Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Talk to the Flocke: Reactions to the "Lost" Episode "Sundown"

AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now THAT'S what I'm TALKING ABOUT! Fan-flippin-tastic episode. Absolute "Lost" nirvana (or should I say nerdvana) for me. My cousin, James, said that if Claire had killed Kate, the episode would have been perfect. I would reverse that and then agree. If the episode had ended with Kate going "whoa, you a crazy bitch now" and shanked frizzy-hair right between her oddly spaced eyes, I'd still be in bed weeping tears of joy. Instead, I am only shouting with exuberant pleasure! I know that the show is not known for its fight sequences or full-on action moments but you can't say this episode was boring when it started with a crazy samurai-versus-assassin fight and ended with the angel of death destroying a holy temple. For every quiet moment of contemplation (like Jack staring out at the ocean) we need a hellfire and brimstone dismembering bonanza. This was just great, great, great.

Let's break it down.

Things I liked

Oy, where to start?!
  • Sayid ain't just naughty: After weeks and weeks of predicting it, we get the Sayid body count we're meant to have. I tallied 5 corpses courtesy of Jarrah this week (3 in the flash sideways, 2 in the island time). I loved how you knew that Sayid was about to start killin' fools even when surrounded by hired muscle and the toothy Keamy (seriously, that dude has extra teeth, right?). So great.
  • Dogen revealed: I didn't need some big, long backstory about a character introduced to me in season 6. Nor did I need him to be a total mystery. We found out that he's (A) not super old but a regular dude, (B) killed his son and wanted to save him (more daddy issues, oy), (C) a key player for Jacob, proving that you don't HAVE to be a candidate to matter to Jake, and (D) dead. I like it.
  • Joining up: Finally, Kate meets Claire. Yeah, I said it. I don't LIKE the storyline, so I want it to be OVER. It looks like we're on our way to that. Down in my "answers" section below, we'll address what I think is the answer to one of our biggest Claire mysteries. That's called foreshadowing.
  • Naveen Andrews is the ballz: Seriously, that dude is such an incredibly talented actor that it kind of pisses me off that they didn't use him more often. Plus...dude when he got that evil look on his face at the end.... HE CREEPED BEN LINUS OUT. That's not easy to do. He has this ability to look totally bad ass but also totally evil. I love it, I love it, I love it. I hope this isn't the last we really follow him, I hope he's now the Darth Vader to Flocke's Emperor.
  • The little touches: I like the way this episode fit with the last one. Jacob got his two most important players, Hurley and Jack, the eff out of the temple at that point for a reason. He KNEW things were going to go south. I like how the secret passageway came back. I like that Miles exists to basically bridge the gap for the audience. He's a walking, talking plot device but written with such charm I don't mind. I liked Terry O'Quinn's increasingly obvious Emmy win. Dude, when Flocke pulled that knife out of him and said "Now what did you go and do that for?" I nearly pooped. It was so awesome. I could go on and on and on. Let's just assume I loved everything.
Things I didn't like

Really not many.
  • No Sawyer and Jin: I really want everyone to encounter each other. This delayed Sun/Jin thing is killing me.
  • Dogen's magic?: I didn't like that "Dogen was the only one keeping him out." I thought the ASH was the only thing keeping him out? Why not have Sayid just kick the ash apart and watch as hell breaks loose? Weird.
  • Extraneous characters: Ilana and Lupidus are not needed. Miles works as a narrative bridge to explain what's going on, but Lupidus does nothing and I don't really like Ilana.
Those are minor complaints. I really had almost none. Oh, wait, one more.
  • Claire didn't die.
Okay, now I'm done.

Answers

Not too many, but a few key ones I think.
  • He will appear as someone who has died: It seems obvious to us now, but that fact was never a fact. Smokey can only appear as a dead person. That's going to be key I think.
  • Claire's kid: Okay, I know we badly want Aaron to have meaning. I know we want him to be the reincarnation of Jacob or the key to the future on the island. I don't think so. I think last night's language told us all we need to know about why Claire's kid "couldn't be raised by another." The psychic suggested some giant evil would be unleashed if the kid was "raised by another." He was. He was raised by Kate, she SPECIFICALLY used that language last night. Kate said "I raised him." Okay, so, we've all assumed that the kid would turn out evil or that the kid would create something bad. Nope. Turns out that Kate raising Aaron was what turned Claire nutty, which is what Flocke needed to gain access to the temple. Claire helping Flocke BECAUSE her son was raised by another IS how Aaron helped to create evil in the world. It was the thing that allowed an entry point for the MiB into Claire's mind. I really think this is a big question totally answered, so don't be surprised if they don't come back to it again. It works for me, I don't need more Claire. Ever.
  • Sayid's alliance: Sayid is evil. We know that now for sure.
  • Dogen's age: We know he's a regular dude for the most part.
  • Flocke is evil: Do we REALLY need to debate this any more? Seriously.
That's it for "definitive" answers unless I missed something.

Reflections

This episode was everything I love about the show. Great stuff.
  • What will Kate do?: I still hold that she's going to die in order to somehow save the island and that Jack has to let her or actually kill her. Now that she's with the bad folk, I think the chances of that are increased. She's clearly going to play some kind of a role, but my guess is she'll probably be used to get Jin back to Sun while Sawyer does some kind of distraction.
  • Flash sideways madness: Okay, for the longest time, I thought that the flash sideways were showing us the "better" versions of our characters. Each time, the character in the "alternate" world had addressed their weakness. Kate didn't run, she went back for Claire (although, ugh). Locke didn't hold on to miracles and argue about "what he could do." He accepted his fate and limitations. Jack didn't carry on his daddy issues, he loved his son harder. Then came Sayid. At first, he fit the pattern. He didn't go after Omar's tormentor, he went home and took care of the kids for Nadia like he said he would. Then came the Keamy scene. Well, shit. There goes that theory...or does it? Sayid's flaw ISN'T violence, it isn't even the evil that he embraced in the island time. His flaw is that he can't forgive himself for his sins. There's still a chance that he's a different person, that he will come to grips with the fact that he does bad things for good reasons. I don't know that he WILL, but he might. We know that the storyline has to continue anyway, he just found Jin.
I can't say enough good things about the balance between action and advancing the plot that just happened. I give it a solid A, and it may be the best episode this season so far. Next episode is just destined to be a "walking through the jungle with different groups" episode, but it's also a Ben Linus-centric one, potentially the last of its kind. Ben episodes just can't be bad because he's such a good actor. I'm sure I'm missing some important elements or thoughts about last night's show, but I want to just roll around in its goodness. I said that it was the hinge episode, the one that would determine the trajectory of the show. Well, consider me impressed. What say you all?

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