Wednesday, February 23, 2005

LOST Translation

Lost Episode Title: "…in Translation"

Character Involved: Jin (the super jealous Korean man). Fun fact: this actor used to be on both 24 and Angel! Talk about picking good TV shows to work on!

TV Guide Description: When the raft the survivors have been building mysteriously burns down, Michael is convinced that Jin is responsible for the sabotage, which only further escalates their rivalry. Meanwhile, Sun stuns her fellow survivors with a surprising revelation, and Boone gives Sayid a warning about Shannon.

Brian's Deeper Meaning Guess: Two fold this week. First "…in Translation". Lost in Translation. A clever take on the Oscar nominated movie from 2003. Second, and more importantly is that it refers to the fact that Sun can speak English and knows what is going on, but no one other than Jack knows this. Not even Jin. Here’s something else I’ve thought of - what if Jin can also speak English? Sun is hiding it from Jin, Jin is hiding it from Sun - both are "lost in translation"? The reason I say this, is that Jin seems to smile when he hears different things like Hurley making comments like "Dude, your wife is hot" or the whole scene where he is trying to fish. Jin seems to know more than he lets on. Of course, the other option is that Jin finds out Sun can speak English this episode, and it causes serious drama in their relationship. There’s also the super-obvious part where Jin is "lost" on the island since he cannot understand everyone else speaking English. He’s "lost" in the "translation". Witty.

TV Guide Description Breakdown: Remember the raft that Michael talked about building two episodes back? There was a brief shot of him working on it last episode, and it looked to be a pretty sizeable raft, capable of saving more than just Michael. Who would burn it down? Someone who doesn’t want them leaving the island. Good candidates: Locke, CFL, or The Others. The fact that Michael is going to blame Jin is clearly a red herring, used to fuel the tension between the two of them started by the fact that Michael clearly has the hots for Sun. Remember when he saw her all nekkid in the woods? Oh yeah, he has a thing for her. And there’s the whole deal where Jin ATTACKED Michael with an axe on the beach. Jin is in the mafia, remember? If Michael goes after him, I think Michael will be the one who gets messed up.

Sun’s surprising revelation will definitely be her speaking English. I think she’ll have to use her English speaking skills in defense of Jin. Everyone will now see her in a different light, and she’ll become more accepted in the group - also furthering herself from Jin…

Boone warning Sayid about Shannon? Saying "Stay Away"? "She’s mine"? Is his warning out of concern for Sayid, since Shannon pretty much uses and abuses guys? Or is he warning him to stay away because he still has feelings for her and is jealous of the time the two spend together? I want to think that Boone is 100% a Locke-y (my term for a follower of Locke, and a clever play on the word "lackey") and no longer cares about Shannon. Plus, remember when Locke made some comment about "We’ll want Sayid on our side"? Maybe Boone’s warning is to prevent Sayid from getting messed up with Shannon’s mind games, so that he’s good to go when Locke calls on him to join his side, whatever that means.

Last Week’s Episode Discussion Points:
I thought last week was a really good episode. However, I still feel like we’re just spinning tires at this point in terms of moving the overall storyline of the island further. Yes, it was great to learn more about Sawyer and what drives him, but I think the show is at its best when the back story helps us learn more about the island and what’s going on there. (See: the Locke episode, the Claire episode, etc.) I’ll again hypothesize that the writers of the show made an overall story arc for the season, planning on a typical 22 episode season. When ABC requested they expand it to 24 episodes, they had to make some filler. Rather than mess with the overall arc or the suspense of the conclusion of the season, they used episodes like this one as a way to tell a good story, but not get into the main story of the island mystery. In a way, they’re holding all their best cards until the end of the season. Which I think starts next week! But I digress…

1. We still didn’t learn why Sawyer was in jail during the Boone episode. Did he get caught for killing the Sweet Shrimp guy? I don’t think so, since he was saying something about "I didn’t kill him" when getting carried in the police station. Also, how in the world was he on the plane leaving Australia if he committed murder there? I think he got away with the murder of Sweet Shrimp, but got falsely accused of killing someone else (like Jack’s father!). Once they cleared him, he was on Flight 815 to head home.

2. How long will Sawyer wait before telling Jack about his dad? Will he ever tell him? I could see him holding something like this, using it as leverage, similar to how he hoards all the goods he finds on the island. I predict that Jack has some crisis of faith / breakdown and Sawyer tells him to get him to snap out of it / pull himself together. It will be very poetic. Girls will cry.

3. The Sawyer and Kate scene was fantastic. Holding true to every time anyone ever played "Never Have I Ever" in college, it takes about two rounds or two drinks before the questions turn sexual. My only question is, how did the two of them not hook up?! I’m willing to accept that a paralyzed man can now walk, a kid has magic powers, and there’s a monster running around on this island eating people, but this? I don’t know if I can willingly suspend my belief this far. Plus there was alcohol involved! Writers, you disappoint…

LOCKE. Okay, Locke shows up out of nowhere to tell a story about when he was a kid and his sister died, a dog appeared that his mom thought was "the spirit" of his sister. What a coincidence that Sawyer is currently being tormented by a boar that could be the spirit of the Sweet Shrimp guy he killed! In a way, telling this story could mean that Locke has won Sawyer over / helped him overcome his demons (which would bring his count to like 5 people on the island).

SAWYER. So we still don’t know who the "real" Sawyer was who destroyed this Sawyer’s life. At this point, I don’t think we ever will. I definitely see Sawyer as somewhat of a redeemed individual. Much like Kate, who seems to have real remorse for her past, Sawyer has now learned that revenge is not the way. Sawyer now becomes a "tragic hero".

ANIMALS. So - the boar was Sweet Shrimp? Could Vincent (the dog) represent someone else who has died? My initial thought was "Walt’s mom" - but Vincent was around before Walt’s mom died. But this theory of animals as spirits of those who died is very interesting.

KATE. Her talks with Sawyer confirmed that she has indeed killed someone. From her episode it was "someone she loved". She also confirmed that she has been married before. Was this to the man she killed? What combination of events could cause Kate to fall in love, get married, and then kill her husband in a short period of time? It has to be tied to that little toy plane! Where is Kate Back Story Part 3! Arg!

SIDES. By my count, people who I see "in Locke’s corner" are Boone, Charlie, Jack, Walt, Michael, and maybe now Sawyer. Really the only other main character he needs to win over is Sayid, and he’ll have all the strong players on his side.

JIN. Hopefully this episode sheds some more light on this character. Sun’s backstory helped a little, but this has been a vastly underused character so far on the show. Remember in the first episode when he caught the fish and gave it to Claire, which made her baby seemingly "come back to life"? Did he know that would happen? He was seemingly forcing her to eat it…

VOICES. In last episode, the voices Sawyer heard were seemingly saying "It’ll come back to you" or something along those lines - which makes sense if you think about the Boar getting his "revenge" on Sawyer for the death of Sweet Shrimp. But thinking back to the other characters who have heard voices (CFL, Jack, Sayid) - all have had someone they know die / killed someone. Are these voices simply inside their heads? Their conscience? Or are they the spirits of the those who have died? Or are they The Others playing tricks on them? It’s just very interesting that no one else has heard these voices.

KATE. AGAIN. Speaking of which - why is this girl getting off so scott free? She murdered someone, but has not heard voices / had to deal with seeing images of the person she killed walking around / etc. She seems to have a very tortured past, but the island and the events on the island have been easy on her so far. Is it because she’s smoking hot? Or is her "redemption" still coming up? Maybe Locke will have to help her work through it, and win her over to his side as well.

TITLE CHANGE. Remember last week when I gave you a run down of upcoming episodes? Well, they changed the title for Episode 21..

21 - "The Greater Good" - Sayid Episode II - It used to be called "Sides"? So that’s obviously a theme. The fact that it says "The Greater Good" makes me think of one thing - someone sacrificing themselves for the greater good of the group. Since it’s a Sayid episode, I worry it might be him.

We all know everyone is not going to survive. I’d be very sad to see Sayid go, as he’s awesome and has clearly improved Iraqi-American relations in this modern day and age. No work on the last three episodes… yet.

ANSWERS. The most exciting part of this week’s Email! Per the Internet, there was a radio interview with Lost creator JJ Abrams last week where he said the following questions WOULD BE ANSWERED before the season ends:

1. How Locke can now walk. (Hooray!)
2. The importance of the little plane Kate has. (YES!)
3. What is up with CFL (I guess also exciting!)

My two thoughts are:

4. Immense excitement. Sometimes you wonder if we’re ever going to get any answers - this shows that we’ll definitely get some!

5. Wonderment. Does this mean we’re not going to get any other answers? I doubt it. Most likely, there are big secrets to reveal, and there’s no way JJ would reveal them to a radio show. See every season finale of Alias ever (JJ’s other show). They always end BIG and SHOCKING. Hopefully this won’t be an exception!

Okay, so let it be written, so let it be done. Let me know if you actually receive this Email this week since there was some issue last week with sending them from my work account. All are welcome at the Delta House tonight for Lost!

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

LOST Email is Back!

Lost Episode Title: "Outlaws"

Character Involved: Sawyer (Part II - he’s dreamy!)

TV Guide Description: Kate and Sawyer divulge dark secrets to each other while tracking a renegade boar that Sawyer swears is purposely harassing him. Meanwhile, Hurley and Sayid worry that Charlie is losing it after his brush with death, and a shocking, prior connection between Sawyer and Jack is revealed.

Brian's Deeper Meaning Guess: "Outlaws" must refer to Sawyer and Kate, as they are the two "criminals" on the island. Both were outlaws in their past lives, and Sawyer is also the outlaw on the island, hoarding everything he can get his hands on while on the island, effectively ostracizing himself from everyone. It just seems like too simple of an answer for my liking. But I got nothing else.

TV Guide Description Breakdown: It sounds like Kate and Sawyer are going to tell each other their criminal secrets, which will bring the two closer together. They’ve been hinting at the relationship for some time, so it’s about time. Here’s hoping Kate ends up scantily clad for some reason… any reason. Also, on the commercials there’s a clip of Sawyer saying "It’s payback time" and pointing a gun at someone (or something) - smart money is that he’s pointing it at the wild boar that is harassing him. Deep down, Sawyer’s a good guy. There’s no way he’s pointing that gun at Jack or even Sayid.

The shocking, prior connection between Jack and Sawyer? Remember a few episodes ago, during Boone’s flashback when he was in the police station and Sawyer was being dragged away in the background, yelling "I didn’t kill him"? I think that Sawyer is somehow involved in the death of Jack’s father. Not that Sawyer killed him, but that he was there when Jack’s dad died. Maybe Sawyer grifted him? Something to cause more tension between Jack and Sawyer besides their mutual love for Kate? Sounds like a good plotline to me.

Last Week’s Episode Discussion Points:
Last week’s backstory did NOTHING for me. I can sum it up in two points:

1. Charlie was selling copier model C815. 815 being the flight number, the safety deposit box number, the number that’s been associated with EVERYTHING on the show so far. Creepy.

2. It provided a reason why Charlie would shoot Ethan at the end. "You’ll never be able to protect anybody". This was his way of doing that for Claire.

The main problem with the backstory is that the "big reveal" didn’t mean much to us. Also, I didn’t really care to see Charlie fighting his drug habit / stealing since we know that now he has kicked the habit and is a pretty good guy. It’s like the story was almost out of date. Plus, I was really really really hoping we were going to get a flashback of when he was kidnapped by Ethan. Arg!

ETHAN. Great, now he’s dead before we get any answers. Here’s what’s weird - Ethan totally kicked Jack’s a** the first fight, but was totally dominated this time. It was also raining both times they fought. There’s something very surreal about both fights. Also, how do you figure that Claire escaped Ethan? He is obviously stronger than her, and you would think "the Others" would have a close watch on her. The scratches on his face last episode could have come from her, or perhaps he had an encounter with an island beast (polar bear or wild boar) that caused the scratches and gave her a chance to escape. Unfortunately, killing Ethan makes a lot of sense storyline wise, as having him around forces way too many of the island mysteries to be revealed. This way, they still don’t know who or what "the Others" are, or why they wanted Claire so badly.

CLAIRE. Speaking of good plot devices, having Claire lose her memory is a great one. This way, she can slowly remember things about the island and her kidnapping as it becomes convenient for the plot / in critical times. Shouldn’t she be having this baby by now? They’ve been on the island for over a month, and she was at least eight months pregnant when she got on the flight. That baby will be born before the season is up, I guarantee it!

LOCKE. There was something very weird about the scene where Locke got the gun in this episode. For one, there is no reason that Locke should have known how to use a gun. He worked in an office building. Did this talent somehow come to him when he met the monster that gave him his "outdoorsman skills"? He pauses before he grabs the gun, and once he grabs it, he cocks it and smiles. If you remember back to the Walt episode, Locke was talking about visioning things "in your minds eye" when teaching Walt to throw knives. Walt visualizes throwing the knife accurately, and he can do it. What if Locke is also picking up this power? He saw the gun, visualized himself knowing how to use it, and then grabbed it. There just has to be something more to this guy. The "minds eye" theme also works with the number of times his eyes have been black and white / the scratch over his eye that is now disappearing / seeing the future in the Boone episode by preparing the cream for his head. There’s some symbolism here, people!

(Is he working with Ethan? I don’t think so, but his strategy for catching Ethan was somewhat suspicious. Jack wanted to pull everyone in to the caves, but Locke wanted to keep people spread out on the beach and the caves, and Ethan seemingly killed Scott / Steve from the water… Probably nothing, but it stuck out…)

KATE. Where has she been the past few episodes? She’s really taken a back seat. And we still don’t know about the plane. I doubt this week will answer any more questions about it, but I’m hoping something comes out of her conversations with Sawyer.

CHARLIE. Why did Ethan approach him to bring Claire back? Why didn’t he just go get Claire by himself? Obviously Charlie would do anything for Claire, but that doesn’t seem to make much sense. Also, is Charlie’s memory really gone from his encounter with Ethan that he is unable to help anyone with an explanation? Maybe he and Claire will have some conversations about the experience. I just can’t figure out if something caused him to lose his memory, if something erased his memory, of if he is blocking out the bad memories.

THE METAL HATCH. I love how there are huge storylines on this show that go untouched for weeks at a time. First Claire disappearing and now this. More on this in the upcoming episode listing below. But it’s allegedly "the key to the whole thrust of the story of the island."

VINCENT. Yes, the dog. There is something up with this dog. I almost think maybe the dog has the powers, not Walt. The dog was there when the bird flew into the window in Walt’s flashback. Whenever the dog disappears, the monster appears. The dog was way creepy watching people from the forest in the first few episodes. And what keeps causing him to run away and come back and opportune times? I read a rumor that an upcoming episode might be a Vincent flashback, which would be fantastic. Okay, maybe I’m just going crazy at this point…

DEATH. Okay, the producers of the show have said "It would be crazy to think that all 14 main characters get through the first season without dying." So at least one of them is going to die before the year is up. But who? Would they have the chutzpah to kill of a Jack or Kate? (They better not kill of Kate). I could see Sawyer having a heroic death to redeem himself a bit, or Claire dying giving birth to a baby, or Shannon dying to create tension between Sayid and Boone. The only character I see as safe is Locke, just because he seems to be the one who is going to pull everything going on on the island together at some point.

CFL. She’s due to be back any episode now. Now that Ethan is killed off, she’s the only "outsider’ on the island who can give them information. Also, it’s quite possible that she was the one who attacked Ethan to free Claire, perhaps feeling some connection to Claire after she lost her baby. Do you think she was abducted and had her baby stolen as well? It’s a possibility…

COMING ATTRACTIONS. We’ve almost got episode titles for every episode left for the season! Here’s what’s on tap:

17 - "… in Translation" - Jin’s Flashback - I think we find out that Jin either speaks English, or that he finds out that Sun speaks English and beats her. But that doesn’t make good TV, so I’ll go with the former. Plus, remember when Hurley was talking to him, and he seemed to smile when Hurley said "Dude, your wife is hot."?

18 - "Numbers" - Hurley’s Flashback - Allegedly, Hurley achieves "the number one dream of most Americans, but it ends badly". It’s got to be that he wins the lottery, but the money doesn’t bring happiness. Makes sense with the "Numbers" title. Other things I’ve heard about this episode - "What happened to Hurley in his life before the island is DIRECTLY tied to everyone on the island and the mysterious hatch on the island." As well as "there will be a string of numbers shown in this episode that are very significant." Let me guess… 815?

19 - "Deus ex Machina" - Locke’s Flashback II - okay, literary nerds out there, you know what the title means. "God from Machine". A term used to describe when something swoops in and saves characters who are otherwise doomed in a story. Somewhat of a cop-out if you ask me, like the whole "It was all a dream" ending used at the end of Super Mario Bros. II or "Who Shot JR?" on Dallas. I can’t think of how that would tie to the show, since there is no resolution coming midway through the season. Maybe it needs to be taken more literally - they find some machine that serves a god-like purpose? Is it referring to how Locke got a "second life" on the island by being able to walk / be a skilled hunter and leader?

20 - "Do No Harm" - Jack Episode III - Three? Greedy! The "Do No Harm" reference has to be related to the whole "Doctor" thing, and perhaps Jack does some bad stuff on the island, like killing someone? That would be intriguing…

21 - "Sides" - Sayid Episode II - Sides? As in choosing sides? As in good vs. evil? The theme I’ve been hinting at all year? I think so! The best part is, after this episode, there are still THREE MORE LEFT...

(Word on the street is that the season finale will be a flashback to before the flight takes off on its fateful voyage.)

WHERE ARE WE GOING? So what’s the "State of the Union" on Lost at this point? Well, I still think we’re heading to a good vs. evil showdown on the island. Locke will be their leader, and he’s recruiting people to his side / way of thinking. I think we’ll also find out that all the people were specifically chosen to be on that flight, and to end up on that island. How? Not sure yet. But nothing on this show is coincidence. There’s a master plan at play here. I think the Hurley story is going to be huge, and the hatch will reveal some big secrets about the island. I think the Locke episode will also shift us into the denouement of the season, with the survivors going through the rationale of "we need to fight", then "what side will you be on?", followed by "let’s do it." I’m excited.

My apologies for the lack of Emailage last week. It was a struggle to even watch Lost, to be honest with you, so you know I was nearly dead. Hopefully this brings you up to speed and renews your excitement about the show.

PS - The DVDs of the first season are due out this September, complete with alternate scenes, additional scenes, and creator commentaries. Retail price of $39.99. A steal!

The Delta House has been cleaned, sterilized, and disinfected for all those who want to re-join the Wednesday tradition of Lost watching! Come one, come all! Watch in horror as Brian and Brian dissect TV much farther than anyone ever intended. Stare in amazement as two TVs sit side by side in the same room! See a life sized cutout of the President, George W. Bush. Fun for the whole family!

Okay, there’s my pitch. I know how this goes. I’ll see Annette, KB, Sully, and maybe Tom or J Cal here. That’s okay - I didn’t want you to come over anyways...

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Worst Lost Email Ever

(Ah yes, I was super sick during the writing of this episode - I almost slept through this week's episode of Lost, in fact.)

Lost Episode Title: "Homecoming"

Character Involved: Charlie

TV Guide Description: After the missing Claire returns with no recollection of what has happened since before the doomed flight of Oceanic 815, Jack and Locke formulate a plan of defense against her kidnapper, the mysterious Ethan, who threatens to kill off the other survivors unless Claire is returned to him.

Guys, unfortunately, I’m very sick right now so I can’t do a full official "Lost" Email because when I’m not in my bed I feel like I’m going to pass out. Hopefully this just serves as a reminder of the new episode tonight. I’ll only mention one point:

1. Who dies this episode?

Best bet? Ethan.
Other potential choices: Michael and Jin

It’s up to you guys to send around any discussions. I’ll have to make next week’s Email extra long. My apologies this week.