate will probably want to come back.

Did Jack say "never say never" to kate last season? I don't remember.

I think the creepy guy who was pretending to be the lawyer is hooked up in some way with the freighter people... he may not be one of them, but I'll bet they work for the same guy/gal/person/company/etc.

Anonymous said...

Gecko...don't forget the opening scene shows Jack adding vodka to his OJ. this may indicate him being at the early stage of freaking out.

Anonymous said...

in the final flash, Hugo was drawing an picture of a person in an icy area holding something up in front of an igloo.

any one know what it was?

Anonymous said...

Great point was made....the officer asked Hurley if he met Anna Lucia on the plane. It it were known that the passengers were marooned on the Island, the cop would have asked...or known....about them meeting while on the island. It seems certain that for some reason, Oceanic 6 were forced or agreed to cover up the existence of the Island.

Girl of Science said...

Hm, maybe they weren't necessarily forced to cover up the existence of the island, but instead, the fact that people who survived the plane crash died on the island. Maybe the "Oceanic 6" are forced to claim that they were the only ones who survived the plane crash, hence, Hurley wouldn't have been able to meet Ana Lucia unless it was on the plane, etc.

Anonymous said...

What about Claire and Jack being brother and sister??? are we going to get to that...good epi... not what i was expecting, but its ok.

Anonymous said...

Why can't anyone on Lost island talk to each other??!! They would get so much more accomplished if they actually finished a conversation. If I was a Backgrounder, I would've had it by now! Instead, they blindly follow Jack and Locke. Oh well, I suppose they have to drag it out two more seasons...

Anonymous said...

I thought it was pretty obvious from the dialogues in the flashforwards that there were 6 people, the O6, that got off the island, and they left everyone else there.

That is why the creepy guy asks Hurley if they are still alive. And Charlie tells Hurley that "they" need them back.

I think the O6 definitely did something that was wrong to get off the island much like Michael.

Heck, it could be Michael arrviing in a Deus Ex Machina style moment to save the day, for 6 people.

Thoughts?

Julie J. said...

I have a little theory, but I may be completely wrong, but here we go...
I'm thinking that Kate is not included in the Oceanic 6. I don't even think anyone, at least from the public, knows she is back... Why would she be free if they knew? My theory is that more than 6 were rescued. People who weren't origionaly on the plane and Kate, who has assumed and new identity. So we don't know for sure how many got off the island. I also think they made some kind of pact - what happened on the island stays on the island. Could you imagine the outrage if the public knew they left some behind or that they had killed each other? It's so much "easier" for them to claim they were the only ones left.
Brian - I liked your instant reactions on the episode and I'm looking forward to your next post.

Joey D. said...

Here is something to consider about Christian Shephard and "Jacob" both being inside the shack.

What if the 'eye man" was Jacob and "Christian SHephard" was Smokey? We kinda got the impression in "The Man Behind the Curtain" that Jacob was confined to the cabin by that volcanic ash. We also know that "Smokey" is not confined as we've seen it all over the place. Perhaps Smokey was inside the cabin with Jacob.

Just a thought

Brian Leonard said...

Julie J., interesting idea--but I don't think that can be the case, because Jack talked to Kate about the "Golden Pass they gave **us**". I infer from that that Kate got a Golden Pass, too, so she can't just be "in the background." She is almost certainly one of the Oceanic 6.

the Other Brian

Becca said...

My guess is that only people that went with Jack or converted later got rescued. However I don't know what would have happened to the rest of his group, as surely more than six people sided with him. But the first half of the six- Jack, Kate, and Hurley, all eventually sided against Locke. So maybe going back refers to getting Team Locke off the island? If my theory is correct, I'd say Sun and Jin could be part of the rescued group (I think they went w/ Jack).

Anonymous said...

One event in this episode that could prove important is the fact that Jack attempted to MURDER John Locke. He said that he'd kill him and then he actually pulled the trigger in his face. The gun wasn't loaded - but Jack did not know that!

Will Locke just let that go (as he seemed to do in this episode) or prove important for what happens later?

Anonymous said...

Someone said that when the man was questioning Hurley in the mental hospital (claimed he worked for airline) that upon his leaving,smokey appeared at the door......anyone else see this?