Thursday, March 8, 2007

Maybe Locke Should Stick to Backgammon...

Last night's episode was a strange one. Enter 77; I had to look that up to see what the title was. Interesting, since it was a Sayid flashback but the title refers to a moment with Locke. (Does the number have any significance? 7 is the number of perfection. It also isn't found among "the numbers." Given the show's obsession with numerology, it seems like it might be important...)
I don't think anything new was really revealed in Sayid's flashback. It struck me as pretty similar to his other two torture-related flashbacks, just dealing with the remorse over his semi-forced brutality. First he tortures Sawyer and is haunted by his past, then he tortures Henry and is haunted by his past, and in both cases his past experience helps him to stop rather than encouraging him to continue. Here, he once again finds himself with someone's life in his hands, and again he chooses to spare that life. The reasons are not entirely altruistic, of course; he probably figures Patchy might be able to provide them with some useful information, though it evidently won't be willingly. But he's taking a risk by leaving him alive. And giving him a chance.
It was strange meeting Mikhail, who seemed incredibly creepy over the television. I'm still not sure why Locke was so tickled pink to see this ominous one-eyed man peering out of a fuzzy TV screen, but he was, and now he had his chance to meet him. He wasn't what I expected, really. Just hanging out in this nice little farmhouse, with cows! And horses! And cats! Boy, did that excite me. So I thought, Maybe this guy isn't too bad, just a jumpy recluse, and maybe he doesn't have much to do with the Others at all. And then he shot Sayid, and I said, Darn. But he was so hospitable after that, my hopes rose again that this was a decent guy, that he could be like Desmond, an unexpected ally. Maybe he still can. But if so, he's got a long way to go. And while it seemed like they were getting a lot of valuable information from him, we really have no idea how much of it was true. But if he is to be believed, the Others are not the remnants of Dharma at all. What, then, are they doing on the island? How long have they really been there?
I'm still not sure if Sayid actually did torture that woman. I can't decide. Was he steadfastly refusing to confess like John Proctor in The Crucible, unwilling to admit to a crime he did not commit, but he finally caved, either to save his life or for the woman's peace of mind or both? Or did he know full well he was guilty and confess because his remorse finally got to him after her scathing story? I think I'm leaning toward the latter, but I'm really not sure... Nadia looks like the same cat that woman had. Is it really? If so, that's gotta be a pretty old cat, assuming Mikhail is telling the truth about being on the island for 11 years. How did it fall into his hands? And how weird that her name happens to be Nadia...
I wanted to throttle Locke. Gosh, John, I could've told you that messing around with that computer was a bad idea. But John just can't walk away from a game of strategy. As soon as I saw that computer with the chess board set up, I thought, Bad things will happen if Locke plays. And then they didn't, and for a moment I thought maybe it was really just a computer game that would have no repercussions. Until Mikhail said that bit about computers not being able to cheat, and I knew there was more to this game that met the eye. So here's John, who pounded into Michael's head the importance of not trying to use the hatch computer for communication purposes, trying to hack into Mikhail's system and... what? He of all people should know the Hanso people aren't too trustworthy, with all their subversive mind games. Why would he just take what they say at face value? Plus, couldn't the Others have somehow rigged that message up as a trick to potential infiltrators? It just seemed like he abandoned all his good sense there. But I guess it's not so unlike him, and with his sense of destiny all tied up with the computers now, he probably figured this was his chance to do something heroic. Or, he knew the whole thing would backfire, but he's just playing dumb; maybe his motivation all along was to knock out a potential means of communication with the outside world. Because John doesn't want to leave. Whether due to extreme naivety or a violent flare-up of his messiah complex, I feel as though John disappointed me in this episode. But it sure was good to see him.
It was nice to see Bea, too, but it would've been nicer if she hadn't been killed off right away. I was wondering where she'd gone off too, and apparently this was the answer, but I was expecting to see a lot more of her eventually. She seemed like one of the better Others to me, and I really hoped to see some development there. But no. She wound up with even less screen time than Danny. And killed by her own people again, though in this instance, she seemed to request it. If I read that conversation right, she was begging Mikhail to kill her so that she couldn't be interrogated. Incidentally, John is losing his touch. First that thing with the TVs in the question mark hatch, and now missing that trap door that practically jumped out at Sayid... Tut-tut.
I don't think we're done with Mikhail. I mean, he's obviously in the next episode, judging by the previews, but I doubt the fateful encounter with the force field will wipe him out. I hope it doesn't. Because he's an eccentric, one-eyed Russian farmer. And that's cool. And I really was starting to like him before he went spastic on Kate and Sayid. Iced tea... How considerate. If I liked iced tea... But it's the thought that counts.
I think it's funny that I was comparing Hurley to Forrest Gump last week, and this week he was a ping pong champion. Hmmmm... Maybe this is a connection the show wants us to make... It's nice that they gave us the light-hearted beach scenes to counteract the mostly ominous Patchy stuff. Not much nickname action this week, unfortunately, but I do think it's pretty funny that Sun came up with that idea. When she said "No more nicknames," I yowled in protest. I don't know whether she was just drawing it out to make Sawyer sweat or if she took pity on him when she realized how severe her proposal seemed, but when she added "for a week," I just laughed. Granted, a week could mean a month or even two for us, and that's a long time to go without Sawyer's savviness, but we waited longer just to get back to the doggone show, so we can handle it.
Seems like Sun's proposition - and maybe it was more Jin's idea, since he's much more often the one getting nicknames from Sawyer, though with his poor command of English he probably doesn't understand half of them - was less out of extreme annoyance with Sawyer's habit than a desire to give him a hard time. See if he could make it even a week. I have my doubts. But to demand he stop the names forever - well, that would be just cruel, like Rabbit trying to make Tigger stop bouncing. You can't just strip someone of such a defining characteristic that brings him so much pleasure. And you can't deprive the viewers of Sawyer's genius! Oh, he'll probably overcompensate with the rest of his remarks, turning his snark-o-meter up to levels that would make Simon Cowell and Hugh Laurie blush, but it's just not quite the same... But oh, what a glorious stream of nicknames shall flow from his throat in seven days!
Hurley gets cool points once again; he not only saves the day for the rest of the beachers, who are reluctant to surrender everything back to Sawyer when he just stole it all in the first place anyway, he also shows empathy and compassion for our favorite redneck by returning a few choice things and expressing his conviction that Kate will be okay. Charlie was barely there at all, mainly just cheering on Hurley, who seems to firmly occupy Charlie's best buddy slot now. I think it's sweet. Hobbitish, really... Darn Paolo and Nikki get in their perfunctory two minutes here, and when Sawyer demands to know just who Nikki is anyway, I'm right there with him. Give us something more substantial to chew on, already, or don't bother. In a show full of characters of great depth, those two are the shallowest couple of red-shirts I've seen in a long time. Somehow I get the feeling they're never going to graduate from ensign. This is getting tedious. On a related note... Where are Bernard and Rose????
I suppose we'll be getting back to Jack soon. Maybe even with Kate, Locke and Sayid - and Patchy - in tow. And Danielle at a safe distance. It seems a bit worrisome that there's no one in charge at the beach. Because given the assembly of people there, it seems like a prime opportunity for Sawyer to take charge. And then there goes the neighborhood. (Love you, though, Jimmy!)

I can't seem to come up with anything else to say right now. Maybe I'll think of more later. For the moment, hooray for LOST, even if this week's episode set my head a-spinnin'.

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