Category Archives: "Lost"

Jack’s Eye Has Closed

Christian Shepherd’s casket is finally back in the United States.

“Lost,” one of my family’s favorite TV shows, ended last night. Well, we think it ended . . . there may still be a commercial or two left for us to watch!

Kate fulfills her promise to get Claire back to Aaron.

The four of us thoroughly enjoyed the finale, but the commercials (except for the “Lost”-themed Target ones) drove us crazy. Why didn’t ABC find one or two sponsors to underwrite the episode so it could be virtually ad free? It almost ruined the experience for us. The networks shouldn’t treat hour-long-plus shows like they’re the Super Bowl.

Hugo/Hurley finally becomes a hero when he decides to stay on the island.

I’m not going to critique, recap, or review the finale. Others (ha ha!) do a better job, particularly Nikki Stafford and her equally brilliant commenters. But I do have some thoughts about the end of a television show that took our emotions and intellect on a ride for six seasons.

Sawyer leaves the island a changed man.

I loved the story-telling device for the main Oceanic 815 survivors in what’s considered the “sideways” (off-island) world remembering their island lives by touching someone or something meaningful. The connections were so powerful! The best one was between Sawyer and Juliet at the vending machine (darn those stuck Apollo bars!), as it brought full circle their final on-island conversation before Juliet died.

The fake Locke barges into Rose and Bernard’s idyllic island world.

I especially liked how “Lost” brought almost all the survivors back. It was great being reminded that Rose and Bernard still lived blissfully on the island with Vincent. We see Shannon and Boone in the sideways (off-island) world. I do wish that Nadia had been Sayid’s connection instead of shallow Shannon; Nadia was his true love. Charlie, Charlotte, Daniel, Eloise Hawking, Pierre Chang, Sun, Jin, Juliet . . . hail, hail, the gang’s all here!

Eloise Hawking was right: The island wasn’t done with Desmond.

Mr. Electromagnetism, aka Desmond, was the key to most of the connections. Was it because he was special? Or was it just one of the many questions that didn’t get answered.

Richard has a gray hair! He finally can age and move on.

The finale can’t be all things to all viewers. “Lost” was an intellectual show from the get-go. Thinking was required. I’m sure everyone has taken something different from every episode over the last six years. But here’s what I believe is the core of “Lost”:

Lapidus survives the sub explosion and flies the Ajira plane off the island.

Oceanic 815 crashed on an island, and there were survivors. Jack said, “What happened happened.” The island is the survivors’ real world. It represented redemption, because all of them were flawed and needed to be fixed before they could come to terms with their lives.

Juliet and Jack “had” son David in the sideways world.

The “sideways” world that was introduced this season that showed Jack with a son, Sawyer and Miles as detectives, and Kate still running from the law? It’s each character’s own purgatory where they reconcile what’s happened in their lives. It wasn’t a real world. Once all the survivors finally died (either on the island, which was protected by Hurley and Ben during their lifetimes, or back in the U.S.), they gathered in the church, connected once again, and all moved on together.

What’s the message after six years? That no one dies alone. That it’s best to love and be loved, to have friends and be a friend, to resolve your father issues and not let them fester. Connections are important in life, so make them positive ones.

Farewell, Jack!

Thanks for the ride, “Lost.” It’s been a blast!

Random Winter Olympics Snippets

German Magdalena Neuner wins the 10K individual biathlon pursuit (as shown on my little TV).

Sometimes it seems like I can’t get enough of the Winter Olympics. I really enjoy watching the Games on our family room’s big HDTV. But when I need to get things done in my office (mostly Photoshopping), I turn to the next best thing: My little Haier portable TV. I got a great deal on the 7-inch digital wonder via Amazon.com at the end of last year and knew it would be a mainstay in my office (it does sport a rechargeable battery).

At first I tried the TV as is with its regular antenna, but I couldn’t get Fox or ABC. So I sprung for an external one, and that’s pulled in lots of other noncable channels as well as those two. I’m glad I have my little TV right by my side!

Oh, and I actually use its remote, even though the TV is an arm’s distance away. How very “guy” of me!

Love these Olympic mittens!

Here are some random Olympics thoughts so far:

• I love the official Olympic mittens, especially the maple leaf!

• I loved that Wayne Gretzky, aka the Great One, was the final torch bearer. Very appropriate. It was a shame that part of the indoor cauldron was on the fritz, though.

• I love that former Olympic athletes and coaches commentate on their sports. Not only do I appreciate their expertise, but I love their enthusiasm. They truly can empathize with what the athletes are going through. We’re partial to Scott Hamilton, who reports on figure skating. He also was a favorite when he won the Olympic gold medal in 1984.

• I love the P&G commercials, especially the one where the little kids are Olympians. That tagline, “P&G—proud sponsor of moms,” gets me every time!

Alexander Bilodeau won the first gold medal for Canada.

• I loved that when Alexander Bilodeau was awarded Canada’s first gold medal (and the first they’ve won as a host country), the Canadians at the venue sang “O Canada!” with such fervor and pride.

• What I especially love about the Olympics is that these athletes compete for the love of the sport. Any of them can be a star, gaining fame that will last them at least until the next Olympics.

But as much as I love the Olympics, when I had to choose between watching the Winter Games and “Lost” last night . . . .

Ben Linus (played by Michael Emerson)

There was no competition! What a great Locke/Faux Locke-centric episode!

“Lost” No-Spoiler Zone

Jacob, the spiritual center of the mysterious island—he has beautiful, blue, mesmerizing eyes

This has been an amazing week for our family so far: The #1 son’s birthday was yesterday, and the final season of “Lost” started Tuesday.

The #2 son watches intently.

Watching “Lost” is a wonderful family tradition for us. We really enjoy discussing what’s going on during the commercials (thank goodness there are so many of them, she says sarcastically) and anticipating what to expect next week.

Jack

Last year in this very blog I analyzed every “Lost” episode. It helped me to get my head around what was going on, since all Losties know how complicated the series is. By the way, all that confusion that fills our days contemplating the “Lost” conundrum? We have none other than the show’s creators and writers, Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof, to thank for that.

Kate

“We’ve always felt that one of the compelling elements of ‘Lost’ is the intentional ambiguity,” Cuse says. “The fact is it’s open for interpretation and discussion, and we feel like we would be doing a disservice to the fans and viewers to say, ‘No, you must only look at this in one way.'”

Sawyer

Or it could be that they don’t have a clue about what’s going on either!

Hurley

Now the new season has begun, and I’ve decided not to do any “Lost” analyses until the season finally ends. Why? Mainly because of my friend Karen K. She’s a London transplant right now, and she told me that “Lost” is a week behind in the UK. She would appreciate it if I didn’t spoil “Lost” for her in my blog; otherwise, she won’t be able to read it.

Bogus Locke

Fair enough! I’ve decided to be content with taking photos of my TV with my trusty Nikon D700 and 50mm lens and posting pics that won’t give away any of the plot. Happy, Karen?

I will say that based on parts one and two that aired Tuesday, this season is going to be another edge-of-your-seat roller coaster ride every single week. I loved the new storytelling device and can’t wait to see what happens next.

If you’d like to read great, insightful “Lost” analysis, check out Nikki Stafford’s Nik at Nite (even the comments are eye-openers), Doc Jensen (“Entertainment Weekly”), and Doc Arzt’s “Lost” blog. All three will help you connect the dots and discover nuances and hidden meanings that will enhance your viewing enjoyment.

Oh, and Karen, spoiler alert! Please close the page. I have to note that whiny, obnoxious Neil (aka Frogurt) had a small role in the season opener. I knew it was him the minute I saw him despite the sleep mask that he was wearing. It was fun watching him be whiny and obnoxious yet again.

“Lost” seems to be coming full circle. Let’s hope that really will be true after the season finale on May 23.

“The Incident”: “Lost” in Too Many Commercials

 

Is this evil and good embodied?

Is this evil and good embodied?

Holy mackerel! “Lost” literally went out with a bang and a flash of white last night, leaving us to ponder for months the meaning of the richest episode of the season. I loved “The Incident” but hated all the commercials (well, all except for the clever Mac-PC ones). The constant barrage of ads thrown at us at inopportune moments (especially when Sawyer was sobbing over the apparent loss of Juliet) was almost criminal. ABC, you’ve gone too far; this is not the Super Bowl! We may be a captive audience, but we’re not stupid. For next year’s finale, please get a sponsor for the entire two hours who will only have commercials at the beginning and end of the episode. Or we might have to sic the bogus John Locke on you!

Jacob puts his special touch on Hurley.

Jacob puts his special touch on Hurley.

My neighbor Sylvia hates when “Lost” adds new characters to a show, but I think Jacob and an unnamed man (perhaps Esau?), who by the end of the episode could be called the bogus Locke, will add to our understanding of what the heck is going on. The mysterious Jacob visited Kate, Sawyer, Jack, Sun, Jin, and Locke before they came to the island, and Sayid and Hurley after they had returned home, literally touching them at critical times in their lives (probably even bringing Locke back to life after he was pushed out the window by his no-good father). It was no coincidence that these people were meant to be on this island.

Meanwhile, the other guy we see in the opening scenes seems bent on killing good, kind Jacob and must look for a loophole to fulfill his desire. That “loophole” turns out to be Locke, as we discover that Locke really is dead by Ben’s hand off-island, with the evil guy taking over his body. As he might have done with Jack’s dad and Claire. Spooky stuff!

Should we pause for a commercial now?

Robinson Crusoe Bernard and Rose

Robinson Crusoe Bernard and Rose

A couple of loose ends that were neatly tied into a bow were the fates of Vincent the dog and Rose and Bernard. Last time we saw them, they were separated from Sawyer’s group as flaming arrows rained down upon them. We find out all three have been living in a modest hut near the beach, happy as clams. That was a moment of levity in what was otherwise a heavy, action-packed show.

What's in the box?

What's in the box?

We also finally discovered what was in the crate that Ilana and her gang were so protective of: John Locke’s body straight from the coffin. Glad the embalming fluid was still working! Seeing our familiar Locke dead made us realize that the writers had put one over on us—the new Locke isn’t Locke at all! Instead, this was Loophole Locke, who used Ben to kill Jacob.

Juliet tries to fight the electromagnetic pull.

Juliet tries to fight the electromagnetic pull.

Meanwhile, the battered and bloodied Juliet, who was dragged into the Swan’s drill hole by the electromagnetic pull on a heavy metal chain that had become wrapped around her, is at the bottom of the hole, face to face with the hydrogen bomb’s plutonium core, which had failed to detonate. Good thing there was a rock right by her! She picks it up and bashes at the core. The scene turns to white, and that’s all she wrote for 2009.

"Lost" ends until next year.

"Lost" ends until next year.

And that fade to white ending? Perfect . . . and chilling! We’ll be counting down the months, and then the weeks, and then the days, and finally the minutes until the final season begins in 2010.

Why I’m a “Lost” fan

“Lost” definitely makes us think—it’s not for the casual viewer. Nothing seems to be just laid out for us in black and white; it’s all the shades of gray that baffle us and have caused better minds than mine to try to decipher every nuance in every episode. We’re confused, but darn it, we’re intrigued! We’ve bought into the time travel, wormholes, back-and-forth timelines (what year is it now?)—we’ve invested in the entire package. Our hope is that at the end of next season, the show’s last, we’ll bask in a satisfying conclusion that ties up all the loose ends and makes sense out of the whole shebang.

Hopefully!

Mother’s Day at the Movies . . . Chicken!

star_trek_03_1024

Hope y’all had a great Mother’s Day! Mine was interesting, as always. First, the boys showed me my Mother’s Day gift, which was a PowerPoint slideshow they had thrown together carefully crafted the night before. It was very cute and much appreciated. I had challenged the boys to try to describe me in three words (as inspired by the In Three Words website). Here’s what they came up with:

#2 son: If I could describe you in three words, it would be . . . sweet, cool, and funny.

M = Marvelous mom!

O = OMG you are awesome!

M = Mother of the year!!!

#1 son: Can three words do justice? If so, perhaps they would be awesome, important, and resourceful.

M = Magnanimous

O = Outstanding

M = Musical

Another cute touch: They signed that it was from my “#1 and #2 sons!”

Ahh, I feel appreciated, short-lived as I’m sure it’ll be. 

Then the family boldly went where no one has gone before . . . well, actually, lots of people had gone there: Our local AMC Theatres to see the new “Star Trek” movie. When I told the boys that’s what I wanted to do for Mother’s Day, all I heard were moans and groans. But when I said it was either “Star Trek” or the “Hannah Montana” movie, they wisely opted for space travel over the teenybop star. We attended the 10:10 a.m. ($5) show, and it was packed! Lots of cheap families taking Mom to the movies, just like mine.

The short Mom review: I really liked it (as did the guys)! Because it’s co-produced by “Lost” co-creators J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof, there were several touches from our favorite TV show involving time travel and altering the timeline. We’re not Trekkies, but I think we’ll definitely want to see the planned sequels.

"Chicken" boys

"Chicken" boys

Those chicken boys

As a preamble to yesterday’s Mother’s Day activities, the boys decided to play chicken off our pool’s spa the day before. I balanced my feeling of foreboding that one or both of them would slip, fall, and crack their heads open with the desire to capture action photos of them with my Nikon D300 and Nikon 17-55mm lens. Surprise, surprise . . . the photo impulse won out! I grabbed my camera and documented the new BWF (Backyard Wrestling Federation).

Shall we chicken dance?

Shall we chicken dance?

I’d rate the choreography an 8, I think. The intense focus, the dripping clothes, the flashy ribcage . . . it all works well together.

In ya go!

In ya go!

The #1 son gets the upper hand!

It's the #1 son's turn to take a dip.

It's the #1 son's turn to take a dip.

When the #1 son pushes his younger brother into the pool, he’s cool, calm, and collected. He prefers to turn his back on the big splash, just like the Power Rangers used to do when they vanquished a foe. Not Little Bro, though. He’s all about showing off for the momarazzo.

#9389-(#2-primps)

#9390-(#2-primps)

"Pump me up!"

"Pump me up!"

Shy guy? I don’t think so! In fact, he reminds me a lot of James T. Kirk, another “enterprising” young man!

Is the pool perhaps the final frontier for him, too?!?

Follow the “Lost” Leader

 

Pity poor Ben Linus!

Pity poor Ben Linus!

Ben Linus, the former leader of the Others, isn’t the only one feeling sad these days—last night’s “Lost” episode was the penultimate one of the season! Next week is the two-hour season finale that no doubt will feature a cliffhanger the meaning of which will torment and exasperate us for the next eight months!

Last night’s show entitled “Follow the Leader” did a great job of setting up the finale, in which Dr. Jack Shephard will try to carry out possibly dead physicist Daniel Faraday’s plan to avert the catastrophe that eventually caused Oceanic flight 815 to crash. Meanwhile, other people on the island will try to stop Jack. Totally crazy, riveting, addictive stuff!

The leader dynamics on the show always have been intriguing. Jack reluctantly led the Oceanic crash victims as they tried to survive on a wacky, tropical island in the middle of nowhere. Ben was at the helm of the Others, who didn’t want the Oceanics to share the same turf with them. But then Ben fell out of favor with the ageless, advising Richard Alpert, who thought John Locke needed to lead the Others. While the Oceanic 6 were back home in 2007, Sawyer became head of security for the 1974-77 Dharma Initiative and then provided leadership when Hurley, Jack, and Kate returned to the island in 1977 (the island, which had been skipping through time after Ben moved it to avert detection by Charles Widmore, finally settled on 1974 when Locke unstuck the donkey wheel).

Sidebar: Confused about the timeline? The #2 son has watched the show with us all season, and the constant 30-year jumps back and forth last night drove him crazy! The fact that this was a Richard-centric show (without any true character flashbacks) and that the eyeliner guy looked exactly the same in 1977 as he did in 2007 can make one’s head spin.

Kate Austen: Talk to the hand, Jack.

Kate Austen: Talk to the hand, Jack.

Back to the recap: When Jack came back to the island, he seemed meek and passive as he waited to discover his purpose for returning. Once he figured it out (to put into motion Faraday’s plan and complete his destiny), he was the old Jack again! Not that Kate enjoyed hearing Jack say that stopping the potential 815 crash would end all the misery they had endured—that “misery” included their relationship! If the plane doesn’t crash, Jack and Kate don’t meet. On the plane, Kate was in the custody of a federal marshal and was headed for jail.

When Kate tried to walk out on Jack, she was shot at by one of the dastardly Others . . . who was promptly killed by none other than Sayid! Sayid was back and almost gloating about killing young Ben Linus, which would have put an end to some of the Oceanic survivors’ island misery. He was mighty perturbed when Kate told him that she and Sawyer took young Ben to Richard to be saved. Awkward!

Meanwhile back at the Dharma Initiative, mad man Radzinsky, who has taken over leadership from the kinder, gentler Horace, is pummeling poor Sawyer, trying to get him to say where Kate and the hostiles are. When the bloody Sawyer won’t talk, Phil, trying to get back at Sawyer for locking him in a cabinet, slugs Juliet. That enraged Sawyer, but he did agree to tell them what he knew in exchange for a ride off the island on the Dharma sub.

A priceless scene: Sawyer and Juliet are on the sub waiting for it to submerge (and did that look fake or what?). Who’s thrown into the mix with them? None other than Kate, Juliet’s worse nightmare! Sawyer and Kate stare at each other followed by Juliet’s if-looks-could-kill glare. Awkward times 50!

In 2007, Locke, Richard, Sun, Ben, and the Others go for a stroll.

In 2007, Locke, Richard, Sun, Ben, and the Others go for a stroll.

Now the 1977 DI are following a new leader, Radzinsky. Locke has returned in 2007 to Richard and the Others as a confident commander. At Locke’s insistence, Richard is taking Locke, Sun, Ben, and the Others to see the mysterious Jacob (cue the marching music). Hopefully, we’ll finally find out who the heck this guy is in the finale.

Tattletale Ben tells leader Locke that Richard is worried about his motives in this pilgrimage to see Jacob. Locke relates to Ben what his true reason is for the visit:

“So I can kill (Jacob).”

And that would serve what purpose, John?

Confusing as ever, we see Kate, Juliet, and Sawyer back on the island in the preview for the finale. How did they get off the sub? Should Kate watch her back in case Juliet wants to stab a knife into it? Will Jack fulfill his destiny?

Will we once again be left with more questions than answers to ponder during the long break until the final season starts next January?

Without a doubt!

OMG! No, Not Daniel!!

 

Daniel Faraday

Daniel Faraday

When you work a puzzle, it seems like the best strategy is to look at the picture on the box and fill in the border first. Frame the foundation and then build in the middle. “Lost” is an über puzzle . . . except there’s no picture for viewers to work from. And we’re being totally manipulated by the show’s writers, who gleefully spent the first four seasons slowly piecing the border together and now are finally filling in the middle. The best part, of course, is the middle, kind of like a chocolate-covered eclair or a Hostess cupcake.

In this fifth season we’ve been blessed with character-centric episodes that wonderfully move the storyline along as we anticipate next year’s final episodes. Last night’s “Lost” added even more fuel to the fire, especially with its trademark, end-of-episode OMG moment: The shooting of physicist Daniel Faraday in 1977 by his mother, Eloise (Ellie back then) Hawking. Is he dead or will he be brought back to life by the mysterious, never-aging Richard Alpert, who was aghast that Ellie shot him? Daniel is one of my favorite characters, so I hope he isn’t dead.

The episode was titled “The Variable.” I did start to quake in my sandals when I first read what it was called, because I’m not a math-science person. But my favorite television physicist put it all in perspective during the episode. Daniel has come back to the island to try to prevent the catastrophic accident that eventually causes Oceanic 815 to crash. Dr. Pierre Chang and his Dharma Initiative are about to drill into a pocket of electromagnetic energy, which will then force them to cement the area, install the hatch on top of it, and command someone (eventually Desmond Hume) to push a button every 108 minutes to keep the magnetic force at bay. Until Desmond doesn’t push the button, and 815 is pulled apart in the air. Chilling stuff.

Daniel was led to believe that what happened in the past happened; no one can change their destiny. But then he realized that there actually was a variable in this equation: People. Which meant that he could try to rewrite history.

The memory-damaged Daniel Faraday circa 2007

The memory-damaged Daniel Faraday circa 2007

As usual, the episode flashes back and forth all over time. We see Daniel as a young, brilliantly gifted pianist who is told by his Mommy Dearest that he can only pursue math and science, because that’s his true destiny. Later Eloise reinforces this scientific destiny to her son when he graduates from Oxford. He tells her that he has been given a large research grant . . . from none other than Charles Widmore. Mom gives Daniel the gift of a journal, the same one that we see him use that’s filled with equations and time-travel observations. Inside she has inscribed: Daniel, no matter what, remember I will always love you. Mother.

Yes, even if I eventually shoot you in the back.

Eloise as she leaves: “Good luck, Daniel. And I do hope you know that I mean that.”

As I’ve observed in a past blog post, most of the main “Lost” characters have father issues. Daniel is “fortunate” enough to have mommy and daddy issues. His mom is cold and almost a dictator who he spends his life trying to please. As for his dad? Son of a gun . . . it’s Charles Widmore! Remember that Ellie and Charles were on the island together back in 1954 when Daniel told Richard Alpert to bury the hydrogen bomb that was there. Yes, it’s all coming together nicely.

In a nutshell, Daniel becomes severely memory damaged by his time traveling. Widmore wants him to return to the island for further research and to heal his mind. Eloise agrees. At first, Daniel doesn’t want to go, but he decides to pack his bags when his mom tells him it would make her proud of him. And give her the chance to shoot him in the back! You can see how pained Eloise is that she knows sending Daniel back to the island probably will kill him by her hand. Yet she does it anyway! Cruel stuff.

Eloise Hawking (Daniel's mom) and Penny Hume

Eloise Hawking (Daniel's mom) and Penny Hume

Later in the episode Eloise goes to the hospital where the present-day Desmond is recovering after surgery to repair the shots he took from Ben Linus’ gun (guess that carton of milk wasn’t bulletproof) and talks to Penny.

Eloise: “I came, Penelope, to apologize. Your husband has become a casualty in a conflict that’s bigger than him, that’s bigger than all of us.

“For the first time in a long time, I don’t know what’s going to happen next.”

But the 2007 Eloise did know that the 1977 Ellie was going to shoot Daniel. And her son realized it in his potentially final words to his mom on the island:

“You knew. You always knew. You knew this was going to happen, and you sent me here anyway.”

Mommy Dearest indeed! Eloise Hawking is a bad mother!