Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Talk to the Flocke: Reactions to the "Lost" episode "The Lighthouse"

If last week's episode was a fillet mignon served with $100-a-glass wine and a desert made of pure gold, this week's episode of "Lost" was a damn fine hamburger served with greasy fries. It was satisfying, but not "oh my God you HAVE to TRY THIS" satisfying. That's grown on me. It's grown on me quite a bit. I think what we had here was a good character-based episode that served the important purpose of reminding us that Jack, not Ben or Locke, but Jack, not Sawyer or Kate, but JACK is the hero of this show. I know everybody wants to spin it to be somebody else, but they are supporting players (cool-ass supporting players, but supporting players) to the lead of the show. Jack's journey is a good one, full of flaws and missteps and good intentions. He's the hero of this show. He "has some work to do." Also, the episode gets mad bonus points for a few mythology notes. Enough preamble, let's do this yo.

Things I liked
  • Jack's flash sideways: Yeah, I liked that he had a kid. I liked that HE was the one working through creating the daddy issues. Sure, when he was involved with raising Aaron, some of those things came up, but back then he was troubled more by the whole "this is my sister's kid" thing. I liked that we saw him trying to break the cycle. Also, the Dogen appearance was crazy. Does that mean that Dogen ISN'T really old like he said? Or is he somehow appearing in the flash sideways as an agent of Jacob still? He sure did seem to know SOMETHING.
  • The Lighthouse: Yeah, I know it SOUNDS like horseshit that we hadn't seen the lighthouse on the island before, but we're dealing with quasi-immortal beings who can turn into smoke. I'm guessing they could hide a lighthouse with some kind of trickery if they wanted to. Anyway, the gears were totally reminiscent of the frozen donkey wheel, which is cool because it keeps that nerdy cohesion between the designs. Also, seriously, how cool is it that we know now how they spy on people off the island. Sure, it doesn't make a lot of scientific sense (although I'm guessing we're going to get some vague "quantum mechanics" explanation at some point for it), but it was totally cool. More on this in the answers section below.
  • Hurley's transformation: I LOOOOVED the conversation between him and Jacob. The open and honest way he explained that he would keep doing what Jacob wanted provided he stopped effing with his emotions. Perfect. I also really liked the way in which he's stopped fighting against the weirdness around him. No more panic, just going with it. What else are you going to do at this point.
  • Claire's squirrel baby: The best thing involving Claire in 6 seasons. Also, props to Cameron (my friend) for dubbing it the "faby."
  • Adam and Eve: My favorite mini-mystery is back! Hurley's theory about who the skeletons were cracked me up because that's been an idea for a long, long time. That said, I like that they called attention to them again. That's important in my book. Thanks for not dropping that one, guys!
Things I didn't like
  • Claire: Claire sucks. Claire sucks bad. Claire is the worst actress in the history of television. From her ridiculous line delivery to the fact that she can't even swing an axe believably, I detest her. I find her "madness" confusing and nonsensical. Worst of all, I don't even care about it. I like that Flocke is building his army, I don't care that Claire is one of them. Let's move on. Although, one quick issue: Her connection to Flocke AND Christian is disorienting. I have long thought Christian was a good guy, but now that we see Claire hanging out with Flocke after hanging out with Christian before she disappeared...I'm no longer sure. Oh, mind you, I don't care about Claire's involvement in this, I just care about Christian.
  • The pacing: I want them to pick up the pace a bit in the flash sideways. We only get half an episode for one season to really invest in what's going on in this entirely different world. Give us more of it. Don't make us guess whether or not Jack's ex-wife and baby momma is important, show us who she is. Don't send him on a boring car ride around looking for his son, have him come home and instantly find a note or something that suggests where he went. Get where you're going faster in that world, show writers. So far, that half of each episode is too full of lazy writing. Don't tell me it's that I'm too amped up and want more mythological answers. I do, for sure, but I want the flash sideways to not dawdle because they don't have time to make us care. Make us care faster by moving faster through what's going on.
  • The editing: So Kate shows up and then just leaves? Hi Sayid! Bye Sayid? It was kind of all over the place. Again, my biggest problem this year is that they seem to be writing poor structurally. They need to think about framing their episodes a little better.
  • Christian's body: So, they had a funeral...did they have the body? If not, why worry about the will THAT YOU COULDN'T FIND WHEN IT WAS SITTING ON THE SHELF and not about the missing body. If it did get returned for the funeral, where was it? Things that could be explored instead of watching Jack drive around from place to place.
  • I see you: Well, there's only one real answer, but it's a big one. They've been spying on these people from the beginning and it's been through the lighthouse. Cool. The question then becomes, have these people been manipulated or watched? Intriguing.
  • Jack is important: I liked this reveal. Not that it was shocking or an "answer" per se, but we know now for sure that he is the central figure in Jacob's plan. I think there's no question that this show is going to require a redemptive sacrifice from Jack. My bet is, it's NOT going to involve him sacrificing himself, which he is more than willing to do, but allowing something bad to happen in front of him for the greater good. Also, I think he's the new Jacob. I do. I know it's "obvious" and not as fun as thinking of Hurley or JeYeon or whatever, but this is just fine for me. I buy it.
  • Kate: Austen is number 51 on the wheel. It's becoming increasingly obvious she isn't a candidate at all. So, why is she important? My guess is that she's involved in the sacrifice that Jack has to make.

To me the reason why this episode has grown on me is the significance of the lighthouse and "Alice in Wonderland" and the sparkles of "does Jack remember" in the flash sideways.
  • Lighthouse: The theme of the show is clearly free will versus fate, but never before have we seen it like this. They could well have manipulated them since childhood, or the Man in Black and Jacob could have just been watching. Really interesting. Also, the fact that 108 keeps getting brought up leads to an interesting idea. If 108 is the sum of all the numbers, then why do we assume that only one candidate is needed? What if this is a group effort?
  • Alice in Wonderland: Jack's stories have always echoed through this "looking glass" lens, going back to the white rabbit episode and references and his following his white shoe-wearing father through the jungle. I like this. I also like that Flocke is kind of the Jabberwocky. It's cool.
  • Sideways: This is the crux of the show. I think we're getting the post-show during the show, if that makes sense. I think there's every chance that the season ends with them getting to enter the flash sideways world, making what we see happening the epilogue, the "what happens next" stuff. That's cool, but you have to make us care more about it. The pace is too deliberate right now and the questions are too frequent. I like the idea, I just want better execution. That said, I loved the appendix scene and the Claire reference.
Overall, I give the episode a B. I liked it, but I didn't love it. I need more of Christian, who is just not being mentioned enough. I need the final pieces to come together. When Jacob tells Hurley that they can't get back in time, that better mean that next episode the SHIT GOES DOWN. They walked to the lighthouse in half a day, if they can't get back to the temple "in time to warn them" we'd better see craziness next episode. This laid some groundwork, but next episode, let's see some craziness go down. What say you, my fellow "Losties?"

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oooh, I love your theory about Kate (#51)! BTW, did you see Rousseau's name on there, too? And I also loved the appendix scene- those little flashes of memory/recognition are awesome!

February 24, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I completely agree with you on the "lighthouse" be a damn fine hamburger served with greasy fries. Its hard to be the next episode in line after a Flocke/Locke centric episode, but it was a solid episode.

The Lighthouse was cool and finding out that not everyone that has crashed on the island might be important (Kate #51 or Rousseau). Or at least the idea that maybe Jacob was important but finally realized that # 4,8,15,16,23,42 was the important people.

Personally, I'm not a big Jack fan. He frustrate me because of the decisions he makes at times. However, this is a biased opinion and I'm a viewer looking at the bigger picture while Matt Fox's character is just a puzzle piece of it so I understand why he makes decisions.

I complete agree with everything you have said and love your previous posts about LOST. I do think, though, you are being a little harsh on Claire. I might agree that she is not the best actress on the show ( or the history of television) and her ability to swing an ax is something to be desired, but I think we have just touched the surface on her and the roles she plays in the endgame. You can't just remove a character for an entire season and not have some important part in the end. I understand that you want more Christian (as do I). Subsequently, Claire is another link to this storyline. You can not tell it anymore without her.

For example: Now, with Claire being on side of the fence and Jack being on the otherside, you've got the battle of the siblings. Could Christian's offsprings be in the fight for the island? Could Jack have to make a decision based on her? Or maybe even between Kate and Claire? I believe we'll see more Christian as well. I don't know in what form or which timeline, but he'll be there.

Sidenote: I wouldn't be surprise if island Christian was the man in black. He knew he could convince Claire to do certain thing if he was in that form. Also, it was the first dead body on the island that meant anything to any of the castaways. How do you convince some to join your army? Transform into their father. Jack is too mentally strong to believe in something like that yet, but maybe the lighthouse was another stepping stone in him becoming a man of faith/believing his destiny. (Just random ideas)

Darlton have laid a beautiful floor plan for this show and I think we should give the time and patience to tell it. Don't count her out yet (even if she is a bad actress)! Also, I think it was beautiful to see Flocke pop out of nowhere when Jin tells Claire that he will take her to the temple.

Well, I'm ranting and I'm in class commenting on this when I should be paying attention. So, I hope my reply make sense. I love this blog! It always gets me thinking and look forward to hearing what else you have to say.

February 25, 2010  
Blogger Ryan said...

First off, thanks for the props. Nothing, not one single thing, makes me feel better than hearing something nice about this blog. For realz.

Okay, I agree with you Jack is frustrating, but that's also by design. He is, in my opinion, one of the best flawed heroes ever. We've gotten to know him so well that we KNOW when he's about to do something dumb. He's irritating because he's not your typical perfect hero and I love that.

Okay, I grant you that Claire now must exist, but I still hate her. I don't really see what she's going to add to the story, she's a subplot at best. A subplot that I grant you will and should be solved, but hopefully quickly. I hope we get an explanation that lasts 2 minutes as a bullet flies through her head (the character, not the actress, I don't hate her acting that much).

As for the siblings on opposite sides, I don't know that I care...what I mean is, yes it's thematically kind of cool, but the characters (A) didn't know they were bro and sis for a LONG time (Claire still doesn't know) and (B) are being manipulated so it isn't like there's animosity. I don't know.

Here's the problem with Christian being MiB. Ilana said that the MiB was trapped as Flocke now, right? Well, we've seen Christian appear on the island to Sun and Lupidus while Flocke was still running around on the island. Thus, it would seem tough for Christian to be the MiB. Also, I hasten to point out, we haven't seen Christian since Jacob got whacked. I'm still going with the Jacob-Christian tie I think.

I can't wait for next week when Locke shows up at the temple. I hear we get more on Dogen, which is exciting, and it's a Sayid flashsideways. So, you know a mother-trucker is FINALLY gettin' killed by the hand of Jarrah! Finally.

February 25, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree. Jack is the greatest anti-heroes ever. I also am aware that Jack is the center of the show, even though some of us like to believe that other people are. He was the beginning and he will be the end of the show. I just hate him, like you hate Claire. RIP John Locke. May your memory live in us all. Ha ha.


Okay, I'll give you the point involving she's probably a subplot at best. There is animosity though, just hidden. Kate and Jack took care of her baby when they left the island. Crazy Claire is not going to be too happy about Aaron being off the island even though she abandon him.

As for the man in black, I was just throwing out an idea. I don't full believe that is true. However, the rules might be that once jacob was killed, he stayed in that form permanently. You make a good point about Jacob-Christian tie. Maybe Jacob and the MIB was Christian at certain time.

Yeah. Flocke at the temple. Sayid going on a rampage. Dogen as the new B.A. since Pai Mei in Kill Bill. Sundown will be epic.

February 25, 2010  
Blogger Sara Carns said...

OK, I *think* I'm caught up... Eagerly awaiting blood and gore at temple. My husband and I caught the numbers=passengers thing, as well. I'm also starting to think that Hurley was right and the bodies in the cave-thing were the bodies of the original flight making everything a total mind-frack.
I've got my own pretty whacked-out theory of what might happen, but I think it's even too strange for here...
One thing I did notice though in the last episode, Jack's son was reading, "Annotated Alice." The character Alice was inspired by a real girl and her name was "Alice Liddel." We know Claire's last name is "Littleton." Also, Claire's mother's first name was "Carole" and the author of, "Alice in Wonderland" & "Through the Looking Glass" was Lewis Carol.

p.s. Loved the Squirel Baby

February 26, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Charles has never liked chili, Charles has never liked chili, Charles has never liked chili, ever in his life.

He's never liked Chili.

February 26, 2010  

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