Tuesday, September 4, 2007

LOST: Mystery of the Island Jigsaw Puzzle (The Others) Review

Get to know the Others better with this puzzle.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Changing Nights

According to the paper today, LOST will be airing on Thursdays next year instead of Wednesdays.  Makes sense, I suppose; no more competition with American Idol.  I don't know what the timing will be, though.  After Grey's Anatomy, maybe, and bump Men in Trees somewhere else?  Or will they want it earlier?  Anyway, works for me.  Of course, this means that it again starts on Dad's birthday.  And Dad is flying to Hawaii on his anniversary, and the anniversary of the crash of Flight 815.  Ah, connections... 
By the time we get to season four, Libbie, Dan and I will have re-watched the first three seasons together, despite the annoying lateness of seasons three's arrival.  What's in store for the fourth season?  I don't know.  I assume we're going to meet at least some of the people on that boat, and I don't think they're up to anything good.  I have a feeling we'll be seeing more of Penny in real-time.  And I suppose there will be plenty of flash forwards now, though I'm predicting it won't only be flash forwards.  Maybe they'll try to make it ambiguous so it'll be hard for us to figure out if it's in the past or the future.  That could be kinda fun...  But I'm not really so crazy about the flash forward thing.  I hated Jack's; soooo depressing.  And even if they aren't depressing, they're going to feel anti-climactic, or rather make the events on the island feel anti-climactic.  We'll see.  Beth says she isn't sure she trusts Damon, Carlton and the gang, and I know what she means, but I like to think they know what they're doing.  Or maybe I just hope... 
Mostly I've been really impressed with LOST, but the fact that it is such a morally and spiritually stimulating show makes certain actions seem all the more troubling, because there's a sense that the writers are condoning it.  That Eko's refusal to repent is laudable rather than regrettable.  That Sun shouldn't have thought twice about killing Colleen or felt a little remorse afterward.  That Desmond and Sayid were fools for letting Mikhail live when they had the chance to kill him and that Sawyer was completely justified in killing Tom even though he was unarmed and had surrendered.  Every time I think of instances like this I hear Gandalf and Dumbledore:  
"Pity? It was pity that stayed Bilbo's hand.  Many that live deserve death. Some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them, Frodo? Do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. Even the very wise cannot see all ends. My heart tells me that Gollum has some part to play yet, for good or ill before this is over. The pity of Bilbo may rule the fate of many."
"Pettigrew owes his life to you. You have sent Voldemort a deputy who is in your debt...When one wizard saves another wizard's life, it creates a certain bond between them... and I'm much mistaken if Voldemort wants his servant in the debt of Harry Potter...  This is magic at its deepest, its most impenetrable, Harry. But trust me... the time may come when you will be very glad you saved Pettigrew's life."
Smeagol and Peter.  So despicable and so important.  Love your enemies; do good to those who hate you.  When I started watching LOST, I hoped they were going to debunk the idea that the whole Lord of the Flies scenario is inevitable.  Sawyer's a jerk; Sayid was a torturer; Kate is a fugitive.  Just about all the castaways are damaged goods.  And on the path to redemption.  Damon and Carlton say the show is all about redemption, so I really don't think they're going to let 90 percent of the characters kill each other before the whole shebang is over.  And I don't really think they're saying blowing "bad guys" away indescriminately is the way to go, given the psychological toll such experiences have taken on the likes of Desmond, who killed someone by accident, and Hurley, who feels guilty about deaths that happen around him even though he's not responsible, to say nothing of Sayid, Eko, Sawyer and others who have so much conscious action to repent of.  I just hate it when they seem to backtrack.
I have a feeling that Ben is LOST's Darth Vader, or perhaps Snape.  That is to say, there's a lot more going on with him than we know, and a lot may hinge on where his loyalties lie in the eleventh hour.  I have a feeling that he'll be around until the end, and that he will come off as at least an anti-hero, perhaps spurred into action on behalf of the greater good by Alex or by Annie, who I'm sure we're going to find out more about.  If she isn't dead, she could potentially play a really crucial role.  Even if she is, her memory could.  And maybe he's had altruistic motives all along, though he sure has a twisted way of going about his business.  I think Ben is dangerous and probably psychotic; I don't think he's irredeemably evil, and I suspect he was telling Jack the truth in that last episode.
It's been a while since I've blogged about LOST.  I should get back in the groove, even without new episodes to write about.  Bottom line: I'm extremely excited about the fourth season.  I just hope it's not a relentless bloodbath.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The LOST Cast Expands

What I really should be doing is ignoring all of the LOST-related articles that come down the pike, but I probably won't.  This hiatus is terribly tedious; I need to liven it up with some news...  So there are five new actors who have been cast as recurring players, and I've never heard of any of them, and Damon and Carlton are so unwilling to divulge concrete details that I really don't feel as though I've gotten much of a spoiler at all, and that's good.  Just means, I guess, that I will find the newbies vaguely familiar when they pop up.  If I remember their faces in five months, which is a big if. 

She Wore the Ring He Left Her (She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, Traditional)

For my 50th LOST-related poem, yet another one about Charlie, this time to the tune of She Wore a Yellow Ribbon. Maybe this will get it out of my system...

She Wore The Ring He Left Her

'Round her neck, she wore the ring he left her,
An heirloom decorated with a "DS" on its face.
And if you asked her why the heck she wore it,
She'd tell you that she wore it to recall Charlie Pace.

Charlie Pace, Charlie Pace.
She wore it to remember Charlie Pace.
'Round her neck, she wore the ring he left her.
She'd tell you that she wore it to recall Charlie Pace.

Lavishly, she gobbled peanut butter.
She kept a dozen jars inside the cupboard just in case.
And if you asked her why the heck she ate it,
She'd tell you that she ate it to recall Charlie Pace.

Charlie Pace, Charlie Pace.
She ate it to remember Charlie Pace.
Lavishly, she gobbled peanut butter.
She'd tell you that she ate it to recall Charlie Pace.

Liam, Claire and Aaron got together.
He realized his brother hadn't left without a trace.
And if you asked him why the heck he met them,
He'd tell you that he met them to recall Charlie Pace.

Charlie Pace, Charlie Pace.
He met them to remember Charlie Pace.
Liam, Claire and Aaron got together.
He'd tell you that he met them to recall Charlie Pace.

Driveshaft soon released a stunning single
Once written by the partner Liam never could replace.
And if you asked him why the heck he made it,
He'd tell you that he made it to recall Charlie Pace.

Charlie Pace, Charlie Pace.
He made it to remember Charlie Pace.
Driveshaft soon released a stunning single.
He'd tell you that he made it to recall Charlie Pace.

Growing Aaron plucked upon guitar strings.
The instrument was awkward but he fingered it with grace.
And if you asked him why the heck he played it,
He'd tell you that he played it to recall Charlie Pace.

Charlie Pace, Charlie Pace.
He played it to remember Charlie Pace.
Growing Aaron plucked upon guitar strings.
He'd tell you that he played it to recall Charlie Pace.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

What a Disappointment...

I was browsing around imdb yesterday, and I decided to pop over to Dom's profile and see if he had any new projects coming down the pike that I hadn't gotten wind of yet.  He hadn't; it was still just I Sell the Dead, but at least that was something to look forward to, and I was encouraged by the 2007 date on it.  But a peek at one of the message boards unearthed two unsettling facts. 
1) The movie probably won't be coming out until mid-2008.  (And that's probably in England; who knows when it will get here?)  2) There was an implication that this was a horror movie.
"A horror movie?" I said aloud, puzzled.  Nathan reprimanded me for my naivete.  "It's called I Sell the Dead!" he said.  "What did you think it was going to be about?!"  I informed him that it was about a grave robber reflecting on his life of crime, and I saw no reason why horror had to come into it at all.  "He's a grave robber," Nathan pressed on.  "Shouldn't that tell you something?" No, I decided, it should not.  "It's about people who are already dead!" I argued.  "And not moving around!"
And then, in desperation to prove that someone on the message boards just didn't know what he was talking about, I browsed through the keywords.  The word "supernatural" gave me pause.  "Uh-oh," I said.  "This could be problematic."  Then I clicked for the extended list, and a moment later I let loose a wail of dismay.  "What?" asked Nathan.  But I couldn't answer, so struck with a sudden fit of hysterical, tear-inducing laughter I was rendered mute until I finally managed to gasp out "zombie violence". 
Oh, Dom.  Following in Billy's footsteps, are we?  Chucky?  Zombies?  Really, you're not being too kind to us squeamish fans.  Nonetheless, a screenful of zombies may be an appropriate price to pay for an hour and a half or so of Dom...

Leaving This Island (The Greening of Belfast, Michael Card)

Anyone who has read several of my LOST-related posts from the past three months will probably have the idea I'm a bit hung up on Charlie's death. It's been mentioned in half a dozen poems before this one, and I keep telling myself that's it, but then I wind up deciding there's still more to say...

This reflection, to the tune of Michael Card's The Greening of Belfast, finds Charlie alone, lost in thought as he strums his guitar a short time before he leaves with Desmond in Greatest Hits.

Leaving This Island

With the soft, soft sand
Shifting under my feet,
I retreat to the solace of song.
I must strive to shield
Little Aaron and Claire
From the terror that's loomed for so long.

Claire will be leaving this island.
I think I'm prepared now although it's unfair.
My love is leaving this island,
But when rescue comes, I wish I could be there.
When rescue comes, I wish I could be there.

It gives me chills
Looking on her face,
Aware that my life's almost done,
For my will to live
Tortures me as I stare
At those eyes that shine bright as the sun.

But I'll dry my tears
And I'll say my prayers
As I leave her behind on the shore,
And I'll rest in peace
Knowing I have released
The one I love most from this war.

Claire will be leaving this island.
I think I'm prepared now although it's unfair.
My love is leaving this island,
But when rescue comes, I wish I could be there.

When rescue comes, I wish I could be there,
But Claire will be leaving this island.

Greening of Belfast

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Why Did You Shoot Me? (Why Don't You Write Me?, Paul Simon)

I'd say John has a pretty good reason to be ticked off with Ben. Here's a little rant to the tune of Why Don't You Write Me?

Why Did You Shoot Me?

Why did you shoot me
Way deep in the jungle
Because I could hear him?
Why did you think that your power would shrink
With me near him?
Ben Linus,
Why did you shoot?

Ben, what went wrong?
Once I thought I was your buddy.
You double-crossed me, and now I am lost
And all bloody.

Tell me why! (Why, why?)
Tell me why! (Why, why?)

Why did you shoot me?
You tried to recruit me,
And I would have joined you.
Now there's no way
Since you're spurning fair play.
I'm annoyed by you,
Ben Linus...

Do you feel remorse for what you've done?
Sending your guys to kidnap Kate and Sun.
Making Michael kill those girls.
Taking Cooper for a ride
So I'd be a party to patricide.
Ben, you ought to be
Investing in some major psychotherapy.
Why did you shoot me?
Why did you shoot me?
Why did you shoot me?
Why did you shoot me?
Why did you shoot me?
Why did you shoot me?
Why did you shoot me?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Bear! (Hair, Galt MacDermot / James Rado / Gerome Ragni)

How many times have we seen a polar bear on LOST now? And how many polar bears has it actually been? Two? Three? One bear possessing eerie Mikhail-like indestructibility? That's the theory I have Sawyer posit in this silly parody of the Cowsills' Hair.


Sawyer: You asked me why.
Why? I don't wanna die.
That bear was in my sighty-sight sight.
He gave me a fright.
That bear has died, you know.
The tough task was mine;
I made him go!
He won't come back. He's dead.
Guess we'll be well fed!

Look! I just shot a bear.
Big, burly white bear.
Growlin', scowlin',
Furry, in a hurry.

Would have said, "Beware!" (Bear!)
If he'd been there longer. (Bear!)
Still, I have stopped trauma;
Why treat me like a baddie?

(Bear, bear, bear, bear, bear, bear!)
Shoot 'im, boot 'im,
'Long as I can mute 'im,
That bear.

Walt: I made a dash for the trees.
I am begging you, please
Be speedy in seizing that bear.
I'd get on my knees
And pray, but I'd better freeze
And skimp on words
And hope the birds
Make a clatter
That will shatter
The attention of that...

(Bear, bear, bear, bear, bear, bear!)
Stab 'im, jab 'im,
Just keep him from grabbin'!
That bear...

Sawyer: I want him long gone, not returning,
Musty, dusty, beaten, eaten.
Hope that he's forever severed.
Now his cage is sparking rages.
Think I'd better risk it,
Fishin' for his biscuit
Though he's bigger than a yeti
And his jaws and claws are like machetes.

Eko: Oh, say can you see his eyes?
If you can, then your life is short.

Sawyer: He's still here.
Don't know where.
Darn that bear! Darn that bear! I stopped him myself!
How can his paws keep runnin' when I stopped him myself?

Oh, why is a polar bear,
Non-tropical bear,
Even grievin' us? He should be leavin'.

How does a regular fella dare (Bear!)
Face a beast that's stronger? (Bear!)
That may be more drama
Than I would deal with gladly.
(Bear, bear, bear, bear, bear, bear!)
Shoot 'im, boot 'im,
'Long as I can mute 'im,
That... (bear, bear, bear, bear, bear, bear!)
Shoot 'im, boot 'im,
'Long as I can mute 'im,
That... (bear, bear, bear, bear, bear, bear, bear, bear, bear, bear, bear, bear, bear, bear, bear, bear, bear!)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

I'm Lost Without...

This past Christmas, I received a shirt that reads "I'M LOST WITHOUT CHARLIE". Turns out it was prophetic, since Charlie's run on the show actually ended with the conclusion of the third season. He's one of my four absolutely favorite characters. Luckily, the other three remain, but meanwhile other folks have been getting whacked left and right. It troubles me. Hence, this little rant...

I'm Lost Without...

I'm lost without Charlie, musician and hero.
I'm lost without Shannon and Boone.
I'm lost without Eko, whose death by Old Smokey
Seemed random and happened too soon.

I'm lost without gun-toting Ana Lucia.
I'm lost without Nikki the ditz.
I'm lost without Paolo, Joanna and Leslie,
Who got himself blown into bits.

I'm lost without Libby, collateral damage
And Hurley's best shot at romance.
I'm lost without dangerous Bonnie and Greta,
Who never had much of a chance.

I'm lost without Ryan, Colleen and Naomi.
I'm lost without Donald and Scott.
I'm lost without Roger and Kelvin, the putzes
Whose passing propelled the whole plot.

I'm lost without Danny, irascible hothead.
I'm lost without friendly foe Tom.
I'm lost without Goodwin, that overgrown boy scout.
I'm lost without vile Ethan Rom.

I'm lost without Edward, the dude with the shrapnel.
I'm lost without Cooper and Klugh.
I'm lost without Pilot-Whose-Name-Wasn't-Mentioned
And maybe without Mikhail too.

O Damon and Carlton, desist with the slaughter!
Have mercy! Consider the cost
Of killing each character I've come to love, lest
At last I am lost without LOST!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

I Never (El Condor Pasa, Traditional / Paul Simon)

Here's a silly little ditty about Sawyer and Kate's season-two game of "I Never" to the tune of Simon and Garfunkel's El Condor Pasa.

I Never

Sawyer: I've never gotten near a bridal veil.
No, not me.
You, maybe,
But never me.

Kate: I never was obsessed with ancient mail.
No, not me.
Sawyer, you may be,
But never me.

I'd play "I Never" here all day
And debunk this cocky hunk.

Sawyer: I'm in no hurry to be found
As long as Freckles is around.
Glad she's around.

Kate: I never blamed my problems on a boar.
No, not me.
You, maybe,
But never me.

Sawyer: I never ever fell in love before.
No, not me.
Until now, you see;
You've smitten me.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

My Younger Brother's Cross (Lover's Cross, Jim Croce)

One of my favorite episodes of LOST is The 23rd Psalm, which so tragically explores Eko's past. Here's a little reflection by him set in that episode to the tune of Jim Croce's Lover's Cross.

My Younger Brother's Cross

How I wish this had not happened!
Poor Yemi, killed for my crime.
In the plane that I envisioned,
I have found what I had feared to find,
For if it seemed that he might be a martyr,
I would never acknowledge the clue,
But, Charlie, since I see my younger brother's cross, I do.

I am sure this is confusing to you.
You stare; your eyes are wide.
Yemi risked his life on my behalf,
And it is my fault that he died.
I guess that he had the nerve of a martyr,
Possessing courage that I never knew.
Now, Charlie, since I see my younger brother's cross, I do.

Perhaps he will hear my yearning
And know I have pledged to change.
In pain, I continue learning
That this business of life is a dangerous game.

Charlie, you have helped me find my brother.
You have shown me to this spot,
So stand beside me as I cry,
Exposing my grief to God.
I suspected he might be a martyr before,
But I had to have proof it was true,
So, Charlie, since I see my younger brother's cross, I do.

(repeat bridge and chorus)

I Will Not Avenge Boone (Lasso the Moon, Billy Simon / Lowell Alexander)

Here's a refusal from Sayid to Shannon to kill John Locke, to the tune of the lullaby Lasso the Moon. Sayid comes across as pretty rough sometimes, but this is one of those instances that demonstrates the strength of his principles...

I Will Not Avenge Boone

If he were my step-brother,
Despair might turn my love
Into a blinding rage. However,
Think before the actions meant
To banish emptiness
Instead impair your soul forever.

Though Boone died,
That seems accidental to me.
His death was unfair, and yet
Killing John is too.
I will not avenge Boone for you.

Shannon, if John Locke were here,
He'd show you his remorse.
You would not doubt how much he's mourning.
Trust me when I say he's been
Agonizing most
Sincerely. I believe his story.

Though Boone died,
That seems accidental to me.
His death was unfair, and yet
Killing John is too.
I will not avenge Boone for you.

Lasso the Moon

Walkie Man (Rocket Man, Elton John / Bernie Taupin)

Here's a mid-season two rumination by that trusty Other, Tom, to the tune of Rocket Man. I don't think he ever was too keen on hurting anybody, but he sure was a loyal sidekick...

Walkie Man

Some say I'm not too bright. All right,
I'm no genius next to Ben,
But I'm glad I'm the guy he can trust again.
There's back-and-forth so much; there's so much strife.
So many in this place
Are quick to fuss and fight.

And I think it's gonna be a long, long time
Before I start to figure out the rhyme
And reason that's behind the things Ben does.
That's fine because
I'm the walkie man.
Walkie man,
Giving Ben the news in undertones. (repeat)

When I disguised my face and snatched that kid,
I played the part so well,
They don't know I care. They hate me. What I did
Is something even I don't understand;
I only listen when Ben speaks.
The walkie man, the walkie man.

And I think it's gonna be a long, long time
Before I start to figure out the rhyme
And reason that's behind the things Ben does.
That's fine because
I'm the walkie man.
Walkie man,
Giving Ben the news in undertones... (repeat)

And I think it's gonna be a long, long, time... (fade out)

Monday, August 6, 2007

Finding Vincent

One of the nice things about LOST is that just because a character dies, that's no guarantee we won't see them again. In fact, it's often a pretty good bet that we will. Shannon's been gone for almost two seasons now, but we've seen her since, and I wouldn't be too surprised if she pops up again before too long. Anyway, here's a little protest she launches against Sayid when he tries to stop her from going after Vincent early in the second season.

Finding Vincent

Nobody understands me
Except for that kid, Walt.
His dog is in my hands, see?
He's gone, and it's my fault.

I haven't been too useful
Since we first landed here.
I'm whiny and excuseful;
My purpose isn't clear.

Sayid, Boone died a hero.
I can't just sit around.
I'll feel like such a zero
If Vincent isn't found.

So please spare me your pity
And condescending speech.
I'm more than just a pretty
Girl tanning on a beach.

Come with me; I won't protest.
But you can't make me stay.
I'll certainly get no rest
While Vincent is away.

My mind's a mess of worry.
Why did he have to roam?
For Walt, I have to hurry.
It's time to bring him home.

Not Penny's Boat

This has been a bad summer for me when it comes to beloved fictional characters. Before J. K. Rowling ripped my heart out again and again with Deathly Hallows, I was assaulted by the carnage in the LOST finale, which included the demise of Charlie as Desmond watched helplessly. Here's a reflection by Desmond shortly after the tragic event...

Not Penny's Boat

NOT PENNY'S BOAT, he wrote
In black ink on his palm,
His face so strangely calm
As water filled that room.
I'd shown him to his doom
While someone pulled my strings;
His thoughts on noble things,
He'd played his final note.

I watched him gently bend
Like barley in the breeze
And crumpled to my knees,
Aghast at what I'd done.
Her name shone like the sun
Upon my eager eyes
But brought not smiles but sighs
As I grieved for my friend.

Oh, Des, you were a fool,
I mutter savagely
As in my mind I see
His steady gaze reach mine.
In destiny's design,
I was the perfect pawn.
Now Charlie Pace is gone;
I know that life is cruel.

It seems I've killed them all.
I only sought to save
And possibly to pave
The path that led to Pen.
We'll never meet again
Unless I break this curse
That haunts me like a hearse.
The chance of that is small.

The words catch in my throat
As I repeat them now,
In torment over how
To break the news to Claire.
My love awaits somewhere,
But no reunion rears.
I shudder as fate sneers,
It isn't Penny's boat.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Not-So-Clever Fox

A note about last year's pre-Possibly-Best-Episode-Ever Entertainment Weekly.  By which I mean Live Together, Die Alone, which I really need to blog about at length because it's so fantastic.  I'm glad I didn't read it before getting caught up, though, because they spilled Desmond's reappearance before it happened, and it was much more satisfying, I think, to be shocked. 
But anyway, I had to laugh at the end of the main article:
[Says Lindelof,] "... If [people] can't get answers to mysteries in real life, they most definitely want answers on their TV sets on Wednesday nights.  And they deserve them."
What those answers will be remains to be seen.  Fox, at least, is willing to say what one of them won't be.  "Nobody is going to wake up on this show and mysteriously end up somewhere else."  Promise?  "That's a promise."
Told of Fox's pledge, Lindelof betrays a mischievous smirk.  "Well, then," he says, "I guess we're going to have to do that."
Ha!  Shows what you know, Fox!  Ah, Flashes Before Your Eyes, how I love you...

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

John the Baptized

One of my all-time favorite John Locke moments on LOST comes very early on, when a large cloudburst catches him and he stands grinning up at the sky, the very epitome of joy. More than anyone we meet in season one, there's a sense that John is supposed to be on this island and that he has been healed so that he might fulfill some grand purpose there. Though this obsession with destiny has led John into some pretty dubious decisions, I still think there's something to it, and I love the feeling of rebirth encapsulated in this scene.

John the Baptized

The looming rain clouds open and spill their drops upon
The man whose face is turned up toward the sky.
The splendor of existence alights once more on John.
A miracle has touched him. Who knows why?

John doesn’t understand it, but, certain he is meant
For dauntless deeds and visceral delight,
He grins in exultation. He’s more than just content;
He’s vindicated, gratified and right.

His life is one of purpose, no matter what his boss
And savage, scheming father had to say.
Now, looking back, he wonders if he sustained the loss
Of movement for the glory of this day.

The blessed restoration has heightened every sense.
Oh, what exhilaration just to feel!
The water rolling off him takes with it every tense
Emotion, every ragged plea to heal.

A falling sunlit droplet becomes a tiny prism;
A rainbow, shimmering, comes into view,
The sealing of a promise that comes with this baptism,
That life abundant has begun anew.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Of Sacrificial Death and Life

Through the Looking Glass, the finale of LOST's third season, has really stuck with me this summer, and while I was contemplating what good could arise from Charlie's demise, it occurred to me that each of the seasons has essentially ended with a character laying down his life for the other castaways.

Boone's death came a little earlier in the first season, and while he failed in his aim of securing rescue with the plane's radio, his death sent John into a tail-spin of misery that ironically kept Desmond from killing himself, which might well have resulted in the deaths of everyone on the island. Granted, Jack could have saved Boone in the meantime, but it was the life-threatening degree of Boone's injuries that sent John off the deep end; I don't think he really had much chance of recovery.

At the end of season two, it certainly looked as though Desmond expected the hatch implosion to kill him, and common sense might dictate that it should have. But he survived, only to appoint himself Charlie's personal savior but ultimately lead him to his own sacrificial death. Now we're all scratching our heads and wondering whether there really was a point to it, but I suspect the positive ripples from Charlie's heroism will one day be as evident as Boone's, though quite possibly very different than anything he might have anticipated.

Desmond is the curious link between the two, another indication of the deep significance his character has for the progression of the show. In a sense, while Boone and Charlie are condemned to die, Desmond is compelled to live, plucked from the jaws of death every time it approaches, for which he's not likely to be too grateful while calamities follow him. Why him? There must be a method behind the madness...

Of Sacrificial Death and Life

The sanctity of sacrifice
Propels the island's grim events,
For death has taken heroes twice
And spared, for reasons yet unclear,
Another who, in brave defense
Of all, dispatched the dread device
Whose purpose John, bereft of sense,
Had doubted, making doom draw near.

'Twas John who led the youthful Boone,
Whose eagerness to make his mark
Encouraged him to stay and tune
The radio. Boone's fateful choice,
Embracing risk to snatch a spark
Of hope, cost him his life, but soon
The anguished John dispelled the dark
Despair of Desmond with his voice.

And hence, though Boone could never know
The consequences of his fall,
In causing Desmond to forego
His suicide, he did as much
As anyone to save them all.
Now Desmond, in the eerie glow
Of liquid light, has ceased to call
To Charlie, just beyond his touch.

His soul has left the fragile frame
That Desmond labored to protect,
The ending of a grievous game
Whose architect he can't forgive.
And yet someday in retrospect,
When wisdom takes the edge off blame,
He'll see how martyrs intersect
As catalysts so others live.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Humble Fisherman (House of the Rising Sun, Traditional)

Of all the flashback characters we've met in three seasons of LOST, I think my very favorite may be Mr. Kwon, the gentle fisherman who probably wasn't Jin's biological father but lovingly raised him anyway, apparently on his own. I liked him very much the first time I saw him and even more after his revelatory scene with Sun this season. Here's a little tribute to him to the tune of The Animals' The House of the Rising Sun.

The Humble Fisherman

There is a humble fisherman
Who Jin has hid from Sun,
But he raised up Jin as his own little boy.
Oh, what a saint to shun!

Jin's mother, the blackmailer,
Cast out her infant son
And left him in the gentle hands
Of the fisherman.

Now the only thing a peasant needs
Is some skill and spunk and brawn,
But he felt ashamed, so Jin denied
His ties to Mr. Kwon.

Oh, will he tell his children
What he long concealed from Sun,
That their grandpa still lives by the sea,
Working hard as a fisherman?

Jin believed he'd been a bad son;
Decrying his disdain,
He hugged the humble fisherman
Before he caught that plane.

Well, there is a humble fisherman
Who Jin has hid from Sun,
But he raised up Jin as his own little boy.
Oh, what a saint to shun!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Here's a tribute to Vincent, my favorite canine character on LOST. (Now that's a pretty safe assertion! Though I suppose he has some slight competition in Sun's pup...)


You fascinate me, Vincent, mysterious and mute.
The flashbacks are reserved for those who speak,
And so your past is shrouded. You're furry and you're cute,
But you refuse the insight that I seek.

You've wandered through the jungle. What have you seen and heard?
If you could share its secrets, would you tell?
Could you decode the whispers made not by beast or bird
But Others who we don't know very well?

First lost and then abandoned, did you let out a moan
To indicate you hate to be ignored?
Or did you like the freedom of being left alone,
Returning to the shore when you got bored?

Just like the plucky Samwise, you tailed the raft-bound Walt,
Who couldn't seem to shake his loyal friend,
But tides conspired against you. His fate was not your fault,
And you'll be reunited in the end.

Meanwhile, you, just as busy as any castaway,
Helped Charlie ditch his hapless druggie role,
Led Hurley to the bus that he used to save the day,
Tried sparing foolish Nikki from that hole.

There may be more heroics, but even if your paws
Are idle on the island from now on,
You'll make me happy, Vincent. Accept my firm applause.
A light would leave the show if you were gone.

Monday, July 9, 2007

In That Hatch (Bridge Over Troubled Water, Paul Simon)

I have very little idea of what the fourth season of LOST will offer, but I have an expectation that early in the season, we'll see Desmond return to the beach, where he will be forced to tell whoever is there what happened to Charlie. Whether she hears it from him first-hand or gets the bad news from someone else - probably Hurley - I suspect Claire's reaction will echo her season one hysterics when Danielle snatched Aaron and that it's going to take a while to get Desmond on her good side again.

While Desmond really did do everything possible to preserve Charlie's life once they had reached their destination and, later, down in the hatch, if it weren't for him, Charlie wouldn't have gone there at all; since Claire not only knows Desmond was with him but knows about his clairvoyance, I think he can expect an accusatory welcome from her. Maybe not. Claire does have a pretty charitable personality, but after suffering such a profound loss, she'll probably want to rail against somebody... Desmond, meanwhile, will probably be so miserable that nothing Claire might say can make him feel worse. But before the season's over, I think she'll find it in herself to forgive him.

Anyway, I appropriated my favorite ode to friendship - Simon and Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water - for Claire's charge that Desmond failed his friend in the critical moment. Charlie knows differently; maybe she will eventually too.

In That Hatch

Don't come near me,
Standing tall.
I hear right through your lies.
You deserve to crawl.
You may have tried,
But not enough.
You'll never calm me down!
In that hatch hidden underwater,
You let Charlie drown.
In that hatch hidden underwater,
You let Charlie drown!

We both dared to doubt
The flashes you'd seen,
Believing your regard
Would pull Charlie through.
Was it so hard
To guard your chum?
Some flimsy friend he found!
In that hatch hidden underwater,
You let Charlie drown.
In that hatch hidden underwater,
You let Charlie drown!

I am still his girl;
He's the guy
Who I'll have on my mind
Till we meet again someday.
Dreams can be kind,
But when slumber ends
My sorrow's all I'll find.
In that hatch hidden underwater,
You left him behind.
In that hatch hidden underwater,
You left him behind!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

The Pilot in the Pilot

Here is a little ode to that poor unfortunate fellow who bit the dust in the first episode of LOST. Long may he live on in our memory...

The Pilot in the Pilot

It's tough to be the pilot in the Pilot
Who meets an all too swift and violent end.
First we hear his feeble voice,
Then we see him and rejoice,
But the writers have it in for our poor friend.

It's tough to be the pilot in the Pilot
Who doesn't know the Scotsman caused the crash,
Who must shoulder all the guilt
For the blood that has been spilt
And the bodies that have vanished into ash.

It's tough to be the pilot in the Pilot
With crucial information to impart.
He announces that they're lost;
Moments later, he is tossed
To the trees, and Smokey rips the guy apart.

It's tough to be the pilot in the Pilot.
Will anyone recall his bloodied frame?
When the rescuers arrive,
Those who last see him alive
Won't be able to provide them with his name.

It's tough to be the pilot in the Pilot,
Killed off before we know what makes him tick.
Yes, that pilot's lot is tough,
But he's with us long enough.
The Pilot pilot's piloting will stick.

Monday, July 2, 2007

EW Loves Elizabeth Mitchell

Recently, EW listed Elizabeth Mitchell as one of the 100 people they love, and I was wishing they'd focused on one of those lovely lads I have a crush on, but Juliet really is a major player in season three. 
Season one starts with Jack opening his eyes in the jungle, and it's definitely fair to consider him the main character in season one; certainly many of the events we see stem somewhat from his leadership.  Season two starts with Desmond doing his thing down in the hatch, and while I wouldn't say he's the main character of season two - since he only appears in four episodes - the hatch is the main preoccupation, and he's the character most associated with the hatch.  Then season three opens with Juliet putting on the music for the book club, and while she's representative of the Others, who come into much sharper focus, she herself really is a crucial character, with much of what happens in season three hinging on whose side she decides to take.  So I wonder who we'll be meeting in the first moments of season four...

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Sopranos Nervousness

All this furor over The Sopranos has made me a bit nervous about LOST.  Damon, Carlton, and all you other geniuses who keep me riveted in happier seasons when LOST is on the air, please don't do that to me.  You've got three years to build to a proper ending.  You'd better deliver. 
I'm hoping we see Liam again, in a flash-forward or at the tail end of the series, talking to Desmond or Hurley or, most likely, Claire.  Somebody needs to find him and tell him what a difference Charlie made on the island...

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Jacob (Tears in Heaven, Eric Clapton)

Last week, my dad and I were in the car when Eric Clapton's Tears in Heaven came on the radio. He suggested writing something to that tune from Ben's perspective addressed to John on the subject of the elusive Jacob. I'm not sure what prompted the connection but hopefully this is in the ballpark...


Would he call your name
If I took you to Jacob?
Would he back your claim
If I took you to Jacob?
You don't belong.
You think you're strong,
But I'll prove that you are wrong.
Let's see Jacob.

Would he be your fan
If I took you to Jacob?
Would you rule our clan
If I took you to Jacob?
We must delay.
I have to stay,
But I swear some other day,
We'll see Jacob.

John, would you calm down?
John, you're acting three.
John, if you are smart
Then you won't cross me.
Don't cross me...

I was secure.
Not anymore.
You knocked Mikhail to the floor.
Let's see Jacob.

Would he call your name
If I took you to Jacob?
Would he back your claim
If I took you to Jacob?
You don't belong.
You think you're strong,
But I'll prove that you are wrong.
Let's see Jacob.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Endangered Species (Tie-In Novel) Review

The protagonist in Cathy Hapka's Endangered Species is a spineless ninny surrounded by obnoxious guys - none of whom, unfortunately, is Dr. Leslie Arzt...

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Baby Brother

Though he's only actually appeared in three episodes of LOST, I feel like viewers have come to know Liam, older brother of Charlie Pace, fairly well. My feelings toward him are very mixed, since for the most part he seems to have contributed mightily to the downfall of Driveshaft and Charlie's own devastating heroin addiction. Yet there is definite evidence of fraternal affection from his end, particularly when he gives Charlie their mother's ring, ironically believing that it will be safer with him. While Liam's sudden determination to clean up his act, inspired by a desire to be a good father and husband, is admirable, in order to achieve his goal he abandons Charlie, who has always been there for him in times of crisis. So I imagine Liam has been feeling pretty guilty since the crash of Flight 815. Here's a little poem chronicling his contrition.

Baby Brother

I'm sorry, baby brother.
I drifted from your side,
Denied how much I owed you. I was wrong.
I'm sorry, baby brother.
You followed where I led,
To dead-end drugs that stripped the joy from song.

I'm sorry, baby brother.
I know you were the band.
You handed me a fortune, and such fame!
I'm sorry, baby brother.
The noble dream you chased
Was wasted on this Pace who shamed our name.

I'm sorry, baby brother.
I made you take Mum's ring,
The thing we treasured most, and now it's lost.
I'm sorry, baby brother.
Refusing your request
Seemed best. I hadn't counted on the cost.

I'm sorry, baby brother.
Though you were just a whelp,
You helped me after every ugly fall.
I'm sorry, baby brother.
I left you with my mess.
I guess I was the baby after all.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Hey Dude (Hey Jude, Paul McCartney)

Here's a little ditty to the tune of Hey Jude focusing on Tricia Tanaka Is Dead, one of my favorite episodes in LOST's third season, and the only one focusing on Hurley. Looking back over the three seasons, I think Hurley has been a quietly positive influence on Sawyer, and that's especially true after Sawyer's return from imprisonment by the Others. Judging by the finale, Sawyer could still use a lesson or two in playing nice with others (and especially Others), but it's nice that Hurley is trying.

In that episode, Hurley was just thrilled to see Sawyer alive and well, and Sawyer was touched enough by his concern - and tempted enough by the beer in the van (or bus, or whatever the proper term is) - to engage in an afternoon of what seemed at the time to be rather pointless male bonding. Of course, that good luck Hurley was talking about extended a bit further than a reckless joyride...

Hey Dude

Hey dude, I found a van
With some cans full of beer from Dharma.
It's karma. I know it deep in my heart.
Won't you take part? Let down your armor.

Hey dude, I was afraid
When you stayed that those guys would harm ya.
They didn't, and see the size of my grin!
We're gonna win because it's karma.

Though being stuck here is a pain,
Hey dude, you've gained a listening ear and crying shoulder.
I missed ya, man, so here's to you!
Knock back a few. I just wish they were a little colder.

Hey dude, until we're found,
Stick around. Don't let me alarm ya.
This Dharma bus soon will sputter and start
Because we're smart and cuz it's karma.

So our good luck will soon begin.
Hey dude, we've been here waiting for something that feels normal.
I think a joyride ought to do. Hey dude, don't you?
Let's pop Roger's head back on his shoulders...

Hey dude, I found a van
With some cans full of beer from Dharma.
It's karma. I know it deep in my heart.
Won't you take part? Let down your armor...

Na na na na-na-na na, na-na-na na, hey dude.
Na na na na-na-na na, na-na-na na, hey dude...

fade out

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Killings Continue

There are not many characters left on the island who have never killed anyone to our knowledge.  Let's see... 
Claire, unless her mother has since died, and in any case a car accident is hardly the same as murder...  (Desmond better watch his back when he returns sans Charlie, though; she knows about their psychic connection, and he just may find himself punctured by a cradle some moment when he's not watching.  No, I don't seriously think she'll go after him, but she'll be spitting nails that he allowed it to happen, in a tearful rage a la the first season finale...) 
Rose.  If she kills someone...  Man, she better not.  Hurley was quite bad enough.
Vincent.  Though it was rather classless of him to deprive poor Roger of his arm.  Which eventually led to Hurley's killing of Ryan...  No.  I'm not playing that game.  Plus, Vincent tried to save Nikki.  In vain.  And we all cried forever.
Steve.  As far as we know.  Same goes for Neil, Sullivan and any other random castaways we have hanging around, plus Zack, Emma, Cindy and several random Other folks.  Have Alex and Karl killed anyone?  I'm thinking no?
Walt.  He's sorta still around I guess, and innocent unless we can pin Naomi's death on him somewhat...  But I'm thinking we'll just let John shoulder the blame for that.  I really doubt his message went: "You have work to do.  I need you to kill that nice lady with the phone."
I seriously don't want all these people in prison if/when they get rescued.  But somebody needs to figure out some way of curbing everyone's murderous streaks.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Jumpin' Jack's Flash

So I'm still bothered by Jack's flash forward, but I'm trying not to look on it as an indication that the series is going to be dead depressing from now on.  Seriously, it had better not be...  LOST has its dark moments, certainly, but I still think at heart it is an idealistic show.  We'll see...  Until we commence with season four, though, and get a better idea of what's going on, here are some possibilities that make what we saw a little less ominous.
* The future we saw is not written in stone, and something can happen to change the series of events leading up to it.
* This is unavoidably Jack's future, but he can bounce back from it.  Just because he's a wreck when we see him doesn't mean he'll be miserable for the rest of his life.
* And even if he is doomed to a lifetime of despondence, that doesn't mean all the other castaways are.  Kate didn't look particularly happy to me either, but we don't know what any of the others are up to at this point.  Some of them could be very happy indeed.  Some are probably still on the island.  Evidently there is something blocking those who have left from returning, so that means it hasn't been seized by civilization and turned into some fancy resort; the island is still "special".  That thought at least gives me a bit of hope...

Monday, May 28, 2007

Jack Shephard Action Figure Review

I bought Jack for a friend. Now I wish I'd grabbed one for myself too. Live together, die alone!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Interesting Epiphany About Eko

Today I just happened upon an article indicating that Adewale had asked to be written off of LOST.  I found that pretty interesting.  I've pretty much decided that The Cost of Living, the episode in which Eko died, is my least favorite of the season, and I've been very cross with the writers about it.  I still am, but maybe this lets them off the hook a little.  Seems to me it would have been better just to let the polar bear finish him off; at least then it wouldn't have impugned his character.  And what was the point, anyway, of having John rescue him only to turn around and kill him off?  Seems like it was just so John could assuage his guilt for getting Eko into that mess, but it sure didn't do much good.
At the end of the second season, Eko's faith was strengthened to its highest point yet while John's was shattered.  Eko was right.  So why should he suddenly undergo such a major crisis?  I guess he has a right to feel put-upon, having just been nearly blown to bits and eaten by a bear, but I just don't understand why they had to make him renounce all of his spiritual progress.  It was a crummy thing to do.  And then to just brush the character aside, sort of sweeping his death under the table so the other folks wouldn't panic...  I don't know.  The whole thing just seemed very off to me.  The more I think about it, the more it annoys me. 
For a while I was thinking he was only introduced to act as a foil for John and then disposed of once the implosion of the hatch rendered him unnecessary.  But this article would suggest they had more in mind for him.  What was it?  And why did the Smoke Monster decide to zero in on Eko?  Was it checking up on him because they'd faced off before, looking to see if he was still worthy and deciding he wasn't?  Eko's death was the worst of them all, I think, because as my friend Beth pointed out - and her reflections may have colored how I read the episode once I got caught up to this episode and realized it was the one she'd referenced, though she didn't mention any names, and I'm sure I would have been disgusted with the way the episode played out anyway - this death put his soul in jeopardy.  None of the others did that.  Well, no, I suppose Nikki's, and maybe Paolo's, did, but they never made much of a positive impression.  But we cared deeply about Eko and wanted him to embrace this holy man persona he'd once adopted merely as a disguise.  This was a character who mattered.  He deserved better.


I'm really struggling with the fact that Mikhail essentially murdered Charlie.  I really wanted to believe that he wasn't so bad, and that Desmond did the right thing in letting him go.  In fact, I went so far as to think that the action constituted a life debt that Mikhail would feel honor-bound to repay if given the opportunity.  But his loyalty to Ben runs deeper than his debt to Desmond, and I suppose the fact that Desmond shot him with a harpoon would cancel out a sense of obligation...  And Mikhail probably didn't recognize him when he was shooting at him from shore.  Still, I thought he might save our friends at the last minute.  Instead, he did just the opposite.  They would have been fine if not for him.  So should Desmond have killed him back in the jungle?  (Would Mikhail have sprung to life again anyway?  If not, who would Ben have sent instead?)  Was mercy still the right path, even though it led to Charlie's demise?  It was one of those scenes that sort of makes me question my convictions just a little...

Secret Identity (Tie-in Novel) Review

Cathy Hapka's Secret Identity is by far the best of the trio of LOST tie-in novels.  Not sure that's saying much, however...

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Lingering Questions From the LOST Finale...

* What and where is the temple where Richard was taking everyone?
* Did Mikhail actually die the third time?
* Did Desmond see Penny in his vision, and maybe not Claire and Aaron?  Where are these visions coming from?  Is Mrs. Hawking somehow involved?  Did she orchestrate the death of the man in the red shoes and trick Desmond into thinking it was inevitable?
* Is Walt a vessel for Jacob?  He was speaking the same weird Parsel-tongue-sounding language Shannon heard, but John understood him.  Is he the only one who can make sense of those "whispers"?
* Is the flash forward set in stone?
* Did Charles Widmore send Naomi's people?  Who else, other than Penny, would know about Desmond?
* Was Naomi really a "bad guy"?  Even if she was sent by "the bad guys", did she necessarily know what they were up to?
* Did Charlie's death actually accomplish something?  (I think so...  I certainly hope so...)
* What is Rose intending to do when rescue comes?  Is there anyone else, aside from Bernard and John, intending to stay?  They've survived so far largely because each person has a valuable contribution to make; it'll be a lot harder to make it if there are only three of them...  Might John take over as leader of the Others, and Rose and Bernard join them?
* Where did John go?  To the Temple, perhaps?  Reinforcements?  And did Walt tell him anything else, or did he just decide on his own what he was supposed to do?
* Might Jack have done better to drop the beach explosion plan once he realized there was a good shot at getting off the island?  Why wage a war when you're leaving?  But I suppose there's a decent chance Ryan's people could have caught up with Jack's group, which would have been bad, especially if Charlie hadn't managed to unjam the equipment...
* Was Mikhail considering defying Ben, and Bonnie ironically convinced him to stay the course?

Friday, May 25, 2007

I'm LOST Without Charlie

So... turns out the t-shirt I got for Christmas was prophetic.  Le sigh...  I did wear the Charlie shirt on Wednesday after all.  This summer I'll probably make myself Locke, Desmond and Hurley shirts.  I won't say I'm LOST without them, though, lest history repeat itself...
In honor of Charlie, I have affixed the Driveshaft ring that came with my figure to a chain and am wearing it around my neck.  (I can't really wear it on my finger too well because it's too big.)  One of these days, I'll write to Dom; I wonder if I can still use the LOST address?  Seems they might forward his mail, or Evangeline might take it upon herself to get it to him, or they'll hang onto it until he comes back to be part of a dream sequence or something...
Mom screamed excessively at the TV during the big scene.  I just stared, transfixed.  Libbie consoled me afterward, and I got an e-mail from Beth that must've been sent immediately after the show ended, telling me how sorry she was that Charlie had died and wondering how I was holding up. 
In the long eight months ahead, perhaps I should distance myself from my most beloved fictional characters.  Well, aside from Harry and the gang, of course; that'll be a highlight of my summer for sure.  But I definitely get a little too attached. 
On a side note, partway into the episode, I was trying to work out which one of the gun-toting gals was Bonnie and which was Greta.  I said the blond looked like a Greta at the exact moment Nathan said she looked like a Bonnie.  Hmmm...  Those two weren't really so bad, it seems, especially Greta.  It's a shame Mikhail had to turn all homocidal on everybody...

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Damon and Carlton Give Us Eight Months to Contemplate the Most Depressing LOST Episode Ever

So much to say. Where to begin in describing the most devastating LOST episode ever? I say that not only because of the long-dreaded event come to fruition. I say it because of the undercurrent of utter desolation. Dust in the Wind should have been incorporated into the score, so profound was the sense of despair. Yes, I'm talking about Jack's flash-forward, in conjunction with Ben's desperation and Charlie's startling bit of information from Penny. I always was rather aligned with Locke on the subject of getting off the island. Now it certainly seems as though this rescue is not a good thing.
And so I'll turn first to Jack. I must say, if the "rattlesnake" at the end was supposed to make me gasp in shock... Well, I didn't, because I strongly suspected from the first frame of the episode that this was the Jack of the future, a man clearly haunted by his decisions and feeling utterly out of place in this world that was once his. I waffled a bit, thinking for a while that the fellow who'd died might have been his best man and we were seeing him sometime between the breakup of the marriage and the crash, thinking somehow the island was all this horrible nightmare brought on by a drug-induced haze. But mostly I thought that this was Jack's future, that this was what leaving had done to him. There was a definite sense that this was a Jack informed by a knowledge of the island, just as there was when Desmond came to in his apartment, looking utterly astonished. The beard was a strange addition; I love how Naomi refers to Jack as Moses on the island, what with the exodus of the castaways, but it's off the island where he really looked like Moses. He was an utter wreck of a person, able to pull himself out of a suicidal state only by his unshakable need to save people. Only the accident at the beginning of the episode was his fault, so it just gives him all the more reason to feel guilty. The references to Christian really didn't throw me off; they actually seemed to support my future theory, what with the pitying look the chief of surgery gave Jack when he invoked his father's name and Jack's violent reaction to the pharmacist's attempt to contact his father. Obviously he had forged Christian's name.
The scene with Kate at the airport didn't surprise me at all; it just put into words the unspoken truth that infected every instant of Jack's flash-forwards. Jack made a mistake. Turns out that getting off the island wasn't such a glorious thing after all. He reminded me forcefully of Malcolm McDowell's character in Star Trek: Generations, especially when he talked about flying incessantly in hopes of a plane crash that would somehow get him back there, even if it was at the expense of everyone else on the plane. "We have to go back," he pleaded, every bit as despondent as the man unwittingly pulled from the Nexus. Will he go back somehow? Is this future set in stone, or can it be changed? And why isn't Kate in prison? Did she manage to wrangle up a convincing false identity, or were people so glad that she'd survived that she was cleared of her charges? Was everyone there rescued, or only Jack and Kate? Or Jack, Kate and several others? And are flash forwards going to be the order of the day now? And who is in the coffin? My guess is Ben or John, though I don't particularly like either of those options. The newspaper clipping up close reveals part of a name, and it starts with "Jo" and has an unfamiliar last name, but it could well be someone we know using a pseudonym...
Back on the island, Jack's not nearly such a mess, though we've seen him better. I think it's the right call to keep moving, honoring the sacrifice Sayid, Jin and Bernard are willing to make by getting to that radio tower at all costs. Except that Ben says Naomi's people are "the bad guys", and despite Ben's extremely low level of trustworthiness, his urgency is such that I feel inclined to believe him, especially once we hear from Penny. When it's just Ben's word against the chance of rescue, though, one can hardly blame Jack for refusing to listen. When John shows up to reinforce the message, for a moment it almost looks like Jack might be considering his point, like he is starting to get the sense himself that he's "not supposed to do this". But then he hears the voice and snaps out of his reverie, leaving John to stump away dejectedly.
John, John, John... What was that about? I guess I need to go easy on him; after all, he just extracted himself from a mass grave, where he'd been lying with multiple life-threatening injuries for a day or so. He can't be up to full strength at the moment. But John, if everything hinges on this phone, why don't you shoot the contraption, for goodness' sake? And why didn't you even attempt to run up and pick it up after so callously knifing Naomi in the back? Heck, if John hadn't been so busy having a hissy fit in The Man Behind the Curtain, he might have realized then what a threat Naomi was and planned accordingly. If she was a threat. I guess we still don't exactly know. But my gut tells me Sayid was right not to trust Naomi right away, and maybe he should have tried a little harder to get some answers out of her.
Walt's sudden reappearance would have been a bit more dramatic if Jorge hadn't let slip that we'd be seeing him soon and if his name hadn't been right there on the opening credits. So we knew he'd show up, and a Locke vision was a pretty logical choice, though it was still pretty darn exciting when we saw him, even if he didn't say much and even though he looked drastically older. Shall we say this was future Walt, knowing the consequences of Jack's actions and trying to make things play out differently? I was quite surprised to see sweat-drenched John on the verge of killing himself. I figured he would shoot a bullet up in the air somewhere in an effort to attract someone's attention, but he really was about to give up. So thank goodness Walt, in whatever form that was, intervened. Too bad John didn't accomplish a darn thing when he went back, and he just threw up his hands once Jack made contact. Killing Naomi benefited no one as long as that phone was at large. All it means is whoever she was with is going to be pretty ticked off that their gal got a knife to the back from these people they're rescuing. Now if only Walt had come with John and had a chat with Jack and the gang, it might've made some difference... But I suppose John is the only one who could see him.
So I guess Mikhail did have a good reason for wanting that phone after all, and he's much less of an independent operator than I'd imagined. He actually is quite loyal to Ben, and he has a significant interest in keeping the phone away from the castaways. I had to laugh because getting an eyeful of his scarred-over eye socket was becoming a bit tiresome, so when that scene halfway through the episode opened with him hunched over the microphone in the hatch, I said, "Mikhail, just put that patch back on already." And two seconds later he did! It's exciting when fictional characters heed my requests. If only he'd done so when I made more significant demands.
I was thrilled to see him when he showed up in D.O.C. Thrilled, I tell you! Now I feel betrayed. Patchy, I have defended you valiantly, and look what you go and do... He's obviously aggravated with Ben for keeping things from him, but not to the extent that he refuses to follow his orders. I thought for a moment there that he was going to defy Ben; when he began questioning Bonnie, it seemed he was going to shut off the jamming equipment himself. But it was not to be. After he killed Greta (which was really a shame, because she seemed like a perfectly nice person) and closed in on Bonnie, I couldn't fault Desmond for doing Mikhail in. Nathan and I both declared early in the episode that we thought Mikhail would wind up aiding Charlie and Desmond somehow. Ha! Still, at first I thought Desmond had used a tranquilizer gun, and then, when I realized it was what amounted to a harpoon, I was a tad sad to see Mikhail bite the dust yet again. Not as bummed as the first time, I don't think, but I did find it a shame. But when he suddenly sprung back to life on this occasion, I did not cheer. No, suddenly there was a boulder in the pit of my stomach. Just when things seemed to be going so well, when it looked like Charlie could get the job done and live to tell the tale, Mikhail had to go and ruin everything. And what was the point? I suppose he might not have realized that Charlie had already unjammed the transmissions, so he thought he was stopping him from completing his task. Otherwise it was just for the sake of being mean, it would seem, though why would he blow himself up to boot? Because he knows he's indestructible? Because everything is a mess now and he just wants to give up on life? Whatever the motivation, I'm afraid my affection for Mikhail abated considerably after this week. You're off the Christmas card list, Patchy. That's what you get for drowning Charlie.
Who I'll get to eventually, but I'll probably save him for last. In the meantime, there's a lot more ground to cover. Sayid, for instance, who no longer has anyone on the island to whom he has a particularly strong attachment. He leads Jin and Bernard ably, and he shoots expertly. His determination that Jack get the others off the island is admirable; it would seem that his is the more dangerous job, and he doesn't shrink from it. Jack's refusal to give Ben the phone is a testament to their mutual respect, yet I really was wishing he would just comply. I had a hunch that the three of them hadn't been picked off just like that - the deaths of three major characters all at once, and off-screen, seemed unlikely - but when the possibility was still there, it was truly terrible to contemplate. I'll confess to a grudging admiration for Sayid's little neck-crunching trick, though it makes me rather ill just to think about it...
Jin failed to hit his target - a harder job for him, since he just had a pistol instead of a rifle - but did take out two Others immediately afterward. Cross Sayid, Jin and Bernard off the list of people who we haven't seen kill anyone. Sigh. Jin had a really nice moment with Sun, and hearing him say "because we need to go home" in English was so moving - except where is "home"? They can't go back to Korea, and America probably won't be safe either once people find out they're alive again. It seems to me that they are among those who might most consider staying on the island. Unless going off the island could somehow lead to a cure for Sun. Then, of course, they'll have to leave.
But Bernard? He needs to stay put, so why's he so intent on being heroic? It's for the good of the group, I guess, but Rose is not getting on that plane, so neither is he. And while he does hit his target, it's hard to say whether his spilling Jack's plans to Ryan and the gang is the right course. He saves Jin's life in doing so, presumably, but he endangers the castaways' mission...
I like Rose's little farewell with him, asking if she could change his mind by helping him with the "S.O.S." and making him say, "I'm a dentist; I am not Rambo." And one of the funniest lines in the finale, I thought, was when a worry-ridden Rose tells Jack, "If you say, 'Live together, die alone' to me, I'm going to punch you in the face." She is in no mood for platitudes. Usually Rose radiates calm, but under such trying circumstances her concern is quite understandable. I love the ecstatic hug she and Sun share when Hurley announces that their husbands are alive and well - and the sheer joy on Jack's face. Probably the happiest single moment in the episode. I was so worried for all three of our snipers and was immensely relieved that they came through the ordeal unharmed.
And yet... The body count in this episode was appalling. We were told there would be four deaths; there were 15 - assuming Mikhail's third death took, which may be a big leap to make at this point - plus the mysterious dead man in Jack's future, who seems likely to be someone we know. Are our castaways really the good guys when they wiped out ten Others practically in one fell swoop?
I was sad to see Hurley actually consciously taking a life, but the thing is, Ryan could have easily jumped out of the way. Hurley's main concern was barreling in and causing chaos so the Others would be taken totally by surprise. It really was a heroic moment, and I was very happy for Hurley, who'd had a really crummy day, getting told by both Charlie and Sawyer that he didn't have anything to contribute because he was a fat slob. Neither meant it, of course; they were just trying to protect him. But it felt very fitting for Hurley to save the day out of the blue like that, providing further justification for Tricia Tanaka is Dead at the same time. I liked his comment about how Jack was going to "phone home", and the worried way he glanced out at the ocean when he reassured Claire that Charlie would be fine. And I really appreciated the fact that he voiced his displeasure at Sawyer's execution of Tom. Looking back, that tree frog scene way back in One of Them could be seen as foreshadowing of this moment. Hurley helped Sawyer to get to the point where he could make the kill, though Hurley tried to stop him; in both cases Sawyer should have just adopted a "live and let live" attitude.
Not that Tom was really earning the title "Mr. Friendly" this week. He suggested killing the castaways on more than one occasion - after, it should be noted, seven Others fell at Sayid, Bernard and Jin's hands. Those were seven of Tom's friends, so of course he was going to be a little emotional, but while he suggested killing the castaways, he really didn't make any kind of move to do so, except when he reached for the gun at the end, at which point I don't know what his plan was because he was clearly outnumbered. I was hoping that Tom would do something heroic at the last minute, much as I hoped Mikhail would. Though he didn't, he was not unduly cruel, and we still haven't seen him kill anyone. Usually he's the one trying to smooth things over and calm down those driven to brutality, like Danny. So I was very sorry to see him meet the end he did. He could have been an ally. Instead, Sawyer murdered him in cold blood, and it made me sick to my stomach. Not to mention dashing my hopes for a Tom-centric episode. Tom deserved better, and Sawyer should have done better. I thought he was done with revenge.
Throughout the third season, I've generally been very satisfied with Sawyer, but that decision to kill Tom signaled a major regression to me. Tom was unarmed and surrounded. He had surrendered. Sawyer killed him out of pure spite, making good on his ominous "You and me ain't done, Zeke" back in The Hunting Party. There's a certain sentiment, I suppose, behind avenging Walt, but since the boy is evidently alive and well now, I don't really see the need to hold onto that grudge. Besides, Tom didn't shoot the gun that infected Sawyer's arm, and he didn't throw the lantern that blew up the raft. He was sort of more of a figurehead in that scenario, with random Others committing the most egregious offenses. I'm inclined to think Sawyer shouldn't have gone back at all, but Hurley probably wouldn't have gone off totally on his own. He needed that little push, I think. Sawyer provided that. (I find it amusing that nobody even noticed Hurley was missing; I guess they were pretty preoccupied, but I'd think his absence would stick out...)
Kate didn't have a particularly strong presence in this episode, her scenes mostly limited to heated encounters with Jack and Sawyer. Jack's big "I love you" in the trailer was indeed directed at Kate. Its context was a little goofy - "I'm sticking up for Sawyer because I love you" - but I guess what he means is that he cares about her happiness and thinks Sawyer really does care about her, so he doesn't want to ruin that. Since it comes after he kisses Juliet and its purpose is to push the idea of her and Sawyer making a good pair, it loses a bit of its romantic punch, but I think it speaks well of Jack that he has Kate's best intentions at heart and that he still gives Sawyer the time of day. My guess was that Sawyer was the person waiting for Kate in that last scene, but that might not be the case. She didn't seem to be very happy in the future either. And whoever was in that coffin, she didn't have much affection for him, or at least didn't want to admit that she did. I suppose the corpse could have been Sawyer too, in which case her relationships with Jack and Sawyer are going to deteriorate even further, unless that future can be altered...
Karl didn't have anything useful to do in this episode, which disappointed me a little, but Alex made up for it. I love her stunned reaction when Ben tells her she's welcome to come along with him, and it's interesting to watch her face as Ben talks to Mikhail on the walkie. We still don't really know where Karl came from; it would seem that he may have shipwrecked or something not that long ago. Ben's saying that he "may have overreacted" in his measures to prevent Karl from getting Alex pregnant was rather amusing, and also tender, considering what happens to pregnant women on the island. He was just looking out for her safety. Was that a picture of Alex he had in his room when he was writing in his diary? Do they have cameras on the island? Well, they have video cameras, so I guess I still camera isn't much of a stretch...
It would seem that Ben must have known that Danielle was Alex's mother when she captured him, but he would've kept quiet about it since he was pretending to be someone else. There was a grim humor to a bloody Ben, beaten by Jack within an inch of his life, gesturing casually to Danielle and saying, "Alex, this is your mother." And how Danielle's idea of mother-daughter bonding is tying Ben up together. At this point, Alex is totally disgusted with Ben, but I think she still is shaken to see him such a mess.
I'm sorry too, but he brought it upon himself. I'm glad he ordered Tom and Ryan to shoot the ground instead of the hostages but I don't really understand what he was trying to achieve there. Couldn't he have predicted Jack's blind rage? He's certainly not going to hand over the phone after his friends have been killed. It makes no sense. I very often have trouble discerning the method behind Ben's madness. At first, I thought he was lying about Naomi's people; how would he have any idea who they are, anyway? But his level of urgency is such that I can't help but think he may be telling the truth. In which case, if it's so critical to stop this from happening, why in the world did he shoot John before heading back to camp? Wouldn't he have realized that John would be a formidable ally in blocking the rescue attempts, given his track record? Is it just that his pettiness overpowered his good sense? It's rather funny to see him cheering John on when he shows up, since their last meeting involved Ben shooting John into a ditch. In any case, Ben seems to be losing his grip, both on his people and his own faculties. His panic is evident in his various walkie conversations, especially when he learns of Juliet, Karl and Alex's betrayals. He should have been much more trusting and trustworthy to begin with. This whole mess could have been avoided. Instead, he goes it alone, and eventually nobody can believe a word he says.
Juliet and Sawyer make an unlikely pairing. Sawyer finally decides to trust her, and then it turns out she was lying about the guns, but they creep up on the beach anyway hoping to work out a plan in the meantime. I love her line about the aliens; for a second there, she had me going... It would seem at this point that Juliet has proven herself a friend to the castaways; it's ironic that Naomi closes in on Jack to show him the phone and questions whether Juliet is trustworthy. In their excitement at the prospect of getting rescued, people haven't been asking enough questions about Naomi's back story. Richard gets lost in the shuffle, his one big scene quickly forgotten in the midst of all the unfolding drama. But Ben told him to take the group to the Temple, and that is a very intriguing instruction. Surely we'll be getting back to that when the fourth season resumes.
I'm afraid it's getting to the point at which a discussion of the unfortunate events inside the Looking Glass is unavoidable. I'll start with Desmond, who comes to in a daze with a sore cheek, Charlie's note in his pocket, and Mikhail shooting at him from the shore. Ironically, the safest course is to take the plunge he and Charlie had nobly debated over. He follows the wire downward and winds up in the hole in the floor, luckily at a moment when Greta and Bonnie are in the other room. It's a panicked instant, but he's thrilled to see Charlie, though his bound and bloody state is worrisome. All Desmond can do at this point, however, is get out of the way. Heroics can come in later.
I was a little surprised at how Bonnie insisted to Mikhail that Charlie was alone; she heard him talking to Desmond, and though she was apparently taken in by Charlie's hasty cover-up, I'd think she would put two and two together when faced with Mikhail's information. Good thing nobody bothered looking for him, since that gave Desmond the perfect opportunity to charge in, spear gun blazing, to save Charlie's life. It seems at this point that he doesn't have as much faith in his visions as Charlie does; Desmond says Bonnie's never going to divulge the code, whereas Charlie simply says that it was in the vision so it has to happen somehow. In retrospect, I find myself wishing Desmond would have done something to ensure that Mikhail didn't escape, but he certainly seemed dead at that point, so nobody viewed him as a problem. There was such cautious optimism in that scene when he and Charlie went in separate directions, saying they would meet back there once they'd completed their tasks. It seemed they might actually beat the curse once and for all.
And then the "incoming transmission" button blinked, and I was thinking, "Charlie, don't you press that button! Just get yourself out of there!" I had an extremely uneasy feeling, especially when I realized Mikhail was missing. And then Charlie's joyful realization that he was talking to Penny was flipped on its head when he spotted the maniacally grinning Mikhail outside with the grenade. Desmond made a desperate dash for Charlie, a mixture of wanting to save him from Mikhail and wanting to talk to Penny. With the dramatic slow-motion race between Charlie and Desmond, I knew with little doubt that everything was going to play out just the way he'd said, though Desmond tried most ardently to get into that room, even after Charlie had bolted it. His desperation made way for sad resignation; he knew he could do nothing to save Charlie this time, and it was haunting to see him shouting through the sound-proof glass, his words unheard by Charlie but hopefully understood. Charlie's vital last-minute information barely had a chance to register, but their locked gaze confirms that Desmond got the message, and then they remained where they were for a moment, hands pressed against the glass in a scene highly reminiscent of The Wrath of Khan, their profound bond, formed after only two or three short weeks, sealed forever in this final, reverent moment.
It will be very interesting to observe where Desmond goes from here. I can definitely see him beating himself up over Charlie's death, much as John did after Boone died. Charlie volunteered for the mission because of Desmond. Those visions were also responsible for their finding Naomi. In both cases, it would seem that his interpretation of how events play out is grossly misinformed; it almost seems that someone is planting them in his head in order to set off a chain of events with the opposite of the effect Desmond intends. When he realizes that Naomi was not sent by Penny, he will probably fear that Charlie died in vain, that it was all a big waste, that his actions will result in the ruination of everyone.
At the very least, he will grieve the loss of a good friend, and I don't envy him the task of breaking the news to Hurley or Claire, scenes I fervently hope we will witness though they will be painful to watch. (It seemed that Aaron sensed what had happened to Charlie; I wonder if he really did...) I don't see how the list could have survived, even written in permanent ink; that paper must be a sodden clump by now, so I really hope Desmond looked it over and memorized it in the moment Charlie handed it over so that he can pass those memories on to Claire just as Charlie wanted. And for crying out loud, somebody better find that Driveshaft ring. I think that Desmond will have a hand in looking after Claire now, if they all wind up in the same place, but he'll have other work to do too, so I think the main task will fall to Hurley, who already seems to have taken them under his wing - not to mention Vincent, who was abandoned by Michael. Hurley has had more interaction with Aaron than most of the castaways, and I think he will see taking care of Claire as the best tribute he could offer to his beloved friend.
Charlie displays a fatalistic attitude in this episode that mostly works to his advantage, steeling him for the task ahead. It allows him to square off against the hostile Bonnie with defiance and even a fair share of cheek. He's actually quite funny in many of his scenes, especially when he's singing in order to annoy his captors. Desmond has thoroughly convinced him that "flicking the switch" is his destiny, so he knows it will happen one way or another. It makes him feel almost invincible for a time.
I questioned whether he should have been so up-front with Bonnie, Greta, Ben and Mikhail, but I guess there wasn't much to be gained by lying about his presence. Ben would have sent Mikhail whether or not he knew who Charlie was and why he was there. Besides, he probably figured that coming right out and stating his intentions might help him to figure out a plan, since his captors might let some information slip, thinking he was in no position to actually accomplish anything. And anyway, lying has only led to multitudes of problems for people on the island. Maybe he's starting to see that honesty is often the best policy.
Charlie tapping out the tune to Good Vibrations on the keypad was a definite high point. How incredibly appropriate that this rocker's destiny should be so closely linked with music! It's such a happy song, and he's so pleasantly startled by his success, that I really did dare to hope that he might walk away, close the door and swim back up to the surface with Desmond. But then the transmission came. Yet as much as I wanted him to ignore it and get out, making contact with Penny and passing her message along to Desmond is probably what really will help everyone.
The big question is, was Charlie's death necessary? Couldn't he have run out the door and slammed it so that the room flooded but he wasn't in it? Was there no way to bolt the door from the outside? Was he afraid that Desmond, drunk with the prospect of actually speaking to Penny, would fight his attempts to keep the door closed? Couldn't he have at least tried to swim out the window? It does seem that to a certain extent, Charlie just gave up once he saw Mikhail with the grenade. He said to himself that the death Desmond saw in his vision was about to happen, and rather than wasting his time trying to prevent it, he needed to keep Desmond safe and to give him the critical message that Penny did not send Naomi.
Charlie died a hero, that much is certain. His death didn't completely shock me, especially given the last episode, which certainly seemed like a long farewell to the musician from Manchester, but I'd held out hope that he might still get a reprieve. It's hard to lose such a beloved character - and I'm furious with myself that I couldn't even get myself to cry. That does not mean I didn't feel his death deeply. Yet I am at peace with it - if it meant something. Which I'm pretty sure it did, but the overall tone of the episode makes me worry. If such a bright light is going to go out from LOST, it has to be for a reason. This was by far the most moving death on the show, followed by Boone, I'd say, who also died heroically and had a touching moment with Jack in which he forestalled further attempts to save him. It was the sort of end I thought Desmond embraced in the season two finale, until we saw Penny and I decided maybe Desmond had survived that hatch implosion after all. In that episode, Charlie asks Desmond for help with Eko, and Desmond dismisses him, explaining that he is helping. Turning the key a very brave thing to do, even if he probably would have died anyway if he hadn't done it. In this episode, Charlie refuses Desmond's help, thereby ending the third season on a complementary note of self-sacrifice. But I don't see Charlie getting out of this one. Our dear friend, it would seem, is really gone. I love the heartfelt farewell with Desmond, the smile and what looked like "cheers, mate", and crossing himself just before the water consumed him.
I read an article yesterday in which the producers said that Charlie's presence will still be felt very strongly on the show. That gives me hope, that his friends will keep his memory alive and he will thereby continue to have an influence in what happens on the island. And I can definitely see him coming back in some sort of dream or vision, perhaps by Claire, Desmond, Hurley or Locke. So we may see more of him yet. Still, the loss is not an insignificant one. We've seen Charlie progress from an ineffective, drug-riddled coward to someone who is paternal, brave and self-sacrificing. I've loved him all along despite (and partly because of) his shortcomings. It's ironic that the rock star wound up being one of the best examples of an everyman on the show. It was very easy to sympathize with him. Plus there was a great lightness to his character; he was used for comic relief almost as much as Hurley, and the smiles he brought will most certainly be missed. If he had to go, though, I'm very glad it was while making such a noble gesture. I've feared for his life before; he nearly died way back in the first season at the hands of Ethan. Inherently more vulnerable than many of the castaways, he's dodged death again and again. This time he embraced it. None of us is likely to forget that moment. It will stay with us for the rest of the series and beyond.
I wish I could shake the feeling of despair this episode gave me. No tsunami, but enough catastrophe to last the rest of the series - though I know they won't stop at that. Still, there will be happy moments again on LOST. The next 48 episodes will not be a quagmire of misery. They wouldn't do that to us. I hope. Desmond and Locke will have major roles to play in the next season, and Jack and Ben may find themselves forced into an uneasy truce. We will clearly see the repercussions of Charlie's actions; there will be good ripples. For now, I have about eight months to mourn...