Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Speaking to the Flocke - Reactions to Lost episode "LA X"

What do you think about this title for the reactions column? Man, do I think I'm clever sometimes. Oh, I did receive a fairly awesome suggestion for my weekly predictions "Sayid Kills Someone and Other 'Lost' Predictions," which I think I'm going to go with instead of "What I can't do," although if you check out the accuracy of my feeble predictions, it's pretty clear I can't do them (I'm a bigger failure than a certain buried-alive-spider-bitten duo).

You live, you learn, you evolve...which is why I'm not doing some painful blow-by-blow recap of each episode like I did last year (wow was that a chore...for something people already knew). You watched the show, right? I mean, if not, you wouldn't be reading this. So, this year, I'm going to ASSUME that you have seen it. YAY, SO I SAY UNTO THEE: this is going to be a "SPOILER HEAVY" zone (but only for things that have aired already, not for upcoming episodes because I'm not a douche).

To keep myself organized and to prevent myself from rambling, I'm going to split my reactions into five categories: Things I liked, things I didn't like, character stuff, answers, and reflections. This is a work in progress, but let's see how it plays out.

Things I liked
  • Jack's introduction on the plane: Matthew Fox is a good actor...seriously, I believe that. Within a few seconds, I was like "He's remembering!" without a single line of dialogue. That's rad. I also like that one of the first things we hear is Rose saying "You can let go." Yes, creators of "Lost," I know we CAN "let go," we just don't want to.
  • Sawyer's rage: As much as it melted my heart to see Juliet and Sawyer happy together, I generally prefer Sawyer as a big ole ball of pissed off. He's just a better character that way.
  • Hurley stepping up: For five seasons, he's been comic relief. I love the idea that the fat funny guy is the only one with a plan, the only one with the balls to say things the way they are.
  • Flocke as the villain: My friend Ben (at work, not the sociopath on the show) argues that we've had villains before, citing Ben Linus, Widmore, Keamy, etc. I disagree. Keamy was a bit player, Linus has always been selfish and a liar but never the evil mastermind, and Widmore may be a good guy for all we know. I love that Flocke is the full-on, psycho bad guy.
  • The side universe: I like it. I like it a lot. We'll get to this more in the general reactions section.
  • The action: Smokey flying around killing the Ajira people, the underwater shot of the island sunk, the awesome kung fu busted out by the crazy temple guy and Flocke. Loves it.
Things I didn't like
  • Juliet's alive!!! Oh, wait: Nothing was more stupid than bringing back a character you killed dramatically at the end of the last season just so you could kill her again in the first hour. We said goodbye last year. And don't argue that it was to allow Sawyer to get worked up (he could have been that way if she died like she did last year) and don't say she had to reveal through Miles that "it worked." There are a million other ways to reveal that than a cliched "I have to tell you something...I...I....DEAD." Stupid.
  • Sayid's dead!!! Oh, wait: If you believed that anything could kill Sayid, you're a fool. This is Sayid, motherf**kers. You could nuke his face. You could put a flesh eating bacteria in his soup. You could cover him in gasoline and have him run on the face of the sun. He wouldn't care. He's Sayid. Like taking a swim in some brown water will kill him. Please. I never doubted.
Really, that's it.

Character Stuff

The thing about this show is how much we've learned to love these characters. Here are my favorite character moments.
  • Jack - After 5 seasons of TERRIBLE, terrible ideas, Jack has finally realized he simply cannot do anything right. Ever. The look on his face when the leaders of the Temple told him to come with him was so heartbreaking. He wanted them to kick his ass. After Juliet's death and Sayid's apparent death, he just wanted to be punished. Sawyer was spot on when he said he would leave him alive to suffer. Oh, he will. He will. I still think this show could be called "Nobody Listen to Jack."
  • Kate - There's my little runaway. I like the bad ass Kate, not the whiny "which boy do I like more" Kate (because she likes ME more, duh). I like my Kate picking locks, kicking Marshals in the face, and holding people at gunpoint. That was nice to see again.
  • Sawyer - I like the rage-filled Sawyer as much as the rogue Sawyer. Really, I do.
There were a few more notes, but that's the big stuff for me.


We got a few.
  • The man in black IS smokey.
  • The temple exists and is run by the Others.
  • It was a message in an Ankh that was in Hurley's guitar case.
  • Jacob is definitively dead AND Hurley can talk to dead people.
  • The bomb explosion "worked," just not how they thought.
  • The loophole was simply that the man in black couldn't kill Jacob.
Not a ton, but some...I look forward to more shortly. I'd also love to point out that I was 1 for 5 last night with my predictions - Jack does seem to remember (as in the scene with Desmond). None of the others were even in the ballpark. I suck at that.


Okay, my favorite part.
  • I find it interesting that the point of the season seems to be (according to Lindelof and Cuse themselves) "which reality counts or is real." The side universe angle is fascinating. The obvious conclusion we're supposed to draw is reiterated by Flocke when he talked about how at least John Locke knew his life was better on the island. Aside from running for their lives, almost everyone's lives were better on the island. Charlie kicked his drug habit, Jack was celebrated as a hero and a leader, Kate wasn't on the run, Sawyer got his vengeance and learned to let go, Locke was no longer crippled, Rose had her cancer cured, Desmond and Penny were reunited, Sun and Jin found love again and had a baby, and so on. It's obvious that this is a metaphor for our lives. How many times do we sit there at night thinking "if I had it to do all over again, I would..." only to forget how many things we would sacrifice in doing so. This is why I love this show so dearly. A total home run of a theme for me.
  • As far as the mythology goes, I was excited to see the fountain of youth added to our list of mythological items. I was intrigued by Flocke stealing a part of the fabric to clean his knife (it seemed so deliberate!). I liked the crazy Asian leader of the temple and his "translator." I like that there seems to be an actual "war" coming, albeit between one entity and a group of people. Oh, and we found out that the Man in Black wants to "go home." Given the exchange between he and Richard...I have no idea what the Man in Black is anymore. Is his true form the crazy smoke monster? Also, can we finally agree that the whole "everything will be explained quasi-scientifically" thing is bullshit now? One last thought here, if you haven't seen Donnie Darko, look away: In that movie, Donnie is given powers because he is "the living dead," a guy who died in one universe but not another because of a change in the time stream. Could this be what gives people "special powers" (ie, Walt, Miles, Hurley) in the time stream in which they lived, because they died in the other? Just a thought. Oh, and then there's Jack's business card...
  • In terms of the quantum physics, consider the following: We had "the constant" and "the variable." I believe that what we have with Jack, Kate, Miles, Hurley, Jin, Sayid, and Sawyer are "the remainders." This is complicated, but...the plane crashes unless someone blows up the magnetic energy, but in order to blow up the magnetic energy, the plane has to crash so they can go back in time and blow it up. The people mentioned above are "the ghosts in the machine." They are "The Remainders," the unseen people who must be sacrificed in the system to keep things running. What if they're the "whisperers?" Again, just a thought.
That's enough for now, but I really encourage more discussion. I'd give the episode overall an A-, one of the 10 best on the show, but not in the top 5. What say you all?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you notice Sayid's weird voice when he woke up and asked "What happened?" Could he be "alive" but, like Locke, as someone else?? Jacob, perhaps?

February 03, 2010  
Blogger Ryan said...

Yes, I DID notice that. That seems to be a popular theory. But, I will say that Jacob's hesitation when he saw Sayid shot, the almost panic that he had, suggests that his dying and being reborn wasn't a part of the plan. I'm on the fence on this one. I tend to think that he's "different," but not Jacob reincarnated.

February 03, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Different" as in Ben being different? I wonder if we will ever get to know what happened with the whole young Ben shot by Sayid thing.

February 03, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous el Segundo said...

Here's my weighing in on the Sayid thing. Shot in the dark here(at Sayid's chest) The dude was like "whys it not clear" answer: Jake's Dead, so if its not clear what color is it? a murky opal? Nope, its dark remnant of say, a dark man? My guess(and its totally wrong, but let a man dream)Is that despite all this ash and fireworks, perhaps ol' MIB found his way into the temple through the newly controlled fountain and a newly controlled Sayid. That said, I would like to wet myslef for the most of us. A crazy killer Sayid?! On the Other Others' team?! just a guess, but it's the kind of guess that makes me fear for the fake made up people on my screen. Also, we now know Richard wasn't just on the black rock, he was a slave on the black rock. Ryan, question, is the lady that was in the temple(who we saw with the other survivors earlier only to be dragged away) also the stewardess? and why did she say "first plane with me" why not just "the plane" or the "most recent plane to have fallen" did I miss something? And yo, can we assume that maybe Ol' MIB is actaully the fallen angel himself? and the age old theory of this being some kind of purgatory may be true(at least for darky, btw not michael so not racist)I would like to close with a comment on Josh Holloway. Hate him. Hate Saywer. Like the part, but as a performer on a brilliant show, he is a waste of screen time and nowadays he's not even getting any good lines, Rewatch that stupid in the hole scene, everything he says should just about make you want to off a writer. The only interesting thing about that scene or anything related to it was that Miles seemed shocked that he just "made it happen" and forealsies not like fakin peoples kids talkin to em for money(hopin' we see more Miles gettin in touch with his freaky side. If they do delve, bet they have him talk to his dad to answer some Dharma Q's) well that's enough. I only meant to type a bit, but its Lost garsh darnnit and I can't sleep because of it.

February 03, 2010  
Blogger Ryan said...

First off...interesting. Yet (A) what "newly controlled fountain?" (B) Are you saying that Sayid will be a crazy killer that HELPS Jack and the "Other Others?" (C) I assumed "the first plane" was said because Ajira airlines plane just crashed there. (D) I do think there's a chance you're on to something with "the fallen angel" aspect. (E) Yes, metaphorically, they are in "purgatory" that's just not the answer for the show (even though asshats still think it is). (F) You're wrong on Holloway. He's just often given shitty lines to say and do. Check out how incredibly different the Sawyer we know now is from the one that started, he's actually quite, quite good as an actor. That Juliet scene was just crap and it made him sound like crap. I'd actually say he's one of the better actors on the, Claire? Don't get me started. (G) I think Miles was shocked at what he heard. He's always known he CAN do what he claims to do (remember the thing with Danielle and Karl last season). I think he didn't know what to make of "it worked." Plus, I'll throw another one in Miles telling us the truth? Is that what Juliet said?

February 04, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous el segundo said...

I am gonna assume Miles knows what he's talking about; hence the shakey camera effects and such. I am saying that Sayid is now a bad guy, as in new Flocke, only Fsyaid just looks dumb and sounds dumber, dont try saying it out loud. I should have elaborated a bit on the fountain thing. What I meant was that maybe its not clear anymore because Jacob is dead therefore not "blassing" it and maybe it is actually reversed the effects and become a gateway for MIB to enter the temple despite ash borders. That said, MIB inside Sayid, crazy murderfest. I forgot about Ajira so thanks for that. Oh yes, we can all agree the only good thing about Claire was how pregnant she looked when she was sitting there with pregnant belly. Holloway is different becasue they've changed his lines. Witty Sawyer is good to go, I like nicknaming Sawyer, not upset and complaining and grunting looking over the shoulder Sawyer. The terrible thing is that the writers have to play to each actors strengths, so why is it that his dialogue is so weak? cause he is a weak actor. He sure can grow a dark beard though... can't be mad at that.

February 04, 2010  

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