Tag Archives: "Lost"

Two Thumbs Up, Two Thumbs Sideways

Meryl Streep as Julia Child cooks up a storm.

Meryl Streep as Julia Child cooks up a storm.

The Mister and I went a little movie crazy last weekend . . . without the boys. We saw two movies at our local AMC Theatre and rented another that we actually watched well before its due date.

Sidebar: Anyone else have a nasty habit of returning DVDs to the video store just before midnight on the due date? There probably are 12-step programs for people like us who need to stop procrastinating when it comes to watching rented movies on time.

By far, the top movie we saw was “Julie and Julia.” I was anxious to see it, because the same-named Julie Powell book that most of it’s based on is hilarious. And what a great premise: A 30-year-old woman in a dead-end job with a supportive husband decides to cook all 524 recipes in Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” cookbook in one year and then blog about the results. Like me, Powell wasn’t the greatest cook before starting the project; I think that’s why I could relate to her so well.

What I totally disliked about the book and was glad to see wasn’t in the movie was Powell’s incessant foul language, which almost ruined the story for me. I’ve never read so many f-bombs in my life; what a turnoff.

But this is what Powell says about cussing: “I happen to believe that curse words are vital parts of language, and I write accordingly.”

I totally disagree! And I would feel the same way even if I wasn’t an old broad of 56. All cussing means is that you have a poor vocabulary. The only time cursing truly is necessary is when you’re driving without the kids and have to deal with all the idiot drivers surrounding you (it always amazes me how everyone else is such a bad driver when I’m behind the wheel!). Otherwise, as I tell my two sons, the English language is rich with descriptive words that won’t make their mother’s jaw drop in surprise and disgust. Use them!

Amy Adams celebrates her final Julia Child meal.

Amy Adams as Julie Powell celebrates her final Julia Child meal.

But I digress . . . the movie is a must-see! Two thumbs up!! It’s so funny and so delightful. Meryl Streep, one of my favorite actresses, is amazing as Julia Child.

I’m lucky to be married to a guy who is so secure in his maleness (though he doesn’t prefer pink) that he’ll willingly see chick flicks with me. After the movie, he admitted that he had had reservations about seeing it, but he loved it, too.

I do agree with the reviewers who have said that the Julia part is much more interesting than the Julie one. Julia Child was a fascinating personality, and I’m glad that Nora Ephron, who wrote and directed the movie, also used “My Life in France,” Child’s autobiography, as a basis for the film.

If you haven’t read Powell’s book, I do recommend it. Just be ready to do a lot of cringing!

“The Time Traveler’s Wife”

The time traveler (Eric Bana) and his wife (Rachel McAdams)

The time traveler (Eric Bana) and his wife (Rachel McAdams)

The “two thumbs sideways” is for “The Time Traveler’s Wife.” I haven’t read the book, and I found the movie to be a bit confusing. In the film, Chicago librarian Henry DeTamble (played by Eric Bana) has a genetic disorder that causes him to time travel, usually when he’s stressed. Putting up with all of that is a woman he’s known via time traveling since she was a little girl, artist Clare Abshire (Rachel McAdams).

It makes for an interesting story, especially to a “Lost” fan like myself. But what bothered me the most was the lack of chemistry between Bana and McAdams. I just didn’t believe the love story. The Mister agreed with me; we were disappointed. Well-acted but not a must see.

“17 Again”

Zac Efron struts his stuff.

Zac Efron struts his stuff.

Okay, no laughing! The Mister and I rented “17 Again” and really liked it. I did roll my eyes a little that Zac Efron, one of the stars of the “High School Musical” franchise, also played basketball in this movie. But I thought he did a great job as the young version of Matthew Perry, who got to be 17 once again with a chance to rewrite his life’s story. Rent it for some light humor.

Oh, and be glad that Julie Powell didn’t write the story . . . no f-bombs, thank goodness!

“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!

Tattoo Tuesday

 

The tattooed Thomas

The tattooed Thomas

As I wrote in yesterday’s blog, I never know what I might take photos of during the guys’ disc golf action. Believe me, I’m not always just snapping away at wildflowers and putting. For example, last week there also was the Mister’s doubles partner Thomas, who uses his body as his personal canvas. Personally, I don’t understand the need for tattoos, especially for those of us who have freckles. Aren’t those dots enough identification? Or look at his dimple. Couldn’t Thomas be satisfied with that particular uniqueness?

Thomas' leg

Thomas' leg

Apparently not. All of Thomas’ tattoos were so distracting that my Nikon D300 seemed almost drawn to them. He probably thought I was taking photos of him in action, while I was actually snapping pix of his body art. Just checking to make sure the old Nikon 105mm macro lens can close-focus on those tats, Thomas. Really, that’s all it is. See, here’s an action shot:

The tattoos in action

The tattoos in action

See? That proves I wasn’t obsessed with all those tattoos!!

"The Big Bang Theory" cast

"The Big Bang Theory" cast

The horror! The nightmare! Part I

Last night during a terrible downpour, we lost our power for about 30 minutes. Fortunately, we had already watched “The Big Bang Theory.” My thoughts returned to those horrible 26 hours without power in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike last September. Don’t want to go through that nightmare again! And then I had an even worse thought: What if the power had gone off during “Lost”? I know we can watch the episode on the computer, but I like experiencing the shows when they’re supposed to be on. I live in the moment, not an hour or two or 24 from now. Hope the weather is pristine tomorrow night!

The horror! The nightmare! Part II

Because of last night’s storms and subsequent flooding (but not where we live), our school district unwisely (in my humble opinion) closed all its schools. Which means that the little monsters darling angels are home ALL DAY distracting me. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a stay-at-home mom. It’s the best job in the world. But darn it, my time is my time! I look forward to that little piece of heaven I call being alone while they’re at school. Somebody owes me big time!

#1 son, #2 son, and the BFF

#1 son, #2 son, and the BFF

And then I look out my office window and see the scene above. I grab the D300 (with the Nikon 17-55mm lens attached) and run outside. The guys are filming a video to post on YouTube based on the #1 son’s alter ego, the honorable Dr. Judge M.D. (don’t ask). If the guys weren’t home from school, would I have gotten this sweet photo of the #2 son and his HUGE stuffed animal Jeffrey?

The #2 son and Jeffrey

The #2 son and Jeffrey

The #2 son actually smiling at the momarazzo? Love those unexpected days off from school!

“Lost” on Windsday

 

Miles and Hurley relax among the potted plants.

Miles and Hurley relax among the potted plants.

Last night’s “Lost” episode was a short, unwelcome hiatus from what has been an action-packed, edge-of-your-seat season. It was a recap show entitled “Lost: The Story of the Oceanic 6.” I suppose for viewers late to the game, the episode was helpful, but for the fanatics like our family, it was pretty boring. After awhile, the #2 son wandered off to play a video game, and the Mister drove to CVS to pick up a prescription. I think the #1 son and I stuck with it mainly because we wanted to have something to watch while eating dinner (God forbid we should ever make eye contact and actually talk!).

For me, the only new information gleaned from the recap was the confirmation that it was Charles Widmore who was behind the bogus Oceanic flight 815 that was found at the bottom of the ocean with a bunch of corpses in it. There had been some conjecture that it might have been the work of Benjamin Lie-nus.

Speaking of big, bad Ben, the episode reinforced for me how much the former leader of the Others really wanted to return to the island, even though he had told John Locke that whoever turned the wheel couldn’t return (gee, another lie, what a surprise). And he told the survivors that they needed to return to help those left behind. Ben knew he had to have as many of the Oceanic 6 (plus Locke) as possible to help him get back. Now we know he wanted to return in order to be judged for his “daughter” Alex’s death by the smoke monster. He didn’t care one bit about helping the Left Behinders; his top concern was himself, like usual. Everything he’s done has been for himself. Selfish SOB.

Some people believe that Ben is a good guy. That’s so hard for me to believe! He sure doesn’t act like one. If “Lost” was a western, I think both Ben and Widmore would be wearing black hats (with maybe the white-hatted Clint Eastwood riding in to save the day and the island; of course, by now Clint might be traveling via wheelchair).

The season finale is a mere three weeks away, and then we’ll have about eight months to fully digest the meaning of every nuance that we’ve seen so far until the final season in 2010. Which will coincide with the end of the #1 son’s high school career. I’m getting verklempt thinking of both events!

“Lost” in the greenery

A recent entry in Jorge Garcia’s blog, Dispatches From the Island, shows a photo of his character, Hurley, and Miles relaxing in front of a Dharma VW bus (pictured above). Garcia notes that most of the natural island flora is actually potted plants! 

1179-oof-flwrs

Where's the focus?

Lost discs due to wind = angry son

Yesterday I drove both sons to Imperial Park, which is mainly a wonderful softball complex but also has a nine-hole disc golf course complete with a practice basket. It was windy, which means it was magnified by 10 due to the park’s flatness. The boys started throwing at the practice basket, which is bordered by woods. I volunteered to go over by the woods to spot in case of errant tosses. Then I saw the wildflowers above. Y’all know how I feel about wildflowers by now, I’m sure. I happened to have my Canon point and shoot camera with me, so I thought I’d snap a quick picture. Unfortunately, it was too quick, because I heard shouting about discs flying into the woods. Not only did I miss my focus, but I also didn’t see where two discs landed. Which made the #2 son put the blame totally on me when we couldn’t find them. As if I had thrown them.

As a savvy, veteran mom, my answer to angry statements like, “It’s all your fault, Mom,” always is “So fire me!” Hasn’t happened yet!

Later on the boys lost two more discs. I told the boys that it was no surprise what had happened, because every Windsday is “Lost!” Somehow they didn’t appreciate the attempt at humor!

“Lost” By Miles

 

Miles, the dead communicator

Miles, the dead communicator

Last night’s “Lost” epsisode, “Some Like It (Star Wars) Hoth,” was very satisfying to those of us who have been wondering about Miles’ backstory ever since the guy who can communicate with the dead was first introduced last season. This is one strange dude—he can channel the dead, and he’s a mercenary who’s always willing to go to the highest bidder. This season “Lost” has been centering shows around one character to try to fill in the blanks that have been hounding us and driving us crazy. Last night it was Miles’ turn, and now we know a lot more about him.

Dr. Pierre Chang

Dr. Pierre Chang

Most of us who love to analyze “Lost” figured that Dr. Pierre Chang was Miles’ dad after they showed Chang on the island with a baby; we know that everything is interconnected when it comes to this show. Six degrees of separation? It’s more like one or two degrees. Both were Asian, just like Miles, who has no recollection of having been on the island. Last night’s episode not only confirmed that Chang is Miles’ dad, but Miles got to watch his dad and his very own baby self(!) when he played peeping Tom into the Changs’ house. Miles told Hurley that he figured out the connection after seeing his 1977 mom in the lunchline behind him.

We get to meet Miles’ mom off-island in the episode. She was renting an apartment for her and the young (maybe 7 or 8 years old) Miles (how did they get off the island?). She said Miles’ dad was out of the picture; years later she would tell a punked-out, pierced Miles that his dad had abandoned them and was long dead. The younger Miles was exploring the complex when he “heard” something from one of the apartments. He found the hidden key, unlocked the door, and found the resident lying on the floor dead. He tells his mom and the apartment manager that he found the man, because the man had talked to him.

Miles: “He’s still talking right now. . . . . I told you, I can hear him, I can hear him.”

Just like in the “Sixth Sense”: Miles can hear dead people . . . all the time!

Miles’ odd communication skills come in handy on the island when he has to transport a dead Dharma dude who had a hole in his head. He’s been told not to ask questions, but no one tells him not to get all the info he needs from the dead guy. He’s about to transport the body to Daddy Chang at the Orchid when chef Hurley interferes, needing a ride to the same place to deliver sandwiches. Hurley accidentally finds the body, and, when Miles nonchalantly tells Hurley what the guy had been thinking before he died, Hurley figures out Miles’ special gift.

Chef Hurley also can talk to the dead

Chef Hurley also can talk to the dead

Hurley: “You can talk to dead people. Don’t worry your secret’s safe with me, because I can talk with them, too.”

Remember that Hurley has seen the ghosts of some of those who have died, like Charlie. Miles doesn’t think that’s the same thing. He says that once someone’s dead, their brain ceases to function.

Hurley: “You’re just jealous my power’s better than yours.”

When Hurley and Miles talk to Daddy Chang, Hurley lets it slip that he knows about the body. Chang threatens him with a transfer to Hydra Island and a job as a polar bear pooper-scooper if he blabs. After Chang walks away, Hurley says to Miles, ” That dude is a total douche.”

Miles: “That douche is my dad.” Ouch!

During the episode we also see Naomi, who on the island is killed via a knife in the back courtesy of Locke, recruit Miles for the freighter trip to the island in which Widmore hopes to capture Ben Linus. Miles’ “audition” is a dead body from which he extracts information that the guy had purchase orders for Widmore for an old plane. Hmmm . . . so it was Widmore who put that plane filled with dead people at the bottom of the ocean and passed it off as Oceanic 815? The dots are always there; we just have to connect them somehow.

Before Miles leaves for the island, a group of guys led by Bram (Ilana’s sidekick on the island) kidnap Miles to try to talk him out of working for Widmore. Miles, of course, is ready to switch for more money, but Bram says this isn’t about cash. It’s about Miles working for the right, winning team (Ben’s?). He asks Miles the question that Ilana asked Lapidus last week:

“Do you know what lies in the shadow of the statue?”

Of course, Miles doesn’t know (too bad the statue wasn’t a dead body!). Bram tells him he’s not ready to go to the island, and he’s tossed out of the van.

What was that all about? More dots to connect, my friends, more dots to connect . . . eventually.

Some of the dots that we can connect have to do with father issues. Add Miles to the ever-growing list of Losties with severe daddy problems—Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Locke, Sun, Claire, and Hurley. But Hurley settled his differences.

Hurley: “I used to hate my dad, too. He left when I was 10. The best thing I ever did was give him a second chance. We got to be the best of friends.”

Miles: “My dad left when I was a baby. I never got to know him, and I don’t ever want to.”

Hurley: “Luke was that way, too.” Got to love that Star Wars talk! Maybe Chang eventually will say to Miles: “Miles, I am your father!”

Killer ending once again

Daniel Faraday

Daniel Faraday

“Lost” has had some great episode endings this season; last night’s was a true classic. Miles drives Chang to the pier to greet a sub carrying scientists from Ann Arbor, Michigan, which is the Dharma Initiative’s U.S. location. The minute we saw a lanky guy exiting the sub, we knew it would be . . . the long, lost Daniel Faraday!
Miles: “Dan!”

Faraday: “Hello, Miles. Long time no see.”

Daniel, where have ya been? We’ve missed you!

Next week’s episode is a catch-your-breath recap show, which will be good for my pal Steph, who says even her confusion is confused. Maybe we’ll get more connections instead of more dots. The 100th episode of “Lost” is in two weeks, and it looks like war is a-coming.

“Lost”: Dead Is NOT Dead!

 

Beaten-up Ben

Beaten-up Ben

Wowie-kazowie! Gotta love a big, bad Ben-centric episode. Michael Emerson is such a great actor. He definitely showed a range of acting chops in last night’s episode, from creepy to SOB to awkward to downright soft-hearted. Ben is proving to be a complex, contradictory character. He’s a cold-blooded killer, easily blasting poor Caesar into tomorrow, who has a soft spot for moms and kids. Maybe it’s because his own mother died giving birth to him.

The episode was called “Dead Is Dead,” which was Ben’s explanation to Sun about what an anomaly John Locke was for now seeming to be alive. The born-again Locke firmly is in power on the island, much to control-freak Ben’s chagrin. The episode flashed through time so much that we actually were grateful (yes, I said grateful) for the commercials, so we could catch our breath. There was a lot to take in, a lot to ponder. Along with many funny comments by the #1 son. Here’s the recap:

In the past, Charles Widmore, then leader of the Others, is mad at the ageless Richard Alpert for saving young Ben Linus’ life. Richard pulls out the old “Jacob wanted it done” chestnut.

The #1 son asked, “Is Jacob the island?” Will we ever know?

Widmore goes to young Ben’s bed to chat him up. “You should be dead, Benjamin. But this island, it saved your life.” Looks like the tables will be turned when it’s Locke’s turn to be “saved” by the island in the future.

After Ben awkwardly tries to act nice with then-alive Caesar, we flash back to Ben in his 20s with such an awful hairpiece that, as the #1 son notes, he looks like Hitler without a mustache. Widmore has given Ben a task: To kill Danielle Rousseau, the only scientist left alive from those who washed ashore. Ben brandishes a pistol . . . and a baby cries. It’s baby Alex! That stops Ben in his tracks. He steals Alex and warns Rousseau to always run in the opposite direction when she hears whispers. Ah, yes, the murderous whispers!

Back to the present: Locke and Ben talk about why Ben killed Locke, but all John is interested in is an apology. When Ben shoots Caesar, he says, “Consider that my apology.” Ben, a handwritten note would have been so much kinder. Locke and Ben row to the main island. “Home sweet home,” says Ben. Ben tells Locke that he’s returned to the island to be judged by the smoke monster. Locke tells him that he’s really back to be judged for Alex’s death at the hands of Keamy, one of Widmore’s operatives.

Ben returns to the Others’ camp with the baby. Of course, Widmore is ticked off that Ben didn’t kill Rousseau or Alex. He’s such a grouch!

Back to the future: Ben and Locke run into Sun and Frank Lapidus, who are in Alex’s room in Ben’s house in desolate New Otherton. Lapidus leaves to return to the other survivors and the downed plane, while Sun goes with Ben and Locke to find Smokey.  

But first back to the past! An older Widmore is being escorted off the island to be whisked away via sub. Ben told him that he’s being banished, because he broke the rules—he kept leaving the island, and he fathered a child (no doubt Penny) with an outsider. Widmore, of course, is ticked off; no news flash there.

Widmore to Ben: “I’ll be seeing you, boy.”

And now the off-island future: Ben is calling Widmore via cell phone from a dock to let him know he’s about to pay Widmore back for having Alex killed. Yes, we see Penny on her and Desmond’s boat. We go back to Locke, Sun, and Ben in the past as they approach the temple where Smokey lives. An aside: They’re showing a temple on the first night of Passover. How appropriate!

Ben: “Sun, if you ever get off this island, find Desmond Hume and tell him I’m sorry.”

It was at that point I started hyperventilating a little. Did that SOB actually kill Penny? I don’t want Desmond’s true love, his constant, little Charlie’s mom to die! I was fixin’ to be sooo mad.

 

Ben shoots Desmond right in the old grocery bag!

Ben shoots Desmond right in the old grocery bag!

Then we flash back, and Ben shoots Desmond, who, fortunately, is holding a bag of groceries in front of him. Groceries that obviously include that bullet-stopping carton of milk. He then takes aim at Penny.

Ben: “Your father is a terrible human being.”

Ah, Ben, ever hear of the pot calling the kettle black? Your résumé ain’t exactly spotless.

Ben is about to shoot Penny, but he hesitates when little Charlie appears. That soft-hearted moment costs him, as Desmond jumps on him, beats the snot out of him, and tosses him into the water. Ben is a bloody mess, as he so often has been. That explains why he looked so bad on the flight back to the island.

Back to Ben and Locke in the temple. Ben admits to Locke that he was right, that he has returned to be judged for Alex’s death. Alone in the smoke chamber, Ben is surrounded by Smokey as pictures of Ben’s past with Alex intermingle with what the #1 son is sure is a cumulus cloud. Ben gets to hear himself say those awful, chilling words when Keamy had a gun to Alex’s head: “She’s not my daughter. She means nothing to me. So if you want to kill her, go ahead.” That look on Alex’s face when she’s “betrayed” by her father (who really thinks Widmore wouldn’t have Alex killed; he thought Keamy was bluffing); it’s heartbreaking.

 

Ghost Alex appears to Ben.

Ghost Alex appears to Ben.

And then . . . heeeeerrrreee’s, Alex! Yes, Ghost Alex appears to rough up dear, old dad. She tells him she knows he plans to really kill Locke and that he’s to follow every order Locke utters. The ultimate horrible consequence for someone who lives to be in control.

When Ben gets out of the chamber, Locke asks, “What happened?”

Ben, seeming incredulous: “It let me live.”

Yes, Ben gets to live to be a follower. Chilling stuff, my friends.

Harold Perrineau

Harold Perrineau

It’s not unusual

After “Lost,” we watched the premiere of “The Unusuals,” a crime thriller where all the NYPD officers have secrets. One of those cops is Harold Perrineau, who played Michael on “Lost.” It’s nice to see him in a different role. Amber Tamblyn, one of my favorite young actresses, also is part of the cast.

We enjoyed the show. The #1 son especially liked that we were watching the first-ever episode; we had to catch up with two seasons of “Lost” on dvd once we got hooked. We’re actually ahead of the game for a change!

Miles and Hurley Are “Lost,” Too

 

Miles (left) and Hurley debate time travel as they play dominos.

Miles (left) and Hurley debate time travel as they play dominos.

In last night’s episode of “Lost,” one of my favorite parts was when Miles and Hurley debated time travel. Hurley equated it to “Back to the Future,” a great movie reference, and even managed to confuse Miles. It really made me long for Daniel Faraday to return and explain it in simple terms for those of us who have been confused all season. Where’s that “Time Travel for Dummies” book when you really need it?

Hurley: “If little Ben dies, we don’t exist.”

Miles: “You can’t change anything. We just never experienced how it all turned out.”

Hurley: “That was really confusing.”

Miles: “Well, get used to it.”

Yep!

kate

A very pensive Kate

The show harkened back to the way it used to weave its tales, often concentrating on one character at a time. Kate was on center stage, as we found out her reason for returning to the island: To find Claire. Kate has raised Aaron, Claire’s baby, taking care of him ever since Claire abruptly disappeared in the jungle. It was painfully obvious how much Kate loves Aaron; I think it was a real sacrifice for her to temporarily (perhaps?) give him up to Claire’s mother, Carole Littleton, while she tries to find out what happened to Claire. I think every mother watching last night’s show felt a pang in her heart when Kate was saying her final goodbye to Aaron. Kate showed so much courage!

I think Kate knows that she wasn’t meant to raise Aaron. As she said to Cassidy, Sawyer’s former love interest who is the mother of his daughter, Clementine:

Kate (talking about Aaron getting lost in a grocery store; Kate finally found him holding hands with a blonde woman who from the back looked eerily like Claire): “The crazy thing is that as scared as I was, I wasn’t surprised. All I could think was it was about time. Why did I think he would be taken?”

Cassidy: “Because you took him, Kate.”

Kate: “Claire was gone. I couldn’t leave him alone.” 

Cassidy (playing pop psychologist): “You needed him. Sawyer broke your heart. How else could you fix it?”

Station break: This was the exchange between my sons as they watched the Kate-Cassidy scene—

#2 son: “It’s karma.”

#1 son: “No, it’s Dharma.”

And who says we don’t interact as a family when we watch TV? Oh, and here was #1 son’s reaction to hearing that Sawyer’s daughter is named “Clementine”: “Clementine is a horrible name.” Full disclosure: #1 eats at least three clementines a day; it’s his favorite fruit.

Jack would rather make sandwiches than save Ben's life.

Jack would rather make sandwiches than save Ben's life.

Back to the action . . . . Juliet tries to save young Ben’s life, but, as she tells Sawyer, they need a surgeon or Ben will die. Hmmm, a surgeon. Wonder who that could be:

Kate: “He’s just a boy, Jack. You can’t let him die.”

Jack: “I’ve already done this once. I’ve already saved Benjamin Linus, and I did it for you, Kate. I don’t need to do it again.”

Don’t forget that Jack removed a tumor from Ben’s spinal column, saving his life. Kate persuaded Jack to perform the surgery in order to save Sawyer, who was going to be killed. Minor tangent: What if the bullet from Sayid’s gun (well, actually Jin’s gun) caused the tumor that Jack eventually eliminated (there was no visible exit wound on young Ben)? Six degrees of separation, my friends; everything is related.

In the future, Juliet will come to hate Ben Linus.

In the future, Juliet will come to hate Ben Linus.

Juliet decides that only the Others possibly can save young Ben’s life. Kate drives the VW bus with the weakening boy towards the sonic fence. Sawyer pulls up, says he’s doing all this for Juliet, who doesn’t want to see the kid die, and turns off the fence. Sawyer carries Ben to Hostile territory and finally to the ever-youthful Eyeliner Guy, Richard Alpert. Did this set in motion events that would end with the purge of the Dharma Initiative? Did Sawyer, Kate, and Juliet seal the DI’s fate by trying to save Benjamin Linus? And what if Jack had worked his surgical magic on young Ben? How would that have altered the timeline? Makes my head hurt just thinking about it!

Richard: “If I take him, he’s not ever going to be the same again. He’ll forget this ever happened, and his innocence will be gone. He will always be one of us. Do you still want me to take him?”  (The truth is nasty; Ben’s soul will be sucked out of his body.)

Kate: “Yes.”

Other Guy: “You shouldn’t do this without asking Ellie [Eloise Hawking, the future mother of Faraday]. If Charles [Widmore] finds out . . . .”

Richard: “Let him find out. I don’t answer to either of them.”

Richard walks off carrying Ben. Are they going to see Smokey? It’s the temple! In they go!! How Ben will come out could decide the fate of the DI, everyone on the island, and the island itself.

Cut to a current scene of Ben on the island in an infirmary bed with Locke staring at him. He’s giving him the Evil Eye.

“Hello, Ben. Welcome back to the land of the living.” And that little Locke evil half-smile. Oh, the irony!

The look on Ben’s face . . . priceless!

The Mister: “It’s weird to see Ben surprised.”

Yes, it is. But it isn’t odd to see all of us dazed and confused. Always, always there are so many questions! Will there ever be only answers? Not this week or the next or the next, I’m sure.

Whew! As always, can’t wait until the next episode!