Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Lost - "Something Nice Back Home"

I’m back.

I guess I’m a grown-up now, since I now own a car, a house, and a wife – but rest assured, the Blog will continue to be a representative of young, immature, full-of-life Brian, chock-full of “that’s what she said” jokes and pictures of any female cast mates who appear scantily clad in episodes.

Of course, the one episode I wasn’t here to Blog about featured the return of Smokey, the death of Alex, confirmation of Funky Space (and perhaps Funky Time), hints at a long history between Widmore and Ben, and the introduction of Ben’s intentions to murder Penny (no!). Without having to Blog about it, I haven’t fully wrapped my head around everything – but I developed a few theories that will eventually spill into the Blog over the upcoming weeks.

The good news was that I was actually able to watch the episode live, as my honeymoon resort (Excellence Riviera Maya – I highly recommend it) carried ABC Miami. Here is the one picture of my honeymoon I’ll post on the Blog, featuring me watching Lost from my bedroom! How romantic!


But enough about last week, it’s time to focus on this week. Here’s hoping my fingers still remember how to type after my one-month hiatus…

Episode Title: “Something Nice Back Home”

Brian’s Deeper Meaning Guess: If this episode title is a reference to something else, I can’t find it on the Google thanks to the sheer number of Lost-related pages that contain these words, forcing anything else out of the top 2,580,000 search results. Looks like we’re on our own this week.

This week is a Jack-centric outing (can you believe it’s the FIRST Jack-centric episode this season? What a refreshing change of pace!), and smart money has to be on this being a flash-forward since we’ve pretty much exhausted every aspect of Jack’s past during his first eight flashbacks over the first three seasons of Lost (::shudder::Stranger in a Strange Land::shudder::).

So one has to assume that the “back home” being referenced is “back in the real world”, off the Island. However, since we’ve seen that off-Island life is less than sunshine and lollipops, I’m guessing this is a bit of a tongue-in-cheek episode title, where there isn’t really “something nice” waiting for Jack back home – but rather the same sort of hellish post-Island life that Sun, Hurley, Sayid, (and to some degree) Kate are experiencing. Who wants to bet that this is the episode that shows Jack being “haunted” by images of his father (similar to Hurley’s visions of Charlie), explaining some of his comments from last season’s finale?

This could be the episode to bridge the gap between “life is great, stick to our story” Jack (featured in “The Beginning of the End”) and the “life sucks, I wish I could kill myself” Jack (featured in “Through the Looking Glass”). Since the storyline seems to be building towards bringing us to the point of Jack and Kate’s airport meeting that closed last season – which will allow us to move forward with what happens AFTER that point, the attempts to get back to the Island, etc. – this is really one of the last opportunities to tell the story of Jack’s fall from grace where it will still have a strong emotional impact on the audience.

Aside from that, that’s as deep as we can go this week (that’s what she said!).

Episode Description: When Jack's health is seriously compromised, Kate and Juliet must learn to work together in order to save him; and something goes wrong as Sawyer, Claire, Aaron and Miles continue their trek away from Locke's camp and back to the beach. Guest starring are Ken Leung as Miles, Jeremy Davies as Daniel Faraday, Rebecca Mader as Charlotte, Jeff Fahey as Frank Lapidus, Sam Anderson as Bernard, L. Scott Caldwell as Rose and Kevin Durand as Keamy.

Episode Breakdown: For those who didn’t see the episode preview that immediately followed last week’s episode, this might be semi-spoilerish, but since I’ve always considered those to be fair game, I’ll include the information garnered from it…

The serious compromise of Jack’s health? After months of living on an Island full of dangerous cliffs, Smoke Monsters, Others, Freightors, and threat of nasty sunburn, what is it that finally brings down our fearless hero? Appendicitis.


I know it’s a potentially fatal condition, but you have to admit, it’s pretty damn funny given all the “mysterious illnesses” and “sicknesses” we’ve had on the Island thus far. Ironically, after all the potential risks to Jack’s life over the past three seasons, it’s something quite mundane and commonplace that brings him down.

However, since we all know that Jack makes it off the Island alive and well, one of a few things must occur:

1. Juliet (who has some degree of medical training) is able to perform surgery to save Jack. It actually sounds relatively simple, if she has the right tools:

During an appendectomy, an incision two to three inches in length is made through the skin and the layers of the abdominal wall over the area of the appendix. The surgeon enters the abdomen and looks for the appendix which usually is in the right lower abdomen. After examining the area around the appendix to be certain that no additional problem is present, the appendix is removed. This is done by freeing the appendix from its mesenteric attachment to the abdomen and colon, cutting the appendix from the colon, and sewing over the hole in the colon. If an abscess is present, the pus can be drained with drains that pass from the abscess and out through the skin. The abdominal incision then is closed.

This would add another layer to the Juliet-Kate-Jack love triangle, as Jack would now owe his life to Juliet, further strengthening their bond. It’s probably the most likely scenario.

2. Miles / Charlotte (who are both fairly science-y) could step in and save the day, helping out in the surgery and proving that although they are sketchy, they’re not trying to kill our Survivors. This would further muddy the waters in determining the true intentions of the Freightors, making it another intriguing scenario.

3. It is deemed that Jack needs more advanced medical attention than he can receive on the Island, and Frank (who appears in the preview!) decides to give him a flight back to the Freighter. Of course the problem here is that the Freighter’s doctor just washed up onshore dead last week, so the Freighter probably wouldn’t be able to provide any immediate medical attention to Jack anyways… unless Frank was willing to fly Jack all the way back to the real world, which seems unlikely with four episodes left in the season. However the Oceanic Six make it off the Island, it’s clear that they all make it off together – and with Hurley stuck with Locke and Ben for at least a little while longer in the hunt for Jacob’s Cabin, unless Jack is going to writhe in pain for a few days, the appendicitis isn’t going to be the reason that he’s a part of the Oceanic Six.


In other news (also hinted at within the episode preview), the defecting members of Team Island (Sawyer, Claire, Aaron, and Miles) run into some trouble on the way to the Beach… namely Kearny and his Freighter Commandos, who somehow seem to be alive and well after their Smokey encounter… which is fairly strange.


As we’ve seen before quite definitively, Smokey is a pretty badass cloud that isn’t above vicious killing of the innocent or the perceived “guilty”. With Keamy being responsible for putting a bullet in Alex, he seems like a likely candidate for some swift Smokey justice – which is what we thought we saw last week.

So what gives?

Perhaps this all ties into Ben’s claims that he is a “good guy” and that he doesn’t kill innocent people (see: his message to Michael on the Freighter). Although he seemingly “called” Smokey, maybe he only requested that Smokey simply lift the Freighter Commandos away to provide Ben and Co. with an opportunity to escape. It gives him an out, but allows him to keep his whacked out conscience clear.

…or maybe Smokey did actually kill all them, and what we see in the preview are simply Island images / manifestations of Smokey, and they really were all killed last week. Less likely, but always a possibility.

Other than that, there isn’t much to preview about this episode. The guest stars are exactly as expected (all four Freightors – Frank, Miles, Charlotte, and Faraday), Rose and Bernard (who have gotten a surprising amount of screen time this season, don’t you think? Put them on death watch), and the possibly dead Keamy. But that’s okay with me – at this point, with so many awesome storylines moving forward with breakneck speed, the fewer filler side-characters the better. We probably won’t even return to the Sayid / Desmond on the Freighter storyline this week, leaving us with simply Jack dying / the true intentions of the Freightors / the search for Jacob’s Cabin / Keamy’s gun-filled encounter with our Survivors in the jungle this week.


I’m exhausted just thinking about it. It’s good to be back!

Official Comments Here:

Happy Losting!

Monday, April 28, 2008

"The Shape of Things To Come" - Analysis

"The Shape of Things To Come"


Well I am still floored at all of the info and action that was thrown at us, but I can honestly say that (after watching it a few times) I think it might just be one of the best episodes yet.
The writers skillfully brought everything to a head and wound up quite a few threads but left the door wide open for more.

Time Traveling Man:

I think the biggest question on everyones mind is how does Ben do what he does? From the very beginning Ben showed us what we have only imagined to be real. The Others, or the Island or Dharma or something can defintley send people to other places in the world via a wormhole or machine of some type. We even can see a new logo on his jacket that is remarkablly similar to what looks to be a vortex of some type. It actually reminded me of the old Superman movie for those who will remember when he was trapped in another dimension and his friend fell into a vortex there.


Anyway when Ben first hit the Sahara Desert there was a mist of some type that blew away from him. Now at first I thought it was his breath and that he had come from somewhere cold but when I rewatched him it seemed to actually be dust. I think that when he "Warped" to the sahara he might actually have been a few inches of the ground because when he appeared he hit the ground and the dust got kicked up into the air. This would go along with the fact that he was injured on his arm maybe meaning that he was cut and fell backward into the machine or wormhole and finished his fall on the other side.

Also it seems that he had to drink some sort of concotion to make the trip, because he threw up what looked like orange juice and if you all remember way back in Juliet's flashback they made her drink orange to knock her out before the trip. I speculated back then that maybe the sub was never real and that somehow they warped to the island but used the sub to make people believe otherwise. That theory seems to be more plausible than ever now.

The fact that Ben was wearing a parka leads me to believe that he maybe wasn't sure where he would end up or maybe the station he came from was located somewhere cold. If he wasn't sure where then maybe they don't have as much control over where they go as we think, but then again the Polar bear ended up in Tunisia near where Ben was. Hmm..

Sayid's Deal with the Devil? :

This is the first flashforward that I can remember where we have a specific date that we can gauge it against the rest of the story. Ben asked the girl for the date and it was Oct 24 2005 over a full year since the crash. Rescue has to be coming in the next couple episodes simply due to the fact that they have to have time for everyone of the Oceanic 6 to settle down in the real world again. Sayid gets married to Nadia like many have speculated happened only to have her killed a short time later.

Now Ben is certainly a ruthless man and is not about emotional blackmail but one thing I am sure of is that the man Ben said killed Nadia is probably the guy who did it. This man Ishamel was following Sayid for some reason we'll not know right now but the fact is that he was around Sayid's house in LA when Nadia was killed.


We can say that Ben doctor the photo all we want but he didn't do it in between his run from the roof where sayid spotted him to the alley below where he showed Sayid the story. The odds of anyone else having been in those two spots besides the murderer are slim at best.


What surprised me is that Ben wasn't aware of something for the first time in a while. He didn't seem to know Sayid was following him until Sayid killed Ishmael. Ben true to form changed his plans instantly. There is no doubt that he knew that by telling Sayid it was bigger than just this guy that Sayid wouldn't stop with just killing a peon he would want the leader of the enemy. Sayid made his deal and became Ben's personal hitman all on his own but that doesn't mean he wasn't manipulated.


The Barracks Assault:

When Alex was taken to the fence she entered the same code that Juliet did when she pulled her and Kate inside the fence to be safe from Smokey this time we found out that somehow it also triggered an early warning system. This automated system called a phone in Ben's house that could serve no other purpose since it didn't have buttons.


What followed was a very enjoyable little war. On a humorous note watching the extras get picked off one after another while Sawyer dodged machine gun bullets was great. It reminded me of a comment someone on the Blog once made about Star Trek red shirts being cannon fodder. Especially since one of the guys wore a red shirts.

What struck me as odd was Sawyer going out of his way to save claire. Now I know he has been growing into a real person lately and that it is most likely leading up to him being the del facto leader when Jack leaves the island but it still felt a little off at first. Upon watching it a second time though I saw that he went to get Claire and warned a few others before the bullets started firing. Also after he got to Claire's house the war stopped while he went back to the main house with Claire. The purpose as we know was to make Sawyer mad enough to give up Ben and it almost worked.

That is until Ben got mad. This Island has always seemed to require people to make sacrifices for what they would probably consider the greater good. Ben wasn't prepared to make the sacrifice of his daughter and was so confident that it wouldn't happen he tried to bluff his way out of trouble. He failed and Alex died.


Martin Keamy is going to be the one who ends up killing a few people on this Island. I have a feeling we can expect a blood bath in the next little while. He certainly doesn't like to lose and he just lost all of his men to Smokey's awesome destructive powers.


The Body on the Beach:

What a let down this was. The episode synopsis made it seem that it would be difficult to figure out who it was and that it would be important to the story. They made it so easy. I mean heck Doctor Ray's body washed up right next to Daniel and Charlotte who simply told everyone who he was.


The only question that is still out there is how did he die? My guess is he was on the "Mission" with Frank and the Mercenaries and he got out of hand. Keamy probably killed him and dumped him out of the helicopter as they flew. The only purpose he will serveis warning the Beach that trouble is on the Island again. Especially when Claire, Sawyer, Miles and Aaron come out of the woods. Assuming they all make it.

Overall Story :

We now see the shape that this show is going to take. Ben takes his private war to the enemy and enlists Sayid along the way all in the name of revenge. He has now threatened Widmore with the death of Penny. The fact that Widmore is racing to get to the Island, Desmond is racing to get to Penny, and Ben is racing to kill her is going to make this show only speed up the story line. To see who will win.

What intrgiued me the most was "The Rules" that both Ben and Widmore mentioned. What are the Rules? Who else is involved? and How long has this been going on?

Widmore stated "The Island is Mine, It always was, it will be again". Could he somehow be an Island Original in an epic battle through time trying to retake his home from Ben?

He also said "I know who you are boy, What you are.." This could elude to the fact that Ben also moves through time like Widmore used to do.

The last widmore fact I want to mention is that apparently one of the Rules is that Ben can't kill Widmore and the other way around. Also it seems rule #2 is that family be left alone. Or it was before Widmore broke it.

Tidbits :

- The Secret Room in Ben's house seems to be of an ancient culture. It has Heiroglyphics all over it.

- Pill Popping Jack seems to be getting ill. Not to tell any spoilers but on the preview ABC aired right after the show they say it's his apendix. Could this be not only the reason he has to go on the first chopper out but also what helps him get hooked on the meds?

- Claire was not in the house when it blew up. In this picture you can clearly see she is out back of the house on the grass covered in clothes and next to the clothes line. She wasn't magically healed or protected she was outside.

- And Lastly the game of RISK. In the game of risk you can't win unless you kill all of your opponents pieces, much like Ben and Sayid are doing to Widmore. Also Hurley made a comment that "Australia is the key to the whole game".
This show started in Australia when the plane took off from Sydney. Hurley heard the numbers from a guy from Australia. Bernard and Rose went to Australia to be "healed", Claire's mysterious Psychic who affected her and Mr. Eko is in Australia. The whole story and how everyone got to be here centers around Australia. What if it all ends there too?

I'd like to thank Brian for letting me fill in for him while he was off getting married, it's been a blast. Ok folks It's time to analysis my thoughts. So get to it.

Friday, April 25, 2008

"The Shape of Things To Come" - First Reactions

Jason's One Word Review - Mind-blowing

It's hard for me to think of anything that could have made this episode any better than it was. We had a shoot out, Smokey vengenace, and finally some truth.

Let's go over a few topics here...

1.) Who else got the feeling that Ben just physically warped to the Sahara? That would go a long way to explaining the Polar Bear and why Ben didn't care if he blew up the Submarine.

2.) Sayid was not Co-erced into joining Ben. Well at least not outright. We know Ben is a master manipulator.

3.) The Game of Risk? Was it a hint? "Australia is the key to the whole game"

4.) How many times have Ben and Charles done this little dance? Enough for each to know the rules

5.) And lastly how great was it to see Smokey come rushing out of nowhere to kill Ben's enemies on command.

Those are the points that really jumped out at me but there is so much left. The full analysis might be a long one. Haha. The comment section is yours.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

LOST - "The Shape Of Things To Come"

Episode Title: The Shape of Things To Come

Jason's Deeper Meaning Guess: Generally the term "The Shape of Things to Come" is used in literary references to foreshadow the general path that a story will take. However we stand at a point in the story where we know generally what is going to happen already. It's a precarious spot to be because we tend to get lulled into a sense of security when we think we know what will happen.

This week's episode is going to have to be used to explain a lot of things and how they wind up.

1.) We will most likely find out who attacked CFL, Alex, and Karl
2.) There has to be a conclusion to the barracks story and something that explains Hurley switching sides and getting into the Oceanic 6
3.) Lastly I believe that we will learn somethings about the nature of the Island from good old Ben.

Like our good friend Brian I started my research by googling the title. This is what I found.

The Shape of Things to Come is a work of science fiction by H. G. Wells, published in 1933, which speculates on future events from 1933 until the year 2106. It is not a novel, but rather a fictional history book or chronicle
Wells' book also shared an understanding of the change wrought in the nature of war by the development of air power; the writer included harrowing depictions of cities destroyed in aerial bombardments, which proved an all too accurate prediciton of what was to happen in the actual second World War.

Wells creates a framing device by claiming that the book is his edited version of notes written by an eminent diplomat, Dr Philip Raven, who had been having dream visions of a history textbook published in 2106, and wrote down what he could remember of it.

The book is dominated by Wells's belief in a world state as the solution to mankind's problems. Wells successfully predicted the Second World War, although he envisaged it dragging on into the 1960s, being finally ended only by a devastating plague that almost destroys civilisation. Wells then envisages a benevolent dictatorship - 'The Dictatorship of the Air' (a term obviously modeled on 'The Dictatorship of the proletariat') - arising from the controllers of the world's surviving transportation systems (the only people with global power). This dictatorship promotes science, enforces Basic English as a global lingua franca, and eradicates all religion, setting the world on the route to a peaceful utopia. When the dictatorship finds it necessary to kill political opponents, the condemned persons are given a chance to emulate the ancient philosophers Socrates and Seneca and take a poison tablet in a congenial environment of their choice.

Eventually, after a century of re-shaping humanity, the dictatorship is overthrown in a completely bloodless coup, the former rulers are sent into a very honourable retirement, and the world state "withers away" as was predicted by Marx. The last part of the book is a detailed description of the Utopian world which emerges


Now I know that is a lot to take in but doesn't it sound alot like our little magical Island? Where Dictator Ben has been overthrown by Locke in a bloodless manner and thus ends his secret little utopia. Also we have seen multiple times where the followers of "The Island" have been willing to sacrifice themselves for "the Greater Good". The Island has even been described as a place where they are trying to save the world. The hatch was a huge example of that.

However the most interesting thing to me is that this book was not a history book of fiction but it was a book written from the memories of a man who jumped into the future and saw the end of the world, much like our friend Desmond. What if we find that Desmond was not the first person to become unstuck in time? That the Island was initially established because using it's special properties they might be able to stop the future.

Episode Description: Jack tries to discover the identity of a body that has washed ashore. Meanwhile, Locke's camp is attacked by Ben's adversaries.

Guest Stars:
Recurring Roles: Sam Anderson (Bernard Nadler), Kevin Durand (Keamy), Alan Dale (Charles Widmore), Jeff Fahey (Frank Lapidus), Tania Raymonde (Alex Rousseau)
Guest Star:
Faran Tahir (Ishmael Bakir), Kaveh Kardan (Merchant), Yetide Badaki (Desk Clerk), Marc Vann (Doctor), Sean Douglas Hoban (Doug)

We have a lot of guest stars this week, there are a lot of no names so The desk clerk, merchant, doctor, doug and Ishmael are probably the off island flashforward/back. Where Frank, Keamy, and Alex are probably in the story dealing with the barracks and Bernard is probably recruited to help Jack with the body since he has some medical experience.

Episode Breakdown:

Not a whole lot to go on from the synopsis, but we do have two points to discuss.

The Body: We can safely assume that the body must not be beyond some recognition or Jack wouldn't have any chance of finding out who it is so we can eliminate anyone who was on the plane most likely since 3-4 months in the salt water with fish eating them would have destroyed the indentity. Also we can remove anyone Jack does know from the list i.e. - Charlie and Patchy.
We can remove Regina since she is in chains on the bottom of the ocean.

I have a few thoughts but the best guess would that it is somebody from the freighter who is on the "Mission" with Frank. Maybe the person didn't survive the Time Bubble or whatever it is.

The Attack: The people attacking Locke's Camp are listed as Ben's Adversaries. This can only refer to the Freighters as we have all assumed. They must attack the Barracks to get Ben and maybe even Miles from Locke, and the only person who could have told them where to go was Frank because no one else on the boat knew that they were even at the Barracks except for Frank. Somehow I never pictured him leading a fullscale assault so I imagine he'll be a reluctant participant.

All in all not a lot of info to go on but I expect this episode to really be a driving force to the storyline, maybe even taking us all the way to them taking the Oceanic 6 off the Island.

What I find most promising about this episode is that it has been labeled as a Ben Flashforward too bad they don't give us anything to go on, haha.

Alright friends that's what I got for now. I hope you are as excited about this episode as I am. See you on Thursday. Enjoy.


Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Rushed "Meet Kevin Johnson" Analysis!

Don’t worry – I’m alive and well… perhaps “well” isn’t the best word, since I’m totally swamped with life events and absolutely exhausted, but I don’t have anything physically wrong with me (I think).

At any rate, I foolishly assumed that since I wasn’t getting married until April 19th, I’d have plenty of time to write up a full analysis of “Meet Kevin Johnson”, which aired four weeks earlier – but apparently weddings require a lot of time-consuming preparation and new houses require a lot of work. Who knew?

At any rate, sadly it’s not looking likely to get a Brian-style analysis up for this guy – plus since it aired like a month ago, who would even want it?

Instead, I present to you my thoughts on “Meet Kevin Johnson” as quick as possible!

It’s a bit peculiar that Michael’s Mother is upset at Michael for “not explaining where he’s been for the past two months… even though she should have known about the whole plane crash deal since he would have been on the manifest – or is she referring to the fact that he hasn’t explained how he survived and THEN where he had been for two months? Weird.

It is important to note that Tom hands Michael the gun that eventually won’t go off when he attempts suicide. Perhaps the Island really won’t let you die until it is ready for you to die… or perhaps the Others make it seem like you can’t die by planting fake guns / explosions (on the ship) with the potential victim. Or, you could argue that it’s simply “fate”, and sheer coincidence that the gun didn’t go off – and that the car crash distracted Jack from killing himself last season.

There are hints that more than a few of the members of the crew on the Kahana (formerly “the ship”) have ulterior motives on the trip (Michael included) – but Frank still seems to be a pretty good dude… maybe the only ally our Survivors will have out of all of them.

I don’t think Sayid has any master plan in exposing Michael and turning him in to the Captain – he’s just fired up, angry, and wanting to do harm to Michael for what he did to Ana-Lucia and Libby… you could say he’s “following his heart” – could this be the tragic mistake that Ben referenced in Sayid’s flashforward earlier this season?

I think Karl and CFL are dead. I know that we were promised a CFL flashback at some point – but who’s to say that her story can’t be told through some other character (like an Other’s) flashback? In my mind, Karl is a character who had served his purpose – connecting the Others / Alex to our Survivors – but clearly the writers had nothing else to do with him besides holding hands with Alex.

Likewise, it seems that the writers never figured out where to go with CFL after her reunion with Alex (which you could argue was the big “storyline resolution” for her character). She’s been in the background, having few lines of dialogue and little to do in an otherwise action-packed season. Plus, the more I think about it, the more troublesome of a character she is to explain. Remember all her wacky claims during the first season about never actually seeing an Other, but only hearing whispers? Doesn’t that just get more outrageous by the day? Outside of the fact that she’s crazy (thus, the name), she also becomes a character who’s story and actions become harder to defend by the episode – so maybe killing her off was a way to make us forget about some of the logical issues that surround her.

Who killed them? Obviously it was the Freightors (setup this episode with their target practice, and last episode by Frank and the helicopter being gone). Did Ben know that the ambush was coming? Most definitely – and maybe he even sent along Karl and CFL knowing there was a good chance that they would die. But this sets up some pretty awesome storylines right out of the break – with Freightors about to attack our Survivors, and having Alex as a hostage!

Okay – that’s all I got. I’m still waiting for my wedding presents to start rolling in from you guys, but haven’t received any yet. What’s up with that? Don’t worry, I won’t be offended if you just want to send cash or money via PayPal.

I’m putting FOB Jason in charge of the Blog while I’m gone, so the next post you see will be his episode preview for “The Shape of Things to Come”, which airs on April 24th.

Here’s hoping we get American ABC in Mexico and I can trick my wife into watching Lost as a romantic honeymoon evening!

Happy Losting!